TechBite: Great Troubleshooting Tips and Tools

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By Steve Bass

Sure, there are God-only-knows how many Registry fixer-uppers that purport to get your computer back on track. And every few months, a slick magazine will promise that its 20 Secret Insider Troubleshooting Tricks article will restore your PC to  pristine condition. The nerve of those annoying insiders keeping secrets! (Here’s a revelation: I used to be one of those insiders)

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TechBite: Adios USB 2.0–Hello USB 3.0

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By Steve Bass

It’s not like I have anywhere important to go to, but I still hate to wait. That’s why I’m enjoying USB 3.0.

Let’s get the numbers out of the way; then I’ll talk practicalities.

USB specs are inflated… they always are. USB 2.0 is rated at 480 Mbit/s (about 57MB/s) while USB 3.0 is 4.8 Gbit/s (572 MB/s). In the real world, the only users getting these speeds are the marketing people who dreamed up the specs. On my PC, USB 2.0 moved files at 25MB/s and USB 3.0 can get up to 55MB/s.

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TechBite: Secret Shopper Scam – Don’t Get Nailed

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By Steve Bass

My mother got a letter from a company in Canada. The cover letter, on decent-looking stationery, and with a real signature, congratulated her for agreeing to be a secret shopper. There were three pages of instructions and an honest-to-goodness Citibank check for $1,500.

The letter said she was to cash the check, use the money to buy items at Sears, Best Buy, and a supermarket, and then rate the stores. On top of that, she could keep whatever she purchased — and get a $300 fee for her time. Sweet, no?

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TechBite: 5 Net Tricks to Save You Money

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By Steve Bass

Frugal? Thrifty? No, Cheap!
"You’re a bargain hunter," one of my more polite friends says. My wife’s more to the point: She calls me a cheapskate. I like being frugal, but what do I know? Call me whatever you want (you will anyway), I don’t like paying retail and I’m always looking for a deal, especially when shopping online.

The Internet gives me the chance to comparison shop, see how shipping figures into the price, look over specifications, and feel confident I’ve found the best buy. Here are some of the sites I use.

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TechBite: 14 Smart, Handy & Free Web Sites

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By Steve Bass

I have some Web sites for you that are kick-in-the-butt cool; others are just plain handy, the kind of thing you save for only occasional visits. How about an image resizer and a nifty online walkie-talkie? And I use TimeZone Converter to find out what time it is in Singapore (so I can call my friend at 2:00 a.m. his time to see if he’s in yet from club hopping).

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TechBite: Save your PCs Bacon – Back up your Registry

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By Steve Bass

System Restore is a recovery tool built into Windows that backs up and restores the Registry. System Restore takes a snapshot of your computer — called a restore point — once a day, as well as before you perform certain tasks, such as installing a new program. If all goes well, you can use a restore point later on to bring your PC back to the state it was in when the snapshot was taken. But remember, we’re talking about computers.

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PC Pitstop Newsletter – February 2009 #2

    *H & R Block’s Tax Cut for FREE!
    *Keyboards & Mice Now Obsolete?
    *Disk Defrag – Never Easier
    *Ask the Pros – Windows Mail
    *Windows 7 Beta Update
    *Bits from Bill: Please Release Windows 7
    *TechBite: Magic Jack Review
    *Technologizer: A Tour of Gadget History
    *Money Saving Tips
    *New Survey – Technology & The Economy
    *Tip #1: 76 Vista Keyboard Shortcuts
    *Tip #2: User Account on a Different Drive

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