Download Your Favorite Music For FREE…

May 23, 2015

Music for the Memorial Day weekend can be had by using Free Music Downloader (aka: Last.FM Downloader).  Download the zip file, unpack, run and search for your favorite artist or song title.

Free Music Downloader

Free Music Downloader searches numerous music websites to get its’ results (in MP3 format).

Be safe this weekend!

Oh — Don’t forget the Memorial Day Sales @ Amazon

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A Software (App) Solution For The Nexus 5 Power Button Problem

May 22, 2015

I started experiencing an issue on my Nexus 5 Smartphone where the phone would enter into a reboot loop, rebuild the app list, etc… (common problem with the Nexus 5 when the power button is failing). If you perform a search on this problem, you will find multiple solutions, including one (last resort solution) where you take the phone and hit it against a table to cause the power button to release itself (which actually worked in my case). Once I did get the phone back to where it was functioning (power button and all), I knew I needed another solution before the power button failed again…

The solution that I found, that has worked for me so far, is an app called Gravity Screen. Gravity Screen will automatically turn “on” your screen when you need it and turn it “off” when you don’t. For example if I lay the phone down on a table or put it in my belt case, the phone will go to sleep. When I pick the phone back up, depending to the length of time it was asleep, the phone will awaken. Pretty neat…

Gravity Screen uses the sensors that are already built into your smartphone. This app, from what I researched, is one of the best out there for what it does; AND, as with any app that controls hardware features, the results can be mixed (depending on the phone, Android OS, etc…).  So far, on the Nexus 5, it has performed superbly and has given me a level of automation where I should never have to touch the power button again, other than on occasions to reboot the phone, etc… This app is not just for broken Nexus 5 phones, but is for any Android Phone; and, if it continues to perform as good as I have experienced, I can see me installing this on my next Android smartphone….

Below is a video explaining how Gravity Screen works and its’ associated features…

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Turn Your Android Smartphone Into A Level

May 19, 2015

iHandy Level Free may be a handy app to keep on your phone for those times you are hanging a picture on the wall (to get things straight). Not only handy, but a beautiful app as well.

iHandy Level Free

 

NOTE: Because the sensor inside every individual device could be built slightly differently, to make the level more accurate for your device, you need to calibrate before use.

To calibrate:

1. Find a flat surface.

2. Hold your device upright , put the bottom edge of the device on the flat surface, then press Calibrate button (the one with a target image on it) to calibrate the portrait mode.

3. Turn your device 90 degree clockwise , again keep it upright, and put the current bottom edge (long edge) on the flat surface, then press Calibrate button to calibrate the landscape mode.

4. Put the back of the device against the surface, then press Calibration button to calibrate the face-up mode

5. You are ready to go!

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A Flash Drive That Is As Small As Your Thumbnail

May 18, 2015

Recently purchased a couple of the SanDisk Cruzer Fit 8GB USB 2.0 Low-Profile Flash Drives to use with my car and truck audio systems (which means — “no more CD’s”)… Due to the small size of these drives they are best suited for purposes such as this where you plug them in and leave them in place.  I am thinking about purchasing some more of these flash drives, in the larger capacities (>8GB) to serve as my tech toolbox and carry in my wallet. When I got these drives I was really fascinated with how small they were and was saying to myself “How is this possible?”…

SanDisk Cruzer Fit 8GB USB 2.0 Low-Profile Flash Drives

SanDisk Cruzer Fit

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Email – Less Is More

May 17, 2015

Was reading the USA Today tech article about 8 things you’re still doing wrong with email and there was “one of the eight” that really jumped out at me. That “one” being;  When composing an email “Less Is More” — meaning:

K. I. S. S. — Keep it simple, stupid. Email is not the place to write a novel. With more than 121 emails in a typical inbox a day (source: The Radicati Group), no one wants to read 17 pages of text. Granted, your emails needn’t be as cold and brief as an instant message or text (e.g. “C U @ 10 4 java?”) but be sure what you’re communicating is clear and near the top of the email, as studies have shown our attention span tends to drift as our eyes scan down the page. Friendly is good, but keep your email messages short, simple and concise. — source: USA Today

Oftentimes, especially when emotion is involved, we have a tendency to write lengthy emails. I can tell you from experience, that writing lengthy emails; especially, to the people that manage us at work, will not get you anywhere. If anything, it will have a negative impact.

Also, I have found two concerns, since the inception of email that factors into the equation:

  1. Most people are not good readers… (i.e. cannot accurately interpret or absorb the point being presented due to being too busy; lack good reading skills, short attention span, could care less, etc…)
  2. Most people are not good writers… (cannot accurately provide an interpretation of the point being presented due to poor grammar skills; poor spelling; lack attention to detail, let emotions take over, etc… )

Email is a powerful communicator and can serve as a record of actions, of sorts; however, be very careful of what your intentions are. Once you hit send, retraction of an email is impossible. It is best to keep the content brief and to the point. If you are sending an email, based on your emotions, I highly recommend you wait, really think it out and/or personally meet with or talk to the person.

A trick that has served me well, to make sure my email gets read, is to make the subject line of the email stick out like a sore thumb that is based on what the direct point or content of the email is. For example, instead of a subject line such as “Call Me”; I may insert a subject line “Call Me About the What’s On My PC Contract – ASAP”…

Let me know what some of your advice is when it comes to Email…

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Copy A Hard Disk Drive (HDD) To A Solid State Drive (SSD) With AOMEI Backupper Standard (FREE)

May 15, 2015

Recently I purchased and installed the Transcend Information 256 GB SATA III 6 Gb/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive in a Windows 7 based Toshiba notebook computer that was approximately 5 years old. The difference this upgrade made was very noticeable. Part of the upgrade process involved cloning the existing hard disk drive (HDD) to the new solid state drive (SSD). I had the option of using the Transcend cloning software; however, I opted for AOMEI Backupper Standard (which is FREE reputable backup software) that is renown for it’s disk cloning features.

AOMEI Backupper Standard allows for resizing of partitions during the cloning process and supports the copying of hard disk drives (HDD) to solid state drives (SSD). This program can make an exact and complete copy of a disk or partition directly from one disk to another.

AOMEI Backupper Standard

In the event (as I experienced), if you want to adjust the partitions size or location on the destination disk, there is an option that will allow you to select editing of the partitions on the destination disk.

Options available are:

  • Copy without resizing partitions: Do not do any changes.
  • Fit partition to entire disk: The destination disk partitions will be automatically resized to the entire disk, appropriate for the disk size.
  • Edit partitions on this disk: Manually adjust the partition size and location by dragging a slider bar.

In the end, I had a good result with using AOMEI Backupper Standard in the cloning process.

If you are looking for excellence in backup software, AOMEI Backupper Standard can do it all, such as:

  • Creating a system image to keep Windows and applications safe.
  • Backing up entire hard disk or specified partitions, or just cloning them.
  • Backing up or syncing your most important files and folders on a regular basis.
  • Saving time and effort with automatic, incremental, and differential backups.

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Your Smartphone May Be Tracking You And Everywhere You Go (with Timestamps)

May 13, 2015

Friend of mine pointed me to this NBC News Video that explains in approximately 3 minutes how our smartphones (whether it be an Apple iPhone or Google Android Phone) are configured, by default, to track everywhere you go and keep a history of your movements. If you are not familiar with the settings on your phone that turn “on” this services, I highly recommend you take a moment, watch the video, and learn how to turn “off” these service.

How scary is this?  I have an Android Smartphone and when I purchased the phone, I had turned the Google Location Services to “off”.  I knew full well this was a tracking component; but, what I didn’t know was how powerful it was, until now.

For experimental purposes (and for benefit of this article), I turned the services back “on” and drove my wife to work. When I returned home I went to my desktop computer and went to Google’s Location History web site (you must have a google account in order for this to work). Low and behold my every movement from leaving my house, taking my wife to work, and returning home was tracked.

Also, to visually demontrate this, below is a screenshot (from my smartphone) where this service tracked my movements using Google Maps. I deliberately reduced the screenshot size so as not to reveal my location. If you notice to the left side of the map there is a calendar. If you have the service turned “on”, you can click on any date to determine where you have been (or your cheating lover), with associated timestamps.  You can also export the data to an XML file and most importantly an option to delete the data and the history… Again, watch the video and know how to turn these settings “on” and “off”.

Google Location History

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