Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ever what?

Many of my friends know that I recommend Evernote unequivocally. Evernote is my personal repository for all kinds of information, accessible from just about anywhere. Evernote runs on Windows & Mac, iOS & Android, and even as a web application (Windows Phone, PalmOS, BlackBerry, Windows 8 Touch, Safari, Chrome and Firefox too!). Regardless of the platform(s) on which you run Evernote, it keeps your personal information synchronized between all your devices and PCs.

Evernote is incredibly useful, but many first-time users have difficulty understanding what it can do for them and how to use it effectively. Lifehacker has published a great article that walks you through several uses that illustrate what it does and how to do it. Here's another article here that you may also enjoy.

What do I use it for? Keeping track of my web accounts, interactions with customer service reps, all the places I stash my money, scanned contracts and other important documents, project pictures, drawings & documents, tips & how-tos, manuals for my appliances and many, many other bits and pieces of information that I don't want to lose. It's fully searchable, quick & convenient to use and very portable. Try out a free account for yourself, install it on your portable devices and then see what you can do with it.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Plug those holes: web browser plug-ins

Courtesy of How-To Geek, here's a great article about browser plug-ins and how to disable them. You're probably already familiar with Windows and OS X start-up programs and the havoc they can wreak. Browser plug-ins and Internet Explorer's "add-ons" and "browser helper objects" ("BHOs") can be another source of vulnerability and frustration, just like the Java plug-in we've talked about in the last few weeks.

Plug-ins are supposed to add functionality and features to your online web experience. But often, because of poor programming or unforeseen interactions, they can break your browsing experience or worse, expose your PC to attack. How-To Geek has two more articles you might find helpful if you want to tune-up your web browser.

If you'd like an automated tool to help keep your Windows PC clean, try Malware Bytes (free version here). Keep it up-to-date and run it weekly as a complement to your current anti-virus solution. If you'd like a tool that gives you a bit more control over the details, try CCleaner. One caution, CCleaner is an advanced tool for Windows and OS X, so please be careful. I wouldn't want you to cut yourself  Smiley

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Java security problems, again

For the third time in a month, Oracle has issued a new Java security patch. If you use Java, you need to download and then install the new version. Once you've done that you should without fail disable Java in your web browser.

With that out of the way, my primary recommendation is still to remove Java from your systems unless you absolutely need it to run a critical application. For more background on Java security problems, please read my blog post from just a few days ago.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Break any eggs lately?

This is absolutely hilarious. PHB actually seems effective, but don't be fooled.

Dilbert 02-Mar-2013

Curious about Google Search?

Google has published a great article about the plumbing that makes their search engine work. It's pretty simple and straightforward; I'm sure that you'll enjoy it.

If you want to sharpen your Google search skills, take these free online lessons. If you'd just like a quick reference for search operators, you'll find a few good ones here, here and here.

And if you value your search privacy (you should!), use DuckDuckGo as a front-end to your Google searches.

Have fun!