Make Symbaloo Your Internet Starting Point

November 30, 2009

I don’t know what it is, but I have an obsession for program launchers and web launchers. I guess it comes from my past experience as an IT Manager where I found out early on that customizing an end users PC with shortcut toolbar menus to their apps, saved them and me a whole lot of headaches. Even today, I find myself testing various launchers to see if I can make my PC and internet experience all that more efficient and easier. This is where Symbaloo comes in…

image Symbaloo is an online cloud app that is designed to make your web experience more accessible. From my experience I have found that the everyday home computer user is a big creature of habit and will usually visit the same web sites over and over using their browser bookmarks or favorites. Occasionally, this creature of habit will stray from the comfort zone and visit other places. If you are one of those creatures of habit, then Symbaloo will make your life a whole lot easier.  Symbaloo allows you to customize your very own start page (or home page) that tiles your favorites, rss feeds, etc… in the form of icons, on one page. You can even upload and use your own icons if you desire. If you are familiar with “speed dial” in the Opera and in the Firefox browser (as an extension), then you will relate to Symbaloo. Only difference is that Symbaloo is much more attractive (and configurable) AND can be accessed from any PC where there is internet access.

For example, below is a small screenshot of my Symbaloo desktop page (that is still under construction).  When I launch my browser (Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer), this page is the first page I see. From my Symbaloo desktop page I can easily check all of my email accounts, my blog, perform searches, etc…

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Another cool factor to Symbaloo is that you can make additional sub pages, that are conveniently tabbed across the top of Symbaloo. For example, I am currently working on a second page that will contain RSS feeds to everyone that is on the What’s On My PC blogroll.

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There is a little bit of a learning curve to using Symbaloo, but once you get it down you will not regret it.  One area where I experienced brain lock was on how to edit, delete, or move/copy the tiles.  What you do is drag the tile to the middle of the tiled area (in the white) and it will automatically provide you with options to perform those tasks.

If you are a Firefox user, there is a Symbaloo Bookmarker browser extension that will allow you to rapidly (and automatically) bookmark sites to your Symbaloo desktop.

The only way to give this a try is to visit Symbaloo and play around with it.  Symbaloo is currently in beta; but, don’t let that stop you.  It has worked flawlessly for me. If you like it, sign up for a FREE account and start customizing your very own personalized internet launching point.

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The Futuristic Design of the Notebook Computer

November 29, 2009

Recently a friend and lifelong schoolmate of mine pointed me to this video which very well could be the futuristic design of notebook PC’s; called a Rolltop. The Rolltop in the video, by virtue of the flexible OLED-Display, features a multi-touch screen display. As a result, the keyboard to the Rolltop is integrated into the display. In essence this flexible display technology allows the user to use the Rolltop as a typical 13 inch notebook or can be rolled out to be used as a 17 inch tablet PC.  The 17 inch display can also be used as a primary monitor. The Rolltop is powered from a power supply through the holding belt. On sale now (just kidding)!

I encourage you to watch the YouTube video
of the Rolltop, by clicking on the graphic below.

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A Super Fast and Portable PDF Viewer

November 27, 2009

If you like fast; then you will like Sumatra PDF Viewer (or Reader).  This viewer blows them all of the water when opening and viewing PDF files. Sumatra is open source (FREE), is simplistic in nature (not a lot of bells & whistles), small in file size (<1.2 MB), does not write to the Windows registry, and is available in a full install version (for on your PC) or as a portable version (for on your flash drive).

If you go the full install (setup) route on your PC, you can make Sumatra your default PDF viewer (or reader), in place of Adobe PDF. I actually uninstalled Foxit PDF Reader on my PC, another great PDF viewer, to give Sumatra the lead duty of opening PDF files on my PC.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#38)

November 25, 2009

Another great roundup of articles from the What’s On My PC blogroll community.  If you are a person that is looking to get an edge on the latest in information technology and computers, I highly recommend that you visit these sites on a daily basis.

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Tech-for Everyone
Media Center Recordings Filled Disk

Scoroncocolo Tech Pages
How to Use Google Wave

Snakebytez
FreeCommander : An Advanced File Manager

Carputers News and Computer Tips
Internet Explorer 8 and Compatibility View

TTC Shelbyville
How To: Setting Up Active Directory Group Policies –
Network Computing

The Abbey Rose
Universe Firefox

I Love Free Software
Eraser: Permanently Delete Files from Hard Disk

Technize
Download Yahoo Messenger 10 Final

Worthy Tips
Handy Backup –
A Cost Effective Life Insurance For Your System

Mrintech
Best Collection of Aero Wallpapers for your Desktop!

Freeware Elite
Check whether a blog is down with “IS MY BLOG WORKING?”

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites November 24

AskBillFirst
Online Holiday Shopping Tips

Rarst.net
Run web app in dedicated window of Firefox or Chrome

Lifehacker
Hands-On Look at What’s New in Office 2010 [Screenshot Tour]

Crazy World of G
Gov K. Says No LNG Investigation

Computer Too Slow
How to control a desktop remotely

thePC Security
12 Tips to Avoid Phising –
Protection From Phishing Emails and Sites

AKS-Feel The Change
Resize Images Automatically with Dropresize

Carol’s Vault
Online storage services still around

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Enterprise Suite

Plato On-Line
Fake Facebook Uncovered

Evilfantasy’s Blog
GoogleGoogleGoogleGoolge

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
5 Free Microsoft Programs – Really!

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Live Photo Gallery v Google Picasa.round 4.

Canadian Tech News Blog
CNET: Top 5 Tech Turkeys

TuneUp Blog
PDC09 – L.A. Day 1 Coverage

Freeware Pharmacy
Essential Apps For…

What’s On My PC…
Microsoft Office Templates

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GUEST POST: Starting a Blog the Right Way

November 23, 2009

Guest Post by Poch Peralta

I encourage you to visit Poch Peralta’s blog, Plato On-Line, to get the scoop on just about anything…  Poch is a regular visitor here at What’s On My PC and recently featured one of my articles on Plato On-Line.  As a courtesy, today I am posting one of Poch’s articles about “Starting a Blog the Right Way”, which was recently featured on the site Million Clues.

Starting a Blog the Right Way

During my first 6 months of blogging, I made a lot of mistakes which is just normal in my humble opinion. Just learning from them made me grateful. And I was lucky I didn’t make the really big ones! (user name, theme). So here is what I learned and my suggestions.

The Right Kick-off

1. Finding the best blog platform or host

Before I found my current host, I left three from which I didn’t get a single comment! So do a research first. Decide if you want a ‘monetized’ or an advertisement-free blog. Some hosts allow monetizing, some don’t. So if you choose to self-host your blog, then it’s better to monetize it to cover your expenses.

2. Choosing your user name (or domain name) carefully.

Some blog platforms do not allow their users to change that so you might be stuck with what you choose. And changing a username is like changing a BRAND name –you’ll probably lose some of your followers who don’t want the change. I suggest you choose one as if it’s a website name because you wouldn’t know if your weblog might someday be a big website. A name which can be ‘verbalized’ is best. See how websurfers turned the proper noun Google into a verb? (It’s just bad that my own would sound bad if verbalized – pochpeed).

3. Choosing your blog Theme

There are specific themes designed for your niche or speciality.

4. Choose your niche carefully

This was my first mistake. At first, I started writing just about everything that floats my boat. Then I learned that you could monetize your blog at least to cover your writing expenses, time and effort. Some professional bloggers even teach that you shouldn’t spend on your blog or site until you’re earning from it. So decide if you want a monetized blog or not –then decide what your blog will be specifically about. Will it be about Technology, Science, Business, etc?

5. Continue search for better blog platforms

Most probably, your first blog host will not be the best.

6. Practice Ethics of blogging/networking

This is the continuing and maybe, the hard part. How do we make sure we’re blogging politically correct?

a. Your content

We have freedom of speech so it’s really up to you what you write even if it’s offensive; which of course I practice but don’t endorse. But if you will write a rant or offensive piece, target specifically so the innocents wouldn’t think they are part of it. You wouldn’t want your followers to think they are part of your target. If you’re after popularity or sales, then you wouldn’t want to offend everyone so be careful what you write.

One way to make sure your piece isn’t offending: have a kind-hearted person or editor read your article then ask if it’s reader-friendly.

b. Your comments

Now this is where most bloggers offend each other the most. I myself have offended through comments without intending to although one or two I admit were careless though innocent; and that is why I’m reluctant to write about this – it would smell hypocrisy. We just really can’t be sure how our words will be interpreted. And that is the reason why we should be extremely careful. Tips:

  1. Never make or reply to an offensive comment when you’re still angry. Most of the time, we will find that it’s not really worth our anger as time passes. What I do is ignore offensive comments if I want someone to stop sending it. You bet it works. We will even sometimes find we can learn something from the offensive comment. The offensive commenter might even become your fan if you befriend the person!
  2. If you think you have made an offensive comment, follow-up at once and apologize before you get a reply. The more time passes, the more damage the comment will do because it spreads.

c. Spamming

This not only apply only to commenting but also to e-mail marketing.  The rule is DON’T SPAM. What do you think your reader will do when the reader learns you spammed him/her? Of course the reader will spread the news which would brand you as a user of your fellowman. I suggest you use a blog host or platform that uses Akismet.

Now there are human spam comments that you really need to spam. Human spam comments are innocent and not dangerous right?

Wrong!

It can be an attempt to steal hits, comments, or hijack your weblog altogether which I have experienced. If comments are not related to the post, it is spam especially if it asks you to click a link. So check the link first before clicking.

A good way to block spam comments manually is this:

Go to your WordPress Dashboard and follow Settings –> Discussion. In the comment blacklist, enter words like porno, gambling, and whatever words, IP’s, and e-mail addresses you think should be banned. Be extra careful who you spam or blacklist!

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Is Owning a Computer Shortening Your Lifespan?

November 21, 2009

I was recently thinking about the entire ownership process of the computer; from the time of shopping around for a PC to the time of disposing of the PC, and arrived at the conclusion that owning a computer can actually be a stressful experience that ultimately may be affecting our health and may be shortening our lifespan.

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Of course I am no doctor and have no data to backup my colorful comments in this article, but I can attest from personal experience of maintaining PC’s and assisting others, that the “computer equals stress” AND that “stress equals health problems”.  I do not want to sound too negative about computer ownership to the point that it discourages you from owning a PC; but, let’s have a little fun and take a look at this process (through a scenario) and list some potential stressors that could be associated with owning a PC, then I will let you be the judge.

I encourage comments and any other stressful experiences that you may have experienced and/or should be included in this list. This list of stressors are examples only and no names are reflected to the protect the innocent; BUT, this is what can happen.

Stressful Experience #1 – Shopping around for a PC

Stressfull Experience #2 – Purchasing the PC (especially if you purchased it online)

Stressful Experience #3 – Setting up the PC.

Stressful Experience #4 – Setting up the PC and realizing you need to buy other things (e.g. printer, surge protector, external drive to backup files, etc.).

Stressful Experience #5 – Contacting Tech Support and spending an hour to talk to a tech in another country.

Stressful Experience #6 – Sending the PC back to the manufacturer due to a defect; which starts the stress process all over again when you get the PC back.

Stressful Experience #7 – Finding an Internet Service Provider and getting your PC on the internet.

Stressful Experience #8 – Starting up the PC for the first time and that “deer in the headlight look” sets in and you are being prompted to install this and buy that, etc…

Stressful Experience #9 – Your taskbar that was at the bottom of screen has now somehow moved to the top of the screen.

Stressful Experience #10 – Contacting Tech Support because of Stress Experience #9 to only hear the other tech’s laughing in the background.

Stressful Experience #11 – Your computer is finally setup and your family is now using the computer.

Stressful Experience #12 – Everyone in the family is using online services such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, ITunes, Babe Pics of the Day, file sharing, instant messaging, different browsers, and on and on…

Stressful Experience #13 – Computer is running slower.  Spyware and virus warnings are popping up informing you your PC is infected.  You pay with your credit card to fix the problem and the problem worsens.

Stressful Experience #14 – You contact tech support because your PC is still running slow only to learn your PC is out of its’ warranty period and you now have to pay for tech support.

Stressful Experience #15 – Tech Support informs you that the PC is beyond cleaning; that you were a victim of an online scam; that your credit card has been compromised and the only way to fix the PC is to do a recovery.

Stressful Experience  #16 – You forgot to make the recovery disks.  You buy the recovery disks through tech support.

Stressful Experience #17 – As a result of Stressful Experiences #13, #14, #15 and #16 you are now back at Stressful Experience #3.

Stressful Experience #18 – As a result of stressful experiences #1 – #17, you learn the value of maintaining your PC and securing your PC; however, you just can’t let your subscription to “Babe Pics of  the Day” go…    “What Momma doesn’t know won’t hurt her!”

Stressful Experience #19 – You have survived numerous experiences over the lifetime of your PC and it is time to get rid of it and you decide to donate it to your Church to use with their projection system.  You are happy that you survived these experiences, handed off the PC to a good cause, and now you are ready to kick back, because you now know everything about a PC.

Stressful Experience #20 – You did not remove the personal data from the PC (that you donated to the Church).  Remember “Babe Pics of the Day”; well, let me tell you…

Stressful Experience #21 – Judgment Day

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Windows 7 Functions and Settings In A Box

November 20, 2009

Have you ever been frustrated with navigating the operating system in an effort to find a specific function or setting?  You know it is there, but just can’t seem to remember where exactly you saw it and how you got there.  With the recent public release of Windows 7 I am sure many of you are finding yourselves in that type of situation.

Today I ran across a program, called Windows 7 In A Box,  that will help you navigate and actually learn many of the most common settings (and functions) that are native to the Windows 7 operating system.

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The really cool factor to Windows 7 In A Box is that it is a portable app and can be carried with you (in your tech toolbox) on your flash drive.  I can see myself using this app to quickly assist other Windows 7 client users without having to go through the navigation process of locating specific settings and functions.  Windows 7 In A Box is one of those apps that basically will save you a whole lot of mouse clicks to get where you want to go.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#37)

November 18, 2009

If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of information technology and computers, I encourage you to take a moment and visit each of the blogs listed below. The articles and information that these sites provide are phenomenal. It is an absolute honor to have them on the What’s On My PC… blogroll.

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The PC Security
9 Tips for Safe and Secure Online Shopping on Internet Sites

Computer Too Slow
Windows 7 complaints from Netbook Users

Crazy World of G
Scan To PDF

Lifehacker
MyPorts Gives You Detailed Information on Open Ports

Rarst.net
Google Wave Preview – first look

Tech-for Everyone
Open .ppt Slideshows With Free Viewer*

AskBillFirst
The “Noteable” Mousepad

Free PC Security
Revo Uninstaller – Free

Right On Technology
Pirate Bay Tracker Shuts Down

Blogging Fool
WordPress Posts Yet Another Security Update in Advance of 2.9

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Internet Security Tips for Seniors

Evilfantasy’s Blog
What things to do when bored on the Internet?

Plato On-Line
Black Friday Deals Leaked to CNN

The Spyware Biz Blog
A great way to remember secure passwords

Teck~Line Lounge
Amazing Knife Throw- Modern Warfare 2

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Personal Protector

Carol’s Vault
Design your room online with Armstrong

AKS-Feel The Change
Flash Drive Reminder-Unplug USB Flash Drive From PC

Tune Up Blog
32-bit vs. 64-bit: More Bit, More Performance?

Canadian Tech News Blog
5 Ways In Which Firefox Is Better Than Internet Explorer

Freeware Elite
Backup your Facebook account with ArchiveFB

Mrintech
View Previously Featured Bing Wallpapers & Download Them!

Worthy Tips
Switch Off Your Monitor Using Single Mouse Click in Windows 7

Technize
Handy Backup – Automatic Data Backup, Recovery and Synchronization

I Love Free Software
Kompozer: Free Alternative to Adobe Dreamweaver and FrontPage

TTC Shelbyville
Visio – Nope, It is Gliffy!

Carputers News and Computer Tips
Free WiFi for the Holidays

Snakebytez
View lyrics for songs in your iTunes Library with LyricToy

Computer Maintenance
Basic Computer Maintenance Tips/Checklist

Freeware Pharmacy
Songr

What’s On My PC
Break the Email Chain – Stop the Lies!

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The Way a Backup Program Should Work

November 17, 2009

Backing up personal files (pictures, music, documents, videos, etc…) on our computers is probably the one maintenance function we neglect the most. To prove the reality of it all; I have assisted numerous individuals with their computers and I can not think of one person that was actually performing routine backups of their personal files. As a matter of fact, I have witnessed the look of despair on people’s faces when they are told their data is lost.

I truly believe the reasoning behind this is that the majority of home based computer users’ do not know the “how to’s” when it comes to setting up backup software; using an external drive, etc…  To all the Tech’s out there that assist people, we need to change that. We assist and fix; but, fail to recommend prevention measures such as performing backups and actually showing how it is done.  Let’s face it, backup software is very intimidating and foreign to most computer users.

What software do I use for backup software? Here of late I have been experimenting with and testing several different backup software product options and finally settled with Yadis! Backup.

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Yadis! Backup, in my opinion, is the way a backup program should work.  You install it, select the folder (s) you desire to backup, point it to your external drive and it does the rest.  Yadis! Backup will backup your personal files in “real time” and does not rely on a schedule.  Once it is setup, Yadis! Backup will copy all of your files to the backup destination; after that, you do absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, you will not even know it is there.  If you add or change a file, Yadis! Backup knows to back it up. If for some reason the destination source or drive is not available, Yadis! Backup knows to hold the backup until the destination drive becomes available again.

What I really like about this application is that it is easy to setup and is a good option for the everyday home user’; plus, it is just downright smart.

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Portable Utility to Backup and Archive Your Email

November 15, 2009

Here of late I have been on a kick with testing backup utilities; and today I came across an interesting application, called MailStore Home, that will allow you to archive (or backup) your email. If you are an email packrat and you are looking for something to archive (or backup) your email to your computer, then this app may be for you.

First off, MailStore Home is FREE and is designed to archive (or backup) email from:

Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Exchange
AVM Ken! Mailbox
Mozilla Thunderbird
Mozilla SeaMonkey
Windows Mail
Windows Live Mail
Google Mail
IMAP Mailbox
POP3 Mailbox
Email Files

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MailStore Home can either be installed on your PC or you can go with the NEW portable beta version that can be run without installing the app  and can be run directly from your flash drive (or from a folder on your PC). For the sake of testing this app, I went with the portable version and ran it directly from a folder on my PC.

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I am an email packrat in the sense that I use an online webmail account that harvests emails from my numerous other email accounts so that I have a backup. As a matter of fact I have approximately 4 GB’s of email stored in that backup account. The only problem with this strategy is that my emails (and attachments) are stored on the internet and not on my PC. MailStore Home is the solution to this problem and has given me the option of archiving and saving all of my emails to my PC.  As a result, I can clean out my online account and feel more comfortable knowing that my email data is now safe on my PC.

The cool factor with MailStore Home is that when you perform the backup, you have option of leaving the email on the server (on the internet) or you can tell MailStore to delete the email on the server after it has been safely archived (backed up).

MailStore Home will pluck those emails, attachments and all, and save them to your PC in the form of a data file that can be read  and searched by MailStore Home and backed up to other locations (such as an external drive, flash drive, etc…). 

Main features I found that you may be interested in:

Archive all email messages centrally, securely and permanently

No storage limitations

Search your email in a fraction of a second (incl. attachments)

Integrated CD/DVD burning, backup archives with 1 click

Conserve disk space; MailStore Home saves only a single instance of mail and attachments

Preview saved messages directly in MailStore and reopen them in your local mail client (e.g. Microsoft Outlook)

Your email can be exported to a variety of destinations

Messages are stored MIME-compatible, and can be recovered at any time without information loss (e.g. to import them in other applications)

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Enhance the Windows Clipboard with PasteCopy.Net

November 14, 2009

PasteCopy.Net is a portable clipboard manager that enhances and (in essence) enlarges the capacity of the Windows Clipboard operations by supporting multiple cut/copy and paste operations. This app will handle multiple cut/copy and paste operations of graphic and/or text and is very useful; especially if you are a blogger or someone that performs a great deal of editing (e.g. html editor, graphic editor, author).  The cool factor about this clipboard manager is that you can arrange the items that you accumulate into categories which makes locating clips a snap.

PasteCopy.NET does not require any installation, and does not leave a trace on the computer; however, the app is dependent on .NET 2.0 or higher (which is a component that is commonly installed on today’s PCs).

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 98/ME/2000 SP3/Server 2003/XP SP2/Vista/Windows 7 – Requirements .NET 2.0 or higher

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Features:

Portable freeware tool, only (514KB)

Multilingual support (de, en, es, it, nb, pl, pt)

Auto- Copy & Paste Windows Clipboard

Convert rtf to txt (-automatically)

Convert html to rtf or txt (-automatically)

(Auto-) resizable/hide preview

Mouse-hover/keystroke preview

Export and print function

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Find the Largest Files and Folders On Your PC

November 13, 2009

I have been doing computers for many years and over that many years I have accumulated and collected thousands of files (and folders), such as downloads, pictures, videos, documents, etc…  Fortunately, I have an organized method to my madness for managing my files (and folders) so that valuable disk space is not wasted.  One such method that I use to collectively visualize my madness is a FREE and PORTABLE utility, called TreeSize Free.

TreeSizeFree

TreeSize Free is an utility that will show you, in a graphical sense, what files/folders are consuming the most space on your hard drive.

When you first run TreeSize Free you need to click on “Scan”, then select the drive you desire to analyze.  The scan is performed in threads, which means you will see results while the program is working.  On my first scan of my system, it took about minute to complete the scan, which is typical (and actually pretty fast) for a program of this type. The cool factors to this little gem of a program is that; you can break down the results (or values) by kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes; you can list the results by size, allocated space, percentage, cluster size or by file count;  you can sort the results by name or size;  you can use the Windows Explorer right click menu directly in the program; AND, you can print out a very nice report of the scan results.

For a program that is small in size (and portable); it serves a very practical purpose by showing you what files and folders are hogging up disk space.  TreeSize Free can also come in handy for locating those huge file downloads that you forgot about or when you are assisting someone with cleaning the file contents from their PC to reclaim disk space. Personally this is a “must have” program on everyone’s PC or flash drive.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#36)

November 11, 2009

image Welcome to the weekly roundup of articles from the developers of the blogs that are members of the What’s On My PC blogroll community.  I encourage you to visit these blogs to learn more about information technology and computers.  To these authors, I say Thank You!

AKS – Feel The Change
Windows SteadyState- Powerful tool to Protect Shared Computers

Carol’s Vault
Introducing Mind & Brain: A Graphic Guide sample

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove SystemVeteran

Teck~Line Lounge
Free CodySafe Portable Start Menu By Codyssey

The Spyware Biz Blog
Were you tricked ot treated?

Plato On-Line
Deceptive Credit Card Practices

Geeked Up
Mini Notebook Computers

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Fix Your Computer with Free PC Fixer a 4.5 Star Utility

Right On Technology
Apple $30 a Month TV Service for iTunes

The PC Security
How to Crack, Open or Access
Outlook PST File without Password

Computer Too Slow
How to disable CD/DVD autoplay in Windows

Crazy World of G
Are You In Sync?

LifeHacker
Replace Library Icons
Customizes Windows 7 Library Icons [Downloads]

Rarst.net
Colorbrewer – excellent color schemes resource

Sugarloaf Tech
Just say no to toolbars

Tech-for Everyone
Is It Worth Upgrading? (Two quick reco’s)

AskBillFirst
Nokia Recalls 14 Million AC Adapters – Gearlog

Free PC Security
Facebook Virus – UPS Virus – Using SUPERantispyware

Tune Up Blog
TuneUp Utilities – Enjoy your PC

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Live Photo Gallery v Google Picasa round 3

Computer Maintenance
Delete Temporary Files/Cache and Speed Up Your Computer

Canadian Tech News Blog
8 Must Have Applications

Freeware Elite
Launchy: Great flashy launcher

Mrintech
Winners of Google Wave Invitations Giveaway!

Worthy Tips
How to detect what .Net version installed on your machine?

Technize
Microsoft Security Essentials A Free Anti-Virus From Microsoft

I Love Free Software
Fastest Free Disk Imaging Software: Macrium Reflect

Techolar
Domain names extensions in International scripts

TTC Shelbyville
Resize Photos Online

Tux in the Midwest
Flirting with Androids

Snakebytez
Client for Google Translate

Freeware Pharmacy
Hulu Desktop

What’s On My PC…
I Want That Video…

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A File Backup Program Inspired by Star Trek

November 10, 2009

One of the fictional Star Trek innovations, back in the ‘60’s, was a machine called a Replicator that was capable of creating (and replicating) objects. In 2002, approximately 36 years after the show debuted, Karen Kenworthy developed Karen’s Replicator, that was inspired by the original Replicator that was featured on Star Trek.

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Who is Karen Kenworthy and what is Karen’s Replicator?

Karen was the writer of a newsletter (called Karen’s Power Tools) that was featured in a national tech magazine called Windows Magazine (Winmag.com). Windows Magazine, one of my favorites, went belly up when it was sold to a larger publishing firm (which was a shame). Karen was also the developer of the Power Tools software (utility software) that was featured in Windows Magazine. Today, Karen continues to promote the newsletter and the Power Tools software on her very own web site called Karenware.com .

Back in 2002 when I was managing my Star Trek fleet of PC’s I needed a file backup program that I could setup and the user could launch a batch backup job by simply clicking an icon on their desktop (or run it at a scheduled time). This is where Karen’s Replicator came to the rescue.

Karen’s Replicator is a FREE file backup program that can be configured to automatically backup files, folders, even entire drives! Karen’s Replicator cannot duplicate objects (like in Star Trek), but it can duplicate files AND it does it very well. The files you backup will maintain the same file attributes and dates. After you setup and run that first backup, subsequent backup times are fast with minimal impact to your computer’s resources.

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Today, in 2009, Karen continues to develop and improve Karen’s Replicator. It is not the prettiest backup program out there, but is an excellent example of a good software product that focuses, not on vanity, but on getting the job done. Today, seven years later after Karen’s Replicator came to my rescue, I continue to use it as a  backup option on my PC. It has never let me down… As a matter of fact, this article is my way of simply saying, “Thank You” to Karen Kenworthy. I encourage you to visit Karenware.com to explore all of Karen’s Power Tools.

Karen’s Description of Karen’s Replicator:

Automatically backup files, directories, even entire drives! Karen’s Replicator copies selected files from one drive/folder to another. Source and Destination folders can reside anywhere on your network.

Options include repeated copies at intervals as short as a few minutes, or as long as several months, copy only files that have changed, and the replication of folder and file deletions.

New features allow you to specify which files should not be copied, and also which days a file should be skipped!

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A FREE Utility to Analyze and Benchmark your PC

November 8, 2009

I have reviewed system information utilities in the past (e.g. SIW – System Information for Windows); however, there is always room in your tech toolbox for another. During a past review of System Information for Windows,   a fellow blogger [ Rarst.net ] commented on and pointed out another system information utility, called PCWizard, that is very hard to match.

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PCWizard is a system information, benchmarking and diagnostic tool wrapped up in one. PCWizard can analyze and test many types of hardware such as CPU, Cache, RAM, Hard Disk, CD / DVD-ROM, Removable / FLASH Media, Video, MP3 compression. The program is easy to navigate, well designed and will easily fit on your flash drive (approx. 6.5 MBs). This tool is periodically updated (usually once per month) to keep in line with the industries latest hardware and software standards. PCWizard can tell you just about anything and everything about your PC and its’ performance; AND, best of all it  is FREE.

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Two options to Install:

ZIP package : PC Wizard 2009 can be run directly from removable support (CD/DVD, USB Key, …) Options are not saved.
Don’t forget to check “Use Folder Names” into your UNZIP application to create PC Wizard folders.

Self-installing EXE package : To install PC Wizard 2009 directly on your hard drive.

FEATURES:

Hardware Information

Mainboard / Bios (Connectors, ID String, MP Support …)

Chipset (FSB Frequency, Norhtbridge, Hub, Direct Media Interface, XMB, NSI, …)

Main Memory (FPM, EDO, SDRAM, DDR SDRAM, DDR-2 SDRAM, DDR-3 SDRAM, RDRAM, FB_DIMM, Timings …)

Memory Profiles : EPP (SLi Ready), Intel XMP.

Cache Memory (L1, L2, L3, Size, Frequency …)

Processors (Type, Speed, Multiplier coeff., Features, Model Number, Vanderpool Technology …)

Coprocessor

APM & ACPI

Busses : ISA, PCI, AGP (2x, 4x,8x), SMBus/ i2c, CardBus, Firewire, Hyper-Transport … )

DMI / SMBIOS

Mainboard Sensors, Processor, Hard Disk & Battery (Voltage, Temperature, Fans)

Video (Monitor, Card, Bios, Capabilities, Memory, Integrated Memory, Frequencies …)

OpenGL & 3Dfx

DirectX (DirectDraw, Direct3D, DirectSound (3D), DirectMusic, DirectPlay, DirectInput, DirectX Media)

Keyboard, Mouse & Joystick

Drives (Hard Disk, Removable, CD-ROM, CDRW, DVD …)

SCSI (Card, Controller, Adapter, Devices …)

ATA/ATAPI & S-ATA (Devices, Type, Capabilities, S.M.A.R.T. Features, RAID)

Ports (Serial, Parallel, USB, IEEE-1394)

IDE & SCSI Devices

Twain & WIA Devices

PCMCIA (PC Card) Devices

Bluetooth Devices

Sound Card (wave, midi, aux, mix, AC’97 codec, High Definition Audio)

Printers (Local & Network)

Modem (Features, Speed …)

Network (Server, Connexion, Firewall …)

Security (Scan Ports …)

PocketPC & SmartPhone Devices

System Information

MCI Devices (mpeg, avi, seq, vcr, video-disc, wave) & ACM

SAPI

Passwords (Outlook, Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, Dialup …)

DOS Memory (base, HMA, UMB, XMS, EMS, DPMI, VCPI)

Windows Memory

Windows (Version, Product Key, Environment, Desktop, XP Themes …)

Windows UpTime (Boot, Shutdown, BlueScreen, System Restore Points …)

TrueType & OpenType Fonts

WinSock (Internet), Telephony et Remote Access

OLE (Objects, Servers …)

Microsoft® Applications

Activity (Process, Tasks, Threads)

Modules (DLL, DRV, 32 & 16-bits) & NT Services

Internet Navigator (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, FireFox)

.NET Global Assembly Cache (GAC)

ODBC

CMOS/RTC

Resources (IRQ, DMA, E/S, Memory)

System files (.ini, .log, .bat, .nt, .dos …)

System Benchmarks

Processor (Dhrystone (MIPS), Whetstone (MFLOPS), Mandelbrot fractal …)

L1, L2, L3 Cache, RAM (Bandwidth, Latency …)

Main Memory (Bandwidth, Latency …)

Hard Drives

CD/DVD Rom

DirectX 3D

Video

Removable/Flash Support

MP3 Compression

VISTA Experience Index

Tools

Can save, print, e-mail a report

Can save a TXT, RTF, HTML, PDF or CSV report

Can export any graphics as BMP file

Can export text and graphic with the clipboard

Web update Wizard

Communicate with Motherboard Monitor

Dump (Hardware registers, System BIOS, video BIOS …)

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