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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 < >

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

The intro and outro music was by Pentatonix.

 

Glenn was in the studio today and Paul called in.

 

Paul spent some time talking about converting VHS videotapes to a newer format. There is a device available that can extract the video as it comes thru the left & right audio and the yellow composite video leads. This device costs 6 or 7 dollars and plugs into the USB port of the computer & the other side has the inputs for the 3 leads that come from the VHS player or video camera. You’ll end up with an .mp4 or .mpg file. These are compressed video file formats that are generated at the rate of about 1 gig for every hour of the original video.

You can then upload a video to Youtube and set it as being private so it’s not visible to just anybody. If you want to allow someone to see it, you can just send them the Youtube link.

On the other hand, you can’t just burn one of these files to a DVD disk. It may play back on some computers but most will fail.

Some Macs have IDVD that allows you to author these disks.

Paul has a friend who converted videotapes to DVDs. There wasn’t much content on each DVD so he asked Paul to combine everything onto a single DVD. He was given 10 DVD disks each with about 30 minutes of video.

When you open a DVD you made yourself (a generic DVD, not one you bought at the store), you’ll find a folder called video_ts. By the way, DVD stands for digital versatile disk, not digital videodisk and is meant to be a large capacity storage medium on which you can store any file. Though it never caught on, there is a format for storing audio on the disks and they would be stored in the folder audio_ts.

So you open the DVD and in the folder video_ts and you’ll find many files, some ending in the letters ‘vob’. You can double click one of these files and play it in a player like VLC. These files are video files in the format of mpeg2 (motion picture experts group type 2). Some of the other files are additional information that let you skip around and move back & forth in the vob files while you’re playing them. Without this additional info, you won’t be able to move the slider button and the time indicator may show a bogus value.

Paul tried to edit his friend’s video to cut out the blank areas and found that a special program was needed. One is called Handbrake, which works on the PC, Mac and Linux. You first have to convert the vob files into something else. Paul chose .mp4. The .mp4 is a highly compressed format that you can put directly on your website. When a modern browser using HTML5 displays the webpage with the link to that file and the user clicks on the link, the browser knows how to play the video.

Another way to get usable video off of the DVD is with an extractor like FFMPEG Native. It’s a very versatile program that can convert between many formats. The drawback for some people is that it’s a command line program. Like the good old days of DOS, you type in the instructions that you want the program to execute. It’s not to bad in this case. You can type ‘ffmpeg -i filename.vob output .mp4’, where filename.vob is the file you’re converting. <I’m guessing that he meant to say something like type: ffmpeg -i filename.vob -o .mp4>.

Continuing, Paul said that .mp4 is a good format for the final product, but it’s not the best if you want to do more editing — special effects, cuts, fades, dissolves etc.

These programs are free, Paul noted. Glenn added that the program Gimp is a free editing program for photos, and an alternative to Photo Shop. But Paul said it doesn’t do everything Photo Shop does and is not a replacement for it, but it still very useful.

The back of a modern TV has many inputs, among which is a USB port. If you plug in a USB flash drive containing videos, music or pictures, you can play those thru the TV. On some TVs you can play .mp4 videos. And if you name the videos for their content — holidayinspain.mp4 or wedding1996.mp4 — navigating the files is much easier. The order in which the videos are played depends on how the TV is programmed. Often it will be in alphabetical order. So you can rename your files to start with a_, b_, c_ or 1_, 2_, 3_ etc., in the order you want them to play.

Glenn said he was helping a friend put his videos on a 64 gig flash drive and found his TV wouldn’t play it. Eventually, they had to use 8 gig drives before the TV could play them. Check the specs of the TV before you make a commitment to using a particular size drive, he said. In this case the flash drives were to be sent to family members over seas.

Paul said it’s true of older equipment that larger drives can be a problem. It’s not that the engineers couldn’t anticipate that larger drives would eventually become available, but that the standards for accessing the larger drives weren’t agreed to until much later, when they went into production.

Paul talked about smart TVs that can be connected to the internet, You can store your videos on the web using Youtube, for instance, or your own website. You can then use a web browser, of course, or the Youtube app to play them. But many current TVs come with a Youtube app or Roku that can play the videos. And then there are plugin devices like Chromecast and Apple TV that you can also use.
<The Chromecast app is here>

Moving on, Paul said Google Drive is available on Android devices & iPhones. Google gives you 15gigs of storage for your videos <or other data>. Once you have uploaded some content, you can click on the folder containing the videos and share the link with anyone by typing their email address. That person can then view or download the video. Google Drive is a good way of distributing content. To be able to download; one needs a Google account, which is free. The guys have used Google Drive to great advantage over the years.

Glenn said he use both Gmail & Yahoo for email. His Yahoo account is for those casual things that won’t compromise privacy like signing up somewhere to get a discount coupon. Paul said he dislikes Yahoo but if you’re going to use it, get the mobile app as it does a somewhat better job. The app will also work for users of SBC Global, which uses Yahoo. Glenn mentioned that Gmail also has an app for its service.
<Yahoo app is here. This might be the one for iPhone>

Paul said that on the iPhone and probably on the Android, “when you create and log in to your Yahoo account with the settings under email, you can add more than one account”. Then “when you synchronize it, there is a bunch of little slider switches” that set exactly what you want to synch — like the calendar and contacts. But if you import contacts and you already have contacts on the iPhone, you can end up with 2 records for the same person and there is no easy way to remove them. Turning off the synchronization won’t make the duplicates go away.

Something similar happens on the iPhone when you use the Facebook app. But in this case, if you have synch turned on, it can drag in a bunch of other stuff from Facebook on to the iPhone.

Glenn talked about a problem he has while using his iPhone, iPad and Mac Mini. When he logs out of Facebook and later clicks an link in an email notification that says, for example, “David sent you something about their anniversary party last night”, he is taken to Facebook and automatically logged in there. He asked Paul how to stop that. Paul said, “the Facebook app requires a login. When you log out of the Facebook app, you haven’t been logged out of the account that’s been set up for Facebook”…”The reason for that is it logs you in without actually being able to show you the Facebook content. The only purpose behind it is to deliver notifications synchronize contacts”.

Paul added, “there is one single useful feature about creating a Facebook account login on your iPhone and that is if you synchronize calendars, all those events that come up that are a myriad of events all going around here in Nevada County”…”if you synchronize a calendar, they come up with a colored event in your iPhone calendar”. Unlike synching contacts, if you turn off the synching, the events will go away, you have an actual Ical link. <You can subscribe to other Ical calendars and the events will blend in with the calendar on your phone, and disappear when you unsubscribe, as I understand it.>

Glenn had the problem of multiple contacts showing up when he got an iPad some time ago and Apple told him they didn’t have a solution. But it was suggested that he export the contact list from the iPad and then import it to Google Contacts, because Google has a tool to eliminate duplicate entries or to merge entries that were only similar. He found that very useful.

Glenn said that some time ago, on another show, Mikail talked about a $30 tool to coordinate things without having to use the cloud for synching.

Paul & Glenn both have upgraded their Apple device to IOS 12.1. And Paul mentioned on a previous show that the new Facetime made it tricky to flip the camera. “You had to hit 2 or 3 different things and you couldn’t see the camera, so a slider would come up on the screen”…”instead of showing what’s in front of the iPhone I want to show what’s behind the iPhone. You had to go thru several hoop to do that”. That was one of the things fixed in the latest version 12.1.1, you just tap on the screen to flip the camera.

Paul had a tip for iPhone users who have trouble positioning the cursor in the text they are editing. Hold your finger down on the spacebar and you will get what looks like a mouse pad that you can then use to move the cursor.

Glenn reminded listeners that they can call in with questions or comments at 530-265-9555.

Some time ago Paul suggested the Clean Sweep app for the Android to purge unnecessary files. It’s a widely used app from China, but it has a problem. It’s not a security issue. “It would hook into the system and artificially grab credit for your download of other apps that didn’t belong to it”, Paul said. Developers get a kickback from Google if their apps are installed and the makers of Cleansweep were raking in the money, instead. Google hasn’t removed the app or disabled it on all user devices (a killbit). Paul suggested that users delete the app on their devices. He didn’t have suggestion for a replacement. <CM Security Master has a cleaning function and there’s also CleanMaster.>

Glenn read the disclaimer:
The view and opinions expressed on KVMR are those of the speaker only and not necessarily those of KVMR management, staff or underwriters.

Brian called about a problem with his printer. He had called about it some time ago and was told how to make it the default printer. He wanted to be reminded how to do that because the default got changed. Brian said others use the computer and Glenn thought that the other person selected a different printer and the default automatically changed. Paul said the setting can be reached by clicking the Start button (lower left) -> Control Panel -> Devices and Printers and look at the list of printers. The one that’s the default will have a check mark. If you need to change it, right-click on the one you want and choose it as the default.

WordPress has gone to version 5. It now uses a different editor called Gutenberg. Paul doesn’t like it but “not all hope is lost”. He’ll talk more about it on the next show.

Glenn has a friend who got the latest iPad (6th generation) and it will only communicate using iMessage. It won’t use the phone number or email to communicate with non-Apple products. Paul said, “it will only be able to receive text messages that come thru the other device. So something has to receive the text message and it would be another device like the iPhone. So the text comes into the iPhone. That iPhone, under settings, has to be configured in such a way that it shares its messaging with the iPad. So when the iPad sees the text message it’s not because the iPad got a text message, it’s because the iPhone got it and shared it with the iPad.” Paul thought the setting on the iPhone is under Settings -> Messages or iMessage. “It should know about the iPad as long as the iPad is signed in to the same iCloud account. And that way the phone has to be on and the text message and even voice calls will pop up on the iPad.” Glenn looked at his phone and found the correct path to the setting: Settings -> Messages -> Text Message Forwarding.

Paul said that when you get a new device, rename it in a sensible way. “If you migrate all your settings from the iPhone 5 to your iPhone 6 and you called your iPhone 5 “iPhone 5″, that’s its name when it when it goes over to iPhone 6. So watch out for that one, that will bite you”. When you get a new device, give it a new unique name, Glenn said.

Last Updated 1:33 AM 12-13-2018

Nov 28, 2018

Nov - 28 2018 | no comments | By

UpTime.Com

SDR USB radio: GWRX. Cubic SDR

Linux: MINT 19!

Sprint Contracts & more..

DIGOO, SONOFF Remote…

 


 

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 < >

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

The intro and outro music was by Pentatonix.

 

Both Paul and Glenn were in the studio today.

 

Paul mentioned that archive.kvmr.org has the audio from recent KVMR shows and that one can listen to a live stream of the shows by going to kvmr.org click on Listen Live.

Forgetting that there was a Community Calendar to present, Paul continued to explain that over the air digital broadcasting <not over internet, but similar to digital TV> has a sub-carrier to carry information such as station ID, weather info, amber alerts, etc.

Paul said he’s had experience as a radio amateur in his teen years when enthusiasts would often build their own radios transmitters. That’s not done much anymore as there are many inexpensive off the shelf transmitters. One lowest cost 2-meter transmitter is from a Chinese company called Baofeng with a digital display and keypad.

The test for a basic level 3 amateur license is no longer about constructing a transmitter, but more about what frequencies you can transmit on, how antennas work, what to do about interference or an emergency, etc.

Paul said he’s thinking about getting back into amateur radio by getting a license, He’s already found a radio for $22 <he gave no details>. Generally, no license is required for listening to radio broadcasts, he added.

Paul bought a Chinese USB device called an SDR, software defined radio. You can plug it into a PC, Linux or Mac computer with one end, and plug an antenna into its other end. The SDR takes the analog radio signal that comes in over the antenna, converts it to digital and then sends it to the computer. It’s the computer that decides what to with it. At this point, Glenn insisted on doing the Community Calendar, which took a few minutes.

After the Community Calendar, Paul announced that Sierra Roots is opening up a cold weather shelter this Sunday and Monday at 4pm at the veteran’s building located at 415 North Pine Street Nevada City.

Paul continued talking about SDR, software defined radio. He said he was aware of 2 SDRs — google either GWRX or Cubic SDR. He thought GWRX can work on PC, Linux and the Mac computers. The documentation that comes with it will get you started.

For radio, the antenna is cheapest part and the weak link, he said. It’s worth the trouble and attention you give it. For shortwave listening it’s simply a spool of wire strung out in such a way so as not to lose current down to ground. This is done by insulating the ends at the point of suspension. It’s not necessarily true that the longer the wire the better. The direction the wire faces and how it’s connected is more important.

GWRX will show you a spectrum of what’s being transmitted, on your screen. You can see all sorts of weird stuff depicted by bumps along the spectrum. He found that 121.5 FM is a frequency used by a local airport.

Paul clarified that no license is required to use an SDR because it’s incapable of transmitting. It’s only a receiver. You “hack and freak and do anything and tune anywhere” with an SDR.

Paul tried to receive the station WWV, which provides precise time signals. It’s the oldest continuously transmitting radio station in the US.

Call letters for radio stations West of St Louis generally start with a ‘K’ (KVMR) and those East with a ‘W’. It got started in the East, around Washington in the 1920s. It’s now in Colorado but retained the ‘W’. Funding for WWV is being threatened in part due to new technology — computers & mobile devices get their time synched over the internet.

Glenn mentioned that he bought a refurbished iPhone 8 (a late 2017 model) with 64 gigs of memory. He found that it’s exactly the same size as his iPhone 6S and fits into the Otter Box that he is currently using.

He said iPhone 8 from Oct 2017 and later models have Qi (chee) charging, meaning it can charge wirelessly. The charging is done inductively.
<More info about Qi here.
Qi was first mention during the 11-26-14 show>

Glenn bought a charging case for his iPhone 6, which does not use Qi charging. It’s from Patriot called a Fuel Ion and it’s $5 at Fry’s. It’s still on sale, he said. When the iPhone 6 is plugged into the case, the case itself can charge the phone. <At first I thought he meant it uses the Qi charger. But Paul pointed out, in a way I couldn’t follow, that it uses some concentric gold plated circles to do contact charging, it’s not inductive.>

When Glenn turned on his iPhone 8 and it got past the ‘language greeting’, it said “if you would like to change over from your previous iPhone to this iPhone, put the two of them next to each other.” Paul said you have to be using at lest IOS 11 to migrate one to the other. Glenn said it did an excellent job with the settings, alarms and the pre-entered wi-fi information. And it was quick. It didn’t migrate the apps. He had to use iTunes for that.

Paul said there’s some indication that Google is trying to change Android into a platform independent OS so its apps will work on more platforms.

Paul mentioned that SSDs (solid state drives) are replacing the spinning drive market. Their price keeps coming down and one day soon, if not already, the number of machines sold with SSDs will exceed those with mechanical drives. Glenn noted that they use less electricity. Paul said it’s typically 1.5 to 2 watts, judging from the one he bought. And they work much faster. If Paul has to repair someone’s computer, he’ll often replace a spinning drive with an SSD. Paul said he tends to stick with brand names for SSDs like Samsung, Sony or San Disk. <SSDs were mentioned on the 8-9-17 show.>

Glenn spoke more about the refurbished iPhone 8 he just bought. It comes with a 1-year warranty. And you can buy Apple Care for it for $130, which adds an additional year. But Glenn contacted customer service for his Citi Costco Credit Card to ask about, what he thought, a 1-year extension on the warranty. He found out that they now offer a 2-year extension. So he didn’t get the Apple Care. However, Paul pointed out that Apple Care covers more than his credit card would.

Glenn invited listeners to call 530-265-9555 with their questions and comments.

Ellen called. She had to get a new phone along with a new number, and ported her old number to Google Voice. Her phone now rings “when it comes in to the other number”, but when she answers it, the call is cut off. Glenn said that he also has Google Voice and he’ll have Paul call him to see if he has the same problem. He’ll report the results in the show notes.

Paul said there are a bunch of setting for Google Voice. Go to google.com/voice. One of the settings Paul likes requires the caller has to say their name. He thought she might have it turned on in her settings and it’s causing the problem. She can test it, but not by using her own phone — she should call her Google Voice number from an unrelated phone line and see what happens.

Scott called about the 121.5 airport frequency that Paul talked about. He said it is the emergency frequency. He thought that particular frequency might soon be decommissioned. The aircraft band goes from about 108 megahertz up to 135. The lower half, up to about 118, is generally for navigation. The rest is for voice. And it mostly uses AM, not FM.

Scott expressed his surprised that it’s taken so long for inductive charging to come to phones. His toothbrush uses it, and it’s 10 years old. Paul said the reason might because of the need to insure the rest of complicated phone circuitry isn’t adversely affected.

Glenn had been charging his iPhone 8 inductively during the show. He reported that it just now hit 100%. It took 53 minutes to go from 81% to 100% charged. The iPhone 6S, where he “added the inductive charge”, it went from 78% to 95% charged.

