Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Computer Club Class Notes 8-20-2019

We covered over an hour of topics before we got to the agenda. Good discussions and great questions. Here are some of the items we discussed.

A PDF is a Portable Document File and can be generated by choosing the printer “Microsoft Print to PDF”. That will generate a file that can be sent to anyone with any type of computer device and they can read it. In Windows 10, Microsoft Edge can read PDFs. Adobe Acrobat had been the free PDF reader of choice for many for years.

Image Resize
When we take a digital picture it ends up as a 1-5 MB file. Try to email that to someone and it could be larger than permitted with your email carrier. Use an image resizer to create a new and smaller image to send to others. Here is one we talked about back in May:

Faststone image resizer
FastStone Photo Resizer is an image converter and renaming tool that intends to enable users to convert, rename, resize, crop, rotate, change color depth, add text and watermarks to images in a quick and easy batch mode. Drag and Drop mouse operation is well supported. FastStone Photo Resizer makes quick work of batches of digital snapshot!

Grammarly is an extension that corrects your spell in your grammar on the fly. Does a good job.

Google Cloud
Remember a cloud is hard drive storage at a location away from your location. It is accessed using the internet. The data stored is encrypted so only you can access it.

Windows 10 has OneDrive, a 5 gb cloud
Google comes with 15gb
Google Photos provides unlimited photo storage
Dropbox comes with 2gb
And there are many more out there. In every case you can purchase more space for a reasonable cost.

For pictures I use Google Photos. It is unlimited and with the app on my cell phone every picture I take is automatically sent to the Google Cloud. If you have a free google account (gMail) you have the Google Drive (

Google Docs
If you have a Google account, you have 15 gb of storage in their cloud and have access at All your Google data is stored here. Your gMail, your Google Photos, and anything else you upload to the “drive”. If you are storing your photos or movies or Google documents, the storage is free. If you are uploading non-Google files they use your 15 gb of free space. If you run out, you can purchase more space at a reasonable monthly fee.

I use Google Docs and Spreadsheets for most of my writing. Not only is it available on my PC, but also on my cell phone and Chromebook and LinuxMint computer, and at anyone else’s computer. Access is on the web and all files are stored there. Sharing files with others is a simple as clicking Share and sending them the link. They can view but not change or I can set it to allow their comments or even to modify the file.

How to enable Ransomware Protection
Windows Defender has been gaining a foothold steadily for the past few years. But there is one flaw in the antivirus that ships with Windows 10. The option for Ransomware Protection is disabled by default even though it is available as a native option since the release of Windows 10 version 1709.

One of our members noted that a number of valid programs were flagged as ransomware. He had to go in and make them exceptions. From that point on all worked fine. Here is what he had to say:

“You should try the Ransomware Protection. I did and found it a pain in the butt. I just turned it back on the other day when Harold emailed about it. It immediately blocked Outlook in Office. Unfortunately, many routine programs get blocked. Not that hard to make exceptions but still a pain. Talk to the class about it but be aware of the false positives. Some are Windows system files if that makes any sense. Why would they get blocked? “

System Information
System software DescriptionSystem Information is a system profiler included with Microsoft Windows that displays diagnostic and troubleshooting information related to the operating system, hardware and software.

Win+R > msinfo32


How to fix 100% disk usage in Windows
High disk usage can be tricky to fix, but here are the common reasons why it happens and how you can solve it and make Windows responsive again. There are several things that can cause 100% disk usage in Windows, and it can be a tricky problem to solve. But help is at hand: here are all the common reasons why it happens and how you can fix it.

This article outlines some ways the author has found. The first says to restart. Better to shutdown and restart; this reloads everything. Use task manager (Shift+Ctrl+Esc) to see what applications are taking the most disk usage. Something is running and it may be just a bad hard drive.

100% Disk Usage in Windows 10 Fixed With 14 Tricks
Got 100% disk usage in Windows 10? So your computer is hanging and freezing. Same old Windows, right? Except you’re using a brand-new Windows 10 device; you’ve only had it a few days. So just what is going on?

This is a much better article on the 100% issue. Here are some of the suggestions it addresses:
  • Check disk performance with chkdisk
  • Check your anti-virus/malware software
  • Disable Windows search
  • Disable Superfetch service
  • Time to disable Flash
  • Is Windows Update causing 100% disk usage?
Neither article mentions is to disable the background apps from running and disabling things in Startup.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit is a free portable antivirus
This has been around for a long time and ranks high in troubleshooting arsenals.The emergency kit is available for Windows 7 through Windows 10.The download has a size of 326 Megabyte sand comes as a self-extracting installer; it does not need to be installed but is extracted to a location when you execute it. You may then run the program from that location, even if it is on a USB drive.

Download at Run it and have the installation go to your flash drive. Then it can be run at anytime from the flash drive.

Malwarebytes releases AdwCleaner 7.4
Malwarebytes, maker of the security solution of the same name, released a new version of the company's AdwCleaner program this week. AdwCleaner is a standalone free program designed to detect and remove adware and other unwanted software programs from Windows machines.

This one actually finds things MalwareBytes misses. Worth running from time to time.

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