Friday, August 16, 2019

Computer Club Notes 8-13-2019

Club Favorites
At each general meeting George demonstrates a program or website that is useful. You can find the ones he has shown us on our club website at Find the link on the right side:

Click 3 Favorites to see the list since this January. At the August meeting he showed us a site that gives us access to over three million manuals. We keyed in the model number for an audio recorder one of our members had with him and instantly had the 300+ page manual for it.

Preview the new CCleaner BrowserWe know that CCleaner users like to keep junk under control, stay private, and get things done fast. That's why we've built a safer browser that puts you in control of your digital footprint and stops browsing cluttering up your PC.

We installed it and found it to be similar to Google Chrome and Brave. Did not see anything bad about it all. Give it a try and see what you think.

An image editor you'll LOVE! or so we thought...Looked like a neat program. It used to be around as a free application. Now it is free to try, but the require your credit card so we did not give it an actual trial. Watched a demo of it that looked good--gave us a few new “Tech terms” like "tad", "easy pizy", and "smidge"

Free PicMonkey Alternative. Ribbet is a 100% online photo editor like PicMonkey, and best of all it's free. Apply sophisticated effects, stickers, frames, fonts, borders and more in seconds and without any training or classes.

What Is a VPN?
VPN software creates an encrypted connection (often referred to as a tunnel) between your computer and a server controlled by the VPN company, and then passes all network activity through that protected tunnel. This way, your online activities are hidden from everyone—including your ISP, which is now allowed to sell your anonymized information.

Think of it this way: If you drive out of your garage, someone can follow your car and track where you went, how long you were there, and when you returned home. We call that stalking. Using a VPN service is like driving into a closed parking garage, switching to a different car, and then driving out. Anyone following your original car now has no idea where you went after entering the garage. A VPN service keeps the stalkers at bay.

What is a VPN connection, what does it do, and how do you set one up?
You may have heard the term VPN used more and more frequently in recent years. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, a VPN serves several purposes, including making online activities more secure. For that reason alone, we recommend that everyone use a VPN.

Do I need a VPN?
Get more from the Internet—especially privacy, anonymity and safety—by using a VPN before you do anything online! Who doesn't love the Internet? It delivers information, answers, entertainment and connections to you, on demand, in seconds. From anywhere and at any time from our desktop computers, laptops, smartphone and tablets. It's a life-saver for students of all ages, moms, businesses, organizations...everyone.

But the Internet is not perfect. It has some built-in flaws that make you vulnerable when you're online. You should know that, because hackers, government and other snoopers and advertisers take full advantage of it.

A VPN changes that for you!
But you can make the Internet safer, more secure and definitely more private with the help of a VPN...a virtual private network. Don't you want to go on the Internet without being tracked, monitored, and identified...without your knowledge? In today's world, that freedom is getting harder to find.

A VPN...described.
As long as your router is secured and your Wi-Fi is using something like a WPA or WPA2 password, then by and large, you probably don't need a VPN at home. Most VPN services are tailored for the traveler who is regularly using open and untrustworthy hotspots and other internet connections on the road.

Here's a quick, helpful definition...and about all you need to know about a VPN.

A VPN is a service that you sign up for online for a small monthly charge

Once you have an account, your VPN service should be "on" when you're online

A VPN, in action, takes your Internet connection and makes it more secure, helps you stay anonymous and helps you get around blocks and access censored sites.

The key to a VPN is that it lends you a temporary IP address and hides your true IP address from every website or email you connect with

It's Virtual...because it's as if you have a private connection directly to any website or another computer you connect to.

It's Private...because all your website visits and online activity is between you and the websites you visit.

It's a Network...because you're using a special network of VPN servers that covers the entire globe.

Your IP address is a behind-the-scenes number your Internet provider assigns your computer that allows you to go anywhere on the Internet. It's something like the house number on your home.

That's the good news. The somewhat "bad" news is that your IP address also gives away your computing location, at home or on the road. That bothers a lot of computer users.

Backing Up
Our computers are reliable until they are not. Eventually the hard disk drive will fail and when it does you are out of luck unless you have been making backups. So me of you may be copying important files down to flash drives but I have not found that to be true with most. Backing up is on the things to do list but always gets pushed down by our busy life. Who knew being retired would be so filled with stuff to do? It is really easy to do. Install the software (Link on the club site) and run it. Once you have started the backup go watch television or go out for dinner. When you get back it will be all done. Here is a link to the recent article I wrote on using EaseUS.

