Tech – for Everyone

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

The Borg Are (Indeed) Coming

A quick reading reco (and I very much encourage reading the comments this one has garnered. All 7 pages of them!) [update: now it’s 13 15 pages of comments.. quite a reaction!]

* Cloud haters: You too will be assimilated

You despise the idea of losing your individual computing power. You hate subscriber services. You don’t trust our security model or feel we are reliable enough. You don’t believe your connectivity will ever be good enough. It doesn’t matter: Your distinctiveness will be added to our own. We are the cloud. Do not resist us.Read more..

I guess I qualify as a “cloud hater”.. as yes, you will have to pry my powerful Desktops and software licenses out of my cold, dead fingers… The Privacy and Security issues are cause enough to run far, far, away from cloud computing.


Today’s quote:Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” ~ John Adams

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.

March 8, 2013 Posted by | advice, blogging, cloud computing, computers, Internet | , , , , | 4 Comments

Windows 8 RP Released Today (And Other Items of Interest..)

Folks, here are a few news items worthy of your consideration..

* Microsoft’s Windows 8 Release Preview looks to hit on May 31 (that’s today..)

“Microsoft may be set to deliver the near-final release preview of Windows 8 to testers as early as May 31, according to an accidentally posted blog entry.” Read more..

[update: Windows 8 Release Preview: Microsoft gets its apps together

“Microsoft’s carefully timed unveiling of Windows 8 has been frustratingly incomplete. Today’s launch of the Release Preview fills in many of the missing pieces, with the biggest surprise being a… Read more.. ]

* Free Wi-Fi could boost Ultrabooks in business laptop market

“Intel could one-up Apple in the business laptop market thanks to free Wi-Fi on Ultrabooks and tablets.” Read more..

* Cloud Computing: do you have a clue?

“Big systems vendors are spreading misconceptions about the cloud because it helps them sell more kit.¹ Here’s a rundown of some of their tactics” Read more..

* RIM’s impending collapse: By the numbers

“RIM is in dire straits. This week it announced it would suffer an operating loss and suspended its shares on the Nasdaq. Here’s what you need to know before market open.” Read more..

* Judge hands another win to Google; rules 37 APIs not copyrightable

“In a ruling in the Oracle vs. Google case, a district court judge says 37 of Oracle’s APIs are not copyrightable.” Read more..

* Apple’s Tim Cook ‘rules out’ iPhone 5 with 4-inch screen

“Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook appears to have poured cold water over suggestions the next iPhone will have a larger screen. Strangely, he outright said it. On air. Live.” Read more..

¹ emphasis mine.

Okay. That’s all I have time for today.. have a good day everybody!

Today’s quote:Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.” ~ Alfred Painter

Copyright 2007-2012 © “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 31, 2012 Posted by | Apple, computers, Internet, Microsoft, News, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Syncing Your Devices – Calendars, Email, Contacts, oh my!

My job as a support and repair technician is evolving — which is only natural, as tech itself is evolving. At an exponential rate.

Years ago, my job consisted mainly of trying to cure non-booting Windows installations (remember “Error: ntldr.exe is missing or corrupt”?), getting a recalcitrant printer to ‘install’, crawling in attics and under houses “pulling” Ethernet cable, and removing the occasional virus.

Around 2007, the explosion of cybercrime forced me to become a virus removal specialist, and accounted for the majority of my hires. Affordable Wireless G networking gear pretty much ended my need for coveralls and flashlights, and I had to learn about (and master) RF ‘spectrum’, interference, and wireless security. Plug and Play’s finally maturing to functionality greatly reduced my printer install calls; but now there was “home entertainment centers” (with Dolby Surround Sound!) and “nanny cams” to install.

Today, the call coming into my shop – it seems – has a 50/50 shot of either being a nasty virus, or something like “I just synced my iPhone, and now I have three copies of each of my Contacts.” (or, “I just synced my iPhone, and now my Inbox is empty!“) We are transitioning to “cloud computing” – like it or not – and “mobile computing”.

People used to know better than to mix Apples and Windows (for one thing, it didn’t work), but today.. well most people seem to have at least one iGadget, maybe an Android phone (perhaps a BlackBerry), and their PC at home is Windows. And they expect them all to play together in some Utopian sense of “I paid for it, it should work.” Like.. the folks at Apple and the folks up in Redmond like each other, and go on picnics together.. and join hands and sing kumbaya, and the folks at Google just show up and join in. One big happy family. (I just made myself “lol”.)

People are no longer tied to any specific location or device as they roam about getting work done on laptops, tablets, or even smartphones. The challenge is to keep everything synced so you can access the same data from each of those platforms.

Well, here’s the real truth: it is not in Apple’s or Microsoft’s best interest to play well together, and in fact it profits them to try to “lock you into’ their products. Google? Yeah, it profits them to play nicely (and move you into the cloud) as their purpose is -> they want to learn every-single-thing they can about us, and then show us ads we don’t want to see.

Okay. So it’s 2011, and you want to keep your Outlook, iPad, and Blackberry all in “sync”, and you want it so, when you enter a new phone number for a Contact on one device, the Contact ‘merges’ seamlessly on your other devices with no errors, duplications, and do it in real time.
Good luck with that.

This is fledgling technology (learning to crawl), and everyone under the sun is selling some product which they claim can do this. But know this, (and I quote) “No perfect, seamless solution exists yet”.
Of course it doesn’t: this is all too new. This stuff isn’t even to version 1.0 yet, it sure seems to me. And there’s other agendas and cross-purposes in play as well (think “sales”).

But there are methods. Imperfect methods. But.. better than none, right?

For Outlook user who want syncing with iPads and/or iPhones, my (admittedly limited) experiences tell me you have two routes, really. And probably the best one is a $100/yr MobileMe account. Which, guess what? Is now closed for new sign ups (as of today?)(again, I made myself ‘lol’). But, coming this Fall, if you can wait that long, there will be a new version – called “iCloud“. Which probably will work.. and probably will stick around longer than MobileMe did… The other route is to ‘go Google’.. basically installing things so you can use Google’s (“cloud”) servers and services as your ‘middleman’. (So they can learn all your habits..)

What I suggest – if this topic is relevant to you – is you read this great PC World article: How to Keep Your Data in Sync Across Platforms and Devices

Keeping your contacts, calendars, and other data synced across all your mobile devices and PC platforms isn’t as difficult as it seems.

One thing about tech.. you have to constantly keep learning.. it isn’t sitting still! (TCP/IP v6 is here..)

Today’s (other) reading reco: Here is a Very Nice and Useful Firefox Add-On and Chrome Extension That Will Save You Paper

“Here is a nice Firefox add-on and Chrome extension, called iWeb2X,  that is engineered to convert a web page to a printer friendly PDF, image snapshot, or high resolution wallpaper. What sets this iWeb2X apart from the other PDF utilities out there is that no sign-up account is required and you get the following features: […]”

Today’s quote:Do what you can, with what you have, where you are!~ Theodore Roosevelt

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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June 7, 2011 Posted by | advice, Apple, cloud computing, computers, Google, how to, Internet, iPhone, Microsoft, mobile, MS Office, PC, Portable Computing, Simple File Sharing, software, tech, Web 2.0, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A New Twist…

Folks — a couple of quick “must read”:

BEWARE of “ScanVirus” – A “FAKE” Cloud Anti-Virus Service

“With the wave of cloud apps appearing on the internet, I knew it would be a matter of time before malware would find its’ way into the cloud…”

Twitter and the dangers of clickjacking

Twitter users are, well, a-twitter about an innocent but indicative joke that some clever person just played on half the Twitterverse.

February 14, 2009 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, News, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

***Make $6,513 a day doing this***

(or, Fun With Spam)

I am a little bit weird I guess – I actually get a chuckle out of opening up my Spam folder. I look at the *stuff* collected there, and I ponder my fellow humans. Specifically — I wonder, “what were they thinking???”


One yesterday caught my attention. It was from someone named “Giedrius”. The subject line said, “***Make $6,513 a day doing this***

* I have met an awful lot of people (in several different countries) in my life.. but never one named “Giedrius”. I have however, met lots of Pauls, Peters, Toms, and Joes, Jerrys, Jacks, Phils, Rogers .. and just about every other name in the book.

My second impression was.. “You know, if it said, ‘make $6,750 a day’, I might open it. But $6,513? That’s just not worth it..”
How did the crook decide on that number? Aw.. who cares?

PS – no, I did not open either the Importantt message nor the Immportant one. There’s a reason there’s a Spam folder.
* 97% of all the ‘signals’ traveling the Internet at any given moment are scam *stuff* like this. Clogging our bandwidth and wasting energy.
And, no, I don’t know what “this” is.. didn’t open it. Why validate my e-mail address?

Today’s free download: Have you encrypted your My Documents folder yet? Especially on your laptop? If you have an address book, tax info, a resume, business docs? More than half of all identity theft victims resulted from the physical theft of unencrypted laptops and thumb drives… which contain personally identifying data.

The easiest way to seamlessly encrypt your whole hard drive, folders, or just selected files, is to install the free TrueCrypt. Use this and even if your laptop is stolen, the thief won’t be able to read your files.
Be sure to set a good password!

Today’s free links:
Cupid Is Out To Get You – Valentine’s Day Spam Jumps. This article contains some excellent, and timely, advice.
And in the “cloud computing” Dept, Turn your cloud apps into desktop apps with SSB. Don’t know what SSB is? Find out.

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

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February 13, 2009 Posted by | cyber crime, Internet scam, spam and junk mail | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments