Friday, November 30, 2007

Avast! Antivirus U3 Edition vs McAfee VirusScan USB

Previously, I got a SanDisk micro cruzer 512MB with Avast! Antivirus U3 Edition. Yesterday, I bought a SanDisk micro cruzer 2GB with McAfee VirusScan USB.

Since these are the only two companies offering antivirus software for U3, it is a good opportunity for me to do a comparison.
Both come with 1 month trial license and offer real-time protection for U3 devices only and not the host computer where they are connected. So, you still need to install antivirus software for real-time protection of the host computer.
Avast allows you to scan U3 device, host computer or a folder on-demand whereas McAfee has the option to scan U3 device only and can detect antivirus software on the host computer. But when you insert the U3 device, both can scan active processes running on the host computer. Avast shows an icon running on the system tray whereas McAfee does not. You need to register with McAfee before the license can be activated. On the other hand, there is no registration requirement for Avast. Overall, Avast is recommended.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Interface Speed

Speed (Mbps)
PATA 133
1394 (Firewire)
USB 1.1
USB 2.0
SATA 1.5Gbps 1500
SATA 3.0Gbps (SATA2) 3000
eSATA 3000

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

PC Answers Christmas 2008

  1. Switch on to Web TV
  2. 101 Essential Shortcuts
  3. Speed Up Vista Searches

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ashampoo Burning Studio 2008 Error

I tested Ashampoo Burning Studio 2008 from the CD of Personal Computer World December 2007. It burned a data CD successfully. But, when I tried to add more files to the same data CD with more than enough free space as shown, it failed with an error. On the other hand, Nero Express 7 works fine on the same DVD writer and laptop running Windows XP SP2.

Monday, November 26, 2007

APC December 2007

  1. Affordable Notebooks
  2. Monster CPU Battle
Cover DVD (Free Full Version)
  1. Settings Organizer 2.00
  2. CyberLink Power2Go 4

Sunday, November 25, 2007

AVS DVD Player 2.4

Since I couldn't install Nero Showtime, I went online and searched for other DVD players. Found AVS DVD Player which is free and have no problem installing it on Windows Vista. It works great and even has the option to customise the aspect ratio. Most DVD players will show black bars at the top and bottom of the screen when viewing full screen due to the wrong aspect ratio. My LCD screen resolution is 1440 x 900 so I can customise it to 16:10 to maximise the whole screen.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Disappearing Nero Showtime Option During Setup

I tried to install Nero Express 7 and Nero Showtime 3 from the Nero 7 Essentials CD of my new optical drive but during setup there is no option to select Nero Showtime in custom setup as shown. But, the same CD can be used to install Nero Showtime in the retail shop. This really baffles me as my computer has Intel Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz processor wth 1GB RAM and 20GB free disk space. The requirement to install Nero Express Essentials is only Intel Pentium III 1 GHz processor with minimum 256MB RAM and 1GB free disk space.

Friday, November 23, 2007

PC Plus December 2007

  • Technology's new frontiers

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Nero SecurDisc

I bought a LG 20x internal super multi DVD rewriter (Model GH20NS10). This optical drive is special because it comes with SecurDisc technology. With SecurDisc, you can
  • protect your confidential data with password protection on all media & file format
  • ensure data integrity with checksum verification on all media & file format
  • Increase data reliability with redundantly stored data all media & file format
  • Verify the origin of data with digital signature verification all media & file format
  • Limit the ability to view copied PDFs with copy protection on DVD+/-R(W), DVD+/-R DL, DVD-RAM
To run SecurDisc, you need LG optical writer and Nero software. Once the media is created by SecurDisc, you can access it on any optical drive with Nero InCD Reader 5. SecurDisc Viewer is used to view copy protected PDF.

I read in the Straits Times today that a massive security blunder in Britain has left almost half the country's population at risk of identity theft and bank fraud. The risk arose after two computer disks containing the names, addresses, dates of birth, national insurance numbers and, in some cases, banking details for 25 million adults and children went missing in post. If Britain's tax and customs service has enforced similar technology, the security risk will be mitigated.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

