Using a conventional Wireless Access Point as a Range Extender
Android MalWare: & Remedy
Today's show will use a Horoscope for your Technical Future the Next 2 weeks!
GMAIL Outage.. . Or Not
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The guys talked about state of technology at KVMR when Paul first started working there — around 1999 or 2000. Paul said there was 1 Mac SE and the station just got an ISDN line. The station started streaming over the internet to users who had dialup connections, giving them audio similar to AM radio.
Glenn said KVMR had other computers, they were Macs, and they weren't networked. The station gradually migrated to PCs because, in part, they were less expensive.
Glenn said there are nice refurbished computers at geeks.com, buy.com or ebay.com. And there are a lot of Dell computers that have come off lease at overstock.com. When you buy cheep computers, check to see if they come with the operating system. If not, you'll have to factor that into the price.
Paul talked about laptop computers becoming more popular. Their price has come down and they're on par with their desktop equivalents. Paul has seen Lenovo laptops for under $300 at overstock.com. He also said Staples is reselling refurbished units with XP on them. Glenn came in to say that netbooks are priced from $300 to $450 depending on their power and hard drive size.
Glenn said he really likes using a wireless mouse and a nano receiver, which sticks out less than a 1/4". On the other hand, he said, bluetooth mice are expensive by contrast. However, Paul said, that a while ago, he found a bluetooth mouse at buy.com for $12.
Glenn went on to say that Mac users can get extra features by using a generic PC mouse. Paul said Mac users with only 1 button can get the equivalent of a right button by holding down the control key while clicking. If you have a Mac Book made in the last year, you can get the right click by touching the track pad with a second finger.
Some people try to figure out what Apple is coming out with next by noting what companies they buy. The multi-gesture track pads came from a company Apple bought years ago and it was an academic project for Multitouch.
Since the iPad 2 came out, other companies have been trying to come out with competing tablets approaching the $200 mark. Better tablets are the Samsung Galexy at about $699 and the Motorola Xoom at $799 (including service) from Verizon. Glenn heard a rumor that you can buy the Xoom from Verizon with 1 month cellular contract, cancel the contract and keep the unit.
Paul said he learned something clever about the Tracfone pay-as-you-go cell phone, which you can buy at many general retailers. You can unlock it and put in another SIM card, but the firmware itself has a counter to keep track of the number of minutes you use and will lock up went you use up the minutes you originally bought. You'll then have to get back on the network you were supposed to be on and buy more minutes. <Defeating the purpose of having a different SIM card>
Glenn told a tale of someone who broke into a house to take a shower. While in the shower, he heard what he thought was noise from someone breaking into the house and called 911 to report a burglary. The noise was from the house owner. Paul then told a story of bank robber who, having been marked by an exploding dye pack, hailed the police responding to the event.
Paul referred to the above link regarding 'Top 10 PC Speedup ideas!'. However he thought that adding more memory should come before getting a hard drive. It's easier to put in and is pretty cheap.
Paul then talked about software for recording radio broadcasts you receive over the net. The one by Roemer Software is 7megs, costs $30 to download and runs on both Macs & PCs. See the above link.
Glenn suggested using a program like Audacity <see the Favorite Files & Utilities page> and using the line-in port. Paul said that's fine if the audio you're getting comes from line-in but it's a different situation when you're getting it over the net. <Actually, Glenn's idea might work if you use a cable to connect line-out to line-in, but I haven't tried it myself>.
Paul said there's a trick with Window's own mixer program. It's called something like 'stereo mix' and allows you to record the audio. <See the Favorite Programs & Utilities file for instructions> And he also reminded people that there are an increasing number of KVMR shows that make their podcasts available. <You might start at the schedule page and click on the show of interest>
Brian called to say he took a Motorola Razr cell phone to England where he thought he could get a SIM card and use it on their networks, but he couldn't find anyone to unlock the phone.
– Try going to a different shop for the unlocking service, they may need to replace the firmware.
– There are different versions of the Razr and Motorola may have made later models unlockable.
– Buy another make of GSM phone on Ebay, for instance. And buy it already unlocked to save headaches.
Brian then asked where he could go in the U.S. to get a phone unlocked.
– Search the net for websites that provide unlock codes.
– Theoretically, the law says after you met your contract obligation, the cellular provider should allow you to unlock it.
The Android operating system recently got it's first malware (or virus) thru an app. But Google, maker of Android, can remotely kill such apps. Apple keeps rigid control over their apps for the iPhone, but if you jailbreak your iPhone and then use a site like Cydia to download apps, you're exposing yourself to malware. For more about the Android malware, see the above link. Android users shouldn't have to do anything because of Google's remote kill switch.
Some Gmail users (about 200,000 or .02% of all Gmail users) weren't able to get some of their mail recently. See the above link.
Yahoo has been a major target of stolen email accounts resulting in spam/phishing attacks from that domain. Though he couldn't confirm it, Paul thought that at some point 10% of Yahoo's accounts were compromised. Yahoo users shouldn't assume their accounts are safe and should regularly change their passwords.
Do you want to know how to write a horoscope see the above link.
Michael called to say he has a computer that's about 10 years old and it's gotten so full of viruses that it won't start. He's taken it in for service but the tech couldn't get it going either and was told to get a new computer. He's had it stored away for a while and wondered if there was now anti-virus technology available to fix his problem.
– You may get it fixed but you'll still end up with an old computer that may have been fine 10 years ago but inadequate now.
Michael said he just wants to get data off of it.
– What may seem like a symptom of a virus may be a hardware problem.
Explaining further, Michael said that it goes thru the boot up process and then just reboots.
– When it starts press F8 (possibly several times) to get to the safe mode selections. Choose the selection 'Safe mode with command prompt'. If it proceeds without rebooting, That should get you a dos-like screen (black screen with a prompt). Then type in: chkdsk /f. That can fix file errors that are the common reason his symptoms.
– If you can't get to the safe mode screen with the dos prompt, then reload your operating system.
Michael said someone suggested he boot from a Linux CD.
– His computer may be too old to be able to do that. As CD drives get older they have more trouble booting an operating system.
– Even if you could, you still need to know what to do using Linux.
Since Michael is mostly interested in getting the data off the hard drive he can get an external USB hard drive enclosure or just the cables. Then plug the cables into the hard drive, after taking it out of the old machine. He'll then be able to plug it into a more modern computer. But before accessing the hard drive with this new setup, he should scan it for viruses. Finally, transfer the data to this second computer. Some anti-virus software was mentioned: AVG, Microsoft Essentials, Norton if you already have it, or Malware Bytes. Also, be sure you get the correct cable for the hard drive. The older drives are parallel (PATA, likely what he has), the newer ones are serial (SATA).
Paul went on to talk about how to copy or backup a website. The software you get by going to the above link is known as a 'web sucker'. It's called WINWSD and is free.
– It will mark empty links (those that don't point to content).
– It will de-orphanize the website, exclude parts that are no longer accessible.
– It's smart enough to convert absolute links to relative ones. So, when using a browser, you can then click a link and end up going to a location in the copied website instead of the original one.
Some drawbacks of WINWSD…
– Won't pick up password protected web pages.
– Some web hosts don't like web sucking. If WINWSD stops after a minute or two, the website has 'bandwidth throttling'.
– It's written in Hungary so not all the menus are in good English, but the price is right — free.
There's a link above that shows how to convert a wireless router to a range booster for when you have trouble getting a signal at a remote part of your house.
ehow is a great site for explanations on a wide range of topics.
The views expressed by us on this show don't represent those of anyone except the speakers, not KVMR, the board, staff or contributors.
Last update: 4:01 PM 3/15/2011