ACEPC AK1 Mini PC – Review Update

Purchased the ACEPC AK1 Mini PC back in February; and, as promised, here is a periodic update. I purchased this mini pc to connect to a 32 inch Insignia TV in my garage (my workspace, my cave). So far, so good! I use this PC on a daily basis and usually leave it on all day. At this point, I can recommend using this PC as a desktop computer; providing, you are not running memory intensive software that would tax the cpu and memory. I pretty much use this computer for all that I do (word processing, internet, videos, graphics editing, blogging, etc…) One thing I did, to save internal drive space, is I connected an SSD drive. This Mini PC has an option where you can install a drive (easily) inside the case. Software and files that I use are saved on that drive and use the main drive for pretty much the operating system. After 3 months of hard usage, this mini pc has not given me a minutes problem and with Windows-based PC’s these days, having less than a minutes problem is a miracle.

If interested, check out the ACEPC AK1 Mini PC, at Amazon, by clicking on any of the links below:

ACEPC AK1 Mini PC

  • 8GB RAM+120GB SSD –ACEPC AK1 built-in Intel Celeron J3455 processor at 1.50Ghz up to 2.3Ghz in Turbo mode and Intel HD Graphics, Pre-installed with Windows 10 (64-bit) and loaded with 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, set up is effortless.
  • Dual Display –Equipped with dual output display ports (2*HDMI port). 4K Ultra HD video playback, delight in producing stunning visuals.
  • Expand Storage Support– It’s expandable with the addition of up to 2 TB of 2.5 inch SSD or HDD fitted in the base expansion box.
  • Multifunctional Wireless Support — 5G+2.4G Dual Band WiFi, Ethernet Gigabit 1000MB/s LAN, Bluetooth 4.2, very convenient to connect other devices to the mini desktop computers.
  • Designed with 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x HDMI port, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port, 1 x Micro SD Card port, 1x Headphone Microphone Port.

Source: Amazon – ACEPC AK1 Mini PC

Can’t wait to setup this ACEPC AK1 Mini PC

Just purchased this Mini PC at Amazon. Can’t wait to get this setup. One thing that sold me on this computer is that you can install a 2.5″ SD/HD drive in the base of it to expand the storage capacity; EVEN MORE, there is a mSata slot available to go even further in storage capacity.

ACEPC AK1 Mini PC Intel Celeron Apollo Lake J3455 Processor(up to 2.3GHz)
Windows 10 (64-bit) Desktop Computer
[8GB RAM/120GB mSATA SSD/2.4G+5G Dual WiFi/Gigabit Ethernet/4K]

  • 8GB RAM+120GB SSD –ACEPC AK1 built in Intel Celeron J3455 processor at 1.50Ghz up to 2.3Ghz in Turbo mode and Intel HD Graphics, Pre-installed with Windows 10 (64-bit) and loaded with 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD, set up is effortless.
  • Dual Display –Equipped with dual output display ports (2*HDMI port). 4K ultra HDvideo playback, delight in producing stunning visuals.
  • Expand Storage Support– It’s expandable with the addition of up to 2 TB of 2.5 inch SSD or HDD fitted in the base expansion box.
  • Multifunctional Wireless Support — 5G+2.4G Dual Band WiFi, Ethernet Gigabit 1000MB/s LAN, Bluetooth 4.2, very convenient to connect other device to the mini desktop computers.
  • Designed with 2 x USB 2.0 ports,2 x USB 3.0 ports,2 x HDMI port,1 x Gigabit Ethernet port,1 x Micro SD Card port,1x Headphone Microphone Port.

Source: Amazon – ACEPC AK1

 

Nice All In One Computer For Home (Amazon Best Seller)

 Acer Aspire C24-865-ACi5NT AIO 23.8″

Specs: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor 1.6GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.4GHz, 23.8″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Edge-to-Edge LED Back-lit Display, Windows 10 Home, 12GB DDR4 2400MHz Memory, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive, High-Definition Audio Support, 2 – USB 3.1 (Type A) Gen 1 port (Rear), 2 – USB 2.0 Port (Rear), 1 – HDMI-out Port (rear), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 Port), Bluetooth 4.3LE, Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse

Source: Amazon – Acer Aspire C24-865-ACi5NT AIO 23.8″

Geek Squeaks (#2015-20) – Is Your Windows 10 Upgrade Setup Stuck?— and MORE FREE STUFF

Is Your Windows 10 Upgrade Setup Stuck? – Just experienced this problem with a friend where his Windows 10 upgrade was stuck at the “Preparing To Install” window for over 24 hours. Typically the upgrade process should be less than 2 hours max and in my case the upgrade process (on a basic laptop) took approximately 45 minutes. If this occurs, there is actually two things you can “try”. In my friends case we ended up shutting down the computer and restarting the process all over again (and it worked). We were not seeing any hard drive activity at all; thus, we made the decision to shutdown.  In the event you do not want to take that risk,  and your Microsoft Windows 10 Setup Stuck At “Preparing To Install”? Here’s The Fix … at a website called Bidnessetc. I have not tried this fix; however, this is what I came up with when researching the problem my friend was experiencing.

Microsoft Windows 10 Setup Stuck At “Preparing To Install”? Here’s The Fix

Remember the “Send To Toys” Explorer Extension?  It’s back… – Some years back a developer made a popular Windows Explorer extension tool that expanded the usage of the “Send To” menu, called Send To Toys. After years of no development activity, the developer recently published an upgraded version that is compatible with Windows 10. This program allows you add useful tools to the “Send To” menu and also gives you the ability to customize the menu (add/remove menu items — even those items that are not part of the program). Please note that I have added “Send To Toys” to the downloads page under the “Free Software” swarm…

Send To Toys

Like Legos? If yes, then you will love this computer –  “Imagine having a vertical tower of Lego pieces, only with every piece you add, the tower gains a new ability.” — at the Verge.

Revo Build Series

Watch This Video That Leads To Google’s NEW LOGO – Google has been around for approximately 17 years and during that 17 years they have taken us through a lot and as those changes occurred, their logo changed. You can read more about it by clicking HERE

Play And Run Android Apps On Your Desktop – This concept is nothing new, but the emulator to do this called Nox App Player is new to me and apparently was out there in the wild, but in Chinese. Betanews has a write-up on this if you are interested in giving this a try — CLICK HERE

NOX App Emulator

Trail and Game Camera Viewer – My brother’s have game cameras setup on our property (more or less as a hobby). You would not believe what has been captured on camera (such as bears, eagles, foxes and coyotes). The cameras require a SD card; and, typically in order to view the camera footage you have to take the card to a computer, UNTIL NOW. Check out this BoneViewTM2.0 Trail and Game Camera Viewer for AndroidTM Phones, Micro USB Connector, Reads SD and Micro SD Cards

Wildlife Cam Viewer

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Sign Up For pCloud For Free Online Storage

Yesterday I featured pCloud’s Transfer Service; but, what I did not know is that pCloud is also an online file storage service that has features that some of the other contenders do not. After you signup for the service you are given 10GB’s of free space to store and share your files. At that point you can earn more space by completing various tasks and tutorials that they have set up. I am currently working toward upgrading my space by inviting other users. For every user that I invite, I get 1GB of additional space (up to 20GBs) and the person signing up also gets a 1GB of space.

If interested in taking a look at pCloud,

CLICK HERE

 sign up and we’ll both get some FREE space.

pCloud

What is pCloud? pCloud is the right place to store and backup all your data – photos, videos, documents and large files without worrying about file size limit. All your files are stored safe in the cloud and available wherever you go, on any device – iOS, Android, Desktop, Web. All your files are immediately synchronized between your computer, your pCloud and all mobile devices and you have instant access to all updates you make.

pCloud has the typical features and options that you will see with some of the other online file storage services, but there are some features that make pCloud stand out:

  • You can upload as large files as your storage space allows you.
  • You can Choose a folder, go to options and click Get Upload Link. You will receive an unique Upload link. You can give that link to anyone who needs to send you a file and he/she can upload it directly to your cloud, even if the person doesn’t have a pCloud account.
  • You can (if pCloud installed) on your mobile devices tell pCloud to automatically backup all files you have on your phone to your pCloud account.
  • You can keep a copy of your important pCloud files on your phone by marking them as your favorite(s). You want to access certain files from your pCloud account even when you don’t have internet connection, you can just mark them as Favorite in the mobile application and a copy of those files will be stored locally on your mobile device and the changes to those files will be synchronized on every modification.
  • You can backup files from Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram and Picasa to your pCloud account.

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Checker Plus for Gmail – One Of The Highest Rated Google Chrome Extensions Out There

When I see a five star rating at the Google Chrome Web Store I know it has to be something good. If you are a Google Chrome browser fan and use Gmail then you must download the Google Chrome browser extension called Checker Plus for Gmail.

Before I go further, if you click this link (Checker Plus for Gmail) you will be taken to the Chrome Web Store; however, if you want to meet the author of this fantastic creation and learn more in detail about this extension, CLICK HERE …  The author’s main site also provides a forum, frequently asked questions, and other goodies that is an indicator (as a software reviewer) that the author is serious about what they do (as a trusted developer) and will continue to develop and fine tune their work. I can’t get over how good this extension is…

Due to this browser extension being very featured rich, I am going to cut to the chase and post the highlights, features and video (verbatim) as posted on the author’s site (see below); but there is one feature that I really love and that is you can configure Checker Plus for Gmail to read an incoming email to you (which is very unique).

I encourage you to take a look at this extension. It is definitely number one on my list of Chrome browser extensions at this time and is now added to my list of “Top Ten Google Chrome Browser Extensions I Can’t Live Without“…

Highlights...

  • The fastest and easiest way to manage multiple email accounts
  • One of the highest rated Chrome extensions – featured many times on PCWorld
  • Trusted developer of many extensions – more than one million satisfied users worldwide
  • Lots of features, options and updates – just read the version changes in the logs below
  • Personal tech support from me (the developer) – very fast response times, 5-30 minutes
  • Supports “Inbox by Gmail”
  • I’ll add your suggestions
  • Safer – requires less permissions and only access to Google Mail’s website

Features…

  • See the people emailing you just like in the Gmail chat notification, with an option to show their contact photos or your assigned photos for them.
  • Voice notification: If you get an email while you’re busy watching a movie or cooking dinner this extension can optionally read it out loud ie. “Jason says, dinner at my place”. It’s great for the visually impaired.
  • Option to monitor any Gmail or custom labels
  • Option to run in background when Google Chrome is closed and still get new email alerts
  • Zoom in and out of emails which have large images
  • Popup mail preview window to read, archive, mark as read or delete emails without leaving the current tab (or option to go directly to your Gmail tab)
  • Can also be used as a widget for the extension “Awesome New Tab Page” (ANTP) which supports multiple accounts
  • Desktop sound or voice notifications when new mail arrives (or add your own sounds)
  • Support for multiple Gmail and Google Apps accounts
  • Option to open “Mail to” links in your Gmail instead of your regular mail client
  • This Gmail notifier has more than 10 different icon sets, choose your favorite!
  • You change the generated voice by adding TTS (text to speech) voice extensions
  • The fast way to inbox zero. Yes that’s a thing.

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Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 23, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1 – (Get NirSoft and Sysinternals Utilities In One Program): A great way to capture any or all of the tech utilities that are developed by NirSoft and Sysinternals is to use the portable app called WSCC (Windows System Control Center). What I especially like about WSCC is that when there is an update (or a new utility), WSCC will let you know (see below for more details);

Squeak #2 – (A Router That Fits In The Palm Of Your Hand): I noticed that TCAT Shelbyville is playing around with a router that is so small that it will fit in the palm of your hand (see more about this below);

Squeak #3 – (A Malware Scanner In The Clouds): Panda, known for its’ online cloud based antivirus packages has a NEW cloud based malware scanner that is FREE (see below); AND,

Squeak #4 – (ZyXEL 3-in-1 Wireless N Pocket Travel Router): See where you can get your hands on the ZyXEL router that TCAT Shelbyville is reviewing (see below)…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

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 ]


A Portable App To Organize and Maintain The Utilities From NirSoft and Sysinternals Live

WSCC – Windows System Control Center

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WSCC is a free, portable program that allows you to install, update, execute and organize the utilities from various system utility suites. WSCC can install and update the supported utilities automatically. Alternatively, WSCC can use the http protocol to download and run the programs. WSCC is portable, installation is not required. Extract the content of the downloaded zip archive to any directory on your computer… GET IT HERE


Zyxel MWR102 tiny router/AP

@ TCAT Shelbyville – Technical Blog

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Finally got my Zyxel Routers / APs in.  Promised pics earlier with our blog post earlier last week.  With a router/ap switch on the side and the ability to act as a router, ap or bridge, the routers came with two power supplies each, a CAT5 cable and a very powerful wireless signal… READ MORE


Panda Cloud Cleaner

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Panda Cloud Cleaner is an advanced disinfector based on Collective Intelligence (scanning in-the-cloud) that detects malware that traditional security solutions cannot detect. The FREE DISINFECTOR… GET IT HERE


ZyXEL 3-in-1 Wireless N Pocket Travel Router,
Access Point, and Ethernet Client

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Many ultra-portable devices like PDAs, tablets, handheld game consoles, and even some laptops no longer accept a wired connection, limiting their functionality in locations without wireless access. The MWR102 combines a miniature router and wireless access point to create the perfect way to share high-speed wireless internet access in hotel rooms, conference rooms, or anywhere a wired broadband connection is available… CHECK IT OUT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

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Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 17, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1 – (NetSolitaire): Love playing solitaire? NetSolitaire is one of the best cloud based solitaire games I have come across that you play in your web browser (see below);

Squeak #2 – (Wallpaper “Inside The Icicle”): I normally only feature wallpapers once a week; however, this one called “Inside The Icicle” popped up on my screen and I went WOW!  I just had to share this wallpaper with you (see below);

Squeak #3 – (Microsoft Bing Has A NEW Look):  Over 4 years ago I posted an article, “Bing – Microsoft’s New Search Engine”, that received more comments than any other article I ever posted at What’s On My PC. At that time, people were complaining that Bing took over their computer and apparently they thought I created Bing and demanded I remove it. Fast forward to today and Bing has become a main competitor to Google and a now they have once again given Bing a new look (see below); AND,

Squeak #4 – (Desktop Cable Management): A neat, inexpensive, way to manage cable clutter on your desktop (see below)…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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 ]


FREE Online HTML5 Solitaire

@ NetSolitaire

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Play Klondike, FreeCell, Spider and many other solitaire card games online for free in your desktop or tablet browser!… CLICK HERE TO START PLAYING


Wallpaper – Inside The Icicle

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GET IT HERE


A New Look for Bing:
More Helpful, More Human, More Beautiful

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With this release we’ve created a modern Bing.com experience – one that is faster, cleaner and more visually appealing. We believe that search can be beautiful as well as functional and efficient. With that as our goal, we evaluated fonts, spacing, color, visual scan patterns, the search box and even the underlying code. We’re excited about the final result and to give you a glimpse, we have created a destination at www.bing.com/newwhere you can learn more about the new face of search… READ MORE


Desktop Cable Management For Power Cords
and Charging Accessory Cables

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  • Five rubber grips with four slots, each of which can hold the ends of several cords
  • Weighted base for stability
  • Perfect for power cords, USB cords, cell phone chargers, audio cables, headphones, FireWire cords, and more.
  • Small footprint (fits even the most cluttered workspaces)
  • Ability to stack cables on top of each other within each loop.

CHECK IT OUT HERE


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Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 14, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1 – (NEW Evernote Web Clipper): I have tried every note taking and note keeping application out there and I am convinced that Evernote is the best. Recently, the developers of Evernote released the NEW Evernote Web Clipper 6 for Google Chrome that features a completely re-done interface (see below);

Squeak #2 – (Outlook.com Finally Supports IMAP): IMAP is a mail protocol that allows email clients to access messages stored on a remote mail server. The beauty of IMAP is that everything stays in sync no matter which device you use. For example, any change you make on your inbox on one device appears on the other devices. Adding the IMAP protocol, by Microsoft, to their new web based mail is a big step. See below “how to” take advantage of IMAP with Outlook.com – -formerly Hotmail (see below);

Squeak #3 – (Win +X Menu Editor):  If you hit the Win key plus the X key on your keyboard in Windows 8 a menu will appear (in the bottom left corner of the screen). You can also get to that same menu by going to the bottom left corner of the screen and when the Start Screen thumbnail appears, right mouse click. This menu is pretty handy; however, there are no built in ways to edit or manage the menu – – UNTIL NOW (see below); AND,

Squeak #4 – (Nice Looking Card Reader):  In to computer builds? Then don’t forget to add a card reader to the build list (see below)…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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 ]


The All New Evernote Web Clipper 6 for Chrome

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The first thing you’ll notice is the Web Clipper’s new look. When you click on the elephant icon, the Clipper panel slides in from the right, exposing all the features from top to bottom. Some sections, like tags and notebooks, pop out to let you conveniently choose what you need…READ MORE


Here’s how to use Outlook.com’s
long-overdue IMAP support

@ PCWorld

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Outlook.com’s IMAP and OAuth support are just the latest features in Microsoft’s rapid-fire blitz to claim the webmail crown from arch-rival Google. Over the past several months, the service has added Skype integration, a vastly improved Calendar app, alias sign-ins, and two-factor authentication in a bid to compete with Gmail… READ MORE


Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8

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A simple and useful way to edit Win+X menu without system files modification. It keeps your system integrity untouched… GET IT HERE


NZXT Aperture M Internal 5.25-Inch Mesh Card Reader
with 2x USB 3.0

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Unique design that blends well with any chassis that has a front mesh panel. Media hub supports: CF, MD, SM, XD, SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MS, M2, and MicroSD. Ante up your ports with dual USB 3.0

Supports: CF, MD, SM, XD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MS, M2, Micro SD

CHECK IT OUT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

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[SUPER BLOGROLL][GE GEEK][DOWNLOADS][TECH NEWS]

Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 13, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: If you are familiar with GlarySoft utilities you will be interested in knowing that they have started a new service called GlarySoft Giveaway featuring commercial grade software given away (for FREE) everyday. You only have a certain amount of time to take advantage of the daily offerings (see below);

Squeak #2: Did you ever get a large PDF file that was many pages and you wished you could extract only a few pages from the file? If so, take a look at PDF Splitter and Merger for FREE (see below);

Squeak #3: I bet you are familiar with the yellow and black “DUMMIES” books that are out there on just about any topic. One of my first Dummies book was “DOS for Dummies”. Create your own Dummies book cover using the online generator that is featured below; AND,

Squeak #4: You are in the market for a computer, which do you choose; Laptop or Desktop??? (see below)…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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 ]


GlarySoft Giveaway

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What’s GlarySoft Giveaway?

Basically, giveaway is for users to freely download for-purchase software. The giveaway software has no free technical support, no free upgrades to future versions and strictly non-commercial usage. It is a great way to get FREE commercial software and a great way for developers to promote their software… CHECK IT OUT HERE

Also, if you click on the DOWNLOADS TAB at the top of the blog, you can see what is given away on a daily basis…


PDF Splitter and Merger Free

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A powerful and easy-to-use PDF utility that is designed to to split and merge PDF documents. It is able to split large PDF document into separate documents within seconds by page range or page numbers. And it is able to merge an unlimited number of PDF documents into one PDF file… GET IT HERE


The Official “FOR DUMMIES” Cover Generator

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Customize your own For Dummies book cover and share them with your friends… CREATE YOUR OWN DUMMIES COVER HERE


Laptop vs. Desktop: Which is Right for You?

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When you’re in the market for a new computer, one of your biggest decisions will be deciding between a laptop and a desktop. In a laptop vs. desktop comparison, it’s important to decide which features and benefits are consistent with your needs. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each, and you’ll be that much closer to finalizing your decision… READ MORE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

[SUPER BLOGROLL][GE GEEK][DOWNLOADS][TECH NEWS]

Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 11, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: Uninstalling security software should be straightforward, but it is not. Norton products are no exception. If you have a Norton product on your PC and you desire to uninstall it, make sure you download the Norton Removal Tool (see below);

Squeak #2: I came across some very good tips on what to look for when hiring a computer tech (see below);

Squeak #3: I have to let you know about this if you are an iPhone owner. Apple is releasing the NEW Apple iPhone 5S and 5C.  Difference between the two is that one built better and more expensive than the other. I found where the cheap one is still pretty expensive if you buy it unlocked (see below); AND,

Squeak #4: Nexus 4 is Google’s flagship smartphone. If you own one of these, I strongly suggest you protect your investment with one of these cases (see below);

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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 ]


Norton Removal Tool – To Uninstall Your Norton Product

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The Norton Removal Tool will scour your PC for remnants of any Norton security tool (all the old Norton 2003 and later products, Norton 360, and Norton SystemWorks 12.0), removing any associated files, folders and Registry keys… GET IT HERE


Computer Repair Technician Checklist

@RenoGeek

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I have seen many people get scammed by dishonest or unqualified Technicians. If you should decide for whatever reason not to use my services please use this checklist to help insure that the person you do call is qualified to help you… READ MORE


Apple launches iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S

@ NBC News

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Apple unveiled two new iPhones a Tuesday, the speedier iPhone 5S and the less expensive iPhone 5C… READ MORE


Nexus 4 Best Selling Shock Absorption Bumper + Anti Scratch Clear Back Premium Hybrid Case

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The Best Case Seller with Top Rated Feedback and Reviews… CHECK IT OUT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

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[SUPER BLOGROLL][GE GEEK][DOWNLOADS][TECH NEWS]

Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 10, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: Connecting a computer to a big screen TV is pretty straight forward these days; however, when surfing the web on a TV, the standard web browser is not really optimized for that purpose. There is a solution in a browser called Kylo (see below);

Squeak #2: If you are using Windows 8 and you come across and iso file, did you know you can view the contents of the iso file and even burn the iso file to disc with what is already built into Windows 8? Let Simple Help show you how in a very nicely composed tutorial (see below);

Squeak #3: When we purchase a computer these days, the sound hardware components are typically built into the motherboard. The sound may sound good, but you do not know what good is until you go with a sound card (that you can install). To shoot you in the right direction, and to teach you a few things, make sure you read the article below from Dom’s Tech & Computer Blog (see below); AND

Squeak #4: Today’s featured geek product is one of the sound cards that Dom’s Tech & Computer Blog is recommending. It is the Creative Sound Blaster Z (see below)…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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 ]


Kylo – The Web Browser For Your TV

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Kylo’s wide-open interface is designed specifically to fit your TV screen. It’s not just a blown-up web browser. Kylo lets you enjoy your favorite content fast. Don’t waste time hunting through lists of links and unreadable text. See what you want to see!… GET IT HERE


How to Open or Burn an .ISO File in Windows 8

@ Simple Help

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This very brief tutorial will show you how to open up and view the contents of an .iso file – or burn the .iso to CD/DVD – in Windows 8. The best part – all the software you need is included with Windows 8 itself… READ MORE


Best Gaming Sound Card – The Top 5!

@ Dom’s Computer & Tech Blog

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Most motherboards today come with an on-board sound card. Many people, however, don’t realize how much a dedicated sound card can really improve sound quality… READ MORE


Creative Sound Blaster Z SBX PCIE Gaming Sound Card with Beamforming Microphone

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The Sound Blaster Z is an ideal all-round solution for your PC gaming and entertainment needs. It comes complete with the Sound Blaster beamforming microphone for crystal clear voice communication… CHECK IT OUT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

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[SUPER BLOGROLL][GE GEEK][DOWNLOADS][TECH NEWS]

Today’s Geek Squeaks – August 30, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: MGM… If you are into Windows, I am sure you have heard of God Mode, which is the name given to a special folder in Windows where numerous system settings can be accessed and tweaked. Featured today is MyGodMode, which is an application developed to get you to those settings with minimal hassle (see below);

Squeak #2: Did you ever forget a password to an account, but you could still access your account in your browser, because the browser was storing the password. The problem is once the browser’s cache, that stores the password, is cleared you will lose access to your account. If you need to retrieve the password, before this cache is cleared, I am featuring a neat little utility that will let you see what is behind those asterisks or dots in the password box (see below);

Squeak #3: One of my favorite sites, Addictive Tips, recently featured a portable app that allows you to schedule Windows apps (and programs) to launch automatically and at specific time intervals.  Much better and easier than the Windows Task Scheduler (see below); AND,

Squeak #4: Shopping for a laptop computer can be a real pain in the butt.  Eliminate the frustration by simply following the categories as posted below…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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 ]


Unlock all Windows’ Customization Tweaks
With MyGodMode

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FREE system management utility that unlocks all Windows customization tweaks (over 260+)… GET IT HERE


View Passwords Hidden Under Asterisks

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A small program to view passwords hidden under asterisks. To view the password, simply mouse over to reveal the password – press Ctrl and click the mouse to the area with a password. To stop the attack, press the right Shift. Copy the password by right-clicking the mouse… GET IT HERE


Easily Schedule Windows Apps To Launch Periodically
Or At Set Times

@ Addictive Tips

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Upon launch, you will see that the app sports a barebones UI and doesn’t feature any complicated settings to confuse you. Its functionality is also pretty straightforward; simply schedule programs to launch on their own based on your set frequency and time, and you can do it all with just a few clicks… READ MORE


Find The Perfect Laptop

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Amazon makes it easy to find that perfect laptop (or unltrabook) by simply breaking it down into four categories…  SEE HERE


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Today’s Geek Squeaks – August 26, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: Own an Android smartphone or tablet? If so, I highly recommend that you take a look at AirDroid (which is FREE). It is an awesome app that allows you to manage your device in many ways (see below);

Squeak #2: The IT Department at TCAT Shelbyville piqued my attention with an all-in-one utility from Puran that just may end up on my PC as a permanent addition. This utility is packaged with numerous utilities that will help keep your computer in tip top shape (see below);

Squeak #3: I don’t think very many people at home know about Google Keep. If you are a Gmail user, I encourage you to check it out. C|net just posted an article about a new feature in Google Keep (see below); AND,

Squeak #4: Touchscreen is in on notebook (and desktop) computers. They are not as expensive, as you would think (see below)…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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 ]


Manage Your Android Device From A Web Browser

@ AirDroid

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Send & receive SMS via your current carrier; move photos, videos, ringtones and any other files on and off Android, all without a USB cable; locate and lock your Android when it’s lost; manage installed apps; see through the lens of your Android camera, front and back; AND, Call contact, share clipboard content, push url to Android and more features… GET IT HERE


Puran Utilities scores 4.5 out of 5 stars

@ TCAT Shelbyville IT Department

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A set of more than 20 software utilities including but not limited to utilities that can help you get the best performance out of your computer. It also provides an automatic and a one click solution to keep your computer clean and error free… READ MORE


Got a to-do list? Google Keep will remind you

@ C|net

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Google Keep, the company’s answer to Evernote, has added reminders that work with both time and location… READ MORE


Touchscreen PCs Under $600

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Looking for a touchscreen PC and do not want to break the bank? Then check these out… CLICK HERE


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Today’s Geek Squeaks – August 19, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: I have been looking for an online jigsaw puzzle app that emulates a real jigsaw puzzle, and I found it (see below);

Squeak #2: Anyone who does any desktop publishing, blogging, or graphic editing needs PicPick (see below);

Squeak #3: Read the scoop on renting porn movies from the cable company (read more below); AND

Squeak #4: Today’s featured gadget is a Leatherman tool. I actually collect these things and find them very useful (see below)…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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!


Jigsaw Explorer – Best Online Jigsaw Puzzles

@ Jigsaw Explorer

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This is the best jigsaw puzzle application that I have come across that allows you to rotate the pieces, determine the number of pieces to use and use your own pictures; right from your browser (no install required)… GET IT HERE


PicPick – All In One Design Tool

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PicPick is an all-in-one program that provides a full-featured screen capture tool, an intuitive image editor, a color picker, a color palette, a pixel- ruler, a protractor, a crosshair and even a whiteboard.

