Tech Treats

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This category is reserved for finds by our Editor Rhiannon. 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 230 KB utility that works with Windows 2000 up to Windows 10. 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.

21 Great Tips For Using Microsoft Word 2007/2010

Microsoft Word is a complex program that can do thousands of things.
I've dabbled with it over the years, doing small, easy things. When Word 2007 was released it had a new interface, called the Ribbon. I can't comment on whether the Ribbon is an improvement or not, but I can pass along some sites with tips to help you work with the newer versions of Word. Most of these tips work with Word 2007 and Word 2010. If something applies to only one version it's mentioned in the article.

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Sounds You Don't Want To Hear: Failing Hard Drives

Failing hard disk drives will often (but not always) make distinctive noises. Here's an excellent compilation of the sounds they make.

This is a great list of the various kinds of sounds that hard disk drives make when they are failing.
The sounds are grouped by manufacturer, with the sounds that you really don't want to hear listed for each vendor - Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung, Hitachi/IBM, Maxtor, Fujitsu, Toshiba, and Quantum.

Just click on the circle with the triangle inside next to the link to hear the sound for that manufacturer.

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Are You Missing System Restore Points in Windows Vista and 7? Try these tips.

Try one of these three tips if you're having trouble with System Restore.

I've seen a few error messages over the years that say my computer couldn't be restored using system restore. Some reasons I could track down, but for the most part the whole issue has remained a mystery.
It's less mysterious now, and if that message appears again I know where to look for answers.

Fix Missing System Restore Points in Windows Vista and 7

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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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