Category Archives: Internet

McAfee Anti Virus Network Control Issue

Yesterday two of us spent at least an hour each trying to figure out another AltamontCowork members network issue.

Brand new laptop…DNS issue.

Normally, I can try one or two things, and get the computer working.  Not yesterday.  I quickly reached my limit, granted my limit, in that area,  is kinda shallow.

We finally threw our hands up in the air and suggested he go back to Best Buy where he bought the computer 36 days ago.

Instead of doing that, our coworker called his computer guru friend, who INSTANTLY knew what to do.  Uninstall the recently expired version of McAfee Anti-Virus that Best Buy had installed for him.

He did that and his Internet connectivity came back!

OK, in my opinion, if this in fact a McAfee issue (it sure is coincidental) then this is super BAD.

An anti-virus program stopping your Internet access (just because the time limit expired)?  I see how this could be a “nice” thing to do…..but….it should NEVER be done.  NEVER, NEVER….

Go here to download a FREE anti-virus program from the people who understand Windows better than anyone.


Computer guru friend, Cami (NNIS Computer and Network Support), sent me this link as a possible cause for this issue.

Reading the fixes I see they are very complicated for the average computer user.

Here is a simpler fix…..remove McAfee, as our coworker did, and install a free anti-virus program.


iGoogle Going Away

The world is changing again!

My comfortable iGoogle homepage has served me well for quite a long time (I moved to Google from Yahoo a few years ago…).  I use Chrome (fast, reliable, etc) and have almost totally moved to the Google universe…and I am very happy here.  But….

Now I see a banner on my iGoogle home page that says iGoogle is going away.  Yikes!

After clicking on the information link, and pondering what this meant….not one to let grass grow under my feet…..I moved on and downloaded separate apps that give me quick access to the Google features I use the most:  Mail, Docs (Drive), Chat, Voice, News, YouTube, etc.

As I work, I will add more….Ah….Calendar…see…the more I work, the more I add…how funny.  🙂

My new Chrome homepage looks like this:

Alternatively, I can have this page showing my most visited sites show up:

Google Chat and Voice show up in the top right hand corner of Chrome:

Using the NEW WAY

I moved very quickly to using the separate apps to access my Google universe.  I suspect since I was already doing this on my smartphone, the move to this way of navigating on my computer was virtually painless.

Time marches on….keep up or fall behind…


Driving Google Drive

I have been using Google Docs for a couple of years now.   I like it.

Joleen Ruffin and I started a company (it failed) a couple of years ago.  From our desks at AltamontCowork, we shared documents, saved documents, and even worked on documents in real time using Google Docs.

Very cool.

The only real issue I had with Google Docs was keeping the files on the cloud synchronized EASILY with the files on my computer.  I never really got a handle on that task.

Lately, I have been helping JBB Cleaning Services, Inc. get the paperwork started that any start-up might need.  PR, business cards, flyers, income / expenses, bids, pictures of recent jobs, etc., etc.  I got Lucille set up on Google Docs and shared the folder.  This worked out ok (not great…just ok), because of the problem I mentioned above:  Syncing my computer with the Google Doc cloud just was not happening.


Then Google Drive was finally released.  I looked at it, and low and behold, it appeared to  solve the one real problem I had with Docs.  So I gave it a trial run.

My opinion?

I like it, even though I lost a folder on my computer (I still do not know how or why this happened).  My backups are now automatic, and easy as pie.

Here is how I totally under-use Google Drive (I will get to the other features eventually).

I click on the Drive icon to open up the folder on my computer designated to hold my Google Drive folders and files.  The green check mark means that the file or folder has been synced with the cloud.

All I need to do is open the file I want to modify, or make a new one, and save it in this folder, and it automatically backs up to the Google Drive cloud.


Lucille also has access since we shared this folder.


Google Drive has many other features that enhance collaboration.  I am using just one, but, this one has certainly eased my working life tremendously.

My only complaint right now (other than losing that one folder) is 5 GB is not enough space!  🙂

Chrome Web Store Apps

Just started playing around with the Google apps that are available (many for free, and many not requiring a log in).


If you use Chrome as your browser click the + sign as shown in the picture below.

You can see the following page pop-up.  Well…..these are MY apps, yours will look slightly different.  🙂

Click on the Chrome Web Store app icon in the top left.  This will bring you to a new world of apps that you can access on your computer.

You can see the categories on the left.  Anything from Education to Extensions and everything in between.   Sweeeeet.

I grabbed a few preparing for this blog entry.

“Angry Birds” wanted access to my Google information…..NOPE…I ain’t gonna do that.

“NY Times” gives me the “Top News” of the day for free in a very newspaper like format.  COOL.


I have a feeling I will be searching for more apps and using them during the day (when I am on my computer…at night I am still a child of TV).

Give them a try!

