Tech – for Everyone

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

Pamela (for Skype)

When I am asked for advice inre the ability to record Skype video calls and texts, I simply refer them to Pamela, and further suggest, if they’re using it for business purposes, to go ahead and buy the “pro”.

What is Pamela for Skype?
Free, reliable and easy to use Skype audio and video recording software.


  • Free Skype Call Recording
  • Free Skype Video Recording
  • Skype Chat Recording
  • Skype Call Transfer
  • Skype Call Scheduler
  • Record calls automatically
  • Mono/Stereo recording option
  • Skype Conference Call manager
  • Create cool mood messages
  • Answering Machine
  • Play sounds during calls
  • Auto Chat Reply
  • Birthday Reminders
  • Email Forwarding
  • Contact Personalization
  • Blogging & Podcasting

and many other cool features.

Bonus Fun Video (because it’s summer):

Today’s quote:For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” ~ Lily Tomlin

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

August 10, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, PC, software, tech, VoIP | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Heads Up For Skype Users (and more)

Quickly, today, as my agenda is full… Use Skype? Beware. There’s a new attack making the rounds.

* Skype Worm in Instant Message Leads to Ransomware

Users need to be careful about clicking on links sent through Skype, as a malicious worm is spreading via Skype instant messages.Read more..

(A little Geekspeak translation: “ransomware” is where the bad guys encrypt your files, and then sell you the key to get your stuff back. [Your files held ransom.] Just… business as usual on the Internet. NBD.)

Do you use Apple? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you need antivirus just like any other web-connected device. Here’s a review of Mac AV from a guy I trust.

* What’s the Best Mac Antivirus?

Austrian independent antivirus testing lab AV-Comparatives has released an initial report on antivirus tools specifically for the Mac platform.” Read more..


* SecurityWatch Summit 2012: A Lively Debate Over Mobile Security

The evening began with McAfee experts demonstrating just how easy it is to break into someone’s laptop using readily available software. Although most people have heard that public hotspots are “playgrounds for malcontents to do horrid things,” sometimes it takes a live demo to convince people to take the right precautions.” Read more..

* (From Litigation Digest) “If you believe the rumors and interpretations, Microsoft wants to be like Apple. And they want to sell to everyone who owns an iOS and Android-powered device. In other words – have their cake and eat it too (or world domination – you pick). In order to get a more “Apple-like” experience, would you be willing to forego your Dell/HP/Lenovo hardware and buy more expensive hardware directly from Microsoft? Or would you prefer to abandon the world of Windows and use native versions of Microsoft Office? Do you think Microsoft will provide a great, native user interface experience? Read a trio of posts at:

Interesting? A reader sent me a ‘heads up’ about a software download, of a type I was/am unfamiliar with. (I have heard of “subliminal (audio) tapes..) I have not tried this program. Can’t say “boo” about it. But, since CNET editors rate it “excellent”, I will pass it along for those who might be interested.. (Thank you, Dear Reader.)

Subliminal Mind

This simple application flashes extremely short, subliminal messages while you are browsing, working, or playing games. The authors promise it will help you reprogram your mind at the subconscious level to cope with psychological problems. Messages are arranged by topics such as happiness and pain, or you can add your own. The program comes with prewritten messages for common afflictions like emotional pain, fear, anxiety, illness, motivation, smoking, and even physical pain.

Today’s quote:To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.” ~ Confucius

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

October 11, 2012 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, Internet, mobile, News, security, tech, VoIP | | 7 Comments

Nine, ten, eleven (and Sunday Beauty)

I have a question for you today, Dear Reader, and I am hoping you can give me some “feedback”  — are any of you using a Skype enabled home phone (or their FREETALK® Connect•Me phone adapter), or MagicJack? These are devices that use the Internet to make (cheap or free) calls. If so, would you tell me your experience? I mean.. do you recommend it?
(BTW, if you act today, you can sign up for a 30 risk-free trial of Magic Jack. Click the link above for the 4-1-1.)

Also, has anyone “automated” their home? Specifically, is anyone using Homeseer? ‘Preciate some feedback from you folks as well..

* Today is 9/10/11. I noticed that number string at 11:11. Eerie weirdness. Wonder what it means?
No.. don’t get me wrong: just because I am a born-and-bred Kallyfornyan does not mean I am “into” numerology, astrology (what’s your sign, good looking?), wearing Birkenstocks, nor granola. (But, yes, we do have plenty of those “types”..) Sometimes.. I notice things and sometimes my mind just wanders to strange places. Shrug.

Plenty of people are making an issue of the date, because we are approaching an anniversary – a 10 year anniversary. An awful anniversary.
I am not going to tell you that to me “it seems like yesterday”, but I will say that the fact that ten whole years have passed has changed my perspective on what a decade is. Wow.

* Today is Saturday, and here where I am it is a lovely day. The kind of day where I am going to try to get the chores done with enough time left over to plant my bottom in a chaise lounge and sip some iced tea. I hope you enjoy your weekend.
Because tomorrow is the day that it is, I am going to post this week’s Sunday Beauty today.

Click here to see more by this artist

“Luckiamute Falls” by Ian Sane, courtesy of Flickr Commons.

Today’s free download: Panda Cloud Antivirus

“Panda Security has a ‘new’ type of antivirus – Internet based. “FREE, antivirus service for consumers which is able to process and block malware more efficiently than locally installed signature-based products.”

Today’s quote:Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~ Winston Churchill

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

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September 10, 2011 Posted by | Digital Images, Internet, VoIP | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Microsoft Buys Skype. Now What?

You may have heard that Microsoft purchased the VoIP program Skype. My email has me thinking this news apparently has some readers worried.

Microsoft’s Ballmer $7.7-Billion Skype Blunder

“Microsoft is buying Skype, the video and Voice over Internet Protocol giant, for over seven billion in cash and this will help them how?READ FULL STORY…

I have seen a lot of dumb moves by tech CEO’s (and investors) over the years. I mean.. colossally idiotic. So, to me, this is just one more item on a long list. (But I am willing to concede, there is probably some reasoning for Microsoft’s long-range plan I am ignorant of.. and it may prove smart.)

What does this mean for you? I am going to go out on a limb, and do something I hate doing – predict the future. And I predict that this acquisition will have no, zip, zero, nada effect on us Skype users.

The fear: I cannot believe that suddenly you will start having to pay for what you are now doing free. (As people seem to be worried about.) Why? Because this is a technology that’s already available fully free and Open Source. Windows Messenger does the same thing Skype does, as does ooVoo and Vid, and several others. (I think Google even has something…)

Skype isn’t even that good a product. What it has going for it is lots of users. (It has “name brand” recognition.)

So what was Microsoft’s Balmer thinking? I don’t know and I don’t care. I just chuckled.

If Skype tells me I need to pay, I’ll simply uninstall it, and install something else – something free.

And so will every other Skype user.

They know this up in Redmond, so I am not expecting to have to switch. Not everyone up there is as idjiotic as Balmer can seem to be…

That’s how it’s done: But that’s how it’s done in today’s world: you come up with some tech thingy and get lots of users onboard, and wait for someone with more money than brains to come and buy you out. Almost 8 BILLION? Cash??? Sold!

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

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May 11, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, Microsoft, News, PC, tech, VoIP | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Skype outage affecting users around the globe (Twitter Too!)

No, it’s not you, and your machine is not malfunctioning.. Skype is.

Skype outage affecting users around the globe

Skype wrote in an e-mail to CNET this morning that it’s “assessing the matter now and its extent. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our users.”

We will share details as we hear more.”

[update: Twitter went down too! Skype Downtime Complaints Bring The Fail Whale to Twitter [Update: Fixed!]First Skype, Now Twitter Goes Down]

Related: Skype Outage Lesson: Don’t Rely On Consumer Services For Business Functions (EBAY)

December 22, 2010 Posted by | computers, Internet, News, tech, VoIP | , | 2 Comments

Free Phone Calls by Google Voice: What’s Next?

Today I opened my Gmail account and was informed that I could make free phone calls to the US and Canada.


Now.. I sometimes joke that today the two Superpowers are no longer the US and the USSR, but Google and China; but is Google really going to put an end to Ma Bell by making my phone calls free???

Naturally, I clicked on “Learn more”!


