Monitor the Operating Status of Your PC from the Desktop

May 31, 2010

Here is a no frills (no install) status monitor, called Desktop Info, that is useful if you are into monitoring the operating status of your PC (e.g. cpu usage, low disk space, network connectivity, memory usage, etc…). The status of your PC can be displayed on your desktop with little or no memory or cpu usage. For example, below is a screenshot from the desktop of my PC with Desktop Info running. When running, Desktop Info displays real-time information about the operation of your PC on your desktop with a transparent background. This app could be most useful if you are running numerous PCs (or server farm) to visually identify the operating status of your equipment.

Desktop Info

Once Desktop Info is running on your PC and displayed on the desktop, you can close it by right mouse clicking anywhere on top of the display info and by selecting quit on the menu. There are numerous options available to modify the output of information displayed by modifying the “ini” file that is in the same directory (or folder) as the application. I encourage you to read the read.me file that is included to learn all that you can do with this little app.

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FREE Utility to Manage Your Drives

May 29, 2010

If you are someone, like myself, and manage many different types of drives on your computer (e.g. external hard drives, flash drives, cd/dvd drives, memory card drives, etc…) then you may want to take a look at the utility called Drive Manager.

Drive Manager

Drive Manager is a very helpful program that will display every available drive on your computer system, the free space available on each drive and whether the drives are mounted or not.  If you are someone that moves from PC to PC, there is a portable version, as well.  I currently use this application to get an immediate summary of the drive space available on all of my drives.  Great little app for FREE!

Features:

  • % Free column.
  • Hard disk serial number
  • CD ROM Doors open + close.
  • Lock / Unlock CD ROM / DVD drives.
  • Not mounted drives listed in grey with disks not inserted.
  • Time and date.
  • Map / Disconnect network drives.
  • Hide / Unhide drives from explorer.
  • See drives which are hidden.
  • Drive properties dialog on right click.
  • Create / Remove a substitute drive letter for a local folder.
  • Hidden drives displayed in blue.
  • Launch Windows Search
  • Drives with less than 5% available are displayed in red.
  • Vendor details: Vendor Name, Product Id, Revision, Vendor Spec

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Tech-for Everyone – The One Million Mark

May 29, 2010

Tech Paul, the genius behind the blog called Tech-for Everyone, just surpassed the one million mark for visitors. This is a major accomplishment for a blogger. I personally offer my congratulations!

Tech-for Everyone

To my visitors, please bookmark and visit Tech Paul’s site [ HERE ] as a show of continued support. I communicate on a daily visit with this man and I can tell you he is a class act. His blog is a secondary job (that he receives no compensation for) to his primary profession of being a CompTIA Certified Computer Tech for his private owned business called Aplus Computer Aid.

APlus Computer Aid

Not only am I encouraging you to visit his blog (Tech-for Everyone), I also encourage you to look him up at Aplus Computer Aid where he offers affordable and friendly services via remote control over the web, or over the phone.

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Feed it to VideoLan (VLC)

May 28, 2010

Did you ever experience the situation where you have attempted to play an audio or video file on your computer and the format is not recognized and it will simply not play? As a result you become frustrated and start expending time, downloading plugins, codecs, etc. that often causes more harm than good.

The fix for this is VideoLan (aka: VLC). VideoLan is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework, that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols. To get a rundown of what formats VLC will play [click here] .

VideoLan

The “cool factor” to VLC is that you can also download a portable version to carry with you on your flash drive or as a quick fix in the event your regular media player will not play the file. I have been using VLC now for several years; and, as a result Windows Media Player has become a thing of the past.  It is not as glamorous as Media Player, but, who needs glamour.  You can, however, download skins [ HERE ] if you want to change the default appearance of VLC to something more glamorous…

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An Example of a Fraudulent Email

May 27, 2010

It never ceases to amaze me the degree that the cybercriminal will go to… This post appears rather lengthy; however, the content reflected is an actual email I received (in my Gmail) from the FBI; the Director himself.  Wow! Remember the recent article about “Common Sense – You Cannot Install This”? Here is a prime example where your common sense (I hope) should dictate.

Simply delete these emails and if for some reason your inner curiousity gets the best of you, for “God’s Sake” do not click on any links contained in the email. This particular type of email has been out there for some time and is not new; however, purpose of this article is to heighten your awareness.

To learn more about these types of scams and hoaxes, and to get real life examples, visit the FBI website “Investigative Programs – Cyber Investigations”.

Same Email Alert

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI.WASHINGTON DC.
WASHINGTON D.C ROOM,7367
J. EDGAR HOOVER FBI BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE,
NW WASHINGTON, DC 20535,RE: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SEEKING TO WIRETAP THE INTERNET

We hope this notification arrives meeting your good health and mind. We the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) Washington, DC in conjunction with some other relevant investigation agencies here in the United STATES of America have recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network that you are presently have a transaction going on with the CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) as regards to your over-due contract payment which was fully endorsed in your favor accordingly by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA.

It might interest you to know that we have taken our time in screening through this project as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have finally confirmed that your contract payment is 100% genuine and hitch free from all facets and of which you have the lawful right to claim your fund without any further delay. Having said all this, we will further advise that you go ahead in dealing with the central bank office accordingly as we will be monitoring all their activities with you as well as your correspondence at all levels.

We recently had a meeting with the Executive Governor in the person of Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi along with some of the top officials of the ministry regarding your case and they made sure we understand that your file has been held in abase depending on when you personally come for the claim. They also told us that the only problem they are facing right now is that some criminals are using this project as an avenue to scam innocent people.

We were also informed that another person has contacted them and she gave us proof of your claim prior to the release of your contract fund valued at about US$10,700,000.00 (Ten million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars), but the central bank office did the right thing by insisting on hearing from you personally before they go ahead on wiring your fund to the bank information which was forwarded to them by the above lady, so that was the main reason why they contacted us so as to assist them in making the investigations.

They further advised that we should warn our dear citizens who have contract payments which was awarded to them from the central bank of Nigeria to be very careful prior to these irregularities so that they do not fall victim to this ugly circumstance anymore. And should incase you are already dealing with anybody or office claiming to be from the central bank of Nigeria, you are to STOP further contact with them immediately in your best interest and contact the real office of the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) only with the below information’s accordingly:

NAME:  Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (Executive Governor Central Bank Of Nigeria)
OFFICE ADDRESS: Central Bank of Nigeria, Tinubu Square Tinubu
Lagos – Nigeria.
TEL: +234-7069329526
Email: enquiry.centbnkng @ officeliveusers.com

NOTE: In your best interest, any message that does not come from the above official email address with phone number should be nullified and voided immediately for security reasons. Meanwhile, we will advise that you contact the central bank office immediately with the above email address and request that they attend to your payment file as directed so as to enable you receive your contract fund accordingly.

Ensure you follow all directives from CBN as this will further help hasten up the whole payment process in regards to the transfer of your fund to you as designated. Also have in mind that the central bank of Nigeria equally have their own protocol of operation as stipulated on their banking terms. All modalities has already been worked out before you were contacted and note that we will be monitoring all your dealings with them as you proceed so you don’t have anything to worry about. All we require from you henceforth is an update so as to enable us be on track with you and the Central Bank of Nigeria. Without wasting much time, we will want you to contact them immediately with the above email address so as to enable them attend to your case accordingly without any further delay as time is already running out.

Should in case you need any more information in regards to this notification, feel free to get back to us via email so that we can brief you more as we are here to guide you during and after this project has been completely perfected and you have received your contract fund as stated.

Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation.

Best Regards,
ROBERT SWAN MUELLER III

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#61)

May 26, 2010

If you are someone who is scratching your head when it comes to information technology and computers, then you need to bookmark the sites listed below. These sites are members of the What’s On My PC blogroll community and are excellent computer learning resources. These bloggers work very hard to bring up-to-date and accurate content to the tech community.

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Scoroncocolo Tech Pages
Firefox Add-on NoScript

Plato Press
Class-Action Lawsuit Against Google

Laptop Reviews Central
HP Compaq Airlife 100 Smartbook
reviewed at last after long overdue release

TTC Shelbyville
Reclaim Your Privacy on FaceBook

404 Tech Support
Make Your Firefox Search Engine use Google’s
SSL (https) Search for Security Reasons

I Love Free Software
Download Microsoft Fix it Center – Fix PC Problems

Netbook Freeware
Quick Config: Easily Change Netbook Settings Instantly

Worthy Tips
Gmail under phishing attack – Alert: Finalization

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
Recovering from Viruses, Worms, and Trojan Horses

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Who will win the Freeview HD PVR race?

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Who are you going to call? Mythbusters!

Canadian Tech Blogger
Google Reveals Google TV

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites May 25

AskBillFirst
Legal experts: LimeWire likely doomed
| Media Maverick – CNET News

Tech-for Everyone
Software License Giveaway: NOD32 Antivirus 4

Sugarloaf Tech
Does your Mac have an excessively loud fan noise?

Rarst.net
How to categorize RSS feeds for best experience

Lifehacker
Fix the Web’s Biggest Annoyances with Google Chrome

Crazy World of G
Go Away

thePC Security
iPhone 4G Scam on Twitter

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove Win Antispyware Center

Evilfantasy’s Blog
ReclaimPrivacy.org – Facebook Privacy Scanner

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
License Giveaway –
SYNCING.NET Business Edition, 12 Free Licenses

Right On Technology
Google Facial Recognition Technology Too Nosy?

What’s On My PC
An Easy Way To Remote Into Another PC

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NOD32 Antivirus 4 License Giveaway at Tech-for Everyone

May 24, 2010

My good friend TechPaul, at Tech-for Everyone, contacted me today to let me know that he will be conducting a drawing to giveaway (10)-ten licenses for the award winning NOD32 Antivirus 4.

nod32_antivirus_4

You might not have heard of Eset or NOD32, but it has quietly been around, and winning awards, since the early 90′s (the days of DOS). For the last year, I have been using it as my primary anti-malware defense on my principle machine and I have not been disappointed. This Internet security tool passed my every test and I recommend it; and I do so to folks of any skill level. – Tech-for Everyone.

Folks, this is an excellent opportunity to possibly get your hands on some great antivirus software. To enter the drawing, simply click [HERE], and at the bottom of the article “Software License Giveaway: NOD32 Antivirus 4”, “Leave A Comment” and enter a name and valid e-mail address. The contest will end midnight Thursday, May 27th, and the winners announced Friday. Good Luck; and while you are there, give a big “Thank You” to TechPaul!

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A FREE 3D Game of Yahtzee

May 23, 2010

If you are looking for a game to play on your computer to pass the time away, then checkout (download) the FREE game of Yahtzee123. The dice in this game are in 3D and use real physics to mimic real dice rolls.  Sound effects included…

Yahtzee123 is the computer version of the popular dice game ‘Yahtzee’, in which the aim is to score as many points as possible by rolling different combinations.

Tips: Left mouse click on dice to hold them.  If you click on the right side of the Yatzee123 screen, the scoreboard will appear.  Hit “ESC” on the keyboard to exit to the main menu.

Main Menu

System Requirements
(will play on most modern day PC’s)

Processor: 1 Ghz or faster
RAM: 128MB or more
HD: 18MB
Graphics Card: 16MB or more (Pixel shader compatible card required for shader shadows option)
Direct X: 9.0c or higher

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YOU NEED TO KNOW: Beware of Digital Photocopiers

May 21, 2010

I just read an article at 404 Tech Support that is very important and is something YOU NEED TO KNOW!  The article, “Photocopiers, an Identity Theft Goldmine” (with an informational video) really caught my attention.  With my background in IT and computers, the article made me come up with my own spin on all of this.

The reason the article caught my attention, and believe me I am very security conscious, is that I recently went to a local business establishment to make copies of important documents that contained sensitive information in regards to my privacy. I never once thought about whether my privacy or information could be compromised by using a copy machine. Like most people, my priority at the time was that I needed the copies to meet a timeline.

Folks, after reading the article at 404 Tech Support (and watching the video) be wary of digital photo copiers. If you use a public outlet to make copies, I would be questioning their security practices and ask “Is this a digital copier?” and if it is, ask “What are you doing to protect my privacy?”

YOU NEED TO KNOW: that many of the modern digital photocopiers have a built in hard drive that has the ability to harvest (and store) the documents you copy; that the documents you copy can literally be archived on that hard drive for a very, very, long time; that the documents you copy could literally be reproduced (stolen) and sold; that many photocopiers can now be connected to a network and data can be moved to/from the copier; that your copied documents could be at risk if the copier is moved to another location or sold…

Believe me, if you read the article at 404 Tech Support and follow the links, you will think twice about making those personal copies at work that you are not supposed to be making…

Am I being too parenoid?  Let me know…  Comments are always welcomed!

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Chain Emails – Your Urban Legend Resource

May 21, 2010

When it comes to chain emails, I can spot the false ones the second I receive them. As a matter of fact, it is pretty easy to do. They are all false and/or are a mixture of what I call “hybrid truths” (partial truths). The solution; read them, research them, and then delete them. During wars it was not uncommon for planes to fly over enemy territory and drop leaflets of propaganda as a form of psychological warfare to influence a population’s way of thinking or to incite fear. Chain emails is just the modern version of airborne leaflet propaganda that is predominantly littered with wishful lies and maligned thoughts. You have heard it here before, “believe nothing and verify everything”.

For example, I received this in my inbox of Sarah Palin sporting her patriotism, showing up at a redneck shooting range to demonstrate her ability to pick off Yahoo email hackers at a hundred yards. Is this true? If it is, I’m voting for her…

Not pictured: genuine ridiculousness

To keep you up to date on the hottest urban legends that you will typically see circulating, check out Snopes – 25 Hottest Urban Legends and you will particularly like Snopes – What’s New.

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Common Sense – You Cannot Install This

May 20, 2010

Of all of the layers of security software that I have installed on my PC, common sense is not engineered in any of them. That layer of protection is up to you…

Common Sense – You can not install this… I have found that if your gut says “beware”; then follow your gut. Also, I am not an advocate of social sites, porn sites, pirating sites, etc…. If it is something that violates morality; believe me, you will be victimized. “Where the people gather, the cybercriminals prey”. Please use common sense!

I was reminded of that statement by the author of Plato Press. I did not even realize I had written it; but somehow it must have stuck and it sure looked good (to me) when I read it as a quote, over a year later after I had drafted the article “FREE Layers of Protection”. Really made my day when a fellow blogger threw that back at me. Thank you Plato Press

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Use Your Google Account to Sync Your Chrome Bookmarks

May 20, 2010

If you currently have a Google account and you use the Google Chrome browser, did you know you can activate an option in Chrome that will, in essence, store (and backup) your bookmarks online? As a matter of fact, those stored bookmarks will show up in Google Docs, making your bookmarks available anywhere that you have internet access. I typically get to Google Docs though my Gmail account. When I open Gmail you will see “Documents” at the top left corner of the screen, just above the GMail logo. The “cool factor” to this feature in Google Chrome is that once you activate the bookmark sync option on each computer that you have Chrome installed, your bookmarks are automatically kept up to date on each computer. Of course you have to activate (turn on) the sync option in Chrome on each computer that you have Chrome installed.

For example, I use Google Chrome on (3)-three different computers (that I own). I have the bookmark sync feature turned “on”, in Google Chrome, at each of those computers. As a result, my bookmarks are automatically (and instantly) kept up to date (the same) on each computer (when any bookmarks are added, deleted or changed). In cases where I am using another computer (like my work computer) and I need to get to my bookmarks, I log into my GMail account and go to Google Docs to get to my bookmarks.

So how do you activate this feature in Google Chrome:

To enable bookmark sync, follow these steps on each computer that you’ll be using to access your bookmarks:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Click the Tools menu tools menu.
  3. Select Synchronize my bookmarks.
  4. Sign in to your Google Account in the dialog that appears. (Don’t have an account? Learn how to create one)
  5. If you’ve already enabled the sync feature on another computer, you’ll see a prompt asking you to confirm that your different sets of bookmarks should be merged together. Click Merge and sync to finish the syncing process.
  6. Click OK.

You can enable sync on as many computers as you’d like.

Video on How To Activate Bookmark Sync in Google Chrome

image


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A Super Downloadable Collection of Windows 7 Shortcuts

May 19, 2010

Here is something that I really, really liked that is a nice addition to my flash drive and to my Windows 7 computer… The web site “7Tutorials” has put out there a downloadable compilation of over 100 Windows 7 shortcuts. The shortcuts have been organized into folders, in such a manner, that you can readily find what you may be looking for very quickly; faster than all the clicks you would typically make using the Start Menu; faster than the time it takes to remember where it is and what it is you are looking for…

image

I love stuff like this and wonder why I did not think of doing something like this myself. The “cool factor” to this is that I can add to, and even customize this (with other techie shortcuts). For example, I have added the “Windows 7 God Mode” folder (with shortcuts) to this collection on my PC (don’t know how it would work from the flash drive on another PC)”.

Another tool for that tech toolbox… The shortcuts are bundled in a zip file and can be downloaded from [ HERE ]. You will find the download link at the bottom of the 7Tutorials web page.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#60)

May 19, 2010

If you are a member of the What’s On My PC blogroll and you posted an article within the past 7 days, expect to see a link to your blog on Geek Squeaks’.  It is my way of saying “Thank You” to my fellow bloggers; AND, my way of visiting each and every blog to read the “best of the best”!

computericon

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Life in the Trenches –
Never Assume Anything When it Comes to Computer Security

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
Cool Stuff On The Net

TTC Shelbyville
Google Voice for Students

404 Tech Support
Product Review: HP MultiSeat

Netbook Freeware
Advanced Uninstaller – Best Free Uninstaller for Netbook

Worthy Tips
SuperbarMonitor: A portable CPU, Battery,
Disk, Memory monitoring system

I Love Free Software
Folder Marker – Freeware to Change Folder Icon and Color

Canadian Tech Blogger
OpenDNS Suffers DDoS Attack

Internet Security Review
Komodo Dragon Browser Review

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Has Facebook become too big for it’s boots?

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Styling Windows Vista (Part 1): Give Your OS a Facelift with a New Boot Screen

Free PC Security
GeSWall Test

AskBillFirst
Laptop Scandal School’s Own Law Firm: Aside From Those 58,000 Spy Photos, There’s No Evidence Of Spying | Techdirt

Tech-for Everyone
5 Tips For Internet Safety

Rarst.net
PSU calculator – online app to compute PC’s wattage

Lifehacker
Turn a Suction Cup into a Phone Stand

Crazy World of G
Crow Saves An Eagle

thePC Security
How to View HTML Code of a Web Page Without Opening it

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove System Armor

Plato Press
Facebook ‘Friend’ Murders Teener

What’s On My PC
Free Layer’s of Protection

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Play 12 Holes of AdverPutt

May 17, 2010

If you like to play putt putt golf (or mini golf) then you will love the online 12 hole version of AdverPutt. Simply visit the AdverPutt web site [ HERE ] AND use your mouse to aim and adjust the power of each putt.  Sound effects included…

image

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