Geek Squeak (#112): Tech Thoughts is A Geek Squeak Trophy Winner

April 30, 2011

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts is worthy of the NEW What’s On My PC – Geek Squeak Trophy.

Geek Squeak Aware

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…

If you are a regular reader of Bill’s blog, Tech Thoughts, you may have noticed on the sidebar of his blog (on the right side) an achievement like no other I’ve seen when it comes to blogging. This guy has had over 3 million visitors to his blog since January 1, 2008. This is phenomenal and is symbolic of his dedication to the subject which he is so versed in. Blogging is hard work and requires an endless thought process.

Bill’s blog primarily focuses on system and internet security; however, he throws a surprise at us once in awhile. He is an expert at it and it shows in the number of articles he pumps out on a daily basis. If you comment to any of his articles or have a question, you will get a straight forward answer that you can bank on. Also, a real plus to visiting Bill’s blog is his Tech Thoughts Daily Net News where you will get a daily rundown on what is happening out there in the world of technology.

On a personal note, Bill has been a personal supporter of What’s On My PC and I take great pride in knowing him. I thank you for your hard work and dedication.

If you want to learn more about information security, system security and internet security, I encourage you to bookmark  Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts.

Reflected below is a sampling of some of Bill’s recent articles:

Who’s Tracking Your Internet Browsing? – Find Out With Ghostery

Mark Russinovich’s ‘Zero Day’ – Fiction Or Fact?

If You Need To Be Convinced You Need A Wi-Fi Password This Story Will Do It

Billions Set To Watch The Royal Wedding On TV & Online

Advanced SystemCare Free – Version 4.0 Blasts Off Today

The Importance of Real-Time Server Monitoring

Fix Up To 50 Windows 7, And Vista Problems, With Free FixWin

Kate Middleton Nude – As If!

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An Online Desktop Wallpaper Tool

April 29, 2011

With the advent of the bigger computer monitors and the differences in screen resolutions, it can be a challenge to take a desktop background that you may like and make it fit properly on the screen.

To help resolve that issue there is an online application, called Desktop Wallpaper Tool,  that will automatically adapt an image to your screen resolution.

Desktop Wallpaper Tool

Images are adjusted either by cropping the part of it or by scaling when the resolution of the original image differs from your desktop resolution. You can define the crop region and the screen resolution yourself.

What is neat about this app is that you do not need to install anything.  Simply visit the Desktop Wallpaper Tool site in your web browser and either upload an image, drag and drop an image onto the app, or enter a web URL where the image is located.

Article of the Day

Facebook Gets Scolded By Security Firm

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Off Topic: White House Releases Birth Certificate

April 27, 2011

In all my years of being a citizen of the United States, I have never been more embarrassed… I was brought up to respect whomever was the President; whether it be Democrat or Republican. Today, we as U.S. citizens, fueled by “politicians, hate and the media circus” are teaching our younger generation that it is OK to be disrespectful toward our leaders. People will believe anything and the media and our congressional representatives know it. Folks, we are being dumbed down and made to feel angry toward each other. We cannot even set down and comfortably debate issues with friends without anger being expressed.

I try not to get caught up in this sort of thing, but when you turn on the TV (which I try to avoid) you see nothing but propaganda to sway our thought processes and keep us away from the real problems.

If I must, The President released his birth certificate for all to see.  What’s it going to be next?

Birth Certificate Released

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Quick Post: Get WinX DVD Copy Pro for FREE (Today Only)

April 27, 2011

Digiarty today joins hands with thewindowsclub.com to bring you WinX DVD Copy Pro giveaway. Click the Download button to get the installation file and license code. Valid for 24 hours starting from 10am GMT, on April.27 2011.  The WinX DVD Copy Pro with the license code must be installed and activated prior to April 30th.

Get WinX DVD Copy Pro

WinX DVD Copy Pro is designed to bring you all-new DVD backup experience. This up-to-date DVD copy software can help you decrypt & backup DVD to DVD disc, DVD to ISO, as well as copy DVD to single MPEG2 file with original video tracks and original surround AC3 audio.

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Restoring Your Contacts List or Address Book In Gmail

April 27, 2011

Google’s Gmail has been a very popular online (web) email client for years; and, rightfully so. It continues to improve and offer features that you would typically find in email software that you would install on your PC. As a matter of fact, I no longer use email client software on my PC at all and have come to rely on my Gmail account for my email communications.

When it comes to email software, the most important component that people fail to backup is their contacts list (or address book). The contacts list is a cumulative database of peoples names, email addresses, phone numbers, work and home addresses, etc… that continues to grow and ends up becoming a vital component to your email communications. Lose your contacts list (or address book) and I will guarantee that you will not be a happy camper. I can personally attest from experience, using email software, there are no easy ways to backup your contacts list (or address book); OR least a method that is easily understood to the everyday computer user.

One feature that I really like about Gmail is the built in backup versioning feature of the contacts list. Gmail actually does the backup of your contacts list for you in the event you make a change and you need to undo the change. As a matter of fact you can go back in time up to 30 days to do a restore from a previous version of the contacts list.

Restore Contacts

You can restore your contacts from a earlier saved version in instances such as; when accidental deletion occurs, a sync failed, an import failed or a merge failed.

You will not find any email client software that I know of that will give you this bailout in the event you lose your contacts.

To restore your contacts to a previous version, just follow these steps:

  1. Click Contacts.
  2. From the More actions drop-down menu, choose Restore contacts.
  3. Choose the time you’d like to revert your contacts list to (e.g. 10 minutes ago, one hour ago, one week ago, etc). We suggest that you also make a note of the time that you restore your contacts, in case you’d like to return to where you started.
  4. Click Restore. You’ll see a confirmation at the top of the screen when the rollback is complete.

To undo a restoration:

When the operation completes, a notification bar will appear that gives you the opportunity to immediately undo the restore. This notification bar will disappear if you leave Contacts or make edits to your contacts.

If the notification bar is no longer there, you can always re-run the Restore Contacts tool to take you back to where you started. Just set the tool to take you to the time just before you started the whole process.

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An Instant Data and System Recovery Kit

April 26, 2011

If you have been a long term computer user I am sure somewhere along the line you may have experienced a failure of sorts; whether it be from operating system errors, a mistake you made, a malware attack or from good old file corruption. I have always said that computers were made to fail; and, fail they eventually will.

I know, I know; I hear it all of the time, “I have nothing important on my PC and I am not worried about losing any important files!”. Well, let me tell you, when disaster does hit don’t be surprised that a shockwave overcomes you. Those family pictures, tax forms, your music collection, emails, software you paid for,  etc… that you thought were not important, all of the sudden become very important. I cannot stress enough how important it is to backup your personal files.

However, In the event you run into a desperation issue where your PC will not boot, and you need a way to recover file data, an option to look at is Paragon’s Rescue Kit.

Paragon Rescue Kit

The catch here is that you have to create (or burn) the rescue kit onto a CD or DVD before disaster hits. Don’t worry, it is easy to do and you will be walked through the entire process of creating the rescue kit CD/DVD after you download and run the rescue disk file.

Creating the rescue kit CD/DVD is basically a 3-Step process:

1 – The first prompt you will see is the “Unpack and Burn Wizard”, so it is important that you have a writeable CD or DVD in the drive.

2 – The second prompt is the Registration Key screen. You will be required to click on a link that will take you to the Paragon web site to complete a registration form (very easy). You will then receive, via email, the registration keys. I received my key within seconds of completing the registration.

3 – The third prompt will give you the option to burn the rescue kit image to CD/DVD or to save the rescue kit file to your computer. Here you want to burn the image to the CD/DVD.

If you followed the above steps and created the rescue CD or DVD, you now have a tool that you will use to boot up your computer in the event disaster hits. Now that you have created the Paragon Rescue Kit, what is it able to “rescue”?

Easily Fix Boot Problems

Boot Corrector option resolves various problems you may encounter during the system boot process. These problems may be caused by program errors, user mistakes, or become the results of boot virus activity. Boot Corrector allows you to cure the majority of boot problems for Windows Operating System and gives you access to your data!

Rescue Your Data

In case of a system malfunction, caused either by a virus attack or file corruption, you can retrieve valuable information from your disks and copy it to another local drive, partition or save the data to CD/DVD. The File Transfer Wizard helps you to export data as easy and convenient as possible.

Undelete Partition

When simply deleting a partition (without additional wiping) disk management software only removes the references to it in the Partition Table, thus leaving the possibility to recover it later. The Undelete Partitions Wizard enables you to find and recover these partitions. A restored partition will be fully functional, as long as other partitions were not created, moved or exceeded the disk space.

Don’t wait for disaster to hit. The Paragon’s Rescue Kit is definitely a tool to keep around in the event all else has failed.

Article of the Day

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FREE DVD Authoring Software

April 24, 2011

Looking for a FREE way to create home video DVD’s from that camcorder you own? OR Looking for a FREE way to convert other video formats to DVD? If so, take a look at WinX DVD Author.

WinX DVD

Using WinXDVD Author to create personalized DVD’s is a 3-step process:

Step One
Add video clips by clicking “Add File” button.

Step Two
Create DVD menu and chapter menu to personalize your DVD by entering DVD and Menu Compiler clips.

Step Three
Convert and burn video to DVD by entering DVD Disc Burner, and then click “Start”

Powerful DVD Authoring Ability:

Supports almost all video formats converted to DVD, like AVI to DVD, MP4 to DVD, MKV to DVD, M2TS to DVD, 3GP, FLV, MPEG, H.264, DivX, Xvid, WMV to DVD, etc.

Batch conversion supported– this free DVD author permits you to burn two or more videos at a time.

Fully compatible with DVD+/-R, DVD+/-RW, DVD DL+R, DVD DL+/-RW.

Support all types of burner devices in current market.

Edit Videos before Burning DVD:

Add background music & picture with this free DVD creator.

Create DVD subtitle (*.srt) to DVD with ease.

Create DVD chapter menu and DVD menu with just one click.

Burn video and save as VOB files or DVD folder on the hard disk.

Other Features:

Support all current hardware interfaces (IDE/SCSI/USB/1394/SATA).

Support 16:9 widescreen TV and 4:3 standard TV.

High video quality and fast converting speed. Less than 1 hour for a full 4.2 GB DVD.

Multilingual DVD languages supported: English, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, etc.

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Wallpaper of the Week (#14)

April 24, 2011

The perfect wallpaper for spring and summer. Whimsical, refreshing and full of colors. This wallpaper is called Daydreams (by WENPENDER) and you can get it [HERE] .

Daydream

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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WeatherByte – A Clean and Simple Weather App

April 22, 2011

It does not get any simpler than this! If you want a to display the current weather, temperature, forecast, time and date (at a defined location) without a lot of fuss, then WeatherByte is for you.

WeatherByte

Simply visit the web site [ HERE ], enter your location and how you want the temperature reflected. That is all there is too it.

WeatherByte Location

Weatherbyte is great to display on your computer, home theater, Google TV, Boxee, etc…  Instead of using a screensaver, I often bring up WeatherByte and have it on the screen so that I have a quick (and fast) glance of the current weather conditons.  Hmmm…  Maybe the developer could turn this into a screensaver app.

WeatherByte is also available as a Google Chrome app from the Google Chrome Web Store [ HERE ] .

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TTC Shelbyville Recognized by ComputerWorld

April 21, 2011

I think it is important to recognize fellow bloggers and in this case it is a blog that is on my blogroll – TTC Shelbyville .

The Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville (Computer Information Technology Program) has been Recognized by ComputerWorld as a 2011 Honors Laureate (award for outstanding creative or intellectual achievement).

April 21, 2011 – IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program today announces the Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville’s Computer Information Technology program as a 2011 Laureate.  The annual award program honors visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change.

Computerworld is the leading source of technology news and information for IT influencers worldwide, providing peer perspective, IT leadership and business results.

Congratulations to Steve Mallard and his program at TTC Shelbyville.

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Geek Squeak (#111) – New Version of Web App Note

April 21, 2011

I personally love to follow the development of NEW applications; especially when the developer makes you part of the process. I recently posted an article about a NEW cloud computing application (that is totally FREE) called Web App Note (“Web App Note – A NEW Online Sticky Notes Type Program” ).

Following that article a reader of the blog pointed out a user friendly issue and the developer was right on top of it and fixed the issue to make using the application easier for the end-user (which is you and me).  As a result, Web App Note is worthy of a Geek Squeak!

Web App Note

Today, I found out that Web App Note has been upgraded to version 2.0 . I encourage you to try it out [ HERE ] .  Again, as mentioned in the previous article, there is nothing to install.  Simply visit the site, signup for an account, and you are good to go.

The developer of Web App Note is looking for feedback and ideas to improve the application.

New in version 2.0

  • Brand new layout from Alexis!
  • Notes are not just plain text!
  • Text formating in notes (see help (i))
  • Insert html tables
  • Urls are converted into html links
  • Create Google Calendar© reminders
  • Create a linked task (n)

Web App Note is not just about notes!

  • Up/download files from Dropbox©
  • Organize your notes with tabs
  • Tab area is adjusted at startup
  • Manage a task list
  • Emails sent from your Google account to import@webappnote.com are imported
  • Hotkey CTRL+S saves the note contents

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Enhance Your Google Chrome Browser Experience with Weather Window

April 20, 2011

Weather Window (by Weatherbug) is probably one of the best online Weather apps out there. The catch is that you have to be using the Google Chrome browser to take advantage of this app by installing it through the Chrome Web Store.

Weather Window

When you first load Weather Window and put in your location, you are given a virtual look of the weather through a window. So if it is raining, you will see rain; if it sunny, you will see sunshine. The window interface is only the eye candy to Weather Window. All-in-All, Weather Window is a great browser based weather application. The real power lies in the weather features that are readily available.

In summary, with weather window you can bring up the following:

Current Observations

Current Observations

Forecasts

Forecasts

Weather Maps

Weather Maps

Webcams

Webcams

Weather Alerts

Alerts are currently available for the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Spain.

The alert icon Alert Icon will only appear if an alert is active. The number within the icon displays the number of active alerts.

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A Good Read About Amazon’s Cloud Drive Music Player

April 19, 2011

Steve over at his site, Scoroncocolo, always drops me a line when he composes a new tech article. This time around he has researched and drafted an article about the Amazon Cloud Drive Music Player that he has asked that I share with you.

Amazon Cloud Drive Music Player

In summary, Steve’s article [ CLICK HERE ] explains how to use the Amazon Cloud Drive Music Player with the  Amazon Cloud Drive Service to store your personal music collection on the internet (in the cloud) where you can access your collection and stream the music content to your computer or android phone (or other android devices) from anywhere.  Be sure to check it out…

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Easily Create Complex Passwords the Microsoft Way

April 18, 2011

I noticed on the Microsoft Privacy & Safety Site, a step-by-step (easy) method for creating complex passwords. I started using this method and now find myself using it all of the time. I suggest you bookmark or print out this method. It may look like there is a lot to it; however, it actually is quite easy to do.

image

Step 1: Start with a sentence or two (about 10 words total). Think of something meaningful to you.

Example: My cat is named Bucket. She is a fat cat.

Step 2: Turn your sentences into a row of letters. Use the first letter of each word.

Example: mcinbsiafc

Step 3: Add complexity. Make only the letters in the first half of the alphabet uppercase.

Example: MCInBsIAFC

Step 4: Add length with numbers. Put two numbers that are meaningful to you between the two sentences.

Example: MCInB19sIAFC

Step 5: Add length with punctuation. Put a punctuation mark at the beginning.

Example: ?MCInB19sIAFC

Step 6: Add length with symbols. Put a symbol at the end.

Example: ?MCInB19sIAFC*

Now test the strength of your Password [HERE] at the Microsoft Safety & Security site.

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Wallpaper of the Week (#13)

April 17, 2011

Now here is a wallpaper that is unique… This one was designed to advertise the Fabreze Pet Odor Eliminator. If you love dogs, this one is a sure grab.

You can grab this wallpaper from [ HERE ] . When you arrive at the site, scroll down and you will see the various screen sizes.

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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