Teamviewer Walkthrough

May 9, 2009

TeamViewer allows you to see another person’s desktop and control their computer through a secure, encrypted connection that is easy to setup and use. There is no risk associated with using it, as only those who you give the randomly generated user ID and password can connect. You must also “ok” the connection.

It’s very safe, and I have used it to connect to my parents’ computers back home and to a friend’s computer, who lives in Nova Scotia.

Important note: while it allows someone to see and control your computer, you see exactly what they are doing and can type and use the mouse the same as you’ve always done.

To install TeamViewer, go to, click on the ‘download’

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under ‘full version’, click the button next to the Windows icon.

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Double click the file you downloaded, and this screen will show up. Click ‘personal/non-commercial use’, and click ‘next.’

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Be sure to click box checkboxes to accept the license agreement and to confirm the fact you’ll Only use the program for personal use.

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Click “normal installation”. There’s no need for TeamViewer to start when you log into Windows, so don’t Select that.

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The program will quickly install, then click “finish” to complete the installation.

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You will then see this screen every time the program starts. When someone (me) attempts to connect to your computer, simply provide the ID and Password under “Wait for session”. You should then be asked to confirm the connection. If not, that’s fine, it’s secure either way.

The ID and password and automatically generated each time the program starts, so noone can access your computer without that information or approval.


Monitor Your Monthly Bandwidth

April 1, 2009

A few months ago, it occured to me that I had been downloading quite a bit. Since I don’t watch cable TV very much, I get most of my entertainment content online, which means I’m using up more bandwidth. I live in Canada and my ISP is Shaw Cable, and with their Xtreme-I package, only offer 100GB a month. That’s tough for me to hit on my own, but with three other housemates, it’s easy, so having a tool to monitor my own usage gives me peace of mind.

I found a free tool called NetLimiter. It has everything I could possibly need and more. You can monitor your daily, monthly, and even yearly usage, in KB, MB, and GB units. and even monitors the real-time bandwidth of every application running.

There are paid verions of the program available, but the NetLimiter 2 Monitor, which is the full name, is completely free.



What is OpenDNS?

November 12, 2008

according to OpenDNS itself…

“no matter where you are in the world your DNS requests are answered by our closest datacenter. Anycast routing also means that you are automatically routed to our next closest datacenter in the event of maintenance or downtime. This makes your Internet faster and more reliable.”

This means your connection to the internet isn’t relying solely on your connection with your ISP, as your DNS ( > queries are sent to OpenDNS instead.

Another fantastic benefit of using the free service is shortcuts. For example, when I want to access my site, I simple type in “fp” without the quotes, and it sends me there.  You can also set parental controls to block certain sites, and OpenDNS blocks websites known to be troublesome or fraudulent, so you don’t put your computer at risk.

Your ISP doesn’t correct domain name typos, or care what sites you visit, legit or not, and often they’re DNS servers are slow because so many customers are using them. OpenDNS avoids this.

To setup OpenDNS on your home computer network go to:

My only beef with the service is their website is a little hard to navigate, so they could improve on that.

I do not work for, or am in any way affiliated with OpenDNS. I’m just a very satisfied user of the service.

What is Phishing?

July 29, 2008

Phishing scams are also a big problem. A good example is when someone sends an email that appears to be from your bank, but when you enter your information in the fake web form, the scammers steal your data.

Another definition describes it as a form of social engineering, characterised by attempts to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords, or credit card information.

According to Symantec, these are the ways to protect yourself from Phishing attacks…

  • Be wary of emails asking for confidential information—especially of a financial nature. Legitimate organizations will never request sensitive information via email.
  • Don’t get pressured into providing sensitive information. Phishers like to use scare tactics, and may threaten to disable an account or delay services until you update certain information. Be sure to contact the merchant directly to confirm the authenticity of their request.
  • Familiarize yourself with a Web site’s privacy policy.
  • Watch out for generic-looking requests for information. Fraudulent emails are often not personalized, while authentic emails from your bank often reference an account you have with them.
  • Never submit confidential information via forms embedded within email messages.
  • Never use links in an email to connect to a Web site. Instead, open a new browser window and type the URL directly into the address bar.
  • Maintain effective software to combat phishing. [many anti-virus programs now] automatically detect and block fake Web sites. They may also authenticate major banking and shopping Web sites.

Spam Management

July 26, 2008

According to Tech Guy Labs:

“The longer you use an email, the more SPAM you will get. The easier your email is “guessable” by spambots, the more spam you’ll get. The more listserves you’re with, the more SPAM you’ll get. Leo, for instance, gets over a million spams a month!

Leo’s 3 stages for Spam management:

1) use an external service. Leo uses There’s also These are for pay services that block out spam.

2) Use Spam Assassin on your server.

3) Finally, a local solution like Mail Washer.”

Another option, when using services like Hotmail or Yahoo, in recent years, have spam-catching services that seem to catch most, if not all, spam or junk email. You can also have the junk email filter spam to specific folders. Microsoft Outlook has similiar options. You can also use a Junk Email Senders List, and filter to specific folders as well.

In Outlook, right-click email, choose “Junk E-Mail”, and “Add to Blocked Senders List”. From that point on, Outlook filter those emails to the Junk Mail folder. You can also right-click messages and “Create a Rule”, so the message is automatically filtered to the folder you designate.

IRQ Not Less or Equal

July 26, 2008

What is an IRQ?

There doesn’t seem to be any direct cause of this Blue Screen of Death error message. The most likely cause seem to be faulty or bad RAM. So, make sure you’re grounded, open up your computer case and make sure the RAM is properly seated. You should not be able to see the gold contacts. If you bought cheap RAM, you may want to return it and buy from a well-known company, such as Kingston.

Other possible causes include the video card (NVidia seems to be a culprit), or the sound card. Try swapping these components for others and see if the problem reoccurs.

You can also try running RAM tests using Memtest or

Another cause could be overheating, and Windows may just be guessing the problem. Make sure the case has proper air flow.

You may be able to figure out the problem in the Event Viewer, Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Event Viewer.

The best way to avoid IRQ conflicts to is install expansion cards one at a time AFTER installing Windows.

Download YouTube Videos

July 7, 2008

There are a few free programs out there that will download the video from any YouTube page, as well as MetaCafe, DailyMotion, and more. One of the more well known tools is “YouTube Downloader”. Another utility is, which is an online-based solution.  Another is TechCrunch also has a tool. My favorite solution is the newest version of RealPlayer (free). Once installed, RealPlayer adds a “Download Now” button to the top of every flash video. Each video downloads in FLV format, which nearly all mainstream media players will now play without the need to convert them.

YouTube Downloader