FTC Disclosure

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!



Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
or Azure Dwarf’s Horde
or visit my web site

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Finding, Downloading, and Updating Windows 7 Drivers for Older Devices

Andy Groaning from BravoFiles is my guest post for March 30th.

 If you have some old devices for which the Windows 7 is unable to automatically install the driver, then you may use Windows Update site to download the software. Or if it does not help then you can look for the driver on other websites that provide different kind of drivers for free or on some payment. This article will tell you the importance of a driver along with the driver download process for Windows 7.
A lot of computer devices will work correctly only with the help of right drivers. This enables them to communicate properly with the operating system installed on that system. Windows 7 need all kinds of various drivers to be used for each of the device in the system. It is important to ensure that a computer finds and used the best drivers which are fully up to date.

Functionality of a Device Driver
The basic functionality of Windows 7 device driver is to develop a good communication link between Windows and the device in the computer system. The driver helps the device to understand the instructions given by Windows and vice versa.
A lot of hardware devices present in a computer system needs a series of different drivers to work. A number of device drivers for devices like network cards and graphics card are installed automatically when Windows 7 is installed in a system. However there are still a lot of devices for which you need to install a driver manually.

Older Devices and Device Drivers
If you have an outdated web camera and want to install its driver for Windows 7 then you need to search for its driver on the official website of Windows 7. However if the camera is old enough there are huge chances that you won’t be able to find it on the official site. 

Now What Needs to Be Done?
Plug in your camera and for sure Windows 7 won’t be able to run it properly. You can check this by opening up the device manager by going to the Control Panel, System, Hardware, and finally the Device Manager. Here you will see an exclamatory mark of yellow color beside your web camera that means your computer is unable to locate the driver for your device.
Now what you can do it update the drivers with the help of Windows update present in Windows 7.
  • Click on the Start button, then go to All Programs and then select Windows Update. This will open the Microsoft Windows Update site.
  • Now check the latest updates for your computer on that website and there are huge chances that you will find some driver for your camera there.
  • Now follow the instructions given step by step to update the driver automatically.
  • Open the Device Manager to check if the new diver icon is present there. If it is, then the computer has successfully installed the driver for your web camera.
  • You can also check if the camera is functioning properly by opening up some video recording software to see if it is functioning properly.
  • You can also update other drivers for older devices
However, if you are still not able to update the driver by Windows Update you can look up on different other websites which provides such drivers. You can look up on any search engine by entering your device model number along with the manufacturer’s name for Windows 7 and you will get the whole driver download process for Windows 7.
http://www.bravofiles.com/ - Your place for driver downloads
Andy Groaning.

Thank you Andy for a clear and concise post.  I checked out the bravofiles site and it looks good.  I goggled it for reviews and found no complaints so as near as I can tell it is a good, legitimate site for driver downloads.   I have no connection to bravofiles and have derived no benefit from posting this article. (besides the obvious fact I didn’t have to come up for a topic today)  I have bookmarked their site and will try it when I need a driver.   This doesn’t mean I endorse the site and I certainly can’t guarantee it is 100% clean but I am comfortable enough that I will try it when I need a driver.  Thanks again Andy.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Who Knew Towels Could Be So Different

Kassatex Urbane 6 Piece Towel Set

This is another CSN stores review.     They are providing products to review such as luggage, back to school stuff, office supplies, the list is practically endless.  What I like about this outfit is that there is no attempt to direct my writing or influence it.   They provide products to review and they encourage me to go to any one of their more than 200 stores and choose the specific product I want to review.   How cool is that!

My most recent order was towels.   I know, how does that fit with Money Saving Tech Tips?   Well, it fits with the money savings part if not the tech part.   CSN made no attempt whatsoever to influence what I chose or how I wrote my review.   To me that speaks quite well for their confidence level in their site, their policies and their products.  

Like most guys, the only time I think about a towel is wondering why I didn’t hang it over the shower instead of leaving it across the room.   Imagine my surprise when I discovered that spending a little more on your towel gets you a lot more towel.   The bath towel is longer and wider with my svelte 225, 6’2” body that is important.   It is also more absorbent than my other towels.    Bottom line is I would suggest you check out a high quality towel at a medium quality price and still get free shipping.   I did get to keep the towels and if you have read any of my posts, you should know by now that if they were stinko, I would haven’t hesitated a second to tell you so.   Check’m out, you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was. 

I love being retired and writing!   This is so much fun.  

Stay tuned, who knows what I will pick to review?

 I sure don’t.

See it here, Soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Free Book Reminder

The Dawn Country.
Go to Azure Dwarf to enter.
It’s a super easy contest.
Contest ends 3/31/11

Monday, March 21, 2011


VIZIO M190VA-W 19-Inch LED LCD HDTV with Razor LED Backlighting, White

Kitchen counter space is always at a premium at our house.  I tracked down this 19” LED LCD TV and mounting bracket at Amazon.   The first thing I liked was I could get it in white.   Look around, that is not as easy as it may sound.   Secondly I have seen many Vizio TVs at friends homes and they have been happy with them.

The TV gives a clear, sharp picture with good sound quality.  It is a great size for the kitchen.   I was totally impressed with all of the stations I got without the cable box.  Who knew that my channel 6 Philadelphia station had 5 variations?

I have only one complaint and albeit is minor it was still annoying.  The mounting holes for the industry standard VESA mounting kit were slightly skewed.  My best guess is no more than a 1/16th or 2/16”  but the TV is slightly off kilter.   Before you assume I am the village idiot, I did us a level to mount the bracket on the wall and if I put the level on the bracket with or without the TV attached, the bracket is level.   I can only conclude that the mounting holes on the TV were slightly off.

The side lighting LEDs do seem to provide a nice bright picture and I look forward to the benefit of the long lifespan of LEDs.

I received zero compensation for this posting besides benefiting from a good price.   I did get it at Amazon.  

A Good Deal on Battery Backup From Buy.com

I'm a believer in battery backup.   I got this deal from Buy.com this morning.  It is worth mentioning as it includes shipping which can be a bear with something as heavy as a UPS.  So check it out, I did not get any compensation  for posting this.  I just like good deals!  $54.95 including shipping!!
APC Back-UPS ES 650VA Desktop - BE650G
APC Back-UPS ES Series 650VA 390Watt Battery Backup System
Tech Features Backup/Run Time 0.07 Hour 390 W Full Load
0.26 Hour 195 W Half Load
Tech Features Battery Recharge Time 16 Hour Typical
Tech Features Package Contents
  • Back-UPS ES 650VA Desktop
  • USB cable
  • User Manual
  • Tech Features Product Type Standby UPS
    Tech Features Dimensions 3.54" Height x 12.60" Width x 7" Depth
    Tech Features Input Voltage 110 V AC
    Tech Features Manufacturer Part Number BE650G
    Tech Features Manufacturer Website Address www.apc.com
    Tech Features Standard Warranty 3 Year
    Tech Features Output Voltage 120 V AC Nominal
    Tech Features Weight (Approximate) 14.30 lb
    Tech Features Batteries Spill Proof, Maintenance Free Sealed Lead Acid
    Tech Features Form Factor Desktop
    Tech Features Load Capacity 650 VA/390 W
    Tech Features Manufacturer American Power Conversion Corp
    Tech Features Product Name Back-UPS ES 650VA Desktop
    Tech Features Product Line Back-UPS
    Tech Features Product Series ES
    Tech Features Receptacles 4 x NEMA 5-15R - Battery Backup System
    4 x NEMA 5-15R - Surge-protected
    Tech Features Brand Name APC
    Tech Features Plug/Connector Type NEMA 5-15P
    Tech Features Input Voltage Range 120 V AC Nominal
    88 V AC to 139 V AC Mains Operation

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Politicians: Nabobs of Nuttiness

    The season of silliness seems to be upon us. Every Billy Bob and Reginald “I went to Harvard so I’m special” blithering idiot is declaring their candidacy for President. Apparently the main criterion for a Presidential candidate is the ability to shoot off your mouth at the least provocation.

    It doesn’t matter which party affiliation is ranting, it seems they feel their animal symbols are best served by speaking from the nether regions rather than the donkey/elephants’ mouth. There is a disturbing amount of noxious gas already being propagated. Dirt, Smear and Innuendo seems to be the law firm vetting the “candidates” verbiage.

    Our President (meaning our, the entire nations, including the Nabobs of Nuttiness) is not perfect. He is however the President and even if you disagree with his policies it is important to remember that the office, in and of it self deserves respect.

    I personally think you have to be some what demented to want the office. No matter what you say, no matter where or when you were born or brought up, one of the Nabobs will denigrate the fact.

    My plea to the Nabobs of Nuttiness is to make every effort to focus on the issues. Recognize the fact that the bulk of governmental decisions are made either by Congress or the glacial bureaucracy it has created. Stop the personal attacks and “man up” to the need for civility and honesty in politics. I realize that hoping for honesty and civility is oxymoronic when paired with politics but at one point we were told that man would never reach the moon and we got there. (Albeit we have lacked the fortitude and foresight to go back but that is another issue.)

    Surely in a nation that is primarily literate and informed we can run a Presidential campaign without grotesque negativity.

    Google's Blogger and FireFox Don't Play Well Together

    After lamenting my installation of ie9 the other day, I was trying to do an update to one of my other blogs in FireFox. After several frustrating attempts, I opened ie9 and went into Blogger and the update went as smooth as could be.  After having been in the computer business of over 25 years and using computers  for 31 years you would think I would be resigned to the continued incompatibilities.
    Sadly I'm not. I guess if I was a programmer I could do something about it, but I am not. So instead all I can do is complain. 
    This pic has nothing to do with my post except,
    I love the TV show and well..let's leave it at that.

