Archive for the ‘Industry Experts’ Category

DDR vs. DDR2: Speed and Access Time

DDR SDRAM can be considered one of the driving factors behind the increase of computing speed. The memory essentially doubled the speed potential of the older SDR SDRAM by use of a process known as “double pumping”. DDR has become enough of an industry standard that it has no true competitor, save its own later iterations. The memory market of today has seen a growth from DDR SDRAM to DDR2 and DDR3. The main difference between the types of memory is one of underlying speed, with different models allowing for speedier computation. Most computer users will wrongly assume that the newer iterations of DDR are always better, but the truth of the matter is far more interesting.

DDR vs. DDR2

One might think that DDR2 is innately superior to DDR, but this is a common misconception. The real performance issues are largely a matter of clock rate performance. DDR2 that operates at the same data bus clock rate as DDR SDRAM will actually experience inferior performance, as latency will be driven up. For this reason, DDR2 is most effective when its clock runs at double the speed of DDR SDRAM, allowing the DDR2 to cut the latency in half.

In layman’s terms, this means that not all DDR2 SDRAM is actually a better choice than DDR. It takes the right kind of product functioning at the right kind of speed to make a real difference. Well-made, well-configured DDR2 will always be superior to its DDR counterpart, but it is important to pay attention to the models available and the underlying speed issues.

Talking Speed

It might be simpler to look at data transfer rates to learn the difference between DDR and DDR2. The rather higher-end PC-3200 module of DDR is able to transfer data at a rate of 3200MB per second, while the lower-end PC2-3200 module of DDR2 can accomplish the same task. One can see the difference, though, in the latency numbers. PC-3200 simply runs with lower latency than PC2-3200, often making it a better choice. At the same time, though, difference become more apparent as DDR2 becomes more sophisticated. PC2-8500 actually tops out with a transfer rate of over 8,533MB per second, with a latency time of even less than the PC2-3200. In terms of speed, then, it is the higher-quality DDR2 SDRAM that really takes the performance edge, while lower-performing DDR2 simply has no way to compete with the far more effective DDR SDRAM.

If you are looking to build a computer, it is always wise to consider y the impact of SDRAM. You should make sure that you take the time to remember the differences between the different types of DDR memory and that the newer memory types are not always going to be the best. Memory is one of the few areas of computer building in which it is generally better to go after the higher-end products, with pieces like the PC2-8500 or even the newer PC3-10600 providing better access speed than their forebears do. If you need to upgrade from your old PC-800 or merely want to take a look at the future of computing, learning a bit about the DDR memory is a good place to start.

How secure is the DiskGo secure Guardian Flash Drive

Edge Tech Corp’s DiskGo Guardian flash drive utilizes The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) which is a strong encryption algorithm that is commonly used worldwide. AES uses three different key sizes of 128 bits, 192 bits and 256 bits. The Guardian uses a 256 bit key, which is called AES256 and currently considered the strongest mathematical encryption algorithm in use.

AES was adopted from the Rijndael encryption algorithm and was chosen by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is a federal technology agency that develops and promotes standards. AES is fast, secure and is less resource intensive than other encryption algorithms.

By trying every possible key, such as in a brute force attack, it would take “far longer than the age of the universe to complete.”  When the AES process was completed, a scientist by the name of Bruce Schneier that was competing with the Rijndael team said in a quote, “I do not believe that anyone will ever discover an attack that will allow someone to read Rijndael traffic.”

Now, with all of this being said, the weakness in this method is the user’s password. It is much more likely for a hacker to crack the password on the unit than the encryption algorithm. The Guardian requires a strong password which requires uppercase letter, lowercase letters and symbols to be used. An example of a strong password is Edg3Te(h. Do not use cognitive passwords since they can be easily detected through the use of password cracking programs.

 

Excerpts for this article were taken from: CompTIA Security+ by Darril Gibson.

 

Ask A Designer: David Airey

What tools of the trade do you use to make your life as a designer easier?

I use the same tools that any other designer will. My brain. A pen/pencil. A sketchpad. A computer. Adobe’s Creative Suite. The Internet. A desk and chair. Some of these change slightly as electronics become more powerful, and as I learn more about life, but essentially, we’re all using the same tools. It’s how we use them that makes the difference.

 What is your next planned software or hardware purchase?

No plans. I recently bought a new iMac, but there’s nothing else I need at present.

What do you see as the next evolution in design in terms of trends?

I really don’t pay a lot of attention to trends (as I define the word). To me, a trend is like everyone wearing denim shirts, or cutting their hair a particular way — basically anything fashion-related. If a design project is based upon a trend, the client will need an update upon every whim of the public. Good design is timeless.

Could you share a favorite recent design project that you worked on and tell us a little about it?

A fairly recent project was for a New York-based company named Pinebank: http://www.davidairey.com/pinebank-asset-management/ (portfolio updates to follow soon).

 What are your favorite websites or blogs that you frequent?

Here are the design blogs on my subscription list: http://www.davidairey.com/design-blogs/ (I spend a little time most days checking my feed reader).

 Any advice or tips for someone wanting to become a designer or improve their quality of work?

Plenty. Here are a collection of blog posts aimed specifically at design students and self-employed designers: http://www.davidairey.com/advice-for-design-students/ (the reader comments are well worth a look).

 Have you found a particular theme or industry that has become your favorite to work with and/or design around?

One favourite aspect of my job is how with almost every new client, I’m learning about a new industry or profession. This keeps me motivated, because in one respect my clients are paying me to learn about them and their businesses, and who can complain about being paid to learn? Sure, I do a lot more than simply research, but it’s an important part of the process. To answer your question, there’s not one particular client industry that I enjoy more than another. They’re all fascinating in their own unique ways.

Having worked in both the UK and USA, have you found that there’s typically a great difference in design trends between the two countries? If so, what differences have you noticed?

Trends again. They come and go. What ties the most successful design studios and agencies together is their ability to create design that’s appropriate for the client, more distinctive than the competition, memorable for the onlooker, and adaptable across a wide range of media. Such studios can be found all over the world.

David Airey is a graphic designer specializing in brand identities, a design author, and creator of two blogs centered around various topics in graphic design.

 

Portfolio: http://www.davidairey.com/portfolio/

Blogs: logodesignlove.com and davidairey.com.

Ask a Designer: Jessica Greenwalt

 Who or what influenced you to get into the design field?

I have loved creating for as long as I can remember. I love to design and build a wide variety of things. When I was younger, I would create comic books, music, paintings, stories, clothes, toys, accessories, and anything else I was interested in at the time.

At one point, I realized that I wanted to be an artist when I “grew up” because I wanted to spend every day creating new and interesting things. I knew what I wanted to do; I just didn’t know how I would make a living off of art until I discovered the Digital Arts class offered at my high school. This class introduced me to the world of graphic design and, as a result, the possibility of being paid to create ideas and art. I had found the right career for me.

Where do you get your creative inspiration?

It depends on the project. I’ve found that I can get inspiration from the most ordinary objects. There have been times when I’ve developed the design of an entire project around a single word.

What tools of the trade do you use to make your life as a designer easier?

I use the Adobe Creative Suite for the majority of my design work. I also use almost any browser you can think of to test websites, although I’m not sure if this makes my life easier.

I know for a fact that my life as a designer is made easier by my Wacom tablet. I can create things quickly with my Wacom, and it doesn’t leave my wrists in pain like a standard mouse does.

What is your next planned software or hardware purchase?

I would like to get a Cintiq21UX. It is a giant Wacom tablet with a built-in display. It looks amazing, and I’m willing to bet it would speed up my design process exponentially.

What do you see as the next evolution in design in terms of trends?

I believe companies will be requesting more websites and other design projects that are designed to appeal especially to women. This will result in more projects with feminine colors and patterns, curves, rounded corners, and a crafty or handmade look.

This quarter, every potential client who has contacted me for a project has requested a feminine look.

Could you share a favorite recent web or graphic design project that you worked on and tell us a little about it?

I recently began volunteering as a teaching assistant for a program that educates middle school students about the graphic design industry. This is just one step in my larger project of becoming a design teacher. One day, I would love to teach design at the college level.

What are your favorite websites or blogs that you frequent?

http://www.mashable.com

http://www.smashingmagazine.com

http://www.twitter.com

http://www.thedailyshow.com

Any advice or tips for someone wanting to become a designer or improve their quality of work?

Continue learning. Be interested in many things, and continue learning new things. By cultivating a broad knowledge of diverse fields, you are able to discover more connections and develop more new and interesting ideas. 

Take the time to learn about your client’s company, products and services, and target market. The more research you do, the more informed your design decisions will be—resulting in a more effective design. 

Have you found a particular theme or industry that has become your favorite to work with and/or design around?

One of the reasons I enjoy being a freelancer is because it presents me with the opportunity to interact with and learn about many different industries. I like the variety. I never know who will contact me with an interesting project next.

 

Jessica Greenwalt is a freelance graphic designer, web developer, and illustrator with 6+ years of experience in all three areas. After speaking with Jessica, it is obvious that the passion for creating that she felt as a young girl has not faded during her years as an adult in the industry. She has worked with a variety of clients all over the world, is involved with several organizations, and is taking steps to accomplish her goal of eventually teaching design at the college level.

Portfolio: http://www.jgreenwalt.com/portfolio/portfolio.html

 

Ask A Designer: Casey Bartholomew

 

Who or what influenced you to get into the design field?

I happened to stumble into the field by meeting with a career assessment counselor in college. She suggested graphic design, I didn’t know what that really was but knew I was interested in anything having to do with design.

Where do you get your creative inspiration?

I try to be inspired by the unexpected, be it a magazine spread, a beautifully designed clothing tag, television graphics, decorating catalogs, things I love around my house. I find it fulfilling to find the beauty in something and turn that into an idea I can use for something else.

What tools of the trade do you use to make your life as a designer easier?

I just started using Zoo Tools, a bookmarking organizer which not only makes my design life easier – but my life in general a lot easier!

What is your next planned software or hardware purchase?

I just got my first iPhone and iPad – yes, I’m the last person on earth to get an iPhone! I was waiting for Verizon to carry the iPhone. I’m in the market for a new Mac though.

What do you see as the next evolution in design in terms of trends?

I see design becoming more streamlined and minimal. In terms of website design, there’s a need for versatility and flexibility that design needs to comply with like never before. I’m also hoping one day to see standards being raised for good web design.

Could you share a favorite recent web or graphic design project that you worked on and tell us a little about it?

I designed this website for Aspiranet, a group of community-based networks located throughout California. http://www.aspiranet.org/. I really love the colors used and the super navigation. It was a challenge to condense a huge amount of information into a clear and concise design that delivers one message.

What are your favorite websites or blogs that you frequent?

Mashable, Smashing Magazine, Colour Lovers, Pattern Tap and Site Inspire. Plus I never miss a day of my favorite celebrity gossip blog DListed.

Any advice or tips for someone wanting to become a designer or improve their quality of work?

I’m finding a lot a students coming out of design school are not well-versed in web design. It’s important to make sure you find a design program that at least offers 50/50 print and web – you want to have as much flexibility and skills as you can in your career. As far as becoming a better designer, when you think you’ve arrived at the “perfect” design, try doing one more version. Sometimes you’ll get something great out of that other version.

Casey is a website and graphic designer specializing in website design, e-newsletters, branding and print design. Her background includes roughly a decade of website and print design experience, as well as Art Direction.

Portfolio: http://www.coroflot.com/cbgraphicdesigner