Tips and Tricks Tips and Tricks

Finding Out Which Internet Service Provider to Go To by Kelly Lynn

Not every neighborhood has access to multiple Internet service providers. If yours does have more than one, you'll find yourself in the happy position of having the two compete to provide the best service. How do you know which one offers the best speed? It won't do to simply look at their advertisements to find out what speeds they offer you. They tend to exaggerate. You'll need to look for proof of what they actually deliver. Where do you find real-world data? A number of sources exist. The Google Video Quality Report Google is in a position to judge the quality of every ISP - more than 25% of America's Internet use is on its YouTube property. The Google Video Quality Report shows real-world results for which ISPs have the … Continue reading

What Do Your Browser’s Error Messages Mean? by Kelly Lynn

  When you go around following links and browsing websites on the Internet, you are bound to come upon pages that don't work at times. If you'd like to know what they mean, here's a list of different errors, and explanations for what they mean. A 404 error page Sometimes, websites move pages around or remove them altogether. At other times, a link that you use to visit a site may include an error in the part of the URL that points the browser to the specific page in the site that you wish to visit. In all these cases, you get to the right website, but have trouble getting to a specific page. This is when you get an HTTP 404 error page. Many websites include humorous, custom 404 … Continue reading

Is Windows Actually a Skin on Top of MS-DOS? by Kelly Lynn

  Many people believe that all operating system versions under the Windows name have the same basic internals. Over its history, though, the operating system has worked on two separate, distinct technologies. It's important to not get the two mixed up. The DOS Windows line Windows Millennium Edition and all the versions of Windows that came before it (1, 2, 3, 95 and 98) were in essence not very different from the text-based MS-DOS operating system that they were supposed to supersede. The point-and-click Windows interface that the user interacted with was simply a software process overlaid on an MS-DOS foundation. Every move that the user made on the graphic user interface was translated automatically by the overlay into a form that the DOS foundation could understand and execute. As … Continue reading

What Do You Do If You Don’t Want Windows, OS X or Linux? by Kelly Lynn

  What do you do if you're not happy with the limited Windows/OS X range that makes up mainstream computing today? If you'd like to run your PC on something different, you can always try Linux. For those who really want to strike out on their own and try something new, though, there are a number of choices. Chrome OS While Google's Chrome OS is a modified version of Linux, its take on it is so different that it qualifies as all-new. Chrome OS runs exactly one program -- the Chrome browser. Whatever you want to do on your Chrome OS computer, you need to do it through the browser window. While the focus on browser-based operation makes Chrome OS unsuitable as a general-purpose computer, it can do most of … Continue reading

Did You Know That SSDs Were More Secure? by Kelly Lynn

  Solid-state drives may be popular mainly for reasons of their improved speed and reliability. They also have an edge over conventional hard drives in another less-publicized area, though -- they are much more secure. How traditional hard disks work The way traditional mechanical hard disks work, when a file is deleted, it continues to physically remain on the drive for an indefinite period of time. The only thing that happens when you delete a file is that the physical area of the disk that the data occupies is marked as available for overwriting in the future. A file is only completely and irreversibly erased when the area of the hard disk that it occupies is overwritten. If you have plenty of free space on your drive, your computer may … Continue reading

Linux is So Easy to Install Now, Anyone Could Try It by Kelly Lynn

  In a television interview in the late 90s, Red Hat founder Bob Young once attempted to defend Linux against criticism that it was hard to install.  The only reason competing products seemed easier, he said, was that no one ever tried installing them by themselves -- computers came with Windows preinstalled. Linux, on the other hand, needed to be installed manually. Ever since XP, though, Windows has been so well designed, even a novice could breeze through a manual install. Linux, though, has suffered from messy installation requirements. Lately, though, many Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Mint have evolved to the point that they are just as easy as Windows. You don't need to be a patient and dedicated enthusiast to get Linux on your computer. It's easy … Continue reading

Using Rules on Outlook.com by Kelly Lynn

  If you use Outlook.com for your email, you should consider trying its rules to customize the way the service manages your emails. How do rules work on Outlook? In Outlook, rules are a way to set preferences for the ways in which your email is handled. You get to specify how the program is to act under specific circumstances. Rules on Outlook can be set in two areas: You can organize your emails : Several Outlook rules allow you automatically categorize and file emails in different folders based on a number of parameters tat you set -- the name of the sender, the presence of a keyword and so on. Notifications : Whatever emails you receive, you can get Outlook to send notifications to your mobile device based on … Continue reading

Sending Bulk Email in Outlook by Kelly Lynn

  Not everyone who sends out thousands of emails each day is a spammer. Legitimate reasons to be a bulk emailer include newsletter writing, sending due reminders to customers or sending service notifications. While many bulk emailing services do offer simple and affordable solutions for these needs, nothing is as cheap or as accessible as the tool that's already on your computer -- Outlook. Outlook 2013 makes use of the Mail Merge function in Word to allow the creation of bulk emails Here's how you use it. Make a contact list To open the contact list in Outlook, hit the P eople icon (it depicts two individuals) on the navigation panel at the bottom left corner of the window. You should click to select each contact that you wish to … Continue reading

Are You Reassured by the Trust Seals That Websites Display? by Kelly Lynn

  Millions of commercial retail sites and ones that offer free software display seals of approval by various authorities to reassure visitors of their trustworthiness -- Norton Secured, Trust-e, VeriSign Secured, McAfee Secure, BBB Accredited Business and others are common. These websites  hope that when visitors see these seals, they will believe that they won't cheat them or offer unsafe, virus-infested downloads. Such a belief would be misplaced, though. What are trust seals? Trust seals, the official name for the accreditation badges that websites display, are simply little logos. Anyone can open a website for $5, copy a bunch of these trust seals off the Internet, plaster them all over their website and instantly gain an appearance of legitimacy. Meanwhile, they could offer all kinds of malware for download, disguised as quality … Continue reading

Why Did a Norton VP Say That Antivirus Was Dead? by Kelly Lynn

  Symantec, together with Norton, which it acquired, actually invented the antivirus product category back in the 80s. The two are still top names in paid computer security software today, getting customers to pay as much as $20 for each license. A statement made in a recent interview in the Wall Street Journal by Bryan Dye, Symantec's VP for Information Security, should be of interest to these customers. The VP is quoted as saying, "Antivirus is dead; we don't think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way." Symantec still sells antivirus. What could they possibly want, shooting down their own product? The problem with antivirus Antivirus software protects computers in two ways. The first is through stocking up on virus signatures. Each time an antivirus vendor discovers a new … Continue reading