technology

It should be no surprise that smart computing devices are outselling traditional desktop and laptop computers. There is an intensive battle for market share of operating systems for these smart devices, which includes smart phones, tablets and related devices. The primary combatants are Google with its Android operating system, Apple with its iOS, and Microsoft with its newly released Windows 8 version for smart devices.

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I am fully cognizant of the level of frustration and anger when a hard drive or other mass storage device fails. While I am personally careful to keep contemporary backups of all of the critical data on all of my computers, all too often I receive calls of despair from individuals whose computer “crashed” and they are convinced that they have lost all of their important information. In some cases the alleged “crash” is not really a catastrophic hard drive failure, but a recoverable error or problem due to either hardware or software issues.

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One of the popular categories of PC software is the type that can perform comprehensive system analysis and repair, probably leading to improved system performance. There are quite a few of these utilities available, both as freeware and as paid commercial products. Many of these utilities have previously been reviewed in this column with comments from readers indicating a general high level of satisfaction with most of them.

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Since I was old enough to hold a book, I have been an avid reader. Our living room and all of the bedrooms in my house have at least one wall covered by a filled bookshelf. All of my children were brought up with a love of books and reading, a love that has been passed on to their children. On a regular basis, I purchase books for myself and my family from the local bookstores, as well as online sources such as Amazon and Better World Books (my personal favorite).

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