Archive for the 'Computers and Technology' Category

Computer Maintainence: Start-up Options

Clearing Your Start-up

When cleaning your family computer, the first thing you should clear is the first thing that loads when you computer starts. This is the start-up and tells your computer what programs to allow to run when the whole system starts.

The problem with many computers is that there are a ton of programs running in the ‘background’ and will slow down a system considerably. Follow these instructions to help speed the loading of your system and performance in general.


First, go to your start button. If you are using Windows Vista, this button will appear as a round button on the bottom left corner of your screen. In the very bottom of the choices is a box that says ‘Start Search’. In this type area put ‘msconfig’.

This will bring up a new box on your screen, System Configuration. Choose (click) the Startup tab. Uncheck ALL of the boxes on the tabbed screen if there are any checked. Your computer will tell you that the changes will take effect after your next restart.

Restart your computer now. When the system loads, you should notice a difference in speed.

Quick List For Reference.

Start Button >Search: Msconfig

System Configuration > Startup> Uncheck All > Restart

Posted in Uncategorized, Computers and Technology | No Comments »

Family Computer Maintenance

The Family Computer

Today many families rely on computers in one for or another. Some of you may work from home, share photos with family, speak with friends, or use the computer as an outlet if you are disabled and unable to leave home. Children use computers to complete homework. You use computers to come by this blog and visit with me, too!

I’d like to offer some advice on keeping your computer running smoothly. This has nothing at all to do with my old computer dying a few days ago. No . . . not at all. Heh.

First of all, keep your computer clean. When I say clean, I mean to remove all the gunk that you get when you visit different sites around the web. Your computer caches every single thing you do or see, so it is a good idea to run a cleaning program once a week. More if you do a lot of surfing. You may associate ‘washers’ with those ads that pop up and tell you to ‘cover your tracks’, but in reality, cleaning your computer is an important part of keeping it running in peak condition.

Free Software for Family Computers

Eusing Software offers free washers and a registry cleaner I use often. They are free to download and use, though you can offer a donation. Donations help keep free software free! I suggest saving all of your passwords to a text file before using the internet washer. It will erase all saved passwords. Use the registry cleaner anytime you uninstall a program, it will help clean up old, unused registry values that may slow down your computer.

Spybot Search and Destroy is my favorite spy ware removal program. Adaware is ok, but they’ve since moved their free program from the home page in an effort to get people to buy the premium version. Spybot is free, but as with Eusing, you can donate to help with development.

Next post, we will talk about more maintenance of the system. In this new series we will also cover actual cleaning of the computer to increase its’ longevity.

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Wednesday Works

Looking For Jobs

So many parents are working at home these days. Thanks to the internet we can stay home, take care of the kids, or spend time with our partners without that daily nine to five grind. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into working at home, I’m going to be linking to some opportunities here each Wednesday. Don’t think that staying home means lounging in your jammies and eating bon-bons, because here’s the honest truth…

If you are going to stay at home and work, be it freelance writing or sewing your own designer diaper line, you will have to work, work, work. Keeping up with clients, meeting deadlines, posting and selling product. You will probably work harder than you ever did outside of the home, but it can be the most satisfying feeling in the world to know you are working for yourself.

This week I offer some links to freelance writing jobs. Two links are to collections of jobs and two are to single postings I have found to be encouraging.


Deb Ng’s Freelance Job Blog

Telecommuting Jobs

Banks.Com Writing Job

A Blogging Contest

Posted in Parenting, Computers and Technology, Career Minded, Writing, Websites | No Comments »

Software Fluke Causes Engaged Couple to Break Up After 5 Years of Dating

A woman using the Firefox web browser discovered her fiancé’s secret life by accident. Here’s a detailed account of what happened, and instructions on how to reproduce the “bug.” (from Bugzilla)

This privacy flaw has caused my fiancé and I to break-up after having dated for 5 years.

Basically, we share one computer but under separate Windows XP user accounts. We both use Mozilla Firefox — well, he used to use it more than I do but now we don’t really use it. The privacy flaw is this: when he went to log-in under his dating sites (,,, etc.), Mozilla promptly asks whether or not he’d like Firefox to save the passwords for him. He chose never, obviously. However, when he logged off his user account, and I logged onto my Windows XP account X amount of days later, I decided to use Firefox because hey — it loaded everything much more efficiently, was better to work on with website designs and is a lot more stable than IE7beta2.

Firefox prompted whether or not I’d like it to save my password for logging into my website. I chose never and changed my mind. I went into the Password Manager to change the saved password option from Never to Always and that’s when I saw all these other sites that had been selected as “Never Save Password.” Of course, those were sites I had never visited or could ever dream of visiting.

Then I realized who, how and what… and sh*t hit the fan. Your browser does not efficiently respect the privacy of different users for one system.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:

  1. Create 2 unique user accounts (for steps sake, let’s call the two accounts Joe and Mary) in Windows XP Home.
  2. Logout and sign-in under Joe.
  3. Open Firefox and go to an e-mail site or to or wherever.
  4. Attempt to log-in to the site so that Firefox will ask whether or not you want your password saved.
  5. Choose not to save the password.
  6. After successfully logging in and having selected the “never save password” option, logout.
  7. Log-in as Mary and open Firefox.
  8. Browse, browse, browse… but you don’t really have to. Just go to “View Saved Passwords,” click on the tab that will show you sites to never save passwords for, and you’ll see whatever painful site Joe denied to save a password for.
  9. Break-up with fiancé.

Firefox should be respecting every single area of privacy per user on one system. It’s not doing that… I’m going to submit this as Major because not everyone shares one computer, but it should really be considered Critical.

Posted in Relationships, Conflict and Anger, Computers and Technology | 2 Comments »

How iTunes and the iPod with Video Convinced Me To Get Cable and TiVo

Although many of my friends and colleagues consider me to be an über geek — I like to have the latest gadgets and software — I’ve never really had cable or TiVo. Instead, I was content with whatever was on networks, or not watching any television at all. But that all changed when iTunes Music Store (iTMS) started selling television shows and introduced the iPod with video support.

iTMS made it possible for me to pay and download many of the shows I could never watch. The two main reasons I couldn’t watch them were children and low-budget cable. First, we don’t watch television when our two-year-old daughter is around. Second, we only have a super-basic-mega-limited cable package, which means we only get local networks, home shopping channels, and Univision. So thanks to iTMS, I’m now able to download shows like Battlestar Galactica, Lost, and ESPN X-Games highlights, and then play them on my TV using my iPod and an A/V cable.

This has been great, but not perfect. There are several downsides to videos purchased from iTMS, which include:

I was able to get by fine with the DRM and poor video quality, but the cost of the episodes and limited content made me start to look elsewhere. I now had a taste for recorded on-demand entertainment, but was wanting more. Combined with a cost that quickly adds up, and the fact that the content was so limited, standard cable and TiVo were starting to look more and more affordable and robust in their offerings.

Tired of missing out on shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and 24, I decided to take the plunge and get standard cable and TiVo. Now I can record as much as I want effortlessly, and I don’t have to worry about paying for each and every show I’m interested in watching. I just pay my monthly cable and TiVo fee, and I’m done.

So, for me, iTMS and the iPod ended up turning me on to entertainment that I can watch on my own time, while also weaning me off of their own services. Through their deficits, I stumbled upon a solution that had been there all along. Fortunately, I can still use my iPod for playing music, and taking picture albums and home videos with me wherever I go.

Posted in Lifestyles, Computers and Technology, TV and Pop Culture | No Comments »

P2P Group Launches Site To Combat Child Porn reports:

A peer-to-peer industry trade group is launching a Web site aimed at educating consumers about the dangers of child pornography online and helping them report it to law enforcement.

The Distributed Computing Industry Association’s P2P Patrol site will go live Monday, as part of a larger approach to the issue, DCIA Chief Executive Officer Marty Lafferty said.

Full Story @

Posted in Computers and Technology, Websites | No Comments »