Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ubuntu 8 is near!!!

The powerful desktop operating system (OS), based on Linux, called Ubuntu will release their version 8.0.4 desktop on Thursday. This OS has the newest Microsoft Office compatible suite called OpenOfiice, built in. It also has a redesigned interface. Includes Firefox 3 arguably one of the most awaited pieces of software of this year. I have been running the beta release for the past month and I have to say that I am very impressed, so much so that I find myself in Ubuntu more than Windows XP. As you can see on the software pane that I am a big fan of the Open Source software. Ubuntu is based mostly on Open Source software. Check it out www.ubuntu.com

As a side note: Ubuntu downloads as an ISO that you burn to a CD, what is so impressive is you can run this OS from the CD!!! Yes you drop the CD in your drive and boot your machine. You will be allowed to run Ubuntu from the CD while leaving your OS (Windows XP or Vista) alone.

Friday, April 18, 2008


It seems as if everyone today wants to install a toolbar in your browser. Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, ASK and Live, just to name a few. The few I just mentioned work well and offer benefits like pop-up blocking and spyware searching. Then there are the ones that I consider BAD! MySearch, WildTangent, Alexa to name a few. These toolbars act as a form of spyware sending info back to their makers about what you are doing, even worse some of them can actually act as servers to distribute themselves. I am not going to discuss the pros and cons of toolbars as there are several sites on the web that do a better job of that (search on toolbars).

What I am going to discuss is why would my local pizza joint would ever have a toolbar? In case you haven't noticed you only have so much screen real estate. Adding a toolbar to take up ~ 25 pixels will reduce that window even more. Now let's see... Many systems I have seen have had Google, Yahoo, MSN, and maybe another bar loaded...that is ~75 pixels. If your screen resolution is set to 1024/768 then you only have 768 vertical pixels to view. take away the window header, menu, buttons, tabs and status bars you only have around ~625 pixels. Now subtract the 75 from the toolbars that are usually never used = 550 pixels! That is a pretty small window to see the world. So I do not think there could be much benifit of having a toolbar other than giving me a free pizza every once in a while...

My advise, use one. Pick the toolbar that will provide the functionallity that you want to use. If use Internet Explorer as your preferred bowser then check out: Advanced Searchbar

If you should have more than one installed you can try going to START-> CONTROL PANEL -> ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS and try to uninstall them. If that does not work then in Internet Explorer7 (Internet Explorer6 go to VIEW->TOOLBARS), go to TOOLS->TOOLBARS and uncheck the ones you do not want to show.

In a future post I will discuss browsers and the benefits and drawbacks....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Computer is running slow....

Assuming you are using a Windows based machine, here is exactly what I would do if you brought it to me.

1) How much memory do you have installed in your system? CLICK START-->Control Panel-->System. In the lower right you should find the amount of RAM. This number should be MORE than 512MB... If it is not, get more!

2) Check to see if you have an anti-virus already installed. If you do, remove it (Norton, McAfee, ETC.) These AVs cost money and are bloated as to the amount of memory and system resources they take up. Download AVG from the free software links on this blog and install it and update it.

3) Now remove any outdated Anti-Spyware software (Webroot, CA, etc.) for the same reasons I told you to remove the Anti-Virus. Download Spybot and run it. Be sure NOT to run TEATIMER as it is a bit of a resource hog and another program we will install later will handle the intercepts.

4) Download ThreatFire and install it. This is a good antispy/antimalware/antivirus system that uses a new way of detecting and catching threats. It works WITH your basic Antivirus software so you will still need to have one installed (like AVG).

5) (OPTIONAL) Install Comodo Firewall. This is a much better Firewall than the one built into windows but it may be unnessisary if you already have a firewall/router installed behind your cable modem/DSL modem.

In most cases these few short steps will have you fixed up but there are times when you will need professional help. Your local "Chop Shops" (small computer stores that build systems) can help. I am not a big fan of Geek Squad or Fire Dog at this time due to the level of knowledge of their technicians. This opinion is subject to change in the future but for now stick to the small shops.

All of the links to the software I told you to get are located to the RIGHT of my blogs on this site. Bookmark this site so that you can get access to direct links to updates.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I have been compelled, (by forces that shall remain nameless) to create a blog to help people with technology questions. tp2fi.com is a website dedicated to all things tech. Weekly I will post my thoughts on current trends and deals. Starting with this DEAL!


This eMachine (Gateway) is a fantastic value at $299 with keyboard, mouse, and speakers. The specs are amazing for what you get.