Oh yeah….if you are not using Chrome as your web browser, you should use it!  Super FAST, secure, and now you can get all sorts of cool apps.  IE is crap (the interface is sooo confusing, and it is sooooo slow….)

Google+ Hangout Video Conferencing Meeting, Part 1

Before any good, errrr…..AWESOME meeting, there is preparation.   That is especially the case with a video conference.  The initiators of the video conference must work diligently to make sure the meeting goes off without a hitch.

No joking around….deadly serious business.  If you want to get involved in video conferencing and put on an AWESOME meeting (watch for Part 2 of the “Hangout Meeting” here later today)…throw your sense of humor out the window….. and get to work!

Here is a video clip of our Pre-Google+ Hangout Preparations.  We learned from the BEST….kidding around is for losers!  SERIOUS is the only way to make it in this business.

Now watch the video!  Do it!  😐


David Maldow, Telepresence Options

Mike Pihlman….you are here!


Amazon Kindle Fire

Today, Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire tablet.

I watched a few news reports and to summarize:

The Kindle Fire is fast using a dual processor, it can run Android Apps but you gotta get them from Amazon (not a bad thing).

One analyst says it is NOT an iPad killer since the Kindle Fire is a consumer of media not a producer of media / content like the iPad can be.

Makes sense.

However, this same analyst says it can put a dent in Barnes & Noble’s Color Nook.

It works on WiFi only and costs a “reasonable” $199 U.S.  Storage of your media is via the Amazon cloud and they say that is for free.

The Fire will be available in mid-November but they are taking pre-orders now.  When you get it, it will be pre-configured with your Amazon account information…that is cool.

Here are two videos:

–From the techy’s at

–Some guy playing with Fire (sorry, I had to say that…)–

You gonna get one?  Comment below!  🙂

Google Flight Search

Surfing the Internet yesterday I found this interesting tidbit.

Google is now offering a “Flight Search” service where you can, in one place, find your flights!  Since I hardly ever fly (someday I will tell you why) I hope never to use it, but, you might find it helpful!


Well it is pretty limited:

1. It does not have Stockton, CA listed as an airport departure point, so I assume other smaller airports may not be listed either.

2. I can’t find out what kind of plane I will be on (YES..that matters a lot!).  I will not step foot on a smallish plane.  737 / 757 and bigger or it will be driving or training.  🙂

3. I did a search for a flight from San Francisco to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Apparently, “Flight Search” is only good in the U.S. (see pic below)

I wonder if they will expand to international routes?  I can’t imagine them NOT…the next time I get on a plane it may be to Vietnam to visit the old Buddhist Temples my friend Chau sends me pictures of.

Facebook Skype Video Chat

Vidyo on a Tablet

Well, it seems that Facebook now offers point-to-point video chatting from within Facebook.

Good for them!  BUT…point-to-point is kinda useless…just saying.  I have more than one friend I like to chat with, and all the Bay Shore Kids could have a reunion.

Overall Opinion 

HoHum, but, at least video conferencing is now reaching the masses.  After 20 years….my work is done?!  🙂

Google+ (if anyone is actually using it…I cannot seem to get connected) offers multipoint video chat (using, I think, Vidyo software).  At least that is what I heard….


I have been saying for MANY years now that videoconferencing should be for anyone at anytime from anyplace.

Big fancy rooms that cost $500,000 each are simply not needed…DUH…each participant should stay home (#telecommuting = #coworking) and video chat into a meeting.  Save gas, save time, save money, save the environment.

Microsoft Office 365 To The Cloud

Checking the news on the Internet this morning, I spotted this article from SF Gate describing the official announcement today(!) that Microsoft Office is moving to the cloud with Microsoft Office 365 (I suppose that means it is available 365 days a year?).

The article explains that small to medium businesses that can’t afford to buy, install, run, and maintain the servers can now, for a fee, off-load all that hard work to the Microsoft cloud.

They also explain that it is good that Google set up Google apps.  That helped Microsoft get off their butts (my words not theirs….I think appropriate, actually) and move to the cloud.  Here is an interesting history lesson by the folks at that kinda supports what I am saying…

Here is the original Microsoft announcement way back in October.  I don’t deal with pricing on this blog, but, companies appear to be able to sign up for between $2 per user per month to $27 per user per month depending on features.

My thoughts?

To Microsoft:  Good idea….’bout time.  But you needed someone (Google) to push you…not a good sign looking forward.

Information Technology

The world is changing. Rapidly.

Bits are flying over the Internet at an unprecedented pace.

As my loyal reader… know my feelings about Cisco and video conferencing, but, it looks to me as though they are getting back to focusing on handling bits….a very good thing.  For everyone!

This commercial by Cisco is interesting.  I LOVE the part where they say that you do not need to be in the office to be productive.

DUH.   Telecommuting = Coworking = Telework


Dare I say it?   Cisco rocks?   Ouch….that hurt…. 🙂

Oh yeah…the bridge at the end is awesome…again, back to cisco’s roots.