Windows 8 – Follow UP

 Windows 8 No Thanks
Here’s a follow up on my last post about Microsoft’s new operating system.  As stated, I installed Windows 8 on my laptop with the intention of learning it so as to help customers and give seminars to computer clubs.

After six weeks of using the system, I am not impressed to say the least.  It might be fine on a tablet, for which it was really designed, but for a non touch screen laptop or desktop it is very disappointing!

Windows 8 is actually built on top of Windows 7 and is really two separate entities.  You boot up to a bunch of tiles which represent applications but in order to take advantage of what these apps offer, you have to sign up for a Microsoft account.  One of these tiles is your desktop which you can click to get to what you were used to looking at in Windows 7.  To make things interesting they left out the start button which has become a huge controversy. What was your thinking MS?

I have used every Microsoft operating system since DOS days in the late seventies and have never encountered anything so frustrating.  At first I thought it might be my age but after extensive research and talking with so called experts all agree that Windows 8 is a flop.

My advice?  Do NOT upgrade your present computer and only if absolutely necessary purchase a new machine with Windows 8.  Be satisfied if you’re using Windows XP as Microsoft will furnish support until April of 2014.  If you have Windows 7 don’t move a muscle as it is an excellent OS. 

Microsoft is already talking about “Windows Blue” their next OS to be released next year, so it won’t be that long to let them get their act together!

Windows 8


October 26th, the magic date for Microsoft’s newest operating system.  Windows 8 promises to completely change the way we interact with our computers. 

Techies will make the change immediately but most will probably hold off until the jury is in.  The new system promises to be much faster, more intuitive and more secure, but it’s a drastic change from what we have been used to since Windows 95.

The change is understandably ready for the market place so as to be compatible with Windows smartphones and tablets.  The desktop will act like a tablet which is the wave of the future and the only drawback will be the time it takes to be become proficient.

I will load Windows 8 on my laptop immediately, learn it thoroughly,  present seminars to computer clubs, and keep you updated.

Here’s a look Microsoft’s new operating system provided by CNET.

Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS)


You may not have heard about CMAS yet.  I didn’t know about it until my wife’s new Verizon phone started giving us very loud weather alerts.  They even happened in the middle of the night and were very annoying.

Your cell phone may be a little different but this is how I turned off the alarms.  Navigate to: Messages - More - Settings - Emergency Alerts.  If you can’t find the proper menu you can call 611 on your cell phone which will connect you to your carrier.

Upon further research on the Internet and found an explanation of CMAS. Congress has passed a law that allows the President to issue alerts and other alerts can be issued regarding imminent threats to safety or life, and Amber alerts.

You can turn off the last two but not messages from the President.  As of this writing these alerts do not apply to the iPhone.

You can read all about this on the Government Web Site.

“They Come to America”

“They Come to America” is an independent film produced by Dennis Michael Lynch about the problem of illegal immigration. I purchased a copy of the film and have shown it many times to many different groups, and will continue to do so in the coming months.

Dennis LynchDennis has been an entrepreneur from an early age. In the last few years he became interested in becoming a film producer and made his first film with many well known Hollywood stars. While making this movie he accidentally became aware of the magnitude  of illegal immigration. The first movie has been shelved and he put his whole heart into “They Come to America.”

A quote from his web site: “Truth is, before making this film I never gave a single thought to illegal immigration. And yet, for some crazy reason, I went as far as risking my life to produce a non-partisan documentary about the hottest political topic in America.  What's even crazier is why so many people don't want you to see my film.” 

Please take the time to visit his website view the trailer of the film, click on other videos, read his bio and maybe you’ll want to purchase a copy to show your friends.

America has always welcomed people of all Countries and will continue to do so, but our Nation cannot sustain the millions who are crossing our borders illegally!

My Health

After sitting on my you know what for years with a flying career, and the last few years sitting on my you know what in my studio, I thought I’d better get off my you know what and get back in shape like I was in Office Candidate School in the sixties.  I’ll probably never be that tough again, but the move is on for better health!

TreadmillRecently I joined a Fitness Center.  I was embarrassed when my personal trainer took my measurements.  I was even more embarrassed when asked how much I exercised!  Exercise?  If it wasn’t for the auto spell checker, I wouldn’t even know how to spell that word!   

Like everything in life, you must start somewhere.  I remember a saying I learned years ago; “Inch by inch, anything's a cinch!” 

I remember when I quit smoking 22 years ago.  It was a challenge both mentally and physically.  It wasn’t easy, but it had to be done to keep living a healthy life.

So, here I go taking another path in life.  Not the one I’ve been on, but a new one and that’s exciting!  A path of exercise and eating properly.

There are so many reasons to do this.  I don’t want my wife to live alone.  I want to witness my grandchildren get married.  I want to witness the advancement and the excitement of technology, and I want to witness more of the beauty that surrounds me.

Life is good!

Meet Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

Until just recently I had never heard of Dennis Prager. I found this gentleman totally by accident on YouTube. I watched some of his videos and was intrigued by his personality and intelligence.

After some research I learned that according to Toastmasters, he is one of America’s five best speakers.

The Los Angeles Times is quoted as saying “An amazingly gifted man and moralist whose mission in life has been crystallized to get people obsessed with what is right and wrong.”

Dennis Prager is also one of America’s most respected radio talk show hosts and has been broadcasting from Los Angeles since 1982.

I have studied motivation, success, goal setting, public speaking, and similar subjects since the seventies, but possibly never moved as much as I was when watching a speech that Dennis gave to the students of a Florida College.

His subject; “Happiness is Not a Feeling: It’s a Moral Obligation.”  If you watch this video it will completely change the way you think about being happy.  In fact, it will change your way of life and the influence you have on every person that you meet!

This presentation is an hour and fifteen minutes, so set aside this much time to enjoy and learn from what he has to say.

In my humble opinion, each of us should always be taking steps to improve our lives and this is one of those steps!

Now, sit back relax and enjoy this time with Dennis Prager!

(Click on the lower right icon of the video to watch in full screen.)

Today’s America

amflgIt is my opinion that America is in deep trouble and those indicators are totally surrounding us today.

I’m stating this, not as a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or any other political affiliation, but as a person who loves his Country and wants America to be what is has always been, a strong free Nation, based on the laws of our founding fathers.

You don’t have to look far and wide for the indicators that we are falling apart. Our Constitution is being ignored and abused, we are in debt as never before, our borders are not secured, and we are passing laws that no one has read or understands. Common sense, logic, and ethics have gone down the drain.

Our Congress and the President are fighting tooth and nail over regulating debt and our leader wants to spend even more. This is insanity!  All you Washington fat cats in your ivory tower with your big salaries and all your benefits should adhere to the same laws that the rest of us do. That’s change we want to see!

I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing some people still blaming George W. Bush for all of our problems. Sure we had debt during his administration, but our current leader has added more debt than all of our Presidents combined! This wild spending has to stop. Bush blamers forget that in 2007, two years before for current President was elected, we had a majority democratic congress.

I have worked every day of my life since the age of 12 when I had a paper route. I worked during high school and college and every day henceforth. At the age of 73 I’m still working to pay our bills because social security isn’t enough. It’s not only enough, but SS is bankrupt. You took my money all those years under the guise of taking care of me. You spent my money and are now crying that the system is broke! That is fraud and if I practiced this I’d be in prison.

I would also be in prison by entering any other country illegally! Just see how far you would get sneaking into another country, demanding your so called rights, demanding they speak your language and flying your flag over theirs. Go ahead, just try it!  If you want to live in America then do it legally. Obey our laws and speak our language. I fully support Sheriff Joe who has been elected by the people of Arizona for five terms and is just trying to uphold state and federal laws!

Why are we relying on enemy countries to supply us with oil? Why are we paying $4 a gallon for gasoline?  When our current leader was elected the price was $1.82. Why are we not drilling in America where there is almost an unlimited supply? Please tell us why!

Why do we have to talk to a person in a foreign country for technical support on almost all consumer products?  Why aren’t these jobs in America?

Why can’t we use the powerful media called Television to entertain and educate our people? 95% of TV programs are trash and are contributing to the moral decay of our society. It’s all about sex, drugs, and violence including most of today’s video games.

The kids of today see all this as common place; they don’t know any different. Gone are the days of good clean, fun, programs and movies.

I am not a purist and am certainly not perfect, but I do believe in free enterprise, my freedom to believe in God and believe that it’s time for America to get back on her feet. There is no free lunch!  My motto is “You don’t work, you don’t eat.”

America is headed more toward socialism everyday and it must stop!  Socialism does not work and that has been proven in many European countries!

We must take our Country back to where it was, a strong free Nation, based on the laws of our founding fathers.

Everyone that believes this must get involved to take back America, and discard the philosophy of “let the other guy do it.”  Time is running out………….

If I wanted America to fail, I would do this.

Make You & Your Computer Happy!


Frustrated with your computer?  Want to save money for technical help?  You can do a few simple and free things each month to keep your computer running as smoothly as the day you bought it!

Computers accumulate unwanted files and registry entries over time thus slowing down your machine.  These files, that are no longer in use, need to be eliminated.  The easiest and simplest way to do this is with a free utility called CCleaner.

Computers are also effected by viruses, malware, and spyware.

Sometimes these problems can be minor but can also bring your machine to its knees requiring the need for costly repairs. These problems can be eliminated with a free anti-virus product, like AVAST in conjunction with using another program called Malwarebytes.

The final fix is to run defragmentation on your hard drive once a month.

These simple procedures will make you and your computer happy!

A complete detailed explanation can be found here.

iPad 3


The new Apple iPad was in retail stores on Friday, March 16.  Again people lined up to be the first kid on the block to have the new toy, and I was one of them.

Rather than go to the Apple store which is always the biggest crowd, I chose Best Buy.  Arriving a half hour after they opened I was 18th in line and the wait was not that bad.

I always said I would never stand in line for anything after serving in the Army, but now I’ve done it twice; a couple of months ago for the new iPhone 4S and this time for the new iPad.  This instrument, to me, is maybe the coolest product of my lifetime.  I loved the iPad 1, skipped the iPad 2 and went for this one.  Now I have two, and the first one goes to my wife as she used it more than I did!

So, here are my thoughts.  The hype for iPad 3 was tremendous, as usual for Apple products.  Faster processor, faster graphics. a retina display to knock your socks off, and 4G.  I will tell you after using it for a couple of weeks, I can’t see the difference in the display between the 1 & the 3.  Side by side I’ve looked at many photos and I’m not dazzled as promised.  The only thing I gained is a front and back camera which was included in the second model and a faster processor.  The camera is improved with the latest model, and the speed is significant over the iPad 1, but would that be worth the upgrade?

The bottom line?  If you’re thinking about upgrading, do your homework.  If I hadn’t given the first one to my wife, I probably would have returned the new purchase and been happy with the old one.  But, since we both love it, we’ll both use our own and live happily ever after!

An Unexpected Bonus

2-22-12 CNN Replican DebateThe day after the Republican debate in Mesa, Arizona, I gave a photo seminar to a local computer club.  After the presentation, and since the Convention Center was so close by, we decided to stop and get the feel of how it must have been to be present for this event.  Crews were busy tearing down and cleaning up.  People were just leaving after the finish of an outside concert.  There seemed to be excitement in the air on this beautiful sunshiny day.


Just down the sidewalk and around the corner we saw the CNN bus.  It was very impressive with its election campaign paint job.  I took some photos and then met the driver.  I told him that I was a retired jet pilot but my secret fantasy was to drive a large bus like this.  He said “Let’s go in, fire it up, and you can drive to our next stop in Oklahoma.”  He was kidding of course, but did gave us a full tour.  It was fascinating for me, as a technology nut, to digest the magnitude of the whole thing.  One side was covered with flat screen monitors, the other side with a long couch and all the other luxuries you can imagine.  The back of the bus was chucked full of electronics manned by a full time technician.  They have the capability of transmitting four satellite feeds simultaneously. 

CNN StuffGiving my photo seminars is always a blast, but this was an extra unexpected bonus for the day.  Thanks for the hospitality and the tour Dale!


Internet scams are nothing new.  Viruses, spyware, and malware have been around for years.  The problem today is that some of these scams look very official and the average person is fooled into spending money only to make matters worse.

Let’s take a look at what typically happens.  A window appears on your screen notifying you that you have x amount of corrupted files caused by a virus.  It will offer you a button to click on to do a free scan of your system.  You click on it and the program simulates a scan then tells you that you can rid your system of all this nasty stuff by clicking on another button.  When you do it tells you that you can download a program to fix these problems.  When you continue it says that it will cost you $56. You give them your credit card number, then download the program.

Now you have just made matters worse and you’ve been taken! This company, probably in Russia, has your credit card information and your computer is now trash until you call a technician.

Win 7 Anti-SpywareHere is what the latest scam looks like.  It’s called Win 7 Anti-Spyware 2012.  If you see this on your screen turn your computer off, then reboot into safe mode with networking, update and run Malwarebytes.

If this is above your confidence level, then just turn off your machine and call a tech, or take your tower or laptop to a repair facility.  If you did proceed and do the download you will want to call your bank, cancel that transaction and you probably will want a new credit card!

It’s sad to say, but we should constantly be aware of scams.  Never give out any passwords and only credit card information if you are absolutely positive of whom you are dealing with.