Archive for November 2009

Black Friday at TigerDirect

The day has come. Black Friday. The biggest retail sale day of the year and the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Here at Skylarking I’ll be keeping my eyes open for some great deals, and hopefully some coupon codes I can pass on to you. Remember, I only comment on products that I consider to be worthwhile bargains or valuable items and services considering my own perceptions of trends in home and office computers and entertainment. You can read more about my decision making process in Skylarking’s Disclaimer and Privacy page. I am not being wined, dined, or entertained by any of the companies and services I review here.


TigerDirect: “Pink Friday”


Usually the retail industry refers to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday”. It’s usually the biggest sale day of the year and they typically make a profit which puts them “in the black” as opposed to a loss which puts them “in the red”.

TigerDirect is calling it “Pink Friday” because they will be contributing a portion of their sales to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for Breast Cancer. They’ll also have a Live Webcast all day long where they’ll be offering prizes, giveaways, and more (also known as “fun”). I’ll be checking it out once I get my shopping done for the day. Woo hoo!

Follow the Links! They have too much going on for me to talk about it all here, so click on the banners  at left and above to check it all out. If I had to single out some items they would be:

sonysale Sony Laptop: They have a one day only offer on a Sony laptop with a 15.5 inch screen, 3 GB or RAM (memory), an incredible large $320 GB hard drive (storage) running with a Intel Pentium Dual Core Processor, and Windows 7 Home premium (64-bit). You’ll get it for $580 which is about $70 off their usual price. plus you get that free shipping offer, and you could potentially save another $5 if you use Google Checkout. Click the banner at left (The webcast one over there <<<) and then scroll down to find this one … fast!

acer-netbookAcer Aspire One Netbook: Netbooks! Netbooks! Netbooks! I want one and this is the one I would get. This model has received great reviews. If you need a small portable computer for web access, then check this one out. It has an Intel Atom Processor, 1 GB of memory, and a sizeable 160GB hard drive for storing files. It also runs on Windows XP, has a memory card reader, built-in speakers, WiFi, Ethernet, and webcam. It comes in pink, but you can easily cover that up with a slip case cover. It’s only $229 with free shipping. If you don’t get it for yourself, then get one for me …please.

tomtomTom Tom XL 340 Auto GPS. Know someone — other than me — who won’t stop for direction but really should? Get ’em a Tom Tom. This is a new model for only $99. It comes with North American maps, spoken instructions, 7 million points of interest to check out in their travels, plus a portion of the sale goes to breast cancer research. Give the gift of “knowing where you’re going”.

Much much more to see! They also have gift guides for any price range, age group, or gender.

TigerDirect and Google Checkout

TigerDirect is providing a $5 discount on orders over $30 before shipping and taxes when you use Google Checkout to make your purchase. This offer is usable only once per customer.

Free Shipping on Orders over $100 and Under 35 lbs.

This offer is only valid for orders that qualify for and ship via UPS Ground within the contiguous lower 48 states (Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and international orders are excluded as such).

Black Friday and CyberMonday at

Friday ends in the black for retail outlets, hopefully, and Monday is cyber. Monday is the day the computer retailers offer some more big savings on electronics. has you covered both days. Here are some links for you to check out their offerings.

buycomgifFollow this link to check out the Black Friday offerings at Avoid Crowds! Shop Online at for Black Friday Deals and Save up to 70% while supplies last! Exp 11/29/09

Cyber Monday Price Drops from!

On Monday you can click the red CyberMonday banner to see savings of up to 70% at If you click it before Monday you’ll see the Black Friday page.

If you don’t know you really should look them over. I’ve been shopping there for years. I get a lot of DVDs, CDs, software, and electronics. I’ve mentioned them earlier in my T-Mobile G1 Battery post.

48 Hour Sale at the MacMall

48 Hour Apple Sale

Checkout the MacMall’s 48 Hour Sale which is already underway. It ends at midnight Pacific Time on Tuesday evening (Nov. 24, 2009). Just click the banner above to access their site. The Macmall is the leading direct reseller of Apple products. They sell even more Apple products than! They can even install Windows on your Mac if you need them to.

Failed Windows Update Installations (Office 2007)

Are you using Microsoft Office 2007? Have you been told for days and days that “new updates are available” and every time you look it’s the same 4 updates for Microsoft Office 2007?

Yeah, me too, but I’ve fixed it.

For over a week, every time I shut down, my computer shows me that it’s installing 4 updates. Then when I turn on my computer later, I look and see that the same 4 updates are available. Clearly, they failed to install when my computer was shutting down earlier. The update files are:

  • Update for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Junk Email Filter (KB975960)
  • Update for Microsoft Office Word 2007 (KB974561)
  • Security Update for the 2007 Microsoft Office System (KB973704)
  • Security Update for Microsoft Office Excel 2007 (KB975393)

Do those look familiar to you? Have you been Googling for a solution to these failed installs? You’ve come to the right place. I can help. You’re going to have to install these updates yourself. And it’s not all that difficult to do.

First you’ll need to download and save the installation files to your computer. The four links below will each take you to the appropriate page at the Microsoft Download Center where you’ll be able to download. At each page you’ll see a download button, which you can click to start the download. Save the file to your hard drive, and be mindful of where you save then so you can access them later. I recommend saving them to either your Desktop, your Documents folder, or your Downloads folder.

Then you’ll have to manually install them as an Administrator. Locate the saved files. If you don’t recall where you saved them you can always search for them. I’ve included the full file names above for just such an instance.

Once you’ve located the saved file on your hard drive, point at the icon with your mouse, then click the right mouse button, and choose the “Run as Administrator” option on the shortcut menu that appears. (Alternately, you could click once on the icon, then click the File menu, and then choose the “Run as Administrator” option. Click the checkbox to accept the Microsoft License Terms, then click “Continue”.

Repeat that process for each of the 4 downloaded files, and that’s it. You’ll never be told about those updates again.

Registering Avast Home Edition AntiVirus

Back in February of this year I wrote an article, Free AntiVirus and No Catch, about the Avast Home Edition AntiVirus program. The article included a list of steps to follow when registering Avast.

Today, a client of mine from New York City emailed to ask me how to re-register Avast. The steps from the prior article still apply, but this time I’ve made a video demonstrating the registration process. Take a look. Consult the earlier article for additional information.

Monday, I’ll have a video demonstration on some recommended configuration settings for Avast! Enjoy the weekend, and, as always, feel free to send me your questions or comments.

TigerDirect Deals

Skylarking is gearing up for Black Friday, but you can get an early start with these home entertainment and computer specials from TigerDirect.

SONY BRAVIA HDTVs w/FREE Blu-Ray Player.- (11/9 – 11/16/09) or while supplies last!

sonyset1SAVE $545 – FREE SHIPPING – Sony Bravia II 40″ LCD HDTV KDL40V5100 w/ Sony BDP-N460 Network Blu-Ray Disc Player Bundle $954.98. I’ve been wanting to get one of these network blu-ray disc players. Hook them up to your home network to stream movies, videos, music, and more right off the Internet from Netflix, YouTube, and more. Plus you can also play and upscale your standard DVDs to near high definition with this player.

sonyset2SAVE $650 – FREE SHIPPING – Sony 52″ Bravia V LCD HDTV KDL52V5100 w/ Sony BDP-N460 Network Blu-Ray Disc Player Bundle $1,599.98. One more foot of viewing space on your screen with fantastic Sony Bravia features. Too many to list, and, once again, the same great network Blu-ray player as before.

sonyset3SAVE $750 – FREE SHIPPING – Sony 55″ LCD HDTV KDL55V5100 w/ Sony BDP-N460 Blu-ray Disc Player Bundle $1,799.98.

BEST SELLERS.- (11/9 – 11/16/09) or while supplies last!

  • SAVE $40 – FREE SHIPPING – AOC 20″ Widescreen LCD Monitor with 1680 x 1050 pixels of resolution, a 3000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio for crisp images with sharp black and white. Has a VGA connector for use with any PC or notebook. All yours for $109.99.
  • SAVE $20 – FREE SHIPPING – ACER Aspire Desktop with an AMD Athlon 2.6GHz processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM (memory), a massive 320GB hard disk drive for storing all your files. All powered by Vista Home Premium. $249.99. This computer is eligible for a free Windows 7 upgrade, too.
  • SAVE $200 – FREE SHIPPING – HP Pavilion dv2 Notebook with an AMD Athlon Neo 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM (memory), a 250GB hard disk drive (storage) with an external DVD-RW (rewriteable DVD burner). The screen measures 12.1 inches. Comes with Windows Vista Premium $549.99 after $50 MIR, rebate expires 01/16/2010. Plus you can get a Windows 7 upgrade for this machine.


    Gateway Win7 Notebook $700

  • SAVE $90 – FREE SHIPPING – HP Pavilion G70 Notebook with an Intel Core2Duo T6500 processor with a 2.1GHz clock speed, 4GB of DDR2 RAM (memory), and 320GB of hard disk space. A large 17 inch screen tops it off. With Windows Vista Premium (64-bit) This is a refurbished unit for $579.97. Upgrade it to Windows 7 while you’re at it.
  • SAVE $150 – FREE SHIPPING – Gateway Notebook Intel Core2 Duo T6600 2.2GHz processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM (memory), a 500GB hard drive for storage, and a large 17.3 inch LED screen. Equipped with the Microsoft Windows 7 Premium 64-bit operating system for a mere $699.99.

Windows 7 Home Premium 3 Pack – Install Anywhere

windows-7Back on October 23 in my post I’ve Upgraded to Windows 7, No Static At All, I discussed installing WINDOWS 7 FAMILY PACK on three different computers, and a reader calling himself Ballpeen asked:

Have you installed on your family members’ pcs yet?
I am wondering if the pcs need to be installed from the same physical location? (does it check IP?)

Example, my brother & father live in different cities, can all 3 of us use the key that comes with the family pack?


I have made that installation — and one other — and there were no problems whatsoever activating Windows 7 Home Premium Family 3 Pack on three different machines in three different locations.

I installed Windows 7 in my computer first (as you know), then a few days later I installed it again from the same 3 pack DVD on a friend’s computer. They live in another town, and they use a different Internet service than I do. I activated Windows 7 on their computer with no problem. Then, a few days later, I installed the last of the 3 installs allowed with the WINDOWS 7 FAMILY PACK on my dad’s computer. He, too, lives in another town, and uses a different Internet service, and there were no problems activating Windows 7 on his computer either.

So there you go. Three installs from the same DVD on three different computers, in three different locations, on three different ISPs. No problems.

So if you and you’re friends are interested in upgrading to Windows 7, why not consider chipping in together on a Windows 7 Home Premium Family 3 Pack.

I upgraded from Windows Vista, and I’m very happy with the results. My friend and my dad were both running Windows XP previously, and they, too, are very pleased with Windows 7. My friend claims his computer even starts up faster now than it did before.

By the way, I’ll be keeping the original DVD. If they ever need it, they’ll have to call me for it. But I’ve never needed to access the original disc unless I was reinstalling the operating system.

LeapFish, Searches in Real Time

Quite recently the multi-media search engine site,, announced they’re developing a real time search engine. You can find the press release here.

Real time, I assume, means that when something happens on the web, anywhere, LeapFish will be able to find it for you. This will be quite a feat as even search engines like Google or Yahoo may take a few days, some times, to add or update content, though information from major sites may be updated more frequently.

Leapfish will be drawing information from Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search sites and portals, and proving answers from any and all of these sites on a single page. This way you need not go to each of the individual sites to make a search. All you’ll have to do is go to, conduct your search, and results from all the other sites will be compiled for you.

Truthfully, sites like Yahoo and Google prioritize and categorize results differently. I’m sure you’ve discovered this on your own, and, despite your personal preferences, you may still find yourself visiting several search sites for the information or entertainment your need.

The current Leapfish site has a clean and simple layout. The home page shows information for the stock market, AP News, Youtube Video, and more. This can be useful if you want to see what’s hot on all these sites without having to go to the individual site. The new site should be something to see.

Speaking of which, if you’re interested in checking out the upcoming site in advance, you can request a private demo by contacting them at