R-Driver III USB 2.0 to SATA IDE Cable

I find this cable very useful to transfer data from one computer to another, backup data to CD/DVD or install operating system or software if your computer does not have any optical drive. It comes complete with power adaptor, SATA data/power cable and can be used as follows:
  1. Connect laptop 2.5" harddisk (IDE/SATA) to any computer via USB without power adaptor
  2. Connect desktop harddisk (IDE/SATA) to any computer via USB with power adaptor
  3. Connect CD-ROM/CD-RW/DVD-ROM/DVD-RW (IDE/SATA) to any computer with power adaptor
This is more cost effective than buying USB casings to house the external devices. But, if you require an external harddisk permanently for storage, it is better to house it in a USB case to minimise dust or damage.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ashampoo WinOptimizer 2008

I installed this software from the CD of Personal Computer World December 2007. This is a magazine edition and you can upgrade to WinOptimizer 4. It has 4 main tools.
The Cleaning Tools consist of Drive Cleaner, Registry Cleaner and Internet Cleaner. Internet Cleaner will clean browser cache, cookies and history for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera.
The Tuning Tools consist of StartUp Tuner, Internet Tuner, IP Spam Blocker and Windows Standard Tools.
The File Tools consist of DiskSpace Explorer, File Wiper, File Splitter & Joiner and File Encrypter & Decrypter.
The Tweaking Tools consist of Defrag 2, System-Information and System-Benchmark. You can find your Windows product key using System-Information. System-Benchmark will measure and compare system performance. Unfortunately, you cannot create schedule to run any of the tools.

Monday, November 19, 2007

PC Advisor December 2007

  1. Laptops, Broadband & Software for Free!
  2. Supercharge Your System
Cover CD (Free Full Version)
  1. Mindjet MindManager 6.0 Basic
  2. Paragon Disk Wiper 8.5 Personal Edition

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Computer Shopper December 2007

  1. Internet Video
  2. Complete Guide To Second Life
  3. Create Your Own Recording Studio
Cover DVD (Free Full Version)
  1. Ashampoo Winoptimizer 2008
  2. Paragon Partition Manager 8.5
  3. Stuffit Standard 9.5

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Iolo AntiVirus Problem

After installing iolo AntiVirus 1.1.10 on my Windows XP notebook and updating to latest version 1.1.15, I encountered the error as shown each time my notebook boots up. But, it still run when I click on iolo AntiVirus to start manually and the icon on the system tray indicates real-time protection is enabled.

However, when I want to shutdown my notebook, it will not do so until I shutdown iolo AntiVirus manually.

Friday, November 16, 2007

PC Pro December 2007

  1. XP vs Vista
  2. Road to war 2.0
  3. Expert guide to Windows Home Server
Cover DVD (Free Full Version)
  1. Encyclopædia Britannica 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Australian PC World December 2007

  1. Speed up Vista & XP
  2. Green Christmas Gift Guide
Cover DVD (Free Full Version)
  1. Cyberlink PowerDirector 5VE

Australian PC Authority December 2007

  1. 10th Anniversary Special
  2. Next Gen Wi-Fi
Cover DVD (Free Full Version)
  1. PC Tools Antivirus
  2. Paragon Partition Manager 8.5 Personal
  3. Cyberlink PowerDirector 5 VE

Australian PC Authority October 2007

  1. The Essential Guide to Digital Photography

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Iolo AntiVirus

I installed this software from the CD of Personal Computer World December 2007. If you register online, you can get a 1 year license otherwise you can evaluate it for 30 days.

It offers on access (real-time protection), on demand as well as e-mail protection. You can specify proxy and mapped ports for POP3 & SMTP. E-mail clients include Eudora, Outlook, Netscape, Poco, The Bat, Thunderbird etc.

You can enable automatic update but update for new version requires user interaction. There is no option to scan a file or folder in Windows Explorer but you can do so within its own user interface.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Australian PC User December 2007

  1. Portable entertainment superguide
  2. How to tweak the registry
  3. Your guide to the BIOS
Cover DVD (Free Full Version)
  1. Reallusion iClone 2.1 SE
  2. Ashampoo Burning Studio 2008
  3. Xequte Amaze 4.04

Monday, November 12, 2007

PC Answers December 2007

  1. Get a better network today!
  2. 2007 Awards

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Webroot Desktop Firewall Version 5.5

  1. Supports Windows Vista
  1. Fails LeakTest

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Symbian S60 vs Windows Mobile 6

I tested Nokia E65 running Symbian OS S60 3rd edition and HP iPAQ 512 running Windows Mobile 6 Standard. The selling point is that both support VoIP but Nokia E65 is clearly the winner after many months of usage.

