Sunday, July 29, 2007

Upcoming project's

A couple of project's will be coming up soon. In no particular order:

  • Upgrading and installing a larger harddrive on my friend Ray's Dell Latitude C600. I was finally able to find a good deal on a 60 gb(on Ebay) to replace his 20 gb. This may also involve a cloning the old drive to the new or a new operating system completely. Hasn't been determined yet.
  • Also upgrading his IBM Thinkpad's 600e drive from a 4gb to a 20gb. Which may also involve cloning or new OS.On the same unit I'll be replacing the CMOS battery too.
  • Thirdly upgrading my wife's laptop(IBM Thinkpad 600) from a 4b to a 20gb. I'll probably clone that one.
It's looks like I'll have some stuff to do this coming weekend to keep me busy. I'm just waiting for the drives to come in. Probably later this week Thursday or Friday.This'll be a first time doing with laptop's so it'll be interesting. In a desktop it's pretty simple setup cloning drive's which I've done before. With a laptop it's a little more involved . I'll have to order a external drive cable(like this one from Newegg). It'll be fun(for me at least) to do. I'll post the details as they come.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

OLPC laptops being used for Porn

This comes as no surprise nor should it to officials of this program. One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) for those not familiar with it is a program to bring inexpensive laptops to children of poorer countries. Apparently in Nigeria some have figured out how to surf for porn. Big surprise coming from the country that brings us the ever popular "419" email scam. Even with the filters I'm sure they'll figure out the loophole soon enough(just like all kids). Welcome to the new world.

Originally found here at Geeks Are Sexy.
Reuters story.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Learning to type

My wife reminds me of my typing skills (lack of). One of my personal goals as silly as it may sound is to learn to type other than the hunt and peck method that I use now. Which can be slow and makes it tough to articulate what I'm trying to say. The program(or website) I found is Peter's Online Typing Course It's a no-thrills course but best of all it's free. Give it a try to learn a new skill or hone the ones you've got. Good luck.

P.s. I found another here also.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Phishing quiz

Original found here at Geeks are Sexy

McAfee has posted a quiz testing one's ability to spot phishing scams. I got 7 of 10 myself and I thought I'd be good at spotting them. I do get them in my emails almost daily.

McAfee Quiz

Monday, July 16, 2007

re:Virus and Spyware

Well when BitDefender finished it's scan it had found 8 viruses and had deleted all but 2. Which were Trojan.Fakealert.CI and FF. A quick Google of this I found a program that s supposed to rid your PC of this particular item. called Prevx 2.0. Which I downloaded(free 30 Trial. It's now installed and no more popups(as of yet,lol).

Virus and spyware infection

While surfing around tonight I started getting warnings and popups(disguised as warnings). My antivirus(Avast!) did pick up a couple of trojans and moved them in the vault. I still suspected more . Getting a pop bubble on the taskbar saying "Warning: Your computer is infected". Well I said to my self "Duh". If clicked on erroneous popups ensue warning me of an infection and I should download a certain software. Suure I will. Anyway I scanned first with Avast! Antivirus which turned up zilch(other than what it had already found previously).I ran my Spyware Terminator which only found one file which wasn't the problem. So decided to try an online scan from BitDefender and so far has found 2 viruses infecting 3 files so far and still scanning. Also I still get an annoying popup saying"Security Monitor:Warning! Attention! System detected a potential hazard(trojanSPM/LMX) on your computer....bla, bla etc. Of course when clicked on the same popups urging me to download a certain software(same as before). We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bloatware

New PC's are notorious for carrying what is called bloatware. Meaning they come with pre-installed software usually on a trial-ware basis in hopes you purchase. Here's an interesting video from the people at PCPitstop.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Internet Crash 2007

Now for a bit of humor....

Disk Defragmentor

This handy little windows utility can help your PC running efficiently. As a computer is used with programs being installed - un-installed, data being added and deleted a PC can become more cluttered than my basement. I came across this video from the people of About.com. Even I learned a little from it. The basic steps in defragmenting your hard drive are:
  1. Defragmentation runs runs best if no other applications are running. Close all running applications then click on your Start button,click on Run and type in type in "msconfig", click Ok or press Enter. On the General tab select "Selective Startup" and uncheck Process SYSTEM.INI file, Process WIN.INI file and Load Startup items. Click Apply then Ok and restart your system.
  2. When your system has rebooted click on your Start button Go to your Programs to Accessories to System Tools and select Defragmentation. Select the drive(drive c: is usually the default selection) you wish to defrag and then hit the the Defragment button.
The actual defragmentation process can take awhile so sometimes this is best left just before your going to be away from your computer for awhile like before bed, lunch break or whatever your case may be. Good luck and I hope this was helpful.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Msconfig utility for Windows 2000 users

Is a handy utility item for editing start up items from Microsoft. It was included in Windows 98,98se and XP. Unfortunately it was not included Windows 95, NT or 2000. I was spoiled with it when I ran Windows 98se but, when I moved to Windows 2000 Pro I missed it. I did find that you can download from this website and insert it in for Windows 95 , NT and 2000 Pro.

-For Windows 95 users you download it and insert in your c:windows\system folder
-Windows 2000 Pro users can insert in c:winnt\system32

Does not have to be run from those folders. It can be left on your desktop or folder of choice and run from there.Inserting in above folders alloys you to run it from start/run option. Click on Start button, click on Run and type in msconfig. This is a handy utility for trimming down those start up programs that can slow down your start up time and resources.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Apple Parody

I know this clips been around for awhile but. I still find it funny. Be aware that it does contain some adult language so it may not be safe for work or around your kids.

Tips For Increasing The Life Of CD’s And DVD’s

Most of our programs, data, family photos, movies, music and favorite games are stored on CD's and DVD's. It's important to take care of them and handle them properly. Here's some handy tips from the folks at PC Daily Tips.


-Bob








Tips For Increasing The Life Of CD’s And DVD’s
Posted on June 22nd, 2007 by zahid

You probably know CD and DVD media, while overall is fairly durable, can easily be damaged. Here are just a few tips to help keep your CD’s and DVD’s in top shape:

1. Never touch the underside of a CD or a DVD. It’s a sensitive area. Fingerprints and smudges can affect the disk’s readability. Always use your thumb for support on the outer rim and insert your index finger in the hole to hold the disk.
2. When you are loading your CD’s/DVD’s from the top, don’t bend the disk too much while inserting it to the rotation motor. Push the disk gently on the motor from the area outside the center ring.
3. The best way to store your media is in jewel or DVD cases. CD sleeves or other pouches may damage the media due to constant friction.
4. Never expose your disks to direct sunlight. There could be data deterioration due to the heat and high intensity light of the sun.

If you do notice the first signs of deterioration, backup or make a copy of your media so you can be sure to avoid data loss.

Monday, July 9, 2007

What's inside the box?

Ever wonder what's inside the PC case but don't want to open it? I've used Belarc Advisor for many years to take a quick peak at what's inside the case. It's useful when your unfamiliar with a PC and would like to know what's inside. Not the most in depth software tool of this type but, it will give a quick snapshot of your system and best of all it's free for personal use. You can download it here.

Gates Vs. Jobs video

I thought this was a humorous little video. It does have some adult content so be careful where you view it.

PC repair Video

A computer repair video I've found. A decent explanation of the basic parts of a PC. Hey you've got to start somewhere.


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Fred Thompson Fact

Fred Thompson's backyard fireworks display for Independence Day is so awesome, it often causes several European countries to surrender.

80 Bugs ?

I sometimes search around Craigslist for different things. Let's face some people don't have a firm grasp of the english language and typo's are numerous also. Some are humorous. Just thought I'd share this one.

computer desk: this desk I bought from staples less tan 1 year ago with 80 bugs. it is black coated and it features a slide-out keyboard tray with safety stop, a printer shelf, integrated CD racks, and an extra shelf for your convenience. Steel frame makes it very sturdy yet it can be easily assembled/dissembled.

-Maybe I should start collecting bugs around the yard to buy stuff at Staples.



Saturday, July 7, 2007

Freeze your hard drive to recover data: Myth or reality? - [Geeks are Sexy] technology news

Freeze your hard drive to recover data: Myth or reality? - [Geeks are Sexy] technology news

I came across this article while surfing for an answer for "Yahoo Answers" To nice not to pass along. It can work.

How To Troubleshoot a PC That Won't Turn On

I saw this article and really liked it and is pretty informative. I do disagree in the order of some of the steps. Steps 6, 7 and 8 seem to assume that your comfortable opening, changing things around inside the case and have some technical knowledge of what's inside. The newbie, average or casual user is probably not going to be comfortable opening the case. No more than I would be trying to explain to Bill Gates how Windows works. Even in my case I'd like to save opening the case as a last resort item. My advise would be to skip 6,7, and 8. Go ahead to 9, 10 and 11. If your still having problems at that point perhaps go back to 6,7 and 8. If your not comfortable opening your PC have a tech savvy friend or perhaps a technician who could help you in this matter.Proper precautions have to be taken when opening the case to prevent ESD(electro static discharge) which could cause more problems than perhaps you already have.






How To Troubleshoot a PC That Won't Turn On
From Tim Fisher,
Your Guide to Focus on PC Support.
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It's a dreadful way to start a day - you press the power button on your PC and nothing happens. Do not fear because all may not be lost! Follow these simple steps to determine why your computer won't turn on.

Note: It is very important to troubleshoot any issue beginning with the most likely and easily testable problem so be sure to follow these steps in order.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours depending on why the computer won't turn on
Here's How:

1.As silly as it may sound, the number one reason why a computer won't turn on is because it wasn't turned on! Before starting a sometimes time consuming troubleshooting process, make sure you've actually turned on both the computer case and the monitor using the power switches on the front of both.

2.Many computers have power switches on the power supply, located on the back of the PC's case. Check this switch, often called the rear power switch, and make sure it is turned on and that the correct voltage is set and then attempt to power on your computer again.

Tip: On is indicated by the "I" symbol and off is indicated by the "O" symbol.

3.Check for loose PC and monitor power cable connections. A loose or unplugged power cable is one of the top reasons why a computer doesn't turn on.

4.Perform a "lamp test" to verify power is being provided. Your computer isn't going to turn on if it's not getting power so you need to make sure that the power source is working properly.

5.A damaged power supply could be preventing the PC from being properly powered, an excellent reason why the PC won't power on.

Do a quick test of the power supply by holding your hand behind the power supply fan located at the rear of the case. If the power supply is working, you should feel air from within the case blowing against your hand. If not, you may need to replace the power supply.

Tip: Is the power light on the front of the computer's case on? If you've turned the power switch on but the light is off, this is another good indication that the power supply is the cause of this issue.

6.Over time, internal components and the cables that connect them can wiggle loose which can often time result in a computer unable to power on. Try reseating the following and then try to power on the PC again:
* Reseat the internal cables
* Reseat the memory modules
* Reseat the video card
* Reseat other expansion cards

7.Reseating the CPU may also be necessary but should only be attempted if the reaseating of all other components is not successful. This is due to the fact that this process is a little more involved and can run a small risk of damage to the CPU (this isn't a big concern if you're careful, so don't worry!).

8.Check for causes of electrical shorts in the computer case. This is often the cause of the problem when the computer powers on for a second or two but then powers off completely.

9.Hearing beeps? You haven't gone mad - your computer may be using a beep code to tell you exactly what's wrong! Troubleshoot the beep code and service the computer as necessary.

10.Most monitors have a small light next to the power button that can change between various colors. If the screen is blank, this light is your main source of information about the monitor.

If this light is not on at all, double-check the power switch and connections (Steps 1, 2 and 3) and also make sure the monitor cable is securely plugged in to the video card port on the back of the computer case. If the light is still off, replace the monitor. If it comes back on, try starting your PC again - a loose or unplugged monitor cable may have been the issue all along.

11.An amber or yellow power light simply means that the monitor is not receiving any information from the computer. In and of itself, this doesn't tell us much.

On the other hand, if the light is amber or yellow, the computer power light is on, and the hard drive is active (making normal sounds and hard drive activity light on the computer case is blinking), the computer is probably starting normally but the video card is not sending information to the monitor. Replace the video card.

Beep codes usually sound when a video card has malfunctioned (Step 9) but this is not always the case.

Tips:

1.Still can't get your PC to turn on? Let a community of PC support enthusiasts help out! Post the details of your problem in the Focus on PC Support Forums.

More How To's from your Guide To Focus on PC Support

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©2007 About, Inc., a part of The New York Times Company. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 6, 2007

About our sponsors.....

Now before anyone says "Sell out!" I'll say I certainly did. A guys got to eat you know. Plus let's face it I don't make a living at this stuff(at least not yet). I've tried to keep them at a minimum and to at least those I've used and can vouch for. The only exception would be the ad's by Google which pop up randomly and I have slightly less control over them. "NewEgg" I use frequently due to there selection, surprisingly quick shipping(not mention reasonably priced) if your looking for computer parts. "Vista Print" I've used for business cards and I'm quite happy with them.

As far as any computer stuff going on today not much has been happening. I may have to install a new dsl modem for my sister this coming weekend if she's not able to figure it out. Apparently hers went on the fritz this past week and the folks at Verizon were kind enough to send her another modem. The other thing I was researching for my brother who happens to run a small engine repair business was to look into laptops and would like to have mobile wifi ability for looking things up like parts and such. Again Verizon looks to be a likely candidate for that but seems a bit pricey at $59.99 a month is a bit much for small business. Still needs the laptop first which I've been trying to look up for him. I would think something inexpensive from Dell Auctions would be a good fit for him but we'll see.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

New projects

My friend(owner of the Dell Latitude) has given me a few new projects to play err... I mean work on. The first one is another laptop which is a Toshiba Portege 7100 Series with a Pentium III running about 500mhz. He says it was acting funny trying to boot it up and perhaps check it to that. The exact problem is kind of fuzzy in detail. He thinks he solved the problem because when changed the settings for when you close the case it would go into hibernate instead of just standby. It seemed to have solved the problem. I did change the power settings because when I was updating and installing it would shutoff(by which I mean standby) which was a bit irritating. Also I noticed when attached to the docking station it would not boot up. Will have to check that out. The second project is even older . It's Digital HiNote Ultra II notebook. The details on this one are a bit sketchy to come by. Best I can tell it's got a Pentium I. It doesn't have power cord and the battery is dead so I have no way of booting it up at the moment to find more info. Power cords on Ebay were a whopping $50 plus. My jaw dropped when I saw that. This cost more than the laptop was purchased for ($5.00 at yard sale). Anyway Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Dell Latitude Update

Well I talked to friend(owner) and asked me to sell the drive on Ebay since he has lost the receipt. Proceeds would go towards a replacement drive. I did find a similar replacement on Newegg which is a carbon copy almost except that it has the correct interface. Let's hope it sells on Ebay so I can replace his drive. His current drive though still works it is smaller than he needs and also it does make a clicking sound when in use. That usually means the drives days are numbered. So a drive upgrade is a must. What happened I believe that the store clerk in question picked up the wrong drive because both PATA and SATA have almost identical model no.'s except the incorrect one has a "S" (presumably for Serial ATA) on the end of it. Moral of the story: Don't assume the store clerk from any electronics store (who probably doesn't grasp the difference between serial interface(Sata) or your favorite breakfast cereal) hands you the correct part. Double check before you make your final purchase(online or in the store). It also goes for software too.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Bob's PC Tip of the Day - Disk Cleanup

A common complaint about computers is that it's running slower than usual or just is plain bogged down. Though this can be a sign of spyware or antivirus infection it can also be a sign that your hard drive is filling up with clutter. Mainly of windows temp files, internet files, unused programs and programs running in background etc.. Luckily Windows does include built in programs to help combat this. The one used for clean up is called(surprisingly) "Disk Cleanup". Which will cleanup temp files, unused programs, internet temp file. It can be found by clicking Start,then All Programs, go to Accessories, then System Tools, and then Disk Cleanup. Windows will estimate how much space you'll save. It sometimes takes several minutes ,so it's a good time to fetch another coffee or see if your kids are terrorizing your pets and so on. Other options included are uninstalling programs you don't use anymore. One other option is to remove all restore points except your last(good one). To do this click on the more options tab and then select Clean up in the System Restore dialog box. Another option is to use a third party clean up program like CCleaner which goes a little more in depth. Did I mention it's freeware? Good luck.

For more info you can check out the Microsoft support site and/or Microsoft Technet.