Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pre-Christmas Update

Since my last posting, I've uninstalled the Windows 10 tech preview from all my machines.  They tried to warn me when I downloaded it, but I thought it'd be ok.  Well, some of the updates caused device failures, among other things.  Then I read that this next update would require even more perturbations, so I decided to wait until the software is a little more mature.

I found another pc to play with!  This one is the Microsoft Surface RT; the first one Microsoft offered.  It's only 32gb (half of that memory is taken by the operating system), but the price was good.  I'm discovering it's a great way to force me to learn more about Windows 8.1.  It's not speedy, but the larger screen helps when reading the newspaper or magazines.  Does anyone else have one?  Let's get together and discuss what we've found out about it's peculiarities.

Ok, on with some recent links I've discovered.  Let me say, again, that Feedly is a great way to get bit-sized information on a variety of subject, especially techie stuff.


I'm concerned about this stuff, and this article just makes it a little more scary.  Read it all the way through.  And, good luck!


Another scary scenario.  The bad guys are everywhere!


I have a Raspberry Pi I'm not using; this might be fun to try.




Would you like a Video Recorder for the new Dish Network?  You can build one from a pc.  This is a Maximum PC article on the subject.


There you are.  Have fun!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Windows 10

Hey!  Something new to play with.  Anybody gonna try the technical preview?  I haven't had a computer crash in some time, so I may give it a shot.  I'll let you know how it goes (assuming I don't lose the whole computer in the attempt).

I've been getting a few texts over the past week, and have appreciated MightyText.  If you don't know about this little program, go here to give it a try -

Friday, September 19, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Maxthon Nitro is FAST

Do you want to try a really fast browser?  Then give Nitro a try.  You can download it here.

The down side to all this speed is the lack of features.  But, if you want what seems like the fastest speed on a browser, then you should like this one.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

I'm not sure how I can use it as my main browser - don't think you can have bookmarks, and don't know yet how to change the homepage.  It's fun to play with.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Nice Sunset

Pretty nice sunset - was a little late for the light, but the colors (hdr) turned out well.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sony a6000 and So Much More ...

I know my posts are not prolific - someday I'll post daily.  Did I say "daily"?  Let's change that to "almost daily".  Anyway.

I've got my eyes on a new camera - the Sony a6000.  All the review have been positive about the two things I really want in a new camera.  Fast focusing and great low light capability.  I've been using the Sony NEX-3N for a while, but it doesn't have a view finder, and that's something I've discovered that I miss greatly.  It's very difficult to focus in bright sun.  And we have bright sun in Arizona!

Here's a picture of the a6000.  Oh, I should mention that the lenses used on my 3N can be used on the a6000.  Another justification.

Pretty, isn't it?

On to other techie things.

Lifehacker - The Complete Guide to Avoiding Windows Crapware

As you know, Lifehacker is my favorite site, so I do tend to reference them when I can.  Anyway, I have seen a computer or two whose web browser looks like this --

This happens when a user downloads software and does not read each installation page (and the fine print) and let's the installation install these added goodies.  Sometimes the installation questions are very confusing - hoping that you'll give permission to install more than you really want.

Give this important guide a read -

Logitech K480 Keyboard

Another site I like is   It gives me a daily "drip" applicable to the device.  This particular "drip" discusses a Bluetooth keyboard that could be used for several devices.  Interesting.  Go to

Western Digital My Passport Wireless

Oooo, I think I want one of these.

According to the post from AnandTech, this toy does it all!

The Lifehacker App Directory Windows

I think this has been around for awhile, but it's worth repeating.  A great list Windows Apps, and some are free!!

How to Stream Your Media Anywhere ..

Another Lifehacker posting -

RVing Tech Sites

I stumbled upon a couple of RVing site you might find useful.  Snowmads (might not be updated frequently) and Technomadia.  I must also tell you about  This couple has made a business of providing information for the RVing Geek.  Seems to have a LOT of useful stuff, some of which is free.  I'd recommend "following" their blog.

Guerrilla Mail

Every need an email address to complete some sort of registration, but you didn't want to give out yours?  This temporary email address service may be the solution.  I haven't tried it, so let me know if you do and how it works out.

Speaking of Email ..

Here are some add-ons for Gmail you might find useful.

Useful Websites

Not sure how useful these might be, but it could be fun.  Use at your own risk!

Nifty Inventions

Why didn't we think of these?

Ok, that's it for now.  I might post again tomorrow - maybe.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Texas Rain Storm

Traveling across the Midwest a few days ago gave us an opportunity for some far-horizon pictures; something we don't always see in the Phoenix area.  Here's a picture, with some post processing, just off I-40 near the New Mexico border.  It's a multiple exposure shot - thus the resulting extra blades on the wind turbines.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Computer Classes by Howard Dym

Howard just posted this on facebook regarding this year's computer classes at the Park.

Computer Classes will begin in September and end go through March and will be offered every other week. You can sign-up in the Computer Lab for a PRIVATE 15 minute session on any topic you'd like. We'll try to have a handout for you before the session. Please bring all necessary computers, tablets, phones, or software to the session. Other residents can stay for the entire session of all others but cannot interrupt the private session. All sessions are FREE.

Heard of CryptoWall? You better this.

Cryptowall is one of those pesky ransomware viruses, and I do mean pesky.  Down right mean!

Here's a very good description of the beast and how you might get rid of it.  My advise - don't get it to begin with.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Tonight's Sunset is Fine!

Android Email Apps

Drippler ( sends me daily posts regarding my Android device.  Today's information concerns email programs -  I've tried K-9 and, of course, gmail.  I think all in their list are certainly worth a try.  I've settled on Aquamail (; you may want to try it, as well.  If you only have one email account, then these programs may not be of benefit.  They are useful for multiple email accounts.  You have nothing to lose; give them a try.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today's List of Good Sites

I've a variety good links for you today.  Enjoy

Correct dimensions for images on social networks.

Five quick ways to free up space in your gmail account.

How to use the infinite number of gmail address google gives you.

NASA's underground water map.

Basic home security systems are not as safe as you think.

That should keep you busy for a few hours!

New GCRVCUG (Gold Canyon RV Computer User Group) Blog

I've separated the GCRVCUG function from this site and have set up a unique blog for the Group.  It's address is  I'm trying to get the urls "" and "" redirected to the new blog, but having difficulty with the first one.  Maybe by the time you read this, it will have succeeded.

If you're interested in the happenings of the CUG, then please follow the new blog.  If you're also interested in my ramblings, and occasional tidbits regarding technology (and other things), please follow my blog, too!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PUPs - Potentially Unwanted Programs

I use Malwarebytes's Anti-Malware Program on a daily basis.  Recently, I've noticed many pop-ups letting me know if there are coupons available for any of the items shown on the web page.  Also, other pop-ups happen if my mouse happens to get close to these items.  Coincidentally, the Anti-Malware Programs began identifying "pups...." as somthing I might want to quarantine.  So, I've done that, but it keeps reappearing.  I finally read what malwarebytes says on the subject -

The "pup" I'm getting has something to do with "superfish".  More investigation is required, but it might be associated with a tracking technology that now has latched onto my chrome browser (it happens on all my devices - probably because Chrome syncs to all).

I'm curious to know if others have a similar situation.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

RAM booster are bad?

I've used apps that clear cache and other things for performance improvement on my Android devices.  Many experts say that is the worst thing to do, but it has always appeared to improve performance.

So, based on this article - - I've removed them and forged ahead.  Maybe they're right - I'm not sure I can tell Android is really taking care of itself or not, but performance seems to be the same.

If you're using performance enhancing drugs programs, try deleting them and see what happens.

Cheap Windows 8

Wow, look at this.  Microsoft really is concerned about the Chromebook competition.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Yosemite 2014

We finally took a small vacation and visited Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and Sequoia.  Click on the photo to see more of the trip on SmugMug.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Sequoia

I promised some pictures, and here's the first.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

I'll slowly add more to the SmugMug site - a link to it is to your right.  You can click on the pix and it will direct you to SmugMug as well.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Donna's Close Encounter of the Animal Kind

Usually while caretaking, I perform the inside duties and the watering checks; Donna sprays for weeds.  Today while spraying around the citrus trees in back of the houses on Iowa, Donna noticed enhanced bird chattering in one tree.  On closer inspection of the tree, she saw a short wagging tail.  She met me at the curb and whispered "I think there's a cat in that tree".  About that time a thin bobcat jumped from the tree and looked at us, then walked behind the next unit.  I went to the back and observed him/her jump up into a couple more trees; I expect he was looking for bird nests.  Finding no food, he walked to the corner of the concrete wall and jumped over.  Birds will still chattering with much excitement.

That was Donna's Close Encounter with the bobcat.  She thought it a little frightening that she had just walked by a tree containing a hunting cat.  I'll bet she won't always be looking down for weeds now!

Tonight we toured the park, counting units that we knew had owners or renters in resident.  We counted 59 units - a little more than we found last year.

And Some More Links - Don't You Love 'Em?

Top 10 Incredibly Useful Windows Programs to Have On Hand

Check out this drip: Get These Apps Before Your Next Road Trip

Find Out What Windows Program Is Using Your Webcam

CallCentric VOIP Service

The best Android feature you’re not using: voice commands

Media Service Extenders for Windows Media Center PC

Quite a mix of topics.  Enjoy.

Turn your Windows 7 Media Center PC into an HTPC DVR - See more at:

Media Server Extenders for Windows Media Center PC
Media Server Extenders for Windows Media Center PC
Media Server Extenders for Windows Media Center PC
Turn your Windows 7 Media Center PC into an HTPC DVR - See more at:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

You Can Tell I'm Getting Hungry

Interesting article on Veggies -

94° right now, so another hot day.  Overcast, though.

Weather here in GC has been uneventful.  Some breeze.  If we run across any concerns on the Park Models, we'll email you directly.  Concerns that might benefit all will be provided on this blog.

Stay tuned.  Don't forget to read the twitter column on the right.  Anybody still experiencing Winter?

Link Collection

Here a few links I've been saving.  Maybe one will be of interest?  I think the gas can speaker set might be useful.

Give some of them a try.

Friday, May 23, 2014

I'm Still Here ..

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a long time - just busy with other things, I guess.  Don't forget me; I'll try to do better.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Do You Know BSOD?

Let's assume you have an older version of Windows.  You have probably seen the BSOD - Blue Screen of Death.  Bet you wanted to know what those strange screens mean?  Well, go to the site -

Maybe you can get your answers there.  Or, maybe not.

Have fun.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Car Covers and Wind

It has been a little windy today - great for caretaking (not too hot), but not so good for some of the car covers in the Park.  For those that have asked, I state (with some experience) the best car covers are designed for the specific car model and are made with quality materials that can withstand the Arizona sun.  Cheap, general purpose covers will not make it, and after a season or two, they start looking like this -

If you are unable to obtain a cover that's specifically made for you car, then it must be securely attached.  This wind is relentless and non-secure covers always have to be re-attached.  If you think you have enough ropes and bungee cords, then add more!

Compare the above cover to the following - specifically designed for the car.  With the right cover, only one or two bunjees (ropes) under the car is usually sufficient.

Well, that's all for today.  Just thought I ought to address the subject.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Jesse Cook

Oh, no! A selfie at the Chandler Performing Arts Center!

We're waiting for the Jesse Cook concert to begin.  A nice venue and a great show.  If you have a chance to see Jesse Cook - please do.  You won't be disappointed.  Another fantastic artist and band.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Here comes the dust - another windy day.  Will leave the windows open for just a while longer; already 84° on the deck.  But, it sure is nice to have the windows open!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Some Recent Photos

The owls on Arizona.  This was a hand-held telephoto shot, so slightly blurry.

Don't know what this plant is called, but it's one of the largest currently growing in the park.  Behind Site 440.
Flowers at Site 460.  They're the nicest ones we've seen so far on our morning walks.  I took numerous flower photos a few years ago, so my dedication to floral pictures has diminished.  You can see some of those photos here -

 Mail room regulars.
Our deck remodeling has finished.  We now have some steps that should support visitors.  The previous steps were getting a little soft.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Junk in the Trunk

Yesterday we attended the second "Junk in the Trunk" in the Valley.  This one was held at Westworld in Scottsdale.  If you like looking at junk (i.e., antiques, old things, re-purposed things, and lot's of people) then this is the event for you.  (I thought of you, Connie).  After a goodly amount of shopping, Donna didn't find anything to buy, but did have a good time.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

In A Jet Plane .....

We're heading back from St. Louis on Southwest - uncomfortable seats!  Been in the air for about 1hr 50 min, and are over NE New Mexico.  I'm going through my feedly list (I paid $8 to Southwest to use their WIFI - it's pretty fast) and found this site you all should see -

Also, this one.

Happy dreams.

Monday, March 31, 2014

End of Season

Last Wednesday was the final meeting of the group for the Season.  We'll begin again in October or November.  Stay tuned to this sight for random information about computers and other techie things.  Thanks for your participation.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Best Chromecast Apps

If you've obtained the very inexpensive Chromecast Dongle, then you know how useful it is.  This Lifehacker article provides the latest information of the services that take advantage of this device.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Android App Alternatives

Engadget just posted some apps that might be your favorite replacements for some of the google default apps on your phone.

I'm trying "cal" from "" and it's pretty good.  You might also try as your task tracker.  They have other apps in the works.

I've also tried the camera apps mentioned - they're each good in their own way.  Not sure if I can recommend any single program.  I have the htc one, and they're all better than the stock app.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Notification Sounds

This might be an interesting app.  There have been times when I wonder what all the beeps and boops mean when my phone speaks!

Sunday, January 26, 2014


I'm always interested in home theater PCs (HTPC).  I have tried several, and currently use two styles in my cabinet.  A home-made one based on an earlier version of this running Windows 8.1, and a G-Box Midnight 2 running Android.  Both are capable machines, but the W8 is faster and noisier and hotter.  The new version mentioned in this article sounds like the best of both worlds.  Would someone build it and let the group know how it works????

Theme Party

Finally, some photos to show you.  Last night was the Theme Party - Flintstones Meet the Jetsons.  Click on the photo for additional shots taken.  If we get photos from other attendees, they will be posted via a link on  Enjoy.

Monday, January 20, 2014

This Week's Meeting

This wednesday's meeting is in the Saguaro Room.  9:30am.

Google Voice

Some time ago, I stated that Google Voice (GV) would cease its' present operation as it pertains to services like Obihai.  I've demonstrated a few times how easy it is to have free phone service with the Obi100, GV, and a normal telephone.  This has been a great service, but by the end of May, Google is making changes to the service.  These changes will (may?) impact the great Obitalk service.  Consequently, Obihai has been working with other Internet Telephone Service Providers in order to make the transition easily from the free GV service to some other provider.

The transition is discussed on this web site -  It appears the cost will be only $3.33 per month.  Not a bad deal.  If the fact that Mediacom has sold your new number to telemarketers is bothersome, why not give this service some consideration?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Important or Interesting Sites

Happy New Year!

News!  Don Widrig will present "The History of the PC" on January 15.  This is a followup to his talk a few weeks ago on "The History of the Internet".  I'm looking forward to it.  On January 10th, Activities will host an "Activities Expo" after the Buzz.  The Computer User Group will have half of an 8' table on which to display our Activity.  If you wish to participate, by either manning the table or providing a visual item, please give me a call.

Now, on the some web sites I've found recently that might interest the Group.

From my favorite site, Lifehacker, comes "Most Popular Chrome Extensions and Posts of 2013".

Next is "How to Stop Your Smartphone from Constantly Tracking Your Location"

Nine Windows 8.1 Features You Might Have Overlooked

How To: Password Protect Your Android (Only) When Away From Home

I'm sure you find sites that provide interesting information that others would find useful.  Let me know about them and I'll post links on this site.

See you on Wednesday in the Prickly Pear Room.