Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Results from Unemployment Give Away

Over the years I’ve offered special discounts or have used the proceeds from WinPatrol to help when I could.  One common benefactor of our support have been veterans.  My favorite special event was Veterans Day in 2008. BillP Studios donated over $2000 to our local Honor Flight Network helping to cover the costs for WII veterans a chance to visit their memorial in Washington DC.

This month I decided to give away WinPatrol PLUS to unemployed job seekers hoping they could spent more time seeking and less time trying to resolve computer problems.  Click here for more details.

I knew this give away would be different but I have been overwhelmed by the reactions. The mail I’ve received from current WinPatrol fans has been very positive and it makes me proud.  The comments included in the requests from unemployed job seeker however caught me by surprise. While everyone is grateful and happy receiving free software reading between the lines I can tell how truly desperate and beat down many people feel.

I can tell from our comments that many are in serious desperate situations.

“Thanks so much for providing this !! I have been unemployed for over a year now and the job market just doesn't seem to be getting any better “

From Jeff

“Right now I must worry more about keeping the lights on..... but mark my words: I won't forget this kindness and will pay you in full when I am able to do so.

It just makes a person feel better knowing that someone out there cares about others.”

Bless you !!!”

I am pleased that folks were proud enough to participate and accept our free offer. Most everyone was able to produce some proof of the frustration they’ve experienced trying to find work.


Sorry I wasn’t able to provide a free code to everyone who havesuffered financial problems but this special was aimed at unemployed job seekers. I’m sure we’ll come up with other specials in the future for those in real need.

This offer is still good but only during the month of August so if you haven’t, act now to take advantage of this free give-away.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Free Security for People Looking for Work

(Scotia, NY) WinPatrol Supports Unemployed Job Seekers
It’s no secret that the unemployment numbers around the world are at an amazing high. At least once a week I receive a plea from someone who is unemployed asking for a discounted upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS.

For someone looking for a new job, a computer is a must have tool. Unfortunately, they’re also the targets of scam artists who take advantage of folks who need help the most.

In response to the need to protect and help the unemployed I’m giving away our $29.95 single user license with all the benefits of our standard WinPatrol PLUS upgrade.  As a computer professional I’ve been blessed never to be without work but these days unemployment can happen to anyone. Visiting new web sites is a time when WinPatrol PLUS is needed the most. I’d much rather have someone using their time to find that perfect job instead of fixing computer problems.

All that’s required is to scan in or provide a screen capture proof you have recently received unemployment benefits or other reasonable proof of unemployment. Sorry, but you can’t just Email and say “I’m unemployed, give me a code”. Some evidence is required but our give away is even available to our friends outside the U.S.  Requests will be will be processed within 24-48 hours.

Here’s an example of what New York State provides to those receiving benefits and the kind of proof acceptable.


I’ve blurred out the name on this example but when you send proof you should just blur out your social security number or other private information I wouldn’t need. Send your proof to or mail to
BillP Studios
32 Sunnyside Rd.
Scotia, NY 12302
Include your name and Email address printed clearly in your request. Your information will of course be considered confidential.

For now, this is a limited offer available until the end of August 2010.  If you know someone who is unemployed but could use WinPatrol PLUS send them here to I challenge other software companies to do the same.


* A screen capture using Windows is possible by pressing the Alt key + the PrtSc key. A image of the current window will be stored in the Windows clipboard.  You can then open your favorite paint or photo program and “paste” into a new document.  Edit out your SS# if it’s visible and attach the file to an Email to

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

What My Wife Loves About Windows 7

My wife Cindi is a typical computer user who knows how to do what she needs and no more. She has no interest in how it all works but she expects her computer to work in a consistent manner. She enjoys learning new features but only if it’s related to her daily activities and/or makes life easier.

When her new ThinkPad came earlier this year I worried that she wouldn’t welcome the changes.  I don’t know about other geek husbands out there but “anything” that doesn’t work right on Cindi’s computer is my fault. :)

So I was nervous when I upgraded Cindi from her Windows XP machine to a brand new Windows 7 interface. To my surprise and delight the conversion was successful and Cindi has been very happy with Windows 7.

Network Discovery
The first new treat she discovered using Windows 7 was the quick detection of our wireless network. In the past, Cindi’s laptop would boot up and while it appeared to be ready it was my fault when she couldn’t get online.win7b  The engineers at Microsoft made this feature a priority and they nailed it.  Cindi can now check for new baby photos on Facebook  before her first sip of coffee.


System Tray Management
While we’re looking at the Windows 7 system tray I can tell you about another new feature that makes her happy.  Note the little up arrow that now contains all the icons that used to mess up  the system tray. win7e This keeps the Windows system tray much neater and more manageable. Considering all the great new features in Windows 7 it seems silly to just talk about system tray issues. Truth is task bar icons have always been a major annoyance to PC users.


Show Desktop
There’s one feature that I use all the time and only writing this article did Cindi finally understand one of the mysteries of Windows 7. win7c In the very bottom right hand corner is a small box doesn’t appear to have a purpose. Under the Windows 7 interface this plain little box is the “Show Desktop” feature. This is a great feature and while it was available under Windows XP, it wasn’t widely used. The implementation as a little square has confused many but once they find out how it works everyone loves it. So, if you’re one of those people who wonder why sometimes all your windows disappear, it’s because your mouse hovered over this little box.

File Search Filter
One of single most important tasks that non-computer experts have dealt with is “Where the heck did I put that file”?  Teaching users how to locate and open a file is the difference between a computer user and someone who uses a computer.

Windows has a standard Open File dialog available to developers and it is used by most applications including Windows Explorer and Word. This provides a fairly consistent interface. Windows 7 Open dialog now includes great enhancements aimed and making finding that file easier.

In my example below Cindi was looking for a document she needed for her work with Scotia Rotary.  Typing in the word “Rotary” instantly displayed a number of recent documents related to Rotary.  In addition, one of the other new Win7 features displays text thumbnails helping her find the exact document she wanted.

Home Group

What’s even nicer about Windows 7 is that Cindi doesn’t need to know which folder her file is located in. Using Windows Home Groups her computer combines her old “My Documents” folder with other folders that have been assigned to her using the Windows 7 Home Groups.  Some of her folders are located on our home network.

Many years ago I listened to Bill Gates discuss how the future of Windows would be a “Document Concentric” system instead of focusing on loading programs. I argued the point strongly but there is the possibility I may have been wrong.  :)

One of the features that makes Cindi happiest is the performance of her new Windows 7 laptop. While having a newer machine doesn’t hurt, her Lenovo ThinkPad is “Windows 7 aware” and takes advantage of its new architecture. I’ve written before how Windows 7 has improved handling of multicore processors. I’m also an advocate of the more expensive solid state hard drives and Windows 7 knows how to make the most utilizing her primary drive which is small but has no moving parts

Power Management
One of the welcome benefits of her new laptop is enhanced battery life. Windows 7 allowed me to configure her laptop for outstanding usage when not plugged. The power management not only saves on batter life Cindi no longer complains that her laptop is burning her legs.



I’ve left out so many other great new Windows features but my point was to show how Windows 7 provides instant improvements to non-computer experts. My biggest surprise is that all these new features are being utilized with a minimal learning curve. I still occasionally get blamed when some applications misbehave but Windows 7 has been a joy.

So obviously, I no longer recommend you order new computers with Windows XP. I also recommend if you’ve been using Vista stop now and order Windows 7 as soon as possible. Your time is important and Windows 7 is a worthwhile investment.

My Pick
Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade

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