Tech Treats

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This category is reserved for finds by our Editor Rhiannon Dent.

Items should consist of at least two paragraphs.

The first should be a "teaser" paragraph. This paragraph will be automatically published in our RSS feed. It should state the nature of the find and the benefits without mentioning the product name or providing a product link. For example:

"For months I've been looking for a good way of deleting 'undeletable' files. Finally I've discovered a free utility that does the job reliably and simply."

The second paragraph should at the very least, expand the benefits, name the product and provide a product link. For example:

"Unlocker is a tiny 230KB utility that works with Windows 2000 and XP. Vista users are out of luck. Just right click on the 'undeletable file', select 'Delete with Unlocker' from the context menu and next time you boot the file will be gone for good."

You can have a third paragraph if you wish; indeed as many as you like. However there must at least be a second paragraph after the opening "teaser" paragraph.

Awesome Images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s First Five Years

Check out these impressive images sent from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is five years old this week, and Wired magazine has a great article with all kinds of interesting information and a selection of their favorite Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) images.
The page has an option to view all 14 images on one page, just click the "view all" link towards the end of the article. Otherwise the page displays as a gallery showing one image at a time, something that anyone with low bandwidth can appreciate.

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Stolen WiFi: How To Check and What To Do If Your WiFi Is Being Pilfered

Checking your WiFi can bring surprises - here's how to handle them.

Many of us might not notice if someone is using our Wifi without permission; learn how to check if someone is using your Wifi, and what steps you can take to stop it.
I've never checked our WiFi connection to see if anyone is using it - if our bandwidth is exceeded our ISP sends out an email and throttles our speed for a some time. A more reliable way of testing (and fixes) can be found in this article.

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How To Detect Drivers for Unknown Devices in Windows

Banish the 'Unknown Device' message in Windows using this handy tip.

If I knew this tip years ago, it would have saved me uncounted hours of trying to track drivers.
I wouldn't have had my head inside many a computer case with a flashlight trying to find some obscure number printed on a piece of hardware.
Thanks to this article, I won't be doing that anymore.

If you've ever had the 'Unknown Device' message pop up and weren't sure what to do with it, you need to read this article.

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Worms, Trojans and Malware: What Are All Those Security Words and What Do They Mean?

Get descriptions of the more common types of things that infect computers and networks.

This article has a nicely done compilation of words that are used when the topic is computer security.
Easy and clear reading including definitions of these terms:

  • Malware
  • Spyware
  • Adware
  • Rootkits
  • Virus
  • Trojans
  • Worms

The definitions are all drawn from Wikipedia - you could look them up yourself but this a nice presentation.

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How To Make Your Programs Open Maximized

If you like program windows to open large this tip tells you how.

Most Windows programs open in a normal window, which fills part of the screen.
You can also have them open maximized, where they fit the screen but leave taskbars etc. visible.
Sure, you can use one of the buttons in the upper right corner to make windows smaller and larger, but if you'd rather have some (or all) of your programs open large all the time this is a fast and easy tip.

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Turn Your Computer, Netbook or Notebook into an eBook Reader in 4 Easy Steps

Get the eBook reader interface and ease of use minus the iPad or Kindle.

If you don't want to purchase yet another device or you just aren't interested in them, try this alternative.
Pick one of the free eBook programs from the list, follow the directions in the article, and you'll have a nice collection
of eBooks instead of a bunch of PDF files.

Turn Your Laptop, Netbook, or Desktop into an eBook Reader

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10 Websites That Help Kids Spell Words Right

Improve your kids spelling using these ten fun spelling bee sites.

You don't have to want to enter a spelling bee to enjoy these sites, they are also a great way to increase vocabulary and spelling skills. Spelling bees are programs where kids compete to see who spells the most words correctly.

Stack of Dictionaries

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10 Ways to Use Linux to Fix Your Windows PC

Did you know that Linux can fix a variety of Windows PC problems? It can. Here's how.

One of the lesser known tools to repair some Windows issues, Linux can be a lifesaver when you think your computer is haunted and it refuses to work properly.
I've come across many an article that mentions you can use Linux as a repair tool.
That's terrific, but what does it fix and how do you do it?

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Download Office 2010 Training Courses for Free

Microsoft Office 2010 Logo

Get free, downloadable versions of  training courses for Office 2010.
View courses for Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Powerpoint, Project, SharePoint Server, SharePoint Workspace, Visio and Word 2010. Here's a few sites with useful Office 2010 tips and tricks:

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25 Handy Google Search Tips and Tricks

This TechRadar article has handy tips and tricks to improve Google search results and make browsing more fun if you aren't looking for something specific.

You can check the latest stories on Twitter and Facebook, use the Wonder Wheel to browse by subject, sort by time (very handy if you have a time frame for something), use the cache if a site is down and other interesting Google tips.

Google ninjas will probably know all or most of these, the rest of us can probably find a few new things to use.:)

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