Tag Archives: computer

Old Chromebooks (which) don’t get updates

(Some) Chromebooks, tablets, and other devices…are subject to Google’s End of Life policy:

“When a device reaches End of Life (EOL), it means that the product model is considered obsolete and automatic software updates from Google are no longer guaranteed.

“Google will provide advanced notice of a model’s EOL Date on this page as soon as it is launched, giving our customers time to make purchase decisions.”

Some past their prime…

Asus Nexus 7 (2012) – Jul 2015, Android
Google Cr-48 – Dec 2015, Chrome
Samsung Chromebook Series 5 – Jun 2016, Chrome
Acer AC700 – Aug 2016, Chrome

 

I need more speed! Maybe more swap file?…

 

This  post is written for those who may consider themselves moderately experienced, and are interested in advanced configurations and modifications.  I am intentionally not going to explain the information in this post to novice and normal users…because the truth is I am not qualified to (but don’t let Andy know).  A MUCH more knowledgeable person of Unix/Linux should. But, I do want to gloat a little.  (OK…that part you can tell Andy about.)

After having a browser application crash, and seeing a message informing me that…though 8 GB of RAM is installed, and a quad-core processor is in use…I didn’t have enough memory. To be fair: I use multiple browsers…multiple windows…multiple tabs…multiple applications…

My first thought was I need to get a computer that supports 16 GB RAM. And I believe I need to because I always seem to try to do more than I should with one computer, and they don’t seem to perform fast enough for my expectations and desires.  I like to use three computers at the same time.

I stumbled across some information about “swappiness”. And modified mine to 10.  Well…that was fine…for a while.  After watching my hard drive churn more than I was willing to tolerate, I changed it to  40…for now.  More reading…

I noticed the swap partition which was created during the installation of Ubuntu is 8 GB. I decided to (TRY TO) create a swap file. A 24 GB swap file.  I was successful!  Not on the first attempt.  Or the second.  Maybe it was the third.

I plan to update my status if anything occurs I think might be of interest. Whether here, on TechtalkRadio, and/or social networking services (SNS).

But wait! There’s more:  guess who got cocky?

I noticed some information about a swap file for the Chrome OS. My Chromebooks have 4 GB RAM, quad-core processors…and, because I tend to have greater expectations than I probably should…I have experienced some “sluggishness”. You know me: multiple windows, and tabs.  And I began to wonder…

I read about creating a swap partition. And in this case, decided to adhere to recommended limitations: a 2 GB portion (of a 32 GB SSD).

Ctrl + Alt + T
swap enable 2000

Again…I’ll try to remember to let you all know if anything bursts into flames…

Upgrade overkill…

We discuss problems that can be encountered when upgrading a computer, and what should be considered BEFORE you begin to spend money on it:
motherboard considerations…
hardware and software compatibility issues…
do you know EVERYTHING you need to about the product(s) and procedures?

Our “Website of the Week” is http://NationalHearingTest.org

(And, also consider visiting http://Starkey.com/online-hearing-test …)

Notes from our November 28 show…

We discussed what can happen when you trust software and services more than you should have…

We also mentioned “UEFI”…which is the “Unified Extensible Firmware Interface”. Some information from UEFI.org might help to understand its function…

“…the BIOS refers to a specific implementation of the firmware that initializes the platform and loads an OS setup.”

“BIOS is typically used to refer to an Intel Architecture firmware implementation rooted in the IBM PC design. Based on older standards and methods, BIOS was originally coded in 16-bit real mode x86 assembly code…”

“…UEFI specifications define an interface in which the implementation of UEFI performs the equivalent of the BIOS, by initiating the platform and loading the operating system.”

“…UEFI is ‘processor architecture-agnostic,’ supporting x86, x64, ARM and Itanium.”

“…the Specification supports a more secure system, a faster boot time, improved performance…With regard to security, UEFI Secure Boot helps defend against malware attacks before the operating system loads.”

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And if you ever need to install Windows 10, the information on how to download and install it can be found at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Bloviating about batteries

 

During our November 21 show we discussed care and useage of batteries.

 

Belief, experience, and science can influence how someone decides on the best way to configure their electronic devices. Here is some information that may help you determine your preferred way to use batteries.

From HP:
Should I fully charge the battery before I use the computer?
No. Lithium ion batteries are more efficient than nickel based rechargeable batteries and go through a formation process during manufacturing. They do not require the initial loading prior to use.

From Dell:
16. Should I completely discharge my battery before I charge it?
No, with current lithium ion batteries this practice does not improve the runtime of the battery. This practice is a holdover from the days in which NiMH batteries were used.

From Microsoft:
Use your battery to keep it fresh. Don’t keep your computer plugged in all the time. It’s a good idea to discharge and then recharge your laptop battery about once a month. Also, you should let your battery run down before you recharge it.

And from Cadex, a company that “has been recognized as a world leader in battery testing”, is a website named Battery University…which is referred to by various peers of mine.

 

Move stuff from old to new Windows…for free…

Need to get from an older version of Windows to a newer one?…

For transitioning from Windows XP to a later operating system, I stumbled across this:

“Microsoft has partnered with Laplink to provide you with data transfer tools that transfer selected files, folders, and more from an old Windows PC to a new Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 PC.

“24/7 free transfer assistance…

“Free download available from September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016. Will run only if source PC is Windows XP or later and destination PC is Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. The free data transfer will not migrate your apps.”

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Also, just to toss this in here…a tool has been available from Laplink’s website. (Maybe it’s the same, or similar.)

“…Laplink PCmover Express for Windows XP is an easy way to move your files, settings and user profiles from your old Windows XP computer to your new Windows PC.

“Will run only if source PC is Windows XP and destination PC is Windows 7 or later. The free data transfer will not migrate your apps.

“24/7 Free transfer assistance…”

 

New Windows notebook to compete with Chromebooks?

It’s being reported that specifications for a Windows competitor to Chromebooks, for around $200, have been found…

I feel a strong need to comment on this issue. I’ve owned a Chromebook. And many “low-end” notebook computers. And have tried to use outdated computer hardware (notebooks and desktops) with various operating systems. Before you spend your money, I want to try to help you with your decisions about what to buy…and what not to buy.

The information about the possible upcoming HP Stream Notebook PC was publicized by http://www.mobilegeeks.de/hp-stream-199-dollar-notebook-kommt-mit-14-inch-display-amd-plattform-100-gb-onedrive-alle-details/

It should have a 14-inch screen. Anything less, and I have felt a bit cramped…as I do when using a netbook, or a large (10-inch) tablet with a keyboard. The keyboard on my Asus C7 Chromebook was smaller than a standard one. I was not comfortable using it over long periods of time.

The processor in the HP Stream is expected to be a quad-core AMD A4 Micro-6400T. When using Chrome OS, AND Windows, I have no complaints about the performance of dual-core processors…UNTIL:

I am trying to watch video, or stream something from the internet (including YouTube)…
I use multiple applications/programs and browsers…
I have multiple tabs open in a browser…
and I try to use some websites where they are heavy with whatever it is they feel the need to bombard me with (video/graphics, “dancing baloney”, etcetera).

I will never invest my money in any computer (or tablet) with less than a quad-core processor, and expect it to be able to reasonably render multimedia content. I’ve been very, very disappointed. (I have a notebook computer with Windows 7, 8 GB RAM, and it has a quad-core processor which I have no complaints about. I don’t like using my other computers that have Windows 7 and 8, 8 GB RAM, and dual-core processors in them: they lag and drag when I am using them with the internet.)

The HP Stream will probably come with only 2 GB RAM, that cannot be upgraded. We will all need to wait to find how this configuration might perform. There are Chromebooks available with 4 GB RAM, but none I’m aware of with quad-core processors.

If, as expected, it has at least a 32 GB drive…this will be a great incentive. I read a report from someone who was trying to download content from Google Play Movies & TV to his Chromebook ( https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-play-movies-tv/gdijeikdkaembjbdobgfkoidjkpbmlkd?hl=en ) but could not, because it had only a 16 GB storage drive.

A screen-shot of the specifications that were found is at http://1-ps.googleusercontent.com/h/www.mobilegeeks.de/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/605x1165xhp-stream-specs.gif.pagespeed.ic.YcCSaefr99.png

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I found a review that gave me answers to some questions I have about the more “powerful” Chromebooks…and I want to warn you about them:

“…Samsung…Chromebook 2 uses Samsung’s latest Exynos 5 chip…along with 4GB of RAM…It does fine as long as I’m only doing one thing at a time, but as soon as I open a bunch of tabs in rapid succession or try to stream music while I power through my RSS feeds, the Chromebook 2 starts to chug…

“…A number of manufacturers are working to put Intel’s latest chips into similarly priced Chromebooks, and every one I’ve tried works faster than this one. These devices don’t need to be exceptional, but before we’ll ever get any work done on Chrome OS they must keep up; the Chromebook 2 feels like it was running two steps behind me all the time, red-faced and breathing heavily.

“…I can’t imagine ever recommending a Chromebook without an Intel processor…

“…I can’t work on a laptop that can’t keep up with me — and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else do so either…”

http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/10/5788934/samsung-chromebook-2-review

 

 

Have others pay for your computer (for college)

Don’t pay for your computer…if you’re a college student…here’s how to have others pay for it:

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Microsoft announces Chip In student PC crowdsourcing program

…Chip In, a new seasonal buying program to help students get the Windows PC or tablet they need for school…students crowdsource contributions from friends and family toward the purchase…

Students can participate in Chip In exclusively at http://www.windowschipin.com

Chip In runs now through Sept. 1, 2013. To participate, students need a valid .edu email address or documentation to prove enrollment in a university or accredited institution…

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2013/Jun13/06-03WindowsChipInPR.aspx

 

Reach-out to your stolen phone

Your electronic device has been stolen…are you able to recover it?  Maybe…

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There was an incident where an Apple MacBook was stolen, but it was able to be returned to it’s owner because of an application named Hidden:

“Hidden tracks your computer’s location, takes real time photos of the thief and screenshots of them using your computer…

“Hidden is a small application which sits idle on your computer until you need it. When your computer gets stolen simply login to your online Tracking Control Panel and mark your computer as stolen. Hidden will kick into action and locate your stolen computer anywhere on the planet, collect photos of the thief and screen shots of the computer in use.”

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If your phone is stolen, you might be able to get it back.

Kaspersky Mobile Security is a service for Android devices.  It now has a feature called “Mugshot”:  the front-facing camera can now be activated remotely.  Images can be sent to an e-mail account, or viewed from the web-based control center.

Through the new web-based control center, owners can also:
Remotely lock their missing smartphone to secure personal information
Remotely wipe sensitive information from their missing smartphone
Remotely locate their lost or stolen smartphone using GPS, GSM or Wi-Fi, and Google Maps
Review logs of recent activities, such as their status and the results of any commands sent to the phone, or the installation of a new SIM card

Kaspersky Mobile Security also includes protection from spam, viruses, and spyware.

The link for the product is http://usa.kaspersky.com/products-services/home-computer-security/mobile-security?domain=kaspersky.com