Panduan Memasukkan Sistem Kendali Windows 7 – Bahagian Kedua

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Ini adalah lanjutan dari Panduan Memasukkan Sistem Kendali Windows 7 – Bahagian Pertama. Jika ia belum dibaca adalah disyurkan ianya dibaca terlebih dahulu kerana panduan di sini berdasarkan pada apa yang tertulis di sana.

Sebenarnya untuk memasukkan Sistem Kendali Windows 7 pada komputer yang baru atau komputer lama yang telah di bersihkan tidaklah rumit. Cuma kalau komputer lama itu melebihi dua tahun maka ia tidak digalakkan kerana Windows 7 memerlukan kuasa komputasi yang tinggi. Kalau prosesornya hanya satu ‘core’ maka kelajuannya hendaklah melebihi 2.6GHz dan jika sekiranya ianya dua ‘core’ atau lebih maka kelajuannya hendaklah sekurang-kurangnya 1.6GHz. Ini dikehendaki agar komputer tidak terasa lembab. Yang kurang komputasinya dari yang tersebut tadi jika sekiranya inginkan juga Windows 7 maka bolehlah memasukkan Windows 7 Starter atau Windows 7 Home. Perbezaannya yang ketara diantara Windows 7 yang lain dengan kedua-dua Windows 7 ini ialah tiadanya fungsi ‘Aero’. Fungsi Aero inilah yang membuat bingkai tingkap-tingkap dan taskbar menjadi jernih.

Setelah diteliti gambar-gambar yang hendak saya masukkan ke sini, saya dapati gambar-gambar itu sudah cukup untuk memberi penerangan. Maka panduan yang ringkas ini akan berdasarkan pada gambar-gambar dengan memberi sedikit-sebanyak penerangan di mana perlu.

Jika sekiranya langkah-langkah pada bahagian pertama sudah dilakukan, inilah langkah selanjutnya.

Tahap Pertama

Masukkan cakera Video Digital (DVD) Windows 7 ke dalam pacuan (DVDrom Drive) dan jalankan komputer. Komputer akan mencari sistem kendali mula-mula sekali di pacuan cakera padat/Video Digital sebagaimana yang telah ditetapkan. Berikut adalah apa yang akan terpapar di skrin monitor;

Tekan sebarang kekunci di keyboard

Setelah itu ia akan membaca perisian/aturan (program) yang ada di cakera VD itu dan seterusnya inilah yang akan berlaku:-

Muatan bermula

Wiindows akan bermula

ikut citarasa jika tak pasti boleh ikut yang ini

Klik Install now

Setup bermula

Nyatakan persetujuan dan klik Next

klik Custom (advanced)

klik 'Drive options (advanced)'

Nota: Jangan terperanjat kalau terdapat di sini lima bagian (partition). Saya telah membuat satu lagi bagian yang dibentuk (format) dengan sistem file Linux (Ini tidak kelihatan pada Windows Explorer). Saya gunakan bagian ini untuk menyimpan salinan imej (mirror copy) apabila segalanya telah selesai (termasuk pengerak alat [driver] dan ‘activation’ Windowsnya). Jika ada kerosakkan saya cuma perlu menyalin semula dari imej salinan yang disimpan ini. Kedua-dua proses ini (menyimpan salinan dan menyalin semula salinan ini ke bagian [partition] sistem kendali – ini membuat bagian itu seperti baru) saya gunakan perisian freeware donationware yang bernama Clonezilla. Tetapi ini tidak perlu kerana Clonezilla pun boleh menyimpan salinan di sistem fail NTFS.

klik Partition 1 kemudian klik Format

Pada tingkap yang keluar klik OK

Pastikan Partition 1 berhighlight klik Next

Masukan bermula

Tahap pertama hampir tamat

Tahap pertama selesai

Tahap Kedua

Jagan ditekan apa-apa, biarkan

Mula tahap kedua

Memasuki tahap kedua

Akhir tahap 2

Reboot ke tahap 3

Tahap Ketiga/Akhir

Jangan disentuh, biarkan

Masuk tahap 3/akhir

Bubuhkan nama dikotak atas

Taipkan password jika perlu. Jika diisi tiap kali Windows mula kena taip password

Taip product key di sini

Klik Ask me later

Pilih zon waktu tempat anda

Sudah hampir siap

Selesai

Sudah selesai tetapi belum keseluruhannya. Perlu dimasukkan pula pengerak (driver) bagi alat-alatan lain yang ada pada komputer itu seperti kad suara, kad graphic dan sebagainya. Biasanya ia disimpan di dalam cakera padat (CD) atau DVD yang ada dengan papan induk (motherboard) yang dibeli itu. Jika sudah dimasukkan semua pengerak-pengerak yang diperlukan barulah diaktivetkan Windows 7 ini dan di’update’kan sekali. Selamat mencuba.

Nota: Kepada yang berkenaan, Locke ah, locke.

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Panduan Memasukkan Sistem Kendali Windows 7 – Bahagian Pertama

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Setiap komputer mesti mempunyai Sistem Kendali (Operating System) untuk berfungsi. Umumnya pada komputer peribadi masa kini yang menggunakan prosesor x86 sistem kendalinya ialah Windows atau perisian sistem kendali percuma (freeware) yang dikenali sebagai Linux. Bagi sistem kendali OS X yang digunakan oleh komputer peribadi Apple ia adalah tertutup, hanya boleh digunakan oleh komputer peribadi keluaran Apple sahaja. Akan diterangkan di sini secara ringkas bagaimana hendak memasukkan Sistem Kendali Windows 7 pada komputer peribadi yang baru dipasang atau yang lama tetapi mahu dibersihkan semula.

Dalam segala usaha untuk memasukkan sistem kendali atau apa-apa perisian aplikasi perlu diingat bahawa ia tidak akan merusakkan kerasan komputer (hardware), paling-paling komputer itu tidak dapat berfungsi dengan baiknya melainkan pengodaman telah dibuat pada bahagian dalaman kerasan komputer itu sendiri seperti BIOSnya telah diubah dengan dibuat pengodaman (hacking) kepada yang asal. Jika salah komputer langsung tidak boleh hidup, istilah yang digunakan ialah menjadi batu (brick). Akan tetapi kalau tidak dibuat, tidak akan diketahui apa-apa mengenainya, itu semua pelajaran cuma pastikan dahulu cara-caranya dengan betul dan ketahui langkah-langkah yang perlu diambil jika salah (jika sekiranya ada) dan yang penting adakah ianya perlu dibuat, sanggupkah kita menghadapi risikonya? Ini sebagai infomasi sahaja kerana untuk memasukkan sistem kendali atau apa-apa perisian aplikasi, tidak perlu merasa takut, paling-paling jika tidak berjaya ia boleh diulangi semula. Komputer tidak akan rusak melainkan digodam (hack).

Inilah langkah-langkah untuk memasukkan sistem kendali Windows 7 pada komputer.

Perhatian: Jika sekiranya cakera keras itu lama pastikan data-data sudah dialihkan atau sudah dibakup di lain tempat. Langkah-langkah di sini akan memusnahkan segala data yang ada di cakera keras. Anda sudah diperingatkan.

1. Pastikan komputer bermula dengan cakera padat (cdrom)

Semasa komputer baru dijalankan, tekan kekunci DEL berkali-kali. Ini akan membuat komputer memaparkan diskrin tentuan BIOS (BIOS setting). Bagi komputer yang berjenama sila lihat manualnya untuk mengetahui kekunci mana yang harus ditekan (biasanya F10 ataupun ESC). Pastikan komputer memulakan pencarian sistem kendali di cakera padat (cdrom) dahulu, dan pada langkah kedua pilih cakera keras (hard disk).  Tidak dibolehkan (Disabled) yang selainnya. Tentuan ini menyebabkan komputer, apabila baru dijalankan, mencari sistem kendali di cakera padat untuk dimasukkan kedalam memori. Jika sekiranya tiada ia akan mencari pula di cakera keras. Dan jika sekiranya tiada juga ia akan tergantung (hanged). Ini adalah tentuan yang telah ditetapkan sebagaimana tadi dan boleh dilihat disini hanya dihadkan pada dua tempat sahaja.

Tentuan yang dibuat

2. Membuat bagian (partition) pada cakera keras

Sebelum boleh digunakan, cakera keras mestila dibuat bagian (partition) padanya dan kemudian dibentuk (format) dengan sistem fail (file system) yang diingini. Untuk Windows sistem failnya cuma satu sahaja iaitu NTFS. Sistem fail yang lama seperti Fat atau Fat32 tidak boleh digunakan untuk memasukkan Windows tetapi Windows boleh baca data-data dari sistem fail ini. Oleh kerana cakera keras masa kini kapasitinya sangatlah besar ia perlu dipecahkan kepada beberapa bagian. Boleh juga digunaka perisian Windows (pada satu peringkat di dalam proses memasukkan sistem kendali) untuk membuat bagian ini tetapi untuk membuat bagian sebagaimana yang kita kehendaki disyorkan perisian GParted. Sila muat-turun perisian ini dah bakarkan pada cakera padat (cd). Masukkan cakera kedalam pacuannya (cdrom drive) dan jalankan komputer. Tekan sahaja kekunci ENTER pada semua soalan yang ditanya melainkan bila sampai pada tahap seperti yang kelihatan di gambar yang di bawah ini. Untuk ini tekan kekunci 0 (kosong/sifar) diikuti dengan ENTER. Akhirnya skrin akan kelihatan seperti gambar yang kedua.

Tekan 0 dan Enter

Skrin GParted. Kalau yang sudah ada bagian (partition) buangkan (delete) semua sehingga jadi seperti ini

Cakera keras ini kapasitinya ialah 1TB dan belum dibagiankan. Klik kanan (Right Click) pada ‘unallocated’ dan pilih ‘New’. Walau apapun kapasiti cakera keras untuk bagian yang pertama di mana akan dimasukkan perisian sistem kendali dan perisian aplikasi adalah baik dihadkan pada 100GB. Ini tidak terlalu besar dan tidak terlalu kecil. Pilih ‘Primary Partition’ untuk ‘Create as’ dan ‘ntfs’ untuk ‘File system’ seperti yang kelihatan di bawah ini. Apabila sudah selesai klik +Add.

Bagian pertama untuk perisian sistem kedali dan perisian aplikasi

Yang selebihnya jadikan semuanya bagian pembesaran (Extended Partition). Klik +Add.

Bagian Pembesaran (Extended Partition)

Ia akan kelihatan seperti gambar di bawah ini. Teruskan pembagian pada yang ‘unallocated’ ini kepada tiga bagian iaitu setiap satu 300GB (3 kesemuanya – yang akhir tidak sampai 300GB). Bagi semua bagian ini pilih ‘Logical Partition’ untuk ‘Creat as’ dan ‘ntfs’ untuk ‘File system’. Ingat tiap selesai buat satu bagian jangan lupa untuk klik +Add. Sesudah selasai klik ‘Apply’ pada menu yang terpapar di atas. Susulan ini akan keluar satu tingkap untuk kepastian, klik butang ‘Apply’ yang ada pada tingkap itu untuk memastikan yang kita berkehendakkan demikian.

Bagian Pembesaran (Extended Partition)

Bagian logika 1 (Logical partition 1)

Bagian logika 2 (Logical partition 2)

Bagian logika 3 (Logical partition 3)

Sesudah selesai membuat bagian, klik Apply

Buat kepastian klik butang Apply

Apabila sudah selasai maka cakera keras sudah dibagiankan (partition) dan dibentuk (format) dengan sistem fail NTFS. Satu lagi perkara yang tinggal. Klik kanan pada bagian yang utama (primary partition) iaitu yang teratas sekali. Akan keluar satu menu, klik Manange Flags. Pada tingkap yang keluar nanti tandakan kotak yang bernama ‘Boot’. Ini menandakan yang bagian ini yang akan jadi sasaran untuk komputer mencari perisian sistem kendali untuk dimuatkan ke dalam memori dan seterusnya menjalankan komputer.

Klik ‘Manage Flags’

Selesai sudah bahagian yang pertama yang mana cakera telah sedia untuk dimasukkan Sistem Kendali Windows 7. Jika sekiranya kita belum pernah buat perkara ini, untuk pertama kali melakukannya, kita sedikit sebanyak akan merasa khuatir. Jangan segan untuk bertanya kepada yang mengetahui dan juga membaca artikel-artikel yang berkenaan dengannya. Jika sekiranya tidak menjadi, ulangi lagi, tidak ada masalah. Apapun berlaku itu satu pelajaran dan membuat kita lebih memahami akannya dan seterusnya akan membuat kita lebih yakin. Saya terpaksa memecahkan kepada dua bahagian kerana ini sudah berjela. Jika sekiranya teringin hendak mencuba memasukkan sistem kendali Windows 7 selepas ini, teruskan. Cuma satu pesanan saya, masukkannya pada bagian yang utama iaitu yang teratas sekali dan bentuk (format) sekali lagi dengan Windows. Ini kerana jika sekiranya tidak dibentuk (format) oleh Windows, Windows boleh menulis data padanya pada tahap pertama akan tetapi apabila sudah ‘reboot’ dan masuk tahap kedua, Windows tidak dapat membacanya. Oleh itu jangan lupa bentuk (format) sekali lagi. Tentang sistem failnya (File System) tidak perlu dirisaukan kerana secara otomatis sememangnya NTFS. Selamat mencubanya.

Nota:

GParted boleh digunakan untuk membesarkan atau mengecilkan bagian (partition) yang telah ada walaupun ia mengandungi data termasuk bagian yang mengandungi sistem kendali. Dari pengalaman saya kalau bagian itu besar dan datanya banyak ia akan memakan waktu yang agak lama. Lebih baik dialihkan datanya ke tempat lain dan kosongkan bagian itu. Ini lebih selamat kerana ia seperti data sudah dibakup.  Bagian yang mengandungi sistem kendali walaupun boleh dilakukan akan tetapi tidak digalakkan melainkan ianya tiada data-data yang penting dan anda ingin mencubanya. Ini tidak digalakkan kerana kadangkala penunjuk kepada fail permulaan menjadi celaru dan menyebabkan sistem tidak boleh dihidupkan.

Bahagian kedua di sini.

My New Workstation

AMD FX 8120 Powered

It has been a while now that I am without a work PC. The PC has been given away to my nieces for their schoolwork and I’m in no hurry to get its replacement because I’m waiting for the release of the new AMD FX series processors. A new architecture, a new way of computing and I’m all for it. The future is multi-threaded and this cpu excels in multi-threaded environment and as of now the wait is over.

My PCs have always been powered by processors from the competitors ever since the 386. It is because that I like competition, without them there will be no check on pricing and as a consumer it is not good. On the other hand I usually go for price/performance. Cyrix has gone, Nexgen becomes part of AMD and VIA is now concentrating on a niche market. So now AMD is practically the sole competitor to Intel in the x86 world.

The PC is powered by the FX 8120 processor, 8GB ram, 1TB hard disk drive and a Radeon 6750 graphics card with 2GB DDR3 ram. This is an unintended result which will be temporary. I have bought a 64GB SSD months earlier (meant for the old PC) but somehow it is not working. My intention is that the OS and application programs will reside in the SSD while all my data will be in separate partitions on the hard disk. I have been separating the OS and application programs away from my data for a long  time. During the time when hard disks capacities were small, I had the OS, application programs and data stored in a compressed hard disk (this increases its capacity). At one time, the OS could not be loaded and as a result of that I could not access my data. That was when I decided to separate them.

The partitions on the 1TB hard disk

The hard disk was then partitioned into two parts, one for the OS and application programs in the boot partition in compressed mode, the other for data in the extended partition in non-compressed mode. If something goes wrong I just reinstall the OS and application programs without damaging my data, or, I just attach the hard disk drive to another computer and retrieve my data. Now, I don’t have to reinstall the OS but just reimage the partition from the saved clone image that I did immediately after a full installation if and when the need arises. This saves the trouble for activating Windows again and with all my data on separate partitions, not only that they are safe but backing-up is a breeze too.

With this set I intend to familiarise myself with some of the CAD programs. The freely available AutoCAD LT alternative DoubleCAD XT for 2D, FreeCAD for 3D, Blender and POV-Ray for rendering. It has been a long while since I last lay my hands on the drawing board and I now have a project. The only problem is that the learning curves for these 3D programs were steep, just hoping that the will be strong enough to overcome any procrastination.

Rendering of the file biscuit.pov in ver 3.6 is 71607 PPS with CPU running at 3.3GHz

Rendering of the same biscuit.pov in ver 3.7 results in 120323 PPS at the same CPU speed

Note:

Accordingly the system should be able to use all 8 cores. It shows on Device Manager but on Task Manager it shows only 4 cores. Is this normal or limitation of Windows Home Premium? On Microsoft site it is stated that 64 bits Windows 7 can have up to 256 cores processor (multiple cores processor) but only the Pro and above can have more than one processor (multiple processors) but limited to only two processors. Need to check this Task Manager thing.

Solved

The answer was found in amdzone site, if I remembered it well (was  s excited that I quite forgot the site). Someone having the same problem but with the AMD X6 processor and Task Manager showed only 4. To solve it type ‘msconfig’ on the start menu, click the ‘boot’ tab in the window that appears, then click the ‘Advanced option…’ and uncheck the ‘Number of processor’. Reboot. Once rebooted, repeat the process again but this time check the ‘Number of processor’ box and choose 8 and reboot. That’s it.

The Task Manager showing 8 cores

Bicuit rerendered in POV-Ray 3.7 RC3. This time the time is 140034 avg PPS. Actually it varies between 125000 and 140000 but mostly in the upper 135xxx

Lastly the built-in benchmark takes 247 seconds to render

Update:

The PC is now fully assembled with a little more hardware added than originally intended. The OS is now sitting on two 60GB SSDs in Raid 0 (stripe) configuration (120GB total) and 8GB additional memory added (16GB total). Pagefile set to none. I shall put up the migration process of the OS from the basic hard disk to the striped SSDs soon.

You can read the migration process here.

Panorama Stitcher and HDR

Mount Bromo, Java Indonesia

I had been reading and downloading panorama stitcher and HDR programs for quite a while but never really installed it and played with it. Hence the programs had evolved through many iterations. Just today I downloaded the latest version of Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor (ICE), a panorama stitcher program and the dated Autostitch demo program plus two HDR programs, Luminance and Picturenaut. They were all freeware.

Both the stitcher programs did really surprised me. They were fast and easy to use. I just opened the required files and they did the rest automatically. No other input from me and the results were pretty stunning and very well blended. Autostitch demo version was pretty dated and very basic but still good. It came with some sample pictures to try on. The only downside was that some blurring on a portion of the stitched picture. It was part of the foliage on the left side. I then used the same set of pictures and let Microsoft ICE to do their things. It turned out better. The blurred foliage part that was apparent in the result by Autostitch was gone, it was perfect. Its understandable since Autostitch demo version was dated and was the first automatic 2D image stitcher as claimed by the authors. It has now became the engine behind the stitchers Autopano Pro, Serif Panorama Plus and Calico.

I made three stitches with Microsoft ICE. I then took one of it and made two over and two under exposed pictures at one EV each using RawTherapee, another fabulous freeware raw converter. The five pictures were then turn into HDR picture using Picturenaut and Luminance. Both were fast and the results were quite similar but I used Picturenaut to tonemap it into LDR and later with the help of Faststone Image Viewer enhanced the colours. Faststone Image Viewer was also initially used to convert the original raw files into jpeg.

Looking down Tosari Village near Mount Bromo. Blending of foliage on the right is not good because pic is not good. Need for manual exposure

Road along Kawah Ijen, East Java

and this one an HDR done with Picturenaut;

Mount Bromo

Note: I am just trying out hdr using 8-bit jpeg files. For serious job on hdr 16-bit files should be used. Jpeg or tiff raw filetype depends on the hdr program. Photoshop CS5 can even produce an hdr look-alike image from a single image file besides also capable of producing an hdr image from multiple image files of different exposures.

Update: Another marvelous freeware HDR program noteworthy to mention is the FDRTools Basic which will get the job done nicely and as the name implies, basically. Worth a try.

Windows Live Messenger Could Not Load

Windows Live Messenger

I just had the opportunity to have a look at a PC running Windows 7 that could not open a jpg file and Windows Live Messenger could not load. On closer inspection of the system, here’s what I found:

1. The folder ‘Windows Photo Viewer’ had been renamed with the number 211 added to the front of it and thus became ‘211Windows Photo Viewer’. This explained why jpg file could not be opened.

2. On creating a new folder on the root of D: drive, explorer gave the name ‘New Folder (2)’ whereas there was no folder with the name ‘New Folder’ on it. Executing DIR command at DOS prompt revealed that there was in fact a directory named ‘New Folder’. But in the explorer window a folder with the name ‘My Pictures’ was shown instead and not ‘New Folder’. I created a new folder in explorer, named it Pictures and copied all the files in ‘My Pictures’ into the newly created folder. Then in the DOS prompt, I deleted the ‘New Folder’ directory with the DEL command. After which, I tried creating a new folder in the explorer window. This time explorer gave the name ‘New Folder’, which was the norm.

3. Outlook Express seemed to be running OK.

4. The Antivirus license had just expired. I converted it to free version, updated it and did a full scan on the system drive, that was the C: drive. Nothing positive found. It could be that the antivirus had no knowledge of the malware (newly released malware) or that it could had been compromised.

Next, I backed-up all the necessary data of Windows Live Messenger, Outlook Express, plus some others. I then did a system refresh from a mirror backup image that I had done months earlier immediately after installing Windows 7 and the required applications. Upon completion and reboot, I ran Windows Update and rebooted again. Windows Live Essentials installed without any problem after the reboot. As if I was looking for a second opinion, I installed the free version of Avira antivirus program. A different antivirus program than previously installed and a temporary measure for just a few days. I then copied the backed-up data over to its appropriate places.

Jpg file could be opened and Windows Live Messenger loaded upon first reboot after Windows Live Essentials installation. Signing-in was successful too. I thought the problem solved. No. On the next subsequent reboot the problem crept up again. Windows Live Messenger did not load. However, jpg file still could be opened. I did not check in the Task Manager whether Windows Live Messenger’s executable file was running or not. That I did not know.

I updated Avira. Since there was no problem with Outlook Express, I scanned all the emails in Windows Live Messenger. I was concentrating on other thing when a sound made by Avira antivirus program distracted me for attention. There was a trojan. I could not remember exactly what was the name but suffice to say it was TR*.lkm. It was the asterisk part that I did not recall upon.

The offending email file was effectively quarantined. It was the one and only infected file. Windows Live Messenger was easily repaired through the menu that came up when I tried to uninstall Windows Live Essentials. All Windows protected files were given a thorough check for their integrity by Windows System File Checker tool through the usage of Glary Utilities. The system was then rebooted. I felt relieved when Windows Live Messenger loaded and was able to sign-in. But the real test was on the next reboot. I closed Windows Live Messenger, rebooted the PC and finally it loaded again without any hiccups.

Problem solved.

Panduan Memasang Komputer Peribadi

Komputer Peribadi Siap Terpasang

Tidak terdapat banyak panduan untuk memasang komputer peribadi di Internet di dalam Bahasa Melayu ataupun Bahasa Indonesia. Adalah diharapkan dengan panduan yang ringkas ini, sedikit sebanyak dapat mengisi kekosongan itu.

