Nov 17, 2008

Nov - 04 2008 | By

Paul hosted the show, Glenn joined in later from Sacramento.

Paul asked the listeners using Windows what program they use for back-ups. Mail your replies to zen (at)

Using you can upload, store & edit MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint compatible & PDF documents, You'll need gmail account.
It works pretty well with just a dialup connection.
You can share your documents with others who don't have to have a gmail account. You can set whether they can read-only or else edit those documents.
Be careful about exposing your personal information.

Gmail can be set up to provide POP3 or IMAP access to your mail for free. This is where you can retrieve mail from your gmail account using a mail reader like Outlook or Thunderbird running on your local computer; that is without having to use your browser to login to gmail itself. Notes about this from previous shows here. IMAP has the advantage of synching your mail (but not the address book) across multiple computers. AOL also offers IMAP but unresolved is whether you need to have a paid account.

On the last show Glenn mentioned AVG was not updating properly. His solution was to uninstall it and install a fresh copy. The AVG update server is at (not intended for browser viewing).

XP Anti-Virus 2009, see previous notes here, is very ingenious. It keeps updating itself from the net, thus morphing and evading anti-virus software. So, run your AVG in save mode (f8 key at bootup); version 8 of AVG can be run in safe mode unlike earlier versions. allows you to send files of up to 100megs for free, bypassing the problem normal email may have with large files. You just upload your file to and you'll be given a link that you give to those who will be downloading it. It doesn't require any personal info so it can be used anonymously. Again, be careful what data you place on the net, this site may be run by a malevolent government, or even a foreign one, trying to gather incriminating evidence. Encrypting your files may just draw attention to you.

Most internet connections are asymmetrical — you can download much faster than you can upload, there's often about 6 to 10 times difference.

A new version of Open Office is available at It can read & write MS Office compatible files.

Use, see previous notes here, to find out what info about you is known to web sites you visit.
Use to find out about the sites you visit.

Paul uses fake info when he registers for various things on the net. Just don't forget what you tell them.

A caller asks whether the mic input connection on a laptop is mono or stereo. It's usually stereo. To test it, plug in a stereo mike and record sound coming from the left & right while viewing the level meters in a program such as Audacity (a free sound editor), see previous notes here,
Built-in mics may pick up the noise from the hard drive.
It's best to avoid putting a line-level signal into the mic port thru an attenuator because the quality can be degraded.
For computers without a mic input, search on Ebay for "usb audio" or "usb sound" for a USB device (about $5) that has a mic input & headphone output.

A caller wants his accountant to be able to carry the data between his client and the accountant's own office; will an external hard drive work? Yes, but it can be important for the accounting software be the same (and upgraded to the same level) at both locations.

Also, as the data file grows large, performance may suffer as with earlier versions of Quickbooks. The solution is to get a later version that uses SQL to access records. But with the SQL version the data is NOT portable and can't be carried between machines, as above.

To try Migration Wizard on an XP, at the command prompt; type migwiz. It's "supposed to take a snapshot of everything on your machine, permitting it to migrate onto another machine"

A message from a listener claims the HP Pavilion laptops have a mono mic input and no line-in. And the USB audio device mentioned earlier did not work with Microsoft Vista.

Mentioned is a leaked document for AT&T customer support personnel that has suggestions for countering customer complains.