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!
- New PC? Here are Five Things You MUST Do Now
A brand-new computer is something to get excited about. It’s tempting to plug it in, start it up, and just begin exploring. But a new computer requires some initial fine-tuning in order to optimize performance and avoid problems later on. Here are five things you should do to a new desktop or laptop PC as soon as it comes out of the box...
- Here's How to Sanitize Your PC With PrivaZer
PrivaZer is a computer clean-up utility on steroids. It gets rid of junk files and wipes away traces of activity that could compromise your privacy. Maybe you think that sounds like some other program you've been using, but trust me, PrivaZer does MUCH more. Read on to learn how it works, and why you should try it...
- Geekly Update - 13 November 2019
Can you still upgrade your Windows 7 computer to Windows 10 for free? Is your antivirus software making it EASIER for hackers to gain access to your computer? And will quantum computers ruin everything? 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!
- Is It Time to Replace Your Power Supply?
A reader says: 'The fan inside my computer has started making an awful noise, and I'm afraid it's ready to bite the dust. Does that mean I need to replace the power supply?' The answer is MAYBE! Read on to find out if your power supply should be replaced...
- Here's How to Make Your Computer Indestructible
According to Faronics, their Deep Freeze software can make your PC or Mac computer indestructible. It does this by 'freezing' your hard drive, so your computer's software and settings can be returned to a pristine state every time you start it up. Let's take a look at how Deep Freeze works, and find out if it's a good solution for you...
- Are You Sick and Tired of Windows?
For millions of people still running Windows 7, a decision will need to be made this coming January, when Microsoft's support for that operating system ends. Moving to Windows 10 will mean learning something new, and may require updates to both hardware and software. One may as well consider other operating systems if there's going to be a learning curve anyway. Your options include Linux, Mac OS X, Android, Chrome OS, and others. Here are several alternatives to running Windows on your desktop, laptop or mobile device...
- HOWTO: Sell Your Phone (or Other Gadget)
Mobile phones become obsolete almost as fast as the news these days. If you like to stay on the bleeding edge, you'll upgrade your tech gadgets at every opportunity. But what's the best way to get cash for your used phone or other electronics, without getting scammed? Here are several ways you can sell an unwanted mobile phone, tablet, computer or other gear...
- Geekly Update - 06 November 2019
Is there a hidden spy camera in your hotel or Airbnb rental? Will your next prescription be delivered from the drugstore via drone? Is your voice-activated gadget receiving secret laser signals? And where can you find free movies, sports, news and TV shows on your streaming device? 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!
- Doctor Bob's Tech Support House Call
I received a call from a friend recently, who was seeing random freeze-ups, the dreaded 'Blue Screen' and some other problems on her computer. I decided to pop in and see what I could do. Come along for this tech support house call, and learn the tools and techniques I use to diagnose problems like these...
- What To Do if Your Phone is Lost or Stolen
A concerned reader asks: 'Yesterday I lost my smartphone in a taxi cab, and have not been able to recover it. Before I get a new one, are there any tricks I can try to locate a lost or stolen phone? And for the future, what options do I have BEFORE a phone is lost, that will help me get it back?' Read on for my tips...
- Free Anti-Virus Programs
I've been using the free Norton antivirus package that came with my computer, but the subscription will expire in a few days. Are the free anti-virus programs any good? What do you recommend?
- UPDATE: Free Antivirus Programs
Readers often ask for my recommendations on antivirus protection. A common question goes something like this: “I got a trial version of Norton (or McAfee) antivirus with my computer, but the subscription expires in a few days. Should I pay, or switch to one of the free anti-virus programs? What do you recommend?” Read on for my updated list of the top FREE antivirus tools, and some tips on choosing free versus paid...
- Will VoIP Service Replace Your Landline?
A reader asks: 'I have both a landline and a mobile phone, so I'm thinking of dropping the landline phone in favor of VoIP phone service, to save some money. What is your opinion of VoIP, and what are the pros and cons of using it to replace a traditional landline?' Read on for the scoop...
- More Dangerous Than Malware?
Most experts writing about computer and Internet security focus on threats found 'out there' in the online sphere, or in the form of malicious hackers with malevolent intentions. The danger is that they will get to you or your computer, and steal or do damage. Most security measures focus on preventing such intrusions. But the greatest threat is not 'out there.' It's much closer than you think. Read on for the answer...
- Can a Virus Really Destroy a Hard Drive?
Sometimes I hear from readers who say a virus 'destroyed' their hard drive and they had to buy a new one. But are there actually viruses that can physically damage a hard drive? Is it even possible for a virus to damage hardware, or is this an urban legend? Read on to find out the truth...
- Here's How to Get Free Satellite TV
A reader asks: 'Can I get satellite TV for free? I have 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...
- Does My Email or IP Address Expose my Physical Location?
A reader asks: 'Can someone determine a user's identity (name, home address, etc.) simply by having their email or IP address? I'm asking because I posted to an online forum, and both my email and IP address were displayed publicly. Does that give others the ability to find my actual geographic location? Can I be tracked down in any way?' Read on to learn the answer to this common question...
- Geekly Update - 30 October 2019
Fifty years ago yesterday, ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet, went live. As UCLA grad student Charley Kline began typing LOGIN, the system crashed after just two letters. An hour later, the problem was resolved, and Kline was able to complete the connection from the UCLA mainframe to another computer at Stanford Research Institute. And LO, the Internet was born! Continue reading this special issue of the Geekly Update to learn more about the origins of the Internet, how it works, and where it's all headed. And of course, this issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!
- Replace Your Paid Software with Free Alternatives
My software strategy for several years has been to move away from commercial (paid) programs to free alternatives, preferably open source or web-based. I'll share my reasons for doing this, and some free software options that you can explore. Read on!
- How Soon Will Your Hard Drive Fail?
A common question is "How long will my hard drive last?" It's a very good question, but it might be the wrong question. Read on for some stats on the life expectancy of a hard drive, and find out the more important question you should be asking yourself...
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