Tech – for Everyone

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

IE, Firefox, or Chrome – Which is best?* | Consumer as beta tester

I am frequently asked my opinion about web browsers: mainly, “which is best – Firefox or Chrome?” Yes, sometimes I am asked about IE or Opera too. Well.. what do you mean by “best”? And is your definition of “best” the same as mine? Fortunately, I don’t have to think too hard when I am asked, as web browsers all basically do the same thing –> show you websites.

I use Firefox as my “alternative” browser. And I have chosen it simply because of the many Add-ons available. If these “Add ons” were not available, I would not use Firefox. It’s that simple.

So, what Firefox Add-ons do I use? I’ll show you:

FF_addons

[addenda: I have recently added OptimizeGoogle (specifically to strip out the ads in Gmail) to my suite of defenses.]

With the exception of the Vimeo video capture-to-blog plug in, I would recommend this configuration. Why? Well, what do these things do? Look at them, and you’ll see that they are defenses – typically, blocking elements I do not want. And yes folks, your machine needs defenses on the Internet. (OK. The Java is not a defense. It’s a vulnerability.. see, Java, the new Adobe (+How To Protect Yourself).)

Adding Add-ons to Firefox is easy: click on the Tools menu, and then Add-ons. A window like the one pictured will open. In the upper left is the Get Add-ons button. Click it.
(If that seems like too many to you, I would say at a minimum you want NoScript, WOT, and Flashblock.)

*     *     *

Do you have a favorite TV show? Do you ever record movies?

I thought so. So I have a reading reco for you, a tutorial: How To Burn A Recorded TV Show in Windows Media Center

“Many people out there that have Windows Vista and Windows 7 based computers have never tapped into the Windows Media Center component that is right under their noses.”

* Orig post: 11/12/2010

Today’s reco’d read: Should we now expect to pay $500+ to be tablet beta-testers?

Tablet makers continue to fall short of the Apple iPad and roll out buggy and incomplete tablet devices, at prices of $500 or more, and I am getting tired of it. Aren’t you?Read More…

Today’s quote:Success is simply a matter of luck.  Ask any failure.”  ~ Earl Wilson

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


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July 6, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Firefox, Google, how to, Internet | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stream All Your Media – Free!

Turn Your PC Into An Internet Media Server

I came across an program that you can download and install on your PC which allows you to “serve” (aka “stream”) your stored media (recorded shows and movies, music, jpegs, etc.) over the Internet. Thus, when you are out-and-about (“mobile”) you can ‘log in’ to your “server” (your PC) and access your stuff; and/or you can share it with others.

It is called Orb, and it is feature packed and very simple to use.

“Orb MyCasting is a free service from Orb Networks that makes it easy for consumers to remotely view and share their live and recorded home and Internet TV, music, videos, photos, podcasts, and other digital media stored on their PC, from any Internet-connected device, be it a mobile phone, PDA or laptop.  MyCasting is the opposite of broadcasting, allowing you to stream your digital media when (time), where (place), and how (device) you want it.

Orb Networks is the first company to offer a single solution for enjoying virtually all of your digital media remotely, using the devices you already own.  There is no need to choose which technology path to go down to access your media remotely; other options are cumbersome and require an additional investment in yet another “cool” technology.  Orb is free and begins with one easy download: there is no hardware or software required, and no additional time needed to catalog and categorize your digital media.  You get instant access to the digital media that’s already on your PC.  Just download Orb and start MyCasting.”

I can see lots of uses for this technology whether or not you are a “road warrior” and often away from your PC. And it’s free. The folks there at Orb Networks get a big tip of my geek hat, and I encourage you to click here and visit their website. There is a short animation which demonstrates how it works, and screenshots of the many features.
(Also, you can view their Orb FAQ.)

All you need is a XP or Vista computer (to be the “server”) and a broadband Internet connection.

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

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September 22, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, mobile, PC, Portable Computing, Simple File Sharing, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Use Media Center to Watch TV?

Using Your PC to Record and Watch TV is “Good”. No Commercials Is Better!

Recently, the US transitioned to the transmission of digital signals for over-the-air television; which we are told, went “smoothly” (see A Smooth Transition?).

That “smoothness” is probably due to the fact that the majority of people no longer get their TV from the airwaves, but buy subscriptions to Satellite, Cable, or IPTV providers. Some people simply purchased and connected a analog>digital converter box.

While not widely reported, no doubt some others are still fighting to get their antenna positioned just right.. And still others (such as myself) used the transition as an excuse to simply stop watching TV.

Why have I stopped? Because I have reached a Maximum Threshold of Tolerance. AND, I don’t want to risk a repetitive-stress injury (ala “carpal tunnel”) from constantly reaching for the remote so I can hit the Mute, Skip, Pause, Die You Stinking Commercial, Die !!! buttons. Also, I despise “reality TV”. I don’t think I’m alone.https://i1.wp.com/www.hrrc.org/Image/betamax.jpg

The usual method for defeating commercials is to record your desired program on a Betamax, VHS, TiVo, DVR, or Media Center PC, and then “fast forwarding” (skipping) over the commercial advertisements, which long ago failed to meet the most modest standards of taste and decorum. Or we purchase movies and watch those… a few trailers at the beginning we can tolerate.

There should be a better way, and there is.

Today’s free download: If you use Media Center to record programs, there is a pure genius program, for which I would like to throw the author(s?) a parade, which will automatically strip the commercials out of your recordings. That’s right – remove. That results in smaller files, and more enjoyable entertainment.

Lifextender is a dead-simple commercial-removal application designed exclusively for Windows Vista Media Center users. There is ZERO configuration required, however, there are plenty of options if that’s your thing.

[note: Lifeextender is “donationware”, meaning you can “tip” the author any amount, if you so desire. I “tip” my geek hat, and that’s for sure!]

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

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June 17, 2009 Posted by | computers, digital Video, dtv, how to, Microsoft, PC, performance, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments