Oct 25, 2017

Oct - 25 2017 | 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.


Glenn thanked new and continuing members of KVMR. If you’re not yet a member, you can call the office number at 530-265-9073 and make a contribution.

The local organization animalplace.org is a place to adopt all sorts of animals, and in particular, ones who were displaced by the recent fires, but no dogs or cats.

Wireless communications like wi-fi have been with us in some form for about 20 years, Paul said. Security protocols for wi-fi have changed over the years, too. Originally, there was no security. Then came WEP (wired equivalent privacy). It was cracked some time ago and is no longer in general use. The more secure WPA followed, but it’s had a long-standing flaw in its implementation that has been brought to the media’s attention recently. It’s been shown to be subject to the ‘man in the middle attack‘. With this exploit it’s not possible to determine the passwords used on the wireless network but it is possible to snoop on the wireless data itself. The snooper has to be within range of the wireless (radio) signal to accomplish this.
<New Wi-Fi Crack can Intercept Your Data: What You Need to Know
Keep Your Wi-Fi off KRACK
This is suppose to be the research paper that exposed the vulnerability>

Nobody needs to worry, but everybody needs to be aware of the threat, Paul said. He went on to warn users of potential scams enticing people to download supposed fixes for the problem. It’s a great opportunity to play on people’s fears and get them to download malware. Instead, do some Google searches specific to your particular hardware to find the recommended remedy. If you have Apple equipment, be sure to get your advice from the apple.com domain (like support.apple.com) rather than discussion groups devoted to Apple products.

After addressing the problem with your phone, the next step is to see if there is an upgrade to your wireless router. Not all routers can be fixed. Paul said. The defects may be in the hardware. He asked listeners for any feedback about solutions they’ve found for their particular situation. He said you may be out of luck if your equipment is no longer manufactured. He went on to say that when you buy equipment the law says it’s supposed to be supported for up to 7 years after it’s taken off the market, but what ‘support’ means isn’t well defined.

Also, consider using wired a connection instead of wi-fi. It’s a lot less trouble, a lot more secure, there’s less interference and it’s faster. You can then just turn off the router’s wi-fi.

Paul has come across the word ‘nonce’. It’s a single serialized number that’s used for mathematical calculations. It sounded like he was describing a seed number for a random number generator. When equipment is reset, it may go back to 0 but the nonce makes it start at a different number, which makes it more difficult to steal the wireless data.

Glenn told listeners to note the model number of their router and check with the manufacturer for upgrades. Paul said that if your router is within its warranty period, call tech support. If you do a search for “linksys 800 number” (assuming you have a Linksys router) you’ll likely get a bunch of search results that go to some 3rd party, not Linksys, who will then try to sell you what you don’t need.

When you think you have reached the website of for your hardware, check the address bar for the green portion to the left. It’s a validation that the name of the site corresponds with the name in the certificate. It doesn’t mean you’ve reached the correct website, it means that “your information is encrypted and certified to be the property of a site that calls itself” by the name in the address bar.

Buzz, the KVMR engineer, called. He said the WPA exploit really doesn’t matter for most people unless you’re using the wi-fi to access some other equipment in your house. If you’re only accessing the internet, look in the address bar to be sure you’re using https not http. That way you data is encrypted using something other than WPA. The exploit takes advantage of poorly configured websites and can change a https connection to one that’s merely http, leaving your data unencrypted. Pay attention to your address bar to be sure it says https. If you use wi-fi to access in-home equipment, you’re not using https. The data is not encrypted and can be seen as plain text by this exploit. Paul said if you have visiting guests who want to use your wi-fi, create a guest network for them so they don’t have access to your primary network. Not all routers are capable of doing this.

Sheree called about scareware. How does it get on your computer and does that mean your anti-virus failed?

There are 2 flavors of scareware, software that gets on your computer and a scare web page that looks like your computer generated it. The 2nd type can appear when you mistype a popular URL (like facebook.com), which can then proceed to scare you into downloading malware. An anti-virus can’t deal with the 2nd type. Google can catch web pages of the 2nd type and mark them in red. A scare page may be difficult to close because its control buttons are made not to work. In this case use Control+Alt+Delete (Option+Apple+Escape on a Mac) and close your browser. <I’ve had success by just closing the tab.> Also, be sure you’re running the latest version of the browser. In Firefox go to ‘Help’ -> ‘About Firefox’ to check for updates.

Glenn got an email yesterday from Nick. He asked for the “best method of getting emergency audible phone text email without spam on mobile devices and landlines.” This relates to the recent fires and to the fact that many people turn their phones off at night to avoid spam phone calls. Glenn said he doesn’t get spam calls at night and keeps his phone on. Paul said that Android and Apple have a ‘do not disturb’ (dnd) setting that mutes all but emergency calls. Search for the word: dnd.

Glenn did a quick search for “amber alerts on cellphones” and found that for Android the dnd options are under settings -> more options (under the wireless network section) -> scroll down to ‘cell broadcast settings’

Jonathan called. He has a late 2012 Mac Book Pro. About a month ago the wi-fi reception had gotten worse and wondered if the wireless card inside can go bad.
– As more people use wi-fi you may be subject to interference. But he said he’s been having the problem at work and at home. At home there are no other users nearby.
– Wireless cards can indeed go bad and they are pretty easy to replace.
– It can cost a lot if you buy from Apple.
– On some Macs it’s painfully difficult to replace.
– Upgrade to the latest operating system, High Sierra. However, he’d rather not because he’s afraid some of his software would stop working.
– Update but not upgrade the operating system to maintain software compatibility. Go up to the Apple logo -> check for updates. It may offer Sierra but somehow (he didn’t say how) just do an update.
– Check places like Ebay for used (parted) wireless cards.

He also asked Paul for his opinion of the latest operating system.
– “There’s a lot more going on under the hood than on the surface.” There are a more features for software developers to use, like biometrics.
– Paul said it can speed things up a little.
– Older Adobe products have trouble running on the new operating system.

Glenn read some questions from Marilyn. Is there a way to make PC laptop, running Win10, open and close document files without delay. They take time to fade in and fade out, she said. Since she didn’t say what program she is using, the guys couldn’t help her.

She also asked if there’s a way to hook up on a network 3 separate computers each running a different operating system — XP, Win7 & Win10. Paul said they will join a network fairly naturally. Ideally, use a cable rather than wi-fi. Each shouldn’t care about the others if you just want to use the internet. If you want to share file between them, make sure XP has the latest patches and strong passwords. If you add a Mac to the network, they can talk to each other as long as the PCs have file sharing turned on.

Peter Wilson called. He tuned in late and asked about the security issue already discussed earlier in the show. The guys referred him to the archive of this show.

Paul added that if your router is older than about 6 months, consider replacing it with a newer one. They are pretty cheap. Be sure the new router is upgradeable. If you choose to upgrade your router, be sure the upgrade specifically states it’s for the WPA exploit.

Paul also said it’s worth looking at dd-wrt, the Linux router project.

The Flea Market is on tomorrow from 1 to 2pm.

Last Updated 1:06 AM 10-26-2017

Oct 11, 2017

Oct - 11 2017 | no comments | By

Pascale of YubaNet.Com & Steve Baker, KVMR Program Director in studio about fires

HTTPS now in Common Use for CMS etc.

IOSs slows down previous & older iPhones? No.

Antivirus used for snooping?




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 Pentatonix.


Both Paul and Glenn were in the studio today.


For the first 14 minutes or so, KVMR program director Steve Baker and Pascale Fusshoeller of yubanet.com talked about the fire situation in northern Calif. There were no important warnings. Listen to the audio if you need details. The more notable items in the report include…
– Fire fighters are working hard to contain the Lobo fire. The head of the fire is in the Deer Creek drainage and is headed toward Lake Wild Wood. A north wind is expected this afternoon that may whip up that fire.
– Stay inside to avoid smoke and set your air conditioning to recirculate the air, not to bring in air from the outside.
– Put out water for the wildlife in your neighborhood.


Glenn got a new tablet from Fry’s in Sacramento. Called Naxa Core it comes from China and was only $35. It has a 7″ screen with a front & back cameras and a 30 day return policy. It comes with Android 6.1, which I believe is Marshmallow. The guys were wondering if it has GPS.

Paul has a Nexus tablet he bought in 2013. It’s still “working like a champ”. He recalled that there’s a an app that can scan a tablet and determine its features. He couldn’t remember the name of the app and did a search for it at the Google Play Store. Google the words: playstore android hardware diagnostic.

This time he found an app called “phonetester”. It’s presumably the one he has on his Nexus, but there were a bunch of others in his search results.
<This might be the app>

When he searched previously, he ran across an article that said Android has a built-in hardware diagnostic test. It’s mostly used by customer support for those times you call in with a problem.

Some of the hardware you might expect to find in an Android tablet:
– An accelerometer, which measures changes in motion.
– An inclinometer, which indicates the angle at which the tablet is held.
– A magnetometer tells you which way is north.
– A GPS chip picks up signals from navigation satellites so you can tell your location on earth.
– At least one if not more temperature sensors. The tablet needs to know if it’s over heating.
– A barometer to tell you the atmospheric pressure. It’s usually pretty accurate because the GPS provides altitude info, which is used to apply a correction to the barometer.|
– A light meter (lux meter), which may work in conjunction with the camera lens.
– All tablets have a speaker.
– Most have a microphone. The accuracy is usually pretty good for doing sound level checks — within a few percent of a professional unit used by sound engineers.

Glenn encountered a problem with his new tablet. He wasn’t able to use the apps until he truned on the location services. Paul explained that location services can help with things like Google searches. If you search for fish & chips, for example, you don’t have to say where you are, Google will already know that and complete the search for your particular location.

Glenn knows someone with a Samsung phone who discovered that saying “hey, Google” activated voice input. When he went into the settings for that option, he was told the microphone will always be on if he wanted to take advantage of that feature. That led to a realization that the phone is always listening. The same is true with the iPhone if you want to be able to summon Siri with a voice command. Paul said he has that option turned off and instead touches a button to manually activate voice input.

Glenn invited listeners to email their questions or comments. Send email to zen at kvmr dot org.

Google & other places are beginning to insist that websites be secure. Chrome and to some extent other browsers pop up a warning if you’re filling in a form on a website that’s not secure. You have a secure connection if the address in the address bar starts with https rather than http.

Paul recently changed the way the Zen Tech site works. People going to http://zen.kvmr.org were supposed to be automatically redirected to using https://zen.kvmr.org. He didn’t set it up right and the Zen Tech site wasn’t working right until some time yesterday (Tue).

WordPress, the software running the Zen Tech site and large proportion of the blogs on the web, is expected to start enforcing the use of secure connections.

The patent for the use of secure certificates has run out. Issuers of the certificates used to charge for their service and in return went to the trouble to insure those applying for them are who they say they are — that https://secure.kvmr.org was really going to be used by KVMR. Free or low-grade certificates are available now where this check is not made, but they still insure that the data between your browser and a website is encrypted. Unless you’re doing something like a financial transaction or revealing personal information, the authentication hardly matters, only the data encryption.

Paul noted that those who administer websites shouldn’t use the login name ‘admin’. It’s been commonly used for many years and is now one of the first things hackers try when they want to break into a site.

Bongo called with a complaint. He said that many websites like the US government, the VA, AARP and a few other places don’t properly warn Apple users that their devices aren’t supported. He’s found that after a long session of filling out forms, it’s only at the end that he’s told Apple devices are not supported. He wants them to say that at the beginning. Paul suggested hitting the submit button before filling out a form. That may generate the error message to keep you from wasting your time.

Bongo also said he’s irritated with the requirement that location services be turned on. He doesn’t know why people use Google instead of DuckDuckGo, which doesn’t require your location. Paul said that it’s not the websites but the browser that wants the location service turned on. Going back to Glenn’s tablet problem, he suggested Glenn use a different browser like Firefox or Opera. While Paul was talking, Glenn turned off location services and had success using Firefox.

James called. He’s been aware that Paul has promoted the Firefox browser and Thunderbird mail programs in the past, and he wanted to know how he feels about them now.

Paul said he still likes Firefox. He’s been avoiding Chrome because “it tends to store your information, save it and present it to others is a very insecure way”. He’s found Firefox to be very compatible and have few problems. Website designers try to stay compatible with Internet Explorer and secondly with Firefox. He quickly caught his error and said he was looking at a 2004 browser rankings The current worldwide ranking has Chrome as the most popular followed by Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer trailing.

Glenn managed to inventory the hardware on the tablet. <He didn’t say which app he used>. It looks like his new tablet doesn’t have GPS — the app kept searching without a result.

Glenn noted that Paul’s Nexus tablet has wireless charging. Paul said it uses the Qi standard. <Mentioned during the 11-26-14 show>. He said the price for the Nexus at that time was $240. He had tried some cheap tables by Pandawill for $99 but found they were of poor quality.

Paul said the latest version of Google maps has an option in the upper left to download a rectangle of maps for offline usage. It’s useful for people who go for a period of time unconnected to the web. The maps are cached for 29 days. It’s assumed you’ll get back online within that time. Obviously, it won’t show traffic and current events.

Glenn thanked those who have become supporting members of KVMR.

Glenn reminded us that the Flea Market will be on tomorrow (10-12-17) at 1pm.

Paul warned listeners not to use Kaspersky anti-virus. The Israelis tried to subvert the product to make it snoop on those who use the program. And it was found that the Russians had already done just that.
<Kaspersky Labs Accused of Working for Russian Spies>

Last Updated 12:32 AM 10-12-2017


Sep 27, 2017

Sep - 27 2017 | no comments | By

High Sierra OSX– Worth it?

OS 11 for as low as iPhone 6?! Back Down to 10.2.2?

Nothing new only forgotten..



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.


If you’d like to talk to the guys during a Zen Tech show, call 530-265-9555 or send email to zen at kvmr dot org.

Paul started off by saying how years ago NASA had a problem with ballpoint pens not working in the near-zero gravity of an orbiting spacecraft. Gravity is needed to keep the ink flowing. The Russians solved the problem by using pencils, as he heard the story.

Comparing a video tour of the International Space Station and the Mir Station showed that the Russians tended toward the simplest solutions. Even the Sputnik satellite was set to advertise its success by broadcasting its beeps at 108 FM, so it could be widely heard. And, using tubes for the FM transmitter rather than the newly available transistors reflected the Russian’s reliance on long established technology.

Glenn challenged Pauls recollection of NASA’s solution to the ballpoint pen problem. When Paul was unable to remember, Glenn said it was the pressurized ink cartridge.

Repeating what he said on the last show (9-13-17), Glenn said he helped some friends transfer data from old computers running Windows 7 to more modern Dell hardware. He used Windows Easy Transfer, which worked wonderfully. The applications were not transferred, however, but he got a report of what was left behind. For reasons given in previous shows, Norton 365 was not reinstalled on the new machines. Avast, security software often touted on this show was used instead.

Trying to manually move an application to a different machine is usually unsuccessful because many components are left behind, Paul said. It’s best to reinstall an application from the original media (often a CD). There used to be a program called App Mover, but it didn’t do a good job and the app that was moved often ended up being unstable.

Imaging the drive to back it up may not be a good idea, Paul said. The image may carry the seeds of a problem that may not show up until later, when you’ll need the disk image to solve it. Using something like Easy Transfer is a good option to backup the user profile.

In Windows, most backup strategies rely on the user profile, which is under C:\users (on XP it’s under C:\Documents and Settings). If you manually try to copy the files, you’ll run into trouble because you’ll be copying the files that Windows is using while your trying to copy them. Easy Transfer is designed to avoid this problem.

Glenn said he had all of the machines on a local network when he did the transfers. Paul said using a cable instead of wi-fi is better. With wi-fi you may get interruptions that you may not even notice, after which the transfer may not be resumed.

There are an increasing number of wireless networks, Paul said. 2.4 gigahertz is the standard radio frequency of wi-fi routers, which gives you 11 channels. Most routers aren’t capable of switching channels (frequency hopping) and most devices can’t follow the change if it occurs.

There are some apps that show you what the wi-fi environment is like. For the PC there’s one called Net Snoop. For Android there’s Wi-Fi Survey. The droid app shows you the 11 channels and a graph of the signal strength. It’s unusual to find a channel that’s not being used, so pick one with the least number of users on it.
< Though I didn’t find an app with the exact name Wifisurvey, there are a bunch of similar apps. Google the words: site:play.google.com, and append to that some variation of wifisurvey, wifi survey, wi-fi survey, etc.>

The price of routers has come down a lot. Paul suggested getting a dual band router, which transmits on both 2.4 and 5.8 gigahertz. A lot of the newer equipment can use the 5.8 gigaherts band. There are hundreds of channels available on 5.8. The down side of 5.8 is that higher frequencies are much more line-of-sight and the signal dissipates quicker (a more limited range). But the shorter range also means less interference.

Some modern routers have programmable QoS (quality of service). It allows you to specify a minimum speed for a particular port on your router. So if, for instance, you’re streaming video, you can make sure you don’t get pauses.

Paul mentioned a couple of open source projects that have custom compiled Linux kernels <firmware> to use in your router to give it more functionality than it used to have. He warned that if you’re satisfied with how your router works, don’t mess with it. Paul installed one version of the firmware in a router and the bandwidth actually came down. I turned out that the [old] CPU in the router couldn’t keep up with the demand.
<He named the projects as dd-wrt.org and openwrt.org. dd-wrt.org didn’t seem to go anywhere and I think the correct URL is www.dd-wrt.com>

Over the years, wireless router standards have evolved from the original 802.11 to 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n. Paul said he wouldn’t “use any router that didn’t have the letter ‘n’ on it somewhere”. “It’s more resistant to interference and the range is higher”.

The cheapest router Paul has seen is a no-name router from China for $20. “You can’t go wrong with that”, he said. He’s never had to send a no-name router back, which he bought from Amazon.

The guys talked a little about the new operating system for the Mac called OS High Sierra (version 10.1.3). It came out yesterday and Paul just had a chance to read a review of it. It has a new file system called WWDC that’s more suited to solid state drives (SSD). All of the Macs sold now have a solid state drive, which speeds file accesses by about 10%.

Glenn noted that prices have come down on solid state storage. He was looking at an external 3.0 USB drive that also has a micro USB connection so you can plug it into an Android device. It’s a 128 gig duo for $34 from Fry’s. Paul said that its OTG designation means it will appear as storage unit rather than a device (like a camera) when you plug it into an Android.

The Lightning port on the Mac is able to connect to various devices & networks, when you buy the proper adapters, Paul said. And there are docking stations for the Mac that can provide various ports, but he’s not sure how good they are. You can get one for about $99.

Lorraine called. She wanted to know how to transfer calendar data between a Mac and an Android phone. Paul said there’s an app you can put on the droid that lets you sign in to your iCloud account. He looked up one called ‘Sync for iCloud‘.

Paul read that remains of a Viking chieftain had been found in an embellished tomb and it was long assumed it was a male. It turned out to be female. He also noted that, in Celtic culture, the poorer people were often buried in a bog. The bogs tend to preserve the bodies because of their acidity.

Glenn said he downloaded, but didn’t yet install, IOS 11 to his iPad. He’s read about some wonderful features it has — pictures taking up less space and an improved filing system.

Glenn went on to say this is the one time, and he can’t guaranty that tomorrow it won’t go away, that if you backup your iPad or iPhone onto your computer (computer only, not iCloud) prior to upgrading to the new IOS, you will be able to revert to the old IOS if you don’t like the new one. The other condition is that Apple continues to support the older IOS.

Glenn mentioned that people used to jailbreak their iPhones to make them more functional. It’s not being done much now in part because Apple has improved the IOS so there’s less need to. <On a previous show, Paul said the iPhone can’t be jailbroken anymore (after IOS 9.3).> Glenn addedhat those who did jailbreak their iPhones, were not able to restore an older version of the IOS, and they could end up with a useless phone (they ‘brick‘ their phone.) When experimenting, be sure you can go back to your starting point — i.e. undo what you did.

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.

Glenn took apart an old iPhone of his, some months back. He’s still not been able to reassemble it. Paul said to be sure you that have the tools you need when you start a project. And there’s a lamp to can get inexpensively from China that has a magnifying lens surrounded by a light to, do work on small items.

Glenn thanked those who have become supporting members of KVMR 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

Norman called. He has a DVR with a 6 terabyte hard drive for a security system. He wanted to know if was possible to use a flash drive with it. Yes, but it would be very expensive, Paul said. And there would be little advantage because the rate at which the video is written to the drive is pretty low to begin with.

Expanding on his comment above (Nothing new only forgotten), Paul treated us with some items from the past. It has recently been found that [ancient] Greeks probably knew about steam engines, Paul said. There was a Greek called Hero with a rotating steam device and it’s thought he attached it to a carriage about 2000 years ago and “had it go places”. There is a computer called the Antikythera mechanism that calculated planetary motion.

Last Updated 12:17 AM 9-28-2017

Sep 13, 2017

Sep - 13 2017 | no comments | By

Paule In-Studio. Glenn will Call In

It’s Recovery Month – a 12 month a year issue

A Bit About VPN & http://www.purevpn.com

iPhone X and commodity/Consumerism, and why Good Design is Like Pornography!
(you know what it is when you see it but cannot easily define it)
Jony Ive & Dieter Rams, * ‘Originality’ apropos Emulating things.

The EquiFax Fiasco & what to (try) to Do
Irma, Harvey and the Red Cross and What to Do– Due Diligence.

Milo Yiannopoulos and the role of agent provocateurs (is that the correct plural form?!)


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 & outro music was by Pentatonix.


Paul was in the studio. Glenn called in.


Reading from today’s show notes (above), Paul said that this is National Recovery Month, and gave a link to a government website for substance use and mental health disorders.

Since the law has changed to allow internet usage information to be logged and sold, virtual private networks (VPN) are a way to keep your browsing habits private. Normally, a provider such as AT&T or Comcast, for example, can gather the info about what sites you visit. If your connection to a website is secure (the URL starts with https, not http) the content of your transactions will remain private, only the destination information can be logged.

A VPN may be built into an operating system or added as a separate program. It will encrypt the data exchanged between you and the website before sending it over the public internet (Comcast, AT&T, etc.). A drawback is that the VPN company itself can gather & sell your info. <Do some research before picking the company.>

Paul has been experimenting with Pure VPN It’s based in Hong Kong and has about 100+ peer points around the world. You can pick any of those locations and make it appear your connection is originating from there.
<For example, the BBC makes some of its content available only to citizens of the UK. You can use a VPN to make it look like you are located in Britain when trying to access it.>

In checking out Pure VPN, Paul googled the words: purevpn issues. He found some bad reviews, saying that the service doesn’t keep the DNS lookups private. <DNS is domain name service, which converts the name of a website into numbers that are needed to connect to it>. As a consequence, AT&T (if that’s your provider) is able see who you’re connecting to while using Pure VPN. The data itself is still being encrypted and remains private.

Paul said that the iPhone 10 has just come out with IOS version 11. He noted that there is no iPhone 9. He then talked a bit about design.
<Apple Unveils iPhone X and 8 Models as It Upgrades TV Set-Top Box
The Samsung S8 came out recently, too. I don’t think it was ever mentioned on the show…
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has 27 features the iPhone lacks>

Jony Ive has been the iPhone’s designer for a long time. He followed in the tradition of a German designer named Dieter Rams, who also worked for Apple. Rams formulated 10 principles of good design. <See the Wikipedia article link at the top of this page>. Paul listed the principles and made some related remarks.

Equifax had data from about 140 million accounts stolen. You may be in their database even if you think you have nothing to do with them, Paul said. Paul made a connection, which wasn’t clear to me, between Equifax and Milo Yiannopoulos. He said, both Equifax and Milo Yiannopoulos (link above) have appeared on Facebook and elsewhere with basically false and misleading statements.

Paul said he’s seen numerous sites that ask you to fill in your data to get money back from Equifax, but they are really scams. There is a reliable site you can go to, and he posted the link to it at the top of this page.
<An NBC article on the Equifax hack.
A how to freeze your credit: here and here>

Glenn, who had called in, said he was disturbed to learn that Equifax knew about the breach for a month before making it public. In that time, some managers from Equifax divested their company stock.

Glenn also said that if you go to the Equifax to check if your info was compromised, the terms and conditions state that you give up your right to sue them later. <I also heard this, but then later heard Equifax changed their terms to rescind the waiver. Their website seems to reflect this. Paul’s follow-up statement seemed to concur>.

Glenn said you can also freeze your account to prevent anyone from getting credit in your name. In some states it won’t cost you anything, in others it’s $10 at each of the 3 big credit-reporting agencies. You can still continue using the credit card as before.

