Thursday, May 31, 2007

What are ISO and RAR Files? - RAR, ZIP, ARC, ISO: they're all different types of compressed files floating around the internet. LesterMorrow asks "what are ISO and RAR files and how do I use them?"

ISO and RAR files are archives. The most common type of archive files people run into are ZIP files, but there are other formats, including tar.gz, hqx, and 7z.

Most archived files compress the information they contain and make it easier to store and transfer over a network.

ISO files are disk images, in most cases CD or DVD, which contain an uncompressed image that you can burn with a burning program, such a Roxio Easy Media Creator.

Save 10% at Roxio when you use the coupon code: Lockergnome07

You can use several programs to decompress archived files.

WinRAR is the defacto standard for decompressing archived files:

WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format. You may try WinRAR before buy, its trial version is available in downloads.

IZArc is a great alternative to WinRAR with a good user interface and supports an insane number of archive formats:

IZArc is the ultimate freeware archive utility supporting many archive formats like: 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BIN, BZ2, BZA, C2D, CAB, CDI, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, IMG, ISO, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MDF, MBF, MIM, NRG, PAK, PDI, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, ZOO.

With a modern easy-to-use interface, IZArc provides support for most compressed and encoded files, as well as access to many powerful features and tools.

7-Zip is the standard in the open source community:

7-Zip is open source software. Most of the source code is under the GNU LGPL license. The AES code is under a BSD LICENSE. The unRAR code is under a mixed license: GNU LGPL + unRAR restrictions.

You can use 7-Zip on any computer, including a computer in a commercial organization. You don't need to register or pay for 7-Zip.

What program do you use to view your archived files?

Want to embed the ISO & RAR: they're ZIPtastic! video on your blog or website? Use this code:

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><br /><a href=""></a> / <a href=""></a>

KVM Switch - Controlling multiple computers from one workstation can be difficult and often requires some special tools. KVM - Keyboard Video Mouse - hardware and software allows you to have one set of peripherals control multiple machines.

Should you got with hardware or software? Ultimately your hardware setup is going to decide what solution you use.

Hardware switches allow you to switch between machines with a press of a button on your keyboard. Often times you simply press "scroll lock" twice and your KVM will switch between machines.

VNC allows you to control another machine on your current machine. It's almost as if you were running a Virtual Machine on your computer in that you have a program open on your computer which controls a remote computer.

Synergy is a little more seamless than VNC because it allows you to use one keyboard and one mouse to control multiple machines, all of which are connected to their own monitors. It allows you to control those machines as if you had a multiple monitor setup.

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It's intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).

Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. Furthermore, it synchronizes screen savers so they all start and stop together and, if screen locking is enabled, only one screen requires a password to unlock them all.

,a href="">Multiplicity allows you to do something similar to Synergy:

Multiplicity is a new program that lets you control multiple computers with a single keyboard and mouse.

If you've ever used a multiple monitor equipped PC, then you can imagine how Multiplicity works. Each monitor is connected to its own PC. When the user moves the mouse over to a given monitor, the user is then controlling that PC.

What do you use to control multiple machines?

Want to embed the Keyboard Video Mouse Switches video on your blog or website? Use this code:

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><br /><a href=""></a> / <a href=""></a>

Mighty Mouse vs Microsoft Laser Mouse 8000

- A wireless mouse is a beautiful thing, but what mouse is perfect for you? JC asks why Chris got a mighty mouse and if Chris could "point" him in the right direction. How lame.

Chris has been happily using the Mighty Mouse, but also enjoys his Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 8000.

Apple has the design and elegance going for it, as well as the "tech coolness" factor in only having one button yet being able to right click. The scroll wheel is also much more comfortable than on his PC mouse. It's for all of those reasons that Chris likes the Mighty Mouse over most of his other peripherals.

Webboy posted a video response claiming that you cannot right click with the Mighty Mouse, but Chris disagrees: you can right click with the Mighty Mouse, even though it only has one button. All you need to do is configure it correctly.

Chris prefers to use the Laser Mouse 8000 on his PC mainly because it's made for the PC.

What mouse do you use?

Invisible Folders - Chris is a maniacal tweaker when it comes to Windows. From desktop wallpaper all thy way to totally replacing his shell, he loves to customize his system to fit his tastes. This time he may have gone a little too far when he created an invisible folder in Windows Vista.

To get an "invisible folder" you need to do two things:

  • Rename the folder to an invisible character. You can do this by renamed the folder and using ALT+0160. You should now have a folder without a name.
  • To get rid of the icon right click on the folder, select properties, go to customize, and change the icon to a blank icon.
  • You now have an invisible folder!

In order to delete the folder you'll need to rename it in the command prompt by typing:

ren " " foldername

That's not a space in between the quotes. You need to press ALT+1060. You'll then be able to delete the folder.

What tweaks do you use on Windows?

Compact Fluorescent Lights - Some people consider compact fluorescent light bulbs to be inefficient, while others see them as a long-life replacement from regular incandescent bulbs. Cheaper than LEDs and longer lasting than traditional bulbs, these lights often find themselves on the shopping list of people who need to replace worn out bulbs.

We have a wealth of resources here at Lockergnome covering the Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb:

In this video, Dan from Technobabble discusses how to properly dispose of these light bulbs, since they do contain mercury (a hazardous substance.)

How do you deal with your fluorescent light bulbs, or do you use them at all?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tivo vs MythTV vs Windows Media Center - DVRs and PVRs, which are basically the same thing, allow you to watch Television whenever you want to, instead of when they're broadcast: you simply record the program and play it back when you want to.

