Tech – for Everyone

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

What’s On My PC?


Great Site Celebrates First Birthday

Folks, we all have certain websites we visit regularly — our “Favorites” — which we’ve “bookmarked”. Today, one of my favorite blogs reached a milestone; today is its birthday.

Happy Birthday!

I read this site everyday, and I have had the privilege of getting to know the author. Rick Robinette is a “regular guy” who happens to have years  of real life IT experience. His site is about his sharing with us his joy and marvel at exploring the vast Internet, and new and exciting technology. Below is a list of his most recent articles…

Your one stop place for daily net news…

Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#20)

Commercial Grade Backup and Recovery Software for FREE

JKDefrag now called MyDefrag

Panda Cloud Antivirus in Beta2

Windows Update to be Updated

Speed Dial your way in Firefox

Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#19)

A FREE Personal Information Manager for your Flash Drive

Make your mouse smarter with these productivity tools…

Atypical Ways of How Your Data Can Be Stolen

New Tech Sites Added to Launch Pad

A FREE Multifunctional Media Converter

The NEW Google Chrome OS

Or, simply click here, and give this site a perusal. Look around some. I think you will be glad you did.

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

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July 24, 2009 Posted by | Internet, tech | , , , | 9 Comments

The Numbers Are In

I have, as almost all Websites do, various statistic gatherers and counters, which tell me all kinds of interesting tidbits about this site’s traffic and visitors. (And I confess I look at these statistics frequently.)

I started Tech-for Everyone in June, 2007, and have been writing – 6 days a week – ever since. Today I fiddled around with my stat counter and set it to “all time” mode.. To give me the “big picture”; not only of what you, Dear Reader, seem to like and “click on”, but also to see/sense how the search engines work. The majority of my ‘pageloads’ come from search ‘referrals’.

My Top 10 articles of all time are:

  1. How to boot from a CD
  2. Manage Startup programs in Vista
  3. “My Taskbar disappeared” and other simple tweaks”
  4. Scare Tactics
  5. Adding programs to your Startup Folder
  6. Quick Tip: overcome “access denied” in Vista
  7. Find hidden files
  8. Adding Firewire to your machine
  9. Hibernation vs. Sleep+Vista
  10. Yellow exclamation mark question

It seems that there’s an awful lot of people Googling (yes, that’s a word now) “How do I boot from a CD?” Over 50,000 of them so far.. about a hundred a day, average. What does that suggest? Well, I’m not sure.. couple of things leap to mind.

Well, there’s an airport run shoehorned into my schedule, so I’ll wrap this musing up by inviting you to click on any of those articles that might catch your fancy. I’d also like to remind you that this site is searchable too, with its own search box (located over to the right in the widgets column).
There are over 500 answers, tips, and tweaks in my archives..

Did I mention that I look at my stats frequently? Yes? Well, the truth is sometimes I get a little carried away.. and become just a teeny bit “stat happy”. Symptoms of “stat happiness” include: crying when your numbers go down, and spending hours “tweaking” your site’s keywords and metatags.. and thinking of ways to slip “hot” Google words into your text. Like; giveaway, free, sex, hot sex, XXX, Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, secret video, (let’s see.. hmm..) hidden camera, product key codes, crack.. (There. That should help.)

Today’s free link(s):
Fearless New Year’s prediction: Computer crime gets worse. Roger Grimes makes his cybercrime predictions for the coming year, and they’re not filled with good news. Get ready now for a new wave of cybercrime coming to a computer near you.

The new MD5/SSL exploit is NOT the end of civilization as we know it. MD5 insecure? Absolutely. SSL hacked? Sort of, but it’s not broken. CA negligence? What do you think? Tom Olzak examines the roles of each of these players in the recent problems with SSL.

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

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January 6, 2009 Posted by | advice, blogging, computers, how to, tech | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The "Live" Line*

Microsoft’s *New* Product Family

In my ongoing, relentless effort to be simply the Best Tech Writer on the Web, big changes are happening. HUGE changes. Gi-normous changes. (I mean.. really big.) These changes will alter the way I do everything. I am undergoing a metamorphosis of epic proportions. I am going to have to unlearn the ways I have been doing things for.. well, forever. Which isn’t easy. I’m too old to be learning new tricks without a grumble.

One change is that Tech–for Everyone is now being co-hosted on *another* blogging site. This is due to my research into the GigantiCorp known as Google, and my exploration of their ever-expanding array of services, some of which I have reported here.

(What this means for you, Dear Reader, is.. well.. not much– except, if you have grown tired of the “look” and layout of this site, you can read my articles at the other site, which uses a different “template”.)
When you acquire a ‘G-identity’, you gain access to much more than just a Gmail account (which, IMHO, is the best free Webmail service going right now), and one of those things is access to Blogger. Google is continuing to grow even as we speak… who knows what service they’ll be offering next.
I want to have a good relationship with Google, as it is my primary way of advertising my online Help & Support business.

[Addenda: for those of you whose favorite feature of this series is the daily download, you will definitely want to be aware of the “Google Pack” of free downloads — Spyware Doctor being of special note — and you can find out more here, in case you missed it]

What this means for me is, I now have to publish twice (six times a week!) each day– once here, and once there. Yuk. Fortunately for me, I have been doing intensive, in-depth explorations of the other GigantiCorp known as Microsoft.. specifically their competing array of services offered under the title “Live”.
(Have you noticed? Everything is “Live” now. It’s not “Hotmail”, it’s “Live Hotmail”; “Messenger” is now “Live Messenger”, and the security tools are “Live One Care”..)

I am now writing this article in a completely different way.. one that makes it easy to write-once, post-twice. I have downloaded and Installed a MS program called “Live Writer“, which is a tool for bloggers. The way I had been doing things (all this time) was through my web browser. I would navigate to here, login, access the writing tool, and when finished, hit the “Publish” button.

The other Big Change to my routine is caused by “Live Mail“, which is also freshly downloaded and installed. This is a program very much like Outlook Express and Vista’s Mail, only it allows you to access webmail accounts.. such as ‘Live Hotmail’. (Why don’t the other Microsoft mail clients??? Hmmm?)

It’s about time they did this. My usual routine was to open my web browser and open a tab for each webmail account. It is the way I’ve been doing it for.. well, forever. I have several webmail accounts (as you may have as well) and so this made for several open tabs and much clicking back-and-forth. Live Mail allows me to combine them (sorta) into one collection of folders.
A big plus– it handles encryption certificates well (see, Simple E-mail Encryption).

If you use, or have ever used, an e-mail client (Thunderbird, Outlook, Outlook Express, etc.), then you will have a zero learning-curve with Live Mail, as it’s basically the same.. with one vital exception: it allows you to access all your mailboxes.

As you can imagine, my web browser had reached the point where I simply had too many tabs open (three Inboxes, WordPress, and now Blogger, plus a few of my favorite blogs..) and so I have “gone Live”. I am breaking my browser habit. I am trying New Things. No longer will I launch Avant and start Ctrl+T-ing. No! From here on out, I’ll launch a “Live” something-or-other.
Wish me luck. I think I feel the withdrawal symptoms beginning…

Today’s free download(s) and link(s): Well, gee, Folks… I count five of them sprinkled throughout this one little article.. ain’t that enough for one day? But, if you’d like to see the *other* version of this website, click here.
And if you write a blog (or, for a blog, or.. are thinking about starting your own blog) see what a new comer to the blogging game has to say about the free Windows Live Writer (or, “WLW”) as well as the new Live services here.

* Originally published 3/18/08

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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November 20, 2008 Posted by | advice, blogging, computers, e-mail, encrypting files, how to, PC, software, tech, Web 2.0, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Noteworthy Achievement

Folks, I can tell you you that being an Internationally Renown 6 days-a-week Tech Blogger is a challenging, difficult, and often unrewarding endeavor. Coming up with fresh topics, properly doing your research, writing and rewriting, etc. is time consuming, and it’s work.
On an ad-free site, such as this one, there is no (read $0.00) financial reward.

So why do people blog? Or, maybe a better question is, why does the number of blogs double every six months? Can you earn a living blogging?
(an absolutely wonderful in-depth article looking at these questions can be found here, {yes, it’s a bit dated, but still accurate.})

The fact is: something like 90% of all blogs fail (or, “go inactive”) within just a few months. Or sooner.

One thing that that keeps me going is the support I’ve received from fellow bloggers.. and another is stats.

My Website statistics show me all kinds of interesting things about you, the “site visitor” — the most important one (to me, anyway) is how many of you are there?
If I went to all this work and trouble, wrote 400 How-To’s, and only six people read them (total)… well, even a dim bulb like me would figure out that I could spend my time more wisely.

Which brings me to today’s title:
There are some rewards to being a member of the Tech Blogger community, and one closest to my heart is the support I’ve received and friendships I have made since starting Tech–for Everyone.

And so I would like to point your attention to a man whose Tech Blog Bill_Mullins was the very first one I put on my “Blogroll”, and ask you indulge me while I acknowledge what to me is a remarkable achievement.

Bill Mullins launched his Website, titled, Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech ThoughtsSecurity and System Tools and Tips. Software Reviews, News, Views, Downloads and Links on January 1st of this year. It has not quite reached its first ‘birthday’.

Since I discovered his site, I have referred my readers to several of his articles, and generally recommended it every chance I had– but most especially when he would share his security expertise with his readers, and/or warn of a new cyber-crime threat.
I consider his site an invaluable resource, and wish every web surfer would read it (and follow his advice).

Today, when I looked at his site, I noticed that his StatCounter showed over 500,000 visits. Wow! Remember when I said 90%+ fail within weeks? Well, there’s also another factor… most blog viewers land on a handful of “popular sites”.. and bloggers like me get the crumbs.
500,000 readers in less than a year is remarkable!

So I invite you to join me in congratulating Mr. Mullins on a job well-done, and suggest to you that you click here and take a look-see at his site if you haven’t done so yet.

PS– No. Mr. Mullins did not pay me to write this (and is probable unaware that I have). Remember? $0.00?

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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November 8, 2008 Posted by | advice, blogging, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

U.S. Air Force blocks blogs

The First Amendment does not give you the right to yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theater. It does not protect you from prosecution if you use “hate speech”. Threatening to harm or kill someone — even in jest, or said when drunk out of your mind — is a felony (4 yrs.) called “terrorist threats”, and if said by a man to woman, will be vigorously prosecuted. Uttering a racial epitaph can result in severe bodily injury or death.
We Americans cannot say whatever we want, whenever we want– First Amendment or no.

We have much more freedom when it comes to reading. (Which implies that we can print more than we can say, btw.) Sure, we might not find the book and magazines we’re interested in on the shelves of our public library. We might have to go into special, “adults only” bookstores. We might have to ‘subscribe’, and have our ‘literature’ sent to us in the mail.
Or, we might have to search the Web.

The Internet has literally billions of published pages (on a million topics) and, as I mentioned in my article on “Web 2.0”, practically anyone can publish them. If you wanted, you could create and host a website (or use the free one your ISP gives you); you could post a blog; you could post your thoughts and pictures on MySpace or Facebook ect., et al, and so forth and so on. And.. you can say pretty much anything (there’s very little oversight).
I could be typing my Great-Aunt Elsie’s dill pickle recipe, or blathering about the S.F. Giants’ chances now that Bonds is gone… or, disclosing secret tricks for getting away with going A.W.O.L. from your Air Force base.
That’s why I’m glad* the Air Force has decided to block blogs. (Click the link for details.)

Now… I don’t know if the Air Force’s policy prevents personnel from viewing Tech–for Everyone or not (frankly, I don’t know that any member of our Armed Forces has ever visited my humble site). The articles I read indicate that the filter used blocks all sites with the word “blog” in the URL, which my URL does not have. I do not want you to think I’m writing this article because I have been “blocked” and I’m sore about it.. I simply don’t know that to be the case.
I just don’t think all blogs are “bad”, and I am concerned by blanket blacklisting.

But I’m willing to concede that there are plenty of blogs that people should simply ignore.
I am willing to concede that there are.. policies that should be applied to members of our government, justice system, and armed forces that don’t need to be applied to civilians (particularly in areas involving national security).
There are merits on both sides of the censorship argument.. what is the “right thing” to do?

Personally, I have faith in the caliber of individuals serving in the Armed Forces and I feel that they should have access to information. I believe they are smart enough to discern the “legitimate” from some kook’s rantings.. and don’t need some mechanical blinders put in place.

I would like very much if you folks who read this, and either are in the Armed Forces, or who have loved ones serving (and this has affected them), would post a comment in my Comments box and share with us what you think of this restrictive action by the Air Force. Does this help you do your job?
(Actually, all are welcome to comment!)


Today’s free link: I have posted this one before, but I really think it is worth posting again. If you carry any sensitive data on your thumb-drive (logins for example), you really should encrypt it. TrueCrypt simply is the best free data encryption tool that I know of. Encrypt any folder or partition (“drive”), including your boot (C:). TrueCrypt works with Windows, Apple OSX, and Linux.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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February 29, 2008 Posted by | computers, encrypting files, hardware, tech | , , , , , | 5 Comments