Recent Posts

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General Discussion / Television Signal Strength at Your Location
« Last post by rsutter on July 16, 2014, 08:54:11 PM »
Hello All,

I just purchased another television antenna with the hopes of increasing the number of Over the Air (OTA) stations that I can receive.  In researching the appropriate antenna for my situation, I found the following site:

Copied from the TV Fool web site
"This tool will analyze your location to determine which broadcast television signals are available in your area.  It will compute the expected signal strength for every channel "in the air" at your location, including adjustments for transmitter power, terrain obstructions, curvature of the Earth, and other factors that affect signal availability.  This information can help determine the relative signal strengths of stations that are potentially within reach of your location.  It can also come in handy when trying to troubleshoot reception problems."

Ralph Sutter
Keep track of the drought situation with the North American Drought Monitor map, and numerous other measurements on the NOAA website (National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).


NCDC Homepage:


National Drought Mitigation Center:
I have just put together a Shuttle DS437T Fanless Slim-PC. Expect a demo of this small computer at a future Linux meeting.

I created  a web page with specifications and pictures.

Pointers on cleaning up unneeded files accumulated on your Drive C:\.

Make Tech Easier
General Discussion / Linux Ubuntu Update Breaks WiFi
« Last post by rsutter on July 11, 2014, 09:43:05 AM »
Hello All,

Last night I updated Ubuntu 14.04 64 bit version.  It is installed on an HP Pavilion m6 laptop with multiple partitions.  Other installations include Windows 8.1 and Linux Mint 17 64 bit.
Midway through the update, I lost my WiFi connection and couldn't regain it.  I completed the install by plugging in an Ethernet cable.

When I rebooted the computer, I noticed that the light on the F12 key (turn WiFi on or off) was red, indicating that WiFi was turned off.  Pushing that key did not turn WiFi on.

I booted into Windows 8.1 and ran the troubleshooting diagnostics.  It reported that the WiFi was turned off and suggested that I turn it back on.  Such advise is reminiscent of the thought-challenged individuals who indicate that you can easily put four elephants in a VW Beetle.  Just put two in the front seats and two in the back seats.

I finally got WiFi back by going in to the BIOS setting and loading the Setup Defaults.
Here's how to do that.
Turn off the computer
Turn on the computer, pressing the ESC key repeatedly.
This will bring up the BIOS Startup Menu.
Press F10 (BIOS Setup)
Press F9 (Setup Defaults
Press F10 (Save and Exit)
Reboot the computer

For me, this series of actions brought back the F12 key (Turn WiFi on/off)

I booted into Windows 8.1 and chose my WiFi connection.  (I had to reenter the security password.)

When I booted into Ubuntu 14.04, the F12 key once again turned red and I could not connect to WiFi. 
Rebooting into Windows 8.1, the F12 button stayed red.

By chance, I discovered that the Ubuntu 14.04 software update had spontaneously set the WiFi connection to Airplane mode
Once that I switched out of Airplane mode I was able to turn on WiFi, the F12 key glowed white, mirroring my radiant smile.

Here is how to turn off Airplane Mode in Ubuntu 14.04
Go to System Settings/Network
Move the Airport Mode slider to the Off position  (See attachment)

Ralph Sutter

General Discussion / How To Make Windows 7 Look Like Windows XP.
« Last post by DougD on July 08, 2014, 09:41:09 PM »
How To Make Windows 7 Look Like Windows XP. I don't suppose too many people would not be amendable to letting Windows 7 screens replace the XP motif. But, if you should happen to be  pining with nostalgia, here is a way to tweak WIN7 to look like XP.

Make Use Of
General Discussion / Re: Drag and Drop Returns to Thunderbird
« Last post by DougD on July 08, 2014, 12:00:28 PM »

     This will save me an untold number of mouse clicks.

     I thank you and my mouse thanks you,

General Discussion / Drag and Drop Returns to Thunderbird
« Last post by rsutter on July 08, 2014, 07:51:44 AM »
Hello All,

My mail client of choice is Thunderbird.  I use it with Windows, Mac and Linux systems.  I set up an IMAP account under a domain that I own and have created numerous folders for storing previous e-mail messages.

It used to be that I could drag messages from my in box to any of my other folders/subfolders.  At one point, drag and drop disappeared from Thunderbird.  I had to use the multi-step Move to procedure.  Today, for nostalgia's sake, I tried moving via drag and drop.  It worked.  That lost functionality has been restored.

It works on Windows 8.1, Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 64 bit) and Mac OS x 10 10.9.4

Ralph Sutter
General Discussion / Charter, Comcast, et al
« Last post by johnw on July 06, 2014, 11:26:32 PM »
In the meeting the topic of Comcast buying Charter came up. I was doing some research on another topic related to Charter and looked into this.  It turns out that Comcast had no plans to buy Charter. What they have been trying to do is buy Time-Warner. This merger will make Charter the second largest cable company, instead of the third.  Since the two largest are merging that is not saying much.  BUT, there is a deal between Charter and Comcast, they will be exchanging customers.  My impression, which could be wrong, is that there are many areas where both companies exist, but one is dominant.  My guess is that they are exchanging customers to consolidate their service areas, but who knows.  This probably means that either we will switch from Charter to Comcast, or Santa Maria may switch from Comcast to Charter.  We will see how it shakes out.

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