Category Archives: Computer Hardware

A Need for Surveillance

Aside from my work at night as a social media manager, I also manage and own a small business – an internet cafe that operates from morning ’til night. You might be wondering how I handle both my job and my shop and still have time to rest. Two years ago, I hired an assistant who I trained to operate the shop without my supervision. It’s been smooth-sailing, but in the most recent months, I’ve had issues with the sales at my internet cafe.

Integrity – for me, it means doing your job and doing it right even without people watching. And in this case, it’s reporting all of the sales or profits you made for the day to your boss – no less, no excess. This is my current dilemma, which I force myself to brush aside. You know, to be successful in any kind of business, you have to trust the people who work for you. But times are tough and sometimes, you need to take action to somehow establish that loyalty and integrity you expect from them.

So, for the past few weeks, I have been contemplating on buying a CCTV camera. Upon checking the prices for a decent CCTV camera system online through various sites such as, I quickly realized that I’m not keen to spending that much money over fears that I have yet to completely justify (completely as the operative word). I’ve consulted a few of my friends who are also in the internet cafe business, and there were some who advised that I go for a more affordable solution – mini DV camcorders or web cameras that can stream live video and be accessed through the IP address on any browser.

Camcorders for CCTV

That’ll be my next project for my internet cafe. Right now, we have a faux CCTV set up, which I don’t think really scares anyone. 😀 Hopefully, by next month, I’d be able to purchase a camera or camcorder, then I’ll just set it up myself. I just want to make sure I’m not losing money over trusting someone this much.

Do you have a CCTV or surveillance system at home or at your small business? Please share your ideas or tips at the comments section.

Should Your Cloud Be Public or Private?

Cloud computing seems to be in all of the computer headlines recently. Everywhere you look, someone is making some sort of reference to the cloud. Large companies all over the world have quickly adopted this new computer model. There are so many reasons that cloud computing is better, but there are two very different forms of cloud computing out there. Should you put your business into a public cloud, or is a private cloud a better solution. In order to find the answer to this question, it is important to know the differences in each type of cloud hosting.

Welcome to the Public Cloud

A public cloud hosting environment is also known as a shared cloud hosting environment. All of the virtual computing services are provided over an Internet connection. This Internet connection is public. There is little to no control over the access or the cloud infrastructure. This type of cloud hosting has several advantages. Public cloud hosting solutions offer simpler software, hardware and administration. There is also no expense associated with trying to develop an in-house cloud solution. All of the resources in a public cloud hosting environment are shared across the Internet. This means that companies will not have to manage or administer any of the hardware that is located within the cloud’s infrastructure. Public cloud hosting environments can be scaled up to meet a company’s needs. As a company grows, the public cloud hosting environment can grow with it.


Welcome to the Private Cloud

This sounds like some sort of private club, and it can be called several different things. The most common is private cloud, but some businesses refer to these cloud systems as an internal or enterprise cloud. A private cloud hosting environment does not serve all of the data through a public Internet. All of the data goes through a company’s private intranet. Private cloud hosting solutions cannot always be scaled up as quickly as a public cloud can. In a cloud computing private cloud environment, the computing power capacity is often determined by the hardware or software that is located within the private cloud.

Determining which cloud hosting solution is right for your business will really depend on your individual businesses needs. There are several companies out there that offer a wide variety of cloud hosting solutions. Scalematrix offers secure private cloud solutions, hybrid cloud solutions and cloud storage solutions.

In the end, determining which cloud hosting solution is best will really depend on your budget. Prices vary based on each service and provider.

How to Disable the F1 or Any Key in Windows

I’ve had my laptop, an HP Compaq CQ40-340TU, for almost 3 years now and, to be quite honest, it’s been mostly problematic using this after the first 8-10 months. It’s supposed to run on Windows Vista, but it was running too slowly so I had to downgrade the operating system to XP SP 3 (which is why I didn’t bring it in for repair.. plus this was purchased in Cebu 😀 ). I even wrote a tutorial on how to slipstream the SATA drivers and how to complete the whole downgrade process on my other blog. Since I was only using compatible drivers, eventually, everything else started failing.

Key Tweak - Keyboard Remapper - my savior!

I’ve long wanted to throw this one out or sell this. However, when I decided to restore this back into shape a couple of weeks ago, it actually cooperated and worked almost seamlessly. ALMOST. I had ONE tiny little problem – the F1 key got stuck.

Yeah, it’ll open up tens to hundreds windows of the Help Center. Since I disabled most of the Startup applications here, including Help Center because I don’t think anyone actually still uses it, it only opened up multiple instances of dialogue windows. It pissed me off bad enough that I had to finally resort to disabling it for good.

No, it’s not that there’s anything wrong with thehingesof the F1 key. I had to remove it completely and tried all sorts of things to disable it physically from being pressed, but it didn’t work. What sucks is it will slow down the whole bootup because it’ll continuously give the command to open my computer’s system information window. So, I searched for a way to tweak the registry to disable the F1 key completely and found a solution to my problem – Key Tweak.

Key Tweak actually works by editing the registry so you can map the keys or to reassign them. I’ve tried to do the registry editing manually to no avail. I tried 2 other applications before this, and they didn’t work as effectively.

So, how do you use this to disable any key on your keyboard? Read on.

Disclaimer: Please make sure you backup your registry before doing this. I cannot be blamed for any damage this software may cause on your computer. It worked for me and I sure hope it’ll work for you too.


Who Should Use Key Tweak?

Why would anyone use this program to disable keys? It can be for some various reasons:

  • You got one or more keys that are stuck.
  • Some of your keys are no longer functioning properly.
  • You hate accidentally pressing function keys when playing games, etc.
  • You want to assign / remap different tasks on the function keys or your any other key.
  • You have a persistently problematic laptop like mine. 😀
  • You want to play a prank on someone else. 😀

Key Tweak will edit this registry entry for you:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout

Again, I suggest you backup your registry first before continuing to the step-by-step procedures.

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New Canon PIXMA Photo Printers : More Efficient and Earth-Friendly Printing Solutions

Over a week ago, I was invited to the launch of 5 new Canon PIXMA photo printers. Being a Canon printer user myself (I currently have 2 in my computer shop), of course, I didn’t pass up the chance to find out what’s new.

First off, let me tell you why I am a Canon printer user. It’s all about the printhead. I love the fact that if the head fails, I can easily replace it without having to take all the parts out or without needing to replace the whole printer completely. This is extremely important for a business like mine where they take on the challenge of printing a ton of documents weekly. Most of my customers print their resumes in multiple copies (in preparation for applying to various ERP Jobs probably), photos they got from Google for their research or assignments, etc. My Canon printers don’t just save me money, but they make me more efficient ‘cause they’re heavy-duty compared to other printers I’ve tried.

Here are the 2 Canon printers I use:

Canon PIXMA MX416 All in One printer with Fax

I am IN LOVE with my Canon PIXMA MX416 printer. It’s a scanner, copier, fax machine and printer in one! Plus, you can send print jobs to this baby wirelessly! Cool, eh? 😉

I got rid of my old all-in-one printer because I needed a copier that can handle long or legal-sized paper / documents. This printer has a feeder at the top so you can use it for copying those long documents or if you don’t want to manually open the scanner’s cover for every document you’re copying. Just leave them all on the top feeder and wait. 🙂

This other printer I own, a Canon IP3680, is no longer available in the market the last time I checked. It’s a photo printer and have been really good to me. Now, I use it primarily for document printing because it no longer feeds photo paper properly, probably after moving it around during typhoon Pedring.

Canon IP3680 Photo Printer

But, this printer has delivered to its promise. After a couple of adjustments with the color settings, it printed out photos just like how I see them on the screen. I wish to buy a new  photo printer very soon so I can achieve that photo print quality again. 🙂

Anyway, going back to the launch event of Canon’s new printers, Allen Chang, marketing manager of Canon, proudly shared with us that the brand have grown since 2007. They are now leaning towards products that are environment-friendly and energy-saving, but still with sleek features such as high-definition quality and even wireless printing. These were the new PIXMA printers that were introduced to us that night:

Canon PIXMA MP287 printer

Canon PIXMA MP287

It’s a very compact all-in-one (AIO) printer. The design reminds me of my old AIO printer from a different brand, but I love Canon’s because of the texture and overall look. I love black, that’s why. 😉

It’s also very affordable. For only Php 3,495, you get a fully-functional all-in-one printer for you to scan, copy and print your documents. 🙂

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