Tech – for Everyone

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

A Quickie…

Crazy busy here, and time has not allowed me my regular posting. Today, I only have a moment, and will add something in relation to Monday’s article on Firefox 6, as it seems that (once again) I am not alone:

“… In other news, Mozilla, maker of the popular Firefox browser, found itself in the unfavorable position of having to defend its rapid-release program. With the new six-week release schedule causing some corporate indigestion, Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker issued a statement on why she believes the pros outweigh the cons. You can read her argument here.”

What do you think? Are you a fan of the new release cycle?

Hope I can get back on track soon, and I thank you for your patience.

Today’s quote:It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards.” ~ Baltasar Gracian

August 31, 2011 Posted by | computers | , , , | 3 Comments

Firefox 6 Reviewed, iPhone Tips, Facebook, Chatter, And More

Loyal readers know that I use Mozilla’s Firefox as my web browser. And they know I have chosen it simply because of the many Add-ons available – mainly Internet Safety (privacy and security) tools. If these “Add ons” were not available, I would not use Firefox. It’s that simple. (To see my choice of Firefox security add-ons, click here.)

What they may not know is, like many people, I got really turned off by Firefox’s new policy of a rapid release cycle and constant updates and ‘upgrades’ to new versions. And, I did not like the “minimalist look” of version 4, which is a direct rip-off of Google’s Chrome browser (if I wanted Chrome, I would have installed Chrome. Duh.)

Every time I turned around, Firefox wanted to update.. and, in fact, since I wrote Firefox 3, or 4 (or 5)? + Turn Off the “Upgrade” Nag back in May, they are now up to version 6. Let you in on a secret: I am still using version 3.

Yesterday, though, I read a detailed review by FOTIS-winning Seth Rosenblatt of version 6, which most Firefox users (if they agreed to the upgrades) already have. This has me rethinking, particularly what he said about Firefox 6 on Android, and I will be putting it to the test this week. In the meantime, you can read his review and analysis of the latest release here, (Find out why it earns 5 stars..) and if you already have it, learn some new features.

5 awesome Mozilla Firefox secrets (photos)

Firefox is packed with useful, built-in features you might have missed. Customize Firefox with these five helpful tips. View images

Further Brain Food:

Salesforce abuzz over social networking software

“Metallica playing a trade show? It’s the kind of deliciously strange bit of news a person might share on Facebook – but would rather see it posted on Chatter.Read more..
(Never heard of Chatter? Me neither. Read the article.)

The complete list of Windows Logo keyboard shortcuts

The Windows Logo key can be a powerful tool if you know the right shortcuts.Read more..

10 wacky IT office pranks

An office without practical jokes would be a mighty dull place to work. Luckily, legions of IT pranksters have kept things lively over the years.Read more..

• Tips and tricks to improve your iPhone experience

A few simple tricks can make a big difference in how well your iPhone serves your needs. Calvin Sun shares some basic tips he’s discovered.Read more..

Can you tell a real Facebook e-mail from a phishing attempt?

Notification e-mails from social networking sites like Facebook can be dangerous; if you’re fooled by a phisher, you can click your way into big trouble.Read more..

• Recently, Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple. I wrote about that (see my Steve Jobs Steps Down, if you missed it) the day after. Since then, many more articles have been published, and the speculation continues. Probably the best of these I saw is Without Jobs as CEO, five reasons Apple won’t be the same

Lots of people are talking about why Apple will continue its momentum even without Steve Jobs as CEO. Here’s the counterpoint.Read more..

Related: Only one minor, teensy-weensy, little problem.. 

I never joined Facebook..!

Yeah. It’s Monday again… yippee.

Today’s quotable quote:Make somebody happy today. Mind your own business.” ~ Ann Landers

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

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August 29, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, browsers, computers, Firefox, Internet, iPhone, mobile, privacy, security, social networking, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunday Beauty 56

Another interesting picture for your Sunday.

Click on image to see more by this artist

in Kleine Scheidegg, Canton of Berne, by Jerry and Cara. Image courtesy of Flickr Commons.

Today’s quote:It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” ~ Howard Ruff

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

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August 28, 2011 Posted by | Digital Images | 3 Comments

Windows Update Broken? Fix it!

Microsoft has made available an automatic repair which will reset, and repair, the components of Windows Update. This can resolve issues where updates will not install.

To reset the Windows Update components automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Click Run in the File Download dialog box, and then follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.

Note: this Fix it Solution has two modes Default and Aggressive. You should run the Fix it solution in Default mode and determine if it resolves your problem with Windows Update before running it in Aggressive mode.

Note: this wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note: if you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Check whether the Windows Update components are reset. If the Windows Update components are reset, you are finished. If the Windows Update components are not reset, or do not solve your Update problem, you can contact Microsoft support — which is free for security-related issues such as this.

Today’s quote:Promise only what you can deliver. Then deliver more than you promise.” ~ Unknown

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

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August 27, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, performance, security, software, troubleshooting, Vista, Windows, Windows 7, XP | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Steve Jobs Steps Down

Yesterday, I heard that Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple.

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

Not surprisingly, Jobs’ resignation was big news, and media outlets all over the country seized on the story. Newspaper front pages all over the country featured Jobs’ photo, with some taking a somber tone and others going the pun route: iQuit and iResign, for example.

Our ‘big city paper’, The San Francisco Chronicle, featured a large Apple logo with Jobs in shadow. “Steve Jobs steps down as CEO, leaving the tech world – and fans of the products he dreamed up – wondering what Apple will be without him.” (Their story was full of hype-erbole..)

It was kind of fun watching all the articles get posted as word spread.. and reading some of the comments the public posted as well.

I am not an iPerson, and won’t have anything to do with Apple products more than what is required to perform my duties as a repair technician. I am not knocking these products, so no need to write in and school me. But I mention it as some of the speculation on the web is that Apple will fade away without Steve Jobs at the helm.. a world without Apple. And iGadgets.

I absolutely hate intensely dislike talking heads who predict the future, so I won’t be one. I will not tell you what Jobs’ resignation means… or even what I think it means. I will say that it is MHO that there’s no reason to go dumping your Apple stock, just yet, should you own any ¹. And I will share some articles that look at this ‘news’ (anyone caught off guard by this, hasn’t been paying attention).

Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO – FAQ

“You’ve got questions about Steve Jobs’ resignation – I’ve got answers!” Read more..

Apple’s Past And Future: Analysis Around The Web

“As Steve Jobs resigns, we all wonder what the next chapter will be for the technology company like no other. Here’s a look at historic moments and pending questions.” Read more..

And of course, many articles are posted on Apple Insider..

No, I won’t predict the future, but I will look at the past. And I will say that – even though I am not an iFan – Steve Jobs was a trendsetter, a pioneer, tech “maverick”, and one of the original few who made “tech”, the PC, and the Internet, evolve into parts of our homes and our daily lives (aka “changed the world”). I think it is safe to say, Apple would have faded away years ago without him.
I’ll go further.. it’s hard for me to think of anyone current (or recent past) with his talent for marketing.

Today’s quote:Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

¹ It seems I need to be more clear: I was using that solely as a “figure of speech” and am in no way a financial consultant, stock market expert, nor do I have any “insider knowledge”. It was my way of saying “I don’t think you should panic, Apple lovers”. Nothing more. Repeat: nothing. (I am a humble computer repair tech..)

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

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August 25, 2011 Posted by | Backups, computers, News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook Changes Privacy Controls | More (Free) Streaming Music

Happy “hump day” to you, everyone. Not much time for writing today, but I wanted to share two items with you.

1) Facebook is a topic once again, as they are revamping how the Privacy (security) controls work. I think those of you who use Facebook should be aware of these changes — which hopefully will be improvements: please see, Facebook Rolling Out Security Update, Taking Page From Google+?

“Facebook on Tuesday introduced a number of new security features, some of which take a few pages from the Google+ playbook. Facebook said the changes will start rolling out in the next few days. When they do, Facebook will display a prompt that will walk you through the various updates.

Taken together, we hope these new tools make it easier to share with exactly who you want, and that the resulting experience is a lot clearer and a lot more fun,“. For more, see this slideshow, as well as PCMag’s  slideshow look at When Facebook Gets Creepy.”

2) A loyal reader wrote me privately after yesterday’s article on Spotify online streaming music service, and told me about a service they use (and I had not ever visited [aka “tried”].).

I’ve been going to Grooveshark to listen to songs of my choice free for a few years now. No download necessary, and it probably has as many or more songs as Spotify.

In my very quick look-see, I found that it has real AC/DC, and the Offspring songs I mentioned, and yes, they are right, it plays right in your web browser. I will be checking this out more thoroughly when time allows, but thank you, Dear Reader! (You know who you are.)

Today’s quotable:A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” ~ Oscar Wilde

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

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August 24, 2011 Posted by | computers, digital music, Internet, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments