This is my site for links to Genuine Free Stuff as well as some useful advice. I use most of these programs regularly. It's good gear. It's all worth having.

** April 2014. Major revamp and update for relevance happening, especially now that support for Windows XP has ended, and now that we all are addicted to our Android phones. A lot of old stuff is going.

This post in particular started this whole website...

I have been building and using computers since about the Ice Age, from DOS 3 through to Windows 7.
I have been mucking about with mobile phones for quite some time, using Symbian S60 and then Android.

Press F8 at boot to start in safe mode - Windows XP and 7
To see the details of you computer, download, install and run 'Speccy' - shows Operating System, Firewall, Anti-virus and hardware.
If you think you have a virus, start here 'Free Online Virus Scan'. Try any or all, and be patient.

March 31, 2014

Best free widgets for Android HTC , Sony and Samsung phones. April 2014

Here's my list of widgets that I use on my HTC, Sony and Samsung phones.
I use all these widgets, so this is my backup list in case I lose my phone.

AU Weather - but then I live in Australia

Battery Widget - I like this one best because it has a good touch-to-launch list.

ColorNote 2x2 widget for my shopping list.

Contact Widget - perfect for my needs and the best I've tried of quite a few.

File Widget - perfect for my needs to put a link to a file on my front page.

Jorte Calendar and widgets. I use a 1x1 widget for my daily events and a 4x4 widget for my two weekly calendar.

Network Signal Info Widget - to keep a check on my signal strength and other things. I donated for the Pro version.

World Clock Widget - because it's a cool idea

... and I almost forgot Moon 3D

I have tried out every Moon Phase app on the Android Market and I like this one the best. It's actually a Widget that takes up just one spot, not a full page.

Cheers. Si. All current as at April 2014

March 29, 2014

Useful Websites. April 2014. Windows XP and Windows 7

This post is a summary of all the useful websites I use.
None of it is rubbish, it's all good. Trust me. Now go have a look. Si.

Ask Leo.

You can subscribe to the free newsletter for weekly information on vital stuff for maintaining your computer.

Leo has an essential reading series on setting up a new computer.

Ask Leo is a very useful site. I have scoured Leo's site for anything and everything useful.
His section on setting up a new computer is VERY helpful.

Atlas (Fresh Logic Studios).
This is handy. You can zoom in and check out roads in pretty good detail.

 AVC - Anti Virus Comparatives

"AV-Comparatives is an independent not-for-profit organization offering systematic testing that checks whether security software, such as PC/Mac-based antivirus products and mobile security solutions, lives up to its promises. Using one of the largest sample collections worldwide, it creates a real-world environment for truly accurate testing. AV-Comparatives offers freely accessible results to individuals, news organizations and scientific institutions."

 Belarc Advisor

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.


CNET is handy for reviews on software and hardware and all the latest gadgets.
Have a good look around CNET in general.
A lot of free software is also stored here.

Cheat Happens.

This is a very useful website if you need a walk-through on a game, or maybe a little extra help.
You can also find some nifty Wallpapers from your favorite game, as well as Guides and Reviews and Trainers.

Cool Text.

"Cool Text is a free graphics generator for web pages and anywhere else you need an impressive logo without a lot of design work."

  FILExt - The File Extension Source.

A file extension is the last characters after the period in the name of a file.
FILExt is a database of file extensions and the various programs that use them.
If you know the file extension you want to learn about simply enter it into the search box on the left and click on the Search button.
If it's in any of the FILExt databases the data we have on that file extension will be shown on a results page.

 File Hippo

My most important website for good free downloads.

Google Finance

A very good free site if you play the stock market.
Good graphs and real time news reports.
This site also works well on a mobile phone.

 GSM Arena - for all my phone reviews and specs.

LunaPic Free Online Photo Editor.
I use this quite a lot for making animated avatars.
"The Free Online Image Editor lets you edit images ONLINE.
Checkout the EXAMPLE PAGES and get some ideas.
- Resize or Crop your images (also for animated gifs).
- Add Text to your images (also for animated gifs).
- Add Borders, or Overlay your images (also for animated gifs).
- Put your image in a Picture Frame or add a Mask. (also for animated gifs)
- Resize or Crop your images (also your animated gifs).
- Overlay your images with predefined animations! (a must try!)
- Convert, sharpen, reduce size of your animated gif... and much, much, more....
- NEW Create your OWN twinkle star animation NEW
- NEW Add your OWN glitters to an image. NEW
But above all.... Create here YOUR OWN ANIMATIONS ONLINE !"

How Stuff Works .

the name says it all - how stuff works. You can happily waste a lot of digging around in this site.


Here's a fun and useful website.
I like this section on Computer Case Mods.
Check out the Lego case mod. Rah.

Kitco gold prices
A little off topic, but if you play the share market, it's worth checking in here before buying or selling your gold mines.

Kitco Metal prices and stockpiles

A little off topic, but if you play the share market, it's worth checking this site before buying or selling your copper or nickel mines and miners.

Cool huh ?! And nicely esoteric. That's gotta be a good one to show off.
LME is the London Metals Exchange.

Microsoft Safety and Security Centre.

Microsoft Help and Support
Look, I know some of these posts are stating the obvious, but this is a good place to start if you are new to running a computer.

Microsoft Security Essentials

There's good advice and some good free software here.
Windows Security Scanner. - if you suspect you have a virus

You just have to have some basic protection these days, and this is a good start.

Microsoft Technet. - that's the link.

Here's a website I drop into occasionally for help.
You will find updates and downloads and some good advice and hot tips.
It's worth taking some time to poke around in here.
Make sure you go to the downloads page.

Oh, big thanks and tip of the hat to Calvin Loi Hui Meng
(Calvin Loi, Support Engineer, Microsoft Asia Pacific Online Technical Support )
for his help with Silverlight and his hop tips for my Blog.
Thank you. You were very helpful and prompt and you are a credit to your company.

"Have a file you don't know how to open? Think you need an expensive piece of software to open it? Chances are there is a great free program that's just as good as the expensive one, and you'll find it here."
Have a good search through this website to find almost every free program needed to open file extensions.

Red Dodo.

Have a play with Red Dodo if you have a mobile phone. Red Dodo is also very useful for making animated avatars for websites or signatures.

"With Red Dodo's screensaver generator you can make your own unique mobile screensaver / animated wallpaper and download it to your cell phone for free.

We support following animated cell phone wallpaper formats: 240x320, 176x220, 176x208, 176x144, 128x160, 128x128."

Here's an example.

  RefDesk - fact checker for the internet. Very addictive.


Write some text and click Generate Sign to make your own animated scrolling text LED sign to use as your forum signature or avatar.

 Softpedia - for good free stuff


Test you internet connection speed. Especially if you have just upgraded your plan, and want to know if you are getting what you paid for.

  Trend Micro House Call - my most useful weapon for de-virusing computers.

The Universal Packing List.

This is useful. I never go anywhere without consulting the UPL.

Urban Dictionary.

I confess I have to use this a bit, especially when on MSN to the mobile phone techie lads in England. LOL and BRB and LMAO.

Urban Dictionary is a slang dictionary, and slang is culture.

That should keep you busy for a while.
Cheers. Si.
Checked April 2014 for link and relevance.

March 28, 2014

FileHippo. Windows XP and Windows 7. April 2014

Here's my latest little secret. FileHippo.
FileHippo is a file storage site full of free software. I will be directing you here quite a bit

Here's the link to FileHippo

Here's what you'll see. Lot's of good free stuff. soak it up.

Here you will find CCleaner, Spybot, Defraggler and so many more bits of good free software.

Make sure you also download and use there file update checker. I use it.

Keeping you safe and warm. Cheers. 
Checked for links and relevance, April 2014. Still very relevant for Windows XP and Windows 7

March 27, 2014

Best free Android app for Notes, Notepad and Note Sync for HTC, Samsung and Sony phones - April 2014.

Buzz buzz. I've gone Android at last.
The trusty old Nokia E63 has gone back in the box as my back-up. I've scored a shiny new HTC Desire HD.

I needed the Best Free App.
None of that Facebook and Twitter stuff, I needed to organise my Notes.

One thing I miss from all my Nokia phones is the 'Notes' facility.
I had thirty or so with various bits of information, shopping lists and bright ideas.
I could back them up onto my computer as text files.
This is one big application that seems to be missing from Android handsets.

So I went searching in the market for a good Note app. I tried quite a few but settled on just two.

Colornote Notepad - this one turned out to be the best for my needs.
I tried quite a few others and have since deleted the links form this post. Grab this one.

Evernote. Here's the link. This is the best one ever and has become indispensable.

This greatest thing about Evernote is that I can sync my notes on the phone with my computer.
If I change a note on the phone it also updates and syncs to my computer and vice versa. Yay.

This is it running on my main frame at home. That's just two of my many notes.

This is a screen shot I've taken from their page in the Android Market.

I can take a photo note or write a text and edit them easily.
I can update my notes on my PC at home and they will sync to my phone. That's clever.
This one truly is the 'Best Android App.'

I will remind you one more time. Back Up Your Computer Now.

Cheers. Si.
Checked for links and relevance, April 2014.

March 26, 2014

Best free File Managers for Android phones - HTC, Samsung and Sony phones - April 2014

Buzz Buzz. I've gone Android.
Sigh, I've finally moved on from Nokia phones with Symbian operating systems.
I've put away the trusty Nokia E63 and scored me a new HTC Desire HD.

The old... The new ...

If you Google search "best free apps for Android or HTC Desire HD" you will find all sorts of things... blah blah Facebook, blah blah Twitter. Blah blah blah.

What I really needed was a File Manager because Android doesn't seem to do File Managers like the good old Symbian phones had.

My phones have always been my mobile office, carrying all my contacts and photos, most of my important Word and Excel documents, and quite a lot of various PDF files.

A quick search of the Android Market found me these two...

Here's the link 1 - ES File Explorer

Here's the link 2 - ASTRO File Manager

I am still testing both and use both for slightly different things.
Both do want I want. Both are free.
Cheers. Si.
Checked for links and relevance, April 2014