Oct 1, 2014

Sep - 24 2014 | By

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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 < >

Podcasts of some Zentech shows are here.

Both Glenn & Paul were in the studio for today's show

Paul mentioned the motorcycle repair segment of the last show and referred people to the journal "Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig. Such repair depends a lot on the tactile way of troubleshooting — feeling, hearing, seeing and touching stuff. This paradigm and the name of the journal were part of the inspiration for calling this show Zen Tech.

Paul noted that the suggestions on this show for anti-virus programs have changed over the years. Now, it's not so easy to say that a particular program is good, but that some are less bad than others and none of them are particularly good, they can't keep up with the threats.

Even the best anti-virus program is not 100% effective, maybe only 75% to 80%, said Glenn. Email is the major method of infection, he added.
– If you don't know who the email is from, trash it.
– If you open the email and you still don't know who it's from, don't click on any links in it including "unsubscribe".
<Even if it looks like it's from someone you know, it could be that their account had been hijacked by the bad guys who are now sending you questionable links to click on or who want to gain your personal info.>

Paul related an incident he had with his bank. On the heels of recent data breaches at various retailers, there was a security concern and the bank told him to call a particular 800 number. <He didn't say how the bank contacted him> Paul said in situations like this, you can't be sure the 800 number is that of the bank. Instead the bank should have told him to call the number on the back of his card.
– Don't call a number you can't confirm or don't have a preexisting knowledge of.
– Don't assume a website like chase-finance.com actually belongs to Chase Bank. Companies that issue domain names are not obligated to determine if a website is legitimate.
– No matter how you're being contacted, you may be the subject of a phishing attack. Since the recent data breaches are widely known, they may be taking advantage of your concern by offering supposed remediation, but compromising your security instead.

Marilyn called with a problem in burning CDs. She's been using Roxio without any trouble, but suddenly, the CDs she burns don't play on her computer or that of a friend.
– It could be a problem with drive you use to do the burning.
– It could be a problem with the package of blank disks you bought. Try burning a disk on a different machine to dismiss this possibility.
– Try different software. Many people have iTunes on their machine. Use it to burn a CD — make a playlist, right-click on the playlist and choose 'burn to CD' (or something similar). If that doesn't work, start looking for a hardware problem.
– Roxio has a setting to verify the disk after it's burned. Turn it on.
– CD burners readily go bad. Often you can't even get an extended warranty on them.
– The hardware used to burn a CD is different than the hardware used to play one (in the same drive enclosure). That it can play is not a good test of whether it can burn.
– A read/write CD drive can be had for about $20 to $50 on sale. First determine if your computer takes a SATA or a parallel drive.
– Her computer is a laptop and will be more expensive to replace than a desktop. And, laptop drives go bad more often than the ones for desktops "because they're manufactured in a more compact space".
– To find a replacement drive, go to Amazon or Ebay and search with the name of your laptop + dvdrw (for example). Buy it if it's cheap enough — $15 to $20. Be sure to get a new drive, not refurbished.
– Paul said there are 3 things he doesn't like to buy used — CD drives, rechargeable batteries and hard drives.
– Consider getting an external CD drive, though it could be inconvenient if you need portability.
– Paul also mentioned that you can still get floppy drives that work thru the USB port, at Amazon and other places.

Pam called. She's been using the internet thru a dialup connection on her Windows XP. Her daughter bought her a Dell Inspiron 17" but it only has 2 USB ports and one is taken by a dialup modem. Her printer and external CD drive also need USB ports, so she needs more ports. She also would like to add full-size keyboard.
– Get a USB hub. It will use up one of your USB ports but will give you an additional 3 to 6 ports.
– If the peripheral you plan to plug into it requires power from a USB port (the CD likely will), then get a hub that has its own power supply.
– A USB hub can have issues with speed. Some things shouldn't be plugged into it. A printer, modem or mouse are ok. Flash memory of various sorts, CD drives or external hard drives are relatively fast devices and should preferably be plugged directly into the computer's USB port (not into the hub).
– With many peripherals plugged into the hub, try using only one device at a time because there is a constriction on the amount of data going thru the hub.
– Take a close look at your computer, there may be more USB ports. And look for one color-coded blue — it's the faster USB3 and where you'd want to attach the hub.
– Check if your computer has a PCI Express (PCIe) slot. If so, the Chinese make PCI Express to USB adapters that you can get. Glenn, however, said that he hasn't seen a PCI Express slot on a laptop for a few years.
– Check if your laptop has Bluetooth. If so, you can get a Bluetooth keyboard instead of one that uses USB. Remember, not all wireless keyboards use Bluetooth.

Paul talked about remote areas that don't even have phone lines for dialup service. Some people have found that they can get 3G (cellular) service and are then able to use what's called a mi-fi device to get internet service. Ask the provider if you have a trial period to evaluate the service. Typically, they give you about 15 days, but don't expect to get money back on your data usage.

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 and contributors.

Paul said there still life in Windows XP subject to some conditions.
– Don't use Microsoft Security Essentials.
– Don't use Internet Explorer.
– Keep your browser plugins up to date.

Most of the viruses people get are coming thru Java (not Javascript) or the Flash player, Paul said. The code base for Flash is seriously flawed and can probably never be fixed so try to avoid using it. Youtube videos are increasingly using HTML5 and depending less on Flash, but they still have a ways to go before they're all HTML5. Websites are avoiding Flash content so as not to be liable for compromising the computers of their customers.
– Paul suggested that Windows users remove Flash from their computer buy going into Add/Remove Programs.
– The Chrome browser doesn't complain that Flash is missing when you use Youtube and it's not because Flash is built into Chrome. Paul thinks Google figured out a way to get around it.
– Also uninstall Java. It's being used less than before and usually just in specific proprietary environments — client server environment, for example. If you ever need it again, it's a free download and you'll be getting the latest version. Some people may see a few versions of Java in the list of Add/Remove Programs; remove them all.

Summer called. She has a Google account but when she logs into Youtube she's not allowed to leave comments. She uses the Google "all one account".
– See if there's a separate login for Youtube.
– To see what tips others can offer, do a search for the words: merge youtube google plus.
– Log off global Google account (the all one account). Then go to Youtube and log in there. She tried it during the show and it keeps taking her back to the 'all one account' login.
– So, try a different browser. Also delete the browsing history and cache. <Delete the cookies too>

Summer said she doesn't write down her passwords, she depends on the browser to remember them. Using a different browser will be problematic. Glenn said she can find her passwords in her Safari browser, look for the item called 'Security'.

Summer also asked about upgrading iPhone to IOS8. She heard that it's not so great. Glenn said he hasn't upgraded to IOS8 yet and the 8.1 update was buggy. There no disadvantage to waiting for a few weeks before upgrading. <There are links to articles in the last show's notes>

Paul told us how to find out what passwords are stored by Firefox. Go to tools -> options -> security -> saved passwords and click on 'show passwords'. He suggest people make a separate copy (copy and paste, or however). On the Mac there is a central location that stores all of your passwords — browser, email programs, networks, etc. — but it does mean there's a single point of failure. The Mac feature is called the Keychain.

Glenn thanked the supporting members of KVMR. If you'd like to become a member, please visit KVMR

This particular show is on when you'd normally hear the show See Jane Do. That show will be on Oct 8. The next Zentech shows will be on Oct 22 and Oct 29.

Paul said he found some automated Windows backup software called FreeFileSync. In using it, you'll have to remember that when you add and remove drives, the drive letters change and you'll have to tell the backup program to keep it backing up to the same physical drive. Free File Synch supercedes what he suggested before — SynchBackFree. Also, he no longer recommends Cobian for backup.

Ron Avanzino, a KVMR DJ, had a question for the guys. How can he download files from Windows Media player to a flash drive?. Paul suggest he just drag and drop the files and not even use Media Player. Go to the profile directory and look for the folder called 'Music', which contains the audio. Or you might be able to drag the playlist in Media Player straight to the flash drive.

Changelog:
minor changes to spelling & syntax

Last Update: 7:01 PM 10/6/2014