Aug 12, 2015

Jul - 30 2015 | By

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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 < >

 

The guys were broadcasting from the Nevada County Fair today.
Listeners were invited to visit the KVMR booth at the “back of the fair”

There wasn’t as much tech talk as usual so the notes will be sparse.

Paul talked briefly about LPs (music records) and hi-fi aficionados.
– Having left & right speakers set up correctly matters especially with classical music because the various orchestral instruments are expected to be on the correct side.
– When the Beatles recorded their albums, they used, at most, 4 tracks which were mixed together to produce a mono recording — their early stuff was in mono. But later, because of their foresight to record 4 tracks, they were able to create stereo recordings.
– Original records, going back to Edison were in mono and the needle went up and down. When stereo came out, the grooves were made with lateral movement, which still allowed mono players to play the record.

Glenn got an email saying the 32kbps audio stream of the KVMR broadcast isn’t working. Normally KVMR sends out 2 live streams of their programs on the internet — 32kbps & 64kbps. The 32kbps stream is used by those with a dialup connection that’s still popular in the rural areas around Nevada City and the foothills.

Glenn brought up an email he got during the last show. A listener who’s using Windows 8 was trying to do an update and “it will not go”. Sherri was wondering if she should do a system restore — she meant reinstall Windows and all of her programs.
– Paul said that without more info about how the update is failing, he wouldn’t recommend a full restore.
– When you get an error message, it’s a good idea to take a picture of it. <Use the printscreen button (prt scr) or even a camera>. Don’t try to second-guess what it means, when you ask for help.

The guys talked about portable battery packs for mobile devices. Glenn has one that’s rated at 5 amp hours — enough to charge his iPhone twice. Paul said some people don’t realize that their mobile device can be charged when it’s not on, when the screen is black. It will charge slower when it’s on because some of the current goes to run what ever you’re using it for at the time.

The portable battery packs aren’t expensive. Glenn paid $11 for his and it came with a double-headed LED flashlight. He recently saw 2.5 amp hour units on sale at he’s favorite store, Fry’s, and was thinking they would make good stocking stuffers.

These units generally come with standard USB A type port and they work with all sorts of gear that requires up to 1 amp at 5 volts. The iPhone & iPads require special connectors, which you’ll have to buy separately.

Paul said you can put together a road warrior charging kit which will include a USB car charger, 2 USB cables (an A connector on one end and 1 each with a mini & micro plug on the other), the two types of connectors for the Apple products, a portable battery pack and a wall charger (get one rated at 2 amps, to get a faster charge).
<How to make lithium-ion batteries last for years
 I’ve found much useful info at Battery University, too
>

Glenn was disappointed that there was no wi-fi at the KVMR booth at the fair so he could use his iPad. Instead, he was getting a 4G cellular connection from PureTalk on his iPhone. He said he pays either $40.95 or $41.95 <per month>. He’s been with them for at least 2 years. So far, he’s been able to avoid overage charges even though he has only a 500meg data plan. He uses free wi-fi when he can.

A young fair attendee and 4H member named Alison came to the microphone to tell us that she’s raising a male lamb named Guppy. He’s a Hampshire breed and he was 2 weeks old when she first saw him and was impressed. Paul mentioned the website backyardchickens.com, which he’s used to learn about domestic fowl.

Paul responded to an email from someone using Windows 7 on a computer that’s connected, by Ethernet, to Smarter Broadband. The user complained that sometimes the computer doesn’t register keystrokes or mouse movements. It happens in all programs.
– Paul thought it was because the computer was too busy doing other things.
– To see what’s taking up the CPU time, press Cntrl + Alt + Delete to bring up the task manager. Click on the tab called CPU <‘Processes’ on the XP>.
– Often it’s an anti-virus program that’s putting a great demand on the CPU.
– It’s safe to kill processes even if you can’t identify what they are. But first, make sure you don’t have anything important running. Save your work before proceeding.
– The busiest thing on the process list should be Idle process. The machine should spend more than half of the time just waiting.
– The second busiest is the Task Manager itself.
– If there’s anything as busy as the Task Manager, try to identify it and decide if you need it running. If it’s an anti-virus, try to temporarily disable it to see if the problem goes away. <I’m guessing he meant using the anti-virus program’s settings to suspend it — not the Task Manager>.
– Check how much hard drive space you have remaining. If it gets above about 90% full, both Macs and PC will start to slow down.
– Paul likes to use Crap Cleaner (Ccleaner) to get rid of unnecessary files that accumulate over time.

<At about 1:41p the internet feed cut out and came back on at about 1:49. I suspect the over-the-air broadcast did as well. There wasn’t anything particularly useful after the signal was restored.>

For sponsoring today’s show, Paul thanked…
The Cell Phone Repair Shop
534 Brunswick Rd. in Grass Valley
They fix cell phones and other personal electronics. They also sell used phones and pre-paid cellular.
Website: thecellphone-repairshop.com
530-278-8864

And…
Beam Easy Living Center
A purveyor of whole-house fans and air purifiers
Website: beameasy.com

Changelog:
added links: caring for your Lithium-ion battery, here

Last Updated 5:11 PM 8/13/2015