Tech – for Everyone

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

A Quiet Place..

Here’s another pretty picture for your weekend. (Because sometime we all need to find a …)

Click on image to see more by this artist (reco’d)

“quiet place” by rosmary, courtesy of Flickr Commons.

Today’s bonus: Featuring Zero Dollar Movies

To keep you busy this weekend; especially if you are snowed in, check out Zero Dollar Movies. What Zero Dollar Movies is a collection of over 15000 full length movies that are available on YouTube. My guess is that many of these are not theatre quality movies, but all the same there may be some […]” Read more..

*      *      *

Loved this…

Today’s quote:The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

Copyright 2007-2014 © “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.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.

February 15, 2014 Posted by | Digital Images, digital Video, Internet | , , , , , | 2 Comments

This Super Bowl Sunday (and a giveaway)

Folks,
I hope you all have a marvelous, and safe, Super Bowl Sunday.

If it wasn’t for the referee’s, my team (the 49ers) would be playing today. And I might still be a football fan. But I am done. This was my last year of caring about sports. I may have to watch the game, though, as we finally are having some rain (in case you haven’t heard, California is yet again in a drought) and it is quite yucky outside.

Some tech: Loyal readers know I have for the past couple of years been advising Windows XP users to stop using XP, and upgrade to Windows 7 (or 8). What most people don’t “get”, is that there is no direct “upgrade path” from XP to the newer OSes (Microsoft made it so you had to go to Vista); or easy way to go from 32-bit (as XP is) to 64-bit. So if you have a XP machine I suggest taking advantage of this giveaway:

laplink* Are you ready for Windows XP end-of-life? On April 8, Windows will discontinue all technical support, security updates, and hot-fixes for Windows XP. Don’t let your computer be at risk for malware and hackers!

On February 4 , for one day only, Laplink is giving away PCmover Windows Upgrade Assistant for FREE.

This programs makes transferring/upgrading easy.

Lenovo’s acquisitions should get green light, experts say

Lenovo’s deals to purchase IBM’s lower-end server business for $2.3 billion and Motorola’s Mobility handset unit from Google for $2.91 billion will likely receive U.S. regulatory approval as long as the company embraces concessions tied to national security, industry experts say. “We look forward to going through the regulatory process and we’re going to work with the regulators with an open and transparent approach,” Lenovo’s Brion Tingler says.Read more..

Why should you care? Lenovo is Chinese.

* For those who might be interested, I think Elway is gonna win. But I have to admit, this year is the first year I can remember where the league’s two best teams are playing in the SB.
[update: Wow. Was I ever wrong..! Seattle won that game in the first quarter.]

Today’s quote:One positive action is worth 1,000 positive thoughts.” ~ not sure where I heard that…

Copyright 2007-2014 © “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.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.

February 2, 2014 Posted by | advice, computers, free software, Microsoft, News, PC, software, tech, Windows, XP | , , , | 6 Comments

Four (Software) Freebies

Folks, I recently became aware of some software titles you may want to check out, as they are (currently) free, and they seem useful.

I do not know anything about these companies or these titles. I have not tried them out, nor even bothered researching reviews (I don’t review software any more), except to see if the websites are safe (they seem to be) and if there’s major scam complaints (I didn’t see any).

So here you go:

* Protect System & Data in Windows PC and Server with FREE Backup Software
AOMEI Backupper 1.6

  • One-click backup your system drive to ensure system security
  • Backup disk & partition, create disk images and clone hard drive
  • Support Windows 8/7/Vista/XP and Server 2003/2008/2012 (32/64-bit)

Also from AOMEI, Partition Assistant Standard (formerly Home Edition)

Completely FREE for Private and Commercial Use

Hunting for an easy-to-use software to fix hard disk partition problems for Windows OS? AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is the right one for your PC, guaranteeing you get the full features for creating, resizing, deleting, merging, splitting partition and more… “

Next up are two PDF tools from Investintech.com, that are being given away in a “social media” promotion (aka the “buying Facebook ‘Likes'” game). They are available for Windows, Mac and Linux

Users who enter can get not one, but TWO PDF software programs for free: Able2Doc PDF to Word Converter 7.0 and Sonic PDF Creator 3.0.

Able2Doc accurately converts PDF images and text to Word and Open Source formats, while Sonic PDF Creator offers advanced PDF creation and editing options. Put together, they form a full featured package of PDF conversion and creation software.

Each PDF tool is valued at $49.95 retail price, but to get both for free users will only need a Facebook and Twitter account. Here’s how it works:

· By Liking our Facebook page, users will get an Able2Doc download code to unlock a full version of the software.

· When they Like the page, users will also get a timed pop-up dialog with directions for getting Sonic PDF Creator via Twitter” You can check out the details here.

So .. there you go.

And, I’m curious..

Today’s quote:For a gallant spirit there can never be defeat.” ~ Wallis Simpson

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.

September 30, 2013 Posted by | computers, file system, free software, PC, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pamela (for Skype)

When I am asked for advice inre the ability to record Skype video calls and texts, I simply refer them to Pamela, and further suggest, if they’re using it for business purposes, to go ahead and buy the “pro”.

What is Pamela for Skype?
Free, reliable and easy to use Skype audio and video recording software.

Features:

  • Free Skype Call Recording
  • Free Skype Video Recording
  • Skype Chat Recording
  • Skype Call Transfer
  • Skype Call Scheduler
  • Record calls automatically
  • Mono/Stereo recording option
  • Skype Conference Call manager
  • Create cool mood messages
  • Answering Machine
  • Play sounds during calls
  • Auto Chat Reply
  • Birthday Reminders
  • Email Forwarding
  • Contact Personalization
  • Blogging & Podcasting

and many other cool features.

Bonus Fun Video (because it’s summer):

Today’s quote:For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” ~ Lily Tomlin

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.

August 10, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, PC, software, tech, VoIP | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Free Tax Software, TurboTax, and e-Filing | April is here…

IRS Program Lets Taxpayers Use Popular Tax Preparation Software Free, and e-File For Free

I am like many Americans in that I have become somewhat reliant on my computer to help me do my Federal taxes. It all started, years ago, with a CD I received in the mail — a free copy of H&R Block’s TaxCut. I tried it. And I found it just a wee bit easier to use and figure out than the 1040A user manual our government provides.

Nowadays to access the free version of TaxCut (or TurboTax), I would have to first go to to the IRS website.

IRS banner

On the IRS site, there is a page called “FreeFile”, and here you will find the “partnership links” to the free versions of 19 accepted tax prep programs — of which TaxCut (and also TurboTax) is one.
To qualify, you must have an Adjusted Gross Income of $56,000 or less.

Today’s free link: FreeFile at the IRS

Note: there are two buttons on the page; “I will choose” and “help me choose”. Though all of the programs there are accepted by the IRS, I would recommend clicking the “I will choose”, and then selecting either H&R Block’s Free File or TurboTax.

Today’s quote:The only difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse each time Congress meets.” ~ Will Rogers

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.

April 9, 2013 Posted by | free software, tech | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Working with Apples, Part 2

Software

Before we begin, here is a link to Part 1, if you missed it: Working with Apples, Part 1

Okay, so I got the iMac, and swapped out the keyboard and mouse for a set I was much more comfortable with, and it was time to start using it as my “main computer”. Which means, installing programs to actually get stuff done.

The iMac comes with iTunes, for managing music and videos; and iPhoto which gives me basic image editing. It has Safari for surfing the Web. Also Apple Mail, for managing my email; iChat for IM-ing/video conferencing (limited to other iChat users); a quite basic text editor; DVDMaker; and Garage Band.
Which is not a bad set of utilities for an operating system to come with.. but IMHO, the best is Time Machine (I’d sure like to see a Windows version of that!)(Well, Genie Timeline is very close..)

When I was in the gizmo and gadget Superstore looking at keyboards, I also went over to the software aisles — there were three.
One was dedicated to PC games (making it one of my preferred aisles.. ahem).
And a four foot long section, of four shelves, constituted the “Mac Software” section.

A pitifully small selection.. especially when you’re standing in the aisles.

software

This pie chart might be too generous.. to the Mac.

There were two antivirus titles; about three dozen game titles (of those, 12 were “real games”, and not Solitaire); Microsoft Office for Mac; a couple of PDF-related titles, Quicken, iLife and iWork, and the rest were too uninteresting for me to mentally note.
I guess you could call it a “bright spot” — they did have one Call of Duty title…

So, I didn’t buy any (software) programs for the iMac.

  • For Internet Safety, I downloaded Avast! for Mac (free)
  • For Productivity, I downloaded Open Office for Mac, which allows me to handle my Microsoft Office documents and spreadsheets. (free)
    [Some people prefer Libre Office, also free]
  • For notes/reminders/to do’s, I downloaded Evernote (free)
  • For real chat/video I downloaded Skype (free)
  • For HTML and blogging, I downloaded Komposer (free)
  • For Remote Desktop, I downloaded TeamViewer (free)

I will be browsing CNet’s Download.com Apple software section for more titles when time allows. I didn’t see anything too interesting in the Apple Store..

With those titles, and a few more, I have an actually productive machine.
But I’m kind of out of luck in the gaming department,, though, there’s plenty of Time-waster type games,

Please feel free to suggest other titles you’d like to recommend to me, as a Comment (below)

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.

February 19, 2013 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, free software, how to, Mac vs PC, software | , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Quick Reco’s..

A few items worthy of your consideration.

* Proposed amendments to ECPA would make Orwell squirm

George Orwell wrote his famous book about Big Brother in 1948. What would he think about the Electronic Communications Privacy Act? Changes to the act are being voted on this week in the U.S. Senate.Read more..

Computers (and “high tech”) are fundamentally changing.

* Windows 8: It’s only one part of Microsoft’s brave new world

Just how do you completely rebuild a company? Windows 8 is important but it’s just one step towards the future for Microsoft.” Read more..

* A new checkbox (aka “option”, aka “setting”) Skype users may want to un-check..

They snuck that in during an “update”…

* Do you have more than one “device” on your network? Free, from Sophos: Network Security Scan

Scan for threats on your network — up to 200 machines

  • Finds viruses and other threats your antivirus missed
  • Works alongside your existing antivirus
  • Includes free security updates for 30 days

See all the threats on your network

Want to see what your current software might have missed? Try our free scan on up to 200 computers.

It’ll find malware, suspicious devices and apps

You’ll be able to see threats in all their forms. It could be removable media, games or other peer-to-peer software that are your biggest risks. Read more/download..

* Photographers, I recently came across two websites anyone thinking about buying a digital camera should (IMHO) take a look at:

* Cyber Monday: Can The Internet Be Taken Down By Massive DDoS Attacks?

 “A security expert from Arbor Networks says bandwidth and performance increases combined with increased sizes of botnets have got service providers worried that large scale DDoS attacks could cause massive Internet interruptions.Read more..

(… I won’t tell you about the planned hacker “blitzkrieg” attack on US banks… But you can ‘google it’..)

Today’s quote:Today, you always know whether you are on the Internet or on your PC’s hard drive. Tomorrow, you will not care and may not even know.” ~ Bill Gates

(Sorry, Bill, but I will care [and I will know] ‘cuz I’m not a sheeple.)

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.

November 27, 2012 Posted by | advice, cloud computing, computers, consumer electronics, Internet, News, privacy, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment