Feb 12, 2014

Jan - 29 2014 | By

Android Emulator onscreen! https://www.manymo.com/emulators

 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 thanked KVMR's subscribing members. If you'd like to support KVMR, go to kvmr.org

Glenn said that at one time he didn't know if I was a male or female and he wanted to use the correct pronoun. <My peeve at the time was the lack of a gender-neutral 3rd person pronoun in the English language>. And that led to talk about how, unlike English, other languages assign gender to words. He was looking for the words 'love' and 'peace' in Arabic for decorative work to put on some bowls at a fundraiser. He found that not only were there different words for 'love' but there were also gender specific versions. Paul noted that in some languages the inflection of a word you're using will vary according to the person you're talking to and their status.

Paul talked a bit about computer programming. The purpose of a programming language is to convey meaning to the underlying electronics of the computer.

There was an aborted attempt in the 1950s to make human-like languages to address computers with. The language Cobol was like that, and Lisp to a certain extent. Cobol was used a lot for business programs and the intent was to let the user make program-like statements to get the answers they wanted: statements like "add interest to principle" or "calculate interest times 12". But statements that make sense to a human, because humans infer much of the meaning, tended to be too inaccurate for a computer to understand precisely.

Glenn is still not completely accustomed to his Windows 8.1 touch screen laptop. < Mentioned on the 1-29-14 show>

Glenn said he was setting up a computer with Windows 8.1 for a friend and found that it "all but demands that you use a Microsoft ID to log into the computer". He had a similar situation when he tried to login to his, at that time, new laptop. At that time he tried his Hotmail ID (Hotmail is owned by Microsoft), and it worked.

But his friend didn't have a Microsoft service whose ID he could try. So, they tried establishing a "local account", but Windows 8.1 still insisted that he create an "online account". Glenn said he has to do more research to figure it out.

Paul wondered what you're supposed to do if you're not online <don't use the internet and don't have a Microsoft ID>. He noted that Microsoft is notorious for creating doubt about the necessity of registering, so he usually looks for a button that says "skip" or "later" to bypass the process. Also, he sometimes uses fake information in the registration process. Glenn's situation is a bit different, if he used a fake email address that might be a problem later if he ever has trouble logging in. <e.g. a temporary password, sent by Microsoft, may be sent to a non-existent email address>.

Paul then talked about communicating with tech support about a problem you're having with a computer. He said, one way to explain a problem to the tech is to take a photo of the screen. He said that you'll get a better picture if the ambient light is reduced so you don't have reflections off of the screen, turn up the brightness of the monitor and keep the camera perpendicular to the screen to prevent distortions <I think he meant parallel to the screen>.

Paul was recently asked what computer language to recommend to a kid who's interested in programming. Years ago one might suggest starting with the language Basic. Then moving on to structured programming using Pascal. And then possibly learning some Assembly language, for talking directly to the hardware.

These days, programmers don't do so much typing of individual program commands but use a graphical interface to put the program together, using menus and such. Paul said Apple, for instance, has a free software development kit (SDK) for programming their mobile devices that run the iOS operating system. You can search for the words: ios sdk. Or you can go to developer.apple.com/ipad/sdk.

You don't actually need an iPad to use the SDK. You load the SDK onto a Mac and create the application there while using an emulator to simulate what it will look like on an iPad. When you've finished, you can then load the completed program onto a real iPad.

That's all you need to do if you're creating an app for yourself or your friends. If you plan to sell the app thru Apple's app store, you'll be asked to pay $100 for a security certificate that validates you as a legitimate developer — proving you're not up to some mischief. Paul said that every app that's sold has to go thru Apple's app store.

Android has similar tools for developing apps. There are versions that run on Linux as well as Windows.

Glenn mentioned in-app purchases. This is where someone playing a game app would be given an opportunity to make a purchase of game tokens or artifacts to help the progression of the game. The game might have been free to download but, when you signed in to the app store to get it, you gave permission to charge your account for the in-app purchases. Kids playing games may not be aware of these charges and can run up quite a bill. Glenn said this has pretty much stopped. Now, if there is an in-app purchase, Apple requires you to re-enter your Apple ID password <which you don't give to your kids>.

Paul posed a puzzle: what is the longest word, in English, you can type using the top row of keys on a standard keyboard. <I think he meant the row just below the numbers>. He gave the clues that the word refers to what you are doing and it's 10 letters long.

Greg called. He has a Mac Mini and he can't open multiple windows when he runs multiple programs. Paul asked if he periodically shuts down the computer or if he just lets it go to sleep. Greg said he has shut it down and the problem persisted when he rebooted.
– Paul said it's a good idea to completely shut it down once in a while.
– With the Mac there is actually only one maintenance utility you can run that could make a difference — the Disk Utility, found under Utilities. Paul suggested Greg run that.
– Greg was asked to run the Finder. On the bottom left of the screen (on the dock) is a blue icon that launches the Finder. Click on it and it will bring up a list of drives and things. Greg went thru various gyrations but was not able to locate the Finder — stoking everyone's sense of irony. Paul asked him to send a picture of the screen and they'll try to figure it out after the show.

Stephanie called. Her iMac was stolen and now she has an iPad Mini, an old iPod, and a friends old Power Mac that's been upgraded to OS10. She's been trying to get the music from the iPod onto the Power Mac with no success.
iTunes <used to manage music> "isn't capable of giving you the music back off the iPod if already it isn't on a computer". Apple designed it so you can't get music or data off the iPod or iPhone unless it started out on your computer (which is now stolen). The intent was to prevent music piracy.
– If you want to do it, you'll need what's called an iPod ripper. It's software NOT made by Apple that runs on Macs or PCs. It waits for an iPod to be plugged into the computer, reads it's contents and allows you to transfer the data.

She also said that when she would "put her iPod on just to use it as an iPod it won't play the music because that iPod is not synched to this computer", it's synched to the stolen computer.

My connection went down at this point and I lost some audio. I didn't hear the name of the program Paul was talking about. When I rejoined, he was talking about a particular ripper for $25.95. There's a free trial version that's 45 megabytes in size. He said there are at least 10 or 15 other ripper programs. <Try searching for the words: ipod ripper>.

Paul noted that newer Macs have the 'find my mac feature' for locating a missing Mac. With this option turned on, it allows you to log into iCloud.com with your Apple ID "and say locate my Mac". She doubted her Mac had that option — it was a 2004 model.

Glenn said the latest iOS <the operating system for Apples mobile devices> forces you to set a password and then periodically asks you to login. He thinks it's annoying but it protects your data in case of theft. Stephanie didn't have a password set on her iPad, which was also stolen.

Paul then talked about backing up your music to the internet. If you have Maverick or Snow Leopard or later operating system on your Mac, Apple lets you back up music you bought at the Apple Store to iCloud. It won't back up any music you put on your iPod from other sources, like from a music CD you have lying around. However, for about $29 a year you can buy a service called Apple Match which will sych ALL of the music — including music you got elsewhere. You can get the music back using any other machine, PC or Mac, that's running iTunes, when you login using your Apple ID.

Alternately, you can use Google Music to backup your music. You'll download software that allows you to use your Google Drive account to store up to 20,000 tracks for free, and it has no restrictions on the original source of the music.

Scott called only to say that Greg (above) sounded exactly like the comic Steven Wright. Scott entertained the thought that it was a put-on. Glenn assured Scott they didn't set that up.

Last updated 11:05 PM 2/22/2014