2020 January e-Bytes

How to Add Emergency Info to Your Phone's Lock Screen
Don't wait for another Equifax data breach. Your password could already be on the dark web
Ready to Ditch Cable? 5 Tips for Cutting the Cord
The PC was supposed to die a decade ago. Instead, this happened
The Why Axis: The Best Wireless Plans for iPhone Users
Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera or Safari: Which Browser Is Best?
6 rules for buying tech gifts that you should never break
Which CPU Should You Buy? Intel Core i5 vs. i7

How to Add Emergency Info to Your Phone's Lock Screen

This one tech trick could save your life. Here's how to make sure you and your family have emergency medical information and contact numbers readily available.

Don't wait for another Equifax data breach. Your password could already be on the dark web

By the time a company tells you your data's been stolen as part of a breach, your login credentials may already be on the dark web. Here's how to keep pace with the hackers.

Ready to Ditch Cable? 5 Tips for Cutting the Cord

Fed up with the costs and limitations of cable? Consider subscribing to a video-streaming service instead, and make the move seamless by following our cord-cutting tips.

The PC was supposed to die a decade ago. Instead, this happened

Back on January 27, 2010, a very Big Thinker declared the PC dead. A decade later, the PC is very much alive, although a time traveler from 2010 might not recognize it. Here's how this endangered species evolved and survived.

The Why Axis: The Best Wireless Plans for iPhone Users

Here's how you can figure out whether you should buy or finance and who's offering the best deal.

Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera or Safari: Which Browser Is Best?

You probably take your web browser for granted, but you have real options: Performance, feature sets, and privacy tools vary wildly among internet-surfing apps.

6 rules for buying tech gifts that you should never break

If you're not careful, your gift could do more harm than good.

Which CPU Should You Buy? Intel Core i5 vs. i7

When on the hunt for a new PC, one of the biggest considerations is the type of processor the system should have. Two of the CPU families most often in contention in mainstream systems are the Intel Core i5 and the Intel Core i7.

Links - News, Tips, & Downloads

Here's what will happen to your Windows 7 PC on January 15, 2020 - Microsoft is ready to push a full-screen warning to Windows 7 users who are still running the OS after January 14. The nag-screen payload is part of the December 10 Patch Tuesday monthly rollup.

The Best Tech Products of 2019 - Across 15 categories, among 2,000+ reviews, we present our annual collection of the finest products to pass through our lab doors this year. Just your luck: Our list of the best tech doubles as the ultimate holiday shopping list.

Facebook was the most-downloaded app of the decade - Social media dominated the 2010s' most-downloaded apps list.

15 Android Apps Actually Worth Paying For - Free apps are cool, but a few bucks can get you so much more. If you are looking to buy in the Google Play store, here are the best paid Android apps to put on your phone.

Fill Your New Android With These Top Apps - The Google Play store's staggering 2.7 million apps aren't all worth downloading. Our picks of the best Android apps in 14 top categories, on the other hand, deserve a place on your phone.

Best iPhone apps of 2019 - The best iPhone apps of the year changed the way we communicate, watch TV and play games.

Wi-Fi Range Extender vs. Mesh Network: What's the Difference? - Looking to increase the power of your current wireless connection? Learn the difference between a Wi-Fi extender and a mesh system to make a better decision.

The best Wi-Fi routers in 2019 - Your router is the unsung hero holding your smart home together. From mesh to gaming to Wi-Fi 6, here are the best we've tested, for every budget.

10 Ways to Set Up Your Wi-Fi for Guests - Can you survive the holidays without Wi-Fi? No you cannot. Here's how to prepare your network for guests and safely share your password with them.

This is what happens to your phone battery when you use a fast charger - We asked experts what fast chargers do to our phone's battery over time and how to extend its life. Here's what we learned.

PCMag's Best Products of the Year - From PCs, peripherals, and smart home tech to apps, games, and well beyond, in 16 top categories, these are the very best products we've tested all year. It's the ultimate holiday gift guide for the most deserving tech lovers on your list.

Netflix alternatives: 10 best for streaming free movies - There are tons of movies (and TV shows) you can watch without spending a penny.

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

SSD vs. HDD: What's the Difference? - Do you like your storage cheap and plentiful, or fast and safe? Here's how to choose between a traditional hard drive and a solid-state drive in your next PC.

Ask a Question


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


Q. From a PCC Member - Asked what I recommended for a Mobile Phone plan.
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. The service I use Republic Wireless: https://republicwireless.com/  I have a plan with unlimited talk and text and 1 GB of data per month. I pay for the year which works out to less than $20 per month with all fees and taxes. 

If they do not need Internet/data the best thing might be to just a Trac Phone and get a flip phone for $15 at Target and then just buy prepaid minutes as needed. That is what my Dad used 15+ years. In addition to cost over a smartphone, the battery can last over a week between charges.

The Best Cheap Phone Plans for 2020 - 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 low-cost cell phone plans might be the ticket.

Q. From a friend who just upgraded an old PC from Windows 7 to Windows 10 - When I try to print a message a Norton icon appears. Clicking on the icon, it instructs me to pick an account sign in with personal Microsoft account. It asks to create an account (password, name, phone number, etc.). I am mystified; I thought all that information was known and why would this be necessary for printing? Any advice?
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. Couple of things first. Norton does not store or require an account of any kind. The Chrome Google Chrome Browser uses your Gmail account to get to your mail and settings. If you use the Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer wants a Microsoft account. 

Sounds like you got somewhere that wanted a Microsoft account and was asking you to create a new account which asked for the info. Most people with Windows will have both a Google and Microsoft account. If you create a free Microsoft account it can be use login to Windows when your PC starts, store info on the Microsoft Cloud, store settings for Windows and the Microsoft Browsers, and other functions. It is not required in WIndows to have a Microsoft account, but can it can make things easier. If you do create a Microsoft account you should use a different password and account than you setup for Google/Gmail.

I did take a look at the PC and found that when he was attempting to print an email from the Chrome Browser that was the problem. During the conversion of the PC from Windows 7 to Windows 10 his old printer was not setup. When printing it was trying to save the print to Microsoft Onenote and that was the software wanting a Microsoft Account. I could not find a print driver or setup for his old printer. We tried several things from the Internet and could not get Windows 10 to work with the old printer. It was decided that it was time to get a new printer.

Q. From a PCC Member - I am considering a new laptop instead of the Asus D550Mav-DB01 Notebook I now use that has 4GB memory and 500GB Hard Drive.  I was hoping to move up to a 8GB, 1T Hard Drive laptop.  I tried looking around the internet but cannot seem to find one in the $300 range.  Wondering if you have a way of looking which might work better?  I also do not game but I mostly use the laptop to download a few things.  Also use the laptop for Quicken which does not take much space.  
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. There are lots of options for laptops. Sounds like you need a Windows 10 PC and not a Chromebook. Some of the best deals are over from Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but there are still deals. The top five sites for buying are:

You will find deals at all of them. For a laptop I would recommend you buy new and not a refurbished one. Sounds like you want a large hard drive. Some of the newer models have a Solid State Drive "SSD" which is like a flash drive with no moving parts. This makes the laptop smaller, faster, and the battery last longer. An example from Amazon for a Lenovo Ideapad Premium 15.6 laptop 8 GB, 1 TB, Windows 10, with DVD for $310.

Most of the sites will let you Search and filter for a New, 8 GB, and hard disk size or other criteria. You can then change the sort to lowest price to high instead of the default "Featured" results.

Member Responds - Sounds like a Lenovo is OK by you.  Think by the numbers I saw in NewEgg that the super sales is over.  You pointed to what I would say is a very acceptable laptop.  Must be new.  Not sure if an Intel i5 is needed as i3 is likely OK for my needs.  Appreciate what you pointed out to me.  I have been watching WalMart and Target. By the way.  Do I need a program to transfer the info from my Asus to the new computer?

Tom Responds - The first thing to do on the new laptop is setup/decide what antivirus you plan to use. Uninstall other antivirus versions that may have come with the new laptop and any trial or packages you will never use on the laptop. You do not need to buy a package to transfer data. You should be backing up your current user data to a local hard drive or to a cloud drive. Use that to copy the data to the new laptop (Documents, Photos, Videos). You will have to install local software like Quicken, Chrome, LastPass, any utilities, etc. on the new computer from DVDs or the internet. The rest is your internet bookmarks, contacts, calendar, etc. which should be set from the cloud once you login. You will have print drivers and other things to install as you start to use it.

Member Responds - Just reading the Amazon comments.  I see  that the computer comes with Windows 10-S and that some people had problems with some programs.  It is possible to revert to Windows 10 Home but not real easy.  Don't know if this would be a problem for me?  Noticed that Amazon carries a similar Levono but the speeds and memory is somewhat less.  It has an Intel processor but not sure if I want to pay the same price for a slower speed laptop. I cannot live without a DVD on the laptop. I use Norton ( loadable on a dvd) and already bought it for next year but waiting to load it until last yrs version is closer to expiring.

Tom Responds - I did not know that it comes with Windows 10-S. You would not like to run it as 10-S, but sounds like it can be turned off to run normal. I do not know what is involved or if you want the added hassle. I listed the Lenovo laptop just as an example, there are hundreds of laptops on amazon that are less than $400. Not sure if you can live without a DVD or less hard disk. HP is the #1 seller of laptops. Most software today can be installed without a DVD. You connect to a web site, download, install, and put in a product key to activate the software. You are seeing less and less laptops and desktops with DVDs.