Ask-A-Techie, Where you can have all of your questions answered.

Did Someone Bug My Computer?

Posted by Chris Allard on Sat, Jul 06, 2013

I went on vacation with my boyfriend last year and we both took our laptops. At one point, my boyfriend wanted to use my laptop because he said his didn't have online connection. I said sorry but I have personal stuff on my laptop and I wouldn't let him use it. I went out for a while and when I came back, my laptop was stacked right on top of his laptop on the table. When I asked why my laptop was sitting on top of his laptop, he said he didn't know, it could have been the hotel housekeeping that put it there.

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Tags: Dirty little tech secrets, spyware, key logger, key logging, Viruses, Strong passwords, PC Tips & Tricks, Protection, Ask-a-techie, password protection, password security, Computer Protection, Safe Practices, Windows Tips, computer keyboards, Security

What is Carbonite and do I need it?

Posted by Edward Drummond on Wed, Sep 26, 2012

Dear Techie,
Being bored and an insomniac, I happened to come across a late-night commercial for a service called Carbonite. It claims to automatically back up all my data so if something happens (or as they say "Before disaster strikes") my data is all protected. I just can't really get my mind around what the service is. I have a few gigabytes of photos and documents stored on my PC and I am worried that it will die on me one day and I will be left without copies. Should I use this service?  Will disaster strike me?  Did I leave the oven on?  Why is the number 42 important?  The suspense is killing me!
— Freaked out non-geek

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Tags: Keeping your PC working, online safety, PC Tips & Tricks, Hard drives, Ask-a-techie, PC tips, PC Tips'n'tricks, Windows Tips, Security, Data Backup

Where have all the cheat codes gone?

Posted by Edward Drummond on Fri, Jul 20, 2012




Do you recognize any of the above?  If so, you may be part of a dying breed.  Video games of yore used to be loaded with various hidden functions, known as cheat codes, which allowed the player power and flexibility which is near-unheard of in modern games.  Enter the right combinations of buttons at the right time, and you could find your character loaded with all the items the game has to offer, able to walk through walls or invincible.  Enter the wrong one and you could find yourself vulnerable to all sorts of digitized nastiness, or in some cases, turned into a chicken. Game designers started programming in cheat codes to allow them to better check over the features of the game during development (like the first code listed, the famous Konami code).  As time went on, developers and programmers added codes which didn’t change the game itself, but changed textures, and the visual effects of the game, or just codes which insulted the player. This provided methods for the unsung heroes of the games, the coders, to reach out and interact directly with the people playing their games through hidden features and codes.  There were websites and even print magazines devoted to revealing the latest codes for the newest games.  Over the past decade however, the cheat code has faded into history.

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Tags: Dirty little tech secrets, Video Games, gaming, PC Tips & Tricks, fun and games

Ask-a-Techie: Autoplay

Posted by Serges LaRiviere on Wed, Jan 18, 2012

Heya Techie,

Every time I put a CD or DVD into my media player program pops up.  How can I stop this from happening?  I want to be able to select what program opens what file.


Otto-matically Annoyed

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Tags: Disable Autoplay, Operating System, PC Tips & Tricks, Ask-a-techie, Windows Tips, Security, Windows Tweaks

Ask-A-Techie: New Browsers and Toolbars

Posted by Serges LaRiviere on Fri, Jan 06, 2012

Dear Techie,
The last time I updated Firefox (to the newest version, 8.0), it took out my list of bookmarks, and the top bar.. ie; (File, Edit, View, Tools, Help),
All that was left after this was this the Bing toolbar and bar which I do not remember installing. was also installed on Internet Explorer.  I didn’t want either Bing or in either browser but they appeared one day.  What can I do?

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Tags: Toolbar Removal, Firefox tips, PC Tips & Tricks, PC Fix, Protection, Ask-a-techie, Windows Tips, Web Browser, Security, Windows Tweaks