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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Solved! Windows Defender was making Windows 10 sluggish


Windows Defender is a good antivirus these days. But some of us find that it dominates disk usage. You can see that by opening Task Manager. You'll see it's the service executable that's causing the trouble. The symptoms are a slow computer.



I gave up. I installed Avast instead. Solved.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Solved! Windows update disables audio


Yesterday Windows 10 did an update, and then I had no audio. In my case, it was DaShen audio filter driver.

The troubleshooter failed to fix the problem, and every recommendation made by Mircrosoft for fixing it in Device Manager was useless.

Then I figured it out myself. Sometimes a bit has to be flipped, then flipped back.

In Device Manager, right click on your audio device and DISABLE it. Then ENABLE it again.

Fixed.

Update: It happened again September 17. This time, both realtek and Dashen were showing as having errors in device manager. I had to disable both, and then re-enable Dashen. Fixed!

Monday, July 10, 2017

New York Waterway Shuttles



So today I took the New York Waterway ferry shuttle from 34th street to the 39th street ferry but didn't get on the ferry. Instead I hopped onto another ferry shuttle-- the one that goes to WTC. The shuttles line the street in front of the 39th street ferry (which is at Pier 70).

The first bus took 34th to the Javitz Center at West Street, then made a right, then a u-turn to park in front of the 39th street ferry port.   

The second bus took 34th street to 7, and dropped me at Murray and West.

While on the second bus, along 34th, between 10th avenue and 9th avenue, I noticed that some people got on. That means I could have taken just one shuttle. I could have taken an east  bound ferry shuttle directly from 34th street to the WTC. It's clear that the bus drivers don't care whether you're using the ferry or not.

And they will pick you up and drop you at any MTA bus stop that is on their route.

The ferry has a few different routes, and it is always free.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

When Pavtube can't handle a bad disc


I ripped a disc recently that Pavtube wouldn't cooperate with. I used MakeMKV, and then used VLC to convert it to mp4.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Zipcar needs some work


Now that we are city dwellers, we've ditched car ownership, in favor of mass transit and zip car.

So far, we haven't had any problems with Zipcar.

But on June 26 we rented a Zipcar for five days to vacation in the Poconos.  At departure time on June 30, we couldn't start the engine.

We called the number on the Zip Card, and they determined remotely that the battery was dead. They offered to send out someone to jump it, but we knew it would be faster to get a jump from staff at our retreat center.

We got the battery jumped, and the car started, but we had to extend our use of the car by an hour. We did that right away so that our extra hour didn't affect someone else who was waiting for the car.

Once home that same day, we called the zip number again, reminded them of our earlier call about the dead battery, and asked that we be credited for that extra hour. They said would credit us.

But we got charged the $15.77 for the extra hour and were never credited back, after waiting patiently for a few days to see.

So we called them again, and they said they had no record of the phone call in which they had agreed to credit us. They apologized and said they would issue the credit.

Then we waited a few more days. But still no credit.

So we called yet again, and they were apologetic again. Curiously, this third rep said something different than the first two. This rep said, "we don't normally do credits of charges already applied in that situation," but that he will go ahead and give us a $25 credit in our account for our next ZipCar reservation.

A day later, we saw that they applied the credit to our account, but that it expires in two months. So we're still out the refund if we don't use the car within two months.

It's noteworthy that this was a great deal of work and time on our part. The  company needs to do better than this by their customers. Zipcar needs to take a hard look at their policies and their phone center procedures.









Thursday, July 6, 2017

Kudos to HP for teaching me about my Epson Printer (ADF produces streaks)



I was getting annoying vertical lines in my copies and scans whenever I used the ADF (Automatic Document Feed) on my Epson 2660.

I found some information about cleaning the glass strip next to the flatbed, but it didn't work, and googling the symptom for Epson printers was no help at all.

Then I generalized my search, and found an HP video that solved my problem. It's the second part of the video that got it done, so don't give up if the first method doesn't work.

In the second method, they actually show you a trick for how to locate the tiny dirt specks that are causing the streaks. In my case, there were three tiny dirt specks that were causing three vertical lines.

It worked! Try either of these two links (they're identical).

HP Video in Youtube


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Zip Car can't get their story straight




Now that we are city dwellers, we've ditched car ownership, in favor of mass transit and zip car.

So far, we haven't had any problems with zip car.

But last week we rented a zip car for five days to vacation in the Poconos. While there, we never used the car. At departure time, we couldn't start the engine.

We called the zip car number on the zip card, and they determined remotely that the battery was dead. They offered to send out someone to jump it, but we thought it would be faster to get a jump from the retreat center where we were vacationing.

Before long, we got the battery jumped, and the car started, but had to extend our use of the car by an hour.

So, once home that same day, we called the number again and asked that we be credited for that extra hour. No problem. They said they would credit us.

But we got charged for the extra hour and were never credited after waiting a few days to see.

So we called them again, and they had not record of the phone call in which they said they would credit us. They apologized and said they would issue a credit.

Then we waited a few more days. No credit. So we called a third time, and they were apologetic again. The guy said they don't normally do credits of charges already applied in that situation, but that he will go ahead and give us  $25 credit in our account for our next ZipCar reservation.

A day later, we saw that they applied the credit to our account, but that it expires in exactly two months. And now, of course, we have to make sure our next use of zip car gets the $25 credit.

Not that impressive.