The Strange New World of Crypto

From l to r: PolkaDot, NEM, Coin, Tezos and Bitcoin

For now, it seems strange, but crypto could become the way that most people will conduct business in the future. Even now, I’m happy to accept crypto for my services. For a flat rate labor charge of 52,000 satoshis (one satoshi is 0.00000001 of a Bitcoin), I can fix your cracked laptop case and optimize it for speed.

It’s not really easy to even define the term cryptocurrency, but here are a few things to know:

(1) There is no central authority like a bank that facilitates the transfer of crypto from one person to another. Bitcoin, for example, is based on a shared public ledger that is distributed across a large number of networked computers. The ledger keeps track of every transaction. If Bob paid Mary .0002 of a Bitcoin, it’s in the ledger and the ledger is immutable.

(2) You can keep your crypto on an exchange like Coinbase or Nexo even offers you a line of credit based on the amount of crypto that you store on their system.

(3) Many crypto currency networks have special functions. The Ethereum network, for example, is the home of smart contracts which are contracts written in computer code that do not require a middleman to execute. Ethereum is often used as ‘gas’ to pay for a transaction or to execute a contract. You can store data on the Ethereum network. Artworks known as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) reside on the Ethereum blockchain.

(4) You can also store various crypto currencies in an electronic wallet on your phone, iPad, desktop computer, etc. Incredibly, if you were to lose your phone, iPad, etc., you can recreate your wallet on another computer often by using a sequence of 12 words that you had received for just such a case.

(5) eToro is a fun way to trade crypto similar to the way people trade stocks. You can set a stop loss value and also a value to take profits.

(6) You can send money to anyone with a smartphone – anyone in the world. See Celo.

An offline wallet with some TRON crypto.

(7) There’s so much more.

Zcash, Dash, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, …

Digital Depot is located at 104 East Century Road, Suite H in Leesburg, Georgia and is open from 5:30 PM to midnight Monday through Saturday. We can be reached at 229-883-3996.

Alternatives to Twitter, Reddit and Wikipedia

Things are always changing on the web and here are a few examples:

Twitter alternative :

Reddit ” :

Wikipedia ” :

Firefox ” : brave

and something completely new: Periscope

Why do these alternatives exist? Twitter, Reddit, and Wikipedia have been plagued by censorship issues and Brave just promises to be a faster and safer browser. These are just a few new things to try out. also deserves a mention. It’s similar to Youtube, but there isn’t much content there yet. Certainly, you can always use it upload your own content. Periscope is interesting. It’s connected to twitter and allows you to share live content with your followers. In fact, if you have a twitter account, you can just log in with your twitter credentials.

Facebook Malfunction Says Your Friends are Dead

Facebook pages can be ‘memorialized’ (seen below) and lately there has been a malfunction that has memorialized a number of accounts seemingly randomly.
Don’t panic! Mark Zuckerberg is not really dead and your recently memorialized Facebook friends may also be alive (or not). So call them… with a phone. Maybe even visit them in person.

read more here: at techcrunch.

Opting Out of a Windows 10 Upgrade

In the past couple of days, there have been many calls from customers who were seemingly involuntarily upgraded to Windows 10. On occasion, important software doesn’t work with the new OS. Other times, people just don’t have the extra hours to wait for the upgrade to complete. If you prefer to stay with Windows 7 or Windows 8, here is the current method for avoiding a Windows 10 upgrade.

Windows 10 malware technique

It seems obvious. Click the X in the upper right corner… right? That’s the universal method of opting out… right? No! Not according to Microsoft – If you click the X in the menu pictured above, Microsoft assumes that you agree with their decision to upgrade you to Windows 10. The only way to opt-out in this case is to click the word here where you see the text ‘Click here to change upgrade schedule or cancel scheduled upgrade.’  And yes, this is very deceptive.

You may want to download a program called ‘GWX Control Panel.’ It’s a legit 3rd party app that allows you to control Windows 10 upgrades. Here’s the link:

The Push to Upgrade to Windows 10

Here’s something I’ve been seeing since December.


It’s a prompt from Microsoft asking the user to do one of two things: upgrade now or upgrade tonight.

Here’s the latest (screencap from March 21, 2016):


Someone must have told them that they were being a little pushy with the ‘Upgrade Tonight’ thing.

Sometimes, the upgrades to Windows 10 may be involuntary. A couple of customers called recently to tell me that their Windows 7 computer was now running Windows 10 and they had not authorized the upgrade. Unfortunately, this can shut down a business when there is software that is not compatible with the new OS. See the photo below. It’s from one of the computers that had been upgraded to Windows 10 without the owners approval and the Corel software it had been running was not compatible with the new Windows 10.


The above was fixed by re-installing Corel in Windows 7 compatibility mode.

Here are a few of my Windows 10 related services for the computers recently upgraded to Windows 10:

(1) Making incompatible programs work in Window 10
(2) Backing up all data, then re-installing and re-activating Windows 7
(3) Making Windows 10 more aesthetically pleasing for customers who prefer a cleaner interface without the gyrating advertisements.
(4) Removing the annoying Microsoft Windows 10 upgrade pop-ups.
(5) Forcing the computer to decline the upgrade and stop wasting bandwith with Windows 10 related downloads
(6) Installing a Fedora Server on the network and making image backups of all computers just in case of a problem resulting from an involuntary upgrade to Windows 10
(7) Converting the computer to Linux

Section 7B of the Microsoft Service Agreement (set to music)

Sometimes you’ll need software updates to keep using the Services. We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices. You may also be required to update the software to continue using the Services. Such updates are subject to these Terms unless other terms accompany the updates, in which case, those other terms apply. Microsoft isn’t obligated to make any updates available and we don’t guarantee that we will support the version of the system for which you licensed the software.

Removing the Annoying Windows 10 Update Window

For most people currently running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, there is a little stylized Window (the Microsoft logo) anchored to the bottom right of the screen (in what is called ‘the systray’). Sometimes it expands into a message written in broken English. [Windows 10 is coming. Get it for free.] You might think that it is a virus written by foreigners, but it’s not. Microsoft people actually wrote the phrase for free.


Anyway, if you’re using Windows 7, it’s unlikely that you will see Windows 10 as any sort of improvement. Lately, a significant part of my business has involved replacing Windows 10 with Windows 7 (so I really shouldn’t tell you how to remove the annoying update, but I will anyway). So, if you’re running Windows 7 and want to rid yourself of the annoying little Windows 10 update icon, you’ll need to find [installed updates] first. So – from the Microsoft Website:

1. Open Installed Updates by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Programs, and then, under Programs and Features, clicking View installed updates.

2. Click the update that you want to remove, and then click Uninstall. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

The update that you want to uninstall is called KB3035583. This is the one that you will choose to uninstall. There will be a lot of updates, so it may take a while to find this item. After it is uninstalled, one more step is necessary, because the update will come back. You’ll need to do the following.

also from the Microsoft website:

1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button. In the search box, type Update, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Update.

2. In the left pane, click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your computer.

3. If you see a message telling you that important updates are available, or telling you to review important updates, click the message to view and select the important updates to install.


Now, look for update KB3035583, right click it, and then choose the option to hide it. Now, you’re done. The update will not come back unless you choose to restore hidden updates.

I’m Calling About Your Windows Computer…

I was halfway through a pretty decent nap when the phone rang. After slowly picking up the phone, I said “Heeelllooo?”

“I’m calling about your Windows computer” was the reply. He had a thick Indian accent and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an American Indian accent.

“I have a Linux computer” was my truthful reply.


I know about the scam of course. Plenty of my customers have experienced it and it always starts the same. An operator from India calls and convinces his mark that there is something terribly wrong with his computer and it can be fixed by signing up for an annual tech support subscription of only $200 (approx). Sometimes, you may encounter the same people when you run a google search for Microsoft Support or Netflix Support. Be very careful. You should be directed to a page or a page. Certainly, if you get a call that starts with “I’m calling about your Windows computer,” just hang up quickly. Too many people have lost too much money with this scam and today it’s practically epidemic.

Fake Chinese USB Flash Drives

not everything in retail packaging is new or genuine

A customer recently brought me several “512 GB” USB flash drives that he had purchased from a web site that ships from overseas. Each 512GB flash drive was purchased for about $7 each. Considering that the lowest price for a 128GB USB flash on Amazon is about $40 and their lowest price for a 512GB version is $465, the $7 bulk rate Chinese price seems unrealistic. I examined one of the drives from a linux computer (PXE booted for safety) and GParted displayed a 500GB partition. However, data could not be reliably saved to the drive. It appears to accept data but files become overwritten as more data is copied to the drive. The flash drives have been reprogrammed to show more than their true capacity. Unfortunately, the hacked nature of these drives makes them useless. So remember! If it seems too good to be true, it’s probably an online scam.