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Chat About Microsoft Office and Windows with Microsoft MVP Experts

Would you like to learn more about the cool new features in Office 2010 and Windows 7? Still not sure what has changed since previous versions? Do you use Microsoft Office but would like to learn tips and tricks to be more productive at home, school or at work? Perhaps you are a new user who has questions on how to get started with Windows 7 or using the Office ribbon? Or would like to learn how to protect your computer from malware and viruses. Or perhaps you are just stuck and need answers.

The Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) are here to help!

The MVPs are the same people you see in the technical community as authors, trainers, user groups leaders and answerers in the Microsoft forums. For the first time ever Microsoft has brought these experts together as a collective group to answer your questions live. MVPs will be on hand to take questions about Microsoft Office 2010 or Office 2007 products such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Project, OneNote and more. As well as Windows 7 and earlier versions such as Windows Vista. In addition to Microsoft Office, the chat will cover Windows related topics such as upgrading, setup and installation, securing your PC, Internet Explorer, personalizing your computer desktop or having fun with Windows Live Essentials to share photos, make movies and more. All levels of experience are welcome from beginners and students to intermediate power users. Please join Microsoft and the MVPs for this informative Q&A style chat and bring on your basic and your tough questions!

Join the Chat!

When: October 14, 2010 – 10:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M. Pacific Time

Additional Time Zones

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You can follow this on Twitter at #msmvpchat

Join the event on Facebook: Chat about Microsoft Office & Windows with MVP Experts!

Forget Black Friday – Hello Cyber Monday!

cartI used to be one of those women who was standing in line at my favorite store at 3am on Black Friday. I was armed with a list, and nothing was going to stand in the way of my obtaining every last item. To be clear, I never shoved anyone or ran my cart into someone. I wasn’t that bad, thank goodness. A few years ago, I watched a child get mowed down by an angry woman. She shoved her cart hard into the back of the little girl, who was apparently in her way. I actually left my cart full of items, and walked out of the store – after making sure the little girl would be ok. I couldn’t do it anymore.

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After 15 years with Windows, 30 days with Snow Leopard

mac-os-x-snow_leopardAfter 15 years as a Windows power user, and current Windows 7 user, a colleague at What the Tech has accepted the challenge of his roomate to give up his Windows notebook cold turkey, and use a similarly equipped Macbook for 30 days. He’ll be blogging about his experience daily. It should be an interesting read, and of special interest to anyone who’s ever considered switching from Windows to OSX.

Link: The Macbook Experience at

10 Free DNS and IP Lookup Tools – or Alternatives

image If you’ve ever tried to lookup the location of an IP address, check the status of DNS propagation, or wanted to check the health of your DNS or mail server,  you’re probably familiar with It used to be an incredibly useful site – when it was free. While does still offer a selection of free tools, full access has now reached $79/year! While no free site offers every tool available on, here are 10 free sites that offer a good selection of alternatives.

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ERD Commander – Free Trial from Microsoft

ERD Commander is a very useful tool that Microsoft acquired with it’s purchase of Winternals. It’s especially useful for computers that aren’t able to boot into Windows, or even safe mode. ERD (Emergency Repair Disk) allows access to Windows restore points, file recovery, crash analysis, hotfix uninstall, and other low level operating system tasks, all in a very familiar Windows interface. It also provides network and internet access, as well as a web browser.

erd commander

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Norton Internet Security 2009: Review

imageChange can be a great thing. We’ve all heard fascinating tales of people who shed half their weight.  But change can also be treacherous and destructive. A peek into history books would reveal us tales of great empires falling apart, leaving nothing but dust behind. Doubtless however, change is powerful.

Symantec’s history over the last few years seems to match the second definition. The huge security company, which just a few years ago has been the biggest and doubtless the most influencing security software developer around, witnessed a steep downfall in sales. The security giant, whose products were once installed in almost every new computer, was taunted by the Revolution of the Internet. Faster download speeds made it easier to find alternatives – some of which were free; so did online reviews and comparisons, which were available to everyone: not only in geeky computer magazines.

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Seagate FreeAgent Backup Bundle Winner!

Wow! 571 entries seems to confirm these backup drives are in hot demand. Reading those comments, a lot of you really need to develop a backup plan. If not an external backup drive, check out other options in our Home Backup Series, or even a cheap Fireproof Backup Soultion. Don’t wait until it’s too late folks!

We have contacted the winner, and received a reply with permission to use their full name. Congratulations to Ramkumar Venkatachalam of India! His comment (number 378), was drawn at random:

good old dvd’s in a pouch thats my backup strategy

It sounds like he’ll be putting the backup drives to good use.

Didn’t win? Don’t sweat it. Enter for a chance to win over $6,000 of HP hardware here, and at 49 other sites!

$6000 HP Magic Giveaway Contest!


To the $6,000 Geeks to Go HP Magic Giveaway contest!


One winner will receive a prize package valued at over $6,000! Including all of the following:

Brought to you by HP, Microsoft, and

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We’re Spreading Holiday Magic

Finding it a little more difficult to find the holiday magic this year? Still need something extra special for under the tree? HP and Microsoft have teamed up with 50 websites this holiday season to give away a total of $300,000 in prizes, in The HP Magic Giveaway. If you’ve done the math correctly, you already know that means we have a $6,000 prize package to award to one lucky winner. While the details of our contest won’t be revealed until later (subscribe to our feed), now we’ll share what’s contained in the prize package, and all 50 sites where you will have an opportunity to win!

If you’re new to this site, we share magical moments every day, by providing free tech help. Our magical moments come from helping someone solve a technology problem. It could be as simple as removing the Language Bar, or as complex as removing the latest rootkit that your antivirus missed. If you have some magic to share, or just want to learn more, please visit our forums.

The Holiday Magic Prize Package:

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Netbook –vs- Notebook

On several occasions I’ve had the chance to talk directly with Pat Moorhead, Vice President of Marketing at AMD. He is a very genuine, and honest person. He’s the kind of person you’d like to have as a next-door neighbor. How many marketing people can you say that about?

Recently, he was asked his opinions about netbooks. What is a netbook? The Asus Eee was probably the first to claim this new category. These $300-500 notebooks occupy a category previously dominated by small and light $2,500 notebooks. These minimal 9-10” systems are mostly geared to access the Internet. However, they have serious compromises. Pat argues that while netbook prices have gone up, notebook prices have come down. Battery life of the netbooks also fails to meet expectations, as well as no optical drive, small screen, and very small or no hard drive. What do you think about Pat’s comments, and about netbooks?