Friday, May 11, 2012

 Craigslist Games:

Titles of the games I have include:

JumpStart Preschool (Windows 95/98/Mac)
JumpStart Kindergarten 2 CD Set  (Windows 95/98/Mac)
JumpStart 2nd Grade (Windows 98/2000/Me/XP/Mac OS 8.6 or later)
JumpStart 3rd Grade (Windows 95) Manual missing
JumpStart 4th Grade 2 CD Set  (Windows 95/98/Mac)
Blue's ABC Time Activities (Windows 95/98/Mac)
LEGO Friends (Windows 95/98)
Finding Nemo (Windows 95/98/2000/Mac OS X 10.2 or higher)
Disney Treasure Island (3 Game Set): Etherium Rescue, Broadside Blast, Treasure Racer (Windows 95/98/Me/XP/Mac OS 9 or
Disney You Can Fly with Tinkerbell (Windows 95/98/Me/XP/Mac OS 9 or higher)
Disney Winnie the Pooh Ready to Read with Pooh (Windows 95/Mac)
Disney Winnie the Pooh Toddler  (Windows 95/Mac)
Disney Preschool (Winnie the Pooh) (Windows 95/Mac)
Disney Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree Animated Storybook (Windows 95/Mac) in printed CD sleeve
Disney Princess Fashion Boutique (Windows 95/98) in printed CD sleeve
Disney 1st Grade (Toy Story) (Windows 95/98/Mac)
I Spy Spooky Mansion (Windows 95/98/Mac)
Hercules (Windows 95)
Casper Brainy Book (Windows 3.1/Mac)
Math Blaster Episode 2 (Windows 3.1) Manual missing
Elmo in Grouchland  (Windows 95/98) Manual missing
Elmo's World  (Windows 95/98)
Crayola Magic 3D Coloring Book (Windows 3.1/95)
Clifford The Big Red Dog Learning Activities (Windows 95/98/Me/XP/Mac OS X)
Thomas and Friends The Great Festival Adventure Interactive CD-ROM (Windows 95/98)
Thomas and Friends Railway Adventures CD-ROM Playset (Comes with plastic toy playset that fits over keyboard, in good condition)
(Windows 95/98/Me) Manual missing
Batman Activity Center (Windows 3.1/95)
Matchbox/Caterpillar Big Dirt Movers (Windows 95/98)
Curious George Preschool Learning Games (Windows 95) Manual Missing
KidPix (Windows 3.1/95/98/Mac)
Fisher Price ABCs and 123s  (Windows 95) Manual Missing
Edmark Bailey's Book House (Windows 3.1/95/Mac) Manual missing
Living Books Arthur's Computer Adventure (Windows 95/98?) (Released 1998) Manual missing
Arthur 1st Grade 2 CD Set (Windows 95/98/2000/XP) Manual missing
Arthur's Mystery Envelope and Arthur Makes the Team Audio CD (Comes with Arthur 1st Grade) Manual missing
D.W. The Picky Eater (Windows 95/98/Mac)
Reader Rabbit Toddler (Windows 3.1/95/98/Mac) Manual Missing
Reader Rabbit I Can Read 1st - 2nd Grade (Windows 95/98/Mac) (Released 2001) Manual Missing

Grown-up games

MYST (Windows 3.1) MYST is a fun fantasy game, like a role playing game, except puzzle- rather than combat-based.
Riven, the Sequel to MYST (2 Sets) (Windows 95)
MYST III, Exile  (2 Sets) (Windows 95/98/Mac OS 8.1 to 9.1)
Beyond Atlantis (Another puzzle based fantasy game)
Chessmaster 6000 (Windows 95/98) Will not run under Windows XP or Vista
Galaxy of Games 350 (Windows 98/Me/XP)  Board, card and arcade games; Manual missing

Friday, September 2, 2011

Where to Find the Best Netflix Instant Streaming Movies and TV Episodes

The Netflix instant streaming movie and TV service is a great value. However, if you've ever tried to find a movie or TV show to watch on Netflix instant streaming, you may find yourself staring at a labyrinth of almost unlimited and extremely confusing choices. Worse, Netflix' Best Guess rating and recommendation system is practically useless for most subscribers. To find the best and most popular movies and TV episodes on Netflix, you must consult a variety of sources. Thankfully, this information is available in abundance on several different websites, including

Netflix Top 100

Located on the Netflix website the Netflix Top 100 gives a list of the top 100 movies and TV shows, both on DVD and instant streaming. On any given day you can count on finding about six or seven instant streaming titles here. Just click on the Browse DVDs link to see the Netflix Top 100 link. You can add the instant streaming movies or TV shows by mousing over the blue Play button, then selecting Add to Instant.

Netflix Critics' Picks

This gem is also located within the Browse DVDs tab on the Netflix website. Netflix Critics' Picks lists both the best classic and new movies and TV shows that have been highly rated by critics. You can also browse critics' picks by genre on the right side of the page. Generally, there's one or two instant streaming selections in each category.

Starz Play

Starz Play is an online version of the Starz channel, which is featured in cable and satellite television subscriptions. This service shows both newer blockbuster movies and classics, as well as television series. To see the best movies and TV episodes on Starz play, click the Watch Instantly tab, then click Starz Play in the menu. Then click Sortable List and select the Rating link to sort the list by highest to lowest rating. features an updated list of movies and TV shows that will soon be coming to Netflix instant streaming. To make the most of the information on this website, you should have both a DVD and instant streaming account with Netflix. You can then add the movies to your DVD queue to watch them, then add them to your instant queue when the come on streaming. To see the best movies coming soon to Netflix, click the Upcoming Best link at the top of the page. This website also features the best new and soon to expire instant streaming movies and TV shows on Netflix, along with the best and worst movies and TV episodes available to stream right now.

The website provides the most popular movies and TV shows over the last 24 hours. Just mouse over the links on the website to see a complete description of the movie or TV show. Searching for movies and TV shows on is a great way to get around Netflix' annoying Best Guess rating system, since it gives the real Netflix rating of each show without skewing it based on the movies and TV episodes you've rated. also tells which movies and TV series have been highly rated by critics, and provides critics' reviews for certain movies and TV shows as well.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Using System Restore in Windows XP

If you experience problems with your Windows XP computer after updating drivers or installing software, or after making a change to your computer's settings, System Restore can save the day. This feature quickly and easily restores your computer to a previous state when you know it was working properly, and it does so without altering your personal files in any way. For this reason, System Restore is a great alternative to formatting your hard drive and reinstalling your operating system if you can't get Windows XP to boot properly, since it prevents your files from being lost.

Create a System Restore Point

To restore your computer to a previous state in Windows XP, you must have System Restore points stored on your computer. System Restore points are created regularly at system checkpoints and whenever you install new software or drivers on your computer. However, you can also create them manually, if you prefer. In fact, it's very important to create a manual restore point prior to making important changes to your computer, such as making manual edits to the system registry. To do this, click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and System Restore. When System Restore starts, click Create a restore point and click Next. Type a name for your restore point in the field marked Restore Point Description, then click Create and Close.

Restore Your Computer to an Earlier State

Restoring your Windows XP computer to a previous state is similar to creating a new restore point. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and then System Restore. Click Restore my computer to an earlier time. Select a date on the calendar when you know the computer was working properly. If necessary, press the back arrow button to access a date in a previous month. Click Next. Save your work, close all open programs and click Next again to restart your computer.

Important System Restore Tips for Windows XP

If Windows XP won't save any System Restore points, you won't be able to restore your computer to an earlier time. It may become necessary to turn System Restore off, then back on again, to restore the computer's ability to save System Restore points. Keep in mind that turning System Restore off will delete all existing System Restore points from your computer, so don't use this technique if your computer is able to save Restore points.

To turn off System Restore in Windows XP, click Start, right click My Computer, then click Properties to open System Properties. Click the System Restore tab. Click the check box beside Turn off System Restore, then click OK. Click Yes to confirm your selection.

To turn System Restore back on again, open System Properties again, then click the System Restore tab. Clear the check box beside Turn off System Restore, then click OK.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How to Make Windows XP Look Like Windows 7 for Free

Windows XP is a great operating system. It's very stable and light enough on resources to run on older computers. If your computer doesn't have the recommended system specs to install Windows 7 or you don't want to upgrade, you can use these handy free tools to make it look like Windows 7.

Seven Transformation Pack

This useful tool from Windows X Live transforms every aspect of your computer to look like Windows 7. Elements changed include in the Seven Transformation Pack the boot screen, welcome screen, visual styles, dialogue boxes, icons and sounds. The Seven Transformation Pack even includes Windows 7 desktop wallpapers and an advanced feature that emulates Flip 3D. The Seven Transformation Pack can't be easily uninstalled, so create a System Restore Point in Windows XP before you install it. That way, you can easily set your computer back to normal if Seven Transformation Pack doesn't work.

ViStart 7

ViStart by Lee-Soft was originally intended to provide a Windows Vista Start menu for Windows XP. Now a version called ViStart 7 is available to make your XP Start menu look like Windows 7. There are also skins available for ViStart 7 on sites such as ViStart includes a search function to find programs and files on your computer, and includes multi-language support. You can easily disable ViStart 7 by right-clicking it icon in the systray, then clicking Exit.


BootSkin has been discontinued by Stardock Corporation, but is still available from download sites such as CNET's You can use this program to make your Windows XP startup screen look like Windows 7 by downloading bootskins from a site like Click Explore and then BootSkins XP to find compatible Windows 7 bootskins on You can then open the file directly or click File and Import from File to install the skin in Bootskin.


Also from Stardock Corporation, LogonStudio for Windows XP allows you to download or create a logon screen for your computer. Hundreds of logon packages for LogonStudio are available for download on You might have to browse for a while to find logon screens that are specifically designed to look like Windows 7. Then click the Load button in the LogonStudio interface to import the package into the program. If you don't like your logon screen, you can install a new one at any time, or install Windows Default to set the Windows XP logon screen back to normal. Keep in mind that LogonStudio will not give your computer a Windows 7 logon; it only affects the background behind the logon screen.

Google Desktop Sidebar

The Google Desktop Sidebar is a gadget that comes with Google Desktop. The sidebar is similar in many ways to the sidebar in Windows 7. When installing Google Desktop, you must select "Sidebar with Gadgets" to get this feature. Popular gadgets for the Google Desktop Sidebar include a calendar, a clock, a desktop search feature, news and weather gadgets.

How to Increase Netflix Streaming Speed

Maintaining a high streaming speed is essential to getting high video and audio quality when streaming Netflix movies or TV episodes on your computer. There are many different factors that can affect your overall streaming speed. Surprisingly, not all of them are on your computer. If you have any other software, computers or devices competing for your bandwidth, it can affect your Netflix streaming speed, causing pixelation and interruptions.

Netflix System Requirements

To play Netflix instant movies and TV shows on your computer, you must have an overall broadband Internet connection of at least 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps) for standard definition and 3 Mbps for high definition. If you're using a Windows computer, you must have at least Windows XP SP2, Vista or 7, Internet Explorer 6.0, Firefox 3 or Chrome 7, a 1.2 gigahertz (GHz) processor and 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM. If you're on a Mac, your computer must be Intel-based and have OS 10.4.11 or higher installed. You must also have Safari 3 or Firefox 3 or later and 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM.

If your computer or Internet connection don't meet these minimum system requirements, then you will not be able to stream Netflix instant movies and TV episodes at an acceptable level of quality and without interruption.

Run a Speed Test

What your Internet service provider says your download speed is and what it actually is are two different things. In order to find the actual speed at which you're downloading Netflix instant streaming movies and TV, you must test your Internet connection. You can do this quickly and easily online.

One of the best sites to test your Internet speed is When you click Begin Test Recommended Server, automatically chooses a server near you. You can choose Begin Test Your Preferred Server if you have an account with and are logged in. You can also select a server by clicking on the white dots on the map. This test provides both your download speed and upload speed. It's normal for the upload speed to be significantly slower than the download speed.

Another great Internet speed test is the CNET Bandwidth Meter. You just select your location, then the speed test starts automatically. This site measures your download speed in kilobits per second (Kbps), so you must divide by 1000 to get your speed in Mbps. CNET's website provides only your download speed in its test results.

You must have Adobe Flash Player installed to run these online speed tests. You can run multiple tests on multiple sites to get an average download speed.

Shut Down Competing Software and Devices

If you're having trouble with streaming Netflix movies and TV, and your computer meets their system requirements, you may have other software or devices competing for the same bandwidth resources. You can find out which programs are running on a Windows computer by pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE simultaneously to pull up Task Manager. (On a Mac, click Applications, Utilities and then Activity Monitor.)

Review the processes listed to determine which ones are using the most bandwidth. Neither Task Manager nor Activity Monitor will tell how much each process is using directly; however, both of these utilities have a Network tab that will tell you how much of your network resources are being used at any given time. Take care when ending processes manually. Ending certain essential processes while they're running can crash your computer. Types of programs that tend to use up bandwidth include online backup, BitTorrent, download managers and automatic update software.

Also check any other computers on your network to see if they're running any bandwidth-intensive programs. Turn off these programs or for even better results, shut down the other computers completely.

Other devices on your network may be using your available bandwidth. These include Internet-connected game consoles, Blu-ray players, HDTVs and digital video players. Turn these off and, if necessary, unplug them. (The Roku digital video player, for example, is an always-on device that must be unplugged to be turned off.)

Resolving IP Address Conflicts

If you have an IP address conflict with another device, your Internet connection can slow down to a crawl. The best way to resolve these is to shut down the competing device. However, if you must leave the other device on, you can solve the problem another way. Open a command window. To do this in Windows XP, click Start, Run, type cmd in the field and press Enter. In Windows Vista and 7, type cmd in the Start Search box, then select cmd.exe from the list of programs. Type ipconfig/release at the command prompt and press Enter. Then type ipconfig/renew and press Enter again. When this step is complete, your computer should have a new IP address, which hopefully will not conflict with other devices.

Test Your Download Speed Again

Running another download speed test will tell you whether your efforts to free up bandwidth were successful. If not, continue troubleshooting your Internet connection until you get an acceptable available download speed (preferably over 1.2 Mbps.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Best Free Anti-Virus Software Programs for Windows in 2011

Everyone needs anti-virus software on their computers. However, there's no need to spend enormous amounts of money on expensive anti-virus software and yearly virus definition subscriptions. There are full-featured anti-virus software programs available that are absolutely free. The right free anti-virus software program for you will depend on what type of computer you have and how you typically use it.


Avast! Free Anti-virus is one of the most popular free anti-virus software programs for Windows. Free for personal use only, Avast! includes anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-rootkit protection. This anti-virus software provides resident protection and lets you run either a quick or full scan of your computer and memory. The latest version of Avast! will even allow you to schedule your virus scan to run automatically. Automatic updates happen in the background without interrupting your use of the computer. The software includes Avast! WebRep, an application that reports on the reputation of websites while you're surfing the Web. If you don't want to use the application, you can easily uninstall it later. Avast! must be registered online every year to remain fully functional. Avast! can be installed under Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later, Windows Vista and Windows 7.


AVG Free Anti-virus provides basic protection for your computer. It includes full resident anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, a full virus scanner and automatic updates. It also includes LinkScanner, a feature that checks website links for safety before you click on them. AVG employs smart scanning, which performs a single scan of files marked as safe, the scans them again only if they've changed. AVG's Social Networking Protection helps you stay safe on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and its Protective Cloud Technology to find emerging and unknown malware. The downside is that AVG tends to be a memory hog. If your system has less than 1 GB of memory, you might want to consider a different anti-virus program. AVG will install under Windows XP, Vista or 7.


One of the best features of Comodo anti-virus is that it's free for both personal and commercial use. Comodo is also a very light-weight program with low system requirements; you only need 128 MB of RAM and 350 MB of free hard drive space to install it. This anti-virus software includes anti-virus and spyware protection, full scanning features, scan scheduling, automatic updates, Auto Sandbox Technology which isolates untrusted programs and prevention-based protection. Comodo can be a bit overzealous, however, continually stopping programs you want to run. Thankfully, the program is completely customizable, so if you can adjust it to your needs. Comodo installs under Windows XP SP2 or later, Vista or 7.

Avira Antivir

Free for personal use only, Avira Antivir is another anti-virus program that's easy on system resources, especially under Windows XP. It includes complete resident anti-virus, worm, Trojan, spyware and rootkit protection, customizable scanning and automatic updates. Avira has the ability to quarantine potential threats, then restore the files later if they turn out not to be harmful. Avira installs under Windows XP 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows Vista 32-bit or 64-bit and Windows 7.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to Connect a Computer to an HDTV

Connecting your computer to your HDTV is a great way to watch streaming movies and TV shows from the Internet. The trouble is that making the connection can get a bit complicated. This guide helps to demystify the process of connecting your computer to your HDTV. There's a good chance you already have everything you need to get started.

What You Will Need

To connect your computer to an HDTV, you'll need a desktop or laptop computer with video output ports and an HDTV with corresponding input ports. While this sounds fairly simple, it's a taller order than it seems. You can pay a higher price for a TV-ready computer with the right output ports (such as HDMI) or a computer-ready HDTV with the right input ports (such as S-Video, VGA or DVI.) However, if you already have a computer and HDTV that don't want to play nice, you can purchase a TV tuner or PC to TV converter box for your computer.

A computer TV tuner can attach to your computer either internally in a spare PCI slot or externally by USB. A PC to TV converter is typically an external device. The main difference between a TV tuner and a PC to TV converter box is that the TV tuner has its own TV receiver, which you can use with an antenna or with your cable receiver box. The PC to TV converter only converts PC signals to a format the TV can understand.

Both of these devices are fairly simple to install. However, if you feel intimidated by the prospect of installing a PCI card inside your computer, consult a professional or stick with the external device.

Next, you will need the right cable. First, inspect both your computer and HDTV to find out which video and audio input and output ports they have. When in doubt, consult the documentation that came with the device. There are at least 6 different connection formats for connecting your computer to your HDTV. They include composite, component, HDMI, VGA, DVI and S-Video. Use the chart below to identify the cables for these connection types. Also make sure you have separate audio cables if you will be using VGA, DVI, S-Video, or composite or component cables without bundled audio cables.

High Definition (HD) Connections

If you're looking to get a high definition signal to your HDTV, then your connection choices are HDMI, DVI and component. HDMI will give you the best overall picture and sound quality by far, up to full 1080p high definition. a DVI high definition cable can also send 1080p signals to your HDTV, but requires a separate audio cable to send the sound signals. Component A/V cables have three separate video cables, each one carrying a separate video signal, and two audio cables. While an component cable is an analog cable, it can approach the quality of a digital high definition signal. To use one of these connections, your computer must have an HDMI, DVI or component output port and your HDTV must have a corresponding input port.

Standard Definition Connections

You can use a standard definition connection option if your computer doesn't have an HD output port or if you're unable to stream video in HD. The most common connections include composite (also called A/V or RCA), S-Video and VGA. You'll probably only have a composite output port on your computer if you have a TV tuner or converter installed. However, almost all computers, including most laptops, have a VGA out port. VGA is just the basic RGB connection typically used to connect a computer to a monitor. Some HDTVs have a VGA input port, but the feature isn't extremely common. S-Video (short for Super-Video) is another video-only connection typically used with computers. Like DVI, a VGA or S-Video connection requires a separate audio cable to send sound signals to an HDTV.

Making the Connection

Keep in mind that most HDTVs have a limited number of compatible computer resolution settings, which is a concern if you're using VGA, DVI or S-Video. If you're using one of these connections, check your HDTV's user manual to find out which resolution settings it supports. Then set the computer to an appropriate resolution setting prior to connecting it to the HDTV.

Turn off both your HDTV and your computer. Attach the correct cable, then turn both the HDTV and the computer on. If you're using a laptop computer or using your HDTV in addition to a computer monitor, you must set up your HDTV as a second monitor. Otherwise, you're probably home free. Check your user manuals or contact the manufacturer of your computer, graphics card or HDTV if you experience problems.