Tech Talk #41 – December 17, 2016

Need a last minute gift? Maybe you just found out your son is finally bringing a girl home for Christmas. Or the office Secret Santa party is tomorrow, and you haven’t gotten anything yet. Or your best friend just got back together with their ex, again, and now you need something for the recently former ex, too.


Don’t worry. Love’s Travel Stop has games, die-cast motorcycles, and mini RC helicopters all for less than $20 each. K-Mart has cell phone cases, USB drives, CDs and DVDs, and computer games. Radio Shack has maker kits, batteries, earbuds and headphones, and memory cards. Home Depot has 110-volt wall outlets that have USB chargers built-in, and gift cards.
Shop local, save the day!


Windows 10 updates on new computer – why?
Why does a brand new computer need to do all those updates? It’s brand new, so it must be up-to-date, right?


Well, no. For most people, that brand new computer is several months old, update-wise.


A computer is built using a manufacturer’s image of Windows. Then it’s tested and boxed up. That box gets put in a warehouse until needed. Then, it goes on a long ocean voyage. Once it crosses the ocean, it’s unloaded and trucked to yet another warehouse. It sits in the warehouse until a store orders it and then it gets trucked to the store where you bought it. Yes, even if you bought it online.


Once you bring that new computer home, set it up, and connect it to the Internet, Windows says, basically, “Hey, lots of stuff happened while I was in that box. We’re going to need to do lots of updates to get me caught up.”


And you should go ahead and do the updates.


Many brand new computers are shipping with the original summer of 2015 build of Windows 10 loaded on the hard drive, version 1507. Some new computers ship with version 1511, also known as the November (2015) update.


To check your Windows 10 version, in Cortana’s Ask me anything box, type winver and hit enter. A dialog box will pop up and tell you what your current Windows 10 version is.


The current version of Windows 10 is Version 1607, the Anniversary update.


To speed the update process along, you can download the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant. The Assistant checks your computer for free space and manages the whole upgrade process; downloading the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, installing, and rebooting a couple of times. To get the Upgrade Assistant, go to this page:


It’s a big update, so know that it could take up to a few hours, mostly depending on your internet connection.



Typosquatting – what is it?
We’ve all done it. Mis-typed an address in the address bar, say instead of or instead of


In a world where people are nice to each other or companies are proactive, nothing much happens after that little typing mistake. Either your browser asks what you meant to type, or the company has purchased the misspelled web address and takes you to the correct site automatically.


But this is the world where people try to capitalize on misspelled web addresses.


It’s called typosquatting, and it’s normally benign. But there are bad guys out there that will try to highjack your browser with fake “Update your Flash player” banners and the like. Just close your browser. Then get back on the internet and be more careful when typing in that web address.



Uninstalling an app on a Mac
Installing an application on OSX is easy, just drag it onto your Applications folder in Finder, and you’re done. You’d think uninstalling an application would be the same, just drag it to the trash. That does uninstall the app, but it leaves behind all the configuration and cache files generated by the application. Get AppZapper to completely uninstall applications from your Mac.



Thought for the day
We’re building self-driving cars and planning missions to send people to Mars, but we can’t figure out how to prevent our refrigerators, routers, DVRs, and home security cameras from joining botnets that take down websites.



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

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