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.
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.
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.
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 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.
It’s December already! I lost a month after my wife’s stroke but she is doing pretty well so I wonder what we might do at a meeting to celebrate the season. As a group of Geeks I would assume we would do something computery, but what could it be. Does anyone have some thoughts?
I’ve thought of giving away used Androids setup to work with WiFi and all the Google programs including Voice/Hangout which gives it a free phone number for voice and text.