Patty Goes Geeky

A techno odyssey

Archive for September 2011

Excellent resource/wonderful time sucker

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Alex Johnson has “cleaned up and updated” his Journalists’ Quick Reference Page. I think you’ll find it useful, and also find it difficult to resist entering something into one of those boxes he’s collected in this one-stop research resource, just to see. On this particular day in history, for instance, I learn that in 1915 a Mr. Chubb purchased Stonehenge for the equivalent of $11,500 as a present for his wife. Bookmarking this baby, for sure.

Written by geekypatty

September 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Resources

Free was a good price

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I opted for the pay version of AVG internet security when I got the re-up notice, even though one of my I.T. guys (the Portland one) said I’d probably be fine with the free version. The difference, he thought, was the free version checked for bugs after the fact, while the pay version verified sites before the fact. But, he said, if I’d feel better with the higher level of protection, go for it. So I did, for around $40/year. (Using the same rationale, I bought the fifty-buck Backblaze to back up up my computer rather than continue the manual monthly back-up. It seemed to be the best choice for me based on a DigitalEve Seattle discussion and I had too much content at risk to continue to trust a home-done effort.)

One of my scheduled¬† fall projects was to go through and eliminate duplicate photos, and another was to research what it would take to speed up my computer (aside from taking off thousands of photos, which I still plan to do, at which point I may no longer need Backblaze, after all). But AVG sent me a customer-service come-on note offering a free PC tune-up, “a fast, simple and effective way to tweak your system’s settings and get the most out of your computer.”I’m a sucker for free, so I tried it. It said it found something like 9,000 errors, bugs, flaws, duplicates, garbage and other deficiencies, and invited me to run the repair. I did.

I can’t say I have noticed much difference in the speed. I think the photos are probably the main culprit and their mass would mask any improvement.¬† But it does feel good to have redd up the computer. And it’s not even fall yet.

Would I buy the AVG PC tune-up? Probably not.

Written by geekypatty

September 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Software

Feeling much more secure

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My nephew, Morgan, bless his heart, in about 5 minutes installed a password giving us wireless-network security on our computers. Yes, I know how stupid it was to be unsecured. But for a long time, I didn’t know our wifi WAS unsecured — I just logged on. Once I discovered the problem, I painfully researched how to solve it. I trial-and-errored my way partway through the process (punctuated by more than the usual swearing), but chickened out because I did not trust my ability to rescue our internet access if I locked us out of our system. I could imagine my husband’s reaction if I said, “Hey, Mike, you can’t work from home any more because I thought it would be fun to try a Geekypatty experiment on our internet access. It’s gone, I have no idea what I did and even less idea about how to fix it. Sorry about that.”

Fortunately, I have a tech-wizard nephew who graciously agreed to bail me out. I sat at Morgan’s elbow as he narrated the steps. It was so reassuring to watch someone who knows what he’s doing. And I didn’t feel (that) bad about failing to do this myself. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s wise to be realistic about when DIY becomes DDIY — Don’t Do It Yourself.

Add Morgan to my crackerjack I.T. team!

Written by geekypatty

September 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Posted in Misc Tech