Thursday, January 23, 2020

Computer Club Class Notes 1-21-2020

Edge Chromium Browser Launches
Microsoft is officially launching its new Edge Chromium browser today across both Windows and macOS. A stable version of the browser is now available for everyone to download, just over a year after the software maker revealed its plans to switch to Chromium. Microsoft is initially targeting Edge at enterprise users of Windows and macOS, but consumers will be able to manually download and install it, too.

We downloaded and installed it during class and it worked well; a lot like Chrome and Brave.

Google Chrome will support Windows 7 until at least July 2021
Microsoft will end support for its Windows 7 operating system next week on January 14, 2020. The last Patch Day for Windows 7 will provide users with a last round of security updates before support ends.

Windows 7 Upgrade
Here is an article I wrote on moving from 7 to 10

Is CCleaner Safe?
Some Windows software has become so ingrained into PC users’ minds that we don’t think twice to recommend them. Unfortunately, this leads to major issues when a popular tool goes rogue. That’s exactly what’s happened with CCleaner. Once everyone’s favorite Windows maintenance utility, its increasingly shady behavior means that you should now leave it in the dust.

Some Windows software has become so ingrained into PC users’ minds that we don’t think twice to recommend them. Unfortunately, this leads to major issues when a popular tool goes rogue. That’s exactly what’s happened with CCleaner. Once everyone’s favorite Windows maintenance utility, its increasingly shady behavior means that you should now leave it in the dust.

We are testing out Wise Disk Cleaner. It look like a good alternative to CCleaner. I think Glary is also a good alternative and is part of Ninite.

9 Best Free Microsoft Office Alternatives
Here are several free Microsoft Office alternatives that contain similar versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. Many of the Microsoft Office free alternatives listed below open, edit, and create Office documents. Although they don't have all the cool Office features, many get close. 

I use Google Docs for most of my word processing. I do use MS Word since I own a copy and I can access Word on my Microsoft account on the web using my OneDrive. There are mini-versions of all the Office applications available there for free.

What about WordPad? It is free as it comes with Windows. It is useful for most of what iI use Word for and is very quick to open. The only downside is that it does not include a spell checker. Enter tinySpell. This is a very small spell checker that adds the capability to WordPad among other applications.

LibreOffice vs OpenOffice
In a battle between OpenOffice versus LibreOffice, which office software suite would win? They're both 100% free and are great alternatives to MS Office, but which one will bring home the productivity title for you or your organization?

Notes is a simple and free note-taking application for Windows
Sometimes, we may need a quick way to write down something. Notes is a simple and free note-taking application for Windows that can be used for that.

This was an interesting article but we downloaded and installed it during class. It seemed very difficult to use.

Simple Sticky Notes
We reminisced about the sticky notes that came with Vista. So we did a Google search and found one. It was easy to install and works just like the one we remembered. It adds yellow (or whatever color you choose) notes to the desktop. You can resize them and type whatever you need right on them!

Sticky Notes

Then I found that a similar application is built into Windows! To find the application in Windows 10, click on your start button and type in sticky notes. If you do not have a place to type then Win+Q will show the place to type. Select the Sticky Notes option. Right-click the entry in your start menu and select Pin to taskbar so you can open the program directly from your desktop.

Informed Delivery
I demonstrated how I receive an email from the USPS each morning showing me what mail to expect that day. Here is the site to access to set that up for you.

Backup Review
I have written an article on backing up using EaseUS. You can download the application from the club site at and read the article at:

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Computer Club Notes 1-14-2020

What version of Windows 10 do I have?

Win+R and type WINVER and press Enter

If you have Windows 7 or 8 or 8.1, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Head over to the Download Windows 10 page and attempt the upgrade.

Click Download tool now

Install and run the Media Creation Tool

Open the tool and select Upgrade this PC now
Follow the steps


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.

Mouse Adjustments

Win+I > Devices

Mouse > Adjust mouse & cursor size

Drag to change the size

Click Additional mouse options

Mouse locator
Ever have trouble locating the mouse? It is there somewhere but you can’t see it. One simple switch and hitting the ctrl key will display flashing circles around the pointer.

Uninstalling a Program
We got into this because I was talking about not having antivirus programs on your Windows 10 PC. Windows comes with Windows Security which includes a great antivirus called Defender. To remove the antivirus that came with your PC:

Win+I > Apps and give it time to display all the apps on your PC. Scroll down and locate the one to uninstall.

Click on it and then choose Uninstall

Office Alternatives

Microsoft includes a free trial to Office 365 with every Windows 10 install. There are many other “office” programs to use instead and at no charge.

At you can use an online version of Microsoft Office at no charge. It saves the files in OneDrive, the Microsoft Cloud.

Google Docs saves its files in the Google Cloud and it is free at

OpenOffice and LibreOffice and WPS are all office suites that are free and can be installed on your computer. They do not use the cloud.

Flash in Edge
Edge has a Flash component built-in. Turn it off to deactivate it.

Click Settings.

Click View advanced settings. It is on the left

Click the switch beneath Use Adobe Flash Player so that it turns Off.

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

Turns on and off the bookmark bar on the browser

Lets you draw a box around an item on the screen and save it to the clipboard

Displays the contents of the clipboard

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Computer Clubs Notes 12-28-2019

Have a Happy and Safe 
New Years Eve

There will be no class this Tuesday as the Cultural Center is closing the doors at 2:00 pm. I will be at the club from 10-2 if you have any needs. The following Tuesday is the General Meeting and I will be leading the Open Forum at 6:00 pm and will have a presentation for the meeting. I will be at the club from 10-2, then back for the 6:00 pm meeting. Hope to see you there.

Here are some articles I thought useful for you all. Let me know if there is anything particular you would like me to cover at the Open Forum at the General Meeting.

Clean up Your Windows Desktop
Simplifying the desktop contents frees up operating memory, reduces the time and frequency the hard drive is used and improves the response of your computer to programs you open and things you do. The simple act of cleaning the desktop makes your computer run faster.

I have seen some desktops so full you could not put something else on them! Better empty of all but the recycle bin. This article gives some thoughts on it and I will be talking about this at the General Meeting next week.

Get the Most Out of Your Roku
You finally worked out which Roku to buy, and set up the basics: Netflix, Amazon, and whatever other services you’re subscribed to. What next? Here are the first things we’d do after getting a new Roku; give them a shot.

Some may have gotten one of these for Christmas. They are easy to use and work great. I have been using a Roku for years now. Most of my channels are free with the exception of Netflix and Prime. Netflix is where we find ourselves most of the time and it is about $12/mo. Prime is part of the Amazon Prime package.

How to Scan Documents With Your Phone or Tablet
Updated features in iOS and Google Drive allow you to scan documents for free with your phone or tablet. How does it work? A program or app performs the scan using your camera and, in many cases, converts it into a PDF automatically. This guide will show you how to do it, whether you own an Apple or Android device.

I usually just take a picture of the document but this article shows some other ways to get a “scan” right from your phone.

Run Malwarebytes Alongside Your Antivirus
Running antivirus is still important, but these days the really active threats are from spyware, adware, crapware, and the worst of all: ransomware. That’s where Malwarebytes comes in. Malwarebytes not only protects your computer from malware but does a better job of cleaning up an infected computer than anything else on the market.

As you know Malwarebytes is one of the tools I suggest you run along with CCleaner, Supereantispyeare, and Glary Utilities. For antivirus, I opt for the one the is part of Windows 10--Windows Security (AKA Defender)

How to Physically Clean Your Laptop
When was the last time you cleaned your laptop? Yeah, we thought so. This simple computer maintenance task doesn't just get rid of accumulated dirt and dust--it keeps your laptop running in tip-top shape.

