Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Technologies For Which I'm Thankful

WXPNews: Published by Sunbelt Software since 2001

Vol. 9, #98 - Nov 24, 2009 - Issue #406

 Technologies For Which I'm Thankful

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Technologies For Which I'm Thankful
    • Follow-up: Fighting or switching
    • Black Friday specials
    • Quotes of the Week
    • Definition of the Day

  2. Cool Tools
    • Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

  3. News, Hints, Tips and Tricks
    • Office 2010: It's Out There
    • Meanwhile, private testing begins for Office "Starter"
    • What's coming in IE 9? Will it Run on XP?
    • Windows 8: Coming in 2012?
    • Microsoft and NASA sponsor web site to help with Mars research

  4. How To: Using XP Features
    • How to defrag all hard drives

  5. XP Security News
    • Older versions of IE are vulnerable to attack

  6. XP Question Corner
    • What's a good program for taking pictures of myself with a web cam?

  7. XP Configuration and Troubleshooting
    • "Work offline" option is unexpected enabled
    • Troubleshooting hibernation and standby problems

  8. Fav Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

Kiss Your Antivirus Bloatware Goodbye

We asked users of antivirus products what they didn't like about their AV software. They told us they are resource hogs and slowed their computer down. They told us that scan times took way too long, and that the AV software nagged them. In short, old-style AV software takes too much Memory and CPU. Time to switch to VIPRE! It gives you malware protection that combines antivirus, antispyware, anti-rootkit and other technologies into a seamless, tightly-integrated product. Even if you run "free" antivirus software, it hijacks 20% of your PC, so it's really not free at all! Get VIPRE now and see how fast your PC can really be:

 Editor's Corner

Own a Single-user VIPRE?

Upgrade Now To Home Site License For Just $19.95
You run VIPRE and love it. But what about the other PC's at the house? We have a special, limited time upgrade offer. You can upgrade now and just pay the difference (20 bucks) between the Single License and the Unlimited Home Site License (UHSL). But wait, it gets better. Your UHSL starts fresh and you get a new 12 month subscription! Do the math. Wait and pay 30 bucks later, or buy the upgrade now and get a whole year for 20 bucks. A no-brainer! Remember this is for a limited time only, get that upgrade now! Click here to learn more and order:

*Offer not valid in the UK

 Cool Tools

Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


PC Matic: Performance, Speed, Stability & Security The World's Most Comprehensive PC Tune Up Scan is Free

Moving to Windows7 from XP? Did you know that scenario is NOT supported by MS? Keep your apps without reinstalling:

Search for a driver and you get a ton of Driver Software offers instead. But how do you know which one is good? Try Driver Genius 9.0. Free scan.

Backups? Why back up when you can sync? Simply replicate every piece of data to another drive in real-time. Set it and forget it.

Spotmau PowerSuite Professional 2008: Fantastic! All the tools necessary to fix most common computer problems. Clone and backup too!

PC Tune-Up: 4 Easy Steps That Eliminate Frustrating Slow Computer Problems:

Improve your English writing skills with WhiteSmoke a smarter solution for high quality writing. Download the free trial version here.

 News, Hints, Tips and Tricks

Office 2010: It's Out There

If you're one of those who likes to be on the cutting edge and try out new software before it hits the shelves, here's another opportunity. Microsoft has released a public beta of Office 2010, the next version of its productivity suite. The beta was released first to MSDN and TechNet, and a few days later to the general public. It includes Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, OneNote, InfoPath, SharePoint Workspace and Office Communicator. Beta versions of Visio 2010 and Project 2010 are also available separately. Find out more and get your copy here.

Meanwhile, private testing begins for Office "Starter"

In other Office news, private previews were distributed last week for the "Starter" edition of Office 2010, which will be a free suite that will be supported by advertising (a small ad space in the lower right corner of the application window). Starter only includes Word and Excel, and they don't have all the sophisticated features that the full fledged versions have, but the apps will provide a viable option to other free word processors and spreadsheets such as Google Apps, and for many users will do everything they need and more. Read more about it here:

What's coming in IE 9? Will it Run on XP?

At this year's annual Professional Developers' Conference (PDC) last week, Microsoft officially unveiled the next version of Internet Explorer, IE 9. The stated goals are better standards compliance and faster performance (accomplished in part by taking advantage of the graphics processing unit or GPU for page rendering):

But what new features will come with the new browser? Will it run on XP? Even though Microsoft has finally started talking about it, there are still plenty of questions to be answered. Stay tuned; as many details about the new browser become available, we'll let you know.

