Fright Nights! October Movies and Where to Stream them.

October is coming up, and Halloween is easily my favorite holiday. I decided to celebrate this year by sharing a list of my favorite horror movies. I have chosen one for each night of the month. 

I had to figure out a way to justify stepping outside the box to post this on a tech blog, so I decided to limit my list to only movies that are available to stream from our favorite services! This list will include some of my favorite scary movies including some that bend the genre. As we get closer to Halloween, the movies will focus more on the actual holiday.  

10/1 - Poltergeist (1982) Netflix - This film needs no introduction. Truly a classic! 

10/2 - Sinister (2012) Netflix - This is a terrifying film with one of the best boogeymen in recent film history. It had a lot of potential, but the sequel ruined the franchise. 

10/3 - Dreamcatcher (2003) Vudu - One of Stephen Kings best stories. Fantastic cast, and Jason Lee brings the perfect amount of comedic relief to it. 

10/4 - The Exorcist (1973) HBOMax - Another classic. This movie had me convinced I was possessed when I was a kid. 

10/5 - Drag Me To Hell (2009)  Amazon Prime- The perfect combination of horror and comedy

10/6 - Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) Netflix - One of the most ridiculous but classic horror movies out there. Unless you happen to be afraid of clowns, in which case, its truly just terrifying.

10/7 - House of Wax (2005) HBOMax - A great movie about a backwards small town that isn't quite what it seems

10/8 - Jeepers Creepers (2001) HBOMax - Another franchise that had great potential. It lost traction after a poor reception of the sequel.

10/9 - Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003) HBOMax - Not as good as the 1st one, but I still really enjoyed this film.

10/10 - The Others (2001) HBOMax - One of absolute favorite horror movies, and one of the best twists in film history

10/11 - Pan's Labyrinth (2006) Netflix - Del Toro is one of the best writers ever. This film is a chilling story in the vein of Alice in Wonderland. 

10/12 - Dark Skies (2013) Netflix - One the scariest sci-fi movies out there. I have seen it over and over again and it never gets old.
10/13 - The Omen (2006) Hulu - Proof that kids are Satan.

10/14 - Cabin In the Woods (2011) Hulu - A much needed original idea for a horror movie. A group of kids unknowingly choose their own fate in an orchestrated slaughter by big brother.

10/15 - A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Shudder - 1, 2, Freddy's coming for you...

10/16 - A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985) Shudder - 3, 4, Better lock your door...

10/17 - A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) Shudder - 5, 6, Grab your crucifix...

10/18 - A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) Shudder - 7, 8, Better Stay up Late...

10/19 - A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) Shudder - 9, 10, Freddy's back again!

10/20 - Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) Shudder - Nevermind, we're good.

10/21 - The Fourth Kind (2009) Hulu - Another terrifying Sci-fi Horror. I actually had a difficult time finishing this one. It is very disturbing

10/22 - House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Hulu - Rob Zombie is a visionary director. This is the 1st film in a great trilogy. I suggest you also watch Devil's Rejects, and 3 from Hell.

10/23 - Friday the 13th (1980) Amazon Prime - The guy that taught us that sex kills.

10/24 - Jessabelle (2013) Hulu - A girl returns to her southern town and is plagued by spirits and voodoo.

10/25 - As Above, So Below (2014) Netflix - Another original concept. A very scary movie that dives into the catacombs of Paris, which hold centuries of secrets.

10/26 - Insidious (2010) Netflix - This movie kicked off a huge franchise, and rightly so. James Wan is a great horror writer. 

10/27 - Hellraiser (1987) Hulu - Pinhead is another iconic horror movie baddy. The entire franchise is a must watch

10/28 - Child's Play (1988) Vudu - Unlike other boogeymen, Chucky knew how to talk smack. He was on par with Freddy with his trash talk. His entire franchise is also worth watching.

10/29 - Halloween (2007) Rent on Amazon Prime - I know, you have to rent this one. There is a reason that this movie still holds the record for the highest grossing movie to open on Labor day weekend. It is Rob Zombie's take on the classic film. It is a fantastic film, and a must watch.

10/30 - Halloween II (2009) Shudder - Another Rob Zombie Remake, and another must watch. This is how a reboot should be done.

10/31 - Trick 'r Treat (2007) Shudder - This probably my all time favorite Halloween Movie. If you break tradition, Sam will come for you!

I know there are a LOT of classics that I left off this list. Please keep in mind that I limited this list to titles that were available to stream on subscriber services (with the exception of Halloween). Feel free to comment below and let me know some of your favorite scary movies, and be sure to include where I can stream them!

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free (2020)

     One of the most common calls I get at my business is from users wanting to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 in January of 2020 and Windows 8, Even though Microsoft has extended Windows 8 support until 2023, most people simply don't like it. People will call me wanting to upgrade and will inquire on the cost of a Windows 10 license. Microsoft will  gladly sell you a license starting at $139.99.

     However, most people don't realize that Microsoft will actually still allow you to upgrade your OS to Windows 10 for FREE. What makes it even better is that it is totally legal and safe because it is still done through Microsoft servers.  In this post I will walk you through upgrading your machine to Windows 10 for free. As long as you follow these instructions carefully, even a novice can do it!  I have even heard of some slimier tech companies actually charging for a license and billing the customer the fee just to turn around and do the free upgrade process and pocket the license fee!

     Before we get started, it's important to make sure that your computer will run Windows 10 effectively. Otherwise, this will cause you even more headache. Microsoft's minimum requirements, in my opinion, are not sufficient for a smooth experience. Here is what I would personally recommend.

1.6 GHz Processor
32 GB Free Hard Drive Space

"But wait, RJ. How do I know if my machine has these?" This tool will check for you.

     If you have these specs, and you want to upgrade, then the next step is to backup all your important data. It is unlikely that you will lose any of your data during this process, but it's always best to be safe.

     Once all your stuff is backed up, you want to head to this link to download the Microsoft "Media Creation Tool"

     This will download an executable file on your machine. Once it has downloaded, go ahead and install it. Once installed, you will arrive to the screen below. You are simply going to select "Upgrade this PC now"

     After you click Next, you will be asked a couple of questions. You can choose to keep your system files and upgrade over your existing copy of Windows, or you can choose to do a clean install which will wipe your drive and give you a fresh installation.

**PLEASE NOTE** If you choose to do a clean install you WILL need a valid Windows Key. You can find your key on a sticker somewhere on your machine if you bought it at a retail store. If you have a laptop it will be on the bottom. If you have a desktop, it will likely be on the back. Here are samples of what the stickers looks like.

If you do not have one of these or it is too faded to see, then DO NOT choose a clean install. 

Follow the remaining prompts, and the tool will take care of all the rest for you.

A couple of things to note. It will likely appear to be "stuck" on a certain % on a few occasions during the installation process. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you be patient and do not shut the machine off during this process. It could result in a corrupt Windows installation that will open up a whole new world of problems for you. 

If the process takes longer than a few hours then you can reach out to your local technician for help.

If you are local to the Northeast AR area and need assistance, my contact info is at the top right of this page. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, or if you need additional RAM before you can do this, I can help you.

If you have questions, feel free to post here or email me! I'm always happy to help!

**DISCLAIMER** You take responsibilities for your actions by following this tutorial. Any issues that arise (however unlikely) as a result of following the steps of this tutorial are the sole responsibility of the reader.

Tech Bytes, It's not just a blog anymore!

     Hey readers, I'm branching out! I decided to roll out a full service computer repair business. This includes both Home and Business. PC, Networks, Mobile Phones, Tablets, Etc. In addition to on site repairs, I have remote support as well! As long as you are able to connect to the internet, I can repair your PC remotely.

     In addition to repairs, I will also be offering Tech Tutoring sessions. If you are new to a certain piece of software, or computer, or website, I will remote in or come to you for a one on one tutoring session to teach you all you need to know to make the most out your tech.

Thank you all for your continued support!!

Google Podcast - Finally....

Android Fanboys rejoice! Android FINALLY released an official podcast app. I'm still not sure why it took until 2018 to officially support a medium that's over a decade old, but here we are. 

First things first, Can someone tell me why they decided to make the icon look almost identical to the Fitbit icon? It's so blatant that it's almost offensive. Not to mention annoying when I can't tell the two apart in my status bar.

Now, let's talk about the app itself. Historically I have used Podcast Addict. I have the paid version of the app, and it is robust. Auto downloads, offline play, sorting, you name it. 

However, Google podcast does NONE of that. If you want to binge on your favorite podcasts, you'll be streaming it, and you'll be thrown back to the 90's while watching the app "buffer". 

The GUI is clean like we've come to expect from Google. The search function seems to be robust. I had no issues quickly finding my favorite podcasts (Shoutout to SYSK). However, I feel like I should have the option to download podcasts for offline playback. Sometimes I travel, and I shouldn't have to worry about my signal when I'm driving through the mountains. I also have my favorite episodes that I listen to more than once. I have around 20 SYSK episodes that I enjoy going back to. Podcast addict allows me to quickly search the vast library and pick the episode I want to listen to. 

I am very happy that Google decided to release this app, but it feels totally half baked at this point. Maybe I'm just spoiled, but I like to have control over my data and media. Even Spotify lets me do offline playback. Maybe in another 10 years Google will catch up to my favorite podcast app. 

I'm sure that this will come as no surprise to you, but Google Podcast is

Mmm....Cake (The mobile browser)

This browser was found by me on a facebook ad, believe it or not. I usually never click those mobile ads, but this caught my eye because it appeared to be a minimalistic alternative to Chrome.

Now, I wouldn't say this will ever replace Google Chrome on my phone, but, damn it's close.

They've essentially done away with traditional search, instead when you do a search for a website, it will load the website, there will be tabs at the top to tweak the results.

When you search for a business or location, it takes you straight to contact info. It's a very clean browsing experience, and in the few days that I have used it on my iPhone, it has been incredibly fast.

Even better, each page lets you choose whether or not to hide ads by clicking the menu button. So you can still support your favorite pages by allowing ads (ahem). Shortcut buttons on the bottom of the page makes it easy to instantly share, view open tabs, or bookmark the page with a quick tap. Tapping the tabs button will allow you to open a private browsing session for all your sleuthing.

In the settings you can customize which search engine you want to use for different searches.

So, you can set google for web searches, you can set multiple search engines for videos and images. Default settings are Google Videos, Youtube, Vimeo, Bing, and Dailymotion.
So, if you hate Bing like me, simply uncheck Bing , and it will exclude those results.

This is a short review, but I have only been using it for a couple of weeks, and it has definitely become my go to browser for quick searches, and replaced Chrome on my shortcut menu.

So this app definitely gets the beard!!! Download it and give it a shot!

Essential Phone: 8 Months Later

Many of you who don't have Sprint may not know what the Essential Phone is. Let me catch you up real quick.

Essential is an Android Smartphone designed by Android Co-founder Andy Rubin. As the name would suggest, this phone is very minimalist. There is absolutely no branding on the phone, and yes, this includes carrier branding. The construction of the device screams quality with a ceramic back, Titanium frame, and the screen is Gorilla Glass 5. It features USB C, and has 2 magnetic pin holes on the back of the phone for (currently non-existent) modular accessories. Currently the only modular accessory is the 360 degree camera. They have a charging base coming out in the near future as well, but details are still not released. As most other current generation phones, they chose to Eighty-Six the headphone jack, so I would recommend a nice set of Bluetooth Headphones.

I got my Essential PH-1 (get it? PH-ONE) very shortly after launch. My initial impressions were less than favorable. This is a new phone from a new company, so shortfalls and setbacks are to be expected. The phone definitely had issues. First and Foremost, the camera was terrible. I hoped and prayed that the issue was software and not hardware. Essential was very timely with software updates, and after a rocky couple of months, they slowly fixed most of the issues.

I also had a nagging problem with frequent freezes, and very odd behaviors. Some resulted in random reboots, and others ended with me having to force reboot the device. I was very close to selling the device around month 4. I took to Reddit to complain about the issues with the device, but I was met by fanboy mods. Ill speak of the device found my Reddit account banned for 2 weeks from the Essential subreddit, but that is a story for another time.

