Sunday, June 16, 2019

GE Security Smart ConnectionCenter

So we got one of these when we added on to the house in 2006.  It centralizes connections for cable TV, telephone and internet.  We've had more people staying with us than usual and the WiFi has been so slow.  It finally dawned on me that this GE box was a bottleneck.  It has an 8-port Ethernet switch but the speed is only 10/100 mbps.  I got a NetGear gigabit 8-port switch for $39 and used that in place of the built-in slow one.  The GE box had enough room for it and a spare electrical outlet.  Very easy fix and now it's all fast and stuff.

Friday, April 12, 2019

AT&T Device Unlock Portal

If you have an AT&T cell phone and it's paid for, you can unlock it (for free) at the AT&T Device Unlock Portal.  The advantage of unlocking your cell phone is this:  if you travel abroad, you can buy a prepaid SIM card in the country you travel to, and swap it for your usual AT&T SIM card.  This will give you cheap voice and data access in the foreign country, compared to AT&T's foreign roving plans.  When you return to the US, you can switch the SIM card back.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Microsoft Sculpt Mice

My new setup.  I've got a 34" ultrawide LG monitor (5120x2160), Mackie 4" speakers and the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop and Mouse.  I also got the Sculpt Comfort Mouse and Sculpt Mobile Mouse.

All three mice work at once, but I only use one at a time.  They each have an on/off switch on the bottom.  The Comfort Mouse is the only one that is pure Bluetooth. The others communicate via a USB dongle. The dongles each store inside their mouse when not in use, which is a good idea else they'd get lost. The Ergonomic Mouse is big - almost as big as Doug Engelbart's original three-button wheel mouse from the 1970s.  The Mobile Mouse seems the most accurate for close work.  The wheel on all three has the nice feature that it can scroll sideways, as well as up and down. All but the Mobile Mouse have extra buttons that you can program.

The Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard takes some getting used to.  I've been using a split keyboard but this one tilts up on the side closest to me.

Friday, March 8, 2019

My new LG 34WK95U-W ultrawide 5K monitor

It seems like a long time from when this 5120x2160 monitor was announced until it became widely available.  At any rate, I finally got a LG 34WK95U-W and it's a beauty.

Before hooking it up, I needed to get a better graphics card.  I'm not a gamer so I don't need one of those high-priced power-hungry cards, but my old NVidia GeForce GTX 745 was insufficient.  I upgraded to a 1050 Ti with 4GB of memory.  It's priced reasonably, it's not too big for my motherboard (a 2015 HP) and it works with motherboard power.  I connected with DisplayPort 1.4.  The cable for this came with the monitor.

Installing the monitor was made harder by the skimpy documentation.  You'd think they would do better.  But I did figure it out.  The screen is beautiful and I love all that real estate.  I can have two or even three documents up at once.

Monday, December 3, 2018

ReSound Hearing Aids and Windows 10

I have ReSound hearing aids that I got from Costco.  They work fine and connect to my iPhone.  As near as I can determine, they use a non-standard version of Bluetooth to communicate.  I have tried to connect them to my Windows 10 computer, but no luck.  I can pair them via Bluetooth but they never show up as a sound device.  A standard sound device like Bluetooth headphones would show up automatically.  You can use these hearing aids fine with iOS and Android devices, but I believe they do not work with Windows devices, and likely not with Linux or Mac either. summary

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Netgear 8-port router FVS318G troubles - fixed!

We've been having troubles with our home network going down randomly.  It was getting worse and worse.  At first, I blamed Comcast, and there was indeed a problem there, but a technician came out and fixed that.  I finally figured out that the culprit must be our Netgear 8-port firewall router.  I think it has a relay in it and those eventually fail. (It would be nice if they supplied a circuit diagram, but that was the old days.)  This router was in use for years, not sure how many.  So I got a new FVS318Gv2 and installed it.  Bingo, no network problems.

Friday, February 27, 2015

What I Installed (and uninstalled) On My New PC


Adobe Flash Player (alas)
Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 (from Costco)
Adobe Reader
Chess Hero
Eudora 6.2 (old mail program for my top 70 list)
EXIF file date changer
Firefox web browser
Houdini chess program
HP all-in-one software
MS HealthVault
MS Office Pro 2013
MS Visual Studio 2012
MUP music authoring program
NVIDIA graphics drivers
WD SmartWare backup
WinSCP FTP program


Bing Bar