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Google. Another Service Bites The Dust!!

Welcome to Google. They make a ton of services and they kill a ton of services. The only ones that I trust and should last is Google search (their bread and butter. This will NEVER go away). GMAIL. For either public use or corporate they should never close this. Then there is YouTube. They bought it years ago and the astonishing amount of content uploaded each day is mine boggling !! I don’t know how profitable this is for them since they have to spend tons of money installing more hard drives to cover all the content but we will see. There are a few things still around like Blogger but since its a free service I would not think its a priority. Its astonishing the number of services that Google has killed. Here is a list. Here is a good article regarding Google Shutdown Services.

I like Google for its search and Gmail. For Gmail they have killed Inbox and very other useful tools. They have billions in the bank why can’t they keep the good stuff. Google+ is the latest demise. I liked Google+. Did not use it much but liked the Twit Know How forum. I liked iGoogle. Could have a custom home page when I went to it that had most interesting links I could keep up. I liked Notebooks that I kept a personal link page.I liked Picasa photo app. Yes they have Google Photos but I liked the app better.

Google can be nice but also frustrate me!!



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Logmein Central VS Take Control Plus

I have been using Logmein Central for several years. Started with when Logmein was free. When I went to central I just needed the basic. Remote Control. Really don’t need file transfer for most connections. I basically need to remote control client servers and workstations easily. I really like Logmein’s Client which has an easily interface to connect to my clients within a few clicks. If I specify to remember credentials I don’t even have to type in passwords etc. I configured with 2 factor authentication. I use this for all my important software. The nice thing with this is when I assign it to a PC I never have to enter the 2 factor code because it knows its me from the beginning. Other things I like is speed. It is one of the fastest remote software I use especially on servers that don’t have a dedicated video card. I have tried several other remote software and they are extremely  slow on servers. Not to bad on workstations but because most of my clients are servers it would never work for me. One issue I have had with Logmein is with certain OS. If I set it up with Windows Server 2012 (not 2012R2) If I remote in it would reboot the server. An extreme bug that they might have fixed but should never have been in. I Googled this issue and contacted them about but never seem to get an answer. Video quality is usually very good. When expanding the screen to full screen its very crisp. I don’t see blurry screens. Again always snappy.

Now for the major downfall for Logmein. When they started the Central its price was not to bad. 100 clients was at a decent price. Then every year for the last 5 years it has increased a lot. My client base is getting closer to more than 100. The next jump is 250 and the price almost doubles!! This is why I have searched for an alternative. So I looked. There are many cheaper alternatives but the major issue for me was speed. Especially on Servers and on clients that don’t have really fast Internet. When I tried these on other clients it was like dial-up days with BBS’s in the day. So this is why I still kept with Logmein. It’s reliable, fast, picture quality is excellent. Its the cost that is the largest factor.

So I found Take Control Plus by Solarwinds. I was skeptical and the first thing I tested was speed on my servers on slower Internet speeds. As long as you disable the hardware acceleration on the client side its good. Maybe not as fast as Logmein but close. The quality of the screen maybe not as good as Logmein but with the right settings its not bad and livable for me. The initial start of the app I need to enter the 2 factor code each time but if I leave it loaded I don’t have to enter it again till I fully close to program. Grouping and renaming is better than Logmein. There are more details on client information than Logmein. And then there is the greatest benefit over Logmein. Thats price!! For Take Control Plus I get 500 connections!! I also get file transfer and remote printing (Logmein premium benefits that are even extremely expensive) all at a much cheaper price!!. Example my Logmein Central Basic 100 is around $1200 CDN per year. The Take Control Plus 500 is $720 CDN per year.

So if I can live with the small limits that Take Control has BUT I get 5 times the clients, file transfer and extreme price difference, oh and there is a on demand client option, its well worth it. For a Logmein Central with file transfer and other benefits for 250 clients is over $4000 per year!!!

Would like to hear from other people that have used Logmein and Take Control and other remote software and do a good comparison.

Found this article about another person that feel the cost is too much!!


Seems Logmein now  changed the 3 options in central to now a Base version for 2019. It would have cost me $1900 for 100 PCs. Sorry Logmein you are pricing yourself out.

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WordPress 5.1 Broke Visual Editor

I maintain a few WordPress sites including this one. I normally upgrade everything from WordPress core version and all the plugins. Mostly for security reason its a good thing. Much like you should always update your Windows PC. I upgraded this site to WordPress 5.1 and had no issue. I upgraded a different site and I had a major issue. I could not create new or edit Pages or Posts. It would give me a blank screen. Playing with some settings with Classic Editor etc. if I would try and edit say a Post everything was hidden in white. Googling this I see others also have had this same issue. The only way to edit Pages or Posts was to disable the visual editor and only edit in text. Visual editor has made the reason WordPress is so popular. You don’t have to be master web builder to make a nice website. I can do the edit in text. I know some html but its so much easier to do this in Visual Editor. When I search this they suggested the usual disable all plugins, change theme to standard theme etc. None of this helped. Others said maybe its a version of PHP or Server version. Weird thing is the site having the issue has a newer version of PHP compared to say this site.

My solution to fix this is to downgrade my version of WordPress and went back to version 5.0.3. To do this the easy way is install WP Downgrade plugin WP Downgrade plugin.

I also installed another plugin to Disable Automatic Update Disable Automatic Update plugin.

So for now I will have to live on WordPress 5.0.3 on my other site. Hopefully they will find a fix for this.


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Server 2019 Not Activating

Installed Server 2019 Standard. I skipped the enter key during installation and when I then tried to change the key to activate it, it failed. Seems others have had the same issue. If you enter the key during install it solves the issue. Others have said to just reinstall. From this site found an easier solution.

From an elevated command prompt run the following:

cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk [2019-specific-mak-key]

where [2019-specific-mak-key] is where you type in your mak key without the brackets.

I believe the issue is when you skip the key entry it then will only activate using a KMS server. Running the command above by passes this and injects the MAK key for you.


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AMD vs Intel

So as a computer builder and mainly been an Intel guy for 20+ years and my suppliers can’t provide Intel CPU’s (lack of stock because of 10nm problems) I had to start getting AMD CPU’s and boards. I know the AMD Cpu’s have gotten better over the years. I like that their models are similar to Intel. Example Ryzen 3 are like i3, Ryzen 5 are like i5 etc. So you would think that the AMD are cheaper and would give me a better sell. NOT!!! All Intel iX CPUs have built in a GPU. They are not gaming GPUs but 90% of my sales are for Business and they don’t need a high end GPU and built in GPU on CPU is suffice. Buying an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and a compatible ASUS MB I realize that the CPU does not have built on GPU!! WTF!!!!!! AMD make fast GPUs but for most of their CPUs don’t built in a GPU!! If you buy an AMD with a CPU model that ends in G then it has a built in GPU. Price is not bad. So I have built a few PCs with a 2400G CPU. Speed wise in comparison is decent and has the business GPU. Thought it was great BUT not so. Have a client that has AMD 2400G and the screen likes to go black for a few seconds and then display OK for 4-5 times a day. NEVER had this issue with an Intel CPU. Never had to have to add a GPU to the cost of a PC so it will display standard video. These are the reasons that I have been an Intel guy. They work!! Games are built to work better with Intel than AMD. Sure AMD are cheaper and I watch a lot of tech shows and love AMD BUT for me for clients that are business geared that I find Intel CPUs are a better choice! Have to add a $100 GPU card so that you can work compared to an Intel CPU is not saving money!!


So for all the AMD Ryzen 2400G CPUs with built in GPU each one seems to give a blank screen for a few seconds once in a while. I have updated BIOS, Video drivers but nothing fixes it till I install a dedicated video card. Again extra expense. Again AMD CRAP!!!!!!

For Intel shortage I can start getting Intel 9th gen CPUs (for now) but they are the F series so they also don’t have a graphics chip. Seems (unless on sale) the Intel F series and the non F series (has onboard GPU) are around the same price. The only reason to get the F series is supply. I really wish Intel would get their act together and fill the supply!!

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Windows 10 Pro False Product Activation

One of my PCs fell with the Windows 10 Pro needs activation. There is a major bug in MS Activation Servers. Found this online that fixed my issue. Go to Settings-Updates & Security. Click Activation on the left. Then Troubleshoot on the right. After this it fixed the bug for me.

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Show VPN Connections On Windows Server

Client uses VPN on a Windows 2012 server and would like to know if users are connected before restarting the server.

The easiest way I found is to create a batch file and then run it as Administrator.

Here is the lines used in the batch file:

@echo off
netsh ras show client


Once you create the batch file containing these lines then just right-click on the file and select run as administrator

It will then show the names of the users logged in.


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Ryzen 1600 PC Won’t Boot

So I have been an Intel person for many many years. AMD in the early day sucked. They got better than Intel around the P4 time but when Intel started the Core 2 Duo I felt Intel were better. Recently the Intel CPUs are very short supply. I find very few left to find. All the 8th gen Intel i3-i7 are gone! So for my clients I have to provide PCs so I got in 2 AMD Ryzen 5 1600. My one supplier currently have some in stock. So I ordered the CPU and a compatible ASUS motherboard. Plugged everything in similar to the 1000’s of Intel PCs I have created but it would not boot. Looking at the fine print on the AMD box is it needs a GPU. WTF!!!!!!! Intel have not created a video card in many years so they build the GPU in the CPU. They are not the greatest but are getting better and for most of my business clients that’s all they need. Hell I can get Intel IX with an ASUS MB and can run 3 monitors right off the MB. Not for gaming but the business people don’t need that. Multiply screens is what they care. So here is AMD who make graphic cards and have the technology for this does not implement this in the CPU!!! It does not have to be all that fast but similar to Intel CPU speeds for GPU. So now I have to add a GPU card. The cheapest Nvidia 710 costs retail around $100 So now I have to add to the cost of a PC (where PC margins are already slim) so now the cheaper AMD is not that cheap! Add a GPU and its not that cheap.


Seems AMD Ryzen CPUs that end in G (for Graphics) have the graphics capability (Example Ryzen 2400G). I can see AMD choice of the 2 different chips BUT from an Intel standpoint it makes confusion. Every Intel i series CPU has built in GPU. For AMD you have to  choice the the right CPU for the job.


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GPO Policy Error “The system cannot find the path specified”

Client tried to go into Group Policy manager and edit Default Domain Policy but got this error.

Found on this site the solution


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Importing Pictures & Videos in Win 10 as Was Done in Win 7

Found this at this site

Basically copy the content of the item in the brackets in clipboard. Then right-click on Windows 10 desktop and create a new shortcut and paste clipboard and call it what you like. txt






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