One favourite OAP scam

This is the scenario:

  1. You get a phone call late morning or early afternoon – that pretends to be from BT, SKY, or somewhere popular yearly subscription service; informing you that your contract or insurance is close to expire.
  2. They friendly ask if you would like to continue the contract and then offer you to upgrade there and then (MISTAKE)!
  3. They even say they have your card details from last year, and can you please confirm that the card-number starts (not ending) with 4159. And of course, this is incorrect so you automatically change the card number to the correct one (MISTAKE)!
  4. They might even be cheeky and snail-mail you an invoice asking you to send a cheque, as your payment didn’t go through. So, you do (MISTAKE)!
  5. A week later you might get another snail-mail informing you that if you don’t pay they will send the debt-collectors to you.

 

DON’T RESPOND! Either hang up or say “Sorry I can’t speak now; can I have your name and number please, so that I can call you back”. 90% of the time they will hang up.

Then phone the company in question and query the call/writ. It is most likely a forgery and a scam.

Then report the number and name to the fraud police.




Microsoft Exchange Server in Outlook 2010

I noticed that I was receiving email on my mobile that I wasn’t receiving on my desktop through Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 Pro. The last mail I had received was on the 9th of July.I searched high and low (for 2-3 days) and couldn’t find the reason why. There just wasn’t any useful explanation on why outlook.com emails weren’t received in Outlook 2010.

I remembered some Microsoft emails way back in Feb. / Mar that was talking about not receiving emails after their server upgrade. This email stated that I delete the existing IMAP account and create a new Microsoft exchange account. That sounded easy enough. What I didn’t do was to back up the old system and that’s where all my problems started.

I had a beautiful automated system that worked with three POP3/SMTP accounts all embedded into one primary, plus five separate IMAP (one hotmail.com, one live.co.uk, two outlook.com and one gmail.com) accounts. The whole email system was controlled by approximately 360 rules that would move my emails into relevant folders depending on contents and where they came from.

I also had a fantastic task setup that would automatically create a new task when completing the old one.

This is what happened when I changed the first of the four Microsoft accounts to “Microsoft exchange server” my system was destroyed! The reconfiguring of that account merged itself into my primary account with the other POP3/SMTP accounts.

I could NOT uninstall it without uninstalling the perfectly good POP3 accounts. Not only did it not want to be uninstalled it also became the master of the group, and because it didn’t have any rules and tasks, guess what; I lost the work I had created over the years, no rule, and no tasks. What a mess! Thank you Microsoft another brilliant software manipulation! I also lost the use of my shared linked Hotmail calendar (again).

As you can see I have had a brilliant week trying to solve problems introduced by Microsoft converting (forcing) everybody to use Office365.

NO, NO, NO I am not going there! There is harvesting, and there is harvesting of user data; but sorry not with me!

So what was the solution with Outlook 2010? I have recreated everything (I hope) in Mozilla Thunderbird. The only outstanding topic is my tasks. I must admit that the task handling in Outlook 2010 was quite brilliant.

Again the calendar was a little tricky to get working as Microsoft doesn’t permit Thunderbird to sync both ways with their calendar; but they do let Google sync both ways (I think but it doesn’t seem to work anymore), so I loaded Google calendar with my Microsoft online calendar; then I loaded Thunderbird with “Provider for Google Calendar add-on” and imported the Google calendar – without any problems and now I can update my Microsoft calendar from my desktop, my mobile and my tablet. Brilliant!




I have just installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

It all started after I successfully installed Ubuntu on a XP laptop; it’s cd/dvd player didn’t work and because of the way Ubuntu installs (from boot up) I couldn’t use an external dvd player; but had to make a bootable flash drive and tell Ubuntu help me installing (this meant that Ubuntu created a dos bat file telling where the software could be found). After that I could perform a total installation.

So being rather of an inquisitive nature, I just had to install Ubuntu onto one of my win7 learning pcs (it kindly comes with “Libra Office”, “Firefox” and much more software, that I still haven’t worked out how to use and access). I installed it as a dual-boot system; and found that Ubuntu is the controller of which environment to boot. There are 15 seconds to decide whether to boot Ubuntu or win7.

The choice is displayed on an Ubuntu coloured screen. Ubuntu is the norm and unless win7 is required this will be loaded; it’s a matter of moving the cursor down to win7 & hit the [enter] key to load windows. Loading Ubuntu is way faster than loading win7.

I have managed to change the normal background to something grey and easy to look at. I have also managed to look at and use documents from my windows directory. That was easier than I had anticipated.

It was so easy to install my Wi-Fi Canon printer, way easier than onto a win7 pc

All I needed to do to access to my Dropbox was a quick installation and all my files are now available in Ubuntu. The same applied for Twitter; it was so easy and quick.




How to revive an old XP-PC to a useful PC

First you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it – for instance:

  1. has it got enough memory (2gb or more)
  2. is the processor good enough (2mhz or better)
  3. is there 6gb or more free disk space on your hard drive

If you answered “Yes” to all the above questions you can then safely install Ubuntu (Linux) onto your PC/Laptop.

You can install it either as the ONLY operating system on your PC or change your PC to become a dual boot system; where you have to answer (at boot time) which system to use (a Ubuntu screen where both Ubuntu and Windows are the choices).

By using dual boot you can then when you need to re-boot and use Windows for example for your scanner – that is – if you can’t find the Linux driver for it.

Linux Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS will automatically install:

  1. Rhythmbox – Music Player
  2. Shotwell – Photo Manager
  3. GIMP – Image Editor
  4. PiTiVi – Video Editor
  5. FireFox – Web Browser
  6. Thunderbird – Email reader
  7. LibraOffice – similar to OpenOffice Word, Excel, PowerPoint …

Ubuntu offers thousands of apps available for download from the software center. Most are available for free and can be installed with just a few clicks.




My bad start to 2016

Happy 2016 – I wish you all a successful and prosperous year.

Now that I have started ‘working’ again – IT-buddy at the library today was a waste of time as nobody turned up. So my two hours reserved for the library was in vain;
and tomorrows two hours has already been cut to just one; but that’s ok because I know.

Aggie, my supervisor, is getting me two new students for Wednesdays.

On the positive side; I fixed a laptop that didn’t want to start, and it only took two hours.




Just another week as an IT-buddy

My first student on Wednesday was a partial sighted young man who had problems with the settings on his laptop. Especially as he could/can only sit at the laptop for about an hour at the most. I was auto-upgraded to Win10; but it also had Office 2013 installed, and the poor lad was used to Office 2003. So I went through the settings of 2013 with him showing where it was and how to change things. Next time we will look at styles and how to create quick stiles, save them and re-use them when required. A very interesting session.

My next session was with an elderly lady who inherited a smart phone (a layoff from her son) she has been a couple of times and is very good at writing down all her questions; so we spend the time sorting out what she can’t do from the last session. This is such a nice non stressed and satisfying session.

On Wednesday my first (and theoretically only session) came with her laptop, she still has difficulties with Gmail she thinks she can’t write an email nor can she reply to one. So we spend the whole session going over “creating”, “replying” and checking her folders. I asked her to create an email to herself, and then to respond to said by replying. I also asked her to reply a second time to the same email and adding extra text on the subject line to indicate a change of heart.

I packed my thing and was ready to leave when Aggie asked if I could please help this lady who had some problems with her iPad. Of course I could and did. We didn’t finish in the hour that is allocated, so I said why don’t we finish at my workshop? And told her the cost. She agreed and that was it.

Posted on




A great tool “Windows Live Writer”

I was downloading Microsoft’s “Windows Essentials for a user who uses “Windows Live Mail” and as I, when installing only what the user needed,  noticed a program I hadn’t seen before: “Windows Live Writer” as well as the usual “Photo Gallery”, “Movie Maker” and “OneDrive”.

Windows Live Writer is a desktop blog-publishing application.
All I did was adding my account from wordpress.com and start creating a new post.

Things you can do within Windows Live Writer:

  • Add “photos”, “videos” and even a “Bing Map”.
  • It is easy to use: “Edit”, “Preview” and “Source”.
  • Release the post: by uploading “Draft” or directly “Publishing”.



Microsoft Movie Maker

Have you ever on your smart-phone or your camera shot a whole movie upside down or sideways?
When you came to look at it you could have cried! What do you do now?
Don’t worry; Microsoft can help you here. Download and install from the Microsoft download site: Movie Maker.
Read about it here.
For a Microsoft software it’s quite user-friendly, you can even publish direct to YouTube



Check for duplicated files

How many duplicated files have you got?
Have you ever wondered if you have backed-up or copied a file to somewhere?
Have you ever wondered if and how many versions of the same file you have stored on your pc?

You don’t have to wonder anymore!

A student of mine was asking if I knew a way to find all the duplicated files stored on his computer.
I didn’t, but goggled for it, and yes, I did find a very useful small program dupeGuru (hardcoded.net);
which is a tool to find duplicate files on your computer. It can scan either filenames or contents.




Easy merge of PDF files

I was scanning a booklet into PDF formatted files; but I really only wanted one file and couldn’t remember how to make the scanner do the work.

So I looked around and found this easy and free software: PDFbinder (and downloaded it from CNET).
Wow it worked, it wasn’t intrusive to install, and it was quick; all I had to do was adding the files I wanted to merge; move them around into sequence and press “Bind” then tell it the new name and where to save it.

That was all. Great stuff.