Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Search Engine Optimization: How to get better visibility on Google

Search engine optimization is a hot topic for those with websites, and getting to know the in's and out's of it can be a challenge.  Though the topic itself isn't directly related to Mac and PC, it does affect all of those computer users who also have a website.  I came across this video on YouTube on search engine optimization, and I thought I'd share it with all of you:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Solid State Drive vs SATA Hard Drive : Which one should you choose?

With the ever-so changing equipment in computer technology, hard drives have been a part of the latest debate. Let's first talk about the match-up.

Solid State Drives

Solid State Memory has speeds that are similar to RAM but have the ability to store data like SATA. SSDs are distinguished from traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), which are devices containing spinning disks and movable read/write heads. SSDs, in contrast, use microchips, and contain no moving parts.

Pros: Compared to traditional HDDs, SSDs are typically less susceptible to physical shock, quieter, and have lower access time and latency. SSDs use the same interface as hard disk drives, thus easily replacing them in most applications.

Cons: Solid State Drives have been known to wear out like there's no tomorrow, and they don't last very long. The price for these drive are currently very expensive.

SATA Drives

SATA is the method of connection between the motherboard and the drive. This is standard hard drive that is currently found in most systems.

Pros: They are very reliable, and the cost for these drives are very affordable--if you can take advantage of using RAID; however, RAID works best if you are using the same hard drives, especially the same brand, same speed, and same connectors. You can use two different kinds of hard drives, but it would make the system unstable.

1. Very noisy spin-up is required
2. High read latency times,
3. Low mechanical reliability, moving parts does not eliminate the risk of mechanical failure 
4. Smaller range of operating temperatures

The Verdict:

Since the price of SSD drive is so expensive, it really sways the stick to the SATA drive. We all have been used to the noise by now, so I doubt that will be worth the extra $$ you would have to spend. Though the SSD is very fast in accessing data, the read/write the reliability of those drives have been an issue. Once the market settles and the technology gets better, I believe that SSDs will be more prevalent in laptops and desktop computers.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Looking for a web hosting platform... any suggestions?

I just bought the macpcharmony.com domain name, and I'm wondering if any of you are familiar with web hosting?  I did a quick search on the topic, and I found a lot of services, but I don't know which one to pick.

If you have any recommendations on web hosting or even domain names,  shoot me a message or even an affiliate link via comment :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Is VoIP Taking Over?

This Philips phone can use Skype's VoIP service.

As popular VoIP services, such as Vonage, continue to increase quality and go down in price, a popular question is whether or not it's time to discontinue your home phone in favor of VoIP.

Some households have already ditched their home phones and have gone completely cellular, but for those who frequently call long distance and international, this might not be a practical alternative.  VoIP, on the other hand, offers excellent rates for calls.

A popular complaint about VoIP was that call quality as not always the best, but in recent years, this has significantly improved.  I regularly use VoIP, and the person I'm talking to on the phone doesn't know the difference--the crystal clear call quality is most apparent.

Have any of you completely gone VoIP at home?  If so, what VoIP service do you use?  Skype?  Vonage?  Another?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Skype Releases VoIP on Android Phones

Mobile VoIP FTW?

Skype just released its application for all Android phones.  Currently, it can be used over WiFi; however, a hack allows Skype calling to be used over 3G for true mobile VoIP calling.  If your Skype caller ID is the same as your cell phone number, you can make those international calls at a fraction of the price.

What do you think about this breakthrough?  Do any of you already use Skype for VoIP?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Small Businesses: Oursource MS Exchange Hosting or go Gmail?

As soon as a few years ago, if a small business wanted professional and reliable MS Exchange services to push to mobile devices and work with Microsoft Outlook, the easy decision would be to pay for MS Exchange hosting with its annual fee per mailbox.  In a business that had a handful of employees (i.e. a small mortgage or real estate firm that lived and breathed with email), this was a smarter business decision compared to having your own Exchange server and hardware.

Recently, Gmail's email services (including calendar, etc) have encroached on the small business email territory.  Gmail is free and works with mobile devices.  The storage space increases everyday (it's up to approximately 8GB now).  However, a downfall to using Gmail for business is that each account is independently owned by the Gmail user, so the email account cannot be shut down by the employer and reviewed.

Ultimately, serious small businesses will stick with MS Exchange hosting, while small "mom and pop" shops will use Gmail.  The gap between the two services in the business world is still wide, but at least Gmail provides a robust and feature-rich service for free.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Windows Mobile Messaging (Microsoft Exchange) vs. BlackBerry BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server)

In the enterprise infrastructure, 2 hand held messaging platforms are dominant: Microsoft Exchange and BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).  Windows Mobile phones and the iPhone use the ActiveSync MS Exchange Server information to sync up with your mailbox, whereas BlackBerry phones use a BES server.

In the current infrastructure I manage, our enterprise phones are BlackBerry devices.  The BES links up with MS Exchange.  When emails are received, they route to both servers.  The main benefit here is if the MS Exchange network account is locked out, the BES continues to be able to send and receive messages.

In terms of being a user, I still preferred the iPhone over BlackBerry as I like the iPhone's OS.  However, from an enterprise point of view, the decision makers seem to be more comfortable with a BES as it has a reputation of being more secure (whether this is true or not is a different story).

What are you experiences and thoughts on this?