Sunday, July 23, 2017

Improve Windows 10 Performance, Part 1 of 5

Disable Animations and Eye Candy Effects

By default, Windows 10 uses lots of animations and other effects, such as shadows, to provide an attractive user interface but these animations and effects can take up your system resources and can effect computer performance.

You can disable all of these animations and effects to improve Windows 10 performance using the following steps:

1. Press Win+R keys together to launch RUN dialog box. Type sysdm.cpl and press Enter. The System Properties window will open.

2. Go to Advanced tab and click on the Settings button under the Performance section.

3. In the Options window select Custom and uncheck the following:
  • Animate controls and elements inside windows
  • Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
  • Animations in the taskbar
  • Fade or slide menus into view
  • Fade or slide ToolTips into view
  • Fade out menu items after clicking
  • Save taskbar thumbnail previews
  • Show shadows under mouse pointer
  • Show shadows under windows
  • Show translucent selection rectangle
  • Slide open combo boxes
  • Smooth-scroll list boxes
  • Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop

4. Apply the changes and close settings window.

Credit: askvg.com

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Undo multiple times

Tech News and Views

Most computer users are aware that they can undo the last computer entry they have made, but they may not be aware that the undo command can be done 26 times in sequence. To do so, press the CTRL key and the letter Z at the same time. Each time the combination is pushed, the computer will go back to the previous entry.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Bosch's Electric Drive Turbo-boosts New EV Startups

"From rolling chassis to electric vehicle in 12 to 18 months." That was the statement made by Harald Kröger, president of Automotive Electronics at Bosch, during a transportation tech presentation.

Kröger was referring to Bosch's new 48-volt electric drive system, consisting of six components, which can be fitted to a wide range of light vehicles.

The automotive landscape is littered with electric vehicle startups, done in by the prohibitive cost of developing and marketing a new car. Tesla stands out as a success, so far, due to deep-pocketed investors and public enthusiasm. But much of that investment went into years of research and development on an electric drive system.

Bosch's drive system potentially gives startups an edge, taking care of the entire drivetrain and leaving them to develop a rolling chassis ready to accept battery packs and motors.

Electrons meet the road
During demonstrations at a Bosch-sponsored event on its proving grounds in Germany, the company showed how it implemented the system on a scooter, small passenger car and urban delivery truck.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Who killed the electric car?

Tech News and Views

In 1990 several good electric cars began to appear on the American highways. Ten years later they were all gone. What happened? Director, Chris Paine's excellent documentaries include the following.

Text:

Videos:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Save parts of computer image

Tech News and Views

Recently, one of our members asked me how he could capture and enlarge part of a parts diagram. He didn't need the entire diagram, but he did need a greatly enlarged print. Here's the solution to the problem.

Download and install the Duck Capture program:


Capture the part of the diagram or image you want and save it to the clipboard using the Duck Capture icon. Open a word processing program such as Word or LibreOffice Writer. Press Control and the letter V to paste the image from the clipboard into the word processor page. Drag the image handles to enlarge the image and then print the result.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Electric Cars’ Breakout Could Be Near

A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests that the price of plug-in cars is falling much faster than expected.

As the world’s automakers place larger bets on electric vehicle technology, many industry analysts are debating a key question: How quickly can plug-in cars become mainstream?

The conventional view holds that electric cars will remain a niche product for many years, plagued by high sticker prices and heavily dependent on government subsidies.

But a growing number of analysts now argue that this pessimism is becoming outdated. A new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research group, suggests that the price of plug-in cars is falling much faster than expected, spurred by cheaper batteries and aggressive policies promoting zero-emission vehicles in China and Europe.

Between 2025 and 2030, the group predicts, plug-in vehicles will become cost competitive with traditional petroleum-powered cars, even without subsidies, and even before taking fuel savings into account. Once that happens, mass adoption should quickly follow.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Lucid Air Hits An Unrestricted 235mph During Testing

A prototype for Lucid’s Air electric sedan hit a top speed of 235mph during a recent high-speed test on the banked oval at Ohio’s Transportation Research Center. The achievement follows a test run up to a governed 217mph which the Air prototype conducted in April.

These are speeds faster than what all but a handful of supercars can achieve, and no sedans come close to matching the Air. The electric sedan’s main target, the Tesla Model S, tops out at 155mph.

In a statement, Lucid said that in one of the intended markets for the Air, there is an expectation of high-speed cruising that the company fully intends to meet. That market happens to be in the middle of Europe and has a network of highways with unrestricted speed zones.

It’s for this reason Lucid is testing its prototypes at such high speeds. The engineers are out to evaluate high-speed behaviors, including vehicle stability, tire performance and powertrain thermal management. They’ll use the collected data to finesse thermal and aero computer simulations to ensure optimal performance in the production version.

It’s not clear how fast the Lucid will be in production guise. The final figure will almost certainly be lower since the prototype was fitted with custom aerodynamic elements for high-speed stability. It was also fitted with a parachute to help slow it down faster in case of an emergency stop.

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tesla Rolls Out Its First Model 3

Elon Musk flipped the switch on the production line, beginning a new era for electric cars. But it’s a long road to mass production.

How far is Tesla going with Autopilot for the launch? Last October, Musk set some wild timelines for full self-driving capabilities in the Tesla fleet. The company upgraded the hardware suite of its full line-up of cars to eight surround cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, a forward radar, and a massively powerful new computer. He said it was all the hardware that will be needed for driverless transport. By the end of 2017, Musk said, he hoped to demonstrate a cross-country trip without any driver interaction.

So far, Tesla hasn’t backed off those predictions. For the past nine months, it’s been charging customers an extra $3,000 for an option called “Full Self-Driving Capability”. However, the software still hasn’t been released to make any new features available, and to date, the pricey option adds no additional functionality.

Musk has dropped a number of hints that those features will start rolling out around the launch of the Model 3. In January, I asked him at what point “Full Self-Driving Capability” will depart from the “Enhanced Autopilot” features. His response, via a post on Twitter: “3 months maybe, 6 months definitely”. Six months would coincide with the July launch.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Corrupted files, run SFC

Tech News and Views

If your computer isn't running well, you might want to run the system file checker. To do so in Windows 10, right click Start and left click Windows Power Shell (administrator). Type sfc /scannow and press the Enter key.

The sfc /scannow command will scan all protected system files, and replace corrupted files with a cached copy that is located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache. The %WinDir% placeholder represents the Windows operating system folder.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Executive Board Minutes

Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
July 14, 2017

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

Secretary’s report read by Bob Kenlay. No corrections or additions necessary.

Jim Tromboli read the Treasurer's Report. The current balance is $2081.96.

A motion was made by Elliot Bogart and seconded by Bob Kenlay to pay Ron Kenyon $20 for the netbook being donated to the computer club.

Future meeting topics:
July 19   Electric Cars, Alan Marcus with 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 9:45AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bob Kenlay, Secretary

Drone Camp Teaches Kids How To Take To The Skies

Bismarck, ND, 6-8-17

Drones are becoming more common, whether we like it or not and kids are getting in on the fun, too.

Kids are learning important skills when it comes to flying drones. "I figured out on my own how to do barrel rolls. I still can’t figure out how to do flips," said Nathan Vinchattle, camper.

This camp at the Bismarck Career Academy is trying to peak kids interest so they can be ready for a drone industry in the future.

"The kind of things that you can do are kind of limitless. You see a lot in a state like North Dakota with the agriculture. A lot of the oil companies use them as well, so it's one of those things where the uses are kind of limitless," Tim Meyer, Bismarck Career Academy.

Believe it or not some kids are already looking towards possible careers in aviation. "I kind of like the idea of flying and the many different job opportunities that there actually are. I didn't know there were that many different things that you can actually do in flying," said Avery Brousseau, camper.

While the camp is aimed at having fun the instructors make sure kids learn the basics. "Don't fly too high when there's a plane above and don't crash," said James McGrath, camper.

The camp had about 45 kids over the two day session with a second camp starting the following week.

Credit: kfyrtv.com

Thursday, July 13, 2017

How to clean the dust from your computer

Tech News and Views

Most of the computer users that I have encountered are nervous about opening desktop computer cases to clean out dust, but the job doesn't have to be nerve wracking.

Most computer cases have one or two screws that must be removed in order to slide out the side panel. Then the computer can be blown out by using a compressed air can, leaf blower or shop vac.

Although many computers run for years without being cleaned, many others clog up, retard the cooling fans, overheat and kill the machines. Cleaning is particularly important when the user has pets or operates the computer in a dusty environment.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Computer breadboarding tip

Tech News and Views

Often, when troubleshooting computers, it helps to remove the motherboard from the case to breadboard the circuit. By connecting just the motherboard, power supply, CPU and fan, technicians can often ascertain problems through beep codes or the appearance of an image on the monitor.

But, after each component is tested, the system must be shut down. That normally involves unplugging the power supply. If the technician connects the power supply to a switched outlet strip, power can be started and stopped easily by turning off the strip.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Solar roof tiles to be sold from car showrooms

Tech News and Views

Tesla had announced, back in April, that solar roof tiles (as opposed to solar panels) would be available soon. Here are the company's latest quotes in reference to the product.
“Recently, we tested sales of our solar and storage products in several Tesla stores, and saw sales productivity improve 50% to 100% relative to the best non-Tesla retail locations. Based on these results, we are working towards fully staffing more than 70 Tesla stores in the U.S. and abroad with dedicated Tesla energy sales people over the next two quarters.”
Tesla has previously said it wants its customers to walk into any Tesla store and buy electric cars, energy storage solutions and solar products all under one eco-friendly roof.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Best voice assistants

Tech News and Views

I have used many voice assistants: Amazon Echo Dot, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant. The Dot is the poorest of the bunch. While it now sells for just $39, I guess you get what you pay for. Much of the time, when asked a question, such as what is the Asian dish, curry, Alexa will answer: "Hmmm! I don't know the answer to that". A recent study said that the Dot could answer correctly only 13% of the time. Google's Home Assistant was correct 73% of the time.

Alexa did best with questions about celebrities, geographical features, math and playing music.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Amabrush - World's First Automatic Toothbrush

Amabrush is a revolutionary new toothbrush that brushes your teeth automatically, all at once, in just 10 seconds.

You never have to brush your teeth again!

Amabrush is the world's first, fully automatic toothbrush. This patent pending device brushes all your teeth at once, fully automatic, and finishes in just ten seconds. All you have to do is press a single button, wait ten seconds, and you’ll have perfectly clean teeth!

Read more about it > HERE.

Photo credit: amabrush.com
Text credit: kickstarter.com


Saturday, July 8, 2017

France To End Sale Of Diesel, Gasoline Vehicles By 2040

France plans to end the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040 in a bid to become a carbon-neutral nation, Energy Minister Nicolas Hulot said, effectively promoting electric cars. Presenting the country's Climate Plan in Paris on Thursday, Hulot said France will offer tax incentives to replace diesel autos that are more than 20 years old and gasoline vehicles made before 2001.

The government will also end oil and gas exploration on French territory, eliminate coal-fired power plants by 2022 and encourage home owners to produce their own energy.

"The target is a tough one," Hulot, a former journalist and environmental activist, said. "But France wants to become the No. 1 green economy."

Credit: autonews.com

Friday, July 7, 2017

Every Volvo Introduced From 2019 Will Have an Electric Motor

It won’t be long before Volvo stops offering pure gasoline-powered cars. By 2019, the automaker will only launch EVs, hybrids, and mild hybrid vehicles.

“This is about the customer,” said Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson in a release Wednesday. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs.”

Moving away from a lineup dominated by pure gas and diesel cars represents a big change for the automaker, which hasn’t yet launched a fully electric vehicle. To make up for lost time, Volvo will introduce five EVs between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which are destined for the high-performance Polestar brand. Although we don’t know much else about Volvo’s plans, we do know the first Volvo EV goes on sale in 2019 and will sit on the Compact Modular Architecture designed for electrification.

In addition to five EVs, Volvo will offer a range of gas and diesel plug-in hybrids throughout the lineup. Mild hybrid cars will also be available, although the timeline surrounding the introduction of these vehicles is unclear.

By 2025, Volvo plans to have sold a cumulative total of 1 million electrified vehicles, just one of the automaker’s ambitious goals for the coming decade. With the help of new autonomous driving features, the automaker vows to end all deaths and serious injuries in its vehicles by 2020.

Credit: motortrend.com

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Only 64-bit Apps Will Work On iOS 11

Apple Bytes

Be sure to think twice before upgrading to iOS 11 when it's released this fall. The new operating system works only as 64-bit architecture and your installed 32-bit apps will no longer function after you upgrade until the apps have also been upgraded to work as 64-bit by their developer. Here's what Apple wrote to app developers.

64-bit Apps on iOS 11

June 28, 2017

App StoreAs a reminder, new iOS apps and updates submitted to the App Store must support 64-bit. Support for 32-bit apps is not available in iOS 11 and all 32-bit apps previously installed on a user’s device will not launch. If you haven’t updated your app on the App Store to support 64-bit, we recommend submitting an update so your users can continue to run your apps on iOS 11, which will be in the hands of hundreds of millions of customers this fall.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Two-Factor Authentication Required For iOS 11

Apple Bytes

Apple will automatically migrate iCloud users to two-factor authentication when they upgrade to iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra.

Apple says its “most advanced” account security is required to use some of the latest features of its operating systems, so it’s no longer optional if you plan on updating your devices.

Apple this week began notifying users who already use two-step verification that they will be migrated to two-factor authentication upon upgrading, MacRumors reports. Although the two systems are similar, two-factor authentication is even safer.

The updated system, launched in 2015, requires you to enter a six-digit code when signing into your iCloud account on a new device. That six-digit code is sent to another trusted device tied to your Apple ID and requires iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, watchOS 2, tvOS or later.

Two-step verification simply sent a four-digit code to any trusted device that could receive an SMS. What’s great about two-factor authentication is that it allows you to view the location of a new device attempting to access your iCloud account.

“If you install the iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra public betas this summer and meet the basic requirements, your Apple ID will be automatically updated to use two-factor authentication,” Apple explains in its email to users.

“This is our most advanced, easy-to-use account security, and it’s required to use some of the latest features of iOS, macOS, and iCloud.

“Once updated, you’ll get the same extra layer of security you enjoy with two-step verification today, but with an even better user experience. Verification codes will be displayed on your trusted devices automatically whenever you sign in, and you will no longer need to keep a printed recovery key to make sure you can reset a forgotten password.”

It’s not totally clear whether two-factor authentication will be required for all users who update to iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra — or whether it’s only necessary for those who already use two-step verification.

Some of the worries mentioned so far:
  • How will schools manage multiple student iPads?
  • What if you live in a country where Two-Factor Authentication is not available?
  • How will I admin my relative's iPad who lives overseas?
  • What if you only have one Apple device?

Credit: cultofmac.com

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Speed up that old PC by installing a solid state drive

Tech News and Views

Ziff Davis Publishing recently wrote an article about speeding up old computers. What they found was that the installation of a solid state drive made a huge difference in the speed of the computers in which the drives were installed. The systems they updated averaged 5 years in age.

In most cases, installation of SSDs is relative easy. If you have any questions about the procedure, leave a comment below this post.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Update maps on GPS

Tech News and Views

I have encountered several users who do not know how to update he maps on their GPS devices. The process is not difficult. Plug the device into a computer and turn it on. Download the software for the device from the manufacturer (i.e. Tom Tom, Garmin). Locate the map you want, and submit payment. Install the download. The download may take a long time so you must be patient.

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