Backup Your Gmail With MailStore Home

Here is a good Windows software option, called MailStore Home, that you can use to download and backup your Gmail. I can also see using this to archive a Gmail account that is getting full.

 

MailStore Home is a free email archiving and email backup software for personal use.

With MailStore Home you can backup all emails in a central archive, even if they are distributed across different computers, programs or mailboxes. You can do this either on your PC or on a USB drive as a “portable” option.

Source: MailStore Home – Free Email Archiving and Backup for Home Users

MiniTool Shadow Maker FREE – Quickly back up system and hard disk drives in case an accident happens…

These days, compared to yesteryear, there is a multitude of good options to perform a Windows Operating System, selected partitions, and even the whole disk backup (often referred to as disk imaging).

One of the newer options that I recently was made aware of is “MiniTool Shadow Maker FREE”. I like the software that MiniTool develops and will be keeping an eye on (and testing) their rendition of this disk shadowing software. The purpose of this software is to provide you with an exact copy of your Windows OS that will allow you to restore your computer once a disaster occurs (and it eventually will). Disasters like a  system crash, hard drive failure, and more.

MiniTool ShadowMaker offers straightforward solutions to deal with all kinds of backup tasks, including system backup and disk backup. These backups contain exactly the same copy of all the data stored on the original disk or partition. Such backups allow you to recover your computer to the normal state when Windows works incorrectly or partition data get lost.

Main Features of MiniTool ShadowMaker

  • System and Disk Backup
  • Schedule and Event Trigger Backup
  • Differential and Incremental Images
  • Bare Metal Recovery and Universal Restore
  • WinPE Bootable media builder and PXE server
  • Password Protection and AES Encryption

SOURCE: MiniTool ShadowMaker Free 1.0

Here is PCWorld’s Pick For The Best External Drive For 2017

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of backing up your personal files and imaging your hard drive. An easy way to get started on this is with an external hard drive. If you are looking for a quality drive, PCWorld just performed a review on a batch of external drives and ended up selecting the WD My Passport 4TB as the best external drive for 2017.

Lots of storage for less than the competition, attractive styling, and good performance with small files highlight this USB 3.0 portable hard drive. An excellent bargain. Source: PCWorld

  • Auto backup with included WD Backup software
  • Password protection with hardware encryption
  • Reimagined design
  • Trusted drive built with WD reliability
  • USB 3.0 port; USB 2.0 compatible. SYSTEM COMPATIBILITY: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7. Requires reformatting for Mac OS X operating system.

SOURCE: Amazon – WD 4TB Black My Passport Portable External Hard Drive – USB 3.0

Google introduces a new Backup and Sync tool that replaces the existing Google Photos desktop uploader and Drive for Mac/PC…

With Google’s new “Backup and Sync” tool you can sync some or all your files and folders on your computer to Google Drive.; AND, you can (also) sync files and folders in Google Drive to your computer for offline use. To download and learn how to use the new tool — CLICK HERE

Backup and Sync is an app for Mac and PC that backs up files and photos safely in Google Drive and Google Photos, so they’re no longer trapped on your computer and other devices. Just choose the folders you want to back up, and we’ll take care of the rest.

backup-and-sync-screenshot

SOURCE: Google Blog

Dsynchronize – Sync And Backup Your Data With This Free Program

I currently use Dsynchronize at work and at home to back up (and sync) my files. To learn how to use Dsynchronize, I suggest you set up a small test environment to practice using the program. It is very easy to use, once you get the hang of it. The thing that fascinates me with the program is that it is very fast. I have been using Dsynchronize for several years and it has never let me down.

Dsynchronize is FREE and is a standalone program (portable app) that requires no installation…

SOURCE: Dsynchronize

A FREE Synchronization Program That I Am Messing Around With

I have found that using synchronization software is a very easy way for the home based computer user to backup data vs. the full blown backup type software (which can hard to understand for the home computer user). I am currently messing around with the FREE synchronization program called SyncFolders; that, so far in my testing, could end up being my default (go to) backup software for my computers here at home. If you are interested in giving SyncFolders a try, the source link is reflected below. SyncFolders is also available as a portable app.

SyncFolders

SyncFolders main window...

Features of SyncFolders

  • Supports two-way synchronization of files and folders.
  • Can easily be used as backup tool.
  • Shows a preview before the actual synchronization takes place. You can override actions if desired.
  • Detects conflicts or file collisions when a file has changed in both locations since the last sync operation. Therefore, SyncFolders tracks file modifications and deletions in a local database.
  • Propagates deletions and detects file renames.
  • File comparison by date and size or by content.
  • Default actions can be defined in case of synchronization conflicts.
  • Integrates with Windows’ Task Scheduler to support scheduled synchronizations.
  • Supports file and folder filters.
  • Can handle long file names and files of any size.
  • Synchronization from or to UNC paths is supported.
  • Supports multiple synchronization rules in a single rules file.
  • Deleted or overwritten files can be moved to the recycle bin or to a time-stamped history folder.
  • History files can be deleted after a user-defined period.
  • Unlimited number of files.
  • Synchronization from command line.
  • Can ignore one-hour timestamp differences caused by DST switch for synchronization to FAT file systems.
  • Easy-to-use.
  • Unrestricted freeware.
  • No spyware, adware or malware.
  • Portable, although .NET Framework is required.

A FREE Software Solution To Backup Your Gmail

Many of us at home rely on Google’s Gmail, as our email service provider. Gmail, for me, has been a very reliable service; however, I do often think, what would happen if my account was hacked and I lost years and years of accumulated emails???

To give some level of comfort there is a software solution called “Upsafe Gmail Backup” that gives you the ability to backup your email and even the option to restore email(s) that you may have deleted.  All backups are stored local to a folder on your computer. The first time you run the software, the backup may take awhile depending on the amount of emails you have stored in your Gmail account. Subsequent backups are incremental and are much faster.

To get a feel how “Upsafe Gmail Backup” works, check out the video below. If further interested in taking a look at this and trying, click on the source link below.

Backup your mailbox with our free Upsafe solution. Restore your Gmail emails even when you deleted them from your trash box. Download it for free now!

Source: Upsafe Free Gmail backup

AOMEI Backupper Standard 4 Now Includes Real-Time Syncing | Betanews

AOMEI is an excellent software package that will assist you with backing up your files. The newest version now includes a live syncing option. Read more at Betanews (source link below).

AOMEI has released AOMEI Backupper Standard 4.0, the second major update of its freeware Windows backup, imaging and cloning tool in 2016. Version 4.0 adds an additional arrow to the tool’s bow …

Source: AOMEI Backupper Standard 4 adds real-time file sync, supports backup to cloud

Windows 10: Using The File History Feature To Backup Your Personal Files

Let’s face it, you probably do not backup your personal files on your Windows 10 computer. When I talk about personal files, I am talking about your photos, videos, documents, etc… that are personal to YOU. I know you may say it doesn’t really matter, but it will. I have found that when computer users (including myself) lose files it sort of does something to you. You actually will feel that a loss has occurred and feel helpless in recovering from that loss.

An “automated” backup solution for Windows 10 users is built right into the operating system that I have found to be very easy to use. It is called “File History”… Below you will find a short video from BTNHD that will quickly get you up and running with using File History. What I like about File History is that you can fully configure it to backup any folders that you choose (to an external hard drive), at different time intervals (making it fully automated), and the option of how long you want to keep revisions of your files. I encourage you take a look at File History, learn how to use it, and save yourself some misery when that computer crash occurs…

How To Use Windows 10 File History Feature!

Must Have Software To Backup The Windows Registry

The Windows operating system is dependent on a built in component called the registry that is a centralized storage (database) area that all-in-all manages the operation of your Windows computer. The registry stores and manages your Windows system configuration, computer hardware, information about installed programs, program associations and user preferences. I often refer to the registry as the brain of Windows.

During the operation of your computer, Windows continually references the registry, via a structured hierarchy of keys, subkeys, and named values; to ensure the consistent operation of your computer. For example, when you install hardware and/or software on your computer, the registry is often accessed and modified. The registry can also be manually edited with the right amount of understanding and expertise. The whole point here is that the registry is a sensitive part of the operating system and can be corrupted due to a bad hardware/software install, improper editing by the user and most commonly through a malware infection.

To bail out of these type of situations, most users will often use Windows Restore, in an attempt to recover the system; however, I have found through experience that the Windows Restore is not always the answer and does not always work (especially if it is a malware infection).

A solution that I use is a utility, made by Tweaking.com, called Registry Backup. This utility has been specifically developed to backup the registry either manually or automatically (at scheduled intervals). With this utility I typically backup the registry prior to any software installs, hardware installs and/or Windows Updates (which also can cause issues). In the event a problem occurs, you can restore the registry via one of the backups that you created; and, if you are saavy enough to understand the registry it is possible to backup only specific areas of the registry with this utility.

Registry Backup

This program contains the follow features:

  • One click backup and restore.
  • Can restore from Windows Safe Mode.
  • Can restore from the Windows Recovery Console
  • Portable version can be ran from a thumb drive and keep backups of multiple systems.
  • Automatic cleanup of older backups.
  • Set and control scheduling options.
  • Can backup & restore all user profiles on the system, not just the ones that are currently loaded.
  • Control which registry files are backed up or restored.
  • Detailed logs are saved with each backup.
  • Multiple easy restore options.
  • Online videos showing how to use the program and how to use the different restore options.

Windows XP/Vista/7/8 — 32-bit program. Can run on both a 32-bit and 64-bit OS.

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Backup The Content Of Your Website (or any Website) With HTTrack Website Copier

In addition to What’s On My PC and Bookmarks4techs, I also maintain a private site at Blogger for the condo community for which I reside. The content of these sites, all of my making, are very important to me. The easiest and most confident way I found to locally keep a mirrored copy (of each site) is to use the open source software called HTTrack Website Copier.

