Tech – for Everyone

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

A couple of software reco’s

It’s kind of odd.. but since I went into semi-Retirement, I’ve been busier than ever.

I have been reminded recently that a couple of free software utilities I use, well, I cannot recall if I’ve ever mentioned them to you guys… as they are rather Geeky (aka not “for everyone”).

* First up is a file copy/transfer utility. TeraCopy isn’t anything fancy, it just makes Windows work like it should, when working with big copy/transfer jobs. It’s free for personal use.

One of the most common complaints about newer versions of Windows is the slow copying speed, especially when transferring lots of files over the network. If you want to speed up your copying or if you regularly transfer large amounts of data and have to stop the process to perform some other disk-intensive task, this program may be just what you need.” Check it out here.

* Next up is a “boot disc”. Now, most of you will not ever have call for a boot disc, or need to know how to use one, but if you know what they are, and don’t know about UBCD4Win, well I suggest you take a look.

UBCD4Win is a bootable recovery CD that contains software used for repairing, restoring, or diagnosing almost any computer problem. Our goal is to be the most complete and easy to use free computer diagnostic tool.” Check it out here.

One of the things I use the UBCD4Win most often is to make “images” (backups/”clones”) of a hard drive using DriveImageXML, but you do not need to use a boot disc to take advantage of this free disk imaging/archiving tool. (It is a ‘standalone’ app that’s been bundled onto UBCD.)

DriveImage XML is an easy to use and reliable program for imaging and backing up partitions and logical drives. Image creation uses Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Services (VSS), allowing you to create safe “hot images” even from drives currently in use. Images are stored in XML files, allowing you to process them with 3rd party tools. Never again be stuck with a useless backup! Restore images to drives without having to reboot. DriveImage XML is now faster than ever, offering two different compression levels. ” Check it out here.

Today’s quote:Everybody ought to do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.” ~ William James

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.

June 4, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, file system, free software, Microsoft, networking, PC, performance, software, tech, Vista, Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Why I returned my iPad” & Windows 8 a “one-way street”

To me, these articles are funny/ironic. (And years behind what you’ve read here.) But there are important lessons here.

New-Apple-iPadNo niche for iPad: A cautionary tale on ‘needing a purpose’

Tablets are slowly but surely replacing the clunky desktop machine. In a blind effort to increase efficiency and productivity, ZDNet’s Zack Whittaker attempted to do exactly that — but not with the result he first expected.Read more..

And not to pick on just Apple/Android..

Windows 8 is a one way street for consumer PC users

If you buy a Windows 8-powered HP consumer PC, or from any other PC vendor, you’ll get no help from them if you decide you’d rather have Windows 7. And Linux? Forget about it!Read more..

And there are other things to know about, too:

US utilities under daily, constant cyberattacks: report

A new report claims that a number of U.S.-based utilities are fending off cyberattacks on a daily basis.Read more..

It’s a good thing I’m not dependent on electricity.. you know? Like to cook, and stay warm/cool… or drive to work (traffic lights)..

Reporters legally threatened after revealing vulnerability that exposes sensitive data of 170,000 customers

For millions of low income families, the federal government’s Lifeline program offers affordable phone service. But an online security lapse has exposed tens of thousands of them to an increased risk of identity theft, after their Social Security numbers, birth dates and other pieces of highly sensitive information were included in files posted publicly online. Reporters with Scripps were …” Read more..

It’s kinda like watching an old Three Stooges film.. except it’s RL.

Today’s quote:Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” ~ Josephine Hart

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


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

May 23, 2013 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, Cyberwarfare, Google, Internet, Microsoft, News, security, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , | 2 Comments

Restore This Vital Function In Windows 8 – Now

Enable Safe Boot Before You Need It (Or It’ll Be Too Late) (And You’ll Be Sorry)

If you have a computer running Microsoft’s ‘new’ Windows 8, I strongly recommend you take the following (quick and easy) action – promptly. Don’t dilly, or dally, do it now! Take it from a computer technician, you want to undo (one of) the incredibly stupid thing(s) Microsoft did to Windows 8 and, restore this advanced recovery and troubleshooting feature.

1) Press the Windows key + the X key to open the Start menu.

2) Click on Command Prompt (Admin), and answer “OK”/”Allow”/”Proceed”.

3) Type into the black command box the following string of text (below, in bold) mindful of the spaces. (Or, Copy>Paste)

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

4) Press Enter. After a moment, you should see the message “The operation completed successfully”.

Now you will be able to – in an emergency – press the F8 key to (try to) boot into Safe Mode and attempt repairs, should your computer fail to start up. (A feature of Windows since the beginning of Windows operating systems.)

5) Email this article to everyone you know who has a Windows 8 computer.

When something goes wrong with your computer, pressing F8 and booting into “Safe Mode” is sometimes the only way to fix the trouble — without resorting to wiping your operating system, and starting from scratch, and having to reinstall all your games and programs. You absolutely want the ability to do so, and the fact that Microsoft disabled it was just one more reason I do not like Windows 8, and refuse to have it on my machines.

I am very glad Greg Shultz posted the How To (to see his whole article, click here.) Now I wonder what else can be /set {default} legacy’d? Find enough of them, and Windows 8 might not be so bad…

Note: You might not ever use “Safe Mode”, or even know what it is, but the technician you hire will.

Bonus: A complete guide to Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts

Today’s quote:Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

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


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

May 7, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, performance, software, tech, troubleshooting, Windows, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Welcome, May

A few dozen people may be relieved to see a new posting here.

No. I did not die. Nor did I quit and walk away from Tech – for Everyone. I’m still here. And I apologize if I caused any concern by not posting anything for almost an entire week. I’ve never gone that long without posting anything before. In fact, for over 5 years now, I posted some item every single day of the week (with rare exceptions, and occasional re-postings). 2,012 articles, to be exact. (And to quote a certain Hippie band, “what a long, strange trip it’s been..“)

To explain the abscence.. in recent weeks, there have been many things that have given me food for thought, and that seem to underscore my sense that 2013 is going to be a big year for change for me. For example..

1) This past “Black Friday“, I bought a Kindle Fire (basically, an Android tablet). And in all this while I haven’t cared to write a single word about it. Here’s why:

  • Like an iPad, it’s basically a toy you buy when you already have every other toy (there’s, like, 20 ‘apps’ for productivity, and the other 200,000 apps are children’s time-waster games).
  • I use it essentially as a mini flat-panel TV for watching Netflix, and checking my email and Calendar. If I need to respond to any of those emails with more than two sentences, I go to a device with a keyboard to do so, because composing (typing) on a tablet is a royal PITA.
  • If it had a front-facing camera, I might use it for Skyping.. maybe. But I totally agree with this opinion: BlackBerry chief: ‘Tablets dead in 5 years

    Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry, says tablets won’t have much of a purpose in five years. Heins’ comments were widely panned, but maybe he’s not that far off base.” Read more..

    But on the bright side, I’m letting Amazon learn my every online behavior, and personal preference, so they can better compete with Google…

apple-imac2) I built an iMac and tried using it as my “main computer” for a while. And I did write a little bit about that… But never came back to it because, sheese!, those machines are B-O-R-I-N-G! And I wound up using it much like I do the tablet… although, typing a lengthy email reply is much easier on the iMac.

Simple. Basic. Just works. Pricey.

3) I’ve learned to like Windows 8. But I haven’t written about that either.

Let me explain: Microsoft’s latest operating system has given me lots of work (I’m a tech) as I receive calls asking me to “Get this [expletive deleted] off of here!” almost every day. Though many are taking their new computers back to the store. (Hey, I’m just telling you what I see and hear on the streets. I am not looking at any sales charts.)

4) We’re entering a new era of personal computing — and I don’t like a single thing about it. For example, the computer in your eyeglasses is now here, and I heard Matt Lauer tried on a pair on Good Morning America yesterday. ZD Net’s Great Debate series, at least, had the brains to ask the question: Will Google Glass face adoption challenges due to privacy concerns?

Privacy.

Right. Can you say “Facebook”?

