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  1. Dennis Nicholls

    Recovering original OEM Windows activation key

    My newest refurbished Dell laptop came with Win 10 Pro but it was activated in a funny manner. “Windows is activated using your organization’s activation service” Research on line discovered big companies that buy lots of PCs use this method, but the PCs have to check in to the server every...
  2. Dennis Nicholls

    The 4K set of Apocalypse Now, all three versions, for $14.

    This may be another of those limited time deals from Amazon. The 6 disc set includes the Final Cut along with the original theatrical release and the Redux versions on a separate disc. I thought I got a bargain buying it for $18 last year.
  3. Dennis Nicholls

    General Discussion With a hey nonny nonny and a hot cha cha

    I'm wondering where this nonsense line originated: with a hey nonny nonny and a hot cha cha. It appears in at least two films that I know of: the Marx brothers Duck Soup and the fit-as-a-fiddle number in Singin' In The Rain. The wording is exactly the same in both places. Let me know if you...
  4. Dennis Nicholls

    General Discussion CNN+ to end this month

    Well at least Netflix is lasting much longer than CNN+. https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/21/media...wn/index.html? Straight from the horses ... ah ... mouth. Quote: CNN+, the streaming service that was hyped as one of the most significant developments in the history of CNN, will shut down on...
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Setting SDRAM speed and a great utility program

    I discovered that the memory in the used Dell 3060 I bought was a lower speed than specified: 2400 Mhz versus the specified 2666 Mhz. I discovered it was quite difficult to search out the determination of whether this was an issue or not. I finally discovered this article on a "gamer" forum...
  6. Dennis Nicholls

    Win 10 vs Win 11 disk filling

    Has anyone who has upgraded to Win 11 seen any major changes in filling up their disk drives? I bought a used Dell Optiplex 3060 which meets the specs for Win 11. It has a 256 GB SSD system disk, and a 512 GB HDD. The latter I use for back up. Right now fully loaded with my files and...
  7. Dennis Nicholls

    WiFi6 802.11AX issues and fixes

    Poor Dave's thread went sideways into a WiFi6 discussion. WiFi6 aka 802.11AX spec was released in 2019 and products started appearing the following year. Prices were in the $200+ range until recently when you could now buy a WiFi6 router for around $100. Promising longer throw at higher...
  8. Dennis Nicholls

    Win 10 21H2 Update rollout issues

    I just installed the 21H2 update. It appears to be a small thing - install took about a minute. I hit reboot and went and took my morning pills. When I returned it had already finished rebooting and accepted my log on. This took less time than a generic Patch Tuesday install.
  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Onkyo TX-SR393 by itself or as part of a HTIB

    OK there's no existing thread on this AV receiver so I thought I'd start one. You won't be opening this thread unless you are looking at budget options. Since the chip shortage has hit, this receiver is normally not discounted from MSRP of $329. You can buy a factory refurb for $279 at the...
  10. Dennis Nicholls

    Good source for disc player repair parts?

    Is there a good source for buying repair parts for DVD/Blu-Ray disc players? Right now I am thinking of replacing any drive belts in my 2003 vintage Philips DVD-963sa. You can buy a handful from Amazon for less than $10 but they are of misc. lengths. E.g. Just my luck the one I need won't...
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Why do manufacturers hide schematics inside their appliances?

    My 2008 Maytag washer developed a problem: sometimes the cold water rinse cycle used full hot water by mistake. I did some thinking and guessed that the problem was in either the 4 position temperature switch or the water inlet (solenoid) valve. It was most likely the switch so I ordered a...
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Windows 11 information Thursday 24 June 2021

    Well? Is Windows 10 really the last version of Windows? :confused: https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-will-unveil-next-generation-windows-june-24
  13. Dennis Nicholls

    Availability of 4k causing used HD Blu Ray price drops?

    I'm not a big Star Wars fan so I never bought the OT in Blu Ray. It turns out the prices for used 1k boxed sets has plummeted: I just bought the set for $6 shipped from Amazon. I can live with that price. Seller says the digital version may not work. Do you think this will happen with...
  14. Dennis Nicholls

    Windows 10 21H1 Update rollout issues

    Well it's that time again. When checking Windows 10 Update, I got news that 21H1 is now available for me. This update doesn't appear to do much. Maybe I'll wait...
  15. Dennis Nicholls

    PSA - shutoff tool to keep around for disasters

    I had to look this link up so I thought I'd share it. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Orbit-Emergency-Gas-and-Water-Shutoff-Tool-26097/100030514 It's $10 well spent for the next time you really need one. I bought mine years ago.
  16. Dennis Nicholls

    Paul Simon Songbook (1965)

