[ Our   Firmfriends.us domain is hosted on a web-server at  inmotionhosting.com ]

Below is my business-card - Call or email - Very reasonable prices...and estimates are free
(I have an "Acer Chromebook 15-inch laptop that I can loan to you, while I'm repairing your computer.)
Water  Hawk  Computers
image of hawk
David Cook
(603) 493-9597

----------    david.hubert.cook@gmail.com    ----------

Manchester, NH        Boulder, CO         Jacksonville, FL

Computer (Laptop / Desktop) repair               Video processing
Windows-OS Repair / Virus removal                 Home networks

[ Jackson Browne ]
The Pretender
[ Simon and Garfunkel ]
The Boxer
[ Billy Joel ]
An Innocent Man

[ Toto ]
[ Lyle Lovett ]
Step Inside This House
[ Neil Young ]
One Of These Days

[ Bob Dylan ]
Simple Twist of Fate
[ John Prine ]
Speed of the Sound of Loneliness
[ Tom Petty ]
To Find a Friend

[ Leonard Cohen ]
[ Arlo Guthrie ]
City of New Orleans
[ Eagles ]
Lyin' Eyes

(The smaller embed above...the one with the colored border, is the one randomly chosen to AUTO-PLAY in the player-window below.)

To play/pause this randomly chosen music-video, CLICK ANYWHERE inside
the LARGE player-window BELOW, (or on its 'play / pause' control.)

[ When there's really something to watch, try clicking the 'full-screen' button, on control-bar in video's lower-right corner. ]
[ HINT: To start a DIFFERENT random choice, just click on your BROWSER's 'reload' button (circular-arrow icon). ]

Sorry about any annoying ads / msgs that YouTube pops up over the video. Click the small "x" in their upper-right corner.
Here's a collection of some of my favorite songs (more YouTube embeds)
[ Jason Mraz's bongo-player is AWESOME. ]


[ The assholes on YouTube have been removing Don Henley songs lately, so I put local MP3 copies here, as payback. ]



The 'weasel' lives here. This is his new home.
  He's a tricky little fellow...e.g. known to play dead when confronted by his enemies.

Actually, I'm just a weasel wannabe...it's the Morley family members who really ARE weasels.
[ I guess I'm also a ferret wannabe too...so I can 'ferret' out the truth. ]

[ AngularJS logo ]
Scroll-interval, in milli-secs:
[ To pause the built-in auto-scrolling in this Carousel, enter a negative number
(for the scroll-interval value), or hover-on or click-on the left/right nav-arrowheads,
or just hover your mouse in the images-area. ]

Donald Trump is psychologically damaged and unfit to be president

Here is 'the Altantic' magazine's EXCELLENT article on the warped psychology of Donald Trump

       Click here to read their article titled: "Trump's psychological traits"

Bill Maher says something very similar. Like many others, Bill's diagnosis is: "Narcissistic Personality Disorder"

Diagnosis: "Narcissistic Personality Disorder"

Bill Maher also did another "must-hear" commentary on the Donald

[ Probably one of the most accurate assessments of Trump...the man was/is unfit for the office. ]

Link to my comments regarding the Electoral College

My analysis of the (archaic) Electoral College

How to setup a (free) VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A 'virtual private network', configured as described here, will allow that browser's IP-connections to all use a hidden 'IP-address'

[ For example, say that you want to 'torrent' download some Internet content...]
[ ...or watch some 'porn' website...or whatever. ]

You first need to learn how to setup your 'Windows-10' laptop's Chrome-browser to 'switch-on' a (free) VPN (aka "Virtual Private Network") tool, such that every browser tab (including, say, the browser-extension named "jsTorrent", which is used for torrent downloading from say, the popular website URL: "thepiratebay.org") so that you are using a 'hidden' IP-ADDRESS.

[ Note: 'Pirate Bay' supports both MAGNET-links and TORRENT-files.]

Ok...this setup is actually quite straight-forward to do.

Here's a basic article explaining VPNs

It's a good idea to leave your VPN turned OFF (disabled) except when you actually need it's protection. Thus, any time, just before you're ready to actually BEGIN some torrent-download from Pirate Bay or to BEGIN viewing your 'explicit' website , you must first remember to manually go tweak your browser's VPN to ON, and when you're done with your hidden download or video-watching, you will explicitly remember to manually go back into Chrome-browser and turn OFF your VPN. [ In other words, the lion's share of your daily Chrome-browser usage should be done with your VPN turned OFF. That said, however, one COULD just enable your VPN once and leave it enabled all the time...and it would then always be hiding all of the browser tabs that are running within that VPN-enabled browser. A warning tho: the PROBLEM with doing that is that you'll sometimes see super-slow (aka 'weird' behavior), in the stuff you're doing in any of that browser's "tabs". ]

So, let's assume that you have installed and configured Google's Chrome-browser to be able to use the free JSTorrent downloader (well, almost free...it's one-time payment of $2.95 at the Chrome webstore) . Also, let's assume you have installed and setup the Chrome-browser-based "Browsec VPN" browser-extension, which is also freely available in the Chrome webstore. So now, go thru the motions (for practice/familiarity) and TURN ON the BROWSEC VPN, by simply clickting on the round-silver-grid-world logo for BROWSEC (the first-time using it, you can 'pin' it to the right end of Google Chrome's address bar. So click on that BROWSEC icon. It's dialog popup has a clickable 'slide-switch. When clicked into the ON position, it should have a list-box of various country-name choices of which country's server you wish to use. (I typically choose United States (or Netherlands, since that's where Pirate Bay website is located, but almost any location seems to work equally well.)

Some cautions on using the torrent-client named JSTorrent correctly! (Pay close attention...I stumbled upon the fact that there are 2 different ways of passing it your desired 'torrent/magnet' info. This first way will NOT hide your IP: It is that you launch iJSTorrent separately from outside the browser and you then 'copy' the magnet link and 'paste' it into this already-jaunched JSTorrent. While that will indeed DO the desired download of that content, that download will NOT be protected by your VPN. So, method 2: instead, use this method: (1)Navigate to "thepiratebay.org" in Chrome (which has the 'Browsec VPN' enabled and active), and search for and click on the video torrent/magnet that you want to download. (2) Then scroll down and click on the first (uppermost) of the two "Get this Torrent" clickables. This should now visibly launch JSTorrent, in behalf of this browser instance. So, now you have JSTorrent's download stream running through the VPN/tunnel!

To become familiar with STARTING and STOPPING the 'Browsec VPN Service', and TESTING that it's operating as expected, create yourself a browser bookmark for checkingwhere your IP-address is located This will visibly show you that your VPN service is having the desired effect of CHANGING your IP-ADDRESS, from your normal Internet Service Provider ("ISP") to a private generic/non-descript IP-ADDRESS, originating in the country that you configured your VPN to point to. Soto 'test', first manually turn ON your VPN,and then visit the testing URL above, refresh that test page (by and look at your Public (effective) IP-ADDRESS, and then go back and turn OFF the VPN-service. and again reload that test URL and you should see that your IP-ADDRESS is now different than before. This is just to demonstrate that it's not at all important to know WHAT your IP-ADDRESS normally is, but only that it is now DIFFERENT than before. (WARNING: I do NOT recommend that you actually USE any of the various clickable buttons on this test-page...they might totally MESS UP the workings of your Browsec VPN! This test URL is only for your educational understanding.)

An'artificial intelligence' (AI) website: a free medical diagnostic-interview

Smiley face
The header above says it all...just point your browser to "MEDOCTOR.COM". i.e. just click or touch here

You'll be taking a medical interview, by entering some basic info, which includes the year you were born, your gender, the affected part of your body, followed by a series of mostly 'yes' or 'no' questions.

