Archive for November, 2009

Decorating Your PC for the Holiday Season

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Jim Wraps Dwight's DeskWell Cyber Monday is here and many of us are back at work, reluctantly.  For most of you, it was one of the few 4 day weekends that you get to enjoy and you probably spent it in one of a few ways.  You shopped, ate, decorated or just rested.  No matter how you chose to spend the extra time off, you no doubt enjoyed the break from the norm and have now been thrust back into the “real world.”  Luckily, that doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to enjoy some of the holiday spirit and fun.  Today, we bring you some digital treats to get you ready for the rest of the holiday season.

You decorated your house, your apartment and maybe even got a tree up in the living room, but what about your office?  Just because you are at work doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to enjoy the holiday season.  Here are a few creative ways to liven up your workspace using your PC or laptop:

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Deals, Deals, Deals!!!! We’ll be posting them as we find them.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

The flood gates are open and here they come.  Looks like the day before Thanksgiving has become the digital version of the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday).  The deals are popping up as quickly as we can find and post them.  Instead of a lengthy article about how to find the deals, we are gonna post them for you, right here!!

Keep checking back here (just follow the link to the full article) or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for instant updates on amazing deals found all over the web.

Also, if you are looking for anything specific, let us know and we’ll keep an eye out for it.  Be specific and we’ll find the best deal possible for you.

Happy Holidays everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Flexible Holiday Shopping – Deals for People Who Don’t Know What They Want

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

This week it just seems impossible to get away from the Holiday Gift shopping discussion.  I finally decided this morning that I would just give in and make this week all about shopping and where to find some great deals.  After all, who wouldn’t want to know where to find the best bargains on the internet.

Yesterday, we talked about comparing Black Friday ads with online deals in our article titled Stay Home on Black Friday – Get Better Deals Now! Today we will focus on a different kind of bargain shopping.  In the event that you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, there are some sites that have great bargains on a range of items.  By watching/checking these sites regularly you might find a unique idea for that special someone this holiday season.

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Stay Home on Black Friday – Get Better Deals Now!

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

black-friday-2A few weeks ago we began covering the 2009 Holiday Shopping season with our article Slow and Steady Wins the Holiday Shopping Race.  For those of you who read the article and have been receiving great information on bargains and Black Friday ads, Good Job!!!  You no doubt have your game plan for Black Friday outlined.  For those of you who haven’t even thought about all of this madness yet, don’t fear… We are here to help you get back on track.

If you are planning on heading out on Black Friday, you will  most likely purchase a newspaper with all of the local ads on Thursday.  This will give you and the family a chance to look through all of the ads and decide which store you should go to.  The only problem with this is you won’t be able to do much comparison shopping between Thursday and Friday, so do you know if you are even getting the best deal?  What if a web site had the same deal or better and could keep you from waking up at 3am and standing in the cold or rain (it is going to be 45 degrees on Friday morning in Houston, TX)?

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Get More Features and Easier Access to Your Email

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

email_marketing1An email account is like a phone number.  Once you get it and use it for a while, you don’t want to switch.  If you did, you would have to contact everyone and notify them of the change, you would have to edit your login information on who-knows how many sites and it would probably take months to straighten out.  I myself have had one email address for the last 10 years and although I have added a few additional email accounts, I am not about to lose my eldest.  The problem with being tied to one email address is that you are also tied to the providers’s web site and features, or are you?

Most people have a FREE web mail account with one of the big companies.  A recent poll from Lifehacker.com found the usage to be gmail (80%), Hotmail (5%), Yahoo! (6%) and AOL (1%).  There are dozens, if not hundreds of others, but these are the most widely used.  One thing that most people believe about these accounts is that you have to use their web site to check your mail.  In other words, if I have a Hotmail account, I have to go to the Hotmail (Windows Live) web site to check my mail.  This is simply not the case.  You are in control of your account and your information and you can use other programs to check and manage your email messages.

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Save Printing Supplies, Money and the Environment

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

logo_alternatePrinting information from web pages has always been a hassle.  You find a web page with valuable information, you go to print and BAM!, you get a 7 page document with ads, blank pages and all sorts of gibberish.  You just want a small segment of that information, but it is still easiest to just push print and weed out the pages you need.  In the process you waste paper, ink/toner, time and you aren’t exactly doing the environment any favors.

Looks like we weren’t the only ones out there with this complaint.  Some very smart people (Jonathan Koomjian and Cassie Schmitz, two web developers in Des Moines, Iowa) were also frustrated and decided to do something about it, so they created PrintWhatYouLike.com.  This is one of those “if only I had thought of it first” kind of ideas that always had a need and has, in 1 day, become one of my favorite all-time tools.

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Why Haven’t You Started Regular Backups of Your Files?

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Burning_Hard_DriveSeveral weeks ago, before the release of Windows 7, we wrote about backing up your important files.  Backups are something that I myself have tried to tackle a few times now, unsuccessfully.  I am not quite sure where the roadblock is, but I know what needs to be done.  I need to make a copy of my important files, in case my computer and/or hard drive crashes.  Unfortunately, I am not alone.  Almost no one I talk to has ever done a backup of their system or has even thought about doing so.

Yesterday, there was a great article on Lifehacker.com, titled You’re Backing Up Your Data the Wrong Way that did a great job of explaining the why’s and how’s of backing up your files.  While I don’t want to take away from The How-To Geek’s writing (he’s the author of the article in question), I do want to present you with the highlights of his article.

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TV on the Internet Just Got Easier

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Your favorite TV show was on last night, but for some reason your DVR didn’t record it.  Maybe there was bad weather, your power went out, you already had too many shows recording….  There are a number of situations that can keep you from catching an episode of your favorite television program. Fortunately, you may not be completely out of luck and your computer is the best tool for the job.

At the end of September, we posted an article titled Where to turn when your DVR can’t keep up here on JumpstartMyPC.com.  In short, the article covered some FREE and paid options for watching previously aired television shows online.  Since that post, a new site has launched and you now have an easier way to track down your missing program.

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Protect Yourself and Your Information With Strong Passwords

Friday, November 13th, 2009

word-lockToday, we are surrounded by technology.  Some embrace it, some detest it, but all will come in contact with it at some point.  Whether it is at work, school or home, you will eventually use some form of computer and at that point, one thing is certain… You will have to create and remember a password.

Our information and our lives depend on our ability to protect what is important from potential thieves.  We bank online. We email private thoughts and information with friends and relatives.  We even file our taxes via the web.  All of this information is stored electronically and there are people who know how to get to it, assuming they can bypass one tiny hurdle, your password. We may have the best technology in the world at our fingertips, but people are still the weakest link.

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Speed Up That Slow Computer With More RAM

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

800px-Memory_module_DDRAM_20-03-2006Our focus at JumpstartMyPC.com has, and always will be, helping PC users get the most out of their computer.  We have covered subjects from routine maintenance to creating your online gift wishlist.  In almost every article, we have covered the FREE way to get the most out of your PC.  Today, we are going to switch gears slightly and offer you an INEXPENSIVE way to get more from your PC.  RAM!

RAM (Random-access Memory) is a form of computer data storage that allows your PC to store and access data in any order.  Often referred to as “memory,” it is very different from your hard drive (although often confused with it) and has a HUGE impact on the speed of your PC.  You have probably heard people talk about RAM before and, if you have shopped for a computer recently, you know that it is one of the key selling points of a new system.

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