Category Archives for Media Player

Pc Booster Review

PC Booster is a popular computer optimization program that will help you speed up your computer to it’s fastest possible speed. Just startup PC Booster and let it go to work speeding up your computer.

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Requirements:

Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP in 32bit versions

Pros: PC Booster does these tasks very well

– Fully automatic tune up of your PC with just a few mouse clicks.

– Eliminate and Prevent most PC crashes by optimizing resource usage.

– Auto recovery of Memory that Windows steals from your computer.

– Boost and optimize your Internet speed for faster surfing.

– Clean hundreds of unwanted garbage files from your hard disk.

– Protect your privacy by deleting up ‘cookies’ which are IDs left over from your Internet surfing.

– Make your CD-ROM run at a faster speed. Enhance your enjoyment of multimedia, VCD’s, DVD’s and game play.

– Add/remove Windows Start Menu Options. Customize your default ‘My Documents’ folder, remove ‘Favorites’, ‘Windows

– Update’ options and more customizations.

– Enable Fast Shutdown and auto close of non-responding applications.

– Real time memory usage monitoring graph.

– CPU Stability Test to make sure that your system is stable.

– Fully configurable for power users.

– Extensive documentation and instant context help.

Improve the performance of the following software on your PC:

Outlook Express

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Excel

Internet Explorer

AOL Browser

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Front Page

Windows Media Player

Cons:

No cons to list. The software can be very beneficial to the stability of your system by providing improved performance.

Guarantee: PC Booster comes with a NO RISK Love-It-or-Leave-It 60 Day Guarantee.

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PC Booster is published by Inkline Global

Back To Work

Does anyone else find it hard to pick up work after vacationing? Having completed a weeks worth of vacation I am back to the grind….well….sort of.

I am using this day to read up on new stories and technologies for new content on the site. Please bare with me while I compose myself and get my head out of the vacation cloud. Of course this is not easily done…

As you can see from the last post we are now taking posted questions to better serve our users. As well I would like to add if there is a new technology or concern you would like for me to address please post a comment to this blog. I would be happy to research and address topics for our users.

After all….It is you the end user for which we create the content.

Windows Media Center

Windows Vista Media Center is available in the Home Premium and Ultimate editions and has been upgraded significantly, including a overhaul of the user interface.

Manage or playback recorded TV, play DVD’s and now you can watch online entertainment or use your internal TV tuner card for content. Created to be an all in one interface for media content Media Center tracks your content including any music files for easy content search and playback.

Having used the Vista Media Center I like the layout and feel of the interface. Of course if using the online content it is likely it will be more easily viewable with a broadband connection. If this is a selling point feature of Vista for your particular needs you may want to contact your ISP to inquire about broadband connectivity.

Other features of Windows Media Center include:

Support for two dual-tuner cards

Native DVD/MPEG-2 support

Addition of Movies and DVD button which lists all the movies on the hard drive and DVD.

Tasks button that provides access to jobs such as setting up and configuring a media center extender device.

Any video playing is overlaid on the background of the user interface, if the UI is navigated while the video is

still playing.

Support for high-definition (HD) content, and Cable CARD support.

Vista Parental controls

Finally Microsoft added a feature that is much easier to use than previous utilities to help parents monitor youth activities.

Although features such as this have previously been embedded into the Windows operating system it is not until now that they have been so easy to use. If you have ever configured the Internet Explorer content adviser you know what I am talking about. Another aspect to these utilities that were previously not available are the reporting features.

Microsoft has embedded all the previously available utilities into an easy to use interface and added some new unique features.

With the release of Vista you now have the following abilities to monitor and control how your children interact with the computer and the Internet.

Web restrictions.

 You can restrict the websites that children can visit, make sure children only visit age-appropriate websites, indicate whether you want to allow file downloads, and set up which content you want the content filters to block and allow. You can also block or allow specific websites.

Time limits.

You can set time limits to control when children are allowed to log on to the computer. Time limits prevent children from logging on during the specified hours and, if they are already logged on, they will be automatically logged off. You can set different logon hours for every day of the week.

Games.

You can control access to games, choose an age rating level, choose the types of content you want to block, and decide whether you want to allow or block unrated or specific games.

Allow or block specific programs.

You can prevent children from running programs that you don’t want them to run.

Finally you don’t have to purchase a third party application to monitor and control access to content. Being a father myself I can definitely say I will be interested in learning more about how well parental controls work. I hope Microsoft continues to develope this new utility.
 

DVD to Zune

Want to watch your DVD’s on your zune?

I got a zune for christmas this past year and have just now got around to messing with it. It’s a pretty cool little gadget. I got all my mp3s onto the zune rather easily but getting movies from my DVD’s was not easy at all.

I couldn’t figure out how to get my DVD movies on the zune at all. So I searched google thoroughly and downloaded several different pieces of software before finding one that made it easy.

DVD to zune by dvdXsoft won hands down. It was the only dvd to zune converter that was easy to use and worked without any problems. If you want to save your time instead of downloading several other titles that will probably disappoint you as they did me then simply take my advice and download the free trial version of DVD to zune now.

This program has the best image and sound quality when converting to watch on the zune and I have tried at least 7 different ones extensively. Save yourself some frustration and

Download a free trial version of DVD to zune

Best security practices for PC users

When you purchase a new computer and install it out of the box you hunger to get operational and active.

What you don’t know about security can be your downfall.

In today’s computing environment including but not limited to Internet browsing you must consider security measures to protect your data and your computer.

Vulnerabilities can include email, communication ports, wireless networking, spy ware, viruses, and securing the computer from local access.

We will review each in detail in this series. This article is designed to help protect you and your computer in hopes your computing experience will be a more pleasurable and safer one.

1. Email

As a rule when dealing with incoming email regardless of what email client you use you should generally never open an email if you do not know the party the email was generated from.

Your email client should be set to prevent attachments from being displayed or opened unless confirmed by you. Attachments can be set as executable and malicious software can be installed on your local machine.

A good way to prevent some of these entities is to have in place a good Spam blocking utility. Spam blockers can detect most types of spam that are used to either gain entry or used in phishing scams. You may ask yourself: What is phishing? Phishing is a practice used to gain information you may not consider valuable. In many cases this information can be used by the entity to obtain more valuable information about you for the purposes applying for loans, credit cards and other financial gains in your name.

Another practice to keep is anytime you use your email client you should not send valuable information such as drivers license numbers, user names or passwords for accounts(of any type). One practice that is widely used by scammers is to send an email that looks as though it is from a financial institution requesting that you update your account information. Once the information is sent you have now granted them access to the proposed account.

Setting rules to your email client can help prevent these as well. Rules are a way for your email client to detect certain words, domains or email addresses in the email and a subsequent action being taken by the email client such as deleting it automatically. Rules must be configured manually by the user for each email account. The configuration must be monitored and adjusted accordingly as tactics constantly change.

2. Internet communication ports

There is no basic way for you as a computer user to know which ports are open and dangerous on your computer. In order for you to protect yourself from these types of entry you will need to implement a firewall whether it be a hardware or software firewall. When using a firewall: remember they require constant monitoring and configuration.

Firewalls are only configured for basic prevention out of the box. Unless you purchase a monitored firewall software that receives frequent updates and rules. You must constantly stay updated on what ports are being used by hackers, viruses and other malicious code.

One of the easiest ways to keep your computer safe from entry is to use the Windows automatic update feature. Microsoft is constantly patching and reconfiguring the Windows operating system to block vulnerabilities. You must insure your Windows version is set either to automatically retrieve these updates or you need to check the Microsoft update site at least once every two weeks to insure your version is up to date. Remember if you reinstall Windows for any reason all past updates received will need to be reapplied.

You can check your version of Windows to insure you are receiving automatic updates by opening the control panel. Select the system icon and double click the icon. Select the automatic updates tab and review your current settings. If you have scheduled your system for automatic updates and installation make sure you set this action for an appropriate date and time your computer will be in use.

3. Wireless networking

Wireless networks are considerably vulnerable to entry. If not configured properly your wireless network can be used to obtain information and gain access to your local computer.

When configuring your wireless router or access point the easiest thing to do is to disable SSID broadcast. This prevents other wireless network cards from detecting its presents.

You should always change the default user name, password and SSID set by the manufacturer on your wireless unit. The default information is shared by other hardware produced by the manufacturer. This is an easy way to gain access if the information is not altered.

Use encryption on your wireless unit. This may look a little scary and prevent you from configuring your encryption as manufacturers use many acronyms to describe each security encryption type. There are several encryption types available for use. No one encryption type is 100% secure, but in conjunction with other security measures they can be used to maintain a formidable security policy. Just remember when configuring your wireless device that manufacturers publish extensive how to articles on their website for your review. As well when you purchase new hardware the user typically receives an allotted time of free support. Whether this is done through the internet or phone support the manufacturer will be willing to provide their customers the appropriate support for configuration.

Note: This should be considered and verified when selecting wireless hardware and before purchasing new hardware.

Mac filtering is a very secure way of preventing access to your wireless network. Mac address filtering pertains to the MAC address of your wireless card. Every network card has a physical address and every address is unique. Designating which MAC addresses can connect to your device prevents all others from obtaining access. The MAC address of your network card is printed on the device and may be named as “Physical address”. If you cannot find the address you may as well open the control panel and choose network connections. Right click the wireless device and select the status button. On the opened status window select the support tab and the MAC or physical address is listed.

Another security technique used is to disable the DHCP functionality or your wireless device and assign static IP addresses to each computer that will connect through wireless. This will prevent your wireless device from assigning an IP address to unknown devices.

Note: Your wireless access point may not have DHCP capabilities.

When configuring your wireless network there is an option to add a computer to the “DMZ”. The DMZ is known as the de militarized zone and leaves the specified computer unprotected (This true for all router devices). You should never use this option. If you need a particular port open to run web based software or gaming software you should contact the manufacturer of the software for the specified port and then open only that specified port if your software is not functioning properly.

Anytime your computers are not being used they have no need for Wireless capabilities. You should disconnect the wireless units power. Access cannot be obtained when the device is powered off.

4. Spyware or adware

Spyware software was originally used to track habits of Internet browsing for the purpose of aiding companies in delivering more attractive ways of driving traffic to their websites.

In more recent times this software is used for delivering pop up advertisements, tracking your movements and can be used to deliver other more harmful types of software such as viruses. These types of software are common and typically delivered as tracking cookies.

There are many sites that use more harmful types. Typically these sites offer free entry and use of their software for on line gaming or other purposes. A good practice is to avoid these types of sites and advertisements.

You should add a good spyware scan utility to your arsenal which will help maintain your security. When selecting a spy ware scan utility insure your purchase includes automatic updates of the program and definition files as well as a scheduling feature. Having the ability to schedule scans and updates will help keep user maintenance to a minimum.

The best practice would be to have a couple of lines of defense here. In my experience no one single utility has been able to identify every type of spy ware or ad ware infection. I would recommend using a free spy ware utility in conjunction with your purchased software. You should scan your system for spy ware at least once every week (dependent upon your Internet activity habits you may require more or less frequent scans).

5. Viruses

Most don’t realize how vulnerable they are to viruses. If you own a PC you should own good virus protection software. Not only own a good software title but as well the software must be maintained through updates. Most manufacturers publish updates to their virus detection database weekly. If you own virus protection software it is a must to configure automatic updates on a weekly basis. The manufacturer of your software can provide you with the date of published updates in order for to configure the date and time of your automatic update.

Setting a full system scan is very important. You should scan your PC every time an update is made available. If you decide to configure scheduled scans it should coincide with the date the published update is made available and after the update is applied. As well you should designate exactly what to scan and what not to scan. Make sure when designating what to scan if you use external drives or partitioned drives that they are included in the scan.

When purchasing your virus protection a few things need to be considered before deciding which title to buy.

1. Does it have email protection?

2. Does it protect your instant messaging software from allowing infection?

3. Does it have spyware detection capabilities?

4. Does it block against internet worm viruses?

If the virus software you are considering does not protect against of these types of infection move to another title for consideration.

Remember: Virus software licenses are typically good for one year from the date of purchase. You must renew your license in order to receive further updates and maintain protection.

6. Securing the local Computer from being accessed

The first thing to consider is implementing an account password. Most people use passwords that can be easily remembered such as a birth date. If it’s easy for you to remember it may be easily guessed by another user. Passwords should be at least eight characters and should include upper, lowercase letters as well as numbers. Implementing this strategy will prevent most software titles that can be run to obtain your passwords from completing this action easily. You should frequently change passwords as well. Not just your user account password on the local machine but as well you should alternate passwords to secure websites or passwords for internet accounts.

Your computer can be accessed easily if you walk away for even a moment. If your PC is accessible by other users you should configure a screensaver password with the same guide lines as the password for your user account. This can be easily done by opening the control panel and choosing the display icon. On the screen saver tab select the item that states “on resume, display log on screen” or “require password”. Set the wait time for one minute and select apply. This will activate your screen saver after your computer is idle for one minute. The screen saver will only activate if the computer is idle or has no activity for one minute.

The same guidelines that apply for powering down your wireless unit when not in use apply to the local machine as well.

If you decide to document your passwords for accounts (of any type) this documentation should be kept in a secure location.

When considering these guidelines you must remember: Computers, security techniques and practices evolve constantly just as the strategies of intrusion do. It is a priority that you maintain your knowledge of prevention to keep your data and computer operating system safe.

 

Windows media player 11 problems

It seems when people are converting to Windows media Player 11 they are experiencing many issues. These issues range from not playing content at all to not being able to utilize memory card storage functions.

One way to insure you do not experience errors is to read the “Before installing Windows media player 11” document posted by Microsoft. I know….who needs directions right?

These directions are created to lessen the chances of major issues from installation as well as to help you back up your media files and information. I am including the link to this article. If you are considering upgrading it’s wise to read this document. As well you may want to read some forums information on issues being experienced when using Windows media player 11. This will help you identify issues if you experience any after upgrading.

Windows Media Player 11 before installing read this

To help arm yourself and prepare for any issues you might experience I am including a link to the Windows media player knowledge base. This link includes known issues as well as trouble shooting guides. If you experience any issues after upgrading to media player 11 be sure to visit this link.

Microsoft knowledge base Media Player 11
http://support.microsoft.com/ph/7763#tab0

One thing to consider for any Microsoft product is signing up for the RSS feeds. This can be done through Outlook or Internet Explorer 7. Signing up for the various feeds will give you instant access to all new issues encountered as well as how to address the errors.

I know we all hate having to read directions, but it’s in our best interest. You can get a membership to PC Registry Cleaner for help with Windows medial player problems. They will help you fix any computer problems you have with free computer tech support if you have an active  membership. Try it now