    Speaking of which, the abysmal Call of Duty, World at War that I was patching, crashed my system beyond recovery on the 5th of 7 patches. I'm leaving it sit for awhile so the steam can vent from the room. Luckily no one from Activision was nearby or my frustration could have ended with me incarcerated. What kind of idiots produce a computer video game that demands a 392mb patch let alone 7 multi mb patches? Alas the world of computer and possible the world has a plethora of idiots. Take in case the multiple stop sign runner I was behind this morning. Oh, well I hang with the good guys and avoid the bad. Someday I may buy an Apple and see if all the stupidity of the PC world is there too.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    2011 Gasoline Profiteering Again

    Gasoline prices are soaring, again. We are told that the supply has not been interrupted and that supply is just fine. We are also told that fear and anxiety is driving the price up.

    Is it possible that fear and anxiety might also be known as oil companies and profiteers. If there has been no decrease in available supply one has to wonder why the oil companies are raising the prices. Fear and anxiety can’t tell the gas stations to raise their price but oil company executives certainly can.

    Is there any benefit to the American public by raising oil prices? Is there any benefit to the oil company’s bottom line by raising prices, gouging the public and benefiting from the anguish of the consumer who must choose between filling the tank or buying milk for the kids? Sure, more profit in off shore bank accounts and record profits must negate the negative impact on economic recovery. Why else would otherwise normal human beings inflict such economic pain on their fellow Americans?

    Some claim that higher gas prices will force us to find alternative energy sources to decrease our dependency on foreign oil. If oil companies actually diverted the bulk of their excessive profits to research that might be true. Sadly they don’t.

    I don’t have a solution; if I did I would be shouting it from whatever soapbox I could find. Power corrupts and there are few corporate entities more powerful than oil companies. If common sense would prevail for just an instant in the oil company psychic, they would realize that a strong, growing economy would be a better option for their own growth and long term profitability instead of trying to gouge out short term grotesque profits based on fear and anxiety.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Saving Money with Home Insulation A Guest Post by Eric Stevenson

    According to EPA estimates, heating and air conditioning accounts for anywhere from 43% to 60% of the average monthly electricity bill – by far the largest chunk in comparison to any other appliance. Since we dedicate so much energy (and hence money) to heating and cooling our homes, it is vital to make sure that this treated air stays inside the building. One effective way to do this is through home insulation.
    DOE Link
    The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that only 20% of homes built before 1980 have proper insulation. Cracks or gaps in walls, corners, floors, or roofs, as well as insulation that is too thin, can all allow heated or cooled air to leak out of the home. The attic is a particular culprit when it comes to wasting energy. The DOE recommends that attic insulation in all regions of the U.S. have an R-value of at least R-30, ranging up to R-60. The specific thickness of insulation you need will depend on climate and building design.

    When checking or replacing old insulation, use caution – before 1980, asbestos was a popular material in insulation because of its natural resistance to heat. It was an effective insulator, but also very dangerous, since exposure to even small amounts of asbestos have been known to cause symptoms of a deadly cancer of the lining of the chest. Asbestos abatement must be done only by licensed professionals and can be expensive, but the good news is that asbestos is generally not dangerous if the materials containing it are intact. If you suspect you have asbestos insulation, do not attempt to remove it on your own – you may want to carefully add to the existing insulation rather than disturb it.

    Of course, you’ll want to exercise judgment when it comes to saving money versus safety. The expense of asbestos abatement is entirely worth it when it comes to preventing cancer symptoms.

    If you plan to be in your current home for many years to come, you might consider contacting a contractor who can perform a home energy assessment. This generally involves the use of thermal cameras and a “blower test” that will show (often surprising) visual evidence of your home’s insulation weak spots. When fixing your insulation problems, look into your state’s energy policies to see if there are any available funds or tax credits, since many states are trying to encourage green building practices. One contractor said that the money spent replacing and patching insulation is often offset in energy savings after three to five years.

    Thank you to Eric Stevenson for his informative post.  The graphic was added for illustration purposes.

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Central Bucks Pennsylvania Savings Alert

    This is a blatant plug for a computer business owned and operated by

    John D. Bentrim Consulting
    Face it all of us leave things slide and as long as our computer is working we don't think about cleaning it.

    Well it is time to wake up and smell the disaster.

    Avoid Sick Computers
    Clean them Today!

    Dirty computers die sooner than clean ones.

    Dirt isn't just dust bunnies, it can be the left over
    residue of icky programs long deleted.

    Computers need attention.

    March 7-March 11

    Reap a 10% Windfall, a 10% Discount off of all computer cleaning for one week only.

    Call for an appointment.
    (215) 290-3435 or (267)935-9039

    Alex Bentrim, sophmore majoring in computer forensics with over 6 years of computer experience will provide the service so lacking in today's big corporate computer repair businesses.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Free Book At Azure Dwarf, The Dawn Country by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

    I’m hosting a giveaway for three free copies of
    The Dawn Country.
    The book is written by People of the Longhouse, bestselling authors and archeologists Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear. The Dawn Country is the second book in their newest series. The Dawn Country is the Gears’ 50th published novel. They are famous for the Forbidden Borders series, Requiem for Conqueror, Relic of Empire and Counter Measures. In addition Star Strike, The Artifact and The Spider Series, The Warriors of Spider, The Way of the Spider and Web of Spider are among my favorite books.
    Go to Azure Dwarf to enter.
    It’s a super easy contest.
     Money Saving Tech Tips