Tech Tips with Mr. Tech Savvy

Friday, March 28, 2008

We love our computer, let's keep it clean

Let's be honest, we are the laziest when it comes to computer maintenance. We know how to copy, download, transfer and install files and programs on our computer so much that it half turns into a box of junk. When the computer is overloaded with unwanted or never-used files, the question is, "Who's going to clean that up?" Of course not the computer!

Keeping your computer clean is the first step to making it run faster. A computer can only run smoothly if we maintain and do clean-ups regularly. There are a big bunch of files sitting in your computer that were temporarily generated, copied or downloaded onto your computer, especially when you surf online. These files help in loading visited web pages or opened program files faster. After a few days, most of them do not have much use and can be removed from your computer safely to re-gain free space.

Here's the simplest way to get rid of that old junk on your computer. Trust me; it's really quick and easy. Many of you may already know this, but let's face it, when was the last time you did a disk cleanup?

Let's go…
  • Go to Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools and open the Disk Cleanup utility program.
  • You will be prompted to "Select Drive" for clean up. Being the most crucial one, let's start our clean up with C Drive. Select the drive from the list and click OK.



  • The program will scan and analyze "junk" files which can be removed from your computer to clean up space. This can take awhile depending on the temporary files on your computer.
  • Once the scanning is done, you will get a list of file types that can be deleted. By default, some of them will already be selected. Apart from those, you might want to select "Recycle Bin" as well, if you decide to clean up that too. Another one you should choose to clean up is "Temporary Files". Click OK and when you are asked to confirm the clean up, click Yes.
  • The cleanup utility will take awhile to do the work for you.
  • Repeat the steps if you want to clean up other drives as well.
Told you it was easy! Make this a regular practice, at least once a week and you will stop thinking about buying a new computer.

Just for Geeks - Answer and Win!
According to InternetWorldStats.com, about 20% of the world’s population is using the internet today. While the world’s population is 6,606,971,659*, there are currently 1,319,872,109* internet users around the world.

* Estimated values

The answer to last week's Just For Geeks – Answer and Win! question "What does "http", "www" and "com" stand for in a web address?" is:

http stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol
www stands for World Wide Web (of course!)
com stands for Commercial

Wasn’t that easy? Once again we had a lot of entries coming in. The lucky winners to take away Apacer 1GB USB Flash Drive each are Pete Eades and Russ Blohn. Congratulations!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, March 14, 2008

Five Reasons why Gmail stands among them all

Gmail has become a part of our lives. A big one for many. And for those who don’t have an account yet, here’s what you are missing:

  • Space. Lots of space.
    6497 MB available to you as of today, and counting! This is as close as it gets to having unlimited space. Ask your friend to send you emails with attachments of 10 MB a day and it would still take him 2 years to fill up your mailbox. My own Gmail mailbox has over 2500 emails and yet it never crossed the 5% mark. Gmail is very generous at this feature so why not take advantage of this? Never delete emails again. Use this as your email backup. Or how about using Gmail as your virtual 6.5GB Flash Drive?

  • POP? Free. IMAP? Yes, Free.
    The feature we always wished for with free web-based email is to be able to download emails to your emailing software on your computer like MS Outlook. Gmail lets you do just that with POP download feature. The best part, its Free!

    The same for IMAP. Don’t download but sync your emails on your computer, laptop or even your mobile phone through the IMAP feature. Every action is automatically synchronized with all your devices. Mobile users can check their mail by pointing their browser to http://m.gmail.com

    There’s more. You can even download emails from other accounts that you have POP access to Gmail mailbox. This allows you to check multiple email accounts from one location.

  • Speed
    With the standard version of Gmail, it’s almost as quick to check your mails as you were doing with the email software on your computer. The web-based email is fast and highly responsive. Try your hand at it and find out if it’s fast enough for you.

  • Kick spam in the face
    Spam and junk mails are the annoying part of our communication life. Get rid of it. Gmail is very effective when it comes to blocking unwanted messages. To my experience, Gmail leads at this feature. It can never be a 100% clean mailbox, but for Gmail, 99% is possible.
  • Forgot that mail? Search it!
    We love Google and we know it’s the best search engine on the planet. Use the same technology to search your email. Looking for an email sent to you 2 years ago? Remember what it was about, put in those keywords, and let Gmail search feature find it in a flash!
Other features that will help make your communication life better may include archiving emails, auto-saving into Drafts as you compose a new mail, chatting with your contacts from the mailbox itself, really “Quick Contacts”, displaying emails of same context in a group or “conversations”, and countless more… Judge it yourself and let us know what you think about it.


Just for Geeks
Why not backpack your ideas, to-do lists, notes, clippings, photos and have them on the go? Check out this really cool organizer tool - www.backpackit.com.

Till Then... Tata ;-)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hate slow downloads? Let download manager help you

It gets very frustrating when you come across some interesting and useful downloads online and it takes just way too long to download them. We always blame it on our poor internet connection speed. Yes, we've all been there. And when you sit and wait for that download bar indicator on your screen trying to fill it up with the tiny boxes and suddenly the internet connection just cuts off. Aaah! What a pain!

Wish you had a way to overcome this?

What you need is a download manager and there are a lot of them that are doing a good job in solving download frustrations. One of most popular and the one that I would recommend is FlashGet.

Unlike the default download feature on your system, with FlashGet, if your internet decides to take a walk or you decide to shut down your computer, the download is automatically paused and can be continued when the connection returns or when the computer is switched back on. But what's more important is the way FlashGet can enhance the download speed greatly. It can split the file being downloaded into multiple parts and download each part simultaneously. So, if you're downloading a 3 MB file, the download manager can split the file into parts of 1 MB each and download them in parallel, increasing the speed by up to 3 times!

FlashGet can also help you download multiple files at the same time and you can easily manage the download list on a single interface.

So, let's get started. First we shall download the latest version of FlashGet from http://www.flashget.com/en/download.htm. Of course, you will have to bear the pain just "one-last-time" for this 4 MB download. Patience is a virtue!

Installing the application is quick and easy. Just follow the instructions provided.

If you happen to be a Mozilla FireFox fan, to use any download manager you also need to install an Extension called FlashGot. Get it easily from https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/220.

Once the installation is done, you will notice a small white box with FlashGet logo on the top-right corner of your screen. This box is called the DropZone. Whenever you want to download something, all you have to do is drag the download link into this box and it will start downloading the file automatically.

If the DropZone is not what you like, get it out of your sight by right-mouse clicking on it and unclick "Show DropZone". Now to download something: just right-mouse click on that link and select "Download with FlashGet" for Internet Explorer users and "FlashGot Link" for FireFox users.

Files are downloaded to the "Downloads" folder on your C Drive by default. To change this, go to Tools > Default Download Properties and change "Save to:" to your preferred location.

Have fun downloading!

Question from Mario:
How to change the language to English if the FlashGet interface was installed with Thai languange by default?

FlashGet supports multiple languages but it becomes a trouble when the program sets the local language automatically. However, there are two ways to fix this. The usual way is to go to the View menu which is next to the File and Edit menu, but of course it’s all in Thai! Well, if you want to give it a try, blindly click on the third menu and you will see "Language" (luckily, this is in English), and select "English" under this menu.

The second way to work around this may seem a little technical, but it’s easy actually. Go to C:\Program Files\FlashGet\Language and you will see a list of FlashGet languange files. Delete all of them except for the one named "JCENG". Restart your FlashGet and it won't look "french" to you again!


Just for Geeks
Google Earth is one of the greatest innovations so far. And there’s always more to it. Check out Google Mars - www.google.com/mars

Till Then... Tata ;-)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button