Review: AmazonBasics Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse Combo

amazonbasics-wireless-keyboard-and-mouseWhen most people think of computer hardware they think in terms of CPU type, memory and storage space. But when it comes right down to it, the components we use to interact with our computers are just as important.

For decades we used a keyboard and mouse that connected to the computer via short cables that tended to restrain our movement and become entwined in a tangled mess, but now we have wireless keyboards and mice that make our computers a lot easier and more enjoyable to use. [Continue Reading]

For better site searches, skip the website’s search box and use Google instead!

google-logoAs many of you might have already noticed, the built-in search boxes on most websites often do a horrible job at helping you find the content you’re looking for on those sites. That’s why I rarely use them and use Google instead.

Google has developed and refined the best search engine on the planet, and if you know how to use it correctly you can find virtually anything on the web that’s worth finding, in a jiffy. (This post offers a few great tips for using Google like a pro.)

Searching any website using the powerful Google search engine is very easy. Here’s how: [Continue Reading]

Great deal: Add 4 super-fast USB 3.0 ports to your PC for only $19.99!

anker-uspeed-usb-3-0A while back I wrote a post explaining why it makes sense to upgrade your computer to USB 3.0 along with instructions for doing it. In a nutshell, you simply purchase and install an inexpensive USB 3.0 upgrade card.

Right now Amazon has an amazing deal on an Anker Uspeed USB 3.0 PCI-E Express Card that will add 4 super fast USB 3.0 ports to your Desktop PC for less than $20!

As with most of the items they sell, they’ll even ship it to you for free if your order totals $35 or more. This makes a great deal even better!

Click here to read more about this awesome deal at Amazon.com.  (Note: This is an affiliate link.)

Microsoft releases a preview of Windows 10

windows-10-previewA couple of weeks ago I told you that Microsoft had hinted that they were planning to release Windows 9 in mid-2015.

Well, the timing was accurate, but the name was wrong. The new version of Windows will be Windows 10, not the wildly-speculated Windows 9.

Why they decided to skip the name Windows 9 and jump straight from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 is anyone’s guess.

My own guess is they realized the name “Windows 8″ left such a bad taste in the mouths of many users that they felt they really needed to distance the new version version of Windows from Windows 8 in name as well as in functionality.

At any rate, based upon the preview video they released this morning it looks like Windows 10 will indeed be a major improvement over Windows 8. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: How can I fix the Wi-Fi on my laptop?

lenovo-ideapad-u400Question from Fred M.:  Rick, I have a Lenovo Ideapad U400 laptop. It was working fine till yesterday evening but now the Wi-Fi won’t work. I thought it might be a setting, but the Wi-Fi adapter isn’t even showing up in the Device Manager under Windows 7.

Since it won’t work with Windows, I tried booting into Linux Mint (I have a dual-boot setup). Mint won’t recognize the Wi-Fi adapter either so I’m thinking it has to be a hardware problem.

Can this be fixed without costing me an arm and a leg? I’m not really concerned with having it work with Mint, but I really need to get it working with Windows. And by the way, I’m absolutely certain that the Wi-Fi button is enabled.

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Speed up your Android phone with 1Tap Cleaner

1tap-cleanerIf you’ve had your Android phone for a while, you’ve probably noticed that it’s slower and less responsive than it was when you first bought it.

If that’s the case, one of the major culprits could be bloated log files, browser caches and other large “temporary” files that are hogging your phone’s storage space.

Just like Windows and other operating systems, Android and the apps that run on it store all kinds of historical information such as visited web pages, recently used contacts, old text messages, and a whole lot more. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: How can I get the ‘Power’ icon back onto my Start Screen?

windows-8-1Question from Aaron:  I need your help Rick. I’ve been installing a bunch of free software and it appears that something I’ve installed has removed the “Power” icon from the Windows 8.1 Start Screen on my computer.

I tried using System Restore to get the “Power” icon back onto the Start Screen, but that didn’t work. Can you tell me how to do it?

Rick’s answer:  Yes Aaron, I can tell tell you how to restore your Start Screen’s Power icon, but I must first give you my semi-standard RicksDailyTips Disclaimer:[Continue Reading]

Use just one anti-virus program at a time for the best protection

no-virusI’m often asked to remove viruses and other forms of malware from computers, and a common problem of late seems to be people running two or more anti-virus programs at once.

But when it comes to virus scanners, more is not a good thing. Before I discuss why that is, here’s a quick overview of the two primary types of anti-malware programs:

1 – Full-time / Always running – Antivirus programs such as Norton, McAfee, AVG, Avast and others run continuously in the background, protecting your PC from threats on an ongoing basis. It is essential to have ONE of these programs running at all times if you use your computer to connect to the Internet. [Continue Reading]