Dec 14 2011

Nov - 30 2011 | By

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– When what's said is unclear to me (or I'm unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (" ") verbatim.

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Some music from the movie Tron was played at the opening and Glenn said he was able to see the movie on DVD. That led Paul to say that the idea of putting additional material on DVDs was pioneered by Spielberg with the movie Close Encounters. He also mentioned that Toy Story (1 & 2) have been released in 3D.

Glenn said he saw Puss 'n Boots in 3D and was not impressed with the 3D effects. However, he's heard that the movie Hugo is supposed to have been done well in 3D and he expects to see it soon.

Glenn said Marilyn is still having trouble with her mouse cursor — the icon looks like a circle with a line thru it.
– He thinks she may be pressing some key combination that selects that icon.
– He would like to use TeamViewer to access her machine and see directly what's going on.
– Paul said there's a way to choose what your mouse pointer looks like if you go into Control Panel -> Mouse -> Pointers tab <that's with the Classic View. With the Category View: Control Panel -> Printers & Other Hardware -> Mouse -> Pointers tab>. And some of the changes available there can benefit users with poor eyesight. Similar changes on the Mac can be accessed by going to Preferences -> Universal Access.

Summer called to say she loved the movie Hugo and its scenery. She thought the 3D was done well.
She also wanted to know if there are any free cursors for the MacBook Pro.
– Paul doesn't know of any but Glenn said Apple now has an app store just for the Mac computer and suggested she try it out.

Wynn called. He has 5-6yr old HP Pavilion laptop that's making a noise; he thinks it's the hard drive. He wants to change it himself and asked how sensitive the drives are to static electricity.
– The chips on the drive have better static protection than they used to, but take the precaution to electrically ground yourself.
– There may be something else other than the hard drive making the noise, Glenn thought it might be the fan.
– Before changing the drive, Paul suggested he get the software called Speedfan and it will report what's happening with the drive.
– Make sure you get the right type of hard drive IDE (PATA) or SATA.
– For routine maintenance Paul said to vacuum or blast compressed air thru the air vents to eliminate excess dust.
– Keep in mind that you can find used/recycled parts on Ebay, especially parts no longer being made.

Paul is often asked how he's learned what he knows about computers. He said it's by taking things apart. He recently took apart a laptop screens to see how they work.
– Most pre-2008 laptop screens are lit from the bottom with a thin fluorescent tube. Prisms & refractive gratings distribute the light to make the screen appear uniformly lit.
– The alternative, an eletroluminescent panel, draws more power and gives a pale greenish color.
– Glenn said the successor to that is the LED. He was recently looking a some TVs and noted the distinction between the LCD — a display technology that uses the fluorescent tube — and the LED LCD where LEDs are the light source
– Paul said that even those screens are divided into 2 types. Those using LEDs that give off a spectrum of light that's close to daylight, and those using triplets of LEDs — each with red, blue and green. The latter type has more electronics to run the LEDs and draws more power but has better control over the color.

Arlie called to say she has a virus hijacking her search queries. She's tried MalwareBytes but it didn't find anything. What's the recommendation?
– First, backup your computer.
– Try using Cobian <I guess it's a backup program. I think this is it.>
– Paul asked if this happens with more than 1 browser — no, only with Firefox. So he thought it may be a Firefox plugin that's causing the problem. Check what plugins you have to see if there is one that's unfamiliar, then remove it.
– Those writing such plugins get affiliate or referral fees when you click on the search results.
– She's using AVG as her anti-virus. Though that catches some malware, the guys suggest using Microsoft Security Essentials. But before you change to a different anti-virus, check for rogue plugins as suggested above.
– Don't jump to quickly to the conclusion that a virus is causing a problem. Stop and think about it — you yourself may have done something to cause the change in performance <thru some settings or software you've downloaded>.

A lot of viruses these days try to prevent their own removal. They're called rootkits and they hide themselves in the kernelof the operating system. <A previous show with some info about rootkits was on 2-9-9>
– If you suspect you have a rootkit, you can use Tdsskiller by Kaspersky Labs
– Paul doesn't recommend casual use of tools like this because it brings "heavy cannons onto the scene".
<Background about it & alternate ways to download it is here>

The disclaimer:
The opinions and whatnot heard here on KVMR are those of the speaker, not necessarily those of KVMR, its staff, board, underwriters or volunteers.

Michael called. He's using XP and at one point he chose a picture to use as his desktop <wallpaper>. Now he wants to change the desktop but he doesn't want to loose the picture and he can't find where the picture is stored.
– One way to use a picture on your desktop is to right-click on it and pick 'save as desktop' <or similar wording>, as Michael did, If you do it this way, it's often stored in the temporary directory.
– Note where you originally got the picture so you can get another copy if necessary.
– You can go to the temporary directory but it may still be hard to locate the exact file. You can get there by going to start -> run -> enter %temp% in the box -> hit return. Then switch the view to 'thumbnails' <later he called it "icon view">. That will help you locate the picture.
– To help find a particular type of file in the Temporary directory, you can go to View -> Arrange Icons by… -> type. <Then look for .jpg, .gif, .bmp etc.>

Julie called. She was given MacBook Pro which had been used with a wireless internet connection and she wants to use dialup, but she can't find the modem.
– They don't come with modems.
– You can buy an Apple modem (about $49) but the Mac OS must be earlier than version 10.6 or modem won't work. To check your version click the Apple logo on the upper left a pick 'About this Mac'.
– You might be able to use Wildblue, a satellite service, to get your internet. There may be a government program for rural folks that will allow you to get the service for about $39, but it's just a rumor.
– Make appointment at an Apple Store (even if you're out of warranty) and have them test if modem will work on your machine.

Summer called again. She suggested that Julie (see above) use Digital Path for her internet service.
She also mentioned Tineye, an addon for Firefox that lets you do a reverse search on pictures.
<There's a version for Opera, too. Yay!!>

Jayne called to offer Julie another suggestion for using the internet. What she does is use an older Mac that has both a modem and wi-fi. Then she uses this computer to get online and to share the connection with other computers in the house using its wi-fi.

 Last Updated: 5:19 PM 1/13/2012