Sugru – The World’s First Moldable Glue That Sets Strong By Turning Into Silicone Rubber

Advanced silicone technology that bonds permanently to almost anything, then sets strong by turning into a durable, tactile silicone rubber overnight. Ideal for all sorts of DIY projects for indoors and out: Fix, bond, seal, improve, mount and create. A unique combination of technical properties: waterproof, heat- and cold-resistant, durable, flexible, shock-resistant and electrically insulating (up to 24 volts). Bonds to: glass, ceramic, wood, metal, most plastics & more. Forms a strong bond, mount and hang things without drilling, holds up to 2kg/4.4lb

Get Sugru Here

How To Scan Documents To PDF Using FastStone Image Viewer

I have written about FastStone Image Viewer here on the blog in the past and can attest that it is probably one of the best, if not the best, image viewer out there. As a matter of fact, it carries a 5 star CNet rating. I think if you use it you will find that it is more than just an image viewer

FastStone Image Viewer is a fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. It has a nice array of features that include image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, retouching and color adjustments. Its innovative but intuitive full-screen mode provides quick access to EXIF information, thumbnail browser and major functionalities via hidden toolbars that pop up when your mouse touches the four edges of the screen. Other features include a high quality magnifier and a musical slideshow with 150+ transitional effects, as well as lossless JPEG transitions, drop shadow effects, image annotation, scanner support, histogram and much more. It supports all major graphic formats (BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, PSD, EPS, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA) and popular digital camera RAW formats (CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF, ARW, SR2, RW2 and DNG).

For example, buried in Fastone Image Viewer is an option where you can scan documents and save them as PDF files. I personally use this all of the time to convert my paper documents to the digital PDF format.

To get to this feature, launch FastStone Image Viewer, click on the File menu, and select Acquire Image From Scanner.

FastStone - Scan to PDF

You will then be taken to the Acquire Image From Scanner workspace where you simply click on the scan button to begin your scans.

Typically, by default, this will launch your scanner software.  You can scan single documents or perform batch scans were you scan one document after another. When done, select save and select the PDF Format option.

FastStone - Scan To PDF

Also, on an added note, you can also save image files in FastStone Image Viewer to the PDF format, as well.  Very powerful image viewer utility that can either be installed or used as a portable app.

Will the 5G networks change things as we know it?

Two Pieces Of Technology That Will Change The World Over The Next Decade

On 5G networks, our phones and networks will be more than 100-times faster than they are today. But it’s not just about speed. We’ll be able to aggregate, analyze and share data at lightning-fast speeds, giving us amazing new opportunities for improving our systems and streamlining our services. Transportation, labor, commerce, entertainment, medicine — no industry will remain untouched.

Read More @ Forbes

Having problems accessing your shares on your Windows 10 PC using SMB (or ES File Explorer)?

ES File Explorer is my favorite Android based file manager. Months ago I ended up uninstalling it from all of my Android devices due to one of the features I used to access the file shares on my local area network (in my home), using a networking protocol called Samba (or SMB),  stopped working. I ended up installing numerous other Android based file managers and experienced the same issue and came to the conclusion that a Windows 10 update broke the network connection. My Android devices could see my computer on the network, but would not allow me to connect. The only Android based file manager that worked was Xplore. After months of using Xplore I decided to revisit ES File Explorer to see if there was a fix and discovered the problem still existed. This time around my gut was telling me it was a Windows 10 network connectivity issue. I was bound and determined to find a solution…

I ended up landing at a site called WindowsTenFORUMS; and, low and behold, after some extensive digging I found a solution to my problem. I know there are numerous other people out there with this same issue and as a result, I decided to post the solution here, as well.

If you go to this LINK and scroll down the page until you see “waddles” (Junior Member), you will see the solution.

For quick reference, the solution is:

Hi There,

I had this problem (and bro’s posts did not help at all), but I discovered you can login using ES File Explorer without much issue, only that your username is not what you would expect.

Instead of using the full e-mail address of your Microsoft account, just use the first five characters. I’m not sure if that’s how it generates the username, but you can check what it exactly is by typing ‘whoami’ in command prompt, and your username will appear after the slash for the domain.

I almost gave up on ES File Explorer after figuring out that this instantly solved my problem.

What “waddles” is saying here is that if you go to the Windows Command Prompt and type in “whoami” you will see your username after the slash. For example, after typing “whoami” at the command prompt, my computer identified me as “asus-pc\rick”.  Now when I log into my PC, using ES File Explorer, via Samba (SMB), I use “rick” as the username; then, I enter my password as I normally would. This worked perfectly…

Evernote and Google Keep Made Some Nice Upgrades This Past Week

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-017)

Evernote and Google Keep are my two main note keeping applications. Evernote is for the important stuff and Google Keep is for the unimportant stuff.  Both are cloud based and are available on numerous platforms.

Unveiling the new Evernote for Windows

This past week Evernote made some noticeable improvements that made navigation of the sidebar more intuitive, searches are now more refined, and notebooks (and tags) can be color coded.  Read more about the changes to Evernote by CLICKING HERE.

The most noticeable improvement this past week to Google Keep is the NEW Google Keep Chrome extension that gives you the ability to save web pages, images and selected text with ease. To take a look at the Google Keep Chrome extension, CLICK HERE .

Both of these applications are especially helpful in keeping track of the things in our life; whether important and/or unimportant.

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Relive The Sinking Of The Titanic In This Real-Time Animation – If you got 2 hours and 40 minutes to spare, you can relive the final hours of the Titanic. The video has been viewed almost 3 million times on YouTube, with many people commenting that they watched the whole animation.

Sinking Of The Titanic Animation

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  Word Search

Windows 10 Demo

How To Run Applications Without Installing

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Holy Stone U818A HD Plus | Drone with Camera | One Key Return | Low Battery Warning | Headless Mode Function | 2.4GHz 4 Chanel 6-Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter Includes Bonus Battery and Goggles

Drone

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How To Watch YouTube In TV Mode On Your Computer

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-015)

This week’s blog posting on “How To Watch YouTube In TV Mode On Your Computer” is actually a very easy posting for me. To go into the YouTube TV Mode on your computer, simply open your browser and type in the following URL: https://www.youtube.com/tv … That is all there is to it. Once you are there there are three very easy keyboard commands you need to know. By hitting the “G” key on your keyboard, a guide will slide out from the left side of the screen. To perform a YouTube search, simply hit the “S” key on your keyboard. If you need to go back to the Home Screen, simply hit the “ESC” key on your keyboard. You can also easily navigate YouTube.com/TV with your mouse (pay special attention to the sidebar on the left side of the screen).

YouTube TV

YouTube.com/TV is also called YouTube Leanback and can also be launched by entering the URL of https://www.youtube.com/leanback. This mode of watching YouTube, which is commonly not known (or is forgotten about), is especially beneficial for those who have the larger computer monitors or have a media center set up on a large screen TV.

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File Encryption Software That I Was Unaware Of – Have you ever heard of MEO File Encryption Software? I was unaware it existed and glad that I found it. A free version is available for non-commercial use. If you like it, I found that following the install you can copy the folder where MEO File Encryption is installed to your flash drive and turn it into a portable app. Very nice (and easy) file encryption software with the following features (in the FREE version): Easily encrypt files and folders; Decrypt files that have been encrypted; Encrypt emails and send within MEO; and Create self-extracting encrypted files that can be decrypted without encryption software.

MEO File Encryption Software

More MEO Encryption Software Screenshots

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Reddit App ScreenShader

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Learn To Tie Knots Online – Check out Animated Knots by Grog that is described on the site as “TIE KNOTS THE FUN AND EASY WAY – Better to know a knot and not need it, than need a knot and not know it”. There is a desktop and mobile version available.

Animated Knots by Grog

Animated Knots

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Bet You Never Saw This Before – I have been looking around for a bluetooth capable mouse for my Android tablet and came across a mouse with a bluetooth speaker built into it. It is called the Aerb® Wireless Bluetooth Speaking Mouse . I haven’t decided whether to splurge for this (just to have something different); but, I have never seen anything like it.  A mouse with a speaker built into it is a really neat concept; especially, for a tablet or smartphone.

Aerb® Wireless Bluetooth Speaking Mouse

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I Use CCleaner, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, And Bitdefender Antivirus Free To Keep My PC Safe (and Clean)

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-014)

I have been involved with computers for nearly 30 years. I have never installed any “paid” antivirus software products and have solely relied on common sense and the FREE products that are available (and suitable for computers in the home). I have never had a virus on any of my home based computers. As you noticed, I mentioned “common sense” as one of the factors, which may be easier said than done. I do believe that you have to develop that sixth sense (or gut feeling) in knowing when you are entering potentially dangerous territory. On the software side I currently use three products to help keep my computers (at home) safe and clean.

CCleaner – Without a doubt, CCleaner is the number one optimization tool that not only cleans your computer, but also aids in keeping your computer safe. There is a FREE version and a paid version. I have always gotten along just fine with the free version.

Laptop showing the CCleaner interface - 1 billion downloads

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – Detects and removes malware on an infected computer with industry-leading anti-malware, anti-spyware, and anti-rootkit tech. Scans for the newest and most dangerous threats. Safely removes malware. One thing to point out at the start is that the FREE version of Malwarebytes is only a scanning utility and does not provide real-time protection. You can get the real-time protection by purchasing the commercial version of their software. Don’t let this deter you from downloading the FREE version. I use the FREE version and make a habit to manually download the updates and perform routine scans of my computer. If I was going to purchase protection for my computer, I would definitely go with the “paid” version of this software (so that it runs continuously in the background, stopping infections before they happen. Scans automatically and halts attempted attacks).

Malwarebytyes Anti-Malware

Bitdefender Antivirus FREE Edition – What I like about Bitdefender is that it is “smart and silent”. Once you install the FREE version, you will have to register with an email address; then, after that you will not even know it is on your computer. Bitdefender has a great reputation and has been well reviewed. As a reminder, when installing antivirus software; always remove (uninstall) any other antivirus software you have installed on your computer.

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A NEW Tool For The Tech Toolbox – Saw this on betaNews, “Investigate your PC’s RAM use with ATM“… This tool, called ATM performs an in-depth, low-level look at your PC’s system memory use. If you are a troubleshooter, ATM may be right up your alley. Being an old dumb PC Tech, this one was definitely above my level of comprehension (which isn’t much these days)…

ATM

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Easily Control Automatic and Unwanted Windows 7 & 8.1 Upgrading to Windows 10 – Here is a “How To”  @ Tech-for Everyone on using a utility called Never 10 that will disable the Windows 10 Upgrade (wiith just one click). Many folks are sticking to or reverting back to earlier versions of Windows due to the privacy concerns in Windows 10.

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Windows 10 Secret Apps View Basket

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How To Activate the Floating Assistant Menu On The Samsung Galaxy Tab S

I recently purchased the Samsung Galaxy Tab S (8.4 inch) Android tablet; AND, after having owned several Android tablets, this one is definitely the cream of the crop.

I continue to learn to navigate the tablet and came across a setting that I have found to be very useful that many users most likely will not try (because they do not know it is there or how to turn it “on”). It is called an Assistant Menu, that once activated, creates a small (square) floating icon (that can be moved around the screen) that will give you the ability to launch various actions, such as:

  • Home
  • Back
  • Recently Opened Apps
  • Lock and Turn Off Screen
  • Brightness Adjustment
  • Volume Adjustment
  • Screen Capture
  • Open Notification List
  • Power Off
  • Restart
  • Device Options
  • Settings
  • Cursor
  • More Options
  • Rotate Screen
  • Zoom

SPECIAL NOTE: If you notice on the list above there is one option that will give you the ability to grab screenshots, which is worth its’ weight in gold. I used that option to create the screenshot below.

The neat thing about all of this is that this floating assistant menu can be edited; and, the functions you find that you would use the most, can be reordered. The menu is easy to turn “on” and if you find you do not like it, simply go back and turn it “off”.

To turn this menu “on” and to get you to the place to where you need to be, here is how to turn “on” and edit the menu:

  • On the Apps screen, tap Settings > Device > Accessibility > Dexterity and Interaction
  • Tap the Assistant Menu Switch to toggle the switch to “on”. The Assistant Menu icon will appear at the bottom right of the screen (at which point it can be moved around).
  • To edit the menu, simply tap where it says  Assistant Menu > Edit (see screenshot below). At this point you can drag the icons around and place them in the order you desire. The order you see below is the actual order I set for my menu.  You can also remove various components from the menu.  For example, using the screenshot below, I opted to remove Cursor, More Options, Rotate Screen and Zoom from the menu.

Assistant Menu


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Use Ctrl + H in Google Chrome To Access and Manage Your Browsing History

If you use the Google Chrome Web Browser, hold down the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard and hit the “H” key… This hotkey combination makes it easy to view your history (for the past 90 days) and to manage various aspects of it, such as “clearing your browsing history” and managing the history on any of your other google account signed-in devices.

 

Use the History page to view a list of websites you’ve ever visited in the last 90 days while using Google Chrome in standard mode. This page doesn’t store pages from secure websites, those you’ve visited in incognito mode, or those you’ve deleted from your browsing history. If you’re signed in to Chrome on multiple devices you will see your browsing history from those signed-in devices. Any changes that you make to your history on one device will be synced to your other signed-in devices automatically.

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Understanding The Difference Between Refreshing, Resetting Or Restoring Your Windows 8.1 PC

Understanding The Difference Between Refreshing, Resetting Or Restoring Your Windows 8.1 PC– If you are a Windows 8.1 PC user and you are finding that your computer may not be running up to par; you have several options to either refresh, reset or restore your PC. It is very important to understand the difference between the three.  No matter what option you choose, ALWAYS back up your personal files.

  1. Refreshing your PC reinstalls Windows and keeps your personal files and settings. It also keeps the apps that came with your PC and the apps you installed from the Windows Store.
  2. Resetting your PC reinstalls Windows but deletes your files, settings, and apps—except for the apps that came with your PC.
  3. Restoring your PC is a way to undo recent system changes you’ve made.

The RESTORE option is the least aggressive, with the RESET Option being the most aggressive. Just remember, if you do a RESET you will lose your personal files and data.


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Scan Documents To PDF Using FastStone Image Viewer

I have written about FastStone Image Viewer here on the blog in the past and can attest that it is probably one of the best, if not the best, image viewer out there. As a matter of fact, it carries a 5 star CNet rating. I think if you use it you will find that it is more than just an image viewer

FastStone Image Viewer is a fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. It has a nice array of features that include image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, retouching and color adjustments. Its innovative but intuitive full-screen mode provides quick access to EXIF information, thumbnail browser and major functionalities via hidden toolbars that pop up when your mouse touches the four edges of the screen. Other features include a high quality magnifier and a musical slideshow with 150+ transitional effects, as well as lossless JPEG transitions, drop shadow effects, image annotation, scanner support, histogram and much more. It supports all major graphic formats (BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, PSD, EPS, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA) and popular digital camera RAW formats (CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF, ARW, SR2, RW2 and DNG).

For example, buried in Fastone Image Viewer is an option where you can scan documents and save them as PDF files. I personally use this all of the time to convert my paper documents to the digital PDF format.

To get to this feature, launch FastStone Image Viewer, click on the File menu, and select Acquire Image From Scanner.

FastStone - Scan to PDF

You will then be taken to the Acquire Image From Scanner workspace where you simply click on the scan button to begin your scans.

Typically, by default, this will launch your scanner software.  You can scan single documents or perform batch scans were you scan one document after another. When done, select save and select the PDF Format option.

FastStone - Scan To PDF

Also, on an added note, you can also save image files in FastStone Image Viewer to the PDF format, as well.  Very powerful image viewer utility that can either be installed or used as a portable app.


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Locate All the Computers On Your Wired or Wireless Local Network

If you are into networking, you most likely have heard of Radmin Remote Access Software. To promote Radmin, I noticed that they offer a FREE IP Scanner called Advanced IP Scanner that is helpful in locating and monitoring the devices (wired or wireless) that are connected to your network (home or business).  Scanners such as this is helpful in identifying the IP addresses (which dynamically can change) and MAC Addresses of those devices.  Years ago when I managed a network, I used an IP scanner such as this to make sure all of my network devices and computers were alive and functioning properly.

Advanced IP Scanner is a free, fast and easy-to-use network scanner for Windows. In a matter of seconds, Advanced IP Scanner can locate all the computers on your wired or wireless local network and conduct a scan of their ports. The program provides easy access to various network resources, such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and shared folders. It also enables you to detect all the IP addresses on your WiFi network. With Advanced IP Scanner, you can wake up and shut down remote groups of Windows machines. If you use Radmin remote access software, you will also enjoy the improved Radmin Server detection and integration capabilities, which allow you to connect to any scanned machine with Radmin Server.

Advanced IP Scanner

What Advanced IP Scanner does:

  • Scans network in a matter of seconds
  • Detects any network devices
  • Finds HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and shared folders
  • Lets you connect to PCs running Radmin Serverwith one click
  • Allows you to shut down computers remotely
  • Supports Wake-On-Lan
  • Favorites list for easy network management
  • Export to HTML or CSV
  • Easy and user-friendly interface

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Update Microsoft Windows Without An Internet Connection

There are still folks out there that I know personally that are on a dialup internet connection and not by choice. Broadband service just is not there and any mention of using a 3G, 4G or satellite connection is too expensive and besides those services can be sketchy at best, depending on the location and the environment.

What these folks run into, and I’m working with someone on this now, is that due to the dialup speeds in these remote locations not even being up to standard (due to poor telephone lines), downloading the Windows updates that they need for their PC’s ends up being nothing but pure process of drudgery. Think about it, if you are already on a slow dialup connection and you have your updates set to auto update, when those weekly auto updates kick in,  the connection speed slows down that much further. Couple that with other security software updates and general software updates and I think you can see what I mean about a pure process of drudgery.

To workaround this problem and get the Windows updates, I use a program called WSUS Offline Update. You will need to find someone with a broadband connection who is willing to use WSUS Offline Update software on their PC and willing to download the updates for you. You will also need to know what operating system you are using (i.e. Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7).

With WSUS Offline Update there are two components to the software. One is the “Generator” interface that you use to select the what language and Operating system you need the updates for.  You can even tell the “Generator” to copy the updates to a flash drive; which, you can then use to update the target computer.

image

When downloading the updates, a command console window (see below) will appear and you will see the software going to work to pull down the updates. Do not be alarmed if the first time you perform this process that it takes a long time (even on a broadband connection).  A long time can be an hour to several hours, but you have to do what you have to do.

WSUS Windows Update - Console Window

The second component built into WSUS Offline Update is the “Installer” that you use on the target computer.  To start up the installer look for the file “Updateinstaller.exe”, double click on it and the “Installer” interface will initiate with various selections to help you through the update process.

WSUS Windows Update - Installer

There are other options out there to download the Windows Updates; however, I have found the WSUS Offline Update utility to be the winner.


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An Easy Way to Get the Serial Number and Disk Drive Information of Your Computer

The following may or may not work for you; however, I found it to work on Windows XP Pro, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Did you ever run into the situation where you needed the serial number on your computer? The serial number is often required when you contact the vendor for support.  Instead of crawling around on the floor looking for the serial number, try this:

Click on [START] , then [RUN] and type in the box [CMD].  This will take you to what is called the “Command Prompt”.  At the “Command Prompt”, type the following command exactly as it appears:

wmic bios get name,serialnumber,version

You should get a result similar to this that will reflect the bios name, serial number, and a service tag number for your computer:

image

You can also get the name, size and model of your disk drives by going to the “Command Prompt” and typing:

wmic diskdrive get name,size,model

You should get a result similar to this that reflects all the drives connected to your computer:

image

The wmic command-line (Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line) utility is a very powerful tool that is used to gather information from Windows-based systems, both locally and over a network. What I have shown is only a small sampling of the ability of this tool.  If you are interested in digging down further, I encourage you to Google wmic command by clicking [HERE]. Another easy to read resource is the wmic quick start guide that is located at the University of Virginia [CLICK HERE] .


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[Did You Know?] You Can Use TeamViewer Remote Control Software to Manage Your Computer Network at Home

TeamViewer is the critically acclaimed remote control software that you can use to control any computer (anywhere) as if you were sitting right in front of it – even through firewalls.  It is engineered to work across your internet connection to allow you to remote into another PC that is connected to the internet. This type of setup is an excellent (and easy) way to provide support to others (such as friends and family).  The best part about TeamViewer is that it is FREE for non-commercial use.

TeamViewer

Typically, when working with TeamViewer you are working through the TeamViewer’s servers on the internet to make that remote connection happen; BUT, did  you know you can setup TeamViewer to manage your computer network at home (through a direct connection) without having to go through the TeamViewer’s servers? For this purpose, you have to configure TeamViewer to accept incoming LAN connections.

The benefit of this is that after you install the TeamViewer software on all of the computers on your home network, you can remote into each of those computers to perform maintenance, transfer files, multi-task by using more than one computer, etc… Recently I have been using and testing the TeamViewer direct connection on my home network over a wireless connection and have found that it works flawlessly. Connections on your local (home) network are initiated via the IP address (or the computer name).

To set this up, you will need to install TeamViewer on each of the computers that are on your network at home and then follow the instructions below. After setting up your connection, configure TeamViewer to start with Windows. This will allow you to perform an unattended remote session with another PC without having someone being present at the PC.

1. Click on Extras / Options / General.

TeamViewer - Configuration

2. For Incoming LAN connections, select the option accept from the drop-down menu.  Once you select the “accept” option you will be prompted to generate a password.  There may be a slight delay from the time you select “accept” and the prompt to generate a password appears.

TeamViewer - Configuration

How to establish a LAN connection:

1. Start TeamViewer and click on the Remote Control tab.

2. Enter the IP address of the PC you wish to access and click on Connect to Partner.

3.  The TeamViewer Authentication dialog opens.

4. Enter the password of the remote computer and click on Log On.

5. The desktop of the other computer should display.

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Play Mahjong Solitaire All Day Long Online for FREE

Mahjong, an ancient game that originated in China, has long been one of my most favorite games on the computer since the inception of the computer.  I can remember years ago when I first got into computers, finding a good software driven Mahjong game was a big deal.  Especially when the Mahjong tiles became more 3D in appearance.

Recently I went on the hunt on the internet to see if I could find a decent online version of Mahjong.  I hit the jackpot when I found 247 Mahjong [CLICK HERE] .

247 Mahjong

247 Mahjong is an Adobe Flash based game that you can play directly in your web browser (no software install required). 247 Mahjong features sounds, background music, a timer and 8 different tile sets to select from.

To Play Mahjong: Mahjong Solitaire is a tile matching puzzle game. You may click on any “free” tiles (those that are on the edge) to select them, and match them with other free tiles with the same face to eliminate them from the board. Beat Mahjong by eliminating all tiles.


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How to Zoom In and Zoom Out a Browser Window

This is actually a repost; however, it contains a couple of browser tips that you can’t post enough.  If you don’t use it, you will lose it!

Have you ever visited a web site where the text size is to small to read or you are finding that your eyesight (like mine) is going downhill, and reading certain elements varies from page to page?

Here is a “little known and little used” computer tip for you internet users… By holding down the “Ctrl” key and moving your “mouse scroll wheel” you can “zoom in and zoom out” on a web page.  You can also do the same thing, without using the mouse or “Ctrl” key, by hitting the “+” (plus) and “-” (minus) keys on the numeric keypad, located on the right side of your keyboard.  Give it a try! It will not permanently change any default settings. If you find that you need to return to the normal default (original) setting, simply hold down the “CTRL” key and hit “0” (the number zero). This works in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and probably all of the browsers.  Give it a try!

Mouse Wheel to Zoom In and Zoom Out

The “zoom in and zoom out” tip, using the “Ctrl and Mouse Wheel” will also work with other applications as well, with varying results (e.g. Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, many graphic viewers/editors, pdf readers, etc…).  For example, in Microsoft Word, when working on a mult-page document, you can “zoom out” to the point that it will tile (show all) your pages on the screen.

Added Tip: Was helping someone today on a small computer screen complete a task online in their web browser and toggled to full screen. They were astonished and asked “How did you do that?”.  Simply hit “F11” on your keyboard to toggle back and forth from full and normal screen.


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Shutdown, Sleep, Restart or Logoff Your Computer Using the Keyboard

Keyboard ShortcutsDid you know that there are built in keyboard shortcuts that you can use to shutdown, sleep, restart or logoff your Windows computer?  Well, there are, and they are good to remember in the event the mouse becomes unresponsive. The keyboard shortcuts differ between Windows XP and Windows Vista/Windows 7; however, the initial key press for all of these shortcuts commands are dependent on the Windows key (which is located to the left of the spacebar that displays the Windows Logo on the key).

For Windows XP:

SHUTDOWN – press the WINDOWS KEY and the letter “U” twice

RESTART – press the WINDOWS KEY, then the letter  “U” once and  then the letter “R” once

LOGOFF – press the WINDOWS KEY and the letter  “L” twice

SLEEP – press the WINDOWS KEY and the letter “U” once and the letter “S” once

For Windows Vista/Windows 7:

SHUTDOWN – press the WINDOWS KEY, then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “U” to shut down

RESTART – press the WINDOWS KEY, then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “R”

LOGOFF – press the WINDOWS KEY then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “L”

SLEEP – press the WINDOWS KEY, then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “S”


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Make An Exact Copy of Your Hard Drive

One of the most frustrating moments for any computer user is when your computer has crashed, all else has failed to work, and you forgot to make the restoration CDs (or DVDs) that came with your PC. The restoration CD (or DVD) option is your last ditch solution to fixing your PC when all else has failed. The restoration CDs (or DVDs) typically restore your system back to the day that you purchased it. Some manufacturers’ PCs provide an option to perform (initiate) the restoration process by hitting a key during the computer’s startup that will initiate the restore process by using files stored in a hidden partition on the computer’s hard drive. The restoration process varies from PC manufacturer to manufacturer and if you have a home brewed system, the restoration is typically a reinstall of the operating system using the operating system discs that you purchased. The whole point to this is just that you make sure you have a plan in the event disaster strikes… AND, BELIEVE ME IT WILL !

The problem with the restoration processes provided is that you are in for some work. I’m talking about reinstalling your software, performing your Windows updates, virus/malware software updates, personal customization, bookmarks, emails, etc… Most of the time when you have resorted to a complete restoration or reinstall of the operating system you will lose your valuable data that you may have saved over the months and even years.

