Saturday, December 17, 2011

Free DNS

Would you like to have an alternative DNS other than what your ISP is providing? DNS plays a crucial role in the internet because it translates the IP addresses into a friendly and easy to memorize names.  On June 22, 2010 I published an article about the DNS and what it does.

Below are just some of the well known free DNS services and their IP addresses:

1. Google Public DNS   

2. Norton DNS



3. OpenDNS

Each one of them has their own DNS IP addresses that you will need to configure on your computer or router. All of them has these features like internet security, web filtering, phishing protection, malware protection and other related securities. They are also claiming that it will make your browsing much faster if you will use their DNS.

First, you need to choose among the three which you preferred more because you cannot use all those IP addresses above at the same time.

To change the DNS on your computer:
  1. Click on the Windows logo
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click on Network and Sharing Center
  4. Click Change Adapter Settings
  5. Right click on either Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection depending on how you connect to the internet.
  6. Click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP)
  7. On the Preferred DNS Server and Alternate DNS Server type the two sets of IP addresses that you have chosen from the list above.
To change the DNS on your router:

Changing the DNS on your router varies depending on the brand. However, the most common way of changing the DNS is by going to the WAN.  OpenDNS has prepared an instruction on various brands of routers.  You will find the instruction on this link

Friday, November 11, 2011

How To Find Out Who's Connected To Your Computer

Would you like to know if somebody is connected to your computer? There is a dos command called "netstat" that can help you find that out.  Before you do it be sure you close your browser, email client, chat, or any software that connects to the internet.  Here's how to do it:
  1. Go to run and type cmd
  2. The command prompt will open, type "netstat -ano" (without the quotation) . You may also use "netstat -ano 10" so that it continuously refresh the screen every ten seconds.  To close it just press CTRL + C.
  3. Look closely for those that has an "established" state.  If you see something that is connected despite that you already closed the programs that connect to the internet chance is somebody is snooping on your computer. Take note of the PID of that program.
  4. To stop that programs open the Task Manager by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL simultaneously on your keyboard.
  5. Click the "Process" tab. If you do not see the PID you may click "View" and click "Select Columns" click on PID (Process Identifier) and click OK.
  6. Look for the PID of the program you just found from the command prompt. Click on that program and click "End Process".
Alternatively, you may use CurrPorts from Nirsoft to monitor the list of all currently opened TCP/IP and UDP ports on your computer.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gimp an Alternative to Photoshop

Have you heard of Gimp?  Some people may not have heard of it yet. However, if you are asked about Photoshop the response will be definitely “yes” especially for those people who are into graphics design.

Photoshop is a well known graphics editing program in the graphics industry.   It is widely use by graphics designers worldwide. But, did you know that there is another software that is comparable to Photoshop called Gimp?  Gimp is an open source graphics editing program that is capable of what Photoshop can do.  You can edit photos, render some effects and save your file in the standard graphics format such as .BMP, .JPG, .PNG, .TIF or .XCF its native format. Furthermore, Gimp is capable of creating animated images in .GIF and .MPEG format.

For those people who are into graphics design Gimp is worth to try.  It is tailored to run on different platforms such as windows, linux and mac.  Since this is an open source software it can be freely downloaded from its website which you can find at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How To Edit Startup

You'll find the startup in the System Configuration. When you turn on your computer, windows is loading some programs that you installed on your computer. However, not all of those programs are necessary when it is starting up. Thus, it takes some time before you see your desktop. You can choose the necessary programs by editing the startup.  Disabling the unnecessary programs doesn't mean that you won't be able to use it anymore.  Here's how to edit the start up:
  1. Open the command prompt (this is the black screen) type msconfig. 
  2. When the System Configuration window comes out. Click the Startup tab.
  3. You can now start unchecking the unnecessary programs.
  4. Click Apply and Ok.
  5. You'll need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
If this is the first time that you are going to edit the startup it's better to make a research first on the internet about the programs installed on your computer.  Usually what is needed on the startup are windows operating system, anti virus, anti spyware and firewall (if you're not using the windows built in firewall). There are some hardware drivers that may also be needed on the startup like a pointing device and finger print scanner. Usually yahoo messenger, skype, real player and adobe may not be necessary at start up unless you want it readily available on the system tray when you turn on your computer. Leaving only those programs required at startup will help your computer speed up the loading of windows.

You might also like:

Fix-It Utilities 11 ProfessionalRegDoctor (CD+Download): safely cleans, repairs and optimizes the Windows Registry with one-click; cleans the registry to fix Windows errors and crashes; keeps Your PC working faster, smoother and trouble free. Works with Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000/98.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How To Share A File On The Internet

There are times that we'd like to collaborate with other colleagues from a remote location or on the other part of the globe on a single file. Google docs has the solution for that.  You can share excel files, word documents,  powerpoint presentations, drawings and forms.  The screen shot above is an example on how to share an excel file on the internet. Here's how to do it:
  1. Open your Gmail account and click Documents.
  2. Google docs will open up, click Upload.
  3. Click Start Upload. 
  4. Once you're done uploading your file, click the file that you'd like to share.
  5. Click the Share drop down list (you'll find this on the upper right of your screen) and click Share.
  6. The Share Settings will come out. Choose the permission you'd like to apply by clicking Change. Type the email address that you'd like to share with your file. Once you're done you may click Share and Save.
  7. Your colleagues will receive an email and all they have to do is click the link to open the shared file.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

USB System Lock

If you're not satisfied with the securities provided by Windows perhaps you might be interested on this software called USB System Lock. This is an open source application which can be downloaded for free. The installer is very small with a size of less than 1 MB.

The installation procedure is straightforward and takes only about a couple of minutes. During the installation you will need to insert the flash drive that you are going to use to open your computer.  It then transfer the key to the flash drive. If you re-start your computer Windows is going to ask for your Windows password (as usual) and after that the USB System Lock will look for the key on the registered flash drive. If you don't have the right key it will display a message to insert the right key. You won't be able to use your computer until you insert the right key.

The way this software works is very much like the key to the door lock. You just have to be extra careful not to lose your flash drive otherwise you might end up re-installing your operating system. However, it has this feature wherein you can create a duplicate key on another flash drive. It's a good idea to have a duplicate key. Just keep it in a safe place.

There is one thing I notice about this software and that is it conflicts with the USB dongle modem.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Virtual PC Vs. Virtual Box

If you're just testing some settings before you actually do it on a real machine or you simply want to save some money instead of buying a real machine perhaps you might find it's worth checking these two interesting pieces of software - Virtual PC and Virtual Box. Let's talk about their features one by one.
  1. Installer Size- Virtual Box has a much bigger installer size about double the size of Virtual PC.
  2. Creating of Virtual Machine - Both of them has almost exactly the same way of creating virtual machines. Although you won't find the exact instructions with the other but the process of creating virtual machine is the same with one another. You can also install the Operating System either through a CD/DVD or through an "iso" file saved on another storage medium.
  3. Memory - The default value varies depending on the Operating System you are going to install.  Although you can adjust the value depending on your requirements.
  4. Networking - When it comes to setting the network adapter for your virtual network, Virtual PC is much easier compared to Virtual Box once you're done you will be able to see the entire network right away. However, it will take a little more time trouble shooting your virtual network on Virtual Box.
  5. Switching - When it comes to switching from one machine to another Virtual Box has a bit shorter way you just have to press the right CTRL key.  However, on Virtual PC you need to press right ALT + Left Arrow or Right Arrow keys.
  6. Shared folder - On Virtual PC the shared folder will be available only after you install the Virtual Machine Additions.  On Virtual Box you have to install the Guest Additions.
  7. Language - On Virtual Box there is an option there where the user can change the default language on the other hand on Virtual PC the instructions is written only in English.
  8. Graphical User Interface - The users will definitely like more the GUI of Virtual Box than Virtual PC.
One good thing about this virtual software is, if you don't need the virtual machine anymore you can simply delete it - no uninstallation needed.  The only disadvantage is it requires more memory. Don't be surprise if your PC slows down when you run the virtual machines.

You might also like:

 Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach (5th Edition)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

10 Most Useful Add-Ons for Thunderbird

There are a lot of add-ons available for Thunderbird however these are just some of the add-ons which you will find extremely useful.

  1. Lightning - This is an integrated calendar for Thunderbird which can help you manage your daily schedule.
  2. Image Zoom - If you have a big or small picture Image Zoom can help you zoom it in or out.
  3. Mouse Gestures Redox - Allows you to execute common commands (like page forward/backward, close tab, new tab) by mouse gestures drawn over the current webpage, without reaching for the toolbar or the keyboard.
  4. Contacts Sidebar - It displays the address books in a sidebar.
  5. Spamato4Thunderbird - If you are looking for an effective client-side anti-spam solution for your desktop, than have a stab at Spamato! In contrast to Thunderbird's built-in Bayesian-based filter, we combine several filter techniques to get the best of all.
  6. Enigmail - It enables you to write and receive email messages signed and/or encrypted with the OpenPGP standard.
  7. Wise Stamp - It makes the creation of signature easier.
  8. Thunder Browse - If you received a link from an email you don't have to open your browser anymore because you can now view it within Thunderbird.
  9. MozBackup - Utility software for creating backup of Thunderbird, Firefox, Mozilla Suites and Netscape
  10. Auto Zip Attachments - It allows you to easily compress (zip) attachments.
To install the add-ons simply click Tools, click Install and look for the add-on you downloaded.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Real-time Scanning for Clamwin Anti Virus

    I found some queries on the internet on how to activate the real-time protection for Clamwin AV.  I guess most of the fans of open source apps are aware that Clamwin AV doesn't have a real-time protection. You need to manually scan a file before opening it.  However, with the help of Clam Sentinel it fills up of what is missing with Clamwin AV.

    Saturday, March 26, 2011

    Disable Autorun

    Malwares may be acquired in many ways and one of them is through the ""autorun.inf"" file. Autorun automatically launch an application through memory stick, cd or even diskettes once you insert it up. 

    There are two ways of disabling autorun. First is through the manual way through the regedit.  This site will show you how  . Second is through the help of an anti virus software.  There are other anti viruses out there that help prevent the spread of malwares through the autorun and one of them is Panda USB Vaccine. It doesn't matter how you do it as long it keeps your computer free from malwares.

    Just be reminded before you do any changes on the registry (if you're doing it the manual way) to backup it up first.  If you're uncertain of what you're doing chances are your windows might not run properly.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    How to stop a spying program

    If you're suspecting that there is some sort of spying program installed on your computer that monitors your activities you can try this procedure.

    1. Right click on your desktop
    2. Click New
    3. Click Text Document
    4. On the notepad text document, type anything but don't save it
    5. Restart your computer
    6. It is at this point where almost all the applications running on the system tray will be closed. When your computer asks you whether you want to save your notepad text document click cancel and the computer will not continue in restarting.
    7. You will notice that most of the softwares running on your system tray are gone including the anti virus.
    8.  Since it is not advisable to use the computer without anti virus you can click on your anti virus to make it active again.

    This method is not the ultimate solution on countering the spying programs on the computer,however this can be a deterrent for the time being.  This is going to be useful if you're not authorized to install any software on the computer and you do not want your activities to be monitored.