Gordo’s PC Hints!

Welcome to Gordo’s PC Hints!

For those of us at WTPOTUS who are searching for help regarding computer applications, this is the where we will place valuable  information.   One of our readers, Gordo, has helped us with major hints and advice.   For his advice, assistance,  and easily understood directions,  we name this page, ” Gordo’s PC Hints.”

If you have a question or a comment about certain computer programs, we hope he will continue to help us by providing links  and/or commentary.

With the onset of Google tracking,  Gordo’s advice led us to start using “Do Not Track Plus.”   Those of us now using that application are amazed at the results.  We are definitely satisfied recipients and greatly appreciate his help.   Thanks Gordo!


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273 responses to “Gordo’s PC Hints!

  1. From good authority, our friend Gordo.

    Websites to download free software:

    “These are some of the download sites I use – NEVER had any problems.”

    http://www.majorgeeks.com/
    http://snapfiles.com/
    http://download.cnet.com
    http://www.softpedia.com/
    http://www.filehippo.com/
    http://www.downloadcrew.com/

  2. How to remove your Google Web Data History
    Feb. 26 This was on CNET. This has a video also.

    Do you know if Google is tracking your Web activity? If you have a Google account (for, say, Gmail, You tube, ) and have not specifically located and paused the Web History setting, then the search giant is keeping track of your searches and the sites you visited.

    If you’d like to prevent Google from combining this potentially sensitive data with the information it has collected from your YouTube, Google+, and other Google accounts, you can remove your Web History and stop it from being recorded moving forward.

    http://news.yahoo.com/how-to-remove-your-google-web-data-history.html

  3. Gordo Submitted on 2012/02/23 at 11:23 am

    “I set up “in private browsing” on IE …”
    ==========
    “InPrivate Browsing helps prevent Internet Explorer from storing data about your browsing session. This includes cookies, temporary Internet files, history, and other data. Toolbars and extensions are disabled by default.”

    [*** Toolbars and extensions are disabled by default. ***]
    ==========
    “DNT+ installs as a browser toolbar button.”

    http://download.cnet.com/Do-Not-Track-Plus-for-IE/3000-12512_4-75653418.html#ixzz1nDmhczHs
    ==========
    I installed “Do Not Track Plus” on IE9 and rebooted. Works ok. But NOT when “InPrivate Browsing” is on because toolbars and extensions are disabled by default. (The toolbar button is gone – “Do Not Track Plus” is enabled.)
    **********
    **********
    This is one of the tools I use to ‘clean’ my PC:
    —-
    “CCleaner” – Freeware

    “CCleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure. Easy to use and a small, fast download. ”

    “Cleans the following:

    Internet Explorer
    Temporary files, history, cookies, Autocomplete form history, index.dat.

    Firefox
    Temporary files, history, cookies, download history, form history.

    Google Chrome
    Temporary files, history, cookies, download history, form history.”

    http://majorgeeks.com/CCleaner_Slim_d4191.html

    Want more?

    “CCEnhancer”

    “CCEnhancer is a simple, easy to use utility designed to add support for over 270 new programs into the popular program CCleaner.”

    http://majorgeeks.com/CCEnhancer_d6547.html

  4. Gordo Submitted on 2012/02/22 at 10:31 pm

    I use three browsers – Comodo Dragon (it’s similar to Google Chrome, but without Google – see link below), Firefox and Internet Explorer. Have “Do Not Track Plus” on Dragon and Firefox, not on IE (use only for online banking – some sites require it).

    “Comodo Dragon”

    “Comodo Dragon is a freeware web browser. It is an implementation of Chromium and is produced by Comodo Group. Sporting a similar interface to Google Chrome, Dragon eliminates Chrome’s usage tracking and some other potentially privacy-compromising features, and provides additional security measures, such as indicating the authenticity and relative strength of a website’s SSL certificate.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comodo_Dragon_%28web_browser%29
    =============
    All browsers are run in a ‘sandbox’.

    “Sandboxie 3.64″

    “Benefits of the Isolated Sandbox”

    “Secure Web Browsing: Running your Web browser under the protection of Sandboxie means that all malicious software downloaded by the browser is trapped in the sandbox and can be discarded trivially.

    Enhanced Privacy: Browsing history, cookies, and cached temporary files collected while Web browsing stay in the sandbox and don’t leak into Windows.

    Secure E-mail: Viruses and other malicious software that might be hiding in your email can’t break out of the sandbox and can’t infect your real system.”

    http://www.filehippo.com/download_sandboxie/

  5. From Gordo:

    “Do Not Track Plus add-on stops the tracking paparazzi”

    “Released exclusively through CNET Download.com, Do Not Track Plus 2.0.4 … is available on four of the five major browsers. You can download Do Not Track Plus for Firefox (Windows / Mac), Chrome (Windows / Mac), Internet Explorer (Windows only), and Safari (Windows / Mac).
    =======
    [download at link]

    Firefox:
    http://download.cnet.com/Do%20Not%20Track%20Plus%20for%20Firefox/3000-11745_4-75653399.html

    Chrome:
    http://download.cnet.com/Do%20Not%20Track%20Plus%20for%20Chrome/3000-33362_4-75653397.html

    Internet Explorer:
    http://download.cnet.com/Do%20Not%20Track%20Plus%20for%20IE/3000-12512_4-75653418.html

    Safari:
    http://download.cnet.com/Do-Not-Track-Plus-for-Safari/3000-2378_4-75654379.html
    =======
    DNT+ blocks sites and ads from tracking you, unless you give them explicit permission to do so.”

