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NOTE: This is last show this month. “See Jane Do” will air on 6-24-15 in place of Zen Tech. Next show should be on 7-8-15
Both Glenn & Paul were in the studio today.
It was on Sunday or maybe Monday that Glenn used his iPhone to check his email and found that only his Yahoo mail was available. His 2 Gmail accounts just “went away” — it wasn’t that the mail wasn’t received, “the accounts were gone”.
Paul said that Google has noticeably become less tolerant of 3rd party applications. Thunderbird will sometimes relay a message, generated by Google’s Gmail, saying “you need to log into the web-based Gmail before you can continue in Thunderbird”.
Paul asked Glenn if there had been an upgrade. Glenn said that’s the only thing he could think of, because a couple of days later everything was back to normal.
Paul said that his nearly 7 year old iPhone 3GS has trouble receiving text messages when it’s in sleep mode (phone is on but the screen is off). He thought it’s because of the weak cellular signal he has at home, only 1 bar, and that’s not enough to wake the phone up.
He went on to explain reciprocal backoff. When he first puts down the phone, it will poll the phone network every minute. If there’s nothing happening, it starts polling every 5 minutes, then every 10 minutes. <Reciprocal backoff was also mentioned on the 8-28-13 show>
When a phone does this polling, interference can sometimes be heard on a nearby stereo system that’s not properly grounded. It’s a screeching sound followed by periodic bleeps. Some people are fooled into thinking there’s a call coming when it’s just the phone checking in.
Glenn still hasn’t upgraded his iPhone 4S to iOS8. He has to clear enough space on the phone for the upgrade and hasn’t got around to it. Glenn’s also read reviews suggesting that iOS8 would be pushing the capabilities of his phone rather hard.
Paul said his iPhone 3GS can’t be upgraded beyond iOS6. Some apps are still being created to run on iOS6 but are progressively putting more demand on older phones. His phone bogs down horribly when using Facebook because new features are continually being added.
Paul noted that cooking has become more interesting with the availability of all sorts of technical gadgets in recent years. For instance, an infrared thermometer allows you to take the surface temperature of your food at a distance simply by pointing it at the food.
A number of years ago Paul was at a science museum in London and saw a beautiful damask sword on display. These types of swords were made in modern day Syria. They are a scientific mystery because nobody in the West had ever figured out the process by which they were made. The technique and the steel originated in India before coming to the Middle East. After careful analysis, scientists have only been able to imitate the result in the lab.
<You can read more about it here.>
Similarly, Apple computers have been hard to imitate. At one time Apple licensed their technology to 3rd parties who then made comparable computers.
There is no big secret to what goes into an Apple computer. Technically, their computers can be analyzed and copied, but at the risk of violating patents.
For historic background, Paul said that up until 1995, Apple used the Motorola 6800 family of CPUs. Then they switched over to the Power PC architecture, a product of the cooperation between IBM and Motorola. Then, about 8 to 10 years ago, Apple started using the Intel CPUs.
What makes Apple special is the SMC chip on the motherboard. It’s made by Intel and is known as the System Management Controller. Independent of the operating system, it manages the fan that cools the computer, the backlight beneath the keyboard, the display light behind the screen — it manages the environment in which the operating system runs.
In spite of this controller chip, it is possible to run the Apple operating system on an non-Apple computer. The trick is to make it look like the chip is there. However, this isn’t allowed to be done commercially — you’re not going to find a Chinese knockoff of the chip, for instance. The jury is still out on whether you’re allowed to legally install a legitimate copy of the Apple operating system on a non-Apple machine. For more info, Paul said to google: hackintosh.
<To get you started, I found these two websites…
Glenn thought he heard that there’s a new Apple operating system coming out. Paul said he hasn’t heard anything and that the current version is Yosemite ver 10.10.3. The two main Apple operating systems (for mobile and desktop) are still quite different but are slowly converging. Glenn checked the net and found that there is indeed a new OS on the way called El Capitan.
Paul invited listeners to call in to this show and noted that there is no longer a KVMR 800 number. After the move to KVMR’s new location, most of the equipment is now digital. The in-house PBX is called Asterisk and the system connecting to the outside world is called VOIP.MS.
Paul warned people who still use Windows XP machines that they shouldn’t use it on the internet because of security issues — it’s no longer being updated.
Marilyn called. She said she’s been getting an error message when using email and asked for an explanation of “POP server“. The actual error message is “the operation timed out waiting for a response from the receiving (POP) server”. Additionally, she doesn’t receive her mail unless she “shuts down” and starts back up.
– POP is an older protocol initially used when most people had dialup modems to access the internet.
– Now days IMAP is preferred.
– POP doesn’t like multiple attempts to login in quick succession. This is likely to happen more with the faster connection speeds we have now than with the dialup of the past.
– She said she has it Outlook to check the mail every 5 minutes and wondered if that was too often. Paul said that should make little difference unless you manually clicked “get mail” right when it automatically checked the mail, the two events may come too close together.
– Paul suggested she stop using Outlook for her mail, which she likes because she likes the way she can format her mail (fonts, colors, etc). Paul said Thunderbird can do much of the same stuff if she sets it to use HTML formatting. Also, Outlook works poorly with IMAP.
Paul said that when using Outlook to compose an email message, you end up using Word to do the composition. Word then passes the HTML formatted message back to Outlook to send it on its way. Word is notorious for producing terrible HTML that can be rendered poorly when the email is read.
Michael called. He’s relatively new to smartphones. His phones memory is full and he can’t find anymore files to delete or move to free up space. His phone is running on the Android operating system.
– Make enough room to get the free Cleanmaster app.
– Usually you have 2 ways to look at your apps — listed alphabetically, and draggable on the widget screen.
– Use the alphabetical listing and find some of the apps you’ve installed on the phone. Drag the app toward the upper left and a little box should appear that says “Remove”. Drag it to that box to delete it. Later, after the clean up, you can reinstall the apps you’ve removed.
– Cleanmaster will remove cache files and temporary files that have accumulated with use of the phone.
– Cleanmaster works on most phones and tablets. Paul said he’s never seen it fail or delete critical files.
<This might be the Cleanmaster Paul referred to:>
Paul noted that Google is recommending that manufactures not have external memory slots because people run into trouble when they remove the memory card after installing apps on it.
Michael asked if there’s an app for moving files from the built-in memory to the external memory card. Paul said there are file managers that can do this. The one he mentioned is called Xfile, but do the clean up first.
<I haven’t tried it but I saw CCleaner while searching for Xfile. It comes from those who made Crap Cleaner for the PC.>
<Also, I do use and love ES Explorer>
<ES Explorer instructions for storing to the cloud:>
<ES Explorer manual>
Last Updated 11:00 PM 6/10/2015