Monitoring bandwidth

Q: I have a particular problem. At the present time I find I go over my monthly 2G allowance and so incur an extra charge. I use Vodafone Wireless using a Vodem. So I need find ways of keeping to my 2G limit. One way would be to somehow analyse on a daily basis exactly how much I have used.

Can anyone let me know of any software (preferably free) running on Windows 7 starter that would do this please? I mainly use Firefox as a browser, and sometimes Google Chrome, Safari and Opera and occasionally (where I have to) Internet Explorer. Such detail as: name of website including its URL, size of pages downloaded including any files (PDF, DOC and any programs), date of browsing site, time spent on site, would be the type of data I need.

I have found that the free program Super Winspy will do some of what I need. However, it seems as though it only works with Internet Explorer and I need similar data using Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. Do you know of a similar free program to do this? Also I still need a way of determining how much data was downloaded from these web sites to give me the complete picture. Any further help you can give me would be most appreciated.

A: There are several bandwidth monitor tools around which should do all or part of what you want, though you may have to pay to get all of the features you require. Try Bandwidth Monitor Lite there’s also a pro version available with more features. There’s also Bandwidth Monitor which isn’t free but you can download a trial to see how it works.

Also take a look at iTraffic Monitor. The most comprehensive is probably SoftPerfect Bandwidth Manager which has lots of features but is quite expensive.

Bandwidth Monitor

Bandwidth Monitor can log the amount of data you’ve downloaded

Originally featured in PCU140

The PC Help blog

Lost+Found: Case H1PP – Stolen MacBook recovered in Costa Rica

Stolen MacBook recovered in Costa Rica thanks to Prey

  • Location: Costa Rica
  • Date Stolen: March 7, 2014
  • Date Recovered: March 10, 2014
  • Theft: Thieves walked into the room while I was in the shower and stole a bunch of stuff
  • Missing items: MacBook
  • Police reaction: Not much
  • Time it took for first report to arrive: Three days
  • Once received, time it took for police to recover it: Very slowly
  • Final thoughts: Felt totally disgusted, then exhilarated and in disbelief when I got the first report. Then we went and my computer was there

Full story below:

My computer and several other valuables were stolen from my room while I was in the bathroom, in a matter of minutes. I can’t even explain how disgusted, scared and angry I was. I immediately reported my computer as missing via my Prey account. I had installed Prey a few years ago after a friend casually recommended it. After reading some mixed reviews of tracking programs online, I have to admit I didn’t have the highest hopes that the program would actually work.

I waited all weekend for a report… nothing. I was pretty worried that I hadn’t installed Prey correctly, or someone had figured out a way to disable it. Then on Monday night, I got an email with the exact location of the WiFi network to which the computer connected, a photo of the guy using my computer and a screenshot of what he was doing. I called the local police immediately and left at once to go to the place. Accompanied by the police, I was able to go in and locate the guy in the photo.

He claimed that he was storing the computer for a friend who had recently bought it and was happy to hand it over, as he wasn’t looking for trouble. I had to leave it with the police for a few days, but we are now reunited. The whole thing seems unreal, but I am slowly internalizing everything. I can’t stop telling people about Prey and how everyone needs to install it now! Don’t wait! It would have been impossible to recover my computer without it, seriously. Thank you so much!

Prey » Recoveries

Happy National Clean Up Your Computer Month

January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month. Why not celebrate by sharing with others how you clean up your computer and ensure that your data is secure?

CrashPlan+ is the only backup solution that combines onsite, offsite and online backup, so that it simple to organize and protect valuable documents and memories. And with backup sets you can be even more organized by backing up specific documents to specific locations with specific settings. While we all know that CrashPlan is an incredibly easy and affordable way to safeguard your data (subscriptions start at $ 1.50/month), not everyone is in the know about CrashPlan’s total awesome-ness.

computer cleaning tips

Help spread the word and celebrate for National Clean Up Your Computer Month. In the comment section below, share your tips for keeping your computer meticulously maintained. We’ll share our favorite answers on the CrashPlan Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The Code 42 CrashPlan Blog » computer maintenance tips

[RESOLVED] Unscheduled Maintenance

[Resolved 2:59 PM PDT, 1 September 2014] The unscheduled maintenance is now complete.

[Posted 1:46 PM PDT, 1 September 2014] We are currently performing unscheduled maintenance. During this time, some residents may experience login issues and inventory loading issues. Residents in-world may also be logged off. Please refrain from rezzing no-copy objects and making L$ transactions during this maintenance. Please check back here for updates.

Second Life Grid Status Reports

Protecting Your Digital Life During Storm Season

With the coming of spring to the Midwest and its attendant variable weather, we wanted to remind all of our users of some basic tips for protecting your digital life, especially during storm season.

Protect yourself, at minimum, with a surge protector, keeping in mind that mere power strips don’t cut it. Surge protectors and battery backups should be checked or replaced every few years to ensure the highest level of effectiveness.

If you know that inclement weather is nearby, unplug your hardware, laptops, printers and other electronic devices from all power sources. More and more computers take a walk on the fried side during storm season due to power surges through modem and data lines — so be sure to also disconnect your DSL or Internet cable cord from the computer.

To protect your electronics from possibility of water damage, be sure to enclose your computer and monitor (as well as any other valuable devices) in plastic, or place in a water-tight plastic bin. If your hardware is on the ground of your home or office, be sure to lift them from the floor to protect them from flood damage.

Finally, and this should be obvious to all of our loyal CrashPlan+ users, be sure to back up your online data frequently. We suggest that you set CrashPlan to always run and that CrashPlan is set to watch the file system for changes in real-time (these are the default settings). If you are a CrashPlan+ customer, increasing your backup frequency will allow you to restore specific versions of files.

With amount of money you’ve invested in electronics, it only makes sense to protect them. If you have yet to commit online backup, might we suggest our free trial of CrashPlan+ to kick start your way into a safer storm season? Visit our CrashPlan+ site and download the free trial for Windows, Mac and Linux.


The Code 42 CrashPlan Blog » computer maintenance tips

Getting rid of Conduit

Q. Somehow I have inadvertently picked up something called ConnectDLC which I have been unable to remove. I have uninstalled it and I have ran Spybot and Malwarebytes to no avail. No matter what I do, it keeps popping up. Can you help?

Steve Ballmer, Good Bye Microsoft in 2014

Steve Ballmer has announced he will be stepping down from CEO position at Microsoft within the next twelve (12) months. This transition, appointing a successor and so forth, will occur within this window.

Text of an internal email from Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer to employees regarding his plan to retire.

Steve Ballmer3I am writing to let you know that I will retire as CEO of Microsoft within the next 12 months, after a successor is chosen. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction. You can read the press release on Microsoft News Center.

This is a time of important transformation for Microsoft. Our new Senior Leadership team is amazing. The strategy we have generated is first class. Our new organization, which is centered on functions and engineering areas, is right for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Microsoft is an amazing place. I love this company. I love the way we helped invent and popularize computing and the PC. I love the bigness and boldness of our bets. I love our people and their talent and our willingness to accept and embrace their range of capabilities, including their quirks. I love the way we embrace and work with other companies to change the world and succeed together. I love the breadth and diversity of our customers, from consumer to enterprise, across industries, countries, and people of all backgrounds and age groups.

I am proud of what we have achieved. We have grown from $ 7.5 million to nearly $ 78 billion since I joined Microsoft, and we have grown from employing just over 30 people to almost 100,000. I feel good about playing a role in that success and having committed 100 percent emotionally all the way. We have more than 1 billion users and earn a great profit for our shareholders. We have delivered more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history.

I am excited by our mission of empowering the world and believe in our future success. I cherish my Microsoft ownership, and look forward to continuing as one of Microsoft’s largest owners.

This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love; it is the thing outside of my family and closest friends that matters to me most.

Microsoft has all its best days ahead. Know you are part of the best team in the industry and have the right technology assets. We cannot and will not miss a beat in these transitions. I am focused and driving hard and know I can count on all of you to do the same. Let’s do ourselves proud.


Steve Ballmer’s Biggest Regret is Windows Vista, not Surface RT.


