Aug 14, 2013

Jul - 24 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 < >

Both Glenn & Paul were in the studio.

Glenn said "Samsung has overtaken Apple as the leading, I believe, world wide device for a smartphone". He didn't have the figures handy but thought that included all the phones that Samsung sells, including the low end ones. Paul said patent infringement claims between the two companies are continuing. There are big bucks involved, The Samsung Galaxy S4 is $639 off the shelf without a contract or about $200 with a 2 year contract, he said.

Paul asked Glenn what his favorite Android tablet is. He didn't have a favorite one but did test a Galaxy Note about a year ago. A couple of weeks ago he was going to buy an inexpensive refurbished 7" tablet for $59.99 at Fry's but was steered away from it by indications it wouldn't be a real good product. He had thought it would be useful for exploring what Android was about.

Paul said he just got a "proper" Android TV. The Android stick he talked about on 2-27-13 show didn't work out very well. What he has now is about the size of a pack of playing cards. It's out of China and just says "Android TV" on it. He said he would put up a link about it in today's show notes.
– It's under a $100 and comes with a remote control that has pre-programmed buttons that lets you run built-in apps.
– It includes a separate power supply and doesn't rely on USB port to power it.
– It has 2 USB port and you can plug in a webcam so you can Skype with it. You can access Google Play, the Android store, where you can get apps for Skype & Netflix.
– You can plug a hard drive into one of the USB ports and watch movies from it.
– Glenn asked if one can record TO the hard drive a movie that you're watching (like from Netfix). Paul said there might be an app to save to the hard drive. But a Netfix movie goes directly the HDMI (TV port) and may not allow diversion, unless the Android operating system is hacked in a process called rooting. Paul hasn't explored the possibility and his statements were just speculation.

Paul said he's been looking a tablets and, so far, is attracted to the Google Nexus 7" for $229. It has the 2 features he was particularly interested in: front & back facing cameras and a genuine GPS chip. Some other tablets don't have a GPS chip and rely on other methods to determine your location. Though it can connect to the internet wirelessly, using a mapping service while driving around is problematic, so you have to try something else. Tom Tom for Android lets you download & keep the maps on your device so you don't need to be online to use it. <Tom Tom was mentioned in the 9-26-12 & 5-9-12 shows>
<A New and Improved Nexus 7, by David Pogue>

Paul mentioned his disappointing experience with the PD10 & PD20 tables. <Mentioned on the 11-14-12 show>

The guys talked about the ZTE Firefox smartphone.
– It will only be sold on Ebay.
– It's from China & has been sold internationally but not in the U.S. The entry price is $80 (no contract required).
– To find reviews, google the words: Firefox smartphone…or: zte open smartphone
– It runs the Firefox operating system and has a browser-like interface.
– Paul thinks it may be using the XML markup language, an extension of HTML.
– Reading from an article on the web, Glenn said it uses HTML5.
– Paul speculated that many of the apps that it runs require an internet connection.
– Glenn read, "It will not be locked to a specific mobile network operator"
– It should be a good entry-level phone that has some power behind it, if your web needs are modest.

"Professor" called about his XP laptop, which loses the internet connection when he tries to download or watch a video on Youtube. He's tried both a wireless and a wired connection. The only way to get the connection back is to restart the laptop. He's tried taking the laptop to another location (with a different modem & router) and it still misbehaved.
– Try a different computer on your home network to be sure the network is working ok.
– Visit speedtest.net to check the transfer rate you're getting. He said he did that: he gets about 3meg download speed. That speed should be adequate, Paul said, and suggested he retest periodically because the problem might be intermittent.
– Glenn suggested he consider trying a USB wireless adapter. <As an alternative to the built-in adapter, I guess>
– Paul seemed to focus on tuning up the laptop. "Professor" said he's already tried CCleaner and an AVG clean-up product. Paul said he should uninstall AVG programs <except for the (free) anti-virus>, because they tend to run in the background and put an extra burden on the computer.
– Try using the free Eusing Registry Cleaner. <I think this is it.> Paul thinks it's just as good as any commercial registry cleaner.
– The 2 tools, CCleaner & Eusing cover about 90% of your cleanup needs. <Some other utilities mentioned on 9-14-11 show
– "Professor" said he's only had this failure with Youtube — other video services work ok, at worst they only slow down a bit. Paul said he should check Youtube's video quality setting in the lower right — it may be trying to stream the video in High Def.
– Paul asked him to check the speed of his CPU. Anything slower than 1.7 gigaHz can have problems with Youtube. His is 1.6 gigaHz.
– Some laptops have Intel Speed Step; which allows the CPU to throttle back when it get over heated. Paul thought it's possible the laptop may have accumulated dust that may be causing over heating and, thereby, a slow running CPU. Try compressed air to blow out the dust.

