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Computer Applications

Sat 09 August 2014

Yesterday I actually received a call from a engineer working in the Bank of Americas technical department with regard to my online banking deposits problems. It turns out this young man named Mike has the same Samsung tablet III as I have but does not have any issues with the B0A application. He led me through several steps including enabling the developer section of the settings and troubleshooting what might be causing the problem. We both agreed that it is my Kaspersky security application causing the problem. Is blocking access to the Internet for the app. The only solution is to uninstall Kaspersky. I have another brand X tablet that has the application installed and it works just fine even though Kaspersky is also installed on it. Go figure.

Earlier this week I upgraded my Firefox browser to version 25 from version 20. The installation went fine and all the extensions available for use by Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 worked. I did not upgrade to the latest release which is Firefox 30 although somehow without my knowledge or permission Firefox 30 got installed on my computer yesterday. I didn't okay the upgrade and have no idea how it happened. Furthermore my Win Patrol did not alert me to any changes in my registry which I thought was strange because one would've thought registry changes would be necessary. The good news is all the Kaspersky extensions were perfectly fine on Firefox 30 so I'm not unhappy with the upgrade I'm just unhappy that it happen without my knowledge or permission. How can this be? I have the settings for upgrades in Firefox set to announce an upgrade but don't install it without my permission. Reading on the Firefox forms I now found its best to check the boxes says don't look for upgrades.

I'm very pleased to announce that the new Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 is working very well after I took the plunge and made the upgrade this week. My major concern was whether the extensions would work on all my browsers and this time Kaspersky got it right because they do work. Thus far it is my opinion through observation and reading that version 2015 is faster, uses less resources, has better scan engines and works with all my browsers. However the safe money option just doesn't seem to work properly with my browsers but I don't use it anyway.

Have you tried the new Puffin browser for mobile devices yet? Is your opinion the same as mine and that this new cloud oriented browser is faster and has more options than any of the other mobile browser applications? If you've not tried Puffin you should install it on your mobile device and give it a go.

This time of the year I tend to watch the Little League World Series on ESPN. I've watched several games this week and there are more to come. What this also means is college football is just around the corner. We are only a few weeks away from the first college game kickoff and then I'll be in bliss for the next several months watching games.

You folks may not know this but Windows 7 has a voice recognition software program built into it. I've tried it several times and I've done training with the program so it can better recognize my speech and words that I use. Thus far it cannot hold a candle to Dragon NaturallySpeaking which I'm using now and probably will continue to use.

Posted at 11:41 am in Computer | Comments (0)

Puffin Browser is Wicked Fast!

Wed 06 August 2014

Recently Kathryn introduced me to a new mobile browser called Puffin. She claimed it was really fast and just the best of any browsers she has used. So of course I decided to give it a go and installed it on my tablets. Kathryn was right on! This browser is faster and easier to use than any other mobile browser I've used in the past and believe me I've tried several. It has more options than other browsers and lightning fast compared to other browsers.

The company's website is located at PuffinBrowser.com. I've had an opportunity to talk with the company's founder and CEO who developed the browser in the first place. His name is Shioupyn Shen and he has been so personally helpful to me I'd like to express my appreciation and the best way I know how to do that is to suggest that any of you out there with mobile devices download Puffin browser and give it a go. One of the things I particularly like about the browser is that all data that leaves your computer when you go to website is encrypted and the returning data is encrypted as well. This to me is a great security advantage over other browsers that openly send your data over the Internet which can easily be captured by a variety of programs available on the web.

What makes his browser so much faster than others is that it works in the Cloud. From my communications with the developer it is my belief this browser may lead the industry in a short period time. Once you try it and like it like I do pass the word along to your friends and colleagues so they too can experience the benefits of this browser over any other browser they may be using.

Yesterday I went back to my dermatologist to have that small spot surgically removed even though it was not malignant in nature. The point is the cells contained with in the spot were of the type that could turn to melanoma which of course is the last thing I'd like. I have some stitches and will need to return to my dermatologist's office in a week to have the stitches removed.

I finally got a call back from the executive assistant to the President of Bank of America. She and I talked on the phone for 30 min. or more about the issues I brought to their attention. She said they would "escalate" my case to a higher level which should give it a quick attention and resolution. Frankly I'm more than sure they are already working on the problem because if the BoA app will not work on any Samsung device and technically speaking about 65% of all mobile devices in the United States today are Samsung I'm sure I'm not the first to report an issue.

In my e-mail I also asked the president why the Bank discriminated against those customers of the bank that did not have mobile devices but did have a computer. Of course I can log into my account online and do a lot of things like write checks, make payments, transfer money,etc. but I can't make a deposit. I came up with the idea of rather than creating an app for Microsoft or Apple desktop/laptop devices all they would need to do is add a utility to a customer's online account that will permit the customer to browse his or her computer for images of the check they wish to deposit. There's no need for a new and different app. A picture of a check can be taken with a WebCam, a scanner, or with a regular digital camera and then have the picture transfer to the computer. Anyone with a computer likely has one of those three devices already. She said she would get back in touch with me so it will be interesting to see what comments she has to make with regard to this idea.

I'm working on another consumer product which is not available on the marketplace today but is something that everyone I talk to about said they would love to have. Once I finalize the ideal I'll get in touch with a company that makes similar consumer products and suggested they add this to their product line. It would take way too much time and money to get a patent in trying to do anything by myself. After all the consumer company already has space on shelves in grocery stores, hardware stores, Home Depot and the like. Once I tell you what it is I'm sure you will agree that's a great idea.

Lances in town for a few days visiting but plans to leave on Friday. It was good to see him the other day and if you know Lance he is same person you've always known. I wish he would hang around this area but I know in my heart that California is better for him.

Posted at 10:47 am in Computer | Comments (0)

Dell Takes Bitcoin

Fri 18 July 2014

Computer Giant Dell Now Accepts Bitcoin

Multinational computer technology specialist Dell has announced it is now accepting bitcoin through a partnership with Coinbase.

With annual revenue approaching $57bn, Dell is roughly four times the size of DISH Network the previous biggest bitcoin-accepting business.