Philip Computer Repair Blog

In the Works

Q: I have always used Windows XP with Microsoft Works 9 for light home business and personal applications. Recently I have become the recipient of a new HP computer which has Windows 7 with Microsoft Office Home & Student already loaded on it. I have several files which I ran in Works which will not run in Microsoft Office, which I presume is a compatibility issue. Is there anyway I can get the Works files to open with Microsoft Office? Thanks for any help you can be.

A: In order to open MS Works word processor files in Office you need to download the free Works 6-9 Converter from the Microsoft site, close Office before installing it. Once you have the converter installed you’ll be able to open Works (.wps) files in Word. You can’t save them in Works format though so you’ll need to use the Save As function to convert them to .doc files.

If you still have access to the old machine with Works installed it’s better to use its Save As function to save the files in and Office compatible format such as .rtf or .doc as you’ll introduce fewer errors.

You should be able to open Works spreadsheet files with the .xlr extension in Excel without conversion. Microsoft doesn’t provide a conversion tool for Works database files but there is a third-party conversion tool at


You can save documents from Word so that they can be opened in Works

Originally featured in PCU140

The PC Help blog

Windows XP Reminder

XP logoEnd of Support 212 days

Time to be thinking about upgrading or buying a new Windows 8 desktop, laptop or Surface pro 2 or Surface RT 2 will be running Intel’s latest line of chips a Haswell-based Core i5 and ram choices are 4GB or 8GB.

Philip Computer Repair Blog

Trade in your iPad

iPad trade Surface


Trade in your iPad, Get a min. $ 200 gift card
Use towards the purchase of a Surface or other cool products at the Microsoft store.

What a deal

How to redeem this offer

  • Bring in your gently used iPad 2, 3, or 4 and get a minimum of a $ 200 gift card to the Microsoft store.
  • Looking to upgrade your tablet? Check out the Surface RT or Surface Pro.
    • Surface RT
      The revolutionary new tablet built by Microsoft comes pre-installed with touch-enabled versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
      Starting at $ 349
    • Surface Pro
      The laptop in tablet form, built by Microsoft, runs your favorite Windows desktop programs and includes a one month free trial of Office 365.
      Starting at $ 799
  • See store associate for more detail.

Expires October 27, 2013

Philip Computer Repair Blog

We explain how servers are different from PC's

A server is a combination of software and hardware systems that provides a network service as and when the request for a service is made, although if you want to make your job easier the best service to use is field service management. The request or requests are made across a network on the computer and the server responds to the request. The servers provide the services to individuals around the globe via internet or to the users in an organization that is private and the server is used only within that organization.

The personal computer on the other hand is a computer used generally for all purposes that a computer usually serves. The personal computer is made useful with its compatible size and its various capabilities. There are different types of personal computer available today and they include the desktop computer, laptop, tablets, Netbook, and an even smaller sized palmtop which is a handheld computer.

Though both the systems might seem similar in the beginning when you consider their functions, there are some differences between the server and the PC. There are some elements that differ between the two and they include:

Though it is true that any computer enabled with the minimum requirements of hardware systems can run the operating system of the server, it is not enough to convert the PC into a server. Even if the PC is enabled with the required speed, storage space and memory that a server generally is equipped with, it cannot become a server as there are different technologies at work in the function of both the devices.

One of the basic differences is that the PC runs an operating system for the applications required to facilitate the tasks of the computer only, but the server is required to facilitate the tasks of the entire networking systems and provide the resources required for the application of the resources of the network.

The features that are found in the servers and the hardware that is used by the servers to be functional are not usually found in the PC.

Servers have tasks to perform that are dedicated to performing specific tasks and since it is engineered to perform those tasks alone it is highly specific in its function. It should be reliable enough to perform the tasks for which it is engineered 24/7. Moreover, organizations need to make changes at all times and hence they need to recover some of the stored data which might have become redundant. In such cases the server recovery system needs to be functional. Such high end data recovery system is not enabled in a PC. Every organization using a server needs to keep an action plan in place for server recovery. Some of the usual tasks the server performs for the network includes the following:

  • Management of data
  • Data storage
  • Data processing
  • Sending of data
  • Data recovery

Keeping a server functional and updated at all times is extremely vital for the business it serves and therefore, regular server maintenance is essential for the server as well as the business. Computer maintenance is a simpler process and maintaining it can be done at regular intervals.