Today’s Geek Squeaks – July 28, 2013

July 28, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

  • A select collection of movie wallpapers from an awesome wallpaper site;
  • CCleaner, the premier computer system optimization program, recently was updated;
  • A workaround to pin apps to the Start Screen in Windows 8.1; AND,
  • With Wi-Fi technology you can control, monitor and manage the thermostats in your home.

Movies Wallpaper Set 8

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GET THE COLLECTION HERE


CCleaner Updated

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CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware… GET IT HERE


How To Pin Apps To Start Screen In Windows 8.1

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“As of now, there is no option or workaround to automatically pin all installed apps and desktop programs to Windows 8.1 Start screen. However, you can manually pin your favourite apps, apps that support live tiles, and desktop programs to the Start screen by following the below mentioned instructions”… READ MORE


Control Your Thermostats At Home With Your Smartphone

Nest Learning Thermostat – 2nd Generation

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Simply connect the Nest Learning Thermostat to your home Wi-Fi to control it from a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Change the temperature, view and adjust your schedule or settings, and see exactly how much energy you’re using… READ MORE

 


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Amazon Drops The Price On The Kindle Fire HD 8.9” Tablet

March 20, 2013

Back in January I featured the Kindle Fire HD tablet as the tech product of the week. This week is sort of a repeat on the Kindle Fire HD and the reason is simply this:  I noticed that Amazon has dropped the price $30 on the 8.9” Wi-Fi model and $100 on the 8.9” 4G LTE model (with data plans). I am sure this is to keep Amazon competitive and my guess is that they have something else coming at us on the horizon. If you want to get on board with a tablet, the Kindle HD Fire with the price drop is an excellent opportunity.

Get the specs from the manufacturer - [ HERE ]

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Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the Kindle Fire HD Tablet Computer[ CLICK HERE ]

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Wallpaper of the Week (#102)

December 29, 2012

Well, we have another year under our belt and a new beginning before us!  Happy New Year to all my readers (and supporters).

To Get This Wallpaper [ CLICK HERE ]

Happy New Year Wallpaper

Windows 7 (and 8) Users: If you are using Windows 7 (or 8), did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [CLICK HERE] .

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Listing of All Articles Ever Posted at What’s On My PC

Do I Need a Sound Card?

How To Change Start Screen Background In Windows 8

Why Didn’t I Think Of That?

FEATURED TECH PRODUCT

Dropcam HD Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera

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Access SkyDrive From Any Android Smartphone And Tablet Running Android 2.3+ Or Later.

September 4, 2012

Folks, if you are looking for a nice, dependable and easy to use online file storing (and sharing) service, I am highly recommending Microsoft’s SkyDrive. With SkyDrive you will get 7 GBs of space for FREE and can opt in to purchasing additional space if need be. This service continues to get better and better all the time and has become my main online file storage service.  I encourage you to visit the link above to learn more about SkyDrive.

As this service continues to evolve, Microsoft recently made announcement that a SkyDrive app has been developed exclusively for Android 2.3 or later.

SkyDrive for Android

SkyDrive for Android

So, if you have an Android based phone or tablet AND you are a SkyDrive user, this app is a must-have app.  I have been testing it on my Toshiba Thrive Tablet and it has performed flawlessly. I even have SkyDrive setup to access the files (and drives) on my main PC anywhere I have internet access (see recent article, Access Any File You Need From Your PC From Anywhere With The NEW SkyDrive). This option alone is like having my main PC tethered to my tablet.

With SkyDrive for Android, you can now easily access and share files on the go. You can also upload photos or videos from your phone to SkyDrive.

• Access all of your SkyDrive content including files shared with you.
• View recently used documents.
• Choose multiple photos or videos to upload from your phone.
• Share your files and photos – send a link in email or in another app.
• Open your SkyDrive files in other Android apps.
• Manage your files – delete, or create new folders.

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Technology News, Software, Apps, Wallpapers, Tech Products and MORE… FEATURING Windows Valley

Internet Speed Test

Nature Wallpaper Set 59

Next generation Wi-Fi

Bookmarks4Techs

Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.

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[GEEK SQUEAKS'] – Angry Birds Online, Wi-Fi Beer Can Booster, Remove Chit Chat, Good Return Policies, and Books for Dummies

September 7, 2011

Angry Birds
Very popular game where you use a slingshot to launch birds
at pigs stationed on or within various structures.

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Mrintech
Boost Wi-Fi Router’s Signal Strength using Beer/Beverage Can

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Malware Removal Instructions
Remove Chit Chat (Uninstall Guide)

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Lifehacker
The Best and Worst Places to Buy Anything
When You Need a Good Return Policy

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Dummies Books
Popular Book Series That Will Teach You On Just About Anything

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Deal of the Day @ Amazon.com

Computers & Accessories Index

Over 600 Bookmarked Tech Sites

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Free Wi-Fi Coverage Mapping Site Survey Tool

August 19, 2011

Have you every wondered where the Wi-Fi (wireless) signal is the strongest and the weakest in your home or business?

One way to perform a site survey for your location is to use the FREE software utility called Ekahau HeatMapper. This utility is designed to map and detect your wireless access points, find security problems, and determine the configuration settings for each access point (such as channels, SSIDs, technologies, MAC addresses, AP vendor, maximum data rate, etc.). The most optimal method for using Ekahu HeatMapper is to import a layout map of your location in order to get accurate results; however, a grid layout is built in.

HeatMapper

Features:

  • Shows Wi-Fi coverage on a map
  • Locates all access points
  • Detects security settings and finds open networks
  • Designed for home and small office
  • Free of charge, one-minute install
  • Supports 802.11n, as well as a/b/g
  • Over 100,000 users

To learn more about Ekahu HeatMapper and how to use it, [CLICK HERE] .

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

March 26, 2009

I love my gadgets, and when opportunity presents itself to try something different, I cannot resist.

The object of the this story is to demonstrate how I maximized the usage  of a Blackberry Smartphone using one of the cheapest mobile phone plans out there. For the sake of this article, the model phone that I used for this project was the Blackberry Curve 8320 Smartphone.

If you do not know what a Blackberry is, I encourage to visit the Blackberry website [ CLICK HERE ] .

Blackberry Smartphone

When it comes to mobile (cell) phones I cannot see myself conversing for a 1000 minutes (16.66 hours) a month. That is two workdays to me or time that I can allocate to other things where I can see results. Please do not get me wrong, a mobile phone is very much needed in circumstances where your business or livelihood is dependent on quick communications. The plan which I currently use is a “pay as you go” plan (with T-Mobile). I have learned to discipline myself with the usage; PLUS I do not give my number out or use it for lengthy conversation.

I have always been fascinated with PDA’s, have owned quite a few, and was currently looking for something that would provide PDA capabilities, as well as, mobile phone capabilities. I did not want to pay a lot or get trapped into a lengthy service contract with a mobile phone provider just to own a computer in my pocket.

During a recent visit to the local mall I entered into my usual question and answer session with the sales rep at one of the T-Mobile kiosks.  I have done this in the past at other locations in an effort to educate myself about mobile phones. One of my primary questions has been,  “What phones will my T-Mobile “pay-as-you-go” SIM card work in?”. You would be surprised at the answers I have received. I have always been told I would have to purchase another phone plan, if I wanted a Blackberry, etc… Ultimately I always leave very confused about mobile phones. In this case, the sales rep proceeded to inform me that my SIM card in my cheapie phone would function in any of the phones they had. The sales rep proceeded to show me several phones including the Blackberry (all with heavy price tags if I were to buy the phone straight out).

As my “gadget luck” would have it, I was preparing to leave and the sales rep proceeds to tell me that he had an used Blackberry Curve 8320 for sale, minus the software for the phone.  Long story short, I get what I think is a good deal on this phone…  I buy the phone and with my cheap “pay as you go” plan, I challenge myself (as a project) to find workarounds to getting data to and from the Blackberry without the need to purchase a high priced data plan.

Reflected below is highlights of how my project turned out…  Some of the information alone may be helpful to other Blackberry owners and in some cases, depending on the phone (and provider), may not work at all. Some of the information reflected may be common information to mobile phone power users and may make me appear as if I don’t have a clue about mobile phones…  Well I don’t, but I am learning!  All I can tell you is, that I took a cheap phone plan (pay-as-you-go) and an expensive smartphone and customized it for my personal needs.

SIM Card – SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) is the card located in your phone that is a module that identifies to the mobile phone provider, who you are. It can also serve as storage media for your contacts, etc… The module can usually be removed and swapped to other phones (with the same provider).  In my case the SIM card worked with no problems and all my contacts were transferred to the Blackberry.  I now have voice communications with the Blackberry using my “pay as you go” plan.

Coverage – My phone coverage improved noticeably.  Locations where I could not get service, I now have service.  Proves to me that some mobile phones are better in transmission and reception than others.

Blackberry Desktop Manager Software – Since there was no software with the smartphone to manage the phone from my computer, I had to go find the software on the internet. I easily located and downloaded the software from “Blackberry” and installed it on my PC . The Desktop Manager Software is an integral piece that you need to keep your phone software up to date; AND to provide file management, software management, and backup capabilities. The installation was also bundled with a Roxio package to manage and convert audio, video and photo files.  After learning the Desktop Manager Software, I knew at that point this was my gateway for installing third party software onto Blackberry.

Calendar, Contact, and Task Management – In order to take full advantage of the calendar, contact and task management portion of the phone, I needed some type of syncing capabilities. The Desktop Manager Software provides syncing capability to Microsoft Outlook and to Yahoo.  I exclusively configured my Yahoo internet mail account to manage my contacts, calendar, notes and tasks on my Blackberry. When I connect my Blackberry to my computer, run the Desktop Manager Software, it automatically syncs with my Yahoo account on the internet. This also gives me the ability to pull up my information from any PC connected to the internet.

Wi-Fi – The Blackberry Curve 8320 has wi-fi (wireless) capability.  I configured the Blackberry to connect to the wireless router in my home, which provided me with (at first) limited access to the internet.  You will see below the workaround I utilized to gain full access.

Internet Browser – The browser on this particular phone was very, very limited (proprietary to T-Mobile) and did not provide complete internet access via my wireless access point. I initially did not think this was possible without a data plan, but after some careful thinking, I knew there had to be some way that I could bridge that gap. I downloaded and installed Opera-Mini which is browser software designed for mobile phones. I now have full access to the internet via my wireless router or at any wi-fi access point that will let me in.  (Note: Opera-Mini is an awesome browser for this purpose).

MicroSD Card (with PC Adapter) – RadioShack had an 8 gig MicroSD memory card on sale ($20), which I installed into the Blackberry…  I now have storage capability; plus when  connecting the Blackberry to my computer it is recognized as a mass storage device. I can now transport my files, portable apps, etc… This particular phone model has a camera (w/photo viewer), video camera (with video player) and voice recorder (w/audio player) built in.  With the added storage I successfully converted a full length movie to play on the Blackberry; added MP3 music files, photos, documents, etc…

Software – Now that I have learned to install software onto the Blackberry, I am currently exploring the internet for “freeware” software for the Blackberry.  Several sources that I have located are:

Blackberry Freeware

Blackberryfreaks.com

Blackberry Freeware Lovers

In closing, I have been quite pleased with the outcome of this project and the Blackberry Curve Smartphone.  I welcome any comments or suggestions.

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