By Bob DeLaurentis
Senior Wire 

Best Android phone, aging iPhones, ZIP disk data


November 1, 2018

Q. What is your favorite Android phone?

A. I am a huge fan of the Google Pixel. I think that it offers the very best experience on the Android platform, and it’s my go-to recommendation for anyone who prefers Google’s services to those offered by Apple.

I still think the overall best choice for most consumers is an iPhone, but marketing in the Android space is fierce, and the Pixel is the best top-quality phone that few people have ever heard of.

Android itself is a product of Google, and while all the top-of-the-line models from third-party phone makers are worth considering, the Pixel is Google’s vision of what an Android phone should be. That makes it my pick as the best choice for Android customers, especially for those users who are already heavily invested in the Google ecosystem.

Q. I have an Apple iPhone 5C, which I really like. Recently, some of my apps are not opening, suggesting I might have an ad blocker enabled. How do I fix this? Tech support tried to sell me a new phone. Is this the right answer or can I fix it?

A. I use three criteria for upgrading to a new phone: Does it support the latest version of the system? How well does it hold a charge? And does it function the way I need? The 5C is a great phone. It was introduced as a low-cost model five years ago. Considering that it no longer supports the latest iOS release (iOS 12), that is a good reason to consider an upgrade.

You did not mention the battery, so I assume it has life left. That leaves how well it functions. My first thought is, do you have an ad blocker running? They require several steps to activate on an iPhone, so they do not install “by accident.” Although if another family member has access to the phone, you might want to ask them if they installed a blocker as a favor.

Recently, more sites refuse to load if they detect an ad blocker, and the only alternative is to disable the block on that site. On iPhone, blockers can be disabled under Settings -> Safari -> Content Blockers. If the blocker is present, even a new iPhone will refuse to load.

iPhones are well built, and they often last for years. When the battery gets weak, it can be replaced.

Given that iOS 12 is not supported, the iPhone 5C is near the end of its useful life. If it does what you need, great, keep going. If there is no ad blocker and the sites you visit stop working, then the phone falls into the category of no longer meeting your needs.

Q. I have two old ZIP drive disks that I would like to access and save the files onto a thumb drive.

A. Saving data from aging disks is a never-ending challenge. My closet is a museum of old hardware and I have run into this problem a number of times.

Locating a service that will copy your files is the easiest method, but you have to trust the provider will respect your privacy. If the disks once contained old tax returns or banking records, consider the privacy implications before using a service.

A little Google research did help me locate several companies that copy files from ZIP disks:,, and

Another alternative is not a security risk, but it might be a lot more work in the long run: buy an appropriate disk drive on eBay. A working drive can be bought for as little as $20. On the upside this method keeps your data private, but it is a tech-heavy task that requires obtaining and setting up compatible hardware and software that supports the drive. This option might easily be more work than the data is worth.

Nevertheless, I encourage you to keep trying until you get your data. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find. Good luck.

Wander the Web

Free Bedtime Stories

This site publishes free, high-quality bedtime stories and poetry for children. The stories are indexed by theme, length, age, and more. Start here the next time you need to read a fresh story.

Dogs Dogs Dogs

Lately I have found myself looking to odd corners of the internet to escape the daily deluge of bleak news. Often I find my way to this page of endless happy dogs, busy doing dog things.

Audio Video Workshop

If you have media imprisoned on out-of-date formats, check out this service. Find out about rescuing your old films, tapes, or photos. This site is an excellent resource to help preserve memories before they are lost forever.

A tech enthusiast his entire life, Bob can be contacted at

Author Bio

A tech enthusiast his entire life, Bob can be contacted at


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