Following today's announcement, consumers and small business owners are able to purchase all items on Dell.com using bitcoin. To promote the news, the company is offering a 10% discount on all Alienware brand products to bitcoin buyers. Dell also sells personal computers, servers, data storage devices, cameras and printers

Posted at 02:05 pm in Computer | Comments (0)

Computer Fixed

Sat 15 May 2010

A beautiful Saturday morning here in Vero Beach "where the tropics begin". Those of you familiar with Vero know that the town's motto is "where the tropics begin" which was created even before my time if you can imagine that long ago. It's the kind of day I like with temperatures in the 70's with a light breeze - I need to get out today.

Yesterday I went to the beach for a hour - the beach was almost empty between Conn and JC beach areas. The wind was really strong out of the southeast so there was no chance of getting hot. I'm taking a hour here and there to prepare myself for Islamorada this Summer. I've got my dates set but of course I've not received the lease from Donna yet - why am I not surprised. She is a scatter-brain when it comes to details but I know I've got the place. I think TB has also been in touch with her about his lease and options for the Brennan boys when they come for the lobster mini-season. The condo rules require a month's lease but Donna seems to find other options for our group as necessary.

Derek the Dell guy came to my house yesterday to work on the shinny new Dell XPS - the computer worked well unless I ever needed to reboot it or install UBS devices. Derek arrived at the time he said he would then went to work. He is an employee of a company which is sub-contracted by another company which receives contract repair work from Dell. He had to round ring-like things through his lower lips but he knew what he was doing.

I expected him to take my machine in for repair but I was wrong. To my surprise, Dell sent a new mother board, 6 new memory sticks, and a new video card to be installed. Jeez! Except for the hard drive there was nothing left to replace - Derek replaced them all in about 30 minutes. Dell's repair model is to replace everything when they're not really sure what is wrong then take the replaced parts, test them, and use the working or repaired parts again in another machine. That way they only need a guy who can install parts - they don't use a technician capable of testing then replacing only the parts necessary. Interesting but probably very cost efficient in the long run. The bottom line is my computer has all new parts (except for the hard drive) and is working as it should. I'm a happy camper again.

The one thing that came out of this whole episode is I can not reboot while I have an external hard drive attached. The engineers at both Dell & Microsoft said Windows 7 was designed to work that way. Strange. I think the computer should be able to reboot without a external hard drive attached so I'm going to do some looking and testing on methods that might work. Nonetheless, if this is the only issue, I'm still happy with the new Dell.

The picture today is not Derek but that is exactly the two lip rings he had. Derek was a bit older than the guy pictured but not by much - he was probably in the 22 to 25 age range.

Posted at 08:50 am in Computer | Comments (0)


Tue 11 May 2010

After another 2+ hours on the phone with Dell tech support, they finally concluded what I concluded earlier - my computer has a hardware problem. They will send a tech to my house whom I believe will replace my motherboard. You know your computer is in deep deep do-do when it freezes while in the BIOS time and time again. You see boys and girls, the BIOS is what starts before the operating system ever starts thus you know it's not a Microsoft operating system problem. Jeez! I was told I'll be contacted in the next day or so - no clue as to how long this will take. The reason I've not posted is my computer would freeze before I could post and thus I lost all my pearls of wisdom time and time again.

Over the weekend Lina had a problem with her nice new HDTV - there was no picture. I spent a couple hours on Saturday evening trying everything to fix it but failed. I know the TV worked because we could hear the channels and we could see the TV logo on the screen. Somehow the TV was not getting the video output from the turner in the TV. On Sunday morning I called Lina to suggest she unplug the TV for two hours - she did and when turned on it worked again. It was some snafu in the TV's software which when powered down for awhile reset to factory defaults. When you're good, your good - what can I say?

Went back to my neurologist on Monday for a follow-up concerning my migraine headaches. I want to try just sumatriptan without naproxen combined with it. Why you ask? Because I can get generic sumatriptan - aka Imitrex - without out having to mortgage my house. The pills are still $8 each but at least they are not $30 each. I hope this works for my migraines but if not, we'll try something else. I'm very hopeful at this point. To get the pills at even the high cost of $8, I had to order from Canada.

I finished watching season 2 of "24" - it was better than season 1 but the ending was a bit of a let down in that it wasn't as exciting and cool as some of the other episodes. It did leave us hanging for season 3 which of course I have already downloaded onto an external hard drive along with seasons 4, 5, and 6. I've not started season 3 yet but likely will start soon.

A lot of other stuff has been going ion but I want to post this before another crash.

Posted at 02:40 pm in Computer | Comments (0)

Fake Antispyware Program

Sat 24 April 2010

Jeez...did I watch a weird movie or what? The name of the movie you ask? Cypher. It was released in 2002 and is about corporate espionage. The movie had so many twist and turns you really had no idea who was what until the end and even then I'm not sure. It started off rather slow and somewhat boring but I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. Just real strange - I will not bore you with the plot but I will say you might want to watch it when you have a hankering for something really different.

Yesterday I watched Boondock Saints II - I didn't like it as much as the first one but I did like the ending. Just more of the same two dudes killing dozens of bad guys without getting shot. It too had some nice surprises in it even more so than the first movie. But unfortunately the plot was exactly the same so nothing new to watch. I'd skip it if I were you.

I've been having a real problem when I try to return a call to Lina. I don't get through but rather get what sounds like a fast busy signal. Finally I got Lina to get an AT&T guy out but at first he could not find anything wrong. After repeated failed attempts by me to call he, he discovered my telephone number has been blocked! How did that happen? Lina would not have blocked me at least not on purpose. Also, she claims not to have that call blocking feature on her phone. Here's the strange thing - sometimes I do get through while other times I don't. How can the blocking be sometimes off and sometimes on? And another thing, I don't think I'm the only one who has this problem. The AT&T guy gave her a number to call on Monday to cancel the blocking but I have a hunch this is not over yet. Too many strange things have occurred but we'll see what happens next week.

