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The ever awaited podcast 200 is now available

Well, after a very long time, I’ve finally hit 200 episodes. Go to our RSS to download the 214mb file.

Here are the show notes.

Welcome to podcast 200. After 8 years and some change, I’ve now gotten to 200 episodes. We’ve had this podcast since March of 006. On this edition, we’ve got a Live Journal demo which I’m not

impressed with, we’ve got freshbooks and other odds and ends. We hope you enjoy the podcast!

What to read:

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A first time admin’s look at windows8

Hi all.
While I have been a big fan of windows I can see the pitfalls in the 8x os, and why some don’t like it.
Before I get started, I’d like to put a few disclaimers out and notes.
1. since the system in question is a family one I didn’t really bother customising it in fact I hacked into it as little as I could, installing the minimal software, to clean it and to have it speak about 2 programs.
The rest were libraries and other programs for the system, updates, etc.
2. Due to the first note I did not customise it to my prefs or try to dig to deeply into the os, this is not and I strongly say this, not from someone that has used the os for 2 months but for one that has had to handle this for 12 hours.
I should also stress, that your entry i3 does not cut it as far as I care on startup of any os, if you have an i5 dule or quad then you will understand me.
I also only removed the bloatware about 5 programs and 3 startup entries that I felt I could get away with,
And that were actually in the way.
I needed sighted assistance on 6 separate ocations.
Most of these to be fair was removing the crap that got in the way the other was for windows update, to 8.1.
If you need to use 8, use 8.1 it is at least a bit more 7 like.
Also note, The system has been at my place before and has a full ms account, and internet access already loaded before on my network.
With these out the way I’d like to start.
This was going to be an audio podcast but I just couldn’t be bothered at the end of it.
This all started because one of my family I do work for and is quite messy asked me to service her new windows 8 laptop that she had issues with security and wanted me to look at them.
I didn’t exactly get to the security issues but I did manage to get if not all the most annoying bloat off the box.

There are several things I want to touch on today.
1. the file explorer.
I have no words to describe the file explorer in 8 thank god I have 7.
The explorer app is a nightmare.
I had only had to interact with it on a minimal level but its all ribbons, all of it.
I don’t mind ribbons but I couldn’t get edit menu up or anything I was used to, I was able to get round most stuff with the right click menus but to be honest I really think your explorer windows should not be so cluttered.
I had a job getting round the new explorer.
The first thing I’d do with windows is get a file manager that looked like classic explorer and used it.
2. the start screen.
I had less of a problem with the start screen and the metro app store in 8.1 than I had on 8 but to be honest I didn’t have to touch the 8.1 store that much.
The screen for all versions is a real pain, to much info, and where is the nice neat programs menu, I’d use classic shell any day to be honest I know there is dis advantages but at least you get access.
The bing search idea may be good but if you don’t want it you shouldn’t have to waid through adds and stuff.
The good thing is you can turn a lot of this off if you muck round a bit I didn’t however.
3 the control panel.
If you type control into run or control userpasswords2 I was happy that these did work but please switch to small icons view before you brouse the panel so it looks at least to me ok.
4 misc.
While I sertainly can see some performance increases in windows 8.x systems you need a quad x64 bit or a flash stick to get advantage of them.
win8 started slowly on the i3 I used it on, but then win7 on my first gen i3 starts just as slow if not slower.
If you are using an i5 quad or duel then well.
Win8 startup for me was slow.
The store on 8 is really hard to navigate and hit the right thing.
I didn’t use any shortcut keys to really get things moving.

But enough about all the basics, if you are an admin like me you will be cursing me at this point because I am not moving fast enough for your sole and you are wanting that first cup, never fear I am done.

Note! I am not sure if you need all these steps at all, but I used them for what I did.

Setting up.
If you are setting up for the first time you need narrator or at least a portable of nvda.
The easiest way to get this to work for you is to turn on the system with the flash drive already connected that has your kit on it including nvda so it doesn’t pop up autoruns at you.
Once you have started the system, your first point after sighted assistance or narrator to login is to get nvda installed.
Don’t look at your work, nvda needs to be installed into the mess you have on there you need it and that’s all I have to say about it.
If you are not blind ofcause then you don’t need to bother about this step.
2. I highly recommend the following minimal settings.
1. folder options, set registered file to be shown, you will loose this in the upgrade to 8.1 but it doesn’t matter so much.
2. at least for me I immediately went to the bios setup luckily the entry level satellite l830 had a semi accessable sstem setings panel for the Toshiba.
The only setting you should change and this is in all bioses is to have the function keys go to standard and not overlay mode.
It makes it a heck of a way easier to close apps and stuff.

You may or may not need sight for this.
While it never happened with me, I suggest to all that you have an external mouse for your sightling to use or keep the touch pad active and use an external board I had no issue with this but then I did need help.

