Two new FAQs today – hardware troubleshooting & safe mode…

February 21, 2011 By: Rich Pryor Category: Uncategorized

I just cranked out two new FAQs today that I thought you all might like to see.

How Do I Boot to Safe Mode? (Includes a cool way of doing it without all the F8 tapping…)

My Computer Won’t Boot – Now What? (A few things to try before you drag it to the repair shop!)

Enjoy,

Rich

Windows 7 HomeGroup Can Slow Down Your Computer!

February 16, 2011 By: Rich Pryor Category: Windows 7

I finally got around to building the home RAID array I’ve been wanting for the past few years, so I’d have a safe place to store the pictures, music, and of course all the random data I’ve got. It’s a major undertaking to say the least, getting everything consolidated and organized. But in the process of copying all the data to the new computer that hosts it, I noticed some really odd behavior – SLOW file copies, weird, random pauses…not at all the fast network copies I was used to.

Long story short, I tried a bunch of stuff, even swapped out the Ethernet switch and cables, but I finally tried disabling Windows 7 HomeGroup, and the performance immediately improved. So naturally, I wrote a Windows7 HomeGroup FAQ showing you how to turn it off if you agree with me that the convenience isn’t worth the performance hit. (Just in case, there are also links to Microsoft tutorials if you DO want to use it…)

What are PDF files? Just in case…

February 11, 2011 By: Rich Pryor Category: Software

For some reason I’ve gotten this question several times in the past week so I broke down and wrote a FAQ on PDF files, and how to install the software to read them. So for those of you who bought the SelfGeek Manifesto and can’t figure out how to read it…check this out!

OpenDNS FamilyShield Protects Your Family!

February 05, 2011 By: Rich Pryor Category: Internet

I just finished an update to my article on OpenDNS entitled Surf the Internet Faster with OpenDNS and I wanted you all to know about FamilyShield, a great new offering from OpenDNS.

By using OpenDNS FamilyShield for your DNS provider, you will protect every Internet device from adult websites that are unsuitable for kids, proxy and anonymizer sites commonly used by savvy kids to bypass traditional Web filters, phishing sites that aim to trick you into handing over personal or financial information, and some virus-spreading malware websites.

Best of all – there is no software to install! You just configure your router to use OpenDNS FamilyShield, and every device in the house is protected. (Your kids’ Xbox, Wii, DS, iPad, and cell phones…etc.)

OpenDNS and OpenDNS FamilyShield are great services, and I highly recommend them to everyone.

How to Test Your Internet Speed

February 02, 2011 By: Rich Pryor Category: Internet

When you sign up for Internet service, your provider should tell you approximately what speed you are guaranteed. Sometimes it seems like websites are crawling and downloads are taking forever! Here is a great site to figure out exactly how fast your Internet connection is running – Speedtest.net.

Just go to that site and click “Begin Test”. In a few seconds you’ll see the results, like this:

In my case, I have DSL and should be getting 3000kb downstream and 768kb upstream. As of right now I’m running a little slower than that, but considering overhead, that is about right. If your speedtest is significantly less than what you are paying for, first try rebooting your DSL or Cable modem and/or router. Once the connection comes up, run another speed test and see if your results have improved. If not – call your Internet provider and get them to troubleshoot your connection.

Until next time,

Rich

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts for Moving Windows

January 27, 2011 By: Rich Pryor Category: Uncategorized

I’ve been busy working on SGM 2011, but I wanted to share some cool keyboard shortcuts I discovered for Windows 7! If you’re like me, you have many windows open on your desktop at once! Windows 7 has some great shortcuts to help you manage the windows. Using these shortcuts is much faster than moving the windows with your mouse!

If you want to minimize all the other windows except the one that is currently active, hold down the Windows key and press D. Repeat the keystroke to bring them back. If you want to minimize all the windows including the active window, hold down the Windows key and tap the Home key instead.

To quickly minimize the current window, Windows + up-arrow. To maximize, Windows + down-arrow. To dock the window at the right of the screen, Windows + right-arrow. To dock it at the left of the screen, Windows + left-arrow.

Here is my favorite – if you’re lucky enough to have two monitors, you can move a window to the other monitor by holding Shift + Windows Key + left-arrow or Shift + Windows Key + right-arrow.

Enjoy!

Microsoft Security Essentials v2.0 released

January 10, 2011 By: Rich Pryor Category: Security

One of the most important things you can do to keep your computer safe is to have a good Anti-Virus program installed. Unfortunately, many people have inferior or out-of-date Anti-Virus. Longtime readers know that I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials and AVG Anti-Virus Free edition. In this post I will be discussing the former.

MSE is a surprisingly good Anti-Virus program, and with the latest version just released, it is even better. Most importantly, MSE now uses heuristic detection, which means it can detect potential malware based on behavior in addition to definitions. MSE also now monitors network traffic for signs of malware attack. (This feature works on Vista and Windows 7, but not on XP.)

MSE is a great choice for anti-virus. If you don’t have any anti-virus software, you should download it immediately. If you have another anti-virus installed, be sure to uninstall it first, then reboot and install MSE. For help in uninstalling, check out my article How Can I Uninstall My Anti-Virus Software? When ready, you can download MSE at the MSE Download Page.

A Major New Product Annoucement…SelfGeek Manifesto 2011!

January 03, 2011 By: Rich Pryor Category: Uncategorized

The all new SelfGeek Manifesto 2011 is in development. My fingers are bleeding from all the typing I’ve been doing, but things are coming along well. The layout of the new version is slightly different this time around…instead of “Volumes” there will be “Modules” for different areas of interest.

What topics would YOU like to see covered in the new version? Drop me a line using the contact form on the site!

Now…back to work!

Oops – Another quick MalwareBytes update!

December 22, 2010 By: Rich Pryor Category: Uncategorized

No big deal, but MalwareBytes did release V1.50.1 yesterday to address a few minor bugfixes.

1. Fixed issue with the scheduler not performing realtime updates.
2. Fixed multiple issues with product crashing during a scan.
3. Fixed issue with log not saving on certain command line scans.
4. Fixed various issues with Finnish, Italian, and Norwegian languages.
5. Fixed formatting and misspelling issues in product help file.

You can download it at the MalwareBytes site or just click “Update” in the program to get the new version.

Happy Holidays from SelfGeek!

December 21, 2010 By: Rich Pryor Category: Uncategorized

To my faithful readers:

Whatever and however you celebrate the holidays, warmest wishes from my family to yours. May you be blessed with a relaxing and fulfilling holiday season, get to spend time with friends, and remember the reason for the season!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year!

We have great things in store for 2011 – stay tuned for some big announcements!

Cheers,
Rich