Friday, February 16, 2018

Class Notes 2-15-2018

We looked at the Advanced section of Glary Utilities and how to retrieve a list of details about our computer including key codes, amount of memory installed, size of hard disk, and more.
Open Glary > Advanced > System

The URL for these notes is This gets you to the page to view the latest notes. On the right of the page is a list of previous dates we added notes. However there is no list of topics. You can use the search engine in Google to locate a set of notes about the topic you are looking for.

In the address bar of your browser type the topic as one or more words. Add a space and the word site with a colon, then type the name of the site you need to search. Here is the search to locate notes on using ninite:

windows 10

We talked a bit about using CC and BCC when sending emails to a bunch of people. This way the recipient only sees their own address and not a list of all the people you sent the email to. When forwarding an email, scroll down to be sure someone else did not leave a list of other emails. Delete them before forwarding.

You can use a site like MailChimp to confirm an email was received. I use this to send all my emails to groups of people. I can look a couple of days later and see how many emails were read and who opened them.

Using TinyURL is good way to shorten long URLs when posting links or sending them to your friends.

Using LibreOffice as a PDF Editor, Like Word 2016, Libre will read a PDF nd allow you to make changes to it

Third party screenshot utilities right in your browser

Clean up tool for more than emails… Email STRIPPER is a free program for cleaning the ">" and other formatting characters out of your emails. It will restore "forwarded" or "replied" emails back to their original state so they're easier to read.

Disable the touchpad on your laptop to avoid the jumping insertion point.

Helping Gramma, a current times truth… LOL

LibreOffice 6.0 is out, Time to use to download the latest vesion.

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

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Class Notes 2-8-2018

We covered a lot of areas this week and I know I have not remembered them all. Here is what I do remember. See you next week...

Free Autos for those in need. This is a local business that will help those in real need to obtain a vehicle. Good to know so you can help someone in the future or perhaps you know someone right now.

How to Windows 10 won't Boot after Update. This article speaks to the issue some have been having with the latest updates from Microsoft. If your computer is running very slow check task manager. If you CPU and Disk usage is up near 100% you may have this issue.

Calculator with a tape can come in handy when you need to have printed proof of your calculations. It is found in the Window Store. Here is a link.

No More Robo calls on your home (VoIP) phone. If you have Century Link this will NOT work. It is only for Internet phones like Comcast, Vonage, Ooma, Magicjack, etc. There is list on the site about the ones that will work. All I can say is that since I signed up (and it is free) I have not received one telemarketing call.

We have been using for a long time. It is convenient because we can update a long list of programs with one click on the downloaded installation file and not be concerned with which box to check or uncheck when installing. Unchecky will help with those other downloads not part of ninite like ccleaner.

We explored a couple of useful extensions that can be added to your Chrome browser: Adblocker and Show Passwords. An extension is a program that is added to the browser extending its usefulness.

Open Chrome and click the menu button (3 vertical dots) > More tools > Extentions

Scroll to the bottom and click Get more extensions

Type adblock and press the Enter key

Locate AdBlock and Add the extension to Chrome

Now locate show password and add it to Chrome

AdBlock will stop most ads from appearing on websites you visit. Show Password will allow you to mouse over hidden passwords so you can reveal the actual password.

Microsoft automatically downloads Windows updates. This is usually okay but may make your PC run a bit slower while the download is in process even though it happens in the background, they say. What if your internet connection is not cable or DSL? What if you have a hot spot or are using your cell phone as a hotspot? You are paying for that data at a high rate if you exceed your data limit each month. The 4gb upgrade to 1709 may have cost some of you a pretty penny.

There is a provision in Windows 10 to tell it you are on a metered connection. When you do, Microsoft will not download its updates so as to save you data.

Wii+I > Network and Internet > WiFi > Manage known networks

This brings you to a list of available WiFi

Mouse over the WiFi you are connecting to and click Properties

Scroll down to Metered Connection and set the switch to On.

In Window 10 you can press Win+P to pop up a menu of display options for a second monitor. The choices are self evident. The second monitor may be an HDMI device or and VGA monitor. Many newer PCs are not equipped with a VGA port.

There are many adjustments you can make in Window to your mouse. You can change the size and color of the mouse pointer, adjust the speed it takes across the screen as you move it, swap the functions of the left and right button (for left handed users), make it easy to find by adding circles or mouse trails, and more.

Win+I > Devices > Mouse > Additional mouse options

From here you can modify and make adjustments to the mouse.

The Pointer tab is where you can Show the location of the mouse with circles and where you can add pointer trails (aka mouse droppings)

If you ever get frustrated with double-clicking, there is a setting to make all clicks single instead of double. The icons on the desktop become actual links (hand mouse pointer) instead of the normal pointer. The hand indicates that you only need to click once. Here is how…

Win+I > Type Folders and a dropdown will appear

Click Show hidden files and folders

General tab > Click items as follows > click Single-click radio button > Apply > OK

Now all your desktop icons will be single click

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

Friday, February 2, 2018

Class Notes 2-1-2018

Point out the difference in USB ports. The black ones are for USB 1/2 and the blue ones are for USB 3. The higher the number the faster the port and data transfer speed. If you are plugging in the dongle for a wireless mouse to the wires for a keyboard or mouse, use the black (or white on older PC’s). Leave the blue ones for devices that are designed for high speed. Do aste the port on a slower device.

Someone asked how to make their Windows 10 PC boot without asking for a password. Windows needs a password. However there is a way to have it remember the password and have you log it in automatically. In the Type here to search box, type NETPLWIZ and hit the Enter key. This is what comes up:

Uncheck the Use this list… checkbox.

Click OK and OK

The next time you turn out your PC it will grab the password you set and not have you enter it by hand. However, write down the password as you may need it in the future.

If you would like to restart your PC in safe mode, the old F8 at boot does not work. At the Type here to search box type MSCONFIG and press the Enter key to bring up the System Configuration screen.

Open the Boot tab, then check the Safe boot checkbox and then click OK. The next time you start up the PC will start in Safe mode. When you are done using Safe mode, run MSCONFIG again and uncheck the box.

The many faces of Outlook. What do you use for email, you ask. Outlook. Is it the outlook that is part of Windows?

Or is it the outlook that is part of Windows Live?

Or is it the Outlook that is part of Microsoft Office?

They are different, but all can access your mail from wherever they are stored. The later gets your email from your server like Comcast, Embarq, Hotmail, AOL, etc and places it on your PC as .pst files. Once retrieved from your mail server they are on your PC and you do not need to be on the Internet to view them.

The first one is a program on your PC that allows you to access the mail from the cloud. You choose where it finds it and give outlook your credentials from all the places you use for mail servers (comcast, embarq, aol, etc). Your mail stays in the cloud.

The middle one is a web service through your Microsoft account. Like the first one, it displays your mail stored in the cloud. For personal email (not business) this is the one I recommend. All your mail is in the Microsoft cloud and accessible from anywhere.

I prefer to use the webmail from Yahoo or Google. Nothing is on my computer; all email is in the cloud and I can access it on any computer or cell phone with my sign on credentials.

Here is another good article on Outlook:

How do I backup my Hotmail or mail?

Spent most of the class looking at how to build a movie with sound using an old Microsoft program called Photo Story 3. Install it on your PC and Create a New Story. Here is a good paper on how to use it step-by-step. There is even a YouTube video on it at

Then we looked at how to do an image search in Google.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Class Notes 1-25-2018

We spent most of the time discussing how to sell something on eBay. The following paper was written a few years ago when we spoke about the same topic.

No bids so far… click above to view

Found a few how to guides that might be of interest:

Next week we will take a look at images and how to use a Microsoft program called Photo Story.

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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Class Notes 1-18-18

Data Usage
Sometimes it is useful to know how much internet bandwidth you are using.

Should I Remove It?
Ever wonder what some of those programs are for? Her is a tool that scans your computer and shows you what is running and allows you to see what it used for and allows you to remove it.

I saw this advertised on Facebook. Plug it into your USB port and boot from it. An instant PC that runs fast and on older laptops turning them into usable computers. I bought one and demonstrated it in call today.

Then we took a look at Cloudready that will take your old computer (XP and up as long as it can boot from a USB drive) and turn it into a Chromebook! For free! I will build the stick and we can see how it works next week.

We looked at whatsup, a social networking application for cell phones and computers that lets you text and talk and video with anyone having the app.

Using a WiFi extender to bring your WiFi signal to the far end of the house. This is the one we use at the club.

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

Friday, January 12, 2018

Class Notes 1-11-2018

A big crowd today. Had to find more chairs. It was a very active group. We even came up with some topics for future classes:

  1. Build a Chromebook out of an old PC
  2. Buy and sell on eBay
  3. Create a slideshow using Photo Story

So next week on 1-28-2018 we will look at taking an old XP laptop and making it into a working Chromebook. The week after that we will look at eBay and in three weeks we will build a slideshow with animation and background music.

Everyone liked the Echo Silver video I shared. Here is a link to it on YouTube:

Run android apps on your PC. This does not replace your existing OS. It is a program that emulates an Android allowing you toaccess the Google Play Store and run apps on your PC.

Convert Hardcopy Document Into Editable Digital Document. There are a number of programs and online applications you can run to take a picture and convert it to a Word document to be edited on your PC. This is the first one we tried and it worked giving us a Word file we could modify.

Convert Online Scanned Image or PDF to Text and Word. This was the second one we tried. It worked much better than the first one. The first one took our image and made every line a text box. Much more difficult to use than this one which gave us a clean word file with no text boxes.

NoBot is a portable malware scanner for Windows. I have not tried this one but it says it can run from a flash drive and scan the hard drive for issues.

How To Rename Files/Folders In Sequential Number Order. I like to use this technique to rename a group of picture files. When my camera takes them it assigns a name like img0316.jpg and the next one as img0317, etc. Instead I can select all the files in the grouping and give them the name associated with what they are about. For instituance these two might have been taken at Disney and when I use this method they would be named disney (1).jpg and disney (2).jpg.

Keeping icons from moving around on the screen

Right-click on any empty space on your Desktop
In the context menu, choose View
In the menu that appears, make sure that Auto arrange icons is not checked

In additions we looked at how to change the background, change the overall size of items on the screen, and more on that right-click menu.

Copy Linux distributions to bootable USB drives is a neat article but only interesting to those desiring to use Linux

GPU performance in Task Manager is a new column in the Task Manager performance area. It gives you details about the Graphics Processor.

How To – Facebook Posts To Specific Friends. In addition to posting to the world (Public) or to your friends (Friends) you can post to specific people. Nobody but those you list will ever see your post.

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

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Class Notes 1-4-2018

Here’s a link to a Comcast page with their policy regarding email addresses if you quit Comcast. (Thanks Fran R) You can keep your email address as long as you use it.

The question came up about having to reset everything when coming down to Florida in the winter and back up north in the summer. The SSID and password is different in both locations for WiFi and all devices have to be set to the correct ones. This true but the way I handle it is to make the WiFi SSID and password the same in both locations. Then when I bring equipment like my cell phones, laptops, and printers there is nothing to do but plug them in. They look fo the same credentials in both locations. But, you say, my internet provider assigned me the SSID and password. Yes they did but you can log in to your account with them and change both to your liking. Just remember what they are!

Free books for you Kindel and other eReaders. You choose the genre and an email will come into your inbox daily with a list of a half dozen or so free books to download.

Custom Logo Designs for those who want to create a logo for your club, church group, personal letterhead or business cards. Easy to use and free.

Voice Commands in Windows. By turning on text recognition, Windows can learn your voice and you can speak commands into it instead of using your keyboard or mouse.

Do you need antivirus other than Defender? This article upholds our thoughts on using Defender plus the free tools we suggest to keep your Windows PC working virus/malware/spyware free.

Get Free Unlimited Google Drive Storage. All you need is a working .EDU email address. If you are a student at college or an employee/retired at a college, you may be eligible for free Google Drive space… and maybe a low price for Microsoft software as well.

Data Loss --It Doesn't Have To Happen-- Ever! Backup. Backup. Backup. And the software is free. We recommend EaseUS and Macrium Reflect as good image backup programs.

MailStore – Your eMail Backup Solution. Great to use when switching from one email carrier to another. Like from Comcast to Embarq or visa versa. When you cancel your old account all your emails go away; you no longer have access to them.

How to use the Command Prompt. This goes back to the 1980’s. Yes, the command prompt is still there and you can still type commands such as DIR, CLS, CD… You can even create batch files to execute a string of commands from one place. - a .BAT file.

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