Thursday, August 27, 2015

Android apps demystified

Android phones come equipped to let you download apps from the Google Play Store.

If you want to sideload other apps (apps not from the Google Play Store) you'll need to jigger a setting to allow it.

Once you've allowed sideloading, I still wouldn't download any old app. Instead, I would make use of other stores.

The one I use is the Amazon store.

I've read there's also another store called Humble Bundle.

Further reading

Annoying Corel messages from Update Helper

Windows 10

I would get these pop ups from Corel that said "Corel Update Helper" and then something I could win. I wondered if it was malware.

Turns out it is indeed malware -- courtesy of Corel.

I think the culprit is pua.exe. I found it inside Corel Fastflick and another one inside Paint Shop Pro.

So I uninstalled Fastflick because I don't need it anyway.

And if the message still comes back, I will try deleting the pua.exe from inside the Paint Shop Pro folder.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MS Word 2007 was opening two instances, one of them blank

I don't know if the two events are related, but after I upgraded to Windows 10, every time I opened a saved word 2007 document, that document would open, but so would a blank Word document as well.

After some googling, I tried this and it worked:

  1. File explorer
  2. Right click documents
  3. Select properties
  4. Select the Location tab
  5. Click Restore Default
  6. Click OK

Monday, August 24, 2015

Turn my LG 4G VS986 into a mobile hotspot

When I don't have access to my home wifi, and I don't have access to free wifi, I can use my Verizon Android phone as a mobile hotspot.

  1. Settings-->More-->Mobile Hotspot-->on
  2. Choose from networks: Verizon VS986
  3. Choose connect
  4. Type in the pw shown on the phone if it's not already memorized on your computer

Adwcleaner when your own antivirus or antimalware isn't sniffing out the problem

This product is for malicious malware.

Always always: Download adwcleaner from a different computer onto a flash drive, and then install it on the potentially infected computer.

Only use adwcleaner on a one-time basis. Always download a new version when you're going to run it.

Adwcleaner will require a reboot at the end.

Your own antivirus should let you know it's scanning the adwcleaner and that it comes up safe.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Solved: Windows 10 Critical Error Start Menu and Cortana aren't working

Microsoft knows about this error and have solved some of it but not all. In the meantime, I've found one solution that has worked for me, and another solution that others on message boards say works.

  1. My solution: Do a hard reboot. In other words, press and hold that power button until the computer shuts down. When I start it up again, everything is working. This is not a big shock because not all Windows resources are cleaned up on a soft reboot.
  2. Other solution: Do a soft or hard restart, and all the while it's booting, repeatedly press F8. 
Don't shoot me. I'm only the messenger.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My LG G4 wasn't syncing Gmail contacts

I added a contact to my new LG G4 VS986. I expected to then go to my computer, and see the new contact in my Gmail contacts.

I figured out there were two problems.

  1. My phone wasn't syncing contacts at all. I was getting this message "Contacts: Sync is currently experiencing problems. It will be back shortly." The only remedy I found from much googling was a free app that fixes contact syncing.
  2. Once I ran the app and the syncing was working again, the new contact still wouldn't sync. I eventually thought to edit the contact itself on the phone. There I saw choices of what kind of contact it is. I chose "Google contact." Then I ran sync again, and got joy.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Stagefright Detector told me to disable MMS auto-retrieval on my LG G4

So yesterday I bought my brand new Android. It's an LG G4. Coincidentally, I got an email from Lookout suggesting that I install Stagefright on my phone. So I did.

Stagefright informs me that my phone is vulnerable, and that it recommends disabling autor-retrieval of multimedia message (MMS).

I figured out that my default messaging is Message+, (Message Plus). Unfortunately, Stagefright did not supply instructions for how to disable auto-retrieval for Message Plus.

And I didn't find the instructions online either.

Eventually, like a monkey with a typewriter, I figured it out:

  1. Click on message+
  2. Click on settings (upper left)
  3. Scroll down and click on advanced-->settings
  4. Scroll down and click on advanced settings-->advanced
  5. Scroll all the way to the bottom
  6. In teal letters (at least they're teal on my phone) you will see "Multimedia message (MMS) settings"
  7. Directly below the teal message, you will see auto-retrieve. 
  8. Untick the auto-retrieve box

Monday, August 3, 2015

Metal credit cards don't go through shredders

My Chase card is metal. I found out the hard way metal cards don't go through shredders. Instead, you have to call the credit card company and ask for a postage paid envelope so you can mail it to them. They get rid of it.

The questions remain:

  1. Do we trust the U.S. Mail? 
  2. Will the credit card company start paying for destroyed shredders?
The answers are no and no.

A stupid chat with

Here's a new one. The agent told me that Staples sends spam!

It was not spam at all. It was an email sent to me in error, saying there was still merchandise in my cart.

This is one of the vagaries of using underpaid agents from third world countries who speak too little English.

Here it is:

08/03/2015 01:26:19PMAgent (Sneha K.): "I sincerely apologize for the email you received, please discard it.It is a spam mail." 


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Solved! Android does not support Google Play

There's a safe app called 1 Mobile Market. I use it on my Kindle Fire to download apps because android does not support Google Play.

From 1 Mobile: 1Mobile Market is the best way to quickly find and download the best free Android apps and games for your unique, mobile life. With the 1Mobile Market, you can: Download specific apps and games. Download the latest Angry Birds game, the official Facebook and Twitter mobile apps, and all the best, hot free apps and games direct from 1Mobile Market.