Show of 09-02-2017

September 2, 2017

Best of Tech Talk Edition

  • Segments replayed from previous shows

Email and Forum Questions

  • Email from Paul Arfanis: I was driving through Washington DC yesterday and tuned in to your show. You were discussing the first wireless telephones and mentioned that the inventor got the idea from watching Captain Kirk use his communicator. If you go back and look at the first James Bond Movie, Dr No, in the opening scene Bond gets out of the water and goes back to his car and picks up a wireless phone and calls M. Check it out. Thought you would like to know. Paul Arfanis
  • Tech Talk Responds: That is a very good observation. There are many examples about how both Star Trek and James Bond influenced today’s technology. One was science fiction and the other was advanced technology used by a spy. Both were forward thinking.
  • Email from Tim in Ohio: Dear Tech Talk. I am a Verizon user and was forced to port my email account to an AOL server. Now I am trying to get Microsoft Mail to work properly on my laptop and am having trouble configuring it for AOL mail. Please help. Tim in Ohio
  • Tech Talk Responds: Setting up your AOL account in Microsoft Mail quite easy. As long as you know the specific configuration items. To set these items select tools and then add a new account.
    • Make sure IMAP is selected under Incoming e-mail server type.
    • Enter “imap.aol.com” under Incoming mail server:
    • Enter “smtp.aol.com” under Outgoing e-mail server
    • Outgoing server requires authentication should be on.
    • Under the advanced properties tab, Server Port Number for Outgoing mail is 587
  • Configuration should not take more than a few minutes. Good luck, Tim.
  • Email from Rich in Silver Spring: Dear Dr Shurtz, I so enjoy your show and show archives. It’s funny and very informative and I have learned a lot. I bought an HD Flow system, Model HDS200, several years ago several years ago for wireless TV connections. The Transmitter does work with its built in wireless, but is easily interrupted and the Receiver outputs choppy or delayed results on the receiving TV. It’s antennae is not very good unless there are no walls, ducts to go through. Of course, it works great if no no one walks through the transmitter beam. So I thought my router antennae would work better.
  • I read Peerless’ information manual and they say they have a peer to peer LAN option (p24,25) , but instead of RJ45 hard wire connections they claim,”IP address of the Transmitter and Receiver need to match the domain IP of the router.” I set the Transmitter and Receiver IP addresses to that of our Verizon router’s IP 192.168.1.1, but I have router WEP Encryption enabled & there’s no way in the TR interface to enter that WEP. What are my options? Thanks a bunch, Rich in Silver Spring, MD
  • Tech Talk Responds: The peer-to-peer connection through the router is strictly a wired connection. You need to have IP addresses in the routers domain, but they cannot be the same. In your case, I would choose 192.168.1.153 and 192.168.1.154. The gateway address would be the routers IP address: 192.168.1.1. The subnet mask is 255.255.255.0. They you can connect through the router network via Ethernet.
  • In the peer-to-peer wireless mode, the transmitter is always 192.168.0.151 and the receiver is 192.168.0.151. They do not interfere with your router and are not encrypted.
  • I you want a wireless connection, it will not involve the router. You have two channels available to you. You might try the other channel. You might try putting a parabolic reflector behind your unit to direct the signal better. I could not find a way to connect an external antenna to the device.
  • Email from Tuc in Virginia Beach: Dear Tech Talk. I always use a VPN on my cell phone. Recently, I have have not been able to log into Pokemon Go unless I turn off my VPN. I am using ExpressVPN. Is this a configuration problem? This is a recent experience. Love the show. Tuc in Virginia Beach
  • Tech Talk Responds: You are experiencing the VPN war. Users are hacking Pokemon and using GPS spoofing. In order to keep from being detected they are using VPN to mask their true location. PokemonGo was blocking ExpressVPN this week. As of this moment, it is not blocked.
  • Email from Jim in Kansas: Dear Tech Talk. I hear all of these specifications about cameras and am confused. How many megapixels do I really need? What is more, better? Love the show. Jim in Kansas.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Every digital camera has a sensor array. Each element of this array is a single picture element (called a pixel). When light hits a pixel, it determines what color that pixel should be in the resulting photo. One million pixels is one megapixel. This means a 20MP photo was taken with a camera that had a sensor with twenty million pixels.
  • The overall sensor size varies in digital cameras. The sensor inside your smartphone is smaller than the sensor inside a full-frame DSLR. The size of the sensor is very important for image quality and low light performance.
  • The more megapixels a sensor has, the bigger the image it can create. This is useful for fashion and studio photographers who want every single detail, such as the subject’s eyelashes. As Apple has demonstrated, you can make billboards from 12MP smartphone images when such detail is not essential.
  • The downside is that, with smaller sensors, you have worse low light performance. Compare a 20MP and a 50MP DSLR camera. The pixels on the 20MP sensor will be larger and get about twice as much light as those in the 50MP sensor. So it is a tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity.
  • Smartphones seem to have settled for around 12MP sensors over the last few years. The iPhone 7, Google Pixel, and Samsung Galaxy S8 all have sensors of about this size. For DSLRs, around 20MP is a great ballpark since those arrays can be larger. Canon and Nikon offer cameras with sensors between 18MP and 24MP.
  • Email from Barbie in Reston: Dear Tech Talk. I have a Macbook Pro. I love this computer, but am required to run some software for my work that only supports Windows. What are my options. Love the show. Hoa in Ohio.
  • Tech Talk Responds: Your best option is to used a virtual machine program to run Windows applications on a Mac without rebooting. For maximum performance, which is particularly necessary for gaming, you should use a dual-booting systems.
  • A virtual machine allows you to install Windows and other operating systems in a window on your Mac desktop. Windows will think it’s running on a real computer, but it’s actually running inside a piece of software on your Mac. You’ll need a Windows license to install Windows in a virtual machine. If you already have a product key, you can download Windows installation media for free and install it in a virtual machine program.
  • Popular virtual machine programs for Mac include Parallels and VMware Fusion. Each of these is a paid program, so you’ll have to buy both a Windows license and a copy of your virtual machine program of choice. You can also use the completely free and open-source VirtualBox for Mac, but its 3D graphics support and Mac operating system integration aren’t as good. Parallels and VMWare Fusion both offer free trials, so you can try all these programs and decide which is best for you.
  • Installing Windows as a real operating system on your Mac is the best idea if you want to play Windows games or use demanding applications that need all the performance they can get. When you install Windows on your Mac, you’ll be able to use Windows and Windows applications with the maximum possible performance. Your Mac will perform as well as a Windows PC with the same specifications.
  • Apple’s Boot Camp allows you to install Windows alongside macOS on your Mac. Only one operating system can be running at a time, so you’ll have to restart your Mac to switch between macOS and Windows. If you’ve ever dual-booted Linux on your Windows PC, it’s just like that. The downside here is that you can’t run macOS applications and Windows applications side-by-side at the same time.
  • Email from Hoa in Ohio: Dear Doc and Jim. I have a problem on Facebook. Someone posted a picture of me that is not very attractive and I would like to get it removed. What are my options? Love the podcast here in Ohio. Hoa.
  • Tech Talk Responds: The simplest and quickest way to deal with a bad photo is to remove the tag. Once you’re no longer tagged in the photo, it won’t appear on your profile. It will still be in your friend’s Photos but, unless someone goes looking for it, random people aren’t going to find it.
  • If the photo is really bad and you want it removed from the internet, then the first step is to talk to your friend and ask them to remove it from their Facebook page. They took the photo, so they own it. You don’t have any rights to it. As long as they aren’t using it to promote something improper, they’re free to do pretty much whatever they want.
  • Facebook can only remove photos that violate their Terms of Service. The most relevant terms are: “You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user. You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”
  • If the photo they’ve posted is particularly aggressive, edited to make you look bad, or is part of a series of photos that they’re constantly posting then you’ve probably got a decent argument that you’re being harassed and Facebook might act.
  • It’s worth reporting the photo and hoping Facebook takes it down. If they keep posting bad photos, keep reporting them and Facebook will probably act.
  • The other option is just to block the other person. This will stop them seeing your profile and being able to tag you in photos.

Profiles in IT: Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff, and Stan Mazor

  • Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff, and Stan Mazor, Intel engineers, created the first programmable CPU (4004) in conjunction with Masatoshi Shima, BUSICOM engineer, who provided the calculator design requirements.
  • Intel to introduce the 4004 to the general market in November 1971.
    • Microprocessor measured 1/8th by 1/6th of an inch – the size of a fingernail
    • It delivered the same computing power as the first electronic computer, the ENIAC, built in 1946, which filled an entire room and used 18,000 vacuum tubes.
    • It has 2,300 transistors when it was introduced in 1971
    • Intel Core2 Duo processors contain over 291 million transistors.
    • The 4004 chip circuit line width was 10 microns or 10,000 nanometers.
    • Intel chips now have line widths of .065 microns or 65 nanometers.
    • A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. By comparison, a human hair is approximately 100 microns or 100,000 nanometers.
    • The Intel 4004 microprocessor was produced on wafers initially and then on wafers.
    • Today’s microprocessors are produced on 12 or 300mm wafers.
    • The 4004 microprocessor is composed of 5 layers.
    • Busicom, a subsidiary of Nippon, renounced the exclusive rights for the 4-bit 4004 microprocessor for a better price. Agreement was signed by Robert :Noyce, Intel, and Mr. Yoshio Kojima, Busicom and Nippon.
  • In April 1972, Intel released the 8008, which could process data in 8-bit chunks. It was designed by Faggin and Hal Feeney.
      • The 8008 chip was designed for Datapoint, a terminal manufacturer in Texas that couldn’t pay for it at the end of the contract.
      • To settle, Datapoint granted Intel the rights to the chip, including the instruction set, which Datapoint developed.
      • The instruction set eventually became part of the basis for the X86 architecture behind Intel chips today.
      • Number of transistors: 3,500
  • In 1974, Intel introduced the 8080 processor.
      • It included a more complex instruction set
      • It came in a package with 40 pins
      • It included 6,000 transistors
  • IBM selected the Intel 8088 for the first PC in 1981.
      • Number of transistors: 29,000
      • Speed: 5, 8, 10 MHz
  • That sealed the deal for Intel and their market dominance.