You Have A Computer Virus... Now What?
by Crestien
 Chris On Tech
Aug 05, 2011 | 6998 views |  0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Following the steps below, I have been able to remove every virus, malware, etc from the computers people bring to me. Hopefully it will help some of you out. Best of all, these are all FREE!

First of all, this is advice for computers running Windows. Nothing here is meant for Macs. The best way to get these programs is to download them onto a clean computer and put them on the infected computer with a flash drive. If you don't have that option, and your infected computer can still get online, that should work as well.

You need to do all of these in Windows Safe Mode. Restart your computer and tap F8 until you get the option to Boot Into "Safe Mode With Networking." After you run all of these in Safe Mode, I always run them again in the Normal Windows Mode to be sure.

First: Uninstall
The first step is to uninstall any current antivirus & antispyware applications on your computer if you're able to. Don't argue that you just bought them or that they've worked in the past. These programs below are all you will need from today onward and they're free.

Second: ComboFix
A great program, but I can't explain exactly how it works. This will get you back up and running so you can run the programs below.

You'll download this, run it, agree to everything, and let it do it's thing. Very simple and straightforward, but very powerful. If it mentions conflicts or any messages, just do whatever it takes to continue onward. You're computer is already a mess and this isn't going to make it worse.

Third: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Malwarebytes is a great program that will remove just about anything you've got on your system. Download it, install it, get the updates, and then let it run. If you don't have an internet connection then download the manual updates in the second link and use that to bring the program up-to-date before running it. If you do have an internet connection, then you don't need it as Malwarebytes will update itself.

Fourth: Microsoft Security Essentials
Your new antivirus application. Install this, get the updates, and run it. That should do it. It will update as needed. It's created by and maintained by Microsoft and it's free. Do not pay for an antivirus. Ever.

Conclusion:
That should do it. Once you've run all of those programs in safe mode, run them again in normal mode. As long as you're not finding anything when you run them, you're good to go. You can uninstall Malwarebytes and delete combofix now if you want. Leaving them installed won't hurt anything either. You'll leave Security Essentials installed from now on. Take a moment and run your Windows Updates as well. I would venture a guess that you're not up-to-date. That can also help prevent a lot of problems.

My Advice:
You probably got this virus by clicking on something you shouldn't have. Maybe on Facebook. You need to download a more secure internet browser. It's pretty likely that you're using some variant of Internet Explorer. Stop it. Download Google's Chrome browser and enjoy the internet in the best way possible. It's blazing fast, unhackable, and refuses to use plug-ins that are known to let viruses on your system.

Chris Williams, Web Developer, WideNet Consulting

If you have a news tip or a topic you would like to see me write on, please email me at
chris@chrisontech.com or write on my facebook page's wall.


How To: Use Technology to Read News Quickly
by Crestien
 Chris On Tech
Aug 03, 2011 | 2946 views |  0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the good ole' fashion way of reading the news, but being someone that likes his tech on the bleeding edge; I have to consume it that way too. I consume so much tech news in a day that I've had to find many different and fast ways to get it. It's just part of my daily routine now and I'm going to share with you how so that maybe you can consume your favorite news in some of the same ways!

Update (3:27pm)

It appears I've left out a rather popular iPad application.  Editions is a new app that is getting some rave reviews right now.  I'd recommend anyone with an iPad give it a good look.

Google Reader

I should probably say “RSS Reader,” but I have a hard time recommending you use anything other than Google Reader when you get started on this winding and glorious path. Google Reader allows me to consume the content off of 131 different websites in the span of about 30 minutes each morning. It takes all of their content, puts it in date order, and makes one giant, readable, user-friendly list out of it. I can’t imagine getting my news any other way.

Once you’ve signed up for Google Reader with your new Gmail account, you just click the "Add Subscription" button and type in your favorite website. If it has an RSS feed, which sites usually do, then it will automatically be added and you’ll start seeing the news stories pop up in Google Reader as the website publish them. As you make time in your day to come visit Google Reader, you’ll see the newest stories automatically loaded in there for you to read. You can begin by subscribing to Chris On Tech’s RSS Feed. Just copy and paste "feeds.feedburner.com/ChrisOnTech" into the "Add Subscription" box and you'll be set to go.  It’s that simple, yet that powerful. 

Social Media

I didn't really mean to start reading news via Facebook, but I've noticed more and more that I do. On Facebook I've "Liked" Mashable, Techcrunch, Lifehacker, AnnistonStar, and many other of my favorite sources. So when I look through my Facebook news feed, I get a steady stream of curated and important news as well as updates from my friends. I find this a brilliant use of Facebook and my time.

Twitter can be a little overwhelming and confusing for people, but a great use for it is to consume news in an immediate fashion. Most major news sources push their stories to Twitter. You can follow all of the people I mentioned earlier on Twitter and get their news delivered via updates to your phone, desktop, tablets or wherever you might have installed a Twitter App. It’s definitely more of a “pushed” news tool, so if it’s important to know right away, this might be a great way to go about it.

On Your iPad / Tablet

There’s a whole host of iPad News Apps, but Flipboard is the original and the best. In 2010, it won Apple’s coveted iPad Application of the Year award. Flipboard continues to push the envelope by adding even more content partners and sources to its available list to customize your interface. News.me is another source that has the backing of more than 20 major media organizations. However, as might be expected with heavy backing, it comes with a price tag. Browse through the App Stores and you’ll find quite a few apps to consume news. It’s really become quite a popular use of all tablets since the screen is so much larger.

News Aggregating Websites

These sites having fallen off in total viewership, but they are still a great way to find quality content quickly. Sites like Digg and Reddit will regularly have incredible news stories on their front pages that you can quickly skim over. Both of these sites are curated mainly by user voting, so they can be a little skewed in their views, but generally it’s a good source for breaking news.

My Advice

Go to Google Reader and subscribe to my blog.  Start adding your favorite sites every day and enjoy the good life!

Chris Williams, Web Developer, WideNet Consulting

If you have a news tip or a topic you would like to see me write on, please email me at
chris@chrisontech.com or write on my facebook page's wall.


Digsby = IM Email Social Networking Client
by Crestien
 Chris On Tech
Aug 02, 2011 | 2197 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Digsby is my goto application for instant messaging, email, and social networking notifications.  It's an application that has gone through it's good reviews and bad, and has rightfully deserved the bad reviews when it got them.  However, today it is a great IM application with a clean install.  Just pay attention as you go through the install process and uncheck anything unnecessary.

What Will It Do For You?

Digsby excels at two things, bringing all of the aforementioned services together into one application in a visually appealing way, and only making you do it once because it will sync across all of your computers automatically.

Instant Messaging

All of your IM accounts (Facebook, AIM, Gmail, Yahoo, MSN Messenger, etc) can all be added to this one application.  This is nothing new, but Digsby does it well and it is half of the reason I use the app.  Each new chat you have open can be contained within one chat window and the conversations are separated by tabs. There are many chat features, but nothing worth mentioning.  It's all done well here.

Email

If you're like me, you like to use a webmail interface to access your email instead of a desktop application like Outlook.  One of the biggest disadvantages to this approach is that you don't get pop up notifications or have any other way to quickly identify if you have an email that needs to be addressed without logging into the website.  With Digsby, it will not only pop up little notifications upon new email arrivial, but it keeps it in a handy interface to quickly look them over and even interact with them such as archiving, spamming, or deleting them straight from Digsby.  I currently manage 4 email accounts through Digsby and find it very effective.

Social Networking

Just like with your email, Digsby will pop up little notifications when something happens at a social network like Facebook or Twitter.  It will also let you interact with those networks in very useful ways.  In your Facebook feed on Digsby, you can leave comments, "like" things, and also view larger versions of pictures without ever leaving the application.  It's truly one of the main ways I'm able to keep up with these things at all because of the limited amount of day time I have to spend on these sites.

Conclusion

All in all, I highly recommend Digsby as an IM client more.  It's become an essential part of my work day and almost the sole way I interact with Twitter.

http://www.digsby.com

Please let me know if you have any questions about the app and your opinion on it if you've given it a try.

Chris Williams, Web Developer, WideNet Consulting

If you have a news tip or a topic you would like to see me write on, please email me at
chris@chrisontech.com or write on my facebook page's wall.


White House Aide Says Tweets Influenced Debt Ceiling Deal
by Crestien
 Chris On Tech
Aug 01, 2011 | 2056 views |  0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I love social media and the power it has. I believe it to be one of the best and worst things that could have happened to our culture at the same time. It helps spread valuable information and ideas more quickly than was previously thought possible. However it spreads lies, rumors and hate at the same speed. If you can push past all of that by vetting information before you spread it, you can really get some incredible things done. We just saw history as the White House staff turned to Twitter to ask everyone to get in contact with their representatives and let them know how you feel about our current situation. The results are in, and most believe it really made a difference.

"A White House aide said Sunday night that Twitter influenced the recently announced agreement on the U.S. debt ceiling. This came after President Obama asked people to tweet at their congressmen Friday to get them to come to an agreement on setting the debt ceiling. He asked that people use the hashtag #compromise, and then his staff spent the day tweeting out the names of Republican legislators from every state."

Read More And View The Tweets At Mashable

 

Chris Williams, Web Developer, WideNet Consulting

If you have a news tip or a topic you would like to see me write on, please email me at
chris@chrisontech.com or write on my facebook page's wall.


iPhone 5 Launching in Mid-Late September?
by Crestien
 Chris On Tech
Jul 30, 2011 | 3983 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
iPhone 5 Mockup
iPhone 5 Mockup
slideshow
iPhone 4 & 5 Case Comparison
iPhone 4 & 5 Case Comparison
slideshow

That's what the rumor mill has churned up. The rumors and speculation around Apple products have always been wild and inaccurate. However, sometimes a true leak makes it out and people go crazy. Someone who claims to be an AT&T employee has tipped off Gizmodo stating all vacation will be denied for the end of September. AT&T has done this previously when new iPhones have launched, so it's highly likely that this is true.

One rumor I keep seeing is that the iPhone 5 will be redesigned to sport a larger, higher resolution screen that goes all the way to the edge. To support this there have been unconfirmed iPhone 5 cases spotted all throughout China that point to a thinner and slightly larger iPhone 5. Here's a quote below from 9to5 Mac.

"Our new images are clear and there are appears to be a slight – not major – tear drop in the design. The case goes thick to thin from top to bottom. In addition, the sources who provided us with these two new cases have shared some dimensions. According to them, the case is 5 inches tall and 2.8 inches wide. These are tight cases so the iPhone 5 dimensions should only be a few millimeters smaller than those numbers. For comparison, the iPhone 4 is 4.5 inches tall and 2.31 inches wide."

As a current and dissappointed Droid X owner, I have to say I'm ready to get back onto the iPhone bandwagon. If there's one thing I have enjoyed about the Droid X it's the larger screen. So if the rumors are true about the size increase, I'm going to be one happy camper come this Fall.

My Advice:

Do not buy a cell phone (or an iPad since the iPad 3 is heavily rumored for the Fall too) right now if you can help it. With the Fall lineup looking to be full of new tech, it would lead to nothing but tech envy and frustration at being a product model behind one month after you dropped $200 on a brand new phone.

Chris Williams, Web Developer, WideNet Consulting

If you have a news tip or a topic you would like to see me write on, please email me at
chris@chrisontech.com or write on my facebook page's wall.


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