Logitech Legacy Camera’s May Work with Windows 10

Not sure why I wrote this article. I think I’ve watched too many Mythbusters  episodes and now that Jamie and Adam never want to work with each other again I’ll need to bust my own myths. Sometimes that itch needs to be scratched. This is probably why I wrote this short article. I needed to find a valid excuse to avoid trimming the trees. Now I’m answering the question of the century. Will your old Logitech webcam work with Windows 10?

Webcams are pretty cheap now but what if you have an older Logitech will that old QuickCam software still work if you upgrade ? And why are you hanging on to 10-year-old technology? Maybe you’re happy with Windows Vista/7/8.x or you’ve moved on to Windows 10? Or maybe you have an older computer that wants to become a petcam.

If you’re using Windows Vista/7/ 8.x and you just need to find the driver again to reinstall you could use Driverupdate software,navigate Logitech’s website or you could risk malware infections and PUPS (Potentially Unwanted Programs) being installed on your machine trying to download old drivers from download sites that add unwanted programs in their install. My two-hour detour trying to avoid some household chores resulted in some interesting discoveries in search of ancient web cams.

Some legacy drivers will not work with Windows 10. But here’s the official list of webcams purported to work with Windows 10 directly from Logitech . Chart of Logitech’s official support under Windows 10 for older product versions.  They also have an FTP site for legacy products.

Out of curiosity, I called up my old Logitech Orbit AF from retirement

quickcamafto see if the new Windows 10 Driver lws280.exe would work. It installed but advises incompatibility issues. Knowing the consequences of drivers causing instability and crashes, I backed up my settings and was able to install the Windows 10 software for my legacy Orbit AF.  It worked! I did have to sacrifice my horizontal/vertical controls which don’t seem to be supported. But it works perfectly with Skype and I can also use it as a doggie cam in a pinch.


Android Pay Tap Ten Program Taps My Patience

In September of 2015, Google launched its Android mobile wallet payment solution which still has a very limited participating retail list. See list: Android Pay Partners. If you’re lucky to be located near one of the participating retail stores that has something you need it’s very convenient.  You can keep all those wallet-busting credit cards and loyalty cards inside your Android phone.  Mobile payments could be the cure for the fat “wallet ass” problems men have forever been dealing with. But things have been going slow for Android Pay due to usability issues by experienced by users and store clerks. Which is probably why you’re now seeing TV ads for Samsung Pay presumably capitalizing on the frustrations of Android Pay users.

Most retail stores do not hire their clerks for their computer tech savviness and they already have an assortment of payment possibilities including, Google Wallet, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay in addition to multiple card swipe options. Store clerks use the  equipment the establishment offers and likely get minimal training for the several mobile payment options now available.

The Samsung Pay ad begins with the guys behind the counter going into stitches when a customer approaches the counter asking to use his smartphone for Android Pay. “It don’t work,” one of the guys laughs as the others join in letting the customer in on the joke. So the customer says, “here try it”  and low and behold he taps, it works and he pays. Everyone gets high fives.

That’s not too far from the truth from my experience with Android Pay. First you are reminded to turn on Android “NFC”. This enables the near payments process layer. Then you have to figure out how to dance with the swipe device. This requires some thinking. Do you just touch it to the swipe screen? Do you swipe it?  Don’t bother asking the store clerks –most are as confused as the users. Oh, and you have to hit the “pay it” icon too.Too many steps.

Google realized that they were falling behind the Tap wars so they introduced the “Tap tapten1Ten” rewards program in late January. The program offered customers rewards of a free music track for every few taps. When you got to ten purchase “taps” you could redeem your 10th tap for a Chromecast device. Whoa! Great deal! Retail cost is 35 USD. I started tapping, and tapping and tapping and finally reached my tenth Tap at Walgreen’s (the only convenient store near me). I was starting to feel very weird about buying one paper towel a day, and becoming compulsive about tapping. Why didn’t I just didn’t buy one. But like Pavlov’s dogs or pigeons pecking for a cocaine rush.  I kept at it.

On my tenth tap, while sitting in my car in the parking lot surrounded by my paper towel, I felt the dopamine rushing to my brain in anticipation of the big reward. With another wave of tap-induced steroid adrenaline streaming through my veins, I tapped to redeem the two remaining songs and then went for the Big Kahuna, the Chromecast.  I had visions of black, red, or yellow Chromecasts dangling from my TV’s HDMI port and streaming binges on weekends. But nothing seemed to happen after my final tap. I thought I did something wrong so I backtracked to click on a previous song while Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” played endlessly in my head. Then a minute later, a code flashed quickly by.  I figured that Google had a way to seamlessly capture and register that promo code which is needed at the online Google Chromecast store. Google is a payment processing player and an engineering company. They’ve been operating Google Wallet for several  years so they should know better. I looked in settings. Nope. No code there. It was gone forever.

While the program ended at the end of Febuarary you have until March 31, 2016  st to redeem the Chromecast.  After six calls to Google Support and escalations, they are still trying to figure out how to get me a code.  Of course, software companies have been using one-time registration codes forever and intuitively now how to issue and deliver a replacement code.  Apparently, Google hasn’t solved this technical rubic’s cube yet.

Waiting a week for customer service responses and resolution from a company like Google is not acceptable. I don’t know if I’ll ever receive a code and get my black, red or yellow Caster.  Are you a happy tapper? Did you tap your way to ten and get the Chromecast of your dreams or were you left streaming in the wind?

Update: Google support finally got back to me and issued a redemption code. I was able to redeem it for a new Chromecast. The optional fast delivery shipping charges were $12.00 or almost 1/3 the cost of a Chromecast. But that’s fine. It was my option to elect two day delivery.


Day Ten: Nomorobo Eliminates All of My Robocalls!

I promised to update you on my progress using Normorobo. After ten days using the service, the verdict is in. It’s a game changer for me. No more interruptions to my concentration from companies telling me how they’re going to get me on page one of Google Search. I’ve gone from about ten robocalls per day using two Vonage lines connected to the Nomorobo service to zero. That would amount to 1800 calls for one line and 3600 calls a year for the two. No more pollster calls, dinner interruptions or early morning weekend calls. I’m thrilled. If I were you I’d give it a try. It’s free and if it doesn’t work for you just delete the Nomorobo number from your telephone services Simulcall feature! Here’s another recent review from AARP. The AARP article missed support for other major services including Verizon FIOS, Comcast Xfinity and others.The concern there is that people with cognitive loss may be duped by unscrupulous callers. If you’re concerned about your older family members you might consider setting it up for them too! – Howard

Outwitting Robocallers – Say Goodbye to Scammers and Unwanted Callers

Life is full of little annoyances and the opportunity to take one off the list frees up more time and it maybe it will eliminate 1 mm Hg off the blood pressure scale. One major annoyance to me is recorded Robocalls. You know the kind.  Is your site listed on the first page of Google? Hi, this is John from Microsoft. Did you know your computer was infected with Ebola? It’s hard to believe that I missed a service that started that 2013 to solve this problem. If I missed it then maybe you did too. The free service is Nomorobo http://www.nomorobo.com/. It works like a community sandbox. That is, it relies on a collective pool of reported robocall numbers in a database gleaned from other users. It then matches that number instantly to determine if it’s a robocall or a real person trying to get in touch. If it decides it’s a robot call it diverts the call and you’ll just hear one ring which you can ignore.  How Does Nomorobo Work? It uses the Simultaneous Ring” feature offered by many telephone services. You add the toll-free Nomorobo number to your simultaneous ring” list. Nomorobo gets the call as soon as you do and instantly compares it to the robocall database. If it finds a match it quashes the call. Simple and free are two words I like.  I’m testing the service and will update this blog to let you know how it works. Supported carriers include: AT&T U-Verse, broadvoice, Comcast Xfininity, fronteir, ooma, optimum, (what’s with all this lower case branding?), SONIC, SureWest, TimeWarnerCable, Verizon Fios,Voip.ms, VOIPo, Vonage, WAVE, and 1-VOIP. I give it 5 stars out of 5!  Signup here.

Asurion Refurbished Phones May Cause Inability to Unlock AT&T Phones – On the trail of the unrequited​ IMEI!

Did you get a replacement phone from AT&T  or another carrier using phone insurance partner Asurion? You may be sitting on a potential device unlocking headache. I just wasted hours trying to figure out why I couldn’t unlock my “refurbished” S6 Active replacement phone. Since I met all the requirements the phone should have unlocked, but the AT&T system kept refusing.

After sleuthing about for two hours with AT&T customer service and going through the device unlock portal I have  a possible scenario while I await official confirmation. 1) broken phone is returned for replacement to Asurion 2) the previous owner of that phone has unresolved outstanding payments or contract requirements 3) the unique IMEI  passed along to the new owner may also pass along unfilled contract requirements. I suspect this could be the result of a data entry problem by someone at Asurion.

Device requirements for ALL requests

Devices must:

  • Be designed for use on, and locked to, the AT&T network. (Questions? See Device Unlock Support )
  • Not be reported lost or stolen
  • Not be involved with fraudulent activity
  • Have all service commitments and installment plans completed and all early termination fees paid in full
  • Not currently be active on a different AT&T customer’s account


I’m waiting for the resolution of this problem which hopefully will be in a  few days. If you own a refurbished device from AT&T (or another carrier) and meet the requirements for eligibility to have your phone unlocked, but are getting the same error, I’d like to hear about it. Let me know by posting a comment. And perhaps you should ask your carrier too!

I would assume that unpaid balance information (connected to an IMEI) from the former owners would be considered privacy protected information. On the other hand, Predictive Analytics are all the rage and knowing the aggregated profile of a smartphone holder default behavior (nonprivate anonymous information) could be interesting to other companies seeking to profile bad risks.

Update 7/22

Spoke to AT&T Customer Support person yesterday who had the presence of mind to escalate to his manager. Whenever I spot an up and coming outstanding customer support person I always ask to speak to his/her manager and tell them they have a good hire. Which I did.  Initial review of prior owner IMEI not showing outstanding balance.  It is still a mystery to AT&T and I am still inconvenienced.

Did You Know You Can Easily Create Multiple Virtual Desktop Views in Windows 10?

There is a useful new feature in Windows 10 that is so easy to miss. It’s the ability to create multiple virtual custom desktops with a unique set of apps running in each one. It’s insanely easy to do. If you have two or more monitors you can even have more “virtual desktops”. Creating a virtual desktop allows you to create uncluttered screens with just the applications running you need. This is not new but has previously been available from third party publishers.  What can you use it for?

  • Create screens for your personal use like recipes, sports events etc.
  • Great for devoting one desktop to a project for clients

Here’s how to do it:

  • Click on the multi-view icon smalldesktop located at the bottom of your desktop screen.


You will see small thumbnail representations of the desktop. To the extreme right, you will see a [plus sign]: Click on the  +  sign to add New Desktop.

  • The new desktop appears on the bottom of the screen next to the existing one.
  • You can navigate through multiple desktops by using the keyboard combinations:  Windows key start  + Tab key.
  • To delete a desktop hover over it. You will then see an X appear. You can now delete one or all virtual desktops if you no longer need them.
  • A tip:  Pressing the  start Windows key and the [ + ] sign will magnify (zoom in) and pressing the  start and [ – ] key will zoom out. This is key combo shortcut for the Windows Magnifier tool.

Howard Sobel, Editor

Hey Cortana How Do I Get You To Listen To Me?

Hey Cortana How Do I Get You To Listen To Me?

Windows 10 has a virtual assistant named Cortana but to get the most out of it you’ll have to activate it. Without a little bit of research on your part might hailing Cortana might fall on deaf ears. Here’s a quick start guide to getting Cortana’s attention.

Cortana can do a lot of things for you by voice commands on your PC. For example it can help you manage your calendar, track packages, find files, search the net, tell you what the weather forecast is chat with you, and even tell jokes. Since Cortana can be trained to your voice, the more you use Cortana the more is leans your habits and patterns and the more customized your results will be.

Here’s how to get Cortana working for you.

1) Click on the Start button


2) Click on Settings


3) Type Cortana into the Search Bar


4) Click on Cortana & Search Settings


This will bring up the settings screen for Cortana.

Turn “On” blue radio button for Cortana to get it to give you more suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts and more.  Turn on blue radio button “Hey Cortana” to get Cortana listening to your commands.  You can choose respond best to “To Anyone” and Learn My Voice. Cortana will now begin the process of learning your voice and your computer habits. As the training progresses you will find that your results start getting much better. Now start having fun with Cortana your new personal assistant!

Windows 8.1 Automatic Repair Endless Loop Will Make you Loopy

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My very trustworthy Asus notebook running Windows 8.1 threw a fit today. Windows has a built-in Automatic Repair tool that diagnoses and helps you repair problems that prevent you from booting up normally.

I’ve encountered this feature many times before and it always goes into an endless loop of rebooting trying to fix the problem. Ideally, you just insert a bootable Windows 8 or 8.1 DVD and it will grab all it needs to make the repair.

Yesterday, I spent nearly two hours waiting for it to finally find the files it needed to make the machine bootable.  I used both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 disks. But wait, that was after 25 reboot attempts. After about the 17th reboot attempt, I was about to capitulate. I walked out of the room to get some work done on another PC. When i came back Windows 8.1 was up and running. The Blue Screen of Death (BSD) we thought went away is just hidden from your view by Automatic Repair. My advice is to let Automatic Repair reboot as long as your patience will allow in the hopes it may recover. I’ve found System Restore to be a hit or miss process. But I always use it when given the opportunity. In the above case, system restore did restore the system but only after Windows Automatic Repair was able to resolve the boot up problem through the nightmarish process of playing chicken with Windows.  Since we know that sooner or later most of us are going to run into system corruption issues you might as well prepare for it.

Planning for Disaster and System Recovery

Who doesn’t hate doing a clean install? It takes a lot of time if you have lots of desktop applications installed. The good thing about Apps and AppStores is you can bring all your apps back without having to find the registration codes. Windows 8.X has a good options for refreshing all the necessary system files that may be corrupted and that cause programs to crash. It’s the Refresh But Save My Settings feature. This will preserve all your custom settings and files but you’ll need to reinstall all of your software. I would keep a list of all your installed desktop apps. Take a screen shot of your control panels “Uninstall Programs” screen or you can write them down. or capture them with the Evernote screen app. I also recommend that you put all executable files in a download directory (preferably on redundant storagte) and all registration codes should be written down and backed up to a USB flash drive or disk not on your computer.

Oh and  just one more thing.  Backup all your files and applications install media to a hard drive and cloud based storage. If you do all this you’re going to have a really good chance at recovery with the shortest amount of down time. You can even plan periodic Windows Refresh to keep your machine running fast.You can also create a system image and back up that image to an external hard drive. System images are sometimes corrupted too so don’t bet on any one horse.

It isn’t fun but at least you be online again in a couple hours once your system suffers a major crash IF your organized and have planned and implemented your reconstruction strategy before disaster strikes.  – Howard Sobel

Howard has reviewed, written about, tested, marketed, published and distributed software for two decades. He is the co-founder of the Windows User Group Network (WUGNET) a serial entrepreneur and product marketing consultant.

Computer Repair Scam Telephone Call Still Claims Victims

Some of you have probably gotten these calls and hung up. If you haven’t been called beware.  This is going on across the USA. I received  a call from a friend yesterday who needed to unlock his  computer which was held ransomed by a gang from India. Here’s how the scam goes. An agent will call you and tell you they are from Microsoft, AOL, or some other trusted company and they need to take over control of your computer to fix the problem. If you let them take control they will ask you to go to a link or run a small piece of software they put on your computer. This bogus anti-virus program runs for a few minutes and then shows results which indicate your computer is infected. (The results come up so fast that more experienced computer users would know that it couldn’t have possibly scanned the entire computer). These results are fictional and often are just entries in your Windows registry file.  If you agree to let them fix it they will start making changes which will allows them to lock you out unless you pay anywhere from $100-500 dollars to be sent by Western Union or some other third party payment system. If you refuse they will lock you out. Sometimes they will give you a number to call back later and pay the  money after a few hours of hopelessly trying to restart your computer. If you don’t have a backup and will lose important information you don’t have much choice.  In today’s case, I’m pretty sure they didn’t encrypt (scramble the hard drive) because the technique I used to get it to unlock worked unless they were really bad amateurs!  I called the thugs back to have some fun and a guy picked up after twenty rings who answered “Secure PC” with what sounded like an Indian accent. Sometimes the caller ID will come from a local number. Note that It’s easy to create a virtual local phone number on Skype or Google Talk. That’s what security experts recognize as a good social engineering technique. Don’t let anyone scam you on the phone into letting them take control of your computer– ever. Honestly had this been real ransomware the disk would have been encrypted and unreadable. Fortunately, my friend was able to use his PC again. Corporations have been held hostage for millions of dollars because it’s cheaper for them to pay the ransom. Think before you give over control of your computer to someone calling you on the phone or it may cost you hundreds of dollars.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_support_scam?hc_location=ufi