Archive for the ‘comptia a+ certification’ Category

How to get a job in healthcare IT

How to get a job in healthcare IT
Electronic records. Digital and wireless medical devices. Healthcare reform. Aging population. All signs point to healthcare as a stable, long-term choice for IT careers.

Looking for an industry with long-term stability for your IT career? There’s probably no safer bet than healthcare. Redwood City, Calif.-based recruiting firm Robert Half Technology tracked the top five fastest-growing industries in the United States in nine separate regions in 2012; in seven of the nine regions, healthcare ranked first or second, and it was third in the other two regions. And in four of those regions, the associated industry of medical technology showed up as well.

Likewise, in its 2012 survey, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives reported that average salaries for senior healthcare IT positions ranged from $128,193 for directors of IS or IT up to $310,326 for CIOs. (According to Salary.com, the comparative average salary across all IT verticals is higher for a director of IT but lower for a CIO.)

And current rates are trending in the $400,000 range for chief medical information officers, executives who combine both medical and informatics degrees, according to medical executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, based in Oak Brook, Ill.

If those quantitative measures aren’t enough for you, consider the qualitative evidence. Healthcare, perhaps more than any other industry, is beset by change — with a lot of mandated by new laws and regulations that can only efficiently be implemented through technology. Add to that the increasing use of electronic medical records (EMRs), digital and wireless medical devices and a bulge in the aging population, and healthcare’s viability as a career couldn’t be clearer.


 

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Database Certifications

Popular database certifications are always in demand, whether it’sMicrosoft’s MCTS and MCITP, Oracle’s OCA, OCP and OCM or MySql’s CMA, CMDEV and CMDBA.

Are you a database professional seeking to polish your resume in the hopes of landing a better gig? Perhaps you’re just getting started in database administration and you’d like to establish your credentials in the field. Database vendors offer a variety of professional certification programs that can help you advance your career while gaining valuable technical skills. After all, even the most seasoned professional has yet to fully explore some nook or cranny of the field that’s covered on a certification exam.

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So, where do you start? Most database certs are vendor-specific, so you’ll want to earn a certification from the company that puts out the software you’re currently working with or would like to work with in the future. We’ll take a brief look at the credentials available from the major vendors.

If you’re an Oracle guru, the Oracle Certified Professional program may be for you. There’s one catch to this program, however. Before receiving any Oracle credential, all candidates must take at least one instructor-led course. If you’re like me and you just want to pick up the book, study and take the exam, you’re out of luck here. Oracle’s program includes three tiers of certification, beginning with the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Associate (OCA), progressing through the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (OCP) and culminating with the Oracle Database Administrator Certified Master (OCM). Each certification is version-specific, so you’ll need to update your certification each time a new version of Oracle rolls off the production line.

On the other hand, if you work in a Microsoft shop, you should consider one of several certifications:
• If you’re maintaining Microsoft Access databases for your organization, the simplest database credential is the Microsoft Office Specialist Access Track. This is a one-exam certification that covers basic knowledge of Microsoft Access 2003 and Access XP topics. Users of Access 2007 should instead prepare for the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) program.
• The Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist (MCTS) credential is the entry-level certification for SQL Server professionals. There are three different certification paths: MCTS SQL Server 2008 Implementation and Maintenance, MCTS SQL Server 2008 Database Development and MCTS SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance. Each requires only a single exam and may be used to build toward higher-level Microsoft certifications
• The Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP) credential is the premier certification for SQL Server administrators. It also comes in three variations. If you already hold the MCTS in SQL Server 200 Implementation and Maintenance, you can upgrade it to MCITP: Database Administrator with a single exam. Similarly, those who passed the MCTS Database Development exam can become MCITP: Database Developers with one additional exam. Finally, if you’re an MCTS in Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance, you can upgrade to MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer with one test.
Finally, if you’re a MySQL user, you might find one of their four certifications useful in your career:
• The MySQL Associate (CMA) certification requires passing a single exam and attests to the holder’s knowledge of basic MySQL skills.
• MySQL database administrators may earn the Certified MySQL Database Administrator (CMDBA) certification by passing two advanced examinations.

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• Similarly, MySQL developers may earn the Certified MySQL Developer (CMDEV) credential with two development-focused exams.
• Finally, CMDBA holders may upgrade to MySQL Cluster certification by passing a single additional exam.
Once you’ve chosen a credential that’s suitable for you, it’s time to hit the books and/or take a course and get started on your way to professional certification!

Overview of Major IT Certifications

In today’s competitive IT job market, an IT certification is often a prerequisite to get a high-paying job or a salary increase. Professional certifications are the best way to demonstrate your skills and expertise in any given technical field to present to prospective employers. Through education and certification, professionals gain the skills, knowledge, and validation needed to be recognized as an expert in diverse products or technologies. MCSE Certification, CCNA Certification, A+ Certification, and SAP Certification are a few of the many certifications or credentials an IT professional may achieve.

 

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Microsoft Certifications

Microsoft certification programs are considered to be the major advancement to gain both professional and education background. The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification prove an individual’s expertise in designing and implementing the required infrastructure for any type of business solutions based on the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform and Microsoft Windows Server System. Other Microsoft certifications include MCAD (Microsoft Certified Application Developer) certification, MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Analyst) and MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer).

Cisco Certifications

The CCNA certification (Cisco Certified Network Associate) indicates a foundation in apprentice knowledge of networking with certified professionals able to install, configure, and operate WAN, LAN, and dial access services for small networks with 100 nodes or fewer. Operation and configuration services also includes but are not limited to use one but several of the following protocols: Serial, Frame Relay, IP RIP, IP, IGRP, VLANs, RIP, and Ethernet, Access Lists. CCNE, CCIE and CCNP are other Cisco certifications.

SAP Certification

SAP Certification is sponsored by SAP corporation – a leading business software (ERP, CRM and Supply Chain software) vendor. It is one of the few credentials in the world of business with additional value only issued to those professionals who demonstrated their abilities by passing demanding, process-oriented exams through rigorous study or direct experience.

A+ Certification

A+ certification is different from the others because it is not promoted by one company only, but by a whole group of PC manufacturers and other companies in the hardware market and its acceptance as an industry-wide credential offers additional benefits. A+ Certification prove the competency of entry-level service technicians in the computer industry and it is an internationally recognized testing program sponsored by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

Comptia N10-004 Exam

 

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QUESTION 1
Which of the following ports is default for DNS?

A. 53
B. 69
C. 80
D. 143

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 2
Which of the following components would be used to terminate all distribution and trunk cables in
a central office or PBX?

A. 66 block
B. MDF
C. Demarc
D. IDF

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 3
A technician has received a call from a customer stating that the customer has logged in, but
cannot access the Internet. The technician asks the customer if the gateway and the firewall can
be pinged. This is an example of which of the following troubleshooting skills?

A. Information gathering
B. Implementing and testing
C. Escalation
D. Documenting the solution

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 4
Which of the following connectors uses 9-pins?

A. LC
B. RJ-45
C. RS-232
D. BNC

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 5
Which of the following ports does IPSec use, by default?

A. 53
B. 500
C. 3389
D. 8080

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 6
Which of the following components is used to terminate a T1 connection?

A. 66 block
B. Patch panel
C. Smart jack
D. 110 block

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 7
During a new employee briefing, employees are given copies of the network user agreement, the
company network policy, and other administrative forms. Which of the following is BEST practice
when granting users access to the companys network?

A. Access is granted once each user has signed the network user agreement.
B. Access is granted once the employee briefing is concluded.
C. Access is granted once the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) signs each network agreement.
D. Access is granted at the beginning of the employee briefing meeting.

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 8
Which of the following protocols can be found at the transport layer?

A. FTP
B. SMTP
C. TCP
D. DNS

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 9
Which of the following is the maximum sustainable distance for 100Base-FX?

A. 600 feet (183 meters)
B. 1.2 miles (1.93 kilometers)
C. 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers)
D. 2,500 feet (762 meters)

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 10
Which of the following is used to relay queries from a private network to the Internet?

A. Content filter
B. Load balancer
C. Proxy server
D. Stateful firewall

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 11
Which of the following OSI layers is included in the TCP/IP models Application layer?

A. Data Link
B. Session
C. Transport
D. Network

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 12
A technician has been tasked to reduce the administrative time spent on the network. The network
uses several VLANs. Which of the following is a protocol that can be added to the switches to help
reduce administrative time?

A. MTU
B. WLAN
C. SIP
D. VTP

Answer: D

Explanation:


QUESTION 13
Which of the following tools could an administrator use to determine a workstations default
gateway?

A. route
B. nslookup
C. dig
D. ping

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 14
Which of the following routing protocols is based on being open and takes the shortest path
FIRST?

A. RIP
B. OSPF
C. EIGRP
D. IS-IS

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 15
An administrator needs to obtain the MAC address of all systems on a small SOHO network.
Which of the following is the BEST way to accomplish this?

A. Run nslookup for each IP address.
B. ARP each IP, then look in the ping table.
C. ARP poison the router, then run a network sniffer.
D. Ping each IP then look in the ARP table.

Answer: D

Explanation:


QUESTION 16
Which of the following is an example of CIDR notation?

A. ::1
B. 10.10.10.0/30
C. 10.192.30.5:22
D. 255.255.255.0

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 17
Which of the following should be used to extend the range of a network between two points where
physical media cannot be installed?

A. WAP
B. Bridge
C. Hub
D. Router

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 18
Installing specialized devices in between network resources and the Internet to distribute network
requests and ensure availability of resources is an example of which of the following network
management techniques?

A. Port mirroring
B. Load balancing
C. Port address translation
D. QoS

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 19
An administrator needs to cut a 100 pair wire in half. Which of the following tools should the
administrator use?

A. Cable stripper
B. Snips
C. Punch down tool
D. Crimper

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 20
Which of the following wireless technologies uses point-to-multipoint for data transmission?

A. 802.11g
B. 802.11n
C. 802.11b
D. 802.11a

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 21
Which of the following naming conventions takes place in the data link layer of the OSI model and
is often used in conjunction with IPv6?

A. MAC-48
B. EUI-48
C. EUI-64
D. IP address

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 22
An administrator needs to determine if the local workstation is using DHCP. Which of the following
tools would verify this?

A. hostname
B. netstat
C. ipconfig
D. nbtstat

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 23
A technician is setting up a network for 25 users at a remote location. All of the users share a
single Internet connection. The ISP provides a single IP address for the location. Which of the
following addressing mechanisms should the technician use to provide access and IP addresses
for all 25 users?

A. NAT
B. Proxy
C. Gateway
D. DNS

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 24
Which of the following is MOST likely to be used for telephone wires connected to the plain old
telephone service (POTS)?

A. 66 block
B. 110 block
C. CAT6 patch panels
D. Smart jacks

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 25
Which of the following would an administrator do NEXT once an action plan has been created?

A. Find new symptoms and issues.
B. Identify more areas that may be affected.
C. Determine if escalation is necessary.
D. Implement the plan and test it.

Answer: D

Explanation:


QUESTION 26
An office is using 802.11a to network the entire office. When a visitor brings a personal laptop to
the office, the visitor is not able to connect to the network. Which of the following is the reason why
visitors are unable to connect?

A. Weak signal
B. Standard mismatch
C. Incorrect channel
D. Wrong DNS

Answer: B

Explanation:


QUESTION 27
172.20.0.112 represents an address at which of the following layers of the OSI model?

A. Layer 1
B. Layer 2
C. Layer 3
D. Layer 4

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 28
An administrator needs to create a subnet that will accommodate up to 4000 hosts on the same
subnet but not more than 6000. Which of the following network addresses would the administrator
use to accommodate this request?

A. 10.4.4.0/22
B. 10.10.1.0/19
C. 172.31.146.0/20
D. 192.168.100.0/23

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 29
Which of the following logical topologies uses distributed authentication?

A. Client/server
B. VLAN
C. VPN
D. P2P

Answer: D

Explanation:


QUESTION 30
A helpdesk team is unable to agree on a solution to an issue. Each technician presents their own
solution to the problem. When a solution is agreed upon, which of the following documentation
MOST likely needs to be reviewed and possibly updated?

A. Baseline
B. Wiring Schematics
C. Procedures
D. Regulations

Answer: C

Explanation:

 

 

 

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Tips for printing digital photos at home

It’s easy to capture and preserve memories as digital snapshots with Windows 7 and Windows Vista, and so is turning them into stunning scrapbooks or photo albums.

If you’d like to create professional-looking photo prints using a home PC, here are a few hints and tips that will help you produce sharper, more eye-catching results.
Photograph of red poppies in bloom

A little care is all it takes to turn photos into gorgeous prints.
Maximize image quality


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The best prints come from the finest images. Help improve picture quality by following these suggestions:
1. Increase photo resolution

As a rule, the higher the resolution, the better the picture. Most digital cameras offer a choice of settings. Check your camera’s instructions to figure out how to change the resolutions you’re using. For premium printing results, always select the maximum offered photo size and quality.

Here are some good resolution guidelines to consider:

2 megapixels: Appropriate for an attractive wallet-sized (2.5-by-3.5-inch) or album-sized (4-by-6-inch) print

3 megapixels: Minimum resolution required for projects like calendars and greeting cards or 5-by-7-inch reproductions

5 or 6 megapixels: A resolution that offers better image quality for use with craft projects. Also suitable for printing and framing an 11-by-14-inch photo for use around the home

8 megapixels: A resolution that’s capable of providing attractive 16-by-20-inch prints

10 megapixels or more: Optimal for printing larger (20-by-30-inch) projects, including posters and panoramas

The more you increase photo resolution, the more you’ll improve image clarity and detail.
Higher image resolutions (left) produce sharper snapshots.

Higher image resolutions (left) produce sharper snapshots.
2. Choose the correct file format

The JPEG file format, which compresses image data, is suitable for emailing pictures or posting them to the web. For photo-printing purposes though, it generally pays to stick with larger TIFF files. Despite consuming more space on a memory card, TIFF images are smoother, crisper, and vastly superior to their JPEG counterparts.
3. Edit and enhance images

Use programs such as Windows Live Photo Gallery (Windows 7) and Windows Photo Gallery (Windows Vista) to soften edges, experiment with lighting and color, remove blemishes from pictures, and touch up your photos. It’s a simple way to add special effects, get rid of red eye, and otherwise improve your snapshots. Read more articles about how to make simple fixes to your digital photos, take better pictures, capture the perfect moment, and create online photo albums.

Enterprising shutterbugs can even use Microsoft Photosynth to transform their images into three-dimensional scenes.
Add special effects to spice up any photo.

Add special effects to spice up any photo.
Prepare your printer

Enhance print quality by configuring your printer for optimum results.
1. Use current drivers

Drivers are software interpreters that let your computer and printer communicate. But printer manufacturers are constantly revising these drivers. Always use the most current drivers to help ensure peak performance and picture quality. Check your printer manufacturer’s website regularly for downloadable updates, or see this tutorial for advice on locating and installing them.
2. Don’t skimp on dots per inch

The higher your printer’s dots per inch (dpi) specifications, the better the prints it will produce. Avoid images which suffer from frayed and jagged edges by using a printer with 600 x 600 dpi or better printing capabilities when producing hard copies of color digital photos. You can find photo printers for sale at Microsoft Store and advice on picking the right model here.
3. Configure print quality settings

After installing your printer, check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to change print quality settings, or read this article, which covers the basics of printer selection, page orientation, and color management. Remember that it’s always important to choose the right print options and preferences before printing. Detailed instructions on how to print pictures are also available that can help you get the most from your images, as are answers to frequently asked questions.
4. Managing paper

Different types of paper, such as high gloss or card stock, require varying amounts of ink and touch-ups. When setting printing preferences, be sure to tell your printer which type you’re using to help ensure first-rate results and to avoid wasting expensive stock.
5. Ongoing maintenance

It’s a good idea to run printer alignment, color calibration, and print cartridge cleaning functions every 90 days. These practices help prevent blurring, streaking, and off-center photo prints. See your printer’s owner’s manual for instructions on how to perform this maintenance.
Pick the right paper and ink

Help improve photo prints by selecting the right choice of paper and ink to perfectly complement your images.
1. Go with photo paper

Standard printer paper isn’t suitable for creating pleasing photo prints. Unless you’re printing documents, choose a glossy or matte finish photo paper instead. Black and white prints generally look best on matte finish papers, and color tends to look best on glossy paper.
2. Creativity counts

Multiple varieties of paper stock are available, designed for a wide range of specialty uses. These special-purpose materials can enhance any photo printing project. Whether incorporating your photos into decals, business cards, or T-shirts, before starting a new project, browse the selection at your local office supply or electronics retailer.
3. Choose the right size

Photos come in many shapes and forms, from wallet-sized (2.5-by-3.5-inch) to album/scrapbook-ready (4-by-6-inch or 5-by-7-inch) prints. Match the paper to fit.

Alternately, choose a standard letter-sized (8.5-by-11-inch) paper and use Windows Photo Gallery or Windows Live Photo Gallery to squeeze several smaller images onto one sheet.
Windows Photo Viewer makes printing multiple photos a breeze.

Windows Photo Viewer makes printing multiple photos a breeze.
4. Get inked

The safest way to pick an ink is to choose a brand from the same company that manufactured your printer. Various types of ink provide differing degrees of resistance to water, smudges, age, and fading. Which one you should pick depends entirely on how much you’re willing to spend for various image-enhancing qualities.
Additional advice

Always align new print cartridges.

Experiment with free or commercial photo-editing software to eliminate image imperfections and to improve your subjects’ already stunning good looks.

Practice by making test prints. Try reducing image size and creating multiple prints on a single sheet of paper to cut down on wasted materials.

Before placing photos in an album or framing them, give the ink approximately 12 hours to dry.

Remember that Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Live Photo Gallery also make it possible to order prints online or print files at a local printer kiosk, for your convenience.

7 Intelligent Tips To Prepare For Certification Exams

Clearing any exam is crucial for students. Though due to rising standards of technical and career-driven programs, exam preparation is widely observed as a laborious task, attaining online IT certification can be interesting and an experience of a lifetime. Now days a rising number of institutions provide online Microsoft certification classes to students. They also provide sample exam questions for preparation and configure software technologies to let students practice and consolidate their understanding before appearing for certification exams. The Microsoft certification classes are designed to increase your knowledge base over various technologies or features that you may not be aware of before preparing for the certification program. In this way, acquiring Comptia certifications or any other certifications has less to do with testing your current knowledge, but it has more to do with expanding your knowledge horizons.


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We’ve listed below ten smart tips that should support you really well while preparing for those tricky certification exams:

1. Certification papers are time-based, keep a close watch on the time spent on each question, as you may end up spending most of your time on few questions and not able to attend all of them. It’s quite possible that you’d spend most of your time on answers that you were not sure of.

2. Thoroughly read all the questions before directly jumping onto the supplied answers as they are mainly structured to confuse nervous students or those with low confidence.

3. There may be certain questions that come structured simply but contain a lot of irrelevant information. They are generally aimed to confuse students. You must look forward to identify what is irrelevant and work in right direction.

4. While attempting a question, be certain about why a particular answer is correct or incorrect. Be thorough, even if it is laborious in the start but it will be worth the investment.

5. In case of lengthy question, the statements beginning with “the” are vital. Always read them first and pick out maximum relevant information. This avoids re-reading to extract relevant information that could have wasted your time.

6. Avoid changing your answers. Oftentimes students select the correct answer and then due to lack of confidence, they change it. Remember that there is usually a subconscious reason for your first choice.

7. Most of the exam centers provide small dry-erase board for you to use during exam. You must always take them as and write things down. This helps as you can even forget simplest things under pressure during the exam.

Helpful for IT professional

Microsoft MCITP certification exams are just the beginning. With each exam you will see real Microsoft Windows 7 certificate questions giving you the ultimate Microsoft MCITP preparation available online anywhere. Where else can you find an Microsoft MCITP study pack with so many possibilities?

CertKingdoms competition is laden with Microsoft MCITP braindumps and fake Microsoft MCITP questions with rotten Microsoft MCITP answers designed to make you spend more money on other products. With CertKingdoms Microsoft MCITP study materials you get unlimited access forever to not just the MCITP test questions.

 


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This product will destroy any other Microsoft MCITP study guide or pathetic Microsoft MCITP practice test from the competitor. The CertKingdoms product here is better, cheaper, and unlimited for all time; kiss the days of purchasing multiple Microsoft MCITP prep tools repeatedly, or renewing Microsoft MCITP exams training courses because you ran out of time. Now you can learn Microsoft MCITP skills and theory at your own pace and anywhere you want with top of the line Microsoft MCITP PDF downloads you can print for your convenience!

Now CertKingdoms can provide to you an exam engine that will load your MCITP test and serve it to you like you will see them at the testing facility. Like a mini MCITP boot camp, you’ll be prepared for what ever comes your way with the world’s best MCITP practice test guaranteed to deliver you the MCITP certificate you have been struggling to obtain. Nowhere else can you take an MCITP class for $50.00 and be guaranteed that you will pass all of your Microsoft MCITP tests – only here and only now can you begin to day to pass Microsoft MCITP and become certified.

World Class Microsoft MCITP exam prep featuring Microsoft online MCITP certification questions and answers! No other Microsoft MCITP book will bring you the knowledge and preparation that you will get from one of the Microsoft MCITP Exam courses available only from CertKingdoms. Any MCITP cert training should begin with a rugged Microsoft MCITP certification practice test and round out the prep with MCITP certification training like the ever-popular MCITP study guides or CertKingdom Microsoft MCITP video training. A Microsoft MCITP tutorial will also serve you well when able to utilize open book or Microsoft MCITP notes tests. While MCITP guide is more or less a MCITP e-book, the tutorial offers the versatility not available from Microsoft MCITP books.

Want to skip the Microsoft MCITP brain dump and go straight for Microsoft MCITP boot camps? We don’t blame you – with a MCITP braindump you get nothing but memorization and a reduced standing in the community – but with a Microsoft MCITP bootcamp you’re the king of the world mastering the art of Microsoft MCITP certification practice tests and learning the true foundation of all those answers to MCITP certification questions. MCITP certifications don’t come cheap, with both a hefty time and financial commitment, you have to find the best Microsoft MCITP courses that will deliver the goods. A Microsoft MCITP course from CertKingdom will earn you better results than the average Microsoft MCITP class out there.

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Online Tax Prep Services

It’s that time of year again. Tax time. A few of your documents may still be straggling in, but chances are you’ve at least got your W-2s, and you’ve either got all the receipts you’re going to need for your deductions or you’re going to wing anyways. So why not get to work now? I suppose you could wait until Sunday to get started, but who needs all that last-minute pressure? It’s never been simpler to get started—you don’t even have to schlep down to the electronics store to buy a copy of the software anymore, or, worse, spend time haunting a depressing tax center waiting room. As long as you’ve got access to a browser, you can do your taxes without ever leaving home. Unless you’ve got a horribly complex return or have an issue with exposing your financials over the Internet, doing your taxes online is the simplest way to go about it. Accordingly, we’ve reviewed the best online tax packages for tax year 2010.



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All the major tax prep players have had Web-based versions for years, and all look and work like their desktop counterparts, letting you save partially finished returns and finish them in multiple sessions. It’s convenient, and the sites remember your data from year to year. Even if your local copy gets hosed, you’ve got a copy on the tax-prep site. And there’s a good chance much of your basic data will carry over from year to year, giving you a headstart on the process.

Once you’ve chosen a tax-prep package, you’ll need to decide which of the many versions of that company’s service to use—the free 1040EZ version (generally you still have to pay to e-file for your state taxes at least), or the high-end SMB version, or something in between. You’ll have to do a little research to make sure you get the right forms, for, say, your small business’ income. But don’t assume that you need the full-on ultimate premium premier version—with the exception of extra forms (and occasionally some higher-end help functionality) they’re pretty much the same as the freebies, in terms of function and interface and so on. Don’t overpay. If price is the determining factor for you, definitely check out TaxACT—even its high-end versions are dirt cheap.

I won’t tell you that any of these online tax services can make tax time enjoyable, but the best of them can at least make the process relatively quick and painless.

Note that the thumbnail descriptions below link to our full reviews of the major players in the tax-prep space. Click through to read the full reviews by tax expert Kathy Yakal.

CompleteTax OnlineCompleteTax Online

CompleteTax, a service of global financial services provider CCH, has some of the best guidance available on tax preparation sites. It also does a good job of exploring tax topics, and is offering free Premium versions to select populations for 2010.

H&R Block At Home PremiumH&R Block At Home Premium

H&R Block At Home Premium Online gives TurboTax a run for its money every year. Premium’s Best of Both option provides beginning-to-end support that no one else has ever offered, at a reasonable price.

TaxSlayer.com Premium EditionTaxSlayer.com Premium Edition

TaxSlayer.com’s parent company has been in the tax preparation business for over 40 years, and its online offering is a capable 1040-tamer. But the site could use some improvement in the areas of navigation and help.

TaxACT Online Ultimate BundleTaxACT Online Ultimate Bundle

TaxACT is the best buy available for the 2010 tax filing year. It supports all e-filable IRS forms, walks the user easily and quickly through the 1040, and offers unlimited professional help for only $7.95 extra.

TurboTax logoTurboTax Premier Online Edition
Editors
TurboTax remains king of the hill. Though it has stiff competition, its combination of financial topics, guidance, navigational tools, and interface excellence make it the best choice for 2010 taxes.

Control Windows 7 with Kinect

Xbox Kinect is the ultimate hack machine, and that’s it the most popular gadget of the year 2010. Kinect has often been hacked to work with a large number of hobby electronics to attain Gesture based control for systems. It has been hacked to control Widnows  7 PC a number of times, but it was never done and sold like a regular software bundle.

 

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Win&I is the first fully useful commercial software that let’s you control your windows 7 PC with a Kinect controller using gestures alone.

You can control Windows 7 and thousands of applications with this natural user interface. WIN&I software replaces the computer mouse by tracking simple gestures from users up to several meters from the screen using the power of the Kinect depth-sensor.

You just have to Connect your Kinect with your PC and run the WIN&I control session to control windows 7, And leave the rest for Kinect to manipulate.

Checkout the Video demo below:

Tutorial: Using Kinect with Windows 7:

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Evolve Maestro Tablet triple-boots Android, MeeGo, Windows 7, Gives upto 16h of Battery backup

Can’t decide which tablet you should go for? Get the one that boots all 3 popular Tablet OSes.

Evolve III Maestro has built world’s first tablet that Triple boots Android, Windows 7 and MeeGo. The tablet has a 1.83GHz Atom N475 DualCore CPU based on OakTrail processor.

 

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With Windows 7, you would be able to attain 8 hours of battery & 16hours of battery with Android, not bad for a Tablet that weighs less than 2 pounds.

The tablet features a large 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 32GB of solid state storage, 3G and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and 2 USB ports.

What Evolve Three hopes will make this device stand out is the fact that it’ll ship with Android, MeeGo and Windows 7 out of the box. Although a custom layer for Windows was in the works – imagine a mash-up of Windows Phone 7 and Android – it was MeeGo that had the developers really excited. A virtualised version was running on the device, and while the combo of pre-release software and hardware were still a little rough around the edges, it certainly seemed like it would make for a finger friendly consumption focussed interface.

The device is set for launch in Q2 2011 and at a price of $500, it could be a steal.

Unfortunately, there’ll be no quick way to switch between the different operating environments.

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