Sunday, May 01, 2016


Now and then I need/want to download a YouTube video, especially when I've used the YouTube Editor to crop/combine videos.

The best tool I've found is

Go to and enter the viewing URL for the YouTube video. Click on "Continue".

On the next screen, chose what resolution you want and click on "Start".

When the conversion has completed, click on "Download".

Realize that downloading from YouTube is just a little bit shady. Beware of unwanted pop-ups/-unders.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Windows 10 Metered Connection

We all know how aggressive Windows 10 is on applying updates. One of the tips is to set your network connection to "metered."

That works.


This disables all updates including Windows Defender's signature updates.

So if you use this tip, don't forget to force Windows Defender to update every day or two to get fresh signatures.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Google Street View

Have you been wondering where all the Google Street View car goes? Normally you can only see whether they drove down the street you're interested in by dragging the little man over the street.

But I wanted to see its route through an entire neighborhood or shopping center.

Here's how.

In Google Maps, position the map to where you want to start. Drag the little man onto the map. Notice that the routes the Google Street View car has mapped are highlighted with blue lines. But these lines are not persistent. They're only presented while you are dragging the little man.

Now drop the little man anywhere you want. That takes you into Google Street View.

Here's the fun part.

Now click the "-" in the lower right corner. This takes you out of Google Street View but leaves the routes highlighted in blue.

Some of these routes are interesting. Look at the outlots of Wolfchase Mall.

The Google Street View car drove through ALL the aisles of the Bed Bath & Beyond parking lot. Was he looking for his girlfriend's car or what?

I'm Not Strange (I'm Just Like You)

Sunday, April 10, 2016


If you don't know what your Windows "certificate store" is just quit reading and go back to Facebook.

Now since you know what your certificate store is, I'm sure that you've had a couple of sleepless nights over it.

Here's how to get back to those restful nights.

Or you might not close your eyes until you've reformatted and reinstalled Windows.

Go to Microsoft's Sigcheck page and download

Extract sigcheck.exe somewhere convenient like your desktop.

Run the command prompt. Navigate to where you saved sigcheck.exe. Run "sigcheck -tv".

It'll take a couple of minutes.

The results will determine how (or whether) you sleep tonight.

Note: This doesn't check Firefox's certificate store.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Never Leave Home Without It

So when you are in the gate area at the airport, do you plug your phone into one of those courtesy USB charging ports? Please say NO.

If you have to make sure you have one of these in your bag.
Think of this as a USB condom.
Your device will not enter 'data transfer' mode so there is no risk of data hacking / viruses when charging from an unknown USB socket.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

There Was a Problem

I continue coming up to speed on Windows 10. Overall it is still going well. There are just bumps in the road here and there.

I'm working toward upgrading my wife's ThinkPad T420s. I want it to go smoothly (which I fully expect) and quickly (the subject of this post).

To make it go quickly my idea was to have the latest Windows 10 bits downloaded. To do this I ran the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

I had used the Media Creation Tool before. But this time it was different.

I tried it on a new PC. One where I had taken my own advice and made the default user NOT an administrator.

The tool downloaded successfully and ran through its first couple of screens asking for the administrator's password. I'm not sure why it needs administrator rights but anyway...

Then I gave it access to the USB drive I wanted to use for my fresh media.
There was a problem running this tool. We're not sure what happened, but we're unable to run this tool on your PC. If you continue experiencing problems, reference the error code when contacting customer support. Error code: 0x800704DD - 0x90016.

"We're not sure what happened?" C'mon Microsoft. Nobody but you can know what happened.

So I started searching Google for this and came across this.

The net of this is that to create a USB drive you have to run the Media Creation Tool while logged in as an administrator.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Recover Google Photos Storage

So Google Photos has free unlimited storage. Not. That's a whole another discussion. This post is to cover what to do when you discover that you are using too much of your free 15GB of Google storage for photos.

Here's where to look for the problem.

Now I'm not really having a problem but my daughter did.

I believe there's an underlying problem with Google wrongly counting older photos against your storage even if they are under the 16 megapixel size.

This post from the Nexus 5 subreddit gave me the solution.

WARNING: The following procedure will resample your full resolution photos down to 16 megapixels.

Go to Google Photos Setting screen.


And click on "COMPRESS".

You're welcome.