Thursday, December 17, 2015

Class Summary 12-17-2015

We started with some good news for those who have a OneDrive with more than 5gb of space. Microsoft, as of January 2016, will be reducing everyone's space to 5gb. However they have a website that will let you keep what you currently have if you opt in. Here is the site. I already did and will keep my 40gb of space.

One of the issues some have with Google Chrome is that it has a number of things running in the background even after you close out of it. However, there is a setting you can change to tell Chrome to shut down those background tasks. It is under Settings > Advanced Settings:

Uncheck the first checkbox to NOT continue running background apps…

Then we looked at which allows you to run applicaitons like Libre Office online and not have it installed on your computer. Check it out at:

Discussed converting a PDF into an editable document. Word 2013 and 2016 claim to do that and in some cases it works well. In other cases you end up with images and not editable pages. An OCR (optical character recognition) program will read an image file and turn it into text. However the text will need to be formatted to match the original if that is what you need. You can use one of these programs to scan a document and place the results into a useable format like a Word DOC file. has a list of possible apps to use

Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 all come with Defender as a free anti-virus program. If your PC came with something pre-loaded, Defender is turned off. If you uninstall your current anti-virus program like Norton, McAfee, AVG, etc, you need to make sure Defender is on and updated.

To check on Defender, in the box to the right of the Start Button, type Defender.

Click to open it.

Click Settings

Make sure both switches are set to On. If not, click to turn each on.

I was asked what tablet I would recommend. The first thing needed is a reason for getting one. A tablet needs a WiFi connection to work on the internet, but not to use the applications already installed. They are larger than a smartphone and usually can do everything a smartphone can do except use it to make calls on a cell phone carrier. They do not usually have external keyboards although some include them and if they have bluetooth there are bluetooth keyboards you can get that will work. I would not suggest a tablet if you are planning on a lot of word processing. The on screen keyboard works well for me, but they may not work for you. Long story short, I recommend an android tablet. I recently ordered the $49.99 one from Amazon and it works very well. It does all that I need it to do. I can get email, access websites, read Kindle books and others, use Facebook, and much much more. It even had front and rear cameras and unlimited storage of them in the Amazon cloud. Here is a link to their ad.

Lot of additional discussions including a talk about what the different sizes meant:

A byte holds 1 character of data
A kb is 1,000 bytes
A mb is 1,000 kb or 1,000,000 bytes
A gb is 1,000 mb or 1,000,000,000 bytes
A tb is 1,000 gb or 1,000,000,000,000 bytes

Computer memory (RAM) is typically 2-4gb

Hard disk storage on newer machines is 500gb, 750gb, or 1tb

Portable or external hard drives are now 1tb, 2tb, or 3tb

Friday, December 11, 2015

Class Summary 12-10-2015

Another lively class today with over a dozen in attendance. One class left for this year, 12-17-2015 as there will be no classes on Christmas Eve day or New Year’s Eve day. The first class for next year will be January 7, 2016. And before that is the first Club Meeting of the New Year on January 5th.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Check out my card to you all at

We looked at couple of quick sites:

Invite someone to a party or whatever. Keeps track of who is attending and sends reminders and keeps track of who is bringing what. All for free.

The way it was lets you view an archive of a web site going back to 1999

We talked about the latest windows 10 update. Most have not gotten it. Some who have find it working well and a few have had some issues with it. We talked about setting your update setting to defer updates and also to set your internet connection to a metered connection so update to not even come down unless you request them.

To setup a metered connect go to Settings > Network and Internet > Manage WiFi Settings

Turn the metered connection ON and updates will not download. Turn the switch to OFF and then updates will resume.This is also good if you are connected to the Internet using your phone as a hotspot or are paying for a hotspot device from your phone carrier.

Having to enter a password every time you start your computer can be a bother. You can avoide that by having it automatically entered for you. Win+R to open the Run dialog box and enter NETPLWIZ, then OK.

Uncheck the box and click Apply

Then enter your current password and both boxes and press OK. Next time you turn you PC on it will enter the password for you and take you right to the desktop. IMPORTANT that you remember your password. Write it down somewhere so if you need it to log into your Microsoft account you will have it.

Windows 10 an icon in the taskbar for Edge, their new browser. Internet Explorer is nowhere to be found, but it is still on your system. Here is how to locate it and place it on your taskbar.

In the Search Windows box (to the right of the start button), type INT

Now you should see Internet Explorer as an option. Click it and IE will open up for you.

Right-click and choose Pin to taskbar to place an icon for IE on your taskbar for easy access. Or Pin to Start to create a tile for it in your start menu.

Windows 10 does not come with software to play DVD movies. VLC is a free program that will to the job very well. Download it at or directly from their site at

QuickTextPaste is a tiny text pasting program for Windows. It lets you assign shortcut keys to strings of text and more. See details at:

One member mentioned that her new computer does not have a CD/DVD drive. What if she needed to use one? There are portable CD/DVD drives that plug into a USB port that are inexpensive. Here is one from Amazon:

Spent some time talking about avoiding email scams. Do not assume that if it came from someone you know it must be ok to open. Email scammers can make the from email address look like anyone they want. If you are receiving an email from your bank, insurance agency, or credit card company they will address you by name. They will not send you a dear customer email. If in doubt, do not click any links on the email and call the company on the phone using a number to obtain from your credit card or their web site. Do not call the number on the email as it may not be a legitimate number. Look at the from address. Does it appear legit? Mouse over links without clicking and observe in the lower left of your browser the address the link will take you to. Never reply to an email that is going to give you free money.

Remote desktop

We played with this one. I installed the small file on my PC and a member installed it on hers. She gave me the code it generated for her and I entered it on my PC and right away I could view her desktop and after she gave me permission, I could control her PC and run anything on it. This works like Logmein,, and Teamviewer. I think it is easier to use, but I will have to try it in a live situation to know for sure how it works for me.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Class Summary 12-3-2015

Reminded everyone of the Fall Update for Windows 10 that is coming down. It is a 3gb update so it will take a while for you to receive it. When you do get it, you will be asked to install it. Before you do make sure your computer is on and connected. I suggest having it run in the nighttime so it will be done when you awake. Also, it might be a good idea to do a back first.

If you want to see what version you currently are running--the current build, Press Windows+R to open the Run dialog box. Type WINVER and press Enter. When you have completed the Fall Update the build will be 1511.

I ran into some issues using Microsoft Movie Maker this morning. When I ran it my sound stopped working. I had to reboot to get it back. Turns out that program needed to be run in compatibilty mode. In other words Windows has to be fooled to think it is an older version. To do so you need to locate the .exe file for the program, right-click and choose Properties.

Click the Compatability tab. Check the Run this program… box and then choose the OS needed. In my case that was Windows 7. If the program you need to run this way ran fine under 7, choose 7. Otherwise choose an older version--all the way back to Windows 95! Might be good for running old games that no longer work under 10.

I was asked about organizing bookmarks. In the address bar of Chrome enter chrome://bookmarks/ This will open the bookmark manager in Google Chrome. If you are using a different browser there are ways to get to its bookmark manager as well and it will work similarly.

Click the folder your want to add a folder to, then right-click and Add folder.

Name the folder

Open the folder that has the files you want to add to your new folder. Then point and drag each file or group of files to the new folder. Can also use Cut and Paste.

Then we looked at how to remove the login password in Windows 8-10. Here is a copy what it says on

If you don't want to enter your password every time you sign in, you can create other sign-in options to use with your account, like a picture password or a PIN. If your PC has a fingerprint scanner, you can also sign in with a fingerprint. (Whichever sign-in option you choose, you still need a "regular" password in place to use a Microsoft account.)

Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.

(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

Enter sign, and then tap or click Change sign-in options.

Choose the sign-in option you'd like to use, and then follow the instructions.

You can also change password policy so that you don't need to enter your password each time you wake the PC from sleep. On the Sign-in options page, under Password policy, tap or click Change, and follow the instructions.

I demonstrated a website where you can test an email address to be sure it is a valid address:tools

Then we looked at the answer to a question that was raised the other night at the club meeting: How To Disable or Stop Desktop Background (Wallpaper) Syncing In Windows 8.1

And we finished with an easy way to keep all kinds of lists and share them with someone else: Wunderlist is the easiest way to get stuff done. Whether you're planning a holiday, sharing a shopping list with a partner or managing multiple work projects, .

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Class Summary 11-19-2015

Started off with a question about the difference between the Internet and WiFi. The Internet is what we get with our contract with Comcast (cable) or Centurylink (twisted pair phone service). They provide us with access to the Internet. To use it we have to have a modem that converts the signal from them to something our PC can recognize.

This is all we needed before laptops and wireless printers and smart TV’s. Now we need to be able to create a wireless network all those devices can use to talk to each other.

That network is established using a wireless router. That router establishes a WiFi network and all the devices can interconnect. This has nothing to do with the Internet. We can wirelessly connect a couple of computers to a single printer using our WiFi network.

The wireless router is used to create the network. Need to access the Internet? Then we plug the router into the modem and anyone on the WiFi network can have access. You can even connect a non-WiFi computer such as your old desktop to one of the Ethernet ports on the back of the router.

The new URL for the training blog is You can access it direclty with that address or go to my site at and click th link on the left side of the home page.
If you are looking for a summary containing a specific topic use the “site:” function in your browser. Here is how it works. In the address bar type your request and then follow it with the word site, a colon, and then the site your would like the search limited to. Let’s say you want to find the class summaries that refer to ninite, enter the following in the search bar:

ninite and press the enter key.

Notice the results only found 34 results instead of the usual thousands of results and all the results are class summary pages.

I demonstrated a Roku by plugging it into one of the HDMI ports on the class TV. We talked about the deals available at Comcast and Centurylink and the fact that you could cut the cable and use an antenna on your TV to pick up a couple of dozen or more TV channels off the air. The Roku box gives access to many additional channels such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Pandora, and many current and old movies and TV channels like PBS and more.

Someone noticed that I had a Microsoft PDF printer on my list of printers. Yes I do and so does everyone with Windows 10. Prior to 10 most of us downloaded a third party PDF printers--there is one on Ninite.

This gives us the capability of “printing” to a file in the Adobe PDF format. We can then send that file to others and they can print it without having to own the program we used to create the document--like Word. We can also use it to avoid using paper by saving our “printouts” on our hard disk drives or USB flash drives instead. Paper is “old school”.

Then the question came up about changing or typing in a PDF. Cannot do that directly, but you can read and then edit a PDF in one of the newer versions of Word (2013 and 2016) and in the online free version at Microsoft Live.

I know there was a lot of other questions and answers, but this is all I can recall at this time. See you the week after Thanksgiving as the office will not be open on Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Class Summary 11-12-2015

We began talking about OneDrive again. Last week we raved about the fact that you were given 15gb free in the cloud and that whatever you moved to those folders on your computer where automatically synchronized to your OneDrive in the cloud. Well the later is still true. However the former is not. Microsoft is rolling back the amount of free storage to 5gb. We have one year to get our needs below that 5gb limit or we have to pay for 50gb with a monthly charge or we lose what is over the 5gb ceiling. Here are a couple of articles that explain the details.
One Driver changing the rules
Good article on various cloud options

And your OneDrive can be found online at

Then we looked at Ninite and installed a program to view all the files in OneDrive to see their sizes. I need to get my OneDrive down under 5gb and it is a little over right now. This program call WinDirStat graphically shows each folder and file in the selected drive or folder and its size. Here is a link to company that created it.
Cleaning out OneDrive

This next one we came upon doing a search. I did not get to it in class, but you might want to check it out. It is a free online image editing site.
Edit pictures online for free

And this one came as a result of someone finding my Useful Links page on my website. They emailed me suggesting I check it out. It is a very useful site to easily create graphic images by combining images and text. Here is an example of one I created and posted to Facebook this morning.
Build your own graphics

We have talked before about using the speech to text feature in Windows. It is easy to turn on. In the Search Windows box next to the Start button, type speech recognition. Click the results to open it.

When you have successfully walked through an easy setup path, this will appear on your screen. You may drag it to another position on your screen at any time. Click the microphone to turn it on and again to turn it off.

When you are in a Microsoft program like Word or even Notepad, what you say is typed for you. Depending on your voice the words may or may not come out correctly. However, you can go through some exercises to teach the program to recognize your speech pattern

Get it to know your voice and you can stay away from the keyboard.

You can also activate the text to speech feature in Word and have it read your document to you.

I know we covered a lot more today, but this is all I can remember...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Class Summary 11-5-2015

Very active class today. We covered so many diverse topics it was hard to take notes. But here is a bit of what we covered.

I explained the difference between a laptop/notebook and a desktop and a netbook. It all has to do with size and portability. Popular today is the notebook computer. And they are so much more powerful than the old desktops of Windows Vista era. In addition you have tablets, chromebooks, and even cell phones. Most all of the popular reason for having a computer can be done on a cell phone today--especially the larger ones. Not only can you use it as a phone, it can keep your calendar, check your email, view Facebook, deposit checks to your bank account, and search the Web.
Price right now is $109~see

Speaking of Chromebook, This is the one I am using right now to write this summary. When finished I will use it to send out the emails with Mailchimp and update the class blog site. No need to use any of my other computers. And I am not even using Windows anything!

10 things to know

The above video shows you a number of tricks for using Windows and your browser. This was a new one for me: When on a Web page, press the spacebar to scroll down the page and Shift+Spacebar to scroll up. Watch the video and pick up a few more tricks.

Spent some time on Windows Live talking about the fact that you have 15gb of free cloud storage with your Windows account. And you can use the online Office programs at no charge. Your OneDrive on Windows 7-10 synchronizes what is on your OneDrive folder on your computer to your account on Live. Having it in the cloud is a backup of what is on your computer. It is then available to you on your cell phone, tablet, or other computers.

There are two versions of Picasa. One downloads to your PC and helps organize and edit your images. The other is online and helps organize the photo you have in your Google Photos. Google Photos allows you unlimited free storage for your photos. And there is an app for your cell phone (iPhone or Android) that will take the pictures you take an auto upload them to your Google photos cloud.

Free Clip Art

We talked last week about the fact that the new versions of Office do not have an Insert > Clip Art feature. The above is one of many sites you can browse to find clipart. Another good source is Just click on images in the upper right and search for the kind of image you are looking for. Caution: be sure the image is free and not copyrighted.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Class Summary 10-29-2015

Thanks, Paul for the solution to my question about how you find the programs in the Windows 10 Start Menu:

When you were trying to get a look at Programs in the Win10 start menu today, did you have an option that says “all Apps”? When you click on that button, all the programs, apps…… show up in an alphabetical listing.

I still like the way ClassicShell renders them…

We began with some general Facebook questions about security and how to make your posts available to friend, public, or self. Friends are those you have accepted a friend request from.

We took a look at how to print a document in booklet form in Word. On the Layout ribbon, locate the diagonal arrow in the lower right of the Page Setup group and click it. This opens the Page Setup dialog box. Under Pages pull down the list for Multiple pages and select Book Fold, then click OK. Your document will be reformatted to fit a half size piece of paper and when printed it will create a booklet.
We looked at how to access clipart in Office 2013 and 2016 as clip art does not install with the product as is did in previous version of Office. Also used the long link to that solution to demonstrate using to shorten it to give to someone else.
Good article on using windows key shortcuts in Windows 10, but many work with previous versions of Windows as well.
This article suggests a few changes to the settings in Windows 10 right away. Most of them I have used on previous versions of Windows as well.
A new way to take screenshots in Windows 10 is to hold down the Windows key and then tap Prtscr. This takes a snapshot of the screen and places it as an image file (png format) in the screenshot folder in documents. Just pressing Prtscr places the image in the clipboard only. We have also looked at other screen print options such as the Snipping Tools, Greenshot, and MWSnap.
A good article on installing ClassicShell which works great on Window 10 and 8 and even 7.
Article shows you how to create your own keyboard shortcuts to open your favorite programs from the keyboard

Lastly we looked at how to show the bookmark (favorites) bar at the top of the browser under the address bar. In all four main browsers (Edge, IE, Firefox, Chrome), this is done under settings and usually has an option like “Show bookmark bar”. In Chome Ctrl+Shift+B will toggle it on and off.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Class Summary 10-22-2015

A busy afternoon with fifteen in attendance. We began demonstrating how you can have two monitors connected to your laptop and display different windows in each. When you connect the second monitor with a VGA connector or even a TV set with an HDMI cable, you press Win+P to open the project window.

You can have only one screen in operation, or both displaying the same screen like I do in class to show you a larger view on the large TV screen of what I am doing on my laptop, or you can have one screen on the laptop active and drag windows from it to the second screen allowing you to work on two applications at once without having to switch back and forth. (BTW that is what is called a run on sentence!)

Then we had a discussion about OneDrive. It comes with Windows 7-10. When you open the File Manager you will see it in the left column. Click and it will open showing you all the folders it contains. It is like looking into all the files and folders in your Document folder. You can save files under OneDrive or in your documents, or other, folders. When you save them in OneDrive they are automatically sent to your Microsoft Cloud which is free for 15gb of data. If you do not have a Microsoft account, then you will not see the OneDrive folder in File Explorer. If you are not connected to the Internet the files are still in your OneDrive folder on your PC. When you connect to the Internet, the files are synchronized so both the Cloud and your PC have the same files. When you sign into your account, your Microsoft account, from another PC you have access to all those files. Think of it like a backup in the cloud of all your work. When you drag a file from your PC into OneDrive, the file is moved to the new location, but is still on your PC. It is just in your OneDrive folder instead of your Document folder.

When your browser is running slow it may be because you have too many items in its cache. That is a temporary place that holds data from previous browsing that will speed up access to previously viewed pages. This is good until you have so much in your browser cache that accessing it is slower as the browser has to search through all its entries to open the page you are looking to open.

To clear the cache, you can bring up the Tools window in your browser. In Chrome you can press Ctrl+Shift+Del to open the dialog box. I do not suggest clearing the cookies and plugin data, just click Clear browsing data with the checkmark on Cached images and files. Your browsing with be a little quicker.

More on browsers: understanding tabs, right-click on open tab, right-click on new tab, looking into history, using the address bar -- auto fill, ctrl+L, selecting and copying, printing, etc. And we discussed using the center button your your mouse to open a link in a new tab. The center button is the scroll wheel. Not using a mouse? Right click the link and one of the options is to open the link in a new tab.
We took a look at using the above site to convert a PDF to a Word file to be able to make changes in that file. The actual file created is not a DOC but a RTF (Rich Text FOrmat) that can be opened in any word processing program. Microsoft Word 2013 and 2016 will open a PDF and allow you to make changes to it and save it as either a DOC or a PDF file. Older versions will not opne a PDF directly, so a conversion application like this website is necessary. LibreOffice will open a PDF, but it creates and series of images opening it's Image program, not a word processing file.
Use this cloud application to edit a PDF online. Not useful for making changes in a PDF. This is more for completing a PDF form--like inserting your name and address and maybe adding an image of your signature to email the completed form to someone.

Instructions on how to use this application can be found at this site:

I know we touched on much more, but this is all I can remember tonight.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Class Summary 10-15-2015

We talked about how to get back to Windows 8 or 7 if you do not like 10. we Googled the question and found a YouTube video that walked us through it--step-by-step. It is pretty easy to do it, but perhaps you might want some instruction on 10 before taking that step. Here is the video we found:

Using MS Word, I demonstrated how to generate some random text using a website called You do not need Word. It just generates as much text as you need so you can copy and paste it into whatever program you to use it for.

While we were in Word a question was asked about using and rotating text boxes. Most Word users are not aware of text boxes as they just open word and start typing. Text boxes allow you to create a “box” of text and manipulate it like different fonts and colors from the document you are placing them into. You can change the backgrounds and even add pictures. And you can rotate the box so it is upside down or at any angle you want. This is great for creating your own greeting cards, quarter fold.

I was asked about the messages that pop up to update Java and Adobe. Both are necessary and neither comes with Windows, any version. So it is okay to allow those update. Be sure to read the screens to make sure you do not allow any other programs to install--look for checkboxes and radio buttons. is a good way to update programs without haveing to beconcerned with any other installs.

Some were not aware of the available addon to bring back the start menu looking like XP, Vista, or 7. You might give it a try before throwing out 10. Go to and download it. I think you will like it.

While in ninite, I was asked what VLC was all about. It is a media player that allows you to play DVD’s on your PC without having to purchase the Microsoft Media Player that was left out of 8 and 10. Get it from Ninite. (link above)

Last week we touched on Photo Story 3. Today we created a movie from still images and looked at how to add word, voice over, music and change the way the animation works. Download your copy from:

Talked a little about email. Many use the email provided by the internet server they are using, like comcast or embarq in this area. I suggest using an email that is in the cloud like Yahoo, gMail, live, or a host of others. Have your other email forward to your cloud email. Then wherever you are you can access your email and if you change providers you do not have to change your email address.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Class Summary 10-8-2015

After spending a couple of hours with someone this week on how to get pictures from his camera over to his computer and then to an email, I decided I should talk again about pictures to the class. Here are the points, as I remember them, we touched on today with members both in the class and joining us online via Google Hangouts.

If you search the class notes you will find many notes on most of what we discussed today, so I will briefly write on each topic.

Pictures to the PC from our cameras and cell phones
Cameras and cell phones store the pictures you take in memory. Some have removable storage using SD or MicroSD cards. Even if they do not, the device can be plugged into a USB port on your PC. Windows see the device like it does a USB flash drive (a.k.a. thumb drive) and will display its contents in File Explorer. The pictures can be found in the folder named DCIM. I looked it up and it stands for Digital Camera IMage folder. Just like moving files to and from a USB flash drive, you can move files to and from your picture taking device.

Pictures from FacebookWhen you are viewing a picture on your newsfeed or in one of your friends (or your) page, click the picture to open it in its own window. Then right click and save image as to open a save as dialog box to give it a name a give it a location to store it on your PC. Remember, the pictures you are taking are not yours to use as you wish. They were taken by someone else, so be careful how you use them and perhaps ask permission to do so from the one whose page it is on.

Getting a picture off the Web using the Windows Snipping ToolIf you see a picture on your screen, you can save it as an image on your PC even if a save as image option is not available. Print Screen (Prnt Scrn on your keyboard) will take a picture of your screen and place it in the Windows clipboard. Paste it wherever you want and save it as an image on your PC. Since it is the entire screen you will want to edit that picture to crop it to get the actual image you want to save.

A better approach is to use the Snipping Tool that comes with Windows. This lets you drag a box around the piece of the screen you want to grab and save it as an image on your PC among other options. A non-Windows approach with many more options are available. One that I use is called Greenshot.

Resizing pictures
If you are using a cell phone for pictures, there is an edit feature built in that will enable you to resize and fix your picture before you even download it to your PC. A simple program I use to resize pictures in called Prish Resizer.

When we take digital pictures the resulting file size for each picture is 1mb or more, sometimes even as large as 4mb--depends on the megapixels of the camera and the complexity of the picture taken. The example I showed in class was a 1.4 mb or 1400 kb image that we resized to an 800x600 image using PrishResaizer to 80kb. Uploads to Facebook and attachments to emails go a lot quicker with a smaller size file.

Emailing pictures from our PC
Simply open your email (Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Comcast, Embarqmail,etc) and compose a new email. Look for the button or picture of a paperclip to attache a file. Attaching means to send it along with your email giving the recipient the option to download it. Usually a thumbnail picture of the image displays at the bottom of the email. If you have the option (not available on all email types) to insert an inline picture that means the picture will display in the email itself so the recipient will not need to download it to view.

Editing pictures using Windows Live Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery allows you to edit your pictures. You can crop then, fix crooked images, brighten images, and much more. Thanks, Donna for showing us this great program.

Making a movie of your pictures using Photo Story 3
This is another free program that allows you to make an animated movie with sound of your still photos. Easy to use and works great.

I am sure we talked about a lot more, but this is where my recall is tonight..

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Class Summary 10-1-2015

We had a large range of questions today from printer problems to finding music on the internet. Some are finding that their printers are not being found in Windows 10. This usually has to do with the driver not being compatible with the new OS. Locate the website for your printer manufacture and look for the page about drivers for your device. Know what its model number is. Then download the latest driver and install it. This will fix your printer issues. If a driver is not available for your printer because it is just too old, you may have to get a new printer or revert back to your last OS that worked with the printer.

We looked at using as a way to help someone else remotely with their computer issues. May be a way to walk them through using a program or even helping them run the maintenance programs. And remember DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE ACCESS TO YOUR PC unless you know them. You do not want someone from some foreign country to access all your files on your PC even if they say the are from a legitimate company in America.

Talked about backing up and I discussed what I do. Much of this is expanded on in past classes. I run an image backup program on my PC at least once a month. I plug in an external hard drive to one of my USB ports and it makes a bit for bit image of everything I have on my hard disk drive. I then put that somewhere safe. If my computer crashes (and I hope it never does) I have but to replace or format the hard drive and use the image backup I made to restore back to the date of that last backup. No need to install any software, download any Windows updates, or remember any codes for programs I purchased. Everything comes back just as it was the day I did the image.

That's great except… any files that were added or changed since the last image are gone. What I do is to use a cloud backup service called It is free for the first 2.3 gb of data and allows me to select what files/folders I want backed up. Here is the link to download that software:

Backup in the Cloud; use code GFBU22. Free is 2 gb of data. Use the code and you and I receive the other .3 gb. Thanks!

About three times a day when your PC is on and connected to the Internet, Mozy backs up any new file or changed file to the cloud. It is as simple as that. When the crash occurs, you restore the image and then go to your Mozy account and restore all the changed or added files. This does not restore any programs you may have added or updated since the image, so you may have to download and install those. The more often you do an image the easier it will be to remember what you installed since the image.

Looked a WinDirStat that can be downloaded from as a good program to looked at the size of thte folders and files on your disk. Also used the duplicate file finder program in Glary Utilities to find duplicate pictures on disk so we can remove them.

Talked about how to change the default starting page in a browser to be what we want to see and not what our Internet service wants us to view. Click the settings button in the upper right and look for Settings. In IE click Internet Options and you can tell it what website or sites you want to open when the browser starts. In Chrome and Firefox you will find a place to change the website address for when the browser opens.


There were many other things discussed, but this is what I remember. See you next week for a whole new set of questions. And remember, you can email me questions any time at

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Class Summary 9-24-2015

Class was held remotely with help from Donna at the club office. Had a number of people at the club and one sign in online, plus me,
Program to allow transfer of programs from old computer to new one
Great note taking software -- Android App, iPhone App, and PC App. Type a note on your computer and you can view and edit it on your PC. Take a note on your smartphone and you can view and edit it on your PC. Free with ads for some many syncs a day.

One of the members talked about the app called Notes she uses on her cell phone to make her shopping list. Another one we have looked at before is Google Keep. It does a lot more than lists.

A good question on how to change the browser default page. When your browser opens (IE, Chrome, FireFox, etc) it open one or more tabs based on how you set it up. To change the websites that open in IE you go to settings and internet options. You will see a box with the current default(s). Change or add as many as you want, then apply the changes. Similar in Chrome; click the gear in the upper right and then settings. Easy way to make the change is to open the tabs in your browser that you want to use as the defaults first. Then go to settings and choose Use Current and apply it. Close the browser and then reopen it to see all those pages open.

Alt+Tab to pop up a snapshot view of open programs on the desktop. Keep Alt down and use Tab to scroll through them, Stop on the one you want to access and release both keys.

If you have a wireless printer that seems to drop off your network once in awhile, turn off the printer, wait a minute, then turn it back on. Your router will reissue an IP address to it and you should be up and running once again. Might be happening because the power goes out.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Class Summary 9-17-2015

We talked a little about Windows 10 and I showed the Start Menu as well as the Start Menu with Classic Shell. That addon works with Windows 7-10. I like it. I have the best of both worlds -- an interface I am comfortable with along with faster Window 10 and its new feature. And I can easily get right to the new Start Menu by pressing Shift+Windows. You can download it at: 

I brought in my Android smartphone from MEtroPCS. I showed how easy it is to turn your smartphone into a WiFi Hotspot. I turned off my WiFi access to Not Found and instead used the hotspot from my cell phone carrier and the difference in speed was not much. So when you are away from a secure WiFi connection and need access on your laptop just turn your cell phone into a hotspot and use it. It does use your data plan. Mine is unlimited everything for $30 a month no contract. lets you broadcast live from anywhere so others can share your experience as it is happening. Great for meetings, training sessions, church services, etc. And it is free. They also make the session available for 30 days after the event. is a free service to create greeting cards on line and share them with your email or social networks.

We looked at a new picture resizer program at thanks to one of the class members. You install it on your PC and can resize one or a group of pictures easily. What I have been using is Prish Resizer and the one feature it has that this new one does not is the ability to resize into a new folder called resized. You can download it at:

Then we talked about getting pictures off a cell phone. All you need to do is plug your cell phone into your PC with its charging cable. It is connected as an external drive like a USB flash drive. The folder DCIM holds your pictures. You can then drag them over to your PC. YOu can even delete them from your phone while you are looking at the files. Make sure you really did copy them because once you take them off the phone they are gone from that device.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Class Summary 9-10-2015

We began with both online and in house participants. It was a good interaction with all. The hangouts connection was a lot easier to establish than the one to the TV set. Next time I will bring a computer that has an HDMI port.

Started off with a demonstration of the new feature in Google Docs that allows you to speak into a document instead of typing. Very cool. Oh, you need to be in Chrome. Here is an article on it:

There were some questions about how Ninite works. When we open we are presented with a list of program to select from. We check the ones we want and click the Get Installer button. That does not download any of the programs we checked, it downloads a tiny program to our computer with a list of the programs we checked. When we run that installer program it looks over each program selected to see if we have it already installed on your computer. If not, it downloads it and installs it. If we already have the program it compares the version on our computer to the available one. If the one we have is already the latest, it does nothing with that program. If the one we have is older, the latest is downloaded and installed for us. 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.

One of the members had a libreoffice question. Each program that creates a file adds an extension onto the file name. Word adds .doc or .docx depending on the version of MS Office you are using. libreoffice writer add .odt. The extension tells Windows what program created the file and when you double-click the file Windows opens the file in the program that created it. Renaming the file to give it a different extension will force Windows to open in a different program. However, you will not be able to work with the file even if it opens. You see, every program creates different files. It compresses the files into a smaller size and only the creation program can deliver the data to present it in a form you can understand. If you want to send a file to someone else be careful what format it is in. If they have MS Word, send it as a .doc file. If you do not know what they have, send it as an .rtf file. If you only want them to be able to read the file, send it as a .pdf. How do you do that, you ask. Instead of just saving the file, save as. Save as gives you the option of choosing the format of the file so even if you are in libreoffice you can save it in a MS Word format, a PDF, or a number of other formats.

We had a discussion about editing a PDF. MS Word 2013 will read and allow you to make changes to a PDF. In experimenting with libreoffice we found out that it also will read a PDF and allow you to edit it.

We demonstrated using the Snipping Tool that is in Windows 7-10. Also showed using the print screen button. When you press print screen nothing appears to happen. What you cannot see is that what is on the screen has been copied to the Windows clipboard. It is available to paste into whatever you need. Paste it to Paint and save it as an image file. Paste it into a Word document and save it as a document or a PDF.

One member pointed out that there is a great app in Windows 10 called Get Started that will guide you through many of the ins and outs of the new OS.

I recommend with Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 that you bring up and download and install it. Then when you click Start you see the start menu from a previous version of Windows instead of the new boxes. To get to the new start screen (8) or start menu (10) simply hold the shift key down and press the Windows key. It is the best of both worlds.

Ever call tech support and end up talking to someone from another country? I am sure you have. Just demand that you be transfered to someone in the USA. They have to transfer you. One of our members shared her experience having to do just that. She persevered and was finally sent to a USA person and had her problem resolved in minutes.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Class Summary 9-3-2015

These things annoy me in Windows 10

We talked about some of the items in this article and I mentioned a couple of keyboard shortcuts I like to use:

Win + Pause opens the system control window

Shift + ctrl + Esc opens the task manager or you can right-click the taskbar and select task manager
Google Translate will convert your text or web page content to of up to 90 different languages and the Android app does even more:

* Type to translate 90 languages
* Use your camera to translate text instantly in 26 languages
* Two-way automatic speech translation in 40 languages

Skype charging for phone calls? No; here is the info I found:
Skype-to-Skype calls are still very free. If you are asked to buy credit, then this means that you are not calling a Skype client but a phone number. Calling phones requires subscription or credit.

Fax it Nice seems to be charging for faxes now, but we found this site where you can send 1 page anywhere in America for free.
Clean install of Windows 10 and avoid bringing all your junk to the new OS.
This a good article on “Cloning a Hard Drive”
Did you know over 3 billion people are on the Internet? This site posts live internet statistics
Snip is an upgraded Snipping Tool, but does not have as many options as MWsnap or Greenshot
This article descibes the authors list of the best screenshot software
Interesting article on recovering lost email passwords

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Class Summary 8-27-2015
Free training from AARP
Windows 10 desktop shortcut keys
Another browser to try. Much less overhead than the big three. Sometimes, simple really is better, and Midori is out to turn simplicity into an art form. Although you won't be looking to use this browser on rather plugin-heavy sites or for a large variety of extensions, Midori is quite swift at rendering standard web pages with JavaScript, HTML5, and other standards-compliant frameworks.
Locate the link to download the upgrade to a DVD or USB drive. Two versions: Home and Pro. Once downloaded you can install the upgrade on a number of machines without having to wait on each for the download to occur.

How to Mount a Macrium Reflect Backup Image to Retrieve Files to see how far away TV stations are

Shields Up is an online port scanning service created by Steve Gibson of Gibson Research Corporation and hosted at The purpose of this utility is to alert the users of any ports that have been opened through their firewalls or through their NAT routers.

We talked about the Amazon Stick and the Roku Streaming stick. They both work in a similar fashion allowing streaming of movies and more to your TV set. No cable connection needed, just WiFi and an HDMI port on your TV.
Key in a password and see how secure it is with this web page from Microsoft

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Class Summary 8-20-2015

We had a great turnout today with 8 people online. Lot’s of interaction between participants; more so than when we hold the live classes at the club office. Everyone is finding Hangouts very easy to use--just need to know the URL for our hangout which is:

BTW the new Edge browser does not run hangouts. So use Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.

Our furthest away member was Donna hanging out with us from Hawaii! She teased us with a screen shot out her window. She had gone to a computer club there and brought back a couple of things she shared. One was the app for a smartphone called google goggles. The short story is that you can take a picture of a landmark and the app will bring up information about it by doing visual recognition.

I had a few links to talk about:

How to Turn an Old PC Into a Home File Server

Revive Your Old PC: The 3 Best Linux Systems For Old Computers

5 Ways to Free Up Space on Your Android Device

How to password protect a MS Word document

During the week I sent someone instructions on how to find out what version of Windows they had. Here is what I sent:

How do I know what operating system I have?
Control Panel > System

Donna had a number of questions on using an upgrade that just came out for her Android smartphone. All her questions were answered, but she would like to see more classed on using the Android phone at the club.

Daniel suggest using the site to save any video on the Internet, like on Facebook, to your PC. No software required. You just get the video URL copied from the browser address bar and paste it into the box on their site. Then you receive a screen with download options. The result is a copy on your PC you can watch later without access to the Internet.

I was asked how to capture screen shots from the PC. One answer was to use the SnagIt extension. And another is to use greenshot which you can find on

We talked about using VLC as a replacement for the missing (unless you pay for it) Media Center. And the new name for VLC is VideoLAN.

Donna reminded us of which is a site to buy and sell used cell phones. So if you just got an upgrade, why not sell your old one? However, always reset your phone to factory settings before letting go it. You want all your stuff cleaned out and resetting it does just that.

If you are looking to easily read articles, like news, in the browser add the Magic Scroll extension. It will show you the article without any peripheral stuff from the page--no adds, links outside the article, no web page banner, etc.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Class Summary 8-13-2015

We had a small group today, but great discussion on a number of topics answering questions and exploring some new areas. If you were not part of the class today, I hope you can sign on next week. When I am back in FL and doing the hands on classes at the club, I will also be on Hangouts live so those still away can be part of the class.

Google Chrome has a number of internal links. This one brings up a nice view of the Bookmark Manager. Give it a try by typing the following into your address bar in Chrome: chrome://bookmarks/#1

Malwarebytes is one of the maintenance programs we use to clean up malware from our PC. They have a new program, an anti exploit program. This works in the browser to check files you are opening in case they have harmful embedded code.

Download it at:

See detail description at:

Many use VLC to play videos and audio files. They have renamed their latest version to videolan. Here is a link to the download. FYI they have an app for iPhone or Android to play any format file unlike the app that comes with the smartphone that is limited to certain type of files.

Got windows 10? Then you also have Peer-to-peer updates. Turn them off. They allow others to get their Windows update files from you instead of the Microsoft servers. And you to get them from your neighbors as well. Here is an article that explains it.

Make File Explorer open This PC by default. When we click the File Folder in our taskbar a File Explorer opens, but I really want to see a “my computer” view. On Windows 8 or 10 this is now called “This PC”. This article shows you how easy it is to change the default to open the This PC screen instead.

MagicScroll Web Reader is an extension in Chrome that allows you to view the article on a website without having to view all the peripheral information like ads and other things on the page. This link should get you right to the extension add page.

I have been reading this article on “The 10 Cleverest Ways to Use Linux to Fix Your Windows PC”

I was asked about installing the Chrome OS on an old PC to turn it into a speedy Chromebook. Here is what we found:

We covered a lot more, but I cannot recall the details. One was how to change the program that automatically opens when you click on a file, such as a JPG file.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Class Summary 8-6-2015

Wow what a difference using Hangouts instead of Skype. Five of us were present today and not one had any issues with speed. We could see each other, hear each other, and even share our screen with each other. Nothing to download and install. Just a quick link to open the hangout and you are in.

Some have installed the 10 upgrade and with no problems at all. The time to install varies with the speed of the download and the speed of the computer being upgraded. Other than having to wait for the install to finish, no issues were reported.

I talked about having to fax something today. I do not have a fax machine or a printer with a fax option so I looked online and found an extension for chrome that allows up to 5 pages per day for free. It worked great. And if your document is not on your computer you just have to scan it in or take a picture of it with your smartphone. Then you fax that document (pdf or jpg).

Send a free fax (up to 5 pages a day) extension for Google Chrome. FaxIt Nice

A few days ago one of our members asked how to get rid of the ads that appear on many websites. I use an ad blocker extension on chrome and also have one on firefox. So I wrote a white paper on how to install it.

How to add the AdBlock extension to chrome
CloneApp backs up software and all its settings, its folders, and it also digs through your registry to find associated files. CloneApp is a portable app, so download and extract it to a folder, start it up, choose the programs from your system that you want to keep, and hit “Backup”. Once it finishes, copy the entire CloneApp folder to a pen drive. It’ll be a pretty big folder, so make sure you have enough free space. Thanks Paul. This a great article on cloning programs.

Antivirus programs. What do you use? Well out of the five on hangouts today 3 use Defender that comes with Windows 8 and 10 for free. One uses Norton all the time. And the other is using the 180 day trial of Norton but will probably switch to Avast when the trial is over.

Defender works well and comes with Windows. It is an antivirus program not an anti-malware program or an addon to your browsers to check websites before you click on them. Avast does all those things just like Norton or McAfee, but for free. Avast also works with XP and Vista.

Do you have some movie clips you have taken on your digital camera or cell phone? Perhaps you would like to burn them to a CD or DVD to play them on your DVD player or to send to others so they can view them on their DVD player. This program takes most any format movie and lets you burn a DVD player compatible format CD or DVD. (if it fits on a CD you do not have to use a DVD)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Class Summary 7-30-2015

Had some difficulty connecting today. My internet connection is not the best here in KY. I had to use my cell phone and it would not let me use video on a group call. But we made the best of it. Next week we will try using Google hangout instead. I will send instructions along soon.

We had some good interaction about the move to Windows 10. Jerry told us about his experience of doing the upgrade. And how he likes 10.

Here are some good articles that came in my mailbox about the move to 10. Pass them on to others…

Windows 10 is Out Today: Should You Upgrade?
Here’s What’s Different About Windows 10 for Windows 7 Users
Here’s What’s Different About Windows 10 for Windows 8 Users

I mentioned a shortcut to use when deleting files or folders. Sometimes the items being deleted are too large for the recycle bin. Usually you get a message saying so and I button to click to delete them anyway without placing them in the bin. One of our members was trying to delete files from an external drive and was not able to do it. The way to delete and not go through the recycle bin is this. Right-click the folder or file or a group of them. Then hold down the shift key on the keyboard and then click Delete. Ot just hold down shift and press the Del key on your keyboard.

Another member emailed to tell me how she is enjoying the getpocket app on her smartphone. We talked about this one a few weeks ago. Here is the link info once again:
When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket.

And here is a link to a blog that explains it:

And for those who were on the call, as soon as I got off the phone I found my hidden PC. Now I am updating it with all the current downloads from Microsoft hoping to install 10 on it soon.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Class Summary 7-23-2015

We were back on Skype for another online session. The computer I took with me to RI proved too slow for video, so I just used audio. Will be back to KY for next week and a better computer. And we may experiment with Google Hangouts instead. I will let you know.

Here is what I talked about today:
Christian Shows and Movies. First month is free. After that it is $8 a month. It is a channel on Roku as well as available on your computer.
Top rated antivirus that works with XP through 8. It can also be run from a USB flash drive.

Maintenance Programs white paper at:

Create a Restore Point white paper. Why and how to:

And here are a couple of sites to sell things on or to find things being sold by others. Not a retail site, more like online yard sales. Not auction sites.
Close5 is a new way to buy & sell locally with safety top of mind. Free to list. Free to use.
An alternative to eBay. Not an auction site.

Windows 10 coming available next week\. Remember to backup your hard drive before saying yes. Check out the white papers on how to do that at:

Installing and creating an image with Macrium Reflect

Creating a Reflect Restore Disk at a Reflect Restore Disk.pdf

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Class Summary 7-16-2015

Talked about many things in today’s online session. I had a connection problem on my end so I was not seen by all but was able to talk and hear fine. Everyone else could see each other fine. Will try and have Skype up and running on my Chromebook for next week.

Talked about making an image backed and using the white paper I posted a couple of weeks ago. I also brought up using Mozy to backup to the cloud critical files. This way if your hard drive crashes you can restore from your last image and then use Mozy to restore the files changed since that backup. Use the code to get an additional .25gb of free space and it gives me .25gb additional as well. Thanks. and use code GFBU22

Faith talked about how much she likes to use and Bob’s grandson mentioned that Google had a similar free service: Google’s Tinyurl. Tiny also has a TinyPIC which you can use to upload a picture to and then use the URL of that picture to link to from others places like in an email instead of attaching the picture.

Here are the links that I brought up at the beginning of the session. Take a look at them online and let me know what was useful.
Start your own online store
Learn how from the professionals
With Sidekick email tracking, get live notifications when someone opens or clicks on one of your emails. Know when, how many times, where, and from what device they opened your email.
WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS.
Add a counter to your page
I have been using internetoff on my XP machine. Works nice.

Maintenance White Paper

This links takes you to a white paper I wrote a while ago on the maintenance programs I use on a regular basis. I have to update it to add some additional programs I have been using lately including the newer image backup from Macrium.

Add Blocking

A white paper on how to add AdBlock to Google chrome. I use this extension all the time and so far it has blocked about 49,000 ads! There is an equivalent one for Firefox, but I have not been able to find one for Internet Explorer.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Class Summary 7-2-2015

Our first online class was successful even if there were only 3 of us in attendance. Maybe more will join for next time. The important thing to remember is that you have to ask to be added BEFORE the day of the class. The Skype name is So go into Skype and request a connection with I will approve it and add you to the group at the beginning of the session. Then you only have to answer the call join the session.

One of the members was on a PC and we could see and talk back and forth. The other member was on an iPad and could not join the group video but he was with us audio only. Had some good discussion which I summarize below.
Wonder what that program installed on your computer is used for? Use this site to find out and maybe remove it. I know I have looked at some of those strange program names in the list of installed programs and wondered if it was safe to remove them. Now we have an easy way to check. Thanks, Donna for bringing this one up.

You asked about free TV and movies
ELI the Computer Guy -- free tech advice

“A smart person learns from his mistakes. I wise person learns from other people's mistakes.”

I found this on YouTube and wanted to pass it on. He has many worthwhile videos posted. You may find some over your head, but others might speak right to an issue you are having.
Backdoor password reset in Windows for the technical savvy user,
Boot Windows 8 without having to enter a password. When you installed Windows 8 you had to set up a Windows Live account (or so they led you to believer). Now every time you turn your PC on you have to enter a password. This little trick will let you change that so you will no longer have to enter the password.
Recover from Forgotten Windows 8 Password. Another one for the Tech Savvy.
Using a disposable email address and why. This backs you up to a talk given back in August of last year. Check it out.

Was asked why the Windows 10 reservation icon was not showing on the taskbar. To be eligible for the upgrade you have to be running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. And you have to have Windows updates set to automatic. Once all your updates have been applied to your version of Windows the flag icon will appear and you can reserve your copy of WIndows 10 for download on or after July 29th.

Also talked about the Windows 8 PC vs the Surface tablet. They appear the same but are not exactly. And the Windows 10 upgrade applies to the PC. NOthing yet on their tablet. The PC runs executables and apps while the tablet, like the cell phones, only run apps. So do not expect your surface tablet to totally replace your PC. My personal opinion is that if you are using an Android cell phone right now, get an Android tablet. They work alike and the transition to the tablet is pretty easy. YOu can pick up tablet pretty cheap. I just bought one online the other day for $34.

I was asked about adblocker and how to get it. It is not a program, it is an extension or addon to your browser--either Chrome or Firefox. The terms extension, addon, and plugin all mean the same thing just are terms used by different browsers. the adblocker is not available for IE, but is for the other two. Chrome calls it AdBlock and I believe Firefox calls it AdBlocker. Both have an icon that looks like a red stop sign with a hand in the middle.

How do I password protect a folder? In Windows you cannot password protect a file or a folder. There are third party programs that will allow you to do it. The simplest method is to zip the folder or file using a program like WinZIP to compress it. One of the options you get is to add a password to the resulting zip file. Here is a link to their help screen.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cloud Storage

Thanks, George, for a great article on the different cloud storage available for free and how much more for a price...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Class Summary 6-25-2015

Started off with the following:

White Paper on Macrium Reflect image backup

I will also be doing papers on creating the backup boot disk to use if you need to restore your hard drive, and one on locating a file or folder inside the last image to restore it to your hard drive, and how to restore the entire drive from the image.

Take the class with Ron and then use these notes as backup to what you learned.

The quick, easy, web based way to fix and clean up text when copying and pasting between applications. Remove email indents, find and replace, clean up spacing, line breaks, word characters and more.

For just text work and good site is which gives you the equivilant of notepad, but with a spell checker. I use this all the time. It does not clean up email text or remove end of line markers. For that TextCleanr does a great job. TextCleanr also has spell checking.

This one is just for fun unless you are not using the Classic Shell addon to Windows 8/8.1 to the Start Menu back. How to find the secret Start Menu built into Windows 8.1

To make the menu appear,
1. Right-click the taskbar and select Toolbars > New toolbar.
2. This brings up File Explorer, where you should navigate to 
3. C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.
4. Once there, click Select Folder.

The new toolbar, named Programs, will appear on the right side of the taskbar, immediately to the left of the notification area. Click the chevron to the right of the word Programs to bring up the menu. Locate the article at
Also spent time talking about using a smartphone without having it connected to a pay for phone service such as AT&T or Verizon. All smartphones work for everything else when connected to a WiFi hotspot. And you can use services such as TextPlus for free SMS texting or MagicJack app for free phone calls from anywhere.

Then we talked some more about using a Roku box for wathcing TV series and movies with no need to pay for Cable TV. Use and old fashioned set of "rabbit ears" and you can receive many local channels off the air. No charge.

I am sure we discussed a bunch more. Join us online starting this week on Thursdays from 2-4.

Online Classes

We are experimenting with some online classes using Skype. I set up a Skype account named CCCGC.Club. Sign on to your Skype account and asked to be added to my account. I am going to put 2-4 on Thursdays aside for an Open Forum. You will NOT come to the club. This is totally online and you will access it from your house, or get together with another member and all watch on the same computer.

You will need:
1. An internet connection
2. Skype installed. I suggest the desktop program and not the Windows 8 app that comes with 8. You can download it at or get it from
3. A webcam connected to your PC. All new laptops have one, but if you have an older laptop or a desktop you may have to get an external one. You cannot setup Skype without a microphone and a camera. Desktops will also need a microphone as they usually do not have one; laptops do, even the older ones.

Sign in to Skype and ask to join my account ASAP so you will be ready to join the class on Thrusdays.

Bookmark This Page

There is no longer a link on the club site for this blog. So make sure you bookmark it for easy access. You can also get to it from my site or from my blog site at

Facebook Stuff

An almost free (.99) book on Kindle promises to show you a number of things you can do with Facebook. I ordered it but have not looked at it yet. Will do later, but here is the link so you can get the deal price if you want it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Class Summary 6-18-2015

Ever use sticky notes? People either love them and use them everywhere or just don’t use them at all. Well here is a program for your computer to put sticky notes on the desktop. Use to add sticky notes to the deskop -- two versions and here is an artcile about it

This is a good article about the upcoming Windows 10 launch:

Nеvеr Losе Αnything Αgain with this neat invention:

Create a one-of-a-kind photo book today!

Took a look at using MultCloud to consolidate all our free cloud storage in one place.

MultCloud makes managing files and transferring files across clouds easy. Works like which we have looked at before.

Talked about the Xfinity Free WiFi hotspots all around town. All you need is your comcast username and password and you are in wherever there is a hot spot available. If you do not have an account I believe you can pay for one with comcast and use the hot spots. So the next time you see Xfinity listed on your phone or laptop wifi locations know that you can use it for free. To sell stuff on line. Like a garage sale online... for Free phone calls and texting with a phone number! Check with your kids to see if they have an old smartphone hanging around. You can use it to access the internet using WiFi anywhere. And with textplus you get a phone number and free phone calls and texting without ever paying a phone service to use it. All you need is a WiFi hotspot.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Class Summary 6-11-2015

We took a look at the note taking app/program from Google called Keep. It can be run from the web on any platform (Windows, Apple, Linux) or from an App on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Make a note on any of these and it immediately appears on the others.

Want to get some cheap stuff? Check out They are located in China so expect to wait a couple of weeks for your order to arrive. Shipping charges are pretty low, like $1. If you are nervous about buying from China with your credit card think about getting a Visa gift card and putting some money on it. This way if your card gets hacked you only lose whatever you put on it.

Looked at another site called getpocket. When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket. Makes it easier than bookmarking the page and ending up with hundreds of bookmarks you will never need to go back to again.

New from Google is unlimited photo storage! That is right. Backup all your photos to Google’s cloud for free. And the search capabilities are great. It looks at the meta data on your pictures and the file name you used and facial recognition and more. Want to see all the pictures you have of a horse? Type horse and any picture you have in their cloud that contains a horse comes up. Add the app to your smartphone and every time you take a picture it will sync to your cloud storage. And you can view all your cloud stored pictures on your phone!

Had a question about using Audacity to pull out an audio clip from an audio file. Went to Ninite to get the program and then opened an audio file to demonstrate.

Also demonstrated using CCleaner to clean out temporary files, remove unnecessary registry entries, backup the the registry file, and uninstall programs.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Class Summary 6-04-2015

We talked about Facebook groups and showed how easy it is to set one up. Check out the new group for the class. If you are on Facebook ask to be added and you can post to the group. Only those in the group can see the posts.

Reviewed some browser basics. Three major ones, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome. My choice is Chrome. Discussed using tabs to open more than one site. Talked about the address bar being where you can type in an address to a web site or words for a search. And the easiest way to get there is to press Ctrl+L. This moves the insertion point to the address bar and selects the data currently in it. When something is selected you do not have to delete it before typing. As soon as you start to type the selected words will be gone. When searching the more words you include the narrower your results. But the search engine knows where your computer lives so it automatically gives results based on your location.

Someone asked why use an address shortener like tinyurl. When the URL you are sending to someone is already short there is no reason. But if it is a long one usually taking multiple lines the resulting URL will be much easier especially if they have to type it in from a document and not just click on it from an email.

I demonstrated a site called fiverr. People post tasks they are willing to do for you for $5. I used one of them to have a picture of me done in a cartoon form. If you have a skill you and want some extra cash, you can add your name to the list and offer you services as well.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Class Summary 5-28-2015

Talked about the free cloud storage available. One is Amazon Prime that has unlimited photo storage. Just released from Google is free unlimited photo storage with your Google account. Open your Google Drive and notice the new folder for Photos available to you. Click to read an article about the new cloud storage:

George, one of our snowbird members sent a link to an article on using random words for passwords instead on weird difficult to remember combinations of letters and special symbols. That reminded one of our members of a link we looked at months ago that told you how good your password, how hard it is for someone to crack it. And we all learned that spaces are valid in a password. Just don’t use them in front or behind the words. So “password 1234” and “pass word 1234” are valid passwords. So is “pass word1234”.

We looked at a program to install that lets you know if someone is hacking into your WiFi. Maybe a neighbor or a drive-by. Joe sent me the link to the one he has been using,

That loooong password that comes with your Comcast Modem/Router can be change so it is easier to use. Maybe using multiple words like we learned in class. Here is a link from them on how to do it.

Are you playing with one of the Linux distros we demonstrated? If so, here is another one suggested by Bob, one of our members. It is called Elementary OS and is said to be a good replacement for XP.