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Archive for 'Ibrahim’s Computer Tip of the Day'

Backstory:

About a month ago, I was convinced by someone at a cell phone kiosk to port my number to Google Voice. He reminded me about all the features that I already knew exited with GV, but he also mentioned that I can also take it to other carriers, this is what I found appealing. So I figured what hell, why not and went ahead and ported my number to GV. About 3 days later, I realized how much of a pain it is to use my GV as my primary number, I especially didnt like the fact that 3rd party text messaging apps werent showing my contact names! So I decided to port my number BACK to my cell phone carrier, which was T-Mobile. After waiting out the normal wait process, which is about 3 days before the number becomes active on your phone, I discovered that my old number was still not active! I was able to make phone calls on the temporary number but people werent able to text me or call me on my old number, but it showed that my number that was ported in was active in their system. So I figured I’d call up T-mobile and find out what the problem was. Nobody knew what the problem was and all kept giving silly suggestions such as restarting phone, factory reset, troubleshooting the phone itself! I found this to be silly being a Computer Science major. One even said what I was experiencing was dual number mode, which means having two numbers active on my phone, and told me that I should wait 4 more days, note that it had already been 3 weeks since my number was ported in, so I waited….. and nothing. After realizing that calling customer support was useless, I did a google search and found that literally 100’s of other people had the exact same problem and not one single solution existed!! I couldnt believe this! So I took matters in my own hands and decided to troubleshoot this issue on my own, being that I am a Computer Science major with a Masters in Software Engineering. After much thought, I finally had the idea of switching to a different SIM card and BAM it worked! I suddenly was able to get texts, phone calls as normal and the temporary number suddenly stopped working.  I am posting this in hopes that others will find this solution and so that they do not have to go through the headache I went through to port my number from Google Voice without any issues. To sum it up, if you have any issues what so ever in porting your number from Google voice to another carrier, just get a new SIM or if you’re using a CDMA phone, ask your carrier to reset your number on your device or ask them to switch your number to another CDMA phone and switch it back. With that said, see my guide below that will show you how to port your number out of google voice the RIGHT way:

NOTE: First and foremost, do not port your number out of google voice without following these instructions!! This will only delay the porting process.

1. You need to first unlock your number from your Google Voice account, if you do not, the number port will fail and your carrier will try endlessly to port your number in and not know why the port is not going through. You can unlock your number here: https://www.google.com/voice/unlock

2. Next, wait a day or several hours after unlocking your number in GV to be on the safe side, then call up your carrier request that your number be ported in.

3. Once the port is successful, you may experience the same issues I encountered which is not being able to receive any phone calls or texts. If this happens, simply request that they switch your number to another SIM card or if you’re on CDMA try switching your number to another CDMA phone or ask that they reset your number on their end.

Good luck!

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Want to install a virtual copy of Windows or any other operating system but do not know how to go about it? This tutorial will guide you step by step in creating and installing your very own virtual operating system in a free tool called VirtualBox.

How to Create your own Virtual Machine

1.            I recommend you use a freeware version of Oracle VirtualBox, you can download and install it here: http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

2.            Next download a virtual machine iso of your choice, I prefer Ubuntu 10.10 or Open Solaris. Simply visit the vendor’s site and download the 32bit version of their latest operating system.

3.            Next open up VirtualBox and click “New” to create a new virtual machine

4.            You will then be taken to the Virtual Machine Wizard, click next and enter the name of your Virtual Machine and the type of Operating System you are trying to install. For this tutorial we will be installing Open Solaris. Your setup should look similar to the following popup:

5.            Next enter the amount of ram you wish your virtual machine to have, the recommended is typically 512mb for any other Operating System, but for Open Solaris we will use 768ram since that is what VirtualBox recommends as listed in the popup.

6.            The next part of the setup wizard will ask you to create a virtual disk drive for your virtual machine. A virtual disk is basically a virtual hard drive for your virtual machine where you will store the actual operating system and any user files. A virtual disk could be fixed for dynamically expanding, one should use fixed if there is limited free space on your main hard drive, but it is recommended that dynamically expanding be selected just in case the operating system needs automatically add more storage space. Follow the on screen instructions and select a dynamic drive with about 8gb of free space, this will automatically expand if the operating system requires more free space.

7.            After clicking next you should see the following screen, you may label your virtual disk if you like or you may select a different save location for your virtual disk as well if you do not have enough free space on your existing drive.

8.            You have now finished configuring your virtual machine, next we will want to install the Operating System for our virtual machine. If you followed the steps correctly you should see the name of the operating system in virtual box like you see here:

9.            To install an operating system for your virtual machine, simply click the green start arrow at the top of the window.

Note: You will be presented with a black screen with a popup dialog about the Auto Capture Keyboard, all you need to know is that if you press the right ctrl button you will be able to free the mouse from inside the virtual machine, if you click inside the black window then the mouse will only be visible inside the machine. Virtual box sometimes allows you to release the mouse even without pressing right-ctrl. Simply check do not show this message again and click ok.

10.            After the Virtual box logo disappears, we can now proceed to loading an operating system for the virtual machine, of course you have two options here, you can either insert a cd that contains the operating system or you can load a downloaded iso image. For this tutorial we will load a downloaded iso image. Click Devices -> CD/DVD devices -> IDE (Primary Master) -> More CD/DVD images. If you wish to load from a cd then simply click the drive letter that contains the operating system on your drive instead. Notice that on the bottom right hand corner of the screen that there is a picture of a cd, this is grey because we do not yet have an bootable image/cd loaded into the virtual machine.

11.            Another dialog box will open up titled virtual media manager, click Add then go to the location that contains your downloaded iso (operating system), click open to open the image.

