Tech – for Everyone

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

Apple owners — 5 quick security tweaks

Folks, if you upgraded to iOS 10 on your iPhone and/or iPad (and it didn’t brick your device) please read, and follow, this brief How To tutorial article.

* Five security settings in iOS 10 you should immediately change

These tweaks will lock down your iPhone or iPad to protect your privacy.Read more..

[ I suggest doing that even if you don’t believe there’s any such thing as Privacy anymore.. ]

* * *

Today’s quote:Two persons cannot long be friends if they cannot forgive each other’s little failings.” ~ Jean de la Bruyere

Copyright 2007-2015 © “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 14, 2016 Posted by | Apple, cellular, computers, consumer electronics, gadgets, how to, Internet, iPhone, Portable Computing, privacy, security, software | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Boost Windows Ten’s Performance

Those of you who have ‘upgraded’ to Windows 10, and like to ‘tweak’ their machines for best performance, may want to read the following article —

* 10 Tips to Speed Up Windows 10

Windows 10 is faster than the previous versions of Microsoft’s OS, but you can still speed up your PC with our tricks.Read more…

[ Those of you ‘Power Users’ who have been using Windows for years probably won’t find anything really new here.. ]

Today’s quote:Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.” ~ Victor Hugo

Copyright 2007-2015 © “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 28, 2016 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, performance, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Windows 7 – Old Games Won’t Play.. Help! (Updated)

5 6 Methods For Getting Old Programs To Run On New Computers

This article is an updated and improved version of  Windows 7 – Old Games Won’t Play.. Help!, a “reader question” article that has proven quite popular. It seems quite a few people want their 12-year old, 16-bit, Gen 1 games to play on latest generation, 64-bit machines, (I don’t blame them) but it doesn’t always work. Here are some tips for solving the problem. They are in the appropriate order, IMHO. (These work in Vista as well.)

1) Turn off “hardware acceleration”. A common cause of errors and “playability issues” is the old games’ use (or lack of) of hardware “acceleration”, which is referring to the “video card”, or more accurately, the graphics driver. Most graphics drivers allow you to turn off the hardware acceleration (which may resolve your issue).
Click Start in the lower left corner of Windows.
Click Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization, click Personalization, click Display Settings, and then click Advanced Settings.
Click the Troubleshoot tab, and then click Change Settings.Move the Hardware Acceleration slider until it is one notch to the right of None. This is the basic acceleration setting.
Click OK twice, and then close the window.
Restart the computer.

[you can also get there via the graphic adapter’s Properties in Device Manager]


[Note: Change Settings will be disabled if the graphics card drivers do not support disabling hardware acceleration. You may need to check the video card manufacturer’s website, and download the latest driver.]

2) You may need set the troublesome games to launch in “Compatibility Mode”, and tell them to run under Windows XP SP2. This article, shows you how. The “Compat Mode” section is about half way down the page.

3) You might need to try repeating Step 2, but this time install directly to your C:\ drive (by default, Windows will install programs to C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files(x86) folder) using the “Custom install” option during set up. This will eliminate some of the Permissions issues that keep older programs from running correctly.

4) You may also – if the game is old enough – need to turn off all but one CPU core. This is called “setting the affinity”. Also see, Compatibility Tricks for Old Programs, New Machines. If this resolves your issue, the article includes a download for a tool to make this setting ‘stick’.

5) For really old, DOS-based games, install DOSBox. DOSBox is a great tool, especially for old games. I would suggest reading the tutorial, here:

6) Though I view this as a bit of a ‘last resort’, you can install a “virtual machine” and run the game in there.
* If you have the Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate edition of Windows 7, you can download XP Modewhich is really Virtual PC – for free. If you have other editions of Windows, grab Virtual PC 2007 from the same place.
* Perhaps a better alternative is using VMWare Server (free), from I have read that the VMWare handles the hardware acceleration better.

In both cases, you’ll have to supply the copy of (old) Windows yourself, and install it (into the “virtual machine”) from scratch.

… I hate to say, but it is possible that you may try all these things and get unsatisfactory results. I keep an old Pentium II machine (Windows 98) around just for playing those old games (which I wouldn’t dream of connecting to the Internet!). The games play best on the hardware/OS of their day. You might need to do the same. Or.. say goodbye to your old friends.


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

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January 25, 2011 Posted by | advice, Compatibility Mode, computers, device drivers, Gaming, how to, Microsoft, PC, performance, software, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks, Virtual Machine, Vista, Windows, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Overclocking For Noobs

Noob: (pronounced like “tube”) = A “newbie”. A novice, or newcomer.

Overclocking can give your PC a speed boost–but you have to be careful.

A while back now I rebuilt a machine into an i7, X58, DDR 3, SLI “gaming rig” (the *latest* hardware technologies) and wrote about my experience and conclusions in a rather popular series of articles.

The title of the series was “The Best CPU? “, which in retrospect was not a good choice, as I did not write solely about the *new* i-series Intel CPU’s, nor did I go into much detail about the over-clocking I did to my i7 920. (But it is a good series. Click the links to read it.)

Fortunately for me, Loyd Case recently wrote a wonderful article for PC World magazine that anyone considering ‘overclocking’ should read first (IMHO).
See, Overclocking for Newbies.
Overclocking your processor can give your PC a significant speed boost–but you have to be careful. Here’s how to overclock your system’s processor without frying it.”

Video On Phones – A Usage Survey

Folks, I want to ask a favor from those readers who own a smart phone. I hope you will answer this one-question survey. Thank you.

Today’s (other) recommended reading:
* FREE Software To Open That Zip or Rar File
Have you ever received an email attachment where the attachment is a zip file or a rar file and you are wondering how to open them? OR wondering what in the world is a zip file or a rar file?

* It’s Time We Called Cyber Criminals What They Really Are – Terrorists
While it may be true that cyber crime doesn’t fit neatly into the restrictive classical definition of terrorism, (motivation is a definitive factor), nevertheless, cyber crime’s effect on Internet users’ is  arguably similar  – intimidation, coercion (think Rogue software), and instilling fear.

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

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July 5, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, PC, performance | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

45 Windows Tricks, Free Wallpaper, More!

Today is Saturday and I have decided I am going to let others do the heavy lifting for me. Below are some collections of tweaks, tricks, tips, and fun customizations for your computer.

First up: Essential Windows Tricks
Whether you run Windows 7, Vista, or XP, these 25 tricks will make your PC faster, safer, and even more fun to work with.”

* The verdict is in: Windows 7 is Microsoft’s best operating system yet. For those of you who have a Win7 machine: 20 Windows 7 quick tips and tricks for IT admins
Make working in Windows 7 even easier with these easy-to-miss tricks.”

(It’s okay you’re not an “IT admin”, just skip over tips #17, 18, and 19.)

* And spruce up your PC’s appearance with wallpaper: FREE High Resolution Wallpapers
Today, I want to tell you about a wallpaper site that I use that is not only safe, but provides a great collection of high resolution wallpapers.

* Is a Web mail (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!) your primary e-mail? Want to fix your “mailto:”? Default to Web Mail
Patrick wants a Web-based mail service to be his default email.”

So have some fun with your computer. Read these, and then try some “tweaks” and customizations yourself. Make your PC (Personal Computer) more “personal”.

Have a great weekend, folks!

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

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June 19, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, performance, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows, Windows 7, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Travelers’ Tips for Maximum Laptop Battery Life

Tweak Your Laptop For Max Battery Life With The Windows Key

Travelers, the Windows Mobility Center gives you instant access to the most important “tweaks” you can make to your laptop to get the most amount of use from it before the battery dies (aka “between chargings”). Just hit the “Windows key” + X.

Here are my Top 5 Tips for Travelers and laptops:

1) Dim your screen – Laptops come with the ability to dim your screen.  Reducing the brightness down to the lowest level you can tolerate is the best way to maximize your laptop’s battery life.

Use the sliders and drop-down arrows

2) Turn off the WiFi – This and Tip #1 are the “two biggies”. You will save a lot of power (battery charge) by simply only turning PwrOpts_iconon the “radio” when you are using wireless to connect to the Internet. Off when you’re not.
Also, most laptops have a key combination, button, or slider switch to turn the wireless radio on/off.

3) Run off a hard drive, or thumb drive, rather than a CD/DVD – As power consuming as hard drives are, CD and DVD drives are worse. Wherever possible, try to “play” your movies from files saved to disk, or run them on virtual drives using programs like PowerISO, Daemon tools, and Virtual CD.
(See, Tech Tip for Travelers – Make Your Movies More Portable)

4) Cut down on external devices – USB devices, such as a mouse, also put a drain on your laptop battery.  Consider removing them or shutting them down when on battery power.  When maximum battery life is important, charging other devices with your laptop is a “no no”. Take the time to charge your devices before you leave as well.

5) Cut down on programs running in the background – “Always ready” programs, like your IM client, iTunes, Desktop Search, etc., add to the CPU load and cut down battery life.  Shut down everything that isn’t crucial when you’re on battery.
Typically, this is done by right-clicking their icons in the System Tray (by the clock) and choosing “Exit” (or “Close”, or “Quit”).) Also, open Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) and select the Processes tab — click on those you recognize and know you won’t be needing, and then click “End Process”. Repeat as necessary. (If you do not recognize it, and do not know – leave it be.)

6) Go easy on the PC demands – The more you demand from your PC, the quicker you will drain the battery.  Relatively passive activities like editing a Word .doc consumes much less power than graphics-intensive activities like 3D gaming or playing a DVD movie.

7) Encrypt your hard drive – Have you encrypted your My Documents folder yet? Especially on your laptop? If you have an address book, tax info, a resume, business docs? More than half of all identity theft victims resulted from the physical theft of unencrypted laptops and thumb drives… which contained personally identifying data.

Today’s free download: The easiest way to seamlessly encrypt your whole hard drive, folders, or just selected files, is to install the free TrueCrypt. Use this and even if your laptop is stolen, the thief won’t be able to read your files.
Be sure to set a good password!

[Note: alternatively, you can click Start > Control Panel > Power Options]

Okay, so that was seven tips. Consider it Tech Paul’s Holiday Bonus Gift.

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

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December 23, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, performance, Portable Computing, tweaks | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart Printing Habits Save Money

Reduce Your Ink and Paper Costs With These Simple Tips

Printer paper is dear, and ink cartridges are outrageous.

Can you tell I recently went to the store? Sheeze! Yes, I know all about “generics”, and refills, and refill kits.. but ouch! The price tags still hurt an old skinflint like me. (Call me Captain Cheapdate.)

Tip of the day: reduce your ink and paper consumption with these simple tips.

* Open your printer’s Preferences and set your printer to default to its lowest quality setting — usually referred to as “Draft” — and set it B&W (or, “Grayscale”).

Click Start > Control Panel > Printers and right-click on your printer. Then select “Printing Preferences” from the context menu. Make your changes, and then click the “Apply” button.

This setting will suffice for the majority of your printing needs. For certain documents that require better quality, you simply come back here and change them back. (or.. keep reading)

* If possible, use “double-sided printing” to save paper. Also, in some cases, you may be able to print many (small versions of) pages onto a page.

* Use Print Preview to see what your output is going to look like ahead of time. Make sure your “portrait” page isn’t being printed as “landscape”! And use the the “Print Range” setting to make sure you don’t print more source pages than you intend.

* When printing out Web pages, select just the areas you want (you don’t want the color banner ads, right?) to print. This article may help, Extracting text from Web pages*; and/or, Firefox users can install the Aardvark add-on, and IE users can download Canon’s Easy WebPrint.

Today’s free download: Well, I count two already, so.. let me change that–
Today’s free links: Watch a video tutorial which demonstrates making these changes, and shows you how to set up “virtual printers” as a quick and easy shortcut to different quality settings.

Printer maintenance–how to avoid printer problems Read how to keep that printer performing like new, and troubleshoot minor issues.

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

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March 2, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, performance, printers, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments