Play Mahjong Solitaire All Day Long Online for FREE

March 30, 2011

Mahjong, an ancient game that originated in China, has long been one of my most favorite games on the computer since the inception of the computer.  I can remember years ago when I first got into computers, finding a good software driven Mahjong game was a big deal.  Especially when the Mahjong tiles became more 3D in appearance.

Recently I went on the hunt on the internet to see if I could find a decent online version of Mahjong.  I hit the jackpot when I found 247 Mahjong [CLICK HERE] .

247 Mahjong

247 Mahjong is an Adobe Flash based game that you can play directly in your web browser (no software install required). 247 Mahjong features sounds, background music, a timer and 8 different tile sets to select from.

To Play Mahjong: Mahjong Solitaire is a tile matching puzzle game. You may click on any “free” tiles (those that are on the edge) to select them, and match them with other free tiles with the same face to eliminate them from the board. Beat Mahjong by eliminating all tiles.

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Download FREE Microsoft Office Training Manuals and Quick Reference Guides

March 28, 2011

I would venture to say if you are working in a business, government or educational environment you are using the Microsoft Office Suite of applications (such as Word, Excel, Access and Powerpoint) to get the job done.

Microsoft Office

Most people only know the basics of this powerful Office Suite and only challenge themselves to learn more when the the environment they are working in demands its. Any edge you can get to make your job easier, with Microsoft Office, can pay dividends in the end; not only for you, but for those you are working for.

To gain an edge with Microsoft Office, it is like anything else; you have learn it.  If you are currently looking for a resource (for FREE) that may help you get that edge, then visit the The Mouse Training Company [CLICK HERE] and check out the FREE Microsoft Office Quick Reference Guides and Training Manuals you can download. When to get to the site, slightly scroll down the page until you see the guides and manuals.  The manuals and reference guides are in the PDF file format.

The Mouse Training Company is a London based compapny that specializes in customized training solutions for its’ clients.

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Typical Sounds A Hard Drive Will Make When Failing

March 27, 2011

During all my years of working around PC’s I have learned to not only monitor for the visual cues of the onset of problems; but to also monitor for the audio cues, as well.  For example, if I am assisting someone on a PC that may be experiencing problems, I am lost if there is not a hard drive LED light to monitor the activity of the hard drive.

Just this past week, and I plan to elaborate further in another article, I assisted someone with removing data from a hard drive that was diagnosed by a computer tech as being dead. When I got hold of the drive, I performed an old (and very questionable trick), to get the drive to spin up; and, performed a little known desperation move to actually retrieve the data.

Hard Drive Failure

Again, that is another story, but there was a very noticeable sound when I fired this drive up. It was a sound, based on my experience of being around PCs, that definitely was not good. The drive was emitting a periodic clunking noise which indicated a problem with the head mechanism in the drive. Believe me, I am no tech expert, but when I heard that sound I knew the drive was on the verge of death.

It is easy for me to describe the sound, but what are the typical sounds a hard drive will make when failing?

To give you an idea of how a hard drive actually sounds when it is failing, I encourage you to visit the web site Data Cent. They have actually recorded the sounds of failing hard drives, from a variety of manufacturers (such as Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, Samsung, Hitachi/IBM, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and Quantum).

If you are someone that is working toward becoming a computer tech, I encourage you to visit the Data Cent site [ HERE ] to hear the excruciating pains being emitted from these hard drives. When you get to the site, turn up your speakers and click on the small arrows to hear the sounds. Once you hear those sounds, you will not forget them…

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Wallpaper of the Week (#10)

March 27, 2011

This week’s featured wallpaper is a wallpaper with a lot of color in it.  It is called Paint Dancers (by `JurgenDoe).

To get this wallpaper, click on the image below and you will be taken directly to the source. To take a look at wallpaper backgrounds from the previous weeks, [ CLICK HERE ] .

image

Need wallpaper software to show off your wallpaper collection? Try one of these:

John’s Background Switcher

Walyk Wallpaper Changer

Wallpaper Updater

Windows 7 Users: If you are using Windows 7, did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [ CLICK HERE ] .

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Putting Your Computer to Sleep

March 26, 2011

Typically, I turn my PC “on” in the morning and “off” at night; however, during the day when I am not at the PC I will put it to “Sleep”.

To put your computer to sleep, click the Power button on the Start menu or click the arrow next to the Lock button Picture of the Lock button.

image

“Sleep” is a power saving mode that the computer will go into where all current computer activity is paused. Your computer will appear that it is “off” when in sleep mode.

Prior to going into “Sleep” mode the computer saves all open documents and programs to memory so that when you come out of “Sleep” mode, all is the way that had left it.  I do recommend that if you are working on something important that you manually save the document instead of relying on the computer to retain the last saved version of the document (in case a power outage would occur).

The reason I prefer using the “Sleep” mode during my computer idle time, is that I can rapidly resume working by either pressing the “Power Button” on my PC, moving the mouse or  by tapping a key on the keyboard (usually the spacebar).  I don’t have to wait for the computer to boot up when coming out of “Sleep” mode.

Added note is that many PC’s are already configured, through the computer’s power management configuration, to automatically go into “Sleep” after a period of inactivity.  Many notebook PC’s will also go to “Sleep” when the lid is closed and will resume when the lid is opened.

So the next time you are working on your PC and you step away to take a nap, simply give your computer some nap time as well, by using the “Sleep” mode.

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Off Topic: People Are Awesome Video

March 25, 2011

Check this 5 minute video out of people doing incredibly unbelievable stunts.  Thanks to LiveWire for bringing this video to my attention.

Which stunt in the video is your favorite?

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How to Zoom In and Zoom Out a Browser Window

March 24, 2011

This is actually a repost; however, it contains a couple of browser tips that you can’t post enough.  If you don’t use it, you will lose it!

Have you ever visited a web site where the text size is to small to read or you are finding that your eyesight (like mine) is going downhill, and reading certain elements varies from page to page?

Here is a “little known and little used” computer tip for you internet users… By holding down the “Ctrl” key and moving your “mouse scroll wheel” you can “zoom in and zoom out” on a web page.  You can also do the same thing, without using the mouse or “Ctrl” key, by hitting the “+” (plus) and “-” (minus) keys on the numeric keypad, located on the right side of your keyboard.  Give it a try! It will not permanently change any default settings. If you find that you need to return to the normal default (original) setting, simply hold down the “CTRL” key and hit “0” (the number zero). This works in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and probably all of the browsers.  Give it a try!

Mouse Wheel to Zoom In and Zoom Out

The “zoom in and zoom out” tip, using the “Ctrl and Mouse Wheel” will also work with other applications as well, with varying results (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, many graphic viewers/editors, pdf readers, etc…).  For example, in Microsoft Word, when working on a mult-page document, you can “zoom out” to the point that it will tile (show all) your pages on the screen.

Added Tip: Was helping someone today on a small computer screen complete a task online in their web browser and toggled to full screen. They were astonished and asked “How did you do that?”.  Simply hit “F11” on your keyboard to toggle back and forth from full and normal screen.

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Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.

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Where to Shop for Computers, Computer Parts, Accessories, Electronics and Other IT Products…

March 24, 2011

Been a little under the weather this week; however, the upside is that it gave me time to research and shop for some tech items for my Church. While I was doing the research it dawned on me that most people I know do not know where the geek shops are online. I am often asked, “Where can I shop online for Computers, Computer Parts, Accessories, Electronics and Other IT Products?”…

Shopping

I could just refer them directly to a specific manufacturer; however, I want them to have a learning experience. I will often refer them to a company that specializes in a broad range of products.  The list below is pretty much my knock down list; however, if there is one not reflected; PLEASE, by all means share it with us AND I will considering adding it to the list.

Newegg.com

TigerDirect.com

CompUSA

BestBuy

CDW

MicroCenter

Frys.com

Amazon.com

PCMall
(businesses/govt)

Cyberguys

Directron.com

Staples

OfficeMax

Readers ADDED the following
(be sure to check back):

ZipZoomfly

mwave

Crucial (Memory)

Battery-Biz

Pricewatch

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Monitor Firefox 4.0 Downloads in Real-Time

March 22, 2011

I thought this was pretty cool…  Mozilla has a site up where you can monitor, in real-time, the download stats of the recently released Firefox 4.0 [CLICK HERE] . The site is powered by SQLstream .

Firefox Download Stats

Interested in alternative browser other than Internet Explorer? Then take a look at Firefox 4.0 .  Good stuff!

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A Very Fast Disk Space Usage Analyzer

March 22, 2011

Ever wonder how much free disk space you have left on your computer? I am talking about the free space available on your hard disk to store files (such as photos, music, documents, etc.).

If you are the everyday casual computer user and primarily spend your computer time on the internet, I venture to say you have a ton of free disk space available and most likely will never run out; however, if you are a computer user that saves everything from videos, movies, photos, documents, etc… then you may find that your disk space is shrinking rapidly.  The problem is that most people are totally unaware of the capacity of their hard drives and how that relates to file storage.

A nice application to help you gauge where you are at in terms of disk space and to tell you where your disk space is being consumed is the FREE utility called RidNacs .

image

With RidNacs you can scan and analyze individual drives and folders to get a graphical bar percentage result of where the diskspace hogs are located; even down to the individual files. You can even export and print the results for future comparative analysis.

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Did you know your smartphone photos may be giving away your location?

March 21, 2011

GeotaggingIf you are in the habit of taking photos with your smartphone and posting them online, you may be giving away your location. Embedded in those photos, not visible to the naked eye, are what are called geotags. Geotags identify the longitude and lattitude coordinates (and other detailed information) that can easily be uncovered with readily available software on the internet.

A geotagged photograph is a photograph which is associated with a geographical location by geotagging. Usually this is done by assigning at least alatitude and longitude to the image, and optionally altitude, compass bearing and other fields may also be included. – Wikipedia

How is this dangerous?

Your privacy is at risk… Each time you post a photo online from a GPS capable smartphone you are in essence giving away bread crumbs about yourself.  For example, let’s say you take a pic of your kids, in your home, using one of these phones and you post it on Facebook. A Cyberstalker in essence can determine the exact location (within 15 feet) where you took the pic. In other words, the Cyberstalker would know where your kids are.

In most phones, where this is possible, Geotagging can be turned “off”. My advice, turn it off…

Other information on geotagging:

I Can Stalk U

ABC News Video Clip – Too Much Information

Geotag Security (software to find and remove Geotags)

Smartphone GPS Picture Tags

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Wallpaper of the Week (#9)

March 20, 2011

This week’s wallpaper is an awesome (hi-def) background of an elephant strolling across the plain.

To get this wallpaper, click on the image below and you will be taken directly to the source. To take a look at wallpaper backgrounds from the previous weeks, [ CLICK HERE ] .

Elephant Wallpaper

Need wallpaper software to show off your wallpaper collection? Try one of these:

John’s Background Switcher

Walyk Wallpaper Changer

Wallpaper Updater

Windows 7 Users: If you are using Windows 7, did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [ CLICK HERE ] .

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Off Topic: Denver the Guilty Dog

March 19, 2011

If you are an animal lover (especially dogs), then you will relate to Denver the Guilty Dog who ends up in the penalty box for eating the cat’s treats. To view the video (on YouTube) simply click on Denver the Guilty Dog below.

Denver the Guilty Dog

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Geek Squeak (#108): WinPatrol 2011 is Top Gun

March 18, 2011

The NEW version of WinPatrol is worthy of the NEW What’s On My PC – Geek Squeak Trophy.

There is no method or madness to the trophy selection, but is typically given to those who exemplify the world of computers, information technology, and blogging.  More awards will be forthcoming…

WinPatrol

All I can say is that Bill Pytlovany, the developer of WinPatol is one classy guy who apparently has a heart of gold. This week all revenue from upgrades to WinPatrol PLUS were donated to shelter survivors in Japan. The chosen nonprofit is the organization supported by Rotary International called ShelterBox .

If you never experienced WinPatrol, I highly recommend this software as a “must have” install. It is definitely a Top Gun security app. Do not let the graphic below (which is techie in appearance) keep you from downloading this gem. All you have to do is download it, install it and that’s it. When a change occurs to any of your computer’s vital resources, Scotty the dog will bark. I’m waiting for Bill to implement a growl or two as a sign Scotty is warding off threats. Keep in mind, when you install new software, Scotty may bark and alert you. In that case I would pat Scotty on the head and click “OK”. Again, I highly recommend this software…

WinPatrol takes a snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to any changes that may occur without your knowledge. WinPatrol was the pioneer in using a heuristic behavioral approach to detecting Zero-Day attacks and violations of your computing environment. WinPatrol continues to be the most powerful system monitor for its small memory footprint.

WinPatrol

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Extend the Cleaning Abilities of CCleaner with CCEnhancer

March 17, 2011

If you use CCleaner, the highly recommended system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool then you need to also install (and run) CCEnhancer.

CCEnhancer

CCEnhancer is a small tool that will add support for over 450 new programs into CCleaner.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You must have CCleaner installed on your PC to make this work.
  2. If CCleaner is installed on your PC, download and run CCEnhancer.
  3. When you run CCEnhancer, it will download the latest definition files and automatically add it to the “Applications” section of CCleaner.

CCEnhancer

That is all there is to it; however, I do recommend running CCEnhancer on a regular basis to keep the definition files up to date or set CCEnhancer to run when your computer starts.  What I do is run CCEnhancer anytime I want to clean my PC since it will automatically prompt me to start CCleaner after downloading the new definition files.

Note: You must use the “Run As Administrator” function if running Windows 7/Windows Vista with User Account Control enabled.

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