Every now and then I stumble across a piece of software that is well written, extremely useful and FREE. Today I’m going to talk about Image USBDuring the day I am responsible for a staff of help desk technicians that are continuously upgrading and repairing PC’s. They like to have their Windows 10 install media on a bootable USB drive. Lately the industry is shying away for optical disk drives, so bootable USB install media is a must.
Why can’t I just copy the files from one drive to another?
To “BOOT” from USB media the disk needs to have a boot sector. Think of the boot sector as a hidden area on the drive that the gives the computer specific instructions that it can only see at startup. Once the operating system is running you can easily copy your files from one drive to the other, however the hidden boot information is a little more difficult
As you may know from reading this blog I am a huge advocate of protecting online privacy. You the user should have a choice of who or what can monitor your Internet activity. I have already covered articles regarding the governments stance on Internet Privacy. Internet Privacy – Should you care? and also about using Tor as a method to keep your browsing habits secret. How Tor can keep your online identity private. I just wanted to reiterate how essential a VPN can be in keeping your browsing and online identity private. However you have to choose a service provider wisely. This is why I am recommending Pure VPN.
Ninite is one of my favorite software packages of all time. Working in the IT field, my friends and neighbors are constantly asking me to fix, repair and upgrade their home computers. I guess you can call it an occupational hazard. If you have ever rebuilt a PC before you know that its not an overly difficult task, but it is time consuming installing software package after software package.
A quick visit to their home page will reveal the most popular open source and free applications for your PC. Everything from 7-zip and iTunes to VLC Media player and Java. Simply check off each application that you would like installed on your workstation and then click the “Get Your Ninite” button to begin the download and install.
I just wanted to extend my wishes for a Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms celebrating today! Especially to my Wife, who works hard every day keeping our home running so well. It may not feel like it , but I hope you know we appreciate all you do every day. Not just on Mother’s Day.
In case you were curious (from Wikipedia)
“In its present form, Mother’s Day was established by Anna Jarvis on May 9, 1905, with the help of Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker. Ann Jarvis always claiming that the creation of Mother’s Day was hers alone.” -Wikipedia
“On May 10, 1913, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on all federal government officials (from the president down) to wear a white carnation the following day in observance of Mother’s Day. On May 8, 1914, the U.S. Congress passed a law designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day and requesting a proclamation. The next day, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring the first national Mother’s Day as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war. In 1934, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved a stamp commemorating the holiday.” – Wikipedia
Last weekend I gave you some tips on replacing your automobiles cabin filter. The benefit was clean fresh air while driving down the highway. Today I am going to talk about replacing your engine air filter. The air filter is essential to keeping your engine running well.
What are the benefits of a clean air filter:
Increase Fuel Economy:
There have been many studies to determine what the cost of a dirty filter is on fuel economy, it would be said that a 6% loss per gallon on modern cars.
A dirty air filter reduces the air flow into the engine and therefore reduces the amount of air available for combustion. This could cause the fuel / air ratio to be rich (too much fuel) which will cause incomplete combustion creating increased emissions and pollution
Increase Engine Life:
The filter is designed to catch debris, even the smallest particle entering the engine can cause increased wear and significantly reduce the life of the engine.
Easy and quick fix:
As you will see from my experience below, the air filter is usually an easy DIY project that is inexpensive to complete in just a few minutes. Saving you quite a few dollars over having the dealer do the work.
I guess this is the natural evolution for the Alexa digital assistant. Poor Alexa has been trapped in that cylinder all these years. Now with the latest version from Amazon, the Echo Show can see you and “show” you things. I have had the original Amazon Echo from day one. My family and I have found it very useful, weather we use her for homework help or to get the scores of the New York Ranger game or just to simply play Jeopardy.
The most interesting new feature is the access to video and voice calling. Basically this is a face time clone, however it takes it one step further with the new “Drop In” feature. This new feature is designed to auto accept a call giving you a 10-second window to reject. I can see this being useful if you want to check in on an elderly family member, or check in on the kids after school. Continue reading “Amazon adds a screen to Alexa – Calling it Echo Show”
As a huge fan of the Raspberry Pi, I’m always looking for cool new projects to try. Google had released a free hardware kit with Issue 57 of the MagPi magazine. The kit included a Pi Voice Hat, a microphone board, speaker, a “traditional google” card board case and various bits to put it all together. Apparently this is Google’s answer the Raspberry Pi Amazon Echo that was released last year.
If you were lucky enough to get your hands on the kit, I hope you put it to good use. They were in limited supply and are sold out at this point. Maybe they will make another run and sell them in the Google store?
If you still want to try this project with out the kit you can! Google has published instructions.
If you watched John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on HBO this past Sunday you would have seen his amazing rant about the proposed changes to FCC rules regarding how they classify Internet Service Providers. In a nut shell if FCC rolls back the Obama era legislation the ISP’s will no longer have to follow any Net Neutrality rules.
As a society our technology has exponentially improved over the last 20 years. Many of us carry around the the collective knowledge of the human race in our pockets. All these advances have a side effect, tons and tons of E-waste, our obsolete gadgets just become trash over time. In this post we will put one iconic piece of old tech to new use.
The 3 ½ Floppy Disk
The 3 ½” floppy was introduced in 1983 and was manufactured for almost 30 years. There are a lot of disks floating around out there and maybe you have some hiding in your basement. Don’t throw them away just yet, lets re-purpose into this great Floppy Disk Pencil Holder.
Supplies You Will Need:
QTY 5 x 3 ½” Floppy Disks (can be found in your basement or on Ebay / Etsy)