Author Archive

Save Money with Free Software Programs

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

piggy bankThese are some of the best computer software programs, as ranked by the readers of the tech blog Lifehacker. And not only are these programs highly rated, but every program mentioned in this list is free. That’s right, FREE. And since most of us are thinking twice about spending these days, that is good news indeed!

Free Software Alternatives:

Do you have a favorite free software program? Let us know in the comments!

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10 Quick Computer Tips and Tricks

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Some people seem to know all the tricks — how to do things faster, or make them easier. Here are ten computer tricks to try!

  1. You can double-click a word to highlight it in almost any document, e-mail or Web page. Triple clicking will select a block of text.
  2. In Windows, you can switch from one open program to another by using the shortcut Alt+Tab. (Hold down the ALT key and press the TAB key at the same time.) For Macs, the shortcut is Command+Tab.
  3. You can minimize all windows and show the computer desktop by holding down the Windows key and pressing the D key at the same time. Press the Windows+D key combination again to return to what you were doing. On Macs, press F11 (and on recent Mac laptops, Command+F3; Command is the key with the cloverleaf logo).
  4. You can tap the Space bar to scroll down on a Web page one screen at a time. Use SHIFT+SPACEBAR to scroll back up.
  5. Pressing the HOME key will move you to the top of a webpage. Press END to move to the bottom of the page.
  6. Press BACKSPACE to go back a webpage (just like clicking the back arrow). SHIFT+BACKSPACE will go forward a webpage.
  7. Here’s one for entering web addresses: Type google in the address bar and then press CTRL+ENTER. This shortcut adds the http://www. in front of it and the .com behind it, and proceeds to go to that address.
  8. CTRL + a number key will jump to another tab when you have multiple tabs open in your browser. CTRL+2 takes you to the second tab, for example.
  9. CTRL+E will move your cursor to the search bar in Internet Explorer. (For Firefox, use CTRL+K).
  10. CTRL+L will move your cursor to the address bar in Firefox. In Internet Explorer, it opens a box where you can type the web address.

Thanks to David Pogue at the New York Times, who first blogged about tech tips. You can read more computer tips and tricks here.

What are your favorite computer tips and tricks?

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KeePass: Managing Your Passwords

Thursday, October 30th, 2008


How many passwords do you have? Do you have a hard time remembering all of them?

KeePass is a free, open source password manager — and it’s easy to use! All of your passwords are stored in one database, which is secured with one master password or a key file (or both, for the greatest security). The master password is the only thing you need to remember to unlock the database. The databases are encrypted using the most secure encryption algorithms available — the same ones used by banks, for example.

KeePass has fields for username, password, URL and notes. The program can store an unlimited number of passwords, which can be organized in folders or groups. It can even generate random passwords for you! KeePass also has a nifty function called auto-type that can open an URL and fill in your login information — with just one click!

KeePass can be installed on a computer, but it is also a portable program. It can be transported on a flash drive for secure access to your passwords from any computer with a USB port. Keepass works with Windows, Linux, and MacOSX. There are even versions for PocketPC, Smartphone, Symbian, BlackBerry, and PalmOS.

Read a review of KeePass or try it yourself!

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Online Productivity Applications

Friday, September 26th, 2008


Zoho Writer

Google Docs

Online productivity applications allow users to create and share documents over the internet. Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations — these can all be done using web-based applications like Zoho and Google Docs. Your documents are stored online and can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection.

Forgot to take your flash drive to the library and can’t print your resume? No problem if you’ve saved it to Zoho! Wrote your paper at school in Word 2007 and can’t open it with Word 2003 at home? Google Docs to the rescue! One advantage to using web-based applications is that you don’t have to worry about different software versions or file types. You can email files or move from one computer to another — the documents go wherever you go! You can even share a file with several people and work on it together.

Check out Zoho or Google Docs to learn more about online productivity applications! 

Note: If you use Gmail, Google Docs is already built into your account. Just click on the Documents link at the top of the screen.

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