HTTrack Website Copier

 HTTrack Website Copier allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site’s relative link-structure. Simply open a page of the “mirrored” website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online. HTTrack can also update an existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.

When I use HTTrack Website Copier I typically go with the default configuration settings and follow the below steps:

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DSynchronize – A Stand-Alone Utility That Lets You Periodically Synchronize Two Or More Folders On Your Hard Disk

With DSynchronize you should never again have an excuse for not backing up your files. This small utility rocks and is what I use to backup my main folders (such as Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc…) to my external drives. There is no installation.  Download, unzip and run. Simply select your source (the files/folders you want to back up) and select the destination (where you want to back the source files/folders to).

The only negative I see with DSynchronize, is that there is no help file; however, if you go with the “checked” settings (that I use), under General Options and Deleted Files, in the graphic below, you will be good to go. Once you have everything setup, click on “Synchronize”.

ALSO, to further help you, if you watch the YouTube video below, you will get a really good understanding on how DSynchronize works. This is really good software, is FREE, easy to understand and it just plain works. You can even set up DSynchronize to perform a realtime sync. Great job to the developer on this.

NOTE:  To download DSynchronize, visit [HERE], and scroll down the page and you will see it.

 

Dsynchronize

 

FREE Backup Software That Provides Basic And Advanced Features (such as disk imaging)

Learn a byte at a time, at What’s On My PC, with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, how to, Android, Windows, you name it… Be sure to check out MORE GEEK SQUEAKS BELOW!

[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] FREE Backup Software That Provides Basic And Advanced Features (such as disk imaging)

I have been involved in computers in some form or another for over 25 years. My strength has always been in the area of software and learning what I needed to know to keep the flow of the workplace healthy. I will tell you right off the bat, I am not an expert; however, give me a little time and I will find the answer. Since my retirement, my desire to keep up with the trends has not diminished; AND, if anything it has become even more focused. I have learned to become a master of computer information.

My focus is no longer in a workplace setting, but is more in the direction of what can I contribute to help folks at home. Today, I want to push you in a direction of making sure you are backing up your data (documents, pictures, music, etc…) and even backing up your entire hard drive.

One of the first things you need to do is get yourself a good external drive that will become an extension of your computer and can be easily removed (and stored away) if need be (depending on how important is your data to you). I currently use several external drives, with one of those drives being a portable hard drive (see examples here). I use this portable hard drive to store a backup image of my entire hard drive that will capture every bit of data on the drive at the time of the backup. I then remove the drive and store it off site. I know there are numerous cloud computing backup options out there where you can move your personal (and private) files to the cloud. Even with this option being available, I still (highly) recommend the process of backing up your data and external drive (at your house). This all may sound like a pain, but really it is not; especially when I introduce you to AOMEI Backupper Standard.

AMOEI Backupper Standard is a FREE backup software solution that I can personally attest does work (especially the disk imaging component). AMOEI gives you the ability to perform a system backup, a disk backup, a customized files/folders backup and a partition backup.

image

Please do not let these terms scare you off. AMOEI will walk you through the process of performing these tasks. On a personal level, as mentioned, I use the disk imaging component of AMOEI to make an exact copy of my hard drive in my computer.

In closing, to give an example of how AMOEI, saved my butt…  I recently noticed and determined that my hard drive in my computer, after 7 years, was working its’ way toward failure. Using AMOEI, I routinely performed disk imaging backups and had those images stored on an external drive. When it was time to install the new drive, I created a boot CD (or DVD) using the AMOEI software. Using the AMOEI software, I created boot CD (which is easy to do). After installing the new hard drive, which was larger in size and contained no data, I booted from the CD.  Within the boot CD is a built in version of the AMOEI software that allowed me to pull the image from the external drive and restore my data (an exact copy of my old hard drive) to the new drive (a new Seagate Hybrid Drive with SSD). I always keep my fingers crossed when performing tasks such as this, but AMOEI performed flawlessly.

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MORE GEEK SQUEAKS

[WALLPAPER] Browse and Download Any Bing Wallpaper at Official Homepage Gallery – Microsoft Bing’s daily updated photo backgrounds for the search engine are cool and popular. You can now browse and download all the wallpapers in Bing’s history at the official Homepage Gallery, all for free… @lifehacker

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[GOOGLE] Create Reminders in Google Search – You don’t have to use the mobile Google Search app to add reminders. Just search Google for add reminder or create reminder, enter a name, a date or a place. You can also enter specific queries like: add reminder to buy milk tomorrow or create reminder to buy sandwich when I am in Chicago. Just click “remind me on Google Now”… @Google Operating System

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[TECH NEWS] Microsoft talks up ‘next version of Windows’ – Microsoft is trying to bridge the relatively strict separation — that currently exists on Windows 8.1 — of the Modern, aka Metro, UI that is touch friendly and the more traditional desktop UI, which is geared more toward the mouse and keyboard… @c|net

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[HOW TO] Sleep and hibernation: frequently asked questions – Here are answers to some common questions about sleep and hibernation… @Microsoft


[SOFTWARE] Angry IP Scanner – Angry IP scanner is a very fast and small IP scanner. It pings each IP address to check if it`s alive, then optionally it is resolving hostname and tries to connect at specified in Options dialog box TCP port… @Snapfiles

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[PORTABLE APPS] 300+ free and legal portable apps (over 9GB) – Free. No time limits. No catch. No registration required. Never was. No adware. No spyware. No malware… @portableapps

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[ANDROID APP] Floatify – Smart Notifications – When you receive notifications Floatify will show you a popup window with stacked notifications. You can interact with the popup, expand a notification to full size, open or cancel the notification, setup a reminder or open the app in xHalo. Even if the phone is locked you can directly open or cancel the notification! Floatify will also wake your phone if you like… @Google Play

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The Easiest Way To Tell If The Windows 8.1 Update Is Installed On Your Computer

[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] The Easiest Way To Tell If The Windows 8.1 Update Is Installed On Your Computer – If you are confused about Windows 8.1 and the Windows 8.1 Update, you are not alone. In a nutshell; Windows 8.1 was an update to Windows 8.  Windows 8.1 Update, which is a completely different thing from Windows 8.1, is an update to Windows 8.1 (and Windows 8). Still confused?

The bottom line is that you want to make sure your computer is completely up to date. To determine if you have the Windows 8.1 Update installed go to the Start screen. If you see a Search button near your account name at the top of the Start screen, you already have the update.

image

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[COMPUTER SECURITY] SOLUTION: “This is Microsoft Support” telephone scam – Computer ransom lockout – A trend of the past couple of years has been for scammers to contact computer owners directly via telephone in the United States in an effort to convince them that there is a problem with their PC and they’ll need to pay to have it fixed.  In general, these people cannot fix anything, and instead they merely charge exorbitant fees for absolutely nothing. In other words, they scam you… @Triple-S Computers

[HARDWARE] A Programmable Computer Mouse – Do more, more easily with your mouse. With soft rubber grips and a contoured shape, this full size mouse provides all-day comfort, while Back/Forward buttons, side-to-side scrolling plus zoom and programmable buttons empower you to click, scroll and zoom with the flick of a finger… @Amazon

Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse

Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse

[ANDROID] magicApp by magicJack – Get unlimited local & long distance calling to the U.S. and Canada with magicApp. For international callers, make FREE unlimited magicApp-to-magicApp calls worldwide… @Google play

[FILE ENCRYPTION] Quick Crypt – A portable solution for encrypting and decrypting files.  Many features… @Valkova

[TECH NEWS] Lenovo Slides Past Apple to Claim #3 PC Sales Spot in U.S., Posts Record Earnings – Lenovo also made significant inroads in the U.S. market, where HP and Dell are still in first and second place. Lenovo’s strengthened PC lineup allowed it to vault past Apple to claim the third place spot for its fiscal fourth quarter (January through March 2014)… @DailyTech

[HOW TO] Averting Disaster – A Guide To Computer Backups (2014) – Backups are simply duplicates of data which are archived, and which can be restored to a previous point in time. The key is the data must be duplicated, and you have to be able to go back to an earlier time. Anything that doesn’t meet both of those requirements is not a backup… @AnandTech

[WALLPAPER] Cracked Windows Computer Screen@The Paper Wall

Cracked Windows Computer Screen


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GEEK SQUEAKS – Two Must See and Must Get Quickies For Today

[SPECIAL PROMOTION] Special Offer by True Image Backup Products – GEGeek contacted me about a promotion that Acronis is running, for World Backup Day; where, if you purchase any Acronis True Image backup product, between now and April 1st, they will throw in 250GBs of Cloud Backup for FREE! If you are a geekster, then you know what Acronis is all about and that is is a great offer. Not only are you getting a reputable imaging and backup product; you are getting a hard drive in the sky… @Acronis

[AMAZON APP OF THE DAY] NeoCal Advanced – The past couple of days Amazon has been on a good run with their giveaway (paid) Android apps. Each day Amazon posts and Android app to giveaway.  Some days are better than others. Today, worthy of a geek squeak, Amazon posted, for FREE, the Android App NeoCal Advanced ($9.99 value) which is an advanced calcuator ( with advanced scientific, financial, statistical, date and time, programmer, and conversion functions)… @Amazon (today only)

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Learn a byte at a time with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it… I just plain love tech!

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Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 29, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1 – (All Of The Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts) – Into keyboard shortcuts? If so, then you will appreciate the list that Microsoft has compiled for us (for Windows 8). Below you will find how to get to the list and note that there is even a bigger list (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #2 – (Gmail For Android Getting A Cleaner Look) – I have tried several different Android email clients to pull down my mail and I don’t learn. I keep going back to the Gmail client. I can’t wait to see the new version on my phone (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #3 – (Backup And Image The Partitions On Your Computer): When you create an image of your disk partitions you are getting an exact copy of the disk at the time you create the image. To do this you need specialized software.  Makes for an excellent backup strategy (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #4 – (A Highly Sophisticated Mouse): Check out the SteelSeries Sensei gaming mouse (SEE BELOW);

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Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!

See An Endless Stream Of Geek Squeaks’ [ HERE ]


New keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8 and Windows RT

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With Windows 8 and Windows RT, you can use the keyboard shortcuts you’re already using, and you’ll find new ones too. For example, the easiest way to search on the Start screen is to simply start typing. Not on the Start screen? Press the Windows logo key‌ Windows logo key and you can quickly switch between Start and the app you’re in… READ MORE

NOTE: If you’re not familiar with keyboard shortcuts—or you’d like to see a list of shortcuts in one place—see the bigger list of keyboard shortcuts.


Cleaner Conversation View For Gmail On Android

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Gmail for Android is getting a new, cleaner design for its conversation view. The update also includes a number of additional design tweaks such as checkmarks for multiple message selection so you can easily see what messages you are about to move, archive or delete… READ MORE


Backup Your Disk Partitions With Macrium Reflect
(FREE EDITION)

@ Snapfiles

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Macrium Reflect Free Edition enables you to create complete backups of your disk partitions, including operating system, installed programs and all your settings. Using disk images instead of simple file backups allows you to restore your system to the same state in the event of a system crash or hardware failure… GET IT HERE

 


SteelSeries Sensei Gaming Collection

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Based off the critically acclaimed Xai gaming mouse, the SteelSeries Sensei is a top of the line laser gaming mouse dedicated to suiting tournament level players. It features a highly sophisticated firmware that allows for multiple adjustments of the sensor functionality, as well as complex macros to customize the mouse to the user’s specific desires… CHECK IT OUT HERE


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FREE Fax Service For Occasional Use

If you are like me, it is far and few between the instances where I need to send a fax (facsimile). On two occasions in the past month I needed to send a fax. Having no actual fax machine to do this, I started exploring some of the online (internet based) faxing options. What I settled with that worked very nicely, on both of those occasions, was an online faxing service called MyFax.

MyFax

MyFax® is an award winning and the fastest growing Internet fax service used by individuals, small, medium, and large businesses to send and receive faxes through email.

MyFax is actually a paid service; HOWEVER, they do offer a FREE option for sending those occasional faxes. Any actual person may use the Site to send up to two (2) free faxes per day, each fax not to exceed nine (9) pages in length (plus the cover page.) and not to exceed 10MBs in size.

To send a FREE fax, meeting the criteria as indicated above, go to this page [HERE] and complete the online form to show the recipient of the fax, who it is from, and a text message for the cover sheet.  After completing these entries, upload the documents you desire to fax. In my case, my documents were in a PDF format. It appears that MyFax will also recognize doc files also (and others, but I could not find what the other file formats were).

In the end, using MyFax, I can attest on the two occasions I used it, sending five pages, it worked quickly and without error. I received an email to indicate the status of the fax (that it was successfully sent).

GEEK BONUS AREA

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Tech Tip #43: Back Up Often

Living With The Surface

Abstract Wallpaper Set 65

Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB Mobile Device Storage with Built-In Wi-Fi Streaming

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How To Save and Print A List of Installed Programs On Your Computer

I recently experienced a situation where a person’s computer, that was several years old, required a complete factory restore. When asked, “What programs did they have installed on the computer?”, the person was at a loss. Following this occurrence, I started to wonder if there was an easy way to view, save or print the programs that we have installed on our computers? This would be especially handy as a reference in the event of a computer crash. I know myself, there are many software packages I have installed; and, trying to remember what programs I installed (in the event of a computer failure) would be a real challenge, even for an ole’ geek like me.

I am sure there may be other options or methods to accomplish this task, but what I came across was a small software utility, that is portable, called MyUninstaller (by NirSoft). I know you are wondering, what does an uninstaller utility have to do with what we want to accomplish?

MyUninstaller

First, let me explain that MyUninstaller is in fact an alternative uninstaller utility to the standard Add/Remove applet of Windows operating system; HOWEVER, built into MyUninstaller is a menu options that gives you the ability to either save the list of all installed applications on your computer into a text file or HTML file (that can be viewed in your web browser).

To save the list to a text file, click on the File Menu and select Save Selected Items. To save and view the list as a HTML file, click on View and select HTML Report – All Items.

After using the options in MyUninstaller to generate a list of the programs on my computer, it has now become part of my overall backup strategy.

GEEK BONUS AREA

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Most Vulnerable Software: Is Yours On The List?

Financial Hacks Everyone Should Know About

Free Security Software

Seagate Hybrid Drives

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WinPatrol Remains The Smallest, Fastest System Monitor Of Its Kind

There are those occasions where I will rehash a FREE software product and WinPatrol is one of those occasions.  WinPatrol is a mainstay on my computers and is one of the first software products I install when setting up a new computer. It is a “must have” layer of protection that will compliment your other security software.

WinPatrol

After you install WinPatrol a snapshot of critical system locations and resources are recorded and you will find that a small Scotty dog shows up in the tray on the taskbar. This little dog is on patrol and will alert you if any changes occur to those critical system resources. The dog will even bark.

WinPatrol, in conjunction to constantly monitoring your system, also serves as a system utility that allows you to review the services and task that are running on your computer and the programs that automatically load in the background when your computer starts. There is a whole lot to this little dog, as you can see from the features below.

WinPatrol

Features of WinPatrol:

Detect and Review New Auto-Startup Programs
Alerted you to New Browser Add-Ons like BHO’s and Tool Bars
Alerts you to newly installed Window Services
Alerts you to creation of Scheduled Tasks
YesAlerts you and Locks Changes to File Type Associations
Alerts you to newly registered ActiveX components
Alerts you to changes in IE Home and Search pages
Alerts you to changes in the Windows HOST File
Lets you know if your AutoUpdate or UAC settings change
Add/Remove and Review Auto-Startup Programs
Automatically Disable Reoccuring Startup Programs
Delay Auto-Startup programs for quick bootup
Review and Remove unwanted Scheduled Tasks
Remove Unwanted Brower Add-Ons like BHO’s and Tool Bars
Review, Display and Kill Multiple Running Tasks with a single click
Review, Stop and Control Window Services
Manage and Automatically Remove Unwanted Cookies
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MediaFire App Now Available For Android

MediaFire is an online file storage and sharing service that most computer users at home are not familiar with. With MediaFire you are given 50GB’s of space (for FREE) with a 200 MB file upload size limit. Compared to the other online storage services (which typically offer much less FREE storage space), MediaFire is very generous in their offering. I have maintained an account with MediaFire for nearly 2 years and have never experienced an issue.

MediaFire

The complaint you will hear coming from people about MediaFire is that they will remove your account is your account is inactive. There is some truth to this; however, the rule is that if you must access the MediaFire API (your account) from either the Web, your Mobile platform or your desktop platform at least once per year and if you do that, your account will never be removed.  This is a pretty easy rule to follow; especially, that you are getting 50 GBs of online storage space.  If your account is in jeopardy you will receive sufficient notice via the email account you signed up with.

The one downfall to MediaFire, that I was experiencing, was no Android App available to access and manage my MediaFire files from my tablet. This has all changed within the past couple days (prior to the writing of this article).  MediaFire now has an Android mobile app available in the Google Play Store that can be downloaded to your Android phone or tablet.  You can get the MediaFire App [HERE] .

The MediaFire mobile app lets you access all your documents, photos, and videos from anywhere. Securely store, organize, and share all your data on the web and through your Android device.

MediaFire Mobile App

Features:

• Keep all your important files at your fingertips.
• View docs, spreadsheets, presentations, video, and listen to audio.
• Take and upload pictures and videos directly in the MediaFire app.
• Upload Android gallery images.
• Create and manage folders of files.
• Share files on the go via email, SMS, through other Android apps, and with copy and paste links.
• Quickly search all your MediaFire files and folders.

MediaFire Android App:  Requires Android OS 2.2 or higher

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Wallpaper of the Week (#99)

A very nice Christmas Wallpaper to help get you into the spirit…

To Get This Wallpaper [ CLICK HERE ]

Christmas Wallpaper

Windows 7 (and 8) Users: If you are using Windows 7 (or 8), did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [CLICK HERE] .

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FREE Image Backup Software for Windows 8

This week my posts have been focused exclusively on Windows 8; due in part I just installed Windows 8 and I am like a kid in a candy shop.

As I continue to learn more about Windows 8 and customize my computer the more I realized that I needed to create a backup of my system. Yes, I could take the risk and hope all goes well and simply reinstall Windows if all fails, but that (especially in my case) would be a very time consuming process. This is where a good disk imaging program comes into play. In this case, by circumstance, Paragon’s FREE Disk Imaging Software for Windows 8 fell onto my plate.

FREE Image Backup Software for Windows 8

When you see FREE for disk imaging software, I become skeptical; however, when I see FREE in conjunction with Paragon I know I am getting a good product. What this software does is walk you through the process of creating an exact image of your entire system. Like any imaging program and depending on the file content and disk size of your system, creating an image is not a fast process; BUT, it is definitely worth the wait. Also, you should use an external drive to make the backup to. Paragon will walk you through the entire process of selecting the volume you desire to backup, to rebooting your system to begin the backup, to rebooting your system back into your Windows environment.  To restore your system you must create a Paragon boot CD so that when your PC goes belly up you can insert the CD in the CD Drive and boot your computer into Paragon’s powerful Linux/DOS environment. From that environment you simply select the image you backed up to restore your computer back to the same level it was when you created the backup image.

Paragon’s Image Backup for Windows 8 is a disk-imaging tool for Windows 8 and Server 2012. It employs Microsoft VSS and Paragon’s patent-pending technologies for consistent point-in-time copies of the whole disk system or separate volumes. For recovery purposes it includes a powerful Linux/DOS environment. But its power is its support of the innovative ReFS.

Key Product Benefits

  • Support of the latest Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
  • Support of the brand-new ReFS (Resilient File System)for backup, restore, and browsing under Windows and Linux
  • Live Windows backup. Create an image-based copy of the whole disk system, or separate volumes and place it locally, to CD/DVD/BD, or on the net. The use of the disk-imaging mechanism and Microsoft VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) tackles the problem of backing up running applications and system locked files
  • Flexible recovery. Restore the whole backup image, or only particular files under Windows or from the Linux/DOS recovery environment
  • Additional maintenance functions. The Linux/DOS recovery environment includes basic functions for initializing, partitioning and formatting hard disks

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A Huge List of FREE Computer Security Products and Services

One of my favorite tech sites is Gizmo’s – The Best Freeware…  Today, during a visit I came across a huge list of FREE computer security products and services that is maintained on their site. The list is not a list of specific recommendations, but is a “comprehensive documentation of the security products available”…

I can tell you a lot of work went into compiling this list.  So, if you are looking at a solution for virus or malware protection, encryption, backup, to name a few; hit this list first. It will definitely save you a considerable amount of time and I can tell you, being familiar with software, the selections they have made have been tried, true and tested.  Great job Gizmos’s…

Gizmo's - Huge List of Security Products

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Alert! Existing SkyDrive Users – Sign In To Keep Your 25 GBs

If you are an existing Microsoft SkyDrive User it is important that you sign into your account and acknowledge that you desire to keep your 25GBs of online storage space. Failure to do so could result in your 25GBs being reduced down to 7GBs of space.

image

Any registered SkyDrive user *who has uploaded files to SkyDrive* as of April 22nd can opt in to keep 25GB of free storage while still getting all of the benefits of the new service.

If you are already using 4GBs of space on SkyDrive you will automatically keep your 25GBs.

This all may sound like a dirty trick, but Microsoft is working toward making SkyDrive better (with new apps) and making SkyDrive accessible from Windows Explorer. For example, they recently came out with a preview of SkyDrive for the Windows Desktop which gives you the ability to seamlessly sync your files (from Windows Explorer).

Here’s where you go to try SkyDrive today:

As a result of these new changes I suspect Microsoft is gearing up for an anticipated increase of people using SkyDrive (thus the reduction in the online storage space). According to Microsoft, currently 99.4 percent of current SkyDrive subscribers use 7GBs of space or less (thus the reasoning for the 7GB level). If 7GBs of space is not enough for your situation, they are offering a tiered pricing model to increase that space.

You can read more about these changes [HERE]

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FREE – Unlimited Image (Photo) Sharing and Storage for an Unlimited Time

There are numerous image (photo) sharing and storage sites out there, but I ventured across an image sharing (and storage) service called imgbox, that really caught my attention!

imgbox

The Pro’s: Easy to use; image sharing via URL links; inline hotlinking (great for us bloggers); fast upload speed, batch uploads; 10 mb max file size (jpg, gif, png); unlimited storage for an unlimited time; can name (edit) galleries, can individually select and move images from one gallery to another; and once a gallery of images load you can scroll the images either horizontal (i.e. previous or next) or simply use your mouse wheel to scroll vertically.

The Con’s: Actually I only noticed one fault. Unless I am missing something; and if I am, please let me know. I did not see a method to batch download my images. You can capture the share codes for the images to individually download an image, but no easy method noticed to perform a batch downloads.

Overall, the fact that you have unlimited storage space for an unlimited time; imgbox is looking pretty good to me!

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Backup Your Files With FreeFileSync

Failing to backup your personal files is a disaster waiting to happen. To prevent this disaster from occurring get yourself a good external hard drive and use FreeFileSync to perform the backups.

FreeFileSync

FreeFileSync is not intended to perform backups of your entire drive; instead it is designed to backup your personal files. For example, I use FreeFileSync to backup (and sync) my documents, pictures, music and video files to an external drive. There are two things I especially like about FreeFileSync:  1.)  It is easy to use and learn and 2.) You can run it as a portable app (i.e. from your flash drive).

FreeFileSync is a folder comparison and synchronization tool providing highly optimized performance and usability without needless user interface complexity.

Features:

  • Detect moved and renamed files and folders
  • Copy locked files (Volume Shadow Copy Service)
  • Detect conflicts and propagate deletions
  • Binary comparison
  • Full support for Symbolic Links
  • Run as a batch job
  • Multiple folder pairs
  • Support very long path names > 260 characters
  • Transactional file copy
  • Cross-platform: Windows/Linux
  • Expand environment variables like %USERPROFILE%
  • Access variable drive letters by volume name (USB sticks)
  • Native 32 and 64-bit builds
  • Versioning of deleted files
  • Optimal sync sequence prevents disc space bottlenecks
  • Full unicode support
  • Highly optimized performance
  • Include/exclude files via filter
  • Local or portable installation
  • Handle daylight saving time changes on FAT/FAT32
  • Use macros %time%, %date%, et al. for recurring backups
  • Case sensitive synchronization
  • Built-in locking serializes multiple jobs running against the same network share

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FREE Software to Synchronize Files/Folders with Google Documents

I am currently using (and testing) a FREE Windows based software application called Kumosync that gives you the ability to synchronize files on your computer with Google docs (and vice versus).  So far, what I am seeing I like. Kumosync gives me another option to backup files on my PC to the cloud and make good use of my Google Docs Account.

Kumosync

After you install Kumosync, you will be prompted to sign into your Google Account.  After you sign in, go into the Kumosync settings by right clicking on the Kumosync tray icon.  From the settings you can setup what folder(s) you want the synchronization to occur and can even setup drive mapping.  Kumonsync can sync your files either manually or automatically (at prescribed time intervals).

As a precaution with any software of this type, until you become familiar with it, backup your files you intend to synchronize until you are comfortable with the software. Do not let this scare you from using Kumosync; I typically take this precaution with any software I install and use that involves any of my personal files.

KumoSync™ is a Windows application used to synchronize local windows and files/folders with Google Documents. You can sync ANY document/file format.

KumoSync will automatically track your changes in Google Documents and your local Windows file system. It will synchronize these changes automatically on a regular interval allowing you to access your files on your computer, the Google Documents “Cloud” and other devices that can also access Google Documents.

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Ways to Sync Your SkyDrive Files To Your Computer, Tablet and Smartphone

Yesterday’s article I talked about, SkyDrive – Your Password Protected Hard Drive in the Cloud, that is available for FREE (from Microsoft). SkyDrive gives you 25 GB’s of of storage space that you can use to store files online (in the cloud) that can be accessed from anywhere there is internet access.

image

Following the posting of that article, I started to wonder what FREE options are there available to sync the files on my computer or tablet or smartphone with my SkyDrive Account.  As a result I went on the hunt and found the following options available that will help you take full advantage of SkyDrive:

SDExplorer (to sync and access your SkyDrive Files from the Windows platform – your desktop or notebook computer):

SDExplorer is a free, easy-to-use, but very powerful extension for Windows Explorer. With SDExplorer you can perform all everyday operations with your documents on Microsoft Live SkyDrive™ using Windows Explorer, as if they were on your computer itself.

SkyDrive Browser (to sync and access your SkyDrive Files from the Android platform – such as tablets and smartphones):

Microsoft’s SkyDrive service is a nice chunk of cloud storage—25 GB, to be exact. Now you can view, download, and send your files in SkyDrive from your Android phone with SkyDrive Browser.

SkyDrive on your Windows Phone:

With SkyDrive on your Windows’s phone, it’s like having a thousand wallets for photos and hundreds of briefcases with your latest files. You can keep files to yourself or share them. Add photos from your camera phone manually or automatically. SkyDrive will also synchronize notes you take in OneNote.

SkyDrive on your iPhone:

With SkyDrive for the iPhone, you can now easily access, manage and share files on the go. You can also upload photos or videos from your iPhone to SkyDrive.

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Use Your iPhone, iPad or iPod as an External Disk with iPhone Explorer

I have had folks in the past ask me about methods to use to backup (or transfer) their files on their Apple products (such as the iPhone, iPad or iPod). I am no expert on any of those  products, by any means, but I do know that backing up or transferring (say music files) is pretty much a proprietary process (using apps such as iTunes, etc…).  Judging from the questions I am posed by owners of these products, those proprietary processes can be quite intimidating and apparently are confusing to the everyday user.

A FREE software application that I happened across, called iPhone Explorer, may be a helpful solution to the Apple folks out there, that will allow you to connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod to your Windows based computer via an USB connection. The benefit to this is that with this software installed, these devices in essence become an external disk where you will be able to browse the file structure of the device. There are other features to this software such as creating ringtones; however, the importance I am seeing here is the ability to access these Apple products via a non-proprietary method.

iPhone Explorer

I would be interested in hearing from anyone out there that has used this software to provide input on the usefulness of iPhone Explorer. I really like the concept here with this software.

With the iPhone Explorer can you look into the file system of your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and down- and upload files by USB connection, regardless of whether file format. Within this function can use your iPhone/iPad/iPod as “external disk”. The program supports also a direct access to the photos, emails, SMS, videos directories of the iPhone. Herewith can you photos, emails, SMS, videos and all other files easily and simple copy to the computer. The same function is also available for videos, music (from iPod-App) and ringtones. One of the highlights of the iPhone Explorer is the creating of custom ringtones for the iPhone. With the comfortable ringtone editor can you use MP3, WAV, AIFF and M4A audio file formats. The ringtone editor can milliseconds accurately cut. However the song length is not limited to 32 seconds as iTunes.

