Safe and Secure Internet Surfing

I started my research on this blog entry thinking I was going to give you an easy, free solution to make sure you are secure when surfing from an un-secure Internet connection. First let's discuss the problem we're trying to solve. Whenever you connect to the Internet over a network that others have access to, you open yourself up for others to track and intercept your habits and data. This is called a "man-in-the-middle" attack.

Take for example a free wireless hotspot. You and anyone else can get on this network (Is your home wireless network secure?). With an easy to find program, another user on the network can pose as the host, and all your data will pass right through their computer for easy intercept. Another very common place for this to occur is in hotels. Even though you may have a wired connection, again anyone else on the network can potentially fool your computer into being the host and intercept your data. Of course this is never known to the poor indivi…

The Best, Free CD and DVD Burner

I was provided a used laptop at my new job a few months back, and I was surprised when I did not find a pre-installed CD burning software such as Sonic or Roxio. This led me on a hunt to find something for free; I ended up with CDBurnerXP. I was quite impressed with how easy to use CDBurnerXP is to use -- the screens are very intuitive and helpful.

When creating a data disk, you get a Windows Explore like view on the top half of the screen, where you can navigate to the files you want to burn and drag them to the bottom half of the screen. Seems obvious and simple, but not all programs work so well. As I add my files, a bar across the bottom shows how much space I've used; if I exceed the capacity of my disc, the background color changes from green to red.

To create an audio disk is very similar, except the bottom half shows my tracks and their details. CDBurnerXP makes it very easy to drag and drop audio tracks to put them in the order you desire. If you want to sample a file, you …

Get ebooks and audio books for free

If you enjoy reading, you know that the cost of getting new books can add up quickly. For the commuters who listen to books, purchasing new audio books is nearly prohibitive. If you fall into one of these groups, you might find Project Gutenberg to be a great resource.
Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today. Imaging going to a never ending bookshelf to pick your next book to read. Project Gutenberg is a volunteer organization working to make every public domain (copyright-free) book available in electronic form. Unfortunately copyright law has changed since Project Gutenberg was started. While a book used to be public domain 28 years after written, the law now says the author must be dead for 50 years. Nevertheless, there is quite a collection of interesting books available -- 25,000…

Open My Computer view to Explorer View

before I find that the My Computer view is much less helpful when interacting with files than the Explorer view. By default, when you click on My Computer or My Documents, and folder and drive shortcuts, the left pane contains links to Make a new folder, Publish this folder..., and other not-so-helpful links. I like the Explorer view which has a tree of all folder, open to the folder that I've selected.. Well, with an easy Registry change, the behavior of My Computer and the like can be changed to open in an Explorer view. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell and set the default value (Value data) to "explorer" -- that's it.


Word and Excel files wont open unless application already open

I recently started having a problem where my Excel 2003 and Word 2003 files would not open when clicked, unless Excel and/or Word was already open. If the application wasn't open, it would open the application, but not load the file. I did quite a bit of searching, but couldn't seem to find the right answer. Some sites recommended checking a setting to Ignore other applications -- a setting that wasn't even available in Word.

Turns out for both applications, it was the Addins that were causing troubles. To remove the offending Addin, you need to edit the Registry. Here's the process I used.
Go to Start > Run..., enter regedit, and click OK.Go to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Word\ Addins.Right-click on Addins and select Export. This will let you re-import the keys.Delete the individual Addins one at a time, testing each time to find the offending Addin.Once you identify the offending Addin, re-import all Addin keys, and delete only th…

Convert date format of CSV and import to MS Access

Similar to my prior post on Convert Date/Time Format with MS Access, this explains how to take a date in dd/mm/yyyy format and convert it to mm/dd/yyyy, so that MS Access will recognize it. It takes just a few easy steps:
Assume you start with your data in CSV format, the first step is to Import the data into Access (File > Get External Data > Import...). When importing the date field, import it as text, therefore loading all the data into your database.Create a Query to convert your date data and change from text to date format.
From Design View, add all the fields except the field with your date data that you want converted.Insert a new field, and add (Build...) the following formula (see explanation and picture below):
NEW_DATE: CDate(Mid$([DATE],4,3) & Left$([DATE],3) & Right$([DATE],4))Run the query to validate that the formula is entered correctly.Once verified, change the Query Type to a Make-Table Query.
Give it a nameRun the queryConfirm the number of new rowsOpen y…

Fix crashing iPhone Apps

I discovered an easy fix to crashing iPhone Apps... turn Airplane Mode on and off or shut your iPhone off and on. By doing this, your iPhone re-establishes itself with the cell phone network. This reminds me of troubles I used to have with my old Sprint phone -- the longer I had it on, the more likely I would have problems with dropped calls. According to Sprint at the time, the cell phone needs to periodically re-establish itself with the cell database. This seems to have worked for me with the iPhone, as my crashes were always occurring when the iPhone was interacting over the network, such as trying to establish my location.

Note that I have a first generation iPhone on firware 2.0.1. Let me know if this works for you or not.