A FREE Scriptable Open-Source Forensic Data Collection Tool (for the Tech Toolbox)

May 24, 2016

Here is a NEW tool for the tech toolbox (that can be carried on your flashdrive), called Achoir

Best information I found on this tool is at BetaNews and at the Download Crew …  Best place to download is Download Crew.

In summary, Achoir is considered a forensic data collection tool that uses other free or open-source tools, in concert (as in a choir) to gather basic system and hardware information, installed applications, drivers, user groups and accounts, network adapters, running processes (copies of the executables, not just the names), currently open network connections, browsing history, and raw data including dumps of RAM, NTFS data (MFT, UsnJrnl etc), event logs, Registry hives and more.


How To Install Windows Without A Bootable Disk — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-013)

March 28, 2016

How To Install Windows Without A Bootable Disk – Typically, to install Windows you will need some type of bootable media (such as a DVD or USB drive). To get around this often cumbersome process there is a new product recently released called WinToHDD.

WinToHDD is a handy and useful Windows software that allows you to install or reinstall Microsoft Windows without using a CD/DVD or USB drive. With this All-in-One Microsoft Windows Setup application, you can easily reinstall Microsoft Windows, install Microsoft Windows onto disks other than the one where your Microsoft Windows operating system is installed, or clone current Windows OS installation (Windows vista or later) to other disk.

WinToHDD

I first came across WinToHDD at I Love Free Software, where they have authored a quick tutorial on how to use WinToHDD and the precautions to take…

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Love Scrabble??? – If so, check out the 5 Best Scrabble Games For Android @ Android Authority. All of these scrabble takeoffs can be played against other opponents.  If you are looking for a scrabble game that you can play solo against your device, check out my favorite, called Classic Words Solo

 Classic Words Solo- screenshot

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Find Out Who and What Is Connected To Your Wireless Network – To rule out the possibility of someone piggy backing off of your wireless network, download and run (portable app) Wireless Network Watcher

Wireless Network Watcher is a small utility that scans your wireless network and displays the list of all computers and devices that are currently connected to your network. For every computer or device that is connected to your network, the following information is displayed: IP address, MAC address, the company that manufactured the network card, and optionally the computer name. You can also export the connected devices list into html/xml/csv/text file, or copy the list to the clipboard and then paste into Excel or other spreadsheet application.

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UniExtract2 – Some of you geeksters out there may have heard of UniExtract (or Universal Extractor), that allows you to  extract files from a wide variety of archive files, including ZIP, ARJ, LZH, as well as MSI and EXE files created using various installer packages (such as Nullsoft, Wise, Inno Setup, etc). I primarily use it to decompress installer packages, when possible. Universal Extractor 2 is an unofficial updated and extended version of the original UniExtract by Jared Breland (that is currently in development). It brings several hundred changes including community-wanted ones such as a batch mode, auto-updater and scan-only-functionality.

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Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 64GB USB – What I love about this USB drive is the price and that it will attach easily to your key ring.

Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 64GB USB

Kingston DTSE9 Flash Drive

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Beware Of The Social Security Email Scam — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-10)

March 7, 2016

Beware Of The Social Security Email Scam – I felt this important enough to “pass it on” and post about the most recent Social Security Email Scam where you receive a phlishing email that leads you to believe it is from the Social Security Administration. I first read about this on the Comsumer Reports website.

Here is what Consumer Reports had to say about this scam:

This Social Security email is a classic phishing ploy, a form of identity theft in which hackers use fraudulent websites and fake emails to attempt to steal your personal data, especially passwords and credit card information. Clicking on the link may open your computer to malware, such as viruses and spyware. Or the link might send you to a spoof site—a copycat version of the Social Security Administration’s site—to trick you into entering your personal information, including your Social Security number [source: Consumer Reports]

It is important to report all questionable emails to the FTC and to the organization impersonated in the email. You can initiate a scam report at the FTC Complaint Assistant web site by — CLICKING HERE .

How problematic are scams, such as this? I encourage you to visit the FTC’s Scam Alert page to see the multiple listing of “known” scams — CLICK HERE . What I find is that the scammers will follow similar patterns in their scams by using clever schemes to get people to send money or give out personal information. I have found that the scammers prey on the elderly, who came from a trusting generation. Always, with most things in life these days, “believe nothing and verify everything”.

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TCAT Shelbyville Blogs Windows 10 Update Information – Thank goodness I follow the TCAT Shelbyville blog. I just learned this past week, from their site, that Microsoft has unleashed and update that is quite large in size (+500 mb). These large updates affect those who are on limited bandwidth’s (such as a satellite connection); and, they are wondering why they are mysteriously exceeding their bandwidth limitations. Actually, looking at what this update consists of, they should have called it an upgrade (LOL)…  I encourage you to visit the TCAT Shelbyville Technical Blog to learn more… Again, to see detailed information about Windows 10 Updates, you can visit Microsoft’s new site that provides a history on these updates (click here)…

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My Favorite Third Party Windows Task ManagerAnVir Task Manager FREE is the task manager that I use and carry in my tech toolbox (a portable version is available, as well as the full install version). If you look at the graphic below, you will see that this task manager is like a swiss utility knife. I have included this program on the download’s page under the software and portable apps swarms.

AnVir Task Manager FREE

 AnVir Task Manager is a swiss knife

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A Dual-Pane Tree View File Explorer For Android – I recently switched over from ES File Explorer to X-plore File Manager and have not regretted it since. Don’t get me wrong, ES File Explorer is an excellent file manager, as well; however the big “main” feature I like about X-plore is the dual-pane tree view. This feature allows you to toggle from one file location to another, making file management faster (and easier). X-plore, like ES File Explorer, is loaded with all the features you would need for an android based application. I highly recommend X-plore…

X-plore File Manager

 X-plore File Manager- screenshot

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A SanDisk Flash Drive With Dual Micro-USB and USB 3.0 Connectors – With the dual connections, the SanDisk Ultra 64GB USB 3.0 OTG Flash Drive With micro USB connector For Android Mobile Devices gives you the luxury of connecting this drive to your Windows OS based computer and to your Android OS based phone (or tablet).

SanDisk Ultra 64GB USB 3.0 OTG Flash Drive
With micro USB connector For Android Mobile Devices

SanDisk Dual USB

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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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