Three Essential Tools for Any Windows User

Article written by Technet News, latest tech and gadget news, reviews and articles

Getting the most out of your computer involves using the right software. There is a such a lot of free and paid software out there that despite lots of reviews it can be difficult to find the right ones. Here are three great applications you might have missed:

Teamviewer

You can use teamviewer to connect and take control of another computer (with their permission, of course). But more importantly, it allows you to connect to your computer from a remote location. This is useful for connecting to your home pc to either shut it down, copy some data to a dropbox or even help someone who is using the computer.

7-zipmysystemsjournal1

This is the single archive file manager that can take care of most of the major archive types. The most important part here is that it is free. You can create or access zip and rar files, or just use 7zip format. For the power use 7zip has several advanced features that most basic archival programs lack. This includes features such as security, test and zip etc.

Notepad++

A great replacement for Notepad. Notepad++ has some advanced options and is perfect for coders or anyone who has to deal with a lot of text files. You can search all text files within directories with specific wildcards.

How To Make The Cursor or Mouse Pointer More Visible

If you can’t see the mouse pointer when you move the mouse around, then it’s time change how the pointer looks and behaves.

Of course, the simplest way to do this is by making these changes through the Control Panel’s Mouse tool.

As you should know, there are different procedures for each version of Windows.

Let’s look at these procedures for Windows 7,8 and 10:

 mysystemsjournal3Windows 7: This method is the simplest of the lot. First, click Start, select Mouse in the Control Panel section. Now, make the changes necessary.

Windows 8: Go to the Charm bar,type ‘mouse’ in the text box. Select the option that says Mouse. Avoid the Ease of Access mouse settings. It doesn’t have as many options as the Control Panel tool.

Windows 10: For this, type Mouse in the search field. Now select ‘Change your mouse settings’. After this, click ‘Additional mouse settings’ in the Settings app.

Regardless of whichever version of Windows you use, you should be in the Mouse properties dialog box.

Now select the Pointers tab and the Scheme menu and pick something. There will be a variety of colors, schemes and fonts to select from.

When you pick one scheme, it won’t change the mouse pointer but will display your selection in the box to the right of the Scheme menu.

If you want to see how the mouse pointer actually looks, then click Apply.

Also look at the Pointer Options tab as you will find more possibilities there to make your mouse pointer visible.

What You Need to Know About Encrypting and Password Protect ZIP Files

If you’ve been wondering whether there is a way to crack a password protected ZIP file, it really depends on the software you have been using to create the ZIP file.

The ZIP format has been used for years now to compress files but encryption also is a feature that comes with it these days.

Yet the kind of encryption that is offered depends on the program you are using and that is directly related to whether it can be cracked or not.

Simply put, there are two typmysystemjpurnal1es of encryption and password protection that is available. The first of which is ZipCrypto is very easy to crack. A number of organizations including the Info-Zip organization consider it to be a weak form of encryption too.

The second, known as AES-256, is much safer. If you create a strong password, it is virtually unbreakable.

 Yet when you use it for ZIP archives, AES-256 comes with another problem. Windows’ own in-built compression tool does not support this format. Unfortunately, if they try to open an AES-encrypted file within Windows Explorer or File Explorer, none of the files in the archive will be available.

But there’s a fix for this problem: there are third-party tools such as 7-zip that support AES-256 and that you should use since you will not be able to work around this issue.

One last thing: no matter which encryption you opt for, the names of the files within the archive can still be seen. If the file names offer sensitive information, then this can cause trouble.

Apart from that, they will still not be able to open the file without the password.

3 Ways to Use an Older (But Working) PC

Most people think of getting a new PC during the holidays.

But what about the old one that is still working? Don’t throw it out just yet since there are a number of uses that are available when it comes to older PCs.

That said, here are 3 ways to use older PCs that shouldn’t be disposed off just yet:

#1: Home Theater PC

Even though this is considered a good idea by many, very few people actually go through with it. Using it in your living room can not only allow you to play games and downloaded files, watch DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs as well as watch videos and stream music as well. Best part: you can do this on a big screen as well.

#2: Kids PC

Rather than giving away your PC or tablet, why not turn it into a Kids PC that they can use to learn how to use. With the amount of focus on technology, it’s never too early to learn.

For this, there are a number of lightweight operating systems available that you can use instead of Windows.

#3: Web server

You can use an old PC to learn how website truly work and this is by running a web server. If you have a WordPress blog, then you can save almost $100 a year by running it yourself.

Of course, if this is a high traffic blog, then you might be in trouble but otherwise it shouldn’t be a problem. This is because your internet connection might be too slow.

4 Ways To Tell If Malware Is On Your PC

Contrary to popular opinion, malware is usually created in such a manner that you will never notice that it is on your PC. The reason for this is the people who write them do not want you to get rid of them from your computer.

Yet despite this ability to stay hidden, there are certain symptoms that will give you clues as to whether you have malware on your system or not.

And while in some cases, ransomware will announce its presence on your system while the presence of others will not be so obvious.

That said, here are 4 ways by which you can tell if malware exists on your system:

#1: Poor PC Performance

If you PC is running slower than ever or several unwanted, unrecognizable programs in the background, then you can attribute this to malware.

#2: Toolbars that don’t seem to go away

A number of programs usually install toolbars on your system and which can be uninstalled in one go. However, if this isn’t possible, then there’s probably malware on your system and which will require you to do more.

#3: Home and Search Pages change

Similar to the issue with toolbars, if your Home and Search Pages cannot be reset back to the URLs that you prefer, then it’s probably because of malware too.

#4: Maintenance programs do not work

Malware protects itself by disabling programs that have been designed to recognize and remove it in the process. Some of these programs include Task Manager, Windows Update, System Restore, Msconfig, Regedit or even your antivirus program.

What You Need to Know (and do!) Before Purchasing RAM

The reason why your machine is slowing down might or might not have to do with your Random Access Memory.

However, the more RAM you add, the faster your system will get apart from the fact that it it easier to install compared to installing a solid state drive. This is for the reason that with the latter, you will have to move the operating system.

Yet the question remains that you not only have to know what type of RAM your system will accept but also how much of it too.

Now, if you want to make sure that you actually need more RAM, select Task Manager and the Performance tab. At the bottom left-hand corner, you’ll see the amount of RAM that is available and if it is less than 25 percent, then it’s time for an upgrade.

Another aspect that you must consider is to determine the most effective arrangement for your RAM in terms of using the available memory slots. In most cases, they are arranged in pair whether two or four.

In order to understand this, check your motherboard’s manual. One thing that you should keep in mind for better performance: add RAM to different slots that use different memory channels.

Ultimately, if you are not sure about what you need or what you’ve got, then use the Crucial System Scanner. Download the program and run it: the results should tell you how many slots are filled (and with what!) and how many are empty. It will also tell you what kind of RAM to purchase as well.

How Cooling Helps IT Maintenance

Written by: MovinCool

IT workers worry about a lot. They worry about employees who bring their own devices into the corporate network, and introduce viruses from an unsecured connection. They worry about privileges for all levels of employees, and they manage all traffic that goes in and out of servers. IT maintenance is a big job, and to top it off they also need to do some of the work of an HVAC specialist. Data center cooling is an important part of IT maintenance, and it’s a major factor in keeping Internet infrastructure up and running.

Heat Generation

Computers naturally generate heat as energy is transferred from one place to another. The circuit boards generate ambient heat, which usually triggers fans to respond in order to try and cool things off. If there are many computers clustered together, like a server room, that heat can be difficult to dissipate. If too much heat accumulates, computers will shut down before they melt their internals. This is especially problematic for server rooms, which house computers that are perpetually up and running.

Server Cooling

There are several strategies to cooling a server room. A portable room air conditioner, for instance, is perfect for smaller companies that house less than ten server clusters. More robust cooling systems must be installed in larger server rooms, possibly incorporating fans for spot cooling purposes. Removing ceiling tiles is another method, but it’s more like a temporary fix than a solution you want to rely on.

Software Measures

Software installed on these servers can report rising temperatures to administrators, who can then make adjustments on the fly. It may not be a situation of residual heat, so much as it is related to complications with the machines themselves. When a machine becomes overloaded, it generates more heat as it attempts to clear out the processes it works with. Software would help to catch these problems within the operating system, and slow down the consumption of power.

Final Thoughts

Portable air conditioners are the most common form of server cooling you’re likely to find in the field. They are large enough to cool a small server room, and they can be moved to the areas that need it most. Used in conjunction with fans and other methods, and you can effectively cool a server room without spending too much on the prospect. Larger companies, however, will need to evaluate their needs and either host off-site or consider improvements to meet challenge of cooling several clusters of computers.

Related Story: The Big Chill: How to Cool a Server Room

Related Story: Advantages of a Portable Air Conditioning Unit

How to Select and View Multiple Timezones on Windows

There are a number of features in Windows that can make your Life easier. One such feature involves being able to keep track of a number of time zones at the same time.

While it’s easier to use Google by typing “time (city name)”, both Windows 7 and 8.1 can help you view these time zones at a glance.

For this, click on the lower right hand corner of your screen to open a window that displays the time and date. After this, click ‘Time and date settings’. Now, with the window that opens up, click the ‘Additional Clocks’ tab.

Click the checkbox next to the ‘Show this clock’ and select the time zone as well which is based on hours before or after Universal Coordinated Time.

Once you’ve done this, then enter the appropriate names for each of the clocks in the given boxes ‘Enter display name’. Once you’re done, then click ‘Add’ and ‘OK’ and that’s it!

As for wanting to see the time zones together, move your mouse pointer to the bottom right-hand corner and click to a see a window with all the clocks showing the times you selected earlier.

Another simpler way to see the time is to hover the mouse pointer in the same area and a yellow pop-up window will appear listing the three time zones alongwith their display names.

Finally, even though Windows doesn’t provide a shortcut key to display these clocks, one can use the Windows key + B and the arrow keys to open them once the time and date option is highlighted.

Using PushBullet to Swap Files in a Few Clicks

If you want to transfer files from your PC to an Android device, the most popular method involves using AirDroid for Android.

However, there a new feature provided on the free app Pushbullet for iOS and Android that is worthy of attention as well.

All it takes is a just a couple of clicks which makes it ridiculously easy as the connection between both devices remain.

But why pick Pushbullet over Airdroid if you are already using the latter?

This is for the simple reason that Pushbullet pushes all notifications on your phone to desktop and this could include incoming calls, email notifications, texts and alerts from your news apps.

Now, in order to use Pushbullet, you need to download the app from Google Play while running the desktop app too. All you have to do is sign-in on both devices and you can begin swapping files too.

So, let’s say you want to move a music file from a particular folder. First, you open File Explorer and move to the folder. Next, right-click the file and move the mouse pointer over Pushbullet in the context menu.

If your mouse pointer stays over the selection, you’ll find that another menu opens up with a list of devices. Pick the one you wish to transfer the file to by clicking on the selection.

Soon, you will get a desktop notification saying that your song is being uploaded. And you’re done!

3 Ways to Reinstall Windows 8

One of the biggest advantages of learning how to reinstall Windows 8 is that you can eliminate all kinds of malware, bloatware and deal with a number of system problems in one go.

Of course, you don’t have to reinstall Windows 8 in order to get it to run smoothly. However, if your PC is slowing down due to context menu items, startup programs and a buildup of junk, then carrying out this procedure is advisable.

That said, here are 3 ways to reinstall Windows 8:

#1: Refresh or Reset Your PC Option

There are two features that one can first try where both of them involve performing a Windows install in the background either by installing Windows fresh from the recovery files on your system or Windows installation disc or USB drive. One difference is that the Refresh your PC option keeps your personal files while the Reset your PC option removes it completely.

#2: Manufacturer’s Recovery Partition or Discs

Yet again, there are two options that can be used that involves either a recovery partition or discs that are provided by the manufacturer. For the former, you’ll have to press a key when your system is booting to access the recovery partition. As for the disc, you can insert it in your computer’s optical drive. You’ll have a fresh Windows-like system once you’re done with the instructions.

#3: Windows Installation Media

While a fresh install isn’t possible with the recovery tools provided by your manufacturer, a Windows installation disc will do the trick. If you’ve built your own PC, then you should put the Windows disc that you would have got to use. Or else, download the Windows 8 or 8.1 installation media from Windows.