Back to School - Make Sure Your Computer Gets a Passing Grade

With fall just around the corner and school starting up again, it's a really good time to do a check up on your computer. You want to make sure things get started off right, so that there can't be any "my computer ate my home work" experiences.

Below are our ABCs to good PC health:

A.   Accidentally Delete Your Homework? - We all know stuff happens, especially at 2am or 3am when you're cramming to get that term paper finished. There's a good software tool available called UndeletePlus  that you should have on hand, just in case the unthinkable happens. What's cool about UndeletePlus is that in addition to being able to recover deleted files from a PC, it can also restore data from flash drives, memory drives, and even, cameras.

B.   Beware of Bloatware - Almost every new application that you load onto a PC automatically adds some extra code to the boot-up process. This additional code is often called "bloatware" and not only increases the boot time for the computer, it uses up system memory. Because this slows down your PC, it's important to remove any extraneous software from your laptop.

C.   Security - One of the best things you can do to avoid online trouble, is to download a free Web guide called SiteAdvisor®  from McAfee. SiteAdvisor displays green, yellow, and red safety ratings in the browser for every website that is visited. If SiteAdvisor rates a site red, it means that the site has a history of misbehavior that could include malware, spyware, Trojan horses, rootkits, spammer and more.

Also, SiteAdvisor provides ratings on search results and even has pop-up alerts if you try to download free Hot Girls of Pensacola wallpaper from a risky website. SiteAdvisor is all about safe surfing, something everyone should practice. In addition to a Web guide, you should have anti-virus software like McAfee Internet Security software, which is available for half price here.

D.   Don't Be Tardy - Don't you hate it when it takes forever for your computer to do anything? There are a couple of chores you can do to keep it running at peak performance. One is cleaning your PC's registry so that you can work at top speed and not miss "due dates."

With each new application that gets installed or each setting is changed within Windows, the registry gradually gets cluttered, slowing down your system, and can causing some unexpected problems. RegistryWizard™ is an all-in-one tool that detects and automatically corrects errors in your registry. It will help optimize and stabilize the performance of your computer.

E.    Educate Yourself - Take time to learn a little about updating device drivers to keep your PC from crashing. Lesson One: What are device drivers? Buried within a PC's software lie a multitude of small programs that tell the core processor how to interact with the world. These are called drivers. They are critical to a PC's performance. Actively maintaining these drivers can boost performance and reduce problems, allowing you to get the most from your PC.

F.    Put the "Freeze" on Unwanted Access - Don't you hate it when you get up from your desk for a second and your goofy roommate (let's call him Jack the Laptop Hijacker) jumps on to your computer and starts doing who knows what....? Yeah, it's so junior high that you can't trust him, but it's your reality, at least, until the end of the semester. So what are you going to do?

Two words: Phoenix Freeze™. Phoenix Freeze automatically locks and unlocks your laptop or netbook by combining with your Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. With Freeze whenever you walk away from your computer with your cell phone, it locks. When you return, it unlocks whenever you re-enter an adjustable pre-set zone. It's that simple and totally secure!  

If you take all these lessons to heart, you and your computer should get through another the school year without failing.

Three Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know


You know that Windows® key on your keyboard? Most people overlook it, but that's a mistake. One press is the same as clicking the Start button with your mouse. And pressing it in concert with other keys can save you have having to react for the mouse at all. Here are three Windows-key shortcuts you should memorize immediately:

  • Windows-D Minimizes all open windows so you can see the desktop. A second tap restores them.
  • Window-E Opens Windows Explorer (the file-management tool, not the browser). This is much quicker than right-clicking the Start button and then Explore, or trying to find Explorer in the Start menu.
  • Windows-F Launches Windows' search tool (remember for "F" for "find.")

These "three keyboard shortcuts" come courtesy of PC World - Read the entire article here.  

Strengthen Your PC's Foundation with BIOS Upgrades


At the heart of every personal computer is a foundation program called the basic input-output system, or BIOS. Like the foundation of your house, it is the base that all other software - including the operating system - must build upon. Also like your house foundation, keeping the BIOS in good repair is an essential step in keeping your PC strong.

The best source for updates and maintenance of your PC's BIOS is not the PC manufacturer but a BIOS developer. PC manufacturers merely acquire a BIOS and adapt it to their specific hardware. They may or may not offer any upgrades. A BIOS developer, on the other hand, has a vested interest in keeping their BIOS up to date, robust, and operating at peak efficiency.

Phoenix Technologies is the world leader in BIOS technology, and offers tools like the BIOSAgentPlus™ to simplify BIOS maintenance for virtually any PC. These tools let you keep your PC's foundation software strong so that the rest remains standing tall.

Mr. Gadget Calls TouchStoneSoftware Tools "Nifty"


Steve Kruschen -The One and Only Mr. Gadget® - wrote last month on his blog about  TouchStoneSoftware™ products and services in a posting titled, "Maybe An Existing Windows PC Need Not Be Replaced, Only Tuned Up - Advice for Parents and Students."


The article suggests that it might make a lot of sense to tune-up the old PC using TouchStoneSoftware's "nifty tools and products" rather than spend money on a brand new one. You can read the entire blog posting here.


Back to School - Make Sure Your Computer Gets a Passing Grade

Three Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know

Strengthen Your PC's Foundation with BIOS Upgrades Calls TouchStoneSoftware Tools "Nifty"


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