Computer Variety

Our group has evolved from being a PC computer group to an ‘All things computer’ type of group. The notebooks coming to the meeting are mostly Windows, but Don brings a Mac, Steve has machines with a variety of Linux OS’s on them, I have my new acquisition, a Chromebook, and everyone has an Android or iPhone with them when we gather.

Our discussions are not limited to the computers, what they do is just as interesting. Using Office apps, working on websites, navigating with phones or enjoy gaming, that just touches the surface or our discussions. If you have questions about something or if you think you could help answer others questions you are invited to visit with us.

We often eat at the kiosks in the market so if your stomach growls at dinnertime there is a lot to enjoy.

Come join with us, 5:30pm Mondays, Fifth Street Market Food Court.

Keeping a WordPress Website

blogging blur business communication
Photo by Pixabay on

We’ve had a new guest the last few weeks who lost his website support and was unable to update his website. Most of our meetings attend to computer operation and web discoveries but we’ve had some fun problem solving WordPress managed websites.

WordPress operates about a quarter of all websites on the internet, quite an accomplishment for an open source project. The ability to add plugins for specific purposes makes it increasingly complex but the manner of troubleshooting it is fairly simple. One at a time turn off the plugins until the problem stops.

We’ll likely continue these talks in the next few weeks. If you have problems, or solutions, stop by and join us.

Computer Dust

These dust bunnies came from the fan box behind the hand

Three (or four, or five?) years ago my son gave me his HP notebook as he had just bought a better gaming notebook for himself. It’s still a great machine but I have to confess not taking care of it as I should have.

For some time now it has gotten pretty hot and become uncomfortable on my lap and my wife has complained it buzzes in her cochlear implant. I’ve known I should be blowing it out with canned air but haven’t had any so I never did.

I left it on for a few hours two days ago and when I came back to it, it was mostly locked up. I managed to get it to shut off and took out the battery and used a nearly empty can of air to blow it out.

I could see a little dust come out but nothing like I expected. The air can gave out and I tried firing the notebook back up. I walked away for the boot up so I was surprised when I came back and it was off. I tried again and watched it open to a black screen saying the fan was not working and I shouldn’t run it.

I went to a store and bought a fresh air can and blew it out again. This time I looked for the spin of the fan and listened to it. It wasn’t running and the error still came up at boot up. Now I know I’ll have to open it up.

I Googled instructions for opening this machine and in about thirty minutes and as many screws later I had its motherboard in hand. The last step was to take off the cooling fan guard but it refused to come off. I was able to open it enough to pull out the dust bunnies I picture here. They were obviously large enough to block the fan from operating and my first attempt at blowing them out must have moved them in the way rather than cleaning them out.

I worked backwards through the instructions and had the whole thing assembled and turned it on. The same fan error displayed and an ear to the box heard no sign of the fan. Thinking back through all I had done it occurred to me I unplugged the fan from the motherboard and must have forgotten to replug it. ARG!

An hour or so later I had the whole thing reopened and reassembled and now I am writing this with a comfortable lap and very little noise coming from the fan.

The lessons I am suggesting for you readers is make a regular habit of blowing out your fans before you have trouble. I am simply lucky I didn’t fry my processor long ago.

Microsoft: Beware this fake Windows BSOD from tech support scammers’ malware | ZDNet

Hicurdismos is a crafty example of an emerging tactic that’s having greater success at roping younger people into tech support scams. Instead of cold-calling would-be targets, scammers are using online pop-up ads and fake security warnings to encourage people to contact a bogus support center.

Source: Microsoft: Beware this fake Windows BSOD from tech support scammers’ malware | ZDNet

September 19, 2016 Gathering

dscn1213OK, it’s hard to call them meetings. Some come for the afternoon coffee, some have questions about their PC,Mac, Android or iphone workings, and some just with questions about the Internet in general.

There is a new sandwich shop at the Fifth Street Market (very good!) and we all have a good time.

If you have questions or if you have the answers, stop on by, 5:30 Monday at the upstairs Food Court at Fifth Street.

Holiday Post from Lare…

For reasons beyond just the season I will not be available at the Dec. 21 meeting but I found this offer and used it today and would suggest some others of us might benefit as well.

AVG   Christmas 2015 PC TuneUp offerAVG the virus protection program company also makes PC-Tuneup, a program like CCleaner (but more so) and normally sells it for about $50/year. I don’t usually recommend these types of programs because there are many free ways to get the same benefit, but the freebies can be more cumbersome. So when I saw an offer from AVG for a free one time use of their PC-Tuneup (if downloaded and used before Dec. 25) I tried it. It cleaned out gigs of files for me (mostly duplicate files, many videos) and has made my laptop faster. If you have time, the price is right.