Are you worried about malware and spyware plaguing your system? I have a cool, free tool that gives you an extra layer of defense when you're Web surfing. I also have two free utilities that can lock up and hide your sensitive folders and keep them from prying eyes. Plus, for readers who didn't like my earlier tip for disabling the Insert key, I offer a nifty program to watch your Insert, Caps Lock, and Num Lock keys.
Stories by Steve Bass
If you've got a multislot media card reader, chances are you face a mess of drive letters every time you double-click My Computer. I've finally outsmarted the Redmond kids in my battle with the dumb way Windows handles drive letters--and in this column I give you the fix. Plus, I share an easy way to restore the fickle Safely Remove Hardware icon to your system tray, and a trick to combat Insertus idioticus--by disabling the Insert key.
Every time I turn around, Google's come up with something new, cool, or innovative. It's no wonder it has Microsoft on the run.
Where was Marlin Perkins and his Wild Kingdom TV show when I needed him? Here I was with a scrub jay pecking at my head while I scrambled through my backyard flora, trying to attach a camera to a pole.
He landed on both feet: I could see his footprints on the bathroom floor. The sheriff said the burglar was a pro, looking only for jewelry and cash. And my depreciating-as-we-speak PC? Fortunately, it wasn't touched.
Who needs a campfire when you can roast marshmallows over your PC? I'm only half joking. I recently checked the temperature inside my PC's case and was shocked to discover it was nearly 110 degrees. That kind of heat can kill some PC components.
The phone rang. "Mr. Bass?" The voice sounded official. "Your house is glowing on our satellite photos." No wonder. I had two digital subscriber lines (DSL), a cable-modem connection, and an Internet-beaming satellite dish installed in my home office.
Usually, I ignore these little love notes from Windows and hope they'll go away.
This brilliant utility has skills that are light-years beyond Microsoft Corp.'s Windows' woefully inadequate cut-and-paste Clipboard.
It's the bassman, comin' at you live, with his cool sounds of soothing jazz.
It's no secret--I suffer from a new psychological disorder called E-mail addictitus. Here's the first symptom: You check your in-box for mail and discover you have no new messages. You check again, just to be certain, and then you e-mail yourself to make sure that the mail program's working.
The key to success? Watch your keystrokes, note the ones you repeat, and turn them into macros.
"Hi, this is Stan. How are you today?" Oh, jeez, another intrusive telemarketer calling, shattering a brilliant thought. (Now where was I?)
"I'm terrific," I responded. "Can you hold a sec?" With a home phone and two business lines, I'm inundated with these calls. But this time, instead of following my usual modus operandi -- saying something obscene in Cobol and hanging up -- I turned to my PC and loaded Enigma. This slick program helps me thwart telemarketers and keeps them from calling back. Best of all, it's free.