Monday, September 29, 2014

More Windows 9 News

Thank to Faith here is another article on what may be coming in the near future. One good thing for all of us with Windows 8. We get Windows 9 for free.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Making Custom Maps

Thanks once again to Faith Hall for pointing us to a great article. This one is all about using Google Maps to map it your way.

Ever have your own route in mind and Google Maps just doesn't send you that way? Maybe you have some people you want to visit along the way. Well, use this tip to tell Google Maps where all your stops are and it does the mapping your way!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Class Summary 9-25-2014

We talked about what to do with that old XP machine. Microsoft is no longer supporting it. If you just want to use it for playing some games you like or doing so word processing or spreadsheet work or printing some greeting cards, or something else you cannot install on your new Windows 8.x machine it should be fine to keep using it. Just UNPLUG IT FROM THE INTERNET CONNECTION which might mean turn off the wireless connection if it was using WiFi to connect.

If you want to use the internet, stay away from IE and Chrome. Neither are supported now. Also remove MSE for your anti-virus and install Avast or Avira. I believe they are still supporting XP.

Or you can take a look at a Linux OS which is free and does not need an antivirus program. I suggest using Lubuntu as it is a pretty good substitute for XP. HOWEVER it is not Windows and will not run your old software. When you install it you have two choices. One is to wipe the hard drive thus removing all your data and XP and the other option is to install Lubuntu alongside XP. This is the best option as you can boot to Lubuntu to use the internet safely and then boot to XP to run everything else.

Find it at

Had a printer question. Just got a new computer and want to use my old printer, the one that was connected to my XP or Vista or Windows 7 computer. I can’t find my CD that came with the printer or I have the CD but it does not include Windows 8.

Yes, you need drivers installed on your new computer so it will recognize and “talk” to your old printer. Best place to get them is at the printer manufacturer web site. For example, if the printer is an HP, go to and scroll down to the bottom and click on Download Drivers. Key in your product name such as Deskjet 1050 and follow the prompts. If your new operating system is not on the list then drivers are not available for it. You can always try Windows 7 drivers and see if they will work with 8 or 8.1.

Demonstrated eBay and PayPal along with a discussion of using both. See previous training sessions on both topics under Class Notes.

Used to download and install Adobe Reader and PDF writer. Explained what a PDF or Portable Document File is and created a PDF using the PDF Writer “printer” and then looked at the resulting file using Adobe reader.

Explained to the new Windows 8 and 8.1 user how to get their Start Button back just like Windows 7 b using Classic Shell. Find it at Ninite or directly at This is a must have as far as I am concerned. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Image Resizer

The image resizer I used in the past does not work with Windows 8.1 so I did some research and found another that works well. It will resize one or a group of images all at once. And it will either replace the original or make a copy. See some screen shots and download it at:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Free Online Learning

One of our members, Robert Zimmer just reminded me of a great site for free learning.

Check it out at

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Class Summary 9-18-2014

Spent the first hour networking two computers. One was Windows 7 and the other Windows 8.1. Had a printer attached to the Windows 8.1 machine. Used two projectors so everyone could see both screens as we walked through the setup.

A complete 11 page document can be found on Class Notes (see above link). But here is a quick version:

  1. On one machine open Control Panel and select Homegroup
  2. Click Create Homegroup
  3. Change the password so something you can remember or write down the one Microsoft generated for you.
  4. On the second machine open Control Panel and select Homegroup
  5. Click Join Homegroup
  6. Open File Explorer and notice the Homegroup link on the left. You can not access the folders you shared during the setup by clicking on the computer icon
  7. To share the printer, open Devices and Printers and right-click the printer and choose Share
  8. The printer will now appear under Devices and Printers on the other computer
We answered a number of questions and demonstrated using Glary and looked at how to get software using Also burned a boot CD with the Lubuntu OS and demonstrated using it. It is a good replacement for XP.

Paying your water bill

I was wrong. If you set up electronic bill pay with CCU there is a service charge of $3.95 to use it each month! That it a 10-15% addon to my bill! Here is what their website states:

Quick Pay provided by Billtrust
You can make a one-time payment without enrolling in eBill using your Visa card, Master Card, Discover card, checking or savings account. Billtrust charges a convenience fee of $3.95 to use this service.

Guess I will mail the bill or pay it online each month to avoid the extra charges.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Atlantis Another Word Processor

This one is pretty quick and works with XP through 8.1. Free to try, $35 to register. Download Atlantis at cNet and give it a try. If you do not have Microsoft Word but are used to using it, this might be a good one to use.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Class Summary 9-11-2014

Had a two hour lesson on browsers with demonstrations of the three major browsers -- Internet Explorer or IE, Firefox or FF, and Google Chrome or GC. Full details can be found in the class notes by clicking the Class Notes link above.

We fielded some questions before, during, and after class. One was about the being able to view two Word documents on the screen at the same time. This is hard to notice as when you open a second document it opens in the same Word window. However, in the upper right you will see two, not just one set of minimize, restore, and close buttons. the lower set is smaller and will cause the current document to be minimized or  restored (made smaller). Do that with both open documents and you can view both at the same time within Word.

It was mentioned in class that gMail accounts had been hacked. Here is an article that speaks to that issue:

And here is the link to a site that will tell you if you email address has been hacked:

Here is another site:

And another:

Use your PC as a router

Nice article on using your PC as a router and using your smartphone as the modem. This is a good eNewsletter to subscribe to. I have been receiving it for years.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Clipboard and More

Have answered a number of questions over the pat few week and I thought these might be of interest to others:

Q: When in AOL, I put something on my clipboard. It had problems running on AOL so I and I went to Google to try it, and I couldn't figure out how to access my clipboard from Google

A: When you copy something to the clipboard it stays there until you copy something else or turn off the PC. Just open another application and paste. (Ctrl+V) what you copied should show up.

It is possible the AOL works a little different. Sometimes Right-click + Copy works within an application but does not save it to the Windows clipboard. If that was what you did try using Ctrl+C instead.

Q: I have a simple question that you taught once before but I forgot the answer. How do you use the Print Screen key? Did you have to copy the screen to the clipboard??

A: When you press Print Screen whatever is on the screen is copied to the clipboard as an image. You can then open any program and Paste it. Like perhaps the Paint program or even a Word document.

Q: I just downloaded Libreoffice and now all my hundreds of documents in MS (Excel and Word) start up in Libreoffice.  I don't want them to do that.  Is this fixable or do I have to uninstall Libreoffice?

A: Open Windows Explorer and locate one of your word files and right-click on it. Then choose open-with. Make sure the checkmark is in the box to use this for all docx files and then click the icon for word. Do the same for your Excel files and your doc files.