Tag Archives: Computer

Weekly Giveaway


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Every week, we give away a webcam to one of our loyal subscribers.

UStream sponsors these weekly giveaways. The contest rules are simple. You must be subscribed to our ustream live feed and you must be present in our chat room found at live.pirillo.com.

Okay, let’s get this show on the road! Scrolling through the list of names… who will my cursor stop on… who will win? Ah, hah! And this week’s winner is… Hell4u! Hell4u is present in the chatroom… and has pasted me their ustream link. Wait a minute! Hell4u is not subscribed to our feed! That is a requirement to win. Let’s use the cool Live Poll feature from ustream to let the chatters decide. Annnnnddddd the answer is a resounding NO! Sorry, Hell4u. Rules are rules, and you weren’t subscribed. Maybe you’ll be chosen again in the future.

And now we move on, choosing this time… Bud! Is Bud here, everyone? What? No Bud present? Well if he’s not present, he can’t win!

Once more, we rely on my trusty random cursor. You know, we seriously need some good original game show type theme music for the giveaways. Any composers in here? Feel free to compose my new giveaway theme and send it to me!

SilverDragon are you here? You are? Great! Are you subscribed? YES! Houston… we have a winner for the week! Congratulations!

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Bandwidth Throttling


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – There are ways to adjust bandwidth on an application by application basis, or even a device by device basis. Unfortunately, it’s basically not possible to limit bandwidth by website. There are ways you can assign priority to certain applications to allocate your bandwidth where you need it most.

If you’re like me, you probably have more than five different programs running accessing the internet. We’re chatting, IM’ing, browsing web pages, and checking our emails. You have a limited amount of bandwidth to use. You can only squeeze so much data through, no matter how hard you may try.

Unfortunately, I know of no way to limit the amount of bandwidth by website. However, I use a handy little tool called Thibor15c with my Linksys router to manage my bandwidth by application. I can assign priority to the applications I need most. For instance, my Vonage is the most important when I have a phone call coming in. You can choose to have XBox at the top of your list, or any other program that accesses the Internet you may need.

Another way to not necessarily control your bandwidth….but to make your surfing experience much faster….is to use this wonderful free program called Open DNS. What Open DNS does is to caches the DNS info for websites, and shortens the time it takes them to load. It also has cool little features like allowing you to define shortcuts in your address bar. For instance, if I type the letters gg into my address bar, my browser will automatically go to the website I have assigned to that shortcut. You can also set up shortcuts for typos…to correct them, of course. Have you ever accidentally forgotten the letter o in the .com extension of a web address? This typo feature will automatically add that letter o back in, and take you to the right place.

I’m definitely interested in hearing from you if you know of any ways to limit bandwidth on a website by website basis. You can always find us live in our chat room at live.pirillo.com or you can email me at [email protected]

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What Are .DLLs?


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – What – exactly – is a .DLL? Why are there so many on your computer? Are they necessary?

A .DLL (or Dynamic Link Library ) is a software component that an application links to at run time. A .DLL file enhances the functionality of an .exe (or executable ) file. A .DLL file is executable, but not by itself. It must be ‘called upon’ by the .exe in order to work. You can’t, for instance, double click on a .DLL file and have it actually DO something. It needs the .exe in order to run.

Let’s talk a bit about “DLL Hell.” If you were to scan around your C: folder, you will probably see many different .DLL files that are basically the same… just in several different locations. This may seem like a nuisance, and you’ll find the urge to get rid of them. However, be careful. Many programs may require that same .DLL in order to run… but the programmer could have hard coded the files to HAVE to be in a certain location. Let’s say Program A needs .DLL A in order to run, and it’s located in C:Windows. Program B also needs .DLL A in order to run, but it has to be located in C:WindowsSystem32. If you delete one of those, one of the programs will no longer work properly. It will look for the .DLL file in the location it expects. When it doesn’t find it there, it won’t run.

You can find more information about .DLLs in general on Chris Quirke’s excellent tutorial. Chris is a Microsoft MVP, with a lot of respect for his knowledge of computers.

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Internet Video vs. Television


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – “Why do you do this?” I get asked this question several times a day. The answer is simple, really. No, it’s not because I like the attention. Video on demand is the wave of the future. We are fresh, we are live, we are dynamic.

With an actual television, a show is produced, you turn it on and watch it from your couch, and then you’re done. With Internet television, you have interaction. I can record a video while watching my live chat feed and incorporating the comments and questions from our chatters into the video. The key to a successful internet broadcast is getting your community involved and incorporating that into your show.

Wiki shows you that “The usage of internet protocols to provide two-way communication will also open the way for interactivity with the video content, for example making it possible to choose between multiple camera angles, vote on an interactive TV show while watching it, or order a product sample.” There is that word again – interactivity. By choosing to use this means of communicating with my audience, I can bring human aspects into my videos. Comments and questions from people during the recording can be incorporated to provide possible new perspectives. My dog jumping into my lap can bring a sense of home and normalcy to lighten the tone and mood a bit. Adding my wife Ponzi to a video provides more feedback, more personality, and definitely more content.

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What is a Blog?


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – What exactly is a blog you ask? I define a blog as a personal publishing platform.

If you use a homepage to keep the outside world updated on your life, your business, and your thoughts, you have to do all the work by hand. Most web pages are edited using HTML, which stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. You’ll edit a single file the hard way, entering code for the formatting…the links…the text. Getting it just right can be difficult.

Enter blog software! Originally created by our good friend Dave Winer, blog software allows companies and individuals to manage their content easily and effectively. Open your blog in your internet browser, type in a subject line and some content, maybe add some links or pictures, and click the publish button. VOILA! You are done. Your blog post magically appears nice and pretty, all formatted and ready to read.

My personal blog is found at chris.pirillo.com. There is an archive of all my videos, along with more written content/description found at media.pirillo.com. Where is your blog? I always love to have new blogs to subscribe to, but I cannot promise to keep updated with everyone’s daily lives. If you put your heart and soul into a post, or have something truly important you want to share, be sure to stop by our chat room at live.pirillo.comand give us the link.

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PlayPlay

Trojans vs. Viruses


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Confused about the differences between a virus, a trojan, adware, and spyware? While they all fall under the category of malware, they are all very different types of digital nasties

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Have you ever watched the movie Troy with Brad Pitt? It’s the one where the Greeks build a huge wooden horse and hide soldiers inside of it? Yeah – you know the story.

A computer trojan is a lot like that movie. It’s a program installed on your computer (often bundled with another program) that runs in the background. It will open a door to your computer, so to speak, to allow another person to get IN. They can see your files, look at everything on your computer, and even take over your computer and use it for malicious means.

A virus is destructive. It can rewrite your files, overwrite your files, and even wipe out your files. Some viruses can execute themselves to basically cripple your system in a matter of seconds. There are others that simply install themselves quietly, and then send copies of themselves out to everyone in your address book to infect them.

Spyware is a nifty little bugger that likes to… well… SPY on you. For example, those cool toolbars and desktop widgets you install – or a program you downloaded from a file sharing network – often will have spyware bundled with them. This spyware gathers information about you and your surfing habits, and will send it back to the distributor without your knowledge and/or consent.

And of course, we have adware. Adware is just an ad running inside of a program. It installs itself directly onto your computer, and can open new browser windows, redirect your current window, and even hijack your search engine to redirect to its own results. Yes… those annoying popups you can never seem to get rid of are adware.

Everyone has a different opinion on how to get rid of malware. What I’m interested in is knowing how you got infected… and what you did to stop and/or clean your system. Leave us feedback, or visit us in the live chat at live.pirillo.com.

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What is Proprietary?


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Imagine a world where ONE power cord worked with every technological device you have.

Proprietary is defined as “something that is used, produced, or marketed under exclusive legal right of the inventor or maker”.

Let’s use the iPod as an example. Apple has made the iPod proprietary. It is a closed system! You cannot get “into” it. That is why there are iPod connections specifically made for you car. Apple owns all rights to the iPod, and any other connector or cord simply will not work.

The idea behind something being proprietary is to make the owner have a competitive advantage on the market. This is a very good thing in theory. But in reality….consumers hate it. We want ONE cable! ONE connector! NO MORE MESS OF CABLES!!! ok, ok. Calm, cool and collected again.

One of our dedicated chatters said it best: “OPEN – FTW” You bet. Open for the win. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Mac OS X Security Software


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Think you are 100% safe from security vulnerabilities because you’re a Mac user?

Take a time out, and think again. No operating system is 100% safe. Chances of being infected on a Mac are much less than with Window because the exploits are different. Macs enjoy security by obscurity. If you are an advanced user who is careful with your surfing and downloading habits, you will be safe using a Mac. Knowledge is key, and this situation is no different. You should educate yourself about computer security, no matter what type of system you are using.

**Turn on the firewall that comes built into the Mac. This will keep you from being exploited.

**Consider using an Anti-Virus program designed for Macs. While there are currently no known viruses for the Mac O/S, it is certainly possible that someone…somewhere…will try and create one. Is this a must have? No – but it won’t hurt, either.

Compute smart. Compute safe. Think before you click.

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I Met Michael Dell – In Person

I’m not sure if I can say exactly how it happened, but it did happen yesterday – a chance to speak with Michael Dell, face to face, for about fifteen minutes. No PR flacks, no marketing messages, no imposed limits. I made a bold move by bringing up the subject of “Dell Hell,” and he responded in a very kind manner with a satisfactory answer. I have a great deal of respect for this man (on countless levels, for countless reasons), and that feeling was only strengthened by conversing with him one-on-one. I probably sounded like a babbling idiot (what’s new?), but the entire experience was surreal. Dell is a big, big company – and you’d be crazy to belive that it had a monopoly on hiccups. Dunno if I’ll ever have the chance to shake his hand again, but at least I can say I did it once.

The PC De-Crapifier

Long overdue: an OEM’s worst nightmare. Jeff Jarvis oughta love it, but I doubt Dell will. Nothing illegal here:

The PC De-Crapifier is designed to remove a specific list unwanted software in an unattended fashion. Before running, the user may select exactly what software should be removed. Currently, it is targeted for use on most Dell machines; however it will theoretically run on anything that has the software listed below…

Hey Dell – if you really *ARE* listening, and you really *DO* believe in your own marketing hype, why don’t you put some truth behind the new “Designed For You” campaign? Ya know, offer a HUGE CHECKBOX next to the “Install software that doesn’t ship natively with Microsoft Windows” option and have it unchecked by default. First, you have to make that option available. Second, you could call it… “Really, Truly Designed For You.” Welcome to the blogosphere!