March 2020 (Avast Antivirus Stuck at 0% / Betron B630 Earphones / HP dx2420 / Working from Home)

It’s time for my to cover some of my tech activities during March in my usual monthly blog post.

This is an unusual blog post as I’m also covering the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) technology home preparation and my fiancée working from home as well as my usual tech activities.

March:

  • Avast Antivirus Smart Scan Not Working Stuck at 0% (Solved)
  • Betron B630 earphones cleaning
  • Coronavirus technology home preparation
  • Working from home

Avast Antivirus Smart Scan Not Working Stuck at 0% (Solved)
My fiancée’s virus scanner wasn’t working properly, but it turns out the solution was solved by reinstalling the ZoneAlarm Firewall on her computer.

Avast Antivirus stuck at 0%

I had actually looked through the firewall’s application control settings and made some changes to see if that resolved the issue, but perhaps I missed something and reinstalling the firewall solved the smart scan issue.

Betron B630 earphones cleaning
I own many B630 earphones and looking through my Amazon orders, I originally purchased them in 2015, then multiple times in 2018.earphones in an old mint container

In 2015 I paid £4.99 for the B630 via Amazon, then in 2018 I paid £6.95 and in now in 2020 I’ve noticed they are £9.99.

I’m not sure if my original B630 earphones, but I found one of them in a box and they were in a bad state, being dirty, including with disgusting earwax build up! I decided it was time to clean them and to change how I store them.

earphones

I removed and replaced the ‘removable’ plastic bits that go into the ears and then wiped every outside surface with anti-bacterial wipes. Unfortunately a small mesh protector on each ‘bud’ came away, which I’m thinking about replacing with some net curtain, but I’ve not done so yet.

Mint Container

I then put the earphones in an old mint container lined with baking paper. I’ve now cleaned three pairs of earphones and used two old containers. I’m not sure if how I’m storing them is a problem.

Coronavirus technology home preparation
Further down in the post I will cover working from home, but in this section I’m going to cover personal tech usage and some of the preparations I made if my partner or I end up becoming isolated primarily in a bedroom from the other. Also being stuck at home, I wanted to make various tech improvements even if we’re not feeling unwell.

First of all I assessed what we already had and my fiancee and I decided we wanted to make things as simple as possible with what we already had available at home.

Internet access
In the bedroom I connected an old WRT54G wireless router to our main router via a powerline connection. This router acted as both a wireless access point and switch, with ethernet connections to a PC and TalkTalk YouView DN372t box.

Router and Freeview Box

I’ve finally lifted a long ethernet cable off the ground in the lounge, running it along top of a picture rail to make cleaning easier and to remove a trip hazard.

Watching content
I have a TalkTalk YouView in my lounge, but it isn’t connected to the internet and I updated a second box in the bedroom, which I’ve connected to the internet and I made sure NowTV, iPlayer, ITV, All4 and UKTV Play are all signed in and ready to watch.

TV and Indoor Antenna

The YouView box in the bedroom also has an indoor aerial plugged into it, with a signal booster being provided power by a USB cable plugged directly into the TalkTalk box. I only turn the TalkTalk box on in the bedroom when we want to use it.

I removed the base that the antenna uses and then used cable ties to attach it to the TV wall mount bracket.

I have an old HP dx2420 PC in the bedroom and I finally updated the bios so I don’t need to press F2 on the keyboard for it to boot with a Q6600 Core 2 Quad CPU. The PC has LibreElec and a remote control for BBC iPlayer and Twitch viewing.

The lounge is already setup with a large television, Freeview set-top, a computer for gaming and a NowTV box. NowTV recently had a generous offer for their movie package, which was good timing.

Mobile devices
I’ve installed a custom ROM on an old Google Nexus 7 (2012) with the tablet being used for Skype, Facebook Messenger, watching BBC iPlayer and playing games. I’ve also made sure an Apple iPad has Facebook Messenger, BBC iPlayer and games.

Google Nexus 7

My fiancée has downloaded her Kindle purchases to her Kindle and my ancient Kindle already has ebooks that I previously purchased on it.

With all this possible tablet usage, I thought it wise to make sure two USB chargers were in both the bedroom and lounge.

Working from home
My fiancée is currently working from home and we quickly made improvements to her I.T. setup. She started with a laptop, wireless mouse and headset connected to a broadband connection via WiFi.

We live in an area with a lot of residential flats and I can imagine due to the coronavirus situation, nearby WiFi usage is going up. Therefore I installed a second long ethernet cable in a room, which connects to a hub, which her laptop uses.

cables

I then placed a desk stand I had built on her table and we’ve put a very large monitor on the stand along with her mobile phone, with the laptop underneath. The monitor, a wired mouse and keyboard are now connected to the laptop via a hub.

The result is that my fiancée has a more reliable and comfortable working environment.

What’s coming soon?
I’m still behind with publishing my blog posts, but I’m still working on tech projects and writing notes and then draft posts.

This blog post covers some of my March activity and in April I’ve been busy with an old camera, webcam, remote connection to a PC, a phone, different flavours of linux, learning how to stream on Twitch and much more. I will set aside some time to blog about all this and more.

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