Helpful tips for December 2012 +++++++++++++++ Helpful tips for December 2012 In this issue: General tips Tech tips Security tips for home computer users _________________________ General tips Courtesy of the research team at Some very important hints when looking for the seasonal job? Well, two of the most sought after skills are those as receptionists and those in the finance and accounting area. Why? Because it is at this itme of year that the services of receptionists are most needed and many companies use this time of the year to do some heavy cleaning in their accounting department. With the flu season upon us, we thought that you would appreciate this. So what’s this about some of the down sides of cough syrup? Firstly, it can make you constipated. Secondly, it can raise your blood pressure. About those wine bottles! Make sure that you place your bottles in a laying position. This is done so as to ensure that the cork is kept moist at all times and it helps to preserve the tast and strength of your wines and other liquor. About that all important meat that has somehow managed to thaw out due to circumstances beyond your control? If you are not sure what to do with it, either to refreeze it or throw it out, if it is still chilled then it is okay. It really is a judgement call. If you are a huge snoring person then this one may be for you. Try sleeping on your side instead of on your back. What’s this about pacifiers? Well, they are not as clean as we may think. According to a recent study, they put lots of germs into the mouths of babies. Looking for a way to keep your eyes nice and clean? Well, don’t laugh too hard. You can use baby shampoo to do the job. What is the difference between distance learning and education taken in physical classrooms? Distance learning requires much more reading. _________________________ Tech tips Taken from Melanie Mama’s corner With a huge bouquet of thanks to Dan Thompson at Fifteen Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your USB Drive You can use the find/replace feature of your word processor and search for a star made by pressing shift with number eight in the “find what” tab sheet. There are two parts to this article, the introduction and main article. You can jump between the 15 tips by searching for a greater-than sign made with shift plus the period. *I. Introduction: This is a great list of interesting ways to make use of a USB drive. After reading this list I’ve decided that what I use USB drives for is positively mundane. 🙂 If you want to add to your USB repertoire or know more about what you can do with a USB device this is an article you’ll want to read. Here’s a rundown of what’s on the list: 1. Carry Your Workspace 2. Hidden USB Drive 3. Create an Autorun program 4. Stop Auto-Runs From USB Drives 5. Recover your lost USB Drive 6. Use your USB drive to Lock or Unlock Your PC 7. Create a Bootable USB Disk 8. Run an Operating System From USB 9. Stay Safe: Get Files on Your USB Device Encrypted 10. Backup USB Drive 11. Speed Up Windows Using your USB Driv 12. Create a password reset Disk For Windows 13. Remove Alerts For USB Devices on Windows XP 14. Hide files or folders in your USB Drive 15. Completely erase your Computer Hard disk Extra: Crazy Looking USB Drives *II. Start Of Main Article: tricks that are worth trying for getting the best out of your USB drive. >1. Carry Your Workspace As we all know an USB drive can be carried with ease and portable applications has made it quite easier to carry any type application that you need for your work. You may refer to some productive portable applications that can make you more productive or you can search for portable applications of your choice on various websites. Some of the most popular ones are listed below: FC Portables Portable Freeware Portable Apps Pendrive Apps >2. Hidden USB Drive : There is a nice step by step tutorial by Windell Oskay describing how to hide your USB drive within a torn USB cable. You can easily shock a couple of your friends while playing a song from a torn USB cable plugged in to your computer. Find the step by step tutorial on Evil Mad Scientist. Link is here: >3. Create an Autorun program: It is really a vital feature while using any USB drive. We use it mostly casually but it can be used for better purposes like launching any program (located on your USB drive) automatically by just inserting the USB drive into your computer. You can follow a detailed guide on Daily Cup of Tech by Tim for creating an autorun file. Link is here: >4. Stop Auto-Runs From USB Drives: A similar list of antidotes on how you could stop auto-running programs from your USB drives can be found here: This is very useful as many threats are reported to start from auto-run menu. My suggestion to anyone would be, start programs (even the “Open to View Files”) from the Auto-run dialog. >5. Recover your lost USB Drive : Portability is what makes the USB drives so indispensable and it is what makes it so forgettable and vulnerable too. There are many occasions when I forget to bring my keys and so is with my USB stick. And back in college, my USB stick got stolen. Only thing that I did then was sulk over my carelessness. Well now, I am quite safe from this misfortunes. Here is a step by step guide from Tim that will increase the chances of recovering your USB drive in case you lose it or get robbed. You can also try Codysafe found here: a free program that also serve the similar purpose. It also comes with a program launcher like Portable Apps and a built-in antivirus (Drive Doctor) for the files saved on your USB drive. Read a detailed review on the tool. Found here: >6. Use your USB drive to Lock or Unlock Your PC: When I first came to know about this trick I simply couldn’t resist myself from using it. The very idea of locking my workspace with my USB drive makes me feel more safe. I have detailed this BIOS hack to lock your Windows XP with USB drive here: Also there is a free program named Predator that also lets you lock your Windows workspace. You can read my detailed how-to on this tool here: >7. Create a Bootable USB Disk One, if your netbook doesn’t have a DVD drive or yours is damaged and you are willing to reinstall an operating system try creating a boot device with your USB drive. Try using free tools like Image Writer found h ere: or WinToFlash to burn, found here: an Windows OS installation image file onto a USB drive. >8. Run an Operating System From USB You already know that a new OS installation can be carried be carried out from a USB disk. Well you can run a OS from USB too very much like the Live CD. Try Puppy Linux, found here: or, XPUD, found here: or, Damn Small Linux, found here: or finally, Webconverger, found here: which may not be that feature-rich as an OS but are good enough to backup dead PCs or troubleshoot the same. Well if you are eager enough to format a USB that can run Windows XP from within it, head over here: >9. Run a Website or Stand Alone Application from USB Disk Server2Go, found here: is a free webserver that can run from write protected media. To ease it up, lemme say, web apps based on Server2Go can be run from a usb stick without the worries of configuring Apache, PHP or MySQL. The app lets you create PHP applications or websites on USB sticks. Some examples listed on the developer website are catalog software, calculation programme, image campaigns (CMS-based), computer based training lessons etc. Many content management systems like Joomla are also supported by this tool. >10. Stay Safe: Get Files on Your USB Device Encrypted Work was never confined to office. And with USB sticks we can carry documents anywhere to work on them when we get more time. So if you are carrying files that may contain sensitive information, you might want to encrypt them since if it falls on wrong hands you can guess the consequences. Try SecurStick, found at: Its a free program that hides your files behind password protected encryption. You can also try the free version of USB Safe Guard for preventing data theft from USB drives. It can be found here: >11. Backup USB Drive ImageUSB, found here: and USB Flash Drive Managerare, found here: two free utilities that will help you create a backup for your USB flash drives. >12. Speed Up Windows Using your USB Drive Windows Vista and Windows 7 has an built-in feature coined as Windows ReadyBoost that you can use to speed up your OS using USB flash drives. Here is a detailed guide on Windows ReadyBoost that you can follow to apply on your PC. 11. Create a password reset Disk For Windows If you are on Windows Vista or Windows 7, use your USB drives for creating a password reset disk. Read a detailed article on how you can create a USB password reset disk on Windows 7 and Vista. >13. Remove Alerts For USB Devices on Windows XP: Follow this step by step tutorial on how you can disable alerts like, “This device can perform faster” in Windows XP. The guide is found here: >14. Hide files or folders in your USB Drive Try Winmend if you are willing to use your USB drive to hide files or folders. Read a detailed guide here: Or you can use a simple trick to hide files within a USB Drive. >15. Completely erase your Computer Hard disk Have you considered erasing all the data on your hard disk before selling it? Manual erasing is quite tiring. Nuke your hard disk with DBAN after burning the tool onto a CD drive or USB drive. >extra. Crazy Looking USB Drives This is not something that will help you tweak your USB drive, but this will definitely ease up this geeky post a bit. Get to see some crazy looking USB drives that are probably really awesome and awful at the same time. Here is a link to crazy looking usb drives. Have you ever imagined of a USB Business card? Witness it here: _________________________ Functional Flash Drive Doesn’t Work At The Office I was recently asked by another member how to use a thumb drive to transfer files between his computer at his work and his home computer, but the work computer will not recognize the thumb drive. He wanted advice on how to fix this *question: “My thumb drive works great at home, but when I took it into work to try and copy some files so I could work at home, I plug it in and the little window never opens so I cannot use it. What am I doing wrong” *Answer: There are several possible reasons for this, and here’s a few things to try: * One may be that Windows is “recognizing” the device, but isn’t displaying the little “Found new hardware” balloon for some reason (such as a Service isn’t running). So try this, 1. Open My computer and look for the drive there. 2. If it’s there, great, just double-click it, or press enter on it. but if it’s not: 3. Try plugging the drive into a different USB port. It is possible that the one you tried has gone bad. (It helps if you use an open port on the machine, and not use a hub.) If that isn’t it. * 4. Ask your company’s IT department if USB volumes have been disabled. Many companies are turning off USB access to iPods/Media Players and thumb drives (storage devices) in an effort to prevent data leakage. which is a fancy way of saying, preventing the employees from walking out the door with the Company Secrets. If this is indeed the case, you can ask that an exception be made in your case. If your request is granted, they will re-“enable” USB storage devices on your machine. But if the above does not solve the problem, It is possible that the drive letter your thumb drive is pre-disposed to being assigned (say, “E:” or “F:”), is being used by another device or “share” on the company network, and so it isn’t being seen as a volume (aka “drive”).. you’ll have a volume, but without a drive letter, Windows won’t “see” it and you can’t use it. Try the following in this case. 1. Move to “my computer” and press the application key (three from the right edge of the spacebar) or Right-click on My Computer. 2. Arrow down to “manage” and press enter or click on this option. 3. Arrow down seven times to “storage” or click the “+” sign next to “Storage” to expand the tree. 4. Arrow down three times to disc management or click on Disk Management. You will now see all the volumes on your computer. What we’re looking for in our thumb drive issue is a volume that does not have a letter. 5. If you see one, that will be the troublesome thumb drive, Press the application key or right-click on it and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths.” from the context menu. A small window will open. 6. Press enter on the add button or click on it. 7. Another small window will open. Use the drop-down arrow next to “Assign the following drive letter” and choose one of the letters (those shown will be “available” letters on the company network). It really doesn’t matter which letter you choose. Then click OK, and OK again. You should now be back in business, and you can use the thumb drive as you’re used to. Open My Computer again and you’ll see the thumb drive and double-clicking it will open it up. * If these steps fail to allow Windows to see the USB thumb drive, submit a trouble ticket to your company’s IT department. (Source: and under “weekend Roundup for April 2nd 2010.” _________________________ Get A Story A Week Sent To Your Email, Kindle, Or Instapaper For Free Send Me A Story is a free service that will send (once a week) the full text of a non-fiction article culled from sources like The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Wired, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker right to your Inbox, Kindle, or Instapaper account. If you prefer, you can read the stories on the site they originate from, or you can subscribe via RSS to the all stories feed, the editor’s pick feed, or both. You can also get the story on an iPhone or iPad. The articles are varied and span both past and the present. If you don’t want to spend time hunting down something to read, try having a story a week sent to you. Send Me A Story [via One Thing Well _________________________ Security tips for Home Computer users By the Business Desk team For the month of December 2012 Security tips for home computer users and small businesses 3 Tips for Better Password Security | Intuit Small Business Blog One of the most intimidating things for any home computer user these days is being able to stay one step ahead of those hackers and cyber pirates. It is simply no longer enough to be able to just install the necessary software. You need to know where to get it, why you need to do so, and how to install it. This could all be very time consuming at the best of times! It could also be very daunting and frightening and after a long hard day, you really don’t want to spend time looking for information on the Internet. You would rather just have someone supply you with what you need to know. Impossible you say? Not really! Here at, our research team can provide you with all kinds of information that will help you to stay one step ahead. You request it and we provide it! Research is our business. Here is some free research info for you. +++++++++++++++ 3 Tips for Better Password Security | Intuit Small Business Blog When Wired writer Mat Honan was hacked, much of his digital life was wiped out, from his … Read more at: +++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++ Important security information for your small business – Security Tips … The Security Tips and Talk Blog provides informaiton on internet security, which helps protect your computer from computer viruses and other malicious software … Read more at: +++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++ What Small Businesses Need To Consider When They Go Cloud CloudTweaks News Cloud computing offers promise for lower costs, heightened IT efficiency and security. Truth be told, even though the mentioned benefits are valid, cloud computing is not as glamorous as you might think. As a small business, all factors remaining … Read more at: +++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++ 8 Essential security tips for start-ups ITProPortal So you’ve just finished your new filtered-video app/proximity-based social network/fresh-thinking small business’ website. You’re financed. People are interested. Trademarks are solid. You’re ready for the big wide world right? Wrong, you’ve forgotten … Read more at: +++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++ Business Security Tips for the Holidays Business Review USA Research earlier this year revealed that nearly one in two small businesses have experienced a security breach caused by staff. With the growing popularity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), employees intending to take new gadgets from their Christmas … Read more at: +++++++++++++++ So what do you think? How long do you think it would have taken you to find these pieces of info? So the next time you are stuck on how to do your research, no matter how big or small it is, drop us an email at and we would be delighted to help. ]]>

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