User Accounts – Adding and Changing

Here’s a new technique to either add or remove user accounts or to change their type.

Windows key + R – this opens up the Run Window.

Type in netplwiz and then Enter key.

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This shows you the screen below.

 

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Now highlight the account you want to change and then choose Properties.

Then choose Group Membership to choose the type of account you want it to be and then click on Apply.

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Watching Local TV on a Roku – plus more

Notes from Testing – what I’ve observed is that my Roku 3 with ethernet connection has a MUCH better connection and picture. My Streaming Stick with wireless frequently stops working and I get a buffering circle. I can be watching TV fine on my Roku 3, but no signal on my Streaming Stick.

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If you don’t appreciate Charter Spectrum charging you for each cable box in your house, there is another option to get most of those digital channels – Roku!

If you’re a cord cutter, you may still want to check this out as it will allow you to get some TV channels for around $20.00/month.

Gail Pennington gave me this tech tip on how you can use a standard Roku 3 to receive not only local TV channels, but also many other cable channels. You can use other Roku devices, but I prefer the Roku 3 – do your research on what might be right for you. I have also tested the Roku Streaming Stick on my kitchen TV and it works fine.

You first need to download and install the Spectrum app from the Roku store.

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Once it is installed, just start it up. It takes a minute to check some things, but then starts fairly quickly.

There are places in my house, like the basement) where it’s difficult to get a TV OTA signal. This is where having a ROKU 3 might help. If you can either run an Ethernet cable to your Roku or if you have a good wifi signal, then you can access all the cable channels you would probably need.

The only negative point I could find is that without a regular TV remote, it takes a bit more scrolling to find the channel you want. The Roku app makes it a bit easier to move around the screen.

After talking to a friend who has cut the cord and does have a Roku, he told me that the Spectrum app does not give him any free TV, but instead they offer him the local channels and one premium channel for around $20.00/month.  He mentioned that he uses Sling.com as a way to get other channels for around $20/month, but it doesn’t include local major channels.

So the summation is this, if you are paying Charter $6/month for every cable box you have in your house to watch regular TV, the Spectrum app will save you that monthly fee. You will have to buy a Roku for every TV, but that’s a one time expense. I have noticed that the picture is not quite as sharp at times and the audio volume is lower, but overall, it’s acceptable.

Below is a very short clip talking about the new app.

 

 

 

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Roku Notes

Roku Models

Streaming Stick – bought Sept 2016. 
I bought this to test on the kitchen TV where I didn’t want a big box. It seems to be playing fine just using a wireless signal.

Roku 3
This is my favorite as it has more power and the remote has a headphone jack. It also has an Ethernet port so I can get a wired connection.
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Add a Channel
From the Main Screen – choose Streaming Channels
Then select the channel you want. You can then move it into any position you like.

My.Roku.com
This is the main site where you can make changes.

Find Your Serial #
Settings – System – About

Change the Description of your Roku Device
Sign-In to your account online.
At the bottom of the screen you will see a list of all devices with their serial numbers.
Click on RENAME, to rename the device to something more descriptive.

Roku App
Available for most devices.
Click on the 3 horizontal lines to get more options – especially to Switch Devices
Favorite Channels

  • Twit
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Video
  • Pandora
  • Ted
  • YouTube
  • Spectrum (Charter TV Channels)

 

 

 

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Google Photos Problems in a Chromebook

What I have noticed recently on my Toshiba chromebook is that whenever I put in my camera’s SD card, Chrome offers to download them from the card and put them onto Google Drive. Since Google Drive counts these files toward my allotted GB amount, I would prefer that they go to Google Photos – which has a free option.

It appears that Google does not allow this in the usual automatic manner. You can still select individual files and move them to Google Photos, but not the automatic process that works so well with my other Windows computers.

In the Chromebook Central Help Forum, it states, “The auto upload function of the Google Photos app was taken away on Chrome OS. ”

This is really a shame that Google has taken such a position and forces some of us to move our photos to a Windows computer to get them easily into Google Photos.

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Google’s End of Life Policy for Chromebooks

I came across an interesting article by Kim Komando which talked about Google’s End of Life Policy which means that you need to be careful when buying a chromebook.

Certain chromebooks could be near their end of life just after you buy them.

Google has a list of each of the chromebooks and when there scheduled End of Life is.
https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/6220366?hl=en

The moral is, if you are going to buy a new chromebook, make sure you are getting one of the very newest models, so that you will get support for at least five more years.

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Amazon – Computer Help at Home

  1. Since I am having trouble with an older home computer, I found a link to Amazon Home Services which has computer repair at home. Here’s what the main screen looks like. You submit your basic information and they get back to you with repair bids.

Amazon-fix-computer-home

I received four replies to do computer repair. Here are the results.

  1. Ovian – “when did you first noticed the desktop wouldn’t boot? Also, do you hear any beeps coming from the machine when you power it on. Please provide the machine model number. Is it connected to a surge protector or not? I can probably come out tonight at 730pm, if ok. “No Reviews of this company.
  2. PC Systems of MO – “Doesn’t start at all? No fan spin? No beep? If so, it might indeed be the power supply. $35 for the power supply and $50 for the installation / travel. Obviously this could be a more serious problem like blown capacitors on the main board but let’s keep a positive thought. Would be happy to get you back up and running. Three positive reviews
  3. Tech2Call – “We can help you with that. $90.00 for labor + parts & materials”
  4. iWebExport – “What is the exact Dell model number and the also the service tag number of the machines?” One positive review.

In conclusion, the Amazon Computer Services might be a service that someone might use, but considering that you can buy a new computer for $549 or less you might be off to try and fix it yourself.

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SMS versus Google Authenticator

Steve Gibson on his Security Now episode 571, quoted a government source saying that “SMS is deprecated and will no longer be allowed in future releases…”

Steve also mentioned that on Hover they offer SMS or something like Google Authenticator. He always recommends an Authenticator solution.

Leo LaPorte in another show said that while SMS could be a problem, the attacker would also have to know your password.

In practical terms, if your bank or other company only offers SMS, it’s better than just a regular site with no second factor authentication.

 

 

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