Tech – for Everyone

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

A Rainy Wednesday…

Dear Reader, I don’t know if you like movies, or Hollywood, but today there was some news that has – with some help from the gray and the rain – put me in a nostalgic mood..

Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79

Los Angeles Times – Daniel Trotta, John Whitesides – ‎1 hour ago‎
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor, whose violet eyes, tumultuous love life and passion for diamonds became a byword for Hollywood glamour, died on Wednesday at age 79. The star of “Cleopatra” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”…

I also don’t know if you are a “Liz fan”. I’m not, particularly. But there is no doubt in my mind she was beautiful, remarkable woman, and a “Hollywood Legend”. Another great star passes, and it feels to me, the glory days of Hollywood slip farther into the past. For those who are fans, you might also like:

Elizabeth Taylor: Never-before-seen pictures (blog) – ‎1 hour ago‎
In 1948, Mark Kauffman captured the young actress and her home life. Here, she gazes into the distance while wearing an “All America” sweatshirt; the pin she wears belonged to Glenn Davis, a 1946 Heisman Trophy-winning athlete she was dating at the

And now for some tech: You may already know about the ‘alternative browser’ Firefox. And you may already know that a brand new version (v4.0) was released yesterday..

Faster, Sleeker & More Stable: Hands-on With Firefox 4 [REVIEW]

Mashable – Christina Warren – ‎1 hour ago‎
The web browsing landscape has changed significantly since then, with Google’s Chrome browser winning converts left and right, while mobile and tablet browsing gained new ground


Firefox 4 thumps IE9 in first day download contest

Computerworld –
Users downloaded nearly 7 million copies of the new Firefox 4 in the 24 hours since its launch yesterday, Mozilla’s running tally claimed.

That number was almost triple the 2.4 million copies of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) that Microsoft claimed were downloaded in its browser’s first day of availability last week.

Unrelated tech news…

Tablets Overshadow Smartphones

InformationWeek – Eric Zeman – ‎28 minutes ago‎
Samsung, HTC, LG, RIM, and other vendors unveiled the most promising round of iPad competitors yet, pushing phones from the spotlight, at CTIA Wireless.

Motorola Apparently Not Satisfied With Android

InformationWeek – David Berlind – ‎3 hours ago‎
Between the dwindling opportunities for hardware differentiation in the smartphone and tablet markets, and the Windows-like commoditizing effect that Android is having across mobile device makers, Motorola Mobility (like its competitors) have few

And some tips:

Take charge of Windows 7 with these 10 power tips

You can get a lot more mileage out of Windows 7 if you perform a few tweaks and tap into some timesaving tricks. Here’s a collection of 10 popular Windows 7 Quick Tips

Geek Squeak (#108): WinPatrol 2011 is Top Gun

The NEW version of WinPatrol is worthy of the NEW What’s On My PC – Geek Squeak Trophy. If you never experienced WinPatrol, I highly recommend this software as a “must have” install. It is definitely a Top Gun security app.

The Best Security Suites for 2011

Which security suite should you choose? We’ve reviewed 21 of
them to help you chose the one that’s right for you.

Eight free Windows 7 tools you gotta try

Our Windows blogger recently found these utilities, which have made his PC environment that much more capable

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

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March 23, 2011 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, Firefox, Internet, News, Windows 7 | , , | Leave a comment

Geek – the word. And some advice.

When I was a boy – many years ago now – ”geek” was a completely pejorative and insulting word. A “geek” was typically a socially inept, small, quiet, know-it-all (who usually wore glasses) kid who couldn’t connect his bat with the softest-thrown baseball or catch a football to save his life…and he used big words all the time. Perhaps in your day you referred to ‘him’ as Pointdexter, nerd, dork, or wimp. Back then there was no doubt or question about it – ”geek” was a put-down: a derogatory statement. Period.

Today, I proudly declare: I am a geek. When I do, I am not broadcasting my pride in my inability to catch a football. (I can catch; and, even throw a tight spiral.) When I say I am a Geek, I am saying that I’m “into” computers and electronic gadgets, and I know a little about how they work.

At some point and time our common usage of the word “geek” has changed. It is no longer used strictly as a ‘slam’ and a put-down (however, if that is your intent, I believe the other words I listed above are still 100% negative…although Bill Gates may have softened the word “nerd” some…).

If, in the course of reading this blog, you see me use the word “geek” – please rest assured that I am always using it with the nicest of meanings. I even use “geek” as a compliment. Really.

Tip of the day: spyware, if it gets onto and runs on your machine, they can cause it to (amongst other unpleasant things!) suffer performance degredation and make it run slower. I spend a fair amount of time discussing malware, and how you can combat and remove it. I will return to this topic in the future. But for today I just want to make this point: If you connect to the Web, you need to run anti-spyware programs. Notice I that I wrote programs. Plural.

The fact is, no one anti-spyware application is 100% effective at stopping and removing spyware. There are many anti-spyware programs available and some are more effective than others. Some are great at stopping keyloggers but fall down when it comes to Trojan Horses, and others are visa-versa…as an example. So I strongly recommend running two anti-spywares, in the hopes that one will catch what the other missed. (There are many free anti-spyware applications [and some are spyware disquised as anti-spyware] available. For my more detailed descriptions and fuller listing, click here.) I cannot stress to you strongly enough to install and run some kind of anti-spyware program…and preferably, two. In that vein, today I will provide not one, but two, Today’s free download links.

Today’s free downloads:
Ad-Aware Free Anti-Malware 8.2 from Lavasoft. “Millions of people use the Internet every day to shop, bank, make travel arrangements, download music and movies, and connect with friends and family. Cyber criminals and identity thieves take advantage of all of this information sharing, targeting you and your family with threats like viruses, spyware, blended malware, and much more. Protect your privacy with Lavasoft’s reliable and trusted online security products, optimized for home users.

Detect and Remove Spyware, Adware and Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits, Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats.

Bonus: You should always run an up-to-date AV (antivirus), which is a separate thing from anti-Spywares. My current top choice of free AV tools is Avast!

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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May 15, 2010 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, how to, Internet, security, software | , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Learn How To Get More Out Of Your Browser*

I am doing a big on-site job today, and so I must re-post a prior article. This article describes how to get more out of Internet Explorer with the use of bookmarks (“Favorites” ) and tabs. Though Internet Explorer 7 debuted some time ago, the basic lessons are the same for the current version, IE 8; and the principles apply to other Web browsers, such as Firefox, as well.

Once again, I am reminded that the simple things often make the best topics. I showed my screen to a client during a support session, and they asked me “how do you do that?”ie icon

I didn’t know what they meant, and was startled to learn that what they wanted to know was – how did I have Internet Explorer “pre-set” to several of my mailboxes, and Google’s search page? To be more specific — they didn’t know about tabbed browsing, and weren’t real sure what Favorites were either.

Tip of the day: Stop repeating yourself, get the hang of IE 7’s features. Relatively new to IE (but not to Firefox, Opera, Netscape, and others) is a feature called “tabbed browsing” which allows you to open multiple websites within a single window, and quickly switch back-and-forth between them. In this screenshot you can see how my IE usually appears.


As you can see, I typically have five “tabs” open: my Google home page, an online dictionary, Tech–for Everyone, Hotmail (now “Windows Live Hotmail”), and my ISP’s home page. When I shut down at night, I click IE’s red “X” — the big red one in the upper-right corner –and am presented with the window (You may see “You are about to close multiple tabs. Do you..?” Click on the “Show Options” link.) shown below.


and I select (check) “Open these tabs the next time I use Internet Explorer”. This option allows me to skip having to open five tabs and navigating to each of my regular websites each morning.

To open a new tab, and this works in every browser I’m familiar with, press Ctrl+T. Depending on your Settings selection (under “Tabs” in Internet Options) this new tab will open to your current Home Page, or to a “blank page”, as shown below.


Now I can type “” (no quotes) into the browser bar, and there I am. Or I can click on the gold star for my list of Favorites, and launch (open) a site from there.

“Favorites” is Microsoft’s word for “bookmarks”, and in the world of PC’s the two words are interchangeable. If I stumble across a particularly interesting and/or useful Website that I know I will be returning to frequently, I can “bookmark it” by clicking on the green + on-top-of-the-gold-star icon and select “Add to Favorites” (or hit Ctrl+D). My mailboxes, my favorite tech websites, Google, and an online dictionary are in my Favorites list, so I can launch (open) them with a click — which saves on my typing.

To close a tab, simply click on its “x”; which is not red but grey. The tab must be “active” (selected) to be closed.


Now set your Tabs options to keep all your browsing in one instance of IE (instead of opening another IE, a new tab will open). In the upper right corner, click on the “Tools” menu and select “Internet Options”. Look down to the Tabs area and click on the Settings button.


Now select the radio buttons to change “in a new window” to “in a new tab”, as shown below.


Related articles:
Restore Missing Favorites In IE*

Internet Explorer Runtime Error!!*

Quick Tip: Turn on ClearType in Internet Explorer

Can’t Download? Reset IE

How To Clear Your Cache

View Multiple Mail Identities in One Browser

Extracting text from Web pages*

Precautions for your Internet privacy*

Quick Tip: Customize new tabs behavior

IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*

Internet/E-mail Troubleshooting – JavaScript

What is a “homepage”?

How to use tabs in IE 7

Saving webpages as files

Today’s free download: (You knew this was coming … right?) An application that has gained quite a name for itself is the “alternative” browser called Firefox. If you haven’t tried this powerful, free program, nor learned about its nifty “Add ons”, I suggest you give it a test drive now. Click here to download Firefox and then click the Tools menu and then Add ons. I suggest you start with NoScript and AdBlock Plus, and then explore the vast assortment.

*Orig post: 2/4/2010

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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April 29, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, ie 8, Internet, Microsoft, PC, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Own A Laptop? Make A Thumb Drive Theft Alarm With Free Tool

Turn An Old Thumb Drive Into An Anti-Theft Device

Prevent the theft of your laptop. Laptop theft is common and a constant threat. There is a free program – LAlarm – which when installed emits a loud siren sound when a thief tries to steal your laptop. And it can destroy selected data (and recover it later) if the laptop is stolen; which is an important step in protecting your “identity”, and personal information.

LAlarm consists of five alarms and other security functions designed to protect laptops and sensitive data.


  • Theft Alarm- It prevents laptop theft by sounding an alarm when a thief tries to steal a laptop.
  • Perimeter Alarm- It alerts when a laptop goes outside a perimeter.
  • Data Destruction- It protects sensitive data by destroying the data if the laptop is stolen.
  • Data Recovery- It can recover data from a stolen laptop.
  • Mobile Phone Alert- It sends an alert to a mobile phone via email or SMS.
  • Theft Response- you can tell your laptop what to do in advance if your laptop is in hands of a thief.

What I found “kewel” was the feature that lets you use an old thumb drive as a “sensor” – as described here, fasten a laptop to a table by using a USB flash drive strap. When a thief removes the laptop from the table, the flash drive will be disconnected from the laptop and then an alarm will go off.
A great use for that old 128 MB thumb drive sitting neglected in a drawer..!

If you “go mobile” with your laptop, I highly recommend you take a look at this free program. To do so, click here.

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

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October 19, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, mobile, Portable Computing, security, tech, thumb drives, USB storage devices | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments