New Home

Posted July 3, 2007 by freecomputerconsultant
Categories: Uncategorized

We’ve moved!

The blog is now hosted alongside the website at:

Please join us there!


Windows Vista & WiFi Saga Continues

Posted June 26, 2007 by freecomputerconsultant
Categories: Laptop, WiFi, Windows Vista

That Gateway laptop with Windows Vista that I had so much trouble with was back under my typing fingers again today. I finally had it working perfectly with the new NetGear router, so it was time to see if it would connect to the older Dell WiFi router.

Drum roll, please…. No. Same garbage. Connect up, no DHCP address. Set an alternate IP address. Still cannot even ping the router, even though Vista is saying that the WiFi is connected with “local” connectivity (but no internet).

So I hooked up the NetGear and deleted all reference to the Dell. It worked perfectly.

Solution? Any skeet shooters among you? Pull! There goes the old Dell WiFi router into the trash. Let’s tidy up the cabling for the new NetGear. I love to save people money as much as the next guy, but there’s a time when you just have say enoughs enough.

The Dell WiFi router works just fine with XP laptops, just not Vista apparently.

Free Computer Consultant Debut in Early To Rise eZine

Posted June 25, 2007 by freecomputerconsultant
Categories: Email

I am thrilled to announce that today’s Early To Rise (ETR) newsletter features an article from yours truly. You can read it here.

The article published in ETR is actually an edited version of one of my submissions to Associated Content and EzineArticles on using Blind Carbon Copy (BCC).

If you are not currently a subscriber to ETR, I highly recommend it. You can subscribe here.

Faster External Storage for Your Laptop – eSATA II

Posted June 24, 2007 by freecomputerconsultant
Categories: Computer Backup, eSATA, Laptop, Storage

For many laptop users, USB 2.0 or Firewire offer fast enough speeds for external storage. For others, though, 400mbps just isn’t fast enough.

My work with the MBox and ProTools is one example. ProTools recommends recording music to a non system hard drive – tough to do on a laptop unless you’re talking external. Yet tech support specifically states that USB is NOT fast enough.

Welcome eSATA. I love eSATA external hard drive enclosures, the one from Vantec I’ve written about in the past. But how do you connect eSATA to your laptop?

Easy, now anyway. SIIG makes an expresscard adapter that sells for less than $70. The card slides right in to a slim ExpressCard/34 slot and features two eSATA ports stacked on top of each other. The controller housed inside supports a standard second-gen feature set, including 3 Gbps transfer speeds, Native Command Queuing, hot plugging, and support for drives that exceed 137GB.

If you want the latest and the fastest, go eSATA. You can pick up the adapter here –
SIIG eSATA II 2-Port ExpressCard – 2 x 7-pin Serial ATA/300 External SATA – ExpressCard/34

No Excuse Not to Have Data Backup

Posted June 23, 2007 by freecomputerconsultant
Categories: Acronis True Image, Broadband, Computer Backup, USB Flash Drive, USB Hard Drive, WiFi, Wireless

Data backup on my mind again.

Here I am at a yard sale, typing on my laptop, connected to a wireless router (wirelessly) which is connected to the internet with Motorola Canopy wireless gear and an antenna on the roof of my truck. (I’m a director at the local telco and I’m trying to promote our wireless internet service.)

Things are a touch slow right now, so I thought I’d comment on the movie “Duplex” we watched last night.

Ben Stiller is working on his laptop trying to complete his book with the deadline looming. Naturally, something happens to the laptop just after he finishes the novel. He’s been working on this project for months and has not even one backup.

Wait, you’re saying, it’s just a movie. People in real life don’t do stuff that stupid. Well, you’d be wrong my friend. I’ve mentioned before the bright, ambitious college student whose hard drive crashed with her semester thesis on it – nary a backup to be found.

Thumb drives are just too cheap, too convenient, not to have multiple copies of important data.

For better data backup, check out Acronis True Image. Does a great job of picking up just important stuff if that’s all you want; does an even better job at imaging the entire drive to an external hard drive – also incredibly cheap.

Leave Computer On or Shut Off?

Posted June 23, 2007 by freecomputerconsultant
Categories: Uncategorized

I get this question all the time, and apparently so does the Yahoo Tech Guy.

He does a pretty good job of explaining it here.

I agree with him on the hibernate. Half the time it doesn’t work right, and at that point why not just reboot anyway.

Standby works ok if you won’t be gone long, otherwise shut it off.

I recommend a reboot once per day anyway to make up for Window’s sometimes shoddy housekeeping, but don’t be turning it on and off multiple times in a day.

How To Upgrade Memory in a Laptop – Video on Associated Content

Posted June 21, 2007 by freecomputerconsultant
Categories: Laptop, Video

I am very pleased to announce that my video How To Upgrade Memory in a Laptop at Associated Content has been on the front page for a couple of days now and appears to be pretty popular.

Check it and post a comment there (and here) if you like.