Friday, June 30, 2017

How hot should the cpu run?

Tech News and Views

Most users are unaware of what the cpu temperatures in their computers should be. Here's an excellent article from Computer Hope that shows different temperatures for various processors.

You can download a free computer temperature monitor from the following site so you can see if your computer's processor is running within specs.

The site is somewhat confusing. To download the program, click on the link on the left side that says:  Setup • English 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Computer shuts down within 3 minutes

Tech News and Views

There can be many reasons for computers starting, running a couple of minutes and then shutting down. One of the most common is a thermal shut down caused by excessive dirt build-up. A can of compressed air can be used to clean out fans, heat sinks, etc, however, I have seen heat sinks so clogged with dirt that I had to use a metal tool to pry the dirt from within the fins.

Some computers use plastic hold-downs to keep the cpu fan and heat sink against the cpu. The hold-downs often break. When that happens, the fan lifts off the heat sink, which lifts off the cpu. The poor contact causes a cpu temperature boost and the whole system shuts down.

Older computers often have dried out thermal paste between the heat sink and the processor. The old paste must be removed with alcohol and new paste must be applied.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How to connect more than one computer

Tech News and Views

I recently got a call from a user who bought a 2nd computer and couldn't understand how to connect it to the Internet. He noticed that the modem only had one Ethernet port and wondered if there was some sort of adapter that would enable him to use two cables. What he needed was to buy a router. Routers have several ports that can be used to connect additional computers.

To connect a router, run an Ethernet cable from the modem to the port in the router that is labeled Internet or which is a different color from the rest of the ports. Then computers can be plugged into all of the remaining ports.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Anti-Virus programs stop sites from opening

Tech News and Views

I recently assisted someone who was experiencing an unusual computer problem. He was able to access some Internet sites but not others. He had run anti-virus scans, defragged his computer and deleted temporary files and done disk cleanup. Nothing seemed to solve the situation.

The solution was to eliminate a new advertised computer cleaner (that shall remain nameless). The program blacklisted some sites while allowing others to be accepted. The program allows users to create a whitelist of acceptable programs, but I think the user was better off by removing the entire program from the computer.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Microsoft Issues Surprise Security Patches For XP, Vista, Others

Faced with a continuing barrage of crippling ransomware attacks, Microsoft has stepped up to the plate to issue patches for operating systems that it no longer supports.

Normally, Microsoft stands pretty firm about not offering fixes to out of date operating systems. Windows XP has been without security and bug support since April of 2014. The company normally offers security support for 10 years after an OS launches, but they made an exception with XP and extended it to nearly 14 years. Despite a long campaign warning users to upgrade, many people, and more troubling, businesses and government agencies stuck with the unprotected, outdated operating systems. This made them a sitting duck for hackers.

When Microsoft issued patches for a vulnerability that affected currently supported systems, the crooks simply reverse-engineered those patches to figure out what the issues were. They designed ransomware to attack XP, Vista, and Windows systems that didn’t have the proper security updates. This ransomware nearly crippled the UK’s National Health System.

While Microsoft says they are primarily concerned about attacks on government organizations, they are making the patches available to all customers. If you’re using Windows 10 or Windows 8.1, these patches will be included as part of your regular update. If you’re using XP, Vista, Window 8, or Server 2003, you’ll need to manually download the updates.

Click here to go to the security advisory page.

Then scroll down to find your operating system and click on the link to the needed download.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Entire desktop re-arranged

Tech News and Views

The other day I got a call from a user who said that the entire computer desktop had been re-arranged.

Nothing happened when many of the icons were clicked. I did a restore to an earlier point, but that didn't rectify the problem. On a hunch, I clicked the notification area and found that Tablet Mode was high-lighted. As soon as I clicked the Tablet Mode key, the desktop returned to normal.

Here's what How to Geeks says about tablet mode:
Tablet mode is a new feature that should automatically activate (if you want it to) when you detach a tablet from its base or dock. The Start menu then goes full screen as do Windows Store apps and Settings. It's also important to note that in tablet mode, the Desktop is unavailable.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How to copy photos to Kindle

Tech News and Views

You can easily show off your photos to others by copying the photos to a Kindle, Nook or other tablet. Simply plug the device into a computer via the regular charging cable for the device. When you click on File Explorer the device will show up along with the hard drive and DVD player. If, for example, the device is a Kindle Fire, the word Fire and an image of the device will show up in file explorer. Then just copy and paste from the pictures on the computer to the tablet.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Privacy Concerns Of Windows 10 Creators Update

Rants and Raves

Ever since Microsoft launched Windows 10, privacy advocates and concerned users have loudly argued that the firm needed to improve and clarify its privacy policies. The recent Windows 10 Creators Update did move the ball forward in some meaningful ways. 

