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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

1603.. Binkiland?

  A friend called and complained that their instance of Internet Explorer was "Blinking" no matter what web page they went to.  Clearly something was wrong.  Do you have any suggestions on what to look for and how to fix it?

Well this was a strange one. As it turns out this was the result of Malware or Virus.

After visiting a web site the computer got infected with what is being called Binkiland.  What you do not want to do is to go to any web site with this as part of the name. Once infected you open up your browser and without even typing in a URL you are re-directed to Binkiland and your browser will start to blink.  In some cases you can get control and stop the blinking but sooner or later it will start to blink again.

Basically opening your browser you lose control over the computer.  We have a link on our site but if you already have the virus how can you go to the link?

Use a un-infected computer to go to the link and it will take you to a Symantec site to download tools that will allow you to remove the infection.  We are not promoting Symantec and we are sure other anti-virus vendors have fixes.

I was lucky enough to boot to safe mode with networking and in safe mode the infection did not stop me from getting the tools to remove the virus.

Hopefully if you can avoid the need to get a fix.  Have good anti-virus malware software and stay away from high-risk sites.

1602. Save Downloaded Versions of Applications

I just bought a new computer and wanted to re-install the applications on it. One of the apps I use requires a specific version of the app. Unfortunately the web site only has the latest version of the app and that will not work for me. What can I do?

Sometimes you just can't get old versions from the manufacturer.  

There are some web sites that have old versions of software that you can download. We have a link on our web site. You can search for OLD VERSIONS of software.

Some of these web sites charge you to download the old versions. I don't know if that is even legal. Some of these sites are also in the high risk web site for malware category.  

These bad people think that if you can't keep track of your own applications then you somehow deserve a virus. I really don't like these people.

But to avoid this problem in the future start a procedure that you follow every time you install a new application. Whenever you start a download normally you have an option to Run or Save the download. Make sure you always click on the Save, and to be safer click on the arrow to the right of the Save and chose Save As.

I have a special folder that I have that I use to save all of my installs. So when I Save As I point to this folder.

If you just chose Save, Windows will Save the file in the Download default folder. Yes you have one. I always have my own folder so I can make sure I back it up. I usually have sub folders based on manufacturer and version numbers.

After the file is downloaded it will then allow you to Run the install.

If you are still installing apps from the DVD's then make sure you keep those or copy the DVD to your Download folder.

Now you can install old versions without risking getting a virus from some web site.

1601. Clipboard Managers for Windows

I know we have spoken previously about clip board manages for Macs, but does the same thing apply to Windows?

When I work in Windows I often want to keep a list of items I want to paste and I need to go back and get something I pasted previously and paste again. I need a clip board manager for Windows. Can you point me at some?

I struggled with this problem for years. Always wanted to do multiple pastes of copied items. Finally installed one of the products and am very glad I did.

Ditto, Yankee Clipper III, xNeat Clipboard Manager.

Ditto does everything. It has history of current session, search, groupings, you can save items across multiple boots, and you can sync these copies across multiple computers. I found the options a little overwhelming, offering far more than I will ever need.
Yank Clipper III Gives you ability to save items across boots, print items, have the list stay at the top of your window and more.

xNeat Clipboard Manager has the basics. Copy, Paste, up to 99 items.

I like all three. You only need 1 probably. Go to our site and follow the link to look at all three.

1600. Remove Clutter using Outlook's Clutter feature

I recently noticed on that there is a special folder called Clutter and a lot of my email ends up there. I can't complain because almost everything that ends up there I don't need to look at end up there. What it doing and where does it come from?

I think we had talked about this along with Spam and virus things before. It was something that Microsoft added to their Premium Office 365 Email Service. 

It was so successful that they have added the feature to the free,,, and services.

It is different from the Spam and Virus filters that some system have. It is looking at things that tell them that this is something you probably don't care about. If you do care about the email simply move it to the Inbox and it will remember this. If you get something in the Inbox that you don't care about, move it to the Clutter folder and from then on the system will apply this magic filter.

We receive a lot of email. Spam and virus filters worked but I was still getting at least 100 emails a day that I didn't want to have to file through. Clutter has reduced this down to less than 5 per day and sometimes none. I have to go to the Clutter folder to make sure people still love me enough to send things I don't care about.

Now it seems to be a Microsoft feature but I am sure the others will follow.

1599. Unsubscribe from Emails the Right Way

I friend of mine told me she gets a lot of emails that looks like subscvription emails. But then when she unsubscribs she gets even more emails from the same person or other lists.  Clearly not the answer.  Is there a better way to un-subscribe from emails?

CAN-SPAM Act 2003 says legitimate companies 

This act says that legitimate companies must provide you a way to click unsubscribe and it goes away.  The trouble is you can't find a list to make sure the one you click is legitimate.  So you click on a spammer and you get more spam.  Not onl;y from them but others because the Spammers sell the email address as good addresses once you try to unsubscribe.

Don't do it. More often than not it is a way to get the sender some level of confidence that you are a real person.  

So what do you do? Most of your good email services allow you to report the email as Spam and when you do this the email service will block that sender.

You have to be able to log into your email service using the browser to do this.  The email clients may not do this for you.

Some email clients have the ability to hide the email that you refer to as Spam but you may still be on the list.

1598. Stop Making Accidental Smartphone Calls?

You know this happens to me all of the time and if you say it doesn't happen to you I don't believe you. Oh I see you called. Why did you call me? And I don't have a recollection of them calling.

Some people call these butt calls, I call them pocket calls. How can I avoid doing that so I don't embarrass myself again?

Ken, I am not sure I can help you to not embarrass yourself again. But stopping you from making butt calls maybe.

I know you have an iPhone, so getting the Android application called "Call Confirm" for $.99 that requires a confirmation step to call won't work for you.

iPhones - No luck. The closest I found was Call Guard, a $0.99 app that does the opposite--preventing you from hanging up on someone during a call. Not sure I understand.  How can you end a call?  OK that's $.99 I won't spend.

iPhone you can minimize making butt calls by doing one of the following.
1. After a call is made simply hang-up and then click the power button.  Yes you have to actually click another button.
2. Click the Voicemail key on lower-right.  Worse that happens you pick up a voicemail.  
3. If the calls are not right after a call was made and are at random, you can set the pass code so after a short time the phone will be locked.

See our link on the web site for more details.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

1596. Speeding up Mac Booting?

My MAC takes forever to start up from a cold boot. Is there something I can do to speed this up?

If I was going to be sarcastic I might just suggest that you never turn it off because with a MAC you rarely need to turn the computer off, but that isn’t helpful. What could help however is replacing the hard drive with a SSD or solid state drive if you have the option to do so. If your computer already has a solid state drive you can’t really replace it with a solid state drive and make it faster so there are other options you can look into. For example, if there are a lot of applications that start up with your MAC you may want to remove some of those from the list that you find in the user settings in the settings application. We have an article on our website you that lists more things that you can look at to speed up the booting of your MAC but nothing will make it boot faster than replacing a spinning hard drive with a solid state drive.