Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Class Summary 4-13-2017

Show Passwords when they are hidden. Useful when you go to sign in to another computer or your cell phone and you do not have that list available. It is an extension you can add to Chrome or the other browsers. In Chrome, click the menu button, then settings, then extensions. Scroll to the bottom and add more extensions. Search for “show passwords” and select one.

Windows 10 build 1703 is on its way. You can download a copy and install it directly, but it will come down all by itself in time. You will not see too many differences from 1607, but one we notice is the absence of Control Panel from the Wind+X menu (or right-click on the Start button). Instead just search for Control Panel and pin it to the Start menu. If you want to know which build you are running, Win+R > type WINVER > press Enter. A window will display with the details.

Slow Computer?

If it just when you are browsing the net, don’t blame the Internet service provider, yet. Know what speed you are paying for and then run to see what you actually are getting. If there is a big difference between what you are paying for a getting, give them a call. But first, unplug your modem, let it stay off for a minute or two, then plug it back in and check the speed again.

If it is not the Internet connection, often the slow running is because of too many processes running in the background. Right-click the taskbar and open Task Manager to see the performance. It will show you what percentage of your CPU is in use and how much RAM is used. 100% is not good and indicates that stuff has to be cleaned up.

Restart in safe mode and see if you get your speed back. Safe mode only starts the processes necessary to do Windows. You can run all the maintenance programs in safe mode and they will run faster. This cleanup may be all you need.

If the slow running just started, it may be due to something you recently installed. Restore to a previous date and see if that fixes things.

No? Then you may want to consider backing up and then reinstalling Windows. A clean install will get you back to the original configuration without all the extras you may have installed over time. When that works, get your data back from the backup you made and install the extra programs you need.

Cell phones have temporary files taking up space just like our computers. But they cause problems more often than on our computers. You may have run into memory issues when trying to install or even update apps. If you have an Android phone, I suggest installing the CCleaner App. Works like the one we use on our computers and cleans out unneeded files freeing up space. The iOS (iPhone) does not have CCleaner in its App Store. The app I use is called Battery Doctor. It is free and does a good job cleaning up space.

Ninite is a great way to install programs and not have to worry about missing an option in the install process that results in unwanted installations or browser toolbars. I have covered this in previous summaries. See for a summary of ninite and some good into on the maintenance programs as well.

Microsoft Word will create an automatic Table of Contents. We gave an example of one during class. Simply stated you format your chapter titles as headings. Insert page numbers in the document. Open a blank page where you want the TOC to be placed. In the reference tab click on Table of Contents to see it automatically created on your blank page.

Adblock is an extension that blocks ads that appear on web pages. You know the ones; annoying and sometimes confusing. On the computer I am using right now, a Chromebook, it has blocked over nine thousand ads. You will be very glad you added this one.

Walmart Saving Catcher is an app for your cell phone or you can access it on your computer. When you purchase something from Walmart, scan the code at the bottom of the receipt (or enter the code on your computer) and all the nearby stores are checked to see if they offer any of the items you purchased at a lower price. If so, you are credited with the difference! You get it in the form of a Walmart gift card when you choose to take it.

Join the revolution and liberate yourself from overpriced, under-featured satellite and cable DVRs. With a Plex Pass, now you can record free digital broadcast channels and watch your favorite HD TV shows, movies, news, and sports on any device, anywhere in the world.

Wikibuy offers items they say at lower prices than Amazon

Using the Windows built in image backup instead of Reflect or EaseUS. The main difference I see is that you cannot retrieve individual files or folders with the Windows utility and you can with either of the other two.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Class Notes 4-6-2017

Piglet lets you know what is eating up your memory on your PC slowing you down

Amazon Giveaways really does get you things for nothing… well nothing more than giving up your email address to them and/or taking a survey.

Free Websites that are easy to build on your own. Add a domain name and you have all you need to be on the web. Even without your own domain name you will be on the web with a subdomain name from -- instead of

We talked about the easiest way to create a slideshow using Microsoft’s PhotoStory3. All you need is a group of picture and in minutes you can have an animated slide show to send to others. You can add captions, narrations, and background music all easy to do.

The original version of Windows 10 was build 1511. The Anniversary edition came out last August and it was build 1607. Yesterday MS came out with build 1703. You should see it coming down over the next few weeks. MOre on what is different as we test it out. To see what version you have, on the keyboard press Windows+R. In the box enter WINVER and press the Enter key. A a window will display telling you about the version you have installed.

The above is in Google Chrome, Advanced Settings...

Here is one I learned today. In your browser’s advanced settings you can tell it DO NOT TRACK and when you search for something in your browser it will not tell the world you did so. In others words, you will not start getting ads for what you just looked for on Facebook and other places.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Data Backups 4-4-2017

Data Backups 4-4-2017
By Dick Evans,

We talk a lot about the importance to doing backups on a regular basis. Macrium Reflect is one that we use to make an image backup of our computers. It copies the entire contents of the hard disk drives to a single compressed file on an external hard drive. It is built in such a way that a crashed hard drive can be replaced and the image used to restore everything to the new hard drive. The system works just the way it did on the day the image was made. You can also use the image to locate individual data files and restore them back.

However, anything you have done since the image is not anywhere except on your hard drive. So if you have an issue either with the hard drive or just a corrupted file, you have no way to get it back. Unless…

Many have been using USB flash drives to save their important data like tax forms and important letters. But this is only as good as the last time you remembered to update the flash drive.

There are many cloud storage web sites that allow you either for free or for a monthly fee upload anything to their cloud.

OneDrive has 5gb of free space and anything you save to your OneDrive folder gets synced to the cloud.

Dropbox is another one. You get 2gb free and can up that to 1tb for $99 per year. If you download the App to your PC anything you save to your DropBox folder gets synced to your Dropbox account similar to OneDrive.

I use both of the above and Google Photos, but my day-to-day data I let Mozy Free automatically save. I don’t have to drag anything to a special folder or even think about it. It happens. So if I lose everything on my hard disk, I can restore it from my latest image using Reflect and then restore all my day-to-day data from Mozy. And I have had to do just that a couple of years ago when my hard disk crashed in my laptop.

First let’s see what we are talking about. What is data? Simply put, if it is not a program (application), it is data. Your data is what needs to be backed up and you find it in folders under your user name. If you have multiple uses, you need to backup each one.

Desktop contains all the items on your desktop--shortcuts and whatever else you have saved to the desktop.

Documents is where most programs save what they create, like Microsoft Office and LibreOffice. And if you are like most of the users I know, your data in this folder is generally only a few hundred megabytes.

Downloads contains everything you have downloaded from the web. When something important is file there it is a good idea to move it to a folder in Documents. That way you can easily find it and it will be backed up with Mozy.

Music can contain a large number of files and take up a good deal of space, but if you really want them backed up daily you can add an additional 50gb of space for $5.99 a month. But remember that all your files, including your music are in your latest Reflect image backup. So if you just added a new album to your music library, make a new image and you will have it backed up without having Mozy do it.

Pictures can take up the most room and I do not suggest using Mozy to back them up. I use Google Photos and have the App on my Cell Phone. Everytime I take a picture it uploads to my free cloud space in my Google account. And the space it takes does not count against the 15gb of free space every Google user receives. There is an App for the PC as well that will upload any pictures you have on your PC to Google Photos.

Videos can be super large is you are one that downloads movies to your hard drive. If you take short movies on your cell phone, they will be backed up to Google Photos if you are using that App on your phone. If you have a lot of movies on your hard drive, Treat them like what I said about music. Do more frequent images with Reflect and do not use Mozy to store them. Better yet, stop downloading movie and use Kodi to stream them. use code GFBU22 and you will get an additional .25gb of free space for yourself and for me, too. Thanks.

Once you have installed Mozy you get to determining the backup sets you want. Mozy will assume you want all data folders backed up and that will take more than the 2.25gb of free space. Uncheck what you do not need to have Mozy handle for you.

Open the File System list and then drill down on your User Name.

Now check the folders and even down to the files level of what you want Mozy to handle for you.

When Mozy runs it displays a completion message showing you what it backed up for you. And form here you can go to settings and make changes.

Give it a try. It works great for me!