This software is distributed as a freeware for personal use only… GET IT HERE


Cable Movie Blackmail

@ Plato On-Line

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Why you Shouldn’t rent cable porn movies… Cable companies tell you that they don’t list the movies you rent. But any company insider can know. Their movies have codes and so do movies you rent… READ MORE


If You’re Heading To College You Need One Of These

Leatherman 831102 Super Tool-300 Multitool

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Today’s Geek Squeaks – August 15, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: Windows 8.1 is coming; Windows 8.1 is coming; hear ye, Windows 8.1 is coming…

Squeak #2: There are many image editors and viewers out there, but StylePix from Hornil is one that you need to try;

Squeak #3: TechPaul at Tech-for Everyone is hitting on all cylinders this week with a second article in a row to make Geek Squeaks…  Knowing what computer to buy and accessories for your kids in school can be quite stressful.  This article (and excellent advice) will help you out; AND,

Squeak #4: I love cool tech products and this portable blue tooth speaker is no exception.

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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!


Mark your calendars for Windows 8.1!

@ Blogging Windows

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I am excited to share that starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00am October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store… READ MORE


Convenient And Easy To Use, Lightweight and Powerful Image Editor

StylePix

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StylePix is an image editor that has all the features of raster graphics editor and adhered to lightweight design and effective UI. In addition, it has a built-in image viewer and batch processor… GET IT HERE (FREE)


Choosing the right computer for your student

@ Tech-for Everyone

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This is the time of year when I am asked for advice on what computer “tech” to buy for students… READ MORE


Sweet Sound In A Sleek Portable Design

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Connects Wirelessly to Bluetooth-Enabled Devices

Connect wirelessly from up to 30 feet away–JAM Plus works with most Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and desktops, including iPad, iPhone, and iPod… GET IT HERE


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Today’s Geek Squeaks – August 12, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: The first squeak on the list is the Youtube Downloader, that gives you the ability to download Youtube videos to your computer and covert them to a device friendly format;

Squeak #2: Now, this is unique in that it is an utility that will help you create a multi-boot USB Flashdrive where you can boot into different operating system environments;

Squeak #3: The mother load of all Geek reference sites… If you are into IT, this is a must have site…

Squeak #4: I am a real advocate of the SanDisk Cruzer portable flash drives.  A real investment at a cheap price…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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!


Youtube Downloader HD

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Youtube Downloader HD is a free tool to download videos from YouTube and save it to your local computer. The videos can be converted to avi video format or to mp4 (compatible with iPod, iPhone)… GET IT HERE


How to Run Multiple Operating Systems From a USB Drive

@ Instant Fundas

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YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) can create a Multiboot USB Flash Drive containing multiple operating systems, antivirus utilities, disc cloning, diagnostic tools, and more… READ MORE


GEGeek – PC Tech Reference

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If you are a tech or into information technology, I highly recommend that you bookmark this site. This site is managed by a person who is actively employed in the field of IT… SEE IT HERE


Take It All With You On Reliable SanDisk USB Flash Drives

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I have owned several of these drives over the years and can attest to their reliability. Available in 4GB, 8GB,16GB and 32GB capacities… CHECK IT OUT HERE


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Today’s Geek Squeaks – August 2, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

  • A very cool and easy way to keep your data secure and safe on your USB Flash Drive (or computer);
  • I love weather apps and I truly think I found the mother of all weather apps that is not only beautiful, but very practical;
  • Curiosity the Mars Rover has been on Mars for a year. I encourage you to watch this video, 12 Months In Twelve Minutes; Curiosity’s First Year On Mars; AND,
  • The Google Chromebook has caught my eye and is a good example of what direction computing is heading !

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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!


A Free Program To Keep Your Data Secure and Safe On Your USB Flash Drive

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It is very easy to encrypt your files and folders using a free program and to keep your data secure and safe on USB Pen Drive. You can also open this on any computer running Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 and you don’t even have to install anything on the computer… READ MORE


Beautiful Weather Graphs and Maps

@ WeatherSpark

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  • A rich, interactive map with the current conditions from thousands of locations worldwide.
  • Incredibly smooth radar playback for the last two hours – or any period in the last five years. US only, extended playback is subscription only
  • Pan and zoom through a graphical forecast, seamlessly transitioning to averages and historical data.
  • Compare the weather across locations for any time period.
  • Multiple forecasts shown in seventeen graphs – get precisely the data you want.

GET IT HERE


Twelve Months in Two Minutes;
Curiosity’s First Year on Mars


Curiosity

Here is a rover’s eye view of driving, scooping and drilling during Curiosity’s first year on Mars, August 2012 through July 2013.


Chromebook – The NEW Computer From Google

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The Chromebook is a new computer from Google that’s simple, lightweight and easy to use. Starts in seconds, backs-up your stuff in the cloud and keeps it safe with built-in virus protection. It’s the ideal device for getting stuff done everywhere you go… READ MORE


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Today’s Geek Squeaks – July 30, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

  • If you are a network administrator you may want to take a look at BgInfo to display system information on the desktop of all of your computers!  Great for home computers too;
  • Lifehacker has an article up about how to use an old router to extend your Wi-Fi network.  Many routers have this capability built in (which many folks are unaware of);
  • If you love messing with software and online browser based applications, then you need to check out BearWare (one of my favorite software resources);
  • Find yourself in a pinch where you need to make a note of something, you may be interested in the posting below from gizmo’s; AND,
  • Heading back to school or going to college. Toshiba has a nice Satellite notebook (with an intel i7 processor) that packs a punch for work and play.

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


Automatically Display System Information About A Windows Computer On The Desktop Background
With BgInfo

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BgInfo automatically displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background, such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more. You can edit any field as well as the font and background colors, and can place it in your startup folder so that it runs every boot, or even configure it to display as the background for the logon screen… GET IT HERE


How to Extend Your Wi-Fi Network With an Old Router

@Lifehacker

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“When creating a range-boosting Wi-Fi repeater, what you need will vary. Some routers have repeater functionality built in. Others need custom firmware to get the job done”… READ MORE


Only The Best Freeware Listings

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As Yogi would say, “smarter than the average bear”…  I can attest that BearWare is smarter than the average bear when it comes to freeware, webware and some great computer tips that will make you smarter than the average bear…CHECK IT OUT HERE


The Simplest Online Notepad You’ll Find

@gizmo’s

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You’re sitting at your computer, or perhaps a public terminal in a hotel or an internet cafe, and you need to make some notes.  Copy some interesting URLs, maybe, or draft a letter.   You could fire up Notepad or Wordpad, of course.  But actually you’d quite like to be able to access those notes later on from a different machine”… READ MORE


Good Deal On A Toshiba Satellite Laptop

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A 4th generation Intel® Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost Technology delivers the premium performance your life demands.

With 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, the Satellite® S55-A5257 ensures that your software won’t just run — it’ll sprint.

Safely store and easily access all your videos, photos, music and other documents on a generous 750GB (5400 RPM) Serial ATA hard drive… GET IT HERE


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Today’s Geek Squeaks – July 24, 2013

A summary of today’s Geek Squeaks:

  • Upcoming Technology – Use your phone AND tiles to create the world’s largest lost and found;
  • How to (step-by-step) boot Windows 8.1 directly to the desktop (to bypass the Windows 8 Start Screen);
  • FREE software to change your Windows background on a pre-determined time schedule using numerous image sources available on the internet (Note:  This one is one of my favorites…);
  • With the demise of Google Reader, I highly recommend you give Feedly a try.  It is all that I use to pull down all my News sources and to monitor other tech blogs; AND,
  • Keep yourself safe when driving, with this one touch dashboard mount for your mobile phone.

Tile – The World’s Largest Lost and Found

READ MORE


Boot Windows 8.1 to the desktop

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Want to avoid the MetroUI?  After downloading Windows 8.1 preview perform the following actions.. READ MORE


Periodically Change The Background Image On Your Computer With John’s Background Switcher

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JBS sits in your system tray (down by the clock) and changes your background at the time interval of your choosing. You tell it where to get pictures from and how to show them – maybe you just want to see one photo at a time or maybe you’d like to see a ‘Snapshot Scrapbook‘ of photos thrown across your desktop. It’s up to you and you never know what’s coming next… GET IT HERE


Feedly

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Organize your favorite blogs, news sites, podcasts and Youtube channels and access them all in one place (or migrate your Google Reader account)… READ MORE


Easy One Touch Windshield Dashboard Universal Car Mount Holder For Your Phone

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The iOttie One-Touch Windshield Dashboard Car Mounts main focus is functionality. Its easy one-touch system allows for the mounting and releasing of the device with just the push of a finger… READ MORE


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Geek Squeaks’ for July 19, 2013

Today’s roundup of Geek Squeaks’ are:

  • Get a daily dose of news from around the net at Tech Thoughts;
  • An “All In One” Windows repair utility that is geared for the tech in you;
  • Check out Gizmo’s “Finds of the Week”, you will not regret it;
  • Microsoft has launched a redesigned Malware Protection Center;
  • AND, LAST SQUEAK OF THE DAY — A portable hard drive that provides an easy and convenient way to backup your important files.

Plan on seeing  a lot more of 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!


Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 19, 2013

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News is the only source you will need to find out what the latest is on the net…  Bill Mullins’ hand picks each and every article to deliver (to you) only the best…– READ MORE


Windows Repair (All In One)

Windows Repair (All In One)

Windows Repair is an all-in-one repair tool to help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including registry errors and file permissions as well as issues with Internet Explorer, Windows Update, Windows Firewall and more. Malware and installed programs can modify your default settings. With Tweaking.com – Windows Repair you can restore Windows original settings… GET IT HERE


Finds of the Week: Send Email From Your Browser, Creative Ways to Use Your Printer, Delete Yourself from the Internet, Best Docks and Launchers, Dollar Store Hacks

gizmo's

Finds of the Week is a list of web sites I’ve come across lately that are interesting, fun, or useful (or all three). I hope you enjoy them… READ MORE


Microsoft redesigns & launches new
Malware Protection Center website

Malware Protection Center

Microsoft has listened to feedback and launched a new redesigned website for its Malware Protection Center that is aimed at providing its users an easier way to find security software and updates… READ MORE


Portable hard drive, Automatic backup software, WD Security software, WD Drive Utilities software, USB cable, Quick Install Guide

Portable Hard Drive

WD My Passport 1TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 —  A high capacity in a sleek portable drive. It features ultra-fast USB 3.0 connectivity; automatic, backup software; and password protection and hardware encryption to help protect your files from unauthorized use with plenty of room to store all your files… READ MORE


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Geek Squeaks’ – July 13, 2013

Learn how to use the performance monitor in Windows 7 and Windows 8; some really good thoughts… in brief about phone plans; a windows based audio player that will play just about any format imaginable; how to enable the hidden “show desktop” feature in Windows 8; and, get your own 80 ounce beer belly.

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


How to Work with the Performance Monitor
in Windows 7 & Windows 8

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Performance Monitor, also known as PerfMon.exe or PerfMon.msc: a complex tool used to do just what it sounds like it does – monitor the performance of your computer. Using it, you can see how your computer manages its resources. This can help you make choices about which programs work the best in unison for your computer. For example – READ MORE


Contract, no contract, or screw it all?

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There are so many options anymore it can make your head spin. This may date me a little, but I miss the days when I could walk into a cellular dealer, pick out a free brick phone, tell them I don’t want to pay any more than $30 a month for data and minutes, and walk out with a smile on my face and a newbrick phone in my hand – READ MORE


BZR Player

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BZR Player is a sound player for Windows with the primary goal being able to play a lot of different file formats, currently over 480 different ones. It is developed using C++ and QT. The sound engine is based on FMOD. The first version was released 12-Apr-2008. – READ MORE


Get Show Desktop in Windows 8

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A lot of people might wonder if the Show Desktop feature has been removed in Windows 8, particularly since the taskbar area that housed the button is bare and empty. Don’t worry though – the Show Desktop feature is hidden in Windows 8. – READ MORE


The BeerBelly 200-001 The 80-Ounce Beer Belly

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The Beerbelly brings Freedom to the Beverage. Now you can drink what you want, when you want, where you want, with no hassles and for less money. what more could you ask for? – READ MORE


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Try Before You Buy – An Online Simulation Of Windows 8

Now this is pretty cool… If you wondering what the look and feel of Windows 8 is like, [CLICK HERE] to experience Windows 8 in your web browser. When the lock screen loads, simply use the mouse to drag upward on the screen. To make it easier, [CLICK HERE] and you will be taken directly to the Windows 8 Start Screen (or Metro Screen). To move the Start Screen back and forth you will find horizontal arrows to perform this task; and yes, the apps you see on the tiles will actually load. If you like this demo of Windows 8 and would like to use it for training purposes, you can actually the download the demo OR get the Firefox WebApp [CLICK HERE] .

For you geeky types out there, wondering how this was done, I found that this online simulator (of Windows 8) was very nicely done using HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding.

Online Windows 8 Video

Online Windows 8 is an online simulation of Windows 8 made by ntim007, link6155, DaKoder, and blindbartemais. It has tons of features and tools, all based on Metro UI.

Features:

– Startscreen
– Logon screen
– Lockscreen
– Desktop
– Over 20 apps to play with, including but not limited to:
**Games**
— Cut the Rope
— Angry Birds
— Fruit Ninja
**Tools**
— Calculator
— Calendar
— Weather
— Metro IE
**Entertainment**
— Grooveshark
— Photos
– Any many more apps! Try out the demo and download it now!


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Wallpaper of the Week (#129) – Eagle of Freedom

With this past week being the celebration of the birth of our country, I came across this wallpaper that fits the bill…

To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

Eagle of Freedom

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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300Mbps High Gain Wireless USB Adapter

Wireless networking and connectivity in the home is great, when it works; however, it is not uncommon to run into spots where connectivity can fluctuate from good to bad to dropped connectivity altogether.  I have been experiencing just that with my Lenovo Nettop Computer that is in my garage. It became quite frustrating; and just about the time I thought I resolved the issue, the issue would laugh back at me and surface again. 

To resolve the problem, once and for all, I decided to give the TP-LINK TL-WN822N Wireless N300 High Gain USB Adapter a try. For under $20 bucks, what did I have to lose.

TP-LINK TL-WN822N Wireless N300 High Gain USB Adapter

This adapter sort of reminded me of a flat headed rabbit (with its’ dual external antennas). It simply plugs into a USB port on the computer via the supplied 1.5 meter cable. I do recommend, prior to the install that you disable your existing wireless adapter (in device manager) and that you do not install the software that comes with this adapter and only install the driver. I found that the built in wireless management software built into Windows will do a much better job, with a smaller memory footprint. In the end, my wireless connection is now in the awesome category with no dropped connections.

Dual External Antennas Provide Strong Signal Strength

The TP-LINK TL-WN822N Wireless N300 High Gain USB Adapter offers wireless transmission speeds of up to 300 Mbps and complies with IEEE 802.11b/g/n standards. Dual external, 3 dBi, omnidirectional antennas deliver stronger signal penetration strength and wider wireless coverage, making the adapter ideal for sharing files, making Internet calls, or watching HD streaming media.

Worry-Free Wireless Security with QSS

This product’s QSS (Quick Secure Setup) function complies with the WPS standard to ensure the security of your wireless network. The Wireless-N USB Adapter supports 64/128-bit WEP encryption, as well as WPA/WPA2 and WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK encryption and mechanisms. These combined security measures are designed to deliver stronger, safer protection and guard against intruders.

Product and Warranty Information

The Wireless-N USB Adapter measures 7/10 by 3-1/2 by 2-7/10 inches (H x W x D) and is supported by Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. It is compatible with other 802.11b/g/n protocol wireless products, as well as Intel Centrino technology.

The Wireless-N USB Adapter is backed by a two-year warranty.

What’s in the Box
Wireless-N USB Adapter, quick setup guide, USB cable, and resource CD.

 


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Wallpaper of the Week (#128) – An Armadillo Drinking Tequila

I will guarantee you, there is no one that you know of that has a wallpaper on their computer of an armadillo drinking tequila. This wallpaper is available in ultra high definition…

To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

An Armadillo Drinking Tequila

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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Remotely Fetch Files On Your PC With SkyDrive

Many people are unaware of a very powerful remote access option that is available with Microsoft’s online file storage and sharing solution called SkyDrive.

If you have the SkyDrive desktop app for Windows installed on a PC, you can use the Fetch files feature to access all your files on that PC from another computer by going to your account at SkyDrive.com. You can even access network locations if they’re included in the PC’s libraries or mapped as drives. When you browse a PC’s files remotely, you can download copies of them to work on. You can also stream video and view photos in a slide show. To access files on your PC remotely, make sure the PC you want to access is turned on and connected to the Internet. SkyDrive also needs to be running on that PC, and the Fetch files setting must be selected.

SkyDrive

I have mentioned this feature before here on the blog and can attest to using it frequently (without problem) from my work location to access the files on my computer at home (including external drives).

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download SkyDrive for Windows.
  2. Make sure you leave the box checked during setup that will allow you to “Fetch your files from anywhere.” (You can also choose this later by clicking the SkyDrive icon (SkyDrive icon) in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, and clicking Settings. On the General tab, under Fetch files, select Make files on this PC available to me on my other devices, and then click OK.)
  3. Open your browser and sign in to SkyDrive.com.
  4. Your PCs that have SkyDrive for Windows installed will appear in the Computers menu. Choose the computer that has the file you want, and you can view, print, or download the file you forgot.

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CLICK HERE FOR TODAY’S TECH TOY

Today's Tech Toy

Wallpaper of the Week (#127) – Close, Minimize and Maximize

This week’s wallpaper will really make your icons standout (with the black background) and is unique in that it features the close, minimize and maximize buttons that you find in Windows.

To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

Wallpaper - Close, Maximize, Minimize

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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TODAY’S TECH TOY

Today's Tech Toy - Surge Protector

Why You Should Build Your Next Gaming Computer

PC gaming has long been the most rewarding gaming platform. It boasts better graphics and offers a more complicated, immersive, and unique experience than consoles do. However, despite its superiority, some console gamers will never make the jump. The reason? Most console gamers think PC gaming is too expensive of a platform to get into.

This is actually understandable, because if you look at some of the price tags on the high-end pre-built “gaming computers” available today, you’ll find prices that hover around the $1,000 mark for the entry point systems. With prices so high, it’s no wonder why most gamers don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars just to hop into PC gaming.

However, getting a solid gaming computer isn’t something that has to cost you thousands of dollars. In fact, landing a gaming computer can actually be more lucrative than buying a new console…

Consoles are limited in what they do. And, most people need some kind of computer to keep up with the demands of today’s tech-driven world. So, a computer will not only fit a person’s gaming needs, but it will also give them the ability to browse the internet, send emails, use it for work/school related purposes, etc. The bottom line is that you’re getting much more than a gaming machine when you get a gaming computer.

So, how can you get a quality gaming computer at an affordable price?

You have to build it yourself…

By building your own gaming computer, you will avoid the high markup prices that manufacturers put on their systems. In doing so, you can save yourself a ton of money and you can get a gaming machine that will allow you to play the best games on the highest settings.

And, despite what you may think, building your own computer isn’t as hard as it seems. It’s really just a matter of plugging the right components into the right slots.

So, in an effort to get more people switched over to the PC gaming platform, in this article I’m going to take an in-depth look at a couple of reasons why you should build your own gaming computer.

Building Your Own Gaming Computer: More Performance at a Lower Cost

There are many reasons why building your own computer is the best option for gamers. And, not all of the reasons have to do with gaming.

Not only does building your own computer give you more performance at a lower cost, but it will also give you a unique insight into how computers work and I think that is incredibly important in today’s tech-dependent world. Ultimately, the more you know about your computer, the better off you will be in a world run by computers.

With that being said, I’m now going to go into each of the reasons why you should consider building your own gaming computer…

Building a Gaming Computer Will Save You Money

As previously stated, high markup costs make pre-built gaming computers fairly expensive. This, of course, isn’t ideal for gamers who can’t drop thousands of dollars on a new computer. Fortunately, by building your own gaming computer, you don’t have to pay those markup costs.

By choosing your own components and building your own system you can save a ton of money. In fact, you can build a gaming computer that will run today’s most graphics-intensive games on the highest settings for about $600-$700.

Even for a couple hundred dollars less you can put together a cheap gaming computer that is capable of running most games on the highest settings. And, since some of the most popular games on the PC aren’t incredibly graphics-intensive (World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, Diablo III, Minecraft, League of Legends, etc.) a $400-$500 machine may be all you need.

This is just the start of the savings, though. If you consider the fact that most gaming computers become obsolete three to four years after they are purchased, then you can see how expensive it would be to replace your gaming computer every few years. However, when you build your own gaming computer, you will be able to make upgrades to your system as necessary in order to keep it up to par with modern games. By upgrading your computer when necessary, you can double its life and save yourself a bunch of money by not having to replace it.

Ultimately, building your computer, rather than buying it pre-built from the manufacturer, will give you the opportunity to make the switch to the PC platform for gaming. However, you will not only save money by building your own system, but you will also get a better quality machine as well…

Building Your Own PC Gives You Complete Control Over the Quality of Your System

Aside from the high markup costs, one of the big knacks on computer manufacturers is the quality of components they choose for their system. Sure, you’ll see them market the big-named processors and boast how much memory and storage space their computers have, but you’ll rarely see them go into details on what motherboard, power supply, and hard drive they’re using.

While these three components don’t directly relate to your in-game performance, they do play a huge role in the overall quality of your system. And, unfortunately, these are the three components that manufacturers skimp on the most.

It makes sense… the mainstream public isn’t going to buy a gaming computer based off of its motherboard, power supply, or hard drive. They just aren’t jaw-dropping components. However, if your power supply goes bad, you run the risk of damaging other components. If your motherboard goes out, you’ll need to get a new motherboard, and a new operating system (which will have to be be reinstalled). And, if your hard drive goes bad and you don’t have your computer backed up, you can lose all of your important files, have to get a new hard drive, and then reinstall your operating system.

These are all inconveniences that could easily be avoided if you ensure that you choose quality components. And, if you build your own gaming computer, that’s not hard to do.

Another good thing about choosing your own components, is that you can decide how the computer will run now and in the future. If a pre-built computer comes with a cheap, generic power supply and a function-limited motherboard, you probably won’t be able to make very many upgrades to it in the future. On the other hand, if you build your own computer, you can choose a feature-rich motherboard and pair it with a high-quality power supply that will give you room for upgrades in the future.

Building your own computer will also allow you to tailor your system to your own personal needs. This is in contrast to what the manufacturers do—which is to just a certain set of components and then use those sets to mass produce their computers, leaving very little variation between their systems.

So, if you’re mainly playing games like World of Warcraft and Starcraft II, but you also like to record your gameplay and stream live, you can adjust your budget to use less on your video card (since those two games aren’t graphics-processing hogs) and more on your processor and memory (because a more powerful processor and more memory will help with the multi-tasking involved with recording and streaming.)

Build Your Next Gaming Computer

In the end, building your own computer gives you a lot more options and allows you to build a computer that will meet your own needs. Not only that, but it will save you money as well. And, unlike buying a pre-built system every couple of years, you can upgrade the components in your system as necessary in order to keep it running at a high level for a longer period of time.

So, if you’re thinking about getting a new gaming computer in the future, take some time to consider the prospects of building it yourself. It’s not as hard as you think.

Author Bio

Today’s article was by Brent Hale…

Brent runs EliteGamingComputers.com—a site dedicated to helping gamers build their own computer. If you’re in the market for a new gaming computer, check out EGC today. There you’ll find a number of gaming computer builds for cheap gaming computers and high-end systems alike.  Also, be sure to check out another article by Brent at Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts —  Three Reasons Why You Won’t Regret Building Your Own Gaming Computer


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TODAY’S TECH TOY

Tech Toy

FREE Online Windows 8 Tutorials

If you are new to Windows 8 and rate yourself as the average computer user, then you may find Windows 8, in its’ present form, a challenge. When I make the statement, “in its’ present form”, I’m referring to the upgrade that will soon take place that will bring Windows 8 back down to earth where the average computer person resides. Windows 8 is a really good operating system; it has been the new graphical user interface and missing start menu that has thrown people off. In reality, not a big deal; however, Microsoft realized that they were shooting for the moon and may have advanced the user interface a little bit too far, too fast.  The Windows 8 upgrade, last I read, is to correct these issues and make it so that people can be eased into the future proposed changes.

GCFLearnFree.org

In the meantime, if you just purchased a computer with Windows 8, I really encourage you to take some time and watch (and read) these tutorials, which are all FREE from GCFLearnFree.org

All About Windows 8

1: Exploring Windows 8

2: Upgrading to Windows 8

Using Windows 8

3: Getting Started with Windows 8

4: Using SkyDrive with Windows 8

5: Using the Search Feature

6: Personalizing Your Start Screen

Working With the Desktop

7: Getting Started with the Desktop

8: Managing Your Files and Folders

9: Personalizing Your Desktop

Windows 8 Apps

10: Using the People App

11: Using the Mail App

12: Internet Explorer

13: The Music and Video Apps

14: Downloading Apps from the Windows Store

Changing Your Computer’s Settings

15: Managing User Accounts and Parental Controls

16: Opening Your Files with Different Apps

17: Security and Maintenance


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What’s In The Bag Today???

Malwarebytes Antimalware

Print Anywhere, From Any Device, Using Google Cloud Print

Google is rolling out a service, called Cloud Print, that allows you to print anywhere, from any device to printers you designate; OR, get this, to a PDF file that is then automatically stored in your Google Drive account.

I found setting this up to be quite easy (see “How To” links below) and quite handy when I need to send a print job from my Chrome browser and Android Devices. This has actually helped me solve the problem of printing from my android phone and tablet to my old printer (which is not wireless).  Many of the printer manufacturers are developing cloud ready printers (i.e. see the HP Deskjet 3510 e-All-in-One Printer).

You can also print from Windows applications; however, the FREE edition of Cloud Print for Windows is quite limited (i.e. limited to registering one printer, one page print jobs, no printer sharing.)  Submitting print jobs to GCP is limited to three per day.  You can up the ante on this by going with some of the paid options.

Google Cloud Print

To get you started on this I will keep this short and to the point:

To learn more about Cloud Print – [CLICK HERE]

How to add a cloud ready printer – [CLICK HERE]

How to add a classic printer – [CLICK HERE]

How to use Cloud Print from your Android Device – [CLICK HERE]

How to Connect Windows PC Printers to Google Cloud Print –  [CLICK HERE]

Apps that work with Google Cloud Print – [CLICK HERE]


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Malwarebytes Antimalware

Wallpaper of the Week (#126) – Joyful Face

There is nothing like a joyful face that appears to be in embedded into your desktop. Very cool wallpaper…

  To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

Joyful Face

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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What’s In The Bag Today???

Malwarebytes Antimalware

NEW Utility From NirSoft – TurnedOnTimesView

I happened to notice a NEW utility from NirSoft has been developed, called TurnedOnTimesView. If you are not familiar with NirSoft you will discover that it is actually a person (Nir Sofer) who has developed a wide range of system utilities that have become very popular. To see all of the utilities that Nir Sofer has developed [ CLICK HERE ] .  If you are a Computer Tech or and IT Professional, I am sure you will find something at NirSoft that you will want to stash into your tech toolbox..

Getting back to TurnedOnTimvesView… It is a system utility that analyses the event log of Windows operating system, and detects the time ranges that your computer was turned on. As a result, with this utility you can determine the following:

Startup Time
Shutdown Time
Duration
Shutdown Reason
Shutdown Type
Shutdown Process
Shutdown Code

TurnedOnTimesView

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What’s In The Bag Today???

Malwarebytes Antimalware

A Couch Friendly Keyboard By Logitech

Logitech is the best when it comes to the computer keyboard and mouse. One of their keyboard innovations that is quite impressive (in customer reviews) and is couch friendly is the Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad.

Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad

The reason I call this a couch friendly keyboard is because you can connect your laptop (and some tablets) to your TV and control the laptop from the comfort of your couch. The K400 has a range of approximately 33 feet (10 meters) and the best part is that it has a touchpad built right into the keyboard to control the functions of the mouse.

Long-range wireless control

  • Reliable Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connection with up to 33 ft range*
  • Control your TV-connected laptop from across the room
  • Turn up the volume, pause or tweet about the movie you just downloaded—all without leaving the couch

Built-in large touchpad with intuitive Windows 8 gesture support

  • No need for a separate mouse
  • Large 3.5-inch touchpad with multi-touch navigation for easy horizontal and vertical scrolling
  • Convenient left and right click buttons

Plug-and-play simplicity

  • No cords, software or hassles
  • Plug the Logitech Unifying wireless receiver into your USB port and start navigating
  • Tiny receiver can stay in your laptop and connect up to six compatible Unifying wireless devices

12-month battery life**

  • Go for a full year without changing batteries
  • On-off switch helps you save power when you’re not using the keyboard

Works with:

  • Windows 8/Windows 8 RT, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows XP
  • USB port

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What’s In The Bag Today???

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Turn Any Outlet In Your Home Into A High Speed Networking Port

A very cheap alternative to networking computers together in your home, without running network cable, is to use networking adapters that are engineered to use the electric grid in your house. Typically you connect one of the adapters to your modem/router via ethernet cable, then plug the adapter into a wall plug. Then you place another adapter, plugged into a electric outlet, that is subsequently connected to the device .(i.e. Smart TV, Gaming Consoles, Home Surveillance Device, etc.) that you desire to connect to. After the adapters are setup, you simply sync the adapters by pushing a button on the adapters. Once they are synced and the lights on the adapter show a connection, then you are networked.

To give an example of such an adapter, I took a look at the Rosewill RPLC-201PKIT 200Mbps Powerline AV Pass-Through Adapter.  What I like about this adapter is that even though it uses an electrical outlet, it gives you a pass-through outlet back so that you can still use the outlet. One thing about these adapters; do not plug them into a surge protector. This will cause the adapter to either not work or may seriously degrade your network bandwidth connection.

 Rosewill Rosewill RPLC-201PKIT 200Mbps Powerline AV Pass-Through Adapter

Standards: IEEE 1901 and HomePlug AV compliantCo-existence with HomePlug 1.0 NodesIEEE802.3, IEEE802.3u
Encryption: 128-bit AES Encryption
Ports: 10/100Mbps Ethernet port
LEDs: Power, Ethernet, Data
Powerline Speeds: Up to 200Mbps
Connection Type: RJ45
Connection Speeds: 10/100M
Kit Type: Double

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FREE Computer – Software

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A Screenshot Utility for Windows/Mac, Chrome,Firefox, IE and Opera

I have tried quite a few screenshot utilities that can launched from your browser and none performs as well as LightShot.

LightShot

LightShot can be installed as a browser add-on/extension or as a standalone application for the Windows and Mac platforms. I especially use LightShot to grab screenshots from my browsers (especially Chrome and Firefox). It only involves a 2 mouse click process to select an area on your computer screen and quickly grab a screenshot. Not only that, once the screen shot has been acquired you have the following options available to you:

Share screenshots via Internet

Do you want to share photos, images, parts of a webpage or any content that you see on the screen with your friends? Simply start the Lightshot, select an area and click upload button! You will get a link for sending it to your friends or for posting it to your blog, Twitter, Facebook, anywhere!

Copy screenshot to clipboard

You can place captured area directly to the Windows clipboard, and paste it into any suitable application such as Word, Paint, Photoshop or any other. This can be done either by pressing “Copy” or by pressing Ctrl+C hotkey. Another option is to hold down the Ctrl key and select area, this will copy screenshot to the clipboard as soon as you release mouse button.

Edit screenshot immediately after it taken

You can edit your screenshot online with powerfull Pixlr Editor. It has classic Pen, Brush and Blur tools, you can highlight something or add a text note. There are a lot of other cool features and stuff you can work with. Take a video tour to know it all!

Save screenshots to your PC

Use “Save” button or “Ctrl+S” hotkey to save screenshot as JPG, PNG or BMP formats if you want to make a lot of shots and choose the best later or process them in some other way.

Use hotkeys

Almost every task has its own hotkey. You can use keyboard shortcuts to make LightShot even faster.

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Schedule Automatic WordPress Blog Backup to Dropbox

LivingSocial Hacked: 50 Million Customer Names, Emails, Encrypted Passwords Leaked

Best Keyboard Shortcuts For Windows


Rosewill Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case CHALLENGER

Rosewill Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case CHALLENGER

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Wallpaper of the Week (#119) – The Majestic Bald Eagle

In the late 20th century the Bald Eagle was on the brink of extinction; however, it has made a recovery and was removed from the U.S. federal government’s list of endangered species. The Bald Eagle is also the national bird for the United States.  I have had the opportunity to see the Bald Eagle in the wild and this wallpaper tells it all…

To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

Bald Eagle

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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How To Unzip Files Online For Free

Self-driving Google car might be available in the next 5 years

R3R: Free Command Line RSS Feed Reader
For Windows, Linux


Seagate Slim Portable Drive Is Lightweight And About As Thin As A Pencil

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A Hard Drive That Has Its’ Own Wi-Fi Network

You have to love technology… Seagate has an external hard drive available that is called Wireless Plus. This drive has its own Wi-Fi network built-in, so you can wirelessly stream your media and files to your wi-fi devices such, as your tablet or smartphone. The cool thing about the Wireless Plus drive is that it acts as a router. You do not need to be connected to the internet to access this drive.

 You need no wires with this drive, at all.  It has a built-in rechargeable battery that will give you up to 10 hours life.  Imagine jumping in the car, powering the Wireless Plus up to stream movies to the kids’ tablets.

Wireless Plus has its own Wi-Fi network, so you can wirelessly stream your media and files to your tablet or smartphone on-the-go and off-the-grid

The free Seagate Media app for iOS and Android makes it easy to navigate and enjoy content wherever you go

1TB of built-in storage, which means you can load up to 500 movies or thousands of songs, photos and documents

Allows up to eight tablets and smartphones to access and store content at the same time

Wireless Plus creates its own Wi-Fi network, so there is no need for an Internet connection and you don’t have to use your data plan

Download movies and other media to your device, so you can enjoy your content later, when not connected to Wireless Plus

Game consoles, smart TVs, connected Blu-ray players and other DLNA devices can access the content on Wireless Plus whenever you have it connected to your home network via Wi-Fi

Up to 10-hour battery life

Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]

image

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the Seagate Wireless Plus –[CLICK HERE]

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A Self Contained Web Browser For Your Flash Drive

When I am on the internet on a public computer, it worries me that I may leave traces (or a digital footprint) behind that could potentially compromise my privacy and the access to my online accounts. To remedy this problem I resort to running my own web browser from my flash drive in the form of a portable app. I have tried numerous variations of these portable browser types and have found that there is still a potential for data leakage on the host machine and have found that these browsers have a tendency to slow down after a period of time.

Recently I came across another portable browser variation that is based on the Firefox platform, called Pale Moon, that is currently on my plate for testing.

Pale Moon

The portable version of  Pale Moon is supposed to be completely self contained where nothing is stored on the host computer (such as your bookmarks, passwords, downloads, etc). Pale Moon portable has been specifically designed to run on removable media (such as a flash drive) where high wear and slow read/write access is the nature of the beast. With Pale Moon portable there appears to be no active disk caching going on to keep this wear and tear to a minimum. This may slow actual web page loads, but I found it to be actually quite responsive.

The really good part about Pale Moon is that the Pale Moon project is really a custom-built and optimized Firefox-based browser for Windows. It has been optimized to make sure to get the most speed and efficiency out of your browser!  So, if you use Firefox, you will surely like Pale Moon.

This means that this browser, however extremely close to Firefox in the way it works, does not have all the functions that Firefox has. A few, carefully selected, features have been disabled that are not in high demand, and that do not interfere with the way web pages are displayed or function; all to maximize speed and efficiency of the browser. Please see the page with technical details to learn exactly what the browser supports, and what it doesn’t support. In short, if you need accessibility features or parental controls, then please visit the firefox homepage and get the official, non-optimized build.

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Free Instant Messaging App For Windows 8: Ribbit Chat

Release The Kraken!

The Gold Karat Authenticator – the electronic gold and platinum tester

NotePal X2 – Creates Optimal Comfort For Laptop Users

NotePal X2

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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.

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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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Wallpaper of the Week (#113) – X-ray Wallpaper

I recently came across various types of x-ray art and started wondering if there were any x-ray art wallpapers for the computer. I came across this really neat wallpaper to show you as an example…

To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

X-Ray 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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Access Windows 8 Start Screen With Desktop: ImmersiveTaille

This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long, long time

Logitech Alert 750i Indoor Master HD-Quality Security System

Seagate Barracuda 3 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST3000DM001

Seagate Barracuda 3 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive

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Wallpaper of the Week (#112) – Earth Artistic

This week I decided to take us from the gloomy final days of winter and set us up with some greenery with Earth Artistic.

To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

Earth Artistic - 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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DayDream (iPhone/iPad) – An Excellent Way To Be Awakened

Spring wallpapers

Secure Your Documents – It’s Risky Out There

Targus Drifter II Backpack Designed for 17-Inch Laptop

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A Friday Freebie: Microsoft Office 2013 Quick Start Guides

Get on board with Microsoft Office 2013 by downloading these FREE Microsoft Office 2013 Quick Start Guides.  The Guides are by Microsoft and are downloadable as separate PDF files.

