Saturday, September 25, 2010

What is Mobsync and how do you disable it?

Tech--for Everyone

Posted: 25 Sep 2010 10:50 AM PDT
One of the most popular topics here has been how to make Vista boot up faster. And one of the ways you do that is by controlling what programs automatically load at startup. (See, Manage Startup programs in Vista.) Readers of that article have been sending me questions about a program they have found running [...]

Gizmo's Tech Treats: How to Control Windows Startup Programs Without Special Software

Facebook Friday | Software Winners Announced

Tech--for Everyone

Posted: 24 Sep 2010 09:12 AM PDT
Hey folks, let me introduce a new T4E feature -  Facebook Friday! Item 1 – A movie about Facebook: (ABC) “The Social Network” will hit theaters on Oct. 1, but already the movie has sparked thousands of conversations, not to mention wall posts. “Since the movie trailer hit the Web this summer, millions of Facebook [...]

CFS Weekly Newsletter #562

CFS Weekly Newsletter #562
[ISSN 1441-6840]
Web Site:
E-mail 1:
E-mail 2:
We have a great lineup of excellent freeware fare for you this week. Of the programs reviewed below, my favorites are Cobian Backup, a file and folder backup utility, Free Media Codecs Pro, an excellent collection of audio and video codecs, and Type it Easy, a tray-based program that allows the user to access many typographical characters usually unavailable on the keyboard. Check them all out because you may find that others fire your afterburners more than these.
We also have our regular columns -- Dr T's excellent Computer Tip of the Week, and our ever popular Smile of the Week.


Mano Trooper -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Mano Trooper is a remake of Greg Kuperberg's "Paratrooper" (1982) where you use a turret gun to shoot down enemy helicopters, paratroopers, jets and bombs while trying to prevent your gun from being over-run or bombed. This shooter combines good (if basic) graphics with proven gameplay to produce an excellent little game that is harder to win than it looks. Mano Trooper is a simple-concept game which, while lacking the sophistication of modern shooters, still provides excellent entertainment and an addictive element that is hard to quantify. This is not a "blast away at every that moves" game because every time you fire your gun it costs you a point, though you get three points for shooting down helicopters and paratroopers, and five points for jets and bombs. We really enjoyed the simplicity of Mano Trooper and consider it a "must have" for lovers of the Paratrooper genre. Grab a copy now! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access th
is 3.61MB download from:

Free Media Codecs Pro v10.04 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Free Media Codecs Pro is a collection of audio and video codecs. It includes DirectShow filters & VFW/ACM codecs, it also includes Media Player Classic plus various tools, it has a fully customizable installation (install only what you need), it is suitable for novice & expert users, and more. This is an excellent collection of free audio and video codecs -- codecs which should have been provided with Windows but weren't! These codecs allow Windows Media Player and third party multimedia players (like the included Media Player Classic) to be able to play a huge variety of audio and video formats, formats they would otherwise not be able to play. There is also an excellent collection of tools included in the pack -- K-Lite Codec Tweak Tool, MediaInfo Lite, VobSubStrip, Xvid StatsReader, GraphStudio and GSpot Codec Information. There are packs for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, and there are two types of packs for each -- Basic and Pro. The three Pro packs (XP, Vista & Win7) are the same size (18.9MB) and the three Basic packs are also the same size (14.5MB). For the sake of an extra 4.5MB, we opted for the Pro packs rather than the Basic packs. Even if you may have previously downloaded some codecs (and some are included in other multimedia programs you may have installed), we suggest that you grab a copy of Free Media Codecs Pro for your version of Windows as it will enhance existing codecs, not remove them. It will also ensure that you have the latest version on your computer. We were most impressed with Free Media Codecs Pro and consider it a "must have" for all XP, Vista and Win7 users. We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 18.9MB download from:

Cobian Backup v10.1.1.809 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Cobian Backup is a file and folder backup utility that can run as a Windows' service or as a stand-alone application. It features scheduled backups (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc), there are 4 types of backup (full, incremental, differential & dummy), it offers ZIP & 7Z compression, supports the Windows' Volume Shadow Copy service, supports strong encryption, includes a built-in FTP client, e-mails backup logs, optionally splits backup archives (10 preset sizes plus custom), optionally creates time-stamped backups, includes a tutorial, has a good Helpfile, and more. This is one of the best backup programs we have seen. Not only does Cobian Backup support both ZIP and 7Z file compression, it supports Windows' Volume Shadow Copy which takes snapshots of files, similar to a file versioning system. The program's interface is extremely easy to use, and backup tasks are easy to create, but experienced users can use the Options dialog box to tweak a huge number of settings. Th
e built-in tutorial and the Helpfile are bonuses. Even though Cobian Backup has a huge number of features and settings, even inexperienced users should have no trouble setting up basic file and folder backups where files are copied to another location (usually a USB drive). These files and folders can be copied without being archived (ie, files and folders are simply copied to the destination drive) or they can be compressed to an archive to save space and make them easier to handle. If you choose to use the time-stamped backup option (it includes the time and date in the filename) you can specify how many previous backups you want saved (two is common). The only feature we think could improve Cobian Backup would be the ability to create an SFX (self extracting) archive. Better than many commercial backup programs, Cobian Backup is a program that all PC users will find invaluable. We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 14.7MB download from:

komixo maker v0.11 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
komixo maker is a cartoon creation tool. It features flexible comic strip layout, infinite undo/redo, object transformations (rotate, scale, skew), object grouping, customizable speech bubbles, object masking, image basket, drag 'n drop, exports to PNG & JPG, and more. Formerly known as cartoonair, komixo maker runs on the back of Adobe Air (an additional 11.9MB download) to assist in creating cartoons. You can take existing images, or clips from your Webcam, and add voice bubbles, frames, and other objects to create your cartoon strip. komixo maker is not a drawing tool, you must already have your images created before you start, but it will bring them together as a cartoon strip and allow you to save the strip in PNG or JPG formats. Exceptionally powerful, komixo maker suffers from a lack of Helpfile -- there is none included with the download package and none available from the author's Website. There are some video training tutorials linked from the author's site but thes
e all appear to be from the cartoonair program, which is different to this one. If you are prepared to devote some time to experimenting with this program to discover many of its hidden features and tools, you will be richly rewarded because it is an excellent, and very powerful, cartoon creation program that can enhance your digital photos just as easily as it can turn your drawings into a cartoon strip. We liked! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 1.78MB download from:

Domain Name Generator Desktop Client v1.0.3 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Domain Name Generator Desktop Client is a programs that generates domain names based on keywords or random syllables & phonemes. It features a dictionary-based domain name generator, the generated domain names are instantly checked for their availability, an algorithm is used to determine the readability of the names, and more. This is an interesting program for people who are looking to create domain names based on keywords or other criteria. It includes registration with over 30 hosting services which, we assume, pay a commission to the author of Domain Name Generator Desktop Client for any domain names registered. The program itself is quite effective, though results are sometimes varied. Fortunately, it includes a readability index so you can quickly see what domain name suggestions are easy to read and what aren't. If you are looking to register a domain name (or names) but aren't sure of what is available and what alternatives you can use, then Domain Name Generator Des
ktop Client could be the answer to your prayers. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 2.54MB download from:

Type it Easy v1.5 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Type it Easy is a tray-based program that allows the user to access many typographical characters usually unavailable on the keyboard. There are over 55 characters which can be accessed, including em & en dashes, typographic quotation marks, copyright & trademark symbols, Euro & other currency signs, miscellaneous math characters, and diacritical marks. This is a handy little program that normally runs with Windows. Press the hotkey (the default is the right side Alt key, often designated as AltGr) and then the activation key, and the character will be entered into your text at the cursor. It can be used with any text based program (Word, Wordpad, Notepad, Outlook, etc). By pressing the default hotkey and the F1 key it displays a keyboard help screen so you can see what keys you need to access the character you want. The help screen (keyboard hint) stays "on top" so you can leave it in the corner of your screen while you work. Some of the characters require the Shift key to b
e used as well, and that can be awkward, specially for older users. This is because you are having to simultaneously press three keys that may be spread out over the keyboard. The ability to press the hotkey and then the activation keys sequentially would be of assistance. It could be on, say, a two second activation delay so you would have up to two seconds between pressing the hotkey and then pressing the activation key(s). It would have been helpful if there was an option in the Options dialog box to start with Windows. We were given this option when we installed the program but, until we were sure of it, we unchecked the box so it didn't automatically load. Having used Type it Easy for a while we decided that it was worthwhile having it load with Windows but, by then, it was too late. We did have one small problem with Type it Easy, it closed itself a couple of times while we were reviewing the program. We aren't quite sure why, and it was easy to re-open, but it was a little annoying. Overall, Type it Easy is a terrific little program that most PC users will find invaluable. We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 644kB download from:

Windows Product Key Finder Professional v2.2.6 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Windows Product Key Finder Professional is a small utility that displays the CD key information for (Windows) 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7 and (Office) XP, 2003, 2007. It saves CD key information to a text file, prints key information so you can have a hard copy, requires no installation, is fully portable, and more. This is a neat little program that could be stored on a USB pen drive. It displays the product CD key for Windows XP and later and for Office XP or later. That information can be stored on the computer in a text file or as a hard copy from the printer. Simple to use, Windows Product Key Finder Professional is a "must have" if you have lost your original installation disks and need to re-install either of these products from a friend's set of disks (they must be the identical version, etc). Worth having on hand. We liked! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 388kB download from:

The Great Mahjong -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
The Great Mahjong is a 3D version of the Chinese solitaire tilegame. It features 150 levels, 3 tilesets, 4 game modes (Quest for Wisdom, Continue Quest, Classic & Time Attack), level editor, timed gameplay, hint feature (can only be used a limited number of times), it will show the solution (autoplay), supports widescreen monitors, and more. The Great Mahjong is an attractive game, with lots of bling, though lacking somewhat in the 3D department. It offers 150 levels of play, plus you can create your own levels once you've become bored with those! Of the tile faces available, there is the traditional tileset for puritans, and a Simple tileset for the rest of us who just enjoy playing the game and don't feel we have to learn Chinese to play. Tile layout is not the traditional pyramid style, but varies from level to level. You can play timed games, or a more classic game. If you are new to Mahjong then The Great Mahjong is a good way of learning the game, specially if you start
with the Simple tileset. More experienced players will still enjoy this game, with the built-in level editor allowing you to become really creative. There are even four examples you can start with. Overall, The Great Mahjong is a good, if not entirely traditional, rendition of this ancient tilegame. We liked! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 6.66MB download from:

Kingsoft Free Antivirus -- a cloud-based antivirus & spyware remover -- has been updated to version 2010.08.31.263 with a download size of 16.8MB. The publisher has not advised of the changes in this version. Grab this updated version from:

AllMyNotes Organizer -- an hierarchical information manager -- has been updated to version 2.21 with a new download size of 3.93MB. The author advises that changes in this version include: allows the user to hide all Deluxe-related interface elements (toolbar buttons, menu items, etc); allows the user to manually adjust the scale ratio for printing in 30%-300% range; and bug fixes. Get this excellent PIM from:

HDClone (Free Edition) -- a tool for moving contents of entire hard disk drives onto bigger ones -- has been updated to version 3.9.4 with a new, slightly larger download size of 11.0MB. The author advises that changes in this version include: enhancing the recognition of USB devices connected to USB hubs; and fixing a problem with the program which stops when Windows drivers return invalid data. Access this latest version from:

from Dr T --
My question is: I have two computers, the older one I want to take most of the info on it and transfer to the newer one I was told to get an external hard drive, transfer all my "stuff" to the hard drive then attach it to my computer, then I access all my files. Any help you can give this "computer dummy" would be greatly appreciated. My old computer is an XP, the newer one is an XPS. Any recommendations on what external hard drive to buy?
An external hard drive is an excellent way to move your files from an old computer to a new computer.
I have found that most brands of external hard drives work pretty much the same, but I can give you some guidelines on what to look for based on the computers that you want to use it on.
First, your external drive will run on USB. Make sure your old computer has USB ports that you can use the hard drive with. Many XP computers came with the older USB1 standard instead of the new USB2 that modern computers have. If this is the case with your old computer, make sure the hard drive says that it supports both USB1 and USB2.
Some external hard drives get their power only from the USB ports on the computer, while others come with their own power adapter. I prefer the power adapter, but many USB powered drives work fine.
Be sure that if your drive is getting power only from the USB connection that you have plugged it directly into the back of your computer. Many USB connections don't provide full power if they are on the keyboard, monitor, or other device.
The size of your external hard drive is important as well. To get the best use of your new device, I would suggest that you get a drive that is as big, or bigger than the hard drive on your new computer. This way, you can use it to back up the new computer without needing to replace the drive as you add new files.
To find out the size of your hard drive, click on "Start" and then click on "Computer" (or "My Computer in XP). Right click on the C drive and click on properties. This will show you a nice pie chart with the total amount of space on your drive as well as how much is full, and how much is free space.
Once you have purchased your drive, you can copy your files. Here is my favorite way to copy files:
1. Connect your external hard drive, and open a window for the drive.
2. Move the window to one side of your screen so that it takes up about 1/2 of your desktop.
3. Now, open a second window for your files, and move it so that it is on the other side of your screen.
4. Drag the folders from one window to the other to copy.
Since you are using XP, most of your files will be located on the C: drive in the "Documents and Settings" folder.
[Source: Jack's Computer Tips]
You can also install another hard drive internally, to do the same thing. Remember that after the transfer has been made, you can have the drive(s) from the old computer, installed in the new one, and use them for backing up the files of the new computer. They can be individually put in a USB Hard Drive Enclosure and used externally for the same purpose. Most of the newer computers can use either IDE (Integrated Development Environment) or SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Advancement) hard drives... Dr. T

We would like to thank the regular visitors to the CFS site who have told us their favorite freeware. If you have a favorite program which isn't listed on the CFS pages we invite you to share that information with everyone through this site and this newsletter.
If you are an author of a freeware application and you would like it listed on these pages please fill in the form at:
If you enjoy the Completely FREE Software site -- and this newsletter -- please don't feel shy about letting others know.

Gizmo's Tech Treats: Top 10 Interactive YouTube Games

A Quick Reco.. Some Email Etiquette

Tech--for Everyone

Posted: 23 Sep 2010 01:00 PM PDT
Folks, today I simply want to point you to an article by friend and fellow tech blogger, Rick Robinette: Tip: Bcc Protects Private Email Addresses “Did you know that if you use the Bcc field in your email client to address and send an email to multiple users, the recipients will not see whom you [...]

Big News (yawn) – Twitter Hacked, Fixed?

Tech--for Everyone

Posted: 22 Sep 2010 01:53 PM PDT
Twitter Hack – What, how and what’s next from Symantec Hosted Services How – The “hackers” used a new exploit of a flaw in JavaScript which took advantage of the way Twitter handled Javascript updates.  Most of the exploits seen used the “onmouseover” trigger, which meant that all a user had to do was move [...]

Symantec’s Top 10 Tech Security Strategies

Tech--for Everyone

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 09:35 AM PDT
Symantec (you may know them for their Norton product line) has put together a nice, easy, quick checklist I think my readers will want to look at… um, should look at. “Are you a fan of malicious code, spam and phishing? How about lengthy and complex lists of steps and precautions that you'll never read, [...]

Gizmo's Tech Treats: How To Enable the Built-in PDF Viewer in Google Chrome

Will Smart Phones Kill the Dedicated Device Market?

WXPNews: Published by Sunbelt Software since 2001 FORUMS | BLOG | RSS | MY PROFILE | PRIVACY  

Vol. 10, #37 - Sep 21, 2010 - Issue #447

 Will Smart Phones Kill the Dedicated Device Market?

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Will Smart Phones Kill the Dedicated Device Market?
    • Is there any need for a Zune if the Windows phone has the same capabilities?
    • Quotes of the Week:
  2. Cool Tools
    • Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. News, Hints, Tips and Tricks
    • A Safer Way to Surf the Web
    • IE 9 beta launches - but not for XP
    • Need more speed with XP SP3?
  4. How To: Using XP Features
    • How to play DVDs from other regions
  5. XP Security News

    • XP Question Corner
      • How do I set up the Remote Desktop
    • XP Configuration and Troubleshooting
      • Enable or Disable DEP for Office Applications
    • Fav Links

      • Product of the Week
        • New Release: Driver Genius Professional 10 - Start Your Free Driver Scan Now And Find Out If You Have Outdated Drivers.

      NEW! VIPRE® Antivirus Premium 4.0

      VIPRE is the only antivirus software that does not slow down your PC, and now it comes with integrated firewall!

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      • Does not slow down your PC
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      • Full email protection: Outlook and Windows Mail
      • Ideal for Netbooks that need malware protection
      • No automatic credit card charge each year!
      Try VIPRE Antivirus Premium now for 30-days FREE!

       Editor's Corner

      Will Smart Phones Kill the Dedicated Device Market?

      I'm on the road this week, traveling to Connecticut for a "Chinfest," which is a gathering of owners of Japanese Chin dogs (and their pups). It's my nine month old doggie's first time to fly (in the cabin under the seat) and it's my first purely fun (non-business) trip in years. As I was packing for the trip, going over my checklist of all my electronics and their cables and chargers to make sure I didn't forget anything important, I started thinking about how, in a pinch, my phone would do most of the things those other devices do. So why was I bringing all the other stuff along?

      Smart phones are getting smarter and smarter, and taking on more of the tasks that were once performed by dedicated devices. Many of the new phones can function as MP3 players, GPS devices, alarm clocks, cameras and a whole lot more. This makes it easy to travel light, but will we ever get to the point where your phone is all you need? Will this development mean the demise of some of the categories of dedicated devices?

      There had been speculation that Microsoft would kill their dedicated Zune players when Windows 7 Phone came out, but this month we've been hearing rumors that a new Zune HD is planned for 2011, and that it will feature an interface that's more like the new phone interface.

      Another source reports that Microsoft will probably share its future plans for the Zune in October when WP7 phone launches.

      Is there any need for a Zune if the Windows phone has the same capabilities?

      Will dedicated MP3 players die out altogether? Before that can happen, I think several things are necessary. First, the phones have to be as easy to use as the dedicated players. Many folks I know have phones that will play music, but they still use MP3 players because they don't find it as easy to get the tunes onto the device, or to find them and create playlists and play them.

      Another important factor is battery life. All that "smartness" eats up a lot of power, and the typical dedicated music player will go hours longer on a charge than most phones will. You'll also need to have as much storage capacity on the phone for MP3s as you have on your player. Some folks continue to carry both devices because they don't want to use up their limited storage for music and videos; they prefer to save it for their apps and other data. Of course, if your phone can use SD cards, that's less of an issue - but the problem is that with many of the new phones, inserting a card has been made more of a hassle because you have to remove the back to do it.

      Okay, then what about the GPS? With turn-by-turn GPS available on some smart phones (and with some even having car mounts that make it easier to use that feature), can we stop worrying about buying a separate GPS? Maybe - depending on your phone model. One problem is that some cell phone carriers require that you pay a monthly fee for GPS service (Verizon charges $9.99/month for its VZ Navigator). And even if there's no extra cost, most of the phones have smaller screens than a dedicated GPS, so it's not as easy to see the maps. And putting your phone into GPS mode and mounting it on your dash whenever you get into the car is less trouble than just hitting the "on" button of your dedicated, semi-permanently mounted GPS. On the other hand, an advantage of using the phone as GPS is that its maps can be automatically updated since it's connected to the network. That's a feature that will be appreciated by anyone who's ever tried to find an address in a brand new subdivision. (Some) dedicated GPS devices can be updated, too, but you may have to dismount them, take them into the house and plug them into a computer. So as far as convenience goes, this one might be a wash.

      I've noticed that quite a few young people don't wear watches these days. Instead, if they want to know what time it is, they take out their cell phones. I've worn a watch for decades and I feel a little naked without one. And even though I carry my phone with me almost everywhere, I find it a lot easier to look down at my wrist than to dig in my pocket or bag for it. Perhaps one day our phones will be worn on our wrists like the old Dick Tracy communicator devices. I do like not needing to pack a travel clock when I go somewhere that might not have an alarm clock (most hotels do these days, but if you're going to be staying at friend's house or camping out, you may need your own alarm).

      Then there's the camera. Not that long ago, phones with cameras were the exception, but now they're the rule. I use mine quite a bit. I absolutely love having a camera with me at all times. In the past, there were so many great pictures I missed because a wonderful photo opp came up when I was out and about without a camera. Now I at least get the shot. However, even though my phone has one of the better cell phone cameras, I'm often disappointed with the quality of the shots. It takes very decent pictures in good light, with still subjects. But too much motion leaves me with a blur, since I don't have a shutter speed adjustment. And although I can set it to ISO 800, the results are grainy. And of course, the little lens doesn't zoom, and it can never come close to the sharpness of my Nikkors (which, to be fair, cost four times as much for the lens alone as the price of my whole phone). So I won't be dumping the D300 anytime soon.

      Okay, but at least the phone can replace your landline, can't it? There are plenty of people who think so, and are saving hundreds of dollars per year by having their traditional telephone service disconnected, relying just on their cells. We got rid of our POTS line years ago - but we didn't go to cellular only. Instead we replaced it with a Voice over IP (VoIP) service that costs much less. The problem with using your cell as your only phone is that unlimited minutes plans are expensive, and if you have a different plan, you have to watch out for how much you talk. Also, if you ever make international calls, the wireless carriers charge you up the wazoo for them. There are several VoIP providers that give you unlimited calling not just in the U.S. but also to western Europe, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and other locations.

      Bottom line: the modern smart phone is a wondrous little machine that can do almost everything except the dishes - but it doesn't necessarily do all or most of those things as well as the respective dedicated devices do them. So, at least for the foreseeable future, I'll keep packing my MP3 player, my GPS, my "real" cameras, and pretty much everything I was packing before, except maybe my alarm clock. I look forward to the day when my phone can do it all, but for me, that day hasn't come.

      How about you? Has your smart phone replaced some or all of your extra devices? Could you see it doing so in the near future? If not, what changes would have to occur before you'd abandon your other electronics for the freedom of traveling light with a "does it all" phone? Or do you just prefer having separate devices for different functions? We invite you to discuss this topic in our forum at

      Thanks in advance to all of those who participate in this week's discussion!

      'Til next week,
      Deb Shinder, Editor

      Follow Deb on Twitter

      PS: Did you know this newsletter has a sister publication called Win7News? You can subscribe here, and tell your friends:

      And for IT pros, there's our "big sister," WServer News, at

      Look up the WXPnews Fan Page and join us on Facebook!

      Quotes of the Week:

      Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine. - Elvis Presley

      A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. - John Barrymore

      All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. - Walt Disney

       Cool Tools

      Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

      Still using Window's native clipboard version 1.o?? ClipMate 7 - Copy and Paste like a Pro with ClipMate! Try it free:

      WinZip® is the original and world's most popular file compression software for Windows. 40% off for Win7news readers!!

      Spellchecker is NOT ENOUGH! Improve your English writing skills with WhiteSmoke a smarter solution for high quality writing. Try it:

      Get your speed back! Advanced Vista Optimizer will tweak Vista for Max performance. Easy to use:

      Do you have programs you just can't seem to get rid of? Uninstaller! 2010 "ALL New" Version Just Released:

      I love my Roboform. Automatically fills out address forms and Logins for the sites I frequent regularly. Not a little toolbar utility. Huge time-saver!

      Moving to Windows 7 is Easy! PCMover moves programs, files, and settings from your old PC to your new PC

      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.

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

       News, Hints, Tips and Tricks

      A Safer Way to Surf the Web

      Last week in our sister publication, Win7News, I discussed the fact that most malware today infects our computers via malicious web sites. One way to avoid it is to stay off the web, but for most of us, that's not an option. A better way to deal with it is to use a DNS service that offers built in protection from bad sites. ClearCloud DNS, offered by GFI, gets the job done with minimal effort on your part. And since GFI recently acquired Sunbelt Software, you know you're dealing with a company you know and trust. Check out my editorial about ClearCloud (and sample our Windows 7 newsletter if you haven't already) at

      IE 9 beta launches - but not for XP

      This week, Microsoft launched the beta of Internet Explorer 9, which promises "a more beautiful web." It sounds great, but if you're running Windows XP as your OS, I guess you'll be stuck with the same old plain jane web you had before. And even if you have Vista, you won't be able to use all of IE 9's new features.

      Will the "refreshing new look and feel" of IE 9 persuade you to switch to Windows 7? Or will you instead end up switching away from IE entirely, to Chrome or Firefox or another alternative browser? XP still has the majority of the desktop market share, so did Microsoft make a big mistake by not making IE 9 run on it? Tell us what you think in the forum at

      Need more speed with XP SP3?

      Microsoft recently ended extended support for XP SP2, so if you want to continue to get updates - including important security updates - you need to install SP3. Why are so many folks putting it off? Well, you may have heard that it slows down the system, and in some cases, that's true. However, there are some tweaks you can perform that will help. Find out more here:

       How To: Using XP Features

      How to play DVDs from other regions

      DVDs are made for specific regions of the world. Usually you're going to be buying DVDs made for your region, and they play on your XP computer with no problem. However, sometimes you might have a DVD movie that was made for a different region. Are you out of luck? Nope - you can change your DVD region to make it play. If you have DVD decoder software, go into its settings and change the region there. If you're using a hardware decoder, you can change the region in Device Manager. Here's how:

      1. Log on as Administrator.
      2. Click Start.
      3. Right click My Computer.
      4. Click Properties.
      5. Click the Hardware Tab.
      6. Click Device Manager.
      7. Double click DVD/CD ROM drive in the list of devices.
      8. Right click the drive for which you want to change the settings.
      9. Click Properties.
      10. Click the DVD Region tab.
      11. Change to whatever region the DVD you have was made for.
      12. Click OK.
       XP Security News

      Microsoft patches vulnerabilities related to Stuxnet but there may be more In this month's Patch Tuesday releases, Microsoft fixed a vulnerability in the MPEG-4 codec and a printer spooler flaw used by the Stuxnet worm, but a security expert says there are probably more that are still waiting to be found.
       XP Question Corner

      How do I set up the Remote Desktop

      I've always heard a lot about Remote Desktop but never used it on my XP machine. Now I have a computer upstairs and one downstairs, and sometimes I want to be able to do things on the upstairs machine when I'm downstairs. Specifically, there is a program installed on that computer that I don't have on the downstairs computer. The upstairs computer is XP Pro but the downstairs one is XP Home. Do I need Pro on both for this to work? Is there anything else I have to install? Thanks. - Tammy K.

      You're in luck! The computer acting as the Remote Desktop server needs to have the Pro version of XP installed, but you can use XP Home for the client system to access the Pro computer's desktop. Setting it up involves several steps, but you can find the full instructions here:

      You can also use your XP computer to access the desktop of a Vista Business/Ultimate or Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate computer. XP has the Remote Desktop client software (called Remote Desktop Connection) built in. To use all advanced features, you need to be sure you have the latest version, Remote Desktop Connection 6.1. This version is installed with XP SP3 (RDC 7.0 is only for Vista and Windows 7) but if you haven't installed the latest service pack, you may have an older version. Find out more about it here:
       XP Configuration and Troubleshooting

      Enable or Disable DEP for Office Applications

      Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is designed to provide better security by prohibiting applications from executing code from a non-executable part of memory. Makes sense, but sometimes it causes application compatibility problems. This can even happen with Microsoft Office applications. You can disable or enable DEP quickly and easily, but using the Fix It tool in KB article 971766 at
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      A well coordinated crew strips down and rebuilds a Jeep in less than 4 minutes. Yup, you read that right. Fun to see:

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       Product of the Week

      New Release: Driver Genius Professional 10 - Start Your Free Driver Scan Now And Find Out If You Have Outdated Drivers.

      Keeping your Drivers up to date is an essential step to keep your PC running smoothly. When drivers get out of date, your PC can become unstable and you may experience frequent crashes, frozen applications and slow boot up times. Driver Genius Professional takes the hassle out of managing your drivers and will automatically backup, update and restore all your PC drivers. Over 80,000 devices supported. What's New in Version 10? Driver Scan Scheduler - daily, weekly or monthly scans ensure drivers are current. Driver Update Notifications - automatic notification of available updated drivers. Download Verification - auto-verifies complete driver downloads. Customize your Driver download location. Automatically removes of outdated drivers from download manager. Hides driver update notifications for specific devices, such as ones no longer in use. Update History - keeps a log of all driver updates made on your PC. Creates a system restore point before installing new drivers. Command line mode - automates driver backup using a command line mode. IMPROVED! Thousands of the newest drivers added to the Driver Database. More device support than ever before! IMPROVED! Faster, more reliable driver downloads. IMPROVED! Driver scan accuracy - provides more accurate information about outdated drivers. IMPROVED! One - Click Driver installation simplifies installs. IMPROVED! Enhanced User Interface makes Driver Genius easier and more convenient than ever. Change Font size and more. WXPNews Subscribers: $5.00 Special Discount Available!
       About WXPnews

      What Our Lawyers Make Us Say
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      License Giveaway Contest – SLOW-PCFighter

      Tech--for Everyone

      Posted: 20 Sep 2010 10:34 AM PDT
      Folks, I am pleased to announce my latest software license giveaway drawing. The folks at SPAMFighter (last week’s giveaway) have generously donated 10 one-year licenses for SLOW-PCFighter to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am going to do a random drawing¹ contest from folks who "enter" by [...]

      Gizmo's Tech Treats: How To Customize Icons in Windows

      Gizmo's Tech Treats: How To Customize Icons in Windows

      Link to Daily Tech Treats

      Posted: 20 Sep 2010 01:08 PM PDT
      Posted: 20 Sep 2010 12:25 PM PDT

      Daves Computer Tips


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      Group Blogs and Websites for Free

      Added Comment: Blastgroups provides lots of freebies. However it has a confusing interface. I have been doing computers since the 70's and it IS confusing to me. However if you can wade through, you will get LOTS of great stuff for your group. - Computer Doc Blastgroups Claims that it is FREE and you can ... Create a free website for your: Sports Team–Club–Family–Friends Church–Work–School–Organization What can you add to a BlastGroup? Calendars – Photo Albums – Forums – Blogs Email Lists – Videos – Audio – Links – Files I just discovered this site and have NOT tried them. If you try them and have some comments, they are certainly VERY WELCOME! I am signing up today so that I can see how it works and report back to you. The other one I am familiar with like this is I loved airset until I realized that geeks like me would have no problem with it BUT perhaps the average computer user may. -Charles