How-to: Understand GSM and CDMA (phones) II

Image credit: Smartphone Collection,, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0Last time, we started looking at the various phone standards, trying to avoide ending up in acronym hell. We got as far as GSM, CDMA, Edo, HSPA+ and roaming. This time we move on to 4G, LTE and into the future.

While GSM and CDMA work using radio waves in a ‘traditional’ fashion; 4G works by means of an Internet Protocol (IP) network. The radio signals have to be translated into data packets for use on the network. This includes voice calls which use voice-over-IP. The fail-over for 4G is to switch back to a 2G or 3G network to make voice calls. Read more of this post

How-to: Understand GSM and CDMA (phones)

Vector - Smartphone collection - CC 3.0You would think, by now, we’d have one global standard for mobile telecoms. But no. Depending on your country of residence, you may have a bewildering choice of cellphone standards. You want to buy a piece of technology to make your life better and easier: instead you end up in acronym hell.

In the UAE, for example, you can buy a phone to run on any network on the planet, using any protocol available. In the United States, AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM networks; Sprint and Verizon are CDMA and don’t use SIM cards. So what should you get? And what’s the difference anyway? Read more of this post

How-to: Help! My IP address has been hacked! [Guest Post]

Tool - Hacksaw - Evan Amos, Public DomainThat was a genuine call for help recently, a friend-of-a-friend thing where I happened to be the closest thing to an IT expert they knew.

Rather than contemptuously asking “what do you mean your IP address has been hacked” my first question was – what are the symptoms, how do they know they’ve been ‘hacked’? This covers a multitude of sins, very few of which have to do with a discoverable fixed IP address.

And at risk of boring everybody with another Security-101, I’m going to outline my first thoughts.

Read more of this post

How-to: Configure Windows 10TP Graphics in VirtualBox

Adjust Windows 10 Technical Preview graphics in VirtualBoxIn Part 1, we got hold of the Windows 10 Technical Preview build and created ourselves a VirtualBox guest machine onto which we installed it in Part 2.

And it should work perfectly fine, if you can live with a low-resolution display. On start-up, my Windows 10TP guest machine was using the pre-supplied Microsoft base display driver, which, on my x86 host, would only give me 1024 by 768 in 4:3 ratio. How very 1998. Read more of this post

How-to install Windows 10 Technical Preview in VirtualBox Pt 2

Windows 10 Technical PreviewIn Part 1, we got hold of the Windows 10 Technical Preview build and created ourselves a VirtualBox guest machine onto which to install it. With the Windows 10 ISO image inserted to the virtual CD drive, on starting the new virtual machine, the bootable ISO image begins the Windows 10 Technical Preview installation.

As you work through the wizard, choose the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) onto the 25GB hard drive. The familiar Windows installation procedure begins with the selection of location, language and timezone. The unpacking process from the ISO does take a while, as does the installation of the base system and devices, which is the first prompt to restart your system. Read more of this post

How-to install Windows 10 Technical Preview in VirtualBox Pt 1

Windows 10 technical Preview - Virtual BoxIf you’re keen enough to want to check out the Windows 10 Technical Preview, you should be smart enough to know NOT to install it as your main operating system. Fortunately virtualisation using VirtualBox now supports Windows 10 so you can easily create a virtual machine and take it for a road test.

The Windows 10 Technical Preview is available as an ISO (disk image) file, which you can burn to DVD media or to a bootable USB stick, or, in our case, mount as an ISO image in VirtualBox. You need a Microsoft Account and an Internet connection to get the image, and be signed up to the Windows Insider Program. Read more of this post

How-to: Handle Windows 10 Technical Preview

Windows 10 Technical PreviewMicrosoft released the Windows 10 Technical Preview in early October and given some positive review, some people decided to upgrade their main Windows 7 or 8 operating system to Windows 10. This was not the smartest thing to do for a number of reasons and here’s why.

1. It’s a Technical Preview. Yes, the clue is in the name. This is NOT a stable consumer release. It comes with no warranty, no guarantee of stability, reliability, data security, uptime, downtime or tea-time.   Read more of this post


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