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Some Notes On Computers For Kids

Anyone who has not been in a young children's classroom for thirty years or probably even ten years might have a hard time guessing which age group the apparatus is meant for. Kids these days are much more aware of what adults would call the 'adult world', because kids grow up so fast now that they are invading the adult world.

There are still lots of adults who are wary of computers, but not a lot children are that frightened by them. Children love the Internet and are not worried of using computers to access it. Older individuals have a reverence for computers that children have never picked up.

They are not in awe of them - there is no mystique about computers for them. Computers are simply normal items to them. Kids may not understand how they work, but hey! that's a fact of most items as far as children are concerned.

This is perhaps something that parents ought to consider while preparing their children for school or even kindergarten - not that children need a great deal of encouragement to play on the Internet. Most parents have more trouble keeping them off it!

Anyway, the fact is that many contemporary kindergartens have computers for the kids to get on line. This does not mean that the children are being forced to go on line, it is just that there is a lot of educational material on line that teachers can use in these times of cut-backs on resources and kids and their parents expect to see a computer in the classroom as well.

It is worth talking to the school teacher and finding out what degree of computer knowledge is expected of kids going to that school. It will not be high, but it is worth being sure that they are up to that level, even if it is just so that they do not feel out of place in class.

The access that these school computers have to the Internet will be fairly restricted, so there is no need to worry that the kids will be seeing inappropriate material and you should set up an 'account' or 'user profile' on your home computer that is similar to the one in school.

This is done by the use of programs known as 'net nannies'. You can also use the net nanny built into Windows and you can block individual web sites too. Enquire of what system is in use at school and how it is configured. Copy that onto your home computer but only configure your children's account(s) with it.

This means that everyone in the household will have to log in at home: The kids will log in to an account with restricted access and the adults will log into an account or accounts with unlimited access. This is not hard to set up.

This is not a fail-safe method of preventing older children from accessing unsuitable web sites, but it is all you will need for keeping young children safe, although parents should always show an interest in what their children are doing on line and they should change their passwords frequently.


Screen Shots From Halo 3

When a video game series is as widely famous as the Halo series, which includes Halo 3, of course, then it's bound to result in there being many screenshots takes. This piece concentrates on some of the weird and wild Halo 3 screenshots.

Before mentioning the Halo 3 screenshots specifically, let's take a look at the figures that generate all of this media. Over 9 million copies of Halo 3 have been sold to date. That means that if every person who purchased the game plays for only 10 hours, there are more than 90 million hours of game time from which to choose screen shots. A lot can happen in 90 million hours, and with all the picture-uploading websites online, a lot of it has been documented.

One of the things in Halo 3 that has often been documented in Halo 3 screenshots is what Master Chief looks like or more specifically, what his face looks like. If you use a search engine to look up the top 10 Halo 3 screenshots, you'll find a screenshot of Master Chief lying dead on the ground, clearly not showing a face inside his helmet. This explains why we never see his face, say many players, because he does not really have one.

Another of the Halo 3 screenshots featuring in the top 10 Halo 3 screenshots is that of a Marine getting hammered on a floodgate. Someone commented that it looks a little bit like Han Solo when he was frozen in Carbonite. And guess what? - they're absolutely right.

The designers of Halo 3 decided to make it much simpler for players to grab Halo 3 screenshots and to share them on the Internet. In order to achieve this, they created a 'Saved Films' feature in the video game. This feature permits players to slow down the action, or even to freeze it, change the camera position and even move the camera around to get exactly the screenshot they would like to see. Generally speaking, the 'Save Films' feature records all the action that takes place in the game, so it can later be turned into videos are screenshots.

Yet another feature that has a lot to do with Halo 3 screenshots in the 'Save Films' feature, is the viewing of previously saved films. You see, the saves are not just pictures or film, they are actual game data. This means two things: A] the file size is very small and B] the whole game can be replayed from different viewpoints on the Xbox 360.

That means that a person could watch a game again and again, finding new things in new places every time they look at it. That's a great deal better than plain Halo 3 screenshots.


How To Add An External Hard Drive To A Playstation 3 Or Xbox 360

Add More Storage to Your Gaming Console With an External Hard Drive

If you have a gaming console that came with a small hard drive or no hard drive at all, then adding an external hard drive is a reasonably quick and simple solution. Sure, you can replace the original hard drives that came in the system with a larger one, but those laptop hard drives can get quite expensive, especially in the larger capacities. An external hard drive will let you add more storage at a much lower price while at the same time allowing you to control the content yourself. On a system like an Xbox 360, you cannot add content to the built in hard drive unless it is downloaded from Xbox Live or ripped from a CD. With an external hard drive, you have full control of your content, and can easily upload or download new content without much trouble.

Choosing Your External Hard Drive

Naturally, you will need a hard drive and an enclosure. Almost any USB external hard drive will work for your purposes. The main difference is if you are looking for portability vs. storage size. If you have some laptop hard drives lying around, then buy a 2.5" laptop hard drive enclosure. The advantages of using a smaller laptop hard drive are that it will be much smaller and much more portable, and will most likely not require a power supply. However, laptop hard drives usually pale in capacity compared to regular 3.5" hard drives of the same price. A 3.5" external hard drive will store much more content but will probably require an extra power port. If your gaming console is usually located in one location and not likely to move around, a 3.5" external hard drive might be the best solution. Check out http://www.iomagic.com/Products/show_all_results.asp?ProdID=I1000HD35 to learn more about external hard drive benefits.

Formatting Your Hard Drive

Gaming consoles need an external hard drive that is formatted in the FAT32 file system. You can use virtually any hard drive currently sold on the market, as FAT32 can support hard drives up to 2 Terabytes in size. However, the limitation of FAT32 is that it cannot hold individual files larger then 4GB in size. Also, Windows 2000 and XP cannot create or format partitions larger than 32GB. Windows 98 users can only create and partition hard drives up to 127GB in size. So, in order to create a FAT32 partition and format it above the 32GB or 127GB limitations, you will need a utility like Partition Magic or some other drive/partition utility. I highly recommend CompuApps Swissknife, which can be downloaded for free at download.com for PC users. Mac OSX users can simply open /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app, choose the desired drive, and click on the Erase. Choose 'MS-DOS (FAT)' and then click on the 'Erase' button. You should now have a hard drive formatted in FAT32.

Once your drive is done formatting in FAT32, it's simply a matter of uploading content to your new drive and connecting it to your gaming console. Simply connect your USB cable to an available USB port on the front of your Playstation 3, or the back of your Xbox 360. Your game console should recognize your new device automatically, and allow you to browse your new files on the external hard drive. Visit http://www.iomagic.com/Products/show_all_results.asp?ProdID=I250HD35 to learn more about an external hard drive that may best suit your gaming needs.


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