Pacific Computer Wizards - Memory Repository .. not a blog...

An informational repository of … thoughts, data, sharing, and ideas, posted.
    – Use the information in these posts at your own risk.      
                                The ideas, thoughts, and expressions posted here are for my own use.                 
  -President & Chief Wizard                                                        

Some sobering facts about guns in America, and this is for a single year...

posted by Andrew Chadick

Some sobering facts about guns in America, and this is for a single year...

If you want to find out exactly how many guns are sold in the US each year, then the figures are not recorded.

However, if you want to know how many applications there are to buy guns each year, then the latest data from the FBI shows that 2012 looks like a bumper year for gun sales in America.

In the wake of the Newtown shooting in Connecticut, there is a renewed focus on gun control in the US. And, under US law, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is used to check if someone can buy a gun from a federal registered dealer before they can walk out of the shop with it.

Before ringing up the sale, cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn't otherwise ineligible to make a purchase.

The figures show that there have been 16,808,538 applications in 2012 so far to the end of November. If they were approved, that would be enough weapons to stock a member of Nato's armed forces nearly five times over. The system has received 156,577,260 applications since 1998 and the US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world.

Firearm background checks


68,584,078 of the total applications since 1998 have been for 'long guns' such as rifles, usually a minimum length of 16 inches (40 cm) for rifle barrels — that is 43.8% of all applications.

The figures are also broken down by state — and they show that of those 16.8m applications, a huge amount come from Kentucky: 2,329,151, followed by Texas with 1,196,176 applications.

If you look at those figures by population for 2012, then Kentucky has had 535.78 applications for every 1,000 people in the state, followed by Montana with 116.95. The US average for 2012 is 53.94.

Of course, not all applications are approved. Reasons for denial include being convicted of a crime in the last two years, having a dishonorable discharge from the military or mental health problems. The latest figures show that being convicted of a crime (which is the easiest to check after all) is responsible for 58.65% of the 976,255 denials under the system.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also records figures for weapons stocked under the National Firearms act, which regulates and taxes many of the most serious weapons. It shows a record high in these weapons being processed this year.

NFA regulated firearms processed


The full data is below. What have we missed and what can you add?




Seattle video

posted by Andrew Chadick   [ updated ]

Really great video that tells about Seattle and some of its many attractions.

Edge Browser Broken?

posted Sep 8, 2017, 12:41 PM by Andrew Chadick   [ updated Sep 8, 2017, 1:23 PM ]

Is your edge browser broken?  You try using cortana, or other windows functions, only to find them intrinsically linked to edge... what do you?  You go around it.  

Enter: The Edge Deflector on GitHub.

It's super straight forward:  (Install it, then locate the executable in your Program Files (x86) folder, then run it as administrator.  You will get a pop up, select open with Edge Deflector, then select the option to Always use it.  Once you have clicked OK, the program will do the job!  Edge Deflector now re-directs all Cortana and other windows edge functionality to my default (other) browser.

System requirements: Windows 10, your favorite web browser


  1. Download the latest version of EdgeDeflector.exe from GitHub releases
  2. Copy the downloaded executable to C:\Program Files\ or anywhere else it can be stored permanently
  3. Run the program once to configure your system
  4. Choose EdgeDeflector and Always use this app in the dialog

Google Maps - Location Sharing not working correctly

posted Sep 6, 2017, 9:55 AM by Andrew Chadick

If you share your location, and have a phone that is configured to receive other people's location, but it says that it can't connect to the internet, with an option of Retry as your only action, you are not alone.  There are many blog posts out there that indicate that this problem is wide spread.  However, there is a weird workaround.  

Open the app, click the 3 lines in the upper left corner, then click Location Sharing.

You will see your contacts at the bottom of the screen with "ongoing" as the time limit.  But at the top, their avatar/icons will be greyed out, and if you click on one of them, a message will pop up with your contact "isn't sharing with you".

Click Back, then go back to Location Sharing.  This time, click the name of the person down at the bottom, where it says their name and "ongoing".  It will still prompt you that the person isn't sharing with you.  But notice the 3 dots to the right of the contact name?  Touch that.  Then select Contact info.  The contact will open, but, from this location, you have more information available to you than at the normal contact location.  Scroll down.  Look for "Current Location". Touch the map that is displayed.  This is a work around, but it does work.

Hopefully this has helped you, and maybe Google will get this figured out sooner than later.

Xiaomi Mi Max 2

posted Aug 1, 2017, 2:11 PM by Andrew Chadick   [ updated Aug 23, 2017, 4:46 PM ]

For all of those wondering if the Mi Max 2 will work in the United States on the AT&T network, I can personally attest that the International Version works great!  I just set mine up this past weekend, and am very happy with it!

The phone I purchased can be found  here:

For me, most of the time the phone is connected on H+ but, from time to time in Seattle it connects on LTE VoLTE.
It's a fast phone, that stays pretty cool to the touch.  It's an all day battery, giving me about 14 hours of active use on the average day, that includes lots of looking things up on the web, Outlook email, Gmail, Messaging, Using Maps for active traffic during commute times, and even occasional social media and gaming.  
--- - ---
(Follow up - Aug 23rd)  I have been using the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 now for more than a couple of weeks.  Verdict? 
I absolutely love the phone!  

There are only two points that I can see that anyone would take issue with about this device.  
The first one isn't surprising; it sticks out of your pockets!  Not surprisingly, it is a big device, but I knew that, so what? Just be prepared. 
The second one is the rear camera; don't get me wrong, it takes good daylight photos, it has decent saturation, and overall is quite adequate for most needs; but with one exception - in low light situations it is not so great.  It just doesn't do low light.  It has a hard time locking on images and make them sharp in low light, and if you are sitting in low light, like a theater, and are trying to take shots of someone on stage under a spotlight, the photos are pretty washed out and sometimes pretty blurry.  There are settings you can do that help, like dropping the camera in manual mode, and touching the screen before taking a photo... but it can be annoying, especially when you are trying to capture a moment...

If those two points don't cause you to pause, then I whole heartedly recommend you get one of these amazing phones.  

Coaching Notes

posted Jul 21, 2017, 8:12 AM by Andrew Chadick   [ updated Jul 21, 2017, 8:12 AM ]

"It's not what you have done that matters, it's what you do next." - Dan

After a meeting or conversation with someone, ask yourself, do I have more energy now than I did or less...?

Who you are, is how you lead.

Be aware of the unintended consequences of inattention to your surroundings.  When you walk by an office or set of cubicles lost in thought... are staff members trying to get your attention? Did someone try to talk to you?  Your lack of attention can be sending a message that you don't care.   Pay attention, make a concerted effort to look around and be alert when moving through the office, say hello and good morning to everyone.  

When you are working with someone that is new at the job, and they appear frustrated, or in a bad temper, do not jump to the conclusion that they have a poor attitude.  Assume first that they don't want to do a bad job, and are struggling to do better.   

Asking for "help" is a face removing exercise.  Be aware.

When someone goes out of their way to help you, overtime, over the top, beyond the 9-5 requirement, thank them, not only with the words thank you, but tell them what you were able to accomplish because they did it, and let them know that because they did it quickly you were able to make your deadlines.  

"Help is defined by the person being helped" - Edgar Schein

People want to be a part of something that is meaningful.

What does it mean to coach?  Teach, help to learn, help to orient, instruct, give example, assist in learning.  
Notice behaviors - Observe, compliment, and thank for their value added.

Q: What feedback is the easiest to give?  A: What was asked for!

"It's your life, you might want to get involved" - Kate by way of Dan

Understand the problem
- Don't settle for one solution

Whirlpool Model ED5GVEXVD05 Fridge shuts off

posted Jul 21, 2017, 7:12 AM by Andrew Chadick   [ updated Jul 21, 2017, 7:17 AM ]

Our Whirlpool fridge was running terrific for about 5 years, and recently it had an issue where it would be running then all of a sudden it would just stop running, and it would stay off.  The ice would melt, the fridge would get warm.  We learned by playing with it, that if we turn it off using the knobs inside the fridge, turn off the freezer and fridge, wait a few minutes, then turn them back on, the fridge would start up again, and run.  Sometimes for a day, sometimes for a few hours.  Usually long enough to make ice, and then have it melt on us again.  

So, not knowing what was wrong, and getting lots of advice we started replacing parts.  

We started with the Whirlpool W10189190 Start Device and it's accompanying Capacitor 2169373.  These parts are on the back of the fridge at the ground level.  Very easy to replace.  They however did not fix the fridge, but now we have new parts of these in place anyway.

Then we got the Whirlpool W10366605 Refrigerator Adaptive Defrost Control Board, which is housed in a panel at the front of the fridge, my eye level, just inside on the right.  It's a small circuit board that is mounted with 2 screws.  The panel is a bit of a pain to remove, but the board itself is easy to swap out.  When the swap happened, there was a noticeable difference in the way the fridge acted on start up.  It sounds funny but it started up and ran stronger for lack of a better phrase.  It just seemed to operate better.  However, this too was not the problem, and the fridge cut out sometime in the night, with the ice melting again.

The next part we purchased was the Flexvision 2198202 Refrigerator Cold Control Thermostat.  This part is probably the biggest pain to replace.  It starts in the same location as the adaptive defrost board, at the front of the fridge, eye level, but is secured in place with more screws, and it has a sensor wire that stretches to the back of the fridge through a molding that runs along the top left of the inside.   What isn't clear when purchasing this device, is that it replaces the refrigerator temperature control knob at the same time.  It is the whole back end to that assembly, and the wire that runs back is the sensor for it's turning on and shutting off, which is what our problem was...  apparently this replacement part addresses 3 conditions.  1) your fridge won't stop running 2) it's off and won't turn back on, and 3) it won't maintain the correct temperature.  Ours was kind of a combination of 2 and 3.  

For the purpose of this post, it would appear that the part that needed to be replaced was in fact the Cold Control Thermostat.  However, it certainly didn't hurt to replace all the other parts, and who knows, maybe it will run better/longer this way?  

eBooks from Microsoft

posted Jul 17, 2017, 10:05 AM by Andrew Chadick

Free eBooks!

Microsoft Edge browser fails to launch and stay up

posted Jul 11, 2017, 2:05 PM by Andrew Chadick   [ updated Aug 14, 2017, 1:55 PM ]

After a recent update, Edge is crashing.

Normally running the executable from PowerShell:   explorer.exe microsoft-edge:  
will launch edge and go to that page.

But it doesn't.  The browser opens briefly then crashes and closes.  No apparent rhyme or reason to it.  It also has some other odd behaviors when you force it.

There are some actions that will sometimes work with Edge, like killing it's cache folders:
Cache location: C:\users\%username%\appdata\local\packages\microsoft.microsoftedge_8wekyb3d8bbwe 
And reinstalling it with this PowerShell script:
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"} 

But for me, on 3 of my machines, the above isn't working.  The script repopulates that folder location with new contents, and the browser still goes down.

So here is what I know, and have observed:

Open PowerShell and then copy/paste:      explorer.exe microsoft-edge://        then press enter.  

Edge will open.  But it loads as a blank window...and further, it's pretty useless in this state. 
You can't surf to any sites.  You can however edit settings, clear history, and do those kind of operations.  
(edit 7/18 - I may have been mistaken about its state at this point, if you click on the new tab while this blank window is open, a new tab may open to the home page and function within the home screen, but, will still display the same issues as shown below).

It's truly bizarre, but I did force it to launch.    

Now, let's dive deeper in to the weirdness that is broken Edge... Keep this same blank window open.  Now, click on Cortana, and search for/type "Edge".  Then launch the Edge Browser from the search selection at the top.  If that blank version of Edge is open still, then the Edge browser will open and bring up it's home page! (again, only if you have that previous window open in the background).  So, THE catch?  It won't go anywhere but the home page!  

You can still click around on that page, anywhere on the home page, scroll down, pull lots of new content, and it will show and allow you to interact, Click Politics, US, World, etc.. it will all work.., but try and open a new tab, or redirect the current tab to a new website? Nothing! 
(It's as if the Edge browser has it's own DNS settings and ignores the computer's settings altogether.)

You just get a Progress swirl in the upper left corner on the tab (see below).   

This happening on Windows 10 Enterprise x64, version 1703, build 15063.413. 
 - Just updated to build 15063.483 - same issue.

Not going to delete my user's profiles and rebuild them if I don't have to, that would be a last resort.  We have many other browser options that still work correctly.

Update 7/18 - while playing with various aspects of Edge, because I can't leave an open problem alone,... I ran this command from PowerShell as admin,  explorer.exe microsoft-edge://  once the browser window opened, I installed an extension in to the window using the Microsoft store.  The extension installed, and within that window, which normally stays blank, the home page loaded!  Now, it has the same problems as shown above, where it won't go anywhere but the home page, but it does show that the browser can launch and be functional to a point.  Still working on this. 

(Update 8/10/2017) Just downloaded an xml file and asked to open it through Edge.  It opened!  It looks like local content will open in Edge and work correctly.   It's only when a web page is opened that it crashes.  Interesting...

Reset Windows Store and Run Troubleshooter

posted Jul 11, 2017, 1:48 PM by Andrew Chadick

1-10 of 136