Friday, December 28, 2012


In order to give our readers something more entertaining than computer "speak", I am giving you today  an interesting and  humorous essay in history which explains (?) the source of so many curious English language phrases and old sayings...

I got this from a good friend:

Where did "Piss Poor" come from? Interesting history.
They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.
And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery...
if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor".
But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot...
They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature
Isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.
Here are some facts about the 1500's
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May,
And they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell,
brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,
Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.
Last of all the babies.
By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals
(mice, bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.
This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings
Could mess up your nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.
That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery

In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing..
As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door,
It would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables
And did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers
In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.
Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme:
“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon."

They would cut off a little to share with guests
And would all sit around and chew the fat.
Those with money had plates made of pewter.
Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.
This happened most often with tomatoes,
so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status..
Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,
and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.
The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days..
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around
and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom; “holding a wake."

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.
So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.
When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been  burying people alive.
So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be,
“saved by the bell" or was "considered a dead ringer."

And that's the truth.

Now, whoever said history was boring!!!

I hope you all enjoyed it.

George Freire

Sunday, December 16, 2012


This is for you new users of Windows 8 who are frustrated by not having the friendly and familiar "Start Button and Start Menu", which had been with all versions of Windows we can remember.

Microsoft had the audacity of removing this feature we all were used to and frankly loved for its usefulness and ease of use.

Well, I found out that there is a wonderful free program that can put an end to all our frustrations related to many of the changes in Windows 8, which we wish had never been made.

This program is called Classic Shell . It contains a collection of features that were available in older versions of Windows but were later removed. It has a customizable Start menu and Start button for Windows 7 and Windows 8, it adds a toolbar for Windows Explorer and supports a variety of features found in   all versions of Windows from  Windows 95 on down the line and that  most of us were familiar with:
  • Drag and drop to let you organize your applications
  • Options to show Favorites, expand Control Panel, etc
  • Shows recently used documents. The number of documents to display is customizable
  • Translated in 35 languages, including Right-to-left support for Arabic and Hebrew
  • Does not disable the original start menu in Windows. You can access it by Shift+Click on the start button
  • Right-click on an item in the menu to delete, rename, sort, or perform other tasks
  • The search box helps you find your programs without getting in the way of your keyboard shortcuts
  • Supports jumplists for easy access to recent documents and common tasks
  • Available for 32 and 64-bit operating systems
  • Has support for skins, including additional 3rd party skins
  • Fully customizable in both looks and functionality
  • Support for Microsoft’s Active Accessibility
  • Converts the “All Programs” button in the Windows menu into a cascading menu (Vista and Windows 7)
  • Implements a customizable Start button (Windows 7 and 8)
  • Can show, search and launch Windows Store apps (Windows 8)
  • And last but not least – it's FREE!
You can download this gem of a program by clicking on the following link:

If it does not take you to the web page just copy & paste to your browser.


George Freire

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Today I was talking to a good friend who follows my blog on a regular basis and asked him if he had any suggestions for the improvement of the blog and how to make it more interesting to everybody.

Among other things, he said the following: "George, why don't you print our a complete collection of all the posts published from the very beginning of your blog and make it available to everybody?, there is a lot of useful information to all of us who use computers and I'll bet a lot of your followers would love to have it".

I thought about it and checked how many posts have been published since December 2008: the total is 255.

Well, I said to myself, this might be a good idea, however it will take a lot of doing to put together such a package, perhaps in a form of a booklet or something else.

In order to do it I will have to know how many of you would like the idea and therefore how many booklets I would have to print.

I have no idea of how much such a project would cost in print form, and I don't know how much per copy, plus the trouble and cost of of shipping to readers in many different countries who follow us.

Another idea struck me, why not make it available in a download book format that you guys could then print or keep in your computer ? Then the cost would be not much, perhaps $5.00 to $10.00 per download or even  less depending on how many would like to do it.

If you readers, from all the countries who follow my blog, think this is a good idea, please let me know. I need to find out how many would be interested and whether it would be worth the effort.

Please let me know what you think.

Thanks for your input,

George Freire

Saturday, November 24, 2012





Courtesy of PCWorld's Loyd Case, Jon Phillips and Alex Cocilova, here are quite a number of useful key shortcuts for those who already are using Windows 8:

In these key combinations, hold down the Windows key (normally located between Alt and Ctrl) and another key, as described on this list.
  • Press the Windows key to enter the tiled Start screen.
  • The Windows key + M minimizes everything that's showing on the desktop.
  • The Windows key + E opens Explorer for quick access to folders.
  • On the Start screen, press the Windows key + D to instantly get to the desktop.
  • The Windows key + Tab opens a list of currently running programs.
  • The Windows key + Print Screen takes a screenshot and saves it in a Screenshots folder nested in your Pictures folder.
  • To take a screenshot on a Windows 8 tablet, simultaneously press the Windows button and the volume-down button on the tablet chassis.
  • The Windows key + Q opens a global search menu. Type what you're looking for and where you would like to look.
  • The Windows key + W opens a search in your system settings to quickly locate and change system properties.
  • The Windows key + F opens a file and folder search.
  • The Windows key + Pause opens the system properties page to show you a quick rundown of your specs.
  • The Windows key + "," (that's the comma sign!) makes all current windows transparent, giving you a peek at the desktop as long as you hold down the Windows key.
  • The Windows key + "." (the period) snaps a window to the right or left side (toggling each time you press ".").
  • The Windows key + R prompts the Run command—useful for quickly launching apps and other routines with a command prompt.
  • The Windows key + X opens the Quick Access Menu, exposing system functionality such as the Command Prompt, Disk Management, File Explorer, Run, and more. Alternatively, you can right-click on the bottom right corner of the screen to spawn the Quick Access Menu.
  • The Windows key + I opens the settings menu, giving you quick access to the Control Panel, Personalization, and your Power button, among other features.
  • The Windows key + O locks orientation on devices with an accelerometer.
For the whole useful article go to:

If clicking the above does not work, just copy and paste to your blogger.

George Freire

A must see news report regarding credit cards..

A good friend sent me an email concerning the new technology used in many recently issued credit cards, which employs a "WI-FI' chip that facilitates the use of the card.

Here is what he said:

"I read this about a couple weeks ago, and then checked my cards for the little "Wi-Fi Signal Icon" on each one. I found none w/that signal on them, but I was determined to watch for it when my cards came in on renewals. Well, yesterday I got my CHASE SLATE card AND THERE IT WAS ! My first time to see it. I'll not activate that card after seeing this. I guess I'll go to the bank and see if I can replace it w/a non Wi-Fi (Radio Frequency Card)....? 

Thought all my contacts ought to see this if you've not already seen this!
Check your newer credit cards for the Wi-Fi Symbol on it. You need to watch the video below to really know why I sent this to you.

I watched and decided that this is well worth publishing in this blog.

(If the link above does not work when clicked, copy and paste to your browser).

Your comments will be appreciated.

George Freire

Monday, November 12, 2012


On Sunday September 16  we  published a post titled:

"How to remove Windows.old folder from your (C:) drive and why ? "

The last 5 paragraphs of this post were the following:

"I recently installed an SSD drive in my main computer. Because these drives are still rather expensive, I selected and bought a 120 GB unit. In order to install Windows 7 and other programs that I use regularly, I did this by creating a "C: drive Disk Image" . Prior to this of course I deleted the "Windows.old" folder and transferred high volume folders such as Documents, My Pictures, My Music, User Files etc.etc. to my regular hard drive, now changed to as Drive (F:).

The end result is that the OS plus other programs I regularly use run now on an SSD drive and my computer operation is so much faster it is hard to believe.

Drive F: can now be accessed just like any other drive and its programs and files will just run normally, but not as fast as those installed in the SSD drive (C:)

Note: SSD drives are becoming a LOT less expensive then they were a few months ago. 120 GB to 250 GB run between $120.00 to $300.00. I paid a little less than $120.00 for my 120 GB SSD drive.

I hope this post will be of help to most of you. If you have any questions or if you decide to install an SSD drive in your computer and are not brave enough to do at it by yourselves, just post a question or e-mail me. I will then post a more complete description on how to transfer you OS and other program files to you new and very, very fast new SSD drive.

George Freire"

This whole thing   may be a little confusing to say the least, but let me explain:

The "C: drive disk image" was created in an external hard drive, (drive F:) where I also keep a complete back up of the C drive folders and files. Then after installing the SSD, I made it drive C: and restored the disk image to it from the external drive F:. I HOPE THIS CLEARS THE POSSIBLE CONFUSION I MAY HAVE CREATED WITH MY ABOVE DESCRIPTION OF ACTIONS TAKEN.

What is a disk system image ? a disk system image is an exact copy of a drive. By default, a system image includes the drives required for Windows to run. It also includes Windows and your system settings, programs, and files. You can use a system image to restore the contents of your computer if your hard drive or computer ever stops working. When you restore your computer from a system image, it's a complete restoration; you can't choose individual items to restore, and all of your current programs, system settings, and files are replaced with the contents of the system image.

Once you have this "disk image" you will be able to transfer it to a completely new and empty hard drive and run the computer again as if nothing had happened. That is what I did with the SSD as described above.

Windows 7 has the capability to create a system image:

-Click "start"/"control panel"/"system and security"/backup and restore".

-On the left column of the "backup and restore" dialog box, you'll see three (3) choices: "

"Turn off Schedule"
"Create a system image"
"Create a system repair disk"

"Create a system image" and "Create a system repair disk" are the choices you need to select. First create the "system repair disk", (it will take just a few minutes), then create the "system image" to the external hard drive that you should have connected via USB to your computer. This will take possibly some time, (normally more than an hour or so, depending on how much stuff you have in your C: drive).

When you select the above operations, Windows will clearly explain what to do, so it will be very easy to do.

My next post will cover my installation of the new Windows 8 version in my other computer. I am now playing with it and exploring all the new features of the system. All I can tell you now is that I like it a lot, but it takes a little time to get used to it and to learn all the new stuff that comes with it.

George Freire

Saturday, October 13, 2012

An Important Security Alert

I get daily emails from the  KIM KOMANDO SHOW;

Today I received the following security alert, which I am publishing for you all to know:

"There's a dangerous phishing email going around with the subject line: "CNN Breaking News -- Mitt Romney Almost President."

If you receive this email, I recommend you delete the email immediately!

Inside the email are legitimate-looking links that will take you to a malicious website. This site will put a virus on your computer that leaves it wide open for hackers. They can steal your information, including online passwords and financial data.

This is a good reminder to be cautious when opening unsolicited email, especially one containing links. If you have doubts about an email, visit the site referenced in the email manually instead of clicking the links in the email.

This malicious email isn't the only threat out there, so it's also a good idea to have up-to-date security software installed. You can find great, free security software on my site at this address: "

All I can tell you folks is Please be vigilant.

George Freire

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Have you lost your contacts list in your Windows Live Mail Program ???


Here is a situation that is quite upsetting for those who use "Windows Live Mail" with Windows 7.

Remember that when you used  Windowa XP and Vista this mail program was called "Outlook Express" ?

Then you switched to Windows 7 just to find out that "Outlook Express"  was no longer available. Microsoft advised that you had to download "Windows Live Mail" from their Windows Live page.

Every once in a while I have had a number of people contact me saying that all of a sudden their contacts list in the "Contacts" folder, just vanished and they were scratching their heads in frustration. (By the way that also happened to me a while ago, I was also frustrated and of course investigated the problem and found a solution).

I really do not know why it happens, (if anybody knows please let me know), but this morning a good friend called me; she was in agony, "George what am I to do ? I just lost all my contacts list, please help !!"

I helped her recover all her contacts and for those of you that might come through the same problem, here is what you have to do:

-Open you Windows Live Mail and go to your "Inbox".

-On the left column of the box, go all the way down to the "Contacts" folder icon and click it.

-A dialog  box opens. Go to the "Customize Tool Bar" which is the second bar from the top of the box and all the way to the right, just before the "blue help question mark" you'll fin an icon in a small box that looks like a sheet of paper  with a small arrow. This is the "Menus" tab. Click on it and a small dialog box opens, showing several choices among them "Import".

- Click "Import". Another dialog box opens with more choices, including "Address Book for current   Windows user". Click on it and "voila" ! all the contacts are immediately imported to your Windows Live Mail "Contacts" folder.

It is that simple, but if you do not know how to do it, you just might get a little frustrated. Now you know how to handle it.

If you have any questions just let me know.

Until the next post.

George Freire

Monday, October 8, 2012

How to Fix Your Wi-Fi Network

If you have a Wi-Fi network at home or at the office, (most of us do), I am sure you have experienced  problems that all of a sudden, unexpectedly leave you scratching your head.

Wireless Internet networks afford us the luxury of browsing the Web cable-free, but a connection that relies on radio waves is subject to failure due to interference, signal range limits, hardware problems, and operator error.

PCWorld published sometime ago a very useful article that addresses this problem and help you deal with it rather easily.

The following link will tale you to this PCWorld page; either click on it and if it does not work, copy and paste to your browser:

I hope it will help many of you.

George Freire

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How to remove Windows.old folder from your (C:) drive and why?

For those of you who upgraded to Windows 7 from XP or Vista, you'll find out that a folder called "Windows.old"was created on the C: hard drive.

This "Windows.old" folder contains files that were used in your previous version of Windows and can use a large amount of storage in your hard drive.

Is it important that you keep this folder? after all it contains all kinds of files:  Program Files, Program Files (x86), Users folder, ProgramData, Settings, and the previous Windows program itself.

This "Windows .old" folder as I said above can be very large. In one of my computers where I upgraded from Vista to 7, this folder was 89 GB in size and held   31,376 folders containing 230,325 files. That is a lot even for a 1 TB hard drive.

After you have been using Windows 7 for a while and you are sure that all programs and important files were successfully  transferred from your old version, that your settings are back where they should be, there  is no need to keep such a large folder in your hard drive.

Of course I assume that you have backed up your important files in an external drive or by any other means. If you have not, do it before trying to delete "Windows.old", since it contains all the old files you are still using. Once you delete "Windows.old", it cannot be undone.

Deleting "Windows.old" cannot be done from Windows Explorer.You have to run "Disk Cleanup" as an Administrator. To do this right-click the  "Disk Cleanup" shortcut and then "Run as Administrator" if you are not already signed in as such.

Here are the steps required to delete the "Windows .old" folder:

1-Click the "Start" button; in the "Search Box" type "Disk Cleanup". You will be prompted to    select the drive in which Windows 7 is installed, normally it is drive (C); click OK. A small box opens for a few seconds in order to calculate how much space you will be able to free on drive (C).

2-  In the "Disk Cleanup" dialog box that opens select the box "Previous Windows Installations" and "check mark" it. Uncheck all other boxes that might be  checked such as "Temporary Files", "Recycle Bin" , etc..

3- In the box that appears, (Are you sure to permanently delete these files), click "Delete Files".

That  is all, a new small dialog box opens up and shows you the files being deleted until the action is finished.

I recently installed an SSD drive in my main computer. Because these drives are still rather expensive, I selected and bought a 120 GB unit. In order to install Windows 7 and other programs that I use regularly, I did this by creating a "C: drive Disk Image" . Prior to this of course I deleted the "Windows.old" folder and transferred high volume folders such as Documents, My Pictures, My Music, User Files etc.etc. to my regular hard drive, now changed to as Drive (F:).

The end result is that the OS plus other programs I regularly use run now on an SSD drive and my computer operation is so much faster it is hard to believe.

Drive F: can now be accessed just like any other drive and its programs and files will just run normally, but not as fast as those installed in the SSD drive (C:)

Note: SSD drives are becoming a LOT less expensive then they were a few months ago. 120 GB to 250 GB run between $120.00 to $300.00. I paid a little less than $120.00 for my 120 GB SSD drive.

I hope this post will be of help to most of you. If you have any questions or if you decide to install an SSD drive in your computer and are not brave enough to do at it by yourselves, just post a question or e-mail me. I will then post a more complete description on how to transfer you OS and other program files to you new and very, very fast new SSD drive.

George Freire

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What is a computer virus? ways to protect yourself

One of our readers, Belinda J Darling from Australia sent me an e-mail with an article she wrote which I think is well worth publishing:
What is a computer virus? ways to protect yourself

 So Belinda here is your nice and useful article:

We’ve all heard of computer viruses, but hands up who knows what a computer virus actually is? How do you get them? And what can you do to protect yourself from computer viruses?
Avoiding computer viruses is not dissimilar to avoiding winter flu’s. By diligently attending to your health and nutrition requirements, you minimise your chances of getting the latest permutation of gastro doing the rounds. Likewise, by keeping your computers virus-scanning software up to date, you can avoid infecting your system with a bug that has the potential to create total chaos. It’s easier than getting a flu shot.
But, I hear you say, I don’t get shots because the winter lurgy has never really troubled me.  And nor has a computer virus. Why should I bother with those irritating little ‘software updates are ready for your computer’ alerts? They just stand in the way of getting where I want to go online.
Computer viruses are insidious things. They can be used to steal your personal information, trick you into buying fake software- and your information can also be sold on the digital black market. Pretty scary stuff. Computer viruses are little programs designed to wreak havoc. They can delete, create, and move files. They can, in other words, bring you to your knees.
Keeping your software up to date is one of the most important components in protecting yourself against computer viruses, but it’s by no means the only one. Carefully screening your emails is a simple and easy way to avoid viruses. Sometimes, even those alert to suspicious looking messages can fall prey. This happened to me on Twitter recently when a trusted friend forwarded a link with the message ‘hey look at this, someone is saying really horrible things about you’ Rest assured that even if they are, it’s probably got nothing to do with that link. It’s just a hook to suck you in.
There are plenty of other simple ways experts such as SuperGeek can help teach you to avoid your computer being infected with a virus. By paying attention to your computers health, you’ll avoid many hours spent picking up the pieces after a computer crash.

By the way, here is a link to Belinda's SuperGeek address:
 Thank you Belinda for your thoughts,
George Freire


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Microsoft Fix It Solutions Center

Back in February 2010, I published a post that is as helpful today as it was then.

Very few people know that Microsoft has a " quick fix it " web page that can help solve many problems encountered with their most popular products. I was reviewing some past published posts and this one is certainly well worth republishing, so there it goes:

We all from time to time have problems related to Microsoft Products, such as :

Internet Explorer
Email and Messaging
Windows Media Player
Windows Media Center

Such problems may be pretty simple to correct, but many times, such problems can be exasperating because "Windows" is a very sophisticated program with thousands of hidden files that only those who are true experts can see and somehow debug them.

Some of you may not know that Microsoft has a web site that is extremely helpful and can help you correct such problems.

The site is called as the title above indicates "FIX IT SOLUTIONS CENTER".

The site address is

If you click the above address you'll be immediately be "transported" to this site. Once there, first select the "About Fix It" on the left side tab of the page in order to understand how it works.

After that, select the product you are having problems with, (which are all described on that same tab). When you do so, the right side of the page opens up and shows a series of most likely problems that can occur with the product.

If you see in any of the described problems areas common with your problem or problems, click on it and a new page opens. In this page you'll see the steps you need to take in order to solve the problem, BUT EVEN BETTER, you are asked if you want the "Fix It Solutions Center" program to do it automatically for you!!

If you click yes, (and who wouldn't...), like magic the "Fix It Solutions Center" will do it for you.

One word of advice here: You must follow a few instructions, and click here and there for the solution program to run.

Even if you are not experiencing any problems now, I suggest, (just for the sake of familiarizing yourself with "Fix It Solutions Center"), that you go to the site and read the instructions.

I hope this will be, (for those who did not know about it), a great tip that will help you solve many problems that sooner or later you'll be faced with when operating your computer.

George Freire

Friday, August 24, 2012

This is for you dog lovers

Today I'm not going to talk about computer issues.
A good friend of mine sent me the following e-mail, knowing that I am a dog lover.
I know that many of you readers of my blog are also dog lovers, therefore I am sure that you'll love the clip. (Please don't cry).
One of the most magical moments on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson happened in 1981 when Jimmy Stewart shared a poem about his dog, Beau. What the audience thought was going to be humorous, became something they will never forget. Copy and paste the following address to your browser:
George Freire

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why Windows so many times wakes up by itself from sleep mode ? It is frustrating but we will teach you how to fix it

It has happened to me many times: I put Windows in Sleep Mode and when I return to my computer hours later, the computer is wide awake. Frustrating to say the least.

So I decided to find the reason why this happens. After investigating and investigating, I found out why it happens and how to fix this situation for good.

Has it happened to you? I am willing to bet that many of my readers have gone through this upsetting situation and still do not know how to fix it, or why it happens, so here goes:

There are several reasons, (I found out), why Windows may wake up by itself from Sleeping Mode. A program may be on updating auto mode, the mouse software may act up, and many other Windows internal mysteries also may act up.

However, the most likely culprit is your Network Card, but other issues can cause this problem. First of all we must find out what event or hardware device caused Windows to wake up.

Here is how to find out the culprit:

-Go to "Start", "All Programs", "Accessories", "Command Prompt".

-On the black window you'll see C:\users\(your name)>

-Type "powercfg/lastwake" after (your name). In my computer it would look like this:


-Press enter

There you are, next line will tell you what caused the wake up, and most likely it was your Network Card.

If that was the case. here is what to do:

-Right click "My Computer" and select "Properties".

-Click "Device Manager" on the left side of the Properties window.

-Go down the list of devices until you find "Network Adapters" and click on the little triangle to  expand; this will show your network card name.

-Right click on the network card name and select "Properties".

-Click the "Power Management" tab to open it and then uncheck the box "allow this device to wake the computer".

That is all, from now on your Network Card will never again wake up your computer when it is on the Sleep Mode.

If the above does not resolve the problem, "Power Management" options may be the problem; do the following:

-Click "Start"/Control Panel/System and Security/Power Options.

-In "Power Options" click "change power options" then click "change advanced power settings".

-Go down the list of settings to "Multimedia  Settings";  click "when sharing media" and set it to "allow the computer to sleep".

This should take care of it.

Have fun,

George Freire

Monday, July 16, 2012

Why some times, when dragging a window, only its rectangular border moves first?

I don't know about how you feel when dragging a window in your desktop from one place to another, only the window rectangular border bold line moves first to the new position. Then and only then the remainder of the window follows.

This drives me nuts, because it happens for no reason, but most times after some new program has been installed etc.

"Windows" is capricious and stuff like this just happens when you least expect. There are so many hidden features, commands, strange responses, (and the list goes on), that it is impossible for most of us to know how to handle such issues.

This issue happened in my main computer last week. I honestly do not know what caused it. I decided to investigate and after a couple of hours of hard tryouts and sniffing all kinds of help issues I found out a solution.

Here is what will get your computer to handle the dragging of  a whole window, without moving the rectangular border bold line first:

-Open the "Start" menu and type "effects" into the bottom box.

-Choose "Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows" .

-In the "Performance Options" open window, select the "Visual Effects" tab.

-Go down the list of options in the box and MAKE SURE THAT THE OPTION : "Show Windows  content while dragging" is turned on.

-Check "Apply" and "OK".

Next time you drag a window, everything will be back to normal!.

Have fun.

George Freire

Saturday, July 7, 2012

300,000 Infected Computers to Go Offline Monday

Folks, I am sorry for alerting you so late, but I myself was unaware that this critical situation existed. shame on me i should say.

Anyway, for those  of you checking this blog today and tomorrow there is still time to avoid the problem.

Please be aware and  [relieved], that not all computers are in danger, but you never know.

The following explains the situation in detail:

The culprit is a virus called DNSChanger which at one point, infected  as many as 4 million PCs and Macs . This malware, earned its makers as much as  $14 million, U.S. federal authorities have said.

FBI has been warning people that a blackout of their access to the Internet could be coming. The warnings about the Internet problem have been splashed across Facebook and Google, and Internet service providers have sent notices as well. But tens of thousands of Americans may still lose their Internet service Monday unless they do a quick check of their computers for malware that could have taken over their machines more than a year ago.

Infected machines will lose their link to the Internet at 12:01 a.m. ET Monday, July 9, when replacement DNS servers go dark. The servers, which have been maintained under a federal court order by Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), the non-profit group that maintains the popular BIND DNS open-source software, were deployed last year after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized more than 100 command-and-control (C&C) systems during the take-down of the hacker gang responsible for DNSChanger.

PCWorld has advised that Despite repeated alerts, the number of computers that probably are infected is more than 277,000 worldwide, down from about 360,000 in April. Of those still infected, the FBI believes that about 64,000 are in the United States. Users whose computers are still infected Monday will lose their ability to go online, and they will have to call their service providers for help deleting the malware and and reconnecting to the Internet.

There are  steps available that will allow you to check if your computer is infected and if so how to safely clean it up:

To check whether a computer is infected, users can visit a website run by the group brought in by the FBI: This link also provides resources for how to “disinfect” your computer should the malware be found on it.

Click on the following link, (if it does not work, just copy and paste to you browser):

The other method which will tell you if your computer is infected is to go to:

This will open a page where all of the above is explained in detail and also shows a color display under the title "DNS Changer Check Up". If the background color is green, your computer is OK, however if it is infected, the background color will be red.

The odds for your computer to be infected are relatively small, but you never know.

Good luck to you all. This is very urgent and please do the checking and if necessary the repair immediately. The Web page outlined above has all the tools to do the job quickly.

Sorry for being so late in warning you, but I (shame on me), did know this threat  existed until late last night.

George Freire

Saturday, June 30, 2012

(FOR THOSE WHO DID NOT SEE THIS POST FROM EARLY 2011):The Most Common Computer Problems People Ask Me About

Today I want to re-issue a post published in early 2011, because lately a lot of people come to me with the same problem questions.

I thought that the following will be useful for all of you:

"Dear visitors to this blog,

I spend a lot of time, (and enjoy it!), in writing stuff for this blog and finding interesting computer related items in other publications that may be of interest to all of you.

I also spend time helping mostly friends and other people they refer me to, around the area where I live, Chapin in South Carolina.

Can you guess what are the most common problems most people have when they ask for my help?

It should not be difficult to guess: "George, my computer runs so slow", or "my computer freezes for no reason", "my hard drive stopped working and I lost all my files", "I can't connect to my printer", "it takes 15 20 minutes for the computer to boot!" etc. etc.

Most of the above problems could be avoided or at least simplified if such computers would be handled with more care. A lot of people think that computers run forever and follow the principle that "as long as it ain't broke don't try to interfere with it...".

This is bad, very bad. First of all you all should believe that ALL computers, (for sure), some day will break up due to hard drive problems, viruses and spyware infections, power surges, power supply failures, etc. etc.

HOWEVER, if you handle your computer with care, (later on I'll cover what care really means), computers can last a long time and in some cases even be upgraded to the latest,(or close to it), technology available. Take for instance my wife's computer,(which of course is taken care of by me), it is about 5 years old, runs like new, has been upgraded with more RAM memory, Windows 7, and I am now contemplating installing a new 1 TB hard drive.

Let's now talk about what computer care means:

-Fight infections from viruses, malicious spyware, trojans and other invasive malware.
-Reduce atart-up programs that load automatically every time you boot the computer.
-Free hard drive space by eliminating programs that you do not use, or were loaded without you ever noticing.
-Delete on a regular basis temporary Internet files, other temporary files, cookies etc.
-Defrag your hard drive on a regular basis.
-Check for malicious programs like spyware, spam, viruses etc.
-Install more RAM memory, at least up to 4 GB. RAM memory is so cheap today that this is a must.If you have 64 bit Windows 7 you can use as much RAM memory as you can afford, but for any other version of Windows, including 32 bit W7, no point in going over 4 GB RAM, because Windows will not recognize it.
-BACK UP your important files or better still make a mirror copy of you hard drive.
-Keep you computer clean and free of dust that accumulates on the cooling fans openings and inside the computer case.

The above are some of the most important steps most computer owners can easily take care of. If you take care of those I can assure you that your computer will run much better than it does now, and it will last much longer also.

There are many utility programs that can be used to correct all of the problems outlined above. Many are free for the taking, others have to be paid for.

I have made available on this blog, many of these utility programs, which can be downloaded and installed, by just clicking on web addresses also outlined on these pages.


All you have to do is scroll down to older posts or check the roster of posts outlined on the left column of the opening page.

Here is a list of the most popular and best utility programs you can find here, that will help you keep your computer in top shape:

-Ashampoo Win Optimiser
-Advanced System Care
-Disk Keeper
-Free Fixer
-Registry Mechanic
-Ad Aware
-Starup Delayer
-Avira Antivirus
-Clamwin Antivirus

And many more...

By the way, if you have a problem finding any of the above on the blog, all you have to do is google the name, and for sure you'll find the proper web address to download whatever you are looking for.

I will be glad to help you use all of the above or give you more recommendations, all you have to do is ask me.

George Freire "

Hope you all will enjoy and use the information,

George Freire

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


A friend of mine sent me this email:

This is not CNC technology; this guy made everything at home on his
> > lathe and drill press. Took 1220 hours (a year and a half?) to make the 261
> > pieces. Note the end-loaded crankshaft into the block (like an Offy), 12
> > individual cylinder heads, TINY rods and pistons, dual "underhead" cams
> > with pushrods to rockers in the heads. And, he did break-in runs using an
> > electric drill driving the crankshaft! .

I was totally flabbergasted when I clicked the following link:

Even you guys who are not mechanically inclined, it is amazing what this fellow accomplished!

The video is in Spanish, I don't know who the fellow is, but you judge by yourselves, it is simply amazing.

George Freire

How to Troubleshoot Your PC

Today we'll give you another link to another PCWorld article that we can classify as a continuation of our latest post of May 7, "The Greatest PC Mysteries Solved".

This time they tackle PC problems such as:

-My Computer Takes Minutes to Respond When I Click Something

-During Shutdown, a Message Appears That Says 'Other People Are Logged On to This Computer'

-Beep Codes Sound While My System Is Booting Up

-My System Won't Start at All, and Pressing the Power Button Has No Effect

-My Monitor Has Color Issues or Suddenly Goes Blank (No Display)

-My System Randomly Restarts Without a Crash or a Blue Screen

-My Keyboard Isn't Working--Nothing I Type Comes Up on the Screen

-My Computer Is Trapped in a Cycle of Continual Reboots, With Constant Blue Screens

And many more that you'll appreciate by clicking the following link:

I love PCWorld for all the good stuff they come up with. They have by far the best tech writers in the business.

I get almost daily technical emails from them and of course I have been a PCWorld  subscriber for many years. Some of you might want to check how to subscribe to this wonderful magazine. It only costs about $25.00 per year vs. the cover price of $84.00 if you had to buy the 12 monthly issues separately. If you are interested, just go to and check it out.

I am making this recommendation out of self appreciation for this magazine, nothing else.

George Freire

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Greatest PC Mysteries--Solved!

Today I'm giving you a link to a PCWorld's page that I am sure all of you will enjoy.

On this page you will see how PCWorld's editors banded together to solve the greatest PC mysteries.

You'll find answers to many questions such as:

Why is [Program X] always running when I start my PC?

Why does my PC keep making a grinding sound?

Why do I need administrator access to delete certain files?

Does it matter whether I 'safely remove' devices?

Where did my downloaded files go? Why can't I find them?

My Recycle Bin has disappeared. How do I restore it?

Why do Adobe Reader and Java update so frequently? Do I have to allow it?

And many many more issues, all of them with further links for clear explanation of each one.

The link is:

I assure you this web page is fascinating especially for those of you who like to explore and understand the intricacies of Windows.

Have fun.

George Freire

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I am sure that  most of you know how to change "double click" to "single click" in order to open program icons in your desk top.

I also know that probably some  of you do not know how to do it; (many  people I have helped did not even know that this was possible. This post is for you).

I for one, can't stand having to "double click" an icon every time I want to open a program.

For those of you who have no idea how to do it, here goes: ( I really do not understand why Windows does not have an icon on the start  screen to make this option available at the touch of you mouse button).






That's it, from now on you will only have to single click rather than double click any icon in your desk top in order to open programs.

George Freire

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Most computers come now with SD flash drives readers so that you can plug in your camera SD drives directly to the computer and transfer your pictures.

Somehow all of a sudden these readers do not show at all in your Windows Explorer under "Computer",  the end result being, you are not able to see the content of your SD drives.

Do not ask me why this happens, I really do not know. Windows will many times perform in strange ways that are difficult to understand.

A friend of mine called me last Sunday for help: "George I cannot check my camera's SD chip in my new computer SD reader. I've tried everything to no result".

I happen to know some little secrets about Windows strange surprises such as this one, because I have helped other people with the same problem. How do i know this? well it is simple to explain, I do a lot of investigation on the internet , forums etc. when I don't know the answer to a problem; I keep doing it until I find the answer.

If you have a problem with your SD reader such as the above do the following:

Click "Start", go to Control Panel and select the "Appearance and Personalization" title.

Now select "Folder Options" sub title.

On the "Folder Options" box click the "View" tab.

Scroll down until you see the option " Hide empty drives in the computer folder".

Uncheck the small square box on the left of this option.

Click "apply" and then "OK".

And voila ! now your SD reader is back in business.

George Freire

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Of course, most of you have heard or used, (with or without success), Windows "System Restore". This application has been available since Windows XP. If properly used it can solve a lot of creepy problems that can happen to your computer, caused by programs updates, viruses, bad programs installations etc. etc.

All of a sudden you try to boot your computer and nothing happens, blue screen, black screen or even worse... If you know how to use "System Restore" properly you might be able to solve most of these problems, however, sometimes it is exasperating to get it right.

Before I tell you the best way to get this application to work right, just consider that it can be used two ways: if you are able to boot your computer, fine and OK but if you cannot, you still can use it in "Safe Mode". I assume you all know how to boot in "Safe Mode", but if not, it is very easy: "restart the computer and immediately tap...tap F8. The computer will go into several gyrations and when finished will give different choices to open. Choose "Safe Mode" and wait until it boots completely.

How does it work? Your computer will automatically create "restore points" whenever a new program is downloaded and installed, when programs are updated and many other situations.

When you use "System Restore", your computer virtually goes back to the restore point you select, (a date and time prior to the moment your troubles started), and should be back to business as usual. This sounds simple enough, however problems can just pop up and you get a message such as "your computer cannot be restored to your selected restore point".

Now here is the easy way to get to "System Restore" either on regular boot or "Safe Mode" boot:

1- Click "Start/Control Panel/System Security and on the top  right search box, type "system". A new box will open. The first title in that box is "System". Under "System" go down until you see "Restore system files and settings from a restore point".

2- A "System Restore" box will open. Read the instructions and click "next" on bottom right.

3- A new box opens with a top title " Restore your computer to the state it was before the selected event" Under that there will be a chart showing at least one restore point, with date and time and description of the restore point. Below the chart, on the bottom left, there is a square box with the title "Show more store points".

4- Check that box and immediately the chart fills up with several restore points that have been created in the past several weeks or even months.

5- Make sure that you select a restore point with date and time prior to the moment you started having problems. I normally select a date and time in the previous day. Click "Next" and the computer will start the restoring operation. It will restart and stop etc. just let it go until the whole process is finished.

6- The computer will be restored to the point you have selected and any traces of whatever programs or updates installed after the selected restore point that caused your headaches will vanish.

"System Restore" does not affect any of your documents, pictures or any other personal data; however, recently installed programs and drivers will be uninstalled.This process is reversible, in case it does not work right.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to post  comment.

I hope this will be of help to some of you.

George Freire

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Win 7 Internet Security 2012 Virus Threat

Do you remember my post of April 2, 2011? If you don't, just go to the archive select it and read the content.

The subject was about fake anti virus software offered on the Internet or through e-mails, designed to steal your personal information and charge your credit card for purchasing this software that does absolutely nothing except damaging your computer to a point that you cannot open any programs, go to the Internet etc.

Today there is out there another version of this pesky virus and it is called
"Win 7 Internet Security 2012" and it has nothing to do with Microsoft as it implies. It tells you that if you download the software it will analyse your computer Win 7 operating system, find any bugs, improve speed etc. etc.

Once you scan your computer with "Win 7 Internet Security 2012", it scares you with a fake report on all kinds of problems found. Then it tells you that if you buy the the full version, it will clean up the computer for good. If you fall for it, this program instead of fixing the computer will make it inoperable, will destroy files and drive you crazy for paying money to these crooks and finding that now they have your CC # and other information on you.

This virus software is very dangerous and extremely difficult to get rid of. In some cases it will close every program you try to open making it almost impossible to run program in an infected computer.

First thing to do is to call the CC company, explain what happened, cancel that CC and they will issue another in no time flat, most cases by sending you a new CC by "UPS next day".

Recently I helped another friend, (not the one mentioned in my post of April 2, 2011), who fell for this scheme.

I am going to tell you how to remove this virus software from your computer; you'll need a little patience, it will pay to be patient:

A- If you still can get to the Internet you may use your infected computer for this step, if you cannot access the Internet, use another computer either yours or a friend's:

Open IE or other browser and download "PROCESS EXPLORER" from Microsoft Web Site. Save it as "explorer.exe". (if you use another computer, save it in a flash memory stick to copy it later to the infected computer). "PROCESS EXPLORER" is a free utility which will give you the capability to forcefully close down the Win 7 Internet Security 2012 virus software, so that you will be able to remove it later.

B-Once "explorer.exe" is in the infected computer, click on it to run it. (it takes just a couple of seconds). This utility will open the "processes list" screen. Select "End Process Tree"
and click "yes" on the next dialog box. This will forcefully close "Win 7 Internet Security 2012" virus software, so that you will be able to remove it.

C-Download, (using the same method outlined under A above), the utility "Spy Hunter", and do a full scan of the infected computer. This utility will remove the infection. Restart the computer and now you are done !

I hope this will help those of you who were caught by this bad bad malware.

PLEASE NOTE: If you cannot copy and install the utilities referred above in the infected computer, run it in safe mode, (I assume you know how to put a computer in safe mode), and follow steps A, B and C above in safe mode. It will work out OK.

George Freire

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: A Visual Tour

From PCWorld here is a preview of what Windows 8 will look like.

Windows 8 has come a long way since the Developer Preview last year. While you wait for the download, here’s a look at what you can expect.

Click the following link to find out:

George Freire

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PokerTH Texas Hold-Em Portable

PokerTH Portable is a Texas Hold-Em style poker game with computer-generated opponents as well as network play against opponents all over the world. You can play against up to 10 computer-controlled players or jump into an online game against real people all over the world.

This is a portable program, and can be installed on a USB flash drive so you can take it with you and play on any computer. It can also of course be installed in your computer. Some security programs will flag it as a potential virus. Don't worry; it's perfectly safe

PokerTH Portable is a classic Texas Hold Em style poker game. With support for up to 10 networked or computer players, custom avatars, custom cards, online chat, sound and an easy-to-use graphical interface, it's sure to provide hours of fun play. Learn more about PokerTH...

To download, click the following link, and... have fun!

George Freire

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pendulums: A joyful experiment

For you guys who enjoy scientific experiments, this is absolutely mind boggling.

A good friend sent me this and after I watched it, I said to myself, "I have to post it on my blog".

I hope you all will enjoy it as much as I did.

Harvard students built a device with a series of 15 pendulums in a row, each one slightly longer than its neighbor, then set them in motion and filmed the result.

Just click on the link below and be entertained for a couple of minutes:

The result in this short video is quite fascinating. I want one!

George Freire

Monday, February 13, 2012

5,000 Visitors!!

I opened up my blog this morning and noticed that during this week-end the number of visitors reached 5,000.

Just a word of thanks to you all for your continued interest and loyalty.

I have however one request to make to you all: PARTICIPATION.

Please participate by writing comments, by telling us about your computer problems, how you solved them or if you were not able to, ask us for advice.

This blog would be a lot more interesting and helpful if some of you would participate. Don't be shy, tell us stories and experiences, (I am sure many of you must have lots of interesting experiences that happened along the years you have been working with computers).

As for me, I'll try to keep bringing good material and advice to this blog, but PLEASE think about it and do PARTICIPATE !!!

George Freire

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Digital Spam: How Bad Guys Try to Trick You; How to Avoid the Traps

Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of news these last few weeks.

Today i have to link you to a very good article from PCWorld, which has the perfect timing, taking into consideration the spam attacks we all are subjected to every time we turn our computers on.

The latest forms of digital spam include clickjacking, junk apps, bad QR codes, and much more and unfortunately some of you will fall for these if you are not alert and careful.

Let's not waste any more time, just click the following link or copy/paste to your browser address bar:

I am sure you'll enjoy it and learn how prevent being taken by the bad guys...

George Freire

Monday, January 9, 2012


A good friend sent me the following email. I thought that most of you would like to read it:

Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on.Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open.Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them?Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.If Wal-Mart is lowering prices every day, how come nothing is free yet?

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened.We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors....but they all exist very nicely in the same box.A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.Have an awesome day, and know that someone who thinks you're great has thought about you today!.."And that person was me.".....
Working for God on earth does not pay much, but His Retirement plan is out of this world.

George Freire

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The 21 Greatest PC Mysteries--Solved!


What follows is a fascinating article from PCWORLD, that I just have to publish here for you viewers of this blog to read and digest.

Modern PCs are certainly marvels of technology--and yet for all their advances, computers still do crazy, inexplicable things happen...

In this article and its available several links, you'll be able to find out why your documents won’t print, where your downloads disappear to, what a .dat file is, how those infernal toolbars invaded your browser, and much more.

Just go to the following link and enjoy!!

Sorry for the long absence, but with all the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and our, (my wife and I), 53rd wedding anniversary, I was as you can imagine pretty busy.

Best wishes to you all.