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.




Create an instant shutdown and/or restart icon on your desktop.

You will need to use the windows program shutdown.exe (which is normally located in C:\Windows\System32\) and its parameters.

The table below is a shortened list of the parameters needed for instant shutdown and/or restart plus the help parameter to display all the parameters defined within your windows system.

Parameter

Description

/s

Shuts down the computer.

/r

Restarts the computer after shutdown.

/t <sec>

Sets the time-out period or delay to sec (seconds) before a restart or shutdown. This causes a warning to display on the local console. You can specify 0-600 seconds. If you do not use /t, the time-out period is 30 seconds by default.

/?

Displays help at the command prompt, including a list of the major and minor reasons that are defined on your local computer.

This is what the instant shutdown command line would look like:
         C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe /s /t 0

And the instant reboot command line would look like this:
         C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe /r /t 0

As you can see the only difference is the use of “/s” or “/r” parameter

Now that we know what to use, how do we get it onto the desktop?
Easy! By creating a desktop shortcut icon containing the shutdown/restart command line as follows.

         image         image

  1. Right click anywhere on an empty space on your desktop to open a menu where you can find “New”.
  2. Hover over “New” and another menu appear, near the top of this is “Shortcut
  3. Select/Click on “Shortcut” to open the Shortcut creation wizard.
  4. Enter your command line and parameters
  5. Click Next
  6. Type a title/name for this shortcut – e.g. “Shutdown”
  7. And click Finish

I like to have a pretty self-explanatory icon’s because it’s easier to find than reading the titles – and here is how to do this:

         image          image

  1. Right click on the Shutdown icon, to open a menu
  2. Select and click on “Properties” to open the “Shutdown Properties” window
  3. It should automatically open in the “Shortcut” tab where you will find – near the bottom – the Change Icon… button.
  4. Click the Change Icon… and another window with lots of icons opens.
  5. Scroll through these until you find an icon you like.
  6. Click on it; followed by clicking the OK button to close that window.
  7. Now all you have to do is click the OK button in the “Properties”
    window and that’s it.

One last thing:

You might also want place Shutdown icon on your “Taskbar” and/or your “Start menu”
this action is called “Pin to …” – and here is how to do this:

         image

  1. Right click on the Shutdown icon (as before), to open a menu
  2. This time you are looking for “Pin to Taskbar” or “Pin to Start Menu” (near the top)
  3. Just click either and that’s it.

Note you don’t lose the original shortcut.

To unpin an icon from the taskbar/start menu, just right click on it and click “Unpin this program from Taskbar” or “Unpin from Start Menu” and they are gone; not uninstalled nor deleted because what you unpinned was a shortcut and NOT the actual item.




System Restore Error Code 0x81000203

I was having problems creating “Restore Points” in windows 7.

When I opened “System Protection” everything was greyed out; and all I got was an: “System Restore Error Code 0x81000203”.

Hunting high and low I finally came across this good advice from the following website: https://windowsforum.com/threads/actual-solution-for-system-restore-error-code-0x81000203.184794/

Both “Volume Shadow Copy” and “Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider” must be started and set to automatic. With both of these services active, the System Protection tab will work.

Their link to Microsoft didn’t work but here is a link that works: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/how-to-fix-error-code-0x81000203/0358b3df-a34f-e011-8dfc-68b599b31bf5 This describes how to fix this error for the “Volume Shadow”; but just apply the same for “Microsoft Software Shadow”.

My “Restore Points” are now working. One more suggestion: Don’t forget to click the Configuration button to select the drive, and set the Maximum Disk Space to be used (to something more than zero, depending on how many generations of restore points you want, set it to at least a few GB).

Also just in case, create the first checkpoint yourself.
That’s it, and I am a happy bunny.

 




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!




Scanning (using Canon EX) and create a JPG file

A friend of mine wanted to scan in a picture to publish it onto Facebook.The all-in-one used was a Canon MG2100.

As each of the “Canon Solution Menu EX” works slightly different so I had to listen to what they were doing at the other end of the phone and hope that I could talk them through some sort of solution (without having the User Guide).

  1. We managed to scan using auto scan
  2. Then I was told that there was only a “Save as PDF” available (not quite correct but as always – we only see what we want to see)
  3. So we saved the scan as PDF – oops where did it get saved to?
  4. My instructions were:
    • click the Windows (Start) icon ->
    • click “Recent Items” on the left ->
    • find and click on the “just saved PDF file”.
  5. So now we have the file open – what next?
    • Use the “Snipping Tool” – (which can be found by click the Windows (Start) icon ->
    • Click “All Programs” ->
    • find and click “Accessories” ->
    • and approximately in the middle of that list select and click “Snipping Tool”).
  6. When started it automatically is ready to snipe i.e. what you had on the screen is slightly greyed out
    • so now it’s just a matter of selecting the area you want to snipe –
    • click top left and drag the courser to the down right end position –
    • let go of the mouse and your selection is now placed on the clipboard and visible in the “Snipping Tool” window.
  7. You can now either save the image directly from the “Snipping Tool” or paste it into any applications – like Word, eMail or an image manipulation program.

That’s it – I am not telling you how to post/publish on Facebook.

I downloaded the Canon MG2100 user manual and saw that we could have skipped the PDF file and the snipping, but as I like the “Snipping Tool” I am only glad to pass that information on as well.




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.




Just a Snippet I came across

How many times have you wanted to be able to cut just a little piece out of a screen display, be it from an advert, an internet picture or just some text somewhere on your screen?

 

Up till now I had to: take a screenshot (using either [Print Screen] {whole screen} or [Alt]+[Print screen] {active window only}) and paste it into a picture manipulation program; then cut out the bit I was interested in and save that bit.

 

Once, while I was fixing a customers PC I saw an icon of “Snipping Tool” and ask my customer what it was, he didn’t quite know as his daughter might have put it there. So I made a note and checked when I got home; this is what I found.

What is the Microsoft snipping tool?

clip_image002
Snipping Tool is a screen shooting utility included in Windows Vista and later.

    It can be found in “All Programs” -> “Accessories”.

  • If you want it on your desktop:
  • Right-Click it and “Send to” -> “Desktop (create shortcut)”

clip_image002[4]

You can use Snipping Tool to capture a screen shot, or snip, of any object on your screen, and then annotate, save, or share the image.

    It can take screenshots of an open window using:

  1. “Free-Form Snip”
  2. “Rectangular Snip”
  3. “Window Snip”
  4. “Full Screen Snip”

 

    Snips can then be annotated using a mouse, then:

  1. Save As: a PNG, GIF, JPEG or MHT file,
  2. Send To: as e-mail attachment or part of e-mail body.

 




Windows 7 Gadgets

Have you ever lost your Win7 gadgets?

You went out in the morning and they were there,
you came back late and they were gone!

Swear, swear!
How to get them back?
This might work; at least it did for me.

  1. Type “windows feature” in ‘the search programs’ on the Start menu.
  2. Select “Turn Windows features on or off”.
  3. Wait while windows collect all the information
  4. Scroll down to “Windows Gadget Platform”
  5. If it is ticked, un-tick it and reboot your PC.
    then repeat step 1-4 and go to step 6.
  6. If it is un-ticked, tick it and reboot your PC.
  7. This time – after the final reboot your gadgets should be back.

 




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”.