From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 14 June 2007 - Hard Drive Recovery / Ringtones /


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

In today's TOURBUS, you'll learn what to do when your hard drive takes a nose dive (it's not always fatal), and how to get free ringtones or even make your own. If you're looking for an alternative to Myspace, read my guide to getting started with Facebook, and if you're having trouble remembering all your passwords, I have some good tips to help you there... Read on!

A quick note before we blast off... I apologize that we haven't published a TOURBUS newsletter for almost a month. But I have a pretty good excuse, I think. I've been busy getting married, selling my house, and moving both home and office. Between my lovely bride and me, we now have six kids, and four of them in college. Whee!

Acck, My Hard Drive Died! -- Recovering From Hard Drive Failure

If it hasn't happened yet, be sure that it will... you're working on an important project and the computer freezes. You reboot, but instead of the familiar startup screen, you see an ugly black screen with one of these ominous messages: DISK BOOT FAILURE... ERROR READING FIXED DISK... or (horrors!) HARD DRIVE FAILURE. If you've ever lost an important file because of a hard drive crash, you know the pain. That final project you worked on so hard, the spreadsheet that has be in your boss's inbox in the morning, or those photos of Grandma taken at her 102nd birthday -- all gone in a flash, thanks to an apparent hard drive failure.

But don't panic just yet, those scary looking messages are not always the final word. Before you take a sledge hammer to your hard drive, try these 12 hard drive recovery steps...

Have You Ever Bought a Ringtone?

The ringtone craze started in Finland about ten years ago, and quickly spread throughout Europe and then into Asia and the United States. In 2004 the international gross receipts for custom ringtone sales was
somewhere over $4 billion dollars, and one can only assume that number has risen dramatically since then.

I'm a little puzzled by this, because I've always been annoyed that mobile phones can't just ring. I hear the mariachi and look for a guy with a sombrero, but it's just another 14-year-old girl with a cell phone. Obviously I'm not the target market for ringtone vendors, but I can't deny that there are plenty of people willing to pay $5 or more for a 10-second clip of Gnarls Barkley or the Black Eyed Peas announcing that they've got an incoming call.

There are plenty of places to BUY custom ring tones -- right on your phone, and on the web. But I did find a few sites that offer truly free ringtones, and a few ways to create your own at little or no cost. Here's the scoop on buying, downloading and creating your own ringtones, and some tips on avoiding ringtone scams...

Need Help Remembering Passwords?

Passwords... we have a love/hate relationship with them. We love them because they are the first line of defense against fraud and identity theft. They protect the security of our email online banking and credit card purchases. We hate them because as we use passwords for almost every important activity on the internet, it becomes nearly impossible to remember all those usernames and the passwords that we have created.

If you're in the habit of jotting down your passwords on sticky notes and pasting them to the monitor, you'll be happy to learn that there are tools to help you remember your passwords in a hassle free and secure manner. Here's the scoop on browser-based, third-party and web-based passwords managers...

Getting Started With Facebook

Are you fed up with MySpace? Facebook is a great alternative for the student and professional set. A little more serious than MySpace, Facebook is more than just competing to see who can have the most fake friends. Facebook is a place where users can meet and greet others around the planet, but connections must be formed based on existing real-world ties. Facebook was started in 2005 by a Harvard student who wanted to create an online version of the "face books" that many colleges print to help students connect on campus. It's now open to high school students and is becoming increasingly popular with young professionals. Facebook boasts over 25 million members, and is the number one photo sharing site on the Web. Here's the scoop on getting started with Facebook...

That's all for now, see you next time! -- Bob Rankin

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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