Is VeraCrypt The Reincarnation of TrueCrypt??? — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-05)

February 1, 2016

Is VeraCrypt The Reincarnation of TrueCrypt??? – Nearly everyone in the world of tech has heard of TrueCrypt. TrueCrypt was an open source-available freeware utility used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). If you notice I said “was”. TrueCrypt’s life was an approximate 10 year lifespan from 2004 to 2014. In 2014 TrueCrypt abruptly shutdown development and many rumors have persisted since that time, as to “why”. As a result, many people became skeptical about the security of TrueCrypt. Well fret no more…  I noticed at Gizmo’s Freeware site (one of my favorite sites) that TrueCrypt has been reincarnated into VeraCrypt. Gizmo’s has an article posted, TrueCrypt Is Dead. Long Live VeraCrypt! that I encourage you to read.

VeraCrypt

VeraCrypt picks up from where TrueCrypt left and it adds enhanced security to the algorithms used for system and partitions encryption making it immune to new developments in brute-force attacks.

VeraCrypt also solves many vulnerabilities and security issues found in TrueCrypt. It can load TrueCrypt volume and it offers the possibility to convert TrueCrypt containers and non-system partitions to VeraCrypt format.

To learn how to use Veracrypt — CLICK HERE — for a beginner’s tutorial.

MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

SpyDetectFree – Free Spyware Detector – Here is a FREE, easy to run, spyware detector called SpyDetectFree. It is a “one click” tool mainly intended for detecting processes that may indicate that your keystrokes are being recorded and/or there is the presence of spyware on your computer. SpyDetectFree does not require installation. Simply download and run.

SpyDetectFree

SpyDetectFree

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A Tutorial On Three Ways To View The WiFi Password On Your Windows 10 PC – You need to put ILoveFreeSoftware’s tutorial on “How To View WiFi Password on Windows 10 PC” in your tech toolbox files. Visit the site to learn how to: (1) View Windows 10 Wifi Password via Network and Sharing Center; (2) See Wifi Password on Windows 10 via Command Prompt; and, (3) Use Free WirelessKeyView Software for Windows 10 To View Wifi Password…

How To View WiFi Password on Windows 10 PC

enable show characters option to reveal the password

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Some Simple “FREE” Programs To Try – I don’t know what it is, but I have always had a fancy toward the small software programs that are developed for specific purposes. Many of these turn out to be actually very good. Reflected below are four that I ventured across this week that were new to me and is a worth a try:

WinBurner – Free Simple Complete Burning Suite

Tray Radio

OneWaySynchronize

OneWaySynchronize screenshot

SSuite Envelope Printer

Screenshot of SSuite - Envelope Printer

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Anker® Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse with 6 Buttons – If you are looking for a mouse, you will not beat the price (or customers reviews) on the Anker® Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse with 6 Buttons.

Anker® Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse

Anker Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-25) FEATURING — Take A Virtual Reality Ride On A New Dive Rollercoaster Coming In 2016 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

September 15, 2015

Take A Virtual Reality Ride On A New Dive Rollercoaster Coming In 2016 – When introduced in 2016, this rollercoaster (called the Valravn) will establish itself as being the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster.  You can read more about it here.  In the meantime you can take a virtual reality ride on it from your computer (see video below) and even on your phone as an Android or Apple app.

Start Video Below To Ride The Valravn
(Click full screen to get the full effect. There is a control at the top left
corner that can be used to get a panoramic view)

Campaign To Ban The Development of Sex Robots – Folks, this is not a joke. Knowing what I know about computer technology and the rapid development of robotics, we are very close to the time where you will be able to purchase your own sex robot. From an ethical standpoint, this is very disturbing. “Dr Richardson, a robot ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester, wants to raise awareness of the issue and persuade those developing sex robots to rethink how their technology is used — READ MORE

Roxxxy the robot in a publicity shot

Free Security Protection and Speed Booster for Android Phone – If you are looking to take protective measures on your Android smartphone or tablet, you may want to take a look at the 360 Security – Antivirus Boost app. I am currently testing this on my tablet and phone and in comparison to many of the other security apps I have tried, I am really liking what I am seeing with this app. In summary 360 Security is a Security & Antivirus app with features such as:  junk-file remover, memory booster, power saver, anti-theft components (locater, eraser, alarm and lock), privacy & app locks, and real-time protection. This app runs as smooth as silk on both of my devices and carries a high rating at the google play store. I have added 360 Security to the downloads page under the Android Apps swarm.

 360 Security - Antivirus Boost

Could You Spot A Fake Product Review? – When I intend on making a purchase online, I head straight to the customer reviews to see what other people are saying about the product. The problem with this is that there are people paid to post fake reviews (often using automated technology) and you really have to be careful.  I typically will head to other sites that have the product and also check out their customer reviews so that I have a good comparative analysis. I typically try to stick with Amazon for reviews because there are typically many reviewers (often with pictures and videos).  As a matter of fact Amazon will often contact you, after making a purchase, to encourage you to post a review and/or answer a question about the product.  So, how do you spot fake reviews?  I encourage you to take a look at this article at TNW News, “How to spot fake reviews“… As the article states, “The bottom line is that you should easily be able to figure out if an item is a quality product or which companies have superior customer service without going through an exhaustive or misleading web experience”.

How spot fake reviews @ TNW News

How To Spot A Fake Review

Always Check The Deal Of The Day (@Amazon) – At the bottom of the blog you will see an icon for “The Deal Of The Day“.  When visiting, always click on that icon to see what Amazon has going on. For example, as of today’s blog post, they are offering tremendous savings on TP-Link Networking products

Deal of the Day

What Antivirus Do I Use? – I can tell you this… I have NEVER paid for any antivirus software EVER. Much of what we do on the internet and how we do it determines what our risk level is when it comes to becoming a victim of malware. The antivirus software that I currently use is Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. Once you install it, establish an online account, you will not even know it is there.

Bitdefender Free Edition

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A Brief “How To” On Replacing The Power Supply In Your Computer

June 19, 2015

One of the most popular articles, at What’s On My PC, is about pinpointing whether a power supply is failing or not (Symptoms of a Failing Computer Power Supply)… What the article does not get into, is how to remove the power supply and replace it. If you examine the picture below of a computer power supply, it appears from all the wiring, it is a complex process; but, in reality it is not.

Today, I came across a brief “how to” on replacing the power supply in your computer at PCWorld. The article describes very nicely the two factors involved:

How Remove Your Old PC Power Supply

AND

How To Replace Your PC Power Supply

How to replace a power supply...

I encourage you to take a minute or two to review the article and I think you will agree that removing and replacing a power supply is not very difficult. If you are looking for a replacement power supply click here

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TODAY ONLY = Up to 40% Off Select Transcend Memory Cards, USB Drives, and Solid-State Drives

June 11, 2015

A quick post this morning (Thursday – June 11, 2015)… Noticed that Amazon has up to 40% off on select Transcend products (such as memory cards, USB Drives, and Solid State Drives). I recently upgraded my 5 year old laptop with a Transcend SSD (Solid State Drive) and what a noticeable performance increase. If interested in checking this deal out, click the link below…

Today only, enjoy special savings on Transcend memory products.
This one-day offer is valid on June 11, 2015,
or while supplies last.

Transcend

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Revive An Old PC or Laptop With The Transcend Information 256 GB SATA III SSD370

May 3, 2015

Recently, I had an older Windows 7 based Toshiba Laptop given to me in exchange for removing the personal data off of the drive. The laptop was suffering some other issues, as well;  that I was able to fix. The laptop is approximately 5 years old and came at a time when I was giving my brother a another computer I had, to install in his man-cave (garage)… The Toshiba became my own man-cave (garage) computer, after upgrading the computer with a Solid State Drive.

To breathe new life into this laptop I installed the Transcend Information 256 GB SATA III 6 Gb/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive. For the money, it was a no-brainer. The difference this upgrade made was very noticeable (faster boot time, faster program loads, and a faster internet experience).

A nice thing about the SSD370, is that it includes a 3.5-inch mounting kit, consisting of a bay adapter and 8 mounting screws (in the event you decide to install this drive in a desktop computer). Once attached to the chassis, you can use the 2.5-inch SSD370 in the standard 3.5-inch space.

Transcend Information 256 GB SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive TS256GSSD370

Transcend Information 256 GB SATA III 6 Gb/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive

  • 256GB (MLC)
  • Max. Read 570MB/s, Max. Write 470MB/s
  • DDR3 DRAM cache
  • TRIM Command support
  • Power Shield to prevent data loss when sudden power off
  • Supports S.M.A.R.T. function
  • Built-in ECC protection for long data retention
  • Intelligent Block Management and Wear Leveling

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Best Sellers In Notebook Computers (at Amazon for Friday, April 10, 2015)

April 10, 2015

I was just reading yesterday how desktop computer sales are down. I do not know if that applies to notebook computers, but here is the top ten sellers at Amazon, as of the date of this posting. What you will notice that these are all low end notebooks (or chromebooks) for under $300…

If you are late getting to this, you can check out the current listing of best sellers — click here

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 8:15:33 EDT

Lenovo G50

Lenovo G50 15.6-Inch Laptop (Core i3, 6 GB, 500 GB)
by Lenovo
Ranking has gone up in the past 24 hours 151 days in the top 100
3.9 out of 5 stars(325)

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Best Sellers In Desktop Computers (at Amazon for March 20, 2015)

March 20, 2015

If you are looking for a computer, a great place to start is at Amazon’s Best Sellers in Desktop Computers. I often visit their best sellers section to get a good feel as to what is most popular.

Reflected below are the top ten (in no particular order) out of the top 100…

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An Asus 24 Inch Computer Monitor With Over 3000 Buyers Giving It A 5 Star Rating For Under $160

February 18, 2015

The ingredients were right when I saw this monitor: An Asus 24 Inch Computer Monitor With Over 3000 Buyers Giving It A 5 Star Rating For Under $160 …  I was making my daily rounds on Amazon when I came across the Asus VS247H-P 23.6-Inch Full-HD LED-Lit LCD Monitor and thought this is a computer monitor that one of my readers may be interested in. I do not know how long the pricing will stay on this…

Asus VS247H-P 23.6-Inch Full-HD LED-Lit LCD Monitor

The Asus VS247H-P 23.6-Inch Full-HD LED-Lit LCD Monitor has actually been reviewed by over 4500 buyers with an average rating of over 4 stars (per the Amazon rating scale). If you have any questions in regards to this monitor it is likely your question(s) has been answered HERE.

Key Features:

  • Full HD displays for amazing high-definition visual clarity (Learn more)
  • 2ms response times for smooth motion playback
  • LED backlit for energy-efficient operation and brighter luminance
  • Built-in power adapters for space-saving yet still slim design
  • 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio for more defined images in dark colors (Learn more)
  • Advanced connectivity for convenient ways to connect your PCs and notebooks (Learn more)
  • Splendid Video Intelligence Technology quick image presets for your preferred task at hand (Learn more)
  • Corporate Stable Model certified for one year guaranteed supply (Learn more)
  • ASUS Rapid Replacement service for quick product replacement should a unit be sent for repair (Learn more)

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TECH DEAL – Don’t Know How Long This Will Last On This BenQ 3D Projector

January 10, 2015

Saw this on Amazon being listed as a lightning deal: 

BenQ MX522 XGA 3000L HDMI Smarteco 3D Projector with 10,000 Hour Lamp Life Projector

[ CLICK HERE ]

 

BenQ 3D Projector

Featuring a XGA resolution, a brightness of 3000 ANSI lumens, a contrast ratio of 13,000:1, and an unbelievable lamp life of up to 10,000 hours, the MX522 is the perfect projector choice for your everyday life. Whether it’s in business, education, or at home, the MX522 delivers stunning images and lower total cost of ownership.

Specifications:

  • Projection System: DLP
  • Native Resolution: XGA (1024 x 768)
  • Brightness: 3000AL
  • Contrast Ratio: 13,000:1
  • Display Color: 1.07 Billion Colors
  • Lens: F=2.5-2.7, f=22.08-24.28mm
  • Aspect Ratio: Native 4:3 (5 aspect ratio selectable)
  • Throw Ratio: 1.97-2.17 (50″@2m)
  • Image Size (Diagonal): 34″-300″
  • Zoom Ratio: 1.1:1
  • Lamp Type: 190W
  • Keystone Adjustment: 1D, Vertical ± 40 degrees
  • Projection Offset: 130% ±5%
  • Resolution Support: VGA (640 x 480) to UXGA(1600 x 1200)
  • Horizontal Frequency: 15-102KHz
  • Vertical Scan Rate: 23-120Hz

 More Tech Toys

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What were Amazon’s top three selling computers over the holidays?

January 4, 2015

PCWorld posted this interesting article about the top three selling computers over the holidays? Guess what they were…  CHROMEBOOKS!

Chances are that if you shopped for a cheap holiday PC on Amazon for the holidays, what you ended up buying was a Google Chromebook. Again.

Amazon said Friday the top three computers it sold between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25 were all Chromebooks, a first for the Google-powered computer. (Two of the three most popular computers Amazon shoppers bought during the 2013 holiday season were also Chromebooks—the third being a Windows-powered Asus Transformer. Amazon didn’t break out holiday computer sales for 2012.)

Amazon said the three most popular computer items were the Acer C720 Chromebook(11.6-inch, 2GB); the Asus (C300) Chromebook 13-inch with Gigabit WiFi (16GB, 2GB), an updateto the C200; and the HP 11-2010nr 11.6-inch Chromebook (Snow White). None of those are priced at higher than $250, at least on Amazon’s site… READ MORE @ PCWorld

A Chromebook is a laptop running Chrome OS as its operating system. The devices are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and data residing “in the cloud”. (source: Wikipedia)

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A High-Speed Memory Card That Is Ideal For Smartphones and Tablets

December 22, 2014

We all know that Samsung makes great products. I was in the market for a microSD memory card for my smartphone (and tablet) and found the Samsung’s EVO 64 GB microSD Memory Card (64GB) at a reasonable price. The selling points for me was the customer ratings, which does not surprise me for Samsung products (see ratings below, at the time of this posting); and, the rated transfer speeds. If you are in need of a card for your smartphone or tablet, this is the one I would go with.

Samsung microSD Customer Reviews

Samsung 64GB EVO Class 10 Micro SDXC up to 48MB/s with Adapter

Samsung 64GB EVO Class 10 Micro SDXC

  • Up to 48MB/s transfer speed
  • Great for Cell phones, Smartphones, Android Tablets, Tablet PCs.
  • Great speed and performance for full HD video recording, high resolution pictures, mobile gaming, music and more.
  • Water proof, Temperature Proof, X-Ray proof, Magnetic proof
  • Compatible with devices with SDxC slots.

More Tech Toys

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Most Helpful Positive Review On The Samsung Galaxy S 8.4 Inch Tablet

December 6, 2014

After reviewing and researching the newer Android Tablet brands out there, I am pretty much sold on The Samsung Galaxy S 8.4 Inch Tablet. If you keep checking, you will find that Amazon will periodically drop the price from $399 to $349 (was at that price today when I wrote this post).  I could give some pretty good insight on this tablet; but, why reinvent the wheel (see most helpful positive review below).

Samsung Galaxy S 8.4 Inch Tablet

Samsung Galaxy S

You can get the Most Helpful Positive Review on this tablet by one of Amazon’s recognized “most trusted reviewers:

Amazing tablet, with a screen that brings color to life…

First Look: Hands on review

Rating 4.5 Stars (Excellent Tablet but not a perfect 5 star). Unfortunately there is no half rating with Amazon so I went with a 4

There is no question that Samsung has flooded the market with tablets in the past year. From low range to upper range. When the Tab Pro 8.4 came out a few months ago I knew that was the Android I have been waiting for. Of course had I known the Tab S was coming out I would have waited for this tablet. That takes nothing away from the Pro because it is an excellent tablet and I assume there will be further discounting. I broke up my review into sections so you can jump to a section faster… READ MORE

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Having Problems Cloning A Windows 8 PC Hard Drive? Read These Articles, Download This FREE Software and Watch This Video

December 2, 2014

I recently purchased a new Windows 8 Box (see this article) and decided I wanted to make a bootable cloned drive. Being old school I went to work using the cloning software I had on hand and I immediately noticed something different in the drive partitions. The free software I was using was not getting the job done; and the drive, after the cloning process, did not boot. My tech instinct told me I was missing out on something and went to work researching terms I was seeing, such as GPT and UEFI.

I had been out of the field for nearly 7 years, have kept up with things (more as a hobby), but was not real familiar with the new GPT and UEFI terms that I was seeing. I had heard of the terms, but really did not pay any attention to them. Besides I always was a more of a software guy than a hardware guy (so it really did not hit high on my priority list, until now).

I soon discovered that all Windows 8 machines nowadays support the new GPT and UEFI ; AND, that it is real important to know what GPT and UEFI are when you get into the hardware side of a Windows 8 based computer.

In real simple terms GPT is the new replacement for MBR – Master Boot Record and UEFI is the new replacement for the BIOS – Basic Input/Output System.

To define GPT and UEFI in more complex terms (and to get a full understanding), I went to Wikipedia for a definition and found two really good articles that will bring this all together.

GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a standard for the layout of the partition table on a physical hard disk, using globally unique identifiers (GUID). Although it forms a part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard (Unified EFI Forum proposed replacement for the PC BIOS)…  source: wikipedia:GUID Partition Table 

If you read this article “What’s the Difference Between GPT and MBR When Partitioning a Drive?” you will see that MBR is old school and GPT is new school… source: How-To Geek

If you read this article “UEFI boot: how does that actually work, then?” you will see where the author adamantly is telling us UEFI and BIOS are two completely different beasts. This article in my opinion really nails down all of this stuff to the point where I found a lot of what I had been reading was off base due to people using the terminology incorrectly.

You do not have a ‘UEFI BIOS’. No-one has a ‘UEFI BIOS’. Please don’t ever say ‘UEFI BIOS’. BIOS is not a generic term for all PC firmware, it is a particular type of PC firmware. Your computer has a firmware. If it’s an IBM PC compatible computer, it’s almost certainly either a BIOS or a UEFI firmware… source: AdamW on Linux and more

Getting back to my original problem of cloning my Windows 8 hard drive, I now knew I needed to find cloning software that supported GPT and UEFI. This is where I found Macrium Reflect (FREE Edition), which supported the cloning process for GPT and UEFI based systems. Macrium Reflect is a free disaster recovery solution for your home computer that primarily specializes in making drive images.

Also, during my research, I came across this instructional video “How to Clone Windows 8” , where the person in the video will clearly walk you through the cloning process using the FREE Edition of Macrium Reflect…

When it comes to cloning Windows 8 or 8.1 you need to use the right software for the job, whats even better you don’t have to pay. Here is a free option that lets you clone Windows 8 or 8.1 with ease. The program is called Macruim Reflect, it supports the new GPT and UEFI BIOS that all windows 8 machines come with now days.

In the end, once I educated myself about GPT and UEFI, had the right software, and watched how to do it; I walked away with a successfully cloned (and bootable) hard drive. Due to my real life experience working through this, I decided to help others out in the event they start pulling their hair out, like I did…

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TECH DEAL – WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup

November 30, 2014

Noticed in my Sunday flier (for Cyber Monday), the Western Digital My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with auto backup for $99.00. Did some research on the internet and Amazon has this drive for the same price with FREE SHIPPING. The nice thing about these drives is that they are truly a portable drive. Simply connect to your computer, backup your files, disconnect from the computer and store the drive off site somewhere (to truly protect your data). I currently own an older Western Digital Portable drive that has served me well; however, this one may be the replacement. This drive comes in a variety of colors (red, black, blue and gray) and is USB 3.0 compatible and backward compatible to USB 2.0.

WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup

(3 Year Warranty)

Size (LWH): 0.82 inches, 3.23 inches, 4.35 inches

WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup

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TECH DEAL – A Mouse With A 3 Year Battery Life

November 19, 2014

Just purchased the Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705 With 3-year Battery Life and I must say I am impressed with the “smooth as butter” hyper scrolling that you can toggle (at the push of a button) to a more precise scrolling. As a matter of fact when I purchased this mouse I could not (initially) figure out what the button on top of the mouse was for.

If the battery life is what is claimed, and based on my computer usage, I may wear this thing out before the batteries expire; but, then I noticed the feet on this mouse can be changed??? The Marathon Mouse M705 uses less than half the battery power of comparable wireless mice.

So far, as all Logitech products I have owned, I am loving this mouse… The Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705, at Amazon, is (at the time of this post) is approximately 30% off the regular price.

Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705 With 3-year Battery Life

Logitech M705 Marathon Mouse

Extended battery life
Save time, money and the planet by practically eliminating battery changes.

Hand-friendly design
Contoured shape and finger rests poise your hand for comfortable control.

Tiny Logitech Unifying receiver
One plug-and-forget USB receiver stays in your notebook and let you connect up to six Unifying- compatible devices like keyboards and mice. To learn more about Logitech Unifying receiver click here

Hyper-fast scroll wheel
Fly through long documents and web pages with a single spin.

Precision cursor control
Smooth, accurate laser tracking, even on challenging surfaces like a polished desk

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