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USB speed and cost comparision

Testing USB thumb drives

First up is one of my favorites, the Lexar 3.0 Orange/white 32g.b. drive.

Secondly, is the Sandisk 3.0 Black/red 32 g.b. drive.

Both drives use the push forward type extension, in order to insert it into a usb slot.

For testing the speed I used a folder with 24 different executable files. It is just a assortment of stuff that I like to use in diagnosing and repairing laptops and pc’s. Before beginning the tests, I formatted each drive using windows explorer. I could clearly see the winner by this simple process. But I wanted to get real numbers, specifically how long it takes to drop 24 different executable files onto the drive.

The results are:

Lexar speed result is 08:24 seconds.

Sandisk came in at 15:22 seconds.

Sandisk are lower priced, found in nearly every retail outlet.

Lexar is more difficult to find. Especially ones with the push forward type extension.

The failure rate is another aspect of determining which drive is better. I have found through servicing customers issues that it’s the Sandisk which is more problematic and has the higher failure rate. This could also be due to there are more Sandisks purchased than Lexar and I am seeing more of them and less Lexars. To be fair, I have not seen a Lexar fail. I know they do, because eventually in time all failure rates go up in percentages.

The bottom line in all of this is cost and speed. I paid $11 for the Sandisk, and $17 for the Lexar.

The Lexar is 47% faster than the Sandisk.

The Lexar is 36% costlier than the Sandisk.

For personal use I would purchase the Lexar. For everything else I would purchase the Sandisk.

Next time I find the Lexar thumb drive, I will stock up.

Gmail phishing spyware malware

Tip of the day….as always, Do not open any attachment in an email if you’re not “expecting” an attachment. “Expecting” is the key word here. Even you are expecting an attachment, go slow, make sure it is legit. As Kim Komando has written below, the latest Gmail phishing attempt is quite convincing.

Gmail phishing scam story

Why there isn’t an Apple Store in Dothan Alabama?

All profits/proceeds go directly to the top of the corporate food chain, period

All Apple Stores are company-owned. Your only option is to open an AppleAuthorized Reseller (AAR). This is an incredibly onerous process that requires approval from Apple, a promise to purchase a minimum of $100,000 in equipment each year from Apple, and profit margins on the order of 3-5%.

Windows 10 search tip

Search from the Start Menu

Another great way to quickly get to an app or file is to open the Start menu, either by clicking on it or using the Windows key, then simply typing is the name of the app, file, or folder you’re looking for.

Senator asks FTC to investigate Office Depot PC tech practices

Senator Maria Cantwell last week asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate claims that retailer Office Depot has used some of the same tactics as PC tech scammers to convince consumers to pay for expensive support plans or pricy repairs.

The allegations against Office Depot and its sister company, Office Max, originated last week with reports by television stations KIRO of Seattle and WFXT of Boston. Each station had bought several new PCs, then taken them to local Office Depot or Office Max stores for diagnostic tests, telling technicians that the machines were running slowly.

In the majority of cases, Office Depot or Office Max support technicians claimed that the PCs showed symptoms of being infected with malware, and recommended that the customer pay for repairs or long-term support plans, with costs ranging from $148 to $199.

According to a former Office Depot technician that KIRO interviewed, the chain required support personnel to run a software scanning tool, “PC Health Check,” that automatically signaled a malware problem if the technician checked any of four boxes after querying the customer about pop-up ad problems, slow speeds, virus warnings and random shut-downs.

Once a “problem” was detected, the technician was to pitch a support plan or repair, said Shane Barnett, who worked at Office Depot. Technicians were pressured to meet sales goals for such services, Barnett added.

In her letter, Cantwell asked Edith Ramirez, the chairwoman of the FTC, to look into the charges. “American consumers rely on their personal computers now more than ever,” Cantwell wrote. “In this context, Office Depot’s exploitative behavior is particularly disturbing.”

The allegations resemble the tactics used by telephone and online scammers posing as reputable computer support representatives, often claiming to be employed by Microsoft. Those scammers have tricked consumers into believing that their PCs were infected with malware, often after the “technician” ran a bogus scanning tool or pulled up the Windows event log to point out innocuous messages.

At that point, the scammer pitched high-priced support plans or a session to “clean” the PC of (non-existent) malware.

Office Depot and Office Max did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Cantwell’s letter to the FTC or to questions about whether they have changed their practices since the charges were made by KIRO and WFXT.