Friday, January 27, 2017

Class Summary 1-26-2017

We started the afternoon off discussing the “cloud”. We did go down a few deep rabbit holes as well, but here is a little on the cloud.

What is the Cloud
You know what a USB flash drive is. You can copy files to it and then take it with you. If you are at someone’s house you can plug your flash drive into their PC and access all the files you have saved on that flash drive. To maybe you use it to come back and forth from your other house.

Cloud drives are external drives where you can save your data just like you can with that flash drive you plug in and then remove to take with you. The difference is that your access to your cloud drive is through the Internet. To access your cloud drive you need to know the username and password you assigned to it.

On Windows 10 there is a folder called OneDrive. When you established your Microsoft account, you received your cloud drive from them. It has 5gb of free storage and automatically syncs the data in your OneDrive folder to your cloud drive. Access your drive by logging in to There you will see your OneDrive and a number of other free services like Word and Excel and more. Whatever you put into OneDrive will sync to your cloud and your OneDrive folder on your PC.

If you have a Google account, you have 15gb of free space. In addition you have access to Google Docs, a full office suite of applications and Google Photos. With Photos you have an unlimited amount of storage to your images and video. By installing the Google Photo app on your smartphone, every picture you take is automatically uploaded to your Google Drive. is another popular free cloud. It has 2gb of free space and you can update that for a reasonable fee to 1tb of space. You can upload any files to your dropbox and share them with others, if you wish. Either a file at a time or an entire folder of files. By installing the application on your PC you can sync all files in the DropBox folder on your PC to your cloud drive making it a great backup solution and allowing you to access the data on your home PC wherever you are at, even on your smartphone.

We discussed other cloud storage like Amazon Prime and others. They all give you easily accessible places to safely store your data. You just need the Internet.

Cut the Cable Bill.
Also touched on cutting the cable and reducing the size of that monthly “deal” for Internet, TV, and phone. Internet you you need, but not the very high speeds they are trying to convince you into. 6 mbps streams fine. I have 25 mbps from Comcast and pay less the $30 each month. I do not have TV or satellite or phone service from my provider. How can I get local TV channels and movies? I have a $10 set of rabbit ears I bought at Wal-Mart and can pick up all the local news channels and more for free.

I have a RoKu box and subscribe to Amazon Prime so I get free movies and TV shows both there and on Netflix. Each are less than $10 per month. You can also download the major networks as apps on your smartphone or tablet and watch live TV there for free.

There are many low cost ways to get a “home” phone using service like MagicJack, OOMA, Vonage, and others. At the most you will pay less than $20 per month and have all special features and free long distance--even into Canada and Mexico with some and low cost overseas.

Using Kodi, you can program your PC, Firestick, and other devices to see just about anything for free. So for less than $50 a month you can have the full “bundle” you are probably paying close to or over $200 for. One of the members warned us that some new TV’s are not coming with built in TV tuners, so you may not be able to put an antenna on them to get local channels. So if you are buying a new set make sure the set includes a tuner.

How to Use Windows 10’s “Quick Assist” to Remotely Troubleshoot a Friend’s PC. Easy to use and simple replacement for LogMeIn and TeamViewer.

Protect your PC against ransomware. This is another malware like cleanup that will help to prevent you from getting hit with ransomware.

There were many other questions and answers. I wish I could have remembered them all to include in these notes. If you think of one, please let me know and I will add something about it.

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