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August 2013 | Issue 2.


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Geek Trivia...

What Famed Geeky Television Show Was Originally Known As “Owl Stretching Time”?

  1. Sliders
  2. Doctor Who
  3. Monty Python's Flying Circus
  4. Star Trek

E-mail the Geeks with your guess!

This Month in TECH...

Linux in the Works in August 1991!

August 25, 1991: Linus Torvalds posts a message to the Internet newsgroup comp.os.minix with the subject line “What would you like to see most in minix?” This is the first announcement that he is working on an operating system that will one day become Linux.

TECH Did You Know?

TECH TERM: User Account

Although user accounts and user profiles seem interchangeable (and in many systems they are directly linked), the user account is distinct from the user profile in that the user account is primarily used to manage security permissions, while the user profile is used to manage superficial elements like the user interface.

In a typical computer system, the user accounts are divided between standard and administrator accounts, where in the standard users can use the machine, launch applications, and save data, but only the administrators can completely control the computer (including adding and removing software, adding and removing users, and other tasks).

For More Info...

For more information about Great Basin College, please visit our website:

Great Basin College website


Battery myths revealed:

Batteries need to be cared for properly — they are a critical part of all mobile devices

Unfortuantely, battery technology has not advanced as fast as other technologies and there exists a lot of incorrect information about batteries out there. Some of the big myths come from old battery technologies others are simply false.

The skinny:

Perform shallow discharges and avoid frequent full discharges. Old NiMH and NiCd batteries had a “memory effect” and had to be completely discharged from 100% to 0% to keep their capacity. Modern devices use Lithium Ion batteries, which work differently and have no memory effect. You should try to perform shallow discharges — discharge the battery to something like 40-70% before recharging it. Try to never let your battery go below 20% except in rare circumstances.

Heat and cold can damage batteries. Heat can reduce a battery’s capacity. This affects all types of devices — even smartphones heat up when performing demanding tasks — but laptops can become hottest of all when under load. Your climate is also a concern. If it gets very hot where you live or you store your device somewhere that gets very hot — say, a hot car left in the sun on a summer day — your battery will wear down faster. Keep your devices near room temperature and avoid storing them in very hot places, such as hot cars on summer days. Extreme cold temperatures can decrease the lifespan of your battery, too. Don’t put a spare battery in the freezer or expose any device with a battery to similarly cold temperatures if you’re in a region with cold temperatures

Like all other types of batteries, Li-ion batteries will wear down over time, holding less and less charge. The batteries can still be used after this point, but they’ll hold less electricity and will power your devices for shorter and shorter periods of time. They’ll continue losing capacity the more you use them. Heat and aging will reduce the battery’s life, too. Whatever you do, your devices’ batteries will slowly wear down over time. With proper care, you can make them hold a long charge for longer — but there’s no stopping entropy. Hopefully, your device will be due for an upgrade by the time its battery dies.

Tips & Tricks...


Need a quick inventory of the software installed on your PC? Never fear...MS Power Shell is here!

Suppose someone asks you for a list of applications you have installed on your computer. To get this information, what’s the first thing you would think to use? Third-party program? Not us, we have PowerShell.

Getting a list of installed software is as simple as using this straightforward query.

First, launch MS Power Shell. It can be found by clicking the Start button and selecting All Programs then Accessories, then Windows Power Shell, and finally Windows Power Shell (x86).

Now’s the slightly tricky part. At the blinking cursor enter Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Select-Object -Property Name so it looks like the following graphic:

 Power Shell graphic

Next, hit the Enter key. In a few moments you will have a nice list of software installed on your PC.

You will probably want to export this to a file to make it easier and more convenient to read. To accomplish this and send the output using the > symbol and adding the path to a new text file, issue the command at the prompt:

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Select-Object -Property Name > C:\Users\[your user]\Documents\PCapps.txt.

For example:

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Select-Object -Property Name > C:\Users\GBC\Documents\PCapps.txt

You can now navigate to your documents folder using Windows Explorer and review your new installed PC applications text file.

That's all there is to it!

GBC’s Leonard Center

The Campus Techie E-newsletter
Great Basin College - 1500 College Parkway - Elko, Nevada 89801 - 775.753.2246
A member institution of the Nevada System of Higher Education
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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