The Top Twenty
Every night a friendly robot looks through the Ask Bob logs to see which articles were the most popular over the past week. Here are the current Top Twenty, ranked by readership volume. If you missed any of these, take a few minutes to read and comment!
- Saving Your Digital Bacon
Have you ever accidentally deleted a file? Do you sometimes wish you could go back in time (a week, a month or a year) to see an older version of a document or spreadsheet? Wouldn't it be great if your computer automatically created backups to help in both of these scenarios? Your wish could be granted, if you turn on this little-known feature of your operating system. Read on...
- Your Hard Drive Will Crash in 3, 2, 1...
A concerned AskBob reader says: 'Sometimes I hear a click-click sound from my hard drive, but it's only occasionally. Does this mean my hard drive is going to crash soon? Are there any tests I can run to check the health of my hard drive?' Read on to learn the tell-tale signs of impending hard drive doom, some things you can do NOW to protect your data, and what to do if it's too late.
- Computer Problem? Test and Fix it Yourself
Has your computer been acting strangely? If you've already ruled out viruses and gremlins, a more likely reason is an error caused by a hardware component that's flaky, damaged, or overheated. Here are some tips and tools to help you diagnose and fix those annoying or intermittent computer problems that just seem to pop up for no apparent reason...
- How (AND WHY) to Clean Computer Clutter
Computers and cars have one thing in common: both tend to accumulate junk in hard-to-reach places. Cleaning out your car can be a messy, sweaty job with plenty of opportunities for back injuries. Cleaning out a PC is a more civilized affair. Here are some free tools to clean up your hard drive, improve system performance, and make sure your backups run smoothly. Ready to jettison the detritus? Read on...
- 10 Things That Cause Computer Crashes
Have you ever experienced the dreaded Blue Screen of Death? Does your computer lock up, freeze, crash, or display cryptic error messages?. This sort of problem can be very difficult to diagnose, because many things can cause a computer to crash (and even burn!). Before you blame those mischievous gremlins, here are ten common causes of computer crashes and some tips on how to deal with them...
- Review: PC Matic Gets a Zero!
After years of hearing from AskBob readers about PC Matic, I finally decided it was time to give the popular antivirus and PC optimizer software a test drive. So 18 months ago, I did just that, and published my PC Matic review. At the time, I was impressed enough to ditch my current security software, and entrust my home and office computers to PC Matic. A year and a half later, I'm giving PC Matic a ZERO. But wait... that's actually a GOOD thing! Read on for my updated review and recommendation...
- [HOWTO] Tame Your Overflowing Email Inbox
Is your inbox overflowing? Are important messages getting lost in the shuffle? Are you spending too much time managing your email? If so, it's likely you're not using filters to direct the flow of incoming emails. Learn how to automatically file messages in folders, forward them to someone else, or dump them straight into the trash. Oh, and if your Spam folder is gobbling up messages that don't belong there, I'll also show you how to solve that problem too...
- Yes, You Can Get Free Satellite TV
An AskBob reader asks: “Can I really get satellite TV for free? I've heard about free satellite TV channels one can receive with a free-to-air satellite receiver and dish. Is this true? If so, what satellite channels can I get, what equipment do I need, and is it legal?” The short answer is YES, you can. Read on to learn about free satellite TV options...
- The Curious Case of the Accidental Spammer
An anxious AskBob reader says: “Several of my email friends are complaining that I’m sending them spam emails. I’ve looked in my Sent folder and nothing odd shows up there. How can this be happening? Am I spamming in my sleep? Is it possible that someone has hacked into my email account, or is there another explanation?” Read on for the most likely answers to this mystery...
- Cheap Flights - Find the Lowest Airfares Online
Now that air travel is back in full swing, demand for flights is high. So finding the cheapest airfare for your business or pleasure trip takes a bit of cunning. It also helps to use specialized online search tools. But sometimes getting the cheapest flights has more to do with timing than tools. Here's what you need to know (TODAY) before booking your next flight, in order to get the lowest fares possible. I also have some nifty online tools for flyers. Read on...
- Geekly Update - 07 February 2024
Is your toothbrush secretly plotting against you? Can robots be forgiven for their mistakes? What's the best plce to watch the upcoming solar eclipse? And how can you view the best part of the 2024 Super Bowl before the game even starts? Get answers in today's Geekly Update... it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!
- Free Credit Reports Online (have you checked all FOUR?)
Just like politicians, cybercriminals never let a crisis go to waste. So it's no surprise that we're seeing scams related to the current pandemic. Add to that, massive and frequent data breaches, and many people are asking how to get free credit reports, so they can check for fraudulent entries. So is it true that you can get FOUR credit reports every year for free? YES! Read on to learn how it's done, how to avoid the potential pitfalls, and pick up some tips on avoiding scams and identity theft...
- Your Electrons Needed (and a favor...)
I love my job. Every day, I help people use computers and the Internet, answering their questions and pointing them to resources that will save them time, trouble, or money. I especially love it when readers become friends and people tell me that they're using what they've learned here to help others. It's very satisfying, but there is one favor I'd like to ask of you. Please read on...
- Here’s How to Boost Your WiFi Signal
A frustrated AskBob reader says: 'How can I boost or extend the wifi signal in my home? I finally got high-speed internet with a wireless router, but the wifi signal is very weak in some rooms. What tweaks, tricks or gadgets do you recommend to boost wireless signal strength and distance?' I've got some, read on!
- Will This Gadget Replace Your Landline?
In its advertising, Magic Jack appears to be a device that you can plug into your computer and fire the phone company. It sounds too good to be true. So is MagicJack a scam, or does it actually work? Can it really replace your landline, and eliminate your monthly phone bill?” Read on for the surprising answer, and some news about Magic Jack for those who may have considered it in the past...
- Is Your Smart TV Spying On You? (yes, and here's how to stop it)
Almost every television sold these days is advertised as a Smart TV. Behind the screen, these TVs are computers with an operating system, a hard drive, and Internet connectivity. They also have cameras, a microphone, and sophisticated software that allows them to collect and sell your viewing data. And because they are constantly connected, the same risks (malware and hacking) that apply to computers also apply to smart TVs. Read on to learn about the privacy and security risks of smart TVs, and what you can do to minimize them...
- Geekly Update - 01 February 2024
Will ultrasonic holograms control your dreams in the near future? Are we winning the war against robocalls? And how can you watch Super Bowl 58 without cable? Get answers in today's Geekly Update... it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!
- Who is Bob Rankin?
Every so often, people ask about my background, and how I got started with computers and the Internet. I've published bits and pieces of my bio before, but never a detailed account of my professional life. So here it is, with a few interesting personal asides...
- Here's Why You Must Keep Your Software Updated (and how to do it for free)
The most common computer problems can be fixed or avoided altogether, simply by keeping all of your software up to date. Updates include patches for security vulnerabilities as well as fixes for bugs, new features, and improvements of existing features. Check out these free programs that will help you keep all your software updated, with just a few clicks...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 4 Mar 2009
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- The Top Twenty (Posted: 4 Mar 2009)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved