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.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Class summary 5-14-2015

Discussed the possibility of using Skype or Google+ to hold classes remotely when I am away in July and August. We will experiment with this approach early in June before I leave to go anywhere.

I went on a road trip to Staple today and found some interesting new devices. One is a personal cloud. It is a 3tb drive with Internet access to upload your files to. Any of your internet connected devices can access just like would a cloud drive like Microsoft live or Google drive. The difference is that the cloud is all yours.

Another is a portable drive with WiFi built in. It holds 500gb of data and can use it as a portable cloud on batteries.

HP has a Windows 8 PC that rivals the Chromebook. 2gb RAM and a 32gb drive. Lightweight and runs windows programs. Of course this also it is sustainable to malware and viruses.

And HP has a desktop replacement that is a little bigger than a Roku box. Just need to plug in a monitor keyboard and mouse and you are up and running.

Demonstrated downloading Lubuntu. Then showed how to burn the image onto a DVD or CD by right clicking the ISO file and choosing burn image. We then booted the PC from the newly created disk and demonstrated using it.

You can install it live and boot to windows or Lubuntu. This a good approach to keep your old XP system. Boot to XP to use your old programs and to Lubuntu to use the Internet. To be safe disable your network adapter in XP to be safe.

Demonstrated how to rip music from a CD and then how to copy the music files to an Android phone.

A few windows shortcuts:
Win E opens file explorer
Win R opens the run window
Win L locks the screen
Win C open the charm bar in win 8
Win P opens the screen to select multiple displays options
Win D drops all open windows to the taskbar

Friday, May 8, 2015

Class Summary 5-7-2015

We took a look at as a safe place to download programs from. Also sites like bleeping computer, cnet download,,, and the legitimate sites of the maker of the software. Here is an article on safe sites that is pretty good

Belarc Advisor is a program that does an audit of your computer. It is not a fixit program. It is a reporting program. It tells you what hardware and software is in your machine.

What do you think of USB Flash Drive to backup hard drive? As long as it is large enough. Can get 1, 2, and 3 tb portable drives for under $100. A large (64 or 128gb) USB Flash drive may cost more than that.

We have many sources of free cloud storage, google drive, windows live, dropbox, amazon, and here is one more to check out:
50GB of Online Cloud Storage, for FREE
Our Personal plan provides users with 50GB of FREE online file storage and additional features to backup, share, edit, and access your data from anywhere you have Internet access. Simply store your files in your ADrive account & access from any device, at any time.

Here is an article from the UK about their thoughts on the best 10 free cloud storage sites.

We also talked about having a UPS to protect your PC from power outages, especially the ones that only last a few seconds.

Wish I could remember all we covered. Let me know if you want clarification of something I missed in the notes.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Class Summary 4-30-2015

Jarte vs Abiword. These are both quick to load and free word processors. Both are available in portable versions. We looked at how fast these load as compared to Word and they are free. Word is also free if you use the cut down version on It runs out of the cloud.

Portable Apps. These are quick to run without installing them and can be placed on USB flash drives. Bring all your favorite apps with you and run them from any Windows computer. We looked at the windows like start menu of the portable apps interface. There are hundreds of apps you can run as portable without having to install them on your PC. Among them are LibreOffice (Office Suite), Abiword (like MS Word), Lnumeric (spreadsheet like Excel), Google Chrome, Firefox, and more. WSUS Offline Update provides you with a secure way to update your operating system and Microsoft Office applications, creating a locally stored package that contains the latest patches and the most recent security updates. Thereby, you can use the downloaded files in order to perform system updates on any Windows machine in the absence of an Internet connection. Soluto is an unusual program. This "Anti-Frustration Software" analyzes your system and compares its findings with an online knowledge base ...

How to create a list in Yahoo Email

Want to create a named list or group of contacts to email to? For example you want to be able to email all of your family by typing family and not have to individually select each person. The way to do that is to create a list and include those contacts in the list.

Click the contact button (2nd from left)

Scroll to the bottom (left column) and create a name a New List

Locate a person to be added to your list and click the Assign to Lists button

Scroll down and place a checkmark next to each list you want that contact to be included in.

That is it. When you want to include everyone in that list, simply type the name of the list in the TO line (or BCC line) and all the contacts assigned to that list will be added.

How to print an Email
Open the Email, select the portion to be printed, right-click and select Print. Only the selected portion should print.

Word clipboard
-- When you are in a Word document, every time you copy something while in Word it ends up in the Office clipboard instead of the Windows clipboard. And unlike the Windows, that clipboard stores more than just one entry. On the Home ribbon the left hand group (the one with the Paste tool) is the Clipboard group. Click the little box in the lower right corner of the group to open the Clipboard. In it you will see all the collection of items you have copied. You can then double click them to paste them into your document one at a time in the order you want them. Or you can click the

Firefox helper will enable you to download files from,,,,,, and more than 40 other just in one click. This does not bring down just audio. It simply copies the video to your computer for offline viewing.

green down arrow
When you are in the video, click the Download button. Pull down the arrow to the right to change the resulting file type.

Blackmenu extension in Chrome adds a pull down menu for various Google Apps