Nokia E65
HP iPAQ 512
VoIP (pfingoTALK)
Works intermittently
E-mail Retrieval Interval (POP3) - works like pushmail
Min every 30 mins
Min every 5 mins
Default Browser
S60 - supports Javascript & look similar to desktop browser. No flash & JRE support.
Pocket IE - supports Javascript but look different from desktop browser. No flash & JRE support.
Battery Life
2 days
1 day
Supports WPA2 with static or dynamic IP address. Can auto reconnect after out of range.
Supports WPA2 with dynamic IP address. Cannot auto reconnect after out of range.
Phone Contacts
Need to copy from SIM to phone
Works directly from SIM. No need to backup when switching phone.
Camera 2.0MP
Incoming SMS
Cannot be saved in SIM Can be saved in SIM
Poor. Need to terminate program resident in memory manually even after quiting program.
Currency Convertor
eWallet Support

Friday, November 9, 2007

BinarySense HDDlife

I install HDDlife for notebook 2.9.110 in Windows Vista from the cover DVD of APC Magazine November 2007. After reboot, it shows it is blocked by Vista.

I have to run it manually. It indicates the current temperature of the harddisk as well as health and performance status. In addition, it shows how long the harddisk is used as work time. The enable noise/performance level and power saving features are not working in Vista. Testing the latest trial version 3.0.146 available online confirms that the problems with Vista are fixed if you don't mind to pay for upgrade.

Another alternative for Vista is the freeware gadget for Vista sidebar. But, it indicates only the temperature of the harddisk as well as read & write status. This runs without any user intervention upon startup.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Computer Shopper November 2007

  1. Who Do You Think You Are?
  2. Taking The Lead
  3. High And Mighty
Cover DVD (Free Full Version)
  1. FloorPlan 3D Design Suite 9
  2. Avira AntiVir PersonalEdition
  3. WebSite X5 Smart Edition
  4. Carrara 5 Standard

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Personal Computer World Christmas 2007

  1. Troubleshooting Vista
  2. Sat nav secrets
Cover CD (Free Paid Version)
  1. Paragon Total Defrag 2008 SE
  2. Ashampoo Office 2006
  3. McAfee Antispyware 2006
  4. McAfee Spamkiller 2006

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Australian PC World November 2007

  1. Widescreen LCD Monitors
  2. 11 Great DIY PC Projects

Cover DVD (Free Paid Version)

  1. East-Tec Eraser Lite

Monday, November 5, 2007

PC Plus November 2007

  1. Radical Hardware Upgrades
Cover DVD (Free Full Version)
  1. BitDefender 9
  2. Toon Boom Studio Express 3

Sunday, November 4, 2007

PC Pro November 2007

  1. The science of UI design
  2. Can you survive on online apps?
  3. The web's best 50 free downloads
Cover DVD (Free Full Version)
  1. Incomedia WebSite X5 Smart Edition
  2. Serif DrawPlus 6

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What's the fuss about HDTV in Singapore?

Service Provider
Over The Air (OTA)
IPTV (Internet Protocol TV)
Subscription Required
-Mio TV
-Telephone line
-Basic Tier
-HD Plus group
Receiver Required
HD DVB-T MPEG4.H264 AVC set-top box for TV
- Draco 3900
-SnaZio SZ1323

DVB-T MPEG4.H264 Thumbdrive for computer
-Pinnacle PCTV Dual DVB-T Diversity Stick 2000E
-Hauppage WinTV-HVR-900-MCE
Mio TV set-top box (free with service) HD set-top box
Other Hardware Required
-TV antenna to pick up HDTV signals OTA
-HD-Ready TV
-ADSL2+ modem
-Telephone line
-HD-ready TV
-Cable point
-HD-ready TV

Friday, November 2, 2007

Disappearing System Tray Icon for Avira Premium Security Suite

The saga continues as reported on October 29, 2007 but I found a workaround as follows:
  1. In Windows XP, go to Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del
  2. Under Processes, look for avgnt.exe and click End Process
  3. Close Windows Task Manager
  4. Go to C:\Program Files\Avira Premium Security Suite and double click on avgnt.exe

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Vista Windows Security Center Reports No Firewall/Malware Protection

If you have antivirus/firewall/antispyware software installed in Windows Vista and previously Windows Security Center detected it correctly and now it doesn't, then do the following :

  1. Click Start and type cmd in Start Search
  2. Press Ctrl-Shift-Enter
  3. Click Continue when prompted by User Account Control
  4. cd wbem
  5. net stop winmgmt /y
  6. ren repository repold
  7. net start winmgmt
  8. exit
  9. Restart computer