Corey in the chat room wanted to know what the best DVR is: Tivo, Windows Media Center, or MythTV?

Chris uses the Comcast branded DVR but that's because it makes it easier for him to record his cable shows for playback. What's best for you, however, depends on what you want to do with it.

If you're a fan of open source, you'll probably be happy with MythTV:

MythTV is a homebrew PVR project that I've been working on in my spare time. It's been under heavy development for almost four years, and is now quite useable and featureful.

If you want to synchronize your video files with a portable device, you'll be happier with Tivo, which allows you to port the Tvio-to-go files:

,p>Your TiVo box, powered by the amazing TiVo service, automatically finds and digitally records all of your favorite shows, every time they're on. Every episode of your favorite series. Every Coppola movie. Every home improvement program. Even Dora cartoons! Whatever you choose. All while you're out living life. Plus, only TiVo lets you watch your favorite shows any time, anywhere.

Microsoft also offers Windows Media Center, which offers a familiar interface:

Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 powers the all-in-one PC and entertainment center for your entire home. Get all the advanced computing power of Windows XP and enjoy your favorite entertainment on your PC - watch DVDs, record TV, listen to music, share your digital photos, and more.

Snapstream makes BeyondTV, which gives you the full capabilities of a DVR system while running under Windows:

Record and watch TV with your PC. Gain control over your entertainment experience. With Beyond TV, you determine what you want to watch and when you want to watch it. With incredible features and extensive setting options, TV is under your control.

What DVR/PVR do you use?

If you want to embed the Best DVR? video on your blog, simply use this code:

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><br /><a href=""></a> / <a href=""></a>

How to Disable UAC - UAC, User Account Control, can be pretty annoying for a power user, especially when you're asked "deny or allow" every five minutes. On top of that it has a very annoying "donk" sound that could annoy the dead.

Thakfully, there's a simple way to disable UAC:

  • Go to Control Panel
  • Open User Accounts
  • Remove the checkmark from the "turn users account control on/off" section
  • UAC is now disabled!

Remember: UAC is there for your own safety, as it can help protect you, so it is recommended that you keep it on. Do not disable UAC unless you know what you are doing.

Oh, and don't run as administrator all the time, like Chris does. It can open you up to a plethora of nasty problems.

If you want to embed the Using Vista's UAC vide on your blog, use this code:

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><br /><a href=""></a> / <a href=""></a>

How to Use a Camcorder as a Webcam - There are many ways to stream video on the Internet, but a crucial component is the video camera that you use. I can either be a webcam, built specifically for capturing video and displaying it on your computer, or a camcorder. The question is, then, how do you stream video from your DV camcorder?

There are several pieces of software you can try which will allow you to stream video form your camcorder.

ActiveWebcam might be overkill because it's mainly for security and surveillance, but you can use it to stream video from your camcorder:

Active WebCam captures images up to 30 frames per second from any video device including USB, analog cameras, TV-boards, camcorders, and from network IP cameras.

The program performs simultaneous recording and broadcasting from unlimited number of cameras.

WebcamDV allows you to have "the best quality webcam in the world:"

If you own a DV camcorder, or are about to buy one, wouldn’t it be cool if you could use all its features by making it the world’s best web cam? WebCamDV is a utility which runs in conjunction with your webcam software application. It lets your digital video camera with all its expensive features, act like a webcam! Imagine, a webcam with 600X zoom, auto focus, stereo sound, auto stabilizing, night vision, high quality optics, and more, depending on your camcorder.

DVDriver lets you iuse your camcorder as if it were a regular webcam:

DVdriver is a software tool that lets you use your camcorder with any software that works with webcams. It works by fooling Windows® into thinking that your camcorder is just an ordinary USB webcam.

Use your camcorder with the full range of webcam software available today. Just plug your camcorder into your PC's Firewire port, run DVdriver and start the software you want to use.

What software do you use to turn your camcorder into a webcam?

If you would like to embed the Using a Camcorder as a Webcam video, use the following code:

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><br /><a href=""></a> / <a href=""></a>

Wired vs Wireless Networking - What's the one thing Linksys, D-Link, and Netgear all have in commin? They all offer networking equipment, both wired and wireless. A user in the chat room wants to know what's better: wired or wireless networks.

The answer: It really depends on what you're going to be doing on your network.

For the average user, the only thing you really need to worry about is what systems are going to be on your network: will they be laptops, desktops, or a combination of the two?

If you use mostly laptops, then you would be better off with a totally wireless networking solution. With a wireless network you won't be tethered by an Ethernet cable, and you'll be able to use the Internet virtually anywhere in your home.

If you use mostly desktops, then you might want to consider having a wired network. A wired network offers a bit more security, since your packets will be restricted to the Ethernet cable, and you won't have to worry about acquiring a good signal from your wireless router. Plus, Ethernet is fast (up to one gigabit per second) and getting faster (the latest standards drafts suggest speeds as high as 100 gigabits per second).

If you use both laptops and desktops, or if you want to introduce a wired network into a wireless one, you could always go with a hybrid network.

There are some security issues with using a wireless network, such as the potential for packet sniffing, so you'll need to take the appropriate security measures to secure your wireless network, but if it's properly secured you should not run into any problems.

What do you think is better: wired or wireless?

Check out the Wired or Wireless Networking video on YoutTube and subscribe to our channel!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Xbox 360 vs Playstation 3 vs Wii - The console wars are underway, and the Wii, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360 are all fighting it out for the top spot in the video game industry. This generation of consoles has been out for a while and we want to know which one is better: the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or the Wii?

All three systems have their bright spots and their flaws.

Sony may have bit off more than it could chew with the Playstation 3: they attempted to build a media center to end all media centers on top of a gaming platform. They also significantly increased the price of the PS3 by including a Blu-Ray drive, which limited their audience. And, they also don't offer any significant competitor to Xbox Live, which is something the modern gamer is clamoring for.

Microsoft did something very smart with the Xbox 360: they upgraded the hardware and significantly improved the Xbox Live interface. By offering gamers the best online console service they gained an upper hand on Sony and Nintendo.

The Wii didn't follow in Microsoft and Sony's footsteps. By offering a system that, in comparison to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, is underpowered, Nintendo was able to offer the console at a substantially lower price their the competition. Couple that with a smart marketing campaign, family friendly games, and a party atmosphere, and you have the makings of a hot product.

What do you think is better? The Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or the Wii?

Remember to check out the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3 video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Analytics vs Mint - Tracking website statistics can be very difficult. TaylorOlson in the chat room wanted to know which was better for tracking website statistics: Google Analytics, Mint, or something else.

Web statistics are an amazing utility for webmasters: they allow you to keep track of your visitors and help you understand what your website visitors are looking for. Once you understand how they're getting to your website you can build up from there.

For ease of use, amount of data offered, and low cost Chris highly recommends Google Analytics.

Analytics is free and offers a very simple installation process: you simply place some javascript code on your website and you can track your visitors. Analytics also offers much more detail than basic log parsing scripts: demographics, browsers, ISP, keywords used in search engines, what exact keywords were used and how many times.

Mint offers similar features to Analytics; however, it's not free and installation is not as simple (it requires scripts to be installed on your web server).

We recommend Analytics, but what do you recommend?

Remember to check out the Tracking Web Statistics video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

What is RSS? RSS - Really Simple Syndication - is probably something you've seen around the Internet lately, but you may not know what it is or what to do with it. So, what is RSS?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it lets you syndicate website content without ever visiting the website. RSS allows you to bring the Internet to you in a similar way to how a newspaper can be delivered to your doorstep: your news aggregator will periodically check the RSS feed and alert you when there is new content.

With RSS you no longer have to constantly check a websites for updates. If you're a sports fan you can get your team news sent to you automatically, or if you love web comics you can be notified when a new comic has been put online.

RSS does have its limitations, however. Right now, RSS does not allow you to post comments on blogs or forums (so you'll need to visit the website to do that), and sometimes the content in an RSS feed is only a teaser (forcing you to visit the website if you want to learn more).

Check out the RSS Explained video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

How to Convert Videos for the PSP - Playing videos on your PSP is pretty darn cool, but converting videos to play on the PSP can be a difficult and time consuming process. How do you convert videos so they can play on the PSP?

You're going to need to use some software if you want to convert videos into a format that the PSP can play.

For Windows we recommend PSP Video 9:

PSP Video 9 was developed by Sajeeth Cherian, a communication engineering student at Carleton University, as well as the founder and lead developer of the video distribution software, Videora.

Development of PSP Video 9 would not be possible without the help of many individuals and groups including: MobileHackerz, FFMPEG Team, Runtime, Slordak, Everaldo Coelho and all the people who have sent in donations.

For OS X we recommend iPSP:

iPSP was the first app to to integrate iLife, your Mac and your PSP and continues to lead the way bringing exciting new features to Mac OS X mainstream users that were previously only available on PCs running Windows.

iPSP lets you manage the data on your Mac and your PSP, in a familiar "iApp" environment. Your Photos, Music, Videos, Documents and more are easily converted and transferred to your PSP with a minimum of fuss, hassle or confusion.

If you don't want to use software, you could always try using and Zamzar, but they are a shared resource and it could take a significant amount of time to convert your video into the proper format.

What do you recommend for converting video so that PSP can play it?

Check out the Converting Video for the PSP question on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

How to Embed You Tube Videos - Embedding You Tube videos is second nature to some geeks, but other people have a difficult time figuring out how they canput their videos on their blogs or websites.

YouTube can do this automatically for you. After you log into your account, go to the Video Posting Settings option in your account. From there you can tell YouTube to automatically post new videos to your blog. Currently this feature only supports Blogger, LiveJournal, Friendster, Wordpress, and Piczo.

If your blogging platform isn't supported by YouTube, you can always manually insert your videos into a blog post. All you have to do is grab what's known as the embed code from your video page. You can copy that code and paste it into your blog entries. A word of warning: if your blogging platform uses a rich text editor (such as Wordpress), you'll have to insert your embed code directly into the HTML.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for embedding YouTube videos?

Check out the Embedding Video tutorial on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

VoIP Services


What is VoIP? - Voice over Internet Protocol - VoIP - is a method of using the Internet to talk to people. VoIP technologies can be either software or hardware; for example, Skype offers both a software solution as well as a hardware solution. They offer quick, easy, and cheap access to anyone with a telephone (some services charge a low monthly rate for unlimited calling!)

VoIP does have its downside though: it doesn't have its own infrastructure and has to rely on the Internets infrastructure to work, whereas a standard "land line" service does not rely on the Internet for its infrastructure.

Before you decide to go with a VoIP service there are a few things you should know:

  • VoIP services generally do not come with a built-in 911 service. Some services offer E-911, which requires you to manually configure. If you don't configure it you won't have access to 911.
  • VoIP runs on the Internet, so you need to have access to a high speed Internet connection.
  • Since it runs on the Internet, VoIP also requires electricity to operate. If there is a power outage in your area you will not have telephone service until power is restored.

Do you use a VoIP service? If so, which one. If no, why not?

Check out the VoIP Services video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

How to Repair Your Credit - Credit is a difficult thing to manage, since it's not as concrete as cold hard cash. Jason learned that the hard way back in 2000 when he started a business that eventually failed. He has since crawled out of his hole of debt and along the way has learned a lot of things that anyone dealing with debt would use.

Here is a little bit of information on how Jason turned his financial life around:

Jason here, I wanted to share with you the whole story, not what was glazed over:

The $200,000 figure came from multiple loans and credit card bills over a period of time (I was not encumbered with this entire debt overnight).

After a variety of court procedures and legal agreements I was able to significantly reduce the amount of money I had to pay out of my own pocket. The total actually paid out of my own pocket was $65,000 for the entire debt.

I worked at several jobs, but the first step to fixing my problem was by obtaining a minimum wage job.

Since hourly work in the service sector can be spotty at best I often had to keep two or more jobs to maintain at least 30 hours worked per week. Some weeks I was able to pull in upwards of 60 hours, while other weeks I was only able to clock in 20.

After working at several jobs over several years I was finally able to pay off my debts.

I also owe a lot to my family who helped me pay for court costs and attorney fees.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope this answers any questions you may have regarding my debt.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Money Management - Managing your money can be a difficult and often painful experience. But through all of the pains come some great stories. Introducing: Ponzi and Chris's money stories.

According to Ponzi, Chris is good at making money, but the responsibility of managing the money always falls on Ponzi's shoulders. In her short story Ponzi tells us how she came to respect the idea of "a penny saved is a penny earned."

We also learned a few things about money management in this video:

  • Pennies are money.
  • Chris hates pennies.
  • Chris used to throw away all of his pennies, but thanks to Ponzi now he saves his pennies and uses Coinstar.

We also learned that when it comes to math, Chris is helpless … unless he has calc.exe.

Out of all of the money management software out there, Ponzi and Chris use Microsoft Money, because it fits all of their needs.

Programs like Quicken, Peachtree, and Quickbooks offers an accountant's point of view on money - talking in credits and debts - whereas Microsoft Money gives talks about money in a way that the average user would understand.

So, there are Chris and Ponzi's money stories. What are some of yours?

Check out the Personal Money Management video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Bulletin Board Software - Forum software is piece of software that is installed on a web server which allows a community to interact in an organized and categorized format. Unlike blogs, forums tend to be more structured and can contain the views of multiple users rather than the maintainer of the blog. A user on the chat room wants some recommendations for forum software.

Headzoo recommends GetVanilla, which provides a clean and simple forum interface:

In Vanilla you can quickly and easily see which discussions you haven't read, and how many new comments are in each discussion. You can run advanced searches through discussion topics, comments, and users. You can change the way Vanilla operates using per-user preferences. Finally, you have a very customizable account profile where you can provide pictures of yourself and add as much information about yourself as you like.

phpBB is a popular bulletin board system recommended by many users:

Since its creation in 2000, phpBB has become the most widely used Open Source forum solution. Like its predecessors, phpBB 3.0 “Olympus” has an easy to use administration panel and a user friendly installation process, which allows you to have a forum set up in minutes.

Ponzi doesn't really like forums as they're not as social as a blogging network. Instead, she likes the idea of a social networking website like ThisNext:

ThisNext is a shopcasting network where you can discover, recommend and share things you love. Everything on ThisNext is recommended by real people like you.

What forum software do you use? Do you use forums at all or do you prefer blogs and social networks?

Check out the Message Board Software video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Free Email Accounts - There are a variety of free e-mail services on the Internet - Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, etc … - but not every service fits the needs and tastes of every person. Kole doesn't like where the new Yahoo! Mail beta is headed, and has found that Gmail is a suitable alternative; however, since he's with Yahoo! now, and his contacts are all there, should he switch?

Fortunately e-mail is vendor independent, which means you're able to switch providers and still receive the same basic service. So, since you can get the same service with an interface that you're more comfortable with, Chris says you should switch.

Ponzi agrees with Chris in principle: every user is different, and they should go with what they're more comfortable with, but she also thinks Kole needs to consider the social factor in all of this: you may be leaving a network of people behind who are all tied into the Yahoo! service. If this is the case, then you should consider staying with Yahoo!, if only to keep in touch with your network of people.

Ultimately it boils down to what you're comfortable with. If you're more comfortable using Gmail, then start notifying your contacts of the address change and begin the process of merging all of your data over.

What do you think Kole should do?

Check out the Yahoo! Mail vs Gmail video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel.

Screen Capture Software - Screen capturing in Windows Vista can be tricky. You can use the old standby "print screen" button, which will copy the entire contents of your Desktop to the clipboard, or press alt and "print screen" at the same time to capture just the current window you're working in. Once you do that you can paste the image into your favorite image editor.

Of course, that's a bit of a bulky way to capture screen shots. That's why Kenny Kerr created Window Clippings, a free program that eliminates the annoying step of pasting the image into a program by saving the screenshot directly into a PNG file.

It's very nice, very clean, and very unobtrusive.

The chat room has some other suggestions for capturing screen shots, which you may want to check out:

  • Camtasia SCreen Recorder
  • Snagit

What do you use to capture screenshots?

Check out the How to Take Screenshots video on YouTube and subscribe top our channel!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Windows Vista Sound Driver Problem - Meandyou can no longer control his bass and treble in Windows Vista, whereas he was able to control it in Windows XP.

The problem is probably related to a driver issue. If the sound card provider doesn't fully support Vista, then you're not going to have the same level of functionality that you had in Windows XP.

Microsoft, in Windows Vista, eliminated the Hardware Abstraction Layer. HAL allowed the direct sound data to pass through to the sound card, freeing up the CPU. So, the drivers that used to work no longer work, and the software that relied on HAL broke.

If you really miss treble and bass control you can:

  • Use Windows XP
  • Get speakers that support treble and bass control
  • Get a sound miser than support treble and bass
  • Or just wait until the manufacturer updates their drivers.

Do you have any suggestions?

Check out the Windows Vista Audio Problems video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Free Laptop Giveaway - Yeah, this is a true "give away" for my Acer Ferrari 5000 notebook - running a legal copy of Windows Vista. Why am I doing this? Well, for a lot of reasons. Namely, it's to help spread the word about our new efforts in the live chat room and video tutorials. This is not a contest - and the recipient will be chosen at random.

You can do one of two (or both) of the following to float onto my giveaway radar - both of which have to do with subscribing to my podcast feed.

  1. Post a video response on YouTube (specifically, to my Vista Laptop Giveaway video), proving that you have subscribed to my podcast feed by holding up your device and showing everyone. Subscribe to in any podcast program (like iTunes, Zune, PSP, etc.). Showing me a Web page will not suffice.
  2. Write a review for "The Chris Pirillo Show" in the iTunes store - just be honest with your review, as flattery won't curry favor or increase your odds. If you already have iTunes installed, you can use this podcast link.

That's it. One person will get this laptop, which I've hardly used:

  • Built on AMD's Direct Connect Architecture (AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology)
  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 512 MB of HyperMemory
  • A bright 15.4" WSXGA display with 16 ms response time (widescreen)
  • HDMI port - an uncompressed digital audio / video interface that perfectly reproduces source content

So, simply post a video response with proof of your subscription and/or write a review of this podcast in iTunes. Either way, subscribe!

What is VNC remote desktop? - Sometimes it would be nice if you could access your machine through a remote connection. VNC does just that, and it's free. VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing. This lets you access any computer that's running VNC software from any other computer. So, Chris could have a VNC server running on OS X, while he runs the client on Windows: this lets him control is OS X machine from inside Windows, without having physical access to the Apple hardware.

Some folks in the chat room recommend Chicken of the VNC:

Chicken of the VNC is a fast, lightweight VNC client for Mac OS X. A VNC client allows one to display and interact with a remote computer screen. In other words, you can use Chicken of the VNC to interact with a remote computer as though it's right next to you.

Chris recommends Vine Server for OS X:

Vine Server is a full featured VNC server for Mac OS X providing remote access to the GUI, keyboard and mouse using Vine Viewer or any other VNC client. Vine Server offers a rich and unique feature set among Mac OS X VNC servers including:

  • Flexible port assignment for multiple VNC servers on a single computer
  • System servers that run independently of user accounts
  • Outstanding clipboard sharing; Exchange of rich text, images, files and applications when used with Vine Viewer

Plus, Vine Server is a full Universal Binary For Improved Intel performance and it is offered by Redstone for FREE!

And UltraVNC for the Windows platform:

UltraVNC is a powerful, easy to use and free software that can display the screen of another computer (via internet or network) on your own screen. The program allows you to use your mouse and keyboard to control the other PC remotely. It means that you can work on a remote computer, as if you were sitting in front of it, right from your current location.

VNC: it's very cool, very useful, and very free.

As great as VNC is, it is not as secure as it could be, and it's not recommended that you run VNC over the Internet without some kind of secure tunneling.

Check out the OS X VNC Client video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel.

Free Laptop Giveaway - Yeah, this is a true "give away" for my Acer Ferrari 5000 notebook - running a legal copy of Windows Vista. Why am I doing this? Well, for a lot of reasons. Namely, it's to help spread the word about our new efforts in the live chat room and video tutorials. This is not a contest - and the recipient will be chosen at random.

You can do one of two (or both) of the following to float onto my giveaway radar - both of which have to do with subscribing to my podcast feed.

  1. Post a video response on YouTube (specifically, to my Vista Laptop Giveaway video), proving that you have subscribed to my podcast feed by holding up your device and showing everyone. Subscribe to in any podcast program (like iTunes, Zune, PSP, etc.). Showing me a Web page will not suffice.
  2. Write a review for "The Chris Pirillo Show" in the iTunes store - just be honest with your review, as flattery won't curry favor or increase your odds. If you already have iTunes installed, you can use this podcast link.

That's it. One person will get this laptop, which I've hardly used:

  • Built on AMD's Direct Connect Architecture (AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology)
  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 512 MB of HyperMemory
  • A bright 15.4" WSXGA display with 16 ms response time (widescreen)
  • HDMI port - an uncompressed digital audio / video interface that perfectly reproduces source content

So, simply post a video response with proof of your subscription and/or write a review of this podcast in iTunes. Either way, subscribe!

Scan and Convert to PDF with Software - Organizing your bills can be a difficult task, especially when you want to do it digitally. Jozjozjoz needs a solution for her scanning problem. She needs a document scanner that will scan directly to PDF, but doesn't want to get another machine to do this.

The all-in-one printer can potentially scan to anything: any application that can recognize the scanner can use it. Of course, this means you'll have to get another application that will let you scan directly to PDF.

Nuance makes a product called PDF Converter, which lets you use your scanner to scan directly to PDF.

PDF Converter 4 instantly converts PDF files into documents, spreadsheets and forms that look exactly like the original - complete with formatting and graphics! Set information free to edit, and integrate in to documents saving time and dramatically boosting your productivity.

PrimoPDF will let you print directly to a PDF file instead of printing to a piece of paper.

Convert to PDF from any application by simply 'printing' to the PrimoPDF printer - it couldn't be easier! Within minutes, you can create and append high-quality PDFs by converting from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and virtually any other printable file type.

On the subject of scanning bills, Chris has a piece of hardware called Neat Receipts which lets you scan and organize your various receipts and bills.

Check out the Scan to PDF video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

What is IPTV? - Neclimdul in the chat room wanted to know: what is IPTV and will it be worth it?

When geeks talk about IPTV, they're not talking about the Iowa Public Television program. They're talking about Internet Protocol Television:

IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) is a system where a digital television service is delivered using the Internet Protocol over a network infrastructure, which may include delivery by a broadband connection. For residential users, IPTV is often provided in conjunction with Video on Demand and may be bundled with Internet services such as Web access and VoIP. The commercial bundling of IPTV, VoIP and Internet access is referred to as a Triple Play. Adding the mobile voice service leads to the Quadruple Play denomination. IPTV is typically supplied by a broadband operator using a closed network infrastructure.

In a way your television will be connected to the Internet.

Imagine a day when you don't have to rely on your local service provider: like on demand, but with all of the programs served in a similar fashion.

The promise of IPTV is that you'll be able to get the content you want when you want it. Of course, the problem with IPTV is that people generally don't have enough bandwidth to push the high quality high definition video that people are demanding.

According to Chris, the best IPTV platform out there so far isn't the AppleTV or your local cable companies on demand service. No, it's the Xbox Marketplace, which delivers a much better IPTV-like experience than other systems currently in place.

So, will IPTV be worth it? In a word: yes.

Check out the IPTV video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Digital Photo Frame - Chris got to play around with a pretty cool piece of tech: the Vista Frame by Digital Spectrum. And according to Chris, this is what a digital Photo Frame should be. In fact, Chris calls it the best digital photo frame. That's high praise coming from a technology pundit.

The Vista Frame comes with:

  • Built-in multi format card reader
  • Embedded 802.11b/g wireless connectivity
  • Web enabled for photo sharing
  • Plays MP3, WMA audio files
  • Plays WMV video files
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • USB to thumb drive, camera, etc.
  • Remote control for convenient use
  • Landscape or portrait orientation
  • 10.4″ screen
  • No subscription required!

Of course, it does have some problems: there's no diagnostic information, software updates are not automatic, Flickr integration is not intuitive, and some other minor problems. But, for the most part, the Vista Frame is a winner in Chris's book.

Check out the Vista Frame Review on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Computer Sales - Nick Francisco is looking to buy a new computer, possibly in August, and wants to know what the best time of year is to purchase a computer?

There are two times of the year when it's best to buy a computer, and they're not related to when new hardware is released: August and December.

August is a great time of year to buy computers because you get "back to school" specials for all levels of education. When this time of year comes around, business will often put computers on sale, offer a significant discount, or give equipment away (such as free printers).

December is a very good time of year to purchase a computer because of the Christmas shopping season.

If you're looking to save additional money, try not to worry about having "the best" machine that money can buy at the time. You can save some money by not getting the largest hard drive, or not getting the fastest processor.

One other crucial piece of advice: never buy a computer without looking for coupon codes or special discounts.

Check out the Best Time to Buy a Computer video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Friday, May 25, 2007

HD Video Camera: Cannon Powershot TX1 - Shooting High Definition video for personal use isn't quite mainstream yet, but it can be done with a bit an of investment. Bwana in the chat room wants a recommendation for an affordable High Definition Video Camera, between $500 and $800.

The closest thing Chris can recommend is the Cannon Powershot TX1:

Imagine a tiny digital-camera that takes great still pictures and also takes movies compatible for viewing on widescreen HDTV. With Canon's PowerShot TX1, Canon takes a futuristic wish-list and makes it a reality. This is an ELPH-sized camera with a whopping 10x optical zoom that not only captures 7.1 megapixel images, but HD movies, too! The stylish vertical design in stainless steel houses plenty of premium advancements including Optical Image Stabilizer Technology, DIGIC III Image Processor, Face Detection Technology and Red-eye Correction. And because you'll want to take this compact wonder everywhere, it's equipped with a built-in lens cover and tough new scratch-resistant, anti-reflective coating on the LCD screen. It's virtually pocket-sized and automatic, easy to use, and all images can be stored on compact SD or MMC memory cards and easily transferred to your computer or directly to your video output. progressive-scan compatible to HDTV.

Chirs recommends staying away from the Sony HDR SR1. It shoots great quality HD video with 5.1 surround sound, but getting the video off of the camera has been a down-sampling nightmare.

Do you have any HD Video Camera recommendations?

Check out the HD Camcorder video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Audio Editing Software: Audition vs. Sound Forge - Audio editing software can be expensive, but which professional suite is better? Zoomrix from the chat room wants to know what is better: Audition or Sound Forge.

"Best" is relative to each user. If he was forced to select one or the other, Chris would take Sound Forge over Audition, because the interface is less cluttered and their new noise cancellation plug-in works much better than Auditions noise cancellation.

Also, the Audition interface really hasn't improved much over the years: it's too cluttered and difficult to find what you need, and still feels like it's the old CoolEdit shareware program.

Other audio editing utilities out there include Goldwave and Audacity, but neither of them should be put into the same class as Sound Forge or Audition as they're not professional level pieces of software; however, they're great for the average user and most podcasters.

Which do you think is better: Audition or Sound Forge?

Check out the Sound Editing Software video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Best Video Editing Software: Vegas, Director, VideoStudio, and Easy Media Creator - Being able to record your own movies in pretty simple in this digital work, but editing them is tricky. Is there a PC alternative to Final Cut on the PC other than Premiere?

There are plenty of alternatives out there. The problem is that if you're not used to the user interface, it may not be the best solution for you. So, instead of recommending just one product Chris suggests checking out a few products and figuring out what works best for you.

Sony Vegas

The Vegas+DVD Production Suite combines Vegas 7, DVD Architect 4, and Dolby Digital AC-3 encoding software to offer an integrated environment for all phases of professional video, audio, DVD, and broadcast production. This suite lets you edit and process DV, HDV, SD/HD-SDI, and all XDCAM formats in real time, fine-tune audio with precision, and author surround sound, dual-layer DVDs.

Cyberlink Power Director

Magic Video Editing for Creating Dynamic Movies

  • Edit videos and slideshows automatically with stunning titles, effects, and transitions
  • Quickly fix and improve videos with magic enhancement tools
  • Achieve the results you want with advanced editing features including key frame PiPs and menu editor
  • Import from high-def camcorders to create high-def movies
  • Publish directly to the web on Streamload or YouTube

Ulead Video Studio 11

Ulead VideoStudio 11 is video editing and DVD authoring software for anyone who wants to easily produce professional-looking videos, slideshows and DVDs. Choose the version that's right for you.

Roxio Easy Media Creator 9

Easy Media Creator 9 Suite

  • Burn music CDs & DVDs, back up fast, and copy with ease
  • Take your media with you - easily transfer files to iPod, PSP or other device
  • Certified for Windows Vista

Get the most out of your digital videos, music and photos. Easy Media Creator 9 Suite lets you create, manage and enjoy them the way you want them - where you want them.

Ultimately it all boils down to how well you can use the software. Do you have any suggestions?

Check out the Digital Video Editing video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Dual Monitor Setup vs. Single Screen Display - A multi-monitor setup can give you much more screen real estate to work with, but so can one really huge monitor. Glenn wants to know if he should get two 23 inch monitors or one 30 inch monitor.

If there's one absolute fact in this work it's that Chris loves having a lot of screen real estate in front of him.

With two 23 inch monitors, you'll actually get more space to work with than with just a single 30 inch monitor. Having a second monitor can help you be much more productive than you could be with just a single monitor, since you have more space to work with. Plus you have the added bonus of redundancy: if a monitor fails in a dual monitor setup you still have one monitor to fall back on.

It's for these reasons that Chris recommends getting the two 23 inch monitors over the single 20 inch display.

You'll need a couple of things in order to take full advantage of your monitors:

  • You'll need a graphics card with "dual head" output support. Most modern graphics cards have this ability, but you should double check to make sure.
  • The combined resolution of your monitors cannot exceed the maximum resolution of your video card, otherwise you'll need to purchase; for example, if your video card supports a maximum resolution of 1600x1200, but both of your monitors display 1600x1200, you'll need a second video card to get the most out of your monitors.

Do you have any monitor recommendations?

Check out the Dual LCD Monitors video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Network Media Player: Orb vs. Tversity - Streaming media across a network is hard enough, but how do you get your media to other devices, like your cell phone? Warthog wants to know which piece of software is better: Orb or TVersity?

Both Orb and TVersity share a similar function: to stream your media from a computer to any device that you have, including your cell phone, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, etc ...

Orb allows users to "MyCast" their media:

Orb has developed an award winning service that combines the use of an internet media portal and a proprietary software application. Orb leverages the best in already available technology (hi-speed broadband, Wi-Fi, wireless internet access and sophisticated portable devices) to provide a brand new way for people to connect with their digital media in the manner "how, when and where" they most desire.

In short, Orb provides the ability to MyCast.

TVersity has a simple mission statement:

Our mission is to empower individuals to organize and personalize their home and Internet multimedia collection (audio, video and images) and have universal access to it anywhere (at the home or on the go) anytime and from any device.

Which one is better? Chris says TVersity for two reasons:

  • It has been free the entire time of its development.
  • TVersity supports the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and the Wii.

What do you recommend for streaming media across multiple platforms?

Check out the Networking Media video on YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

ponzi simpson

Posted by ShoZu

Best Operating System? - Windows, Mas OS X, Linux, BSD ... they're all great operating systems. Daimon asks "I have only recently run into your website after watching a few YouTube videos. You have a lot of experience it seems with operating systems for PC's and Mac. What do you look for in an Operating System? What type of User Interface do you prefer looking at a standard Desktop or Linux Beryl?"

Chris looks for a variety of things in an operating system, and he doesn't choose just one. While operating systems seem to be the same in terms of what you can do on them. Chris plays with a lot of operating systems, just to see how it works.

If you're looking for the ideal operating system, try using more than one and see how it fits your lifestyle. If you've never used OS X check out your local Apple Store and play with it. Lifewise, if you've never used Windows, try it out.

If you're interested in Linux, try using a Live-CD distribution of Linux. Once of the most highly recommended distributions is Ubuntu:

Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools.

Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.

What about you? What operating system do you use and why?

Antivirus Software - There is no perfect anti-virus or anti-spyware program, but is there one that could be crowned the best? Turtleneck37 asks "I was just wondering what, in your opinion is the best Anti-Virus program and the best Anti-Spyware program."

Chris's opinion is that there is no single best anti-virus or anti-spyware program. Your best bet is using the program that fits your computing habits. Sometimes it can be the one that is installed on your computer by default, and sometimes you'll need to experiment to find the anti-virus that's right for you. The chat room has a whole list of free anti-virus software recommendations for you:


Running separate applications for viruses, hackers, adware, and spyware can slow your PC, be difficult to manage, and provide questionable protection. Beware of large, bloated internet security suites that consume hundreds of megabytes on your PC. These typically exist because vendors have acquired products and 'bundled' them together. In contrast, ESET NOD32 was designed from the core as a single, highly-optimized engine that works as a unified Anti-Threat system to protect against a broad spectrum of malware. Viruses, worms, spyware, and other malicious attacks, which are constantly evolving. ESET NOD32 utilizes patent-pending ThreatSense Technology to detect tomorrow's threats in real-time, by analyzing code execution for malicious intent - keeping you ahead of the malware-writers.

AVG Free Anti-Virus:

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is one of the most popular solutions to provide basic security protection on home and non-commercial PCs. We invite you to join the millions of users around the world who rely on AVG's unique award-winning detection methods by downloading AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition.


avast! 4 Home Edition is a full-featured antivirus package designed exclusively for home users and non-commercial use. Both of these conditions should be met! Our company offers the Home Edition free of charge, since, in our opinion, it is possible to avoid global virus spreading by efficient prevention; however, many users are not able to or do not want to pay for antivirus software.

This is only a small sampling of the anti-virus software out there. What do you recommend?

Why Doesn't My Pop-Up Blocker Work? - Unwanted pop-ups are annoying and hard to get rid of. Kyleboose has a problem with pop-ups: "Hi Chris, I'm having problems with pop-ups in both Firefox and Internet Explorer. I just installed a new security system which has a pop-up blocker but I still get them. Do you have any recommendations or any software that could help?"

Although pop-up blockers are nice to have, they're really not needed, since both Firefox and Internet Explorer have built-in pop-up protection. In addition, your security suite has a pop-up blocker. So, there's a good chance that your pop-up problem isn't related to your browser but to your operating system. In other words: you may have a spyware problem.

Chris suggestions running the security suite's anti-virus and spyware tools.

If you don't have any anti-virus installed, we suggest trying either Nod32 or AVG Anti-virus. Chris also has some anti virus software suggestions you should check out.

Once your anti-virus software is finished running, your next step is to run some anti-spyware software. Both Spybot S&D and Lavasoft's Ad-Aware come highly recommended from the chat room.

Do you have any suggestions for stopping stubborn pop-ups?

Notebook Batteries Life - Michael Trimm asks "Chris, I've had a Dell laptop for about 3 years. The battery life was 4 hours when I first got it, but now it's a little more than an hour - any idea why?"

There could be a lot of reasons why your battery only lasts an hour:

  • Did you charge the battery when you first got it?
  • Did you regularly fully discharge the battery or did you keep it plugged in all the time?
  • Finally, the battery is three years old: it might be time that you get a new battery.

If it is time to get a new battery, you may want to consider what proper care of a Lithium-Ion Battery includes. Battery University has a great article on how you can prolong the life of your battery:

Lithium-ion has not yet fully matured and is being improved continuously. New metal and chemical combinations are being tried every six months to increase energy density and prolong service life. The improvements in longevity after each change will not be known for a few years.

A lithium-ion battery provides 300-500 discharge/charge cycles. The battery prefers a partial rather than a full discharge. Frequent full discharges should be avoided when possible. Instead, charge the battery more often or use a larger battery. There is no concern of memory when applying unscheduled charges.

ID3 Tags - Does your MP3 player play your music back in the wrong order? It might be you’re your ID3 tags are out of order! Shabtai is facing this exact same problem and asks "how do I convince my MP3 player to play files in the order I want?"

Shabtai's problem may be related to the ID3 tag information. An ID3 tag is meta data which is inserted into a multimedia file (usually MP3) which allows the user to store information about the media. This information includes the artist, album, song name, track number, and other information.

If this information is wrong then the MP3 player will not be able to play back the music files in the right order, or display the right information. How do you correct faulty ID3 tag information? With an ID3 tag editor, of course! The chat room had a ton of suggestions:

For the Mac, there's the open-source project iEatBrainz:

EatBrainz is the Mac OS X MusicBrainz client, written by Jay Tuley. It performs acoustic fingerprint matching in conjunction with the MusicBrainz database. Designed to work with iTunes, it can fingerprint MP3, AAC files, or any other format playable with QuickTime and tell iTunes to change the metadata of the files to the matched version.

For Windows you can use Audioshell:

AudioShell is a freeware MS Windows Explorer shell extension plug-in which allows you to view and edit music tags directly in Windows Explorer. It is support all files and tags standards supported by Tag&Rename. AudioShell adds ID3 tag editor and viewer tabs to the music files properties menu (you can edit ID3 tags file by file or in groups), detailed music files hints with tag and file information, and additional columns in the Explorer files list. Full Unicode support.

Of, if you don't like having a shell extension, try Foobar2000:

Foobar2000 is an advanced audio player for the Windows platform. Some of the basic features include full Unicode support, ReplayGain support and native support for several popular audio formats.