Monday, December 01, 2014

Links to Discounted Software - up to 100%

This post is about Retail Software that are discounted. Some of these software are 100% discounted meaning the are totally FREE.

There is another post about  software which are always free, including freeware at:
This post here, will not include freeware which is on the link above.

There are also other websites where you can get coupons such as:
BitsDuJour -
RetailMeNot -
Again, this post here is not about that.

So what is this page about?
The software here are Retail software - meaning they are being sold. But for various reasons, there are opportunities to get them at no cost. So here they are:

Free WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe – 100% Discount
$49.95 Free!

Free WinX DVD Copy Pro – 100% Discount

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hidden Windows Devices

Some USB devices which have been unplugged or not active cannot be seen via Windows' Device Manager. However the following command will make Windows show the Hidden Devices. Open a CMD terminal, and enter the two lines:
- set devmgr_show_nopresent_devices=1
- start devmgmt.msc

Removing Rogueware

Sometimes rogueware such as search toolbars or other utility kits are sneakily installed on your PC when you install other big reputed programs. They may not be officially bad, but just annoying and you did not intend to have them in the first place. So here are some steps to remove them.

- create restore point
- Use the following tools to scan and remove rogueware
AdwCleaner ( to run scan
Junkware Removal Tool ( and run scan.
RogueKiller ( and run scan

Monday, June 16, 2014

Building PC - AMD A8-6600K

March 2014

Here are some photos taken of the recently build PC. It was meant to be a detailed instructions with pictures on how to build your own PC. Unfortunately after the first few steps, the PC building process was more exciting than taking pictures such that I've forgotten to take photos of the later steps.

In any case, from previous building experience, it is the first few steps which are crucial in building the PC.
This illustration would be very similar for most desktop systems.

The system is an extremely budget system.
APU:  AMD A8-6600K  Quad Core, 4.2GHz Max Turbo, 3.9GHz Base, Black Edition
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DS2, A88XFM2+, 2xDDR3/PCI-E/SATA3/USB3.0/DVI-D/D-SUB/RAID/mATX
RAM:  Kingston HyperX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3
HDD:  Western Digital 3.5"Green2TB WD20EZRX, 64M SATA3
Case:   ThermaltakeVO650B1W3A, Versa-I, USB3.0, TowerCase, 500W PSU

All other parts such as DVD-RW, Wireless Adapter, LCD Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, etc are recycled from the previous system.

1. Where to Screw down the Motherboard.
Previous PC building exercise almost ran into serious trouble when I used the wrong screws for screwing in the base of the Case to the Motherboard.

There is actually a Base Screw, shown in the photo, that needs to screw to the case, then letting the motherboard sit on top of these screws. So this type of screw between the case and the underneath of the motherboard, prevents the two from touching, to avoid a short-circuit

2. Check out exactly where the Back Panel of the case, need to correspond to the Connectors part of the motherboard.

3. Now start by screwing in the Motherboard to the Case. Ensure that the Motherboard is sitting properly on the Base Screws and not touching the Base Case directly.

4. Here is a view of the CPU, just before it is put into the slot. Many Motherboards are designed such that the CPUs will slot into the holes in only one way. So if the CPU does not slot gently into the Motherboard, never apply force on it - otherwise the pins can be damaged.
Once the CPU has dropped into the pin slots, then push down and latch the silver bar.

5. Once the CPU has been attached, the next part would be the Heatsink and Fan, which sits on top of the CPU. Before actually clipping the Heatsink, place it in the right position, and feel the latch to check how it is supposed to go. Play with it first to see how flexible it is, before actually fitting it in.

6. The CPU installation was done first so that the other parts can be installed around it.
Plug all necessary cables from the Case to the Motherboard. This could be fan or drive cabling.

7. Next install the RAM. The modern motherboard has a simple mechanism for installing RAM. Ensure the RAM is the right side, push the RAM slowly into its slot until the latch is activated by the click sound.

8. The other main components were installed, unfortunately with no photos.
So a quick summary of the subsequent steps are:
- install Hard Drive with SATA connectors.
- install DVD-RW optical drives.
- install network adapter

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What is and what to do about Heartbleed

Heartbleed has been all over the internet. Everyone who knows IT should have heard about it. In fact this is so serious that your grandmother should hear about it if she does online banking.

Instead of writing more on this subject, here is a collection of links on the Heartbleed story, with different focus.

One important thing though, the heartbleed bug is such that some when you login to some websites or web services, your passwords are exposed. However, if those sites have not fixed the bug, then changing your password would mean that the new passwords are also revealed.

Some write-ups on heartbleed from regular news organizations
ABC Australia -
Forbes -

The technical details of the Heartbleed flaw and a solution

Don't change all your passwords,heartbleed-dont-change-all-your-passwords.aspx

10 passwords that should be changed,heartbleed-10-passwords-you-need-to-change-right-now.aspx

Extensive list of organizations on what passwords should be changed

Tools that test if a URL/website is affected:

Instead of going to the above website, you can type the name of the website directly into the URL box like:<URL>
where <URL> should be replaced by the website name such as

Sunday, April 06, 2014

How to use hotel wifi safely

The links below are to a few articles about how to use FREE hotel wifi safely. In summary:
1. There is no real safe way to use hotel wifi - Be Warned
2. Using the hotel LAN (not wifi) is even worse
3. Using VPN provides a layer of protection since it hides the data transmitted from your device to the internet. However it still doesn't prevent a trojan from being planted on your system and accessing your file system.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Notes Android - How To Conserve Mobile Data

This note applies to Android mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, phablets. Other non-Android devices may have something similar.

Check and limit your data usage
- tap Settings - Data usage.
From this screen you can do many things like:
- Mobile Data - can switch this off.
- Set mobile data limit - check this option to enable the following settings:
--- Data usage cycle - use this to define your own cycle to correspond to your billing cycle.
--- Set your own Warning and Limit of how much data you can use.
--- Restrict using Mobile data for individuals apps.

Use wifi where possible, especially when downloading apps, upgrading apps, listening to music, watching YouTube and any other data intensive tasks.

Reducing data usage when doing the internet. For example some browsers compresses html data, images and uses proxy servers.
- In opera Mobile Browser, choose the Off-Road mode.
- In Chrome Browser, goto Settings, Bandwidth Management, Reduce Data Usage.

Music players like Spotify, lets you choose a lower streaming rate or use offline playlist.

Android apps can disable syncing while Play Store apps can be chosen to not update automatically.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Notes Android - How to handwrite / take notes in Chinese

This instruction is written based on experience using the following phablet:
- Sony Xperia Z Ultra
- Android 4.3
However, the instructions may also work for similar Android smartphones.

This note will show how to use the phablet to take notes in:
English - via keyboard,
English - via hand write
Chinese - via keyboard
Chinese - via hand write

Prerequisite apps:
Google Keep - this is a note taking app which is quite flexible. Users may choose other editors.

Change Language Settings:
- Go to Settings on Android.
- Under Personal, tap "Language & Input"
- Under "Keyboard & Input Methods", tap Default
- A window pops up with the following choices.
----- For international Xperia keyboard
----- Xperia Chinese Keyboard (Choose this if you want Chinese)
----- International Keyboard   (Default, for English)

Using English Keyboard or Handwrite
- Open up Google Keep or another notepad-like editor app.
- Start writing the note and activate the keyboard.
- WARNING: to write in English, the "Xperia Chinese Keyboard" also has an English option but don't use this. Instead, for English, choose "International Keyboard" in the Language settings section above.
- Look at the keys at the botton row, and find the key marked "EN" for English or "CN" for Chinese.
- Toggle this buttion to get "EN" for English, if it is not EN already.
- Tap and hold the EN key for a few seconds, to switch between Keyboard mode or hand-writing mode.

Using Chinese Keyboard or Handwrite
- Open up Google Keep or another notepad-like editor app.
- Start writing the note and activate the keyboard.
- WARNING: to write in Chinese, the "Xperia Chinese Keyboard" must be chosen in the Language settings section above.
- Look at the keys at the botton row, and find the key marked "EN" for English or "CN" for Chinese.
- Toggle this buttion to get "CN" for Chinese, if it is not CN already.
- Tap and hold the CN key for a few seconds, to switch between Keyboard mode or hand-writing mode. The options given could be "Stroke", "Handwriting", "Pinyin".

Tricky important note is that, once in a chosen language already, changing from stroke to hand-writing requires tapping and holding on the language button, eg "EN". Different models may have different option names for handwriting or using keyboard.