Tuesday, September 30, 2008

(free) backup and synch software

Goodsync will allow you to backup and synchronize files. If you have not made, and do not make, copies of files as you should...this application might be good for you.

Synchronization will duplicate file changes in two folders; "backup" works in one direction only.

GoodSync can:
synchronize a notebook computer to a desktop computer, via a network and the internet...
keep user files in sync on work, and home, computers via a USB drive...
and incrementally copy files from the main hard drive, to a portable hard drive or another computer.

Windows Mobile phones and Pocket PC devices are supported.

RoboForm, Outlook, Outlook Express, Quickbooks, and ACT! are some programs it should work with.

There is a free version...the price is right for you to at least consider trying it: http://www.goodsync.com

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

GotCast.com - Vote for Bear

Late Friday night I got an email from GotCast.com. The same "newsletter" email I get every night. In it was a casting that caught my eye, so I decided to go check it out. When I got there, I saw they were casting for the TV Series, "Hell's Kitchen" and I thought WOW.. my hubby would be GREAT on this show... So I looked when the casting was ending and it doesn't end for another month so I decided to sign him up!

As Andy and I were driving to Phoenix yesterday, he asked me, "Did you tell Bear you signed him up for Hell's Kitchen on GotCast.com?" I said, OMG! No! I forgot... So, I called him up and told him. He was super excited and started telling everyone he knows and I'm doing the same.

Since yesterday, he's already received 80 votes and he's in the #12 spot. He's a great cook and I'd like to see him give Gordan Ramsey hell. (no pun intended) in "Hell's Kitchen.

I'm blogging this on the TechtalkRadio Blog in hopes that everyone will vote for him every day!

So if you have a spare moment, vote for him at http://www.gotcast.com/papabear


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Friday, September 26, 2008

new Yahoo! Messenger

Yahoo! Messenger is my favorite instant messaging client because I can be visible to those I choose to, when I choose to.

I've found only one new thing worth noting in the latest version: the Yahoo! Messenger Pingbox. It will allow you to "chat privately with visitors on your social network profiles, blog, or website through Yahoo! Messenger." Compatible with MySpace, Friendster, hi5, Blogger, Live Spaces, LiveJournal, and Xanga.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

free encryption software

TrueCrypt is encryption software: it can keep your files from being accessed unless the correct password/keyfile(s), or encryption keys, are used.

TrueCrypt will hide operating systems, also!

BEFORE USING THE SOFTWARE, I strongly recommend you at least browse through the TrueCrypt User’s Guide. It is included in the download, and available to you after you execute the file you downloaded. It is best that, before you use TrueCrypt, you become familiar with: some of the terms, what the software will do and how it will perform, and where you can refer to if you have a question. The Beginner's Tutorial chapter can be viewed at http://www.truecrypt.org/docs/tutorial.php

[One of those terms you will need to be familiar with: a TrueCrypt volume is also known as a "container", a file that contains the encrypted files.]

After you download the setup file (from http://www.truecrypt.org/downloads.php), and execute it, you are offered to: "install" it, or to "extract" it. If you choose "extract", you can save the files to a folder...and carry and use it on an external drive. This is a version of "traveler" mode (which can also be used if TrueCrypt is installed to an operating system).

The User's Guide states that there are two ways to run TrueCrypt in ‘traveler’ mode:
1) After you unpack the binary distribution archive (what you downloaded), you can directly run TrueCrypt.exe.
2) You can use the Traveler Disk Setup facility to prepare a special "traveler" disk, and launch TrueCrypt from there.

You will need to create a TrueCrypt file container on the USB flash drive (see the Beginner’s Tutorial), so...

Before you use TrueCrypt on a USB flash drive, know that:
1) If you encrypt the entire USB flash drive, you will not be able run TrueCrypt from the USB flash drive.
2) Before you choose the size for the TrueCrypt container on a USB drive, if you leave enough space on the USB flash drive for TrueCrypt (not IN the "container" file - along WITH the "container" file), you will be able to run TrueCrypt from the USB flash drive (see the Traveler Mode chapter in the User's Guide).

It is not difficult to use...do not fear trying it to see if it will work for your security needs.

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Mozilla Firefox 3.0.2

Firefox 3 Release Notes

Firefox 3.0.2 contains the following updates:

  • Fixed several stability issues.

  • Official releases for Sinhala and Slovene are now available.

  • Beta releases for Bengali, Galician, Hindi, Icelandic, Kannada, Marathi, Telegu, and Thai are available for testing.

  • Fixed a number of minor issues with the layout of certain web pages.

  • Fixed several theme issues that affected right-to-left locales.

  • Fixed issue that caused some users with customized toolbars to have their Back and Forward buttons go missing (bug 426026)

  • Add new Extended Validation (EV) roots to Firefox 3.0.2.

  • On certain IDN sites, the password manager would not fill in username and password details properly.

  • Fixed several hangs and crashes that occurred when using screen readers.

    • Fixed Mac-specific issues:

      • Keyboard shortcuts would stop working in some cases.

      • Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Indic characters can not be entered (using IME) into text fields in Flash objects (bug 357670)

      • Firefox 3.0.1 could not be used when the user profile is stored on an AFP directory (bug 417037)

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      Photoshop Cafe

      PhotoshopCAFE Presents:

      It's been exactly three weeks since the Photoshop World Convention in Las Vegas. I haven't had a chance to write a thing about what I had seen and what products we had a chance to look at and bring back with us from the convention.

      I've tested out some of the products we brought back like Fluid Mask 3, the #1 still-image masking tool and SiteGrinder 2 which turns Adobe Photoshop into an easy-to-use and powerful website design and production tool. I'm also going to take a look at LicenseStream, a product by ImageSpan that lets you manage the rights, permissions, and licenses for your photos and videos.

      The product I did get a chance to test out and use in depth was the training video that I received from Colin Smith of PhotoshopCafe. The Photoshop and Dreamweaver Integration Tutorial DVD he hand us at the conference has saved me hours and hours of website design work.

      This training tutorial has been the most useful tool for me as a web designer. Yes, I've seen videos on YouTube that helped me in certain areas of what I do but the Photoshop and Dreamweaver Integration Tutorial Video from Colin Smith helped me in ALL areas of what I need to do for the Photoshop designs that I created.

      Mr. Smith also gave us "Flash CS3 for Designers" to try out and I am excited about this DVD as well since we are finding out more and more that our clients really want to add some Flash on their websites. I have only scratched the surface when it comes to Flash, but I know that Mr. Smith will teach me quite a bit more of what I need to know to help our clients!

      So, if you are searching for a tutorial video that will help you in your web design skills, I highly recommend Colin Smith's PhotoshopCAFE Training Tutorials. You can find his Tutorials by visiting http://www.photoshopcafe.com/.

      Take a look and browse around the site. He has some useful snippets of videos for products like the new CS4 products, CS3, Lightroom and much, much more!

      Tuesday, September 23, 2008

      Adobe Launches Creative Suite 4

      Adobe this morning outlined the offerings in the companies new Creative Suite 4. For Web Designers, graphics designers and multimedia producers; each suite offers something for everybody. A Master suite is available which combines the design, web and production suites.
      For more infomation, check out the article at http://www.techtalkradio.com/articles/adobecs4launch.html

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      Sunday, September 21, 2008

      ANSI versus Unicode

      After our radio show, we received a call from Rudy. He wanted to know about ANSI...

      The American National Standards Institute is an organization that promotes standards. One of them was the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) character set (letters, numbers, and symbols) that computers use. One major draw back to ASCII was you could only have 256 different characters.

      Unicode allows for up to 65,536 different characters. In the past, Unicode was not compatible with all operating systems. If you are using a current operating system, I expect you should not be concerned about choosing Unicode.

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      Saturday, September 20, 2008

      if you say it, you could serve time

      A reminder that "free speech" does not have a universal definition...


      Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin was arrested under The Internal Security Act which allows for detention without trial because his articles had insulted Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.


      An American blogger has been sentenced to three months' jail for accusing a Singapore judge of "prostituting herself during the entire proceedings, by being nothing more than an employee of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders"...

      The sentencing Justice said to him: "The rights of freedom of speech and expression are qualified and... do not entitle you to insult Justice Ang in the way that you have done."


      We've all been told we should "think before we speak"...and that applies to any, and all types of, communication. The rules are not the same all over the world.

      (It's one of the reasons I have a blog hosted in a country where it is very difficult for it to be removed from the internet.)

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      Wednesday, September 17, 2008

      free courses from Stanford

      Stanford is offering "ten courses from Stanford’s School of Engineering...including the three-course introductory sequence in Computer Science...free of charge."

      Introduction to Computer Science
      Programming Methodology CS106A
      Programming Abstractions CS106B
      Programming Paradigms CS107

      Artificial Intelligence
      Introduction to Robotics CS223A
      Natural Language Processing CS224N
      Machine Learning CS229

      Linear Systems and Optimization
      The Fourier Transform and its Applications EE261
      Introduction to Linear Dynamical Systems EE263
      Convex Optimization I EE364A
      Convex Optimization II EE364B

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      sing a song about Twitter (and 12seconds.tv)

      Artist Ben Walker has created a couple of pieces about services we use to communicate.


      The first one I noticed is the song "You’re No One If You’re Not On Twitter":

      You're no one if you're not on Twitter
      And if you aren't there already you've missed it
      If you haven't been bookmarked, retweeted and blogged
      You might as well not have existed

      In the old days it was all about achievements
      Collecting all your trophies in a shrine
      Then everybody came across the internet
      And suddenly you had to be online

      A home page was all you really needed
      To seem like a success but not a geek
      As long as you updated semi-annually
      And checked your email once or twice a week

      You're no one if you're not on Twitter...

      Technology was moving rather quickly
      And the next thing you needed was a blog
      With intimate and detailed press releases
      And now and then a photo of your dog

      More recently the students brought us Facebook
      And everybody has a hundred friends
      The parties in the photos look amazing
      They're not so great but everyone pretends

      You're no one if you're not on Twitter...

      Now you need to publish every movement
      And every single thought to cross your mind
      I'm told the Twitterverse is full of rubbish
      But most of us are actually quite refined

      We validate each other's insecurities
      And brag about the gadgets that we've bought
      We laugh out loud at every hint of jolliness
      And try to self-promote without being caught

      You're no one if you're not on Twitter...


      And, check out "The 12seconds Song":

      In twelve seconds you can tell them what you think about the world
      You can show them all the toys you like to play with
      You can premiere a witty animation of a dragon on a bike
      You can keep in touch with people that you kinda really like
      (But you wouldn't ever want to spend the day with)

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      free developer and designer tools from Microsoft

      Microsoft is offering DreamSpark, Professional Developer and Designer tools, to college/university students at no charge...

      You can get:
      * Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
      * Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition
      * Expression Studio (includes Web, Blend, Media and Design)
      * SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
      * Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition, with SP2

      As well as:
      * SQL Server 2005 Express Edition
      * Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition
      * XNA Game Studio 2.0 (with 12-month Creators Club trial membership)
      * Virtual PC

      They’re the complete and full professional grade versions.

      To be eligible, you must be "a currently enrolled student attending an accredited university, college, junior college, community college, or a tertiary/higher education institution with digital student ID credentials (e.g. username and password) provided by your school, organization or another identity provider listed as a verification source on the DreamSpark Student Status Verification page..."


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      Thursday, September 11, 2008

      Photoshop World 2008 Photos Posted

      We had a great time in Las Vegas with the Photoshop World 2008 Conference at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. The trip up to Las Vegas in the 2009 Ford Flex was an awesome ride and the accomadations at the Tahiti Village rocked! Be sure to take a look at the Photos we have posted on our site at http://www.techtalkradio.com/photos.htm

      We have a few hours of Video we will also be editing and place on our Site. Feel free to check them out on our Video page as they are uploaded.

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      Thursday, September 4, 2008

      Online Vehicle Registration Renewal: If only EVERYTHING at the DMV was this easy!

      Techies and internet shoppers will love how easy it is to renew your vehicle registration online…at least with the California Department of Motor Vehicles!

      Even if you need to get a smog check done before you can register, it's still a breeze, as the smog check station electronically relays the results to the DMV immediately upon successful completion of the process.

      Step 1: Enter vehicle or vessel/boat information - So once you've determined whether or not you need a smog check (and done so if applicable), just check your renewal notice for instructions on how to register online…it's literally three steps from being a done deal at that point!

      Enter the "Renewal Identification Number" printed on your notice into the allotted box, enter your license plate number (on the notice too) in its box and click 'Ok.'

      Step 2: Record Verification and Payment Information - Once you confirm the info about you and your car, enter your payment method (I punched in my ATM number) and hit 'Enter.'

      Step 3: Transaction Confirmation - The third and final step is the confirmation/receipt…print it, click "Finished" and you are done!

      "CONGRATULATIONS! - Your online registration renewal was successful! The Registration Card and Year Sticker will be mailed to you within 5 business days. The information from your transaction will update on the vehicle registration record after settlement of the daily transactions. This usually occurs during the next business day."

      Have a nice day…I know I am going to enjoy the two to four hours I just saved; heck, even had time to blog about this! J

      Photoshop World Las Vegas

      We are in Las Vegas for Photoshop World - The Evolution Begins 2008 at the Mandalay Bay - Throughout the next couple of days we will provide photos, thoughts and interviews from the Expo Center and Event.


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      Tuesday, September 2, 2008

      cannot uninstall software

      Kelly called our radio show and said he was unable to uninstall some software from Windows Vista.

      Try to do it from Safe mode...

      If that doesn't work, you could consider using System Restore:
      Turn back time on your PC
      What is System Restore?
      System Restore: frequently asked questions

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      protection from lightning

      Dave had a lightning strike that damaged his equipment. To prevent future trouble, we discussed some considerations...

      To begin at the beginning, you can consider having the grid current checked to see if the baselines are correct.

      Chris called in to suggest grounding the outside service panel properly with a grounding rod. (Consult your electric service provider for information about that...)

      Damage can be done by static electricity...consider creating a place where you can discharge it from your body before you touch the computer.

      To regulate overvoltage and undervoltage, use an uninterruptible power supply that offers line conditioning.

      There are two basic types of UPSs:
      (When there is a power outage) After a millisecond lag, the Standby UPS switches to a battery.
      The Online UPS has no lag.

      Some of these devices have lifetime warranties, and equipment replacement guarantees. In addition, you may want to consider having an insurance policy that covers equipment.

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      Windows 7 (hardware) requirements

      Bill called our radio show about being able to use Windows 7 on his computer...

      On the Engineering Windows 7 blog it was stated that Microsoft will have more information about the operating system at the Professional Developers Conference on October 27. After that date, we can consider if we're going to purchase any new hardware for Christmas or not.

      Speculation is that Windows 7 will be available as early as the end of 2009.


      problems defragmenting a drive

      Tom called the radio show and said he cannot defragment his hard drive. Based on my experiences, this may be a symptom of other issues...

      My first suggestion is to check the hard disk for errors:
      Check for Disk Errors in Windows XP
      How to perform disk error checking in Windows XP
      Check your hard disk for errors Windows Vista

      Then attempt to defragment the hard drive:
      How To Analyze and Defragment a Disk in Windows XP
      How to Defragment Your Disk Drive Volumes in Windows XP
      Features of the Windows Vista hard disk defragmentation utility

      You can consider defragmenting while in Safe mode:
      A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP
      Start your computer in safe mode

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      mobile internet service

      Dave called our radio show to get more information about having internet service while he is traveling in his recreational vehicle...

      There are many wireless telephone service providers (Sprint, Verizon, etcetera) that have it available. And, there are satellite dish internet service providers (WildBlue, HughesNet, etcetera).

      You need to ask about: service areas, service speed, and price.

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      Monday, September 1, 2008

      USB ports and hubs

      We've had conversations about using USB devices...

      Someone in our (Ustream.tv) chat room suggested we review "USB Hub Design and Windows".

      Per the USB Implementers Forum, the specification for cable lengths is 3 meters to 5 meters.

      I have used longer cables, but only for devices that do not need to be powered by the USB port. And, I have USB devices that cannot be powered by certain computer ports because the ports do not provide enough power for the device: because of bad experiences I do not trust USB devices that use Y-cables.

      When considering using powered hubs, keep in mind that what is considered to be a "compliant bus powered hub" has only four ports.

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