And I’ve been mentioning other areas of concern, such as things like the new phones stealing your credit card info in less than a second, just by getting in close proximity …

… yesterday, someone suggested I should go see the movie Disconnect.. but I feel like I already have.

5) It has been 85-90 degrees in the shade here this past week, and today is supposed to be even warmer. In a word, it feels like summer and it’s gorgeous!!! I just haven’t had the will to come indoors and type up a daily blog article. And so, Folks, I don’t think I will be posting on a daily basis any more. I may, or may not, post when/if I feel like it, or see some particularly interesting or important news item.
The end of an era. (I’m calling it “Semi-Retirement”.)

A reward for reading this far: An alert reader in Italy sent me this very short video clip of a very exciting auction event, where a rare Ming vase sold for a million Euros. (I didn’t think I’d be interested, either.)

dlink_DKT-408I have also been very active upgrading machines, and I’ve found great deals on RAM, SSD’s (and hybrids) etc. on NewEgg’s Daily Deal pages and on Buy.com’s (now “Rakuten”) Featured Deals (for example, I found and bought a D-link N300 wireless router and dongle for $19 [300 Mbps wireless.. yes, there’s faster now, but ] and free shipping. $20!!! For both!
Are you still on Wireless G? You shouldn’t be… not at those kinda prices.

I’ve also been doing a fair amount of data recovery. A tedious and time-consuming activity (and thus, costly) which I wouldn’t have to do if the client had only had a backup of their files. If you click the links above I’m sure you can find a huge external hard drive for less than $100 (remember that flood in Asia that was supposedly going to make HHD’s an extremely rare animal, and drive up the price? Well, guess again) and some come with “One touch backup” software included. There’s no reason not to have one these days….

But, for now, I’m going outside and enjoy this lovely day. LLAP.

Today’s quote:One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” ~ Bertrand Russell

OMG..

r_u_serious

I got 74 more like this in the past day… Yippee yahoo.

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


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

May 1, 2013 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, computers, consumer electronics, gadgets, Microsoft, mobile, News, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Now, this is interesting…

Let me start today by not only predicting the future, but spreading a rumor!

Rumor: Microsoft Bringing Back the Start Button With Windows Blue

Redmond is reportedly building new version of Windows with the option to boot to the traditional Windows interface instead of Windows 8’s “Metro”-style Start Screen.Read more..

[ Yes. I’m chuckling. ]

Progress Marches On

Twitter Rolls Out Keyword-Targeted Ads

Twitter has added a new layer to its advertising platform that will let partners target their ads based on the content of your tweets.Read more..

[ Isn’t that great?! Just what I’ve been waiting for! ]

Number and Power of DDoS Attacks Skyrocket

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are on the rise and becoming more sophisticated, according to new data from Prolexic.Read more..

* CISPA passes U.S. House: Death of the Fourth Amendment?

The controversial cybersecurity bill has passed the U.S. House and is now on its way to the Senate chamber. Privacy groups believe this tramples on the Fourth Amendment.Read more..

[ What’s kind of weird is, nobody I’ve asked has even heard of a “sispah” {CISPA}.. ]

And let’s not forget the fast and easy money

fast_easy_money

Okay. I’m done.

It just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?

Today’s quote:If you’re going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill

*     *     *

Folks.. that one about the 4th Amendment? And CISPA? Kinda important. I hope you’ll read it slowly and carefully.. Maybe.. write your Senator?

Good thing no one will see this (it’s on WordPress)..

pyhton_spam

Seriously?

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


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

April 18, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, Microsoft, News, tech, Windows 8 | , , , | 7 Comments

Homemade Lizard Cages

And Some Friday Fun

I have had a very.. um, interesting week. And I am glad it is TGIF day.

* This past week blog Comment spammers have been very active.. Which has amused a few of us.

spam4_10_13

.. and the tech press has been very active proclaiming the Desktop personal computer obsolete and dead.

Also this week, the US Air Force declared six of its “cyber tools” as “weapons”. (Software that packs a real punch, I guess..) If you’re interested, click here.

