1f39 2006 · May · Andy White’s Old Blog

Archive for May, 2006

8 uses of a dead PC

Monday, May 8th, 2006

Did I tell you I hate PCs? More on that later…

Meanwhile, with the laws on disposing of PCs tightening up, here are 8 good uses of a dead PC:-

  1. A door stop – they make great door stops – simply slide them into position to hold any door open – be aware of fire regulations though
  2. A massive paper weight
  3. Take out the hard drive, smash open the outer case to reveal the splendid, shiny disk mechanism inside – guaranteed to be a conversation starter as it sits on your desk
  4. A stool – tower cases are best
  5. A weight – simply raise and lower the PC 20 times each day for lovely toned arms – yes, you too ladies
  6. Start an alternative sexy underwear business by taking out the wires and ribbon cables and weaving them into interesting undergarments
  7. Place the dead PC by your feet under the desk – when your PC goes wrong, kick the dead PC instead
  8. Two dead PCs make a great pair of bookends – especially if they are the same make

Internet telephone that’s easy to use – Skype

Friday, May 5th, 2006

You can use your PC to chat using the Internet – I do it all the time.

All you do is go to http://www.skype.com, create an account and download and install the free software. Get a headset (often less than £5), plug it into your PC and you’re away. When you call another Skype user it’s free but you can also call land lines for a small fee (about a Euro cent per minute).


The GRC Test

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

To find out just how well protected you are, try the GRC test. This is normally done by total geeks but anyone can do it. Follow these instructions: -

    1. Go to http://grc.com
    2. Click on the big fancy “Shields Up!!” logo;
    3. Scroll down and click on the “ShieldsUP!” subheading under “Hot Spots”;
    4. Click on the “Proceed” button;
    5. Scroll down to the two horizontal silver bars of buttons, and click on the “All Service Ports” button on the top one;
    6. Be patient while you are probed! A grid of 1055 little squares will appear line by line. If they are all green CONGRATULATIONS! Scroll down a bit and read your report. If it says PASSED that’s fantastic.

    A firewall - Zone Alarm

    Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

    This is a free (for home use) software firewall. This means that it protects your PC from probes and nasties lurking on the Internet and stops horrible things that shouldn’t be on your PC from emailing all your friends without you knowing.

    Download it from http://www.zonelabs.com

    An alternative to Office

    Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

    Have you ever had this…

    You fire up your brand new PC and go to use Word or Excel. You sit there for a few minutes scratching your head and wondering why half the features seem to be missing.

    Then it dawns on you - this isn’t MS Office! And you’d be right. It’s actually Works Suite - a cut down version of MS Office that ships with most new PCs.

    Now before you reach for your wallet to order the full blown MS Office Suite be aware of the free alternative - Open Office.

    Open Office looks very similar to MS Office and has most of the features, and a few that MS Office doesn’t have such as conversion to PDF format! It’s also fully compatible with all MS Office formats so you can still open, edit and save MS Office files from other people.

    You can download it from http://www.openoffice.org.