Tech – for Everyone

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

Plug and Play the Windows 7 Way

I have mentioned in my earlier Windows 7 articles that PnP has finally reached the point of being (practically) zero-touch and seems to work the way it was envisioned — you could just plug in your device and it would work.

New to Win 7 is a PnP feature called “Device Stage”, which does far more than recognize (and install drivers) your device and place an icon. This video demonstrates what happens when you plug in a Device Stage Enabled media player, but it’s supposed to work with smart phones, cameras, etc. Check it out.

I saw that, and thought, “that’s how it should be.”  Microsoft is leaving this “open”, and so it will be up to the device manufactures to write the ‘applets’ (and they can make them do whatever they want). I think the makers of smart phones (in particular) could really do a lot with this.

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

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May 31, 2009 Posted by | computers, device drivers, gadgets, hardware, Microsoft, PC, performance, Plug and Play, software, tech, Windows 7 | , , , , | 19 Comments

Saturday Post

Folks, my day today is packed to the rafters with chores and To Do List items, and cleaning and.. (sigh). So I will simple focus on this thought.
Spring flowers

Have a great weekend, and I sure hope yours looks more like this than mine will.

Today’s free link: Speed Up Your PC – Free!

Today’s free download: System Explorer is a system analyzing tool that lets you take a sneak peek at everything that’s going on in your system, including active processes, installed drivers, startup applications and more. You can end any active process or delete items from the startup menu.

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

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May 30, 2009 Posted by | computers, PC, performance | 4 Comments


What? No Typo’s???

Dearest One,

Please bear with me if such solicitation does not match with your personal ethics.

My name is Smith Duke; I am 17 years old dropout student, from Zimbabwe. Presently I am in Ivory Coast as a result of the strange and ugly incident which resulted to the killing of my father. The name of my father was Chief Jacobs Smith; he was a farmer and diamond merchant in Zimbabwe. Trouble began when my father began to receive anonymous letters, telling him to remove his hands from his farm land. This was all as a result of the incessant greed and wickedness of the present government of President Robert Mugabe over large farmland.

When the threat continued, while I was in school my father invited me home and handed me over the documents of a deposit of the sum of $7.5 million which he made in a bank in Ivory Coast, and advised me to leave the country immediately while he will stay back to follow up the matter with his lawyer, but it was quite unfortunate that I lost my beloved father on that process.  In few months after my father’s burial I still got another similar letter to stop making any further attempt towards claiming my father’s estate in Zimbabwe.

Now I am presently in Ivory Coast and have visited the bank where the money was deposited and the banks has reconfirmed the deposit to me and ask me to follow the necessary procedures to have the fund released to me or my trustee as agreed upon. It is based on this I am contacting you, to help me in transferring the money to a safe bank account in your country and to help me on investing it into any lucrative investment and also help me in with the necessary arrangement to come over to your country to continue my education.

I will be grateful and happy to compensate you with 30% of the total money for this great assistance.
I am looking forward to hear back from you.

Thank you and God bless you as you help me out.

Smith Duke

Hmmm… $2.225,000… Nah. Make it $3,750,000 and we’ll talk. We Americans are greedy, remember?

May 29, 2009 Posted by | Internet scam, spam and junk mail | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Memories of a Perfect Word

I have mentioned to my readers before that I have been using Windows since the days when we looked forward to the release of Windows 95 (think “Jurassic period”). Recently I was reminiscing with a fellow tech enthusiast, who has been using computers since the very beginning of the PC, and who survived the early days of DOS (think “Triassic  period”), and the name WordPerfect came up.

Wow. I haven’t heard that name in… a really long time.

Folks, I know this may be hard to believe, but there was a time before Microsoft Word and MS Office. Back then you composed your documents with WordStar, or more likely, the premier app — WordPerfect.

WordPerfect could do it all. If you had WP, you could actually do fantastic things like use italics and bold and (this was super neat) you could see a preview of what your document would actually print out like.
Before WordPerfect, you kind of had to guesstimate, as your screen used a generic font. (At least, that’s how I remember it…)

But eventually, Microsoft bundled its upstart new word processor – called simply “Word” – with Windows, and so new machines came with Word already — spelling doom for WordPerfect. Us techy-types then spent lots of time training people on Word and converting old WordPerfect documents into the Word format.
Sigh. Those were the ‘good old days’…

Anyway.. after our conversation, I decided to look up WordPerfect on Wikipedia to see what year it went extinct, and I was guessing it would be somewhere about 1992… I confess I was stunned by what I learned -WordPerfect is not dead.

Yes, Corel’s office suite – featuring WordPerfect – is not only still around, but I read it has a loyal following. It’s current version is called WordPerfect Office X4, and it comes in a “Home and Student”, “Standard”, and “Professional” versions. I looked at their website and I must say I’m intrigued.

Surely it must have something “going on” for it to still be in the game, and I think it does, so I’m going to download the trial and play with it some. I’m curious about its PDF features and Open document formats…

Today’s free link: WordPerfect Universe calls itself the “first stop for WordPerfect Office users”, and I must say you can find pretty much anything WP-related here.

Today’s free download: To fit with my theme today, I’m going to break my rule about no “trialware” in this section. If you are like me, and would like to see what today’s WordPerfect can do, there’s a 30 day trial that is full-featured (everything’s enabled) here, WordPerfect Office X4

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

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May 28, 2009 Posted by | computers, PC, software, tech, word processors | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 64-bit

As I promised in yesterday’s post, Windows 7 and the Era of 64-bit, I deleted the partition on my machine containing Win 7 beta and installed a 64-bit version of the Win 7 RC.

I have to say that my first and most immediate impression is — I am disappointed.



click on images = large

Because: the only thing that clued me that I was now “rolling with the 64” was — if I looked at my system properties — I could see a tiny, normal-sized line of text saying “64 bit Operating System”.

There was no banner — anywhere — that trumpeted, Success: CONGRATULATIONS PAUL! You are now rolling with the big dogs!

No balloons fell from the ceiling.

A marching band did not fill the room and play We Are The Champions.

There was, in fact, none of that.

There also wasn’t any glitches, snags, hang ups, curious error messages… and, when I clicked on Device Manager…


There was no yellow exclamation points, red X’s, etc., indicating that I needed to put on my safari outfit and go on a device driver hunt.


So I tried plugging in a few USB devices — a camera, a multi-function printer, a joystick, and a storage device (I was, after all, all dressed for the hunt). All of them auto-installed with no action on my part — not even a click “Yes, search for drivers on the Internet”, or any of that.

Huh, again.

So I feel totally robbed. I was fully expecting to have to do some work… some troubleshooting… some driver hunting… feel some Installer’s Aggravation.

I was looking forward to it actually, as I thought it might make for some article fodder.. you know, Tech Paul Goes In Search Of The Elusive 64-bit Driver or What Size Hammer Made 64x Win 7 Fit My Machine.. or some such.

All I got was…
Fresh Windows 7 Install_Desktop

And, darned my luck, Windows Easy Transfer worked flawlessly too.


Maybe (hopefully) I’ll run into trouble with networking… stay tuned.

[update: I did recently encounter a headache trying to install a device. See, Troubleshooting Installing Programs On Win 7]

Today’s free link: to see all my Win 7 articles, click Windows 7 articles.

Today’s free download: Click here to download Windows 7

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

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May 27, 2009 Posted by | computers, file system, Microsoft, tech, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Windows 7 and the Era of 64-bit

I have stated in my previous Windows 7 articles that I believe that the new operating system will usher in the era of 64-bit computing (aka “x64”) for us regular folk — who have been primarily using 32-bit. Soon, everything will be 64-bit, even for us “consumers”.

Very briefly, 64-bit architecture is twice as powerful as 32, so everything will run twice as fast, and you can put twice as many programs on your machines. Ha! I made myself LOL with that one… But, wouldn’t that be nice? Too bad that’s simply not so.

So why go 64? One of the main benefits of 64-bit architecture is the amount of RAM memory the system can support and RAM is a primary factor in computer performance. 64-bit will allow systems to address up to 17.2 billion GB’s of memory (theoretically). In today’s 32-bit desktop systems, you can have up to 4GB of RAM, and Windows really only utilizes 3.
That’s just a wee bit more RAM in a 64..!

(Of course there are other benefits to 64-bit over 32-bit, and for those of you who are curious, Wikipedia spells it out nicely here.)

To see any benefit to 64-bit, the moon and planets and stars all have to align — you have to have a 64-bit operating system, a 64-bit processor, 64-bit software and device drivers, and — most importantly for us — a 64-bit motherboard that has lots of ‘slots’ to hold all those RAM memory modules.

I believe now is the time of that ‘alignment’ for us consumer-level (aka “home”) computer users. There are now fully 64-bit systems available at your local electronic gizmo superstore, equipped with 6 to 8 GB’s of RAM.
And, Microsoft has made Vista 64 x64/Server 2008 x64 quite smooth-running (I wouldn’t touch 64-bit XP, though). 64-bit drivers are no longer so hard to find.

So.. today (or, as soon as time allows), as part of my endless and ongoing efforts to be simply the best Tech Blogger in the Universe (ahem), I am going to delete my Windows 7 RC partition and install the 64-bit Windows 7 RC and put it through its paces. I will then report to you, Dear Reader, in upcoming articles my “first impressions” on how that goes.

Today’s free link: Watch an ID thief’s ‘commercial’

Today’s free download: (I have not actually tested this app) Flexcrypt Free.
Flexcrypt is an encryption toolbox that offers encryption of Text, E-mail, Files, MSN and ICQ. The editors at C/Net say “Flexcrypt offers people the opportunity to encode e-mails and IM chats, so unauthorized users cannot read the information. There are many situations where this capability may prove useful in home and business, however, users are advised to read the Help file before using Flexcyrpt Free to get the best results.

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

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May 26, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, Microsoft, PC, performance, tech, Windows, Windows 7 | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Holiday Monday

Tech – for Everyone is enjoying a holiday. I hope you are doing the same.

I thank you for stopping by, and invite you return again tomorrow.

May 25, 2009 Posted by | computers | Leave a comment