Apple MacBook Pro Woes

Written: December 12, 2016

I’ve been using an Apple MacBook Pro brand of laptop computer for┬áthree generations now, however there is a myth that Apple laptops are more reliable than PC laptops. On my 17″ MacBook Pro laptop the keyboard started having keys that no longer work, so I’ve got an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar today to probably have the keyboard replaced. As a work-around I’ve added a wireless keyboard so that I can continue my work.

As a backup for my 17″ MacBook Pro I have a 2nd computer, a 15″ MacBook Pro, so I took it off the shelf and placed it on my table, however it wouldn’t sit on the table flat, it wobbled instead. Hmm, what would cause my laptop to no longer sit flat? I opened the laptop up only to be horrified to see that the trackpad had been destroyed. What would cause a trackpad to be pushed out from the inside?

I took the bottom of my 15″ MacBook Pro apart to see what was going on, and look what I found, a bulging battery had pushed the trackpad to crack and moved the bottom of the case. Doing a Google search for “MacBook Pro battery bulging” I found that this is a known problem with many people reporting the same issue. I’ve got an 11:55AM appointment at the Genius Bar, so I will bring them two broken MacBook Pros, one with a bad keyboard and the other with a bad battery, broken trackpad and bulged case. Wish me luck.

Oh, and Apple laptop hardware is not more reliable than PC hardware, both brands will have failures.

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Tualatin Chamber Holiday Auction and Dinner

Written: December 7, 2016

Last night I attended the 21st annual Holiday Auction and Dinner, organized by the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce. The event starts out with three rounds of silent auctions, dinner is then served, and finally the live auction takes place. At dinner the room at the Tualatin Country Club was packed.

Tualatin Chamber holiday dinner

There were many speeches during the dinner time from Chamber volunteers and members from our community. The funniest event of the evening for me to watch is a fund-raiser called “Heads or Tails” where participants buy a string of beads, stand up, then try and guess if a coin toss will come up heads or tails. If they guess correctly, then they can stay standing, otherwise they have to remove one string of beads or sit down in defeat. This year it probably took 12 rounds or so to find the winner, and we heard about 90% heads from the coin tosses instead of the expected 50%.

Classy event, lots of donated goods and services to buy at the auctions, wine, good food, plenty of networking, I’ll be there again in 2017.

Tualatin Country Club

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But I Didn’t Even Order an iPad

Written: November 29, 2016

I just went through my morning list of emails and there was one message from Self Electronics about the shipment of an iPad. It’s a coincidence that I already own an iPad, however I didn’t order any new iPad.

iPad phishing

The senders of this email set a subject line as if we had been communicating before, adding a bit to the realism of the message. I was curious if there actually was a company called Self Electronics, so I browsed their web site: is a scam

So this company doesn’t even have a valid web site, that’s enough info for me to know that this email really was just another phishing scam where they want me to click the link for UPS tracking. The final┬átest of authenticity is found by hovering over the UPS link:

UPS link

So the UPS link is really for some bogus web site, telling me that there is no need to be lured into clicking it.

Remember, a real company will know a lot about you and in their legitimate email it will include info like:

If this trusted information is missing from your email message, then it’s very likely that you are being duped by a phishing scheme or just some shady site trying to sell you something that you likely don’t even need. With a little precaution you can make certain that all of your emails are legitimate.


Two New Email Scams to Avoid

Written: November 22, 2016

Each morning as I start my work routine the first thing that I do is read the Inbox of my email to see which messages require my attention for the day. Today I received two new email scams that at first blush looked almost legitimate.

Domain Abuse Notice

That email subject caught my attention, because the last thing that I want is a web site that is infected by something malicious, so here’s what the entire email looked like:

domain abuse notice

The English grammar looked OK, however the first clue that this was a phishing scam was their request for me to download something by clicking a link. Any legitimate email would instead be coming from my web hosting provider, and they would have specific details like:

This email is from a domain name called, and when you browse that site something comes up in Arabic letters, so this is not legitimate at all, you may safely delete this particular email.

Email Abuse Report

Ironically this second spam email has almost the identical type of subject line as the first email with a colon and a web site address in it:

email abuse report

The link in the Click Here is for a domain at, which is just another junk content web site. Also notice the international phone number area code. Just like the first email scam notice this one has no customer details:

So the moral of this story is beware of warning email messages that prompt you to click or download a report without any account details. Be smart, be safe.

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