    [video at link]

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57373684-83/do-not-track-plus-add-on-stops-the-tracking-paparazzi/

  6. Useful when doing a search on the net – warns of questionable sites. Best to avoid ‘RED’ sites.
    —–
    “Web of Trust (WOT)”

    At CNET – 5 stars

    “WOT … provides users with a simple meter for gauging a Web site’s danger level.”
    ************
    Web of Trust for Internet Explorer:

    http://download.cnet.com/Web-of-Trust-for-Internet-Explorer/3000-12512_4-10777505.html
    ========
    Web of Trust for Firefox:

    http://download.cnet.com/Web-of-Trust-for-Firefox/3000-11745_4-10588554.html
    ************
    CAUTION – when installing anything, watch out for unwanted toolbars and other ‘junk’ – read BEFORE clicking!!!

  7. The 2nd Tuesday of each month is called Microsoft’s “Patch Tuesday”. Good to keep the system up-to-date.

    If you want to go beyond what “Patch Tuesday” provides, Secunia is one way.
    ==========
    [CAUTION: Installing any new program or updating an existing one can cause instability in the system. It’s always risky. You need a way to recover to the pre-install state – restore points are unreliable – I don’t use them. Instead, recoveries are from C-drive images stored on two other hard drives. (The main drive only has about 12 GB on it – just the operating system, web browsers, security, maintenance and video/audio players. All documents and videos/audios are are stored on the E-drive and duplicated on the F-drive.) With the exception of anti-virus, nothing is automatically updated.]

    It’s your decision – weigh the risk.
    ==========
    “Secunia Personal Software Inspector”
    —–
    At CNET – 5 stars

    Not only does Secunia Personal Software Inspector provide extensive details on the software installed on your computer, it also gives you direct links to update programs that are older and potentially not secure.”

    http://download.cnet.com/Secunia-Personal-Software-Inspector/3000-2162_4-10717855.html
    —–
    At SnapFiles – 5 stars

    “Secunia PSI (Personal Software Inspector) scans your computer for seriously outdated software products that have been discontinued or require critical security updates from the vendor. The program can recognize almost 30,000 software products and gathers update information from a variety of online sources, a user community and in-house research.”

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/secunia.html

  8. For anyone interested in imaging software, “Paragon Backup & Recovery 2012 Free” is a good choice.

    At Downloadcrew – 5 stars

    “Paragon Backup & Recovery 2012 Free”

    “How To Get Your Serial Code”

    “Paragon Backup & Recovery 2012 Free requires registering before you’ll be able to receive the product key and serial number necessary to get it running. Nothing too onerous: just click the Registration button during installation and enter your name, country and email address, and you’ll be sent the details via email within a few moments.

    Verdict:

    Paragon Backup and Recovery 2012 Free comes packed with options, yet remains easy to use, and the program maintains its position as the best free drive backup tool”

    http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/13247-paragon_backup__recovery_2012_free
    ==========
    At the Paragon site:

    “Take complete control of your PC’s safety. Based on solid commercial backup and recovery software from Paragon, the new Backup & Recovery 2012 Free Edition will give you a rich set of features that you can trust.”

    [see features at link]

    http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/features.html

  9. For those who are concerned about Keyloggers:
    (I use both)
    ===========
    At SnapFiles – 4.5 stars

    “KeyScrambler Personal”

    “KeyScrambler Personal is a browser plug-in for your web browser that prevents keylogger from capturing the data you type into login boxes, search engines, web mail (Gmail, Yahoo etc.), forums and any other form input fields. The program acts as a low level driver between your keyboard and your browser and transparently encrypts anything you type.”

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/keyscrambler.html
    ***********
    At SnapFiles – 4 stars

    “SpyShelter Personal Free”

    “SpyShelter Personal Free is an anti-keylogger software that can protect you from malicious applications that attempt to steal your personal information. It uses several different detection methods that monitor keyboard hooks, clipboard capture, screen capture and system activities.”

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/spyshelterpers.html

  10. There was a post about Paragon imaging software between Secunia and KeyScrambler/SpyShelter. Believe it may be in moderation.

    • I found it. It automatically goes there if there are three links in a comment. Is this imaging software anything like Photoshop? I don’t have very good software. Just Paint and two that come with Windows.

      • “Is this imaging software anything like Photoshop?”
        =========
        No. It’s used for back-up and recovery of files, folders or the entire hard drive. I only use it for creating whole-disk copies for use in disaster situations. The 12 GB on my C-drive compresses to about 6.3 GB for storage on another hard drive. Keep about 6 copies on the F-drive as Paragon images and about 6 copies on the E-drive using Acronis (Only software I’ve purchased – years ago before free high-quality imaging programs were available.). Usually make two images a week, alternating the hard drives.

        • Gotcha. I saw “imaging” and thought photoshopping. I’m very bad about backing up stuff. If I ever have a crash, I’ll be lost.

      • Photoshop Alternative
        ———————
        “GIMP”(GNU Image Manipulation Program)
        ======
        At CNET – 5 stars

        “One of the most powerful general-purpose image editors around, the upgrades make the GNU Image Manipulation Program eminently comparable to Photoshop.

        The application provides professional tools that can stand against the big boys without the hefty price tag. Even the installation process has gotten simpler, with no need to download and install the GTX Runtime Environment separately. Extremely powerful and easy to work with, GIMP is ideal for both amateur and pro photographers, Web designers, or anyone who wants to create and edit professional-quality digital images on a budget.”

        http://download.cnet.com/GIMP/3000-2192_4-10073935.html
        ***********
        AT SnapFiles – 5 stars

        “GIMP is an advanced image editor and image manipulation software that is often compared to Photoshop. It offers a ton of features, including advanced layer support, masks, filters, effects and many other features found in professional graphics programs. Beware however that the interface needs getting used to, and the program has a rather steep learning curve.”

        http://www.snapfiles.com/get/gimp.html

        • Too funny Gordo. I went to CNET earlier today and found those same two. So I downloaded the Gimp one because it sounded easier. I haven’t tried it yet. Were you picking up my brain waves?

        • I downloaded and installed GIMP, but it wouldn’t open. It says there is a Microsoft error, but doesn’t give an error number, it just says application hangs. I deleted it and started over thinking something occurred while downloading. (No other programs were open and anti-virus was off). It happened the second time also. So it didn’t work for me. I have XP and it says it is suitable. There was a second one listed at CNET that I will try.

        • I already had downloaded the alternative program from CNET – Photoscape, and am just seeing your new message. So far, it opened, and I have worked with it for a short time. It seems rather easy to navigate so far, but more time will tell.

          I will try the GIMP Portable if this one doesn’t do what I want it to do. Thanks for the information. Wish I had done it months ago.

  11. “Glary Utilities” (very popular)
    ===========
    At CNET – 4 stars

    “This powerful application offers extensive utilities to improve your system’s performance and protect your privacy. Glary Utilities’ well-organized interface allows users to easily choose from several tools. It cleans unwanted junk files and removes invalid and broken shortcuts, freeing up valuable disk space.”

    http://download.cnet.com/Glary-Utilities/3000-2094_4-10508531.html
    ***********
    At SnapFiles – 5 stars

    “Glary Utilities Free is an all-in-one package that includes a variety of system tools to help you clean your PC from junk files, remove Internet traces, find invalid registry entries, manage startup programs, optimize system memory, defrag the registry, and more. The program also includes a disk space inspector to locate large folders and files, a Context Menu Manager to disable unused right-click options for files and folders and a duplicate file finder.”

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/glaryutils.html
    =============
    *** Many advise AGAINST registry cleaning/defragmenting. It CAN result in serious problems. ***

    • Does this do the same thing as CCleaner?

      • Glary has more ‘tools’. Use CCleaner for cleaning files — Glary for other tasks.

        [Be careful about using the “Duplicate Files Finder”. Some system/application files NEED to be duplicated. Only remove document, audio and video files you created.]
        ==========
        “Glary Utilities Helps Optimize Windows System and Registry”

  12. “Auslogics Internet Optimizer”

    At Downloadcrew – 4.5 stars

    “Auslogics Internet Optimizer is an unusually comprehensive internet connection tweaking tool.

    If you’re baffled by networking jargon then there’s no need to delve too deeply, though. Just launch the program, choose your internet connection speed, click Analyze and Internet Optimizer will recommend improvements to your system settings. …

    Of course optimizing your internet connection is a tricky business, and whether you use the auto or manual mode, it’s possible that one of the changes might make your system slower than it was before. No need to worry, though, as Internet Optimizer backs up your original settings before it makes any tweaks, so if you’d like to undo its changes, just click File > Rescue Centre and restore the last backup.”

    http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/23452-auslogics_internet_optimizer

    • “Internet Speed Test Sites”

      “If your Internet connection seems slow, the first step is to benchmark it using an Internet speed test. An Internet speed test can give you a fairly accurate indication of how much bandwidth is available to you at the current time.

      Internet speed tests are great for proving that you are, or are not, getting the bandwidth from your ISP that you’re paying for.”

      http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/internet-speed-test.htm

  13. “BB FlashBack Express”
    ===================
    At CNET – 4 stars

    “BB FlashBack Express Free Edition is an easy-to-use free screen recorder creates compact, high quality movies for tutorials, demos and presentations. Record screen, sound and web-cam.”

    http://download.cnet.com/BB-FlashBack-Express-Free-Edition/3000-13633_4-10365043.html
    **********
    At Downloadcrew – 4 stars

    “BB FlashBack Express is a screen recording tool that can capture desktop activity as it happens, record the results as a movie, and even upload the resulting clip to YouTube or other video sharing sites.

    One of the best free screen recorders around.”

    http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/4723-bb_flashback_express
    ===================
    Much better than other screen recorders I’ve tried.

    • If exporting the ‘BB’ video to AVI format, it’s better to use Xvid codec.

      From “BB Flashback Express” Help – About AVI codecs:

      “The codecs that are installed with Windows are not the best for getting a good balance of file size and image quality. A free codec that gives much better results is Xvid.”

      Download here:

      “Xvid Media Codec”

      “Xvid is a video codec that provides video compression that drastically reduces the size of video files, while retaining reasonable quality. This download includes the decoder and encoder engine. Video files that have been compressed with Xvid are usually distributed with an .AVI extension. Installing the Xvid codec will allow you to play these files in Windows Media Player or any other video players.”

      http://www.snapfiles.com/get/xvid-codec.html

  14. “SMPlayer”
    =========
    At CNET – 4 stars

    “The list of supported formats encompasses both major audio and video codecs and does a good job of trying to differentiate itself from the competition. One of the best features is that the player will remember your settings per video, so if you quit the app in the middle of playing, it’ll restart it with the exact same settings as before. Subtitles are fully customizable, including color, font, and size, and it can stream in content from the Internet.”

    http://download.cnet.com/SMPlayer/3000-2139_4-10645077.html
    **********
    At SnapFiles – 4 stars

    “SMPlayer is a complete front-end for MPlayer (included) that includes features like playing videos, DVDs and VCDs as well as more advanced features like support for MPlayer filters and more. Furthermore, the player supports subtitles, audio track switching, playlists, brightness and color adjustments and other features.”

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/smplayer.html
    ==========
    Of all the players I’ve tried, this one produces the best sound quality on my PC.

  15. MS Office Alternative
    ———————
    “OpenOffice”

    ===========
    At CNET – 5 stars

    “A credible rival to MS Office, OpenOffice.org includes powerful applications for making text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, diagrams, and databases, as well as HTML and XML documents. Not only does it let you edit basic documents, such as letters and faxes, it also handles equations and complex and multipart documents with bibliographies, reference tables, and indexes.”

    http://download.cnet.com/OpenOffice-org/3000-18483_4-10263109.html
    **********
    At SnapFiles – 5 stars

    “OpenOffice is a free, Open Source alternative to MS Office with a Word compatible word processor, a complete Excel compatible spread sheet program and a Power Point like presentation software and drawing program and also allows to save to PDF file. In addition, it offers enhanced printing capabilities and options for direct connection with external email software as well as form-letter management to send letters to addresses in a database.”

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/openoffice.html

    • TY, Gordo. I highly recommend this one, too. My Office suite expired, so I use Open Office. It mirrors Microsoft Office and works great. It will open all Microsoft files. Totally compatible. I found it a couple years ago.

  16. “Recuva”
    =======
    At CNET – 4.5 stars

    “Recuva is a free file recovery program that makes it extremely easy to locate files that were once thought to be lost forever. The wizard-like approach and intuitive user interface will appeal to all user levels.

    The program’s Advanced view gave us more detailed information of each file, including the file’s size and creation time. Recovering selected files was also extremely easy and involved simply checking off the file or files and clicking the Recover button. Within seconds, the file was recovered and saved to our location of choice.”

    http://download.cnet.com/Recuva/3000-2242_4-10753287.html
    **********
    At Snapfiles – 5 stars

    “Recuva is a file recovery tool that enables you to scan your hard drive(s) or media cards for files that have been deleted or formatted. It presents you with a list of files that were found, along with an assessment of their recovery potential, a preview option and a hex viewer to inspect the content. You can limit your search to files of a certain type (e.g images, audio etc.) and choose between a fast and a deep scan approach.
    The program also includes a secure deletion option that allows you to permanently delete files that were found during the scan, in order to prevent any future recoveries.”

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/recuva.html

  17. “PrimoPDF”
    ========
    At CNET – 4.5 stars

    “PrimoPDF converts just about any file type to a PDF, using the print command from the source program the file was created in.

    The conversion process from whatever document is on your screen to PDF is quick and efficient. Other features include a password-protection feature that can be used for restricting reading, editing, or printing the PDF. ”

    http://download.cnet.com/PrimoPDF/3000-18497_4-10264577.html
    **********
    At Downloadcrew – 4 stars

    “Simply open a document you would like to convert, whether it is an image or a text file, opt to print it and select the PrimoPDF printer. You can then choose from a range of PDF creation options, customising the quality of the resulting file by adjusting image quality and DPI settings. To make the creation process quicker, profiles can be saved to tailor PDFs for particular tasks – such as uploading to the internet or creating an ebook. Files can be automatically saved in a specific folder, and you also have the option of automatically attaching a file to an email or opening it in an appropriate viewer once it has been saved.

    Creating your own PDFs could hardly be easier – PrimoPDF is a wonderful utility that makes document creation simple.”

    http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/1064-primopdf

  18. “PDF-XChange Viewer”
    ===================
    At CNET – 5 stars

    “PDF-XChange Viewer presents users with an alternative to Adobe’s Acrobat Reader. With some interesting additions, it’s not hard to see this reader gaining some fans over its more popular competition.

    The program’s interface looks and feels remarkably like Acrobat Reader, but with more command icons along the top. Users who are familiar with viewing PDFs will find this fairly intuitive, but newcomers are advised to experiment with the options and pay attention to the Help file.”

    http://download.cnet.com/PDF-XChange-Viewer/3000-10743_4-10598377.html
    **********
    At SnapFiles – 5 stars

    “PDF-XChange Viewer is an alternative viewer for PDF files that enables you to view and annotate PDF files. You can add text, sticky notes, and other annotations and save them to the file, which will be compatible with the standard Adobe PDF reader. The program also includes OCR fuknctionality, as well as options to extract text and images, export a documents to image formats, and more. PDF-XChange Viewer offers a modern, tabbed interface and an attractive set of features.”

    http://snapfiles.com/get/pdfxchangeviewer.html

  19. “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware”
    ======================
    At CNET – 4.5 stars

    “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a surprisingly effective freeware antimalware tool. It’s a relatively speedy malware remover, with the quick scan taking about 8 minutes even with other high-resource programs running. The heuristics engine proved on multiple computers during empirical testing that it was capable of determining the difference between false positives and dangerous apps.”

    [CNET Editors’ note: The Malwarebytes Free edition offers users the option of installing a trial version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro.]

    http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html
    **********
    At SnapFiles – 4 stars

    “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a simple and straightforward malware scanner that can detect and remove a variety of malicious programs from your computer.

    The free trial version is well suited for on-demand scanning and removal but does not offer any real-time protection or scheduled scans.”

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/malwarebytes.html

    • “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Tutorial by Majorgeeks.com”

      • Can you remove one video and change the comment to read:

        “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware” videos

        • Gordo – I removed both of them. Both You Tubes said the “video does not exist”.

          • Thanks for removing those videos. The links went to a playlist of help-videos from “Malwarebytes”.

            I’m going to try again to post (with a different url) the “Malwarebytes Chameleon” video under the tutorial by Majorgeeks.

      • “How to use Malwarebytes Chameleon”

        “This video will how you how to use Malwarebytes Chameleon in case a malware infection has blocked the program from running.”

  20. “Kaspersky TDSSKiller”
    =====================
    At Softpedia – 4 stars

    “In order to ensure smooth running of any computer, the first and foremost requirement is for it to be malware-free, and this can be achieved using an efficient antivirus solution. Occasionally, though, a dedicated utility is needed to eradicate a specific type of threat, such as TDSSKiller which removes malware from the Rootkit.Win32.TDSS family.

    Rootkits are a special type of malware which run surreptitiously on a computer, and modify the behavior of the host PC or of other installed programs. This way, they can take over certain functions and seem legitimate and collect sensitive information.

