Onkyo CX-70 – Audio Receiver Testing

Onkyo CX-70

I recently received a couple of items for recycling. One of them being an old school Onkyo CX-70 receiver. This device is fucking heavy.

This audio receiver is mostly made out of steel and aluminum. There is very little plastic found. However, I noticed a few faulty items.

Two of the speaker connectors were loose. Also, I think the built in antenna was not properly connected. I decided to test this receiver out.

I love fucking around with electronics. Also, I like to repair or figure out how to repair electronics. Sound systems is not my niche.

I am up for learning new things though. This receiver I initially thought would be perhaps 20 years old. I performed a quick Google search and found one listing over at Radio Museum.org with 1981 as the manufactured date.

I could not find a manufactured date sticker on this Onkyo CX-70. At first I thought it was possible it would not power on. The individual that dropped it off did NOT know if it worked or not.

I plugged it in and powered it on and I did NOT see any visual display that it worked. I started to fiddle around with the AM switch. Low and behold I saw a red light.

Some green lights started flashing. I think the receiver was tuned into a radio station. Later on I have concluded that many of the green power lights do NOT work.

For example as soon as you turn on this Onkyo receiver, you should see green lights above the power button. This audio receiver has a cassette tape player that opens with or without the device plugged in to live power.

That is kind of a cool feature. Perhaps in case the cassette tape gets stuck? I don’t know the answer to that question. I found some jankety speaker I think from a liquid crystal display that had a busted screen.

Anyhow, I quickly hooked this speaker up to the older school type speaker connectors. You literally connect bare speaker wire to the receiver. Not RCA type connectors.

I was able to hear AM radio. This receiver actually works. I tested out the FM receiver and that also worked.

I was a bit surprised. I do NOT own any cassette tapes, so I was not able to test that. However, later I did test the reverse, forward, stop, and start buttons.

They all seem to work. This receiver has four connectors for straight speaker wire. You can hook up just two speakers.

There are both positive and negative speaker wire connectors. This Onkyo CX-70 also includes two RCA connectors. Unfortunately, I do not have any of those type of speakers either.

This allows you to hook up two speakers with left and right connectors. This unit includes an external AM antenna connector for straight speaker wire. Also, one 75 ohm and one 300 ohm FM antenna connectors.

There is one straight through speaker wire ground connector. Interestingly, there is a 120 watt power plug. This would allow you to power another device.

There is a 150 maximum watt amplifier with this Onkyo CX-70 receiver. There is a quarter inch microphone connection and a quarter inch headphones jack connection. There is then obviously a record button with the cassette feature.

This receiver has the following adjustments:

* volume
* tuning
* fm or am
* tuner or phono
* source or cassette
* loudness on or off
* balance
* treble
* bass
* microphone level

The tape cassette player has the following buttons:

* record
* rewind
* play
* fast forward
* stop
* timer/pause

The tape cassette player has two adjusting knobs:

* dolby nr out or in
* tape select high, metal or normal

I am going to try to sell this Onkyo CX-70 locally probably on Craigslist. I really do NOT have a use for it as I do NOT listen to commercial over the air radio. I stream techno music without lyrics preferably.

If I cannot sell it I might keep it for testing purposes.

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How to Run Multiple Versions of Office on One Computer

How to Run Multiple Versions of Office on One Computer

I received another request on a third party website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions. Here is the original request:

“I have discovered that Quick Books will not export to Excel office 365 version. So I would like to install my legal copy of office 2010 on the laptop and use it’s Excel to work with the Quick Books files. Will this work OK, or will the new install somehow harm or delete office 365?”

The quick answer to this question is that yes, you can install multiple different versions of Microsoft Office suite software onto the same computer. This individual was using a computer with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system installed. Here is the rest of my response:

Yes, you can install multiple versions of Microsoft office on the same computer. However, you have to make sure that you change the directory that Microsoft office gets installed on. For example you would want Microsoft Office 2010 installed in a different folder compared to the Microsoft Office 365 installation

C:\Program Files\Office 2010

I would first verify where your existing Microsoft Office installation is located. It should be in one of these two folders:

C:\Program Files
C:\Program Files (x86)

Once you verify where Microsoft Office 365 is currently installed, then try to install Microsoft Office 2010. During the beginning of the installation, it will ask you the where you want to install Microsoft into. This is when and where you change the file path to something different then where Microsoft Office 365 is installed.

