Tech – for Everyone

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

Today Only: Free Tech & PC Tutorial Classes‏

Heads up, Folks

Premium Technology and Computer Courses

44,606 video tutorials for free

For a limited time Skillfeed is offering access to all courses and tutorials for FREE! Tech enthusiasts, developers, designers, and other creative professionals can pick up helpful skills for free. Take courses in iOS deveopment, Apple hardware, Adobe and more from anywhere, at anytime. To celebrate its launch, Skillfeed is offering 30 days of free access to hundreds of online courses. Don’t miss out!
What you can learn:

App Development
Android
Social Media
Blogging
HTML

Hurry! Offer ends soon. Click here to get started.

Today’s music video: (Image does not move..)

Today’s quote:Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ~ Mark Twain

Copyright 2007-2014 © “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.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

September 25, 2014 Posted by | Android, Apple, computers, how to, News, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thank You, Tech – for Everyone Readers | One Million!

The old odometer has just clicked over the 1,000,000th visitor to my humble tech Tips, Tricks, and Advice site, Tech – for Everyone.

Since I first published article #1, The first Tech Paul Post: secure your web connection, in June of 2007, I have learned a good deal, made some very important friendships, and – hopefully – helped a few folks learn a few things, solve a few problems, and better enjoy technology along the way.

To you – Dear Reader – I say…

thank_you

A few other T4E stats:

# of articles posted: 1,056 (roughly 93.56% original, 6.44% re-postings.) Use my “Search widget” to browse prior tips & answers by keywords, or browse my writings by month.

# of Reader Comments: 3,892 (almost exactly half of those are my replies.. so lets say, 2,000 readers have asked questions/commented. I welcome your comments on my articles and questions about computers and “tech”. Dialogue is what keeps the Web relevant and dynamic.)

Most popular article: Manage Startup programs in Vista (115,584 page views)

Most downloaded program (referral): Security Task Manager (928)

# of cups of coffee consumed by Tech Paul while writing all these articles: 16 (… but, they were Olympic swimming pool-sized cups. Ha!)

I never intended to write so many posts, nor write for so long.. my intention was simply to publish a few How-To’s so I could say “read this”, instead of repeating myself (when people find out you’re a tech.. they ask you questions!). But let’s see if we can’t make it through another three years together – shall we?

If you are looking for who won my latest contest drawing, click here.

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


>> 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. <<


May 28, 2010 Posted by | blogging, computers, Internet | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 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 https://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/11/21/googles-pack-is-a-winner/, 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

Share this post :

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, http://alexiskold.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/who-is-blogging-and-why/ {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.
(https://techpaul.wordpress.com/2008/03/29/nobody-reads-me-on-saturdays/)

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

Share this post :

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

Some not so friendly advice*

This story opens gently enough. It begins with a friendly and helpful Comment posted on a friendly and helpful blog.

Someone had written to share “the results of their work”, which he said “solved his security problems.” He was talking about viruses and spyware, and other malware, and he said his method “covers 99.8%! of all known threats.”
He posted his advice/Comment on an article about How To prevent the dangers posed by spyware (and also warns about “rogue” anti-spyware programs). He signed himself “Spycrasher”.

So far, this all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? 99.8% effective certainly sounds good.

As you have probably deduced, Dear Reader, the “friendly and helpful blog” in question was this one. Tech–for Everyone, like most blogs, provides readers the opportunity to respond, ask a question, or just “put in their two cents”, simply by clicking on “Comments” at the bottom of the article. And also like most blogs, I have the ability to “moderate” which comments get posted and which don’t– for instance, Comments containing offensive language will not be published.
Spycrasher’s 99.8%- effective security solution will NOT be seen here.

But.. maybe you’re a little curious as to what it was. And.. maybe, why I deleted it. (Take another peek at today’s title..) “Spycrasher’s” comment said to use three particular anti-spyware programs– in tandem– and he provided download links. (This, alone, triggers red flags.) He mentioned two tools I was not familiar with, and one rather well-known program.

* Hyperlinks are always suspicious (and blocked as a matter of policy), and the first thing I checked was, did the links point to legitimate websites..? Or would clicking on them take you to a poisoned webpage (which could infect your machine) or a pharming site.
No problem there. The links he provided did indeed point to real websites.

* The next thing was to check out the unknown programs themselves. No self-respecting and legitimate tech writer will advocate something they have not used, and tested, themselves. Period.
In my initial research of the first program (XoftSpy-SE), I found a wide range of reviews and comments.. from “this is rogue” to “this is the best thing since sliced bread”, and I learned that the program was “for pay”.
I don’t promote “for pay” software here (but do provide a daily free download), nor, even potentially rogue app’s; and so I stopped right there. I would not allow Spycrasher’s Comment.

* Being the gentleman that I am, I decided to write Spycrasher and thank him for his submission, and explain why I had moderated it. But before I did, I wanted to get a feel for where he was coming from.. so I ran a Whois on his IP…
ARIN

Now, I gotta tell you.. it is very rare for ARIN to come back with a “no match found”. Very, very strange.

So I traced him.
tracert
New York >London >Amsterdam >Berlin >Warsaw…
And then he disappears into a virtual private network somewhere in the Ukraine.
Odd.

* So I used a search engine to find instances of the word “Spycrasher”… and he came up a lot. Spycrasher likes to post in various forums. Quite a few of them, actually. Like, practically all of them.
And he posts a lot of Comments there.
* Guess what? They are all identical to the the one he posted (I should say “pasted”) on mine.. right down to the ‘wink’ smiley ;-).

Very.. odd.

Tip of the day: Be very leery of hyperlinks, folks.. and please understand: not every innocent looking thing you see on the Internet is in fact “friendly and helpful”. There are people whose full-time job it is to try to trick you, and seduce you into doing something you normally wouldn’t.
I am very sad to say.

[note to bloggers/forum moderators/webmasters: you may want to search your published pages for instances of “Spycrasher”, and delete this guy.]

Today’s free link: I am going to repost a program here today, because I have it on every single one of my (Windows) machines, and I think you should too. ThreatFire (originally named “CyberHawk”) is a free, behavior-based anti-malware application. I use it as a supplement to my antivirus and other anti-spyware tools. Heuristic tools like ThreatFire are your only defense against “zero day” exploits.

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

Share this post :

July 2, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Every good story needs a villain

This story opens gently enough. It begins with a friendly and helpful Comment posted on a friendly and helpful blog.

Someone had written to share “the results of their work”, which he said “solved his security problems.” He was talking about viruses and spyware, and other malware, and he said his method “covers 99.8%! of all known threats.”
He posted his advice/Comment on an article about How To prevent the dangers posed by spyware (and also warns about “rogue” anti-spyware programs). He signed himself “Spycrasher”.

So far, this all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? 99.8% effective certainly sounds good.

As you have probably deduced, Dear Reader, the “friendly and helpful blog” in question was this one. Tech–for Everyone, like most blogs, provides readers the opportunity to respond, ask a question, or just “put in their two cents”, simply by clicking on “Comments” at the bottom of the article. And also like most blogs, I have the ability to “moderate” which comments get posted and which don’t– for instance, Comments containing offensive language will not be published.
Spycrasher’s 99.8%- effective security solution will NOT be seen here.

But.. maybe you’re a little curious as to what it was. And.. maybe, why I deleted it. (Take another peek at today’s title..) “Spycrasher’s” comment said to use three particular anti-spyware programs– in tandem– and he provided download links. (This, alone, triggers red flags.) He mentioned two tools I was not familiar with, and one rather well-known program.

* Hyperlinks are always suspicious (and blocked as a matter of policy), and the first thing I checked was, did the links point to legitimate websites..? Or would clicking on them take you to a poisoned webpage (which could infect your machine) or a pharming site.
No problem there. The links he provided did indeed point to real websites.

* The next thing was to check out the unknown programs themselves. No self-respecting and legitimate tech writer will advocate something they have not used, and tested, themselves. Period.
In my initial research of the first program (XoftSpy-SE), I found a wide range of reviews and comments.. from “this is rogue” to “this is the best thing since sliced bread”, and I learned that the program was “for pay”.
I don’t promote “for pay” software here (but do provide a daily free download), nor, even potentially rogue app’s; and so I stopped right there. I would not allow Spycrasher’s Comment.

* Being the gentleman that I am, I decided to write Spycrasher and thank him for his submission, and explain why I had moderated it. But before I did, I wanted to get a feel for where he was coming from.. so I ran a Whois on his IP…
ARIN

Now, I gotta tell you.. it is very rare for ARIN to come back with a “no match found”. Very, very strange.

So I traced him.
tracert
New York >London >Amsterdam >Berlin >Warsaw…
And then he disappears into a virtual private network somewhere in the Ukraine.
Odd.

* So I used a search engine to find instances of the word “Spycrasher”… and he came up a lot. Spycrasher likes to post in various forums. Quite a few of them, actually. Like, practically all of them.
And he posts a lot of Comments there.
* Guess what? They are all identical to the the one he posted (I should say “pasted”) on mine.. right down to the ‘wink’ smiley ;-).

Very.. odd.

Tip of the day: Be very leery of hyperlinks, folks.. and please understand: not every innocent looking thing you see on the Internet is in fact “friendly and helpful”. There are people whose full-time job it is to try to trick you, and seduce you into doing something you normally wouldn’t.
I am very sad to say.

[note to bloggers/forum moderators/webmasters: you may want to search your published pages for instances of “Spycrasher”, and delete this guy.]

Today’s free link: I am going to repost a program here today, because I have it on every single one of my (Windows) machines, and I think you should too. ThreatFire (originally named “CyberHawk”) is a free, behavior-based anti-malware application. I use it as a supplement to my antivirus and other anti-spyware tools. Heuristic tools like ThreatFire are your only defense against “zero day” exploits.

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

Share this post :

 

April 20, 2008 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, blogging, computers, Internet scam, PC, Phishing, phraud, security, spam and junk mail, tech, Uncategorized, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Going "Live" at Tech–for Everyone

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 https://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/11/21/googles-pack-is-a-winner/, 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 will (hopefully) make it easy to write-once, post-twice. I have downloaded and Installed, and am using today for the very first time, a MS program called “Live Writer“, which is a tool for bloggers. I sure hope it works… 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 allowed me to combine them (sorta) into one collection of folders. 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 link: 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 link to see the *other* version of this website, click here.

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

Share this post :

March 18, 2008 Posted by | computers, how to, PC, tech, Windows | , , , | Leave a comment