Microsoft has finally come clean with privacy settings in the Creators Update. When you're first setting up Windows 10, make sure to select a Custom install so you can modify the privacy settings, instead of going with the Express install. (If you already installed it, don't worry, you can fix it all in Settings).

Everyone who downloads the Creators Update will be presented with a privacy screen showing them what their current device settings are in certain key areas, as shown below:

Previous updates to Windows 10 didn’t present users with the option to adjust their privacy settings, so it's good to see Microsoft deliberately informing current users that they have the option to change settings they may not have been aware of prior to the update.

more of this post ▼

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Flip a picture horizontally or vertically

Tech News and Views

A friend of mine wants to add an extension to his garage. The only plans he had of the house were from the builder of his tract house. The drawing was reversed from the house he had, and the garage was on the wrong side. He asked if there was a way to flip the drawing. There is. Navigate here > Click on Choose file, and then on Upload and Edit. Click Flip. That's it.

I tried the program using a picture of a horse that was facing right. I flipped the picture, and lo and behold he was facing left. The program was that easy to use.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Create a Bootable Install USB Drive of macOS Sierra

Apple Bytes

If you have multiple computers that need the macOS Sierra upgrade, you'll want to create a bootable install flash drive. The download for macOS Sierra is about 5 GB, and could take some time downloading on each computer individually. So downloading it once and making a bootable USB drive is an easier, faster way to go.

1. Download the macOS 10.12 Installer
Download the macOS 10.12 Sierra from the Mac App Store (HERE) - but don't install it when it finishes downloading. If you do, it will auto-erase the file when your system gets back up and running, which means you won't have the file for your USB drive. So, close out any installation screen that pops up.

step 2 thru 6 ▼

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Point-and-Shoot With A SuperZoom

Rants and Raves

I've always enjoyed getting out into nature. When I was younger, much younger, that involved lots of backpacking and very long hikes in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Nowadays walks in nature are shorter, often hotter, and usually in one of Florida's State Parks or the local county and city parks. The backpack has been downsized to an over-the-shoulder man-bag. While the pocket-sized film camera has grown into a telephoto digital camera.

One of the things I work hard to photograph is the great variety of birds we have here in North Central Florida. And, to do that well you need to zoom.

Call it a hobby. Call it a pastime. Call it a sport. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), in 2011, more than 47 million Americans are “birders.” Birding ranks as the 15th most popular outdoor recreational activity in the US.

I have two cameras that work well for birding. They are both point-and-shoot types with superzoom lenses, fairly easy to carry and not too terribly expensive to own. I bought the first superzoom a couple of years ago, it's a Canon SX50 HS (MSRP $430). As the name implies it has a 50X optical zoom. The newer SX60 HS (MSRP $550) has 65X zoom. My second superzoom arrived a couple of months ago, it's a Nikon Coolpix P900 (MSRP $600). It can reach a little further with it's 83X optical zoom.


With this increased magnification comes increased camera movement. These two cameras come with very capable and aggressive image stabilization systems to allow for photographing at these extreme telephoto lengths. To help further, usually shooting long distance landscapes, I have a telescoping monopod (Walmart, $20).

Even though both cameras come with various manual functions and settings, I usually shoot in one of the auto modes. I like the way the Canon has a zoomed focus window when you press the trigger halfway down. That helps you see if your subject is truly in focus. The Nikon has less tendency to overexpose under certain conditions and it's hand grip style causes fewer accidental button presses. Both cameras have a viewfinder, which is important for birding, a feature that's missing on most compacts today.

If you have a need for long distance photography but you don't want to deplete your retirement savings, you can't go wrong with either the Canon or Nikon superzooms.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Is Apple Giving Up On Your Phone, Tablet or Mac?

Apple Bytes

iOS 11 is on the way this fall. Apple says users can expect some big changes including more smart home uses, a complete redesign of the App Store and the largest update for an iPad that the company has ever done. iPads will also be getting a file manager system.

The company also says that Siri will be getting a more normal sounding voice and start using your Safari searches to make suggestions and also to correct your spelling.

But, as with all change, some things get left behind. In this case, it’s these devices:
  • iPad 4
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5C

You could still use them, just not with the new OS. And if you can’t upgrade to the newest OS, you’re going to soon see the end of security and bug support for these systems.

You’ll need at least an iPad Air or an iPhone 5S to use iOS 11. Remember, support for 32-bit apps is ending soon as well. Thousands of apps won’t work with iOS 11.

There’s also a new operating system on the way for Macs called macOS High Sierra. The good news is that if you’re running macOS Sierra, you can run High Sierra.

Mac Pros, Mac minis, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros from 2010 or later can handle High Sierra, as can MacBooks, iMacs, and iMac Pros made in late 2009 or later.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Uses For Drones

We often hear about the use of large drones by the military and others in the war on terror. Here are some of the ways drones are used by the civilian population.

Real Estate Sales
Originally used for high-end properties, drone video is becoming more and more popular with forward thinking agencies. Drones are used for commercial advertising and for residential MLS listings.

Sports Photography
Extreme sports photography and drone video has focused on skiing and base-jumping activities as well as other action-packed adventures.

Highway Monitoring
With roughly 4 million miles of highways crisscrossing the United States drones can be used for inspecting roads and bridges, surveying land with laser mapping and alerting officials to traffic jams and accidents.

Wildlife Research
Drones can be used to conduct aerial counts of an endangered species or monitor migrating herds which helps with conservation activities.

Atmospheric Research
Drones helped NASA better understand how water vapor and ozone interact above the tropics in their study of how changes in water vapor in the stratosphere can affect global climate.

Drones with heat-sensing cameras find feral hogs at night that are destroying crops. The drones save time otherwise wasted wandering muddy fields in the dark. They can also be used to spot illegal hunting.

Disaster Relief
Drones have a wide range of applications for disaster relief, from entering radiation-filled "hot zones" where human access would be dangerous (after a nuclear accident, for example) to searching for survivors across a debris-filled landscape.

Environmental Compliance
Midnight dumping of toxic waste and other surreptitious activities are the bane of environmental law enforcement. But drones may prove to be a cost-effective solution to that problem.

Hurricane Hunting
Larger drones can charge into the heart of a storm, without risking human life and limb, to spy on storms as they evolve. The Global Hawk drones can stay aloft for 30 hours and fly 11,000 miles with their 116-foot wingspans. That lets them reach and stay in stormy areas that manned planes can't, performing valuable surveillance.

3-D Mapping
Small, lightweight drones may look like simple model airplanes, but they can survey landscapes with thousands of digital images that can be stitched together into 3-D maps.

Uses to date have been for Haitian relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, by farmers seeking to manage far-flung crops and fields, by mining companies monitoring changes to open pit mines, and by festivals to monitor crowd size for security reasons.

Down on the Farm
The precision agriculture movement uses technology to monitor fields, increasing yields and saving money. Precision applications of pesticides, water, or fertilizers, which drones can help by identifying exactly where such resources are needed and delivering them there, is better for the environment and for a farmer's bottom line.

Drone cameras that spot where nitrogen levels are low or watch the growth of a specific field section can also help farmers. Drones with infrared light cameras can reveal plant health by reflecting how efficient photosynthesis is in various plants.

Search and Rescue
When Royal Canadian Mounted Police responded to a late-night rollover in a remote location, they found that the disoriented driver had wandered off. A ground search and an air ambulance helicopter with night-vision gear failed to find him.

But after a cell phone call from the injured victim gave a hint to his whereabouts, a drone with heat-sensing equipment, launched by the Mounties, found the victim before a potentially fatal night outdoors in subfreezing temperatures.

Credit: and

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Give technician all of the facts

Tech News and Views

I received a call from a woman who said she needed some computer help. She told me that her computer would not take her password. I took her at her word and asked if she was sure she was putting in the correct password. She assured me that she was. I asked her if her caps lock was on. It wasn't. It wasn't until after 5 minutes of conversation that she let me know that nothing appeared when she typed on the keyboard. It seems that she was using a wireless keyboard and did not realize that it took batteries. She replaced the batteries and now, amazingly, her password works.

The moral of this story is that users should make certain they give technicians the entire story before sending the techies off on a wild goose chase.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Executive Board Minutes

Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
June 9, 2017

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Linda Tingley, Bob Leiner, Bob Norton, Elliot Bogart, Ron Kenyon, Don Forgette, Bob Kenlay, Bill Cahill, Jim Tromboli and Alan Marcus.

Secretary’s report read by Bob Kenlay. Ron Kenyon made the following correction for the May 2017, minutes. The schedule changes for the General meetings in 2018 are permanent changes.

Jim Tromboli read the Treasurer's Report. The current balance is $2128.89.

Alan Marcus reviewed the new bar code name tag program. The general consensus was a positive reaction by the membership.

Future meeting topics:
June 21 - DECCA Services to Oak Run

July 19 - Electric Cars, Alan Marcus and Q & A

Aug 16 -  Ocala Computer Clinic and Apple Computer, Kip Ecklund

Sept 20 -  Medical Records on the Internet, KathyLee Johnson

Oct 18 -  Drones, Keith Mackey

The meeting adjourned at 9:40AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Bob Kenlay, Secretary

There is no doubt, you will be driving an electric car

Tech News and Views

I drive an electric car, so I am more than a little biased in that direction. I'm convinced that gasoline cars will completely disappear as electric cars take over. Now, I guess I am not alone in that view even though our President decided to pull out of the Paris accord.

You may find, as I did that the following headline is amazing:

The push toward renewables is unbelievable. How about this headline:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Print documents so you can read them

Tech News and Views

I frequently encounter web pages that either won't print or ones in which the font is so tiny that a printed copy requires a high powered microscope if you want to be able to read anything.

The easy way to rectify the situation is to select all the print (either by dragging across it or by pressing CTRL key and the letter A), and then copying the print (CTRL key plus the letter C). Then, open a word processor such as Microsoft Word, LibreOffice Writer, Word Perfect, WordPad, Notepad, etc. and pasting the document there (CTRL key and the letter V). Once in the word processor, you can change the font, make it bold, enlarge it, etc. Then print.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Announcements From Apple

Apple Bytes

Below are a few press release links to the June 5 announcements from Apple’s 28th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
  • iOS 11 brings new features to iPhone and iPad this fall > HERE.
  • Apple introduces 10.5-inch iPad Pro, updates 12.9-inch model > HERE.
  • Apple unveils all-new App Store > HERE.
  • macOS High Sierra advances data, video and graphics > HERE.

View all news releases > HERE.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Check those batteries in wireless mouse

Tech News and Views

I recently got a call from someone who said their computer mouse was not working. Since their mouse was of the wireless variety, I asked if they had changed the batteries. They said they had. However, after I had them change the batteries again, the mouse worked fine.

It seems that they were not using alkaline batteries. So often cheap batteries are marked "Heavy Duty" but in reality, they are far inferior to alkaline. So, before you throw away that non-working wireless mouse, try new alkaline batteries.

Monday, June 5, 2017

How to receive sound from gym TVs

Tech News and Views

Oak Run Associates, Ltd. recently enabled a sound app for smartphones that will let users receive audio from the TVs in the workout facility. The only announcement of the availability of the app was on a very tiny table top tent on the gym window sill. Here's how to download, install and use the app.

Download the app called Fetch Audio from Google Play or iTunes. Click Install. Click on the icon for Fetch Audio and select the station you want. Stations available include Fox News, Home and Garden TV, Major League Baseball, several music stations, etc.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My Favorite Mobile Apps

Apple Bytes

My phone and tablet have these 10 favorite apps. The App Store ratings, shown after the app name, are based on the 5 star system. (may also be available on Google Play)

Calendarium (4-1/2 stars) by Idea Studio
Learn about today and discover interesting things in the past, too. You can easily move forward or backward from today and read through history. Each timeline item has links to various Wikipedia articles.

Daily App Advice (4-1/2 stars) by
Formally called Apps Gone Free, each day they show you a detailed list of the best apps that can be downloaded for free on that day. Their description will link you through to the App Store where you can read more and check the reviews before installing.

Google Earth (3-1/2 stars) by Google, Inc.
If you like maps and satellite views you'll love this app. Fly around the planet with a swipe of your finger. Zero in on your house in Oak Run. Explore distant lands or reacquaint yourself with your childhood home. Search for cities, places and businesses.

Gummy Drop! (4-3/4 stars) by Big Fish Games, Inc.
Way better than Candy Crush. A positively addictive match 3 game with thousands of levels across dozens of cities around the world. Excellent graphics. Warning: you won't want to stop playing!

Jigsaw Puzzle (4-1/2 stars) originally by Critical Hit Software, LLC, now by MobilityWare
The most popular jigsaw puzzle app on the App Store. Numerous settings to customize it just right for you. Plenty of adjustments to make it more challenging. Daily free puzzles and sales on puzzle packs quite often.

Kindle (4-1/2 stars) by AMZN Mobile, LLC
A great way to read your purchased eBooks or the library books you've checked out. Lots of features to make your experience enjoyable. The dictionary is always helpful and font type and size are adjustable. Perfect for a tablet.

Radar HD (4-1/2 stars) by Elecont LLC
Both satellite and radar images are available in high resolution. Fully customizable with predictive (future) radar, too. Color coded precipitation, storm information and weather alerts. You can add place markers for your favorite locations.

Sky Live (5 stars) by Vito Technology, Inc.
A great app for planning star observations. Shows which planets, stars and constellation will be above the horizon, what the weather will be like, the visibility score and much more. Accurate hourly conditions are estimated using seven criteria.

Solitaire (4-1/2 stars) by MobilityWare
The original solitaire. Solve the Daily Challenge and receive a crown each day and a trophy for the month. The Winning Deals feature lets you adjust the percentage of games that are guaranteed to have at least one winning solution.

TV Guide Mobile (3-1/2 stars) by TV Guide
The ultimate TV companion. A great way to see what's on today and for the next week or so. Easy to adjust date, time and provider settings. Listing grid swipes in all directions. You can watch full episodes and get exclusive news.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

You can afford a backup drive

Tech News and Views

I help many people who encounter computer problems. Often, their computers need to be repartitioned and the operating system must be reinstalled. So, my first question to them is: "Is your system backed-up?". I think you know their answers. I'd say 98% of the users have not created a back up and yet have had files on their computers that they can't afford to lose (precious pictures, tax information, etc.).

Today, there is no excuse for not backing-up info. A 16 GB flash drive can be purchased for $5. Yesterday, I purchased a 1 Terabyte Toshiba backup drive and 16 GB flash drive for $24.99 at Sam's Club. Do yourself a favor. Backup your hard drive today.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Reinstall Windows 7

Tech News and Views

Every so often I encounter someone running Windows 7 whose computer software has been corrupted after the user visited suspicious sites. When that happens, sometimes the only good solution is to reinstall Windows 7. The install is easy, but the updating process can take hours. The problem lies in the fact that Windows 7 is several years old and there can be almost 1000 updates that need to be installed. My advice: Be patient.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

You Can Still Get Windows 10 For Free

Rants and Raves

If you thought you'd missed the boat on getting the free upgrade to Windows 10 and now refuse to pay good money for the OS, here's some news for you. Windows 10 is still available for free to those who use assistive technologies.

The Redmond tech giant continues to offer free Windows 10 upgrades to those who use technologies like the screen narrator or magnifier. Techspot reports that “Microsoft isn’t really checking to see whether you are actually using these assistive tools.”

This means, all you need to do to grab a free copy of Windows 10 is to head over to Microsoft’s accessibility website (HERE), say you are using assistive technologies on your Windows 7 or 8 system, and download the program that’s available on their upgrade page. Install it for free and no one will know. Well, Microsoft will know but it doesn’t seem to mind as long as it gets the company even more users on board the new operating system.

There is no information as to when the company will end this free upgrade offer for those who are using assistive tools. But the company did say it will make a public announcement prior to ending the offer. If you use assistive technologies, this is an “official” way of getting Windows 10 Anniversary Update and availing all the new accessibility features that the latest version of Windows 10 has introduced.

For those who don’t use assistive technologies, this is the workaround that could help you install Windows 10 for free – with a little bit of a lie.


For Your Information

Posts are presented in a stack with the most recent post at the top. Clicking Older Posts will show the next # older posts and so forth. Clicking Newer Posts will show the previous # newer posts. Clicking Home will display the top # most recent posts. When viewing a single post, clicking Older Post or Newer Post shows a single post each time, but, clicking Home displays the top # most recent posts. There are 2,754 posts in the stack as of 4-27-18.