OK, so what is hot in computing right now? Well on this page you will find those things that you risk burning your fingers on if you are not wearing asbestos gloves.
If you are visiting this page and expected to find a list of online software applications, please note that this has now moved to my new Cloud Computing Directory.
Big Data involves the storage, interlinkage and meaningful processing of very large quantities of digital information. Due to the increasingly rapid development of Web 2.0 and cloud computing, Big Data is also now becoming the Next Big Thing in the corporate IT world. For more information, see the Big Data page.
Cloud computing is where software applications, processing power, data and even artificial intelligence are accessed over the Internet. The Cloud Computing Revolution is also destined to be as radical as the Personal Computing Revolution of a few decades ago. For more information, just go to explainingcomputers.com/cloud and make your selection!
Augmented reality overlays data from the cloud on a real-time view of the physical world. This means that a user can hold up their smartphone or tablet and see information overlaid on buildings, people or other objects viewed through its camera. Please click here for a list of pioneering augmented reality websites, or learn more on the Augmented Reality page over on our sister-site at ExplainingTheFuture.com
3D printers do what their name implies. That is, they take digital data and turn it into real, solid objects! Just as an inkjet printer can turn pictures from a digital camera into two dimensional hardcopy prints, so a 3D printer takes a digital 3D model or scan and outputs it as a real, physical object. Already there are printers that can output objects made out of plastics, ceramics, concrete and even living cells! To find out more just visit the 3D printing and bioprinting pages over on our sister-site at ExplainingTheFuture.com.
Solid State Drives -- or SSDs -- contain no moving components and are becoming viable, high-performance and silent alternatives to traditional hard disks. To find out more why not watch my Explaining SSDs video?
Whilst we can now all find a great deal of great software out in the cloud, if you want great free applications to install locally on your PC, laptop or netbook, just checkout the below!
- OPEN OFFICE
Available from www.openoffice.org, Open Office is an open source office word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation package. It reads and write files that are compatible with Microsoft Office, and even allows the creation of PDF files! Open Office has been available for many years, but is only now really growing in popularity as more and more people realise that they don't have to purchase Microsoft Office in order to word process and undertake other "office" tasks. Open Office is available for Windows and Apple computers, as well as for Linux.
- MICROSOFT SECURITY ESSENTIALS
Available from www.microsoft.com/security_essentials, this is a great PC security suite. What, a good security suite that is free and provided by Microsoft?! Yes. You read this right. Everybody needs a good security product on their PC to protext against viruses and other malware, and this is a very good option, does not hog resources, comes from a reputable organization -- and is free!
Available from www.truecrypt.org, TrueCrypt allows you to create an encrypted block of space on any form of storage device. Once the relevant password is entered, this can then be mounted and accessed like a normal disk volume. The software can be run from a USB key or other storage device, so you can get at your encrypted files on any computer.
- GOOGLE PACK
Available from http://pack.google.com, Google Pack is a collection of free software applications all handily gathered together for you by Google. Specifically it includes Star Office (a version of Open Office as above), the Firefox web browser, the Picasa photo editing package, the Skype online phone and video conferencing software, Adobe Reader, Realplayer, and Norton Security Scan.
Available from http://audacity.sourceforge.net, Audacity is a free sound editing package increasingly used to record and edit podcasts. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.
Available from http://camstudio.org, CamStudio is a very useful piece of free software for capturing video and audio from a computer screen and saving it to an AVI or shockwave (SWF) media file. CamStudio is therefore particularly useful when producing videos or presentations that need to demonstrate websites or other computer activity, for example as in my own Explaining Web 2.0 and Explaining Cloud Computing videos where it was used for many of the screen grabs.
- NOTETAB LIGHT
Available from http://www.notetab.com/ntl.php, Notetab Light (sic) is a free text and HTML editor. It allows a user to manipulate a large number of text or HTML files via a tabbed interface, which makes it perfect for writing websites -- such as this one!
The computing industry is always coming up with something new