Tech Talk #80 – June 23, 2018

Watch out for mshelper


In spite of the ‘ms’ in the name, ‘mshelper’ is malware that runs on a Mac. ‘mshelper’ is designed to hog all the resources (processor time, memory, and hard disk) on a Mac. This can cause your Mac to run hotter and louder and will definitely put a dent in your battery life. No one is completely sure what ‘mshelper’ is doing with all of your Mac’s resources, but it might be turning your Mac in a cryptocurrency mining rig. This is known as crypto jacking.


It’s easy to tell if ‘mshelper’ is on your Mac and get rid of it if it is.


Open Finder > Applications > Utilities and click on Activity Monitor. Once Activity Monitor is open, click on the CPU tab. Sort the list of the apps and software running on your computer so the largest users are on the top by clicking the CPU% tab if it’s not that way already. If ‘mshelper’ is on your system, it will show up at the top of the list. If it’s not, sort the list by name and double check. If it still doesn’t show up, congratulations! Your Mac isn’t sick.


If ‘mshelper’ does show up, here’s how to get rid of it.


Do a Spotlight search for Macintosh HD. When it opens, click on Library > LaunchDaemons. Now find the file labeled “com.pplauncher.plist,” and delete it. Go to Library > Application Support and delete the file labeled “pplauncher.” Now, restart your Mac. Done!



What is Apple’s Family Sharing?


I came across this when a client wanted to know why two iPhones in her family were syncing up. Photos, music, messages, everything.


The short version is that somehow, no one is sure how, both phones were using the same AppleID. No worries. To fix that do a factory reset on one phone and then set it up with a different Apple ID. Oops, now you can’t share purchased apps anymore.


To fix that, set up Family Sharing on your devices. One person in the family becomes the Organizer and chooses which applications to share and then invites other family members (by their AppleIDs) to share. By using Family Sharing, up to six family members can share iTunes, iBooks, App Store purchases, calendars, reminders, and even an iCloud storage plan.



Passwords, passwords, passwords


OK, so you forgot your password for something and had to reset it. But ever since you changed it you can’t get into the thing from your laptop/phone/tablet/Dick Tracy watch/whatever.


Here’s why: you didn’t change the password on your computer, you changed it from your computer. So now you need to tell all of your other devices what the new password for the thing is.


Of course you wrote down your new password for the thing, right? Maybe in a blank notebook you’ve divided into columns like this:




After a while your notebook might look like this:



Facebook     areallygreat1      03/12/2012

Gas bill                 gascustomername          thepassword       06/23/2018


And so on. That would be easy, right?


Oh, and in case you need a strong password made up for you, here’s a place:



Ear trumpet, what?


Have you ever wished you had more control over the sound on your Windows 10 computer? You know, have podcasts play through your  speakers but have your games use your headphones and do it without fumbling with Windows’ sound settings? What? No? Just me then?


Well, anyway, there’s an app for that! Of course there is. It’s called Ear Trumpet and it lets you assign apps and programs to audio devices. It’s available on the Windows Store. After you download and install it, there’s a short ‘how it works’ animation that’s pretty good.


One thing the animation doesn’t cover is that once you install Ear Trumpet you’ll have two identical sound icons in your taskbar. Here’s how to hide the Windows icon and keep the Ear Trumpet icon. Click on Start and type ‘taskbar’ and click on Taskbar settings. Scroll down to Notification area and click Select which icons appear on the taskbar and switch off the Volume icon.



When seniors text

AAF: “As A Friend” could also mean “Asleep At Five”

BFF: “Best Friends Forever” could also mean “Best Friend Fell”

BTW: “By The Way” could also mean “Bring The Wheelchair”

FWIW: “For What It’s Worth” could also mean “Forgot Where I Was!”

FYI: “For Your Information” could also mean FYI: “Found Your Insulin”

IMHO: “In My Humble Opinion” could also mean “Is My Hearing-aid On?”

LOL” “Laughing Out Loud” could also mean “Living On Lipitor”

OMG: “Oh My God” could also mean “Oy, My Grandchildren!”

TTYL: “Talk To You later” could also mean “Talk To You Louder”


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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