I sure talk about Google a lot. Honestly, Google does a lot for me. I am extremely happy with their services. However, Google does a lot more than just provide great search results. Here are some other useful things you can put in the search box:
• “What time is it in Chicago” – returns local time in Chicago
You can mix and match these with the TXT service options from my last tip as well. Here are many more examples from Google: http://www.google.com/help/features.html
Archive for May, 2008
Let me get right to the point: You need a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply, aka. “battery backup”) on most electronic devices you own, especially your computer. If you value your investment, or the data you have collected, don’t skimp here.
Without a UPS, your computer or other electronic device plugs into your electrical outlet and is subject to whatever voltage comes down the line. Low voltage (brownout), high voltage (spike or surge), or other conditions feed right into your device. This can cause minor damage or complete failure.
A UPS plugs into the outlet first. It conditions and protects the power it supplies to your computer. And they work well. If they don’t, most manufactures offer a warranty of coverage of ($25,000 or more) to compensate.
A UPS is commonly known to provide battery time to sustain your computer while the power is out. On a basic UPS you have 5-20 minutes, tops. This is enough time to save your work and shutdown. Or to prevent shutdown if your power is on the blinks. To provide sustained uptime, that would be a generator. 😉
Don’t wait for a problem to occur to take this serious. The common manufacture for UPSes is APC. Office Max sells these for $40 – $100.
Here’s a pretty well written FAQ I found online: http://www.jetcafe.org/~npc/doc/ups-faq.html.
(email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)
You will lose your sacred email address…
We all grew up with email addresses just handed to us from our Internet provider. It came with it and we didn’t know any better. Things have changed and there are too many options available now that work so much better.
Free alternatives online offer advantageous:
Google Mail is my favorite, hands down. A free email address, easy to use, and can be configured to work in Outlook. For me, their spam filters work 99% of the time.
The only option that supersedes the above web based options would be to have your own email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). This can’t be ripped away from you and you can move it along wherever you go in life, to any provider you like. You don’t have to have a website to use a custom domain name as part of your email address.
You might say, “I can’t change my email address now! Too many people know it.” Don’t let years go by and you eventually end up without options. I’d recommend adding a second email, and start using it now. You can forward your previous address to the new and slowly migrate over the next year to your new.
Or, if you ever have to get a new email address, just think about the above.
Skip the @embarqmail.com address and go get a free one at www.gmail.com.
Windows XP SP3
Normally we encourage you to download all Microsoft Updates. SP3 is a major revision to Windows and is still quite new. I would recommend this update be performed down the road a bit. If you do pursue SP3 and have problems, of course we can help, or Microsoft has phone support available at no charge: (866) 234-6020 (or online contact: http://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?ln=en-us&prid=11273&gprid=522131)
Windows Vista SP1
Like SP3 for XP, I’ll probably wait a month or two for the kinks to be worked out by someone else. Please also note that although both updates are official released, they may only be available on some computers as they slowly open the download.
Off topic, but time sensitive: Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate for $59.95:
Have you ever second guessed your antivirus software? Have you been concerned that spyware may be on your computer? We run utilities that protect us, but sometimes things still get through.
There is an online scanner available for free. You have to manually run it, but if you ever need a second opinion or you suspect problems with performance, give Trend Micro a try. It will give you a summary when done, and then resolve most issues right then!
Click the “Scan now. It’s Free” red link. Sometimes you then have to click “Start Scan” (DO NOT click “Get it FREE now”).
The popular free choice for virus protection, AVG, announced a new version recently: (http://www.grisoft.com/us.93836). I just tested it out myself and it seems like a great upgrade.
Version 8 includes new features and a new, easier to use interface. It’s supposed to be faster, but its performance is questioned by some. I personally didn’t experience any additional delays after installing 8.0. It includes anti-spyware built in, which is great for XP users.
Version 8 also includes “Link Scanner”, which I didn’t like at all. It checks each link as you browse the web. That’s too slow for me. In the options, you can disable this (I did).
AVG Free 8 can be downloaded from: http://tinyurl.com/4or34z Or, if we routinely maintain your computer, we’ll probably upgrade you on our next visit.
!! IMPORTANT !!
Instantly listen to music online:
For example: +lyrics said it’s too late … will quickly find One Republic’s – Apologize.http://tinyurl.com/6rre24
I’m a strong user of Google’s vast array of online tools. Including, Google Maps.
If you’re not using Google Maps, check out the following great introduction video tutorial. Learn how to find businesses and check reviews, get driving directions and select your route, learn about satellite images, and more:
Street View is a really neat feature that allows you to actually SEE the streets in a growing number of major cities (eg. NYC). Check out this video as well. It’s also a good way to get a second example of how to use Google Maps:
Get started now: http://maps.google.com