Archive for January 2011

You Might Need to Change Your Amazon Password

imageA flaw in Amazon’s security may make it easy for someone to hack your Amazon account.  If “password” is in any part of your account password (like password1234), a hacker using just “password” might be able to get into your account.  Even if your password isn’t something like “password” but is weak or the same password you use everywhere else, changing it is a good idea.  Read my article on Secure Passwords for information on what constitutes a good password.

The Today Show 1994 – “What is the Internet?”


Always on top of what is happening in the world, the hosts of NBC’s Today Day in 1994 are asking each other “what is the Internet” and don’t know what the @ symbol means.

Here’s the YouTube video:

DEAL: Lenovo Laptop with i3 Processor – $480


Office Depot has this Lenovo laptop (they bought IBM’s PC division a few years ago) that has the latest generation i3 processor from Intel, a 15.6” LED backlit screen, 4GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive, web-cam, wireless-N networking, a numeric keypad and Windows 7.  It also has a media-card reader and an HDMI port so you can send the display to your high-def TV.

It’s sold only in stores and tomorrow is the last day.  Here’s the link:

Gmail Tip: Filtering for All Unread Messages


If you use Gmail and pick and choose the messages you want to immediately read and save others for later, you may soon find you have to search to find those messages you haven’t read yet.  Here’s an easy way to see all those messages you haven’t looked at yet.  When you’re in your Inbox you’ll see the search the search box with the button marked “Search Mail” next to it.  Type (or copy and paste) the bolded text into the search box: label:unread and you’ll get just your unread mail as the results.  Now you can get caught up with your mail.

DEAL: Microsoft Wireless Notebook Mouse – $13.99


Newegg has this Microsoft Wireless Mouse for only $13.99 with Free Shipping when you add the coupon code EMCKJHJ35 during checkout.  The regular price is $25, and most of you outside of California won’t have to pay sales tax either.  This is a great little mouse, and here’s the link:

Firefox Blocking Skype Toolbar Due to Crashes

imageIf you’re a Skype user and Firefox is your web browser, you might have suddenly noticed that the Skype toolbar is no longer working.  As it turns out, the Skype toolbar is responsible for 40,000 reported Firefox crashes last week.  Mozilla (who makes Firefox) says it has been an ongoing problem and they felt they finally had to block the add-on due to the problems it has been causing.   This is what Mozilla calls a “soft-block”, meaning you can manually re-enable the toolbar if you really want to use it.  Here’s the link to the full Compuworld article:

Find Your Lost Android, Blackberry or Windows Phone for Free with LOOKOUT

imageIf you’ve ever misplaced your cell phone at home or worse, think you might have left it somewhere else, you’ll really like this.  If you never have lost your phone, you’ll be glad you have this if (or when) you do.  With Lookout you download the app onto your phone, then register your phone online.  If you think your phone is at a different location, you can click a button on their web site and locate your phone on a map using its GPS.  If your phone is “somewhere” at home but you can’t find it, click a button on the web site and it will make the phone sound an alarm.  Lookout will also backup your phone’s contact information automatically.

They also have a paid subscription service that will allow you to also backup your phone calls and pictures, remotely lock your phone or even erase all your data for you.  Here’s the link to Lookout:

How to Shrink Your Microsoft Outlook Folder

imageIf all you do is read your mail then delete it, read more mail and delete it, then I’ve got news for you – your Outlook folder is getting bigger and bigger.  It doesn’t get smaller when you delete messages.  You need to “Compact” your Outlook folder.  It’s simple to do, and this video will show you how.

If the video below isn’t visible or won’t play, you can view the HD version directly at YouTube, just go here:


Deal: Epson Workforce 610 – $49 Free Shipping


This is another one of those “won’t last long” deals.  These are refurbished Workforce 610’s direct from Epson, which means they’re as good as or better than new.  PLUS, when you register it online you get a 2-year warranty with it.  This printer will scan, copy, fax and prints photo quality pictures.  You can connect via USB or connect it to your network wired or wirelessly so you can print from anywhere in your home or office.  I have seen some issues with wireless scanning not working with the 64-bit version of Windows, so just keep that in mind, but unless you fall into that unusual circumstance, this is a great printer selling for $200 new.  Here’s the link:

Is Your Windows Computer Up-to-Date?


Yesterday was “Patch Tuesday”, the 2nd Tuesday of the month and that means fixes to Microsoft Windows were published yesterday.  There are 2 important updates, so be sure to make sure you’re updated.  If your computer didn’t do it automatically, then click on the start button, go to “Programs” and click on “Windows Update” or “Microsoft Update”.  The “express” update will give you what you need.

Verizon Announcing iPhone 4 Tomorrow (Tuesday)

imageWell, the word seems to be that Verizon is announcing tomorrow that they’re getting the iPhone 4.  Before you head to your nearest Verizon store, keep in mind that this is the iPhone 4, the same model that has been out for 7 months now.  In June it’s expected that Apple will announce the iPhone 5, which will certainly have more features and power.  So before signing up for that 2-year contract, you might think about waiting a few months for the next version of the iPhone.

Deal: Dell Desktop with Monitor – $339


If you’re considering updating your old desktop, this may be a good time.  Dell has this desktop PC for $339.  It comes with a 17” monitor, a 3GHz Intel dual-core processor, 2GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive, Windows 7 and one-year of next-day on-site service.

This is a nice general purpose system, perfect for browsing the web, email, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. and watching videos on YouTube.

There are a couple of upgrades you might consider when you order it: If you already have a monitor, and since this deal includes a monitor, for only $12 you can get an adapter that will allow you to run 2 monitors side-by-side from this computer.  If you’ve never done this before, you’ll be surprised and how much more you can get done with say your email open in one window and a browser or another program open in another window.  I for example watch tech podcasts to keep up with the latest in technology, and have the video playing in one screen while I’m working in the other screen.  For only $12 I recommend you get this upgrade whether or not you use 2 monitors right now, you might change your mind later.  Another upgrade is the processor.  A 3GHz dual-core processor is pretty good, but if you think you might like to dabble with videos, like from your camcorder, or do some photo processing – consider upgrading to a Core2 Duo chip.  For $80 you can get the 2.93GHz processor that has more memory built into the chip, and it talks to the rest of the computer faster.  For another $80 you can upgrade to a 22” monitor, but if this will be your first monitor and you will be using 2, stick with the 17” and buy a larger monitor on sale in the future, it will be cheaper that way.

Here’s the link to Dell’s site with the deal:

Deal: QuickBooks Pro 2011 for $136

imageAmazon has QuickBooks Pro 2011 for only $136.  It normally sells for over $200 and if you’re lucky you can sometimes find it on sale for around $180.  If you use QuickBooks and are thinking about or needing to update, here’s the deal for you.

This is the link to the Amazon deal:

Facebook is NOT Shutting Down

imageOK, so followers of Tek-Chic Systems can be informed and not believe everything you see and hear on the Internet, apparently there is a rumor circulating that Facebook’s founder wants his life back and is shutting down Facebook on March 15th.  Well folks, it’s not true.  So when you see a post or hear about it, you can let them know it’s just something someone created to see just how many people will fall for it (besides, you don’t walk away from a company estimated to be worth $50 billion.)

iPhone Coming to Verizon Next Week or Next Month

imageDepending on who you listen to, the iPhone is coming to Verizon either next week or next month.  Of course, Verizon carrying the iPhone has been the most popular rumor for the last year, and several predicted dates have come and passed.  Apple has a history of disrupting news than might come out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (CES), so this this, it might actually be true.  If you’re dead-set on getting an iPhone, you might wait a couple of weeks to see what develops.  If it does show up on Verizon, I would think the AT&T iPhone would suddenly get cheaper.  If it’s the same phone, then just choose your network.  But perhaps it’s an improved version of the iPhone 4.  I’ll let you know if this turns out to be fact or fiction.

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