Access 2013 Quick Start Guide

Access 2013 Quick Start Guide

Excel 2013 Quick Start Guide

Excel 2013 Quick Start Guide

OneNote 2013 Quick Start Guide

OneNote 2013 Quick Start Guide

Outlook 2013 Quick Start Guide

Outlook 2013 Quick Start Guide

PowerPoint 2013 Quick Start Guide

PowerPoint 2013 Quick Start Guide

Project 2013 Quick Start Guide

Project 2013 Quick Start Guide

Publisher 2013 Quick Start Guide

Publisher 2013 Quick Start Guide

Visio 2013 Quick Start Guide

Visio 2013 Quick Start Guide

Word 2013 Quick Start Guide

Word 2013 Quick Start Guide

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24 St. Patrick’s Day Sites For Students

Living with the Surface

Official Windows 8 Wallpapers

World’s most advanced e-reader

Microsoft Office 2013

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Stardock Makes Windows 8 Easier With ModernMix

Stardock is currently working on a Windows 8 application called ModernMix, that is a must have application for Windows 8. ModernMix is in Beta; however, it has been released for public use.

We all know that Windows 8 has been challenge for most users due to the interface change. We have been trained, by Microsoft, for over 20 years; to open, close and minimize applications via the windows controls in the top right corner of a window. When you boot to the Windows 8 Start Screen, which is host to and the launching point for Windows Apps, your first instinct is to try and close an app by looking for those controls; only to find out that they do not exist. ModernMix changes all of that.

After you install ModernMix you will notice that any App you open there is now a set of controls. These controls, located in the top right corner of the app you have open, allows you to toggle the app into a Windows mode, toggle the app back to the Start Screen Mode, or close the app. When you are at the desktop level and you have a Windows App open you can open, close and minimize the window (containing the app) just as you always have.  Another cool feature is that you can pin the app to the Windows taskbar.

ModernMix

Once the app is open in a Window it will act as it normally does.  For example, using the screenshot above.  I opened a news app on the Windows 8 Start Screen, toggled the control to the Windows mode (which took me to the desktop) and was able to scroll horizontally through the news articles.

ModernMix is currently $4.99, and typically I only promote FREE software; however, this is one exception. ModernMix is the missing link to Windows 8 and I highly recommend it. Stardock has once again pushed the envelope and came up with a very useful software application that will make your Windows 8 experience a good experience.

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A True Believer

The Office 2013 license is no longer tied to the life of a PC

Best Mobile Apps for Weight Loss

World’s most advanced e-reader

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Wallpaper of the Week (#111) – Water Footprints

I found this to be a very cool wallpaper called Water Footprints where the footprints have been made with droplets of water…

To Get This Wallpaper – [ CLICK HERE ]

Water Footprints

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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How to See Invisible Movements in Video

Malware Removal Guide for Windows

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 2, 2013

Today’s FREE Android App of the Day

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A FREE Screen Dimmer Windows utility

Today’s post does not require a whole lot of explaining and to put it simply it is about a screen dimmer utility called PangoBright that will work with a multi-monitor setup.  It has one job and one job only: to manually dim your screens!

PangoBright

I know myself, with a LED monitor, there are times I have to tone down the brightness to keep my eyes from tiring. With, PangoBright installed (small 112 KB .exe file) and residing in the system tray, adjusting the brightness is two mouse clicks away – [ DOWNLOAD HERE ] .

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Microsoft’s Windows Blue Might Be Launched In August, May Have Hit Milestone 1

Free Photo Editing Software For Netbook: PicMonkey

Mobile Device Safety: A Glimmer Of Hope?

Bring home the cinema experience with the BenQ MS612ST!

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Is The Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet Computer Going To Hold Up To The Competition?

The best description I can give for Microsoft Surface Pro is that it is a laptop in tablet form. It will run the same programs that you have been running with Windows 7; BUT, will this be enough to standup to the competition (the Android Tablets and iPad)?

Microsoft Surface Pro

I am a Windows user, always have been, but there is two things that is holding me back from the Surface Pro, and has me questioning Microsoft’s strategy:

  1. The price of $899+ is too salty for my pocketbook. For 899+ I can get a pretty decent Ultrabook with a touch screen. Granted the Surface Pro is comparable to the full Windows desktop and notebook computer experience that I have always been used to; however, after personally using and experiencing the simplicity of the Android Tablet (at a much lesser price), and the iPad, I cannot see existing home based computer users or the new generation of users (our kids and grandkids) going for Microsoft’s flavor of the tablet (Pro or RT Models).

    For example, I have two elderly friends of mine, one owning an Android Tablet and the other owning an iPad. Both have expressed how easy it was for them to use these devices in comparison to their Windows based computers. As a matter of fact, they are spending less time at the keyboard.

  2. The Surface Pro (best model) ships with a 128 GB of space and from what I am reading this space can drop dramatically to around 89 GBs with Windows 8, Microsoft Office and the built in Windows apps installed (click here). Also, I have noticed that many of the Windows Store apps can be quite large in file or install size compared to the typical apps installed on the Android OS and iOS (iPad) platforms.

I don’t want to sound too negative about Microsoft Surface, because I am a true Windows based user who has lived in the operating system for years; BUT, that has been my passion, my hobby, my life blood… Most people I know could care less about computers or Microsoft Windows. All they want is an easy computer (internet) experience and they want it at a reasonable cost; whether it is Android, iOS (iPad) or Microsoft. In other words, I am starting to realize that the writing may be on the wall and that myself, desktop computing and Microsoft is becoming old school pretty fast.

I would love to hear insight on this from the experts in the field and from the everyday computer user at home.  (see a related article here, called Rethinking Tablets, at TTC Shelbyville – a Tennessee Tech School).

Get the manufacturer specs on Microsoft Surface Pro – [ HERE ]

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Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about Microsoft Surface Pro [CLICK HERE]

Product Features

i5 processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000
4GB Ram Dual Channel Memory
Windows 8 Pro
128 GB
10.6″ ClearType HD Display

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Most Descriptive Listing of Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

What most people do not know about Windows; and, especially Windows 8, is that nearly every type of function in Windows can be controlled directly from their keyboard via keyboard shortcuts.

For example, in Windows 8 the classic Start Menu is missing. As a result of no Start Menu, people are at a loss when it comes to shutting down their computer at the Windows 8 desktop level. This is where having knowledge of keyboard shortcuts can come in handy. In this scenario, simply hitting the Alt + F4 keys in combination will ultimately lead you to the Windows Shutdown dialog box where you can select the shutdown option.

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The reason I inserted the statement “ultimately lead you to” in the previous sentence is that each time you hit Alt + F4, and you have any programs open, that keyboard combination will individually shut down each open program until you reach the desktop level.

Another favorite of mine for shutting down my computer in Windows 8 is simply hit the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys in combination. That will take you to the screen where you can lock the computer, sign out, change your password, launch the task manager and where a small power button (bottom right of the screen) is located to power off the computer.  This keyboard combination will work from the Windows 8 Start Screen level and the desktop level.

Today I went on the hunt for a listing of Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts and found many; however, the most visual descriptive listing I found was at a site called, ShortcutWorld.

ShortcutWorld

At  ShortcutWorld you can find every Windows 8 keyboard shortcut you can think of in the following categories:

  1. Getting around Windows 8 Start Screen and Desktop
  2. Windows 8 Charme Shortcuts
  3. Switch between Apps and Windows
  4. Power User Commands Shortcuts
  5. Managing Windows 8 Desktop Windows
  6. Windows 8 Taskbar
  7. Navigating Desktop
  8. Windows Explorer
  9. The Rest

Also, ShortcutWorld has put together a very nice PDF download of all of the Windows 8 shortcuts [HERE]

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Storing and Opening Password Protected PDF Files Online Using Google Drive and SkyDrive

If you are concerned about security and storing personal document type files online, you may want to consider converting the document file to the PDF format, then password protecting the PDF file. Password protection of online files is one of the most requested features out there.

What I stumbled across, through experimentation, is that Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive can handle and open password protected PDF files, using their built-in (online) viewers. When you go to open a password protected PDF file using either of these services, you will be prompted for the password, and the PDF file will be opened online, without downloading, using either of these services.

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This gives you an additional level of security protection when storing or sharing files using either of these services’ PLUS, the convenience of keeping the file online (and not downloading it). These were the only two file storage (and sharing) services I tested, where this will work; however, there may be other services, as well, that can handle or open a password protected PDF file. I also found that you need to be using a modern web browser, as well.

I know you are probably wondering, how do I convert my file to the Adobe PDF format and how do I password protect it?  The easiest way to do this is to download the FREE Nitro PDF Reader, which has a built in a PDF creator (or printer).

After you have downloaded and installed the Nitro PDF Reader, you will notice that when you go to print a document, you will see that a new printer is on the list called “Nitro PDF Creator (Reader)”.  If you want to convert the document to an Adobe PDF file, simply select the printer labeled “Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader”). Basically anything that can be printed on your computer to a regular printer can be printed to “Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader)”, including image files, spreadsheets, Powerpoint slides, etc…

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Using Nitro PDF Reader you also have the ability to password protect  any PDF file you desire to create. When you go to print on your computer, the print dialog box typically appears. When it appears, select the “Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader)”, then click on and select “Preferences”.

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Once you select preferences, the “Printing Preferences” dialog box appears. You will then notice a tab labeled “PDF Security”.  Click on that tab, click on “Require a password to open the document”, enter the desired password, then click on the “OK” button, then click on “Print” to generate (and create) a password protected PDF version of the document.

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I know this may seem like a lot of steps, but really it is a cakewalk.  After you have created the password protected PDF file, then simply upload the file to either Google Drive or SkyDrive. Your file can now be stored and opened online, with the additional security of password protection.

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