Windows 8: Coming in 2012?

If you're still using Windows XP, you might be considered two generations behind when it comes to operating systems, but well before extended support for XP ends, you'll probably be able to make that three. Microsoft's current plans have Windows 8 coming out in 2012, according to a product roadmap that was shown at the PDC last week. For those who think that's rushing things, it would actually put the next OS on the same timetable Microsoft used in following Vista with Windows 7, but of course release dates are never set in stone, especially this far in advance. This article opines that the direction Microsoft decides to go with Windows 8 may be influenced by whether or not Windows XP continues to hold on to market share. Read it here:

Microsoft and NASA sponsor web site to help with Mars research

If you always wanted to be involved in the space program, here's your chance. NASA and Microsoft have partnered to create a web site where visitors are asked to count craters in photos of Mars or match locations in photos. You even get points and can earn rewards for your work. The site is based on Windows Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform and is hosted at Microsoft data centers. You can read more about the program here:

 How To: Using XP Features

How to defrag all hard drives

The XP defragmenter will only allow you to defrag one hard drive at a time. You have to wait for one to finish and then manually do another one. Wouldn't it be nice if you could start the process (for example, at bedtime) and wake up to find all of your hard drives have been defragged? Well, you can - by creating a batch file.

  1. In notepad, create a file with a line for each partition you want to defrag. For example, if you want to defrag drives c, d and e, your file would look like this:
    defrag c: -f
    defrag d: -f
    defrag e: -f
  2. Save the file in the \windows directory with the name defragall.bat
  3. To run the file, you can type its name at the command line, or navigate to it in the file system and double click it.
This will defrag the partitions, one after the other. The -f switch forces a defrag even if space is low.

 XP Security News

Older versions of IE are vulnerable to attack

Many of those who use XP are still using the older version of Internet Explorer that came with the OS (IE 6) or its immediate successor (IE 7) and haven't upgraded to the latest version of the browser. If you're in that category, be aware that a new exploit has been posted by a hacker that can be used to install unauthorized software on computers running the older versions of IE. Even if you have the latest service pack (SP3), this attack can still work. You can protect against it by disabling JavaScript. Read more here:

 XP Question Corner

What's a good program for taking pictures of myself with a web cam?

I have a web cam and want to know a good program (free would be best but if not, under $40) I can use to make videos. The camera has a built in microphone so I want to be able to get the audio too, to send videos of myself talking to my grandkids. Can you help? - Susan G.

I use a Logitech Pro 9000 web cam and have tried several different programs. I don't like the software that came with the camera, but I've had a great experience with Debut. You can make videos (with audio) with your web cam, take still snapshots, or use it to capture your computer screen (for example, if you want to record the steps you perform to use a program and send it to someone else to show them how to do it). There is a free version and also a "Plus" version that currently costs $34.20 on their web site (the usual price is $60).

Note that I do not work for the company that makes it (NCH) nor have they ever given me anything to endorse their product; it's just a program that I stumbled across a year or so ago and really like because of its low cost, stability, and simplicity. I like to use it to capture the desktop, because you record the entire desktop or you can specify a rectangular area to capture. I also use it take snapshots of myself (for instance, to use as a Facebook profile) and to record short video presentations. Check it out at

 XP Configuration and Troubleshooting

"Work offline" option is unexpected enabled

Windows XP gives you the option to work with files and programs offline when you aren't connected to the network. This is handy, but sometimes you might find the "work offline" option is enabled when you do have a network connection and don't want to work offline. If that happens to you, you may need to make some simple configuration changes. You can get the step by step instructions in KB article 913620 at

Troubleshooting hibernation and standby problems

Windows XP supports power-saving technologies that can save on battery life and/or your electric bill, but sometimes when you put the computer into a hibernated or standby state, you might encounter problems. Or the computer may go into the low power state without a hitch, but have problems when you try to resume working. For some ideas on troubleshooting these hibernation and standby problems, see KB article 907477 at

 Fav Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

Disclaimer: WXPNews does not assume and cannot be responsible for any liability related to you clicking any of these linked Web sites.

 About WXPnews

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Daves Computer Tips

CNET News.com

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