Dec 26, 2018

Dec - 26 2018 | By

20 Year Public Domain Copyright Lapse at last!

Apple IOS 12.1.2 now has FRONT FLASH!

Baiting Competing Amazon

Non-Office Suite? Free?! WPS Office!

Keeping a crapload of Tabs open so you are Scared To Re Start?
Some Hints to Save Pages On Exit



Additional notes

Notifications of new show notes and edits are tweeted at:
– 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 started by talking about copyrights. On Jan 1 2019 for the first time in more than 20 years, copyrighted works will enter the public domain, which means the their copyrights expire. This is because 20 years ago the length of copyright protection was extended from 55 years to 75 years.

Public domain is different from Creative Commons and open source. Open source software can be amended by someone who isn’t the original author to create what’s called a fork of the original program.

A fork resulted when Open Office, a suite of programs similar to Microsoft Office, became Libre Office — “a more dynamic system, which had more updates and more features”, Paul said. He uses Libre Office because it’s “evolving somewhat faster”. The latest software suite that Paul found is WPS Office. <All are free. See the links at the top>.

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.

Also, Glenn noted that for every donation to KVMR thru 12-31-18, Incredible Pets will donate 5 LBS of pet food to Nevada County Pets In Need. Go to to donate.

Paul said that registered non-profit organizations can go to to download legitimate versions of operating systems, like Windows 7, for very low cost. They will also be able to get the 2016 version of Microsoft Office. This is for 501C non-profit organizations.

Coming back to WPS Office, Paul said that it will automatically recognize .doc & .docx files and save in those formats too. It can dynamically produce .pdf files as well as open .pdf files to be read. WPS Office comes out of China, he added.

Paul went on to say that he’s been using Google Docs for a long time. With it you’ll can open .doc files and save them in the native Google documents format. So you don’t need to install software to handle .doc files that you get elsewhere.

You can upload .pdf files to the Google Docs directory <you’re given storage space for your documents.> And if the .pdf contains a graphic of some text, Google can perform OCR (optical character recognition) to extract and create plain text. He said he’s only been told this and hasn’t tried it yet.

Glenn said he’s been using, which is free, to edit .pdf documents while online. He also noted that there’s free software called PDF Creator. Paul said “it becomes a print driver so you can print to a printer called PDF Creator”. Glenn said if you want to make a .pdf out of a webpage, for instance, it will “print” the page out to a file instead of an actual printer. You can then treat it like any other .pdf file.

With PDF Escape, Paul cautioned about uploading sensitive information you don’t want to be generally known. <That’s true for most situations where you’re working online.>

Paul said that in Apple’s IOS 12.1.2 the screen can light up and act like a flash when taking a picture with the front camera (the one pointing at the user, as in a selfie).

Paul talked about the situation where you have many tab open in your browser and you need to shut it down or restart your machine. How do you get those tabs back? If you are using Firefox, go to the 3-stripe icon in the upper right, go down to the cogwheel, find “restore previous sessions” and check the checkbox. There’s a similar option in Chrome in the settings menu.

Marilyn called. She has migrated to a machine with Windows 7 from Window XP machine. XP converted her 2002 Microsoft Office .docx files just fine but “it will not convert on my Windows 7”, she said. She has “to take it over to the XP computer, convert it and then bring it back”. <She installed Microsoft Office on the Win7 machine from the original CDs.>
– Paul said that there is an addon that allows an older version of Office to read newer versions of Word documents (.docx). The addon has to be downloaded separately, and he’s not sure it’s available anymore. It might be at <I think he may have meant> Paul did a quick search and found what’s called Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 file format.
– Be sure you end up on the Microsoft site when you search for this kind of stuff or you may end up downloading something malicious.
– Paul thought she can try a converter — try the WPS word processor.
– Glenn suggested she save in the older .doc format rather than .docx. That also makes it easier to share the document with others who might have trouble with .docx.

Paul explained what’s special about the x in .docx. Microsoft decided to use the xml markup specification. Inside the .docx document is a template that that reports where all of the resources are (where the pictures, graphics, fonts, formatting are). You can experiment with a .docx file you’re willing to lose. Change the file name with .docx to .zip and unzip it. You can then pull out the contents, like fonts, he said.

One of the things Marilyn tried was to save her documents in an older format (2003). It was an .xlsx doc and it saved to an .xls file, but she still couldn’t get the Win7 machine, with Office reloaded from a CD, to open the file. Paul thought she needed to install the Office service packs on the Win7 machine. Google the words: latest service pack for office 2002. If it comes up saying it’s service pack 3, you may need to install the previous service packs (1 & 2) first. Installing Office from the CD onto her Win7 machine means its no longer able to update itself from Microsoft Updates, so she has to do it manually. In Word on the Win7 machine, go to Help -> About and it will say Microsoft Word 2002. If it says nothing else, no service packs are installed. If it says SP1 or SP2 or SP3, then those service packs are installed.

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

Paul had a tip for those needing to find the key for the software installed on their machine, like Microsoft Office. This might occur if you’ve lost the CDs. Go to to get the free Belarc Adviser. It will tell you all sorts of info about your machine, including the keys use to install various software.

The guys raised the point that WPS Office comes from China and there may be fear of being spied on. Paul noted that everybody, including the US, spies on everyone else, and that it’s good to be suspicious of software no matter where it comes from. But he doesn’t mean to imply that WPS is malicious. You can get it at

Glenn talked about how he saves passwords. He uses keywords like the word ‘home’. He gave an example where the word ‘home’ would refer to the street number of his first home, and he wants to use the number as the password. He then creates a contact for, say, KVMR, and he’ll enter ‘home’ in one of the fields. Now, if he needs to remember his password to log into KVMR, he’ll pull up the contact for KVMR. see the word ‘home’ and be reminded that the password is the number for the address.

Glenn said the new Apple IOS creates very a secure password. It asks you if you want to store it on your keychain. With the keychain all you need is your Apple ID.

Paul said Apple no longer sends you email to reset your Apple ID, they use security questions now. Be very careful how you answer those questions, he said. When Paul sets up answers for the security questions he doesn’t use capital letters or even use spaces between words. He doesn’t use punctuation and tries to keep it short. This makes it easier to remember — he doesn’t have to remember if he capitalized his father’s name, for instance.

Paul doesn’t seem to like third part utilities to handle passwords like One Password. He doesn’t know how trustworthy or secure they are. The company can be hacked and your password compromised.

Dana called. His screen died and someone gave him an ASUS monitor as a replacement. But it says “splendid demo” on the screen and it doesn’t go away.
– Disconnect it from the computer. If it persists, then you won’t be able to get rid of it.
– It won’t go away until a valid signal comes across.
– Unplug the monitor, shut down your computer, then reconnect the monitor, and start the computer. Then the operating system can determine the resolution of the screen.
– Windows 7 (what he’s using) and the monitor talk to each other thru a protocol called One Wire.
– Start Win7 while holding down the F8 key. <Paul didn’t seem to finish the thought>.
– If there is no wording on the screen when booting up the computer, then they aren’t talking to each other. Pull the connector out of the VGA socket and check the pins. Some may be bent.

Dana said it’s annoying to have “splendid demo” on the screen along with the game he’s playing. Paul apologized for assuming that nothing else was being displayed. That means another round of trouble shooting, but they’ve reached the end of the broadcast. Paul is going to look into it some more. And at the very end he found a Youtube video on how to deal with it. <Maybe he searched for the words: ASUS splendid demo>.

Last Updated 1:18 AM 12-27-2018

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