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  • The new new PowerToys are here

    Posted on September 6th, 2019 at 08:04 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Time to resurrect this post from May:

    The rebirth of Windows PowerToys. Not.

    Now we’re hearing about new, new, new PowerToys, which is to say (1) an overlay list of Windows key shortcuts (lame) and (2) a window manager that lets you snap to any location (possibly useful).

    Last May, we were promised the Windows key shortcut utility (which has changed in design since May), and a “Maximize to new desktop” feature, which seems to have fallen by the wayside.

  • Patch Lady – looking for options?

    Posted on September 4th, 2019 at 12:56 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I stumbled across this site the other day:  https://alternativeto.net/ and in particular https://alternativeto.net/software/microsoft-office-suite/

    For those of you looking for alternatives for …. fill in the blank older software that is no longer patched… you may want to check out that site for ideas of alternatives.

  • Patch Lady – Chrome is out…what’s in?

    Posted on September 2nd, 2019 at 15:54 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Have you noticed this too?  Chrome sucks RAM like…. well it reminds me of what my Dad says about one of his cars — it can’t pass a gas station.  Bottom line Chrome lately is demanding RAM memory.  So much so that I’ve seen more and more talk about moving over to another browser.

    The other day at the conference I was at we talked about what is a “comfortable” Windows 10.

    250 Gig SSD

    8 to 16 gigs of RAM (or more if you are in the mood).

    I recently added more ram to my computer by going to crucial.com and getting their recommended upgrade.  Rather than remove the ram that was in my computer, I merely added the RAM to bump it up to 32 gigs.

    Bottom line if you still have a SATA drive, it’s time to upgrade to SSD.  Use a cloning software and a data cable to get the old data from the old drive to the new drive.  Or if you are buying a computer make sure you specifically look for a SSD boot drive.

  • Patch Lady – How to avoid using RDP in Windows

    Posted on August 21st, 2019 at 09:46 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    An important new article from Susan Bradley in CIO Online:

    BlueKeep and DejaBlue are both potent threats. All of the variants depend on using Remote Desktop Services (commonly abbreviated RDP). Susan Bradley takes you through the steps to avoid or hide RDP, particularly in an enterprise.

    I still recommend that you not install the August Windows patches, which include DejaBlue fixes, specifically because they’re throwing errors like flowers at a wedding. (The May patches for BlueKeep are another story entirely. You should’ve installed those long ago.) But if you have RDP enabled on an internet-facing connection, it’s time to shut it off.

    Those of you connected to corporate servers should follow Susan’s advice and figure out an alternative to public-facing RDP. Those of you with standalone computers can take a couple of simple steps:

    In Vista or Win7, click My Computer and choose Computer. At the top, click System properties. On the left, click Remote Settings. You should be on the Remote tab, and the button under Remote Desktop marked “Don’t allow connections to this computer” should be selected. If it isn’t, click it and click OK.

    In Win10, right-click Start and choose System. On the left, choose Remote Desktop. Make sure the slider to Enable Remote Desktop is set Off.

    I’m not going to guarantee that those simple steps will ward off the Blue Evil Eyes, if and when they appear. But they’ll make breaking your system with the Blues just that much harder.

    If you need to get into your system remotely, there are dozens of alternatives. I use the free Chrome Remote Desktop, but my needs are tiny and I’m not overly concerned about Google snooping me even more. If you want the Tesla version, check out Solarwinds from Dameware. – which is $380 per site.

  • Freeware Spotlight — StopUpdates10

    Posted on August 19th, 2019 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    BEST UTILITIES

    By Deanna McElveen

    This year, it seems like installing Microsoft updates is a bit like playing Russian roulette with your computer — or the computers under your care.

    It might be surprising to learn that there are many third-party utilities offering tools to extend update deferrals — we’re happy to host one that actually works: StopUpdates10.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.29.0 (2019-08-19).

  • Kaspersky antivirus places a unique identifier on every website you visit

    Posted on August 16th, 2019 at 15:51 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I still swear by Microsoft Defender.

    Dan Goodin at Ars Technica has the story:

    For almost four years, AV products from Kaspersky Lab injected a unique identifier into the HTML of every website a user visited, making it possible for sites to identify people even when using incognito mode or when they switched between Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

    The JavaScript… was designed to, among other things, present a green icon that corresponded to safe links returned in search results.

    Looks like Kaspersky ended its wayward ways in a June update. Four years later.

  • Freeware Spotlight — Quick Access Popup

    Posted on July 29th, 2019 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    BEST UTILITIES

    By Deanna McElveen

    What is freeware really all about? “Sticking it to the man,” you say? “Why pay for something I can get for free?” “Try before you buy?”

    There are many reasons freeware appeals to PC users — but to my way of thinking, the essence of free software is sharing. Many of the best utilities started out as tools to solve a specific problem or, as the old saying goes, to build a better mousetrap — often an enhancement to some stock Windows feature. And once the developer has a solid, working app, they decide that others might also benefit. And, yes, they might make a few bucks for their time and effort.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.28.0 (2019-07-29).

  • Freeware Spotlight — Eraser

    Posted on July 15th, 2019 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    BEST UTILITIES

    By Deanna McElveen

    When you run a computer repair/IT business such as ours, you’re always looking for software to make your job easier.

    Recently, I was looking for a program that would securely wipe free space on refurbished computers without zapping Windows. I ran across Eraser (developed by Garrett Trant, Joel Low, and Dennis van Lith; more info) and decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.26.0 (2019-07-15).