A good article on what you should and shouldn’t use to clean the keyboard and the screen. I find a wide paintbrush is useful for getting dust and whatever our between the keys. My thought is that a clean laptop runs better than a dirty one.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Computer Club Notes 12-17-2019

on the desktop contain an arrow in the lower-left corner. They are pointers to the actual file, in this case, the opening of the program Glary Utilities. Deleting the shortcut does NOT remove the program. Icons that do not have an arrow are actual files. Delete them and they are gone. Think of the shortcuts as sticky notes; they point to the location fo the actual file or program.

Create Shortcuts
Right-click on any file or folder and select create a shortcut. For example, right-click on the Downloads folder to place a shortcut on the desktop for quick access to it.

Check audio
When your speakers or microphone are not operating you might check the settings area by click Win+I > System > Sound

From there you can check the speakers, select other speakers, adjust sound levels, and check your microphone.

Convert HEIF to JPEG
Some of the newer cameras are creating .heif file instead of .jpg or .jpeg while many programs do not accept the new format. This is one online service that will convert the new format to the older one.

How to show multiple windows
The windows must be in restore size (NOT full screen). Point with your mouse at the title bar (top of the window) and drag the window to the far right. Then drag the other windows to the far left. You now see both windows side by side.

You can also right-click on the taskbar and select one of pop up options.

Set default search engine

Each browser defaults to a particular search engine. For example, Chrome defaults to Google, Edge defaults to Bing, etc. In Chrome, click the menu button (3 dots), then choose Settings. From the list of items on the left, select a Search engine and choose the one you want as default. Work in a similar fashion in all browsers.

Eject CD drawer

The button on the DVD/CD drawer is not always easy to press to open the drawer. Instead, open File Explorer (Win+E), then right-click on the icon for the DVD/CD under My PC. Choose Eject and the drawer will open.


Just open and follow the prompts. I have been using it for over a year and receive very ffew of those annoying calls.

Remove “people” from the taskbar

Right-click the taskbar and uncheck Show people…
To check the Charlotte County Appraiser site for data on anyone’s property and tax payment status. Click Record search > Real property and type in your search parameters. The less you enter the better. Last name first name with no comma.

Use to check on the value of any property in the USA.

How to make oneself invisible… I did not know the answer so we Googled it. Here was what we found.

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts greatly enhance your productivity and save you a whole lot of time. Instead of pointing and clicking with the touchpad or external mouse, you can keep your hands on the keyboard and simply press combinations of keys on to get things done.

We have talked about many of these and I use them every day. One I use often that is not on this list is Shift+Win+S which allows me to easily grab a piece of the screen and place it in the clipboard.

Phone Number Validator
Free phone validation--Is it a cell phone or is it a landline?

Validate phone numbers here to identify phone line type and possible phone company!

There are many other sites that do this exact same thing. When this one gives you the results it then asks if you want more details. If you say yes it scans all the public databases and then offers to show you the results for a fee.

Thunderbolt 3 vs. USB-C
Newer laptops often come loaded with a port that accepts a reversible plug and supports very fast transfer speeds. Do you know what it is? If you guessed the Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1 port, you’re right, and therein lies the problem. Both data transfer protocols use the same connector, but their potential uses vary.

Essentially the coming new port will be sending data to another device at speeds up to 40GB/sec!

How To Create Your Own Internet Meme
An Internet meme, more commonly known as simply a meme ((/miːm/ MEEM) is a piece of media, traditionally combining image macros with a concept or catchphrase, which is spread from person to person via the Internet. Here is how to create your own.

These are the pictures with words added to them you see on Facebook.

Family Tree Now

Research your family tree and genealogy for free! If you want more details it will scan all public databases for a fee.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Computer Class Update 12-10-2019

We will be back in Florida on the 11th and will be at the club this coming Tuesday. It will be the only class until 2020 as Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both fall on a Tuesday. I will be at the club both days but the Cultural Center is closing early.

Here are a few things you might like before we get to the actual class dates.

Change Case In Google Docs
When writing I find the need to change the case of words or groups of words. This can be done one at a time but I have been used to being able to select a dropdown list in Word.

I would select the words and on the Home tab, in the Font group, and pull down the change case dropdown list. I was looking for a way to do it in Google Docs as this is my word processing program of choice now.

In your document, select the words you want to change.

From the Format tab, choose Text > Capitalization and then choose one of three options--lower case, UPPER CASE, or Title Case.

This works great but there is an Add-on that gives you more options.

Select Add-ons > Get add-ons

In the search box, type Change Case, then open the Change Case add-on to add it to your Google Docs Add-ons list.

Select the words you want to change. From the Add-ons tab, click Change Case and then choose one of six options.

Although there is a way to change case in Google Docs from lower to upper to title case, there is no way to perform other case changes. I hope this add-on will prove useful to you as it has for me. Another tool for the toolbox


Ways to Reuse an Old Router
If your ISP has sent you a new router, or you simply fancy upgrading your current router, you’ll run into a problem. What should you do with the old router?

If you don’t have an old router to use, grab one at the free table at the next general meeting might. These are some good ideas and some of you will find them useful. I especially like using an old router to extend the range of my WiFi and for a unique WiFi SSID for guests to use at my house.


How to Download Anything on the Web for Free
There are lots of useful things online that aren’t easy to download. Photos, music, videos, maps, and other exciting content don’t come with a download button. It’s also possible they’re no longer free or they may be gone from the web altogether.

There are some good ideas in this article. Check out what looks useful to you. And these are not the only places for free stuff on the web.


Online Media Cropper
Croppio is the easiest way to crop and cut media files online. Upload a file or drag and drop it into the upload box, set the desired area and then download it for free. This is a simple free online tool, there is no need to install any additional software to your computer because you already have the right of the box an online media cropper. And it does lots more…

There are many ways and we have discussed a number of them to edit and crop and resize images. This one looks pretty good and it is all online.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Computer Class Update 12-6-2019

Thanks for voting last Tuesday. I am happy to be still on the board of directors and very happy to have Grover continuing as our club president.

Sherri and I are leaving on the 10th, to head back to Florida. We will be glad to return to the warmer temperatures and to all our friends and family in the Port Charlotte area.

It was Sherri’s birthday last Friday and she purchased a truck from her birth father that had been her grandfathers. It is a 1963 Chevy C10 truck. It needs a lot of work and will be a project for a few years to come for us--mostly her. It will stay at our Kentucky home.

I taught a technology class last week here in Monticello at the pubic library. In addition, I have worked on a number of computers here and over the phone/internet as you can imagine. Be glad to get back to my “Tuesdays” at the club and the other places I volunteer and teach.

Here are a few things I thought you might like to check out.

Caps Lock Warning
By Dick Evans,

Have you ever pressed the Caps Lock key instead of Shift and found yourself typing in all caps? This has happened many a time for me. This little trick that I have been using for a long time adds a tone when you press it and a different tone when you press it again. It is very easy to setup.

As far back as Windows 95, if I remember correctly, I have used Toggle Keys to warn me when I have pressed the Caps Lock key on and The Num Lock key off. It is a feature that has been available through many operating system upgrades but little is said about it.

I used to get to it in the Control Panel > Ease of access… Now it is accessed in Windows 10 by pressing Win+I to open Windows Settings.

In the search box, type ease and then click the first result, Ease of Access keyboard settings.

Scroll down to locate Use Toggle Keys and turn on the Play a sound… option.

Now, whenever you tap the Caps Lock key or the Num Lock key. A high pitch warns you that the key has been turned on; low pitch off.


Fake Email Generator
By Dick Evans,

How often are we required to enter an email address before getting into a site or maybe to download a white paper or an ebook? We think nothing of it, just a door to go through to obtain what we were going after.

Then we start getting all kinds of unwanted emails. This site allows you to create a fake email address that really works. Use the fake address when you sign up for something. You can check back and read the emails you are getting at the fake address and if you decide you really want them, change the fake address to your real one for that site.

As soon as you access the site, you are shown an email address generated by the site. You may change the name to whatever you want. I changed it to rwe1953.

You may pull down the arrow to choose a different domain that may be closer to your location from the drop-down list. You cannot make one up.

Once you have settled on the address press COPY to place the entire address to the clipboard.

Send an email to that address to verify it actually works.

The email you sent appears in the Fake Mail site.

Anyone that knows your temporary email address can access the emails sent to that address. However, email addresses are automatically deactivated 24 hours after the last time someone has checked for mail at that address.

Email sent to inactive email addresses is automatically rejected. To keep your email address active, visit Fake Mail Generator at least once every 24 hours. Any email received by an active email address will be stored for 24 hours. After 24 hours it will be permanently deleted.


The 12 Best TV Antennas of 2019
If you live in an area with poor signal reception but don’t have the will or means to install an outdoor antenna you should look into installing an Antenna with an amplifier that broadens the reception range to 50 miles.

I have not tried the ones listed in this article but have used a $9.99 set of rabbit ears (remember them?) here in Port Charlotte to receive over 20 channels. That coupled with Netflix gets me all I need.


Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts
Learning how to use Gmail shortcuts can save you a lot of time and boost your overall email productivity. Here are the 30 best Gmail shortcuts for 2019 broken down by category.

I like shortcuts, as you have probably seen in my many demonstrations. You don’t need to use them all but might find some very useful.


Understanding Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is a wireless networking protocol that allows devices to communicate without direct cable connections. It's technically an industry term that represents a type of wireless local area network protocol based on the 802.11 IEEE network standard.

This is a subject many are confused by. I hope this article answers a few questions. WiFi is here to stay for a while and a better understanding of it may quite some frustrations.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Computer Club Update 12-2-2019

Another week away and very cold. In the low 30’s this morning. We are visiting friends in Cadiz, KY for a couple of days. Our dog, Lady Evans, is with us. We are about five hours west of our home in Monticello, KY. Even though we see some cooler weather in Port Charlotte, we still envy you and will be happy to return to warmth next week.

Remember the general meeting might tomorrow evening. 6:00 pm for the election of officers and board members. 7:00 pm for the party! Please cast your vote for me as a board member. If I were present I would cast my vote for Grover as president. He has done a great job and I would like to see him continue.

Here are a few of the articles I have been reading you might be interested in. Give some a try and let me know how they work for you. Remember you can find all my articles on Dave’s at

How To Clear Google Chrome Download History
I’m betting that all us have download something from the internet before; a game, software, image or even video. Did you know that your browser saves those downloads in a separate History? Yep, there is a download history page that you might want to take a look at. This is something I clear out on my Google browser all the time.

Note: This history cleaning does occur with CCleaner

The Best Three Antivirus Apps for Windows
Offered pre-installed on all Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 devices, Microsoft’s Windows Defender has remained a top security product, offering nearly the same protection as the leading third-party solutions.

Note: The only one I use is Windows Security (AKA Defender)

AdwCleaner 8.0.0 is out
Malwarebytes released AdwCleaner 8.0.0, a free tool to remove adware and potentially unwanted programs, from Windows devices on November 26, 2019. AdwCleaner 8 supports Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 officially. The new version can be downloaded from the developer website and run without installation after the download.

Note: I use this in addition to the maintenance trio we use

How to access Advanced Options
If you wanted to access the advanced boot options in Windows 7, all you had to do was press F8 on the keyboard during boot to load the boot menu.

Note: I use Shift+Restart and have written an article on it on Dave’s

How to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7
You can upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 using the in-place upgrade option without losing your files, instead of having to wipe out your device clean. You can perform this task using the Media Creation Tool, which is not only available for Windows 7, but also for devices running Windows 8.1.

Note: If you really like 7, keep it. See my article on Dave’s