Why read my blog?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction of this blog. Who do I want to cater to? What will I right about? And most importantly, how do I set it apart? Here are my current thoughts.

I want this blog to be helpful. The reason I started a computer repair business is because I saw a need for affordable, personal, convenient help among home PC users. I want this blog to be an extension of that helpful spirit. My blog will, therefore, focus on basic techniques and 3rd party programs to make the PC user experience more enjoyable.

Perhaps the biggest threat to the home user is the legions of Malware that abound on the “interwebs.” Because of the propensity of these threats, I will devote a lot of articles to viruses, spyware, trojans, rogues, etc. Prevention being worth gobs of cure – and easier too – I will endeavor to focus on preventative measures and education.

I, myself, am interested in some more technical aspects of computing. And, I believe it is important to share helpful information with other techs. Therefore I will write more technical articles from time to time. Because of the varying degree of technicality to my articles, I feel I should add a difficulty level to further articles.

But how will I set my blog apart? Well, a primary focus on home-users is one key item. Other than that, I am open to ideas. Please leave your comments letting me know what you would like to see.


Firefox Add-on of the Week

So you’ve Googled for that latest song, software, screen saver, whatever, and you’ve got a long list of search results. But which of those websites are safe? Enter WoT.

WoT stands for Web of Trust, and it is a community-based rating system for websites. These ratings are then used to place a color coded dot on the WoT tool bar indicating whether or not a website is safe. WoT also intrigrates with many search engines and other websites as you can see here:

Colored dots on WoT

look at all the pretty colors......

Websites are ranked on 4 criteria as seen here:

Site rankings

Site Rankings

The little silhouettes indicate how many people have voted on the site (0-5). Furthermore community members can leave comments about a site such as “spam” or “contains Malicious ads.”

My recommendation is to stay away form websites with red, yellow, or gray (unknown) ratings… in fact, WoT will block the “poor” sites for you. Note that this “poor” website is grayed out (a la UAC). At this point you can not interact with elements of the site and should just close the tab/window.

WoT blocks sites with a poor rating.

Blocked Website

To install WoT simply download and install the add-on from their website. Please note that it is available for Internet Explorer too. Once you restart your browser you’ll be presented with a screen to configure your settings. I recommend the basic setting. If you want to provide ratings to the community you should also create a profile now. From this point on WoT will be providing you with rating information for the websites you visit. To get more info on a site (such as comments) , and to provide your own feedback, just click on the corresponding WoT dot. (For more information see this video tutorial.) I think this is a particularly useful add-on for “grandma” as it greatly reduces  the need for web savvy and paranoia while surfing. So, what are you waiting for? Try out WoT today.

Firefox Add-on of the Week

“Safer and more productive browsing. See where links actually link to.”
“Why are all these pop-ups on my screen?” Perhaps its because you went to a malicious website. No? You’re always careful about where you go? What about those shortened links you see on Twitter, and else where. Things like bit.ly and tinyURL? Where do those go? Wonder no longer with this handy add-on: Long URL Please.

As in real life, awareness is very important on the internet. Pay attention to where you are going, and hopefully you will avoid trouble. Its a dangerous world out there, and now its all connected. (Its also full of wonder and great, worthwhile things 🙂 )