A FREE Online Website Status Monitoring Service

August 19, 2014

Several days ago I went to go to a popular site and could not get the page to load. I later found out that there was an outage.

Following that experience, I started thinking it would be nice that a person could go to a centralized location to determine what sites are working and what sites are not. This is when CurrentlyDown dropped into my lap.

CurrentlyDown

CurrentlyDown lets you check the current status of a website and explore its outage history. It can be very helpful when you want to find out whether a website is down for everyone or just for you. In addition you can see availability history for any date, see when a website was down and how long. CurrentlyDown also posts screenshots and the cause(s) of an outage whenever possible.

 


How to Disable Specific Windows Updates So That They Will Not Be Installed

August 13, 2014

You probably are asking, “Why would I want to block a Windows Update?”.

I had numerous Windows Updates hit my PC yesterday and one of the updates would not install.  As a result, the computer ended up into a tailspin where every time I booted, the update appeared to be installing; then, it would fail; and, then uninstall itself.  After identifying what update it was, I needed a way to disable the update from installing, until a fix could be found.

What I found is that in Windows 7 and Windows 8 you can disable updates from installing by hiding them. Keep in mind, it is important to capture all updates; however, as in my case, there are those occasions where an update will break the machine.

To disable or hide the update I did some research and found that the web site Windows SevenForums has a very nice tutorial description (with graphics) on How to Hide or Restore Hidden Windows Updates in Windows 7 and Windows 8.

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By following their tutorial, I was able to easily hide the update that was causing me the issue. Once I find a fix, I will unhide the update so that it can properly install. Thank you Windows SevenForum


How To Type the “Degree” Symbol From The Keyboard

July 30, 2014

[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] How To Type the “Degree” Symbol From The Keyboard – I always like sharing personal experiences here on the blog to show that I don’t pull these things out of thin air. Recently I was generating a report where I was typing out weather conditions (such as outside temperature). As I continued doing this I would always type out the word “degree” for the temperature (i.e. 90 degrees). It was at that point I started wondering if there is a way to generate the degree symbol from the keyboard?

If you look at your keyboard you will not visually find the symbol or character reference for the “degree symbol.  What you have to do is use what is called “ALT CODES”…

If you hold down the Alt key and on the numeric keypad on the right of the keyboard, type 0176, or Alt+ 248, then when you release the Alt Key, a ° should be there.

If you are interested in learning some more ALT CODES, click on the ALT CODES REFERENCE SHEET below.

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[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]

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

MORE GEEK SQUEAKS

[PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE] Envelope Printer – While I could have used MS Office Word and other 3rd party programs to print out envelopes, I wanted something that was far easier to use and that required a heck of a lot less mouse clicks to get the job done. The program remembers your settings, so once all ready to go you can open the program, open the address book, choose the address hit use this address and the click print. 4 mouse clicks and you are done… @Tweaking.com

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[CLOUD STORAGE] How to tie your cloud storage services together – How can you tie your cloud storage services together?   It’s actually easy if you use MultCloud.   MultCloud ties together all of the most popular cloud storage services so you can upload files to multiple sites through a single sign-on… @TTC Shelbyville – Technical Blog

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[COMPRESSION SOFTWARE] ZipGenius handles more than 20 types of compression formats – It allows you to browse CD/DVD-ROM ISO image files as if they were common archives. It is the best companion for your daily tasks and you can even use it through command line module in batch operations… @ZipGenius

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[PORTABLE APP] A simple and free start menu application that can be installed on USB sticks or local PCs – Portable Start Menu organizes your programs in a simple menu system and launches them via a tray icon. If you close Portable Start Menu on an USB-Stick, running applications can be closed automatically, too… @Portable Start Menu

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[COMPUTER HARDWARE] Cable Matters USB 3.0 to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station – swappable access to 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA HDD/SSD, without having to mount the hard drive, or installing it in an enclosure. It provides a simple, fast, and cost effective solution for data recovery, drive imaging, and testing centers, or any environment that requires fast access to uninstalled/archived drives.. @Amazon

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[HOW TO – TROUBLESHOOT] When your computer won’t turn on – A lot of problems can keep a computer from booting Windows (or any other operating system). Fortunately, you can get a pretty good idea by noting how and when the PC fails. If you press the power button and nothing happens, you’ve got a very different problem than if the PC starts but Windows never loads. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities… @PCWorld

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[TECH NEWS] How the Internet of Things knows where gunfire happens – SST’s ShotSpotter pinpoints outdoor, urban gunshots for law enforcement agencies. Now it’s moving indoors with a service for schools… @c|net

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Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com


GEEK SQUEAKS – Featuring A Windows 8.1 Update Install Marathon On A HP Computer (following a hard drive failure).

April 20, 2014

[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] A Windows 8.1 Update Install Marathon On An HP Computer (following a hard drive failure) – This squeak is from a personal experience that I will keep short; therefore, a chopped up description.

Windows 8.1 Update

Have you ever ran a marathon and you thought there was no end? To me the experience below was unbelievable and was like running a marathon.

My Father’s All-In-One HP computer, running Windows 8.1, still under warranty, had a hard drive failure. Called HP, patched to India, on the phone for an over an hour to run the diagnostics and listen to them trying to scare me into buying the extended warranty. Hard drive failure confirmed, patched to another person in India who kept telling me how wonderful I was. Hard drive shipped (within 3 days), and installed (in less than 15 minutes); then, the real fun began.

The drive shipped with HP’s Windows 8 recovery software.  My objective was to get the machine up and running, then upgrade to Windows 8.1…

Long story short, started at 6 pm and finished after 1 am.  Over 7 hours to run the recovery, download all of the Windows updates, and download/install Windows 8.1.  The time involved did not include the other tweaking required to get my Father’s PC back to the point he originally was at (i.e. printer install, third party software installs, cosmetic changes, etc…).

I am definitely, at my next visit, going to image the disk…  Has anyone else experienced this?

 [ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]


MORE GEEK SQUEAKS

[MICROSOFT OFFICE] Microsoft Launches Cheaper Office 365 Personal – First unveiled last month, Office 365 Personal lets you run Microsoft’s cloud-based document creation and editing suite on one PC or Mac and one tablet for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. Office 365 Personal is available online, at Microsoft stores, and through online and retail partners… @PCMag

[REMOTE PC ANDROID APP] Chrome Remote Desktop – Securely access your computers from your Android device. On each of your computers, set up remote access using the Chrome Remote Desktop app from Chrome Web Store. On your Android device, open the app and tap on any of your online computers to connect… @Google Play

[COMPUTER ACCESSORIES] Vantec CB-ISATAU2 SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter Supports 2.5-Inch, 3.5-Inch, 5.25-Inch Hard Disk Drives – The SATA/IDE-USB Adapter gives you the flexibility of connecting almost any type of drive to your computer via USB.  SATA, 3.5-inch IDE, 5.25-inch IDE, and 2.5-inch IDE drives are all supported and can be easily hot-swapped to your system.

[ CLICK HERE ] 

Vantec CB-ISATAU2 SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter

The included external power adapter will allow you to power your drives outside your system giving you the ability to quickly add or swap between drives without opening your case.  The SATA/IDE-USB adapter incorporates 3 interfaces to one USB adapters… @Amazon

[COMPUTER BACKUP SOFTWARE] FREE Backup Software Protects System & Data of Your PC – Back up your most important files and folders on a regular basis. Create a system image to keep Windows and applications safe. Back up entire hard disk or specified partitions, or just cloning them. Save time and effort with automatic, incremental, and differential backups… @AOMEI

[WEB APP] Zenpen - A minimalist writing zone by Tim Holman, to get you into that zone, where you can focus on the writing – with none of the distractions… @ZenPen

[HOW TO] Windows 8.1 Update tip: Clean up that disk space nowNow that you’ve had about a week to play around with the update—which brings the taskbar to the modern UI, among other welcome additions—the next few days present a good time to clear up extra space on your hard drive by getting rid of some Windows Update files.How much space you’ll recover depends on whether you’ve ever run the Disk Clean-up utility, and the number of different Windows versions you’ve ever run on your PC… @PCWorld


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

Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com


Today’s Geek Squeaks – December 13, 2013

December 13, 2013

MONITOR THE STATUS OF YOUR FAVORITE WEB SERVICES, with “down right now”, to let you know when there is service trouble…  Thanks to GEGeek for this submission…

CLEAN MASTER (CLEANER) FREE – MOST DOWNLOADED ANDROID CLEANER and Ram Booster recently udpated with a new user interface (that looks awesome). This is a great utility to help keep your Android phone or tablet running in tip top shape…

TODAY’S RANDOM TECH SITE PICK is a site that gives you hope; Computer Hope that is…

A WEAK-PASSWORD PREVENTION SYSTEM that will try to guess each character of your password before you type it.

WATCH, PAUSE, AND RECORD TV ON YOUR PC, in a window or full screen.

[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]


down right now

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You know the feeling: you’re happily using one of your favorite web sites when, all of a sudden, you’re interrupted by an error message. It can be frustrating. Is there a bug in the web site, or is your Internet provider acting up again? Where can you turn to find out if others are having the same problem?… CHECK IT OUT HERE


Clean Master (Cleaner) – FREE

(Android)

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Memory Boost/Task Killer – Boosting apps and games speed is much easier with Clean Master.

Clean - Delete those junk files (cache and residual) that take up valuable storage space.

Clear
– Protect your privacy by deleting personal information like your search and browser history

App Management
– Move apps to an SD card, remove pre-installed apps and backup .apk files

GET IT HERE


Today’s Random Tech Site Pick (with sample article)

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(as listed @ Bookmarks4Tech.com)

Replace Windows Explorer with Multi Commander – Microsoft Windows Explorer is great for general file management tasks. However, there are several more complicated tasks that Windows Explorer is unable to handle. This is where Multi Commander can come in handy… READ MORE


Use this Site to Help You Create Stronger Online Passwords

@ Gizmo’s

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Want a way to help you create passwords that are harder to crack? The web has many sites that claim to test how strong your passwords are. Many of these simply look at the length, which can be misleading. Others try to do better by looking at the variety of character types used. However, many of the tricks used by hackers are not tested by these sites. Now Microsoft Research has come up with a new site that is more sophisticated and may help you to create better passwords… LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS SITE (AND TEST YOUR PASSWORDS)


Hauppauge 1196 WinTV-HVR-1250 PCI-E x1 TV Tuner

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The WinTV-HVR-1250 lets you watch ATSC digital TV as well as QAM digital TV and analog cable TV directly on your computer. ATSC digital TV, which typically requires an antenna for reception, is the over-the-air HDTV standard for North America. ATSC broadcasts range in resolution from standard definition up to the high definition 1080i format… CHECK IT OUT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com


Today’s Geek Squeaks – November 14, 2013

November 14, 2013

SNAPY the resizeable, movable & adjustable Android camera app that’s always there…

FASTSTONE IMAGE VIEWER WAS RECENTLY UPDATED to include a “design and print” feature that gives you the ability to print multiple images with text and effects on one page…

SOME ELEMENTARY STEPS you should always take to troubleshoot and resolve PC problems…

AN ULTRABOOK THAT THINKS IT IS A TABLET or is it a tablet that thinks it is an ultrabook???

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

[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]


Snapy Is A Floating, Resizable Android Camera App
With A Built-In Editor

@ Addictive Tips

One of my everyday reads is Addictive Tips… Recently they posted a really cool Android App called Snapy that changes the way you use the camera on your smartphone and tablet.

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When was the last time you used a Camera app on your smartphone or tablet and you said ‘wow’? Because today just might happen to be that day after you use Snapy, The Floating Camera on Android. Unlike any traditional camera app, Snapy is designed to let you take photos no matter where you are or what app you’re using… READ MORE


FastStone Image Viewer Update

The only image viewer that I have on my PC and carry on my flash drives (as a portable app) is FastStone Image Viewer. This application does more than just view images. It is a fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. Once you learn how to use FastStone image viewer you will become a user forever…

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Most recently FastStone Image Viewer was updated to include the following:

Added “Design and Print” (press Alt+P), which allows you to print multiple images with text and effects on one page

Improved “Adjust Curves“. Now you can click and drag in image to adjust the curves directly. Endpoints of the curves are adjustable

Added “Print Size” option to the Resize tab of the batch convert tool

Added support of video files to the batch rename tool

Added “Auto-Resize” option to the image-scanning tool

Added “Show in Google Maps” and “Show in Google Earth” buttons to the “Image Properties” window. These buttons will be visible if the image has GPS information

Many other small improvements and bug fixes

GET IT HERE


Five Really Simple Tricks and Tips
that Solve a Lot of PC Problems

@ gizmo’s

Another daily read of mine is gizmo’s freeware. Today they posted an article that I can truly relate to that you should first try when you are experiencing PC problems. You do not need to be tech savvy to use these tips. I don’t know how many times, myself, I have told people experiencing PC problems to check the cables, reboot, turn the device on/off, etc…  All elementary steps, but necessary steps!

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After you work with PCs for a while, you learn some really simple tricks that solve many of the problems that plague PC users. These tricks are not in any instruction book but they work in a surprising number of situations. Here are five that I have used over and over… READ MORE


Acer Aspire P3-171-6820 11.6-Inch Convertible 2-in-1 Touchscreen Ultrabook

A fully functioning 11.6″ Windows 8 Ultrabook that transforms into a sleek and stylish tablet… Now how cool is that!

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Key Features

  • 11.6″ HD 1366 x 768 resolution, Acer CineCrystal™ LED-backlit TFT LCD with integrated 10-Point multi-touch screen, supporting finger touch and image auto rotation
  • Windows 8
  • 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-3339Y Processor 1.5GHzwith Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.0GHz
  • 4GB of DDR3 On-Board System Memory
  • Intel® HD Graphics 4000with 128MB of dedicated system memory
  • 120GB Solid State Drive
  • Optimized Dolby® Home Theater® v4 audio enhancement
  • Two Built-in Stereo Speakers
  • Integrated Digital Microphone
  • Acer Invilink™ Nplify™ 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Certified™
  • Bluetooth® 4.0 + HS
  • 1- USB 3.0 Port
  • 1 – Micro-HDMI™ out with HDCP support
  • 5MP Rear-facing HD camera
  • Front-Facing HD Camera
  • Sensors:Gyroscope, E-Compass, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor
  • 4-Cell Li-Ion Battery
  • INCLUDES Protective Case with Bluetooth Keyboard

CHECK IT OUT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com


Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1 – (How To Restore, Refresh or Reset Your Windows 8 PC) – Get “how to” instructions, straight from the horses mouth, to restore, refresh or reset Windows 8. Hopefully, this never becomes an option, but there are those rare occasion where knowing how to do this may be your best option (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #2 – (Why fixing computers for FREE is not a good idea?) – TechRepublic posted an article citing ten reasons you should not fix computers for free. What timing? I have been working my way out of assisting people for FREE with their computers. The reasons that they reflect are right on. Trust me, I know (SEE BELOW);

Squeak #3 – (Remember The Old Windows Media Player): Check out Media Player Classic Home Cinema. It looks identical to the old Windows Media Player from years gone by; however, this replica supports all common video, audio and image file formats available as well as video playback (SEE BELOW); AND,

Squeak #4 – (Dual Monitor Stand): If you have a multi-monitor setup, you should consider looking for a stand to mount those monitors. There are numerous configurations to choose from. Featured today is the most economical stand I could find for a dual monitor setup (SEE BELOW)…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

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

See An Endless Stream Of Geek Squeaks’ [ HERE ]


How to restore, refresh, or reset your PC

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Applies to Windows 8 and Windows RT – If you’re having problems with your PC, you can try to restore, refresh, or reset it. Restoring your PC is a way to undo recent system changes you’ve made. Refreshing your PC reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files, settings, and the apps that came with your PC and apps that you installed from Windows Store. Resetting your PC reinstalls Windows but deletes your files, settings, and apps—except for the apps that came with your PC… SEE HOW HERE


Ten reasons not to fix computers for free

@ TechRepublic

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Don’t get the wrong idea. There are some people that I truly don’t mind helping. I would never refuse to help my wife with a computer problem, nor would I cut off my mother. Unfortunately though, the majority of those that I have helped have abused the situation. As such, this article is a list of ten reasons why I don’t recommend fixing PCs for free… READ MORE


Media Player Classic Home Cinema

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Media Player Classic Home Cinema is a lightweight, open source media player that supports all common video, audio and image file formats available as well as video playback… GET IT HERE


Dual Freestanding Monitor Stand

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Support 2 screens in a horizontal position. The two arms are easily adjustable. Arms will swing into a comfortable position. Pole Height is 19.5″ Weight capacity: 13lbs Each. Up To 24″ wide-screen monitors Meets VESA 75*75 or 100*100mm. With a weighted metal base… CHECK IT OUT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com


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