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.