Category Archives: Computers and communications

Listen and watch for free on your computer

Computers and handhelds are rapidly becoming universal devices for entertainment, communications, and creativity.

I often find myself without access to a TV, and commercial TV is largely a wasteland anyway, strewn with ads, trashy sitcoms, and propaganda dressed up as news.

Thank heaven (or whatever) for the internet and the world-wide web (WWW). The web provides an ever-increasing number of sites that offer music customized to your tastes. Pandora.com, http://www.pandora.com/, is one I used to listen to a lot but I’m now finding better options. If you want to listen to Pandora without paying you must put up with commercials that have become more frequent and intrusive, with content that often spoils the mood of the music you’re listening to. Pandora does offer ad free listening, but at a price, and it is not available when you’re outside the U.S.

Calmradio, https://calmradio.com/, offers some nice options for my tastes and it too allows you to listen for free if you are willing to put up with frequent interruptions nagging you to sign up for a paid subscription that provides ad free listening.

I recently discovered Upchucky (http://upchucky.com, and http://upchucky.org), which provides a vast assortment of audio and video entertainment. I especially like the “Jukeboxes” that cover hits from each year from 1940 to 1999.

Surf Music, http://www.surfmusic.de, provides links to a reported 16,000 free online radio stations from around the world. I’m just now beginning to explore this site but I especially like BBC Radio 3 for classical music.

Other such sites are live365 that claims, “5,000+ online radio stations run by real people, not generated by computers,” and TuneIn.com  that claims, “the largest collection of radio stations in the world.”

Everyone knows about YouTube, but there must be dozens of other sites that provide great video and movie content for free.

For documentary and educational programs the Smithsonian, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/, is a good place to browse.

And I’ve just discovered, The Archive which provides access to an enormous array of resources, including audio, video, and text materials, as well as software and much more: https://archive.org/details/DonQuixoteDeLaMancha

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In the interest of providing everyone with more listening and viewing options, you are welcome to add your favorite free sites by entering a comment to this post.

And, if you find my posts on this blog to be useful and interesting you may want to check out my other sites that address more serious topics.

My active site that showcases my work in the realm of community economics and improved mechanisms for exchange and finance, Beyond Money: http://beyondmoney.net

My archival site for serious students of money and banking, Reinventing Money: http://www.reinventingmoney.com/

My non-profit organization, Community Information Resource Center: http://circinfo.wordpress.com/

My photo albums of my extensive travels: http://picasaweb.google.com/tomazhg

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Moving files and programs to a new computer

So, you’ve acquired a new computer with a newer operating system. How do you minimize the hassle of moving all your files and programs over from the old system to the new one? That’s a problem that must  confront tens of thousands of people every day.

I went through it a few months ago when I bought a new netbook that has Windows 7 installed. My old system runs Windows XP. It took some digging and a bit of expense to zero in on a workable approach that was not too daunting.

I discovered that there is no way to move both document files and programs over in one fell swoop. So face it, all program applications will need to be installed fresh on your new computer. It turns out that is not so bad, and actually has some advantages.

Moving my files and settings was relatively painless using a Belkin cable that is made specially for that purpose. It also preserved all of my settings. Here’s a description and link to that product:

Upgrading to a new computer has never been easier. The Belkin Easy Transfer Cable is the quickest way to migrate files, music, photos, user accounts—and more—from your Windows XP or Windows Vista ® PC to your new Windows 7 PC.

http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=506029

The listed price is $39.99, but you can probably find it cheaper on eBay or elsewhere.

Here’s another suggestion which you might consider that is offered by Gene Barlow who is a backup expert and vendor for Acronis software. (I have no commercial interest in this but include it for your information.)

Recommended Migration Approach

The best way that I have found to move my application programs and data files to a new Windows 7 computer is the following:

  • Install all of the application programs you want to run on your new Windows 7 computer from the CDs or downloads of these programs. So, gather your programs and serial numbers together before you make the move to Windows 7.
  • Make a full backup of your old WinXP computer using Acronis True Image and save that backup on an external hard drive.
  • Install True Image 2011 on your new Windows 7 computer. Older versions of True Image will not run on Windows 7. Only True Image 2010 and True Image 2011 will run on Windows 7.
  • Attach your external hard drive containing the most recent backup image of your WinXP computer to your new Windows 7 computer.
  • Run Windows Explorer on your Windows 7 computer and use this to find your data files on your WinXP backup image on the external hard drive. Move these to your new computer’s hard drive.

This approach takes a bit more effort to re-install all of the application programs on your new Windows 7 computer, but you will end up with a cleaner running system when you do this. Moving your data files from the backup image is a simple task to do. Most users will find this approach the easiest one to follow.

Acronis True Image Home 2011

The product that makes the migration to a new Windows 7 computer so easy is the Acronis True Image Home 2011 backup utility. This top rated backup utility will not only help you to move your important data files to your new computer, but it can be used to backup your new Windows 7 computer for the future. To order True Image 2011 from us, go to http://www.ugr.com/TrueImage.html and click on the appropriate Buy Now button. We offer this excellent backup program at half the normal price you will find it elsewhere, just $25 per license. Each computer you wish to backup should have its own license of the product to be legal. I not only provide you with a super price on this excellent software product, but I will try to make using this product easy and effortless for you.

One thing that is not clear from Gene’s description is whether your settings can also be migrated using this method.

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Homeland Security shuts down dozens of Web sites without court order

This past week the Department of Homeland Security shut down 76 domains.  No court order needed says “Big Brother.” Read the full story.

The future of the internet: the counter-revolution has begun

The internet is not what it used to be, and much of what we have come to cherish in the linked generation is at risk. Here’s an excerpt from a recent Economist article.

First, governments are increasingly reasserting their sovereignty. Recently several countries have demanded that their law-enforcement agencies have access to e-mails sent from BlackBerry smart-phones. This week India, which had threatened to cut off BlackBerry service at the end of August, granted RIM, the device’s maker, an extra two months while authorities consider the firm’s proposal to comply. However, it has also said that it is going after other communication-service providers, notably Google and Skype.

Second, big IT companies are building their own digital territories, where they set the rules and control or limit connections to other parts of the internet. Third, network owners would like to treat different types of traffic differently, in effect creating faster and slower lanes on the internet.

You can read the complete article here.