Saturday, November 25, 2017

Guide to Linux Free Books and Resources

Here is a great guide to Linux resources...

Tap or click for it...

Learning about Linux

I will be demonstrating locally two ways to use Linux on a laptop for seniors, one on a MacBook look alike at $99,  and another on a Chromebook had less than  $200.

For those who need more information here is a great link to learn more about Linux…

Friday, November 24, 2017

New TV? Whoops

Getting a brand new TV?

Puzzled about adding headsets and speakers?

In any given TV you may be in for a surprise!

It may not be possible to plug in that headset.    You may find that all you have is an optical TOSLINK output port.    These are quite new.     Most sound devices do not accommodate them.   

So for any new TV,  it is best to investigate settings before buying.      On your LG controller, For example, look for a gear icon and press the button.      Then scroll down to sounds.    Tap.    Scroll up and down the options and look for things like Bluetooth

Even the very same brand may have different capabilities with slightly different model numbers.

There may be nothing but optical connections.    There may be Bluetooth or not.   There may  be the old RCA connectors, or not.   There maybe the old 3.5 mm stereo jack, or not.

Fortunately,  all can accommodated for your headset,  but sometimes an adapter or converter is needed.

Bluetooth is especially handy since it works with a variety of sound devices.      Optical converters are available to provide it.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Linux on a Cheap ChromeBook

Linux is the backbone of the internet.    Usually you connect to Linux when you browse the internet. It is the ultimate of operating systems.

So why not have Linux for a laptop?

It is now practical.

Linux is ideal for those who loved Windows XP which is no longer supported by Microsoft.

Like Windows, Linux works both as an internet computer or as a self standing computer not connected at all.

The Linux Pinebook at $99 actually looks more like a MacBook and runs an Office Suite and browser and more.  Made by a parts supplier,  it shows more promise than fast functionality.

However, a cheap Intel Chromebook can be setup to run to both Chrome and also Linux, fast.

The process works like this...

The device is put into so-called developer mode by holding down the escape and refresh buttons along with the on-off button.  The refresh key is identified with a curled arrow.   

Wait a few moments. Or press Ctl D to move ahead.

On rebooting in developer mode,  a script called Crouton is downloaded.

The downloaded script is started by entering terminal mode in Chrome with control alternate T.

The word shell is then entered into the terminal.

Then a command is issued such to download and install Ubuntu Linux, such as
sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce.

This takes some time so you sit back and do something else for a while to come back finally and enter a new login and password.

You are then prompted to enter a command to start Linux, which is spelled out for you.

Linux starts.

Additionally,  there is an extension for Chrome which will toggle in and out of Linux.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Optical to Headphones & Speakers

Here is a video on a converter to connect your new TV optical audio to your old headsets and speakers...

Tap or click for it...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Setting Up That Router

Setting up a router or extender can be intimidating.   

Not only that,  the instructions are too often confusing, whereas normally the process is simple…

Just plug an Ethernet cable into your computer offline, and type the IP address of the router Into your browser search or URL window..    Usually that IP address is 192.168.X. X,  where X is usually a zero or one, such as     That address may also be marked on the back of the router.

A search of internet will also usually find the IP address of your particular router.

What comes up is a login screen to your router.     The usual default login and password is admin.      Again,  a search will find that information for you if not on the back of your router.

Once logged in,  this next screen is intimidating.      There are too many choices,  and a wrong choice can give you some headaches.

Not to worry.  you can always reset the router back to default.

All you really need or want to do is to set up your wifi login and password and very often there is a Wizard to help you do so.

There is also the ability to pick a channel in the wifi spectrum which is the least used.     

On a smartphone or tablet, a  wifi analyzer app  will show where space is least crowded.

That procedure worked for me in a case where a CD failed to set up a very good router in Windows 10, as evidenced by the many negative comments about the router on Amazon.

RESET That Bad Actor

If you have had your device for a while and it is not working well,  then resetting it may put it right back into good shape.

This applies to computers in general and smartphones as well.

When you go to settings and tap on reset,  you get the option to keep your apps and other information.       I generally keep only selected apps where I have that option.

So many of us forget to do the reset procedure, just as we forget sometimes simply to pull the plug and reinsert it to restore functionality.

Resetting does take some time, so don't panic!