Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Class Notes 10-30-2018

Cut the cable… This was a long discussion about what you can do to watch what you want and not have to pay the very high cable TV bills.

Comcast or Centurylink. What is the difference? They each have internet access. CL is on a DSL line and the maximum speed you can purchase is up to 25mps at this time. Notice I said up to. Your actual speed depends on how far away from their distribution center you are and how many are on the line at the same time. Do not be surprised if your actual speed is 6mps or less. Check it with a speed checking app like

I am using Comcast and the above screenshot is my speed this morning. It is quite a bit faster than anything Centurylink can provide.

They each are able to provide programming for you to watch. Comcast has there own cable network while Centurylink using Direct TV.

They each provide telephone service. Comcast uses VOIP which uses the internet connection while Centurylink uses a twisted pair landline.

Bill is too high for for? Cut the cable connection. All you need is an internet connection. Either company will do but I think the best price is from Comcast right now.

Get a VOIP phone system like Ooma. It is $99. The only fee is to pay the taxes each month which is less than $5. When you switch you can elect to port your existing number to them so nothing changes. You friends will still call the same number to reach you. Another option is to not have a house phone by porting the house number to a cell phone.

Remember those old rabbit ears we used years ago to watch TV? You can get an antenna for your TV that will allow you to pick up over 30 local channels including news and weather. Just screw the connector into the back of your TV. let your TV scan for channels (right from your remote) and you are done.

What about programming? What about those TV shows I like to watch or movies? I added a Roku box. It plugs into an HDMI port on your TV and hooks to the Internet using WiFi or an ethernet cable. One time charge for the box, just like the Ooma phone. But NO monthly charge. There are thousands of channels, some you pay for with a subscription and many are free. I pay for Netflix and watch many TV shows without commercials. There is a Pandora channel where you can listen to your kind of music all day for free. And much much more.

Now you have Internet access, a phone for under $5 a month, local TV channels, and all the movies and more you want for much less than your provider is charging.

You do not have to accept the default settings for your mouse or touchpad. You can change the size and color of the mouse pointer, the speed the pointer moves at as your mouse the mouse, the function of the wheel, and more. Open settings (Win I).

Click Devices…

In the left column, click Mouse to open the mouse window on the right, Here you can turn your right-handed mouse into a left-handed mouse and adjust the scroll wheel. If you work with multiple windows and go back and forth between them, turn on the “Scroll inactive windows…” option. There are more options under Additional mouse options.

In the Buttons tab you can change the double-click speed and more. The descriptions under each option are very clear.

The Pointer tab is where you change the size and color of the mouse pointer.

The Pointer Options tab lets you fine tune things. The example above is how I have mine set.

When using a browser, Ctrl L brings the cursor to the address line with the entire address selected. Delete or Backspace will remove the selected data, although all you have to do is start typing and the selected data is cleared giving way to what you are typing.

Change the size in the browser
Ctrl + increases the size of a web page allowing you to read the fine print. Ctrl - reduces the size of the page so you can see more of it without scrolling. Ctrl 0 brings the page size back to default.

Printing part of an email or web page
When you place an order from somewhere they send you an email confirming what you ordered or even display it on your screen. When you right-click on the screen and choose Print you can end up with multiple pages with all kinds of advertisements and even fine print. All you want to see is the details.

Quick access to Snipping Tool
Win+Shift+S opens Snipping Tool at the point you drag a box around what you wish to capture. When you drop the drag what you selected is placed in the clipboard to be pasted elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Class Notes 10-23-2018

Edit FB posts when you have made a mistake. Click the three dots in the upper right of the post and click the Edit selection. You can now make corrections to your post. If you had a picture on the post you can also add additional pictures or videos.

Last week we talked about Classic Shell. The checkbox for Classic Start in Ninite is the same program, so select it along with your maintenance options and browsers next time you update them.

Piriform Utilities is where we get CCleaner. They make other useful utilities as well that you might want to check out.
  • Recuva -- Checks for files that have been deleted and removed from the recycle bin. If the file has not been overwritten by Windows, you have a good chance of reviving it.
  • Defraggler -- Although Windows 10 defrags in the background, this tool lets you look at the health of your drives and does a more thorough job of defragging.
  • Speccy -- Gathers a lot of information about your computer. Like Belarc, but different.
JotForm is a program that lets you create a form where you can ask questions, request information, etc. It then sends the results to you in email. Great for small groups, partes, church, clubs...

Win10 KB shortcuts article has one error. It is Alt+F4 that will close an open window, not Ctrl+F4. Otherwise a great list of shortcuts… there are many others.

Cell or Landline? Good article about figuring out if the number you are calling (or receiving) is a cell phone or a landline. We tried out one of the suggestions in class:

Move Word Docs to Google Drive and you will be able to access the documents easily wherever you are through your Google account. However they will be in the .DOC/DOCX format. And they will go against your 15gb of free space. You may view them, but cannot edit them in the original format. You can, however, open them as a Google Doc file. Your document will be converted to a Google Doc where you can edit it. This new file will not be charged against your 15gb limit. When you are satisfied with the conversion, delete the Word formatted file and you will gt back that space in the Google Cloud.

Notepad++ is an expanded Notepad program for Windows. It does everything Windows Notepad does and more.

What is that flower?
Identify plants, flowers, cacti, succulents and mushrooms in seconds with the click of a button on your mobile device.
Download PlantSnap on your cell phone

Google Keep is what I use to keep our shopping list. We each can make entries on our cell phone and use it at the market to get all we want instead of getting there and trying to remember what we need.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Class Notes 10-16-2018

Backup your stuff
We have classes on using backup programs and have written many white papers available on the club website with step by step instructions. There are two we recommend: EaseUS and Macrium. When you install and run them for the first time you will be prompted to create a recovery CD or USB flash drive. These will be needed should you ever need to recover your hard drive.

EaseUS has three different types of backup
  1. Disk partition will allow you to determine which partitions you want to back up
  2. File will allow you to backup selected files/folders
  3. System will backup the entire hard drive--all folders, files, and partitions
How to save a picture that is on FB newsfeed. Click the picture to open it. Then right-click the picture in the new view. Select SaveAs and change the long name to something you will remember and place it in the folder you desire (download is default)

Google photos is a great place to store all your photos and automatically from your cell phone by installing the Google Photos App. (see white papers on this subject at

Libre vs MS vs vs Google Docs
LibreOffice is a nice replacement for Microsoft Office. And it is free. Google Docs is also free and comes with your Goolge Account. Easy to use and reads MS formatted files. WPS is a new one that looks and feels like MS, but is also free.

PatchMyPc is a great replacement for Ninite. It installs on your PC. When you run it, it scans your programs to create a list of what you have installed. Then it checks to see if there are newer version available. Then you click to install the updates. To add a new program, find it on the list (left column) and check it. CCleaner is on the list so you do not need to install it separately.

Locknote for passwords. It is a simple and free notepad program that has password protection. The first time you use it you have to enter a password to get back into it. I use it to store all my passwords.

To remove the need to type a password when starting W10

Win + Q > NETPLWIZ, uncheck the box and click OK. Enter your current password twice and click OK. The next time you turn on your PC, it will skip the need for your to type your password. WARNING: keep you password close as from time to time you may need to enter it.

To copy applications from one PC to another Easeus has a paid program that will do just that. Especially good when you purchase a new PC and you cannot find the installation programs for your programs.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Class Notes 10-9-2018

1809 has been taken off line by Microsoft. Best not to install it if you already downloaded it. If you did and you are having problems, they have announced they will assist you in getting back what you have lost. Give them a call.

Simple Passwords we have discussed before and Harold gave a great talk on it earlier this year. Put simply, Use the first letter of the site you are creating a password for and capitalize it. Use the last letter of that site as the last letter of the password, lower case. So if the site is start with A and end with n. What you place in between will be the same for any site you use and should be at least 6 characters, contain a special character and a number. Perhaps your dog's name is snoopy. You could use $n00py which satisfies all the requirements and the password for Amazon would be A$n00pyn. The password for Staples would then be S$n00pys. Simple but useful.

MetroPCS just bought Sprint and has an agreement with Google that gives users of their cell phones 100gb on Google and free Prime on Amazon. I think I will check this out further.

Classic Shell found at give you a start menu on Windows 10 that has the appearance of X, Vista, or 7.

Use to convert those loooong URL’s to short ones. I use it all the time.

CCleaner removed my stored passwords? That is because you have the option to remove passwords checked. Remove the checkmark and that will not happen again. Make sure you remove it for all the browsers that CCleaner cleans.

Defragging is not necessary in Windows 10 as the Operating System does it for you when your computer is idle. If you want to do it on your own, I suggest the Advanced Utilities in Glary Utilities.

What Happens when I close the lid? Depending on your settings you can make closing the lid do nothing, put your laptop to sleep, hibernate it, or perform a normal shutdown.

Shutdown with Glary by checking the box to do so when you run the 1 Click Maintenance. I do this last thing at night and then walk away. Cleaning is done and the shutdown run without my having to do anything else.