Archive for the 'Vista' Category

31
Oct
10

Great Windows Weather Gadget

I still have Vista on my notebook PC, it works fine for what I want and I liked the weather gadget that was in the side bar. If you dragged the gadget out of the sidbar it grew bigger and and gave you a forecast for 5 days. This weather gadget worked well I thought and I had no need to update it.

We recently got a HTC Desire mobile phone and the sense interface is great. The front scree with the clock and weather looks fantastic. I have found a Windows version of this Clock/Weather gadget. It is called HTC Home. It workd well, doesn’t slow my PC and looks just as good as on our HTC Desire. The animations look pretty but I wish they didn’t animate quite so long, 5 seconds would be plenty.

I did find that although you have a choice of two places it can get it’s weather information from – Accuweather and MSN -  one was not very accurate, strangely it’s name suggests it is accurate. Remember I am in Australia so maybe they are better in the US, MSN seems fine. Give it a try and see what you think www.htchome.org/en/

Window weather gadget like HTC - HTC Home

02
Oct
10

PDF to Word conversion, restrictions removal for free

I had a PDF file that I wanted to copy a little information from but it had PDF restrictions to stop you printing and copying any text. Well that was no good, there must be some way of copying that PDF text. I searched around and found a few programs that could take the restrictions off but then I found an ideal one – PDF to Word Converter 3 by anybizsoftware .

All the ones I looked at weren’t free and normally this one isn’t either but on there web page they have a link that takes you to there Facebook page – become a fan and they will email a registration key  – so you end up with a $30 program for free! Seems like they have apple mac and windows versions.

I tried the program out and it works just as they say – just run the program and it makes a fully editable word document – no restrictions and all formatting is is perfect. The PDF I used had tables, graphics, logos, all sizes of text and layouts and it worked perfectly. the word document is a perfect copy the PDF.
Is it worth $30? I don’t know, I guess so if you need it often. But a full legal copy for Free – what a bargain. Get it now while you can.

free pdf restriction removal to word doc

how to get free pdf restriction removal to word doc

08
Mar
10

Safari and Youtube missing on my iPod Touch

My 11 year old son told me that on his iPod Touch he has lost the icons for the Apps Safari, Youtube and some others. I knew he was moving the icons around and putting them on other screens so thought that is what he had done. No, they were missing!

Ok, next we will try a reset by holding the the home and power button for 5 seconds, no that did not work either.
I even paid for the iPod touch 2 software upgrade to get it to version 3.something, nope that did not work

But I did fix it and it was very simple. It was actually the iPod setting my son had! Here is how to fix the problem of not having Safari, Youtube, Appstore icons on your iPod touch.

He activated the restriction feature on the iPod and turned off Safari and Youtube etc, so all I needed to do was turn the restrictions off and they all came back again on my home screen. One happy boy now.

safari youtube missing on ipod touch

safari youtube missing on ipod touch

28
Feb
10

McAfee Antivirus renew is more expensive than a new version

We bought my 11 year old son a Dell laptop about a year ago, it was good value, does the job fine and best of all , he thinks it’s great. Actually it is pretty tough as well – it had a full glass of chocolate milk spilled over it while it was on. I ended up pulling it apart to give it a wipe down, put it all back together and it is still working fine!

Anyway this story isn’t really about the Dell laptop at all, it is about the anti-virus that came with it. It came with a 15month  subscription to McAfee Antivirus andit was OK except it kept nagging about renewing the subscription after around six months even though it still had 9 months to go.

When it got down to about 2 months to the end of the subscription and getting very regular emails ‘reminding’ me to renew the subscription I thought I would have a look. As you can tell by the two screen captures to renew the subscription to McAfee Anti Virus is actually a lot more expensive than just buying a whole new one. Crazy isn’t it. Why should the resubscription cost AUD$84.95 (and that was with a 15% discount) where as a new one costs $74.95. Nice way to treat loyal customers McAfee.

So what did I do? Well I hate the feeling of McAfee rorting money out of me for no good reason so I did what I am telling everyone else to do – get the free Microsoft Security Essentials. It works great and doesn’t bug you with popups, emails or money.

mcafee antivirus renew is more than new price

mcafee renew subscription price - why is it more than new?

why is the mcafee renew subscription more expensive than a new copy

mcafee new price - why is the renew subscription more expensive than a new copy

20
Jan
10

Non Destructive Partitioning For Windows 7 and Vista

A short time back I bought a small pocket hard drive – just a Western Digital 320GB USB version. The idea was to fill it with some music and movies and have it plugged into the Sony PS3. The idea was fine, I put the videos on the HDD and plugged it into the PS3 Slim but it didn’t see anything.

The problem I discovered was that the drive was formatted NTSF and I needed Fat32 that the Sony PS3 recognises. Windows 7 and Vista have basic HDD tools but I was not able to format the drive with out losing data.
So I searched for disk partition tools that can reformat and resize non destructively – that is, I can leave the data on it and not lose anything. Nortons version is probably the most known but has not been updated for ages and does not work above XP (don’t try it , it corrupts the disk in Vista, Win 7). To be honest I did not find many at all. I ended up finding a neat Free Partition Magic Alternative that works with Vista and Windows7 including 64bit versions. It is called Partition Wizard . And it is completely FREE!

free partition magic alternative for windows 7 and vista partition wizardOf course this is a program that hardly anyone ever really needs and if you do it is probably only once or twice. I installed, used it as I needed than uninstalled it. Being free is fantastic because I did not want to pay for something I would only use once. They do have a Bootable version that I could have used instead, I wonder how easy it would be to have a USB bootable version? If you need a Vista or Windows 7 version of Partition Magic then this is the one tool I recommend.

13
Dec
09

More Than 100 Best Tips, Secrets, Tricks, Hacks For Windows 7

Windows 7 has been around for a little while now and so far it is pretty good, the only gripe I have is Microsoft Australia are not offering a family pack (3 copies) like they do elsewhere. In fact one copy in Australia is more expensive than the three pack in the US – ripped off. (I have just found out that you can buy the family pack of windows 7 in Australia but it is only available for December?? and around the $240 mark)

Anyway, lots (well 100 or maybe 101) of tips and hints for Windows 7 here, some well known others not so.

Here it goes.

Right-click an empty part of the desktop and ,instead of needing to go through the display settings, you will find a menu entry to set your screen resolution.

Right-click the Explorer icon on the taskbar to get speedy access to the Windows folder, Documents and Pictures.

Generate an Energy Report. To create a report type powercfg -energy in a cmd window and it makes a report named energy-report.html in C:\Windows\system32. It shows you anything in your computer that keep the PC buzzing away wasting power.

How to Change the Background in WMP12. Run regedit and go to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Preferences . Double click on the key LibraryBackgroundImage and enter a value between 0 and 6 (each number is a different style background).

Windows Logo+Left Arrow and Windows Logo+Right Arrow docks the window to the left or right edge of the screen.

Windows Logo+Up Arrow and Windows Logo+Down Arrow maximizes or minimizes the window.

Windows Logo+Shift+Up Arrow and Windows Logo+Shift+Down Arrow maximizes or restores the vertical size of the window.

Access hidden international themes, just type C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT in the search box and Enter. You will see folders of other countries themes.

Installing Win7 on a Netbook with a USB Memory Stick. Take a 4GB USB 2.0 flash/thumbdrive and format it in FAT32, then just copy an ISO image to the flashdrive by xcopy d:\ e:\ /d /e (where d: is the DVD drive and e: is the usb drive location).

Make a system repair disc straight after install just in case you have problems booting Win7 later. Just go to Start , Maintenance , Create a System Repair Disc, and then Windows 7 will build a bootable emergency disc.

The new Windows 7 calculator looks like my old Vista one, but if you use the Mode menu there are Stats and Programmer views. Also in the Options menu it has unit conversions (weight, length etc.), calculates dates and templates for calculating vehicle usage and loan rates etc.

WordPad has new formats you can save and open, now you can save or open Word2007 .docx and OpenDocument .odt formats.

Have the desktop wallpaper act as a slideshow. When choosing your desktop wallpaper picture just hold down Ctrl and click on as many pictures as you like. Then choose how the time delay they change and even choose shuffle and enjoy.

Change the power switch. Windows 7 shows a shut down button on the Start menu but to change it to something else just right-click the Start orb, choose Properties and set the power boot action to what you want.

Show hidden drives. Win7 no longer displays drives (mem cards for example) if they’re empty. If you want to see them go to Explorer, Tools, Folder Options, View and untick the Hide Empty Drives In The Computer Folder.

Alt + P displays or hides the Explorer preview pane

Windows Logo + G displays your gadgets in front of other windows

Windows Logo + + zooms in

Windows Logo + – zoom out

Make IE8 start faster by getting rid of slow add ons. Click Tools, Manage Add-ons, and check the Load Time in the right column, and you will quickly see which add on is slowing IE8 down.

If you want to use Windows 7’s XP mode you need to have the Win7 Pro, Ultimate, or Enterprise not Home plus you also have to have a CPU with hardware virtualization support. To find out if yours has download Steve Gibson’s Securable (it’s free).

You don’t need a seperate burner to burn ISO images anymore, Windows 7 now supports this. Just right click the ISO file and select Burn Disc Image, or easier just double click the ISO.

Calibrate your screen by typing dccw in the Start Menu. It steps you through adjustments of gamma, brightness, contrast, and colour of your screen.

You have already got an app open on your desktop and you want to run a second copy, just Shift and click its taskbar icon, and it will open a new instance. Another way (and easier) is to middle-click the taskbar icon.

To get Windows Live Messenger off the taskbar and back in the system tray where it should be, close Windows Live Messenger and edit the shortcut properties by choosing run in Windows Vista compatibility mode.

Run cttune.exe to tune up the Clear Type font display. You will get the text looking perfect on your screen.

If you work on the same folder often, in Explorer right-click Favourites on the left-hand menu, and choose Add to Favourites. It then appears at the bottom of your favourites list for quick access.

For the visually impaired the Windows 7 Magnifier has two options for providing a bigger display. One is a dock and the other being a rectangular maggy lens that is stuck to the cursor.

You can rearrange the system tray icons, just drag them to the order you want on the tray or you can even move them outside (and back again) the tray.

How to disable or uninstall IE8 in Windows 7. Click on the Start Menu and go to Control Panel and find Programs and Features. Click on the Turn Windows features on or off link on the left side and uncheck the box next to Internet Explorer 8.

Disable Aero Shake in Windows 7. Run regedit.exe and find the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows , right-click on the Windows key and make a new key called Explorer, right-click on the right-hand side and make a new 32-bit DWORD with these details Name: NoWindowMinimizingShortcuts , Value: 1 .

Add Videos to the Start Menu by just a right-click Start, select Properties then click Customize. Choose Display as a link in the Videos section near the bottom.

Windows 7 Paint the Ribbon UI, which lets you customise it and has the great live formatting previews.It also has new brush strokes, shapes, and grid support.

Control Panel has a new tool that allows you to save your usernames and passwords, it’s called Credential Manager. These credentials are saved in a Vault, that can be backed up.

Use BitLocker To Go to encrypt data on USB memory stick or other removable storage device, with a digital certificate or a password for access.

Turn Your Windows 7 Laptops Into Wi-Fi Hotspots. Microsoft’s Windows 7 has something called Virtual WiFi that makes one wireless card act as several separate one. Just go and use the free software Connectify and make you notebook/laptop/netbook into a Wi Fi Hotspot for free.

Install the best free antivirus/security suite for Windows 7. Just install Microsofts own Security Essentials, free , fast and does the job well.

Install Windows 7 on your Netbook. Use IMGburn to convert your Setup DVD to an ISO. Copy the ISO to a USB memory key by using Microsofts Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool. Reboot the netbook and boot off of the USB mem key and follow the instruction to install.

You can move windows across multiple monitors without having to minimize or shrink the window first.

Pin up the folders you use most to your taskbar. Just hold your mouse over the folder, click and drag it onto the taskbar. Windows 7 automatically pins it to the Explorer Jump List.

Change the order of your Taskbar by simply dragging them to whatever order you desire. And you can launch the first five icons with a simple keystroke: just by pressing Windows+1, windows+2 etc.

Windows 7 automatically reduces screen brightness after a period of inactivity (a bit like mobile phones do) but Windows 7 adapts to your activity. For example, if the screen dims after 30 seconds and you immediately move the mouse to brighten the display, Windows 7 will wait 60 seconds before dimming the display again. Good when watching videos – actually I am sure my Vista does this as well.

On the Windows 7 Start Menu, the default power option is a simple shut down and that is what I want. Bit, if you want something else, you can simply change it to default to Switch User, Log Off, Lock, Restart, or Sleep. All you do is Right click on the Start button, Properties, Start Menu tab, choose the Power Button Action that you want. A lot better than how to change the shutdown button in Vista

Windows 7 includes a great taskbar preview feature where, if you hover over an open program’s taskbar icon, a preview pops up and where you can switch to or even close the program. By default you have to hover over the icon for a short time (400milliseconds) for it to pop up. I would like it a bit quicker and you can do it by a registry change. Just get into regedit, and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Control Panel -> Mouse. Double-click on MouseHoverTime, and set the value, in milliseconds (say, 200) to whatever you want. Click OK and exit and restart.

