Libox

Having just wrote an article featuring a media streaming service called Orb, I was recently turned on to another media streaming service that I’ve been testing over the weekend.

Libox is a media streaming service that allows you to stream your music, photos, and video from your computer.

It works similiar to Orb in that you download their FREE software and sync whatever media folders you want.
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Scan To PDF

At work I’m in scan heaven. We have an autofeed high speed scanner. Since I run a paperless office, any paper documents that I get are immediately scanned and the paper is recycled.

At home it’s a different story. For starters, I do not have a high speed scanner. For my scanning needs, I use my HP all in one printer which scans one page at a time. Because this is an older all in one, scanning multiple documents into one pdf file is a time consuming task. To do it requires using multiple programs.

Because yours truly is an efficiency freak, I sought out a faster way of scanning to pdf.

Enter Scan To Pdf. This nifty FREE little program excels at efficiency and pdf organization. If you are one of us who is without a multifeed scanner, this is the next best thing to it.

Computer Security

As a faithful reader of Bill Mullins Tech Thoughts, I am constantly reminded about how important it is to be diligent about protecting my computer from the thousands of nefarious nasties that are at every turn on the web and email. Today’s post highlights a few of my favorite security applications. MORE>>

Postbox

Since I made the move to Windows 7, I have made every effort to use open source software. Other than the Win7 operating system and the other programs it comes with as part of the Win7 installation, I am proud to say I don’t use any other Microsoft products.

The two main Microsoft products I am training myself off of are the Windows office suite and Outlook which was used to host my email, calendar and contact management.

At home, I have little use for the Microsoft office suite or Outlook. Most of my home office routine is web based when I need to draft a letter or check my email. Google office, Gmail, Calendar, etc all take care of my minimal home related office tasks.

I still have a POP3 email account through my internet service provider although I have switched all of that email to head toward my Gmail account. I still like to check it on occasion.

Enter a new lightweight Email program called Postbox. Postbox is an email, newsgroup, tasks, and contact manager that has a simple user interface and is the easiest Pop3 email program to set up I have ever used. The program is based on the Mozilla platform (same folks who brought you Firefox). Not only will it check your Pop3 account but will also set up all of your web based email accounts as well. If you like your email via the local desktop rather than the cloud, this program certainly is a strong contender.

If you find yourself without a good trusty local email client, check out Postbox. It is still in beta but so far I haven’t had any issues. It runs on Windows7 x64bit just fine.

Windows Directory Printer

The other day, I needed to send someone a printout of my vast music and video collection. Windows doesn’t have a simple way of printing just the names of the folders / files in a list unless you are feeling geeky and want to go into the command prompt.

So, off to the web I went a hunting. I found and downloaded “Karen’s Directory Printer” which handily did the trick.

The user interface is very simple and makes it easy to not only print folder and file lists, but can print about every attribute of a file and/or folder.

If you have the need to print a folder / file directory, head on over to Karenware and download this little gem.

I Can’t HEAR You.

This weekend found me working on two clients laptops.  The first had a problem that happens frequently to those who want to add popular video/audio programs to their computer.

What happens is if you already have a program that you have been using, say, Windows Media Player for instance, and you decide to then add, say, Media Player Classic along with K-lite codec pack, and then maybe later you decide, hmmm, I think I’ll add Foobar and Gom players.

You head out on the road with your kids with your laptop. The idea is the kids will be too busy watching movies to distract you while you are driving. But no. The DVD plays but you can’t hear the sound.

What just happened? In laymans terms, you are having a serious case of codec conflict. Codec’s are the various .dll files that your audio/video programs need to decode the binary into a language that your player can understand, thus producing picture and sound.

In the case of laptop #1, it had a case of too many audio/video programs loaded and had a severe case of codec conflict.

The cure was to remove all of the 3rd party programs (which also removed the program’s codec’s) and installed an all in one program (in this case VLC media player) which had bundled with it it’s own codec’s.

When I am visiting various audio/video tech sites, it is a common occurrence to see posts requesting help because they can’t hear or see their audio/video. If you come across this post, removing programs and installing a bundled package 3rd party program may be your best bet. In my own testing, I have found that K-Lite codec pack also causes codec conflict so I don’t recommend using it.

Free 3rd party programs that work for me:

Gom Video Player
Foobar Audio Player
VLC Video and Audio Player

Are You Ready For Conficker?

While many of you can’t bear the thought of a virus infecting your computer, I actually welcome infections now.

You heard me right. I welcome them. Why on earth would someone welcome a computer virus you might ask? Simply put, I’m prepared.

With the help of Bill Mullins over at Tech Thoughts, I have been able to secure my computer using what I consider to be the best anti virus programs available. So when disaster is looming (such as the highly anticipated Conficker Virus), I have made sure to update all of my antivirus software and backup all of my files.

If Conficker day (AKA April Fools Day) turns out to be real, the implications it will have on unprotected computers is nothing short of a disaster! You may already be infected with Conficker and may play host to the creators devices so you might want to scan your computer with Stinger which is a virus scanner that directly targets the Conficker virus. It is constantly updated as new variants are found.

And make sure to pay a visit to Bill’s web security blog. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t be a victim of computer viruses. Protect yourself. A good protection system is multi-layered and mine consists of the following:

Avira Free
Spyware Terminator
Winpatrol
Startup Monitor
Asquared HiJack Free