Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Microsoft TAX has gone UP again!

Someone asked me if they should purchase Office 2010 or Office 2013 for a new machine. Well, Office 2013 is a bit more touch-screen friendly, aligns with Windows 8's new 'blocky' interface (sized for fingers instead of mouse pointers), and integrates with Microsoft's SkyDrive via your Windows Live ID (if you have one). 

But Microsoft CHANGED the licensing terms so you must purchase a new copy of Office each time you purchase a new PC, whereas with Office 2010, you could transfer your old Microsoft Office license to the new machine. Office 2013 becomes licensed to ONE MACHINE ONLY, and therefore becomes MORE EXPENSIVE than Office 2010. 

What Microsoft really wants you to do is instead of purchasing an Office license, is to SUBSCRIBE (aka 'rent') their new Office 365 for $100 per YEAR for up to 5 machines. Online sources such as no longer have downloadable key cards or downloads of Office 2010 available; downloads are only available for Office 2013. 

Bottom line, Office 2013 or Office 365 will cost you MORE, as the "Microsoft Tax" has gone UP.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Duplicate messages on family iPhones

Duplicate messages on family iPhones
Families with multiple iPhones may be sharing their AppleID to leverage app purchases on up to 5 devices.  But you may be accidentally sharing an iMessage ID as well, which means 'text' messages sent to a parent are duplicated on the child's phone and vice versa.  Traditional cellular phone text messages appear in green on iPhone, while newer Apple iMessages appear in blue.  What's happening is that both phones are set to use the same email address for Apple's iMessage service.   Here's how to fix it:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Compared to other free email accounts (Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, etc.), I think free GMAIL from Google has always been a terrific value, but it keeps getting better!  Other free email clients have distracting "in-your-face" graphic ads; GMAIL only uses text ads.  Others charge for "premium" features such as POP or IMAP access; these are included with free GMAIL.  Plus you have 10GB of free online email space.

Even better, GMAIL is working to become the Outlook of the 21st Century's "always-connected BYOD" (bring your own device) set.  By using IMAP instead of POP, you'll have the same view of your email/contacts/calendar whether using Outlook / Windows Mail, or any smartphone/tablet/web browser.  And it can do this not only with your email, but also your contacts and calendar items - free!

Best of all, a free GMAIL account can also consolidate email from multiple accounts and allow you to either reply from the same account or set any of the accounts to be the default email account.   This means you never again need to send out email change of address notifications -- you can keep the old account by consolidating it into a single InBox with free GMAIL.

Some setup is required to fully leverage these capabilities, but the KEY is in GMAIL - SETTINGS - "Accounts and Import":

For certain email accounts such as, you'll want to go to its settings and forward all email to your GMAIL account.   However for most others, just use the three subsections of "Account and Import":  a) "Import Mail and Contacts", b) "Send Mail As", and c) "Check Mail from other accounts" (only works with InBox, not other Sent Mail or Saved email folders, but never fear, Professional Nerds can help you with this!).

Once your email and contacts are consolidated into GMAIL, just use your GMAIL account.  For example, from a web browser, if you use as your home page, there'll also be a login in the upper right corner, as well as a built-in link for GMAIL and free Google Calendar.   For iPhone/iPad, there's a special email account type just for Google's free GMAIL; after adding it for Email & Contacts, all you have to do is add a second account for Calendar called "CalDAV", to link your online Google Calendar to your smartphone or tablet.

Of course, if you have additional questions or need some help setting this up to fit YOUR situation, just call Professional Nerds® at 1-877-496-3737.
You may have seen warnings similar to the attached image while using Google Search, News, etc. HEED THESE WARNINGS; they're part of Google's efforts to ensure you have a safe browsing experience on the internet.

As in this case, warnings can be posted about ANY legitimate website, as malware writers can hack ANY legitimate site and add malicious code.      Warning details (as of Feb 4, 2013):
The Website Ahead Contains Malware!

Google Chrome has blocked access to for now. Even if you have visited this website safely in the past, visiting it now is very likely to infect your computer with malware.
Malware is malicious software that causes things like identity theft, financial loss, and permanent file deletion.

What is the current listing status for
Site is listed as suspicious - visiting this web site may harm your computer.

What happened when Google visited this site?
Of the 4288 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 336 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2013-02-04, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2013-02-03. Malicious software is hosted on 3 domain(s), including,,

Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?
Over the past 90 days, appeared to function as an intermediary for the infection of 25 site(s) including,,

Has this site hosted malware?
No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

How did this happen?
In some cases, third parties can add malicious code to legitimate sites, which would cause us to show the warning message.