Yes you can remove or Uninstall old Amazon devices!

As part of Amazon’s trade in program for Alexa and echo devices, not only can you get credit for older devices you can get discounts on purchasing new products at 25% off just by trading in older tech. For example, echo show 5 is worth a whole $20.

As part of this they also tell you how to remove devices from your ecosystem. Here it is, finally!

Deregister a Device

You can deregister a device from your Amazon account if you no longer want to use it to purchase apps or in-app items.To deregister a device:

  1. From the Amazon website, go to Manage Your Content and Devices (
  2. Login with your Amazon account credentials.
  3. Click Devices.
  4. Select Deregister.

General Failure when you PING?

Windows has enough quirks that you run into strange behavior from time to time.  It has been by experience with Windows 10  (through Windows 3.1 that is!) applications can have unexpected results in certain circumstances.   Let me give you an example for a customer of mine.


The customer described a windows 10 machine that was having connectivity issues.  One of the first things one does is try to ping the default gateway, typically you router is your gateway and typically resides at  but know for certain open a command prompt either right-click on the start menu or hold the Windows key W+ X . A pop-up menu, select Command Prompt:



The IP address listed next to Default Gateway is what you want to test.

Normally Ping will respond such as:


You might run into a problem where instead of getting a ping response, If you get message “Transmit Failed” for any ping there are a few things to check.

So here is where you need to ask yourself, if this normally works, what might have changed? In my case, I had recently installed a new VPN client, such as Private Internet Access, ExpressVpn or NordVpn.

Are you using any special capabilities of these apps, such as the internet kill switch, and is the VPN down? This switch helps ensure if you have a VPN running and for some reason it gets turned off (bad connection, scheduled down time etc.) then all apps will lose connectivity to protect any information from leaking on the internet/hackers/your neighbor/your or other government. Some apps have an App Kill switch, which mean if the connection drops it will KILL the processes. This is an alternative way to be certain things don’t spill onto the network, but now you are not preventing ALL communication out from a windows box, just making sure certain apps will be killed.

Hopefully this helps someone else, but one thing to look for a response “Transmit Failed” among others. This is a telltale sign you may have VPN software setup to kill all communications if the VPN goes down. So check there first.

It might be you have network configuration problems, which you can fix with the following commands:

ipconfig /flushdns
netsh int ip reset c:\tcp.txt
netsh winsock reset


You might try using the Network troubleshooter. Select Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Status. Under Change your network settings, select Network troubleshooter. Open Status settings

Make sure Wi-Fi is on. Select Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi. Next, select Show available networks, and if a network you expect to see appears in the list, select it, then select Connect. Open Wi-Fi settings

See if you can use the Wi-Fi to get to websites from a different device. If you can’t, restart your modem, router, and device, and re-connect to the Wi-Fi.

Best of Luck!

If You’ve Just Had Covid, Exercise Can Cause Serious Complications, Including Heart Disease | WIRED

Apparently a very important detail that must get started with the masses is anyone with even asymptomatic COVID who exercises is risking perminate heart damage or even death possibly up to three months after contacting the disease. “Most people who contract the virus experience a spectrum of less-severe symptoms. As many as one in three never feel sick. But now, evidence is emerging that the virus can cause heart damage even in people who’ve had mild symptoms or none at all, especially if those people exercise while they’re infected.”


Google is Working on a Smart “House Mouse” That Sounds Awesome

Imagine a futuristic wand like device that you can use to automate your smart home more like what many have invisioned in futuristic movies. It may only be Vaporware for now, but someday..

Surprising Discovery of M87 black hole in center of our universe – we see further in the past and the whole universe behind the image!

With the virus of the century outbreak SAR-CORONO-19, some positive news is needed.

Scientists were planning to make a movie of M87 this summer, but due to the virus outbreak it has been canceled. More importantly, by taking more of the spectrum into account and a future space telescope will allow us to increase the resolution by orders of magnitude which will allow us to peer beyond the center of our galaxy fishery into the past. This is exciting news for science. Read more here:

The New York Times: Infinite Visions Were Hiding in the First Black Hole Image’s Rings.

Windows 10 Start Menu Fix for Right Clicking the Start Menu not working -Can’t Launch device manager, command prompt, computer manager, disk management, event viewer? Solved! Start Menu Troubleshooter

WinWash  It has been months since Microsoft’s Start Menu Troubleshooter stopped being available, despite being the number 1 solution to a miraid of problems detailed on the internet.   As far as I can tell, most of the Troubleshooting utilities have been moved into the help system in Windows, which I will detail below.  I  however, frequently run into a problem that does NOT get resolved by the the baked in troubleshooters that are part of Windows 10.  

The problem I frequently run into is the start menu stops working entirely when you click on it, OR when you right-click on the start menu, you get the list of admin tools, but none of them will launch when you try to click on them.   The only failproof work around I could find is to use Task Manager (CTRL – ALT – DEL)  then click on FIle –> Run New Task.   Check “Create this task with admin rights” if needed, but you will need to know the filename and path of the utility you wish to launch.


There are many reasons this problem can manifest itself, but of the many solutions mentioned online, there is one that I have not seen that solves it every time when it happens to me. To say I am a power user would be an understatement, so I do use quite a few utilities and programs to get work completed and to be creative.  This means there are plenty of programs that add context to right-click to “help” me; however, these sometimes are the source of the problem.    Since you right-click when you open the windows start menu, these get evaluated and cause conflict.  The hard part is finding what app is causing the conflict.   Th easiest solution I have found thus far is an old freeware utility that has  been updated to work with windows 10 from NirSoft called ShellExView.   ShellExView provides a table of all extensions loaded with each property and company associated and you can easily enable / disable all or some to quickly identify which utility is the cause of the problem.   In some cases, just disability and reenabling these will fix the problem for you.

Check this tool out, see if it works for you.  Let me know your thoughts, and at the very least, add this to your bag of tricks.


Vaping saves lives? You decide

I’m not an advocate for vaping, but in daily life friends or overhear smokers asking about vaping vs. smoking.  I would rather see any smoker transition to vaping.   It has transformed so many smokers into non-smokers who no longer inhale hundreds of toxic chemicals in addition to the nicotine. Yes, there is the pg vg used as well as flavorings, but these substances are ingested daily.    Read this person’s opinion and let me know your thoughts in the comments. 

I will never smoke again

Imagine the chaos: FOX loses power to production truck for 2015 World Series Game 1 Royals and Mets – Program Manager’s perspective

I’ve had the ‘pleasure?’ of being involved when, well things go very wrong like they are right now on Fox network. Their production truck lost power and it has been offline for over an hour.  For this outage to be this long means this is no simple fix.   I can’t imagine there isn’t backup power available.  I don’t know how long it takes to reboot the production truck, but I KNOW it isn’t this long.

They have completed risks assessments for situations like this and know what to do when they happen.   This outage didn’t seem to be on the list.   Losing power, the #1 reason for outages, not covered?  I’m not buying it because being down is not an option.

I can’t help but believe what happened was intentional by someone who wanted to keep this from being broadcast.  A search of Google came up empty, but I did read that Google fiber apparently has a problem in KC as well that is preventing folks from watching this in their homes.  Two outages covering this game isn’t likely, but we will see what unfolds.  I have experience doing production work specifically as a sound engineer for broadcast and there are backup options.  The game was stopped because apparently this outage also meant the replay was no longer an option.    According to both coaches agreed to continue to play without replay.  This outage could impact the outcome of the game.  It’s interesting to witness.

I friend of mine is doing audio for the game.  Here are some photos taken today prior to the game:


Here he is with his credentials:



Apparently Game Creek Video normally handles these critical games like the world series, super bowl etc.   Check it out here:

Photo from