Wizard Creek Consulting.

SOHO Computer Support

Information Technology tips for the Small Office / Home Office.

Interesting Facts

Saturday, March 07, 2020




When it comes to getting the best internet speeds possible, there are many variables to consider. And when something goes wrong with your system and you start to experience unusually slow internet speeds, the troubleshooting process can be complicated and overwhelming.

That’s why we created The Ultimate Guide to Internet Speed and Connectivity. We’ll take you through what you need to know about the internet step-by-step, so you can troubleshoot your system and improve your slow internet.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019


Windows 10 getting a full, open source Linux kernel

Windows 10 will soon ship with a full, open source, GPLed Linux kernel



Windows 10 tabbed Command Line

 In Windows 10, Microsoft has been working to make the Windows command-line experience vastly improved, making it work much more like Unix command-line environments. 


Tuesday, May 07, 2019


Digital Rights and Privacy Resources

In order to educate internet users on these related topics, and point would-be activists in the right direction, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of organizations dedicated to advocating for digital rights and policy in the United States and around the world, as well as a list of guides, apps, and other great resources allowing people to enhance their internet security and avoid falling prey to online surveillance and the actions of bad actors on the web.

Digital Rights and Privacy Resources

Thursday, August 02, 2018


ExpressVPN’s Firefox

ExpressVPN’s Firefox extension shields you from government surveillance, enables you to circumvent geo-restrictions and protects you from WiFi-based hacking.

Friday, September 08, 2017


Live Updates: Online Censorship News | vpnMentor

Live Updates: Online Censorship News | vpnMentor: "Regular readers of our blog know that there is no such thing as a one-time censorship event. Governments across the globe are constantly looking for new ways to attack online freedom (as well as other freedoms) and make ‘big businesses’ happier using access to our information as the bait. "

'via Blog this'

Thursday, June 15, 2017


The 36 Best Free Utilities for your Computer (Apple and Windows) - BestVPN.com

The 36 Best Free Utilities for your Computer (Apple and Windows) - BestVPN.com:

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 27, 2017


How to Protect Your Digital Privacy in the Era of Public Shaming - SiteProNews

How to Protect Your Digital Privacy in the Era of Public Shaming - SiteProNews: "So how can ordinary people defend themselves? The truth is you can’t defend everything. But you can mitigate threats by reducing how much data you leave exposed for an intruder to grab. Hackers call this minimizing your “attack surface.”"

'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 17, 2016


The Best Web Browsers of 2016 | The Daily Dot

The Best Web Browsers of 2016 | The Daily Dot: "The best web browsers for privacy, speed, and battery life"

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Four Antivirus Programs Get Perfect Scores on Windows 10

Four Antivirus Programs Get Perfect Scores on Windows 10: "The time has come once again for AV-TEST to reveal which Windows antivirus programs will keep your computer safe, and which will just take up valuable hard drive space and processing power."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


22 Stupid Easy Tips That'll Make Windows 10 So Much Better

22 Stupid Easy Tips That'll Make Windows 10 So Much Better: "22 Stupid Easy Tips That’ll Make Windows 10 So Much Better"

'via Blog this'

Monday, August 10, 2015


How to Keep Windows 10 From 'Spying' on You

How to Keep Windows 10 From 'Spying' on You: "Despite what you may have read, Windows 10 is not spying on everything you do. So feel free to remove your tin-foil beanie."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


How the Experts Protect Themselves Online (Compared to Everyone Else)

How the Experts Protect Themselves Online (Compared to Everyone Else): "If you ask the average person what the best ways to protect themselves online are, they’ll give some true answers—but they’ll likely be different than the answers you’d get from a security researcher. Here’s the difference."

'via Blog this'

Friday, July 17, 2015


For the first time in 12 years, more email is non-spam than spam

For the first time in 12 years, more email is non-spam than spam: "Has your spam folder been looking a little empty lately? You're not alone. A new report shows that, for the first time in more than 10 years, the spam accounts for less than half of all email."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, May 10, 2015


BBC - Future - How safe is your password?

BBC - Future - How safe is your password?: "Hackers are coming up with ever more ingenious ways to crack your secrets. But with the right tricks, you can learn to outsmart them and protect your privacy."

'via Blog this'

Friday, May 08, 2015


AntiAdware Gets Rid of Bundled Crapware on Popular Download Sites

AntiAdware Gets Rid of Bundled Crapware on Popular Download Sites: "Greasemonky (Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Safari/Android): The Windows download world is in a sad state. Tons of download sites, including popular ones like Sourceforge and Adobe, bundle extra crapware with their installers. AntiAdware is a simple script that blocks these, so you don’t have to worry about getting tricked."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, January 04, 2015


Five Best CPU Coolers

Five Best CPU Coolers: "If you're looking to overclock, build a silent PC, or just get your rig operating at peak performance, you may want more than stock cooling for your processor. There are tons of aftermarket CPU coolers out there though, and it can be tough to choose a good one. We asked you, and here are five of the best options, based on your nominations."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Sortd Transforms Your Gmail Interface Into Organized Lists

Sortd Transforms Your Gmail Interface Into Organized Lists: "With Sortd you can sort your emails into actionable lists. Just drag and drop an email from the left pane—your inbox—into one of the lists you've created on the right. You can use the lists for follow ups, receipts, or anything else you see a need for. Returning to your old inbox is easy by just dragging Sortd to the side, but I haven't found a reason to yet"

'via Blog this'

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Five Best Desktop Antivirus Applications

Five Best Desktop Antivirus Applications: "Good browsing hygiene and "common sense" only get you so far on the internet. A good antivirus utility is worth keeping in your pocket in case either of those two things fail you (as they have been known to in the past) or someone less tech-savvy asks you for a good tool. This week we're looking at five of the best antivirus tools, based on your nominations."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 17, 2014


What's The Best Desktop Antivirus Application?

What's The Best Desktop Antivirus Application?: "If you're going to stay safe out there on the internet, a good, reliable antivirus utility is a great tool to have in your back pocket. This week, we want to hear from you which ones you trust to keep threats at bay without bringing your machine to its knees. "

'via Blog this'

Monday, July 14, 2014


Lifehacker Pack for Windows: Our List of the Essential Windows Apps

Lifehacker Pack for Windows: Our List of the Essential Windows Apps: "Windows has more great programs than we can count, but some are essential to just about every PC setup. In this year's annual Lifehacker Pack for Windows, we're highlighting the must-have downloads for better productivity, communication, media management, and more."

'via Blog this'

Monday, June 16, 2014


Email Self-Defense - a guide to fighting surveillance with GnuPG encryption

Email Self-Defense - a guide to fighting surveillance with GnuPG encryption: "Bulk surveillance violates our fundamental rights and makes free speech risky. This guide will teach you a basic surveillance self-defense skill: email encryption."

'via Blog this'


Chromebleed Notifies You if a Visited Site was Hit by Heartbleed Bug

Chromebleed Notifies You if a Visited Site was Hit by Heartbleed Bug: "Chrome: The Heartbleed bug is among the major security vulnerabilities we have seen in recent times. It's one of those cases where precaution is the order of the day. You could manually check sites or use Chromebleed, an extension that tells you if the site you're on was affected by the bug."

'via Blog this'

Monday, June 02, 2014


Learn to Decipher the Blue Screen of Death and Troubleshoot Your PC

Learn to Decipher the Blue Screen of Death and Troubleshoot Your PC: "Learn to Decipher the Blue Screen of Death and Troubleshoot Your PC"

'via Blog this'

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Top 10 Incredibly Useful Windows Programs to Have On Hand

Top 10 Incredibly Useful Windows Programs to Have On Hand: "Some apps are essential, and you use them every day. Everyone knows their names: Firefox, VLC, 7-Zip, and so on. However, there's another class of app that gets less attention: the apps that are insanely useful to have in your back pocket on the rare occasions you need them. Here are 10 of our favorites."

'via Blog this'

Monday, January 27, 2014


Five Best Remote Desktop Tools

Five Best Remote Desktop Tools: "Managing your own computer from afar or troubleshooting a family member's PC without being in front of it is much easier when you have a good remote desktop utility to rely on. This week we're going to look at five of the best remote desktop and management tools, based on your nominations. "

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Windows Server Backup for Amazon S3 – S3 Backup for Windows Server by CloudBerry Lab

Windows Server Backup for Amazon S3 – S3 Backup for Windows Server by CloudBerry Lab:

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 28, 2013


Pingtest.net - The Global Broadband Quality Test

Pingtest.net - The Global Broadband Quality Test: "What is Pingtest.net?
Use Pingtest.net to determine the quality of your broadband Internet connection. Streaming media, voice, video communications, and online gaming require more than just raw speed. Test your connection now to get your Pingtest.net rating and share the result with others!!"

'via Blog this'


Speedtest.net by Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test

Speedtest.net by Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test: "Welcome to Ookla Speedtest
Are you getting the speed you pay for? Our Promise Index™ and Ookla Speedtest help keep your ISP honest! You can help too and join over 250 million others like you who want to test or troubleshoot their Internet connection. What's your Speed?"

'via Blog this'

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Turn a Dead Laptop Into a Workout Companion

Turn a Dead Laptop Into a Workout Companion: "If your old laptop has a few broken parts, or has just gotten too slow to use as your everyday machine, you can give it new life as a treadmill entertainment center."

'via Blog this'

Monday, August 19, 2013


The Daily Dot - Only paranoid jerks can win the government's cybersecurity training game

The Daily Dot - Only paranoid jerks can win the government's cybersecurity training game: "Working from home, chatting with a coworker over lunch, or chasing a thief who steals your phone: These are normal-people things, not traitor things, right? But wait, watch out! If you work for the Department of Defense, lots of everyday activities could be potential aids to the enemy in the war on cybercrime. "

'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Office Settings Backup Wizard 2010 - Migrate Mirosoft Office Settings

Office Settings Backup Wizard 2010 - Migrate Mircosoft Office Settings:

We developed this application because we were wondering whatever happened to that nifty Microsoft Office Save My Settings Wizard that used to come with Office versions 2003 and earlier. We needed a super simple way to save, backup and restore just our MS Office settings, without the need for complex tools and configuration changes, and we needed it to save regardless of where user profiles were located. We also wanted to be able to copy the Office settings of one user to other users. Thus the application was born as the Office 2007 Settings Backup Wizard. We've now advanced the application to save the settings of the new Office 2013 (all editions and version releases), and added the ability to upgrade or migrate previously saved 2007 settings into Office 2010.

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Recommended Programs - Should I Remove It?

Recommended Programs - Should I Remove It?: "Recommended Programs
On this page you will find the best Windows software for all your needs. We picked only those we believe to be the best ones and which will most likely be useful to you, and of course none that contain or bundle adware or bloatware."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


Your Passwords Aren't As Secure As You Think; Here's How to Fix That

Your Passwords Aren't As Secure As You Think; Here's How to Fix That: "If you allow applications to save your passwords, anyone with physical access to your PC can decode them unless you're properly encrypting them—and chances are pretty good you're not. "

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Five Best Online Backup Services

Five Best Online Backup Services: "If you're backing up your data but you're not saving it offsite, you're putting it at risk. If something happens to your home or electronics, all that data could be lost. That's why there are tons of affordable, easy-to-use online backup services that you can send your data to seamlessly for safe keeping. This week we're going to look at five of the best, based on your nominations."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


AdwCleaner Removes Toolbars and Other Malware in One Click

AdwCleaner Removes Toolbars and Other Malware in One Click: "Windows: Even the most careful among us can sometimes fall prey to crapware, and when that happens, you could spend quite awhile trying to uninstall every last bit of it. AdwCleaner makes that process dead simple, by finding all the pieces and deleting them for you."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Home Wi-Fi

Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Home Wi-Fi: "Wi-Fi is one of the most useful and important parts of using a computer, and yet it's also one of the most frustrating. If you're plagued by slow speeds, bad reception, and other Wi-Fi issues, here are 10 ways you can power up the Wi-Fi in your home."

'via Blog this'


Top 10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do

Top 10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do: "No matter how tech savvy you are, there are certain things every one of us has to deal with when using a computer—and we don't always deal with them in the most efficient ways. Here are 10 things that everyone can (and should) learn to keep their computer fast, safe, and easy to use."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Examples » Capture Critical Information » ANAGRAM

Examples » Capture Critical Information » ANAGRAM: "Here are some examples of ways Anagram can make getting information into your CRM or organizer software a breeze! Also don't forget to watch our short demo video."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Five Best System Rescue Discs

Five Best System Rescue Discs: "When your computer starts behaving strangely, won't boot, or you start getting strange errors that you can't pin down, a great way to troubleshoot the problem is to boot to a rescue disc and see if you can isolate the problem."

I carry a couple of rescue discs with me, but I am going to investigate some of these.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Top 10 Underhyped Windows Apps

Top 10 Underhyped Windows Apps: "Top 10 Underhyped Windows Apps
Whitson Gordon
Some apps are essential, and everyone who's anyone knows to have them on their computer. Some apps, however, are fantastic, yet fly under the radar. Today, we look at our top 10 underhyped apps on Windows."

Some of these products were new to me.  Looks like some interesting ones to try out.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


The 5 Biggest Myths About Slow PCs (and How You Can Actually Fix Them)

The 5 Biggest Myths About Slow PCs (and How You Can Actually Fix Them): "Popular advice for slow computers includes antivirus, RAM upgrades, or even reinstalling Windows from scratch—and these are all rooted in myth. Here's how you actually get your PC running fast again."

Make sure you read the comments.  Well meaning people disagree.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Area Code Updater | Outlook Appins

Area Code Updater | Outlook Appins: "NEW PRODUCT ALERT!!! Do you have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of Contacts in your Outlook Contacts folders?  Are you sure that all of the telephone numbers for those Contacts have area codes?  Did you also know there are 13 different kinds of phone numbers that could exist in each Contact? "

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Firefly: Screen Sharing For Customer Service And Competition To Salesforce.com’s GoInstant | TechCrunch

Firefly: Screen Sharing For Customer Service And Competition To Salesforce.com’s GoInstant | TechCrunch: "Firefly is a new browser-sharing service that has striking similarities to GoInstant, the company that Salesforce.com acquired earlier this year for $70 million. Like GoInstant,  Firefly has found a way to break through the complications of software-based web conferencing with a service that allows the sharing of web pages without any plug-in needed."

Another screen share product.


Co-browsing for customer support, e-commerce and sales - GoInstant

Co-browsing for customer support, e-commerce and sales - GoInstant: "Customers deserve more. And they're demanding more from their online experience - whether they're buying something, completing a complex transaction or just looking for help.
Learn how GoInstant's co-browsing technology can give your customers the best possible experience online."

More new products to help with customer service.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Batch Reply for Gmail Makes Replying to Email in Bulk Simple

"Chrome: Ever get a bunch of emails that all require the same reply, but aren't part of the same thread? Batch Reply for Gmail is a simple extension that lets you select a few different conversations, and reply back to all of them with one email."

I like this function. Send everyone the same response.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Outlook Is a Completely New, Feature-Filled Webmail Service from Microsoft

Outlook Is a Completely New, Feature-Filled Webmail Service from Microsoft: "Microsoft has launched a completely new email service called Outlook, which brings a simplified, Metro-inspired interface and lots of useful features to your inbox."

ok Yahoo .. time for you to step up.


Microsoft Reboots Mail Service, Calls It Outlook; Attacks Clutter, Adds Social | TechCrunch

"Continuing its rollout of updated and revamped services, Microsoft today is releasing a preview of its upcoming mail client reboot. Outlook, as it will be called going forward, is a fresh take on a dated service (cough: Hotmail) that some people still use."

Microsoft reboots email.


Microsoft Reboots Mail Service, Calls It Outlook; Attacks Clutter, Adds Social | TechCrunch

"Continuing its rollout of updated and revamped services, Microsoft today is releasing a preview of its upcoming mail client reboot. Outlook, as it will be called going forward, is a fresh take on a dated service (cough: Hotmail) that some people still use."

Microsoft reboots email.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


How to Get One Of Dell’s Linux-Based Developer Laptops And Become A Sputnik Beta Cosmonaut | TechCrunch

"Dell has a skunks works project underway to offer a Linux-based laptop made for developers. Dubbed “Project Sputnik,” the effort has started to gain some traction."

Linux laptops for developers.


Top 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Slow Technology

Top 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Slow Technology: "As fast as your technology may have been on day one, it's probably not quite so speedy now. That doesn't mean you can't restore it to its former glory. Whether its your desktop, laptop, or mobile device, here are 10 great ways to speed up your slow technology."

This is the number one concern of people I talk to about their computers.  How to restore the speed.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Five Best Disk Defragmentation Tools

"Defragmenting your hard drive regularly is an important part of regular hard drive maintenance, and the best tools can defrag your drive regularly or on demand when your games start to slow down or you have trouble loading up large files. The trouble is that there are so many defragging tools that it can be difficult to choose. This week we're going to look at five of the best, based on your nominations."

Good list of defrag tools. Most are free.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


BlueScreenView Shows You the Errors Behind the Blue Screen of Death

"Windows: With luck, blue screen of death is something that most Windows users don't see anymore, but if you do, sometimes it can go by so quickly that you don't get a chance to review the error displayed so you can look it up later. BlueScreenView is a free utility that will retrieve the error information for you later so you can research what caused it."

I get a number of BSoD. I will be checking this out.

Friday, June 24, 2011


File sort order reversed or wrong in File Open or File Save dialog box

"File sort order reversed or wrong in File Open or File Save dialog box
After searching in vain for quite awhile for the fix for this little
annoyance, I found a similarly named thread from a while ago, that
contained wrong information."

I blogged about another solution that stopped working. I am trying this one now.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Windows Explorer Weirdness

"For the past couple of months I have been coping with an incredibly frustrating problem. My files in the File Open dialog box mysteriously started appearing in order of the 'Last Modified' date, instead of in alphabetical order."

I had this problem and just worked around it. I am happy to get it fixed.

Friday, April 29, 2011


The Usability of Passwords (by @baekdal) #tips

"Security companies and IT people constantly tells us that we should use complex and difficult passwords. This is bad advice, because you can actually make usable, easy to remember and highly secure passwords. In fact, usable passwords are often far better than complex ones."

Interesting. 'It is 10 times more secure to use "this is fun" as your password, than "J4fS<2"'.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Diagramly Alternatives and Similar Software - AlternativeTo.net

"Diagramly is a free online diagram drawing application for workflow, BPM, org charts, UML, ER, network diagrams. No login or registration are required and features include the ability to save locally, a range of stencils, Visio import and real time diagram sharing."

Different diagram tools immediately available.

Friday, April 01, 2011


Page Speed Online

"What is Page Speed Online?

Page Speed Online analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster. Reducing page load times can reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates. Learn more"

Thursday, June 10, 2010


What’s the Difference Between Viruses, Trojans, Worms, and Other Malware?

"Lifehacker's tech-savvy readers are the first people on speed-dial when it's time to heal an infected PC, but how much do you really know about viruses, spyware, scareware, trojans, and worms? Here's a helpful guide to understanding all the different types of malware."

Good overview of malware types

Saturday, June 05, 2010


How to Make Gmail Play Nicely with Your Desktop Email Client

If you use Gmail as your email backend but prefer a good old-fashioned desktop email client for handling your day-to-day email, you're probably aware that many clients—like Outlook or Mail.app—don't play that nice with Gmail. Here's how to fix that.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Five Best Computer Diagnostic Tools

"Computers are easier to use and more dependable with each new generation of hardware and operating system update, but that doesn't mean they're problem-free. Here's a look at the five most popular tools for troubleshooting your computer problems."

Good list of diagnostic tools.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Why computers slow down - gadgets - technology | Stuff.co.nz

"Most people think their machines are too slow, so I am not surprised at the number of computers I see with so-called speed-up software installed."

It is the most common thing one hears ... "My computer is too slow".

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


How to Make Windows Start Up Faster - PCWorld

"Before you start eliminating autoloaders, though, make sure you can undo your changes. In Windows XP, Select Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore. Select Create a restore point, click Next, call your restore point something like before removing autoloaders, and choose Create. Click Close once you've created the restore point.

In Windows Vista, select Start, Control Panel, System. Under 'Tasks' on the right side of the window, click System Protection. In the System Properties box that comes up, click Create at the bottom of the window."


Controlling Startup Programs in Windows Vista « Jerry Travis.com

"I’ve been using Windows Vista for three days now. While I’m not sure it’s a must -have upgrade for most people, there are some interesting features in Vista that are very cool and useful (once you find them, that is). One such feature is the new Software Explorer, which is part of Windows Defender. Software Explorer allows you to see several categories of programs, including: Startup Programs, Currently Running Programs, Network Connected Programs, and Winsock Service Providers."


How to remove unwanted Startup Programs in Windows Vista?

"Previously, we have seen how to adjust Vista for best performance by changing its Visual Effects. One of the other method to increase the Vista or Windows Operating System performance is to reduce the startup time. By default, most of the applications, when you install creates an entry in the startup and it loads every time you start your computer whether you are using it or not. It utilizes the RAM and thus reducing the performance."


How to configure your startup programs | Windows Vista for Beginners

"Lots of people have the tendency to install their applications using the default installation options. When they have to choose between a 'Typical' installation and a 'Custom' one, they always choose the first option. Typical installations are easy and require less input from the user but they also install lots of additional modules and settings that are not needed."

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Stop a program from running automatically when Windows starts

"Stop a program from running automatically when Windows starts

You can improve your computer's performance by preventing unnecessary programs from running automatically when Windows starts. Here's how:"

For Windows Vista.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Freeware Task Manager, Windows Task Manager Free | Manager, Task, Processes, Fre

"AnVir Task Manager is a tool that controls everything running on computer and provides Windows enhancements that help in every-day work.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Leelu Soft: XP Quick Fix Plus

"But there are times when you want just one quick fix for example when you are under a virus attack and you just want to enable the Task Manager or the Registry Editor so you can fight the virus back, or when some new installation changed your XP behavior and My Documents opens on every start up."

A menu of quick fixes for the Windows XP Registry.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Sneaky Microsoft plug-in puts Firefox users at risk

"Computerworld - An add-on that Microsoft silently slipped into Mozilla's Firefox last February leaves the browser open to attack, Microsoft's security engineers acknowledged earlier this week."

Come on Microsoft - this is inappropriate.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Turn off Windows Desktop Search and Indexing

To turn off Windows Desktop Search

In RegEdit
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\DS
set "ShowStartSearchBand" to 0, and you'll get the default search behavior back.

To turn off Windows Indexing

Turn off indexing on particular hard disk drive
  1. Open up “My Computer”. Or open “Windows Explorer” and then expand Computer tree.
  2. Right click on the hard drive to disable indexing (i.e (C:) drive letter).
  3. Select Properties on the contextual menu.
  4. Click on General tab if it’s not already selected.
  5. Untick (unselect) the check box for Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching option.
  6. Click OK, and wait for the index removal process to complete, which may take a few minutes.
  7. Repeat the steps for other hard drives if applicable.

Disable the Indexing Service in Windows XP
  1. Open “Control Panel”, select “Administrator Tools”, and open Services applet. Alternatively, type services.msc in the Rn text box from Start menu, and then hit Enter.
  2. Scroll down and locate Indexing Service service, and then double click on it.
  3. Click on Stop button to immediately stop the indexing service if the service status shows “Running.
  4. Under the “Startup Type”, select Disabled to permanently disable the indexing service so that it won’t run again.
  5. Click OK.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


WinToFlash - Install Windows from usb - Home page

"WinToFlash is a software for transfer your Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 7 setup from CD or DVD to flash in some mouse clicks. This is about you can install your Windows from flash card, USB stick, HDD, etc to your computer or netbook."

This is a great idea to be able to install Windows from a Flash drive.


Five Best Disk Defragmenters - Defragment - Lifehacker

"Your computer's a busy beaver, rapidly accessing and utilizing files all in the name of bringing you what you want, when you want it. Sometimes it needs a little help tidying up, and that's where these five disk defragmenters come in."

The five best disk degragmenters. Three are free.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


8 Firefox Add-Ons to Boost Productivity | WebProNews

"If you use Firefox, you are no doubt aware that there are many add-ons that can enhance your browsing experience. Many of these can make your online life a whole lot easier and save you time."

A good list of Firefox add-ons.

Monday, August 24, 2009


xkcd - A Webcomic - Tech Support Cheat Sheet

A great comic about helping people with their computer problems. It is a flowchart about what happens when someone works on your computer.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


OXYGEN 3, E-bulletin on IT security

"Every day, PandaLabs receives nearly 37,000 samples of new viruses, worms, Trojans and other types of Internet threats, 52 percent of which (that is 19,240 on average) spread and try to infect users for just 24 hours."

I think these are remarkable numbers.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Create a System Restore Point on Windows XP

Before you apply updates to your Windows XP computer, it is advisable to create a restore point.

Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Restore

Select Create a restore point.

That is the bare minimum for system backup, and if you are applying windows updates, it is a good place to start.

If you need to restore, come back to the same place and

Select Restore my computer to an earlier time

Thursday, July 30, 2009


What Do You Install First on a New PC : EveryJoe - Sports News - Tech Reviews - Entertainment - Life Tips for EveryJoe

"My friend Patric Welch, a.k.a. Noobie, just found this blog post that lists the writer’s top 10 applications to install on a new PC to get things started out on the right foot. The other nice benefit of this blog post though is that all the applications listed are 100% free."

A fine list of software to start out a new PC.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Seven Deadly Sins of Home Office Security - CSO Online - Security and Risk

"Whether your home office is for the occasional WAH or you're running a business from the house, are you guilty of one of these security oversights?"

A good solid list of security issues, including some that are usually overlooked.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Welcome | The PC Decrapifier

"The PC Decrapifier is a program designed to remove or uninstall a specific list of unwanted software in an unattended fashion. It can be used to clean off most of the annoying software that is typically shipped with newer PCs."

A valuable program to get rid of a lot of bloatware that comes with new pcs.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


What is Evernote? | Evernote Corporation

"Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere. Did we mention that it's free?"

I am starting to see some rave reviews about this software. Work a look.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Email: Outlook Express - transferring to new computer, backup outlook express, copy mail

"This article describes how to back up and restore your messages, Address Book, mail accounts, and news accounts in Outlook Express 5 and later. If multiple Identities are in use for Outlook Express, these steps should be repeated for each Identity and the backup data segregated accordingly. This will facilitate restoration of each Identity."

This is the sort of material that you need once every year or so.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


OXYGEN 3, E-bulletin on IT security

"Anti-Virus-1: A new fake antivirus Anti-Virus-1 is adware, specifically a 'fake antivirus'. As with all such adware, it is designed to simulate a scan of the computer, supposedly detecting thousands of strains of (non-existent) malware. The end aim is to sell users a pay version of the fake antivirus in order to eliminate the threats."

So many things to watch out for online.

Friday, January 09, 2009


FileBox eXtender - keep favorite folders at your fingertips

"FileBox eXtender™ - keep favorite folders at your fingertips - free software for everyone, now also working under Vista Ver. 2.00.02 is now available for download"

Enhance the standard Windows File Open, File Save dialog boxes and Explorer folders.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


7 Important Security Tips For Your Windows PC | Dumb Little Man

"There are many ways for regular people to protect themselves from these vulnerabilities. I will share seven such tips below and while these tips may not guarantee foolproof security, they do make your computer less prone to attacks and hence, more secure."

A solid set of tips for protecting your Windows computer.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Snapily. Do more with your photos

"Snapily. Do more with your photos
Create your own 3D & animated prints
Select a Design
Customize your Design
Order & enjoy!"

Create a animated business card. What fun.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Spychecker - download spyware removal and Internet privacy tools

"Welcome to Spychecker.com
whether you are concerned about your online privacy or have suspicions that someone may be spying on your PC activities, you'll find a solution here that you can download and try, or even use it for free. All software has been downloaded and tested before it was listed."

A good list of freeware and low priced tools.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Create PDF Online Free, PDF Toolkit API for .NET, VB, Java, ASP for Programming PDF Server Applications and Converting PDF to Word.

"BCL easyConverter SDK allows you to programmatically convert PDF to Word compatible RTF files. These Word compatible files can then be edited, modified or mined for text, graphics, tables and lists.
PDF fonts are mapped to the appropriate Word fonts with style, size and kerning to make accurate fit.
Single and multi-column pages are converted to equivalent structures with text flow preserved for facilitate editing.
PDF tables with and without PDF table structures are converted to Word tables.
Read more..."

A "cloud way" to convert PDF to RTF files that can be updated with Word. RTF files can then be converted back to PDF.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


speed.io - Internet DSL Speedtest

"Speed.io is a modern DSL speedtest to analyze your broadband internet access. You find that your internet connection is too slow or you are just curious how fast you are - speed.io is a perfect tool for a fast speed check - worldwide."

Nice tool with cool graphics.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Hive Five: Five Best Password Managers

"...Luckily, there are several fantastic and secure password management applications designed to make it easy for you to remember, manage, and secure your passwords effortlessly. On Tuesday you shared your favorite password managers, and now we're back with the five most popular picks."

I think password managers are one of best productivity savers.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Microsoft Office Discount for Students - The Ultimate Steal

"Microsoft Office Discount for Students"

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Groove, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, Accounting Express for $59.95. Students Only.


Bulk Convert Old Documents to the new Office 2007 Format

"Say you got tons of Excel sheets, PowerPoint presentations and Word documents on your computer that were written in Office XP or 2003. How do you convert all these files to the new Office 2007 format."

Tutorial on how to convert old documents to Office 2007 format.

Friday, August 15, 2008


NetSwitcher, the ultimate windows network setup utility.

"NetSwitcher is a great tool for mobile computer users. If you've ever had to change your network settings every time you sit down at a client's site or fumble with your IP address configuration every time you plug into your home network, NetSwitcher is the tool for you."

A terrific idea for a product. I know I often switch settings from coffee shop to client office to home office. Minimal price.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Backup Utilities: Five Best Windows Backup Tools

"Your data is your life, and if you're not backing it up regularly, you're flirting with disaster. On Tuesday we put out a call for your favorite Windows backup tools, and today we're back with the five most popular answers. Read on for a closer look at the five best Windows backup tools, then give your vote to the application you like best."

Good start on the top five backup systems.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


How to change drive letter assignments in Windows XP

"This article describes how to assign, to change, or to remove drive letters on a drive, a partition, or a volume by using the Disk Management snap-in in Microsoft Windows XP."

Good information for this rather arcane situation.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Alpha Geek: Turn an old hard drive into an external drive

"So you finally replaced that overstuffed 80GB hard drive with a half-terabyte data warehouse. The question is, what do you do with the old drive? Stick it on a shelf? Toss it in the trash? Leave it in the machine?

Nah. The best possible fate for an old internal drive is to become a super-handy external drive, which it can do with a small investment of time and money."

A well written article with helpful information.

Friday, June 06, 2008


mistywindow’s tech log » Blog Archive » System File Checker - a Windows tool worth digging for:

"SFC is an invaluable tool in Windows. It checks that all Windows files are where they should be and that they’re uncorrupted, it then puts things right. If you’ve done all your virus checking, error checking and defragging, but Windows is still doing strange things, then SFC can be your saviour."

Keep this utility around for when you need it.


Last call for Windows XP PCs is mid-June | InfoWorld | News | 2008-06-06 | By Bill Snyder

"Most major PC makers and retailers will stop taking orders for consumer-oriented desktops and laptops with the older operating system by the middle of June. The simplest option for getting a new PC -- heading to a big-box retailer -- will yield the spottiest XP options."

If you want a new PC with Windows XP, the options are limited but available.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Run Chkdsk on Windows Recovery


  1. Boot with Windows XP CD
  2. Hit f12 (your mileage may vary) to select where to boot from
  3. Enter C to boot from CD-Rom ... hit anything to confirm
  4. Let it run until it gets to a screen with various options .. enter R
  5. At command prompt chkdsk /r ... it will run several minutes ... upon completion
  6. Exit


PC World - Answer Line: What to Do When XP or 2000 Won't Boot

"If Windows XP (or 2000) refuses to start, press F8 right after you turn on your PC but before the Windows log-on appears (it may take a few attempts to get the timing right). At the resulting menu, select Last Known Good Configuration to restore your Registry to an earlier date."

Tips on what to do with problems on Windows XP.


Places Bar Customizations - Office 2000

"If you would like to add your own folder to the Places Bar (seen in the File/Open and File/Save or SaveAs dialogs), you can do this by editing the Windows Registry."

This is one of my favorite window hacks. It can also be done with TweakUI.


It's not always malware: How to fix the top 10 Internet Explorer issues

"The Internet Explorer of today is far more stable than it was back in 1999 when I first started supporting users. Back then kernel32.dll and wininet.dll crashes were regularly reported in the newsgroups – now such errors are only occasionally reported. Not only that, when non-malware issues do occur they are often easy to fix and often are solved by the same few tried and true procedures."

Excellent advice on how to fix common Internet Explorer problems.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Xobni: Learn more about Xobni for Outlook

"It's a whole new look at your email:

Xobni is the Outlook plug-in that saves you time finding email conversations, contacts and attachments.

After a quick install, you'll see the new Xobni toolbar appear in Outlook - and suddenly information will become much easier to find."

Xobni is inbox spelled backwards. This product organizes your email in new ways.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


PVC Laptop Stand - Instructables - DIY, How To, home, tech

"A laptop stand with cable routing for under $5 bucks. No gluing necessary. Save deskspace. Save your neck. Save your eyes."

Keep your laptop cool. Build a laptop stand.


Welcome | The PC Decrapifier

"The PC Decrapifier will uninstall many of the common trialware and annoyances found on many of the PCs from big name OEMs."

This product is getting reviews, and it certainly satisfies a need.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Using a non-Microsoft Firewall (e.g. ZoneAlarm) in Windows XP

"Windows XP includes a Firewall to protect your system against unwanted 'visitors' from the Internet, but it does not control connections from your system to the Internet ( to control the 'calling back home of XP' or a virus/worm trying to spread itself ). To control outgoing connections, you need to install a non-Microsoft firewall, there are several packages available on the market (free / Shareware / to be purchased):"

I like Zone Alarm.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Stuck Pixel Fixer :: PSP-Vault :: PSP downloads, community, news

"Most people have been complaining to Sony about their stuck and dead pixels."

One method of fixing stuck pixels. Moderate success rate.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


PC World - Linux Replacements for Your Favorite Windows Apps

"You may be intrigued by the idea of switching to Linux. But how will you get your job done without your favorite Windows programs? These 18 great open-source apps make life with Linux easier."

If you want to switch to Linux, this list of programs will get you started.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


KarenWare - Home of Karen's Power Tools

"Welcome to Karen Kenworthy's web site. Karen is the author of the popular Power Tools, free programs that make life with Windows a lot easier.

Karen also writes a free e-mail newsletter. In it she discusses her new programs, answers reader questions, and explains technical details in a way that anyone can understand."

A clean set of Windows utilities.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Get Free Tech Support

Some places to find free technical help.

5 Star Support
Ask Me Help Desk
Tech Support Guy

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Google Browser Sync

"Google Browser Sync for Firefox is an extension that continuously synchronizes your browser settings – including bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, and saved passwords – across your computers. It also allows you to restore open tabs and windows across different machines and browser sessions."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility

"Warning The Windows Installer CleanUp Utility is provided 'as is' to help resolve installation problems for programs that use Microsoft Windows Installer. If you use this utility, you may have to reinstall other programs. Caution is advised. We recommend that you do not use this utility with 2007 Office system products."

A half installed program can cause system problems. This utility could help.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Move your Documents And Settings USERNAME profile off of the C: drive - Tech-Recipes.com

"Move your Documents And Settings USERNAME profile off of the C: drive"

Good information on how to do this.


Windows XP n' Tricks: Add Specific Folders to the Open Dialog Box

"Add Specific Folders to the Open Dialog Box

When you use certain Windows applications (such as Notepad) to open a file, on the left side of the Open dialog box are a group of icons and folders (such as My Documents, My Recent Documents, Desktop, My Computer, and My Network) to which you can navigate to open files."

This is not the most elegant solution, but it will work.

For a more elegant solution:
Configure the Places Bar with Tweak UI.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


How to disable dumprep.exe (Dump Reporting Tool) on Windows XP « Panorama

"If you’ve ever had to use the task manager (CTRL-ALT-DELETE) to kill a “Not Responding” program, you’ve probably been frustrated by the time it takes for the program to actually disappear from your screen."

This process will make it go faster.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


10 Free Ways to Track All Your Passwords - Lifehack.org

"With the proliferation of web services — there’s a new one out each day, it seems — it feels like we’re always creating new accounts, each with a different username and password."

An important consideration for overall security.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Lifehacker Code: Lifehacker's Exclusive Line of Productivity Software

"If you've missed any of the Lifehacker Code line of applications, scripts, and plug-ins, here's your chance to get caught up.

All of the Lifehacker Code projects listed below are free to download, and they're licensed under the GNU Public License with source available, so we invite you to use, modify, and enhance to your heart's content."

Software and Utilities worth checking out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


» Top 10 sites to debunk urban legends | Tech of all Trades | TechRepublic.com

"Top 10 sites to debunk urban legends"

Check out one of these sites before you forward chain mail or one of the Internet hoaxes.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Save Windows XP?

Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP June of 2008.

InfoWorld has a movement to keep Windows XP.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


ZipZoomfly.com Special deals - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Camera, Networking, Electronics and more

"Founded in 1999 with a passion for consumer technology and a customer centric philosophy, ZipZoomfly has become a leading e-commerce provider of high performance computer components and consumer electronics. ZipZoomfly.com stands as a tribute to the speed of technological advancement and a commitment to bring you this technology at affordable prices."

Another place to get computer parts.


Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!

"Newegg.com is an online e-commerce company offering more than 25,000 computer hardware and software, consumer electronics and communications products in stock at competitive prices and ready to ship at lightning-speed.

Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer, hard-core gamer, student, stay-at-home parent, small to medium-sized business, IT professional, reseller or anyone desiring a comprehensive digital lifestyle, you’ll enjoy shopping with us."

A good resource for tech gear.

Friday, January 04, 2008


PVC Laptop Stand - Instructables - DIY, How To, home, tech

"Intro PVC Laptop Stand
A laptop stand with cable routing for under $5 bucks. No gluing necessary. Save deskspace. Save your neck. Save your eyes. Etc."

Sunday, December 23, 2007


The Best of TechRepublic 2007, from TechRepublic Pro - Downloads - TechRepublic

"Overview: This is a collection of some of the most popular downloads on TechRepublic. With one shot, you can receive over 400 files with popular content from TechRepublic that has been published since 2005.

Career Development,
Customer Support Services,
Desktop Systems - PCs,
Wi-Fi (802.11)"

TechRepublic is a great resource.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Data Backup Software Review 2008

"Data Backup Software Review - A Review of the top Data Backup Software products
Data Backup Software: Protect Your Data's Future"


Backup Software Reviews

"The good news is that there are now some excellent Windows backup software products available that make backing up relatively easy and painless. So easy that computer users at all levels can routinely and automatically protect their important data from disaster."

Thursday, December 13, 2007


FTP and backup and desktop Resources on TechRepublic

"FTP and backup and desktop Resources on TechRepublic"

Nice list of programs for FTP and backup.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Resplendence Software - AntiFreeze Introduction

"AntiFreeze offers a last recourse when you find your computer in a hung state. ... you can press the hotkey of AntiFreeze. It will put to sleep all running programs except the most critical ones, giving you the opportunity to close down the programs which are causing problems. You may even be able to save or recover your work."

I have not tested this, but if it works, it could save data.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Improve the Readability of On-Screen Text with ClearType

"Improve the Readability of On-Screen Text with ClearType.

Windows users: you may be painfully missing out when it comes to the quality of on-screen text."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Fog Creek Copilot - Home

"The Fog Creek CopilotSM service allows people to help their friends, relatives, and customers fix their computer problems by connecting to their computers via the Internet."

Friday, August 10, 2007


Why and How to Flash Your BIOS

"Flashing the BIOS is one of the most feared topics related to computers. Yes, people should be very cautious because it can be dangerous. This article is going to focus on the basics and explain ways to flash the BIOS, precautions and how to recover in case of a bad flash."

Thursday, August 09, 2007


CrossLoop - Simple Secure Screen Sharing

"CrossLoop is a FREE secure screen sharing utility designed for people of all technical skill levels. CrossLoop extends the boundaries of VNC’s traditional screen sharing by enabling non-technical users to get connected from anywhere on the Internet in seconds without changing any firewall or router settings. It only takes a few minutes to setup and no signup is required."

There are various products that do this including PC Anywhere and Logmein. This one is free, has file transfer, and has full encryption. It is available only for computers running Windows.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Fog Creek Copilot - Home

"The Fog Creek CopilotSM service allows people to help their friends, relatives, and customers fix their computer problems by connecting to their computers via the Internet."

I use logmein.com, but I am always looking for alternatives. logmein.com requires a download and install.


PDFill PDF Editor with FREE PDF Writer and FREE PDF Tools - www.PDFill.com

"Insert, Fill, Edit, Delete and Submit PDF Form Fields; PDF Draw, Comment, Annotation;
Open, View, Edit and Save PDF files without Adobe Acrobat!"

To edit a PDF file:
Adobe Acrobat - $500.00
PDFill PDF Editor - $19.99

Thursday, July 19, 2007


15 Great, Free Security Programs

"Turn your PC on, and you're immediately vulnerable to malicious attacks. But you can use these free applications to minimize the dangers and protect yourself."

PCWorld prints a list of valuable free security software. Worth a look. Select one you do not have and download it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


15 free security programs that work

"Because we know there's a PC in your life that needs cheap help"

From the moment you switch on your PC, your system faces countless Internet-borne dangers, including spyware attacks, viruses, Trojan horses, home-page hijackers, and hackers trying to weasel their way into your system.

Good overview of required security programs - and free solutions.

Friday, June 29, 2007


230+ Keyboard Shortcuts for Top Web Services

"Prepare your fingers, and throw your mouse away: you’re not going to need it. For your weekend reading, we’ve prepared a list of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for our favorite web services. So, if you need a quick reference as to which key does what on what site, this is where you find it. Enjoy!"

I like keyboard shortcuts and cheat sheets.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


13 Government Resources for Small Businesses - Dumb Little Man

"13 Government Resources for Small Businesses"

Some good resources for small business.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


10 Free Ways to Track All Your Passwords - lifehack.org

"10 Free Ways to Track All Your Passwords"

We all know that we need to something about our passwords. We know we should stop using the same ones over and over. Here are 10 solutions.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


26 Tips to Keep Your Computer Up and Functioning - lifehack.org

"26 Tips to Keep Your Computer Up and Functioning"

A good check list of what you should be doing to maintain your computer.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Home Networking Help

"Printer and File Sharing Made Easy"

A product to help set up home and SOHO networks. Helps to print, share files, repair connections, secure networks, and monitor Internet use.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


10 Steps to Creating Your Own IT Security Audit

"If a security auditor isn't in the budget, these 10 IT security audit tips will go a long way in empowering you to protect your business."

Everyone needs security. This is a good basic checklist.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Spam Filter for Outlook - Outlook Express and Servers - SPAMfighter

"Spam Filter for Outlook - Outlook Express and Servers"

Supposedly uses a good combination of white and black lists and community knowledge. I use SpamBayes, but I will watch for any feedback on this filter.

Monday, December 04, 2006


PC World - How to Set Up Multiple Monitors

"Adding a second monitor can seriously boost your productivity, especially if you work with large images or spreadsheets. It's also extremely simple. We'll show you how to do it in this step-by-step guide."

Having a second monitor is a proven productivity enhancer.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


The Simple Dollar » 30 Essential Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows

"30 Essential Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows"

This software is free and open source. It can save money on more expensive software.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Microsoft Typography - ClearType Tuner PowerToy

"ClearType Tuner PowerToy

An alternative to our popular online ClearType Tuner, Windows XP PowerToy lets you activate and tune your ClearType settings via the Windows Control Panel."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Find a lost Windows product key

"Overview: Learn the procedures and tools you can use to reveal a lost product key for a currently installed version of Windows."

This is the kind of information you hope you will never need, but Murphy's Law says we should keep.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

"How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install"

Saturday, October 14, 2006


PC World's Techlog A Brief History of Computers, As Seen in Old TV Ads

A Brief History of Computers, As Seen in Old TV Ads"

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Eraser - Free secure data erase tool to wipe files on your hard drive

"Eraser is an advanced security tool (for Windows), which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns."

Eraser is Free software that wipes a hard drive clean. It won Chip Magazine's "Best File Shredder Aware".

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Determining whether USB 2.0 is on your Windows XP machine

"Determining whether USB 2.0 is on your Windows XP machine"

Thursday, August 24, 2006


How to use the Save My Settings Wizard to back up user settings in Office XP

"How to use the Save My Settings Wizard to back up user settings in Office XP"

This Wizard takes care of all the Outlook settings including rules and email accounts, except for email account passwords.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Disk Wiping Utilities: How to Get Rid of Your Data Permanently

"Disk Wiping Utilities: How to Get Rid of Your Data Permanently"

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Ultimate List of Free Windows Software from Microsoft

"Ultimate List of Free Windows Software from Microsoft
Microsoft has over 150 FREE Windows & Office Programs available for download -- finding them all is extremely difficult. Until now, thanks to the Road to Know Where!"

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Quickly change your Windows password (even if you've lost your old one) - Lifehacker

"Quickly change your Windows password (even if you've lost your old one)"

Friday, June 02, 2006


IBM Thinkpad : DEV 001 : ERR 91 : FRU 3610

ThinkPad Problems - DEV 001 : ERR 91 : FRU 3610

I had the above problem - what fixed my problem was to replace the second battery on the Thinkpad.

There are two batteries on the Thinkpad -

1). The one everyone knows about is the big battery pack that is removable and rechargeable.

2). But there is also a small back-up battery that is found inside the computer. When this battery needs replacement, a number of errors show up. Some of the potential errors are as follows

Fan is not working (192)
Clock is not working (163)
System Board problem (161).

The solution is to remove the cover and replace the backup battery - either the entire battery pack or just the battery . Use the standard care to make sure there is no static electricity.

a) Take off the RAM expansion flap which is on the bottom of the laptop behind the CDRom drive. After removing flap, look for a two wire white connector. The battery pack is connected via this wire and is hidden under a small plastic flap in that area.

b) The Battery pack consists of the battery, the wires, and the frame. The entire battery pack can be purchased online for $15-$40. It is very easy to unplug the two wires and plug in the new one. See Laptop Batteries to see one variety.

c) If you take off the yellow tape found on the battery pack, you will find the actual battery. It can be replaced from Radio shack for $2-10. Replace the battery, solder if you wish (I did not), tape it all back up, plug in the 2 wire connector, and it should be fixed.

Different Thinkpads have the battery in different places. Here are more instructions:

Backup battery removal

Backup battery removel - movie

Good Luck!

Friday, May 26, 2006


Crap Cleaner

"CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less that a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware! :)"


How to Fix Word?

Microsoft offers a method of repairing Word (and other Office products) without doing a complete reinstall.

Open Word

Help | Detect and Repair

You will need to have your Office CD. The process will ask for the CD.

If you are having problems with Word, this is certainly worth a try.


Malicious Software Removal Tool

"The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool checks computers running Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003 for infections by specific, prevalent malicious software—including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom—and helps remove any infection found. When the detection and removal process is complete, the tool displays a report describing the outcome, including which, if any, malicious software was detected and removed."


Turn off Windows Messenger

The Windows messenger function is not the same as the Windows Instant Messaging program. This function allows programs to send messages to other computers. It is the Windows function that spammers use to initiate popups.

The function is rarely used, and can be turned off as follows.

Windows XP Professional

Start | Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services
Select Services
Select Messenger | Right Click for Properties
Select STOP
Select Disable
Select OK

It can be started up again at any time.


Is Your Windows Legal?

For Windows XP

Start | Control Panel | Help | Is this copy of Windows Legal?

Follow the instructions to validate your copy of Windows.

It is important to have a legal copy of Windows in order to get all the updates that protect the system.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Spam fighter is overzealous but can learn | CNET News.com

"Good thing people don't judge me by my e-mail in-box. If they did, they'd conclude that I'm sickly, overweight and unemployed, that I need a new mortgage, don't know where to buy medicine and can't please my wife."


Sophos - SophosLabs

"SophosLabs™ is a global network of highly skilled analysts with 20 years' experience in protecting businesses from known and emerging threats. Focused on rapidly evolving threats like viruses, spam, phishing, spyware and other malware, SophosLabs provides both proactive and rapid solutions for all Sophos customers."

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Computer Troubleshooters - Charity Service Program

"If you are a qualified non-profit or charity, please contact the Computer Troubleshooter nearest you and ask to be included in their available charitable discounted/donated service hours."

Saturday, January 21, 2006


PCWorld.com - Busting the Biggest PC Myths

"We expose the bad advice that wastes your time and money."

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Carbonite: Backup for Everyone

"Carbonite was founded in 2005 in order to provide Internet-based Backup for Everyone™."

This looks like an affordable Internet backup.


Grand Stream Dreams - Dealing with the Dell ...

Why does it take 4.5 hours to setup a new Windows computer?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Make Data Backup Your New Year Resolution with Feature Packed Free Backup Software

"Vembu Technologies, a leading provider of innovative backup and storage solutions, has announced the release of a Free Edition of Vembu StoreGrid, the flexible and feature packed data backup software that simply works with your existing hardware! StoreGrid can enable Peer to Peer, Client-Server, and Remote Online Backups. An innovative concept, “Trusted Peer-to-Peer” backups are a unique feature in StoreGrid."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Want a little extra computer security? Try these 5 tips

"These days, a firewall, anti-virus software and anti-spyware programs are essential, but they might not be enough to protect your computer.

Here are five things you can do for a little added security:"

Sunday, November 27, 2005


99 Useful Run Commands

"Do you use the Run feature in Windows XP? ... There are, however, tools and utilities that I bet you never knew you had that can be accessed through the Run feature."

Friday, November 25, 2005


PC users ‘not taking security seriously’

"COMPUTER users are not taking computer security seriously, and are underestimating their exposure to viruses and hackers, believing that their computer protection is better than it actually is."

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Cable-Safe Cable Management System

"Cable-Safe Cable Management System - Organization, Management, and Protection of Computer, PC, Desktop and Workstation Cables, Wires and Cords"

I like this product.


Dan Gillmor shouldn't have to play Russian Roulette

"It's always comforting to know that another reporter covering the technology sector has run into precisely the same problem I have (and that millions of other people are running into)"

A discussion on the difficulty of not knowing what to do when your firewall gives you a message asking for a response to something you do not understand.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Looking for (password) security? Skip religion and sex

"God. Love. Sex. Money. These are the four most common passwords that people use, and are therefore the easiest ones for hackers, phishers and other Internet-savvy fraudsters to figure out, allowing them access to your financial information and the possible theft of your identity."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005



"The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) is working on several fronts to combat the 'spyware' problem. We believe a complete solution will require a combination of better enforcement of existing laws, anti-spyware technologies, self-regulatory policies, and possibly new legislation."

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Testing 10 Windows 'Registry Cleaning' Software Packs

"Langa Letter: Testing 10 Windows 'Registry Cleaning' Software Packs Oct. 9, 2005

Fred Langa tries to make sense of wildly disparate claims, and rates the best free and commercial products.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Unattended PCs Pose Security Threat to Businesses and Users Alike

"...a significant number of unauthorised access events occur when someone sits down at another user's computer. Unattended PCs facilitate surreptitious access to sensitive data and bogus e-mail messages. 'Someone else must have sat at my PC' has already become a typical defence to accusations of improper online behaviour."

Friday, September 09, 2005


Computer Security 101

"This Subject contains links to all ten of the articles from the 10-part series titled Computer Security 101. Computer Security 101 walks a user through a basic understanding of the acronyms and technology and the how's and why's of securing their computer."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Quiet, Please! Cut Your PC's Clatter the Cool Way

"Quiet, Please! Cut Your PC's Clatter the Cool Way

Today's systems make way too much noise. We spend good money on high-quality speakers so that our CDs and MP3 files will sound terrific, and then we force those speakers to share a room with a PC that roars like a fully loaded B-52."

Sunday, August 28, 2005


ID theft sneaks to the top of fears list

"We're paying more and more protection money on our financial lives. Identity theft, phishing scams, viruses and worms are turning the convenience of online personal finance into a jungle of security fears. Direct costs to banks and credit companies of computer scams like phishing and other identity theft--ultimately paid by consumers--have mounted to more than $1.2 billion, according to research firm Gartner Inc"


Computer Security 101: 10-Part Series

"This Subject contains links to all ten of the articles from the 10-part series titled Computer Security 101. Computer Security 101 walks a user through a basic understanding of the acronyms and technology and the how's and why's of securing their computer."

Friday, August 26, 2005


What is Phishing

"In computing, phishing (also known as carding and spoofing) is the act of attempting to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business with a real need for such information in a seemingly official electronic notification or message, such as an email or an instant message."

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Digital Dolly - Hard Drive Partition Image

"Digital Dolly is hard-disk-partition image and cloning software that runs completely from a bootable CD-ROM. Digital Dolly can back up and restore hard-disk partitions directly to and from Windows file servers, and supports most common network cards. Simply put the CD-ROM into the drive and reboot. The system will auto-detect and configure the network card. There is no need to customize a boot disk for every machine. System administrators can remotely control the whole backup/restore process. Digital Dolly supports creating, cloning, and resizing FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, and Linux ext2 partitions and works with IDE, SCSI, USB, and FireWire drives."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


'Ethical hackers' recruited

"A NEW generation of 'ethical hackers' are to be trained in Wales to test and protect the world's computer security systems."

Monday, August 22, 2005


Types of Malware

"Malware (a portmanteau of 'malicious software') is any software program developed for the purpose of causing harm to a computer system, "

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Thin clients: So out, they're in?

Thin clients: So out, they're in? | Newsmakers | CNET News.com:

"Wyse's relatively new CEO, John Kish, believes that the thin era may be upon us. In thin-client computing, the terminal on your desk (or in your pocket disguised as a cell phone) doesn't compute. Instead, it relays information to and from servers and hard drives that perform all the computation work, Internet surfing and data storage. Thin clients cost less, are easier to manage, and are less susceptible to security breaches, Kish and others say."

Monday, August 08, 2005


Sarbanes-Oxley Trumps instant messaging at Some Firms

Sarbanes-Oxley Trumps IM at Some Firms - Computerworld:

"AUGUST 08, 2005 (COMPUTERWORLD) - In another case of fallout from the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, some companies are disabling their instant messaging systems because of concerns that the technology's security and archival controls aren't strong enough to comply with the law, according to IT executives, lawyers and auditors interviewed last week. "

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


DNS servers--an Internet Achilles' heel

DNS servers--an Internet Achilles' heel:

"Scan finds that hundreds of thousands of the servers that act as the white pages of the Net are vulnerable to attack."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


SpoofStick - detects spoofed websites

SpoofStick Home:

"SpoofStick is a simple browser extension that helps users detect spoofed (fake) websites. "

Friday, July 22, 2005


How to Optimize Windows XP

How to squeeze every drop of optimization out of Windows XP

"According to industry estimates, more than 250 million users boot up their PCs with Windows XP. According to TechRepublic members, optimizing the operating system is the key strategy for getting the most out of XP. These downloads offer a number of shortcuts, tweaks, and strategies for securing and accelerating the XP experience."

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Corrupted PC's are being thrown out.

Corrupted PC's Find New Home in the Dumpster - New York Times:

"In the face of a constant stream of pop-up ads, malfunctioning programs and performance slowed to a crawl or a crash - the hallmarks of spyware and adware - throwing out a computer 'is a rational response,' said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a Washington-based research group that studies the Internet's social impact.

... decided that rather than take the time to remove the offending software, he would spend $400 on a new machine."

Friday, July 15, 2005


Service promises to sniff out zombie systems

Sophos promises to sniff out zombie systems | CNET News.com:

"Antivirus specialist Sophos has launched a service that uses spam traps to find unsolicited e-mail messages originating from supposedly 'protected' computers."

Monday, July 04, 2005


12 minutes to PC infection

Globetechnology: 12 minutes to PC infection:

"If your Windows computer is not properly protected, chances are it will take all of 12 minutes before it becomes infected, a major security company says."

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Simple single sign-on

Jon Udell: Simple single sign-on

Nice introduction to a solution for single sign-on.

Monday, May 30, 2005


Is computing getting too complicated?

Is computing getting too complicated?:

"Takeaway: While recently helping a friend set up his new Windows computer, Jonathan Yarden started thinking about the increasing complexity of computer systems and their underlying security. Find out why he believes that simpler is better when it comes to locking down your organization's systems."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Forgot the Administrator's Password?

Forgot the Administrator's Password?:

"How can I gain access to a Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 computer if I forgot the administrator's password? How can I reset the administrator's password if I forgot it?"

Friday, April 29, 2005


The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities

The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities:

"The 46 Best-ever Freeware Utilities

There are a lot of great freeware products out there. Many are as good or even better than their commercial alternatives. This list features my personal pick of the 'best of the best.'"

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Great Password Quote

Clifford Stoll Quotes:

"Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don't let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months. "

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Computers need tune-ups too

Yahoo! News - Andrew Kantor: CyberSpeak - Remember that computers need tune-ups too:

"Routine maintenance on your car is, well, routine. Change the oil, get tune-ups, change the coolant, replace the timing belt - depending on the mileage, there are different things you need to do."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Ounces of Protection

Forbes.com: Ounces of Protection:

"Want to protect yourself and your computer? Here's a ten-point plan.

So much malware is directed at Windows that an unprotected PC directly connected to the Net will crash within ten minutes. But you can defend yourself. Here's a ten-point plan."

Monday, January 31, 2005


Computing's silent revolution

Computing's silent revolution | CNET News.com

"Once a minor annoyance, noise from PCs has become a growing concern as ever-more powerful computers require stronger and often noisier cooling systems--especially with PCs moving out of the office into living rooms and bedrooms. The quest for quiet computing has inspired a cottage industry of specialist manufacturers, growing attention from major PC companies and a small underground of acoustic cultists who'll go to any extreme to eliminate another decibel of PC din."

Friday, September 03, 2004


Business Continuity

Murphy's Law
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
O'Toole's Commentary
Murphy was an optimist.

If you are building and maintaining a website, something will go wrong. If your business depends on that website and you are not prepared; your business could suffer. Business continuity is the process that helps your business continue under adverse conditions.

We used to talk about problem management, emergency response, crisis management and disaster recovery as processes to deal with adverse conditions. But the process is really Business Continuity, how to continue your business under any adverse condition, whether your web hosting vendor gets hit by a hurricane, someone spills coffee on the keyboard, your computer gets a virus, trojan, or spyware, or some .htaccess research wipes out your data base.

There is a Business Continuity Institute, there are Certified Business Continuity Professionals and a mission statement: To promote the art and science of business continuity management.

Business Continuity is the set of processes that insures the business continues even though there are problems or adverse conditions. We all have pieces of the Business Continuity process in place. I am recommending each of us identify what pieces are in place, what pieces are not in place, and start to gradually fill in the blanks. As with each process, the idea is to define what is in place, and continuously improve the process. It is not frantically trying and put everything into place at one.

There are some recommended Business Continuity Steps. They go in a circle. As soon as you finish the last one you start back at one. It is a framework where you can hang the myriad of activities that we do in this area. Having a framework will often insure success.

1) Analyze your business and assess the risks.

Analyze whether the business could survive the following:
Assess the risks and determine the most glaring weakness.

2) Develop your strategy and your plan. There are two kinds of strategies.
3) Implement or Rehearse the plan.
Go back to the top.

It bears repeating that the idea is to identify the current process, and then start to continuously improve the process.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


TCO - Total Cost of Ownership

"TCO is really about process improvement and best practices that result in lower costs and improved service levels...", Bill Kirwin, the father of TCO.

What does it really cost to own a PC? The answer is the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The term was introduced by Bill Kirwin from Gartner Group, Inc. It is estimated that for a $1500 PC, the TCO (Total cost of ownership) is $20,000 over a 4 year period. Gartner's TCO studies have repeatedly shown that the sticker price of technology is a fraction of the true total costs.

Why so high? TCO examines everything that goes into supporting the PC. The cost of the PC, wires, maintenance contracts, spare parts, and labor costs to maintain and repair. It also includes the indirect costs like the time each individual learns to use the desktop, the downtime caused by viruses, and the controversial "futzing". Futzing means the time spent playing with the PC, and includes everything from setting up elaborate screen savers to playing games.

Why is TCO important and what is it used for?
A couple of references:
The Real Cost of Owning a PC By Dale Edmonds CNETAsia.
"Computers are steadily getting cheaper while IT budgets demand more and more resources, a financial puzzle that can be solved with Total Cost of Ownership."

Total Cost of Ownership Quickstudy by Jacqueline Emigh
"Total cost of ownership (TCO) has been a steady beacon in the information technology landscape since 1987, when Bill Kirwin, vice president and research director at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Group Inc., first applied the model to desktop systems. "

Gartner, Inc. is the leading provider of research and analysis on the global IT industry. Go there and you will find 400+ documents on TCO - most are for sale.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Process Improvement

"If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing." W. Edwards Deming

A process is a series of actions that brings about a result. It is a series of tasks that accomplish a goal. It is the steps we take to get something done. Testing a website change is a process. Publishing a website change is a process.

Processes describe stuff that we do over and over. Projects describe stuff that we do once.
The key to most of quality improvement is simply this: To define the process, write down the steps in the sequence that they should be done. There are a great many process diagram tools and techniques. Forget all that to start. Just write down the steps in the right sequence. Do not make it too elaborate, just jot down the steps.

Then when you do the process, follow the steps and gradually improve the process.
Coming process attractions:

Monday, August 30, 2004


More on the PC as Data Center

“I hate shrink wrap” Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle

What is the difference between the telephone and the computer? For the purposes of this discussion, let us consider the telephone as it was before the wireless revolution.

What is the major philosophical difference between the two richest Information Technology billionaires - Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Larry Ellison (Oracle)?

What is the difference in shrink wrap vs. Application Service Providers (ASPs).

The PC creates challenges and problems because is has software and data that resides within it. It is a Data Center. It is the Bill Gates model.

If the SOHO is using a PC, then the SOHO has a data center and must support the computer.

Sunday, August 22, 2004


The PC as data center

Small Office / Home Office Computer Support

Does your business have at least one personal computer? Then you have a data center - also called a computer center.

And what is a data center?

Data centers are the buildings and rooms where big computers are located and operated. They are usually windowless, climate controlled, antiseptic places. There are computers, rows of peripheral devices, and raised floors with miles of wires running underneath the floor.

In a movie, if they show a data center, they usually show a spinning tape drive, because it is the only thing you can watch moving - and that is now obsolete because cartridges are used. Data centers are often multi-million dollar centers.

In many ways, one PC brings the same problems and opportunities as running a multi-million dollar data center.

What can you learn for your Small Office / Home Office business from those that have run multi-million dollar data centers?

This web log will capture some ideas about SOHO Computer Support.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


Information Technology

People that have small businesses - SOHOs - Small Office / Home Office Businesses - must wear many hats, including the hat of the Information Technology professional, dealing with computers and related technologies. Developing a website, for example, is building a computer system.

As a long time Information Technology professional, I am going to suggest some IT processes to make the IT hat fit better.

Some of the processes to be covered:

* Establishing a continuous improvement processes
* Creating a Business Continuity process
* Developing a test environment to assure quality
* Creating computer systems in versions
* Managing the production environment
* Publishing guidelines
* Maintaining source code.

For each process the format is similar.

* Set up the process, and then start to improve the process.
* Continuous process improvement is the key.

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