How To Find Me

I occasionally comment on blogs, and end up logged into WordPress.  Yes, I have an account and this blog, but I don’t remember to use it.  Mostly I’m here:

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Backup is Your Friend

Do it.
Do it now.
Do not pass Go.
Do not collect $200.

I’ve been meaning to back everything up for a while now. And then last week I had to reinstall Windows because my computer wouldn’t boot properly, and it was too late.

Luckily, I had moved some things to my D: drive recently, so I didn’t lose everything. Just the stuff that was still on C: – which was bad enough. The photos that hadn’t been backed up to DVD are still on the SD cards, so I didn’t lose those. It could have been much worse.

I plan to back my files up on a more regular basis now. I want to use a combination of online storage like MyBloop and Windows Skydrive as well as backing up to CD or DVD.

In addition, documents can be stored, edited, and shared with Google Docs. Actually, I’ve had some problems sharing documents with Google Docs, but I love that I can create and edit online, and the docments are available from any computer. Some of the documents I had stored there came in really handy when my computer was down. I just need to get busy and upload the rest of them I want to save.

I just signed up for Evernote, too. It’s supposed to be a good way to keep track of everything and sync it between the internet and different computers. I wish I had been using this earlier because I lost some important information I had in my email – all the email I had on my computer is gone.

So, taking my own advice, I’m backing up everything as I go now.

Templates and Tools

This looks like the most comprehensive list of Blogger template sources I’ve ever seen. I’d heard of some of them, but there are a whole lot I hadn’t, so I’ll want to check them out. Do I need a new template? Well, I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean I can’t look!

If you’re looking for a new template, I’d say this is the place to start.

Find Bloggers in Your Neck of the Woods

I just signed up for and added two of my blogs to a new directory. It’s called Loaded Web, and they call it the first fully geo-based blog directory. When you add your blog, you also choose your country, state/province, and city. Add a description and some tags and submit your blog for approval. They don’t allow sites that feature adult content (nudity included), promote gambling, promote illegal activities, promote hate, feature warez, and/or are not blogs, so your blog has to be approved before it can be listed. It was really quick though. I just submitted mine this evening, and they’re already approved and listed.

Now comes the fun part – searching the directory to find blogs in your neighborhood! I already found one from a neighboring town. Of course, you can also search to find blogs in other areas, too. It’s fairly new, so there aren’t a lot of blogs there, yet, but I think it will be fun to see where blogs are coming from.

Loaded Web is currently available for blogs from Canada, United States and United Kingdom.

Me2Everyone – Free Shares for Joining

I just became a shareholder in me2everyone and I never had to pay a single penny for the shares! It can only be described as the gold-rush for 2009. This company is going to be huge and shares will soar in value over the coming months! You can register for free and it never has to cost you a single penny!

me2everyone is going to be a cool new virtual world where you can meet friends, chat, shop, play, watch videos, create an art gallery, open a virtual newspaper, play the free inworld lottery and make money from your own online store! You and everyone you know make the decisions, shape the world, create real incomes and share in the profits. It’s a new place where you meet new people or invite your friends. Learn new skills or expand your business. Find the love of your life or help the planet.

Membership is free and every member automatically becomes a shareholder in me2everyone Limited. I got 1000 shares just for signing up, and I am going going to increase my shares very soon. This is an excellent chance for all of us to make some real progress in 2009 and beyond! Please do not miss it. By 2012 they are predicting these shares to be worth real money.

If you are looking for something really good in 2009: something that changes your view on the world, then you really have to spend just one minute and look at this website. Sign up for free and get your own shares.

Advanced System Care

Probably because of the recent virus that installed itself on my computer, I noticed a link on Giveaway of the Day I hadn’t noticed before. It says that Giveaway of the day is adware/spyware free, and if you want to check that for yourself they recommend – Advanced System Care – both free and pro versions are available.

It’s supposed to prevent spyware, hackers and hijackers from installing malicious items on your computer and scan and remove any that are already on there. Besides that, Advanced System Care has a whole lot of other tools that are supposed to make your computer run better, and it’s supposed to be really easy to use.

I haven’t tried it yet. First I’ll be reading the user reviews. The ones I’ve read so far are really positive. Have any of you tried this? What do you think? Good? Bad? The best thing since sliced bread?

Leave My Computer Alone!

I left my computer alone for a few minutes last night and came back to find a mess. It’s not like I’ve never left it alone before. I thought I could trust it!

My brother left a comment saying he had a similar problem recently. He downloaded a program called Malwarebytes, and that took care of his problem. So, I tried it. I downloaded the free version, installed, and attempted a scan. My computer shut down before the scan could complete.

Luckily, I had recently downloaded a program called WinUtilities from Giveaway of the Day. It has a tool to manage the startup files on your computer, so I looked through those and found something called prunnet.exe. That was the culprit, as well as some kind of advertising service that had installed itself. I couldn’t just delete the file because it was running, but by disabling it in the startup files and then restarting my computer, I think I kept it from starting. Then I browsed to the file (in Windows/system32) and deleted it. I also selected all other files there that had been created at the same time, and by right-clicking them, I could scan just those files with Malwarebytes. It found the bad files and removed them. I also used Add/Remove Programs to uninstall the advertising ‘service’ that had placed itself on my computer.

Now, I’m crossing my fingers that it all worked. So far so good – no more annoying popups. Still, I’m irritated that people do these kinds of things. Don’t they have better things to do with their lives? Thank you to the creators of Malwarebytes – I’m thankful you chose to use your powers for good. The rest of you – leave my computer alone!

Web Page Analysis

My poor brother mentioned yesterday that it takes forever for my blog to load. He is still using dial-up. Who knew there were people still doing that?

Anyway, I thought I’d check to see how long it takes for the page to load. I found this free Web Page Analyzer, typed my url in and got these results:

Connection Rate Download Time
14.4K 1118.46 seconds
28.8K 568.23 seconds
33.6K 489.62 seconds
56K 300.97 seconds
ISDN 128K 104.66 seconds
T1 1.44Mbps 25.52 seconds

I’m hoping no one is actually still connecting to the Internet at 14.4K!

Anyway, besides giving me the overall download times, it also listed everything on my page and what size it was. Some of the scripts could supposedly be compressed to save bytes, but I really have no control over those, besides evaluating whether I really need them and perhaps removing them. For now, I’m keeping most of them. What I did notice was that images were the biggest source of the problem. I’m not going to stop adding pictures to my posts, but I did limit the posts on the main page, and I removed some images from the sidebar and some extra unnecessary stuff from the bottom of the page. Now my results look better:

Connection Rate Download Time
14.4K 517.48 seconds
28.8K 265.84 seconds
33.6K 229.89 seconds
56K 143.61 seconds
ISDN 128K 53.83 seconds
T1 1.44Mbps 17.64 seconds

Hopefully that will help a little. If you’d like to know how long your page takes to load, give the free Web Page Analyzer a try.

More Free Blogger Templates

I’ve noticed that a lot of people who visit this blog are looking for new Blogger backgrounds and layouts. I’m always on the lookout, too – even when I find one I really like, you never know if an even better one is out there somewhere waiting for me.

I just recently found a new site full of great looking Blogger templates, so of course I had to share. It’s called Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates, and I haven’t looked at all of them, but the templates I’ve seen are really nice. There are also some nice tutorials to help you change your template, add and configure your widgets, and add custom text to your header.

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Printing My Pages

I’ve been working on a new blog to share and organize my recipes – bcmom’s kitchen. As I started posting recipes there, I realized that people might want to be able to print the recipes. I might even want to print some of these out. Sometimes I just open the recipe on my computer and then go back and forth between the kitchen and the computer – not very efficient. Or I’ll scribble the ingredients on an old envelope or something. It works, but still not ideal.

Printing a recipe from a blog isn’t very efficient either. For instance, I just did a print preview for my Cinnamon Roll recipe, and I ended up with 4 pages. Only one of them had the actual recipe, so I suppose someone who wanted to print the recipe could print just that page, but why should it be so complicated? I need a separate, simpler, printable page.

I decided to use Google Docs to create my printable recipe pages. It was really easy, too. I simply copied and pasted the recipe, with no extra text or pictures, into a new document in Google Docs, and then I published the page.

Once I published the page, I copied the link Google gave me and used it on my blog to add a link that says Print this recipe.

When someone clicks the link, they get a new page that contains only the recipe. It makes a clean, simple page that is perfect for printing.

I’m planning to create and publish one of these Google Docs for all the recipes I post on my blog. Hopefully that means more people will be trying my recipes, or at least printing them out with the intent to try them.