Monday, December 28, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Then their phone support is equally bad. Even if you lie and say your Hardware is used for Business, you get connected to equally bad support people in Ontario, Canada.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
TIME (20 minutes later) to Uninstall Office 2010 beta. Despite a configuration during Install to leave all previous Office programs, It only left Excel 2003, and deleted Word, Outlook, Powerpoint and Publisher. I really don't appreciate having to reinstall those after Uninstalling this Bloatware 2010, which has the same ugly Interface as Office 2007, only more crowded with nonsense.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I hadn't installed the HP software as Windows 7 knew about the printer. So I go download 311 Meg of 64 bit drivers and software from HP, and as I go to Install: It crashes, giving me obscure error messages. Calling HP support is useless as it puts you on hold for 30 minutes before you get to a new hire in India that knows nothing. Using my own instincts, I unplugged the USB cable from the printer, and temporarily turned off my Norton AntiVirus, and then the Install worked (although I had to drill down two layers to make sure it didn't secretly install Yahoo Toolbar). So the scanning function of my printer now works under Windows 7. Meanwhile the associated program "HP Photosmart Essentials version 3.5" flat doesn't work in Windows 7 - 64 bit. If you email HP support, the fools there just tell you to try and reinstall.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Macaroni & Cheese
In 2 quart sauce pot on low heat, mix
3 cups Whole Milk
6 Tbs Flour, added slowly while stirring
6 Tbs Butter
2 10 oz Sticks of Kraft Extra Sharp Cracker Barrel, shredded. Many substitutes don't work.
While Cheese sauce in pot heats and ingrediants melt together,
Bring large pot of salted water to racing boil, and
cook 16 oz Macaroni - (Muellers Large Elbows work best), slightly under cook
about 2 minutes less than package says.
In Large Glass or Corningware Bowl pour about 1/4 of cheese sauce on bottom,
then add extra-well drained Macaroni; followed by rest of cheese sauce, and gently stir it
Bake for 30 minutes in 350 degree oven, covered the first 20 minutes.
Leftovers the next day are exquisite in Tomato Soup.
Tomato Soup (my receipe) : In Medium pot over low heat, mix
1 Can Campbells Condensed Tomato Soup
6 oz Milk
2 Tbs Tomato Paste
1/4 tsp Onion salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper
Soup or Macaroni good topped with some KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Cheese Topping.
UPC code 21000 61505
Hard to find may- be shelved with Parmesan Cheese in Pasta Aisle in
3 oz Blue Cannister
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Bread Pudding: For Breakfast or dessert.
In Large mixing bowl mix:
12 oz of Apples and Apricot Sauce. One can always pulverize canned apricots in food processor
and mix 50/50 with commercial Apple Sauce.
4 Tbs Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2/3 tsp Cinnamon
4 Tbs of melted butter - Melt butter in baking dish
Crumble in and mix well with ~10 slices stale white bread. End slices work well.
Mixture should be well moistened but not soggy, add more bread if needed.
Transfer to baking dish.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees in Glass or Corningware dish.
Depending on oven, Set for Broil last 3 minutes for crispy top.
Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Apple claims that it will be later this year before they have a new version of BootCamp allowing for Windows 7 installation on Intel based Macintoshs, and in any event they won't support my 2006 MacPro. Perhaps because I have upgraded to a Radeon 4870 graphics card in such a MacPro, I was able to install Windows 7 on its own hard drive and run BootCamp 3.0 ( found on the OS X 10.6 Install DVD) to install 64 bit drivers for the Apple Keyboard, Bluetooth, sound etc. I got the latest video drivers straight from the manufacturer.
I didn't find Windows 7 to be running so fast like Microsoft claimed, but at least I didn't have to telephone Microsoft support in India because I was reinstalling Office 2003 with an already used Activation code; my existing code activated it over the net.
If Windows 7 is so much better and easier to use, why are there dozens and dozens of books on how to use it ? ? ? The book that might be best "Windows 7 - The Missing Manual" is itself missing, not to be published until January.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Kaspersky always has their newest software available for download, and you can upgrade to the newest version using a "last years" activation code. Norton apparently doesn't do that.
Luckily after surfing around the Symantec (owners of Norton) web site, I stumbled across where they do in fact currently have all such available. http://www.norton.com/fo/ Norton refers to the activation code as "Product Key" there, and one should have their key/code available on the envelope of the original install disk of their 2009 product, and I did. I downloaded and upgraded, and it was a slow process, taking about 40 minutes total, but when through I had the newest 2010 software installed with 183 days left on their clock.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
ATT did it smart. Rumors had the network crashing from everyone starting to
send pictures with their txt messages at once. Rather than push MMS capability
to everyone, you have to Pull it down.
Just Sync your iPhone with iTunes, and click on "Check for Updates"
at which time a "Carrier Update" is offered, click
accept; it all takes less than a minute to download and install. You
then have to cycle power on your iPhone, after which to the left of
the text entry window in Messages, there is a tiny Camera icon, which
allows you to take a picture or browse for a picture to attach.
By requiring the end user to manually pull down MMS capability,
such added functionality will be spread out over a few days.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I'm glad someone beat me to complaining about Trop50, a "Juice Drink" that Tropicana tricks people into thinking is low Sugar Orange Juice, when its really a mixture of only 42% Orange Juice and water. Now why wouldn't everyone want to pay Orange Juice Prices for water? And shouldn't it be called Trop42?
The evidence is here:
Thursday, September 10, 2009
the new iPod Nano, and say to my self:
"Self, what can the Nano do that my iPhone can't?" "Isn't the iPhone much better?"
Only shortcoming I could identify is the Nano has a built in Pedometer. So I go to download a Pedometer program for my iPhone from the "App" store, and am confronted with dozens. How to choose??
So I Google, and read the reviews.
The one that appears to be best is "iTreadmill", which I'm about to buy.
Wish me luck.
Monday, August 17, 2009
2 1/2 years ago, I bought a Garmin Nuvi 360 instead of an iPhone, choosing to wait till the iPhone had the features I wanted. I was glad to make that decision
I bought an iPhone 3GS 2 months ago, and still love it. Great to have email,Google and some wonderful apps in my pocket
Two major GPS apps are now available for the iPhone, both have major negatives based on reviews I have read.
1. Navagon - $69.99 till August 31. Then $99.99
- Won't do text to speech - ie doesn't name streets
- Voice is too low in volume for many reviewers.
- Street names are in hard to read font.
- May have trouble maintaining satellite contact
- Does not have "Apple" like interface
- Not well integrated with CONTACTS
2. Tom Tom
- Won't do text to speech
- POI database seems out of date.
- Heavy battery drain
- Announces turns to make too late for some
3. ATT Navigator
Universally hated because
- Very slow - dependent on ATT Network to pull data for maps
- Monthly $10 fee.
4 Months ago I sold my Garmin 360 on Ebay, and between what that brought in and the savings not having to buy a new map, I got a Garmin Nuvi 760 from Amazon effectively free.
Advantages of Garmin 760 ($200)over iPhone apps.
- Identifies street names - has excellent text to speech
- Has a larger screen (4.5 inches)
- Can play music (built in MP3 player), handle phone calls
(blue tooth), and keep navigating.
- Known update policy - Both Navigon and Tom Tom are vague about
availability, timing and pricing of updates . Thats major for me.
i.e. When and at what price will Text to Speech be available?
- ie "Make right turn in 200 feet" or
"make right turn on Telge Rd in 200 feet".
- in iphone GPS reviews, folks who have used stand-alone GPS units
complain iPhone GPS apps aren't there yet. Folks who have not used
GPS units before generally like the iPhone apps.
Already 50 reviews posted in the App store after TomTom only
being for sale for 12 hours.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I had grief with my iPhone 3GS its first week. Apps wouldn't launch, icons dimmed out, the phone turned itself off during a conversation, and the iPhone locked up while using email. The lockup was solved with a reboot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2foiTBSn3k), but the other continuing issues led Telephone support to offer to schedule a replacement at my local Apple store. I was almost ready to return it to ATT for a refund.
I offered to do a full Restore (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzyy4puapig), and the phone rep. patiently and professionally walked me through it; and now the 2nd week was been without incident; better yet, the Bluetooth now syncs with my Garmin GPS, which it couldn't find before the Restore. I presume the OS got glitched somewhere before I received it, but all appears good now, and Apple phone support remains the best in the business.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Since then I Googled enough to learn how to easily make custom ringtones, so I needn't pay for them.
1. Take any MP3 file, MP3 ringtone or midi file you have converted. For midi files
import to Itunes, then in Advanced tab select "Create AAC version" which makes an M4a file
which Audacity can use to make a 30 second long version.
2. Use a freeware program name AUDACITY. It is available as either
a Macintosh or Windows program. I used newest beta version with nary a problem.
You'll also have to download and install Library files for Lame (do Lame first) and FFMPeg .
Then using Audacity, Convert your mp3 file to a m4a file of
30 seconds or less length. Rename the xtension to m4r.
3. Copy the m4r sound file into iTunes - Library - Ringtones
4. Sync with your iPhone
5. You can then pick one of your custom ringtones as your default ringtone.
6. On my old Sony cell phone, I could set a ringtone to be used as a contact ringtone;
while on the iPhone you go into the contact, select edit, and can pick a different ringtone
for each contact, from either the original Apple supplied ringtones, or a custom ringtone
that has been added.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
It was easy to go to my domain registrar: godaddy.com, login and change the NameServer associated with billf.net, it took a little longer (less than 24 hours total) for atbhost to get their stars alligned, so I could ftp my web site files over, but all is good now.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Check HERE for current Interest Rates around the country. Don't believe E-Trades' lies that their rates are competitive or the tops in the Industry.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
The Install was hardly straightforward. I had to HACK both the Windows Install DVD, and the BootCamp drivers to get either to run.
These instructions did not work for me.
To Create a usable Install DVD HERE are instructions for using oscdimg.exe, otherwise a normal burn of the ISO from Microsoft will not work on an Apple MacPro.
A post HERE at MacRumors.com explains how to install 64 bit drivers under Windows 7 on a Macintosh using the freeware Orca.msi, because otherwise the 64 bit Vista Bootcamp Drivers exe file you're told to use won't run.
Then once Windows 7 is up and running, turn off third party cookies in Internet Explorer (Under Tools - Internet Options - Privacy - Advanced) and turn off Windows' User Account Control Settings, so you don't get all the Vista-like nag warnings (found under Control Panel - Action Center - User Account Control Settings).
After the 3 hours all that took (not to mention myriad hours till I gave up using Bootcamp for the X86 32 bit version - see earlier posts) a properly tweaked Windows 7 is much nicer than Vista.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
FOLLOWUP: Unable to upgrade, reports back that Windows 7 is incompatible, and it rolls the System back to Vista. Why should I be surprised that Microsoft mispoke.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
However running AntiVirus, it did identify 2 dozen tracking cookies for deletion, apparently all placed by the default Internet Explorer home website of http://www.msn.com; something else for me to change. Shame on Microsoft for all that Spyware !!! Then to turn off all 3rd party cookies.
Windows 7 = Windows Vista ME
I think anyone writing a review about how great Windows 7 Release Candidate is, was either using an earlier version, or didn't put Windows 7 through any paces, or is just a Microsoft stooge.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
So which rube let all that happen?
Another example of what Microsoft doesn't tell you about in their commercials showing how you can buy a PC cheaper than a Mac ( if you skew your wants list for the computer ) if you ignore all the missing features and software of the cheaper PC; and likely added crapware.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
For help diagnosing and removing viruses or
malware infections from your computer, we have a fee based virus removal service.
Would you like me to transfer you across to this team?
So I ask to ESCALATE, and am kept waiting, and its not obvious I'm getting anything
other than another rube in the next cubicle. This is a known issue, but was incorrectly listed
as fixed by version 126.96.36.199; After 10 minutes of waiting, I complained about the wait time and asked them
to email me the solution. Like that will happen.
Sure enough they did not escalate nor email me. Just another
worthless rep named Sankardeep who also referred to Advace Protection, but had no help.
Conclusion, time to go back to Kaspersky.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
The program has been for sale retail for 6 or more months but they're still attacking bugs by the carload. This weeks' slipstreamed version attacks (allegedly) many, many bugs:
see here at bottom of page.
- Fixed an issue where you may not be able to access shared folders on a computer connected to your home network.
- Fixed an issue where the Quick Scan Open Security History expansion was not working on first click.
- Fixed an issue in Home Networking Map - not warning the user that another user is viewing the map.
- Fixed an issue in Home Networking – removing a remotely monitored device does not persist.
- Fixed unnecessary UAC warnings during install/configuration.
- Fixed a crash in Home Networking Map User Interface.
- Fixed a crash in the AntiVirus Scan User Interface.
- Fixed a contributing issue for Error 3040,10001
- Improved Home Networking remote monitoring Antivirus item formatting
- Added option to allow Pulse Updates to run when laptop is on battery power (Settings/Miscellaneous Settings)
- Added SONAR support for Vista 64-bit
- Allow Context Scanning (Right-Click file scanning) for Vista 64-bit
- Added Norton Product Tamper Protection support for Vista 64-bit
- Added UMPC support (install UI fits now, auto panning for small screens)
- Added Norton Safe Web integration (watch out for more details in a separate thread)
(the following issues were also fixed in the 16.2 patch)
- Changes to allow future LiveUpdates better handle error conditions.
- Fixed an issue with 64-bit LiveUpdate patches.
- Fixed several Winqual reported errors.
- Fixed a compatibility issue with Microsoft Outlook Connector after installation of Norton Add-On Pack.
- Fixed an issue where the product would sometimes interfere with its own ability to match IDS signatures properly.
(the following issues were also fixed in the 16.1 patch)
- Fixed issue where Protection updates download but date does not change.
- Fixed issue where in some cases, if you looked at the details of which updates succeeded and which failed, it would show all updates failed even though only one update failed.
- Fixed issue where Virus Definitions were considered non-valid in certain scenarios.
- Fixed instance where Advanced Protection will fail to start.
- Fixed issue where LiveUpdate fails to download and apply Web Protection definitions.
- Fixed issue with Identity Safe showing garbled characters in a few areas of the User Interface.
- Fixed multiple instances of ccSvcHst.exe crashes caused by components.
- Fixed issue with ccSvcHst failing to shutdown on a reboot (End Task dialog displayed indefinitely).
Monday, April 06, 2009
But I got lucky in two ways. First it works fine via USB2 cable. Except then its not on the home network. However it has a slot for plug in boards, so I've ordered a HP Print Server Jet Direct 615N to plug in, which after disabling the built in Ethernet in the setup, should work (I hope).
I had placed an order for a HP 615N at Overstock.com; and then discovered it was way overpriced for the "refurbished" unit that they are selling; and they gave me serious grief before they agreed 6 hours later to cancel the order, (and they hadn't shipped it yet, so it should have been trivial to do so) so I could buy a claimed new unit for less money at compuvest.com. Won't ever be shopping at overstock.com again !!
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Seems like the biggest scam going. AT&T just wants to get customers on the phone to try and upsell them to a Wireless Unity Plan, or a Wireline Long Distance Plan, or even U-Verse.
Then they'll find some reason why you don't qualify for a combined billing discount, which a quick Google of ATT Combined Billing shows can cause more grief than you can imagine, as the combined billing makes it near impossible to correct billing errors in the individual ATT components as what ever rep you talk to wont have access to whatever database you need them to connect to.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Whither Q-Tips - Unilever sells Q-Tips in the refillable plastic Vanity Pack - .
One minor issue. They have stopped making and selling the refill packs. So is it false advertising and a deceptive trade practice to still call it refillable?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Registry Data Items Infected:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell (Hijack.Shell) -> Bad: (Explorer.exe svchostw.exe) Good: (Explorer.exe) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
The Registry was fixed, and the offending file (svchostw.exe) deleted. Then I had to reapply Windows XP Service Pack 3 to my Windows XP to get Windows to start the Desktop on Bootup (rather than my manually starting it every time from the Task Manager (C:\Windows\explorer.exe)). Then a couple of Windows Security patches from Microsoft update to apply as SP3 had apparently undone them. All seems well now?
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
If anyone wants more recording time available on their HR2x, just add an external SATA drive, connected by a shielded eSATA cable.
It's easy: the DirecTv unit is powered off, the SATA drive is plugged into the DVR and turned on, and the DirecTv unit is powered up. Upon powerup the DVR will "discover" the external drive, and format it if necessary. Thereafter the HR2x unit will only record on the external drive, and all "Season Pass" type settings have to be redone.
Any recordings or "season pass" type settings on the OEM internal drive, can again be accessed by powering down the DirecTv unit, powering down the external drive and unplugging it from the DVR, and repowering the DirecTv unit.
Still don't understand why a firmware update months ago started recordings on my external HD to be problematic , (perhaps DirecTv removed some error checking during recording?) but I tried a fix recommended elsewhere in a discussion group.
I switched to a quality Shielded eSATA cable. (SIIG, purchased at buy.com, part # 202321891 :
~$12 with shipping). SIIG's part # CB-SA0111-S1. I could not find an eSATA cable at Frys or Micro Center, lots of SATA cables, not one eSATA.
And now my 1 Terabyte Seagate SATA drive in an external NexStar3 Case, purchased at Frys, records 2 HD programs simultaneously without glitches or audio synch problems. The NexStar3 supplied unshielded eSATA cable has been discarded.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
It was found in the "Kosher for Passover" section of only one local supermarket. No reference to it yet through Google.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Cheeburger Cheeburger ; Discovered there is a franchise in Houston now. Not close to me, but I drove 30+ miles there (northwest of Houston) Friday evening and had a very good cheeseburger, and excellent fries, excellent onion rings, and excellent service.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I still like Seagate drives, as lately they've been reliable for me, and now come with a 5 year warranty. I just bought a 1.5 Terabyte (1.34 Terabyte formatted) Seagate drive that was on sale at Frys. It's very fast (its 32 Meg Cache helps there), and quiet. It now hosts Macintosh OS X 10.5.6
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
How Hamas generates civilian casualties They go and build a Headquarters in the middle of a development of Apartment Mid Rises. The IDF manages a pinpoint airstrike to take out that HQ and not scratch a brick on the surrounding buildings.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Prius gas mileage. If one is gassing up at 6 AM on a Sunday morning, and the roads are basically empty, and one can do some driving at under 20 mph to ensure its mostly done only on electric power, gas mileage in a Prius is better than the rated 48 mpg city. I had to take a picture to prove it.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Symantec has Norton 360 v.3 beta, which works with Windows 7. It warned that it was a beta, expiring March 27. Then one installs it and is told the software expires in 15 days. NOT GOOD.
Next I'll try a 64 bit version of Windows 7
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Followup: Jan. 12 = Windows 7 now running on my MacPro under Parallels 4.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Monday, January 05, 2009
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Ubuntu figured out what monitor I have, which neither Windoze or Mac OS could.
All in all a marvelously easy task, and free. Best of all is how snappy and fast ubuntu seems, much faster than Windows XP or Windows Vista on my MacPro. Not sure if its a better OS and/or better Ethernet Drivers, but I love it. HP even had pointers to Linux drivers for my LJ 3800n. Now if only there's a MS Money type of program for Linux.
FOLLOWUP So a recommnded home finance program is "Moneydance" which comes in trial versions for most platforms including Linux. Problem is:
1. Ubuntu never setup a root password to allow installing of many apps.
2. After Installing Moneydance, it won't run.
3. Need to install Java. Need to mkdir java directory. Tried version 6u11 of Java
4. Need to Install RPM installer to get Java installed
5. Ubuntu wont download rpm installer.
6. rebooted, got RPM installer, failed Java install due to dependencies.
7. Downloaded bin version of Java.
8, Bin download required a chmod A+X
9. Got Java installed.
10. Moneydance runs....but:
I now have Moneydance running, why so many hoops to jump through? Not a Professional Installer! And the trial is too limited to allow a real world test. Only allows 100 transactions. Why not a 30 day trial of a FULL VERSION ??
So I have a lower opinion of Ubuntu now. If apps aren't easily installable, whats the point. Don't think I'll get a copy of Moneydance. I don't feel like an unpaid Alpha tester today. At least with Java installed, Moneydance's Uninstaller worked nicely (i think).
Thursday, January 01, 2009
All 30 Meg Zunes stopped working! Turns out Zunes didn't "know" that 2008 was a Leap Year.
Fix: After 4 AM PST on Jan. 1, unplug your Zune, let your battery drain to zero. Recharge your Zune, then power on. Microsoft says it will then work.