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Software Review: McAfee Internet Security

Posted by Robert Hall on 03/12/2009 03:57 PM
This is probably going to be the first review you will have ever read about not just one version of a product, but the ENTIRE line of the product from day one. I'm going to tell you my experiences, and those of my customers with the entire McAfee Internet Security suite, and anti-virus product up to version 2009. The Initial Encounter The first time I ever came across McAfee was on an HP Pavilion I got back in 1995. Yes the same one I did the keyboard cleaning video about! Back then viruses were usually only spread via sneaker-net,downloading things you should'nt have, and email viruses were just starting to be popular. Well, long story short I had fallen victim to a little critter that infected via a malformed wav file...

Most Recent Quick Tips

Free Hard drive bench mark utility Crystal Disk Mark

Posted by Robert Hall on 02/15/2009 03:16 AM
Ever wonder what kind of performance you really are getting out of your hard drive, but just not sure how to find out. Well there is a free utility called Crystal Disk Mark ( that will allow you to test the read and write speed of your drive in just a few minutes. There are a few options in this program to allow you to setup your own tests, especially if you want to test higher loads, or extended cycles. However for most people the standard settings will work just fine. <...

How the buttons on a laptop keyboard work

Posted by Robert Hall on 02/01/2009 07:37 PM
I have been asked several times by people if they can simply replace the missing keys on their laptop keyboard. Well you can, but chances are you are going to have some issues unless you happen to have the exact key, and right clip for the button. Laptop keyboards work on a scissor like behavior, and each one is made just a little differently. Be it either in the dimensions, or the orientation of the button's holder itself. If you are missing the key altogether it is usually best just to replace the keyboard itself as your only other option is to find similair keys online. Unfortunately most companies will not sell individual keys because it simply is not cost effective for them. One last possibility is to scavange one fr...

Video: How to replace a laptop keyboard

Posted by Robert Hall on 02/01/2009 07:29 PM
Replacing a laptop keyboard is one of those things you probably won't have to do, but if you need to it is a good idea to learn the few tricks to it. Generally a keyboard is held in with one or more screws on the bottom of the laptop, and often two or more on screws under the button bezel. Making removal of the bezel mandatory in most, but not all cases. I have seen a few laptops where the screws for the keyboard are directly accessible by opening the LCD of the laptop, and have no bezels to take off. If you have never taken apart a laptop, or replaced a keyboard before I highly recommend finding a copy of the manual for your system before proceeding. The reason here is that each laptop will be different, and what I show ...

Video: Installing a Hard Drive in a laptop

Posted by Robert Hall on 02/01/2009 07:20 PM
Generally installing a new hard drive in a laptop is pretty straight forward. Knowing a few of the gotcha's that can happen during the process the first time around can help alot if you have never done it before. Worry not my friends as I quickly explain the few little oddities to installating a laptop hard drive in this video!   <...

Doc: Adding printers on a Macintosh should be easier

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/28/2009 10:04 PM
Everyone has to install a printer on their computer eventually if they want to get any kind of work done. However everytime I have had to install a printer on a Macintosh it seems to be an epic feat. Ok, let me explain my typical setup. Usually the printer is directly connect to a Windows system via USB I want to use the printer with multiple systems on my network I want to save a few bucks and not have to buy a special network adapter/printer that sits directly on the network. Pretty simple right? This is pretty similair to how most home networks are setup as there is little money to be spent on setting them up. Sure I would love to get a nice HP Laserjet with a netw...

Doc: Analog Video and Audio

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/26/2009 06:00 PM
Before I start, I am all for digital video and audio. The quality is better, the picture is great, the sound is crisp. That alone would make me want to have only digital video and audio equipment. However there is one thing that keeps me from doing it, well technically two things. Cost, and what I can do with the digital signal. Think about it, for around $20 of hardware, I can split an analog video connection to go to two monitors at the same time. With digital I would have to spend much more, if I could even do it at all. Most digital equipment now uses a USB connection, the more professional stuff uses firewire (which you can buy converters and splitters for) however those cost an arm and a leg! Then you have t...

Video: Get Information about your system with CPUZ

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/26/2009 03:44 PM
Ever want to find out what is in your system, but don't want to open the case. Even better, not sure what speed RAM or processor you have, but don't want to pull the sticks or heatsink to find out?

Well CPUZ can help you with that.

CPUZ is a free utility that tells you all kinds of information about your system, clock and memory speed, if you have ECC memory, make and model of your motherboard and more. I use this often to quickly figure out how much memory is in a system, how the memory is installed and what board is in running on. Especially useful if you are needing to get the information while you are in a remote session, or...

Video: Installing Windows 7 Beta

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/19/2009 01:39 AM
After doing our downgrade to Windows XP how to video, I could free some space on my hard drive to install Windows 7 beta. I have'nt done too much research into Windows 7 yet, as I wanted to get the brand new user experiance. However going around and checking tech logs, and sites it is inevitable to be exposed to some information. The installation procedure is nearly identical to Windows Vista, in almost every way. There were no surprises at all. I also go through a couple of quick things I noticed right from the get go in the user interface, and some messages I received. Expect to see more videos on the Windows 7 features, there actually appears to be quite a few, and that's just at a quick glance.

Video: Downgrading from Vista to XP

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/18/2009 08:42 PM
Alot of you complained because I did'nt show you step by step how to do the Vista downgrade. So instead of telling you about it, here is a quick run through on doing it.

I recommend doing a full wipe and reload, as anytime an OS downgrade or uninstall is performed it seems to cause trouble. I personally never use any downgrade utilities or uninstallers for operating systems because they have a bad history of simply not working. BEFORE you erase your hard drive, and reload Windows XP BACK UP YOUR FILES. Reformating your hard drive will delete your files from it, and the only way to get them back is to pay a professional data recovery company, or shell out some cash on a set of recovery tools.


Video: New NOC Site Launched

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/18/2009 05:37 PM
A quick review of some of the new features of the NOC site, mostly this is just to let our YouTube viewers know that we have updated the website, and plan to ramp things up quite a bit. Look forward to new features being added in the upcoming weeks, and lots more content for you to watch and read. Key things to note are the addition of the Twitter stream, the new look, improved content search, and better page options. Yes, I did put more ads in however you have to remember that the NOC site is a free extension of our main business site. Thus the NOC needs to pay for itself some how, placing ads and hoping that our visitors will check them out is how we intend for it to make money for now. Remember if the NOC makes...

Doc: Adobe Tech Support

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/18/2009 03:39 PM
As you may have seen the other day on Twitter I had just finally gotten around to upgrading my home desktop to Windows Vista (Another post will be made on that soon). Of course in the process of doing an operating system upgrade there will always be a program or two that does'nt work, acts weird, or just has to be reinstalled. One product I did not expect to have this issue with was Adobe Photoshop CS2. I have been using Adobe Photoshop 7 on another 100% work based computer running Vista for months, and had no issues at all. So surely the newer much better CS2 product should have run just as good you would think. Well once I got Vista installed, and updated one of the first things I decided to do was start working on the...

Review: AdBrite Advertising Network

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/18/2009 01:01 PM
As you may have noticed, The NOC is mostly funded through our advertisers. So when we went through and began preparing our website for the redesign in January 2009 we decided we should increase the effectiveness of our ads. Besides just ad placement (Man did that need improving), we decided to see if there was a way to get more buck for the space. We had looked around for various advertisers that could pay more than what google was for us. That is when we heard about AdBrite. In summary AdBrite is a bit like Google AdWord, with the exception that people can SPECIFICALLY advertise on your site, and can set their price for click. This might not sound all that special, but letting advertisers direct where the...

Contact Us at the NOC

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/18/2009 11:38 AM
Are you wanting to get in touch with us? Do you have a hot tip, or a suggestion to make the NOC better? We are always wanting to hear from you to make our show, and information better than ever. The easiest way to get in touch with us is leave a comment on any of our content. Be it on YouTube, Facebook, or on our website here. We check and respond to our comments as soon as we can. Not only that, but posting a comment shows us that you really like the work (or hate it), and drives us to improve what we bring YOU. However, if you want to get in touch with the NOC a bit more privately: Use our Handy Feedback form We also have a Facebook fan page! So if you all so...

NOC Videos Listing

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/18/2009 11:07 AM
This is a listing of all the video posts we have made on the NOC, feel free to browse around. If you are looking for something specific use the search feature. It's much faster. Thanks,  ...

NOC Listing of all Documents

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/18/2009 11:03 AM
This is just a listing of all the documents, posts, and I guess you would call it a blog for the NOC. Feel free to browse the contents here, but if you are looking for something specific we recommend using the search feature. Thanks,  ...

All NOC Product Reviews

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/18/2009 10:55 AM
This page is simply just a listing of all of our product reviews to date. If you are looking for something specific please use the search to avoid going crazy. Thanks,...

Updates to the NOC Site

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/18/2009 04:51 AM
As you may have noticed, we have updated the look of the NOC website. The design gave us a little bit of trouble because we wanted a fully dynamic width and height to the site (Not easy using just CSS). However we got the hard part done, which is the layout. Now it's just a matter of adding and fixing some links here and there. Some key things you might like about this new design: It actually has a feel of a "NOC" (Network Operations Center) the top navigation represents a KVM switch. We re-arranged the advertising to work better, and not break the page and make it easier to read. We consolidated the Twitter feed, and changed it to be pulled via RSS on our end.

Cleaning your keyboard

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/11/2009 03:18 PM
This is a short continuation of our cleaning your computer series. This time focused on the keyboard, why should you clean your keyboard? Well the number one reason to clean your keyboard is hygenie, if you sneeze and spill food and liquids in your keyboard it's going to get nasty. Decaying food will harbor germs and with those being all over something you are going to be using a few hours a day, yeah it can have an impact on your health. In my opinion the health impact is minimal, so I don't worry about it much. However seeing filthy keyboards does drive me crazy. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the lighting in my room at home is rather bad so I don't see the grime build up. Here is a before shot of the 13 year ol...

How to use compressed air safely

Posted by Robert Hall on 01/11/2009 02:56 PM
As you may know from a previous video, we have been asked what is the best way to clean out a computer. Of course to do that you need a few tools, and one of which we recommend canned air. This is where we see people use compressed air in a variety of ways. Unfortunately almost of them are incorrect. Use short bursts instead of long steady streams. Using the canned air in this mannor means you will be hitting the dust harder, resulting in getting more out. We have also found that using the canned air like this extends the life of the can. NEVER point the can upside down, or in any manor to let the liquid reach the top. To some this may seem obvious, but it is still being done by alot...

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