One option to avoid all of this, and reduce the workload, is to use disk imaging software and a good external hard drive. Disk Imaging Software is software that you install on your PC and use when your computer is in a healthy state. The disk imaging software is engineered to make a backup (disk image) of an exact representation of your hard drive (or partitions) at the time you perform the imaging process. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your everyday backup software can make an exact copy of your hard drive and partitions. It can’t… The Windows operating system is like a living organism that is constantly evolving and changing when you start it up. Your typical backup software apps are unable to capture those changes. As a matter of fact Windows will not allow you to make a copy of certain critical system files without special software. Your typical backup software is great for backing up your personal files (such as pictures, documents, etc.) and should be used on a daily basis in addition to the imaging software that can be used on a less frequent basis.

As you well know, the What’s On My PC blog specializes in locating FREE software options.  In this case of disk imaging software, the FREE app that I use and recommend is the FREE Edition of Macrium Reflect

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Using Macrium Reflect™ Free Edition you can create an exact image of partitions on your hard disk for easy hard disk upgrade or complete/partial system recovery

Key factors to using imaging software, such as Macrium Reflect, is that when you perform the backup of your system it is critical that your system is in a healthy state and that you have an external source (with sufficient space) to store the image file.  Even though Macrium Reflect offers other backup media options to CD or DVD media, I suggest you use an external drive. Besides, the external drive will serve you in performing your normal daily backups.

Another important factor to using Macrium Reflect is that the first thing you should do is create a Rescue CD. This option is available in the Macrium Reflect software under the “Other Options” menu selection. The rescue CD is used to boot your computer and restore your computer from the image file when disaster occurs.

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For FREE imaging software, Macrium Reflect is a great option for home-based users and is comparable in performance and appearance with that of its’ commercial counterparts. Macrium Reflect is also regularly updated to meet the needs of the ever changing Windows operating system.

Features of the FREE Edition of Macrium Reflect:

Absolutely free! No strings! The only free XP, Vista and Windows 7 compatible disk imaging software with BartPEand Linux based recovery options.

  • Create a disk image whilst running Windows using Microsoft Volume Shadow copy Service (VSS).
  • Image to Network, USB, FireWire drives and DVD.
  • Built in scheduler.
  • 32 bit and native 64 bit versions.
  • Industry leading compression levels and speed.
  • Linux based Rescue CD with Network access and full GUI. Only 6.5MB in size!
  • Built in CD/DVD packet writing engine. Supports packet writing to DVD DL media with Windows Vista.
  • HTML log files.

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Go Incognito with Firefox…

Mozilla Firefox

Did you know that Firefox, the choice browser of the tech community has a Private Browsing Mode built into it?

If you are a Firefox user and you are using Firefox version 3.5 or higher you can easily switch from normal browsing mode to private browsing mode. Many of the other popular browsers also have a private (incognito) browsing mode that you can explore.

When you are normally browsing the internet, Firefox remembers the web sites you have visited, your user names and passwords, your browsing history and more. In other words these browsing morsels become a profile of your browsing habits and of you. When you switch to the  Private Browsing Mode in Firefox, these browsing morsels are not collected and stored on the host computer.

Using Private Browsing Mode, to protect your privacy, is handy when browsing the internet from a friend’s computer or at work. In reverse, you can switch the browser into Private Browsing Mode when someone else is using your computer to prevent extraction of or review of your personal morsels (such as user names, passwords, history, cookies, etc…).

To get into Private Browsing Mode, go to the menu bar (at the top of the browser), click on “Tools”, then “Private Browsing Mode” [ see video ]. You can also perform the hotkey combo of  Ctrl + Shift + P on your keyboard to turn Private Browsing Mode “on or off” .

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Personally, I prefer using the hotkey combination to quickly go in and out of Private Browsing Mode. When you enter the Private Browsing Mode, Firefox will graciously remember any pages or tabs that you have open, so that when you exit from Private Browsing Mode, you are right back where you started.

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You can also depart from Private Browsing Mode by going to the menu bar, click on “Tools”, then “Stop Private Browsing”.  You can also leave Private Browsing Mode by simply closing Firefox, as well.

In a Private Browsing session, Firefox won’t keep any browser history, search history, download history, web form history, cookies, or temporary internet files.  However, files you download and bookmarks you make will be kept. [ click here to see details ]

You can tell when you are in Private Browsing Mode by looking at the Title Bar at the top of the browser window.  It will reflect “Private Browsing – Mozilla Firefox”. Downloading files or saving bookmarks is not affected by Private Browsing Mode.

If you are at another PC, I strongly encourage that you use Firefox and the Firefox Private Browsing Mode to protect your privacy.  If Firefox is not available on the host PC you can use Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition and run it from your flash drive.

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Get the last FREE version of FastStone Capture

A screen capture utility is a “must have” on any PC (or flash drive); especially if you are a writer, blogger, graphic designer, desktop publisher, etc… I have tried and tested many of the capture utilities and the one that has set well with me is “FastStone Capture”.  FastStone Capture went commercial after version 5.3; however, the freeware version is still available at various sites around the internet.  This little utility is a well thought out screen capture utility. It  is no wonder the author opted to go commercial with it.

Before I tell you where you can get FastStone Capture (the last freeware version), let me give you some hightlights. The download that I will refer you to is a download for the portable version that can be installed on your flash drive or into a folder of your choice on your PC. This way, if you do not like it, simply delete the folder; but I’m telling you this little app rocks and is very easy to use.

FastStone Capture uses very little screen space and provides (6) different screen capture modes (see below) that can be activated by clicking one of the mode buttons in the application or by using hotkey combinations on your keyboard.

FastStone_Capture

1. Capture Active Window

2. Capture Window /Object

3. Capture Rectangle Region

4. Capture Freehand Region

5. Capture Full Screen

6. Capture Scrolling Window

With FastStone Capture you have the option of sending the captured result to a built in graphic editor, to the clipboard, to a file, to the printer, or to an email (as an attachment).  The output file can be saved to the most common graphic file formats (e.g. gif, png, bmp, jpg, tif) or as a PDF file. Settings are also available that allow you to auto capture to an edge/watermark or to prompt you each time to assign a caption or label to your captured result.  This little app also features a built-in graphic editor, a screen magnifier and a screen color picker.

If you do not have this app, I suggest you get it now…  You can download FastStone Capture (last freeware version) [ HERE ] .

If you would like to take a look at the paid (current version), CLICK HERE

Kudos to the author of FastStone Capture for making such a wonderful application.


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Microsoft Word – How to ALWAYS create a backup copy…

There is a little known feature in Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007, that by changing a simple default setting, Microsoft Word can automatically create a backup file of your work.

It can be very frustrating when you are working on a document of importance and you lose all your work as a result of a power failure or computer glitch.  This setting change could be your saving grace and prevent a lot of heartache.  When Microsoft Word is set to “Always create backup copy”, a backup copy of a document is created each time you save the document. Each backup copy replaces the previous backup copy. Word adds the phrase “Backup of” to the file name and applies the file extension .wbk to all backup copies. The backup copies are saved in the same folder as your original document.  Note: If you delete the original document without saving it, the backup copy will not include any changes you made since you last saved the document.

Word 2003

To change the setting to “Always create backup copy”

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Save tab.
  2. Select the Always create backup copy check box.

To Open a backup copy of a document

To be able to recover the previous version of your document after a power failure or similar problem, you must have the Always create backup copy check box selected on the Save tab in the Options dialog box (Tools menu) before the problem occurs, and you must have saved the document more than once.

  1. Click Open Button image.
  2. In the Files of type box, click All Files.
  3. If you want to open a backup copy that was saved in a different folder, locate and open the folder.
  4. Click the arrow next to Views Button image, and then click Details.In the Name column, the backup copy name appears as “Backup of document name“; in the Type column, the file type for the backup copy appears as “Microsoft Word Backup Document.”
  5. Locate and then double-click the backup copy to open it.

Note: The backup copies do not carry the typical *.doc file extension, but carries the file extension *.wbk

Word 2007

To change the setting to “Always create backup copy”

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button , and then click Word Options.
  2. Click Advanced.
  3. Scroll to the Save section, and then select the Always create backup copy check box.

To Open a backup copy of a document

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button , and then click Open.
  2. In the box next to the File name box on a computer that is running Windows Vista, or in the Files of type box on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP, click All Files.
  3. If you want to open a backup copy that was saved in a different folder, locate and open the folder.
  4. Click the arrow next to Views , and then click Details.In the Name column, the backup copy name appears as Backup of document name. In the Type column, the file type for the backup copy appears as Microsoft Word Backup Document.
  5. Locate and double-click the backup copy to open it.
  6. If you want to work with the backup copy as a regular Word document, click the Microsoft Office Button , click Save As, and then type a name for the file in the File Name box.

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