My first experience there, was for some mid/lower back spasms and intermittent pain in my lower back. In my case, the interview part was approx 30 questions long, before it decided it was ready to give me a diagnosis, which resulted in 'three' (3) possibilities/probabilities: These are your 3 most likely conditions or diseases with their ICD-9 identification codes, as determined by your answers and the logical process of the MEDoctor system:

Disease Name ICD-9 Identification Code
1. Low back pain 724.2
2. Lumbar disc displacement 722.10
3. Low back sprain 846.0
The site's "PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING". i.e. which translates to: Just TRY IT...you'll like it !

The impressive thing is how, during the interview itself, it starts teaching you the correct medical terminology that is (probably) most relevant to your problem. For example, I began just by memtioning the word 'pain' and indicating the general area of the lower-back. After a few first questions, it soon start asking if the pain could be described as like from a 'muscle spasm'. When I saw that question, I'm thinking like "YEAH, YEAH...now we're GETTING SOMEWHERE". So, like I said...you've just got to TRY this website, to experience the power of ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE at its finest.

Cyber Newsworthy:

      Read how cyber-hackers are scraping your profile info from Facebook and other social network sites.

How to make Windows-10 desktop-UI look like Windows-7

      If you own a computer running Windows-10 (or Windows 8.x), but want the desktop UI to look and act like it did
      back on Windows-7, there IS a (free) solution. So, just download and install the what' is called the Windows "Classic Shell"

Watch a skydiver's most recent feat. [ Awesome ]

[ I retired from skydiving after jump #386 as a skydiver, back in my younger days, so this feat has special significance for me. ]
     Go "Luke" !   Watch these 4 skydivers as they jump

Similarly, watch two Norwegian basejumpers perform their latest feat of magic....

...a so-called "reverse-skydive" [ Unbelievable. ]

[ I never graduated to base-jumping nor hang-gliding...I finally finished college (after 10 years) instead. ]
Now watch THESE guys as they    step off the mountain top

Social Media / Social Networks: Yikes...they've been mutating into beasts (and worse)

[ I now just say 'NO' to Twitter(2006) and Facebook(2004) ]

Hmmm...so it's been 15 years ago now that Facebook came online, followed by Twitter 2 years later. As a geeky/techy Internet-curious programmer, I joined them both when they emerged. Back then, both Facebook and Twitter seemed innocuous and benign...they appeared to fulfill reasonalbe and legitimate functions for people.

Twitter (2006): So, back when it first emerged, I joined and played with it for maybe a month or two. I soon decided that I thought it was 'goofy' and a waste of my time. But, I concluded 'live and let live'...'to each his own'. But fast-forward now, to a while after Trump had become president, and I became much more of a detractor. I'm confident than many/most of us never dreamed how Trump could pollute it, and the Russians could use it to re-adjust the outcome of our elections. Finally, most recently, I have had a very negative experience, when I attempted to use my long-dormant Twitter account, to follow a twitter profile named "Google Chromecast". Clearly, it's description implies that it is a generic way to get news from Google, about this product-family's happenings, etc. It shows that it has over 160, 000 followers and has so far had over 24,000 tweets. But, the one new/unfamiliar phrase in the description caught my eye. It reads: "This accounts Tweets are protected". Well, ok, so ignoring/discounting that, I clicked on its "Follow" button, to become a follower, and was greeted with the button's follow-text changing to some lighter-grey text reading "Pending". No problem, I thought. No doubt it's gonna take a few hours/days/weeks?/years? before I'm actually granted ability to see its tweets. (Ok, it's been over a week...what gives?? When, if ever, will I be accepted into this privileged club?) So it's been over two weeks already, and it's still pending! It was after only a few hours, that I began to smell a rat. It seems that Twitter has re-defined the meaning of 'pending' to be synonymous with 'never' ! What a gross miss-representation ! The more I contemplate this obfuscation, the angrier I get. You can now mark me down as in AGREEMENT with efforts I hear about from US senators/representatives proposing some new legislation to begin to oversee and regulate some of these social-network business practices!

Facebook (2004): This behemoth too, has not done enough yet, to minimize the potential for manipulation by Russian propagandists, etc. My recent response (2019) has been to first totally DELETE my Facebook. After a month or so, I then went back and re-created myself a new Facebook acct, and inserted a minimal amount of content. My rationale for HAVING a personal acct, is because it is REQUIRED, if you even want to be able to search to see if one of your long-lost firends is still alive and kicking, (Sigh. Maybe the govt SHOULD intervene and force Facebook to allow searches by non-members.)

Snapchat (2011) For completeness, I include the very basics of Snapchat. Since I have no first-hand or over-someone's-shoulder experience with Snapchat, I'm relying just on what I can read on wikipedia, etc. Snapchat appears to NOT be targeting 'dating' relationships. Rather, it claims to be a website offering photo-based sharing of one's individual experiences. A key difference from Facebook is that the photos/messages EXPIRE after some short period of time, so that they are no longer visible to recipients. The intent is to be able to "share a video/photo/message, with a friend". [ See wikipedia's Snapchat info here ]

Bottom-line: Lest you conclude that I'm over-reaching in my condemnation of some of the largest social-media web-based giants, here's an interesting book you should first take a look at: "the Four", which discusses Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple (and handful of their 'lesser-valued' cousins). But all this said, I'll of course let you decide. As always, YMMV

Why an old-school 'flip-phone' is an IDEAL 'smartphone' !

Tho I'm quite 'tablet-literate', I intend on continuing to 'upgrade' to yet another"flip-phone"...(Yup, a phone with those 10 physical keys numbered 0 thru 9 and each containing 3 or 4 letters of the alphabet). If you're thinking it must be awkward for me to compose a TEXT-MSG, you're right. That's the whole idea!!! I've found a minimalist flip-phone model to be the nearly PERFECT device, for encouraging hands-free operation while driving. It works perfectly for RECEIVING normal text-msgs (e.g. from your doctor or dentist), yet it neatly discourages you from SENDING text-msgs, beyond a simple "OK" or "Roger, that.". Long live the EMAIL-system!

Also note that a flip-phone is FULLY blue-tooth capable. So, yes, if your vehicle is modern enough to have bluetooth support in its console, your contacts will auto-upload into your car's console. You can make and receive calls 'hands-free', just like you can via a 'mormal' smartphone. Which is why I'm here to INFORM YOU that, phone-call-function-wise, a flip-phone is EVERY BIT as 'smart' as the more-common touch-screen-based smartphone.

Lastly, what I just LOVE about flip-phones, is that they're smaller enough, that they're much less-likely to get get snagged by, or interfere with, the seat-belt, as you enter/exit the vehicle!!!

Bluetooth-wireless devices: [ Usages, concepts, and pairing tips ]

#1 AUTOMOBILE: Usage: Use a bluetooth connection for HANDS-FREE cellphone operation, in your vehicle.

If your car is new enough that its console and display supports bluetooth, using this feature with your cellphone is a no-brainer! (We had this ability for almost a year, before we finally got around to setting it up and trying. Consider yourself reminded that hands-free CALLING by the driver is now the LAW in about 16 of the 50 states in the U.S. (In general, those 16 tend to be the more politically 'blue states' in the U.S.) Whereas, TEXT-MESSAGING by the driver is illegal in about 47 of the 50 states in the U.S.) (Source:this article)

Here's a glimpse of what you'll experience, once you have it configured and working. So, each time you step into car with your cellphone present and its bluetooth chip enabled, your contact names and associated phone-numbers get loaded/updated into the console. So, when you select your console's 'Phone' screen (e.g rather than its FM-radio-screen, etc), and then touch its on-screen 'list/contacts' button, you'll see an itemized list of all your phone contacts. And, then you'll be able to INITIATE a call to someone, by just selecting their name from that on-screen list. Similarly, RECEIVING a call should be equally transparent. Let's say your console screen is currently displaying the FM-radio screen that you've tuned to. Typically, you'll hear an ring-tone, and screen will flip to a phone-screen displaying the person's name/phone-number, and with a single touch of an on-screen 'answer' button, you'll be talking to the caller. (And, any incoming TEXT-MSG typically get SPOKEN to you, so you don't have to remove your gaze from the road to read it). Pretty cool, yes!?

#2 EXERCISE: Usage: Listening to your favorite music via bluetooth 'headset' or 'earbuds' during workouts

The music 'hosting' device might be a cellphone or a bluetooth-capable MP3-player(e.g. SanDisk's "Clip Sport" MP3-player). Learning to extract your fav music tracks from commercial music-CDs and loading them onto an MP3 player or your cellphone, etc, is quite straight-forward, using a home computer.

Details here
#3 REMOTE BT-SPEAKER: Usage: Listening to your favorite music in your house or patio, on a bt-speaker.

The music 'hosting' device could be a modern tablet or a smartphone or laptop PC, which all support bluetooth links.

#3 COMPUTER MOUSE: I do NOT recommend this. <.h6>

After using a few for 6 months or so, it slowly became clear to me that I prefer the other type of wireless mouse...namely, the 'USB-dongle' models. These are the ones that have a little three-quarters-of-an-inch long so-called 'dongle' that plugs into any of the standard USB-ports. They use much less battery power than blue-tooth mice. And, they are totally just plug-and-go...no need for 'pairing'. Perfect especially for laptops.

PAIRING INFO: How to initially 'PAIR' your master ('hosting') device with an individual slave device

Examples: A smartphone and an MP3 player and a tablet are all examples of what I mean by 'master' devices. Whereas, a headset and earbuds and speaker(s) are all examples of what I mean by 'slave' devices.

Note: PAIRING is the one-time intial 'marrying' of each of multiple bluetooth devices to any given bluetooth 'peripheral device.

At a minimum, you'll need to learn the specifics of putting any given slave device into a state where it is listening for a 'pairing-request'. And, then, understanding how to cause the master device to initiate the ' pairing-request'. (If you happen to lose or misplace the instruction-booklet for any master or slave device, just do a 'google-search' on the Internet for those details of that model. The YouTube.com site has dozens of so-called 'unboxing' tutorials and reviews of virtually all models of bluetooth devices, and many/most of those tutorials also demonstrate the steps for 'pairing' the device.)

Sometimes, simply switching on the power on the slave device and letting it settle for a few seconds into a steady state, will put it into listening for a pairing-request. Then, on the master-device, navigate to its pairing-request screen or button and actuate it, and you should then typically see some visual indication of 'hand-shaking' (e.g. toggling values of hex-digits, etc), followed by some 'done' indication. Finally, on the master device, you'll end up seeing some cryptic abbreviated name/text string that is unique to the slave device.>

For example, one of my master devices is the bluetooth-capable model of SanDisk's "Clip Sport" MP3 player (onto which I've loaded about 100 separate MP3 files, including additional small images of 'album-art' for each music-album.) So, I've now 'paired' this MP3-player to two different bluetooth slave devices: (1) A bluetooth headset, and (2) a bluetooth speaker. When I look at the MP3's bluetooth-screen of its list of paired devices, I see the two names (1)"Grind wireless", and (2) "XT1481". These unique names, tho non-obvious, seemingly arbitrary and cryptic, are typically NOT needed during day-to-day usage.

Also, note that of course the two slave devices I mentioned might also be paired with OTHER master devices. Sure enough...I have both my headset and speaker paired with my Android-based "Nexus-9" tablet. But, as mentioned, any given master device is typically used in an entirely different location(room) and hence only one will typically be powered up/usable at any given time.

Note that having bluetooth ON/ENABLED is entirely different from having the master device powered up and being used for other non-bluetooth purposes. It is very common to turn-off just the bluetooth chip (and/or wifi-chip) on a cellphone or tablet (so-called 'airplane-mode', etc), when you don't wanting the signal(s) radiating. Doing that will also consume less battery power, and you'll not need to recharge that master device quite as often.

One last hint: Even if you NORMALLY don't read/study the how-to literature that comes with your tech-devices, I'm finding that I often miss important neat features. Just one key example: Both my BT-speaker and my BT-headphones have directional 'arrow' buttons. It turns out that both devices have a feature that I wasn't initially aware of. These 'arrow' buttons have MORE THAN ONE use! As you might guess, the headphone's two arrow-buttons are primarily for increasing/decreasing the volume, and a normal press-and-release do exactly that. But, on both devices, the arrow-buttons have an unexpected secondary function. On the headphones, instead of just a normal press, if you instead press-and-hold those buttons (for 2 or 3 secs), they send a control-msg back to the master device, to command it to skip to the next/previous song. Super-cool...so you don't ever have remove your master-device from its holster or clip, to restart or bypass a song. Who would have known this, unless they studied the device's documentation!

You'll quickly catch on to day-to-day bluetooth usage. HAPPY BLUETOOTHING!

[ I'm very happy with my "SkullCandy" bluetooth headphones. I chose them after googling around, where I learned that these earned a "PC-Magazine Editor's Choice" award. Also, I'd noticed at my daily 'Planet Fitness' workouts, that many more people have full over-the-ear wireless headphones, than wireless 'ear-buds'. Here's a YouTube review of a slightly higher-priced, but otherwise visually identical model. (Mine didn't come with that 'plugin-microphone-wand shown in the video.) Mine DOES have microphone 'hole'...tho I don't plan to ever TALK with these, as I also own an old WIRED USB-headset w/ swing-down microphone wand, that I still use occasionally for 'skyping' at home on my laptop. ]

WEB-SAFETY:   How to check reputation/safety of any website/domain:

[ This cool webservice validates via a series of web-safety-provided 'black-lists' and 'white-lists' ]
[ Hint: Normally, you would specify a simple textual-URL such as 'Foobar.com', (rather than a numerical IP-address), for your website of interest ]
  Blacklist/Whitelist alerter

Understanding the blacklist output:
  If you see only the normal vertical list of 'OK' s, you're good to go...it's a SAFE/normal website.

Understanding any non-whitelist output:
  If you see any text like 'NOT WHITELISTED',
  This indicates a WARNING-alert that the website in question is NOT RECOMMENDED, due to some undesireable restriction.
  For example, a site that is accessible/visable/useable ONLY after you've registered/joined it.

WEB-SAFETY:   How to view registration-info for any website/domain:

[ Here is Wikipedia's detailed explanation/useage of   "WhoIS" ]
  Get EasyCounter's WhoIS info for a website

A place to build your own website

     A good place to build your own website is at SITES.GOOGLE.COM

I mention this, because "sites.google.com" is a free domain provided to the public by Google, and is where my classmate Warren Hill built
   our high-school class's Re-union Website

[ He told me he really knew nothing about building websites before he started, and that this base site of Google's provides a series of templates for various generic categories for one's site, and that he just 'followed his nose' after choosing the appropriate template. ]

Google offers this site, FREE to the public, as a place where people can construct their own sites. It offers a DIY (do it yourself) approach, and provides you with templates and tools and instructions to help you construct a series of webpages and data files comprising your 'site'.

An interesting native Android widget-app (tribute to my father-in-law):

     The Dinarism-list widget
Using, say, Android's Chrome-browser,Touch here, to download my modified 'LoremWidget' for Android (aka the Dinarism-list widget)
It will go into Android's "Download" folder...so go there using, say, the 'ES File Manager' app, and touch the .apk, to install.
[Hint: You need to have 'allow from unknown-sources' enabled, in your Security settings.]
Note: Because this app is a widget-app rather than a full-screen app, to deploy it after installation, you'll need to drag/drop it from the 'Widget' section of the app list, onto your home-screen/desktop.

Contact info
You can email this 'Webster' here.