Monday, June 28, 2010

SD Cards - What Type, Capacity and Speed Do I Want?

If you use a camera, phone or mp3 player that takes SD memory cards, you'll probably find this web site useful. The storage form is evolving, and there are more types of cards available all the time. Here's where you can sort it all out:

And a good article to help if you're still confused:

No, I don't write this stuff. I share what I find when I stumble across it and wish I'd found it sooner!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Firefox, CCleaner, and Other Updates

Firefox has updated twice in the last week along with CCleaner and iTunes. Here's what we need to know and do.

If you have any version of Firefox over 3.5 installed already, open Firefox, go to Help - Updates, then follow the prompts to update to 3.6.6. 
Or, download new here: 

CCLEANER 2.33.1184
Piriform has not yet built an automatic updater into CCleaner, so the process - as usual - is to download and install the current version.
Find it here:

Be sure to click on one of the download links, unless you want to purchase CCleaner:

Save the installer file to your Desktop, or some place you can find it easily. Then, double-click the installer when the download completes, and follow the prompts to install. Then run CCleaner.

If you use iTunes frequently, you may have already been prompted to update to 9.2. If you'd like to check, open iTunes, click Help - Check for updates, and follow the prompts to finish.
If you'd like to install iTunes for the first time, you'll need to download the right version for your operating system - 32-bit or 64-bit.  Apple will offer the correct version for your computer if you go here:

Check the Flash version installed by opening Control Panel - Add and Remove Programs (XP) or Uninstall a Program (Vista and 7) - Adobe Flash. Look for the version number - XP shows this in a separate column. In Vista and Windows 7, click Organize-Layout-Details Pane, then you'll see a new panel that reveals the version.

If you have Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer installed, you should have two versions of Flash. To insure you have the current version installed for each, visit the Adobe Flash download page with each browser, then click the Get Adobe Flash Player button, and follow the prompts to install.  Be sure to uncheck the box when asked to install any security scans or toolbars.

After updating these programs, why not check the Windows Update site to see if there are any critical updates waiting to be installed?  Then - go have some fun!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hewlett-Packard (HP) Sytem Updates

If you use an HP computer or printer, as I do, you're undoubtedly familiar with its regular prompts to check for HP updates. Annoying as this may be, HP Tech Support tells me it's very important to install any HP updates.

In fact, under warranty, they've told me to ONLY check updates through the HP process, rather than through Microsoft Updates. I disagree, and suggest you check and install both.

The HP Advisor will rear its ugly head and ask to check for updates - that is, if you haven't already killed the Advisor process. You can still check and install HP updates by clicking Start - HP - HP Update and following the prompts.  Do this monthly when you check for other updates such as Adobe Reader, Flash and Java.

HP releases fairly regular updates for its software and hardware products (printers, scanners, cameras). I do know that after installing some HP patches, things worked better.

From the Voice of Experience Corner (meaning, it's my opinion, as is this whole blog): HP products are hugely popular, and most of us have at least one. They've done an incredible job of marketing, and their products are available everywhere, at a price we want to pay. However - to use most HP equipment, you must install (or endure what's already installed) their software.

HP software is huge. It takes up lots of disk space and lots of time and patience to install. Then it must be updated, after the installation. If you're installing new HP software, try going the Custom route, and uncheck anything you don't think you'll use.

HP software and hardware are often buggy. And the software does NOT uninstall easily or completely, most of the time. You may need HP's Tech Support help to completely rid yourself of HP software.

Point to Remember: When changing printers be sure to completely uninstall the previous printer and its software, then empty the temporary files (best to restart the computer) BEFORE installing a new printer and its software.
And install the updates.