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Posted on May 10, 2008 in Newsletter, Welcome | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter, Issue #012 –, – Get Your Data Sorted!


Welcome to another information packed TWT newsletter. This month, with spring about to turn into summer, we take a look at some ways in which you can spring clean all those files and folders on your PC.

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In this months issue:-

1) Spring Cleaning Your Data – Tools and Techniques for Better Computing!
2) Tip of the Month – Beware of Unnecessary Web Browser Plug- ins!
3) Free Utility of the Month – Spyware Doctor 5 Starter Edition
4) Meet Steve Ballmer

Spring Cleaning Your Data – Tools and Techniques for Better Computing!

In the digital, internet age that we all live in, it’s very easy to accumulate hundreds of pictures, music and multimedia files, word processor documents and e-mails. It’s not uncommon for all this information to clutter up our computer hard drives, languishing in “download” or “to be sorted” folders, just waiting to disappear forever into a digital black hole on the day your computer hard drive fails (and yes that day will come!) If your computer is cluttered with files from your camera, mp3 player and every corner of the internet, it’s time to get organised! Firstly, and most importantly, you need to decide on a backup strategy. If your budget is limited, at least consider backing up your most precious photographs or work files to CD, DVD or USB stick. You can read all about planning your backup strategy in our comprehensive guide to backups. So, you’ve decided to make backups of your important documents onto CD or DVD, that’s great, but how do you keep track of all those backups? One of our favourite utilities for this task is the excellent and aptly named “WhereIsIt?”. This handy utility can catalogue CD’s, DVD’s, hard drives or indeed any type of drive Windows can access. You can then assign categories and enter additional information if you so wish. WhereIsIt costs $39.95, (aprox 25.89 EU or £20.50 GBP) but you can download a free trial copy to see if it meets your needs. For more information,
click here.

Have you thought about automatic file synchronization tools? If you transport data to and from work or school on a USB drive, there are some excellent tools that can make sure that you always have the latest copy available. Two of our favourite synchronization tools are

(which is free) and

(which costs $30.00 US or 20.62 EU or £16.26 GBP ).

Did you know that you can now get “desktop search” versions of Google and MSN? These special versions use the technologies these companies have developed for searching the internet to quickly trawl through the files on your computer. We like the slick interface of
Windows Desktop Search

and love how this utility can search through Microsoft OneNote notebooks. On the other hand, we think the
Google Desktop Search

utility has a better library of plug-ins which allow it to search through a much wider range of data. If neither of these utilities take your fancy, there is also the excellent
Copernic Desktop Search.

We’ll be bringing you a head to head comparison of these search utilities in the future.

Tip of the Month – Beware of Rogue Browser Plug-Ins

“This page requires a plug-in to view, do you wish to install it?” Before you click “Yes”, take a moment to check out just what you are installing! Some plug-ins may not be necessary at all and even worse, may actually load spyware onto your system. One of our least favourite browser “enhancements” is Zango. This plug-in is supposed to deliver free content, including games and screen savers, but in actual fact is little more than spyware which tracks your browsing habits and displays adverts based on sites you visit on the internet.

For regular web browsing, most users only need Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat and possibly Microsoft Silverlight. We also recommend the Roboform and Diigo toolbars, or a single toolbar from your favourite social bookmarking site. Anything else which offers to install itself you should treat with suspicion. If in doubt, make sure you research it first! A quick Google search on the plug-ins name is usually all it takes.

Free Utility of the Month – Spyware Doctor 5 Starter Edition

It has come to our attention that our long-time favourite free spyware removal utilities Spybot and Ad Aware simply aren’t cutting it in the fight against spyware at the moment. While we are sure that the developers of these two packages will rally round and improve matters in time, until then we recommend you try Spyware Doctor 5 Starter Edition. This powerful spyware remover has been turning heads in the PC security industry with its market leading spyware detection and removal rates. What’s more, the starter edition (which scans for and removes spyware) is available for free as part of the Google Pack. Simply visit
this link,

choose Spyware Doctor and any other free programs you like, and click the “Install Software” button. Look out for more tutorials and tips on Spyware Doctor coming soon to

Meet Steve Ballmer

Many people still believe that Bill Gates runs things at Microsoft, but actually Bill handed over the title of Chief Executive Officer to Steve Ballmer in January of 2000. If you’ve never heard of Steve Ballmer, he can be quite a character. Reportedly prone to fits of rage (though he insists these are exaggerated by the media) and star of some of the most bizarre viral videos such as the
Dance Monkey Boy! Video

(we are sure his spouse and step-children cringe at the mere mention of it). Since Steve Ballmer took over, Microsoft has seen more than its share of choppy waters, but despite the poor reception and negative press Vista received and the recent non-event of the Microsoft/Yahoo merger, Mr Ballmer is still reputed to be worth a staggering $15 billion.

After the failed merger of Microsoft and Yahoo, some bloggers even questioned if Steve Ballmer should be
removed from the CEO’s office.

Why are many of the top Microsoft shareholders so keen to see Microsoft acquire Yahoo? It all comes down to online advertising. Microsoft has its own strategy to capitalize on the potential of the web, as more and more people around the world connect to the internet. Realising this strategy would have been somewhat easier with Yahoos assets available to them. Furthermore, some technology analysts believe that the market for operating systems and software will dwindle in the future, as people use online versions of Word or Exel from within their web browsers. Again, these are expected to be funded, partially or totally, by online advertising.

Online versions of popular office applications are already available, see the
Google Documents

package for example, but will everyone be using online applications in the future? Possibly, but there’s still a great many advantages to simply installing and running software on your PC, speed and security being two of the major ones.

Running one of the worlds biggest technology companies cannot be an easy task, though we are sure that Mr Ballmer’s salary makes dealing with all that stress a little easier. Whatever direction Microsoft and Steve Ballmer decide to take Windows in, you can count on to help you get the most out of your PC now and in the future!

That wraps our newsletter up for another month. We hope that you enjoyed it, if you didn’t then please let us know why, you can
contact us by visiting this page.

If you have enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to pass it on to all your friends and family, or better still encourage them to sign up for their own copy! Until next month, keep checking and enjoy happy, safe and stress-free computing!

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