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Repairing a PC can sometimes be expensive. That is why we offer free basic in-shop diagnostics. Give one of our professional and experienced technicians a call at (602) 795-1111, and let's see what we can do for you.

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Optimize your website for free with the Search Engine Optimization Toolkit from Microsoft

Updated November 23, 2020

If you have been following our blog, I have written about creating websites for free with the Microsoft Web Platform. And with creating a website, you need to think about search engine optimization (SEO). One of my favorite free tools for this is the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Toolkit from Microsoft.

Violation summary inside of the SEO Toolkit
Violation summary inside of the SEO Toolkit

With the SEO Toolkit, you can analyze your website for search engine friendly content. It can check links site-wide, with or without 'noindex' and 'nofollow' tags. It can check page titles, page descriptions, metatags, images, etc. And it breaks down the site analysis report into four (4) categories: violations, content, performance, and links. It's a full-blown website crawler!

Content summary inside of the SEO Toolkit
Content summary inside of the SEO Toolkit

The Search Engine Optimization Toolkit is an add-in for Internet Information Services (IIS). The IIS is a website server, and the SEO Toolkit is a website crawler (it only crawls websites hosted on the IIS). If you have installed the Microsoft Web Platform, you have IIS installed. It is also a feature built into Windows but not added by default. Here's a quote from the IIS site:

The IIS Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Toolkit helps Web developers, hosting providers, and Web server administrators to improve their Web site’s relevance in search results by recommending how to make the site content more search engine friendly. The IIS SEO Toolkit includes the Site Analysis module, the Robots Exclusion module, and the Sitemaps and Site Indexes module, which lets you perform detailed analysis and offer recommendations and editing tools for managing your Robots and Sitemaps files.

For more information on the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Toolkit, follow the links below.

Search Engine Optimization Toolkit

Getting Started with the SEO Toolkit

Troubleshoot your computer and more for free with Sysinternals Suite from Microsoft

Have you ever wanted to see what programs start up when your computer boots? Or maybe defrag your pagefile? Or how about finding out what files, registry keys, etc., are currently open? You can do all this and more for free with Sysinternals Suite by Mark Russinovicha and from Microsoft.

The Autoruns program from the Sysinternals Suite
The Autoruns program from the Sysinternals Suite

Sysinternals Suite is a collection of handy utilities for Windows. I have been using them since Windows 95. From an everyday user to a computer repair technician, there is something here for you. There are currently over seventy utilities included in the Sysinternals Suite.

The Process Explorer program from the Sysinternals Suite
The Process Explorer program from the Sysinternals Suite

For the everyday user, there is Autoruns, Desktops, and PageDefrag. With Autoruns, you can see what programs are configured to start when your system boots automatically. Desktops allow you to create up to four virtual desktops and switch in between them. And with PageDefrag, you can defragment your pagefile and registry.

The TCPView program from the Sysinternals Suite
The TCPView program from the Sysinternals Suite

For the computer repair technician, there is Process Explorer, Process Monitor, and TCPView. With Process Explorer, you can see what files and folders a program has open. Process Monitor is a real-time monitoring tool that provides detailed information (PID's, path, etc.) for files, registry, and processes. And TCPView gives you a detailed listing of all network endpoints, local and remote, with addresses and port numbers.

For more information on Sysinternals Suite and all of the free utilities included, follow the links below.

Sysinternals Suite

Sysinternals Utilities Index

Streaming music from the cloud for free with Google Music

Updated November 20, 2020

Note: In October 2020, Google shut down the Google Play Music service and recommended users transfer their accounts to YouTube Music. All of the links in this article have been changed to YouTube Music.

Google recently introduced a new music service into its catalog of products called Google Music. With Google Music, you can store all of your music to your account on Google's servers and stream it back to your favorite device. Google Music gives you space for 20,000 songs, which roughly comes out to around 100 gigabytes of storage for free!

My library on the Google Music website
My library on the Google Music website

You can access your music from any browser with an internet connection, or you can use the Google Music Android app. There are two ways of getting songs into Google Music. You can download free music or purchase music from the Android Market. Or you can use the Music Manager program from Google to download / upload music to / from your computer. A few of the cool features are Auto Playlists (any song you have Thumbs up'd), Instant Mixes (a quick mix of 25 songs), and Playlists. And with free / purchased music, you can share a listen with your circles on Google+.

The Google Music Manager interface
The Google Music Manager interface

Music Manager is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. There is one restriction on types of music files; only MP3 format is allowed to be uploaded. And you will need to have the latest version of Flash for the Google Music website. Here's a quote from the website:

Google Music stores all of your music online so that you can save space on your computers and mobile devices and easily access your collection from anywhere you want to listen.

Use Google Music to browse and search your library, easily create playlists, rate your favorite songs, edit song information, and more. Since your music collection is online, you don’t need to worry about syncing these changes across your devices.

Storage

  • Android Market purchases - Free and purchased music is automatically saved to your Google Music library and does not count towards your storage limit.
  • Your personal collection - You can add up to 20,000 songs to Google Music from your PC, Mac, or Linux computer, free of charge. All you need to do is download a simple desktop application called Music Manager to the computer where you keep your music. Music Manager can upload your iTunes and Windows Media Player library, playlists, playcounts, ratings, and more.

For more information on Google Music, follow the links below:

YouTube Music

Run another OS on top of your existing OS for free with Oracle VirtualBox

Have you ever wanted or needed to run a different operating system than what you currently have installed on your computer? Maybe you want to run an old Windows 95 game, or maybe try out Linux and don't have another computer to do it. Then a VirtualBox may be the answer.

Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 8 running inside of VirtualBox
Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows 8 running inside of VirtualBox

One of my favorite things to do is trying out new software (Android-x86, Windows 8). I have used VM's (virtual machines) for many years now to do just that and have found VirtualBox to be the one I use the most often.

Windows 7 with multiple monitors running inside of VirtualBox
Windows 7 with multiple monitors running inside of VirtualBox

With its flexibility in configuration, multiple monitor support, and support for 64-bit virtual machines (only on 64-bit host operating systems), it's my choice for VM. And did I mention that's it's free? Here's a quote from the VirtualBox website:

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. See "About VirtualBox" for an introduction.

Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.

VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on. VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company: everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.

For more information on Oracle VirtualBox, follow the link below:

Oracle VirtualBox

Run Android OS on your netbook, laptop or personal computer with Android-x86

With all of the talk nowadays about moving from personal computers to smartphones and tablets, I wondered if I could have the best of both worlds. I wanted to know is if I could run a version of the Android OS on my netbook. Having set up both multi-boot computers and virtual machines, I thought that it might be possible. And with the Android-x86 Project, it is.

Android-x86 opening screen running inside of a Oracle VirtualBox
Android-x86 opening screen running inside of an Oracle VirtualBox

The Android-x86 Project is an Apache open-source project working on porting the Android operating system to the x86 hardware architecture. It's the same hardware architecture that is in almost all netbooks/laptops and personal computers. They have a couple of different builds for different systems (32-bit, 64-bit, and UEFI), mainly netbooks, laptops, and tablets.

Android-x86 main screen running inside of a Oracle VirtualBox
Android-x86 main screen running inside of an Oracle VirtualBox

Android-x86 can be run from a cd, installed into a virtual machine like Oracle's VirtualBox, a USB drive, or your computer's hard drive as the primary operating system. You can even set it up to multi-boot with Windows. Here's a quote from the Android-x86 website:

This is a project to port Android open-source project to x86 platform, formerly known as "patch hosting for android x86 support". The original plan is to host different patches for android x86 support from the open-source community. A few months after we created the project, we found out that we could do much more than just hosting patches. So we decide to create our code base to provide support on different x86 platforms, and set up a git server to host it.

For more information on the Android-x86 Project, follow the links below:

Android-x86 Project - Run Android on Your PC

Customer service is #1

Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. We aim to give the highest quality of service  from computer repair, virus removal, and data recovery.

Bring your computer to us and save

Diagnosing PC problems can be time-consuming. From running memory checking software to scanning for viruses, these are processes can take some time. We base our in-shop service on the actual time we work on your computer, not the time it takes your computer to work!

Contact us

Geeks in Phoenix
Professional service at an affordable price!
4722 East Monte Vista Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85008
(602) 795-1111

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Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in servicing laptop and desktop computers. Since 2008, our expert and knowledgeable technicians have provided excellent computer repair, virus removal, data recovery, photo manipulation, and website support to the greater Phoenix metro area.

At Geeks in Phoenix, we have the most outstanding computer consultants that provide the highest exceptional service in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and Tempe, Arizona. We offer in-shop, on-site, and remote (with stable Internet connection) computer support and services.

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