• WSBob Spafford

    WSBob Spafford


    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 43 total)
    • in reply to: How to make lithium-ion batteries last for years #1522332

      Yes, the piece was written by a software guy, and not run by a hardware guy first. The biggest errors concern all the stuff about charging. Meltdowns and fires almost always occur during charge. Electric RC plane (read “drone”) batt charging at meetups is usually required to be in fire proof/explosion proof bags! Yes, charging of LiPo batts is completely under control of the device and the external DC supply is usually irrelevant in well engineered devices. Still, you will have “best luck” using a standard USB in a computer, which is always limited to 500 ma. All remarks about overcharging are simply incorrect. All LiPo chargers completely cease charge at precisely 4.20 volts/cell, and that termination voltage is always not user adjustable. To illustrate, lowering the cutoff voltage from 4.20v to 4.15v will double the typical 300 charge cycles of a LiPo batt., but reduce cell charge capacity only 7%. Don’t worry about excessive discharge, as all well engineered devices always do this automatically.

      Since I have been thru the hassle of replacing LiPo batts in my iPhones (about $25 at iFixit dot com), I manually cut off charge at about 90% to increase batt life. I find that my iPhones consistently charge at 1.1-1.2 minutes/% of charge. So, seeing the phone showing 50% charge, I would check at (90%-50%) x 1.1 or about 45 minutes, set a kitchen timer, and kill charge myself when I see about 90% on the phone. If I find charge reading 100%, no biggie, it’s really taken care of. The admonition to never leave devices charging is simply wrong. LiPo chargers never “trickle charge” as has been done in all older chemistries.

      As was noted, do not charge a hot device and do not leave any heavily working device in full sun. Otherwise, the user actually has very little battery management control of devices with LiPo batteries.

    • in reply to: ANY control of Antimalware possible? #1515112

      Thanks guys! It makes me feel less a novice to see the experts stumped as I am 🙂 “Thread of the year” award indeed! The CPU Cycle Eating Monster is still absent, but I have a dreaded fear that the next reboot will see it return. Again, thanks for your interest in this Major Microsoft Pimple!

    • in reply to: ANY control of Antimalware possible? #1514724

      Thanks Retired,
      I have factory installed Win7 on a five year old H-P laptop (dual processor 64 bit).

      I have had the issues described in the first five paragraphs at this link for over a year.

      I erred saying that I had killed Win Security Essentials. Rather, it was Win Defender which I have apparently completely killed. See attached clip. The offending hog, MsMpEng.exe, continued to run. I was not allowed to delete it.

      Apparently, Windows is monitoring all of my communications, and noticed that I wrote a post at the Lounge 😉 I seem to have scared Windows enough to stop it from running the the offender. Upon opening the laptop lid this morning, I was able to actually use my little PC as MsMpEng.exe was NOT run!! Amazing technology! 😉 I looked in Task Manager and found that the default entry (once a week at 2:00 am) which Windows installed, but was not using, has been removed overnight.

      So, writing a post on the Lounge seems to have fixed this year long problem! (at least for this morning)

      Thanks for your part in solving this major annoyance! I had no idea that Windows could be threatened into running properly!

    • in reply to: LastPass tip #1475783

      Thanks. Great idea using 7-zip. A lot less messing around than TrueCrypt.

      There’s nothing contradictory about a volume containing all needed information, but having it organized in such a way that finding your answer is very nearly impossible. The U.S. Tax documentation comes to mind. I have seen much technical documentation which fits this description perfectly. I have known many technical specialists with deep knowledge. I have met many talented writers, who can finely organize what they have to say. But I have met very, very few who have both talents. I have enormous respect for the few who are able to keep a foot planted in both worlds.

      Or perhaps what seems obvious and intuitive to someone who has written 10,340 technical posts is a bit more obscure to one who has penned only 56 😉 Perhaps I just need more LP RFM! There’s probably just a few of us geezers left who once ran computers having only vacuum tubes. I’ll get the hang of this PC thingy soon!

    • in reply to: EaseUS constantly uses computer power #1473828

      Thanks folks. Yes, I am in full agreement. I failed to communicate well that this is what motivated my original post. It’s not about loss of 2-3% of my processor time, but rather why my computer has devoted several billion CPU cycles of processing over the last month doing something about which the creators have not said a single word. That causes me to be deeply suspicious and concerned. BTW, I did finally discover another EaseUS process running which uses so little processing time that it is very likely to be the timer for the nag screen. The nag screen itself really bothers me in that it plops itself in the middle of my desktop at random times. All other nag screens I’ve ever seen show themselves when the app is run. EaseUS’s aggressive tactic, in itself, increases my concerns about the honesty and integrity of the creators. My next chore today will be uninstalling this suspicious code, following up with Ccleaner passes to remove any leftovers. I am only a little less suspicious of using Microsoft’s backup code, since they also run in an extremely black box, and whose integrity has been brought into question every time they have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar. The only thing limiting their sneakiness is that they have a reputation to protect. That can not be said of the EaseUS code, whose origin is an unknown operation in China. At this point, I am a bit embarrassed that I ever installed this very suspicious code in the first place.

      Again, thanks for your comments.

    • in reply to: The life and untimely demise of TrueCrypt #1456397

      At one time PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) had the gov spooks wetting their pants. After a few years, the whole flap seemed to disappear from mass media attention. I found this to be a very interesting read http://www.cypherspace.org/adam/timeline/ Of course, if the infinitely funded spooks have likely broken it on a practical level, it is unlikely we will ever know, unless another Snowdenesque reveal occurs.

      The only certain route to genuine privacy is documented here http://www.pro-technix.com/information/crypto/pages/vernam_base.html The only secure key is a truly random one, which can never be generated by any algorithm. Fortunately, lots of real world electronic techniques exist to generate genuine randomness. Unfortunately, the randomly created key must be larger than the data to be encrypted. Fortunately, micro SD cards are now available in the 64GB size, and their tiny size makes concealment fairly easy. Unfortunately, only face to face key transmission guarantees security. It would be real neat if semiconductor chip manufacturers would fab hardware read once SD chips, where reading the chip contents would destroy its stored data. That would make non face to face key exchange more (but never completely) secure.

      I already have a computer which is never, ever connected to the internet. This is the only way to keep your data free of “phone home software” exploits. Of course, since the never-ending blizzard of Windows Updates demands a two way connection to the Black Box Boys of Redmond, this op sys is a non-starter Still missing is hardware having a Mission Impossible style self destruction feature built in. Any intrusion attempt (even x-ray imaging) would ignite the thermite. Any bets that such computing hardware will soon be declared illegal to own? Needless to say, US Spooks would be exempted. Stay tuned. . . .

    • in reply to: The life and untimely demise of TrueCrypt #1456375

      As for the “leftover” copy files, of which Microsoft is so very fond, I use the free “Secure Delete” http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897443.aspx. Since it is just another Black Box from Microsoft, I think it absolutely certain to have a “back door” provided by MS for the use of our government snoopers. It will appear in your right-click context menu with a red “X”, and the security free Windows “Delete” is still available to you. Of course, SD will only slow down the amateur snoops examining your discarded hard drive. “Secure” Delete runs a command line app which (purports to) overwrite the deleted file sectors. Of course, Windows delete just changes the first character of a handle in the File Allocation Table to “?”, and nothing else is touched. This provides absolute zero security to a Windows user.

      If anyone in this forum knows of a real (read “open source”) file sector overwrite app, please post it in this thread! Of course, our government “security” folks think that the U S Constitution has an amendment giving them the right to spend an infinity of our tax dollars to spy on anyone in the world to any extent they want. Only the Snowdens of the world allow us an occasional glimpse into the morass of illegal activities of those “protecting” us from ourselves. Good luck to all who are foolish enough to believe that we have any right to real privacy. Thanks, Uncle Sam!

    • in reply to: managing IE Favorites #1455606

      Oh, I get it. Yes, we’re now into a data base design problem, and I have almost as many bookmarks as you do. I have found few magic answers here. One thing I would like to see is the ability to sort most recent bookmarks within a folder to the top. That would help a bit. More useful to me would be a copy button which place an instance of a given bookmark into several different folders as they are clicked on.

      As an example, I work in electronics. My big “Doc” folder has a “Manuals” sub folder, and so on, and also a big “Engineering References” sub folder. Besides Doc, I have another high level folder called “Projects”. Often, within a Projects sub folder, I would like to put a relevant engineering idea I have found into the related Project sub folder, but now it isn’t in the main “Engineering References” sub folder back under Doc. It would be very handy to have the proposed multiple copies button show me a (multi-column, if needed) display of all folders and, allow me to put one instance into the main “Engineering References” sub folder, and another instance into the relevant “Projects” sub folder with a single click for each copy operation. If such a feature exists in Chrome, I sure can’t find it. With TB sized hard disks, multiple link entries would surely not create a problem.

      It seems to me that those of us who value their bookmarks collection could use some kind of downsized/simplified SQL database tool here. I wish you the best luck in designing your own personal filing system. It would help to find a small book filled with ideas for creating your own personal filing structure. At least, I could surely use one. . . .

    • in reply to: managing IE Favorites #1455578

      I am surprised that Fred Langa did not propose the simple and obvious thing I do in Chrome, but is applicable to IE and all other browsers. Just shorten the fave/bookmark/whatever label to the minimum number of characters/arconym which will identify the bookmark for you. I currently have 20 bookmarks on my Chrome bar, all very easy to identify (especially when you add the icon displayed with each bookmark label). In addition, the first 15 or so bookmarks on the “extras” list which appears when the small right arrow is clicked are similarly minimalized, and are easily dragged into the displayed bar area if you find yourself frequently using a particular bookmark. No hidden tricks for a particular browser, just get smaller!

    • in reply to: Videos stall #1426959

      This is an astonishingly common problem, just Google it. The problem is pretty clearly living in the YouTube player domain. Having read many hundreds of posts, in a dozen locations, I have seen many “sure” fixes that prove to be idiosyncratic to the reporting “fixer” when tried by the larger community. Thousands of people are having this sticking problem, but it unfortunately now takes millions of people having a problem before the Google Behemoth notices. It shows up in Chrome, Internet Exploiter, Firefox, and Safari, but it still escapes Google’s notice. I have long since given up on Google ever addressing this problem. My son is a professional programmer with an IBM Thinkpad and top end Comcast internet data. I have crappy US Worst DSL, and consumer level H-P hardware. Our YouTube video experiences are identical. It is absolutely clear that the problem originates with YouTube (Google), and not us users. Unfortunately, Google just don’t care.

      A single, certain, trigger is data quality. My son reported that switching from Wi-Fi to CAT5 cable data dropped the frequency of “sticking” by nearly an order of magnitude. I tried it and had exactly the same experience. The only workaround that is universally effective is to address playback sticking with the cursor left arrow key. This instructs the player to jump back five seconds and re-play. Unfortunately, this “fix” only works about one third of the time. Frequently, playback will again cease at exactly the same point that it stuck before (the player simply ceasing to download more data). Sometimes, trying another left arrow replay will work the second or third time you try it. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is just give up watching YouTube, and do something else with your computer. Google just don’t care.

      IF I want to see a YouTube video badly enough, the only COMPLETELY EFFECTIVE workaround is to use the (free) YouTube Downloader app to download the vid to be viewed locally (I use the VLC player for best .FLV playback). Interestingly enough, YT Downloader NEVER sticks. The playback problem definitely lives in the YouTube Player code. If you are willing to go through this time-wasting hassle, you will find that it is possible to view ANY YouTube video in its entirety. I just start downloading (up to a maximum of three) videos on YT Downloader, and go do something else for a while. My use of YouTube has dropped about 75% because of this awkward workaround hassle. ANYONE who can successfully alert Google to THEIR problem will earn the gratitude of thousands of would-be YouTube users. However, don’t hold your breath. This problem has been around for over a year. And Google just don’t care.

      Maybe I am just not patient enough. I have never had the YouTube player fix its own problem, and restart playback by itself after sticking. The only true solution for the sticking problem is going to be Google assigning someone to find and fix its player bug(s). In the meanwhile, good luck to us all!

    • in reply to: Moving Libraries to a new drive #1417249

      I’m with ya bbearren! My Win7 install corrupted some Library files, and I now stay away from this latest New Whizbang from Redmond. It just destroys robustness, compared to the “old way”, and adds learning curve and complexity. I have downloaded some Registry tweaks that are said to make the entire Library fiasco go away. Ideal for “old school” types like me! I am concerned that a few ill behaved (IMHO) programs like to store their stuff in the Library, without my permission. I wonder how those installs might behave if I were to go sans Library. Any ideas?

    • in reply to: DVD drive not recognizing media #1417237

      Yep. If you’ve got a laptop, I highly recommend DiscountedLaptopParts.com A used H-P CD/DVD R/W cost me $12.20 post paid, installed in 30 seconds, and worked perfectly, both CD and DVD, R and W! Likewise, a used keyboard was $8.28ppd, installed in less than 5 minutes, looked virtually unused, and functioned perfectly. (H-P has detailed service manuals on line, to show you what to do.) One very inexpensive repair job!

    • in reply to: Windows backdoor updates #1411609

      Thanks guys for your ideas.

      I’ll bet that not very many folks here know that the IBM Service Manual for the brand new Personal Computer contained complete documented source code for their new op sys, DOS 1.0. Back then, I actually got to be the owner AND operator of my new computer! I got to write my own Interrupt Service Routines! I could design my own hardware to interface my new computer to instruments which lacked any computer interface. I could design and build the hardware, write the ISR, and have a fully integrated and functional system before the end of a single work day! Boy, was computer life easy before Bill turned the Personal Computer into his Personal Black Box. Ever since the appearance of Windows 3.0, my computer ceased to be mine as Microsoft found the formula to make Bill Gates the richest man in the world! Thanks, Bill!

      Unfortunately, I have an HP laptop, and Bill seems to have started pushing Updates on me even if I chose “Download updates, but install only with my permission.” I reboot and see “Installing update 1 of 28. . . .” For better or worse, I cut power ASAP. Pleeeease let ME run MY computer! Changing to “Don’t check for updates.” seems to have stopped the push, and gives me the time to check Susan Bradley’s valuable info. before Redmond hoses my PC yet again. I am about to do a clean Win7 install from MS disks, not from the HP “restore computer” partition which re-installs the full Crapware Suite. It never occurred to me that Hewlett and Packard might be the source of the corporate arrogance, instead of Gates an Allen. My sincere thanks to everyone who has posted on this Control Your Update thread for the heads up! If I am able to convince Bill and Paul that the Microsoft holographic sticker on the bottom of this PC means that my Win 7 install has been paid for already, I will be certain to post details of that success on this forum! If MS refuses to do the right thing, I’ll post about any successes I have getting help from the Dark Side, if WS Newsletter allows that.

      Thanks again to those who made me aware of H-P possibly being the source of the new Update pushing. The latest round of Black Box de-mystification begins now!

    • in reply to: You Tube playback sticks part way thru video #1407920

      I was hoping for a tsunami of stuck viewers, but alas, not the case. Well, I’m about to try doing a clean install of Win7 and will report back here if the YouTube playback sticking problem goes away. Good luck to us all! In the meanwhile, I’ll be manually using the YTD and VLC.

    • in reply to: You Tube playback sticks part way thru video #1407918

      Here’s the link http://youtubedownloader.com/ I think that I found a way to download it as a file (not using somebody’s down loader which may carry computer cooties) You have to manually copy the URL you are at, open YTD, and it is pasted in the download box if you just mouse over it. I just download in native format (.flv) and play it in the free (and cootie free) VLC Player. You can leave a half dozen vids downloading without a hiccup. Ah! no pauses, play back at any speed, single step frames, etc.! Huzzah! Huzzah! for VLC!

    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 43 total)