2019 April e-Bytes

How to Find Out if Your Password Has Been Stolen
Does Windows 10's Security Boost Make Antivirus Obsolete?
macOS vs. Windows: Which OS Really Is the Best?
Apple TV+ Is the Death of Apple TV
Next for Windows 10: What to expect from the April 2019 Update
The Most Powerful and Flexible Office Suite Money Can Buy
Teenagers react to Windows 95, cannot imagine what their elders endured

How to Find Out if Your Password Has Been Stolen

Data breaches are a regular occurrence these days, but have hackers been digging around in your personal information? These tools will help you figure out if your online accounts have been compromised, and your email addresses and passwords stolen.

PCMag Picks the Best Password Managers - Still using your kid's birthday as your universal password? You're heading toward trouble. With a password manager, you can have a unique and strong password for every secure website. We've evaluated two dozen of the best password managers to help you choose.

Comment from Tom Kreuzer PCC Member: I use the free version on my PC, Andriod Phone, and iPad and love it.

Does Windows 10's Security Boost Make Antivirus Obsolete?

Microsoft has been steadily improving its much-maligned security tools. The question remains: Does the boost Windows 10 gets from recent improvements to its Windows Defender Security Center make it safe to run your PC without additional third-party antivirus?

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

When it comes to performance, security, specific tasks, and more, which of the two leading desktop operating systems reigns supreme? We break it down feature by feature.

Apple TV+ Is the Death of Apple TV

Pundits have been predicting Apple's takeover of TV for years, and with the launch of Apple TV+ it might finally be happening. Although we still don't know all the details, Apple seems intent on owning the TV experience and it is willing to spend a few billion on original programming to make it happen. More importantly, the company is willing to play nice with hardware vendors. Apple TV+ will work with Samsung, Sony, and Vizio TVs, as well as competitors like Amazon Fire TV and Roku. What does that mean for the old Apple TV box that has been carrying Apple's entertainment ambitions for the last 12 years? According to PCMag's Will Greenwald, nothing good.

Next for Windows 10: What to expect from the April 2019 Update

The next big feature update for Windows 10 is right around the corner, which means it's decision time for businesses that are still planning their upgrade strategy. Here's why this update might be different from its predecessors.

The Most Powerful and Flexible Office Suite Money Can Buy

The locally installed software version trumps even Microsoft's own Office 365 when it comes to stability and its one-time purchase model. Microsoft Office 2019 remains an Editors' Choice.

Teenagers react to Windows 95, cannot imagine what their elders endured

A good laugh at what we old timers went through with Windows 95 back in good old days.

Passionate About Right to Repair? The FTC Wants to Hear from You

From Mitch Stary PCC Member who thought this would be of interest to members.

Fixing whatever you own shouldn’t be an ordeal, but alas, companies don’t seem to want you repairing their products. The FTC has decided they have something to say about that and they want to hear from passionate minds like yours.

Links - News, Tips, & Downloads

Get Organized: How to Choose a Backup Plan You'll Actually Use - Do you know you need to back up your data, but have trouble coming up with a plan? Productivity expert Jill Duffy can help, with strategies for online and local backup aimed at lazy people, perfectionists, and everyone in between.

PCMag Picks the Best Printers - Whether you're looking for an inkjet printer, a fast-churning laser model, or a specialty printer for your home or office, here's all the buying advice you need to choose wisely and land the best printer for your needs.

22 Hidden Tricks Inside Windows 10 - Think you know Windows inside and out? These expert tips make Microsoft's Editors' Choice-winning operating system even better.

How to Tune Up Your Windows 10 PC for Free - With Windows 7, you definitely needed a tune-up utility. But if your Windows 10 PC has started to run slowly, our simple tips and tricks can whip it back into shape in no time, and they won't cost you a dime, because they're built right into the OS.

12 Tips to Troubleshoot Your Internet Connection - If you're experiencing lag while gaming or it takes forever to download music, the problem might be on your end. Before you call your ISP, try these easy router tips to get back online.

How to Create Your Own Alexa Skills Via Blueprints - Alexa Blueprints lets you create your own Amazon Alexa skill for customized stories, quizzes, and more. And now you can publish them on the Alexa Skills Store.

30 Tricks to Master Google Photos - Google Photos offers image editing, unlimited cloud storage, and more, for free. Here's everything you need to know about Google's photo-storage service.

PCMag Picks the Best Tune-Up Utilities - The right app can make a lethargic PC feel new again. These are the best tune-up utilities we've tested for breathing new life into your older Windows PC.

7 Best Free Apple TV Apps - Looking for some free content on Apple TV? Check out some these channels, and start streaming now.

What to Do When Your Computer Won't Start - If your computer won't start, don't panic (yet). Here are some troubleshooting steps to take when your computer fails to boot correctly.

6 new uses for your old iPad - Getting a new tablet? Before you sell the old one, consider putting it to use in other ways.

Get Organized: 20 Tips for Working From Home - Working remotely can be hugely rewarding, but only if you keep your productivity up, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and nurture your business relationships. Productivity expert Jill Duffy shows you how be more productive when you are working from home.

PCMag Picks the Best Photo Editing Software - Whether you're a casual smartphone shooter or a pro using a DSLR, you need software to get the most out of your images. We show you how to pick the best photo editing software for your needs.

PCMag Picks the Best Mac Apps - Whether you're a Mac newcomer or seasoned veteran, these apps will make your macOS experience more fun and productive.

10 Ways to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal - Check out these quick and easy tips to boost the signal from your router, extend and optimize your Wi-Fi coverage, and speed up your surfing.

The Best Cheap Cell Phone Plans You've Never Heard Of - There are a lot of options beyond the big four phone carriers in the US. If you're looking to save money, these lesser-known plans might be the ticket.

Ask a Question


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


Q. From a PCC Member - I have been having trouble with the power connection on my phone.  It does not charge unless the plug is positioned just right. I have tried several chargers with the same experience.  Also, the battery is lucky to last the whole day.  I only use the phone to make calls, check and respond to emails plus google something occasionally.  I noticed Republic has an offer for a phone a Moto g6 but am uncertain if I need this level of quality.  Then I am not sure how to move everything on this phone to a newer model?  Can you suggest a model that might fit what my needs seem to be?
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. Sounds like your current phone has trouble with the power connection. Usually a different cable may work better. As far as the battery not lasting the whole day, you can check under Setting\Battery to see which apps and services are using the most. Apps running in the background doing downloads like news, mail, facebook, messenger, podcasts, fitness trackers, GPS, and many many others will use battery even when you are not using them. Some can be turned off or down in their settings. Also, if you are not connected to WiFi or Bluetooth it is still constantly seeing what networks and devices are available. Another drain is if your phone is using 3G for non WiFi phone calls. Link to info on battery tips: https://medium.com/@lauren.c.stephen/13-tips-to-extend-the-lifespan-of-your-phone-battery-16c2af5ca59f 

Also see the PCC Past Meeting for March 2018 on How to Make Your SmartPhone/Tablet Battery Last Longer by Chuck Scott. https://sites.google.com/site/theminingpcc/past-meeting-files 

Batteries tend to lose power over time and over charges. Some say about 1,000 charges which is about 3 years of charging the phone every day. If it was an expensive phone that cost $500+, it can be worth it to replace the battery. If not buy a new phone. 

Any phone will work with basic features for you. More money usually means a better camera, battery, faster CPU, more memory, etc. The Moto g6 Play $199 looks good for your needs and has a big battery. It is better than the E5 Play for $129, and not as good as the new g7 $299 with more memory etc. There is a shipping charge for each phone.

As far as moving to the new phone it should be easy since your old phone is still working. When you get the new phone and run the install it will ask if you have an old phone and can copy the accounts and apps from the old to the new. You will still have to enter some account info and settings for apps, but it saves a ton of time. Also, the Republic install will ask if you want the phone number and plan from the old phone transferred to the new. In less than an hour total your new phone will be up and running.

Q. From a PCC Member - Any experience with "WifiBlast Extender"?
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member.  I do not use an extender, so I do not have experience with the WiFi Extender. In the handout for the March 2019 Home Network meeting, I listed a link to PC Mag recommendations: https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/353474/the-best-wireless-range-extenders 

Another good site is Tom's Guide: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-wifi-extenders,review-2225.html  

I did a quick Google search and found the specs for the WiFiBlast Extender and it only supports up to 802.11n and 2.4 GHz. As I said in the presentation your WiFi should support 802.11ac and both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. It would be like buying a PC today with WIndows 7 that was current 10 years ago.

Not sure what problems you have with your current WiFi or if a new/better main router might fix the problem and not need an extender. Also, if you buy from a local store, you should be able to return a new router or extender if it does not do what you need it to do.

Q. From a PCC Member - What brand of laptop do you recommend? Also, any password manager you recommend?
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. I recommend HP laptops. Below is the market share for 2018.
Rank  Manufacturer  Market share
1 Lenovo 22.5%
2 HP 21.7%
3 Dell 16.2%
4 Apple 6.9%
5 Acer 6.1%
6 Asus 6.0%

For Windows 10 I recommend at least 8 GB Ram. More if you want to do video and games. How big a drive depends on what your current needs are for photo, video, and documents. Some laptops come with SSD "Solid State Drive" that do not hold much, but the battery lasts longer. If you do not have many files or plan to use the "Cloud" they can work great. For a laptop you next need to decide the size and type of display. Bigger the display the less portable and less battery. Depends on your needs. The type has to do with touch, resolution/video quality "4K", size in inches, etc.  Other factors like battery life, ports (hdmi, vga, usb), DVD, camera quality for video, and weight to carry or balance on lap. Cpu (i3 -i5 -i7). If you just browse the web and most functions, you will only be saving fractions of a second between and i3 and i7. For functions that use lots of cpu like edit/render a video a slow i3 might take 20 minutes to save where a fast i7 might take 10 seconds.

Try a laptop in store at Best Buy, Walmart, Staples, etc. to make sure the display and keyboard will work for you, you do not want to be surprised. Check prices online.

For a password manager I use the free version of LastPass on my desktop, laptop, Andriod phone, and Apple Tablet.

Q. From a PCC Member - Both Century Link and Comcast charge top dollar for land phones, as we all know. Does anyone have experience with replacing your land line and your extension phones with a cell phone-based Bluetooth system from V Tech, Motorola or other companies? 
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. I have done that for the last 10 years and highly recommend it. This is how I use mine.

I have a Panasonic unit with one base and 3 remote units that I think I paid about $75 six years ago. I supports bluetooth links to 2 cell phones. Pair it to your phones and it works perfect. For incoming It will show which phone it is from and the caller ID name for most calls. For outgoing calls you can select which phone to use.  I did not like it connecting every time I stepped into my house, so I put the base on a power strip. I leave the base off until I am home for the day and plug in my phone to charge it. Bluetooth has a range of up to 30 feet, I charge my phone next to the base. It works great.

Decide the number of phones you need and other features. I would buy from Amazon or Walmart. I have gotten refurbished items that were half off.

If you find you need a land line, I would recommend a VOIP which is voice over your internet connection. MagicJack sells the device for $35 and includes 12 months of service and then you pay $39 year.

Any question give me a call.