Helping computers with people problems since 1996
Compute This Online
Dear Compute This reader,                                            10/31/09  

Happy Halloween everyone and welcome to the eighth edition of this newsletter - it's a companion edition to my popular Compute This... newspaper column in the Hometown News and I truly hope that you find it helpful.
Happy Halloween!

Since this is the weekend that we roll the clocks
back I thought it would be appropriate to include the Daylight Savings Time article that just ran in the 10/30 edition of The Hometown News. This is a great time of year to perform some basic maintenance on your machines and tying it in with changing the clocks makes it easy to remember.

The new Blastoff Network is finally off the ground and open to the general public. I've been putting it through it's paces for the last few weeks and so far so good! I just hope the site can handle the load especially now that Pizza Hut is advertising it.

In this issue I also included a recent article on I've found the site massively useful and thought I'd share it here along with a list of some of my favorite websites.

If you have a free site that you enjoy, send me the link and I'll check it out. I'm always on the lookout for useful stuff that the web has to offer.

I welcome any comments and again, Happy Halloween! I do hope you enjoy.


Sean McCarthy

In This Issue
Get ready to Blastoff!...
Say hello to Mint for organized finances...
10 Favorite Free Websites...
Featured Article - As daylight-saving time ends, take a few steps...
Get ready to Blastoff!
Get ready to Blastoff!Anyone can set up their web browser to start at whatever page they choose. Whether you are using Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome the process is very similar - navigate to the page you would like to see every time you launch your web browser, click the Tools Pull Down menu, click Options and then click the "Use Current" button to set the page you are looking at as your home page.

Then, every time you launch your web browser, it launches and displays your favorite web page as your start (or home) page.

But how does one decide what page to set up as their start page?

One option is to use the page that came loaded with the machine when you bought it but that isn't very original. Plus, that option is frequently loaded with ads and offers designed to sell you more stuff to go along with your new computer.

Another option is to use the Portal Page provided by your internet provider. The issue with that solution is sometimes the portal pages (take the newly merged page for instance) can get so overwhelmed with the sheer volume of viewers that the page takes forever to load. Plus (even though the page is "customizable") the ISP portal page doesn't always give you what you want and frankly it can be hard to tell one portal page from another.

Enter the "Blastoff" network.

Every now and again a new web system comes along and changes the way we do things. We saw it with AOL first (AOL is responsible for single handedly introducing more people to the internet then every other internet marketing method combined (remember all those disks that used to come in the mail?)) and then, over time, with sites like MySpace, Face Book and others. Hell, even Google is so everyday that it has actually become a verb - that's a part of speech! How many times over the last year have we heard of someone "Googling" something.

Anyway, the newest thing to hit the internet is a system called the "Blastoff Network" and what a fine start page the Blastoff page makes!

So, what is it?...

Continue reading >>>>
Say hello to Mint for organized finances!!
Personal computers have always been good for keeping track of finances. There are plenty of programs, such as Quicken, Microsoft Money, Quickbooks and Turbo Tax out there to help with the task, and most online banking systems do a pretty good job, too.

With all the different programs out there, it can be confusing just deciding where to start and then (after shelling out hard-earned cash for the right software) setting up your program can be a challenging.

There has got to be a better way and I think I may have found it.

Fire up your Web browser, head over to and take a look around. This free service is one of those rare sites that really delivers quality content without the spyware, annoying ads, viruses and other "gotchas" that often plague other free sites. After spending a week or so checking it out I have to admit I'm impressed.

So, what is it? is a personal finance site that gathers all your financial information into one place so you can see exactly where all of your money is coming from and where it's going.

The operative phrase here is that "it gathers" the data. It works by itself immediately after signing up, and when you are done, all of your accounts are summarized and displayed in one place. No more logging into multiple sites to see where you stand.

Let me run through it real quick....

Continue reading >>>>
10 Favorite Free Websites
  1. Top 10 Websites!









Thank you for reading. I hate spam as much as anyone so please, if you don't want to receive my newsletters, use the "SafeUnsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email and you will be removed from my list.

I also appreciate your feedback. Feel free to respond to this message with any comments you may have and I promise to reply to you as soon as possible.

If you would like help planning and implementing your own newsletter, give me a call. As a full service computer consultant, setting up and managing an effective email newsletter is just one of the services that I offer.

An lastly, if you find my information helpful and you overhear someone complaining about their computer, please mention my name or forward this newsletter to them by clicking here. Most of my business is referred to me by word of mouth so without you I would not be in business. Thank you for your support.
 Sean McCarthy

Sean McCarthy
"The Mouse Whisperer"
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Featured Article
Daylight Savings Time!
As daylight-saving time ends, take a few steps

Well, it's that time of the year again. It's the end of daylight-saving time. This year it began on Sunday, March 8, at 2 a.m. and ends on Sunday, Nov. 1, at 2 a.m.

We adjust the clocks ahead one hour in March and move them back one hour in November according to the instructions "spring forward, fall back."

But it's not all about getting an extra hour of sleep in the morning, there's more to it than that.

Some time ago, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission decided that the day everyone changes their clocks forward (or backwards) would also be a great time for everyone to check the batteries in their smoke detectors.

Apparently, there were a lot of deaths that could have been avoided had the smoke detectors been working, so they started using the clock change days as a reminder to everyone to check the batteries. And it turns out that the plan apparently saves lives. I don't know what the statistics are, but I'm sure a patient Google search will tell you just how effective the whole thing is. But what it won't tell you is what all that has to do with computers.

Leave that to me...

Continue reading >>>>
Compute This... 

The Home Town News

Get ready to Blastoff!

I prefer Windows XP

or Vista if that's what you got...

Or, for the brave, how about Windows 7?

and AVG Free for your antivirus

$52 Fall Tune Up Special!
Halloween Log In Special!

Don't throw that old computer away, for just $52, I can connect to your computer, check it out, tune it up and get the machine running as fast (or faster!) than when it was new!*

To get started, first go to
and then call:
888-752-9049  or  772-408-0680

*if I can't fix it I will at least be able to tell you what is wrong with it and recommend corrective actions.
Offer Expires: 11/10/09. Must mention coupon for discount.