Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Class Notes 12-7-2017

We spent most of the time on Facebook. I had some rough notes of what I was intending to cover but that was altered as the questions began to come. Next time we will continue to look at Facebook and entertain questions on any other subject.

Here is a great reference I found online from the dummies website.

Facebook Stats… Facebook has more than a billion active users and this article takes a look at many other statistics as well.

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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Class Notes 11-9-2017

Printing a Web PageRight click and choose Print or Ctrl+P and choose Save as PDF. Then you can view the PDF and print the pages you want to have a hard copy of.

Password reset disk in Windows 10

I talked about extensions and we looked at the Adblock one in Google Chrome. I was at a person's house working on their PC and they had block 1,689,000 add in the past 9-10 months. To add it to your browser, click the three dots in the top right of your chrome page. Choose More Tools > Extensions. Scroll to the bottom and click to Get more extensions. Type Adblock and press Enter.

Click ADD… to install it in your Chrome browser.

We talked about getting pictures to your PC from a smartphone. First method I suggest is installing Google Photos on the smartphone and let it upload your pictures as you take them. Another is to use the charging cable to connect your phone to your PC. It will be treated like a USB flash drive and you can drag pictures from the phone to your PC. You can also email the pictures to yourself and when you receive the email download them on your PC. Then open the program you want to use the picture in and follow the instructions about uploading the pictures.

We also discussed a number of items that I did not have notes for. And I was asked to talked about Facebook next time. That will be on November 30th here at the club. Bring you questions.

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

Monday, November 6, 2017

Class Notes 11-2-2017

Question on how to download pictures from Facebook. Click on the picture to open it.

At the bottom of the picture, click Options

Click Download to save the picture on your PC in your default download folder.

Ninite was not known by a number of class members this week. Simply stated it is a quick, easy, and safe way to download programs. Many of the programs available on Ninite are used by us in the club. More details on this program at the November general meeting. You can also search this blog for more information using this search:
ninite site:dickevanstraining.blogspot.com

We looked at FreedomPop phones once again. More on this in the blogs over the past couple of months. Simply stated you order a free smartphone and activate it for $30. They give you a trial of their unlimited 2gb package for one month. Within that month you can downgrade to the free plan and keep the phone. I did. The free plan comes with 200 minutes of talk on the phone number they have assigned to you, 500 messages, and 500mb of free data to search the internet with.

Use https://myaccount.google.com to see how much data you have in your google cloud drive and much much more about you and Google. And https://myaccount.google.com/dashboard brings up your dashboard where you can see and manage the data in your Google Account.

List all installed packages on Windows machines. Now you can see the programs in the Uninstall page but this programs shows you more information about each program.

How to skip the queue and install the Windows 10 1709 Update today. It will download all 4+gb of data when it decides it is your turn. This shows you how to go get the update now and run it when you want.

This is a good article on How To Download Your Pictures From Google Photos. It is straightforward but a few pictures to guide you is never a bad idea.

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

Friday, October 27, 2017

Class Notes 10-26-2017

The starting question was about pictures. A member was having difficulty uploading a picture to an email by either dragging it to the email or attaching it. It just spun and spun without completing. The issue is the size of the image. Our newer phones and cameras create images that are 3+mb in size. If you resize the image the size can be cut down to a few kb and will send quickly. Or will upload to FB quickly or anywhere else.

To resize a picture quickly, open it on the screen and use the snipping tool to capture it and save it as a JPG. You will be surprised at how small the new image will be. I just used this approach to capture an image that is 3,985 kb or 3.985 mb in size. The new image is only 137 kb and it still fills the screen.

Then we talked about a couple of ways to save your images. The first I suggested is using Google Photos. You have an unlimited amount of storage for images and video with your Google account, which is free. There is an app for your cell phone that will send every picture you take to your cloud account. Similarly, Dropbox can be configured to do the same. With Dropbox you only get a few gb of free storage and after that 1tb cost about $10 per month. We also discussed using Mozy to backup data on your PC.

Awesome Internet Links
A home page for your browser that give you access to many useful sites.


Popcorn time
Watch current movies instantly for free. And TV shows. And more. One of our members recommended this one. I have not tried it out.

Cut The Cable
Many are paying big bucks for their internet/cable TV connections. We talked about ways to get shows to watch without the $100 Plus fees. The easiest is to just pay for internet service and no longer get the cable channels or phone service. Use your cell phone. Buy a indoor (or outdoor) antenna and watch TV directly. I have a pair of rabbit ears and get over 20 channels. And do not pay for high speed internet--you can stream movies at 6 mbs.

Solid Signal
Another member recommends this site for TV antenna to allow you to cut the cable and watch TV at home without paying for it.

Free Office Programs
Here is a download for you. Abiword and Gnumeric portable versions that work fine in Windows 10. Read and Write DOC and XLS files. Free Office software. Just click the Free Office Programs link on the bottom left column of my website.

The Windows-key
It powers quite a bit of functionality on Windows machines. It is used by some shortcuts on the system, for instance, Win Pause to open the System Control Panel applet or Win Print Screen to create a screenshot (in Windows 10) as a PNG file saved in the Pictures/Screenshots folder. Win R opens the Run dialog box. Win E opens file explorer. And Win I opens the Settings window.

CCleaner default cleaning rules changes
CCleaner 5.36 changes some of the program's default cleaning rules. Default rules are those that are set when you run the program for the first time--the checked or unchecked boxes.

Probably the biggest change in this regard is that CCleaner won't delete browsing session data anymore by default. Users of the program who did not pay attention to the cleaning rules have had their browsing session deleted when they ran CCleaner.

Also, CCleaner 5.36 does not clean Windows Defender scan history, the MRUs of Microsoft Office, and most recently used documents and other MRU files of Windows Explorer anymore.

Automatically delete files in Downloads folder & Recycle Bin after 30 days in Windows 10

List of Free Portable Windows Software, Utilities, Applications. These are a few of many apps that do not have to be installed to run under Windows. You may place them on a flash drive and open them. Abiword, Gnumeric and Libreoffice are a few that can work this way. See the link on rwevans.com to download those three.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update removes these features the most notable of which is the MS Paint program we have used for years. Instead, they want us to use its 3D version. However, it looks like it is not going away, just not in the new 1709 build. Here is a note I found from Microsoft: “MS Paint is here to stay, it will just have a new home soon, in the Windows Store where it will be available for free.”

Cell phone battery life
If you have an Android phone I have found a considerable improvement in battery life by shutting Sync off. Also, to speed up charging turn on Airplane Mode. Just remember to turn it back off or you will not receive any calls.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Class Notes 10-5-2017

We talked about the various browsers we use. Edge comes with Windows 10. Internet Explorer is there but hidden. They are both Microsoft programs. You should have at least one non-microsoft browser installed, even if you do not use it regularly. If your Microsoft browser ceases to work you will need another browser go use to determine and fix the problem. I like the Google Chrome browser. Other like Firefox and Opera.

The browser gets you access to the internet and displays web pages on your screen. To locate pages on the web you use a search engine. There are hundreds out there. I like to use Google (Not to be confused with the Google Chrome browser). If you are using a Microsoft browser, the default search engine is usually Bing. There are others like Yahoo, MSN, and more.

To set your starting pages--the pages that open when you start the browser, You open Settings in Chrome or Internet options in IE. There you set the pages you would like to see on opening.

A bookmark bar allows you to create buttons to quickly access pages you like such as your email, weather, and news. You turn on the bar in settings and save web address to it by going to settings > show bookmark bar in Chrome. In IE it is called the favorites bar. You turn it on by right-clicking the title bar (top of the IE window) and selecting it.

We demonstrated adding the Adblock extension in Chrome. Once running ads stop appearing in the web pages you browse. To add an extension open more tools > extensions and scroll to the bottom of the page and click get more extensions. Type adblock in the search block and them select it from the list and Add Extension.

Useful Hot Keys:

Ctrl L moves the cursor to the address bar and selects all

Ctrl + increases magnifies the browser window (makes the words and images larger)

Ctrl - decrease the size

Ctrl 0 brings the size back to default

Alt F4 closes the active window

Forgot your password to get into Windows? If your OS is Windows 7 or earlier, we have an easy way to reset it. If Windows 8 or higher it is harder and may not be possible depending on the computer. The newer the computer, the harder it is. The only approach may be to save your data using another OS booted from the CD or USB port and reinstalling Windows.

One of the participants showed us a neat Chrome extension called Privacy Badger.
Privacy Badger protects you from trackers as you surf the web! It is also available for Firefox.

Here are a couple of articles I found this past week that might be useful

How To Fix Loose USB Cable

OneDrive changes announced

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

Friday, September 29, 2017

Class Notes 9-28-2017

Free Office word and excel like programs. Click and a zip file will download. Unpack it and place shortcuts on your desktop to use them. Will work on USB drives, too. Abiword and Gnumeric work similar to Word and Excel.

About.me free web site is a good way to create a presence on the Internet for those that own a home business, are writers… check out how to set up a free page and take a look at mine.

Send and receive texts on your computer or tablet. You will be assigned a phone number and be able to send and receive texts with people who have text capable cell phones.

The Ripl mobile application
Create eye-catching animated videos and share them on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram with one tap. It is completely free to download and includes access to 8 free designs, as well as one free Ripl Pro design daily that can be found in the Design Catalog. Each free design has a selection of music tracks you can use royalty-free. You can quickly create animated social media posts and customize them to align to the look and feel of your business or organization.

Windows 10 Indexing Options. Article showing how to control what files are indexed automatically and speed up processing by removing indexing in areas you do not have a need for searching.

Discussed the FreedomPop phone and using Google Voice. I had told you that I was canceling the Phone but it works fine down here in Port Charlotte. I lowered the service down to the free one with limited voice, text, and data. I can send and receive calls fine. Google Voice allows you to set up a phone number and make and receive calls right at your PC.

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Class Notes 9-21-2017

CCleaner Compromised

CCleaner 5.35 released with new digital signature

32 bit version 5.33 of the CCleaner app offered for download between August 15 and September 12 was modified to include the Floxif malware.

Florida Road Closure information and more

Using Excel and Word to print address labels using MailMerge

How to download YouTube videos:
There's a simple trick, just add the letters dl to the url of the video on youtube and press enter to get sent to the downloader’s page where you choose the quality of video you wish or mp3 for audio. The dl must go after the www. Here are a couple of other ways...

http://tinyurl.com/hjxb7lg MP4 Video

http://tinyurl.com/heaz7h8 MP3 Audio only

How to clean out a computer to donate it someone

Your stuff is on the hard drive. You could take the hard drive out and keep it. Let them find one to install. Or you can easily goto Control Panel > User Accounts and add a new user with another name as an administrator. Then sign off and sign back as that new user. Go back to Control Panel > Users and remove your original user and when it asks if you want to keep the files, say NO. Then run Glary Utilities and goto Advanced > Privacy >Free Space.

Create a Ninite shortcut on the desktop
After you run ninite from their website, the installer that ended up in your downloads folder can be copied to your desktop or a shortcut made to it. Then each week simply run the downloaded before you run you weekly maintenance apps. This keeps them up to date allowing you to ignore the nagging to upload each of them.

What to do with the data in the download folder
When you download from your browser, the resulting file ends up in your download folder. You do not have to keep it there and if it is a picture or a document you might want to move it to another folder. Programs that you download like ccleaner are not needed after you install them. There should be nothing in downloads that needs to be kept. Having said that, having things in there does not slow down your PC.

FreedomPop experience
We talked about this a few sessions ago and I ordered one. Had difficulty getting it setup and working in KY. This was probably due to the fact that there is no Sprint service where I live. When I went to the next large town over (Somerset) it worked fine. The smartphone is free. There is a $29.99 activation fee you pay upfront. It ships with a 30 day trial of their $29.95 plan which gives you unlimited voice and text and 2gb of data. I changed to their “free”’ plan before my trial was over. That plan has 200 minutes of voice, 500 texts, and 500mb of data all free. Yes, you pay if you go over.

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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Class Notes 9-14-2017

I had some Internet issues here in KY today. Here is the list of items I spoke of but was unable to share with you while we were online. Next week the class will be online and at the club. On another note, I am canceling my FreedomPop phone as I was unsuccessful getting it to work. I can make a call and send/receive texts. I cannot receive a call! The first month was a trial of their 2gb data plan. I can downgrade to the free plan and I will not be charged for the second month (I hope). The headphone/mic I suggested last week works great. I used it today for the class. I could hear everyone and they could hear me much better. If you are going to be using the online capability it sure helps and will help avoid the feedback issues.

Google Drive is being replaced

How To Disable Targeted Ads On Facebook

How To Make Your Own Paper CD Sleeves

Recover deleted files in Windows

How to delete large folders in Windows super fast

Avast acquires Piriform, makers of CCleaner

How to reset Data usage in Windows 10

Tool negotiates with your cable and internet provider to lower your bill

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

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Class Notes 9-7-2017

WizTree: fastest large file finder for Windows

Novabench: Windows benchmark software

17 Really Cool Google Tricks That Will Blow Your Mind

If you google Google Gravity in your smart phone, the screen will begin falling.
And it will make the words in the screen in Windows to fall also.
Also, Google backwards (elgoog) and you will be put in a backwards Google search engine

Secret games are hidden on Facebook

7 games hidden in Google

Walkie Talkie App
Push the button for instant, radio-style talk on any Wi-Fi or data plan. Look for me as K1CVP

9v battery to charge cell phone

USB Headset

Backups by Dick Evans a white paper on doing backups in Windows

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

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Class Notes 8-31-2017

Blend photos together with Image Inc for Windows

How to delete Chrome’s browsing data super quickly

SepPDF: Split PDF documents on Windows

Chrome: launch sites in borderless windows

Explore Space with NASA’s Eyes

Backblaze Personal
A $5 per month online backup plan that promises unlimited storage, no file size limits and unrestricted bandwidth.

How to Load Google Play On Kindle Fire

Windows 10 AutoPlay Options

How To Recover Lost Files From SD Card, Hard Drive

Add your favorite websites to the Windows 10 Taskbar

How to hide the Microsoft Edge button in Internet Explorer on Windows 10

And here are the notes on pictures from the library class here in KY yesterday:

There are many great apps out there to manage and edit your images. We are going to look at using what came with your computer from Microsoft for most of these examples.

Uploading pictures from your camera or cell phone

If your camera has an SD card, eject it from the camera and place it in the SD slot in your computer. It will mount as an external disk drive. You can locate it and the images on it using Filemanager (Win+E). You will find them in a folder named DCIM.

If your camera does not have an SSD card, then all the images are in the memory of the camera. Using the charging cable for the camera, plug the USB end into a USB port on your computer. It will mount as an external disk drive. You can locate it and the images on it using Filemanager (Win+E). You will find them in a folder named DCIM.

If you have a Smartphone, using the charging cable for the phone, plug the USB end into a USB port on your computer. It will mount as an external disk drive. You can locate it and the images on it using Filemanager (Win+E). You will find them in a folder named DCIM.

Using File manager, drag the images to a folder on your computer. Typically you would create a new folder in the Pictures folder naming it something appropriate. If they are pictures of your recent vacation you might name it Vacation August 2017. Then locate the pictures you want to place in that folder and drag them to the new folder. (Remember the shift-click method to select multiple images) They will still be on the camera or phone when you are done.

Renaming your pictures

In File manager (Win+E), right-click on a picture and select Rename. You can rename a group of pictures by selecting them all and then right-click on any one of the selected ones and rename it. The first will get the new name followed by a number in parenthesis. The rest will have the same name with the number in parentheses incremented by one each. Name (1), name (2), name (3)...

Organizing your pictures

Use File Manager (Win+E) to create folders for groups of pictures giving them appropriate names to make it easier later to find the group of pictures you saved. It is good to have folders within folders. Perhaps a folder for 2017 and then inside that folder individual folders for various events.

Cropping your pictures

In the Photos app click the Edit button (pencil icon) or press Ctrl+E > Click Crop > Resize the anchors to your desired size, then click the Check Mark

In Microsoft Paint, use the Crop Selection button, then select the area of the photo you want to Crop, then click Crop. If you want to resize, under the same Home tab, click Resize, then enter dimensions

Adding captions to your pictures

In Microsoft Paint, use the A in the Tools group. Draw a box where you would like to see a caption and type away.

Uploading pictures to Facebook

Open your personal page and click the Photos tab.

Click Album and select the album you want the picture to be added to or create a new Album and add to it. Then click + Add Photo

Turning old photographs into digital images

One slow way is to use a scanner. However, with the increased quality of our smartphone cameras, I simply take a picture of a photograph and then enhance it with cropping and the other tools in the Photos app.

Using images found on the Internet

Right-click on the image and either download it or save it to your computer. Some pictures are not able to be taken this way. But if the picture is on your screen you can grab it with PrintScreen; a key on your keyboard usually in the top right. Make sure the image is displaying on your screen. If it does not quite fit, try F11 to remove the bars at the top of your screen. (When done F11 will bring them back again) If that is not enough, Ctrl+- will make the image smaller. Once you have the picture on the screen > Win+PrintScreen. This places a picture of the screen in the Screenshots folder in your Pictures folder. Locate the picture using Filemanager (Win+E) and open it in the Photos app or Paint and crop it to show the image you want to use. Save it naming it whatever you want.

Another method to “grab” a picture off of the screen is to use the Snipping Tool that comes with Windows. Click New > drag a box around the image > let go of the mouse button > save the image

Backing up your pictures

You should keep your pictures in two places. Perhaps on your phone or camera and in your computer will work for you. I have too many pictures.to keep them all on my phone. Uploading them to Facebook is a good way to organize them as well as backing them up to “the cloud”. You can also make copies on CD’s or DVD’s or flash drives or an external hard drive. And if you have an Amazon Prime account, you can store them there for free. And a Google account gives you free unlimited storage in their cloud. More on these in future talks on Google and Backing Up.

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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Class Notes 8-24-2017

Facebook Basics

Safe Mode
Restart your PC by holding the shift key down and pressing the Restart button

Captura desktop recording program for Windows

Thunderbird 52.3.0 is out

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Class Notes 8-17-2017

Storage Sense

78 rpm records archive is online

Checklist Guide to Reinstalling Windows

Microsoft Paint lives on, just not inside Windows 10

Windows 10 Updates Sharing

Is Windows Defender Good Enough?

How to remove a user from a Windows PC
They must have an Administrator account. Sign in and then create a new user as an Administrator. Sign out and sign back in as the new user. Then remove the other user not saving their data. To get to the Control Panel: Windows+R, type Control Panel and hit Enter. Locate User Accounts.

Why web pages don’t work the same in all browsers
Each browser works a little differently in the way they render pages and other behind the scenes activity. When a website is designed right it takes into consideration all the possible browsers it wants the page to work on. Some sites work best with Chrome, some with IE, and some with Firefox. Some older sites do not play well with Chrome because it has not been around as long as Firefox or IE. If what you are doing does not work well in the browser you are using, try it in another one. I find this true with some Microsoft pages and some financial pages. It is a good idea to have all three on your PC--IE, Firefox, and Chrome.

Thanks gang for a great afternoon…

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Class Notes 8-10-2017

Ever look for a web site and it is no longer there? Well, here is a site that inventories sites that are no longer active for whatever reason. http://www.archive.org

Jigsaw Puzzles online

Keyboard Shortcuts

Registry Cleaner Scams

How To Stop Auto-Play On Facebook App

How To Set Up New Computer With Ninite

100% Free Cell Phone Service

Sys Minion: run Windows system commands

Turn Wi-Fi back on automatically on Windows 10

Display all time zones with TimeZonesView

Openmailbox Free eMAIL

Use Thunderbird for your email and save them to your PC. Thunderbird is a free email application that’s easy to setup and customize - and it’s loaded with great features!

Launch Taskbar Programs With This Keyboard Trick
Press the Windows key and then the number corresponding to the position of the program on the taskbar. Windows Key + 1 opens the program to the right of the start button and so on. Works from 1-10 (10=0)

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

Friday, August 4, 2017

Class Notes 8-3-2017

We covered a number of topics as I answered questions from the group both in the meeting room at the club and on the hangout site. We will do this both ways again next week and then I will be traveling again and doing hangouts only. If we had someone who could run the netting in the club meeting room, we could open the room up each week. I would be on the screen and not in the room itself. So if you would be willing to learn how to do that it would be a big help. Let us know and we will make the arrangements. Thanks!

If you are on the internet and want to join in on the meeting from home, just open a browser and go to this URL: http://tinyurl.com/dickevans. This will open the hangouts page and let you JOIN IN. If you do not have a webcam you can still join in. We just will not see you. You will be able to see and hear what is happening.

Here are the things I talked about from my notes. But we did cover a number of other questions during the class. If you have something you remember and want we to type it up, let me know.

Text from your computer, sync'd with your Android phone & number. This site allows you to text with others on their cell phone without you having a cell phone.

Access free movies and TV shows. This is not Kodi but will let you see some current run movies right on your PC. Be aware that there are some links to a few XX sites you might want to avoid. And do not download any extras.

Google keeps a complete list of almost everything you've looked at on the internet. Yes they do keep track of everything you do. However, you can turn their tracking off. This article tells how. And we checked, incognito searches are not tracked.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update: Removed Features. This article tells about the upcoming version of 10 that is coming soon in your automatic updates. Paint is being removed from the release in favor of Paint 3D.

How To Recover Forgotten Windows Password. This article outlines how to be ready in advance to recover. This is not a secret door into locating or changing your password.

Harold presented on passwords in January. Here is a link to that talk: http://cccgc.info/wp-content/uploads/Password-Jan2017.pdf

Here is a summary of one of his slides and an easy way to create and never forget a password:

Easy to remember passwords

First 3 letters of mothers first name, & first 3 letters of father's first name.

• Insert a “&” between the names
• Add your birth year – the last three digits
• *************************************
• My mother: rose, father: howard, my birth year 1944
• Base password: ros&how944

Now use the first letter of the site you are needing the password for, a capital letter. And use the last letter of that site as the last letter of the password, a lower case letter.

If the password is for Amazon, place an A in front and n at the end.

If the password is for Microsoft, place an M in front and a t at the end.

If the password is for Yahoo, place a Y in front and an o at the end.

Get the picture? All your passwords are easily remembered by you.


How to Sync Your Desktop PC with Google Drive (and Google Photos).

I presented on this topic at the August club meetings. Here is the link to my notes from that talk: http://cccgc.info/wp-content/uploads/Sync-Google-Drive-8-1-2017.pdf

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Class Notes 7-20-2017

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

Windows ISO Download

How To Free Up Drive Space

Retro Games

6 Free Portable Retro Games

Remove the Windows.old folder manually/ Windows creates the folder Windows.old on a PC running Windows when you upgrade the PC to a new version of the operating system.

Google Backup and Sync is a new program by Google that combines Google Photos and Google Drive functionality in a single client application.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Class Notes 7-13-2017

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

Delete something by accident?
Ctrl+Z will bring it back

How To Change The Login Screen Background

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Class Notes 7-6-2017

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

Watch HDTV for free... TVScout will automatically show you all the channels, just pick one and enjoy! I got mine. It does work, but I think it is no different than what you can pickup at WalMart and elsewhere. And I am miles from the TV stations here in KY.

How To Customize Details In File Explorer

Windows 10 Annoyances

How To Clear Your Android Cache

What to delete when your phone runs out of storage space

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Class Notes 6-29-2017

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

QuickViewer is an ultra-fast Windows image viewer

Edit Facebook Homepage Shortcuts

Finding Forgotten Passwords Hidden In Browser

Folder Icons

WannaCry? You will if you don’t back up!

For a simple way to store your password is a simple notepad program called locknote

To publish a book on Amazon

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Class Notes 6-22-2017

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

Download Safari for Windows

See the graves of thousands of famous people from around the world.

Create and print posters on Windows

HDCleaner: system cleaner and optimizer for Windows

StorURL: cross-browser bookmarks manager for Windows

Google Drive Will Backup Your Entire Computer

Uninstall Apps

Control Panel

Reveal Hidden Password Behind Asterisks

Locked Out Of Facebook? Try Trusted Contacts

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Class Notes 6-15-2017

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

Watch HDTV for free... TVScout will automatically show you all the channels, just pick one and enjoy!

How to Use Safe Mode to Diagnose a PC Problem

List of Windows tools
The following list provides you with detailed information on tools that you can run on Windows PCs using nothing but a short name that is associated with them.

How To Customize Google Home Page

Custom Hotkeys revised

Resize, share images from Windows context menu
CoolTweak is a free software program for Windows that adds image editing and sharing options to the Windows Explorer context menu.

Windows 10 Build 16215
Microsoft released the new Windows 10 Insider Preview build 16215 June 8th, and it ships with a massive list of usability improvements.

Advanced Uninstaller Pro is a free program for Windows that enables you to monitor and remove software installations from PCs running Windows.

Revo Uninstaller 2.0 Free is the latest version of the popular software uninstallation program for Windows that performs clean-up operations afterward.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Class Notes 6-8-2017

To run a program in compatibility mode, locate the .exe and right-click it. Select Properties and in that window select Compatibility tab.

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.

Archiver Menu is a Firefox addon that allows you to make a copy of a web page on archiving sites, and to retrieve a cached copy of it. There are situations where you may want to keep a copy of an article or web page. Maybe for local access, legal reasons, reference, documentation, or fear that it may be taken down.

Everything Desktop Search. Everything is a long-standing desktop search program for Microsoft Windows devices that is both powerful and very fast.

Kodi 18 to launch with 64-bit version for Windows

Capture2Text: OCR Software for Windows

How To Invoice From Personal PayPal Account

Speed up Chrome start by lazy loading tabs
Native Lazy Load is a useful browser extension for all Chrome users who have configured Chrome to load the previous browsing session on start. You will notice that Chrome will start faster, and that memory use is way lower.

The World's Most Accurate Online‎ Grammar Checker Is Now Free!‎‎
Services: ‎Advanced Grammar Rules‎, Contextual Spell Checker‎, Vocabulary Enhancement‎

Friday, June 2, 2017

Class Notes 6-1-2017

Turn your cell phone into a professional camera using this app on it. Instead of just pointing and shooting, you can adjust all the settings like your phone camera was one of those expensive SLR ones.

Edit your pictures right on your cell phone. Snapseed is a complete and professional photo editor developed by Google. Better than the one that comes with your phone, it even lets you wipe out portions of the image and automatically fills in the space to be like adjacent area. Very easy to use.

Another App for the Fire Stick instead of Kodi. As we know, Kodi allows you to see everything on your TV using the Amazon Firestick. By everything we mean live TV, movies, TV shows, sport events, etc. This is another app you can load instead of Kodi, which is a little difficult to install, and wee the same type of things.

Launch Google Chrome Automatically at Startup or any other program. This will make it much easier to set up a computer for someone who is not that tech savy. When they turn on their computer it will just go to the program you have set it for. If that is Google Chrome, instead of the desktop, they will already be in Chrome. Set the starting tabs to those they like and they are all set to use their computer without being concerned with the start button, double clicking on the desktop icons, etc.

Home - New Tab Page
A homepage you will fall in love with! Notifications, badges, recently closed tabs, quick notes and more. Also great for the not too tech savy. Actually I am using it, too.

Opera Adds Social Media, Other Features In New Release. Opera is one the polular browsers out there along with Chrome and Firefox. I use Chrome as my primary. Opera has some new features that you might like. It also is free.

Secret Guide to Computers & Tricky Living (Thanks Donna). A 700+ page book with all you want to know and more. The page is primitive, but gives you links to view sections of the book for free or a link to order the book.

Set Windows Defender Antivirus blocking to high on Windows 10. It seems that Defender has some hidden features that are not turned on by default. This article explains what they are and how to take advantage of them

Backup Windows and Office Activation tokens
The main purpose of the program is to restore the activation tokens after you install Windows anew, run into activation issues after the system activated successfully, or restore backups.

A beginner's tutorial to hosting websites in GNU/Linux. In other words, a way to create a file server at your house to host your own and other’s web sites.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Class Summary 5-25-2017

I was having lunch at Wendy’s and could not get my phone to get into Hangouts. So I went to the car and grabbed my laptop. When I turned it on, guess what? Yup, had to wait for Windows updates to be added. So I was a little late… No questions today. But here is a summary of the things I had found during the week to pass on:

How to use the Windows shutdown command
This shows you how to create a shortcut on the desktop to perform a shutdown with one click

Free Online Excel Training
A good source for learning basic through advanced Excel

Turn Your Android Into Universal Remote
Now you do not have to fight over the remote! LOL Use your cell phone

You should disable automatic downloads in Chrome right now
An interesting article. I have not done this yet, but will read it again

Protect PDF Documents with PDF Anti-copy
Make your PDF documents readable, but not copyable…

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Class Notes 5-18-2017

Drive Fragmentation

Create your own Windows Hotkeys

How To Convert Malwarebytes Premium Trial To Free

If you installed the Premium Trial Version and want to switch to the Free Version, just open the program.

Go to the Settings tab on the left-hand side.

Then, on the top tabs, click on My Account, and click on the Deactivate Premium Trial button.

Be Really Careful with Email
Email is one of the main infection methods of all malware and specifically of WannaCry ransomware. Before you click on it, you can go to the free virustotal.com service. It will tell you whether or not it has been reported as a dangerous link.
New CCleaner available v5.30

5 CCleaner hidden gems

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Class Notes 5-11-2017

Customize Win+X menu in Windows 10

Need a survey for a club or church group? Survey Monkey is a good choice.

Rufus is a free and open-source portable application for Microsoft Windows that can be used to format and create bootable USB flash drives or Live USBs.

Make a free chromebook

Control WIndows 10 updates
Windows Update Mini Tool Wrapper Script, or short WUMT Wrapper Script, is a free script for Windows 10 to control Windows Updates.

Use Honey to auto apply promo codes with Amazon

Will display the contents of any file in hex and decimal. Allows editing of a file at the byte level

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Class Summary 4-13-2017

Show Passwords when they are hidden. Useful when you go to sign in to another computer or your cell phone and you do not have that list available. It is an extension you can add to Chrome or the other browsers. In Chrome, click the menu button, then settings, then extensions. Scroll to the bottom and add more extensions. Search for “show passwords” and select one.

Windows 10 build 1703 is on its way. You can download a copy and install it directly, but it will come down all by itself in time. You will not see too many differences from 1607, but one we notice is the absence of Control Panel from the Wind+X menu (or right-click on the Start button). Instead just search for Control Panel and pin it to the Start menu. If you want to know which build you are running, Win+R > type WINVER > press Enter. A window will display with the details.

Slow Computer?

If it just when you are browsing the net, don’t blame the Internet service provider, yet. Know what speed you are paying for and then run speedtest.net to see what you actually are getting. If there is a big difference between what you are paying for a getting, give them a call. But first, unplug your modem, let it stay off for a minute or two, then plug it back in and check the speed again.

If it is not the Internet connection, often the slow running is because of too many processes running in the background. Right-click the taskbar and open Task Manager to see the performance. It will show you what percentage of your CPU is in use and how much RAM is used. 100% is not good and indicates that stuff has to be cleaned up.

Restart in safe mode and see if you get your speed back. Safe mode only starts the processes necessary to do Windows. You can run all the maintenance programs in safe mode and they will run faster. This cleanup may be all you need.

If the slow running just started, it may be due to something you recently installed. Restore to a previous date and see if that fixes things.

No? Then you may want to consider backing up and then reinstalling Windows. A clean install will get you back to the original configuration without all the extras you may have installed over time. When that works, get your data back from the backup you made and install the extra programs you need.

Cell phones have temporary files taking up space just like our computers. But they cause problems more often than on our computers. You may have run into memory issues when trying to install or even update apps. If you have an Android phone, I suggest installing the CCleaner App. Works like the one we use on our computers and cleans out unneeded files freeing up space. The iOS (iPhone) does not have CCleaner in its App Store. The app I use is called Battery Doctor. It is free and does a good job cleaning up space.

Ninite is a great way to install programs and not have to worry about missing an option in the install process that results in unwanted installations or browser toolbars. I have covered this in previous summaries. See http://tinyurl.com/mnqhj4x for a summary of ninite and some good into on the maintenance programs as well.

Microsoft Word will create an automatic Table of Contents. We gave an example of one during class. Simply stated you format your chapter titles as headings. Insert page numbers in the document. Open a blank page where you want the TOC to be placed. In the reference tab click on Table of Contents to see it automatically created on your blank page.

Adblock is an extension that blocks ads that appear on web pages. You know the ones; annoying and sometimes confusing. On the computer I am using right now, a Chromebook, it has blocked over nine thousand ads. You will be very glad you added this one. http://tinyurl.com/a8h5opk

Walmart Saving Catcher is an app for your cell phone or you can access it on your computer. When you purchase something from Walmart, scan the code at the bottom of the receipt (or enter the code on your computer) and all the nearby stores are checked to see if they offer any of the items you purchased at a lower price. If so, you are credited with the difference! You get it in the form of a Walmart gift card when you choose to take it.

Join the revolution and liberate yourself from overpriced, under-featured satellite and cable DVRs. With a Plex Pass, now you can record free digital broadcast channels and watch your favorite HD TV shows, movies, news, and sports on any device, anywhere in the world.

Wikibuy offers items they say at lower prices than Amazon

Using the Windows built in image backup instead of Reflect or EaseUS. The main difference I see is that you cannot retrieve individual files or folders with the Windows utility and you can with either of the other two.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Class Notes 4-6-2017

Piglet lets you know what is eating up your memory on your PC slowing you down

Amazon Giveaways really does get you things for nothing… well nothing more than giving up your email address to them and/or taking a survey.

Free Websites that are easy to build on your own. Add a domain name and you have all you need to be on the web. Even without your own domain name you will be on the web with a subdomain name from webs.com -- yourname.webs.com instead of yourname.com.

We talked about the easiest way to create a slideshow using Microsoft’s PhotoStory3. All you need is a group of picture and in minutes you can have an animated slide show to send to others. You can add captions, narrations, and background music all easy to do.

The original version of Windows 10 was build 1511. The Anniversary edition came out last August and it was build 1607. Yesterday MS came out with build 1703. You should see it coming down over the next few weeks. MOre on what is different as we test it out. To see what version you have, on the keyboard press Windows+R. In the box enter WINVER and press the Enter key. A a window will display telling you about the version you have installed.

The above is in Google Chrome, Advanced Settings...

Here is one I learned today. In your browser’s advanced settings you can tell it DO NOT TRACK and when you search for something in your browser it will not tell the world you did so. In others words, you will not start getting ads for what you just looked for on Facebook and other places.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Data Backups 4-4-2017

Data Backups 4-4-2017
By Dick Evans, www.rwevans.com

We talk a lot about the importance to doing backups on a regular basis. Macrium Reflect is one that we use to make an image backup of our computers. It copies the entire contents of the hard disk drives to a single compressed file on an external hard drive. It is built in such a way that a crashed hard drive can be replaced and the image used to restore everything to the new hard drive. The system works just the way it did on the day the image was made. You can also use the image to locate individual data files and restore them back.

However, anything you have done since the image is not anywhere except on your hard drive. So if you have an issue either with the hard drive or just a corrupted file, you have no way to get it back. Unless…

Many have been using USB flash drives to save their important data like tax forms and important letters. But this is only as good as the last time you remembered to update the flash drive.

There are many cloud storage web sites that allow you either for free or for a monthly fee upload anything to their cloud.

OneDrive has 5gb of free space and anything you save to your OneDrive folder gets synced to the cloud.

Dropbox is another one. You get 2gb free and can up that to 1tb for $99 per year. If you download the App to your PC anything you save to your DropBox folder gets synced to your Dropbox account similar to OneDrive.

I use both of the above and Google Photos, but my day-to-day data I let Mozy Free automatically save. I don’t have to drag anything to a special folder or even think about it. It happens. So if I lose everything on my hard disk, I can restore it from my latest image using Reflect and then restore all my day-to-day data from Mozy. And I have had to do just that a couple of years ago when my hard disk crashed in my laptop.

First let’s see what we are talking about. What is data? Simply put, if it is not a program (application), it is data. Your data is what needs to be backed up and you find it in folders under your user name. If you have multiple uses, you need to backup each one.

Desktop contains all the items on your desktop--shortcuts and whatever else you have saved to the desktop.

Documents is where most programs save what they create, like Microsoft Office and LibreOffice. And if you are like most of the users I know, your data in this folder is generally only a few hundred megabytes.

Downloads contains everything you have downloaded from the web. When something important is file there it is a good idea to move it to a folder in Documents. That way you can easily find it and it will be backed up with Mozy.

Music can contain a large number of files and take up a good deal of space, but if you really want them backed up daily you can add an additional 50gb of space for $5.99 a month. But remember that all your files, including your music are in your latest Reflect image backup. So if you just added a new album to your music library, make a new image and you will have it backed up without having Mozy do it.

Pictures can take up the most room and I do not suggest using Mozy to back them up. I use Google Photos and have the App on my Cell Phone. Everytime I take a picture it uploads to my free cloud space in my Google account. And the space it takes does not count against the 15gb of free space every Google user receives. There is an App for the PC as well that will upload any pictures you have on your PC to Google Photos.

Videos can be super large is you are one that downloads movies to your hard drive. If you take short movies on your cell phone, they will be backed up to Google Photos if you are using that App on your phone. If you have a lot of movies on your hard drive, Treat them like what I said about music. Do more frequent images with Reflect and do not use Mozy to store them. Better yet, stop downloading movie and use Kodi to stream them.

http://mozy.com/free use code GFBU22 and you will get an additional .25gb of free space for yourself and for me, too. Thanks.

Once you have installed Mozy you get to determining the backup sets you want. Mozy will assume you want all data folders backed up and that will take more than the 2.25gb of free space. Uncheck what you do not need to have Mozy handle for you.

Open the File System list and then drill down on your User Name.

Now check the folders and even down to the files level of what you want Mozy to handle for you.

When Mozy runs it displays a completion message showing you what it backed up for you. And form here you can go to settings and make changes.

Give it a try. It works great for me!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Class Summary 3-16-2017

The local Library has a new 3D printer! So if you are looking to see how one works, check out future classes there. We have come a long way from dot matrix printers of the 1980’s.

New video on Kodi (Thanks Ian). This is a well done how to video on YouTube for installing a different build of Kodi than the one we have been using.

Another one with how to get live TV. This one shows us how to get into live TV from all over the world. And although this is an interesting build, we can see most to what we want in the IPtV menu of our current build,

Voter Records from all over the country can be found on this site. Just type in your name and see what it says about you.

County Records for Charlotte County Florida can also be viewed online. A simple record search of just your last name or just your street name works best.

This article explains how to set Facebook Comments & Likes by Others so not everyone can. You decide who can do what on your posts. Good explanations off this page to other security issues.

Wondering how to stop all those email notifications from Facebook? On the top row, click the down arrow way to the right. This will pull down a list of options. Choose Settings > Notifications > Email and turn off all but important ones.

My Start Menu is free from all the items Windows 10 came with. To remove an item, right-click on it and choose Unpin from Start. On that same option list you have the ability to resize. Notice I made all mine small. I can tell what they are by the image and by hovering over it with my mouse to see a popup of its name.

Printing the Screen
When you need to capture a screenshot that contains a pull down menu, the Snipping Tool does not work. It allows you to capture a piece of the screen, but the pull down you wanted to get goes away. Instead use Win+PrtScr. This captures the entire screen as it appears and places the image in your Pictures folder in a subfolder called Screenshots. Open that image and then use the Snipping Tool to grab just the portion you need.

Now I use an old standby called MWsnap. This allow me to press a hotkey (Ctrl+SHift+A) and draw a box around the portion of the screen I need including the pull downs. The resulting image is placed in the clipboard for me to paste were I need it.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Class Summary 3-9-2017

Kodi tutorials and more for those of you attempting to install Kodi on your PC or Firestick

Post Card Blank template for MS Word. When you click the link the doc file will download. Open it in MS Word or even Libreoffice.
http://rwevans.com/cccgc/Post Card Blank.doc

Some shortcuts to use in Excel to create Quick Charts and more

Capture and share images and video with Jing

A couple of Apple Mac notes. The mouse only has one button; no left and right like on a PC. Click it is like a left click. To get the right-click, hold Ctrl down while you click the mouse. Also, if you forget your password to get on, you can reset it on boot by holding down the Command key and the R key while pressing the power on button.

SmallPDF.com is a great site to convert a PDF into a word document so you can edit it. Will only work with a file that has been saved as a PDF; not for a scanned file. The scanner will create an image.

What about being able to fill out a form that is in an image format (you scanned it in)? Open a new MS Word document and insert it as a custom watermark. Then you can type anywhere over the image to fill in the blanks.

How do I send a folder of pictures to my Google Photo Cloud? First open photos.google.com and create an album with 1 picture. Name the album the same name as the folder of pictures you want to place in the album. Remove the 1 picture so the album is empty. With the empty album open, drag the folder into the album. All the pictures will be uploaded to photos and be placed into the folder.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Class Summary 3-2-2017

Demonstrated a loud bluetooth speaker. It was the S5 Zealot. It is easy to pair up with a cell phone.

Polaroid 360° Motorized Rotating HDTV Amplified Antenna with Remote. An inexpensive rotatable TV antenna you can put in your attic.

New Lenovo $199 Windows 10 laptop/tablet. A low end but lightweight and useful laptop.

Explorer++ is a free multi-tab file manager that features the same familiar interface as Windows Explorer, while introducing several enhancements and improvements for a much richer file browsing experience.

Email Checker is a simple tool for verifying an email address. The free version allows you to check up tp 5 address per day.

Printing Postcards
Or you can use a template right in MS Word.

Sneak Peeks, Advanced Access, and Special Giveaways at instafreebie.com. Free ebooks for Kindle and other book readers delivered daily to your email.

Walmart savings catcher is an app for your cell phone that allows you to scan in your receipts. Once scanned, Walmart views all the local ads to see if you could have gotten each item cheaper elsewhere. If so, they give you the difference in a store credit.

Sam’s Club Scan and Go is available on Android or on your iPhone. It lets you scan the items as you place them in your basket. When you are done, click Pay and you get to avoid all the lines and walk right out.

Efax lets you receive and send a fax from your PC. Free up to 10 per month received. 30 day trial on the sending.

CamScanner is a great way to scan documents to your cell phone, edit them, and save them as PDFs or even editable documents.

Searching on the class blog is easy when you use the site parameter in your browser. Let’s say you want to look for the summaries that talk about using LibreOffice. If you just type LibreOffice into your browser, you will get thousands of results and probably nothing about the class summaries on the first few pages. Instead type the following:

LibreOffice site:dickevanstraining.blogspot.com

You are telling your browser that you want to search for LibreOffice, but only on pages contained in the site named dickevanstraining.blogspot.com.

Auto Forward emails when you have multiple email addresses. For example, I have my comcast email set to forward all emails to my Yahoo account. I do that by opening my comcast email page and setting the auto forward address to my yahoo address. All email servers allow you to do this.

To post email content on Facebook, simply select what you want to post on Facebook in the email and Copy it to the clipboard. Then go to Facebook and paste it into your post.

Use Blogger to create a free website or www.evanshosting.com for an easy to build low cost one.

Saving LibreOffice Documents by Default in Microsoft Office Formats

Choose Tools > Options > Load/Save > General.

In the Default file format and ODF settings area, first select a document type, then select the file type for saving. I suggest setting it for Microsoft Word 2007-2010 which will use the docx format,

Friday, February 24, 2017

Class Summary 2-23-2017

Began with a discussion on folders. A folder is a container used to organize other folders and files within. Windows comes with some preset folders like Documents, Downloads, Pictures, and others. You may create additional folders inside or under any of them. Open the folder you wish to add a folder under.

Then either click New Folder in the ribbon, right-click in the folder and choose New > Folder, or just type Ctrl+Shift+N. A new folder will appear with the name new folder selected. Replace that temporary name with the name you want to give it.

We discussed the Downloads folder. When you receive an email with an attachment. The downloaded file ends up in your download folder. So do the pictures you download from Facebook or elsewhere. And the programs you download to install. So downloads generally ends up with a lot of junk you do not really need to hand on to. However, when you do download a picture or a file that you want, move it to a better place. Like pictures to your picture folder or documents to your document folder. You might even create a subfolder to better organize your stuff. Like a folder for trip to disney 12-2016 and place all your pictures from that trip in that folder. This makes it much easier to locate them later.

The question came up about placing emails in folder for easy access to the later. Years ago we had a program that came with Windows called Outlook Express or we worked in an office that used the paid for Outlook program. Those programs actually received our emails and placed them on our computers. We could then back them up or organize them as we wished. Today our emails are stored in the cloud at our email provider. Comcast emails are stored at comcast and we access them through the internet wherever we are. Same with gmail, yahoo, live, AOL, and others. The only way to “save” them on our computer is to print them as a PDF and store the resulting file.

When we get a new computer, we need to move data from one computer to another--from the old one to the new. I suggest an external hard drive be plugged into the old computer and the files and folders under your username be copied to it. Then plug the external into the new computer and copy them to the new. Programs cannot be moved from the old to the new. You will need to install them on the new. Locate your original installation media and key codes. There is a product called PCMover that will move some, but not all, programs. I have not used it, but it gets good reviews. It is not free.

Recuva is a free program from Piriform.com that will scan your hard drive and locate deleted files. Yes, the ones you deleted and then removed from the recycle bin.

https://fmovies.se/ is a site that lets you access free movies and TV shows. I have not used it, but one of our members recommend this.

I wrote a paper on the maintenance programs I use to keepy PC clead. Here is a link to that paper: http://www.rwevans.com/ComputerMaintenance.pdf

I installed and demonstrated Photo Clip 7 which is a paid for program that makes it incredibly easy to set your main subject against a new background! In the following example, the picture of the family is removed in only 3 steps and placed in front of a new background, resulting in a completely new image!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Class Summary 2-16-2017

One of our members was wearing her smartphone and everyone was interested in it. It is called a Smartphone Lanyard Necklace

Password Checker was something we talked about last year and harold mentioned it again in his January talk on passwords. Here is the link.

Find My Friends allows you to track someone by their cell phone. You need their permission.

Filter Your News Feed by adding this neat applicaiton

British TV streamed for $5 a month

Yes, Kodi on Windows 10 is easy to do
www.Kodi.tv to download the installer and then a YouTube video that tells you how to a full featured addon

12 powerful websites that can replace your PC's desktop software. Great idea, but the links do not work yet.

Direct TV with no dish or boxes and a free Amazon Firestick

Build your own Simple and Free Website. To keep it active you have to log into it at least once a month

Verizon safety net is something I talked about last week and forgot to include. It takes over when you use up all your 4GLTE data on your cell phone dropping you down to 4G unlimited.

Best Cell Phone Apps 2016 is an article with 50 interesting apps to try

Windows 10 Ads & Notifications shows you how to stop some of those annoying popups right in Window 10

Set Up Acquaintances in Facebook so you avoid see most of their newsfeeds and can remove them from seeing your posts without unfriending them

The safest ways to lend someone your Android phone is to setup a guest account that you switch your phone to first. Then they do not have access to your apps and passwords.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Class Summary 2-9-2017

Almost thirty signed in today. We spend the first hour or more talking about using other methods to get the shows we want to watch on TV rather than subscribing to a cable or provider for hundreds of channels we never look at.

Many of us pay big bucks to watch a few shows on our televisions. We either ahve a satellite or cable connection through some local service that feeds us hundreds of channels. Have we really looked at what we are watching? I will bet you are not looking at most of them and have just a few shows you follow plus local news channels.

If all you need are the local channels, get an antenna and plug it into the back of your TV where the cable from your current carrier plug in and go to Setup on your TV remote. Scan for channels and do not be surprised if you find 20-30 channel available right over the air. No cable connection needed at all.

Now don’t cancel all your services. You still need an internet connection, but that will be a lot lower cost than the bundle you now have. Now speed is nice, but you do not need the high speed line they may try to talk you into. You can stream movies at 6 mbps.

Phones are another topic, but if you have a cell phone why keep the in house phone? If it is part of your cable bundle, if the power goes out so does the phone. You cell phone will still work and you can charge it in you vehicle. I like my number, you say. You can port your existing number to your cell phone. There might be a small charge to do this, but you save that other bill every month.

OK, the cable is cut. How do I get to watch my favorite shows? As long as you have an internet connection you can use one of the popular devices. We are going to look at the Roku ($30+) and FireStick ($40 with Alexa Voice). They allow access to a number of free streaming services and many pay for services as well. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you automatically have access to free movies and TV shows with either of these devices. I have used Netflix for years and can access it using my Roku or FireStick.

Add Kodi to the FireStick and you can watch any movie, TV show, Live TV, Sports, and more. Add you can add it free using one of the many YouTube videos out there that step you through the process. Now you have the best of both--you have local TV for free and all the movies and TV shows you ever want to watch, even live TV all for the cost of the stick.

Kodi can also be installed on your PC and your smartphone. Watch what you want when you want to watch it.

We touched on OneDrive, Google Docs, and Google Photos all of which we have been discussing each week. Look at prior class summaries for detail.

Demonstrated using speech to text while in Google Docs and in the Google search engine.

Was asked how to clean up a cell phone. I use CCleaner on my Android phone. It is not available for an iPhone, so use Battery Doctor on it.

What should I buy when getting a new PC? My suggestion is always to see what is on sale. All the major brands are good in my opinion--Dell, Acer, Asus, HP, and Toshiba. Look for a multi core machine with no less than 4gb for RAM and at least a 500gb hard drive. WiFi is a must. Many laptops do not come with DVD drives today. But don’t let that stop you because you can purchase an external one that plugs into a USB port for $20 or less.

If you are just planning on using it for internet access and email and Facebook, I suggest a Chromebook instead of a Windows 10 laptop. A Chromebook does not need an antivirus or any of the maintenance programs we suggest for a Windows PC.

You can find laptops for under $300 and Chromebooks for under $200. Check the local stores for deals--Staples, Best Buy, Walmart...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Class Summary 2-2-2017

We began with a question about how to print the screen. Back in the days of DOS, we would press the Print Screen key on the keyboard and whatever was on the screen would be sent immediately to our printer. Today the same key takes the image on the screen and places a snapshot of it in the Windows clipboard. From there we can paste it into any other application, like the Paint program to change it and save it as an image file (JPG) or into a word processor as an image to include in a document. In Windows 10 holding down the windows key and pressing print screen will create an image file and save it in the Screenshots folder in your Pictures folder.

The Snipping Tool comes with Windows and using it your can draw a box around anything on your screen. When you release the mouse button what you boxed appears in the Snipping window. From there you can copy it, save it as an image file, and other options.

I have used MWsnap for years. And there is one on Ninite.com call Greenshot that does a nice job as well. And this one I found last week, but have not tried… Screeny is a powerful screen capture program for Windows

LibreOffice 5.3 ships with experimental Office-like Ribbon UI. This link takes you to the article we discussed in class about the new version. It includes an experimental “ribbon” bar similar to MS Office, but not called that. Details are in the article.

Download LibreOffice 5.3

Windows 10 tip: Repair your Windows 10 installation. When you have a serious issue with Windows 10, it has it’s own repair capability by running a reset. This reinstalls Windows 10. But, it also removes all your non-Microsoft programs while keeping your data. Using a Windows 10 install CD which you can download from the web at no charge, you can upgrade your PC to the same version and keep all your programs and data. This article explains it.

Spreadsheet Basics. There are a number of spreadsheet programs out there. The most used is probably MS Office Excel. As you know, that is not a free programs. Others include OpenOffice, LibreOffice, GNumeric, Google Docs, and more… The following link opens the white paper I used in class: http://tinyurl.com/hpeuezy and here is the link to the sheets we built today in class: http://tinyurl.com/zdbwops

Friday, January 27, 2017

Class Summary 1-26-2017

We started the afternoon off discussing the “cloud”. We did go down a few deep rabbit holes as well, but here is a little on the cloud.

What is the Cloud
You know what a USB flash drive is. You can copy files to it and then take it with you. If you are at someone’s house you can plug your flash drive into their PC and access all the files you have saved on that flash drive. To maybe you use it to come back and forth from your other house.

Cloud drives are external drives where you can save your data just like you can with that flash drive you plug in and then remove to take with you. The difference is that your access to your cloud drive is through the Internet. To access your cloud drive you need to know the username and password you assigned to it.

On Windows 10 there is a folder called OneDrive. When you established your Microsoft account, you received your cloud drive from them. It has 5gb of free storage and automatically syncs the data in your OneDrive folder to your cloud drive. Access your drive by logging in to www.live.com. There you will see your OneDrive and a number of other free services like Word and Excel and more. Whatever you put into OneDrive will sync to your cloud and your OneDrive folder on your PC.

If you have a Google account, you have 15gb of free space. In addition you have access to Google Docs, a full office suite of applications and Google Photos. With Photos you have an unlimited amount of storage to your images and video. By installing the Google Photo app on your smartphone, every picture you take is automatically uploaded to your Google Drive.

www.Dropbox.com is another popular free cloud. It has 2gb of free space and you can update that for a reasonable fee to 1tb of space. You can upload any files to your dropbox and share them with others, if you wish. Either a file at a time or an entire folder of files. By installing the application on your PC you can sync all files in the DropBox folder on your PC to your cloud drive making it a great backup solution and allowing you to access the data on your home PC wherever you are at, even on your smartphone.

We discussed other cloud storage like Amazon Prime and others. They all give you easily accessible places to safely store your data. You just need the Internet.

Cut the Cable Bill.
Also touched on cutting the cable and reducing the size of that monthly “deal” for Internet, TV, and phone. Internet you you need, but not the very high speeds they are trying to convince you into. 6 mbps streams fine. I have 25 mbps from Comcast and pay less the $30 each month. I do not have TV or satellite or phone service from my provider. How can I get local TV channels and movies? I have a $10 set of rabbit ears I bought at Wal-Mart and can pick up all the local news channels and more for free.

I have a RoKu box and subscribe to Amazon Prime so I get free movies and TV shows both there and on Netflix. Each are less than $10 per month. You can also download the major networks as apps on your smartphone or tablet and watch live TV there for free.

There are many low cost ways to get a “home” phone using service like MagicJack, OOMA, Vonage, and others. At the most you will pay less than $20 per month and have all special features and free long distance--even into Canada and Mexico with some and low cost overseas.

Using Kodi, you can program your PC, Firestick, and other devices to see just about anything for free. So for less than $50 a month you can have the full “bundle” you are probably paying close to or over $200 for. One of the members warned us that some new TV’s are not coming with built in TV tuners, so you may not be able to put an antenna on them to get local channels. So if you are buying a new set make sure the set includes a tuner.

How to Use Windows 10’s “Quick Assist” to Remotely Troubleshoot a Friend’s PC. Easy to use and simple replacement for LogMeIn and TeamViewer.

Protect your PC against ransomware. This is another malware like cleanup that will help to prevent you from getting hit with ransomware.

There were many other questions and answers. I wish I could have remembered them all to include in these notes. If you think of one, please let me know and I will add something about it.