Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Studying for the A+

I have a fair amount of hands-on knowledge about computers, or more accurately, PC's, but only recently did I actually change my career choice to the IT field.

IT is great because just about anyone can enter it without having a prior knowledge of computers. You start just by doing one of its countless certifications, by studying training materials such as books or videos, and then writing a certification exam. 

I decided to write the CompTIA A+ certification exams to start, and registered for an online video course through a local college to prepare. The A+ exam basically tests your knowledge of PC computer hardware and (Windows) software. The course objectives are not terribly complicated, but studying for it is not a piece of cake either since it covers quite a lot of material.

In studying for this certification, I decided to try a new study technique for me: creating a series of questions and answers instead of making traditional notes. In other words: flash cards! Making "flash cards" on a computer is a lot easier than making actual flash cards (I still remember some students using those back in the 80's). Mnemosyne is a nice program I found to make these flash cards.

As well, as a result of typing up all my notes, my typing speed has gone up! Now let's hope that all that typing will have been useful for me to pass the exams! :-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Flash Memory

Isn't it amazing how much storage can fit onto a USB drive or flash memory card nowadays. I was very intrigued when these USB drives, and later SD cards, first started appearing on the market. It wasn't that long ago when the maximum storage capacity of internal hard drives, were 40 megabytes. They were the physical size of small books. Now, on micro SD cards smaller than your thumbnail, you can fit 16 gigabytes!!

Scientists were innovative enough to improve consumer computer storage capacity of cards, a thousand times over, in a few short years.

Flash memory is no doubt a great invention. But I wonder: Didn't flash memory technology exist even before the popularity of portable drives and cards? The CMOS chip in every computer is a flash memory chip, and they have been around for decades.

Maybe it took one person to think, "Duh, why don't we take these chips out of computers and use them as a portable storage drives?!"

However they came about, I love cheap, massive storage on an itty-bitty card!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Friend, Aravin

Aravin is the same age as me. We were both born in India, and both grew up in Canada. He, in Hamilton, me, in Brampton. Our families would often meet each other when we were kids, which was when our friendship started. I always liked going to his house. It was, and still is, a nice, cozy place in Stoney Creek. which seemed to be a more laid-back city than Brampton, and especially Toronto!

Since we were both born in '75, our childhood years were during the 80's home computer craze. He got an Amiga, an amazing computer, and I got a Commodore 64 (Amiga's cruder cousin; I was always so jealous!) We were both interested in programming at that early age, but he was much more interested in it than I was. So much so, that his occupation became programming!

We still live in different cities, so that makes it hard to meet, but we keep in touch through chat. I like chatting with him as he always tells me about some new technology that he's using. Years ago, he was using Google before it was well-known. Just recently, he told me about a nice music website called Grooveshark.

Aravin is a kind, gentle soul, and I'm glad to have known him and know him. Did I mention he is an amazing 3D artist as well?

Cheers, Aravin!