Thursday, October 23, 2014

Class Summary 10-23-2014

Today was all questions and answers. After discussing what a UNICODE is all about and it is a programming code that means a letter or number or special character. Not really something most of us have to know about or use. The programs we use do. So then we took a look at to create a picture of words. Click the Create tab and give it a try.

The sendto option on a right-click pops up a menu of programs or folders to send what you right-clicked on to. You can modify and add to that popup by opening the Run box (Win + R) and typing shell:sendto. It open a hidden folder in Windows Explorer. Right drag items into it and select Create Shortcut. Be careful left dragging as you may move an entire folder instead of making a shortcut.

Then we looked at adding a link to a web site in an email. Open the site you want to add as a link and Ctrl+L to jump to the address bar with the address (URL) selected.. Ctrl+C to copy it. Then go to the email you are composing and Ctrl+V or right-click > Paste and the link will be created. Also talked about using to convert a long address into a short one.

Can we tell who opened an email we send? Not with regular email. I use to send the club emails. It has a database of my email addresses and names. When I send my emails this way they each receive an individual email with their name in it. Later I can review a report of how many emails were read, who opened them, and who clicked on a link I included in the email. This is a free service. is a nice program that makes it easy to select what you want to print. For example when I get my bank statements by email there are extra pages within with advertisements or instructions, All I want to print is the details. iPrint intercepts the printing and allows me to be selective as to which pages to print as well as having other features. Check it out.

The difference between posting on someones Facebook page and send them a Message in Facebook is who gets to see the information. Post can be seen by everyone your friend allows. Message is private between you and your friend and cannot be shared.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Class Summary 10-9-2014

We started with questions about Netflix. I use it all the time for my “television” watching. I cannot see the current seasons shows, but I can see the last season of many shows. It is nice watching the entire episode with no commercials. I can watch them one after another nonstop if I want to or one or two in an evening. A one hour show on regular TV runs about 42 minutes without commercials.

How do you see them? You can watch them right on your computer or using a newer TV with Netflix built in. I have an older set and use a Roku box (see

If your PC has an HDMI port you can connect your TV set as an external monitor and watch your computer on the BIG screen. Another approach is to purchase a Google Chromecast device that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and links to your PC via your WiFi network in your house.

You can also watch from a library thousands of movies, old and current. To view the latest releases you do have to sign up for their DVD package and get them shipped free to you as DVDs.

Someone asked about watching live TV on the computer. Cannot do it live as far as I know, but most networks will give you the option of watching many popular shows the next day or so off their web site. And without all those commercials. So if you are into current series and miss one this is a good way to catch up. I just wait for them when they come out on Netflix.

How do we check our Internet connection speed to see what we are getting? I use a site called Wait for the BEGIN TEST button to appear on the picture of the laptop. DO NOT click any of the other buttons or you will download stuff you may not want. After a short while you will see the results: Ping, Download Speed, and Upload Speed. The ping is the time it took for a request from your computer to get to the Internet server and back to your PC. Mine runs around 29 ms.  Your download and upload speeds should be what you are paying for. Mine runs 3.59 Mbps down and .91 Mbps up. Mbps stands for megabits per second and it takes 8 bits to make a byte which stores 1 character of data like the letter A. I am paying for 3 Mbps and it is fast enough for streaming movies and doing Internet browsing and downloading software. Upload speed is always a lot slower, but we upload very little. Most of our activity is getting things down from the Internet.

Next we gave a quick demonstration of using eBay to purchase things and to check the value of things. There have been a few classes in the past about eBay and selling things on it. Check back in the class notes for those handouts. We also talked about using PayPal and that you do not need an account to pay for something using it. When you give them your credit card or bank account information it stays at PayPal. The person you are buying from never see it. They get their money from PayPal.

I demonstrated a free word processor I have been using called AbiWord. Works great and is a small program. Has many of the features found in expensive programs such as Word. Yes, it has a spell checker and will read and write Word (.doc and .docx) files. You can download it at:

I was asked how to get a program from an older computer to a new one when you do not have the original CD. Some can be directly copied from the old to a USB flash drive and then up to the new computer. I suggest finding the Program Files folder and in it the folder containing the program you want to move. Save the entire folder to the flash drive. Then copy it up to the new computer in it’s Program Files folder. Then locate the program within that folder and double-click it to see if it will run. If it runs, you can then create a shortcut to it on your desktop.

If not, remove the folder. Try a program like PCmover (not a free program) that claims to be able to move a program from one PC to another. I have not tried it myself, but I understand it works well and even moves some XP programs to PC with a newer OS.

Find out more about it at:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Class Summary 10-2-2014

Thanks to Ron, there was a great hands on demonstration on using EaseUS ToDo backup. Ron backed up an edtire hard drive, installed an empty drive replacing the backed up one, and then used the backup file to restore the system to the new drive. This simulated recovering from a hard drive crash.

I took the second half of the class and we discussed a number of topics. Here is what I remember:

Member going overseas and wondering how to get into email when in another country. The Internet is global. It does not matter where we are located as long as we have a connection. The way to access all our websites including our email is the same as if we were home. So if you go to or or our or the address would be the same whereever you find yourself.

We then looked at Facebook to see how to change notifications so they are not automatically send to our email. On our page we pull down the arrow in the upper right of our screen and choose Settings. Then on the left we select Notifications. On the top of the list is a section called How You Get Notifications. I chose not to receive any by email.

Then we descussed the difference between posting to someones page as apposed to messaging them. Everyone they are friends with and sometimes the public can see what you post on their page. Only them can see what you put in a message. Simply put, Post is public and messaging is private.

When you setup gmail you have the option of adding your other emails like AOL or Yahoo, etc. You give Google your credentials (user name and password) for each and gmail is set to fetch your mail from those services. Another method is to go to your email service like Yahoo and set it to auto forward all you received mail to your gmail or another service.

If you use the new Outlook that comes with Windows 8.x you can set it to fetch as well and it sets up individual inboxes for each service you use, You can do the same with a free application called Thunderbird

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Florida may have money for you

An email was sent to my spam folder. I checked it out and it was legitimate. Check it out. You may have some forgotten money or perhaps one of your relatives.

The New Windows

So, was Windows 8 the new Vista? Probably. Will Windows 9 be the new 7? Hopefully!

This comes from another article on the soon to come  WIndow 9, thanks to Paul & Kathy for sending the link:

And another couple of links from Faith:

But the new name is Windows 10

How to make Windows 8 like Windows 10