Paul mentioned Lifelock, which is a service that’s suppose to protect your identity. But they got sued for failing to do that, Paul said.

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

Paul said you’re entitled to an annual review of your credit status. You’ll also be able to see if anyone has made credit inquiries. Also, when your card is stolen or lost, report it right away, because the credit card companies will try to find a way to make you liable for unauthorized charges.

Another solution is not to have a credit card, Paul said. But that doesn’t mean the credit reporting agencies don’t have info about you. They gather the info from all sort of places — bank accounts & cash transactions.

Paul said he’s head that it is possible to change your social security number. But it can be a difficult process. Paul said he has used a fake social security number in those places where it’s only function is to identify him. <Like a password or an optional security question. Obviously, don’t do this where it’s used for things like tax reporting or Medicare etc.>

Glenn found a couple of computers for a friend. They were Windows 7 machines made by Dell with 2 terabyte hard drives, Intel core I5 processors and 8 gig of RAM. They cost less than $230 each from Ebay. They had a 90 day warranty but Ebay offered a 3 year warranty for an additional $21.

He used the transfer facility that comes with Win7 to transfer the data from the old machines. He said to use the Start Button & search for Easy Transfer. There are 3 ways to connect the machines — a local network, a special cable or flash drive.

It took 2 To 3 Hours to do the transfer over the local network. One machine had about 60 gig the other about 90 gig of data to transfer. Applications like Word or Quicken were not transferred. Glenn had trouble finding out how to print some of the reports on what was transferred and what wasn’t. He could see the report on the screen but couldn’t find the file associated with it. He said he’ll do more sleuthing on how to do that.

XP doesn’t have the Easy Transfer software but it can be downloaded and installed, Paul said. The Mac has something similar called Migration Assistant. He seemed to say that it does transfers from a Windows machine to the Mac.

While he was talking, Glenn found how to print the reports he talked about earlier. He had to look at the bottom of Internet Explorer where it says “‘this is blocked content. Do you want to allow it’ went you’re opening appinfo.html.” The file was on the C: drive in a hidden folder.

An .html file on the machine is treated with some suspicion because it’s possible to have some malicious content, more so than what’s on the internet, Paul said. That’s why Glenn was asked to unblock it.

The guys talked briefly about how Microsoft went about getting people to upgrade to Windows 10. It was suggested before that people use the GWX Control Panel to manage their upgrade options. <See the notes for the 5-11-16 show.>

If you want to contact the guys, email at zen at kvmr dot org.

“The Red Cross is not all it should be,” practice due diligence, Paul said. He didn’t say you shouldn’t donate to the Red Cross, but do some research for the best way to help the victums of the recent hurricanes.

Glenn invited people to tune in to the Flea Market show tomorrow at 1pm.

Last Updated 12:55 AM 9-14-2017

Aug 30, 2017

Aug - 30 2017 | 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.


This time it was Paul with co-host Mikail Graham who were in the studio. Glenn was the one who called in.


Steve Baker came to the mic and talked to Pascal, a reporter from YubaNet about the Ponderosa fire in Butte County. She said officials found and arrested a local guy from Oroville who allegedly started the fire. It started because of carelessness with a campfire. 10 house & 20 outbuildings are lost, more loss is expected. The fire covers 2500 acres. 1200 people have been evacuated and 400 are sheltering in place. An optimistic estimate of containment is on Sep 6, Steve added.

Pascal said there is a new fire of 5 or 6 acres near Placerville. She used satellite pictures to pinpoint its location at Highway 49 &∓ Diamond Springs. The highway hasn’t been closed yet, but that may change if the fire expands.

Listeners were reminded that campfires must never be left unattended and are thoroughly extinguished before leaving. And there are areas where campfires are not permitted, like the South Yuba River Canyon and in state parks. BLM allows only a cooking stove on their lands and only if you have a camping permit. Also, be aware that discharging firearms can set a fire. Bullets carry enough kinetic energy to convert to heat when entering a substance like a tree, or set off sparks when hitting something hard like a rock. The Mariposa fire resulted from target shooting.

Paul noted that drones should not be flown near wildfires. They can interfere with flight operations of the tanker aircraft. And if you’re caught, there is a significant fine and jail time, Pascal added. Paul said his drone just received a software update that’s supposed to keep it from flying in restricted airspace.

Pascal is amazed by the satellite pictures coming from GOES-16, even though it hasn’t been declared fully operational. The pictures are animated and show the progress of the fires. Yubanet has links to the fire news on their home page.

Paul had some equipment set up when he was in Oregon for the solar eclipse. He said he’ll put a link on the Zen Tech site to the video he shot. You can also go to his Facebook page. To find eclipse images, google the words: eclipse 2017, then click on ‘images’

He briefly mentioned the Mavic Pro Quadcopter made by the Chinese company DJI that he got for around $1000. He had a $60 quadcopter before, but the more expensive ones are more stable and easier to fly.

If you’d like to talk to the guys during the show, call 530-265-9555.

On Sep 12 at about 10am, Apple is expected to announce the new iPhone 7S, 7s Plus and the iPhone 8, which is rumored to start at $999 for the base model. <You’ll find little more about it in the 8-23-17 show notes>. It’s rumored that there’s a 4K Apple TV coming, though Apple is having some trouble “getting their movies locked in to be able to show them and sell them”.

Mikail has seen some of the “views” of the AR Kit <actually ARCore> by Google, which is not yet released. One of the apps for it is called Giphfy. It allows you to create a video and overlay on it items in your house. So suppose someone is house sitting for you, you can designate that it’s ok for them to eat the bananas but not the chocolate in your kitchen. Presumably, they will be able to point a smartphone camera at the kitchen and next to the items is a note or a thumbs up/thumbs down indicator, on their screen.

Ikea has an app that lets you measure your room. Then for example, as you shop for a chair using the app, it will place an image of the chair into the image of your room to see how it will look.

While looking up ‘giphfy’, Paul found giphy.com, the largest database of animated GIFs. These are short videos of a few seconds each that usually repeat in a loop. This is an old format dating from the 1990s that are becoming popular again.

Lorraine called to thank the guys for the help she received on a recent show.

Lora called. She has a 2009 iMac whose display got progressively worse and is now showing stripes. She’s talked to some techs who thought it might be the video card or possibly the display.
– Mikail is almost certain the problem is with the graphics processor.
– You may find some people on Ebay who can service it.
– Take a picture of your screen to better communicate your problem with a technician.
– If you send it in for repair you’ll be paying for the shipping and about $149 for the repair.
– Mikail suggested a shop in Sacramento run by Ed Barnes:
Computer Hub on J str
2612 J St Ste 8
Sacramento, CA 95816-4345

Lora was thinking of getting a newer iMac but thought her old version 5 of Adobe Creative Suite won’t run on it. She doesn’t want to get a new version because Adobe only offers it on a rental basis, where you pay for a subscription and run it on the internet. Mikail said version 5 sort of runs on the newer Sierra operating system. It’s a little buggy but there may be some workarounds.

Her other thought is to buy a refurbished 2015 Mac that can run Creative Suite 5. Paul told her to carefully check out what she’s buying with regards to the warranty, and if there is anything at all wrong with it, send it back. Paul suggested powermax.com and macofalltrades.com for refurbished Macs.

And another concern is that the newer Macs don’t have CD drives to read her Creative Suite disk. Mikail said she can get an external CD drive for about $30. Be sure to get one that’s “M disk” compatible. It can take disks that last a 100 years.

Listeners were invited to write to the guys with their questions or comments at zen at kvmr dot org.

Lorraine called again and related her experience at having bought a $200 version of Apple Care at Mikail’s suggestion. When she had to take in her Mac Book Pro for service, which she bought some 3 years ago, she got a new replacement.

Mikail explained that when you buy a new Apple product you can get Apple Care for the computers and Apple Care Plus for the IOS mobile devices. For the computers, you can wait up to 1 year to buy Apple Care for $200 to $300, depending on where you buy it. You can buy it cheaper from a third party than you can from Apple — check Ebay. Apple Care for a Mac Book Pro costs $350 from Apple but about $230 elsewhere.

Mikail told about the experience he had where he needed his laptop serviced and thru Apple Care he got a quick replacement.

