Category Archives: Software

“Unhack” Your Facebook Account

If you are lounging around at a café, Facebooking using their public wifi, note that a hacker with the right software can grab your login information and do you the favor of Facebooking for you, without your help. Realistically, his kind of hack is not very prolific, but it is easy to block, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Since Facebook makes this simple setting unduly difficult, the following is a quick step-by-step (as of July 4, 2011).

  1. Go to the “Account” drop-down menu in the upper right of your Facebook page.
    Facebook Account Continue reading “Unhack” Your Facebook Account

Gmail “Anonymizer”: Using Gmail without others knowing about it

Free email is always popular. With Gmail having been out for a while and all those nifty Google services which require a Gmail ID as a prerequisite, Gmail is more popular than ever. Couple with that its great Spam filtering and it’s no wonder why so many people use it. Even if you have your own domain or other email mailbox, the Spam protection, alone, might be a reason to switch to Gmail. Other reasons: almost unlimited mailbox size, fast searching of all your email, a single place to organize all your email, a single view to your mail organization from any email client (via IMAP), and versatile mail management via labels.

So, if you are going to use Gmail, here’s some advice on how to use it right. Continue reading Gmail “Anonymizer”: Using Gmail without others knowing about it

Retrieving from Old Backups (.bkf) with Windows 7

Okay, I know you have never used the Windows backup tool in Windows versions prior to Windows 7, so this article is not of any use to you. Windows 7 uses an entirely new scheme for storing backups and, out of the box, is not able to read the older backup files. (This might apply to Windows Vista, as well).

Just like VHS tapes and floppy diskettes, backup files that were created with prior versions of Windows are going by the wayside and are not usable, by default, under Windows 7. Fortunately, Microsoft has made a utility available for Windows 7 that can retrieve files from those old backup-files. First, you will need to get Microsoft’s program from Windows NT Backup Restore Utility for Windows 7. Continue reading Retrieving from Old Backups (.bkf) with Windows 7

VMware: Running Your Apps Safely in a Virtual Environment

As a software/techy/geek, I love VMware Workstation for Windows (and Linux and Fusion for OSX). These products allow an operating system to run within the context of the operating system—a computer within a computer, so to speak. This allows a single machine to be used to run any applications without having to to use multiple machines, dual-boot, or reinstall applications. Continue reading VMware: Running Your Apps Safely in a Virtual Environment

Transferring iTunes Content

To retain all the playlist, podcast status, apps, and media organization in your iTunes setup do the following:

  1. Install iTunes.
  2. Make sure iTunes is not running.
  3. Copy all the media files from your old machine to the new. If all the media is in the standard iTunes location, copy to the entire iTunes directory.
    XP:
    C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes
    Win7:
    C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes
    OSX:
    /Users/username/Music/iTunes

    In Finder, navigate to Home Directory, Music, iTunes.

  4. Copy any media outside the iTunes area to their same paths on the new machine.
  5. Start iTunes and let it rebuild its database.

If you are using iTunes to sync your contacts and other personal information with your iPod’s or iPhone’s, then be sure that the application that holds the personal data is installed and up to date before syncing the device.

Upgrading Windows 7, In-place

One cool, little mentioned feature of Windows 7 is that it can be updated to a grander version, as quickly and easily as installing an security update. You can simply enter the license key for the version of Windows 7 that you want to update to and let the system upgrade itself—an Anytime Update license, which can be purchased for an incremental price (compared to paying the full price), can be used as well.

  1. Right-click on Computer to bring up its context menu and select Properties or open the System settings from the Control Panel.
  2. Unless you already have Windows 7 Ultimate installed, the section at the top, “Windows edition” should have a link that says “Get more features with a new edition of Windows 7.” Click on that link.
  3. After entering the license key for the new Windows version, After inputing a valid key the upgrade files will be downloaded and installed on the machine. The machine may reboot a couple of times.