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TECH TIMES

Published:Monday | May 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Written and compiled by Kareem LaTouche and Stephanie Lyew

Tech Question of the Week

Do you think that technology is potentially addictive or used based on a person's need?

Julie-Ann France: There is no debate that technology provides solutions to our needs. However, we find that while persons will procure technology to use it for specific needs, such as mobile phones to communicate with people worldwide and computers to access the Internet for research, among a triad of other needs, it generally becomes addictive because we tend to become dependent on technology and overuse it.

Tech Problem of the Week

How often do you turn off your computer?

Why you need to know

The issue of allowing a computer to stay on continuously or to turn it off is one that is based on computer usage. This week's topic is for persons that actively use their computers for a few hours out of the day, then for the remaining hours it is running and it is continuously left on for days. When the device is not being used physically by someone, it does not necessarily mean that the computer is not being used. The fan, hard disks and CPU are working constantly to run internal processes. The computer is also vulnerable to viruses and other malware. Hence, some maintenance needs to be done to ensure that constant usage does not destroy the hardware.

What you will need

The computer

Maintenance Tips

1. If it is necessary to leave the computer on even when away from it, then it is important to give it a break by shutting it down, as well as unplugging it from the power source at the end of the day or when you return.

2. Restart the computer and allow it to run any updates (some operating systems will run updates automatically).

3. Ensure that the virus-scanning software is up to date, in addition to starting a scan on the whole system.

4. Do a hard drive check at least once a month; Apple computer users will find this in 'Disk Utilities' (in the 'Verify Disk' option). Windows users can right-click on the 'Local Disk' or hard drive and go to 'Properties' to troubleshoot and run system maintenance.

Helpful links

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question328.htm

Minecraft (Pocket Edition) for Android

Minecraft is a game originally made for computer users, and soon expanded to XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3. Now, the pocket edition is available for smartphone users (mainly Android and iPhone). The game will cost you approximately US$6 but is worth it, compared to the US$27 computer users have to pay. Once purchased, the app can be played on any of your other Android devices. Minecraft is actually listed as one of the most popular paid apps in April on Google Play. But why is it a popular app? It has various modes and multiplayer options (once connected to Wi-Fi). If you like creating things, Minecraft allows users to build (craft) 3D worlds out of textured blocks and protect against mobs (hostile animals) that spawn in the nighttime cycle and, in the daytime, hunt non-hostile animals to feed on during survival modes.

Candy Crush Saga for Apple (iPhone)

King's Candy Crush Saga is one of the top game applications on iOS, listed in the top five highest-played games. Not only is it available to iPhone users but can be synchronised to a players Facebook account. Through the option to play with friends, gamers are able to trade items or give lives. Beware, the app may become addictive but it is also a great way to unwind (escape reality) after a long day of work. By completing levels, users earn points and unlock items for the next level, by level 50 the game changes to a whole new experience. Persons with iPhones with iOS 5.0 and up can easily download and begin playing. Turn off in-app purchases in the device settings to avoid notifications about purchasing extra moves, game tools or extra lives.

Tiny Bird for BlackBerry

Tiny Bird has a free and paid version for US$0.99. It is supported by all BlackBerry models, from 8300 to the most recent. There are three user modes, single, multiplayer and split mode. Unfortunately, split mode is only available to BlackBerry Playbook only. It allows users to play on one device. Multiplayer mode is just as interesting as users play with BlackBerry users worldwide. The game is simply about rescuing a tiny bird from the stormy seasons ahead by taking various adventures while avoiding obstacles. Recent updates have allowed BlackBerry Messenger integration.