… But, truth is, the sum total of the week’s news just made me (even more) tired (take control of an airplane with a smartphone app?!?!?!). But there was one item I saw that those of you who are actually trying to use your touchscreen tablets to do some constructive, productive, things with might want to see (as, you know how pointless trying to be productive on a tablet is) CloudOn brings Microsoft Office® to your Tablet Computer and Phone for FREE

Appears in today’s world of computing we are definitely moving away from the desktop form of computing to the more mobile form of computing, such as tablets and smartphones.Read more..

I’m in a mind to get this week over with.. it is Friday, so here is your Fun Video (to help pass a few cubicle minutes).

And here’s a cheery thought: you aren’t stuck in a traffic gridlock right now.

And for those of you who want a good tech read, this may be the best “review” of Windows 8 I’ve read in a while.. Microsoft’s Windows 8 approach: Bold, arrogant, or both?

Microsoft has done many bold things in Windows 8. No one in their right mind would accuse this release of being timid or overly cautious. But plenty of perfectly sane critics have attacked Microsoft for being arrogant, stubborn, and dismissive of legitimate complaints. They might be right.Read more

Today’s quote:For disappearing acts, it’s hard to beat what happens to the eight hours supposedly left after eight of sleep and eight of work.” ~ Doug Larson

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


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

April 12, 2013 Posted by | Android, Apple, computers, Internet, Microsoft, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Back in the saddle

wrapping up another week

A few items of interest, and a funny video

Walter Lantz Studios

Walter Lantz Studios

* Update: Facebook phone? Been there, done that, and nobody cared

Facebook is generating buzz with the unveiling of Home, but it seems everyone has forgotten about the Facebook phone nobody wanted.Read more.

[related: Why Facebook Home will blow Android into smithereens

You think Google’s Android OS is hopelessly fragmented now? This is just the beginning.Read more.. ]

* The state of malware 2013

A short slideshow that (I suspect) will open your eyes to the risks of the Internet — even if you think you’re already aware of the risks.

CISPA: Not Just Dangerous, but Also Useless

Civil libertarians are loudly protesting Congress’s renewed deliberations of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The bill is intended to facilitate sharing cyberthreat information between government and the private sector to protect the nation from cyberattack.Read more..

The love affair with Windows 8-powered hybrids is over before it started

Microsoft built Windows 8 around the new touch user interface, but it seems that consumers are quite attached to their keyboards and mice.Read more..

[ And I don’t think M$ didn’t know that was going to happen. If they didn’t, they didn’t read their “feedback” during the beta. Nor ever notice how little-used the red “eraser” on ThinkPads are.. or how many people plug mice into their laptops because they hate the touchpad… ]

Surprise?  Survey: Finance chiefs not thrilled with IT ROI

A new CFO Research/AlixPartners survey reveals that finance leaders are not happy with their IT spending return on investment, with just 3% describing ROI as excellent. Most rated their company’s results with a C grade or lower. “The message from CFOs and other senior finance executives is loud and clear — companies are spending too much on IT, and they’re not getting the business information that they truly need,” said AlixPartners’ Meade Monge.” Read more..

[ Yes. But. It’s employed a lot of people.. ahem. ]

Bitcoin’s Wallet Service Instawallet Hacked, suspended indefinitely

The digital currency Bitcoin has suffered yet another hack. Bitcoin wallet site Instawallet has been taken offline after a security compromise, has suspended its service indefinitely. Instawallet didn’t say in a notice on its website how many bitcoins were stolen after hackers fraudulently accessed company database. “The Instawallet service is suspended indefinitely …” Read more…

ITC judge rules Samsung infringed Apple’s text-selection patent

Things have taken a nasty turn for Samsung in its worldwide battle against Apple with a new ruling from the International Trade Commission.Read more..

Sigh. It’s almost like watching an amateur circus, or toddler talent show, isn’t it?

* A laser printer for $50?! Yup. If that interests, click here.

Friday Fun Video: You do want to double your Internet speed for free, right?

I am a little surprised he only got 6 million views with that …

Today’s quote:What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?” ~ George Orwell

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


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

April 5, 2013 Posted by | Android, Apple, computers, consumer electronics, Google, hackers, Internet, Microsoft, networking, News, security, tech, Windows, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment