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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How I got LAZY-HANDS 2-Loop Phone Grip to stick to my phone and you can too



Need a grip on your cell phone?

Those hard plastic rings for the back of your phone sound like a good idea until you try to put your phone in your pocket. It's a fail.

I recently discovered a type of loop that flattens because it's soft. It's called the Lazy Hands Grip. It works great on my LG G4 phone. My phone has a hard plastic case, so I stuck it to the case.

However, when I tried a Lazy Hands Grip on my husband's phone (Motorola Droid Turbo 2) it slipped off. He did not have a case for his phone, and adamantly did not want a case for his phone, as he thought it would be too bulky, so that's why I had tried attaching the grip directly to the phone.

That's when I went back into the Amazon description for Lazy Hands, and noticed this caveat: Does not adhere to silicone, gel, TPU, rubber cases or porous surfaces. I could see that his phone was porous and soft, and would have to have a suitable case.

I decided to search for a hard plastic case that was slim. Here's the case I bought. It worked!

The upshot is this: case or not, if what you're going to stick the Lazy Hands grip to is hard plastic, it will probably work. And I've learned from experience that this company doesn't charge for return shipping, so there's no risk in experimenting.

Here's the Lazy-Hands Grip.




Sunday, October 22, 2017

Fun with Alexa



Two recent discoveries


  1. I have the Deebot robo vacuum, and Alexa has a skill for it. Now I can tell Alexa to tell Deebot to start cleaning
  2. I told Alexa to connect to my Android (by bluetooth) and then asked Google on my phone to tell me the weather. Apparently, Google has a voice similar to Alexa because the response is that Alexa tells me the weather (without my having preceded my query with "Alexa...").

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How to whitelist an app in tunnelbear


I have tunnelbear runnning on three devices:

  1. Amazon fire table
  2. Android phone
  3. Windows 10 laptop
The function for whitelisting (allowing) an app is called "Splitbear."

On windows you cannot whitelist an app because only tablets and phones run apps. 

But on the fire tablet and the android phone, I was able to whitelist Pandora. The reason I did this is because sometimes here on the east coast of the U.S., Tunnelbear wants to connect to a server in Canada. 

There seems to be some kind of legal issue for Pandora if it thinks you're in Canada, so it won't run. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Superantispyware finds internet browser extensions for chrome that I did not know about



Superantispyware has more function than I thought. It can find spurious browser extensions. It found internet browser extensions for chrome that I did not know about. I've been trying to figure out for some time why chrome has spotify notifications that it refuses to delete or shut off becuase it claims they come from an extension, yet I have no spotify extension listed in chrome extension.

Now I see from the superantispyware results that I do have a spotify extension. Crackle is in there too.

Also in firefox are wildtangent and ipt.

Where are these extensions and add-ons listed in my browser settings?

Well at least superantispyware gives me a way to delete them

Locked out of facebook


I got locked out of facebook and then couldn't get back in. I didn't save the details but basically FB led me to believe it was walking me through steps to recovery, but at some point in the steps, it got circular.

I tried enough times that it stopped sending a recovery code to my phone.

Then I waited four days.

Then I tried it again. Still no joy.

I eventually recovered my account on my phone, which then recovered it everywhere.

But I still don't know what action of mine actually fixed the problem. It could have been the four day wait or it could have been that I did a better job this time at clearing cookies first, or it could have been using my phone to do the recovery steps.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lastpass, Pandora and Tunnelbear, Oh My



So in Lastpass I jiggered a setting to disallow any country but the United States. Then today I got a message on my computer while trying to log in to Lastpass saying I couldn't connect because I'm in Canada (I'm not.)

Happily, Lastpass did allow me to get an email sent with a link to change the setting.

Then I figured out what had caused this--Tunnelbear sometimes connects in Canada instead of the United States.

This also explains why Pandora threw a message the other day on my tablet saying it wasn't allowed in other countries. Apparently, at that moment, Tunnelbear had been connected in Canada. And apparently, Pandora doesn't allow that. I had turned off Tunnelbear to fix it, but now I understand that Tunnelbear sometimes connects in Canada.

I solved the problem in Lastpass by adding Canada as an allowed country. And I solved the problem in Pandora by figuring that most of the time it's not a problem because usually Tunnelbear connects in the United States, but when I do run into this message, I'll just temporarily shut off Tunnelbear while playing Pandora.

I tried forcing Tunnelbear to connect in the United States only, but it just hung. When Tunnelbear wants to connect through Canada, I need to let it. So I left its connection setting on "auto."


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Epson Workforce 840 Cannot Communicate with the scanner (Windows 10)



I temporarily hooked up my printer by USB directly to my laptop.

But then when I returned it to wireless on the network, the scan function stopped working with the message

Cannot communicate with the scanner.
Make sure the scanner is on, correctly setup and connected with no errors indicated.
For detailed information, see Solving Problems in the User's Guide


After some research, and a complete uninstall of all Epson products and a reinstall of the combo driver, it still didn't work. Curiously, the print function worked fine.

Then I googled the message and found this youtube video: Epson Scan Cannot Communicate with Scanner. I've reproduced the steps here here. It takes about two minutes to fix the problem.




  1. Go into printer properties on  your computer
  2. Copy the printer's IP address
  3. Go into Epson Scanner Settings on your computer
  4. Click network
  5. Delete the scanner that's there. It has either the wrong IP or no IP
  6. Add new scanner
  7. Under "enter address" put in the IP you found 







Thursday, October 5, 2017

My first use of IFTTT with Alexa


I like to use youtube with Alexa, and I do it by telling Alexa to connect to my phone. However, that does mean Bluetooth on my phone has to already be on.

I don't like to keep bluetooth off because it drains power.

With IFTTT, I can tell Alexa to turn bluetooth. Unfortunately, I haven't found how to use IFTTT to turn it back off.

Here's what I say to Alexa:

"Alexa trigger turn on bluetooth."


And how did I get this to work? I went into my IFTTT account and searched for Alexa applets.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Crashplan Pro unable to connect to backup engine


I noticed when booting my computer today that the Crashplan Pro taskbar icon was greyed out, and when I hovered, it showed that it's unable to connect to the backup engine.

I then tried opening the app, which got stuck on the CrashPlan splash screen displaying the error, "Unable to connect to backup engine, retry?"

All I had to do was restart the Crashplan Pro app. I'm running WIndows 10, so here is how I did it, but there are other ways:


  1. Open the start menu and type services.msc
  2. Right-click Crashplan Backup Service
  3. Click Stop. Wait for the progress bar to show completion
  4. Click Start. Give it a few minutes
  5. You should see the icon looking blue again, and it should be running, When you hover over the taskbar icon, it should say scanning files.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Quicken Deluxe 2016 OL--1-B


One Step Update threw this error code OL--1-B and wouldn't update most of my accounts. They turned red.

I rebooted my Windows computer and that fixed it.