Nearly all broadband Internet accounts come with storage on the ISP's servers, but I'll wager not one in 10 broadband users ever store anything there. That's a shame, especially if you find yourself schlepping a USB thumbdrive or rewritable CD full of your personal files from computer to computer. There are dozens of free utilities out there that make transferring files between your local PC and an FTP or Web server as easy as dragging and dropping. The two I've been using are the open-source FileZilla FTP client, and 2Brightsparks' SyncBack, which is also available in … Read more
Since I started synchronizing my e-mail inboxes a few months ago, I rarely even open my Outlook mail client. I much prefer seeing the messages sent to my ISP's POP account and those sent to my Gmail account together in my Gmail inbox. But I still have to open Outlook to view my calendar, which I've been using for years, even though I now put many of my nonwork appointments in Google Calendar, which I can access from my iPhone or any Internet-connected PC.
I thought I found a free program that would let me synchronize the two … Read more
Readers to the rescue!
The first thing you learn when you write about technology is that the people who read your stuff are smarter than you'll ever be. So let me start by saying "Thank you" to all the Linux users who responded to last Friday's post on my travails trying to get Ubuntu 7.10, or "Gutsy Gibbon," to recognize my Linksys WPC300N wireless adapter.
The first suggestions I tried were the ones that didn't entail installing a new app, though ultimately a free download was the fastest and simplest solution. I … Read more
I can live without Microsoft Word, and I'm confident I could manage well enough if you removed Excel from my PC. Even my favorite e-mail app is a nonessential.
But take away my browser, and I might as well not even start up my PC.
Mozilla Firefox is the first program I open and the last one I close each workday (or worknight, as the case may be). I found some great time-savers for the program. And since many of you prefer Internet Explorer, I've got some productivity-enhancing keyboard shortcuts for both browsers.
A friend took me to task for recommending that people use Gmail as a central repository for all their e-mail. (The fact that he works for Yahoo is purely coincidental.)
"Sure, let Google read all your mail and serve up ads based on the content," he said. "Nothing wrong with that." The fact is, I consider everything I do online--searching, browsing, shopping, e-mail, video-viewing, you name it--as public as anything I do on Main Street in midday. That doesn't mean I don't take precautions to protect my credit card numbers and other private information … Read more
What am I, nuts?
Removing the antivirus software from your PC goes against conventional wisdom, but a lot of conventional wisdom is bunk, especially when it comes to technology.
Two of the five PCs on my home network have been without AV software for six months, ever since I made the mistake of loading the beta of Windows Live OneCare 2 on my home network. This stellar example of the programming art brought my entire network to its knees in a matter of minutes. After three days of repairs, my network was working again, but I realized that two of … Read more