According to the website, the following Apple products are currently supported:

Apple iOS 3.1.x, 4.x and 5 firmware devices
iPad 2
iPad
iPhone 4S
iPhone 4
iPhone 3GS
iPhone 3G
iPhone 2G
iPod Touch
iTunes 10

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Restoring Your Contacts List or Address Book In Gmail

Google’s Gmail has been a very popular online (web) email client for years; and, rightfully so. It continues to improve and offer features that you would typically find in email software that you would install on your PC. As a matter of fact, I no longer use email client software on my PC at all and have come to rely on my Gmail account for my email communications.

When it comes to email software, the most important component that people fail to backup is their contacts list (or address book). The contacts list is a cumulative database of peoples names, email addresses, phone numbers, work and home addresses, etc… that continues to grow and ends up becoming a vital component to your email communications. Lose your contacts list (or address book) and I will guarantee that you will not be a happy camper. I can personally attest from experience, using email software, there are no easy ways to backup your contacts list (or address book); OR least a method that is easily understood to the everyday computer user.

One feature that I really like about Gmail is the built in backup versioning feature of the contacts list. Gmail actually does the backup of your contacts list for you in the event you make a change and you need to undo the change. As a matter of fact you can go back in time up to 30 days to do a restore from a previous version of the contacts list.

Restore Contacts

You can restore your contacts from a earlier saved version in instances such as; when accidental deletion occurs, a sync failed, an import failed or a merge failed.

You will not find any email client software that I know of that will give you this bailout in the event you lose your contacts.

To restore your contacts to a previous version, just follow these steps:

  1. Click Contacts.
  2. From the More actions drop-down menu, choose Restore contacts.
  3. Choose the time you’d like to revert your contacts list to (e.g. 10 minutes ago, one hour ago, one week ago, etc). We suggest that you also make a note of the time that you restore your contacts, in case you’d like to return to where you started.
  4. Click Restore. You’ll see a confirmation at the top of the screen when the rollback is complete.

To undo a restoration:

When the operation completes, a notification bar will appear that gives you the opportunity to immediately undo the restore. This notification bar will disappear if you leave Contacts or make edits to your contacts.

If the notification bar is no longer there, you can always re-run the Restore Contacts tool to take you back to where you started. Just set the tool to take you to the time just before you started the whole process.

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Copy Large Files Faster, Easier and More Reliably with TeraCopy

Ever since Bill Mullin’s at Tech Thoughts did a write up on the file copy (and move) utility called TeraCopy, I have been putting it through its’ paces. I cannot say enough about this utility. It is designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed.  I currently use this utility on my wireless home network to move files wirelessly from one PC to another and it has not let me down.  Even though Windows 7 made advancements in their file copy operations, TeraCopy still has it beat.

TeraCopy

There are several features in particular that has me sold on this utility:

You can Pause and resume file transfers at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.

There is Error recovery built in that in case of a copy error, TeraCopy will try several times to rehab itself and in the worse case just skip the file, not terminating the entire transfer. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.

Once I start a file copy or move operation, I can minimize TeraCopy to the taskbar and continue working on My PC with minimal impact to continued operation of the PC.  If you use Windows 7, and minimize TeraCopy to the taskbar, the icon will dynamically give you a visual of where you are at in the file copy or move operation.

Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.

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A FREE Tool to Backup The Windows Registry in a Few Seconds

Built into the Windows Operating System is a central hierarchical database, called the Registry, that is the lifeblood of the operating system. Any corruption to that database can, and will, result in an operating system failure. The registry, dynamic in operation, stores the information that controls every aspect of your computer. Windows continually references, and writes to the registry, and is important in maintaining the overall health and integrity of the operating system (and your computer).

What I am trying to say, to those who are trying to understand, the Registry is one of the most important aspects of Windows. As a result, it is as important to regularly backup the registry as it is to backup your personal files. Windows does maintain backups of the registry with its’ System Restore utility; however, from my experience I question its’ integrity.

To backup the Windows Registry, I use a third party tool called Regbak – Registry Backup & Restore Tool. I typically run Regbak prior to any software I install on my computer or at least once a week. Regbak is a light-weight and simple to use utility that creates backups of the Registry files to a location of your choice. In the event the Registry on your computer becomes corrupted simply open the backup destination folder and run the restore utility called Regres. Typically, you would run the restore utility in such instances where your computer has become trashed as a result of a malware infection and/or as a result of a software install that went south.

Regbak

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My Technology Guide: Chance to Win Handy Backup Professional

When you have a chance to grab good commercial grade software for FREE, I say go for it… A blogging partner, My Technology Guide, currently is offering a chance to win 2 free licenses of Handy Backup Professional absolutely FREE. Usually the license costs $99 but you have a chance to get it FREE!

Handy Backup Pro

To enter this contest:


1. Subscribe to My Technology Guide Newsletter
which is FREE. You can subscribe to it using the Subscribe form given in the sidebar or using following direct link:

Subscribe to My Technology Guide Newsletter

P.S. Don’t forget to confirm your subscription by clicking on the verification email sent from Feedburner when you subscribe. If your subscription is incomplete and not confirmed you will not be eligible for the giveaway.

2. Leave a comment… While leaving your comment, make sure to use the same email address which you registered for My Technology Guide email newsletter, otherwise you won’t be eligible for the giveaway.

The winner will be randomly picked and announced onJune 25th, 2010.

Handy Backup™ Professional is a powerful backup solution for advanced PC users and small businesses with Microsoft Windows®-based IT-infrastructures. It provides a range of security and business-critical features. You can read more about Handy Backup Professional [HERE] .

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#63)

If you have a passion for computers and information technology, then the place to be is at the sites listed below. Each week What’s On My PC features links to recent postings, called “Geek Squeaks’” that are authored by the members of the What’s On My PC blolgroll. Truly a blessing to be associated with this group!

Geek Squeaks'

Scoroncocolo Tech Pages
How To Lock Down Facebook Privacy Settings

Tech-for Everyone
Software License Giveaway: Genie Timeline Professional

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
In The News – VISA Launches A Highly-Secure Card In Europe

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Styling Windows XP (Part 2): How to Change the Visual Style

Canadian Tech Blogger
Norton Launches Norton DNS

I Love Free Software
PDF Hammer – Free Online PDF Editor

Worthy Tips
Extend Recycle Bin power with RecycleBinEx

Netbook Freeware
Best 10 Free System Optimization and Diagnostic Tool for Netbooks

404 Tech Support
New 0-Day Attack Targets Adobe Reader, Acrobat, and Flash

TTC Shelbyville
Use the Task Manager to Analyze Your Computer

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites June 8

AKS-Feel The Change
Handy Backup Server – reliable backup solution for enterprise network (Review)

Carol’s Vault
Free Fashionable WordPress Theme | Themesbell

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove AV Security Suite

Plato On-Line
Your Brain On-line

Rarst.net
Mini-ITX PC (Antec ISK 300-150, ZOTAC GF9300-G-E)

Lifehacker
Dual Monitor Tools Manages
Your Multiple Monitors with Open-Source Tools

Bill Mullins’ Web Blog – Tech Thoughts
Download Dmailer Backup –
A Free Handy Dandy, Easy Backup Utility

Crazy World of G
LastPass

Right On Technology
AT&T Stops Unlimited Data Plans, Introduces Tiered Rates

thePC Security
New MSN Hotmail Account Security Features by Microsoft

What’s On My PC
Over 33,500 High Quality Clipart Images

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#58)

If you have an obsession for information technology and computers, then I encourage you to become a regular subscriber of the sites listed below.  To whet your appetite, What’s On My PC randomly selects each week recent articles that have been composed by the authors who are members of the What’s On My PC blogroll.

image

Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Be Sure to Visit this SUPER TECH BLOG and Congratulate Bill
for surpassing the 2 Million mark in visits

Internet Security Blog
Malware Infection Economy – Top Selling Products
and Services in Malware Business

Canadian Tech Blogger
Apple Sells Over 1 Million iPads

Mrintech
Best Free Portable Apps Suite with 280+ Apps

TuneUp Blog about Windows
PC Optimization: The Green Way

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
WordPress.com versus Blogger.com 3

Worthy Tips
Will you pay to watch Youtube video? You should soon

Netbook Freeware
PeaZip: Best Free Compression Tool for Netbook

I Love Free Software
3 Chrome Extensions for Downloading Files from Rapidshare

404 Tech Support
SparkChess – Quality, Free Chess Online

TTC Shelbyville
1.5 million stolen Facebook accounts up for grabs

Snakebytez
PDF OCR – OCR PDF Document to Editable Text

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites May 4

Tech-for Everyone
Click, click, fixed!

Rarst.net
Best and worst computing advice you know?

Lifehacker
Disable Google Chrome’s Location-Aware Browsing

Crazy World
of G HTC Incredible

thePC Security
Top 10 Spamming Country – No, China is Not There

Right On Technology
HP Buys Palm, Hints at WebOS Slate

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove AKM Anitivirus 2010 Pro

Carol’s Vault
Chillout Saturday : DJ River’s “Blue Room” album

Plato Press
Comodo Backup

What’s On My PC
Secure USB Flash Drive

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Make An Exact Copy of Your Hard Drive

One of the most frustrating moments for any computer user is when your computer has crashed, all else has failed to work, and you forgot to make the restoration CDs (or DVDs) that came with your PC. The restoration CD (or DVD) option is your last ditch solution to fixing your PC when all else has failed. The restoration CDs (or DVDs) typically restore your system back to the day that you purchased it. Some manufacturers’ PCs provide an option to perform (initiate) the restoration process by hitting a key during the computer’s startup that will initiate the restore process by using files stored in a hidden partition on the computer’s hard drive. The restoration process varies from PC manufacturer to manufacturer and if you have a home brewed system, the restoration is typically a reinstall of the operating system using the operating system discs that you purchased. The whole point to this is just that you make sure you have a plan in the event disaster strikes… AND, BELIEVE ME IT WILL !

The problem with the restoration processes provided is that you are in for some work. I’m talking about reinstalling your software, performing your Windows updates, virus/malware software updates, personal customization, bookmarks, emails, etc… Most of the time when you have resorted to a complete restoration or reinstall of the operating system you will lose your valuable data that you may have saved over the months and even years.

One option to avoid all of this, and reduce the workload, is to use disk imaging software and a good external hard drive. Disk Imaging Software is software that you install on your PC and use when your computer is in a healthy state. The disk imaging software is engineered to make a backup (disk image) of an exact representation of your hard drive (or partitions) at the time you perform the imaging process. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your everyday backup software can make an exact copy of your hard drive and partitions. It can’t… The Windows operating system is like a living organism that is constantly evolving and changing when you start it up. Your typical backup software apps are unable to capture those changes. As a matter of fact Windows will not allow you to make a copy of certain critical system files without special software. Your typical backup software is great for backing up your personal files (such as pictures, documents, etc.) and should be used on a daily basis in addition to the imaging software that can be used on a less frequent basis.

As you well know, the What’s On My PC blog specializes in locating FREE software options.  In this case of disk imaging software, the FREE app that I use and recommend is the FREE Edition of Macrium Reflect

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Using Macrium Reflect™ Free Edition you can create an exact image of partitions on your hard disk for easy hard disk upgrade or complete/partial system recovery

Key factors to using imaging software, such as Macrium Reflect, is that when you perform the backup of your system it is critical that your system is in a healthy state and that you have an external source (with sufficient space) to store the image file.  Even though Macrium Reflect offers other backup media options to CD or DVD media, I suggest you use an external drive. Besides, the external drive will serve you in performing your normal daily backups.

Another important factor to using Macrium Reflect is that the first thing you should do is create a Rescue CD. This option is available in the Macrium Reflect software under the “Other Options” menu selection. The rescue CD is used to boot your computer and restore your computer from the image file when disaster occurs.

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For FREE imaging software, Macrium Reflect is a great option for home-based users and is comparable in performance and appearance with that of its’ commercial counterparts. Macrium Reflect is also regularly updated to meet the needs of the ever changing Windows operating system.

Features of the FREE Edition of Macrium Reflect:

Absolutely free! No strings! The only free XP, Vista and Windows 7 compatible disk imaging software with BartPEand Linux based recovery options.

  • Create a disk image whilst running Windows using Microsoft Volume Shadow copy Service (VSS).
  • Image to Network, USB, FireWire drives and DVD.
  • Built in scheduler.
  • 32 bit and native 64 bit versions.
  • Industry leading compression levels and speed.
  • Linux based Rescue CD with Network access and full GUI. Only 6.5MB in size!
  • Built in CD/DVD packet writing engine. Supports packet writing to DVD DL media with Windows Vista.
  • HTML log files.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#52)

This is a one year celebration of Geek Squeaks’. If you have a burning desire to learn about information technology and computers, then you are at the right place.  Each week What’s On My PC features articles (from the past week) that have been composed by bloggers that are associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll.  I encourage you to visit these blogs and better yet, click on the “Geek Squeaks” category at the side of the blog to get a rundown of articles for the past year.

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Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Download Shadow Defender – Virtualized Intrusion Prevention

Right On Technology
Windows Phone 7 Series
at MIX10 reveals Dev Tools, Marketplace, Netflix, and more

Evilfantasy’s Blog
It’s Time to Rock Your Firefox!

Plato Press
What Your Phone Tells Marketers About You

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Antivirus 7

AKS-Feel The Change
FileSecrets- Protect Your Confidential Files and Folders

Free PC Security
Comodo V4

AskBillFirst
Are you still texting while you drive?

Tech-for Everyone
Playing With A Fox

Rarst.net
Give yourself a backup drill

Lifehacker
Send to Google Docs Uploads Files
and Web Screenshots to GDocs

Crazy World of G
AxCrypt

thePC Security
BIOS Password – Reset, Remove, Break
or Recover with PC CMOS Cleaner

Internet Security Blog
Hotmail Allows Secure SSL Encrypted Login

Canadian Tech Blogger
How To Install A Hard Drive

TuneUp Blog for Windows
“200 Programs” Revisited: Performance and Stability Update

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Windows Live Writer Wave 4, some more screen grabs

Computer Maintenance
Best Antivirus | Software Download

Worthy Tips
Uberstaller – Perfect software uninstaller with better user interface

I Love Free Software
ReadFresh: Keep Track of Updates to Websites in Real Time

TTC Shelbyville
End of Support for Some Microsoft Products

Snakebytez
Copy files and folders on and off your iPhone with iPhone Explorer

Scoroncocolo
The Scoroncocolo Photo Gallery

What’s On My PC
Burn Baby Burn…

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Comodo Time Machine – A Powerful System Restore Utility

Comodo Time MachineIf you are looking for an utility that will literally save your PC’s butt, then Comodo Time Machine may be the answer you are looking for. What this innovative utility does is take snapshots of your PC and archives those snapshots so that if you experience a computer problem (like a malware or virus attack), you simply revert back in time to one of the snapshots you had previously taken. In other words, if you mess up your PC and you have the Comodo Time Machine software installed, you can go back in time to restore your PC to a previous good state.

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Comodo Time Machine (CTM) is a powerful system rollback utility that allows users to quickly restore their computers to an earlier point in time. CTM ‘snapshots’ are a complete record of your entire system (including the registry, critical operating system files and user created documents).  As part of a layered security strategy, users can schedule automatic snapshots to be taken at regular intervals then roll back to the last known working state in the event of virus attacks or crashes. It is also recommended practice to take snapshots of your computer before large installations or system maintenance like installing a Windows service pack, security updates or new drivers. Software Developers and testers can easily restore test systems to the default configuration after each deployment  without the need to manually uninstall each application. Home users can even let the kids run amok on the family PC for an afternoon and be safe in the knowledge that any damage can be instantly undone and all files recovered.

Comodo Time Machine is an excellent replacement for the “System Restoration” function that is built into Windows.  As a matter of fact, on my main PC, I turned “off” the Windows Restore utility, to reclaim disk space, and started using Comodo Time Machine as my main PC restore (rollback) utility.  Comodo Time Machine is a much more capable restore utility than the restoration function that is built into Windows; AND, what I find amazing is that there is no excessive disk usage bloat (like with Windows Restore).  This utility, when properly managed, could be a lifesaver to you.  I am now using Comodo Time Machine, on my main PC, as a layer of protection in conjunction with my disk imaging and backup software.

Layered Security

  • Schedule automatic snapshots to be taken at regular intervals
  • Roll back to the last known working state in the event of virus attacks or crashes
  • Take snapshots of your computer before large installations or system maintenance

It also comes in very handy when I am testing software. I simply install/test the software; then, instead of uninstalling the software, I revert back in time, using the Comodo Time Machine.  If you have multiple users (like kids) using one PC, this software may help you keep your sanity.

I am not going to get into all of the capabilities of the Comodo Time Machine; however, I highly recommend that you read the “User Guide” [ Click Here ] before you make the decision to use the software. Personally, from what I can attest thus far; Comodo Time Machine is a great innovation and is what the Windows restoration should be.

Why should I use Comodo Time Machine?

  • Easy to use – even beginners can quickly create system snapshots with a few mouse clicks
  • Provides instant and comprehensive system recovery after virus or spyware infections
  • Instantly reclaim your machine after devastating system crashes
  • Rollback the changes to ALL your documents – not just changes to system files and the registry
  • Boot-up console allows you to rollback even when your system will not boot to Windows
  • Test new software and network configurations in the knowledge that you can quickly switch back if problems develop
  • Completely remove unwanted software installations without the need to uninstall or clean the registry
  • Flexible restore options allow you to mount and browse snapshots to recover individual files or folders
  • Right click on any file or folder to synchronize it with a snapshot version
  • Schedule regular system snapshots to ensure highly relevant restore points
  • Network administrators have another way to quickly fix user or software problems
  • Libraries, Internet cafes and other publicly shared networks can schedule a total system restore at the end of each session

Supported Operating Systems:

Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit)
Windows Vista (32 and 64 bit)
Windows XP with service pack 2
or higher (32 and 64 bit)
Windows Server 2003
(32 and 64 bit)
Windows Server 2008
(32 and 64 bit. Except Windows Server 2008 Core)

Minimum Hardware:

Intel Pentium III Processor or higher
128 MB RAM

Free disk space:
4 GB (minimum) / 10 GB (recommended)

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#51)

The content presented by the authors of each of the articles below are examples of dedication, pride and commitment.  Each week What’s On My PC posts random articles, called Geek Squeaks’,  that have been crafted by the authors who are members of the What’s On My PC blogroll community… If your blood runs thick with the information technology and you need a daily fix, then check out these blogs.

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Snakebytez
Ninite : Easily Install Multiple Free Windows Apps in One Go

TTC Shelbyville
Put Your Computer to Sleep With Sonar

I Love Free Software
EtherPad: Collaborate in Real Time on Word Documents

Worthy Tips
Gmail now let you fetch POP accounts instantly & easily

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Myth Busted: Why Disabling SuperFetch
on Vista and Windows 7 Is a Bad Idea

WP Xpert
Intense Debate Is Now WP.com Enabled

Mrintech
Flickr Pro Account: Features and Review

Canadian Tech Blogger
Opera 10.5 Released To Windows Users

Internet Security Blog
Protect, Hide, Store and Send Files Secretly Under EXE Cover

Free PC Security
Threatfire Test with MSE and Avast 5

AskBillFirst
Trojan Pretends to Be Microsoft Security Suite

Tech-for Everyone
This Reader Question Is A Doozie

Rarst.net
Best sync and backup routines guidelines

Lifehacker
Manually Refresh POP Mail Fetching in Gmail

Crazy World of G
Export This Part 3

AKS-Feel The Change
Lock Keyboard and Mouse Buttons with Kid Key Lock

Carol’s Vault
PowerPoint to Video Converter

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Security Essentials 2010

Plato Press
Baby Starves While Parents Tend to Virtual Child

Evilfantasy’s Blog
Unlocker 1.8.9

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Your Car is a Connected Device and Ford’s Security Hits the Road

Right On Technology
Google Introduces Starred Results Feature

thePC Security
Control Internet Traffic Bandwidth Used
by Different Programs with NetBalancer

What’s On My PC
John’s Background Switcher

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#45)

If you are a person who has a passion (and obsession) for information technology and computers; then, you need to follow Geek Squeaks’.

Geek Squeaks’ is a weekly roundup of articles that have been produced by the bloggers (and site owners) who are associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll community. I endorse each one of these sites and encourage you to visit and bookmark them!

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AKS-Feel The Change
Remove Start Button-Start Killer

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove PCsSecure

Teck~Line
ShowMeWhatsWrong.com
Is a Awesome Screen Recording Tool
To Help Your Non Tech Savvy Friends

Plato On-Line
Would Jesus be Blogging Today?

Geeked Up
Using Magnets to Organize Your USB Cables

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Delete Stubborn Security Applications With Free AppRemover

thePC Security
Most Commonly Used Password List – Avoid It

Crazy World of G
Traitor

Lifehacker
DIY Monitor Shelf Stashes Peripherals Behind Your Monitor

Rarst.net
Kingston SSDNow V+ SNV225-S2 solid state disk

Tech-for Everyone
Johnny Depp car crash death video leads to malware

Free PC Security
Avast 5 Plus Installation Guide

Snakebytez
Android Operating System : Run Android on Your PC

Carputers News and Computers Tips
Another way to get SoftMaker Office 2008 free!

TTC Shelbyville
Speed up Taskbar Thumbnails in Windows 7

I Love Free Software
5 Best Free Screen Capture Software

Worthy Tips
Placefy – Let You Learn New Places Through Online Game

Mrintech
Backup your Online Accounts using Backupify!

Canadian Tech Blogger
Chrome Reaches Version 4 Stable

Internet Security Blog
Setting / Change Default Programs in Windows Computer – DPE

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
The Ribbon Interface, love it or hate it?

TuneUp Blog
How To: Change the Logon Screen in Windows 7

Big Geek Daddy
Free Software

What’s On My
PC Klondike Forever…

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#44)

Welcome to the 44th round of Geek Squeaks’.  If you have a passion for information technology and computers, then you are at the right place.  Geek Squeaks’ is a weekly roundup of links to articles produced by bloggers (and site owners) associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll community.  I encourage you to pay a special visit to each of these sites to support their incredible work…

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Tech-for Everyone
What is Mobsync?

thePC Security
HDD Password Removal –
Crack, Clear, Unlock, Reset a Locked Hard Disk

Lifehacker
Seems Like Everyone’s Getting Faster Internet but the U.S.

Rarst.net
Colorjive.com – online image editor to paint walls

AskBillFirst
Microsoft urges Windows XP users to ditch old Flash version

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites January 19

Snakebytez
Create a System Restore Point in 1-click with Quick Restore Maker

TTC Shelbyville
Online Network Tools

I Love Free Software
RegKey Backup – Free Software to Registry Backup

Worthy Tips
Download ‘Your Guide to Windows 7′ EBook

Mrintech
Help Haiti People: Donate Online or via Text

Canadian Tech Blogger
Firefox 3.6 RC2 Out

AKS-Feel The Change
What’s My Computer Doing?

Carol’s Vault
PDF Password Remover – remove your PDF’s restrictions

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Win Security 360

Plato On-Line
World Netizen’s Day

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Safe, Secure Browsing, with Free WOT Browser Add-on

Big Geek Daddy
How to Control Startup Programs

Computer Maintenance
How To Set Windows Automatic Update

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Windows Live Mail Wave4, it’s all looking good!

TuneUp Blog
Get More Privacy! How to Remove Personal Information from Files

Internet Security Blog
Auto Lock Computer Screen With USB – Free Download

Geeked Up
6 Important Steps on How to Maximize Firefox Screen Space

Technize
Find Your Files Faster with Windows 7

Whats On My PC
The Ultimate Clock for your Windows Desktop

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#43)

A week has past and Geek Squeaks’ are here at last…  Be sure to check out these articles posted by bloggers (everyday people like you and me) who are members of the What’s On My PC blogroll community. Geek Squeaks’ are recent articles (posted within the past 7 days).  There is no order (or method to my madness) in the selection process of articles; all are randomly selected AND all are squeaks from a very elite group of geeks.

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TTC Shelbyville – Technical Blog
Make a Shortcut on the Send To Menu

The Abbey Rose
Unmask Parasites accelerator for Internet Explorer 8

I Love Free Software
Comodo Time Machine Better than Windows Restore Point

Technize
Collection of Themes for Windows 7

Computer Maintenance
Computer Repair Tools

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
What is Windows Live?

TuneUp Blog
How To: Control Annoying Messages in Windows 7

Mrintech
Shorten/Change your Facebook Page/Profile URL

Canadian Tech Blogger
Microsoft Stops Selling Office

thePC Security
Free File Search Software For Text String Search

Lifehacker
WebMii Shows You How the Web Sees You

Rarst.net
How to integrate Google search into WordPress site

Tech-for Everyone
What The Inside Looks Like

AskBillFirst
Acer Recalls Notebook Computers Due to Burn Hazard

The PC Security
Malicious Sites January 13

AKS-Feel The Change
Speccy-Portable System Information Tool

Carol’s Vault
Free Screen To Video Freeware – screen capture tool

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove SysDefenders

Plato On-Line
Software Patents and Intellectual Piracy

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Comodo System Cleaner –
The Free “Swiss Army Knife” of System Cleaners

Scoroncocolo
Dropbox Is a File Storage, Syncing and Collaboration Tool

Big Geek Daddy
Free Disk Defrag

Internet Security Blog
Password Protect USB Data With Portable Free Encryption Tool

Worthy Tips
Download Official Gmail Tips E-Book

What’s On My PC
When Windows 7 Will Not Boot

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#40)

If you have an obsession for information technology and computers, then you need to follow these blogs.  Listed is this weeks Geek Squeaks’; a sampling of articles (from the past 7 days) from the bloggers that are on the What’s On My PC blogroll. Talk about a great community of bloggers; none like it around!

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411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Antivirus Live

Plato On-line
How and Why Twitter is Addictive

Evil Fantasy’s Blog
The Ultimate Geek TaskForce!

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Infected by Scareware? Get Your Wallet Out!

Snakebytez
IEHistoryView : Track websites
recently visited in Internet Explorer

Carputers News and Computer Tips
IBM Lotus Symphony goes portable…

TTC Shelbyville
Duplicate Your Hard Drive

The Abbey Rose
Security Applications

I Love Free Software
Sweet Little Piano: Play Piano on your Computer

Technize
Remotely Control Your Phone from Computer

Worthy Tips
Download 30+ Free MP3 From Amazon in This Christmas

Mrintech
Import Contacts to Yahoo! Mail from Google Account

Freeware Elite
Symbols, Accents, Weird punctuation –
Do you know how to type them?

Canadian Tech Blogger
Google DNS vs OpenDNS

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Talking about the new Bing Bar

TuneUp Blog
Disabling Dr. Watson: Does It Really Improve Performance?

Carol’s Vault
5 websites to find your perfect Christmas recipes

Free PC Security
K9 Web Protection Free

AskBillFirst
Is It Disk or Disc?

Tech-for Everyone
How To Remove FinallyFast (PC SpeedScan Pro, Performance Center, Active Speed, etc.)

Sugarloaf Tech
Trouble upgrading to AVG 9.0 Free Edition

Rarst.net
SimpleDesktops.com – minimalistic wallpapers collection

Lifehacker
Chrome Extensions Gallery Officially Opens [Chrome Extensions]

Crazy World of G
Free Rip

Computer Too Slow
How to Diagnose Keyboard Problems

thePC Security
Free MP3 Manager Software Download | Music File Management

What’s On My PC
Trusting the IT Guy

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#37)

If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of information technology and computers, I encourage you to take a moment and visit each of the blogs listed below. The articles and information that these sites provide are phenomenal. It is an absolute honor to have them on the What’s On My PC… blogroll.

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The PC Security
9 Tips for Safe and Secure Online Shopping on Internet Sites

Computer Too Slow
Windows 7 complaints from Netbook Users

Crazy World of G
Scan To PDF

Lifehacker
MyPorts Gives You Detailed Information on Open Ports

Rarst.net
Google Wave Preview – first look

Tech-for Everyone
Open .ppt Slideshows With Free Viewer*

AskBillFirst
The “Noteable” Mousepad

Free PC Security
Revo Uninstaller – Free

Right On Technology
Pirate Bay Tracker Shuts Down

Blogging Fool
WordPress Posts Yet Another Security Update in Advance of 2.9

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Internet Security Tips for Seniors

Evilfantasy’s Blog
What things to do when bored on the Internet?