Saya tidak sangat arif mengenai istilah-istilah komputer yang digunakan di dalam Bahasa Melayu mahupun Bahasa Indonesia. Memadailah saya gunakan di sini istilah-istilah dari bahasa Inggeris, kerana ini memudahkan saya dan saya rasa difahami oleh pembaca juga.

Hardware Yang Diperlukan

1.  ‘Casing’ bersama ‘Power Supply’.

…tidak perlu yang mahal, asalkan diri menyukainya. Pastikan ‘power supply’ yang datang bersama didalam lingkungan 400~450 watt sudah memadai. Umumnya casing dan power supply yang dijual berasingan, lebih mahal harganya. Sejauh ini saya belum pernah ada masalah dengan power supply yang dijual bersama casing walaupun harganya murah.

2. ‘Motherboard’ dengan ‘graphic card’ tersedia ada padanya (built-in).

…pastikan graphic card sekurang-kurangnya dari jenis ATI Radeon seris 42oo, atau lebih baik lagi. Ini tahap DirectX 10. Buat masakini belum ada built-in graphic card yang di tahap DirectX 11. ‘Sound card’, ‘Ethernet port’ dan ‘USB port’ sudah menjadi lumrah masakini tersedia ada pada kesemua motherboard yang di pasaran. ‘Floppy Disk’ sudah tidak lagi di gunakan. Juga pastikan motherboard mempunyai sekurang-kurangnya dua ‘SATA port’. Satu untuk ‘harddisk’ dan satu lagi untuk ‘DVD Rewriter’ akan tetapi kebanyakan motherboard masakini mempunyai empat atau enam SATA port. ‘IDE port’ sudah tidak diperlukan lagi, tetapi masih juga terdapat satu IDE port pada kebanyakan motherboard yang ada di pasaran. Ini memungkinkan untuk pemilik menggunakan harddisk lama mereka sekiranya diperlukan. Rata-rata sekarang ini, banyak harddisk dan DVD Rewriter yang di pasaran kini menggunakan SATA port.

Jika sekiranya motherboard yang dipilih tiada mempunyai built-in graphic card, maka hendaklah dibeli graphic card yang berasingan (tersendiri).

3. CPU

…AMD atau Intel. Jika CPU AMD digunakan, motherboardnya mestilah dari jenis yang menyokong CPU AMD. Begitu juga sebaliknya jika menggunakan CPU Intel. Adalah lebih baik beli CPU yang mempunyai sekurang-kurangnya dua ‘core’ pada satu chip. Perbezaan harga diantara satu core CPU dengan dua core CPU tidaklah begitu jauh. Kelajuan CPU hendaklah sekurang-kurangnya 2.8 GHz. Ini disebabkan ‘Operating System’ masakini seperti Windows 7 sudah bertambah besar tapaknya, dengan dua core dan kelajuan CPU 2.8 GHz, kita akan terasa kelajuan komputasi dan tidak terasa lembab.

4. Memori

…dengan harga memori yang murah sekarang, dapatkan 2 Gigabyte atau lebih lagi. Lebihan memori membuat komputasi lebih laju. Operating System tidak perlu mengalihkan program yang tidak digunakan dari memori ke harddisk untuk memberi ruang kepada program baru yang dilancarkan, dan mengalihkannya semula ke memori dari harddisk bila diperlukan. Kesemua ini memakan waktu menjadikan komputasi terasa lambat. Memori yang terkini adalah dari jenis DDR V akan tetapi untuk motherboard banyak yang menggunakkan DDR II atau DDR III. DDR III lebih laju dan lebih mahal, jika sekiranya tidak mahu belanja berlebihan, memadai dengan DDR II. Juga terdapa ‘speed rating’ pada tiap jenis memori dan harap maklom lagi laju speednya lagi mahal harganya.

5. Harddisk

…perbezaan harga diantara harddisk yang kapasitinya didalam lingkungan gigabyte tidaklah begitu jauh, dapatkan kapasiti yang lebih besar. Harddisk yang kapasitinya di dalam lingkungan terabyte masih di tahap baru di pasaran, dari itu mahal harganya. 500 Gigabyte sudah cukup besar melainkan ianya diisi dengan banyak video atau wayang gambar.

6. DVD Rewriter

…CD sudah menjadi sejarah. DVD yang sekarang. BlueRay yang terkini – tetapi mahal harganya. Dapatkan DVD Rewriter, memadai. Cukup untuk boleh membaca dan menulis pada cakera DVD dan CD.

7. Monitor, Keyboard, Tetikus dan Speaker

…harga monitor LCD sudah murah – dapatkan ia jika berkemampuan. Keyboard dan Tetikus – beli yang menggunakan sambungan USB port. Speaker – ikut selera masing-masing. Ada yang passive (tanpa amplifier) dan ada yang active (dengan amplifier – biasanya dengan subwoofer). Ada juga monitor yang tersedia ada speaker padanya.

Tanda di socket - atas kanan

Memasang Hardware

1. Pasangkan CPU pada motherboard. Salah satu penjuru di CPU ada mempunyai tanda, pastikan penjuru yang bertanda ini selaras dengan tanda yang ada di socket CPU pada motherboard. Jika selaras dan betul CPU dan socket, CPU akan masuk dan duduk pada socket dengan sedikit tekanan saja. Jika tidak jangan di paksa, mungkin CPU dan socket tidak sepadan atau CPU tidak selari dengan socket (tanda pada penjuru di CPU dan socket). Jika dipaksa, pin-pin pada CPU akan bengkok (ini benar pada CPU AMD, CPU Intel berlainan sedikit).

2. Pasangkan ‘heatsink’ pada CPU.

3. Pasangkan memori pada motherboard.

Cpu terpasang pada socket - lihat tanda selari

4. Pasangkan panel belakang, jika ada, pada casing.

5. Pasangkan kaki (untuk mengikat motherboard dengan skrew) pada casing. Pastikan ia bertentangan dengan lubang-lubang yang ada di motherboard.

6. Pasangkan motherboard pada casing.

7. Pasangkan kabel power pada motherboard.

8. Pasangkan DVD Rewriter serta kabel power dan kabel datanya.

9. Pasangkan harddisk serta kabel power dan kabel datanya.

10. Pasangkan pendawaian yang ada di panel depan casing ke tempat masing-maing di motherboard. Ini adalah sekumpulan pin-pin di motherboard

Cpu, heatsink dan memori sudah terpasang

(biasanya disebelah tepi kiri) yang dinamakan “Front Panel” pins atau connections. Terdapat lima sambungan iaitu untuk power on/off switch, reset switch, lampu LED untuk harddisk, lampu LED untuk power on dan motherboard speaker. Selain ini juga terdapat sambungan untuk USB port (2 biasanya) dan sambungan untuk mic dan speaker (headset) di hadapan casing.

11. Cobaan yang pertama. Ia akan menentukan samaada berhasil atau tidak.

Tetapi sebelum itu hendaklah diRESET CMOSnya dahulu. Ini adalah sekumpulan tiga pin sederet yang biasanya terdapat berdekatan dengan bateri yang berbentuk bulat seperti butang. Sila lihat manual untuk kepastian. Akan terdapat ada ‘jumper’ yang menghubungkan pin 1 dan 2. Ini kedudukan ‘default’ yang normal. Untuk mengreset CMOS, alihkan jumper untuk menghubungkan pin 2 dan 3 buat seketika dengan kabel power supply dicabut dari dinding (tiada elektrik pada power supply). Kemudian alihkan jumper ke tempat asalnya, iaitu pin 1 dan 2.

‘Power On’ komputernya dan jika semuanya baik maka akan kedengaran satu bunyi ‘BEEP’ daripada motherboard speaker. Ini tandanya test terhadap hardware yang dilakukan oleh BIOS (Basic Input Output System) semuanya baik. Jika sebaliknya, semak semula pemasangan. Pastikan cpu, memori, graphic card (jika ada) duduk dengan baik. Juga pastikan tiada wire-wire untuk power yang tercabut/tertolak keluar dari socketnya ketika ditekan untuk memasangnya. Adakah CMOS sudah diRESET?.

Jika tiada masaalah, maka komputer sudah siap terpasang. Tahap pemasangan sudah selesai. Tahap seterusnya ialah  tentuan BIOS (BIOS settings) secara ringkas dan memasukkan Sistem Kendali (Operating System) Windows 7 dan perisian/aturan (program) applikasi yang akan disajikan pada artikel yang lain. Selamat mencuba.

Pasangkan back panel dan kaki untuk papan induk (motherboard)

Akhir sekali pasangkan kabel dan pendawaian untuk kipas heatsink, harddisk, DVD Rewriter dan Front Panel.

Evolution of The PC

I remember the days when what is known today as PC were only bought by hobbyists. The term geek was totally unheard off at that time. The popularity of the word geek in replacing the word hobbyist as PC enthusiast began with the advent of widespread usage of the PC itself. Then, the hobbyists were shy on calling the PC a computer because it was based on the lowly microprocessor. I could not recall if there were any manufacturer that sells a complete unit and had the word computer in the brand’s name. Only when IBM came to the scene did it being called a computer, the IBM PC, where PC stood for Personal Computer. I also remember reading an article in a magazine in later years stating that the IBM management was not really interested in the PC but they did let their engineers assembled the PC from off-the-shelf components. That was the time when the cash cow of IBM was the Mainframe. Thanks to them, the PC was born.

Soon after the IBM PCs came to market, copies that was termed as the IBM PC clones began to appear. Initially it came in the form of hardware for hobbyists and system integrators, but it didn’t took long for other manufacturers to jump in the bandwagon and started to sell their version of the IBM PC clones.

The IBM PC was initially based on Intel 8088 8-bit microprocessor. This was later replaced by 16-bit Intel 80286 microprocessor and the PC was then renamed to IBM PC-AT (Advanced Technology). Later on down the road, the 80286 was replaced by the 80386, 80486 and Pentium subsequently, and they were all 32-bit processors. I can’t really recall when exactly the word ‘micro’ started to be dropped-off and people began to use just the term ‘processor’. Currently the processors, or to be precise CPUs, powering all new PCs are all 64-bit. Note that these 64-bit CPUs are also capable executing in 32-bit mode.

Besides Intel, there were also other manufacturers that produced microprocessors for the PCs, probably under license from Intel. They were AMD, Cyrix, Via and Nexgen. I don’t know if there were others except that my first upgrade was swapping the Intel 8088 for Hitachi V-20, an improved version with added instructions. Nexgen was later bought over by AMD and AMD incorporated Nexgen up and coming CPU into their own design.

Tremendous advancements had been made on the graphic, storage, memory and the subsystem of the PC. A 1-bit display (black or white in high-resolution mode bit-mapped graphics) has now evolved into full colour 32-bit display. The 5 inch floppy storage that can  hold just a few hundred kilobyte is now a hard disk holding data in the range of gigabyte and coming soon terabyte region. Main memory which began with less than a hundred kilobyte is now a few gigabyte. PCB with socketed chips is now fully SMT, no more replacing of faulty ICs but instead the whole board. The movement of data around the system had increased dramatically and with higher clocked CPUs, its blindingly fast. It’s too bad that all these achievements make some if not many programmers lazy, producing bloated software that negates the hardware speed gains. PCs are now common items, parts are produced in great volume and as a result of that, the price of a PC is now cheaper and much more affordable for the general masses.

On the software side, IBM didn’t create the OS but instead licensed it from a small company called Microsoft and named it PCDOS. Microsoft released MSDOS for the clones. They are practically the same except for one variation and I can’t remember what was it…….and the rest is history. Now, the majority of the Windows Operating System installed on the general PCs at large are 32-bit. (To those who don’t know much about the inner workings of a computer, just think of it as the size of the data length that can be computed by the CPU at any given time.) But, with the advent of Windows 7, the current offering from Microsoft, the shift to 64-bit computing for the masses has  now begun. Just years ago, 64-bit computing was the realm of supercomputers.

Today, the PC is very powerful. Put them in numbers they become a supercomputer. It has changed the way we work, the way we play and the way we communicate. It had brought down the once mighty Mainframe. Along the way it had made word processors and typesetting machines obsolete. There are no more cut and paste in the real sense to produce artworks for newspaper, magazine or newsletter. With proper hardware and software, it can be turned into a recording studio or even a radio station bar the transmitter.

While the desktop PC still remains, it had been shrunk and transformed into laptop which later gave way to an even smaller form that is the notebook. The notebook is much smaller than the original laptop and is still being referred by some as laptop. The reduction in size is for the ease of mobility. Any further reduction, in my opinion, it is not a PC anymore. It had become a specialised tool suitable for certain functions because it also changed the way we interact with it. The netbook as the name suggest, is good only for accessing the Internet while on the move. It is just uncomfortable to do serious works on it over an extended period of time. The keyboard and the display are just too small. While the notebook can easily replace the desktop as a workhorse, the netbook just don’t fit in unless one have no other choice. Tablet PC? Well, I guess with a full size keyboard attached, it should be alright if they come with a stand.

The PCs had become an integral part of our lives. A must have even to those who cannot afford it, hence the movement One Laptop Per Child, the OLPC that is. Getting an education now involved the PC as one of the mediums to acquire knowledge, so acquiring computer skills early is a good start. The skills are then a bonus, when these children enter the job market and join the workforce later in their lives.

Basic Application Programs For The General PCs

New PC/Notebook comes bloated with unnecessary programs at start-up. This will take up memory space and slow down the computer booting-up. Also with less memory available, computing will become slower with the OS having to swap the idle program to the hard disk to free more memory space to execute current process.

Those programs that run at Windows start-up do not have to be necessarily removed, just unable them to execute during start-up. This can be done easily with freeware programs such as Ccleaner and Tweaknow, just to mention a few, there are many others that can do the job. Only when the need arises, the programs that has been disabled at start-up, can then be executed to perform its functions.

Once the programs has been disabled, it is practically just the OS system running after booting-up Windows Then there’s the question, ”What are the basic application programs that are needed to be installed for general use?” Here’s a list of what I think that are the basic necessities that need to be installed on a new PC or PC that has been reformatted and had Windows cleanly installed on it for general use. They are not in particular order except for the first one below.

AntiVirus and Firewall

It goes without saying that these are a must have application programs. Formerly they are a separate entity, and some still are, but the trend now is to bunch them together plus some other functions and called them Internet Security Suite. It is named Internet Security maybe it is because nowadays viruses and other form of malware mainly come from the Internet and not anymore from the floppy disk which is practically now non-existent. What we have now in place of the floppy disk is the thumb drive which is still a potential source for viruses especially the autorun.inf virus. For home users, Comodo Firewall + AntiVirus provides the solutions in one suite. There are two sets of installer to choose from. One set for the 32-bit and another for the 64-bit Windows.

Office Suite

This is actually made-up of a few application programs bunched together to make a suite. The programs included are word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, database and a few others depending on the type of the suite. It is not necessary to install all of the programs included, just choose what is required. Microsoft Office do offer a suite consisting of only three programs, that is the word processor, spreadsheet and presentation.

KOffice is a freeware office suite but OpenOffice is more popular and that there are other derivatives of OpenOffice as in Go-oo and OxygenOffice.

Compressing and Decompressing Program

To make uploading and downloading of file faster, it has to be shorten and hence compressed, therefore the need for compressing and decompressing program. There are many freeware programs with the letters ‘zip’ attached to it, but my favourite is 7-Zip. Not only that it can compress and decompress into and from many formats including rar (for rar file format, it only decompress), but, it is also a File Manager. Nowadays, using Windows with its GUI, a file manager may not mean very much, but in the days of DOS, it really helps a lot.

PDF Reader and Printer

Books, booklets and manuals that are found on the Internet are most likely in PDF format. So the need to have a PDF reader is a must. As for PDF printer, it will come in handy if one needs to print file in PDF format from any Windows application or when printing from a browser. My choice for PDF reader and printer are FoxitReader and doPDF respectively. Both are freeware.

Browser

It may have been included with Windows but you may prefer other browsers as in the freeware Mozilla Firefox or Opera. There are also freeware browsers that are based on the core Internet Explorer engine. They are Maxthon and Avant browsers which expand the features and functions of Internet Explorer. So, what works with IE should works with them also.

Sometimes, instead of printing the web pages to PDF files, I save the web pages in MHTML file format with the extension .mht. It’s an archive for web page by Microsoft. When I did, I’d be running Opera and not Firefox. Running Opera (or IE) enables me to save web pages in the MHTML format. Images are not saved in a separate folder but instead in the same file with the extension .mht. Everything is contained in a single file. It’s neater this way and makes maintenance easier. Just a note of caution, if you are opening this file type that you had received from someone else, do scan it prior to opening it with the browser. This is just to make sure and be safe that the file is not infected.

Paint Program

Paint or to be precise Bitmap Editing Programs are programs that enable the editing of digital photographs or graphics. These are programs that will allow you to retouch, resize or change the format of a file from one form to another. There are many other functions found in any one particular editing program, but to use all of it, really depends on your creativity. Photoshop is a popular choice for this but it is a commercial software. The alternative is to use GIMP, a popular freeware version, or Paint.NET which is much simpler but not as powerful as GIMP.

Media Player

My choice of media player is VLC media player. Not only that it can play almost anything without the need to install additional codec, but also it sounds better to my ears.

Chat Program

Text, Voice and Video, all-in-one chat programs are now the norm. Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, they all have it but I think Skype is the more popular one right now.

Utility Program

All your activities on the PC are being recorded by the Windows. Over time the Windows had made a mess out of it slowing down the PC. To keep the PC shipshape you need a utility program that will clean out the mess created. The registry file had become bloated slowing down the PC boot time. It needs to be compacted to shorten the boot time. Your browsing history has many things to tell, hence it needs to be cleared. Temporary files that are being left behind taking much disk space had to be removed and so on.

There are many freeware programs in this category to choose from. Ccleaner and Tweaknow are among them. I have yet to find a good freeware program that will compact the 64-bit Windows registry safely and efficiently. But if you are using 32-bit Windows, it should be no problem, Tweaknow practically covered them all.

Thats about all that are needed basically. For photo viewer, I think Windows Photo Viewer will suffice, at least for me. Then again its your preference. You may check on this web site for more information on the best freeware there are available. It can be found here:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/pc/home-office-tools.html

That’s all. Have a smooth and safe computing.

Update:

There’s one more area that I had missed to cover since Windows support for it is very minimal. It is the CD/DVD burner. Once again there are many freeware to choose from, each one of them has different features but for basic functions they are quite the same. You can check out InfraRecorder or StarBurn which are both freeware. My preference is InfraRecorder, Nero had became too bloated for me.

Troubleshooting PCs

This writing is not about outright fault, which is fairly easy to solve but about a system that is functioning but have a certain abnormality or intermittent fault.

If there are abnormalities in running a program or the system is running strangely unlike the usual as you know it, then something is not right. You could reinstall the offending program or if it is the system on the whole then the best thing to do, in my opinion, is to do a complete clean reinstall of the system. Yes, the OS and the application programs that are installed.

No doubt, it is good to know the problem that beset the system. But, unless you are paid to find it, it is best to do a clean install. This way you save a lot of time and if there is malware involved, it is surely gone unless it’s in the bios or somewhere in the hard disk. To get rid of those two previously mentioned annoyances, you have to reflash the bios and do a low level format of the hard disk respectively. You seldom need to do this. These are last resort if after a clean install fails to get rid of the problem.

If a system occasionally freeze or display that BOD, it is most likely hardware related. Dust collected over time on the motherboard could cause timing error, the contacts on the slots, cards and memory sticks get corroded or not enough cooling on the system especially the power supply unit.

A vacuum cleaner will suffice in sucking the dust off the motherboard but here in the tropic, the dust stuck and it is unlike what you see in a movie where they just blow off the dust. I had washed the motherboard a few times before. First I wet it, then sprayed bleach over it and after half an hour put it under tap and had water sprayed on it by closing the tap opening with my thumb. It was then left standing on it’s side a couple of days to dry. If you decide to try this, then it is at your own peril, I am just telling what I did.

Contacts get corroded over time and need to be cleaned. Usually I use alcohol but at times I do polish it with metal polisher and finish it with alcohol. It’s extreme but the shining contacts will remove any doubt about its performance.

Heat is another source to suspect. If a system is not properly cooled, after a period of operation it will become unstable. The airflow in the PC casing could be bad, the fan maybe reaching its end of life or the PC itself is situated in a place where the air circulation is bad. Blowing warm air will not cool the system sufficiently and the surrounding air will only get hotter. First to suffer will probably be the power supply because it is the hottest and had a mediocre cooling system compared to the one the CPU had. I had replaced a system in slim casing to a slightly wider casing (wider grille on the power supply). The PC is placed under the table in a small room. Although the room is air-conditioned there is not much cool air circulating underneath the table. It is sucking back it’s own hot air and the power supply had small exhaust grille. On another occasion, I had replaced a PC power supply twice in a short period of time. After the second replacement, I asked the owner what did he do with it. He said that he played game in a closed room. I told him to get it ventilated and had not heard from him since.

Besides this, you have programs that will test and check the hardware and the memory. I hardly use it anymore except for testing and checking the memory sometimes. The initial bios test is good enough and now some motherboards do include memory test option in their bios which is a good thing.

Taking A Computer Study?

Well, if you are planning in taking computer course or you are doing it now, I would suggest you set up your own web and mail servers in your bedroom if you have a reasonably fast connection. You will get to learn on how those servers work and much more.

First of all, you need to have a domain name and then a DNS server to tell net citizens where are your servers located. I mean not in your bedroom but the ip number that is being used. If you have a dynamic ip instead of static ip, no probelm, it is all catered for. You can get a domain name and DNS server for free if you care to search. I got mine the last and only time I did it at DynDNS. It is good to know that they have flourished and the new name is Dyn Inc. and their new site is at dyn.com.

In setting them up the first time, trial and error will be the norm. But once you get it working, there is no denying you get the feeling of great satisfaction and that you learned something. Also you will get to learn how to code web pages, now that you have the web server running. There are many free web servers to choose from. Initially I ran Xitami which I later changed it to Apache. You can do the web pages the easy way, that is simple HTML coding, or the professional way.  What I meant by the professional way is the use of Content Management System or CMS in short. My choice then was the open source Mambo CMS and it came, and still is, with Apache, PHP and MySQL. Lots of learning to do. Some people may dislike PHP but then, hey, you are learning.

For mail server, I chose Mercury Mail Transport System. You need to play about with the setting until you get it right. Same goes at the DNS server side. Still, if you want to go one up, you can set up your own webmail. You may want to try SquirrelMail. I did.

That’s a lot of learning and it does not stop there. One other factor that you will learn is security. Having had a web and mail servers running, you will be surprised to see that there will be attempts to hack at your little web server and attempts to relay email through your mail server. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine the headache those system admins had in safeguarding big scale servers.

Update:

The database was run on a separate PC. The PCs were all behind a home router with fixed ips. Incoming traffics to the corresponding ports had to be allowed in the router setting.

There are more to tinker with if you so desire and make it an almost complete simulation of the real world.