Today’s Geek Squeaks – November 5, 2013

November 5, 2013

Summary: Update Microsoft Windows and Office without an Internet connection; A computer-generated digital decoy named “Sweetie” snares sex predators; An all-in-one toolbox for your Android smartphone or tablet; and, A 650 lumen tactical flashlight…

Geek Squeaks’ features a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!

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Update Any Computer Running Microsoft Windows Without An Internet Connection

WSUS Offline Update @ FreewareFiles.com

Believe it or not, there are still many people with dial-up connections, due to limited broadband availability. Performing Windows updates on a dial-up connection can be a very frustrating experience that ends up bogging down the computer. This is an example where WSUS Offline Update can help…

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GET IT HERE


Virtual Girl Dubbed ‘Sweetie’ Snares Thousands
Of Would-be Sex Predators

@ NBCNews

A charity created a virtual 10 year old girl named Sweetie to snare sex predators…

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In little more than two months, more than 1,000 people were identified by children’s rights group Terre des Hommes after they offered money to the fake profile for a variety of sex acts. They included 254 Americans… READ MORE


All-In-One Toolbox For Android

We have seen all-in-one utility suites for the desktop computer; but, this is the first (comprehensive) all-in-one package I have seen for our Android OS based devices (such as smartphones and tablets).

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All-In-One Toolbox provides comprehensive system optimizing techniques, including real-time memory info, one click memory quick boosting, task killer, cache cleaner, history cleaner, and SD file manager etc. It embraces all factors that matter to device performance, and helps to optimize your device to run at optimum speed… GET IT HERE


TerraLUX TT-5 Dual Button Tail Switch Tactical Flashlight

If you are into police or security work, I highly recommend one of these tactical flashlights. I use one, not only to light things up, but as a form of protection. The technology with these things continue to get better and better.

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3 lighting modes (high, medium, low) and strobe mode

CREE XM-L (U2) LED with max 650 lumens

Max run time 295hrs

Requires (2) CR123A or (2) CR123 or (1)18650 batteries

Detachable stainless steel strike bezel

CHECK IT OUT HERE


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Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: Are you the techie type that is called upon to assist others?  If so, download the NirLauncher which is the launching point for over 150 utilities that are useful in managing the operation of Windows based computers (see below);

Squeak #2: Windows updates occur on a regular basis and the number of these updates over the course of the life of the operating system is insurmountable; but, what do you do when you see the “optional” windows updates?  Should you are shouldn’t you?  USA Today has a good response to that (see below);

Squeak #3: Barry’s Best Windows, Android and iPhone iPad Apps blog has an Android utility that I could have used the other day with my Android phone. The utility he is featuring gives you the ability to use your smartphone’s camera to take a pic of a document and convert it, on the fly, to a PDF file (see below); AND

Squeak #4: If you are into mass quantity document scanning or quality level document scanning, then today’s featured tech product is for you (see below);

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Plan on seeing  a lot more of Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!

See An Endless Stream Of Geek Squeaks’ [ HERE ]


A Package Of More Than 150 Portable Freeware Utilities For Windows

NirLauncher

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NirLauncher package includes variety of tools that you may need for your daily computer use, including utilities to recover lost passwords, to monitor your network, to view and extract cookies, cache, and other information stored by your Web browser, to search files in your system, and more… GET IT HERE


Are optional Windows updates necessary?

@ USA Today

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Question: What’s the deal with the “optional” updates Windows suggests I install? Are they equally unnecessary?

Answer: As a general rule, you should install the optional updates that you won’t see afterward and skip the ones that you would notice.… READ MORE


Quick PDF Scanner FREE (Android) – Scan, Organize, Share, PDF Docs From Your Phone

@ Barry’s Best Windows, Android and iPhone iPad Apps

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Quick PDF Scan allows you to scan, export and share multipage documents in PDF format. The software uses the camera of your Android device to help you scan and digitize your paper documents so you can easily manage and store them… READ MORE


Easily Digitize Paper-Based Data
with the Touch of One Button

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Scanner for PC and Mac

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The ScanSnap iX500 is the scanner that intuitively guides you through every step of the scanning process, and lets you access your documents anywhere and anytime. Scan to and view across a range of popular cloud services, or wirelessly scan to your iPad/iPhone and Android devices… CHECK IT OUT HERE


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[SUPER BLOGROLL][GE GEEK][DOWNLOADS][TECH NEWS]

Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#78)

July 12, 2013

Microsoft dropping the price of the Surface  RT tablet; an update to one of the best FREE image editing software packages out there; how to setup Prey to track a lost or stolen laptop; download and save Microsoft updates using Microsoft’s Update Catalog; and, protect yourself from power surges…

Plan on seeing more of Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites…


Microsoft drops price of Surface RT 32GB to $349, 64GB to $449

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The price cut means the base model of the Surface RT will be $349, a $150 price cut from the original price. Microsoft recently teased new Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets, which means this price drop for the current models could be an attempt to get rid of current stock in place for the new models later this year – READ MORE…


PhotoFiltre by Antonio Da Cruz

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PhotoFiltre 7 is a complete image retouching program. It allows you to do simple or advanced adjustments to an image and apply a vast range of filters on it. It is simple and intuitive to use, and has an easy learning curve. The toolbar, giving you access to the standard filters with just a few clicks, gives PhotoFiltre 7 a robust look. PhotoFiltre 7 also has layer manager (with Alpha channel), advanced brushes, batch module and lot of other powerful tools.


How to Setup Your Laptop with Tracking
Software in Case You Ever Lose It

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Prey offers tracking software for Windows, Mac, and even Linux PCs. Prey also offers tracking apps for Android and iOS, so you could use this one service to track all of your devices – READ MORE…


Microsoft Update Catalog website lets you download & save Microsoft Updates

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Microsoft Update Catalog is a service from Microsoft that provides a listing of software updates that can be distributed over a corporate network. – READ MORE…


Belkin Pivot-Plug Surge Protector

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As the demand for electricity to feed our hi-tech appetite increases, the likelihood of power interruptions and problems are also increasing. In addition to problems caused by the increasing severity of storms across the country, power experts are predicting that increasing power demand will soon put most major population centers at risk for severe power problems. As you know, power lulls and surges can severely damage your electronic equipment and even destroy your invaluable data – READ MORE…


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Tech Product of the Week: Kindle Fire HD 7 Inch Tablet Computer

January 23, 2013

Looking for a tablet computer reminds me of the day when desktops started to flourish and everyone wanted one. It is like shopping for a car and by the end of the day you are more confused than you were at the beginning of the day.

Here is my take on Tablet Computers…  For the home based computer user, buy a reasonably priced Android OS based tablet, such as the Kindle Fire HD (7 inch). I cannot see putting out large amounts of money for a tablet; especially, when the next latest and greatest is just around the corner. We are only seeing the beginning of this type of technology.

I recently got my hands on the Kindle Fire HD and was very impressed. With the Kindle Fire you are really getting a great tablet that features a high definition display, great sound (Dolby Audio), dual-antenna Wi-Fi, a massive selection of Android Apps and much, much more for under $200…  I especially liked that the Fire has a Micro USB 2.0 port (for connection of a PC) and a Micro-HDMI port for high definition video output to a television. Many of the other 7 inch tablets lack these external connectivity options.  All-In-All, for the home based computer user, the Kindle Fire HD is a tablet to consider.

Get the specs from the manufacturer - [ HERE ]

Kindle Fire HD

Customer Reviews: See what other people are saying about the Kindle Fire HD Tablet Computer – [ CLICK HERE ]

Readers: To keep the blog interesting, I plan to feature a tech product of the week that will feature a direct link to the manufacturer for specifications and a link to Amazon to see the customer reviews (and how the product is being rated).

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Update Microsoft Windows Without An Internet Connection

December 8, 2011

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.

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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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Get Rid of Windows Update and Service Installation Pack Issues

June 8, 2011

imageTroubleshooting failed Windows Update and Service Pack issues can be a trying and frustrating experience. Guest Writer Tibor Schiemann, President and Managing Partner of TuneUp, provides several solutions that just may help you resolve these problems

Windows Update is a critical part of Microsoft’s operating systems. However, it’s also one of the more fragile Windows components, with update issues among the most common problems that plague users. This can be dangerous because without some updates, PC users may find themselves vulnerable to security threats. These problems can’t just be ignored, so here are several troubleshooting tips to help get this feature functioning properly.

Why Windows Update Fails and How Users Solve These Issues

Windows Update involves replacing hundreds of files and depends on dozens of built-in components, such as System Restore, cryptography features, digital signatures, the Windows Update service, Windows installers, drivers and group policy settings. And Windows Update will fail if one of these components is defective, disabled or not set up properly.

