Monitor the Weather from your Windows Desktop

June 30, 2009

Monitoring the weather from our computers is nothing new; HOWEVER, monitoring the weather from your Windows desktop, in “real-time” is a relatively new concept.  This concept has been captured by Mike Singer who is the author of Weather Watcher Live. Weather Watcher Live is a FREE customizable desktop weather station that will display (in a very attractive interface) your neighborhood weather conditions in real-time.  The weather stats that is displayed in Weather Watcher Live is from the WeatherBug weather stations, or as reported by the National Weather Service (NWS). I am sure you are thinking if there is WeatherBug then there are advertisements.  There are no advertisements, whatsoever, in Weather Watcher Live.

I have used Weather Watcher Live since its’ beginning; and the really cool feature I like about it is that it is very customizable and you can even configure it to display weather maps as your wallpaper background on your computer.  Any computer I have installed this on, the user sits back in awe.

[ Weather Watcher Live – Get It Here ]

Weather Watcher Live

WeatherWatcherLive

Description from the publisher:

Automatically retrieve the current conditions, hourly forecast, daily forecast, severe weather alerts fromNWS (US only), and weather maps for thousands of cities world-wide. The current conditions can be quickly viewed by holding your mouse pointer over the Weather Watcher Live system tray icon.

Weather Watcher Live will allow you to automatically retrieve your weather data at a set interval, display the current temperature in a customized tray icon, display the current condition image in a tray icon, designate which weather information is displayed in the Weather Watcher Live system tray tooltip, convert the weather data using almost any conversion, display a weather map as your desktop wallpaper, log the weather data in any format, export the weather data in any format, customize the look of the Weather Watcher Live interface and icons via skins, and much more.

Note: If you prefer not having the weather delivered to your desktop by Weatherbug, then checkout Weather Watcher.  Weather Watcher is the predecessor to Weather Watcher Live.  As a matter of fact, if you are on a dial-up connection, I recommend you use Weather Watcher.

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Batch Articles on Windows 7 Pricing

June 29, 2009

dollar signHere is what we all have been waiting for.  HOW MUCH?  Windows 7 is the upcoming version of Microsoft Windows. It is slated for release on October 22, 2009.  How much is it going to cost?

To answer that question, I have provided several credible sources for you to read to get related information (and thoughts) on the pricing. I encourage you to read the comments posted on these sites.

If you desire, please leave me your comments (rants or raves) and thoughts on the pricing. Windows 7 is being touted as the best Windows operating system ever; but will we be paying too much?

Windows 7 Pricing
(by Tech-for Everyone)

Windows 7 Discount, Available for a Limited Time
(by Tux In The Midwest)

Windows 7 pricing announced: cheaper than Vista (Updated)
(by ars technica)

Windows 7 Pre-Order Offer
(by Microsoft)

Windows 7 Pricing: How Much Lower?
(by InformationWeek)

Windows 7 Pricing: Good News, Mostly
(by Gizmodo)

Microsoft to charge Europeans double for Windows 7
(by Computerworld)

Windows 7 pre-orders grab Amazon’s top sales spots
(by Computerworld)

Analyst: $120 for Windows 7 ‘way too much’
(by Computerworld)

Windows 7 Upgrade No Deal for Many Businesses
(by
PCWorld)

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The Ultimate Clock for your Windows Desktop

June 28, 2009

Here is a neat little application called “Clock”… It is what it is!  This app is an analog clock that you install on your PC that has a vast array of features and options. Once installed an analog clock will appear on your desktop (second hand and all) and  an icon will show in the taskbars’s system tray (at the bottom right corner of your screen). You can “right” mouse click on that icon to customize and change the appearance of your clock (see below). I normally select “On Top” and “Transparent – click thru” so that the clock is always visible. There is also a calendar feature and a feature to set alarms (for reminders).

You have option to change the appearance of the clock by selecting from 50 different themes OR you can design your own clock theme. “Clock” has been my favorite in the clock software category and best of all it is FREE. From what I can tell, Clock does not mess with the registry; therefore you could copy it to your flash drive and use it as a portable app (as I have done).

ClockClockClock

Features as described by the publisher:

Beautful! You’ll love the 50 themes provided!

Smart! It remembers your appointments!

Easy! You don’t need a degree in computer science to use it!

On Top! If you like, it will always be displayed, no matter how many windows you have open!

Customizable! Change the background picture to anything you like!

Unintrusive! Make it the size you like: choose between four pre-defined sizes or size it like you want!

Serious! Clock will not mess with your system registry!

Small! It’s only a 1Mb download!

Free! It costs nothing!

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An Example of How CyberCrooks Will Use Michael Jackson

June 27, 2009

1clipsm A “What’s On My PC… Web  Clip!

Michael Jackson spam spreads, malware attacks likely

Star’s death brings crooks out of the woodwork, expect scam deluge, says Sophos

June 26, 2009 -By Greg Keizer

Computerworld – Within hours of the death of pop star Michael Jackson, spam trading on his demise hit in-boxes, a security firm said today as it warned that more junk mail was in the offing.

Just eight hours after news broke about Jackson, Abingdon, England-based Sophos PLC started tracking the first wave of Jackson spam, which used a subject line of “Confidential — Michael Jackson.” The spam wasn’t pitching a product or leading users to a phishing or malware Web site. Instead it was trying to dupe users into replying to the message in order to collect e-mail addresses and verify them as legitimate.

[ Source: Computerworld ]

Computerworld

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Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats

June 26, 2009

Microsoft OfficeThe flavors of Microsoft Office, from the beginning of this century, thus far, for the Windows operating system, has been Office 2000, Office XP, Office 2003, and Office 2007. There are also versions available for the Apple Macintosh operating system. The Microsoft Office software suite is a packaged deal of applications that are interrelated (or interconnected) to work seamlessly with each other; AND is the most popular (commonly used) worldwide software standard adopted by businesses, government agencies and educational institutions alike.  Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access are the most commonly known (and used) applications in the Microsoft Office suite.

Hair PullingAs with any software that continually evolves, new features and options are added to make the software better; HOWEVER, these changes may not be backwards compatible to the previous versions. As a result, we end up pulling our hair out…

The most recent example of this is with the Office 2007 suite. The Office 2007 Suite has adopted an Open XML-based file format that cannot be read by the previous versions of Microsoft Office (such as Office 2000, Office XP and Office 2003). If you have Office 2007 and you save a file in Word, Excel or Powerpoint, it will (by default) save to the Open XML-base file format. As a result, previous versions of Microsoft Office (such as Office 2000, XP and 2003) cannot open the document. You can change the Office 2007 defaults to prevent backward compatibility issues; however, it is apparent that it is Microsoft’s vision to push this new file format and for good reason(s).  The Office XML Formats are designed to be more robust than the binary formats; and, therefore, helps reduce the risk of lost information due to damaged or corrupted files. If you are interested in reading the full scoop on the XML-base file format [ click here ] .

The introduction of the new file format is truly a good experience and will ultimately be of great benefit; HOWEVER, I have already experienced and seen problems where the people (including businesses, government agencies, educational institutions) are not adopting the file format standard and it is causing cross platform compatibility issues between Office 2007 and the previous versions of Microsoft Office. What this means is that the people, including the IT people, are not aware and educated about the new file format standard. For example, prior to my retirement, I worked at a government agency in IT.  I would not be adopting this file format standard until the top level IT managers in the government issued a statement about using the new standard and how to make the transition.

If you are using a mixed bag of Microsoft Office Suites (such as 2000, XP, 2003 and 2007) and are planning to adopt the Office XML file format in Office 2007, there is a solution to the compatibility issues.  Microsoft provides a downloadable compatibility pack that you install on your PC that will allow the previous versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint to open, edit and save XML files.  (Note:  If you are using Microsoft Office 2000, I strongly discourage future usage of that package – [ READ THIS ARTICLE ] .)

You can get the “Compatibility Pack” [ HERE ] ; however, I suggest you read the information provided and you consult with your IT Administrator before installing any software, such as this, at your workplace.

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A FREE Unit Conversion Utility for your Flash Drive

June 25, 2009

Converting from one standardize unit of measure to another can be a challenging task for any of us; especially if we have to do it on paper. Various conversion factors and formulas have to be applied between the different units of measure in order to get a result for the same quantity.

When I find myself trying to determine units of measure I have come to rely on ESBUnitConv. ESBUnitConv covers 564 Units in 21 different measurement categories and does the calculations for you. It is FREE and is available, not only as a normal software install on your PC, but as a portable app  that can be toted around on your flash drive.

ESBUnitConv is a Free User-friendly Windows Utility to easily convert between units of measurement. Includes Units for Temperature, Distance, Mass, Area, Volume, Pressure, Velocity, Acceleration, Force, Energy, Power, Fuel Consumption, Flow, Torque, Angles, Luminous Intensity, Illumination, Time, Quantity & Radioactivity.

ESBUnitConv

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Geek Squeaks of the Week (#16)

June 24, 2009

If you are new (or old) to information technology and computers; these (featured) articles on “What’s On My PC…” are for you. The articles are by authors who spend a great deal of their time putting the articles together (for FREE) to keep you and me abreast of the latest in computers, software, security and information technology. The articles are in no particular order or ranking and are randomly selected from my blogroll community.

GeekSqueaks

AKS-Feel The Change
Another Major Web Threat :
Nine-Ball Compromises More Than 40,000 Legitimate Websites

Tux In The Midwest
Microsoft Enters the Free Anti-Malware Arena

AllThatsNew
Google Taking A Leap Forward By Identifying Landmarks

TTC Shelbyville
Fixing a Computer with A and W Root Beer

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove ErrorFix

Tech~Line
Failure Friday is now open for viewing

AskBillFirst
Disposable Email Address – What Is It Good For?

Technize.com
Analyze And Fix Vulnerabilities In Your System

Carol’s Vault
Increase bandwidth for networks and internet connections

Tech-for Everyone
Top Ten Internet Safety Tips for Children

Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
Announcement: Spiceworks 4.0 is out!

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Best Spam Story Ever! Thanks Pastor Mike

Crazy World of G
Google Voice Tomorrow?

Sugarloaf Tech
Vista – Launching Games is Slow

Is You GEEKed Up
Secunia PSI – Great Utility
to Quickly Get Software Update Notification

Spyware Biz
Microsoft introduces Morro

Lifehacker
The Credit Scores You Don’t Get to See

Snakebytez
Anti-Malware Toolkit

Piyadas World
4 Tools to add a start menu on USB flash drives

Plato on-line
The ‘Computer Terrorist’

Rarst.net
Forget the right ways to do things

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