Tech – for Everyone

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

How to lock in your free Windows 10 upgrade and still keep using your old Windows

Folks, doing this kinda makes it a ‘win-win’ (presuming you’re like me, and perfectly happy with Windows 7)

* How to lock in your free Windows 10 upgrade and keep using your old Windows version

The year-long free upgrade offer for Windows 10 ends on July 29. But what if you’re not ready to upgrade yet? Here’s how to claim your upgrade so it’s available at no cost when the time comes.Read more..

Related: Six Windows 10 annoyances: How to make them go away for good

You’ve got complaints about Windows 10? Don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of company. From my mailbox, these are the top gripes about Microsoft’s new OS, with instructions to help you make those problems vanish.Read more..

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Today”s quotable quote: “Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.” ~ Wayne Dyer

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.

May 13, 2016 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, tech, upgrading, Windows 10 | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Software Giveaway Drawing(s) – Oops!Backup

Folks, I am Pleased to Announce My Latest Software License Giveaway Drawing(s)*.

The folks at Altaro have generously donated some licenses for Oops!Backup to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am going to do a random drawing ¹ contest* from those who “enter”. The contest will end midnight Thursday, June 24th, and the winners announced Friday.
(What? Another backup program?! Read, and I think you’ll agree – this one’s different.)

I am going to start this out by confessing that I had never heard of Oops!Backup, and my initial reaction to the name was.. not positive — but I also confess it tweaked my curiosity! Oops!Backup is a ‘time machine’ backup for Windows program that creates “backup revision copies” of the files on your computer.

With Oops!Backup, you do not have to be “computer savvy”, and you  set-it-and-forget-it. The program constantly monitors your file system for you. I will give you my impressions and some screenshots, but first…

Plain, straightforward English–I love it. This versioning, continuous-backup package is one of the more impressive I’ve run across… — Jon L. Jacobi, PC World magazine, Editorial Review of Oops!Backup

The initial experience I have had has been great… it is possible to remove the human “oops” from the process… This could be a great step forward in the arena of helping get computer users to back up their data as often as possible. — Derek Schauland, Tech Republic, Product Spotlight: Altaro Oops!Backup

I haven’t had to rely on Oops!Backup many times, but when I did, it did not fail me… Restores are snappy and take mere seconds even for large folders. — Erez Zukerman, Downloadsquad, Altaro Oops!Backup is Time Machine for Windows

From the publisher:

Oops!Backup is no ordinary backup product: Thanks to its unique BackInTime™ technology Oops!Backup allows you to travel back in time to recover different versions of your important documents, photos or any other files. Oops!Backup is a hybrid backup and version control.

This video shows Oops!Backup in action… (How it works)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And a complete set of screenshots are available here.

Oops!Backup’s main features are:

  • BackInTime – Oops!Backup works like a time machine for your backed up data. It will save your data, and your folders, in the state that they were in when a backup occurred. This allows you to browse your data and folders and see what they contained at different periods of time.
  • Silent File Versioning – Oops!Backup uses Near-Constant Data Protection that runs in the background and monitors the folders you are backing up for changes to files. Once it detects a new file, or a modification to an existing one, it will back them up for you in the background.
  • ReverseDelta – When Oops!Backup backs up your data for the first time, it backs up the entire original file. Each time thereafter, it only backs up the differences between the original and the changed file and saves these differences in a delta file. This allows you to restore any of the backed up versions by merging the differences in the delta files with the original one. Altaro’s ReverseDelta feature, works slightly different in that it will always have a complete backup of the current data file and store the differences between that file and the original one in delta files. Thus if a delta file became corrupted, you still had the most current file safe and available to restore.
  • Plug & Protect – This feature will automatically back up any changed, or new data, that Oops!Backup monitors to an external drive when it is plugged into the computer.
  • Backup to your existing external hard drive, network, or NAS drive, or USB memory stick. – With Oops!Backup you do not need to buy a separate external hard drive just for backups. Oops!Backup can make use of your existing external hard drive or optionally backup to your USB pen drive. If you have a network drive or a NAS then you can backup directly to it by mapping the network location to your computer. With this you can have multiple Oops!Backup installations backing up to a central server.
  • Integration with Microsoft Volume Shadow (VSS) Copy – Oops!Backup integrates with Microsoft Volume Shadow (VSS) technology. This integration allows Oops!Backup to automatically back up files that are currently open and in use, such as Outlook’s PST files.
  • System Requirements –
    32 – bit
    : Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP
    64 – bit: Windows 7, Vista

I found many reasons to like, and recommend, Oops!Backup. I’ll start by saying that it may very well be the easiest file backup tool I have run across. It is so easy it is, IMO, ideal for the “Computer Novice”. Setting it up the first time was very simple; and, accepting the defaults will be fine for most people. Using it was very simple too, and “visual learners”, like me, will appreciate the visual method for “exploring” your backups — being able to see the various versions of a document/photo/file is simply hands down a superior way of choosing which version of the file you want to recover (go back to)… the usual method is to look at timestamps and.. guesstimate. (See the video above, if you haven’t yet).

Oops!Backup is not a true “disaster recovery” type of backup program – like, say a “disk imaging” program is; but it can be used to transfer files to a new PC, or recover from a “disaster”. Though I only tested Oops!Backup on a single machine (XP Pro, P4 @ 1.6GHz, 1 GB RAM), and only for two weeks, (I did test several backup destination configurations) it performed flawlessly for me. Oops!Backup is light on resources, and doesn’t nag (or brag) with annoying popups. I very much like that restoring a older version does not destroy (overwrite) the current version of a file.

My critiques are minor: when the initial backup was made, I did notice a lag on my machine which made ‘multitasking’ unpleasant. (On the plus side, though, that initial backup was completed remarkably quickly, and subsequent operation was unnoticeable.) Also, Oops!Backup allows you to choose your local hard drive as a destination, which is not where you want to store your backup copies! (And a “Computer Novice” should probably not see this option.. it should be buried under 3 layers of “Advanced settings menus.) As I said, minor. I do not hesitate say that those looking for a file backup program should consider Oops!Backup.

* So what’s up with the plural?
This week my Giveaway is going to be a little different, Folks, and I am actually running two contests — but you (still) only enter one time (the usual rules apply!). Keep reading…

How to enter? To enter the drawing, simply click on “comment”, and enter a name and valid e-mail (so I can send you the key) in the form. Actually commenting is optional. And, I shouldn’t have to say this, but it seems I do — multiple entries will result in disqualification. (In this contest. Entry in prior contests doesn’t count against you.)

¹ All entrants will be placed into’s “list randomizer”, and the top  result will be the winner of the 1st Prize: a 3-pack of Oops!Backup (retail $94). I will then remove the 1st Prize winner from the list, and “re-shake the hat”, so to speak, and then, from the new result, the top 7 names will each receive a single-use license (retail $37).
[Note: If you do not have 3 PC’s, or otherwise do not want to be entered in the 3-pack drawing, please indicate “1 license only” in your comment. I will mod the lists accordingly.]

A 30-day, fully-functional free trial of Oops!Backup can be downloaded here, Free 30-day trial. Try it out yourself. (And then leave a comment. You may just win one of these valuable prizes!)

Again, my thanks to David at Altaro for making this Giveaway possible.

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

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June 21, 2010 Posted by | advice, Backups, computers, file system, PC, software, tech, Vista, Windows, Windows 7, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 64 Comments

Get 3.5

Today I got tired of waiting for Firefox to tell me there is “a new version available” — like it normally does — and so I manually told it to upgrade to the newest version... which has been out for a while now (ahem).

To do that, click on “Help”, and then click “Check for Updates”.

What’s New in Firefox 3.5

Firefox 3.5 offers many changes over the previous version, supporting new web technologies, improving performance and ease of use. Some of the notable features are:

  • Improved tools for controlling your private data, including a Private Browsing Mode.
  • Support for the HTML5 <video> and <audio> elements including native support for Ogg Theora encoded video and Vorbis encoded audio. (Try it here!)
  • Better web application performance using the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.
  • The ability to share your location with websites using Location Aware Browsing. (Try it here!)
  • Support for native JSON, and web worker threads.
  • Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.
  • Support for new web technologies such as: downloadable fonts, CSS media queries, new transformations and properties, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 local storage and offline application storage, <canvas> text, ICC profiles, and SVG transforms.

Of that list of super kewl & neato doodads and gizmos and whatsajingies, I am really only interested in the topmost item — privacy (although, faster is always good!). I want it, and the first thing I did was to turn it on.

To do that:
1) Click on “Tools”, and then “Options”.
2) Click on the Privacy tab and place a check in the “Automatically start..” checkbox.

3) Click on “OK”.

Today’s free link(s):
RadarSync PC Updater – Free Driver Update Software

Are wireless keyboards secure?

Today’s free download: What? You haven’t tried Firefox yet? What are you waiting for? Click here and try Firefox 3.5 today!

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

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July 5, 2009 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, how to, Internet | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Latest Flash Version Breaks Things

No, you aren’t seeing things, and no, it’s (probably) not a new infection on your machine.
Adobe’s recent Flash Player update has caused a lot of trouble (particularly to Firefox users)  by failing to work with several web sites that rely heavily on Flash.

You may find it easiest to use IE until Adobe and Webmasters get the glitch squared away.

November 14, 2008 Posted by | browsers, computers, Firefox, IE 7, Internet, News, performance, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The WWDC and MobileMe

For the sake of ratings, I simply must write something about the hot topic on the Web right now– a topic so hot (how hot is it?) that the amount of “buzz” has caused the social networking/blogging site Twitter to crash under the burden.
That topic is Apple’s WWDC (aka “Stevenotes”*).

The Worldwide Developer Conference has become (one of) the venues where Apple offers sneak peek (preview) at new products and technologies… A glimpse at what the immediate future holds.
(Personally, I find such teases annoying, but the iFanatics feel different, I guess.)

For instance, this year, we were told about OS 10.6 (aka “Snow Leopard”).. which won’t offer any new features and we might see it in a year. WooHoo!!! Yay!!! I mean.. yawn.
And we’re told about a new version (2.0) of the iPhone’s OS, which will affect every person on the planet. Not.

Can you tell? Even though this event is being held right up the road, and I am a World Renown Tech Journalist, I made no effort to attend, and am too experienced to get wow!-ed by the hype. I also confess, I am not a iPerson/iFanatic.

Yet, there are some interesting and relevant items to note: Namely, Apple’s investment in bringing to us the “wonders” of cloud computing with MobileMe and the 20GB iDisk (and they’re hoping.. the 3G iPhone). This video from the conference explains, and demostrates. (For some reason I can’t embed the video, so you need to click the link. Sorry.)

This $99/year service will work “cross platform” (Windows/Mac/Linux) and across devices.

Here we really are looking at “Web 2.0”, and the future of computing. People, before too long, will be storing their whole lives and all their personal information on the Internet. So that we can share it.
Has anyone considered the security implications?

I’m an old dinosaur, and I’m a curmudgeon to boot.. I think there already is too much personal information available about us on the Web, and I’m not about to go putting my address book and calendar (and.. my accounting program?) there.
But those of the Look At Me Generation will probably be clamoring for it.

[update 8/1/08: I have been following MobileMe in various user forums, and tech blogs– the general impression I get is that MobileMe doesn’t work, and is causing intense frustration amongst the public.]

* A reference to the fact that the keynote address is usually given by Apple founder Steve Jobs.

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

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June 11, 2008 Posted by | Apple, blogging, computers, Internet, iPhone, PC, Portable Computing, privacy, tech, Web 2.0 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A heads-up for AVG users– scary pop-up

This morning there was a rather alarming waiting for me, that sure got my attention in a hurry.
It said (I’m kind of paraphrasing): Warning– AVG 7.5 will stop checking for new signatures effective May 31st June 25th.

Loyal Friends and True of this series will already be aware of a couple of facts (as I have said them often enough), and will reiterate them here:
* An anti-malware tool (such as an antivirus) that is not receiving the latest updates is for all intents and purposes useless. This can happen if its subscription has ‘expired’, or it is improperly configured. (To read how to make sure this isn’t you, click here.)
* I am a big fan of the free (top-rated) antivirus scanner, AVG.

So, I read the details in the pop-up to find out why my beloved AVG was going to go the way of the dodo bird and T-Rex on May 31st June 25th. I was relieved to learn that AVG 7.5 was being phased out, and replaced with the new Version 8.0, and if I wanted, I could go ahead and upgrade to 8 now. So I did.*

The screenshot shows the web page that opens.
Now, I had to look at this twice. And each time I looked it, it sure seemed to me like I was being forced to buy a Internet security suite for $55 (If I wanted to stay with AVG).
My initial reaction was.. well, I got a little hot under the collar (to use a little of the ‘hip’ slang of today, I got “bent”).

And then I saw — way down at the very bottom — the link I was looking for, and I stopped cursing: AVG 8 can be downloaded for free. (To do so now, click here.)

I clicked the link and installed the new Version 8.0, which went very smoothly (on both an XP and Vista machines). New to AVG 8.0 is anti-spyware protection, and the option to include a AVG toolbar.

To get the full benefits of the toolbar, you (of course) need the paid version. In the free, you only get “safe search”, which is essentially just a site filter in combination with Yahoo Search. I see no real benefit to installing the free-version toolbar.

This is the new 8.0 user interface.

* Tip of the day: Don’t panic, “freak out”, or “get bent”– like I did. Just scroll down to the bottom and click the link for the free AVG 8.0. (please read the Comments section, below [or click “Comments” up near the title], it may very well be that you will want to hold off on this upgrade for a while… )

[Addenda: For those of you seeking how to make the pop-up go away, you can either uninstall 7.5, or upgrade to 8. You are not going to be allowed to sit on 7.5.]

Today’s free link: The paid version of 8.0’s toolbar does include a good technology, the LinkScanner Website analyzer. While the paid for edition of LinkScanner is commendable, the free “Lite” version is an excellent addition to your safe surfing arsenal. To get it, click here.

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

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May 13, 2008 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, e-mail, how to, PC, security, software, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments