Repairing the HP Pavilion dv9700 and what I did with it!

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Laptop was Given to me!

The laptop that was given to me was junked by the previous owner due to it not wanting to boot or do anything but the system would do a constant 3 second boot loop.   It wouldn’t do anything else.   I wouldn’t have thought it was something to worry about!   I know it might have been easy to fix but it was a Nvidea Card that caused the laptop to overheat and burn a wire or kill the Motherboard.   I am sure it was the motherboard because I know he hasn’t used it in a few years but I still smell the burnt wires smell!  it seems to be a problem with some of the older HP systems.

The Story thus far!

I decided to take it complete apart and see if I could fix the problem that usually happens.  Taking the HP DV9700 was no easy task, mind you.   The screws you had to remove to get to the motherboard and fan were a lot!  I assume, It would get to hot and something burns apart or comes loose and you have to to attach the parts back.  As soon as I got to the CPU of the motherboard, I could tell that the laptop was overheating by the smell of burnt wires and the discoloration of the soldier joints.   Even the most experienced technician knows the signs of overheating!

Ebay is my way!

I found one on ebay that is on bids for 30$.   The system doesn’t have a HDD, and memory.   The CD ROM doesn’t work very well.  So for the price of the laptop, I can put all the other components from the other machine that was given to me and make this one work.   My plan for the laptop is to wipe the HDD and once that is done.   Give it to a good organization such as my church and use the receipt from the donation to write it off on my taxes.   I think this laptop will be good for someone who wants to use it for educational purposes.  I will then sell the extra parts on ebay that I know work ad get enough money back for the price of the laptop!  Have you had this problem?  I’d love to hear how you fix it!

Referral Key under handed tactics and why I won’t use them!

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I got this email!

It wasn’t an email that I was expecting with where I worked as a subject.  It wasn’t even something that I would want.   My 3 months are approaching my probationary ending of my 90 days.   So when I got this email, I thought this was something from a friend of mine at work. I was not sure what It was but it seemed like it was a referral service.   It however wasn’t I was expecting.  So I went about looking at what people said about Referralkey.com.  I didn’t expect so many people to talk about it so badly.   Every review I read is that it wasn’t as good as it seemed.

Linkedin Leak our emails!

It seemed there is a way to find out if an email address is actually valid according to some sources.   All they would need to do is try the email address and if it comes back with a person then they have another way to validate an email address.  What was really strange about this is that it didn’t really come from Linkedin.   It came from the referral site, with the email and not with some linkedin!

Referral Key swipes our email address!

Looks to be some sneaky underhanded way to spam people with the hopes that they can refer people and thus you make some money on the side.   I wasn’t really thrilled with how they harvested my email address and I will be going to Linkedin and changing how people can retrieve my email address or even know if they can even view that.   This should’ve been fixed a few months ago but I guess LinkedIn thought it was an unimportant bug.  I’m saying this might make me want to close out my account from them.   I haven’t decided all the way but this is something that I will be a constant reminder about them.

Google Mail hacked? Or is your account password leaked? Google Says no!

GMAIL by Cairo

GMAIL by Cairo

We’ve seen all the headlines!

I’ve checked with several sources for answers.   I can see where people are suspecting their account passwords have been published.  I can’t find it will ever be known.   People have said in one way or another that the passwords are really old and or not used with their GMAIL account.   I suspect these were used in other areas of the internet.   Passwords for sites other than Google.   I even have Google Authenticator for my Google account and thus I have a 2 step verification on my account.

Gmail Passwords leaked?

Now let’s look at this rationally, if your password was really out in the open then you would see more people when you check out the last detailed activity of your GMAIL account or even your Google account.  You’d see more locations than just you.   You would see russian IP’s or even Chinese IP’s.   It wouldn’t be so difficult to see these if you were really worried about your account being hacked.  This is where I am constantly checking from time to time to make sure no one has access!

Bottom line

If you’re really concerned with your password being out in the open for Google or any other major website that you go to often, it should be common understanding that you might just need to change your password or perhaps you could add a second layer to your login such as the 2 step verification. I am using it to prevent unauthorized access to your Google account.  Google has already did a blog post about the likelihood of someone using accessing your account.  They say no to the possibilities!  You could also use a good password generator, and I have talked about them in the past!  Although the A million leaked passcodes for Google Authenticator could be valuable to anyone they can’t do anything without two more factors!  It however is a BIG joke on anyone who takes it really seriously!   I did for a second until a thought about it!

Why wanting that android phablet (Fablet) is a sin!

phablet, tablet, smartphone  by Maria Elena

phablet, tablet, and smartphone by Maria Elena

What is a Phablet?

It is basically a Phone and a Tablet.   It  typically have screens that measure (diagonally) between 5.01 to 6.9 inches (130 to 180 mm).  It is such that you have a really big portable browsers, playing game, watching movies using your Carriers cell network.  You can always buy an unlocked Phablet from Amazon.com but that can bring a whole mess of troubles from your carrier.   They tend to frown upon it but that is just them.   The sad truth is that they are worried about network congestion and over use of the towers.   So they claim that they can’t handle it all.  So they institute what is commonly referred to data caps.   Which in my book is not true but they do anyways!

Flirting with that Phablet!

Once you’ve found that Phablet and you keep looking at it.   You done for, there is no hope for you after that.   We’ve got several different ones to choice from.   The LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and then the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 are the current ones in the market to be consider a phablet.   It however isn’t the only ones that you need to worry about!  There are a few on Amazon that could be cheap competitors (Affiliate Link) to the high priced versions.  Even then you have you to wonder about some of the phablets out there, how fast or how much space is on it.

Making the Choose!

It can be any Phablet you may want, I have been using the Life View Unlocked (Blue) From Blu (Amazon Affiliate Link).  I chose the Life View for many factors but one of the many factors was because it was so closely classified as a Phablet and even though it is a little bigger than a regular phone it is a great phone to have! If your looking for more power than the LG G2 or even the LG G3 would be your best bet.  You should look to find an Unlocked phone and buy it without contract.  You will more likely to get what you want a phone to use on any carrier and not having to worry about extra payments.

Some Choices for you to make!

I figured if you here for the phablet you should have a few good unlocked choices for you to consider when you make that final decision and go for it.  These are only a few android phablets that you could chose to make your own:

    • Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G LTE Smart Phone (Unlocked) (Amazon Affiliate Link) —  For the price ($299), you get some great features a 13MP camera on back and Front is a 5MP.   6.1 Display HD and you get 16Gb of space.   It resembles the LG G2 with some of the functionality and design.
    • HTC One Max 32GB 4G LTE Unlocked  (Amazon Affiliate Link)– The Price is over $400 on Amazon but I had the HTC Inspire and loved the phone.  I am probably impartial to it because it was a very good phone when I bought the Inspire but it was old and needed to be replace.  You can do so much with this phone that I could spend several paragraphs on it.
    • Life View Unlocked (Blue) By Blu (Amazon Affiliate Link)– This is my last pick for people who are wanting a phone and tablet on the Go. It is just over 200$ but it is far better than paying 500$ dollars for a phone for 2 years. I’ve been using this phablet for over a month successfully and haven’t look back.  You get so much with this phone a 12MP back and 5mp Front. Playing Games and videos are so nice and easy for the person always on the go.

As you can see I have sinned because I went to the darkside and bought me a Phablet myself and I am really happy with it.   Finally, I hope this article has helped you make it easier for you to buy a phablet!

Why File Encryption on Android is Hotter than Jennifer Lawrence!

Jennifer Lawrence By Gage Skidmore

Jennifer Lawrence By Gage Skidmore

File Encryption for Android

With the recent hack into Jennifer Lawrence’s account and her pictures and documents were copied without her knowledge.  We all know that if you didn’t encrypt your phone you would be just as much the responsible as the next person.   Most teens and young Adults never really think about how’d they would feel if there pictures were copied without their knowledge.  We’ve known that all photos are automatically uploaded to a server to protect them from getting lost.   Android does this also probably without your knowledge sometimes.   I get emails and notifications when they are uploaded to Google+ to share with friends and family.  So the problem persists, what can we do to prevent unauthorized access to those delicate photos that you might not want anyone else to get or even see!

Encrypting the Whole Phone

The problem with this for Android is, it can be quite difficult to recover your pictures and stuff if your android won’t start or even load up.   It also can be very difficult to use with services such as Google Drive or Google Photos.   Since they will automatically un-encrypt them to upload them to server.   You really can’t use this feature to protect your Photos and other such files unless you DO NOT Trust anyone or Anything else except the phone.   Then if you lose the phone or it gets damaged then you have lost photos that you might of wanted to keep.  I only suggest this option for my clients who are Doctors, or Lawyers who might need to keep their patient or client information safe.   It isn’t really a fool-proof method and I am sure somewhere, some program can crack the encryption.  If you are wanting to go this route, please check out a good article from How To Geek on Phone encryption for the Android Device!

Alternatives to Phone Encryption!

We have several ways to go about encrypting the delicate photos or most documents that you might not want anyone to see without doing a full Phone encryption on the Android device!  I’m going to talk about a few of them on this article to help you start the journey into keeping your pictures safe and documents safe.  This isn’t for everyone and you should know if you do not trust the application, I wouldn’t install it.   Here are a list of Free Applications to Encrypt the files you might need to keep safe!

  • Sophos Mobile Encryption — This worked with Google Drive and dropbox with very little problems on my end.   I’d it out for a few days and it seems to do the job really well. I however had some beginning problems with it because i had to figure out how to make it encrypt files but once I did it was a real snap.
  • File Locker — This one doesn’t have any cloud storage solutions but can be good to encrypt the file before uploading to a cloud storage like Google Drive.   I found this one to be easy and not so hard.   Each file can have a unique passphrase so that is the only downfall on this.   You could have several different passphrases for any given time.
  • ES File Explorer — Another good one that has some good Cloud Support like Dropbox, SugarSync, OneDrive, Google Drive, S3 and More.   It can’t encrypt files on the drives themselves so it is only good to download them and then upload the encrypted file.   It however is another good Alternative then not having anything at all!

I’ve only had a chance to play around with these few three but there are ones that are paid application that might do even better jobs than these.   It is how you use the applications that will help you protect your files and what you want to protect most of all!  With all the photo leaks going on, I would rather have my stuff encrypted before it goes to the cloud.   This way I do not have to worry about unauthorized access to the files in question.  I have no doubt that someone will come up with even a better way to keep your files safe but until then this is my recommendation for those who might want to at least start the process and keep the delicate files from being viewed or copied.   These applications worked on my Blu View Phone and I had no problems with them on my phone.   So go take a look at these and see for yourself.

The RCA 7″ Tablet with 8gb Memory (RCT6077W22) battery Dilemma problem!

The RCA Tablet 7″

When my kid got this tablet (RCA 7″ Tablet [Amazon Affiliate Link]) , it was the one thing that got her excited.   She saved up the 70 dollars to buy this in March.   It wasn’t more than 3 months old when this started to happen.   The symptoms of what happened were quite interesting.

Symptoms

  • The battery wouldn’t keep charge
  • It would get really hot while charging
  • it would go from 100% to 50% in under an hour

these were just a few of the symptoms that it was showing signs of the last days of the battery.   One day I looked at the tablet and it was split in two.   I thought one of the kids did it but in fact the battery pushed the back off.   The tablet wouldn’t turn on or anything.   So I had to go through some hoops, but finally I found the right number to call to replace the 7″ tablet which is (877) 284-7942.  In the end it took 21 minutes to call and get a new tablet sent to me for my kid.   

Final word

All in all, if I ever get another tablet it probably won’t be from RCA but maybe a Hisense product.   I’ve got the 32″ Hisense Television (Affiliate Link) and I am really happy with it.   So I have to believe the HISENSE Sero 7 Pro 7 Inch 8GB Tablet (Affiliate Link) will do or be just as good as the television.  Even the RCA mobile Phone that I bought wasn’t that good to begin with. Hopefully the next tablet will last a few more months so I can give her a better tablet for christmas!

  • Darth Vader
  • FB_Perm_explained

Darth Vader’s Guide to Facebook Messenger

Darth Vader

Today will be a day long remembered. It has seen the death of Kenobi, and soon the fall of the rebellion.  {Darth Vader}

Facebook Messenger

I’ve seen posts by Huffington Post about the security and liabilities of the app.  I then have seen people talk about the Permissions on Facebook VS Permissions of Messenger.   I’ve tried apps such Advance Permission Manager on Android to prevent some of these permissions.   I haven’t really tried to go deep into these permissions but some of them may be well unrequired and should be throwing up red flags for others.

Facebook Permissions

May Permissions on Facebook Page talks about what you are allowing when you install the Facebook App on Android!

The Facebook app on Android has some minor things that I worry such as:

  • write call log
  • test access to protected storage
  • modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
  • view Wi-Fi connections
  • download files without notification
  • connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi

As you can see these are just a few of why I  would  need these.   In one way or the other Facebook probably knows even more about me than my mom.   I am sure these aren’t that great to begin with but I am more concerned with what permissions the Facebook Messenger has.

Facebook Messenger Permissions

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My Permissions of Messenger Page talks about all the permissions your giving away when you install this App!

