Get The Latest (and Best Selection) Of Tech News

Seven years ago this month I started the “What’s On My PC” blog at WordPress. I have met numerous individuals and have seen numerous blogs come and go. To me, it has become a hobby and a way for me to keep up with my passion for information technology.  Blogging has taught me discipline; has improved my writing skills; and, pushes me to keep up with the latest in information technology.

My start with blogging can be attributed to the support and guidance from Bill Mullins’ at Tech Thoughts and Tech Paul at Tech-for Everyone. These guys are true bloggers and still maintain their blogs. Their level of expertise and knowledge of information technology is a level that is very admirable. I can’t say “Thank You” enough to these guys…

To celebrate my 7 years, you will notice that at the top of the blog you will see a tab labelled “Tech News”. Effective today, if you click on that tab you will be redirected to Bill Mullins’ site (Tech Thoughts) where one of his specialties is aggregating technology news (tagged as Tech Thoughts – Net News). What I have found is that we are saturated on a daily basis with information technology news, to the point you can lose a sense of it all and you miss out on the important stuff. With Bill’s insight and sixth sense for technology, he does the legwork for us and provides a good read on current tech news, trends, security, software; AND, even some off topic news.

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Thank You For Visiting Today

MAKE SURE YOU ALSO VISIT

Bookmarks4Techs  –  GEGeek  –  Downloads
 Tech News  –  Tech Toys  –  Archive (of all articles)
– Earth’s Biggest Selection – Deal of the Day Leave A Comment

Check Out What’s NEW at What’s On My PC

I am constantly trying out new ways to help drive traffic to the blog so that when a you land here you will leave with something that will encourage you to return. One of the most underused sections of the blog are the tabs at the top. I recently have added two NEW tabs that may be of interest.

What's On My PC

By clicking on these tabs (with the exception of Home and About Me) you will be taken to a wealth of tech related information, software, news, products, etc…

To explain each tab:

Bookmarks4Techs – This is another site that I maintain. Bookmarks4Techs.com is one of, if not, the largest listing of tech sites on the internet. If you have an interest in the world of computers and information technology, I think you will find this site to be a very valuable resource. I work hard to keep the site up to date; and, as a result you will frequently see changes in the listing. There are also some good RSS tech news feeds on the site, as well.

GEGeek – This site, in my opinion, ranks up there with being one of the most awesome tech resource sites out there. The site owner has a vast background in information technology and computers and has managed, over the years (with an obvious passion), to compile what you see on the site. Also, just to point out, make sure you check out the GEGeek Tech Toolkit while you are there. The toolkit is regularly updated and can be downloaded by clicking on the link at the top of the site.

Downloads – I put this together using an online cloud based service called NetVibes that compiles (daily) a large RSS listing of FREE software and download sites that are very reputable.

Tech News –  Again, using NetVibes I was able to compile a large listing of tech news feeds.

Tech Toys (NEW) – Many of the tech products I feature here on the blog I often use Amazon as a research point. Amazon does not necessarily always have the best pricing point, but it does have (in my opinion) one of the best customer review and ratings section. As a result of my passion for technology products I have put together, for the reader’s of this blog, an Amazon Affiliates Store (called What’s On My PC @ Amazon) that specifically features technology related products that can serve as a launching point for any tech products you may be looking for and wanting to learn more about. Simply visit the store and type into the search box whatever it is you are looking for.

Archives (NEW) – This is a new tab that I have put up that I consider the motherload. One of the problems with a blogging platform is many people will click on an article that was posted, but do not realize there are other articles, as well. If you click on the Archives tab you will land on a page that will literally list every blog article I have ever posted (which is nearing 2000 articles).

About – This page is my bio and yes I really do look like that picture…

Rick Robinette, What's On My PC

 

A Complete Collection Of Over 300 Tech Related Programs

At the top of my blog you will see a tab labelled “GEGeek”, which will redirect you from my blog to the GEGeek web site. It is not typical to see bloggers have a redirect link, from their blog, that takes them off the blog or away from the site. In my case, and if you know me, I am atypical…

The point being here is that I strongly encourage you take advantage of using the GEGeek tab and visit the GEGeek site; especially, if you are an information technology professional. GEGeek is the most awesome tech site out there where everything (and, I mean everything) you could possibly need to learn about computer information technology, to acquire tools for troubleshooting, etc.. can be found neatly wrapped up in one place. I feel greatly honored and appreciative that the site developer, at GEGeek, has given me the OK to have this direct link on my blog.

To further make a point of how unbelievable this site is, the site developer has compiled the GEGeek Tech Toolkit. I know there are numerous tech toolkits out there; but, where this one shines is that it contains over 300 tech related programs (over 600MB Compressed – Expands to 2.8 gig)… Included in the GEGeek Tech Toolkit is a program that will keep the essential tools in the kit, up-to-date. How awesome it that?

GEGeek Tech Toolkit

I know myself, with my passion for computers and information technology, I have spent hours upon hours testing out utilities and programs that could be useful as my tools of the trade (so to speak). When I first discovered GEGeek and the GEGeek Tech Toolkit, I knew within minutes of hitting the site that I had discovered a goldmine.

Please take a moment, especially if you have the same passion as I do, and visit GEGeek. Within a minute of visiting, you will be going WOW and adding the site to your bookmarks; plus, don’t forget the GEGeek Toolkit (which, by the way is FREE).

Bookmarks4Techs Hits The 777 Mark

Throughout the years of maintaining my main site (What’s On My PC), I have managed to accumulate (and continue to accumulate) links to numerous tech sites. As a result, I have decided to share these links with you, through Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs is one of, if not, the largest listing of tech sites on the internet.  If you have an interest in the world of computers and information technology, I think you will find this site to be a very valuable resource. I will be working hard to keep the site up to date; and, as a result you will see continual changes in the listing.

[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]

Two NEW Enhancements at Bookmarks4Techs.com

If you have not visited Bookmarks4Techs.com recently, I encourage you to do so. Don’t let the name of the site lead you to believe that the site is only for techs. Bookmarks4Techs is one of the largest collection of links to computer information technology sites and news on the internet. If you have a passion for computer information technology, to include software, apps, cloud computing, desktop computing, tablet computing, smartphones, etc…, then this site is for you. I can guarantee that you will keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest by visiting the links I have posted on the site.

Bookmarks4Techs.com

Not only will you find one of the largest collection of links to computer and information technology sites on the internet, you will now find two NEW enhancements to the site.

  1. Tech News – As you scroll down the listing of links, on the homepage, you will notice RSS news feeds for some of the most popular tech sites and blogs on the internet. These feeds automatically update so that when you come back to visit, there is always something new.  I actually use this to get my daily dose of tech news and to see what is new on some of my favorite blogs.
  2. Archived Blog Posts – The archive is a brainstorm idea that I came up with that list links to every single blog article ever posted at What’s On My PC. As I continue to post here at What’s On My PC, the archive at Bookmarks4Techs will continue to grow. As of today’s post, I currently have archived links to 1,457 posts.

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Top 10 Videos 2012

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the Singularity – Will the Continued Development of Computers Surpass Human Intelligence?

A good friend and neighbor of mine presented me with a Time Magazine article titled, “2045 – The Year Man Becomes Immortal” that is a must-read that will have you questioning; “Are we approaching the moment when computers will become intelligent, and not just intelligent, but more intelligent than humans?”.

Here is an excerpt from the article that answers that question:

Probably. It’s impossible to predict the behavior of these smarter-than-human intelligences with which (with whom?) we might one day share the planet, because if you could, you’d be as smart as they would be. But there are a lot of theories about it. Maybe we’ll merge with them to become super-intelligent cyborgs, using computers to extend our intellectual abilities the same way that cars and planes extend our physical abilities. Maybe the artificial intelligences will help us treat the effects of old age and prolong our life spans indefinitely. Maybe we’ll scan our consciousnesses into computers and live inside them as software, forever, virtually. Maybe the computers will turn on humanity and annihilate us. The one thing all these theories have in common is the transformation of our species into something that is no longer recognizable as such to humanity circa 2011. This transformation has a name: the Singularity.   [Source: Time Magazine ]

If you read the article (and the excerpt above), you will see there is a name for this theory and it is called “the singularity”.

the Singularity

The word singularity is borrowed from astrophysics: it refers to a point in space-time — for example, inside a black hole — at which the rules of ordinary physics do not apply. [Source: Time Magazine]

A technological singularity is a hypothetical event occurring when technological progress becomes so rapid that it makes the future after the singularity qualitatively different and harder to predict. Many of the most recognized writers on the singularity, such as Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil, define the concept in terms of the technological creation of superintelligence, and allege that a post-singularity world would be unpredictable to humans due to an inability of human beings to imagine the intentions or capabilities of superintelligent entities. [Source: Wikipedia]

The singularity may be something you see as being science fiction, but there are some really, really smart people out there taking this theory seriously. Serious enough, to the point, that they feel that these super artificially intelligent immortals (computers) will in fact prolong our lives indefinitely.

If you are into Information Technology and Computers, then I encourage you to read “2045 – The Year Man Becomes Immortal” [CLICK HERE]

IgorFollowing our read and discussion of the Singularity, my neighbor had a vision he shared with me that I would like to share with my readers:

As I think more about the Singularity, I have this vision of a computer engineer in a deep dark basement somewhere with a computer and all it’s innards spread out on a table before him calling out “Igor run down to Best Buy and get me the largest capacity hard drive available”.  Soon after Igor returns, they can both be seen dancing around the table yelling “It’s Alive!!, It’s Alive!!”. [Source: My Neighbor and Friend, Harry D.]

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A Treemap Visualization of the Daily News

If you are a computer person then you most likely heard of treemap visualizations to view hard disk usage statistics. One such example that comes to mind is WinDirStat. This article is not about WinDirStat, but is about an online application, called Newsmap, that gathers vast amounts of news articles (from the Google News Aggregator) and presents the news in a treemap visualization format. The power of this is that you can visually take in more information and readily pick out, from the treemap, what news has been given the most coverage. Newsmap has become one of my daily reads and is very easy to learn and use.

Newsmap

Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator.

A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap‘s objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe.

Newsmap can be customized for your personal use to display news from various countries and can be further personalized to provide news from specific news categories (such as world news, business news, sports, entertainment, health, technology, etc.)

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Windows 7 – Powerful and Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

Recently, a blogging associate, Steve at Scronocolo contacted me to let me know that he had posted an article about “Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts”. Following that article Steve thoroughly researched and posted a second “how to” article titled; “Going Mouseless or How to Use a PC With a Keyboard”, that he asked I share with you.

Keyboard Shortcuts

I did not realize that built into Windows 7 there is an option available, that that will allow you to use the numeric keypad, on your keyboard, to control the movement of the mouse pointer. This may prove helpful in the event your mouse suddenly stops working and you need to navigate around to fix problems.

Reading Steve’s article, he also shares with us the most powerful and useful keyboard shortcuts that are useful in Windows 7. Pretty cool article!  Take a look at it [ HERE ].

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Is Windows Search a True Performance Hog?

Guest Article By:

TuneUp Blog
Tibor Schiemann, President and Managing Partner, TuneUp

One of the most persistent myths about Windows is, disabling the Windows Search index will significantly increase PC performance and reduce hard disk activity. The Windows Search index is a particularly handy Windows 7 tool, so it shouldn’t be casually disabled. Let’s dive deeper into this myth and figure out whether it actually works or not.

First, it’s important to know how Windows Search works. After installing Windows or turning on your PC for the first time, Windows Search creates an index of specific files, folders and other items, such as Outlook emails or Start Menu entries, on your hard disk. This index is loaded into the main memory (RAM) of your PC and fuels extremely fast searches. The way this works is, instead of browsing through your entire hard disk or huge folders, Windows Search simply accesses the index and immediately produces results.

Windows Search is especially helpful for multi-taskers, who are always looking for e-mails or files. It’s important to figure out whether you’ll need the feature because the question about its impact on PC performance is complicated. The easy answer is, yes, disabling Windows Search index results in longer search times. But here’s the caveat—this is only the case for folders that are being indexed. These include the entire user folder, all Start Menu entries, offline files, Outlook contacts, appointments and installed e-mails, installed and used OneNote notes, and Internet Explorer history.

What’s kept inside the index need not be a mystery. You can see how much and what is being indexed on your system by going to the Control Panel and typing “Windows Search” into the search bar. Then, click on Indexing Options, and you’ll see an index that could be quite large (depending on how much data is there). But are you still wondering if shutting down the index is worth the performance benefit? I benchmarked this very question on my day-to-day work machine and will share what I found with you.

Putting the Windows Search Index to the Test

For the test, I used a Core 2 Duo with 3.2 GHz, 4 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD hard disk, as well as a lower-end machine with a Core 2 Duo 1.86 GHz, 2 GB of RAM and a much slower 5,400 RPM hard disk. From here on, I’m going to refer to them as the faster notebook and the slower notebook.

The faster notebook had nearly 40,000 items indexed. However, I added all of the folders on all of my hard disks to the Windows Search index. That should give some noticeable results, as more than 300,000 files were added to this machine. The slower notebook had about 20,000 items indexed, which is closer to the amount of files (such as pictures, emails and documents) typical PC users keep on their computers. My comparisons of these two extremes should help you decide whether it’s a good idea to disable the Windows Search index.

First, I wanted to test the Windows Search index activity and added a couple of hundred files to the slower notebook and about 300,000 files to the faster one; this was to see how much these machines struggled with a growing Windows Search index. And, Windows proved itself—while users are working on their machines, the operating system reduces the indexing speed so that it does not impact PCs’ performance. It didn’t matter if I added 500 or 300,000 files; Windows never slowed down in any perceivable manner—even an average CPU consumption of 10% did not noticeably impact the performance. Here’s a quick summary of what I found:

Quick Summary

Comparing the Time to Startup and Shutdown

But does Windows Search have a significant impact on boot-up and shutdown performance? In theory, it should slow these processes because the service and index need to be loaded into main memory.

To test this, I looked at the times with Windows Search enabled and disabled. Both of the machines actually booted just a bit faster with Windows Search disabled. The faster notebook’s shutdown time more noticeably improved, whereas there was no difference in the slower notebook’s shutdown time whether Windows Search was disabled or enabled.

Quick Summary

Moving on with the tests, I similarly found that there was a very slight difference in performance (with Windows Search enabled and disabled) when running a virus scan—an activity which is very intense on the hard disk and CPU. And again, when testing the startup of Microsoft Outlook 2010; and yet again, when trying out the 3D animation performance benchmark Cinebench. Windows Search turned out to not be such a performance hog after all!

For more on the Windows Search benchmarks and specifics on each test run, visit TuneUp’s blog at http://blog.tune-up.com.

Enabling or Disabling: That Is the Question

Following the tests, I believe that Windows Search actually has an effect on performance—although the feature only slows things down a little bit, more so when it comes to lower-end machines. The myth of Windows Search being a real performance hog originated with Windows Vista due to its search performance issues, and probably just continued on with the Windows 7 operating system.

Not sure which way to go: enable or disable the Windows 7 feature? Users should always enable Windows Search if you need to find files, emails, programs and contacts, among other things, once in a while. But if you heavily rely on faster search, don’t touch it. On the other hand, Windows Search should be disabled, if you just use your machine for one purpose only, like as a gaming or as a Windows Media Center-based PC, if you never search for files, or if you just want to squeeze the very last ounce of performance out of your PC.

Have your own conclusions to share about the Windows Search myth? I invite you to email me at tibor.blog (at) tune-up.com or post a comment to the TuneUp Blog about Windows.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#96)

Computers and Information Technology is changing at a rate like never seen before. To keep up with the changes, to protect yourself and to learn about the new technologies; it is important to find good resources. Listed below are the resources I depend on to help keep me touch, that I highly recommend.

Geek Squeaks'

Techpiper
Kompozer -The best free webeditor

Awesome Wallpapers
Star Wars Wallpaper Set 9

My Technology Guide
Microsoft Releases Attack Surface Analyzer Security Tool

TTC Shelbyville
Test If You Can Multi-task

I Want Ice Water
The Trouble With Hierarchies

404 Tech Support
Google Releases Google Cloud Print Beta To The Public

Worthy Tips
How To Know Wi-Fi Information Around Your PC

I Love Free Software
Image Tools: Bulk Image Converter, Resizer, Cropper, Watermarker

Netbook Freeware
Security Process Explorer: Free Windows Task Manager Alternative
for Netbooks

Chicago Mac/PC Support
Cisco: Puppy cams threaten Internet

PC Optimization Secrets
Is Desktop PC Dead?

Malware Removal Instructions
How to remove Windows Scan and Memory Scan (Uninstall Guide)

AKSGEEK Live
Microsoft Release OneNote app for iPhone, free for Limited Time

Online Storage Reviews
Preserving Your Memories Online

Gadgetsholic
MetroPCS Samsung Forte Leaked

Tech-for Everyone
Skype Malware Now Attacks Apple?

Rarst.net
Light-Bot 2.0 – programming puzzle game

Lifehacker
What Are Your Favorite Search Tricks?

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Do Security Solutions Slow Down Your PC? (Part 1 – Introduction)

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
5 Dumbest Things To Do With Email Spam

RGdot
My Calendar: Freeware Calendar And Date Utility

Carol’s Vault
PDFZilla Time-limited Giveaway – Get PDFZilla For FREE!

Faster PC! Clean! Clean!
How to Remove Smart Scan

Plato Online
There’s No Such Thing as Net Neutrality

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Consumer Statistics Survey –
50% Of Computer Users Lost Data In 2010

thePC Security
Automatic Email Attachment Download
From Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and Others

Canadian Tech Blogger
Apple Hits The 10th Billion App Downloaded From App Store

What’s On My PC
What’s starting on your PC?

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Can you buy online storage space from Google?

I was recently asked the question, “Can you buy online storage space from Google?”.  The answer is YES.

Google has been generous in providing online storage space for a variety of their FREE products; however, FREE storage space is specific to each product and FREE storage from one product cannot be used by or transferred to another product.  For example:

Picasa Web Albums offers 1 GB of storage for photos and videos only.

Gmail provides 7+ GB (and counting) which is reserved just for Gmail messages.

Docs gives you 1 GB for your uploaded files (documents created in Google Docs and converted files don’t count towards your storage, but do have some size limitations).

If you have a Google Gmail account and are using any of the applications I previously mentioned you can determine how much online space you are currently consuming in any of these applications by clicking on the graphic below:

Manager Storage

Where you can overcome these restrictions, and store it all, is by purchasing additional storage from Google that allows you to share the space between all of your Google applications. As a matter of fact, with the Google Operating System on the horizon, I can see people purchasing additional space; especially if this online operating system takes hold and they come up with their own file syncing tools.

Cost for additional space:

20 GB – $5/yr
80 GB – $20/yr
200 GB – $50/yr
400 GB – $100/yr
1 TB – $256/yr
2 TB – $512/yr
4 TB – $1024/yr
8 TB – $2048/yr
16 TB – $4096/yr

Also from what I have researched, the storage level you purchase is set to auto-renew (or auto pay), by default, at the end of the year. You can upgrade or downgrade the storage level anytime.  If you opt out of the annual auto renewal billing cycle, and let your subscription expire, the following will occur:

After your storage expires (including the 30-day grace period) or after you cancel the subscription, your storage limits will be set back to the free levels for each product. All of your existing data (photos, emails, uploaded files) will still be accessible, but you won’t be able to add anything new for any product over the free storage limit. Here are the specifics:

  • Gmail (7+ GB free storage): If you’re at or beyond your storage limit, all new incoming emails will hard bounce. This means your inbox is full; you won’t receive new email.
  • Picasa Web Albums (1 GB free storage): If you’re at or beyond your storage limit, you will not be able to upload any new photos and videos.
  • Docs (1 GB free storage): If you’re at or beyond your storage limit, you will not be able to upload any new files.

So if you are big on using Google’s applications, as indicated in this article, and want to keep everything under one roof, then purchasing additional space may be feasible [ click here ]; however, keep in mind there other FREE options out there. (i.e. SkyDrive 25GB FREE)

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Surf Safely with Web of Trust

A tool (or browser add-on) that I use on my PC’s, in addition to my normal security software, to help protect me when I am browsing the internet, is no other than Web of Trust (also referred to as “WOT”).

If you use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera I highly recommend this installation. What it does is protect you from visiting web sites, when performing searches, that may be harmful by using a visual “traffic light simulated”  alert system.  If you see red (potential danger lurks ahead), if you see yellow (use caution) and green (go for it). In other words it is a visual rating system that is engineered to heighten your awareness of what sites are good and what sites could be bad. WOT shows the reputation of a website in terms of four components: Trustworthiness, Vendor reliability, Privacy, Child safety. I install this on any PC that I get my hands on.

I encourage you to watch the video below to see how it works and how you benefit from using the Web of Trust .

Web of Trust Video

You are probably wondering, “Who provides the ratings for all of these websites? AND “If this is a rating system, could not someone manipulate the ratings?”.

WOT’s unique tools are powered by our global community of millions of trustworthy users who have rated millions of websites based on their experiences. All websites’ reputation ratings in WOT are based on ratings from our users. WOT also uses information from numerous trusted sources, such as phishing and malware blacklists, to provide the WOT community with real time information.

When someone first hears about the concept behind WOT, their first objection is that someone could easily spam the system with tons of ratings and rate down their competitors or otherwise manipulate reputations, but that’s not true. In order to keep ratings more reliable, the system tracks each user’s rating behavior before deciding how much it trusts the user. WOT applies sophisticated algorithms to detect and eliminate any manipulation of reputation.

Like any security software there can be what is called “false positives”; however, from my experience this add-on tool is VERY ACCURATE and is a must for the everyday computer user.  You can learn more about the Web of Trust by clicking [ HERE ] .

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FREE On-Demand Music, Internet Radio and MORE!

MuziicTake the music world of YouTube and optimize access to that music world using an innovative and user-friendly interface and you have Muziic. This is exactly what a father and son team developed that has not only created a flurry of controversy, but has literally opened up an entire world of music, from top artist, that can be streamed across the internet to your PC (or mobile device). The father and son team describe Muziic as the world’s first YouTube-compliant music video service based on YouTube’s open API.  Muziic launched February 25th, 2009

Muziic is a true multi-platform service that allows you to stream virtually any song or music video on-demand, build custom playlists, tune-in to thousands of internet radio stations and browse high quality music content – anytime, anywhere.

By signing up (for FREE) to Muziic you have option of using their web based web player or you can download the desktop player. In my case, I simply use the web interface.

With Muziic you can load, customize and save playlists that you can revisit anytime from anywhere. You have access to song lyrics, music videos, internet radio stations, albums, artists, and can even do some karaoke.

The really, really cool part of Muziic is the DJ (music deck) interface [HERE] ; that, in my opinion provides the ultimate cloud based music player experience.

Muziic - DJ

Links I located about Muziik in the news:

Teen-created Muziic likely to irk YouTube – CNN
David Nelson, Muziic Creator, Harnesses YouTube In New Free Music Service – Huffington Post
Muziic: YouTube music without the video – Ars Technica
Teen creates program that delivers YouTube tunes to your desktop – Vancouver Sun
Muziic turns YouTube into a playlist factory – WIRED
Will Google Uphold its “Do No Evil” Motto With Muziic? – ReadWriteWeb
New music player for YouTube – Download.com Blog
Is iTunes-for-YouTube App “Muziic” to Google’s Ears? – Maximum PC
Free Streaming Service Muziic Hits the Web – Billboard.biz Blog
Muziic: YouTube approved our site – CNET

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FREE Software to Organize and Cheer Up Your Desktop

The computer desktop, the main graphical user interface that we see when we start our PC’s… The desktop is harbor for icons, windows, toolbars, folders, files, wallpapers and the occasional widget. I have found that many people keep numerous icons on their desktops as a convenient launching point for their favorite programs. Personally I like to keep my desktop completely clean (no icons).

If you are a desktop junkie, currently with 15 or more icons on your desktop, and you want to add some pizazz to your desktop, then take a look at MyCoolDeskTop. As I mentioned, I maintain a clean desktop interface; however, I ran across MyCoolDeskTop, installed it, loaded my desktop up with icons, tested it and found it does work; therefore, I thought let me put it out there for somebody’s use.  My conclusion on this was, use a small icon setting and you should have more than 15 icons on your desktop in order to get the full effect of the shapes.

MyCoolDesktop

What is cool about this FREE application is that it will automatically take your icons and arrange them in many different shapes and styles.  As a matter of fact you can select from 27 different shapes in 5 categories with the ability to save and restore your selected layouts at the click of the mouse.

MyCoolDesktop

My Cool Desktop key features :

  • 27 different shapes grouped in 5 categories
  • save and restore multiple desktop layouts, save and load with 1-click

Full control of your desktop layout :

  • set height and width of selected shape
  • set space between desktop icons
  • move your icons layout anywhere on the screen – includes auto-centering
  • increase/decrease the size of your shape
  • minimization to system tray
  • opening on system Start Up (starts with Windows)

Important: You have to Disable Align to Grid and Auto arrange for Desktop icons in order to let My Cool Desktop control your desktop items position :

For Windows XP users: Right click on Desktop, select Arrange by and uncheck Align to Grid and Auto arrange, if they are checked

For Windows Vista/7 users: Right click on Desktop, select View and uncheck Align to Grid and Auto arrange, if they are checked

System requirements

IMPORTANT: At least 15 icons on desktop required, more than 25 recommended

Windows 2000/ME/XP/Vista or 7 operating systems

400 Mhz processor

64 MB of RAM

5 MB of Disk Space

1024 X 768 or higher resolution

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What’s On My PC – 2010 in Review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured imageThe Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 280,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 12 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 343 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 821 posts. There were 795 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 66mb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest month of the year was August  with 30,207 views. The most popular post that month was Locating Your Software License Keys.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were Stumbleupon, Google Reader, Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech ThoughtsTech-for Everyone and  Google.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for vista will not boot, firefox incognito, vista service pack 2 problems, windows vista service pack 2 problems, and old record player.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Locating Your Software License Keys July 2010
10 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

If you experience Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues… June 2009
62 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

3

How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan… March 2009
60 comments

4

Motorola SBG901 SURFboard Wireless Cable Modem Gateway January 2010
41 comments

5

When Vista will not boot… December 2008
10 comments

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Send a Text Message to Google to Get Search Results

Data plans for mobile phones are typically not in the range of affordability for everyone.  If you do not have a data plan and you wish you could have at least the capability of getting the weather, movies, product information, driving directions, phone listings, and more; THEN you are in for a surprise.  Almost all mobile phone plans offer text messaging as an included or add-on service. Text Messaging is typically the common term used for SMS (Short Message Service).  With your text messaging service did you know that you can text message Google to conduct a search query and Google will determine the information and text the top results back to you?  Once you get the hang of it; it is nearly as quick as lightning.

Here’s how it works…  Enter this number into your mobile phone: 466453 . It is the number to Google SMS. Then follow the instructions at the Google SMS website [ HERE ] .  I think you will be quite surprised to what information you can pull down using Google SMS. With Google’s SMS Service and Microsoft’s FREE 411 Service, that was recently featured here, you will be amazing your friends and family in no time.

Google SMS

Reminder: Handset must be SMS capable and user must be authorized to use this device. This service is free from Google but message & data rates may apply.

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My Personal Experience with a Craigslist Scam Attempt

I recently took the plunge and actually posted (and sold), for the first time, several items on Craigslist. As a result of this new experience I soon learned, like any other service on the internet where you are socially connecting to (and actually meeting) other people, the cybercriminal and real-time criminal both can be lurking nearby.

Craigslist

If you are unfamiliar with Craigslist:

Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities, featuring free online classified advertisements – with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums – Wikipedia

I posted “locally” an ad for a camera that I had for sale and indicated that “cash” payment was required. Within 24 hours I received the following email from someone with an email name of “Josephus Kokotu” (female) that was using a Yahoo email address that had a male’s name in it (Stanford).

Email #1: Hey I’m intersted for sure is it still available ?

I immediately became suspicious due most respondents will cut to the chase and provide further details, such as a phone number or email address; PLUS, the female name “Josephus Kokotu” did not set well with me and the fact there was male’s name in the Yahoo email address. Now, I know I may be over diagnosing this, but they spelled the word “interested” incorrectly; however, from my experience scam emails often consist of intentional misspellings.

I decided at this point to see where this was going. I deliberately responded back, using a temporary email account.

Yes Camera is still available…

Are you local?  Please provide number to contact you.

Thank you

Josephus Kokotu responded back:

Email #2: I’m off for the rest of the week so I can meet up pretty much anytime, just let me know what works for you. Cash ok ? By the way, do you have a certificate number from verifycraigslist.com ? If you don’t I’d really prefer you get one before we meet. It’s totally free, only takes a minute, and it proves your not a sex offender or violent felon. As a single woman xmas shopper it helps me feel better about meeting random people off the Internet. Anyways see you soon.

After receiving this response I noticed Josephus wanted me to visit a website to acquire a Craigslist certificate number so that I could prove to Josephus that I was not a criminal. I knew right then and there this was a phlishing scam. Folks, verifycraigslist.com, is not a legitimate site and was down when I last checked. This site, masquerading as being legitimate, is (was) used to steal sensitive information from the unsuspecting public who enter data at the site. Another clue that this was a scam email is that, I already stipulated, “cash only”, yet Josephus is asking me, “Cask OK?”.

Phlishing

I responded back to Josephus and informed her that she has no worry about me being a criminal; that I am retired Law Enforcement.  You know, I never heard back from Josephus.

In the end, most of my experience with Craigslist has been a good experience; however, it is important that you use common sense and do not fall for that false sense of security that the Craigslist service (or any service for that matter) is protecting you. It is not and they will tell you that; however, Craigslist does provide some common sense rules to follow:

  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON – follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service – anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
  • FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
  • CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer “buyer protection” or “seller certification”
  • NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
  • AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL “GUARANTEE” YOUR TRANSACTION.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#88)

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is on the way! Busy, busy, busy! Take some time and read the entries selected for this weeks’ Geek Squeaks’. If you are an IT Professional or the everyday computer user, there is something here for all.

Geek Squeaks'

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
TuneUp Utilities 2011 – Five License Giveaway!

Bookmarks4Techs
467 Bookmarked Tech Sites

Canadian Tech Blogger
Cut The Rope for iOS Review

thePC Security
Forgot Facebook Login Password –
Retrieve, Recover with Freeware Tool

Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
Test Exchange server connectivity from the outside: Microsoft Exchange Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer

Plato On-Line
Terrible Widespread Repercussions from Leaks

Faster PC! Clean! Clean!
How to Remove Win Defrag

RGdot
5DFly Free Photo Editing And Viewer

Tech-for Everyone
I Made Over $100 Billion Yesterday

Rarst.net
Samsung Galaxy 580 (GT-I5800) Android smartphone

Lifehacker
Use Ninite and Task Scheduler
to Keep Relatives’ Computers Up to Date

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Behind the Scenes: TuneUp Program Deactivator

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
Passwords, Passwords, Passwords

Laptop Reviews Central
Acer launches a new dimension

PC Optimization Secrets
How To Clean Your Infected PC Using Kaspersky Rescue Disk

Chicago Mac/PC Support
iPhone, iPod, Mac owners reporting random FaceTime calls iPodNN

Malware Removal Instructions
How to remove Clickpotato adware (Uninstall Guide)

AKSGEEK Live
Unlock Windows Phone 7

Worthy Tips
6 Powerful PDF Search Engines to Find and Download Free PDF Books

Netbook Freeware
EASEUS Partition Master Home Edition: Best Free Partition Manager

I Love Free Software
Automate Tasks with Perfect Automation Mouse Keyboard Recorder

I Want Ice Water
Loneliness Is A Bitch

404 Tech Support
I Have Admin Rights! Buttons

TTC Shelbyville
Monitor Network Traffic

My Technology Guide
Anonymizer Nevercookie: Firefox Add-on to Kill the Evercookie

Awesome Wallpapers
Mac Wallpaper Set 40

Scoroncocolo
Google Docs

What’s On My PC
A FREE Utility to Backup Your Gmail

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Play Full-Featured Versions of your Favorite Solitaire Games Online for FREE

If you love playing solitaire, then I found the site for you called Just Solitaire.

Just Solitaire

The really cool part about Just Solitaire is that you do not have to install any software. Simply go to the Just Solitaire web site in your web browser and select from the 40 variations of solitaire that is available.

Just Solitaire Features:

  • More than 40 solitaire game variations to play.
  • Most games allow you to customize some rules, like the number of cards dealt from the stock and the number of times the stock is re-used.
  • Cards resize to fit your browser window.
  • Three ways to move cards: drag and drop, click to select and then again to place, double click to move to next available spot.
  • In addition to PCs and Macs, the solitaire games work on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices.
  • Game state and card positions remembered when you leave and then return to the game later.
  • Choose from different decks of cards, including a set made for phones and small screens, and one optimized for older versions of Internet Explorer.
  • Choose from different solitaire backgrounds.
  • Unlimited undo moves allowing you to try different ways to win your solitaire game.
  • Two methods of scoring to accumulate points over multiple games.
  • Autoplay mode turns over cards and deals from the stock automatically.
  • Completely free to play! No signup at all!
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    A FREE Cloud App That Will Save You Money

    Have you ever experienced the frustration of printing an article on a web page and ended up printing everything but the article? I feel your pain.  Been there (many times) and done it; and the end result was wasted paper and ink (and money).

    To help overcome that frustration, save money and help save a few trees, I encourage you to take a look at the online (cloud app) service called “Print Friendly”. It is a FREE, user friendly service specifically engineered to help you print web pages.

    Print Friendly

    There are actually two methods to using Print Friendly, with the latter method described below, being the easiest and most efficient.

    Method 1:  Whatever webpage you desire to print, copy the web address, go to the Print Friendly web site [ HERE ] and paste (or type) the site into the form box and hit print preview.

    Method 2: At the Print Friendly web site [ HERE ] use your mouse to drag the Print Friendly bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmark toolbar. The beauty of this is that any web page you desire to print, simply visit the site where the article is located, then click on the Print Friendly bookmarklet on the toolbar. The web page will be magically converted, ready for printing, right before your eyes.

    Using either method will activate the Print Friendly print preview.  At this point you can delete elements (paragraphs, images) prior to actually printing the selection. Other notable features, is that you can save the selection to a PDF file, email the selection or tweet the selection.

    Print Friendly

    Video – How Print Friendly Works

    Video – How Print Friendly Works

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    It All Began With An iPhone

    To interject some humor in today’s post and give you an opportunity to learn about some of Apple’s product line; a friend recently sent me this dissertation about some of Apple’s products, that he had purchased, and how these products (in the end) got him into trouble.

    In all seriousness, if you want to learn about the iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch, and the last product (which is a surprise), I encourage you click on the links below.

    _________________________________________

    March was when my son celebrated his 15th birthday, and I got him an

    iPhone

    He just loved it. Who wouldn’t?

    iPhone

    I celebrated my birthday in July, and my wife made me very happy when she bought me an

    iPad

    iPad

    My daughter’s birthday was in August so I got her an

    iPodTouch

    iPod Touch

    September came by so for her birthday i got my wife an

    iRon

    iRon

    It was around then that the fight started . .. .

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    What My Years In Tech Has Taught Me

    I started working with computers in a time before there was such a term called “information technology”. It was a time before Microsoft Windows, a time when certifications was not heard of and a time before, what we consider to be, the internet of today. The blessing in all of this is that I had the opportunity to let technology teach me.

    During those years I worked at a State government agency and had no training whatsoever in computer technology. As a matter of fact my job had nothing to do with computers whatsoever. It all got started at home with an Apple IIc and at work with an IBM PS/2. As a result, I found myself filling the shoes of a computer information specialist at the same State agency where I planned and managed a network in a campus style setting consisting of ten buildings. All along the way I let technology teach me.

    My years in Tech taught me discipline, to be patient, to teach and share with others what I was learning, how to be innovative in streamlining business processes, to become a business administrator, to be always organized, to be a gatekeeper and protector (of data), and to be always current with what technology was out there.

    Today, as a retiree, my love for technology is still there. It is the one reason that I enjoy blogging about computers, software and information technology.

    I would be interested in hearing comments from other techs on “what tech has taught you”…  You can leave comments below.

    NOTE: This article was posted as a result of a wager with TechPaul at Tech-for Everyone.  Deal was, if Texas won the World Series TechPaul had to write the article and if San Francisco won the World Series I (Ramblinrick) had to write the article.  Congratulations to TechPaul!

    Addendum (11/02/2010): Following the completion of this article, TechPaul at Tech-for Everyone followed up with a similar article,

    The Unintended Consequences of Gambling – You Win’.

    I encourage you to read this article to learn about the history of TechPaul.  As he is always telling me, “You’re a good man Charlie Brown”…

    Addendum (11/05/2010): As a result of this article, Steve over at TTC Shelbyville composed an article titled,

    “Every Tech Has A Story”

    His article shows tribute to those who grew up in the age of computers and explains his background as well.  Steve is the lead Computer Information Technology Instructor at TTC Shelbyville (Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville) and it has been a real honor to be associated with him. As Steve puts it, “ In today’s world, the new guys will be old guys quick…”. How true that is!

    If you are a young (and even old) and have that burning  desire to learn tech, Tennessee Technology Center is where to start.

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    Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#78)

    Geek Squeaks’ is a weekly roundup of articles that have been posted by other bloggers who are associated by the What’s On My PC blogroll. If your knack in life is information technology, then these blogs are greating starting points to enhance your learning.

    Geek Squeaks'

    Tech-for Everyone
    License Giveaway Contest – SLOW-PCFighter

    Bookmarks4Techs
    ViewSonic VX2250WM-LED 22-Inch (21.5-Inch Vis) Widescreen Full HD 1080p LED Monitor
    with Integrated Stereo Speakers

    Canadian Tech Blogger
    iPad Halves US Netbook Sales

    Mrintech
    Reserve your Username NOW on About.me

    thePC Security
    Video Surveillance Webcam Software –
    ISpy Motion Sensor, Detector

    Right On Technology
    Jupiter Closest to Earth since 1963

    Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
    Unlocker Windows Explorer Extension Handles Locked Files Easily

    Plato On-Line
    Activists Fume Over Facebook Crackdown

    Faster PC! Clean! Clean!
    How to Remove Antivirus IS

    RGdot
    Image Tuner Is Your Basic Image Editor

    Laptop Reviews Central
    Asus reveals NX90J’s price & release date

    Paul’s Home Computing Blog
    How To: Improve the Performance of Your
    Home Wireless Network (WiFi)

    TuneUp Blog about Windows
    Boost your Technical Know-how with the TuneUp Glossary

    Lifehacker
    Know When to Stop Automating to Manage Email More Efficiently

    Rarst.net
    Faster than Speed Dial – customizing Opera main bar

    AskBillFirst
    Computer Security for Teens and Their Parents Too

    Free PC Security
    Malicious Sites September 21

    Mister Reiner
    Where is Mister Reiner?

    Chicago Mac/PC Support
    Beautiful Examples of Rainbow photography

    Malware Removal Instructions
    How to remove Antivirus IS malware (Uninstall Instructions)

    Online Storage Reviews
    Planning Online Storage and Recovery of Business Data

    AKSGEEK Live
    Google Voice Returns to the App Store

    Worthy Tips
    How To Disable Google Instant Search Option?

    Netbook Freeware
    Play Crush The Castle Online Game on Netbook Free

    I Love Free Software
    Automatically Run a Program at Scheduled Time: TimerTask

    Techolar
    The Evolution of Internet Explorer Logos

    I Want Ice Water
    World War II on Facebook

    404 Tech Support
    Remove the Facebook Like Button From All Sites

    TTC Shelbyville
    What processes are secure?

    Carputers News and Computer Tips
    More Free Online Photo Editors

    Snakebytez
    Fix common Internet Explorer problems with IE Restorator

    My Technology Guide
    How to Use a System Repair Disc to Restore Windows 7

    Awesome Wallpapers
    Nature Wallpaper Set 38

    Laptop Computer Reviews
    Optical Drives

    What’s On My PC
    A Great PORTABLE Calculator for FREE

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    Bookmarks4Techs – An Ongoing Experiment

    If you haven’t visited Bookmarks4Techs lately, then you are missing out on a growing list of tech sites. As of the date of this posting, the site is currently listing 464 bookmarked links to computer and information technology sites across the internet. You can literally spend hours hitting these sites. Also posted are RSS feeds to some of my favorite blogs and sites. This will continue to grow, as well.

    Another featured experiment is that I am tyring is randomly selecting articles, from the 464 bookmarked sites, on a daily basis and posting links to those articles under Random Tech News. I am hoping that I can get people to drop by to read the latest news from the random selection and to encourage site owners to place Bookmarks4Techs on their blogroll.

    Bookmarks4Techs, I set up to encourage people to learn about information technology and computers.  If you want to learn what is going on out there, the bookmarked sites is a good place to start.

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    A FREE Online Video Editor

    You cannot tell me any different. We are definitely moving forward toward cloud computing as a common computing platform. A great example of this progression is JayCut – a FREE Online Video Editor.

    JayCut There are numerous online photo enhancement and photo editing sites currently available on the internet that allows you to perform magic with your photos right inside your web browser shell; however, JayCut is the first full scale video editor that gives you the ability to create movies and slideshows (for FREE) without installing software on your PC. You simply visit the JayCut website to create, manage and edit your movie.  JayCut, like many of the photo editing sites, gets it power from Adobe Flash. Another feature of JayCut, if you are a web site owner, is that you can integrate JayCut API into your website to make it available for all of your visitors. In order to use JayCut effectively, signing up for an online account is required.

    [ SCREENSHOT ]

    JayCut - Screenshot

    The JayCut online video editor has all the features you would expect to find in a traditional desktop-based video editing tool. Still it is running directly in a web browser without any need for lengthy downloads or cumbersome installations.

    Publisher’s Description of Features

    In JayCut’s video editing tool you will find basic editing functionality and additional web-optimized features.

    Remix/trim videos and images

    Add music, transitions and effects

    Add captions and subtitles

    Automated transcoding

    Use same account as webbased editor

    1-Click export to YouTube and Facebook

    Export videos for Iphone, Win and Mac

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    Bookmarks4Techs – New Site Update #29

    Be sure to visit Bookmarks4Techs, the sister site to What’s On My PC for the frequently added site updates, PLUS the compilation of links to over 445 Tech Sites and RSS Feeds to some of the most popular sites on the internet.  Site Update #29 features the addition of a new site called GilsMethod, featured FREE software – Portable Start Menu, and featured site – Bits from Bill.

    You can visit Bookmarks4Techs [CLICK HERE] to see these and the many of the other site updates. If you do not see your tech site there, let me know!

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    Bookmarks4Techs – New Site Update (#28)

    Be sure to visit Bookmarks4Techs, the sister site to What’s On My PC for the frequently added site updates, PLUS the compilation of links to over 440 Tech SitesSite Update #28 features the addition of a new site called Red Ferret, featured FREE software – DNS Benchmark, and featured site – Laptop Reviews Central. You can visit Bookmarks4Techs [HERE] to see these and the many of the other site updates.

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    Bookmarks4Techs – New Site Update (#27)

    Be sure to visit Bookmarks4Techs, the sister site to What’s On My PC for the frequently added site updates, PLUS the compilation of links to over 440 Tech SitesSite Update #27 features the addition of a new site called Wardrive.net, featured FREE software – AppRemover, and featured site – Google Operating System. You can visit Bookmarks4Techs [ HERE ] to see these and the many other site updates.

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    Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#73)

    If you are someone that has a passion and desire to learn IT (information technology), then it is important that you have good resources to enhance your learning. One resource is Geek Squeaks’…  Geeks Squeaks’ is a weekly “selective and sample” review of articles posted by the site owners associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll.

    Geek Squeaks'

    Scoroncocolo
    What is HTML 5?

    Malware Removal Instructions
    How to remove Security Suite malware (Uninstall Instructions)

    Gadgetsholic
    EFO Mini Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard

    RGdot
    ClipCube: Young And Easy Freeware Clipboard Utility

    Awesome Wallpapers
    Movies Wallpaper Set 4 (LOTR)

    Mister Reiner
    A hacker by any other name…

    My Technology Guide
    AeroTweak: Tweak Windows
    By Changing 50 Different System Parameters

    Free PC Security
    Malicious Sites August 17

    AKS-Feel The Change
    Login into Multiple Gmail Account at once in same browser

    Snakebytez
    Record Screen activity and save in an AVI file
    with Desktop Activity Recorder

    Carol’s Vault
    Awesome collection of free WordPress themes

    Faster PC! Clean! Clean!
    How to Remove EzPrivacy

    AskBillFirst
    Mozy vs Carbonite – Off-site Backup Thoughts

    Tech-for Everyone
    Big Brother Big Business

    Plato On-Line
    Car Hacking Could Kill You

    TTC Shelbyville
    Powerful Utility Becomes the Nucleus of Your Computer

    Rarst.net
    Rumble Box – action game with explosive gameplay

    Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
    Quick Look – Multi-Platform Mobile Chat: PingChat!

    Lifehacker
    Boomerang Schedules Your Gmail Messages
    (and We’ve Got Beta Invites) [Gmail]

    404 Tech Support
    See What Somebody Printed By Listening

    Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
    Who’s Using Your Ports? Find Out With These Free Port Analyzers

    I Want Ice Water
    Silly monday (via Erotixx photoblog)

    Techolar
    Disable Laptop Touchpad with Touchpad Pal

    thePC Security
    Free USB Protection Software
    with Password and Encryption – EncryptStick

    I Love Free Software
    DzSoft Paste and Save: Free Clipboard Manager

    Netbook Freeware
    Everything Search Engine: Best Free Windows
    Search Alternative For Your Netbook

    Tuneup Blog about Windows
    Making PC-based Home Entertainment a Reality

    Worthy Tips
    Customize Website Look in Chrome with Webpage Decorator

    Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
    Review. The Doro PhoneEasy 420gsm

    Canadian Tech Blogger
    Why The Wi-Fi In Schools Debate Is Bogus

    Paul’s Home Computing Blog
    Windows XP – Are You Secure?

    Bookmarks4Techs
    Site Update #26

    Online Storage Reviews
    Selecting a Reliable Offsite Storage Service

    Laptop Reviews Central
    Asus will release 8-inch Eee Tablet in October

    Chicago Mac/PC Support
    TV for $12 a year – Flickr – Photo Sharing!

    What’s On My PC
    FREE Computer Troubleshooting Checklist

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    Bookmarks4Techs: Site Update #13

    Be sure to visit my NEW sister site; Bookmarks4Techs. The site features frequent updates that include links to FREE software, new tech sites, featured sites, and even an option to get really good deals on tech products (or anything) directly through Amazon.com. The goal of the site is to grab every tech site out there and have the sites posted at Bookmarks4Techs.  If you are a student of information technology, here is your starting point. Spread the word, post it on your blogroll, email your friends, facebook it, twitter it; any exposure is very much appreciated.  

    Bookmarks4Techs

    Bookmarked Sites:  429 Total


    [ CLICK HERE ]

    New Site Added:

    Webuser

    The Best of the Web

    Recent Article: Apple sued over iPad overheating problem

    Featured FREE Software:

    ControlPad

    ControlPad turns the numeric keypad on your keyboard to a Windows command execution system. You may configure any numeric code to: Execute any program, open any document, open any web address or send any series of keystrokes to the operating system.

    Featured Site:

    My Technology Guide

    My Technology Guide is a website dedicated at providing information, tips and tricks, help, free (tech) support, etc. The main aim behind developing My Technology Guide is to help our reader with simple solutions to everyday (tech) problems related to Windows, Linux, Mac, Computer Security, etc but not limited to them only. You will find here lots of tutorials, software reviews and also not to forget the occasional free genuine license giveaways of popular softwares and more.

    Recent Article: Giveaway: Daniusoft Video Converter  Ultimate
    [Software Review]

    Featured Geek Gear:

    @Bookmarks4Techs Amazon Affiliate Store

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    Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#68)

    If you are a person who has a passion for computers and information technology, then I encourage you to bookmark each of the sites listed below.  You will find no better resources!

    Geek Squeaks'

    Awesome Wallpapers
    Space/Fantasy Wallpaper Set 32

    My Technology Guide
    How To Disable Flash Completely In Google Chrome?

    Snakebytez
    Shutdown Timer : Shutdown or Logoff based on system events

    Carputers News and Computer Tips
    DevVicky Word 2010 – a very capable free word processor

    TTC Shelbyville
    PingER Shows Internet Connectivity

    404 Tech Support
    Ask 404TS: From My Experiences, Tips on Starting a Website

    I Love Free Software
    Speed Launch – Free Application Launching Tool

    Netbook Freeware
    High Quality Photo Resizer:
    Best Free Photo Resize App for Your Netbook

    Worthy Tips
    Create Windows 7 bootable USB drive using Windows 7 SBB Tool

    Paul’s Home Computing Blog
    Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems:
    The UPS and Downs of Power

    Chicago Mac/PC Support
    You Are Not Your Phone

    Laptop Reviews Central
    Toshiba unveils thinner and muscular laptop

    GadgetsHolic
    Asus Eee PC 1005PX With Bevy Colors

    Mister Reiner
    Why anti-malware software doesn’t always work

    Free PC Security
    Malicious Sites July 11

    Web Sites, Internet, Software Tips and Reviews
    Gmail Adds Rich Text Signatures

    Tech-for Everyone
    Software License Giveaway: Sandboxie

    Rarst.net
    Best of two years

    Lifehacker
    Windows 7 SP1 Beta Available for Download—
    If You’re an IT Worker

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

    Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
    Beginning Blogging. 1. Let’s make a start on Blogger.

    RGdot
    ClipMan: Open Source Clipboard Utility

    Carol’s Vault
    SoftKey Revealer – find your computer’s keys

    411-Spyware.com
    How to Remove Earth AV

    Plato On-Line
    Panic Button: Facebook Concedes

    Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
    Time To Surf Without Windows? Is Ubuntu The Answer?

    Right On Technology
    Firefox 4 Beta Download Arrives With New Facelift

    thePC Security
    Password Security Policy Tip – Write Down Your Password

    Mrintech
    Recharge your Prepaid Mobile/DTH Subscription Online

    What’s On My PC
    New Website – Bookmarks4techs.com

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    New Web Site – Bookmarks4Techs.com

    During my two years of blogging I have had the opportunity to visit, review and bookmark over 400 tech sites and blogs. As a matter of fact, it is a passion of mine to visit and collect tech sites. I have found it is a great way to learn about computers and information technology.

    Recently I decided to post these bookmarks, on a separate sister site to What’s On My PC; AND, decided to call the site Bookmarks4Techs.com . The site is currently in the development stages and will continue to evolve as I continue to tweak the site. The site features RSS Feeds from some of my favorite tech sites; plus some quick links to tech bargains at Amazon. I fully intend to add to the collection as the site continues to grow. I am always open to any tech sites that are not included.

    If you are a tech site (or blog) and you add Bookmarks4Techs.com to your blogroll, let me know, and I will increase the font size to the name of your site (or blog) on Bookmarks4Techs so that it stand’s out.

    Bookmarks4Techs

    Site Description:

    Bookmarks4Techs is the largest repository of listed tech sites currently available on the internet. If you have the desire to learn about computers and information technology, then Bookmarks4Techs is your place to start! To help support the site, I ask that any tech site listed below, to please consider adding Bookmarks4Techs to your blogroll. If added to your blogroll, I will increase the font size of your listing to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd. Thank You and Enjoy!

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    Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#66)

    Welcome to Geek Squeaks’; your weekly roundup of tech articles produced by the members of the What’s On My PC blogroll community. I think you will find that there is something here for everyone!

    Geek Squeaks'

    Laptops Review Central
    MSI launches GX740 gaming laptop

    Paul’s Home Computing Blog
    The Ideal Home Computing Environment

    Worthy Tips
    Top 5 Blogging Platforms Judged by Their Pros and Cons

    Netbook Freeware
    Duplicati: Best Free Backup System for Your Netbook

    I Love Free Software
    iPod Rescue: Free Software to Rescue Songs from iPod

    404 Tech Support
    On Crash Protection and Farmville the Reason Behind Firefox 3.6.6

    TTC Shelbyville
    DiskMax Cleans Your Hard Drive

    Carputer’s News and Computer Tips
    Busy is good, reloaded

    Snakebytez
    Free ISO Creator : create ISO image from your files and folders

    My Technology Guide
    Mozilla Firefox 3.6.6 Stability Update Released, Download Now

    Awesome Wallpapers
    Windows Se7en Wallpaper Set 26

    Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
    TG’s Scottish Theme pack for Windows 7

    TuneUp Blog about Windows
    How To: Install Icons in Windows XP, Vista, and 7

    Crazy World of G
    Libox

    Lifehacker
    Remains of the Day: Windows 8 Rumors

    Rarst.net
    Monitor Asset Manager (MonInfo) – display info tool

    Tech-for Everyone
    Monday, Monday, Monday

    Free PC Security
    PC Doc Pro – Reviewed and De-listed

    Mister Reiner
    How your Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo
    email account may have been hacked

    RGdot
    Greenshot: Open Source And Easy Screen Capture

    411-Spyware.com
    How to Remove antispybase.net

    Plato On-Line
    USB SafeGuard

    Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
    Organize your desktop quickly and easily: Fences v1.01.143

    Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
    Gmail Suspension Notice Phishing Attempts Continue

    thePC Security
    Block Unwanted Sites, Adult Web Content,
    With OpenDNS Family Shield

    Internet Security Blog
    Review – BullGuard Internet Security 9.0

    Canadian Tech Blogger
    Google Chrome Now More Popular Than Safari

    What’s On My PC
    Test Your Internet Connection Speed

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    As a Blogger, Pay It Back Twofold

    I have been blogging since July 2008 and enjoy it very much; even though there are times my “blogger batteries” start to discharge.  It is truly hard work; however, I look at it as a form of exercise in the mental sense (similar to a daily physical workout).

    The rewards from blogging are many…  You keep those brain cells refreshed, your writing improves, recognition will come your way, your knowledgebase expands, you develop a sense that you are doing something that will help someone else; AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY you meet people that I can only describe as being awesome.

    I do not know how it is with other people that blog on other topics of interest; BUT, what I have found with Tech Bloggers it that it is a very unique group of people.  That old saying “birds of a feather flock together” describes perfectly the group of bloggers I have been associated with.

    When a fellow Tech Blogger gives you recognition, I have a blogger’s policy that I follow, and that is to “pay it back, twofold”.  Recently one of the blogs I am associated with, called “Ask A Tech Teacher” posted text from one of my articles and and a link back to What’s On My PC.  Many bloggers look at link backs as a way to generate traffic to the blog (which it is); but, I look at it in a whole different light.  I made a connection with someone!

    image

    image I started digging deep into the blog, Ask A Tech Teacher, and what I experienced was a vast amount (and array) of information that can really help those that are in need of a real teacher of computers and information technology. The author of the blog has been been a tech teacher for 15 years and it really shows.  To all my readers and new visitors, Ask A Tech Teacher is one site to bookmark and frequently visit. I will guarantee you that you will learn something that you did not know.

    Oh, by the way, if you are interested in becoming a blogger, I encourage you to use WordPress.com… Everything you need to get started is there and you do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out; plus, there is always someone out there that will help.

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    Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#53)

    It is that time again…  Geek Squeaks’ is a weekly rundown of links to articles posted from the blogs that are associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll community.  If you have a desire to keep up with information technology and computers, then I suggest you make these sites part of your daily routine.

    image

    TTC Shelbyville
    2000 mw USB Wireless – 2 Watts of Power

    Carputer’s News and Computer Tips
    100 Free and Useful Portable Apps

    I Love Free Software
    Penzu – Free Online Personal Diary and Journal

    Worthy Tips
    BasicTwitter – A desktop client
    to manage multiple twitter accounts

    Internet Security Blog
    Block, Avoid, Identify Paypal, EBay,
    Bank Phishing Emails with Iconix

    Canadian Tech Blogger
    What free email service should I use?

    Computer Maintenance
    Uninstall Unwanted Programs

    Free PC Security
    Malicious Sites March 23

    AskBillFirst
    Do You Really Know Where That Link Is Taking You?

    Tech-for Everyone
    URGENTLY!!!

    Sugarloaf Tech
    Uninstall Trend Micro without a password

    Rarst.net
    TeamViewer – functional remote access tool

    Lifehacker
    Which Browser Should I Use: Firefox or Chrome?

    Crazy World of G
    Export This Part 5

    thePC Security
    Comodo Dragon Review | The Secured Browser on Chromium

    AKS-Feel The Change
    Linkbait Generator-Generate Catchy Blog Post ideas

    Carol’s Vault
    My word!!! Please, don’t be rude!

    411-Spyware.com
    How to Remove Security Guard

    Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
    Free ThreatFire – Advanced Security Against Malware

    Right On Technology
    AT&T adding Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus soon

    Freeware Pharmacy
    Subsonic

    Plato Press
    Biggest Threat to Endangered Species: the Internet

    Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
    Windows Live, Stats and Nostalgia

    TuneUp Blog About Windows
    Building the Perfect Media Center (Part Two)

    WP Xpert
    Custom Header Workaround For The New WP.com Theme Titan

    What’s On My PC
    Test Your Internet Connection Speed

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    Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#49)

    If you have a passion for information technology and computers, then you need to follow the sites (blogs) listed below that are part of Geek Squeaks’. Each week I pull an article from each of those sites (blogs) to highlight their accomplishments in Geek Squeaks’ of the Week. I encourage you the preview the articles below and pay a visit to each of these sites.

    image

    Scoroncocolo
    Google’s Free Programs and Services

    Right On Technology
    Google Earth Arrives For Android 2.1 Phones

    Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
    Comodo Dragon – A More Secure Internet Browser?

    Plato On-Line
    FBI Now into the PA School ‘Laptop Spying’

    411-Spyware.com
    How to Remove Antimalware Doctor

    Carol’s Vault
    Reblog: 20+ Exceptional Online Professional Image Editors and Drawing Applications

    Free PC Security
    Site Update

    AskBillFirst
    Lesson Learned

    Tech-for Everyone
    Buzz Bombs

    Rarst.net
    Google Buzz – weird email or weird Twitter?

