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Monthly Archives: November 2017

Efficient Types of Capacitors

Capacitor is an essential part of every electronic circuit system. It can be classified based on the type of material used in the electrical insulator.
They are used extensively in electronic circuits with the purpose of blocking direct current (DC), thereby allowing alternate current (AC) in filter networks and outputs of power supplies.


These are the most popularly used capacitors, which have a wide tolerance capacity ((-)50% – (+)100%). This type consists of two plates (made of aluminum or tantalum), which are wound around each other. The dielectric filled between these plates is mostly a thin layer of oxide (less than 10 microns). The two popular kinds available in the market are aluminum and tantalum. These are polarized and hence proper care must be taken when fixing them in electronic circuits. If connected incorrectly, they may get damaged.
Usage: They have a large capacitance value. Hence, they are widely used as coupling capacitors in audio applications and in smoothing applications for power supplies to reduce ripple voltages.

These are the simplest form of capacitors, which contain a set of moving plates. These plates mesh with another set of fixed plates. The position of the moving plates with respect to that of the fixed plates determines the capacitance generated.
Usage: They are widely used in tuning transmitters and receivers. They are also used in transistor radios.

Film capacitors have a capacitance value of 5 pF – 100 pF (pico farad). The basic difference between these and the other types is in their dielectric property. There are two kinds available – radial lead type and axial lead type. The former one has metal film electrodes containing a dielectric layer between them, whereas the latter one has metal sheets wrapped around the electrode with dielectric material sandwiched within the sheets. The most common kind available in market are Mylar, polystyrene, polypropylene, and Teflon capacitors.
Usage: They are mainly used in devising circuits for harmonic filtering and reactive energy compensation.

These are also known as disc capacitors. They are made by coating the sides of a ceramic disk with silver. One can make both low capacitance and high capacitance in this type, by changing the thickness of the ceramic disc used. For low capacitance values, a ceramic disc (3 – 6 mm ) can be used. They usually have a high dielectric constant and show non-linear changes in capacitance value when exposed to high temperatures, as they are non-polarized devices. Their voltage ratings are usually low and capacitance value ranges between a few picofarads to 1 micro farad.
Usage: They are used as bypass capacitors in decoupling circuits.

All the above listed types are used in almost all industrial applications based on electromagnetism, be it coupling and decoupling circuits or smoothing the power supplies. Capacitors are like storage wells of energy, where the stored energy is called voltage. Even the door bell of your home has this component. This is how this tiny component serves a big purpose in this electronically run world today.

Become a Computer Programmer

You are reading this web page right now because of millions of lines of programming code, written to make the working of the world wide web, the web browser, and your operating system possible. The virtual world of the Internet and the graphic user interface of your operating system, is a product of programming code.

Becoming a programmer is all about learning to solve problems creatively and analytically. Every advanced electronic device has embedded software inside, which makes its working possible. Right from your digital watch, to your smartphone and your computer, embedded programming code, along with the embedded computer chips, make all the functioning of these devices possible. The unsung but well-paid heroes, who put in their logic, in creation of these software programs, are the programmers.
Becoming a Programmer
Know what you are getting into before deciding to become a programmer. What does it mean to become one? It is about creating an algorithm or a sequence of instructions, for the electronic brain of the computer (computer chip) to follow, in order to get a specific task done. To be a programmer is to think for the computer and make automation possible.
Develop Your Analytical Skills
One of the necessary skills is the ability to think on your own and solve problems. You need to train your mind to arrive at a solution to a problem, in the shortest possible way. An attitude to analyze a problem, formulate a strategy, and execute it with precision, to find a solution, is what is needed.
Learn Programming Languages
To solve a problem in computing, you need to develop an algorithm first and then translate it into a machine language for the computer to understand. The algorithm needs to be written in a programming language and then needs to be further converted into a machine level language, which your computer understands through an interpreter program. You need to know more than one computer programming languages, that are used for different purposes. If your logic is sound, expressing it in any programming language, shouldn’t be a problem. Start with ‘C’ or Python, and then move over to object oriented languages like C++ and Java. You may need to learn newer languages for certain application like Perl or Lisp. You need to practice writing programs in various languages, to get a hang of it. All computer programs, including antivirus software and computer operating systems, began from scratch, as programming code.

Use the Print Screen Key

The print screen key is a seemingly dormant one, and it is rarely used. Different computer manufacturers have different methods of naming this key, but its location is pretty much constant in every keyboard. Its position is right after the function keys, and there are many people who think that pressing it directly commands the computer to take a printout of the current screen. This is not true, as its function is to take a screen snapshot, and to store it on your clipboard for further use. The clipboard is an invisible medium that comes into play, whenever we are transferring files or folders. Whenever we cut or copy something, the item is temporarily stored on the clipboard, before we actually paste it elsewhere.

Open the screen that you wish to copy.
Now, press the print screen key (‘PrtScn’), and the mirror image of that screen will be stored on your desktop.
Open an image editing application like Microsoft Paint.
Paste the screenshot in this application either by pressing Control + V, or by going to the Edit menu and selecting Paste.
You can either enlarge this image, or you can even crop it, according to your requirement.
Save the file at a suitable location, and it is now ready for use. You can either view it and use it for some other purpose, or you can even send it to another person.
You can even use this method on laptops for a similar purpose. Various laptop brands have differing nomenclatures and positions for this key.

The image will be saved in the Bitmap (.bmp) format. You can also change the format to GIF. Do not use the JPEG format, as it makes the text appear as unclear and blurry. You can press ALT + PrtScn to copy a screenshot of a selected window on your monitor, instead of the entire screen itself. This means that you don’t have to crop the picture in your image editing program.

Using Print Screen in Mac OS
An Apple Mac is very different from a machine using Windows XP or Windows Vista Operating System, and it doesn’t consist of a print screen button. But, the method of taking a screenshot is slightly different from that of a Windows-based computer.

Method # 1
Open the screen that you wish to capture.
Press the ‘Apple’ key + Shift + 3.
Click on the window.
The image of your screenshot will be automatically saved on your desktop.

Method # 2
This is for capturing just a portion of your screen.
Open the screen and press the Apple key + Shift + 4.
The mouse cursor will change to a “+” sign. You can use it to drag and highlight the area that you want to capture.
After this, the screenshot image will be saved on your desktop.

Method # 3
This method is used to capture a screenshot of a particular application window.
Open the screen and press the Apple key + Shift + 4.
The mouse cursor will change to “+”. Press Space bar once, and the cursor will further change to the shape of a camera.
Use it to click on the application window, which you wish to capture.
The corresponding image will be saved on your desktop.

Once you have figured it out, and mastered how to use the above mentioned methods in Windows and Mac, you can utilize this key for a number of purposes. It is indeed a very handy tool, and one that has been around ever since computers were invented.

Check Computer History

If a computer is being used by multiple users, the administrator will want to keep a watch on the activities that are carried out from that machine. Monitoring keeps a check on whether a malicious or potentially dangerous or unwanted file has been downloaded from the Internet into the system. At the same time, it also helps parents to monitor children’s activities. This article will provide you the ways of how to check computer history.


Checking browsing data is not a very lengthy process. Here is how to go about it in Windows Vista. In Internet Explorer, follow the simple steps given below.
In Internet Explorer 7, click on the Tools tab.
In the drop-down box that appears, you will come across Explorer Bar tab. Move your mouse pointer over the tab.
Now you will see History tab there. Click on it.
A sidebar will appear, in which there will be browsing data according to the date.
If you click on the particular date, you will be able to see the list of websites that were visited.
Scroll down to see the URL or name of every website that was visited.

On Mozilla FirefoxMethod # 1
Double click on Mozilla Firefox to launch the browser on your machine.
Now click on ‘History’ tab on the text menu bar at the top of the browser.
Scroll down to see the list of websites visited in the library box.

Method # 2
Click on View tab. You will see the ‘Sidebar’ tab.
Click on the Sidebar tab, you will see the option for History. Click on it. You will be able to see the sidebar.
You can also make use of the shortcut ‘Ctrl + H’ to view this sidebar.
Here, you can check the browsing data by date.

Internet History Tracking

You can keep a track of Internet data in a number of ways. In Internet Explorer, there are temporary Internet files, which help in speeding up web browsing. These files can be used for tracking. If you have a trained eye, you will be able to understand the browsing habits very easily. Internet Explorer also has an auto-complete feature, which can be used to keep track. If you are worried about your privacy, you may opt to clean up the temporary Internet files by going to the Tools menu and from there to Internet Options, and clear the cache under the General and Content tabs.
If your child has cleared the browsing data, you will still be able to check it. Internet Explorer uses index.dat file. This file has both, the Temporary Internet Files as well as the Browsing History. It does not get deleted when the data is cleared using other methods.