Thursday, March 31, 2016

Class Summary 3-31-2016

Had some members interested in some basic lessons on Windows 10. We walked through some basics and then we browsed for “YouTube WIndows 10 Tutorial” for a number of video tutorials on using Windows 10.

Fix opening page in Edge. This is no different than any of the browsers. Open the browser, then click on settings (a gear or 4 horizontal lines). Then open settings and locate internet options. Enter the web sites you want to start when IE starts and click Apply. is a great way to change those looooong URLs you want to send to someone into a short address. Paste the long one into the box and it will create short one for you to use to access the same site.

OneDrive was discussed again. It comes with Windows 8 and 10. It is a folder that contains files you have either uploaded to it, saved there by using an online application such as Word, or was synchronized from your computer running OneDrive. The OneDrive folder on your PC is on your local hard disk drive. Whatever you save into it or a folder within it is on your hard drive. It is also automatically synced with your OneDrive cloud. And anything you save in the cloud by other means syncs to your PC hard drive.

MultCloud - Put multiple cloud drives into one and there are many free places to put your files safely in the cloud. Just the ones we have talked about can add up to over 50gb of free storage. Add to that the free Google photo storage of unlimited photos and These sites can help you keep them organized.

FREE REVERSE CELL PHONE LOOKUP OR LANDLINE NUMBER LOOKUP OR EMAIL SEARCH. This is just one of a number of reverse numbe sites. Give it a try when you want to know where that strange phone call came from.

Picasa Is Going Away: 11 Apps That You Can Use Instead.

Resize, shrink, and crop your pictures online for free. There are others and I am partial to prishresizer that installs on your PC. This one works off the web and will do individual pictures or a group of them all at once.

How To Save Your Inbox From SPAM is a good article on various ways to prevent getting spam when you type your email address into sites when looking to download their software or even sign up for their newsletters.

How to check to see if your Windows 10 is activated. If not you will run into issues in the future.

How to remove bad software from Windows devices. Sometimes the uninstall program that comes with Windows does not get rid of a program. Here are some additional options.

Upgrade Your Gmail and Be More Productive. A way to schedule emails to be sent at a future time and more.

Don’t let Windows auto-install 10. If you do not change the update settings in Windows 7 or 8, then do not be surprised when you find yourself running Windows 10 all by itself. It installs as an update and will be pushed to your PC by Microsoft without you knowing unless you change the settings.

One question asked but not answered was the boxes that are checked in CCleaner--the ones checked by default. Here are a some screen shots:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Class Summary 3-24-2016

We took an in depth look at a Roku box and saw how it coupled with an indoor antenna can save the typical cable or dish user $2000 a year or more. One time charge of less than $100 for the box and about $50 or less for an antenna is all you need. Netflix will cost about $9 a month and with Amazon Prime you get many free movies and TV shows as well.

Find out what happened recently on your Windows PC using these free programs. Probably more for the techie types than the normal user.

I handed out a word search I made with computer terms. Some had fun working it out. Then I talked about how to build your own word search using the following free website

Sometimes it is nice to be able to shut the Internet connection off on your computer. This is especially true if you are running Windows XP as it is getting more vulnerable to attack now that many have pulled out of supporting it. Avast is the only antivirus program that is working. I have been using internetoff on my XP machine. Works nice.Give it a try.

I have been saying for awhile that it is not necessary to defrag your hard drive. This article explains why it IS a good idea.defragmenting is still a useful thing, but NEVER defrag a solid state drive (SSD) and that includes SD cards and USB flash drives. Their life will be shortened if you do.

OneTab is an extension you can add to your Chrome browser. It builds a list of the open tabs and stores them in One Tab. So instead of clicking on a tab, you click on a link that opens the tab from the OneTab tab. This greatly reduces the amount of memory assigned to Chrome and is great for slow systems with limited RAM.

White Paper on Maintenance that explains the programs I use to keep a PC running without malware, spyware, and PUPs from slowing it down.

Recovered how to search using a search engine like Google or even how to search your email.Also how to group your emails so it opens quicker by archiving older emails into groups or folders or tag. I use Yahoo so I create a folder called 2016 and store my 2016 email there leaving my inbox only containing the most recent months emails. You can also create filters to automatically send emails straight to a folder. Perhaps a folder for all emails coming in from Amazon. You would create a filter that tells your email program to take any incoming email from Amazon and place it unread in the Amazon folder.

To search our club blog for a certain topic, use the following syntax:


Replace “searchword” with what you are looking for. Site: tells the search to limit itself to things found in the website address that follows. In this case that is

Someone asked if there was a way to get a notification when an email shows up. Like the AOL “You got mail”. The answer is yes. You will find a setting to do that in your email program. It won’t say “You got mail” but it will pop up a notification in the lower right of your screen that stays for a few seconds. You can even click on the pop up and go right to the email.

Want to have a shortcut on your desktop to open a webpage? Open that web page and drag the address to your desktop. I usually point to the icon to the left of the address and drag it.

Remember the great program to convert PDF to JPG and other formats? We used it again today to convert a JPG to a PDF. Works great.

And we reviewed by using it to downloa a movie on Facebook to a PC. Can also be used to grab a Youtube movie and others.

There was more, but I cannot recall all of the subjects covered. CU next week.

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Class Summary 3-17-2016

This one was not discussed in class, but a classmate asked the question. I googled the following: To download a video from Facebook and it turns out there is an easy answer. Right click on the video and Copy the link to the video and then paste it into an input field at When the video has been captured, then click the "Download" button to save it on your computer.

Photoshop Elements 14 is a great photo editing program. There is a free trial version, and a fully paid version. Mine is the fully paid one. That one is available on Amazon for $78 ( Download a free 30 day trial here:

Rosemary, one of our class members has been using it for a while and brought with her some great pictures showing us how she removes people from a picture and puts someone into a picture that was not there before.

Here is a video from Adobe that shows you some of what the program can do

Page Plus X5 is a Desktop Publishing program Rosemary has been using for a long time. She highly recommends it. A free version can be downloaded at and the full version at a reasonable price at:

A new craze -- adult coloring books. And some of our classmates are already involved.

Ad-Aware Web Companion. Surf the Web more safely and conveniently than ever before. Before you hit that link in a search, this addon which works with all your browsers will see if it a safe site.

We talked about Google photos, OneDrive, Office online and much more. Hopefully we cleared up some questions. Your OneDrive is in the cloud. It is 5gb for free. You can pay for more. You can access it from anywhere by signing in to your account using you Microsoft credentials. The square made up with 9 little squares will open the list of available online options. OneDrive is a folder that contains file you have either uploaded to it, saved there by using an online application such as Word, or was synchronized from your computer running OneDrive. If you have Windows 8-10, OneDrive is on your PC. The OneDrive folder on your PC is on your local hard disk drive. Whatever you save into it or a folder within it is on your hard drive. It is also automatically syncs with your OneDrive cloud. And anyting you save in the cloud by other means syncs to your PC hard drive.

Google Photos are stored in your Google Drive. It contains 15gb of free storage. You can pay for more, but all the photos you upload are not charged against that 15gb. So upload away backing up all your photos to the cloud. You can add a Google Photos App to your PC and/or to your phone so your pictures will auto upload to Google Photos. Then we looked at the search capabilities in Google Photos including a free facial recognition component.

Some tips for purchasing a new laptop PC. I suggest at least 4gb of RAM, WIndows 10, a 500gb or more hard disk drive. Make sure it has an HDMI port to connect to your TV, USB 2 and 3 ports, and a CD/DVD drive. Dual core is great, but the higher the core the faster. Processor speeds over 2ghz is best. Wifi is a must and a hard line Ethernet connector should be there as well. You can find some good deals in the $300-400 range. I WOULD NOT take any suggested anti-virus program, extended warranty, or service package. Windows comes with Defender to handle your antivirus needs and your Computer Club takes care of your service needs for free.

I do not remember what else we talked about, but we were having so much fun we went past 4pm!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Class Summary 3-10-2016

Before class began we took a question about Excel. How do you switch the sheet so columns become rows and the rows become columns? Select the area by dragging over all the cells. Ctrl+C to copy. Delete the cells (Del). Then on the Home ribbon select the arrow under the Paste tool and select Transpose. What was in columns are now in rows.

At the end of class a Word question arose. How do you set Word to save your work as you are creating the document so you don’t lose you work. The answer is under File (if Word 2007 the orb in the upper left) and select in the lower right Word Options. Then Save. Change the number of minutes to something that works for you, Default is 10 minutes. To be real safe, set it lower.

Firestick Jailbroken worked. Ordered one for a friend last week and plugged it in. It asked for a WiFi connection and once that was set, the Amazon Firestick main page appears. All the “normal” links that come with the stick were available, like Netflix, Amazon movies, etc. Following the one page instructions that accompanied the jailbroken version, we tapped the home key twice and another page appeared with Kodi and many options to view all kinds of live shows, movies from everywhere including movies currently in the theaters. I chose a current movie and watched it streamed at 3 mbps clear and sharp as if I had rented the DVD. Cool. And yet I believe it is illegal to watch something you should be paying for. But that is my opinion.

I was asked how to add signature to text messages. Never considered this one. I have a signature on my emails--Has my name and some links about my sites under it. Found a quick YouTube on how to do the same for a text message using autocorrect. Here is that video:

If you are running more than 1 Antivirus programs, you are probably running slow. They are fighting with each other. Now let’s be clear on what an antivirus program is and not. The maintenance programs we suggest are not antivirus programs--Glary, CCleaner, Malwarebytes, and Superantispyware. Antivirus programs run all the time protecting you from viruses (not malware or spyware) coming into your computer. Norton, McAfee, AVG, Avast, and Avira along with many others are antivirus. Your service provider may supply you with a free copy to use while you are using their services. Windows 8-10 includes Defender which is a free antivirus and the one I use on my computers. They all work fine, but the real big ones (the first three mentioned above) take a lot of resources which is fine for newer machines, but may slow down some XP or Vista ones.

Print Screen vs Windows + Print Screen. Taping the Print Screen button usually found in the upper right of the keyboard will take a picture of the entire screen and place it in the Windows Clipboard. You may paste that image into any program. In Windows 10 holding down the Windows key and then tapping Print Screen puts it in the Clipboard and saves it as a PNG file in the newly included Screenshots folder found in the Pictures folder. is a website that converts a PDF to a Word document successfully. It also converts a number of other formats to and from as well. And there is a version to download if you do not want to do this online.

Manage Snap functionality in Windows 10. The Snap function lets you drag a window to either side or into a corner to autosize it be able to work on multiple windows and see them fully.

Hot spot protection is an app for your PC to protect you from hackers while you are in a public place. Probably a good idea when accessing the internet in a hotel room.

9 Handy Uses for a Cell Phone Camera. Some were silly and we all added a number of others.

How To Customize Command Prompt. Until I saw this one I thought the CMD window had to be small character in white on a black screen taking a tiny place on my desktop. CMD is used to get to the DOS prompt to do techie things. Probably not for the not so techie persons.

Disable Skypehost.exe (Windows Skype) on Windows 10. You see, Skype comes with Windows 10 and Microsoft wants you to use it. So it always starts and is always running on your taskbar. You can right-click and tell it to Quit. But why not just stop it from running.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Class Summary 3-3-2016

How To Download Your Data From Facebook. Allows you to make a backup of all your pictures and posts and conversations. This article spells it out for you. Simply put it is Settings > General > Download...

Windows Defender Can Now Scan for Malware on Startup. People ask me what I recommend for anti-virus software. I use Windows Defender and I use the maintenance programs I have talked about. If you have Comcast you get a free copy of Norton, Centurylink give syou McAfee. Both are good, but may cause an older computer to slow down. I would not suggest adding any other antivirus like the ones some of the retail stores try to sell you on. AVG, Avast, and Avira are good free ones you can download as well. LIke I said, I use Defender.

New Life For Old Hardware As a Chromebox – Free! And it works great! This article will tell you how. Bring an old laptop to life again with this great OS from Google.

How To Fix Caps Lock Annoyances. Ever pressed the Caps Lock key instead of Shift and found yourself typing in all caps? Many times for me. This little trick that I have been using for a long time adds a tone when you press it and a different tone for turn it on from turning it off. Very easy to setup.

Fake Email Generator. How often have we been required to enter an email address before getting into a site or maybe to download a white paper or an ebook? Then we start getting all kinds of unwanted emails. This site allows you to create a fake email address that really works. Use your fake address when you sign up for something. You can check back and read the emails you are getting at the fake address and if you decide you really want them, change the address to your real one.

Send up to 2gb free with Got a large file to send to someone? Use WeTransfer. It is free for up to 2gb of data. You send the file to WeTransfer and then send the link to that file to your recipient. They get to download it from WeTransfer.

White Paper on Maintenance tells you the maintenance programs I use to keep my PC clean and running fast.

Kodi is an open source application that allows you to view TV live on your computer or on your TV using an Amazon Fire Stick Jailbroken. You can find them on eBay and on Amazon. They are actual Amazon Fire Sticks with additional software added by a third party. Not sure if they are really legal, but you can freely get in the theater movies, live TV, sports events, and more.

Prishresizer is what I use to resize picture to save space and to make uploads of them to websites like Facebook quicker. Is what I use to test my Internet speeds. You should be getting what you pay for. Here is a test of my home system:

Ping is how long it takes for a signal to leave my computer, go to the server, and return. Download is the speed I am downloading at in million bits per second. Upload is the speed at which I am sending up to the server. I am paying for 15 Mbps so this reading is pretty good. If you are getting much less than you are paying for, complain.

Photoshop Express is a great free way to do easy touch-ups Fix photos fast—crop, straighten, rotate, flip, adjust color, and remove red eye and pet eye. Adjust hue, brightness, white balance, and more with easy slider controls. Enhance in fun artistic ways with Looks like Vibrant, Superpunch, and Glow. Add a finishing touch with borders and frames.

Print Screen and where does it go. When you press the Print Screen key on your keyboard it does not print what is on the screen. That was a couple of three decades ago under DOS. Now it takes a picture of the screen and places it in the Windows clipboard. You can then open another program and paste the image into it. The data remains in the clipboard until you press Print Screen again or simply copy something, then it is replaced with the new data. The clipboard is emptied when you turn your computer off.