Beware some Kindle mishaps

I have a Kindle Fire that I love. But I've had two problems with Amazon concerning my Kindle:

  1. When I choose slow shipping on a product so I can get points toward free kindle books, I learned that they don't keep track for you. And you can't find out by putting a kindle book in your cart, because there is no such thing. You have to know how many points you have. I entered a chat to verify that this is true, and it is.
  2. I tried signing up for the $9.99 per month "Kindle Unlimited" only to find out it costs $10.69 with tax. But what pushed me over the edge is that the page on their site that says what will be charged each month says $9.99. And in a chat to verify this, the support rep didn't seem to understand the problem. She kept saying "It's for the government taxes. We have no control over this." But of course they do. They need to say on the page "You will be charged $9.99 plus tax." Duh. I was annoyed enough that I cancelled my subscription and insisted on getting my first month's payment back, with which she complied. 

SMTP settings for Gmail for Buffalo email notifications

Gmail notifications for Buffalo NAS requires correct settings, but it also requires changing a security setting in gmail. Below are the screenshots. First is the gmail setting. Second is the Buffalo setting.

I didn't like the idea of making my gmail address less secure. And what I found annoying is that I thought I could compensate by enabling two-step verification. But gmail doesn't allow "two-step verification" to exist alongside "access for less secure apps."

So instead I created a dedicated gmail account just for the one purpose of getting notifications from my NAS device.

Install apps in Ubuntu without the terminal

Install apps in Ubuntu without the terminal

Ubuntu has an easy to use terminal. For example, you can quickly install your application via terminal with sudo dpkg -i DEBIAN_PACKAGE or sudo gdebi DEBIAN_PACKAGE

But for an alternative, you can install .deb files by downloading them and right clicking on them to use the GDebi package installer.

If you don't have the GDebi package installer, you will first have to install it in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install gdebi
The gdebi utility has two components: gdebi for a command-line tool, and gdebi-gtk for graphical front-end. 

First things to do when getting a Windows 8 computer

  1. Remove lock screen using the regedit method
  2. Add the classic start menu
  3. Disable or suppress the metro screen

Disable the lock screen in Windows 8

Disable the lock screen in Windows 8

  1. Launch RUN
  2. Type regedit and press enter
  3. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization (create it manually if it doesn't exist.)
  4. Select Personalization key. 
  5. In right side pane, create a new DWORD NoLockScreen and set its value to 1
  6. Close regedit and log off or restart Windows
  7. To restore lock screen, just delete the DWORD or set its value to 0.


Crashplan can backup and restore NAS devices in Ubuntu


Windows has some technical flaw that makes it impossible for Crashplan to backup a NAS device.

But Crashplan can backup that same NAS device if you're running it from Ubuntu. I keep some old laptops lying around for geek purposes. Recently, I stomped on Windows on two of them, replacing Windows with Ubuntu. Here's what I did next.

First we need to install Crashplan into Ubuntu:

  1. Download the latest version of Crashplan for Linux
  2. Extract the TGZ file to downloads
  3. Open the Terminal and enter this:
    cd ~/Downloads/CrashPlan-install
  4. Press Enter
  5. Then enter this in terminal:
    sudo ./
  6. Press Enter. Read and advance through the prompts
  7. If you get a message like this, follow the advised steps:
    "CrashPlan requires Java to run."
    "If you wish to install JRE for CrashPlan to run, type Y and press Enter"
  8. Press Enter to read through the EULA, enter yes, press enter
  9. Advance through the rest of the prompts. Take the defaults (sometimes that's pressing enter and sometimes that's saying 'Y')
  10. The Crashplan app opens after the installation completes
  11. Sign into your Crashplan account
  12. Click "start backup" to back up to crashplan central, and then click "change" to change the folder that will be backed up. You will see that the nas device is not yet visible under "media."
Now we have to mount the Windows share
 (note: this is the equivalent of what we're doing in Windows when we "map" a drive)
  1. Install CIFS:
    sudo apt-get install cifs-utils
  2. Create the mount directory
    sudo mkdir /media/windowsshare
  3. Then edit your /etc/fstab file
    sudo gedit /etc/fstab
  4. Add this line to the fstab file where servername is the IP address of the NAS device (and remember to save the file):
    //servername/sharename  /media/windowsshare  cifs  guest,uid=1000,iocharset=utf8  0  0
  5. Now mount the Windows share:
    sudo mount -a 
  6. Reboot


    Now configure Crashplan
      1.  Click cancel in Crashplan backup
      2. Now try again to change the source folder, and under "media" you will see "windowsshare"
      3.  Find windowsshare and mark the folders within it to be backed up to Crashplan Central
      4. Um. Yay? 


      1. After a few months, my Ubuntu machine was suddenly throwing these messages:
        •  ubuntu mount error 115 
        •  only root can mount [food] on [foo]
        I discovered that the IP address of my NAS device had changed. So I went back into the fstab file and changed the IP address. Solved!

      To do right away after installing Ubuntu on a computer

      1. Turn on the firewall. To do that, go into the terminal and type this: sudo ufw enable
      2. Turn on automatic security updates. To do that, go into system settings, then software & updates,  then updates, then where you see "When there are security updates," choose "download and install automatically"
      3. Install cav-linux (Comodo antivirus for Linux), then run /opt/COMODO/ to sign the EULA. Then run it from the desktop to configure and set up scheduled scans.I was unsuccessful in installing cav-linux on my 32 bit machine.