When you’re a novice, opening up Adobe Photoshop for the first time can be overwhelming. All of the buttons, tools, and options can be confusing and it’s easy to get frustrated. So, to make things easier for you, we have compiled a list on some of the most basic and important tools that Photoshop has to offer.
Layers are a fundamental and important part of the Photoshop experience. The idea of layers when editing a photo is like sheets of stacked acetate. You can see through transparent parts of layers to the layers below. You can change the opacity of certain layers to make them transparent, and also edit specific layers one at a time to create a full image of stacked layers as a final image.
Selection Tools include the lasso, quick selection, magic wand, and marquee tools for quick selection of image parts. These selection tools are the basic features to focus on a certain part of the image you are editing. These tools allow for easy selection and are the basic building blocks for more advanced editing.
This tool helps you move thing around, whether it be an object or a layer. Use this tool to, well, move things. Usually you use it to move a Layer around after it has been placed. Hold the [Shift] key to limit the movements to vertical/horizontal.
Magic Wand Tool (W)*
Use this tool to select a color range. It will select the block of color or transparency, based on wherever you click.
By: Kate Funk
You might think a laptop is a perfectly safe electronic device. It’s not. There’s a hidden danger. There are harmful rays which radiate from the laptop whilst it’s switched on. They won’t harm you after only a few uses, but office workers and other professions which use them regularly can do themselves some serious damage over time. Here’s a guide to what these harmful rays are, how you can protect yourself against them, and what they mean for the future of laptop usage.
What are these Rays?
The rays we absorb each time we use a laptop are called EMFs. EMFs are electromagnetic fields, which are made up of both electric and magnetic forces. They’re invisible to the human eye and penetrate our body. EMFs move around in waves and are a type of minor radiation.
Now before you grab your tinfoil hat and lock yourself in an oxygen tent, it’s important to mention we’re surrounded by EMFs on a daily basis. Not every type of EMF is dangerous. Natural elements in the earth produce them, as well as the human body itself. What makes them safe is the frequency, which is only about 10 hertz. These natural EMFs empower us because they’re what our cells use to function correctly.
Natural EMFs are perfectly safe, and there’s very little we can do about them either way. The dangerous types of EMF come from electronics, such as fridges, mobile phones, kettles, televisions, and laptops. These EMFs, or artificial EMFs as they’re known, come in the form of an electric field. This field appears whenever you turn the device on. A television which has been turned off at the mains emits nothing.
As already mentioned, there are two types of wave which makes up the EMF. The electric field and the magnetic field. The electric field isn’t particularly harmful as metals can block it. Magnetic fields can penetrate practically anything, including whole buildings.
The strength of the artificial EMF is dictated by the strength of the current. It’s why industrial workers and those who work with heavy electrical machinery are a high risk group for artificial EMF exposure.
Are we at Risk?
We have always been at risk since electricity was invented. Our grandparents had to deal with EMFs from early electronic devices like radios and heaters. The difference now is we’re exposed to EMFs a thousand times stronger than those our grandparents were exposed to.
The 21st century is a world which runs off of electronic devices. It means smartphones, laptops, and electronic cars all emit artificial EMFs.
The Dangers of EMFs
Whilst natural EMFs help energise our body, artificial EMFs come from the outside and start to influence these processes. It’s altering our natural functions and inadvertently putting the human body at risk. Most people will never notice if they’ve been overexposed to EMFs. Subtle chances can include trouble sleeping and stress. At the other end of the spectrum, exposure to EMFs can even change our DNA.
Changes to the DNA can lead us to serious diseases and conditions, which we can also pass on to our children.
Laptops already have standard protections in place. The World Health Organization (WHO) has specifications in place for how much radiation a laptop can legally emit. And manufacturers try to reduce this amount even further to protect its customers from harm. In most cases, only prolonged usage over an extended period of time can cause you any harm.
Control Your Usage
If you must use your laptop, don’t spend additional time surfing the web for pictures of cats and performing other pointless functions. Figure out what you want to do, do it, and then turn it off. Another good way of protecting yourself is to take a break every hour. A 15-minute break per hour of usage can go a long way to stopping the onset of EMF damage.
Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t place a laptop on your lap. The closer you are the more EMFs you’re going to take in. It makes sense. When you place the laptop on your lap, most of the major components are only shielded from your bare skin by the thin plastic casing.
Put it on a table and sit at a comfortable distance of about 30cm. This way many of the EMFs are released into the air, rather than directly into your body.
Along with not putting the laptop on your lap, you should also minimise the amount of time you spend touching the laptop. This includes with typing. Experts suggest investing in a wireless mouse and keyboard. Again, each time you touch the laptop you’re exposing yourself to radiation because the major components only have a thin plastic casing around them.
Connected and Unconnected
There’s considerable debate over whether it’s safer to have a laptop connected to a cable and a modem or unconnected with WiFi and 3G connectivity. This depends entirely on your preference and who you believe. Scientists have yet to come to a definitive conclusion on the matter. It’s still important to become aware of the arguments for each side, though.
Connecting via 3G or WiFi is harmful because of the additional microwave radiation emanating from these sources. Switching off wireless capabilities reduces the number of tools which are producing radiation.
Others claim it’s best to connect wirelessly because of the increased power of radiation with the laptop plugged in. They claim the amount of radiation is a hundred times more powerful than the radiation produced by a battery which isn’t plugged in.
Should You Stop Using Your Laptop?
Absolutely not! The amount of radiation is troubling, but my monitoring the amount of time you use it for you can stave off most of the risks associated with laptop radiation. And the risks are likely to grow smaller as our level of technology increases. Manufacturers are always looking to reduce the amount of radiation their devices produce.
Still need Tech Help? Give us a call at 1-866-619-7278, our Techzilla specialists are standing by!
Techzilla Contributor, Kate Funk coaches individuals in SEO and business networking skills at Rush Tutors.
By: Alexandria Pham
Summer is right around the corner, which means the weather’s getting warmer and soon, most of you will be heading towards the beaches and pools looking for sanctuary from the blistering heat. So, what will you pack in your survival kits? Beach towels, sunscreen, food and drinks, magazines, and of course your loving smartphones.
In today’s world, it seems as though none of us can go without our phones, they’re practically attached to our bodies. But what happens when a freak accident occurs and your phone ends up with water damage from enjoying some water fun in the sun? Well, here are some tips on how you can fix your phone if water damage occurs.
1) RETRIEVE YOUR PHONE FROM THE WATER
In your initial moment of shock and fear, many of you will stand there and stare at your poor phone as it lay in its underwater tomb. Well, get it out! The longer you let your phone sit in the water, the more damage it can get.
2) DRY IT OFF WITH A PIECE OF CLOTH OR PAPER TOWEL & TURN YOUR PHONE OFF
You want to dry off your phone as quick as possible and turn it off so that you can make sure that the water doesn’t go into the phone’s circuit boards, and so that you don’t run the risk of getting shocked, of course.
3) REMOVE YOUR BATTERY, SIM CARD, & ACCESSORIES
Taking apart your phone and removing its battery, SIM card, and accessories can help you save your contacts and see if your phone is truly water damaged. Most phones have a small white square or circle sticker with or without red lines on it near the battery. If this sticker is pink or red, then your phone has water damage. However, don’t fret. There’s still hope.
4) DRY YOUR PHONE AGAIN WITH A SOFT CLOTH OR TOWEL
Drying your phone again once its been taken apart will just ensure that there is minimal water left inside of the phone. So, take your time and try to get as much as the water out as possible.
5) VACUUM YOUR PHONE
Yes, you read that right. Vacuum your phone. Using a vacuum cleaner on the phone will help suck out any moisture in its tiny crevices and dry it. Use the hose accessory and vacuum the phone for up to 20 minutes. Remember to keep the vacuum a few inches away from your phone so it doesn’t get any damage from static electricity. And no matter what, do NOT use a hairdryer on your phone! The heat will only cause more damage.
6) PLACE YOUR PHONE IN AN AIRTIGHT CONTAINER WITH UNCOOKED RICE (OR ANY OTHER DESICCANTS, SUCH AS SILICA PACKETS)
Placing your phone in an airtight container with uncooked rice can and leaving it there for at least 24hrs will help draw out any of the remaining moisture in the phone. Once you place the phone, battery, and battery back in the rice, seal the container and shake it around a bit. This will help shake out the remaining water so the rice can absorb it.
7) LET YOUR PHONE SIT ON ABSORBENT TOWELS
After at least 24 hrs of sitting in the rice, you can remove your phone and let it sit on an absorbent towel for about 4 – 6 hours or so. After that time, go back and check on it to see if there’s any water on the towel. If so, then repeat the vacuum and rice steps again.
8) TEST YOUR PHONE
Once you’ve completed all of the steps above and checked your phone and it looks dry, put your phone back together and test it out. If your phone turns back on with no problems, CONGRATULATIONS! However, be sure to look out for any problems, glitches, or weird noises for the next few days.
If you’ve completed all of the steps above and your phone is still not turning on or it’s giving you problems, you can always send it to Techzilla and we’ll make it work!
We hope that these steps can help you in case your worst nightmare comes true. But remember, the best way to avoid going without your phone is to keep it safe and away from the water.
For this and any other tech problems, give us a call at: 1-866-619-7278!
We’re not stopping! Everyone here at Techzilla wants to make sure that our customers not only get superior service but also an education.
Stands for “Enterprise Unified Process.” EUP is a software development methodology that helps companies create software in an structured and organized manner. It is an extension of the Rational Unified Process (RUP), adding two new development phases — Production and Retirement. Since the RUP includes four phases, the EUP consists of six phases:
Stands for “Error Correction Code.” ECC is used to verify data transmissions by locating and correcting transmission errors. It is commonly used by RAM chips that include forward error correction (FEC), which ensures all the data being sent to and from the RAM is transmitted correctly.
ECC RAM or memory is similar to parity RAM, which includes a parity bit that validates the data being sent. The parity bit is a redundant binary value of 1 or 0 that is sent along with the data. If the parity bit does not match the value of the data it represents, it indicates an error in the transmission and the data may need to be resent. ECC works in a similar way, but uses a more advanced error correction system that can correct data transmission errors on the fly.
EDI (Internet): Stands for “Electronic Data Interchange.” EDI is a standardized method for transferring data between different computer systems or computer networks. It is commonly used for e-commerce purposes, such as sending orders to warehouses, tracking shipments, and creating invoices.
Exabyte (Bits and Bytes): An exabyte is 1018 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.
One exabyte (abbreviated “EB”) is equal to 1,000 petabytes and precedes the zettabyte unit of measurement. Exabytes are slightly smaller than exbibytes, which contain 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 (260) bytes.
The exabyte unit of measure measurement is so large, it is not used to measure the capacity of data storage devices. Even the storage capacity of the largest cloud storage centers is measured in petabytes, which is a fraction of one exabyte. Instead, exabytes are used to measure the sum of multiple storage networks or the amount of data transferred over the Internet in a certain amount of time. For example, several hundred exabytes of data are transferred over the Internet each year.
Encryption (Technical): Encryption is the coding or scrambling of information so that it can only be decoded and read by someone who has the correct decoding key. Encryption is used in secure Web sites as well as other mediums of data transfer. If a third party were to intercept the information you sent via an encrypted connection, they would not be able to read it. So if you are sending a message over the office network to your co-worker about how much you hate your job, your boss, and company, it would be a good idea to make sure that you send it over an encrypted line.
Emoticon (Internet): These are the little text-based faces and objects that you often see in e-mail and online chat. They help give the reader a sense of the writer’s feelings behind the text. For example, the classic =) face shows that the writer is happy about something or that his message in good humor. The =P face is used to show frustration or to say “Whatever…” Emoticons can also be used to create real-world objects. For example, a @-→-→— is supposed to be a long-stemmed rose, which you can use to show affection. Though I think most women would prefer a real long-stemmed rose if they had a choice.
Executable File (Software): An executable file is a type of computer file that runs a program when it is opened. This means it executes code or a series of instructions contained in the file. The two primary types of executable files are 1) compiled programs and 2) scripts.
E-commerce (Internet): E-commerce (electronic-commerce) refers to business over the Internet. Web sites such as Amazon.com, Buy.com, and eBay are all e-commerce sites. The two major forms of e-commerce are Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B). While companies like Amazon.com cater mostly to consumers, other companies provide goods and services exclusively to other businesses. The terms “e-business” and “e-tailing” are often used synonymously with e-commerce. They refer to the same idea; they are just used to confuse people trying to learn computer terms.
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DNS records (Internet) are stored in zone files and are used for translating domain names to IP addresses. They also contain other data, including the domain name’s name server and mail server information. If there are domain name aliases, such as the commonly used “www” preceding the domain name, these will also be listed in the DNS record.
This funny-sounding computer term has two widely different definitions that are completely unrelated:
1. A security key. This is a little hardware device that plugs into the serial or USB port of a computer. Its purpose is to ensure that only authorized users can use certain software applications. If you have never seen a dongle, don’t be surprised. They are only used with expensive, high-end software programs that most people have never heard of, much less use. When a program that comes with a dongle runs, it checks the dongle for verification as it is loading. If it doesn’t find the dongle, the computer explodes. Well, not really — usually the program just quits. If more than one application requires a dongle, multiple dongles using the same port can be daisy-chained together. Basically, if you ever find yourself daisy-chaining multiple dongles together, you must be doing pretty well in life.
2. A laptop Ethernet card adapter. This is a little connector that attaches to a PC card in a laptop on one end, and to an Ethernet cable on the other end. Since most PC (or PCMCIA) network interface cards are too small to connect directly to a standard RJ-45 Ethernet cable, they need this little adapter that connects the card to the cable. (3Com cards that use an “X-Jack” connector do not need a dongle.) As far as why the name dongle is used, I have no idea.
DSLAM (Hardware) stands for “Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer.” A DSLAM is a device used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to route incoming DSL connections to the Internet. Since a “multiplexer” combines multiple signals into one, a DSLAM combines a group of subscribers’ connections into one aggregate Internet connection.
Daemon (Software) The word “daemon” actually comes from the Greek language, meaning an “inner or attendant spirit” (Oxford American Dictionary). This is a fitting name, as a computer daemon is a constantly running program that triggers actions when it receives certain input.
Data Transfer Rate (Bits and Bytes): The data transfer rate is commonly used to measure how fast data is transferred from one location to another. For example, a hard drive may have a maximum data transfer rate of 480 Mbps, while your ISP may offer an Internet connection with a maximum data transfer rate of only 1.5 Mbps.
Data transfer rates are typically measured in bits per second (bps) as opposed to bytes per second, which can be understandably confusing. Because there are eight bits in a byte, a sustained data transfer rate of 80 Mbps is only transferring 10MB per second. While this is confusing for consumers, Internet service providers must enjoy measuring data transfer rates in bps since it makes their Internet access speeds sound 8x faster than they really are
DDL (Technical): Stands for “Data Definition Language.” A DDL is a language used to define data structures within a database. It is typically considered to be a subset of SOL, the Structured Query Language, but can also refer to languages that define other types of data.
Degauss (Hardware): Ever wonder what that “degauss” button on your monitor does besides make a buzzing noise and cause the screen to go crazy for a second? Though that’s its main purpose, the degauss button has another useful feature. To understand it, you’ll first need to know that the earth has natural magnetic fields. The magnetic charges from these fields can build up inside your monitor, causing a loss of color accuracy. Degaussing scares the bad magnetism out of the monitor and fills it with good karma. If your monitor doesn’t have a degauss button, fear not — many new monitors automatically degauss themselves. If you have a flat-panel display, there is no degauss button because magnetism doesn’t build up in flat screen displays.
Denial of Service (Internet): A denial of service attack is an effort to make one or more computer systems unavailable. It is typically targeted at web servers, but it can also be used on mail servers, name servers, and any other type of computer system.
Deprecated (Software): In the world of software development, “deprecated” refers to functions or elements that are in the process of being replaced by newer ones. The term comes from the word “deprecate,” which means to disapprove of something. While deprecated items may work in the current version of a programming language, they may not function in future updates. Therefore, software developers are advised to replace deprecated items with other options.
DFS (Technical): Stands for “Distributed File System.” A DFS manages files and folders across multiple computers. It serves the same purpose as a traditional file system, but is designed to provide file storage and controlled access to files over local and wide area networks.
Direct Digital Marketing (Internet) also known as “DDM,” is a type of marketing that is done exclusively through digital means. It may be used to supplement or even replace traditional physical marketing strategies. The primary channels of direct digital marketing include e-mail and the Web.
DMA (Hardware): Stands for “Direct Memory Access.” DMA is a method of transferring data from the computer’s RAM to another part of the computer without processing it using the CPU. While most data that is input or output from your computer is processed by the CPU, some data does not require processing, or can be processed by another device. In these situations, DMA can save processing time and is a more efficient way to move data from the computer’s memory to other devices.
Donationware is software that is free to use, but encourages users to make a donation to the developer. Some donationware programs request a specific amount, while others allow users to determine what the program is worth and send in an appropriate donation. Unlike shareware, which may provide limited functionality until a registration key is purchased, donationware is fully functional. Therefore, donationware is more similar to freeware, which is free to use, but retains the author’s copyright.
Dot Pitch (Hardware) or “pixel pitch,” is a measurement that defines the sharpness of a monitor’s display. It measures the distance between the dots that display the image on the screen. This distance is very small and is typically measured in fractions of millimeters. The smaller the dot pitch, the sharper the picture.
Still unsure of what these tech terms really mean or just need tech help, our Techzilla specialists are here! Call us at 1-866-619-7278!