Crash Plan backup software full review

CrashPlan has been around for a while now and is looking like one of the best solutions out there for business and personal backups.

With no storage size limits, bandwidth caps or file-type restrictions, Crash Plan really has lots going for it. On top of this, there’s enterprise-class hardware and military-grade security with no extra fees payable.

What I particularly like about Crash Plan is that there is free backup to an external drive and any trusted, internet-connected computer. You can also subscribe to their robust cloud-based destination, “CrashPlan Central” and this is certainly worth the extra money. It’s as quick as any cloud-based backup we have tested and the interface is functional and quite slick.

See what Crash Plan can offer here

crashplan online backup

AVG antivirus free and paid editions – the differences

avgidsehOK, let’s look at what the differences are in the versions of AVG antivirus.  First off, the free version has EXACTLY THE SAME virus and spyware scanning detection and removal as its paid-for counterpart.  The difference lies in the added extras.  Here’s what you currently get with the free version:

  • Antivirus scanning as per the full version
  • Antispyware scanning as per the full version
  • Link scanner which checks for malicious webpages in search results
  • Resident shield, checking files on your PC as you access them

What you don’t get that the paid for AVG Antivirus gives you:

  • Online shield which protects against some online attacks
  • Phishing protection, checking for spoof websites
  • Anti rootkit protection (these are getting more common now and are a huge threat to your PC)
  • Game mode keeping you safer during gaming
  • Free technical support from AVG

And finally what the AVG Internet Security suite gives you over the other 2 above:

  • Spam protection
  • Advanced firewall
  • Identity protection

AVG will guide you towards the paid version when you try to download the installation program.  In fairness, this is how they make their money so they can’t be criticised for that.  The ‘trial’ version is simply a version of the full product which will expire after 30 days so if you are looking for a free solution then it’s not the one you want.  However, if you have already installed the trial version and wanted the free one, this can be swapped over easily as of version 9.0, read on…..

If you have installed the TRIAL version by accident (not the free version) then there is an easy way to convert it to the free version.  Go to your Start menu, click on All Programs and navigate to the AVG folder (this may be called AVG 9.0).  Click on it and then click on ‘Uninstall AVG’.  Follow the prompts as though you are going to uninstall then you should see a dialogue box saying that you can turn it into the free version.  Let the program do this and enable the Windows firewall when prompted (this is important as the free version has no firewall).

With paid antivirus and internet security packages you do get more bells and whistles, but for a good, stable, solid performing antivirus with built-in antispyware for zero money, AVG free really can’t be beaten.

For paid antivirus, we regularly run testing here at PCRMB towers, so check what is currently the cream of the antivirus crop and see how it compares against your current solution.

Cheap freelance work on Friskk

Gigs for a fiverrIf you are looking for cheap freelance work then one site stands out above all others. Friskk has high quality services by freelancers from around the world. Starting from a ridiculously low $5 ( 3.17 GB Pounds at today’s exchange rates! ) Friskk users offer services in many different sectors.

Want a WordPress site cloning then moving to another server? $10

Want a new logo for your website, designed and built to a high standard? $15

See the PCRepairMan up top? He was designed and built using services found on

Other cheap freelance work includes video intros, cheap website backlinks, zombie transformations to photos of your friends, singing birthday videos….sky’s the limit really.  Some of the imagination is incredible and for gift ideas this site is really top notch.  Each service offered is for a fixed price and these are called ‘gigs’. On completion of the gig you pay the service provider an agreed fee. You pay nothing to register, and no fees to the website. How cool is that?  If you want to sell a service then you would pay a small commission on the final sale price.  If you don’t see the service you need, then you can request a service using the instant suggestion box.

Cheap freelance work by professionals

Many of the users on Friskk are professionals in their field, looking to earn extra money with small projects. This means that they often finish the project in very good time and can deliver excellent results.

So have a look around, see what’s on offer and get something unique for less than the price of a Starbucks!



Free Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, InDesign, Acrobat, Audition, GoLive

adobe-photoshop-free-cs2Do you want a free licensed version of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, InDesign, Acrobat, Audition, GoLive, Acrobat, InCopy, or Elements? Well Adobe have done a very strange thing and put direct download links to the CS2 versions of this excellent software online WITH the activation serial key. Why would they do that I hear you ask? Well apparently Adobe have problems with their licensing server and older software is not validating correctly. To combat this and in a gesture of goodwill (or long-term customer baiting) they are making older versions like CS2 run, without requiring validation, on these keys.

Windows and Mac versions can be downloaded free from the Adobe website here

So why give away Adobe CS2 for free?

Supposedly, these licences are for existing customers, although the software is now coming up to 8 years old so it would be understandable if it was given away to tempt people to upgrade to later versions. Because of the high prices that Adobe has previously charged for this software, my guess is that it would possibly be perceived as putting a finger up to previous customers who bought this suite if they released it free of charge. Hence some mystery surrounds this ultra discreet release of serials and downloads.

I’m not sure all programs are Windows 7 or 8 compatible. There are Mac OSX downloads in there too, again I’m not sure what version of the OS it will go up to. What I do know is that the original minimum spec for CS2 was

  • Mac OS X v.10.2.8–v.10.3.8. PowerPC® G4 or G5 processor
  • Microsoft® Windows® 2000/Windows XP. Intel® Pentium® III or 4 processor

I’d recommend that you go for the complete CS2 download listed at the start as it contains all the individual software programs. If you manage to get a copy and install it, please let me and others know what operating system you’re running it on by dropping a quick comment below.


Format external drive FAT32 using Windows 7, XP or Vista

Sounds simple right, format an external hard drive using FAT32? Well yes if the drive is a smaller Pen Drive, but as we get towards the larger drives of 32GB or more, then Windows 7, Vista and XP all refuse to touch it unless it’s formatted NTFS.  There are plenty of good reasons why we’d want FAT32 and one of them is probably why you’re reading this.  Projects suitable for this method include sharing a large drive with a Mac, creating a compatible drive for some TVs to read and record to and making a multi-boot external diagnostics disk.

Here’s a screenshot of the standard format tool in Windows 7:

Format large drive FAT32


The only other choice offered is exFAT which is not the same. I have noticed that other websites will offer different complex solutions and link to deprecated or paid tools, but by far and away the easiest and simplest way is to use a graphical tool called FAT32 format. You can download it here. It’s free , small and simple.

Running the tool gives this box:

Format external hard drive FAT32


Here you can see I’m running it on a 40GB external drive. Make sure you select the correct drive to format! If in doubt, go to My Computer or Windows Explorer to verify you have selected the correct one.

If you are formatting the drive, it’s always best to deselect (uncheck) “Quick format”. It will take longer but the result will be better. Just bear in mind that FAT32 does not support individual files above 4GB but this should not be a problem for most people unless trying to copy larger BluRay DVD images etc.

Hope this works for you and your project, please let me know below!

Disable Google personalized search

It’s difficult to get an accurate set of search results these days from Google as they unfortunately personalize far too much, even if you explicitly tell them not to. Now they have integrated Google Plus into the search results, it’s even more difficult.

Google remove personalization

“Aha” I hear you shout, “I can turn that personalization off by clicking on the settings gear at the top right of the Google page, then clicking ‘Search Settings’ can’t I?”. Well, no you can’t, this just makes “Hide personal results” the default. Worryingly, this choice is not saved with your Google profile and it’s forgotten on browser restart.

So how does someone easily make a fresh, unbiased Google search these days? Well, I would recommend you install Yoast’s excellent free plugin for Firefox and Internet Explorer here:

For me, I build websites primarily for US and UK, so I selected “Install for” and “Install for”.  Set it as your default and use it for your searches as normal.  It removes personal messages like ‘You visited this site 4 times’ which demonstrate that Google tracks you and weights your search preferences accordingly.

For tracking the actual ranking of websites rather than biased ones, it is an invaluable free tool.

Backup website databases with a free automated tool

Backup SQL for freeBackup your web site! If you are using a database driven website such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc you probably know how to FTP files but when it comes to the database many people are baffled.  FTP does not grab the database files (unless Access format) and this is where your backup regime may fail.

Don’t presume that your hosting company will do it all for you. Hard disk drives are mechanical, breakdowns are unavoidable.  And even those who use Raid arrays can end up losing your data.  So who is responsible?  Does it really matter?  That hard work you put in creating the database could take weeks, months or years to recreate.

The answer?  HeidiSQL is a completely free tool which you can download from

Using this tool, you can backup MySQL databases with ease.  It can also export your MySQL database as a text file onto your PC which is very useful.  You can import or restore any databases provided you have the necessary passwords.

Don’t delay, do it now before you forget!

Free Kindle books download on Amazon

This is a LIVE feed of the top 10 free kindle books that you can download on Amazon. Bookmark this page and check back for free Kindle downloads daily!

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Please feel free to comment if you get a good free ebook and drop the Amazon link to it. Authors, if you have any books you are promoting for free, drop us a link below too!