Tech – for Everyone

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

Spyware Doctor 10 License Giveaway

Interested in a chance at a free, 3PC license of Spyware Doctor 2011? I am giving ten away. To find out the 4-1-1, click here, and read.

May 31, 2011 Posted by | antivirus, computers, free software, PC, security | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Special Day Indeed – SDAV 2011 License Giveaway

Folks, I Am Sincerely Pleased to Announce My Latest Holiday Software License Giveaway Drawing.

The folks at PCTools have generously donated 10 licenses for Spyware Doctor With Antivirus 2011 to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am going to do a random drawing ¹ contest from those who “enter”. The contest will close at midnight (Pacific) Thursday, June 2nd, and the winners announced Friday.

PC Tools Spyware Doctor™ with AntiVirus 2011 I am going to start this out by telling you that I have a very high regard for the effectiveness of this anti-malware and Internet Security tool, (so high, I installed it on my mother’s machine) and have been using it for years now – since before they acquired the award-winning Threatfire heuristics engine. Not only is “SD” very good at detecting and removing viruses, trojans, keyloggers, etc., but it is also very good at blocking that *stuff* from getting onto your machine as well.
(And I have said many times: an ounce of malware prevention is worth a couple pounds of cure.)

From the publisher:

Editor’s Choice Antivirus and Antispyware in One
Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus combines two powerful engines to detect and remove unknown threats faster.

  • Antivirus guards against malicious PC threats.
  • Antispyware prevents information and identity theft.

It defends your computer against malware attacks with multiple layers of protection using proactive, reactive and automatic anti spyware antivirus software protection to stop threats at every entry point. Now includes memory scanning, behavior profiling, and report cards to provide up-to-date protection and status monitoring for your PC.

Please notice in this slideshow, the various “layers’ (ten of ’em) of protection SDAV’s technology provides. (I hope you never have to use any of those last three.. )

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SDAV 2011’s main features and improvements are:

IMPROVED! Detection, blocking and removal of threats awarded top ratings by independent testing labs and recommended by reviewers worldwide.

  • Built on award-winning Spyware Doctor™ antispyware technology.
  • Advanced rootkit detection technology identifies and removes hidden threats from your PC.
  • NEW! Memory Scanner helps eradicate threats lurking on your PC.
  • NEW! Download Guard checks your downloads against a cloud-based network.

NEW! Multi-layered browsing protection against web-based attacks including phishing attempts, rogueware scare tactics and silent drive-by downloads.

  • Uses a combination of reactive blacklists and proactive content analysis.
  • Site Guard blocks you from visiting potentially unsafe or phishing websites and from downloading threats through your browser, IM or email.
  • Cookie Guard automatically removes potentially malicious tracking and advertising cookies.
  • Browser Guard stops automatic downloads, fake AV and malicious files from compromised or exploit websites.

Constant real-time IntelliGuard™ protection monitors for malicious activity involving spyware, viruses, tracking cookies, suspicious ActiveX® objects, browser hijackers, keyloggers, Trojans and more.

Quick links Overview Features Accolades Details

Spyware Doctor, in the years I have been using it, has never failed to earn my regard and respect. My (very few) critiques nitpicks have been minor. I consider it a most important tool in my fight against cybercrime. It is Top Drawer – period. (That’s my “review”.)

These 1 year (subscription) licenses retail for $39.99, and can be used on up to three of your PC’s.

How to enter? Residents of the US and Canada only may enter the contest drawing by simply clicking on “comment” (below), and entering a name and a valid e-mail (so PC Tools can send you a license key) in the form. Actually commenting is optional. And, I shouldn’t have to say this, but multiple entries will result in disqualification. (In this contest. Entry in prior contests doesn’t count against you.)
Again, the license can be used on up to three PC’s.

Note: SDAV is an antivirus; and you only want one AV on your machine at a time. It is also not a good idea to have more than one heuristic (behavior detection) tool onboard (active) so you may need to disable or uninstall some products before installing Spyware Doctor With Antivirus.

¹ All entrants will be placed into’s “list randomizer”, and the top  10 results will be the winners. A 30-day, limited-function trial of Spyware Doctor with AV can be downloaded here, Free 30-day trial. Try it out yourself. (And then leave a comment. You may just win one of these valuable prizes!)

Again, my thanks to the folks at PCTools for making this Giveaway possible!

UPDATE: This contest has concluded. The winners can be seen here, Spyware Doctor Winners. My thanks to all who partcipated.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 30, 2011 Posted by | advice, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, Internet, PC, rootkits, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

A Salute

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.

Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time.

Some Americans view Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of Summer, and the holiday is also used as a time for picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, and sporting events. One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500 motor race.



Please have a safe and joyous Holiday Weekend.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 29, 2011 Posted by | Digital Images | , | Leave a comment

Netflix outage

There seems to be a small problem with Netflix here where I am (Silicon Valley, CA.) .. like, a total service outage. (Noticed it about 7:30 pm.)
reported outage in Massachusetts and Wisconsin too. Nation-wide?]

FYI: Don’t bother calling them – they just hang up — “We are experiencing a high call volume. Please hang up and try again later.” click.

Anyone else?

Trouble with device ID and/or “instant” streaming?

May 28, 2011 Posted by | computers | , , , | 17 Comments

Firefox 3, or 4 (or 5)? + Turn Off the "Upgrade" Nag

A reader wrote in and asked a good question. The answer(s) will be good “general knowledge” even for those of you who are not currently running Mozilla’s Firefox web browser.

Q:If I may impose on you for information, have you upgraded Firefox to version 4.0.1? I keep saying no when the browser asks me, but my Mom let it upgrade.

Several things won’t work with V 4… Such as the ZoneAlarm browser toolbar and her HP All-In-One printer plugin.

She wants me to roll her FF version back to V 3.6.17 so those items will work, but I’m concerned about potential security issues.

Thank you

A: Dear Reader,
Yours is a very good question, and poses an interesting choice. And, it shows how two “rules of thumb” can sometimes contradict.

* For security, you always want to be running the latest version (and promptly apply any “updates”) of any software.

* Don’t buy version 1 of anything (aka “wait for the service pack”) unless you enjoy being a product guinea pig (aka “bug finder”).

In my mind, Firefox 4 (and the new beta of 5) is enough of a change as to qualify as a ‘new product’, (and also has compatibility issues with some of my add-ons) and so I will not install it until version 4.1 (or 4.2) is released (give the product some time to mature).

Yes, this (staying with FF 3) may (probably does) pose some security “risk”, and is certainly not a long-term answer — bullet point 1 should not be ignored and bullet point 2 will become ‘false’ as newer version of FF 4 are released (and the Add-ons authors update theirs to better work with FF4). In the meantime, while I await v4.1, I have turned off the “upgrade now?” prompt.

To avoid being nagged:
1) Click on the Tools menu, then click Options.

2) Click on the Advanced tab (gray gear icon).

3) Click on the Update tab in the Advanced window.


4) Un-ckeck the “Firefox” checkbox, and then click OK.

That’s it. Now the automated “there’s a new version” prompting will stop (Firefox’s updater will now be in “manual mode”… meaning it is up to you to check the availability of new versions. You can do this anytime by clicking the Help menu, then “Check for updates”).

* 5) [at some future date] When I do install a newer version, I will make sure the automatic update checking is re-enabled (by reversing these steps), as the first bullet point stated, I normally want automatic updating.

Today’s free download: If you find that you too want to revert to the last version of Firefox 3 (or.. contrarily, get the beta of 5) the download site FileHippo is my choice. FileHippo’s right-hand column contains a string of downloads, starting with the most recent, and (usually) going back all the way to the original release. Click here and scroll down that list to “version 3.6.17”. FileHippo is where I go when I need an older version.

Today’s quotable quote:If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.”  ~ Author Unknown

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 28, 2011 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, Firefox, free software, how to, Internet, PC, performance, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Friday Fun (And More) At The End Of May

This week has been a rather busy one at my shop, and I have not had time to write new articles. Fortunately, tech blogger (and friend) Rick Robinette is always posting something interesting, and I can use him as a “sub” — I am sure you can find an interesting topic (and get your ‘tech tip fix’) from this list of his recent articles…

“..I did experience a TV Screen Size issue, in the Windows Media Center, where the TV display aspect ratio was locked into the 4:3 (square display) mode and would not let me change it to the 16:9 (widescreen display) mode.”

My “go to” online internet radio source is RadioTuna. It has been my favorite for nearly a year and half…”

Have you ever noticed that when you go to print out a web page, what you see is not what you always get? “

Recently I was looking for a way to autohide the bookmark bar in the Google Chrome Browser.

Hopefully you are already familiar with Rick’s website; but if you are not, do yourself a favor and click a link and take a look. He is one of my few remaining “daily reads”.

Elephant Is Bigger Than The Moon: Did you hear about Kathy Evans on the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Supposedly the dumbest human ever, right?

Hate to tell you, but that email is a hoax (see this Snopes article) as are most “forwarded” emails. But, apparently enough people believe this one.. I am kind of glad it isn’t true… ‘cuz if it was? What would that say about the American public education system?
Oh. Yeah. The same thing everyone’s been saying for decades…
* The key to successful lying – put as much truth in the lie as possible.

Today’s quotable quote:Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.  ~ Henry Ford

Today’s fun video:

Kind of made me wonder about the “news commentators”… but they are being paid to talk..

Bonus reading reco: Android apps to get the summer party started

A good way to have a good summer season is by using smartphone apps to help make the best of those fun times. Here are some good Android apps to get the summer party started.

A pretty picture..


I am going to be slaving away this whole weekend, but I hope you all have a good (leisurely) one!

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 27, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, computers, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What a long strange trip it’s been…

In the middle of last year, this site passed a major website milestone, having had one million visitors. (Naturally, I wrote an article on that.) I noticed this morning that The ‘ole odometer has just clicked over the 1.5 millionth visitor to my humble tech Tips, Tricks, and Advice site, Tech – for Everyone.

I have copy>pasted the previous article, and updated it, to reflect what’s happened in intervening months.

*     *     *

Since I published my first article (The first Tech Paul Post: secure your web connection) in June of 2007, I have learned a thing or two, made some important friendships, and – hopefully – helped a few folks learn a few things, solve a few problems, and better enjoy technology along the way.

To you – Dear Reader – I say…


A few other T4E stats:

# of articles posted: 1,056 1,423 (roughly 95.56% original, 4.44% re-postings.) Note: Use my “Search widget” to browse prior tips & answers by keywords, or browse my writings by month.

# of Reader Comments: 3,892 6,955 (almost exactly half of those are my replies.. so lets say, 2,000 3,500 readers have asked questions/commented. I welcome your comments on my articles and questions about computers and “tech”. Dialogue is what keeps the Web relevant and dynamic.)

Most popular article: Manage Startup programs in Vista

Most downloaded program (referral): Microsoft’s PowerPoint Viewer is tops, with 2,065.
The previous winner here, Security Task Manager (928 1,238) has dropped to #3.  (Panda’s Cloud Antivirus is #2, with 1,292.)

# of cups of coffee consumed by Tech Paul while writing all these articles: 16 26 (… but, they were Olympic swimming pool-sized cups. Ha!)

WordPress rated this blog a “Wow” (see, WordPress Rates Tech – for Everyone)

It was never my intention to write so many articles, nor write for so long. My intention was simply to publish a few How-To’s – so I could say “Here, read this”, instead of constantly repeating myself (when people find out you’re a tech.. they ask you questions!).

Thanks for being a part of it all, and I hope you all have a tolerably fair-to-middlin’ week!

Today’s quotable quote:It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”  ~ W.C. Fields

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 25, 2011 Posted by | blogging, tech | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments