Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Computer Club Notes 2-12-2019

SSD?
The cost of Solid State Drives has dropped to affordable prices. 500gb drives are available for less than $100. They are proving to be more reliable than hard disk drives with an expectation of many years of service. They are quiet, easy to install, and much faster than hard drives. The speed gain for the upgrade will be much greater than what you gained by increasing the amount of memory. If you have not increased RAM to at least 4 gb, you might want to do that at the same time.

SSDs are all 2.5” in size and exactly the same size as laptop drives. So the replacement in a laptop is pretty easy. You might need a YouTube video to see how to locate and remove the old drive on your laptop. If you have a desktop with an IDE hard drive, you will not find an SSD in that format. If the motherboard has SATA connection you probably can install the SSD, but more than likely will need a bracket to hold the 2.5” drive. Here is one for less than $5: https://tinyurl.com/y3yln98x

Generate Random Text
Using MS Word, I demonstrated how to generate some random text using a website called http://www.lipsum.com/. You do not need to have Word. It just generates as much text as you need so you can copy and paste it into whatever program you to use it for.

In Word you can just type =RAND() or =RAND(p,s) p for number of paragraphs and s for number of sentences in each paragraph. Leave them out and it auto generates 5,3. The text comes from the help screens in Word.

Download your Google data
Google has a lot of information based on all the Google sites you visit. You can download that data to your own computer easily. This article tells how.
https://tinyurl.com/hjs6x9u

Windows 10 version 1809 rollout is here
As we talked last month, 1809 is working and starting to automatically roll out to all users. I have installed it without a hiccup on three of my machines at home as well. In a few weeks we will be looking at 1903. More on it as we get closer to the actual download date which is unknown at this time.




To check which version of windows you have installed press Win + R, type Winver, press Enter. The latest is 1809. 1803 is ok. Just wait for 1809 to come down on its own. If your machine does not line up with the requirements for 1809 it will not be updated. Some issues with certain processors and video chips.

How to pin to taskbar. On the desktop right- click the icon you want to place on the taskbar. Select pin to taskbar. Or you can just drag the icon to the taskbar. To pace it on the Start Menu, right click and choose Pin to Start.

What cloud?
We talked about the various “clouds” out there for us to use. Remember a cloud is hard drive storage at a location away from your location. It is accessed using the internet. The data stored is encrypted so only you can access it.
  • Windows 10 has OneDrive, a 5 gb cloud
  • Google comes with 15gb
  • Google Photos provides unlimited photo storage
  • Dropbox comes with 2gb
  • Amazon Prime comes with 5gb
  • Amazon Prime Photos provides unlimited photo storage
And there are many more out there

In every case you can purchase more space for a reasonable cost.

I use OneDrive. I found it the easiest. I just save files in my OneDrive folder and Microsoft saves a copy in its cloud. You will need a free Microsoft Account to access it.

For pictures I use Google Photos. It is unlimited and with the app on my cell phone every picture I take is automatically sent to the Google Cloud. If you have a free google account (gMail) you have the Google Drive (drive.google.com).



Ninite
Ninite is the safest site to install programs from. When you open ninite.com you are presented with a list of program to select from. You check the ones you want and then click the Get Installer button. That does not download any of the programs you have checked, it downloads a tiny program to your computer with a list of the programs you checked.



When you run that installer program it looks over each program selected to see if you have it already installed on your computer. If not, it downloads and installs it. If you already have the program it compares the version on your computer to the available one. If the one you have is already the latest, it does nothing with that program. If the one you have is older, the latest is downloaded and installed for you.

The next time you want to check to see if you have the latest updates you do not have to go to ninite and start over. If you still have the installer program on your computer, just double-click it.

Easy Screen Capture
With 1803 we were given an easy way to capture a screen by pressing Win+Shift+S. Draw a box around what you want to capture and release the mouse. Your image is in the clipboard.

With 1809 the clipboard is no longer a one time clip. Win+V will open the clipboard where you can view every item that has been copied since the last reboot or since you cleared the clipboard.


Stop Background Tasks in Chrome
Menu > Settings > Advanced > System > Continue running background… turn the switch off.

In addition to my own research, I want to give thanks to Harold at the Club, Ghacks, AskLeo, TomsHardware, DavesComputerTips and others for the useful ideas we take a look at each week.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Class Summary 1-29-2019

We discussed how to add a Chrome extension.

Open Chrome



Click the menu button (upper right three vertical dots)

More tools > Extensions



Click the Extensions Main Menu (three horizontal lines)




Click Open Chrome Web Store



Search the store for the extension you are seeking and the Add to Chrome

Alternatives To Microsoft Word

Word was not always the top choice among word processors. WordStar is a word processor application that had a dominant market share during the early- to mid-1980s. Then Microsoft Word came on the scene and was delivered free to everyone purchasing a new PC.

Today we have many other options. We will look at a few.

OpenOffice / LibreOffice are the same but different. This article will give you some history and details: https://tinyurl.com/zsagq8d

We will looked at the simple with Jarte, Abiword, and the Office look-a-like in WPS. Then we checked out Google Drive.

If you have a Google account, you have 15 gb of storage in their cloud and have access at drive.google.com. All your Google data is stored here. Your gMail, your Google Photos, and anything else you upload to the “drive”. If you are storing your photos or movies or Google documents, the storage is free. If you are uploading non-Google files they use your 15 gb of free space. If you run out, you can purchase more space at a reasonable monthly fee.

I use Google Docs and Spreadsheets for most of my writing. Not only is it available on my PC, but also on my cell phone and Chromebook and LinuxMint computer, and at anyone else’s computer. Access is on the web and all files are stored there. Sharing files with others is a simple as clicking Share and sending them the link. They can view but not change or I can set it to allow their comments or even to modify the file.

We covered many questions regarding the various office programs. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Class Notes 1-22-2019

Slow Computer
What can be done about a slow computer? Over time every computer slows down the result of many layers of stuff added over time. Exactly what I cannot say. The first answer many will give is to add more memory. For Windows 10 it seems to like no less than 2 gb and the more the better. Older computers may not allow more than 1-2 gb max. Running the maintenance programs helps a lot (CCleaner, Malwarebytes, Superantispyware). The best way is to backup all your data and reload a fresh operating system. This totally cleans your system and lets you start fresh. Now it will be running at top speed. Restore your data and install any software that did not come with Windows. Still runs slow? You might want to check out Linux Mint as a replacement OS.

Keyboard shortcuts in Windows
Keyboard shortcuts are keys or combinations of keys that provide an alternative way to do something that you’d typically do with a mouse.
http://tinyurl.com/znjwvqu

How to block endscreen video recommendations on YouTube
Sometimes, or even all the time, you may prefer not to receive video suggestions. Maybe, because you are watching YouTube with minors and don't want them exposed to suggestions that are inappropriate or make them want to watch more videos on the site. We looked at this article but did not get to understand enough to try blocking. If you get it to go, let me know...
https://tinyurl.com/yat73vgy

7 Useful Ways to Reuse an Old Router
This article has some good suggestions on using that old router. How to repurpose it as a switch, a second WiFi channel, a WiFi extender and more.
https://tinyurl.com/ya53n9ub

SlingTV
Had the opportunity to see Sling TV in action. It is just like having cable or dish, but nowhere as costly. You pick how many channels and pay based on the group you choose. And then there are addons for you to pick in either to add certain channels. All in all a lot less than what you have now. Try it free for 15 days.

In addition you can use PlutoTV for free. If you have a Roku or Firestick you can add the channel. Many other channels are available on either of those devices--some free and some subscription.


DuckDuckGo
We started as the search engine that doesn’t track you, and have grown to become a privacy company that protects you no matter where you go on Internet.

DuckDuckGo is the Internet privacy company that lets you take control of your information, without any tradeoffs. We believe the internet shouldn't feel so creepy, and getting the privacy you deserve online should be as simple as closing the blinds.
https://duckduckgo.com/

How to Clear Your Google Search History
Ctrl+H will open your search history. Every event is logged and you can return to each one. Or you can remove them all.
https://tinyurl.com/yddefv65



Burning an ISO file in Windows 10
It used to be that to burn an ISO file you had to us a 3rd party program like imgburn or cdburnerxp. Not any more. Locate the image (ISO file) and right-click. At the top of the list of options find. Burn Image. If that option is not available click send to and choose File Explorer. Set the default for ISO files to File Explorer to have it available every time..

How do I know what version of Windows?
7, 8, 8.1, 10? They told us 10 would be the end. No more Windows. Now we just have versions of 10. The current version is 1809. 18 stands for the year, 2018. 09 is the month scheduled for release, September. So, you may have 10, but are you at the current version? To find out, press Win+R, type WINVER, and press Enter, A Window will appear with the version you are using. If that is not 1809, Win+I > Update and Security > Check for Updates to get the latest.

How to Add a Password
If your computer was originally set up without a password to startup, this is how to add one. Win+I > Accounts > Sign-In Options > Password, then click Change.

In addition to my own research, I want to give thanks to Harold at the Club, Ghacks.net Newsletter, AskLeo, tomshardware, TechConnect, and DavesComputerTips.com for the useful ideas we take a look at each week.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Class Notes 1-15-2019

We had a good turnout today. Lots of folks are back from up north. I think the count was 27. Here are the notes as I recall them.

We talked about internet speed. Those on century link are getting speed of 10 or less and having no problems streaming or get their emails and browsing done. Comcast users are getting bigger speeds but accomplishing the same tasks.

Want to check your speed? Use Speedtest.net.

Copy Data To New Computer

Unless you do not use the standard places to save your data, all data folders are in a folder with your name under the Users folder in the C: drive. Access them easily by pressing Windows+R, type C:\users and press Enter. File Explorer will open with all users folders listed in the right column. Double click your folder to open it.

Holding the Ctrl key down, select each folder containing your data.

Right-click one of the selected folders and choose Properties to determine the total amount of space needed.


Do not select the OneDrive folder, those files will come down from the cloud when you sign into Microsoft on your new computer.


Be sure to have your external drive inserted at this point. With all the folders still selected, right-click any of the selected files and choose Send to and then the name of your flash drive or external hard drive.

This will take a few minutes depending on how much data is being copied.

When finished, safely remove the flash drive or external hard disk. Then place it into the new computer. Open the drive in File Explorer on the new computer to see all the folders. Then drag them into your folder on the new computer. That is the folder within the User folder with your user name. Locate the same way using Windows+R, type C:\users, press Enter and double click on your name, You can overwrite any same name files.

Now your data is done. On to the programs.

If you saved the installation files for non Microsoft programs in downloads, locate them and one at a time install them on the new computer.

If some of your programs are not in downloads, locate the CD’s or find them online. You cannot just copy the executables from the old computer.

Now your new computer is ready to go.

Otter web browser
Otter Browser final is a stable modern browser with lots of integrated features and options. Is it ready for prime time? It is certainly possible to use the browser as the main driver but most users will probably use it as a secondary browser for the time being.
https://tinyurl.com/ybhjn4g7

Rename Files/Folders In Sequential Number Order
Here is a quick and easy way to batch rename your files/folders giving them sequential numbers.
First, line them up in the order you want them to be numbered.

We used the desktop to copy the individual files to. Then we could easily move them around to the order desired. Then we selected all files and right-clicked on one of them. Choose Rename and type the name you want to use. Press enter and all the file are named the same with a sequential number placed to the right of each name… (1) to (...)

This article explains in more detail
https://tinyurl.com/y744fzbc

Convert hardcopy document into editable digital document
We took a picture of a document with my phone. Because of Google Photos it uploaded the image to the cloud. We accessed it in the Google Cloud and use SmallPDF.com to convert the JPG file to a PDF then opened the PDF in Word which converted it to an editable document. SmallPDF can also convert a PDF to Word. Other methods are discussed in the following article.

Use Optical Character Recognition software without installation on your computer. Recognize text and characters from PDF scanned documents (including multipage files), photographs and digital camera captured images. Free Online OCR service supports 32 recognition languages.
https://tinyurl.com/y8eappe7

In addition to my own research, I want to give thanks to Harold at the Club, Ghacks.net Newsletter, AskLeo, tomshardware, TechConnect, and DavesComputerTips.com for the useful ideas we take a look at each week.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Class Summary 1-4-2019

Heritage Oak Computer Training 1-4-2019

Windows 10 version 1809 rollout is here
As we talked last month, 1809 is working and starting to automatically roll out to all users. I have installed it without a hiccup on three of my machines at home as well.

To check which version of windows you have installed press Win + R, type Winver, press Enter. The latest is 1809. 1803 is ok. Just wait for 1809 to come down on its own. If your machine does not line up with the requirements for 1809 it will not be updated. Some issues with certain processors and video chips.

How to pin to taskbar. On the desktop right- click the icon you want to place on the taskbar. Select pin to taskbar. Or you can just drag the icon to the taskbar.

What cloud?
We talked about the various “clouds” out there for us to use. Remember a cloud is hard drive storage at a location away from your location. It is accessed using the internet. The data stored is encrypted so only you can access it.
  • Windows 10 has OneDrive, a 5 gb cloud 
  • Google comes with 15gb 
  • Google Photos provides unlimited photo storage 
  • Dropbox comes with 2gb 
  • Amazon Prime comes with 5gb 
  • Amazon Prime Photos provides unlimited photo storage 
And there are many more out there

In every case you can purchase more space for a reasonable cost.

I use OneDrive. I found it the easiest. I just save files in my OneDrive folder and Microsoft saves a copy in its cloud. You will need a free Microsoft Account to access it.

For pictures I use Google Photos. It is unlimited and with the app on my cell phone every picture I take is automatically sent to the Google Cloud. If you have a free google account (gMail) you have the Google Drive (drive.google.com).

Move a picture to a flash drive. Locate the picture on the hard drive in File Explorer. Right-click the file name. Then select to move it to the name of the inserted flash drive.

Amazon Prime prints for 9 cents each. This makes it simple to send pictures to all your friends with free shipping. Think about it. 100 pictures will cost $9.00 and will be delivered in 2 days free after 1-3 days processing.

Brave Browser is another way to access the Internet. It claims to be faster than Chrome. You might want to check it out. And a couple of interesting search engines, not browsers, are Dogpile and Duckduckgo. They do not keep your personal data about who you are and where you have gone. I have been using Brave instead of Chrome and I feel it is much faster and more secure.
http://tinyurl.com/ycva54kf

Remember playing those Nintendo games a few years ago? I was at the mall and noticed a miniature Nintendo box with controllers for sale--a retro game box with a bunch of the old games built in. I went home and checked on the internet. Yes, most are available to run right in your browser.



Check out all of those legacy games at nintendo.com 
 
1809 Clipboard
On Windows 10 version 1809, you’re getting a new clipboard experience that leverages the Microsoft cloud to copy and paste content across devices.

The experience works just like before, using the Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste.

Windows key + V keyboard shortcut that allows you to see your clipboard history. In addition, the experience includes a button to clear all your history, or enable the feature if it’s currently disabled.

Using the new experience, you can also paste anything that is listed in the history, and you can pin items for things you paste all the time.

The new clipboard also brings a new settings page in the System section that allows you to customize many aspects of the experience.


1809 Display
A new section called Make text bigger, which now includes the controls to increase text size across the system including Microsoft Store apps and classic (win32) applications.

Win + I > Ease of Access > Make text bigger


1809 Snip & Sketch
Windows 10 is introducing a new snipping experience that combines the old Snipping Tool with Screen Sketch (formerly part of the Windows Ink Workspace) into a single modern experience called “Snip & Sketch,” which uses the modern app design that we continue to see on Microsoft Store apps.

Using this new experience brings a few additional benefits, including a single experience to take screenshots. The app receives updates using the Microsoft Store. It’ll show up in Task View. You can set the window size to be your preferences, and it even supports multiple windows.

Some of the new features includes the ability to quickly snip and share a screenshot using the Win + Shift + S, which now brings the snipping toolbar with all the basic tools you need.



In the “Keyboard” settings page, you’ll see a new option that says “Use the Print Screen key to launch screen snipping,” enabling this option lets you bring up the new snipping tool pressing the Print Screen button.



Finally, Action Center (Win + A) gains a new Screen snip button that let you also get a quick access to the new snipping experience.

Sign in to a Windows 10 account automatically on start
We can do this manually by invoking netplwiz at the Run screen (Win + R). The next version of Windows 10 will have an easier approach to making this happen. This article details doing it now.
https://tinyurl.com/ybvprn93




LiveTV Free
Check out http://pluto.tv for a channel listing. Get it on your Roku box or on your computer. There is a TV Channel Listing just like on Cable and On Demand movies… free… and we looked at Hulu.com and sling.com.

Regular TV can be viewed in your browser and cast to your TV with Chromecast that plugs into an hdmi port on the TV. You can also watch shows from the last week or so on most of the major networks such as ABC.com. There are even some live feeds on most network websites.



How to Send and Receive Faxes Online
Most companies still want a fax rather than an email. I believe this has something to do with what the courts will accept as a legal document. This article details how to send and receive a Fax from your computer without having to have a fax machine or a printer that does fax. It recommends MyFax. Another one is Jfax.com which can send and receive faxes. I use JConnect which which is now owned by Jfax and seldom use it.
http://tinyurl.com/yaftgul2

In addition to my own research, I want to give thanks to Harold at the Club, Ghacks.net Newsletter, AskLeo, tomshardware, TechConnect, and DavesComputerTips.com for the useful ideas we take a look at each week.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Class Notes 12/27/2018

I know we did not have class this week, but I have put together some notes from my readings and experimenting this week. So I thought I would get you up to speed and wish you a Happy and Safe New Year.

Windows 10 version 1809 rollout to speed upAs we talked last week, 1809 is working and we are putting it on the machines we are working on at the club. I have installed it without a hiccup on three of my machines at home as well. If you do not want it yet then do NOT click check for updates. More in this article:
https://tinyurl.com/y9ouoob7

Windows 10 password-less accounts in 1903This article is about things to come. We will be able to setup Windows 10 to not even require a password to get started. Details in this article
https://tinyurl.com/y74r5tn2

Sign in to a Windows 10 account automatically on startWe can do this manually by invoking netplwiz at the Run screen (Win + R). The next version of Windows 10 will have an easier approach to making this happen. This article details doing it now.
https://tinyurl.com/ybvprn93

How to Email a Text
Yes, we can send a text to someone right from our computer. Not Facebook messenger texting, phone texting. This article details how to send and receive texts on your computer
https://tinyurl.com/y8be84rp

How To Record Internet Audio
This article shows how to use a male-male cable to record in Audacity anything playing on your computer.
http://tinyurl.com/y8u3prqa

Google’s Chrome Canvas
Google has quietly released a progressive web app called Chrome Canvas that lets you make quick doodles that automatically save to your Google account. Go to “canvas.apps.chrome” in a Chrome browser on any computer, and pull up a basic drawing app without having to download any programs or apps. More in this article
https://tinyurl.com/ycog76t3



LiveTV Free
Check out http://pluto.tv for a channel listing. Get it on your Roku box or on your computer. There is a TV Channel Listing just like on Cable and On Demand movies… free...

How to Send and Receive Faxes Online
Most companies still want a fax rather than an email. I believe this has something to do with what the courts will accept as a legal document. This article details how to send and receive a Fax from your computer without having to have a fax machine or a printer that does fax.
http://tinyurl.com/yaftgul2

In addition to my own research, I want to give thanks to Harold at the Club, Ghacks.net Newsletter, AskLeo, tomshardware, TechConnect, and DavesComputerTips.com for the useful ideas we take a look at each week.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Class Summary 12-18-2018

Don't "check for updates" in Windows 10. If you select "check for updates", you may get pre-release updates that are none-security in nature, on stable versions of Windows. The only thing that you can do about it right now is to never-ever, click on "check for updates" in Windows.
http://tinyurl.com/ybd2n3wd

Brave Browser is another way to access the Internet. It claims to be faster the. Chrome. You might want to check it out. And a couple of interesting search engines, not browsers, are Dogpile and Duckduckgo.
http://tinyurl.com/ycva54kf

Surprise! Microsoft plans to make Microsoft 365 available to consumers. It looks like they are heading to a time when have to pay to use windows and office. Might be time to check out Linux Mint which is free. Find out more.abut it at www.linuxmint.com.

1809 Clipboard

On Windows 10 version 1809, you’re getting a new clipboard experience that leverages the Microsoft cloud to copy and paste content across devices.

The experience works just like before, using the Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste.

Windows key + V keyboard shortcut that allows you to see your clipboard history. In addition, the experience includes a button to clear all your history, or enable the feature if it’s currently disabled.

Using the new experience, you can also paste anything that is listed in the history, and you can pin items for things you paste all the time.

The new clipboard also brings a new settings page in the System section that allows you to customize many aspects of the experience.

1808 Display

A new section called Make text bigger, which now includes the controls to increase text size across the system including Microsoft Store apps and classic (win32) applications.

1898 Snip & Sketch

Windows 10 is introducing a new snipping experience that combines the old Snipping Tool with Screen Sketch (formerly part of the Windows Ink Workspace) into a single modern experience called “Snip & Sketch,” which uses the modern app design that we continue to see on Microsoft Store apps.

Using this new experience brings a few additional benefits, including a single experience to take screenshots. The app receives updates using the Microsoft Store. It’ll show up in Task View. You can set the window size to be your preferences, and it even supports multiple windows.

Some of the new features includes the ability to quickly snip and share a screenshot using the Win + Shift + S, which now brings the snipping toolbar with all the basic tools you need.

In the “Keyboard” settings page, you’ll see a new option that says “Use the Print Screen key to launch screen snipping,” enabling this option lets you bring up the new snipping tool pressing the Print Screen button.

Finally, Action Center gains a new Screen snip button that let you also get a quick access to the new snipping experience.

1809 Notepad

Notepad is getting an update to support Unix/Linux line endings (LF) and Macintosh line endings (CR). The find and replace dialog now includes a new option to do wrap around search. The note-taking app will now remember previously entered values and the state of checkboxes and automatically populate them the next time you open the find dialog.

Additionally, when you have text selected and open the find dialog Notepad now automatically populates the search field with the selected text.

Under the View menu, and new Zoom option has been added to zoom in and out on a text document. The current zoom level is now displayed in the status bar.

You can also use Ctrl + Plus, Ctrl + Minus and Ctrl + Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out and use Ctrl + 0 to restore the zoom level to the default.

In addition, Notepad now supports the ability to display line and column numbers when word-wrap is enabled in the new status bar, and you can use Ctrl + Backspace to delete the previous word you type.

If you need to research a word, you can now select the text, click Edit, and use the new “Search with the Bing” option (Ctrl + E) to research the word using Microsoft Edge.

To check which version of windows you have installed press Win + R, type Winver, press Enter. The latest is 1809. 1803 is ok. Just wait for 1809 to come down on its own. If your machine does not line up with the requirements for 1899 it will not be updated. Some issues with certain processors and video chips.

How to pin to taskbar. On the desktop right- click the icon you want to place on the taskbar. Select pin to taskbar. Or you can just drag the icon to the taskbar.

Move a picture to a flash drive. Locate the picture on the hard drive in File Explorer. Right-click the file name. Then select to move it to the name of the inserted flash drive.

Install HP printer on new machine. When you get a new PC the printer you had in the old one might not be recognized on the nee one. Open a browser and go to www.hp.com. Select support and then software. It will ask you for the name of the printer. Then download the installation software and run it.

Amazon Prime prints for 9 cents each. This makes it simple to send pictures to all your friends with free shipping think about.it. 100 pictures will call $9.00 and will be delivered in 2 days free.

Grammerly.com is an extension for Chrome that will check not only your spelling but grammar as well.

Build a rescue disk for your image backup whenever you upgrade to a new version of EaseUS or Macrium. The new rescue disk or USB flash drive will read the backups made with an older version as well.