- The Professor Falken Daily is out! http://t.co/G0qx73Bl ▸ Top stories today via @quietstorm_32 2012-10-09
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- The Professor Falken Daily is out! http://t.co/G0qx73Bl ▸ Top stories today via @CuonzoMartin @volsbuzztap 2012-10-06
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Category Archives: How-to
It happens two or three times a year. I get this question: I am about to get rid of my old computer, how can I safely erase the hard drive to protect my information? Today that question came from my Sister in Law Christine. Here was my answer:
This is an age old question. Short of taking the hard drive apart and shredding the magnetic disks inside, there is nothing you can do to prevent someone with the right tools and knowledge from recovering your files.
That said, there are a few things you can do to at least slow them down. #1 format the disk using a windows CD. This is enough to prevent the average person from recovering any info off the hard drive. #2 If you want more protection you can use an “eraser” program. Here is a free one. This should be enough to keep everyone out with the exception of maybe the CIA.
Besides safely erasing a whole hard drive, eraser can also safely erase selected files. Like those 150 porn images you “accidentally” downloaded. >wink wink<
Christine also reminded me, Knoxville has a computer recycling program. Certainly worth the little extra effort.
Lifehacker lists: Top 10 Additions to Your Phone’s Contact List. They all look interesting, I particularly want to try out #1.
1. Google SMS (466453)
It’s probably no surprise that Google’s SMS service, which provides a seriously large share of its search functionality via text message, rounds out a list of the most powerful tools you can keep on your phone. Driving directions, metric and currency conversions, local business category results, flight information, and much, much more is offered for free and, at the moment, without ads. You can even set a default location to save yourself a few thumb presses per text. Definitely worth the space in your contact list. (Original post)
Build a Home Entertainment Center. Looks interesting, I have the Windows Home server. However, the other pieces aren’t exactly cheap. I may need to look into some lower cost alternatives.
SageTV HD Media Extender
$199.95 list, www.sagetv.com
SageTV Media Center 6.3
with Placeshifter License Combo $99.95 list, www.sagetv.com
1 Monster HDMI cable (6.6 feet)
$99.99 street, www.monstercable.com
2 10′ Ethernet Cat 5e patch cables
10 Most Amazing Google Search Tricks. Not sure how amazing it is but, one that I use quite often:
3. Meanings of any word in an instant
Now you do not have to carry a dictionary or install a dictionary software just for the purpose of finding out a meaning of a word. With the wealth of information in Google’s hands, its a piece of cake to find out the meaning of the word. Just use the define: keyword. The meaning would of course be displayed but also a set of other links which might have an alternative definition are also given out with the link to read more about it.
Also: if you’re not using the Google Toolbar, you should be. Besides instant access to Google searches, you get many other features. My favorite other feature: a spell checker for any text entered into an online form. I find myself using that one feature several times a day.
I was not a Boy Scout but like most small boys (and big ones alike), I had an interest in the Boy Scout tradition of Pinewood Derbys. Now, this guy has developed what looks to be a fool proof method of winning a Pinewood Derby using physics (unless of course your competition also follows his method). One key:
Most of the hotshot fathers shaped their cars to look like formula one racers, low slung, aerodynamic. When the fork tangs were pivoted forward and down by the Starter, the low slung cars stood still until the tangs were nearly rotated 90 degrees.
My car was shaped like a landing barge, a funny sight to see: A landing barge beating the formula one racers.
The landing barge shape meant that when the tang of the starting fork had moved 10 degrees my car was already moving and ahead of the low slung car, next to it. At 45 degrees my car was already .75 inches ahead of the opponent. Some of the heats were only won by .75 inches. The other guy must have done a good job with his wheels and angular momentum. Still, he lost because the beast will beat the beauty … if the physics is right.
ExtremeTech has a detailed article on building your own Windows Home Server. Far better than I could ever explain.
I just noticed a search for “best motherboard for Windows Home Server” had led to this site. I would say from my experience: one that supports SATA 300 (sometimes called SATA II). Makes life easier when installing the big new hard drive(s) you are going to want.
On another WHS note: installing the connection software on a network computer automatically creates a shortcut to the shared drives on the server. However, does not automatically map those drives. Mapping must be done manually. Once a drive is mapped, I recommend a program like Microsoft SyncToy 2.0 beta or Replicator from Karen’s Power Tools. Both free tools do an excellent job of keeping files synced between local computer and mapped drive on the home server.