Technology has become an integral part of our everyday life. The more we use it, the more problems we encounter and questions we ask that need answers. The following five questions in particular have become controversial amongst people around the world with many looking for the final true answers. In this article, we will share our opinion as tech professionals and help you unveil this mystery.
1- Should I really eject my USB driver?
One of the highly controversial questions around the world and people have two very different opinions about it. One party would argue that they’ve never ejected their USB drivers first and never encountered any problems. The other party would explain that they’ve learnt this lesson the hard way when they’ve lost important files.
I have a friend who once pulled her external driver before ejecting it and lost three-years’ worth of important files. For some reason, her external driver stopped working completely and to make things even worst, she formatted it! The accident was a nightmare until I managed to recover her lost files and move them to a new driver.
So, what’s the truth and why it’s safer to eject your driver first?
When you copy something to your USB driver your computer usually sends a notification that this task has been completed successfully, but that’s not always true. Sometimes, your computer hasn’t really completed the task and just paused it a little bit waiting for other tasks to perform them all at once. This feature called disk write caching and it’s used to increase system performance and allow applications to run faster. It also means that there’s a higher chance for data loss in case of power outage, system failure or in our case pulling out the USB driver without ejecting it first.
You can imagine disk write caching as follow:
- The user requests to copy files to their USB Driver
- The relevant application tells the computer to write the data on the USB driver
- The computer will send back “done” notification but it has actually stashed data securely in RAM for later writing, allowing other running applications to work faster without waiting for data write-requests to be written to the disk.
Now we’ve reached one of these two scenarios:
- If the user clicks on eject button, the computer will know that it’s now the time to write any remaining data in its RAM to the USB driver before ejecting it.
- If the user pulled out the USB driver without ejecting it, the computer will search for it later when it’s ready to write the data and when it can’t find it, it’ll simply dump the data.
Long story short, it’s always safer to eject your USB driver before pulling it out of your PC.
2- How can I extend the lifespan of my device battery?
We’ve read many opinions about this and it’s not easy to decide how to treat your device battery. Should you empty it all and recharge it regularly? Should you keep it connected when it’s 100% charged? Should you keep it charged between 40% and 80%? What’s the truth and how can you extend the life of your battery?
Charging problems were a lot worst with the old nickel-based batteries. Today, most batteries are made from lithium and ion. They are much easier to maintain and have a longer lifespan than their older counterparts. These easy practices will help you prolong the life of your lithium-ion based battery:
- Disconnect your device when it’s fully charged.
- Keep your battery cool.
- You don’t need to fully charge your battery; partial and random charge is fine.
- Prevent fully emptying your battery. If that happens try to charge it a little bit if time allows to keep the protection circuit alive.
- Prevent ultra-fast charging when possible. So if you have time just use your device original or regular charger.
- Store your device at ideally 40% charge in a cool place.
3- Where is the missing storage of my new hard driver?
You’ve bought an 80 GB hard driver and when you plug it in it only shows 74.51 GB. What happened and where are your missing bytes?
The main problem is in the different ways computers and humans calculate disk space. Computers use the binary language in which a kilobyte = 1024 bytes, a megabyte = 1024 kilobyte, and a gigabyte = 1024 megabyte and so on. So, to a computers 80 GB = 85.9 GB
People use the power of 10 in which 1 kilobyte = around 1000 bytes, 1 megabyte = around 1000 kilobyte and so on. The more data we calculate the less accurate we’ve become. So, what we calculate as 80 GB space is actually to a computer only 74.51 GB.
In general, for every 1 GB you purchase, you get 70 MG less space when you plug your hard drive in and there’s nothing you can do about it, so opt for the larger package if you want to make sure you’re covered.
4- Is it a spam or a legit email?
Many spam emails are really obvious, such as “I’ve got a great business opportunity for you. Please email me back as soon as possible” or “Hi there, I hope you are well? I don’t know if you saw my email from a couple of weeks ago, I know you are busy, so in case you didn’t, I thought I would just remind you that we are still running a promotion on our company, click below to get the offer”. If you received such email, delete it immediately and don’t even think of it.
Some other spam emails are written professionally by social engineers who are trained to create misleading information and get people to interact with it. They use advanced methods to make you think they are legit or they are a company you trust such as your local council office or PayPal. In our Phishing Emails article we’ve highlighted the seven criteria that you need to look for to verify the source of your email.
The rule of thumb is:
- When in doubt, don’t click any links or download any attachments.
- If you receive a request to transfer money from someone you personally know even if it was your boss, you need to call them personally, and every time, to double check that they have really send this email before making any transfer.
- Finally, never send your bank account details to anyone via an email, even if you know them.
5- Is it safe to download a movie on BitTorrent?
Do you download movies on BitTorrent? The main question is, will you get caught? The quick answer is yes – sorry!
I know you wanted to hear a different answer but unfortunately movie makers and other big companies are in a continual battle to stop illegal downloading of their content. Your internet provider can simply watch all your traffic and send you warning letters when you are caught torrenting any copyrighted materials. You will face the consequences if you get caught. Learn more about film and music piracy.
Stay tuned for our next article about BitTorrent and how it works.
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