Microsoft Called Me About Errors – Should I Be Concerned?
John from Oklahoma writes:
Had a person call who stated he was a Microsoft maintenance representative and it had been reported that my computer was showing a lot of error and warning activity which was causing it to run slow. I have a PH Pavilion computer with Windows 7 bought in April 2011. To prove this he had me type in “eventvr” in the search programs and file start box. This brought up event viewer and under administrative events a list of errors and warnings. He had me try and delete them(today over 9800). Of course, I couldn’t. He stated these errors and warnings were a problem and were causing my computer to run slow. He wanted to connect me with his technician who would walk me through getting rid of this problem. Being leery, I thanked him and told him I would call him back after I researched this problem, if I needed his help. He was not a happy camper. In reviewing the errors and warnings shown, messages, such as, Dhcp-client, print services, kernel-eventtracing, application virtualization, etc…, I noticed that a lot of this activity was taking place late a night or early morning when my computer was supposedly turned off. Last night for instance, over a hundred errors with the source stated as cdrom. I do run ccleaner and Norton each night, as the last thing I do, and have Norton turn off the computer after it is finished. My question, should I be concerned? If so, what can I do to fix the problem and how do I keep it from happening in the future?
John, you should be leery. Microsoft does not call people at home about their individual computer issues, period. If someone calls you up out of the blue and says they are working for Microsoft and have called to fix an error, they are flat out lying.
Errors reported by Windows are compiled and used to create future bug fixes. They are no responded to on an individual basis. You are certainly not alone in being targeted by this scam and it has been going on for years.
Anyone who pulls up event viewer is going to see a lot of activity. Below is an example of mine and my computer is running just fine. Most of these events are minor and just par for the course of PC operation.
These scams end with the crooks asking you to pay several hundred dollars to fix the “errors” on your computers. The event viewer is not slowing down your computer. Unless you’ve noticed an issue with your computer, it is probably just fine. And if there is an issue slowing it down, the guy on the phone doesn’t have any solution but to empty your wallet. Running Norton and CC cleaner are great measures to take care of your computer. So is hanging up on crooks like the guy who called.
Microsoft suggests you contact local law enforcement and also the FBI’s Internet Crime Center at this link.
It doesn’t sound like you gave these guys access to your computer, but if you did, change all of your account passwords ASAP.
Attackers Hit New Low With Fake Funeral E-mails
Cyber criminals looking to infect your computer with malware have hit a new low with a fake funeral e-mail that’s making the rounds.
The Better Business Bureau issued a nationwide warning about this new trend. An e-mail will arrive in your inbox that looks like this:
It appears to come from a funeral home and reads, “We offer our deepest prayers of condolence and invite you to be present at the celebration of your friends life service.” Then it asks the reader to click on a link for more details about the service.
The link will take you to a foreign domain that contains malware that can hijack your computer and steal your personal information.
The appearance of the e-mail may vary with scammers using familiar funeral homes in your area. These crooks hijacked the name of a funeral home in Texas recently. The Eubank Funeral Home has received nearly 100 complaints a day about these e-mails in the past two months. The funeral home was forced to take its phone number off its website and post this disclaimer.
These crooks were clever, actually using the same colors and type styles of the actual funeral home website.
To protect yourself from tricks like this, make sure you always have your virus and malware protection up to date. And, as always, be suspicious of unusual e-mails with links or attachments. Especially those that say you have to take some kind of immediate action.
Support Ends In 2014 For Windows XP and Office 2003
Using the Overdrive Media Console Including iPod Transfers
As a laptop gets older, it starts to slow down a little. You may notice that pages load slower, videos take longer to start playing, and general slowness of the machine. Unfortunately, thousands of people a year replace their laptop batteries without performing any monthly recalibration on it at all. If you want to get the best performance out of your laptop, here are a few steps to follow.
- Charge your laptop’s battery all the way to 100%.
-Once the laptop is fully charged, unplug it and let the battery drain. Feel free to use the laptop during this period, as it will help it drain more quickly. Once you see that the battery is almost empty, save your work and close any open pages. Then let the laptop shut itself off.
-Let the dead battery sit for about 5 or 6 hours, or overnight. This will help eliminate any leftover charge the battery may have, and lets the battery start over from zero.
-After you’ve let your laptop sit, plug it back in and let it charge all the way to 100% before using it again.
Battery maintenance is an important process that many people neglect. Recalibration should be done monthly if possible to ensure best results. If done on a regular basis, you should notice greatly extended battery life on your computer, and hopefully postpone the purchase of any replacement parts.
Windows 8: Quick & Easy Screenshots
Windows 8 includes a fantastic feature to take screenshots (images of what’s on your screen) quickly and easily. Traditionally, to take a screenshot in Windows 7 and below, you would need to hit the PrtScn key, then open a photo program like Paint or Photoshop, and go to Edit > Paste (or Ctrl + V) and save the image.
On Windows 8, you can simply hold down the Windows key (the windows icon on the keyboard next to the Ctrl key) and hit PrtScn, and a screenshot will be saved to your My Pictures\Screenshots folder as a PNG format image. This popular image format can be read by windows and by most photo software.
So next time you want to show somebody something in Windows 8, or save an error or warning that comes up on the screen, hit the Windows Key + PrtScn key and you’ll have a screenshot saved for you.
P.S. For detailed instructions on how to take a screenshot in other operating systems, check out http://take-a-screenshot.org/
Firefox Quick Find
I don’t know about you, but when I’m doing research on the Internet the last thing I want to do is have to scan en entire page of nonsense when I can just hit a shortcut key and search for a keyword.
Yeah, yeah – we all know the drill: Hit Ctrl-F and type in your query…
But did you know that Firefox offers an even quicker way to search for something on a page? Seriously! Just hit, the / key on your keyboard (located just to the left of the Shift key) and start typing!
You’ll find that word in no time!
Take an iPad Screenshot
Okay, big day – you’ve finally beaten Angry Birds, with three stars on all the levels, and you want to show off. So, what’re you going to do? Carry your iPad around with you everywhere and never play the game again?
No! You take a screenshot so you can post it and e-mail it to everyone!
First, make sure your iPad is on the screen you want to capture. Now click and hold the Home button button and press the top button on your iPad. You have to be pretty nimble, otherwise you might get sent back to the home screen or put your iPad to sleep.
If done correctly, however, you’ll hear a camera noise and the screen will flash.
Now simply go into your Photos. You should see your screenshot, and from there you can share or e-mail it.
Google Reverse Image Search
So, say you have an image you grabbed off the Internet and you want to find a larger size, but you can’t quite remember where you got the image in the first place? What do you do? Where do you go?
There’s gotta be an easy way, right?
Yep, there is, and you can find it at Google. It’s called Reverse Image Search. Just head over to Google.com and click the Images button in the upper left-hand corner. The page should reload and you should see a little camera icon in the search box.
Now, you have options here – you can either browse to where your image is on your computer, paste the URL of an image from another site (right-click on the image and select Copy image URL) or even drag and drop and image from your desktop into the search bar.
Whichever method you choose, after you hit the Search button Google will scour the internet for like-looking images to the one you uploaded. You can also click on the link at the bottom and watch a short video that offers more explanation.
What a great idea!
Raul from Puerto Rico asks:
This may sound ridiculous, but I’m still a novice when it comes to e-mail. For example, what are attachments?
Hey, Raul – it’s not a ridiculous questions at all – hopefully this offers some insight.
An e-mail attachment is a file you include with an e-mail. For example, let’s say you have a text document or picture you want to share with someone. You can “attach” this document to an e-mail and send it off to them.
How do you attach it? Usually via a little paper clip icon in your e-mail software. Just click it and you should get a dialog box that lets you navigate to, and attach, the file of your choice.
And no, it doesn’t take the file off your computer, it only sends a copy of it.
A word of caution though. Keep an eye on the size of the file you’re sending. Your recipient may not appreciate downloading a 200 megabyte file.
Show File Extensions in Windows 7
I’m an old-school kind of guy who likes to know as much about the file he’s double-clicking on as possible. That means I like to know stuff like files sizes, where they’re located on my hard drive…and most of all, the file’s extension!
Is it a .txt file? Is it an .exe? Windows 7 hides this information if it’s a known file type, but I want to be sure all the time!
With that, here’s how you can make it so Windows 7 will always show you the file extension!
Hit Start, and in the search box, type Folder Options and hit Enter.
In the Folder Options window, make sure the View tab is selected and scroll down until you see the option to Hide extensions for known file types.
Un-check it and hit OK.
Quick and easy!
MS Word: Paragraph Formatting With Your Keyboard
We all know that if we want the first line in a paragraph to be indented you simply use the Tab key.
In addition, many of us are familiar with the alignment shortcuts:
Ctrl + L will left align a paragraph
Ctrl + E will center a paragraph
Ctrl + R will right align a paragraph
Ctrl + J will justify a paragraph
But what about hanging paragraphs where it’s everything after the first line that’s indented?
Any way to use the keyboard to create one of these?
Yep – you bet – with your cursor anywhere in the paragraph simply use Ctrl + T.
Looking to put the paragraph back to the left margin?
No problem. Use Ctrl + Shift + T and it will revert from a hanging paragraph to the usual.
If you’re looking to indent the entire paragraph from the left then use Ctrl + M. As you may suspect Ctrl + Shift + M will reverse the indent.
Here’s the big one – ready?
Use Ctrl + Q to remove all the paragraph formatting.
Now by “all” I do mean ALL…
…spacing before / after a paragraph
Even justification will be returned to the left with Ctrl + Q!
Simple key combinations for some pretty powerful formatting – definitely good information to know.
Public Library Books for Kindle?
A good read regarding your Kindle and finding books from libraries. Click Here
If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel on it, here’s a cool trick. Try Holding the Shift Key on your keyboard and then spin the mouse wheel. In both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox you’ll go forward or back a page depending on which way you spun the wheel! How cool is that?
Give it a try. Open up your browser, follow a few links, and then hold the Shift key and spin the wheel!
BookMyne – A new Apple iPhone application for on-the-go library users. In addition to providing mobile access to in-demand library information, holdings and services, BookMyne 2.1 offers a myriad of patron-pleasing features including:
- Barcode scanning capability, so library users can scan the barcode of a book at a bookstore or friend’s home and retrieve availability information on the book at the patron’s library of choice.
- Social recommendation engine powered via Goodreads, enabling iPhone or iPod Touch users to search library holding for friend-recommended reads.
- New York Times best seller list cross-referencing, enabling users to immediately cross-check the best seller list with library holdings and place holds remotely.
- Enhanced account interaction, including the ability for library users to view fines and fees on their Apple mobile device.
The BookMyne application can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for free.
For help with the iPhone application Bookmyne, you can download this PDF file – Click Here
Firefox Tab History
If you’re a multi-tab cowboy in Firefox like I am, then you’ll be glad to know that with a simple right-click you can view each individual tab’s history!
Yep, it’s just that easy! Now you can go back in time “Internet-Style” per tab!
Restore Quick Launch in Windows 7
One thing I noticed that was missing from Windows 7 was the Quick Launch bar; that little area on the task bar where you could store shortcuts for easy access. Well, today we’re going to learn how to get it back. It’s real easy, too!
Right-Click your task bar and select Toolbars>New toolbar… Copy and paste this text into the box next to “Folder:” at the bottom.
%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
Now press the “Select Folder” button.
After that, the area next to your clock should look a little like this.
It says “Quick Launch”, but it sure doesn’t look like what we’re used to, does it? To fix it, Right-click it and remove the check mark next to “Lock the taskbar”. Now Right-click the Quick Launch again and remove the checks next to “Show Text” and “Show Title”. Now all you have to do is drag that dotted line out a bit to expose the icons and Right-click one more time to put a check back next to “Lock the Taskbar”. You’re all set!
To remove the Quick Launch you just created, Right-click on your Taskbar and under Toolbars, uncheck Quick Launch. It’s that easy!
For facebook users: