Sep 25, 2013

Sep - 11 2013 | By

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Paul was in the studio, Glenn called in from Sacramento

The intro music was the track Nothing Is Something Worth Doing by Shpongle

Glenn got to try the iPhone 5S & 5C at a T-Mobile store.
– It doesn't look that much different from the previous version.
– The big thing this time is the changes in the operating system — it's now iOS 7. However, it won't work on anything earlier that an iPhone 4 or 4S. Nor will it run on the original iPad — iPad 2 or later is required.
– The 5S has an new processor — the A7 chip
– The 5S has a 4" screen — iPhone 4 is said to have a 3.5" screen.
– In comparison, Glenn saw a friends newest Samsung Galaxy. It's screen is much larger — it's "almost all LCD screen".

Those who have iPhones or iPads that have the "traditional wide dock" (not the newer Lightning dock) can buy device that lets them read flash cards. The device is about $5 or $10 on Ebay. Google the words: flash dock.

Glenn had some problems getting his Asus netbook to connect to a router, even while using a direct Ethernet cable. It's an AT&T/Motorola router and Paul remembered that the cream-colored 2-wire router from AT&T is known to have had problems some time back — something to do with capacitors. Glenn's router is black.

Glenn addressed some questions that have accumulated over the past weeks. Richard wrote in asking if there is an inexpensive, reliable notebook with out wi-fi.
– Glenn didn't think that there are any notebooks sold without wi-fi. But you can just turn off the wi-fi.

Richard also asked about an inexpensive but reliable printer that doesn't cost a fortune in ink to operate.
– The ink for all of them is fairly expensive.
– Paul noted that buy.com (aka rakuten.com) has a series of Canon Laser printers with scanners whose ink cartridge can print 3000 black & white images. One of the cheaper Canons is $110. Also, the cartridges don't have any electronic chips meant to prevent refilling.

Recently, Fry's has been advertising Asus PCs with a 15.6" screen, Intel dual core processor, 4gig of memory, 300gig hard drive and Windows 8 for $258.

Paul repeated his challenge for anyone to tell him what benefit Windows 8 has over anything else. He also said that the tile interface is disliked by many. At least in Windows 8.1 that interface is optional.

The guys complained that logging off a computer often involves more than one action — it's true with many products including those from Apple. Paul gave some tips.
– With laptops, and often with desktops, if you push the off button once briefly, it doesn't shut it done but "triggers the shut down process as if you told the machine to shut down with the mouse".
– This action can be changed. Go to the Control Panel -> Power Options (sometimes under Desktop). There you can specify what to do when you press the off button — some choices are shut down, hibernate and ask me.
– Glenn noted that a pushing and holding down the off button is not the best way to turn of a computer because running programs are not terminated properly and you're not logged off of Windows.

Paul gave some tips when you have programs not responding or the mouse is jammed or things have slowed way down. In preferred order…
1) Be patient. Wait for the computer to finish something that's just taking a long time. Look at the hard drive light to see if it's busy, wait for it to finish. A busy drive light is the worst time to pull the power plug. 5 minutes is reasonable time to wait.
2) When you come back, use the mouse to close individual programs.
3) If nothing works right, not just your programs, press Control+Alt+Delete. This brings up the Task Manager. It should come up in 60 seconds and you can use it to shut down the computer <or individual programs>.
4) Push the power button briefly to see if it gives you a choice to shut down.
5) The last option is to hold the power button down for up to 30 seconds. That forces power supply to shut down.

Ingrid called to asked about places that refill ink carts.
– A few weeks ago Glenn took Epson ink cartridges into Costco for refilling. However, they didn't work right and he plans to get a refund. He said Costco has a pretty good return policy.
– Paul said it's pretty messy trying to refill them yourself. One drop of ink can leave a lot of stain. He doesn't do that anymore.
– You can buy cheap cartridges at Amazon or Ebay. <I've had good results with LD Products>
– Newer printers often have cartridges that contain a chip to prevent or make it difficult to refill. Older printers don't usually have this problem.
– Paul read up on the laser printer he bought to be sure the cartridge would be easy to refill or buy refurbished.
– Glenn said some newer laser printer cartridges come with the fuser roller & exposure mechanism so you end up replacing the high mortality parts all at once — not just the toner alone.

Paul was delighted to find that the $110 printer/scanner he bought has an automatic document feeder that can feed 40 8.5" X 11" documents to be scanned. But after using it a while it stopped feeding in the documents. It turned out that it had only a single roller that does the feeding and it would get coated with china clay and paper fibers from the documents. Business grade printer/scanners usually have multiple rollers to do the job. He solved the problem by gently using emery paper on the roller to rough up its surface. He said if you clean rubber rollers with isopropyl alcohol don't use rubbing alcohol — it contains lanolin, which leaves a slick finish.

Bruce called. He had revived a old Pentium 4 computer and after adding software to it, he found an instance of "service host" taking up much of the processor time. <Do a Control+Alt+Delete -> click the Processes tab -> see the items called svchost.exe> If he kills tha//t process, it works fine. He wants to know how to find the program that is launching that instance of service host.
– Use the Microsoft program called Process Explorer. It's like task manager but gives more information.
– To figure out what you're looking at in Process Explorer, google the terms to get more info.
<Process Explorer was mentioned in the 10-19-09 show>
Tips for Using Process Explorer>

Dell sells refurbished PCs on Ebay. You can find many sources for Dell computers but the one run by Dell is more diligent in responding to complaints and negative feedbox. See the above link.

Paul noted, again, that older machines are more amenable to running the Ubuntu <Linux> operating system than other modern operating systems. He has been using Kubuntu, which is Ubuntu with the KDE user interface. There are 32bit and 64bit versions of Ubuntu.
<Info on Kubuntu can be found here and here>

Xubuntu is a simpler version of Ubuntu runs on computers with lower processing power like the Asus netbooks.
<Xubuntu was mentioned on the 5/22/13 show>
<Info on Kubuntu can be found here and here>
<From a few years back, Jeffrey Hein did a writeup on Linux>

Pam called. She has an older computer that gives a "certificate error" when using Yahoo or Amazon.
– She needs new battery for the internal clock. Certificates are issued with dates and her clock is too far off to match the certificate date.
– She can manually reset the clock for temporary fix. Just double click the clock running in the system tray. <Usually in the lower left of the screen in the task bar>

When trying to figure out how to fix a computer, Paul suggested Youtube as a great source for tutorial videos. Get the model of your computer and go Youtube and do a search with the model number and description of the problem.

Jade called. She got the FBI virus on her computer and wanted to know what to do.
– Unplug from the internet (disconnect the cable, for instance)
– She didn't know how to start up in safe mode so Paul said to startup normally. When the virus displays the FBI warning, press Control+Alt+Delete. That launches the Task Manager.
– When the Task Manager comes up find Firefox or Internet Explorer on the list and kill it <using the "End Task" button>.
– Then use the Start button (lower left of the screen) -> programs -> startup folder. In the startup folder is "something you can't identify" — it's a "URL page" that launches Firefox (when you boot the machine) and displays the FBI warning.
– So it's actually web page not a virus. The item in the startup folder runs when you boot the machine and that runs Firefox and displays the webpage with the warning. An anti-virus program isn't likely to catch something like this.
– Keep up with the updates to your computer, the operating system & programs.
– Use an anti-virus program <Like AVG>.
– Paul said something got on your machine and managed to alter the contents of your startup folder. "That's not good".
– Google the words: fbi virus
– Paul actually saw this 'virus' on his own machine. It's the Green Dot Moneypack 'virus'. When he did the Google search he found instructions at 2-spyware.com to deal with it.
<I think this is the link he found>

Richard called about Freedom Pop. It's some kind of router for $89 + shipping. You can use it to get free internet access of up to 10 megabytes per month and pay $20/month if you want more data.
– The guys haven't heard of it before and plan to revisit the subject on the next show.
– Glenn speculated it might work thru a cell phone provider.
– Paul then did a Google search on the words: freedom pop review. He found some reviews on Amazon and plans to read up on it.
<Maybe this is what he saw:>

Last updated 11:04 PM 9/25/2013