Aug 31,2011

Aug - 24 2011 | By

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Glenn has a friend who's having problems printing their bank statement, from a web browser, on an HP printer — it only prints out the portion from the middle to the left side of the statement.
– Paul said there is nothing in a web page that formats it for a printer. It may print out differently from how it looks. Paul suggested looking at the 'print preview', which you can select from the 'file' menu. Glenn said he did that and the preview looked fine.
– Update the HP software. Go to the Start Menu -> Programs -> HP and look for HP software updates.
– Paul said it's a documented problem with HP products & Internet Explorer. It happened went IE went from version 7 to 8 and again when it went to version 9.
 – If you have a dialup connection on the computer that needs the update, HP allows you to just download the files when you happen to be at a computer with a fast connection. Go to the HP website & fill in the model of your printer & download to a flash drive and take it to the computer needing the update.

Paul said that laptops have become a lot more popular in recent years and you can have a setup similar to a desktop if you plug in an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. But there are some negative attributes.
– They have "poorer cooling response than a desktop machine".
– They are less sturdy. E.g. the CD drives are more delicate and subject to errors as well as breakage just by opening & closing them.
– The USB ports prone to damage by plugging & unplugging devices.
– Glenn likes the use of the smaller Micro USB ports with newer equipment because there's less mechanical stress than the big plugs. He also suggested that people avoid the various connector sockets when picking up or moving the laptop — only handle the body of the computer.
– Paul suggested use of wireless devices rather than those that plug in directly. Bluetooth devices tend to be more expensive but the Bluetooth dongle, the part that plugs into the computer, is usually cheap.
– When you put the laptop into its case, unplug everything — cords, wires, cards, etc — to avoid stress on the sockets.
– There are places that repair laptops but check beforehand to see if they're willing to work on your model — some are just too poorly built. Look on Ebay for these services and check the feedback ratings from their former customers. Paul is under the impression that service centers you find on Amazon have the backing of Amazon itself.

Paul mentioned the 3 A's of business: availability, affability and ability
   Should be reachable — availability.
   Should be not be rude — affability
   Should know what they're doing — ability

Paul mentioned that many do-it-yourself repair tutorials are available on Youtube. For laptop repair, search Youtube for the words… teardown laptop repair.

Jeff called to suggest that KVMR have a way people can txt (text) small donations to support the station, similar to disaster relief operations <as in Haiti>.

Dennis <he was not introduced, and it sounded like he was in the studio> wanted to know how to control the order in which applications launch in Windows 7. <presumably the startup programs>
– Paul doesn't know, but in XP "you bring up the cascading menus, right click on whatever is available and left click on sort by name". <I'm not clear on this, but that's what he said. Later he said he hasn't seen a way to do it with XP>
– Glenn thought renaming the apps by putting 1,2,3… as the first characters of their names might work.
– Paul said that apps can be started several ways e.g. from the registry or an autoexec.bat file
– While talking, Paul did a search for a method but didn't come up with anything definitive. He asked listeners to give suggestions.
– Paul then thought of using 'services' for controlling the order. Services is an application that runs before the users account is started <at boot time I think>. He said that using services you can make programs run conditionally — program A has to run before program B, etc. However, he thought that the programs themselves had to have been specially created to run as a service.
– Many of the applications and service that run at startup end up in the lower right hand corner in what's called the system tray.
Spybot Search And Destroy has a tool called System Startup that lets you decide which applications run at startup. It doesn't uninstall anything, but can keep things from running. Paul said this method is preferred over using a Windows utility called msconfig <it's implied that it does something similar>
– Paul said it's rare that unchecking (preventing) a service or app from running, using Spybot, would prevent Windows from running. Something may not work propery, but he's never seen it "kill a Windows installation". Glenn suggested unchecking 1 item at a time and restarting the computer and then evaluating the effect it has.
– Paul remembered the site blackviper.com. It offers guidance for turning off services and it tells you which are required to run.

Scott called with a couple of Mac questions. He has a mac.com mail service and has received a notice that it's ending. He wondered if the guys knew more about that.
– Paul said it is part of a subscription service called MobileMe and he doubted that Apple would suddenly end the email service. Since you paid for the service, call Apple and find out what's going on.
– Paul thought that, with the new Lion operating system, the mobile synchronization will be performed using the new service called iCloud.
– Glenn looked at the Apple site and reported that MobileMe is no longer accepting new subscribers but the service will be available to currnet users thru June 30, 2012.
– He said go to apple.com/mobileme and click the 'facts' button to get the details of the transition to iCloud.

Scott's other qestion was whether his verion of Photoshop (CS5) will continue to work with the new Lion operating system.
– Paul said, "I wouldn't worry about it". Go to the Adobe Macromedia site and check the compatibility list. Be aware that it may work even though it may not be supported (you won't get help support).
– Glenn said that Windows Vista had trouble running older programs so in Win7 Microsoft provided an XP compatibility mode to address the issue.
– Paul did a search for the words CS5 Lion and found some discussion on macrumors.com Some people said that it works (though some said it had a few bugs).
– Paul heard the recommendation that Lion be installed on a bare drive <rather than as an upgrade>. He also heard that Lion will eventually be sold on a flash drive.
– Paul suggested, after a disclaimer, that Scott back up his current hard drive using TimeMachine and then, after doing a bare installation of Lion, use TimeMachine to restore the backup.

Someone recently asked Paul why Adobe Reader, Java Runtime, etc are free. It's because those who write programs or content that utilize them pay for the privilege <or pay for the developer programs>.

Paul said that AJAX allows for web pages to have an enormous number of features without having to load special programs. For instance, users of Gmail, he said, have benefited from AJAX. The Visible Body is another example. It's a 3D human body tutorial that used to be sold as program that you load on your computer. Now, you can subscribe to it and get it over the net.

John called. He has 2008 version of Microsoft Home Office but there's no way to create a PDF file.
– Get the free program called PDF Creator at Source Forge. It acts like a printer driver but, instead of printing, it saves a PDF document.
– To use it, create a document in Word (or whatever), then use the file menu -> print and choose PDF Creator as the printer.
– PDF Creator works with all Windows programs that print, not just Microsoft Office.

John also wondered whether we are bound to use whatever operating system Microsoft comes out with next and will have to abandon XP or NT.
– XP is still available on refurbished computers.
– Eventually Microsoft will stop supporting XP. <in 2014, I think>

John said he's now struggling with Vista.
– Windows 7 succeeded Vist and works better.
– Glenn said the Home Starter Edition of Win7 doesn't come with some things he had expected — the media player won't play DVDs, just audio.
– Paul said that even XP lacked the content descrambler to play DVDs and you have to scrounge around to find free software to do that.

So, then Glenn asked what's a good free video player for XP for free?
– The best generic video player is not Media Player but one called Videolan. http://www.videolan.org
– "They all lack, unless you go thru various hoops, the ability to unscramble or descramble mass-published digital video disks…"
– You can buy a descrambler from Nvidia for about $19 or get a demo version of Nero. <Nvidia FAQ is here>

<There seems to be a claim that Videolan will decrypt DVDs on their web page. Click on the logo for your computer type to download it.
More info on Videolan (VLC) here.

If anyone has success with it or some other method of descrambleing DVDs, send an email to zen at kvmr dot org (say the mail is for me and the guys will forward it to me) and I'll add it to the Favorite Programs page.>

Lisa called. She has a Mac with version 10.68 OS and she can't delete email addresses using her email program. Each time she tries, they come back.
– Glenn tried to remember when this came up before and suggested clearing the cache, history and cookies.
– Paul thought that these addresses might be stored in a different place than the address book, that they're actually part of the preferences.
– The problem was not resolved and listeners were invited to give suggestions.

James called. He has 2007 vintage MacBook which now has Snow Leopard on it. He wondered what lifespan he could expect from it.
– Glenn thought it could last another 10 years.

He also asked what effect Steve Jobs' exit would have on Apple.
– Good question. All we can do is watch & wait

Then he said that Adobe Reader keeps popping up on his machine and demanding attention.
– Paul thought it may need updating. James has vision problems so Paul suggested he keep notes of what's going on so, when he has help from a sighted person, they can keep track of what needs to be done.

Last Update: 5:08 PM 1/13/2012