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.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Computer Club Notes 5-21-2019

Ease Of AccessWIn+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

Paint is backAfter announcing MS Paint’s “deprecation” back in 2017, Microsoft has gone in the other direction. Not only is Microsoft Paint sticking around in Windows 10—Microsoft just updated it with new keyboard controls. All those plans have been canceled. MS Paint will stay in Windows 10 and won’t move to the Store. Most shockingly, Microsoft has started updating it with new accessibility features.

Airplane mode--why?We understand the Airplane mode when flying, but why if we are on the ground? If you leave your device constantly looking for a viable WiFi connection it affects your performance and drains your battery. Also, if you need a quicker than normal charge, turn airplane mode on your phone. Just remember to turn it off when done or you will not get phone calls.

Importance of backupsBacking up is your computer's life insurance policy. We live in Florida so we know the importance of having an insurance policy on our homes. We remember Charlie. What got damaged or destroyed was rebuilt.

What happens when our computer crashes? Could be a worn out hard drive. Could be a virus. Could be a dropped laptop. Could be a stolen laptop. Whatever causes you not to be able to access your system the result is the same and you are not a happy camper.

What if you could get everything back just the way it was in a matter of hours? Isn’t that the kind of insurance you want to have?

Facebook remindersWhenever an action occurs in Facebook, an email is sent to your registered email address. This is by default and can be an annoyance. To stop that from happening choose settings and then notifications then email. Select what you want to be sent to you in an email. I only get important notifications.

PostingOn your profile, you choose who sees the post: Public, Friends… Only Me
On someone else's profile, if they allow you to do so
Tagging pictures will put pictures on someone else’s profile if they have not blocked that feature
Go into Settings > Timeline and Tagging Settings to limit who can post or tag to your timeline

RemindersIf you only want one person to see your post, send it on messenger
If you do not want to see someone’s posts in your newsfeed, unfollow them
If you do not want the world to see your posts, do not post them as public

Tag or not tag your photos?
Tagging will place the photo on your friend's page

Allow games to see your friends?
Only if you want the game to know all your friends names

Where is My Email?IMAP allows you to view the same email inbox on multiple devices because the messages stay on the server. This is how your gmail, yahoo. Hotmail, etc are accessed. Therefore you can access mail from any device by signing in to your account.

POP downloads email messages to your computer and remove them from the server. This is how MS Office Outlook handles your email. You can only access your mail on the device you have installed Outlook -- not the Outlook Mail that comes with Windows 10.

Uninstalling ProgramsYou can uninstall programs right in Windows or using the maintenance program CCleaner. In CCleaner goto Tools > Uninstall. I suggest sorting by date to view what has been recently installed or by name to locate a specific program easily. 

To use Windows press Win+I and choose Apps. A list of all programs will appear. Click on the one you wish to remove and choose Uninstall. 

Then confirm by click Uninstall. Esc to back out.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Computer Club Notes 5-14-2019

Faststone image resizer
FastStone Photo Resizer is an image converter and renaming tool that intends to enable users to convert, rename, resize, crop, rotate, change color depth, add text and watermarks to images in a quick and easy batch mode. Drag and Drop mouse operation is well supported. FastStone Photo Resizer makes quick work of batches of digital snapshot!

F8 Revived
Ever since Windows 95 we have been able to press F8 while the computer was starting and boot into Safe Mode. We could elect to boot with or without networking and even to boot to a DOS-like command prompt--C:\. Enter Windows 10 and the old F8 went away.

IrfanView is an image viewer, editor, organizer and converter program for Microsoft Windows. It can also play video and audio files and has some image creation and painting capabilities.
Get it on Ninite

Multiple Desktops
You see people with two or three or more monitors on their computer. Well, maybe on a TV show. With Windows 10 we can get the same effect with one screen using the new virtual desktop feature. You can have two or three or ten screens all on one computer monitor. Using Task View you can see the virtual desktops available to you and even create additional ones; as many as you need. In that same view, you can drag open windows between desktops and easily switch back and forth.

Also reminded all about using Alt+Tab to switch between active windows on any of the desktops. And just mousing over the taskbar browser icon to see miniature pop-ups of the active windows.

Demonstrated Linux Mint working on my laptop. It is on it with Windows 10. When I boot, I am offered to start with either Mint or Windows 10. The default on mine is Mint so I have to be quick to take the Windows option.

Linux is one of many possible operating systems. Just to name the popular ones, we have Windows, Chromebook, LinuxMint, Lubuntu, and Ubuntu. The last three are variations of Linux. An older version of Lubuntu I was installing today only need 512mb of RAM and a 20gb hard drive. The newer versions of all of them need 2gb or RAM and 20gb of hard disk space.

Thave a look and feel of Windows run many of the programs we use in Windows, like LibreOffice, Firefox, Chrome, and more. But Windows programs can only run on a Windows computer and Linux programs on a Linux computer. There is, however, a Linux program called WINE that will allow a number of Windows programs to run in Linux.

