Jan 29, 2014

Jan - 22 2014 | By

Both Paul & Glenn were in the studio today

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– 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 < >

Talking about the weather & chance of rain in the Nevada City area, Glenn thought it's a good idea to have your headlights on all of the time. He cautioned people to be especially careful of oily & wet roads, at least until the oil has had a chance to dissipate. And Paul noted that around 1992, the year to which his car dates, electronics on cars were made to turn off the headlights when you park the car and exit. All the more reason to always keep the lights on.

Paul recalled the time, as late as the 1960s, when some cars were started by a hand crank in the front fender. He remembered being instructed to keep his thumbs on the same side of the crank handle as his other fingers. This was to prevent injury in case the engine "caught" and the "handle would flip back".

Glenn said the intro music today was Pentatonix <the link from a previous show> doing a Daft Punk song called "Fix it".

Paul talked about privacy on the internet and how easy it is now to google someone's name and find info on that person, whether good or bad. Websites like archive.org, that keeps copies of defunct websites, have provided lawyers with evidence in trials. <Bottom line is be careful what you voluntarily put on the net>

Paul said if you put on your website 'robots.txt', that will prevent webcrawlers from indexing parts or all of your website — "removes it from the indexer's databank". This trick actually works retroactively — sites like archive.org will remove the website from its archives.

Glenn reminded listeners that they need to renew their choice to opt out of junk mail <advertising by postal mail> and junk phone calls.
<Some info on opting out of paper mail here>

Glenn thanked current members of KVMR for supporting the station. If you want to become a member please go to kvmr.org.

Mark called. He has a Dell Pentium PC that he uses for a little Autocad, <a drafting program>, a little spreadsheet work. He wanted to know what to look for in current computers when he shops for a new one. What about the half tablet half laptop models?
– Microsoft has the Surface tablet, which runs Windows — used to be Windows RT, Glenn's not sure if models with RT are still available, but RT being phased out.
– Paul said RT would likely not run Autocad.
– Glenn opined that Android tablets and Apple's mobile products are well supported but support for Windows products will decline.
– Paul: some form of Autocad will work on <some> tablets. They will read .dwg files and you can do some productive work, but it will not be the full version of Autocad.
– Glenn, realizing Mark's requirement for Autocad, said Windows 8 might be the way to go. Check out HP, Asus and Dell tablets with detachable keyboards and running Windows 8.1.

Glenn noted that he recently bought an Asus PC laptop with touch screen and a non-detachable keyboard. It has a 10' screen, 4gig of RAM, 500gig hard drive, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3 port, an SD memory slot, an Ethernet port and HDMI & VGA output. He got it on sale for $298.
<more about his Asus from a previous show is here>

Paul said some big box stores display laptops with and without touch screens, side by side. The touch screen typically adds $150 to $200 to the price.

In Paul's opinion, Mark would do best with some sort of notepad computer — a subminiature laptop with a 10' to 13' screen.

From Glenn's experience, he finds little justification for prices over $600. Mark should be able to get a computer to satisfy his needs for under $700. Paul said, if the laptop you buy has a separate and discreet video subsystem, if it has a graph processor unit (the GPU speeds up the display) and not integrated video graphics, it can add about $100 to its price. Paul said a discreet graphics unit may be worth looking into — the one thing worth the extra money.

Mark wondered, if he buys a laptop with Windows 8, can he turn off Win8 an run Windows 7.
– HP is selling, by request, new computers with Windows 7.
– Shop on the HP website to put together a Win7 computer to meet your needs. <Stores may not offer Win7 option>. Also check Dell Computers for similar offers.
– If you don't mind refurbish computers, consider Joy Systems. They sell only thru the likes of Amazon or Overstock. They don't sell directly to the consumer. Search for the words: joy systems amazon
<Where can you still find a PC running Windows 7?>

Josh called. He loved the discussion about crank starting a car. He recalled the time he was fire department volunteer at a college and had to start an old fire truck (circa 1930s) with a crank.

Josh also mentioned another old technology — the floppy disk. That got Paul talking about America Online (AOL) that sent out vast numbers of subscription CDs. There have been internet discussions about what you can do with them — make a device to scare birds or make wind chimes. Apparently, some of those CDs were made to read from either side. When CDs were relatively new to the public, AOL wanted people to be able to read them no matter which side was up. This meant no lettering or graphics could be put on them and people would eventually forget what they were for.

Josh finally got to his question. He recently bought a multi-function wireless printer and device server. It seems he wants to connect his Brother laser printer to the device server. He was asked to enter a passcode and thought it meant the passcode on his iPad but there was not enough room to enter all of the digits.
– Glenn said that's the wrong passcode. The one to enter is the one for your router. Enter the code in your iPad to get it and the printer on the same network.
– Next, download the Brother app onto your iPad, which will then allow you to print from the iPad. The app should let you identify the Brother printer on the wireless system.
– Glenn encountered a similar situation and ended up connecting a Brother printer using an Ethernet cable to the router (not wirelessly).
– Paul said it's not straightforward to print from an Apple mobile device. Typically you have to cut-'n-paste — cut the content you want to print and then paste to the printing app. But Mark said he can print directly to an HP printer without the cut and paste operation. Paul acknowledged that he might be a little behind in knowing the latest procedures.
– Paul and Mark noted that though tablets are light and small compared to notebooks, there was a time when portable computers were as big as sewing machines — the era of the luggables.

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

Listeners were invited to write in to the guys, during the show or any other time at zen at kvmr dot org.

Paul observed that a lot of artistic people are introverted. The guys chatted a bit about performances by various music groups, including Mike Oldfield (did Tubular Bells) who was so reluctant to be interviewed on the BBC that it took Richard Branson of Virgin Records giving him a Rolls Royce to persuade him.

Paul wondered about the usefulness of 800 numbers.
– They count against your cell phone minutes.
– But, Glenn said, many plans include unlimited talk minutes. The companies try to get you for the data instead.
– Glenn rarely uses a landline. He likes his NetTalk provider when he gets things working, but their customer service sucks.

Paul talked about the Android app store Google Play. The apps are cheap, typically under $10, and "there is a moratorium on the deduction of payment that lasts maybe an hour" wherein you can get a refund on the app.
– The Android store tends to be chaotic. There are many different Android devices the apps can potentially run on and Google doesn't differentiate.
– There are bogus apps out there. They're not necessarily malicious, though it's happened. Some just try to get you to buy thing and have no substance to them. Check the reviews before you buy.
– The Android store lists apps by how many have been downloaded. Paul said that the most downloaded apps might have the least problems. That doesn't mean they're the best apps though.
– When you delete an app, Android does a pretty good job of cleaning up — unlike "certain" other platforms.

Glenn said he bought a $30 gift certificate from Google Offers that expired on Oct 31 for $12. He used it on Oct 31 but then got a message from Google saying we notice you didn't use the certificate and we're going refund the $12. Glenn told them he did use it and not to send him the $12, because he didn't want the merchant to get screwed. Google said they've already started the process and will proceed. They assured Glenn that the merchant would be paid. Glenn was pleasantly astonished.

Paul said it used to be material stuff was expensive and labor was cheap now it's the other way around, and "labor is what you have when you talk to somebody on the phone". In Paul's opinion, though you buy material products from abroad, you should shop locally for your service.

Frank called. He has a Compaq laptop and keeps getting the message NTLDR could not open drive multidisk and R disk in partition 1".
– NTLDR stands for Window new technology loader, which goes back to Windows NT4.
– NTLDR is the early stage in loading the operating system (Windows XP or maybe Windows 7).
– Keep hitting the F8 key when you start the bootup to start it in single user mode or command prompt. <They didn't say what he should do after that>.
– The machine may be trying to boot from something plugging into it. Remove any flash drives like camera flash drives. Also remove any peripheral equipment like printers.

Last update 10:13 PM 1/29/2014