Changes – 2018

With this new many changes are coming, even some to my business.

One big change actually happened some time ago. A fellow computer technician, Dave Franks, shut down his business, DCENT.BIZ and moved to Utah. As he was someone I often referred business to as well consulted on computer issues with, this caused some changes. I believe he still works on computers in his spare time.
As of now, if you need any computer work, please contact Mark Jenkins at or 303-903-0415. You can also use the link on the right. He goes by A Geek @ The Wheel.US.

Another change is that I have had surgery on my left foot requiring me to be non-weight bearing on that foot. If all goes well, I should be able to stand on my left foot soon. (The surgery was on November 1st). I didn’t realize how hard this was until after the surgery. My right foot will really have to be getting bad before I consider doing it.

I am actually going to get started learning Linux as well as more about WordPress. I am also going to try to update our main website content.

I will write more later.

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Windows 10 – Experiment 6 – Complete

Finally (possibly) I tried to upgrade my HP Stream 8 the tablet from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 but it failed twice. After some research, the problem might be my antivirus program. It just finished downloading the upgrade and now I need to put it in airplane mode and uninstall my antivirus program. The upgrade should start the next time I turn it on.

Before turning my tablet on I did some additional research. I discovered that it might not be a good idea to upgrade the tablet to Windows 10. (It did not upgrade automatically anyway) HP’s website recommends not using the MocroSD card memory for the upgrade backup as Windows 10 probably will not be able to use it. To me, this sounds like a good idea to leave it on Windows 8.1 as the installed “memory” (taking the place of the hard drive) isn’t big enough.

As it is after the end of July and the free upgrade to Windows 10 is over, it really doesn’t matter. So I currently have two laptops, and two desktops (as well as my dad’s) on Windows 10. I still have one active desktop on Windows XP as well as one on Linux Mint – in addition to the tablet mentioned above. I may convert my XP system to Linux Mint, possibly installing XP as a virtual machine. But that is to be decided later.

My conclusion – I still like Windows XP better than any of the versions that followed it. My limited experience with Vista and Windows 8 leads me to believe that both are better off gone. My tablet has Windows 8.1, which despite Microsoft’s claim, still does not have a start menu. Windows 10 is a good start but it still has some distance to go before it is as good and user friendly as Windows XP. Especially Cortana – which still doesn’t seem to search the local drives very well since I killed off “location” information. Near as I can tell, location based information is just an advertising ploy anyway.

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Windows 10 Experiment – Part 5

In my last post, I mentioned to a problem I was having in Windows 10 – “it seems very easy to overwhelm the operating system and thus have to wait while it catches up. ” When I switched fron Edge to Chrome for my default browser, this problem seems to have gone away. While I must admit that I frequently have many browser tabs open, I don’t see why Chrome can handle it and Edge can’t.
I have noticed that a couple of times when I was away from my computer for several minutes, that it seemed to go into sleep and when the screen came back up, the computer had rearranged all of the screen icons to the left side of the screen – auto-arrange? This is very frustrating. It has only happened since I added a second monitor and only on the primary monitor. The second monitor just freezes where it was. It has not happened while I was using the computer.
The next step is to upgrade my Windows 8.1 tablet. Having a start button back will be very nice.
Then I have two older computers that if they will run Windows 7, I will try to upgrade to Windows 10.

Concerning Microsoft Office, on one of my laptops I have been using software by Kingsoft called WPS Office 2014. It is a free alternative to Microsoft Office. Unlike OpenOffice, WPS Office has the right click menus in the spreadsheet similar to Microsoft Excel. I have used OpenOffice software for years and I really miss those right click menus. Since I use the spreadsheet more that any other part of Office, this is great. However, the OpenOffice has one feature that WPS does not – export to a pdf file. I don’t know if Microsoft Office has this feature yet, but I don’t see in the 2000 or 2003 versions I have used lately. My current biggest complaint about Microsoft Office 2003 Excel is the annoying “SmartTags” which seem to have no purpose except to annoy me. I have not found any way to get rid of them entirely. At least both OpenOffice and WPS Office don’t seem to have them. Both OpenOffice and WPS Office deal well with all versions of Office compatible files that I have tried. (My Microsoft Office 2003 can’t use the new “X” file types.)

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Windows 10 – Experiment Part 4

Since my last post, we have had issues using Office 365 and decided to dump it. The biggest complaint is the excessively large “ribbon” which takes up too much room and makes no sense. (neither of us needs all of the options available at the same time – the old pull-down menus work just fine.) Other than my wife using Outlook for email, we both use Excel more than any other part of Office. As she had previously used Office 2003, we installed that and have had only one issue – Outlook 2003 on Windows 10 does not work well with IMAP email. We went back to using POP/SMTP and everything seems fine.
(In all fairness, I must state that I am no fan of any word processor since Windows was introduced, I much prefer something that does not edit my text or layout for me – spreadsheets do an excellent job without as much hassle) )
All devices having Windows 7 or above except a tablet (on Windows 8.1) have been upgraded to Windows 10. Two problems. First, it seems very easy to overwhelm the operating system and thus have to wait while it catches up. While I noticed previous Windows versions doing this, Windows 10 seems to be more likely to have it happen. Second – a much bigger problem – searching. In Windows 7, when you started typing in the search field, Windows started looking for anything matching. Windows 10 always wants to search the web. I must admit that I have turned off Cortana as I can see no purpose for it – especially as it won’t work without “location” being turned on. As most of our computers are desktops and therefore don’t move, there is no value for this. I would like to find something else to use for searching the files – something that actually works.

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Windows 10 – Experiment Part 3

While working on the previous, I purchased an additional refurbished HP computer with Windows 7. I upgraded this computer to Windows 10 Home. This is to be my wife’s “new” computer. After making sure that it could find our two existing network printers as well as the other computers on the network, I installed Office 365 and started moving files and programs to the newly upgraded computer.
The upgrade to Office 365 for my wife will be interesting – for upgrading to Windows 10, we got a free one month trail of Office 365. If she likes it, I may move our other computers to it as well. Having all computers on the same version of Office will be helpful I put an Office alternative on the new laptop. After using OpenOffice on my other computers, I am trying WPS Office on the new laptop. If I like it, I may not continue to use OpenOffice. We will see…
So far, both my wife and I don’t have any major complaints with Windows 10.

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Windows 10 – Experiment Part 2

While I was testing my current software on the laptop from the previous post, we purchased a refurbished HP laptop with Windows 7 Home. I first had it check for updates for Windows 7. After supposedly checking for updates over night and still not completing, I shut it down believing that it had gotten stuck in a loop.
The next evening, I had it start the ugrade process. Again after supposedly downloading over night and not finishing, I shut it down.
After a Google search of downloading Windows 10, I ran across a Microsoft page: I decided to try it and created a USB drive with the Windows 10 install files. This page will also allow you to create a DVD install disk as well as a USB drive one. If you decided to to this, make sure select the appropriate 32 bit or 64 bit version. This page on, has more information.
Using the same Microsoft page, I started the upgrade on the new laptop and this time it upgraded with no problems. At this point, I have not decided what this laptop will be used for, so this is where it at now.

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Windows 10 – Experiment

After reading all about Windows 10, both the good things as well as the bad things, I decided to try it on one of my computers. Even though I was not buying into the rumors that Microsoft was going to copy the entire content of my hard drive(s) to their servers, I was concerned that the software I usually use would not work.
I copied the personal files that existed on the chosen laptop to another location. I then allowed Windows to upgrade from Windows 7 Home to Windows 10 Home. Even though I don’t remember exactly, it didn’t take a long time to complete the upgrade. Windows then insisted on going to the web to check for updates. After a couple of reboots, it finally came up in Windows 10 Home. It even still uses the same password.
The next step took a couple of weeks, due to other time commitments, but I finally tested all of the software I normally use. Everything worked. Admittedly, I don’t use a lot of software that taxes the system, but I was still concerned.

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Help Desk Phone Scam

Today I received a call from a California number – 510-962-4562. The caller said he was from the “Windows Support Team” and that my computer was sending them messages saying that my computer was downloading trojans that would cause my computer harm. I played along feeling that this was a scam. He said that each computer with Windows on it has a unique ID number. He said to prove that they have my computer’s number – which was: 00c04fd7d062. He had me hold down the Windows key and press the R key. (The Run window) He then had me type CMD and press Enter. This starts a command prompt window. He then said to type assoc and enter. After the many lines stopped, he wanted me to verify that the line starting with .zfsendtotarget ended in my “unique” id – which it did. But so did the one on my laptop. When I asked him why the numbers were the same on both computers, he said that it was because they are on the same internet connection.
At this point, I was tired of playing the game so I told him that I thought this was a scam at which point he still tried to convince me that he was a legimite help desk person. When I didn’t buy his line, he hung up. He had a strong Indian (as from India) accent although his English was better than most actual Help Desk people I have talked to.
This is a scam in which they want to connect into your computer, accessing your personal files and data and ultimately cost you time and money. Please don’t fall for it. The links below relate similar scam calls. The CLSID is probably the same on most if not all Windows computers, so obviously not unique. From what I saw on those links, this has been going on for some time and from many different states, although always with an Indian (as from India) accent.

California Phone Number 510-962-4562

CLSID 00c04fd7d062 – supposedly unique computer ID

line from the command line window:

links from other sites with additional information:

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New Business Arrangement

A new business arrangement has been completed between M D Computer Works and Dcent LLC. We have had a long term relationship to complement each other when something was beyond the technical availability of the other company. Due to some changes, we are now going to work more closely with each other. Specifically, any direct computer work will be handled by Dcent LLC and any web site or programming work will be handled by M D Computer Works. This is not to mean that there will be no crossover as there certainly will be, just better defined roles.
If you need direct computer work, please contact Dcent LLC and please let them know we sent you. Thanks Mike

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Tax Information Needed Spam

This post is about several emails I have received recently asking for me to update tax related information that Intuit has. There are some problems with this, not the least of which is that the email is not from Intuit even though it seems to be. You might be fooled by one of these emails if you have used any software from Intuit, such as Quicken or Quickbooks. Reminder – these emails are NOT coming from Intuit!

I have included the text from three different emails including the email address that each is supposedly coming from, followed by the link that you would be sent to if you clicked on it. As with most of this type of emails, someone wants to trick you into giving your information to them. At the bottom of this post is a link to another article about these emails.
As usual, please be careful when surfing the web, and thanks for stopping by….

Email 1:

From: “INTUIT INC.” (
Subject: Correct tax information is needed.

Good afternoon,
In order to guarantee that exact information is being kept up on our systems, as well as to provide you better quality of service; INTUIT INC. has partaken in the Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Name and TIN Matching Program.It appears that your name and/or Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number, that is specified on your account is different from the data provided by the SSA.In order to check the data on your account, please click here.
Corporate Headquarters
2632 Marine Way
Mountain View, CA 94043

Email 2:

From: “INTUIT INC.” (
Subject: Request for the urgent update of your tax information.
Good afternoon,
With intent to assure that precise information is being sustained on our systems, and to provide you better quality of service; INTUIT INC. has participated in the Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Name and TIN Matching Program.It appears that your name and/or Taxpayer Identification Number, that is stated on your account does not match the information obtained from the IRS and/or SSA.In order to verify the information on your account, please click here.
Yours sincerely,
Corporate Headquarters
2632 Marine Way
Mountain View, CA 94043

Email 3:

From: “INTUIT INC.” (
Subject: Your tax information needs verification.
Dear Account Holder,
With a view to assure that exact information is being kept up on our systems, and to be able to grant you better quality of service; INTUIT INC. has taken part in the Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Name and TIN Matching Program.For some reason your name and/or TIN, that is specified on your account does not match the information on file with the IRS and/or SSA.In order to enable INTUIT INC. to update your account, please use the following link.
Yours truly,
Corporate Headquarters
2632 Marine Way
Mountain View, CA 94043

Spam Diary Article

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