Friday, 19 June 2015

Raspberry Pi differences between the B and the Pi2

When I set up the Pi 2 (after much swearing and cursing and rainbow screens) I used OSMC and Kodi.  OSMC to the Pi 2 is the same as Raspbian to Pi B.  This, if you remember, took me some time to work out.   I confessed my shame in this post.

The Pi 2 initially did not really impress me as although it was supposed to be "better, stronger, faster" (or was that the 6 Million Dollar Man?) it stuttered and buffered and got annoying fast.  The time it took to search for stuff was longer than using the Pi B.  The processor was supposed to be faster and the memory was double.

If your read my earlier progress (or lack thereof) I was alerted to there being an alternate installation for the Pi 2 by the different installations of OpenElec. In this case OSMC, instead of Raspbian 

I decided that it might be worth a look at a different installation and OpenElec was the one that came to mind because of the above, not that I have to have a reason more than "ooh! shiny"

When I got it set up it seemed to work a bit better, less stuttering,  buffering and quicker to go and find what it was "waiting" for.

I skipped the B+ version.  So my experience is limited to the B and the Pi 2. There are countless comparisons for the B+ and Pi 2. 

I have also read that there will be a version of Windows 10 that will run on the Pi 2

So, as a recap :

Pi B
Pi 2
Works from an SD Card. Will work on microSD card with adaptor
Works from a MicroSD Card
Works on a 2GB SD card
Works on a 4GB minimum  microSDcard
Works on a 1.5A Power supply
Works on a minimum 2A Power supply
Requires correct installation ie Raspbian or correct download from selected OS
Requires correct installation ie OSMC or correct download from selected OS

Where as the upgrade path from the B+ is supposed to be straight forward, the B was not so much.  

It does seem to have settled down now and is working ok.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Last Pass Password Manager

I have, on occasion, recommended LastPass as a password manager. 

I received an email this morning warning of an attack to their security.  They advise ...

"Dear LastPass User,
We wanted to alert you that, recently, our team discovered and immediately blocked suspicious activity on our network. No encrypted user vault data was taken, however other data, including email addresses and password reminders, was compromised.
 We are confident that the encryption algorithms we use will sufficiently protect our users. To further ensure your security, we are requiring verification by email when logging in from a new device or IP address, and will be prompting users to update their master passwords.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but ultimately we believe this will better protect LastPass users. Thank you for your understanding, and for using LastPass. "

You can read more about it on here.  It gets a bit technical in the middle but the advice is worth listening to.

So Off you go!  Get it changed. I'll wait.  

Even if you don't use LastPass it is good practice to change the master password for any password manager on a regular basis.  I was actually surprised (and rather mortified!) how long I had had my previous master password!

Password managers are a good idea.  If your passwords are done correctly, (ie random strings of numbers, letters and symbols), they are hard to remember and trying to remember the many random passwords that we need during any one day is enough to make you write them down!  In addition to that we have PIN codes for debit and credit cards and on top of this, building security codes.   

What happened to the days of just remembering your home phone number, that of your best mate and a reliable cab company!

If you don't fancy using LastPass there are many others out there. 

PC Mag article about password managers. (April 14)
TechRadar another article about password managers (Feb 15)

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Nexus 7 Lollipop slow or lagging

In a recent post I referred to a guide to optimising your Nexus 7 after the Lollipop upgrade.

The post has been updated to 5.1.1, moved off the forum it was on and on to its own page here.

I have found that on the kids Hudl, disabling some of the many sync options has speeded them up a bit.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Random PC Crashes

The weather we are having at the moment is just Weird.  One day it is hot and the next I am looking for my jumper and thick socks.

In the good weather what we do need to watch is the temperature inside.  Computers and Laptops don't like being hot, they need to be kept well ventilated.  

If you are having a sudden epidemic of PC crashes, reboots and general nonsense it may be that you are having overheating issues.

Make sure all the fans inside desktops are working.
Ensure that the vents on your laptop are clear and that air is circulating freely. If it is tucked in an enclosure under a desk it may not have enough ventilation.

If you still have issues it may be that there is a build up of dust inside your PC which needs clearing out.

This is quite easy to do, but it is something Lamas Design and Technology can fix if you are not confident.

I opened a tower PC one day and found a large, dead spider along with dust, dog hairs and all manner of detritus. The reason it had arrived in the workshop was that it kept rebooting for no apparent reason.

Another Laptop (the Network Mananger's) was working so hard it sounded like a jet taking off.  When I opened it up I found this...

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

This copy of windows is not genuine - Oh yes it is!

A Client phoned me on Monday and told me that he was getting a Non Genuine Windows warning.

I knew that the copy of Windows was, in fact, genuine as I had purchased it, installed it and activated it myself just over 12 months ago!

The Network Manager was going over that way that evening and went and took a look at it.

I did not know at the time, as the client was not all that clear about it, but it was a random thing.  Sometimes it booted ok, other times it gave the warning.

The Network Manager found no issue and went on his merry way, the PC booted fine for him.

About an hour later I had a call to tell me that it is once again doing the same thing and giving a non genuine warning. 

I picked up the PC and brought it back to the workshop for further investigation.

I rebooted a couple of times, with no issue and the 4th time it happened again, a black screen with the warning in the bottom right of the screen.  It looked something, but not exactly, like this...

The back screen without the photo that is usually there, with the warning. When I did a quick bit of research on this i found that this is not an isolated incident and there have recently been quite a number of these.

It seems that something is corrupting the registry files associated with the licence.  If you check the MS website for their solution you may end up a little jittery as it involves a lot of manual registry editing. 

These pesky registry keys must be straightened out, however.  

The command required to do this is slmgr -rearm in an administrator level command prompt window.

This YouTube video is a good step by step instruction.

But if you are in any doubt about what you are doing consult a professional.  

Blue Keep Bluekeep what is it?

Patch early and Patch often! Microsoft is continually sending out patches and security updates. These should be applied as soon as possibl...