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Note: There will be another Zen Tech show this month on 9-30-15
Glenn & Paul were both in the studio today.
Paul started by talking about the Fall Equinox, which occurred today. During an equinox the length of the day and night are expected to be exactly the same everywhere on earth. But things are not so simple. Discrepancies in the length of day and night occur due to how you measure sunrise and set. For instance, the day can start when either the first light from the Sun, the middle of the Sun or the trailing edge of the Sun is on the horizon. The above link explains further.
Paul has recently been working on a VHS tape deck. Earlier models had a lot of belts driving pulleys. The belts would stretch and cause problems. Later on, manufacturers began using gears to avoid that problem. It used to be easier to find a replacement belt that would work, but the specificity of the gears made it hard to find replacements.
Paul went on to talk about cars that had progressive or continuous transmissions — such as the variomatic. Such a transmission “has to slip between the ratios” and the slippage tends to generate heat. Cars with this type of transmission never got a significant market share.
Last week Paul helped Glenn transfer some data from a Fujitsu laptop with Windows 7 to a desktop with Windows 8. Paul said there is a facility built into Win7, Win8 and possibly Win10 called Windows Easy Transfer. It didn’t come with Windows XP but is available for it. Search for the words: windows easy transfer xp. Using it is fairly straightforward.
– Execute the Windows Easy Transfer and it will ask if this is the old machine or new machine. <Apparently, you use it to transfer out and then use it again to transfer in.>
– Then it asks you if the two machines are connected by cable, or if you want to use a hard drive or flash drive.
– It then copies an archive of the entire profile of the user. It doesn’t copy the operating system itself.
– You then run Windows Easy Transfer on the new machine and let it know you’re on the new machine when it asks
– It will again ask if you’re using a cable connection or a drive.
– Then it will ask if you want to merge the copy of the user profile with an existing profile on the new machine, or if you want to create a new profile. If you’re starting fresh on the new machine, Paul recommends creating a new profile.
– Additionally, he said you can Windows Easy Transfer as a way of creating a backup. But it backs up all of the user data at once and it’s not the same as a file backup where you can pick and choose individual files.
As mentioned during the last show, Apple has come out with a new iPad, the iPad Pro. Glenn said it’s only availble in the 12″ model.
A new version of the operating system iOS 9 was also released and Paul thought it’s a good idea to wait before upgrading — see what others think of it, first. It can be installed on an iPhone as old as a 4S. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should upgrade to older iPhones. As an example, iPhone 4 suffered badly when you went from iOS 7 to 8. There tends to be a greater burden on the older hardware when you install newer versions of iOS. This is unlike Windows where, Paul noted, that a PC running Windows 7 would generally be able to handle Win8 and Win10.
Paul said he liked using the Apple TV 4.
– It’s a box about 4″ square.
– It has it’s own 110v power cable.
– It has an HDMI output and series of apps on board so you can watch Netflix, Youtube and such.
– Version 5 of Apple TV will have the ability to subscribe to content, similar to how iTunes subscription works on the iPod.
– Paul heard that the CPU inside is an A4, which is equivalent to the CPU found in some of the iPads.
The Apple TV 4 he received had suffered lightning strike before he got it and it’s power supply was fried. When he tried to take it apart he found, as with many modern devices, it had plastic latches holding the enclosure together. The plastic latches can get broken when you take it apart if you haven’t done some research ahead of time. Paul said ifixit.com is good place to learn what you need before you proceed. With second hand parts from China, he was able to get it going.
Glenn said he’d consider posting podcasts of the Zen Tech shows, like he did before. Podcasts of some KVMR show can be found on at kvmr.org. Follow the link called ‘Podcasts’.
Brian called. He has a fairly modern laptop with an I7 processor and 32gig of RAM. It had Windows 8 on it when he bought it new. He has Pro Tools 11, which isn’t compatible with anything but Win8. He kept being asked if he’d like to upgrade to Win8.1, which he declined. Eventually, it automatically upgraded to Win8.1 and started asking if he’d like to upgrade to Windows 10. He figured he might as well go ahead. Now he’s experiencing odd behaviors — the screen goes black when he unplugs the AC power and Chromecast will play the sound but not the picture.
– Unless it says specifically that it won’t work with Windows 8.1, check with the Pro Tools company to find out if it can.
– Brian said they don’t “support” it on Win8.1. Paul said that doesn’t mean it won’t work in 8.1. Win8 and Win8.1 are not that different and Pro Tools will likely work on both.
– When you bought the laptop, it normally would have had the facility to restore the operating system to how it came from the factory. It’s often not well documented. It usually requires holding down a specific key when booting. Sometimes you’re given a chance to confirm the procedure, sometimes not. BACKUP before proceeding.
– Brian hadn’t yet even tried using Pro Tools in Win10. Paul suggested the try it and also to see if there are any patches for Pro Tools to make it compatible with Win8.1 or Win10.
William called. He called during the 9-9-15 show asking about exporting the address book from Thunderbird in vcard format. He has since found out that if he exports the address book in .csv format, he should be able to use Gmail to convert it to vcard. When he tried that, he got the file into Gmail but now he can’t seem to open it there.
– If the .csv values were incorrect it may have imported nothing (into Gmail).
– After importing it should have said how many contact were actually imported. That should confirm that there’s data there.
– The 1st line in the .csv files should have the names of the fields – FirstName, LastName, PhoneNumber, Email, etc. You can use a simple text editor to make sure it has correct field names — it might say StreetAddress when it should say Address, for example. Somewhere in Gmail it should tell you what it expects those field names to be.
– William took a closer look at his .csv files and found it had no data in it — so that’s why Gmail didn’t import anything.
William did not have Thunderbird set up to use his Gmail account. Paul said Thunderbird can have multiple accounts and asked William to set up Gmail by going to Tools -> Add Account (or something like that) and fill in his Gmail account. And the next step is to add the addon called Gcontacts, then “it will use Gmail to “funnel the addresses back and forth”.
William also wanted to know why the empty folders on his Windows 7 desktop “show the ghosts of images”. He said even that if he transfers the images out, it would show that the images are still in there. Paul said that’s because the images really are still in there. Paul wasn’t sure he understood the problem as William explained it. He wanted to move on and suggested they use email to continue troubleshooting.
Paul said Google has increased their security considerably. Now, when you configure things to hook up to your contacts, like Thunderbird, “it sends you back to the webpage to log in to your Google account”. Google did this to foil robots that continually try login to Google in an effort to break into an account. It’s easy for a robot to login to an IMAP or POP mail account. You’ll now see a login procedure that requires human input.
Paul touted the value of noise canceling headsets. They’re normally expensive, but he’s found some for about $19. One place they’re used is on the tarmac of an airport. The ground crews need to talk to their superiors amid the noise of the airplanes. The headsets have a mic on the outside which takes the noise and causes it to be 180 degrees out of phase as it’s fed into the earcups. The waveforms then cancel each other out, deadening the noise.
They work so well that if you use the headsets without the sound you desire to hear, like music fed in from an mp3 player, it can be an odd experience — the brain starts generating sounds for you to hear.
A surprising number of people are still using XP even though it’s been some 18 monthssince support for it had stopped. Paul said if you put an anti-virus on it, like AVG or AVAST, and don’t use Internet explorer, “it won’t be too bad”. Over time, however, more and more problems will arise.
For listeners with an old computer running Windows XP that’s approaching the end of life, Paul offered a free CD with Lubuntu <a version of Linux> that you can install and prolong it’s usefulness.
– It will have Firefox, Thunderbird and a word processor <and other programs, I’m sure>
– Installing it will wipe all content from computer, so beware.
– The window manager is similar enough to XP that you’ll be comfortable with it.
– Send email request to email@example.com.
Last Updated 11:46 PM 9/23/2015