Friday, April 29, 2016

Class Summary 4-28-2016

It is important that you remember your usernames and passwords. Many of you have your PC set to not required a password to get into it. It starts and logs itself in because you set it to do that. It is still using your password. You just do not have to key it in. Jump ahead to a time when your computer must be worked on because it is no longer working. The technician may need that password. And there is no way for us to “discover” it from your hard drive. Often the only option is to copy all your data to another disk, format your hard drive and reinstall Windows. And even then we need your Microsoft account username and password to set up all the features in Windows 10. When your computer is reloaded with Windows any programs you had installed will no longer be there. Somewhere you need to write down the following usernames and passwords. Sometime in the future you will need to have them.
  • Windows Username and Password
  • Microsoft Username and Password
  • Email address and password (you may have more than one email address)
  • SSID and key to access (this is for your home system)
  • Comcast Username and Password (if you have Comcast) so you can access Xfinity Wifi when you are away from home.
When you are downloading and installing new software it may add additional programs running in Startup. To check that, open Task Manager (right-click on Start and choose it). Then click the Startup tab to see what is running and disable what you do not want to start every time you turn on your PC. Also, to check to see if that new installation added other unwanted programs during the install, right-click on the Start button and choose Programs and Features. This will list all the programs. Locate the Installed On tab and click it to sort the items in date sequence. You might have to click it twice to get the newest on top of the list. Here you will see the program you just installed. Before or after its entry make sure nothing else installed as well. If so, you can uninstall them while you are in this window.

All PC’s come with USB ports. If the color of the port (look inside) is white, it is a USB 2 port. If it is blue, it is USB 3. Many of the newer PC’s are coming with both. If your device has a blue end, use the blue USB port. It is the fastest. Plugging white to blue or blue to white is a waste of resources--you will be running a lot slower if you are running a USB 3 device in a USB 2 port. It will work, but not with the speed it is capable of.

tinySpell Adds Spell Check To Notepad, WordPad, And All Windows Programs. This is a quick download and installation. Now whenever you are in a program that does not have a spellchecker tinySpell does the checking for you. download

Email STRIPPER is a free program for cleaning the ">" and other formatting characters out of your emails. I have been using it for years. You copy the text out of an email and paste it into email stripper. Click Strip it!. All the junk is removed and it is ready to click Paste to copy it to the clipboard and then paste the cleaned text into the email you want to send. Also remember to get rid of the list of other people's email addresses so you do not include them in yours.

Hard of hearing? This is great free service. The phone and installation is free and there is no monthly cost. When a call comes in the phone will display whatever the caller is saying and you read it on the screen. I saw it in action and it worked great.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Class Summary 4-21-2016

Demonstration of Kodi programmed on the Amazon FireTV stick. The Firestick works like the Roku stick. You plug it into an HDMI port on the TV. Switch to that port and you need first to find a WiFi connection to use and enter the password to connect to it. Then you will need your Amazon user name and password.

There are thousands of movies, TV shows and channels to choose from. But, to use Netflix you need an account. If you have Amazon Prime you will have thousands of free movies and TV shows to choose from as part of your Prime package. Lots of other options to scroll through.

OneDrive review
Last week's blog covered OneDrive, but there was still some confusion. OneDrive is a folder on your PC on the hard drive. You can save files to it. They are on your PC just like all the other files you may have. When you do your image backup you are backing up the contents of the OneDrive folder as well. If you are logged into your Microsoft account, then anything you save in your OneDrive folder will be synced to your Microsoft cloud storage. This does not take it off of your hard drive. The cloud storage becomes a backup of your OneDrive folder.

Sharing Information a White Paper (see bottom of this summary)

Opera is an attractive option for left-behind Chrome users. Chrome is no longer supporting XP and a good replacement is Opera. Has a similar look and feel to Chrome.

Offline editing with Google Docs is something new. It enables you to work on a document in Google Docs and then when you are no longer on the Internet to be able to continue to work. When you are back online, the documents you were working on sync back to the cloud.

My favorite capture tool is not the Snipping Tool in Windows. That works but does not have the features of other programs both purchase and free. I have used MWSnap for years. When I want to capture something from the screen I press Ctrl+Shift+A and a small windows pops up (like a crosshair) and I draw a box around what I want to capture. Then I click to capture. I can then add other items to the capture like a mouse pointer and either save it as an image to my computer of just paste it into a document. (I have mine set to always place a copy on the clipboard.)


Sharing Information
By Dick Evans (

The Internet can make sharing information easy. But we've all run into roadblocks trying to share larger files. If you have tried to send a large number of photos or a large data file by email you may have been unable to. You attachments were too large.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to share large files like these. There are a number of Websites that will help. Each one has slightly different features. This paper will help you find one that fits your needs.

Dropbox —This service is a powerhouse in the digital world. It is incredibly versatile, and it's great for sharing files. Take your docs anywhere

Save files on your computer, then access them on your phone from the road. Everything you keep in Dropbox is synced automatically to all your devices. First 2gb free. Use this link or click above and get 2.25 instead while giving me extra, too.

WikiSend This service is designed for sharing smaller files. It limits you to 100-megabyte uploads. After you upload your files, you can share the link.

You can name your upload and set a password. You can also set how long the file is available for download. Your choices range from one to 90 days.

Senduit This service is much like WikiSend, However, there are fewer features. It has a 100MB upload limit. You get a link to share with family and friends. But there is no option to set a password.

You can control how long the file is active. You can make files available for up to one week. However, the minimum time limit can be as little as 30 minutes. Best for sharing medium-sized files over a short time period.

WeTransfer --WeTransfer is great for sharing larger movies and other media files. You can upload up to 2GB of files. You can email or share the link to the files with as many as 20 people.

Your files will be active for 7 days. No account registration is required. And you can create as many file transfers as you want. That's handy if you want to share different files with different groups of people. Best for sharing large files over a medium period of time. Share any number of files in second. is an instant, real-time file publishing and sharing service. With there is no need for special software or plug-ins. It is a simple file sharing and publishing tool for all types of materials including documents, video, music and photos. The first 2gb are free.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Class Summary 4-14-2016

Last week we had trouble finding how to turn bubble on on the taskbar. That ^ that opens a bubble with other icon. It was not too difficult once you knew where it was hiding.
Start > Settings > System > Notifications and actions >

Select which icons…

And make sure the switch is set as Off

Download MP3 from movie on YouTube by copying the URL and opening

Shortcut to Devices and Printers
Win+X > Control Panel > Devices and Printers

Place the mouse pointer on the picture to the right of the up arrow and left drag it to the desktop. Now you have a shortcut to go right to the printer window.

We spent a bit more time on OneDrive. OneDrive is both a folder on your C: drive and storage in the Microsoft cloud allocated to you. The amount you own is 5gb or more depending on how long you have had your Microsoft account. You can access your cloud space from any computer by going to If you are not already logged into your account because of your Windows 10 login, you will be asked to enter your Microsoft user name (an email address) and your password.

Back to the PC. Whatever you save into your OneDrive folder on your PC will be synchronized (synced) to your OneDrive cloud. The OneDrive folder is just like any other folder on your C: drive. You can save files into it and create additional folders within it. The only difference is that whatever you place into a OneDrive folder is synced to the cloud when you are connected to the Internet. And when you copy a file from a non-OneDrive folder into your OneDrive folder that file is moved--it is no longer in the original location.

If you have a wireless printer, all you have to do is go to Devices and Printers and add a printer. Windows 10 will locate the printer and add it. Then it becomes one of the printers on your list in the print dialogue box.

If you do not have a wireless printer, you can easily share printers at home when you are using Google Chrome. Now the printer and the PC it is connected to will have to be turned on for this to work. Open a new tab and type chrome://settings/. Scroll down and click Advanced settings.

Scroll down to locate the Google Cloud Print section. Click Manage.

You can add printers that are in your network. Now when you go to print something, at the print dialog screen…

Go to the Google Cloud Print section and choose the printer.

If you have a Google account and it is very easy to set one up--all you need is an active email address and that does not have to be with gmail, Google Docs is a great office suite. It is all in the Google cloud of which you have 15gb the day you sign up. Lots of neat features and you can share a document with others so you can all work on it or just let others read it. You can download in many formats including Word or OpenOffice/Libre format. You can access all your work on any computer. And more. We will have to talk more about this next week.

Pressing multiple keys like Ctrl+Alt+Del has been taught wrong for years. You do NOT press them all at the same time. Hold all but the last key down, tap the last key, and then release the others. In 10, Ctrl+Alt+Del brings up a menu allowing you to access the Task Manager among other things.

Double Clicking is another thing taught wrong. It is not how fast you click. It is about clicking twice quickly without any movement of the mouse. If you have shaking hands, even just a little, click once to select the icon on the desktop, then press the Enter or Return key on the keyboard.

PDF or image to Word. A free OCR solution.

File Explorer shortcut -- very convenient
Alt+P to toggle preview window

Multiple Desktops -- this is a good explanation of using them.

Switch a Microsoft Account to a Local Account

Google Photos gets smarter, automatically creates albums with your best photos

How to Manage Windows 10 Startup Programs

How To Use Google Docs Even Without An Internet Connection

Friday, April 8, 2016

Class Summary 4-7-2016

One of our members brought in his Chromecast so we could look at how to set it up. I plugged it into the TV set in an HDMI port. It immediately started and told me I needed to set up the WiFi connection as the one it had been used on was not available. I had to see what network my PC was on and then download and run the setup program from the Chromecast site. This accessed the device plugged into the TV and reset the WiFi connection to be the same as the PC. Now I could cast what was on the PC to the TV screen.

In the maintenance programs we use each has features that run in the background and cause system tray entries or even notification screens to appear. Glary likes to tell me that I have programs that need updating. I do not want to see that pop up every day, so I unchecked the checkbox on the left of the main screen in Glary. When I run Glary, I get to see that and can elect to click and update or not. Same is true with options in MalwareBytes, Superantispyware, and CCleaner. Check out their tools or properties sections and turn off what you do not want to see happen automatically.

Clicking the start button brings up a few things to jump to like Power, Settings, and All Apps. You can choose additional startup folders by going to Settings > Start Menu...

Thanks to Paul, here is an article on “How to Customize the System Tray Icons in Windows 10” t answer the question of why all the icons are on the right side of the taskbar instead of in the bubble accessed by clicking the chevron.

Using multiple desktops. With some experimenting we figured out how to use the new multiple desktops feature in 10. It works like physically attaching a second monitor and setting it to extend. This allows you to drag a window from your primary desktop to the secondary one showing on the second monitor. Then you can jump back and forth from one desktop to the other and work. Similar to this, you can switch between virtual desktop with this new feature by dragging a window from one to another. You can set up as many additional virtual desktops as you need.

Netplwiz run from the Run dialog box (Win+R) opens a dialog box. Uncheck the box at the top and you will no longer have to enter your password when you turn your PC on. When you hit Apply you will be asked to confirm your password. Next time you boot, you will be automatically signed in.

Use email filters to automatically direct emails from certain people to a folder other than your Inbox. It works similar in all the email clients. Locate the Tools button and then settings and you should find a Filter selection. When you click on it, you can then explain what you want to filter, like email from and tell it to be placed in to a folder. Mail from them will no longer be found in the inbox, but in the new folder instead.

Ever get those emails with tons of email addresses throughout? Copy and paste the email into email-extractor and it will parse out all the addresses that you can use to put into your contact list, add to a database like Mailchimp’s, or anyplace else.

Email Checker is a simple tool for verifying an email address. It's free and quite easy to use. Just enter the email address and hit check button.

We had a discussion on how to extend the range of a WiFi router. Like when the signal at the other end of the house is too weak to use or when you want to tie into your neighbor’s WiFi, with permission of course. There are many to choose from and my examples may not be the best since I do not have one. One type extends the range of an existing wireless network. You place it away from the router and it re-transmits the signal making it stronger in those places it was weak. Another is an antenna that you place somewhere, like near a window, and it grabs the signal and sends it to your computer. This uses a USB port and is a self contained WiFi card. Great for that desktop that does not have WiFi. Another is a directed antenna that does the same job but can pull in a weaker signal. And the last extends the signal by sending through the electrical wiring in the house. It comes in two parts. The first is the one that grabs the weak signal and sends it into the wiring. The second goes in the room you need a connection and give you a hard line connection using an ethernet cable. Here are some examples. Same, but from Amazon

KeePass 2.32 brings regular expression search. This is a new version of KeePass to store your passwords.

Cloud convert anything to anything. We looked at this one but could not see what anything means. It does take a Web site and save it as an image.

White Paper on Maintenance -- posting this again for those who want to know what we use.