Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Smartphones On The Cheap

Are your seatbelts fastened? I’m about to shock you, Dear Reader.

I found a How To better than any I have ever written. Below is the link and some snippets..

How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…


“I love my gadgets, and when opportunity presents itself to try something different, I cannot resist.

The object of the this story is to demonstrate how I maximized the usage of a Blackberry Smartphone using one of the cheapest mobile phone plans out there…

I have always been fascinated with PDA’s, have owned quite a few, and was currently looking for something that would provide PDA capabilities, as well as, mobile phone capabilities. I did not want to pay a lot or get trapped into a lengthy service contract with a mobile phone provider just to own a computer in my pocket…”

I believe that this article will appeal to (and inform) any “user level” — from those who have managed to avoid these fancy gadgets, to texting über-ninjas. I highly recommend clicking the link (above) and giving this one a read.

I tip both my writer’s cap and my geek hat to Rick Robinette (blog= What’s On My PC) and I thank him for permission for these snippets.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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March 26, 2009 Posted by | advice, gadgets, how to, Internet, Portable Computing, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PSI To The Rescue

This morning I turned on my laptop and was greeted with one of those “critical warning” alert windows — and I was quite happy about it.

Loyal Friends and True to this series know about “rogue” antivirus programs, and how they are known as “scareware” because of how they use phony “Warning! VirusXYZ has been detected on this machine!” pop-ups to try to get you to click their link.
(see, “WINDOWS REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION” and Internet Plague – Rogue Antivirus)

But my alert-screen today was not one of those items of crimeware, (though that stuff has become a real epidemic) but a window from a program that I have recommended to my readers several times. It told me that it had found two “insecure programs”; and that one of those insecurities was rated as “critical”.

Loyal Friends and True to this series know that “insecure” means that there are known flaws in the code of these programs which hackers use to “exploit” (aka “attack”) your machine and gain control and plant their keyloggers, backdoors, and mailers. In fact, “exploits” are the primary method of infection.

The program I refer to is Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector and its job is to scan my system for missing updates and patches (which close the “insecurities”). I clicked “show me more” and PSI opened and displayed its results. Listed first is the “critical”..


Huh. How about that. Adobe Reader managed to sneak back onto my machine (probably, Firefox downloaded it so I could view an online PDF), and SURPRISE! it is critically vulnerable.. again.
I am beginning to hate all things Adobe.. and I make it a practice to keep Adobe products off of my computer. They are the hacker’s favorite. I use Foxit¹ to read PDF’s and Word to create them.


By clicking the little “+” sign, Secunia PSI presents me with “one-click” options for fixing the problem. If the vulnerability is in a program I like and want, I just use the first button which will download the appropriate patch/update. This is very cool, and saves many steps.
But since we’re talking about an Adobe product, I click on the Add/Remove Programs button and remove that sucker.
(For those of you that care, the second insecurity was in the Java Runtime, and I did click on “Download Solution”.)

I am very grateful to the good folks at Secunia for not only developing this very important security tool, but making it freely available to the public. Again, you can get it here, Personal Software Inspector.

The most important computer security step you can take is to keep your software patched and updated, and PSI does all the work for you, and offers one-click fixes. Secunia, you guys get a big tip of my geek hat.

Today’s free link: 9 Good Things The Internet Has Ruined Forever

¹ I don’t know how long I will continue to use Foxit. There are currently exploits against it now too.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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March 26, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, hackers, how to, PC, security | 7 Comments