Archive for February, 2009

9 free antivirus programs for Windows

February 24, 2009

Keeping your Windows computer virus-free doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. Heck, it doesn’t need to cost you any money. There are plenty of good options available for those of you on the hunt for free antivirus software.

Wait – free? Don’t companies like Norton make a good business out of selling antivirus protection? Why would someone give it away? Developers of free antivirus solutions like Avast and AVG are counting on a couple of things. First, that you’ll like the free offering enough to want to buy an upgraded version of their product. Second, that if enough home users talk about how much they love it that their “computer guy” at work might want to use it on the company’s systems.

The free options listed after the break offer the same kind of protection as the boxed software you can buy at the store.

Two things to keep in mind:

First, as with other free software, some of the developers ask for support in the form of a toolbar install. They’re all optional, so make sure to un-tick the checkboxes during the install if you don’t want the toolbar.

Second, a number of the developers offer a non-free version on the free version’s download page via a service called TrialPay. The totally free version is normally on the left, the TrialPay offer on the right – make sure you’re clicking the link you actually want.

Read the rest at Download Squad

Extract Your Concert DVD Audio to MP3 With 4 Simple Tools

February 21, 2009

For a couple of years now, I have been awaiting a decent, standalone, freeware program that can extract DVD audio tracks and convert them to audio mp3’s. There are dozens and dozens of trialware and shareware applications, but absolutely no decent freeware programs that get this done in a satisfactory manner.

I only have a couple of music concert DVDs, but the live music from these shows are not available on CD, and nowhere else in digital format on the web either. I also have a couple of comedy shows that I wanted to rip from. So I did some significant research and testing, and came up with four simple tools that will get the job done for free. Here are the detailed instructions.

Read the rest at MakeUsOff

Top 10 Tools for Landing a Better Job

February 21, 2009

From the first Google search to the last interview, you can boost your odds at landing a better job with the right preparation. Here are our ten best tools and tips for job-seekers and career climbers.
10. Cover all the search sites.
It’s not exactly a “hack” to suggest hitting Monster.com, or your LinkedIn network, to check out job offerings and work your connections. Each site amongst our five best online job search sites, however, puts you in a different pool of possibilities, and each has its own quirks and tools. They’re somewhat perfunctory and broad, but wouldn’t you feel bad knowing you missed a great opportunity simply because it wasn’t in your super-specific Craigslist search?

Read the rest at Lifehacker

Repair your Internet connection

February 20, 2009

Accessing the Internet is has become one of the primary reasons we use our computers today, and losing our connections can be a frustrating disruption to our routine. If you rely on the Internet for conducting business, or “telecommuting” to work, a failed Internet connection can cost you money as well. When your browser displays a “404 Error” (server not found), or a text balloon tells you that you have “Limited or no connectivity”, you have what we Tech Support specialists call a “Internet problem”, and it’s time to do a little troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting your network can be a complex job and you might need the help of an experienced professional (shameless plug: such as myself, at Aplus Computer Aid), but before you give us a call, Windows has a built-in tool you should try. This tool only takes a few minutes and doesn’t require any special training. It is the first thing you should try when disconnected.

Read the rest at Tech-for Everyone

30+ Websites to Visit When You’re Laid Off

February 20, 2009

For the next several months (or maybe years), we are going to have to endure a new and stark reality – a tanking economy and swelling unemployment. The U.S. economy lost an eye-popping 540,000 jobs in January alone, making it likely you or someone you know has become a victim of the crisis.

But the worst time to panic is when you are laid off and lose your main source of income. We live in a new and powerful era of communication, one where we can find support, gather news, and network without ever leaving our computers. The following collection of websites has been put together as a comprehensive resource for anybody who has lost their job and is looking to get back on their feet again. Our hope is that this post will be a hub for finding support and financial resources.

Read the rest at Mashable

JPEG & PNG Stripper: Scrub Photos Before Uploading

February 19, 2009

Not too long ago a scandal happened that involved one of my favorite television hosts, who uploaded photos of herself to the Web without properly cleaning the metadata from each photo. Unfortunately, the thumbnails of the photos remained intact even though she edited them to obscure certain… well, details, and suddenly enlarged copies of the thumbnails started circulating the Web when readers of her blog discovered the oversight.

Don’t let that happen to you: Use JPEG & PNG Stripper, a free app, to clean the thumbnails from your images and wipe out the metadata before you upload them to the Web.

Every photo you edit, and upload to the Web has metadata embedded in it, such as the EXIF data, which describes the type of camera you used, shutter speed, white balance, and focus on the photo when it was taken. Metadata can also include unedited thumbnails and GPS information in geotagged photos. If you’re a photographer, either amateur or professional, you would do well to know what information about your photos is embedded in them and available before you publish them online.

Read more at AppScout

Original post at MakeUseOf

23 Things to Do With a Thumb Drive

February 17, 2009

Put your USB drive to work as a portable desktop, PC recovery kit, entertainment platform, and more.

Once known as simple little gizmos that were basically just modern replacements for floppy disks, USB flash drives have suddenly grown up. You can now replicate your desktop environment, encrypt files on the fly, and even rescue your PC with one of these formerly modest devices. Here are some of the coolest things you can do today with the innocuous-looking thumb drive on your desk, as well as details about some particularly useful new drives.

In This Article:
Your Desktop in Your Pocket
Box: Pocket Gaming Without a PSP
Safe From Prying Eyes
Box: Itty-Bitty Linux
Create a Cleaning Kit for Spyware-Infected PCs
Box: Trek With Books, Not a Backache
When Speed Is King, Flash Flies
Box: Free, Easy File Syncing
Revive Your Crashed PC
Box: Tunes on Wheels

Read the rest at PC World.

Computer Repair Kit Packs Dozens of Tools in One Portable Package

February 17, 2009

Portable system-fixing bundle Computer Repair Utility Kit puts 57 recovery tools into a single package. That gives you easy access to important system utilities without the fuss of building your own toolkit.

The launcher can be run directly from the folder or copied to a flash drive for access from any system, with a system tray menu for quick access to the included tools—which can be tweaked to add your own favorite portable applications. Most of the included utilities are familiar to Lifehacker readers, with well-known utilities like reader favorites CCleaner, PC Decrapifier, and Process Explorer along with dozens of other utilities that perform tasks ranging from killing spyware to system tweaking—and a copy of Portable Firefox is even included for good measure. If you haven’t taken the time to build your own flash drive toolkit, this download might be worth a look to get you started.

Read the rest at Lifehacker. Note: Read the comments, there may be some problems with virus checkers.
Original post at Technibble. See the second version for a list of the programs and download mirrors.

40 Unusual Websites you should Bookmark

February 15, 2009

If you’re a long time makeuseof reader, at one point or another you may have seen several of these websites before. We have covered lots of lists and round-ups and plenty of cool websites, but this one is quite different: it lists undiscovered webservices that are original, rather unique, unusual, useful, free, and must-be bookmarked type. You won’t find any collaboration, storage or ToDo service here. Enjoy!

Read the rest at MakeUseOf

18 Free Ways To Download Any Video off the Internet

February 15, 2009

It seems like everyone these days is downloading, watching, and sharing videos from video-sharing sites like YouTube, Google Video, MetaCafe, DailyMotion, Veoh, Break, and a ton of other similar sites. Whether you want to watch the video on your iPod while working out, insert it into a PowerPoint presentation to add some spice, or simply download a video before it’s removed, it’s quite essential to know how to download, convert, and play these videos.

There are basically two ways to download videos off the Internet and that’s how I’ll split up this post: either via a web app or via a desktop application.

Read the rest at MakeUseOf

P.S. I use the Orbit Downloader myself.    Jerry