Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Computer Club Class Notes 9-24-2019

How to Restore the Recycle Bin Icon in Windows 10
Select the Start button, then select Settings. Or, right-click on the desktop and choose Personalize.
Select Personalization > Themes > Desktop icon settings.
Select the Recycle Bin checkbox > Apply.

A great way to update and install a number of useful programs. We have discussed this many times in the past. This is what we use to install the maintenance programs we recommend you use weekly.
Glary Utilities
See https://tinyurl.com/y5khjplq for more on using Ninite

This must be initially downloaded from ccleaner.com. Then when you open it to run each week, if a newer version is available download and install it. When asked to purchase just click “no thanks” then choose the free version.

See more at https://tinyurl.com/yxa8uypr and some good how-to’s https://tinyurl.com/y6smyzo2

Place Icon on Desktop
Open the website you want an icon on the desktop for in Chrome or Brave.
Click the menu button (3 dots or dashes in u[[er right)
More tools > Create shortcut
Give it a name
Locate it on your desktop

Power Options
Windows comes with default power options that cause the computer to got to sleep after so many minutes or the screen to turn off. Also what happens when you shut the cover on a laptop. Let’s look at how to change those.

Win+I > type “power” > select power & sleep then adjust settings OR...
Win+I > type “lid” > select change what closing the lid does then adjust settings

Cut/Copy/Paste and the new Win+V
Except for the later, these shortcuts have been used for decades to copy and move files and folders. Let’s review using them and the click-shift method of selecting. Before 1903 the clipboard could only hold the last thing copied to it. When pasting, Win+V opens a list of everything sent to the clipboard since the last restart or when it was cleared,

We used notepad to demonstrate using Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+V and Ctrl+Z

Change the mouse look and speed
Windows comes with a tiny mouse pointer. You can change that and it's color and the speed it moves across the screen.

Ctrl+I > type “mouse” > Change your mouse settings then click Additional mouse settings

Mouse locator
Ever have trouble locating the mouse? It is there somewhere but you can’t see it. One simple switch and hitting the ctrl key will display flashing circles around the pointer.

Desktop pictures or not
Windows displays a number of caned images at the start screen and in the desktop background. You do not have to settle for the defaults. You can even use your own pic

Win+U > Background settings

Backup reminder
Let’s talk about the need for doing backups and the number of ways to do that.

Copy to flash drive
Copy to DVD
EaseUS image

Free and easy to use online PDF to text converter to extract text data from PDF files without having to install any software.

You upload a PDF with photos and text and it returns a text file of just the words. Great for extracting data from a PDF.

Where are my photos?

Most of us take pictures and even short movies right on our cell phones. Three are many questions about photos.

How do we get those over to our computer?
How do we send them to others?
Can I edit them on my phone or on my computer?
Why are they so large?
How do I download a picture from Facebook?
How do I save a picture from an email?

What do I do? I use Google Photos on my phone so every picture I take is stored in the Google Cloud at no charge but having a free Google account.

Experience smarter and faster photo editing. Pixlr X is the only photo editor you need for quick yet professional edits. Designed with just the right amount of easy to navigate photo editing tools, you are about to experience the next best online image editor built with cutting edge technology.

This needs Adobe Flash installed. Works great with high-end edits and more. A free “photshop” like app.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Computer Club Notes 9-17-2019

Another good afternoon both online with those away and those who joined us live at the club. We had a number of questions and conversations before getting to look at the items I had bulleted in my email.

Desktop Shortcuts for Website
See https://davescomputertips.com/elderly-computing-tip/

Some shortcuts we used today:
F11 while in a browser removes the top lines like the address bar and shortcut bar to give more room for the page itself. F11 to toggle back

Win+D hides all open windows so you can see the desktop. Win+D to toggle the windows back.

Win+I opens the Settings window

Getting files/folders off a device plugged into your PC--USB flash drive, camera, SD card, CD, audio recorder, etc. The device will open in File Manager and look like a disk drive with floders and files. To move that data off the external device onto your PC, left-drag the file or folder to wherever you want it to reside on your PC. Since the from device is external, left -drag will copy the data. It will end up on your PC and still remain on your device. If you are moving from one area on a device (PC or external) to another area on the same device, left-drag will move it. If you right-drag instead of left, an options menu will pop up asking what you want to do--move, copy, create a shortcut.

