Tech – for Everyone

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

Major Java Security Fix Now Available – Oracle Recommends Immediate Action

Folks, due to a severe vulnerability, that is currently being exploited (attacked) by hackers, Java needs your attention. And no, this is not just for Microsoft Windows.

Oracle issues major Java security fix; recommends immediate action

Amid some controversy, Oracle issues a patch to fix up some nagging Java security vulnerabilities.Read more..

And, last time I checked.. “immediate” means “right now”.

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.

September 1, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, News, PC, security | , , , | Leave a comment

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Download + Lightning Deals

And – Robot Cars

The “Consumer Preview” (beta) edition of Windows 8 is now available for download, for those who are interested in trying out Microsoft’s next generation operating system.

For more information, and to get the download, click here. (I do advise reading the FAQ’s first.)

Note: “Windows 8 Consumer Preview is stable and has been thoroughly tested, but it’s not the finished product. Your PC could crash and you could lose important files. You should back up your data and you shouldn’t test Windows 8 Consumer Preview on your primary home or business PC.”


Can I uninstall Windows 8 Consumer Preview?

No. To go back to your previous version of Windows, you’ll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC.

Amazon “Lightning Deals”

Those interested in electronics might like to know that starting at 5:00 a.m. Pacific time today, March 2, 2012, there will be a series of Friday-only Lightning Deals in the Electronics Store. See all deals.

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Reading reco: Robotic cars get boost from Alex Padilla’s bill

Robotic cars may have just turned a corner in California. Several years after Google’s autonomous vehicles began zipping up and down the state’s highways, a legislator has introduced a bill that would potentially clear the way for everyday use.

In an interview with The Chronicle, Padilla said that 99 percent of accidents are caused by human error, mistakes that the driverless cars mounted with cameras, sensors, lasers and intelligent software are unlikely to make.Read more..

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Today’s quote:As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” ~ Ben Hogan

.. It’s getting to be more like Minority Report every day..!

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

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March 2, 2012 Posted by | Microsoft, News, PC, Windows 8 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Super Discounted Windows 7 – Limited Time

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack (3-User) – $149.

Good news for you today, Dear Reader. Microsoft has officially re-introduced its Windows 7 Family Pack, a limited-time offer that drastically reduces the price of licenses for their latest operating system (OS). For less than $150, consumers can now own Windows 7 licenses for up to three computers.

Win7_3pakSave $180 from Original Price, 3-User License

Microsoft has yet again refused to state an end date to this round of Family Pack price reductions, meaning the early bird catches the worm. In fact, the company went only so far as to state that the Family Pack deal will be available “while supplies last.”

Important #1: The purpose of this offer is to encourage people to UPGRADE as decade-old Windows XP still counts for as much as 66 per cent of all Windows systems used online. Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack allows users to install Windows 7 Home Premium on up to three PCs in a household that already has Windows Vista or Windows XP installed. If you’re not running Windows XP or Windows Vista, you’ll need to purchase the Full version of Windows 7.
(Microsoft has so much as spelled out, they cannot secure XP any longer, and are discontinuing support for it. I will be more direct and blunt: I would not connect an XP machine to the Internet unless it was a “virtual machine”, as the Evil Doers pwn XP. They’ve had years and years and years to find its weaknesses. The time to get off of 32-bit, and XP, has come. Just my 2¢.)

Important #2: If you are considering purchasing Windows 7 Upgrade, be sure to download and run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Tool on the machine BEFORE you install the OS. (Maybe.. before you buy..)

The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will scan to see if your PC is ready for Windows 7. It scans your hardware, devices, and installed programs for known compatibility issues, gives you guidance on how to resolve potential issues found, and recommends what to do before you upgrade.

And in case you’re wondering… my loyal readers can attest that I have nothing but positive reviews for Windows 7. I repeat my humble opinion for you now — Windows 7 is the Windows operating system Bill Gates has been promising us since he hired the Rolling Stones and launched Windows 95.
I waited a long time …

Okay, okay, okay.. to see (or buy) this limited time “family pack” offer, click here.

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

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November 4, 2010 Posted by | Microsoft, News, shopping for, software, tech, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7

Part 1 of a series

Yesterday I downloaded the official Microsoft beta release of its new operating system — called Windows 7. (Technically, for those of you i7logo nterested in this sort of thing, it is “Build 7000”.) I opted to install the 32-bit version, as I think this will remain the “standard” and most common.
I installed a “clean install”, though I could have “upgraded” an existing Vista install (I recommend ‘clean install’ as a Rule Of Thumb).

Microsoft is calling Windows 7 a whole new OS, and are expecting it to replace replace Vista.. in the same way that Vista is replacing Windows XP. I can tell you that it is not a whole new operating system. I can also tell you that it does not give us the new file system (WinFS) that was originally promised as one of the “three pillars of Vista”.

The install itself: My “clean” install on a freshly formatted volume took just over half an hour, and involved at least two automated reboots. (It may have been three.. but I got up and walked away for a few minutes. I have performed countless Windows installs – literally – and watching one more isn’t my idea of a “good time”.)

Once I clicked “go”, I only had to answer three screens– my time/location, a computer name/user name/passwords (recommended), and did I want to set up a sharing network “HomeGroup“? That last, because it’s new and still unfamiliar, I chose “Not now. Ask me again later.”

My experience matched that of other reviewers: it was by far the fastest, smoothest, easiest Windows installation I’ve ever had. That this is a beta release makes this fact all the more remarkable.

Plus number one.

No device driver issues: I installed Windows 7 on a recent-vintage machine (it came with Vista Home Premium) and I had to install zero, zip, nada, device drivers — and this is a beta! Every device worked out of the gate, so clearly Vista device drivers work well on Windows 7.

Microsoft claims Windows 7 is the most ‘backwards compatible’ OS yet (I guess, maybe they learned from Vista’s release?) and I believe them. A beta.. and no device driver installs??? Amazing.
As a test, I connected to a rather ancient HP DeskJet 970Cse printer over my LAN. Windows 7 found the printer and installed it it with one “Yes” click.

Plus number two.

Once installed: As a Vista user, the change in Vista 7’s GUI (graphical user “interface”) was not that startling to me.. in fact, aside from the desktop and QuickLaunch icons being larger.. and a change to the System Tray/”Notification Area”.. it is Vista. The QuickLaunch now has (even more) shades of Macintosh OS X’s “Dock”.
Yes, it looks more “modern” (and makes XP look absolutely archaic), but is very, very Vista.

One nice change.. I noticed rather quickly that 7 has a Desktop slideshow feature (found because the default – plain, w/a Chinese fighting fish in the center – was quite drab after Vista’s spectacular nature images), and your Desktop can alternate images very much like your screensaver can in older versions of Windows (see Show off your photos with a screensaver slideshow).

The Start button, menus, icons, etc. are (basically) all the same. With the exception of the new networking and media sharing features, this is a zero learning curve change for Vista users, and a very modest one for XP users. If you use Windows, you can use 7, and you won’t have to take a night class or read a For Dummies book to do it.

Plus number three.

Speaking of the Start button..
* In Windows 7, Windows Mail, Windows Calendar, Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, and Windows Contacts are part of Windows Live Essentials.
* Windows 7 removes InkBall and adds online versions of Spades, Backgammon and Checkers.
* It comes with IE 8.
* Programs and applets – like Paint – have been updated, enhanced, and now sport the Microsoft “Ribbon”.. which was introduced in Office 2007.

Well, I have only been using Windows 7 for a few hours.. and I will be writing more in this series.. so I’ll stop here for now. So far, I have installed both Call of Duty 5 and the original Call of Duty (patched to 1.4) and played a few rounds of each.
They’re a tad faster than on Vista.

Plus number four…

Part 2 — Transferring Your User Account To Windows 7
Part 3 – Improvements over Vista?

Today’s free download: So.. you want to download the Windows 7 beta too? Click here.

Today’s free link: Mark Russinovich: Inside Windows 7 How has Windows evolved, as a general purpose operating system and at the lowest levels, in Windows 7? Who better to talk to than Technical Fellow and Windows Kernel guru Mark Russinovich? Here, Mark enlightens us on the new kernel constructs in Windows 7.

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

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January 11, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, News, PC, software, System Tray, Taskbar, tech, Vista, Windows, Windows 7, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments