Incognito can save you

Switching your browser to Incognito, also known as Private Browsing mode, before going to a site that you are not familiar with, might save you a lot of trouble.

How you get into trouble

Sure, you always try to be careful when you browse, but now and then you might get a little lazy. You’ll only be looking up one small detail at a site that Google is showing in its search results, one that seems to have exactly what you want. So you click on the link.

After spending some time reading about what you came there for, there is suddenly a pop-up window. Next, an alert that opens another alert when you try to close it. Maybe you’ll hear an audio message about being infected, and its plea to call Microsoft (which isn’t really Microsoft) so they can fix your computer.

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Carvin and the five-way switch

No, it’s not a scam involving a ball and cups.

Quite a few years ago I had a local shop install a DiMarzio ToneZone pickup in my Carvin guitar with the hopes that it would make it sound more like my Ibanez. It did not.

A few years after that I picked up a fairly recent year Gibson SG. By fairly recent I mean that I wouldn’t feel bad about modifying it. The better, older guitars that I had in the past were kept in factory-fresh condition out of the fear that any change would lower their collectibility. You can probably see where this is heading since this was not one of those.

One of my planned project for the last 2 years (hey, I have a lot of projects on my list!) has been to move that DiMarzio pickup into my SG. At the same time, I would add coil-splitting controls, and maybe a phase-reversing switch.

It turned out that SGs are thin. I knew that, but never imagined that putting standard push-pull pots in one is not an option. I didn’t want to start drilling holes to add switches. The plan was downsized.

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Quicken data corruption and 2011 end-of-life

Quicken 2011 has an ongoing problem with randomly losing data from stock quotes. The symptom is that one or more of your securities suddenly has zero value. All of the price history is gone and Quicken won’t download any new quotes for it and it won’t let you manually update any of the price history.

Later in article, I’ll show you how to recover your data, even if you no longer can download quotes.

It’s been written about many times on the Intuit message boards, and has been since 2011. Intuit’s solution to this, like most issues, is to tell you to upgrade to a new version of Quicken. This bug fix, of course, isn’t free. Often the new product is more bloated with useless features that Intuit is trying to sell you. And to really make you glad you upgraded it sometimes removes features that actually were useful. Those can sometimes be restored by moving up to the next higher type of Quicken, but it will cost you a little more.

Intuit to the rescrew

Partial solutions have been offered By Intuit, but they only restore a partial price history, and the history only goes back for a maximum of 5 year. One more minor detail: if the stock is no longer listed, for instance if the company was sold, you’re SOL because there is no place to download the quotes.

I may have encountered this data loss a long time ago, but not noticed. If you’re not actively tracking a stock, or don’t currently own any shares, it’s easy to miss that the share price has dropped to 0.

I’m sure this is a coincidence, but recently it happened to a stock that I was holding. And then it happened to another and I started having to try to find out what was going on. Why is it a coincidence?

End of life

On April 1, 2014, the version called Quicken 2011 will no longer be able to download quotes or access any online data. This gives me a bit of a dilemma because I have heard a lot of horror stories about the migration of 2011 data, shall we say, not going smoothly. I don’t dare update until my taxes are done. (Great timing on the planned obsolescence date, Intuit.) But I digress. This migration failure is often blamed (as has happened in past versions) on the Quicken database being corrupted before the upgrade was done. Sorry, there’s nothing that can be done to help you, better luck next time.

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