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Tricks & Tips

Archive for February, 2008

10 Things NOT to Do

February 28th, 2008

Here is a great article for general computer / Internet use. It describes several important things not to do.  I really like the list and encourage a thorough read by all:



February 26th, 2008

Most of our supported customers are using AVG by Grisoft for antivirus scanning.  AVG is a great program, Download.com’s #1 download for a long time running, and free for non commercial use.  If you haven’t tried AVG, it is a great alternative and runs faster than most other antivirus applications.


One common question we get is, is there a way to reschedule the updates and daily scans in AVG.  Unfortunately, by default, AVG sets itself up to scan daily around 8AM, when most people are just getting started.  To reschedule this time to a more suitable time, such as 2AM:

·         Double click AVG in the system tray (lower right hand corner of your Start menu)

·         Click Scheduler from the list and click Scheduled Tasks button at the bottom

·         Click Edit Schedule button and choose a more appropriate time

·         Hit OK, Close, and then exit AVG… Done!


Another pet peeve of mine is how AVG adds its signature to all my outgoing emails.  To turn this off:

·         Double click AVG in the system tray (lower right hand corner of your Start menu)

·         Click Email Scanner from the list and click Properties button at the bottom

·         Click the Configure button

·         Uncheck both Certify mail check boxes under Email scanning.  Email will still be scanned, but now it won’t add the “This email is certified virus free by AVG…..”

·         Hit OK, OK, and then exit AVG… Done!


Send reminders from your cell

February 18th, 2008

Want to send yourself a reminder? A note? An idea? Just dial Jott and leave yourself (or any contact) a message. This free speech to text service sends you an email with the transcribed text and a voice recording of your call. Easy.

Jott only takes a few moments to setup and is simple to use. I setup a speed dial button on my cell phone and use it every day, for 6 months or more now. It’s also safer than texting or writing things down while driving. New features include blogging, scheduling, and all sorts of links into existing web services (Yahoo, Google, Backpack, etc).

http://www.jott.com … Enjoy!


Recover delete files

February 14th, 2008

Windows Only, Skill level: Intermediate.

Have you ever accidentally deleted a file? Or simply need a file you’ve already emptied from your Recycle Bin? FreeUndelete (name says it all), is available at no charge for non-commercial use at http://www.officerecovery.com/freeundelete/ 

Granted, this isn’t the most user friendly tool, but I want to make sure you know there are options available. 

Tips for use: files may not retain their original filename. Sort by date for reference. If you ever know you have lost something, immediately stop using your computer and shut it down until ready for recovery. The longer data is being written to the drive, the less chance of recovery. 
Best options for recovery… backup, backup, backup!


Sending long links

February 12th, 2008

When trying to include a long link or URL (web address) in an email, often times the amount of letters will exceed the line and the link will sometimes not work for the recipient.

For example:

The above link can be replaced with a simple link like this:

This is a free service at www.tinyurl.com you can use each time you want to create a new short link! Just copy and paste your long link into tinyurl.com and it will generate the new.


Lookup unknown phone numbers

February 9th, 2008

Have you ever missed a call from a phone number you don’t recognize? YouGetSignal offers a simple way to determine geographical location and sometimes, if it is a landline or cell.

Visit http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/phone-location/ and type in the full phone number (with area code).

YouGetSignal also sports several other advanced tools. Check the navigation buttons on the left.

Don’t forget you can always type in a phone number in Google (with area code, no spaces or hyphens) to get caller ID information (mostly only works with listed landlines).