Want to compress a bunch of documents into a single encrypted file for archiving?

October 12, 2017

If so, take a look at BCArchive… This FREE program is specifically designed to compress a group of files/folders to a single encrypted file that is password protected.  I like the idea that, after installing, you can activate BCArchive from the Explorer file menu, which comes in real handy when you need to protect and archive files on the fly. Always keep in mind that when you password protect the file archive, to remember the password.

BCArchive is compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10 (32-Bit/64-Bit)…

To give you an idea how good this program is, here is a list of the options:

  • Create Compressed and Encrypted Archive File Protected by Password
  • Create Compressed and Encrypted Archive File by Using the Public Key of Another User
  • Add Several Passwords to an Existing Archive File
  • Apply more than one Public Key to an Archive File Enabling a Number of Users to Decrypt the Archive
  • Generate New or Use Existing Secret/Public Key Pairs in PKCS-12/X.509 Format
  • Compress and Encrypt Data to a Self-extracted Executable Program
  • Synchronize, Import, Export Functions
  • Includes BCTextEncoder Utility

SOURCE: Jetico – BCArchive


IrfanView – A Highly Recommended Image Viewer For Your Computer

October 10, 2017

I do not care much for the image viewer that is packaged with the Windows operating system; therefore, I look for the better options. In this case, the better option is IrfanView. This program, it seems, has been around since of the beginning of time. Actually, I believe it was somewhere around 1996 when Irfanview began making its’ appearance. This program is designed to be simple; yet, can be made to be more complex by using a variety of downloadable plugins. I encourage you to give it a try.

IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative FREEWARE (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, XP, 2003 , 2008, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10.  Also available as a full install download or portable app.

IrfanView features:

  • 32 and 64 bit version
  • Many supported file formats (click here the list of formats)
  • Multi language support
  • Thumbnail/preview option
  • Paint option – to draw lines, circles, arrows, straighten image etc.
  • Toolbar skins option
  • Slideshow (save slideshow as EXE/SCR or burn it to CD)
  • Show EXIF/IPTC/Comment text in Slideshow/Fullscreen etc.
  • Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters
  • Fast directory view (moving through directory)
  • Batch conversion (with advanced image processing)
  • Multipage TIF editing
  • File search
  • Email option
  • Multimedia player
  • Print option
  • Support for embedded color profiles in JPG/TIF
  • Change color depth
  • Scan (batch scan) support
  • Cut/crop
  • Add overlay text/image (watermark)
  • IPTC editing
  • Effects (Sharpen, Blur, Adobe 8BF, Filter Factory, Filters Unlimited, etc.)
  • Screen Capturing
  • Extract icons from EXE/DLL/ICLs
  • Lossless JPG rotation
  • Shell Extension PlugIn
  • Unicode support
  • Many hotkeys
  • Many command line options
  • Many PlugIns
  • Only one EXE-File, no DLLs, no Shareware messages like “I Agree” or “Evaluation expired”
  • No registry changes without user action/permission!
  • and much much more

SOURCE: IrfanView


Set Up Reminders With Google Keep

October 8, 2017

Google Keep is Google’s cross-platform note keeping app that is an electronic version of sticky notes. If you don’t use Google Keep, you are missing out on a great application. It is one of the most used apps on my computer and smartphone.

One feature I personally use (especially on my smartphone) is the reminder feature built into Google Keep. After I create a note and set the reminder (see steps below), the reminder will pop up in the notification section of my phone when the reminder comes due. I have a note called “Reminders” that I have configured to pop up every day at 8AM to jostle me in completing various tasks.

You can set a reminder from your phone (Android and iOS), but the easiest way is from your computer.

How To set up reminders for your notes:

Go to keep.google.com.

Click a note.

At the bottom left, click Remind me Remind me.

You can set reminders to go off at a certain time or place:

Time reminder: Click one of the default times, or click Pick a date & time Pick a date and time. You can also set the reminder to repeat.

Location reminder: Click Pick place Pick a place. Then enter the name or address and click Done Done. You’ll need to let Keep access your location.

Click Save.

To close your note, click Done or click outside the note.

To change your reminder, click the reminder time or place at the bottom of the note.

Tip: To delete a reminder, in the bottom right, click Delete reminder Delete reminder.

View upcoming reminders:

Go to keep.google.com or open the Keep app.

At the top left of Keep, tap or click Menu Menu > Reminders.

You’ll see all notes with upcoming reminders.

Change default reminder times

You can change the pre-set reminder times for morning, afternoon, and evening. Learn how to change your default reminder times.

You do need a Google account in order to use Google Keep. As I indicated, Google Keep is a cross platform application and will run from your computer, Android smartphone and iOS smarphone. Once installed on your computer and other devices, the notes are kept in sync.


SOURCE: Google Keep


A FREE Program That Lets You Draw, Sketch and Paint

October 6, 2017

Thought I would share a program with you that is developed for the artists out there. It is not an image editor. It is not a vector graphics editor. It is a program that lets you draw, sketch and paint with almost infinite detail.

Features:

  • You can paint with (almost) infinite detail. It feels raster-based but it works with vectors
  • Your work is always saved automatically. There is no need for a save button
  • Milton files are very small
  • Unlimited undo
  • Layers
  • Export to JPEG or PNG at any resolution your machine supports
  • It supports Windows 7 and up. It compiles on Linux and macOS but there is some functionality missing

SOURCE: Milton Paint 

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FREE Security and Optimization Software That I Use To Protect My Computer(s)

October 3, 2017

I have been doing computers since the 1980’s. During that timespan of nearly 40 years I have never paid for antivirus software. As a matter of fact, when I purchase a new computer, one of the first things I do is remove the pre-installed security software (such as Norton or McAfee’s). I have found that these security software packages cause more headaches than they are worth; are a resource burden to the computer; require annual subscriptions, and are so embedded into the Windows registry and system that you have to use special uninstallers to remove them. One important point I do want to make is that if you ever decide to remove the current antivirus or antimalware software from your computer, make sure you visit the software developer’s site to determine if they have a special uninstaller you can download to remove the software.  If you don’t do this, you are at risk of leaving remnants behind of the software that can impact the continued operation of the computer and may conflict with any other security software that you install. For your convenience, here is a resource at eset (click here) that will help you with uninstalling security software.

What I have found that is that you can protect yourself with applying common sense and using good free security and optimization software. There are numerous options out there (for FREE), but the list below is the software programs that I use to protect my computers:

CCleaner – the number-one tool for cleaning your PC. It protects your privacy and makes your computer faster and more secure! Make sure you download the FREE version.

BitDefender FREE – featuring virus scanning (and removal), advanced threat detection, anti-phlishing, and anti-fraud. After uninstalling your other antivirus software and you install Bitdefender FREE, you will be asked to set up an account. Once done that task, you are good to go.  You do not have to do anything after that and as a matter of fact, you will forget it is even there.

Malwarebytes FREE – is a next-generation antivirus replacement. The first of its kind for home users, Malwarebytes for Windows employs four independent technology modules—anti-malware, anti-ransomware, anti-exploit, and malicious website protection—to block and remove both known and unknown threats. The FREE version does not auto monitor your computer. What I do is routinely scan my computer using Malwarebytes sort of as a second opinion and to complement BitDefender FREE.  If I were to buy software to protect my PC, then I would buy the Malwarebytes Premium edition.

AdwCleaner – is another product from Malwarebytes that is FREE. AdwCleaner does not monitor your computer in the background. Simply download, run, and scan on a routine basis to search for and remove adware, unwanted toolbars, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), and browser hijackers.

Avira Safe Shopping – is a FREE browser add-on for Google Chrome that will alert you to sites that are criminal in nature by highlighting infected sites directly in your search results to ensure you know which sites are harmful before you click. Avira Safe Shopping is your browser extension, which ensures your safety and privacy while shopping online, and provides you with better deals from secure websites.

The list above is my personal preference and has served me very well in protecting my computers. Please feel free to comment below and reflect any other security software (for FREE) that you would recommend.


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Using A Smartphone To Check If An Infrared Remote Control Is Working

October 2, 2017

I just had this happen to me. Purchased a new TV (that is in my RV) and the remote control was not working. I didn’t have batteries readily available to swap out. The remote control was an infrared remote control and with an infrared remote control, you can not see the light through the infrared blaster lens with the naked eye (when the power button is pushed).

The main technology used in home remote controls is infrared (IR) light. The signal between a remote control handset and the device it controls consists of pulses of infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, but can be seen through a digital camera, video camera or a phone camera.  [source: Wikipedia]

I remembered a trick I read where you can take your smartphone camera, turn it to the rear-facing “selfie” view, point the remote to the “selfie” screen (about arms length away) and push a button on the remote (like the “power” button) and you should see a light flicker (on the smartphone screen). I did this and did not see any light flicker, confirming there was an issue with the remote. When I got home, where I had batteries, I tried the same trick with the smartphone; and, guess what I could see the light shine and flicker in my smartphone’s camera “selfie” screen (confirming the remote was now operational). I further confirmed the operation of the remote with the TV when I returned to my RV.

So, if you ever need to troubleshoot your infrared remote control, give this trick a try.  It does work…

 


Naked Security: Advising Us To Stop Using The Android Unlock Pattern To Secure Phone (to easy to crack)

October 1, 2017

How many of you are using an unlock pattern to secure your device? In a nutshell: it is far easier for an attacker to shoulder surf a pattern than a PIN.

A new report (PDF) from security researchers at the US Naval Academy and the University of Maryland Baltimore County has quantified just how absurdly easy it is to do an over-the-shoulder glance that accurately susses out an Android unlock pattern…. READ MORE


SOURCE: Naked Security