If you do not already know it, backups are the most important steps you must take to ensure that your data will not be lost. Despite all the trouble you go through to make sure that your computer is always clean and running at its peak performance, there comes a time when even the best storage solution fails.

What will you do now? There is nothing you can do about it but try to save as much as you can using data recovery tools that, at best, will manage to recover only a fraction of what you had on your hard drive.

The conclusion is that you should perform backups of your system on a regular basis and make sure you keep multiple backups of irreplaceable and important files. If you are as paranoid as me, you should also keep at least one backup copy of all your important files in a different physical location (an “offsite” location as experts call it).

There are many ways you can back up your data but the most popular ones are using the integrated Time Machine and Disk Utility tools. More »

1. Delete items from address bar history
While it’s very handy to have your recently visited pages autocompleted as you type, it’s not always desirable. Go to the address bar (Ctrl-L), start typing an address, and the drop-down menu will appear with the URLs of pages you’ve visited. You can highlight and delete these at will, for maximum privacy.

2. Protect your PC from malware
You don’t have to visit the seedy side of the web to pick up a virus – even the best social networking sites regularly host all kinds of malware. But you can reduce the chance of infection by installing NoScript. This handy add-on blocks Javascript, Java, Flash and other executable content from running unless you explicitly allow it, and is a great way to keep yourself safe online.

3. Speedily search for images
Browse Google images and your results are split into blocks of 21. But use CoolIris and you’ll get all your results displayed on a 3D photo wall, a much faster and easier way to find the images you need. It only works with some sites, unfortunately, but as these include Google, Flickr, Picasa, Yahoo, Photobucket, Facebook and MySpace then you’ll still have plenty to browse. Especially as it searches and displays YouTube videos, too. Give it a try. More »

By default, simple file sharing is enabled on a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer if the computer is not a member of a domain. With simple file sharing, you can share folders with everyone on your workgroup or network and make folders in your user profile private. However, if simple file sharing is enabled, you cannot prevent specific users and groups from accessing your shared folders. If you turn off simple file sharing, you can permit specific users and groups to access a shared folder. Those users must be logged on with the credentials of user accounts that you have granted access to your shared folder.

If simple file sharing is enabled, you see the simple file sharing user interface appears instead of the Security and Sharing tabs. By default, this new user interface is implemented in Windows XP Home Edition and in Microsoft Windows XP Professional if you are working in a workgroup. If you turn off simple file sharing, the classic Security and Sharing tabs appear, and you can specify which users and groups have access to shared folders on your computer. More »

Application incompatibility is one of the aspects that have managed to deliver extensive damage to the adoption rate of Windows Vista. However, as Vista matured throughout 2007 and with Service Pack 1 in 2008, so did the ecosystem of software solutions orbiting around the operating system. Despite this, the actual perception of application incompatibility managed to survive, especially in corporate environments. If one end user can deal with a program that is incompatible with Vista rather easy, the same cannot be said about an enterprise dependent on a specific business application with tens of thousands of machines.

“Part of this is perception based on fact – Windows Vista is built on a new architecture that promises tightened security and reliability. Consequently, the applications that ride on top of Windows Vista need to communicate with the kernel in different ways. So what has helped fuel current perception around application compatibility? Why did many applications ‘break’ in the migration from Windows XP to Windows Vista?” Microsoft asked rhetorically. More »