After the avalanche of email I received from the Windows XP article I wrote last month, I thought perhaps it would be nice to address some rather interesting short topics. Just for the record, RW, at last check, the sky has not fallen, nor is it expected any time soon.

Drone technology enters new phase

Drones have been with us for a long time. Elmer Ambrose Sperry, the inventor of the gyroscope, developed a type of unmanned aircraft that could be launched from a catapult, attain a preset altitude and then dive straight down at a target. The aircraft was loaded with enough TNT to level a small town and with precise calculations, the aircraft proved to be quite accurate.

The U.S. Air Force has used unmanned drones for surveillance and offensive, tactical maneuvers for a number of years in the Middle East conflicts. A few weeks ago Amazon announced plans to utilize pre-programmed drones to deliver packages to buyers within local areas. People post all sorts of videos recorded by remote control drones with mounted cameras filming their escapades. The uses of drones may only be limited by our imagination.

Now a local real estate agent has utilized drone technology to make the home-buying process much less time consuming and a heck of a lot more fun. A virtual tour of homes shot from a drone equipped with a camera! It is amazing!

On April 25, Keller Williams’ Lisa Wunder commissioned Academy Mortgage captain, Chase Wilde, to film the Ahwatukee homes for sale and results need to be seen to be appreciated. You can view the video here:

Wunder has been a top seller for Keller Williams for a number of years and is always looking for new and innovative ways to make the home-buying experience easier and more fun for the home buyer. Check her out here:

Major update for Malwarebytes

As longtime readers of this column can attest, I am a huge fan of Malwarebytes, the anti-spyware program. In my opinion, it out-performs other programs in terms of detection and elimination and does so without any loss of performance and the protection is second to none.

Recently, Malwarebytes released a major update to the user interface (UI) for their product, which needs to be downloaded and installed by current users in order to maintain their protection. Once the update is downloaded and installed, the opening screen has a completely different look but your settings will transfer along with your license, if purchased. I have heard rumblings concerning an annual license fee for Malwarebytes in the near future. This would be disappointing but if the company continues to keep the high level of protection currently offered, it may be well worth the cost.

Ahwatukee has lost a good man

Hollis Johnson was the kind of guy you never had to wonder on which side of the fence he sat. He could be an outspoken son-of-a-gun at times, but he had a huge heart and was always happy to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. I met him when I was asked to speak at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center Computer Club, in which he was very active. We developed a solid friendship that lasted for a number of years. He would call me to help him resurrect some dinosaur of a computer for one of the ARC Computer Club members. Truth be told, most of these old computers should have been replaced years before. The payment for my services was the privilege of spending time with a truly nice guy, sharing a few jokes and maybe a handmade bowl or two. Johnson was a unique character and a guy that Ahwatukee and I will miss. Rest in Peace, Hollis.

• Mike Smothers is president of Smothers Computer Services and lives in Ahwatukee Foothills. Send questions to or call (480) 753-7667.

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