Tech – for Everyone

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

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

Top Tech Tip #2: Leave Registry Cleaners Alone

A few weeks ago I was asked by a reader what my one piece of advice for a non-techie was (Click here to read). That was a good question. A challenging question. Limiting myself to one answer was what I found so difficult.

So today I am going to offer you, Dear Reader, my “Probably The Second Most Important Piece Of Geek Advice For Non-Techies“.

* Leave Registry “Cleaners” Alone *

What happens is this: older computers get slower, and so the owner enters “slow PC” (or, “my computer is slow”, or sumsuch) into a search engine — where they get sold a computer “optimizer”. What this is – usually – is a “Registry Cleaner”, which promises to “find errors” and fix them.

WOT warnings on "speed up your PC" sites

WOT warnings on "speed up your PC" sites

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Here’s the real deal — there are two cases (IMHO) when you actually need a reliable Registry cleaner:
1) You’re an experimental sort and you uninstall a lot of 3rd-party (non-Microsoft) programs; like.. you try every new program that comes along. (And you forgot to use Revo to uninstall them when you’re done.)

2) You have just completed a manual malware removal.

That doesn’t describe you? Leave the Registry “cleaner” alone!

Now, my regular readers will remember my mentioning this before, but for the rest of you, here’s why you want to avoid messing with the Registry: and this happens a lot actually, it can kill your machine.


Yup. Read the user forums. The odds of this increase if you have more than one User Account on your system. Ask yourself this: do you know what the Windows Registry is? (

Even if a “cleaning” does not kill your machine, no one can convince me that any Registry cleaner – over the years – has ever actually sped up their PC. And I am certainly not alone in this opinion.

So what should you do to speed up a machine that has slowed down over time? Well, you already have the tools you need to “optimize” and rejuvenate your PC. Please read Four Vital Tools You Already Have… But Might Not Know About. There you will find the answers! And, guess what? They’re free. (Probably why they’re not advertised, eh?)

… and if you’re the type who is not going to click the link and actually read more, and are just itching to download something, well, the safe and effective CCleaner will do this for you for free. As will the free Glary Utilities, or the free Advanced Windows Care, … and you won’t find user forums filled with complains of wrecked systems, if you should use one of those.
Fair enough?

Related: to learn more about speeding up your computer,see Computing 101*

[note: BEFORE making any changes to the Registry, please read (and follow) this Microsoft article: How to back up and restore the registry in Windows]

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

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August 19, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, file system, how to, Microsoft, PC, performance, tech, troubleshooting, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments