The PC market grows unexpectedly, thanks to tariff fears and the Windows 7 transition | PCWorld

The PC market grew by almost 5 percent in the second quarter, helped by Microsoft’s Windows 7 transition and a greater supply of Intel chips.

Overall, 64.858 million PCs were sold worldwide, IDC said, a 4.7 percent increase. A year ago, HP topped the list of worldwide vendors. For the second quarter, however, a whopping 18.2-percent increase in year-over-year sales propelled China’s Lenovo to the top of the list.

Read More @ PCWorld

How To Scan Documents To PDF Using FastStone Image Viewer

I have written about FastStone Image Viewer here on the blog in the past and can attest that it is probably one of the best, if not the best, image viewer out there. As a matter of fact, it carries a 5 star CNet rating. I think if you use it you will find that it is more than just an image viewer

FastStone Image Viewer is a fast, stable, user-friendly image browser, converter and editor. It has a nice array of features that include image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, retouching and color adjustments. Its innovative but intuitive full-screen mode provides quick access to EXIF information, thumbnail browser and major functionalities via hidden toolbars that pop up when your mouse touches the four edges of the screen. Other features include a high quality magnifier and a musical slideshow with 150+ transitional effects, as well as lossless JPEG transitions, drop shadow effects, image annotation, scanner support, histogram and much more. It supports all major graphic formats (BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, PSD, EPS, TIFF, WMF, ICO and TGA) and popular digital camera RAW formats (CRW, CR2, NEF, PEF, RAF, MRW, ORF, SRF, ARW, SR2, RW2 and DNG).

For example, buried in Fastone Image Viewer is an option where you can scan documents and save them as PDF files. I personally use this all of the time to convert my paper documents to the digital PDF format.

To get to this feature, launch FastStone Image Viewer, click on the File menu, and select Acquire Image From Scanner.

FastStone - Scan to PDF

You will then be taken to the Acquire Image From Scanner workspace where you simply click on the scan button to begin your scans.

Typically, by default, this will launch your scanner software.  You can scan single documents or perform batch scans were you scan one document after another. When done, select save and select the PDF Format option.

FastStone - Scan To PDF

Also, on an added note, you can also save image files in FastStone Image Viewer to the PDF format, as well.  Very powerful image viewer utility that can either be installed or used as a portable app.

Having problems accessing your shares on your Windows 10 PC using SMB (or ES File Explorer)?

ES File Explorer is my favorite Android based file manager. Months ago I ended up uninstalling it from all of my Android devices due to one of the features I used to access the file shares on my local area network (in my home), using a networking protocol called Samba (or SMB),  stopped working. I ended up installing numerous other Android based file managers and experienced the same issue and came to the conclusion that a Windows 10 update broke the network connection. My Android devices could see my computer on the network, but would not allow me to connect. The only Android based file manager that worked was Xplore. After months of using Xplore I decided to revisit ES File Explorer to see if there was a fix and discovered the problem still existed. This time around my gut was telling me it was a Windows 10 network connectivity issue. I was bound and determined to find a solution…

I ended up landing at a site called WindowsTenFORUMS; and, low and behold, after some extensive digging I found a solution to my problem. I know there are numerous other people out there with this same issue and as a result, I decided to post the solution here, as well.

If you go to this LINK and scroll down the page until you see “waddles” (Junior Member), you will see the solution.

For quick reference, the solution is:

Hi There,

I had this problem (and bro’s posts did not help at all), but I discovered you can login using ES File Explorer without much issue, only that your username is not what you would expect.

Instead of using the full e-mail address of your Microsoft account, just use the first five characters. I’m not sure if that’s how it generates the username, but you can check what it exactly is by typing ‘whoami’ in command prompt, and your username will appear after the slash for the domain.

I almost gave up on ES File Explorer after figuring out that this instantly solved my problem.

What “waddles” is saying here is that if you go to the Windows Command Prompt and type in “whoami” you will see your username after the slash. For example, after typing “whoami” at the command prompt, my computer identified me as “asus-pc\rick”.  Now when I log into my PC, using ES File Explorer, via Samba (SMB), I use “rick” as the username; then, I enter my password as I normally would. This worked perfectly…

An Overview Of The AnVir Task Manager

I recently featured the AnVir Task Manager here on the blog and can’t say enough about its’ usefulness. If you are a tech or someone who assists other’s with their Windows based computers I highly recommend you download the portable version of this application. To explain everything that this program can do (and monitor) I have posted below a link to a tutorial video.  This program has many, many features and will even serve as a level of protection for your computer to protect you from malware and viruses. Anvir Task Manager goes over and above any task managers that I know of. 

CLICK HERE to see an extensive Overview Video 

AnVir Task Manager

 

A Solution To Auto-Encrypt Files That You Store In The Cloud

At times I think we are getting to comfortable with storing our personal files in the cloud; whether be Dropbox, GDrive, OneDrive, etc… Once those files leave your PC they are out there and in essence will always be out there (even if you delete them).  A level of protection to look at that I found at I Love Free Software is Cryptomator.

I Love Free Software provides a very nice (and brief) tutorial on how to set up Cryptomator to ultimately encrypt the files you are syncing with Dropbox; however, as pointed out, this process will work with many of the online cloud drive providers.

HOW TO AUTO ENCRYPT FILES
BEFORE UPLOADING THEM TO DROPBOX

 

(Portable) Malware Removal Emergency Kit

Hardly a week goes by anymore that I don’t run into someone (or assist someone) that is experiencing a malware infection of some magnitude on their computers. I typically do not commit myself to removing these infections anymore due to the time element (many hours) involved in researching the issue, gathering (and updating) the necessary removal tools, and actually attempting to remove the infection. Removing a malware infection can be frustrating and in the end it is even questionable (after an infection) whether it is completely removed. In the end, probably the best tool to have around is your OS recovery disks.

If you are someone that does provide a service for removing malware, a tool to consider (that is portable), in your tech toolbox, is the Emsisoft Emergency Kit.

The Emsisoft Emergency Kit contains a collection of programs that can be used without software installation to scan for malware and clean infected computers: Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanner and Emsisoft Command-line Scanner.

I downloaded the kit (approx. 233mb) and launched the “Start Emergency Kit Scanner.exe”; peformed and updated the malware signature database files; and, performed a scan. What I found is that it is pretty easy to use; however, I am not sure of the how powerful the scanner is in comparison to the competitors. If you are familiar with this kit, please feel free to let us know your experiences with it. I like the idea it is portable, can be used in safe mode (or from a recovery environment) and can be run from the command-line in order to remove a particularly stubborn infection. Many malware infections will overtake your computer to the point that you may not be able to run, update and/or install malware removal software; thus, the portability of this kit and other outside the box options are a plus.

 Emsisoft Emergency Kit

Emsisoft Emergency Kit

A FREE Tool That Allows You To Quickly Turn OFF/ON (and Schedule) Your Internet Connection

I have featured the tool InternetOff here on the blog before. Recently I noticed that InternetOff has now been upgraded to include a scheduling feature, which give you the ability to schedule your access to the internet. 

InternetOff allows you to quickly turn off the internet so that you can go offline. When you need the connection, you can enable the internet easily for some period (and it will be automatically turned off) or permanently in just two clicks. Besides the program lets you password protect and schedule access to the internet.

This tool is a great asset if you are on a metered connection (such as satellite); to shutdown the internet to protect your PC from potential security threats; to shutdown (and schedule) your children’s usage; OR, to simply shutdown the internet to avoid the distractions (such as notifications from email, facebook, twitter, etc…), so that you can work (offline) on other matters of importance.

InternetOff

Version: 3.0, Size: 1.9 MB

10/8/7/Vista/XP, 32/64 bit

Malwarebytes’ Junkware Removal Tool

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-018)

Malwarebytes has a junkware removal tool that I was unaware about that will aggressively perform the following tasks:

  • Removes adware that spawn popup ads, such as Conduit
  • Uninstalls unwanted toolbars and browser helper objects, including the Ask and Babylon toolbars
  • Removes potentially unwanted programs (PUPs)
  • Cleans up traces left behind by PUPs

I am a big user of the Malwarebyte products and decided to give this tool a test run. To run the tool, simply download and run it. A command-line window will open up that will prompt you to hit a key on your keyboard to launch the program.  If you have any browser windows open, they will automatically be closed. In the end I found that the tool is pretty aggressive in its’ cleaning to the point it actually removed one of my Chrome browser extensions that I use on a regular basis.  With that being said, I recommend you make a note of what extensions you have. If you are in a situation where you find your PC running slow and suspect an infection, you may want to run this tool.

Malwarebytes Junkware Removal Tool

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Free Alternative to Office365 Called Open365I Love Free Software has a great article about LibreOffice’s new alternative to Office365 called Open365. After reading the article I went ahead and opened an account (for FREE) at Open365  (which appears to be in beta). Once I opened the account, client software was downloaded to my PC; which, I opted to not install. Instead, I went directly to the cloud-based version of Open365. First impression, not bad…  Will be keeping an eye on this.

Open365

Open365

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ZOTAC ZBOX E series Mini PC
with Intel Core i5 4200U, dual-core, 1.6 GHz, Turbo up to 2.6 GHz Barebone System

ZOTAC ZBOX E series Mini PC

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Easy Screen Capture MP3 Direct Cut

 Remove QuickTime Windows 10 Interruption

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Evernote and Google Keep Made Some Nice Upgrades This Past Week

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-017)

Evernote and Google Keep are my two main note keeping applications. Evernote is for the important stuff and Google Keep is for the unimportant stuff.  Both are cloud based and are available on numerous platforms.

Unveiling the new Evernote for Windows

This past week Evernote made some noticeable improvements that made navigation of the sidebar more intuitive, searches are now more refined, and notebooks (and tags) can be color coded.  Read more about the changes to Evernote by CLICKING HERE.

The most noticeable improvement this past week to Google Keep is the NEW Google Keep Chrome extension that gives you the ability to save web pages, images and selected text with ease. To take a look at the Google Keep Chrome extension, CLICK HERE .

Both of these applications are especially helpful in keeping track of the things in our life; whether important and/or unimportant.

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Relive The Sinking Of The Titanic In This Real-Time Animation – If you got 2 hours and 40 minutes to spare, you can relive the final hours of the Titanic. The video has been viewed almost 3 million times on YouTube, with many people commenting that they watched the whole animation.

Sinking Of The Titanic Animation

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  Word Search

Windows 10 Demo

How To Run Applications Without Installing

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Holy Stone U818A HD Plus | Drone with Camera | One Key Return | Low Battery Warning | Headless Mode Function | 2.4GHz 4 Chanel 6-Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter Includes Bonus Battery and Goggles

Drone

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Protect Your Android Apps From Unwanted Access

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-016)

Recently I have been paying special attention to folks who have Android smartphones (and tablets) and I am noticing that the majority do not have their phones locked down (either with a pin code or pattern lock). I highly recommend that you get into the security setting on your devices and lock them down; preferably, with a pin code so that when your phone is turned “on” or awakened out of its’ sleep mode, a code (that you pre-designate) is required to access and operate the phone. You will not realize the importance of this “slight” inconvenience, until your phone is misplaced.

To take this a step further, there are apps available that allow you pass code protect individual apps to prevent apps from being launched on your phone (or tablet) in the event you hand off the device to someone else, such as your kids. An app locker that I have been testing out is called Avira Applock+. What I like about Applock+ is that it is very easy to setup; and, it specifically focuses on securing access to your apps (and not a bunch of other stuff is bundled with it). An included powerful feature in the FREE version is the unlimited remote device management, where you can remotely lock and unlock apps on your managed phones (as many as you like!) from Avira Online Essentials – your online dashboard.

Avira Applock+

 AppLock+- screenshot

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A Surge Protector For High-End Home and Professional Workstations – Here is a surge protector that is highly recommended.  It is the Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector that is a #1 Best Seller at Amazon. This surge protector is built to protect professional workstations, laser printers, telephones, home-theater systems, and everyday household electronics. While it is recommended for heavy duty devices, it can also be used to protect other household electronics as well without problem.

Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector

Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector

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Q-Dir  Windows 10 Emulation

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Google Calendar Keeps Getting Better And Better – You may not have noticed; but, as of this month, a new feature has been implemented that will allow you to create reminders in your calendar. 

Just like on Android and iPhone, you’ll get the following:

  • Reminders stick around – If a reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your calendar until you mark it done.
  • Reminders work across Google – Reminders you create in Inbox, Keep, and the Google app will also show in Google Calendar.
  • Reminders sync with mobile – Reminders created in mobile show up on the web and vice versa. So you can stay on track from just about anywhere.

To read more on this, CLICK HERE

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How To Watch YouTube In TV Mode On Your Computer

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-015)

This week’s blog posting on “How To Watch YouTube In TV Mode On Your Computer” is actually a very easy posting for me. To go into the YouTube TV Mode on your computer, simply open your browser and type in the following URL: https://www.youtube.com/tv … That is all there is to it. Once you are there there are three very easy keyboard commands you need to know. By hitting the “G” key on your keyboard, a guide will slide out from the left side of the screen. To perform a YouTube search, simply hit the “S” key on your keyboard. If you need to go back to the Home Screen, simply hit the “ESC” key on your keyboard. You can also easily navigate YouTube.com/TV with your mouse (pay special attention to the sidebar on the left side of the screen).

YouTube TV

YouTube.com/TV is also called YouTube Leanback and can also be launched by entering the URL of https://www.youtube.com/leanback. This mode of watching YouTube, which is commonly not known (or is forgotten about), is especially beneficial for those who have the larger computer monitors or have a media center set up on a large screen TV.

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File Encryption Software That I Was Unaware Of – Have you ever heard of MEO File Encryption Software? I was unaware it existed and glad that I found it. A free version is available for non-commercial use. If you like it, I found that following the install you can copy the folder where MEO File Encryption is installed to your flash drive and turn it into a portable app. Very nice (and easy) file encryption software with the following features (in the FREE version): Easily encrypt files and folders; Decrypt files that have been encrypted; Encrypt emails and send within MEO; and Create self-extracting encrypted files that can be decrypted without encryption software.

MEO File Encryption Software

More MEO Encryption Software Screenshots

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Reddit App ScreenShader

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Learn To Tie Knots Online – Check out Animated Knots by Grog that is described on the site as “TIE KNOTS THE FUN AND EASY WAY – Better to know a knot and not need it, than need a knot and not know it”. There is a desktop and mobile version available.

