Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How to program TV Input for a DirecTV remote control

To program the TV Input feature on your DirecTV remote control, follow these steps:

- Push the slider to DIRECTV
- Press Select and Mute, and hold them down until the remote's LED blinks two times
- Press 9, then 6, then 0

The LED should blink two times, indicating that TV Input has been programmed.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

How to fix an SC400 error on a Ricoh Aficio SP C430DN printer

On a Ricoh C430DN printer, an SC400 error is often caused by a dirty image density (ID) sensor.  You can clean this sensor yourself, rather than pay a technician to come out and do it.  A dirty ID sensor can also cause other problems, such as color misalignment issues.

The ID sensor on this printer is actually a set of five sensors, located on the ID sensor board.  The ID sensor board is located inside the front door of the C430DN. You can see a picture of it in the service manual, on pages 4-48 and 4-49. (If you don't have the service manual, you can probably find it online -- such as on lfncopiadoras.com -- but always be careful when viewing or downloading documents from unfamiliar sites.) The manual shows you the procedure for removing the ID sensor board; you don't need to do all of those steps just to clean it.  Follow the steps shown until you are comfortable seeing or reaching the ID sensors so you can clean them.

If you can get to the sensors, you can wipe them down with a dry, lint-free cloth.  You can use a tiny bit of alcohol to clean them, but make sure you wipe off every last drop.  If you can't physically reach the sensors, use canned air to clean them.  Be sure to clean all five sensors.  Don't use an oil rag or a cleaning wipe to clean the sensors, as these can leave a residue.

Often, cleaning the ID sensors and rebooting the printer will resolve an SC400 error.  If the problem persists, however, it may be time to call a technician to diagnose it.  You may need to replace the ID sensor board, or you could have a problem with the transfer belt unit or another internal component.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How to take a screen shot on a Samsung Galaxy On5 smart phone

To take a screen shot from a Samsung Galaxy On5 smart phone, press the Home button (wide button below the screen) and the Power button (button on the right side of the phone) at the same time, and hold them down for a second or two.  A quick animation will display when the screen shot is taken.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How to prevent Twitter from posting your location when you tweet

By using location services with a Twitter mobile app, you may be allowing Twitter to post your location under your tweets.  At the bottom of your tweets, if you see "from" and a location next to the date and time of your tweet, then at some point you gave Twitter permission to post your location.

To prevent Twitter from adding your location to your tweets, follow these steps:

- In your web browser, click on your avatar in the upper right corner (next to the "Tweet" button).
- From the drop down menu, select "Settings and privacy."
- On the left side of the screen, select "Privacy and safety."
- To the right of "Tweet location," uncheck the box next to "Add a location to my Tweets."
- Click the "Save changes" button at the bottom of the screen.
- Enter your Twitter password in the text field.
- Click on "Save changes."

If you'd also like Twitter to remove your location from any tweets it has already been included in, click the "Delete location information" button below the location checkbox, then click "OK" when prompted to confirm your choice.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How to disable conversation view in the Yahoo! Mail Android app

By default, the Yahoo! Mail app for Android devices uses conversation view, where messages between the same people on the same subject are grouped together.  If you like conversation view, that's great.  If you don't, then disabling it is easy enough:

- Open the Yahoo! Mail app.
- Tap the Menu icon in the upper left corner (the 3 horizontal bars).
- Tap Settings.
- Tap the slide bar next to Conversations.  It should turn from on to off.




Saturday, May 20, 2017

How to disable auto rotate on a Samsung Galaxy On5 smart phone

By default, a Samsung Galaxy On5 phone is set to auto rotate (change from portrait view to landscape view) when it's held sideways.  If you don't like that behavior, you can easily disable the auto rotate feature.

With the phone unlocked, swipe down from the top of the screen.  Several options should appear.  Tap "Autorotate" and it will change to "Portrait" -- meaning the auto rotate feature has been disabled.  (If you see "Portrait" when you swipe down instead of "Autorotate" it means that auto rotate has already been turned off.)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to find the MAC address for a Samsung Galaxy On5 smart phone

To find your On5's MAC address:

- Tap Settings

If you don't see the Settings icon, tap Apps, then find Settings in the apps list.

- Scroll down to the bottom of the list and tap About device
- Tap Status

The phone's MAC address will be displayed about halfway down the list, labeled as Wi-Fi MAC address.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How to find the Bluetooth address for a Samsung Galaxy On5 smart phone

To find your Galaxy On5's Bluetooth address:

- Tap Settings

If you don't see the Settings icon, tap Apps, then find Settings in the apps list.

- Scroll down to the bottom of the list and tap About device
- Tap Status

The phone's Bluetooth address will be displayed toward the bottom of the list.  Note that if Bluetooth is currently disabled, the Bluetooth adress will be displayed as "Unavailable."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How to disable auto-fetching on a Samsung Galaxy On5 smart phone

To disable auto-fetching (the automatic download of multimedia messages) on your Samsung Galaxy On5, follow these steps:

- Tap Messages

If you don't see the Messages icon, tap Apps, then find Messages in the apps list.

- Tap More in the upper right corner
- Tap Settings
- Tap More settings
- Tap Multimedia messages
- If Auto retrieve is set to "ON," tap it to change it to "OFF"

Monday, April 17, 2017

How to find the IP address of a Samsung Galaxy On5 smart phone

To see the IP address for your Samsung Galaxy On5:

- Tap Settings

If you don't see the Settings icon, tap Apps, then find Settings in the apps list.

- Scroll down to the bottom of the list and tap About device
- Tap Status

The phone's IP address will be displayed about halfway down the list.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

ZTE Overture 2 smart phone review

The saying "You get what you pay for" isn't always true.  But there is at least one purchase where you will get exactly what you pay for.  When you buy the ZTE Overture 2 for $20 (at least from Cricket; price may vary elsewhere) you are getting a $20 Android smart phone.  Nothing more, nothing less.

The Overture 2 will place and receive phone calls, send and receive texts, and browse the web.  If you ask it to do much more than that, you won't like its response.  (My Overture 2 has failed to receive several phone calls and many texts, but I think that's an issue with the service -- Cricket -- rather than the phone itself.)

The phone only comes with 8GB of internal storage, much of which isn't usable, so you don't have a lot of room to install apps.  The phone can run games and play videos well enough, though it often takes a couple of seconds to launch an app, and it's not always very responsive.  Its 1GB of RAM feels non-existent when you try to make or receive a call; it takes at least a couple of seconds for the phone to start dialing or to answer an incoming call.

The phone is slow in other ways, as well.  When you are in a phone call and you remove the phone from your ear, the Overture 2 is sluggish in responding to its proximity sensors and turning the screen back on.  Sometimes turning the phone on when it's been idle for a while can take a few tries.

The Overture 2's non-removable battery is low-quality.  With a daily usage of one or two phone calls, 10-20 texts, and the occasional Twitter binge, the phone needs to be charged almost every day.  When I had Avast installed, it drained the battery over 50% just idling and updating overnight.  Even after uninstalling Avast, the phone lost 14% of its battery life in 3 hours of overnight idling.  On the plus side, the battery does charge back up quickly.

The rear-facing 5MP camera is one of the worst I've seen on a smart phone.  It does not focus well, and anything that's not immediately in front of you will be hard to see.  It also has a front-facing, 0.3MP camera.

The phone sometimes seems to have a mind of its own.  It won't always save the volume setting, especially when in vibrate mode, which can lead to a loud notification while you're at work.  Other times the alarm will go off but without any sound, even when sound is enabled.  Occasionally the phone will disable data transmission on its own.  Using Bluetooth on the Overture 2 often takes several tries to pair with another device.

The ZTE Overture 2 isn't all bad.  The glass is sturdy, resistant to damage, and easy to clean.  The phone itself is lightweight and stays cool even during heavy use.

iPhone users or high-end (even mid-range) Android users will not be happy with this phone.  If you're on a budget, the ZTE Overture 2 will probably fulfill your basic call/text/web needs.  As long as you don't expect more than that out of it, you might not be disappointed.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

How to switch to Yahoo Mail Basic


Yahoo Mail running too slow?  Don't like the Archive button where the Delete button used to be?  You can switch to Yahoo Mail Basic for a faster (but less robust) email experience.

- In the upper right corner of the mail screen, hover over the gear icon (to the right of your name).
- Select Settings.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings modal anBasic.
d next to "Mail version" select
- Click Save.


Yahoo Mail will reload with a faster, simpler interface.  The Delete button will be back where it used to be, the Archive button will be gone, and everything should load faster.  One drawback to using the Yahoo Mail basic version is that you can't select multiple emails at a time by using SHIFT -- though you can still do it using CTRL.

If you ever want to switch back to the newer, full-featured Yahoo Mail, simply click the "Switch to the newest Yahoo Mail" link in the upper right right area of the screen.  You'll immediately notice the difference in speed upon switching back.

Monday, March 6, 2017

How to clear your search history for the Twitter Android app

To clear your search history in the Twitter for Android app:

- Tap the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the home screen.  (If you don't see it, scroll up.)
- Tap the search bar, where it says "Search Twitter."
- Tap the X to the right of where it says "RECENT."
- Tap CLEAR to confirm that you want to clear the recent searches.

Friday, February 24, 2017

How to clear your Twitter search history

Twitter stores your recent searches, and brings up a list of them when you click or type in the search bar.  You can easily erase any saved searches if you want.  Here's how to do it from your web browser:

- Click in the search bar area at the top of your Twitter page
- Select Clear All



Monday, February 13, 2017

How to clear your Facebook search history from your web browser

Facebook stores your search history, presumably for autocomplete reasons.  Unless someone else is logged into your Facebook account (or looking over your shoulder) they shouldn't be able to see your search history,  but you can still erase it if you want to.  Read on to see how to clear your Facebook search history from your web browser.

- Log in to your Facebook account


- Click on the magnifying glass in the search bar (at the top of the screen)


- Click Edit



- Click Clear Searches



- Click Clear Searches again to confirm


Friday, February 3, 2017

How to disable read receipts on Twitter

By default, when someone sends you a direct message through Twitter, they will be able to see if you have read that message.  If you don't want Twitter to provide that information, you can easily disable read receipts.  The caveat here is that if you disable read receipts for the messages you receive, you will also be disabling your ability to see whether other people have read your messages.

To disable read receipts:

- Log in to your account at Twitter.com/login
- Click on your profile picture in the upper right corner (next to the Tweet button)
- Select Settings
- Click on Security and privacy on the left sidebar
- Scroll down to the bottom, and uncheck Send/Receive Read Receipts
- Click the blue Save Changes button
- If prompted, enter your password and click Save Changes

Friday, January 27, 2017

How to quickly insert a screenshot into Word 2013


Microsoft Word 2013 gives you the option to take a screenshot and insert it into a Word document in one easy step (without having to save the screenshot first).  To copy and insert the current view from any open program, file, or folder:

- Open a Word document (either an existing document or a blank new document) in Word 2013
- Select the Insert tab
- Select Screenshot*
- Select the currently-open program or view from which you want to take a
screenshot

Once you have inserted the screenshot, you can resize it or move it around just like any other picture.

* If the "Screenshot" option is grayed out, you will need to convert your document to the current Word version first.  To convert the document:

- Select the File tab
- Click Convert
- Click OK

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Name the Malwarebytes robot for $200

Malwarebytes, the company behind the popular anti-malware tool of the same name, is looking for a name for their robot mascot.  Come up with the winning name and you could win a cool $200 (in the form of a Visa gift card).  Entries can be submitted here, and must be in by February 1st, 2017.


Friday, January 13, 2017

FTC launches IoT security challenge with $25,000 prize

Ever worry about how insecure the "smart" devices in your home are?  Wanna do something about it?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is launching the IoT Home Inspector Challenge, an open call to developers, software engineers, and weekend tinkerers to create a solution (hardware or software) that will make the Internet of Things a little safer.

Specifically, the FTC is looking for a tool that can, at the very least, "help protect consumers from security vulnerabilities caused by out-of-date software."  Of course, more is better if you want to add additional security features.

You can enter by yourself or with a team, and the top entry will earn $25,000.  Honorable mentions can potentially take home $3,000.  The contest runs from March 1st to May 22nd, and the winner(s) will be revealed in late July.

If you're thinking of entering, all the rules and eligibility requirements can be found on the FTC's contest page.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Follow Hound: Twitter extension to see who's not following you back

Want to know which of the Twitter accounts you follow isn't following you back?  Follow Hound will show you with just one click.

When viewing the list of those you're following, simply click the Follow Hound icon (the blue dog) in Chrome's upper right corner (once you've installed it; you can get it from the Chrome Web Store) and the list will be filtered to only show users who are not following you back.  This filter makes it a breeze to see who isn't following you, and you can decide whether to unfollow them or not.  As you scroll down the page and more users are loaded, they will automatically be filtered as well.

Follow Hound is free, lightweight, and simple to use.  If you experience any issues, please leave a comment on this page or on the Follow Hound support tab in the Chrome Web Store.

Follow Hound is currently only available as a Chrome browser extension, but an Opera version is in the works.