Welcome to Geek Squeaks’; your weekly roundup of tech articles produced by the members of the What’s On My PC blogroll community. I think you will find that there is something here for everyone!
Since 2005, YouTube (owned by Google) has become the common household name for online video sharing… I do not know how many videos are currently available on YouTube, but it has to be in the millions.
Have you ever watched a YouTube video and wished you could save it to play on your computer; or play it on your iPod or Mobile Phone? It is possible with YouTube Downloader.
- Simply enter the URL (web address) of the video.
- Select Download Options (to select the video quality and the default download folder)
- Click “OK” and the wait for the video to download.
- If you desire to convert the video you downloaded, then select “Convert Video (previously downloaded) from file” and then select the video format you desire to convert to.
It allows you to convert downloaded videos for Ipod, Iphone, PSP, Cell Phone, Windows Media, XVid and MP3.
Now, the really “cool factor” with YouTube Downloader is that it will also work with numerous other video site providers (such as Google, Bing, Break, Daily Motion, ESPN, etc….).You can see the whole list [HERE] . The popularity of YouTube Downloader speaks for itself. It has been downloaded over 37 million times at Cnet.
To get YouTube Downloader, [ CLICK HERE ]
I was combing the web site of YL Software, the developers of the popular utility suite, WinUtilities and came across a page where you can acquire the license and registration code for the professional version of WinUtilites for FREE [ link ] . Typically this software is priced at $49.99 and is currently being offered for FREE through Softpedia. If interested, take advantage of this FREE offer as soon as possible, before it disappears.
When you visit the download site, I suggest you scroll down the page to where you see “Step 2”. At this point, write down the license and registration information. After you have accomplished that task, scroll back up to “Step 1” and click on the “Softpedia” download button to be redirected to the Softpedia download location. After you install Winutilities you will reach a point where you will enter the license & registration information to make the software fully functional.
What is WinUtilities?
WinUtilities Pro is an award winning collection of tools to optimize and speedup your system performance. this suite contains utilities to clean registry, temporary files on your disks, erase your application and internet browser history, cache and cookies. it also supports to defragment your disk drives and improve computer performance and stability. built-in StartUp Cleaner allows you to control startup programs that load automatically with windows, find duplicate files, fix broken shortcuts and uninstall unneeded software. other features include secure file deletion, recycle bin shredding, system maintenance tasks scheduling and undelete deleted files.
The “cool factor” to this software is that there is a “1 Click Maintenance” function built in that enables you to perform typical maintenance on your PC. There are also rescue (restore) options built into the various modules in the event something inadvertently goes bump in the night.
Are we endorsing the legitimacy of pornography by providing the industry their own “red light district” (top level domain) on the internet? Will this make pornography more prevalent online? Will this lead to online regulation of pornography?
A “What’s On My PC” Web Clip!
Porn sites get their own domain: ‘.xxx’
By Stephanie Goldberg, Special to CNN
June 25, 2010 2:42 p.m. EDT
On Friday, ICANN, the not-for-profit corporation that coordinates the internet’s naming system, voted to allow the application of the controversial “.xxx” top-level domain name for sites that display adult content.
The domain, which would need further approval before going live on the internet, would be applied to adult entertainment sites just as “.com” is now. (more…)
Did you know that Americans spend an average of 60 hours per month online? If you took 60 hours x 12 months that is equivalent to 720 hours. Divide that 720 hours by 24 hours and we have 30 days that we Americans are online, per year… That is one month a year, on average, we are sitting behind that computer screen.
This and other stats are from an interesting post, at Visual Economics, about “How The World Spends Its Time Online” … These surprising usage statistics are statistics from Nielsen and Pew Research Center. Visual Economics has taken the stats and posted them in a very snazzy poster type interface [ HERE ] .
When I am on other PC’s, other than my own, I like making observations of such things like how the person keeps their Windows desktop organized or what their home page is in their web browser. As a techie type person these simple observations act as a gauge and tell me a lot about the person or person(s) behind that computer.
I have found that a great majority of people when they get a new computer will very seldom change or mix-up their selection for their web browser homepage. They usually will have the home page set to their internet service provider’s web site thinking it is a requirement of the provider. Folks, far, far, far from the truth… You can set that homepage to whatever web site you desire. As a matter of fact, in any of the popular browsers, you can have an array of sites (more than one page) load when you start your browser. Folks, it is time to get out of that browser home page rut and start mixing it up…
How would you like to have a home page where you can add your own favorite sites and at the same time have access to categorized links (already configured for you) to the most popular sites on the internet? It is possible by using AllMyFaves. As a matter of fact, once you signup at AllMyFaves, add your own favorites, you can then share your page with your friends at your very own web link.
The last time I did a review on AllMyFaves, the option to add your own favorite sites, was not available. As a matter of fact, I was very excited to see this option. This tells me that the developers are listening to the users and bringing AllMyFaves to the cloud computing level (which is the future).
AllMyFaves is a free-for-all, comprehensive home page that offers an original approach to exploring the Internet. Instead of, say, typing a key search word into the text box of a search engine, AllMyFaves has already organized all the topics and information that are available on the web in a form of a list of categories and logos. This way, AllMyFaves is actually a simple and efficient visual directory of the Internet.
In addition to the option of adding your own favorite sites, you will see links to Weekly Faves and Weekly Games. The Weekly Faves are updated every Monday and the Weekly Games are updated every Wednesday.
AllMyFaves – What more could you ask for in a home page? To learn more about and sign up for this FREE service, I encourage you visit, AllMyFaves [ HERE ] . If you need a visual on how to add your own sites to your AllMyFaves home page, click [ HERE ] to watch the video.
Spend some of your hot summer day, in the cool, reading Geek Squeaks’. If you have an interest in computers and information technology or you just want to learn something NEW, then these sites is where it is at.
As a result of posting a recent article about “FREE High Resolution Wallpapers”, I was introduced to a fellow WordPress blogger that specializes in nothing but Wallpaper Backgrounds. The blog is called, you got it, Awesome Wallpapers. Now here is the “cool factors” about Awesome Wallpapers. The site owner loves collecting wallpapers (has about 14000 of them) and; get this, the site owner has been engaged in computers for approximately 8 years and is a young whipper snapper (14 to 15 years old). The blog also specializes in Firefox Addons, Sites & Software, and Wallpaper Utilities.
As a result of being impressed with Awesome Wallpapers, and the professional attitude of this young whipper snapper, I subsequently contacted the him and managed a link exchange. Awesome Wallpapers has become the newest additon to the What’s On My PC blogroll (at the right side of the blog). Welcome aboard!
Have you ever noticed that the longer you own your PC the longer it takes for it to startup (or boot)?
A common complaint from computer users, especially home-based users, is that their computer is slow to startup and does not boot like it did when they first purchased (and installed) it. During the ownership of our PC we are constantly installing software, and as a result many of these software applications take a place in the startup routine of the computer. The startup place that the apps reside is often for purposes of performing automatic updates or to provide a convenient launching point for the application (such as the system tray) or it is an application (or Windows Service) that simply runs in the background while you are performing other tasks on your PC. I have personally witnessed another scenario where computer users attempted to remove applications from their PC only to find that residual files are left over (after the uninstall) that is still attempting to startup when the computer boots. Over a period of time this accumulation causes the computer to startup slow and often robs the computer of system resources, resulting in increased memory and cpu (processor) usage.
If you are techie enough, you can try to dissect the numerous (yes there are more than one) startup points on your PC to regain some of the power back; however, you will soon find out it can be frustrating experience.
To help us solve this problem, I ran across a wonderful software application, called Soluto – Anti Frustration Software, that measures your startup time as soon as the Windows Logo screen is displayed. Soluto is geared toward the non-techie type, is very appealing in appearance, and is very easy to use. Soluto is currently in beta (software testing stage); however, during my testing on my Windows 7 based PC, it performed without a hitch.
After you install Soluto, you will be prompted to reboot (restart) your computer. This is where Soluto goes to work in analyzing and actually timing how long it takes your PC to startup. Following the analysis you will be provided with a very nice graphical interface where Soluto will help you determine what apps (and/or services) are slowing down your PC, what apps you can pause or remove (called no-brainers), what apps you can delay starting up (will eventually start when the computer is idle), and, what apps are safe to play around with and which ones are not. If you mess up, you can return or restore an application back into the startup routine. To see a video of Soluto in action, click [ HERE ] . Typically, most Windows services will identified by Soluto as “cannot be removed” and will even tell what purpose the service provides.
In my testing of Soluto, I went from a 2 minute and 30 second startup time, to a 1 minute and 31 second startup time by simply pausing and delaying a few apps that Soluto told me was safe to do so.
If you choose to Pause an application it means it will be removed from the boot sequence and in order to run it, you must launch it manually. Choosing to Delay an application means it will be removed from the boot sequence, and will run automatically after the boot is over, during an idle moment. Pausing an application provides value beyond the boot, and improves your ongoing PC experience, since Paused applications do not run in the background and do not occupy PC resources. Delaying an application, on the other hand, will only shorten your boot time and not improve your ongoing experience. In general, it is advisable to Pause applications that you don’t use on a daily basis, and Delay those that you do.. If you’re not sure, choose Delay. If you see that you’re barely using an application, you can always choose to Pause it later.
I can also see this app being used on my PC to help me visually detect a potential malware concern. Speaking of malware, this app must have potential… The cybercriminals are already posting “fake” Soluto programs out there. Do not fall for this tactic. Only download Soluto from their web site [ HERE ] .
Minimum requirements to run Soluto Beta are:
- 512MB of Memory (RAM) and above
- 500MB of free disk space (Soluto Beta takes up approximately 20MBs; the rest is required for the proper operation of the Microsoft .NET Framework. Please see the Microsoft .Net Framework Minimal System Requirements for more information.) Operating System – Windows XP (SP2 and above) / Windows Vista / Windows 7
- Not Supported: Windows Server 2003 and 2008
- Administrator User – The application must be installed using an Administrator account.
There are those occasions where sending large files via email just does not cut it. As a matter of fact many ISP providers will limit file sizes when it comes to email attachments to prevent bogging down the servers.
One solution that I have been using that does not require any special software or an account registration (or log in) is a cloud based service called WeTransfer .
With WeTransfer you can send up to a 2 GB file and while the transfer is taking place you are entertained with an ever changing and mesmerizing background. As a matter of fact, WeTransfer is labelled as one of the sexiest file transfer services around. Your transferred file will remain on their server for a period of 2 weeks and after that 2 weeks it is permanently deleted. You can send up to 20 people per session. When you send a file, the recipient will receive an email of where to download the file; and, you the sender of the file will receive an email when the recipient has completed the download. According to the site, all emails and files are private; however, if you do have concern I suggest encrypting the file.
WeTransfer your videos, music, photo albums or documents to friends and colleagues. We support all filetypes.
Like its competitors, the company relies on advertising for revenues. But instead of running questionable banner ads, WeTransfer sells wallpaper advertising—those pretty pictures in the background. Since WeTransfer’s own interface is minimal, that leaves a lot of space for a sponsor’s brand.
So if you are in a pinch and need to send a large file, WeTransfer is a good one to try!
Locating desktop wallpaper on the internet to spruce up your computer’s desktop background can actually be a dangerous adventure that can lead to a malware experience that you do not need. Wallpaper and screensaver sites are common habitats for malware and you really do need to be careful. Another issue that you may run into is that a wallpaper you download may not match your screen resolution, thus creating a frustration experience.
Today, I want to tell you about a wallpaper site that I use, called InterfaceLIFT that is not only safe, but provides a great collection of high resolution wallpapers.
The “cool factor” to InterfaceLIFT is that when you visit the site your screen resolution is automatically detected so that when you select your desired wallpaper, it is a perfect fit. You can also sort the wallpapers by date, downloads, ratings, etc… to help you make your decision. There are also a nice collection of icons on the site, as well.
There are many wallpaper sites out there. I would be interested in hearing about any other wallpaper sites that you would recommend. You can make your recommendation(s) by leaving a comment below.
If you been following the tech blogs, there has been a lot of talk about DNS (Domain Naming System) and which DNS nameserver settings to use that will ultimately optimize and make your internet experience faster and safer. For example, instead of using my internet service provider’s default DNS settings, I have opted to the DNS settings from a provider called OpenDNS. OpenDNS is claimed to be faster than your provider’s DNS and has the ability to filter out the bad content, when properly setup. There are other popular DNS services such as Norton DNS and Google DNS.
Why does DNS matter?
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. – Google
Changing your DNS settings is very easy to do and is not complicated at all. Once you decide which DNS provider to go with it is a matter of inserting a set of numbers at the computer level (under your Network Connections) or you can actually do it at the router level. Instead of rewriting those instructions on “how to”; best instructions I have found on how to change your DNS is reflected in Bill Mullin’s recently posted article “Norton DNS – Another Layer of Computer Security“. Those same instructions (found toward the end of the article) will apply to using any of the DNS providers.
Once you get a general understanding about DNS and what all the fuss is about, you are probably wondering how do you benefit from changing your DNS settings and which DNS provider is best? One tool to help you benchmark the various DNS providers (or servers), AND answer these questions, is the small (154K) portable tool called DNS Benchmark.
“You can’t optimize it until you can measure it”
Now you CAN measure it!
DNS Benchmark – This little puppy will help you determine your DNS performance by comparing (or benchmarking) your performance with other DNS nameservers. What you will learn is it is all about location; where you are located relative to the DNS nameserver you are using.
GRC’s DNS Benchmark performs a detailed analysis and comparison of the operational performance and reliability of any set of up to 200 DNS nameservers (sometimes also calledresolvers) at once. When the Benchmark is started in its default configuration, it identifies all DNS nameservers the user’s system is currently configured to use and adds them to its built-in list of publicly available “alternative” nameservers. Each DNS nameserver in the benchmark list is carefully “characterized” to determine its suitability — to you — for your use as a DNS resolver. This characterization includes testing each nameserver for its “redirection” behavior: whether it returns an error for a bad domain request, or redirects a user’s web browser to a commercial marketing-oriented page. While such behavior may be acceptable to some users, others may find this objectionable.
In my testing, using DNS Benchmark, I found that OpenDNS, from my geographical location, was top dog and utimately made a noticeable difference in my browser page loads. Remember DNS is like a phonebook. Everytime you visit a website in your browser, your computer performs a DNS lookup using the DNS provider that you have selected. It really does make a difference!
Other interesting articles about DNS:
Where does the week go? It is time for another round of Geek Squeaks’; a premier listing of tech links to articles that are crafted by the members of the What’s On My PC blogroll. If you are into information technology and computers, then it is highly recommended that you bookmark and follow these sites. I will guarantee you that you will walk away learning something that you did not know. For example, pictured is the ultimate tech beach chair to kick back and read Geek Squeaks’…
When you have a chance to grab good commercial grade software for FREE, I say go for it… A blogging partner, My Technology Guide, currently is offering a chance to win 2 free licenses of Handy Backup Professional absolutely FREE. Usually the license costs $99 but you have a chance to get it FREE!
To enter this contest:
1. Subscribe to My Technology Guide Newsletter which is FREE. You can subscribe to it using the Subscribe form given in the sidebar or using following direct link:
P.S. Don’t forget to confirm your subscription by clicking on the verification email sent from Feedburner when you subscribe. If your subscription is incomplete and not confirmed you will not be eligible for the giveaway.
2. Leave a comment… While leaving your comment, make sure to use the same email address which you registered for My Technology Guide email newsletter, otherwise you won’t be eligible for the giveaway.
The winner will be randomly picked and announced onJune 25th, 2010.
Handy Backup™ Professional is a powerful backup solution for advanced PC users and small businesses with Microsoft Windows®-based IT-infrastructures. It provides a range of security and business-critical features. You can read more about Handy Backup Professional [HERE] .