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Beeping FIOS battery

Has your FIOS or other internet box started beeping? The internet box that is usually just inside the house is called an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). (Note that the ONT plugs into another box with an antenna. This is the router.) The ONT has a Battery Backup Unit (BBU) since you need to have the ability to make 911 phone calls in the event of a power outage. But the rechargeable batteries usually just last 2-3 years.

Instead of having Verizon or your internet provider replace the battery, you can usually do so yourself if you’re comfortable opening the ONT and unplugging the battery. Replacement batteries are available at places like Amazon, BatteryMart, and Mighty Max Battery. They typically cost $30-50.

For my Verizon FIOS ONT, I had to purchase a battery that was comparable with the Goldtop HG GT12080-HG. The key things to look at are the terminal connection type, volts, and amps. My model has F2 terminals, 12 volts, and 8Ah.  You also want to make sure the dimensions fit or that the battery claims to be a direct replacement for your model.

Goldtop HG GT12080-HG Battery

Never 10

Another great tool for people who don’t want to upgrade to Windows 10:
Never 10 by Steve Gibson

If you like running Windows 7 or 8, you unfortunately need a utility like this to stop Microsoft from nagging you or automatically upgrading without your permission.

“I Don’t Want Windows 10”

Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 hard. If you don’t upgrade, you get barraged with notifications and some people even report that Windows 10 is being installed without their permission.

If you don’t want Windows 10, there’s a neat Github project that stops the Windows 10 reminders, aptly called “I Don’t Want Windows 10”:

Windows 10 offers some improvements, but it’s not necessary for many folks. If you’re happy enough with Windows 7 or 8 on an old computer, you shouldn’t feel pressured to upgrade. Try “I Don’t Want Windows 10” to stop the pestering messages.

Preparing for New iPhones

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing color, the air is crisper, and the new iPhones are almost here. If you’re a crazy upgrader like I am, that means it’s time to get ready to sell your old iPhone.


You should try to unlock your old iPhone. Unlocking allows the phone to be used by different cellular carriers by changing SIM cards. It makes the phone more valuable as a result. Outside the US, phone locking isn’t even legal. And the fact that a US carrier can keep a phone locked after you have paid off the contract for the phone and sold it to someone else makes no sense. Unfortunately, it’s up to you the consumer to know that unlocking is even a thing.

If you’re with AT&T, you can follow these instructions:

You need to fill out all the info, get an email, then click on a link. Oddly, you then are instructed to backup your phone to iTunes and then perform a restore. All the steps take hours if you have a lot of data. And you’ll need to re-setup Apple Pay if you have cards on that.

For more information on how to unlock, look at this post from Gazelle:

Backup to iTunes

When you get your new phone, you can restore from your iCloud backup or from your computer’s iTunes backup. I always use the iTunes backup because it will backup more information if you have it encrypting your backup (see image below from iTunes). It will back up your passwords, Health, and HomeKit data. I suggest backing up to iTunes prior to getting the new iPhone since this takes a while.

iTunes iPhone Backup

Turn Off Find My iPhone

Before you sell your iPhone to someone, you also need to turn off Find My iPhone. This allows someone else to use the phone.

You get to this from Settings – iCloud – Find My iPhone

Reset iPhone

Finally, before you sell your old phone, reset it by going to Settings – General – Reset – Erase All Content and Settings. This will put the phone back in startup mode.

Protect Your Online Privacy

I just found out about a great resource for online privacy, the website It’s covers all the major privacy concerns and how to protect yourself from being snooped on.