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Controversial Advertising Program Now Being Embedded in More Software

OpenCandy (OC) is an advertising product that some software developers are bundling with their programs. It can now be found in the installers of dozens of popular programs.

OpenCandy employs some controversial techniques in its operation and this has created some heated discussions in Internet forums and blogs. Some say it is adware or spyware while others say it is just another legitimate form of advertising. Whatever, you need to be aware of this product and its potential pitfalls.

How OpenCandy Works

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A Worthy Competitor To Dropbox?

You'll be aware, if you're a frequent visitor to this site, that I'm a huge fan of Dropbox, the online file sharing/sync service.  Copy something to your Dropbox folder on your PC, and it instantly gets synced to the cloud, and also copied to any other computers which are linked to your account and on which you've installed the Dropbox client app.  You can sign up for a free account at, and that gets you 2 GB.  Or do it via my personal referrer link at

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Turn An Old PC Into a Webserver

Have you got an old PC lying around?  Have you ever wondered how easy it would be to turn it into a web server, so you can learn about hosting your own web sites instead of renting space on a commercial server?

Back in 2009 I put together a step-by-step document that explains how to do it, using Ubuntu Server 7.10.  This is now rather out of date, so I've spent the past few days updating it for Ubuntu Server 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), which is available now ahead of its official launch next month.

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This $49 Excel Add-On is Free For Home Users

A lot of people work very hard behind the scenes to bring you Tech Support Alert.  Sure, there are other web sites out there which offer similar claims, and I'd be the first to admit that some of them are very good indeed.  But on the internet, not everything is as good as it seems at first glance.

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An Excellent Free Tool to Shrink Your Digital Images

Image files that you create with a digital camera or scanner can often be rather large.  And there's nothing wrong with that, of course, assuming that you have the hard disk space to store them and back them up.  It's always best to keep the master copies of all your pictures in files that contain as much detail as possible, in order that printed copies will look at their best.

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Dozens Of Online Photo Editing Tools In One Handy Location

There are loads of web sites that offer online facilities to manipulate or otherwise edit your photos.  Some can turn a photo into something that looks more like a painting, as per the example below, while others can blur the image, add a frame or some rounded corners, etc etc.

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Give Your PC Insomnia. Stop It Going To Sleep.

Windows comes with some default power settings, which force the computer to enter sleep mode if you don't press a key or move the mouse for a few minutes.  Generally speaking, these settings work well.  But sometimes you might need to temporarily prevent the computer from sleeping.  For example, if you're downloading a large file or keeping an eye on a particular web page that keeps refreshing itself automatically.

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This IP Address Scanner Quickly Maps Your Home LAN

If you have a home network, then every device on that network will have an IP address.  I just counted up all the devices on my office LAN and there are 18 of them!  A desktop PC, a laptop, a couple of CCTV cameras, the router, a phone, a clever little device for monitoring temperatures around the house, and more besides.

With all that lot, it was definitely time to make a neat list of devices, and tidy up their allocation of IP addresses.

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BufferZone Pro. Was $39.95. Now Free.

Back in December I wrote about a special offer on BufferZone, the security sandbox program that allows you to surf safely on your PC.  Trustware were giving away copies of the Pro version (normally $39.95) until the end of 2010.

You can read my original story at

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