Tech – for Everyone

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


I see Microsoft has – once again – decided that changing the name of something will somehow benefit them, increase sales, and that they are now going to call their “SkyDrive” cloud service “OneDrive”.


Yes, I feel much better about cloud computing now. Sign me up!

For those interested:

Take a tour of the great new features in OneDrive and find out why it’s the one place to store and share all of your favorite things.  Learn more

Want to earn more free storage? Get up to an extra 8 GB by following the steps to enable your camera roll backup and by referring your friends. Log in at”

I’m sure the very highly paid People In Charge at Microsoft are a lot smarter than me. But I’m not seeing all that a bright a future for them…

Friday Fun video:

What can I say? That video has more than 10 million views…

Today’s quote:Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.” ~ Jim Rohn

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 21, 2014 Posted by | cloud computing, computers, Internet, Microsoft, News | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I can get away with this.. it’s the weekend!

Just going to ramble a little bit today.. But I hope you’ll find something rewarding.

diagram of 7 chakras* Here in Kallyfornyah, we give birth to every kooky New Age fad that sweeps the nation; and so the whole Think Your Way To A Happier, Wealthier You thing is, to me, kinda “so 80’s” (and the Fonz is saying, “Aayy“). Depak Chopra, Tony Robbins, et al, became .. well, a bit passe here. You found The Science of Getting Rich and its brethren in the library’s free bin.

But in these “tough economic times”, I’m sensing a resurgence in popularity.. “self help”. And, hey, that’s “cool”. I’m all for people expanding their minds.

I read this one, though, that said all I had to do was visualize my mansion, “see” myself in my Rolls Royce, and “feel” the security that having all the money I need feels like,, And that if I did this everyday, and really got “into it” (came to believe), the Universe would simply materialize those things in my life.

That sounded easy, so I’ve been giving it The Old College Try. For two decades now …
Clearly, I must be doing something wrong..!

* This 9″ Android 4.0 Tablet has 3G, Wireless N, and decent specs — for $100. AGPtek 8GB 9″ Android 4.0 Tablet w/ 5 Point Capacitive TouchScreen & Expandable Memory

* A reader recently told me about an online ‘bookmarking’ and ‘sharing’ service for music (and music videos) – kind of a “store your songs in the cloud” kind of thing – that I think many will be interested in (it’s quite different than things like Spotify) named Songdrop. My competitors have already written about it, so I’ll just pick one and let you read their write up, here.
(Thank you for the heads up, Dear Reader!)

* How about a pretty photograph?


Click on image to see more by this artist

And now a word from our sponsor: Oops. This position is still available. If you are a high-end tech manufacturer, producer of “gaming” gear that retails for no less than $1,500/unit, and you would like to send me units to keep, and maybe review.. lots of units.. of your best, well contact me using the form. Only serious gamer OEMs need apply.

* I have heard from various locales that some of you still have snow on the ground and/or are having snow storms and/or are expecting snow. But my weather-spy network still needs volunteers. If there’s snow on the ground where you are, well, how about a roaring fire and a hot toddy. Put your feet up. It’s Saturday!
Chillax, man. It’s cold outside.

Astounding Glory Pink Hybrid Tea Rose

* But if you’re thinking it’s time for planting roses.. 20 -50% off sale at Jackson & Perkins. (Not too late for bare root.)

* Yes, cyber-war and cyber-crime continue to make headlines, I could post a half-dozen items, easy. But S. Korea is kinda far away, and as I said, it’s Saturday. I’ll save up the downers for Monday. Have a great weekend, y’all!

* Started watching House of Cards on Netflix. Wow. It’s kinda like West Wing, only.. real-er. Kind of like the mc (played by Kevin Spacey).

*     *     *

Today’s quote:How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank

BTW.. This is my 2,000th article here on T4E. What a long strange trip it’s been.

And, yes. Ole Tech Paul likes his rose bushes. (Can’t be all tech, all the time.)

Copyright 2007-2013 © “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.

March 23, 2013 Posted by | Android, computers, consumer electronics, gadgets, Internet, mobile, News | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Better Than Dropbox and RapidShare (?)

Winners Announced And Some Friday Fun

Free Online File Storage/Sync/Share Sites You May Not Know About

Almost everyone, it seems, has heard of (and may already be using) Dropbox. And probably/maybe, at some point you have downloaded someone’s file from RapidShare.

Online file “sync”-ing services let you “upload” (to “the cloud”) files you select – such as MP3 songs, for example -where they are available to you (or, anyone you give access) from any Internet-connected device. This often is a better way to share than trying to send things by email – certainly is for large files.
People also use such services for keeping files “synced” between their work and home computers.
(BTW, I am told that no one uses email anymore..)

Intrepid Tech – for Everyone undercover operatives (you know who you are) have recently made me aware of two services I think you’ll want to know about. (I have not yet had time to personally test them out…)

• (WWW.CX.COM) Relaunched Cloud Storage App Still Offering 10 GB of Free Space

“Back in September I told you about, a Dropbox-like startup that was offering 10 GB of free storage space for new accounts, rather than the 2 GB offered by Dropbox. 

CX has recently undergone a major revamp.” Read more..

Fyels Upload and share unlimited files up to 11GB each, for FREE

This (second) one does not even require you join, or give an email.. and there are no ads.. amazing.

Giveaway Winners Announced

The folks at Novosoft have generously donated 3 licenses for Office Backup 4.0 to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank thank them for that.

Office Backup is an easy-to-use backup software designed to perform automated backup of your computer. If you are looking for a simple yet powerful backup utility, you have just found it – Novosoft Office Backup.

Without further ado, the lucky winners are

Congratulations! My thanks to all who participated. (Winners, check your Inbox [and maybe your Junk folder] for the Subject Office Backup Winner)

Just plain fun:

Today’s quotable quote: “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” ~ Winston Churchill

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

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October 21, 2011 Posted by | cloud computing, computers, free software, Internet | , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Sharing Your Photos (On The Web)

Reader asks for recommendations on photo sharing websites

Q: Can you tell me where is the best place for me to post my photography? I want the images to be available in high quality, and I want to be able to choose who can see them and who can’t. Thank you. ~ R.M.

A: R.M.,
Online photo sharing is a great way to keep far-off family and friends up-to-date with your latest adventures. (And it avoids the headaches of trying to send images by email!)

I am going to have to say that, in all likelihood, the answer to which of the dozens and dozens (and dozens) of photo-sharing websites (services, really) will be “best” for you will be subjective — my “best” may not be your “best” and visa versa — and you may have to experiment with several before settling on your final choice.

You say you want to post “high-quality” images: generally, that means large file sizes; and so, you may probably want to consider the amount of storage the service offers.. and/or consider (at some point) paying for a “premium membership” (which gives you more space).

As far as I know (photo sharing with friends and family is not something I personally do) all the sites allow you to qualify who has permissions to see the image (or “album” or “gallery” of images).

If you already have a Yahoo! account, you’re already halfway to accessing the Internet’s most popular photo sharing site — Flickr (where folks who have made their images viewable and usable by everyone have been the source of many of my Sunday Beauty images).
Flickr claims to be the best site (but.. they all do). It is free, (for a certain number of uploads per month) as well as offering “premium”.

If you already have a Google account, you might first try Picasa.

Those are the two “big players”. But also worth looking at are:

Since I haven’t really narrowed things down for you (sorry), I am going to give you a link to a reputable “comparison & review”, which may help:

The last couple of years have seen an explosion in the number of these photo-sharing and photo-printing sites, which means that print prices have dropped, and the range of services offered has expanded. Whether you have a handful of vacation shots or you’re a serious photographer with a big image archive, there are plenty of sites that can make printing and sharing a pleasure. We tried out more than 40 of them to give you a snapshot of your options.

Online photo sharing for snapshot photographers 
Online photo sharing for enthusiasts and pros  

Perhaps readers who use such services will chime in with their experiences/recommendation (please?), and so you may want to check back here in a little while…

Copyright 2007-2011 © “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. <<

June 15, 2011 Posted by | advice, cloud computing, computers, Digital Images, how to, Internet, Simple File Sharing, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Adobe’s Online Photoshop

When Adobe introduced its new online Photoshop Website, I took a look and posted this review, Adobe Photoshop Express (Beta). Today I went back and looked at it again, as is no longer a newly hatched beta.

For those who don’t yet know, is a “Web 2.0” application for editing and sharing your digital images, and is seen to be a replacement for a program you buy and load onto your computer. It is a free service (and surprisingly, has no ads).

I would be very surprised if you haven’t heard of Photoshop; it has been around so long, it has become a verb in today’s language — meaning “to create a fake image”. Photoshop is the tool which allows you to put your head on someone else’s body.. or make it look like you’re standing on the moon.. Photoshop has long been considered the premier digital image manipulation program.

As I discussed in this article, “Web 2.0″ is all about us regular folks being able to ‘upload’ to the Web (and “share”/collaborate) instead of simply viewing (’downloading’) content. And frankly, Adobe is not the first to the market of online photo sharing Websites, nor sites that let you edit your pictures once you’ve loaded them.. Flickr, Picassa and Photobucket have been around for a while now (to name a few).

To use Photoshop online, you must “join” the club, by providing an e-mail address and creating a user account. While you do that, you create a personalized URL (like, where you can post your pictures in “galleries”, if you want to share them (not required). Once you’re a member, you “upload” your pictures, and you can now edit them, and organize them into galleries, e-mail them, or use them as images on (other) Websites.
You can also easily “import” them from your other online accounts at Facebook as well as the sites named above.


The screenshot above shows the image editing screen. Those of you who have ever used Photoshop Elements will be very familiar with this interface. The editing options (left column) provide a thumbnail range above your original so you can see, and select from, adjustments. This makes ‘tweaking’ your image fairly easy and straight-forward, and allows you to experiment without ruining your original.

Is this for you? Well, I am an advanced Photoshop user, and so I find the tools in Photoshop Elements overly simplified – but which is precisely what many people want. While this tool will not let you paste your head onto a super-model’s body, or pose on the moon (you need a more powerful image editing program for that), it will let you smoothly and easily tweak your images, remove the red-eye effect, and share your pictures with far away friends and relatives.
[note: also allows the uploading of videos, but I did not explore this feature.]

If you are not already using a similar service.. or are not satisfied with the one you’re using.. I suggest that you give this a tryout. I find it to be very slick and easy to use. So, click the link and get started.

Today’s free link:

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

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September 11, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, Digital Images, how to, Internet | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Banned From The Internet For File Sharing?

Internet service providers are cooperating more and more with copyright holders to crack down on illegal downloading and peer-to-peer file-sharing.

Becky Waring published a very interesting ’round-up’ look at the current state of the ‘battle’ between copyright holders (primarily RIAA) and the very popular (yet largely illegal) “Torrent” P2P file-sharing phenomenon on Windows Secrets.

There are some tough new laws recently enacted, or under consideration, in many countries following the recent convictions of the operators of the popular Pirates Bay Torrent search engine in Sweden ... laws that could get people “blacklisted” from the Internet.

Internet Service Providers are coming under increasing pressure to use technology to identify people using Torrent applications and punish them, and Torrent users are using technology to escape detection. This ‘battle’ poses some very serious questions about the issues of privacy and technology.

Ms. Waring has done an excellent job with this article, and I invite my readers to read it. Please click the link below.

ISPs assist in cutting off file-sharing users

Today’s free link: KidZui – Free, Safe Internet Browsing for Kids

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

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May 9, 2009 Posted by | computers, Internet, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Add a Vista machine to your XP network

Today’s article was triggered by a client who wanted my assistance troubleshooting a file sharing problem on a Windows network. The answer to their troubles turned out to be a very simple one, and you can avoid their headache quite easily.

Most of us have a home network (called a “SOHO LAN”, Small Office/Home Office Local Area Network) of several computers connected to a router by Ethernet cables and/or to a WAP (Wireless Access Point) by “WiFi” radio signals.
This allows us to ‘split’ our Internet connection to all our machines; and allows us to “share” files and folders between machines.. so that I can ‘access’ the music on one machine, and play it on another, for example.

Tip of the day: Set your machines to the same Workgroup.
SOHO LAN networks, such as ours, are what is called “peer-to-peer” (aka “P2P”), and what you need to understand about that is: for the machines in a P2P network to “share resources” (‘talk’ with each other) they must all be members of the same workgroup.

My client’s troubles were caused because they were using the Windows default workgroup, and had not set their own workgroup name, and this had worked fine for them.. until they brought home a shiny new Vista machine.
* The default workgroup name in XP is: MSHOME
* The default workgroup name in Vista is: WORKGROUP

See the problem? MSHOME is not the same workgroup as WORKGROUP, and so XP won’t ‘talk’ to the Vista machine, and visa versa.
The solution is to change the Vista machine’s workgroup to “MSHOME”.. or change the XP machines to “WORKGROUP”.. or better yet, change all your machines’ workgroup to your own, custom workgroup name.
My SOHO workgroup is “THEWIZKID”… because I am a wiz, and I once was a kid.. but you can pick any name you want.

Step 1: On the PC you want to change the workgroup membership/name on, right-click on My Computer (just “Computer” in Vista) and select “Properties”.
Step 2 (XP)*: Click on the “Computer Name” tab. Here you will see, and can modify, your computers name, description, and workgroup membership (as you will note, mine is already set to THEWIZKID, yours will probably say “MSHOME”). Click on the “Change” button, and enter the name of the workgroup you want to join (or create).

Step 3: Reboot your computer. When Windows starts again, your machine will now be a member of the proper workgroup and will be able to “talk” (share) with your other machines.

Step 2 (Vista): Click on the “Advanced system settings” link…
and answer “Continue” to the warning. Then do the same as the XP step 2 above.

That’s it. Reboot for the changes to take effect. The trick is simply to make sure your machines are all members of the same workgroup.

Note: if you do this, and your machines still aren’t “talking”/sharing with each other, temporarily turn off your firewalls and see if that resolves the issue (it almost always does). If so, you need to configure your firewall to allow file sharing on your network, which is a whole ‘nother article, and my fingers are tired.. another day.
Also, I was reminded that Vista wants to have a password set for the User Account before it will share files.

Today’s free link(s): If you have installed the “new” Firefox 3 Web browser, you might want to read 12 must-have add-ons for Firefox 3, and maybe choose a few to download.
Hey. Did you hear? They’ve found evidence of water on Mars.

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

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August 1, 2008 Posted by | computers, how to, network shares, networking, performance, tech, troubleshooting, Vista, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments