Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Class Notes 10-30-2018

Cut the cable… This was a long discussion about what you can do to watch what you want and not have to pay the very high cable TV bills.

Comcast or Centurylink. What is the difference? They each have internet access. CL is on a DSL line and the maximum speed you can purchase is up to 25mps at this time. Notice I said up to. Your actual speed depends on how far away from their distribution center you are and how many are on the line at the same time. Do not be surprised if your actual speed is 6mps or less. Check it with a speed checking app like speedtest.net.



I am using Comcast and the above screenshot is my speed this morning. It is quite a bit faster than anything Centurylink can provide.

They each are able to provide programming for you to watch. Comcast has there own cable network while Centurylink using Direct TV.

They each provide telephone service. Comcast uses VOIP which uses the internet connection while Centurylink uses a twisted pair landline.

Bill is too high for for? Cut the cable connection. All you need is an internet connection. Either company will do but I think the best price is from Comcast right now.

Get a VOIP phone system like Ooma. It is $99. The only fee is to pay the taxes each month which is less than $5. When you switch you can elect to port your existing number to them so nothing changes. You friends will still call the same number to reach you. Another option is to not have a house phone by porting the house number to a cell phone.

Remember those old rabbit ears we used years ago to watch TV? You can get an antenna for your TV that will allow you to pick up over 30 local channels including news and weather. Just screw the connector into the back of your TV. let your TV scan for channels (right from your remote) and you are done.

What about programming? What about those TV shows I like to watch or movies? I added a Roku box. It plugs into an HDMI port on your TV and hooks to the Internet using WiFi or an ethernet cable. One time charge for the box, just like the Ooma phone. But NO monthly charge. There are thousands of channels, some you pay for with a subscription and many are free. I pay for Netflix and watch many TV shows without commercials. There is a Pandora channel where you can listen to your kind of music all day for free. And much much more.

Now you have Internet access, a phone for under $5 a month, local TV channels, and all the movies and more you want for much less than your provider is charging.

Mouse
You do not have to accept the default settings for your mouse or touchpad. You can change the size and color of the mouse pointer, the speed the pointer moves at as your mouse the mouse, the function of the wheel, and more. Open settings (Win I).

Click Devices…



In the left column, click Mouse to open the mouse window on the right, Here you can turn your right-handed mouse into a left-handed mouse and adjust the scroll wheel. If you work with multiple windows and go back and forth between them, turn on the “Scroll inactive windows…” option. There are more options under Additional mouse options.



In the Buttons tab you can change the double-click speed and more. The descriptions under each option are very clear.



The Pointer tab is where you change the size and color of the mouse pointer.



The Pointer Options tab lets you fine tune things. The example above is how I have mine set.

When using a browser, Ctrl L brings the cursor to the address line with the entire address selected. Delete or Backspace will remove the selected data, although all you have to do is start typing and the selected data is cleared giving way to what you are typing.

Change the size in the browser
Ctrl + increases the size of a web page allowing you to read the fine print. Ctrl - reduces the size of the page so you can see more of it without scrolling. Ctrl 0 brings the page size back to default.

Printing part of an email or web page
When you place an order from somewhere they send you an email confirming what you ordered or even display it on your screen. When you right-click on the screen and choose Print you can end up with multiple pages with all kinds of advertisements and even fine print. All you want to see is the details.

Quick access to Snipping Tool
Win+Shift+S opens Snipping Tool at the point you drag a box around what you wish to capture. When you drop the drag what you selected is placed in the clipboard to be pasted elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Class Notes 10-23-2018

Edit FB posts when you have made a mistake. Click the three dots in the upper right of the post and click the Edit selection. You can now make corrections to your post. If you had a picture on the post you can also add additional pictures or videos.

Last week we talked about Classic Shell. The checkbox for Classic Start in Ninite is the same program, so select it along with your maintenance options and browsers next time you update them.

Piriform Utilities is where we get CCleaner. They make other useful utilities as well that you might want to check out.
  • Recuva -- Checks for files that have been deleted and removed from the recycle bin. If the file has not been overwritten by Windows, you have a good chance of reviving it.
  • Defraggler -- Although Windows 10 defrags in the background, this tool lets you look at the health of your drives and does a more thorough job of defragging.
  • Speccy -- Gathers a lot of information about your computer. Like Belarc, but different.
JotForm is a program that lets you create a form where you can ask questions, request information, etc. It then sends the results to you in email. Great for small groups, partes, church, clubs...

Win10 KB shortcuts article has one error. It is Alt+F4 that will close an open window, not Ctrl+F4. Otherwise a great list of shortcuts… there are many others.
http://tinyurl.com/ybx7b65n

Cell or Landline? Good article about figuring out if the number you are calling (or receiving) is a cell phone or a landline. We tried out one of the suggestions in class: Phonevalidator.com
http://tinyurl.com/ycy8xoew

Move Word Docs to Google Drive and you will be able to access the documents easily wherever you are through your Google account. However they will be in the .DOC/DOCX format. And they will go against your 15gb of free space. You may view them, but cannot edit them in the original format. You can, however, open them as a Google Doc file. Your document will be converted to a Google Doc where you can edit it. This new file will not be charged against your 15gb limit. When you are satisfied with the conversion, delete the Word formatted file and you will gt back that space in the Google Cloud.

Notepad++ is an expanded Notepad program for Windows. It does everything Windows Notepad does and more.

What is that flower?
Identify plants, flowers, cacti, succulents and mushrooms in seconds with the click of a button on your mobile device.
Download PlantSnap on your cell phone

Google Keep is what I use to keep our shopping list. We each can make entries on our cell phone and use it at the market to get all we want instead of getting there and trying to remember what we need.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Class Notes 10-16-2018

Backup your stuff
We have classes on using backup programs and have written many white papers available on the club website with step by step instructions. There are two we recommend: EaseUS and Macrium. When you install and run them for the first time you will be prompted to create a recovery CD or USB flash drive. These will be needed should you ever need to recover your hard drive.

EaseUS has three different types of backup
  1. Disk partition will allow you to determine which partitions you want to back up
  2. File will allow you to backup selected files/folders
  3. System will backup the entire hard drive--all folders, files, and partitions
How to save a picture that is on FB newsfeed. Click the picture to open it. Then right-click the picture in the new view. Select SaveAs and change the long name to something you will remember and place it in the folder you desire (download is default)

Google photos is a great place to store all your photos and automatically from your cell phone by installing the Google Photos App. (see white papers on this subject at cccgc.info)

Libre vs MS vs WPS.com vs Google Docs
LibreOffice is a nice replacement for Microsoft Office. And it is free. Google Docs is also free and comes with your Goolge Account. Easy to use and reads MS formatted files. WPS is a new one that looks and feels like MS, but is also free.

PatchMyPc is a great replacement for Ninite. It installs on your PC. When you run it, it scans your programs to create a list of what you have installed. Then it checks to see if there are newer version available. Then you click to install the updates. To add a new program, find it on the list (left column) and check it. CCleaner is on the list so you do not need to install it separately.
http://tinyurl.com/y9b3watt

Locknote for passwords. It is a simple and free notepad program that has password protection. The first time you use it you have to enter a password to get back into it. I use it to store all my passwords.
http://tinyrl.com/yc7yljn8

To remove the need to type a password when starting W10

Win + Q > NETPLWIZ, uncheck the box and click OK. Enter your current password twice and click OK. The next time you turn on your PC, it will skip the need for your to type your password. WARNING: keep you password close as from time to time you may need to enter it.

To copy applications from one PC to another Easeus has a paid program that will do just that. Especially good when you purchase a new PC and you cannot find the installation programs for your programs.
http://tinyurl.com/ybanxtwz

Monday, October 15, 2018

Class Notes 10-9-2018

1809 has been taken off line by Microsoft. Best not to install it if you already downloaded it. If you did and you are having problems, they have announced they will assist you in getting back what you have lost. Give them a call.

Simple Passwords we have discussed before and Harold gave a great talk on it earlier this year. Put simply, Use the first letter of the site you are creating a password for and capitalize it. Use the last letter of that site as the last letter of the password, lower case. So if the site is Amazon.com start with A and end with n. What you place in between will be the same for any site you use and should be at least 6 characters, contain a special character and a number. Perhaps your dog's name is snoopy. You could use $n00py which satisfies all the requirements and the password for Amazon would be A$n00pyn. The password for Staples would then be S$n00pys. Simple but useful.

MetroPCS just bought Sprint and has an agreement with Google that gives users of their cell phones 100gb on Google and free Prime on Amazon. I think I will check this out further.



Classic Shell found at classicshell.net give you a start menu on Windows 10 that has the appearance of X, Vista, or 7.

Use TinyURL.com to convert those loooong URL’s to short ones. I use it all the time.

CCleaner removed my stored passwords? That is because you have the option to remove passwords checked. Remove the checkmark and that will not happen again. Make sure you remove it for all the browsers that CCleaner cleans.

Defragging is not necessary in Windows 10 as the Operating System does it for you when your computer is idle. If you want to do it on your own, I suggest the Advanced Utilities in Glary Utilities.




What Happens when I close the lid? Depending on your settings you can make closing the lid do nothing, put your laptop to sleep, hibernate it, or perform a normal shutdown.

Shutdown with Glary by checking the box to do so when you run the 1 Click Maintenance. I do this last thing at night and then walk away. Cleaning is done and the shutdown run without my having to do anything else.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Class Notes 9-27-2018

This was the last class for me on Thursdays. From now on my class will be Monthly on Tuesdays from 2-4 except for the Tuesday of the General meeting. It will still be in an Open Forum format but may start with a short lesson on a specific topic first. Your help in determining that topic would be appreciated. Also, each class will be broadcast online using Hangouts--Just open any browser and enter this URL: TinyURL.com/DickEvans

Photo Story 3
Photo Story allows you to turn a bunch of 2D images into a movie like presentation with audio. It lets you drag images onto a window, arrange them as needed, then provide custom narration, transitions, zooms, pans, audio soundtracks and/or custom auto-generated music, then export the result as a WMV file.
http://rwevans.com/Photo Story 3.pdf 

How to get the movie to YouTube
You will need to establish an account with YouTube. Once that is done, sign in to your account and select Upload (button near the top right). Choose the movie file and add the information to describe the movie. When it is finished uploading you will be given a URL to access it.

Another eMail account
A member was asking if he could delete an email address and establish a new one. There comes a time when you are receiving more junk mail than mail you wish to read. This is a matter of organizing the mail that comes in so what you consider junk is put into a folder to review later or even to just remove it. This is done using a “filter” and having mail from

Some people automatically placed into that folder. Then you only get to see your good mail in your Inbox. You can create another email address or as many other email addresses as you wish. Then tell all your friends the new address and just stop looking at the old addresses mail. You cannot remove the old email address. I will never be assigned to anyone but you. From time to time you might want to look at it so you can make sure you told everyone about the new email.

How to sell items online
There are many way to sell things online. It all depends on how much you have to sell, if it is an online business you want to start, or just an item from time to time. I have used eBay to sell items and have be successful doing it. It is an auction site meaning you place the item on eBay and people bid on it. Highest bid gets the item. You can say what the minimum amount you will take and you can even set a “buy now” amount. Another site is etsy.com. Etsy is a global online marketplace, where people come together to make, sell, buy, and collect unique items. You post the item and set the price. Those interested in buying your item at that price will contact you. Even easier is Facebook Marketplace. www.facebook.com/Marketplace‎ Easy and Fast Way to Connect Buyers and Sellers. Find What You Want. Get Deals & Sell Faster. You post the item and the price and your local area Facebook users get to see it and communicate with you on Facebook Private Message to negotiate the price and arrange to meet to deliver it.

PayPal is safe way to send and receive payments. It is what is used when selling or buying on eBay. They have my credit card number and will make payment to others I do not know for me. It is a safe way to purchase over the Internet.
www.paypal.com

Nomorobo.com is a website where you can stop those annoying robotic calls the come in around meal time. The phone system must be VOIP so if you have Century Link you are out of luck. It is a free service for your home phone and can be used with your cell phone for $1.99 per month. When you install it the calls stop coming in; they are blocked by them. Your phone my ring once or not al all as the system works.

Call Control is another service like nomorobo. It offers protection from illegal calls by blocking them before they get to your phone. Call Control works like anti-virus for your computer, by automatically identifying suspected illegal calls and blocking them.


How fast is your download speed? In seconds, FAST.com's simple Internet speed test will estimate your ISP speed.
http://tinyurl.com/y8bwx798

Another on… Speed Check
https://www.speedcheck.org/

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, September 20, 2018

Class Notes 9-20-2018

CCleaner 5.47 was just released today. Install fine but under the Security section in Tools you might want to turn of the feature to send anonymous reports to Avast, who owns CCleaner now.

I suggest using CCleaner on a regular basis, but download and install the latest version each time from ccleaner.com. When done with it, uninstall until the next time. And the same goes for Superantispyware and Malwarebytes. Why have them running in the background when you only want to run them once a week and install new versions just before you run them? Use Ninite.com and save the file it created. Just run that file again to download and install the latest versions when you want to run them. Then install them also.

Uninstall
Win + I > Apps > Apps & Features
Scroll to the App you and to removes. Left Click and choose Uninstall

Also turn off all the Background Apps Windows 10 loads on startup.
Win + I > Privacy > Background Apps
Turn them off

From your house you can join in on the classes by going to Google Hangout. Just open a browser and click this link: http://tinyurl.com/DickEvans

Dropbox.com is a cloud storage site. It is free for 2gb of data. If you need more you can subscribe to different levels. I have a 1TB subscription. It is a great way to share large files with others.

OneDrive is another cloud storage site. It is included in Windows 10 and is owned by Microsoft. You receive 4gb free and can subscribe for additional space. You can also share the files on this cloud.

How to unzip a file in Windows 10. Many downloads of files and images attached to an email come in the form of a zip file (extension .zip). To see what is inside, double-click the zip file and then in the ribbon above click Extract All to pull the files out of the zip and into a folder where you can work with them as individual files.

If you have a group of files to send somewhere, select the group > right-click the selection > choose Sent To > Compressed (zipped) folder.

How to create a shortcut to a website on the desktop. Open the site, like gMail. In the address bar point to the icon to the left of the address (URL). Left drag it to the desktop. When you drop it a shortcut is created for you.

Where to download Revo Uninstaller? You can get it on Ninite.com. It does a better job uninstalling apps as it goes deeper into the system to get all the pieces.



Home - New Tab Page extension in Chrome is a page that replaces the home page when you create a new tab in Chrome. To install it click the menu button in chrome (three vertical dots in upper left) > More Tools > Extensions. In the Extensions window, in the upper left click the menu button (three horizontal bars). In the lower left corner, click Open Chrome Web Store.

In the “Search the store” box type Home Newtab. Then Click “Add to chrome”
Open a new tab (+ to the right of last open tab) and see what happens.

What’s New in Google Chrome 69
Some changes in the way it looks but still the same browser. Read about it in this article
http://tinyurl.com/yaxc7b9q

Windows 10's October 2018 Update. It will be called 1809. This article tells some of the things coming and going.
http://tinyurl.com/y88brmuy

Gmail’s Confidential Mode allows you to send secret emails that you can have disappear after period of time.
http://tinyurl.com/y966s9hw

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Class Notes 9-13-2018

Two more Thursday classes. On October 1st we will switch to Tuesday except for the day of the evening General meeting. Otherwise on the 2nd Tuesday through the last Tuesday I will be having class from 2-4.

I have also had a request for being online during the classes using Hangout. The address for that will be http://tinyurl.com/dickevans.

I have had a request for a hands on how to build a website using Wordpress. Let me know if you have an interest. If we get 3 or more wanting to do that I will schedule some time for us to meet. This will not be a lecture but a hands on your own laptop to develop a site.

We covered a number of topics and these are the one I recalled:



AdBlock is a neat addition to your Chrome or FireFox browser. It stops most of those pesky ads from appearing on your screen. In Chrome click the menu button (three dots in upper right) then More tools then Extensions. In the upper left, click the Main Menu button next to the word Extensions. In the bottom left, click Open Chrome Web Store. In the upper left Search box type adblock and press the enter key. Then locate AdBlock (see above) and click it’s Add To Chrome button.

Facebookd Friend Request from your already friends are scams. If I receive any friend request I check it out before accepting it. I click on the link to their page. Then in the search box, which already has their name, I click the search button. This displays everyone with that name. If I see I am already their friend, then I know the request is a scam and I deny it.

There are 2 batteries in laptops. The big one that we plug our laptop in so it will charge is easily removed and replaced. I have found replacements for under $25 on Amazon. You snap the old one out and snap in the new one to charge it. By the way, the club will take your old one to recycle. There is another battery inside your laptop (desktop too) that keep the internal clock running among other things. It usually is one of those flat, quarter size batteries (2 for a buck at Dollar Tree). However, you must take your laptop apart to access it..A better choice might be someplace like Batteries Plus. So if your clock is not keeping time or you have to press F1 to boot your computer, you might look to the internal battery for the solution.

Photomyne is an app for your cell phone that will let you snap a picture of a group of photo, perhaps in an old album, and it will turn them into individual digital images. This is a great way to digitize those old photo books. You can find it on your cell phone Play store or App store.
https://photomyne.com/

Irfanview is a program that allow you to do many tasks with images. One of those tasks is to display a slide show. You can find the program on the Ninite.com list of programs.

Photo Story 3
We have looked at this program in the past. You can find some details in more than one of my past blog posts. This lets you create a self executing slideshow with background music and narrations.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=11132

Backing Up a Machine that Won't Boot
This is a good article. We did not go into it in detail but it gives you a path to use Reflect backup to backup a non-bootable computer using their bootable restore CD. The CD contains not only the restore program. The full backup program is there and you can use it to backup the hard drive. Then you rebuild the hard drive and use the backup file to restore your data.
http://tinyurl.com/ycfb3evl