Recently I helped someone with a computer that had out-of-control pop-ups appearing in the web browser. This typically happens when malicious software is installed or automatically added to a computer with other software.
To fix this problem, you need to set up your web browser and computer so that it’s settings don’t allow for these ads to show up. Here are some steps to follow:
- If you are on a PC, go to Add or Remove Programs (go to Start and type Add or) and remove anything that was installed when this activity started. Typically this is software that sounds like Adware. It might have the word “Click” in it or it might be labeled as a download accelerator.
- If you are on a PC, turn on your Firewall (go to Start and type Firewall).
- In your browser, go into settings or options and change the homepage to something safe. Typically a hijacked browser will be sent to an ad page or search page where they make money on your searches. Instead, set your homepage to your favorite search engine (google, yahoo, etc) or a new page that you frequent.
- In your browser, go into Extensions and disable and remove any extensions that you do not use. This is where malicious programs will often operate to load up lots of ads.
- Run anti-virus software if you are on a PC. I like the free but very good Microsoft Security Essentials in you have Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. Windows 8 should have built-in protection, as do Macs.
There are paid anti-virus programs such as Kapersky which will look for malware or adware that can cause this issue. Consider this only if you can’t control the issue on your own. Typically, this isn’t necessary if you take the above steps.
If your browser does not have these problems and the sites you visit just have a lot of pop-ups, consider adding an anti-pop-up extension to your browser. There are several good options.
If you are still having problems within your browser, you can also install another browser. On a PC today, I think Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox are pretty good. In the past, IE was terrible, but they’ve improved a lot with some competition.
Amazon recently launched a new service, currently just for Prime members, called Amazon PrimePantry. The idea is you can order certain pantry-esque items (no cold food) and have them shipped in 1 big box for just $6. I ordered an assortment of items that I thought might be challenging to deliver intact. Amazon’s goal is to have it delivered within 4 business days. The selection of items is rather limited but clearly Amazon is launching with items they believe they can handle successfully.
The first snafu came with the delivery timeframe. It arrived late but Amazon did refund me the $6 shipping as they always do when an item is late. Since I had ordered some detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, and water, that made the box rather heavy though it arrived with minimal damage.
At first glance, things appeared fine. The toilet paper and chips were not crushed. Items were grouped into two compartments. Unfortunately, once I started to remove items from the left side of the box, I noticed everything was sticky. I assumed something must’ve leaked. Sadly, two items had. The detergent had a small crack in the bottom and the soup box had been malformed to the point of leakage.
Oh, the carnage! Someone has shot my soup! Who would do such a thing? I suspect Chef Boyardee.
Sadly, I think local groceries don’t have much to fear from PrimePantry quite yet. The prices were nothing special and waiting 4 days is a little too long for most people. The potential shipping problems are obvious. I suspect this is currently just an experiment for Amazon which is why they’ve limited it to Prime members. There are rumors that Amazon is looking into becoming their own delivery service which would replace the likes of UPS who delivered this order. When and if that happens, Amazon might be able to provide the delicate care such a delivery needs. In the meantime, its hard to recommend.
Given that Microsoft is no longer providing security patches to Windows XP, many users have a choice on what to do with these old computers:
1) Upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8. Download the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor from Microsoft to see if your computer can run Windows 7. If it does, you can consider this option.
2) Get a new computer. Most companies upgrade computers every 4-5 years. If you’re running Windows XP, your computer is at least this old. Therefore, money spent on upgrading the computer might be better spent on a new computer that will have all new and improved components. Hard drives eventually die so it is possible that there may not be much life left in the computer.
3) Just keep running XP. While some security analysts are afraid of unknown future attacks that could be coming to XP, other security experts say that this is vastly overblown. The majority of attacks lately have been against applications (Java, Flash, Acrobat) that run on the operating system, not the operating system itself. Take some precautions with this approach. Make sure Windows Firewall is enabled. Run anti-virus software. Because Microsoft isn’t patching Internet Explorer on XP, use a non-IE browser such as Firefox or Chrome. Think about what you use the computer for. If your job depends on the computer, continuing to use XP is more risky than if you are just using it as a kids play computer.
It’s almost time to retire your Windows XP computer. On April 8, Microsoft will stop patching Windows XP with security updates. This means that it could be insecure computer when connected to the Internet.
XP has lived a good life. But if you’re still running it on an old computer, consider upgrading. Now you have more choices than ever. You could get a PC (with Windows 7 or 8), a Mac, an iPad, or a Chromebook. Or, if you want to save some money, you could install Linux on your existing Windows XP computer for a fast secure web browsing computer.
Adding movies to an iPad with an SD card is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3, but with each step having several sub-steps and annoyances.
The SD Card Reader will pull in movies, so long as they are formatted as if they are taken from a camera. That is, they should be in the following directory:
And the files should be named DCM_0001, DCM_0002, etc. Keep the original file extension such as m4v or mp4.
When you plug in the SD Card to the iPad with the Lightning to SD Card Reader Adapter, you will only see movies listed with times. You won’t see the file names DCM_0001, etc. Therefore, you need to make a list of all the movies and their associated lengths. Here’s an example of what I use to keep track of videos:
DCM_0012 27:42 Flight Of The Conchords D1 Ep1.mp4
DCM_0013 27:45 Flight Of The Conchords D1 Ep2.mp4
Note that I’m luckly these TV shows have slightly different lengths. That’s the only way I can tell which episode I’m importing.
If you have a lot of files, you might find it easier to “print” the file names to a text file. Here’s how to make a list of files into text on a Mac.
When viewing videos like this, there is not a zoom function that exists in the Video app player. Instead you view the cropped video through the Photos app.
So for now, the moral I take a away is that I should have just bought an iPad with more storage. But at least this solution does work.