Okay. So this is Google Chat. And it says I can “call anywhere”. Free in 2010. So that must mean I can call landlines — which I pay for with Skype. (And since they say “2010”, I assume there will be a fee starting in 2011..)

“How does this work?
You can now place calls to landline and mobile phones from within Gmail. Just dial any phone number and you’ll be connected. Learn more.”

Yup. Install Google Voice, and you can call landlines, free (US & CA) for the remainder of 2010. And – like Skype – it has video too.

* Call phones from Gmail – Official Gmail Blog
* Google Voice is added to Gmail; Boosts exposure but still falls short in other areas

… I wonder why I am getting a little uncomfortable with Google..?

In other news: The September/October issue of Foreign Affairs is now available online and within its virtual pages is one of the most important cyberwar articles in modern history.

Our nation faces risks far greater than a rogue flash drive: Failure to properly safeguard our consumer and industry systems; unwillingness to invest in ongoing security; and ordinary computer users playing with digital weapons of mass destruction.”

For more, see: Inside look at Pentagon’s cyberdefense strategy: The battlefield beyond bad flash drives

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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<a href=””>Call phones from Gmail – Official Gmail Blog</a>

August 26, 2010 Posted by | computers, free software, Google, IM, News, tech, VoIP | , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Deja Vu All Over Again.. Again

Yes, Folks, criminals are once again using Skype to send phishing “chats” in an attempt to defraud you and trick you into clicking poisoned links. So, I am re-posting this article. It is the exact same ruse I first warned of in early 2008, but (again) the name has changed.

This criminal attack will reappear every so often (roughly every 90 30 days) with a slightly different name and URL… It is a classic scareware attack. They just send these chats to all the Skype users whose name starts with A.. then to the B’s.. etc.

Chat Message Scares Reader Into Installing Malware

Today a Skype chat window opened on my machine, and presented me with a dire warning from someone named “Software Update”, “Registry Scan Online®”, “”, “OnlineRegistry®” Today’s flavor (I think it was “Update Instructions”..). It said that “WINDOWS REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION” and, it provided me with a solution.  skypephish3

(Click on image to see large version)

Please, folks, tell me you have spotted this for what it is. Please tell me that you knew –instantly– that this is a cybercrime attempt; that it is Phraud-ulent.

Please tell me that you know what will happen if the link provided in this message is clicked; and, please, please, please tell me you would never click the link.

Just in case you aren’t sure:
*Software Update”, “Registry Scan Online ®”,  Today’s flavor, doesn’t exist.
*”, “”, Today’s flavor, is not registered in ARIN (the registry of Internet addresses).
* clicking the link will allow scripts to run, and/or take you to a poisoned Website which will install malware on your machine, or/and it may take you to a site that will sell you a rogue anti-spyware program
(please read my article, Is that antispyware program really spyware).

* Microsoft DOES NOT alert you via Instant Messaging. No legitimate company does. Period. Ever!
This is a classic example of a hacker’s attempt to get you to click their link.

All of this so they can rip you off. It’s these cyber-criminal’s full time job.

Please point your less-savvy friends and family to this article and educate them to the dangers of spam (unsolicited) messages and tell them– NEVER CLICK THE LINK. (Yes, I am shouting. 2010 is days away here, and I still have to say this everyday.. Sigh.)

[Note: while this article directly references the (VoIP client) Skype, you may see this type of thing in other Instant Messaging/Chat programs, and social networking communications.]

[addenda: Peter Parkes (Skype Blogger) wrote and asked me to remind my readers to, quote, “Please report users who send these messages to – that will help us to block them where appropriate.”]

Today’s recommended reading: A FREE Way to Monitor Your Kids Online Activity
If you are a parent who has children who use the computer to access the internet it is very important that you educate yourself and your child about the dangers of the internet. It is important to have strict guidelines in place on their computer usage and a method to supervise and monitor their online activities.

Today’s free downloads(s): I have assembled on my Website a collection of links to the best free anti-malware programs to help you prevent infection.. and clean up if you’ve been infected. To see them, click here.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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April 27, 2010 Posted by | advice, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, Internet scam, security, tech, VoIP | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments