KPC – “Keeping Parents Clueless” With Text Messaging

December 10, 2014

For a 57 year old techie, my texting skills are pretty good compared to others in my age group; but, put me up against today’s teens and I am clearly no match (not even close). Part of the problem may be that I do not know the text message acronym system that is used by today’s kids to shorten (and hide) what they type. As a matter of fact, the first time I received a text “LOL = laughing out loud”, from my daughter, I was scratching my head.

I often stand back and wonder who determines the standard for any particular text message acronym and how does this become an accepted standard???  It is almost like the kids are born into this type of secretive messaging system that KPC – Keeps Parents Clueless. As a matter of fact, the kids are the teachers in this case and as student parents we need to know and learn this special language (to help keep our kids safe).

The point of this article is to let you know, especially if you are a parent, that these types of text communications can be closely related to those raging hormones and possibly to a hidden problem.

I happened across an Arizona based website, called azcentral, that had a piece (and video) on this very topic, and featured the “Top 28 Internet and text message acronyms every parent should know… (Source: azcentral)

I hope this list provides insight and makes us more sensitive in knowing what our kids are doing and saying (in coded words) to each other:

1. IWSN – I want sex now

2. GNOC – Get naked on camera

3. NIFOC – Naked in front of computer

4. PIR – Parent in room

5 CU46 – See you for sex

6. 53X – Sex

7. 9 – Parent watching

8. 99 – Parent gone

9. 1174′ – Party meeting place

10. THOT – That hoe over there

11. CID – Acid (the drug)

12. Broken – Hungover from alcohol

13. 420 – Marijuana

14. POS – Parent over shoulder

15. SUGARPIC – Suggestive or erotic photo

16. KOTL – Kiss on the lips

17. (L)MIRL – Let’s meet in real life

18. PRON – Porn

19. TDTM – Talk dirty to me

20. 8 – Oral sex

21. CD9 – Parents around/Code 9

22. IPN – I’m posting naked

23. LH6 – Let’s have sex

24. WTTP – Want to trade pictures?

25. DOC – Drug of choice

26. TWD – Texting while driving

27. GYPO – Get your pants off

28. KPC- Keeping parents clueless

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Having Problems Cloning A Windows 8 PC Hard Drive? Read These Articles, Download This FREE Software and Watch This Video

December 2, 2014

I recently purchased a new Windows 8 Box (see this article) and decided I wanted to make a bootable cloned drive. Being old school I went to work using the cloning software I had on hand and I immediately noticed something different in the drive partitions. The free software I was using was not getting the job done; and the drive, after the cloning process, did not boot. My tech instinct told me I was missing out on something and went to work researching terms I was seeing, such as GPT and UEFI.

I had been out of the field for nearly 7 years, have kept up with things (more as a hobby), but was not real familiar with the new GPT and UEFI terms that I was seeing. I had heard of the terms, but really did not pay any attention to them. Besides I always was a more of a software guy than a hardware guy (so it really did not hit high on my priority list, until now).

I soon discovered that all Windows 8 machines nowadays support the new GPT and UEFI ; AND, that it is real important to know what GPT and UEFI are when you get into the hardware side of a Windows 8 based computer.

In real simple terms GPT is the new replacement for MBR – Master Boot Record and UEFI is the new replacement for the BIOS – Basic Input/Output System.

To define GPT and UEFI in more complex terms (and to get a full understanding), I went to Wikipedia for a definition and found two really good articles that will bring this all together.

GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a standard for the layout of the partition table on a physical hard disk, using globally unique identifiers (GUID). Although it forms a part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard (Unified EFI Forum proposed replacement for the PC BIOS)…  source: wikipedia:GUID Partition Table 

If you read this article “What’s the Difference Between GPT and MBR When Partitioning a Drive?” you will see that MBR is old school and GPT is new school… source: How-To Geek

If you read this article “UEFI boot: how does that actually work, then?” you will see where the author adamantly is telling us UEFI and BIOS are two completely different beasts. This article in my opinion really nails down all of this stuff to the point where I found a lot of what I had been reading was off base due to people using the terminology incorrectly.

You do not have a ‘UEFI BIOS’. No-one has a ‘UEFI BIOS’. Please don’t ever say ‘UEFI BIOS’. BIOS is not a generic term for all PC firmware, it is a particular type of PC firmware. Your computer has a firmware. If it’s an IBM PC compatible computer, it’s almost certainly either a BIOS or a UEFI firmware… source: AdamW on Linux and more

Getting back to my original problem of cloning my Windows 8 hard drive, I now knew I needed to find cloning software that supported GPT and UEFI. This is where I found Macrium Reflect (FREE Edition), which supported the cloning process for GPT and UEFI based systems. Macrium Reflect is a free disaster recovery solution for your home computer that primarily specializes in making drive images.

Also, during my research, I came across this instructional video “How to Clone Windows 8” , where the person in the video will clearly walk you through the cloning process using the FREE Edition of Macrium Reflect…

When it comes to cloning Windows 8 or 8.1 you need to use the right software for the job, whats even better you don’t have to pay. Here is a free option that lets you clone Windows 8 or 8.1 with ease. The program is called Macruim Reflect, it supports the new GPT and UEFI BIOS that all windows 8 machines come with now days.

In the end, once I educated myself about GPT and UEFI, had the right software, and watched how to do it; I walked away with a successfully cloned (and bootable) hard drive. Due to my real life experience working through this, I decided to help others out in the event they start pulling their hair out, like I did…

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Be Ready For When The Cybercriminal That Misrepresents Microsoft Calls You

November 17, 2014

I want to start off this post by stating something I tell people, especially the elderly, who came from a generation that trusted other people.

“If you receive an unsolicited telephone call, whether it be a charity, a politician, an alarm company, your grandson is locked up in a jail in Canada, etc… where the caller is wanting money, PLEASE disconnect the call”.

What I am finding is once you get hooked by these calls you are placed on a call list that is sold to others AND the calls will perpetuate into more calls. It is like getting spammed by telephone and it gets so bad that you do not know what is real and what is not. My general rule of thumb is, when I get a phone call at my house and there is a delay of 3 seconds, GUESS WHAT? You just got disconnected.

 

One of my favorite blogging sites is TCAT Shelbyville – Technical Blog. Recently they posted an article (that I reblogged) titled, “No, you are not a Microsoft employee, no I don’t have a virus and by the way, you are definitely talking to the wrong people” that really hit home with me personally. I actually know several people, including members of my immediate family, where this fraudulent activity occurred.

The fraudulent activity I refer to is where a person (usually with a foreign accent) will randomly call you and tell you that they are a Microsoft Tech and will offer to fix your computer problems or sell you a software license. They will convince you into taking over your computer remotely and then they will go to work attempting one or all of the following:

  • Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
  • Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like http://www.ammyy.com) to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there

After reading the TCAT-Shelbyville article, I started wondering if Microsoft is aware that they are being misrepresented in this manner. What I discovered is that they do know and actually have a page up on their Safety & Security Site that focuses specifically on this matter. I strongly encourage you to visit Microsoft and read, “Avoid Tech Support Phone Scams” where you will learn the following:

  • Telephone tech support scams: What you need to know
  • How to protect yourself from telephone tech support scams
  • What to do if you already gave information to a tech support person
  • Will Microsoft ever call me?

How to report this crime:

The CyberCriminals that initiate these calls know that most people will not report the crime. I suggest that if you are victim of a call such as this, especially if you find your credit card has been compromised, that you report the matter to the local authorities and contact your credit card company immediately to be issued another card.

Microsoft also encourages you to contact them, as well:

Whenever you receive a phone call or see a pop-up window on your PC and feel uncertain whether it is from someone at Microsoft, don’t take the risk. Reach out directly to one of their technical support experts dedicated to helping you at the Microsoft Answer Desk. Or you can simply call Microsoft at 1-800-426-9400 or one of their customer service phone numbers for people located around the world.

Report phone scams 

In the United States, use the FTC Complaint Assistant form.

In Canada, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can provide support.

In the United Kingdom, you can report fraud as well as unsolicited calls.

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TECH DEAL – Metro Vacuum ED500 DataVac 500-Watt 0.75-HP Electric Duster 120 volt

November 11, 2014

To maintain optimum cooling performance and stability of your computers and electronics it is necessary that on a regularly scheduled basis that you blow out the dust that accumulates. I have seen the interior components of computers so laden with dust that a blanket had actually developed causing the computer to overheat and stop functioning. Not forgetting to mention that dust build up on electronics can cause an overheated condition that potentially can lead to a fire.

A solution to this issue is to used cans of compressed air. This is a good solution; however, it can also be a costly solution with the costs of canned air being as high as $7 or 8$. A solution to eliminating the ongoing expense of canned air is the Metro Vaccuum Electric Duster. Bite the bullet on the cost of this duster and never buy cans of compressed air again.

Don’t let the name of this product fool you into thinking this is a vaccuum cleaner. It is the opposite, it is a duster with a 3/4 HP blower and it is awesome (and powerful) that will blow the dust out of just about anything. When blowing dust from your computer, make sure you do it in an open air environment (like outdoors) and make sure you wear eye protection.

I found a good deal on this at Amazon that you can use as a price comparison and where you can get a good read on the customer reviews (of over 1500 reviews). I cannot emphasize the importance of keeping your electronics dust free.

Metro Vacuum ED500 DataVac
500-Watt 0.75-HP Electric Duster 120 volt

Metro Vaccuum Duster

Features:

Electric duster is compact and comfortable to use.

Powerful 500-Watt motor literally blasts dust, dirt and debris off expensive computer/electronic equipment.

Motor: .75 HP, Amps: 4.5 amps, Weight: 2.7 lbs.


Google Chrome Tip – How To Open Links In New Tab In Background

November 8, 2014

Google Chrome TipGoogle Chrome user?  Try this handy tip. Not sure if this will work in the other browsers; but, you may want to give it a try. To me this tip is pretty handy, especially if you are researching something and you need to open another browser tab in the background.  I found two ways this will work:

1 – Hover your mouse on a link on a web page and CLICK your MIDDLE MOUSE BUTTON and the link will open in a new tab (in the background). For some reason, the type of mouse that I have, this did not work; however, other mice I have used, this does work.

2 - A workaround, if your middle mouse button does not work (like in my case), is to hover your mouse on a link, is to push down the CTRL key on the keyboard and LEFT MOUSE CLICK the link. Again, this will open the link in a new tab (in the backgound).

 


Windows 10 Technical Preview: Install As A Dual Boot Configuration OR Install In A Virtual Box

October 12, 2014

If you are looking for a method to “test and try” the Windows 10 Technical Preview and you do not have a test PC available; I found detailed instructions, from two very reputable sources, for two common install options. Even though these options are commonly used, it always the general-rule-of-thumb to have backups of your personal files and your hard drive readily available in the event trouble arises.

OPTION #1 (provided by the How To Geek):  How to Dual-Boot Windows 10 with Windows 7 or 8 – You probably shouldn’t install Windows 10 on your primary PC. But, if you are going to, you should at least install it in a dual-boot configuration. You can then reboot to switch between your installed versions of Windows. Be sure you have backups of your important files before doing this. You shouldn’t lose your files if you follow this process, but a mistake or bug could cause you to lose them. Better safe than sorry! … READ MORE

How to Dual-Boot Windows 10 with Windows 7 or 8

 

OPTION #2 (provided by TechRepublic): Pro tip: How to install Windows 10 Technical Preview in VirtualBox – Do you want to take a closer look at the Windows 10 Technical Preview, but you don’t want to disrupt your current computing environment with what is essentially an incomplete and potentially unstable operating system? If, so you’re in luck, because you can do so quite easily and without any fear by installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview in an Oracle VM VirtualBox virtual machine. In this article, I’ll show you how… READ MORE

VirtualBox with Windows 10


Use Ctrl + H in Google Chrome To Access and Manage Your Browsing History

September 13, 2014

If you use the Google Chrome Web Browser, hold down the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard and hit the “H” key… This hotkey combination makes it easy to view your history (for the past 90 days) and to manage various aspects of it, such as “clearing your browsing history” and managing the history on any of your other google account signed-in devices.

Chrome - Browsing History

Use the History page to view a list of websites you’ve ever visited in the last 90 days while using Google Chrome in standard mode. This page doesn’t store pages from secure websites, those you’ve visited in incognito mode, or those you’ve deleted from your browsing history. If you’re signed in to Chrome on multiple devices you will see your browsing history from those signed-in devices. Any changes that you make to your history on one device will be synced to your other signed-in devices automatically.

 


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