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 2021-07-30: Fix Context Menus with The Glary Context Menu Manager. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
Right-clicking a file, directory, or disk drive displays what Microsoft calls a context menu that offers actions you might want to take with the object. It's a relatively sparse list initially, but a lot of applications add actions that you might not want. It's possible to shorten an uncomfortably long list. In Short Circuits: The early preview of Windows 11 is now on one of my computers. Considering this is a "Dev Channel" version, it includes a surprisingly small number of nasty bugs. • Much of the promise of 5G cellular technology is based on the presumption that it will be ubiquitous. For that to happen, providers will need to install a huge number of what are called "small cells" -- maybe 45 million of them in the next decade. In Spare Parts (only on the website): Spyware is nasty stuff, but it's here to stay. • In the not too distant future, you might be able to order a hamburger that doesn't require a cow to be slaughtered and yet isn't made from plants. Say hello to "cultured meat". • Twenty years ago: I was introduced to DiskOnKey at Showstoppers, a program that wasn't part of PC Expo but ran one evening during the big show. DiskOnKey was what we would later call a thumb drive, and it was revolutionary.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-07-23: Windows 11 Is Coming, Ready Or Not. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
In June, Microsoft announced that Windows 11 is on the way, and the first preview is out now for those in the Windows Insider Dev Channel. Not all computers that run Windows 10 will be able to run Windows 11, so let's take a look. In Short Circuits: 4G cellular systems became the dominant technology in just a few years, and it looks like adoption of 5G will be even faster. • Should software developers wait until the code is perfect before releasing operating systems or applications? Short answer: No. In Spare Parts (only on the website): An executive order from the president aims to make it easier for consumers to get faulty devices repaired, to re-establish Net Neutrality, and to address several other consumer issues. • If you feel like your company is demanding that you do more in less time, you're not alone. • Twenty years ago: Online grocer Webvan had just announced that it had laid off its remaining 2000 employees, shut down, and would file for bankruptcy. Nobody wanted to buy groceries online back then. What a difference 20 years and a pandemic make!
TechByter Worldwide 2021-07-16: Glary Utilities 5 Might Be The Best Way To Clean Your Computer. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
Perhaps you've used CCleaner for years to clean your computer, but Glary Utilities looks like a better choice. Let's see what it can do. In Short Circuits: Regardless what developers do to protect data on computers, criminals find ways to steal it. Windows 11 will be more security aware, but there may still be a need for other measures. • If asked to name the top cellular providers, you'd probably name Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT and T, but there are others and you might get both lower costs and better service with one you may never have heard of. In Spare Parts (only on the website): A column in the New York Times asks why Microsoft didn't put itself out of business with a series of bad moves. The proposed answer is interesting. • Have you received a "vishing" call or email? Not "phishing", but "vishing". It's just another danger to watch out for. • Twenty years ago: Bluetooth had been in development for a while and it was beginning to take off in 2001. Frost and Sullivan's UK branch said 4.2 million products using Bluetooth technology would be shipped to market by the end of the year. They predicted that number would exceed one billion by 2006. Did it happen?
TechByter Worldwide 2021-07-09: When Windows Search Is Insufficient, Send In Agent Ransack. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
No matter how carefully you organize files on your computer, there's at least a small chance that someday you won't be able to find a file you need. Fortunately, the free Agent Ransack can find it for you, and do it quickly. In Short Circuits: Scammers are limited in the types of attacks they can use, so they have to keep coming up with new presentations. Airline scams are in. • Most Windows computer users have the Task bar at the bottom of the screen. There are good reasons to put it at the top of the screen, though, even for those who prefer having it at the bottom. In Spare Parts (only on the website): Western Digital My Book Live devices, which haven't been produced for the last six years, are in danger of being compromised. • Upgrading to Windows 11 may require a visit to the computer's BIOS settings and some computers don't have a security chip that will be required for the new version of the operating system. • Twenty years ago: I've always enjoyed the irony that, after spending a week at PC Expo in New York City, I bought a Mac to bring home.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-07-02: Built-In Alternatives To Separate Windows Applications. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
I'm a big fan of little utility programs because they usually do just one job, but do it very well. Windows 10 has a lot of built-in functions that you can use instead of spending time, and possibly money, installing extra applications. I have a few examples. In Short Circuits: Crooks will do anything to mislead us, including making websites that look like sites operated by banks and businesses. Now it's easy for them to create realistic looking domain names by using letters from other languages that look like English letterforms. • In this week's main article, we looked at some built-in Windows 10 functions that perform jobs you might be planning to use a utility for. Not every built-in function is a good choice, though, and I'll describe one. In Spare Parts (only on the website): Microsoft has plans for Windows 11 and the panic among some users is both palpable and silly. • When internet speeds seem slow, your ISP will probably insist that you use their speed text, but getting second, third, and fourth opinions can be helpful. • Twenty years ago: There were predictions that France's Minitel system would soon be replaced by the internet. It was eventually, but not until 2012.
TechByter Worldwide 2021-06-25: Tracking Down A Bizarre Problem Scientifically. Short Circuits. Spare Parts.
Tracking down problems with a computer is usually a multi-step process of developing conjectures that lead to hypotheses and eventually to a valid theory. The first conjecture is sometimes right, but more often it's not. I'll describe a recent puzzler. In Short Circuits: Ransomware may be less of a threat to individuals than it used to be, but "less of a threat" doesn't mean "no threat". We still have to be cautious. • Firefox's market share has dropped from 30% a decade ago to around 7% now, but the browser still has loyal advocates -- and with good reason. In Spare Parts (only on the website): A global computer chip shortage is creating havoc in the automotive industry and elsewhere, but missteps by car and truck manufacturers have made the problem worse for them. • I found a picture of what was probably my first portable computer from 1988. It's on display. • Twenty years ago: PC Expo had just concluded. The dot-com implosion made the show a lot smaller, but darker times were coming.