Thirty weeks of Geek Squeaks’ and going strong. I encourage the readers of this blog to visit each of the sites (blogs) that are listed below to learn more about information technology and computers. I am quite sure you will find something that will grab your attention. Geek Squeaks’ is a weekly listing of random articles that have been posted (within the past 7 days) by the blogs that are on the What’s On My PC… blogroll (located on the right side of the blog).
Stickies (v6.7) is a FREE electronic version of “sticky notes” that you often see posted on people’s desk, computer monitors, refrigerators, etc… I have been using Stickies on my PC (and thumb drive) to replace the accumulated paper mess that “sticky notes can lead to. Stickies is one of those programs that I personally cannot live without. It is FREE; It is GOOD; and It is PORTABLE.
The author of Stickies, Tom Revell (Zhorn Software), recently made an announcement, via the Stickies web site forum, that a new beta version of Stickies is available for public testing (Stickies v7 beta). Final release of Stickies v7 is expected on or around October 16th. Mr. Revell, we at What’s On My PC… applaud your work.
Folks, I have been testing the beta and it is awesome (see new features below). Beats the Windows 7 Sticky Notes hands down.
“Show System windows” checkbox in Attach dialog
Attached stickies can be set to only appear if the window is visible (not minimised)
“Snap back to transparent” option
Sticky ID added to properties
32 new API commands
New sticky from clipboard
Sleep until / Tomorrow added to Sleep menu
PDA keys can now be entered in Stickies
Text background highlighting
stickies.1wk now written after one week of continuous operation
Live preview of setting transparency
Control-F now searches text within a sticky
Stickies can be moved directly from any category to any other in the Manage dialog
Drop shadow option
Font name MRU list
F2 edits the sticky title
Sticky colour can be set in the Manage dialog
Sticky colour is now shown in the Manage dialog
New sticky “force title on create” option
Individual Desktop stickies can be hidden/revealed in the Manage dialog
RTL (right-to-left) default option for new stickies, and left shft+control / right shift+control to set paragraphs
Recovery dialog for when Stickies detects an error with the data file
“Ghost” mode for Desktop stickies can be set from the Manage dialog so they’re not clickable
Different Stickies can have different skins (alt-s to choose, shift-alt-s to return to default)
“Locked stickies are also frozen in place” option
“Rolled stickies have an alternate position” option. Hold shift as you toggle rolled to reset
Two new global shortcuts, “new sticky from clipboard” and “show manage dialog”
New sizing method – hold alt and click near the edge of a text sticky to resize it
A sync of Friends can now be set to happen every X minutes
If you have a desire to get answers to these questions, I encourage you to visit Scoroncocolo to learn more about FREE On-Line Backup Strategies AND how you can take advantage of them. The article is very well written for us everyday folks to understand. Be sure to check out the nice listing of online storage services that offer “FREE” storage space.
September 27, 2009
Cloud Computing is a buzz phrase we hear a lot these days. All Cloud Computing means is using your Web browser instead of your hard drive to run applications to do the work you do everyday. It won’t be long until this is the norm rather than the exception.
One thing you might want to keep in mind about using cloud storage providers is that they could go belly-up at any time. You may recall that this happened to AOL-owned Xdrive in or around August 0f 2008. With this in mind, you may not want to consider using backing-up in the cloud as your only method of securing your data.
Once you have music, pictures and documents stored on Google Docs, SkyDrive, ADrive, Box.net or Amazon, you can download and install Gladinet Cloud Desktop to keep track of everything. Gladinet Cloud Desktop allows you to access files stored in the cloud as if they were in a local folder.
Converber is one of those utilities that you should have on your computer (or flash drive) for those instances where you have to make unit conversions. Converber is a very powerful and feature enriched program that outshines the competition (see comparisons). Instantly get conversion results from one unit of measure to another unit of measure.
Converber is a unit converter. It is a powerful software utility that will help make easy conversions between 1324 various units of measure in 38 categories. Converber converts everything from length and force to flow and temperature.
- Gives immediate access to all categories or single category
- Favorites menu to bookmark your frequently-used conversions
- Currency rates…updated daily
- Inline calculator(*/-+^ and more)
- Automatic updates
- Quickly search the unit list and immediately see results
- Step backwards or forwards through the most recently used conversions
- New! Toolbar for faster mouse operation
- Single or multiple preference file(s) for different users
- Shows either common units or ALL units
- Converts as you type, so no convert button is required
- Includes equation editor to add your own custom units
- Allows you to select/unselect the conversion file(s)
- Can change the number of significant digits of the output
- Option to select decimal-point precision
- Option to select scientific notation only
- Extensive number formatting
- Inverts selected units with the quick swap feature
- New! Status bar to display the current category
- Converts left-to-right OR right-to-left
- Runs portable/stand-alone using no dll files or registry settings
- Remembers last window position and size (if desired)
- Offset correction for meter value compensation
- Comes with extensive help file
- Supports transparency
- Supports a multi-language user interface
- And more…
Windows4All is a Microsoft Silverlight (web) based online virtual operating system that emulates the feel and appearance of Windows Vista. No installation or account sign-up is required; and applications can be launched right away by simply going to Windows4all.com . If the application does not load, then you do not have Microsoft Silverlight installed.
Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform and cross-device browser plug-in that helps companies design, develop and deliver applications and experiences on the Web.
The desktop to Windows4all interface emulates the Windows Vista desktop with a taskbar, Start Menu, and Sidebar. Also included at this point of development is:
Rich Text Editor
Games (Chess, Spider, Solitaire, Tic-Tac-Toe)
- Convenience and freedom – A personalized desktop is available and accessible from any computer in the world.
- No more administration – No more software installation, software update, worry about anti-virus.
- Security – Less prone to typical attacks, viruses, worms, vulnerabilities, spyware and disk crashes.
- Hardware – Performance doesn’t depend much on the speed of your computer.
- Entertainment – Being online, windows4all.com offers more opportunities for communicating and entertainment.
- Cost – It is free.
Windows4All is currently in the early stage of development; however, the current stage of development will give you an idea what a familiar online operating system (Vista) looks like inside your web browser.
Analyzing and determining what files and/or folders are consuming hard drive space; and how much space is left at any given time is a difficult task for the everyday computer user. Learning such things as kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, petabytes is beyond the comprehensive level of many; HOWEVER, this is the naming convention that Windows uses to to determine file sizes, folder sizes; AND the space remaining and/or consumed on a drive.
This will not make any sense to many, but here is a sample of the units of measure used by Windows:
1 kilobyte (1K) = 1024 bytes
1 megabyte (1MB) = 1048576 bytes (1024 x 1024)
1 gigabyte (1GB) = 1073741824 bytes (1024 x 1024 x 1024)
1 terabyte (1TB) = 1099511627776 bytes (1024 x 1024 x 1024 x 1024)
This is where Xinorbis can help… Xinorbis is capable of giving you a quick “visual” graphical analysis of how the space on your computer is being used and distributed. I have also found it is a good learning tool to help make sense out of the naming conventions (e.g. kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, etc…) due to “percentages” being assigned as well (which we can relate to). Another factor with Xinorbis, that sets well with me, is that there is a portable version available that you can carry on your flash drive.
It makes it easy to see the contents, structure and file distribution and file composition of a whole hard disk, directory, or mapped network drive. Includes full report creation.
Xinorbis can create the following reports;
HTML (with or without graphs), scan/category data
XML, scan/category data and full file listing
CSV, scan/category data and full file listing
Text, scan/category data
It’s also possible to copy the data directory from Xinorbis’ charts and tables, just press the right mouse button over a chart, table or tree view to see a list of export options.
- analyze a single drive, folder or merge several together in one report
- view the results by file type, attributes, size, user (owner) and date
- the Folder History feature allows you to compare the contents of a folder or drive at times and dates
- in-bullt powerful search engine (save results to a file or clipboard)
- find duplicate files (by name and size)
- complex report generation (with many user customisations) with export to HTML, ASCII, CSV or XML
- save reports and tables for later comparison or for inclusion in other documents
- shell support, scan a directory through Windows Explorer
Each week you have a lot to gain by visiting the sites and reading the articles that are compiled from the What’s On My PC… blogroll for Geek Squeaks’ of the Week. The blog authors go to great strides to post articles on a regular basis, with the intent of helping others.
Did you know that when you delete a file from Windows (and empty the Recycle Bin) there is a chance you can recover the file, if need be? When Windows visually removes a file, that is no longer recoverable from the recycle bin, it really does not erase it from the hard drive; instead it removes it from an index that it uses to list and manage the files. The risk (even though the file and/or file fragments are still on the hard drive) is that if the file is not in the index, the space(s) on the hard drive where the deleted file(s) reside can be overwritten. So, if you accidently delete a file, time is of essence to recover that file. The longer you wait, the less likely you will be able to successfully recover the file. Recovery of deleted files on flash drives and media cards (like in your camera) has a higher success rate, than that of your hard drive due to less read/write activity.
If you are looking for a FREE utility to recover deleted files, give Recuva a try. This utility is in ongoing development and is from the same developers (Piriform) of CCleaner, a very popular freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. Piriform’s reputation; AND, dedication to their “FREE” software products, is world renown and widely recognized in the tech community.
Recuva (pronounced “recover”) is a freeware Windows utility to restore files that have been accidentally deleted from your computer. This includes files emptied from the Recycle bin as well as images and other files that have been deleted by user error from digital camera memory cards or MP3 players. It will even bring back files that have been deleted by bugs, crashes and viruses!
Recuva will not work all the time. Sometimes Windows has overwritten the area where the file used to be, or sometimes the file is too corrupted to recover.
- Restore lost files
- Thumbdrive, Camera and iPod support
- Recovery from damaged or formatted disks
- Lightning-fast results
- Quick-Start Wizard
- View images before you restore them
- Securing your data – overwriting deleted files
- Deep Scan Option
- Portable Version
- Multi-language Support
- User Community and Documentation
If you are going to install Recuva on your PC it is preferable that you already have it installed on your PC, ready to go, prior to any file recovery operations. Personally, I prefer to use the portable version of Recuva for file recovery operations. (Note: Here are instructions to install Recuva your a flash drive). When attempting to recover any files on a hard drive, I stop running any applications on the PC immediately to prevent the deleted file from being overwritten. I then use the portable version of Recuva from my flash drive to initate the recovery attempt. By running from the flash drive, this ultimately lessens the read/write activity on the hard drive. If you are attempting to recover files from a media card (like in your camera), I usually copy my portable version of Recuva to the hard drive (as a measure to optimize my chances of recovery), then attempt the recovery of files from the media card (like in your camera).
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…
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.
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”…
If you are in search for a name for your baby, then you need to check out Baby Name Map.
Baby Name Map is an aggregation of data from various regional government sources, around the world, all in one place. Currently there are over 100,000 unique names from 14 different countries. Baby Name Map was developed by a father-to-be (Guy Davis – Software Developer) who needed help on baby naming.
Baby Name Map – A Google maps mash-up with popular given-name data from all around the world. Parents can use the map to find the perfect baby name: not too popular, not too obscure, just right!
Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts does it again by bringing to us important information about the NEW (and FREE) online version of SuperAntiSpyware. I found this to be important enough that I was compelled to shout about it here on the blog.
First, you need to visit Bill’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts to get the fine details on this NEW cloud driven app.
Second, you really need to try SuperAntiSpyware Online Safe Scan. It is very easy to download and run a scan on your PC. The definition updates are automatically updated daily so you do not need to do anything other than download and run.
The scanner does NOT install anything on your Start Menu or Program Files and does NOT need to be uninstalled.
This is another excellent layer of protection to compliment the security software that you should have already installed on your PC. Make SuperAntiSpyware Online Safe Scan part of your normal maintenance routine. Thanks to Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts for bringing this important security application to our attention!
Have you ever wondered how many fonts are installed on your PC and what they look like? To get an instant snapshot of the fonts loaded on your PC, Click “SEE MY FONTS” below. You will be redirected to a website that will magically reflect the fonts that are currently on your system. After the page loads, you will see at the very bottom, how many fonts are installed on your PC. You can also experiment with the various font types by typing any word(s) at the very top of the page and by selecting any of the font styles.
Since fonts are the topic, I did some exploring around to find additional font information that may be helpful.
Recently the blog, AskBillFirst posted an article “Sending a SMS Text Message to a Cell Phone From Your Email” that not only caught my attention, but also fit in well with the article I have posted here on the blog titled “How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…”
The information Bill posted was a solution that further keeps the cost down on my Blackberry using that plan. I have to be frugal when using the SMS text messaging feature with my Blackberry, because texting can be quite addictive. I try to be smart in the aspect that there is only a few people I actually use the SMS texting feature with. With a “pay-as-you-go” plan the secret is to not reveal your cell phone number to everyone, because once your number is out there you will receive calls and text messages (that you really do not want) that ends up costing you. For every text message I send I lose a minute and for every text message I receive, I lose another minute.
If you are unfamiliar with SMS Text Messaging, let’s stop here for a moment, to give you a good description:
Short Message Service (SMS) is a communication service standardized in the GSM mobile communication system, using standardized communications protocols allowing the interchange of short text messages between mobile telephone devices. SMS text messaging is the most widely used data application on the planet, with 2.4 billion active users, or 74% of all mobile phone subscribers sending and receiving text messages on their phones. [Wikipedia]
What Bill posted on AskBillFirst is a very simple and FREE solution to sending and receiving text messages to/from mobile phones by using your email account. Here’s how it works. To my knowledge, nearly all of the major carriers have what is called SMS Gateways. Visually the gateway, to you, appears as an email address; HOWEVER, you need to know (2)-two things in regards to the person you are texting :
1.) Their “phone number” and ;
2.) The “mobile carrier” they use.
The neat thing about this, and I have already tested it with several carriers, is that when you send the text from your email to a mobile phone user, they will receive the text on their phone (as normal); AND, if they reply to the text message, the response they send will come right back to your email account (not your phone). This process has saved me from picking up my phone at home to send (and receive) a text message and saved me from losing my precious minutes on my “pay-as-you-go” plan.
Reflected below is a clip from AskBillFirst that lists the format, for the most common US Carriers, to use from your email account. I encourage the readers here on What’s On My PC… to make Bill’s blog, AskBillFirst, one of your daily stops. Thank you Bill for this information!
If you know the carrier your friend or family member uses, it’s easy to enter their information in the To field of your email, type a subject and then the message. When you click send, it’s delivered to their phone. When they reply, the reply is returned to your email.
The following is a list of carriers and the format you would use to send the message to someone.
Mobile Carrier – Maximum Characters – Email Address
Virgin Mobile – 125 characters – PhoneNumber@vmobl.com
Beyond GSM – 160 characters – PhoneNumber@txt.att.net
Cingular AT&T – 160 characters – PhoneNumber@txt.att.net
Verizon – 160 characters – PhoneNumber@vtext.com
Boost Mobile – 140 characters – PhoneNumber@myboostmobile.com
Nextel – 140 characters – PhoneNumber@messaging.nextel.com
Sprint – 160 characters – PhoneNumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile – 140 characters – PhoneNumber@tmomail.net
Alltel – 140 characters – PhoneNumber@message.alltel.com
Qwest – 185 characters – PhoneNumber@qwestmp.com
MetroPCS – 185 characters – PhoneNumber@mymetropcs.com
Cricket – 143 characters – PhoneNumberMMS.mycricket.com
How many of you receive on a daily basis those “forward” emails, such as funnies, hoaxes, jokes, surveys, chain letters, prayer requests, fake virus warnings, surveys, petitions, political attacks, etc. ?
Are we that gullible? The answer is resoundingly, YES!
I particularly like the ones where if you forward a prayer request to 10 people your prayers will be answered. I tried that one once and prayed that I would stop receiving chain emails! That one didn’t work either; I am getting more of them : ) Besides, if your moment of religion is forwarding these types of emails, you better get your butt in Church.
I am going to give you some good advice. Delete forward emails, such as indicated, on the spot! I have yet to truly find one that really is of any benefit. Do not become part of the lie. Email chains spread panic, insecurity, misinformation, and hate. Email chains are bandwidth hogs that lessen the effectiveness of email as a communication medium. As a matter of fact, we are destroying the credibility and security of our email systems because we are creating an environment of propaganda where we do not know what is true and what is not true. I can tell you this much, if you rely on forward emails as your information source, especially those with a political agenda, then you are truly lessening your credibility as a person in the know.
Keep in mind every time you forward that email, your email address is added to the other hundreds (and thousands) of email addresses that have already been harvested. In essence you are giving away information about yourself that could circulate worldwide and come back to haunt you. Chain emails feed on a persons psychic to the point that you, in good conscience, feel you need to forward it on! Again, do not forward these emails and simply delete them.
My favorites in the email chain are the hoax emails. To give you an illustrative example of a hoax email that spreads panic (and lies); I received an email about how your cell phone can explode and become an instrument of death when it is used while charging. Hoaxes, such as this, are very convincing; especially when there is horrific photo footage (see the example below).
Again, simply stated; “delete forward emails”; HOWEVER, if you feel the need to confirm information you receive in your email, you can Google it; OR use Snopes, Hoaxbusters, Hoax-Slayer, or ChainLetters.net, to name a few. I usually head to Snopes first…
“Believe nothing and verify everything!”
An example of a hoax email:
I do this all the time. I guess I won’t be doing it ANY more!
A few days ago, a person was recharging his mobile phone at home.
Just at that time a call came in and he answered it with the Instrument still connected to the outlet.
After a few seconds electricity flowed into the cell phone unrestrained and the young man was thrown to the ground
with a heavy thud. His parents rushed to the room only to find him unconscious, with a weak heartbeat and burnt fingers.
He was rushed to the nearby hospital,
but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Cell phones are a very useful modern invention.
However, we must be aware that it can also be an
instrument of death.
Never use the cell phone while it is hooked to the electrical outlet!
“There is only one reason these things exist: to harvest the “live” e-mail addresses of *gullible* people”. [Tech Paul – Tech-for Everyone]