NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, Seprember 2007
Blurbs from Bass
By Steve Bass,
PC World Columnist and Author

(click to email author)

Obtained from APCUG with the author's permission for publication by APCUG member groups.

Wonderful: Microsoft's free Virtual PC I've been using it for three weeks. It's perhaps the best way to play with new utilities, for instance, try out a different anti-virus program, or just fiddle with Windows.

I run another copy of Windows XP within Windows XP. Some people load up Vista in the virtual machine while others play around with Linux.

It takes no super skill set to install or use, and provided you have enough RAM (I'll say about 1GB), the VPC will run happily. I was worried that it would slow down my PC. I have just one VM window running, and even at that, it's open only when I was using it. Overall, with 2GB of RAM on my PC (and 512RAM allocated to the VM when it was running), I didn't experience any sluggishness.
If it doesn't suite you, or it slows down your PC, just uninstall VPC like you would any other application.

You can get around the XP licensing issue (and activation) of two versions of XP on one PC easily. Some people (not, uh, me) call Microsoft for an activation and try to explain to the overseas tech person that yes I have this copy running on a PC, but all I'm trying to do it set it up on the same PC using Microsoft's VM product. Chances are good they won't understand a word you're saying, not be able to find "VM Product" on their tree-based help chart, say screw it in their language, and give you the activation code.

Or you could just rely on XP's 30 day activation deadline. As the deadline approaches, delete the XP virtual machine (it's only a big swap file) and start again with a new installation. Get Microsoft's Virtual PC

Read how to install and use VPC http://snurl.com/usevpcGotcha! Geek Squad Caught Stealing Porn In a three-month sting, the Consumerist loaded a PC with porn, set it up with a keylogger, and asked the Geek Squad to install iTunes. The hidden program recorded everything and produced a very revealing video. Watch as the tech pokes around, finds what he wants, and copies files to his flash drive. http://snipurl.com/Lyrebird

Do you have any idea what's holding up your cursor? I think you'll be quite surprised. Click on the link below to find out. Make sure to move your cursor quickly and double click every so often. http://www.1-click.jp/

The Real Group is very entertaining. They remind me a little of Manhattan Transfer. Listen to them sing the Five Song Basie Medley and don't miss it when the lead singer imitates an instrument. It's at about 3:17 minutes. Click here for info about the group. [Thanks, Gus.] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URpLESNyydE

If you enjoyed the first video, here's another with them working impromptu. Watch the beginning for the setup and skip past Yesterday until they start doing pseudo-opera at 2:40 minutes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcRlBQF2AYc

Hassle-Free PC: Smart Fixes for Gnarly PC Problems

I'll bet your Start Menu is messy because it's jammed with programs. There's probably a good chance you can't even remember where any of the programs are on the menu. Try popping up Launchy (alt-space), type the first few letters of the program you want, hit Enter, and Launchy launches it. http://www.launchy.net/

They know damn well they're breaking the law. Yet I get at least three automated calls from them a week. I have a plan -- make an appointment to have my carpeting cleaned and then slap a small claims court notice to appear into the hand of the guy arriving at my door. Read more on my blog: http://snipurl.com/BestCarpet

Rate PC World Magazine: Here's the PC World survey page for the current issue. You don't have to be a subscriber; give it a whirl and be eligible for a $500 Amazon certificate (which accounts why I haven't had a raise in a while). http://snipurl.com/PCW_Survey

Time Killing Videos Check out "High Power Job," a video about an occupation that makes me grateful I'm a safe and sound writer.

The Slinky Humans video held my attention for the full five minutes. (But what in the world it's doing at a Sea World Amusement Park is beyond me.) But it appears they've taken a cue, so to speak, from Mummenschanz. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAPBaXLJvYI

You know how I like magic, right? Well here's a brilliant bit of it with just the correct amount of misdirection.

Two Useful Tools FileMenu Tools: The context menu of Windows Explorer gets messy. FileMenu Tools gives you a way to customize it.

ReCase: It's a small issue, but it may bother you: all the filenames in a specific folder are in upper, lower, or mixed case. Here's a tool that will fix it. http://bluefive.pair.com/recase.htm

Free Directory Assistance There are two new, free directory assistance services you can use on either your cell phone or home landline.

I like Google a little better because it'll dial the number for me. Details: http://blogs.pcworld.com/tipsandtweaks/archives/004120.html

In the other hand, TellMe is faster and easier to use, and definitely has a better voice presence. Unfortunately, what spoils it is that it won't connect me. Details: http://www.tellme.com/products/TellmeByVoice


Either way, their both free and useful.

This article has been provided to APCUG by the author solely for publication by APCUG member groups. All other uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).

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