Latest Entries »

Last updated April 20, 2022.

Imagine if the FBI asked you to put a device in your house that is always listening. The FBI promises us that it will only listen for certain things, such as gunshots or the voices of people on the FBI’s most wanted list. In exchange for this device that is always listening, you are getting greater safety. After all, if someone fired a handgun in your house, the FBI device can automatically dispatch the police much faster than you could dial 911. Would you volunteer for that?

Just change a few words and you have people not only volunteering but paying money to do so. Imagine if Google asked you to buy a device for your house that is always listening. Google promises us that it will only listen for certain things, such OK Google. In exchange for this device always listening, you are getting some convenience. After all, if you wanted to make coffee, OK Google can automatically start your coffee maker faster than you could.

And what convenience! I can unlock my door with my smartphone. I can turn on my lights without using my legs. I can find out about something without the hassle of typing.

Here is the bottom line: Can you really trust a for-profit business to permanently respect your privacy? (Especially one whose business it is not to respect your privacy.) Can you really trust that these devices will always be secure?

Smart homes are a dumb idea. And I can also say smart cars are a dumb idea as well. These are all solutions looking for a problem.

View full article »


This post has been updated on March 1, 2023.

A lot of people think I dislike Apple products. I once had no problem with the quality of Apple products, but that has changed. Now, because of how lousy the quality is and how horribly Apple treats the customer, I strongly recommend you avoid Apple products like the plague. I am going to have links to Youtube videos that show how Apple has no problem lying to you and treating you like dirt. No other company can treat people the way Apple does and stay in business. View full article »

Windows 11 and Drive Encryption

Windows 11 is terrible. And that is probably too kind. One of the more serious problems with Windows 11 is the foolish idea to encrypt everybody’s hard drive by default. This is a dumb dumb dumb idea. You almost certainly don’t have anything that you must keep secret. With you hard drive encrypted, if your computer goes bad, it can be very difficult to recover the files. But there is another serious flaw with drive encryption that can cause you to lose all your files. If the computer restarts while an encryption/decryption is in progress, it can make your files unrecoverable. Sadly, Windows Update is too dumb to know when an encryption/decryption is happening, so it will install updates and restart without your permission. This problem is almost certain to happen if one of the updates applies to the BIOS/UEFI.

There is a faster and safer way to decrypt your hard drive. These are the steps:

View full article »

Mid February 2023, I have seen a large number of printers that suddenly stopped working with Optimum (formerly Suddenlink) modems. My guess is that Optimum pushed out an update to the modem that is causing the problem. The printer is connected to the modem’s Wi-Fi, but no computer is able to talk to the printer. If you restart, the printer successfully reconnects to the Wi-Fi, but the problem remains. And the only devices having trouble are printers, the brand does not matter. So far, the modem/router that I have confirmed to have this problem is from Oobe.

Further investigations reveal that factory resets will fix the problem temporarily. Sometimes you need to do a factory reset multiple times to fix the problem.

After checking with Optimum tech support, this is an issue they are aware of. They recommend purchasing your own modem and router to fix the problem.

I never recommend renting the cable modem from any cable company. You should buy your own modem and save the $10/month fee. I usually recommend a modem and router separately, but if you don’t want complicated you can a router/modem combo. There are many good choices, so long as it is a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem. I usually recommend buying the modem and router separate, even though it will cost more.

This is a problem that occurs when you remove a Gmail account from Outlook and then re-add it. Normally when you add a Gmail account, you get a window that asks you to sign in to Gmail. But if you removed your account, then that window might never appear. This is because Outlook did not properly delete some entries in the registry.

I would recommend you remove all email accounts in Outlook using the Mail setting in the Control Panel before this fix.

Open the registry editor and go to:


(Note: the number may not be 16.0; it might be higher or lower so be sure to check all similar entries).

Delete any entry with your email address in it. If you removed all email address, delete every entry. After that, re-add your Gmail account as normal.

Although I haven’t tested this, I would think this problem would also appear for Hotmail/Outlook and Yahoo email because these also use the OAuth2 standard.

0xc0000001 When Booting

There is a common error when booting your Windows computer. The Windows boot files became corrupted and the computer no longer boots. The problem with this error is not all the generic, boilerplate answers Microsoft will give you work. Even worse, all the tools Microsoft provides to fix will not work either. Windows 7 and earlier, this will be in a black screen; Windows 8 and later it will be a blue screen. The error will have the 0xc0000001 code, and sometimes will list the file “\Windows\system32\winload.efi“. Likely, this file itself is not corrupt, but other boot files are. This is because the boot files are usually in a hidden partition of the hard drive.

These are the steps to fix it:

View full article »

In early September 2022, Microsoft released a bad version of Microsoft Edge, build 105. The solution was to rollback the version. These are the simplified instructions on how you can do that. Microsoft’s rollback instructions are at

  1. Go to and download an older version of Edge. The older versions are below the download buttons at the top. As of the time of this post, the most recent build was 105, so I had to choose a 104 build.
  2. After downloading, open a command prompt as an Administrator and then go to the folder where the file was downloaded.
  3. Type the following command in the command prompt: msiexec /I MicrosoftEdgeEnterpriseX64.msi /qn ALLOWDOWNGRADE=1
    1. Note that the file name MicrosoftEdgeEnterpriseX64.msi may be different.
  4. Wait. There will be no confirmation that it was successful.

UPDATE: The reason why build 105 of Edge stopped working is because of a bug related to an obsolete setting. You need to delete the registry keys HKCU\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge\MetricsReportingEnabled and HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Edge\MetricsReportingEnabled. Check both places, but it may not exist at one of them.

These are the simplified instructions to install a Pi-Hole on a Raspberry Pi device. You will need any Raspberry Pi with an ethernet adapter and a high-endurance microSD card. If ever you Pi-Hole device begins to freeze up, it is because your microSD card is bad or you need to use a legacy version of Pi OS. View full article »

Here is a problem that seems to affect phones using Verizon’s network. Although it may affect other carriers. I recently switched from AT&T to Visible Wireless — which is a Verizon subsidiary — and I started to have trouble with visual voicemail on my phone. Numerous chats to Visible’s support people didn’t help. I finally figured out it was my VPN causing the problem.

View full article »

People know how I feel about smart speakers and smart homes. I also feel the same way about smart TV’s. I always recommend people DO NOT connect their TV to the internet. The saying goes “jack-of-all-trades, master of none”. A smart TV cannot be as good as a standalone device, such as Roku or Fire Stick. (While not a smart TV, I actually paid extra for a dumb blu-ray player from Oppo that didn’t have any apps. Unfortunately, Oppo no longer makes blu-ray players.)

Well, here is one more reason to hate smart TV’s: They have the ability to analyze what you are watching and can sell that information to advertisers. This is true whether you are watching by an antenna, cable, or even a blu-ray movie. And TV makers are now starting to take advantage of this technology. For instance, Vizio now inserts ads into your TV while you are watching the show.

You can stop Vizio and every other TV maker from knowing what you are watching by simply never connecting the TV to the internet! A simple fix to stop this greedy nonsense forever.

If ever you have a laptop that will not come on, do not assume the motherboard is bad. It may be something connected to the motherboard that is bad. I have had many HP laptops with this problem. But it is possible that it affects other models too.

This problem happened after I just replaced the broken screen, which at my cost was $180. (It is a beautiful screen.) A few weeks later, this HP laptop no longer powered on. The LED light by the power connector – which is integrated into the power connector – never came on. Since this light only comes on when the motherboard works, I naturally assumed the laptop motherboard was defective. The person was using a cheap generic Chinese power adapter and I thought it could have damaged the motherboard.

But, I was wrong. Here is how I eventually figured this out.

View full article »

Here is a problem that plagues many versions of Microsoft Outlook. You have no emails in the outbox, but every time you use Outlook, it is trying to an email. You may also get a send error. The underlying problem is Outlook had trouble sending a read receipt. Which can cause other read receipts to never send. Emails in the outbox may or may go through as well. In my experience, some did send and some did not.

The problem goes back to so many versions of Outlook, that Microsoft has provided a tool and instructions to fix the problem.

I would also recommend you use the scanpst tool after this, and then compact the PST data file.

Update: Sometimes the Microsoft tool does not work. In that case, you will have to create a new Outlook PST file. You will have to do this with the Mail option in the Control Panel. The only way to properly do that is to add a second instance of the same email address while making sure it uses a new Outlook PST file, then migrate all emails to the second instance within the Outlook program, then close Outlook when done, then go back to the Mail in the Control Panel and remove the first instance of the email address.