    Since these rootkits get new variants quite frequently, having a specialized tool like TDSSKiller can help users detect and remove the threat before it does any damage.”

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Antivirus/TDSSKiller.shtml
    **********
    At Downloadcrew – 3.5 stars

    “TDSSKiller is a handy portable tool that can detect and remove both known and unknown rootkits.

    The program scans only the most likely areas of infection – your services, drivers and boot sectors – and so may miss some rootkits. It’s good enough to detect many known infections, though (TDSS, Sinowal, Whistler, Phanta, Trup, Stoned).”

    http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/21512-kaspersky_tdsskiller

  21. itooktheredpill | March 19, 2012 at 7:31 am

    “Does anyone know how to save a copy of a current YouTube video (so that if it later gets removed, you still have a copy?)”
    ===============
    There are MANY video downloaders. Here is one:

    “Free YouTube Download”

    http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/23323-free_youtube_download

    *** BE VERY CAREFUL during installation – READ – don’t want to install ‘junk’ along with the downloader. ***

    You can choose to download as MP4, FLV or WebM – none will play on the “Windows Media Player” unless a codec pack such as “K-Lite” is installed.

    Easier to just install an all-purpose video player like this:

    “VLC Media Player (VideoLAN)”

    “VLC Media Player is a multimedia player that supports a wide variety of audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, etc.) without the need for additional codecs, as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.”

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/videolan.html

  22. If a site is down and you aren’t sure if it’s your computer or it’s down for everyone, go to:
    —–
    Is ” — ” down for everyone or just me?

    http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/

  23. “Spider Player Pro”
    ==================
    At SnapFiles – 4 stars

    “Spider Player is a small media and Internet radio player with an array of extra features …. In addition to regular media playback, Spider Player can also play (and record) a variety of Internet radio stations.

    Spider Player is no longer developed and the Pro version is now freeware. You can use the following license key to unlock all the PRO features

    27U3Z909I95-KK147A893S4K6Y1M0F-780363812.

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/spiderplayer.html
    **********
    At CNET – 5 stars

    “Spider Player is a sleek, full-featured audio player that allows users to perform a variety of tasks with their audio files. We were quite impressed with both the variety of the program’s features and its attractive design.”

    http://download.cnet.com/Spider-Player/3000-2139_4-10531622.html

  24. “WinPatrol”
    ==========
    At CNET – 5 stars

    “This program uses a simple yet effective method of fighting all kinds of malicious programs. It inspects several spots in the Windows system malware is most likely to alter, including programs launched at start-up, browser helper objects, scheduled tasks, services, and cookies. WinPatrol consumes few resources and doesn’t slow your PC.”

    http://download.cnet.com/WinPatrol/3000-8022_4-10564061.html
    **********
    At Downloadcrew – 5 stars

    “WinPatrol takes a snapshot of key system areas and then alerts you whenever a program tries to make significant changes.

    And a Delayed Startup tool accelerates your boot time by delaying the launch of non-critical startup programs. You may need iTunesHelper.exe to sync your iPod, for instance, but it doesn’t have to launch the moment you boot. Tell WinPatrol to launch programs like this 30 seconds or a minute later, there will be less competition for resources at boot time, and your desktop will appear more quickly.

    This version of WinPatrol is free.”

    http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/4708-winpatrol

    • TY, again, Gordo. One question, will all these programs slow down my computer? The only problem I’ve had so far, and it’s either with the no tracking program or the keystroke encrypter: Sometimes my IE8 hangs when I try to open a new tab. Then I lose everything I have up because IE8 closes.

      • I only enable “KeyScrambler” before any on-line banking.

        WinPatrol is very ‘light-weight’.
        —–
        From the Downloadcrew link:

        “And this monitoring requires very little in the way of system resources.

        You’re able to check your Windows startup programs, and remove any that are surplus to requirements.

        And a Delayed Startup tool accelerates your boot time by delaying the launch of non-critical startup programs.”
        =========
        Reducing the number of programs running on the PC is better — it’s a trade-off. PC systems tend to be ‘unique’ in that there are so many possible combinations of operating systems/hardware/software. What applications cause no problems on one PC can ‘crash’ another. I install/uninstall many programs. If something goes wrong, I just re-image the C-drive from ‘good’ images stored on other harddrives.

        Defragmenting the C-drive can improve performance. The best one I’ve found is “MyDefrag”. It’s not as ‘flashy’ (little squares changing colors and jumping around) as many other defragmenters.

        *** USE ONLY ONE DRIVE DEFRAGMENTER – don’t want them working against each other. Dis-able any scheduled Windows defragmention if another defragmenter is used in place of the standard Windows defragger. ***
        =========
        “MyDefrag”

        “Why use this defragger instead of the standard Windows defragger?

        Much faster.
        Totally automatic, extremely easy to use.
        Optimized for daily use.
        Disk optimization, several strategies.
        Directories are moved to the beginning of the disk.
        Reclaims MFT reserved space after disk-full.
        Maintains free spaces for temporary files.
        Can defragment very full harddisks.
        Can defragment very large files.
        Can defragment individual directories and files.
        Can be run automatically with the Windows Scheduler.
        Can be used from the commandline.
        Can be used as a screen saver.
        Can be run from cdrom or memory stick.
        Sources available, can be customized.”

        http://www.filehippo.com/download_mydefrag/

  25. “How to Copy and Paste”

  26. “inSSIDer”
    =========
    At Downloadcrew – 5 stars

    “inSSIDer is an essential wireless troubleshooting tool that will quickly help you get the best possible performance from your network.

    Install the program on a laptop, choose your wireless adapter, and it’ll immediately detect and display your network, and any others nearby. Walk around your network area and inSSIDer will show you how your wireless strength varies in different places. Try to locate your PCs in areas with a strong signal and you’ll see faster and more reliable connections.

    A must-have for everyone with a wireless network manager. Even if you think your setup is performing quite well, interference from the neighbours, for instance, could be slowing you down. Grab a copy of inSSIDer and find out for sure.”

    http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/4677-inssider
    **********
    At Softpedia – 4 stars

    “Here are some key features of “InSSIDer”:

    – Inspect your WLAN and surrounding networks to troubleshoot competing access points.
    – Uses the Native Wi-Fi API.
    – Track the strength of received signal in dBm over time.
    – Filter access points in an easy to use format.
    – Highlight access points for areas with high Wi-Fi concentration.
    – Group by Mac Adress, SSID, Channel, RSSI, and time “last seen.””

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Network-Tools/Network-IP-Scanner/InSSIDer.shtml

  27. “CrystalDiskInfo”
    =============
    At Downloadcrew – 5 stars

    “Backing up is a vital part of everyday life, but it’s always better not to have to deal with file restoration or recovery, which is why it’s vital that you keep an eye on your hard drive’s health.

    It provides a health rating based on your drive’s SMART status, plus will list its temperature, enabling you to see just how hot your drives are running. Investing in drive-cooling technologies such as a laptop cooler or hard drive fan can significantly extend the length of your drives’ life, and CrystalDiskInfo will help you determine if it’s necessary and what effect such cooling has.”

    http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/13465-crystaldiskinfo
    **********
    At Softpedia – 5 stars

    “CrystalDiskInfo is a software that lets you view information on your hard drive and some external drives.

    You should pay attention when installing this product. Since it is ad-supported, the program offers to download and install third-party software that it doesn’t need to fully function.

    Once you initiate the application, CrystalDiskInfo automatically displays a list of details on your hard drive.”

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Hard-Disk-Utils/CrystalDiskInfo.shtml
    ===============
    To display temperature(s) in notification area and activate at startup:

    In ‘Function’ – select:

    (1) ‘Resident’

    (2) ‘Resident Style – Hide”

    (3) ‘Startup’

    (4) ‘Wait Time at Startup – 240 sec’

  28. “Core Temp”

    “Core Temp is a compact, no fuss, small footprint program to monitor CPU temperature.”

    “Now installs InstallIQ, so watch the install carefully.”

    http://majorgeeks.com/Core_Temp_d5665.html
    —–
    *** Choose ‘CUSTOM INSTALLATION’ ***

    “InstallIQ”

    “The InstallIQ installation manager suggests applications for your computer through screens that appear while you’re installing other applications. The Updater accesses the Internet to find updates for applications you’ve installed via InstallIQ, and it helps you manage those updates. It also keeps track of installation history.”

    http://www.ehow.com/facts_7898673_install-iq-updater.html
    ===========
    Temperature readings can be placed in the system notification area.

    Fan failure (or something else) can cause a swift rise in CPU temperature.

    To set an automatic shutdown temperature in “Core Temp” just above the NORMAL maximum operating temperature:

    (1) Left-click on ‘Options’

    (2) Left-click on ‘Overheat protection’

    (3) Select settings.

    Keep a record of CPU temperatures, use a shutdown-activation temperature slightly higher than your maximum reading. Systems vary – mine is set to begin shutdown 1 second after reaching 150 F.

    [If “Core Temp” is activated at PC startup, it may be necessary to delay a few minutes. “WinPatrol” has a delayed startup tool that’s easy to use.]

  29. “SpaceSniffer”
    ===========
    At Downloadcrew – 5 stars

    “SpaceSniffer is a free and portable tool that shows you exactly where all your valuable drive space has gone.

    The program uses a treemap approach that provides a very visual look at your current hard drive organisation: large files and folders take a lot of space on the screen, small ones consume hardly any at all.

    If you don’t understand why a particular folder is so large, though, you can just double-click it to zoom in and repeat the process.”

    http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/11924-spacesniffer
    **********
    At SnapFiles – 5 stars

    “SpaceSniffer analyzes a selected hard drive and presents you with a dynamic disk map that makes it easy to spot files and folder that take up most of your space.”

    http://snapfiles.com/get/spacesniffer.html
    ===========
    To remove ‘Log Console’ at startup of “SpaceSniffer”:

    (1) Left-click on ‘Edit’
    (2) Left click on ‘Configure’
    (3) Left-click on ‘Behavior’
    (4) Untick ‘Log scan warnings’

  30. How to delete yourself from the Internet
    CNET.comBy Seth Rosenblatt | CNET.com – Fri, Apr 20, 2012

    The Internet companies that power your online life know that data equals money, and they’re becoming bolder about using that data to track you. If they get their way, your every online step would be not only irrevocable, but traceable back to you. Fortunately, there are some positive steps you can take to reclaim your online history for yourself.

    The online privacy software company Abine, which makes Do Not Track Plus, also offers a service called DeleteMe, which removes your data from numerous tracking sites and keeps it from coming back. In an unusual gesture, though, they’ve made public how to do for yourself everything that DeleteMe does. Here’s my take on their advice.

    http://news.yahoo.com/how-to-delete-yourself-from-the-internet.html

  31. “Process Lasso”
    =============
    “Process Lasso is a unique new technology that will, amongst other things, improve your PC’s responsiveness and stability. Windows, by design, allows programs to monopolize your CPU without restraint – leading to freezes and hangs.

    Process Lasso’s ProBalance technology intelligently adjusts the priority of running programs so that badly behaved programs won’t interfere with your ability to use the computer! In addition, Process Lasso offers capabilities such as default process priorities and affinities, termination of disallowed processes, instance count limits, a system responsiveness graph, logging of processes, keep select processes running (auto-restart), and much more!

