Be sure to check out New Apps for the New Year (NANY)

December 31, 2009

The NANY Challenge is an annual Challenge at DonationCoder where coders (programmers) of all levels are challenged to pledge a New Application for the New Year and release it on January 1, 2010.

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N.A.N.Y. stands for “New Apps for the New Year”  If you are like me and love software then you do not want to miss out on the results of the challenge. It is absolutely amazing what these people develop in a very short period of time. You can follow the NANY 2010 updates [HERE] .

The NANY event is a community celebration, not a competition and therefore there can be no winner; apart from the obvious rewards for the software using community, everyone who participates in NANY, either as a software author or volunteer, will receive a stunning DonationCoder mug or T-Shirt with a brand new and very collectible NANY 2010 image designed by the artist Nick Pearson

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#41)

December 30, 2009

After a month of moving and no Geek Squeaks’; it is time!  I present to you the 41st version of Geek Squeaks’.  If you are new to the blog, Geek Squeaks’ is a weekly roundup of articles from the author’s associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll community.  This community consists of a group of people, from around the world, that bring to us a vast sea of computer and technology information.  I encourage all of you to bookmark these sites and pay them a visit on a regular basis.  You will not regret it…

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Snakebytez
Hide Windows Drives with NoDrives Manager

Carputers News and Computer Tips
Load and Help Campaign by SoftMaker

TTC Shelbyville
Data Recovery Freeware Roundup

The Abbey Rose
Windows Update Broke?

I Love Free Software
gDoc Creator: Convert Word to PDF and PDF to Word

Technize
Customize And Personalize Your USB Pen Drive

Worthy Tips
Photovisi – Lets You Create Your Own Photo Collage Online Free

Canadian Tech Blogger
Windows 7 Going Over Well With IT Community

Computer Maintenance
Uninstall Unwanted Programs

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Windows Live, its not the same……

TuneUp Blog
Enabling DirectCompute for Windows Vista and 7

Free PC Security
Three Words For 2010

AskBillFirst
Dragon Naturally Speaking

Tech-for Everyone
Tech-for Everyone – Computer Shopper Blogs We Like

Rarst.net
Rollip.com – collection of graphical filters for photos

Lifehacker
You Don’t Need to Regularly Reinstall Windows; Here’s Why

Crazy World of G
Truth or Consequences

thePC Security
Data Encryption: A Free, Open Source, Portable, Simple Tool for Windows

AKS-Feel The Change
Change your Drive Icons and background Image

Carol’s Vault
A look back at the past 10 years: the bloody decade

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove SystemCleanerPro

Teck~Line
Happy Holiday to Everyone

Plato On-Line
Top 10 Consumer Web Apps of 2009

Evilfantasy’s Blog
The Ultimate Geek TaskForce!

Geeked Up
15.4″ LCD Screen Resolutions

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Spyware Doctor with Anti-Virus 2010 – Free License Giveaway

Freeware Pharmacy
JPEG Lossless Rotator

What’s On My PC
Double Desktop – Like having two monitors in one…

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Flushing the DNS Cache On Your Computer

December 29, 2009

Did you know that when you visit a website Windows maintains a cache (temporary holding area) of the DNS information about the site?  I know you are probably wondering what is all this talk about DNS and who cares.

I recently was required to change internet service providers.  I went from DSL to Cable.  I immediately noticed, on a frequent basis, that there was lag time in page loads and that many web sites would time out and not load at all.  As a result, I started getting an error in my browser where the server could not be found. First instinct was that my cable provider was the problem; however, after some thought; and research to confirm my thoughts, I discovered that my DNS Cache on my PC needed flushed out.  Once I flushed the DNS Cache, the lag time disappeared on the page loads and the sites ceased timing out.

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What is the DNS? DNS is the computer term for Domain Name System (or Service or Server)… The DNS translates domain names (such as wordpress.com or microsoft.com) into IP addresses (or numerical identifiers) that network equipment on the internet can read (or translate).  In essence the DNS is like a phonebook.

If you experience the same problems I indicated, try flushing out the Windows DNS Cache.  It is easy and safe to do. You can do this by:

  • Clicking on “Start”, then “Run”
  • Type cmd
  • At the command prompt, at the blinking cursor, type ipconfig /flushdns and hit “Enter”
  • You will see the message, “Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache”
  • You are finished! Your Window DNS cache has just been flush. You can close the window.

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A Safe and Secure Sticky Notes Program for your Flash Drive

December 27, 2009

If you are someone that uses a portable flash drive on a regular basis, then you most likely have experienced that feeling when you either forgot to unplug the drive from a foreign computer or that feeling when you have misplaced or lost the drive.  If this has not happened to you, believe me it will.  I am a heavy duty flash drive user and I have experienced both, even though I go to great lengths to monitor the whereabouts of my flash drive.  As a result of my carelessness, I have learned to use layers of protection to prevent access to the data on the drive in the event the drive falls into the wrong hands.

In conjunction with using encryption software on my flash drive (such as the FREE version of SafeHouse), I will also use programs on the drive that offer password protection and additional encryption.  For example, the sticky notes program that I carry on my flash drive is a FREE program called PNotes that not only can be password protected; it can also be configured to automatically encrypt your notes.

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This little gem of a program contains a boat load of features that continues to get better and better.  PNotes can also be installed and run from your computer as well.

PNotes Features:

  • Ease of use – no installation, just unpack the downloaded archive to any location and run PNotes.exe.
  • Fully adjustable – you set the default fonts, colors and dimensions of notes.
  • Individual note adjusting – every note can have its own settings, like fonts, colors etc.
  • Rich text formatting – any portion of note’s text can be formatted separately.
  • Password protection – prevents unauthorized access to program.
  • Encryption – allows you to store notes as encrypted files, so even in case of loosing your USB stick nobody could read them.
  • Backing up – the notes could be backed up before saving – with any reasonable levels of copies – and quickly restored at any moment.
  • Transparency – opacity level for notes may vary from completely opaque to absolutely transparent.
  • Skins – there is a variety of skins for PNotes (some of them are just works of art) and, moreover, you can create your own if download PNSkinCreator – a small utility for creation PNotes skins.
  • Docking – you may dock notes to any side of screen (all together or each one separately) and get as a result a kind of panel.
  • Scheduling – it is possible to schedule each note to remind you about significant events by many different ways. Using this feature you may just hide notes and don’t worry, you’ll be notified in time.
  • Overdue reminders – have you set a number of reminders and turned your computer off or taken the program in whole to another computer? Never mind, next time the program will start it will check it’s settings and inform you about any overdue reminder.
  • Favorites – add frequently used notes to favorites for easy and fast access.
  • Searching – you may perform the quick search in notes either by their contents, or by their titles.
  • E-mailing – contents of each note or number of notes as attachment may be sent by e-mail.
  • Control Panel – this is your central command post. All management is put into effect here.
  • Grouping – notes can be separated into different groups for easy management. You may freely create, modify or delete groups and change every note’s belonging by single click or just drag_and_drop.
  • Internationalization – PNotes is fully Unicode supported and translated into many languages.
  • Portability – PNotes leaves no traces in Windows registry and can be started from any drive (fixed or flash) on any computer. Take your notes with you to any location.
  • Other features – of course there are many other unmentioned features in program, but I suggest you to discover them by yourself, these are delights of any new program, aren’t they?

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Computer Shopper – Blogs We Like

December 26, 2009

As many of you have known, I recently have been in process of moving from one residence to another.  As a result, I had to stop blogging for a short period of time, in order to make this transition.  To let you all know, the transition has went quite well, my back has held up AND most importantly my computer system is back up and purring along.  We still have to complete some final touches; but, we are almost there and very happy with everything.  I can tell this move was meant to be and hopefully will be my last! I am looking forward to my return to the blog and posting on a regular basis; and, most importantly reading the articles posted by the authors that are a part of the What’s On My PC blogroll.

image Much to my surprise when I returned to my blog, on Christmas day, I was contacted by the editor in chief of the Computer Shopper and learned that What’s On My PC… had been singled out, along with (5)-five other tech blogs (see below), as a “Blog We Like” for the month of December! Wow, what a great Christmas present and incentive to keep blogging.  You can see the full review [ here ].

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The Computer Shopper has been around for years (established in 1980) and is recognized nationally (and worldwide) for their advice and consumer reviews of computer and technology products.  I have always been a long time advocate of the Computer Shopper and use it on a regular basis for buying advice and most importantly to keep on top of what is new in the world of computers and technology.  To the editor in chief of Computer Shopper, I personally Thank You…

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The (5)-five other tech blogs featured in the December’s roundup of the Computer Shoppers – Blogs We Like were:

Tune Up Blog

Techlicious

Tech-for Everyone

Ask Leo

Ask Dave Taylor

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Attention to my readers and fellow bloggers…

December 11, 2009

I am in the process of moving from one home to another.  Effective today (date of this posting), I will not be posting for awhile. My main PC will be down until I get moved. Exact time of return is unknown at this point; however, I am anticipating being back in the groove by January 1st or sooner.

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Please do not let this stop you from visiting and commenting.  I encourage you to stay tuned. There are over 470 articles available to you; plus, check out the Launch Pad and the Blogroll on the sidebar of the blog.

If you see no activity from me before Christmas, I wish everyone a happy holiday and to remember what Christmas is all about; giving, not getting!

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How to Look More Productive at Your PC

December 10, 2009

If you are looking for a way, on the job, to appear professional and give that illusion you are really busy, then give cantyouseeimbusy.com a try! The site offers (3)-three hard at work games that is played inside your web browser that emulates (gives the illusion of) a word processor and spreadsheet program. All three games require Adobe Flash to be installed on the PC to work (which is very common anyway).

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Disclaimer: If you lose your job because of your increased productivity, please do not blame What’s On My PC…

imageBreakdown – Are you working hard everyday typing reports, letters or minutes? Then Breakdown is the game for you but instead of generating text, this game is all about erasing as much text as possible.

image Leadership – Do you think it’s your time to step up and show off your leadership ability? Then this is your chance. Prove that you can lead your ship through the graph, and you will move up a level.

image Cost Cutter – In times like these everyone is always telling you to keep the costs down. And that’s just the challenge in this game. Keep the data as low as possible and your points will sky rocket.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#40)

December 9, 2009

If you have an obsession for information technology and computers, then you need to follow these blogs.  Listed is this weeks Geek Squeaks’; a sampling of articles (from the past 7 days) from the bloggers that are on the What’s On My PC blogroll. Talk about a great community of bloggers; none like it around!

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411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Antivirus Live

Plato On-line
How and Why Twitter is Addictive

Evil Fantasy’s Blog
The Ultimate Geek TaskForce!

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Infected by Scareware? Get Your Wallet Out!

Snakebytez
IEHistoryView : Track websites
recently visited in Internet Explorer

Carputers News and Computer Tips
IBM Lotus Symphony goes portable…

TTC Shelbyville
Duplicate Your Hard Drive

The Abbey Rose
Security Applications

I Love Free Software
Sweet Little Piano: Play Piano on your Computer

Technize
Remotely Control Your Phone from Computer

Worthy Tips
Download 30+ Free MP3 From Amazon in This Christmas

Mrintech
Import Contacts to Yahoo! Mail from Google Account

Freeware Elite
Symbols, Accents, Weird punctuation –
Do you know how to type them?

Canadian Tech Blogger
Google DNS vs OpenDNS

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Talking about the new Bing Bar

TuneUp Blog
Disabling Dr. Watson: Does It Really Improve Performance?

Carol’s Vault
5 websites to find your perfect Christmas recipes

Free PC Security
K9 Web Protection Free

AskBillFirst
Is It Disk or Disc?

Tech-for Everyone
How To Remove FinallyFast (PC SpeedScan Pro, Performance Center, Active Speed, etc.)

Sugarloaf Tech
Trouble upgrading to AVG 9.0 Free Edition

Rarst.net
SimpleDesktops.com – minimalistic wallpapers collection

Lifehacker
Chrome Extensions Gallery Officially Opens [Chrome Extensions]

Crazy World of G
Free Rip

Computer Too Slow
How to Diagnose Keyboard Problems

thePC Security
Free MP3 Manager Software Download | Music File Management

What’s On My PC
Trusting the IT Guy

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Google’s Public DNS Resolution Service

December 7, 2009

Google, within the past several days, announced that they are now offering a FREE, global Domain Name System (DNS) resolution service, that you can use as an alternative to your current DNS provider (which is usually through your Internet Service Provider).

The DNS protocol is an important part of the web’s infrastructure, serving as the Internet’s phone book: every time you visit a website, your computer performs a DNS lookup. Complex pages often require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading, so your computer may be performing hundreds of lookups a day.

As web pages become more complex, referencing resources from numerous domains, DNS lookups can become a significant bottleneck in the browsing experience. Whenever a client needs to query a DNS resolver over the network, the latency introduced can be significant, depending on the proximity and number of nameservers the resolver has to query (more than 2 is rare, but it can happen). As an example, the following screen shot shows the timings reported by the Page Speed web performance measurement tool. Each bar represents a resource referenced from the page; the black segments indicate DNS lookups. In this page, 13 lookups are made in the first 11 seconds in which the page is loaded. Although several of the lookups are done in parallel, the screen shot shows that 5 serial lookup times are required, accounting for several seconds of the total 11 seconds page load time.

You can learn more about Google’s Public DNS resolution service and how to configure your PC to use the service [ HERE ].  The official announcment page can be found [ HERE ] . I have not tried the service yet, due I currently use (and recommend) the popular OpenDNS resolution service on my PC’s. I would be interested in hearing about any comparative analysis between the (2)-two services and your thoughts about Google managing your DNS.

How is OpenDNS responding to this new competitor?  Click on the graphic below to see David Ulevitch’s (founder of OpenDNS) response to the release of Google’s Free DNS resolution service.

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I also encourage to visit the TTC Shelbyville blog to read about Google’s DNS resolution service and their recommendations [ HERE ]

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Take Google Chrome Portable for a Spin

December 5, 2009

From day one Google Chrome has piqued my interest.  As a matter of fact, Google Chrome and Firefox sit side-by-side on my machine as my web browsers of choice. I enjoy the speed and clean appearance that Chrome offers and the dependability, security, and extensions that Firefox offers. I find myself alternating between the two, quite frequently.

If you are someone that has not tried Google Chrome and would like to (without installing it) there is a very good portable option available at portableapps.com. Simply download Google Chrome portable [HERE] and install/run it from a folder on your PC or install/run it from your flashdrive (as it was designed for). Due to Google Chrome Portable being classified as a portable app, it will not write to the registry or leave any files behind. If you find that it is not your cup of tea, simply delete the folder where you initially installed the files.

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To learn more about Google Chrome, click [ HERE ]

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Tech-for Everyone: Which is better, HP or Dell?

December 4, 2009

I frequently have people ask me, when shopping for a PC, whether they should go for a Hewlett Packard or Dell???

Thanks to TechPaul, at Tech-for Everyone, his recent article, “Which is better, HP or Dell?” falls in line with my thinking exactly and gives you the answer(s); and, some sense of direction when addressing this type of question. I encourage you to read TechPaul’s article [ HERE ] .

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vs.

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If you are wondering what PC I use at home(?); well it is a HP; however, when I was managing a network, my choice in that environment was Dell.

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Learn to gesture with your mouse in Firefox…

December 3, 2009

Have you ever gestured with your mouse? If you are a Firefox browser fan then you need to install the extension to the Firefox browser called FireGestures.

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Learning to gesture with your mouse may seem awkward and takes a little practice; but once you master some of the basic gesture techniques, you will wonder how you managed without it.

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How this works is like this… When you are using the Firefox browser, with FireGestures installed, you learn to use your mouse to perform navigation commands such as going back and forth from one web page to another, closing a page, reloading a page, minimizing/maximizing a window, etc… The commands are typically performed by holding down the right mouse button and dragging the mouse in predefined directions. As you drag the mouse, with FireGestures, you will see a line being drawn to provide a visual of the action  you are performing.

FireGestures is loaded with numerous commands and options; however, I typically only use (3)-three of the basic commands the most with the default options. Those commands being back, forward and close. For example, let’s say I visit the What’s On My PC blog and click on a link to another site that takes me to another web page; then, let’s say I want to return back to the What’s On My PC blog. Instead of clicking the “back” button in my browser, I simply hold down the right mouse button and quickly drag the mouse to the left (or backward); as a result, I quickly return to the What’s On My PC blog.  Vice versa, I can hold down the right mouse button and drag to the right (or forward) to go to the site I had originally visited.  To close a tab, I hold down the right mouse button and draw an “L”.

As I continue to master mouse gesturing, I plan to learn many of the other commands that are available in FireGestures. This all may seem a little techie to most people, but if you are a Firefox browser user and spend a great deal of time on the internet; installing the FireGestures extension and learning to gesture with your mouse is like using your mouse as a magic wand. It will make your browsing experience all that more fast and efficient; plus, your friends will be impressed with the magic.

How good is FireGestures?  It has been downloaded over 4 million times…

FireGestures is a Firefox extension which enables you to execute various commands with five types of gestures:

  • Mouse Gestures (Move mouse with holding right-button)
  • Wheel Gestures (Scroll wheel with holding right-button)
  • Rocker Gestures (Left-click with holding right-button and vice versa)
  • Keypress Gestures (Mouse gesture with holding Ctrl / Shift key)
  • Tab Wheel Gestures (Scrolling wheel on the tab bar)

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#39)

December 2, 2009

Geek Squeaks’ is a weekly roundup of articles from the What’s On My PC blogroll community. This community is a compilation of over 40 blogs that share a common interest in bringing the latest in information technology to your desktop. If you have an interest in information technology, these blogs are the places to visit.

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thePC Security
Using Portable Web Browsers for Internet Security

Computer Too Slow
Windows Device Manager Explained

Crazy World of G
Burn It

Lifehacker
Do You Really Need More Than 4GB of RAM?

Rarst.net
UltraVNC – free solution for encrypted remote access

Tech-for Everyone
5 Tools to Prevent Laptop-Related Injuries and Eye Strain

AskBillFirst
Never forget to back up your files ever again.
Now it’s easy and automatic

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites – December Additions

AKS-Feel The Change
Manage USB Devices with USB Manager

Carol’s Vault
Can’t install WordPress plugins and themes via dashboard

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove RESpyWare

Plato On-Line
The Most Important Technological Artifact (200 B.C.)

GEEKed Up
Ensure Privacy When Using Google Chrome

Evilfantasy’s Blog
Explore as Administrator PowerToy

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition – Knocks Malware DEAD!

TTC Shelbyville
Stop and Encrypt Your Flashdrives

The Abbey Rose
How’s Your Password?

I Love Free Software
OnlineFamily: Manage and Monitor Online Activities of Kids

Technize
Make Windows 7 Super Fast

Mrintech
How to Convert Any Photo into a Sketch?

Freeware Elite
Get to know updated websites real quick with Changedetection.com

Canadian Tech Blogger
CNET Top 5 Most Popular Products for December

Computer Maintenance
Windows Malware Remover tools and techniques

TuneUp Blog
Speed Up Games on Your Windows XP, Vista or 7 System (Part Three)

Freeware Pharmacy
WinMerge

What’s On My PC
Past Versions of Geek Squeaks’ of the Week

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