12.            You will now see the image in the virtual media manager, click the image you just opened from the list and click select.

13.            We will now want to reset the virtual machine so that the bootable image containing our operating system we selected can load up, also notice the cd icon on the bottom right hand corner of the window is no longer grey and that it is lit-up, this means that you are on the right track. Click Machine -> Reset to proceed. If a dialog box appears asking if you want to proceed simply click reset.

14.            Finally your operating system will now boot up, simply follow the step by step instructions to install the operating system and you will have successfully installed your first virtual machine! A screenshot below will show a freshly installed copy of Open Solaris installed on a Windows 7 based machine.

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If you’re one of those people who spend countless hours on a pc then why not make money while you’re on that pc. There are a lot of survey sites out there that pay people like you and me to share their opinion about different products and the way you spend your money, but I found one site in particular to be better than most as it seems to give you a lot more money per survey. I made just $20 bucks for spending less than 15min taking 1 survey.  Of course you can only apply this money toward gift cards and what ever sponsor offers they have available, like gamestop and borders, but hey who can resist free gift cards? Anyway enough talk, here is the link where you can earn free money: https://www.e-rewards.com .

Happy money making!

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As more and more new technologies emerge, companies will always try and find a way to profit from the unsuspecting consumer. Perhaps the most recent ridicules invention was the 3D TV for your home. It was a great idea to add 3D technology in the Movies but now for your home? If you think about it, the idea of a 3D TV is quite silly. You have to wear a pair of 3D glasses just to watch TV? and what kind of long-term effects will this have on your vision? What about people with glasses, I would imagine that having a second pair of glasses over your eyes would cause some extreme discomfort over time.  All these questions have been ignored by TV manufacturers and should be addressed. With that said, on to 5 reasons why I think 3D TV’s will not last and why YOU shouldn’t get one:  
  1. 3D Glasses are expensive. 3D glasses can cost consumers anywhere between $150 –$ 200 bucks per-pair, a pair of Samsung 3D glasses go for $200 bucks at Buy.com. There are no universal 3D glasses as of yet, as each one is unique to the TV you purchased. However, according to a CNET article, a company called XpanD hopes to create a universal pair of glasses, most likely major companies will not like this idea and probably do their best to make their 3D TV incompatible with them.  On top of 3D glasses being expensive, they also require batteries. Yes you have to put batteries in your glasses! Meaning that you will have to replace the batteries depending on how much you use them. Sony 3D glasses can last up to 100 hours whereas Samsung batteries can last up to 400 hours with rechargeable batteries and even less time with non-rechargeable batteries.
  2. 3D Glasses are inconvenient. Let’s face it people are lazy and most people hate looking for the remote and now they have to look for their 3D glasses too. Let’s picture a real world scenario on average working consumer. You’re working all day and you are looking forward to come home and enjoy that amazing 3D TV you just bought a couple weeks ago. You come home and can’t find the 3D glasses, then after spending 10 minutes you finally find your 3D glasses, great. You put them on and realize that the batteries are dead because you’re not the only person who uses them, doh!  Now what? If you were lucky enough your 3D glasses have the option of rechargeable batteries, if not then you have to wait until the next day to get batteries, if you do not have any on hand already. Or if you’re TV supports it, some 3D  TVs have different 3D modes and one of them being that you can use the simple red and blue 3D glasses without the battery powered capabilities, but of course you will not get the most out of your expensive $2,000 3D TV. At this point you probably are fed up and just decide to turn the 3D option off because you just want to relax and enjoy your show.
  3. Not great for large family gatherings. The typical 3D TV comes with only 1 pair of 3D glasses, and maybe you decide shell out the extra $150 to get a second pair, great. Unless you purchased a Samsung 3D TV, according to their site, “See all the jaw-dropping 3D action through Samsung’s sleek Active Glasses (sold separately). “.  So now you invite all your friends and family so that you can show off your 3D TV, but wait, you only bought 2 pairs of 3D glasses (which cost you nearly $400 bucks) and you invited 20 people to your house! Imagine sitting there having to share 3D glasses with everyone, yes it will be fun for the first half-hour, but people will soon want to watch TV with a good picture as well, so you once again decide to turn the 3D option off.
  4. Replacements, so a year passes by and you haven’t really had many problems watching your 3D alone with the two pairs of glasses you own, you also notice that your rechargeable batteries in your 3D glasses are starting to die more often and you have to charge them every other day now. So you decide to buy another rechargeable battery, you go to your manufactures website only to find that the rechargeable lithium-ion battery costs a whopping $100!! That’s almost the cost of your 3D glasses! At this point you decide to possibly replace the batteries but now you decide to not allow anyone in your house hold to turn on the 3D option or limit the use of the 3D option, because you want your newly invested 3D glasses to last longer.
  5. Wear and tear, if you only have one pair of 3D glasses and you or other people in your house hold are heavy TV users then your 3D glasses will get worn out quickly, because of course the TV is the most used house hold electronic. Not to mention the glasses will probably be made out of cheap plastic and plastic always breaks with excessive use.  And if the 3D glasses break and they’re you’re only pair, you not only have to dish-out another $100-$200 bucks for your new 3D glasses, you also have to once again turn off the 3D option.

Remember how popular MySpace and YouTube were when they first came out? Everybody had to have a MySpace account or upload a YouTube video because it was the thing to do, well it is no different with this new 3D technology in TV’s. In a few short years 3D technology will more than likely phase out because consumers will truly become fed up with having the technology in their homes. Clearly TV manufactures are pushing 3D technology for your home because it is a lucrative money making market. So please do yourself a favor and do not jump on the band wagon or you might end up looking like these guys:

So lets keep the 3D technology where it belongs: the movies.

Article written by:

Ibrahim G. Yusuf

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