Jul 24, 2013

Jul - 10 2013 | By

Additional notes

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at: twitter.com/ddhart.
– They're tagged with #Zentech.
– When what's said is unclear to me (or I'm unfamiliar with a topic) I tend to quote (" ") verbatim.
– Editor's comments are delimited by < >

 

NOTE: there will be NO Zentech show on 7-31-13

 

Both Paul & Glenn were in the studio.

Glenn thanked those who chose to become supporting members of KVMR. If you'd like to become a member, visit the KVMR web site kvmr.org . Local listeners can call 530-265-9073 to join.

As noted in on a pervious show, every word in the dictionary and many short sentences have been reserved as website names in the .com domain <names like xxx in xxx.com>. Similarly, names for the .net & .org domains are "pretty much gone".

There is a name grab going on for Facebook too. Zentech has a Facebook page and you're welcome to join.

There's gross misconduct on Facebook called "like farming". 'Likes' are worth money, the more 'likes' the more money. See the above link for more info.

Glenn was helping a friend who has a computer identical to the ones both he and Paul have: an Asus 12" notebook. <I think it's actually a netbook>. Her computer was starting to run slowly and Glenn was going to reinstall the operating system (XP). The computer didn't have separate copy of XP and Asus wanted $50 to send a copy. She only used her computer for email so Glenn thought installing the free Ubuntu operating system would work fine for her. Earlier, Paul had suggested he install X-Ubuntu, a light version of Ubuntu.

Glenn had trouble creating the required Ubuntu bootable CD until he used his Mac computer to do it. He's now using a similar process with X-Ubuntu.

Paul explained that X-Ubuntu has the X graphical user interface that goes back to a time before Windows. It's a type of windows manager that has a counterpart on the Mac as Finder and on Windows as Explorer. X-Ubuntu works well on small and underpowered netbooks.

There are many choices of windows manager for Ubuntu. One such manager is made by the Ubuntu people and is called Unity. Paul said he doesn't care much for it because it's not as intuitive as some of the others. You can get the KDE Desktop Environment, which Paul likes, or one called Gnome. If you need guidance on installing KDE, just google the words: Ubuntu KDE.

Paul said downloads & installations of "stuff" is fairly problem free in the Linux environment. However, Glenn did have trouble getting Firefox to run automatically when starting up. He said Ubuntu wouldn't let him drag the Firefox icon to the startup folder until he managed to get it on the desktop. From there he could drag it to the startup folder.

Years ago there was a windows manager called Lindows that looked & worked much like Windows. It sounded too similar to Windows and Microsoft got them to change the name. The program eventually faded into history.

Older computers are more amenable to using Linux than other operating systems. As long as they are in reasonably good shape, even machines going back to the 1990's can run Linux; where otherwise they won't run Windows XP or the Mac OS. Even a Mac Power PC can be a good canidate for Linux. Paul said he's never seen a virus in the Linux world, though they do exist.

Paul didn't think it was right that Asus tried to sell the install disk for $50. He noted that peer-to-peer networks can sometimes have copies of installation CDs that would normally come from the manufacturer; OEM CDs.

Glenn said the local maker group The Curious Forge will have its first open house at its new location on Thursday Aug 1. Its now at 12400 Loma Rica Drive <Nevada City, I guess. To get the hours, I suggest going to their website>.

Paul recommended inexpensive translucent CD protector sleeves with double-sided tape on them to keep installation CDs attached to the computer they go with. He also uses a Sharpie on white PVC tape to keep notes directly on the equipment he's working on. "A nerd and his information are soon separated", so keep the information with the computer, Paul said.

Glenn said he once used a Sharpie on masking tape for this purpose but the writing faded. Masking tape gets "crispy" and sticks permanently when it ages, Paul added. Glenn said a number 2 pencil doesn't fade, but you have to pair it up with a suitable surface: it has trouble writing on slick surfaces. Glenn claimed the writing from a Sharpie will fade, despite what many people think.

Continuing on the topic of writing permanence, Paul mentioned you can get aluminum tape at garden stores for outdoor use, where conditions are harsher. You can also cut out a coke can and write on that <the inner surface> using a scribe to indent or emboss the surface with lettering: use a semi-hard surface behind it, like wood, to aid in the embossing.