Downloading a video from YouTube.
  1. Open the video on YouTube
  2. Ctrl+L to access the URL
  3. Left Arrow and then right arrow over to just before the letter Y
  4. Type SS and hit enter

Click Download…with low quality (it’s free)

Click Free download…

Click Download and watch the video… or

Click the three dots

Click Download

Choose a location to save the file and its name

You now have the full video on your computer

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Computer Club Class Notes 7-30-2019

We did not get to discuss what a VPN is and will get to it next time we meet. Next week is the General Meeting so our open forum will be held from 6-7 pm. Beginner class is from 5-7. Hope to see you all there. Come with questions for me.

I know we discussed a lot and I do not remember all the topics we hit on. Here are a few...

What does gmail archive do?Unlike Outlook, when you Archive a message in Gmail, the message is hidden from your Inbox view. So in effect, archiving lets you tidy up your inbox by moving messages from your inbox into your All Mail label, so you don't have to delete anything.

What computer should I buy?
Most of our users have Windows and most of them Windows 10. When it is time to purchase a new one, what should you look for? The first question I ask is what do you use your computer for? If all your work revolves around the Internet, perhaps a Chromebook would work well for you. If you have some specialized software you regularly use then another Windows 10 one may be called for. You might even look to a Linux based computer.

A Windows based machine needs regular maintenance and an active anti-virus program running all the time. I use Windows Defender (will be renamed soon to Microsoft Defender). The Chromebook and the Linux machines do not need antivirus or other maintenance programs. They are great for surfing the web, doing word processing and spreadsheet work, and running any web based apps like your banking and , getting into you medical providers. etc.

Keyboard shortcuts in Windows
Here it is, a full list of keyboard shortcuts from Microsoft for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10

OneDrive sync problems on Windows 10When you're facing syncing issues with OneDrive, it's likely to be a problem with the desktop client, and in this guide, we'll show you the steps to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

OneDrive needs you to sign in with your Microsoft Account. If you do not have one, create one. OneDrive comes with Windows 10. Whatever you place in your OneDrive folder (Folders and File) automatically goes into your cloud storage in your Microsoft account. Add or change a file in OneDrive on your computer and it is updated in your OneDrive in the cloud. You get 5 GB of space in OneDrive for free. For $1.99 a month you can increase that to 50 GB. If you choose to go for Office 365, you get 1 TB for free.

You’re Slowing Down Your PCSWhile all computers slow down over time, in many cases, your own behavior can cause your computer to run slowly. Here are common mistakes that will slow your machine down to a crawl, and how to stop making them. You can see the problems by looking at performance in the Task Manager. Right-click on the taskbar and choose task manager.

If you don’t see this multi-tabbed view, in the lower left of the smaller view, click More details.

A slow computer probably shows Disk usage at 100% or perhaps Memory at 100%. If this is the case you need to have your computer looked at.

CCleaner may install CCleaner BrowserCCleaner, the popular Windows file cleaning software, may install the web browser CCleaner Browser as part of the installation process if users are not careful. Watch the check boxes that appear on the install screen for CCleaner. Uncheck them or you will install more than just CCleaner. If you do you can just uninstall them. The programs CCleaner piggybacks are not malware, just programs you do not need. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Computer Club Class Notes 7-23-2019 for good buys on lots of stuff including Microsoft Office and Windows. Here is what they say: “Experience has proven to us that listening to our sellers' feedback is the best opportunity we have to consistently improve our product. That's why we've developed various tools over the years to make online selling easy. Our business relies on making successful sellers, so it's not a coincidence that the tools we offer can be customized to fit our sellers' needs.”

Linux vs Windows
Linux does not need a powerful machine to run swiftly. An older XP computer will work well. Needs little hard disk space and minimal memory depending on the distro you use. I like Linux Mint and Lubuntu. No need for any antivirus or anti malware programs. They come with Firefox and sometime Chromium and some kind of “office” capability like LibreOffice. There are no weekly updates or six month replacement versions. They just work. But they only run software designed for Linux, and there are many out there.

Easy to try as you first download the ISO file and burn a boot CD.

Boot from that CD and your version of Linux runs completely in memory without touching your hard drive.

Once you are sure you will like it, click the icon to install it alongside your current OS or have it wipe your drive and install as a stand alone OS.

CCleaner Browser
CCleaner Browser is a web browser with built-in security and privacy features to keep you safe online. It comes packed with all the tools you need to manage your online privacy, identity, and personal data. You can download CCleaner Browser at:

Paint 3D replaces MS Paint, a decades favorite of Windows users It is a built-in creative application that comes free with Windows 10*. It is designed to be simple yet powerful by allowing you to create professional or fun creative projects by easily combining 2D and 3D tools. The best part is that you don’t need any design experience – Paint 3D can be used by anyone. Its approachable interface makes it easy to customize existing 3D models from our built-in 3D library or create 3D designs from scratch.

Instagram is a free, online photo-sharing application and social network platform that was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Instagram allows users to edit and upload photos and short videos through a mobile app. ... Users also have the option of making their profile private, so that only their followers can view their posts.

Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. It was developed by Pyra Labs, which was bought by Google in 2003. The blogs are hosted by Google and generally accessed from a subdomain of I use blogger for our club page at It makes an easy way to create and maintain a personal and business web site.

Other ways to get yourself on the Web at little or no cost include, Web Starts, and GoDaddy.

Quick Removal new default
Quick removal is the safer option as it ensures that devices can be disconnected from the Windows PC directly. Better performance improves performance but requires that users need to use the "Safely remove hardware" option before they unplug external storage devices. Failure to do so may lead to data loss

Installers often try to sneak additional programs as a natural part of the installation. Unchecky warns you when you try to accept a potentially unwanted offer, which makes it less likely to be accepted accidentally.

What is a personal cloud?
loud Storage (PCS) is a local network-attached storage (NAS) device that lets users store data, photos, music, videos and other files and is optimized for media streaming. PCS devices are a way for home users to experience the advantages of high-capacity, cloud-based storage without losing control of their data. Users can access content on their PCS device from multiple computers using a web browser, while mobile apps provide access from iOS and Android devices. Files can be shared without using a public cloud service.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Computer Club Class Notes 7-16-2019

We have not spent time on this for many months. This was a refresher and a starting point for those new with social media. We did not get very far but covered a lot of ground answering questions.

Under Settings > Notifications you can set your account to not send you emails for every little thing.

When posting Public everyone can see your postings. Better to post Friends so nobody else will see it.

If you do not want all your friends or everyone to see your note to someone, do NOT put it as a comment under someone else's post. Make it a PM or Private Message by going to their page and clicking Message. Only they will see the message and their response will only go to you.

What is this much talked about thing. How do you get started with it and is it for you? Think of it as group texting with the world as your recipients.

You can follow others by simply going to their Twitter to view their tweets. It used to be a place to say something in 128 characters or less; like a text message that has an audience of many.

It you go to someone's Twitter page you can elect to follow them meaning you get a notification every time they tweet. Twitter has been making big changes. The 128 had increased to 256 and now you can add pictures and more. And Twitter now displays ads right in your area for others to see.

See my page at

I was asked about the possibility of recording a Webinar. The answer is yes. There are many programs that will allow you to capture whatever is happening on your computer. A popular one I have known for years is SnagIt.

CCCGC website as of 24 August 2004
The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Our mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge.

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

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

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

Classic Start (AKA Classic Shell) gives you a start menu on Windows 10 that has the appearance of XP, Vista, or 7. It is easy to use and easy to setup. Open and select Class Start. When installed, the next time you click the Start button you get to choose what want the program to emulate, I chose Windows 7 with the Windows Aero skin. Right-click on Start and you can exit out of it (will reappear on next restart) or open Settings to change your preferences.


We did NOT get to talk about any of the following and will look at them in future sessions.

How to prompt your memory with Google Photos
Memory is a tricky thing. Some of us are great at attaching names to faces, while others (and here I raise my hand) have always had a problem with remembering names, especially when you meet someone out of context. For example, imagine the embarrassment when someone you know from work suddenly shows up at a friend’s party, and you spend the next hour trying to remember their name.

How to use the new Facebook Marketplace feature
The Marketplace app is easy to navigate -- you can browse, search by keyword or search by category. Now, when you find an item you like, you'll see an option to checkout directly through the app. You can choose the quantity you want and the shipping price.

Background Apps
Left to its own devices Windows will happily run all sorts of stuff in the background on your PC. A lot of the time you might not even realize it’s happening. One important thing to consider, however, is that all these background Apps use up precious system resources and that might not be a good thing on an older computer. Heck, even on modern systems, why have the CPU working on things that don’t matter to you?

Microsoft revives Power Toys
Remember Power Toys? If you worked on PCs when Windows 95 or XP were en vogue, you may remember that Microsoft released a number of useful tools back then to extend the functionality of the Windows operating system.

Send beautiful mobile responsive email campaigns in minutes for free.

Installers often try to sneak additional programs as a natural part of the installation. Unchecky warns you when you try to accept a potentially unwanted offer, which makes it less likely to be accepted accidentally.

Quick Removal new default
Quick removal is the safer option as it ensures that devices can be disconnected from the Windows PC directly. Better performance improves performance but requires that users need to use the "Safely remove hardware" option before they unplug external storage devices. Failure to do so may lead to data loss

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Computer Club Class Notes 7-9-2019

WPS Office 2019You do not need Microsoft Office. This is a free and complete office suite that reads and writes in the same format as MS Office. Your dream solution for a low-budget, no-commitment, free productivity office suite. The smallest size office suite consisting of Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets. Automatically synchronize document on any device, anywhere and anytime. You can log in your account to activate the synchronization service. Any change on any of your devices will be applied on all your devices.

Look up hard disk information with PowerShell
Windows PowerShell is quite powerful when it comes to looking up hard disk information. While you may look up some information in Windows directly, e.g. in Disk Management, or by using third-party programs like Hard Disk Validator, Disk Checkup, or DiskBoss, using PowerShell is a quick and easy option as well.

Hard Drive Diagnostic Tool Crystal Disk Info
Crystal Disk is a tool to display the work hours of any connected hard drive on a Windows system. The hard drive diagnostic tool can do a lot more than that however and that is why you are reading this review.

Disable Search Indexing in Windows 10
In this article, we will see how to disable the Search Indexing feature in Windows 10. It can be useful, if you have a fast SSD drive. Search results will always be up to date, because the OS won't use the search index database. Here is how it can be done.

Open an elevated command prompt.

Type the following commands:

sc stop "WSearch"

sc config "WSearch" start= disabled

Google can delete your account when you die
Your Google account is probably the last thing you think about when making your end-of-life plans. The same likely goes for logging off your online life. But it's a good one to add to the mental list -- and it's something that's easy to take care of any time.

Easily crop, resize, and edit your images online for FREE. Images are automatically deleted after 30 minutes.

Changes coming to Google Photos and Google Drive

Photos and videos that users take using Google Photos are automatically synced to Google Drive currently, a useful option for Google customers who like to push media to their desktop devices using Google Drive. Similarly, new photos and videos added to Google Drive will show up in the Photos application as well. Starting July 10, automatic syncing will be disabled.

Enabling the internal speaker
If you have a desktop without external speakers, you may be able to use the speaker on the motherboard that gives the beeps when you turn the machine on. This article tells how that might be possible. It depends on the motherboard and whether or not there is an internal speaker.

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

HangoutsEach week the class is broadcast on Google Hangouts. Sign in from wherever you are by going to

Belarc Advisor
Is a tool to analyze your PC giving you a list of all programs installed and the key codes to software like Microsoft Windows, MS Office, and more.

Private Browsing
No matter which browser you use, what you search and where you go is kept. Unless… Each browser has a way to browse in such a way that the information is not sent. Google Chrome calls it Incognito and you open it with Shift+Ctrl+N. In Brave it is called Private Browsing and it open with the same Shift+Ctrl+N. What you search is kept on your computer until you leave the window. Then anything about your session is gone, except for anything you may have downloaded. Edge calls it InPrivate Browsing and you access it with Shift+Ctrl+P.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Online Class Notes 6-19-2019

We started with five online and had a couple join us in the Library. For those of you who know about or are even using Kodi, this may be on interest to you:

LibreELEC 9.0.2 (Leia) has arrived based upon Kodi v18.2, the 9.0.2 release contains many changes and refinements to user experience and a complete overhaul of the underlying OS core to improve stability and extend hardware support. Kodi v18 also brings new features like Kodi Retroplayer and DRM support that (equipped with an appropriate add-on) allows Kodi to unofficially stream content from services like Netflix and Amazon.

How to Use Kodi: The Complete Setup Guide

How Do I Edit a Reply or a Forward?
Even though you might not see it, most email programs include the original message as part of your reply. If you don’t edit the reply yourself, your one-line response might be accompanied by the entire original message that everyone’s already seen. The problem, of course, is that exactly how to edit the entire reply often isn’t obvious at all.

Speech to Text
Our phones let us speak into them and convert our words to typed letters. Well, Window 10 can do it too. Win+H and turn on the speech to text feature. What you say is typed into wherever your cursor is on the screen. Works in Email, Facebook message, WordPad… everywhere. Give it a try.

MailChimp is a great way to send multiple emails. If you send them using your normal email like comcast, embarque, yahoo, gmail, or whatever you can send multiple emails by inserting more than one email address in the TO, CC, or BCC boxes. However, each email service has a maximum number of emails you can send in a month without being considered spamming. Using a free service like MailChimp lets you maintain a database of names and email addresses and when you send using their service everyone gets an individual email. You can even write it now and schedule it to be sent in the future. After it is sent you can check the reporting feature to see how many were actually read and even who read it.

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system's screen or by locking the users' files unless a ransom is paid. Use an image backup application at least once a month to ensure that any attack can be removed by simply formatting the hard drive to eliminate it and restoring from the latest image backup file. I also use Malwarebytes (the free version) to check frequently that I do not have any of its code on my computers.

Win+U opens the Ease of Access window at the Display window. Here you can adjust the settings for your display. Many options to personalize including making text larger and animation and hiding scrollbars and more

I have turned off the following on my computer:

Life360 is a family networking app. It is a location-based service designed primarily to allow friends or family members to share location with each other. You can see where the other person is located and if driving you can see them move along the route and what speed they are traveling at.

A new shortcut allows you to capture a portion of the screen and saves it to the clipboard: Shift+Win+S. Prior to 1809, the clipboard only held the last item sent to it. Now it saves them all until you clear it or restart the computer. To access the saved items and use them use the shortcut Win+V.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Online Computer Club Notes 6-12-2019

The library class was online today in Monticello, KY. The locals did not come but we spent an hour with the faithful from around the country using Hangouts once again. Thank for being part of today’s adventure. Will try this again next Wednesday at 3:30 and see who shows from Monticello.

Here are some of the things we looked at today:

WIn+U opens the Ease of Access window at the Display window. Here you can adjust the settings for your display. Many options to personalize including making text larger and animation and hiding scrollbars and more

I have turned off the following on my computer:

I demonstrated two new apps I have been using on my cell phone:
Life360 and Zello.

Life360 is a family networking app. It is a location-based service designed primarily to allow friends or family members to share location with each other. You can see where the other person is located and if driving you can see them move along the route and what speed they are traveling at.

Zello is an application that emulates push-to-talk walkie-talkies over cell phone networks. The apps are available for smartphones and your Windows PC. Reminds me of the old Nextel flip phones. I used their walkie-talkie feature all the time.

Restart File Explorer
One of the more common causes of a slow computer is the file system becoming overloaded and bogged down with things to do. The easiest way to solve this problem is to simply restart File Explorer.
  1. Win+E to open File Explorer
  2. Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager
  3. Locate ‘Windows Explorer’ (which may also display as Explorer.exe)

4. Right-click and select Restart (be careful not to click End Task, because that will cause the PC to crash)

Your computer should now feel more responsive and any of the glitches that were appearing will hopefully have vanished.

A look at Win-X Menu 3.0 for Windows
Windows 10 users who invoke the Windows-X menu get options to launch a selection of advanced tools and common tasks when it opens. They may open Computer Management, PowerShell, or the Event Viewer from the menu directly, run searches, programs, or shut down the system.

Show Seconds On Clock
Windows 95 was the last version of Windows to display the seconds in the System Tray clock. Microsoft’s reasoning when they removed this feature was since system memory was limited at that time. That memory restriction no longer exists which means you can once again display the seconds if you have a need to do so.

A Keyboard Mouse?
Did you know you can use your keypad as a mouse? If your mouse conks out on you, here is a convenient quick fix.

Easy Photo Editor is a simple and free image editing tool that makes your pictures look more beautiful. The text tool allows you to add text to your image, select font type, font color and more to make your photo "speaks" for itself! Features: • Select image from your phone media library or camera.

InternetOff allows you to quickly turn off the internet so that you can go offline. When you need the connection, you can enable the internet easily for some period (and it will be automatically turned off) or permanently in just two clicks. Besides the program lets you password protect and schedule access to the internet.

How to convert YouTube videos to music filesWhen you want to save the music from YouTube videos it's much better to choose YouTube to MP3 software that can save and convert the file in one fell swoop. Any Video Converter Free downloads videos and saves them in virtually any audio or video format you can think of.