First of all I may be dating myself with even mentioning a mainframe to begin with, but it is very interesting to see the cycle of computers and how they are utilized within the business industry. Originally mainframe computers were very big computers and were fairly limited when they were introduced. To input any information into the mainframe you had to use punch cards. As the years progressed the input process changed and keyboards were introduced along with “dummy” terminals. A “dummy” terminal didn’t mean it was for ignorant people (even though some may have felt like it). It meant the terminal was basically an input station with a monitor. It was tied back to the mainframe where it performed the required actions. Initially it was done in this manner due to the cost of a personal computer (PC).
First of all most people are probably asking what is virtualization. Wikipedia defines it as: “… the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something in the area of computing, such as an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources”. Basically it means is you can make a copy of your old computer, put it on another newer computer, and run it as a separate operating system like an application.
When most people think of computers they usually think about what operating system they want to use. Am I going to use Windows or Mac? There are more operating systems then these two, but those are usually for the more technical users. So then the question is, why limit your self to one operating system? What if you could put both operating systems on one computer? Surprisingly enough you can put both operating systems on one computer. The technical term for this is called “dual boot”. Basically it means when the computer is booting up, you will now have the option to boot the computer up into either operating systems.
Have you ever wanted to show someone at a remote location a presentation or how to perform certain functions on a computer? Well now you can with GoToMeeeting. GoToMeeting is a software program that can be downloaded and installed on any Windows or Mac operating system. Now, it isn’t free, but they do have a 30 day free trial period where you can determine if this software is useful enough to purchase.
Have you ever noticed how the longer you have your computer the longer it takes to boot up? There are a couple reasons why this can happen. Your computer can have a virus, malware (spyware), and/or there are numerous programs running in the background. For now I will just discuss how to disable the unnecessary programs from starting up. Most likely, you never knew there were programs running in the background. Some companies have their software running in the background to make it open up quickly (at least give the illusion) or to run minor tasks (like looking for updates). The problem with this is it uses up the computer’s limited memory capabilities and it slows the boot up time. Now don’t get me wrong there are some programs that have to run on the start up otherwise you computer may not function correctly, so please be very careful on what you disable on your start up.
Microsoft Windows uses keyboard and mouse inputs to find and start programs. The default setup for Windows is to have all the programs under one main location. Under the main location you have to search numerous folders and sometimes sub-folders to see available programs. To access this list you first have to select the “Start” button or the new Windows icon. From this point on it is a guessing game to find the program. This can be time consuming, tedious, and monotonous.
Last semester in one my MBA courses a couple of us students had to work on a couple group projects. Normally the group projects require us to create a collaborated document. One student knew of a program called Dropbox that allowed everyone to work on their part of the written document at their own time, yet have it readily available for everyone else in the group.
Dropbox is specifically designed to sync your selected files on all your computers (Mac, Windows, and/or Linux) and even your smart phones. Dropbox also allows the creator of the shared folder to designate who is able to view the newly created folder. This means you can share multiple folders to numerous different people and the users only see their allowed folders.