20 tips and tricks that make Windows 10 more tolerable | PCWorld

November 23, 2016

I am all in when it comes to making Windows 10 work better.

These tips and tricks will make the parts of Win10 that you actually use work better…

Source: 20 tips and tricks that make Windows 10 more tolerable | PCWorld


Fix Printer Problems – Windows 10 Anniversary Edition

August 16, 2016

I had installed the Anniversary Edition of Windows 10 when it was released and it appeared the upgrade occurred without a hitch, until today I went to use my printer (Brother DW-2270). The anniversary edition was showing two instances of my printer in the “Devices and Printers” in the control panel; however, it was showing that there was no driver installed. As a result the printer was a dead duck and was being recognized by the computer… At this point I attempted to remove (and uninstall) both instances of my printer from the “Devices and Printers” and the “Device Manager”.  One instance of the printer uninstalled; however, the second instance would not, no matter what I attempted. I am sure some type of registry tweak would have done it, but I was not in the mood to go looking for that sort of fix. I then visited the Brother’s website, downloaded the driver and attempted to make Windows use the driver. Again, no luck. I finally went back to the Brother website, found an uninstall tool for their drivers and then downloaded their full install software package for printers. I ran the uninstall tool and it indicated “success” and then I installed the printer software as if I were installing the printer for the first time. This time, it worked.

I decided to post this here on the blog, due I know of other instances where folks have experienced similar printer issues after installing the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. The only help I could find on the Microsoft site for this problem was HERE, which tells me this may be a global problem.

Fix Printer Problems


Windows 10: Using The File History Feature To Backup Your Personal Files

July 18, 2016

Let’s face it, you probably do not backup your personal files on your Windows 10 computer. When I talk about personal files, I am talking about your photos, videos, documents, etc… that are personal to YOU. I know you may say it doesn’t really matter, but it will. I have found that when computer users (including myself) lose files it sort of does something to you. You actually will feel that a loss has occurred and feel helpless in recovering from that loss.

An “automated” backup solution for Windows 10 users is built right into the operating system that I have found to be very easy to use. It is called “File History”… Below you will find a short video from BTNHD that will quickly get you up and running with using File History. What I like about File History is that you can fully configure it to backup any folders that you choose (to an external hard drive), at different time intervals (making it fully automated), and the option of how long you want to keep revisions of your files. I encourage you take a look at File History, learn how to use it, and save yourself some misery when that computer crash occurs…

How To Use Windows 10 File History Feature!


In Windows 10 There is More To “Ctrl-Shift-Esc” Than Meets The Eye

May 16, 2016

“Ctrl-Shift-Esc” is the keyboard combination that will launch the Windows 10 Task Manager. You can also “right-mouse-click” on the Windows taskbar to invoke a menu where you can launch the Task Manager, as well. The Task Manager is especially useful if you need to kill a program that is negatively impacting your computer.  Most techies use the task manager solely for that purpose; however, there is a whole lot more to the Windows 10 Task Manager that is often overlooked. Digital Trends has posted a nice (quick read) run down and video of what other featured utilities are available in the Task Manager that you need to know about — READ MORE 

Windows 10 Task Manager


Evernote and Google Keep Made Some Nice Upgrades This Past Week

April 25, 2016

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-017)

Evernote and Google Keep are my two main note keeping applications. Evernote is for the important stuff and Google Keep is for the unimportant stuff.  Both are cloud based and are available on numerous platforms.

Unveiling the new Evernote for Windows

This past week Evernote made some noticeable improvements that made navigation of the sidebar more intuitive, searches are now more refined, and notebooks (and tags) can be color coded.  Read more about the changes to Evernote by CLICKING HERE.

The most noticeable improvement this past week to Google Keep is the NEW Google Keep Chrome extension that gives you the ability to save web pages, images and selected text with ease. To take a look at the Google Keep Chrome extension, CLICK HERE .

Both of these applications are especially helpful in keeping track of the things in our life; whether important and/or unimportant.

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Relive The Sinking Of The Titanic In This Real-Time Animation – If you got 2 hours and 40 minutes to spare, you can relive the final hours of the Titanic. The video has been viewed almost 3 million times on YouTube, with many people commenting that they watched the whole animation.

Sinking Of The Titanic Animation

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  Word Search

Windows 10 Demo

How To Run Applications Without Installing

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Holy Stone U818A HD Plus | Drone with Camera | One Key Return | Low Battery Warning | Headless Mode Function | 2.4GHz 4 Chanel 6-Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter Includes Bonus Battery and Goggles

Drone

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Protect Your Android Apps From Unwanted Access

April 18, 2016

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-016)

Recently I have been paying special attention to folks who have Android smartphones (and tablets) and I am noticing that the majority do not have their phones locked down (either with a pin code or pattern lock). I highly recommend that you get into the security setting on your devices and lock them down; preferably, with a pin code so that when your phone is turned “on” or awakened out of its’ sleep mode, a code (that you pre-designate) is required to access and operate the phone. You will not realize the importance of this “slight” inconvenience, until your phone is misplaced.

To take this a step further, there are apps available that allow you pass code protect individual apps to prevent apps from being launched on your phone (or tablet) in the event you hand off the device to someone else, such as your kids. An app locker that I have been testing out is called Avira Applock+. What I like about Applock+ is that it is very easy to setup; and, it specifically focuses on securing access to your apps (and not a bunch of other stuff is bundled with it). An included powerful feature in the FREE version is the unlimited remote device management, where you can remotely lock and unlock apps on your managed phones (as many as you like!) from Avira Online Essentials – your online dashboard.

Avira Applock+

 AppLock+- screenshot

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A Surge Protector For High-End Home and Professional Workstations – Here is a surge protector that is highly recommended.  It is the Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector that is a #1 Best Seller at Amazon. This surge protector is built to protect professional workstations, laser printers, telephones, home-theater systems, and everyday household electronics. While it is recommended for heavy duty devices, it can also be used to protect other household electronics as well without problem.

Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector

Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector

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Q-Dir  Windows 10 Emulation

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Google Calendar Keeps Getting Better And Better – You may not have noticed; but, as of this month, a new feature has been implemented that will allow you to create reminders in your calendar. 

Just like on Android and iPhone, you’ll get the following:

  • Reminders stick around – If a reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your calendar until you mark it done.
  • Reminders work across Google – Reminders you create in Inbox, Keep, and the Google app will also show in Google Calendar.
  • Reminders sync with mobile – Reminders created in mobile show up on the web and vice versa. So you can stay on track from just about anywhere.

To read more on this, CLICK HERE

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I Use CCleaner, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, And Bitdefender Antivirus Free To Keep My PC Safe (and Clean)

April 4, 2016

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-014)

I have been involved with computers for nearly 30 years. I have never installed any “paid” antivirus software products and have solely relied on common sense and the FREE products that are available (and suitable for computers in the home). I have never had a virus on any of my home based computers. As you noticed, I mentioned “common sense” as one of the factors, which may be easier said than done. I do believe that you have to develop that sixth sense (or gut feeling) in knowing when you are entering potentially dangerous territory. On the software side I currently use three products to help keep my computers (at home) safe and clean.

CCleaner – Without a doubt, CCleaner is the number one optimization tool that not only cleans your computer, but also aids in keeping your computer safe. There is a FREE version and a paid version. I have always gotten along just fine with the free version.

Laptop showing the CCleaner interface - 1 billion downloads

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – Detects and removes malware on an infected computer with industry-leading anti-malware, anti-spyware, and anti-rootkit tech. Scans for the newest and most dangerous threats. Safely removes malware. One thing to point out at the start is that the FREE version of Malwarebytes is only a scanning utility and does not provide real-time protection. You can get the real-time protection by purchasing the commercial version of their software. Don’t let this deter you from downloading the FREE version. I use the FREE version and make a habit to manually download the updates and perform routine scans of my computer. If I was going to purchase protection for my computer, I would definitely go with the “paid” version of this software (so that it runs continuously in the background, stopping infections before they happen. Scans automatically and halts attempted attacks).

Malwarebytyes Anti-Malware

Bitdefender Antivirus FREE Edition – What I like about Bitdefender is that it is “smart and silent”. Once you install the FREE version, you will have to register with an email address; then, after that you will not even know it is on your computer. Bitdefender has a great reputation and has been well reviewed. As a reminder, when installing antivirus software; always remove (uninstall) any other antivirus software you have installed on your computer.

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A NEW Tool For The Tech Toolbox – Saw this on betaNews, “Investigate your PC’s RAM use with ATM“… This tool, called ATM performs an in-depth, low-level look at your PC’s system memory use. If you are a troubleshooter, ATM may be right up your alley. Being an old dumb PC Tech, this one was definitely above my level of comprehension (which isn’t much these days)…

ATM

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Easily Control Automatic and Unwanted Windows 7 & 8.1 Upgrading to Windows 10 – Here is a “How To”  @ Tech-for Everyone on using a utility called Never 10 that will disable the Windows 10 Upgrade (wiith just one click). Many folks are sticking to or reverting back to earlier versions of Windows due to the privacy concerns in Windows 10.

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Windows 10 Secret Apps View Basket

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REFURBISHED
(GREAT RATINGS)

HP Desktop Core 2 Duo 3.00GHZ 4GB 1TB DVD Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit , WIFI ,19″ LCD

HP Desktop Core 2 Duo 3.00GHZ 4GB 1TB DVD Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit , WIFI ,19" LCD

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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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FREE Kapersky Security Tools — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-09)

February 29, 2016

FREE Kapersky Security Tools – Kaspersky Lab is world renown for its’ security products, such as anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall applications, in addition to security systems designed for small business, corporations and large enterprises.

Kaspersky Lab

In addition to their fine security applications, they also have a page setup — CLICK HERE — where you can download a variety of FREE security tools that they have put together that you may be interested in:

Kaspersky Software Updater – Keep your PC software up-to-date and secure. The tool automatically gives you a list of new updates, and applies only those ones you select.

Kaspersky Password Manager – Securely store your passwords & sync them across PC, Mac, iPhone & iPad and Android devices – for safer access to accounts, apps & websites.

Kaspersky Cleaner (link is direct file dowloand) – Make your PC run smoothly & effectively, by cleaning it from junk files & temporary items – and tune up your digital privacy.

Kaspersky Safe Kids – Protect your kids from digital dangers – so they can enjoy and learn more from the digital world.

Kaspersky Security Scan – Scan your PC for malware that may be hidden on it. Get a detailed security status report – plus tips on improving your PC protection.

Kaspersky Rescue Disk (link is direct file download) – Check and cure your computer when it is critically infected and it is impossible to boot the operating system.

Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool  (link is direct file download)- Get quick help for your PC. Download an efficient tool to clean up your computer from viruses, Trojans, malware, adware and more.

Kaspersky Internet Security – (Multi-Device) Get the one-license solution that delivers premium protection for your money, kids, privacy and more on PC, Mac and Mobile.

My Kaspersky – Remotely manage the security of all your devices from a simple web portal – plus get access to free Kaspersky security services.

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Craigslist On Steroids – I have been trying to pay more attention to some of the Windows Store apps (for Windows 8.1 and 10) and hope to feature some of the apps that I think are worth installing. One of the first apps I installed (since I am a Craigslist user) was CPlus for Craigslist. If you are a Craigslist user, I encourage you to definitely take a look at this app. Makes browsing Craigslist a much more enjoyable and streamlined (faster) experience.

CPlus for Craigslist

Screenshot: Main Page

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How To Create A Slide To Shutdown Shortcut In Windows 10 – The Windows Club has given us a “how to” Create A Slide To Shutdown Shortcut In Windows 10. Once you follow their instructions, simply click on the shortcut and the lock screen will roll half way down the screen. When it stops, simply take your mouse and drag it to the bottom edge of the screen and your computer will commence to shutdown. You can back out of this, if you decide to not pull down the lock screen (from the halfway point), by hitting the “esc” key on your keyboard (at which point the lock down screen will roll back to the top).  To add to this, I right clicked the shortcut I added and selected a different icon (such as the shutdown icon). I then pinned the shortcut to my taskbar. This shortcut makes shutting down your PC much easier…

To add to this, I right clicked the shortcut I created and selected a different icon (such as the shutdown icon). I then pinned the shortcut to my taskbar. This shortcut makes shutting down your PC much easier…

Create A Slide To Shutdown Shortcut In Windows 10

Create Slide To Shutdown shortcut

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An Ultrasmall Highspeed USB 3.0 Flash Drive That’s Ideal For Notebooks – Last year I installed a 128 GB SSD drive in my old notebook computer. To compliment that drive, I am looking to get one of these small USB low profile drives to give me more space (to store personal files). Right now my radar has me looking at the SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

SanDisk Ultra Fit 128 GB

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Don’t Throw Away That Old Computer. Turn It Into A Chromebook (sort of) — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-08)

February 22, 2016

Don’t Throw Away That Old Computer. Turn It Into A Chromebook (sort of) – Neverware, a New York City startup, is in the business of taking old computers and refurbishing them into “Chromebooks” (sort of). Actually you could call them Chromiumbooks, due they use a modified version of Chromium (instead of Google Chrome) that will work on most hardware. The difference between Chromium and Chrome are undistinguishable. The good about this is that the software to convert that old computer to a Chromebook or to create a dual-boot system, is free to individual users. If you are interested in giving this a try, the download and instructions can be found by HERE.

Neverware

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Sandbox Your Web Browser (or any application) With SHADE Sandbox – Most everyone that is into computers is familiar with Sandboxie and its’ isolation technology. Well, there is another competitive option out there called “SHADE Sandbox. SHADE Sandbox is an alternative for antivirus and a tool for virtualization. It locally virtualizes applications (i.e. internet browsers) and locks all incoming internet files and possible viruses in its safe virtual environment – a “sandbox”, keeping them isolated from the Operating System to maintain it clean from malware.

SHADE Sandbox

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An Ultimate Tool For Customizing Windows (including Windows 10)  – If you are into customizing the look of Windows to meet your personal taste, then take a look at CustomizerGod.

 CustomizerGod

CustomizerGod in Windows 8.1

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An Android App To Listen To Your News Websites, Online Magazines, RSS Feeds and Blogs – The Android app, called Play News is a nice app that allows you to listen to (read aloud) news, magazines and your selected web content on your phone (or tablet). You can also add to a playlist inbox articles, news, etc… of your choice.  A nice addition to this app is the Google Chrome extension, called Play News: Listen Later, that gives you the ability to add items to your playlist that can be listened to later (for example in your car using full bluetooth support).

Play News

 PlayNews: Listen to news sites- screenshot

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Speaking Of Chromebooks – Checkout the Newest Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook 2, featuring: the Intel Dual-Core Celeron N2840 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, 11.6″ HD Display 1366 x 768, Intel® HD Graphics, HD Webcam, Bluetooth, HDMI, 802.11ac, Chrome OS…

Newest Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook 2

Newest Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook 2 (Intel Dual-Core Celeron N2840 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, 11.6" HD Display 1366 x 768, Intel® HD Graphics, HD Webcam, Bluetooth, HDMI, 802.11ac, Chrome OS)

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Where To Get Windows 10 Update Details — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-07)

February 15, 2016

Where To Get Windows 10 Update Details – Windows 10, like all previous Windows versions, is recipient to numerous updates that are circulated by Microsoft. These updates are necessary to improve the operating system and keep our computers safe. Microsoft, this past week, beginning with the February 9th update, announced that they have launched a web site detailing the contents of the Windows 10 updates. The site will regularly refresh, as new updates are released. According to Microsoft, “You’ll see a summary of important product developments included in each update, with links to more details”…  If you are someone who is into troubleshooting computer problems, knowing where and how to get to this site may be helpful. I don’t know about you; but, I have seen updates go awry and actually cause problems. Knowing the contents of these updates will be a helpful in solving these problems. To get to the Windows 10 Update History web site — CLICK HERE.

Windows 10 Update History

win10

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A NEW Gmail Feature To Make Email Safer – When using Gmail, if you receive a message from, or are about to send a message to, someone whose email service doesn’t support TLS encryption, you’ll see a broken lock icon in the message. What this is basically telling you is that the email, while in transit, is not encrypted and if intercepted could be read. To learn more about this feature, visit the Official Gmail Blog.

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Microsoft Garage – The Outlet For Experimental Projects – One of my passions is software (especially FREE software). As a matter of fact; trying, testing, and learning about software paved my way into information technology (as a hobby and career). If you are like me and love software (and apps), make sure you check out Microsoft Garage where you will find Workbench Projects (with many being, not only Windows based, but Apple and Android based).

Microsoft Garage

Creating a laser etched and lit rapid prototype in the Makers Garage.

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Computer Wizard

(courtesy of The Meta Picture)

cool-computer-genius-quote

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Farbar Tools To Fight Malware – Farbar is a malware fighter who helps people with malware removal on a variety of security forums.  He has incorporated his own experience and other malware fighters into some useful tools to assist helpers in removing malware. 

Farbar Tools

@

Bleeping Computer

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A Gravity Defying Levitating Bluetooth Speaker – The ICEORB Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker is one of the Amazon Launchpad products that is a floating Speaker Orb spinning above a magnetic base… Am I buying one of these?  No, but this is pretty cool…

ICEORB Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker

ICEORB Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker

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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 (#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 (#2015-38) 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

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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.

 

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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

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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

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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 (#2015-36) FEATURING — Control What People See About You On Google Services — and MORE GREAT STUFF

November 16, 2015

Control What People See About You On Google Services – If you are a subscriber to any of Google’s services, it is important to know that you can control what people see about you at aboutme.google.com. While you are there, click on the privacy checkup where you can review and adjust what data Google uses to personalize your experience, and update what information you share with friends or make public.

Google About Me

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Safely AND Quickly Hide Files and Folders – If you are looking for a way to hide a file or folder, then take a look at WinMend. I can tell you that I have used WinMend for the past several years and I have never lost a file.  The WinMend site states it, like this; “While ensuring the absolute system safety, this application can quickly hide files and folders on local partitions and/or on removable devices. The hidden files/folders will be safely hidden whether the drive is accessed in another operating system on the same computer or reinstalled on another computer”. I have added WinMend to the downloads page, located under the FREE SOFTWARE swarm…

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Using The Disk Cleanup Tool In Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 – Cnet has a nice tutorial (click here), on how to clean up the junk in Windows using the built-in cleanup tool. The tutorial covers each aspect of what the tool removes and cleans from your system such as the browser thumbnail cache, system files, system restore files, the hibernation cache, and the recycle bin.

Cleaning up system files

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A Tool To Reset And Repair Windows Update Related Components – The Windows Club posted this article, Reset Windows Update to default in Windows 10, that features using the Windows Update Component Tool (aka Reset Windows Update Agent) to reset and repair the components to the Windows Update service. The tool itself is available from Technet – click here

Reset Windows Update 1

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MORE Quick Links To Amazon Holiday Deals – As you probably have noticed I have an obsession with Amazon and the challenge of locating their best deals. As Christmas gift giving (and receiving) nears, I really go on the hunt to bookmark links to their holiday deals.  Below is my latest collection to share with you.

Quick Links

Today’s Deals

Cyber Monday

12 Days of Deals

Last-Minute Deals

Year-End Deals

Black Friday

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– Earth’s Biggest Selection – Deal of the DayLeave A Comment