Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Set up your Rogers voicemail and more…


I found it interesting recently that Rogers did not give me basic instructions on how to access the home phone / business phone features for our newly acquired phone line. A simple “cheat sheet” would do, really…

Failure of their website to describe such a simple facility is seemingly absurd, and to call customer service for a question like, “how do i access/set up my voice mail?” also seems quite unnecessary. After getting such instructions, I realized if I searched such instructions Google would likely hook me up (and it did) with more information – and without a doubt Google managed to obtain a user guide for their home phone services:

PDF Guide for their home phone

To make life even easier (Seeing that various wireless customers have the same services) I’m also providing a cheat sheet, so that you too can set up your voicemail, and I don’t have to hear the message, “Inform this Rogers customer to set up their voicemail” next time I call you.

Rogers Phone Services Cheat Sheet:


Service
How to access it
Details
Voicemail *98
Away from phone:
Call your phone then press “9” when you hear your message
First time you use it, it will ask you for a temporary password which will be the last four digits of your phone number.

After that, you will be prompted for your new password
Block Numbers / Call Screen *60 To activate or deactivate, press “3”

To add a number, press “#” + The Number + “#”

To remove a number, press “*” + Number + “*”
Reject Anonymous Callers *77 *87 will deactivate rejection of anonymous callers
Call Forward *72 After dialling, provide number you wish to forward to. Wait 5 seconds, even if someone picks up, or until you hear 2 beeps
Call Transfer During a call press “Link” or “Transfer” or “Hang up” button Immediately after, when you hear a dial tone – call a local number you want to transfer to, once that number picks up – hang up and the call will be transferred.
Call Trace *57 This will allow the police to trace who is calling regardless of private name/number


I sincerely hope you set up your voicemail now, it’s super-annoying to decide to leave a voice-mail only to get a message that you can’t

Fix that,

Monday, 9 January 2012

Virus compromised Windows – new admin account work-around


I have seen far too many computers compromised by a Trojan virus that mimics legitimate antivirus software. Whereby the antivirus imitation program often disables all facilities of Windows (utilizing something called Shell Hooks) where you can’t open web pages, files, programs, or anything to any significant degree, because the mimic program interferes and offers to, “Buy me to get rid of me”
I known someone who did give their credit card number, guess what, it didn’t remove the malware… Figures.
The best way to fix this problem is by installing a legitimate antivirus program and running a full scan of the system. One I would most recommend is “AVG Free Basic” available at download.com.
Note: CNET’s Download.com contains a plethora of advertisements. And often those Advertisements themselves mimic download links to guess what!? a trojan that mimics a legitimate antivirus software. Always be mindful of what you are downloading.
Now… To accomplish this though, you will need to gain control of your system. Particularly your web-browser – which is a luxury you do not have. However, there is a “work-around” I like to use that works more often than not and allows you enough time to get online, get a legitimate anti-virus program, and scan away the malware.

New Admin Account Work-Around

  1. (Windows Key) [] + [R]   -> to launch the Windows Run Dialog.

    image
  2. Type in “control userpasswords2” and press OK

    image
  3. Click Add… to add a new Administrator account to the computer
  4. Be sure to choose a simple Username and Password, as well, ensure the account type is selected as Administrator, clicking Next and Finish until completed.
  5. (Windows Key) [] + [L]   -> to switch user accounts, switch to the new account you created.
In most cases new accounts are not completely inundated with Shell Hooks and should provide you with enough functionality to download, install, and run an antivirus or anti-malware program.

USE EXTREEME CAUTION – even when opening the browser. The existing malware may appear unsuspectingly (especially when you open the browser). DO NOT MINDLESSLY “OK” ANYTHING as any unsuspecting prompts may be related to the malware itself.

I hope this helps, Regards,

Friday, 6 January 2012

ViGlance is the Best Taskbar Replacement for XP and Vista


One of the most notable facets of Windows 7 by far is the new taskbar (called SuperBar) it implements. It may not be overly revolutionary, as application docks seemed to exist since the beginning of time. However… It was inspiring enough to change the mindset of how people should access their computer right across the board.

Since the introduction of the newer taskbar, Ubuntu introduced Unity (that very same taskbar on crack cocaine, sitting on the left side of the screen) and Mac – well Mac is just Mac, the operating system is designed to sit there and look pretty by default, so, remaining with a graphic intensive dock is important for that O/S.

Ok… So what about Vista and XP?

There are a few options available for people to replace the taskbar; You can go all out and get an imitation “Dock” that emulates the Mac O/S like RocketDock or ObjectDock -- But if you are anything like me where those shiny attractive things quickly lose their lustre and start to annoy more than facilitate. You can change the registry and add minor tweaks facilitating the current operating system to sort of mimic Windows 7 – But you are constantly reminded how futile such effort is. Or utilize a taskbar replacement tool that allows you to have a “superbar” overlay on top of the traditional Windows 95 style taskbar.

These are two main options (i could find) available:
  1. SBar – an opensource project on codeplex. Looks good, crashes better, and works only on 32 bit architectures.
  2. and ViGlancea not so open source project done by some university student who has some quirky passion  (and talent) on building system mods for Windows.
Seeing that I have used both on different architectures and different versions of Windows (XP, and Vista) I can declare that ViGlance performs the best of them thus far.
image<- Yes, it’s Vista, with VIGlance
image <- Windows XP, with VIGlance
Pros
  1. It’s fast: starts fast, shows previews fast, doesn’t require the latest video card to run. Doesn’t wait 33 seconds to show a multi-window preview.
  2. It’s natural: seems to work naturally with the existing taskbar. allowing quick-launch buttons to remain, and various other system traits to remain.
  3. Simple options. Right Click the notification icon, change something, be happy. Done.
Cons
  1. It does “Crash” from time to time, and sometimes locks into it’s own transparency. But, if you put a shortcut on your desktop to restart it, you can move on without concern.
  2. Doesn’t have the full Windows 7 feature set: like close a window from it’s preview, or have all the desirable right click options, or the icons demonstrating something is pinned or not.
Recommendations for the maker
  1. Make it open-source. Who knows, perhaps someone will step up to the plate and contribute to it.
  2. Have the notification icon work as a separate process as the taskbar. Which can launch (or automatically launch) the taskbar replacement program “ViGlance” or the start menu replacement program “ViOrb” upon crashing, or on demand. Also, when clicking the notification: show the desktop.
  3. Add the remaining features that Windows 7 has to offer.

Anyways… That’s my few minute promotion on ViGlance.
If you are any interested in getting it for yourself go here:

http://lee-soft.com/viglance/

If you know of alternatives – or have any comments whatsoever, leave a comment below.

Until next time,

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