The Information Systems and Computer Applications examination covers material that is usually taught in an introductory college-level business information systems course.

Archive for December 1, 2010

WD Caviar Blue y Caviar Black de 6Gb/s ya disponibles

wd caviar black WD Caviar Blue y Caviar Black de 6Gb/s ya disponibles

Western Digital anuncio hace unos días que ya ha empezado a distribuir sus nuevos discos duros SATA de 6Gb/s. Exactamente nos referimos a los modelos WD Caviar Blue y WD Caviar Black. Según afirma Western Digital, con este lanzamiento “nos convertimos en el único fabricante que ofrece una línea de discos duros SATA de 6 Gb/s”. Esto lo ha conseguido gracias a que ha añadido a estos dos modelos una nueva interfaz.

La gama WD Caviar Blue y WD Caviar Black dispone de varios modelos cuya capacidad oscila entre los 250 GB y los 2 TB. Según señala la firma, estos dos discos duros “ofrecen una gran flexibilidad tanto en sistemas nuevos como antiguos. Además, la transición a esta interfaz garantiza la compatibilidad con los actuales discos SATA 3Gb/s y 1.5 Gb/s, los nuevos chipsets y placas base SATA 6Gb/s, que saldrán en breve al mercado, así como con las plataformas como Microsoft Windows y Mac OS X”.

Western Digital asegura que los discos WD Caviar Black y WD Caviar Blue “están fabricados con la mayor calidad para equipar tu PC con el máximo rendimiento y ofrecer una total confianza a los usuarios”.

Fuente: Idg.es

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Old Macs still rock: Putting an iBook G4 back into service

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I remember when I got my first Mac, the iBook G4 14-inch. Powered by a 1.33Ghz G4 processor, 512MB RAM, 60GB hard drive, and a resolution of 1024×768 (meaning 91 pixels per inch), all of which was absolutely stunning at the time. I used it all the time for Adobe’s CS2 suite, productivity, and the internet. It ran all of this mighty fine, and I never felt it ‘slow’ and unusable. As is the case with any new piece of technology.

Of course, software evolved, Leopard came along, hard drives got full, and relative to the newer machines, the G4 felt slow to a point that it wasn’t usable anymore. Then after 4 years, the battery died, and we didn’t see the value in buying a new battery for a dying machine. It was used tethered to the power socket for a while, and then one day the OS crashed, and ended up being shelved, collecting dust.

The other day I came across Dave Coalo’s article on how he has switched to using his G4 iMac as his primary work machine. The iBook immediately popped to my head, and I was determined to bring it back to life.

Most of the tasks we use the computer for remain the same. You can’t type faster than *any* computer. The iBook ran MS Office just fine, it ran Safari just fine, and email worked perfectly. If it did so much back then, why not make it do all that today?

Newer software is the biggest cause of sluggishness in older hardware. I remember when the iPhone first came out, the first opinions were that it was super fast. Apps loaded instantly, lists scrolled butter smooth. What happened? Software updates happened. Of course in the case of the iPhone it’s near impossible to go back to version 1.0, both technically and in terms of features. But Mac OS X Tiger was a fairly mature platform, with little that it can’t do over Leopard — I’m talking about real world output, and not just the kinds of software features each platform provides.

The first step, was to find out what was wrong with it; it wasn’t progressing beyond the startup chime. Simply resetting the PRAM (holding down Cmd+Opt+P+R during startup) got it back on its feet — when you’re determined enough, no problem is too big, and vice versa. I then installed a fresh copy of Tiger from the install disks, and ran it through all its updates. I installed Office 2004 instead of 2008, and installed the Open XML converter for compatibility with the new document format. These are all fully functional applications, where the newer versions simply add needless features. I did update Safari to version 4 because it includes a newer webkit engine, for better compatibility with the web.

The iBook is surprisingly capable. It starts up in less than 50 seconds. Launches Safari in 8 seconds. MS Word in 18 seconds. iTunes in 6 seconds. But more importantly, it runs all these apps smoothly in the background, effortlessly switching between. iPhoto v5 with a few thousand images thrown in launches faster than iPhoto v9 on my iMac. I’m sure I could install Photoshop CS2 and it too would perform admirably.

Of course, using Tiger means I personally couldn’t use a lot of the apps I require, like Espresso, nor could I manage Photoshop or InDesign with such a small visual canvas. I can’t stand notebooks anyway. But the intended audience wasn’t me. I chose Tiger over Leopard because it was intended on being used by people in an office environment, who needed word processing, internet, and email. And this is what most people use a computer for. They’ve been using the iBook for the past week, day-in day-out, and I’ve received no complaints so far — they have no clue that the brushed metal UI is ugly, even though they also have a Snow Leopard Mac mini running.

Techno-lust can lead to a flawed vision, making it difficult to see the true value in things.

•••

To do great work you need great determination, not tools. You don’t need a high end Mac Pro to develop applications. Take Daniel Jalkut, developer of MarsEdit:

I do everything on a relatively low-powered MacBook. Is this constraining? A little bit. But I think it goes to show that you don’t need the fanciest Mac or the largest screen to get the job done.

Recently, I profiled Samurai on Beautiful Pixels. I was surprised to find out that he created all of his CSS experiments on his 13 inch MacBook. I’ve been using a first-of-the-Intels iMac for the last four years. It runs all the software I need, and runs it well. Aperture and InDesign slow it down a bit, but I’ve learnt to manage memory without thinking about it. While the urge to get a svelte new aluminium iMac is only growing, every time I feel a weak, I look at this article on ewaste.

•••

Macs have been beautiful machines since right from the beginning. The first iMac is still insanely beautiful if you look at it in the right light. You don’t need to upgrade until it begins to hurt. And when you do, remember that there’s always someone else who can make good use of your old hardware.

I wonder, how many of you are actively using older generation Macs?

 


Herramientas de esteganografía

Aunque la esteganografía es un arte antiguo, el mundo digital le ha dado un nuevo sentido, llevando la idea a nuevos formatos y desarrollando técnicas bastante avanzadas. Aún así, si pensamos en seguridad, la esteganografía por sí sola se queda pequeña, por lo que la mayoría de los programas actuales cifran los datos antes de incrustarlos. Actualmente deberíamos pensar en la esteganografía como una técnica complementaria a la criptografía.

La cantidad de formatos en los que se pueden esconder datos es inmensa, y las técnicas para hacerlo en cada uno de ellos también son variadas. Vamos a ver una pequeña recopilación de formatos que pueden ser contenedores de información oculta, y algunos programas que hacen ésto posible.

Steghide: Libre, portable, rápido, soporta cifrado y compresión. Es uno de los más usados, y está disponible en los repositorios de software de un montón de distribuciones. Trabaja con JPEG, BMP, WAV y AU.

JPHide y JPSeek: Trabajan con JPEG, y prometen ser programas muy silenciosos, ya que la modificación del contenedor es mínima.

Gifshuffle: Como su nombre indica, utiliza ficheros GIF (animados también). Una herramienta muy portable, libre, rápida, y que soporta cifrado / compresión.

SNOW: Del mismo creador que Gifshuffle, utiliza espacios y tabulaciones al final de las líneas de un fichero de texto ASCII. También es altamente portable, libre, rápido y soporta cifrado / compresión.

wbStego: Tiene varias versiones, y pretende tener una interfaz más amigable. Utiliza formatos BMP, texto ASCII o ANSI, HTML y PDF.

MP3Stego: Utiliza ficheros MP3 como contenedores, admite compresión y cifrado.

Stelin y StegoSense: Herramientas de esteganografía sintáctica en textos. StegoSense se publicó hace unos días, y el autor escribió una colaboración para SbD.

Fuse::PDF: Ya nos explicó Yago hace tiempo como podíamos utilizar este módulo de Perl para ocultar documentos personales dentro de ficheros PDF.

Ésto es una pequeña muestra de todo lo que podemos encontrar en Internet, en la práctica a cada uno le gustarán más unas que otras y usará unos formatos sobre otros.

Por otro lado tenemos el estegoanálisis, también con sus herramientas, pero éso lo dejamos para otro día.

Y tú, ¿usas esteganografía? ¿La ves útil? ¿Qué herramientas utilizas?