You want to make certain you pick a file path that is different otherwise you will overwrite files. You want to install Microsoft office 2010 like this:

C:\Program Files\Office 2010

Not in the downloads folder of your user account, if that is what you meant. If you install Microsoft Office 2010 in:

C:\Program Files\Office 2010

Then make certain that Microsoft Office 365 is currently installed in:

C:\Program Files\Office 365

This is an old school trick that I have known about for quite a few years. You just have to make certain you pick dynamic installation folders. Also, you may want to use a naming convention that is logical and not confusing.

You might want to keep the folder names short and targeted to the versions of Microsoft Office you are installing. If you forget or ever need to remove a version of Microsoft Office then you can just browse to:

C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86). The (x86) folder is for 32 x86 bit applications. The folder without (x86) is where x64 64 bit applications become installed.

As long as you install Microsoft Office in different folders then you will be able to use multiple versions of Microsoft Office on your computer. This individual was able to successfully install both Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Office 365 on the same exact computer without avoiding a major crisis. These instructions were written for a computer with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system installed.

This may seem like a strange request. However, in my time in corporate and government military America, this was a more common request than you might imagine. However, this information can be used for other Microsoft operating systems.

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Format External Hard Drive – in Microsoft Windows 10

Another request from a third party website where I earn supplemental income. This one dealt with trying to free up space on an external hard drive. Here is this individual’s initial request:

“I am trying to remove old files from my backup hard drive. Does not seem to work any way I try!”

This individual had two external hard drives. An F and H drive. These two external hard drives had the exact same data.

They seemed to have been mirror images of each other. One reason why this individual could NOT remove data from their F drive is that it was actually a Microsoft system image backup. This type of backup does NOT allow you to have read only access or read and write access.

This type of backup is a system image. There were only a few files, but they were actually image files. Image files are generally compressed.

This type of backup is for emergency purposes. Hypothetically, if your Microsoft Windows 10 computer does NOT boot correctly, you could restore it from this type of system image backup. When I deal with customer data, I always proceed with caution.

You do NOT ever want to delete customer data, even accidentally. I asked this individual if they needed any data off this F drive. They stated no, more than once.

I went ahead and told them that I could just format this external hard drive for them. This would allow them to copy any type of data they wanted to this F drive. This is when I learned that their H drive was a mirror image of their F drive.

This individual gave me the approval. Formatting a hard drive in Microsoft operating system’s is real easy. You want to open up file explorer.

This takes you to “This PC”.

On the left hand side you will see folders, drive letters, and Network. Select the hard drive that you want to format. Right click that drive letter and select “Format”.

You can type in a volume label or just accept the default. You can accept the default of NTFS file system. Also, you will have two choices between “Quick” or “Full” format.

A full format takes quite a bit longer versus a quick format. However, performing a full format might be worth the wait later down the road. It is up to you what you choose.

Now proceed with formatting your hard drive. A quick format only takes a few seconds. I asked my customer to test the newly formatted hard drive.

Everything went smoothly. I have shown you how to format external hard drive in Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.

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Lenovo Vantage – BIOS Update Instructions

Another computer support request, from a third party website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions. This time an individual was concerned with a pop up message that they received on their newly purchased Lenovo laptop computer. Here is their request quoted verbatim:

I got a pop up from Lenovo Vantage that says: “Lenovo recommends that you install these updates to optimize your computer. Please note, the following updates may require your system to reboot more than once. We recommend saving your work in preparation for system shutdown.

BIOS Update – 10 [64]”. I wanted to find out if this was real, or a scam. Thanks for any help you can give me.”

Lenovo Vantage is NOT malware, spyware, or a scam. This is actually software that Lenovo developed to keep their computers updated. The problem could be is that this software was formerly known as Lenovo Companion, Lenovo Settings, and Lenovo Account Portal.

This software was designed specifically for Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. Personally, I think it is ridiculous when technology companies try to re-brand or rename their software packages. Just keep it the fucking same name or else you will confuse your very own customers, just like in this instance.

Anyways, I was able to remotely connect into this computer and upgrade the BIOS. This individual had just purchased a new Lenovo Ideapad 320 laptop. Whenever performing a BIOS upgrade, you should make sure that your active current AC adapter is plugged in.

You do NOT want your laptop to power off during a basic input output system upgrade. This type of disaster could potentially cause your computer to never boot again, no joke. Your computer will need to restart.

Your BIOS cannot get upgraded while your computer is in use. Basic input output system upgrades are much easier than say ten to twenty years ago. Depending on the hardware manufacturer they are as simple as opening the maintenance software, in this case, Lenovo Vantage, and checking for updates.

This software will notify you that there is a BIOS update available. Select this update and then go ahead and proceed with the download. You will obviously need an Internet connection.

Once this basic input output system update is finished downloading, you will be prompted to install the update. You will be warned that you are about to upgrade the BIOS and to make certain you want to perform this action. Also, when I upgraded this computers BIOS it warned me making certain I was installing a BIOS for an Lenovo ideapad 320-15IAP.

This BIOS was actually compatible with two of these laptops. The 320-14IAP and 320-15IAP. If in doubt do NOT perform a BIOS upgrade until you are certain you know the exact model of your computer.

I went into “System” in Microsoft Windows 10 “Settings”. Under “About”, I was able to verify that this individual had a 320-15IAP. Many times trying to install a BIOS upgrade for the wrong computer will result in error, but it is better to become cautious.

I went ahead and kicked off this BIOS update and then the Lenovo IdeaPad 320 restarted. The BIOS update was successful. In closing I requested this individual open Lenovo Vantage to verify if this BIOS update was successful and check for any new updates.

The basic input output system successfully updated. BIOS upgrades will fail, often times due to the fact you are trying to perform this update on the wrong computer model.

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Reset PC Windows 10 – Instructions

I received a request on a third party website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions. This individual wanted to return a recently purchased computer. However, they did NOT want to leave their virtual footprint(s) on this computer.

Here is their original request:

I need to return it to Amazon and I want to remove my identity from it. How can this be accomplished? I was getting it ready to use and discovered that the hum that it has makes me tense, so they have replaced it.

I’ve removed the programs I installed, but it still opens up with my name on the front waiting for me to log in.

They purchased an Acer Aspire with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. Here is my response to this request. You can perform a “Reset this PC”.

This will reset your Microsoft Windows 10 computer back to when you purchased it. It will remove all your personal data and programs installed. Another possibility is performing a factory reset, which would reinstall Microsoft Windows 10 to back when you purchased it.

You can start a Reset this PC from within Windows. Right click the Windows 10 icon in lower left corner. Choose “Search” and type in “Reset this PC”.

Click on “Reset this PC. Click on “Get Started” under “Recovery”. You have two options to choose from.

Select the second one “Remove everything”. You will be given two choices again. Select the second choice “Remove files and clean the drive”.

Click on “Reset” to begin resetting that computer. Eventually, that computer will restart and complete the process. This Reset this PC option is in my opinion an excellent addition to Microsoft Windows 10.

One of the few positives of this problematic alleged operating system. This is similar to what is known as factory recovery, factory reset, etc. Factory recovery is normally created by original equipment manufacturers.

Reset this PC was instituted by Microsoft Corporation. When it works, it is a quick and easy way to reset your Microsoft Windows 10 computer to when you purchased it. Also, this would be an apropos tool to use if you wanted to sell your computer.

This will make it harder for anyone to obtain any of your person data. Although, the second option takes quite a bit longer, it is worth the wait. Finally, it is real easy to start the second option of Reset this PC.

I choose this solution over a factory recovery, because quite frankly this to me could be easier for an end user to perform. Some factory recovery solutions can get quite complicated. You would have to press a certain keystroke before Microsoft Windows 10 would try to boot.

Then, the end user would have to go through a menu of options. Also, there are times when a factory recovery will not work. I am NOT saying that factory recovery as a means to restore the operating system back to factory settings NOT a productive option.

My experiences are with an average computer user, if you can make it quicker and less complex, the better. If a Microsoft Windows 10 reset this PC would not have worked, then I would have went to plan b, a factory recovery. These instructions were written specifically succinctly for Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.

Reset this PC is only available in the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.

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MAC OS X 10.10 – Upgrade From 10.9.5 Instructions

I received the following request from a customer.

I need to update my computer from a 10.9.5 to a minimum of a 10.10, how can I do that without losing my files?

This individual had a Macbook Professional with Mavericks installed. They were trying to connect a new printer, a Canon TS5100. This install would not get past the set up stage, after loading the Canon installation CD-ROM.

Canon recommended upgrading MAC OS 10.9.5 Mavericks to at least MAC OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Below is my response with some instructions. Usually, upgrading your MAC OS does not affect your personal files. However, you can back your data manually to an external hard drive or USB flash drive.

Also, you can create a Time Machine backup of your computer. You can upgrade your Macintosh with operating system 10.9.5 Mavericks by going into the Apple Store. You will need to download Yosemite.

Once that download finishes, you will be prompted to install or need to double click the download. You will need your Apple ID to enter the Apple store. Also, you will need your Macintosh administrator password.

Without either password, you will be fucked. You may have to upgrade to MAC OS 10.11 El Capitan or MAC OS 10.13 High Sierra instead. You will follow the same steps.

Once you enter in your correct Macintosh administrator password, you will continue on with the prompts. You will choose the destination hard drive. Finally, you will click on “Restart”.

Your Macintosh will reboot and upgrade from MAC OS 10.9.5 to MAC OS X 10.10. Congratulations, you have upgraded the operating system on your Macintosh. If you are having problems finding OS 10.10 Yosemite, there is a search tool within the Apple Store, in the upper right hand corner.

Type in MAC OS Yosemite or MAC OS 10.10 and hit your enter key. If you cannot find a download for Yosemite, then search for El Capitan 10.11 or High Sierra 10.13 instead. Once you successfully upgrade your Macintosh to a newer operating system, then you will be able to reinstall that operating system upgrade via the Apple Store.

Click on “Purchases” tab in Apple Store and any operating system you downloaded and installed should be listed. You would just click on “Download” and follow the prompts to install that Macintosh operating system.

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Plan 9 From Bell Labs – Installation Instructions How to

I finally got around to installing an operating system that you may never have heard of. Yes, that is right Plan 9 from Bell Labs. I installed this free operating system on an old Compaq Evo N180.

This is a laptop with just a Pentium III processor. I will share with you what I learned and the basics to installing this operating system. The first thing you will need is obviously a computer to install this UNIX based operating system on.

I was able to install it on an IDE laptop hard drive. Plan 9 does support SATA hard drives. You can use old school serial and PS2 type mice. Also, you can use old school PS2 style keyboards.

This UNIX operating system supports USB devices ie. USB flash drives, mice, keyboards, etc. I hooked up a three wheel USB mouse to this old laptop. Also, I just used the built in keyboard.

You can try Plan 9 by booting off of a Live CD-ROM. Also, you can use this same Plan 9 Live CD-ROM to install to your hard drive. Also, you can create a Live USB flash drive instead.

I choose to burn a CD-RW with Plan 9 instead of USB. I was able to successfully boot off the live CD-ROM. I choose the default settings but had to specify the video setting correctly.

When I accept the default XGA, Rio, which is Plan 9’s windowing manager failed to start. I typed in “vesa” for the video configuration and Rio successfully started. I had to also manually type in “vesa” when I installed Plan 9 on a 30 gigabyte laptop IDE hard drive.

Also, when installing Plan 9 I had to choose the default of [browse] and then immediately press exit, during the mountdist portion of the installation. I have no idea why, but the Plan 9 installation does not detect the distibution path. Thankfully, I read through the documentation and figured this out.

By accepting the default [browse] option, this allows you to browse the installation media. However, you do not want to change to any directories, otherwise this will change the mountdist path. If you do move around the installation media file structure, make sure you return back to where you began.

I thought this was not necessary and a bit odd of a way to tell Plan 9 where to mount installation files from. These two revelations, both vesa and typing exit when selecting [browse] saved me potentially a lot of time. I was eventually able to get Plan 9 installed successfully.

You will need to perform these main categories:

* configfs: choose file system type
* partdisk: edit partition table
* prepdisk: create partition table
* fmtfossil: format file system
* mountfs: mount file system
* configdisg: choose installtion source
* mountdist: mount installation source
* copydist: copy files to hard disk

I referred to Plan 9 from Bell Labs official documentation and this how to install Plan 9 from Bell Labs blog post. I was able to add a user account and create a home folder.

I was able to obtain a local ip address using DCHP. However, I was not able to get domain name server addresses to resolve to their Internet protocol addresses correctly. I could ping out to the Internet using an IP address.

I learned how to add, resize, delete, and move windows. I learned how to use a sam editor. However, I could not figure out how to save changes to files.

Even after installing Plan 9, you can use the default account by typing in glenda when prompted to enter the default of [user]. Glenda is a built in account with a home folder already created. Also, four windows are already configured for you.

Meter, date, readme file, and email file. If you want to just open a terminal, your right click the background and choose “Add”. Your mouse cursor will turn into a cross +.

Right click and then move your mouse to configure how big you want this window. You will see term% |. This is your command prompt.

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CraigsList Nationwide – Service Advertisements Now Cost $5

Craigslist has now made a decision that make affect quite a few small business owners. Without any prior warning, Craigslist nationwide now charges $5 dollars for most service ads. For example as a part time computer repair technician, I advertised on their platform for years.

Allegedly, beginning on March 15, 2018, Craigslist began charging $5 per advertisement in their services section. The only niche within services that do NOT get charged $5 per advertisement is the “Therapeutic services”. However, therapeutic services advertisements are now charged $10 per advertisement.

I never received an email notifying me of this change. The humans that run CraigsList.org could have and should have in my opinion, warned their existing advertisers of this change. I found out because I tried reposting a computer repair advertisement that had expired.

This change really does NOT effect me as much as perhaps other small business owners. I was planning on closing my part time computer repair business later this year. This year so far most of my computer repair customer base has dried up.

Perhaps it is time to find other ways to earn income. Actually, I already have found other income avenues, but that is for another blog post. In my opinion $5 per advertisement may or may NOT become productive.

You might have alot less competition to deal with. Also, your advertisement might stay up on the first page of Craigslist for your niche. What this means is possibly more customers.

If you rely on Craigslist for your sole advertisment campaign, you are a fool, in my opinion. Craiglist is full of time sharks. People will waste your time, without any empathy in the world.

Also, you have to deal with scammers, spammers, phishers, etc. on Craigslist. I used to advertise on Craigslist and allow people to contact me via phone or text. What a huge fucking mistake.

Now I only allow individuals to email me. I may test out one Craigslist ad in the computer services section for a few months and see if I receive any customers. One final note, there are different rules for therapeutic_services.

I think advertisments in that Craigslist section only last for just 7 days. You can renew them for $5. When I tried to publish my expired advertisement I received a notice at the top of the page warning me I needed to pay $5.

Also, this notice stipulated that my advertisement would expire after 30 days. You will need a credit card in order to pay for these advertisements. Their “posting fees” section is pathetic.

It lists about a paragraph of information about their fees structure.

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LG 47LN5400 – 47 Inch Television No Power Troubleshooting

I received an LG 47LN5400 television for recycling. This television would NOT power on. I tried pressing and holding the power button for 30 seconds.

This did NOT fix the problem. I decided to then take off the back cover. You will need to remove 23 total screws.

Also, you need to remove the television stand. There are some screws hidden behind the television stand. Once you remove the screws you will be able to easily remove the back cover.

This LG 47LN5400 is quite lightweight and has very few circuit boards compared to other televisions I have worked on. I disconnected all cables from both power, inverter, and video boards. I then reconnected all these cables.

When I went to power on this LED television there was no indication it was receiving power. I noticed two missing screws on the power board. I found some comparable screws.

Perhaps this television was serviced before? Who knows, I do NOT know. However, this did not fix the problem.

I was NOT able to get this television to power on. I will need to perform further research and see if I can salvage this television. The owner claimed that this television would not power on.

They did NOT say that the LED screen was damaged or not functional. However, I do NOT necessarily want to order replacement boards if this television has a malfunctioning screen. Speaking of circuit boards, there are only four boards in this LG 47LN5400 led television.

* main power board
* inverter board
* video board
* manual controls board

I am suspicious that perhaps the power board is the culprit. I will need to test for failed circuit(s) with a multimeter. If I can fix the power board by soldering any failing circuits then I can sell the television.

I do NOT repair televisions on a daily basis. If I have deduced that the power board is the failing component, then I might order a replacement board if they are not too expensive, if I cannot repair the power board myself. On a final note the owner left me the original power cable, remote control, and manual for this television.

It is in excellent condition. I would hate to part it out, but at least if I do, I can sell the boards or make sure that it does NOT just end up in a landfill.

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Best Tech Podcasts – Reality PC Archives Now Available

The Reality PC podcast archives are now available. Initially, the Reality PC podcast was created in 2012. However, after recording 10 to 20 episodes, I became distracted with trying to create a full time computer repair business.

In early two thousand seventeen, I brought back the Reality PC podcast and recorded a total of 62 episodes. Once again I became distracted trying to formulate a full time income with computer repair. All episodes of the Reality PC podcast will become available for FREE.

You will be able to listen to them with a built in html5 player. Also, you will be able to download them to your computer, for later listening. I plan on recording a weekly Reality PC podcast beginning in April.

These podcasts are supported with on page advertisements. I do NOT plan on including on air advertisements. I do NOT boast that the Reality PC is the best tech podcasts. It was a decent keyword I found when performing search engine optimization for this blog post.

The Reality PC podcast will discuss technology related topics. I may or may NOT answer listener questions. As we speak I have incorporated a live radio show feature into this website.

I may replay each Reality PC episode via my radio station feature. Also, I may perform the Reality PC podcast live. As far as performing a livestream of the Reality PC, I am debating whether or not to livestream on Youtube or on this website.

The Reality PC podcast covers computer and technology related subjects with real free speech. No political correctness, music, or on air commercials. Just straight talk radio, the way nature intended.

For now you will have access to every Reality PC podcast ever recorded, entirely FREE of charge. Tired of looking at advertisements? Purchase a members only subscription for just $5 per month, and gain access to the podcast archives advertisement free.

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