Downdetector shows outage information for websites and services

Downdetector shows outage information and status for widely used websites and services such as  mobile and internet service providers, social media sites, banking and financial services, etc.    This includes:

Android custom distributions (ROMs) for smartphones and tablets

Android custom distributions (ROMs) are replacement operating systems for Android smartphones and tablets.  This allows users to customize older devices that may not have available Android updates and extend their service life.   This may erase data and void your device’s warranty.  Available security updates are usually based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).  More information is at

TrueNAS CORE is the new name for FreeNAS

iXsystems announced in March 2020 that TrueNAS CORE is the new name for FreeNAS, the popular open source NAS (Network Attached Storage) operating system. This was done to unify branding with its TrueNAS Enterprise product.  Additional features were added to the TrueNAS CORE product as well. Documentation for TrueNAS is available at www.truenas.com/docs/hub/.

Google Meet, Skype Meet Now and Facebook Messenger Rooms video meeting tools

Google, Microsoft and Facebook all announced changes or updates to their video meeting tools in April 2020.   These are alternatives to the popular Zoom video chat software.

Video meeting tool Google Meet is now available free of charge for all users.  This will be a gradual rollout within the next few weeks. Users must sign in with their Google account, but Meet works entirely in a web browser and does not require downloads first.

Skype Meet Now is a different video meeting tool which does not require a sign-up or installation.  A unique Meet Now link can be requested from Skype or a web browser.

Facebook has also announced its new meeting tool – Facebook Messenger Rooms. Invited attendees do not need a Facebook account to attend the video meeting and downloads are not required. Rooms is not end-to-end encrypted. This is in addition to their Facebook Workplace and Facebook Work Groups services.

QuickBooks company backup files do not include file attachments

QuickBooks desktop edition does not include file attachments when it makes a company backup data file.  This will cause issues if the files need to be installed on a new computer or saved as part of normal data file backups.

The attached files are stored by QuickBooks in a folder named “Attach” with multiple subfolders.

The company file and Attach folder can be found by selecting Company > Documents > Repair Attached Documents Links.

Click the Open Company File Folder button to locate the Attach folder and company file.  The Repair Links button will remove invalid attached document links.

The company file can also be found by searching for a file with name format *.QBW.

Google Drive and Gmail free storage limited to 15 GB

Google accounts start with 15 GB of total storage spread across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos.   Once this limit is exceeded, users have the option of upgrading to a Google One plan.

You may check the total amount of storage currently used for your Google account at google.com/settings/storage.   Google also provides instructions on how to free up additional storage.

iTunes replaced on Apple devices by Apple Music and TV apps

iTunes has been replaced by Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Books, and Apple Podcasts on iOS and MacOS devices.  Prior iTunes media library content can now be found in these new apps.  Instructions on how to manage Apple Music and other subscriptions are available.

Apple iTunes is still available for Microsoft Windows.