Now we are getting down to the underbelly of the beast.  I’ve done my research and some of this seems kind of uncalled for.   Here we will talk about some of these permissions in depth.  Some of your questions can be answered by reading Mashable’s Post about the permissions.

As much as that makes it sound like an NSA spying tool, the Messenger app does not do anything or ask for anything different than the regular Facebook app.  (Mashable)

Which is a totally wrong, It is more different from the regular Facebook App permissions.  We can simply see that by the reviewing the two permissions and seeing the difference.  We are required to accept more from the Facebook Messenger app than we do with Facebook alone.   Like having it automatically download a new version of the app.   It isn’t like we have a choice in the matter unless we are saying the app is only going to get better which it may or may not.   We also have to concern with Sending MMS and SMS through this app.  Why doesn’t Facebook do that or need to do?    There is also a way around some of these permission.  Do not set up your phone number with these app and they will not be able to use your phone as a SMS or MMS.    Most of the time we can prevent some of these at the start of adding a new app.   We just simply hit the SKIP button to prevent them from getting the information they so readily want and wish for.

Should I be concerned!

I would have to say I am a little more concerned than most because I think half of what you get from Facebook isn’t telling the whole truth and we are being logged and watch for their benefit and not ours.   They want this information to better track you and learn more about your so they can target Advertising and other such ways to make money with their Applications.   I can not say for certain that they are 100% doing things for our benefit but I know if they make an application freely they are going to have to have a way to pay for it in the future and this is one such application that I am waiting for the advertisements to begin.   Whether we see small advertising on the screen somewhere or we get SMS from Facebook about a product or service.   It is bound to happen, I can pretty much put that in the bank.

In this post I pointed out what you should be concerned with and in hopes will honor me by using my Amazon Affiliate link to show your support with my efforts.   It helps me pay my bills for my website.   It cost you nothing and keeps the lights on with this website!

 

Some Common Questions about these phones RCA A1 and the Blu Lifeview!

RCA A1 4/7' Unlocked Phone

I’ve Been asked these questions!

When I started showing off the phone to my friends and family.   Some of the questions I got were really cool and others were quite hard to answer with a one sentence answer.   So with my friends, and family asking these questions.   I thought it was time to answer these as a post to all those who have these questions about the RCA A1 (Amazon Affiliate Link) and the Blu LifeView 5.7′ Phone (Amazon Affiliate Link).

First off these questions come from people asking these questions that I felt should be answered in one place for others to find.   It is my hope that this will stop people from asking me directly.   Although, it is bound to bring even more questions to me but at least it should stop some of these most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Storage Capabilities

RCA A1 —  For this phone you can add up to 32 GB of of extra space to the phone.   You get 4 gb of internal space, so you will have to go by a Micro SD card to put into the phone for extra storage.   I found this to be very complicated to the phone because you had to do a lot of jumping through the OS to move apps to the new SD card.

Lifeview By Blu — This phone has a maximum of 16gb and you really only get around 14 gb or 15 gb of storage space but that has not been a problem for me.   I have pretty much decided this phone is Rock solid for the most parts.  I haven’t had any space issues and I’ve put all my photos to Google Cloud.  There is no Micro SD slot for this phone!

Speed

RCA A1 — Will get 3G/EDGE on any Carrier that supports HSPA 850/1900 Spectrum.   The default list that I tried this one were T-Mobile and AT&T.  Both work flawlessly on the phone and I suspect it would do that fast on almost all other carriers.

Lifeview By Blu — It will go as fast as 4g but it isn’t an LTE phone.   This means you can expect to get around 10 to 15 MBps which would allow you to stream video from your carrier if you have unlimited service.  It however depends on get 4g in your area.   It will go to 3g if no 4g is available.   It depends on signal strength also.

Contrast and Compare

I was asked by a few people about each phone and it was hard to tell them.   So this is where we talk about the phones of each and I’ll tell you my thoughts.

RCA A1 — Was a good phone for the price.   You could do a lot with it but the camera was not better than any other low priced phone.   The maximum was 5mp and so it wasn’t all that good.  I liked the size of the phone but there was no way to protect the phone.  It was a good phone for the price.

LifeView by Blu — Love this phone ever since I got it.   It has what I needed and the picture quality is above par!  The size is a little bigger than I liked but it has been a very useful phone for my purposes and if I had to recommend one of these phones, I would have to say this one.

The RCA is good for the ones who have a lower budget but the LifeView (Amazon Affiliate Link) can do so much more than I ever thought it was possible.   I am very glad to of gotten this phone and to tell people about this.   I really can’t say much more about this phone but I just like this phone!

Some Unlocked Android Smart Phones for under $100 That should work on Straight Talk




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BLU Advance 4.0 Unlocked Dual SIM Phone (Amazon Affiliate Link)

  • Unlocked Dual SIM Phone, Dual Core 1.3 GHz Processor
  • 4.0″ High Resolution WVGA Display
  • 3.5 mm Audio Jack, FM Radio, MP3 Player, MP4 Player Micro SD Slot up to 32GB
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 4GHSPA+ 21 Mbps 850/1700/1900: Nationwide AT&T: Cricket Wireless, Tracfone, Straight Talk, Net10, H20 Wireless, 420 Wireless, Black Wireless, Consumer Cellular, Pure TalkUSA, Red Pocket, Telcel America. T-Mobile: MetroPCS, Lyca, Speedtalk, Go Smart, Simple Mobile, Net10, Straight Talk, Solavei, Ultra Mobile, Telcel America, Walmart Family Mobile.
  • 5 Megapixel Camera W/ Flash!
  • Comes in Black or White!

This phone is looking promising because I have the Blu Life View Unlocked Phone.   I bought that one for $240 but this would be a good 3rd or 4th best for those who are looking to keep it under 100$   So far it should work on most of the major telecom providers including Straight Talk as you can see!

BLU Dash Music 4.0 D272a Unlocked Dual SIM Phone (Multiple Colors) (Amazon Affiliate Link)

  • Unlocked Dual SIM 4.0-Inch High Resolution WVGA Display, Dual Core 1.3 GHz Processor
  • Dual Stereo Surround Speaker; 4 GB ROM, 512 MB RAM + microSD up to 64 GB
  • 3.2MP Camera with Geo-tagging and touch focus; HTML5 Browser
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot; Bluetooth v4.0; 1500 mAh Battery
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, 4G HSPA+21Mbps 850/1900: Nationwide AT&T: Cricket Wireless, Tracfone, Straight Talk, Net10, H20 Wireless, 420 Wireless, Black Wireless, Consumer Cellular, Pure TalkUSA, Red Pocket, Telcel America. T-Mobile: MetroPCS, Lyca, Speedtalk, Go Smart, Simple Mobile, Net10, Straight Talk, Solavei, Ultra Mobile, Telcel América, Walmart Family Mobile supported in most areas; check with your service provider.

Another Blu Product that looks like it’s designed for those people who love to play music and videos on the wifi.   I would classify this one as being ranked at 2 or 3rd best for under 100$.   Even though this one is on the upper 100$ range it would bring more to the table for those who just want a Pandora, or Music player!

DOOGEE DG150 MTK6572W Dual core 1.2GHz 3.5 Inch Screen Android 4.2.2 Unlocked Phone GPS Bluetooth (orange)  (Amazon Affiliate Link)

  • Supports 2GB-32GB Tf card
  • Unlock GSM 850/900/1800/1900 Mhz,WCDMA 850/2100 Mhz.
  • MTK6572 Duad Core Android 4.2.2 RAM 512MB ROM 4GB
  • 3.5 inch IPS Screen ,Front 1.3 MP+back 2 MP Camera.
  • Detected over all products before shipping.
  • Warranty:6months.
  • IP67(waterproof, shockproof, dustproof)

Very interesting Phone for those who might need to have it not be damaged as quickly.   I can’t say how waterproof or shockproof this phone is but I would have to say it will have some degree of water or shockproof capabilities.   It looks to be very useful for outdoor types who are wanting a sturdy phone that can be somewhat rugged look and feel.

 

Dell Venue Unlocked GSM Phone with Android 2.2, 8MP Camera, Touchscreen, GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – Black (Amazon Affiliate Link)

  • This unlocked cell phone is compatible with GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile. Not all carrier features may be supported. It will not work with CDMA carriers like Verizon Wireless, Alltel and Sprint.
  • 8MP Camera that shows off every detail; Android 2.2; 1GHz Processor
  • 4.1″ AMOLED Touchscreen Display; Full Adobe Flash 10.1; Wii-Fi; GPS; Bluetooth
  • MicroSD card slot for expandable memory; Slim & Lightweight; HQ Corning Gorilla Glass for extra strength.
  • Stunning 10.4 cm (4.1) WVGA AMOLED, multi-touch display.

This is by far the last one that I would recommend.   It should do Straight Talk and some other ones but probably not all carriers.   I can not say if this will work on your network but it is one of the more useable phones out there that is under 100$.