Tom called from Atlanta asking if I could help him with a virus/Trojan on his desktop computer. He some how got the dreaded fake antispyware program - this is the one which keeps popping up saying your computer is infected. It blocks the HTTP port 80, hijacks your browser, and blocks you from running security type programs to clean it out. I've had experience with this nasty thing in the past and after a couple hours of working on the removal, we finally got it out. Rogue security software mainly relies on social engineering in order to defeat the security built into modern operating system and browser software and install itself onto victims' computers. A website may for example display a ficticious warning dialog stating that someone's machines is infected, and encouraging them to install or purchase scareware. This damn thing has been a real problem for a lot of people including John, Wendy, Lina, and more. In fact, it tried to get into my computer too but I knew what to do. You see, it comes into your machine through an open browser and it will not allow you to close the browser as it downloads itself to your machine. If you quick enough, you can open your Task Manager and kill your open browser which in turn will stop it right in its tracks. Unfortunately, most average computer users don't know that in fact, most may not even know what a Task Manger is in the first place or how to run it. At this point I believe Tom's machine is clean again - he has no idea where it came from in the first place.

Posted at 05:22 pm in Computer | Comments (0)

Comcast Issues

Fri 09 April 2010

Sorry about being MIA but as in the several weeks, my plate has been full. It seems I get started on a project and the next thing I know it's getting dark. Where does all the time go? Hopefully you good folks have not had a panic attack or sever depression because I've not shared my wisdom since last weekend.

Tomorrow morning I've got 'Tommy' from Comcast returning to work on the cables outside my house - he was here on Thursday because I wanted my connections checked. For about a month now I've been testing my internet speed two or three times about every 3rd day - once in the morning, around mid-day, and then in the evening. There's an on-line service called speedtest.net which provides free testing and archives your results for analysis. At times I get unbelievable fast speeds while at other times my downloads slow down to a crawl. After doing a lot of testing and research, I've concluded the "jitter" on my service is the problem - "jitter" being inconsistent and unreliable service. In fact, my service is below minimums required for VOIP Comcast continues to try to sell to me.

I know my hardware is not the problem - it's my Comcast service. When Tommy came out to check my lines, he found the signal to my TV to be fine but the single to my internet service was below their minimums. In addition to what he found, I shared my testing with him - there is no doubt I need something fixed. Testing pointed to cables outside of my house (see image) which were under the soffit covering. So Yesterday I had a guy remove the soffits so Tommy can do his thing tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Several times this week Walt my landscape guy has brought computers to me for hardware and software issues. Thus far I've been able to get things fixed but there is only so far even I can go with an old machine. Speaking of an old machine, Captain Matt brought his high school antique computer to me not knowing if it would even boot. It did boot but josh it's a dinosaur - Windows 98 with 56MB of RAM!!! I cant even tell how fast the process might be but it is likely in the .5GHz range. However, once I clean it up, this computer will be wonderful for someone who does not have and can not afford one.

My friend Marilynn in Atlanta has asked me to help with her web site some more which I'm happy to do. She made something with Power Point then sent the image to me. The plan was for me to write code reproducing the look of this picture she sent which of course I could do. Doing the process, Marilynn drove my crazy although I'm certain she did not mean to do so. The problem was I got over well over a dozen e-mails requesting edits one edit at a time. For me, that's death by a thousand paper cuts! When building a web site becomes a task and not a project, I'm ready to say quits. Finally I got a page close to what she wanted.

This latest experience building a website has got me convinced I should never do it again for a woman! This is my 3rd site for a women - my experience with each has been the same. Women treat website building like shopping for a dress - they go into every shop and try on every dress before they make a decision. Women are so very particular about fonts, colors, spacing, etc . Men on the other hand just want a site and for the most part like my first effort. Men shop that way too - they generally go into one store to buy what they want. I know I buy, I don't shop but I will check prices on the internet.

This week I downloaded some movies and British TV mysteries to watch. This afternoon I watched the latest James Bond movie which I liked - full of action it was. Yesterday I saw The Boondock Saints which I also liked in fact I'm downloading Boondock Saints II as I'm typing this. My7 movie inventory is growing as is my British mystery shows.

The computer I was using before this Dell XPS is not working just fine again. I put XP on it because I wanted a good machine with XP for certain programs - my other XP computer was the first computer I ever bought so it's 'full' of stuff. This XP box is clean with only the operating system and a few programs - I did not loads all the Dell crap and other software which comes with a new computer. Things are good now.

Posted at 06:56 pm in Computer | Comments (0)

Computer Failure

Tue 30 March 2010

Why is it still rather cool here in the mornings when it's almost April? Oh, I know, it's global warming! It's sunny here today but it also was a cool 50 this morning when I got up. Now it is a very pleasant, dry 74 here in Veroland. Nonetheless, this time last year I'd already hit the beach or had I?

Monday I spent all morning and into early afternoon setting up Sally's new computer configuration in TB's office. I moved the new old Dell into Sally's office and moved out here abacus with a printer attached. Now here computer is fast, has a GB of RAM, and is loaded with Quick books among other useful applications. Here old electronic abacus was moved into the outer office just in case TB might want to try it - don't hold your breath. The new laser jet printer needed to be installed as well as the drivers for Sally's FAX/printer/copier. I even tried to find a driver for that over-sized antique check printer but the manufacturers own web site didn't even have it - the driver was 19 years old for God's sake! No worries, the new laser jet will take over the tasks and in a whole heck of a lot less space.

My final task was to get all of Sally's documents, office files, office records, etc. off the old machine then put it on the new machine. You're saying that should not be a problem - just download to a flash drive and transfer. Wrong! The machine did not even recognize the flash drive or a CD as far as that goes. Whatever application was used to transfer data did not function. What to do? Rather than trying to figure out how to fix the antiquated machine I uploaded the whole document file to an online transfer service I use then downloaded it to the new old computer - the file was way to big to e-mail. All is well in the office now.

The big deal for me is my older computer I was using had a major failure when I tried to boot it yesterday. It would appear to be loading then I'd get a "C0000Z18 - Registry File Failed" . I couldn't use system restore nor would it boot into the safe mode. I put my recovery disk in to boot from it then run a 3 hour CHKDSK hoping to fix the corruption - no such luck. I did find a rather long, tedious, multilevel procedure on Microsoft's web site but even I didn't want to try it. So, from a trick I learned while working on Matt's laptop, I took the hard drive out then mounted it in an external housing so as I could run it off a USB connection on my new machine - all my files were in tact. I transferred a copy of the important files to my external hard drive back-up with the thought of re-installing the OS on the hard drive.

But wait... I decided not to do that but rather buy a new hard drive then install the operating system on that. Once installed, I can then replace all the files and documents as if nothing had happened. I ordered a new 500MB Western Digital hard drive today. I'll lose the functionality of some programs I installed on the computer but they can be installed again. That machine was getting slow so this is likely a good thing in the long run. I might even put Windows 7 on that computer but if I do, I might need to install my licensed copy of XP to avoid the full cost of Windows 7 and use the upgrade version instead. Stay tuned.

Posted at 02:19 pm in Computer | Comments (0)

Blazing Speed

Wed 24 March 2010

The lady in Houston to whom I sent a Tanzanite gemstone e-mailed me last night. She was more than thrilled with the gem - I understand why. Because I offer a 7 day 100% refund policy, I was not 100% sure she would keep it...I was just 95% sure. Now that I know she'll keep it I can say my first sale has been completed. One of these days I'm actually going to make an effort to see these stones but for now I'm happy just to sit on them unless, of course, there's another real buyer.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to watch one of my movies - this time it was "Duplicity" staring Clive Owen and Julia Roberts. This movie I liked because of the action, suspense, and twists in the plot - you don't understand until the end. The two actors are ones I like which always helps when I'm watching a movie. This is a keeper for sure and was well with the time for the great entertainment.

Starr came over for a visit and to pick up one of those wonderful cakes my cousin makes. She thinks the cake is to die for and I agree. We had a nice chat about this, that, and the other thing. Starr continues to both tutor and substitute teach. John and Alex are fine.

For about a week I've been doing online speed tests at SpeedTest.net. The results I've been getting on my computer before the new XPS machine varied but generally stayed in a range. My purpose was to set a yardstick by which I can compare with the new Dell. The speeds vary according to the locations I tested but here I was looking for a 'relative' comparison. Folks....I want to tell you the new XPS is blustering fast - much more improvement than I could ever imagine. To make a car analogy, my older Inspirion is a nice GM car while my new computer is a Ferrari! No Joke! Look at these real results. The bottom results are from my Inspirion the top results are from my Dell rocket ship. All I can say is "holly sh*t batman"!

Just click on the image to view it better. Is that amazing or what? The new machine's speed is 5, 6, or 7 times as fast - I didn't expect that! Why is it so much faster you ask? I think it's a combination of a faster processor and the new Intel network gigabyte adapter.
Posted at 10:42 am in Computer | Comments (0)

I Voted

Wed 28 October 2009

All is well here in Vero - I've just been really busy of late. It seems I've created a monster in my little website cottage business. One of the folks for whom I built a site wants me to make flyers so they can hand them out. I don't think so - at least not now. One thing is certain, when I don't like doing this anymore, I'll stop. I don't want this business - hobby of mine to become work. Thus far I've not had any issues but I do find folks coming back for more information, updates, or help on something. Most of my effort is not time consuming once I've built a site but if I've built a lot, then it could be time consuming. I must not interfere with playing on my computer with other things or prevent me from watch FOX News and other TV programming.

I went to the City of Vero Beach's voting office to vote early for next week's elections. The only elections are for City Counsel members - two will be elected. The top two vote-getters will win - there is only one person I wanted to vote for so I did not vote for a second. My reasoning is I'd give a vote to someone I do not know. Of course I voted for Debra Fromang, David Fromang's spouse. She is articulate, intelligent, and has the experience. In addition to that, I know both her and David on a social bases which gets me belief I might actually be able to talk to a City Counsel member. BTW, David is Starr's brother and John's uncle whom I've know all of my life.

I've been thinking about trying to sell my laptop on Craig's List. There is nothing wrong with it, I just would like to try Windows 7 and a nice new fast laptop seems a good way to do that. The Dell Inspiron 1720 looks new - it doesn't have a scratch on it and I've rarely used it. I take it to the Keys each Summer but that's about it. Occasionally I'll have it booted while working on another computer so I can do searches and testing. It's a decent machine with a 2.0 GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM, 150 GB hard drive, 17" screen, built in web camera, and a DVD/CD burner. In addition, it has or I can install Microsoft Office 2007, Adobe Creative Suite 4, AVG Security Suite with a 10 year license to mention a few. If someone wanted any of this software, it would be a good buy. I could event install a fresh copy of Vista if a buyer wanted it then install the software I have to offer. What should I ask for the machine? Others with less power, smaller screen, and no valuable software are being listed at $400 to $500. Ton replace the laptop without the software, a purchaser would likely need to spend $800 or more I think. The laptop I would buy will cost about $1300 or a bit more I think. Do you think I could get $600? After all, I could make it just like a new machine with a fresh install of Vista. I'll give that some further thought. I really don't need a new laptop, I just want one.

Posted at 12:50 pm in Computer | Comments (0)

Lina's Computer

Fri 25 September 2009

When I went to pick up Captain Matt's old college computer his mother is using, I discovered it was working ok although a bit slow. It is her inability to access AOL mail that was the problem. After trying all the AOL recommended solutions, I decided to install Firefox to see if it some how was a browser issue - sure enough, Firefox worked perfectly and is faster than internet explorer. My guess is that matt has accumulated a bunch of crap that has attached itself to the IE browser. With a clean fresh install of Firefox I think Lina is good to go until her new machine arrives. Oh did I mention - Matt is buying his mom a new computer.

Yesterday afternoon I stayed away from my computer and other's computers as well choosing to watch some things on TV. I found a foreign movie from Finland that was sub-titled in English so I decided to watch it.It was good enough that I watched the whole thing which often does not happen. Then of course I had to catch FOX News for a few hours - Fox is the only TV news outlet that is not in the tank for Obama. It's dangerous when the media shoves news out through their liberal point of view without telling the whole story or in some cases not telling the story at all. I find it prudent to gather news from more than one source especially if that source is the liberal media reporting from the fringe left.

The South Carolina - Mississippi state game was sooooo boring I had to leave the game. Into the 3rd quarter the score was 9 - 3 ...I like high scoring offensive battles. it turns out the SC won the game beating #4 ranked Mississippi 17 - 10. I hope tomorrow I can find more exciting games to watch including North Carolina vs Georgia Tech in Atlanta at noon. I don't have a clue as to how good either team is really. I'll watch it until and unless I get too much anxiety building up. Why do I get so anxious - it's just a game!

When I woke up this morning I heard a loud whining noise - I mean loud. It turns out my back-up refrigerator in the laundry room was singing like crazy. It certainly looked like I was going to need a replacement until I used that professional fix of opening the freezer door and then hit the back of the freezer with my fist. It worked but for how long? The things that cause noise like this in the first place usually do not get better but rather worse. It's not a big deal - that refrigerator is only used to keep beer, soft drinks, steaks, and ice cream of course. It was the one I bought about 2 years before the big renovation for not a lot of money. Very basic but it servers it's purpose.

Kathrym has offered to give me her Dragon Naturally speaking software for me to use once she noticed I peck on my computers keyboard with one finger - I never learned to type and I've only used a computer for about 6 years. I get along fine but she thinks I could use this voice recognition software when I want to type my posts, e-mails, etc. Of course it would never work for coding but text should work well. actually I tried an older version of this software years ago on my first computer and to my amazement it worked rather well. since then I think the software has gotten better and I probably have a better understanding of how to use it. Maybe I can fetch it fromKathryn today to give me yet another poject.

Posted at 06:59 am in Computer, General | Comments (0)

Am I Working Again?

Thu 24 September 2009

Am I back to full time employment for the first Tim in 23 years? It certainly seems that way because most everyday I spend an average working day of 8 hours trying to help others with their computers or build websites. Of course if I didn't like doing it I would not do it - you see I really enjoy the learning and discovery process I go through each time I take on a project. Since the time I got my first computer were I asked Bill Voegeli to come set it up for me till now when people like Bill ask for my help. I must admit, you really have to be a geek to enjoy this stuff as I do. The good news is I can stop anytime, it doesn't cost me anything, and I get the reward of helping others - heck, some even pay me.

Case in point - yesterday I spent most of the morning in Kathryn's office going over her new website and fine tuning her pages. She requested I put a news scroll on her 'splash page' and add a news Blog to the content of the site - both have been done as I'm typing this. You can have a look at SingerJohnston.com to see for yourself. I.m particularity pleased with the way I was able to seamlessly integrate a Blog page into her site using a system that is easy for Kathryn to use when posting. What do you think?

Then Lina called because she could not get access to her AOL mail online and with the use of TeamViewer I worked on the problem for over a hour with no real success. I know what the error was with respect to AOL so I searched for a repair which I indeed found. But the repair failed. I could access her mail from my machine but not from her's. Remember her original computer died and can not be repaired - it had serious hardware problems like a motherboard meltdown or major hard drive corruption. I put captain Matt's old college computer in for her to use but as one might expect, the Captain managed to get it full of crap over his 4 years in school. I've spent hours and hours on machines trying to remove all the crap, viruses, malware, etc but of course I don't get it all - the newer infections now days are much more difficult to find and remove. So, I've concluded I don't want to spend hours and hours trying so this morning I'm going to fetch the tower, bring it to my office, transfer Matt's documents to an external hard drive, and then reinstall Windows. This worked great for John so I'm hoping it will work here too. If it doesn't, no worries, Matt is going to by his Mom a new machine.

I have other projects on the burner as well. I think I'll reinstall Windows on Starr's computer as well for the same reasons. Then I've got two website projects one requiring input from the owner to be and the other is a update I want to do for my Atlanta attorney if he wants a new site. My plans are to build a splash page and a home page to see if he likes it before I rebuild the whole site - there's no rush on this one.

Well I'm off to get coffee and then head out to Lina's house.

Posted at 07:17 am in Computer | Comments (0)

Computer Repair

Thu 17 September 2009

Where have I been you ask? Well, I've been working on computer issues for John and Lina - when I get started on a project I like to keep on going until I get it resolved or I've gone as far as I can with the tools I have.

John's machine was blocked from getting to the internet by some nasty viruses and a Trojan. Because John's in Tallahassee it is a bit more challenging than working on his computer if he was here. With my TeamViewer application I can work on John's machine but often I would need to reboot after certain cleaning, scanning, etc which up until now meant he would have to be next to his machine to 'allow' me back in. Then I discovered a way to remotely reboot his computer and still have access without John being there - his busy social schedule would not be interrupted while I slaved over his machine.

I needed certain utilities to do y work but without internet access with his browser, I could not download them. No worries - TeamViewer provides a file transfer utility as part of the application so I could send the needed utilities from my computer without browser functionality. After working with HijackThis and installing a maleware scanner I got his computer working again except for his wireless adopter - he now needs to be hard-wired to a router. This sent me into extensive research with the hope of identifying the problem which I did. It seems his Windows Zero Configuration, which is needed to "discover" wireless networks wasn't even in his services - the application was gone! It used to be there so my only explanation is one of the Trojans deleted it. Just Damn! I'd need his computer to work on it more so I suggested he go to the computer help shop at Florida State. At the very least I'd need to boot his computer from the Windows operating system CD then replace the missing application. At worst we will need to reinstall Windows. Stay tuned.

John's problems pail in comparison to Lina's (Barnes boys mom) problems - her computer gets a BSOD just after boot.Without it even booting, I brought the computer to my computer lab to work on it on Wednesday. I did a bunch of research but to let you know just how bad it is, I even get a BSOD in the safe mode for God's sake - the machine would not boot at all. So I put the Windows operating CD in the machine and booted from it and on the first try I was able to get into the machine via the safe mode. Having my astute presences of mind, the first thing I did is download her entire "My Documents" file to a flash drive. Windows delivered a message that the services & registry where broken but it lead me to believe the CD fixed it so I rebooted again without the CD - it crashed. I booted it again with the CD - this time it crashed. I could no longer get into the machine nor would it allow my to reinstall Windows!!! My last hope was to see if the BIOS was corrupt so I was able to get into the BIOS and restore it to factory defaults. I booted - it crashed.

This computer has run it's life span - I think it is time to go to the big computer graveyard in the sky. Any further effort to fix it would likely cost almost as much as a new machine. I think I know what Matt, Drew, and Ty can give their mother for Christmas!

Have you noticed that it is getting darker earlier and the sun comes up later each day? That's ok, it should be that way this time of the year. Oh, of course I need to mention Georgia Tech plays Miami on national TV tonight in Miami - I'm afraid Miami has a powerful offence which Tech will not be able to stop. Georgia Tech does have a chance to win if they figure out there are two halves to each game, not one!

Posted at 01:15 pm in Computer, General | Comments (0)

What a Game!

Fri 11 September 2009

Last night I was experiencing mass anxiety during the second half of the Georgia Tech - Clemson game. Holy orangutan dodo batman - I get really worked up with games like this one. I do love close games with a lot of scoring except when it comes to Georgia Tech - then I just want the team to get ahead by a touchdown or two and stay ahead. Last night was a nail-biter for me although that field goal with 56 seconds left made things a whole hell of a lot better. The final score was 30 - 27.

What happened to Tech in the second half? I hope this is not a preview of what's to come. Next week Tech plays powerful Miami and then a couple weeks after that they play Florida State - the two offensive powerhouses in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets' 30-27 win over Clemson was not as consistently riveting, or competitive, from start to finish as Monday's win by Miami at Florida State, but it packaged perhaps as much drama.

Late yesterday afternoon up until about 30 minutes of the Tech game I was working on John's laptop via my remote computer control software. That software called Team Viewer is really cool unless you have to reboot which means you lose the connection and in order to reconnect, you need a new password because the software things it's a new session. Anyway, I got his Internet Explorer to work again but broke his wireless adaptor in some way - I have no clue. The adapter's software says it's working properly and in the network connection tabs it indicates a strong signal. The problem is that when I try to connect wirelessly Windows says it can't find any wireless networks when the computer is right next to one.

This adopter was working prior to a system restore - using system restore should not break it. I even uninstalled the adopter and reinstalled but that didn't work either. To make hatters worse, just before I was going stop and try again today, the laptop got infected with one of those damn Trojans that stars scanning your computer and hijacks your browser - one like Lina, Matt, and I got. Fortunately having learned on Lina's computer I was able to kill it or at least it seems that way - I won't really know until we boot up today and I check things out. Hopefully John will boot up this morning and give me control so I can work on it today.

Posted at 08:38 am in Computer, General | Comments (0)

Backup Your Files

Sat 29 August 2009

Thank Buddha I learned to back up my files and folders years ago when this world famous website, BillsView, has hacked and hijacked. I had to rebuild my site from scratch although it was easier the second time. Well yesterday I thought I was in my external hard drive documents and wanted to replace a folder with an updated version so I clicked delete. The folder was too big for my recycle bin so Windows asked me if I really wanted to delete it and I clicked yes. Holy sh*t ...I just deleted the real folder on my C drive - a folder that contained a lot of work I've done on websites which would be a nightmare to reproduce. Of course I could always download the working site files from the internet but this fold contained a lot more.

The good news is I really had a copy of the folder on my Western Digital external drive and the only thing I lost was about a weeks work which is not a big deal. So I copied the big fold back onto my C drive from my H drive with very little loss. I would have been one unhappy camper had I lost it all!!!

It is my practice to back up my files and folders every so often - maybe a matter of weeks between backups. The truth is not all that much changes on my computer needing backup - just new files I make or downloads from the internet. If you boys and girls do not have a backup of your documents you should do it now. Just think of all the music files, pictures, and porn that would be lost if something happened like a computer crash. I have external hard drives which you can get for under $100. I'm sure you've heard of Carbonite online backup service as well. Either way, it would be prudent to do it now rather than regret later.

I've been asked to speak at a meeting tonight which I enjoy doing - the only issue is that I don't like going out at night like I used to. You know the bogeyman comes out at night, don't you? Well I can make an exception for this group of people - they will be amazed with my pearls of wisdom I'm sure. Too bad most of you can't come to experience my awesome speaking skills!

Today will be mostly be a TV day, not a computer day. There are Saturday morning replays of some of this past week's series and of course the Little League play-off's. I've been threading to rent a movie and this may be the day. If I like the rental concept , I might do what Ryan has done...join Netflix. I'm anxious to see how a DVD plays on this TV I have - up until now all my movie watching on this TV has come from Comcast or DirectTV. We shall see.

One thing I've found myself doing more and more of lately and that is watching programming only in HD. When I watch HD then switch back to pain old digital TV the difference is amazing. On the other hand, if I start out watching just digital TV I don't seem to notice how poor it is compared to HD. And now Comcast is broadcasting in the highest resolution available - something like 1920 x 1080. Fortunately my TV indeed has that high resolution too. I'm going to love college football this fall.

I'm having a headache day - it started yesterday. Damn!

Posted at 09:56 am in Computer | Comments (0)

Adobe Installation

Mon 13 July 2009

Yesterday I worked on a flash object I found on another site - it had images and text. I've found I can edit the text and exchange images for the most part although it does not always come out as expect. I've got a whole heck of a lot to learn when it comes to flash so I've started the process. As we say in my morning coffee group, time takes time. Profound, huh?

I've taken all the plants I hope top keep alive while I'm gone and placed them out side behind my storeroom. There I think they will get enough rain to survive but one never knows. Also it is shady back there which is good for the types of plants I put there. If I left them in the house, I'm almost certain they would die because of lack of attention. I'm not sure they will live there.

Remember when I acquired the Adobe CS4 Professional package back in the early part of this year? Well the two programs I've actually tested seem to continue to work but sometimes I get a warning about not being able to do something. Truth is I don't even understand what it is I can not do. Anyway, as a good geek should, I kept the original download package that came on as a .ISO file. Frankly I'm not exactly sure what a .ISO file is but I do know you need special software to open it.

Yesterday I copied the large (3.6GB) .ISO file back to my C driver from my external drive which by the way took about 15 minutes to copy. Then I unpacked it with the my program called Power ISO which again took about 20 minutes to do. Then I transferred the unpacked installer to a 'My Passport' external hard drive - another 15 minutes then transferred it to my Vista laptop - you guessed it, another 15 minutes. Now I have the Adobe CS 4 install package on my laptop so I clicked to open it. Are you following me here boys and girls? The "extracting" of all the files took another 20 or 30 minutes but now I could try to install it on my Vista machine.

Knowing I could install everything I choose to try just Adobe Flash and Dreamweaver, the only two applications I've actually tried to use. You guessed it, another 20 minutes to install just the two but they did seem to install. Before I opened the program, I added the 16 Adobe servers to my Host file so that the software is blocked from "calling home." Then I replaced the license key .DLL with a different one that was installed and opened the program. It opened and asked for a license key which I generated with a 'keygen' then inserted it into the program. Bingo...it seemed to open and looked ready to use but I was so tired after all this I did not test any files but I plan to test later this morning. If things go as hoped, I'll be able to use Flash and Dreamweaver in the Keys should I choose to do so. I have two different website for which I'm trying to use an edited flash object. Wasn't all the explanation fun?

Donna e-mailed me about wireless internet at The Palms - her source is marginal. Apparently someone staying in my villa #412 had access last month but that to me does not mean The Palms has wireless set up. It could be the dude was getting a signal from the Hampton next door or it could be someone else's signal from their apartment in The Palms. I'm going to take all my gear just in case.

Posted at 08:26 am in Computer | Comments (1)

Download Problems

Tue 16 June 2009

As promised, I went to the beach yesterday - it was virtually empty between Con and Jaycee beach along the boardwalk. It was like a lake but I still have not tossed my hot body into that cold water - cold to me at least. I'm waiting for the 85+ degree what found around Alligator reef. I've noticed that I seem to start to get red in a short period of time which is unusual for me. Then while doing some Adderall research I found this:

Adderall XR Extended-Release Capsules may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Adderall XR Extended-Release Capsules. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
What's up with that and who knew? I was looking into the product based on a question I received yesterday concerning Adderall and interaction with other meds. There of course are other meds that you should not mix unless under the direction of your doctor. I only regularly take the two meds - Wellbutrin and Adderall although I skip Adderall some days just to see what happens.

Today I'm going to be a lab rat again testing myself with respect to my meds dosage. After the additional research I did yesterday I'm thinking I might need a higher dosage to get the energy back that I'm seeking. It seems every time I go up in dosage I get a little better without feeling as if I'm "on" something which is what I prefer - I was "on" enough adult beverages in the past that I need not go down that path again! I'll report back tomorrow.

TB came by yesterday to fetch me for a ride out to Barnes #38 in oder to inspect things. The grove is in poor shape but still recoverable if someone feeds and mows it - it got fit bad by that hurricane called Faye which left a lot of standing water. Citrus trees need just the right amont of water - too little and they will die but too much and they will die as well. It's like the 3 bears porage - water has to be just right. The good news is that all these requirements for a healthy grove are on the way...details later.

Something funky is happing with this computer which has gotten me puzzled - imagine that, me puzzled. Yesterday I was trying to download a program but the download seemed to stop at 99% complete - what's up with that? I tried several different 'mirors' but the result was always the same. The only thing that I could figure out is that the little download bar showing how much has been download and still remains to be dowloade incorrected assested the size of the file. By that I mean the progress bar thought it was downloading 16 MB when indeed it was much more. The download sites said the size of the file was about 16MB but the now installed program was 85MB. It was a media player that I'm hoping will play all media so I don't need 4 or 5 media players including DivX player, QuickTime, Real Player, and a player for .FLV files. Media players are big, think they should all start at boot, are invasive, gather information I don't like, ansd are a general pain in the ass. I'll report later on how well this appliocation works.

Today I'm going to edit the 9 pages I produced for Mike - he sent me an e-mail overnight requesting some changes & editing although I've not read it all as yet so I don't know how much time this will take. I'm hoping all the changes are minor although what seem minor for someone with no coding experience could turn out to be major.

Posted at 07:07 am in Computer, General | Comments (0)

Video E-mail Testing

Fri 12 June 2009

Of late I've been busy working on several projects and simply have not taken the time to post everyday - I missed yesterday. You see I wake up with some ideas with regard to a project and then I delve right into them without posting first. Then the next thing I know I'm tired and ready to veg [sic] in front of my TV. The next thing I know it's morning again and the cycle repeats itself. It is tough being me with all these creative ideas bouncing around in my massive brain. Stop it...I can hear you laughing now.

For example... someone I've helped in the past was interested in a marketing program called Talk Fusion. This is a new technology in that it allows videos to be played in your e-mail without first clicking onto another like - trouble is that only works for web-based e-mails and will not work if you heck your e-mail via an e-mail client like Outlook, MSN Mail, or even in Gmail. It does come with a well designed marketing package with target clients being businesses that wish to send out video promotions via e-mail. I looked into it and it seems the only other way to embed a video in an e-mail is through an animated GIF or this new technology.

My contact wanted to know what I thought so I spent a couple days of checking into it. First, there are already other competitive companies offering similar packages. One company I found offers a base package for free - free as in no money. The paid package at Talk Fusion starts at a front end payment of $400 and then $20/month - other packages go up to $2000/month. My view is that if a company wanted to use this concept, they likely already have a website and a web master who could create a video, load it to their server, and then send an e-mail with only one click required to open a video page - to demonstrate that, I've included a short video of me. If that is the case, why go through all the additional expense when this could easily be done in house? The Talk Fusion concept is being pushed as a business opportunity when I see it as a pyramid scheme - look at their website and you'll find out more about the money you can make than the product itself.

A good friend called yesterday about some things they were interested in buying off the internet which reminded me just how dangerous that can be. First, the product or service may not be at all like it is represented - fake products, copies, or out right lies abound on the internet. Then there is the issue of your credit card or banking security - is the product real but the site is only trying to get information which will allow them to empty your bank account or use your credit card? If it is a site that hosts items for sale by others - like eBay - how confident are Yo in the seller? On eBay there is some buyer protection but that is not true at all of other sites.

I once ordered a 'trial' of a product requiring me only to pay for shipping. I got the product - which did not work by the way - but without my permission or knowledge a 3 month's supply of the junk was charged to my credit card within a few days of the original order - clearly not enough time to actually "try" the product. Thankfully I used the best consumer protected credit card in the world...American Express. You see, AmEx goes to bat for the card holder, not the vendor. All other credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, etc. go to bat for the vendor, not the customer assuming the vendor, not the card holder, is correct. Any of you who've had to challenge a charge probably know what I mean! The whole point here is that the internet can be a very dangerous place to roam so be very careful. Then there are these phishing sites that's a whole other problem.

Posted at 09:31 am in Computer | Comments (0)

More Site Work

Thu 04 June 2009

Yesterday I got an e-mail from my attorney-client in White Plains, NY about search engine results on his site, MessinaandAssociates.net. This is the site I edited about a month ago to improve search engine results in the best way I know how. Before my editing, you couldn't find his site on any of the first 10 - 12 pages Google returned. Now he is in the top 5 Google pages depending on what words you search and is on the first page of some words. I'm here to tell you I'm most pleased with these results - there has been a dramatic improvement over the previous months. In fact, traffic to his site has doubled in the last month.

I'm learning more and more about how search engines work by trial and error. If I knew how to get a site on page one every time I'd get seriously rich but of course the search engine algorithms are top secret. But what I have learned is how to move up the search ladder with my own site as well as those I build for others. I think this stuff is a lot of fun...I know, I know, I'm a geek! But let me tell you boys and girls it is nice having something you like doing that doesn't cost anything and you can't catch a STD!

On the accounts I handle I've employed a whole variety of statistics keeping in an effort to but understand just what is going on. This data is particularly important to those who want to produce e-commerce but not as important to this site, BillsView.com . None the less, I do track statistics for this site so I decided to check it just for fun. Remember, this site is actually new in late February in that I now have BillsView.com hosted now when it used to be BillsPost.com that was hosted with BillsView.com being forwarded toBillsPost.com. Did you follow me on that? Now BillsPost.com is forwarded to BillsView.com. Anyway, I was shocked at the traffic I've been getting as illustrated in today's image. Jeez! I'm not making this stuff up but I do want to suggest that most of these 'hits' are by folks wanting to put their drugs or adult site links in my 'Comments' section. Now that I've added CAPTCHA my theory is that traffic will drop dramatically this month but I'm not sure. The bots may not know the auto-postings are not working - it will be interesting to look at the end of June.

It was another drop-dead beautiful day here in Vero but I did not go to the beach. I think it is prudent to take a day off until I get where I can stay out longer. Worry not, I'll be ready before the trip to Islamorada. That is assuming Donna gets in gear and sends me a lease - you know how I can obsess over it until it is done! I'm still not concerned but at the same time I wish it was completed.

Yesterday I learned how to write code such as to create a drop-down text under a word. I'm thinking about taking all 25 of the words on Messina's "Services" page and create a some text for each that will be revealed once you click on the word. Then you can collapse the information once you're through reading it. I'm trying to create a cool way to add a lot of text rich in keywords to Messina's site - this would do it I believe. I'm not going to do all the work until and unless I get the go-ahead because for this I would expect additional compensation.

Posted at 05:43 am in Computer | Comments (0)

Hacker Lad

Sat 30 May 2009

As advertised, Ace came over to take care of a few projects for me but needs to come back with some clear silicon and a paint brush. What he did only took about 30 minutes including hanging a Rayburn and a utility strip to hold things in my storeroom. BTW, how come my storeroom is full in less than a year?

Do you folks remember when BillsView.com was hacked into about 3 years ago? Do you remember I tracked done the teenager in the UK that did the hacking? Well he has send he's sorry he did it but I do understand that teenagers engage in this sort of mischievous behavior. I did have to rebuild my site but other than that, no damage was done. I learned I need to back-up all my files offline (I do this quarterly) and improve the security of my site. I also learned a bit about hacking because I wanted to know how he got access in the first place.

Recently he asked me to look at his site, WayneShears.com. I like the clean and structured look of his site and the WordPress template he's using is good - it has a lot of plug-in options and is one of the standards in the Blog world. What I found I found amazing is a video of an extraordinary gymnast, Damien Walters. This guy reminds me of the skilled cyclist, Andy MacAskill. Anyway, here is a link to Wayne's page where you can find the video - click here.

Well I'm done with building websites for now until the next person wanting a website come along. Ray did mention he and his wife know of a lady that wants a website pertaining to here elder-care business. That's all I know for now - of course I'd be happy to do it. Knowing that Ray is pleased with his site I suspect he'll give me a good referral. It would also be nice if I get the go-ahead to complete the sites I built for my paint contractor and landscape contractor - I got the sites about 95% completed just awaiting some final text or image details from them. Oh, well.

Another typical rainy day yesterday - I guess we are in that pattern for now. Of course Monday is the beginning of hurricane season but I'm ready. I guess I should really hook up my generator to the house in order to confirm all the connections work properly - maybe I'll do that latter this morning. I know the generator works I just don't know if the connection to my circuit panel works properly. Let's hope there aren't any hurricanes between July 15th and the beginning of August. I remember we were ordered to evacuate the Keys a few years back because of a pending hit by a hurricane.

Starr came over for a visit while her house was overtaken by the boys playing music......loud! John and his buddies jam about 3 times a week with their guitars, drums, etc. Anyway, Starr told me that Piper Aircraft was going to lay off another 200 after already laying off 500 last Fall. They're making the new PiperJet and this plant but thanks to Obama, no one is ordering private jets anymore - they don't want to be ridiculed by Obama. The hotels in Las Vegas have laid off huge amounts of their work force because Obama was critical of companies and citizens going to Vegas for meetings, conventions, and fun. Under the Obama administration you are not allowed to have fun! I really loath Bama's principles and practices! Our country is being wrecked by Obama without chance of recovery.

Posted at 08:16 am in Computer, General | Comments (0)