Computer Science
Why the computer does what it does, and how its logic works.

No one can deny that using an iOS device comes with restrictions.  A user can only download programs from the App Store, and App Store apps have very limited control over the device.  This is where profiles come in.

What are Profiles?

Simply put, a configuration profile is an XML profile that can change device settings.  Their goal is to allow developers to provide custom settings for a large amount of devices.  They can be installed through Mobile Safari, email, or with Apple Configurator.  Some common uses for profiles are requiring a password, disabling certain features, and creating web apps.

The GBA4iOS method

GBA4iOS is an emulator for iOS.  It allows iOS users to install a full Game Boy Advanced emulator on their device, without jailbreaking.  The website accomplishes this by installing a profile, specifically the MacBuildServer(MBS) Hello App Provision.  This profile allows other applications to be installed on the device.  Other applications can be found at iEmulators.  This provides a screen recorder, other game emulators, and even a full DOS emulator.  With iDOS and the help of iExplorer, you can even install Windows on your device.

Testflight and Hockey

Testflight and Hockey are both systems for developers to let testers download their apps.  They also use provision profiles to download apps that don't reside on the App Store.  Both make testing easy by simply providing a profile to download.  As soon as apps are available, testers can download the apps straight to their device.  This allows developers to test in a wider range of users, not just personal connections.

GBA4iOS, Testflight  and Hockey provide iOS users a way to download apps that don't come from the App Store, without jailbreaking.  More options are being worked on, as developers push the limits, finding other ways.

Do you use these?  Or any other methods?

 

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The "autorun.inf" file is an important file for flash drives and CD's. Whenever you insert a flash drive or CD into your computer it searches for the file so that it knows the information needed to be displayed.

Some of the things you will be able to do with it is change the title and icon of your flash drive. Now, you may be saying to me that you already know how to change the name of your flash drive, but I the way I will be teaching you is better. This way will not make the name appear in all caps and will have no character limit.

However the "autorun.inf" file can only be used on a windows computer. A flash drive with an autorun file will appear unchanged on a mac.

Something important for you to know is the when I tell you to put a line of code in it will look like "This is my Code". All you need to put in file is whatever is in the quotes. Make sure not to type the quotes.

 

Setting it Up

Create a new text file in your flash drive and rename it "autorun.inf". Put this file in the first folder of the flash drive (the one that comes up when you first open the flash drive. This is very important because otherwise the computer will not find the file when you plug-in your flash drive.

Next you want to edit the file. The first thing you need to do is put "[autorun]" at the top of the line without spaces or anything else. On the next line under it write "label=", followed by the name you want to give your flash drive, without a space after the equal sign. Anything after the equal sign can contain spaces, and the case of the letter will matter. For me this line of code looks like "label=METSploration". This will name the flash drive METSploration.

On the next line, type "icon=", followed by the location and name of your icon file. Your icon will be a picture of whatever you like but it will appear really small so take that into consideration. My icon file is named icon and is in the folder METSploration. For me it would look like this "icon=METSplorationicon.ico". Note the .ico extension.

If you don't have an icon file you can browse for some here or if you have a picture in mind go to here.

Once you finish all of that, save the file, safely eject your flash drive, and re-insert your flash drive. This will allow the the changes you made to take effect. Since the "autorun.inf" file is only read when your flash drive is connected to the computer, any changes you make to the file will not take effect until the next time your flash drive is re-connected to your computer. If you did it correctly it should notice that the window that pops-up when you connect your flash drive has an icon for it and the name is not in all caps.

The Problem

A new idea is quickly becoming widespread.  A group called Phonebloks wants to build a phone that would last.  The problem, they say, is that a new phone can only be used a short period, usually a couple of years, before it is obsolete or broken.

Their plan, then, is a phone made of detachable “bloks”, or components.  Each would do some function.  for example, a blok might be a screen, processor, or memory.  Therefore, when something broke or needed a repair, the user would only need to buy a new “blok”.  This would hopefully significantly cut down on electronic waste.

Even beyond repairs or upgrades, this has benefits.  Detachable components lead to customizability.  If, for example, you take lots of pictures and store them only in the cloud, you could replace memory with a bigger and better camera, therefore only having what you actually use.  Phonebloks even envisions a “Blokstore”, where any company could make components for the phone.  Camera companies could make a camera, processor companies could make a processor.  It would be open-source in the physical world.

The Plan

Phonebloks has partnered with three companies so far, and hopes to work with more.  So far CYSO, Solon Advocaten, and Motorola (from Google) have agreed to help.  Phonebloks still needs individuals, though.  On their site, they are asking for help in whatever field you are.  Sign up here.

This vision of companies working together to drastically reduce phone waste is an idea to last.  Phonebloks will have to overcome limitations like making companies to collaborate, and getting enough funding.  If everyone helps, though, it could change the world.

Please help!

 

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A Boolean is a value that is true or false. It is used in algebra, set theory, and computer programming. In fact, it is the building block of any computer. In computer programming, a Boolean is represented by a 0(false), or a 1(true).

Boolean Logic was developed by George Boole in the mid 1800’s. It has several gates, which are operations on values. The gates are:

  • NOT: Returns the opposite, so 1 returns 0 and vice versa.
  • AND: If both values are 1, the output is 1. Otherwise, the output is 0.
  • OR: If either or both values are 1, the output is 1. If both are zero, the output is 0.
  • NOR(OR + NOT): If either or both are 1, the output is 0. If both are zero, the output is 1
  • NAND(AND + NOT): If both values are 1, the output is 0. Otherwise, the output is 1.
  • XOR(Exclusive OR): If both values are the same, the output is 1. Otherwise, the value is 1.
  • XNOR(Exclusive NOR): If both values are the same, the output is the opposite of the values. Otherwise, the output is 0.

Boolean values are binary, or base-2. Therefore, the digit places are powers of two. So 1 is one 20 , but 10 is one 21, or 2.

This leads to interesting addition.
0+0=0
0+1=1
1+1=10
10+1=11
11+1=100

A Boolean memory value is called a bit. 8 bits make a byte. A byte therefore has 256 different possible values. Other storage values are:

Kilo (K)
2^10 = 1,024 bytes
Mega (M)
2^20 = 1,048,576
Giga (G)
2^30 = 1,073,741,824
Tera (T)
2^40 = 1,099,511,627,776
Peta (P)
2^50 = 1,125,899,906,842,624
Exa (E)
2^60 = 1,152,921,504,606,846,976
Zetta (Z)
2^70 = 1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424
Yotta (Y)
2^80 = 1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176

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Every website has an unique name and one of several top-level domains, or extensions. Each means a different thing:

The five original top-level domains:

.com: The most common domain, it originally referred to a commercial site, but now is used by most websites due to its commonness. It became widely used when it was released for public use. It is operated by Verisign.

.org: .org is the most common domain after .com. It originally was for non-profit organizations, but, like .com, was opened to the public and became widely used. It is operated by the Public Interest Registry.

.net : Originally for network service providers, .net was opened to the public and became used like an alternative to .com. It is now operated by Verisign.

.edu: .edu is used for educational sites. It is operated by Verisign and has restraints.

.gov: .gov is intended for United States government sites. It is operated by GSA.

.mil: .mil is intended for the United States military sites. It is sponsored by the DoD.

Other domains:

Country Codes: each country has a two letter domains such as .uk or .cn.

.web: site about the WWW(World Wide Web)

.biz: domain for small internet businesses. Rarely used now.

.name: domain for personal use, the only one intended for such.

.info: information or resource site. Signifies a credible site.

.mobi: specifies a mobile site, designed for a mobile device.

.tv: specifies a site with rich multimedia content, such as videos.

.example: subdomain for documentation

If you are planning to buy a good laptop for business, travel, or just at home use, then this is a good PC for you. It’s called the Gateway – 15.6″ Laptop Model NE56R48U. For the duration of this article, it will be referred to as the Gateway PC. This well-rounded computer is 15 inches across and 10 of depth. It is 1.3 inches tall,and is only 5 pounds. Overall, it’s a decent size. The Gateway PC comes with an high definition widescreen, and with an Intel support audio system, also HD. A duel core processor gives this machine enough processing power to run all of your favorite programs. Not only that, but with a maximum of 8 gigabytes of RAM, it can run them at the same time. But the deal doesn’t stop there. The Gateway PC has 2.2 gigahertz, so it surfs the web at a great speed. The 6 cell lithium ion battery lets you go on for hours before you need to plug it into a wall socket. The Gateway PC has 320 gigabytes of storage, so you can save every picture and word document, and every video you record with the built-in webcam. But the best part is that this amazing laptop is only $320! You can buy one here.

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Cloud Computing. When it came out, some people went wild, while others said, “what are we going to do with this?”

What is it? The Cloud is simply a term referring to any server that consumers can store and edit data on. What makes it special is that you can view and edit the same data no matter where you are, whatever device you are on.

People worried about its security. If you consider what it is, it’s as secure as your internet connection. If you use it in a non-secure connection, people can get your data.

In fact, the Cloud has been used for years, in the simple “I’ll email myself with it as an attachment,” which is basically using your email client‘s server as a Cloud.

“Is the Cloud affected if it rains?” Of course not, the Cloud is not in the clouds!

Some popular clouds are Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, Box, and Microsoft SkyDrive. Personal clouds can be created on personal servers relatively easily.

The Cloud can be an amazing productivity tool, or a useless gimmick. What it is for you is in the clouds!