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How to cleanup your Windows 7 computer

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I am frequently asked the same question...."My computer is really slow, what should I do to speed it up?"  Assuming you don't have any hardware failures or serious malware infections, it may just need some cleanup.  If you are looking cleanup your Windows system, try the simple steps listed below.  Good luck!

 

Cleanup
  1. Download Glary Utilities  http://download.cnet.com/Glary-Utilities/3000-2094_4-10508531.html?part=dl-6280556&subj=dl&tag=button
  2. Install Glary, but watch each step...when you get to the "Install Glary Toolbar" step, UNCHECK ALL 4 BOXES
  3. Once installed, Scan and Run the 1-click maintenance option.
Remove Startup programs
  1. In Glary, go to Modules
  2. Go to Optimize and Improve
  3. Click Startup Manager
  4. Delete entries for anything not necessary...Look for anything that is an "updater", these are common ones I see and disable.  If you aren't sure what something is, google it or ask me.
  • Adobe/Acrobat_ARM
  • Java Updater
  • Google Updater
Disk Check (If you have an SSD, you might want to skip this step.  Google "Disk Check SSD" for more info)
  1. Open My Computer
  2. Right Click your C: drive, properties
  3. Click Tools
  4. Error Checking -> Check Now
  5. Check both boxes and Start.
  6. You will get a popup about doing the check on startup.  Click Yes.
  7. Close all windows and restart your computer.
  8. It should start diskcheck when it starts backup (and may take an hour or so)
Defrag
  1. Open My Computer
  2. Right Click your C: drive, properties
  3. Click Tools
  4. Defragment Now...
  5. In the new window, Click defragment disk.

Feel free to contact me or post on the forum with any questions!

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 19:04
 

A great tool to automate installation of several common applications on your PC

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Let's say you just built a new computer or had to reinstall Windows on your PC.  You probably have several programs you always use and plan to install.  What a hassle to go grab installers for each program and click, click, click through each step.  Well, you're in luck.  Ninite offers a way to automate these mundane installers into a streamlined process.

Its very simple...you select applications by checking the boxes and then click 'Get Installer'.  The service creates a script that runs on your computer and installs your programs.  

Ninite

I would recommend checking out my favorite applications available in the tool:

This tool is a great way to save some time to install commonly used programs on your Windows PC.  The Ninite service is free, ad-ware free, virus free, and works great.  Did I mention it also defaults to NO for all those installers that prompt you to install more apps (try our free toolbar, etc).  I would highly recommend you check out this tool at www.ninite.com.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 April 2012 08:37
 

Discount on Mozy backup service for your computer

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Right now Mozy is offering a 10% discount to signup for their automated pc backup service. Just use promo code 2012 when you register. This really is a simple service to setup; there is no reason why you shouldn't keep your files and photos safe. I wrote a tutorial for the setup process which you can read here.

 

Check out Mozy, they even offer a free version to get started!

Computer online backup should be automatic. Get free backup with Mozy or unlimited Mozy backup for $4.95

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 January 2012 22:57
 

How to add simple Error logging to an ASP.NET application

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When building an enterprise application, many would recommend using Microsoft's Enterprise Library for error logging.  If you are already using Enterprise Library in your application, then you may want to go that route.  For applications where simple error/exception logging is needed, I would personally recommend using ELMAH (Error Logging Modules and Handlers for ASP.NET).  Adding ELMAH to your application is very simple to do, and gains you the following features:

  • Logging of nearly all unhandled exceptions.
  • A web page to remotely view the entire log of recoded exceptions.
  • A web page to remotely view the full details of any one logged exception, including colored stack traces.
  • In many cases, you can review the original yellow screen of death that ASP.NET generated for a given exception, even with customErrors mode turned off.
  • An e-mail notification of each error at the time it occurs.
  • An RSS feed of the last 15 errors from the log.

Here I will walk you through quickly adding ELMAH to your application.  For this example, I will be logging errors to a Microsoft SQL database table, but the tool is configurable to several different datasources (MS SQL, MS SQL CE, MS Access, Oracle, SQLite, XML Files, MySQL, PostgreSQL).

  1. First, download the Core Binary and MS SQL Server DDL Script from the project website.
  2. Now you will need to execute the DDL script against your application's database (or a different one if you desire).  This script will create the logging table and a few stored procedures.
  3. Next, extract the Core Binary .zip file and drop the Elmah.dll file into your website's Bin directory.
  4. Now you will add a few lines to your application's web.config (see images below).  This configures ELMAH to log application execeptions.
    web config entries
    elmah web config entries
  5. In this case, I didn't want all site users to be able to view the error log.  So, I added the following to a web.config file in the /Admin directory of my application.  If you wanted all users to access the error log, you would put this in your root web.config file.
    elmah web config entries

Now to view your errors you would view the page http://[websitename]/elmah.axd (even though this file does not physically exist).  In this case, I wanted the errors viewable only to admins, so the URL would be http://[websitename]/admin/elmah.axd.  Here is a snapshot of the error page you will see:

elmah error page example

There you have it.  Simple Exception logging for your ASP.NET site using ELMAH. 

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 August 2011 18:48
 

How to add an image to Word Press Blog posting

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This may be old news to someone experienced with CMS and websites, but for someone new to blogging, this information may be helpful.  Many people who blog may create the content locally on their PC, in Word for example, and then paste the information into the blog.  This works great to capture text and basic formatting, but if you have images, you may wonder why those images don't display. 

In short form, the answer is that you have to upload images to the blog site before you can use them.  The steps listed below will help detail how to accomplish this...

  1. Once you are in the editor to write or edit a post, click the "Add an Image" button.
    add wordpress image
  2. Now you will select the image stored on your computer.  First click the "Browse.." button and locate the image on your PC.  Next, click the "Upload" button to load it to the webserver.
    upload wordpress image
  3. After hitting "Upload" a new screen will appear. Here you can provide a title for the image file, a caption (used by screen readers), and a description.  You can also choose how the image will be aligned in your article and its size.  After making your edits, click "Insert into Post".  This will add the image to the article you currently have open.
    insert wordpress image to article
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 14:27
 
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