Plato On-Line
Black Friday Deals Leaked to CNN

The Spyware Biz Blog
A great way to remember secure passwords

Teck~Line Lounge
Amazing Knife Throw- Modern Warfare 2

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Personal Protector

Carol’s Vault
Design your room online with Armstrong

AKS-Feel The Change
Flash Drive Reminder-Unplug USB Flash Drive From PC

Tune Up Blog
32-bit vs. 64-bit: More Bit, More Performance?

Canadian Tech News Blog
5 Ways In Which Firefox Is Better Than Internet Explorer

Freeware Elite
Backup your Facebook account with ArchiveFB

Mrintech
View Previously Featured Bing Wallpapers & Download Them!

Worthy Tips
Switch Off Your Monitor Using Single Mouse Click in Windows 7

Technize
Handy Backup – Automatic Data Backup, Recovery and Synchronization

I Love Free Software
Kompozer: Free Alternative to Adobe Dreamweaver and FrontPage

TTC Shelbyville
Visio – Nope, It is Gliffy!

Carputers News and Computer Tips
Free WiFi for the Holidays

Snakebytez
View lyrics for songs in your iTunes Library with LyricToy

Computer Maintenance
Basic Computer Maintenance Tips/Checklist

Freeware Pharmacy
Songr

What’s On My PC
Break the Email Chain – Stop the Lies!

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The Way a Backup Program Should Work

Backing up personal files (pictures, music, documents, videos, etc…) on our computers is probably the one maintenance function we neglect the most. To prove the reality of it all; I have assisted numerous individuals with their computers and I can not think of one person that was actually performing routine backups of their personal files. As a matter of fact, I have witnessed the look of despair on people’s faces when they are told their data is lost.

I truly believe the reasoning behind this is that the majority of home based computer users’ do not know the “how to’s” when it comes to setting up backup software; using an external drive, etc…  To all the Tech’s out there that assist people, we need to change that. We assist and fix; but, fail to recommend prevention measures such as performing backups and actually showing how it is done.  Let’s face it, backup software is very intimidating and foreign to most computer users.

What software do I use for backup software? Here of late I have been experimenting with and testing several different backup software product options and finally settled with Yadis! Backup.

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Yadis! Backup, in my opinion, is the way a backup program should work.  You install it, select the folder (s) you desire to backup, point it to your external drive and it does the rest.  Yadis! Backup will backup your personal files in “real time” and does not rely on a schedule.  Once it is setup, Yadis! Backup will copy all of your files to the backup destination; after that, you do absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, you will not even know it is there.  If you add or change a file, Yadis! Backup knows to back it up. If for some reason the destination source or drive is not available, Yadis! Backup knows to hold the backup until the destination drive becomes available again.

What I really like about this application is that it is easy to setup and is a good option for the everyday home user’; plus, it is just downright smart.

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Portable Utility to Backup and Archive Your Email

Here of late I have been on a kick with testing backup utilities; and today I came across an interesting application, called MailStore Home, that will allow you to archive (or backup) your email. If you are an email packrat and you are looking for something to archive (or backup) your email to your computer, then this app may be for you.

First off, MailStore Home is FREE and is designed to archive (or backup) email from:

Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Exchange
AVM Ken! Mailbox
Mozilla Thunderbird
Mozilla SeaMonkey
Windows Mail
Windows Live Mail
Google Mail
IMAP Mailbox
POP3 Mailbox
Email Files

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MailStore Home can either be installed on your PC or you can go with the NEW portable beta version that can be run without installing the app  and can be run directly from your flash drive (or from a folder on your PC). For the sake of testing this app, I went with the portable version and ran it directly from a folder on my PC.

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I am an email packrat in the sense that I use an online webmail account that harvests emails from my numerous other email accounts so that I have a backup. As a matter of fact I have approximately 4 GB’s of email stored in that backup account. The only problem with this strategy is that my emails (and attachments) are stored on the internet and not on my PC. MailStore Home is the solution to this problem and has given me the option of archiving and saving all of my emails to my PC.  As a result, I can clean out my online account and feel more comfortable knowing that my email data is now safe on my PC.

The cool factor with MailStore Home is that when you perform the backup, you have option of leaving the email on the server (on the internet) or you can tell MailStore to delete the email on the server after it has been safely archived (backed up).

MailStore Home will pluck those emails, attachments and all, and save them to your PC in the form of a data file that can be read  and searched by MailStore Home and backed up to other locations (such as an external drive, flash drive, etc…). 

Main features I found that you may be interested in:

Archive all email messages centrally, securely and permanently

No storage limitations

Search your email in a fraction of a second (incl. attachments)

Integrated CD/DVD burning, backup archives with 1 click

Conserve disk space; MailStore Home saves only a single instance of mail and attachments

Preview saved messages directly in MailStore and reopen them in your local mail client (e.g. Microsoft Outlook)

Your email can be exported to a variety of destinations

Messages are stored MIME-compatible, and can be recovered at any time without information loss (e.g. to import them in other applications)

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Use Windows Explorer to Access Your Windows Live SkyDrive Files

If you have a Windows Live account (e.g. Hotmail) I am sure you are taking advantage of the Microsoft’s Windows SkyDrive service, which offers 25 GB’s of FREE password protected online storage space that can be used to store, access and share files.

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Normally, to copy files to and from your PC to your online SkyDrive space, you are required to log into the SkyDrive service through your web browser. Today I want to expose you to a new utility, called SkyDrive Explorer, that will allow you to access and manage your SkyDrive files through Windows Explorer.

Now the thing I want directly point out here is that SkyDrive Explorer is currently in beta, was a little buggy (during my testing), and is developed by a third party developer (not Microsoft).  This app looks very promising and could change the way you manage your SkyDrive space from within Windows Explorer. I recommend you keep an eye on this one.

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Features (as described by the developers):

  • View the structure and contents of folders in SkyDrive™;
  • View files information (type, size, creation date in GMT format);
  • Create new root folders and subfolders;
  • Copy files into the storage;
  • Delete files and folders;
  • Copy files from the storage to the computer;
  • Copy folders and subfolders from the storage to the computer keeping their structure;
  • Use Drag & Drop for files operations;
  • Rename files and folders;
  • Create links to SkyDrive™ folders on your computer.

SkyDrive Explorer uses the standard Microsoft library for work with Windows Live Id services. Your personal information does not leave this library and even is not passed to SkyDrive Explorer engine. Also, the traffic with online storage goes through HTTPS protocol that protects data from snoopers.

SkyDrive Explorer works both in 32- and 64-bit Microsoft® Windows OS. Minimal required OS is Windows XP, and SkyDrive Explorer will successfully work in Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, and Windows 7.

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When Windows 7 Will Not Boot

Did you know that Windows 7 contains an utility to create a “System Repair Disc”? I highly recommend that you take the time to create this disc, in the chance your Windows 7  becomes broken or will not boot.

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The  System Repair Disc is an option designed to help users “fix or repair” Windows 7 without resorting to a complete re-install or resorting to your system recovery software. The System Repair Disc is a bootable disc, that provides accessible options for using System Restore, Complete PC Backup, Automated System Repair, Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool and a Command-line Prompt for manual advanced recovery.

The easiest method to initate the process to create the “System Repair Disc”, is to click on “Start“, go to the “Run” dialog, type: recdisc, and hit “Enter“.  The following dialog box will appear prompting you for a  blank CD or DVD disc.  Once the CD or DVD has been created, label the disc, and store it in a safe place. This simple process may save you a whole lot of headaches later.

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Windows 7 Recovery Options

If for some reason you are unable to create the “System Repair Disc” from your Windows 7 PC, you can download and create a bootable copy of the System Repair Disc at NeoSmart.

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How to backup and filter files using your Gmail account…

The blog “AKS-Feel The Change” recently featured an article [ Link ] about a really neat utility called “Backup To Email”. This utility enables you to backup files to just about any email account, including Gmail. To point out here, Backup To Email is not a full featured backup program designed to backup your whole computer. It is designed to supplement the backup routines that you should already have in place.

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I use Backup To Email, to backup and store project files that I am currently working on or other files that are important to me. For example, while drafting this article, I sent a backup copy to my Gmail account using Backup To Email. This is added insurance that if disaster strikes (computer crashes), my project files are backed up off site. If I think the file(s) I am backing up are sensitive in nature, I will often encrypt the file prior to uploading it to my Gmail account. The program I use for encryption purposes is, Drag’n’Crypt Ultra.

Nearly everyone these days has a Gmail account with approximately 7 GB’s of space. If you want to maximize the usage of that space, here is a neat way to use the Backup to Email program with your Gmail account to filter out (separate) the backup files from your regular email. The reason I lean toward using Gmail is that I can open the majority of my backup files right inside my Gmail (using Google Docs). Utlimately, If you are going to backup a lot of files, you could also setup a separate Gmail account to strictly store files.

To make this all happen, you must have Backup To Email installed and configured to recognize your Gmail account. This may look more difficult than it is, but it really easy to do and in the end your backup files are automatically separated from your regular email that you receive in your inbox.

  • Log into your Gmail account and click on Settings at the top right corner.
  • Click on Labels
  • At the bottom, type in the word “Files” where it says Create a new label
  • Click on Create (the Files label should show up)
  • Next, Click on Filters (at the top)
  • Click on Create a new filter
  • In the From box, type Me
  • In the Subject box type BackupToEmail (all one word)
  • Click on Next Step
  • Put a Check Mark next to Skip the Inbox
  • Put a Check Mark next to Apply the Label and select Files from the drop down box
  • Click on Create Filter and you are done.
  • Test to see if the filter is working by backing up a file using Backup To Email.  If it is not working properly, recheck the filter settings.

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