Sunday, November 9, 2014

Class Summary 11-6-2014

We talked about backing up your computer. You can easily backup files including your images or pictures to CD or DVD. However, the number of items you can save that way is limited to the size of the CD or DVD. CDs only store 700mb of data. DVDs store a few gigabytes, but that is not much when I comes to home much you have stored on your PC. If you want to know how much space your stuff takes on your hard disk drive open Windows Explorer (Win+E) and open the C: drive and then open the Users folder. Locate your folder (you username) and right-click. Then click Properties. In a few moments it will tell you how many file you have and what the total size is.

As you can see by my example, on this PC I need a 36.1 GB storage device to hold all that is associated with me. That is more than a few DVD discs. Even a reasonable sized flash drive or USB drive is too small to fit all the data. The best device for backing up your stuff is a portable hard drive and they can be had for less than $100 in sizes of 1-2 TB—more than enough for my 36.1 GB.
But, instead of just copying my folder to that new drive, I would rather create an image of the entire drive. That way, if the hard drive failed I would not only have all my data backed up. I would have an exact image of the entire drive including the OS and all the programs and key code I had installed on it. Hard drive crash? Get a new one and use the image backed up on the external drive to restore it.
I use EaseUS to make my images and have had to use them to restore a couple of times. The club has been experimenting with another one I just heard about and will have to try for myself. It is called Macrium. Download it at You can find EaseUS at

There also are many cloud backup services and storage available for you to use. I use Dropbox to store data and images. I also use Mozy to automatically backup file daily. There are class notes on using each of these. Sites like Windows Live, Google, Amazon and many others offer free storage and you can use them like an additional hard drive by dragging files to and from. Here are some links:

Backup in the Cloud; use code GFBU22
I was asked about using a password manager program. I do not use one and just keep an encrypted notepad file on my desktop. I use locknote as my notepad program to do that. Once created the only way in to view it is by knowing the password to get in. If I were to use a password manager I believe lastpass is a popular one to use. Here are some links:
Was asked how to create a shortcut of a file onto the desktop. Locate the file or icon and right-click, choose Create shortcut. Another method is to right drag the file to the desktop. Release the button and choose Create shortcut from the pop up option menu.
When you browse the Internet all the sites you visit are stored in history. When you begin to type an address in the browser address bar it uses that list to help you by filling in the letters you have yet to type. Sometimes this causes you to go where you did not want to go. You can remove the history in your browser easily by clicking on the tools button (gear in IE, 3 dashes in FF and Chrome) or Ctrl+H. You will see a list of all your history and be able to clear it. You can set your browser in Internet Options to clear after every session. If you have a need to secretly browse each browser has an incognito option. In Chrome it is Shift+Ctrl+N. Anything done in this window will not be saved unless you download files. They will be saved.
Then we talked about signing on to someone else’s computer to help them or to have them sign on to help us. Teamviewer is a popular one as is LogMeIn. I have found to be very useful. It is free to use and easy to navigate. Links:

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