Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ Category

File items in Outlook

27 February 2011

If you have over 20 folders in Outlook, it can be difficult to find a folder.

I would like to recommend Simply File by TechHit. I use this in Outlook 2010 and it supports 2007 and 2003 versions as well.

It provides an easy way to navigate through Outlook and file sent email also.

Extend your wifi signal

28 February 2010

It is often the case that the wireless signal at home or office does not reach every nook and cranny.
Solutions to this are:

1. Upgrade your router to N+ version

Current favourite is the Belkin N+

Or for cable cutomers try this

2. Setup a wireless repeater

This is placed away from your router where is can still receive the signal and then repeat the signal e.g. the Edimax EW-7416APN

The problem with this is that it is quite tricky to setup.

3. Try homeplug technology

This will send a signal through your electricity (providing you only have one electrical circuit) and will then hard wire into another spot.

32 bit versus 64 bit

28 February 2010

Up until the release of Windows 7 in November 2009, most versions on Windows were 32-bit versions. This is now changing – 64-bit architecture is now becoming the common standard and that is a good thing.

64-bit can support more memory than 32 bit (which is typically limited to just 4 gigabytes of memory) – this is crucial since more computers of the future will roll-out with more memory. Also, 64-bit (given the right software) can perform more operations at the same time.

Although 64-bit computers could have been released more commonly with Windows XP, a lot of software did not support 64-bit so it was not practical. Fortunately this has changed and most popular software and devices (such as printers) will now support 64-bit. With the advent of Windows 7, a large number of computer / laptop manufacturers decided to roll out models with 64-bit and I generally recommend you try to go for this unless you are running some very bespoke software that will not support it.

Speed up your Laptop / PC

28 February 2010

Here are some quick tips to improving the speed of your computer:

1. Check disk space available

Click on Start (bottom left) and then “Computer” or “My Computer”
Click on C drive and see how much space is reported to be free
If you have less than 10 gigabytes free, it is already getting quite low. You will either need to delete stuff (see point 2 first) or upgrade the hard disk.

2. Run CC Cleaner

http://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/

CC Cleaner will delete all temporary files on the system and can also perform a registry clean-up. Be careful what you choice to delete – you may not want to delete all your browser cache. This program will also help you monitor all the start-up programs and disable any that are not really needed.

3. Add more memory (RAM = random access memory)

Visit crucial memory (link at the bottom) and run a free online scan – if you have 1 Gigabyte or less in your computer it is probably worth upgrading to 2 or 3 or 4 gigabytes of RAM.

4. Run an external application like Reg Mechanic (see link near top)

I am usually wary about these types of applications but reg mechanic does seem to work well. It has a more thorough registry cleaner that cc cleaner and it can defragment the registry. It can also change the services your computer uses to optimal and minimal. This does cost £29.95 but with discount code Friedman15 the cost goes down to £25.46.

5. Run a disk defrag program once a month

My current favourite is defraggler.

It can take a few hours to run, so best to do this over night. If a computer has more than 10% defragmentation, it is worth running this.

6. Keep your computer virus and spyware free.

Although there is a direct trade-off between additional protection and speed (i.e. the more protection there is running in the background, the slower the computer is), having an infection can be a lot worse.

Anti virus

AVG is free – Antivir is free and Avast is free

Antispyware

Spyware doctor (see link on RHS) is  £29.95 per year, although it drops to £25.46 with discount code friedman15  and you can purchase registry mechanic for with it for an additional £19.95

Laptop charger gone missing!

28 February 2010

A client left his laptop charger on the train.
Usually these are easy to replace – just go to Amazon or similar, search for your laptop make and model and you can typically buy a non genuine charger for £15 – £25.

If you laptop is a non-standard make, getting a replacement charger is far more restrictive. Typically you will need to contact the original supplier if they are still around, or otherwise try a universal charger like this.

The morale of the story: If you travel a lot, it is sensible to get a spare charger when you first purchase you laptop. It can be dedicated to travel and then you have a backup if misplaced.

Anti-Spyware

28 February 2010

 
My new favourite in anti-spyware protection is spyware doctor (see link on RHS). It is very effective but be aware that they charge annually for it (you can probably change this option when purchasing).

I have setup a 15% discount link in partnership with them.
When purchasing, simply click here and then click the option for coupon code and type Friedman15

Yousendit.com

28 February 2010

Recently I noticed people trying to send MASSIVE attachments by email.

When I say massive, I mean 200 Megabyte emails!

On a normal broadband line, such an email would take hours to get sent and then inevitably will bounce back since the recipient mailbox will not accept it!

Anything above 10 megabytes in an email is pretty large. Some mailboxes will not be able to cope and it already clogs up both yours and the recipients’ email program for an unfair amount of time.

With photos, people have been using various photo sites like Kodak and social networking sites like Facebook to upload their photos and then share them. All you do is email the link and then they click it to view – this completely avoids clogging up emails with large attachments.

Another option it a service called yousendit which I have been recommending lately: http://www.yousendit.com/ – it is free to use for single attachments – you simply upload the file and it will generate a link (which is valid for 7 days) in an email to your recipient.

The advantages are:
1. Less clogging up in your sent items and in the recipient in box.
2. It won’t bounce if it is too large.
3. More user friendly to recipient who can download when they want to.

The main disadvantages I can think of: it might require some knowledge on the part of the recipient to know how to download from a link – but it if this is the case, it would not hurt to learn a new skill!