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Apr 17

Freebies and Updates from the Tech World

Tech Talk
Joel T. Fagsao
(Originally published at Mountain Province Exponent June 26, 2009)

For those of you who use the Internet at home and at work, we explore some of the freebies from software giant, Microsoft.  First, is the Windows Live Skydrive.  Skydrive gives you 25GB of free online storage.  Important files, photos can be stored online.  If you lose your flash drive or need to access it while you are on the road, you can just go to an Internet cafe and access your stored files.  Files and photos can also be shared with others.  To register for Skydrive, log on to http://ph.ms.com and click on Skydrive.  Now, if you are concerned about your teen getting access to porn or other sites you would not want them to use for safety concerns, the Windows Live Family Safety is your online police.  This application has the following features (as listed on the site):  1) categorize and block unwanted web content 2) lets you create your own list of allowed or blocked sites 3) monitor what sites your child visited.  The number 3 feature of the Family Safety enables a parent to monitor on any computer connected to the Internet, the sites visited by his or her child.  In this way, a parent can check for appropriateness and block each particular site if there is a need to.  The Internet has greatly improved access to information and communications but it has also its downside.  Of utmost concern is the proliferation of porn sites, hate sites, sites that promote violence among others.  Well, offices and schools can also use this application to cut on online visits to specific sites.  If office workers are spending too much time on sex scandal videos then Family Safety can cut off their access to that site.  Windows Live Family Safety is a free application.  Download the application from http://fss.live.com and install it on all computers that you need to monitor.

More Free Applications!

If you want to retain the original format of your document or share documents with others who do not have the software you used to create your document, then converting to a pdf file format is in order.  A pdf or portable document format is sort of a universal file format.  For example, if you have a document created in Microsoft Publisher a co-worker has to have Microsoft Publisher installed on his or her computer to enable access to your file.  This can be solved by converting the file into a pdf format before it is shared with others.  For users of Microsoft Office, log on to www.microsoft.com and type in Microsoft Save as PDF in the search box.  Download the application and install it.  All applications in the Microsoft Office 2007 suite will be able to convert your document to pdf format.  For your computer to read pdf files, you need to download the Adobe Acrobat reader.  To download the free reader, log on to http://get.adobe.com/reader/.   If you have a lower version of Microsoft’s office suite, then you can take advantage of the free online PDF converter.  On PrimoOnline, the free service provides a fast conversion of your document files into PDF format.  The process is simple, you upload your file, enter your email address and the PrimoOnline PDF conversion service will convert your file and deliver it straight to your email.

Flash drives have been your reliable portable file storage device.  Lately, 16GB storage capacity on flash drives have started to arrive in the market.  Choosing over portability and the confidence of having all the files that you need, an external drive would be a better option.  External drives can be like your flash drives but they do have more storage capacity starting with 160GB and up.  If you are concerned about your top secret files falling into the wrong hands (as in stolen), you can encrypt your flash drives and protect it from snoops.  Download TrueCrypt or know more about this free utility at http://www.truecrypt.org/.

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Allow me to plug this:  If you are interested to learn how to develop and publish a personal, office, small business or municipal website, enrol in the Web Development Training at Xijen College of Mountain Province.

Till then stay alive.

Quote of the week:  A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain- by Robert Frost