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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An Inexpensive SATA Hard Drive Docking Station (for the tech toolbox)

June 18, 2015

Looking for an inexpensive way to take advantage of the fast Serial ATA III disk drives and USB 3.0 bandwidth for fast storage backups and data transfers? Whether you are or not, the Plugable® USB 3.0 SuperSpeed SATA III Lay-Flat Hard Drive and Solid State Drive Docking Station is the perfect solution for taking a SATA drive (desktop and/or notebook) and turning it into an external hard drive.

Plugable Docking Station

  • Supports all 2.5 and 3.5 inch SATA (Serial ATA) I, II, and III hard drives, solid state drives, and hybrid drives up to any capacity (6TB+). (Please note that IDE/EIDE/PATA, SCSI, SAS, mSATA, and M.2 drives are not supported.)
  • Docking station connects via USB 3.0 SuperSpeed 5Gbps (640MBps), up to 10x as fast as USB 2.0 480Mbps (60MBps). Real world transfer rate performance over USB 3.0 will vary by computer host controller and disk drive specifications.
  • Take advantage of fast Serial ATA III disk drives and USB 3.0 bandwidth for fast storage backups and data transfers.
  • UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) support for even faster drive data transfer performance. (UASP functionality requires UASP capable host controller and operating system.)
  • Includes robust 30W 12V 2.5A AC power adapter. Dock will work connected to any USB port. AC adapter required for operation. (US AC Wall Outlet Plug, 100-240V 50/60Hz)

I personally own one of these docking stations and have used it on numerous occasions to clone drives, remove data from drives (on dead computers) and to serve as a backup drive (for my own computer). If you are a tech, this is a “must-have” tool to have available in your the tech toolbox. Very easy to setup and use with excellent ratings at Amazon…

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Use StreamWriter To Record Music From Various Internet Radio Stations

June 16, 2015

Found an interesting FREE piece of software, called StreamWriter, that records music broadcasted by internet radio stations. There are other recorders out there; but, if you read the feature list below you will see that StreamWriter sets itself apart from other recorders. I also like the idea that you can download a portable version of StreamWriter, which is a great way to test and try the software, without performing an installation. In my testing I was impressed with the recordings (which can be done in tandem from various sources), the wishlist feature (that will look for, wait and record a specific song), and the ability to edit out sections of any MP3 you download.

StreamWriter

Feature List:

  • Record as many streams as you want at the same time (MP3/AAC)
  • Automatically record a wishlist’s song when it’s playing on a stream
  • Player for streams and recorded files
  • Track splitting with silence detection
  • Function for manual cutting of saved titles
  • Tracks are named by a given pattern
  • Short songs (ads) can be skipped
  • Writing of tags to recorded files
  • Script-based postprocessing
  • Applying of effects to recorded songs (SoX)
  • Integration of different audio encoders
  • Scheduled recordings
  • Stream browser
  • Multilingual
  • Can be installed or used in portable mode

…and much more!

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Microsoft’s Malware Center Flags The Older Versions Of The “Ask Toolbar” As Malware

June 13, 2015

I have been on numerous computers over the years and the Ask Toolbar always seems to find a way (usually through trickery) to install itself on people’s computers. Well, there is some good news and it is from Microsoft…

Microsoft recently flagged the older versions of the Ask Toolbar and is officially considering it malware. As a matter of fact, to validate this point, Windows Defender for Windows 8.1, or Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 and Windows Vista have been engineered to detect the older versions of the Ask Toolbar and remove it.

I don’t know if a lesson has been learned here or not, by the makers of the Ask Toolbar; but, Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center states, “The latest version of this application is not detected by our objective criteria, and is not considered unwanted software”… So, what I get from this is that the new version is ok and the old version is not.

The older version, that I have personally seen on many computers, will hijack your browser and restrict or limit your control over your search provider. I have to wonder if Microsoft became aggressive with this due to the Ask Toolbar, in essence, messing with Microsoft’s own search engine (called Bing).

Either way, I recommend that you avoid installing it (or any toolbar) and be careful when installing any software that allows other third party software to piggy back its’ way onto your computer (see example below of how the Ask Toolbar is along for the ride when Java is updated and installed — unless you uncheck it).

Ask Toolbar with Java

Also, I am not a real advocate of Microsoft Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials. Both, at present, are not rated very well. You may want to consider Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium … I prefer the premium version (which has full time scanning) over the free version (which does not have full-time scanning).

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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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Great Microsoft Excel Tips (and a BONUS)

June 10, 2015

Kudos to The Windows Club for giving us FIVE great Microsoft Excel Tips (that I know I will be using). Whether you are learning Excel or already a seasoned user, visit The Windows Club to learn about Microsoft Excel Tips to Save Time and Work Faster …  

Microsoft Excel Tips

The five tips they have listed are:

1. Multiple Lines in a Cell

2. Add Cell Values Quickly

3. Create Chart Templates to reuse

4. Create Chart from different cell values

5. Use Names in Formulas to Understand Easily

BONUS

As a bonus, I went on the hunt for other Excel Shortcuts (see below) that may be helpful and found the following resources (that can be printed for future reference).

 CTRL combination shortcut keys

Function keys

Other useful shortcut keys

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Take the Hop, Skip and Jump To Canva (Best Online Graphic Design Editor)

June 9, 2015

Gizmo’s Freeware get’s full credit for the post on Canva — Easily Create Posters, Business Cards, Collages Etc For Free … It is a finds like this that keep me excited about computers and technology. I can see me using Canva for my blog posts.

Canva (www.canva.com) is a rather clever web-based graphic design system that makes it really easy to create flyers, posters, album covers, infographics, invitations, business cards, book covers and just about any other design you want. — source: Gizmo’s Freeware

Canva is probably the best online (cloud based) graphic design application that I have experienced thus far. Below is my first creation, that I completed in less than 3 minutes, with Canva. Don’t take my word for it; take the hop, skip and jump to Canva by following the links above.

Canva

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