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Glenn was in the studio. Paul was in Southern Germany and intended to call in, but he never did.
Glenn talked about his switch from AT&T to T-Mobile. He said that though the Verizon iPhone doesn't contain a SIM card and is therefore difficult to switch to a different carrier, the switch to T-Mobile from AT&T is easy because both support the SIM card.
He purchased a 1 month trial from T-Mobile to see if reception was acceptable in the Nevada County foothills and found that, indeed, it was. For those times when he can't get reception, he plans to depend on Google Voice to forward his calls.
– He seemed to imply that T-Mobile offers unlimited voice, txt and data for $50/mo.
– He only gets the 1st 100 meg of data at 4G speed and then it goes down to 2G speed.
– He's a bit unhappy with T-Mobile's voice mail because, in addition to his out-going message, T-Mobile adds its own voice menu which charges 15 seconds or so to the caller's minutes. He plans to explore options to turn that off.
He mentioned that if you plan early termination of your phone contract, check to see if the phone company added any fees or extra assessment during the contract period. That means the phone company violated the contract and you may therefore avoid any cancellation charges.
He then talked about the AVG anti-virus program. It will soon be going to version 2012 and cautioned people about choosing either the free or paid version. In the upgrade process, you'll eventually get a screen with check boxes for either the basic free version or one with a firewall and additional features. He said the Windows firewall is adequate and you don't need to buy the extra features.
He also said that the AVG upgrade process will also want to install a toolbar and one other thing — uncheck those 2 items. The final items ask if you want to join the "feedback team and email team" — you can go either way here.
Mark called in and said he's using Firefox and it keep prompting him to upgrade to the latest version. He wanted to know if that's a good idea.
– Glenn says it's up to you.
– Glenn's using at older version on his netbook because, at about version 4, there were changes made to the interface that he doesn't like. But in version 6, he said, some of those changes have been undone.
– One thing he didn't like is having the tabs at the top instead of directly above the web page, but there is a setting to change that.
Mark wondered of there's a way to keep Firefox from nagging about the upgrade.
– There is no way to stop the upgrade prompts. Just close that window when it appears.
Mark asked if any files would be lost in the upgrade.
– Files for bookmarks, history etc. will remain unchanged.
Mark went on to say that he turned off the history feature in Firefox and that affected his email — it no longer remembered his login. He wondered if the two were actually related.
– They shouldn't be. Passwords are handled separately under Options -> Security.
But Mark said when he turned history back on, his passwords started working as before.
– Glenn said he'd have to experiment with that and asked Mark to email him later.
Mike called to say he has an older Dell desktop and thinks he needs to change the battery because the clock and calendar are way off. He wanted to know how difficult it would be.
– It's not very involved.
– Check the numbers on the battery. It's likely to be either a 3025 or a 2025. They are readily available.
– Look online for your model of computer to get instructions on opening it and locating the battery.
– Be careful not to break the tabs holding the battery.
– Afterwards, the time will need to be set. The computer will <eventually> set the clock when you go onto the internet, or you can set the time manually. <Double-click the clock in the lower right of the screen>
James called. He's having a problem with his Mac laptop (running Snow Leopard) that he got at the end of 2007. He does a lot of writing and when he drags text from the internet into Text Editor the program won't allow him to save his work and he has to turn the computer off.
– It may be that the program was not created to deal with text being dragged into it.
– Test to see if dragging text into Microsoft Word causes the same problem.
James said he went into 'disk utilities' and saw an option about clearing history. He asked Glenn what that's about — he thought it might have something to do with his problem.
– Glenn said he doesn't know enough about the Mac to advise him and asked listeners to call in with suggestions.
Help support KVMR by becoming a member.
Kate called. She has a Dell Optiplex with XP and its hard drive crashed. She wanted to know how to recover the data.
– Try putting the drive in a different machine. <presumably to be sure it's the drive, not the computer>
– There are data recovery sites, but they charge a lot — up in the $1000's.
– Remember to back up your data before a failure.
– Try using a Linux live CD that can be booted from a CD drive. You may then be able to access the hard drive. Search zen.kvmr.org for various Linux options. <e.g. Ubuntu>
Glenn mentioned that Michael Moore will be in Nevada City on Sat Oct 29 in a benefit talk and book signing for KVMR. You can buy tickets, online or here at the station, starting next week. <I bet the KVMR's main page will say something about it >
Paul called. He has a Compaq laptop and suddenly he can't boot up — the screen is all black. He wondered if he also has a problem with the battery.
– No, the battery we talked about is only for the on-board clock, so that's unlikely. But it wouldn't hurt to change it anyway
– It can be the motherboard or screen are bad.
– If there is a pattern of beeps at startup, note that pattern and look it up at the vendors web site to decipher the meaning — it's telling you what's wrong.
– Try other things like cleaning out the dust from the interior using compressed air and a soft brush. And try reinserting the memory modules.
– Connect an external monitor to help diagnose a problem with the screen.
Glenn than talked about using cell phones in cars. He mentioned this article.
"Hold the phone: Motorists warned starting Saturday"
< In a related matter there this article further down the page…
"Fact Checker: Do cellphone, texting bans decrease car crashes?">
Marilyn called about laptop batteries. She has a Dell laptop and was getting a lifespan of about a year and a half from the battery. She usually uses the AC cord and just depends on the battery in case the power goes out.
– Instead of buying batteries and given her usage strategy, Glenn suggested a UPS <uninterruptible power supply> that can be had from $35 to $75 and can give you 3 to 5 minutes to shut the computer down when power goes out.
– Glenn said the brand of the battery can matter. Sony & Dell have had problems in the past.
– Try using Ebay for your battery shopping.
Glenn signed up for Google Plus but didn't use it much to say much about it. But he did get a note from Paul who said it's better integrated than facebook and you can use Picasa, Web Albums and other apps live.
<Here are a couple of articles about it…here and here>
Next Zentech show is on Oct 12.
Last Updated: 9:04 PM 9/28/2011