Friday, February 24, 2017

Class Summary 2-23-2017

Began with a discussion on folders. A folder is a container used to organize other folders and files within. Windows comes with some preset folders like Documents, Downloads, Pictures, and others. You may create additional folders inside or under any of them. Open the folder you wish to add a folder under.

Then either click New Folder in the ribbon, right-click in the folder and choose New > Folder, or just type Ctrl+Shift+N. A new folder will appear with the name new folder selected. Replace that temporary name with the name you want to give it.

We discussed the Downloads folder. When you receive an email with an attachment. The downloaded file ends up in your download folder. So do the pictures you download from Facebook or elsewhere. And the programs you download to install. So downloads generally ends up with a lot of junk you do not really need to hand on to. However, when you do download a picture or a file that you want, move it to a better place. Like pictures to your picture folder or documents to your document folder. You might even create a subfolder to better organize your stuff. Like a folder for trip to disney 12-2016 and place all your pictures from that trip in that folder. This makes it much easier to locate them later.

The question came up about placing emails in folder for easy access to the later. Years ago we had a program that came with Windows called Outlook Express or we worked in an office that used the paid for Outlook program. Those programs actually received our emails and placed them on our computers. We could then back them up or organize them as we wished. Today our emails are stored in the cloud at our email provider. Comcast emails are stored at comcast and we access them through the internet wherever we are. Same with gmail, yahoo, live, AOL, and others. The only way to “save” them on our computer is to print them as a PDF and store the resulting file.

When we get a new computer, we need to move data from one computer to another--from the old one to the new. I suggest an external hard drive be plugged into the old computer and the files and folders under your username be copied to it. Then plug the external into the new computer and copy them to the new. Programs cannot be moved from the old to the new. You will need to install them on the new. Locate your original installation media and key codes. There is a product called PCMover that will move some, but not all, programs. I have not used it, but it gets good reviews. It is not free.

Recuva is a free program from that will scan your hard drive and locate deleted files. Yes, the ones you deleted and then removed from the recycle bin. is a site that lets you access free movies and TV shows. I have not used it, but one of our members recommend this.

I wrote a paper on the maintenance programs I use to keepy PC clead. Here is a link to that paper:

I installed and demonstrated Photo Clip 7 which is a paid for program that makes it incredibly easy to set your main subject against a new background! In the following example, the picture of the family is removed in only 3 steps and placed in front of a new background, resulting in a completely new image!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Class Summary 2-16-2017

One of our members was wearing her smartphone and everyone was interested in it. It is called a Smartphone Lanyard Necklace

Password Checker was something we talked about last year and harold mentioned it again in his January talk on passwords. Here is the link.

Find My Friends allows you to track someone by their cell phone. You need their permission.

Filter Your News Feed by adding this neat applicaiton

British TV streamed for $5 a month

Yes, Kodi on Windows 10 is easy to do to download the installer and then a YouTube video that tells you how to a full featured addon

12 powerful websites that can replace your PC's desktop software. Great idea, but the links do not work yet.

Direct TV with no dish or boxes and a free Amazon Firestick

Build your own Simple and Free Website. To keep it active you have to log into it at least once a month

Verizon safety net is something I talked about last week and forgot to include. It takes over when you use up all your 4GLTE data on your cell phone dropping you down to 4G unlimited.

Best Cell Phone Apps 2016 is an article with 50 interesting apps to try

Windows 10 Ads & Notifications shows you how to stop some of those annoying popups right in Window 10

Set Up Acquaintances in Facebook so you avoid see most of their newsfeeds and can remove them from seeing your posts without unfriending them

The safest ways to lend someone your Android phone is to setup a guest account that you switch your phone to first. Then they do not have access to your apps and passwords.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Class Summary 2-9-2017

Almost thirty signed in today. We spend the first hour or more talking about using other methods to get the shows we want to watch on TV rather than subscribing to a cable or provider for hundreds of channels we never look at.

Many of us pay big bucks to watch a few shows on our televisions. We either ahve a satellite or cable connection through some local service that feeds us hundreds of channels. Have we really looked at what we are watching? I will bet you are not looking at most of them and have just a few shows you follow plus local news channels.

If all you need are the local channels, get an antenna and plug it into the back of your TV where the cable from your current carrier plug in and go to Setup on your TV remote. Scan for channels and do not be surprised if you find 20-30 channel available right over the air. No cable connection needed at all.

Now don’t cancel all your services. You still need an internet connection, but that will be a lot lower cost than the bundle you now have. Now speed is nice, but you do not need the high speed line they may try to talk you into. You can stream movies at 6 mbps.

Phones are another topic, but if you have a cell phone why keep the in house phone? If it is part of your cable bundle, if the power goes out so does the phone. You cell phone will still work and you can charge it in you vehicle. I like my number, you say. You can port your existing number to your cell phone. There might be a small charge to do this, but you save that other bill every month.

OK, the cable is cut. How do I get to watch my favorite shows? As long as you have an internet connection you can use one of the popular devices. We are going to look at the Roku ($30+) and FireStick ($40 with Alexa Voice). They allow access to a number of free streaming services and many pay for services as well. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you automatically have access to free movies and TV shows with either of these devices. I have used Netflix for years and can access it using my Roku or FireStick.

Add Kodi to the FireStick and you can watch any movie, TV show, Live TV, Sports, and more. Add you can add it free using one of the many YouTube videos out there that step you through the process. Now you have the best of both--you have local TV for free and all the movies and TV shows you ever want to watch, even live TV all for the cost of the stick.

Kodi can also be installed on your PC and your smartphone. Watch what you want when you want to watch it.

We touched on OneDrive, Google Docs, and Google Photos all of which we have been discussing each week. Look at prior class summaries for detail.

Demonstrated using speech to text while in Google Docs and in the Google search engine.

Was asked how to clean up a cell phone. I use CCleaner on my Android phone. It is not available for an iPhone, so use Battery Doctor on it.

What should I buy when getting a new PC? My suggestion is always to see what is on sale. All the major brands are good in my opinion--Dell, Acer, Asus, HP, and Toshiba. Look for a multi core machine with no less than 4gb for RAM and at least a 500gb hard drive. WiFi is a must. Many laptops do not come with DVD drives today. But don’t let that stop you because you can purchase an external one that plugs into a USB port for $20 or less.

If you are just planning on using it for internet access and email and Facebook, I suggest a Chromebook instead of a Windows 10 laptop. A Chromebook does not need an antivirus or any of the maintenance programs we suggest for a Windows PC.

You can find laptops for under $300 and Chromebooks for under $200. Check the local stores for deals--Staples, Best Buy, Walmart...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Class Summary 2-2-2017

We began with a question about how to print the screen. Back in the days of DOS, we would press the Print Screen key on the keyboard and whatever was on the screen would be sent immediately to our printer. Today the same key takes the image on the screen and places a snapshot of it in the Windows clipboard. From there we can paste it into any other application, like the Paint program to change it and save it as an image file (JPG) or into a word processor as an image to include in a document. In Windows 10 holding down the windows key and pressing print screen will create an image file and save it in the Screenshots folder in your Pictures folder.

The Snipping Tool comes with Windows and using it your can draw a box around anything on your screen. When you release the mouse button what you boxed appears in the Snipping window. From there you can copy it, save it as an image file, and other options.

I have used MWsnap for years. And there is one on call Greenshot that does a nice job as well. And this one I found last week, but have not tried… Screeny is a powerful screen capture program for Windows

LibreOffice 5.3 ships with experimental Office-like Ribbon UI. This link takes you to the article we discussed in class about the new version. It includes an experimental “ribbon” bar similar to MS Office, but not called that. Details are in the article.

Download LibreOffice 5.3

Windows 10 tip: Repair your Windows 10 installation. When you have a serious issue with Windows 10, it has it’s own repair capability by running a reset. This reinstalls Windows 10. But, it also removes all your non-Microsoft programs while keeping your data. Using a Windows 10 install CD which you can download from the web at no charge, you can upgrade your PC to the same version and keep all your programs and data. This article explains it.

Spreadsheet Basics. There are a number of spreadsheet programs out there. The most used is probably MS Office Excel. As you know, that is not a free programs. Others include OpenOffice, LibreOffice, GNumeric, Google Docs, and more… The following link opens the white paper I used in class: and here is the link to the sheets we built today in class: