This week I went on the hunt at Amazon to see what the TOP TEN best sellers were in Data Storage devices (see results below). The top dog in this category was the:
Microsoft Edge Browser To Get Extensions Support – If you use Google Chrome or Firefox, then you are familiar with browser extensions that extend the functionality of the browser. Microsoft recently announced that they have shipped the first preview release of Microsoft Edge with extensions support to Windows Insiders. Microsoft Edge is the browser that we see in Windows 10. To us at home, we will not see this just yet. I am also reading in various places where Microsoft is working on a tool that will let developers port Chrome extensions to Microsoft Edge… READ MORE
Crush Malware With Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – I have featured the FREE version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in the past and thought this would be a good time to once again promote this “must have” security software. One thing to point out at the start is that the FREE version of Malwarebytes is only a scanning utility and does not provide real-time protection. You can get the real-time protection by purchasing the commercial version of their software. Don’t let this deter you from downloading the FREE version. I use the FREE version and make a habit to manually download the updates and perform routine scans of my computer.
Launch Your Windows Desktop Like An iPad – How would you like to double click on your Windows desktop and a program (or shortcut) launcher appears that allows you to customize and launch your favorite programs, apps, files, folders or web URLs? If so, you need to take a look at PaperPlane. I have always loved program launchers and this one is no exception. PaperPlane Smart Launch is a free launcher program (shortcut manager) which enables you to launch your desktop like an iPad. If you are familiar with Mac OS Launchpad, you could say that it’s a better Launchpad just for your Windows. It enables you to quickly access your most used apps, open a recent file, visit a website URL, play your favorite game, or open any shortcut etc, in one place.
A Best Seller Portable Hard Drive – Looking for a way to safeguard your personal files? The WD 2TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive (w/USB 3.0) may be the solution you are looking for. I currently use a similar Western Digital portable drive to backup my personal files that I then transport and store offsite (away from my home) — READ MORE
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Use Your Existing Electrical Wiring In Your Home To Create A Wired Data Network – I know we all are into wireless connectivity, but did you know there is another option available, using the right technology, that is right under our nose. It is called power-line networking that uses the electrical wiring in our homes to create an ethernet (data) network. What you need to set this up are small adapters that plug into any wall outlet and connect via a cable to the ethernet port on your computer (or other network device). This setup is especially useful in scenarios where your wireless network is out of reach or you want to create a wired home theater (media center) setup for greater speeds and reliability. To get you started on this (and to learn more), I found The essential guide to powerline Ethernet adapters (including 12 hands-on reviews) at PCWorld which is part of a series of continually updated articles on the topic. If you are thinking about creating a power-line data network I encourage you to bookmark this information. One thing of importance that I extracted from my reading of these articles is that there is a variety products (and standards) and it is important to stay with the same product line (and standard) once you start creating your network. These type of networks require minimal setup and once you plug in a networked computer (or device), it should be connected within moments.
Power Tool For The Tech Toolbox – This tool, called Registry Finder (available as a portable app), is a tool that allows you to browse the local registry; create, delete, rename keys and values; modify values as its natural data type (string, multistring, DWORD) or as a binary data. It is allowed to open multiple Registry windows. Next time you start Registry Finder, those windows will be reopened on the same keys as before.
Upgrade Your Old PC To SSD – I recently upgraded a 5 year old Toshiba notebook PC with a solid state drive. This was a good decision on my part (pat on the back) due that it made the computer noticeably more responsive by greatly improving load times and transfer speeds. Along with this upgrade you benefit from a reduction in noise and power consumption. If you are considering an upgrade, An SSD should be the first upgrade for your PC (read more on this at BetaNews). If you are looking for solid state drive options (and pricing) — CLICK HERE
Rules And Regulations On Drone Usage Is As Clear As Mud – I encourage you to — CLICK HERE — to see the infographic titled Robots In The Sky that pretty much sums up everything about drones right now (i.e. drones that made the headlines, proposed FAA laws, State drone laws, safety guidelines, etc…)
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Recently, I had an older Windows 7 based Toshiba Laptop given to me in exchange for removing the personal data off of the drive. The laptop was suffering some other issues, as well; that I was able to fix. The laptop is approximately 5 years old and came at a time when I was giving my brother a another computer I had, to install in his man-cave (garage)… The Toshiba became my own man-cave (garage) computer, after upgrading the computer with a Solid State Drive.
To breathe new life into this laptop I installed the Transcend Information 256 GB SATA III 6 Gb/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive. For the money, it was a no-brainer. The difference this upgrade made was very noticeable (faster boot time, faster program loads, and a faster internet experience).
A nice thing about the SSD370, is that it includes a 3.5-inch mounting kit, consisting of a bay adapter and 8 mounting screws (in the event you decide to install this drive in a desktop computer). Once attached to the chassis, you can use the 2.5-inch SSD370 in the standard 3.5-inch space.
- 256GB (MLC)
- Max. Read 570MB/s, Max. Write 470MB/s
- DDR3 DRAM cache
- TRIM Command support
- Power Shield to prevent data loss when sudden power off
- Supports S.M.A.R.T. function
- Built-in ECC protection for long data retention
- Intelligent Block Management and Wear Leveling
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I recently purchased a new Windows 8 Box (see this article) and decided I wanted to make a bootable cloned drive. Being old school I went to work using the cloning software I had on hand and I immediately noticed something different in the drive partitions. The free software I was using was not getting the job done; and the drive, after the cloning process, did not boot. My tech instinct told me I was missing out on something and went to work researching terms I was seeing, such as GPT and UEFI.
I had been out of the field for nearly 7 years, have kept up with things (more as a hobby), but was not real familiar with the new GPT and UEFI terms that I was seeing. I had heard of the terms, but really did not pay any attention to them. Besides I always was a more of a software guy than a hardware guy (so it really did not hit high on my priority list, until now).
I soon discovered that all Windows 8 machines nowadays support the new GPT and UEFI ; AND, that it is real important to know what GPT and UEFI are when you get into the hardware side of a Windows 8 based computer.
In real simple terms GPT is the new replacement for MBR – Master Boot Record and UEFI is the new replacement for the BIOS – Basic Input/Output System.
To define GPT and UEFI in more complex terms (and to get a full understanding), I went to Wikipedia for a definition and found two really good articles that will bring this all together.
GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a standard for the layout of the partition table on a physical hard disk, using globally unique identifiers (GUID). Although it forms a part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard (Unified EFI Forum proposed replacement for the PC BIOS)… source: wikipedia:GUID Partition Table
If you read this article “What’s the Difference Between GPT and MBR When Partitioning a Drive?” you will see that MBR is old school and GPT is new school… source: How-To Geek
If you read this article “UEFI boot: how does that actually work, then?” you will see where the author adamantly is telling us UEFI and BIOS are two completely different beasts. This article in my opinion really nails down all of this stuff to the point where I found a lot of what I had been reading was off base due to people using the terminology incorrectly.
You do not have a ‘UEFI BIOS’. No-one has a ‘UEFI BIOS’. Please don’t ever say ‘UEFI BIOS’. BIOS is not a generic term for all PC firmware, it is a particular type of PC firmware. Your computer has a firmware. If it’s an IBM PC compatible computer, it’s almost certainly either a BIOS or a UEFI firmware… source: AdamW on Linux and more
Getting back to my original problem of cloning my Windows 8 hard drive, I now knew I needed to find cloning software that supported GPT and UEFI. This is where I found Macrium Reflect (FREE Edition), which supported the cloning process for GPT and UEFI based systems. Macrium Reflect is a free disaster recovery solution for your home computer that primarily specializes in making drive images.
Also, during my research, I came across this instructional video “How to Clone Windows 8” , where the person in the video will clearly walk you through the cloning process using the FREE Edition of Macrium Reflect…
When it comes to cloning Windows 8 or 8.1 you need to use the right software for the job, whats even better you don’t have to pay. Here is a free option that lets you clone Windows 8 or 8.1 with ease. The program is called Macruim Reflect, it supports the new GPT and UEFI BIOS that all windows 8 machines come with now days.
In the end, once I educated myself about GPT and UEFI, had the right software, and watched how to do it; I walked away with a successfully cloned (and bootable) hard drive. Due to my real life experience working through this, I decided to help others out in the event they start pulling their hair out, like I did…
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A good friend pointed me into the direction of NewEgg on eBay for the SAMSUNG D3 Station 4TB USB 3.0 3.5″ Desktop External Hard Drive STSHX-D401TDB Bl. Appears the sale on this ends in 4 days and there is a limited supply.
I also did a price comparison below:
What’s On My PC @ Amazon – $137.95 (good place to check for specs and reviews)
- Provides 4TB of desktop storage for all of your music, videos and photos.
- AutoBackup personal backup solution
- Secure Drive for data security
- SuperSpeed USB 3 Cable
- 3 years limited warranty
Noticed an Amazon price drop on the Samsung 840 EVO 2.5 inch SATA SSD Drive. This is one of the best sellers at Amazon with awesome customer reviews. SATA drives have no moving parts, which means a very noticeable increase in performance; AND, is one of the best upgrades you can make to a computer. If you are looking for a SSD drive, you may want to check this one out [CLICK HERE]…
I don’t know if this is a Labor Day special or not, but Amazon has the SanDisk Ultra II 240 GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive at 38% off the regular price.
SSD (Solid State Drive) – Have no moving (mechanical) components. This distinguishes them from traditional electromechanical magnetic disks such as hard disk drives (HDDs) or floppy disks, which contain spinning disks and movable read/write heads.Compared with electromechanical disks, SSDs are typically more resistant to physical shock, run silently, have lower access time, and less latency.
Now that we have the definition SSD out of the way, make sure you read the article at “How To Geek” on “It’s Time Why You Need to Upgrade to an SSD Right Now“.
It’s time to upgrade to an SSD if you’re still using a mechanical hard drive in your computer. An SSD is the single biggest upgrade you can give your computer, and prices have come down dramatically… READ MORE @ How To Geek
I have one of these drives on order and thought I would share this with my readers.
If you have any SATA drives laying around, the ORICO external docking station is an economical (and easy) way to put those drives to work. I plan to use the spare drives I have to perform backups.
- Tool-Free installation for 2.5 – inch & 3.5-inch SATA , SATA II, SATA III HDDs and SSDs
- Super Speed USB 3.0 data provides transfer rates up to 5Gbps , backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1 connections
- No installation of drivers required for Windows XP,Vista ,windows 7 ,windows 8 , 8.1 or Mac OS X 10.2 and above
- Build in Power Control Switch , Ready for Hot Swap , Plug & Play under Windows or MAC or Linux PC
- Premium 12V 2.5A Power AC Adapter & Double Foil Shielded and Twisted Paired 3.3ft USB 3.0 Cable Included
[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] Have It All With A Solid State Hybrid Drive – If you have an older PC and you are looking for a performance boost, that gives you faster speed with capacity, you may want to take a look one of Seagate’s Solid State Hybrid Drives.
The hybrid drives by Seagate set aside approximately 6GB’s of ultra-fast NAND flash (same as used for SSD technology) to store the most frequently used data. What this means is that, as you use the computer, the hybrid drive learns what data you use frequently and stores it on the SSD side of the drive. As this happens over time you will notice that the load times of those frequently used application are greatly reduced. System boot times and system responsiveness are also noticeably improved using the hybrid form factor.
The Seagate® Desktop SSHD is designed to work in any standard desktop system. Unlike other hybrid solutions, there are no special drivers or software to install and configure. It installs and works just like a hard drive – only faster!
Learn a byte at a time, at What’s On My PC, with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it… I just plain love tech!
MORE GEEK SQUEAKS
[HOW TO] How to Upgrade a Desktop Hard Drive With Solid State Hybrid Drive Technology – The process of upgrading your desktop drive to a Seagate® Desktop SSHD is simpler than you might expect. There are three essential steps involved with the upgrade process… @Seagate
[FREE EBOOKS] 150 FREE Microsoft eBooks – largest collection ever – Given the amount my readers enjoy these posts and these free resources, I am sharing another post this year with over 130 more FREE eBooks, Step-By-Steps, Resource Guides, etc., for your enjoyment… @TCAT Shelbyville – Technical Blog
[GMAIL] 5 Free Gmail Tracking Services To Get Read Receipt for Gmail – Here’s a listing of five free Gmail tracking services. These email tracking services keep tabs on your sent emails (sent via Gmail) and notify you (via different methods) when the recipient(s) open/read those emails… @I Love Free Software
[HOT TECH NEWS] The Popular WinPatrol System Monitoring Software Changes Hands – I couldn’t be happier to introduce you to the founder of Ruiware, LLC and Scotty’s new best friend, Bret Lowry. He’s younger with more energy but still has almost 30 years experience developing software… @Bits From Bill
[WEB BROWSER NEWS] Chrome rockets past Firefox in browser arena – Google’s Chrome continues to shoot past Firefox among the desktop browser crowd, according to the latest stats from Web tracker Net Applications… @c|net
[WINDOWS APP] Pushbullet Windows App Gets Right-Click File Push Capability – You know all about Pushbullet by now – it’s that file/text/notification/everything else pushing app that’s so outrageously useful that you have to wonder why it’s free. Today there’s a treat rolling out to Pushbullet users on Windows in particular, and it makes sending files to your devices mega-easy. Just right-click and send.. @Android Police
[SECURITY] Probably the Best Free Security List in the World – This article contains a comprehensive list of free security-related programs or web applications for Windows XP and later Windows PC-based operating systems. The few non-free programs on this list are included because they are of high merit (in our opinion) and lack a comparable free alternative. This list also includes links to webpages that contain security-related information… @gizmo’s
[FREE SOFTWARE] MagicArchiver – Free Solutions for Archive Processing – A free archive processing utility. It provides a free and complete solution for manipulating archives. It is completely free for commercial and personal use… @MagicArchiver
[CLOUD COMPUTING] Here is the online application for cutting music – It allows you to effortlessly cut out a desired musical fragment from an MP3 file or a file in other formats, in order, for example to set it up as a customized ringtone for your mobile phone… @Online Audio Cutter
[UTILITIES] A software toolbox for your solid state drive hardware – Many of the top manufacturers of solid state drives have a software “toolbox” to go along with the hardware to configure the best performance. Sometimes a manufacturer only provides firmware updates, which are warned to be done at your own risk… @404 Tech Support
[HOW TO] 3 Ways To Directly Boot To Desktop In Windows 8 – Here are 3 ways to boot directly to Windows 8 desktop, when you login to Windows 8 PC… @I Love Free Software
[SECURITY] Microsoft Account protection: Login and security tips – Here are a few things you can do to help protect your Microsoft Account… @The Windows Club
[HOT TECH NEWS] Microsoft Announces Major Changes to Office 365 for Small and Midsized Businesses – In October, Microsoft will replace its Office 365subscriptions for small and midsized businesses with versions that are more affordable, more flexible, and provide more value. Existing customers will be able to take advantage of the new offerings—and the new pricing—starting October 1 or when they upgrade in the months ahead… @Paul Thurrott’s Supersite For Windows
How would you like to get your hands on a solid state drive?
