We recently enjoyed a one night training here in Magrath by Mr Keith Russell of Cardston area. He presented a plan for prioritizing and elimination of debt through his method of 'planned spending' aka 'debt free spending'. Over a period of several years he has lived, taught and refined his program mostly as a community service. It got me enthused again on catching up on recording my own personal and business accounting - usually I wait until the tax man requireth his fees. His method takes recording of past expenses one step further, and after requiring entry of current cash flows, it looks at planning for expected upcoming expenses as well ..
Recently I have been getting more requests on how to download videos from the net for later playback - say at a location where internet access is iffy or non-existent.
For Linux the Youtube-dl tool has been my utility of choice. It is easily installed from the software libraries or from the command line [as: sudo apt-get install youtube-dl ]. As with many open-source programs, there is also a Windows version that can be downloaded and used .. however the Windows install is less straight forward as it requiresg Python install as well first. See http://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/documentation.html for the how to ..
Alternatively, I have recently stumbled on the savefrom.net website which works from your internet browser window .. so it is pretty much operating system neutral - meaning it should work for Windows or Linux or even Apple computers. "SaveFrom.net makes downloading from the internet convenient and simple. With our help you can download audio, video, and other types of files from various websites and social networks: rapidshare.com, youtube.com, vkontakte.ru etc .."
After many years in intensive care, your venerable XP operating system was taken off life support this month by your friends at Microsoft.
Without XP support, many of you are left to ponder, what will become of my poor old computer? As further XP bugs are uncovered, as no further debugging or support will be provided by Mr Microsoft, and as those bugs are eventually exploited by nefarious malware or virus programmers, XP will simply die a slow death and/or eventually just become completely unusable.
What to do? For now, your system may keep plugging on, for a while. Microsoft is banking on you plunking down more money on a new Microsoft Windows product. I propose you consider moving to a free, open source option - Ubuntu Linux works for me!
Why? Well, for one, the Ubuntu installation process is much simpler (and less costly .. can you beat free?) than the one for Windows version xyz. You enter a username and password and timezone and the easy installation automatically takes over and recognizes existing operating systems and gives you the option to install Linux without wiping any of the precious data sitting on your hard drive. Your computer hardware is also automatically detected and updated for you. The available software is open source - free to install and use on any number of computers so no pack of M$ Lawyers will chase you down and make you track licences and installations. It allows you to do all the regular things that you would use in a Windows environment and more via familiar easy to use equivalent programs - Chrome or Firefox vs Internet Explorer, Libre Office vs Microsoft Office, GNU Cash vs Quickbooks, etc. In addition, all programs update with the operating system. Wow! I find that everything I plug in just works. and Ubuntu is much more secure than your poor old Windows systems. Being Linux-based I have yet to see a virus or malware show up on my systems. You don't need expensive and system numbing add-on antivirus solutions, but you can run one is you wish. Any problems that arise are patched right away for free by the Ubuntu developers. My biggest problem has been too much choice .. a myriad of possible favorite software programs to try and use.
You can even just run the LiveCD option to try out Linux on your computer without even installing a thing on your hard drive. Very useful in getting started with Ubuntu or for even for fixing a 'broken XP' system. You can update your system every 6 months to keep on the bleeding edge, or stick with the LTS (Long Term Support) versions that are supported for 5 years! A new LTS version is released every 2 years. There is no extra fee for the LTS version and upgrades to new versions of Ubuntu are and always will be free of charge.
Being ever so customizable, the system can be configured to look and act like your old Windows system, if you cannot live without a start button. You can even install Windows emulation (called Wine). Wine allows you to run many Windows programs on Linux - including Netflix, RootsMagic, Picasa, and Family Search Indexing .. some of my favorites.
Need help? Although it is pretty easy install and get started with Ubuntu, you can also find tons of help online. For example, Mr Robbie Ferguson of Category5.tv has a weekly free tech support show - 1 hour long every Tue evening. You can view past viewer questions and answers or submit your own questions for consideration by phone or video or email. Many enthusiasts, like myself, post tips and helps online to keep you informed and edu-ma-cated.
Need more help? Of course, you can always hire me (or someone very much like me - if you don't live close by) to set you up, get you started and keep you going. Call me ..
Malware: Dodgy Extensions and Toolbars
What to do when everything suddenly goes awry
Ever suddenly noticed a new toolbar appearing on your favorite internet browser window? Have you noticed that your Home page is different or your Search engine 'new and improved'. Slower response than you remember? Popups? Adverts? Dire warnings that 'you already may be infected'? If you have teen users in the house, you are probably used to having all your stuff being re-arranged, desktop backgrounds appearing and getting reset, new programs and features appearing on your computer. When it gets bad enough, try to blame it on them first. Otherwise, there is always your spouse, the neighbor kids, or the family pet to blame**. If you live alone, you could possibly blame it on your computer repair person. Meanwhile, you and your computer have arrived in toolbar purgatory and is most likely infected with some kind of malware as well. Regardless of how it happened, you need help. How do you get rid of the mess?
Some toolbars can be a useful addition to your browser if you happen to use the product that the toolbar integrates with. There may be useful shortcuts, interesting news facts, the weather etc. etc. I have found them rarely to be of much use, and I suspect many have given over to the dark side. My policy is NO TOOLBARS, especially when they install themselves for you.
I suppose chances are that if one of these sorts of toolbars appear, that you or someone you love installed it when loading some other software or update for your particular product. They most likely downloaded it accidently by not paying attention to the very small tick box that said ‘install the “blahblah” whizbang toolbar also’ while rushing along and clicking ‘next’ or 'enter' to make all the popup screens go away and voila, here you are peering through all these toolbars! That said, there are many new malware programs that can install themselves just by browsing to a particular website address or by clicking the wrong link in an email or online .. many just want to stay and visit and catch up on what you have been doing lately. Some are more annoying or destructive.
SO WHAT CAN WE/YOU DO ABOUT IT?
There are a many ways to remove these toolbars and add-ons. Perhaps the quickest way is to reset your browser and if you click on one of the links below you’ll be taken to a page to learn how to reset that particular brower. Tip: If your favorite browser unlisted .. did you think to Google?
Internet Explorer - Mozilla Firefox – Google Chrome
Unless you are a Linux user, you NEED an antivirus program. For Windows, I tend to recommend AVG or AVIRA but you may already have McAfee or Norton installed. One (and only one) of these should be running on your computer whenever you are connected to a live internet connection – even if they tend to 'slow down' the computer. Malwarebytes MBAM anti-malware utility is a great 'get out of jail' type program that can be run, after you are or suspect you are infected, to search and destroy the more pesky malcreants. If you are a Windows user, another easy tool I recommend is ccleaner with a free version available for download and the paid version only $25 or so. Besides being a great tool for removing temporary files building up on your system and an efficient and effective registry cleaner, there is also an easy to use software remover tab. For most anything that has 'Toolbar' in the description, I use ccleaner to find and remove for me. Sweet. Yes, Windows has it's own Add Remove Programs utility, but I much prefer the ccleaner version.
Then again, if reading all the above sounds like 'wah wah, wah wah wah WAH' in your head, you can just hire me or someone like me to pop by and do all this for you. Your computer (and kids) will be happier for it and we really appreciate the business!
** I was called to fix a problem computer once where the icons were 're-arranging' themselves at random times unexpectedly. While onsite discussing the possible causes, their sweet two year old toddled by, reached up and blindly/happily used the mouse to click and drag the screen icons around above her head. Is it possible you just have a house elf problem?
Roger .. the computer guy in Magrath, AB
Howto: Shared network folder setups – Nov 2013 email@example.com
Here is one way to mount a folder on another computer (using Linux eg Mint or Ubuntu):
First, you need to know the IP addresses of the computers .. however, remember that unless they are static, these numbers may change from time to time .. on each computer, from a terminal window, you can type:
to list the 'inet addr' for that computer. For example on my laptop it shows inet addr:192.168.2.22 in the wlan0 section ..
also, in Linux Mint cifs-utils is installed by default, but if not, it can be installed or verified from the terminal as well with the command:
sudo apt-get install cifs-utils
(if it was already installed, you just get a nice message to that effect).
now, moving on .. on the computer you want access from, set up the sharing options.
In Ubuntu with Nautilus, you can just right-click on the folder and select 'Sharing Options'. With Mint and the Thunar file manager that option is missing, but you can accomplish these tasks from the command line .. something like this:
net usershare delete ShareDocs
net usershare add ShareDocs /home/user/Documents ”” Everyone:F guest_ok=y
net usershare info --long
(which removes a share, shares your folder at /home/user/Documents with share name of your choice, in this case, 'ShareDocs' to Everyone with Full access, and lists the results)
next, you will want to create a folder (mount point) for the share on the other computer, the one you want to share to:
sudo mkdir /media/shared
(current Ubuntu distributions like to use the /media folder for this sort of thing instead of /mnt .. which is standard used by older/other Linux distros .. but it's fine to use either) and finally, use a command like this to mount the share:
sudo mount.cifs //192.168.2.22/ShareDocs /media/shared -o user=USERNAME
Remember to replace USERNAME with the username for the Samba server that you need to log in as. You'll be prompted for your password. You can specify your password on the command-line too (with -o password=PASSWORD) but it will appear in cleartext in the Terminal and will go into your command history, so you probably don't want to do that. So, if all went well so far, the folder on the other computer linked to the share name ShareDocs will now be linked to this computer in the /media/shared folder .. you'll find the newly shared directory listed in your files manager files (sweet!) but only until you reboot your computer. To automate the connection, you have to insert the mount command into your fstab file .. or repeat the steps above each time you want to access the files ..
and for that .. see more how to at wiki.ubuntu.com/MountWindowsSharesPermanently
I was assigned the task to clear off all the files from an old Dell Dimension 2400 computer that was replaced with a new Windows 8 computer, because this old Windows XP system had . slowed .. to ... a .... crawl ..... Ahem. I use Ubuntu Linux on all my other computers but it would not even load on this old computer. I could have reinstalled the old now obsolete WinXP. Instead, I installed the latest version of Linux Mint (which is based on Ubuntu) and was pleased to find that it works just fine. The default Linux Mint desktop manager is Cinnamon, which also works but is just not as snappy as I would like. So, just logged out and back in using Gnome as the default desktop interface. Success! Great looking computer, very responsive, runs most everything any basic user would want. Yay.
Besides the basic stuff Linux Mint installs (Firefox, Libreoffice, etc) I took a little time to install Google Chrome for Internet, Family Search Indexing (Linux version), Wine and PAF, GnuCash for accounting, and even DosBox to run my better half's favorite DOS game Solitiles ..
I then tested Cinnamon on my Ubuntu Laptop, wow. I knew Linux was customizable, but hadn't really internalized the fact that they can all run pretty much whatever the other distro's can run. When you check the reviews, the focus is on what is pre-packaged with the install. However, with Linux Distros, if I like the way that Linux Mint uses Cinnamon, I can install it and run it on my Ubuntu system. Sweet. Switching desktop environments turns out to be a snap .. I just log off and back on after selecting the desktop I wanted to try.
The old computer is now ready for the upcoming Magrath Lions Garage Sale .. or for donating to the neighbours; completely ready to browse the internet, send and receive email, run PAF and Family Search, and track the family checkbook balances. Fun!
Funny ad .. but how true can any ‘attack style’ advertising be? They are over-exaggerating the Googdangers to try to change the transfer of your dollars from someone else’s pockets back into their own. Has Microsoft ever killed a feature, moved a menu around, changed the way things used to work (ahem .. vista, word ribbon ..)? Can I get an ‘upgrade’ from the audience? Has a cool product ever just been scrapped? What ever happened to Bob? He seemed nice. Ever make a program obsolete? Try to make everyone ‘upgrade’ simply because they want you to try out a new operating system.They seem to be stuck on ‘how can so much of it be free’ – as in no charge, without exchange of dollars, open. The concept is simple. Remember broadcast TV? You know, the old kind before cable and satellite and internet. They paid for the service by selling advertising! We got to watch shows without cost over the air by permitting ourselves to become their product rather than their customer. Of course, in order to keep ‘us’ as products, they had to provide fabulous (enough) content so that we would keep watching. Ever hear of Nielsen ratings? It is in Google’s best interest to keep providing excellent (enough) products so that we continue to function as their products for their paying advertisers as we consume their Googcontent and use their ‘free’ Googservices.
I keep needing to use this: Find '.+' (or similar) and Replace with '&' effectively re-enters the contents of cells. This can be used to 'strip' formatting automatically applied by Calc (often needed to 'clean' data imported from the clipboard or badly formatted files), for example, to convert text strings consisting of digits, into actual numbers (the cells must first be correctly formatted 'number'). The leading apostrophes, telling Calc to treat the numbers as text, are removed.