According to Jim

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Digital Power Supply Tester

I can’t believe I waited all this time to make an investment in a power supply tester for PC computers. This tester will pay for itself in one use.

Manhattan Digital Power Supply Tester
Manhattan Digital Power Supply Tester Model 101530

Given that many of us have more than one PC in our homes or businesses, and the fact that given enough time all electronic items will fail and die, the quick and easy digital power supply tester is the one tool that everyone should have.

After looking at all the pros and cons and reading the Amazon online reviews of the various digital power supply testers, I decided on the Manhatton Digital Power Supply Tester for ATX, 20- or 24-pin connectors.

Here is what can be done with it:

  • Quickly diagnose power supply units, saving time, avoiding system damage, and data loss.
  • Accepts 20- or 24-pin ATX, 4-, 6-, and 8-pin CPU, 4-pin FDD, 4-pin Molex (HDD) and SATA power connectors.
  • Voltage indicator safely and accurately detects voltage presence.
  • Easy to read, backlit LDC display with audible alarms and LED indicators.
  • Sturdy, lightweight, and compact aluminum case; ideal for carrying in a toolkit or having it on the technician’s bench.
  • Lifetime Warranty.

The instructions are included with the device, though you have to look inside the sandwiched cardboard display sleeve to find them.

The directions are easy and is actually very simple to use.

  • Make sure the power supply and all the connections are removed from the computer.
  • Plug in the main 20- or 24-pin ATX connector from a power supply that you want to check.
  • Two beeps indicate that the liquid-crystal display (LCD) has updated each voltage and power-good (PG) value based on what is currently being tested.
  • The 12 V, 3.3 V, and 5 V LEDs will light if their corresponding power outputs are good, and reamian off if the power outputs fail. (The voltage sources are to be tested one by one.)
  • Test any of the component voltage cables one at a time by attaching a 4-, 6-, or 8-pin CPU connector, 4-pin FDD or Molex (HDD) connector (+12 V1 / +5 V), or SATA (+12 V1 / +5 V / +3.3 V) connector to the tester, checking the appropriate LEDs for output indications.
  • Remove each non-ATX connector after each test. Caution: Besides the 20 or 24-pin ATX connector, do not plug more than one additional power connector at a time into the tester.
Normal Voltage Range* Display Voltage Range*
Lower (A) Higher (B) Min. (C) Max. (D)
+5 V +4.75 V +5.25 V 4.0 V 6.0 V
-12 V -11 V -13 V -10 V -14 V
+12 V1 +11 V +13 V 10 V 14 V
+12 V2 +11 V +13 V 10 V 14 V
+3.3 V +3.14 V +3.47 V 2.0 V 4.5 V
+5 VSB +4.75 V +5.25 V 4.0 V 9.0 V
PG 0 ms 990 ms

* +/-5% for +5 V, +3.3 V, +5 VSB; +/-10% for +12 V1, +12 V2, -12 V.

Voltage Table and Readings

  • Abnormal voltage will not display on the LCD.
  • “LL” displays when no voltage or voltage lower than a minimum acceptable value is detected.
  • “HH” displays when voltage is higher than a maximum acceptable value is detected.
  • If the detected voltage is lower than table value (A) or higher than table value (B), an alarm beeps.
  • If the detected PG value is lower than 100 ms or higher than 900 ms, an alarm beeps and the reading blinks on the LCD screen.

The tester works as advertised. Quite a handy device.

Check it out: Manhattan Digital Power Supply Tester

Jim

Jim’s Computer Life in the Cloud Online

Today I was reminded of my early life in the Apple PC world when someone asked me a question in regards to fixing an old Macintosh Plus computer.

The Macintosh Plus computer was the third model in the Macintosh line, introduced on January 16, 1986, two years after the original Macintosh and a little more than a year after the Macintosh 512K, with a price tag of US $2599.

Let me tell you a short story. Many years ago, I purchased an Apple Macintosh SE and then later purchased a PowerPC 6100 series computer. Both of these computers made life working with a PC fun. Of course, I am using the term “PC” in a generic form here. The 6100 brought color (actual color monitor) into my computer life, and it even trail blazed the path to the Internet when most people didn’t have a clue what the “Internet” was about, nor had they even hear the “Web” term, or being “online” with a computer.

I was an early alpha and beta tester for the Mosaic browser which was the precursor for Netscape Navigator, which ultimately morphed into Mozilla Firefox. Mosaic’s direct descendant on the coder line, via Marc Andreessen, was Netscape Navigator. Netscape Navigator’s code descendant is Mozilla Firefox. It was around this time I started doing some basic website customization and web design for fun.

I knew the early Apples inside and out. However, the business world was using mostly all DOS PCs with software from Microsoft and IBM. So, when Microsoft introduced Windows 95 and then Windows 98 and ME became available, and PC makers were starting to build computers for the masses, my wife and I purchased a Tiny Computer, which was not so tiny after all, but was a brand name manufacturer of computers.

Tiny Computers, was Britain’s third largest computer manufacturer at the time, based in Redhill Business Park in Salfords, Redhill in Surrey, England. The Tiny brand of computers were sold in the United States at retail outlets at extremely competitive pricing. Tiny used the advertising slogan ‘Think big about your PC – think Tiny.” During the late 1990s they were a highly successful firm having units throughout the major retail stores of the UK, but their profits eventually began to fall due to competition from other major computer brands and they were bought out of Administration by their rival TIME. However if you look around now, there seems to be a lot of new tiny computers, i.e. mini laptops such as Acer, ASUS , HP Mini, Dell Mini, other Netbooks, Apple MacBook Air, Apple iPad, and a host of other manufacturers’ netbooks and minis are now on the landscape.

As the electronics in these computer devices have shrunk, the power within the boxes have expanded exponentially. Battery technology has greatly improved along the way, making the devices quite portable in their usage for long periods of time. However, that does not really paint the whole picture of what is going on today. We tend to think of the computer as a device we store things in, and a device we use for emailing, writing, and even research through the Internet. We store documents, pictures, songs, programs, books, track our finances, and do social networking with our friends and relatives all over the world using the PC, and now even using our smart phones like the iPhone and Androids to quickly post a picture, send a message, or check our emails.

What many of us fail to realize is the impact that the cloud is making on our lives, and how the PC might simply be a thing of the past in our thinking. In fact, it is quite likely that the near future, the PC will simply be a device that is so cheap, and common place that it will be like having a watch on your wrist. Just about everyone has a watch, and very few get excited about having one. Yes, you might want a Rolex, but seeing the time on a Timex will do just fine.

First off, what is the cloud? Or, what is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).

Believe it or not, most of us use cloud computing every day. In fact, I am using cloud computing just writing this document. As I type this document on my MacBook Pro, the computer is simply being used as a terminal that is tied into my web host server, where my website is located, where I have WordPress blogging software and content management software installed, and where the physical files are stored.

Another form of cloud computing is Google’s Gmail application, where all the emails are stored online, and access is provided through all types of devices, i.e. PCs, Apple laptops, iPads, netbooks, iPhones, Android smart phones, and even our new smart TVs have Internet access capabilities.  Even the Amazon Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Fire, Full Color 7″ Multi-touch Display, has Internet Wi-Fi access available for it. The days of using one PC device for everything is long gone. In fact, that is one of the reasons the cloud is here to stay. People want instantaneous access to their information through all the different electronic devices available to them. They want to be able to check their email from the cell phone, or check their friends Facebook pages from their iPad, or conference on their laptop when on the road, or even download a new book to read when ever they want.

No doubt about it, this generation is living in the cloud whether they realize it or not. Now, even businesses are moving to the cloud too. The same things that have occurred in the consumer world is also happening in the business world. Companies are looking for ways of reducing their costs, and one area of expense that are being looked at with a critical eye is the IT department. IT departments have traditionally had their plates full. They have had to juggle all types of activities; server integration, software, backups, computer laptops and desktops, email configuration, email maintenance, email backups, and one of the most important items, security. All of this adds up to big money. The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, it is in the cloud.

Cloud ComputingGoogle Apps for business is one of the cost saving enterprise solutions available for small, medium, or any large business today. With the adaptation of Google Apps integration for a business, a company can realize enormous savings, reduced headaches, elimination of concern over hardware server problems, backups, power outages, and of having to deal with other interface items related to PC hardware, software, email integration, and more.

Need help with your business? Contact Jim at Professional Web Services today.

New Website Design: BlogoLife Bright and Clean WordPress Upgrade

Well, if you are a returning visitor to my website, you probably have noticed a different template design. I was looking to brighten things up a bit, by bringing a clean new style to the website, and found this WordPress template that seemed to be quite versatile in what could be done with it.

BlogolifeBlogoLife 1.8 by wplook

BlogoLife is a simple and perfect HTML5 & CSS3 theme for personal blogging that supports post formats, and several customization options. The custom background, custom header, and multiple color schemes gives you the possibility to adapt your blog as you wish.
Options: Widgets | Menus | Wplook Panel | Background | Header

With the BlogoLife template, I customized it to the size width that I wanted. Though, I had to do some figuring out the widths in order to create some new graphics for the wider width that I was changing it to. I ended up increasing both the left column (main text area) slightly, and increased the width of the right column significantly to allow for the usage of wider graphics.

Prior to using the new template, I decided to upgrade WordPress to the latest and greatest. That was quite a story in itself and required troubleshooting an upgrade that went awry. If using WordPress for your website, I suggest reading about how to recover from a failed WordPress update here.

Once I was upgraded with WP and all the Plugins, I tackled the template area. As with any website, there are tons of things behind the scenes, which are not seen by most folks visiting a website. However, if you are a website developer, you know what I am talking about. Spacing, alignment, color, graphics, text size, and even the header and footer spacing is a puzzle with having to make sure all the pieces fit together properly. Everything is looked at with a critical eye (mine), and still there are always things that you want to improve. Then on top of all of that, making sure that Web functionality is still intact, navigation, analytics, and other smaller items of importance such as how the admin area for comments, access, and page and post edits work in conjunction with the template are all inner-linked and functioning well together.

So, I hope you like the new design to the website. In this template, you might see some different colors every once in awhile, along with different header images too. Let me know what you think.

Regards,

Jim

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