Paul said induction charging side steps the potential problems of using a large current of around 2 amps to charge a phone, which can shorten the lifetime of the battery and possibly damage the contacts.

Battery life can also take a hit if it’s much above room temperature — nearing 90 degrees F. Battery “age stars to degrade and the number of cycles available decreases with temperature over time.”

Paul said he’s been using Ubuntu Linux for many years. Others have espoused Mint Linux. He’s now found out that Mint is based on Unbuntu and uses the same upgrade path. It’s much more lightweight and uses the Cinnamon desktop. The Cinnamon desktop is also very lightweight and it’s “the most efficient distribution of Linux” Paul has seen for old machines with limited hardware. It should be a good replacement for Windows XP. It’s also available for 32bit machines. If you’re about to turn you computer over to the recycler, give Mint a try.

Paul mentioned an internet of things (IOT) alarm system for around $50-$60 from China. The Nest thermostat learns your behavior, Glenn added. There’s a potential to save energy and money as products get smarter.

Last Updated 12:29 AM 11-29-2018

Nov 14, 2018

Nov - 14 2018 | no comments | By

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 < >

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

The intro and outro music was by Pentatonix.

 

Both Glenn and Paul were in the studio today.

 

Before the guys did the community calendar, Glenn mentioned that he finally updated his iPhone and iPad to IOS 12.

Paul talked a bit about top level domain names (.com .net .org .coop). Glenn wasn’t sure if .coop had a dash in it. Paul said the domain names are case insensitive — Kvmr.ORG is just as good as kvmr.org. Most punctuation marks, like the dash, cannot be included in the domain name.

Originally, there were just a few top level domain names: .com .net .org [.gov]. Now it’s been opened up and people can bid on the names they want to use such as .xxx .mobile .world .mob. <By ‘people’ I think he meant those who will later resell (register) the use of the domain names.> Go to Wikipedia and search for the words: top level domain naming.

.com was the first and most popular domain in use. At some point, maybe more than 10 years ago, there was a claim that every word in the Oxford and Webster’s dictionaries has been registered to use with .com (color.com elephant.com banana.com cheeseburger.com etc.) Eventually, many foreign words were also claimed.

Two letters is the least you can have (ab.com). The exceptions are the x.com, y.com and z.com. y.com is owned by Yahoo and x.com by Paypal. The maximum number of characters allowed went from 64 to something like 254 (Paul couldn’t remember exactly).

Paul went on to say that some people, though not so much now, would ‘park’ a domain name like harvard.com because it doesn’t cost much to register a particular name. The hope is that Harvard (harvard.edu) would pay to take over harvard.com to prevent abuse of its name. And then there’s the incidental collision of names like Apple using apple.com to the dismay of Apple records. That was not such a problem until Apple started selling Beatles music on iTunes. There was some litigation about that, which was eventually settled. <There’s more about top level domain names & registering for one in the notes for the 7-11-18 show>

Paul mentioned a Stephen Colbert show that talked about how televangelists can get away with soliciting funds in the name of religion to pay for things like private jets. Because religion is such a touchy subject in this country, the IRS doesn’t even try to crack down on them. The concepts Paul came away with are that freedom of speech doesn’t mean you have to tell the truth and you should never confuse opinions with facts

Glenn cited the disclaimer:
Our opinions are not necessarily those of our staff, our broadcasters, our underwriters or contributors to the station.

As Glenn mentioned at the beginning, he has upgraded his Apple devices to IOS 12 but noted that the current version is now 12.1. Paul said there is an improvement in Facetime in 12.1 that allows the user to talk to multiple people at once. The downside, Paul said, is that if you’re talking to someone and you want to flip the screen around, you have to do 3 things: touch the 3 little dots that pops the menu up, “go flip to turn it around the other way” which you don’t actually see happening and then “drag it back down again”.

Paul encountered a problem with his Mac. He was listening to music playing on his Mac using Airplay which was sending it over to his stereo. When Glenn called him, it showed up on the screen of the Mac. He then used his phone to answer the call, but the Mack stopped playing the music and Glenn’s voice came out of the speakers instead. Paul said he’ll have to look into why that happens.

Paul talked about the problem I’m having with logging into the Zen Tech website, which uses WordPress. The trouble is with the Google captcha that requires me to provide the correct answer to a graphical challenge — picking which of several images have a particular object like street signs or cars or store fronts. The idea is to prevent bots from logging in and creating mischief.

As far as we can determine, the web browsers I’ve tried are out of date and it’s getting increasingly difficult to get a newer browser that will run on an older operating system and still work with Google’s captcha system. <I’ll have to do some experimenting and hopefully find one that works.>

Next, Glenn talked about the Camp Fire, one of the biggest and most deadly fires California has ever had. He’s tried to find a website that has satellite pictures of the area but was unable to. Butte County has announced a service that will allow people to search for an address and get the status of the property.

Paul asked listeners to suggest authoritative sources that provide information about the fires. Glenn mentioned that buttecounty.net has some info, including a status map of the structures in the area of the Camp Fire. Paul thought that yubanet.com might also have some info.

Paul talked about google.org, which is a nonprofit side of Google that provides free service to people who want to use their mapping and search engine. In particular he found google.org/crisismap/us-wildfires. It’s overlaid with data that’s provided by fire services of various places around the country. He said you can zoom in on the maps provided there. Also check out google.org/crisismap, which is has a broader category of subjects including weather. And google.org talks about the work they do.

Glenn invited people to call in to 530-265-9555 with questions and comments.

Paul noted that whitehouse.com used to be a porn sight. Apparently, when the government website whitehouse.gov was created, no thought was given to reserve the name in other domains. Whitehouse.org is a political parody website.

Laurel called from Sacramento to say that looters and others with nefarious intent can use the fire mapping services to facilitate their crimes.

Paul said the US Postal Service lets you register with them to get advanced notice that a letter is coming to you. They take a photo of the outside of the letter and email it to you. The problem is that they can’t be sure that the person registering for the service is the one who actually lives at that address. Someone with criminal intent can use the service to tell if a credit card <or maybe a check> is on its way and intercept it. Someone looked into the method used to verify that the address belongs to the correct resident and found it severely lacking.

Robyn called. She says that she’s getting notifications on her Android LG phone that she’s getting low on space. She has a bunch of apps but uses only 3. She wanted to know how to tell for sure which apps she won’t need and can safely delete.
– Put your finger on the app [icon] that you want to delete and then start to drag it. The uninstall “target” will then appear and you finish by dragging to that target.
– You can use the free app called Clean Sweep to free up the scratch and temporary files that are taking up the memory space. Then it will ask you about old photos you haven’t looked at in a while. Then it will do the same with messages. It may try to get you to install other things you don’t need — ignore all of that. <There’s also CleanMaster>
– Paul said that apps generally don’t take up much space. The Facebook app is only about 300 Kbytes to 400 Kbytes. But it will bring in a lot of Facebook content and store it on the phone. If you delete the app, the data will be cleared out. You can then reinstall the app and start fresh.
– If you delete an app and then find you need it, you can usually reinstall it.
– Some apps come preinstalled by the phone maker and you’ll have to make a special effort to uninstall them. <Typically you’ll have to ‘root‘ the phone.>
– Go to Settings (the cogwheel) -> Storage and check how much memory is being used and how much is available. Also check the storage used by each app. Look for the applications you don’t use but take up a lot of space.
– Write down which apps you delete so if you discover you can’t do something you used to do, you’ll know which apps to reinstall. Usually it’s the Play Store that has the apps you’ve deleted, <though it’s possible to get them elsewhere>.

Last Updated 12:00 AM 11-15-2018

Oct 31, 2018

Oct - 31 2018 | no comments | By

5th Wednesday of the month– Halloween!
Have Some Spooky Sound Track for your Haunted House!
Like Here
Then there is always Thriller by Michael Jackson from 4m:10s


Ancient but worthy slide scanner or flatbad?
Try these 3rd party non-free solutions:
There is This from Amazon under $300
Then these actual softwares; SILVERFAST
Then there is my preferred software VueScan
All work fine on newer MACOS & handle ICE scratch removal..
Demos to Download. Final Cost: About $100 for a license key.


Google Project FI for use Abroad- Needs a Compliant Phone such as the $250 Moto X4 (Cheapest) More HEre


BOKEH! New Words To Learn!

 


 

Additional notes

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 < >

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

The intro music was by Michael Jackson. The outro music was by Pentatonix.
More info about the music is here.

 

Both Paul and Glenn were in the studio today.

 

Glenn recently switched to IOS 12, the operating system for Apple’s mobile devices, So far, he likes it but found a problem with the ringtones. The ringtones reverted to the default tones that came with the iPhone, except in a couple of instances. He said this has been a problem with previous IOS updates, but it hasn’t affected him until now.

Paul said that in the early days of cell phones there was quite a market in the sale of ringtones and the companies made it deliberately difficult to create your own.

He went on to distinguish the difference between ringtones and the ringing sound the phone company provides. There are different ringing sounds, like 2 quick rings, that a company such as Verizon can provide you for a fee. There is also an optional sound (e.g. music) that a caller hears before those being called answer the phone, but implementing that is not straightforward, Paul said.

To fix the ringtone problem, Paul did some googling and found some advice that said “just plug your phone in to iTunes and resynch it, that’s supposed to fix it”.

Paul talked about spooky sounds for Halloween. There’s a link at the top of this page to what he found. To find more sounds, go to youtube.com and put in [to search] ‘spooky music sound track’, he said.

Paul was given a piece of equipment that was state of the art 15 years ago. It’s a Nikon LD40 slide scanner that takes 35mm slides and negatives for digitizing. Nikon stopped making the scanner, the drivers and software for it a long time ago.

He talked a bit about how it scans in the primary colors and then recombines them in the final image. He said there is a huge section about color in Wikipedia, just search for ‘color’.

One of the colors it scans is in the infrared because it’s strongly absorbed by surface defects like scratches. Using this extra information, the software can later subtract the artifacts that got onto the slide’s surface.

Paul used a Linux driver with the scanner and it worked to a degree. It did the basic scan but couldn’t take advantage of the advanced features like the infrared information to remove dust & scratches. You can use photo editing software like Photo Shop to remove the defects manually but it’s tedious, he said.

However, there are scanning software packages that may help you out. He mentioned Silverfast and VueScan for the PC & Mac, See the links at the top. The packages are not free but they have demo versions. The demos produce images have the words ‘demo version’, but you can at least judge if the software does a good job. If you like it you can buy a license key to unlock it for about $100.

Paul said he likes VueScan because, once you have the key, it will talk to any scanner. Silverfast is much more advanced & professional but it will work only with the hardware you register for.

Paul said he found some slide scanners on Amazon, and one that doesn’t involve a computer — it scans the slide and saves the image directly into a USB drive. See the link at the top.

He also suggested going to a second hand store and getting a slide projector. While projecting the image from the slide on a screen, you can use a [digital] camera on a tripod to take its picture.

Also, there is a scanner for $179 that will digitize your 8mm or 16mm movies. Then you can use open source software to remove blurring, jittering and grain.

Colter called. He has a Mac desktop computer running the Mojave operating system. He can’t get it to go completely asleep and it keeps waking up on its own.
– There is a facility called ‘wake on LAN’. If there is something on the network that needs to talk to it, then it can wake up. Also, it’s possible the Mac is misinterpreting such messages when they’re not even meant for it. To test this, turn the wi-fi off and unplug the Ethernet.
– Check for consistency in its waking up. Is it done in a cycle. This may give you a clue.
– Check the power options under ‘Settings’.
– Go up to the Apple logo [on the screen] and check for updates.
– Also try unplugging the keyboard, in case there’s something wrong with it. <It may be sending a signal to the Mac as if a key had been pressed.> Similarly, check the mouse.
– Or it may be waking up to do a Timemachine backup. To test this, “Unplug your Timemachine”.
– Some peripheral may be trying to talk to the Mac. Unplug one thing at a time to see if the problem goes away

Douglas called to say that his machine has a similar problem with waking up. It can happen when the refrigerator comes on or a truck drives by.
– It can be due to EMF spikes due to a bad voltage regulator.
– A surge protector will not correct the problem, but a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) will “take care of what you describe”.

The reason Douglas called had to do with his cell phone getting text (txt) messages. He had upgraded to the iPhone 5 from a 4. He had been exchanging messages with a friend but then wouldn’t receive any for a while. Suddenly, there would be a bunch of unread messages waiting for him.
– Are these green messages or blue, Paul asked. Douglas said he gets both. Blue means the message was delivered via the internet, not thru the cellular service via SMS (short message service).
– Glenn had seen a similar problem with a friend’s phone when he helped her change cell phone providers. He had to go to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Messages’ and turn iMessage back on.
– Paul told Douglas to look on the older iPhone 4 to see if any of the messages ended up there. It can receive messages even though it no longer has a SIM card in it. If it’s still connected to the internet, it can still receive iMessages.
– Try texting with that friend in the same room. You may just have a weak internet connection. Or use the app called Speed Test. Don’t just depend on the number of bars to tell you the connection is good.
– Back up your phone to iTunes and then reload and refresh the operating system. Paul said he’s so many problem corrected with this procedure. So, back up, then press ‘restore’ to wipe the phone clean, then reload the latest operating system, and finally restore the data you just backed up.
– Paul asked that listeners call in if they have suggestions
– As a last resort, use a messaging app other than iMessage — Whatsapp, for instance.

Continuing, Paul asked what phone company he uses. Douglas said it’s H2O. That made Paul recall problems Glenn had with that company. He then suggested turning off MMS (Multi Media Service). If the friend tries to send Douglas a picture and “it doesn’t go with iMassage” it will try to use a data service over the cellular service called Multi Media Service which doesn’t work with H2O on the iPhone. Under ‘Settings’ -> ‘Messages’ turn off MMS

Nick, an electrical engineer, called about the symptoms Douglas experienced when the refrigerator came on or a truck drove by. Nick said its a sign of something that should be investigated and corrected because it’s highly likely the wiring in the building (the power wiring) has loose or inadequate connections. It’s a fire hazard, he warned.

Buzz, the KVMR engineer, came into the studio to offer a tip in finding the faulty wiring. He said, take an old AM radio and tune it to a blank spot on the dial where there is no station broadcasting. Then walk around the house waiting for the phenomenon to occur. When it happens, you’ll hear a bunch of static on the radio. Wander around to where the static is the loudest. Then take apart the AC outlets in the wall or tighten the joint in the circuit breaker panel. Wherever the static is the loudest is where the [electrical] arc is happening. If there is no static, chances are the problem is not in your house, Buzz said.

Nick said all of this may be beyond the average person’s ability but this is stuff that can hurt you and light your building on fire. Get it checked out.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on KVMR are those of the speaker only and not necessarily those of KVMR management, staff or underwriters.

Finally, Paul added, powder fire extinguishers are fairly inexpensive. The last thing you want all over an electrical fire is a bunch of conductive liquid.

Last Updated 12:07 AM 11-1-2018

Oct 24, 2018

Oct - 24 2018 | no comments | By

Hello!

  • Win 10 Bug
  • Blackmail Emails
  • Daylight savinG time in Nov
  • Your Website- YOU can see if it’s set up right to be found!

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 < >

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

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.

 

Both Glenn and Paul were in the studio today.

 

Glenn said he’s not yet updated his iPhone or iPad with the latest (version 12) of the IOS operating system. The main reason is that he hasn’t run his Mac Mini to backup the 2 devices before updating them — a step he stressed is very important.

Paul has done the update and said it’s doing well. But it’s really a subjective observation. If you replace the operating system and it seems to go faster, it may be due more to the fresh reload rather than changing the version of the OS. Reloading the older version might have made it run faster too, if not much faster than the new OS. This is similarly true of other devices and their operating systems.

Paul said that much effort is put into reducing battery drain when smartphone operating systems are designed. He repeated what he’s said before, a smartphone battery drains faster when you’re further from the cell tower and have fewer ‘bars’ of signal strength.

So subjectively, he thinks he’s getting 10% to 20% more battery life now with approximately the same use. Also, it shuts itself down without warning less often now.

Paul said his iPhone needs a new battery and asked Glenn to explain the battery replacement offer by Apple. Glenn said that until the end of this year, you can take the phone in and get the battery replaced for $29, in some iPhone models. The iPhone has to be in perfect condition — no chips or cracks in the screen, Glenn said. Amending what he just said, Glenn said that they will replace the battery but they will require the damaged glass be replaced.

Paul’s sister in Spain had a refurbished iPhone with a non-Apple screen. When she took it in for the new battery offer, they did replace the battery, but they also replaced the screen and charged her for it, without prior notice. Paul thought the laws in the US are different. If the cost of service is 10% or more than the estimate, the shop is required to get your permission.

Paul mentioned that there is a recall of Macs with the 5K Retina Display. There is currently a class action lawsuit for the defect in the manufacture of that screen.

Paul talked about a bug in the latest rollout package of Windows 10. If you double click on a .zip file, it would ask you if you want to extract the contents, and if you continue you can encounter problems. If an extracted file has the same name as an existing file, it would overwrite the existing file without warning.

The bug got fixed but that created another one. It would ask permission to overwrite an existing file, and if you say OK, it would NOT extract some of the files because there were no existing files to overwrite. <That’s my understanding of what Paul said.>
<Here are some links to recent bugs in the Windows updates…
Windows 10 October Update Deletes User Documents
Windows 10 Bug Silences Sound Cards
Windows 10 Hit By Second File Deletion Bug
MS: Win10 Bugs Fixed; October Update Rolls Out Again>

About the battery replacement offer from Apple, Glenn wasn’t sure about the oldest model it applies to, possibly the 5SE. He thought it was a good deal to take advantage of because it’s so hard to replace the battery yourself. He’s never been able to put an iPhone back together after replacing the battery. Paul said Apple has robotic equipment to take their phones apart.

Glenn looked up more info about the battery replacement offer. It applies to “5SE, 6, 6+, 6S, 6S+, 7, 7+, 8, 8+ and the 10”. But then he said the offer is good for the iPhone 6 or later models. Glenn read, “After December 31st the fee will change to $49 and all other products except the iPhone X will change to $69”,

Paul said you can get a third party to replace your iPhone battery but it’s extremely difficult to find a reliable manufacturer of lithium polymer batteries. They may work OK for a while but they don’t survive the number of charging cycles that Apple batteries do. Paul said “the Apple spec is that after 1000 charge & discharge cycles thru the 50% mark, the battery is supposed to retain about 80% of its capacity.”

Paul said, “there’s an app for the Mac called Coconut Battery and you can look at your cell phone with it”. It’s supposed to tell you about the condition of the iPhone battery. He’s seen the app report that the third party battery has lost half of its capacity in 6 months, after only 100 cycles.

Ross called. He thought the 5S was to be included the battery replacement offer. Glenn went back to the website to read again that the offer was good for the model 6 and later. He sent me a link to his source. But Paul chimed in to say that a closer look showed that the iPhone SE *is* included.

Glenn thanked new members from the recent membership drive and reminded listeners that they can become contributing members of KVMR by calling the office number 530-265-9073. Or call the studio when the DJ is not talking on the air at 530-265-9555. <You can also go online at kvmr.org.>

Paul talked about video made by the CEO of Apple (Tim Cook) about recent new product releases, in particular the iPhone XS & XR. The camera in the XR quite extraordinary, Paul said.

It’s not OK to call it digital photography any more, it is now computational photography. There is a scary feature that Paul & others are not happy about. The XR has an infrared laser dot projector in the part of the phone facing the user It sends out a series of dots that measure the distances to an object (different parts of your face) and uses that data to identify the user. That provides extra information (the depth) that can be combined with what the camera sees. <He didn’t say how this applies to the front camera> but you can control the depth of field in the image after you’ve taken the picture.

Other things computational photography can do…
– The main object can be in color and everything else can be in black & white.
– The camera is always receiving an image and the moment you press the shutter button the image is captured instantaneously — there is no delay.

In the video, Tim said the XS has a neural network. The chip aboard makes intelligent decisions about what exactly to do with the image.

Paul introduced the concept of secure enclave. The latest Mac Books are difficult or impossible to service by anyone but Apple. There are a series of chips on board that are bound together with encryption in such a way that you can’t easily see the information in that secure enclave. The iPhone is the same, he said.

California has a law that requires products be serviceable by a third party. How Apple will side step that, Paul wasn’t sure.

Marilyn called. She uses Windows 7 and when she does a virus scan, she gets a warning that she hasn’t updated for over a year. She then clicks on “check for updates” and gets a message “Windows updates cannot currently check for update because the service is not running. You may need to restart your computer”. She restarts but she ends up in the same situation with the same warning.
– Windows 7 is a current product and should be getting updates. It’s not that Win7 is no longer supported.
– If you do a search for those very words, you will likely end up on the Microsoft site with a button that says “fix it”. She said she did that and got to a page that would guide her to change things in the Registry.
– Paul said that’s the wrong place. Do the Google search again and add the word “fix”.
– Be sure your search results take you to a Microsoft site, not a site that just claims to be Microsoft.
– Try using Crap Cleaner (Ccleaner). Sometimes that gets Windows Update working again.

Marilyn’s other question was about a VPN service. She takes her laptop to meetings and uses the available wi-fi, and someone suggested she use a VPN. She’s found many VPNs and wanted suggestions.

– Her computer already has a reliable firewall so people can’t readily connect back into your machine if your machine is in good shape.
– If you’re just typing notes at the meeting, you’re not going onto the internet so you’re OK.
– If you go on the internet, the majority of sites are encrypted by default. You can tell by the “https” (not http) in the address of the site.
– If you want to use a VPN, you’ll need a level of trust in the VPN service that *they* won’t steal your data. Paul suggested tunnelbear.com. They give you 500 meg of data/mo for free to try it out. The installation is easy.
– The other use for the VPN is to make it appear you’re actually located in another country. “Someone” uses it to access content on the BBC that’s only available to BBC subscribers in the UK, for instance.

Marilyn has been receiving ransomeware emails that have made her nervous. Paul said such mail is bogus but it’s a good wakeup call to change your password. Some of these emails may say they have your password and may even display it while they threaten you for payments. Paul said he doesn’t know how they get the passwords but it maybe at spoof sites. The webpage may seem like you are where you want to be but when you type in your password, they redirect you to the correct site while keeping a record of your password.
<How to Fix: Hackers Hacked My Email, Demand Bitcoin (Scam)>

Paul said that there is a public database somewhere where you put in your email address and it will tell you any stolen passwords were associated with it. He’s not sure how reliable it is.

Paul said if you have a website, there are 2 thing to test it for. If these 2 thing don’t work, change it or you will not be found. Your website should “come up with a secure certificate”. It doesn’t have to be associated with a name. If you have a pizza company, it doesn’t have to say Joe’s Pizza, it just needs to have lock on it — a domain certificate. Otherwise “Google no longer likes the site”. <More about secure certificates in the 1-31-18 show notes>

The 2nd thing is that when you go to joespizza.com add to that /sitemap.xml (joespizza.com/sitemap.xml). Google and other search engines use the file sitemap.xml at joespizz.com to simplify their work. Without that file, your search ranking will be downgraded.

Last Updated 1:17 AM 11-22-2018

changelog:
added link to article w/r hackers show they have your password & demand payment
added on 11-22-18 link to article Windows 10 update corrected & rolls out again

Oct 10, 2018

Oct - 10 2018 | no comments | By

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 < >

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

 

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.

 

Both Paul and Glenn were in the studio today.

 

Glenn reminded listeners that they can call in with their questions or comments during the show. The number in the studio is 530-265-9555. Or they can send email to zen at kvmr dot org.

Glenn read a message saying “my iPhone contents may have been lost in the IOS 12 upgrade”. Paul has already done the upgrade on his iPhone but Glenn hasn’t. Glenn said there are 2 or 3 ways to do the upgrade and Paul went into some details.

Paul said it’s often quite hard to go back to an older version of IOS, after you’ve done an upgrade on an iPhone and realized you don’t like it.

When the iPhone first came out, you had to cable it to your computer to do the upgrade. Now it is capable of doing the upgrade thru a wireless connection. An iPhone as old as the 5S can be upgraded to IOS 12.

If you’re using iCloud, it will backup your contacts, reminders, tasks, etc. but that doesn’t mean you have a legitimate snapshot of your machine”, Paul said.

Paul did the IOS 12 upgrade on his iPhone 6 with 16gigs of memory most of which was occupied. 2gigs of free memory is needed to do the upgrade. He tried to free up enough memory but in the end decided to cable it to his computer and use iTunes to do the upgrade.

Doing it this way requires the latest version of iTunes. If it’s an older version, “strange things will happen” and you won’t be warned that your iTunes is too old. Paul said that he doesn’t think this is the reason the listener lost her data.

So, start with the latest iTunes (on either a PC or Mac), a reliable cable and the phone to be upgraded. If you connect the iPhone and iTunes doesn’t open automatically, you’ll have to start it up manually. It then will show a popup telling you an upgrade is available.

If there is no popup, look for the logo representing your phone on the bar. There may be logos for your other devices, so choose the correct logo. When you click on that, it will give you the chance to back up your device onto iCloud, which you don’t want to do according to Paul, or to back up to the computer (do tick that check box). You are then asked if you want to encrypt the backups — Paul doesn’t encrypt the backups because “it causes problems”.

At that point it will go thru a long process to take a snapshot of just about anything that’s on your iPhone. It can take 10 to 15 minutes. If it then says your phone was successfully backed up and tells you the name & date of the backup, you’ll be given the option to “restore” the phone, which wipes the phone clean. This is what Paul chose in his case because there was too little free memory.

Paul thought that the listener who wrote in might have gotten to this point, where the phone was wiped clean. After the upgrade, you can then restore your backup from the computer, if you did the backup there, or at least restore from whatever had been backed up on iCloud.

Glenn previously helped someone to change their cellular carrier and he had to go back and turn on iMessage and a few other things. Paul said some things get turned off when you upgrade the iPhone, get a different iPhone or change the carrier by putting in a different SIM card.

Paul threw in a seemingly unrelated but useful tip — you can take a screen shot on the iPhone by pushing both the home & power buttons.

As he said before, it’s more desirable to use cable, whether for backups or network connections, rather than wi-fi, for security and other reasons. Pre-cut Ethernet cables are pretty cheap and are more reliable than making them yourself with a crimping tool.

Paul talked a bit about IOS 12. It has the feature called Screen Time, which shows you the percentage of all your time spent that went to social media, work applications, etc. And it has parental control settings to limit use of social media. IOS 12 will ask you if you want to set up Screen Time. Paul said he would answer ‘no’ to begin with. He said that even if you answer no, it’s “still logging stuff”.

With IOS 12, that really long list under ‘Settings’ now has a search box to help find the setting you’re looking for.

Paul noticed his iPhone 6 runs a bit faster with IOS 12. However, he put it in there by “reloading and refreshing the iPhone, which may in itself have sped it up”. Apple claims better battery performance and Paul seem to think it’s true, but he hasn’t done rigorous testing.

Android is up to version 9, which they call “Pie”. Upgrading your Android device varies by manufacturer because each vendor makes changes to customize it for their devices. Paul pointed out that just because you can upgrade doesn’t mean you should. His old Nexus tablet is running version 6 and it’s working just fine.

Gary called. He heard on last show about recharging batteries at 2amps and pointed out that lithium polymer batteries will last the longest if they are charged at the lowest rate. It’s the heat from the charging that limits the battery lifetime, Paul said. Lithium polymer are older that lithium metal hydride batteries and didn’t reach the mainstream until complex regulatory chips were put onboard that kept track of current, voltage, temperature and the time of charging. Paul agreed with Gary that charging at lower amperage will help prolong the battery lifetime.

From China you can get a USB device that goes between a 5volt wall charger and the USB cable that will show you what current is coming thru, but it doesn’t let you control the amount of current. Some chargers do let you change the current. For example, Paul has a charger with 2 2amp sockets and 2 1amp sockets.

The other tip to prolong the battery life, if you storing it or just not using it much, is to keep it half charged, not fully charged or fully discharged. The other thing is to keep it in a cool place but not in a fridge and definitely not in a freezer.

Glenn was at Costco in the Bay Area and saw a Sky Phantom Wi-Fi FPV Drone for $30. FPV stands for first person view or first person video, meaning “you see what it sees”. That’s opposed to being able to only record the video into memory and then to read the memory when the drone comes back.

Paul said Wi-fi can be interfered with easily and doesn’t have a big range so you need to find out what happens when you lose the wi-fi connection. The quadcopter Paul has will throttle back and slowly descend when its wi-fi gets out of range.

Paul suggested people avoid buying drones that are controlled only by a smart phone. The one Glenn saw has a hand controller to which you can attach a phone for viewing the images the drone is sending.

Scott called to say that according to an email from Tech Connect Daily <maybe it’s this>. Apple is forcing users to buy Apple Care because, if something goes wrong and you try to fix it yourself, it will shut down a Mac Book and not allow you to restart it. Paul vaguely recalled hearing something like that regarding the latest Mac Books — they are not third party serviceable. Paul thought it’s nominally illegal to make things that only the company can fix. Paul thought it might have something to do with security, not allowing you to “monkey with any of the parts of it to get into anything”.

Paul suggested that people find out just which models are subject to this new policy and avoid buying them. Instead, get refurbished or recycled Macs.

Paul left us with something to be paranoid about. The Chinese are making what Paul calls snoopy chips, which are tiny bits of silicon that fit into the plug of an Ethernet cable and draw power from it. The chips watch for certain types of signals and, when the right time comes, send the data to predetermined internet address.
<China used tiny chips on US computers to steal secrets: report>

Also,motherboards have been found with embedded chips the size of a grain of rice.

Finally, there’s a hack that can compromise a hard drive. Every hard drive has a 4-pin J-tag connector or 5-pin firmware connector that developers use to monitor and control what happens between the bus signals and the hard drive. It’s possible to change the firmware in such a way that it will snoop on the traffic and send it out.

The disclaimer:
The views and opinions expressed on KVMR are those of the speaker only and not necessarily of KVMR management, staff or underwriters

Changelog:
added link to article about Chinese ‘snoopy’ chip

Last Updated 12:45 AM 10-12-2018

Sep 26, 2018

Sep - 26 2018 | no comments | By

Glen will Call In; Paule Castro back from extensive travels- a bit about this On the Air.


Latest Google Chrome quietly forcing you to Log In– HOw to Fix.
Or– Use Something Else! or, nothing at all


Lightning Connector (iPhone 5 and up, Etc) Corrosion Issues. USB C any better? Dunno.


MacOS “Mojave” (10.14) up from High Sierra (10.3.x) released today Sep 24 2018.
Read More Here do you need or want this? YOU decide. But– patience!
It Won’t Run on anything older than about 2012, rather than approx 2010 for its predecessor.


 

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 < >

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

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.

 

Paul was in the studio today. Glenn called in.

 

Paul started off by noting that many old TV ads, commercials and shows have been digitized and now reside on Youtube.

Talk quickly turned to web browsers. “It’s virtually impossible to use Chrome without logging in”, Glenn said. That’s not a big problem. But not logging out can be a problem because, if you don’t, the next person using Chrome on the same machine is able to “see your information, see your account”. He said he’s never been clear on how to log out.

Glenn had tried Chome some time back on his 32bit notebook, but said the latest version of Chrome is only for the 64bit machines. Paul said you can find out what version you have by clicking on the icon with 3 horizontal bars -> Help -> About.

The new version of Chrome is 69 and prompts you to log in or log in as a guest, but doesn’t let you continue unless you do. One way around it is to create an anonymous profile on every machine you use. But creating a guest account limits its function in a number of ways. Chrome is the most popular browser “from the point of view of the number of people, in general, using” it, Paul added.

Mentioned on previous shows is the website oldversion.com. Apparently, you can get an older version of Chrome, but Google doesn’t want you to do that. “It’s quite possible that Google will stop talking to you if you’re not nice to them by [not] using what they want you to use”. It’s also possible that “some things may stop working”, Paul said. Glenn added that older versions won’t have the latest security fixes, and security is one of features driving Chrome’s popularity.

Paul said that different brands of browsers have varying degrees of security. The lowest in rank is Internet Explorer & Edge, which comes with Windows 10. You should do some research to find the browser that’s best for what you do. It’s less the case now that websites will refuse to talk to certain browsers for security reasons, but if you do banking with an older browser, you may still find that’s a problem. Paul said he’ll continue using Firefox.

Paul started suggesting the use of an ad blocker call Ublock Origin, it’s the most effective blocker at this time. But if you sign in as a guest with Chrome, it won’t work, You’ll “have to then add Ublock Origin back to the guest profile”.
<There’s more about Ublock Origin in the 2-8-17 show notes.
The Wikipedia article is here>

Having to sign in to Chrome has some advantage — you get back your settings from the previous sessions when you use it again. There is also a separate synch setting which stores the settings that you used before, so if “you sign in *and* synch somewhere else, all your bookmarks go too”, Paul said, and he doesn’t like that. So far, signing in and synching are kept separate, but it may be only a matter of time before they are combined. See the “How to Fix” link at the top of this page. It talks about changing the configuration settings of Chrome, which may not carry over the next time you update Chrome.

Glenn reminded listeners that they can send email to the show with questions or comments by using zen at kvmr dot org.

Paul talked about his recent European trip. He spent 2 weeks in Budapest Hungary. And the 8 hour flight that took him thru Stockholm & Sweden interested him in going to visit those countries.

He took his drone aircraft on his visit to Iceland and took a lot of aerial footage. He said he might post some of it to his Youtube channel. Glenn wondered if he had any trouble traveling with a drone. Paul said there were no problems because security personnel are used to seeing them. He just had to be sure it met the dimension requirements for carry-on.

He flew to Iceland from England on a Hungarian airline called Wizz Air for about $45. And for less than $200 he flew on Wow Air from Reykjavik in Iceland to San Francisco.

If you want to know if the discount airline you’re about to use is safe,

federal & European regulations require that on the door jam, as you go in, is a prominent plate with the manufacturing date of the plane. <as I surmise from his fragmented sentence>. All of the planes he flew on were A320 & A330s less than 18 months old

The airlines hold down costs by not serving food and discouraging luggage handling. They try to fill up all of the seats with online booking. The airlines lease just a couple types of planes so pilots need to be trained only on them, allowing the pilots to be easily reassigned routes. The planes are new and therefore fuel-efficient. They often use second tier airports, avoiding much of the tax paid to airports. Contrary to myth, leg room is not cramped.

Paul noted that cell phone service in every country is cheaper than in the US. Glenn asked about using SIM cards in other countries.

Paul said you can buy SIM cards at giffgaff.com. If you buy a card in a particular country, you get a phone number in that country. If you get a card in a country that’s part of the European community, you can call any number in another country in the European for free as long as you don’t call from the country where you bought the card. E.g. you bought a UK SIM card and you’re calling from Iceland, you can call another EU community country for free, but it will cost you to call from the UK. The remedy is to use the data part of the account with apps like Whatsapp or Skype or Facebook Messenger — all of which allow free calls.

The SIM card Paul got from Giff Gaff cost him about $20 and took about 3 minutes to setup. Be sure you have an unlocked phone — one that’s not under contract to AT&T, for instance. Paul got 8gig of data, unlimited calls & text with the SIM card he bought.

The guys talked about corrosion issues with the Lightning connector on the iPhone. Glenn bought a magnetic connector to avoid the problem, which worked fine until the magnets picked up some metal shavings from being on the floor of his car. Paul too has had problems with Lightning connector, even using Apple branded cables. He said there is a temptation to wiggle the cable to get a better connection. But be careful, the socket on the phone is expensive to replace if you ruin it, whereas the cable itself is relatively cheap.

Paul said that people expect gold plated connectors would not have connection problems. But if you charge at a high current rate (2 Amps or so), as he does, you can, if you look with a magnifier, get some corrosion in the gold plate. Gentle use of a pencil eraser (not Emory board) on the gold plate can restore it. Also look for cords with a braided sheath, not cheap plastic.

Brian called. He said he called the show a couple of month ago about a problem with his printer/scanner. The suggestion he got fixed his problem. His new problem is that his computer, with Windows 7, shuts itself off a lot — if he stops using it for about 15 minutes.
– It may be trying to save power and is not able to recover itself. Go to Settings -> Control Panel -> power options and turn off all of the power saving options (the ones that tell it when to shut the screen down or when to shut down the hard drive, etc.)
– Use a program called Speedfan, which looks at the speed of the cooling fan, the voltages on the motherboard, the temperatures of the CPU and motherboard. Anything over about 60 C may cause the computer to shut down. You can also put your nose next to the vents to “smell heat” or feel with your hand if it’s uncomfortably warm.
– The manufacturer may have an update for the BIOS.
– The sleep options used to be called State 1, State 2 and State 3. Google the words: s1 s2 s3.

Apple has released the Mojave operating system, version 10.14. It requires the Mac to be of 2012 vintage or newer. The previous version, High Sierra (10.13), can be installed on machines from around 2010. Paul suggested waiting to do the upgrade while you read the reviews at apple.com/macos/mojave.

Glenn thanked the supporters of KVMR. <If you’d like to become a contributing member, you can call the business office at 530-265-9073 or go to the KVMR website>

Last Updated 10:08 PM 9-26-2018

Sep 12, 2018

Sep - 12 2018 | no comments | By

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 < >

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

The intro & outro music was by Beck from the “Colors” album. I think the track was “Wow

 

Mikail Graham was alone in the studio today. He talked mostly about Apple products.

 

Apple had a presentation today to introduce new iPhones. To those thinking of buying an iPhone, he said to hang tight for a while because the pricing has “just changed”. Prices on iPhones 7 & 8 are way down now and start at around $350 $450. What used to cost around $1000 is now about $650

The new stuff:
iPhone XR is replacing the iPhone 8 & 8+. It has edge to edge display and has the face ID that was popular last year with the iPhone 10.

The new iPhone XS is replacing the iPhone 10. It will come in 64gig 256gig & 512gig versions. They will go for $999, $1149 & $1340. It comes in 3 colors — silver, gold and space gray. It’s a little faster with a better camera.

He said he’s still using an iPhone 6S and is quite happy with it.

iPhone 10 costs $999 for 64gig & $1149 for the 256gig.
iPhone 8 used to cost $699 for 64gig & $849 for 256gig.
iPhone 8+ was $100 more expensive for each of those memory options.
iPhone XR is the entry model of this years iPhone lineup.

iPhone XS and XS Max is the same phone in different screen sizes. It has a better display, better camera and better materials — stainless steel. He thought they will be available on the 9/17/18; shipping starts around 9/21/18. The XR comes in 6 finishes red, yellow, blue, gold, black, white.
<Meet Apple’s newest smartphone: The iPhone XS
Summary of the Apple event
Tips on what to do with the old phone when you upgrade>

If you want something cheaper, the iPhone 7 now costs $449 & the iPhone 8 is $599. He thinks those prices are for the 64gig phones, but wasn’t 100% sure. He said the iPhone 7 or 8 are just a fine choice.

The iPhone operating system IOS 12, Grandmaster, also came out today and should be available next week. It brings performance improvements/features to and is compatible with iPhone 10, 8, 8+, 7, 7+, 6S, 6S+, 6, 6+, SE, 5S, 12.9″ iPad Pro first & second generation. 10.5″ iPad Pro, 9.7″ iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 4 3 & 2 and iPod Touch 6th generation.
< New features available with iOS 12>

Mikail invited listeners to call during the show with questions and comments at 530-265-9555

A new Apple watch came out today, too. It has IOS 5,
– It can produce an electrocardiogram (ECG).
– It can tell if you’ve fallen. And depending on how you fell, it can make an emergency phone call.
|- It can tell if your heartbeat is irregular.
– It has a 35% bigger screen.

A caller wanted to know the website for the railroad event in Colfax. <mentioned during the Community Calendar at the top of the hour.> Mikail said the calendar is available online. When he looked at the calendar again it just said Colfax Railroad Days, there was no website listed. All it said is “at Colfax Railroad Days”. It will be this Saturday 10am to 6pm and on Sunday 10am to 5pm on Main Street in downtown Colfax.

Mikail mentioned Apple TV. He thinks it’s one of the best streaming devices. He’s used a Roku for a long tim and said it’s more “open”, but there are aspects to the way Apple TV works that lets him experiment with cord cutting (shift away from cable TV).

5G (the next generation cellular connection) is not supported by any of the new Apple phones. The Chinese company Huawei is expected to be the first to support 5G on their Android phones. The 5G signal is a more “concentrated from of energy” but doesn’t go a long distance, so it requires more cell towers for good coverage. It is much faster, ideally it will be “much faster than broadband in some ways”.

Sacramento is one of the cities where Verizon will roll out 5G. An announcement is expected in a month. It will cost $50 for current Verizon users and $70 for new subscribers. But Mikail said it’s “not 5G, they’re just trying to get you in to go for it and start testing it”; there are no 5G devices yet. He also said that there’s still debate about the health effects of cell phone radiation.

Mikail offered a tip to those who’ve spilled liquid into their computer. He said to make sure the power is off and don’t try to power it up. Don’t think you can just dry it out and it will be ok. Take it in for service.

He related a story about a friend who spilled some beer in to their Mac Book Air. Mikail referred them to a tech for service but his friend waited 2 weeks before taking it in. By that time, the sugar from the alcohol had corrupted the motherboard. This story pointed to the advantage of having Apple Care.

He said there is Apple Care and Apple Care Plus. A new Apple device comes with 1 year Apple Care warranty and 90 days of phone support. You can pay an additional fee to extend the warranty, in which case you’ll have Apple Care Plus. You don’t have to buy Apple Care Plus at the time you buy the device — you have 60 days to decide (30 days if you’re in Japan).

If you buy it later, you’ll have to run a diagnostic test to be sure it’s in good working order. This can be done remotely by Apple or you can take it into a shop. The Apple Care Plus warranty period is counted from the date of purchase even if you waited the 60 days to buy it.

You can check your warranty coverage by going to Apple and giving them the serial number of device. To find the serial number on a Mac go to “About this Mac”. On an Apple mobile device go to Settings -> General -> About and scroll down. Then on the Apple site, search for the page titled “Check Your Service and Support Coverage” and enter your serial number there. You can also buy Apple Care & Apple Care Plus for refurbished Apple devices.

A caller from Taipei said the warranty options there are similar to the Japanese — 30 days to buy Apple Care Plus.

Mikail related a story that happened years ago about an iPhone 3GS he bought and took with him to London. He plugged it in to charge and it got fried. He was distraught for days. He finally got to an Apple store where they looked up the serial number and immediately replaced the phone with no questions asked, because he had Apple Care. He also told another story about the speedy service he got from Apple in fixing a Mac, because of Apple Care.

The cost for Apple Care starts at about $99 for an iPhone, depending in the model, and $120 for the “Plus size”. And its about $199 for the new iPhone X. Apple Care Plus for the SE iPhone is $99. For the 6S 7 & 8 it’s $129. For the “plus size phones” it’s $149. For the iPhone X & XS it’s $199.

You can also go with a SquareTrade waranty. It costs about the same, maybe a little less. They cover not only phones but also other electronic equipment. Mikail said he’s gotten good service from them.

Apple Care for iPads is $99 for 2 year coverage. There is a service fee of $29 for a broken screen. For a Mac Mini it’s $99. An iMac is $169 for 3 years of coverage. The iMac Pro is $169, The Mac Pro is $249, The Mac Book is $249. The Mac Book Air is $249. The 13″ Mac Book Pro is $269. The 15″ Mac Book Pro is $379.

A caller with an iPhone 6 wanted to know how much better the cameras are in the later models like the iPhone 8 10 or 10X. Mikail said the difference is pretty dramatic. With the 6S it’s only slightly better. But with the iPhone 7 it’s so much better that he would recommend upgrading if picture quality were a big deal for you. And the iPhone 8 is even better, especially the Plus version, because they have a dual lens camera. Also the 8 has a true optical zoom, rather than digital zoom. He would recommend the iPhone XR to the caller ($749 for the 64gig model), even though it doesn’t have a dual lens and the screen is regular LED not OLED.

When you buy a new iPhone you have 15 days to try it out. “If you don’t like it, bring it back and get your money back”.

Next, Mikail talked about managing photos. He doesn’t like iPhoto or the Photos app. He prefers Image Capture or Imazing (mentioned on the 8-29-18 show) to pull the photos off his phone directly into a folder. And then there a program called Power Photos from Fat Cat Software for about $30. It allows you to import the photos into 1 library using a lot of the tools that Apple left out.

Last Updated 10:58 PM 9-12-2018

Aug 29, 2018

Aug - 29 2018 | no comments | By

There were no Zen Tech shows for both Wed 8-8-18 and 8-22-18


 

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 KVMR audio archive wasn’t working right as I post these notes. Audio for today’s program, if it shows up, and recent shows will be here.

The intro & outro music was by Pentatonix.

 

Mikail Graham joined Glenn in the studio today.

 

Glenn reminded listeners that they can call in with their questions or comments during the show. The number in the studio is 530-265-9555. Or they can send email to zen at kvmr dot org.

According to Mikail, Apple is about to announce a huge lineup of new products, “so they say”. 3 new iPhones are expected. The announcement is expected on Wed Sep 12.

He got a question from a user whose friend has an iPhone 6 with 16gigs of memory. The user wondered if his friend needed to buy a new iPhone just to get more memory. Yes, sadly, that is the way it works, Mikail said.

Mikail then went on to describe a card that plugs into the Lightning connector to which you can then add flash memory. The unit Glenn got is an all-in-one unit that plugs into the lightning connector and it has the flash memory inside giving him an extra 32gigs. <I’m guessing that the iPhone 6 doesn’t have a lightning port.>

But Glenn encountered a problem with his new flash memory unit. His intent was to transfer all of his photos to the flash drive, but it only allowed him to transfer 200 of them and he wasn’t allowed to choose which photos. He said he’ll do more research to resolve the problem.

Mikail asked what brand it is. Glenn thought it was Lexar, but wasn’t completely sure. The unit Mikail ordered for himself is a 128gig San Disk.

Mikail recommended that people get the phone model with the most memory when they go shopping for a phone, no matter what the brand, but especially Apple “because you can’t change it after the fact”. 64gig is the minimum you should consider, he added.

Glenn thanked supporters of KVMR. <If you’d like to become a contributing member, you can call the business office at 530-265-9073 or go to the KVMR website.>

Mikail read the disclaimer this time:
The views and opinions expressed on this show are those of the speakers, being Glenn and I and any guest that might call in, and do not reflect the management, staff or any of the people here.

Mikail highly recommends Imazing, which he’s been using for about 3 years. It’s a backup program that runs on the PC or Mac <he was ambiguous about whether it runs on the iPhone, but it looks like it does>. It can back up everything, not just what Apple allows. It sells for about $39.99 and occasionally goes on sale. On the PC you can bypass iTunes completely, he said. With iTunes you can only add music the way it lets add the music, Imazing frees you from that constraint. It’s one of the best investments he can recommend for IOS users, and support from the company is good. There is a demo you can download for free.

Mikail mentioned that the new operating system for the Mac called Mojave is coming out soon. But he said to stay away from it for a while until it gets a couple of updates to fix things. He waited until April of 2018 to cautiously switch to High Sierra.

Mikail is a beta tester of Apple products. If you’d like to become a beta tester, google the words: apple beta test.

He’s run IOS 12 for a while and it improved the battery usage significantly. Also, it runs on all phones that IOS 11 runs on — all the way back to the iPhone 5S. IOS 12 is snappier — windows open faster, apps open faster and the responsiveness is much better. But he stopped using it because some things didn’t work — the home automation thru iCloud or Home Kit, for example.

To automate his house, he bought a Logitech hub for about $75. It can handle 8 to 15 devices, depending on the remote you have. It can control the home lighting, AC/heating & TV viewing, for example.

One of the new things in IOS 12 is an app that lets you teach Siri to “do all kinds of different things”. For example he’ll be able to tell Siri that he’s going to KVMR to do his radio show and Siri will know to turn off the lights & TV and turn on the porch light. Then when he gets to KVMR, Siri will remind him what he needs to do. <Similar to what Google Assistant does, as I understand it.> Unfortunately, Siri still seems to have problems understanding commands when used in a car, as Glenn mentioned on a previous show.

Paul sent a text (txt) to the show saying he won’t call in, but wanted to say hello from Budapest Hungary, where he just arrived.

Kate called about a problem she has with her iPhone concerning email. She uses iCloud, Gmail and SBC Global for email. The iCloud and Gmail accounts work ok. However, SBC would seem to load the mail and say you have 74 messages but nothing would open up. She was on the phone with the iPhone help desk for 2 hours last night but nobody was able to help her.
– A quick fix suggested by Mikail is to go to your SBC account and set up a mail forwarding to the Gmail address, so all of the SBC mail is forwarded to the Gmail account. That way you don’t have to abandon SBC mail and then have to notify everyone that you’ve changed to a different email address.
– He recommend using the Gmail app. It works with other email services including SBC, not just Gmail. And when replying, you can tell it to to use the address the email came from (SBC) or your Gmail address.
– Go into Setting -> Email -> Accounts & Passwords, then check to see if Yahoo <meant SBC? – are they the same?> is looking for a password.
– Also check to see if the Yahoo <SBC?> account is using IMAP or POP. If it’s IMAP, you can log out and then log in again and “everything will repopulate”. Often that will rest everything so it will start working again. She said she did that but the problem persists.

Art called. He has an older Toshiba laptop that was able to play DVDs until he upgraded to Windows 10. He was told that Microsoft has a new program that plays DVDs. He’s tried other players like VLC but no luck.

He went into Device Manager and clicked on the drive, and it said “Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information in the registry is incomplete or damaged. Code 19”
– The driver is not installed correctly, Mikail thought. But Art searched for and installed the latest drivers.
– Its possible the DVD drive is no longer supported.
– Try going to the Toshiba website and search for drivers for your specific laptop.
– For under $30 you can get an external DVD drive and under $100 a Blueray drive. That’s cheap enough to avoid the hassle of resolving issues with a built-in drive. And you can use the external drive on other computers.

Last Updated 11:53 PM 8-29-2018

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