    Lifehacker
    Use Windows System Restore to Recover Individual Files

    Crazy World of G
    Export This

    Snakebytez
    Liksoft Free Screen Capture Software

    TTC Shelbyville
    NetSurveyor Wireless Network Survey

    I Love Free Software
    Do It Again: Automatically Repeat Tasks on your PC

    Worthy Tips
    Change Windows 7 Start Button
    with Windows 7 Start Button Changer

    Mrintech
    Real Life Photograph which Looks like Oil Painting!

    Canadian Tech Blogger
    Top 5: Most Popular Google Searchs For 2010

    Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
    Blogging with Windows Live Writer. 9

    TuneUp Blog
    Educating PC Users on Computer Maintenance

    WP Expert
    How To Correctly Use The Top Rated Widget

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    Links to Over 300 Computer Tech Blogs in One Place

    I thoroughly enjoy visiting, reading, collecting and supporting the tech blogs that are out there on the internet. Locating tech blogs can be a cumbersome task; especially since there are so many. There are an endless number of private tech blogs out there that we never see and end up missing out on some really excellent material. As a matter of fact, if you are someone that is in the ever changing world of IT and computers, I encourage you to go fishing for blogs to keep in line with the pace.

    If you are someone that enjoys reading and learning about information technology I can save you a whole lot of work.  I have spent the past year collecting tech blogs.

    Located on the right side of the blog you will see the
    “What’s On My PC – Launch Pad” .

    image The Launch Pad is your launching point to over 300 tech blogs (319 to be exact and the list continues to grow). The Launch Pad is nothing pretty; but it loads fast; AND, is smart phone and browser friendly.

    Recently I added to the Launch Pad another 61 more blogs (or tech sites).  The new additions are are reflected below.

    Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
    Instructify
    PCauthorities.com
    Pallab.net
    Freeware Mission
    4Sysops
    Everything USB
    dotTech [.org]
    Download Tube
    Ramesh’s Site
    TMS Network Blog
    Software & News
    RotorBlog
    Tom’s Hardware
    Windows 7 Hacker
    Tech Bucket
    Tech-Ex
    Tecneek
    WEBKEEPS

    Windows 7 News & Tips
    Technology Is Fun
    TekShek
    Techportalz
    techFAQ
    LiveSide.net
    DirFile
    Tech Zoom In
    Techarraz
    Freeware Home
    Get2use.com
    Geek or Unique
    wiseGEEK
    Murtaza’s Technoblog
    ChurchTechBlogs
    File Guru
    I Love Free Software
    Tech Airlines
    Digital Buzz Blog
    FreewareWire
    Quick Online Tips
    Computer Articles
    Steal Ideas
    Tweaking Windows
    Extreme Trix
    Ask A Tech Teacher
    The Kim Komando Show
    IT Mamak
    Freeware Pharmacy
    Tech-Tips
    One Tip A Day
    HelpMeRick
    Ask Bob Rankin
    ByteTips.com
    Online Tech Tips
    Barry’s Best Computer Tips
    Daily Bits
    TechXplore
    TinkerNut
    New Your Computer Help Blog
    LyteByte
    TechSpot
    TuneUp

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    Get answers to real questions with wiseGEEK…

    The internet has become an infinite source of information that we have come to rely on for just about everything; however, it is important to verify the information for validity and accuracy.  Often we start our research for information from simply asking ourselves a question. The question in many cases can be relatively simple but finding the answer can be difficult because the answers are distributed across multiple web sites. This is where wiseGEEK steps in…

    image

    wiseGEEK digests and simplifies disparate information into concise answers. The site is a compilation of nearly 50,000 articles, under 22 categories, with answers to common questions that is researched by over 100 qualified contributors.  wiseGEEK makes every attempt to keep the articles error free and accepts comments from readers to challenge the validity of the information.

    …occasionally an error sneaks into one of our articles. That is where our wiseGEEK readers come in. In the “wiseGEEK features” menu available on every article page, there is an option to “comment on this article.” Every comment is researched and implemented where appropriate. Our qualified writers along with the army of readers ensures that our information is as accurate as possible.

    image

    Personally, I enjoy visiting wiseGEEK, on a regular basis, to learn about answers to common questions and to build my trivia knowledgebase;  AND to give myself ideas for blog articles. Make sure you check out the category on “Internet and Computers”…

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    Trusting the IT Guy…

    The “Tennessee Technology Center (at Shelbyville)” has an article posted on their blog that really hit home with me, about ethics and the IT Professional, that I want to expand upon. I encourage you to visit the site and read:

    “Here’s a Secret – I won’t Share”
    image

    When I was in a working capacity as an IT Professional, at a small government agency, it was at that stage of the game where networking was coming into full play, the internet was the new fad, and people were still using WordPerfect. As I grew with the technology and the networking became a critical business process, I soon realized, as an IT Professional, I held the keys to every bit of information crossing that network.

    Man at a computer with a speach bubble reading "It's a matter of trust".

    It was my ethics, at that stage of the game, that I approached the managers to make them aware that I had the ability to access any information that was put out there. It was also at that point that I put into place written policy, that in essence, dictated what I did and how I did it. The reason I did this is because the business managers at that time, in places such as where I worked, did not understand anything about computers, networking or data management in general. I also wanted the managers to know these things to build their trust in me. Like Steve, in the TTC Shelbyville article, I never once abused my privilege.

    Are there bad IT people?  Of course there are…  I often wondered, in the government position where I worked, why there were not more stringent hiring standards (extensive background checks) when recruiting for IT Staff. At that time, as I mentioned, many of these places looked at technology advancements as a trophy where they could stand back and say, “our place is networked”; not really caring about whether the data was safe or not. During my career I even heard some IT people, side on arrogance, and gloat about their abilities to access company secrets; OR, even destroy them if they wanted to.

    The article posted by the Tennessee Technology Center (at Shelbyville) was posted by the instructor to remind the IT students that they may someday be in the position where they will be entrusted, at a very high level, to protect data; AND that policies and procedures should be put into place to protect not only the information, that the IT Professional is entrusted; BUT, to protect the IT Professional.

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    Very cool animated site on how to build a computer…

    If you are thinking about building your own computer OR you want to learn more about the internal components of your computer, then “PCitYourself” is an good starting point.  This site provides “How To” instructions in conjunction with flash based technology, to animate “step-by’step”, the process of choosing parts for a computer, building the computer and the installation of the Bios, Operating System and Drivers. Watching the parts flying around and landing in their respective places inside the PC will entice you to want to build a PC.  Great educational tool and very well done!

    www.pcityourself.com

    image

    image

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    Tech-for Everyone, and I mean Everyone

    One of my favorite blogging past times is writing about authors and creators of other blogs. I have been at this almost a year and have established some great connections with other people who maintain blogs and who take what they write about seriously. One of those blogs where the “connectivity” between their blog and mine just sort of happened, or was fate, has been “Tech-for Everyone” .

    Tech-for Everyone

    TechPaul, the author of “Tech-for Everyone” is a Computer Tech, by profession [ CLICK HERE ] , that has the uncanny ability to reach plain folks like us when it comes to computers, software, technology, etc…  To me this is a real attribute to becoming great computer tech.

    If you have a real interest in computers and information technology; AND, you do not have “Tech-for Everyone” bookmarked in your browser, then you are missing out on a real gem.  There is something there for “Everyone” that can be understood by “Anyone”…

    I do not know how many articles TechPaul has rolled out, but here is a sampling of articles to get you started with his blog.

    How did they get my e-mail?

    What’s to say about Windows 7?

    Manage Startup programs in Vista

    How to boot from a CD

    Just Say “No” To mylife.com

    Adding programs to your Startup Folder

    Quick Tip: overcome “access denied” in Vista’s Command Prompt

    “My Taskbar disappeared” and other simple tweaks (updated)

    How to fix a “lost” Internet connection

    My Startup folder is a clown car

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    Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#12)

    Geek Squeaks'

    Geek Squeaks are articles, from the past week, that I have found especially enticing and interesting from the bloggers that are on the “What’s On My PC…” blogroll. I think you will find that the subject matter and content is on a level comparable to commercial publications. Furthermore, I encourage you to bookmark each of these sites to learn more about information technology.

    Top 10 Free Tools to Boost Your PC – Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

    Find High Res Icons with Icon Finder – Teck-Line

    Video Tutorial — How To Dual Boot Win7 – Tech-for Everyone

    All In One Video Software – The Only Software You Need For Your Videos – Technize.com

    Paragon Total Defrag 2009 Special Edition – Free – TTC Shelbyville

    Google Tools and Your Blog / Website – Tux in the Midwest

    New Gmail Feature: Google Translate Integration – AllThatsNew

    How to Remove System Alert by Fast Antivirus 2009 – 411-Spyware.com

    Overheating Prompts Acer Desktop Recall – AskBillFirst

    Free SUPERAntiSpyware Pro Giveaway – Evilfantasy’s Blog

    Guidelines For Solving PC Application Errors – Free PC Security

    Opera Mini Speed Demo On Touch Pro With Windows Mobile 6.5 – Is You GEEKed Up

    Windows Memory Diagnostic – Great Free Software Utilities

    Turn Your Spare Thumb Drives Into Feature-Packed Giveaway Drives – Lifehacker

    Chrome comes with better performance after 300 bugs fix – Piyadas World

    Backstreet Browser – Plato on-line

    Fixing Windows XP shutdown problems – Rarst.net

    Make sure you pick a reputable security product – Spyware Biz

    Trouble uninstalling AntiVirus – Sugarloaf Tech

    Be sure to visit the “Launch Pad” at the sidebar of the blog. The “Launch Pad” is your launching point to over 150 top quality tech blogs and sites.

