computer tips Archives - COBRA softwares
12 Oct

Here’s How You Can Use Laptop Like an External Monitor

 

The laptop like an extra monitor? Yes, you can use your laptop as a second monitor. Using it for the work can increase your productivity. Suppose, think that when you are at home working with a desktop computer, do you ever get the feeling you could be doing more with your laptop? Did you ever get a thought that “Can I work on both the screens?“. Of course, you can. Having a second screen opens up many possibilities. You can work on multiple apps at once.

Multi-monitor setups also look simple and can be used as a media screen when not in use or when you’re gaming, but definitely not when you’re meant to be working. The multi-monitor hook-ups are familiar to us. You can come across them in our day to day life. For example, at a hospital doctor may be using one monitor for notes and another for diagnoses. Also, using a single extra monitor can raise your productivity, provided you keep using it for productive activities! If you’re used to clicking through multiple windows, or Alt + Tab, consider the massive amount of extra working space you could be utilizing.

25 Free Basic Software Programs Every Windows User Must Have

How to Create Multi-monitor Setup With A Laptop?

The one way to set up multi-monitor is by using local network. You simply connect it to a monitor using the appropriate cable. However, most laptops only feature VGA, DVI, or HDMI outputs, which means the connection will only work in one direction. If you want your laptop as a primary screen then move on with this procedure or else you have to use some software in order to use your laptop display as the second screen.

Multi-Monitor Software:

The main reasons for using more than one monitor are Working Space, followed closely by its accomplice, irritated by the Split-Screen. There are several applications where you can easily share your mouse and keyboard between laptop and desktop.

Synergy:

Synergy combines your desktop devices together into one cohesive experience. It’s software for sharing your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers on your desk. It comes with an auto-configuration tool, a network wizard, and an option for SSL Encryption enabled network connections. It works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

However, it’s not free of cost. It is of two flavours; a basic version for $10, and a pro version for $29. Both are lifetime licenses, though only Pro users have access to SSL Encryption.

InputDirector:

InputDirector offers the same functionality as Synergy, but without the frills of a nicely designed UI. However, it shouldn’t put you off, and it only takes a moment to configure your Master/Slave settings to get up and running. It is free for personal non-commercial use. Commercial licenses can be purchased for all other circumstances.

ShareMouse:

ShareMouse, which is one of the simplest of all to set up, working straight out of the box. It is full featured with a Clipboard, drag-and-drop file sharing, cross-platform Solution. It allows you to operate two computers with one keyboard. This also includes mouse sharing, allowing you to operate two computers with one mouse. Unlike a physical mouse switch, ShareMouse doesn’t require you to press any button. Instead, just move the mouse to the computer you wish to operate.

Watch Video Here:

It is free for Personal Non-Commercial Use but limited to a maximum of two monitors. However, you can register for professional use, granting you up to 19 networked monitors/systems, encryption, and a handful of other tools for $49.95.

Mouse Without Borders:

Mouse without Borders is a workspace unification application developed by The Garage, an internal development “team” used by Microsoft employees. This allows you to use one keyboard and mouse across your PC’s as if they were one desktop. You can control up to four computers with a single mouse and keyboard with Mouse without Borders.

Mouse without Borders uses a system of codes to connect your systems, also displaying the network adapter you’re connecting through. It also comes complete with drag-and-drop file sharing, and a useful Clipboard feature.

Multiplicity:

It is an excellent application offering the full spectrum of keyboard and mouse sharing tools.

Watch Video:

It offers a free trial, however, once it expires you’ll be asked to upgrade to a basic license which only offers you control of 2 PCs depending on the requirement the cost may increase.

Each of the above applications has their own strengths and weaknesses, and each of them completes their main task to a high standard. You can choose which suits the best.

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11 Oct

How to Migrate from Blogger to WordPress Without Loosing the Traffic & No Downtime (Update

Blogger is a wonderful free platform to start your blog. It is easy for a beginner to start with blogger, but sooner or later one would want full control on their blog. Shifting or Migrating the blog from blogger would generally result a noticeable drop in Google rankings and there by the traffic if you don’t configure things properly. But here in this step by step guide I will help you migrate from Blogger to WordPress without loosing traffic and search engine rankings.

How to Migrate from Blogger to WordPress Without Loosing the Traffic & No Downtime (Updated)

Blogger is a wonderful free platform to start your blog. It is easy for a beginner to start with blogger, but sooner or later one would want full control on their blog. Shifting or Migrating the blog from blogger would generally result a noticeable drop in Google rankings and there by the traffic if you don’t configure things properly. But here in this step by step guide I will help you migrate from Blogger to WordPress without loosing traffic and search engine rankings.

Why you should move your blog from Blogger to WordPress?

I might be a little harsh over here but lemme tell you the truth. If you are blogging on Blogger platform you need to migrate your blog right away to WordPress or else you would be loosing a lot in terms of traffic, SEO and revenue. Blogger is good to get started but you should not stick to it for a longer time. You should move your blog right away from Blogger to wordpress in order to progress.

Few more reasons why Blogger is not recommended for Blogging:

  1. Blogger is owned by Google and they have complete rights over your blog. They might change anything suddenly without informing and they also have the right to delete your blog at any point of time which happened in my case as well.
  2. Blogger cannot be customized the way you want. Its easy to customize blogger but again it has several restrictions.
  3. Blogger is optimized to some extent by default but WordPress blogs are more SEO optimized.
  4. The only advantage of blogger is it can handle unlimited traffic as it is in cloud and free hosting provided by google. But unfortunately there are chances of your blog getting deleted if you receive high traffic even without informing you in prior.

Things you need before getting started with WordPress:

1. A Good Hosting Provider:

WordPress blogs are self hosted, for this purpose you need a good and reliable hosting provider to host your blogs. If you are just getting started and your blog doesn’t has much traffic then I would recommend you to go with some good shared hosting like Bluehost. But if you are looking forward to move to a very reliable hosting then you can contact me, I will suggest you the best hosting provider.

2. Cloudflare account (Optional):

Though its optional I would highly recommend you to have a good CDN like Cloudflare. It has many advantages.

  1. Cloudflare saves your blog from serious threats like DDOS and other security threats.
  2. Its a CDN so will decrease the load on your server and boosts the blog loading time. Once you configure your blog with cloudflare, the blog will load a lot faster than before.
  3. Pointing is easy with Cloudflare. Once you point using A names it takes effect instantly and you can migrate the blog without downtime.

Steps to Migrate From Blogger to WordPress:

Method 1:

Step 1: Download the XML file of the site you want to migrate from your Blogger Dashboard. 

Open you blogger dashboard and navigate to Settings-> Other and then click on Export Blog. This will download an XML file to your system.

export blog

Step 2 : Import the .XML file to WordPress

To import your Blog to WordPress, go to Tools-> Import and then click on Blogger.

install-blogger-importer

A pop-up will appear, asking you to install blogger importer plugin. Click on the Install button. Once it is installed, activate the plugin and Run Importer link to continue.

run-blogger-importer

Once you activate the plugin and Run the importer, you will be asked to upload the .XML file you exported from the blogger dashboard.

 

 

Once the upload is done, you need to assign an author to the posts to be imported. That’s it, you now have successfully imported your Blogger blog to WordPress..!

But you still need to make sure that you don’t loose any search rankings and visitors to your old blog.

Step 2 : Setting up Permalinks

From your WordPress Dashboard, go to Settings > Permalinks and then select Custom Structure option. Paste the following value next to it and save changes.

/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html

Step 3 : Setting up Redirection

This is the most important step in moving any blog so that users are redirected to your new blog. You would want users to land on exactly the same page on the new site and also want the search engines to notice that your old site is moved to new location.

You need to setup redirection on two levels. First, redirect blogger visitors to your new WordPress blog. Secondly, once users reach your WordPress site you will redirect them to exact post they were accessing on your Blogger blog.

Setting up redirection on Blogger blog:

Log on to your Blogger account and go to settings. Click on Template.

On the template page, scroll down to bottom and click on “Revert to Classic Template” link.

revert-classic-template

After that, you will see “Edit Template Html” text area. You need to replace the entire code with the following code.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="<$BlogLanguageDirection$>">
<head>
<title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>
<script type="text/javascript">
 <MainOrArchivePage>
window.location.href='https://www.alltechbuzz.net/'
</MainOrArchivePage>
 <Blogger><ItemPage>
   window.location.href='https://www.alltechbuzz.net/blogger/?q=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>'
 </ItemPage></Blogger>
</script>
<MainPage><link rel="canonical" href="https://www.alltechbuzz.net/" /></MainPage>
<Blogger><ItemPage>
 <link rel="canonical" href="https://www.alltechbuzz.net/<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>" />
</ItemPage></Blogger>
</head><body>
<div style="border:#ccc 1px solid; background:#eee; padding:20px; margin:80px;">
<p>This page has moved to a new address.</p>
<h1>
<MainOrArchivePage><a href="https://www.alltechbuzz.net"><$BlogTitle$></a></MainOrArchivePage>
<Blogger><ItemPage>
 <a href="https://www.alltechbuzz.net/<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>"><$BlogItemTitle$></a>
</ItemPage></Blogger>
</h1>
</div> </body></html>

Make sure that you replace https://www.alltechbuzz.net with your domain name.

Save your template, and you have successfully implemented redirection on your Blogger blog.

However, you still need to setup your redirection on your WordPress site so that users are redirected to the proper posts. To do that, you need to create a new file using a plain text editor like Notepad. Give this file a name like fixlinks.php and copy this code in the file.

<?php require_once('wp-load.php');
$res = $wpdb->get_results("SELECT post_id, meta_value FROM $wpdb->postmeta WHERE meta_key = 'blogger_permalink'");
$wpdb->print_error();
foreach ($res as $row)
{ $slug = explode("/",$row->meta_value);
$slug = explode(".",$slug[3]);
 $wpdb->query("UPDATE $wpdb->posts SET post_name ='" . $slug[0] . "' WHERE ID = $row->post_id");
 $wpdb->print_error();
}
echo "Permalinks are Fixed! Welcome to WordPress, Happy Blogging";
?>

Upload the file to public_html of your wordpress installation.

Now you need to run this php code on your site from the following link to fix the permalinks issues. You should get a message as done.

http://www.yoursitename.com/fixlinks.php

Step 4 : Redirect Feeds

On your old blogger site, your feed subscribers will not be able to notice the switch from Blogger to WordPress. They might bookmark your Blogspot site in their browser and so, it would be best to redirect your blogger feed to your new WordPress site’s feed as well.

For that process to go on, you need to Login into your Blogger account. Go to the Settings & click Other. You’ll be seeing Site Feed section, Under that Click on Add link next to Post Feed Redirect URL.

Here you can type the web address of your new WordPress RSS feed here and the existing RSS subscriber will automatically move to your new feed.

Method 2: (Update: Oct, 2016 – This Method Doesn’t Work Properly)

Recently, the last time I tried to migrate a blog from blogger to WordPress, I couldn’t do it by using the Method 2, i.e. through Blogger Importer plugin. I later realized that the plugin no longer works because Google no longer supports the “OAuth 1.0” authentication. It has been updated to a newer version “OAuth 2.0” at this time. So, we cannot have to try for alternate method until the plugin supports.

Note: Currently the problem has been resolved and the Blogger Importer plugin is working absolutely fine! So you can go ahead with the 1st method which is easier. More over, the Blogger XML file to Wordpress WXR Converter Link is not working. 

Step 1: Download the XML file of the site you want to migrate from your Blogger Dashboard. 

Open you blogger dashboard and navigate to Settings-> Other and then click on Export Blog. This will download an XML file to your system.

export blog

Step 2: Convert the XML file to Wordpress WXR export file which is suitable to import in to the WordPress Blog. 

You cannot directly upload the XML file in to WordPress, so you need to convert it by using this tool.

xml to wxr

Step 3: Import the WordPress WXR file to your new WordPress installation

Once the XML file is converted and downloaded, you need to import it into your new WordPress installation directly by using the WordPress Importer.

Click Import, and the import is done. You can now find all the articles, comments and pages along with images in your new WordPress site.

Step 4 : Setting up Permalinks

From your WordPress Dashboard, go to Settings > Permalinks and then select Custom Structure option. Paste the following value next to it and save changes.

/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html

Step 5 : Setting up Redirection and Fixing permalinks

This is the most important step in moving any blog so that users are redirected to your new blog. You would want users to land on exactly the same page on the new site and also want the search engines to notice that your old site is moved to new location.

You need to setup redirection on two levels. First, redirect blogger visitors to your new WordPress blog. Secondly, once users reach your WordPress site you will redirect them to exact post they were accessing on your Blogger blog.

Setting up redirection on Blogger blog:

Log on to your Blogger account and go to settings. Click on Template.

On the template page, scroll down to bottom and click on “Revert to Classic Template” link.

revert-classic-template

After that, you will see “Edit Template Html” text area. You need to replace the entire code with the following code.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="<$BlogLanguageDirection$>">
<head>
<title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>
<script type="text/javascript">
 <MainOrArchivePage>
window.location.href='https://www.alltechbuzz.net/'
</MainOrArchivePage>
 <Blogger><ItemPage>
   window.location.href='https://www.alltechbuzz.net/blogger/?q=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>'
 </ItemPage></Blogger>
</script>
<MainPage><link rel="canonical" href="https://www.alltechbuzz.net/" /></MainPage>
<Blogger><ItemPage>
 <link rel="canonical" href="https://www.alltechbuzz.net/<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>" />
</ItemPage></Blogger>
</head><body>
<div style="border:#ccc 1px solid; background:#eee; padding:20px; margin:80px;">
<p>This page has moved to a new address.</p>
<h1>
<MainOrArchivePage><a href="https://www.alltechbuzz.net"><$BlogTitle$></a></MainOrArchivePage>
<Blogger><ItemPage>
 <a href="https://www.alltechbuzz.net/<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>"><$BlogItemTitle$></a>
</ItemPage></Blogger>
</h1>
</div> </body></html>

Make sure that you replace https://www.alltechbuzz.net with your domain name.

Save your template, and you have successfully implemented redirection on your Blogger blog.

However, you still need to setup your redirection on your WordPress site so that users are redirected to the proper posts. To do that, you need to create a new file using a plain text editor like Notepad. Give this file a name like fixlinks.php and copy this code in the file.

<?php require_once('wp-load.php');
$res = $wpdb->get_results("SELECT post_id, meta_value FROM $wpdb->postmeta WHERE meta_key = 'blogger_permalink'");
$wpdb->print_error();
foreach ($res as $row)
{ $slug = explode("/",$row->meta_value);
$slug = explode(".",$slug[3]);
 $wpdb->query("UPDATE $wpdb->posts SET post_name ='" . $slug[0] . "' WHERE ID = $row->post_id");
 $wpdb->print_error();
}
echo "Permalinks are Fixed! Welcome to WordPress, Happy Blogging";
?>

Upload the file to public_html of your wordpress installation.

Now you need to run this php code on your site from the following link to fix the permalinks issues. You should get a message as done.

http://www.yoursitename.com/fixlinks.php

Note: One of the most important point to be noted here is that the images which you uploaded in the Blogger are not imported into the WordPress Uploads by using this method.

Step 6: Importing Images from Blogger to WordPress:

Importing Images to your WordPress will make sure that you will not loose the images which you uploaded in blogger. This can be done in many ways, but out of experience I recommend you to use importer plugins to do the job for you. One of the plugins which I used is “Cache Images WordPress Plugin“. The plugin has not been updated recently, but it worked fine for me.

Install the plugin to your WordPress and activate it. Navigate to Tools-> Cache Remote Images 

cache remote images

Click on Scan or Scan (including linked) and you will get a list of domains from which the images can be cached. Then simply click Cache from this domain button and the images are imported directly to your Uploads folder and all the previous Image URLs are also replaced with the new ones.

If you want to take professional help in migration process then you can contact me. I can do the migration for you. Let me know if you are having any trouble in the migration process in your comments.

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08 Sep

Ever Wondered What This Tiny Cylindrical Thing At The End Of Your Charger Is For?

Have you ever noticed the small cylindrical module near the end of your charger? If you haven’t noticed yet, now just take a look at the end of your charger or device plug, it must have some sort of plastic cylinder near to the end of the cable, right?

Must Read: Do You Know why Alphabets on Keyboard are not in Order?

What Is That Little Cylinder on the Cable of Your Charger?

Well, it might look like a useless addition, but without this little thing, your lappy wouldn’t be able to function properly. Here’s why.

That little cylinder is called a Ferrite Bead.

The cylindrical device is known as a ferrite bead, which is nothing but an inductor (passive electric component) that suppresses high-frequency noise in electronic circuits.

The ferrite bead isolates your laptop from electromagnetic noise, either from the waves that are picked up by the wire or from the existing noise in the AC-DC converter or the AC line.

While you find this cylindrical module common for laptop cords or other electronic devices such as printers, you won’t find this extra piece on other chargers like that of a cell phone. This is because unlike cell phones or other devices that need to be charged (i.e., your iPad or tablet), laptops tend to have many moving parts working at once. This can create a lot of chaos and disorder if the parts aren’t working together, even capable of producing radio frequencies. The case around the laptop charger dulls those vibrations and stops them from causing any interference.

Ferrite beads are made of a hollow disc, an iron oxide material with magnetic properties. It helps to prevent the wire behave on over floating current like aerials. As a result, all this metal wire can potentially serve as an antenna by absorbing or emitting any radiation while passing current around it. Without this ferrite bead, the radiation emitted by the wires could cause interference with other electronic objects around them which act as receptors of this radiation, causing, for example, noise in speakers.

This is why you find those small cylindrical modules at the end of the cables.

Also Read: Ever Wondered Why ATM has only 4 Digit PIN Number?

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07 Aug

This $5 Device Can Hack Password-Protected Computers In Just 30 Seconds

After reading this article, you’ll think twice about going out to lunch while leaving your computer unattended at the office. The new tool that makes it effortless for hackers to log onto websites posing as you, getting access to your network router, and launching other attacks.

The new $5 device known as PoisonTap, created by hacker and developer Samy Kamkar, can even break into password-protected computers, as long as there’s a browser open in the background. It costs hackers just $5 and only 30 seconds to hack into any computer. Samy Kamkar has devised a cheap exploit tool, this time that takes just 30 seconds to install a privacy-invading backdoor into your computer, even if it is locked with a strong password.

All the work a hacker has to do is plug in the device and wait for a while. It takes less than a minute, and other than plugging it in and removing it, no other skills are required.

How PoisonTap Works:Built on a Raspberry Pi Zero microcomputer, once PoisonTap is plugged into a USB port, it emulates a network device and attacks all outbound connections by pretending to be the whole internet, tricking the computer to send all traffic to it. If that’s not alarming enough, after the device is positioned, it can steal the victim’s cookies, as long as they come from websites that don’t use HTTPS web encryption.

Acting as a man-in-the-middle, the device then begins stealing any HTTP authentication cookies that you’d use to log into private accounts, as well as session data from a million of the web’s top sites. Due to the way it’s designed, two-factor authentication might not help.

Security experts that reviewed Kamkar’s research for Motherboard agreed that this is a novel attack, and a good way to expose the excessive trust that Mac and Windows computers have in network devices. That’s the key of PoisonTap’s attacks once what looks like a network device is plugged into a laptop, the computer automatically talks to it and exchanges data with it.

What Does The Hacking Tool Do?

The hacking tool also allows an attacker to install persistent web-based backdoors in HTTP cache for hundreds of thousands of domains, making the victim’s Web browser as well as local network remotely controllable by the attacker. The attack also allows “an attacker to remotely force the user to make HTTP requests and proxy back responses (GET & POSTs) with the user’s cookies on any backdoored domain,” Kamkar said.

Kamkar does have a few tips to protect yourself, although most aren’t all that practical:

  • Set your computer to hibernate, rather than sleep. In hibernation, the computer suspends all processes.
  • Close your web browser each time you walk away from your machine.
  • Regularly clear your browser cache.
  • Use full-disk encryption and your device’s hibernation mode.
  • Disable the USB ports

One solution is to completely shut down your computer when you walk away from it, or at lease close your browser, since PoisonTap needs to piggyback on it in order to work. At the network level, websites that use HTTPS are immune to such a hack, another reason why the entire internet should be encrypted.

Complete information about the tool – here

 

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29 May

Q&A: Can moving a laptop while it’s in Sleep mode damage the hard drive?

Question from Larry A:  I just bought my first laptop and I have a question about it.

When I close the lid it goes into Sleep mode. Is it safe to carry it around while in Sleep mode or should I shut it down completely?

I’ve always been told never to move a computer that’s powered up or it’ll damage the hard drive, and a sleeping laptop still has power, right?

As you can see I’m confused LOL. Looking forward to your answer.

Rick’s answer:  Larry, the short answer to your question is no, you won’t damage the hard drive in your laptop if you carry it around while in Sleep mode.

When a computer is placed into Sleep mode, the only components that are left powered up are the ones needed to keep the current operating environment alive and “wake” the laptop up when you’re ready to use it again.

As a general rule, the hard drive and all other non-essential components are either powered down completely or placed into a very low power mode.

To be a little more specific, while your laptop is in Sleep mode the platters in the hard drive stop spinning and the read/write heads are parked (i.e. pulled back into a “safe zone”) to prevent damage to either the heads or the platters themselves.

Bottom line: You can pick up your sleeping laptop and carry it anywhere you wish without having to worry about damaging the hard drive.

I hope this helps Larry. Good luck!

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31 Mar

Is your PC infected with a Rootkit virus? Find out now with TDSSKiller.

As you probably know, modern day malware comes in many forms.

Some varieties, such as adware, are often merely annoying. But more malicious forms of malware can actually wreck your Windows installation and help hackers steal your identity and/or your valuable financial information.

A high-quality anti-virus program such as Avast can help keep your computer free of malware, but a special class of malware known as rootkits often goes undetected by regular virus scans. Rootkits load into your computer’s memory before Windows even boots up, and that makes them especially difficult to find. 

Anti-virus software maker Kapersky has created a free utility that’s designed specifically to hunt down and remove dangerous rootkit viruses. It’s called TDSSKiller, and it’s easy to use and quite effective at finding and removing this insidious form of malware.

Follow these instructions to download TDSSKiller and use it to check your system for rootkits:

1 – Visit this page on the Kapersky website, then click How to disinfect a compromised system.

Important: Don’t click the green “Download” button at the bottom of this page. Clicking that button will install the full Kaspersky Internet Security suite to your PC. Instead, continue on with step 2 below.

2 – Click the TDSSKiller.exe link on the line that begins with the number 1. The tdsskiller.exe executable file will be downloaded to your PC.

3 – Double-click the tdsskiller.exe file to launch the scanner.

Note: If you have trouble locating the downloaded file, press the Ctrl+J key combination to display the “Downloads” folder. You should find the tdsskiller.exe executable file in that folder.

4 – When prompted to do so, click Run.

5 – Click Accept to accept the End User License Agreement (EULA). If prompted to click Accept again, do so.

6 – Click the Start scan button. TDSSKiller will scan your system for rootkits, and if it finds any it will remove them.

That’s all there is to it. Keep in mind that TDSSKiller doesn’t replace your regular anti-virus program, it merely supplements it. I recommend keeping a shortcut to TDSSKiller on your computer’s desktop and running it on a regular basis (once a week for example).

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30 Mar

How to add blazing-fast USB 3.1 Type-C ports to your computer

A while back I wrote a post that explains how to add super-fast USB 3.0 ports to an older PC, and that turned out to be one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written.

Well, a lot has changed since then. Now you can add even faster USB 3.1 Type-C ports to your desktop computer for about what you’d pay for a really good pizza!

 

Why USB 3.1 is better than USB 3.0

Just how fast is USB 3.1? Well, in a nutshell, at a whopping 10Gbps it’s literally twice as fast as the already amazing USB 3.0!

To put that into perspective, an external USB 3.1 hard drive will likely appear to be about as fast an an internal drive after you plug it into your computer.

If you’re curious about the Type-C designation, that means you’ll be able to use the awesome USB-C cables that can be inserted into a USB port in either direction. No more fumbling around with your USB cables trying to determine which way is up!

 

Upgrading your computer to USB 3.1 Type-C is easy!

Whether you have a Windows PC or a Mac desktop, the procedure is basically the same as long as your machine has an open PCI Express x4, x8 or x16 slot. Simply get yourself a USB 3.1 Type-C adapter card and install it into the empty slot!

If you have a Mac running a recent version of OS X you won’t even have to install a driver for the adapter card! Windows users will be able to download the latest driver directly from the manufacturer’s website.

 

Bottom line

If you thought your external USB hard drive or other device was fast, you’ll be completely blown away when you first plug a USB 3.1 model into your computer!

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29 Mar

Always use an ‘ad blocker’ browser extension when downloading free software

I use lots of awesome free programs and apps, and whenever I recommend them on my blog I try my best to warn you when the download page has deceptive ads on it.

If you’ve ever visited one of the major free download sites, you surely know the type of ads I’m taking about. They usually include a big honking “DOWNLOAD”  button that tricks folks into downloading an entirely different program than the one they came looking for.

Unfortunately, those fake download buttons are both annoying and dangerous because some of the programs they link to are actually malware! 

As you can see, it pays to be very careful when attempting to download free software these days.

Luckily, there’s a simple solution for avoiding ads that display fake download buttons: Simply install an ad blocker and they won’t show up on the page!

I always visit free download sites using my Chrome browser with the fantastic AdBlock extension enabled. While there are are plenty of ad blocking extensions to choose from, I’ve found AdBlock to be the best of the lot.

After you install AdBlock you’ll be able to visit most any major download site without being bombarded with a bunch of fake Download buttons.

Installing AdBlock is easy. Simply visit this page in with your Chrome browser and click the Add To Chrome button.

Like this post? If so, I hope you’ll consider sharing it with your friends.

And by the way, you can get even more tips in my weekly RicksDailyTips Email Newsletter. Sign up for free at the bottom of this page!

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28 Mar

How to easily share one USB printer with multiple computers without switching cables

Do you have one printer that you share between two or more computers by switching the USB cable every time you need to print something? I’ve been there and done that, and it gets old fast.

Well, there’s a nifty device called a USB Printer Auto Sharing Switch that makes it easy to connect a single printer to two or more computers without ever having to switch the cable again.

This little jewel monitors the USB connections from all the connected computers, and when it detects that one of them is sending a print job to the printer it automatically “connects” that computer to the printer. You can choose between 2-port and 4-port models depending on how many computers you need to connect to the printer. 

Installation is easy because it’s plug and play. Just plug the computers and the printer into the switch box and then install the software onto each computer when prompted. What could be easier? And the best part? You can buy a 2-port switch for as little as $20!

One thing to be aware of: Some models have physical switches that you must press in order to make the connection to the computer you wish to print from. I strongly recommend that you pass on these and choose an automatic switch. The difference in price is very minimal, but the added convenience is huge.

Click here to check out the great selection of USB Printer Auto Sharing Switches at Amazon.

Note: The links in this post are affiliate links.

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27 Mar

Windows 10: How to take a screenshot and save it directly as an image file

As you probably know, tapping your PC’s Print Screen key will place a “snapshot” of the current screen contents onto the Windows Clipboard.

This process is commonly known as “taking a screenshot”, and it’s one of the most useful features in all of Windows for many users.

Once it is on the Clipboard, your screenshot image can be pasted into your favorite image editing program. From there you can make changes to the image and then save it to your computer as an image file.

As luck would have it, Windows 10 gives you another very handy option for handling your screenshots…

If you don’t need to edit the image before saving it to your hard drive, you can easily take the screenshot and save it as an image file by pressing a single key combination. Here’s how: 

1 – Press the Windows key and the Print Screen key at the same time.

Note: The Print Screen key is usually labeled either PrtScn, PrntScrn or Print Scr, depending on the keyboard.

2 – Press the Windows+E key combination to open “File Explorer”, then navigate to the Pictures>Screenshots folder. That folder will contain an image file (in .png format) depicting the screenshot that you just captured.

Note: Any additional screenshots you take using this method will be saved in the same folder with sequentially numbered file names.

Of course Windows 10 gives you other options for capturing screenshots, including pressing Alt+Print Screen to capture only the currently active window.

Bonus tip: The screenshot feature in Windows 10 is the best native Windows screenshot utility to date, but an awesome free tool called Greenshot will give you a lot more flexibility for capturing, editing and saving screenshot images. I use it myself and recommend it highly.


And now for a bonus tip: Be sure to sign up for my free RicksDailyTips Email Newsletter at the bottom of this page!

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