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Topics - Lena

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Internet / Verizon FiOS, M1424 WR Rev D router, and Landzdown
« on: June 02, 2011, 06:43:09 PM »
Will try to make this as brief as possible since I'm using my phone. A few weeks ago, I could no longer access Landzdown through my FiOS router and thought the site had died. After a lot of trying various ways to pinpoint the fault, I'm convinced it's Verizon's problem, not mine. Cannot access Landzdown with my desktop or my laptop or my smartphone on Wifi, using my M1424 WR Rev D router, but obviously can access Landzdown on my smartphone using 3G. My daughter in another town cannot access Landzdown on the same model router through her FiOS. My next door neighbor can access Landzdown Through his FiOS using a newer router, Actiontec M1424 WR Gen2-E.
Seems to me the issue is with Verizon's outdated router and a change that was made on Verizon's end several weeks ago.
Anyone having similar issues?
I've reset my router four times, flushed computer, etc. Please don't point the finger at me. Done all I can do to prove it ain't my fault. Explain why daughter and son with same setup have same problem
insight needed

Jokes / Bad Economy
« on: February 15, 2010, 05:23:13 PM »
The economy is getting so bad that in New York City, the Mafia had to lay off five judges.

In the past few months we have purchased a new laptop and then a new desktop (HP, Vista) which came with a 90 day trial of Norton Internet Security 2009.  While I had been under the impression that Norton products were slow, bloated and took up a lot of computer resources, I had read in another forum (and I can't find the post) where an 'expert' on such software now thinks this new Norton product is fast, reliable and does not bog down the computer.  Read a very positive and thorough review of NIS2009 in PC mag. 

While I had been happy with Avast! and other freebies, I thought I'd look into purchasing Norton.  Online, they wanted $69.99 for one year.  But wait!  That allowed for use on up to three computers per household.  (How so they determine if all three computers are in the same household?)  So $35 each to protect two computers in this household for a year; not bad.  Almost bit.  Decided to wait.  Then I happened to be at Costco and saw the software for $49.99.  Even better.  But wait!  There is a coupon in my November flyer for $20 off the Norton Internet Security 2009 package.  $29.99 for three computers for one year.  Such a deal!

The Norton trial had expired on the laptop and was removed and replaced by Avast.  Upon installation of Norton, the first thing it did was to find Avast and tell me it was incompatible (even though I had turned it off) and instructed me to remove it.  I did.  Installation proceeded flawlessly.  Ran the update program and it is working fine.  In the background.  Peace of mind.  No more daily pop-ups (aka Avast) telling me the program has been updated. 

Updating the desktop was even easier.  Just plug in the product key to the "trial" version and I'm good to go for a year.

If the third user (my daughter) is not in this household, is that cheating?

It will be interesting to see if anything gets through Norton.  Avast wasn't perfect. 

About a month ago, I finally succumbed to the temptation to buy an LCD monitor to replace the six year old behemoth CRT that took up half the space on my desk.  The CRT was working fine, and it is against my religion to replace anything that is still working, but the temptation (the price!) was too hard to resist.  Then I got the urge to add more RAM to my six year old machine to see if it would speed up the performance.   I had been chugging along on 248MB and a program I found and ran told me I could put as much as 2 GB of RAM on the motherboard.  Prices on memory have dropped significantly, and two 1 GB modules could be had for a total of $60.  Such a deal.   :dance:

I was up to the challenge to open my computer and insert the new RAM modules.  While in there, I thought it would be a good time to clean out the dust bunnies.  Some compressed air in a can that I use around the sewing machine would work.  But to get the stuff that was stuck between the fins of the heat sink for the CPU, I decided to remove the fan and heat sink.  Little did I know that if one removes the heat sink, one should replace the thermal grease that makes sure there is good thermal conductivity between the chip and the heat sink.   :thud:

I put everything back together and turned the computer on, and it recognized the new RAM and started working beautifully.  Much faster boot up.  Much faster shutdown.  Faster everything.  What a difference! :mitch:

A few days later, after a long time playing on the computer, the display went completely out of sync and looked like a TV that someone had just ripped the wires off the antenna.  A lot of hash.  Forced a shutdown of the computer and it came back on working fine.  For the next several days, this problem popped up once or twice a day.  Won't bore you with all the things I tried to determine the problem, but after being fairly certain is was not the monitor, and reapplying thermal grease to the CPU heat sink, and installing another fan, my son suggested that I re-seat the memory modules, since one was in a connector that had never been used before, and the contacts were probably a bit tarnished.  So I wiggled and jiggled and pushed the modules in and out several times and re-locked them in place.  Voila!  :thumbsup:   No more berzerk screen.  It may take a while before I am 100% positive we found the problem, but in the last three days of intensive use, everything has been fine.  My son is a genius!   :goodie:

But there is a corollary to this story that might be of interest.  When the computer went haywire for the last time, I threw my hands up in disgust and decided it was time to go back to that office supply superstore whose name I won't mention but will identify it with the initials OD.  I had seen a computer there that had a $80 MIR good until the end of the month.  All the other tech stores in my area had the exact computer for the exact same price, but OD had the rebate and no restocking fee.  When I had looked at the computer there previously, a salesman promptly showed up and told me about the extended warranty.  I said I wasn't interested.  As if he hadn't heard me, he continued telling me how much it cost and what it covered.  I said I wasn't interested in purchasing a computer that day.  He left.  So on the day I decided to spring for a new computer, I went straight to the asile where the desktop sat, grabbed a ticket for that machine and took it to the cashier.  No salesman is going to collar me with that extended warranty spiel.  The cashier promptly takes my ticket and calls the stock room to retrieve the computer.  Then she starts in about the extended warranty.  I said NO, I don't want it.  She says it costs $125 for two years coverage (which is really one year because the manufacturer's warranty covers the first).  I said NO, I don't want it.  She tells me how this will cover damage if I spill coffee on the keyboard or something happens that the manufacturer refuses.  I say I don't want it.  She looks at her chart again and says the cost is $75 for two years and I really should get it.  I say NO, I don't want it.  She asks me again, are you sure you don't want this coverage?  I turned away and walked out of OD emptyhanded. 

I can't figure out what part of the word NO that <expletive deleted> didn't understand.   :smash:

So I'm driving home feeling smug that I didn't scream in her face and just calmly walked out, and decided to give my old machine another shot.  And that's when my boy genius piped up about the possible connector contact corrosion, which seems to be the fix I needed. 

I'm back on the computer Googling to find out what others think of those extended warranties, and seem to be coming up with a mixed bag of results.  Some buy them all the time and cite examples where the warranties have saved them plenty.  Others are against them and can cite equally compelling arguments that they are too costly.  Initially, OD wanted the equivalent of 22% of the cost of my computer to warrant it for a second year.  When I balked, they dropped it to 13%.  Seems like a high rate for insurance.   :2cents:

Then it dawned on me.  In my vast collection of credit cards, I have one whose name I won't mention but use the initials AE, that offers for free an extended warranty on all purchases up to one extra year.  So if the warranty offered by the manufacturer is two years, AE extends the coverage for the third year.  If 90 days, AE gives another 90 days.  The limit is no extension on warranties five years or longer.  So for free, had I purchased that computer with my AE credit card, I'd have that coverage for the second year.  $125 or $75 vs. free from AE.  Try telling me that the extended warranty offered by OD isn't a rip-off. 

I'm glad I wasn't aware of that warranty offered by AE at the time I was being hassled by the clerk at OD.  I might have made an unnecessary, expensive purchase to replace a working computer, which, as you know, is against my religion.   :cheers2:

LandzDown Lounge / Common things kids don't know
« on: October 06, 2008, 11:51:45 AM »
You probably know some kids today who have never seen a black and white TV (except for the occasionsl re-run or commercial in B&W).  And certainly there are many kids who have never milked a cow, split firewood, saddled a horse or got water in a bucket from a well.  But it is interesting to find some of the things that mature adults don't think twice about, and kids (young adults included) have no clue how to use. 

A friend of ours bought their daughter a used car, and after driving it around for a while, the teenager could not figure out how to get the windows down.  She had never been in a car before without power windows!  Had no idea what those crank handles on the inside of the door were for.  Thank goodness they didn't buy her a stick shift.  Or a car without power steering.

Our grandchildren are not sure which faucet is for hot water and which is for cold, because in their house, all the faucets are single levers. 

How many kids have never used a rotary dial phone?

We could probably ask the same question about dial-up Internet access.

How many kids know how to turn a TV on or off WITHOUT a remote?

I'm glad to see the demise of fountain pens and encyclopedia salesmen.  I love to have access to a calculator almost anywhere, but worry about kids who can't do any math in their heads.

Can the young'uns still read a mercury thermometer, or does it have to be digital?  While I prefer a digital watch and am amazed at how many analog watches are still being sold, I wonder if kids will eventually forget how to read a clock with hands. 

Do kids remember bikes without 15 gears?  Roller skates?  Playing unorganized sand lot baseball WITHOUT adults coaching and running (ruining) the game?

Our icemaker started to leak, so we just took it out and replaced it with an ice tray and a bucket.  Our granddaughter (10) had no idea how to 'make' ice. 

I'm all for progress, but I think we are forgetting to teach kids some of the basics. 

Got any anecdotes about common things that kids don't know how to do?

LandzDown Lounge / Shopped for new computer, monitor
« on: September 15, 2008, 11:12:55 AM »
I may like to shop 'til I drop, but shopping for a new computer is not my forte'.  Confusing to say the least.  Laptop?  Desktop?  Laptop? Desktop?  Hard to choose.  Prices not that much different when the specs are about the same.  Replacing a laptop with a broken hinge, already have a desktop, so I went for the laptop. Portability, just in case I'd ever need it.  HP.  Bought at Costco because of their 2 year warranty,  90 day return policy and no restocking fee, vs. Micro Center, Best Buy and Circuit City with 15 day return and 15% restocking fee.  Costco, pay the price and take it home.  MC, BB or CC, file for the rebate, fend off add ons, setup fees, insurance, extended warranties.  No thanks. 

And then there was the dilemma of sticking with my old CRT or springing for a new LCD for the desktop.  Prices down, quality up on LCDs, but the CRT works fine.  Don't need the space behind the screen that the CRT takes.  But is sitting in front of a cathode ray gun for hours on end messing with my eyes?  Would an LCD provide a nicer display than the tube?  You bet it does.  Broke down and bought a ViewSonic (at Costco) 19" wide screen, replaces the 19" CRT, updated the video card driver, 1680 x 1050 resolution, can see more of the webpage than before and still see the desktop icons.  Print is smaller, but I can still read it at an arms length away. 

Wow! Is that new laptop fast, compared to the old one!  More memory than the BH will ever need for email and surfing.  Vista isn't too difficult to learn, either.  Got a trial of Norton, but will load Avast!, SpywareBlaster, SuperAntispyware and CCleaner ASAP.  I even figured out how to set up the wireless card.  Maybe there is some hope for those of us who are technically challenged, as the geeks of the computer world are realizing they have to make computers user friendly for the non-technical folks as well. 

As soon as the laptop connected to the Internet, Microsoft said there were 28 updates to be installed.  All but one were successful.  KB936181  Apparently it failed for lots of folks.  A Google search turns up lots of questions about it.  Too confusing now to figure out what to do.  Any ideas would be appreciated. 

I wish computers weren't so confusing.

Internet / http vs. https for email
« on: August 23, 2008, 04:27:34 PM »
An article in WebMonkey points out the necessity of using Gmail's newly available SSL feature and warns against using other email providers that do not have this feature.  Gmail users have the option to select https only for their accounts.
How serious is the threat of being hacked by using an email service without the SSL feature?  Or with the SSL feature?

Any opinions?

Internet / IE cannot open the Internet site .... Sitemeter bug
« on: August 02, 2008, 09:06:50 PM »
If you are using IE and you get the "IE cannot open...." message on a few sites (not every site), there's a good chance that the website is using Sitemeter, which has (had) a bug causing the problem.  (I ran into it earlier today on Corrine's Security Garden, but it seems to be fixed now).  If you must get to the problematic website, try another browser.

Just a warning (delete if inappropriate)
Prior to any online activity this morning, I started Spywareblaster and checked for updates
Spywareblaster noted a new version, must go to javacool to get it.
Went to javacool to update Spywareblaster from 4 to 4.1
Suggested download sites, chose MajorGeeks
Selected first site on list (FL)
Immediately after download, Avast detected virus.
Coincidence?  Site infected?

Security Software Programs / Zone Alarm removal
« on: March 21, 2008, 03:54:47 PM »
I was considering removing Zone Alarm Firewall (v. 7.0.462.000) from my computer (XP-SP2) and just using the Windows firewall (behind a router). (FiOS).  But I read some horror stories from folks having problems from not being able to access the Internet afterwards, to being unable to reinstall Zone Alarm.

 Some of these post are old and I wonder if the un-install problems still persist. 

I had removed Zone Alarm from my daughter's computer a few months ago when it seemed to interfere with her computer accessing her wireless router, and there were no problems in doing so.  (This was before I read all the chaos folks were having attempting an uninstall of ZA)  I just printed out three pages of instructions on how to remove Zone Alarm and all its residuals and don't feel comfortable going through all those steps; I'd rather leave the beast lie. 

Is removing Zone Alarm just a matter of going to the Control Panel, to RemoveAdd programs and click to uninstall Zone Alarm, or is there a problem with TrueVector Internet Monitor and other nasty things left in the startup folder and registry?

Thanks for any help.

Jokes / The pregnant blonde
« on: February 11, 2008, 09:21:23 PM »
This is an absolutely true story but it makes a good blonde joke.  My nephew's wife, a dizzy blonde, several months pregnant, goes to the doctor for a sonogram.  The doctor asks if she wants to know the sex of the baby.  She replies that if it's a boy, tell her, but if it's a girl, she doesn't want to know.   :smash:

LandzDown Lounge / Punxsutawney Phil 2008
« on: February 02, 2008, 10:44:35 AM »
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, so we will have six more weeks of winter.  Bummer.  48 more days until Spring.   :(

Jokes / Two Hillbillys
« on: January 11, 2008, 01:14:21 PM »
Two WV Hillbillys were in a tavern, drinking beer and talking about their moonshine stills.  A lady at a table nearby started coughing and gaging and they noticed she was in distress.  One hillbilly went over to her and asked if she could swaller.  She shook her head 'no'.  She started turning blue and the hillbilly asked if she could breathe.  Again, the lady shook her head 'no'.  So the hillbilly grabbed the lady by the back of her blouse, stood her up, yanked down her pants and licked her butt with his tongue.  The lady was so shocked, she coughed violently and dislodged the food that was stuck in her throat.  The hillbilly responded "I ain't never seen that hind-lick maneuver done before, but it sure does seem to work!"

LandzDown Lounge / A REAL Shopper
« on: December 26, 2007, 11:57:45 AM »
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A Wal-Mart shopper overstayed her welcome at the 24-hour store in Lilburn. Gwinnett County police escorted the shopper home after she stayed there for three days eating and sleeping inside the store.

.....because of all the shoppers, the woman was able to blend in with the carts, crowds and chaos and go unnoticed for 72 hours a week before Christmas. When asked by Wal-Mart employees why she was there for so long she simply said, 'I'm shopping.'

 :wasntme:  She beat my record.   :wasntme:   :hysterical:

LandzDown Lounge / Black Friday shopping
« on: November 24, 2007, 05:30:01 PM »
Lena always gets what she wants!   :gwave: :mitch:

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