Well that is it, I am not counting to see if there are 100 tips and hints for Windows 7 but it must be close. I will keep adding more when I come across them.

26
Aug
09

Ultimate Top Five Free AntiVirus Program Review

I am a bit of a tight bum when it comes to buying software so when it came down to needing to get some anti-virus software I did a bit of research. I was using Eset but didn’t want to pay anymore so I tried a lot of free antivirus applications to narrow down the good and bad. What I am after is a great anti-virus with no extra padding.

The paid antivirus from, say, Norton and McAfee, should be worried because, honestly, no-one really needs to pay for their bloated programs anymore – and I can see that Norton and like will start using scare campaigns to make beginners think they have to buy to be protected – especially when the Microsoft Security Essentials comes out.

Here is my ultimate guide to the top 5 free anti virus programs for Windows Vista (and Windows 7). I hope the review helps you.

Avira AntiVir Personal Free Antivirus

What I like best about AviraAntiVir Personal Free Antivirus is simple to use and works great – exactly what you want and a good choice for beginner or expert users. It doesn’t try and install all the bell and whistles that big suites have which is good because you don’t need them, they just slow your PC system down.
It always is near the top of antivirus ranking sites so will stay as one of the best freeware anti virus programs you can find. I use it to scan both my internal and my external hard drives even do a rootkit scan. This version has, as mentioned, anti rootkit, as well as anti spyware and anti phishing protection on top of the usual anti virus stuff.
free antivirus review avira antivir home 9 freeThe interface changed a little in version 9 but not much. There is still the option of Expert mode that gives you many more settings, have it unticked if you are not to sure about things to make it an easy choice. There is a scheduler for scanning and updates that other free antivirus programs don’t but I can only set the scanning to be every day and just adjust the time – I don’t want or need to do a full scan every day.
And there is a nag screen that pops up definition file updates to try to talk you into buying the full version – stick with the free antivirus, it works great and if you don’t want the AntiVir pop up ad you can remove it by following  my instructions here – Turn Off the AntiVir pop up nag screen. I use AntiVir.

Avast Home Free Version 4

Review of AvastAntivirus Home Edition For Windows which available free for home and non-commercial use. Avast 4 has been around for ever it seems and version 4 was the version I tried a year ago, it is still v4 – no need to change something that’s not broken I suppose. I am not keen on the interface, they have tried to make it different, I guess, but in doing so makes it awkward, slow and actually looks dated a bit like software mp3 player. There are other skins available but most are junk (the Vista skin looks fine). A big plus is that Avast works fine with Windows 7.

free antivirus review avast homeThe software needs registration even it is free. After you download it and install in your computer you need to register it by enter your details and an email address – Avast will send you a register code to your e-mail which can be used for about 1 year. I don’t see why they need to do this except for send emails to sell some product (you could use a free temporary email address).  Avast Home Edition now has a spyware and rootkit guard now so your PC is fairly well protected.  Setting it up you can select parameters for scanning, adjust the sensitivity level for the program’s detectors when it comes to scanning downloaded files, instant messages, e-mails, and file sharing programs (P2P). I like how it goes about updating itself when the Internet connection available automatically but there is one more negative from Avast Free Antivirus, it doesn’t offer scheduling of a normal scan – you have to remember to run a scan yourself!

AVG Free

AVG Free seems to be the name that everyone thinks of when talking about free antivirus software. I used to have it installed ages back when it was version 7, once it went to v8 and now v8.5 it just got too cumbersome and slowed down my PC noticeably.

free antivirus review AVG FreeFeatures like the LinkScanner and the Search scanner as well as a toolbar just tacks over my web browsing style and slows things without giving me any benefit – useless features added to scare people and hoping they will buy the paid version. The LinkScanner is meant to scan the links on web pages and on search pages, for example you search for something with Bing or Google and it gives you a Tick saying the link is OK – I don’t need it and , really, neither does anyone else, just slows things down dramatically.

One good thing is that this version of AVG free antivirus runs well on Windows 7 and Vista. Good because a few are not compatible with Windows 7 yet, AVG is.

Microsoft Security Essentials

This will be big, a free security suite (spy-ware, anti-virus) from Microsoft - all free and for Windows 7 and Vista. At the moment it is only for the United States, Israel (English only), People’s Republic of China (Simplified Chinese only) and Brazil (Brazilian Portuguese only).

free antivirus review microsoft security essentials top 10 guideIt is a simple looking and easy-to-use free antivirus program from Microsoft and great for most people because it seems to cover all the bases. It has a tabbed style interface that allows you to get to setting, run scans etc nice and easy.

Remember that Microsoft Security Essentials doesn’t have a firewall but Windows 7 and Vista has a good one built in so that’s fine.  You can schedule a scan for whatever date and time and even when the PC is not in use – which is good because a lot of free anti virus programs don’t let you (I guess they want you to pay for the full version). If you have ever used Windows Defender you will be perfectly at home with this. This is great and here is over 100 more win7 tips and hints.

Comodo Free Antivirus

Comodo has a free antivirus, I think a stand alone program but now it is part of their security pack – still free but I am not after a whole security suite, especially another firewall. It is not compatible with Windows 7 but Vista is fine. The free antivirus program has a clean and clear look with the interface showing me an overview of the security settings,  the status of the program and the date of the last full scan.

free antivirus review guide comodo antivirus security suiteComodos free antivirus has the usual real-time and email scanner as well as heuristic scans just like most of the other free antivirus programs reviewed here. They update the virus definitions daily and automatically like it should be and it is good that I can schedule when I want Comodo Antivirus to scan my PC because this is usually missing or limited (can only have preset dates or times to scan) in free anti-virus programes.

One thing I do not like is that the Windows Security Center doesn’t detect Comodo as a valid antivirus application so then the Windows has it’s warning shield pop up in the system tray asking you to install a valid antivirus. You need to change this setting so Windows doesn’t monitor it any more. A great thing is that there is no nag screens and adverts trying to sell upgrades, good news everybody.

28
May
09

Out Now, Windows Vista Service Pack 2

I have just turned on my Toshiba notebook at home and it popped up saying a new Windows update is available (I don’t have it on auto as I like to see what the updates are). Anyway, the update is 343.9MB , wow big, and it says it is Windows Vista SP2, yes service pack 2.

I haven’t heard any rumours about another service pack coming up for Vista. I wonder if it will improve performance, probably not because they would want Windows 7 to look the best when it comes out soon.

Well it’s downloading now, 12% complete, so I will see what has changed and if it has made any difference for me.

Anyone out there knew there was a Vista SP2 coming out now?windows vista sp2 service pack 2 install goldcoaster

Continue reading ‘Out Now, Windows Vista Service Pack 2′

06
May
09

Get Microsoft Windows 7 Free

Microsoft last night started the release of free copies of its new operating system to the public in a bid to win back disgruntled Windows Vista users. Australian PC owners will be able to download the Windows 7 Release Candidate and use it for free over the next 12 months.

The 3 GByte size Release Candidate is a near to retail version and feedback will be used to iron out any remaining glitches. It incorporates suggestions made by those who tested the Windows 7 beta version earlier this year. At the end of the 12 months, users can choose to pay for the full version or have their PC revert back to its current operating system – well, reinstall your old OS again from scratch.Windows 7 RC will reboot every 2 hours when it gets down to the last few months, from March ’10 until the end in June, just to remind you to buy a real version. Still not bad to try out for a year, I did this for XP ages back.

goldcoaster-microsoft-windows-7

Microsoft Australia spokeswoman Sarah Vaughan said there was no need to buy or upgrade computer hardware, as was the case with Vista, to run Windows 7 which is great news. “The first thing you will notice is responsiveness, we heard feedback that Vista took too long to boot up and there was a wait for things to happen,” Vaughan said.

She said the system would also learn and adapt to its users’ habits, such as extending the PC’s automatic sleep time if you are continually waking it up not long after it dims  but , actually, my Windows Vista does that already, it isn’t a new win7 feature at all. Also, Windows 7 users will also be able to stream photos and videos stored on their PCs to any internet-connected computer via the Windows Live website – once again this isn’t a new win7 feature, anyone with Vista and Live can do this – gee it would have been nice if the Microsoft spokesperson actually knew a little about Windows 7 rather than pointing out Vista features!.

Continue reading ‘Get Microsoft Windows 7 Free’

19
Mar
09

Dell Australias Outragous Adamo Price

Just a quick update on my previous Australian Adamo post. The Adamo price in the US is $1999 which is about AUD2900 but here Dell has decided that the base model Adamo (the 1.2GHz model) will be AUD$3700 – what! The other model is AUD$4300 – super crazy and price gouging the public I think.

Australia also doesn’t get the higher spec white model either. By the way , the $4300 model has wireless broadband internet but only Vodaphone is an option and their coverage isn’t that good.

I have bought Dells before and have been very happy with them but no Dell, absolutely no Dell, computer is worth those prices. The lesser spec Apple Air seems a bargain by comparison – well nearly.




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