Geek Squeaks (#2015-38) FEATURING — My Reset Experience With Windows 10 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

November 30, 2015

My Reset Experience With Windows 10 – I recently performed a reset on my Windows 10 based computer and found the experience to be quite positive. I thought I would share some pointers with you so that if you have to perform a reset, it is not a scary experience.  Even though the reset preserves your personal files, I highly recommend that you always have a backup of any files on your computer that you cannot live without.

To get to the reset option in Windows 10, click on the Windows Start button (bottom left corner), go to Settings > Update & security > Reset this PC > Get started and choose an option. The option I chose was to reinstall Windows 10 and keep my personal files. This option will reinstall Windows 10 and keep your personal files; will remove the apps and drivers that you originally installed; will remove the changes made to any settings (and return them to the default settings); and, will remove any apps that the PC manufacturer installed (Note: If your PC came with Windows 10, the apps from your PC manufacturer will be reinstalled.).  After I launched the reset on my PC, it was pretty much hands free; and, what I really liked was that following the reset, Windows 10 generated a html page on my desktop titled “removed apps” that listed all of the programs I originally had installed on my computer. I had already written down what I wanted to re-install, but this list came in quite handy. In the end, the reset took approximately a half hour to 45 minutes and I can honestly say my computer is cleaner and faster.

Windows 10 Reset


How To Mark All Your Unread Gmail’s As Being Read  – After performing a reset on my Windows 10 computer, I found myself motivated to do some housecleaning in my Gmail account. One of the issues I ran into was that I had hundreds of email’s that I did not read. As a result, I needed and wanted to mark those emails, as being read. The problem with this is that Gmail will only allow you to bulk select only a certain number of emails. This is where I started thinking, “there has to be a way to mark all the emails in my account as being read”. After performing some online research, I found an article at a site called Chron, titled “How to Mark an Entire Gmail Inbox as Read“. By using the Google Search box in your email as a filter to generate all unread messages, and following the step-by-step instructions, at Chron, you can easily mark hundreds (or thousands) of unread emails and change them to read.



A Simple Program To Troubleshoot Network-Related Problems – If you manage a network, Win Network Tools may be helpful. The program provides a graphical interface (or launcher) of common command line tools that are built into Windows (that are typically run from the command prompt) and some other options (such as Speed Test) that will launch a site to test out your connection speed. What would be nice is if this program had a “portable app” option readily available for the tech toolbox. I did find that if I installed the program, and copied the “WinNetworkTools.exe” to another location (such as a flash drive) I was still able to run the program.  I then uninstalled it from the computer. Nice concept…  May contact the developer to suggest the portable app idea.

Win Network Tools - Interface


Checker Plus for Gmail – You do not know what you are missing if you do not have Checker Plus for Gmail installed (as a Google Chrome extension). In my opinion, this is probably one of the best (and most useful) extensions available. I currently use this to monitor 4 different Gmail accounts and the best part is that you can set this to run in the background so that you will get notifications when an email arrives. If you have Chrome installed, get this one…

Checker Plus for Gmail


Shield Your Electronics From Electrical Power Surges – When Christmas rolls around many of you may be installing new electronic equipment. What we have a tendency to forget is to purchase a surge protector to help protect the equipment from power surges. I went on the hunt to find what I think is a good investment and came up with the Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 25ft Cord Right Angle Plug 1440 Joules . This Tripp Lite Surge Protector has a 1440 joule surge suppression rating with EMI/RFI line noise filtering to help components perform at their peak while extending their lifespan; 8 outlets with 3 specially designed to accommodate transformer plugs without blocking other outlets; an extra-long 25 foot cord with space-saving right angle plug; diagnostic LEDs that alerts you to the protection and grounding status; convenient built-in outlet safety covers to protect young children from possible harm and prevent dust from eroding internal components; and, a lifetime Warranty and $75,000 Ultimate Lifetime Insurance for connected devices. On top of this, to support my opinion on this, this surge protector is carrying a 5-Star rating.

 Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 25ft Cord Right Angle Plug 1440 Joules


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Geek Squeaks (#2015-19) – View And Control Your Android Device From Your Computer — and MORE FREE STUFF

August 28, 2015

View And Control Your Android Device From Your ComputerVysor is a Google Chrome extension that is currently in beta (testing) that allows you to mirror (and control) your Android device (smartphone or tablet) from your Windows based computer. Keep in mind this utility is in beta testing, so there may be bugaboos… Your smartphone or tablet must be connected to your computer via USB. Typically this is not a problem for many Android device users, due this is a method that we often use to charge our devices. You can read in detail — CLICK HERE — the steps and driver involved for this to work. If you are successful, I think you will find that Vysor is an awesome application in the making where you can control every aspect of your Android device from your computer (even texting).

In summary, the ingredients to make this work are: USB debugging must be enabled on your device; your device connected to your computer via USB; the Google Chrome browser; the Google Chrome Vysor extension,; and the ABD driver installed. May sound complicated, but is not as hard as you think and in the end you have a very impressive (and useful) application.

Maryland University To Eliminate Textbooks – A spokesman at the University said “students will be able use a variety of materials like readings and videos online at no cost”.  Many Universities have been following similar models; however, UMUC is the first in making a transition of this magnitude

(Photo: UMUC)

4-Port USB Car Charger with Intelligent Charging Technology – Check out this Inateck Aluminum 4-Port USB Car Charger with Intelligent Charging Technology. The intelligent charging technology has a built-in smart chipset that detects your devices automatically to deliver the safest current.

Inatech 4-Port Charger

Sandboxie Now Supports Windows 10 – If you do not know what Sandboxie is then you are missing out on a very special piece of software that can keep you safe… Sandboxie is a software application that gives you the ability to run other software applications and surf the internet in an isolated abstraction area called a sandbox. Under the supervision of Sandboxie, an application operates normally and at full speed, but can’t effect permanent changes to your computer. Instead, the changes are effected only in the sandbox; thus, in the event of a malware infection or the software does not meet your needs, you simply delete the sandbox. I currently use Sandboxie to test software that I am not sure about. Since the my upgrade to Windows 10, I found that the developers of Sandboxie are working on a compatible version for Windows 10. If you are a Windows 10 and Sandboxie user, you may want to give the beta (test) version a try (CLICK HERE); HOWEVER, please note that SBIE Beta v5 does not support Windows Metro Apps or the Edge browser at this time. You will need to change your default web browser in Win 10 from Edge to something else. For example, in my case, I am currently (and safely) using Sandboxie to run the Google Chrome browser inside a sandbox.


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Send Notes and Send Directions To Your Phone From Google Search

April 26, 2015

This week’s hot Google news is similar news from last week, with a different twist, where you can go to the Google Search page (or the Google Chrome’s omnibox) and type in “find my phone” (see article here).

This week Google revealed you can go to the Google Search page (or the Google Chrome’s omnibox) and type  “Send Directions” (to push driving directions to your phone) or “Send Note” (to push a note to your phone). Appears you have to be signed into your Google account through your web browser (Google Chrome) to make this work. READ MORE…

Send Directions

Send Note


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Bring An Entertaining Look To Your Browser With “Turn Off The Lights”

February 5, 2015

Watching video in our web browser is commonplace these days and is often implanted in the middle of whatever story you are reading to help bring the story home. This is all good; however, oftentimes there many distractions (such as ads, other videos, side bars, etc…) that can take away from the focus of the video.

A solution to making the video you desire to watch the main and only focus in the browser window, I suggest you take a look at the browser extension or add-on called Turn Off The Lights.

Turn Off The Lights

Turn Off The Lights works great with all known browsers and will truly bring a more entertaining look and feel to your browser. In my case I am a Google Chrome browser user and fan. You can easily darken a web page with one click on the lamp button. And it will automatically highlight the video player. In Google Chrome, the lamp button is located in the web address bar. You can also right mouse click the lamp button to bring up various configuration and customization options.

To really get an idea of how Turn Off The Lights works, I encourage you to watch this short video…

Turn Off the Lights is an extension that you have never seen before and is unique in its’ kind. Not only this, but this extension is compatible with Google Chrome™, Apple Safari™, Mozilla Firefox™, Opera™, Internet Explorer™, Maxthon™ and Yandex™ web browsers.


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You May Want To Try The Google Chrome Software Removal Tool (CRST) When You Suspect Chrome Has Been Hijacked

December 29, 2014

The Chrome Software Removal Tool (CRST) is software (developed by Google), that is currently in beta, that scans your computer for programs known to cause problems with Chrome, and then offers to remove them for you. This program is to be used only on occasions where the Google Chrome Browser is (obviously) behaving strangely and you suspect it may be due to an unwanted program on your computer (for example, showing you unusual start-up pages, toolbars, or pop-up ads you can’t get rid of). Typically, these types of examples are referred to as browser hijackers.

Two things you need to know before using CRST:

  1. To discourage attackers from changing the names of their programs, the Software Removal Tool does not reveal the names of the suspicious programs it finds. You’ll only see the number of programs detected.
  2. The Software Removal Tool beta is Windows-only (all versions) and you need to have admin rights to use it.  To learn more, please visit the Software Removal Tool beta help page.

google software removal tool

Setting up & using the Software Removal Tool beta

  1. The Software Removal Tool scans your computer for programs known to cause problems with Chrome, and then offers to remove them for you. To start:
  2. Visit the Software Removal Tool homepage.
  3. Click the Download button.
  4. Review the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. To agree, click Accept and Download.

The Software Removal Tool will download to your computer.

  1. Open the Software Removal Tool. It will immediately start searching your computer for suspicious programs.
  2. A message will tell you how many programs were found, if any.
  3. Click Remove suspicious programs. Wait until you see the message “Removal complete.” Some open applications may be closed in the process.
  4. Click Continue to quit the tool. (If your computer needs to reboot, the button will say Restart.)
  5. Chrome will automatically reopen, asking you to reset your browser settings. Click Reset.


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Checker Plus for Google Calendar – Another Google Chrome Browser Extension Gem

November 19, 2014

I just posted an article about Checker Plus for Gmail and while at the developer’s site I noticed he had developed another Google Chrome browser extension called Checker Plus for Google Calendar.

Again, this is another extension by this developer that is carrying a very high user base rating. I am a big time user of Google Calendar and this extension makes it so that you can do any and all your calendaring activitiies easily from the Chrome Browser. If you want more details, information and support for Checker Plus for Google Calendar, I encourage you to visit the developer’s site — CLICK HERE 

Check Plus for Google Calendar

Again, as I did in the article about Checker Plus for Gmail, below you will find a video about Checker Plus for Google Calendar; AND, the highlights and features (verbatim as reflected on the developer’s site).

Enjoy! Great piece of work on something that I find to be very useful.

100 times more powerful than the “by Google” extension and with desktop and voice notifications and great reviews

  • Trusted developer of many extensions – more than one million satisfied users worldwide
  • Lots of features, options and updates – just read the version changes in the logs below
  • Personal tech support from the developer – very fast response times, 5-30 minutes

Improve your productivity and your business with new features like this…

  • Add events quickly with multiple ways…Click on a day in the popup calendar or just type it into the quick add ex. Lunch with Mom 11am Sunday

    Select the text on any page like “…dinner Aug 26th at 3:30pm…” and right click to add it automatically for that date!

    Right click a webpage and add it instantly to your calendar for tomorrow or any day or time! Try it in Gmail ex. a friend emails you to play soccer tomorrow, reply to them, then right click and save it to your calendar. Screenshot: You can also use the popup calendar see video:

    Use Chrome’s address bar (Omnibox) to add an event by simply typing “cal” and then tab or space and your event title with the time or date – See screenshot: or video:

    When viewing a Facebook event page the popup gives you the choice to add it to your calendar

  • Desktop notifications “like Outlook” when your event occurs that you can snooze and with optional voice notification: Add a cooking timer that yells out “take out pizza!” See video:
  • Sound and voice notification: Great for the visually impaired
  • Supports multiple calendars and Google Apps™ (for Business or Education) and hosted
  • Option to run in background even when Google Chrome is closed
  • Popup a calendar for the month, week, agenda view when clicking on the icon or customize your own view!
  • Show the current date or day or time until your next event and preview details of your future ones right on the icon
  • Lots of options that you can customize, most are free (95%) and the rest is upon donations of any amount because I’ve added those features by special requests
  • Get reminders of your contacts’ birthdays and events
  • Drag and drop events to reschedule them in the month view
  • Can also be used as a widget for the extension “Awesome New Tab Page” (ANTP)
  • Notification of events even when there is no internet connection with offline mode
  • Gray out past days or highlight weekends


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