Feb 11 2008

Feb - 05 2008 | no comments | By

Digitize your cassettes and LPs



Phone Troubleshooting – How to verify your regional, long distance carrier or home telephone number
The following numbers are to an automated service and the numbers are toll free.

Identify your Regional Carrier 700-4141
Identify your Long Distance Carrier 700-555-4141
Identify your Telephone Number 511




Jeffrey Hein; linux expert; runs local business, cohosted this show.

Paul mentions a virus that comes from a digital picture frames.
Music stores can possibly transfer a virus to your Ipod if you plug it in at the store to obtain music samples.
Some newer digital cameras can now insure that nobody is blinking and everyone is smiling.
UK is ahead in the number of cell phone networks. Their T-mobile can be used to access the internet via a USB dongle for about $10 or $20 a month of 1gig/month of traffic & 3.5 megabits/sec.

More info about the digital tv switch-over in Feb of 2009 at dtvanswers.com
You can now apply for up to two $40 coupons for a converter box.

A couple of XP shortcuts:
Windowskey + U goes to accessibility screen with the text to speech voice speaking
Windowskey + L locks the computer & waits for you to login again

There are options of connecting to the internet using the cell phone networks using the Edge system at about 128k baud or the GSM system at 9600 baud. AT&T has a USB dongle (at about $79) where you plug in your SIM card. Verizon has a similar service.

sonic.net uses spare channels of UHF TV to connect to the internet.

Go to att.com to check if DSL is available in your area.

Special needs people who'd like to buy a Mac and want to avoid the inherently higher prices of Mac computer should be aware that older Macs can be adequate for web surfing. Check ebay.com & craigslist.com

Keep an eye on your phone bills. Slamming is prevalent and it can be hard to find out what you're being charged for. See the toll-free numbers at the top to get more info about your phone service provider.

You don't need to have long distance carrier. A good option is not have the long distance & just use a calling card. Also, if you make less than $20,000/yr there is the Lifeline service that costs much less.

Alternate long distance provider onesuite.com uses a pin to get access.

Internet Explorer 7 may have trouble running on earlier PC's with only 256k or less RAM. If you uninstall IE7, you will be taken back to IE6. Right click on My Computer & left click on properties to find out how much RAM you have.

jkdefrag is a great "no install" defragmenter includes a screen saver. It reclaims unused space on the hard drive due to adding & deleting files of different sizes over time. Get it at: www.kessels.com/JkDefrag/

It's possible for a Mac to pass on a virus to a PC via mail. Be careful about forwarding unknown mail. For anti-virus info & programs see…

Norton anti-virus for Mac:

search forum.techguy.org for discussions of anti-virus software. Select "Apple Macintosh" on the search list.

You might get a listing like:

And see this particular thread:

Also, clamxav.com has a free anti-virus for the Mac

Anti-virus for XP & other useful programs, see the list at the end of:

Those interested an a foothill Linux advocacy group email to:
zen – at – kvmr – dot – org



Jan - 27 2008 | no comments | By

- Open Source Software.
The advantages of Open Source Software are many. Here are a few that stand out to me.
  • Free (It really is completely free)
  • Supports Local Professionals
    • When you use commercial software you really only have one choice when looking for support.  The company you bought the software from. With Open Source Software, because the code base is open anyone can become an expert.
  • Runs on Inexpensive Hardware
    • When Open Source Software is updated you rarely have to buy a new computer to support it.
    • Will run on old or small computers.
    • Will run on more durable computers that will save on replacement and support.
  • Better for the Enviroment
    • Because the resource reqiurements are less for Linux you don't have to throw your old computer away.
    • You can use more efficient hardware that uses less electricity and creates less heat and sound.
- Intenet Applications.
- Thin Client Technology.

BLOG section: Thanks Bill for sending in these notes:

Hi Paul-

I've been using Linux almost exclusively since 1996-7 or so...
installing many 'flavors' of Linux on a wide variety of computers.

In the last few years we've seen the 'Live CD,' with which it's
possible to try out or test the particular distribution, without
actually installing it to the hard disk.

What I've noticed most recently is that some of the distributions
won't run on some computers -- for a reason that is unknown to me.

For instance, Ubuntu, (Kubuntu really, with the KDE desktop
environment), runs beautifully on some computers (my new Acer
laptop, for example), where everything just works, flawlessly, and
the system is kept up-to-date with the simple commands 'apt-get
update' and 'apt-get upgrade' -- accessing the Debian based

But Ubuntu will NOT run or install on my main server or backup server.
As I said, I'm not a newbie at this... My main server is brand new
Athlon 64 with 2GB memory; the backup server is about 3 yr old HP with
385MB ram and 1.5 GHz Intel chip.

However both servers both ran and easily installed the open SuSE
distribution (and, puzzlingly, Knoppix. I say puzzlingly because
Knoppix, like Ubuntu, is also a Debian-based distribution).

The upshot of my recent experiences is, if listeners are interested in
trying out Linux, to test a Live CD, and if that won't run to try
another flavor. Life's too short to try to install a distribution that
won't run from CD -- at least unless you know the problem, such as not
enough memory. If it's simply a memory problem, you may be able to
install and run the system successfully on less memory than it takes
to run the Live CD. But even the purchase of a new memory chip is
almost certainly cheaper than a new computer...

Hope these comments will be helpful.

One of the most compatible Linux distribution I have found is Puppy Linux www.puppylinux.org .
This distribution also has amazingly low system requirements  and can run off of a USB thumb drive, CD or hard drive.   It is geared toward a standard desktop enviroment.

 I also wanted to mention PCLinux OS www.pclinuxos.com .  I have personally never used it, but is one of the most popular for new Linux users. 



Jan 14 2008

Jan - 14 2008 | no comments | By

Lots of talk about the recent power outages, some of which lasted up to a week in our area, and what to do to help protect your appliances and electronic equipment.

During a brown out ( something less than 110v ac is coming into your house from the power company) TURN OFF or unplug anything that has a motor like refridgerators and freezers (and do not open them!). It's called a brown out as the lights may dim to the oint of having a lighting effect like a dim saloon! : ). Filament light bulbs do not mind working this way. Naturally, you are using those nice Compact Flourescen Tubes (CFTs) which can also malfuntoin and overheat in these conditions.

During a full power outage:

Unplug electronic equipmennt from the wall. If you have a UPS (Uninteruptable Power Suppy) immediately shut down whatever equipment it is running. A UPS can be used to power a cordless phone and radio for a few hours but do not attempt to run your computer with it.

When using a generator BE SURE TO TURN OFF THE MAIN POWER coming in from your utility provider (so that you are not feeding power into the system which could potentially electrocute a worker).

Generator power should be used for essential things in your house and not for computers and such or electric heaters. Using generator power to run the fan  on your gas heater is okay.

APC & Belkin UPS units, the more expensive units will provide smoother sine waves and don't mind charging from a generator. A Belkin unit that we use here at KVMR is model # FF6C1000-TW-RK . – About $150.00 from their site as of press day.

Also related to prolonged power outages is that the CMOS/BIOS battery (a small quarter sized unit in all desktop computers) may go flat. Replace with battery # 2032 (I think)



Jan 28 2008

Jan - 02 2008 | no comments | By

home mesh automation! by MAC.. 

 Human/Computer Interface

Notes By Glen: 


In studio guest Jeffrey Hein a Linux programmer will field calls about Linux today.

Linux is an alternative operating system to Windows. It can be free or purchased. If you re-distribute it you must make all changes you have available for everyone. Jeffrey’s web site is http://www.jphein.com/ Linux can easily run on older equipment. UBUNTU.com


Sound from an HP computer when run about 20’ to a powered boom box is very low. Try to use a short wire on the same boom box. Check in the computer to make sure all the sounds settings are on and turned up.


Truckee translator: a listener is having problems with receiving 105.1fm consistently. I drops off completely for several minutes at a time. Try to set up a better antenna system. The weather could also be the problem this time of year.


Spamford Wallace has done bad things to 100,000 MySpace websites, a listener has most likely gotten a virus by trying to access a bands website. Most likely she will have to re-install Windows on this Dell laptop.


Billeo was mistakenly installed on her computer and is now bringing up porn and such. Jeffrey recommends winpooch to ask you in the future if you really want to install software from the web !!


Using Syncback, James is having trouble using the “Default” profile. Double click on it. From www.2brightsparks.com


I Power Web is allowing all “BCC” (blind carbon copy) to show all e-mail addresses. PHP List can help with this. Phplist.com


Remember that using your debit card online can be more risky than using an actually credit card which will provide more protection against unauthorized use.


Linux, performance was slow for Open Office and such according to one user. Jeffrey suggests that the graphics card might not have the correct drivers.





Dec 31 2007

Dec - 17 2007 | no comments | By

A summing up of what's happened in 2007.
Netscape Officially Dead as of Feb 01 2008!

 Plasma TV versus LCD: Lee Osborbe


Paul has made the audio of the show available here
The approximate times are from the beginning of the mp3 and are in decimal minutes.

2.5 min
HDTV; plasma vs. LCD
Plasma may be on the way out.

4.83 min
Caller's question about installing a modem in a Mac G5 tower.
Suggestion to use a USB modem.

10.42 min
More info on plasma tv's.
Some disadvantages: burn-in, weight, possibly life span

13.5 min
Caller has 6 year old PC with Win2000, should he upgrade?
Dell still has some PC's with WinXP: dell.com
Businesses are advised to have second machine before the 1st one fails.

20.5 min
More on plasma vs. LCD displays.
There may (or not) be a difference in the off-angle viewing.
Plasma may have more glare than LCD.
See the above link for a comparison of the two.

24 min
Digital tv switch over is coming Feb 2009: www.dtv2009.gov
Digital does not imply high definition.
More on plasma vs. LCD displays.

29.25 min
Credit to the people, behind the scenes, who make the Zentech program happen.

34.26 min
Support for Netscape has ceased.
See the above link.
A little about its history & its ties to AOL.
Does the AOL software have problems with Vista?

36.76 min
Caller concerned about damaged hard drive.
Tips on recovering data from it.
Some credit card companies may double the warranty.

39.9 min
Caller wants to use a modem with a laptop.
Glenn's Diamond Supra Shotgun modem can combine 2 phone lines to increase thru-put
USB modem suggested over a serial modem

42.56 min
Glenn's ASUS mini-laptop & others can be used with a large external display.
Caller claims the latest version of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) has a great display.

46.25 min
Trick with pulling off the Polaroid film from a watch or LCD display.
It can then only be read wearing Polaroid glasses.

Free & highly valued software:
AVG anti-virus: free.grisoft.com
Spybot anti-spyware (includes file shredder): www.spybot.de
Ad-aware anti-spyware: www.lavasoftusa.com/products/ad_aware_free.php
Firefox browser (many plugins, more basic interface): mozilla.com
Thunderbird email & usenet: mozilla.com
Opera browser (some plugins, more user-friendly settings): opera.com
Zone Alarm firewall (for those without XP + service pack 2): www.zonealarm.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp
Audacity Audio editor: audacity.sourcforge.net
Audacity plugin called Lame (for saving mp3): lame.buanzo.com.ar
Belarc Advisor profile of installed software & hardware:

iPod, iTouch: apple.com
Treo (cell phone & organizer): palm.com

All imaginable disclaimers apply. Use the above at your own risk

Dec 17 2007

Dec - 07 2007 | no comments | By

Tech gadgets for Christmas is the theme. If you found something cool, call in and share.

Seems more & more people's annoyance at the rampant materialism of the season simply causes many  to not want or give give presents as such this year more than ever-

Consider events to do together, specially chosen software for family & freinds, and creative toys like sound and video editing software for those powerful machines!

Consider having a Tech Free Week over the holiday season! the iPod after all is one of the worst offedners for social isolation and separation. If thsi suggestion seems weird coming from the Tech Guys, consider that the worlds greatest and earliest conservationists were- Hunters (If you do not beleive me, look up "forest laws" in Google! before turning everythign OFF!)

Happy 60th birthday, Transistor!

Control Pro Tools from an iPhone:

MAC: "Leopard" Also Known As MAC OS 10.5 will not just run on Intel CPUs. But will NOT run on a G4 (PowerPC)  unless the CPU is at least 850MHz!

iPod Classic– 6th Generation- the Video one…Of Sep 2007 has an UPdate ot 1.0.3- Should One Do That? Yes. (I Say). Note that video adapters to play back trhough TC MUCT be those designed for thsi species of iPod and NOT for earleir ones! $49 from Apple. Less from China by way of eBay or whatever..

Show Notes by Glenn; THANKS Glenn!

Gift cards, starting in January 2008 may not expire and may not have fees applied to them when purchased from a retailer http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_financial_services/000256.html

Pre-paid credit card: Lisener called in to say: a $25.00 one had a $4 'premuim' which appied for values up to $200.00. These cards are useful if you do not trust using your regular credit card online or for family members to go to college etc.

Re: gift giving, http://www.heifer.org foundation and others non-profits gift agricultural resources.

Kiva foundation at http://www.kiva.org micro loan contribution for charitable purposes. 

Iphone clones from Taiwan & China http://www.itechnews.net/2007/05/25/cect-p168-iphone-clone/  and  many more.. these do not pretend to be iPhones(Lawsuits!) they just look & operate somewhat liek them.


Moving old outlook files from an old hard drive to a new installation on a new computer, hunt for file name OUTLOOK.PST (do a search for it). First in a folder, enable “show hidden files and folders”.

Open the new outlook, then close it. Now move the old outlook.pst into the new position on the new computer.

DSL & wireless phones Verizon updates each month *228 then select option 2

 Nintendo DS can play educational games

 Mac quicktime to view u-tube pictures, since last upgrade of quicktime it won’t work, but flash player does work


ASUS Mini Laptop Review

Nov - 29 2007 | no comments | By

Heya Folks,


They are out of stock but Buy.Com is taking orders!!!

I LOVE my new little EeePC from ASUS …. the only problem so far is the tiny keyboard which takes some getting used to … though I have typed this entire sentence without any problems !

I WILL NOT install Windows XP as the included Xandros version if Linux is working quite well. Not to hard to get used to since it is a nice graphical interface.

The wireless has worked well at KVMR and here at Club Sierra.

There are 3 USB ports and I am using an external mouse as any touchpad is a challenge for me.

The built in 4 gig of storage is really only 1.3 gig once you figure in the Linux operating system but if you're not going to use this to download and store stuff, that shouldn't be a problem plus there is an SD/MMC slot that I have a 4 gig SD card in.

After calling ASUS to find out that the unit can handle up to 1 gig of RAM, and that opening it won't void the warranty, I removed the shipped 512 mb stick and put in a 1 gig stick without any difficulty.

I have tried to install the Opera Web Browser and still am not successful but the included Firefox and Thunderbird work well. I even found a calculator with a little searching 😉

I would STRONGLY recommend this unit to anyone wanting a sub 2 pound "PC" that will be very easy to travel with.

If you have any questions just let me know.

Listed below is a link to Costco's Samsung 7" PC for $999 but it doesn't have a keyboard, it is all screen! Though is does have a 60 gig hard drive.


Good Luck Folks!


Dec 03 2007

Nov - 19 2007 | no comments | By

Thank you Paul for providing the podcast (mp3) of the Dec 3 show:

Subjects mentioned on the show and the number of minutes (decimal) from the beginning of the mp3.

1 min
Some details about the Pharos GPS unit model pdr150

6.25 min
ASUS Eeepc mini-laptop with solid state hard drive; running Linux
see Glenn's review:

10 min
A similar unit is the Palm Foleo;
product discussion:
but it's discontinued:

12.33 min
USB floppy drive can be found at:

16,5 min
Tips for improving a wireless signal,

20 min
Suggestion to use Firefox instead of Internet Explorer 7:

22.66 min
Pluses & minus; pc vs mac laptops
Real estate people & accountants — take a listen to the podcast at about 24.9 min
Sorry, I couldn't decern what Paul said, something like..apple.com/switchsit

29.5 min
Rumor has it that DSL is available "on the ridge", but don't tell anyone, it's a secret
att.comto check for availability of DSL in your area

31.5 min
Tips for installing a bigger hard drive & bringing the OS & data over to the new one.
Running Windows & Linux on the same pc.
34.66 min
Boot Linux from CD to try it out. Install to your hard drive if you like it.
knoppix.com or ubuntu.org

38 min
Ghost from Norton and Partition Quest (or is it Partition Magic) to bring an image of a hard drive to another drive.
Possibly some free software to do a disk image at download.com.

42.5 min
Does it make sense to buy an Apple to run windows with Bootcamp. And more pc vs. mac banter
Open Office instead of Microsoft Office:

48.5 min
Dell laptop power supply pin broke, there may be a recall

50.5 min
What'a on next week… more Christmas gift suggestions

Nov 19 2007

Nov - 18 2007 | no comments | By

Does Symatec Suck & is it laying people off?

Happy 35th Birthday Intel CPU, the 4004, predecessor of All Things PC Chip! http://www.4004.com includes a Way Cool Simulator


Sep 24 2007

Sep - 10 2007 | no comments | By

Sep 24 Show paul will be In Transit at Vacnouver Airport, Canada,

may be able to call in! Thanks, Mikail, Adam and Glen for covering the show for which we have No Notes..

1 29 30 31 32 33 36