Tech – for Everyone

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

How To Make A Copy Of Your Favorites List

Loyal readers of this site know that I am a huge fan of making backups of your digital stuff. Making a copy before you need it, and keeping it off to the side, makes bouncing back from “glitches” so much easier. And it prevents the anguish and frustration of “data loss”.
Backups are “good” and you want them.

Tip of the day: Today’s tip is a quick and simple action that “exports” a copy of your Internet “Favorites” (aka “bookmarks”) from Internet Explorer. You can then “import” the copy (copy back) at a later date, or transfer them into IE on a different machine.

1) Internet Explorer calls Website bookmarks “Favorites” and you access your list by clicking the gold star icon (upper left), and you add websites to your list by clicking on the icon right next to it — the gold star overlaid with the green + sign.
That is also the icon that manages your Favorites, so click that.


2) click on “Import and Export”.

3) Now a “wizard” will open and tell us how helpful it can be to us. Click “Next” to get to the actually helpful page.


4) Click on “Export Favorites”, and then click “Next” all the way through the wizard. Now you will have a file called “bookmark.htm” in your Documents folder — that is your backup copy.
[note: you can “browse” to a different Save location if you prefer.]

That’s it. You’re done. Now you can repeat this process but choose “Import” to copy it back into IE if you ever need to.. or transfer it to another machine’s Internet Explorer.

For more of my Internet Explorer tips, see Quick Tips for Internet Explorer.

Today’s free link: Firefox users interested in this type of ability will be interested to know that the process is almost identical to the steps above.. or they may be interested in a more comprehensive tool, The easy way to backup your Firefox profiles…

Today’s free download(s):
Today’s first free download is for Mozilla users and is contained in the link directly above.
For a truly comprehensive backup tool, see Backup, Backup, Backup With Free DriveImage XML

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

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June 30, 2009 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, how to, IE 7, Internet, PC, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Quick Tips for Internet Explorer

Do you surf the Internet? Do you use Internet Explorer? According to the statistics, the odds are pretty good that you will answer “yes” and “yes”. Because of those facts, I have written many articles IE_logocontaining advice and tips for getting the most out of Internet Explorer, and how to troubleshoot ‘glitches’ when they occur.

I have listed links to my more popular tips, and I invite you to scan the topic titles, and see if any catch your eye.
(The bottom link will present all my Internet Explorer articles by date.)

Restore Missing Favorites In IE*

Internet Explorer Runtime Error!!*

Quick Tip: Turn on ClearType in Internet Explorer

Can’t Download? Reset IE

How To Clear Your Cache

View Multiple Mail Identities in One Browser

Extracting text from Web pages*

Precautions for your Internet privacy*

Quick Tip: Customize new tabs behavior

IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*

What is a “homepage”?

How to use tabs in IE 7

Saving webpages as files

For more of my IE tips and repair advice, click here.

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

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June 29, 2009 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, how to, IE 7, Internet, software, tech | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Compatibility Tricks for Old Programs, New Machines

How To Get Old Programs To Work On New Computers

So you went out and bought a new computer — congratulations! You got a good one, too: it has everything, including a dual-core processor. You have installed your favorite programs, and by that, I mean your games — great!

There’s just one catch — now some of your games misbehave and act like they’re in hyperdrive, everything moves at warp speed, and instead of three bloodthirsty hobgoblins, there’s thirty. You’re getting killed faster than you can press your “S” key… and that isn’t any fun! Or worse, the game will just freeze in mid-play.

I first noticed this on Battlefield 1942 (the whole series, actually). And then I noticed it on Call of Duty, but not so much on Call of Duty 2. And it was really bad on Quake. It became clear to me that the older the game, the more susceptible to this unplayability it was.

If this has happened to you, the odds are good you have a dual, triple, or quad core CPU. These processors weren’t available when these programs were written, and so the programmers didn’t factor in their ability to process multiple “threads” — basically what’s happening is these new processors are making two (or four) ‘events’ occur at the same time, where they are meant to happen one at a time.

But don’t worry… you need not say goodbye to your favorite games!

Tip of the day: Getting older programs to run smoothly on a new machine is just a couple of clicks away. Some of your programs are going to require you to “turn off” one of the ‘cores’ before it will run right.
To do this, launch the program and let it load (but don’t start using/playing it yet).
Now launch the Windows Task Manager by doing the “three fingered salute”, combination-press the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys (or Start >Run and enter “taskmgr” no quotes).
Click on (select) the Processes tab. tm.jpg

This shows a list of all the running processes on your machine, and how much RAM and CPU cycles are being used by each process. I have launched Battlefield 1942, which shows as the top (most recent) process.
* Right-click on the app that you want to adjust, in our case “BF 1942.exe”.

For some reason, the program-to-processor linkage is called “Affinity“, so from the menu of choices that appear due to our right-clicking, we want to click on (select) “Set Affinity”.
If you have a dual-core CPU, two CPU’s will be shown and checked, A quad-core, four.. We want to uncheck all but one… as shown below.


With luck, now your program will run like it should. Unfortunately, you must do this each time you want to launch your game/program. Sometimes, the game manufacturer’s will issue a “patch” that will mitigate this issue. Visit their website and look for downloadable “patches” and/or “updates”.

For really old programs and games, you may need to set them to run in something called “compatibility mode“. Mostly these will be items you have left over from your Windows 98 (or Me) days… but if you’re running Vista, you may need to do this for programs that ran fine on XP. Right-click on the program’s shortcut (desktop) icon and select (click) Properties. Now click on the Compatibility tab, as shown below.

Use the drop-down arrow to select the operating system you would like the program to run in as if it were installed. Here I am telling a Vista machine to run a XP environment, but you may need to set it to “Windows 98”. A little experimentation will determine your best choice.

See also, Windows 7 – Old Games Won’t Play.. Help! (Updated) for more help.

Today’s free download: There’s a small app called Prio that allows you to “Save” priority and affinity, so you won’t have to set them at each launch.

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

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June 28, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, dual-core processors, Gaming, how to, PC, performance, tech, tweaks, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Now They Have Gone Too Far

Dear Reader, I am so much in a dither this morning that I can barely type. I’m frantic. And I’m… scared. I received a message this morning and I don’t know how to respond to it… I mean, I know what I’m supposed to NOT do.. but. Well, I need your help deciding.


Even though I am not a “cat person”, I have come to love my cat; and he’s never hurt anybody, or said mean things about them. If something happened, it would break my heart.


Oh. Wait. It says I sent the note.

I don’t remember doing that.

I think I need to stop typing and go get my head examined. I seem to have a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde thing going on…

* Folks: it seems my facetious tack and humor is not exactly clear. This image is a screenshot of my Spam folder. Spammers “spoof” the e-mail addresses: here  several appear to come from “me”. The cyber-criminals are just trying new ways to get people to click, and I though threatening a cat was kind of.. unique.
I thought my readers should be aware — they want us to click, so don’t!

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

June 27, 2009 Posted by | Phishing, spam and junk mail | 4 Comments

Google’s New "Gmail Tips" & “Voice”

Become a Gmail Ninja

Learn tips and tricks to save time, increase your productivity, and manage your email efficiently. Start with the tips that are right for you, based on how much email you get each day.

Folks, Google’s Gmail is simply the best webmail going, and it is free and open to all. Gmail has lots of storage, has the best spam filtering; and, you can “forward” your existing e-mail account(s) to it, and access them there (gaining additional spam filtering).

Don’t have a Gmail address yet? Click here and sign up. Already a Gmail user? Click one of the “belts” and test your savvy.. and pick up a few pointers too.

Today’s free link: People are talking about the new Google Voice for use with mobile phones. What is it? Google Voice: 5 Reasons to Use It, 5 Reasons to Think Twice

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

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June 26, 2009 Posted by | computers, e-mail, Google, Internet, tech | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Windows 7 Pricing

So here’s the low-down on pricing for Windows 7. The estimated retail prices for upgrade packaged retail product of Windows 7 in the U.S. are:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade): $119.99
  • Windows 7 Professional (Upgrade): $199.99
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (Upgrade): $219.99

And the estimated retail prices for full packaged retail product of Windows 7 in the U.S. are:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium (Full): $199.99
  • Windows 7 Professional (Full): $299.99
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (Full): $319.99

This means that Windows 7 Home Premium full retail product is $40.00 less than Windows Vista Home Premium today.

* However, if you’re willing to go for an upgrade, and you’re willing to pre-order, you can save 50% (Best Buy and Amazon).
“Windows 7 is coming on October 22, 2009. Here’s an easy way to get it fast and save a bundle: Pre-order a Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade for $49 or a Windows 7 Professional Upgrade for $99. That’s about half off the estimated retail prices. This offer is available through participating retailers.”

… It seems that we need to send a loud and clear message to Microsoft by jumping on the $50 package and then not buying anything else. (I thought we already did with Vista, but… we’ll have to shout louder I guess.)
I will NOT spend more than $50 on ANY piece of software. Welcome to 2009.

… and no, I will NOT be buying an “upgrade”. I want a clean install.

June 25, 2009 Posted by | computers, Microsoft, News | , , , , | 11 Comments

Leave a message after the beep

I regret to inform you, Dear Reader, that old Tech Paul is suffering from brain ache (please make sympathetic noises here). Yes, it’s true. I believe that this is due to the fact that for some strange reason I have been thinking “deep thoughts” lately… and as you know, thinking is hard work.
It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have looked at the headlines.

Sometimes I think the world is changing and other times I think there’s nothing new under the sun. Dichotomies are confusing and confusion is tiring.

Technology is one area that dynamic change is sort of the status quo. Who can argue that the Internet has changed how we live? (Very intriguing read: The Internet devalues everything it touches . . .) Not me.
And Moore’s Law is still going strong.

But in a lot of ways, we are still waiting for technology to bring us that Big Thing. You know the one — limitless clean energy/no disease or famine/everyone living as brothers/”utopia”. If one does a little looking around, it can seem that the only Big Thing technology is bringing us is Big Brother.
I shouldn’t look at those headlines…

One doesn’t have to look far, or watch too long, to see that there are still oppressive governments, corrupt governments, famine, civil unrest, inexcusable poverty, police brutality, lunatic juries, religious strife, hate, Idiots In Charge (IIC), border wars, etc., ad nauseum, blah blah blah.
I shouldn’t look at those headlines…

I don’t know why I’ve been hit with a spell of deep thoughts thinking. Usually that happens to me in the cold gray days of Winter. It is NOT cold, nor gray, nor Winter. I should be thinking…
nice beach

… and about how much better life is today thanks to technology such as the Internet. After all, they say that the Internet is killing off the mainstream media and print is dead already. (see, The media is dead. Long live the media)
Which means I won’t even see those headlines…

But, my thinking has been so deep (how deep is it?) that I can see a huge flaw — can we be waiting for technology to change US? Someone (else) or something (else) will make it better?
How would that work?

I don’t know. Not knowing is uncomfortable for me.

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

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June 25, 2009 Posted by | tech | 2 Comments