Geek Squeak #17-017: Here is a program for Microsoft Windows devices that displays the resource use of the computer on the Windows taskbar….

June 3, 2017

Just found a pretty neat Windows resource meter, called XMeters, over at ghacks.net. What makes this resource meter so different is that the hardware readings are displayed on the Windows taskbar, which keeps it in sight at all times and is not out of view when opening programs.

Image result for xmeters

XMeters is a handy system monitor for the Windows taskbar that provides you with important real-time hardware readings. It offers customization options to a degree, but could use a couple more (opening another program instead of Task Manager for instance, or colors to distinguish heavy resource use better)….

SOURCE: ghacks.net


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An Option To Fix Google Assistant On Your Android Phone

March 28, 2017

Google Assistant is Google’s new artificial intelligence personal assistant that allows you to ask Google questions (or give commands) and engage in a two-way conversation with Google. I have been playing around with it and it is very cool. I especially like that I can do hand’s free texting using Google Assistant when driving or I can ask Google about my day or any question for that matter. To determine if it is on your phone, simply hold down the “Home” button on your phone and you should be greeted with the “Hi, How can I help?”. In my case, I was waiting patiently for the Google Assistant to download to my Android phone and when it finally did, I ran into an unusual problem. I decided to do a blog post on this describing the problem I ran into and how the problem was resolved.

Google Assistant

The problem I ran into (in short summary) is that after I had determined Google Assistant was on my phone, by checking the version numbers of the Google App, it simply was not working correctly. When I held down the home button nothing would happen. If I tapped the home button it took me to the old Google Now screen.  At the Google Now Screen when I went into the settings, I noticed that it was the settings for Google Assistant (and not for Google Now). At first I thought that my phone being a mid-ranged phone wouldn’t support all of the Google Assistant settings; therefore, I only was entitled to maybe a lite version of Google Assistance.

Finally, after suspecting there was a software (or app) conflict and after searching the internet for a solution (with no luck), I found the Google Search and Assistant Help ForumForum’s are great for troubleshooting problems. After searching and browsing the forum I was unable to find a solution that matched the problem I was experiencing; therefore, I had to join the forum and describe the problem with hope that someone may be able to help. Part of the problem, when describing an issue, is finding the right words. When it comes to computers, electronics, smartphones, etc…; they all have a language of their own.

In this instance, I described the problem as follows:

Why is it when I launch Google Assistant it appears to launch Google Now?

When I launch Google Assistant via the home button it appears to launch Google Now.  I am not seeing the Google Assistant launch screen “how can I help”…  I also noticed that some of the Google Assistant features work and some do not.  For example, if I say “OK Google” , “read me the news” (from my customized list), it takes me to Google Play and plays a song from “the news”...

Within 24 hours a “Community Specialist” in the forum (named Lucas) came back at me with some things to try:

Lucas – Community Specialist said:

Hi Ramblinrick,

Welcome to the Google Search and Assistant Help Forum!

Just to confirm, is your Google app updated to the latest version? To check, visit Play Store and go to the Google App page. If you see update button, try updating the app that may help resolve this issue.

If that doesn’t help, try to reset the app and then try to update again. To reset go to device Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google > Storage > Clear Cache and tap on Manage Space > Clear Data. This step will reset the app to factory condition and all the personalization and preferences will be reset to original.

Please let me know how that works.

Best,

Lucas

The solution:

I followed the instructions and found that by doing a reset of the app was the solution (Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google > Storage > Clear Cache and tap on Manage Space > Clear Data).  Google Assistant is now performing flawlessly and we are now having conversations with each other on a daily basis. A big thanks to Lucas, whoever and wherever you are, for your assistance.


World Route by Softperfect

March 18, 2017

NICE FIND by TCAT Shelbyville – Technical Blog… With the World Route tool you can easily find out what gateways your data goes through and how fast it travels. You will receive comprehensive route details, with each city and country conveniently marked on the map. Simply enter any IP-address or website and see the path network packets take to that destination. AVAILABLE as a full install or as a portable app…

TCAT Shelbyville - Technical Blog

Here’s a visual aid to tracert currently free at Softperfect.  You can use this to see where internet delays are happening with a website.  This tool comes in portable and with an installer.

https://www.softperfect.com/products/worldroute/

Capture

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(Almost) Everything You Need To Repair Windows Problems In One Small Handy Tool

March 13, 2017

I am really impressed with this portable tech toolbox called Windows Repair Toolbox (see source link below); and, can see it as a real asset to anyone who assists others that are experiencing computer problems.

The developer has created a dashboard of sorts that will assist you with downloading the necessary tools to fix or troubleshoot a PC. Most of the downloaded tools will land in a downloads folder that is a subfolder of the Windows Repair Toolbox folder (which keeps everything together in one place). There are some downloads that are full downloads (for example, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware).  Another nice feature is that you can add your own custom tools.

(Almost) everything you need to repair Windows problems in one small handy tool.

Source: Windows Repair Toolbox – (Almost) everything you need to repair Windows problems in one small handy tool.


Odd Solution To The Internet Not Working

December 8, 2016

Assisted two neighbors today that (during the past several days) lost their internet connectivity. One box was hard wired and the other was wireless. Both situations, which I eventually resolved, has me wondering what broke the connection. I am thinking a Windows update, but not even sure on that. I ruled out malware in both cases; but who knows, may have been something in the wild. It may be a coincidence, but both computers experienced the same exact issue. One box was Windows 8 and the other Windows 10. After checking the modems, routers and cabling; determined the issue was occurring at the computer level. Reboots often will resolve problems (such as power management issues); however, in these two cases, the magic of a reboot did not work to resolve the problem. It was after running the ping commands and the ipconfig commands from the Admin Command Prompt that I determined the issue (in both cases) was at the network adapter level. In both instances the properties of the network adapters (in the device manager) displayed that the adapters were working properly. I was also thinking possible Winsock issues where the TCP/IP needed reset. Anyhow, while I was in the network card adapter properties, I clicked on the “driver’s tab” and clicked on “update driver” knowing it would be impossible to update the driver from the internet (due to no internet connection). The driver update failed, but guess what, the internet connection in both cases immediately came back to life.

question marks - Proof That Blog 

I am not an everyday tech, as I once was years ago, and I am puzzled over this. If you have any insight to this, please leave a comment that may be helpful to myself and especially to others.  Thank you…


Fix Printer Problems – Windows 10 Anniversary Edition

August 16, 2016

I had installed the Anniversary Edition of Windows 10 when it was released and it appeared the upgrade occurred without a hitch, until today I went to use my printer (Brother DW-2270). The anniversary edition was showing two instances of my printer in the “Devices and Printers” in the control panel; however, it was showing that there was no driver installed. As a result the printer was a dead duck and was being recognized by the computer… At this point I attempted to remove (and uninstall) both instances of my printer from the “Devices and Printers” and the “Device Manager”.  One instance of the printer uninstalled; however, the second instance would not, no matter what I attempted. I am sure some type of registry tweak would have done it, but I was not in the mood to go looking for that sort of fix. I then visited the Brother’s website, downloaded the driver and attempted to make Windows use the driver. Again, no luck. I finally went back to the Brother website, found an uninstall tool for their drivers and then downloaded their full install software package for printers. I ran the uninstall tool and it indicated “success” and then I installed the printer software as if I were installing the printer for the first time. This time, it worked.

I decided to post this here on the blog, due I know of other instances where folks have experienced similar printer issues after installing the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. The only help I could find on the Microsoft site for this problem was HERE, which tells me this may be a global problem.

Fix Printer Problems


I Use CCleaner, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, And Bitdefender Antivirus Free To Keep My PC Safe (and Clean)

April 4, 2016

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-014)

I have been involved with computers for nearly 30 years. I have never installed any “paid” antivirus software products and have solely relied on common sense and the FREE products that are available (and suitable for computers in the home). I have never had a virus on any of my home based computers. As you noticed, I mentioned “common sense” as one of the factors, which may be easier said than done. I do believe that you have to develop that sixth sense (or gut feeling) in knowing when you are entering potentially dangerous territory. On the software side I currently use three products to help keep my computers (at home) safe and clean.

CCleaner – Without a doubt, CCleaner is the number one optimization tool that not only cleans your computer, but also aids in keeping your computer safe. There is a FREE version and a paid version. I have always gotten along just fine with the free version.

Laptop showing the CCleaner interface - 1 billion downloads

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – Detects and removes malware on an infected computer with industry-leading anti-malware, anti-spyware, and anti-rootkit tech. Scans for the newest and most dangerous threats. Safely removes malware. One thing to point out at the start is that the FREE version of Malwarebytes is only a scanning utility and does not provide real-time protection. You can get the real-time protection by purchasing the commercial version of their software. Don’t let this deter you from downloading the FREE version. I use the FREE version and make a habit to manually download the updates and perform routine scans of my computer. If I was going to purchase protection for my computer, I would definitely go with the “paid” version of this software (so that it runs continuously in the background, stopping infections before they happen. Scans automatically and halts attempted attacks).

Malwarebytyes Anti-Malware

Bitdefender Antivirus FREE Edition – What I like about Bitdefender is that it is “smart and silent”. Once you install the FREE version, you will have to register with an email address; then, after that you will not even know it is on your computer. Bitdefender has a great reputation and has been well reviewed. As a reminder, when installing antivirus software; always remove (uninstall) any other antivirus software you have installed on your computer.

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A NEW Tool For The Tech Toolbox – Saw this on betaNews, “Investigate your PC’s RAM use with ATM“… This tool, called ATM performs an in-depth, low-level look at your PC’s system memory use. If you are a troubleshooter, ATM may be right up your alley. Being an old dumb PC Tech, this one was definitely above my level of comprehension (which isn’t much these days)…

ATM

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Easily Control Automatic and Unwanted Windows 7 & 8.1 Upgrading to Windows 10 – Here is a “How To”  @ Tech-for Everyone on using a utility called Never 10 that will disable the Windows 10 Upgrade (wiith just one click). Many folks are sticking to or reverting back to earlier versions of Windows due to the privacy concerns in Windows 10.

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Windows 10 Secret Apps View Basket

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HP Desktop Core 2 Duo 3.00GHZ 4GB 1TB DVD Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit , WIFI ,19″ LCD

HP Desktop Core 2 Duo 3.00GHZ 4GB 1TB DVD Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit , WIFI ,19" LCD

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