Did I mention that Linux is FREE? And you do not have run an antivirus program or maintenance programs. This is like the Apple products and the Chromebooks--no need for the “fixit” programs.

One of our members was telling us about his experiences with 1903. He has been using it for a couple of months and really likes it. He says it is much faster and filled with some great new features.

It is a large update and will require at least 32gb of free space on the hard drive to install. This will pose a problem for those having one of the “surface” computers that only have 32gb of flash memory.

Regardless, I think I will wait a while before doing the update when it is actually released to the public.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Computer Club Notes 5-7-2019

Free Phone Service
Talkatone is the best option for replacing your native phone to call and text for free without using cell minutes. By contrast, Skype, Viber and Facetime are only free if the recipient has also already installed the app.
  • Stop paying for cell minutes, texts & landlines
  • Turn your iPad or iPod touch into a phone
  • Call/Text even in areas with bad cell coverage
  • Call/Text when traveling without paying for expensive international minutes

TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression techniques to reduce the file size of your PNG files. By selectively decreasing the number of colors in the image, fewer bytes are required to store the data. The effect is nearly invisible but it makes a very large difference in file size!

JSPaint is a web-based Microsoft Paint remake
JSPaint is a free web-based remake of Microsoft Paint, a basic but popular image editor for the Windows operating system. Microsoft announced some time ago that it would deprecate Microsoft Paint in favor of the new Paint 3D UWP application that it introduced in the Windows 10

Dick’s Articles on Dave’s Computer Tips

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Computer Class Notes 4-30-2019

Where did it go? The normal location is at the bottom of the screen. If it has moved. Point your mouse at a blank space in the taskbar and left drag it back to the bottom. Right click on it and select lock to keep it there.

The start button is in the left and will bring up the Start Menu.

To the right of the start button is the Type here box to ask Cortana a question. If missing, Win+Q to open it.

The Task View button opens history of what you have been doing.

Then you will see icons for quick one click access to applications you have recently used and even websites you have been in.


To the far right is the Notification button, the date and time, the internet indication, the sound control, and a up arrow to open a window of other applications running.

Lockscreen is a way to leave your computer when not using it. It leaves everything open and opens the startup screen requiring your entry password to continue. Use Win+L to lock it.

Resizing a window is possible if you are in the restore size of an open window. The upper right corner of a window has three button--minimize, size, and exit. If the size button is a single square representing a window you are at the restore size and can change the size of the window by dragging any corner or edge to the size you desire. You can even drag all the way left or right to make the window half screen, or to any corner to make it one quarter size. Drag to the top or double click the title bar and you will switch to full screen. If at full screen, double click the title bar to go back to restore size or drag the title bar down.

When does upper/lower case matter?

Email addresses can be mixed upper and. Case does not matter.
Password must be upper and lower case, exactly as you created them.

Website URLs can be upper or lower, but not the word after the extension (,com, etc). amd are the same. Whatever follows that will have a / and additional words that must be whatever necessary to get into a specific page on the site. /ABOUT is not the same as /about or /About.

Left click vs right click
Left click selects an item. Right click pops up a menu of selections.

One click or two?
Generally speaking, what is on the desktop is double-click. Or click once and press the Enter key. The taskbar items are all single click as are options within programs and websites.

Edge, IE, Chrome, Firefox, or what?
The browser you use is a personal choice. I like Chrome and the availability of extensions. Brave is similar to Chrome and allows the use of the Chrome extensions as well. IE or Internet Explorer has been a favorite for many over the year but is been fazed out by Microsoft. You have to hunt for it in Windows 10. Edge is not desirable for me and is even being rewritten by Microsoft to use a Chromium back end just like Google Chrome. Firefox has been a favorite for many over the years and works similar to Chrome. It was the non-Microsoft favorite for years until Google came out with Chrome.

Finding things on a webpage. Ctrl+F open the find box. Type what you are looking for on the page. In this case it found 19 times “Evans” is used.

Increase or decrease size of the content in a browser window
Ctrl+Plus to increase
Ctrl+Minus to decrease
Ctrl+Zero to bring back to normal
This is not the same as Win+Plus which activates the magnifier

Printing a web page or things on it. Use Ctrl+P to open the print dialog box. It will print the entire page.

Instead, select the portions of the page you want to print, then Ctrl+P. On the print window, select Advanced Options and then check Selection only.

Simple Speed Up solutions
Use to analyze your computer. It will tell you how much RAM you have installed and what your computer is capable of using. Then it will show you the memory you should use to increase it.

Get a faster Hard Drive, maybe a Solid State (SSD). See article at

Reduce the number of items found on your desktop. This will not slow down your processing, but will slow down the startup of your computer. Try to only have shortcuts on the desktop. Folders and files should be in your Document area.

Review what is in your startup folder. Open Task Manager and on the Details screen select the Startup tab. Disable all that you do not need. I disable most of them as you can see above.

Close programs not being used. The less open the less memory being used. Close the browser when not in use and reopen when needed.

Run the maintenance program on a regular basis to clean things up and remove malware you do not realize has been added.

Forcing a program to end.
Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager. In the lower left click Less details. Click on the program to force and ending, then in the lower right, click End task.

Forcing a web page to end
Press Alt+F4 to exit the page. Or mouse over the taskbar icon and click the X on the popup.

Where is the Control Panel?
Win+Q then type control and press Enter

The Clipboard has changed in 1809. It now stores all entries instead of just the last one. Use Win+V to view them and use them.

The Magnifier is activated using Win+Plus. Turn it off with Win+Esc

Opening File Manager more than once is easy with Win+E

A keyboard shortcut is a set of one or more keys that invoke a command in software or an operating system. They are typically an alternate means for invoking commands that would otherwise be accessible only through a menu, a mouse, or an aspect of the user interface. These shortcuts can expedite common operations by reducing input sequences to a few keystrokes.
For a list of Shortcuts see

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Computer Club Notes 4-23-2019

Down To Basics

Right click on the desktop

Display settings bring you to a place to change the size of display and more

Personalize gets you to change themes and backgrounds

Changing the Background

Changing the Theme

The Start Menu

(Left) click on the windows button or Ctrl+Esc

Removing and Adding Tiles

Right Click on the time and Unpin to remove it, Resize to change its size

Searching for Installed Programs

To the left of the tiles, scroll the list of programs to locate the one you want to run. To speed up the process, click one of the stand alone letters (A) to jump to a lettered group.

Type here to search to enter the name of the program and then Enter to run it. If you do not see the Type here… box, type Win+Q

What version of Windows 10 do I have?

Win+R and type WINVER and press Enter will tell you how fast your Internet service is. Century Link should be at least 5 Mbps. Comcast should be over 25 Mbps. If you use they keep track of your results.

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

Where did I save that file? Open File Explorer and look in Quick Access. It shows the recently used files with the most current on top. Where it was saved is shown to the right of the file name.

Win+E to open another instance of File Explorer. Then you can easily move files or folders from one location to another.

Open Task manager
  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc
  • Right-Click taskbar and select Task manager
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del and select Task manager
Disable Startup Items
Open Task manager and click the Startup tab

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Computer Club Notes 4-9-2019

YouTube.TVCut the cable. Cable-free live TV is here from 70+ networks free to try and then about $50 monthly. Local sports and news. No cable box required. No contract. Live sports, news, and shows from 70+ channels. Free unlimited DVR storage space. 6 accounts for your household. 3 simultaneous streams.

SpeccyWe were talking about how hot the CPU or Hard Drive might be and someone remembered there are programs that can tell us that information and a lot more. See what's inside your PC. Speccy is the place to start if you need to know what's inside your PC. See a quick summary, or dive deeper into every aspect of your PCs hardware so you can make informed upgrade and purchasing decisions.

Flickr and ShutterflyThese sites have been around for years. Each allows you to upload your photos and create photo books and more. We were reminded that if you have an Amazon Prime account you can order prints online for 9 cents each and have them delivered anywhere in the US for free.

Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Show off your favorite photos and videos to the world, securely and privately show content to your friends and family, or blog the photos and videos you take with a camera phone.

With Shutterfly, create photo books, personalize photo cards & stationery, and share photos with family and friends.

Setting a restore point and why
System Restore is an awesome system recovery tool, and it's included with Windows for free. It's the ideal solution for rolling back bad drivers, fixing when buggy software breaks your PC, or simply rolling you back to a previous point in time. We looked at how to create a restore point and how to recover from one.

! is a powerful and easy-to-use application that removes temporary files created while surfing the web, empties the Recycle Bin, deletes files from your temporary folders and more. Works good but why not CCleaner?

Photo Clip is a digital cutting tool that crops details, people, objects or even the entire background in your photos and removes annoying elements. Watch the video and be amazed. Looks well worth the one time price.

Valid Email AddressesThis website lets you type in an email address to test to be sure it is a valid address.

Geek Uninstaller
One user writes "The performance of Geek Uninstaller is impressive. It uninstalls quickly and finds leftover files that anyone couldn't. Overall, the app is an impressive maintenance tool that delivers on both performance and features. Highly recommended". Another good one is Revo which can be found on Ninite.

Microsoft changes how Windows 10 disconnects USB storage devices
Microsoft has modified the way Windows 10 handles the operation of disconnecting a USB or Thunderbolt storage device. This includes USB thumb drives, external hard drives, flash drives, and even USB data transfer connections established between PCs and smartphones. The change took effect with the wide deployment of Windows 10 version 1809, the October 2018 Update.