Animated Knots by Grog

Animated Knots

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Bet You Never Saw This Before – I have been looking around for a bluetooth capable mouse for my Android tablet and came across a mouse with a bluetooth speaker built into it. It is called the Aerb® Wireless Bluetooth Speaking Mouse . I haven’t decided whether to splurge for this (just to have something different); but, I have never seen anything like it.  A mouse with a speaker built into it is a really neat concept; especially, for a tablet or smartphone.

Aerb® Wireless Bluetooth Speaking Mouse

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I Use CCleaner, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, And Bitdefender Antivirus Free To Keep My PC Safe (and Clean)

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-014)

I have been involved with computers for nearly 30 years. I have never installed any “paid” antivirus software products and have solely relied on common sense and the FREE products that are available (and suitable for computers in the home). I have never had a virus on any of my home based computers. As you noticed, I mentioned “common sense” as one of the factors, which may be easier said than done. I do believe that you have to develop that sixth sense (or gut feeling) in knowing when you are entering potentially dangerous territory. On the software side I currently use three products to help keep my computers (at home) safe and clean.

CCleaner – Without a doubt, CCleaner is the number one optimization tool that not only cleans your computer, but also aids in keeping your computer safe. There is a FREE version and a paid version. I have always gotten along just fine with the free version.

Laptop showing the CCleaner interface - 1 billion downloads

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – Detects and removes malware on an infected computer with industry-leading anti-malware, anti-spyware, and anti-rootkit tech. Scans for the newest and most dangerous threats. Safely removes malware. One thing to point out at the start is that the FREE version of Malwarebytes is only a scanning utility and does not provide real-time protection. You can get the real-time protection by purchasing the commercial version of their software. Don’t let this deter you from downloading the FREE version. I use the FREE version and make a habit to manually download the updates and perform routine scans of my computer. If I was going to purchase protection for my computer, I would definitely go with the “paid” version of this software (so that it runs continuously in the background, stopping infections before they happen. Scans automatically and halts attempted attacks).

Malwarebytyes Anti-Malware

Bitdefender Antivirus FREE Edition – What I like about Bitdefender is that it is “smart and silent”. Once you install the FREE version, you will have to register with an email address; then, after that you will not even know it is on your computer. Bitdefender has a great reputation and has been well reviewed. As a reminder, when installing antivirus software; always remove (uninstall) any other antivirus software you have installed on your computer.

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A NEW Tool For The Tech Toolbox – Saw this on betaNews, “Investigate your PC’s RAM use with ATM“… This tool, called ATM performs an in-depth, low-level look at your PC’s system memory use. If you are a troubleshooter, ATM may be right up your alley. Being an old dumb PC Tech, this one was definitely above my level of comprehension (which isn’t much these days)…

ATM

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Easily Control Automatic and Unwanted Windows 7 & 8.1 Upgrading to Windows 10 – Here is a “How To”  @ Tech-for Everyone on using a utility called Never 10 that will disable the Windows 10 Upgrade (wiith just one click). Many folks are sticking to or reverting back to earlier versions of Windows due to the privacy concerns in Windows 10.

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Windows 10 Secret Apps View Basket

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REFURBISHED
(GREAT RATINGS)

HP Desktop Core 2 Duo 3.00GHZ 4GB 1TB DVD Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit , WIFI ,19″ LCD

HP Desktop Core 2 Duo 3.00GHZ 4GB 1TB DVD Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit , WIFI ,19" LCD

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How To Install Windows Without A Bootable Disk — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-013)

How To Install Windows Without A Bootable Disk – Typically, to install Windows you will need some type of bootable media (such as a DVD or USB drive). To get around this often cumbersome process there is a new product recently released called WinToHDD.

WinToHDD is a handy and useful Windows software that allows you to install or reinstall Microsoft Windows without using a CD/DVD or USB drive. With this All-in-One Microsoft Windows Setup application, you can easily reinstall Microsoft Windows, install Microsoft Windows onto disks other than the one where your Microsoft Windows operating system is installed, or clone current Windows OS installation (Windows vista or later) to other disk.

WinToHDD

I first came across WinToHDD at I Love Free Software, where they have authored a quick tutorial on how to use WinToHDD and the precautions to take…

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Love Scrabble??? – If so, check out the 5 Best Scrabble Games For Android @ Android Authority. All of these scrabble takeoffs can be played against other opponents.  If you are looking for a scrabble game that you can play solo against your device, check out my favorite, called Classic Words Solo

 Classic Words Solo- screenshot

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Find Out Who and What Is Connected To Your Wireless Network – To rule out the possibility of someone piggy backing off of your wireless network, download and run (portable app) Wireless Network Watcher

Wireless Network Watcher is a small utility that scans your wireless network and displays the list of all computers and devices that are currently connected to your network. For every computer or device that is connected to your network, the following information is displayed: IP address, MAC address, the company that manufactured the network card, and optionally the computer name. You can also export the connected devices list into html/xml/csv/text file, or copy the list to the clipboard and then paste into Excel or other spreadsheet application.

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UniExtract2 – Some of you geeksters out there may have heard of UniExtract (or Universal Extractor), that allows you to  extract files from a wide variety of archive files, including ZIP, ARJ, LZH, as well as MSI and EXE files created using various installer packages (such as Nullsoft, Wise, Inno Setup, etc). I primarily use it to decompress installer packages, when possible. Universal Extractor 2 is an unofficial updated and extended version of the original UniExtract by Jared Breland (that is currently in development). It brings several hundred changes including community-wanted ones such as a batch mode, auto-updater and scan-only-functionality.

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Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 64GB USB – What I love about this USB drive is the price and that it will attach easily to your key ring.

Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 64GB USB

Kingston DTSE9 Flash Drive

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Microsoft Edge Browser To Get Extensions Support — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-012)

Microsoft Edge Browser To Get Extensions Support – If you use Google Chrome or Firefox, then you are familiar with browser extensions that extend the functionality of the browser. Microsoft recently announced that they have shipped the first preview release of Microsoft Edge with extensions support to Windows Insiders. Microsoft Edge is the browser that we see in Windows 10. To us at home, we will not see this just yet. I am also reading in various places where Microsoft is working on a tool that will let developers port Chrome extensions to Microsoft Edge… READ MORE

Microsoft Edge

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Crush Malware With Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – I have featured the FREE version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in the past and thought this would be a good time to once again promote this “must have” security software. One thing to point out at the start is that the FREE version of Malwarebytes is only a scanning utility and does not provide real-time protection. You can get the real-time protection by purchasing the commercial version of their software. Don’t let this deter you from downloading the FREE version. I use the FREE version and make a habit to manually download the updates and perform routine scans of my computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytyes Anti-Malware

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Launch Your Windows Desktop Like An iPad – How would you like to double click on your Windows desktop and a program (or shortcut) launcher appears that allows you to customize and launch your favorite programs, apps, files, folders or web URLs? If so, you need to take a look at PaperPlane. I have always loved program launchers and this one is no exception. PaperPlane Smart Launch is a free launcher program (shortcut manager) which enables you to launch your desktop like an iPad. If you are familiar with Mac OS Launchpad, you could say that it’s a better Launchpad just for your Windows. It enables you to quickly access your most used apps, open a recent file, visit a website URL, play your favorite game, or open any shortcut etc, in one place.

PaperPlane

PaperPlane

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A Best Seller Portable Hard Drive – Looking for a way to safeguard your personal files? The WD 2TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive (w/USB 3.0) may be the solution you are looking for. I currently use a similar Western Digital portable drive to backup my personal files that I then transport and store offsite (away from my home) — READ MORE

WD 2TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive

WD 2TB Black My Passport Ultra Portable External Hard Drive

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A GREAT Site For Parents Of Teenagers — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-011)

A GREAT Site For Parents Of Teenagers – I am going to start this off by saying, teenagers are masters of deception. With each generation of teenagers, comes with it a whole new set of complexities. This is nothing new; however, with the advent of the internet where there are numerous avenues of instant communication (through social media and texting), a “good teen” can end up being enticed to make bad choices that can ultimately impact their future. As a parent, when we discover there is something wrong (and we are deceived) we start reaching out for information and solutions; often going to the internet as a resource. This in itself ends up being quite stressful and confusing.

P.U.R.E.

If you are a parent of a teen (or a soon to be teen), I found a great resource called P.U.R.E (Parents Universal Resource Experts), that you definitely need to visit; AND, if you are not a parent of a teen I encourage you to visit the site to get a feel for the complexities that our young people are being exposed to. For example, I started looking for resources at P.U.R.E that were related to the internet and computers and here is a “small” sampling of what I found:

To be honest, I am glad I am not a parent of a teenager in today’s world. If I were, I would be checking this site out to educate myself in an effort to help prevent my “good teen” from making bad decisions. Part of it is learning just exactly what is going on in their world.

Parent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.™) was founded in 2001 by author and parent advocate, Sue Scheff. Since that time, P.U.R.E.™ has provided over 50,000 families with valuable information and resources for their at risk children and teens. These are teens who are struggling with peer pressure, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and are simply good kids starting to make bad choices.

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NEW Outline Tool In Google Docs – This past week Google Apps announced the launch of an “Outline Tool” that will be very helpful when navigating complex documents with many pages. The tool is displayed in a pane on the left side of the page, which will allow you to quickly jump to a page, via headers. I have tried this with a lengthy training manual I had put together and it is awesome.

Hmmm… With this added feature and Google’s strong search capabilities, I can see me possibly setting up a notebook (like Evernote and OneNote). Will have to play around with this more. To read more about this NEW feature — CLICK HERE

Google Docs Outline Tool

B12.png

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Difference Between Portable And Installer Software – You will often see here on the blog where I write about various software programs or apps. As a matter of fact, if you go to the Downloads page you will find a good sampling of FREE software that includes Portable Apps and Installer Software. If you often wondered what difference is between portable software and installer software, I encourage you to visit the The Windows Club to read their recent posting “Difference between Portable and Installer edition software“.

The Windows Club – Difference Between Portable And Installer Edition Software

Portable and Installer edition software

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Turn Any HDMI Supported Device Into A Computer – Take the ASUS CHROMEBIT CS10 Stick-Desktop PC, plug it into a HDMI device (i.e. TV), and you have a Chrome OS based computer. With the built-in bluetooth, you can pair a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Powered by the latest Chrome OS, Chromebit CS10 boots up in seconds and delivers Full HD graphics performance. Together with 2GB of memory, 16GB of eMMC storage, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and both USB and HDMI ports…

ASUS CHROMEBIT CS10 Stick-Desktop PC

ASUS Chromebit CS10

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Beware Of The Social Security Email Scam — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-10)

Beware Of The Social Security Email Scam – I felt this important enough to “pass it on” and post about the most recent Social Security Email Scam where you receive a phlishing email that leads you to believe it is from the Social Security Administration. I first read about this on the Comsumer Reports website.

Here is what Consumer Reports had to say about this scam:

This Social Security email is a classic phishing ploy, a form of identity theft in which hackers use fraudulent websites and fake emails to attempt to steal your personal data, especially passwords and credit card information. Clicking on the link may open your computer to malware, such as viruses and spyware. Or the link might send you to a spoof site—a copycat version of the Social Security Administration’s site—to trick you into entering your personal information, including your Social Security number [source: Consumer Reports]

It is important to report all questionable emails to the FTC and to the organization impersonated in the email. You can initiate a scam report at the FTC Complaint Assistant web site by — CLICKING HERE .

How problematic are scams, such as this? I encourage you to visit the FTC’s Scam Alert page to see the multiple listing of “known” scams — CLICK HERE . What I find is that the scammers will follow similar patterns in their scams by using clever schemes to get people to send money or give out personal information. I have found that the scammers prey on the elderly, who came from a trusting generation. Always, with most things in life these days, “believe nothing and verify everything”.

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TCAT Shelbyville Blogs Windows 10 Update Information – Thank goodness I follow the TCAT Shelbyville blog. I just learned this past week, from their site, that Microsoft has unleashed and update that is quite large in size (+500 mb). These large updates affect those who are on limited bandwidth’s (such as a satellite connection); and, they are wondering why they are mysteriously exceeding their bandwidth limitations. Actually, looking at what this update consists of, they should have called it an upgrade (LOL)…  I encourage you to visit the TCAT Shelbyville Technical Blog to learn more… Again, to see detailed information about Windows 10 Updates, you can visit Microsoft’s new site that provides a history on these updates (click here)…

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My Favorite Third Party Windows Task ManagerAnVir Task Manager FREE is the task manager that I use and carry in my tech toolbox (a portable version is available, as well as the full install version). If you look at the graphic below, you will see that this task manager is like a swiss utility knife. I have included this program on the download’s page under the software and portable apps swarms.

AnVir Task Manager FREE

 AnVir Task Manager is a swiss knife

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A Dual-Pane Tree View File Explorer For Android – I recently switched over from ES File Explorer to X-plore File Manager and have not regretted it since. Don’t get me wrong, ES File Explorer is an excellent file manager, as well; however the big “main” feature I like about X-plore is the dual-pane tree view. This feature allows you to toggle from one file location to another, making file management faster (and easier). X-plore, like ES File Explorer, is loaded with all the features you would need for an android based application. I highly recommend X-plore…

X-plore File Manager

 X-plore File Manager- screenshot

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A SanDisk Flash Drive With Dual Micro-USB and USB 3.0 Connectors – With the dual connections, the SanDisk Ultra 64GB USB 3.0 OTG Flash Drive With micro USB connector For Android Mobile Devices gives you the luxury of connecting this drive to your Windows OS based computer and to your Android OS based phone (or tablet).

SanDisk Ultra 64GB USB 3.0 OTG Flash Drive
With micro USB connector For Android Mobile Devices

SanDisk Dual USB

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FREE Kapersky Security Tools — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-09)

FREE Kapersky Security Tools – Kaspersky Lab is world renown for its’ security products, such as anti-virus, anti-malware and firewall applications, in addition to security systems designed for small business, corporations and large enterprises.

Kaspersky Lab

In addition to their fine security applications, they also have a page setup — CLICK HERE — where you can download a variety of FREE security tools that they have put together that you may be interested in:

Kaspersky Software Updater – Keep your PC software up-to-date and secure. The tool automatically gives you a list of new updates, and applies only those ones you select.

Kaspersky Password Manager – Securely store your passwords & sync them across PC, Mac, iPhone & iPad and Android devices – for safer access to accounts, apps & websites.

Kaspersky Cleaner (link is direct file dowloand) – Make your PC run smoothly & effectively, by cleaning it from junk files & temporary items – and tune up your digital privacy.

Kaspersky Safe Kids – Protect your kids from digital dangers – so they can enjoy and learn more from the digital world.

Kaspersky Security Scan – Scan your PC for malware that may be hidden on it. Get a detailed security status report – plus tips on improving your PC protection.

Kaspersky Rescue Disk (link is direct file download) – Check and cure your computer when it is critically infected and it is impossible to boot the operating system.

Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool  (link is direct file download)- Get quick help for your PC. Download an efficient tool to clean up your computer from viruses, Trojans, malware, adware and more.

Kaspersky Internet Security – (Multi-Device) Get the one-license solution that delivers premium protection for your money, kids, privacy and more on PC, Mac and Mobile.

My Kaspersky – Remotely manage the security of all your devices from a simple web portal – plus get access to free Kaspersky security services.

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Craigslist On Steroids – I have been trying to pay more attention to some of the Windows Store apps (for Windows 8.1 and 10) and hope to feature some of the apps that I think are worth installing. One of the first apps I installed (since I am a Craigslist user) was CPlus for Craigslist. If you are a Craigslist user, I encourage you to definitely take a look at this app. Makes browsing Craigslist a much more enjoyable and streamlined (faster) experience.

CPlus for Craigslist

Screenshot: Main Page

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How To Create A Slide To Shutdown Shortcut In Windows 10 – The Windows Club has given us a “how to” Create A Slide To Shutdown Shortcut In Windows 10. Once you follow their instructions, simply click on the shortcut and the lock screen will roll half way down the screen. When it stops, simply take your mouse and drag it to the bottom edge of the screen and your computer will commence to shutdown. You can back out of this, if you decide to not pull down the lock screen (from the halfway point), by hitting the “esc” key on your keyboard (at which point the lock down screen will roll back to the top).  To add to this, I right clicked the shortcut I added and selected a different icon (such as the shutdown icon). I then pinned the shortcut to my taskbar. This shortcut makes shutting down your PC much easier…

To add to this, I right clicked the shortcut I created and selected a different icon (such as the shutdown icon). I then pinned the shortcut to my taskbar. This shortcut makes shutting down your PC much easier…

Create A Slide To Shutdown Shortcut In Windows 10

Create Slide To Shutdown shortcut

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An Ultrasmall Highspeed USB 3.0 Flash Drive That’s Ideal For Notebooks – Last year I installed a 128 GB SSD drive in my old notebook computer. To compliment that drive, I am looking to get one of these small USB low profile drives to give me more space (to store personal files). Right now my radar has me looking at the SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

SanDisk Ultra Fit 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

SanDisk Ultra Fit 128 GB

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Don’t Throw Away That Old Computer. Turn It Into A Chromebook (sort of) — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-08)

Don’t Throw Away That Old Computer. Turn It Into A Chromebook (sort of) – Neverware, a New York City startup, is in the business of taking old computers and refurbishing them into “Chromebooks” (sort of). Actually you could call them Chromiumbooks, due they use a modified version of Chromium (instead of Google Chrome) that will work on most hardware. The difference between Chromium and Chrome are undistinguishable. The good about this is that the software to convert that old computer to a Chromebook or to create a dual-boot system, is free to individual users. If you are interested in giving this a try, the download and instructions can be found by HERE.

Neverware

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Sandbox Your Web Browser (or any application) With SHADE Sandbox – Most everyone that is into computers is familiar with Sandboxie and its’ isolation technology. Well, there is another competitive option out there called “SHADE Sandbox. SHADE Sandbox is an alternative for antivirus and a tool for virtualization. It locally virtualizes applications (i.e. internet browsers) and locks all incoming internet files and possible viruses in its safe virtual environment – a “sandbox”, keeping them isolated from the Operating System to maintain it clean from malware.

SHADE Sandbox

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An Ultimate Tool For Customizing Windows (including Windows 10)  – If you are into customizing the look of Windows to meet your personal taste, then take a look at CustomizerGod.

 CustomizerGod

CustomizerGod in Windows 8.1

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An Android App To Listen To Your News Websites, Online Magazines, RSS Feeds and Blogs – The Android app, called Play News is a nice app that allows you to listen to (read aloud) news, magazines and your selected web content on your phone (or tablet). You can also add to a playlist inbox articles, news, etc… of your choice.  A nice addition to this app is the Google Chrome extension, called Play News: Listen Later, that gives you the ability to add items to your playlist that can be listened to later (for example in your car using full bluetooth support).

Play News

 PlayNews: Listen to news sites- screenshot

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Speaking Of Chromebooks – Checkout the Newest Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook 2, featuring: the Intel Dual-Core Celeron N2840 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, 11.6″ HD Display 1366 x 768, Intel® HD Graphics, HD Webcam, Bluetooth, HDMI, 802.11ac, Chrome OS…

Newest Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook 2

Newest Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook 2 (Intel Dual-Core Celeron N2840 2.16GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, 11.6" HD Display 1366 x 768, Intel® HD Graphics, HD Webcam, Bluetooth, HDMI, 802.11ac, Chrome OS)

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Where To Get Windows 10 Update Details — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-07)

Where To Get Windows 10 Update Details – Windows 10, like all previous Windows versions, is recipient to numerous updates that are circulated by Microsoft. These updates are necessary to improve the operating system and keep our computers safe. Microsoft, this past week, beginning with the February 9th update, announced that they have launched a web site detailing the contents of the Windows 10 updates. The site will regularly refresh, as new updates are released. According to Microsoft, “You’ll see a summary of important product developments included in each update, with links to more details”…  If you are someone who is into troubleshooting computer problems, knowing where and how to get to this site may be helpful. I don’t know about you; but, I have seen updates go awry and actually cause problems. Knowing the contents of these updates will be a helpful in solving these problems. To get to the Windows 10 Update History web site — CLICK HERE.

Windows 10 Update History

win10

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A NEW Gmail Feature To Make Email Safer – When using Gmail, if you receive a message from, or are about to send a message to, someone whose email service doesn’t support TLS encryption, you’ll see a broken lock icon in the message. What this is basically telling you is that the email, while in transit, is not encrypted and if intercepted could be read. To learn more about this feature, visit the Official Gmail Blog.

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Microsoft Garage – The Outlet For Experimental Projects – One of my passions is software (especially FREE software). As a matter of fact; trying, testing, and learning about software paved my way into information technology (as a hobby and career). If you are like me and love software (and apps), make sure you check out Microsoft Garage where you will find Workbench Projects (with many being, not only Windows based, but Apple and Android based).

Microsoft Garage

Creating a laser etched and lit rapid prototype in the Makers Garage.

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Computer Wizard

(courtesy of The Meta Picture)

cool-computer-genius-quote

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Farbar Tools To Fight Malware – Farbar is a malware fighter who helps people with malware removal on a variety of security forums.  He has incorporated his own experience and other malware fighters into some useful tools to assist helpers in removing malware. 

Farbar Tools

@

Bleeping Computer

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A Gravity Defying Levitating Bluetooth Speaker – The ICEORB Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker is one of the Amazon Launchpad products that is a floating Speaker Orb spinning above a magnetic base… Am I buying one of these?  No, but this is pretty cool…

ICEORB Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker

ICEORB Portable Wireless Floating Bluetooth Speaker

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Need Help With Windows 10? — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-06)

Need Help With Windows 10? – If you are a newcomer to Windows 10 (or computers) and you need help with Windows 10, you will find on the Microsoft site itself (which is quite large) a section of the site totally devoted to getting help with Windows 10. Many of the answers you may be seeking can be found here — and, if that is of no help you can go so far as to actually talk or chat with someone from Microsoft to get assistance. I personally have never had to go this route; but, I do think it is helpful that the home-based computer user know that these options are available; especially, that you can talk to someone. Also, to my readers, if you know of any third party Windows 10 help sites available, please feel free to share this information in the comments section.

Windows 10 Help

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Virus and Malware Removal Tools – TCAT Shelbyville’s Technical Blog recently pointed out to us that “Often we remember Malwarebytes, Adwcleaner, ComboFix, RKill , Junkware Removal Tool (JRT) or Adware Removal Tool/TSA and forget about tools offered by Anti-virus software manufacturers”…  I encourage you to visit their site to see what those other tools are — CLICK HERE

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Two Guys One Ticket – This is an off-topic video, but is a hack of sorts where two guys (more or less as a challenge) try to get into a movie theatre with one ticket. Appeared to take a lot of work, strength (and personal closeness), but they pulled it off.

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I Am About To Lose A 100 Gigs Of Online Storage – For the past several years I have managed to accumulate 100 GBs of FREE online storage space at Copy.com (by having other people sign up for their service). Well, effective May 1, 2016, Copy and CudaDrive services will be discontinued (after 4+ years of service)… Fortunately, in my case, this is no sweat off my back; due I do not keep all my eggs in one basket. Yes, I am going to miss that 100 gigs; but, this is a good example (or lesson) where we should never completely depend on cloud based services. Personally, when it comes to the important files, I keep a local backup and store another away from my residence.

Copy and CudaDrive services will be discontinued  

Copy ©

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All-In-One Design Tool For Everyone (for FREE) – If you do not have PicPick installed on your computer, then you are missing out on some very good screen capturing and editing software. PicPick is FREE for personal use (not FREE for commerical use). You can do a full install or use it as a portable app… PicPick is full-featured screen capture tool, Intuitive image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel-ruler, protractor, crosshair, whiteboard and more.

PicPick

PicPick

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Bluetooth Keyboard That Works With Your PC, Android, iOS Smartphones & Tablets – I found this keyboard quite interesting and currently have it on my wishlist for my tablet.  It is the Jelly Comb Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard.  This keyboard is unique in that it works with your PC, Android, or Smartphones & Tablets.  It features a 96 Keys Keyboard with Multi Touch Track Pad; Silicone Rubber Docking Stand (or slot); Wireless Bluetooth 3.0 for fast pairing and wide range connectivity of up to 33 feet (10 meters) and a Built-in Battery (Charge 2 hours and you can use it for months. Simply plug the keyboard to a USB and start charging.). The only downfall that I am seeing with this is that it does not come with a micro USB charging cable (which are readily available a dime a dozen)… 

Jelly Comb Bluetooth 3.0 Keyboard

Jelly Comb Keyboard

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Is VeraCrypt The Reincarnation of TrueCrypt??? — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-05)

Is VeraCrypt The Reincarnation of TrueCrypt??? – Nearly everyone in the world of tech has heard of TrueCrypt. TrueCrypt was an open source-available freeware utility used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). If you notice I said “was”. TrueCrypt’s life was an approximate 10 year lifespan from 2004 to 2014. In 2014 TrueCrypt abruptly shutdown development and many rumors have persisted since that time, as to “why”. As a result, many people became skeptical about the security of TrueCrypt. Well fret no more…  I noticed at Gizmo’s Freeware site (one of my favorite sites) that TrueCrypt has been reincarnated into VeraCrypt. Gizmo’s has an article posted, TrueCrypt Is Dead. Long Live VeraCrypt! that I encourage you to read.

VeraCrypt

VeraCrypt picks up from where TrueCrypt left and it adds enhanced security to the algorithms used for system and partitions encryption making it immune to new developments in brute-force attacks.

VeraCrypt also solves many vulnerabilities and security issues found in TrueCrypt. It can load TrueCrypt volume and it offers the possibility to convert TrueCrypt containers and non-system partitions to VeraCrypt format.

To learn how to use Veracrypt — CLICK HERE — for a beginner’s tutorial.

MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

SpyDetectFree – Free Spyware Detector – Here is a FREE, easy to run, spyware detector called SpyDetectFree. It is a “one click” tool mainly intended for detecting processes that may indicate that your keystrokes are being recorded and/or there is the presence of spyware on your computer. SpyDetectFree does not require installation. Simply download and run.

SpyDetectFree

SpyDetectFree

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A Tutorial On Three Ways To View The WiFi Password On Your Windows 10 PC – You need to put ILoveFreeSoftware’s tutorial on “How To View WiFi Password on Windows 10 PC” in your tech toolbox files. Visit the site to learn how to: (1) View Windows 10 Wifi Password via Network and Sharing Center; (2) See Wifi Password on Windows 10 via Command Prompt; and, (3) Use Free WirelessKeyView Software for Windows 10 To View Wifi Password…

How To View WiFi Password on Windows 10 PC

enable show characters option to reveal the password

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Some Simple “FREE” Programs To Try – I don’t know what it is, but I have always had a fancy toward the small software programs that are developed for specific purposes. Many of these turn out to be actually very good. Reflected below are four that I ventured across this week that were new to me and is a worth a try:

WinBurner – Free Simple Complete Burning Suite

Tray Radio

OneWaySynchronize

OneWaySynchronize screenshot

SSuite Envelope Printer

Screenshot of SSuite - Envelope Printer

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Anker® Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse with 6 Buttons – If you are looking for a mouse, you will not beat the price (or customers reviews) on the Anker® Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse with 6 Buttons.

Anker® Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse

Anker Full-Size Ergonomic Wireless Mouse

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Is 123456 A Good Password? — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-04)

Is 123456 A Good Password? – Apparently many people think that it is. The password “123456” once again reigns as the most commonly used password, as it has since SplashData’s first list in 2011, demonstrating how people’s choices for passwords remain consistently risky. The second most risky password used is; you got it, is the word “password”. To see a listing of the worst passwords for 2015 — CLICK HERE… The whole purpose of this annual publishing of bad passwords is to encourage “we the people” to use stronger passwords in an effort to protect our personal data and to improve internet security.

Worst Passwords

One of the options that I use to protect myself, due to the numerous passwords that I use, is to use a password manager. The password manager that I use and strongly endorse is the S10 Password Vault which is available as a Windows install, portable app (on USB Drive), iPhone app, iPad app, and Android app. Many folks have a tendency to use one of the cloud-based password managers; however, I personally just do not feel comfortable with piping the passwords to my personal accounts into the cloud and not knowing (for absolutely sure) that it will always remain protected. With S10 Password Vault, I at least feel I have some level of control.

MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

How To Create A Bookmark For The Download List In Google Chrome – Open chrome://downloads in your browser. Click the star next to the link and then save it on your bookmarks bar. You can adjust the name of the shortcut to whatever you desire..

Google Chrome

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If You Have Windows 10 And Love Jigsaw Puzzles – Check out Magic Jigsaw Puzzles, a Windows app, that has some FREEBIE options built into it, as well as paid options. Featuring: Lot’s of  beautiful, high-definition puzzles; Downloadable content (including FREE puzzles); Constantly updated pictures gallery; 4 levels of difficulty (up to 280 pieces); Move pieces in groups; Rotation mode for a greater challenge; Create your own puzzles from your pictures; New special picture every day; Work on more than one puzzle at a time and see your progress; Easy-to-operate control and Easy preview. After installing and trying it out, I found there were some ads and a few freebie puzzles. There was an option to buy into a package for $9.99 that makes the ads go away and opens up many options. Nice jigsaw puzzle software (even for $10)…

Magic Jigsaw Puzzles

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Synchronize Your Folders and Drives In A Quick and Easy Way – I have been testing various FREE backup and synchronization software. One that is currently on my computer now that is leading the pack is Synchredible. The standard version is free for private purposes. What I really like about Synchredible is that it has a built in wizard that will walk you through configuring your sync jobs. Once these jobs are setup, performing synchronized backups is as easy as clicking a button.

Synchredible

Synchredible

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A “News Spread” Like No OtherCLICK HERE to see Newsola… I have featured Newsola on here before and decided to throw it out there at you again. Really neat way that the news is presented. You can set Newsola up so that it will auto refresh on a regular basis. Nice cloud based app that you can keep up on the screen when your computer is idle that will keep you up to date on the latest news.

Newsola 

Newsola

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Need A Router? Check This One Out – The TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router is one of those routers I am seeing on Amazon that is inexpensive, but has a great number of customer reviews. At the time of this posting, this router was at the $20 mark.

TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router

TP-Link Router

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A Sampling Of Some Of The Most Popular Articles At What’s On My PC — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-03)

A Sampling Of Some Of The Most Popular Articles At What’s On My PC – Each week on the blog I try to provide an array of topics through the Geek Squeaks’ theme. This week I was brain dead and for the life of me nothing was jumping out to get my juices going. In an effort to give myself a jump start, I decided to list some of the most popular articles at What’s On My PC. This not only got my juices going; but, it made me come to the realization that I need to re-think how I am titling my blog articles and still keep within the parameters of my Geek Squeaks’ way of life where I post multiple topics (with one main topic as the attention grabber). As a result, I am going to implement this change to see where it takes me. To get started with this week’s post, I changed the title format; and to get my juices going, I have listed a sampling some of the most popular articles at What’s On My PC. Always remember, you can perform a search to find various topics, software, etc… In the 8 years that I have been blogging, there is a good chance that if you are looking for something, I have covered it in some form or another.

Symptoms of a Failing Computer Power Supply – I discuss some of the symptoms you may experience that could indicate that your power supply is failing. This article was published back in 2010, which seems like yesterday, and much of what is reflected is still applicable today.

Shutdown, Sleep, Restart or Logoff Your Computer Using the Keyboard – Here I did a post about the built in keyboard shortcuts that you can use to shutdown, sleep, restart or logoff your Windows computer. This article is applicable to Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 users. I still get a ton of hits on this one.

Locating Your Software License Keys – Did you know that if you do a complete reinstall of the software on your PC, you will need the product license keys (or serial/registration information) for the software that you had paid for? If you did not know this, then this article will guide you on the various software options that are available that will help you out.

An Easy Way to Get the Serial Number and Disk Drive Information of Your Computer – If you follow the command prompt steps that I have reflected in this article you can get the serial number and disk drive information of your computer.

Get the last FREE version of FastStone Capture – If you do not know what FastStone Capture is, then you are missing out on some good software. This screen capture program, at one point was freeware; however, you now (current version) have to pay for the software (shareware). This is one shareware program that I recommend buying. If you do not wish to buy it, you can still grab the last FREE version.

What does the “G” represent in 3G and 4G? – There is a high probability that you own a cell phone. If so, you have probably questioned, “What is all of this 3G and 4G talk about?”. This article will help you out with this.

MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A Package Of More Than 180 Portable Freeware Utilities (for Windows) – If you are the techie type, you probably have heard of the NirSoft utilities. Did you know that these utilities can be downloaded as a package and conveniently launched using what is called the NirLauncher. The NirLauncher package includes variety of tools that you may need for your daily computer use, including utilities to recover lost passwords, to monitor your network, to view and extract cookies, cache, and other information stored by your Web browser, to search files in your system, and more… This is a “must have” for the tech toolbox.

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An OS That Will Turn A PC Into An Android PC – I came across a new open source OS (operating system) that can be installed on a compatible PC or run from a flash drive called Remix OS that will turn a PC into an Android based PC. What this means is that you can run the same apps through the Remix OS that you do on your Android based phones and tablets. I will be keeping an eye on this…

Video – How To Install The Remix OS

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Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker – If you do not own a wireless bluetooth speaker, you do not know what you are missing. Today, I came across an Amazon deal for people like me who is rough on things. It is the Photive HYDRA Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, that is shockproof and waterproof. At the time of this posting, the pricing was unbelievable ($39) with great customer reviews.

 Photive HYDRA Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Photive HYDRA Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

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Geek Squeaks (#2016-02) FEATURING — Great Reference Book On Upgrading And Repairing PCs — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Great Reference Book On Upgrading And Repairing PCs – If you are contemplating a career as an IT Professional or you are an IT Professional, you may want to consider purchasing the 22nd Edition of Scott Mueller’s Upgrading and Repairing PCs. Get “practical answers about PC processors, mother-boards, buses, BIOSes, memory, SSD and HDD storage, video, audio, networks, Internet connectivity, power, and much more. You’ll find the industry’s best coverage of diagnostics, testing, and repair—plus cutting-edge discussions of improving PC performance via overclocking and other techniques.”.  Also, be sure to check out Scott Mueller’s online Upgrading and Repairing Forum.

Upgrading and Repairing PCs

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Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart – Since I started out today’s post with a book on upgrading and repairing PCs, I thought I would throw in this Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart that you may find of interest. There is also a book on this as well — CLICK HERE .

 Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart

Boot Failure Flowchart

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Use Disk Space Organizing Software To Keep Your Computer Clutter Free – Using disk space organizing software can help you keep your computer from turning into a junkyard by visually showing you what files and folders (and where) are consuming hard drive space.  To help me in this situation I use the portable app called GetFolderSize. There is also a full install version if you are not into the portable apps. GetFolderSize works as a disk analyzer that lets you see a folder tree where you can easily locate files and folders that you have “lost” and cannot even search for because you have forgotten what you named them! I have added GetFolderSize to the Downloads Page, listed under the portable apps swarm.

GetFolderSize

GetFolderSize

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Fast Free File Shredder – Another portable app that landed in my lap is OW Shredder. This portable app is an advanced security tool which allows you to completely erase secret data with all drive traces from your hard drives by overwriting it. Individual files, free disk space and entire volumes can by erased. I have also added this portable app to the Downloads Page

OW Shredder

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Turn An Android Device Into A Home Video Monitoring System – If you have a tablet or an old Android phone lying around, you can put it to good use and turn it into a video surveillance camera by using the Android app called AtHomeCamera. This app is worth a try before you go out an buy and expensive setup. All platforms are supported, including Windows PC、Mac、iPhone、iPad、iPod, Android phone, Android tablet and Smart TV. Used together with AtHome Video Streamer, you are able to keep an eye on your home when you are outside, and receive alerts right away in case of any incident!

AtHomeCamera

 AtHome Camera - Home Security- screenshot

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Geek Squeaks (#2016-01) FEATURING — The Lemming Effect Top 25 For 2015 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

The Lemming Effect Top 25 For 2015   – In today’s world we depend on a multitude of readily available sources for current events, news, politics, etc… The media competition is intense to the point that a lot of what we read, watch and hear is diluted with mistruths and downright lies. I am a firm believer that if you hear and see mistruths (and downright lies) enough, you will believe it to the point that if the truth were actually pointed out to you that you will deny it is the truth (and will become angry). “How dare you tell me this is not true!”, I saw this on my news channel, read it in my email, saw it on Facebook, and it is gospel. Folks, I am here to tell you that we are a very gullible society and are like a bunch of lemmings…

republicans cliff

If you don’t know, the term lemmings is a a metaphor for people who go along unquestioningly with a group with potentially dangerous consequences. The “Lemming Effect” is an innate psychological phenomenon, a survival trait, an inborn instinct in the majority of people. For example (and I have been around weapons for hunting purposes all my life), the media hype over the gun issue has initiated this “Lemming Effect” that has generated fear that we better arm ourselves now before our right to own guns are taken away. As a result, we are like lemmings and lineup to buy military grade weapons (and handguns) that require skill (and continual maintenance) that potentially could have dangerous long term consequences (even beyond our generation).

When there are times I feel I am becoming a lemming, I start looking for facts. For example, how many of you fell for the Mark Zuckerberg Giveaway Hoax where on 1 December 2015, Mark Zuckerberg shared a post on Facebook announcing the birth of his daughter and a pledge to giveaway 99% of his Facebook shares to users who shared the post?  If you fell for this, then you joined the Lemming’s Club. I fell for it because one of my reliable Facebook friends was circulating it; and, then it hit me, I need to check this out. Just because someone says it is true, does not make it true (even if it is someone that you consider to be a reliable resource).

One such site that I use to “assist” in research of some of this crazy stuff is Snopes.com which has come to be regarded as an online touchstone of rumor research. Recently Snopes posted the Most Popular Urban Legends of 2015 that features the top 25 rumors (or urban legends) that circulated most widely on the internet. Don’t become a lemming, always look for the facts and truths.

Most Popular Urgan Legends of 2015

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How To Import Your Browser Bookmarks Into Pocket – In a nutshell, Pocket is an online cloud based “bookmarking” service that will help you “save interesting articles, videos and more from the web for later enjoyment. Once saved to Pocket, the list of content is visible on any device — phone, tablet or computer. It can be viewed while waiting in line, on the couch, during commutes or travel — even offline”. I love Pocket and use it to categorize and save sites I want to visit later. I know you can save (bookmark) your sites in your browser, but Pocket is like a bookmarking site on steroids (much, much better in my opinion). Recently I was wondering if it was possible to import browser bookmarks into Pocket and found that “yes you can”…  To do this, CLICK HERE to visit the Import Bookmarks Into Pocket.

How To Import Your Browser Bookmarks Into Pocket

Pocket

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Tech For Everyone Let’s Out Secret You Need To Know About Ebooks – Tech Paul at Tech For Everyone recently posted a notice on his site that led me to another site called BookBub that will send you a daily email that alert you to free and deeply discounted ebooks that are available for a limited time. I have taken advantage of this and already have downloaded some FREE ebooks (from the likes of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc…).  Good find there Tech Paul…

BookBub

BookBug

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“All In One” Cable Modem Router – I have an older version of one of the Motorola Cable Modem Routers and it has not given me an ounce of trouble. The one I am sharing with you today is the newer version (compared to mine) called the Motorola ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem/ Wi-Fi N Router … With this device you can free up some desk space. The Motorola ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580 is designed for seamless mobility, Motorola’s SBG6580 is a fully integrated all-in-one home networking solution that combines the functionality of a DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, four-port 10/100/1000 Ethernet switch with advanced firewall, and an 802.11n Wi-Fi access point in a sleek, stylish package for the sophisticated consumer.

Motorola ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem/ Wi-Fi N Router

Motorola Cable Modem

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-42) FEATURING — An Easy To Use Backup Program — and MORE GREAT STUFF

An Easy To Use Backup Program – Nearly every home based computer user that I have encountered do not backup their personal files. Most of what files people have stored on their computers they feel are files that are unimportant; until the moment comes that they lose those files. An example being, many people store family pictures on their computers. At the moment they may seem unimportant; however, when the computer fails (and it will), all of the sudden you realize that you lost precious memories. If you fall into this category, which most likely you do, please take the time to purchase an external hard drive (click here) and establish a backup plan. Finding an external hard drive and connecting it is the easy part. Finding a software solution is another matter. To help you along, a software solution that I use is called

To help you along, a software solution that I use is called Bvckup 2. If you visit the site you will see that it is software that you have to buy; however, to get around that option, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page where the download button is located, you will see “Looking for the last beta?”.  If you click on that link you can download the last beta version of Bvckup, which is FREE. By trying out the beta, you may be encouraged to purchase the software; however, I have found the beta’s of BVCkup 2 to work perfectly fine for our purposes. Bvckup 2 is easy to use (and learn) and it does not compress, encrypt or FTP files. It’s not a two-way sync nor is it a full system backup software. It simply makes a copy of your personal files from your computer to a designated location on the external hard drive; AND, the best part (by default), Bvckup will automatically perform these backups for you in real-time.

Bvckup 2

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Turn Your Android Smartphone Into A Digital Bubble Level – Our smartphones have many other purposes other than making calls and texting. For example, did you know you can turn your smartphone into a bubble level that comes in handy when you need to make sure a picture is hung straight on the wall, or a length of lumber is level, etc… If you search the Google Play store you will many bubble level apps available. The one that I settled for is an app developed by a company who actually makes levels, called Rigid. The app that they have developed is called Rigid Digital Bubble Level. This app features a calibration mode that will allow you to use this app in three views: Bubble View (the standard bubble level you’re used to); Horizon View (a horizon line that twists as you rotate. Enable the camera feature in this view to level things from afar.); and, Flat View (placing the phone on a surface activates this view where an optional beep can indicate how level the surface is without needing to look at the screen.)…

Rigid Digital Bubble Level

Cover art

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A Gizmodo Field Guide To 9 Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone – I am sure, if you own a Google based Android phone, you have used the “ok Google” feature where you speak to your phone by saying “ok google” and then tell (speak to) the Google Now Assistant to perform searches, etc… I am still trying to get used to this, but when I do use it I am really amazed of the accuracy and the results. Along with performing searches there are other commands you can give. Gizmodo has put together a nice field guide to “9 Google Now Voice Commands To Take Control Of Your Smartphone” that you need to learn. Commands such as turning your wi-fi on/off; the flashlight on/off; read text messages; etc…

9 Google Now Voice Commands
To Take Control Of Your Smartphone

9 Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone

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verykool Sleek, Contemporary Unlocked GSM Phones – I was focused on smartphones when I visited Amazon and what I came across is a smartphone brand that I have never heard of (called verykool). What caught my eye and made me look more than twice was the unbelievable super low pricing. Based on the low number of customer reviews (which, by the way are high ratings), verykool must be a newcomer at Amazon. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this smartphone brand that just may change the whole landscape of things when it comes to smartphones.

 verykool

verykool

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-41) FEATURING — Three WordPress.com Blogging Editors To Consider — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Three WordPress.com Blogging Editors To Consider – About a year ago I was at wits end in trying to find an editor that I could use at the desktop level to draft my blog articles. Today, if you are an avid blogger or want to give blogging a try, you need to know that there are several options available. Some of these editors support other blogging platforms, but what I am outlining here in this geek squeak article is editors that I know work with the WordPress.com platform (which is the online cloud based version of WordPress).

Wordpress

To keep this simple and allow you to do a quick read; three options to consider are:

ScribeFire – This editor is actually a browser extension (for Firefox and Chrome) that I use (and love). I think what sells me on this is that it is a basic editor, is fast, and dependable. The cons with ScribeFire is that, due to its’ simplicity, you have to do the final touches online (with the formatting) using the online WordPress editor. Otherwise, ScribeFire has worked for me. ScribeFire is a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to all of your blogs.

Open Live Writer – Remember the Windows version of Live Writer. I actually used that prior to ScribeFire; however, due to changes at Microsoft and the operating system upgrades the Microsoft version of Live Writer is basically a dead duck in the water. Due to numerous people using Live Writer, a group of talented contributors have turned what it used to be into an open source program called Open Live Writer. Open Live Writer is like Word for your blog. Open Live Writer is a powerful, lightweight blog editor that allows you to create blog posts, add photos and videos then publish to your website.

New WordPress.com Desktop App – WordPress.com must have heard our cries and know that in order to continue as one of the premiere blogging platforms there has to be options made available in order for people to remain within their blogging empire. I can tell you from being a blogger since 2008, WordPress is the way to go. With the new Windows and Mac based apps you can manage your sites, write and publish, and even customize your site and view stats from a dedicated app in your Windows Start Menu.

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Happy Holidays To My Reader And To My Favorite Blogging Friends –  I want to wish my readers’ a safe and happy holiday season; AND, hope that you will continue to visit my blog. I love blogging about information technology, and have been doing so since 2008. During this journey there is a group of bloggers that have kept together in the virtual sense (even though none of us have physically met each other). Those bloggers, whom I have great respect for are Steve, Bill Paul, and Michael (and Jason). I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season…

Happy Holiday Wreath Facebook Cover

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Bluetooth Speaker Makes Great Gift – If you are looking to gift someone, consider a portable bluetooth speaker. Currently Anker has a new release at Amazon (that has become a best seller) called the Anker SoundCore. Right now the customer reviews on this little beast is very good. Points that standout with this speaker is battery life (24-hour / 500-song playtime powered by a built-in high capacity Li-ion battery) and Bluetooth 4.0 Technology (compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices. Instantly connect to your smartphone or tablet from up to 66 feet away. SoundCore reconnects automatically to the last device used. Built-in mic for hands-free calls.).  What you get is the Anker SoundCore Bluetooth speaker, Micro USB charging cable, welcome guide, and 18-month warranty).

Anker SoundCore

Anker SoundCore

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Turn Your Android Device Into An At Home Video Monitoring Device – Have a tablet or an old smartphone around? If so, put it to work using the AtHome Camera – Home Security App. This app, using a three step process, will turn the device into a home video monitoring device that can be accessed when you are away.

AtHome Camera – Home Security

 AtHome Camera - Home Security- screenshot

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The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards – If you love animals, then you will love these hilarious and funny pictures (with a funny caption). For example the picture you see below was captioned “Rush Hour”. To see the original “Rush Hour” and others visit The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. The cool thing about this is that no digital manipulation was allowed in order to enter the contest.

The Comedy Wildlife

WINNER Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-40) FEATURING — Use Qwertycard To Generate And Keep Track Of Passwords — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Use Qwertycard To Generate And Keep Track Of Passwords  – As computer and internet users, where we log into numerous accounts, we are still failing to keep our information safe. From experience of helping others, I find that most people use weak passwords and will use the same password to log into numerous accounts. On top of that, most folks will write down those passwords and keep them near the computer. An easy solution to all of this is what is called a Qwerty Card. I had heard about these cards in the past; and, just recently I came across them again on Tech Crunch. How this works is that the card reflects the QWERTY keyboard and each letter on the keyboard is assigned a unique character. When you purchase a card, you are given a unique base code. To generate a really strong password, you first type your base code, then your own password, then use the Qwerty card to generate the coding for the website name. You can also simplify this process and still maintain a strong password by reducing the number of steps. To learn more on how this works, either visit Tech Crunch or the actual site that sells these cards (click here)…

Qwerty Cards

picture of qwertycard

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EncryptOnClick Is Like Hiring Your Own Highly Experienced Data Security Guard – I nearly forgot about EncryptOnClick, until I saw that the developer recently updated it. If you want a simple, easy to use encryption program, this one is definitely a keeper. After you install EncryptOnClick, you can copy the contents of the install directory over to a flashdrive (to make it a portable app). Very nice program, that is FREE (that uses 256-bit AES encryption). You can encrypt individual files or entire directories.

EncryptOnClick

EncryptOnClick

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Google Drive Rolling Out New Search Experience – Drive lets you search across all your files, regardless of the device they came from. To make that easier, you can use these new ways to find your files: Narrow your search to a file type from the search box on Android, iOS, and the web. Open advanced search instantly from the search box. Access recent files or search Drive from the home screen using 3D Touch on iOS. Search Drive using the iOS search bar without opening the Drive app.

The new features will be rolling out in the coming weeks…

Read About Google Drive’s New Search Experience

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Speaking of Google Drive – Here is The Only Google Drive Guide You Will Ever Need… The guide covers: Navigation: Supported File Types | Accessing Google Drive | Storage Space | Working with Google Drive | Desktop Clients | Uploading Files & Folders | Downloading Files & Folders | File Size Restrictions | Creating a New Document | Sharing Files & Folders | Collaborating | Accessing Files Offline | Organizing Your Drive | Tweaking Your Layout | Third Party Apps | Troubleshooting | Drawbacks of Google Drive…

The Only Google Drive Guide You Will Ever Need

Google Drive will sync documents with Microsoft Office

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MAPS.ME – GPS Navigation & Map (Android) – Get detailed maps of any country in the world (that can be downloaded) and are optimized for your phone or tablet. This is an Android app called MAP.ME… If you need a GPS unit for your car; by using your Android smartphone, this is a great option. Recently upgraded to include walking directions…

MAP.ME

 MAPS.ME - GPS Navigation & Map- screenshot thumbnail

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A Terabyte Internal SSD Drive (by Samsung) – I am starting to see the much larger SSD drives come down in price. If your are in the market for a SSD Drive you may want to take a look at the Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD

Samsung SSD Drive - 1TB.png

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-39) FEATURING — Put All Your Cloud Drives In One Place — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Put All Your Cloud Drives In One Place – Thought I would share with you an online service that I use called MultCloud (by AOMEI). This service provides a FREE option (as well as a PAID option) that can help you easily (and safely) manage multiple cloud storage services. For example, I currently manage online drives from Box, Copy, Google, Dropbox, Mediafire and OneDrive ALL from MultCloud. In that mix I also use MultCloud to manage two Google Drives. What MultCloud does is allow you to pull all of those services and manage those services from one location. MultCloud FREE features an online file manager, cross-cloud file transfers, and a countless number of cloud drives. The file transfer speeds for the FREE version are slower than the PAID version and there is a monthly data cap on the FREE version (which is quite high in my opinion). For normal everyday use, the FREE version has worked for me and in the end (after I give this a run for awhile), I may opt to go to the PAID version.

MultCloud 

MultCloud

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Use Your Android Phone (or Tablet) To Convert An Image To Text – Ever heard of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) where you scan a paper document and OCR software that is engineered to recognize the characters in the document then translate (or convert) it into an electronic text version (that you can then edit, insert into documents, etc…)? There is an OCR version for your Android Phone or Tablet called Text Fairy that has the ability to scan for and extract text from an image. From my testing, I found Text Fairy to be quite accurate and the best part is that it is FREE. Some words of advice is when you scan the document is to make sure the images are sharp (with good lighting) and the text is black on a white background.

Text Fairy

 Text Fairy (OCR Text Scanner)- screenshot

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Nothing Gets Old Faster Than The Technology News – Case in point, check out the boredpanda for 15 Vintage Computer Ads That Used To Be Cool.  The ad I have reflected below is my favorite one from the 15 selected. Which is your favorite?

15 Vintage Computer Ads That Used To Be Cool

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How To Disable Login Screen on Windows 10 after Sleep – I have been recently assisting quite a few folks with breaking through the Windows 8.1 barrier to Windows 10. One of the most asked questions that I am receiving is “How do I disable the login screen on Windows 10 after sleep?”. What this means is that Windows 10, by default, will go into a sleep mode when the computer is idle for a prescribed period of time. When the end user comes out the sleep mode, the computer will prompt you for your password. To change this setting, to prevent or disable the login prompt, is actually quite easy and the best way to show you is for you the watch the video below from Simple How To Guide

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This Software May Be Useful When You Sell or Get Rid Of Your Hard Drive (or PC) – Came a across this portable app, called My Disk Wiper, that may be a keeper for the tech toolbox. What this portable app does is securely wipe hard drives, flash drives, SD cards, etc… by overwriting the files with a standard pattern that the developer claims cannot be undeleted or restored. To ensure maximum privacy the file names are wiped before deletion.

My Disk Wiper

My Disk Wiper

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The easiest and fastest outdoor Christmas light solution – no more hanging string lights – My neighbor has one of these and it is awesome (and beautiful). If you are looking for an alternative option to hanging lights for Christmas, take a look at the Star Shower Outdoor Laser Christmas Lights… Plant this thing in the ground, plug it in and you will have up to 600 square feet of green and red lights displayed. The one I have reflected below is the number one best seller at Amazon with a near 5 star rating…

Star Shower Outdoor Laser Christmas Lights

Star Shower

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-38) FEATURING — My Reset Experience With Windows 10 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

My Reset Experience With Windows 10 – I recently performed a reset on my Windows 10 based computer and found the experience to be quite positive. I thought I would share some pointers with you so that if you have to perform a reset, it is not a scary experience.  Even though the reset preserves your personal files, I highly recommend that you always have a backup of any files on your computer that you cannot live without.

To get to the reset option in Windows 10, click on the Windows Start button (bottom left corner), go to Settings > Update & security > Reset this PC > Get started and choose an option. The option I chose was to reinstall Windows 10 and keep my personal files. This option will reinstall Windows 10 and keep your personal files; will remove the apps and drivers that you originally installed; will remove the changes made to any settings (and return them to the default settings); and, will remove any apps that the PC manufacturer installed (Note: If your PC came with Windows 10, the apps from your PC manufacturer will be reinstalled.).  After I launched the reset on my PC, it was pretty much hands free; and, what I really liked was that following the reset, Windows 10 generated a html page on my desktop titled “removed apps” that listed all of the programs I originally had installed on my computer. I had already written down what I wanted to re-install, but this list came in quite handy. In the end, the reset took approximately a half hour to 45 minutes and I can honestly say my computer is cleaner and faster.

Windows 10 Reset

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How To Mark All Your Unread Gmail’s As Being Read  – After performing a reset on my Windows 10 computer, I found myself motivated to do some housecleaning in my Gmail account. One of the issues I ran into was that I had hundreds of email’s that I did not read. As a result, I needed and wanted to mark those emails, as being read. The problem with this is that Gmail will only allow you to bulk select only a certain number of emails. This is where I started thinking, “there has to be a way to mark all the emails in my account as being read”. After performing some online research, I found an article at a site called Chron, titled “How to Mark an Entire Gmail Inbox as Read“. By using the Google Search box in your email as a filter to generate all unread messages, and following the step-by-step instructions, at Chron, you can easily mark hundreds (or thousands) of unread emails and change them to read.

 

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A Simple Program To Troubleshoot Network-Related Problems – If you manage a network, Win Network Tools may be helpful. The program provides a graphical interface (or launcher) of common command line tools that are built into Windows (that are typically run from the command prompt) and some other options (such as Speed Test) that will launch a site to test out your connection speed. What would be nice is if this program had a “portable app” option readily available for the tech toolbox. I did find that if I installed the program, and copied the “WinNetworkTools.exe” to another location (such as a flash drive) I was still able to run the program.  I then uninstalled it from the computer. Nice concept…  May contact the developer to suggest the portable app idea.

Win Network Tools - Interface

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Checker Plus for Gmail – You do not know what you are missing if you do not have Checker Plus for Gmail installed (as a Google Chrome extension). In my opinion, this is probably one of the best (and most useful) extensions available. I currently use this to monitor 4 different Gmail accounts and the best part is that you can set this to run in the background so that you will get notifications when an email arrives. If you have Chrome installed, get this one…

Checker Plus for Gmail

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Shield Your Electronics From Electrical Power Surges – When Christmas rolls around many of you may be installing new electronic equipment. What we have a tendency to forget is to purchase a surge protector to help protect the equipment from power surges. I went on the hunt to find what I think is a good investment and came up with the Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 25ft Cord Right Angle Plug 1440 Joules . This Tripp Lite Surge Protector has a 1440 joule surge suppression rating with EMI/RFI line noise filtering to help components perform at their peak while extending their lifespan; 8 outlets with 3 specially designed to accommodate transformer plugs without blocking other outlets; an extra-long 25 foot cord with space-saving right angle plug; diagnostic LEDs that alerts you to the protection and grounding status; convenient built-in outlet safety covers to protect young children from possible harm and prevent dust from eroding internal components; and, a lifetime Warranty and $75,000 Ultimate Lifetime Insurance for connected devices. On top of this, to support my opinion on this, this surge protector is carrying a 5-Star rating.

 Tripp Lite 8 Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 25ft Cord Right Angle Plug 1440 Joules

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-36) FEATURING — Control What People See About You On Google Services — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Control What People See About You On Google Services – If you are a subscriber to any of Google’s services, it is important to know that you can control what people see about you at aboutme.google.com. While you are there, click on the privacy checkup where you can review and adjust what data Google uses to personalize your experience, and update what information you share with friends or make public.

Google About Me

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Safely AND Quickly Hide Files and Folders – If you are looking for a way to hide a file or folder, then take a look at WinMend. I can tell you that I have used WinMend for the past several years and I have never lost a file.  The WinMend site states it, like this; “While ensuring the absolute system safety, this application can quickly hide files and folders on local partitions and/or on removable devices. The hidden files/folders will be safely hidden whether the drive is accessed in another operating system on the same computer or reinstalled on another computer”. I have added WinMend to the downloads page, located under the FREE SOFTWARE swarm…

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Using The Disk Cleanup Tool In Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 – Cnet has a nice tutorial (click here), on how to clean up the junk in Windows using the built-in cleanup tool. The tutorial covers each aspect of what the tool removes and cleans from your system such as the browser thumbnail cache, system files, system restore files, the hibernation cache, and the recycle bin.

Cleaning up system files

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A Tool To Reset And Repair Windows Update Related Components – The Windows Club posted this article, Reset Windows Update to default in Windows 10, that features using the Windows Update Component Tool (aka Reset Windows Update Agent) to reset and repair the components to the Windows Update service. The tool itself is available from Technet – click here

Reset Windows Update 1

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MORE Quick Links To Amazon Holiday Deals – As you probably have noticed I have an obsession with Amazon and the challenge of locating their best deals. As Christmas gift giving (and receiving) nears, I really go on the hunt to bookmark links to their holiday deals.  Below is my latest collection to share with you.

Quick Links

Today’s Deals

Cyber Monday

12 Days of Deals

Last-Minute Deals

Year-End Deals

Black Friday

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-35) FEATURING — GEGeek NOW On Facebook — and MORE GREAT STUFF

GEGeek NOW On Facebook – The motherload of all tech sites, GEGeek, is now featuring their GEGeek Tech Toolkit on Facebook. The toolkit, available through donation at the main GEGeek web site, is a complete collection of over 400 tech related FREE programs and suites (all available from a menu launch utility). If you are an information technology professional the GEGeek website and the GEGeek Toolkit should automatically become part of your mindset. Mike and Jason at GEGeek have gone to great lengths to review, collect, and maintain the information (and toolkit) that is available. Jason recently joined Mike to assist in maintaining the motherload. I personally thank both of them (and I encourage you to do the same). After you donate to acquire the toolkit, you are then entitled to the upgrades (which occur on a regular basis).

GEGeek

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Online Games To Pass The Time Away – I regularly visit the USAToday web site to get my initial daily dose of news. Did you know that on the USAToday web site there is a link that will take to you a wide array of online games that they sponsor and maintain. Initially when you load the USAToday site, you will find a link a the top of the site for Crosswords. Click on that link and you will be taken to the Crossword puzzle page and on the page (at the top of the crosswords) you will find additional links for puzzle, arcade, strategy, brain, casino, and quiz type game challenges. Prior to playing any of the challenges or games, you will be required to set though a short in length advertisement…

USAToday Puzzles

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WordWeb Upgraded To Support Windows 10WordWeb has been a mainstay on my computer for years. It is a very useful and comprehensive one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows. It can be used to look up words from almost any program, showing definitions, synonyms and related words. It includes pronunciations and usage examples, and has helpful spelling and sounds-like links. I especially like the one click lookup where you hold the CTRL key and right mouse click on a word to get the definition. WordWeb can also be installed as a portable app. You will be prompted for that option after you run the install file. Also, if you like WordWeb and use Google Chrome, be sure to download their WordCaptureX browser extension…  NOTE: WordWeb has been added to the What’s On My PC download page under the FREE Software swarm.

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Fix Specific Windows 10 Problems and Issues With This Utility – The Windows Club has a developed a utility called FixWin 10 for Windows 10, that is a portable freeware application that allows you to fix and repair Windows 10 problems, issues and annoyances. This new release of FixWin has an updated UI for Windows 10 and includes a new section to fix Windows 10 common problems and issues specifically.

FixWin 10 for Windows 10

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Digital Trends’ (brought to you by Drippler) Best Android Apps For Any Occasion This list of Android Apps is a pretty good list in my opinion and is a good starting point if you are looking for good reputable android apps (for any occasion). The list was originally posted on Digital Trends and it made Drippler (the Android app that features new tips, apps, features, updates, accessories and more)….

false

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Where To Look For Deals On Amazon – As the holiday shopping season approaches and we Countdown To Black Friday, many of us will be doing our shopping online. One of my favorite shopping sites is Amazon. For example, to look for bargains I will visit their Today’s Deals, their Outlet, or their Warehouse …  I have found items, using these three options, to get really good deals. If you want to visit the Earth’s Biggest Selection to get a full directory listing at Amazon, CLICK HERE

Countdown Black Friday

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-34) FEATURING — Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) – Yes you are seeing that right. Samsung has developed an 18.4″ tablet called the Galaxy View that is in comparison to carrying a portable TV around; AND, that is exactly what I think Samsung is thinking in regards to this hugeous tablet. The pricing on this ($599) is a little steep for my pocketbook; however, if the price were to come within reason, I may consider the Galaxy View for home-based usage.

There are mixed reviews on this, from CNET’sSamsung has just taken the wraps off the best tablet we may have ever seen”, to the Verge’s “Samsung might’ve just priced itself out of success”… The Galaxy View is slated for release on November 6th and can be pre-ordered now… To see all the specs — CLICK HERE — scroll down the page and then click on “See All Specs”.

Samsung Galaxy View

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Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard for Computers, Tablets and Smartphones – The Logitech K480 is an excellent bluetooth keyboard, that works great either as an external keyboard for a Mac or a PC desktop system, or as a keyboard for a phone or a tablet. You can use this device to connect up to three Bluetooth wireless–capable computers or mobile devices. If this is something you may find of interest, check out Logitech’s Immersion Guide that will tell you everything you need to know about this keyboard.

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480

You aren’t limited to a single device, so why should your keyboard be?

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How To Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen – If you do not have your Android smartphone (or tablet) locked down, I suggest that you take the time and lock it down. For example, to use my Nexus 5, I enter a pin number in order to operate the device.  The ONLY problem I see with locking down your device is the chance you forget the pattern, pin or password that you used. Well, don’t fret, I came across this article,7 Ways to Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen.  A lot of folks don’t want to lock down their devices due that it is an inconvenience; however if you ever lose the device you will soon learn that you wished you had taken the precaution of securing it.

Android Security

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Display A Host Of System Information-Type Data On Your DesktopBGInfo is a system information tool (portable app) that is very useful for people who manage numerous systems. BGInfo automatically displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background, such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more. The information that BGInfo displays can be edited, as well as the font and background color. Stick this tool in the startup folder on your computer to display the system information each time the computer boots.

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-32) FEATURING — Beware: A Browser Hijacker That Replaces Your Default Browser — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Beware: A Browser Hijacker That Replaces Your Default Browser – Scams, viruses, malware and hijackers are constantly being developed and engineered to make our computing lives a nightmare. Today I want to make you aware of a piece of software, called eFast, that the Malwarebytes research team has determined as being a browser hijacker. What is unique about this browser hijacker is that it does not hijack your existing browser; instead, eFast replaces your existing browser. This hijacker takes control of the file associations for .gif, .htm, .html,.jpeg, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .shtml, .webp, .xht and .xhtml files AND displays numerous advertisements.

Typically eFast will piggyback its’ way onto your computer through third party software installs. Always read what is occurring when you install software.  You can usually tell it is installing (by the install prompts) and from what I getting, eFast is similar in appearance to Google Chrome. If you have been fooled into installing eFast, reflected below are the removal steps. To read more about eFast CLICK HERE

eFast

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can detect and remove this potentially unwanted program.

  1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to your desktop.
  2. Double-click mbam-setup-version.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. At the end, be sure a check-mark is placed next to the following:
  4. Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium
  5. Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  6. Then click Finish.
  7. If an update is found, you will be prompted to download and install the latest version.
  8. Once the program has loaded, select Scan Now. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  9. When the scan is complete, make sure that all Threats are selected, and click Remove Selected.
  10. Restart your computer when prompted to do so.

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A Command-Line To Cleanup Windows – TTC Shelbyville posted Advanced Windows Cleanup using cleanmgr /sageset:50 and cleanmgr /sagerun:50 that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to use these commands to cleanup windows. Note: Do NOT Delete Windows ESD installation files. These files are NEEDED to Reset or Refresh your PC.

1 More Options Cleanup

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Jump Your Car AND Charge Your Devices With This Power Bank – If you get chance, take a look at the BESTEK® 400A Peak Current Portable Car Jump Starter Power Bank that not only can jumpstart a vehicle (up to 16 times); BUT, can be used to charge your portable devices (such as GPS devices, smartphones, tablets, etc.). This power bank has a 11,000 mAh battery capacity that is able to jump start a 3L gas or 2.5L diesel vehicle engine. The neat thing about this is that it is safe and can fit in your glovebox… CHECK IT OUT HERE!

Power Bank

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OW Shredder Is Portable AND FREE File Shredder Software – I came across OW Shredder through reading the article Free File Shredder With Full Drive Eraser, Disk Analyser (@ILoveFreeSoftware) and thought it was well deserving of a post here, as well. What I especially like about this file shredder is that it is portable and has the ability to erase entire volumes.

OW Shredder is an advanced security tool which allows you to completely erase secret data with all drive traces from your hard drives by overwriting it. Individual files, free disk space and entire volumes can by erased. In addition OW Shredder offers various tools to scan, analyze and wipe more drive information and traces. Beside of it OW Shredder supports a desktop widget, a context menu integration and automated recycle bin cleaning. All in all this small and portable application gives private users or even companies the perfect solution to eliminate sensitive data.

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-31) FEATURING — Android 6.0 Marshmallow — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Android 6.0 Marshmallow – If you currently have an Android supported device (smartphone or tablet) there is a possibility that you may be entitled (for FREE) to the newest Android OS called Marshmallow. I currently have a Nexus 5 smartphone, which is a Google based phone, and I received the upgrade this week. My Samsung Galaxy Tab S (tablet), I will have to do some research to determine when and if this device will receive the upgrade. You may have to do the same thing. Again, the OS upgrade is called Marshmallow.

Marshmallow

After receiving my upgrade, I had minimal knowledge as to what the new features were. I went on the hunt and found what I was looking for (to educate myself) at the official Android Marshmallow site (at Android.com). There you will find the complete features list by clicking on “All Features” at the bottom of the page. If you are wondering, Google names their operating systems using a confectionery theme. Below is a complete listing:

Cupcake (1.5) – Donut (1.6) – Eclair (2.0–2.1) – Froyo (2.2–2.2.3) – Gingerbread (2.3–2.3.7) – Honeycomb (3.0–3.2.6)[a] – Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0–4.0.4) – Jelly Bean (4.1–4.3.1) – KitKat (4.4–4.4.4, 4.4W–4.4W.2) – Lollipop (5.0–5.1.1) – Marshmallow (6.0)

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If You Are A “LastPass” Subscriber You May Want To Read This – LastPass is an online password manager where your passwords are stored in an online encrypted vault. They have been bought out by LogMeIn (a company specializing in remote desktop management). If you visit the LastPass blog you can read more about this announcement and the various comments that indicate that people are not happy with this move. This is another reason why I do not store my passwords online and instead use local software to manage my passwords. If curious of what I use to manage my passwords, CLICK HERE..

.LastPass_&_LogMeIn

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How To Hide A File Inside A Picture – I have to give credit to BetaNews for showcasing this little app called Free File Camouflage that is easy to use that gives you the ability to hide files inside a typical jpeg image. What attracts me to this software is that it is small in size (portable); thus, a nice addition to my tech toolbox.

Features:

  • The software can be used with the main interface or via the explorer “send to” context menu (the first time you only need to select a directory with some images).
  • All the files are encrypted using AES and hidden inside an image.
  • What happens if someone tries to open a camouflaged image? Well… nothing! He will only see an image!
  • This software is also useful when you want to send an exe via email. Currently many email providers (or companies proxy) don’t allow this.
  • Recently also GMail has disabled the support for attaching a zip file (even if protected with password) with an exe in a draft message.
  • With Free File Camouflage you can send via email whatever you want!

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Anker CD Slot Mount Car Mount Phone Holder – This is a unique method to mount a phone holder in your vehicle that is made by Anker. There are many variations of this method available by different companies; however, at the time of this blog post, the Anker CD Slot Car Mount Phone Holder was listed at being under $10…  

Anker CD Slot Mount Car Mount Phone Holder

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-30) FEATURING — Use This App To Create Your Own Android Car Dashboard — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Use This App To Create Your Own Android Car Dashboard – Many auto manufacturers as well as aftermarket units are bringing Android to the dashboard of your car. One such example is Android Auto that projects or casts what is on your phone onto a compatible dashboard touchscreen; but, most of us do not have the luxury of this technology. To fill in this gap, did you know that there is an android app called Car Dashdroid.

 Car dashdroid- Car dashboard- screenshot

Car Dashdroid does not project to a screen in your car’s dashboard; however, it will turn your phone into a distraction free device that has been specifically developed for use in your car. I have been testing this app and can attest that it is very good. In summary, Car Dashdroid is a car home dock replacement that makes driving easy (and safer)! It can switch on and off with your car (using Bluetooth), and return from any app to the specially-designed Car Dashdroid homescreen with a press of the Home button while connected (see settings). The interface features large buttons to launch apps (such as your GPS mapping app) and can be set to read incoming text messages to you (and you can respond back without taking your hands off the wheel). This app is fully customizable; for example, you can set up to 16 shortcuts for your favorite apps, contacts, and even shortcuts to custom actions like directions to a particular place, opening a specific playlist, or sending a pre-written message (like “On my way!” or “Stuck in traffic!”). You can use it FREE (with ads) and with some of the features disabled; however, if I were to buy an android app, this is one that I would buy. (UPDATE – I did buy this app!)…

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How To Update Windows In An Isolated Environment – Another tool for the tech toolbox is Portable Update. This tool is used to perform Windows updates on a computer where there is limited or no internet connection. Portable Update uses an external cache to store updates. The cache can reside on any usb external drive or, via private lan network, on a shared path. Once an update is copied to the cache (the only time that an internet connection is required), the same update will be used for all computer that need that particular update. I have added Portable Update to the What’s On My PC downloads page (under the Portable Apps Swarm).

Portable Update Hystory tag

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Daimler Driverless Truck Tested  – I’ve been saying that one of the first areas of transportation that will host autonomous driving is the truck industry. Take a look at the this article, “Daimler driverless lorry tested in motorway traffic” …

Daimler's self-driving truck took to a German autobahn to prove its capabilities

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Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank – I don’t know about you, but my smartphone has become an extension of my body. I feel lost when I don’t have it in my possession and frustrated when it needs charged. To remedy the charging issue, I am exploring (looking at) the compact portable chargers. One that has caught my eye, that is inexpensive and has great customer reviews is the Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank … One in three chargers sold on Amazon are from Anker!

Anker Astro E1

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-29) FEATURING — How To Trigger The Windows 10 Upgrade — and MORE GREAT STUFF

How To Trigger The Windows 10 Upgrade – I am not out there in the wild, like I used to, when it comes to providing computer assistance (and troubleshooting); however, I still have a good feel for information technology from doing the blog, exposure at work and working with close family. I am getting some feedback that there are many folks out there that have not received their Windows 10 upgrade. You keep waiting and nothing is happening. I know at least 5 people in my circle where this is occurring. As a result, I went on the hunt and found that these people are not alone and that there is a viable easy solution. SuperSite for Windows recently posted, “Where is my Windows 10 update?” (by Fred Langa) that will walk you through the process of jumpstarting your Windows 10 upgrade.  If you follow the steps, your Windows10 upgrade will be exactly the same as if you’d used the Windows Update method. As a word of advice, when you go this route, expect a longer install time and don’t panic if it is taking awhile (like several hours).

WOW – A New Chromecast – Chromecast is a Google device that uses Google Cast Technology to play audio and video content on your TV or home audio system (by directly streaming it via Wi-Fi from the internet or a local network). Google has just released their next generation of Chromecast.  For $35, which is very reasonable in my opinion, this is a tech toy worth taking a look at. Check it out HERE

Chromecast

A Multi-Boot Linux DVD for PC Repair – If you are a PC Tech you may want to take a look at MediCat DVD. This is a Linux based boot disc (developed for Windows PC Repair) that has been put together by a PC Technician that runs his own PC Repair business. I haven’t tried this out yet; however, for you PC Techs out there, this may be worth taking a look at and may be helpful in making your job easier.

[​IMG]

Android Basics On How To Use The Share Menu – I just had a conversation with a friend about the Android smartphones and tablets and how people are truly not using these devices to their fullest capabilities. For example, I approached someone that I know that uses their phone constantly (primarily for texting and Facebook) and asked them, “Do you know how to use the share menu feature on your phone?”. They had not a clue as to what I was talking about. Folks, if you are an Android smartphone or tablet user, the share menu option is a very powerful component of Android that you need to learn about. Once you learn how to use it, you will be going WOW. To learn how to use the feature, I encourage you to read “Android Basics: How to Use the Share Menu” and watch the video …

Camera With Good Reviews Featuring Built-in Wi-Fi technology – The Canon PowerShot S120 (12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and 1080p Full-HD Video Wi-Fi Enabled) is a digital camera that allows you to wirelessly transfer your images to social networking sites through CANON iMAGE GATEWAY… At the time of this posting, this camera was reviewed 185 times and is carrying a near five star rating.

Canon PowerShot S120

Canon S120

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-28) FEATURING — NEW Gmail Features — and MORE GREAT STUFF

NEW Gmail Feature – Gmail now has a built in feature that gives you the ability to EASILY block a nuisance sender (via the web interface and on Android) and the ability to unsubscribe from various services (on Android only). I am especially eager to test the unsubscribe option…  You can read more (and get a visual of how this works) at the official Gmail blog

Just Added “Feedly” To The Downloads Page – Feedly is an RSS (Really Simply Syndicate) Reader that I use to connect to the blogs and news sites that I am interested in. What RSS allows you to do is subscribe to a sites’ RSS feed.  The reader then pulls down the content into the reader (from the sites that you are subscribed to). RSS allows you to automatically pull down content from numerous sites into one place where you can then read it (just like a newspaper).  If you are not using RSS, then you do not know what you are missing. Feedly does a nice job of this and gives you a ton of options.  I currently use the web based version of Feedly and the Android version of Feedly  …

Cover art

Watermark Your Digital Photos With Ease – Download and Install SquiggleMark, follow these instructions, and you will be watermarking your photos and images in no time. With SqiggleMark you can watermark and resize multiple pictures simultaneously.

Is Tablet Use Starting To Shrink – ZDNet has an article posted, “Tablet use set to fall in 2016 for the first time”, where a new study from ABI Research now suggests the user base for the devices will itself start to shrink next year for the first time. Read this article to find out WHY(???)…

Get Instant Weather Information With This Portable App – Windows based weather software is actually a hard find. One that has weathered the storms over the years, that is a portable app, is WeatherMate.

WeatherMate

Easy-to-use, attractive interface

Displays the weather for multiple locations

Displays severe weather alerts

Displays radar images

Displays a variety of US weather maps

Speaks the weather

Moves out of the way when not in use

Automatically checks for a new version

Highly customizable

100% free!

Check Out The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 – I currently own a Samsung Tablet and can tell you they are a quality build. I encourage you take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S2 9.7 (Samsung’s latest tablet.).

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7″

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-27) FEATURING — Manage Your Computers Easily With CCleaner In The Cloud — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Manage Your Computers Easily With CCleaner In The Cloud – I think everyone knows about CCleaner; even those who are technologically challenged. CCleaner has been around for years, and at one time was called Crap Cleaner. In summary, what this software does is clean out the crap to increase the operational speed of your computer. CCleaner is available as a full install or portable app; AND, NOW you can run CCleaner from the cloud. If you go to CCleaner Cloud, click on the “Signup” button you will receive an invitation via email that will give you access. CCleaner Cloud has been in beta testing for quite awhile and it is now ready for public use and testing. The beauty of the cloud version of CCleaner is that you can run it from any of your Windows based computers, anywhere (without needing to install the software). You can also defrag your drives and perform registry fixes, as well.  Again, go to CCleaner Cloud and signup for your invitation today…

CCleaner Cloud

Microsoft Office 2016 – Released Today – Picked this news up at BetaNews, that gives a good read about the release of Microsoft Office 2016. More about Office 2016 can be found at Microsoft’s Office web site HERE

Microsoft Office 2016

Selfies 12, Sharks 8 – That is the score so far between selfie kills and shark kills.  Read more on this at Pocket-Lint to find out how selfies are the cause to people’s demise (more so than sharks).

Sharks vs. Selfies @ Pocketlint

Want To Learn How To Take A Screenshot On Your Android Phone? – WonderHowTo has posted a great How To article, “Android Basics: How to Take a Screenshot” …  I actually knew how to do this on my Nexus Phone; but, there is a separate way of performing a screenshot on a Samsung phone. What I found out, on my Samsung Tablet, is that this process will work on that too. Taking a screenshot on your phone or tablet is a handy way to capture what you are seeing on the screen (for troubleshooting purposes, to send to someone else, etc…).

This Works On Samsung Devices (as depicted in image below). Other
Android devices visit WonderHowTo to learn more…

Screenshot - Samsung

On Friday, Amazon’s shopping club, Prime, will cost only $67, down $32 from its usual $99 price tag – The sale starts Friday, September 25th ( at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT), and you can sign up here. This is celebrate Transparent winning 5 Emmy Awards.

Transparent

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-26) FEATURING — Get A Six Pack Of Amazon Tablets for $250 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Get A Six Pack Of Amazon Tablets for $250 – If you want a tablet, here is your chance to pick up an Amazon Fire 7 inch display for $49.99; AND, if you want to buy tablets for the whole family, Amazon has a six pack offer for the same tablet (for $250).  Buy six, get one FREE. This idea is a marketing tactic on Amazon’s part to corral you in on spending more money on Amazon products and services (which in my opinion, are great services). To get a good look at this tablet (and specs) — CLICK HERE

Amazon Fire Six-Pack

7″ IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600)

1.3 GHz quad-core processor

Rear (2MP) and front-facing (VGA) cameras

New Amazon Underground app store. Includes over $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items that are free

Has access to over 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps and games

8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices

Can use a microSD card to get up to 128GB of extra on device storage

7 hours of battery life

Supports web browsing, email and calendaring

Star Wars Here We Come – You may already be aware that the Navy (aboard the USS Ponce) has deployed a laser weapon that can take down small boats, drones and other light aircraft. I have seen videos of this technology in action. Inexpensive to operate, automated targeting and no noise. All you see is flames being generated from the intended target. Soon, Air Force fighters will carry laser cannons, cyber weapons by 2020 (read @ arstechnica). Folks, we are entering another era of warfare that is an indicator that star wars may not be that far off.

Laser - Air Force Fighter

A Neat Little Snipping Tool From the Microsoft Garage Project – Here is a nice little snipping tool (screen capture and annotation tool) from Microsoft, called Snip, that may be helpful to you. With Snip you can snip it, annotate it and share it…

Snip

Add Multi-Tab Functionality To Windows 10 File Explorer – With a multi-tab file utility you can open multiple folders in the same Windows. The Windows 10 File Explorer does not have that capability, but you can make it happen by installing the extension called Clover. I nearly forgot about Clover after I upgraded to Windows 10 and when I did remember it, I was questioning, “Will it work on the Windows 10 platform with File Explorer?”.  The answer is “yes”… What is neat about Clover is that it works similar to the tabs in the Google Chrome browser. You can pin tabs and the feature I especially like is that you can add your favorite folders to the bookmark bar (for easy and fast access). I have added Clover to the downloads page (posted under the FREE SOFTWARE swarm)…

Best Web Browser Apps For Android And iPhone – “The web browsers that come loaded on smartphones aren’t always the best, especially in the case of Safari on the iPhone. It may be one of the most used browsers in the world but that doesn’t mean it is the best. These give options are easy to use and compatible with any phone so you can get browsing… ” READ MORE @ Heavy.com 

If you are wondering what browser I use on my Android devices; I use Google Chrome.  I have tried them all and I keep coming back to Chrome!

Top 5 Browsers

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-25) FEATURING — Take A Virtual Reality Ride On A New Dive Rollercoaster Coming In 2016 — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Take A Virtual Reality Ride On A New Dive Rollercoaster Coming In 2016 – When introduced in 2016, this rollercoaster (called the Valravn) will establish itself as being the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster.  You can read more about it here.  In the meantime you can take a virtual reality ride on it from your computer (see video below) and even on your phone as an Android or Apple app.

Start Video Below To Ride The Valravn
(Click full screen to get the full effect. There is a control at the top left
corner that can be used to get a panoramic view)

Campaign To Ban The Development of Sex Robots – Folks, this is not a joke. Knowing what I know about computer technology and the rapid development of robotics, we are very close to the time where you will be able to purchase your own sex robot. From an ethical standpoint, this is very disturbing. “Dr Richardson, a robot ethicist at De Montfort University in Leicester, wants to raise awareness of the issue and persuade those developing sex robots to rethink how their technology is used — READ MORE

Roxxxy the robot in a publicity shot

Free Security Protection and Speed Booster for Android Phone – If you are looking to take protective measures on your Android smartphone or tablet, you may want to take a look at the 360 Security – Antivirus Boost app. I am currently testing this on my tablet and phone and in comparison to many of the other security apps I have tried, I am really liking what I am seeing with this app. In summary 360 Security is a Security & Antivirus app with features such as:  junk-file remover, memory booster, power saver, anti-theft components (locater, eraser, alarm and lock), privacy & app locks, and real-time protection. This app runs as smooth as silk on both of my devices and carries a high rating at the google play store. I have added 360 Security to the downloads page under the Android Apps swarm.

 360 Security - Antivirus Boost

Could You Spot A Fake Product Review? – When I intend on making a purchase online, I head straight to the customer reviews to see what other people are saying about the product. The problem with this is that there are people paid to post fake reviews (often using automated technology) and you really have to be careful.  I typically will head to other sites that have the product and also check out their customer reviews so that I have a good comparative analysis. I typically try to stick with Amazon for reviews because there are typically many reviewers (often with pictures and videos).  As a matter of fact Amazon will often contact you, after making a purchase, to encourage you to post a review and/or answer a question about the product.  So, how do you spot fake reviews?  I encourage you to take a look at this article at TNW News, “How to spot fake reviews“… As the article states, “The bottom line is that you should easily be able to figure out if an item is a quality product or which companies have superior customer service without going through an exhaustive or misleading web experience”.

How spot fake reviews @ TNW News

How To Spot A Fake Review

Always Check The Deal Of The Day (@Amazon) – At the bottom of the blog you will see an icon for “The Deal Of The Day“.  When visiting, always click on that icon to see what Amazon has going on. For example, as of today’s blog post, they are offering tremendous savings on TP-Link Networking products

Deal of the Day

What Antivirus Do I Use? – I can tell you this… I have NEVER paid for any antivirus software EVER. Much of what we do on the internet and how we do it determines what our risk level is when it comes to becoming a victim of malware. The antivirus software that I currently use is Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. Once you install it, establish an online account, you will not even know it is there.

Bitdefender Free Edition

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-24) FEATURING — Are The Days Of The Traditional “Clamshell” Laptop Numbered? — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Are The Days Of The Traditional “Clamshell” Laptop Numbered? BetaNews has a good read on this. My gut is telling me that they may be right on predicting that the future of laptop computers will give away to the detachable keyboard format (with the digitized pen-enabled screen) of the Microsoft Surface device. The future may be now, due that every major hardware vendor is now embracing this technology. Initially, the Microsoft Surface device was largely ignored; but, after three tries (or versions) of Microsoft Surface the vendors (after their own awkward experimentation of multi-purpose notebooks) is now looking at the Microsoft Surface hardware model as a model template to accept and follow. An example of what the detachable 2-in-1 touchscreen laptops look like — CLICK HERE… I would wait awhile before jumping into one of these until the “Surface Like” models appear.

What do you think, will the traditional clamshell laptop give way to the 2-in-1 detachable keyboard format?

Read More On This At BetaNews

Surface Pro 3

Microsoft Buys A Top Android App Company – You may want to keep an eye on the Android App called Echo (by Double Labs). At the Google Play Store Echo is described as “…the fastest and coolest lockscreen for your notifications. Featured by Google as a top app, Echo Lockscreen is loved by users in 50+ countries”… What this means, if you are an Android phone or tablet user, you can personalize what appears on your phone or tablet when it’s in lock mode, with this app. I just discovered (according to Business Insider), that Microsoft has acquired Double Labs.  Read more about this to learn why Microsoft made this acquistion…

 Echo Notification Lockscreen

List Of Freeware AND Other Releases From The Windows Club – Just added The Windows Club Freeware List to the Downloads Page. This listing is unique in that it consists of many Windows utilities that will help make using Windows easier and/or fix a problem you may be experiencing. This lists consists of all the Freeware, eBook, Themes, Screensavers, Wallpaper and other releases from The Windows Club.

The Windows Club

Microsoft Office 2016 Will Be Broadly Available On September 22nd – One of the most innovative features to be included in this version of Office is the ability to co-author a document in real-time when both parties are online. You can read more about this at Maximum PC

Office 2016

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-23) FEATURING — Your FREE Online Tech Tool Bag — and MORE GREAT STUFF

A FREE Online Tech Tool Bag – No, this is not a tool bag that you physically carry around. This tool bag is one that is readily available in the virtual sense and has been specifically made for those who have a passion for information technology, PC troubleshooting and repair, and the desire to learn more. What I am referring to is the GEGeek web site. This site is awesome in the sense that the developer of the site, who is a seasoned IT Professional, has successfully created a centralized index of sorts that will direct you to anything and everything that has to do with fixing and learning more about Microsoft Windows and computers. To show how important I think this site is, I have permanently included a link to the site on What’s On My PC (see tab at top of the page).

GEGeek

On top of all of this, make sure you check out the GEGeek Tech Toolkit which is a “Complete Collection of over 600 Tech Related Free Programs⁄Suites, all accessible from one Menu Launcher Utility” that you can carry around on your flash drive. This toolkit, I highly recommend if you are an IT Professional or training to become one, is available via donationware. Donate an amount that is “Reasonable” and he will send you a download link via email for the toolkit (with includes free future updates). The link to the toolkit is at the top of the GE Geek Web Site (can’t miss it and don’t miss it)…

A Porn App That Snaps Your Photo and Demands A Ransom – “If you’ve used Adult Player, sorry to hear it: It’s an Android porn app that takes a photo of you with the phone’s front-facing camera, immobilizes the device, and demands a $500 payment via a locked ransom screen to fix the phone and delete the photo”… READ MORE

See How Fast Technology Education Is Changing In The Schools – I cannot imagine being a Teacher, Student or Parent these days and attempting to stay on top of all of the information technology changes. Ask A Tech Teacher has posted an article, 13 Changes in Tech-in-Ed in Just Three Years that provides real-world insight on how quickly things have changed, just in a three year period.

13 Changes In Tech Ed

I Highly Recommend This Android App If You Use Google’s Two-Factor Authentication – I just added this app to the downloads page and it is called Authy. Authy brings the future of strong authentication to the convenience of your Android device. The Authy app generates secure 2 step verification tokens on your device. It help’s you protect your account from hackers and hijackers by adding an additional layer of security. Two-Factor Authentication prevents your Google Gmail account from being hacked.

 Authy 2-Factor Authentication

Preserve The Integrity Of An Image With A Curved Screened Monitor – The first time I experienced one of the curved computer monitors and went back to a flat panel, I immediately sensed the difference. To get an idea of what I am referring to take a look at the S27D590CS monitor by Samsung. Definitely takes entertainment to a whole new level. I just need to figure out how to get this monitor to fit into my work area.

Samsung Curved Monitor

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-22) FEATURING — Use Your Existing Electrical Wiring In Your Home To Create A Wired Data Network — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Use Your Existing Electrical Wiring In Your Home To Create A Wired Data Network – I know we all are into wireless connectivity, but did you know there is another option available, using the right technology, that is right under our nose. It is called power-line networking that uses the electrical wiring in our homes to create an ethernet (data) network. What you need to set this up are small adapters that plug into any wall outlet and connect via a cable to the ethernet port on your computer (or other network device). This setup is especially useful in scenarios where your wireless network is out of reach or you want to create a wired home theater (media center) setup for greater speeds and reliability. To get you started on this (and to learn more), I found The essential guide to powerline Ethernet adapters (including 12 hands-on reviewsat PCWorld which is part of a series of continually updated articles on the topic. If you are thinking about creating a power-line data network I encourage you to bookmark this information. One thing of importance that I extracted from my reading of these articles is that there is a variety products (and standards) and it is important to stay with the same product line (and standard) once you start creating your network. These type of networks require minimal setup and once you plug in a networked computer (or device), it should be connected within moments.

Powerline Networking

Power Tool For The Tech Toolbox – This tool, called Registry Finder (available as a portable app), is a tool that allows you to browse the local registry; create, delete, rename keys and values; modify values as its natural data type (string, multistring, DWORD) or as a binary data. It is allowed to open multiple Registry windows. Next time you start Registry Finder, those windows will be reopened on the same keys as before.

Registry Finder

Upgrade Your Old PC To SSD – I recently upgraded a 5 year old Toshiba notebook PC with a solid state drive. This was a good decision on my part (pat on the back) due that it made the computer noticeably more responsive by greatly improving load times and transfer speeds. Along with this upgrade you benefit from a reduction in noise and power consumption. If you are considering an upgrade, An SSD should be the first upgrade for your PC (read more on this at BetaNews).  If you are looking for solid state drive options (and pricing) — CLICK HERE

SSD Upgrade

Rules And Regulations On Drone Usage Is As Clear As Mud – I encourage you to — CLICK HERE — to see the infographic titled Robots In The Sky that pretty much sums up everything about drones right now (i.e. drones that made the headlines, proposed FAA laws, State drone laws, safety guidelines, etc…)

Robots In the Sky

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-21) FEATURING — Windows 10 Enhancement Update Coming In November — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Windows 10 Enhancement Update Coming In November – Microsoft is referring to this update as an enhancement update and it will be called Threshold 2. Best read on this is at BGR where they are reporting “The most important Windows 10 update yet is coming in November – here’s what we know so far.“… Expected changes mentioned is support for Microsoft Edge browser extensions, a desktop messaging app that will apparently work across various lines of messaging services and more “under-the-hood” improvements that will benefit Universal apps.

Windows 10 Threshold 2 Update

Here Are Steps To Take To Keep Your Android Smartphone Locked Down – Have you ever misplaced your smartphone or had it stolen? I have and the feeling that I experienced was not a good feeling (even though I had the phone locked down and protected). Our phones are an extension of ourselves and we don’t realize that until it is gone. The information you carry on that phone is all about you; your online account information, your personal text and email messages, pictures, documents, etc…  Not good, if this information falls into the wrong hands. To take a step in the right direction to protect you and your phone, please read How to Keep Your Android as Secure as Possible at Drippler…

Secure Your Android

Microsoft Can Track Your Keystrokes (in Windows 10) – Microsoft can track your keystrokes, your speech, and more. Here are the settings to turn it all off — CLICK HERE … Microsoft openly put into the Windows 10 Technical Preview a keylogger. At that time, the company admitted that “we may collect voice information” and “typed characters.” Apparently they are still collecting information in the released version of Windows 10.

Keylogger In Windows 10

A Talking Alarm Clock or Talking Desktop Clock For Your Computer – If you would like to install an alarm clock that will remind you of important dates and events, then take a look at Talking Alarm Clock… An alarm can talk using either Microsoft® Agent or Microsoft® Speech (a.k.a. SAPI5). Information on installing the Talking Alarm Clock and the related speech engines can be found at the site. Also, on the same site as the Talking Alarm Clock you will find the Talking Desktop Clock that will announce the time on the hour, ½ hour, or ¼ hour, or at any interval you choose. There are optional clock styles and chimes to choose from.

Talking Clocks

Prices Slashed On Motorola Nexus 6 Smartphone – The Nexus brand is the brand that is supported by Google. I noticed that the pricing on the 32 GB model and the 64 bit model (at Amazon) have been sliced dramatically. If you are looking for an unlocked Android smartphone, here is your chance to get hold of one…  I don’t know how long this will last, but this a great deal.

Nexus 6

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-20) – Is Your Windows 10 Upgrade Setup Stuck?— and MORE FREE STUFF

Is Your Windows 10 Upgrade Setup Stuck? – Just experienced this problem with a friend where his Windows 10 upgrade was stuck at the “Preparing To Install” window for over 24 hours. Typically the upgrade process should be less than 2 hours max and in my case the upgrade process (on a basic laptop) took approximately 45 minutes. If this occurs, there is actually two things you can “try”. In my friends case we ended up shutting down the computer and restarting the process all over again (and it worked). We were not seeing any hard drive activity at all; thus, we made the decision to shutdown.  In the event you do not want to take that risk,  and your Microsoft Windows 10 Setup Stuck At “Preparing To Install”? Here’s The Fix … at a website called Bidnessetc. I have not tried this fix; however, this is what I came up with when researching the problem my friend was experiencing.

Microsoft Windows 10 Setup Stuck At “Preparing To Install”? Here’s The Fix

Remember the “Send To Toys” Explorer Extension?  It’s back… – Some years back a developer made a popular Windows Explorer extension tool that expanded the usage of the “Send To” menu, called Send To Toys. After years of no development activity, the developer recently published an upgraded version that is compatible with Windows 10. This program allows you add useful tools to the “Send To” menu and also gives you the ability to customize the menu (add/remove menu items — even those items that are not part of the program). Please note that I have added “Send To Toys” to the downloads page under the “Free Software” swarm…

Send To Toys

Like Legos? If yes, then you will love this computer –  “Imagine having a vertical tower of Lego pieces, only with every piece you add, the tower gains a new ability.” — at the Verge.

Revo Build Series

Watch This Video That Leads To Google’s NEW LOGO – Google has been around for approximately 17 years and during that 17 years they have taken us through a lot and as those changes occurred, their logo changed. You can read more about it by clicking HERE

Play And Run Android Apps On Your Desktop – This concept is nothing new, but the emulator to do this called Nox App Player is new to me and apparently was out there in the wild, but in Chinese. Betanews has a write-up on this if you are interested in giving this a try — CLICK HERE

NOX App Emulator

Trail and Game Camera Viewer – My brother’s have game cameras setup on our property (more or less as a hobby). You would not believe what has been captured on camera (such as bears, eagles, foxes and coyotes). The cameras require a SD card; and, typically in order to view the camera footage you have to take the card to a computer, UNTIL NOW. Check out this BoneViewTM2.0 Trail and Game Camera Viewer for AndroidTM Phones, Micro USB Connector, Reads SD and Micro SD Cards

Wildlife Cam Viewer

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-19) – View And Control Your Android Device From Your Computer — and MORE FREE STUFF

View And Control Your Android Device From Your ComputerVysor is a Google Chrome extension that is currently in beta (testing) that allows you to mirror (and control) your Android device (smartphone or tablet) from your Windows based computer. Keep in mind this utility is in beta testing, so there may be bugaboos… Your smartphone or tablet must be connected to your computer via USB. Typically this is not a problem for many Android device users, due this is a method that we often use to charge our devices. You can read in detail — CLICK HERE — the steps and driver involved for this to work. If you are successful, I think you will find that Vysor is an awesome application in the making where you can control every aspect of your Android device from your computer (even texting).

In summary, the ingredients to make this work are: USB debugging must be enabled on your device; your device connected to your computer via USB; the Google Chrome browser; the Google Chrome Vysor extension,; and the ABD driver installed. May sound complicated, but is not as hard as you think and in the end you have a very impressive (and useful) application.

Maryland University To Eliminate Textbooks – A spokesman at the University said “students will be able use a variety of materials like readings and videos online at no cost”.  Many Universities have been following similar models; however, UMUC is the first in making a transition of this magnitude

(Photo: UMUC)

4-Port USB Car Charger with Intelligent Charging Technology – Check out this Inateck Aluminum 4-Port USB Car Charger with Intelligent Charging Technology. The intelligent charging technology has a built-in smart chipset that detects your devices automatically to deliver the safest current.

Inatech 4-Port Charger

Sandboxie Now Supports Windows 10 – If you do not know what Sandboxie is then you are missing out on a very special piece of software that can keep you safe… Sandboxie is a software application that gives you the ability to run other software applications and surf the internet in an isolated abstraction area called a sandbox. Under the supervision of Sandboxie, an application operates normally and at full speed, but can’t effect permanent changes to your computer. Instead, the changes are effected only in the sandbox; thus, in the event of a malware infection or the software does not meet your needs, you simply delete the sandbox. I currently use Sandboxie to test software that I am not sure about. Since the my upgrade to Windows 10, I found that the developers of Sandboxie are working on a compatible version for Windows 10. If you are a Windows 10 and Sandboxie user, you may want to give the beta (test) version a try (CLICK HERE); HOWEVER, please note that SBIE Beta v5 does not support Windows Metro Apps or the Edge browser at this time. You will need to change your default web browser in Win 10 from Edge to something else. For example, in my case, I am currently (and safely) using Sandboxie to run the Google Chrome browser inside a sandbox.

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Geek Squeaks (#2015-18) – Featuring Amazons NEW Underground App For Android — and MORE FREE STUFF

Amazon’s NEW Underground App For Android – From what I am gathering, Amazon is replacing their Amazon free app of the day with a new app that has the same functionality as their regular shopping app. It is being called Amazon Underground and it includes “over $10,000 of apps and games that are actually free”. Appears Amazon has an agreement with the app developers where they are reimbursed based on the amount of time the apps are actually used. You can learn more on this HERE …

Amazon Underground

 Windows 10 Now Installed On Over 75 Million Devices – Sounds like a good start for Microsoft and Windows 10 — READ MORE

Windows 10 - Over 75 Million

 A Tech Tool To Keep Your System Under Control – Get detailed information about Tasks, Processes, Modules, Startups, IE Addons, Uninstallers, Windows, Services, Drivers, Connections and Opened Files with System Explorer

 System Explorer

Best Seller Inexpensive Mouse At Amazon – The AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse with Nano Receiver is a smooth, precise and affordable wireless optical 3-button mouse with nano receiver for laptop, desktop and netbook PCs. Check out the other AmazonBasics deals and save…

 Amazon's Basics

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