Geek Squeaks (#2015-30) FEATURING — Use This App To Create Your Own Android Car Dashboard — and MORE GREAT STUFF

October 5, 2015

Use This App To Create Your Own Android Car Dashboard – Many auto manufacturers as well as aftermarket units are bringing Android to the dashboard of your car. One such example is Android Auto that projects or casts what is on your phone onto a compatible dashboard touchscreen; but, most of us do not have the luxury of this technology. To fill in this gap, did you know that there is an android app called Car Dashdroid.

 Car dashdroid- Car dashboard- screenshot

Car Dashdroid does not project to a screen in your car’s dashboard; however, it will turn your phone into a distraction free device that has been specifically developed for use in your car. I have been testing this app and can attest that it is very good. In summary, Car Dashdroid is a car home dock replacement that makes driving easy (and safer)! It can switch on and off with your car (using Bluetooth), and return from any app to the specially-designed Car Dashdroid homescreen with a press of the Home button while connected (see settings). The interface features large buttons to launch apps (such as your GPS mapping app) and can be set to read incoming text messages to you (and you can respond back without taking your hands off the wheel). This app is fully customizable; for example, you can set up to 16 shortcuts for your favorite apps, contacts, and even shortcuts to custom actions like directions to a particular place, opening a specific playlist, or sending a pre-written message (like “On my way!” or “Stuck in traffic!”). You can use it FREE (with ads) and with some of the features disabled; however, if I were to buy an android app, this is one that I would buy. (UPDATE – I did buy this app!)…


How To Update Windows In An Isolated Environment – Another tool for the tech toolbox is Portable Update. This tool is used to perform Windows updates on a computer where there is limited or no internet connection. Portable Update uses an external cache to store updates. The cache can reside on any usb external drive or, via private lan network, on a shared path. Once an update is copied to the cache (the only time that an internet connection is required), the same update will be used for all computer that need that particular update. I have added Portable Update to the What’s On My PC downloads page (under the Portable Apps Swarm).

Portable Update Hystory tag


Daimler Driverless Truck Tested  – I’ve been saying that one of the first areas of transportation that will host autonomous driving is the truck industry. Take a look at the this article, “Daimler driverless lorry tested in motorway traffic” …

Daimler's self-driving truck took to a German autobahn to prove its capabilities


Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank – I don’t know about you, but my smartphone has become an extension of my body. I feel lost when I don’t have it in my possession and frustrated when it needs charged. To remedy the charging issue, I am exploring (looking at) the compact portable chargers. One that has caught my eye, that is inexpensive and has great customer reviews is the Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank … One in three chargers sold on Amazon are from Anker!

Anker Astro E1


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Geek Squeaks (#2015-29) FEATURING — How To Trigger The Windows 10 Upgrade — and MORE GREAT STUFF

October 1, 2015

How To Trigger The Windows 10 Upgrade – I am not out there in the wild, like I used to, when it comes to providing computer assistance (and troubleshooting); however, I still have a good feel for information technology from doing the blog, exposure at work and working with close family. I am getting some feedback that there are many folks out there that have not received their Windows 10 upgrade. You keep waiting and nothing is happening. I know at least 5 people in my circle where this is occurring. As a result, I went on the hunt and found that these people are not alone and that there is a viable easy solution. SuperSite for Windows recently posted, “Where is my Windows 10 update?” (by Fred Langa) that will walk you through the process of jumpstarting your Windows 10 upgrade.  If you follow the steps, your Windows10 upgrade will be exactly the same as if you’d used the Windows Update method. As a word of advice, when you go this route, expect a longer install time and don’t panic if it is taking awhile (like several hours).

WOW – A New Chromecast – Chromecast is a Google device that uses Google Cast Technology to play audio and video content on your TV or home audio system (by directly streaming it via Wi-Fi from the internet or a local network). Google has just released their next generation of Chromecast.  For $35, which is very reasonable in my opinion, this is a tech toy worth taking a look at. Check it out HERE


A Multi-Boot Linux DVD for PC Repair – If you are a PC Tech you may want to take a look at MediCat DVD. This is a Linux based boot disc (developed for Windows PC Repair) that has been put together by a PC Technician that runs his own PC Repair business. I haven’t tried this out yet; however, for you PC Techs out there, this may be worth taking a look at and may be helpful in making your job easier.


Android Basics On How To Use The Share Menu – I just had a conversation with a friend about the Android smartphones and tablets and how people are truly not using these devices to their fullest capabilities. For example, I approached someone that I know that uses their phone constantly (primarily for texting and Facebook) and asked them, “Do you know how to use the share menu feature on your phone?”. They had not a clue as to what I was talking about. Folks, if you are an Android smartphone or tablet user, the share menu option is a very powerful component of Android that you need to learn about. Once you learn how to use it, you will be going WOW. To learn how to use the feature, I encourage you to read “Android Basics: How to Use the Share Menu” and watch the video …

Camera With Good Reviews Featuring Built-in Wi-Fi technology – The Canon PowerShot S120 (12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and 1080p Full-HD Video Wi-Fi Enabled) is a digital camera that allows you to wirelessly transfer your images to social networking sites through CANON iMAGE GATEWAY… At the time of this posting, this camera was reviewed 185 times and is carrying a near five star rating.

Canon PowerShot S120

Canon S120


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Geek Squeaks (#2015-28) FEATURING — NEW Gmail Features — and MORE GREAT STUFF

September 28, 2015

NEW Gmail Feature – Gmail now has a built in feature that gives you the ability to EASILY block a nuisance sender (via the web interface and on Android) and the ability to unsubscribe from various services (on Android only). I am especially eager to test the unsubscribe option…  You can read more (and get a visual of how this works) at the official Gmail blog

Just Added “Feedly” To The Downloads Page – Feedly is an RSS (Really Simply Syndicate) Reader that I use to connect to the blogs and news sites that I am interested in. What RSS allows you to do is subscribe to a sites’ RSS feed.  The reader then pulls down the content into the reader (from the sites that you are subscribed to). RSS allows you to automatically pull down content from numerous sites into one place where you can then read it (just like a newspaper).  If you are not using RSS, then you do not know what you are missing. Feedly does a nice job of this and gives you a ton of options.  I currently use the web based version of Feedly and the Android version of Feedly  …

Cover art

Watermark Your Digital Photos With Ease – Download and Install SquiggleMark, follow these instructions, and you will be watermarking your photos and images in no time. With SqiggleMark you can watermark and resize multiple pictures simultaneously.

Is Tablet Use Starting To Shrink – ZDNet has an article posted, “Tablet use set to fall in 2016 for the first time”, where a new study from ABI Research now suggests the user base for the devices will itself start to shrink next year for the first time. Read this article to find out WHY(???)…

Get Instant Weather Information With This Portable App – Windows based weather software is actually a hard find. One that has weathered the storms over the years, that is a portable app, is WeatherMate.


Easy-to-use, attractive interface

Displays the weather for multiple locations

Displays severe weather alerts

Displays radar images

Displays a variety of US weather maps

Speaks the weather

Moves out of the way when not in use

Automatically checks for a new version

Highly customizable

100% free!

Check Out The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 – I currently own a Samsung Tablet and can tell you they are a quality build. I encourage you take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S2 9.7 (Samsung’s latest tablet.).

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7″

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2


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Geek Squeaks (#2015-27) FEATURING — Manage Your Computers Easily With CCleaner In The Cloud — and MORE GREAT STUFF

September 22, 2015

Manage Your Computers Easily With CCleaner In The Cloud – I think everyone knows about CCleaner; even those who are technologically challenged. CCleaner has been around for years, and at one time was called Crap Cleaner. In summary, what this software does is clean out the crap to increase the operational speed of your computer. CCleaner is available as a full install or portable app; AND, NOW you can run CCleaner from the cloud. If you go to CCleaner Cloud, click on the “Signup” button you will receive an invitation via email that will give you access. CCleaner Cloud has been in beta testing for quite awhile and it is now ready for public use and testing. The beauty of the cloud version of CCleaner is that you can run it from any of your Windows based computers, anywhere (without needing to install the software). You can also defrag your drives and perform registry fixes, as well.  Again, go to CCleaner Cloud and signup for your invitation today…

CCleaner Cloud

Microsoft Office 2016 – Released Today – Picked this news up at BetaNews, that gives a good read about the release of Microsoft Office 2016. More about Office 2016 can be found at Microsoft’s Office web site HERE

Microsoft Office 2016

Selfies 12, Sharks 8 – That is the score so far between selfie kills and shark kills.  Read more on this at Pocket-Lint to find out how selfies are the cause to people’s demise (more so than sharks).

Sharks vs. Selfies @ Pocketlint

Want To Learn How To Take A Screenshot On Your Android Phone? – WonderHowTo has posted a great How To article, “Android Basics: How to Take a Screenshot” …  I actually knew how to do this on my Nexus Phone; but, there is a separate way of performing a screenshot on a Samsung phone. What I found out, on my Samsung Tablet, is that this process will work on that too. Taking a screenshot on your phone or tablet is a handy way to capture what you are seeing on the screen (for troubleshooting purposes, to send to someone else, etc…).

This Works On Samsung Devices (as depicted in image below). Other
Android devices visit WonderHowTo to learn more…

Screenshot - Samsung

On Friday, Amazon’s shopping club, Prime, will cost only $67, down $32 from its usual $99 price tag – The sale starts Friday, September 25th ( at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT), and you can sign up here. This is celebrate Transparent winning 5 Emmy Awards.



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Geek Squeaks (#2015-26) FEATURING — Get A Six Pack Of Amazon Tablets for $250 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

September 21, 2015

Get A Six Pack Of Amazon Tablets for $250 – If you want a tablet, here is your chance to pick up an Amazon Fire 7 inch display for $49.99; AND, if you want to buy tablets for the whole family, Amazon has a six pack offer for the same tablet (for $250).  Buy six, get one FREE. This idea is a marketing tactic on Amazon’s part to corral you in on spending more money on Amazon products and services (which in my opinion, are great services). To get a good look at this tablet (and specs) — CLICK HERE

Amazon Fire Six-Pack

7″ IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600)

1.3 GHz quad-core processor

Rear (2MP) and front-facing (VGA) cameras

New Amazon Underground app store. Includes over $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items that are free

Has access to over 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps and games

8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices

Can use a microSD card to get up to 128GB of extra on device storage

7 hours of battery life

Supports web browsing, email and calendaring

Star Wars Here We Come – You may already be aware that the Navy (aboard the USS Ponce) has deployed a laser weapon that can take down small boats, drones and other light aircraft. I have seen videos of this technology in action. Inexpensive to operate, automated targeting and no noise. All you see is flames being generated from the intended target. Soon, Air Force fighters will carry laser cannons, cyber weapons by 2020 (read @ arstechnica). Folks, we are entering another era of warfare that is an indicator that star wars may not be that far off.

Laser - Air Force Fighter

A Neat Little Snipping Tool From the Microsoft Garage Project – Here is a nice little snipping tool (screen capture and annotation tool) from Microsoft, called Snip, that may be helpful to you. With Snip you can snip it, annotate it and share it…


Add Multi-Tab Functionality To Windows 10 File Explorer – With a multi-tab file utility you can open multiple folders in the same Windows. The Windows 10 File Explorer does not have that capability, but you can make it happen by installing the extension called Clover. I nearly forgot about Clover after I upgraded to Windows 10 and when I did remember it, I was questioning, “Will it work on the Windows 10 platform with File Explorer?”.  The answer is “yes”… What is neat about Clover is that it works similar to the tabs in the Google Chrome browser. You can pin tabs and the feature I especially like is that you can add your favorite folders to the bookmark bar (for easy and fast access). I have added Clover to the downloads page (posted under the FREE SOFTWARE swarm)…

Best Web Browser Apps For Android And iPhone – “The web browsers that come loaded on smartphones aren’t always the best, especially in the case of Safari on the iPhone. It may be one of the most used browsers in the world but that doesn’t mean it is the best. These give options are easy to use and compatible with any phone so you can get browsing… ” READ MORE @ 

If you are wondering what browser I use on my Android devices; I use Google Chrome.  I have tried them all and I keep coming back to Chrome!

Top 5 Browsers


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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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Geek Squeaks (#2015-24) FEATURING — Are The Days Of The Traditional “Clamshell” Laptop Numbered? — and MORE GREAT STUFF

September 14, 2015

Are The Days Of The Traditional “Clamshell” Laptop Numbered? BetaNews has a good read on this. My gut is telling me that they may be right on predicting that the future of laptop computers will give away to the detachable keyboard format (with the digitized pen-enabled screen) of the Microsoft Surface device. The future may be now, due that every major hardware vendor is now embracing this technology. Initially, the Microsoft Surface device was largely ignored; but, after three tries (or versions) of Microsoft Surface the vendors (after their own awkward experimentation of multi-purpose notebooks) is now looking at the Microsoft Surface hardware model as a model template to accept and follow. An example of what the detachable 2-in-1 touchscreen laptops look like — CLICK HERE… I would wait awhile before jumping into one of these until the “Surface Like” models appear.

What do you think, will the traditional clamshell laptop give way to the 2-in-1 detachable keyboard format?

Read More On This At BetaNews

Surface Pro 3

Microsoft Buys A Top Android App Company – You may want to keep an eye on the Android App called Echo (by Double Labs). At the Google Play Store Echo is described as “…the fastest and coolest lockscreen for your notifications. Featured by Google as a top app, Echo Lockscreen is loved by users in 50+ countries”… What this means, if you are an Android phone or tablet user, you can personalize what appears on your phone or tablet when it’s in lock mode, with this app. I just discovered (according to Business Insider), that Microsoft has acquired Double Labs.  Read more about this to learn why Microsoft made this acquistion…

 Echo Notification Lockscreen

List Of Freeware AND Other Releases From The Windows Club – Just added The Windows Club Freeware List to the Downloads Page. This listing is unique in that it consists of many Windows utilities that will help make using Windows easier and/or fix a problem you may be experiencing. This lists consists of all the Freeware, eBook, Themes, Screensavers, Wallpaper and other releases from The Windows Club.

The Windows Club

Microsoft Office 2016 Will Be Broadly Available On September 22nd – One of the most innovative features to be included in this version of Office is the ability to co-author a document in real-time when both parties are online. You can read more about this at Maximum PC

Office 2016


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