Slightly Hidden Info...Gray Secret

LiveCode is an English-like programming language based on Apple's ingenious HyperCard. It uses a stack-of-cards metaphor with pre-made buttons, text fields, and cards to create a Stack file. All objects in the Stack have scripts of code that you write to do something. The Stack can then be transformed into a standalone program or smartphone app.

Making a computer program or smartphone app with LiveCode is easier than most programming languages, but it's still a challenge. If you like puzzles and have patience, LiveCode may be for you. Give it a try!

Download LiveCode Community Installer from the company's website. There are Windows, Mac, and Linux distros. Choose the free highest COMMUNITY STABLE version.

Download Beginner Lab v2.5.1, a LiveCode programming tutorial stack for beginners. Thirty-four lessons in the basics of LiveCode programming. Most lessons have projects and examples to help master essential skills. Start your LiveCode journey here. You must have the free LiveCode Community program installed on your computer to open this file.
Updates: Beginner Lab (Jan/17), (Oct/17), (Nov/17), (Mar/18), (May/18).

  • LESSONS: Program A Button & Field; Message Hierarchy; Message Box, Dictionary & User Guide; Commands, Functions(), & Properties; Containers; Menu Buttons & List Fields; Repeat; Debug; Geometry Manager; Math; Test Input; Date & Time; Grouped Buttons & Fields; Sort Cards, Lines, & Items; Print Cards, Fields, & Text; Find Text; Styled Text; Cross-Platform Fonts; Speech; Visual Effect; Files & Folders; Icons, Images, & Graphics; Charts; Data Grid Table; Data Grid Form; Array; Palette, Modeless & Modal Dialogs; Button Ideas; Field Ideas; Reference; New LiveCode Features; Build Pull-Down Menu; Build Rolodex; Build Manual.

Download Starter Kit, LiveCode example and demo stacks, and text files. You must have the free LiveCode Community program installed on your computer to open these files.
Updates: Stack Player (Jan/19), Print Report (Apr/19), Dialog Maker (Jan/20), Quick Spanish (Feb/20), List Sort (Apr/20), Workout (Jul/20), Comm Board (Aug/20), Worksheet, Calories (Nov/20), DB Membership (Dec/20), DB Home Delivery, LC Lessons/Scripts (Feb/21), Chart Maker (Jun/21).

  • EXAMPLE & DEMO STACKS: Animate, Blank NoSave, Blank Splash, Calories, Chart Maker, Comm Board, DataGrid Forms, Date Notice, DB Generic, DB Home Delivery, DB Membership, Dialog Maker, Flash Card, Flow Chart, Gutenberg Txt Reformat, Hot-Air Balloon, List Sort, Print Report, Quick Spanish, Speak Text, Stack Player, Workout, Worksheet.
  • TEXT FILES: LC Lessons.txt, LC Scripts.txt.
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Don't feel like learning the LiveCode programming language right now? Want to see what it can do first? Try out these sample LC stacks with a small player.

Download Sample Stacks Windows
Download Sample Stacks Mac
Six sample stacks and a player to run them. Double-click "Stack Player" and select a stack to open. Keep the player and stacks in the same folder. There's nothing to install or uninstall. Trash and it's gone. Easy open with a shortcut/alias: r-click "Stack Player" > send to > desktop (create shortcut). [If Google throws a warning because the folder contains a .exe (the player), choose "Keep."]

  • Calories Daily. Track daily food calories for 12 days. Includes stats and list of common food calorie portions. Edit and sort list option.
  • Comm Board. Medical communication board for stroke and speech disabilities. System voice speaks clicked word or phrase. Edit text option.
  • DB Membership. Simple database formatted for club and organization membership data.
  • List Sort. Organize and sort line lists of text. Includes home & business inventory, library, music cds, serial numbers, birthdays, essential novels.
  • Quick Spanish. Mexican Spanish vocabulary. Requires free Spanish voice install, includes instructions.
  • Workout. Exercise by rep or time. System voice option. Includes weights, yoga, tai chi, and radio calisthenics sets, or create your own workout set.
  • Worksheet. Twenty-four calculators. Includes body mass index, credit card payoff, date, date notice, loan payment, monthly expenses, multidebt payoff, stairs, trigonometry, world time.
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Google tracks and stores your web activity when signed in, including web searches, locations, and YouTube viewing.

To delete your currently stored Google activity and turn off future tracking, go to: Delete activity by..."All time", and turn off Web & App Activity, Location History, and YouTube History.

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Kaiser Permanente recommends these medical wellness checks for men and women 65 and older.

  • Check Once/Yr: Wellness Visit, Blood Pressure, Vision.
  • Vaccines:
    Shingles (2 shots only, 2 months apart).
    Pneumonia (2 shots only, 1 year apart).
    Influenza (1 shot every year).
    Covid-19 (when available).
    Tetanus-Diptheria (1 shot every 10 years).
  • Cholesterol test every 5 years.
  • Hepatitis-C test (once for men born 1945-1965).
  • Colon Cancer screen.

  • For Men:
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screen (once for men 65-75 with family history of AAA
    OR have high BP, high cholesterol, obesity, cardiovascular disease, smoke).
  • Prostate Cancer screen.

  • For Women:
  • Bone Density test DEXA (once only).
  • Mammogram (every 1-2 years, optional 75+).
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Business shutdowns and partial re-openings have pushed many into unfamiliar personal debt. Emergency savings exhausted. Credit cards maxed out. When able, how to begin the painful task of rising up out of debt.

  • Step 1) Cut Monthly Expenses.
    This will be difficult. Cut all unnecessary monthly expenses. Postpone all elective purchases. No new credit card charges and remove the cards from wallet/purse. Forgo the family vacation. Brownbag lunch and no dinners out. Give up coffee or make your own. It will seem pointless squeezing $3 to $5 dollars here and there, but the bleeding has to stop.
  • Step 2) Build Two Month Emergency Fund.
    Use a high-interest savings account like or to save a minimum two months of expenses, including rent/mortgage. It can be linked to a local checking account, and a debit card is included allowing access through ATMs. Bad things happen to good people. This is a true emergency fund for lost job, hospitalization, car breakdown, catastrophic fire....
  • Step 3) Payoff Credit Card Debt.
    With determination, use the proven "snowball" payoff strategy. Make the minimum payments on all credit cards. Commit to adding an additional amount to the highest-interest card1. When that account is finally paid off, apply the same additional amount + the minimum payment of card1 to the minimum payment of the next highest-interest card2. The "snowball" payment increases with each card paid off.
    This is not easy. Sincere committment to getting out of debt is required. You must live like a pauper below your means with no new credit card charges, perhaps for several years. [An above article "Play Sample LC Stacks" contains a Worksheet program with financial calculators for "snowball" multidebt payoff, credit card/loan debt, and monthly expenses.]
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After upgrading an Atom chipset netbook from windows 7 to windows 10, Stellarium v12+ won't open. A warning dialog suggests updating the graphics card driver. Problem is win 10 has updated the driver, the newer no longer supports OpenGL required by Stellarium v12+. The only solution is to uninstall all versions of Stellarium, then downgrade to Stellarium v11.4 , which works fine because it's the highest version that doesn't require OpenGL.

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Windows 7 Microsoft offline games can still be installed and played in Windows 10. Download the free installer (small link at bottom of page ) at

FreeCell, Chess Titans, Majong Titans, and Spider Solitare are among those included. You may choose which games to install. Opt out of other products. The install is slow, but worth the wait to have these classic offline Microsoft games again in Windows 10. Thanks Winaero.

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Download Base Help & Tips, a text file with step-by-step instruction and helpful tips to use LibreOffice Base.

Learn how to make relational tables, data input forms, queries, and printable reports. Navigate the dizzy options and hidden menuItems. This is a good introduction to complex Base.

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The LibreOffice Base table wizard Auto_Increment statement is: IDENTITY. "IDENTITY" is the secret word to enter into the auto-increment blank field when declaring a Primary Key field with AutoValue: Yes.

If the auto-increment statement is left blank, AutoValue for the primary key field will silently fail with no error dialog. If AUTO_INCREMENT is entered as indicated by Base help, an error dialog requires navigating back through the wizard to delete the entry. Another option is to not assign a primary key field at all and let the table wizard assign one, and later rename the field.

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Windows and Mac have additional text to speech voices to download. They're not exactly easy to find. The voice files are large so don't download all of them, you must be online.

WINDOWS 8-10: start > settings > time & language > speech, add voices, choose Spanish (Mexico). Two Mexican Spanish voices are added, Sabina and Raul.

MAC X: Apple > System Preferences > Accessibility > Speech > TextToSpeech > Customize, choose a Spanish (Mexico) voice.

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An unfortunate reality of time is the gradual and unstoppable degradation of foam after 10 to 15 years. This is especially a problem with the foam surrounds for speaker woofers and foam in camera cases. I've had to refoam beloved Advent speakers and rescue an exquisite Pentax camera lens stored in a Zero Halliburton case with foam that turned to sticky cotton candy.

Zero Halliburton recommends replacing their foam every five years and disavows any responsibility for foam damage. Lesson learned: don't store items in a foam case and consider replacing foam with bubble wrap or cotton towels. Zero and Cobra offer replacement foam options.

For replacement speaker foam, SimplySpeakers offers a wide range of speaker refoam kits + instructions for about $27. It takes about 4.5 hrs to prepare and install new foam surrounds on two woofers. The critical step is gluing the outer foam lip to the speaker frame so the voice coil doesn't scrape when the cone is exercised in & out. If the voice coil scrapes you fail and must start over with new foam surrounds. Luckily the cone self-centers itself if the foam ring is passive with no tension in any direction. New foam surrounds are supposed to last longer than the original older foam.

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Sleep is a precious commodity too often lost in the cacophony of a busy world. Ear plugs are one solution, but are a trial and error affair to find something that fits without hurting. I recommend Macks Slim Fit for small ears from with free ship-to-store.

The ear plug review at may be helpful. Their results:

  • Average Ears: Moldex Pura-Fit
  • Small Ears: Howard Leight Max Small
  • Large Ears: Howard Leight Max
  • Sensitive Ears: Howard Leight Low-Pressure
  • Moldable: Macks Clear Silicone Putty
  • Custom-Fit: Radians Custom Mold
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Download 75 easy-cook Healthy Recipes.txt that are also suitable for diabetic and low-salt diets. All are 2 to 4 servings. Yeah, there's tofu and zucchini in some of them but they're really pretty good and (horror) good for you. Here's an example:

Whole Grain Pasta with Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes (serves 2)
1.75 cups eggplant peeled cubed, .5 cup red onion sliced, 1 cup tomato sauce, .5 cup diced tomatoes, .25 cup water, 1 cup penne pasta, 2 tbs grated parmesan cheese.
Bake 425* 25 min eggplant in single layer pie plate with cooking spray, turn once. Add eggplant, onion, tomato sauce, tomatoes to saucepan, stir and cover, simmer 10 minutes. Cook pasta, spoon onto serving plates topped with eggplant sauce, parmesan cheese.

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Telemarketer and scam calls are the plague of everyone with a landline phone. Black list call blockers don't work because evil callers change numbers daily. Only white list call blockers like the $60 CPR Call Blocker Protect + from Amazon have any effect. It holds up to 100 good phone numbers of family and friends. Setup is easy, programming in the good phone numbers takes patience.

Secret Tips Not In Manual

  1. Caller-ID service from the phone company is REQUIRED. This is an additional monthly service fee on the phone bill.
  2. On some phone services, the **8 programming code triggers a recording "call cannot go through as dialed" blocking access to programming mode. The solution is to dial **8, wait until the recording ends, then re-dial **8# (beep) for programming mode.
  3. Once in programming mode, enter as many phone numbers as desired, following each phone number with # (beep). Must include area code.
  4. Enter a friend's landline AND cell. Often a call to a landline is forwarded to a cell to use its voicemail system. The friend can't return the call on their cell unless that cell number is programmed in the white list too.
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IrfanView is a popular free Windows image editor. IrfanView does not support PNG transparency of a pasted image, but does support PNG transparency of an imported image if some obscure default settings are changed.

Change Default Settings

  1. Options > properties > view > main window color, choose a distinct color not present in the image (light blue).
  2. Check view tab top option to Show Png/Alpha Transparent Color (to show main window color through transparency).

Import PNG Image

  1. File > open, open png image in Irfanview. (Pasting loses transparency.)
  2. Image > resize/resample, to set new size enter one dimension in pixels or % (preserve aspect ratio on).
  3. File > save as, in popup window select: Save Transparent Color, Save Transparency As Alpha Channel, Use Main Window Color For Transparency (so transparency can be identified).
  4. In main window enter a new name for the file, pay attention to file saving path, > save.
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LibreOffice and OpenOffice are popular free open source alternatives to Microsoft's Office suite. They both read and write to the same file formats. Vertex has a nice variety of spreadsheet templates too.

  • Download LibreOffice Tips. Updated 2/2019: LibreOffice essential tips and tricks to get the most from the Writer (text), Calc (spreadsheet), Draw (draw), Impress (presentation) and Base (database) modules.
  • Download LibreOffice Spreadsheet Functions List. Updated 2/2019: A smaller subset list of the most useful LibreOffice spreadsheet functions, with parameters and examples, that should satisfy 90% of casual users. Fits on two sheets of paper.
  • Download LibreOffice Spreadsheet Templates. Updated 6/2018:
    28 Spreads: Attendance Weekly, Blood Pressure Sugar, Break Even, Budget Events, Budget Wedding, Calendar Perpetual Holiday, College Quarter, Expenses Renovation, Expenses Shared, Expenses Travel, Gradebook, Inventory Business, Inventory Home, Invoice Hours, Invoice Items, MultiDebt Payoff, Net Worth, Planner Weekly 1-3, Project, Project Schedule, Quiz MultiChoice, Quiz TrueFalse, Seating Chart, Spread Blank, Startup Cost, Vaccine Record.
    38 Mini-Spreads: These one trick ponies are fully functional to use as is, or paste into a blank spreadsheet to expand. Absentee Record, Age, Attendance, Assets, Bank CDs, Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, Calendar, Car Service, Compare CDs, Compare Two Lists, Credit Card Payoff, Days To Go, Days Between, Easter, Effort vs Payoff, Feasible Set, Future Value, Gas Mileage, IOU, Lumber Board Feet, Mortgage Payment, Paint-Carpet-Flooring, Remove Sorted Duplicates, Secret Santa, Selective Sum, Shuffle List, Sort Three Columns, Split Bill, Stairs, Surplus After Expenses, Survey, Swamii, Toll Bridge vs Around, Trig, Two Trains, Volume, Weekly Planner.
  • Download LibreOffice Text Templates.
    41 Texts: Announcements, Apartment, Banner, Booklet 1-4, Booklet Mini 1-2, Box 3x3, Brochure 1-2, Business Card, Card 1-2, Card Bday 1-2, Certificate 1-2, Communication Board, Envelope #10, Envelope #10 Crest, Envelope A2, Envelope Card, Flyer Garage, Flyer Tearoff, Graph Paper, Kindle, Label 1.75x.5, Label 2.625x1, Label 3x1, Label 4x2, Legal Forms, Letter Crest, Newsletter 1-2, Photo Frame, Report, Research Paper, Resumes, Text Blank.
  • Download LibreOffice Presentation & Draw Templates.
    6 Presentations: Blue Dot, Cloud, Crayon, Gray Top, Seaweed, Steps.
    2 Draws: Amsler Grid, Flow Chart.
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Download Essential Novels, a .txt and .odt list of best literature novels. I've read these and confirm they're worth the effort. Most are available free at

Random House has another list of best literature novels.

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Ever wonder what those Windows blue "Fn-Fkey" shortcuts do? Some cause trouble if pressed accidently. Here's the list.

  • Fn-F2: Wifi on/off.
  • Fn-F3: Bluetooth on/off.
  • Fn-F4: Sleep on. Press any key for sleep off.
  • Fn-F5: Toggle between computer screen, external monitor, or both. Beware
  • Fn-F6: Computer screen off. Press any key for screen on.
  • Fn-F7: Touchpad on/off. (= WindowsKey-L) Locks mouse in center of screen. Restart/SafeMode does not unlock. Beware
  • Fn-F8: Speaker Mute on/off.
  • Fn-F11: NumLk (Number Lock). Enable number keypad on main keyboard. Beware
  • Fn-F12: ScrLk (Scroll Lock). Rare, stops arrowKeys and PageUp/Down keys scrolling.
  • PrtScn (Print Screen): Screenshot of entire screen to clipboard. Alt-PrtScn: screenshot of active window to clipboard.
  • PauseBreak: Rare, stops older programs.
  • Ins (Insert): Lock inserted cursor in text on/off. Beware
  • Del (Delete): Delete selection.
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Pawn v1.73 is a small fast customizable chess program for WinXP to Win10. Pawn is no longer supported by the author. Several newer versions are also available, but without the options of v1.73. Recommend setting to Beginner level, as its end-game is strong.

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LibreOffice opens excrutiatingly slow out of the box. Improve speed opening documents with a few easy tweeks to its default memory settings.

  1. In LibreOffice, go to Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Memory
  2. Use For LibreOffice: 10 MB.
  3. Memory Per Object: 1.0 MB.
  4. Remove From Memory After: 10 Minutes.
  5. Cache For Inserted Objects: 20.
  6. Restart LibreOffice.

It's not like lightning, but LibreOffice opens much faster.

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Comcast Cable updated their TV info display with an obnoxious "smartbar" that covers the lower third of the screen for 5 seconds before another channel can be selected. Here are the hidden steps to disable it.

On the comcast remote clicker press the following buttons:
info > 8 (settings) > enter > 6 > 8 (smartbar timeout) > enter (until "off") > 4 > 4.

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How to upload a new version of a file or folder or zipped folder to Google Drive.

This will maintain a share link made to the file. Anyone who uses their existing file link will get your most recently uploaded version.

  1. Click file to hilite, click three-dot icon OR right-click file > manage versions, upload new version.
  2. Optionally, click three-dot icon next to older non-current file to delete the older file. (It's auto-deleted in 30 days).
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How to direct download a file or folder or zipped folder from Google Drive.

  1. MyDrive > upload file, choose file, folder, or zipped folder to upload to Google Drive.
  2. Hilite file, right-click > get shareable link (or click link icon). Link is automatically placed on clipboard to paste to text editor.
  3. Extract your unique file id number from that link:
    And insert it into this new link:
  4. Email this new download link to friends, or use as a web page direct download link.
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The CDC (Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta) has posted downloadable pdf schedules for vaccinations on their website, but it's not very easy to find...or to download. Here are the download links:

Vaccinations For Children 0-6 yrs

Vaccinations For Children & Teens 7-18 yrs

Vaccinations For Adults

The pdf's are well written and easy to follow to keep your vaccinations and your children's vaccinations current.

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Regularly changing passwords has become a necessary evil chore. Test your password or check the strength of a new password you're considering with a checker from PasswordMeter and Microsoft. Each site uses a slightly different testing algorithm. They're both free to use.

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By Chad Brooks,, (EDITED)
Use these key words in your resume and interview to help land that job: persistent, recognized, results, impact, competent, learned, committed, flexible, solutions.

  1. Persistent. Persistent employees don't give up easily, producing superior results.
  2. Recognized. Include achievements and awards that earned you recognition.
  3. Results. Prove you have the skills and traits to produce results based on experience.
  4. Impact. What positive impact will you have, what value will you bring to the company?
  5. Competent. Employers want candidates who prove they meet the job requirements.
  6. Learned. You learned from a past mistake that became an educational experience.
  7. Committed. Explain how strongly you'd be committed to serve the organization.
  8. Flexible. Stay relevant and successful by being flexible to change and adapt rapidly.
  9. Solutions. Employers want problem-solvers, people who think and speak solutions.
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Job interviews often require a ten minute presentation to judge the applicant's ability to perform under stress. A subject may be assigned in advance or during the interview, or left impromptu up to you. The subject is irrelevant, it's your skill and organization that's being evaluated.

Just in case, choose in advance a simple subject like a hobby, interest, vacation, or interesting experience for a pop presentation. Use these tips to prepare for either possibility.

Rule Of Three Presentation

  1. Introduction or aims of presentation.
  2. The core of the presentation using three main points.
  3. Summary and finish with memorable statement.


  • What are the key words in the presentation title assigned?
  • What knowledge and new ideas will you bring?
  • What sales or growth or competitive advantage do you offer?
  • What's your Unique Selling Point that sets you apart?

Use Powerpoint?

  • Avoid if possible. Better to use written notes.
  • Put only enough info on a slide that can be easily read.
  • No effects, keep slides simple.
  • Consider images only, no words or lists on slides.

Practice The Presentation

  • Keep it short.
  • Don't read the slides word for word.
  • Don't read directly off notes.

Delivering The Presentation

  • Deliver presentation standing up.
  • Smile. You want your audience to feel relaxed.
  • Look around the entire room.
  • Don't speak too quickly.
  • Keep still. Rocking, excessive flapping of hands is distracting.
  • Don't joke.
  • Sound passionate about the subject.
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Getting enough deep REM sleep has become a national health issue. We know we need sleep , but how to get it with noise and worry and insomnia?

"To sleep well your body clock has to be in synch with your daily schedule," Dr. Steven Feinsilver, director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, in New York City, said in a hospital news release. "What sets your body clock is mostly your wake-up time. A constant wake time is the single best measure you can take for a good sleep habit. We tell bad sleepers that no matter how poor their night's sleep was, they should get up at the same time each morning."

To maintain good sleep habits, Dr. Feinsilver recommends:

  • Settle on a routine wake-up time and maintain that time, give or take an hour, even on weekends. Make sure to get some exposure to natural light.
  • Designate the bedroom as a sleep zone -- no bedroom TV.
  • Exercise can help people get to sleep, but avoid it in the few hours before bedtime.
  • Limit caffeine, especially before bedtime but also throughout the day. Caffeine can make it difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep, and its effects can linger for 12 hours.
  • Alcohol may make you feel sleepy, but it can lead to abnormal sleep and you may wake up in the middle of the night when its effects wear off. Avoid alcohol before bedtime.
  • Don't let the stresses of your life eat up your last waking hour. Confine ruminating and planning to an earlier time in the evening.
  • Don't go to bed right after a big meal, but don't go to bed hungry either.
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Occasionally the federal government does get something right. The wildly popular Do Not Call Registry is one of them.

Register your land-line and cell phone at the Registry website, or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you'd like registered, and within 30 days, you'll be telemarketer free. And your registered phone won't expire from the list. Sorry, you're still a target for political calls and charitable orgs. Seems like nothing will stop those.

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If you've got the cash, a well chosen used car will save you thousands over a new car, and serve you just as well. But beware. You've no idea how the previous owner treated it. That's where a Used Car Checklist comes in handy.

Armed with this checklist, you've got a good chance of choosing a nice reliable car, or a good candidate car to pay an auto mechanic to check.

  • Based on a point-system checklist, if the car scores more than 10 findings, walk away.
  • Includes 13 Deal Busters. Find just one and run away from the car.
  • Checklist questions are organized in 10 categories: exterior, tires, suspension, frame, interior, engine, underbody, performance, transmission, brakes, and steering.
  • Includes a printable Bill Of Sale for the transaction, with instructions for transferring the Vehicle Title.
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It's often said that lotteries are for people who failed in math. For the curious, that comes out to about 1 chance of winning in 7 million. By any standard, that's not good odds.

The secret math of probability: Winning Lottery = 1-in-7-million.
The Rule: Pay $1 for two guesses at six numbers from 1 to 49 in any order.
The Math: Compute combinations (unordered possibilities) of six numbers 1 to 49.
Combinations = n!/(r! * (n-r)!) or 49!/(6! * (49-6)!) = 13,983,816 combinations.
The Odds: Lottery's $1 two-guess ticket odds = 13,983,816/2 or 1 in 6,991,908.

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Canon Support confirms no CanoScan N650U, N656U, N1220U scanner driver is available for Vista or Win 7-10, and declares the Canoscan models obsolete. The drivers and CanoScan Toolbox software are no longer offered on their website. But the XP driver installs and works fine on 32 bit Vista and Windows 7-10, just through a more complicated manual install process.

  1. Download the Microsoft XP driver installer from CNet to the desktop. The same driver works for the N650U, N656U, and N1220U CanoScan models. Double-click the installer and follow install instructions.
  2. The install will fail because a file doesn't unzip, but inserts the zipped file at C:/Temp/CanoScanCSUv571a. You must manually unzip the file: start > computer, double-click c drive, open Temp folder, open CanoScanCSUv571a folder, double-click CanoScanCSUv571a to unzip it. Six items will unzip.
  3. Rename Temp folder to CanoScan. Drag CanoScan folder to Program Files folder.
  4. Set lock button underneath scanner to unlocked and plug in scanner.
  5. You must reach a driver install dialog with two options: to search the internet for driver software (you don't want), and to browse my computer for driver software (you DO want). The process is long but it does work: start > devices and printers > (add a device if scanner is not present) r-click the scanner icon > properties > hardware tab > properties > change settings > driver tab > update driver > browse my computer for driver software.
  6. Browse to C:\Program Files\CanoScan\CanoScanCSUv571a (correct location may already be listed) > next. Scanner driver is installed, scanner buzzes.
  7. To use the scanner you need to access the driver with software.
    • IrfanView, a free image editor and viewer, works very well. Download IrfanView from CNet. Install (decline other offers), open IrfanView, file > select TWAIN source > select canoscan. File > acquire scanning. ScanGear CS-U dialog appears with options for preview, scan, clear, and scan settings.
    • Picasa, a free image editor and viewer, also works well. Download Picasa from CNet. Install (decline other offers), open Picasa, file > import from > select canoscan. ScanGear CS-U dialog appears.
    • CanoScan Toolbox is the image editor that came with the scanner. Download CanoScan Toolbox from CNet. Install, open CanoScan Toolbox or press scan button on scanner to open. ScanGear CS-U dialog appears.
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The 932c printer stores id numbers of the last five black and color cartridges. When it throws a low ink warning for a cartridge, it refuses to accept the cartridge if removed for refilling. Reset the printer to clear the id numbers and force the printer to accept the refilled cartridge.

The 932c printer does NOT have a battery clocking cartridge expiration dates. HP OfficeJet and PhotoSmart series printers DO clock cartridge expiration dates, which can be defeated by removing the battery or blocking the battery's contact using a folded business card. Battery located in lower left interior.

  • Method 1 Reset: Power on, lift lid, remove both ink cartridges, lower cartridge lock, power on/off five times allowing carriage to park, reinsert both ink cartridges.
  • Method 2 Reset For Black 45: Scotchtape top four copper contacts in first column of refilled cartridge, insert cartridge, lower lid, allow any action to proceed. Raise lid, remove cartridge, remove tape, tape top four contacts in last column, repeat, remove tape. If unsuccessful try tape on bottom four contacts in first column, then bottom four contacts in last column.
  • Method 2 Reset For Color 78: Scotchtape top four contacts in first column, then bottom four contacts in last column.
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Here are some 932C tricks to get the most out of your printer and ink cartridges.

  • Printer Driver: HP won't update the HP 932C Printer Driver for Win7+. Microsoft has a Printer Driver available through Windows Update as an important installation. It auto-installs. Connect printer power and usb chords while online (no need to turn printer on), start > type "update", click Windows Update, click Check For Updates. Installs: Microsoft driver update for HP Deskjet 930C/932C/935C.
  • Unfortunately, Win10 assigns an updated printer driver that doesn't work. To re-assign the old printer driver: search "Printer", click printers & scanners, printer > manage > printer properties > advanced. Under driver, change from hp deskjet 930c series to hp deskjet 930c/932c/935c.
  • Reinitialize Printer: Power on, unplug power cord, wait at least 15 seconds, reattach power cord.
  • Print Test Page: Hold Power on and press Resume, OR start > devices and printers > r-click printer > printer properties > general, Print Test Page. A New/Refilled ink cartridge initiates a Print Test Page that cannot be cancelled.
  • Print Test Report: Hold Power on and press Resume four times.
  • Print Double-Sided (duplex): Print even pages, reverse and reinsert (add top blank sheet if odd # pages), print odd pages (prints down to 1).
  • Clean Ink Cartridges: Start > devices and printers > r-click printer > printer properties > services, check Clean Print Cartridges, ok. Use only when necessary because cleaning wastes ink and shortens cartridge life.
  • Cancel Current Print Job: Press X button on printer.
  • Paper Jam: Always remove paper jam from the Rear Access Door, to prevent damage to delicate internal parts.
  • Black 45 and Color 78 reconditioned ink cartridges are available online. Try PerformancePlus or EZInk on
  • Printer refuses electrically bad cartridge, won't print with missing cartridge.
  • Cartridges can be refilled up to 5 times but eventually fail at the copper electrical contacts or the print head.
  • Clean copper contacts and printer carriage pins with swab and alcohol. Clean plugged ink jets by soaking print head on hot water soaked paper towel pad.
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From tech support, troubleshooting the 932C printer warning lights.

  • Power On: Printer is powered on.
  • Power Blinks: Printing.
  • Power And Resume Both On: Rear access door is missing or unlocked.
  • Power On And Resume Blinks: Lid is open, out of paper, paper jam, or carriage is stuck.
    1. Lid Is Open: Open/close lid, press Resume.
    2. Out Of Paper: Add paper to paper tray, press Resume.
    3. Paper Jam: Power off, unplug power cord, remove paper from input tray, clear paper jam from REAR of printer (or risk breaking internal parts) by turning rear access door knob counter-clockwise. Gently remove paper jam, clean rollers if needed with damp cloth, reattach and lock door. Lift lid, inspect for remaining paper, close lid, reattach power cord, add paper to paper tray. Make test print: hold Power and press Resume.
    4. Carriage Is Stuck: Power on, lift lid and allow carriage to move, unplug power cord. Gently move carriage left and right by hand to check for paper or objects restricting movement. Close lid, reattach power cord. Make test print: hold Power and press Resume.
  • Power And Resume Both Blink Alternately: Paper won't feed (press Resume), or paper jam (see #3 above).
  • Power And Resume Both Blink Together: Carriage is stuck (see #4 above).
  • Power And Cartridge Both On: Printer needs to be reset. Unplug power chord, wait at least 15 seconds, reattach power chord.
  • Power And Resume And Cartridge All Blink Alternately: Printer needs to be restarted. Power off, Power on.
  • Power On And Cartridge Blinks: Problem with one or both ink cartridges. Lift lid, arrow on carriage points to a problem icon. 3-dot frown: bad color cartridge, 1-dot frown: bad black cartridge, 3-dot low ink: color, 1-dot low ink: black, smile: all ok.
    1. Bad Ink Cartridge: Remove bad cartridge, clean contacts and contact pins with alcohol on cotton swab, firmly re-insert cartridge, lock, close lid.
    2. Replace bad ink cartridge with new. Black 45, Color 78.
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The Sylvania 2200 is a small simple 2 gig player. It has a standard six-function control pad, integrated clip, no display, and a lithium-ion battery. Battery life is a short 4 hours, but recharge time is only 25 minutes. The manual is poorly written. Bookmarking is the most important undocumented feature: hold pause until the blinking light goes out. Recharging is the most important poorly documented feature: turn the unit on to recharge while connected to USB port.

  • Holds 1.87 gigs, plays 4 hrs, 25 min charge, 12 min load.
  • Plays in order loaded, starts play at last bookmark.
  • Load: Drag randomized or ordered MP3/WMA files to player folder. (Load protected songs with WMP or iTunes.)
  • Start play at track1: Load one track, play track, bookmark, load all tracks.
  • Bookmark: Hold pause until light goes out, turn on to resume play from bookmarked location. If unit is turned off without bookmarking, play will resume at previous bookmark.
  • Current song is bookmarked when battery becomes empty, and the unit turns itself off.
  • Turn unit on to recharge battery. Blinking light changes to solid when plugged into usb port. Light goes out when battery is full.
  • Battery lasts 300 charges.
  • Player continuously loops from last song back to first song.
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We all need help these days making a dollar stretch. Clipping coupons to save fifty cents. Driving five blocks out of the way for cheaper gas. Skipping the latte at lunch.

Here's another one. If you're using a TracFone prepaid cell phone, try DailyPromo, a free bonus minutes code site that can put an extra 20 to 30 minutes on your phone when you buy minutes at

Tip: scroll down for the minutes denomination you're interested in to see just those codes. Make a note of several current codes.

Move to TracFone's web site, select minutes denomination to buy, and on the right of the page there's an entry field for a bonus code. Enter your chosen code. If it's accepted, the purchase proceeds through normally and total minutes added are displayed. If the code is not accepted (you've already used it or it's no longer valid), you're offered to try once more with a different code.

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Some of Windows 7 nearly secret tricks are revealed.

  • Windows Help: F1. The most important button on the keyboard.
  • Move Window To Left Or Right Half Of Screen: Win-LeftArrow or Win-RightArrow.
  • Add Recent Items List To Start: R-click start > properties > customize > check recent items.
  • Delete All Recent Items: R-click start > properties > start menu > uncheck recent items > apply > check recent items.
  • Text Cursor Problems: Press Ins (Insert) button.
  • Recover Previous Contents Of Folder: R-click folder > previous versions.
  • Reset Windows Backup: Google "reset windows backup", download reset tool from Microsoft.
  • Disable Windows Media Player: Start > control panel > programs > turn windows features on/off, expand media features, uncheck windows media player. (Disable internet explorer and ms games here too.)
  • Window Screen Shot To Clipboard: Alt-PrtSc, paste to paint, crop, save as png.
  • Quit A Frozen Program: Start > type task manager (or ctrl-alt-delete, task manager), hilite frozen program, end task.
  • Screen Saver: Start > type screen saver > turn screen saver on/off. Choose saver and adjust settings.
  • Print Jobs: Start > devices and printers > hilite printer icon > see what's printing, r-click print job > cancel, pause, restart, reorder.
  • Change Startup Password: Start > type change password.
  • Give Presentation: Win-P > duplicate.
  • Defrag Hard Drive: Start > type defrag > click disk defragmenter.
  • Open File With Different Program: R-click file > open with > choose default program.
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New recommendations for CPR in event of cardiac arrest are to dial 911, then immediately...

  1. Do hands-only CPR at 100 hard and fast chest compressions/minute.
  2. Give your location to the 911 operator WHILE you're pumping, and don't stop until the arriving medics can use a defibrillator on the victim.

Traditional mouth-to-mouth CPR has a miserable 5% success rate. Hands-only CPR has a remarkable 10% success rate, increasing to 25% with the addition of a defibrillator.

Studies of real emergencies showed that hands-only CPR was more effective because it was started sooner and sustained longer in the critical first few minutes of the emergency. The take-home lesson is to start chest compressions IMMEDIATELY.

Watch a hands-only CPR video produced by the medical department at the University of Washington.

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A relatively unknown credit card scam is receiving national attention. A server can increase their tip (and your credit card bill) by altering the numbers you wrote on the Tip and Total lines of the receipt after you leave the restaurant. There is a simple defense.

  1. Pay all tips in cash, and write CASH on the Tip line of the credit card receipt.
  2. Or write out total dollars and cents, check-style, underneath the Total numbers.
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WHAT REALLY SAVES GAS? offers four sure-fire tips to significantly improve gas mileage simply by changing driving habits, plus four additional tips to squeeze a few more miles out of a gallon of gas. That's saving real dollars at the pump.

Significant Gas Mileage Improvements:

  1. Aggressive Driving Burns Gas. Accelerating slowly saves 31%.
  2. Avoid Idling More Than A Minute. Turning engine off saves 19%.
  3. Lower Speed Saves Gas. Driving the speed limit saves 12%.
  4. Use Cruise Control. Saves 7%.

Modest Gas Mileage Improvements:

  1. Replace Air Filter Every 12,000 Miles. Saves 5%.
  2. Tune Engine And Check Oxygen Sensor. Saves 4%.
  3. Maintain Proper Tire Pressure. Saves 3%
  4. Remove Heavy Junk In The Trunk. Weight drags mileage.
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If there's a device plugged into the wall with an AC adapter, that rectangular thingy near the plug-end, then it's stealing electricity right now. Sure it's not much, but even when the device is off the phantom load is ALWAYS ON, 24 hours a day, day after day, adding up to real money over a year. Multiply that by all the homes in your region. Can you say "power rate increase?"

Nationmaster has a clear explanation, with a revealing quote from the U.S. Dept. of Energy: "These phantom loads occur in most appliances that use electricity such as VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off."

The simple fix is to unplug the device when not in use. Another strategy is to use a power strip with an on/off switch, or an extension chord to unplug. Some power strips have both surge protection and auto cut-off circuitry that senses when the device is off. Now you're smug green while your neighbor's still a shankasauras.

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Webmd recommends the following medical tests to accompany an annual physical beginning at 50 years old and beyond.

For Men And Women:

  1. Weight And Blood Pressure Check.
  2. Cholesterol Blood Test. Every five years to head-off heart disease and stroke.
  3. Blood Sugar Test. Every three years to detect untreated diabetes.
  4. Colon-Rectal Exam. Every ten years to detect colon cancer and polyps.
  5. Skin Exam. To identify skin cancers.
  6. Immunizations. Flu vaccination every year, tetanus booster every ten years.
  7. Optometrist Exam. Every two years to detect glaucoma and macular degeneration.
  8. Dentist Exam. To diagnose cavities and periodontal disease.

For Women Only:

  1. Thyroid Hormone Test. Every five years to monitor immune system.
  2. Pelvic Exam and Pap. Every three years.
  3. Breast Exam/Mammogram. Every two years.
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Gray Secret Blog

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