Sometimes there are small factoids that are scattered about, and through a series of complicated decisions (it’s a slow news week), I’ve decided to become the aggregator for them. Rather than concentrate on small facts of larger stories, I’m going to try to stay with things that might otherwise be left behind – but are useful.
• Picasa from Google now has an upper limit to the albums set at 1 GB. Unless you’re putting up huge files, that’s a lot of storage – and like everything else Google, it keeps growing.
• Comodo, makers of the best rated firewall available for the Windows platform, now has a product to help you secure your e-mail, also free (goto ShellCity, or straight to Comodo to get it). Also, the firewall is bundled now, as part of an all-in-one solution, which is nice, but the antivirus is not on par with the best free solutions. Don’t fret if you can’t find the firewall unbundled on the site, just download the combo, and say no to the antivirus install. It will respect your decision.
• Are you aware of the VNUNet website? It’s an English site, and is very, very helpful if you want both news and free software. There is a very large chance that anytime you visit the downloads section of the site, you’ll find some older commercial title, completely free for the download of it, and possibly a license. If you don’t mind a few upgrade offers in your e-mail, you can score some very fine software completely free. I find this a much better place to visit than Download.com, where the garbage level is higher, and the chance of finding anything useful much lower – maybe it’s the English and their lack of toleration of waste, but the site beats most on this side of the pond hands down. If you keep returning to the site, you’ll soon have a complete portfolio of free, commercial software, that does what you need with less fuss than some shareware.
• Not sure where I read this, Google mail addresses actually have an alias. Your firstname.lastname@example.org also works as email@example.com , with on site tools, you can filter out one or the other, saving you from problems when you are trying to get to important information, without searching through stuff for days.
• Remember Lycos? Well, they are still around, and they offer free e-mail accounts, with capacity for all but POTUS or a Congressperson, provided you check it every month or so. Also, I have not noted any outages recently (last 6 months). Sometimes it is good to be less popular than Google or Hotmail.
• The next time you can’t reach a site, rather than pulling out the command line utilities (which you have to look up all the switches for because you use them so infrequently) try this site. It’s called ‘Down for everyone or just me?‘ and will let you know where the problems are, and what you first course of action should be.
• Everyone is always looking for a bargain when shopping online, yet it’s amazing how many don’t know of these sites, to help, when I mention them. Both slickdeals.net and dealnews.com have timely updates on some of the best priced stuff that the tech savvy (and some not so savvy) might want. These deals usually tend to be severely time limited, so check often. (If you already know about these, spread the word to someone else.)
• Having a hard time finding that one little piece of hardware that will make your new computer installation perfect? Many times, the local computer store will not have a clue what you are talking about, or only know that the part you want comes with another vendor’s motherboard, or case, and you can’t order a quantity of one from them. Try Cyberguys, they have all the small stuff you might need, at a fair price. You may spend a long time looking through what they have, as they don’t always call something by the same name everyone else does, but persistence will pay off!
That’s all for now, if anything else occurs to me, I’ll add it. Also, you can offer suggestions to be added.