Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Exception PCB: What are Printed Circuit Boards?

A PCB, also known as Printed Circuit Boards, is very commonly used in the Electronics industry. A PCB is used for supporting and connecting electronic components. For this purpose pathways or tracks are etched from copper sheets which are laminated on a non-conductive substrate. PCBs are also called PWBs or printed wiring board.

The advantages of PCB are that it is very economical to use and is extremely reliable. Compared to other methods of attaching electronic components like wire wrap or point to point construction, PCBs can be tedious to make the layout and the initial cost are also higher. But in large scale production, they work out much more cheaply and faster. They are faster because the production and soldering of the circuit boards can be done by pre-set equipment. The PCB quality control guidelines have been spelled out by the IPC organization which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute. The UK based eXception PCB, is one of the major suppliers of complex printed circuit boards to the aerospace and defence sector. By gaining accreditation for AS 9100, the company has added another feather in its cap. Exception PCB has boosted its credibility and capability by the accreditation and is now planning to gain approval for the medical certification for PCB manufacturing in order to strengthen their medical customers’ needs.

Printed Circuit Boards were developed as early as in the 20th century. The invention of the printed circuit has been credited to an Austrian, Paul Eisler. Conducting layers in PCBs are made of thin copper foil. Most of the PCBs are made by patterning or etching. A layer of copper is bonded over the entire substrate and any unwanted copper is removed by applying a temporary mask. In this way only required copper traces are left intact. PCBs manufactured in large scale are used for silk screen printing and photography industries. In small scale, the PCBs are used to print on transparent film and also for use as photo mask. They are also used in laser resist ablation and in a CNC mill with a cutter. Hobbyists use it for laser printed resist on transparency film, for heat transfer with a laminator and other labour-intensive methods for vinyl fills and no washable markers.

PCBs are also used for chemical etching using ferric chloride and ammonium persulfate. The method in its simplified form is used by hobbyists for immersion etching. There are also multi-layer PCBs which have trace layers inside which are formed by bonding together individually etched boards. Drilling in a PCB is done through small diameter drill bits which are usually coated with tungsten carbide. The soldering on PCBs is done by plating with solder, tin or gold over nickel. A large variety of soldering techniques are used to attach components on to the PCB. In large scale production of PCBs, bulk wave soldering is done by machine placement.

The PCBs which may pass through extreme environments normally have a conformal coating which protects the PCB. This coating is done by spraying the components that have been soldered. The coating is known to protect the PCBs against corrosion and leakage. Since most of the PCBs are static sensitive, they are put in antistatic bags during transportation. It is important for the user to be grounded while handling these boards. There are different types of PCB construction like Cordwood construction which is known to save space used with wire ended parts in appliances where saving of space is a prerogative. The multiwire boards are an interconnected technique using insulated wires in a non-conducting plastic resin matrix. The surface mount technology used components redesigned to hold metal tabs that could be soldered to the PCB surface. Exception PCB, a company restructured from its American parent company, DDI, have been manufacturing PCBs for sectors that are wide ranging from Aerospace, Automobiles, Transportation, Oil and gas, communications, medical and marine, semiconductors and even Formula one.

How To Install OSX Lion

For users who are currently using the Snow Leopard operational system it could be worth looking into upgrading to the OSX Lion. Before doing this there are a number of factors of note that should be taken into consideration regarding IT installation.  Computers that are a few years old may not be compatible with newer operating systems due to the requirements demanded of modern packages such as the Lion. The next point of note is that it would be worth backing up all data before installation and reformatting a computer.

Checking requirements

The OSX Lion operating system will need a specific processor to install properly; any from the Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 and Xeon are all good.  Another requirement is that a minimum of 2GB Ram must be left free with an additional 4GB of spare hard disk space available also.

Back Up Your Data

 Before commencing with IT installation it is imperative to make sure all data on your hard drive is backed up. One option for doing this is using a back-up system called Time Machine; by running this it gives the user the peace of mind to not have to worry about installing a manual backup.  Failing this an alternative option is to invest in an external hard drive to store all data. It is essential to make certain that all data in every folder is backed up; this includes folders you may not necessarily think to copy including “Download” and personal “User” ones.

Downloading the OSX Lion Software

In iTunes software open the “App store” and browse for updates. Once the OSC Lion update has been found it is possible to click on this which will bring about a prompt for you to enter your details. From here it is as simple as downloading the software and then launching the upgrade once this is completed.

How To Reformat

From here the user should click on the icon marked “Desk Utility”; this will in turn open a new menu where the user can click on the hard drive. All information from the hard drive should be safely stored elsewhere as the next option the user should select is the “Erase” button. This, as could be guessed, erases all the information contained on the computer which will allow a fresh installation of a new operating system – in this case the OSX Lion.


A number of prompts should appear on screen which the user can then click through. The hard drive should be selected as the installation point for the OSX Lion and, once this is done, the next step is to press the “Next” button and simply wait for the setup to begin. Dependent on computer speed the process could take anywhere up to three quarters of an hour. Once this is complete the user will be invited to enter their username and password and then chose a wireless internet network from a pop up menu. Once this has done the computer needs to be restarted so as to run with the new system installed.  The final step, at this point is to re-upload all your previous data from either the Time Machine backup or from files stored on the external hard drive. Once these steps have been completed, no information has been lost and the computer will have a new OSX Lion operational system in place.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Top 5 Benefits Of FiOS

FiOS (Fiber Optic Internet) from Verizon is the leading source of premium home television and communications products and services delivered to the home through a fiber optic connection. The bandwidth and speed of fiber allows Verizon to deliver more content than ever before, and to provide the most services in the industry. The benefits of FiOS are many. Here are the top five:

All-digital Network

The FiOS network is a completely state-of-the-art delivery system of all-digital content and services. The all-digital format ensures the fastest delivery of even the heaviest content, like HDTV broadcasts and online game-playing. The fiber optic network eliminates latency and signal degradation that slow down lesser networks.

A True Superhighway

FiOS fiber optics internet is a true multi-lane information technology superhighway. A single strand of fiber can transmit HDTV, telecommunications, and broadband internet signals faster than any other method of data transport. Since the FiOS network is a pure fiber-optics network, end users enjoy the most all-digital HDTV channels in the television industry, and high-speed broadband internet speeds of 150Mbps.

Meaningful Convergence

In an effort to have more value-added services, more and more companies are offering a wide range of telecommunications products and services, including premium home television service, high-speed broadband internet, and digital home phone services. FiOS from Verizon offers more than just a technology bundle. Through their superior fiber optic network, they're able to provide access to the most popular social media applications, including Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, and many other useful resources delivered directly to the television set. Add a wireless keyboard to access the full range of applications.

The Fastest Internet

The FiOS fiber optic internet service from Verizon is the fastest and most reliable in America. PC Magazine has rated FiOS the fastest internet six years in a row. With download speeds of up to 150Mbps, this is true high-speed broadband internet access. This type of bandwidth will easily handle streaming HDTV broadcasts, downloading any files of any size, and will accommodate even the most robust of online gaming enthusiasts playing in multi-user domains.

Unparalleled Premium Television Services

 More and more television content is being produced in high definition, and even 3-D content is showing up more and more each day. FiOS television offers nearly 540 channels of all-digital entertainment, including more than 130 HDTV channels and nearly 50 all-digital music channels. Multi-room DVR offers FiOS customers the ability to watch recorded programming on any television in the house, from a single Digital Video Recorder. More than 30,000 titles are also available each month with Verizon FiOS on Demand.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Androids: the Latest Addition to the Information Age

Computer Scientists are in charge of remaining up to date with new technological advances and maintaining tools for the public. Their role is an integral part of the delivery of information in households and various business enterprises. One of the major inventions that they must now remain knowledgeable about is the Android phone. Check out some key points to help familiarize yourself with a machines now dominate the world of electronics.


Android is an operating system within mobile devices. It specifically accomodates electronic equipment, such as computer tablets, smartphones, laptops, headphones, netbooks, automobile CD and DVD players, and wristwatches. Java language mostly supports Android applications, although other devices may be utilized as well. Most applications can be downloaded from online stores and third-party sites. The operating tools have several helpful features, such as Wi-Fi locators, GPS systems, storage cards, video calling, screen capturing, streaming media support, messaging, web browsers a variety of hardware support, and much more.

Android, Inc. was established in 2003 in Palo Alto, California by four leading professionals in technology. After a couple years of running a covert operation, it was acquired by Google. Android eventually distributed its initial feature, the open handset device, in late 2007 to a network of reputable telecommunications companies, although there had been rumors of it's emergence since 2006. Participating businesses assumed the name Open Handset Alliance and included T-Mobile, Qualcomm, Sprint Nextel, Motorola, Intel and Samsung Electronics, among others. Since then, several new hardware and software systems have been launched, enabling Android to be considered the best-selling smartphone in 2010. Currently, over 190 million devices have been sold and used.

Top Apps

When it comes to Android, there's an application that's suitable for every user. Here's some of the most popular ones to look out for:

PhoneBook 2.0 - This is the ideal application to have for social networking purposes. Also, it allows you to add your contact list to a back-up server in the event that your mobile device is ever misplaced or stolen.

TuneWiki - Music lovers will get the most out of this tool. The application enables them to download music maps that feature lyrics, audio and video tracks. Individuals may use the GPS locator to find out what other listerners are tuned into as well.

BioWallet - Everyone has sensitive information that they don't want revealed. You can store your passwords, account numbers, documents and other private data, as this application offers peace of mind.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Today's Technology Making IP Phone Systems Most Attractive to Consumers

Considering a switch or alternative to your current home or business phone system! Internet protocol (IP phone) networking make an IP & VoIP, phone service the attractive alternative to fit all your residential and business phone system needs. Internet protocol or voice over (VoIP) now provides a better way to stay on top of all your communication needs. VoIP supports network telecommunications by enabling voice over digital transfer. This type of technology even ensures notifications right to your mobile email address. IP & VoIP phone systems make communicating more convenient enabling real time information right on time even through your mobile phone device.

How is this done; VoIP is the technology which takes spoken words and converts those words into digital packets, allowing what is spoken across a mobile or VoIP supported phone to travel across your current IP’s protocol than be communicated and delivered to any internet protocol network, making mobile computing convenient for on the go business professionals and even busy family members as well.

By comparison, cost of a VoIP phone or an IP phone system is becoming much more attractive than older traditional phone courier pricing's and can be less costly by a land slide. Especially if international long distance and domestic calling is a must for your current communication and business needs. Vonage for instance, offers IP phone and VoIP phone service with many features such as caller id, call waiting and three-way calling all for around $38 a month. In addition, Vonage also allows long distance and domestic calling with no additional sur-charges however an average $3 tax is added for long distant international calling bringing the total price to around $41 per month for a complete VoIP phone, IP phone adapter and service. Not bad when considering all the added features which come for free with the IP Vonage phone system pack. Another plus for the IP and VoIP phone systems is many service providers are now offering voice mail notifications be sent right to your email address which is a big plus for those that check their email more often than voice mail. In addition while VoIP service providers do charge an initial set up fee, more and more IP & VoIP service providers are not charging for the phone adapter needed that plugs into your existing DSL modem to enable and connect IP, VoIP phone system networking.

Bottom line is that there is a huge incentive for IP phone & VoIP phone systems ability in delivering email notifications and real time information at a much more attractive convenience rate for the on the go business person. You may want to ask your current IP provider if you can upgrade your IP service to Wide-Band as opposed to Broad-Band as this will help to increase VoIP transfer rate across your networks server and help to buffer out jitter and increase a lower rate of delay time which increases data deployment. Today's new technology has replaced yesterday's wonders when it comes to how we communicate. New technology has enhanced the quality of service for those things we use each day such as cell and land phones by replacing the older veins with newer innovative technology supported devices, such as IP & VoIP phones simplifying how we communicate with one another. From residential to commercial use today’s consumers can be assured that IP & VoIP phone service providers have advanced to meet the demands of new technology, consumer business and global communication.

To ensure superior quality with your new IP - VoIP phone system make sure that you have the latest up-to-date firmware to support your new IP and VoIP phone service system. This information should be furnished by your VoIP & IP phone system provider and most of the time is included along in the software cd that comes with your VoIP & IP phone provider package.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Droid! Droid! Droid! Apple! Apple! Apple! Which Team Are You?

Do you ever get the feeling that technology has taken over your life? Do you ever have that heart-stopping moment when you think you left your phone charging on your bed and have the realization that you will be without your phone all day long? Yes, I bet you have. That is what technology has done to us. It makes us need it every second and feel as though we may not survive the day without it. Is that bad? Some would say yes, but nothing is better than realizing you didn't leave it on your bed, and it’s in your pocket.

The more popular technologies that have hit the market, and continue to every four to six months, are the gadgets that enter the cell phone market. Well, they aren’t really cell phones anymore. Let’s use the proper term: smartphones. They think. They respond. They predict. ‘Smart’ is the right word.

What’s the first phone you think of what I say ‘smartphone’? An iPhone? A Droid? Some other phone that is not as popular but still amazing? If you are part of the first two groups, then we have some talking to do.
The iPhone made by Apple is quite possibly one of the most popular smartphones out there. The way it looks, the way it works and the way it keeps users connected only increases its popularity. But, the same can be said for the Verizon Droid models. I specifically say “Verizon”, because the term “Droid” is specifically owned by Verizon, so I must be completely accurate.

Today’s adventure into technology will compare two of the most popular phones in the category of “Apple” and “Droid”. Which team you are on now is not as important as which team you MAY be on after this article.

Droid RAZR vs. iPhone 4S

First, the body. The RAZR is bigger, thinner and weighs less but by small numbers.

RAZR:                5.15 x 2.71 x 0.28 inches; 4.48 ounces
iPhone:                4.5 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches; 4.9 ounces

The difference doesn’t add too much of a difference, although you may feel the weight difference if you held both in your hands. That’s very important for some and not so for others. Depends on the user just as everything else does.

Second, the processor. This is where it gets very technical. The RAZR has a Texas Instruments OMAP4430 processor clocked at a frequency of 1.2 Ghz Cortex A9 dual core processor with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The iPhone 4S is powered with A5 SoC consisting of Cortex A9 dual core processor that has had a preliminary frequency clocked at 0.8 Ghz and a powerful PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU.
What does all that mean for you non-techies out there? It means the processor is faster for the RAZR. Does that mean the RAZR is faster than the iPhone? Some say no as the seamless motion from one program to the next is better than what the RAZR offers in terms of usability, but based on specifications, the RAZR wins. Also remember the iPhone 4S wins the comparison between graphical acceleration for both phones, no question.

Third, operating system. This is where people debate between phones, and it then becomes a preference decision. I can tell you that the RAZR has the Google Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread operating system and that the iPhone 4S has the iOS 5 operating system. There really is no way of saying one is better than the other. Users of the Droid will say it’s better. Users of the Apple will say it’s better. There are features they may change on the interfaces they use from one phone to the next and other options they wish they had on another phone. This is a preference that only the user can name better or not.

Fourth, the display screen. The RAZR has a 4.3 inch, Super AMOLED qHD display, and the iPhone 4S has a 3.5 inch, IPS LCD display. The resolution for the first is maxed out at 960 x 540 with 256 pixels per inch while the iPhone maxes out at 640 x 960 with 326 pixels per inch. This shows that the iPhone may win in terms of pixels/resolution, but the RAZR does win in terms of the size of the screen.

Fifth, the camera. Both phones have an 8 megapixel rear camera with an LED flash. The difference comes with the front camera for both phones. The RAZR wins this category with a 2 megapixel front camera while the iPhone has VGA. But again, the iPhone has a custom ISP design that features face recognition used for applications like Facetime; a Hybrid IR filter and an auto white balance that the RAZR does not have. As for the video, both record in HD at 1080p with a resolution of 30 frames per second but by using the phones most agree the iPhone does record better video.
Well, that’s it. Those are the main important pieces of both phones.

So, the winner is ... drum roll please ... … … … …

You choose.

Going by spec is not the best way to determine which phone is better than another. It’s about the user.  If I pick up a Droid and use it for weeks, I will be able to tell you what I love about it, what I hate about it and what I would change. The same goes for any other phone like the 
iPhone. Numbers are not going to tell you about the actual user experience. So it’s up to you to make your decision.

Do I have an iPhone? Yes. Would I give it up to try a Droid? Probably not. It’s the user. Not the review that makes the decision.  

So, what team are you on? Droid or Apple?