2018 December e-Bytes

Microsoft Re-Releasing Windows 10 October Update for All
macOS vs. Windows: Which OS Really Is the Best?
Tech Gifts
Online Data Protection 101: Don't Let Big Tech Get Rich Off Your Info
Parental Control Software You Can Trust
Hit Games Make More Money Than Hit Movies
5G What is it?

Microsoft Re-Releasing Windows 10 October Update for All

Microsoft paused the rollout in early October after 'a very small number of users' lost files after installing it. The software giant now says it has fixed the issue, but will take its time to roll out the new version to ensure users don't experience any known problems.

macOS vs. Windows: Which OS Really Is the Best?

Most people choose an operating system and never look back. For Mac users, the idea of running Windows seems unthinkable. For Windows users, the Mac should be reserved for artists and designers. The truth is, both operating systems have come a long way and you owe it to yourself to at least consider the benefits of each. PCMag's Micheal Muchmore works—and tests—on both platforms. These are his completely unbiased insights.

Tech Gifts

24 Must-Have Tech Gifts Under $50 - You don't have to spend a fortune on a cool tech gift. For tech-savvy friends and family, there are a number of gifts in the $50 range.

21 Top Tech Gifts Under $100

The Best Tech We Bought in 2018 - The PCMag staff bought a lot of tech over the last 12 months. Here are our favorite devices and gadgets.

24 Geeky Gifts for the Nerd in Your Life - Get that special dork a gift a nerdy as they are this holiday season. Here are two dozen top choices.

Great gifts: 5 best TV streaming devices of 2018

Online Data Protection 101: Don't Let Big Tech Get Rich Off Your Info

More of your data is available for the taking than you might imagine. Personal information is the currency on which much of the internet depends. It's gathered everywhere, often without your knowledge, and it effectively pays the bills on many free services and apps we take for granted. Here's a primer with the best ways to secure your digital privacy and tips for taking back control of your info.

Remove yourself from people search sites and erase your online presence - Here is a step-by-step guide to reducing your digital footprint online, whether you want to lock down data or vanish entirely.

How Companies Turn Your Data Into Money

Parental Control Software You Can Trust

Modern kids have never known a time when they couldn't connect to the entire world via the internet. If you are a parent, this presents a problem, as there are explicit, disturbing, and illegal sites on the web that you don't want your kids to encounter.

Hit Games Make More Money Than Hit Movies

You might think, based on Hollywood's hard work and even harder marketing, that only big movies make millions. Video games are where the really big money flows.

5G What is it?

The Why Axis: Most People Don't Know What 5G Is - But when they learn that the next-generation of wireless network technology is expected to deliver faster data speeds, lower wait times, and improved reliability and may become a replacement for their home internet, consumers are happy to learn about it.

5G and the promise of a smart home makeover - 5G has the potential to reduce complexity and improve performance across the smart home. But not every company is ready to talk about it.

Links - News, Tips, & Downloads

Still Watching Live TV? Try Amazon's Fire TV Recast - The Amazon Fire TV Recast adds live broadcast television viewing and recording to your Fire TV or mobile device, without a subscription.

14 Tips for Safe Online Shopping - Billions of dollars will be spent online in the next month and while most transactions will be uneventful, online shopping security is not a given. These tips can help.

12 Simple Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online -If you've never been the victim of a breach, count yourself lucky, but don't let your luck lead you to complacency.

Hidden iOS 12.1 iPhone shortcuts and tricks you need to know

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Is THE Ebook Reader to Buy Now - Sascha Segan has been loving the new $130 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite since he first got his hands on our review unit. Amazon pretty much owns the ebook reader market and that dominance has to lead to some complacency. The company hasn't updated the line in more than three years! But the new version is worth the wait. It's waterproof, easy to read, and will even play audiobooks over Bluetooth. With a solid balance of price and features, it's a great gift pick for ebook lovers this holiday season. And if you already own a Kindle check our tips for getting more for your money.

Should you buy a refurbished iPad? - Buying a refurb can save you a bunch of money, but buying from the right place will save your sanity.

How to Recover Deleted Files From an Online Storage Site - Need to track down and recover a file that was previously deleted? Whether you use Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, or Microsoft OneDrive, there are ways to get your files back.

The 100 Best Android Apps of 2018 - The Google Play Store's 2.6 million app count is staggering. With so many apps available, it can be challenging to determine which of them are worth a download. Here's what you want.

Venmo scam draining bank accounts. As Paul Ebert said at the June 2018 PCC Meeting, set a Venmo PIN to prevent this.

How much of your life goes down the drain on Facebook? - You probably don't want to know, but it's a good idea that you do.

Block Robocalls - YouMail Robocall Blocker & Voicemail. Cost is free with premium services for $5-$10 to enhance your voice mailbox capabilities.

Taking multiple medications? - Enter the names to discover interactions and what you can do.

Ask a Question


Send any Tips & Downloads, Ask a Question, For Sale, or articles to:  TheMiningPCC@gmail.com


Q. From a PCC Member - Please put me on the Mac SIG mailing list. I want to bring a question to the meeting on how to get rid of "fw.adsafeprotect.com" that has crept onto my MacBook Pro late 2013 Retina unit.
A. From Mike Griffin, a PCC Board member and Mac SIG leader. I have added you to the Mac SIG email. Here is one path you may choose to follow to eliminate the “adsafeprotect.com…” files.

If you would like to be added to the Mac SIG mailing, contact Mike Griffin. Meetings are held the third Friday of every month in building 201. Check the web site for future meetings.

Q. From a PCC Member - Tom, Finally have all the electronics working in this AZ home. CenturyLink was a huge problem. When we left in May to come back to MN we went to the CenturyLink office nearby and were counseled to cancel our contract down here. Putting it on vacation hold costs $11/mo. Not good advice and we did not do that in MN recently but just put the modem on vacation. Canceling the contract means a new phone number for the WiFi modem and when restarting CenturyLink automatically sent me a new modem plus have a tech come out to the house. Just returned the modem yesterday. We were not here when the tech came. Anyway, since were had issues with the modem before we left AZ the tech at the CenturyLink office gave us a new modem. So we used that modem and of course everything connecting to it needed to be changed to the new password. It took about 10 days for me to get it all going including DirectTV Now. Incidentally, this is one of the best things I learned in the past few years and you gave us the idea in the article you wrote for the Computer Club.

My next project is to get all photos in one place. I still use Picasa 3. Trouble is that even with a USB connected to my Android I cannot figure out how to get those photos over to Picasa 3. I Googled it but the directions are rather difficult to follow. Can you suggest an easier route?

Thanks for your great help. Wish we could get rid of the CenturyLink modem.

A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. Glad you got things working. You can view in the PCC Past Meetings info about modems, routers, and WiFi. I recommend you buy a separate modem and WiFi router and not use or lease the combo modem/router. Then you will setup the WiFi with any password you want.

If you have not been using Picasa 3 on the PC, I would recommend you just use Google Photos and skip Picasa. First load the Google Photos app on your phone and it will automatically backup photos and video and make them available on any device. I talked about it at the Aug 2017 PCC Meeting. https://sites.google.com/site/theminingpcc/past-meeting-files 

If you still want to use Picasa and copy files from your phone do the following. In order to copy files from or to your phone you need to use your phones USB cable and plug it into the Phone and PC. Then depending on the phone and security on it you may to login to your phone and then on your phone turn on "Transfer files". My Moto 5G phone by default is only "Charging" when it is plugged in. I need to unlock the phone and then on the phone pull down the top "system menu to see" an entry below: Android System USB charging this device Tap for more options I then push the "Tap for more options" and then select "Transfer files" from the list. After doing that, your phone should like any other USB storage device where you can see all the folders and file on the phone in File Manager.

Once the phone is connected and ready for file transfer you can view the youtube below about the Picasa 3 import: 

The Member responds - All photos are now in Google Photos. I assume this is saving all of them in the cloud. Joining all was easy with your help.

We own the CenturyLink modem so have no lease after the modem they sent was returned. We are at 40 gigs, found out in MN that even 12 is good enough. Can you tell us why we would buy a different modem (if so which one is best) and how this would work when CenturyLink is sending the signal? Also, wish I knew how to reduce the cost ($45/mo) of CenturyLink.

Tom Kreuzer responds - Google Photos uses the Google Cloud. If you want, you can select one or all of the Google Photos and download them to your computer. If multiple photos are chosen, the file downloaded is a .ZIP file. This provides you with another level of backup.

In past PCC Meetings I have talked about Home Networking that you can lockup if you want. If everything is working for you, I would not change anything. Sounds like the device you have is a combination Modem/Router. A Modem is a device that takes the CenturyLink signal and converts it to an Ethernet signal. The Router takes the Ethernet signal and provides WiFi and multiple Ethernet ports for hard wire connections. Routers come from many vendors, speeds, security, prices, and features. They range from $20 to $500 with most around $80. If you have trouble with your connection being too weak or not fast enough, you can try a better Router. CenturyLink decides which Modems it will support and when people need to upgrade them ( usually about every 5 years). New/better Routers come out every year and the average person should upgrade maybe every 3-5 years. A Router works with an Ethernet connection so it would work for CenturyLink, Xfinity, Comcast, or anything.

The $45/mo is about average. One way to reduce it, is to call CenturyLink and ask for the new user prices which may be $29/mo for a year or two. The other is to switch to Xfinity and get their new user price for a year. Your CenturyLink Modem/Router would not work with Xfinity, so you would need new devices. Switching can be a hassle.

Starting in 2019 and into 2020 you will see 5G Internet options that will provide Internet that will not require a fiber or cable into your home. This would use a Modem that would receive a 5G signal like your phone currently does for 4G and be high speed. We will see what the price is and at what speed.

Q. From a PCC Member - I have had a Kindle Fire tablet for about 5 years or so. I am looking to upgrade, but I don’t need a high end iPad for $500/$600. Can you suggest a good up-to-date tablet for around $200 or under?
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. The best tablet for you is one that fits your needs and budget which only you can answer. Below is info from a presentation I did on "Selecting a Tablet" for the December 2013 PCC. I have updated it a little below.

Tablet Features

  • Price - $39 to $1500+. Your total cost should include accessories like keyboards, memory, case, etc.
  • Operating System/OS and version - iOS 12.0 (Apple), Android 9.0 (Google), and Windows 10 (Microsoft). Many old tablets can not run the new OSs version. I have seen models sold today at can only run Android 4.4 which then limits the apps it can run.
  • Apps – Make sure the apps you need are available on the OS and version you will have. 
  • Screen Size – 6" to 13" diagonally. How do you plan to use? Watch movies at home? Portable? In purse? Indoors vs outdoors?  What size is your Smartphone? Resolution Pixels? Video (720, 1080, 4K)? Aspect ratio 4:3 or 16:9 widescreen. Check viewing angles and coatings (scratches and cleaning). Like Goldielocks, you do not want something too small or too big, you want it just right.
  • Memory (Device or Cloud based) - 8 to 64 GB on device. Cloud only works when you have a connection to Internet. Can you add external SD memory? Space needs depend on the number of photos, videos, MP3s, applications, etc. you need stored locally on your tablet. 60 minutes of MP3s take about 60MB. 60 minutes of 1080p video takes about 2.6 GB.
  • Wi-Fi and Cellular (3G - 4G LTE) – Cellular adds $130 and monthly fees. Where will you use the tablet, only at home, coffee shop, work, or on the road? Do you have a smartphone with a hotspot to use? All support Wi-Fi with at least 802.11n at 2.4GHz, some dual channel, MIMO, and 5GHz.
    Other Connectivity – Airplay (Apple devices share), Bluetooth (peripherals like keyboard, speakers, or peer to peer sharing)
  • User Input - Virtual keyboard (touch screen), Physical Keyboard (cost? wired?), Voice "Siri", or Stylus.
  • Battery life - iPad gets 8-10 hours depends on what is running. Video playback, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth all draw more. How fast to charge.
  • Camera - None, front, rear. Used for Skype/Facetime. photos. and video. Camera quality (features and megapixels). Video quality (resolution 720p, 1080p, 4K, 4:3, 16:9 HD).
  • GPS/Digital Compass – Used for location info, maps, and directions.
  • Weight - Consider how and where you will use. Around the house, holding for long periods, in bed, etc.  Thickness can also be a factor for holding.
  • Ports - USB, HDMI, SD or microSD
  • Processor - Single, dual, quad (games). Speed 800MHz to 5GHz. 32 bit or 64 bit. RAM memory 512 MB on up.

Things to Consider

  • Any tablet can do content consumption like browse the Web, check e-mail, Facebook, or watch movies.
  • To replace a laptop for some content creation, you usually want a big screen and keyboard. Do you need to run Windows software like Office?
  • To read books, buy a Kindle Paperwhite $120. Weighs less, easier to read outdoors or in low light (E-Ink), and battery lasts 8 weeks on charge.
  • Buy an iPad if you own other Apple devices like a Mac, iPhone, Apple TV, or have friends or family with Apple products. 
  • New models are released every year to two. Stores close out old models. Check OS version. iPad, iPad 2, iPad Air, etc.
  • Check reviews online at sites like www.CNet.Com
  • Try the ergonomics in a store before you buy to make sure the size, weight, touch screen are right for you.
  • Like a smartphone, plan to replace your tablet in 2-3 years.

Link to PCMag best tablets:

Link to Cnet best budget tablets:

You can find old or discontinued models on sites like Walmart and Amazon which can be half of their original price and may be all you need.

For a basic tablet you can find the 10" Amazon on sale for $99 and the 7" for $29.

Q. From a PCC Member Mitch Stary - Look what 3M did! http://www.dvq.com/ads/3m_dm_4-70.jpg Too bad no one brought one of these to the PCC meeting on Old Tech. Found on this page: http://www.dvq.com/oldcomp/oldads.htm On this site: http://www.dvq.com/index.html 
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. Thanks for the links to the old 3M microfilm/microfiche. I remember the old days at 3M about 40 years ago when when we printed many reports to fiche. The complete monthly 3M sales report when printed on paper was over 125 boxes of paper with 2500 pages per box.

Mitch's reply - In the 1980s I worked at the Stillwater plant (back then it was Press On, an independent contractor for the Automotive Division), where we would retrieve ink formulas from the Nevada plant’s mainframe with a 3M Whisper Writer (300 baud) that printed onto thermal paper. It fascinated me, watching the text appear silently from under the scanning print head.