Technology Tips

WS From The Archives


Pat writes:

How many photos will fit on a 16GB flash drive? I have 27,000 photos I want to back up. I am 72 and not tech-savvy.

Great question, Pat. The truth is that number will vary depending on the size of the photos, but here are some general guidelines from the folks at SanDisk. They make a lot of memory storage devices, so they ought to know.

For Compressed JPEG at 100% quality, you can expect this many images per disk or card. The larger the image, the more space it takes up.

Photo Compressed






For Uncompressed RAW images, expect this many per card.

Photo Raw






As you can see, you would need probably a 128 GB flash drive or two 64 GB drives. For this many files, you might consider just buying an external hard drive dedicated to backing up your photos. This would also leave you room to add additional photos later on.

~ Cynthia


Hard Drive Locking Ransomware

Researchers at Trend Micro are alerting computer users to a scary new type of ransomware called PETYA Crypto-ransomware.
Ransomware is a form of malware that locks the files on your PC and demands payment to unlock those files. Of course, you can’t be sure if the crooks who locked your files will actually unlock them, even if you pay the ransom.
They’ve recently been targeting hospitals and managed to actually shut a couple down by encrypting patient medical records until the hospitals forked over a ransom. Who knows how much private information these crooks made off with.


This new ransomware doesn’t settle for just encrypting your files. It locks your hard drive and prevents your system from booting up at all.
Instead of seeing Windows, you’ll see a screen with a skull and crossbones. This malware overwrites the master boot record and locks users out.
Most ransomware disguises itself in e-mails or by directing you to malicious websites. PETYA comes from a cloud storage site. Crooks send what looks like a legitimate job application or other innocent-looking e-mail with a link to Dropbox.


According to Trend Micro, the Dropbox folder contains a self-extracting file and a photo. The Trojan virus in the self-extracting file takes out your Antivirus and then downloads an executable file.
The user will boot up to a screen demanding payment. This particular bit of malware also takes out your ability to start the PC in safe mode. You’ll receive a list of instructions asking for around $400 in ransom.
Oh, and if you don’t pay up right away, the price continues to rise. Trend Micro contacted Dropbox, and they removed that particular file. But as you know, crooks and scammers are quick on their feet and no doubt have many other such files up in the cloud and ready to go.
Your best defense is a good offense. So make sure to have up-to-date virus and malware protection in place at all time.
Be extremely cautious about clicking on links in e-mails. And, of course, always have your important files backed up.


How Many Versions Of Windows 10?
We recently talked about the multiple versions of both Windows 7 and Windows 8. So how many versions of Windows 10 can we expect to see? Drum roll please…. SIX!

Windows 10 Home will be the consumer -focused desktop edition for PCs and Tablets.
Windows 10 Pro is for desktops and tablets, but has extra features to meet the needs of small businesses.
Windows 10 Enterprise is designed for medium to large organizations and will be available to volume licensing customers.
Window 10 Education is designed for schools and students and will also offer volume licensing.
Windows 10 Mobile will be for smartphones and small tablets.
Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is for smartphones and tablets in a business settings.
All of these versions should be capable of running “Universal Apps,” which means that you should be able to access the same program from your phone or tablet that you do from your PC with the only real changes being the display. Windows 10 should be available to the public in late summer.
~ Cynthia

What’s The Difference Between Laptops, Tablets & iPads?

What is the difference between
1. Ipad
2. laptop
3. tablet
4. Ipad air

Let’s start off with the differences between a laptop and a tablet. A laptop or notebook computer is a portable fully functional PC or Mac that comes with an attached keyboard and runs full versions of the Windows or OS operating system. These devices can be used on or offline. They may or may not offer a touchscreen.

A netbook is a smaller Windows device, that also comes with an attached keyboard that is designed for accessing the Internet.  A Chromebook is a device designed for accessing the Internet using the Google Chrome operating system. It functions using Apps from Google and needs to be online for optimum use. A Chromebook also has a built-in keyboard.

A tablet is a device that functions using a touch screen. You may have the option to attach a keyboard, but a keyboard generally won’t come with the tablet. The most popular operating systems for tablets are Android and iOS. A Nexus, Kindle Fire and Nook Color are all different kinds of Android tablets.

When you use an Android tablet, you find apps (applications or programs) for your tablet in the Google Play Store. Kindles and Nooks run a specialized version of Android and offer Apps, books, music and video in specialized stores from Amazon and Barnes & Noble respectively.  A tablet is designed to work with an Internet connection. In many ways, it’s a WiFi appliance. If you don’t have access to a steady Internet connection either with WiFi or a 3G or 4G data plan, a tablet is probably not the best choice for you.

An iPad is a table that runs Apples iOS operating system. You’ll find apps, books and music for your iPad in the iTunes store. An iPad Air is the latest, lightest and fastest version of the iPad. As with an Android tablet, you can also add a keyboard. iPads are on the expensive end of tablets.

While you can buy a lower end-Android for less than $100 and very nice tablets available in the $200 range,  the smallest version of an iPad, the iPad mini, will cost you almost $300.  An iPad air could run you more than $900 if you select the 128 GB model with 4G service option.

Windows also offers Windows RT tablets and tablets that run the full version of Windows 8. If you need to be able to run Windows programs, these tablets are a good compromise between a tablet and a laptop. You cannot run Windows programs on either Android, iOS or Chromebooks. You may be able to find an app that performs similar functions, but you can’t run Windows programs. You can find a 7″ tablet that supports the full version of Windows 8.1 starting around $300.  As with the other tablets, you can purchase an option physical keyboard if you feel you need it for typing.  A higher-end Windows 8.1 tablet could run you close to $1000.  Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets are two different things. RT uses apps from the Windows App Store, but it does not run the full version of Windows programs.

If you want the full version of Office, Photoshop or any other Windows program, you’ll need to make sure you have a tablet that operates on Windows 8.1.

Hope this clears up the differences.

~ Cynthia

Microsoft Called Me About Errors – Should I Be Concerned?

John from Oklahoma writes:
Had a person call who stated he was a Microsoft maintenance representative and it had been reported that my computer was showing a lot of error and warning activity which was causing it to run slow. I have a PH Pavilion computer with Windows 7 bought in April 2011. To prove this he had me type in “eventvr” in the search programs and file start box. This brought up event viewer and under administrative events a list of errors and warnings. He had me try and delete them(today over 9800). Of course, I couldn’t. He stated these errors and warnings were a problem and were causing my computer to run slow. He wanted to connect me with his technician who would walk me through getting rid of this problem. Being leery, I thanked him and told him I would call him back after I researched this problem, if I needed his help. He was not a happy camper. In reviewing the errors and warnings shown, messages, such as, Dhcp-client, print services, kernel-eventtracing, application virtualization, etc…, I noticed that a lot of this activity was taking place late a night or early morning when my computer was supposedly turned off. Last night for instance, over a hundred errors with the source stated as cdrom. I do run ccleaner and Norton each night, as the last thing I do, and have Norton turn off the computer after it is finished. My question, should I be concerned? If so, what can I do to fix the problem and how do I keep it from happening in the future?







John, you should be leery. Microsoft does not call people at home about their individual computer issues, period. If someone calls you up out of the blue and says they are working for Microsoft and have called to fix an error, they are flat out lying.
Errors reported by Windows are compiled and used to create future bug fixes. They are no responded to on an individual basis.  You are certainly not alone in being targeted by this scam and it has been going on for years.
Anyone who pulls up event viewer is going to see a lot of activity.  Below is an example of mine and my computer is running just fine.  Most of these events are minor and just par for the course of PC operation.
These scams end with the crooks asking you to pay several hundred dollars to fix the “errors” on your computers. The event viewer is not slowing down your computer. Unless you’ve noticed an issue with your computer, it is probably just fine. And if there is an issue slowing it down, the guy on the phone doesn’t have any solution but to empty your wallet. Running Norton and CC cleaner are great measures to take care of your computer. So is hanging up on crooks like the guy who called.
Microsoft suggests you contact local law enforcement and also the FBI’s Internet Crime Center at this link.
It doesn’t sound like you gave these guys access to your computer, but if you did, change all of your account passwords ASAP.
~ Cynthia