Thursday, July 15, 2010

Microsoft Wireless Explorer Mouse

This was the first wireless piece of equipment that I purchase for my computer over a year ago.

It plug and played very easily on my new system, but the old one took some fiddling around with the mouse options in the control panel several times to get it working.

Not sure why as they are both running the same operating system with all of the same software programs installed on them.

One is an old IBM, and the other is a Dell - must be something about the IBM that didn't recognize it.

This mouse has a rechargeable docking station, and each charge is supposed to last three weeks.

That must be for the average computer user.

Mine has to be charged every night and sometimes it even needs it during the day.

Even though, I love this five button wireless mouse.

It can be used on any surface and the buttons are programmable to what you would like them to do.

A big time and click saver for me.

I have found though, that this mouse just stops works for no apparent reason at all in the middle of using it.

It just freezes on the screen - no moving around or mouse buttons working.

Sticking on the charging dock doesn't help it.

Tapping it on the desk top doesn't do anything either.

But I have found that removing the rechargeable battery and letting it sit that way for a few minutes, then putting it all back together again, fixes that problem.

Works perfectly again.

Perhaps it just needs a break - don't we all sometimes!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Networking Computers

I am a stickler for my Windows XP operating system.

I have many programs that I use for my business, and to upgrade them to work with Vista or 7 is just way too costly.

I was thinking about buying a laptop to use in the living room, so I could get away from my workstation.

But I could only use it for "playing" since I couldn't use any of my software on it.

Since I had an older machine with all I needed on it, I decided to set that one up in the other room - the new flat screen monitors make it easy to do this in smaller spaces.

And then I could network it with the main computer.

XP has all the capabilities to do this through our ethernet box.

I used this website to set up the computers.

For some reason, I didn't have to set up the internet protocol in order to get it to work.

I am thinking it is because I had to do something along those lines when I first connected all our computers to the internet through the DSL router.

It is great to sit in the living room in the evening and still be able to access my shared files on my main machine.

Just remembering to keep it on and not turn it off as I leave the office for the evening is another thing though!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tackling the Fake Windows Security Center Malware

Last weekend had me tackling this tough piece of malware again.

The first attack was in January of this year on my son's computer.

We spent almost a day figuring it out.

And I decided that the program that worked to remove it should be installed on all our systems.

Regular anti-virus programs and firewalls are all ignorant of it.

This is a mean piece of malware that takes over the computer.

It easily installs itself from an infected website, and once you get the fake "Windows Security Alert" it is too late.

It doesn't look like a fake, and they want you to click on the links they provide telling you that you need to buy the software to "fix" and "secure" your computer.


There will be several other windows popping up and sliding up and down along the bottom that are meant to scare you.

What you need to do, is go to this website:, and follow the directions they provide.

They also have screen shots of what the pop-ups look like so you can familiarize yourself with them.

The one we tackled this weekend was much harder to remove than the one we had earlier in the year.

I am thinking it has morphed into a tougher rogue, and it recognized the software we had previously installed to remove it.

Unlike the first time, it had completely taken over the computer - we couldn't get online at all or use any program in the machine.

I was able to load the new Malwarebytes program on a flash drive and reinstall it into the infected machine once I had disabled all the start up options.

It works like a charm, and it cleans all the trojan files off the computer.

Just remember to keep it updated and run it occasionally as you do your anti-virus program.

I use the free version, but am giving some thought to the paid version.

The paid one would have caught it before it infected the computer.

But I have had conflicts in the past that slow down the computer once all these "safety" programs are all running.

Will just play it by ear for the time being.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Another Blog

Just what I need is another blog to take up more time from my already stretched way-too-thin day.

Well, I think this one is a necessary one.

I am not a computer expert by any stretch of the imagination.

I have had no official training or schooling.

Just the school of hard knocks in the computer world for me.

All I have learned has been by hands-on.

Many years ago, I was very intimidated by these machines.

Afraid to use it because I might break it.

Afraid to change anything in it because I might break it.

Almost afraid to touch it - and you know why.

Well, using, adding, changing, and touching does mess things up at times.

But if I was going to keep this machine and use it to build a business, then I had better know something about it.

Trial and error has taught me a lot.

The internet and searches taught me even more.

The answers are all out there, but some of them are pretty hard to find.

Most things are pretty simple though, especially these days with the plug and play capabilities.

Heck, they almost take care of themselves.

And that is a scary thought at times - remember 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I will share what I have found and used to keep my systems running over the years.

Nothing too fancy or technical.

Mostly links to places I have found useful

Some tips and some reviews too.

Hope it can help someone as I have been helped over the years.

Welcome to Tech Tips From a NonGeek.