May 25, 2016

May - 11 2016 | By

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For a couple of months, the audio of today’s show will be here. Recent shows are here.

The intro and outro music was by Pentatonix:

 

Both Glenn & Paul were in the studio today

 

Glenn said he’s had problems getting the fingerprint scanner to work on his iPhone 6. After an initial setup, it wouldn’t work or worked only sporadically. Earlier models of the iPhone didn’t have the scanner.

As with iPhone, not all Android phones have a fingerprint scanner. Samsung is one brand that does, despite Paul saying it’s not available on Android yet.

According to Glenn, at least 4 fingerprints can be stored on the iPhone, so more than one person can have access to it. Apparently, the scanner needs to see almost the entire print before it’s accepted and Glenn had to try “hundreds” of times to complete the initial setup scans. But after the setup, he couldn’t get the scanner to recognize any of the prints.

Glenn said he uses Otterbox, which is some kind of plastic covering with a harder plastic case that covers the phone. With it comes a screen protector with a membrane that extends over the home button (which has the print scanner built into it).

Paul said Apple made a great effort to make a print sensor that would foil attempts to use a fake fingerprint, and he speculated that the membrane over the scanner might be what’s causing Glenn’s problem. After he said that, Glenn tried removing the membrane, but the scanner still wouldn’t recognize the fingerprints he stored previously.

With the membrane removed he tried storing an additional print. Now, when he tried to unlock the phone with this new print, it worked. <So, the tentative conclusion is that the membrane was the cause of the problem.> Glenn then tried putting the membrane back over the scanner and this print was recognized in a couple of tries.

Paul mentioned the story he told on the 2-24-16 show about a journalist who had problems after having the print scanner in his phone replaced. <See those notes for details.>

Paul wondered how one would get into the phone if the fingerprint wouldn’t work. Glenn said there is a passcode that is used as an alternate form of entry. You can’t have the fingerprint technology turned on without a passcode to go with it.

Glenn has come to the conclusion that it’s a good idea to write down your passwords as a hedge against a bad memory. He highly recommended people do that. <Just be careful where you store your list.>

Paul said, don’t think that the fingerprint mechanism will protect your email or anything else. It’s intended to make Apple your preferred method of payment You can buy theater tickets and goods and services thru your iTunes account where Apple takes a percentage of the transaction.

There is a facility called something like Touch and Go that allows you to pay at checkout counters like at a grocery store. You only need to bring the phone close to the cash register to make the payment.

After a 10-year lag, credit card companies are starting to issue cards with chips on them. However, many retail stores haven’t activated their terminals yet. <I’ve heard that certification of the retail terminals is what’s taking a long time.>

Along with taking chip cards, these terminals are often able to take Apple Pay, Pay Pal, and the industry standard called Touch and Pay (or maybe Touch and Go) which works with Android and other platforms.

Glenn thanked the listeners who support KVMR by volunteering their time or by becoming subscribing members. If you’d like to make a contribution, please visit kvmr.org. And you can contact the hosts of this show by writing to zen at kvmr.org.

Paul mentioned his neighbor who has many gardening implements like weed whackers, chippers and tillers that have small engines in them. Increasingly such engines are being made in China.

Before continuing; Paul issued a disclaimer: “I didn’t tell you to do this”..”I was just giving you information”.

Some of the problems these engines suffer from are from age, defects in design and poor materials they’re made from. Paul recently had to fix some trimmers, chippers and tillers.

One of the best places to get information about your gardening equipment is Google. But Paul also uses Youtube. The instructional videos are great if you want to disassemble and reassemble your equipment. He also suggested taking your own pictures and videos as you disassemble, to remind you how to put it back together. A fishing tackle box — the small type with compartments — is great for holding the small parts as you take things apart.

One of the problems he encountered was gunk in the filter bowl below the carburetor. Rather that do a disassembly, Paul bought an entire replacement carburetor at Amazon that was made in China and cost about $17. Read the reviews at Amazon to guide your decision.

Though the drought is still going on, the ground water still has a way to go to be replenished. “On the surface it looks good”, Glenn jokingly said. That brought Paul to his point, that there is a grant available from State of California Department of Water Resources to replace your turf with drought-tolerant plants. For more info visit www.water.ca.gov/turf.

Before giving you the grant they want to see your water bill. Paul wasn’t sure if the grant is in proportion to your bill, but he suggested waiting until you have a big bill. They also want a photo of your lawn.

Saxon called about his 2 year old Macbook Pro and a 3 year old 1 terabyte “external flash hard drive”. Time Machine is saying the drive is getting full and he should delete some of the old backups. He’d like to partition the drive to store photos in one part and backups in the other. Is that possible to do and where can he get instructions?
– Don’t delete the old files manually, it can really screw things up. Time Machine is supposed to do that by itself. Don’t use the Finder to delete those backups because Time Machine will lose track of things.
– Launch Time Machine itself. And using the timeline on the right side of the screen find the point where you want to delete older files. Then select the icon that looks like the cog you see in Finder and choose delete backup.
– Paul asked if what Time Machine said was a warning or that it couldn’t continue backing up. Saxon said it was just a warning. Paul then said to just ignore it until it says it can’t continue. Time Machine is supposed to take care of deletions automatically.
– Click on the Time Machine icon in the upper right and it will tell you the time of the last backup. You can then see if backups are being made in a timely manner.
– Paul didn’t think it’s a good idea to partition the drive. But you can store files on that drive. Use Finder to look at the drive. You should see 1 folder with a name something like backupcv.backup — that’s where Time Machine is storing the backups. Don’t alter the contents of that folder. Put your files outside that folder.
– Glenn said many stores have inexpensive flash media. He was looking at an ad from Fry’s for a 128 gig Samsung USB 3 flash drive for $29. Paul has seen 64 gig USB 3 drives from Staples for $15. USB 3 is 5 to 10 times faster <than USB 2, I guess>, if your computer USB 3 ports.

Paul quickly mentioned that silver paint pens write on anything indelibly and are great for labeling flash drives. Check Amazon.

Scott called. He wondered about Paul saying not to patron a drive that you use it with Time Machine. He had bought an external hard drive, partitioned it and used part of it for Time Machine and part for a rescue drive and it worked fine. Paul said, “there’s no reason you shouldn’t partition it as long as you ok with the fact that it then divvies up the precious space you’ve got in such a way that you run out space on one side you can’t gain it off the other side”. Time Machine, having less space to work with, will throw away more of your older backups.

Sharon called. She’s had a Western Digital external backup drive that she used with her Dell computer and then she switched over to Macbook Air. It’s been working great for years and then, suddenly, the computer stopped recognizing it. She thinks the drive died.
– Paul also thought it’s dead.
– On the Mac use Disk Utility. You can find it under Application -> Utilities. Or you use Search Light and search for Disk Utility. It’s able to find drives that are not formatted or not visible. In this case it should say it’s a Western Digital drive but can’t tell its size, <indicating it’s dead>.
– The other thing you can do is take the drive into a quiet room and hold it to you ear. A bad drive will make one of a couple of noises — repetitive clicking sound or buzzing. <Listen to the audio of this show to get a better idea, I’m terrible at ‘writing’ what a sound is like.>
– When you go to buy another drive consider a flash drive. Their costs have come down a lot. You can get a 1 terabyte external USB drive for about $55 at Amazon or other shopping sites.
– Be sure the drive is at least twice the size as the data that’s being backed up.
– At about 128 gig a flash drive becomes less economical than a regular hard drive.
– Look for a USB 3 drive <if your computer can use it>. And also, it’s reasonable to find one with a 2 or 3 year waranty, not 1 year.

Marilyn emailed a question. She asked for info about Laplink PC Mover Ultimate.
– You can move your data from a Win7 or XP machine using Laplink for free.
– The paid version has many options to choose from. The free version only moves the home folder, data, and desktop — not the programs.
– The Ultimate version is smart enough to know what programs won’t work in Win10, like Spy Bot.
– With the free version you’ll have to install the programs you want. <It’s an opportunity to strip away the programs you don’t use anymore.>

Last Updated 11:27 PM 5-25-2016