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    The Haunting Memory of the “Email Trail”…

    Email TrailDid you ever send an email that you regretted sending? The second you click that “SEND” button, it vaporizes into never never land, you cannot get it back and it can remain there indefinitely. Yes, indefinitely!  Always remember what you write (or put your name to) another person reads and interprets. There is no inflection or tone in email. The interpretation can be misconstrued and can be damaging to your reputation. It can come back to haunt you! Email may feel private; but it is anything but. Email leaves a trail and can remain on servers and people’s computers for a lifetime. To help prevent from being haunted by your email, here are some tips to follow…

    1. Setup 2-(two) separate email accounts at home. Use your main email account given to you by your ISP for your personal and private (important) use only. Set up a second email account with a web based service (such as Hotmail, GMail, Yahoo).  Use the second web based account for online ordering, the joke circuit with friends, or researching a personal subject. The junk mail that inevitably arrives, as result of these activities, won’t clutter your main ISP email account.  By creating these (2)-two accounts, you are separating what is important from what is not important.
    2. Avoid placing the recipient’s email address in the “TO” field until you have completed the content of your email. This will eliminate the possibility of accidentally sending the email, prior to completion.
    3. Avoid lengthy emails… Keep email content short and to the point. Shape the content of your email so that it easily understood. Most people do not have the time or desire to read lengthy emails; plus composing lengthy emails increases the risk for grammar and spelling errors. Believe it or not, your credibility will be judged by the way to write, spell, etc… Always read back the content of your email, prior to sending.
    4. Avoid composing emails in uppercase. Uppercase is taken to mean that you are yelling.  GET IT!
    5. Avoid sending personal and private identity information (e.g. credit card, account passwords, etc.). This information can be intercepted.
    6. Avoid sending emails that contain attachments that are large in file size (i.e. videos, numerous photos, etc.). Remember the recipient has to download those attachments; and if the recipient is on dial-up, this can be a nightmare.
    7. Avoid sending/forwarding chain letter emails… Each time you forward that chain letter your email address goes with it (everywhere, even around the world). Chain emails are a form of spam and can even cause spam to be generated.
    8. Avoid emails that contain any sexual, racial, or political overtones. All I can say is you better know your reader(s); because people can be easily offended by these emails. They also can cause credibility issues, as well as, embarrassment.  I have seen people print out these types of emails, with the email addresses still intact.
    9. Avoid sending inappropriate emails from work… Just because you are using your personal web based email at work (e.g. Hotmail, GMail, Yahoo, etc.) to send that joke or video you can still get caught (and lose your job).
    10. Avoid email sniping wars… Do not use email to express anger. If you receive an email that is offensive, I suggest closing the email and seeking another method of communication to deal with the issue.  Emails of this type can be used against you in matters of litigation.
    11. Avoid using email for sensitive communication (e.g. employee performance, gossiping, medical conditions, handling problems etc.). I highly recommend that you seek an alternative method of communication (e.g. face-to-face, telephone).  If you find a need to deliver an email that is sensitive in nature, I suggest you wait a day before sending.  This gives you time to think about the matter.  We often change our minds when dealing with matters that are sensitive in nature.
    12. ADDED on 12/21/2008 – A reader of the blog pointed out that when sending emails (especially to multiple recipients), to use the BCC (blind carbon copy field) to insert the email addresses. BCC, which stands for blind carbon copy, allows you to hide recipients in email messages. Unlike addresses in the To: field or the CC: (carbon copy) field, addresses in the BCC: field cannot be seen by other users.

    “Remember, Email Leaves A Trail”

    Middle Aged – Information Technology Bloggers…

    I started the “What’s On My PC…” blog back in mid to late July, with the intentions of establishing a presence on the internet, making a contribution to others, learning from others and to see what this “blogging” was all about. When I tell people I have a “blog” posted on the internet, I really get some strange looks. I have to keep in mind that most people don’t really care and most don’t even know what a “blog” is.

    Definition of a “BLOG”, as defined by WikiPedia: blog (a contraction of the term “Web log“) is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

    Being middle aged, and seasoned (had to throw that in there), I love contributing technology information to others, especially to those prior to and during my generation. Prior to my retirement, my position title was “Computer Information Specialist” and I took it to heart. My job was to provide information, know where to look for it, teach the information, and then apply the technology learned. After retirement, when I look back, my role bridged the gap between the time PC’s were introduced into the workplace to the present (networks, internet, software, etc…). I became the information technology “jack of all trades and master of none”. Following my retirement, I needed something to keep me going and this is where the “blogging” fits in.

    If you start and maintain a blog, it will take on a life of its own. The “What’s On My PC…” blog has allowed me to continue researching and providing information AND most importantly it has allowed me to meet people with a common personality or interest. Most recently, I posted in the “Favorites” section of the blog, (2)-two sites which fit in very nicely with the content of my blog. I encourage you to visit:

    Tech-for Everyone
    Tech Tips and Tricks, Advice, and Questions Answered
    written in plain English
    [click here to visit]

    Tech Thoughts
    Security and System Tools and Tips. Software Reviews,
    News, Views, Downloads and Links
    [click here to visit]

    What I never expected, was the authors of these blogs (web sites) to contact me and offer words of encouragement. What I soon found out is that we all were in the same “middle-age” group with a common interest of providing information technology to others. The author of Tech Thoughts commented; “It sure challenges the prevailing thinking; older people are not technology savvy!” AND the author of Tech-for-Everyone commented; “I am a fan of mature, “seasoned” writers, and could care less what the hot Torrent sites are, or what the latest “iPhone mashup” is, or where to get the best free cheat codes.”

    I love it, “middle aged – information technology blogging” at its best…  Thanks guys!

    If you are interested in becoming a blogger, click on the “Top Ten Reviews”, which will lead you to the “Top Ten – Blog Services Review

    A Windows “Updater” Alternative…

    This blog post is sort of “techie” in nature; but, I felt a need to do a write-up on an application that recently saved the day for me. If you are on a dial-up connection you probably have noticed that when Microsoft sends out the monthly operating system updates and/or the updates for Microsoft Office (if you have it installed); your internet connection speed can be affected and/or it takes you forever to ultimately receive the updates. Another scenario is that your computer crashes, you do a complete restore and now you have to download all of the updates all over again (very time consuming). Another scenario is that your Windows updates become corrupted and the updater is not working properly or one of the updates from Microsoft is basically dead in the water… Well there is a solution that may assist you in each of the scenarios. It is called “AutoPatcher“…

    I recently put AutoPatcher to task on a computer (Vista) that my Dad recently purchased. My Dad lives in the land of “no technology” and his “dial-up” connection is slow, very slow… In order to bring his computer up to speed with the Windows Updates, which totaled a couple hundred megabytes, I downloaded/installed the “AutoPatcher Updater” on my computer (broadband connection), which allowed me to grab whatever updates I wanted. In my case, the AutoPatcher Updater software walked me through a process of grabbing all of the past updates to present time. I then burned the entire package to a CD and simply started the AutoPatcher software on his computer to install all of the Windows updates. I also turned “off” his Windows Update notifications and will periodically perform this process again with AutoPatcher. As I mentioned previously, this is “techie” software and I recommend you review the information on their website thoroughly… Really it is not that hard to do…  

    Special thanks to my Information Technology friend, Bill; for giving me the idea for this post.

    Description of AutoPatcher from the website:

    What is AutoPatcher?

    AutoPatcher could be described as an offline Windows Update. AutoPatcher provides an interface to a large collection of updates, common applications and registry tweaks, that can be easily and quickly applied to your computer system.

    What are the advantages of AutoPatcher over Windows Update?

    The main advantage is that you just have to do one download in order to have all the patches and add-ons, such as Sun Java, MSN Messenger 7.x and Windows Media Player 10. If you have many computers or if you format your computer frequently, it saves both time and bandwidth. With AutoPatcher, you can install critical patches offline, eliminating the risk of getting infected while using Windows Update. You can also come in handy when updating a friends PC, if he/she can’t access the Internet (or uses a narrowband connection).

    [AutoPatcher – GET IT HERE]

    New Blog Addition – Software Apps (mostly freeware)

    The concept behind the “What’s on my PC…” blog is to provide computer information & technology for the computer user by presenting software (primarily freeware), cool web sites, gadgets and anything else that I may have personally tested, currently use, and found to be a quality experience. If it is something that I think another person may want to use or would like to know about, it is the objective of this blog to share and promote that information. With this being said, I am continuing to build upon the blog and most recently added the “Software Apps” tab at the top, which features software (mostly freeware) that I have installed on my computer. The page is currently under construction.  Future plans is to add a “Portable Apps” page which will feature software that I use on my flash drive.

    What is “Flash”?

    Adobe Flash (previously called Shockwave Flash and Macromedia Flash) is a set of multimedia software developed and distributed by Adobe Systems and earlier by Macromedia. Since its introduction in 1996, Flash has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages. Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, and various web page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich Internet applications.

    It is fascinating to me, being an explorer of software applications, that I can access applications across the internet. “Flash” is software that enables this to happen. To access flash-based applications, you need the Adobe Flash Player. Adobe Flash Player is the high-performance, lightweight, highly expressive client runtime that delivers powerful and consistent user experiences across major operating systems, browsers, mobile phones, and device

    Reflected are some of my favorite flash-based websites. If you are unable to access these sites, it is most likely you need the Adobe Flash Player.

    • Flash Earth – explore satellite and aerial imagery of the earth from multiple sources, including NASA, Microsoft and more inside a single Flash- based interface.
    • KuKu Klok – online alarm clock designed to wake you up.
    • Flash Chess III – online chess game. There is also a downloadable version.
    • World Clock 2008 – an accurate world time clock capable of showing time anywhere in the world.
    • Floor Planner – Floor Planner is the easiest, quickest, and best looking way to create and share interactive floorplans. Using point-and-click, drag-and-drop tools, you can make your floor plan in minutes, and rearrange it as often as you want. You can set up an account and according to the web site, Floor Planner is free for personal use.
    • eCalc – if you need a calculator in a pinch, this is the one to use. It is available in a “Basic” or “Scientific” version. Features an Unit Converter, Equation Solver, Scientific Functions, Complex Numbers, Decimal to Fraction, RPN or Algebraic and it is 100 % FREE..

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