Dom over at Dom’s Tech & Computer Blog contacted me to let me know that he is working in partnership with Elite Gaming Computers in giving away a Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Solid State Drive.
This giveaway will also feature two $25 Amazon gift cards as runner up prizes.
The rules to sign up for a chance at this are very easy and makes it worth the few minutes to visit. Simply visit Dom’s Tech & Computer Blog and follow the instructions.
According to his blog, the winner will be chosen randomly on 2/21/2014 and will be notified via email.
To see the specs for the Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series drive as reflected above, CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Also, I checked at Amazon and the customer reviews and feedback on this drive are quite good – SEE HERE
AN ADVANCED WINDOWS VOLUME CONTROL that can be used to replace the standard Windows volume control…
IMPROVE YOUR COMPUTER’S PERFORMANCE with these four options from Tech4Idiots…
$7.5 MILLION DOLLAR HARD DRIVE has went missing in the dump…
AN ALL-IN-ONE ANDROID DESKTOP that possibly could make our life in the world of computing much easier…
An Advanced Windows Volume Control
Volume ² is very nice Windows volume control that gives you the ability to control your computer’s volume using the mouse wheel, hotkeys or on a schedule.
Volume ² – alternate volume control that can completely replace the standard Windows volume control. Volume ² provides a simple set of hot keys and mouse events to control the volume.Also, it is a simple task scheduler that allows you to run an application or control the volume.Volume ² has a multilingual interface: Russian, Ukrainian, English, Chinese, Armenian, German, Spanish, Polish, Italian, etc.
Note: When you visit the site it is in Russian and will need to translate the page. In my case, I am using Google Chrome with a built in translator.
How to improve your computer’s performance
In the event you have an aging computer, you may want to revive some life back into it with these four options as suggested by Tech4Idiots…
A while ago we published an article on how to improve your computer’s performance at no cost, this time around we’ll be discussing a few basic tips on improving your PC’s performance when you have some money to spend… READ MORE
Missing: hard drive containing Bitcoins worth £4m in Newport landfill site
You may have been reading about the electronic money currency called Bitcoins. Bitcoins recently have gained in value to the point where they are turning the heads, on not only people, but entire countries. If you didn’t know, per Wikipedia, Bitcoin is an open source peer-to-peer electronic and money payment network introducted in 2009 by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto.
Recently a computer dude threw away his hard drive, only to realize later (as bitcoins gained in value), that he had thrown away an equivalent of $7.5 million in bitcoins. Somewhere in the dump there is a very valuable hard drive…
Buried somewhere under four feet of mud and rubbish, in the Docksway landfill site near Newport, Wales, in a space about the size of a football pitch is a computer hard drive worth more than £4m.
It belonged to James Howells, who threw it out when he was clearing up his desk in mid-summer and discovered the part, rescued from a defunct Dell laptop. He found it in a drawer and put it in a bin… READ MORE
HP Slate 21-k100 21.5-Inch All-in-One
Android Touchscreen Desktop
I would really love to see these Android desktops take off. Definitely would make computing a lot easier for those folks who have struggled with learning Windows; not forgetting to mention, Android eliminates a lot of the bulk.
The HP Slate 21-k100 All-in-One is the only Android all-in-one that gives you fast access to the most popular apps. Every time you log in, your favorite Android apps, documents, and widgets appear instantly. Everyone has the best seat in the house for watching videos, sharing slideshows, playing games and more with a 21.5″ diagonal Full HD display and wide viewing angles… CHECK IT OUT HERE
A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks‘:
Squeak #1: The future of textbooks is here. Leave the backpack behind and go digital with your textbooks (see below);
Squeak #2: Managing the file structure on an Android device can be a challenge. Eliminate the challenge with ES File Explorer. One of the best out there for Android file management. I especially like that you can access your local area network; your online storage at Dropbox, Box.net, Sugarsync, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Amazon S3, Yandex and more, directly from ES File Explorer (get it below);
Squeak #3: Ah yes, Google Glass… How I would love to get my hands on these. TechCrunch has a nice post on how Google Glass can be potentially used by police, firefighters and first responders (read more below); AND,
Squeak #4: There is no reason in the world for not backing up your personal files. Today’s featured computer gadget is a Seagate portable hard drive that will get the job done for you!
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 ]
Leave Your Backpack Behind and Rent Digital Textbooks
Access your textbooks anywhere–from phone, tablet, or web, on Android or iOS–and trade your notebooks for a new Nexus 7: you can search, annotate, and highlight directly inside your books with our free reading app. To find specific titles, visit the Textbooks Store and search for books by ISBN… LEARN MORE HERE
ES File Explorer Is A Free Full-Featured File
and Application Manager For Android
Android File Manager – Manage your files like you do on your desktop or laptop using Multiple Select, Cut/Copy/Paste, Move, Create, Delete, Rename, Search, Share, Send, Hide, Create Shortcut, and Bookmark; operations can be performed on local files (on your Android device) or remotely (on your computer)… GET IT HERE
Google Glass Gets An App To Power The Cyber Cops And Futuristic Firefighters Of Tomorrow
Mutualink is demoing one such app today at APCO, a conference for public safety communications, with its Glass App for police, firefighters and first responders. The app would allow public safety officers and officials to communicate in real-time via streaming video from the scene… READ MORE
A Pencil Thin Portable Hard Drive
The Seagate Slim portable drive is lightweight and about as thin as a pencil, plus the anodized black or silver metal design will slide easily into a pocket or backpack for your on-the-go lifestyle… SEE MORE HERE
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 ]
Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the Seagate Wireless Plus –[CLICK HERE]
What many of you do not know is that I often use the blog to document tips, that I come across, for my own future reference. Today’s post is a good example of this. Recently I discovered that I can create a Windows 8 desktop shortcut that will launch the Windows 8 GUI (graphical user interface) menu for all of the apps and software that I have installed on my computer.
As you well know, if you are a Windows 8 user, there is no Start Menu. This shortcut, in essence, will go to serve the same purpose of the Start Menu; however, in appearance it does not look like the Start Menu you have been accustomed to. The good about this is, that once you click the shortcut and you get to the apps screen, you can simply start typing to search for the app or software program you are looking for. For example, let’s say I want to launch the calculator that is built into windows. I simply click on the shortcut that will launch the Windows 8 GUI menu or apps screen, then start typing calculator and very quickly the tile to launch the calculator will appear.
To create this desktop shortcut, here is what you have to do:
Right click on desktop and click New -> Shortcut
A dialog box will appear prompting for a location of the item. Copy and Paste the following into the dialog box, then click Next:
After you click on Next, another dialog box will launch prompting you to give the shortcut a name. In this case, I named the shortcut Windows 8 Apps. After you enter the name for the shortcut, click on Finish.
Click on your newly created shortcut, to launch the Windows 8 Apps Screen (menu)…
What I am finding, by using this shortcut technique, I am using the Windows 8 GUI menu (or apps screen) on a regular basis.
GEEK BONUS AREA
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 ]
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].
GEEK BONUS AREA
How would you like a 1TB (terabyte) external drive that is economically priced; carries a 3 year warranty; is the thinnest on the market; can be easily carried in your pocket; can dissipate heat by design; is USB bus powered (no power adapter required);, and, when connected to a USB 3.0 port is 5 times faster than USB 2.0?
Is so, then you need to check out the U32 ShadownTM 1 TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive. These little drives are made by a company, based in St. Paul Minnesota, called Oyen Digital.
A drive such as this is a perfect backup strategy device to backup your personal files and then store the drive off-site.
Get the specs from the manufacturer – [ HERE ]
Oyen Digital is an innovative developer and manufacturer in the portable storage industry, specializing in professional A/V and RAID storage.
Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the U32 ShadownTM 1 TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive– [CLICK HERE]
Readers: To keep the blog interesting, I plan to feature a tech product of the week that will feature a direct link to the manufacturer for specifications and a link to Amazon to see the customer reviews (and how the product is being rated).
GEEK BONUS AREA
Today’s post is a short post, but a good one. A London based web developer and consultant has taken the Google Street View technology to another level.
Simply visit Instant Google Street View, start typing an address, place name or location and be instantly taken there via the Google Street View technology. If no Street view exists, a map will be shown instead.
When performing a search, the search box border will change color to indicate the status of the search:
There are also toggle controls available that allow you to perform the following functions:
Very ingenious and very addictive…
GEEK BONUS AREA
FEATURED TECH PRODUCT
I don’t know about you, but I am constantly trying to keep track of what I things I need to do, in an effort to keep my life in order. I have tried virtually everything from task managers, to virtual post-it notes, to note keeping software.
Today, I came upon another online player called Holly that gives you the ability to maintain nested to-do lists. What is unique about Holly is that it is a simple online text editor where the tasks you create are mini-projects with their own sub-tasks. Holly is visually appealing, easy to use, and no sign up is required. Simply visit the site and start editing the list and you are automatically assigned an unique web address that can be shared with others. It is important that you remember (or bookmark) the address your are assigned.
At first it took me a little while to understand how Holly worked, but once I got it down, I can honestly say I will be using Holly on a regular basis. Another selling point to me was that Holly works very well on my tablet.
Edit pure text – Edit your tasks with the most powerful input method that exists – a simple text editor.
Nested TODO lists – Tasks are mini-projects with their own sub-tasks, which you can track in lists of lists. Quickly re-arrange items with drag’n’drop.
Keyboard controlled – Everything you can do in Holly you can do with either a keyboard or a mouse. There are hotkeys for everything.
Collaborate – Share lists with your coworkers, friends and family. No sign up required.
All your tasks, everywhere – Access your tasks from any browser. Holly also works great on your iPhone or Android device.
GEEK BONUS AREA
When the holidays roll around you can really find some decent deals on computer and technology products. One tech bargain that jumped out at me was at Amazon (TODAY ONLY) that can be a real benefit to everyone is the Seagate 500 GB Portable External Hard Drive.
I cannot overstress the importance of backing up your personal files (such as pictures, documents, videos, etc…). The cool part about this particular drive is that it is designed with portability in mind. No power adapter is required. Simply connect a single USB cable and you are ready to go. These types of drives are useful in backing up your data, then moving the drive to an offsite location. Another factor with this drive is that it is Bus-powered USB 3.0, backwards compatible with USB 2.0. So if you have USB 3.0 technology built into your PC, then file transfers will occur at lightning speed. Again, this deal is TODAY ONLY!
GEEK BONUS AREA
Free PDF, XPS, DjVu, CBZ and CBR reader for Windows. Sumatra PDF is small and starts up very fast. Simplicity of the user interface has a high priority. Portable version included (a single executable that can be run e.g. from USB drive and doesn’t write to registry).
I cannot stress the importance of backing up your personal files (such as your documents, pictures, and videos). A surefire way to get this done is by purchasing an external hard drive; and, to really make it easy I suggest one of the portable external hard drives that you simply plug in the USB port and start using it. The beauty of the portable external hard drive is that you can easily move it from one PC to another; PLUS, you can then store the drive off site (in the event disaster at home would occur). Many of the portable external hard drives are small enough to easily fit in a briefcase and even your pocket.
A good choice to take a look at is the Western Digital My Passport series of drives (e.g. My Passport Essential SE 1 TB USB 3.0/2.0). The key feature with this drive is that it features dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility. If you are not backing up your files, here is a good way to start. Believe me, I have seen people turn ghost white, cry, yell, and stomp when told there files are gone.
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A friend recently came to me with an old IDE hard drive that was determined to be dead by a computer tech. He had held onto the drive, which was several years old, with the hope that someday the data on the drive could possibly be recovered, without costing him an arm and a leg. Typically, professional data recovery can be very expensive and there are no guarantees the data can be fully recovered.
As a challenge, I opted to take a shot at recovering the data on the drive. I placed the drive in an external drive enclosure, powered it up and connected it to my PC. The first bad sign was the clunking noise being generated from the drive and the drive not spinning up properly (which indicated a mechanical problem); AND the second bad sign was that my computer could see the drive but was unable to pull up the file/folder structure (which indicated a potential drive sector or partition issue).
At this point, I had to agree with the original tech’s assessment of the drive; however, it hit me to try a couple of things out of desperation. I put the drive in a ziplock plastic bag and placed it in the freezer for a couple of hours. The theory being that this would cause contraction of the metal parts in the drive. Following the deep freeze, I quickly connected the drive to the PC and I could tell immediately that it was spinning up and the clunking noise had dissipated. My PC could see the drive; however, the sector/partition issue was still looking me in the eye. What I did next was really out of desperation. I started thinking, I can see the drive and if I can see the drive can I format it? My plan was to do a “quick format” then use data recovery software to extract the data on the drive. Guess what? It worked!
Using data recovery software (called Power Data Recovery) I was able to extract every single bit of file data from formatted the drive ( a total of 21 GBs of data). Using the Power Data Recovery software, the data recovery process took over 8 hours to complete.
Several points this article:
- The Hard Drive Freezer Trick – I do think there is something to this!
- Data Recovery – Don’t ever think by formatting your drive you are wiping the data from the drive! It can be recovered…
- Backup Your Files – If you have files on your PC that is close to your heart and soul, make sure you back them up. Hard Drives do and will fail.
During all my years of working around PC’s I have learned to not only monitor for the visual cues of the onset of problems; but to also monitor for the audio cues, as well. For example, if I am assisting someone on a PC that may be experiencing problems, I am lost if there is not a hard drive LED light to monitor the activity of the hard drive.
Just this past week, and I plan to elaborate further in another article, I assisted someone with removing data from a hard drive that was diagnosed by a computer tech as being dead. When I got hold of the drive, I performed an old (and very questionable trick), to get the drive to spin up; and, performed a little known desperation move to actually retrieve the data.
Again, that is another story, but there was a very noticeable sound when I fired this drive up. It was a sound, based on my experience of being around PCs, that definitely was not good. The drive was emitting a periodic clunking noise which indicated a problem with the head mechanism in the drive. Believe me, I am no tech expert, but when I heard that sound I knew the drive was on the verge of death.
It is easy for me to describe the sound, but what are the typical sounds a hard drive will make when failing?
To give you an idea of how a hard drive actually sounds when it is failing, I encourage you to visit the web site Data Cent. They have actually recorded the sounds of failing hard drives, from a variety of manufacturers (such as Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, Samsung, Hitachi/IBM, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and Quantum).
If you are someone that is working toward becoming a computer tech, I encourage you to visit the Data Cent site [ HERE ] to hear the excruciating pains being emitted from these hard drives. When you get to the site, turn up your speakers and click on the small arrows to hear the sounds. Once you hear those sounds, you will not forget them…
To my fellow bloggers and readers…
Please tell me what method(s) you recommend to destroy and old hard drive? (leave comments below)
Recently a friend consulted with me and was asking for suggestions to destroy an old hard drive (see below)
In my bookcase I found an old Seagate 20 Gigabyte hard drive left from an old computer I had. I don’t want to just toss it in the trash because I think it can still be used by someone to get personal info of mine off of it. The only way I know of to destroy it is to put it on top a couple of bricks and whack it with a large ball-peen hammer. Another way, I think, is to disassemble it and take the disc out and cut it up. What suggestions do you have? Appreciate your help.
I applaud my friend for even giving thought to this. I have personally seen people dump their PC’s and hard drives, without giving thought about the data. From my experience, you would not believe the data I personally have come across on secondhand PC’s and hard drives.
My solution to this problem was to destroy the drive, as he had mentioned; and drill holes into the platters to make the drive unusable. Typically degaussing or shredding (with supporting certification) are ultimate solutions; however, cost could be a deterring factor for the everyday home based computer user. There are software solutions, as well, to remove data…
Please let us know your solution to this problem by commenting below. Thank you !
As long as I have had a passion for computers I have found that others with this passion like to sling around the computer terms. It is very common amongst the nerd pack to brag about how many Gigs (gigabytes) they have in terms of “how big” their hard drive is or how much storage they currently have; or how much memory installed in their PCs. I think it is a man thing… Well, let me tell you; I bet you don’t have a Yottabyte!
I was just browsing Steve Mallard’s blog at the Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville (TTC Shelbyville) and noticed a post titled “Yottabyte” that displays a nice chart that explains how big a Yottabyte is. For example, did you know that the cost of a one terabyte drive today is approximately $100 and at today’s pricing levels it would cost a 100 trillion dollars to buy a Yottabyte of storage for just the hard drives?
The name yotta was chosen because it’s the second-to-last last letter of the Latin alphabet and also sounds like the Greek letter iota. – Webopedia
1,024 bytes is a kilobyte
1,024 kilobytes is a megabyte
1,024 megabytes is a gigabyte
1,024 gigabytes is a terabyte
1,024 terabytes is a petabyte
1,024 petabyes is an exabyte
1,024 exabytes is a zettabyte
1,024 zettabytes is a yottabyte
Yo, how many Yottabytes do you have (LOL)?
Get over to TTC Shelbyville to check it out your nerdhood and to get a brief visual lesson about terabytes, petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes and Yes; Yottabytes.
If you are someone, like myself, and manage many different types of drives on your computer (e.g. external hard drives, flash drives, cd/dvd drives, memory card drives, etc…) then you may want to take a look at the utility called Drive Manager.
Drive Manager is a very helpful program that will display every available drive on your computer system, the free space available on each drive and whether the drives are mounted or not. If you are someone that moves from PC to PC, there is a portable version, as well. I currently use this application to get an immediate summary of the drive space available on all of my drives. Great little app for FREE!
- % Free column.
- Hard disk serial number
- CD ROM Doors open + close.
- Lock / Unlock CD ROM / DVD drives.
- Not mounted drives listed in grey with disks not inserted.
- Time and date.
- Map / Disconnect network drives.
- Hide / Unhide drives from explorer.
- See drives which are hidden.
- Drive properties dialog on right click.
- Create / Remove a substitute drive letter for a local folder.
- Hidden drives displayed in blue.
- Launch Windows Search
- Drives with less than 5% available are displayed in red.
- Vendor details: Vendor Name, Product Id, Revision, Vendor Spec
I have been doing computers for many years and over that many years I have accumulated and collected thousands of files (and folders), such as downloads, pictures, videos, documents, etc… Fortunately, I have an organized method to my madness for managing my files (and folders) so that valuable disk space is not wasted. One such method that I use to collectively visualize my madness is a FREE and PORTABLE utility, called TreeSize Free.
TreeSize Free is an utility that will show you, in a graphical sense, what files/folders are consuming the most space on your hard drive.
When you first run TreeSize Free you need to click on “Scan”, then select the drive you desire to analyze. The scan is performed in threads, which means you will see results while the program is working. On my first scan of my system, it took about minute to complete the scan, which is typical (and actually pretty fast) for a program of this type. The cool factors to this little gem of a program is that; you can break down the results (or values) by kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes; you can list the results by size, allocated space, percentage, cluster size or by file count; you can sort the results by name or size; you can use the Windows Explorer right click menu directly in the program; AND, you can print out a very nice report of the scan results.
For a program that is small in size (and portable); it serves a very practical purpose by showing you what files and folders are hogging up disk space. TreeSize Free can also come in handy for locating those huge file downloads that you forgot about or when you are assisting someone with cleaning the file contents from their PC to reclaim disk space. Personally this is a “must have” program on everyone’s PC or flash drive.
Most techs out there will relate to this when I say, JKDefrag is the ugly duckling of disk defragmentation and optimization utilities; BUT, in terms of function and getting the job done, it is the workhorse. Jeroen Kessels, the brainchild behind JKDefrag, recently announced with the release of Version 4.0 it has been renamed to “MyDefrag” .
The program is now called “MyDefrag”, because it has a scripting language and you can customize just about every aspect of it. It is no longer the “JK” (Jeroen Kessels) defragger, but “my” (your) defragger!
- Fully functional freeware.
- With scripting language.
- Improved interface.
- Higher speed.
- Better optimization.
- Lower memory usage.
- Extensive documentation.
- Easier to install.
- …. and more!
Defragging and/or Optimizing your disk is something you should be doing on a routine basis; either using the built in defragmentation utility in Windows or by using a third party utility such as MyDefrag. If you are not sure on how to run your Windows maintenance utilities, I encourage you to read:
MyDefrag is sort of a techie type of utility and requires some minor configuring to defrag external drives; BUT, if you do install it, it will (by default) defrag or optimize your hard disk (C:). There are several options (or strategies) to pick from when using MyDefrag (see menu options below). According the the web site it is best to to run the “Fast Update” script once per day on a fixed schedule and run the “Slow Optimize” script once in a while by hand, for example every 2 weeks or so. Another good option is to use the “Fast Optimize” script every day, without running “Slow Optimize”.
Geek Squeaks are random “hot” topic links (called “squeaks”) from various credible sources (called “geeks”) and may appear on the blog at any time. Many of the topics are creations from fellow bloggers or software authors who have actively participated (e.g. link exchanges, comments, etc…) with “What’s On My PC…”. If you are interested in a link exchange please leave a comment below.
According to this clip from “ComputerWorld”, solid-state disks or drives (SSD) will be comparable in price to today’s spinning hard drives, within 3-three years. Once the prices reach that threshold expect manufacturers to adapt to this technology by making SSD technology the standard in new PC’s…
To educate my readers, solid-state disks are stationary electronics (no mechanical action) that is the future replacement to the hard drives we have in our PC’s today. In actuality, SSD is not disks as we know them today. SSD’s uses solid state electronics and memory to store data (very much like our portable flash drives). The hard disk drives in our PC today consists of rapidly rotating platters with magnetic surfaces to store encoded data.
clipped from www.computerworld.com
January 16, 2009 (Computerworld) As solid-state disk (SSD) technology closes in on hard disk drive (HDD) capacity and price, experts say it may not be long before spinning disks are a thing of the past and a computer’s storage resides in flash memory on the motherboard.
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You can draw your own conclusions with this video; but, the guy in the video is in a data center and he demonstrates how vibrations, generated from yelling can affect hard disk drives… He mentions “not to try this at home”; at which point I started laughing, because everyone I know yells at their computer. In the video he is yelling into a JBOD disk array (JBOD – Just a Bunch of Disks). It also is a good demonstration of how crazy IT guys are : )