· Solution #1: Microsoft is aware of this and designed a tool to help fix multiple component issues at once. Microsoft’s Fix It Solutionis compatible with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, and once installed, it correctly sets up the cryptographic service, re-registers broken file associations, cleans up the catalog folder and repairs important files related to Windows Update.

· Solution #2: If this solution above doesn’t work, the next step is installing the latest System Update Readiness Toolfor Windows Vista and Windows 7. This solution was released by Microsoft because, often, a bug in Windows, specifically the servicing store, has prevented users from installing future Windows Updates or Service Packs. But using this tool will allow users to immediately repair these issues—even if Microsoft’s Fix It Solution has failed.

· Solution #3: If the System Update Readiness Tool does not solve the Windows Update issues, try running TuneUp Utilities 2011’s troubleshooting wizard. Just install the product or its 15-day trial, go to the “Fix Problems” category and launch the “Fix common problems” wizard. Check “Windows Update does not work, since a previous restart is required” and hit “Next”.

If all else fails, Microsoft has a huge knowledge base of topics covering 11 methods for repairing Windows Update—the first five discuss the company’s Fix It Solution, while the others require some nifty workarounds that are explained in detail. It is also advised to temporarily disable any antivirus solution or firewall in order to proceed with the update, but don’t forget to re-enable them after the update is complete!

For more information about TuneUp, please visit http://www.tune-up.com, and for detailed Windows tips and tricks, please visit http://blog.tune-up.com.

About the Author:

Tibor Schiemann is president and managing partner of TuneUp, developer of the award-winning Windows optimization software suite TuneUp Utilities. Tibor has been developing software for a variety of computers and operating systems for 20 years, and oversees technical product management and executive management at TuneUp. He is also a contributor to the TuneUp Blog about Windows.

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When Windows Updates Go Bad

June 12, 2010

Windows Updates is a necessary evil that routinely provides (usually 2nd Tuesday of each month) Windows Operating System Updates, as well as, security or critical updates that help protect us from known malware and security exploits. The general rule of thumb, for the home based computer user, is to have your computer set to install the updates automatically.

When your computer is online, Windows can automatically check for important updates and install them using these settings.  When new updates are available, you can also install them before shutting down the computer.

As with anything that has to do with computers, there are those isolated times when Windows Updates do not download/install properly; thus creating a frustrating situation for the end user. This can be anything from an update causing an error message to an update that repeatedly keeps reappearing. The complexity of this entire update process is really an amazing process and finding answers to resolve update problems that occur, as a result of this amazing process, is even more complex. Most end users experiencing these types of issues often accept the problem and avoid finding the fix, thus compromising the stability and security of their computers.

What is the fix and what are you to do when Windows Updates Go Bad?

As I stated, this process is complex and when problems do occur there is not a magical fix that will fix every Windows Update problem you may encounter; HOWEVER, Microsoft has recognized that end users need available resources to investigate, research and ultimately resolve any Windows Update problems that have occurred or may occur.

There are (2)-two online Microsoft resources that I use to not only educate myself about Windows Updates; but, to find the fix for any update problems myself and/or others may experience. Just keep in mind, if you are experiencing an update problem; there is likelihood you are not alone, and someone else has already been down that road. It is important you document (on paper) what issue(s) you are seeing so that you can accurately research the issue (e.g. error message, update ID, update icon repeatedly in system tray, etc…)

1.)  Microsoft Update Solution Center – Here you can research the top update issues experienced by other users, information about error messages you may be experiencing, some “How To’s” about Windows Updates and last, but not least, how to contact a support professional (either by email, online or phone).

2.) Microsoft Answers – Windows Updates – This is a forum based option to look at to determine if someone else may have experienced the same problem you have. The forum(s) are Microsoft operated, and in essence can be used to research any Microsoft Windows problem you may be experiencing. In this case our issue is Windows Updates. To give an example, a Microsoft Engineer responded to the following issue that numerous people were recently experiencing:  Error Code 0x8007F0F4 or Error Code 0XFFFFFFFF when installing Windows Update MS10-015(KB 977165) .  If you notice the error code numbers and Windows Update ID is reflected.  This is why you need to document (on paper) what issue, error code(s) and the Windows Update ID you are seeing.

As I always say, “I hope I have been as clear as mud!”.  In all seriousness, both of these resources can be of great assistance when your Windows Updates go bad!

(Addendum – 12 June 2010)

TechPaul at Tech-for Everyone , in connection with this article, pointed out that live Microsoft support is free for any security-related issue, such as Updates.  Just call 866-PC SAFETY.

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