Ctrl+C to copy what is selected

Ctlr+X to copy what is selected and remove the selected item

Ctrl+V to paste the last thing selected

Ctrl+Z to undo the last action

Ctrl+Y to redo the last action

Win+V to scroll through the clipboard

About Defragging
Defrag is a way to put fragmented files back together on the hard drive. It speeds up access to files and frees up available space on the drive. Windows 10 does a defrag when the system is idle. However, you may run it on your own. I like the Defrag that is in Glary. CCleaner has one as well. To access the one in Windows: Win+I > type “defrag” and click to open the Optimize Drives window.

Photo Size
When you take a picture the size of the file depends on the quality of the image. An outdoor photo generally is larger than one with less light. The size is also determined by the pixel size your camera is designed to create. Most cell phones make about a 15 MP image. This creates a file size of 2-3 MB. When you send this by email you should resize the image so it does not take such a long time to send. Some email carriers have a limit on the total size of attachments.

When you upload or use the Google Photos app on your cell phone, your images will upload in their original size and you will be charged for space on Google Drive. If you select to allow Google to reduce the size of the image, you will not be charged. The size they reduce it to is still quite large. But if you download an image from Photos and compare it to the original you will see the difference.

The conclusion of our discussion was that is we have pictures that we want to retain the high quality in, keep them in a folder on your hard drive or even in OneDrive as it does not reduce the size/quality of the images.

Capture Video Playing On The PC
We did not find this during class. With Windows 10 you can capture your screen for later playback using these steps.

Switch to Settings>Gaming>Game DVR.
Set up your audio and video quality settings.
When you're ready to record, open the Game Bar with Win+G.
Click “yes, this a game”
Record your screen capture video.
Find your video in Videos>Captures.

Try it out and let me know how it works… Here is a good article about it:

Windows 10 has a built-in free screen recorder
You've very probably been using Windows 10 for a long time now, but that doesn't mean that you've discovered everything it has to offer. The operating system is packed with features, but there are some that are hidden away to the extent that they could be considered secrets.

How to create a Bootable Linux CD
First, you need to download the ISO file for the version of Linux you want to create a boot disk from. Here is a link to downloading the latest Mint ISO:

Be sure to choose the version for your PC, 32 or 64 bit. Now that you have it on your PC (probably in Downloads) you need to burn it to a CD.

Insert a blank DVD into your Optical drive. You may see a popup window asking you what to do with the Disc, close the window as you do not need it.

Locate the ISO image then Right-Click and select 'Burn disc image'.

Check 'Verify disc after burning' and click 'Burn'.

Take the burned DVD and boot from it. You will see a live session of that Linux OS running in RAM not having any effect on your Windows OS or your hard drive.

How To Start Word In Safe Mode
Even though it is highly unusual to encounter stability issues with Microsoft Word, it does happen on occasion. If Word is not starting properly, you can start it in Safe Mode to try to sort out what the problem may be.

We did not get into this as nobody in the class was actually using Word. If you are, check it out. It might become useful to you in the future.

How to disable Google Chrome Software Reporter Tool
Software Reporter Tool is a Google Chrome standalone process that monitors your Chrome install and reports if any add-ons are interfering with the normal functioning of the browser. The tool isn’t connected to the web but mainly used by the browser to recognize programs that may conflict with it. It’s visible as a 54Kb executable named “software_reporter_tool.exe“. If you face a high CPU usage for this process or if you frequently see a message Google Chrome Software Reporter Tool has stopped working; you might want to disable or remove it. Here is how you can do it.

This is something that could slow down processing. It does require some technical ease so not everyone should attempt some of these changes.

Alternative Web Browsers
Using a less-popular web browser can offer benefits not found in the more commonly used software, such as greater customization and privacy.

I use Brave and am very happy with it. If I find a web site that will not work right in Brave or another browser I use Edge. Yes, I know Edge. Web sites are generally created to use Edge because it is the one that comes with Windows.

This article shows you a number of other browsers, each with its own special features. Check them out and you might find one just for you.

How to Import an Old Email Account Into GmailIf you recently switched to Gmail, but want to import all your old emails into your account, Google makes it a breeze. Automatically transfer messages and contacts from one email address to the other within minutes.

My advice is to NOT use the email that your service provider supplied you. Ie: @comcast.net, @embarqmail.com. I use @yahoo.com and @gmail.com.

My provider is Comcast so I do have an email address with them. One feature in all email providers is to allow your email to be forwarded to another email address. I forward all others to my Yahoo account.

If you decide to move to another state you will have to get a new provider. Or you may just want to switch. Your new provider will assign you a new email address. If you have an internet email such as Gmail all you have to do is forward your new email to the Gmail account. Nothing changes with your email. All your contacts still know you at your Gmail address.

If you had a provider email address like an @comcast.net you would have to let all your contacts know the new email address because when you cancel that Comcast account you will not be able to receive emails there any more.

This article shows how you can use a new feature in Gmail to transfer your email including your contacts and the actual emails from your old account to your Gmail account. You don’t lose anything. You will still have to inform your contacts of the move. Do NOT cancel the old account until you have made the transfer.

Tab Notes lets you write and save notes in Firefox and ChromeType something in the page, it doesn't get simpler than this. You can use it to create as many notes as you want. To add a new note, click on the hamburger menu icon on the left to bring up the sidebar, and then select the "Plus" button. And since it works in the browser, it uses the default spell-check tool of the browser.

This is an extension that makes a notepad available to you. What you type is saved as you type. This makes it easy to take notes as you are in your browser. I use a website called notepad.pw and have that tab open at all times,

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Computer Club Class Notes 9-10-2019

Last time we met we saw how to place an item for sale on eBay. It was a Chromebook that was working with an external keyboard as many of the keys on the device were non-working. We posted it as such on a seven-day auction. It was a slow start but the item sold for $52 in the last hour of bidding.

I was asked which backup program I prefer -- Macrium or EaseUS. I like them both but find EaseUS to use; fewer clicks to use it. Both work equally as good. I have written two articles about backing up and restoring using EaseUS.
Backup https://tinyurl.com/y5zvphmf
Restore https://tinyurl.com/y35lxqex

The file created is a compressed file that can only be opened with the program that created it. To do so requires you have the program that created it installed. Then you can double click the image file and view its contents.

Free HTML/WYSIWYG Online Editor
This tool was designed to make you extremely fast and efficient in HTML Editing. It's not for creating complete websites, therefore it does not create HTML head and body tags, but the body content only. The Web Editor is intended for all people who are in need of formatted HTML in their applications, websites or web content management systems (CMS). HTML5 Editor was designed to simplify the process of creating attractive web pages that render correctly in various browsers. It also helps to find and correct errors in your HTML markup so basically it's impossible to write wrong code with this tool.

I showed how you can right-click on a web page and view the source programming code written in HTML. Past it into this program and you can edit the page in WYSIWYG on the right and/or HTML code on the left. Use this tool not to borrow someone else's website but to create short blocks of code to give style to what is otherwise just text.

AI Image Enlarger
AI Image Enlarger is a free software program for Windows and Mac devices, and an online service, that you may use to turn low definition photos and images into high definition ones. AI Image Enlarger promises that its upscaling technology produces high-quality results that preserve the quality of the source image.

We could not find the download page. The two we did look at did not work all that well. If you have some success please let us know.

First Look at Malwarebytes 4
Malwarebytes, the maker of the security application Malwarebytes, released the first beta version of the upcoming major release Malwarebytes 4 to the public.

This was just information. It is in Beta now but be warned that something new and different looking is coming soon.

Why Is My Machine Slowing Down?Perhaps when you purchased it, your computer ran like a champ and quickly did everything you needed. Now … well, not so much. Perhaps it takes forever to boot. Or starting applications is slower than molasses. Or maybe the machine just acts sluggish when you try to use it for just about anything. Regardless of the specifics, the underlying theme is simple: it’s slow.

Lots of good ideas, most of which we have discussed in the past. Here are some of my ideas.

All of a sudden going very slow, even stalling? Turn the PC off even if you have to hard stop it by holding down the power button until it shuts off. Restart and see if it is still slow. How full is your hard drive? How much memory do you have? 4 GB or more should be plenty. How old is your machine? If you have brought it from XP all the way to 10 it might be time to look for a new one; they are not very expensive. Even an old Vista or 7 might be slow.

Using Glary in 1-click Maintenance, check Disk Repair so it checks the hard drive for problems. If it finds any it will attempt to fix on the next re-boot.

Windows Event Viewer
The Windows Event Viewer shows a log of application and system messages, including errors, information messages, and warnings. It’s a useful tool for troubleshooting all kinds of different Windows problems. As a rule of thumb, assuming your PC is working properly, you can pretty much ignore the errors and warnings that appear in the Event Viewer. That said, it’s worth having a basic working knowledge of the tool, and knowing when it can be useful to you.

This is more for the geek amongst us. Windows logs everything and this is a way to peek at those logs.

How to perform a secure disk wipe with Windows 10's Format command
Windows 10's Format command comes with a special parameter that essentially wipes a hard disk. It was easy to do and worked like a charm. I figured other folks should know about this handy feature, so let's take a closer look.

We use special wiping programs to totally clear a hard drive but with Windows 10 we can now do that wipe in Windows.

Larry recorded today's session. If you would like to hear it: