Need Help With Windows 10? — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-06)

February 8, 2016

Need Help With Windows 10? – If you are a newcomer to Windows 10 (or computers) and you need help with Windows 10, you will find on the Microsoft site itself (which is quite large) a section of the site totally devoted to getting help with Windows 10. Many of the answers you may be seeking can be found here — and, if that is of no help you can go so far as to actually talk or chat with someone from Microsoft to get assistance. I personally have never had to go this route; but, I do think it is helpful that the home-based computer user know that these options are available; especially, that you can talk to someone. Also, to my readers, if you know of any third party Windows 10 help sites available, please feel free to share this information in the comments section.

Windows 10 Help

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Virus and Malware Removal Tools – TCAT Shelbyville’s Technical Blog recently pointed out to us that “Often we remember Malwarebytes, Adwcleaner, ComboFix, RKill , Junkware Removal Tool (JRT) or Adware Removal Tool/TSA and forget about tools offered by Anti-virus software manufacturers”…  I encourage you to visit their site to see what those other tools are — CLICK HERE

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Two Guys One Ticket – This is an off-topic video, but is a hack of sorts where two guys (more or less as a challenge) try to get into a movie theatre with one ticket. Appeared to take a lot of work, strength (and personal closeness), but they pulled it off.

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I Am About To Lose A 100 Gigs Of Online Storage – For the past several years I have managed to accumulate 100 GBs of FREE online storage space at Copy.com (by having other people sign up for their service). Well, effective May 1, 2016, Copy and CudaDrive services will be discontinued (after 4+ years of service)… Fortunately, in my case, this is no sweat off my back; due I do not keep all my eggs in one basket. Yes, I am going to miss that 100 gigs; but, this is a good example (or lesson) where we should never completely depend on cloud based services. Personally, when it comes to the important files, I keep a local backup and store another away from my residence.

Copy and CudaDrive services will be discontinued  

Copy ©

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All-In-One Design Tool For Everyone (for FREE) – If you do not have PicPick installed on your computer, then you are missing out on some very good screen capturing and editing software. PicPick is FREE for personal use (not FREE for commerical use). You can do a full install or use it as a portable app… PicPick is full-featured screen capture tool, Intuitive image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel-ruler, protractor, crosshair, whiteboard and more.

PicPick

PicPick

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Bluetooth Keyboard That Works With Your PC, Android, iOS Smartphones & Tablets – I found this keyboard quite interesting and currently have it on my wishlist for my tablet.  It is the Jelly Comb Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard.  This keyboard is unique in that it works with your PC, Android, or Smartphones & Tablets.  It features a 96 Keys Keyboard with Multi Touch Track Pad; Silicone Rubber Docking Stand (or slot); Wireless Bluetooth 3.0 for fast pairing and wide range connectivity of up to 33 feet (10 meters) and a Built-in Battery (Charge 2 hours and you can use it for months. Simply plug the keyboard to a USB and start charging.). The only downfall that I am seeing with this is that it does not come with a micro USB charging cable (which are readily available a dime a dozen)… 

Jelly Comb Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard

Jelly Comb Keyboard

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Geek Squeaks (#2016-02) FEATURING — Great Reference Book On Upgrading And Repairing PCs — and MORE GREAT STUFF

January 11, 2016

Great Reference Book On Upgrading And Repairing PCs – If you are contemplating a career as an IT Professional or you are an IT Professional, you may want to consider purchasing the 22nd Edition of Scott Mueller’s Upgrading and Repairing PCs. Get “practical answers about PC processors, mother-boards, buses, BIOSes, memory, SSD and HDD storage, video, audio, networks, Internet connectivity, power, and much more. You’ll find the industry’s best coverage of diagnostics, testing, and repair—plus cutting-edge discussions of improving PC performance via overclocking and other techniques.”.  Also, be sure to check out Scott Mueller’s online Upgrading and Repairing Forum.

Upgrading and Repairing PCs

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Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart – Since I started out today’s post with a book on upgrading and repairing PCs, I thought I would throw in this Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart that you may find of interest. There is also a book on this as well — CLICK HERE .

 Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart

Boot Failure Flowchart

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Use Disk Space Organizing Software To Keep Your Computer Clutter Free – Using disk space organizing software can help you keep your computer from turning into a junkyard by visually showing you what files and folders (and where) are consuming hard drive space.  To help me in this situation I use the portable app called GetFolderSize. There is also a full install version if you are not into the portable apps. GetFolderSize works as a disk analyzer that lets you see a folder tree where you can easily locate files and folders that you have “lost” and cannot even search for because you have forgotten what you named them! I have added GetFolderSize to the Downloads Page, listed under the portable apps swarm.

GetFolderSize

GetFolderSize

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Fast Free File Shredder – Another portable app that landed in my lap is OW Shredder. This portable app is an advanced security tool which allows you to completely erase secret data with all drive traces from your hard drives by overwriting it. Individual files, free disk space and entire volumes can by erased. I have also added this portable app to the Downloads Page

OW Shredder

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Turn An Android Device Into A Home Video Monitoring System – If you have a tablet or an old Android phone lying around, you can put it to good use and turn it into a video surveillance camera by using the Android app called AtHomeCamera. This app is worth a try before you go out an buy and expensive setup. All platforms are supported, including Windows PC、Mac、iPhone、iPad、iPod, Android phone, Android tablet and Smart TV. Used together with AtHome Video Streamer, you are able to keep an eye on your home when you are outside, and receive alerts right away in case of any incident!

AtHomeCamera

 AtHome Camera - Home Security- screenshot

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-39) FEATURING — Put All Your Cloud Drives In One Place — and MORE GREAT STUFF

December 7, 2015

Put All Your Cloud Drives In One Place – Thought I would share with you an online service that I use called MultCloud (by AOMEI). This service provides a FREE option (as well as a PAID option) that can help you easily (and safely) manage multiple cloud storage services. For example, I currently manage online drives from Box, Copy, Google, Dropbox, Mediafire and OneDrive ALL from MultCloud. In that mix I also use MultCloud to manage two Google Drives. What MultCloud does is allow you to pull all of those services and manage those services from one location. MultCloud FREE features an online file manager, cross-cloud file transfers, and a countless number of cloud drives. The file transfer speeds for the FREE version are slower than the PAID version and there is a monthly data cap on the FREE version (which is quite high in my opinion). For normal everyday use, the FREE version has worked for me and in the end (after I give this a run for awhile), I may opt to go to the PAID version.

MultCloud 

MultCloud

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Use Your Android Phone (or Tablet) To Convert An Image To Text – Ever heard of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) where you scan a paper document and OCR software that is engineered to recognize the characters in the document then translate (or convert) it into an electronic text version (that you can then edit, insert into documents, etc…)? There is an OCR version for your Android Phone or Tablet called Text Fairy that has the ability to scan for and extract text from an image. From my testing, I found Text Fairy to be quite accurate and the best part is that it is FREE. Some words of advice is when you scan the document is to make sure the images are sharp (with good lighting) and the text is black on a white background.

Text Fairy

 Text Fairy (OCR Text Scanner)- screenshot

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Nothing Gets Old Faster Than The Technology News – Case in point, check out the boredpanda for 15 Vintage Computer Ads That Used To Be Cool.  The ad I have reflected below is my favorite one from the 15 selected. Which is your favorite?

15 Vintage Computer Ads That Used To Be Cool

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How To Disable Login Screen on Windows 10 after Sleep – I have been recently assisting quite a few folks with breaking through the Windows 8.1 barrier to Windows 10. One of the most asked questions that I am receiving is “How do I disable the login screen on Windows 10 after sleep?”. What this means is that Windows 10, by default, will go into a sleep mode when the computer is idle for a prescribed period of time. When the end user comes out the sleep mode, the computer will prompt you for your password. To change this setting, to prevent or disable the login prompt, is actually quite easy and the best way to show you is for you the watch the video below from Simple How To Guide

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This Software May Be Useful When You Sell or Get Rid Of Your Hard Drive (or PC) – Came a across this portable app, called My Disk Wiper, that may be a keeper for the tech toolbox. What this portable app does is securely wipe hard drives, flash drives, SD cards, etc… by overwriting the files with a standard pattern that the developer claims cannot be undeleted or restored. To ensure maximum privacy the file names are wiped before deletion.

My Disk Wiper

My Disk Wiper

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The easiest and fastest outdoor Christmas light solution – no more hanging string lights – My neighbor has one of these and it is awesome (and beautiful). If you are looking for an alternative option to hanging lights for Christmas, take a look at the Star Shower Outdoor Laser Christmas Lights… Plant this thing in the ground, plug it in and you will have up to 600 square feet of green and red lights displayed. The one I have reflected below is the number one best seller at Amazon with a near 5 star rating…

Star Shower Outdoor Laser Christmas Lights

Star Shower

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-34) FEATURING — Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) — and MORE GREAT STUFF

November 2, 2015

Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) – Yes you are seeing that right. Samsung has developed an 18.4″ tablet called the Galaxy View that is in comparison to carrying a portable TV around; AND, that is exactly what I think Samsung is thinking in regards to this hugeous tablet. The pricing on this ($599) is a little steep for my pocketbook; however, if the price were to come within reason, I may consider the Galaxy View for home-based usage.

There are mixed reviews on this, from CNET’sSamsung has just taken the wraps off the best tablet we may have ever seen”, to the Verge’s “Samsung might’ve just priced itself out of success”… The Galaxy View is slated for release on November 6th and can be pre-ordered now… To see all the specs — CLICK HERE — scroll down the page and then click on “See All Specs”.

Samsung Galaxy View

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Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard for Computers, Tablets and Smartphones – The Logitech K480 is an excellent bluetooth keyboard, that works great either as an external keyboard for a Mac or a PC desktop system, or as a keyboard for a phone or a tablet. You can use this device to connect up to three Bluetooth wireless–capable computers or mobile devices. If this is something you may find of interest, check out Logitech’s Immersion Guide that will tell you everything you need to know about this keyboard.

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480

You aren’t limited to a single device, so why should your keyboard be?

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How To Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen – If you do not have your Android smartphone (or tablet) locked down, I suggest that you take the time and lock it down. For example, to use my Nexus 5, I enter a pin number in order to operate the device.  The ONLY problem I see with locking down your device is the chance you forget the pattern, pin or password that you used. Well, don’t fret, I came across this article,7 Ways to Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen.  A lot of folks don’t want to lock down their devices due that it is an inconvenience; however if you ever lose the device you will soon learn that you wished you had taken the precaution of securing it.

Android Security

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Display A Host Of System Information-Type Data On Your DesktopBGInfo is a system information tool (portable app) that is very useful for people who manage numerous systems. BGInfo automatically displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background, such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more. The information that BGInfo displays can be edited, as well as the font and background color. Stick this tool in the startup folder on your computer to display the system information each time the computer boots.

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-32) FEATURING — Beware: A Browser Hijacker That Replaces Your Default Browser — and MORE GREAT STUFF

October 19, 2015

Beware: A Browser Hijacker That Replaces Your Default Browser – Scams, viruses, malware and hijackers are constantly being developed and engineered to make our computing lives a nightmare. Today I want to make you aware of a piece of software, called eFast, that the Malwarebytes research team has determined as being a browser hijacker. What is unique about this browser hijacker is that it does not hijack your existing browser; instead, eFast replaces your existing browser. This hijacker takes control of the file associations for .gif, .htm, .html,.jpeg, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .shtml, .webp, .xht and .xhtml files AND displays numerous advertisements.

Typically eFast will piggyback its’ way onto your computer through third party software installs. Always read what is occurring when you install software.  You can usually tell it is installing (by the install prompts) and from what I getting, eFast is similar in appearance to Google Chrome. If you have been fooled into installing eFast, reflected below are the removal steps. To read more about eFast CLICK HERE

eFast

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can detect and remove this potentially unwanted program.

  1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to your desktop.
  2. Double-click mbam-setup-version.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. At the end, be sure a check-mark is placed next to the following:
  4. Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium
  5. Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  6. Then click Finish.
  7. If an update is found, you will be prompted to download and install the latest version.
  8. Once the program has loaded, select Scan Now. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  9. When the scan is complete, make sure that all Threats are selected, and click Remove Selected.
  10. Restart your computer when prompted to do so.

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A Command-Line To Cleanup Windows – TTC Shelbyville posted Advanced Windows Cleanup using cleanmgr /sageset:50 and cleanmgr /sagerun:50 that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to use these commands to cleanup windows. Note: Do NOT Delete Windows ESD installation files. These files are NEEDED to Reset or Refresh your PC.

1 More Options Cleanup

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Jump Your Car AND Charge Your Devices With This Power Bank – If you get chance, take a look at the BESTEK® 400A Peak Current Portable Car Jump Starter Power Bank that not only can jumpstart a vehicle (up to 16 times); BUT, can be used to charge your portable devices (such as GPS devices, smartphones, tablets, etc.). This power bank has a 11,000 mAh battery capacity that is able to jump start a 3L gas or 2.5L diesel vehicle engine. The neat thing about this is that it is safe and can fit in your glovebox… CHECK IT OUT HERE!

Power Bank

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OW Shredder Is Portable AND FREE File Shredder Software – I came across OW Shredder through reading the article Free File Shredder With Full Drive Eraser, Disk Analyser (@ILoveFreeSoftware) and thought it was well deserving of a post here, as well. What I especially like about this file shredder is that it is portable and has the ability to erase entire volumes.

OW Shredder is an advanced security tool which allows you to completely erase secret data with all drive traces from your hard drives by overwriting it. Individual files, free disk space and entire volumes can by erased. In addition OW Shredder offers various tools to scan, analyze and wipe more drive information and traces. Beside of it OW Shredder supports a desktop widget, a context menu integration and automated recycle bin cleaning. All in all this small and portable application gives private users or even companies the perfect solution to eliminate sensitive data.

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-30) FEATURING — Use This App To Create Your Own Android Car Dashboard — and MORE GREAT STUFF

October 5, 2015

Use This App To Create Your Own Android Car Dashboard – Many auto manufacturers as well as aftermarket units are bringing Android to the dashboard of your car. One such example is Android Auto that projects or casts what is on your phone onto a compatible dashboard touchscreen; but, most of us do not have the luxury of this technology. To fill in this gap, did you know that there is an android app called Car Dashdroid.

 Car dashdroid- Car dashboard- screenshot

Car Dashdroid does not project to a screen in your car’s dashboard; however, it will turn your phone into a distraction free device that has been specifically developed for use in your car. I have been testing this app and can attest that it is very good. In summary, Car Dashdroid is a car home dock replacement that makes driving easy (and safer)! It can switch on and off with your car (using Bluetooth), and return from any app to the specially-designed Car Dashdroid homescreen with a press of the Home button while connected (see settings). The interface features large buttons to launch apps (such as your GPS mapping app) and can be set to read incoming text messages to you (and you can respond back without taking your hands off the wheel). This app is fully customizable; for example, you can set up to 16 shortcuts for your favorite apps, contacts, and even shortcuts to custom actions like directions to a particular place, opening a specific playlist, or sending a pre-written message (like “On my way!” or “Stuck in traffic!”). You can use it FREE (with ads) and with some of the features disabled; however, if I were to buy an android app, this is one that I would buy. (UPDATE – I did buy this app!)…

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How To Update Windows In An Isolated Environment – Another tool for the tech toolbox is Portable Update. This tool is used to perform Windows updates on a computer where there is limited or no internet connection. Portable Update uses an external cache to store updates. The cache can reside on any usb external drive or, via private lan network, on a shared path. Once an update is copied to the cache (the only time that an internet connection is required), the same update will be used for all computer that need that particular update. I have added Portable Update to the What’s On My PC downloads page (under the Portable Apps Swarm).

Portable Update Hystory tag

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Daimler Driverless Truck Tested  – I’ve been saying that one of the first areas of transportation that will host autonomous driving is the truck industry. Take a look at the this article, “Daimler driverless lorry tested in motorway traffic” …

Daimler's self-driving truck took to a German autobahn to prove its capabilities

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Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank – I don’t know about you, but my smartphone has become an extension of my body. I feel lost when I don’t have it in my possession and frustrated when it needs charged. To remedy the charging issue, I am exploring (looking at) the compact portable chargers. One that has caught my eye, that is inexpensive and has great customer reviews is the Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank … One in three chargers sold on Amazon are from Anker!

Anker Astro E1

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