Tech – for Everyone

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

It’s a cat’s life…

This morning was one of those mornings I came out to find the Windows “welcome screen” waiting for me, instead of my work-in-progress (and open websites), which meant that Windows Update had reboot-ed my machine; which is a pretty good indicator that yesterday was Patch Tuesday.

No, I didn’t lose any work.
Because now we have cool built-in “save my bacon” things like “autodraft”; and modern browsers will remember my “tabs”, and offer to “restore” my “session” – etc..

It wasn’t always like this.
Long ago, now, back in what I call the Jurassic Period, whenever I was working on a computer I would end each sentence I typed with a period and a Ctrl + S (the “keyboard shortcut” for the Save command).
That was because Windows 95 might freeze, “lockup”, spontaneously reboot, or just BSOD at any given – totally random – time, for no (apparent) rhyme and no (apparent) reason. And seemed to like doing it.

By the time Windows 98 Second Edition came along, things weren’t quite so bad, and my habit softened and mollified itself to typing Ctrl + S at the end of every paragraph.
I maintained this habit right up through the second “service pack” for Windows XP.
With that release, “Windows” and the word “stable” (in Geekspeak, “stable” means “doesn’t crash too ofen”), could actually be used in the same sentence..

Where am I going with this..? Oh. Yes. I remember: some time ago now I wrote two articles I would like to put in front of you again.. in case you missed them.

Finding my computer reboot-ed this morning didn’t bother me because I know a rather important fact – updates are our friends, and we want them. Please see Learn to love the pop up.

And I realized just how long ago it was I dropped my Ctrl + S habit.. and I marveled at the fact that my (main) Windows 7 computer has not had a single BSOD. (And I’ve been running Win7 since the RC.)
Not a one! Please see, It is time to face facts and finally dump Windows XP

Today’s free download (reader submitted): MAGIX Xara Xtreme Photo & Graphic Designer 5 Silver Heads up! The free download is only available until November 24, 2011. (retail $90)

Do you enjoy photography and love photos? Do you want your photos to look flawless and give them a versatile, creative design? Then Photo & Graphic Designer 5 is the optimum solution for you.

Note: Just make sure you UNCHECK the Magix Ask Toolbar if you don’t want it (you probably don’t want it :) And you have to register to get the code so use an email you don’t care about. (I will go further: you do not want the Ask toolbar.)
Thank you, Dear Reader (you know who you are).

More reco’s:
* Six Ways to Protect Yourself from Duqu

Security blog Dark Reading features a post today by Kelly Jackson Higgins called “Five Things To Do To Defend Against Duqu.” Some of the suggestions make more sense than others. PCMag.com Lead Security Analyst Neil Rubenking adds a sixth rather important suggestion.Read more..

* Jason Hiner’s 10 best tablets of 2011 [Updated]

New tablets have hit the market week after week throughout 2011, but here are the 10 best that are worth your attention, and your money.Read more..

Today’s quote:It isn’t so much that hard times are coming; the change observed is mostly soft times going.” ~ Groucho Marx

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


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November 9, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, gadgets, mobile, tablet PC, tech | , , , , | Leave a comment

Help for Updates, “Stuck” Printer Jobs

This week included the second Tuesday of the month; or, as we here at T4E Headquarters call it, “Patch Tuesday” – the day Microsoft releases the majority of its new Updates and “hotfixes”. This time around there were “critical” patches released, and a known attack was “plugged” (“patched”.. “fixed”). Folks, I repeat: you want updates, and having to reboot to apply them really is a trivial inconvenience. Please read, What’s With All These Updates?!

If you experienced trouble (or, ever do) after installing an Update, click the link below and scroll down to the bottom answer. See IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*


I came across a small, free utility which can help clear ‘stuck’ print jobs from your printer que. This tool is for when you have tried the proper method (see, The print job won’t stop printing) and you still cannot “delete” the file from the list. (Or, cannot “Cancel all documents”.)

The tool is called Stalled Printer Repair. It is “portable”, meaning it does not need to be installed, only “run”. You can get it here.

[note: If you should for some reason prefer (or need) the “manual method”, see How To Deal With Stuck Print Jobs]


If you like tech websites: Bookmark4Techs
Bookmarks4Techs is the largest repository of listed tech sites currently available on the internet. If you have the desire to learn about computers and information technology, then Bookmarks4Techs is your place to start!“

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


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January 13, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, Microsoft, PC, software, tech, troubleshooting, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Patch Tuesday, Stuck Printers, etc.

Yesterday was the second Tuesday of the month, aka “Patch Tuesday” – the day Microsoft releases the majority of its new Updates and “hotfixes”. This time around there was three “critical” patches released, and a known attack was “plugged” (“patched”.. “fixed”). Folks, I repeat: you want updates, and having to reboot to apply them is a trivial inconvenience. Please read, What’s With All These Updates?!

For a review of yesterday’s Updates (and to see what they are and what they fix) click here.


I came across a small, free utility which can help clear ‘stuck’ print jobs from your printer que. This for when you have tried the proper method (see, The print job won’t stop printing) and you cannot “delete” the file from the list. (Or, cannot “Cancel all documents”.)

The tool is called Stalled Printer Repair. It is “portable”, meaning it does not need to be installed, only “run”. You can get it here.


There is a new website in town: Bookmark4Techs
Bookmarks4Techs is the largest repository of listed tech sites currently available on the internet. If you have the desire to learn about computers and information technology, then Bookmarks4Techs is your place to start!“


** My Latest Software License Giveaway Drawing **


Sandboxie’s creator, Ronen Tzur, has graciously and generously donated five licenses to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank him for that. So I am going to do a random drawing contest from folks who “enter” my drawing. The contest will end midnight Thursday, July 15th, and the winners announced Friday the 16th.
A “registration” license is “lifetime” and can be used on as many computers as you own.

Put plain and simply, Sandboxie gives me a secure feeling when traveling around the Web, and I feel ‘naked’ without it. For the details (such as how to enter), click here.

Act now! Deadline nears…

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


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July 14, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, free software, Internet, Microsoft, printers, security, tech, troubleshooting, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Patch Tuesday | Cyber-warfare | Vista hacked

This week has been particularly fun for watching misreporting in the news*.

There have been several instances of dire, Chicken Little The Sky is Falling! type headlines.. followed shortly by, “Oh. Wait. The data doesn’t support the conclusion” headlines.

Many, many years ago now, I took some Journalism classes in college. Every instructor I had, had these funny things called “Rules”. The top, Number #1 rule was: “Verify, Verify, Verify”. The second rule was: “There must be three independent and unrelated sources before you can consider anything a ‘fact’.”
We were told that we (future) reporters would have people, called “Editors”, whose sole mission was to double-check our “facts” and verify our “sources”.

We students quickly figured out why these instructors were teachers, and not actual newsmen (and newswomen, ahem)– they weren’t living in reality: in reality, there’s the word “allegedly”, and sentences like “is reported to have said”.

And we young people knew that “Facts” are about as much fun as a date with the Encyclopedia Britannica. Sensation sells. Duh.
[a brief aside: I decided not to become a reporter. I figured if I was meant to chase ambulances and firetrucks, I would do it as a personal-injury lawyer. I didn’t become a lawyer either.]

Contrary to this week’s headlines:
* Russia did not launch all out cyber-warfare against neighboring Georgia. It was, in fact, hackers — on both sides — joining in the fun and using their botnets to shut down  a few websites.
See Kids, not Russian Government, attacking Georgia’s Net.

* Vista’s security features were not rendered useless by hackers, as “announced at BlackHat” (This one caused quite a stir!) In fact.. well, read what one of the “hackers” has to say:
See Alarmed about Vista security? Black Hat researcher Alexander Sotirov speaks out.

* And finally (for today), this Month’s “patch Tuesday” did not cause “widespread disruption”. At least.. here at T4E Headquarters it didn’t. Unless you call having to reboot “to complete installation” some kind of disaster.
Yes, there were more Updates than usual, and more of them were marked “Important”.. but that is actually a “good” thing– those Updates close holes.
But if you DID experience trouble (or, ever do) after installing an Update, click the link below and scroll down to the bottom answer.
See IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*

*(more accurately, “infotainment”.)

Today’s free link: is in the link directly above.

Survey: I am a bit curious as to how Tech–for Everyone readers are feeling about the Olympic Games being held in China, and so I’ve created a very brief (one question) survey.
Click Here to take survey.  (I will post the results Friday.)

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

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August 13, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, News, tech | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments