Monday, November 21, 2011

Norton Internet Security for 5-PC's

For the last few years, Norton has offered a 3-PC license (meaning you could legally install Norton Internet Security on 3 computers).  This is a huge help to folks who own more than one computer.   And as amazing as it sounds, many users now need a 5-pc license (especially if you have kids in the house with laptops)! 

Buying Internet Security software for 5 computers can get expensive.  But thank to Norton's 5-PC license for Norton Internet Security, this is no longer a problem.

A single PC license for Norton Internet Security costs $30-$40 (depending on where you buy it)
The 3-PC license for Norton Internet Security costs $70
And the 5-PC license for Norton Internet Security only costs about $109 (which is a huge savings).

To downnload the Norton Internet Security 2012 - 5 User Pack, click here.

Uninstalling Skype

If you're no longer using Skype or are having trouble with the program, you want to uninstall it.  The steps below will help you uninstall Skype from computers running Windows.

If you still wish to use Skype but find the program isn't working anymore or freezes up on you.  Then you may wish to try uninstalling it and then reinstalling the latest version of Skype.  This may fix the problem.

To uninstall Skype from computers running WinXP:
  1. Click the START BUTTON and then CONTROL PANEL
  3. Scroll own the list (when it becomes available) and find Skype
  4. Highlight Skype (single-left click) and then click the REMOVE button (and follow any prompts);  Reboot the computer if asked to. 

To uninstall Skype from computers running Windows Vista and 7:
  3. Find Skype in the list of programs and highlight it
  4. Click the UNINSTALL or REMOVE button

Once Skype is uninstalled, you can reinstall the latest version if you like.   To download the latest version of Skype, click here.  You'll be asked to log in to your existing Skype account or create a new one. 

For more information about using Skype, click here.

Setting Up Skype

Skype is a great tool that allows you to video chat or talk to others anywhere in the world ... and it's FREE!  Skype has been around for years, but more and more people are catching on to it now that they have web cams built into their laptops.

Although you don't need to have a web cam to use Skype, it is recommended.  Without the web cam, all you can do is chat over the internet as if you were talking on a telephone.  So at very least you will need a microphone connected to your computer to chat.  And if you prefer, you can purchase a special headset/microphone combo specifically designed to work with Skype.

Webcams aren't that expensive these days and having one allows you to actually see the person (or persons) you're chatting with real-time (and vice versa).  The cool thing about this is that it's almost like being there in person!  Many of my clients feel as though they get to watch their distant grandchildren grow because of Skype.

If you have a lot of relatives and friends that live in other states or counties, you'll really enjoy Skype.  And it's easy to install and set up. 

Here's what you need for Skype:
  1. A computer (obviously) with a good high-speed internet connection (note some folks on DSL have trouble)
  2. A microphone and speakers (or headset) ... or a web cam (which typically has the microphone built in)

Installing Skype:

Installing Skype is pretty easy.  You'll have to set up a free account first, then download the software and install it.  I recommend keeping notes of the username and password you setup for future reference.  In addition to the free account, Skype also offers a premium account for a small fee.  You can read about the differences in accounts on the Skype website.

If you previously had Skype installed and can't get the program to work anymore, you might want to uninstall Skype and then reinstall the latest version. 

To download Skype, click here.

Once the file is downloaded, double-click the icon to start the install process.  Follow the prompts to complete the installation. 

Getting Started with Skype:

Once the program is installed and you open it, you'll be asked to check the sound and video settings. Once that's done, you'll need to add others with Skype to your address book.  You can search for them using the built in search tool or just ask your friends and relatives for their skype names and add them.  If they're a little more tech savvy, you can also give them your skype name and ask them to add you.

When you add somebody to your Skype contact list, a message is sent to the other person asking for you to confirm it's okay.  This way you're only adding people to your contact list you want. 

Once you have a contact or two, you need to make sure that person is online so you can contact them.  Skype will tell if the other person is online.  If you like, you can also schedule a call with somebody in advance to make sure you're both online at the same time.

For more help with Skype, click here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Finding Duplicate Photos

One of the questions I'm frequently asked is how to find and delete duplicate photos.  Most people are looking for a great program that will automate the process for them.  And while you can by software programs to do the job, I've never trusted them too much.

In the age of digital photography, photos are often irreplaceable and the last thing I want to do is accidentally delete photos I'd like to keep.  For this reason, I always prefer to find and delete duplicate photos manually.

And one of the easiest and quickest ways to do this, is to search your entire hard drive for all photos using the "search" or "find" tool in Windows.  You don't even have to know the name of each photo.  You can tell Windows to search for all JPG or BMP or GIF files on your computer and then sit and wait for the results.

Here's the steps to search for duplicate photos on your computer:
  1. Click the START button on select SEARCH (WinXP)
  2. Click the PICTURES, MUSIC, OR VIDEOS link and then place a check mark in the PICTURES box
  3. Sit and wait for results
  4. View the images in thumbnails so you can see them better.  To do this, click VIEW on the menu and then THUMBNAILS.
  5. Also a good idea to re-arrange the images by name.  To do this, click VIEW on the menu and then ARRANGE ICONS BY, and then NAME.
 Spotting duplicates is fairly easy using this method.  You can delete the duplicates by RIGHT CLICKING on an image and selecting DELETE.

For computers running Windows Vista or 7, follow the steps below to find duplicate photos:
  1.  Click the START button and in the search box below type, *.jpg (and hit enter)
  2. You can change the size of the thumbnails by clicking the "Change Your View" icon on the right side of the window.  Click the down-arrow and select the size of the thumbnail you'd like see.
You can also seaarch *.BMP and *.GIF if you like to find other picture format types. The star (*) tells the computer to search for all images of the specified format (i.e., jpg, bmp, gif, etc).  In other words, it basically tells the computer you don't care what the filename is. 

Note also, that it may be a good idea to check the file sizes before deleting duplicate images. This will help you make sure you delete the smaller image (if one exists) and save the higher resolution image.  You can check file sizes by resting your cursor over the image and reading the information box that pops up. Note that for most users having duplicate images of different file sizes may not be a problem.  But for those of us that do a lot of photo editing, it may be.

Once you go through the steps a few times, you'll find this process really isn't too time consuming.  But the nice thing is that you have total control over which pictures are deleted as opposed to trusting a software program to delete the right photos.