Next is what you do The first thing I’d do is either using the iexplore command from run go to pcpitstop.com and run a full diagnostic test, this should tell you what is what.
You are not looking for emptying caches, driver updates, crapware, spyware or anything but you are looking for potential hardware issues.
If you get a standard run of tests with minor failiers then you are ok to continue.
Next go to google and search for intel driver update note you need internet explorer in admin mode, but if you have used pcpitstop before you will need it in admin mode anyway.
Check for drivers, the most important one is the display, and networking, if there are extras, install them.
Next if you have something like an amd display like I had using the amd auto driver utility is essential as it updates every amd device you have on the box.
Just don’t install the gaming evolved app, its not blind friendly and is added crapware.
Saying that if this is your box, you will probably appreciate the free online content, a friend that got this appearing on his box immediately made an account and started rocking, just get it out of startup as it will run on all accounts and you don’t want your boss to know what you do when he is not watching do you?
Next sound.
If you have an entry level sound card like a Conexant you may or may not be able to turn off effects and audio enhancements at least I did not find a way to do this but I didn’t dig there was a few panels I never went to, if you are buying a system I suggest at least a sat pro or tecra Toshiba or an entry level business machine as they tend to use realtech hardware, and while not the best at least its stable and you can turn off most stuff, just don’t hit the disable all effects otherwise your sound card will sound brassy and violently hard on the ears.
Though not needed if you can update to the latest touch pad drivers you may have better luck with controlling the pad but I didn’t in this case.
In fact the only driver I needed to update with the display.
Next bios, I don’t know if this was crucial but I updated the Toshiba bios to ensure I had everything right.
some sites for manufacturers like asus are not that accessable however most bios updaters are basically, run, hit a couple keys, wait for 10 minutes, and restart.
Note you may have to hit f1 to get the system to boot.
Next, you can continue with the update or your own stuff.
I recommend you go to windows features and install the extra server http, ftp telnet and secure client protocals and supports.
as well as printer services and the dotnet stuff that has been not installed by default, it is not needed but it helps in the long run especially if you have a range of stuff to do later on.
I’d then thake a break, and go to what you are going to do.
The first thing I’d do is remove all the unneeded stuff I mean avg, Norton, and all unneeded software, note you will need help with this.
2. the windows defender should be able to handle protection, at least till the user finds something else they want to put on, slow suites of software are not the answer.

Next I’d go to msconfig, and in the advanced boot options set the max processers to be used at boot to the maximum on the box usually 4, because windows starts with 1 by default for boot and only uses this stuff afterwards.
Restart and move on.
Next I’d install and configure all desktop apps, libraries, adobe reader, 7zip, java, etc, ccleaner.
don’t run ccleaner disk cleaner or anything just yet because you are not done yet.
Next go to windows update and install all updates important and optional, the windows update app is a bit weird but the control panel one bar a few things is ok.
Install all drivers software and stuff sadly hiding an update doesn’t hide it for me at least updates kept coming back.
Once you are updated, go to the store, and update all apps, you can’t install windows 8.1 without this I got a message that it was blocked by the system admin and only changed after I had done all this.
Now you can update.
At this point, it will take a while to download, its large, put on some coffee and chill.
2. it will start and update, put on your dinner, eat it and watch tv for 2-3 hours and come back.
Next, if you are blind listen up.
You will not have sound for the initial setup, or at least I didn’t have a sightling hit express, I’d prefur to customise my settings but I couldn’t see so I did that.
Next depending on your ms account setting you need to do the following.
1 for a local user, hit create account hit the small signin link at the bottom of the screen and sign in as usual.
wait till windows has finished prepairing you get no speech then you are ok.
If you are having a ms cloud and a few probably will, you will get 3 extra boxes.
1. you will be asked to verify your mobile number or other recovery options I’d recommend the phone option.
enter the last 4 digits of your number and hit next.
Next get the code from the net and then enter it from your phone.
Next hit next you will be asked about one drive I recomend if you don’t use it you turn it off but whatever.
Next windows will say prepairing windows, and you have to wait.
Once you are done you may need to update updates from the stores.
I didn’t, I then needed to install about 200mb of windows updates and drivers, keep checking as windows will ask for more updates.
Eventually things should settle out and you are done.
If you are doing admin work on another system I suggest you start nvda in portable mode or narrator,
next uninstall nvda and you are done.
if you however want to use ccleaner to clear the box you can do that, clear the old installations and
updates and junk.
next use disk cleanup in admin mode.
to do this the easiest way is to get command prompt running in admin mode by searching for it and then typing cleanmgr.
select everything and hit ok.
then leave the box and wait several hours for the thing to clean.
At this point you should be done.
if you want you can turn on java access bridge in signon options of the access centre, sticky and other key shortcut keys, and disabled adobe reader in ie.
I didn’t do all of these things but I do at least recommend you run the access assistant in adobe reader and have it not save documents in a brouser as I have had it become a problem.
And you are done.
uninstall nvda, restart and put everything back to how you found it ncluding sound schemes etc.
In conclusion while there was a lot I could have done I did most of it and I am happy for now I don’t have to fiddle with windows8 at all.
the biggest gripes, metro apps in general, including the store the start screen and file explorer as well as the extra search panel and the default behaviour of the control panel.
uac only came up once or twice for installs or admin mode run-throughs.\
While there was a lot I could have done extra now I think about it,
everything that needs doing is now done.
maybe I’ll get to the extra stuff or not.

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Technology podcast 199 has been available

Podcast 199 has been available for awhile now, so lets catch up.

Welcome to podcast 199 of the technology blog and podcast. On this edition of the cast, we have something special for you. After some accessible tech news, we have a review of the Magnatune music application for the i/device. There is a separate Magnatune app which is not as feature rich of this one, and its just called Magnatune in the itunes store. We hope you enjoy the cast!

Those are the show notes. The RSS feed has a copy of the file. Hope you enjoy it.

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Help us improve NVDA’s default voice

this message from the nvda developers.

>Hi all,
>If you would like to help us improve NVDA’s default voice, please
>take the following survey:
>Listen to the speech samples, choose which one you like the best,
>and then fill in the questions at the end.
>Thanks for your input.
>Michael Curran
>Executive Director, NV Access Limited
>Ph + 61 7 5667 8372
>Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NVAccess
>Twitter: @nvaccess
>NVDA on freelists.org
>To post messages to the list send email to
>To leave the list, send a blank message with the subject of
>”unsubscribe” (without quotes) to . Reply
>to the confirmation message or click the link provided by the email.
>To modify your NVDA Email settings or view archives:
>Modify list subscription settings: http://www.freelists.org/list/nvda
>NvDA list archive: http://www.freelists.org/archive/nvda
>To contact list moderators, send an email to .
>NVDA is developed by NV Access in collaboration with the community.
>Get NVDA from: http://www.nvaccess.org/
>Your continued donations help keep NVDA development going strong. Donate at:
>Other links:
>Come talk with other NVDA users on irc.blufudge.net #NVDA
>Get NVDA add-ons at:
>NVDA on Facebook:
>Get SkypeTalking for NVDA:

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Technology podcast 198 is now available!

It looks as though the show notes won’t be put up, even though it is a small file. So, I’ll put the show notes here for everyone to see. There’s nothing I can do about this one.

Hi there. Welcome to the technology podcast, podcast 198. On this edition of the podcast, we have a few things for you. The main segment of the program is going to review a program called Dice World which has 4 games in one. In our security segment, Sandwich Chain Jimmy John’s Investigating Breach Claims is the biggest thing I think you need to read. ‘White Label’ Money Laundering Services, Q and A on the Reported Theft of 1.2B Email Accounts, and New Site Recovers Files Locked by Cryptolocker Ransomware are mentioned as well. One blog post which was posted days before this release which is a critical mention is this blog post entitled Something of interest in regards to cybercrime which means a lot to me. Please take a look at that blog post as well. If you would like to challenge me on dice world, my username is Jared9607.

We hope you enjoy the podcast, and you can get it off our RSS feed for your convenience.

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Technology Podcast 197 is now available!

Technology podcast 197 is now available!

The Link for the RSS is right here. I am going to give you the show notes I hope you will enjoy the show.

Welcome to podcast 197. On this edition of the podcast, Jared Rimer reviews the Capital One Mobile app including Sure Swipe. We also have credit card talk, GW Micro news, and an extra podcast from Radio New Zealand This Way Up which talks about Cybercrime. This segment is our longest segment. All of our contact information is at the end of the podcast. Please check the blog for contact info under our heading 3 called pages, if you wish. This podcast is 1 hour and 49 minutes in length. We hope you enjoy the program, and I’ll be back soon with another one!

We hope you enjoy the show as much as I have putting it together.

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GW Connect and skype kit

Here is some news I saw on Friday.

Dear fans and supporters of GWConnect.

We were notified by Microsoft earlier today that support for SkypeKit, the heart of GWConnect, ended yesterday, July 31, 2014 and no further updates will be available. In addition, on Monday August 4, 2014 SkypeKit will stop working which means GWConnect will also stop working. We were hoping for a different outcome but this is beyond our control. We also hoped for a greater warning but again, we just became aware today.

Everyone who purchased a 12-month license for GWConnect will receive a prorated refund. In other words, if 11 months ago you purchased the 12-month license, your refund will be much smaller than the person who purchased it today. There are no 1 month licenses that ran for less than 1 month so those are not affected. We will contact everyone who is receiving a refund as quickly as possible.

We sincerely wished for a different ending but we truly thank all of you who supported this fine product. Please stay in touch with us as we continue to provide new and better products in the future.

Best Regards,

Your AI Squared team

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