Marilyn called. She was helping relative with their Mac and it was suggested that an anti-virus should be installed on it. Marilyn couldn't find a version of AVG for Macs but did find Avast. But while trying to install it she was required to stop the Safari browser, and she couldn't find how to do that.
– Stopping it is not very intuitive on the Mac.
– First of all, Apples can't get viruses, per se. The need for an anti-virus questionable. However, if you forward email to users of other computers, it's considerate to pre-scan the emails first. This is the only obvious need for an anti-virus.
– Technically, Paul said, a Mac can get a virus but you have to go thru a couple of confirmation steps before a Mac will allow you to install anything, including malware. A Mac won't let malware be foisted on you just by visiting a malevolent webpage. <see foistware>
– Marilyn wasn't sure where the downloaded Avast file was. Paul said it's in the folder called "Downloads". Just drag the file to the trash.
– Go up to the Apple logo and select "Check for Updates".
– Marilyn expressed difficulty finding things on the Mac and Glenn 'reassured' her that even he still has this problem.

Paul explained why companies like AVGgive away free software. It's often the case that free software collects data about your browsing habits and sends it to the company. It's usually "aggregated data" and not associated with the particular user.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions you hear expressed on this, and probably other shows as well, are those of the speakers doing the broadcasting only at this moment, and not necessarily those of KVMR itself, even its board, or its management, its staff, its contributors or even its members.

Glenn said he's going to look into the ZTE Firefox phone. <above> It looks like it has a touch-sensitive screen similiar to the Samsung Galaxy.

Glenn's been getting some questions about Pure Talk, his current cell carrier and one that he's happy with.
– It uses the same cell towers and network as AT&T.
– Some have wondered if AT&T users get higher priority access to the network. He wasn't sure that was even possible. Paul said prioritizing is possible: amber alerts work that way as well as emergency calls by civil servants.
– Pure Talk requires a GSM phone, the type that takes a SIM card. There's a list of phones that aren't compatible. <see their website>

William called with 3 questions. He upgraded a Mac recently but it died shortly afterward.
– Remove the battery and try running without it. He's tried that.
– Hold on to the power button for 20 or 30 seconds. <I'm not sure what it's supposed to do…something about resetting it, maybe>
– The motherboard may have gone bad.
– William thought it might be the power switch. Paul said use an airgun and/or vacuum cleaner to get any dust out of it.
– Check the power transformer. He's already tried that, too.
– William wondered if the new RAM he put in might be the problem. Paul said that wouldn't normally cause it to be totally dead, but it might be worth putting the old RAM back in.

Also, William has temporary use of a PC netbook and wanted to know how to load it with software from a CD.
– You'll have to buy an external CD drive.
– Paul's seen some USB CD DVD drives that are powered from the USB interface for about $29. Check places like amazon.com. Paul looked up one on Amazon for $17.
– If the software comes as an ISO image, you can try putting it on a flash drive and running it from there.

Finally, William asked about reading a Mac hard drive on a PC. He has one in an external enclosure that he hooked up the netbook thru the USB port.
– Google the words: read mac disk on pc. Look for HFS Explorer…it's free.go to page run by Catacombae. <I think this is it>
– Going the other way, Macs will read PC drives but won't write to them without additional software.

Paul has a client who's shopping for a laptop to run Photoshop, which puts a moderate demand on the graphics chip — about 40 frames per second.
– Graphic chips are measured in how many frames per second they can render
– DVDs viewing is adequate at 29.5 frames per second

The graphics in a laptop come in 2 flavors:
1) Discrete graphics unit, which is a separate dedicated graphics processor unit, a GPU. With it, the graphics are snappier and the machine is generally faster. The down side is that it's costlier — about $150, there's more heat produced and there are more things to go wrong.
– Macs can determine when to use their GPU depending on the demand. They shut down the GPU when the workload is light.
2) Built-in, like that by Intel, where the graphics rendering is done by the chip that also does the other things.

Changelog:
spelling: smart phone to smartphone
added link: article about the Google Nexus 7"
fixed minor typos

 Last updated  2:18 PM 8/17/2013