Author Archives: Dennis OReilly

Even well-guarded PCs may get infected

There’s a window of vulnerability between the appearance of new malware and the updating of anti-malware tools against the new threat; you may fall victim in that interim.

That’s what happened to one Windows Secrets Lounge member, whose well-protected system appears to have been subjected to a questionable download in his browser.

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Ask vendors to honor your rebate up front

Here’s a secret that vendors don’t want you to know about: rebate terms are sometimes negotiable.

You may be able to avoid the hassle of submitting rebate documentation via mail by asking for the rebate amount to be deducted from the price at the time of purchase.

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Inexpensive alternatives to a secure flash drive

You don’t need to spend $100 or more to ensure your safety while computing on the road.

The do-it-yourself approach to creating a secure flash drive for use on someone else’s PC can be just as effective — and much less expensive.

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Credit-card extended warranties come in handy

Most experts recommend against paying for an extended warranty when you purchase a PC or peripheral, partly because you may already be covered beyond the vendor’s standard warranty period.

If you used a credit card to buy the system, your card company’s extended warranty could be the key to a free repair or replacement.

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Users of defective HP notebooks get no love

Some laptop vendors, discovering they’d sold machines with chips that overheat, respond by immediately replacing the defective units.

Unfortunately, if you bought one such notebook from certain companies and the motherboard burned itself out just after the warranty expired, you may have found yourself out of luck.

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Dumping Java cache improves browser performance

If your browser takes forever to open, it could be due to an overloaded Java cache.

The Java Control Panel applet lets you clear Java’s temporary Internet cache and reset the default cache size to a more reasonable amount.

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Readers offer more ways to enhance Windows 7

Like pouring hot fudge onto vanilla ice cream, there’s nothing like making a good thing better.

Even with near-universal positive reviews, Windows 7 could still stand some improvements — and Windows Secrets readers know just how to enhance the new OS.

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Early adopter of Windows 7 shares his secrets

For most Windows users, the transition to Windows 7 will be bump-free.

But even if the initial installation goes smoothly, you know there’ll be glitches — some big and some small.

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Tips for avoiding bogus ads in search results

Oct. 8 Top Story
by contributing editor Susan Bradley reported that Google, Bing, and other indexes need to do a better job of policing the ads that appear alongside the search results.

Immediately after Susan’s story was published, describing malware ads that appeared alongside queries on security terms like malwarebytes, such ads temporarily disappeared.

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More tips for avoiding Windows 7 upgrade bumps

For most PC users, the migration to Microsoft’s new version of Windows will go smoothly — with a little preparation.

Spending a few minutes getting your system ready before you insert that Windows 7 installation disc may save you hours of troubleshooting and repair afterward.

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