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My Anti-virus software trial has expired! What should I do?

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Many new computers come with some sort of Anti-Virus or Internet Security software pre-installed. Unfortunately it is usually just a trial that will expire after a few months. You are probably offered the option to renew your subscription, but may be left feeling like you have little choice. While it is true that you should take steps to protect your computer from Internet badness, the software that came on your computer may not be the best option. Here are some of tools that I have used in the past and recommend to others.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 19:00

Watch TV and Movies on your PC with Hulu

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You may or may not have known that you can watch TV Shows and Movies on Admittedly, the selection of videos is somewhat limited. However, the site is both free and legal. Well now Hulu has created a desktop application (for both Mac and PC) that integrates with your Apple or Windows Media Center remote Need a remote? Try This one.icon This new application is definitely a step in the right direction for those who have media center computers hooked up to their TV's and don't want to be tied to a keyboard and mouse. Check out the overview video from Hulu:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 21:46

Cool Free Tools for Digital Photo Editing With No Installation

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Techno-geeks everywhere know that Photoshop is the premier photo editing software. I have a feeling, that even if they had it, most people wound't use 90% of its features. For those of us who aren't Graphics Professionals, there are several free and easy to use photo editing tools. Many of these tools are free and don't even require an installer. Give one of these tools a try next time you have some digital photos to work with.

  1. Splashup [link] This neat little browser-based tool allows you to upload photos from your PC, or even from facebook (with registration). You get basic editing tools, and even some nice filters. Over all a nice tool for a quick touchup job on the go.
    splashup screenshot

Linking to the TradePub XML database

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Here is a quick walkthrough for linking to the TradePub XML raw file source in a Visual Studio 2008 ASP.NET project. The steps are probably similar in other versions as well. Keep in mind that using this method, your page is pulling its data directly from the Tradepub XML url so you don’t have to update any local file. The performance seems to be slow some times, so in the future I will probably look at some caching options for the datasource in my website. If I find anything useful, I will update this post.

If you are reading this article and have no idea what TradePub is and why you would want to connect to its XML feed, don't worry. TradePub is a service for website owners to get paid to offer FREE business and technical eBooks and Magazines to your visitors. If you are interested, check them out here. If you don't have your own website but are interested in getting FREE eBooks and Magazines, you can go here.


TeamViewer - a free remote support tool for personal use

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If you are anything like me and "know about computers", you frequently have family calling you with questions. Sometimes these questions are simple and can be answered over the phone..."My computer wants to install Internet Explorer 8, what should I do?" And sometimes not so simple..."I was looking at this website and I got a pop up message that I had a virus. I clicked it and now it wants my credit card number." For those not so simple questions, I prefer to be sitting in front of their computer. Depending on location and time, it may not be feasible to drive to their location. That's where remote access software comes in. There are many expensive remote access tools, but did you know there is a free option for personal use?

Enter TeamViewer. This tool is targeted at business use with many nice features, but they also have a free edition for non-commercial use. As the "supporter" you go to the site and download the program, opening a session. Your family member also goes to the site and downloads the quick support module. You give them the password and are then connected to their computer, with full control of mouse and keyboard. You are able to instantly help your friend or family member without leaving your house. The software even offers nice extras like chat and session recording. Not a bad deal for free. Did I mention this software is compatible with both Windows (98/2000/XP/Vista/7) and Mac (OS X 1.4 and up)?

You can check out TeamViewer here.


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