How to Resolve “Phone storage space is getting low” on Android Phones

By Dave Peiser

 Jeepers Creepers, this has been a nagging problem for a while on myAndroid-incredible2 Android phone. The warning "Phone storage space is getting low" keeps coming up. I clear the cache from applications, delete applications, etc., etc., but it makes no difference. But I finally found a solution! And it doesn't include any steps that might void your warranty.

The warning has to do with the space available in the main storage on your phone, and with the standard phone setup there is no way to move things to the SD Card. But there are steps you can take to tell the phone that all new apps should always download to your SD card instead of the main memory, and also allow you to move apps that are in the main phone memory to the SD card. By following these steps, you can clear enough space to get rid of the nagging warning.

I found the instructions for this here: Resolve Phone Storage Space is Getting Low on Android Phones.

Ah, relief!

Why I Love for File Syncing, File Sharing and Backup

By Dave Peiser

A couple months ago I signed up for a service recommended by my Canadian cousin Evan calledDropbox_logo_home   DropBox. All I knew from the initial hype was that I would be getting 2 gigabytes of free online space to store some of my stuff, and that it had a syncing capability between my PC and their online storage. Since then, I've been using it all the time and I love it, and here's why:

1. I can sync files on multiple computers

I have three PCs I work on: My desktop in my home office, a laptop I take along when I have serious work to do while out and about, and a small netbook for long trips and for onsite visits with my IT consulting customers. There are certain files I like to have with me no matter where I go. One is my password list that's in an excel spreadsheet, and there are plenty of others. Because I have Dropbox installed on all three computers, these files are now exactly the same, no matter which computer I am working on.

There's no more wondering about which version I edited most recently. If I start working on a proposal on one computer, I can continue working on it on a different computer. If I decide to delete a file, it's deleted on all three. Everything is synced automatically. Or automagically, whichever term seems most appropriate. And I don't have to remember to bring my thumb drive with me, which is typically out-of-date anyway.

2. I can share folders with mutiple work partners and with multiple projects

I currently have two businesses I'm involved with as well as a non-profit. Plus I have an on-going business planning conversation going with my brother-in-law, Franck.

I have set up a separate folder in Dropbox for each of these projects, and have shared the folders via Dropbox with only the people who I want to have access to the files in the folder. So with Peiser Solutions, my IT business, my assistant has access to the Peiser folder. With, my Green eCommerce business, there are two people doing data entry and research for me who have access to that folder. And then there is a separate folder that I share with my brother-in-law. I can see and edit any of the items in my folders, but only the people I have shared specific folders with can see them. The other person's view, for example my assistant's, has a Peiser folder plus whatever folders she has created. She doesn't see any of my other folders.

3. It's fast and easy to use

The files you work with are on the PC you are working on. So, this is not like a VPN connection, where you are copying files across the internet every time you use them, and it's not like a strictly cloud-based storage system where you have to find files online and wait for them to open. It's all on the PC you are working on, and whenever you close a file it is synced with the online site.

4. It's automatically backed up, and deleted files are recoverable, so I feel safe sharing important files with contractors.

One of my fears when considering whether to share file folders was a concern that someone might delete an important file. This fear went away though, when I learned about how Dropbox saves files. They actually save a copy of every version of every file you have stored for 30 days (or you can have longer storage for a fee). So, not only can you recover deleted files, but if a file is edited and you want to go back to a previous version, it's as simple as right-clicking on the file.

5. You get a decent amount of space for free

Free accounts from Dropbox include 2 gigabytes (GB) of space. You can also earn additional free space, by referring the service to new customers (like I’m doing now 🙂 ) or by sharing folders with new users. Or, if you know you will be needing more space, yoiu can simply sign up for one of their paid plans. You can get 50GB of space for $9.99/month or $99.00/year, or 100GB for $19.99/month or $199.00/year. 

6. I can look at all my Dropfox files on my phone!

I just downloaded the Dropbox Android App to my phone, so I now have access to all my Dropbox files. Awesome!!

7. You can use DropBox as your offsite backup solution

If you want some quick peace-of-mind regarding offsite backup, you can simply sign up with Dropbox, put the files you need to back up into the Dropbox folder on your computer, and they will be automatically copied to the online site. And you get 30 days of revision storage and deleted file recovery.

8. There's an easy-to-use photo viewer

I put this last because it's not a big deal for me, but if you plan to store or back up photos in Dropbox, when you put them in the "Photos" folder they automatically open in a nice Photo Viewer. This is a great way to share folders with friends and family across the country.


Have fun!


Convert PowerPoint to Video for Free

By Dave Peiser

I've been searching for an easy, good quality, inexpensive way to convert PowerPoint presentations to video, and I finally found one at

Like many "to-do's", until something becomes urgent,they don't get done, and that was the case with a PowerPoint presentation we had been using for several months with a non-profit I serve on the board for called Class-ACT. We needed to more easlily distribute the presentation, and we really needed it to be posted on our website. So I did a new search and found Authorstream!

The service is totally free if you just want to upload to the the web, and you don't mind leaving it on their website. They will give you a link to the video that you can use in emails, on blogs, etc. Or you can embed it as I have below. If you want to download the video, you pay just $2; or, you can sign up for a subscription if you'll be doing this a lot.

My only complications had to do with an audio track that is part of the presentation. There might be a better way to do this, but I found that I had to convert the audio from mp3 to a wav file, and then as the last thing before saving, embed it in the presentation. Also, I had to save it as a .ppt because the .pptx format deals with audio differently. I don't do this stuff very often, and this worked. Also, the timing of the audio with the slides changed a bit when the final video file was created.

The embedded video is below, or you can see it on the About Class-ACT page.

Network Places in Windows 7

By Dave Peiser

It seems that the big brains at Microsoft decided to change the way the "Network Places" function works in Windows 7. With WIndows XP, once you had a list of places you had visited, the list stayed in the Network Places list. Windows 7 dynamically creates this list based on what it sees is available on the network.

While one might think this is a good thing (only showing what it truly available on the network), it doesn't always work. In particular, if you have something funky going on and restart your network router, systems that were previously unavailable might become available, but they don't show up in the list. There's also no way to look at all systems in a workgroup.

So how to deal with this?

It is possible to create shortcuts to network locations that will stay available, just like they did in Windows XP. The following instructions will show you how to create a shortcut on your desktop that opens up this list. It is important that the items on this list are reachable on the network when you do this (for example, you can ping them or manually open a folder up with a run command). If you're not sure if the systems are available, just follow these instructions and if the instructions work, you should be fine!

Step 1.

Right-click on a blank area on your desktop. Select New / Shortcut

In the box, put:  explorer.exe shell:NetHood

Click Next

Change the name from explorer.exe to Network Places

Click Finish

Step 2.

Double-Click on this new shortcut. A blank window will open up

In the empty white area, right-click. Select New / Shortcut

For location, you will type the name of the computer you want to connect to, with \\ before the name. So if the computer you want to connect to is "JOESPC" then type \\JOESPC One thing to note here – sometimes systems have a long descriptive name, such as "Joe's Dell PC in the back bedroom". The long name will not work – you need to use the shorter windows name.

Click Next

Click Finish

If you have more locations you need access to, just repeat step 2. This list will now also appear if you go to "Computer" under a section labeled "Network Locations"

I want to give some credit for some of this post to the info I found in this thread: 

Please let me know if this works for you, or doesn't work for you!

How to get Peer-to-Peer File Sharing to Work with Windows 7

By Dave Peiser

While the advanced security capabilities of Windows 7 are great for keeping bad guys from seeing your data, there are many home and office situations where you really don't care about this threat, and just want a simple solution for sharing files and folders. Also, if you are adding a Windows 7 PC that shares folders, but your other systems are Macs or different versions of Windows, the advanced security can get in the way. Here is what you need to do if you are not concerned with advanced security, and just want to give access to certain folders to everyone on your network :

First, turn off the advanced security by doing this:

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Under the heading "Network and Internet" Click on "Choose Home Group and Sharing Options"
  3. Click on "Change advanced sharing settings…"
  4. There are six items where settings can be changed. Make sure the following are selected:
  • Turn on network discovery
  • Turn on file and printer sharing
  • Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can read and write files in the Public folders
  • Enable file sharing for devices that use 40- or 56-bit encryption
  • Turn off password protected sharing
  • Allow Windows to manage homegroup connections (recommended)
  1. Click "Save changes"
  2. Close any open windows

Share a folder so Everyone can see it

  1. Go to "Computer" and navigate to the folder listing where the folder you want to share is listed.
  2. Right-click on the folder, then left click on "Share with … Specific People"
  3. Here you will see one or two usernames listed, but what you want is the "Everyone" username to be added. In the empty box above the username list, click on the arrow (down-facing carrot) at the right side of the empty box, and this will display a drop-down list with several usernames. Select the one called "Everyone"
  4. Click "Add"
  5. If you would like users on the network to be able to edit the files in your shared folder, click the word "Read" and change it to "Read/Write"
  6. Click "Share"  (Depending on how many files and subfolders you have, this step may take a little while to complete)
  7. Click "Done"

Now go to one of your other computers. If it's running Windows XP, go to "My Network Places", and your shared folder should be listed and available.

How to archive all messages sent and received in Microsoft Exchange 2000 and 2003 and Small Business Server 2000 and 2003

By Dave Peiser
Have you ever wanted to be able to store everything sent to or received by an Exchange server without spending a bundle on archiving software? You can accomplish this easily by using the Message Archive feature in Exchange 2000 and 2003. Message archiving retains a copy of all messages sent or received by a mailbox store, placing the copies in a designated mailbox or public folder.
Here are instructions for setting up a mailbox to receive all incoming and outgoing emails:

1. Create a new exchange account. Name it “Email Archive” or something similar

2. In Exchange System Manager, right-click on the mailbox store where the accounts are located that you want to archive. Select Properties, and then check the box that says “Archive all messages sent or received by mailboxes on this store”. Click on the “Browse” button and select the “Email Archive” account. That’s it!
Something to note about this – Since you are now sending all email to one mailbox, this account can become quite large quickly. Make sure the drive where you are storing the Exchange database is large enough to handle this and that you have increased the size of the exchange database. Here are instructions for increasing the size of the exchange database past the 18 GB limit:
If you decide you need a more robust solution for email archiving, take a look at the following list of potential products:

I Finally Found a Bluetooth Headset for my BlackBerry that Works in my Noisy Car – The Plantronics Voyager Pro

By Dave Peiser

Up until now, I have been really unhappy with all the headsets I’ve tried using with my BlackBerry Storm. They typically work fine when I’m sitting at my desk at the office, but once I start moving around and particularly in the car with the A/C or heater blowing, the person on the other side of the conversation has had a hard time following everything I am saying.

And it’s not that I’ve been cheap. The first Bluetooth headset I tried was the Aliph “Jawbone” which was a great example of one that worked under ideal circumstances but not in my car. The Jawbone has a small plastic nub that needs to touch your cheek in order for the noise cancellation to work. I couldn’t get that nub to constantly be in contact with my cheek, so it typically had no functioning noise cancellation. So it wasn’t any better than the cheapos.

I tried wired headsets too, but microphone placement seemed to be sub-optimal, especially with background noises in my car.

The device that has finally been working for me is the Plantronics Voyager PRO Bluetooth Voyagerpro Headset. This headset has two noise-canceling mics on a boom that sticks out from the earpiece toward your mouth. Their marketing material says they have “Three layers of WindSmart technology–stainless steel mic screens, acoustic fabrics, and an electronic filter–block intrusive wind noise”. That's lots of mumbo jumbo, but the bottom line is It works!! I have used this headset with my air conditioner blowing big-time on a hot day in Calfornia and the person I was talking to could hear me and I could hear them. Amazing!!

The Voyager Pro was a cnet Editor’s Choice in April of 2009 (

It also has an available car charger, which works perfectly for me, because I only use the thing in the car. I don’t need to look like a dork walking around talking to myself, right? As of 7/2009 you can get a free car charger for registering the device on the Plantronics website (

The typical price for the Voyager Pro is $99.99 and you can buy it at most places that sell these type devices including: Plantronics Voyager PRO Bluetooth Headset

See a promotional video about the Voyager Pro on YouTube

Start talking! And driving! At the same time! Don't miss your exit though!

Serene Computer Haiku

by Dave Peiser

Just when you thought you were going to throw your computer out the window, along come these calming words, that allow you to take several deep breaths, relax, release the stress, and move on to a better place.

"The Web site you seek cannot be located, but countless more exist."


"Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot. Order shall return."


 "Program aborting: Close all that you have worked on. You ask far too much."


 "Windows NT crashed. I am the Blue Screen of Death. No one hears your screams."


 "Yesterday it worked. Today it is not working. Windows is like that."


"Your file was so big. It might be very useful. But now it is gone."


"Stay the patient course. Of little worth is your ire. The network is down."


"A crash reduces your expensive computer to a simple stone."


"Three things are certain: death, taxes, and lost data. Guess which has occurred."


"You step in the stream, but the water has moved on. This page is not here."


"Out of memory. We wish to hold the whole sky, but we never will."


"Having been erased, the document you’re seeking must now be retyped."


"Serious error. All shortcuts have disappeared. Screen. Mind. Both are blank."


I am not sure of the source of these, but I hope they have improved your day. 🙂

Using Remote Desktop Connection with a Mac

By Dave Peiser

One of my clients recently changed all of their client PCs from Windows to Mac (Leopard, 10.5.3), while keeping their Windows servers (SBS 2003 and Windows 2003 Server). With the change-over, it was necessary to keep some "Windows" functionality while using their Macs. In particular, they are running a terminal server with QuickBooks, Quicken and a database program that still need to be accessed by the client systems.

With a quick Google search, I learned that Microsoft had a free download of the Remote Desktop Connection program, specifically for the Mac world. This was a great relief, so I downloaded the released version of the software (1.0.3).

At first glance, all went well. There was no problem connecting/disconnecting with the server, and configuration was very similar to the Windows version. However, we had problems printing. One of the great features of Remote Desktop Connection is the ability to bring your printers with the connection, so that even though the server you are connecting into may be hundreds or thousands of miles away, you can easily print on the printer sitting next to you. No dice here. Local printers on the Mac were not showing up when connected to the server.

After a period of frantic web searches and deep soul searching about my commitment to the client that they would be able to do everything they needed to with the Macs, I realized there was a Beta version of the Remote Desktop Connection software on the Microsoft website. There were no comments about what the difference was with this Beta version (Version 2, Beta 3) from the released version, but I thought: I can't lose anything by trying it out. And the bet was spot on. With the Beta version, like magic, printing worked! Life was good again. 🙂

Some Tips for Improving the Speed of Internet Explorer and Eliminating Error Messages

By Dave Peiser

Lately I’ve run into a number of situations where Internet Explorer is very slow or error messages are displayed every time the user exits. Some IT consultants might tell you to use Mozilla Firefox and stop messing around with Microsoft’s browser, but I see that as a last resort. There are a few things worth trying to improve the situation. Here is a list of things I do when troubleshooting slowness and errors:

  1. Run a spyware scan – If you haven’t scanned for spyware lately, it is quite possible that a deviant program has made its way onto your system and is slowing things down. The best program I recommend is Spyware Doctor. Great free programs are available at Search for Lavasoft Ad Aware or Spybot Search + Destroy. One thing to note: there are a lot of programs that claim to clean up spyware but actually are spyware themselves, so don’t automatically trust any vendor pushing anti-spyware software.
  2. If you’ve scanned for Spyware and things are still slow, disable all the Internet Explorer “Add-Ons” and see if this makes a difference. “Add-Ons” are small programs that run every time you use Internet Explorer, and they typically have something to do with bigger programs you’ve loaded on your system like Adobe Acrobat, a search program or antivirus program. You disable them by opening Internet Explorer and clicking on “Tools”. Then select “Manage Add-Ons”. Then “Enable or Disable Add-ons”. One by one, select an Add-On by clicking on it, and then click on Disable. Do this for all the add-ons and click OK. Close Internet Explorer and re-open it and see if this made a difference. If it did, then one-by-one, enable the add-ins until you figure out which one is causing problems. Or, just leave them all disabled, if nothing is missing that you care about.
  3. One culprit of late with Internet Explorer issues has been Adobe Acrobat. I’ve worked on several situations (including my own computer) where Acrobat caused error messages to occur when using Internet Explorer. This especially seemed to be caused when two versions of Acrobat were installed – both the free Acrobat Reader and a version that allows you to create PDFs (Standard or Pro). The solution is to uninstall all versions of Adobe Acrobat, confirm no Acrobat Add-ons are still in Internet Explorer, and then reinstall just one version of Acrobat.
  4. Another culprit is the Google Toolbar. I now have worked on two systems that had significant increases in speed with Internet Explorer after uninstalling the Google Toolbar. One system that was taking 30 seconds to load Internet Explorer was improved to a 1-2 second load. Amazing! Now, I don’t necessarily want to pick on Google. Other toolbars might do the same thing. I just haven’t had the chance to test this with other toolbars.

That’s my list. Please let me know if you have any suggestions to add to the list. (Click “comments” below this posting to make suggestions).