All the Free Apps and Resources Episode with Kevin Schoonover- HGG455

We spend some time with long time listener and co-host Kevin Schoonover as we look at a couple dozen free or nearly free apps and resources that are still available. We catch up with Kevin and spend a little time chatting about the Folding@Home Project that many of us started in the Spring. I think you will find it very interesting.

Full show notes, transcriptions, audio and video at

Join Jim Collison / @jcollison and Mike Wieger / @WiegerTech for show #455 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network.


Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at

Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, Kevin Schoonover, Windows, Malwarebytes, Computer, Microsoft, Laptop, Tools, Home, Save, Firewall, HOme Networking, Sync, Ubuntu, Windows 10, Xbox, Your Phone App, Tinkercad, Microsoft To Do, Belarc Advisor, Glary Utilities



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Folding at Home Update –


Ubuntu MATE:

Alt option – Keepod –


Windows 10 Snip & Sketch


Windows 10 xbox game DVR:

JOS: VLC is an alternate free screen / stream capture tool.


Windows 10 Your Phone App:




Microsoft To Do:









WinFi Lite wireless network test:


PRTG Network Monitor:


Paessler Toolbox:


Belarc Advisor:


Glary Utilities:


Paragon Backup & Recovery CE:


Paragon Partition Manager CE:




Macrium Reflect:


Allway Sync:


Notepad ++  – Joe


Visual Studio Code – Justin


MKV, Free DVD-ripping software

Free Beta key:



NAPS2, Free scan-to-PDF tool

The desktop scanning software that came with my new network connected Canon all-in-1 was awful. I found this and I am very happy with it. OCR, multi-page, feeder or on-glass, etc.



Dell, HP, perhaps others

Free laptop scan and update utilities (drivers, BIOS, etc.)



Jim Collison  [0:00] 
This is The Average Guy Network and you found Home Gadget Geeks show number 455 recorded on August 13 2020.

Here on Home Gadget Geeks we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews, product updates and conversation all for the average tech guy. I’m your host Jim Collison broadcasting live from the average guy TV Studios here in beautiful Bellevue Nebraska.

Kevin, if you guys struggled at all with thunderstorms the summer have they been severely any severe out there?

Kevin Schoonover  [0:42] 
Yeah, a couple of nasty runs through just over the weekend. We had very large hale mixed in and they seem to come in bands across so it we’ve had our share this year.

Jim Collison  [0:56] 
Yeah, it has been we had a windstorm on Monday. We were out. It took down Weiger fence if you follow your, by the way Wieger is out tonight I think taking a little vacation or something I can’t remember but a blue completely blew down Weiger’s fence, and so he’s got some, he’s got a little work to do. Of course PD lives out there and so he’s got a little work to do to put the fence up. But we will, we’ll post a show with World Class show notes tonight. shownotes shared by those listening live so you never know you might want to head out to the average guy. TV slash HGG for what I say the show us 455 is a 450 No. 445 there we go for four or five. Can’t remember myself. And you can also have 455 in the show notes. Which what’s the number of the show Kevin? Do you know 455 for? I don’t think I’ve done 450 is 455. Okay, HGG 455 there we go definitive answer. You will see hopefully there’ll be some updated show notes from those who are listening Live as well. Don’t forget, you can also join us on our mobile app Home Gadget Kevin when Kevin was on the road, he used to join us a lot on Thursday nights from the road. Best way to stream the podcast live. When I remember to click the Spreaker button, and Home Gadget you can download that for free. I’ve already talked to him once tonight, but Kevin schooners joining us. And of course, Kevin is the king of deals in both our discord group and over at home server show the home server show forums or reset forums, whatever we call those things these days. Kevin, welcome to the program.

Kevin Schoonover  [2:32] 
Hey, good to be back.

Jim Collison  [2:33] 
Good to have you. We are going to spend some time tonight thinking about some free utilities not necessarily 100% windows driven or we’re going to start right off the bat with one that’s not but before we get started, quick little update. Many in the community way back in the early days of the pandemic which feels like 100 years ago, like it just like February is like 1980 basically for me that’s what it feels like.

But we all got involved. I think it was January, February time we got involved in the folding at home program. A lot of folks jumped in. We threw some GPUs at it. Everybody got fired up, I got my power bill. It was like, oh, maybe I shouldn’t be have all four GPUs running on this thing. I took it down to two and then took it down to one and dropped it. in the show notes. There is a link Silicon Prairie News is actually a news outlet, a tech news outlet out of Omaha. And they had it’s funny, it’s like they just discovered this was happening. In their article, I’ll show that on screen here. So I had done the Silicon Prairie News minute for a while on a podcast I did with their editor in chief over there. But they recently have highlighted they’re still going in and I actually it’s still the the number one supercomputer in the world and in the interviewed some of the some folks who were supporting it in this article again, I’ll have the link in the show notes. have said no, we’re still making progress on the thing. I think Kevin, the reason I highlight this, there, I was hoping this article would have some update on how they with COVID if they kind of had found anything, and it didn’t, unfortunately. So it was one of those situations where I say, oh, maybe they found something they haven’t yet. If you’re still doing that, awesome, still continue to do it. It’s it’s, it’s still needed. They’re still cranking on that thing. Many of us jumped in and then stopped. And that’s okay, too. It kind of works out. I did. It did. It was a little alarming when I got the power bill that month. And I was like, Oh, you know, crypto is one thing, but folding. I don’t know you jumped in and helps didn’t ya?

Kevin Schoonover  [4:43] 
A bit and knew we were joking around that. Once once air conditioning season is done. Maybe we all start helping again so that we can heat our hoses from GPU power. So

Jim Collison  [4:55] 
yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, that’s that’s maybe I’ll wait It won’t be that long before we see some cold weather here. And and we can do it again. So that link will be in the show notes. If you want to head out to the Silicon Prairie News article, not not a lot of update, there was kind of kind of hoping there’d be some updates. And there wasn’t even tonight, the intention is to spend some time, again, looking at some utilities. And I’ll throw in some alt utilities that we have in there as well. But you I’d asked you, hey, like, let’s go through a list of just some things that are free that we can use in various situations. Why don’t you get us kicked off with a solution that I kicked around a couple times and I kick it to the curb? When you talk about that,

Kevin Schoonover  [5:35] 
as I have also just had a situation where cleaning up some old computers and it’s a we’ve got good recycling facility here, they’ll basically take any electronic device you want to drop off. But there’s also some good charities that work hard to get computing devices to folks who maybe can’t afford them. So almost stuck a little bit in You know what, what is something that should be recycled versus what is something that may be useful to someone yet, and I had an older laptop, I needed to move through two gigahertz processor two Giga memory, I was able to bump it up to four Giga memory running Windows Vista had to get rid of VISTA. So it just gave me the opportunity. I hadn’t played with any of the Linux variants for a while. For those well versed in Ubuntu, Ubuntu MATE is the flavor of choice for things like that for most people, or for many people. And it you know, very lightweight, very quick to load up, very easy to use. And I was impressed it. Once again, back to this charity, they’re looking for something that a person can take with them. So laptops are great. All they need is a web browser. So the They can help him show how to research things, how to look for jobs, how to apply for jobs. There’s a great mail client built in. And I have to admit that after getting this up and running, I was pleasantly surprised that an old AMD two gigahertz processor and four gig of memory was usable. And in this case, I did shell out another $20 to put a brand new battery in it. That was a little surprising that Amazon had a battery for this old laptop for 20 bucks. So somebody hopefully has a good working laptop. Now.

Jim Collison  [7:36] 
Andrew wants us to know it’s pronounced muy Thai instead. Ah, well, you know, that doesn’t make any sense. By the way. That’s spelled that way it’s spelled meat but that’s okay. Nothing like nerds trying to get cute with the naming on things

Kevin Schoonover  [7:51] 
right. I appreciate appreciate Andrew for for letting us know how it should be pronounced.

Jim Collison  [7:56] 
Muy Thai. I’m going to call it meat for the rest of the show. Just absolutely. to annoy people. And it is one of the things, you know, I mentioned this Well, I’ve gone to a boon to several times I, at least once a year, I put it on a laptop or something, I think, Okay, I’m gonna I’m gonna give it a good college try. I’m gonna, I’m gonna do this. And a week later, I’m like, Why? Why? Why it just isn’t it just, for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked for me. Doesn’t mean though, Kevin, I think in a lot of situations doesn’t mean though, it doesn’t value. And in this space, this is awesome. Were there it does give life to new to old computers. Right? When we think you know, we’ve gone through this time here, both globally, and especially in the United States, around some just some equality, right of giving opportunities. And so there are there are some opportunities to take some hardware for folks who have who don’t have the opportunities in and get it in their hands where they need it. Now we still have some, we still have some problems around internet and making sure everybody’s connected. Did some of those kinds of things, but this is a step to at least getting some equipment. I think the good news in this case is these things do run pretty well on pretty limited equipment. So you know, from when he talks about productivity and accessing the internet and a web browser, and some of those kinds of things work pretty well.

Kevin Schoonover  [9:17] 
Yeah, it does. And that’s, you know, a good simple office package built into it, which is pretty compatible with most other packages out there. So, once again, talking to the guys at free geeks, it clicks all their buttons because they can show a person how to write a resume, they can show a person and they’re dealing with a lot of folks who are don’t have good access to computer equipment. And you know, we’re sometimes I’m surprised at the number of people who still rely on libraries for computer use and with COVID that being shut down was a real issue as well. So yeah, no, it was a very fun very usable Thunderbird email client in there seems to work well. So you know that between browsing email and an office package really kind of clicks all the boxes for the average grab and go use

Jim Collison  [10:13] 
yeah and something that you can get in somebody’s hands. We’ve had him on the show before I think or I’ve talked about him before. An alternate alternative to that would be key pod KK e p od show their website as well. If you’re watching the video, on key pod, you can either buy it or now they’ve got their OSS available as well for download for free. USB keys are 29 bucks for a while that you’d buy one they would ship one to somewhere in the world where somebody needed computing and the difference on this. You could do this with this with this. This a boon to system, my tie, mate. Let’s just put it on a USB drive and then they could just plug it into you know you could have a single workstation That people share like in a library or whatever, maybe this doesn’t work as well during COVID, but then run it, save everything on this take your take your OS with you, and if you have everything that you need right here, so they also have a version variant, and they are kind of, they have gotten kind of security focused over the last year or two, in other words, everything that you can do to secure your browser to, to, you know, all those 10 to remove all the things that track you. They’ve added to the to the to the OS, so that you’re so you can’t be tracked or minimally tracked. Maybe right so keypad ke pod, they contacted me the other day, a comment or two ago, said Hey, have you tried it out in a while it works out works pretty well. Boots pretty easily when you’re done. Just pull it out. Another another great alternative.

Kevin Schoonover  [11:47] 
Yeah. And I think these I think, for a lot of people, they’re more interested. As you and I were talking before the show, I end up defaulting back to Windows all the time. But I look at younger people. You know, Mike kid is perfectly happy with a Chromebook because everything they do in school is, is Google based, at least at our school district. So initially, I was concerned about some of the limitations of Chromebook, but it works perfectly for for that environment. And then you know that he’s got a Windows machine. So gaming wise, everything’s squared away over there. So it’s, it’s all good from that point of view. But, you know, the, I think people are realizing, hey, if a Chromebook can do it, now, all of a sudden, we’re looking more from the point of view of, for what limited stuff I need to do this Linux distribution is is good enough to get me going. Yeah.

Jim Collison  [12:40] 
Yeah. could be it could be a great alternative. Back to the windows side. And this is a program that started as one thing is moved to another but so windows 10, skip its net and skip and sketch

Kevin Schoonover  [12:53] 
right now. There we go. Snip snip and skit hand sketch. Yeah.

So we should have practiced this Can I share screens yeah

Jim Collison  [13:01] 
yeah just go down to the share screen down below and then just tell it what window to share and it’ll drop it out for I think that originally got I have that up on my a Windows 10 It started as the snipping tool so what’s the what’s there it’s got a mode that and then oh let me I need to share yours your screen there and then oh you might want to just share the instance of those the just that what you just set one up yeah yeah just that one I’ll take you off for a second to get started This is the snipping tool and that’s still in there but there’s a huge add inside the snipping tool now called just says try snippet sketch and in a little more power and gets a few more options so we’ll see is Kevin can bring this up I think now it’s just if you have the latest build of Windows 10 I think both tools are available for you. Yep. There’s a share in the stream yard share. There’s an application tab at the top. If you click that it’ll share.

Kevin Schoonover  [14:06] 
Jason grib pulled it down. It’s given me every application, but that one

Jim Collison  [14:11] 
oh, you know, I wonder if it’s because it’s a Windows. Let me let me try this. I wonder if it’s because it’s a here, I’ll share it. There we go.

Kevin Schoonover  [14:20] 
Okay, good. So, you know, as Jim said, so the snipping tool has been in there for a long time and some of these apps, you know, I don’t ever present these as being Oh, god, look what I found. I kind of make the assumption that lots of folks have used these things in the past or have have worked with them. So if you have used the snipping tool, it’s great screen capture, grab something off your screen. Snip and sketch gives you the ability to highlight or annotate or add some text to it. I’m working for a company right now. Great company, smaller company, just kind of finding our way in lots of ways, we have a lot of systems that don’t talk to each other. So inevitably, we end up you know, I catch myself quite frequently having to jump in trying to explain something to somebody go into one tool and grab a screenshot of it, go annotate it, show what I’m talking about, and pop it back over to them. There’s may be quicker ways to or not quicker, there’s maybe more controlled ways to do it in a Word document or a PDF or something else. But this is quick and easy. I can just take a snap of a screen, annotate it, send it off, and we you know, our entire sales team does a ton of this now, as we move ahead, I can see some of this going away as more of our online systems talk to each other and become more automated. But today at the point we’re in this has been a lifesaver. It’s just been been very quick and easy to use, and If you’re not using it, you have the opportunity or you have the need to grab something off your screen and short somebody that fantastic tool to do it. And the editing functions are really made to come together.

Jim Collison  [16:13] 
Yeah, no, it’s not. It’s actually really nice. It’s actually in. There was a I’m trying to think there used to be a grab it was that or, or snag it. I think it was a

Kevin Schoonover  [16:23] 
snag. It was Yeah, it was one of the better screencaptures Yeah, Camtasia was the the big one that was a whole screen capture. And speaking of that, yeah. The next the next one on the list, which probably won’t, I might be able to show. So with with zoom and all the conferencing stuff we’re doing and you know, in and me not being able to get out to California to do some of the things that are going on there. I had the need the other day where we were on with a customer and we were doing zoom and one of my engineers was at a live camera. In our production area, taking a camera feed from a build we were doing for this customer. And I know the customer was recording the zoom conference to keep it. But I was sitting there thinking, hey, this would be really cool if this would be great if I could just capture what’s on my screen right now. So that I didn’t have to ask the customer for a copy of the the zoom recording of it. And then it popped into my head that with all Windows PCs, you get the Xbox game bar, and the game bar. Mo in most cases that’s already installed on your system. But there’s a DVR built into it. If you haven’t played with this. If you hit windows key, Alt and G, it’ll bring up the game bar. And up in the upper left corner is the DVR. And many times it’ll ask you is the thing that you’re going to record a game you click Yes. And it basically records whatever’s on your screen. practice with a little bit because the audio can be a little much to get that to capture. But once I’ve got that down, once again, between this and snippet if I’m doing something live and I need to capture it, there’s may be better tools out there. But this is a free one. It’s built into Windows. And I’ve had good luck with it.

Jim Collison  [18:22] 
Yeah, you know, I’ve heard I saw I’ve heard Paul, Paul throt. Talk about this several times. And it is not one and I probably need to practice with it more just with the job that I do. In creating those videos that have animation to them to help people do things, right, that’s go here, go there and get that done. Dave Jackson, who I podcasts with on Saturday mornings, he he’s really good at that, and I think he uses Camtasia to get that done, but he is he is really good at making sure he provides that support back to his customers that way. So another Another growing a great way to get that done. Windows is also will stay on that on that theme. They have also been working hard on a your phone app, which continues it’s I think it’s it’s only Android right at this point the iPhone, there’s some limited functionality with iPhone but talk a little bit about that.

Kevin Schoonover  [19:17] 
I think you so I’ve only got Android so I can only speak from that point of view but I’m trying to remember now you know what, I think it does work with iPhone because I think when I first set this one up again, it asked me what kind of a phone I had. Okay, but but I’ve been playing with way too many things. So I don’t exactly recall on that. In you mentioned some of the work that they’re doing the the they seem to be doing a ton these days with Samsung. So there’s lots of specialty things that they’ve they’ve worked on with garnering some of the same function And some of the same tools back and forth. For me that the thing that then part of it’s the work from home thing, again is what it allows me to do. And because I’m remote from our office is now from my computer, I can use my phone to make phone calls with my headset and microphone. Not a huge deal. But between sending in on zoom calls setting in on, we use GoToMeeting as well. And we use the IP phone dialing in that I’ve kind of hit the point now where I can leave one headset on and grab a call from any function that’s coming in. messaging is integrated. So now without having to grab my phone, I can read text messages, I can bring text messages back in. I can send text messages. So if you haven’t played with the your phone feature, I was impressed. It’s really It’s really come a long ways from where it had been. And it was a little clunky in the past when they first launched it and got it going. But now it in my computer has a good Bluetooth connection. So it connected up well from that point of view. But I’ve been pretty impressed with it. It’s not it’s not a ton of features not a ton of functions, but it would be important for you to be able to do messaging and calls with your phone from your PC. It seems to work quite well.

Jim Collison  [21:32] 
I think there’s also a window Hello component for both Android iPhone where you can now you know the device I think it’s a Bluetooth feature the device kicks in when you when you you can sign in. I don’t mean sign in with it, but you can. If you leave, it’ll automatically lock your computer so they’ve been pimping that on the My latest version of Windows at work, they keep saying hey, do you want to attach the device to the device so you know when you walk on? will automatically lock your PC. I walk away from my computer too much. So good. We do have where they are going to allow start allowing pin access for signing on using Windows allow push you know, you can use a photo if you have touch, or you you can touch or slide whatever certain parts of the photo. If you have a Windows Hello compatible camera, it’ll unlock it in that way. So I think they’re getting in those those are getting really, really good. But if you haven’t tried your phone yet on Windows, that may be something to give it a try to seek some of the options, kind of I think, based on your phone, whether it’s Android or iPhone, and then even different versions of those, I think have different capabilities. Right?

Kevin Schoonover  [22:44] 
Yeah. And and like I say, Samsung, they seem to be doing quite a lot with Samsung these days. So that seems to be moving. Part of the direction they’re moving in from that point of view is Oh,

Jim Collison  [22:58] 
yeah, no, I think they’re partnering with on some of these, hey, just to go back a little bit, Justin and this is what I’m looking for from the show notes Justin had dropped the link to another alternative of VLC has a screen capture those ability. There’s some This is a great wiki on how to get that done. Justin has thrown the show and thrown that in the show notes. So if you want to, we didn’t prep for this, so we won’t talk about it too much. But if you want to maybe you’re using VLC already, and you didn’t know this, you can check it out there. We’ll leave that link in the show notes as well. So Justin, thanks for for dropping that in there. Kevin. Anything else you’d say about? Are you using any of the security features with Android or iPhone on Windows? Or are you using your You said you’re using it for phone calls and

Kevin Schoonover  [23:45] 
text messages, mostly just for phone calls and text messages and the thing that I’ve got to work on is most of this is configured and working with my home computer. I’m having a little problem moving back and forth between my work laptop and my home. Computer and that might push me to go to two phones, a work phone and home phone just to keep the integration where we just went to a corporate version of LastPass for work, and we’re using duo as the authentication for that on the phone. So it It should all work. But it might just make it easier from a struggle point of view. If I just do it. Do it one way or the other. Yeah.

Jim Collison  [24:28] 
Yeah. There’s lots of options for that. Yep. lots of options. Yeah, I’m I am. And I just realized I was looking at LastPass the other day, and it was throwing me an ad for premium. And I’m like, I’m already a premium user. Wait a minute, and I must not have paid like, because it dropped me to a free user. And I was like, Oh, well, let’s shoot I’ll have to go in and check maybe I I clicked through it. You know sometimes, when you set up your spam email is the email You know, you register that with a business, and then it drops into a spam account, your chances of actually seeing it are pretty small. So, I mean, I need to probably pack, head back over to LastPass and re subscribe to them as well. We use, I think we use keepass at work. And I’ve got that I have a version of that. That’s that that’s one that stays local. It doesn’t have a web web interface. So I use that for all my work passwords. Get that good.

You. Oh, go ahead.

Kevin Schoonover  [25:28] 
Well, as I say, I think I’ve got the share seems to work on browsers. So go ahead and finish your thought and we can move on next. I

Jim Collison  [25:36] 
know you because I’m ready to move on to the next. Okay, so you had put tinkercad in there and I’ve never done this one before. Let’s talk a little bit about it.

Kevin Schoonover  [25:44] 
So tinkercad is from the Autodesk the AutoCAD folks, they came up with a a online version of their tool. I am not good at drafting. I love 3d printing but what holds me back is drafting It’s up on the screen right now as some of the designs and things that I’ve worked on in the past. I’m fairly good with Visio. But Visio is not the real tool from a, you know, drafting industry point of view. So I’ve dabbled with this quite a bit over the years and have come up with designs and things that work. The thing I’m highlighting over here was a, a prototype of a little plastic piece to hold a disk drive on the, the now no longer available spoon doggy, HP Gen eight, bracket, but was dabbling quite a bit with that. So if you’re, if you’re working at getting into 3d printing, and you want an easy way to do some drafting, do some design drawing tinkercad can be a great way to do that. There’s a lesson plan up top here. They’ve got great educational things. Things to go through it when I. So there’s all that goodness. But the thing and I know I’m breaking all the rules of presentation because I’m not ready to present this. But what I was surprised about that I hadn’t seen before was they’ve gone to code blocks. So if any of you’ve looked at some of the code designs that allow you to just cut and paste blocks in there, supporting that through tinkercad now, and being being sort of a junior electrical engineer kind of guy, I’m just a couple credits short from finishing the full, double E. I was, I thought it was interesting that they’ve gone to electronic design circuits in their designs. That’s cool. So you can drag and drop components make simple circuits and there’s a simulator built in so you take a battery and a resistor and an LED, you hit simulation, and the only LED lights up. Everything’s good. My digital circuitry days 555 timers are kind of the core of a lot of cute little circuits. You can do one shot timers and things like that. But they drift off into Arduino on this. So you can do some simulations of Arduino designs. There’s some distance sensors, if you’re looking for a way to Yeah, and I’m thinking in terms of a little bit of the distance learning stuff we’re on right now. Um, I was really pleasantly surprised to see these guys have drifted off, not drifted off but expanded their offering from traditional CAD offering into some of the other simulations and things they can do. So just caught me off guard a little bit. I hadn’t expected it but very, very interesting that they’ve gone off into the circuit design and the coding as well.

Jim Collison  [28:57] 
Will it catch fire if you do it in With a battery smoke filled wires melt when that’d be fine

Kevin Schoonover  [29:06] 
if I said I should have I should have tried that

Jim Collison  [29:10] 
overload this circuit and see if we can get you know some of the some of the wires to melt if we pick up faults that would be actually helpful because it it’d be like yeah you know where it does a little simulation where the wire just kind of goes you know, just kind of melts melted its way through

Kevin Schoonover  [29:28] 
this is where you would have burnt your fingers

Jim Collison  [29:31] 
Yeah, this is where now the house smells like an electrical fire. Thank you

Kevin Schoonover  [29:36] 
does it smells like burning chicken that was

Jim Collison  [29:41] 
super good. It’s well that stuff is important. I’ve had some house wiring that only didn’t catch the house on fire because it was in a metal box. And so in the electrician came he was like, you know you’re a metal box away from this place burning down. And so it’s, you know, it is good to be able to test tests. And I’ve had I’ve had electricians in here twice in one was to upgrade the circuit panel you know we were still in the old screwin fuses and so I had electrician come in and replace the panel and up the up from 100 to 150 amp service and that’s when he discovered it and I can’t sit hey could you check and look he’s like no that would be too expensive if you have any starting to check your wiring because it’s an old house yeah he’s like that’s gonna get that’s gonna get costly pretty fast this I’ll fix because I saw but he you know, so I was like, Huh, so I’ve been slowly going through some of my wiring trying to upgrade it, make sure it’s, it’s up to par as we do it but nice to have a simulation and a simulator in there especially on the Arduino side, because those are components you can give to kids and then they can build it, test it virtually and then build it and touch it tested in person.

Kevin Schoonover  [30:53] 
But there’s so much you know, and not a not a free place but there The Adafruit site is a distribution electronics company that really specializes in a lot of this stuff. Friend of mine, former co worker, is the CEO at sparkfun. And they’re very into this as well as they’re making electronics easy for kids to pick up and play with and learn and code and, you know, basically, take a little single board computer and make it all work. Bring it all together.

Jim Collison  [31:31] 
Yeah, you know, there was a lot of chatter about that before the pandemic and I actually haven’t seen or heard and maybe it’s just because the school systems punted, completely right. And so it’s destroyed after school programs, it’s destroyed. You know, some of those things where these kids are getting this I sure hope we can get back to it at some point maybe, maybe the Fall is not the right time. Apparently, according to the to the big 10. Fall isn’t the time to play. It’s not the time no

Kevin Schoonover  [32:00] 
But I’m glad you bring that up because for parents out there, go hit Adafruit tes website. I think it sparked funds. I know both of them have come up with not in depth curriculum, but they make it quite easy for you to go out and you know, pick up a Learning Kit with their stuff and let your kids kind of learn on their own. They’ve got some learning packages there. some different things you can do from that point of view. So

Jim Collison  [32:34] 
Adafruit, just like it sounds a DA f are you you can check that out. We’re showing that right now and and they’ve got some they’ve got some projects that you can do I need to do. You’d sent me a over the circuit boards

Kevin Schoonover  [32:51] 
that you owe the BBC. Yeah.

Jim Collison  [32:56] 
All those things. Yeah. And I never just I never did do. I never did the circumstances around the work. I was doing kind of changed with the interns, but there are there are great still great opportunities to do this stuff at home. And I think for some moms and dads, that may be a great opportunity to do it with kids. So yeah, absolutely. Joe had put in chat a little bit earlier. He says he’s a little timid about adopting anything Microsoft anymore. You could and you could insert the word Google in this thing as well. Right? timid about adopting anything, Google or Microsoft anymore as they are likely to kill it at any moment. And yet, Kevin, the next thing that you want to talk about is the Microsoft tool.

Kevin Schoonover  [33:41] 
And and it’s in my share his concern. And actually, this this one, you know, I think we all have a long history of Microsoft jumping in and out of things, making things nice and then killing them. Google does a lot of the same thing. They do. A few years ago my favorite To Do List product was wanderlust wonder list was great product loved it because voice You know, you could call out to your voice assistant have mad something to the grocery list. Have all your family members on Wunderlist. Microsoft loved it so much they bought it. And then I’m not sure what they exactly did with it because they bought another one called to do and Microsoft to do became the mainstay for that. Still from a personal basis to do. It works out really well with lists, task lists to do lists. So from from our family point of view, shopping lists, activity lists, different things that we want to coordinate seems to work very well. What’s gotten me going on this from a business point of view as well is from some of the developers conferences. I’ve started to notice that back to that phone thing with Samsung On being tied in with Microsoft pretty heavily, there was an announcement that Samsung reminders are going to sync with Microsoft to do lists. So now all of a sudden, you’re gonna start to see more synergy across that platform. I’m at work, we’re using Microsoft Teams for a lot of our activity. And I catch I catch myself constantly looking at whether it’s project management or teams, and in the ability to track a project, but can I really boil it down to individual tasks or action items. And from a developer’s conference, I can see where Microsoft to do is going to be one of the routes they’re looking at, to be able to boil down tasks out of teams and pop it into a to do list. And then there’s another new technology from Microsoft called Microsoft planner, which is kind of the glue to go in between Microsoft Project Microsoft Teams, a lot of these other functions and there is a strong Push with inside of Microsoft to have to do be the focal point of task management for all those items. So and then Microsoft will kill it and we’ll all be pissed off.

Jim Collison  [36:14] 
I don’t I don’t think so. I don’t think I need to do that’s a pretty basic, it’s gonna get teams integration, you know the direction is to move everything into teams. Yep. And in so you know and actually the integration with the Office product so like Word and and excel and some of those inside teams not bad. I mean not perfect yeah but not bad. It actually works pretty well. This week we got the roll out for the more so now we could have nine I think it’s nine windows and we can get Oh the window the video window pops out. It used to stay inside teams. Now it pops out. And so we’re a team’s work teams customer at Gallup. And I took me a while to To figure out like, okay, where’s the window going? Like, we’re, I had a call going, and then the window is gone. And, and they continue to make pretty rapid improvements to it. Kevin, I don’t think this is one I don’t see them. And maybe it may be so I don’t know, I do see them. We’re kind of rolling this into the Microsoft 365 or the office 365 whatever they’re calling it these days. family of products and it probably staying as the to do feature for those for a while. So I don’t this is one I could be wrong. But this is one may be around for a while. Yeah. And

Kevin Schoonover  [37:33] 
I think because you know the thing with past products like this, they never seem to be embraced by the developers who build the glue that goes between all these other products. And this one does. So I think, I think from that point of view, it could be it could be a good link up tie that way.

Jim Collison  [37:55] 
Yeah, I’m as much as I’m a nerd. I still A paper notes guy and I cannot wait like when push comes to shove, and I’m having that kind of pushing and shoving week, for whatever reason, it’s just that week where push came to shove I go back to paper, I just can’t I don’t I don’t know what it is about not being able to visualize it in my own brain when it’s digital, and I just am more effective on paper. I think maybe it’s just the way I grew up or it’s because I’m older I don’t know. I’m not saying don’t use By the way, this is not like everybody should still be

on paper.

This is not one of those if you can do it digitally awesome. I have just tried for 25 years to make the digital jump and I just can’t do I can do some of it. But when it’s when when when the pressures on I go right back to paper, and and it’s just it’s I don’t know, for me, it’s just easier to do so I have a laundry list here and some notes on the back. I always keep a pad on my desk. Just just have one and anytime I need something I need to take notes. I do have I do have a sticky note from Windows if you haven’t used their sticky notes in a while I do have a sticky note on my desk that’s got a bunch of notes on it that it’s got like my daily routine you know, I get there’s some things I do I check YouTube for stuff check our I promote our webcasts I post to event bride I schedule the streams, like there’s some things I do and that’s on a sticky note on my on my computer and that works out really well. But to do stuff. I kind of just want to check it off. Andrew does say he says I think we’re just old. And that is that’s true in a lot of ways. But Kevin, have you found success in moving moving over to digital to do

Kevin Schoonover  [39:49] 
that, you know, as you’re talking about that I’m I’m back on paper again. I go back and forth with it. good segue to talk about it. topic that I didn’t want to talk about, but Microsoft has the new surface duo device coming out. And if I was more of a road warrior than I used to be, I would love to have one of those to experiment with. And when I think about the times that I was very paperless, I had a small tablet or, you know, did everything in in notes. But every time I look at that thing, I go, God, I’d love to play with that. But for 1500 dollars, I’ll build myself a really cool gaming desktop. Oh, but I’d love to see how well I could have two apps running on that. But for 1500 dollars, I’m gonna build a cool gaming desktop.

Jim Collison  [40:48] 
Yeah, you can’t you kind of have to don’t Yeah, I mean, Now, to be fair, the 1500 dollars is a 256 version. Right? That was 1400 dollars. Sorry.

Kevin Schoonover  [41:03] 
Finish laughing Yes, I’m gonna put I’m gonna put a joke on top of your joke. I put up Fuzzball. Right? Oh my god 1400 or 1500 dollars. And you don’t get the pen. You still have to buy the pen separate?

Jim Collison  [41:22] 
Yeah, it’s we’ve been there’s been a bunch of conversation going on on Twitter about this in our groups and everybody’s kind of been like Ei x 1500 bucks for that. I think I think it’s a little jump the shark moment for Yeah, Microsoft, right, don’t you think? Now, this being said, I bet at Christmas, you can get these for 999.

Kevin Schoonover  [41:46] 
That’s Yeah, if it was if it was something under 1000 it would be much, much more than and this is the kind of thing that if the Microsoft stores hadn’t acquired Close COVID and everything else I would have to go play with this because even though I can see some use case for it, I’m getting kind of hung up on Okay, you know, they show the picture with you having it set sideways with a virtual keyboard on it. So you’re, you’re using it kind of like a little laptop, and I’m thinking would would that would you use it that way it’s not gonna sit on your lap. Okay, I’m flying a lot for business. Hey, it would fit nicely on top of the tray in front of me. When they keep talking about it being an 8.1 inch screen. it it’s it’s got wind on the middle of it. So I don’t see you using it to watch a movie full screen mode because you’d have a line right down the middle of it. That mode you’ve got on the screen right now with like an app on either side. I think that would be one of the better use cases for it. But I I don’t know. I’m I’m I’m way too much of a Microsoft optimist. I’m a technology optimist. Yeah, you know and other people are building products like this Samsung’s got something coming out other people have are heading down this idea. I just I’m not I’m not seeing it for for 1500 bucks and

Jim Collison  [43:19] 
yeah, like I said, I think we’re going to see they’re not going to sell very many I mean they’ll sell the the enthusiasts and then I think by Christmas there’ll be ways to there’ll be ways to buy this thing under 1000 bucks you know, it could very well be options there some some interesting form factors and when you think about that, again, a little The timing is bad but when you think about on a plane, there are some nice like, you know, the the dewlap maybe turning that thing up and watching the you know, watching a movie here and doing some email down here or something right. where, you know, you got you’ve got a few options. I see for some people, this will be a real could be really, really, really interesting. The hinge will be interesting. It’s kind of built similar to the, the, to the, to the surface hinge in some they learned some things from that. We’ll see how well that holds up. We know how the first version of Samsung’s fold or off. It’ll just be interesting to see what how well this does when you we’re still not to a point where we’ve really had a mainstream device or you folded two screens together. Right? Right. And so it’ll be interesting to see. Um, Jim wants you to know, let’s see if I can find that note that Kevin you can’t put a gaming desktop in your pocket. So that’s, that’s I mean, you can go you can go with all of that. But at the end of the day, I’m although when we had Jay on j Manson, on he’s got some pretty small gaming rigs that we looked at so that that may also fit in

pretty unique ideas, they’re really not into your pocket. But

you know, Kevin is we think about anti virus and malware and and ransomware. And you know, this is kind of a topic here we used to talk about if I go back to the sub 100 days of what was hometech then now Home Gadget Geeks. We talked about this stuff all the time, and it’s kind of become obsolete. Now. I don’t know if that’s because we’ve just all figured out what we’re going to use. I’m a bit defender guy. And so I just kind of have a bit defender box that is my router and does a bunch of cool things for me. So Windows NT virus has gotten pretty good, I think and doing what it does, it comes free on Windows 10. We’re not doing that anymore. But an old an old application from way back by the way, I still have I think I still have a version of this on my mom’s computer. But it’s Malwarebytes and yet it’s still free. Yeah. Are you Isn’t it isn’t it? Yes, yeah.

Kevin Schoonover  [46:01] 
Yep. Yeah, I think so in some of the next links that I shared here it. So malware and antivirus I think are still important things to address. Um, it’s gotten to the point where, you know, I don’t think you have to spend an arm and a leg on this stuff, but you know it to me it still comes down to antivirus and malware bites, do two separate things. And not necessarily a free version, but just in my own home. I’ve seen this happen many times. But I don’t personally I don’t get hit with virus and malware that much as my kid was going through those formative years and they click on anything they find. They run into lots of malware and antivirus problems. My wife tended to end up with malware that was very browser driven, you know, she launched something that She thought was okay to launch and then all of a sudden her computer speakers are telling her that she needs to send Bitcoin to somebody because she’s got a virus and, and, and the point I’m driving out there is the times I’ve noticed that being a problem is one I was between good firewalls. When I was experimenting with something different. For the past six months, I’ve been back on untangle again, and the number of times a member of my family locally here has said, Hey, come fix this, for me has gone down to nothing. So, to me, the best way to keep malware and antivirus at bay is get a really kick ass firewall something something good. You mentioned bitdefender. To me, that’s a great system because it’s a it’s a router firewall. That that I think does a very good job. You know, there’s the the Mainstays out there of pf. Pfsense So folks, I’m back on untangle. untangle is extremely easy to use 50 bucks a year for their home version of that. Um, I think Anthony Rayner picked up one of the firewalla boxes. So look forward to seeing how that goes for him. I was really tempted to go with one of those Tony

Jim Collison  [48:20] 
we need to have you as soon as you get that and you you’re comfortable with that you should come on and talk about it because I think that’s a really interesting, that’s a really interesting product. One of the things I was showing on this is, this is one of the one of the things I’ve never really liked about Malwarebytes is they, you can get the free version but I guarantee you they are going to grind you to upgrade to premium until you just finally like 40 bucks is at 40 bucks a year. Yeah, 40 bucks, 40 bucks,

Kevin Schoonover  [48:50] 
40 bucks a year but I will tell you go to Malwarebytes and if you ever owned Malwarebytes. log into your account at malware bytes. Because I had a I bought one of those specials on Newegg of five PCs. For was a great price. It was like, I think it was 39 bucks for a year for five PCs was was a great deal. So I go in to register those for all the computers in the house. And here over in the corner was a Malwarebytes license that I’d forgotten about. And it was unlimited with no expiration. So it just popped into my head is Yeah, at one point in time. Malwarebytes did have this unlimited package. Yes, they did. And, and I had one. So in here, you know, I’m sure that the machine I had run it on has long since left here. But that license key I was I was impressed that Malwarebytes still had the license key out there. So

Jim Collison  [49:51] 
that’s good advice. I will. I’ll get out there. I can’t remember what my login information so I’ll have to send for a password. Reset. Yep. But you’re right. And I think actually I bought an unlimited license from Newegg, I want to say, back in the day, and I think it’s installed on my mom’s computer. So she has both. I think I have both bitdefender and Malwarebytes on her computer plus windows, and I’ve disabled when you put bitdefender on, you have to disable windows.

Kevin Schoonover  [50:24] 
Yep, the Windows Defender. But I think that’s you know, so I think protect yourself a good firewall does phenomenal things. Malwarebytes takes care of a lot of the other weird weirdness that happens that you may be click on without realizing it’s a bad thing. And antivirus, there’s still viruses out there and that’s beneficial. The next kind of three links there, you know, there’s lots of free anti virus out there. I make recommendations but I always tell people go to go to av or av either one is great spots, comparatives here now, they still do their testing on all different types of antivirus products give you an idea of what they’re working on. But they’ve also started to doing some IoT stuff, and IP camera based stuff to see how things spec out from a security point of view are their security holes in them. They give rankings and ratings on them. So AV compare compare octaves does a good job on AV test probably goes a little more detail in the rankings and comparisons. The thing you find is you dig into them these days is it you know, everybody has their bad version of product but i’ve you know, I’m still running live saved from McAfee and Seems to you know, I don’t have computer issues like I once had from antivirus products and you know life seems to keep rolling right along with it so down on the bottom there you know tests for home users and if you click on universe for Windows it’ll basically walk through you know, their ratings you know, the ones that they show us picks and there’s there’s lots of freebies out there that people can choose

Jim Collison  [52:31] 
from the bitdefender box 100 bucks a year but I get unlimited bitdefender Yeah, which works great for me I put it on most of the computers that it definitely does not like the Bitcoin you know the any of the miners it. It definitely sees all those things. In fact, Windows does too. So I have to shut that off. And I don’t use those, you know, the miners I don’t use on a regular basis. I’d packed. I don’t use them at all anymore. I mean, they’re mining but it’s not like I survived. So, so I’ve got a lot of things shut off on those to make those work. But but then I’m glad you brought that up because that is a nice fit with something a bit defender because there is some good synergy that can be made between the firewall and your endpoint security. And one of my experiments when I was trying a few different routes with

Kevin Schoonover  [53:24] 
things was Sophos as a firewall, which is a great firewall, but it’s a little complex, but they offer endpoint security as well. And that I just kind of felt like that would be a great combination to work with. And it did work really well because there was a good tie in between the firewall and the endpoint security, just a little more complex than I wanted to hit into. The next link there is just one for kind of reference is the AV test guys kicked up this AV Atlas, which is it’s a spot where they’re bringing together Lots of different analytics and data. So if you go up to the top there and click on Dashboard it’ll take a minute to refresh. And then it it gives you just at a glance you know, what’s what’s going on in the world? What are the hotspots where bad things coming from? What kind of bad things are out there. If you’re in the security and or you’re in it and you want to know more about security, you know, the suspicious links in emails. It’s it’s a good place. A lot of the IT guys I talked to you, it gives them fuel for helping them talk to their users about not clicking on things and files and things from that point of view. If you look at over on the left, the it’s blackhat URLs. You pull down on that one right there. And your URLs and trends i think is the screen for it. It gives you a list of a lot of the URLs that are floating around that should be stayed away from and keywords that pop up with them. And just it’s a good, not a not a ton of indie, or there is a ton of in depth data here, not for the faint of heart. But if you if you do see your career going more in an IT security point of view, this can be a pretty cool way to get into it.

Jim Collison  [55:34] 
That’s a lot of data there. I’m overwhelmed. I did one of the things I did see on that map in, you know, look at the takes a second to load because there’s all kinds of things going on there. So give him a second we’ll come back to the map. The two countries you know, it says, you know, read is or most of the time The origin of sport Spam is coming from. And of course Russia and the United States lead the way in in the origin of spam. Oh, yeah. Pretty interesting. Pretty interesting to say the least. You had put it in fact, I think we talked about this last show. So we won’t spend a ton a ton of time on it. But I still today am not super great at understanding. Like, if I wanted to check my own internal Wi Fi, or my own bandwidth, like, you know, I buy a new router or I buy a new switch. And I kind of want to test the bandwidth between the two. You know, I want to know, hey, do I have full bandwidth out of my computer to my router? Are there ways to do that?

Kevin Schoonover  [56:48] 
Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s it’s a so where I end up getting hit in that area A lot is I spend too much time on forums trying to be that helpful person who helps people out I have Sonos home, scary home audio equipment, whole home audio stuff. And people love and hate Sonos for good reasons. But I can tell you the majority of the time was Sonos, answering questions on user groups ends up being trying to find ways to tell people their Wi Fi is awful, without making them feel bad that their Wi Fi is awful. So some of the tools like the the wind phi here is is a way that you can load it up on a laptop. There’s a lot of good tools from for Android and iPhone as well. handheld analyzer tools. This one I like the because you can load it up. It will screen everything around you. Some of the big ones I looked at with this one in helping people with Sonos is helping them understand that. Oh, you’re picking up It looks like you’re picking up quite a bit of noise and looking at, you know, the top two up there is your 2.4 gigahertz network and your five gigahertz network. But your neighbor’s 2.4 gigahertz network is on the exact same channel as yours is. So let’s try changing your channel. And you’d be amazed at how much noise and interference goes away. Because it’s not just what’s happening in your house. It could be what’s happening in your neighbor’s house, or just walking around the house with one of these. I had a guy kind of swearing up and down that, no, there’s no problem I got great Wi Fi have phenomenal Wi Fi. And he’s walking around the house with with this on laptop. And he come to realize one of one of the areas that a speaker was really driving him nuts. And I’d asked him about other wireless devices because he had a ton of interference. And when it turned out was he had a what a wireless Phone in there that was causing interference. He had a wireless mouse and wireless keyboard that was causing interference. Anything that’s wireless, and if it’s on this, you know, similar bands, it’s going to give you some problems that way. So at first blush, this one will give you some good information from the point of view of what are your signal strengths, like you can, you know, with the laptop or the handheld, you can walk around the house, and you know, see how well you’re filling the corners. Okay, kind of a funny one that pops up once again, back to the sono steel, a guy was saying how, you know, he was one of the speakers would drop out every time he had a party. And, and people are saying, well, it’s your network. It’s not my network, my networks great, but it seems like when there’s too many people in the room, the speaker drops out. That’s crazy. Why would that happen? So I showed the guy that, you know, the human body blocks a lot of wires. And if you if you load this on a laptop, and you stand with the laptop with nothing between the laptop and your wireless device, your, your router, you’ll get one reading. If you turn around and have your body between this and the router, you’ll get a whole different reading. So it is based on the structure of your home. It is based on how many people are packed into an area. So there’s lots of things from that point of view was your question about like throughput in that there are other tools out there like little little too complex, but there’s there’s something called iometer, which is a tool that I’ve played with quite a bit to say load up a load up some files on a server and then go to a your laptop and run iometer You’re just moving data back and forth. So you can see, I might be connecting to Wi Fi at a certain speed. But am I really moving data at that speed?

Jim Collison  [1:01:12] 
I’m installing it on my surface right now by the end of the show. You know, and I think I remember because we talked about this before. And man Windows is trying to trying to really try to key is trying to keep me from installing this thing, you know, because I’m doing a kind of an apt install outside of the outdoor. Yep. And so it is it isn’t outside the store. It is. Yeah, it’s been it’s been a little cautious with me. So we’ll see. We’ll see how this goes. What about a network monitor? If I wanted to kind of see what was going on across all of my network? Is there something for me there?

Kevin Schoonover  [1:01:49] 
So um, this is a little for the more complex side of things, folks who are a little comfortable with more of the heavy lifting PRTG The preszler folks good German company, they they have a product and it focuses on network taps or points, measurement points. So obviously their businesses bigger enterprise, but they offer a free package, you can download the full package, run it for free. And it lets you monitor 100 points. If you want to keep it long term for free, you can monitor 100 devices where I first started playing with this was back in the home server days of you know, you’d have Windows Home server loaded up on a on a server. And there were tools on the server to tell you if you lost a drive in a raid set or there was another problem with the server. But they didn’t have good ways to communicate back and PRTG was one of the first ones that you know gave you this ability to go into that server and say set a trigger point on Drive failure. And you know, we did so much with the HP servers back in the day. HP had a event application that would make the link basically between windows and the raid controllers and carry that information. So if the RAID controller saw Dr die, it would send it over to Windows, Windows would send it to PRTG. And you’d get an email saying, hey, you had a drive die in your home server. So you know a lot of traditional things you can monitor from network bandwidth depending on the networking products you have. It’s one of those that if you haven’t played with it, it’s definitely something to download, pop it in a lab environment, play through it a little bit to see, you know what, what it looks like, once again, as I pick on some of the German companies that I like their tools from from lots of documentation, lots of information. And seemed seems to be working well, yeah.

Jim Collison  [1:04:09] 
What’s the free version? So you get the unlimited version for 30 days. And then it says after 30, it goes back to the free version, what’s the limits on the free version, the

Kevin Schoonover  [1:04:19] 
free version is just 100 monitoring points.

Jim Collison  [1:04:23] 
Okay. And a monitoring point means I need to have the software on every single one of those like a client or something.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:04:29] 
It might be a client for certain things or it’s just what you’ve what you’ve told it to go look at. So it could be a port on a switch, it could be a function in a switch, it could be something you’re pulling from, from that so could be a variety of things from that point of view. But yeah, they they tend to

work out quite quite well.

Jim Collison  [1:04:53] 
There you go. That’s it. That was easy to get up and running. You can see on the surfer yo, what’s going on with what’s up. What’s the name of this one again?

Kevin Schoonover  [1:05:01] 
When fi when fi Wi Fi light is the free version?

Jim Collison  [1:05:07] 
Yeah, so a lot of things on there.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:05:10] 
Yeah, it’s a ton of stuff. And if you go, when you get time to play with it go over to the right side, I think there’s a dashboard view button, take it to basic, that’ll help you kind of understand. But if you look across the top, I think it probably shows you your signal strength. It’ll show you rssi, which is, you know, basically your receiving strength. And then it shows you probably signal to noise ratio as well. So gives you gives you a lot of information about what’s going on with your with every network that it can pick up.

Jim Collison  [1:05:44] 
Yeah. Yeah, clicking on it’s on plus, what’s what it’s what it’s seeing it picked up the debit the bitdefender piece on there, it’s saying the vendor name bitdefender SRL and the band, it’s coming in on the channel. It’s coming And on signal quality. That’s kind of cool. That’s it. Plus it just looks really cool. I think I’m just gonna leave this up. Like, you know, it’s I I put various monitors up behind me, you know, I got the weather going on some and whatever. This looks pretty cool.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:06:16] 
This has a certain level of cool factor when you’re when you’re on zoom calls, you put that up over your shoulder, so

Jim Collison  [1:06:22] 
right yeah, and and, like, What are you? Well, I’ve got one PC, I had over my shoulder for a while that was running, you know, it was running the the burst coin stuff and so I was just constantly rolling through some things and so it it looked cool. everybody’s like, what

is that?

Kevin Schoonover  [1:06:42] 
You know? No, it’s it’s neat stuff. Yeah. So I’m going to try and share a screen here again, if if Can you see what’s up? Yeah, so this is for the networking guys who like to play around with stuff. This is something Pressler just brought up from a freebie point of view. It’s their toolbox. So where I stumbled into this one was so I work for a company who’s a systems integrator, we integrate computer systems for OEM customers, you know, basically a lot of firewall security storage kind of guys. And occasionally they’ll throw a system at us. We had one come in that was a custom built board that they wanted to convert into something else. And the software was very tightly tied to the hardware on the board. And we’re having a little bit of trouble finding out whose network card it was. And I thought, well, he’s got to have a Mac tool, because we knew what the MAC address was. And I stumbled into a priceless tool box has a little tool here that allows you to go in, enter and I enter a MAC address for Ethernet do look up and it will tell you who that MAC address is registered to. Some of the other things that you know they’ve got a port check so you can inside your network. You can check for open ports, DNS lookup. The website, check let’s pick on.

Oh, yes, I agree with terms and conditions.

So we’ll pick on Dave.

No, it wasn’t able to resolve that one. Let’s see.

Jim Collison  [1:08:35] 
You can, you can do the average guy, not TV, everyone.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:08:45] 
So basically it has some, you know, the chrome security function, the Mozilla and Chrome’s lighthouse. And there’s some more drill down on these so you can do a little self exploratory on your own. security aspects, observations around things. So just some interesting information that can be gathered up. Once again, probably not something you’d use on a regular basis. But just something I stumbled across

Jim Collison  [1:09:16] 
with looking at some of the things that wrestler really really good networking tools to I’m going to use right away in, in some testing just some stuff, Tony and said in the chat room, yep, my, my network and a few other locals on channel one. So a good opportunity to kind of see that and be like, oh, maybe I should, I think I have all my channels set to default. One of the things about the bitdefender box, the phone app is way more powerful than the web interface. Like, it’s like they they spent most of their time developing the the the app as opposed to, you know, I’m kind of used to the web being the easiest, most functional, but the best app is the iPhone app, and you

Kevin Schoonover  [1:10:01] 
I’m seeing more and more guys, more and more technology is shifting that way. I won’t click on this one because it will give my local IP but if you ever get if you’re playing with your firewall stuff, and you see you’re getting pinged from IP addresses, IP geolocation will let you look up and it will tell you where that person is coming from. Okay. Cool. So cool, but kind of a neat deal. They’re

Jim Collison  [1:10:26] 
a tool that you and I have talked, I think every time we’ve done this, we’ve talked about this tool. And I in this was a belarc is one of those tools I used back in my commercial federal days. So I actually deployed was it was an admin at the sysadmin time, and I deployed complete belarc solution. Okay, so this would have been 2001 I leave them. I left commercial about 2005 seven Yeah. 2005. So this may have been 2000 to 2003 that I was with these guys. They’ve been around a long time. Time. I don’t know how much development they’re doing right now but man if you want to know everything about your computer, this belarc advisor does it for sure.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:11:10] 
I and this is one where every time I go to use it, I instantly do the well they don’t make that anymore Do they? And you go look it up and there it is. And then you know I’ll do the well nobody’s updating it anymore. And oh look, runs on Windows 10 2016 8.1. You know, so other than 2019 they haven’t updated for that yet but if you haven’t run this, this is my mainstay for. I’m going to backup a laptop hard drive for myself or a friend, friend or family member. And I want to see I want to know everything that’s on that drive before I make the change. This will tell you every program that’s on that drive, it will tell you every license key it has access to. An odd use for this is It’s got a fairly good network analyzer or not the analyzer but document or it’ll show you lots of stuff that there is out on your network, which I find is kind of blows me away that it’s able to do as much as it does. But yeah, Jim, you You brought this one up first. And it’s, it’s been a mainstay it. I can’t tell you the number of times that you know, especially as we try things on computers, and then don’t use it, and then later you go, Oh, I didn’t even remember that was still loaded on there. And I would like to save the license key from that, you know, so it’s a great inventory tool, just phenomenal amount of information.

Jim Collison  [1:12:40] 
Well, I just just four keys, like keys alone stuff you’ve installed that you have keys for I always I always lose those things. And so like I said before, this is one I wish I always like I need to have a sticky that’s this run before you reinstall because you, you get frustrated you’re doing something. I’m just gonna blow this thing away. Start over. And as soon as you blow it away, you’re like, Oh, I should have run belarc on that thing and then gives you a little PDF inventory report that you can save off somewhere. I was looking for a version of mine from old I’ve had I don’t know, I’ve used this a dozen times at least maybe maybe more. Maybe 10s of times. And it’s it’s man it is it is a great like you said it’s a great report. So one I recommend you’ve got some Gary’s utilities on there as well. Is that one that should I’m not I haven’t been a fan of some of these kinds of programs, but she liked this one.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:13:37] 
I like so glarysoft was a click sorry,

Jim Collison  [1:13:41] 
like I said, Gary, but glary

Kevin Schoonover  [1:13:43] 
was a Christian recommendation. And, and you know, a lot of people get really nervous around these because one of the main functions of these is registry editors. And you gotta, you gotta have one you trust. cc cleaners, a decent product in this room. But your glare is one touch function on this. I think we all you know, have worked with PCs enough that if something’s bad out there, you know reinstalling the OS is probably the cleanest way to do that. But I have found glary when you have when you don’t think you have time, or you don’t want to take the time, and you just like to try and clean things up. I’ve had some really good results. I have never had this kill a PC or cause irreparable damage that needed to be dealt with. But I’m the one touch on it, a couple passes with one touch seems to clean up a lot of issues with registry related items. And I’ve just had very good luck with it over the years. So but I think that’s one where I think people do get concerned about toolsets like that.

Jim Collison  [1:14:59] 
We have more Then we’re gonna have time to talk about in here. I’m gonna I’m gonna jump because I have some experience with this. So I want to jump to always think I had put out in the community been so long since I’d used a sinking VSA software and was looking for something to sync between the morrow data box in my Drobo. I wanted to take what was on the morrow data because I wanted a local copy of it, you know, Morrow data only keeps about 752 terabyte in there, but there’s some caching and stuff that goes on. So I 750 get gig. Yeah. And so but I wanted a complete copy of everything local. So I move it over to the Drobo. And I actually have always sync here and I brought the I actually bought the pro version of it, because there’s some limitations on free. It’s been okay, I didn’t mention this on the show. In the past though, I did change the drive letter that I had. mapped. And then it thought that drive course at last. So when I, when I put the new drive in, and it previously been named that drive letter so it took over the drive letter on there, kicked the Drobo off and took it over, of course always sync said, huh, there’s nothing there. So it started doing a full restore, right? Yep, well, that’s too good, or it’s two terabytes. And so it went to Well, of course, it’s not all on that box. So went to backblaze and pulled down two terabytes from backblaze. And then it did it two more times. So three times six terabytes, seven days. cost me about 100 bucks. Mm hmm. Restore from from backblaze. That was a very expensive mistake. I have since moved, always sync from a remote computer to the computer that’s in front of me because I want to know If this thing’s if this thing’s doing it, I need to know it again. Not always syncs fault. My fault for sure. But one of those things,

Kevin Schoonover  [1:17:07] 
yeah, one of those things. Yeah. And I think that’s, there’s a lot of good sync packages out there. But once again, this is the one I tend to go to, mainly because it works like I, I, it makes sense to me the way it works when you set things up. And I first used it when we had a situation where I had multiple people who, we just wanted to grab files off their computers and make one big repository of them. And this was a quick easy way to do that without you know resume without having to worry about them overwriting files, and over the years, just some of the logic behind the way it maintains copies and in the way you can do sync in one direction or do sync in two directions. There’s there’s several different routes to look at with it, but you With any of the sync packages, it kind of comes down to does it? Does it do it the way it makes sense for you to do it? So yeah,

Jim Collison  [1:18:08] 
yeah, it’s super powerful. These guys have been around a long time. And this is my actual, you know, the actual instance of it. One of the, that’s on the screen, one of the it does have a kind of a bandwidth limitation on the free side. So they let you do so much and then they’re kind of like, well, you gotta wait seven days or something like that to. To do that. A Jim in chat says I should set protecting daily tasks. Yes, yes, I should. I should and I don’t think I have yet I need to go back and do that. just just just in case. What tipped me off to it was the kids said we were we were joking about something about how much bandwidth my daughter uses. And I said you want to see and I logged in To the end of the Cox app, and I’m like, holy crap, I at that point, I’d use seven terabytes over the last week. And I’m like, guy, you know? Yeah, yeah. So usually I get a notification from Cox when I’m when I’m gonna go past. I must have blown past that so fast that it this point that I will, I did find at least jocks in my area, there’s $100 cap for them. So, you know, they charge at 10 bucks per or, yeah, 10 bucks per 50 gig after that. They cap it at 100. So you can really i mean that that’s at least handy. I was. Yeah, my initial thought was, I started choking. I was thinking like $10 per 50 gig. I’m dead. I’m gonna owe them like $10,000 Yeah. So

Kevin Schoonover  [1:19:51] 
well it’s once again you know COVID related thing with that is with with the with untangle you get great data. Out of the out of the firewall about what’s going on. And I had thought, you know, my, I did not think my work laptop would be the biggest user of data currently in our house. But then I look at it is I’m, I’m remote. We, as in my role, I’m, I’m linked up to it. We use Dropbox, we use Dropbox for Business, we use Google Docs. And we’ve also got some file share stuff. And it’s all set up to sync. So it all is sinking between my laptop in corporate, and I keep looking at you know, I was blown away by the numbers of I am the word. My work laptop is the biggest load on our network and my work laptop file shares are the biggest amount of data moving in and out of the house right now. Hmm.

Jim Collison  [1:20:53] 
That makes sense, though.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:20:54] 
It does but I wouldn’t have I wouldn’t have thought about it. I wouldn’t have thought about it from that point of view.

Jim Collison  [1:20:58] 
Now. Good. Good. You know that right? Yeah, it’s good to kind of know, I’d like some more reporting like that, just to kind of see the big problem with the bitdefender. Box is it doesn’t give that kind of granularity. It’s so simple. You don’t get that kind of regularity. I want to show Kevin, before we, before we head out, I want to show we did have a couple. This is the first time that I have been that I’ve shared show notes. And so a couple just a couple comments. here’s here’s a look at what we’re looking at. Joe had jumped in Notepad plus plus. Right as a text, kind of a text editing code writing standard writes, got some tools that you use, Kevin,

Kevin Schoonover  [1:21:43] 
I use it a bit, but so several of our once again, the company. I was surprised at the number of our customers that include that in their builds. We’ve got a couple of medical companies that that is the notepads, package that ships with their system. Right so it’s very well done and a very good package

Jim Collison  [1:22:08] 
we also have Visual Studio code which became available back there Visual Studio code which became available for free from Microsoft and so that is there as well Justin thanks for that. mkv there’s a free ripping and make to get those he included a free beta key in there by the way if you want to jump in there that’ll be in the show notes if you want to check that out. I don’t rip Do you rip DVDs anymore?

Kevin Schoonover  [1:22:36] 
Not do not know.

Jim Collison  [1:22:38] 
Yeah, I some do. No judgment. It’ll do. I just don’t I, for the longest time I was ripping DVDs and hand breaking them and doing all kinds of thing for my Flexbox and then I lost all those somehow. And oh, wait when my Drobo went bad. I lost them. And I didn’t have backed up and I knew that I knew about They’re gone, they’re gone. And so I didn’t I after that, I was like, I just don’t think I’m gonna rip DVDs anymore. Hmm, I have a whole stack of them in the living room. They’re just sitting there I wonder how often they’ll be good for. They certainly won’t, they won’t last forever NP NP m AP maps maps to free scan to PDF tool at naps, na p s to calm. And then they Justin adds in some free laptop, scan and update utilities from them as well. We’ll include all those in the show notes they’ll be available out there again, and now that I know what the show is the average slash hgG 455 if you’re listening live and you want to continue to add to the list, I’ll post these over the weekend and so you can kind of continue to update your whatever you want to throw in there. We’ll have a kind of a community list much more than we talked about. Here, and some some other stuff as well. So thanks for doing that. Kevin, thanks for taking some time tonight. How you mentioned the job. How is the job? There was a time when you weren’t in a job? How’s that? How’s the job going? good jobs going very well.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:24:18] 
Businesses remain good. We’ve been very lucky. The company is based out of San Jose. We’re a system integrator. So manufacturing products for other folks. And our production team has been staying active. We had to change how, how we try to it’s a little difficult building systems sometimes when you’re trying to stay six feet away from the person you’re working. So we’ve had to, we’ve gotten very good at looking at manufacturing, efficiencies and how we limit the touch and interaction between people. But yeah, we’ve we’ve stayed good Businesses going well and hopefully, hopefully we’ll be able to travel again sometime in the future

Jim Collison  [1:25:08] 
sometime I don’t

I’m kind of okay without it. The moment I do I’m gonna I need to get out east and see john and Christian and I need to head need to kind of get out that way. At Sullivan go Siyad. So I may drive it. Yeah, it’s a two day or we stayed in a hotel in Kansas City. I mean, in Denver when we went out there, nope. Colorado Springs. And why I just had to name three cities to get there. I don’t know why. But, you know, I can head out the hotels are super clean, like super clean. Yeah. And so two day drive and then I probably stayed there for three days and then two days back, whatever, something like that. I don’t although I priced tickets out to the east coast Boston at $5 one way. What? What? So, you know, I’m kind of torn Kevin, because for 85 bucks, you know, you kind of think that’s a day’s worth now it’s probably not in my civic, it’s probably, I could probably get there no and maybe a day’s worth of gas and may be more expensive to drive than to fly it at $85.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:26:24] 
Right. Well, and that’s in no time, the family here has been bringing up the question that we’re all we’re all a bit concerned about the idea of going someplace, but wouldn’t this be kind of a fun time to just hop in the plane and fly to someplace to enjoy it? So?

Jim Collison  [1:26:45] 
Well, it’s Yeah, although not a bad Not a bad way to get to these coasts for me, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about renting a car and some of those kinds of things that are worth it. So Sarah’s got a trip tobor and that may be my window. There’s a it’s beautiful to be out on the east coast. Oh yes, I may take a week off and and head down now, podcasting responsibilities lighten up in the fall and suddenly get good good opportunity to consecration. I’ve seen him.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:27:16] 
Many, many, many years ago we went to Boston and then up to Maine in the fall season, and beautiful out and in Maine. Basically, we were on a sailing schooner. So just imagine like a bed and breakfast on a boat, and wonderful but it’s to this day best lobster I ever had. We were last day we were looping around the harbor. He dropped the sail on the on the ship, and we pulled up alongside a guy pulling up lobster traps and literally the lobsters came out of the water into a pot downstairs in you basically walked your live lobster down and you came on With a one with a little tub of butter and nice

best best

Jim Collison  [1:28:06] 
I’m doing it the one drawback it’s two full days in the car and then you’re there for three or four and then it’s two full days back and you can’t you just lose that productivity time. Like I just lose. When you fly you know you work at the airport, you can work on the plane You’re right. You just don’t lose kind of lose a day was a chunk of the day. But but so that’d be the one drawback Jim Shoemaker says it needs to be a real emergency to get him back in an airport on an airplane and I don’t disagree. Justin says no car when you when you get here though so I can’t make it to where he’s at. Andrew is like the Amtrak for the wind and that you know, I’m I am a public transportation guy and I guess, but is getting on a train any better than getting on a plane?

Kevin Schoonover  [1:29:01] 
Probably not. Yeah,

Jim Collison  [1:29:03] 
I mean, so from from a COVID standpoint, I’d love to take the train out there from a travel standpoint, just jump on a train. They have Wi Fi. So you could work. You know, you could continue to work. Brian does say first and only trip on Amtrak loved it. No TSA smooth ride. Lots of legroom. That’s all true. Like I took Amtrak from from Portland to Seattle for hours. And oh, man, it’s it is luxury. Like it is like you feel first class like in your in just a regular coach seat. And it feels for they’re never they were like I never sat next to anybody. Was that readiness never set? Yeah. And I never sat back next to anybody and I tons of space. It was great. Yep. Yeah. Yeah. Well, Tony saying he went from Denver to Glenwood Springs on Amtrak. The rafters wound so kids the rafters the rafters, that’s not the raft rafters, but the rafters but the rafters in it. Yeah. Good, good, good call on that. So Andrew says so few people ride the train that there’s lots of room between you. Yeah, I did. It’d be a long train ride have a mask on right now and I’m sure you would, you’d have to

don’t think, yeah.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:30:35] 
kind of thing. There’d be a full day,

Jim Collison  [1:30:37] 
maybe 1224 20 hours, something like that from Omaha, from Omaha to Boston have to see I have to look into it. Andrew and you guys got me thinking. I’m not gonna do it, but I’ll look into it.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:30:51] 
I’ll check it out. And that’s being where I am in the Twin Cities here. It’s always been considered a really good really beautiful run. From here to like Seattle, you know if you if you want it to go that far, because you go through the plains, and then you go into the mountains and then you’re so I’ve been told it’s really a beautiful route to go

Jim Collison  [1:31:17] 
just put some ether in the mask and pass the time away. This is maybe the best at the end of the show. Usually chat drops off at the end of the show. everybody’s like, whatever I’m napping or whatever. And Andrew made sure we got the pronunciation rafters.

Kevin Schoonover  [1:31:35] 
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. So, so I will add one column that pops into my head you mentioned so 2016 through downsizing, I was laid off from the company I was with had been there for 20 plus years. 2018 was hired with the company I’m with right now. Two years is long time to be out of work. You know If anybody is out of work and you’d like to talk about it just hit me up, I’m more than happy to. And to put it candidly, when you’re so I’m 59. Now, when you’re in your late 50s, the best way for you to get a job is to talk to your friends. And it’s networking in the position I ended up in. It was due to a gentleman I used to work with back in the 90s, who he and he and I just kind of bumped into each other online. And he and he kind of did the you you wouldn’t consider coming to work for a smaller company that and and, of course, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking I would do about anything right now just to have something to do. But he and I talked about what the role was what they wanted to get it to be identified interviewed for hundreds I’d send out hundreds of resumes hundreds hundreds of applications and you get hit a ton with the overqualified. I hate I hate the phrase overqualified, but there are, you know, I saw examples where I would go into a company interview for a position, and the conversation would gravitate to a different level. So don’t be insulted by the overqualified statements. Use your network. Don’t be shy about asking your network to think about you when they see positions open up. And another big key that I’ve found for us experienced workers is when you’re talking to HR at a big company, let them know that you would be really good at mentoring their younger employees. And those kind of things seem to End Of course, you have to be able to do that and wanting to do that but just a commercial there for anybody who is struggling to find a position or needs to help in finding position. Can’t say I can find your job but I’m always available to chat. If you have questions about job searches

Jim Collison  [1:34:12] 
Yeah, very flexible right now. It’s so weird. It’s a weird job market right now. I’ve never seen anything. In the 30 years I’ve been doing this and I’ve been doing a lot of recruiting. I’ve never seen anything like this. So it is just Bizarro world out there. You gotta gotta be persistent and and lucky and networked. Like all those kinds of things to to track that down. Andrew, I know Andrew is looking for a job right now and struggling to find one. So it is tough in in, you know, I I just kind of worry sometimes about in gallops a great company, I just, there’s still moments you’re kind of like, I hope you know we got it. We it’s good as it is you got to get through this. And who knows I you know, we could be at the tip of the iceberg on the economy right now. So they’ll be Just don’t know. I mean, if you can, you can run it as well as it can be run. And if it’s just not in the cards, it’s not in the cards. So you know, we weathered oh eight, and oh nine together. And in in, you know, a lot of the folks that are listening here, you know, we’ve been hanging around each other for a while now. And oh, yeah. So yeah, yeah. Just Just make sure you’re leveraging your networks, both for for jobs and for just well being, you know, absolutely I am. I am grateful. There are many of you who are listening who I can ping at any point during the day. And, you know, Ed Sullivan, who has been on the show, and it’s good friend of mine now we’ve we’ve kind of gotten to be better friends during this just by weekend, cigars. Virtually, you know, just out on the deck, he’s on we use zoom. That’s a great way to do that. I’ve got a couple of you that I just painted in a variety of ways, Twitter or whatever, so make sure you’re staying in the loop. A couple reminders before we go we’re live every Thursday 8pm Central nine Eastern out here at the average guy that TV slash live love to have you join the community in some way. If you’re listening for the very first time, man, if you’re listening for the first time you made it this far. Wow. Awesome. Thank you. Thanks, I should send you an award or something for that I should have something if you want to join us over on Patreon. If you like what you do, and you’re hanging around, you want to join us on Patreon. The average guy TV slash Patreon is how to get that done. Kevin, I’m I’m getting closer and closer to a virtual meetup. Like, it’s it was hard to do physical. But now I’m kind of thinking let’s just do this thing virtually. We’ll have the average guy that TV, whatever. meetup and we’ll we’ll get together on a Saturday and I’ll get some folks to present some things and we’ll do kind of what we did here. Yeah, we’ll just do it in a virtual form. It’ll be you know, maybe take four by six hours. A little lunch break, whatever. Maybe you’re tasting in there. Yeah. You know, good, happy. So I’m gonna do, yeah, I’m gonna start looking at some dates here for the fall. And, and just see if we can get together and maybe do a meetup. That way, I may have a lot better chances of actually pulling one of those off. Yeah, yeah. So, you know, Justin says maybe an unconference format or something. Yeah, I might take or just if you got something, you know, just I’ll put out a call for speakers and just say, what do you want to present on and we’ll take four or five of those and you kind of miss the informal walking around and looking at people’s stuff kind of thing. That’s kind of that’s kind of a bummer. But you know, that would be the I don’t know. Well, yeah. Oh, you know what it may be just throw it out there and, and get some ideas from folks on things that may or may not work. So well. We’ll work on that as well. Yeah. Working as well. If you want to contact me if you got some ideas for it, send me an email Jim at the average guy TV. Oh by the way, if you got this far and there’s anything that maybe didn’t make it to the live show, but you’re watching this on YouTube, jump down into the comments and if you got things you want to add like we didn’t cover but some things you want to add just add them in the comments down on YouTube and and we’ll get kind of officially added to the set of things that are there as well. We want to thank Christian for his sponsorship of the average guy TV course he keeps everything running out of Maple Grove Partners get secure, reliable high speed hosting from people that you know and trust his plans still start at 10 bucks still, it’s a pandemic deal. And so you want to head out there and get that no inflation on those they they’re doing pretty well. You can tack on email to that for five bucks if you want to get it done. Maple Grove and again, big congratulations to Christian getting married couple weeks ago

and looking forward to going to see him.

We are live Thursday. I’m just watching the tweets that Tony’s doing on Twitter right now. And he just announced that we’re live Thursday 8pm Central nine Eastern and I heard the average guy TV slash live. If you’re listening live hang around for a little bit of post show that will say

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