    Best of all, Process Lasso’s core process management engine is isolated from the GUI. This means it can do its job consuming almost no system resources, and without ever making a peep. You will probably not even notice it is running, but you will surely notice when uninstalling it.”

    License: Freeware
    Requires: Win 2000/03/08/XP/Vista/7

    http://majorgeeks.com/Process_Lasso_d4050.html
    ==============
    I use the Pro version (got it at no cost in a give-away promotion).

    This freeware is OK.

    Last time I checked, it had a ‘nag screen’ (wants you to buy the Pro) on start-up. Best to not auto-start – do it manually.

    (1) Left-click on ‘Options’
    (2) Go to ‘General Settings’
    (3) Left-click on ‘Reconfigure the way Process Lasso starts’
    (4) Select ‘Do not start at login’
    (5) Select ‘Have it launched by the GUI when it is run’

    • I added this Process Lasso a few minutes ago. Now all I do is let it run and it does whatever it is supposed to do? I don’t have to monitor it or anything? If I reboot my computer – then I have to restart it manually – correct? I don’t know what GUI is.

      Also I put on Do Not Track whenever –a couple months ago, 62,046 have been blocked. Hopefully, this Lasso thing will stop the hanging that I am having. It is attributed to the Do Not Track when the error message appears. It hangs or crashes – one or the other.

      I had McAfee through Verizon and put up with it for a year of problems. Then it didn’t catch a major trojan that multiplied until I had over 60 viruses and 9 trojans at one time. It wasn’t McAfee, but however they put the two together didn’t work as a Suite. I think I was off line for a month trying to get them all removed. I had used McAfee alone for years and never had a problem either. I downloaded Avast (free) and haven’t had a single problem since. If I upgrade my Avast, I think it has that sandbox thingie. Somehow I know about it. I will have to check.

      Thanks for your information and knowledge Gordo!

      • “I don’t have to monitor it or anything? If I reboot my computer – then I have to restart it manually – correct?”
        ———-
        If you have any trouble at start-up, then follow the steps listed for configuring manual start-up. Maybe the developer has fixed the ‘nag screen’ problem on start-up.
        =====
        “I don’t know what GUI is.”
        ———-
        “Graphical user interface”

        “In computing, a graphical user interface (GUI, commonly pronounced gooey) is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices with images rather than text commands.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphical_user_interface
        =====
        “… Avast, I think it has that sandbox thingie.”
        ———-
        “Sandboxie” is much better than the Avast sandbox.

  32. May 23, 2012

    “Malware Threat Level Hits 4-Year High”
    By John P. Mello Jr.

    “Surfing the Internet is becoming more dangerous than ever, according to a report released Wednesday by cyber security software maker McAfee.

    In first three months of the year, malware circulating in cyberspace reached a four-year high and is on a pace to reach 100 million samples by year’s end, McAfee says in its quarterly threats report.

    “In the first quarter of 2012, we have already detected 8 million new malware samples, showing that malware authors are continuing their unrelenting development of new malware,” Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, said in a statement.

    “The same skills and techniques that were sharpened on the PC platform are increasingly being extended to other platforms, such as mobile and Mac,” he added.”

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/256051/malware_threat_level_hits_4year_high.html#tk.nl_spx_h_cbstories

  33. For safer web ‘surfing’- USE Sandboxie !!
    **********************
    “Best Free Browser Protection Utility”

    Introduction:

    “Traditional antivirus software and antispyware software are being overwhelmed by the rapidly increasing amount of virus, spyware and other malware. That’s why a different approach to combating these threats is necessary. Instead of technologies that are reacting to malware, we need proactive technology to protect our computers.”

    Discussion:

    “My first recommendation for safe browsing is a free program called Sandboxie, for Windows 2000 and later. It creates a special contained “sandbox” environment on your PC … . While browsing within the virtual sandbox provided by Sandboxie, you are totally isolated from the vital portions of your PC, namely your operating system environment on your hard drive and memory locations for your current OS session. So any files you download are isolated to the sandbox. Similarly, any programs that are executed only do so within the sandbox, and have no access to your normal files, the Windows operating system or any other part of your PC.”

    “The advantage is clear: any virus, trojan, worm, spyware or adware threats that “infected” your PC while browsing will be eliminated.”

    http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-browser-protection-utility.htm
    ==========
    Download Sandboxie:

    Author: Ronen Tzur
    Date: 2012-04-10
    Size: 2.20 MB
    License: Freeware
    Requires: Win XP/2003/08/Vista/Windows7

    http://majorgeeks.com/Sandboxie_d4993.html

    • Do you use this, Gordo? How does it work, especially with the other programs like the track blockers? btw, that blocker program has already blocked 130,000 for me!

      • “Do you use this …”
        ———-
        YES !!!
        =====
        “How does it work …”
        ———-
        At Downloadcrew:

        “… Browsing the internet can be fraught with problems, with drive-by downloads threatening to infect your computer with unknown malware. Protection for some of these problems is available in the form of antivirus and anti-malware products, but another option is to make use of Sandboxie.

        … Sandboxie can also be used to run web browser sessions in isolation so that any malicious web sites that may be encountered are not able to cause any damage outside the sandbox.”

        http://www.downloadcrew.com/article/2198-sandboxie
        +++++
        At SnapFiles:

        “Sandboxie allows you to run your browser, or any other program, so that all changes that result from the usage are kept in a sandbox environment, which can then be deleted later. This allows you to remove traces of your internet or PC activities, as well as reverse any changes to your Favorites, home page, registry and more. Even files that were downloaded during a sandbox session will be wiped after the sandbox is cleared.”

        http://www.snapfiles.com/get/sandboxie.html
        =====
        “… especially with the other programs …”

        I’ve never had any problems. Takes some time to get comfortable with Sandboxie – requires discipline.

        Sandboxie protects the computer system from zero-second threats – nothing gets out of the sandbox.
        +++++
        After the 30 day trial, there is a very brief ‘nag screen’ with the free version.

        • “Zero-day attack”

          “zero-day (or zero-hour or day zero) attack or threat is a computer threat that tries to exploit computer application vulnerabilities that are unknown to others or the software developer. Zero-day exploits (actual software that uses a security hole to carry out an attack) are used or shared by attackers before the developer of the target software knows about the vulnerability.

          The term derives from the age of the exploit. A “zero day” attack occurs on or before the first or “zeroth” day of developer awareness, meaning the developer has not had any opportunity to distribute a security fix to users of the software.”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-day_attack

  34. “Sandboxie Review”

  35. Last week, I replaced my failing LCD display (fluorescent backlighting) with a monitor using LEDs. The blueish tint produced by the LEDs is not easy on the eyes. Found and installed “F.lux” – it really does reduce eye strain. (I keep both the ‘Daytime’ and ‘At night’ settings at 4700k.)

    [If you have fluorescent backlighting, it’s best to act quickly when the screen begins to look pinkish. Sometimes keyboard entries alone don’t work when trying to configure the system to match the new monitor’s requirements – you need to use the cursor – can’t do that if the old display has gone ‘dark’.]
    ==========
    “F.lux”

    “A handy customization tool for your display

    F.lux makes the color of your computer’s monitor adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.”

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Desktop-Enhancements/Other-Desktop-Enhancements/F-lux.shtml

    “F.lux – Auto Monitor Color Changer – Time of Day –
    Save Your Eyes”

  36. I’ve received two of these calls:
    ————————-
    “Microsoft India Call Centre Scam (Live Abusive Call )”

    Uploaded by Nick71Boyd on Sep 22, 2011

    “This is a live audio recording from a Scamming organisation claiming to be from Microsoft Technical Department. I received several calls from them over the course of 2 weeks. My frustration built-up to the point that I decided to turn it around on them and they ended hanging up on me! Apologies in advance if I upset any members of the Indian community. it is not my intention.”

    • “Trolling the Windows Indian Phone Call Scam”

      “They tell my Windows Computer was infected with a virus that was downloaded to my System. I play it well all the through then turn the tables on them at the end.”

      Uploaded by quidsup on Oct 20, 2011

  37. Gordo – Help please. My wireless mouse is not operating correctly – do they go bad? I fed it new batteries, but it is totally erratic. I did a troubleshoot and it says it is operating okay – well, it isn’t. Cursor won’t stay put, it doesn’t want to cut and paste, etc. I can get it to highlight and then go to paste and nothing is there. So I don’t know what problem I have – is it the mouse or computer? Cleaned cache and rebooted – no change.
    It has taken multiple tries to get the mouse to move where I want it to be. Grrrr.
    *********

    Concerning the above videos, they called me too. The guy kept over talking to me as I was trying to figure out how the network could tell I had a virus that was spreading to their system. He had me go to some of those identical pages. Then he told me what to do. ( I didn’t do it!) Then he said he could tell I hadn’t deleted whatever I was told to do. Do do do do…twilight zone. I said he should check his system again. I wanted his phone number that he wouldn’t give, and I said nothing about Microsoft comes up on the caller ID, so I wanted to call back to get verification of who he was. It was a few days ago, and I don’t remember if he got me to the cost of this program that was going to save my computer and the network. He was a hard seller, and difficult to understand because of his heavy accent, but he was not taking any back talk from me. I was trying to see what the real scam was. I bet I was on the ridiculous call for 20 minutes and it only ended when I finally hung up. He called back a couple times that day, but I didn’t answer. His sell wasn’t working on me because I knew I had nothing to do with Microsoft and my IP service wouldn’t be afraid to show their name and give a number.

    Advice to others, don’t waste your time like I did. The number was blocked on caller ID, otherwise I’d report the scum.

    • “My wireless mouse is not operating correctly – do they go bad?”
      ============
      Have never used a wireless mouse – never had any ‘mouse problems’.

      You could try a wired mouse.

      I use two:

      Microsoft ‘Comfort Optical Mouse 3000’

      Logitech ‘Trackman Marble Mouse’

  38. Gordo, how do I link directly to a comment instead of just the page. I want to direct a friend to a specific comment in an article and there is too much going on for them to get just to the page and then have to hunt for what I describe for them to find and read. I have been directed, via links, straight to comments by others but don’t know how to do. Thank.

    • ‘Left-click’ on the comment’s date-time (for example: June 21, 2012 at 5:52 am), then copy the comment’s URL from the address bar and paste it into your comment.
      =========
      OR THIS:

      In Firefox:

      1) ‘Right-click’ on the date-time.

      2) ‘Left-click’ on ‘Copy Link Location’.

      3) Paste the comment’s URL into your comment.
      —–
      In Internet Explorer:

      1) ‘Right-click’ on the date-time.

      2) ‘Left-click’ on ‘Copy shortcut’.

      3) Paste the comment’s URL into your comment.

  39. Wow. That is just way too easy. I have asked so many people and always no answer…… Thanks!

  40. Gordo, I am setting up a website (weebly) and I want to set it up style-wise to a site I visited but don’t know what terms to use to search how to do so. Unfortunately, the site I want to ask you to look at is for bras! So, I have tried elsewhere to figure out. Anyways, if you are brave and willing to look at a support bra education page (sorry, no, uhm, Victoria Secret type of pics), you could tell me/direct me how to set up similar. I would like to also do something like the video gallery under the tab ‘transformations’. To me, it is the ultimate in easy and basic and simple for a website and I find myself only wanting that style, which has me stalled. Thanks for considering and I apologize if this has overstepped the purpose of this thread. I can be soooo tacky sometimes. (OK, I am ready for the jokes!) http://www.thebrafairy.com/

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