Introduction to Programming
Controlling Your Computer with a Programming Language
In a previous article, we introduced automating some tasks with MS-DOS batch files. In this article, we’re going to introduce programming and describe how it can be used to control the way your computer works. Normally, computer novices aren’t interested in controlling the computer. New computer users are typically interested in learning more about how the thing works. However they may be surprised to learn that programming increases computer knowledge as a whole and it can help to diminish the fear associated with using a new computer.
Programming a computer is creating a sequence of instructions that enable the computer to do something.1 The people who program computers (called programmers) use a programming language to communicate with a computer. You might have heard of some of these languages in the past such as Visual Basic, C++, or Fortran. There are hundreds of other programming language and neither one is better than the other. Most of them are capable of performing the same tasks and achieving the same goals. A programmer chooses one language by a simple preference.
Each of these languages differ by the way they communicate with a computer however, and the commands that they follow are very specific. Not a single command of one language can be interchanged with the commands or language of another. But all of them can be used to control a computer.
Now it would be impossible to teach you how to program any language in a single article. But we can still introduce you to some of programming’s most basic concepts – starting with the commands we talked about earlier. Commands are the instructions that a computer follows to perform an action. 2 To make them work inside of a program, programmers assign commands to objects like buttons for example.
The commands in a program are pretty useless unless they have some data to act on so programmers either give the programs some data to work with (list of names or numbers for example) or they make the program generate it’s own data. Sometimes, the data comes from an outside source like the Internet or the computer that the program runs on. The data that a program receives is called input and data that the program generates is called output.
Other times, the data is unknown. If the program were working with a simple algebra equation like, “x + 5 = y,” the variables “x” and “y” would be unknown pieces of data. Or if a program were to calculate a date “x” days from now, the variable “x” would be an unknown piece of data until we tell the program what “x” is. In programming, it’s sometimes required to work with unknown pieces of data.
That’s when conditions come in handy. Conditions allow a program to perform an action based on the outcome of a previous command.3 Using this type of instruction, we could instruct a program to do one thing if the “x” variable in our latter example turned out to be 7 days, and then do different thing if the variable turned out to be 3 days.
Commands, data, variables, and conditions help build the most simple programs and there are certainly many more components of any programming language. But when they’re typed into a programming language and compiled to create a an executable file (a file ending with the .exe extension), they turn into a software application.
As we mentioned earlier, you can use a programming language to control your computer. By using simple commands, you can program your computer to perform mathematical tasks, fill out web forms, compose an email message and send it off, or any number of other things. If you’re interested, you may find Visual Basic is one of the most easiest programming languages to learn. Visual Basic is an object-oriented programming language and it automatically codes much of a program the minute a programmer drags a button onto a screen.
1 Source: WordWeb Pro 4.51
Notebook battery life is an important for the mobile computer user. Theres nothing worse than really needing to access you notebook only to have it switch off due to low battery. There are certain things that can help to prolong battery life.
The first thing to consider would be the conditioning of the battery. More namely your charging habits. The worst thing you can do for your notebook battery is always keep it on the charger or charge it while its only half full. This will diminish the life of the battery giving you less hours of operating time. The ideal way to charge your notebook battery would be to use it until it is completely dead and then charge it fully.
The second issue to consider would be your usage habits. Using multimedia such as movies and music will kill your battery a lot quicker. Especially doing operations that are CPU intensive. Playing games will diminish your power supply a lot quicker than say, browsing the internet.
There are also different settings that can help preserve your battery life. Windows has different functions for notebooks. For instance you can set your power usage depending on what you are doing. You can set your notebook to act like a desktop if you are near a power supply to get the full performance out of your system. On the other hand you can also set it to use power as efficiently as possible if you are on the move. These setting change things such as the amount of power the CPU uses, the brightness of the screen and so forth.
In the end its up-to the individual user. Some notebooks come with the option of a second battery which can double the power your notebook has at your disposal but this is often costly. Also there are more advanced batteries that can be used but again they will cost you extra.
Many times people feel to smash a punch on their computer. Well, they have feel that their computer PC as a peace of junk. This happens when computer stop giving ultimate output to your hard-work on it.
The technology is currently at a rocket speed, you would probably find something more special – the more advanced technology on the second day of computer purchased. You may feel the computer you are using right now is little outdated, sorry if you are using new PC but then too. It is not possible for most of us to keep changing old PCs with new one.
You can upgrade your PC by adding new components. But, prior to making mind on whether to upgrade the system or to buy new one, it is recommended that you find out what exactly missing in your current system and what you are looking for in your system. Some of your wise decisions on upgrades could turn your PC into your desired feature machine. This might let you to avoid purchasing a new system for months or even for years.
You might come to conclusion that existing PC does not stand at your requirements. As a result you make mind to acquire new PC, even speedier that holds latest features and ocean of storage space. But before spending your hard earned money on this machine remember that most of us don’t require too much advanced PCs.
When can you upgrade the system?
To upgrade the system, it is usually two years old to consider your PC old. If it is even older than two years, then avoid idea to upgrade it. PCs that are older than 2-3- years doesnt have even facilities to add the latest components. And if, in case you are successful in adding new component, than too it will be worthless because the new component wouldnt make you happy as they give poor outputs. However, there are no regulations whether to upgrade old PC or not.
Upgrading the old/existing PC:
Upgrading a computer is not a big deal. It needs some cautious steps and a systematic job done. However, it is suggested to get help of a computer savvy companion.
Adding CD-RW Drive:
CD-Drive facilitates you to add new software to your PC. If your PC doesnt have CD-RW drive, adding one is fair up-gradation that raises convenience to your computer. You can make backups of your significant data or share photos, images music and many more things with friends and family. And that’s just the beginning.
Adding Graphics Card:
A graphics card could ease the task to appear images pop up on your screen quicker; it also makes images sharper and higher-resolution. Make sure that your system is appropriate to install a graphic card, as some cards require advanced systems with speedy processors. If you are games savvy then this installation would be a wise make out.
Adding Sound System:
A sound card facilitates you to hear much better music. If you are interested in PC music then a new sound card and latest-technology speakers make a lot of difference.
As most of the time we have to keep eyes on the screen, buying a latest, big monitor could be a better option then investing in a new PC. Most of the latest monitors are developed to ease stress to your eyes.
This is the most important thing in your system up-gradation. Upgrading your PC’s memory is the best way to make its performance climb. If your PC is two years old or more than probably it would only 64MB or 128MB of RAM. Upgrading your PC with 256MB of RAM would make increase in speed.
Upgrading Hard Drive:
Your existing old PC most likely came containing just 10GB / 20GB hard drive. Upgrading hard drive would definitely drive more convenience to your PC.
There are lot many things to upgrade your existing PC to raise its output, but before you upgrade make one list what to upgrade. Find out what it would benefit you and dont forget to estimate up-gradation price.
Buy new PC if up-gradation cost reaches similar to new one:
In case when you select to upgrade most of the components of the existing PC you should evaluate its cost, if the estimated cost reaches near to the new PC, and then should opt for a new computer, in which everything is integrated utilizing the most up-to-date technology.