Mikail said if you’re buying a used Mac, for example, get the serial number and go to “manage my device” on Apple’s site and you’ll be told if it’s stolen as well as other info.

You can listen to Glenn host the Flea Market tomorrow.

added link to Paul’s Facebook page

Last Updated 5:01 PM 8-31-2017


Aug 23, 2017

Aug - 23 2017 | 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.

NOTE: another Zen Tech show is scheduled for 8-30-17, the 5th Wed.


Glenn and co-host Mikail Graham were in the studio. Paul was dodging wildfires in Oregon and was unable to call in today.


Mikail said that nowadays its easy to create music, even on your tablets. The Brass Rail, one of the last of the “old school” bars in the area, is featuring an evening of electronic music. He marveled at how much times have changed that even the Brass Rail is offering a newer genre of music. Glenn asked if such venues have audio equipment (speakers, mic, etc.) that can hook up with the music producing devices. Mikail said that most of them do, all you need is a headphone jack on the device to plug into the audio equipment.
<There are many apps for creating music on the Android. Google the words: site:play.google.com create music>

Glenn has been hearing lot of skips in the audio while listening to the radio (AM & FM), KFBK & KNCO in particular. Mikail said he’s noticed it to but wasn’t sure why. Maybe it has something to do with cosmic phenomena affecting local magnetism, he said.

When Glenn went camping recently, he wasn’t able use his phone to listen to his music collection because it was in the cloud. He asked Mikail for a solution.

First, Mikail explained that the cloud refers to data servers where your data is stored. Companies like Google or Apple have data servers in many different countries and locations in a country. Your data is backed up in many places, not just one location, he said.

If you have an iTunes account, then on an iPhone, iPad and even a Mac there is a cloud symbol next to the name of each audio track. If you click or touch the symbol, that tells the server you want bring the track into your device so you can play it when you no longer have an internet connection. If you delete the track from your device, a copy will still be retained in the cloud. Amazon Prime’s music server works similarly.

There’s an additional feature that comes with using the cloud. If you uploaded a bunch of music and some of it is at a lower quality like 64kbps or 128kbps, the server will replace those tracks with higher quality versions. <Whether you want that or not? He didn’t say if that is an optional choice>. He said this is what iTunes does but Amazon doesn’t and he wasn’t sure about Google.

Mikail mentioned that a few years ago, Apple forced a U2 song (or album) onto people’s iPhones without asking. Many people were angry. What else can Apple put on your iPhone that you don’t know about, he questioned. It started a big conversation that’s still going on today.

Mikail said IOS 11 is coming out next month, Sept 12th he thought. Rumor has it that Apple will unveil the iPhone 7S & 7S+ and an iPhone 8 anniversary model.

If you lock your iPhone with a fingerprint, a cop can force you to unlock it with your finger. The same is not true with a pass code because you can’t be compelled to verbalize the password to the cop. In IOS 11, if you hit the home button 5 times it will disable the fingerprint feature and you can later unlock the phone using a password only.

The disclaimer:
The views expressed on this program are mine, Glenn’s and any guests’ we might have or callers’ and do not reflect those of the board, management or KVMR in general.

Reading from a Jun 28th article at The Verge, Glenn said Google Drive will soon be offering a computer backup service that can backup your entire computer. It will monitor and backup files inside of any folder you point it to. The app will be called Backup and Sync.

The article didn’t mention cost but Glenn thought it will be similar to the way Google Drive is now — free for a limited amount of space and additional space for a fee. As mentioned many times before, backing up is very important, especially in light of all the ransomware going around.
<Apparently it’s not for mobiles, yet. Here are some articles.
Google releases Backup and Sync for Mac and Windows
Now available for download
An earlier article — Google Drive will soon back up your entire computer


Mikail said hard drives can be bought rather cheaply from Best Buy or Amazon. A Western Digital My Passport series 4-terabyte drive was selling at $10 more than the 3-terabyte drive, which can be bought in the $110 to $130 range. A 1terabyte drive can be had for about $70. He said if you get a 2-terabyte drive, you won’t have to think about running out of space for quite a while.

The Timemachine backup program on the Mac will warn you when you’re about to run out of space and will let you continue using it by deleting old backups or allow you to switch to another drive.

Mikail’s first drive was 10 megabytes and cost him in the $700 to $800 range. Later, he got a 650-megabyte drive for $2000. He currently has 23 terabytes of storage and he’s looking for more.

Glenn looked up an ad from Best Buy for a 4 gig external USB connected drive on sale for $99.99, and a portable external for $10 more. The portable drive is powered thru the USB rather that an AC wall outlet. <I think he meant 4-terabyte drive>.

Glenn wondered if these drives would be ok as network drives. Mikail thought maybe not. He suggested a NAS drive, instead. He said he bought 2 10 terabyte drives for himself. They came with 3 years of data protection where the drive will be replaced and the data recovered. There are smaller NAS drives in the 4 terabyte range from Seagate.

Mikail reminded listeners that data can still be recovered from a drive after you delete files. <Deletion only tells the system that a previously used area of the drive can be used for new data. It doesn’t actually alter the bits in that area>. You need to use a file shredder to get rid of the data. It will do that by, typically, rewriting random bits over the file you’re deleting. <There is a shredder in Spybot Search and Destroy>.

The other way to destroy the data is to take the drive apart and take a hammer to the disk platters. Glenn likes doing just that because he gets to keep the magnets.

The Seagate drive Mikail mentioned above is the Ironwolf model. There’s the regular version and the Pro. Mikail has the Pro with the 3-year data recovery and a 5-year warranty on the drive itself.
<Seagate IronWolf HDD 10TB Review>

The Samsung SSD drive mentioned on the 8-9-17 show comes with a 10 year warranty for the Eagle Pro model. Amazon has 500 gig EVO drive for $150. Solid state drives (SSD) improve performance massively, as mentioned before. The other improvement you can make is to install the maximum amount of RAM your computer can take.

Using extra drives at home for backups is fine but doesn’t protect the data in case of a fire or burglary. That’s another advantage of using the cloud for backups — you move your data to a completely different location.

Mikail mentioned that the iPhone has a feature called Find My iPhone that lets you locate it in case it’s stolen. He’s actually had to use that function. It also has a option that will erase all of the data if it takes more that 5 or 10 tries to enter the password.

Glenn 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.

Ann called. A friend of hers inherited a PC computer but can’t use it because it’s password protected. She wanted to know how to bypass the password. Both Glenn and Mikail said they weren’t familiar with the process and thought Paul would have an answer. She was asked to email her question to zen at kvmr dot org.

Ellen called. After upgrading her Mac she’s been getting all sorts of ads, mostly for cleaning the Mac. Mikail said it’s malware and a scam that gets on the Mac when you visit websites and click things that say you need to update a program (the Adobe Flash player is a common one). Mikail suggested she do a Google search first. And if she still can’t find a solution, to call him for professional help.

Glenn noted downloads.cnet.com used to be a pretty good site for getting software. But lately, it’s gotten bad because all the ads make it hard to find the right button to click to get the program you’re after.

Dave Barnett, the KVMR engineer, came into the studio with a suggestion for Ann (above) who wanted a way to get into a password protected PC. He said to google the words: password recovery windows xxx. Where you replace the xxx with the version of Windows you have. He said the best ones are based on Linux. You’ll create a Linux CD to boot from, at which point you’ll be running Linux. It will guide you to where the password is stored. You’ll then deleted, not change, the password. You’ll also have the option of copying the files from the Windows drive, to a flash drive for instance.

Another method is to take the hard drive out and put it into another computer as a secondary drive. At that point you can copy data from it.

Mikail remembered getting an email regarding a previous discussion about using solid state drives (SSD) on a Mac. He said he misplaced the email and asked the listener to resend the email.

Joshua called about an old Mac he got from his mother. It has a Hypercard file of family recipes that he and his brother would love to recover. He wanted to know how to read the file. Mikail suggested that he google the words; hypercard import mac xxx. Where the xxx is the version of the Mac OS that’s running on machine you want to import to. As a last resort, call Mikail for professional help

To sum up, Mikail said the Mac operating system called High Sierra is coming in Sept as well as IOS 11. He really likes his iPad Pro, which Apple won’t be updating until about mid 2018. The next iPhones will start with 64 gig of memory and there will be versions with 256 gig and 512 gig. The 128 gig version is no longer made. The new operating systems were tweaked to use smaller files. <There’s more info in the notes from the 8-9-17 show>.

Last Updated 11:34 PM 8-23-2017

a HREF=”http://archive.kvmr.org/mp3/kvmr_170823_130000talkies4.mp3″

Aug 9, 2017

Aug - 09 2017 | no comments | By


Filament style LED

Search eBay or Amazon. nice. Dimmable, correct color…


animated gifs?



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.


Glenn and co-host Mikail Graham did the broadcast from the KVMR boot at the Nevada County Fair and no phone calls were taken. Paul called in from Hastings in England and it’s not likely he’ll get back in time for the next show.


Glenn reminded listeners that they can send email to the guys using the address: zen at kvmr dot org.

Glenn knows someone with a 2011 vintage Mac Book Pro. He hasn’t upgraded beyond version 10.6.8 (the last version of Snow Leopard), even though he can, because he has some older programs that won’t run on a newer version of the operating system. Glenn asked if there is a way to upgrade to Sierra and not have to buy new programs to go with it.

Mikail said he’s helped people do exactly that and explained how. He suggested buying a larger hard drive and partitioning it so one part will have Sierra and the other Snow Leopard. Then when you boot up, you’ll be able to choose which operating you want to use. You’ll need to use a USB installer to achieve this. <Maybe this will help>

Mikail went on tell us, first do a Time Machine backup of your data. Then reformat your drive or get a new drive of about 1 or 2 terabytes, Next, make a small partition for Snow Leopard and a bigger one for Sierra and install the respective operation systems to their partitions. Your backup will be restored to the Snow Leopard partition the way you had it before.

You can use only the programs that are in the Snow Leopard partition when running Snow Leopard, though you’ll be able to access the data on the other partition.

Paul suggested an alternate setup. If there are just a couple of old programs you need to run, You can install Snow Leopard and the old apps onto an external drive, even a USB drive. Mikail said his method means the user wouldn’t have to keep the external drive handy and remember when to plug it in. But he agreed with Paul that it’s another way to do it. You can get a 256 gig flash drive a Costco for about $40, he added.

Also, an older application may run on newer operating systems even though it’s not officially supported, Paul said. You can try “dragging” the application’s folder from the old machine to a machine running a newer OS and see if it works. You can use Google to find out if others have already tried this with a particular old program.

Paul related his experience at Gatwick Airport. He had plans for using Easy Jet, a discount airline, and wanted to find out what platform to use for the train to the airport but there was no staff around and he had to use an phone app. When he came to the Easy Jet check-in, he found it was unmanned and he had to check his bags himself. Furthermore, the boarding pass was produced on the cell phone and he didn’t have a way to print it out — good luck if something happened to the phone. “There is no ability to manually write down your boarding pass number and there is no ability for the operator to manually key the boarding pass in”, he said.

The lesson is to print out your pass if you can, Paul said. Glenn suggested taking a screen shot. Paul said you can also use Apple wallet, which allows you to save all of your boarding passes and tickets.

A similar situation occurred while catching a bus to London. He could have booked the bus online for an extra pound, but he thought he’d buy the ticket it at the station. When he got to the station, the only way to buy the ticket was online. His point was that much of what we do depends on the internet.

The disclaimer:
“The views expressed on this show are those of the individuals and do not represent KVMR management, KVMR staff, board of directors or anything else”

Mikail noted that there is an easy upgrade you can do to older computers of any variety — replace the hard drive with a solid state drive (SSD). It’s the best thing you can do to make your old computer feel like it’s brand new. A Mac that takes 2 to 3 minutes to boot from a 5400 rpm drive will take 12 to 15 sec to boot from a SSD. Apps will run faster too. You can get a 256 gig drive for under $100, 128 gig drive for $60-$70, 500 gig drive under $150 and a 1 terabyte drive for under $230. Mikail said he can refer you to documents and videos to help you make the conversion.

Paul mentioned that he bought an Asus EEEPC computer a few years ago that originally had a SATA hard drive and he installed a SSD in it. He bought a used 128 gig SSD drive that came out of a Mac Book Air for $7. Since the Mac drives use a PCI Express interface, he bought a SATA-to-PCI Express solid state drive interface for $5. He loves the result.

Paul briefly mentioned the tech behind this broadcast. He’s using Skype right now. He said he’s able to send photos while he’s talking. He sent an animated .gif during the show.

The .gif format originated with Netscape 15 to 20 years ago. The format is making a reappearance on Facebook and Facebook Messanger. Mikail noted the correct pronunciation is jif <like the peanut butter> not gif <as in gift>.

Mikail said the new Apple Mac operating system, High Sierra, is coming out this Fall. The disk format is changing as well as the graphic format. The pictures will take up half as much room on the hard drive. If the images get on a machine with an older OS, they show up as .jpg files. He said the beta testing is coming along fine. Once you upgrade, you can’t go back to an older OS.

Paul noted that the iPhone’s OS newer than about 10.2 has a filing system called APFS that’s geared to solid state drives. Spinning hard drives are also being phased out in the Macs, where High Sierra is tailored to the SSD.

Paul’s sister-in-law has Fitbit and her iPhone has an app called Health (with a red heart) that coodinates with it. Paul, not having a Fitbit, wondered how to get the app and asked Siri. He was surprised to learn that the app was already on his phone and has been logging his activity without his knowledge. It was using the phone’s accelerometer to monitor his movement without the need of the Fitbit.

Paul said the Fitbit also tracks your sleeping patterns so you can, hopefully, improve your sleep. Mikail said there are all sorts of self-improvement apps, even ones that track your sexual activity.

Mikail said that IOS 11 for the Apple mobile devices has a mode to disable the phone when it notices you are in a car and moving.

Paul said he’s seen light bulbs with LED filaments inside — LED retro bulbs. It wasn’t clear what he was getting at. I think it’s supposed to make for a warmer (less bluish) light. To find out more, google the words: filament style led.

Mikail said there is the Perseid meteor shower this Saturday night, the later the better. It’s supposed to be spectacular. There’s not going to be another like it for 96 years. And then there’s the lunar eclipse on the morning of the 26th <starts 9:02am, maximum at 10:17am, ends 11:35am Pacific Time, from what I heard>.

Last Updated 10:50 PM 8-9-2017


Jul 26, 2017

Jul - 26 2017 | 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.


Glenn was in the studio with co-host Mikail Graham. Paul called in from London and he’s not expected to be back in time for the next Zen Tech show..


Paul said that Mac products are much more expensive in the UK because of a 21% value added tax. However, people with a US passport can have the VAT they paid returned to them when they leave the UK. There is a VAT desk at the airport where you can apply for the refund.

Glenn mentioned that the iPhone 8 is coming out. Mikail said that at this point it’s just a rumor. He said there are rumors that criticize it, as well. Mikail uses an iPhone 6S that’s a couple of years old and doesn’t anticipate upgrading for a while.

Mikail has a new 2017 Mac Book Pro & a new iPad Pro. He was appalled when in 2016 Mac Book Pro did away with all of the ports and only provided a USB-C port — no HDMI, no standard USB-A OR -B compatibility, no SD card slot, etc. Then he found a device made by Letscom <maybe this is it> for $60 that plugs into one of the 4 ports on the Mac Book Pro 15″. He now has 2 USB3 ports, a mini and standard SD card slot, HDMI port, a standard USB-A port as well as a power port. He likes being able to log in using his fingerprint.

Mikail thinks the Mac Book Pro it’s a bit overpriced when you look at what you can get from Dell, which has a touch screen, the same or a bit faster processor, 32gig of RAM and costs $1600 at Costco. He thinks Dell makes high quality products.

Paul said Dell computers have a service tag that serves as a serial number. If you go to support.dell.com and enter the number from the service tag, you get the details for that particular machine.

Mikail added, if you don’t need all of the processing power of the top end Mac for doing fancy video or audio work, the Mac Book Air is a good choice starting at $800.

One other thing the new Mac lacks is a Mag-Safe connector. But there are 3rd party manufacturers that make adapters to add that feature.

Paul asked what sort of battery life he gets from the Mac Book. The claim is about 10 hours, but it’s more like 6 to 8 hours, Mikail said.

Mikail’s Mac Book has a better graphics engine that previous models — the Intel HD graphics 630 with something like 1500 megabytes. And like some earlier models, it can switch in or out different graphic processors depending on whether AC or battery power is being used, to conserve power when using the battery.

Paul was online looking at the various models and saw a black, vertical, cylindrical Mac. Mikail said he owns one of those too. It’s called the trashcan Mac. It replaced the Mac Pro Tower in about 2013. About 4 months ago Apple admitted it might have made a mistake because people are not able to upgrade it the way they would like to. But Mikail likes his, saying it may be the best Mac he’s ever owned. He added something called a Thunder Bay that holds 4 different drives — 2 10 terabytes drives and 2 6 terabytes drives. It also has a Thunderbolt2 port, 6 USB3 ports, 2 dual A&B 700 graphic cards and 32 gig of high speed RAM. He said it’s very quiet.

Mikail said that it’s going to be superceded by the new iMac Pro in December starting at about $5000. Next year Apple is planning to bring out the new version of the Mac Pro, which will be user-upgradable.

Glen 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. And you can email the guys at zen at kvmr dot org at any time.

Steve called. He has an old [unintelligible] Unicorn, an MK 828 with Firewire. He wanted to know if it can interface with the Mac Book. Mikail said that with a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter, he can connect it to the Mac Book Air. The adapter is about $29 from Apple.

Ken called. He wanted to know how to hook up a security camera to his Mac computer. Paul said he has a couple of cameras on his property. One is made by Wansview that you can find on Ebay and Amazon. The other better known camera is called D-link Cloud. You can connect the camera to your wireless network and configure it so that if it detects a certain amount of movement, it will email you an image of what it saw. As mentioned on the 6-21-17 show, create a guest network and put the cameras on that network, Paul suggested. As a security measure this should isolate the camera (or any IOT) device so it doesn’t have access to anything else on your network.

The cameras Paul has don’t have the ability to record the video and store it on a flash drive in the camera. That’s something to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a camera, if it’s important to you, You may not need the feature if high quality is not very important, as the app you use to view the video on the computer typically has the ability to record.

The Wansview camera has a tiny speaker so that if you use it as a door cam, you can talk to the person at the door. It’s $35 and has 720 X 480 resolution.

Harbor Freight sells a nice low cost camera system too. Mikail said. It comes with a flash drive.

iPad Air is good bargain at about $350, Mikail said. Glenn got his for $380 ($420 out the door) with 128gig of RAM. But if you want something better, consider the 10.5″ iPad Pro $649 with 256gig RAM, true tone display and 4 speakers. It’s the best iPad he’s ever owned, Mikail said.

Glenn mentioned that he put Kubuntu on his 10″ touch screen [computer] and then installed teamviewer. He’s getting better at working with the Linux operating system.

Mikail talked about some malware called Fruitfly that can hit the Mac. It can take complete control of a Mac. It can then spy on what’s going on in the machine. It can take over the keyboard, mouse, switch on the webcam and modify files. It can even take low rez screen shots and send them over a low speed connection like dialup. It’s amazing how many people have this malware even though Apple has put out patches for it. Make sure you’ve installed the latest patches, Mikail said. It infects the Mac thru an email attachment, so be extra careful about what you click in your emails. Also, when you’re visiting websites beware of popups that offer updates to software or say things like “you computer has been infected you must call this number now”.

Mikail related a story about one of his clients who got hacked a couple years ago. Though the computer was cleaned up, the hacker called him up recently offering to return the money he scammed from the client. All he needed was the bank account number to make a direct deposit. Fortunately, the client didn’t fall for it.

Paul said you can get misdirected just by following search results. People may google “microsoft outlook toll free support”. What they may get in the results is something like “microsoft support” but it’s a 3rd party, not Microsoft.

Lorraine called. She depends a lot on her Google calendar where she has certain events assigned a particular color. Suddenly, the calendar isn’t showing any colors. She uses the calendar app that came with her Mac. Paul surmised she is using iCal which has the ability to have multiple calendars. He said the color represents which calendar you’re viewing and has nothing to do with distinguishing individual events — you can’t assign different colors to events in one particular calendar. Somewhere in the menu there is an option to hide and reveal the calendars you want to see. It may happen that they got turned off.

At the top of the screen there is a piece of text that says ‘calendars’. If you don’t see your calendars on the left-hand side, click on that and it will open up a window to show you the available calendars. Make sure they are selected. You can control+click on the calendar name to change its color.

Glenn announced that he’ll be hosting the Flea Market tomorrow.

Last Updated 11:26 PM 7-26-2017

July 12, 2017

Jul - 12 2017 | 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.


Glenn was in the studio with co-host Mikail Graham. Paul is still in Europe.


Listeners were invited to call during the show with their questions and comments at 530-265-9555.

The hour was devoted to Apple products. Mikail said he has been using Apple computers since the late 70s when he got an Apple 2, which he still has.

Mikail had a tip for the users of the iMac — a thin all-in-one computer that comes in 20″ to 27″ models. He called attention to the venting system on the bottom, especially those made in 2007 to about 2013 (later models were made so thin that it limited their reparability). They need to be cleaned at least every 3 years, he said.

The vents draw in dust along with the air, which then covers the components and leads to failure from running too hot. It’s not an easy thing to do but you need to disassemble the iMac to clean it properly. There are videos online to help you and technicians (including Mikail) who will do it for you, if you think it challenges your abilities. Don’t keep putting it off or you can lose your data, he said. If a hard drive dies, it can cost $800 to $1000, at minimum, to get the data off of it.

Glenn wondered if blowing air into the iMac, without disassembly, would help, if done periodically. Mikail said no. You just can’t get far enough inside to do any good. Keeping the area around the iMac free of dust can help.

Mikail said that the other thing you can do is “put a maintenance program on there like one from Titanium Software called “Maintenance” and run that at least every couple of weeks”. It takes a few minutes to run and it will tell you if the drive is failing.

Steve baker came to the mic and talked to Pascal, a reporter from YubaNet, about the Rex fire near Grass Valley. Fire crews hit the fire hard from the air and on the ground, “and took the heat out of it”. It’s now looking good. There are still some evacuations in the area but that situation is being reevaluated. There are no reports of injuries. It’s going to take a couple of hours to mop up and determine the cause.

Glenn asked Mikail about synching his iPhone iPad and Mac Mini. The iPhone and Mac Mini seem to synch, but his iPad is missing some contacts. He wants to get away from using the cloud and wondered how to best do that.

Mikail said you can export the contacts from the “master source” by synching with iTunes. And there is a product called Imazing for the Mac or PC (2.3 for the PC is coming out soon) for $29 or $39. It will do automatic backups over wi-fi and is well worth having, he said.

You can also transfer files manually if you don’t want to use iTunes. The advantage of the cloud, when it’s working correctly, is that changes on one device will be quickly propagated to the other devices.

Mikail is also having an synching issue. He has a new MacBook Pro and a new iPad and everything synchs. But on his Mac Pro and iPhone, the text replacement shortcuts aren’t synching. With shortcuts, you can type something like ‘tty’ and it will expand to ‘talk to you later’, for example. On Apple devices you can set shortcuts by going to settings -> general -> keyboard (for Android go to “language & input” -> “Personal Dictionary” -> +ADD). Some websites may prevent usage of shortcuts, often for security reasons.

To mitigate synch problems make sure you’re running the latest version of the operating system. Also, there’s much to be said for doing a clean install rather than a restore. That way you don’t bring back old “junk” that you don’t need anymore and that may make the computer run slower. To do that you’ll need to install from a USB drive. Or you can do a recovery over the internet but it can take days.

Ross called to say that the changes to Net Neutrality proposed by the government are open for comment, until July 17 (he thought). It’s important to keep this administration from rolling back neutrality. Mikail suggested going to the website secure2.convio.net. <Maybe it’s here>
John Oliver explains Net neutrality

Ross also suggested getting a hepa air filter & putting it under the air intake of your computer to minimize dust

Ross said he has a late 2008 MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard. He asked Mikail what’s the best, most stable operating system since Snow Leopard for his machine. Mikail said the things he looks for are security & compatibility and thought El Capitan would be a good choice. His machine probably won’t be able to handle anything newer.

They both agreed Snow Leopard boots up & shuts down very fast. Mikail added that going to a different OS may mean a slow down, but replacing the spinning hard drive with a solid state drive (SSD) will regain much of the speed. You can get a 500 gig SSD Samsung for $150 on Amazon or even cheaper with brands like Adata, Kingston or San Disk.

If you want to replace the MacBook Pro, there are good deals right now on 2015 models that have 16 gig of RAM, HDMI, 2 USB ports, SD card slot and Magsafe connector for under $2000. They are new & under warranty.

Mikail noted that he uses a 34″ Dell monitor that he loves. They go for about $700.

Chris called. He has an old Mac Book running the Lion operating system. He’s afraid of losing his drawing program called Vector Works if he installs a newer OS. Mikail determined that he does Timemachine backups and said it should be no problem to restore all of his programs after doing the update. Chris clarified that the program he has won’t work on the newer operating system.

Chris also wondered which way the air flows thru his machine. Mikail said the air comes in to the side and is blown out the back.

Gary called. He has a Mac Book running operating system 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard), the last version that can run Apple Works, which he has and likes a lot. The Safari browser is having problems and he wanted to know if it’s possible to reinstall it from the original disks. Mikail said, the problem is that it will need to be updated and the updates will be hard to find. You’ll have to search the internet to find the old updates. And it won’t work until it’s updated, Glenn added.

Paul isn’t expected to return for a couple more Zen Tech shows. Mikail said he has a lot more to talk about on the next show, like the new Mac OS called High Sierra and iOS 11.

Lee called to ask if it’s ok to put a keyboard in the dishwasher to clean it…definitely not. Use a light touch when cleaning or you may knock the keycaps off the Mac and won’t be able to put them on again. Use a gentle cleaner like Fantistik or Green Cleaner or a citrus-based cleaner. Put the cleaner on a cloth first and rub gently.

Someone called (off air) asking for a more precise location of the Rex fire. Glenn said it’s on the town side of Highway 20 as you’re going toward Yuba City, at the intersection of Gibson & Butler.

Last Updated 11:53 PM 7-12-2017

Jun 28, 2017

Jun - 28 2017 | no comments | By

Co-Host Mikail Graham with special guest Michael Anderson from Spiral Internet spiral.com to talk about Spiral’s new Gigabit 100% fiber optic internet service. Coming this year.



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 & outro music was by Pentatonix.


Glenn was in the studio with co-host Mikail Graham. Paul was away in Croatia.
Michael Anderson from Spiral Internet was a guest.


Listeners were invited to call during the show with their questions and comments at 530-265-9555.

Mikail talked about a new computer virus going around called Petya. It’s a variation of the recent Wannacry virus mentioned during the 5-24-17 show. He said the malware usually gets into your machine when you click on an attachment [to an email].

Glenn said, if you open an email from someone you don’t recognize, don’t click on attachments <or any links>. Even if the email seems to be from someone that you know be careful, the account may have been hijacked and is being used to spread malware, Mikail added. You can sometimes tell if an email is bogus if the wording is not typical of the person that you think it’s from. Double check if the email is good by calling that friend & asking if they sent you the mail. It’s important to backup the files you want to protect.

Michael said the bad guys are increasingly using artificial intelligence to ferret out info about you. They’ll find out who you communicate with and what services you use. If they see you’re a Fedx customer, they may send email from what looks like a legitimate Fedx account, for example.

Michael also mentioned business networks where one computer is running legacy software — maybe because it will cost too much to upgrade. Keep it off the network because if becomes compromised, it can infect the other computers on the network.

Mikail said Petya was derived from NSA spying software that was leaked to the public. And in the last few weeks, 32 terabytes of Microsoft Windows source code was also leaked. It’s not certain what mischief will come from that, he said. Though Microsoft patched Windows for Petya, many people haven’t kept up with their updates. And computers aren’t the only equipment that can be hacked. There are tractors, cars and other internet connected devices that are vulnerable too.
<The cyber attack that knocked out Ukraine this morning is now going global:
Everything you need to know about the Petya, er, NotPetya nasty trashing PCs worldwide:
This looks like a simple fix for Petya, but I can’t vouch for it…
Vaccine, not Killswitch, Found for Petya (NotPetya) Ransomware Outbreak:>

Adobe and several other companies have come out with software that can recreate a person’s voice from a small sample. It’s about 90% accurate, according to Mikail. There’s also software to do something similar with video. An example is George Bush’s face superimpose on a speaker, making it look like it’s really Bush who’s speaking.

Mikail said Amazon’s Echo Show (with Alexa, the personal assistant) is to debut today. He’ll give us a review of the product on the next show. It’s supposed to have a couple of speakers and a video screen that allows you to have video chats with other people. It could be a useful aid for senior citizens. But he has some questions about how privacy issues will be handled.

Michael gave us an overview of project Spiral Internet is starting. In Dec of 2015 the California Advanced Services Fund awarded a grant of over $16 million for the 1st phase. It was finally approved in mid May 2017 after much review of its environmental impact. Spiral is in the design process now. The first phase is to roll out in areas that are currently underserved. The definition of underserved includes those who currently have less than 6 megabits/sec.

Their network operation center is on Providence Mine Road. The optical fiber will be sent up Brunswick and down 174 (highway?) to Mount Olive Road. Then it will go down to Dog Bar and back up Labar(?) Meadows, up Rattlesnake then circles back thru Grass Valley and reconnects at the Nocks(?). That’s the loop. The laterals go out from huts that are on that loop. Service can be provided as far as 30 km from each hut.

There are 2 types of fiber optics. The type commonly deployed in the U.S. is GPON (passive optical network), which is much like the cable network. It has a fixed bandwidth and as more people access it at the same time, the service degrades.

What Sprial will be using is active Ethernet, which is a little more expensive. It’s a “home run” from a hut to each residence and the speed can be controlled for each segment.

If you do a speed test, you should see about 900 megabits/sec with a 1 gig connection, for both uploads and downloads. And if they change the electronics in a hut it can go up to 10 gig, 40 gig, 100 gig or 1 terabits/sec. That’s the advantage of fiber over cable, which has lower top speeds.

After the initial rollout to underserved areas, phase 2 will expand to other areas like Banner, Willow Valley, the town of Washington and microwave will cross South Yuba Canyon. Phase 3 will cover Lake Wild Wood and Penn Valley. The price will be $119 for 1 gigabit/sec of speed. At this time, about 20% of houses in the 174 corridor have signed up, and they haven’t started digging yet.

Michael noted that there could be a cost saving with the fiber service after you get rid of your cable service, satellite service, land line, etc.

On the subject of cord cutting, Mikail said he’s tried the Sling service and didn’t really like it. It seems like a good idea, but it’s slow and had a poor user interface. He dropped it after 2 weeks.

Michael said the Comcast cable service gives you a good speed at a reasonable price but the AT&T DSL service is being slowly phased out. There have been cases where a house with DSL is sold but the new owner can’t get the DSL turned back on.

Mikail said he keeps seeing people who upgrade to the Mac Sierra OS (High Sierra coming this Fall) who miss an important setting. Unless you have a very fast connection, he recommends turning off the option to store your desktop and documents in the cloud. He doesn’t recommend the encryption function either.

Michael talked about Client Works The IT Services For Everyone, his other enterprise. He started it in 1997 after having worked for Grass Valley Group.

They provide managed service like maintenance contracts with business. They monitor systems using a proactive approach to head off problems before they occur.

Michael started to explain the Economic Resource Council the Nevada County Tech Connection. It’s a new initiative funded by Nortech, a group from Chico. It’s what’s called a next generation sector partnership. He didn’t finish before attention turned to an incoming phone call…

Donna called. She has a 2012 Macbook Pro running OSX Yosemite version 10.10.5. Her daughter recently went on a trip to Europe and wanted Donna to install Whatsapp on her iPhone. “And it said that if I did that it was going to put my address book from my phone in the cloud, and that if I got rid of the cloud, I was going to lose my address book”.

Mikail asked her if she’s logged into iCloud on her Mac. She said no, she never uses the cloud. He had her go into system preferences in the upper left corner under the Apple menu, find the item called “iCloud”, click on it and see if there’s an email address. She did that and said there was no email address. He explained that what she’s being told is that the contacts <address book> will be uploaded into Whatsapp when it’s installed. Then if you log out of Whatsapp or delete it, the contacts only in Whatsapp will be deleted, not the contacts in the rest of the phone.

He went on to say, if the iPhone and Mac aren’t synched, she’s missing out on some benefits — the contacts on one device will also be on the other.

Last Updated 12:28 AM 6-29-2017

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