A Backup Strategy for Your Gmail

February 28, 2011

image You may have read in the news where some Gmail users found some problem with their Gmail accounts where email messages, labels, themes and other personalized settings suddenly were not present.

When we are at the mercy of online (cloud based) apps, such as Gmail, it is always good to have a backup plan; especially, if the data is important to you.

One thing that I do with all my online email accounts is that I have incoming emails forwarded to another account. For example, in my case, I have Gmail (and my other accounts) configured to forward my incoming email to my inbox.com account. Once I see that my inbox.com account is nearing its’ limit, I will do a cleanup. As a matter of fact, you can setup Gmail to forward to more than one account for a double duty backup.  Now, if you are concerned about backing up email you send, simply get in the habit of sending a “bcc” (blind carbon copy) to the backup account. So far this strategy has worked for me and is very easy to setup.

How to Forward Gmail to Another Email Account Automatically:

Here’s how to forward messages automatically:

  1. Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page, and open the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  2. From the first drop-down menu in the Forwarding section, select ‘Add new email address.’
  3. Enter the email address to which you’d like your messages forwarded.
  4. For your security, we’ll send a verification to that email address.
  5. Open your forwarding email account, and find the confirmation message from the Gmail team.
  6. Click the verification link in that email.
  7. Back in your Gmail account, select the ‘Forward a copy of incoming mail to…’ option and select your forwarding address from the drop-down menu.
  8. Select the action you’d like your messages to take from the drop-down menu. You can choose to keep Gmail’s copy of the message in your inbox, or you can send it automatically to All Mail or Trash.
  9. Click Save Changes.

You also can set up filters to forward messages that meet specific criteria. You can create 20 filters that forward to other addresses. You can maximize your filtered forwarding by combining filters that send to the same address.

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FREE Software to Find Your Software Product (or License) Keys

February 28, 2011

It was not too far back that I did a post on Locating Your Software License Keys that has become quite popular. In that particular article I provided several software solutions to recovering product or license keys to commercial software that you may have purchased.

Did you know that if you do a complete reinstall of the software on your PC, you will need the product license keys (or serial/registration information) for the software that you had paid for?

Since the posting of that article, I have come across another very powerful software solution to recover your software product (or license) keys called Simple Key.

Simple Key

Most people I have personally assisted with PC issues, typically lose track as to where they placed the software keys (usually an alpha and numeric string of characters) that is needed to reinstall the software. Remember, these keys is like the keys to your house; you are the only one with the key. These keys are typically assigned to you, by the software developer, and are there as a demonstration of ownership and to prevent software piracy.

Simple Key is a portable application and has the ability to scan the Windows registry and identify product keys for over 430 programs ( Supported Programs ). With Simple Key and the other apps mentioned in my previous article, titled Locating Your Software License Keys, you have a pretty good shot of recovering those product (or license) keys.

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Wallpaper of Week (#6)

February 27, 2011

This week’s wallpaper background for your computer is a broken Microsoft Windows background. Gives the illusion that the monitor screen is broken.

To get this wallpaper, click on the image below and you will be taken directly to the source.

Wallpaper - Broken Windows

Need wallpaper software to show off your wallpaper collection? Try one of these:

John’s Background Switcher

Walyk Wallpaper Changer

Wallpaper Updater

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

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Geek Squeak #102: New Food Recipe Search View in Google

February 26, 2011

Google is worthy of Geek Squeak #102 for the NEW Recipe View that is now available when you search for a food ingredient or recipe.  Here’s an example of how it works… Pull up the Google Search engine at Google.com. Enter the word chicken and you will get a ton of results related to chicken; however, on the right side of the screen you will notice the word “Recipes”. Click on “Recipes” and voila the search results now provides nothing but recipes related to chicken. You can then filter that result down further by ingredients, preparation time, and calories using options in Google’s left-hand toolbar.

Google Recipe View

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Geek Squeak #101: Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office

February 25, 2011

Google is worthy of Geek Squeak #101 for the NEW Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office…  If you are a Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint user (2003, 2007, 2010) and a Google Docs user, this plugin from Google will sync your Microsoft Documents, as indicated, with your online Google Docs account. The real power with this plugin is that you can share, backup, and simultaneously edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint®, and Excel® documents with coworkers.

For home based users of Microsoft Office and Google Docs, this is a great way to sync (backup) your docs to your Google Docs account.

[Click Here] to watch video about Google Cloud Connect

Video - Google Cloud Connect

How does it work?

Syncing and sharing documents: Google Cloud Connect tracks, manages, and syncs all changes on your Microsoft Office documents into one updated version for each document. Each document that you sync through Google Cloud Connect gets a unique URL or web address that you can share with collaborators through IM or email. Depending on the privacy setting you’ve selected for the document, other people will be able to click this link and view the document in the browser.

Collaborating simultaneously on documents: Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office lets you easily share documents with other people. When you add other people as editors to a document, they receive an email letting them know that you’ve shared a document with them. From there, they can open a link to view the document in the browser, or if they want to make edits, they can download the document and open it in Microsoft Office. When an editor makes changes to a document in Microsoft Office, all changes get synced and appear on your screen.

Revision history: Using Google Cloud Connect, you can edit a document online and offline. Every time you sync a document, the revisions of a document are stored so you can easily roll back to a previous version. You can go back to any prior revision of a document at any time.

To start using Google Cloud Connect in Microsoft Office, you’ll need to install it first. Here’s how:

  1. Download Google Cloud Connect.
  2. Open Microsoft Office.
  3. Click Login. A window opens, requesting permission to access your Google Account.
  4. Enter your email and password, then click Sign in.
  5. Click Grant access.

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

February 25, 2011

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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Windows 7 Service Pack 1 – Be Patient During the Install

February 24, 2011

You may have been hearing that Microsoft released a Service Pack update for Windows 7 (called Service Pack 1).  To determine if your Windows 7 PC is ready to receive this update, click on “Start”, click on “Run”, then type “wuapp” in the dialog box and click “OK”. This will take you directly to the Windows Update applet in the Control Panel. From there you can view your update history and determine what updates are available (i.e. important updates and optional updates). The Windows 7 Service Pack 1 update will be under the “important updates”. It is from there you can launch the installation of Service Pack 1.

Windows Update

Now, the thing to keep in mind, is that Service Pack updates often can take some time to install; therefore, do not fall  for the sense that the install process is hanging. Just be patient and let the install do its’ magic. It is not uncommon for Service Packs to take over 30 minutes to install and the end result often requires a reboot.

You can also download the Service Pack directly from Microsoft from [HERE] ; however, my advice is to go the Windows Update route with this’; especially if it is a home based PC.

Compared to Service Pack updates for previous operating system (such as Windows XP and Vista), the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 update is a piece of cake and is important to install to smooth out any rough edges in the operating system. The good about Windows 7 is that there are very few rough edges.

Another article to help you get though this service pack update can be found [HERE] .

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