Apr 13, 2011

Mar - 31 2011 | By

Tax Time! Filing Deadlines! http://www.irs.gov


Choral Collaborating and the End Result:


Subscription Models return to Software


Free Mailing List for up to 2000 members… http://mailchimp.com/


FAraway Places Prices Map!


Anniversaries, April 12: Russians In Space , 40 , and Civil War, 150.


Dunning-Kruger: Or, how confidence and competnce are musutally exclusive , as are Freedom & Democracy


Additional notes

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at: twitter.com/ddhart
They're tagged with #Zentech

Editor comments are delimited by < >

<A quick note to those still interested:
A couple of shows back there was talk about being able to record the audio of a live stream (such as the Zentech show) whether it's a MP3 or other format. I wrote up some instructions for one way of doing that and stuck it at the end of the Favorite Programs & Utilities file here. I did this about 3 days after the show, so some would not have seen the link>

 

The guys briefly mentioned the following: (see the links above):
It's the 150th anniversary of the Civil War
And it's the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight — 1st man in space
The Dunning-Kruger Effect
Paul mentioned an article by Howard Gardner — The 8 Types of Intelligence.

Glenn had trouble with his iPhone 2G — the dock cable would work with only 1 wall socket. And though 2 USB cable used to work in connecting to his laptop, now only 1 would work. Also, when he dropped it a few months ago, the LCD screen broke. So he decided to order the screen and connector. He said he went online to watch videos of people taking the iPhone apart before starting this project.

He said taking the case off was the most difficult part even though a special tool was included with his order. It took some time to take the bezel off, which was glued down. Then there were 10 screws to remove and 3 more for the motherboard and them 3 more. Paul said he uses duct tape to hold screws as he takes them out. He said, position them on the tape in the order you take them out in case the screws are different.

Paul mentioned he used to repair TVs in the 70s. He said all the TVs were different and schematic diagrams weren't easy to get. They weren't online since there was no internet and good luck getting them from the manufacturer.

Glenn said he spent $28 for the parts for his iPhone and having it fixed professionally would have cost $99, but in that case the repair facility would have been liable for any screw-ups. So, he said, the next time he has a similar situation, he'll send it in for repair.

Talk turned to a choral piece by Eric Whitacre. He created a Youtube video of himself conducting and people who watched it would record their own part at home and send the audio to Eric who then combined all of the audio contributions into the finished piece. Paul then played an excerpt. See the above link.

The listeners were reminded that taxes are due soon. This year the deadline is the 18th because of a holiday that's specific to Washington DC but the due date applies to everyone.
– There are a lot of scams out there. Though you can be fairly sure you're on a government site if the URL ends in .gov, it's not guaranteed.
– There are various tricks to subvert the domain naming service (DNS). It's possible to type in "irs.gov" and get something else, but it's not likely.
– Glenn said that up to about 3 or 4 years ago, if you wanted to file electronically, you had to go to a professional tax preparer. Now the IRS site provides links to tax sites that allow you to fill out your forms, file them electronically and print them out.
– For more IRS or tax info go to irs.gov

One of the largest & most expensive software suites is the Adobe Creative Suite. The latest, version 5.5, costs $2600 (the Design Premium Package is $1800). But there is a subscription version where you pay for 1 month at a time for about $30 or $40.
– If you buy it outright, you naturally get updates as they become available, but generally you get no new features. <With a subscription you use the latest version>
– The difference between updates & upgrades is that updates will patch your current version of the software, like for security reasons. Updates are a change in version, which usually adds new features. The new feature in this version 5.5 is support for HTML5. Glenn said you'll need a high end computer to run this package well.

The software differences between Mac & PCs are converging, said Paul, mainly due to the programming tools — the portability features have improved. It used to be that each platform had different design teams, now the software code is just run thru the portability tools. An example is how the Firefox browser is developed — it looks essentially the same on the Mac & PC.

Paul then said he doesn't like the new Firefox version 4. He thought the changes made weren't worth the effort of getting used to them.
Glenn said he doesn't like the way the buttons look, but that's just a matter of changing the theme.
Those who want the older version of Firefox won't find it at mozilla.com, instead they were advised to google 'old firefox'.

Paul mentioned subscription services. This is where you rent a program rather than buying it. The company might be more attuned to your interests because they didn't get all of your money up front. See the 'Subscription Models return to Software' link above. Some services allow you to suspend use, when you don't need it, and turn it back on later until the subscription time allotment runs out.

Mailing lists allow you to send email to many people at once. Email services like Gmail generally don't allow more than about 50 or so recipients at a time, to prevent spamming.
MailChimp lets you can send 2000 people up to 12,000 messages per month for free. See the above link.

Paul said he thinks Yahoo is the least reliable mail service, at this time. It will block things it shouldn't and doesn't block things it should. <I guess he's talking about the spam filters>

Jeff called and said he downloaded the 30-day trial version of the AVG anti-virus program. He wanted to know how to get the truly free version.
– Uninstall the current version first.
– Then go to download.com or avg.com and get the fully free version
– Glenn said it's easier to find at download.com. It will still offer the 30-day trial version so click on the appropriate checkboxes — it should say 'basic' on the left side of the screen.
– Paul said Microsoft bought a security company and rebranded their product as Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free and a good alternative to AVG. You have to be sure not to have any pirated Microsoft products on your machine or it will not run.
<The Favorite Programs & Utilities file has a link to AVG Free that uses a download manager program, just as download.com does. It also has a link directly to the actual AVG file itself (some 151meg the last time I looked). This is handy for those people who are on dialup and use a friend's computer or who go to the library to get AVG.>

Jeff went on to ask if there is a way to print directly from the iPhone.
– It's not straightforward and there are only 2 or 3 apps that will let you do it.
– There's an app that sends the print job to the internet which you later retrieve with your home computer and print.
– iPad has an app called AirPrint, which prints to only certain wireless printers — typically HP printers. "If you want to print from the iPhone there is an app for that" called PrintCentral (it has a limited free mode to be sure it works before you pay).
– Check Cydia to see if there are any other apps.
– Use TeamViewer on the iPhone & connect to your home computer to print.

Ken called. He has Mac Book Pro & and a HP wireless printer & they constantly lose the connection. The only way for him to reconnect is from the printer's front panel.
– When you're printing wirelessly, the computer, router and printer have to be on the same network.
– The printer doesn't have to be wireless but has to be on the same network.
– A wired connection is more reliable than wireless.
Jeff said he tried the wired connection…
– When the printer is connected to the router thru the Ethernet you should disable its wireless function. Use one or the other, not both.
– There is also ad hoc networking where the connection would be directly to the printer without going thru a router, but Paul has found it to be quite unreliable.
– If you're in a remote part of the house with your Mac & you don't get the internet, then you won't be able connect to the printer either.
Jeff said he does get the internet…
– Glenn thought the internet is more forgiving than printer communications.
– Paul suggested getting the IP address of the printer:
Turn the wireless off and connect the Ethernet. Use the printer's front panel to get the IP address it — could be something like 102.168.1.01
Type that number (only that number) into the address bar of your web browser. You should get back the status of your printer.
If you don't get the status, you're not actually reaching the printer.
If you can get the status but it still won't print, there's something else wrong.
– Try updating the firmware of the printer. HP has issued updates because their printer networking was found to be sporadic.
– Firmware updates are much more reliable now than in the past. The vendors are much more vigilant and when an upgrade is offered for printers, Paul tends to accept it.
– For Mac users, the latest HP printers don't need any software on the computer — instead, they use something called Bonjour. You can add the HP software for more functions but Paul suggests keeping it simple and go without.
– The Snow Leopard operating system comes with all the drivers needed and you my want to uninstall anything HP gave you.
Jeff said he couldn't get the scanner to work with Bonjour…
– Go to support.hp.com and put in the model of your printer and also select the operating system you're using. HP should then come back with either the driver information or instructions on how to deal with it.

Glenn explained the difference between bcc: & cc: when sending emails to multiple people. Using cc: means all recipients will see the mail addresses of everyone else. That makes it easier for spammers to harvest addresses. Bcc: will keep the address hidden and is the prefered option.

Talk turned to carbonless carbon paper. Invented by NCR (National Cash Register) it's still used by some companies like Kaiser. In part, it's keeping the impact printer industry alive. Glenn said Kaiser is moving away from using the paper.

Kayak.com is a web scraper site. It checks Expedia, Orbits and others <for the best deals>.
The link to 'Faraway Places Prices Map!' (above) lets you enter your location and gives you the fares to other cities. For instance, Paul found it's cheaper to go to Finland and then to London rather than going to London directly.

Last Updated: 8:46 PM 4/13/2011