Thursday, July 31, 2008

AutoRuns for Windows v9.32 (Troubleshooting Tool)

By Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell
Published: July 24, 2008


This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP.

Autoruns' Hide Signed Microsoft Entries option helps you to zoom in on third-party auto-starting images that have been added to your system and it has support for looking at the auto-starting images configured for other accounts configured on a system. Also included in the download package is a command-line equivalent that can output in CSV format, Autorunsc.

You'll probably be surprised at how many executables are launched automatically!

Autoruns works on Windows 2000 SP4 Rollup 1 or above.

Outdated drivers

RadarSync 2008 Free Edition < > is the only product I tested that won't cost you a dime. It also claims to update not just drivers but applications as well. The installer is conventional, but it tries to install a browser toolbar and a separate free-trial product, so be sure to uncheck those options if you don't want them.

In my tests, RadarSync found only one outdated driver on the Vista PC (which uses the aforementioned PCI chipset). The program fared better on my XP system, producing results comparable to those of the more conservative DriverAgent.

In addition, RadarSync also found some out-of-date software (not just drivers). If this is useful to you, it won't cost you anything to use RadarSync either in place of or in addition to a related product.

RadarSync also gets points for providing useful information when you click Details for chipset drivers. The program pointed out several issues that the newer drivers will not correct.

The RadarSync site says that the $30 paid version includes tech support, omits advertising, and lets you schedule automatic updates. [Source:  Windows Secrets Newsletter of 7-31.]

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Welcome to Cuil—the world’s biggest search engine

A replacement for Google!

Welcome to Cuil—the world’s biggest search engine. The Internet has grown. We think it’s time search did too.

The Internet has grown exponentially in the last fifteen years but search engines have not kept up—until now. Cuil searches more pages on the Web than anyone else—three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft.

Rather than rely on superficial popularity metrics, Cuil searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance. When we find a page with your keywords, we stay on that page and analyze the rest of its content, its concepts, their inter-relationships and the page’s coherency.

Then we offer you helpful choices and suggestions until you find the page you want and that you know is out there. We believe that analyzing the Web rather than our users is a more useful approach, so we don’t collect data about you and your habits, lest we are tempted to peek. With Cuil, your search history is always private.

Cuil is an old Irish word for knowledge. For knowledge, ask Cuil.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blocking Unwanted Parasites with a Hosts File

And based on what Uncle Kenny belows says, I like this site and it's updated every month.

What it does ...
The Hosts file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. This file is loaded into memory (cache) at startup, then Windows checks the Hosts file before it queries any DNS servers, which enables it to override addresses in the DNS. This prevents access to the listed sites by redirecting any connection attempts back to the local (your) machine. Another feature of the HOSTS file is its ability to block other applications from connecting to the Internet, providing the entry exists.

You can use a HOSTS file to block ads, banners, 3rd party Cookies, 3rd party page counters, web bugs, and even most hijackers. This is accomplished by blocking the connection(s) that supplies these little gems.

HOSTS FILES; edit, create, background

By default, if you try to modify your hosts file in Vista, it will not let you save it. It tells you that you don't have permission. To successfully modify the hosts file, run notepad.exe as an administrator and open the
1) Browse to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories
2) Right click "Notepad" and select "Run as administrator"
3) Click "Continue" on the UAC prompt
4) Click File -> Open
5) Browse to "C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc"
6) Change the file filter drop down box from "Text Documents (*.txt)"
to "All Files (*.*)"
7) Select "hosts" and click "Open"
8) Make the needed changes and close Notepad. Save when prompted.

I got a ready-made hosts file from hosts.html
Your virus program MIGHT report this as a hijacking program because of what it contains, BUT it is NOT. It is a TEXT file, afterall. You have to rename it to just HOSTS when you put it in your windowns/system32/drivers/etc directory To change the file name, you also have to set Folder Options to be able to Show hidden files and UNCHECK the box marked Hide Extensions of known file types.

Background on HOSTS file: -tp.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Doctor on line, Freeware, SPYcam, CDburner, FotoSketcher, ISO burner, and TIPS

-FreeMD® Your Virtual Doctor:
-Freeware Software - Free software downloads with ratings and comments:

-CatSpy is a video surveillance application, which enables you to create a video surveillance based on cameras connected to your computer:

-Update. CDBurnerXP cd-writer program:

-FotoSketcher v1.6 Turn your digital photos into beautiful sketches or paintings in seconds:

ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application that everyone should have in their toolkit!
It has several 'Modes', each one for performing a different task:
    * Read - Read a disc to an image file
    * Build - Create an image file from files on your computer or network - or you can write the files directly to a disc
    * Write - Write an image file to a disc
    * Verify - Check a disc is 100% readable. Optionally, you can also have ImgBurn compare it against a given image file to ensure the actual data is correct
    * Discovery - Put your drive / media to the test! Used in combination with DVDInfoPro, you can check the quality of the burns your drive is producing
-From SLICKDEALS.NET: VIRTUAL CREDIT CARDS, etc.:  As some one who works in the financial industry I just wanted to reply to this post. What the person described will happen with any visa/master card account, regardless of its virtual or real prepaid or debit Regardless of weather its MBNA (Bank of America), Citi, Discover or PayPal. To understand why- you first need to understand how credit cards work. Typically, when a merchant runs your credit card through, virtual or real, they get an authorization number form their processor that this is a valid card and than the merchant can claim their money through this authorization number. However, an authorization number is not required. Any merchant can just bill the account based on account number and expiration date regardless of whether or not this is an active account or expiration date. The bank will pay them in this scenario as well. Why does this happen? Back in the day before the popularity internet, all merchant systems dialed out for an authorization number using conventional phone lines. Now, if you were in Dubai buying $17 bottle of coke and used your account, the merchant system would call out international long distance to their processor in Germany to get an authorization number. This call might cost $10 all on its own. Therefore, to avoid these costs merchants in foreign countries would not get authorization for anything under $100 and instead just bill the card. With the popularity of internet, there are no long distance calls to processors any more. Yet, you can still bill an account with an expired card, over limit or even delinquent. Now days, this frequently done by magazine companies, and internet service providers- it saves them the few cents they pay for an authorization number. However, these transactions without authorization numbers can be easily dispute and reversed back. Therefore, if you do have an occasion where a charge went through on an expired card, or virtual card or real card - you can dispute the transaction and get the money back. During a dispute, the merchant must prove to the bank that the cardholder authorized the use of the card. Obviously, if the card is expired, or a virtual card with no limit- the card holder did not authorize the charge-- so bank charges back the funds.

-One concern for Windows XP users is if their favorite software applications will run once they upgrade to Vista. Luckily, Windows Vista uses a feature called Compatibility Mode which tells the software application that Vista is actually an older OS, specifically Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, or XP. Here's how it works: If your software application won't install, open or work properly, right click on the application's .exe file. Select Properties and then click the Compatibility tab. From there, pick the previous Windows operating system you were on (most likely Windows XP). If you're a system operator, you can set this up as an administrator to make it easier for your staff.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

At this site you have access to some of the most popular essential utilities. This site features all of the Microsoft DOS, Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2000 and XP boot disks and utilities for your download pleasure. Such utilities to help you create additional partitions on your hard drive or recover lost passwords.

This site has a lot of other programs and information pertaining to keeping your computer working properly and even how to build a PC.

Alarm clock, morning calls, password protecting and Internet Eraser

-On line alarm clock with different audio alarms:

-Morning calls available - Do you live alone? · Does someone check on you every day to see that you are OK? If not, give the Sequim Senior Activity Center a call at 683-6806. We will take your information & have someone call you Monday through Friday. I found this on the Senior Center site.  Check with them.  Is it for members, or?

-Easily password a directory:

-Free Internet Eraser* Version: 2.5 File Size: 901k License Type: Free Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows 98 Free Internet Eraser is a simple-to-use freebie that safeguards your privacy by erasing traces of your Windows surfing and more. It deletes your Internet Explorer browser history, cache files, cookies, Address Bar history, and more. In addition, it cleans out traces left behind by other programs, such as Wordpad, and Windows Media Player. /--Preston Gralla/ Go to the download page now: Free Internet Eraser <,47655-order,1-page,1/description.html?tk=nl_ddxdwn>

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Backyard Theater, outdoor movie theater ideas and forums, take your projector outside!


CODE 1: This code is used for SHOPLIFTING

CODE 10: Dry Spill.

CODE 20: Wet Spill.

CODE 90: Management Needed. That sounds useless.

CODE 99: This code implies that there is an emergency and all male employees are to immediately stop what they are doing and move to the announced location.

CODE 300: Security Needed. For grins, call Code 300 to the location you are currently at.

CODE ADAM: Code Adam is used to report a lost child. Technically, the store is supposed to shut all doors until the lost child is found. This sounds like fun until you realize that you are going to be trapped in a Wal-Mart for hours while they attempt to locate a missing child.

CODE BLACK: This code is used for severe weather. It's only used if something severe is happening such as tornadoes are bearing down on the store. All employees are supposed to immediately head to the fitting rooms at the center of the store. Wal-Mart doesn't like to use this code because it quite frankly, when the employees all leave, it leads to looting.

CODE BLUE A bomb scare.

CODE C: Customer service. A customer needs help in a location like housewares.

CODE GREEN: This code is used when there is a hostage in the store. Ask yourself, do you really want to shop at a store that needs to have a special code for a hostage situation?

CODE ORANGE: This is for a chemical spill. Water is a chemical.

CODE RED: This is used in case of a fire!

CODE WHITE: is used for an injury.

Sources for INK CARTRIDGES for inkjet printers

List of Third-Party Ink Sellers

    * 123Inkjets
    * 4Inkjets
    * Abacus24-7
    * Amazon
    * Cartridge World
    * Clickinks
    * Databazaar
    * iTrimming
    * LDProducts
    * Office Depot
    * OfficeMax
    * Source4Ink
    * Staples
    * Walgreens 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Share magazines, SEARCHME search tool and PNG for screen captures

Upload and share magazines/articles:

Searchme at [in BETA] is an intriguing new attempt to make web research more like how we look for information in (gasp!) print resources. Its search results page is insanely intuitive, highly visual and yet easy for us text-oriented folks to use. Solely in terms of user-friendliness, Searchme is one of the best search engines I’ve seen. It also does a surprisingly good job at clustering results, and it has a nice feature for easily sharing web pages with others. Note that this site is in public beta, meaning that it is not in its final version, and some features and functions may change without notice. And it has indexed “merely” one billion pages, so it’s working with a significantly smaller index than, say, Google, which hit the one-billion-page mark way back in 2000.

Screen capture tip: Regular Desktop Windows - If you need to screen capture a regular window on your screen, dialog boxes, Windows Explorer, DOS command prompt window, Google Maps or even splash screens - use the PNG format. The advantage with PNG is that it preserves all the colors and yield a much sharper output when compared with JPG. See the SCREEN CAPTURES, below, for a comparison between JPEG and PNG quality.
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The .png file is the one to the right. If you take the time to enlarge these...I did to's obvious which of the image types is cleaner, superior, has less artifacts and noise, and the color is more defined.

Both images were screen grabs from our BLOG, using SnagIT and then saved to the respective file types. -tp.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

78 records, 3 wheelers, anon. email

Tons of 78 records dubbed to MP3 for download:

Gallery of 3-wheeled cars:

Send anonymous messages: - "Your thong is showing...etc."
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Friday, July 18, 2008


Bicycle Tutor - Bike Repair Video Tutorials:

RepairPal. We take the mystery out of auto repair:

Sites Help You Get Car Repair Estimates:

Important JAVA update; Security

Security News
"National Cyber Alert System Cyber Security Alert SA08-193A Sun Updates for Multiple Vulnerabilities Original release date: July 11, 2008 Source: US-CERT Systems Affected Sun Java Runtime Environment versions * JDK and JRE 6 Update 6 and earlier * JDK and JRE 5.0 Update 16 and earlier * SDK and JRE 1.4.2_17 and earlier * SDK and JRE 1.3.1_22 and earlier. Overview: By convincing you to visit a malicious website, an attacker could use a vulnerability in Sun Java to gain control of your computer. You may have Java on your computer without even realizing it. Solution: Apply an update from Sun Sun has released updates that fix these vulnerabilities. As illustrated on the Java website, follow these instructions to update your version of Java: 1. From the Start menu, open the Control Panel. 2. Click the Java icon to open the Java Control Panel. (If you do not see the icon, Java is probably not installed on your computer.) 3. Select the Update tab and click the Update Now button. (If you do not see an Update tab, your version of Java does not support updates, or you must log in as an Administrator.) We also recommend enabling Automatic Updates for Java. To enable Automatic Updates, go to the Update tab of the Java Control Panel and select the Check for Updates Automatically check box. Leaving older versions of Java on your computer after the update could expose you to security risks. You may want to remove the older versions by following Sun's instructions. Disable Java We recommend that users disable Java in their web browser. Disabling Java in your web browser will not fix the vulnerability, but it may prevent an attacker from being able to take advantage of it. Instructions for disabling Java are available in the Securing Your Web Browser document. Description: Vulnerabilities in Sun Java may allow an attacker to access your computer, install and run malicious software on your computer, or cause your computer to crash. An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities by convincing you to view a malicious web document. For more technical information, see "

NOTE: When installing, you have a choice to install OPEN's up to you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Protect yourself from software-vendor 'snarketing'

By Scott Dunn

These days, even the software we like often comes with hidden annoyances designed to help the vendor at the expense of us poor customers.

Here are five examples of sneaky marketing — snarketing, as I call it — and what you can do to mitigate the practice's ill effects.

Software downloads are rife with deceptions

Clicking a link on a Web page to download software certainly beats strolling the aisles of your local computer superstore. But anyone who has spent much time acquiring freeware or buying and registering shareware or other software products knows that some of this convenience is undercut by the very people who say they want us to use their products.

These companies want to make a sale so badly that they're willing to resort to underhanded and obnoxious marketing practices to close the deal.

Too often, these sneaky marketing — or snarketing — practices go unpunished because not enough of us complain. Well, I've found five examples of software-marketing practices that a snake-oil salesman would love.

Install crapware by default. When you need a Web plug-in to use a particular site, you just want to click your way through the essential download and be done with it. Similarly, if you're just trying to install a security update, you may think you can click the Install button and download only the code you require.

Unfortunately, if you go with the installer's default settings, you might end up with a lot of unwanted software cluttering your system. For example, both Adobe Reader and Adobe's Flash Player install the Google Toolbar unless you opt out; Sun's Java applet installs the Yahoo Toolbar; and unless you uncheck their options in the installer, Apple's QuickTime updates include the Safari browser and iTunes player, whether you want them or not.

Initially, the QuickTime updater installed Safari without the user's knowledge or consent. According to a story in InformationWeek, that practice was halted a few months ago. But the Apple updater still defaults to installing Safari and iTunes unless you uncheck their respective boxes.

For more on this type of snarketing, see Susan Bradley's Mar. 27 Patch Watch column in the paid version of the newsletter.

A close cousin of this practice is the tendency of some online stores to use purchase forms that surreptitiously gain your consent to share your e-mail address with other companies or to receive additional mail from the seller itself.

What can you do to protect yourself? Read before you click.

Fortunately, most of these sneaky, bundled installations are not buried in the fine print the way many other license-agreement tricks are. Still, you have to train yourself to look carefully at every field and option in a form and decide for each whether the default is the option you really want.

Hide the freebie. Software publishers often make a less full-featured version of their product available for free as a way to promote sales of the commercial version. Then they make the link to download the free version as difficult to find as possible.

It's as if the company had no confidence in the power of the free version to sell the full version. Moreover, the frustration of hunting for the free version causes some people to give up and choose an alternative program — or none at all.

Some of the more egregious examples of this scheme are the EditPad text editor (click the Free EditPad Lite link on the left and then scroll to the bottom of the EditPad Lite page) and Foxit Reader, a PDF-viewing alternative to Adobe Reader (resist the temptation to click the big, misleading "Get It Free" buttons and instead click the tiny "Download" link just above them).

Similarly, you can waste a lot of time hunting around Grisoft's site looking for the free version of the company's AVG Anti-Virus program unless you know that the freeware has its own separate Web address (

To give credit where it's due, not all software publishers pull this trick. For example, in recent years both Real and Apple have made it much simpler to find the free version of their respective media players. Just go to each company's main page and use Real's "Get Real Player — Free" button and Apple's "Free Download" button.

If you find yourself spending too much time looking for the free version of a program, search for it at a big-name download site such as CNET's or SnapFiles. The chances are good that you'll get the very same product without all the up-sell pitches and other marketing distractions.

Keep on charging. As I reported in my May 17, 2007, column, purchasing a security application may automatically sign you up for a subscription to updates or virus-definition files — a fact that is often buried in a lengthy license agreement or hidden behind an optional link (or both).

Many customers discover this catch only after an automatically recurring charge appears on their credit cards some time later. Furthermore, many of these companies provide no easy way to cancel the subscription.

To avoid hidden charges in online purchases, ask your credit-card company to issue you a disposable credit-card number that can be used only once per purchase. Another strategy is to see whether the product you're buying has a pay-by-check option, which means you don't have to provide a credit card number at all.

Finally, consider buying your security software at a brick-and-mortar store. Doing so is less convenient, but if you watch for sales, you can sometimes get a new security program every year for less than you'd pay for an online subscription renewal.

Faking the grade. It's common knowledge that many major software-download sites (including and online merchants (such as Amazon) let customers post their own ratings and reviews. It would be nice to think that all the user-authored reviews are from unbiased customers giving their honest opinions.

Unfortunately, it's all too easy for developers to post their own stealth reviews and comments, praising their own products or slamming the competition — or both.

For example, the site TechCrunch recently reported that Slide Inc. had posted multiple positive reviews of its Funwall application on Facebook. The reviews used fake names with fake accounts, some of which have been traced to Slide's senior product manager.

Similarly, a Venture Chronicles article from last April described how employees of the company Parallels posted 5-star reviews of the firm's own product on Amazon and added less-than-kind reviews of a competing product, VMware Fusion.

Such practices are certainly nothing new, but the fact that they persist in 2008 shows that corporations still have a long way to go in their ethical practices.

Software publishers need to establish clear policies for employee behavior that — at a minimum — require their staff members to identify themselves and their employer in any reviews they post.

Unfortunately, there is little that we can do to distinguish between the authentic and fake customer comments. The only way to avoid falling into the trap is to rely on reviews in Windows Secrets and other reputable publications and Web sites.

In addition, if a company makes available trial versions of its products, you can try them out yourself with no financial risk and form your own opinion. Just make sure the trial download has all the functionality of the full release.

Nag, nag, nag. It's reasonable to assume that a free program or the trial version of a commercial product will nudge you now and then to upgrade to the paid version. But when a program you've already bought and registered keeps hitting you up for money, it's difficult to avoid getting irked.

But that's exactly what McAfee Internet Security and some other security programs do. Either they're reminding you to renew your subscription months before it's set to expire or they're pushing you to buy related products that claim to offer more protection.

Recently, a Windows Secrets editor starting seeing notices from Symantec pop up every time he booted his PC. The nag notes pointed out that he had X number of days (starting with 30) to renew his subscription to the Norton 360 security suite. The pop-ups came in bunches of five or six in quick succession, requiring that he close each one before he could continue with his work.

This went on for two weeks before he received an e-mail notice from Symantec stating that he had signed up for automatic renewals. Were the two weeks of pop-ups an attempt to double-bill a paid-up customer? Or were the bogus warnings simply an indication of Symantec not having its renewal act together? In either case, the company comes across as hostile toward its customers.

I wish I could tell you some easy way to avoid these kinds of shameless marketing tactics. Sadly, there is none. Your best bet may be to wait until your subscription expires and then try a different (and less annoying) security product.

Don't patronize obnoxious snarketers

In olden days, merchants at least paid lip service to the idea that the customer is always right. But snarketing practices such as these show total disrespect for the needs and convenience of software consumers. Such behavior by vendors suggests only a blind interest in an immediate sale without regard to encouraging brand loyalty.

If these companies think they can thrive by courting first-time buyers only, then that's their decision. But as consumers, we have a choice. Personally, I'm boycotting any vendor that isn't on the up-and-up, even if theirs is the better product.

Torrent search, Copy proggie, PING info and POPURLS Enterprise Edition

-Speckly is a Google-like, ad-free torrent search site which strips all the unnecessary bittorrent-specific language from the results, and simply presents a long list of results, together with the number of complete and partial sources. This, in fact, is all you really need to find the torrents you need. The only problem, unfortunately, is that you still have to find your way on the actual torrent tracker sites, but at least the unpleasant experience is partly circumvented.

-TeraCopy is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed, providing the user a lot of features:  * Copy files faster. TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.   * Pause and resume file transfers. Pause copy process at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.   * Error recovery. In case of copy error, TeraCopy will try several times and in the worse case just skips the file, not terminating the entire transfer.   * Interactive file list. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.
* Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.

-PingInfoView Version: 1.00 File Size: 35k License Type: Free Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000 The simplest of all Internet tools is the humble ping command, which lets you use the command prompt to contact a Web site and see if it?s alive, and if it responds to your ping request. It also resolves host names to IP addresses --- in other words, if you issue the command ping, it will tell you the site's associated IP address. And it also tells you the speed of the connection and response. --Preston Gralla Go to the download page now:,70668-order,4-page,1-c,internettools/download.html

-Welcome to the popurls® blue edition - sister site of! This site was created with the help of Intel to provide you with the latest and best Enterprise IT news and content. We hope that you find the site and experience valuable in your everyday life. Feel free to send us your thoughts at In the meantime, bookmark this site and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Talking Dictionary and Advanced LAN Scan

Talking Merriam-Webster English Dictionary - If you work at your PC, you have a choice between fumbling with a heavy paper dictionary or firing up your browser to surf to one. Talking Merriam-Webster Dictionary makes things easier, keeping a dictionary handy in your PC's system tray. The Talking Merriam-Webster Dictionary includes 75,000 definitions in 45,000 entries. The program can pronounce ten thousand of these words for you. In Basic Mode, the dictionary uses a main window for scrolling and search and a tabbed second window for definitions. In Advanced Mode, the program presents itself as one window with a Notes field to let you annotate the entries yourself. In both modes, the dictionary is quick and easy to use. The definitions I sampled appeared sound. I'd like to see language of origin for every word, but that may be a geeky wish that others don't share. The accent issues from earlier versions have been fixed. The speakers now sound like native speakers of American English. The choice of spoken words could be better, though; surely we'd get more benefit from hearing "trompe l'oeil" than "troop," and I'd rather hear "aegis" than "advocate." Paragon Software offers a number of different Merriam-Webster dictionaries, from smaller (Pocket, $16) to much bigger (Unabridged, $62), foreign language (various prices) and specialized (Medical, $43). Any of the programs can search the other dictionaries from the same interface. Note: This demo version works indefinitely, but nag screens begin popping up after 100 definitions. Buying the full version removes the nag screens.,71822-order,4-page,1-c,education/download.html

Advanced LAN Scanner Version: 1.0 File Size: 561k License Type: Free Operating Systems: Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows 98 If you're a techie and have more than one PC at work or home on a network sharing a single Internet connection, you'll welcome this freebie, which offers surprisingly powerful scanning capabilities. Use it for everything from troubleshooting Internet connections, to network configuration, to making sure your PCs are as safe as possible when they're on the Internet. --Preston Gralla Go to the download page now: Advanced LAN Scanner,46183-order,4-page,1-c,internettools/download.html

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

TheWorld Browser

I'm enjoying a nice little speed increase by using this free IE based browser from China. Very nicely done and seems to have everything good from both Firefox and Internet Explorer 7. Skins and plugins too of course.

RSS and SecureZip

Turn GOOGLE searches into RSS feeds:  FREE
SecureZip Standard Edition for Desktop
Version: 12.1
File Size: 13352k
License Type: Free
Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000

Securing your data and communications is never painless, especially with digital certificates, but PKWare's SecureZIP takes a lot of the sting out of the process. SecureZIP, which creates encrypted archives, installs as both a standalone program and an add-in for Microsoft's Outlook (2002 or later). The latter allows you to seamlessly encrypt email and attachments.
--Jon L. Jacobi

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tomato Firmware upgrade for Linksys WRT54GL Wireless router

Tomato is a small, lean and simple replacement firmware for Linksys' WRT54G/GL/GS, Buffalo WHR-G54S/WHR-HP-G54 and other Broadcom-based routers.
I flashed the clubs Linksys WRT54GL with new firmware, I used Tomato version 1.20: I changed the gateway from to so I would have no conflict with my network or with any other wireless routers.

I also changed the SSID from the default Linksys to SPCUG for ease of access.
Tomato v1.20 allowed me to “boost” the transmit power and I set the “Afterburner” feature which is similar to “SpeedBooster” in the newer Linksys model’s.

I set the channel to 7 from the default 6 to lessen the chance of interfering with other wireless units.

The interface is much nicer and easier to use, it also has some nice graphs!
Here is some more info on Tomato:

Here are supported routers:

Linksys WRT54G/WRT54GS/WRT54GL's version
Look at the bottom side of the router to check for the version number, or compare the first 4 characters of the serial number with the following list:

CDF0/CDF1 = WRT54G v1.0
CDF2/CDF3 = WRT54G v1.1
CDF5 = WRT54G v2.0
CDF7 = WRT54G v2.2
CDF8 = WRT54G v3.0
CDF9 = WRT54G v3.1
CDFA = WRT54G v4.0
CGN0/CGN1 = WRT54GS v1.0
CGN2 = WRT54GS v1.1
CGN3 = WRT54GS v2.0
CGN4 = WRT54GS v2.1
CGN5 = WRT54GS v3.0
CGN6 = WRT54GS v4.0
CL7A = WRT54GL v1.0
CL7B = WRT54GL v1.1
CL7C = WRT54GL v1.1
CF7C = WRT54GL v1.1

If it's not listed above, and it's not a WRT54GL, it's not supported.

[From S. Solberg]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Music on line.

Don't be lazy.  Type the link into your browser. - Streaming techno and dance music, as well as a forum for you to discuss music with other fans. - Search for artists you want to hear or choose from a list of stations. Has a pop out player so you can listen as you browse other sites on the Web.

AOL Radio - Powered by CBS Radio, AOL Gerald-Levin-on-Fear Radio brings you talk, streaming music and actual radio stations. - Part social network, all music.  The site allows you to listen to free streaming music, build your own playlists, share them with friends and even embed music on other sites. - Digitally Imported specializes in streaming electronic and dance music from all around the globe.  Also offers premium upgrades for higher bit rates. - Free streaming music from Napster Napster that includes full albums. - Build your own playlist, as you go along, save it, and you can listen to it again in the future.  Also suggests similar songs and more. - Features a mixture of full songs and samples that you can listen to. An extremely popular app on many social networks.

iTunes - While not a Web application, the vast majority of us have it already installed on our systems.  Just click on the “Radio” link and listen to different Internet radio stations from all over the world. - follows what you listen to and then makes suggestions of what else you may like, or you can also just dive right in, listening to whatever you feel like. - A mixture of free stations and ones only available to VIP subscribers, it covers just about every genre of music you can think of. - A home for independent artists where you can either stream their albums, or buy them by naming your price, starting at $5.00. - A guide to over 5,000 streaming radio stations from the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. - Stream the music, or download it free.  Lets you jump around choosing the tunes you want to hear. - Start with one album, listen to it in its entirety or just one track, and then check out other artists and albums that are of a similar vein. - Collects streams from radio stations from all over, putting them in one easy to use directory.

Real Player - Download Real Player and then play free music via their Rhapsody service. - Using a program such as Winamp, choose the radio station of your choice from around the world, and “Tune In”. - Listen to their pre-built stations, or start building one of your own. - Search for music to listen to, or point it directly to a page you want to listen to, including podcasts. - Streams music and then allows you to purchase the tracks via’s MP3 store.  Site also has social aspects allowing users to “bump” songs up playlists as well as make leaderboards by building their own playlists.

Yahoo Music - Only works with Internet Explorer (still), but streams music from artists or by station.
Mix Tapes - Start exploring your favorite music and similar artists, create your own station and then share it with your friends. - Like Muxtape, you can create and listen to “mix tapes” and then share them with friends. - Not your typical streaming site as users make up their own “mix tapes” of up to 12 songs, and then share them with anyone. - Create playlists and have people vote on them to make you a popular “DJ”, or simply browse through the existing ones and listen.
Music Discovery -A “Twitter” for music that lets you tell others what you are listening to and embeds the music in your post, making an ever growing playlist by following the main timeline of the site.  Check out the Mashable Conversations interview with Gavin Hayes, lead singer of Dredg, we did a while back about the site. - As you find music you like, you can add it to a playlist which you can then embed in your site. - Name your “mood” and Musicovery starts playing music based on that.  It then follows a progression based on your votes for the song, or you can jump around on the other suggestions on the screen. - Many people were depressed when Pandora had to shut down its non-U.S. streams, but the site lives on.  Enter the name of a song or artist you like, the site analyzes it, and builds a channel on that style of music. - Similar to Pandora in that you start with artist and then it builds a station based on that style/genre of music.
Music Search - Search for streaming music, radio stations, video and more. - Search for music you like and Jiwa will search for streams of it. - Even though its legality has been called into question, Seeqpod allows you to search the Internet for publicly available MP3s for you to listen to. - Like SeeqPod, Skreemr allows you to search for all of those allusive tracks you’d rather just listen to then admit you have them on your iPod IPod

HoboCopy (64-bit)AND 32-bit versions:

License Type: Free Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Windows XP

-I watched a neat Flash streaming video on a Web site and wanted to keep it to view offline. I found the file sitting in the temp folder and tried copying it to another folder. No luck. The error message "File in use" was all I saw. None of my copying tricks worked, and when I closed the browser tab that was playing the video, the file was automatically deleted.  I outsmarted Windows with HoboCopy, an obscure utility that uses Volume Shadow Service to copy files (and folders) that are in use. It's a Command-line tool and once you get the hang of it, easy to use.
--Steve Bass G

Go to the download page now:
HoboCopy (64-bit),71884-order,1-page,1/description.html?tk=nl_ddxdwn

32 bit version for XP, here:,71434-order,4-page,1-c,utilities/download.html


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cheat sheets for WEB developers

MS update KB951748 and ZoneAlarm --- PROBLEM

MS update KB951748 and ZoneAlarm --- PROBLEM
The problem is with a DNS patch MS issued Tuesday July 8th and ZoneAlarm firewall.

Unfortunately, even though the patches were developed to fix the problems, they managed to create others, as users of the popular ZoneAlarm firewall found themselves unable to access the Internet after applying the patch. Users reported their problems but so far there are no clear ways of dealing with the problem.

ZoneAlarm recommends for all users encountering this problem to uninstall the patch and wait for its bug to be handled.

My recommendation is NOT to install it if you are using ZoneAlarm

Start Internet Explorer go to MS updates and do the Custom update, when you find KB951748 uncheck it and tell it not to remind you again, at least till ZoneAlarm patches their product.

Some more info:

PowerPoint Shortcuts

Remembering keyboard shortcuts is tough enough when you’re working on some no-pressure project at your desk. Get in front of an audience, and your mind may go totally blank. Your focus needs to be on the material you’re presenting and how you’re connecting with your audience — not on ” How do I back up to the previous slide?” That’s why it’s a good idea to pick a handful of the most useful shortcuts and make them second nature. When you find yourself delivering a presentation via the keyboard, these shortcuts will see you through.

Action Shortcuts

Start a presentation from the first slide F5

Run the next animation or advance to the next slide Enter or Spacebar

Return to the previous slide Backspace

End a slide show Esc or - (hyphen)

Jump to the first (or last) slide Home (or End)

Jump to a particular slide Type the slide number and press Enter

Go to a black (or white) screen or resume the slide show from a black (or white) screen B (or W)

Monday, July 7, 2008

How To Make Windows Vista Boot Faster With Multiple Cores

Does Vista boot slower than a turtle slogging through molasses after you press the power button? If you have a multi-core processor (and you probably do), you can make it scoot at least a little bit faster with just a couple clicks. Run msconfig (type it into the Start search bar, press enter). Click boot, then advanced options. Then change the number of processors to 2 or 4 (or 8 if you're really awesome), and Vista will use all of 'em when booting, not just a single lonesome core.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

RSS feed for this BLOG is available

Go to the BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE. The quickest way to do that is to use: CTRL-End.
Note the RSS feed logos. Subscribe to content and/or COMMENTS. -tp.

Multifunctional media converter; free

Use tiny URL in title to LINK to direct download.

Provides functions below: All to MP4/3GP/MPG/AVI/WMV/FLV/SWF. All to MP3/OGG/WMA/M4A/WAV. All to JPG/BMP/PNG/TIF/ICO/.... Rip DVD to video file. MP4 files support iPod/iPhone/PSP format. Source files support RMVB. FormatFactory's Feature: 1 support converting all popular video,audio,picture formats to others. 2 Repair damaged video and audio file. 3 Reducing Multimedia file size. 4 Support iphone,ipod multimedia file formats. 5 Picture converting supports Zoom,Rotate/Flip,tags. 6 DVD Ripper.

In toolbar at top, set OPCIONES to ENGLISH.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Science NEWS, Protect your email, etc., with CAPTCHA, and lots of FREE, CUSTOM, SOFTWARE GUIDES

Science news from a variety of sources. Essentially, an aggregation of RSS feeds.

CAPTCHA - - A CAPTCHA is a program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot.  I use this on my site at:

CustomGuides -  Quick reference guides to Access, Project, Internet Explorer, etc.  Free guides in several formats.  Lots of Microsoft guides, Adobe Guides,  guides for MAC, etc.

Audio/Video to an EXE...send it by email if you like..

Audio/Video To Exe - It's perfect if you're sending videos to people who don't have or know about the assorted media players and formats. Audio/Video To Exe is a free application that converts any audio and video file into self dependent and self playing EXE files. You don't require any media player or any codecs to play these files. It will run on any machine installed with Windows. Audio/Video To Exe supports almost all audio/video formats like 3gp, aac, ac3, exe, flac, flv, gif, mp2, mp3, mp4, mpc, mpg, nut, ogg, ra, rm, swf, vob, voc, wav, wma, wmv, wv,..etc. This means that you can convert any of these formats into self playing EXE files. The program also allows you to convert media files into other formats, but advanced options like selecting bit rates etc or disabled in this free version. Self playing EXE files can come very handy. You can: - Play music and movies on your office/school computer where all multimedia applications are disabled - Send them to others without worrying whether they have the necessary players and codecs to play them. - Create data CDs that start playing music whenever you insert it into the CD drive. How? Ok here it is. * Convert the music you want to autorun into an EXE file. * Now open Notepad, add these line and save it as AUTORUN.INF. Replace music.exe with the correct file name.
* Place both AUTORUN.INF and music.exe on the root of the CD, add other applications you want to burn on the CD as usual and then burn it. Now each time you pop the CD into the drive, the music will start playing automatically.  USE THIS TinyURL:
[Thanks, JB ]
EMAILING AN EXECUTABLE FILE TO SOMEONE: We’ve all run into this problem before. You’ve got a cool program that you want to send to someone. So what do you do? You open up your email and you try to send it. Well, this is where you run into problems. Most email services (Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, etc.) will not send files that end in .exe (executable files), for the simple fact that executable files often contain viruses, and all it takes is a click to activate it. Here’s a workaround for that problem. It’s very simple. All you have to do is rename the file. Say you have a file called “program.exe” that you want to send to a friend. All you need to do is rename it to something like “program._xe,” or “program.exe1.” Something like that. Your email program will not recognize it as an executable file and will send it without any problems. The part about this process that gives people trouble is the fact that Microsoft doesn’t make renaming file extensions very easy for the lay-user - especially since Windows XP and now, Vista. You can’t simply change a file extension by right-clicking and selecting “Rename,” or pressing F2. Not immediately, at least. Here’s how you can make this possible though…Open up the Control Panel. Then select “Folder Options.” In Vista, you’ll have to switch to “Classic View” first. After opening Folder Options, select the “View” tab. Look down that list until you see where it says, “Hide extensions for known file types.” Make sure this box is NOT checked. Click apply, and you’re ready to go. Now you can rename files and change their extensions by just pressing F2 or right-clicking and selecting “Rename.” In order for your recipient to use the file you’ve sent, they must rename the file back to “program.exe.” You can explain them the entire process, or simply refer them back to this entry.


Here are some tips to help manage your files.  The original source for this document is: The Art of Filing - Managing Your Documents... and Your Time.  I have edited and re-written portions of the original documents. [tp./10-11-2007]
1) The first rule is to  avoid saving unnecessary documents. Don't make a habit of saving  everything that finds its way into your Inbox or on to your hard drive by way of downloads, loans of software, Freeware, trail versions, etc. . Take a few seconds to glance through the content, and save a file only if it's relevant to your work activity. When I say work activity, I mean ACTIVITY AT WORK.  Your home computer is your business, and the time you spend trying to find a file is YOUR TIME, not the company’s time.   Having too much data on your computer adds to the clutter that makes it harder to find things in the future – and it may, over time, slow down your computer's performance.
2) Us a consistent method for naming your files and folders. For instance, divide a main folder into subfolders for customers, vendors, and co-workers. Give shortened names to identify what or whom the folders relate to. What's more, you can even give a different appearance or look to different categories of folders – this can make it easy to tell them apart at first glance. Suppose we have a folder named BuildingProj [Building Project].  You would make sub folders UNDER this main folder and name them bidders, vendors, collaborators, etc., and you would put the appropriate files in the appropriate folders.
3) Store related documents together, whatever their type. For example, store Word documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and graphics related to a particular project in a single folder – rather than having one folder for presentations for all projects, another folder for spreadsheets for all projects, and so forth. This way, it's much quicker to find, open, and attach documents for a particular project.
4) Separate ongoing work from completed work. Some people prefer to save current or ongoing work on their computer's desktop until a job is completed. Then, once it's done, they move it to the appropriate location, where files of the same category are stored. At periodic intervals (for example, weekly or every two weeks), move files you're no longer working on to the folders where your completed work is stored.
5) Avoid overfilling folders. If you have a large number of files in one folder, or a large number of subfolders in a main folder – so many that you can't see the entire list on your screen without scrolling down – break them into smaller groups (subfolders or sub-subfolders). Think of creating a sequential menu, arranged either in chronological or alphabetical order, to make retrieval easy. For instance, you can divide a folder called "Business Plan" into subfolders called "BP2005," "BP2006," and "BP2007." For Business Plans of the year 2005, etc. Likewise, you can divide a folder for a client named Delta Traders into subfolders named "Delta Traders sales presentations" and "Delta Traders contracts." The idea is to place every file into a logical folder or subfolder, rather than have one huge list of files.
Having said this, there is usually little point in creating a folder for fewer than about five documents. If you do, the time you spend clicking through subfolders to get to the documents you need may not be outweighed by the greater ease of finding them.
6) Install Google Desktop on your PC. If you can (sometimes IT departments don't permit this), install Google Desktop on your PC – you can find this at This tool creates a desktop search engine that indexes all of your files and emails. It allows a search through your Google Index that is quick and easy.
7) Back up, back up, back up. Make sure your filing system is backed up. Make sure , that your PC is backed up regularly and that the backup includes the directories where you file information.  You can download a FREE backup tool from Karen Kenworthy at: Backup to an external, USB drive or to a CD.  Store a backup OFF SITE in case your PC is stolen or the business burns to the ground.
8) Prioritizing Your Files for Action - Take these approaches further by customizing your file management. This can help you prioritize your work, which can lead to better efficiency.
a. Organize files by dates. Incorporate a date into the file name. This will help you determine which is the most recent document in the folder, without having to open the file and read through the content. For example, a file named "Guidelines 12Oct07" would indicate a version of the Guidelines file dated October 12, 2007. Again, BE consistent, and follow the company policies and procedures manual for dating. As you know, dates can be expressed in various ways.
b. Some people use version numbers to distinguish between documents that have been reworked or changed. Examples would be "Delta Traders contract v1" and "Delta Traders contract v2." This also makes it easier to pick out the most current file.  I use this often when dating image files.  Dog1Ver2, and Dog2Ver1 are images of two different dogs, but I have only one version of Dog 2, while I have TWO of
Dog 1. If your document is going to be looked at, used, or amended by several people, you need to be particularly careful about version control: People quite rightly can get very annoyed if versions are mixed up and their work on the document is lost. Be consistent with version numbers, too, of course.
Make sure you put the version number in the file name, and also consider having a version control table at the beginning of the document showing the version number, the date of the version, the person making changes, and, perhaps, the nature of changes made. See the header of this article, for example.
For any system to be useful and effective, it must also be convenient for you. To some extent, this depends on the nature of your business or the work that you do.

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