Dec 24, 2014

Dec - 10 2014 | By

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Podcasts of some Zentech shows are here.

NOTE: According to Glenn, there will not be a Zentech show next week on 12-31-14

Happy holidays everyone!

 

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

Glenn has been trying to update the operating system on his iPad to version 8 and found that he'll have to delete a bunch of files to make room. Some of his apps aren't updating either.

Paul has a 3GS iPhone, a model that's 4 or 5 years old. He hasn't had a problem updating the apps he's using, but the phone is noticeably bogging down. The 3GS model can't be upgraded beyond version 6 (iOS6). Some of the newer apps require iOS7, at least.

Paul had some suggestions for offloading files from an iDevice.
– Use a cable or wi-fi to connect to a Mac and use iPhoto on the Mac to bring in the pictures from the iPad.
– Plug the iPhone <iPad too, I guess> into either a Mac or PC. Then, launch iTunes and tell it to backup the iPhone. That will back up the data and settings.
– Next, press the 'restore' button on the iPhone to wipe out all of the data, but first try to insure your backup can be restored.
– Finally, upgrade to iOS8 and restore what you've backed up.

Paul said if you have Yosemite (version 10.10) on your Mac and iOS8 on your mobile device, they will cooperate nicely.
– You'll get Drivespace — Apple's attempt to mimic Dropbox or Google Drive for storage in the cloud.
– You can start doing your emails on one device, quit part way through and continue on another device.

Marilyn called with a question concerning her brother's 3-year-old Apple computer. Up until recently he's been able to play videos from Youtube, but now he's getting a message saying "go to the library and delete the older version of Adobe Flash player".
– Apple is sending down what's known as killbits that prevents the particular version of Flash from working because it's "defective" <vulnerable to hacking, I guess>.
– On the Mac, search for the words: download flash. Marilyn said he's been updating Flash, but Paul said updating won't work, you have to download a newer version of Flash.
– "There is no upgrade path anymore on the Mac for the very simple reason that's another path that virus writers use to break into your computer". The hackers would cause a popup to appear saying you need to update your Flash player. When you click on the popup, a virus would download.
– So be sure you download a newer Flash directly from Adobe at get.adobe.com/flashplayer. That webpage will determine if you're using a PC or a Mac and send you the correct version of Flash.
– Be careful of using a search engine for finding the webpage. Virus writers are able to get their bogus websites to display in the search results.
– Adobe will offer additional software with the Flash download. If you don't really need it, uncheck that option.
– The new version of Flash will overwrite the old version. You shouldn't have to delete it. The 'library', which was in the message Marilyn saw, is hidden. Paul the 'library' is hidden and you have to hold the Option key when you access the file menu. He couldn't quite remember the exact procedure but suggested it's best not to mess with it — it's hidden for a reason.

Aaron called. He has a ZTE smartphone that doing some strange things, like the photos not being displayed. He wanted to know how to reset the phone and start from scratch.
– A reset should be the last resort. Try other things first…
– Go to the Google Play store and find applications that clean an Android device. This should free up memory. Operating systems, in general, start to act up when there's less than about 10% space left.
– Not all of the cleaning apps do a good job. The one Paul used before worked well but he couldn't remember its name. It was a free one that had some 10 million downloads. Search for the words: android cleanup. An app with that many downloads is generally safe to use. Paul said he'd find the name of the app and post it to this page.

Aaron also wondered if there was a way to charge his flip phone from a smartphone's battery, in the same way he uses a laptop to charge the phone.
– Glenn didn't think that was possible. Smartphones aren't designed to send power out.
– There are battery packs available just for this purpose. They range in price from $5 to $30.
– Paul implied there are charging units that work off a car's battery to charge cell phones. <From the cigarette lighter, I guess>

William called. He finally bought a PC, with Windows 7, after 25 years of using a Mac. He needs the PC because of the programs he uses. He wanted to know how to transfer data from another Win7 PC to the one he just bought.
– Don't try to transfer the apps themselves (Microsoft Word, Firefox, Thunderbird etc.). Do a fresh installation of the programs on the new machine.
– Google the words: windows Easy Transfer. Go to the Microsoft site that tells you how to use the Easy Transfer app. That website will have the program for you to download, but it's meant only for Window XP & Vista. Win7 has the program built in, so you only need to read the instructions.
– When the program runs, it guides you thru the process and offers alternatives — like transferring to a hard drive.
– Using an Ethernet cable to connect the machine is preferred. Wi-fi can have dropouts. And don't interrupt the process once started. It may take several hours for the 70 gigs he needs to transfer.

William asked about transferring the data from the Thunderbird email program.
– The data and settings for Thunderbird are stored separately from the program itself, and will be transferred together.
– After the data transfer, do a fresh install of Thunderbird. After the installation, Thunderbird will find the data and start using it. But you have to do the data transfer before installing Thunderbird.

William next asked about getting the data from the Chrome browser on the old machine to the new one.
– He has a Gmail account so Paul suggested he sign in, using those credentials, on the old machine when using Chrome, creating a Chrome account. Then, when he signs in using Chrome on the new machine, the data will download from the internet. <Google stores your bookmarks, passwords, etc. I guess>
– Alternately, using the Easy Transfer program 'should' also transfer the Chome data to the new machine from the old one.
– You can tell if you're already signed in with Chrome if you see your name in the upper right corner of Chrome, just below the 3 horizontal lines.
– Do a Google search for how to sign in to Chrome. It's Chrome you want to sign into, using your Gmail account info. You want to create a Chrome account. <As I understand it>

Lastly, William said he's having trouble getting used to using the Left/Right click buttons next to the trackpad on his new laptop.
– Glenn suggested he use a wireless mouse instead of the trackpad.
– You should be able to tap the pad itself to click or double click.

The guys tried to gave away a pair of tickets to the Tech Museum in San Jose. They were to go to the first caller, but no one called for them.
– The tickets expire on 12-31-14.
– Check the museum's website for holiday hours.
– At the end of the show they said they would give the tickets to the first one who emails them at zen at kvmr dot org.
– Don't do it if unless you have a good chance of using them.

Aaron called again. He said he's having problems with some of the apps on his smartphone. In particular, he can't get Firefox to remember the pages he tries to bookmark.
– Paul said he likes Firefox but it doesn't work so well on an Android machine. He said Chrome works very well.
– If you use Chrome on both a desktop & mobile, they will synch their data.

Pam called. Her daughter got her a laptop and put Panda Free anti-virus on it. She heard mention of malware, spyware & other stuff, so she wondered if Panda Free will take care of all this threats.
– Most anti-virus programs cover different types of malware but Paul isn't familiar with the Panda brand.
– The guys suggested using AVG and Avast anti-virus programs. Both have free versions.
– Ask your daughter. She put Pand on the machine, she may know more about it.

Other security tips:
– Don't expect protection from phishing attacks.
– Remember, no anti-virus is 100% effective.
– Emails are notorious for infecting machines. Don't open emails when you don't know the sender. Don't click the links in an email.
– Even when the email looks like it's from someone you know, it may not be. Yahoo accounts get hacked often. The bad guys may be using your friend's account to send you email.
– Paul suggested that people close their Yahoo accounts so no one can hack it and spam your friends <from your contact list>. Don't just abandon the account. Pull the email off of it and kill it.

The guys mentioned the Sony hack. Paul thought it might have been facilitated by a disgruntled employee or someone at Sony who got paid off. Paul also said that most security breaches are not high tech but result from theft of equipment.

Haphazard called. He has an iMac and ever since a DVD was put in it, nothing works and the DVD is stuck. <There was a Mac with a stuck disk on the 11-26-14 show. See below for the resolution>
– Shut it down for an extended period of time and pull out the power plug.
– Hold down the mouse button as you put the plug back in and as you power it up. That should send an eject signal to the DVD drive before the operating system boots. If it doesn't eject, then it's physically stuck in there. Try this first before resorting to what's described below or before taking the drive apart.

They eventually figured out what went wrong with Connie Coale's Mac, which had the stuck CD. When she reached for the last CD in the stack to burn data to it, she also picked up the protective plastic sheet below it, which was the same shape as a disk. She inserted both the disk and the sheet into the drive and that caused the jam. The slot in the Mac is designed to the width of 1 disk and a bit more. That little bit more was enough to accept both disk & sheet. They had to use a long paper clip with a loop formed on the end to pop the disk off the spindle.

Changelog:
added links to: Thunderbird, Chrome, Easy Transfer, Tech Museum, Firefox, Panda Free, the 11-26-14 show

Last Update 4:49 PM 12/26/2014