Tech Talk #12 – Nov 7, 2015

Keeping an eye on Bundleware

Sometimes a program you’re installing will sneakily install other software. This ‘other’ software is known as bundleware and can be hard to prevent if you’re not a Marine sniper and can’t uncheck that tiny box way down at the bottom of the screen. There’s a utility called Unchecky that’s great at catching and stopping bundleware. Unchecky runs in the background and keeps watch while you’re installing software. By default Unchecky will not only notify you of bundleware it finds but also helpfully deselects the bundleware for you. Recommended. Get it at Unchecky.com.

 

 

Techboomers

If you’d like to learn how to use Facebook, Spotify, EBay, YouTube, or Airbnb, or learn about Internet security and privacy, then TechBoomers.com is for you. This site uses structured lessons to explain the basic concepts behind more than 40 different web sites and how to use them. The lessons are free and you use your Techboomers account to track your progress. And yes, they have a lesson on how to sign up for Techboomers. Sign up at Techboomers.com.

 

 

USB-C dock

Was it a touch disconcerting when your new 12-inch MacBook arrived with just a single USB-C port? Don’t fret. Satechi has a new dock that will turn that single USB-C port into three classic USB-A ports (you know, a ‘normal’ USB port) plus an SD card slot and a microSD card slot. It’s pretty sleek, comes in colors to match that new MacBook and works on other USB-C devices, too. Available on Amazon.

 

 

Spam email subject lines

I’m sure I’m not the only who glances at the subject lines in my spam folder before I delete them. A quick glance at my spam folder in Gmail shows: That options are available for my new mattress, that Obama will refinance my mortgage, that Russian ladies are looking for me, that I have a dinner reward card waiting for me at McDonald’s and Red Lobster, that Xarelto ‘may cause stroke or even death’, that I’ve won a major award, that I can pay less for my energy, that various medications are taking GNC by storm, and that the U.S. Government wants to help me. It all makes me feel good about pushing that Delete key.

 

 

Software

Somebody had to invent everything, even the word ‘software.’ In 1953 computing pioneer Paul Niquette was 19 years old, living at home, and writing technical papers while going to school at UCLA. He used the term to separate a computer from the instructions that ran it. At first he was embarrassed by the word and ridiculed by his colleagues at UCLA. But he started using the word ‘software’ in speeches and lectures and media interviews throughout the fifties.

 

From his memoir:

“Nobody in 1953 would have guessed that the silly word would take hold, that within a few decades ‘software’ would enter the general vocabulary for products and for professions — that a worldwide industry would wear it as a solemn name. You can be sure that if my ego and I had harbored any such glorious visions, then… then, what?”

 

Niquette’s memoir is on his website, niquette.com. Mr. Niquette worked at Hughes Aircraft, TRW, Xerox PARC, and even on the BART system in San Francisco. His work led to padded dashboards, seat-belt interlocks, air traffic control systems, stock quotation systems, information and control systems for the railroad industry, and many patents.

 

 

Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at greg@tech-hachapi.com

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