Thursday, January 22, 2009

Computer Tips [ Outstanding New Google Add-On + Force Your Programs To Work The Way You Want + Friday Funnies ] 01/23/09

Computer No, this isn't Steve. You can tell because Steve never wears a suit :-)

Quick Tips

CD and DVD Space

Have you ever wondered how much space CDs and DVDs have on them? I mean, if you do a lot of CD or DVD burning, you need to know how much room you'll have, right? It's pretty much the most important piece of information you need to know before you start any burning projects. Well, I'm here today to give you all the scoop, so listen up!

I'm going to start with CDs, because I'm guessing more of you use CDs on a regular basis over DVDs. There are several different sizes of blank CDs that you can buy, including 21, 74, 80, 90 and 99 minutes long. The most popular though, as far as I know, is the 80 minute CD. It translates to approximately 700 MB of open space. If you were making a music CD (you know, throwing a bunch of your favorite songs all onto one CD), you could fit around 20 songs (give or take a few) on one 80 minute CD, depending on how long the songs are. Cool, huh?!

Now, on to DVDs. Most blank DVDs can hold up to 4.4 GB of data. Most of the package labels will say 4.7 GB, but that's pretty much just a marketing ploy. If you're burning a movie, pictures, etc. onto the DVD, by the time everything is actually said and done, you can only fit 4.4 GB of material on one single DVD. That's nothing to be upset about though. That sure adds up to a lot of information on one tiny little disk. So, now that you know how much space you have when you're working with CDs and DVDs, you can plan ahead to get the most out of your work!

~ Erin

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Here's a happy, happy Friday to you all! Make sure you keep reading to learn how you can set your own program access and defaults for your computer, find out how you can get your form controls back in MS Word 2007 and learn how Gmail can make your life easier with the new Tasks feature. Also, be sure to check out the Friday Funnies for your daily laugh and as always, don't miss out on Amanda's Cool Site of the Day. Enjoy and have a great weekend, everyone! : )


All The FREE Music You Could Ever Want!

Amazing New Software Makes It EASY!

Grab Hundreds Of Songs Per Hour!

You May Never Pay For Another MP3!

WOW! This is the most exciting software I think we've ever offered! It's called Skwid and once you get past the strange name, you're gonna be absolutely blown away at what this software does! This is going to be HUGE!

You love music right? Well, wouldn't it be great if there was a way to legally get all the songs you ever wanted - for free? With this software - you can! Interested? I thought so!

This amazing software lets you record internet radio and turns the tracks into high-quality MP3s for use on your MP3 player, iPod, Computer, CDs, whatever!! You can get thousands of songs - and they won't cost you a cent! You may never buy another MP3! WOW!

Here's how it works - You can search for the type of music you enjoy, or pick from a list. There a HUGE variety - 23 main genres, but with all the "sub-genres" I counted over 200 different types of music you can choose from, so you're bound to find all the types of music you enjoy! From there, just hit the record button! You can have it record tracks form just one station, do dozens of stations at once, or just pick your favorites! TONS of options!

I had mine set to record from 20 stations simultaneously and WOW! I had a whoppin' 38 songs in 15 minutes! Is that amazing or what? I had to sort though and decide which ones to keep, but you gotta admit, that's pretty cool! What an amazing program!

PLUS this thing is loaded down with radio stations too! We're talking 2600+ internet radio stations at your fingertips - and more are added all the time!

PLUS - This software actually allows you to add your own stations! That's right - if you listen to internet radio and your station isn't listed, you can add it to this program! Now that's cool!You'll never run out of songs to record, that's for sure! I think I'm going to find my favorite 10 or 20 stations and record from those. Heck, you can even use this just to listen to internet radio if you like! (I'm listening to it as I type this!)

Oh, and here's the kicker! Not only can this record internet radio stations - it can record ANYTHING coming through your computer's sound card! Wow - think about that for a minute! If you have a favorite song you just have to get, simply find it online, play it, and hit Record with this program! This would work great if a new song came out and the video to the song was online - just watch the video and record! You'd have the song on your MP3 player before it was even available in stores! Now that's serious power! WOW!

So, what do you do with all these songs after you sort 'em out? Well, once you record them just import them to your favorite MP3 software (or right to your player) - or iPod users can import them into iTunes and use with your iPod! How cool is that? 

Plus, since these are just standard MP3s, you can also play them on Windows Media player with zero problems - even send them to CDs or your MP3 player right from Windows Media Player - EZ!!!!!! That's right - you don't even need an MP3 player to enjoy these free songs!

What about the quality? I've been pleasantly surprised - and really happy with it! The songs sound great and most of the time you even get the artist name! PLUS in many cases, the radio stations are broadcasting in 128 bit format - the same quality you normally get when you buy MP3s!

What's that? You already have a huge CD collection you wish was in MP3 format? Yup, you guessed - This can convert your CDs to MP3s too! Just pop in the CD, and select the songs you want to convert - then click the Convert button! It's that easy! A few mouse click and all your favorite CD songs are now MP3s! WOW!!

BONUS! In addition to all the great audio recording features, this can also take your personal video files and convert them so they work on your iPod! What a great way to show off your videos!

Finally, we're trying something new with this one - it's a download! That's right - we worked out a deal with the publisher, so you don't have to wait to get this amazing program in the mail! Now, this is our first time doing a download only run like this, but we should be able to get your code to you within 48 hours - beats waiting for the mailman!

Your cost? You're not going to believe this - just $9.97! Is that amazing or what? Most of the time, MP3 music is about a buck a song, so figure this will pay for itself after it finds you just 17 great songs! I had that many "keepers" in less than a half hour! Give it a try, you'll be glad you did!

PS - This is going to be huge, no doubt about it! The sooner you order, the faster we can get your code to you!


WAIT! STOP! Don't Fry Your Laptop!

Amazing Deal On A Laptop Surge Protector!

Just $9.97 Keeps Your Laptop Safe From Surges!

Ingenious In-Line Surge Protector Takes Up Almost No Space

WOW! These were HUGE yesterday - THANK YOU to the hundreds and hundreds who ordered! In fact, these went over so well that we're now running out! I don't think these will last the day, so make sure you RUN to the site and get one for your laptop before they are gone! 

I'm so excited! We just landed an amazing deal on some really clever Targus Laptop Surge Protectors! These handy little surge protectors are EXACTLY what you need to keep your expensive laptop safe and secure while it's plugged into the wall!

I mean, let's face it - none of us would ever consider running a desktop computer without a surge protector, but how many times do you plug your laptop cord into the wall without one? 

I don't know about you, but I have a LOT invested in my laptop, software, and all the data on my hard drive. I have music, irreplaceable photos, TONS of data - if I was hit by a surge it would be a mess to clean it all up! I do my backups, but still - who wants their expensive laptop knocked out by a surge?

Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking - who the heck wants to lug around a big, bulky surge protector? Hey, I hear ya! Well just wait till you feast your eyes on this one! This is an in-line surge protector!  It plugs in between the main power cord and the adapter (the black box looking thing in the middle of your laptop cord). Just spend 20 seconds installing it and that's it - you never have to think about it again! It's always there, protecting you from surges and not taking up a bit of extra space in your laptop bag! Is that genius or what?!?!

Targus Mobile Surge Protector 2-Prong

This surge protector absolutely great to use when your laptop is at home, but it really shines when you're on the road! I don't know about you, but I'm always worried about plugging my computer into strange hotel plugs - you never know how the wiring is in those places! Next time your neighbor flips on the hair dryer it might trigger a powerful surge that kills your computer! 

Oh, and it's not just hotels either - ever plug into a rickety old socket at an airport? Restaurant? Coffee house? Truck stop? Conference room? Yikes! Talk about playing Russian Roulette with your laptop! You'd have to be ridin' the crazy train to plug into one of those sockets without a surge protector!

In addition, this also has Thermal Overload Protection - that means nothing's going to burn up if you're drawing too much juice or plugged into a socket that has too much sustained voltage (it happens).

Plus, for the price it's insane not to pick one up! We're talking just $9.97 and US shipping is FREE! For less than $10, you can plug in anywhere and know your laptop is protected!

Just choose the protector that fits your laptop. If you're laptop brand is not listed, just look at the wall plug. If it's two prong, you need the first one, 3 prong you need the second. It's that simple :-)

For HP, Compaq, Dell, Panasonic, Acer, or any laptop that plugs in with a 3 prong connector:

For IBM, Toshiba, Sony, Gateway, NEC, or any laptop that plugs in with a 2 prong connector:

PS - Sorry, only a limited number available! RUN to the site and grab yourself some easy surge protection - and great piece of mind!

Computers 101

I was looking around in my Add/Remove Programs area in the Control Panel and I found something on the side that said "Set Program Access and Defaults." What does that mean and should I even mess with it?

It's interesting that you asked this question, because a co-worker of mine here at WorldStart actually pointed this out to me awhile back. I guess it must have slipped my mind though, because I never did anything about it. So, I guess it's time to redeem myself, because after researching this feature, I thought it might be something a lot of you would be interested in. So, let's check it out together!

First of all, this feature can only be found in Windows XP and you need to have Service Pack 1 or higher. If you're using anything lower than that, this will not work for you. Again, what we're talking about is called "Set Program Access and Defaults." You can use this feature to change the default programs you use for certain activities you do while on your computer. For example, such activities as simply surfing the Web, sending e-mails, playing CDs or using instant messaging programs.

Now, before I go into any more detail, I need to tell you that you must have Administrator rights to use this feature. Otherwise, you won't be able to change any of your default programs and that will just defeat the whole purpose of this tip. If you're not sure how to get Administrator rights, you can read this article for some help. Also, if you use a Windows XP Professional computer that's part of a network, you must be logged in as the Administrator or as a member of the Administrators group to be able to do this. The same goes for those of you who use Windows XP Professional or Home Edition computers that are not part of a network. You still need to be signed in as the computer's Administrator in order to change the default program settings.

Okay, once you're all set with that, go to Start, All Programs and then find the choice that says "Set Program Access and Defaults." (You can also get there by going to Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. On the left hand side, you'll see the choice for "Set Program Access and Defaults"). Once you're there, you have four options to choose from:

1.) You can restore your program settings to what they were when established by the manufacturer of your computer. If you want to do that, click on the Computer Manufacturer choice. Now, this option is only available if the actual manufacturer put Service Pack 1 on your computer and set allowances for those settings. (If you're not sure about that, you may want to contact your manufacturer or look for some information about it in your computer's manual first).

2.) If you want to set your program defaults to fit the needs of the activities you do on your computer (like the ones I mentioned above), click on the Microsoft Windows choice. With that option, you'll be able to access both Microsoft and non-Microsoft programs from your Start menu, your desktop or any other location you may choose on your computer.

3.) Now, if you want to use non-Microsoft programs as your defaults, click the Non-Microsoft choice. You can then just select the options you want. Now, keep in mind that this configuration does remove your available access to other specified Windows programs.

4.) The last choice is to combine the non-Microsoft and Microsoft Windows options. This one is under the name of Custom, so if you'd like to do this, click it. You can then select the options you want to set for your computer. By doing a custom setting, you can pretty much do a combination of all the above choices. That includes being able to access your programs from your Start menu, your desktop and any other location you choose.

Once you have all your settings in place, click the OK button and everything will be ready. In case you were wondering, my computer is set to Custom, because with that, I have the most control over the way my programs act on my computer. You can (and should) choose for yourself, but that's only my opinion. Okay, now that you know what this feature is, go and get your programs to do what you want them to do, all with a few easy clicks!

~ Erin

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MS Office

The Vanishing Word 2007 Form Controls

If you're a creator of forms in the older versions of MS Word and you now use Word 2007, you may find yourself at a loss for your form controls.

I mean, where exactly do you find the tools you need to insert drop down lists and combo boxes?

I bet you've scoured the ribbon for them and maybe some of you have even given up. Well, before you write it off as "lost to the mysteries of Microsoft," let's take another look around.

Specifically, you need to look in the Word Options, which can be reached via the Office Button.

Once you're into the Options dialogue window, you need the Popular section.

Check the option for "Show Developer tab in the ribbon."

Click OK.

When you return, you'll have an extra tab on the far right side of your ribbon.

When you navigate there, you'll find a section for Controls and you're back in business!

~ April

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More Cool Stuff


Killer 8 Gig Micro Hard Drive!

Just $19.97 Today ONLY (01-23-2009)!

You Gotta Try This!!

Best Price EVER For 8 Whoppin' Gigs Of Storage!

Here's another one that just keeps sellin' We got an amazing deal for you on this one! It's an 8 Gig Mini Hard Drive and you're really gonna love it!

This works just like a flash drive - only it doesn't set you back as much money! Just plug it into your computer and it will show up as an external drive under My Computer. From there, simply drag and drop your files! Works on any XP or Vista computer - no drivers required! WOW!

These are fantastic for any kind of files! Office documents, spreadsheets, music, photos, backup - whatever! Just pop it into your computer and drag and drop! You can even install programs on it if you like! This has the same amount of storage of 11, yes 11 CD ROMs!

The really fantastic thing about these is that you're getting a TON of storage space for a LOT less than the price of a comparable flash drive! You can easily drop $70 or more for an 8 Gig flash drive - this gives you the same storage for just $19.97! WOW!

PLUS these are super-fast USB 2.0 drives! You'll be amazed at the file transfer speed! Wait till you try it!

Want one too? I don't blame ya! Head to the link below and get in on this deal before they're gone! For just $19.97 (free US shipping), you can't go wrong! Only a limited number available!

PS - Don't miss out! These are just GREAT! Built to last, quick, and extremely portable! Not really much bigger than a flash drive, but not nearly as expensive! Get 'em before they're sold out!

WARNING - This price WILL go back to $28.97 soon!


Listen To Your Mp3 Player / iPod Through Your Car Radio!

RCA Wireless Transmitter ROCKS!!

Blowout Deal Too!

Here's one I know you're gonna love! We have these fantastic RCA Wireless Transmitters and they are an absolute MUST-HAVE for anyone with an MP3 player or iPod!

Soooo easy to use - Simply plug your player into this transmitter, pick an channel, and listen to your music right through your car radio! Ridiculously easy - and just wait till you hear the sharp, crystal-clear sound!

I've used these for years and let me tell ya firsthand- you will absolutely LOVE having a transmitter! Why carry around dozens of CDs when all your music is already on your iPod or MP3 player? With this, you just plug it in and have all your music transmitted to your car radio! Just wait till you take your first trip with this along - you'll wonder how you ever got along without one! Heck, these should be standard equipment for anyone with an iPod or MP3 player!

Plus, this little unit seems to run forever on a single set of "AAA" batteries! No tangled cords to plug into your cigarette lighter and compete with your phone charger - it's all a self contained unit! Oh, and here's a secret I figured out: Next time you travel, take this little gem into your hotel room and listen to what YOU want through the little radio by the bed! How cool is that?

Your cost? You get all this musical transmitted bliss for just $12.97 and US shipping is FREE! Go ahead - look around at your local stores - you can easily spend $50-$100 on one of these! Don't toss away your money - grab this while you can!

PS - I promise you - once you try one of these you'll absolutely LOVE it! Go on, grab yourself one today - if you don't absolutely love it, send it back within 2 months and I'll give you a refund! Once you get it, you'll really wonder how you got along without it!

Leave It On or Turn It Off?

One question we always see a lot here at WorldStart is whether or not you should keep your computer turned on all the time or if you should shut it down every night. Hence, leave it on or turn it off? Well, that's a very good question and there are actually good arguments toward both sides. If you'd like to weigh your options, you can do so by reading through the tip on our homepage today. It'll give you all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your computer. Check it out!

Whale Net

Are you interested in learning more about whales or just marine biology in general? If that's something that has always intrigued you, you're going to love the cool site we're featuring on our homepage today. It's called Whale Net and it's all about whales and how they live in their environment. It also includes a great deal of information about marine research and other friendly animals. Trust me, it's a must see!

Here's the link you need: Enjoy!

Tip of the Day

Gmail Gets a To Do List

Believe it or not, but someone at Google finally realized how helpful it would be to add a to do list to the Gmail e-mail program. It's called Tasks and it's now available in Gmail Labs (to get there, click on the beaker icon next to Settings in the upper right hand corner of your Gmail account). When you enable Tasks, it appears as a link in the left hand column under Contacts. Click on the link and a box will pop up in the lower right hand corner, just like it does when you use GTalk. You can add tasks, reorder them, cross out completed tasks, switch to a new list or even pop the box out to keep it on your desktop. How cool is that?!

Tasks is a simple feature, but it's really useful for people who keep Gmail open all the time. In general, I’m not a big user of to do lists. It's not because I don’t need them, but because they require me to open a separate application or go to a dedicated Web site, such as Remember the Milk.

Having a dedicated Task Manager inside Gmail is a much better option! And with Tasks, you can now turn any e-mail into a task by selecting it as an action. You can also add a due date for each task. Plus, adding items is as simple as clicking on a vacant part of the box and typing. It's really just an easy way to accomplish the tasks you need to get done each and every day.

Since e-mail is how many of us get things done, both in our personal and professional lives, why not add a list of things you may not be able to get done via e-mail. You know, maybe something like dinner reservations. Yep, Tasks can help you with that too. Give it a try today and see how easy it makes your life!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

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Today's Feature

Friday Funnies

For stories, jokes, quotes and cartoons every day, sign up for our Just for Grins newsletter.

Amanda's Coolsite

Bionic Books

Do you own a small business? Are you just starting a business? Maybe you’re a contractor and you need to keep track of all the odd jobs you pick up. Either way, Bionic Books is for you!

You’re not getting a trial version, but you’re getting one full user account for free. That’s a great value!

Registration is simple! Provide an e-mail address, create a password, check the box to agree to the Terms of Service and then click on the Let’s Go button. Next, you’ll log in with the e-mail address you provided and the password you created.

The first thing you come across when you log in is the Setup section. That's where you'll put in the country your company is located in, the currency you deal with, how many invoices you think you’ll be handling, invoice numbering and share information. Fill out as much as you know and then click Next.

The second step is to set up the sales tax information for your location. That's followed by the third and final step for Sales Tax groups. Once you have all that information entered in, you'll be whisked off to the dashboard!

On the dashboard, you can see unpaid invoices for the year so far and the cash that should be in the bank, according to your figures.

On the left hand side of the page, you’ll find all the menu tabs you need to input, track and compile your accounts. You can even see a timeline of each account.

I think this is an awesome service that any small business can really take advantage of in these harsh economic times. It provides a way to keep a few more dollars in your wallet. Check it out!

~ Amanda

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Send it to Amanda at


New Titles and Offers


Monthly Wallpaper

January Wallpaper

Here's January's wallpaper. It's all free, so enjoy!

Yellowstone Falls

This was shot just before sunrise at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This amazing falls is always a treat to see and I was early enough, I had the place to myself!

Simple Flower

I don't know about you, but I needed a break from all the snow and ice, so I found this and decided to put a little green into January! Shot last spring in the Smoky Mountains; a Trillium, I think.

Rock and Ice

This abstract looking shot is of thick ice that had formed on some reddish rock in the Smoky Mountains last spring. So, if you want a cold theme for your desktop, this should do it!

All can be found here:





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Copyright, Disclaimer, and Removal

ISSN: 1529-336X
Copyright 2005, WorldStart. All unauthorized reproduction strictly prohibited.

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Terms of Use

Personal & Educational Use Only This blog consists mainly of FREE newsletters from computer web gurus that I receive. I thought you might like to see them all in one place than try to discover them on your own. A moderate amount of editing may be done to eliminate unrelated repetitious ads or unnecessary text which bloat the post. However I have given the authors full credit and will not remove their site links because you deserve to see where it comes from and they deserve to get credit for what they have written. Your use of this site is simply for educational purposes. For more computer-related help go to: CPEDLEY.COM for free software, advice and tips on low cost products which are very helpful. If you want to contact the editor, please go CPEDLEY.COM and check the Contact page for email address.