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One favourite OAP scam

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This is the scenario:

  1. You get a phone call late morning or early afternoon – that pretends to be from BT, SKY, or somewhere popular yearly subscription service; informing you that your contract or insurance is close to expire.
  2. They friendly ask if you would like to continue the contract and then offer you to upgrade there and then (MISTAKE)!
  3. They even say they have your card details from last year, and can you please confirm that the card-number starts (not ending) with 4159. And of course, this is incorrect so you automatically change the card number to the correct one (MISTAKE)!
  4. They might even be cheeky and snail-mail you an invoice asking you to send a cheque, as your payment didn’t go through. So, you do (MISTAKE)!
  5. A week later you might get another snail-mail informing you that if you don’t pay they will send the debt-collectors to you.

 

DON’T RESPOND! Either hang up or say “Sorry I can’t speak now; can I have your name and number please, so that I can call you back”. 90% of the time they will hang up.

Then phone the company in question and query the call/writ. It is most likely a forgery and a scam.

Then report the number and name to the fraud police.

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My Chromecast Saga

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For once the “Getting started” documentation was clear and correct.

I plugged the Chromecast #1 (upstairs) into my TV via HDMI; then I had to go online on my smartphone to do the “Setup”, this involved downloading and installing “Google Home” this was so beautifully easy. Before the Chromecast could be used it needed to update its software. I was prompted to link it to my router; and after that, it didn’t take long before it was up and running.

While I was at it I also installed “Google Home” on my live smartphone (Samsung S4) and on my tablet (Samsung Tab 4), great, the Chromecast can now be controlled by any of the 3 gadgets.

I then wanted to install another Chromecast #2 downstairs.
It hooked up ok, but the update just looped – it stayed on 0% for hours on end until I “x’ed” the upgrade. Thinking about it decided that maybe the “Google Home” apps needed to be re-installed, so I uninstalled “Google Home”, cleared the cache and data in “Play Store” – but alas – my Wi-Fi network is now refusing to let me install anything from “Google Play Store”. It was a faulty “Chromecast” and it has been returned and refunded.

It was not my applications/gadgets that were faulty; because when I went to my neighbour and use their Wi-Fi to download from “Play Store” it worked fine. It took about 3 weeks before my Wi-Fi was working correctly again.

 

Microsoft Exchange Server in Outlook 2010

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I noticed that I was receiving email on my mobile that I wasn’t receiving on my desktop through Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 Pro. The last mail I had received was on the 9th of July. I searched high and low (for 2-3 days) and couldn’t find the reason why. There just wasn’t any useful explanation on why outlook.com emails weren’t received in Outlook 2010.

I remembered some Microsoft emails way back in Feb. / Mar that was talking about not receiving emails after their server upgrade. This email stated that I delete the existing IMAP account and create a new Microsoft exchange account. That sounded easy enough. What I didn’t do was to back up the old system and that’s where all my problems started.

I had a beautiful automated system that worked with three POP3/SMTP accounts all embedded into one primary, plus five separate IMAP (one hotmail.com, one live.co.uk, two outlook.com and one gmail.com) accounts. The whole email system was controlled by approximately 360 rules that would move my emails into relevant folders depending on contents and where they came from.

I also had a fantastic task setup that would automatically create a new task when completing the old one.

This is what happened when I changed the first of the four Microsoft accounts to “Microsoft exchange server” my system was destroyed! The reconfiguring of that account merged itself into my primary account with the other POP3/SMTP accounts.

I could NOT uninstall it without uninstalling the perfectly good POP3 accounts. Not only did it not want to be uninstalled it also became the master of the group, and because it didn’t have any rules and tasks, guess what; I lost the work I had created over the years, no rule, and no tasks. What a mess! Thank you Microsoft another brilliant software manipulation! I also lost the use of my shared linked Hotmail calendar (again).

As you can see I have had a brilliant week trying to solve problems introduced by Microsoft converting (forcing) everybody to use Office365.

NO, NO, NO I am not going there! There is harvesting, and there is harvesting of user data; but sorry not with me!

So what was the solution with Outlook 2010? I have recreated everything (I hope) in Mozilla Thunderbird. The only outstanding topic is my tasks. I must admit that the task handling in Outlook 2010 was quite brilliant.

Again the calendar was a little tricky to get working as Microsoft doesn’t permit Thunderbird to sync both ways with their calendar; but they do let Google sync both ways (I think but it doesn’t seem to work anymore), so I loaded Google calendar with my Microsoft online calendar; then I loaded Thunderbird with “Provider for Google Calendar add-on” and imported the Google calendar – without any problems and now I can update my Microsoft calendar from my desktop, my mobile and my tablet. Brilliant!

How to revive an old XP-PC to a useful PC

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First you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it – for instance:

  1. has it got enough memory (2gb or more)
  2. is the processor good enough (2mhz or better)
  3. is there 6gb or more free disk space on your hard drive

If you answered “Yes” to all the above questions you can then safely install Ubuntu (Linux) onto your PC/Laptop.

You can install it either as the ONLY operating system on your PC or change your PC to become a dual boot system; where you have to answer (at boot time) which system to use (a Ubuntu screen where both Ubuntu and Windows are the choices).

By using dual boot you can then when you need to re-boot and use Windows for example for your scanner – that is – if you can’t find the Linux driver for it.

Linux Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS will automatically install:

  1. Rhythmbox – Music Player
  2. Shotwell – Photo Manager
  3. GIMP – Image Editor
  4. PiTiVi – Video Editor
  5. FireFox – Web Browser
  6. Thunderbird – Email reader
  7. LibraOffice – similar to OpenOffice Word, Excel, PowerPoint …

Ubuntu offers thousands of apps available for download from the software center. Most are available for free and can be installed with just a few clicks.

My bad start to 2016

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Happy 2016 – I wish you all a successful and prosperous year.

Now that I have started ‘working’ again – IT-buddy at the library today was a waste of time as nobody turned up. So my two hours reserved for the library was in vain;
and tomorrows two hours has already been cut to just one; but that’s ok because I know.

Aggie, my supervisor, is getting me two new students for Wednesdays.

On the positive side; I fixed a laptop that didn’t want to start, and it only took two hours.

Christmas Greetings

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I wish all my followers a merry Christmas
and all the best for the Year 2016.

sne dk 23-11-2015 (1y)