A method to retrieve data from a failing hard disk

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One of the hard disks on my Desktop PC failed (probably due to heat), the one with all my data which was the Linux /home partition. To make matters worse, after buying a new HDD and installing Fedora Linux, by mistake during the installation process I deleted the main backup of that data which was on the second hard disk!! I could only do a partial retrieval of files from the failed hard disk. The file transfer would begin well … Continue reading →

Adventure fixing Windows Update / Antivirus database update errors and security certificate errors

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On June 15 I went to help my friend George with his PC problems. His Windows 7 PC would start with a multitude of error messages, and no programs would run! Windows update would not work, the antivirus software would not update or scan a drive when prompted to, and browsing to any website with an https protocol would generate a security certificate error! And even when I accepted the security certificate that was marked as untrustworthy, websites like Youtube … Continue reading →

WordPress webmaster woes

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On February 20th for some reason or another after using a utility to clean up this website from junk code, each and every page and post was deleted! Whether it was a bug in the utility, or perhaps a malicious attack by a hacker, I cannot say. I was able to restore most of the pages and posts from a backup file, but I lost several days work, 4 posts including 3 whole books, many editions on other pages and … Continue reading →

Upgrade to Fedora Linux 21

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I had been using Fedora version 20 for most of year 2014. Fedora 21 was a welcome change for a few reasons. I didn’t need to install the Nvidia video card driver. In Fedora 20 without this driver, the GPU fan would spin at top speed and was really noisy. With the driver the spinning would slow down just moments before the login screen would pop up. But with Fedora 21, the GPU fan slows down in a few seconds … Continue reading →

ASUS MEMO Pad 7 Model ME572C Review

A photo of the October 2014 model of Asus Memo Pad 7 taken with its front camera - a selfie of itself that shows the selfie of itself!

I gave my Google Nexus 7 (2012) Tablet to my wife so she could use it while in America for our daily Skype visits. For the past feew weeks I searched for a new tablet which had all the same features as the Nexus 7 2013 model and was yet an improvement on it. I found exactly what I was looking for totally by surprise at the Kojima Electric Store in Niigata City — the Fall 2014 version of Asus … Continue reading →

WordPress Security: Checking for backdoors

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This website and 8 other websites on the server were going off line from time to time. Upon investigation I found all the PHP files of the WordPress installation were deleted! At first I thought a hacker deleted the files. I re-installed the WordPress installation, the theme and all the plugins (a whole day’s work for 9 websites!) but a few weeks later the sites went down again. All the PHP files were again deleted. I wrote the server company … Continue reading →

Move from Linux Mint 16 to Fedora 20

Fedora 20 with Mate DE and Mint Menu

For those of you who have been following my Linux posts, you know that I have been a Fedora user since February of 2005 with Fedora Core 3. I tried Ubuntu from time to time but always had problems. However in the middle of last year 2013 I moved to Ubuntu based Linux Mint 15 preferring it over Fedora 19. For some reason I couldn’t figure out the Fedora 19 installer correctly. When it did install Fedora 19, my files … Continue reading →

How the NSA has hacked YOUR PC

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In spite of the fact there are a lot of tips on the Internet about how to protect your PC privacy and security, after you watch this terrific presentation from tech researcher and journalist Jacob Appelbaum, you might want to change your policy to either not care who knows anything about what you do, or not touching a PC, cell phone, or ANY kind of electronic means of communication again! Don’t even use the postal system. Just stick to passing … Continue reading →

WordPress tricks: Creating a menu on a page using images from a category

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My goal was to use WordPress to create a page of images from a category so that I could continue to add more posts to the category and have the page update itself automatically. In order words, I hoped to imitate this HTML page http://www.deeptruths.com/posters/posters.html using a WordPress plugin to avoid all manuel HTML coding hassel. I did it using two plugins: Widgets on Pages and Ultimate Posts Widget I had to edit the Ultimate Posts Widget php file to … Continue reading →

Went mobile with Google Android Nexus 7

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On Sunday, June 9, I bought a really great mobile device called “Nexus 7” at a very reasonable price, a little less than $200. Nexus 7 is a Google Android tablet PC. I thought to get a Smartphone but because Smartphones require a monthly charge for Internet usage, and because Nexus 7 can connect to the Internet with WIFI, I decided to go with the Google Android Nexus 7 instead. It means no monthly charges! Nexus 7 is not a … Continue reading →

Fight Against Email Scammers

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Have you ever received an email from anyone offering you millions of dollars if you would only contact them and work out the details of the transaction? I sure have, scores of times! Here’s what came in just today: Are you alive or dead? The reason for this question is that we received an email from Mr. John Green. He said that you are dead and you have given him Letter of Authorization before you death to claim your funds … Continue reading →

Fixing LDXE Shutdown Menu after Upgrading from Fedora 17 to 18

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Following instructions from https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Upgrading_Fedora_using_yum I used yum to update from Fedora 17 to 18 su -c ‘yum update yum’ su -c ‘yum clean all’ su -c ‘yum –releasever=18 –disableplugin=presto distro-sync’ su -c ‘rpm –rebuilddb’ But afterward my LDXE Desktop was slower to start and displayed an error message: Error initializing authority: Error calling StartServiceByName for org.freedesktop.PolicyKit1: GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.TimedOut: Moreover, the shutdown menu showed only Logout and Cancel. It was missing the first 4 menu items including Shutdown and Reboot. I fixed … Continue reading →

Helping friends migrate from Windows to Linux

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On January 5th and the 16th, I transformed 2 messed up Windows XP PCs into fast and stable Linux machines. On the first one, I installed Fedora 16, and the second, the latest Linus Mint 14 “Nadia.” In both cases I backed up the friend’s documents to another media, installed Linux, and restored all the documents and Desktop files to the newly created home user partition. A local friend’s Windows XP PC became unstable to the point it would not … Continue reading →

Move to Fedora 18 Beta from Linux Mint Debian

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Well, I’m back again to my beloved Fedora Linux. Fedora 18 Beta was not easy to install but is working fine after a few hours of tweaking. I started with LXDE as my default desktop environment. LXDE is lacking in some graphic configuration settings, but after logging into Gnome 3 I was able to configure things I could not configure in LXDE. A few days later I installed KDE and now consider it the easiest Linux desktop environment to configure … Continue reading →

Move from Fedora 17 to Linux Mint Debian

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I may be leaving Fedora Linux for good this time. Fedora 17’s added “features” were not a plus for me. Moreover, things that worked fine before became quirky. For example, switching to Japanese input using Ibus required me to press Ctrl + Space 3 or 4 times to make it work. Linux Mint Debian works instantly and gives me the added feature of merely pressing the Hankaku key (on Japanese keyboards). … Continue reading →

Linux: How to make audio CDs from YouTube videos

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This morning I was asked if I could extract the audio tracks of certain Youtube videos and make a compilation of them on an audio CD in order to listen to them using a CD player. “I don’t know how or if it’s even possible,” I replied. “Come on!” she said, “I know you can figure it out if you tried.” And so I was faced with another technical challenge. But thanks to the ease of looking up information from … Continue reading →

Restoring a large WordPress Database

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This article applies not only to people who use WordPress technology for their websites or blogs, but to anybody who uses any kind of CMS, for example, Joomla and Drupal, which uses a MySql database . However it may not apply to bloggers who use blogging software on third party servers such as wordpress.com or Blogger. If you have a blog or website on your own server that uses a MySql database as WordPress does, and you update your blog … Continue reading →

Repairing a Notebook PC

A local company gave me the laptop PC you see in the photo. They often give me older PCs because I’m actually doing them a favor to take away their junk! It costs money in Japan to dispose of materials. I was interested in this particular laptop PC because the keyboard looked so clean. It was as if it had hardly ever been used! And the specs were not bad. It had 256 megabytes of RAM and a 40 gigabyte … Continue reading →

WordPress Power

On Monday, March 5th I received an assignment to build a new website, SongwriterMarie.com The next day it was live on the Internet. By Thursday all the material was posted and all the tweaks applied. My client was pleased I did it so quickly. This is all due to the ease of working with WordPress CMS, the power of Gimp (a free alternative to Photoshop), and a bit of knowledge gained from previous experience. … Continue reading →