Archive for Check This Out
There are hundreds of great programs that users can download for free. Most of these programs are easy to install and free of adware, spyware, and malware….but many of them are including extra programs that you might not want on your computer. I don’t need 15 different internet toolbars on my browser. In the past month I’ve had sneaky companies try to add a little extra install of the Ask Toolbar, the Google Toolbar, Yahoo Toolbar, spyware protection, malware protection, a screensaver, and new desktop backgrounds. This is happening by selecting the RECOMMENDED install method that is usually highlighted while installing a program. By selecting this method, which is always the default method, users are granting authorization to also install lots of other extras. Next time you download or install any program, I suggest you select the ADVANCED method. This option will show you what is being installed and where it is being installed. It also allows you to deselect any add-ons that came with the download. You get the program you want without all the fluff.
Windows 8 is here to stay so people looking for a new computer should get one with Windows 8 already installed. The only reason to downgrade to Windows 7 or lower is if you have critical programs that will not work with Windows 8. So far I’ve been using 8 since the week it came out and all my programs work great; even the ones that are suppose to have problems or not officially be compatible.
Since I have 8 on a desktop I’ve been using it like the older Windows 7. All I need to do is hit Desktop and the Apps page goes away and things look like they always did; except for the missing Start button. Alas, you can just put the cursor in the bottom left corner and hit the left mouse button to get back to the new 8 start screen. If you hit the right mouse button you have lots of other things available also.
Windows 8 comes with build-in virus protection and an upgraded file system. It’s good enough for the average person that is aware of threats but if you are one of those users that like to click on everything, download “free” movies and programs, or visit questionable sites then you might want to look into a more robust protection system.
I would suggest that people using Windows 8 on a desktop just skip using the apps page to start web programs and continue to open them in a web browser. It’s a lot faster and browser tabs is still very convenient. The apps page is more geared towards users of touch screens on a tablet or some notebooks. I don’t think many user of desktops want their monitor that close even if it is a touch screen.
In summary, don’t be afraid of Windows 8 if you are in need of a new computer. If you already have a computer that is doing what you what it to do then don’t bother to upgrade.
I use to love Netflix and I still like the service, just not as much as I did in the past. The same goes with Roku which allows an owner to stream videos from Netflix, Amazon, and a number of other services to a TV set.
AppleTV looks like it’s going to become the new dominant player in the streaming business and Amazon will most likely overtake Netflix. AppleTV recently approved of an app for the iPad that provides access to Amazon and Hulu videos. This is after a year of wondering what they want to do with AppleTV. It looks like they have made the decision and new content from other providers will be pouring into AppleTV. This makes the AppleTV box, which sells for $99, the optimum hardware to buy for streaming to your TV set. Roku is probably spending a lot of time in the bathroom changing their pants at this point. Apple could easily put them out of business since the top Roku player is the same price as AppleTV.
So if you’re in the market for hardware to stream content to your TV set I’d go with AppleTV in the long run or look for a deep discount on a Roku player.
1) Get the word out! There are over 1 billion people who have access to the internet. With your own website you have a 24/7/365 electronic billboard giving them information about you and your company. That’s a huge advertising return for a small hosting fee. If anyone needs your address, phone number, directions to your store, or other basic information then you can provide it to them right on the website. All these things help to bring in customers and tell them why they should do business with you.
2) Sell online – Once you have people coming to your site you can treat them like they came into your store and show your goods and services for sale.
3) Customer Service – A website can help to service your customer base by answering frequently asked questions, making documents available for download, and news updates.
I have extensive computer experience which started out when I was 13 years old. My school just got a Radio Shack TRS-80 and I thought it was amazing. Later on it got the nickname of Trash-80 but for my first pc experience it was anything but trash.
I purchased a computer kit a few months later called the Sinclair ZX-81 for $100 along with a 16k (that’s k as in kilo, not mega or giga) memory expansion for another $100. I started to learn programming in BASIC and one of my first was a program to solve quadratic equations. This helped me a lot since during the same year I had an Algebra I/II honors class and the teacher gave us a big project to make a mathematical device. Most of my classmates made simple things like an abacus or new designs on rulers to help with graphing. My turn came up and I unveil the ZX81 which I also hardwired into a new case for easier typing. I hooked it up to a TV and started solving quadratic equations in seconds. The teacher was amazed and my classmates were amazed/plotting my death so overall it was a success.
Since that time I’ve become an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer), CompTIA A+ certified, and worked in technical support for a few different companies. I’ve fixed thousands of desktops, laptops, and servers so I’ve included some questions and answers below that are pretty common in today’s pc world.
Q. What is a good free antivirus program?
A. Remember, in this world you get what you pay for. Even so, I’d recommend Avast for a free antivirus solution. You can download the latest version from FREE AVAST
Q. I upgraded to Windows Vista and I keep getting problems using my applications, especially ones that use the internet. What’s wrong?
A. Let’s face it. Any new operating system is going to have issues. The first thing you should check before upgrading is whether your programs will be compatible with the new OS. A great place to start is Windows Vista Compatibility Center and see if your hardware and software is listed. Another possibility is the dreaded and hated User Account Control. This little Vista feature wreaks havoc with all sorts of programs in the name of security. Do yourself a favor and go to control panel – user accounts and family safety – user accounts and see if it is on. If it is then turn if off, restart your pc, and see if the problem is fixed.
Q. I can’t save anything on my hard drive and my programs keep crashing when I open them, is it possessed?
A. Before you call in the PC Exorcist, check the free space on your hard drive. You should ideally have at least 20% free space but I’ve seen plenty of people with 0, that’s none, free space on their hard drive. This will cause all kinds of issues such as inability to save new info, slow opening and closing of programs, pc crashes, and overall demonic behavior.
Q. I’ve seen the commercials and ads but what’s better, a PC or a Mac?
A. I’ve owned lots of different computers and used even more computers. Some of them were a Sinclair ZX-81, an Atari 800, Apple IIe, Apple Macintosh, original IBM PC, and so on. I also did not invent any of these PCs nor do I work for any PC company so my advice is better than any you would get from Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sir Clive Sinclair, or your Uncle Bubba who knows everything there is to know about computers. My advice is this…ready???…here it comes….GET WHATEVER RUNS THE SOFTWARE YOU NEED….If more than 1 does then GET WHATEVER ROCKS YOUR BOAT. Don’t listen to someone saying you need this, that, and the other thing. Computers get better and cheaper all the time so get what runs the software and keep it until it doesn’t run it well anymore.
Q. Any good place to buy hardware/software that you can tell me about?
A. I’ve found that different places have their specialties so I use around a dozen different online and retail vendors. Some of the overall best are Newegg , Walmart , Sam’s Club , and Tiger Direct . You can’t beat Sam’s 3 month return policy on almost everything, oh how they love me so.
Netflix & Roku
Netflix is a DVD rental service and Roku is a device you connect to your TV to watch Netflix movies instantly. These two things are well worth getting. You will get a huge amount of knowledge and entertainment for only $79.99, which is the price of the Roku player and $8.99/month for the lowest priced Netflix service that includes unlimited instant movies. The possibilities are endless!!!!
After the initial purchase of the player you get the following:
1) Child care for only 30 cents a day. Kids love TV so give them unlimited instant educational programs. Elmo and Caillou can be your in-house day care (diapers and baby food not included).
2) Date night for 2 with drinks, popcorn, Milk Duds, gas, and dirty seats costing $40 or more? I think not! Show her a good time in your comfortable living room with Orville Redenbacher, 2-liter coke, and no gum on the seats for less than $5. If the movie sucks you can even switch to a better one while getting refills on your drinks.
3) Got insomnia? Here’s a quick way to help. You can watch something exciting for entertainment or watch something boring to cure that sleeplessness. With over 50,000 instant movies to choose from there’s going to be something on there that’s better than the late night infomercials.
4) Anyone collecting a social security check probably doesn’t like much of the crap on TV these days. I still have a few decades to go before that time and even I don’t like the crap. Instead of paying for high priced premium cable, you can find old time classics like Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, and The Honeymooners. You even get a nice simple remote to use also.