February

IE7 TAB TRICKS

Here’s a couple of tricks that might be worth learning!

When you click on a link in Internet Explorer, it’s not always easy to know what to expect – you might leave the page you’re on and go to the new page, but you might also open another copy of Internet Explorer in a new window. […] continued

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HP BLOAT

It seems we’re constantly buying printers to replace the ones that break before their time. A quick word of advice if you buy an HP printer: don’t put that installation CD in the drive! The chances are good that you’ll wind up with hundreds of megabytes of bloated software that will muck up your nice shiny computer (and at worst thoroughly break it). […] continued

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CLUTTER & CRUD

When I got back from vacation, I got a quick lesson from Microsoft about how we get unwanted programs that slow down our computers, and how our computers are changed behind our back. It’s nothing underhanded or evil, just a reminder that we have to read every screen carefully before we click OK. […] continued

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QUICKTIME & QT LITE

I don’t use iTunes and I don’t want Apple’s version of Quicktime on my computer. I have a pretty low opinion of Apple’s skills at writing software for PCs.

If you have iTunes, you also have Quicktime. Or perhaps you’ve installed it separately. This isn’t for you. In fact, this isn’t for any of you unless you specifically need it and you know with confidence that you don’t already have Quicktime installed. […] continued

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SBS 2008 & REMOTE ACCESS

Two issues have come up several times for my SBS 2008 clients connecting to Outlook Web Access or their office computers.

OUTLOOK WEB ACCESS

outlookwebaccessIf you go to your remote access web site (e.g., http://www.domainnamenet.com, or http://remote.domainname.com) and click on “Check email”, Outlook Web Access will appear and be fully usable, but it will time out and return you to the login screen after it’s inactive for a short time – ten minutes in my experience. […] continued

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BRUCEB ON VACATION 02/16-02/21

peanutssnow

There is no reason to panic. Back away from your computers slowly. Without breaking eye contact, feel your way along the wall and pull the power cord out with a smooth motion.

There! Now everything will be fine while I’m gone. I’ll be back at my desk on Monday, February 23, ready for you to turn your computers back on and resume working normally. […] continued

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NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE SKIMMER

You can take a peek at one of the experiments by the New York Times as it tries to deliver an online experience that is as satisfying as holding a newspaper in your hands. The “article skimmer” is a work in progress, not a finished product. It presents a single screen overview of a number of articles, so your eye can browse just as it would on the printed page. […] continued

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THE FAILURE OF THE OPEN FIELD

Microsoft has a reputation as a monopolist but built its dominance by opening the Windows world to partners – thousands and thousands of partners. Microsoft controlled the underlying environment and reserved some highly profitable parts for itself, but the world is a PC world because you can buy computers and printers and software from untold numbers of independent companies, big and small. […] continued

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HIGH-TECH SOLUTIONS

Frustrated by flaky wireless connections? You’re not the only one. I’m proud of the solution that one of my friends and clients is using to increase the strength of a weak signal in his house. That’s the wireless USB adapter on the remote computer that you see in there, pointing towards the room with the wireless access point. […] continued

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CANCELLING ONECARE

You don’t have to leave Windows Live OneCare right away. It’s not broken and you don’t have to replace it. It will be supported until December 2010. Still, we can’t feel completely comfortable with a product that’s being taken off the market. You should consider switching to a current product when your OneCare subscription expires. […] continued

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SECURITY PROGRAMS – SMALL BUSINESS SERVER

Small businesses running Microsoft Small Business Server have not had an easy time finding antivirus software.  Security suites designed for large companies are frequently complex, difficult to install and configure, and all too often require an inordinate amount of handholding.

On the other hand, every small business discovers a shortcoming of security software that is managed individually by each user: there’s always someone who doesn’t pay attention.  As a consultant collecting an hourly fee, I’m reluctant to log onto each workstation in a client’s office individually every couple of weeks to check whether updates have been installed and whether virus definitions are up to date.  These days though, the consequences of falling behind can be dire indeed. […] continued

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SECURITY PROGRAMS – HOME/SMALL BUSINESS

In 2009, almost every security suite has been slimmed down and simplified. The vendors finally responded to years of criticism and have made their programs more stable, light on system resources, easier to understand, and less intrusive.

Although you can easily find comparisons showing that one or another antivirus and spyware program is more effective than another, the reality is that all of them are more or less equally effective – and you must use common sense and not click OK on everything, regardless of what security software is running. […] continued

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SECURITY PROGRAMS – BACKGROUND

Many people have strong religious convictions about antivirus and security programs for PCs. I’m guilty of that too but let me try to step back and give you a reasonably unbiased overview of where we are in 2009.

For the last few years, I’ve been recommending Microsoft Windows Live OneCare to anyone looking for direction. […] continued

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WINDOWS 7 EDITIONS

Microsoft announced the different versions of Windows 7 today. You’re likely to see some reporting and commentary emphasizing the number of different versions and complaining that it’s too complicated. It’s not. The buying process will actually be more straightforward than it has been with Vista. For almost everyone:

  • Home users will buy Windows 7 Home Premium.
[…] continued Read more

UPDATE – .NET FRAMEWORK 3.5 SP1

Many of you are seeing an update for “.NET Framework 3.5 SP1” that isn’t installed automatically; the little gold shield or Vista update icon appears by the clock looking for you to click the OK button manually.

.NET Framework is a programming environment that underlies many programs. This is a safe update that improves performance and fixes lots of little issues, but it’s not likely to make any difference that you’ll notice. […] continued

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