TechByter Worldwide offers high-tech content in plain English. Programs are approximately 20 minutes long are listed by date and topic. (YYYY.MM.DD: Topic)
TechByter Worldwide 2021-10-22: Using Facebook For Your Advantage, Not Mark Zuckerberg's. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
17:36Facebook is the service we love to hate, or maybe hate to love. There are ways to make Facebook work to your advantage, not Facebook's. We'll explore some of them. In Short Circuits: Sometimes an external disk that's connected to a computer may enter standby mode. Although a Windows setting should keep that from happening, it doesn't always work. There's an alternative that does. • Advertisers use certain key words to interest potential buyers. It's not too surprising that scammers have found words that help then run their cons. In Spare Parts (only on the website): First, a quick look at a transparent scam -- one that's beyond laughable. • A survey says that more than 80% of workers like the idea of automation. Do you buy that? • Twenty years ago: USB 2.0 had just been released, and it was considerably faster than the original.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-10-15: Manage Your Computer's Disk Drives with AOMEI Partition Assistant. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
20:12Windows includes a Disk Management application that can be used to define partitions, create logical drives, format drives, change drive letters, and more. But that's not always enough. Let's take a look at AOMEI's Partition Assistant and see how even the free version offers more. In Short Circuits: Microsoft has been working to replace the Control Panel with a Settings app for the past nine years. Windows 11 brings that process much closer to completion. • Two months ago, I described the process of eliminating the television part of our home's cable service. Now it's time to review the results and see if the decision was a good one. In Spare Parts (only on the website): YouTube at last has decided to block anti-vaccine videos and ban accounts of the idiots who claim the vaccines that have saved lives for nearly a century are dangerous. • Holiday shopping for high-tech devices may be derailed this year by a shortage of computer chips, so maybe you'll have to go low-tech instead. • Twenty years ago: The Palm Pilot was hot in 2001. Everybody wanted one. Then smart phones arrived, and personal digital assistants became unnecessary.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-10-08: Password Managers Versus Two-Factor Authentication. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
19:37Security is becoming more important than ever. Using two-factor authentication is wise for any site that offers it. Microsoft enhances security by doing away with passwords, but password managers are still essential. In Short Circuits: If you have a slow internet connection, it might not be the service provider's fault. Modems, routers, cables, and even the computer's Ethernet adapter or Wi-Fi adapter can cause problems. • In addition to passwords as noted in this week's lead article, biometric authentication is being used more. That trend will continue. In Spare Parts (only on the website): How much time do you spend removing junk applications from a new computer? Probably more than you should, yet manufacturers insist on bundling unwanted bits with their new systems. • A bit less than 600 days ago, before we were aware of what would become the covid pandemic, government agencies at all levels had security problems. Today it's worse. • Twenty years ago: Many modem manufacturers had gone out of business, but MultiTech persisted by developing systems for the future.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-10-01: Picking A Central Processing Unit For Your New Computer. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
21:49The central processing unit is the single most important component in a computer. That's not to denigrate all the other components because they're essential, too, but selecting the right CPU is a good first step when you're planning to buy or build a new computer. In Short Circuits: Internet service providers include a modem with the service, but you'll pay $10 to $15 per month to rent it. It's possible to save money by installing a modem that you own, but there's also a small risk involved. • Scammers use email, instant messages, and phone calls to steal your identity and your money, but some of the attempts are so poor that it's hard to believe anyone would fall for them. Let's listen to one. In Spare Parts (only on the website): Linux turned 30 in August, but I have stopped asking if this is the year of Linux. Anyone who uses the internet uses Linux every day, but don't expect it to take over the desktop anytime soon. Or ever. • After weeks of research, tinkering, and muttering, I have definitively found the cause of the problem that caused my primary computer to crash repeatedly. I should have figured it out sooner. • Twenty years ago: If you think computers are frustrating today, I have a story from 2001 that you may find to be reminiscent of problems you faced back then.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-09-24: Searching With Precision. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
23:25Online searching can be more productive with the right search engine for the current task, and query options can narrow the search to return more accurate results. In Short Circuits: Scammers demanding payment like to use email messages that they claim have come from your computer. They're lying, of course. Let's see how. • Microsoft Word comes with a lot of built-in annoyances. Most of them are easy to fix, but one requires a lot more effort than it should. In Spare Parts (only on the website): Microsoft has a function that tries to prevent users from installing unwanted apps, but now it's turned on by default. • Command line functions may seem like remnants of the ancient past, but several are handy and even those who have never used a command line can benefit from them. • Twenty years ago: I was ecstatic when thinking about replacing an old-style CRT monitor with a "huge" 18-inch flat-panel monitor.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-09-17: Serif Boosts Performance For Affinity Apps. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
21:31Affinity applications from Serif continue to improve and are good alternatives to Adobe applications for users who don't need the video, audio, animation, and numerous other applications that are part of Adobe's Creative Cloud. In Short Circuits: Heat is death to computers, and high CPU temperatures have been causing my primary computer to halt without warning. Having determined that the problem was heat, not something else, I've been looking for a solution. • Maybe you're thinking about buying a new camera. The mirrorless types are selling well and even Canon and Nikon have mirrorless models. What makes them so popular? Let's look. In Spare Parts (only on the website): It's official: Windows 11 will start being deployed to eligible computers on 5 October, but the phased process won't be complete until the middle of next year. • Readers can choose ebooks or printed books. Each choice has certain advantages and a lot of people plan to stick with physical books. • Twenty years ago: I was in Boston on 11 September 2001. Being unable to go anywhere, we continued with the Corel World conference and I tried to figure out how to get home when the event ended.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-09-10: Finding A Most Elusive Computer Problem. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
21:43When a computer problem continues to re-emerge after each attempt to fix it, users have a couple of choices: Buy a new computer and all peripherals (a bit expensive) or keep looking for the cause of the issue (a bit time consuming). In Short Circuits: Heat kills electronics, but computer manufacturers keep cramming more components into smaller spaces and running them at faster speeds, so keeping a computer cool can be a challenge. • Are you looking forward to Windows 11 with anticipation or concern? Much remains the same, some changes appear to be based on the MacOS, and you'll undoubtedly find features you hate among those you like. In Spare Parts (only on the website): The dangers of supply chain attacks aren't limited to businesses; even home computer users can be caught in malware from scammers. • Virtual reality headsets. Facebook thinks users should wear them. Are you in or out? • Twenty years ago: Digital Equipment Corporation had been absorbed by Compaq in 1998, and I was wondering if anyone still remembered the one-time leader in minicomputers.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-09-03: Trying The Vivaldi Browser. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
18:19If you're frustrated with the current crop of browsers, how about giving Vivaldi a try? It may be the most customizable browser available, and it has a lot of features that make it easy to use. In Short Circuits: Scammers run the gamut from just plain stupid to brilliant. Most are somewhere in the middle, capable of producing scams with clever ways to separate people from their money or their data, but not quite smart enough to make their attempts entirely convincing. • Users of Backup and Sync from Google are already seeing alerts about the upcoming Drive for Desktop. The new version can be installed now, and there are good reasons for doing it sooner rather than later. In Spare Parts (only on the website): There are several ways to store your vaccination record on a smart phone, and any of the options will be better than carrying the CDC card around. • Companies want more and more of our personal data, but we consumers are beginning to push back. • Twenty years ago: It looked like the "new media" would be driven by "old media", but a lot has changed since 2001.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-08-27: Delaying Startup Application Speeds Computer Startup. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
19:19Many Microsoft processes start with Windows, some applications have settings to start them at boot time, and you may have added some of your own. Sometimes it's possible to decrease the time required to start the computer by delaying certain auto-start applications. There are apps for this. In Short Circuits: Using a search engine without looking carefully at the results can put your computer in danger, particularly when a "data void" exists. When only a few results are returned, beware. • Remember August 12, 1981? That's the day the IBM PC was released, and the process of changing just about everything began. Apple and others were selling home computers earlier, but IBM was the name that made it OK for businesses to welcome desktop computers into their offices. In Spare Parts (only on the website): The computer chip shortage that's affected automobile and computer manufacturing is now causing problems for smart phone makers. • I ordered a new computer in December 1988. It was a remarkable device, an 80286 computer that could be upgraded to use an 80386 processor. It was from Wells American. And it crashed, but not the way you think. There's a story behind that. • Twenty years ago: It looked like Bluetooth technology had a future, but it was off to a slow start.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-08-20: Dumping A Cable TV Provider. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
21:05This week's podcast is all about replacing cable television with streaming options, starting with a look at over-the-air options, streaming devices, and streaming services. In Short Circuits: We'll continue by considering what's involved in setting up a streaming device, adding a streaming service to it, and establishing your preferred channels. • Then let's think about the hoops you'll have to jump through to convince you cable provider that you no longer want their television offerings. In Spare Parts (only on the website): There are lots of hidden features that come with video streaming, so I'll mention a few that seem useful. • Trying to avoid what seemed like a difficult project kept me connected to cable television for too long. If you're wary of the work involved, let me refer you to a few websites that can help. • Twenty years ago: Egghead, which closed all of its stores in 1998 and became Egghead.com, went out of business in 2001 and sold assets to Fry's.