Josh called with a question about how to connect a newish, 6 month old Mac Book Pro, which doesn't have Ethernet, to an old (7 or 8 year old) Brother laser printer. The Mac doesn't have Ethernet but has wireless and the printer has Ethernet but no wireless.
– You can get an Ethernet to USB adapter.
– Or you can connect the printer to your office router. That puts them both on the same network (one attached by cable (Ethernet) and the other wirelessly).
– Then turn the printer on and go to Preferences -> Printers. The printer should be using either Bonjour or Rendezvous to announce itself to the network. The Mac should then be able to identify the printer. You then "add" the printer by clicking on the plus symbol.

Josh's other question is how to format a hard disk that was made for a PC.
– Use the disk utility called Disk Manager
– Paul also suggested the use of TimeMachine to do your backups.

Josh said he bought a 4teraByte hard drive and was thinking of partitioning it to do separate backups for him & his wife.
– You don't have to partition the drive when you use TimeMachine. What you do is first pick reasonable names for the 2 computers (JoshsMacBook & WifesLaptop, for example).
– When you plug in the drive, designate it as a TimeMachine backup drive. Wait for it to finish backing up the first computer. Then eject the drive. Next, plug it in to her machine and repeat the procedure (answer NO when it asks you if you want it to use the backups from the 1st machine).
– This should create 2 folders within a backup folder, with the names you chose in the 1st step above.
– As long as you don't touch <add or delete> anything in that backup folder (the one with the 2 subfolders), you can use the rest of the drive like it's an ordinary drive. Thus you don't have to do any partitioning.
– You can use any drive out there (including flash drive) and format it to the native HPFS+ .Go to Applications -> Folder Utilities -> Disk Utilities and erase what ever partitions are on the drive to make it just 1 partition. You can also name the drive at this time. <Note: be prepared to lose any date the drive came with>
– Ideally, the backup drive should be twice the size of the drive you're backing up. Or twice the size of the space being used, if you're not already using all of the space on the internal drive.

Glenn asked if there is a program similar to TimeMachine but for the PC. Paul asked listeners to call if they know of one. Paul has been using Cobian Backup. It's free but can be vexing to use. For one thing, it can't backup files that are currently in use — it just unceremoniously stops when it comes to such a file.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on this show are those of the speakers only and are not necessarily those of KVMR, management, staff or contributors

Many people don't write down the passwords they use because they've heard it's dangerous to do so. Glenn said it's dangerous not to write them down if you don't have an adequate system to keep track of them.

Paul said a knowledgeable technician is able to get past a password that's protecting a computer and do it without ever finding out the password. Don't think a password will protect your computer after it's stolen.

On the Mac there's something called Keychain. It stores in one place all of the passwords you use. You then need just one password for Keychain itself to use all of the passwords it contains.

Some wireless routers that use WPA passwords allow you to use a phrase (including spaces) instead of a password, making it easier to remember.

Bill called to suggest a backup program for Windows called Paragon Hard Disk Manager Pro for about $130. It is avail as in trial version at download.cnet.com . Note, Bill recommends the Pro version. <Possibly different than the one at Cnet>
– It does incremental backups and will backup files that are currently in use.
– Bill said Acronis True Image doesn't work well. It's "garbage".

Bill asked about software that can crack a password protected .rar file. <.rar files are similar to .zip files where the data is compressed>

It's been said that Microsoft uses weak passwords in its products, in some cases using the Rot13 method. See the above link <go to rot13.com, copy & paste the encrypted text (above) and it will be decoded>

Paul didn't have a specific answer to Bill's cracking question. There used to be a Unix program called Crack that would attempt to crack a password. Paul said there is a Windows version.
<More info about Crack including a whitepaper here.>

 Glenn asked the for the name of the program that would copy media files from an iPod to a PC. This assumes you no longer have access to the computer that originally put that media on the iPod.
– Search for an iPod ripper like xilisoft.
– When you plug the iPod into a computer it's never 'seen' before, make usre iTunes does not start because iTunes "would love" to format an iPod it's never seen before. Then run the iPod ripper.
<for the latest trial version go to download.cnet.com and search for words: Xilisoft iPod Rip>

<There is about a minute of dialog I missed at this point because the KVMR stream paused. The archived file at KVMR completely ended here though the stream restarted when Marilyn called in.>

Marilyn called wanting to know if a 1gig Dell Inspiron memory chip would work in a Dell Latitude. Would she do any damage if there is an incompatibility.
– Usually no damage would be done.
– There are 2 ways for it to be incompatible. It may not use the same physical plug where it plugs into the motherboard. Or, it may have a clock speed that's slower that what's required by the computer you're putting it in to. A memory chip with a faster than required speed should be ok.

Changelog:
fixed link: download.cnet.com

Last updated 6:16 PM 7/26/2013