Friday, May 30, 2014

Class Summary 5-29-2014

This was another open forum or in other words a place form members to come and ask any questions and we find the answers as best we can. We each learn as we delve into different aspects of using our computers in whatever version of Windows you happen to have.

This week we discussed where things go when you download them form the Internet. We often get attachments from others in emails and they go into our computer's hard drive. When we search for programs to add to our system, we download the install programs. Where do they go? Unless you have changed the default location, they end up in a folder called Downloads:

If you are on Windows 8.1, the folder is under This PC. On an older PC it will still be called Downloads but may be under My Computer instead.

Typically a downloaded program will start when the download finishes. If not, or if you want to see those files that were attached to an email you have to locate the Downloads folder and then the file you just added to your PC. Double-click it and it should open.

Is there any reason to keep all the items in Downloads? Not really. Once you have used the file, you may never need to use it again. If it was a picture or a document you do need, you should move it to a more permanent location like Documents or Pictures. If it was an install application, like CCleaner, once you install it there is no reason to keep it. You can download it again at any time. However, if you purchased an application like QuickBooks, Hallmark Card Studio, or some other application you had to pay for I would keep it or at least burn it to a CD in case I had to install it again. After a short time, the software cannot be re-downloaded without paying for it again.

Another question was in regard to hard disk drives. How do we know when they are wearing out? A good clue is when it takes a long time to access anything on it and you see the hard disk access light blinking on and off. Another is when it takes a very long time to boot the system sometimes and other times it seems to boot right up. Could be having issues with reading from some areas of the drive.

If you download and run Defraggler from the same company CCleaner is from,, one of the options is to view the Health of the drive:

You can get a pretty good feel for the use and errors occurring on the drive. As the errors increase it might be a good time to replace the drive.

Someone else asked about downloading videos from YouTube. This cannot be done from the YouTube site. You need to download an application to do it. When searching for programs to download a safe site I used is There are many applications to choose from and three basic types, free, free to try, and pay for. The YouTube Downloader I ended up with was called Free YouTube Downloader:

To use it access the video on YouTube you want to put on your computer and copy the URL. Then paste it into the box by clicking the Paste button. Then click either the Download Video or if you want the audio only click that button. When it finishes you have the video (or audio) on your computer.

Now the question came up as to how to get that video to someone else. Well you could send them the file, but that would take a lot of time and bandwidth. Why not just give them a link to the video on YouTube? Just copy and paste the link, the URL, from the video on facebook. Here is the link to a video of my wife on YouTube. I just copied it from the YouTube screen while it was playing.

I can put that in an email or even in a document that I am attaching to an email. The recipient just has to click on the link to open the video on their computer.

Some noticed that when I hit the CapsLock key my computer beeped. This warns me that I did so and if I did not mean to do that, I tap it again (another beep occurs) and I am back to normal typing. Do make this happen I went to Control Panel > Ease of Access Center > Make the keyboard easier to use

Then I checked the Turn on Toggle Keys box and clicked the Apply button to activate it.

Then we had a Microsoft Word question about how to apply French accents on words. We came across this YouTube video with an easy way to do it

Then we looked at how to set the Home screen on your browser. This is the site that appears when you open your browser. It works a little different depending on which browser you are using. In Google Chrome click the tools button (three horizontal lines in the top right of the window) then click Settings.

Under On startup click Set pages

Add the URLs for the sites you want opened when Chrome starts.

Internet Explorer is a little different. Click the picture of the gear in the upper right corner, then select Internet Options

Like with Chrome, enter the URLs you and opened at startup and click the Start with home page radio button. Then click Apply.

How do we get to display our pictures that are on our PC on our TV screen? If your computer has an HDMI port and your TV also has one, you can use a Male-Male cable to connect the two devices and use the TV as a second monitor. Another approach is to purchase a ChromeCast device to plug into your TV set's HDMI port. After installing an app on your Google Chrome Browser everything you see on your PC can be broadcast through your WiFi connection to your TV set. Works neat and only requires a one time cost of $35 for the device. If you have a Roku box, you can access your Facebook pictures, YouTube videos, Flckr photos and more. This is a one time cost of $49-99 depending on the device you choose. No PC required.

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