Not too long after that, I decided to take the plunge and flash the Oreo Beta build on my device. I had decided that if the Oreo update didn't fix the issues, then I would sell it and move over to the overpriced Pixel 2.

Much to my delight, Oreo fixed ALL of my issues. The device has very excellent battery life, typically getting 12-14 hours per charge. Thanks to the fast charging, it typically fully charges in about 45 minutes.

It's not all rainbows and butterflies though. Unfortunately, the device had very weak early sales. I think this is mainly because Sprint had exclusivity to the Essential Phone. With a starting retail price of $599 for the unlocked variety, people avoided it. Mainly because they were asking people to invest in a device from a company that was unknown. This resulted in a lackluster line up of accessories for the device. You are looking at only a handful of cases. Namely, Tudia and Incipio. I have had each, and I must say that Incipio is the better product. Most cases do not allow access to the modular ports on the back of the phone. In fact, if you are looking for a case that allows access, you will need to give up protection and go with a thin cover instead of a protective case.

I am also disappointed in Essential for dragging their feet on new modular accessories. Modular phones had the potential to be the future of mobile devices. The issue is that no company has released an impressive line up of modular accessories to date. Now it has become more of a gimmick than an exciting way to customize your device to your needs.

This isn't Essential's fault necessarily, but they had the chance to shake up the modular technology, and I'm afraid they missed the bus on this one. There has been talk about a new device from Essential, but with their last device being a loss on their ledger, their lack of accessories, and sales being lost to the marketing of Moto and One Plus, I wouldn't expect much from the new device. Here's to hoping that they get their marketing and development team on the same page, and do something to shake the market up a bit.

While I don't have high hopes for the future of the company, the device itself (when running Oreo) is one of the nicest devices that I have had the pleasure of owning.

All things considered, I would have to recommend that you buy the Essential PH-1. The price point has come down, and I would expect the price to drop again as essential gets ready to release a new device.

This probably won't come as a surprise to my readers, but Essential Phone get a Beard of Approval.

Customer Experience with Hauwei.

So recently, as most of my readers know, I switched from my Nexus 6P to an iPhone 6s Plus for about 6 months. After my iPhone experience, I decided, with some reservation, to switch back to the Nexus. Not because I don't like Apple (quite the opposite actually), but because the iPhone was just such a pleasant handset.

I sold my iPhone and purchased a Gold 64 GB Hauwei Nexus 6P from Swappa, and after 2 weeks, I suddenly fell victim to the bootloop issue that seems to be plaguing Nexus users. I reached out to Google and asked for a replacement, and since I purchased it from swappa, they wouldn't help me. I found out from the seller that the phone was originally bought from amazon, so therefore, Google would not help me. They instead sent me to Huawei. I was immediately pissed, because I HATE dealing with manufacturers. I begrudgingly went to Huawei's nifty warranty checkup website, and found out I had literally 1 week left on the warranty. I explained to them what my situation was, and they sent me a UPS overnight label to ship the device to Fort Worth, TX.

I immediately took to Reddit, and read up on previous experiences with Hauwei. People were reporting being without their devices for upwards of a month. I was physically ill. I dug in and decided to do what I needed to do. My phone shipped out on Monday, July 17, 2017. Thursday, the 20th, I received an email saying that a return label had been generated for me. I was immediately livid and assumed the worst. Since my phone had been previously rooted, I assumed that they were sending it back with a voided warranty. I called Huawei, and they said they had no info from the repair center yet. All I could do was wait until Fri. Friday came around, and I received my device, and it worked! I was over the moon.

Furthermore, the lower rear back panel has a small plastic door on it that was coming loose. The repair center fixed that as well even though it was NOT covered under warranty.

I called Huawei to find out what was wrong with my device, and they had no details, but they did tell me that they also extended my warranty for another 90 days in case the repair didn't stick.

That means, that I received my same device back, repaired, and cosmetically better than it was when I sent it out. And it was all done over the course of 4 days! Color me impressed.

Huawei has gained a customer for life: