Archive for the ‘Windows fixes’ Category

With the release of Windows 10, which fixes many of the complaints people have had about Windows 8 and 8.1, Microsoft has also changed the default privacy settings to the least private possible.  It also allows Microsoft to use your computer (and Internet connection) as a way to distribute Windows 10 to others.

Rather than go through all of the settings here, I will simply link to an article on Slate which takes you step-by-step how to restore some privacy to your data.  Click here to read the article.

As any reader of this blog should be well aware, any significant piece of software has bugs and security holes, which (hopefully) are fixed over time. Keeping your software up-to-date is an important piece of your security.

So, with dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of applications, browser plugins, and so on, not to mention all of the pieces of Windows itself, how can you be sure that everything is up to date? Sure, Windows itself can be set to automatically download and install updates, and many programs have the option to check for updates as well. But, wouldn’t it be easier to have a “one stop shopping” place to check?

Enter Secunia Personal Software Inspector (“Secunia PSI”).

Continue reading ‘Secunia Personal Software Inspector’ »

We all have numerous plugins in our web browsers. These are small programs which add functionality to your browser “experience”. For example, the Adobe Shockwave plugin is what most people use to view “Flash” animations, or you may have Apple’s QuickTime plugin to watch videos. These plugins, like any other program, sometimes have bugs and security holes which are fixed over time.

How can you tell what plugins you have? The method varies depending on the browser, but here are a few:

  • Internet Explorer. From the menu, select “Tools”, and then “Manage Add-ons”.
  • Firefox. In the address bar, type “about:plugins”.  Or, from the menu, select “Tools” and then “Add-ons”, and select the “Plugins” tab.
  • Safari. From the menu, select “Help”, and then “Installed Plug-ins”.
  • Chrome. (Sorry, but I don’t currently have Chrome installed.)

In my Firefox browser, I currently have 25 plugins installed.

So, how do you figure out which plugins are current, and which have updates available?

Continue reading ‘Keeping your browser plugins up to date’ »

(Note:  If you find this information useful, and it solves your problem, please leave a comment at the bottom of the post, and/or share it via the link below. Thank you.)

Have you run into the Windows Update “infinite loop from hell”?  If you have, you know what I”m talking about. You get a Windows update, it installs and requires that you reboot to finish the install. After rebooting, the second part of the install fails, and it uninstalls itself. The next time you try to install Windows updates,  the same thing happens on the same update. Repeat ad nauseum.

If you check the Windows update status, it will probably tell you that the error code is “80071aa7″, but give no further information. Continue reading ‘Windows update error 80071AA7 *solved* (re-post)’ »