Note: class and meeting cancellations due to bad weather will follow the Shawnee Mission School District cancellation announcements at: https://www.smsd.org/


iPad/iPhone SIG
Jo Co Central Resource Library
9875 West 87th Street
Overland Park, KS
Conference Room 01

Friday, Feb 21, 2020, 2:003:30 pm

The main goal of our special interest group (SIG) is to share our knowledge of all things iPhone and iPad.  This SIG is free and open to the public, so feel free to bring your friends.

Ray Martinez convenes the iPad/iPhone SIG
(913) 991-0155

 



Android SIG
Oak Park Library
9500 Bluejacket St
Overland Park, KS
Approx. one block W of Hwy 69 & 95th St.

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020, 2:304:00 pm
Large Meeting Room

If you have an Android device, make sure you bring it so we can answer your questions. If you have any questions that I can prepare before the meeting, please let me know as soon as possible. Bring devices, friends, and questions on Wednesday.
Hope to see you there,

Bob Bowser, sencomprez@gmail.com

Visitors Always Welcome

 



Congratulations to the winners in APCUG’s 2019 Contests.
We won 1st Place in the Website Contest due in part to Joe Callison’s excellent articles. PDF →



GEEK FREE
By Joe Callison
26 January, 2020

My 2019 Laptop Buying Dilemma Revisited

I can’t believe a year has passed since writing about “my 2019 laptop buying dilemma.” During the after Christmas 2019 holiday sales I finally gave in to buying a new HP Envy 17t after a $200 price reduction. It had enough of my desired features at the right price to go ahead with the purchase:

  • Display: 17 inch (non-touch) full HD 1920 x 1080 LED backlit
  • Processor: 10th generation Intel i5 processor (4 core)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce MX250 with 2GB graphics memory
  • RAM: 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2666
  • Disk Storage: 1 TB 7200 rpm SATA plus 16 GB Intel Optane memory
  • Audio: Premium B&O with front facing speakers
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 combo
  • Ports: 
    1 USB 3.1 Type C
    3 USB 3.1 Type A
    1 HDMI
    1 Headphone/microphone
    1 Ethernet (gigabit)
    1 SD memory card reader
    1 DVD R/W
  • Keyboard: Full size with numeric keypad and backlit keys (2 levels + off by function key)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Warranty: 1 year

The only significant compromise I made was getting the 1 TB hard drive with 16 GB Optane memory instead of paying $100 more for a solid state drive. My rationale was that if I later decided to replace the 1 TB hard drive with a solid state drive, I could do so myself at the same cost or less and still keep the hard drive for other uses. The Optane memory cache with a 7200 rpm hard drive (most laptops have 5400 rpm) provides overall disk performance near that of a solid state drive, and can be used with a future solid state drive to provide even higher performance than a solid state drive alone.

With the 17 inch size and mostly metallic case, the laptop is still pretty heavy at over 6 pounds, but is noticeably thinner than the old laptop. The backlit keys are nice for use with low lighting, but need to be turned off in a well lit room in order to get better contrast of the letters on the light silver keys.

The laptop was ordered from the HP website and delivered direct from China. One surprise was that the Windows 10 operating system was still at version 1903, so it took a lot of updating to bring it to version 1909. So far we are very pleased with the looks and performance of the laptop. I was especially pleased with the price, which was several hundred dollars less than a similarly equipped laptop could be purchased for a year earlier.



FOR~GO
(For Geeks Only)

By Joe Callison
21 December 2019

Device Manager

Windows Device Manager can be accessed in Windows 10 by right-clicking on the Start icon to get the menu, by typing Device Manager in the Cortana search box, or by using the old Control Panel desktop app. Device Manager is useful for troubleshooting or updating computer device drivers for hardware installed in or attached to the computer. Even if the hardware is removed, the previously detected item will still show with a light colored icon in the list and can be seen by clicking the “Show hidden devices” under View. Abandoned devices that are not likely to be connected again can be removed from the list by right-clicking on the item and choosing “Uninstall device” or if you have both toolbars checked in the Customize settings under View you can select the item and click on the red X in the snap-in toolbar, which only shows when applicable for the item selected. Similarly you can disable a device or update its driver from the right-click menu or the toolbar.

Right-clicking a device and choosing Properties, the Driver tab can be opened to view the installed driver version. The Driver Details will list the driver paths and file names that are installed. Update Driver is another way to get to the update choices. Roll Back Driver allows going back to the previously installed driver in the event the updated driver causes problems. The Disable Device and Uninstall Device choices can also be accessed in the Driver tab.  

Detected devices that can’t be identified or that drivers can’t be found for by Device Manager will show with an exclamation mark on the device icon. One method to identify the item is to look at the Properties for the device. In the Details tab, use the drop down list under Property to view the “Device instance path” or “Hardware IDs”. By doing an internet search on the first part of the value before the REV number, such as PCI\VEN_8086DEV_2A42&SUBSYS_04061028 which can be identified as a Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family, an appropriate driver may then be searched for.

Sometimes a problem with a device can be fixed by simply choosing the “Uninstall device” and then after it is removed from the list, under the Action menu choose “Scan for hardware changes” or restart the computer to detect the device again and the driver will be reloaded and may fix the problem.

For old legacy hardware that does not support “Plug-and-Play”, which is how the computer can detect new hardware automatically, there is a wizard accessible through the Action menu item “Add legacy hardware”. I have not tried using that feature. As noted in the wizard, the manufacturer’s installation files should be used instead if at all possible.

Avoid the temptation to use drivers from unfamiliar sources on the internet or using driver updater software found there. It is likely to either be infected by malware or is malware itself. Driver updater software is often the source of other unwanted programs that get downloaded and installed without your knowledge, or the driver updater may find newer versions than currently installed but not appropriate for your computer hardware. The best source for drivers and driver updater software is the support area of the computer manufacturer’s website. If you can’t find a Windows 10 driver listed, try looking under the earlier versions of Windows that have the same bit processor (32 bit or 64 bit) as your Windows 10 installation as they will often work. If not found there, the hardware device manufacturer’s website often has generic drivers that should work, but may not have all of the features the driver from the computer manufacturer would have provided. Occasionally I have even had to resort to looking up the manufacturer and model number of the main chip on the device, such as an NVIDIA graphics chip, REALTEK audio or LAN chip, or BROADCOM WLAN chip and getting a generic driver from their website.

My last bit of advice is to create a restore point before updating a driver that you are unsure about so you can more easily undo the changes. Sometimes the “rollback driver” is not able to undo a change. If updating multiple drivers, do it for each driver and check that it works properly before going to the next driver, otherwise you may not know which driver is causing the problem.



Volunteer

SenCom is a Kansas not-for-profit corporation that is run by volunteers. There are current openings for “Hospitality: General Meeting” and “Program Director”. If you would like to inquire about these volunteer openings, call or email our president:
Bob Bowser, (785) 608-4904,  sencomprez@gmail.com



SenCom gratefully acknowledges the
following organizations for their support:

Google Fiber

City of Shawnee,
Parks & Recreation Department

Johnson County Library:
Central Resource, Oak Park



SENCOM IS A NOT-FOR-PROFIT KANSAS CORPORATION
UNDER THE IRS 501(C)(3) RULES

https://apcug2.org/




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