    I just discovered the existence of an odd old recording: Paul Simon Songbook, dating from 1965. It fits right in between the S&G albums Wednesday Morning 3 Am and Sounds of Silence. IIUC the history goes like this. WM3AM turned out to be a sales flop, and S&G disbanded for a while. Paul...
  17. Dennis Nicholls

    Experiences with Amazon "scratch & dent" warehouse deals

    I've taken the plunge on occasion to save money on Amazon's warehouse deals. Generally I've had good luck. The best deal was over this summer buying a home treadmill. All sorts of exercise equipment has been backordered for months due to Covid. The model I wanted was then $350 and...
  18. Dennis Nicholls

    Faraday cage for your Wi-Fi router

    Today's bad advice: put your router in a Faraday cage. Crackpots are buying Faraday cages for routers then bemoaning bad Wi-Fi (inputmag.com) ;)
  19. Dennis Nicholls

    Italian cops deliver donor kidney 300 miles in 2 hours - by Lambo

    When you need a donor kidney delivered quickly, Lambo is always the answer. www.jalopnik.com/italian-police-use-lamborghini-to-transport-donor-kidne-1845674197
  20. Dennis Nicholls

    I hate secretary chairs

    I hate secretary chairs. I suppose the pc term now is task chairs. I own one like this. I don't like to dwell on this, but I had 7 operations in 2018-2019 and have been slowly recovering. I've had bad lower back pain and have had to walk mostly with a cane. Physical therapy didn't help...
  21. Dennis Nicholls

    Windows 10 2010 (20H2) Update rollout issues

    Greetings Earthlings. Windows 10 2010, the October update, appears to be shortly available for the general user. https://www.windowslatest.com/2020/10/13/windows-10-20h2-october-2020-update-launch-imminent/...
  22. Dennis Nicholls

    Vertical mice

    Anyone here a fan of vertical mice? http://ergonomictrends.com/benefits-of-a-vertical-mouse-and-how-to-properly-use-one/ My right shoulder and elbow have been painful for a while now. It dawned on me that maybe it's hanging around surfing the web during this Covid shutdown. I ordered one to...
  23. Dennis Nicholls

    Router security issues - among multiple common vendors

    Well this is unsettling. https://www.tomsguide.com/news/fraunhofer-router-security-report Most WiFi routers are a security problem. Basically all manufacturers flunk the tests, some so bad the authors suggest to skip that brand entirely. Anyone here use some of those open-source firmwares...
  24. Dennis Nicholls

    Cheap used WiFi extender

    WiFi extenders have been around long enough that used ones are showing up on eBay for cheap prices. A popular extender is the TP-Link RE200, which has now been superseded by the RE220. The RE200 is available from one hardware restorer for $17 shipped. New price is $30. I ordered a used one...
  25. Dennis Nicholls

    Windows 10 update 2004 - rollout issues

    Well the "April" revision ended up being released at the end of May. So far the Windows Update button for 2004 doesn't show yet on my two machines. ZDnet has a listing of outstanding issues at present...
  26. Dennis Nicholls

    Wink to start charging monthly fee or your IOT won't work

    Anyone here use Wink devices for IOT around the house? Apparently their apps were free, but now they announced a $4.99 per month fee - or your existing devices won't work anymore. https://9to5mac.com/2020/05/07/wink/ I don't have a dog in this hunt but saw this article today in another forum.
  27. Dennis Nicholls

    How much medical test gear do you have at home?

    Medical test gear has certainly evolved from the days that Earl Bakken replaced a cart full of vacuum tubes with an implantable pacemaker. These days medical test gear has evolved from hospital use to consumer electronics. These days a layman like me owns stuff that was not seen outside of a...
  28. Dennis Nicholls

    The Lion Sleeps Tonight

    How sad that Joseph Shabalala has passed. https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news/joseph-shabalala-founder-of-famed-vocal-group-ladysmith-black-mambazo-dies-at-78/ar-BBZTxFA Compare various version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight. https://www.lawrenceperson.com/?p=11537 Not to be confused with this...
  29. Dennis Nicholls

    Win 10 update to 1909 ships

    This was a strange patch Tuesday. First a regular cumulative update KB4524570 to 1903 was installed. You had to check for updates a second time to get the invitation to download and install 1909. The 1909 upgrade barely took any time to install - maybe 10 minutes. Once it's installed, System...
  30. Dennis Nicholls

    How long do cheap P&S cameras last?

    My Canon Powershot SD600 has been good enough for me. Its features are now obsolete, e.g. max 2GB memory card, 3X optical zoom. But recently the switches are failing. Several don't work reliably anymore: film/still, on/off, etc. I have to toggle them several times until they work. I dug...