Thursday, April 29, 2021

Computer Class Notes 4-28-2021

View the video
Class notes

Dropbox Hour Limit
The links I post for the video of each class are links to a 1-hour preview of the video.

To see the entire video, download it to your computer.

Ten Useful Windows Commands
There are some things you can only do from the command line—even in Windows. Some of these tools don’t have graphical equivalents, while others are just plain faster to use than their graphical interfaces.

How Do I Copy a Webpage?
How do I copy an entire webpage? I copy and paste, but not everything appears as I see it. For example, I’m copying and pasting a bank statement to Word, but portions of the page appear empty.

A few classes ago we looked at an extension in Chrome Print Friendly and some of you are using it. We took another look at it.

Reformat and Reinstall?
It is one of the best ways to resolve a plethora of problems with Windows. Unfortunately, it comes at a high cost: it erases everything including installed programs, settings, and your data. Sometimes it's worth it, but it still hurts.

The best way to get everything back to the way it was when you bought your computer is to buy a new hard drive (probably an SSD) and install a new copy of Windows 10. You will have your speed back and nothing extra to complicate things. From your old drive connected as a USB drive, you can copy over all your data. Then install any of the non-windows applications you really need. Note: you CANNOT copy the apps from the old drive to the new one. They must be installed.

Why not do an image backup and then just recover everything to the new drive? That will work to get everything back on the new drive, but you will still have any issues you had before; just a new drive.

How to create and run a batch file on Windows 10
On Windows 10, a batch file is a special kind of text file that typically has a .bat extension, which can include one or multiple commands that Command Prompt can understand and run in sequence to perform various actions.

Create List Of Folders And Files
In File Explorer locate the folder in whose contents you want to print
  1. Alt+D
  2. Type CMD and press Enter
  3. Type the following: dir > the_list.txt
  4. Press Enter
  5. In that folder, locate the file called the_list.txt
  6. Open it to view or print

Kodi Update
Rosemary reported that she has installed a new build called Slamious. Last time she told us about The Magic Dragon build. This new one includes that as well. Here is a link to it:

Friday, April 23, 2021

Computer Class Notes 4-21-2021

Class Video
Class Notes

What Is Plain Text?
What exactly is “plain text?” And what’s the difference between plain text and other types of text? Read on to find out what plain text is and what it’s used for.

I use an online app to paste the copied text into to strip out all the extraneous background code and create just plain text.

Html Means What
Hypertext Markup Language. It is the language of Websites. Here is a cheat sheet page from my site you can use to “build” a page. There are many applications to build and update web pages but you can even use the basic Notepad that comes with Windows. Just save the file with the HTML extension.

And here is a sample page. Followed with the HTML code behind it.

Redefining What A Map Can Be
Sixteen years ago, many of us held a printout of directions in one hand and the steering wheel in the other to get around— without information about the traffic along your route or details about when your favorite restaurant was open.

Turn Any Web Article Into A Podcast
Sometimes, listening to something is more comfortable than having to read, or maybe the only option. Say, you want to go to the gym, buy some groceries, or take the train back home, but still want to read a couple of interesting articles that you had saved as tabs in your browser for a long time.

Add a Web Page to Google Chrome’s Reading List
The Google Chrome web browser on your desktop computer has a handy “Reading List” feature. It’s an easy way to save things for reading later, and it syncs with your iPhone or iPad. We’ll show you how to add web pages to the list.

Online OCR
How to pull text out of an image for free. This is great for converting one of the many memes found on Facebook.

Let’s say we wanted to convert this meme from Facebook to a document we can edit. Click the image in the post, then right-click and Save image as…


Click Select file… and locate the image you saved.

Select the output format. I am using Text.

Click Convert

Copy/paste from the text box or click Download Output File to save the .TXT file.

The resulting file is yours to edit as you see fit

Add a Caption with Paint
This is how I usually add a caption with Paint.

Open the picture, drag a box down under the picture. Click the A to add text. Drag a box in the white space I created and add the caption. Sometimes I don’t make the dropdown box and just place the words over a portion of the picture as transparent.

Add Text To Photo Online
You can add text or a logo to a single photo in our Add Text To Photo online app. It is simple to use and free of charge. Just drag your photos into the app, add a text or a logo and customize it. Your original image will NOT be modified.

This works well and is all done online. It does not allow you to place the caption under the picture, just somewhere on it.


In the File Explorer > View tab, check the File name extensions box to cause the extensions to be visible. Once checked you do not have to check it again. It makes them visible by default.

Extensions OFF

Extensions ON

Mapping a Route

Using Google Maps you can enter multiple destinations and then order them by dragging. In this way, you can map out an entire trip on one map with directions for the trip.

You can also change the mode of transportation from Car to walking to bike and more.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Computer Class Notes 4-14-2021


One Person’s Notes on VPNs
Some experiences using a VPN. It did have some adverse effects i.e., Amazon Prime movies disappeared from the menu as "prime" and they were listed for a charge? No doubt that could have been worked around - but why bother? Other web searches were also affected - The easiest "fix" was to get rid of the VPN - so I did.

Does a VPN Really Make Your Online Activity Private?

VPNs are advertised as the best way—maybe even the only way—to stay private online, but is that really true? If we look beyond the marketing copy, we find a much more messy reality than what is portrayed on the homepages of VPN providers.

Old Phones
Just to clarify last week’s notes on phones. We were talking about old CELL phones and not house phones. Even the old ones from the mid-last century should still work fine. As I understand it, the cell phones that are not up to at least the 3G standard will be phased out as the old infrastructure is going away.

A Proper Menu
Everything you need from a browser in one horizontal bar. That includes the File, Edit, View, History, Bookmarks, Window, and Help menu items.

And with one single click on the X icon, you hide the horizontal bar.

This brings back the menu bar to Edge similar to the one that used to be in Internet Explorer. to get it

How To Safely Check A Web Address
This website will, “Analyze suspicious files and URLs to detect types of malware, automatically share them with the security community”.

Great to use BEFORE you click on that link. See if the URL gets you to places you do not want to go.

Just What Is a Backup
Backup is one of those terms we all take for granted — yet it’s not uncommon to find different people who have different ideas of exactly what it means. It’s so important and so basic to safely protect your information and your work that it’s worth a little dedicated attention.

A good article reminding us to do a backup and often.

A free resource for anyone to quickly assess if they may have been put at risk due to an online account of theirs having been compromised or "pwned" in a data breach. I wanted to keep it dead simple to use and entirely free so that it could be of maximum benefit to the community.

This site lets you know if your email address has been part of a data breach. If it has, be sure to change the password on the sites that were hacked.

Cloud Storage Showdown: OneDrive vs. Google Drive

It used to be that the cloud storage app you used would depend on your operating system of choice, but cloud storage providers have since become platform-agnostic. This means you can use virtually any cloud storage service with just about any platform and device.

This is an old article and if done today should include DropBox as one of the cloud sites.

Old People Should Explore More
That means to try new things, try things that interest you but which you never thought you might try. Try one or two. See what feelings are stirred in you when you try these new things. Go for it!

How to Run Windows 3’s File Manager in Windows 10
Throwback alert! Microsoft’s vintage File Manager program, which originally shipped with Windows 3.0 in 1990, has been ported to Windows 10, and it’s available for free from Microsoft. Here’s how to get it.

This is nostalgic but a fun look at what used to be. Give it a try.

10 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Windows PC
Don’t forget your computer when you’re spring cleaning all your things. From the software to the hardware, there are some easy ways to get your Windows 10 laptop or desktop tidied up and running in tip-top shape.

Great article with some good ideas. Just don’t wait to use them once a year. Use them all the time. Then add the maintenance programs we use to the list: SuperAntiSpyware, MalwareBytes, and Wise DiskCleaner.

Tips And Shortcuts For A Better Browsing Experience
From tab groups to learning time-saving keyboard shortcuts, these Chrome tips can help you get things done more quickly with your browser.

Wow, this has a bunch of little-known (by me) browser tips. Look and try them one at a time.

Hernando Computer Club
A good resource for anyone, not just the older crowd.
They are out of Spring Hill, FL 34611
Check them out...

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Computer Class Notes 4-7-2021

Today's Class Notes

Walk Around the Globe without Leaving Your Couch
International travel hasn’t exactly been a viable option over the past year, and if you’re anything like me, you’re absolutely itching to get back out there. But, until it’s safe again, you can scratch that itch with City Walks. The site features filmed walks through metropolitan areas around the world, all without narration, letting you experience them for yourself.

Why Old Phones Don’t Work
If you find an old cell phone in a drawer somewhere, there’s a good chance it can’t connect to modern cellular networks. It won’t find a signal. By 2022 or 2023, many more old cell phones, including the iPhone 4, will be cut off. But why?

How to Make a Website into a Windows 10 App
If you access certain websites regularly, you can turn them into native Windows 10 apps. This lets you use your sites as if they were normal apps. You can use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge to create these apps, and we’ll show you how.

How to Access the Clipboard Manager on a Chromebook

Copy and paste is an amazing convenience we take for granted, but it can be improved. Like many other platforms, Chrome OS has a clipboard manager. We’ll show you how to use it on your Chromebook.

How to Get a Caps Lock Key on Your Chromebook
The keyboard layout on Chromebooks is very different from other computers. There are special keys geared toward web browsing, but the biggest difference is the Caps Lock key. Rather, there isn’t one. Thankfully, you can change that.

What Is a Browser Extension?
Browsers have evolved to become much more than simple internet navigators. A big part of that evolution was the introduction of “extensions.” They let you control how websites load and behave, and they can add extra features to your browser.

Windows Out Of Box Experience (OOBE)

You may or may not remember setting up Windows 10 the first time you used it. You were walked through a process of questions and answers and options and waiting … probably lots of waiting … while Windows completed setting up your machine. It’s called the “Out Of Box Experience”, or OOBE. Turns out you can relive the experience at any time.

Universal Media Creation Tool
Universal MediaCreationTool is an open-source batch file for Microsoft Windows devices to download a Windows 10 ISO image to the system the batch file is executed on. Unlike Microsoft's Media Creation Tool, which will download the latest ISO only, it is giving the user the choice to download older Windows 10 versions. I reviewed the program back in 2020 and concluded that it offered a reliable way of downloading any Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft to the local system

Purchase Your Own Modem/Router
Depending on the Internet Provider you are using you are paying a monthly fee to rent their modem/router. You can purchase your own and save that $10-20 monthly fee.

If you have your own router then all you need is the modem. Here are some possible modems for the Comcast provider in this area. A list of approved devices can be found on their website.

Here is a link to one that says it will work on Comcast

Cut the Cable Bill
Talked about cutting the cable and reducing the size of that monthly “deal” for Internet, TV, and phone. Internet you need, but not the very high speeds they are trying to convince you into. 6 Mbps streams fine. I have 25 Mbps from Comcast. I do not have TV or satellite or phone service from my provider. How can I get local TV channels and movies? I have a $10 set of rabbit ears I bought at Wal-Mart and can pick up all the local news channels and more for free.

I have a Roku TV (I used to have a Roku box that connected to my TV’s HDMI port) and subscribe to Amazon Prime so I get free movies and TV shows both there and on Netflix. Each subscription is around $10 per month. You can also download the major networks as apps on your smartphone or tablet and watch live TV there for free.

Remember, you are not dumping your provider. You are opting out of the telephone and cable package. All you need is the internet and it does not have to be very high speed. Don’t get sold on the need for 100-150 Mbps that the cable company says you have to have. I have found that 3-5 Mbps streams. Our 4g cell phones can be used as a hotspot at about 5 Mbps.

Get a TV antenna for $10-$50 and plug it into the back of your TV. Go to settings on the TV and scan for TV channels. In this area, you will find 30 or more local channels that are free.

Add a Firestick or Roku box and you have many many movie channels and seasons of TV shows to watch. And there are music and many other channels to add for free. There is one called that gives you free TV. You can try that out for free on your computer.

Telephone Provider
There are many low-cost ways to get a “home” phone using services.

MagicJack is one way to lower your phone bills. A couple of others are Ooma and Vonage. They are VOIP or “voice-over-internet protocol” devices. All you need is an internet connection they can plug into.

For the MagicJack ( one, you can buy the device for $50 one time and pay an annual fee to have unlimited USA, Canada, and Virgin Islands calls plus all the additional features like call forwarding and caller ID.

After I bought my device which includes the first year of service, I paid $125 for five additional years. It was easy to set up. All you need is a regular phone to plug into the device instead of into the phone jack in the wall.

If you have a portable phone system just plug it into the Magicjack instead of the old connection at the back of your modem or on the wall.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Computer Class Notes 4-1-2021


Next week will be on Wednesday… 4-7-2021

Keyboard shortcuts for Gmail
Save time navigating in Gmail by using keyboard shortcuts. If you’re still moving your mouse to reply to an email, you’re doing it wrong. Here are the Gmail shortcuts to save you time and wrist soreness.

Google rolls out Live Caption feature
Google has started the rollout of its Live Caption feature in the Windows desktop version of the company's Chrome web browser. Designed to generate real-time captions automatically when enabled, Chrome's Live Caption feature displays captions for audio and video content on most sites automatically.

We demonstrated it and “wow” it works great.

Have Microsoft Edge Read You Articles Aloud
Sometimes, you just don’t feel like reading. It can be an article, a Wikipedia entry, or a research paper for school. Instead of searching for a YouTube video, listen to articles using Microsoft Edge’s Read Aloud feature.

This one also...

What Is the Chrome “Reading List”
There’s so much great content being written on the internet that it’s hard to find the time to read it all. Google Chrome’s “Reading List” feature can help you save things for later, so you never miss something good.

Much better than creating a “permanent” shortcut. I know they are not really permanent, but how many have you actually gone back and removed?

Dropbox Password Manager Goes Free
Beginning in April of this year, Dropbox will give all its users, paid and free, access to the Dropbox Password Manager. You'll be able to store up to 50 passwords that you can then sync on up to three separate devices. That's a great way to get people to start using a password manager, for sure.

I still like the secret word method…

When Unsubscribe ​Doesn’t Work
It’s unfortunate, but there are definitely some “overly aggressive”, to put it mildly, companies out there. I’m not really talking about spam. We all get that, and of course, you should never try to unsubscribe from it. This is about companies — technically legitimate companies — that start abusing the privilege of sending you an email, and won’t stop when you ask politely.

Use ProtonMail to Send Secure, Encrypted Emails
ProtonMail is a secure email service that prioritizes privacy and security. You can use the service to send encrypted messages that should only be read by the intended recipient. There are a few ways to do this, depending on what security or email provider the recipient is using.

Uploading pictures from your camera or cell phone
If your camera has an SD card, eject it from the camera and place it in the SD slot on your computer. It will mount as an external disk drive. You can locate it and the images on it using File Explorer (Win+E). You will find them in a folder named DCIM.

If your camera does not have an SSD card, then all the images are in the memory of the camera. Using the charging cable for the camera, plug the USB end into a USB port on your computer. It will mount as an external disk drive. You can locate it and the images on it using File Explorer (Win+E). You will find them in a folder named DCIM.

If you have a Smartphone, using the charging cable for the phone, plug the USB end into a USB port on your computer. It will mount as an external disk drive. You can locate it and the images on it using File Explorer (Win+E). You will find them in a folder named DCIM.

Using File Explorer, drag the images to a folder on your computer. Typically you would create a new folder in the Pictures folder naming it something appropriate. If they are pictures of your recent vacation you might name it Vacation August 2017. Then locate the pictures you want to place in that folder and drag them to the new folder. (Remember the shift-click method to select multiple images) They will still be on the camera or phone when you are done.

Note: If you have an iPhone, the only images you will see in the DCIM folder are the recent ones. When your iPhone backs up to the Apple Cloud, the original goes to the cloud and a thumbnail is sent back to your phone so you can see the image on the phone’s screen. The original one is in the cloud.

A Green Screen Cheap

Find the following at Dollar Tree

Tape two Green posterboards to the trifold. Then place this behind you in some way. I hang mine from a couple of eye hooks in the ceiling. You could lean it on a chair behind you. This will cost less than $3.00

No Green Screen Needed
XSplit VCam makes cutting edge background removal and blurring possible with any webcam, without the need for expensive green screens, and complicated lighting setups.

The ideal product for people new to streaming who don't want to invest in or don't have space for green screens and expensive lighting setups. It enables the user to replace, remove, or blur the background image with any webcam.

Download and install Xsplit--takes a while as it analyzes your video.

To add a background, Click Add Background and upload an image or short video. To remove the watermark in the top left of your screen click Remove watermark and purchase a license.

When you start Zoom, XSplit takes over the video function and displays your background without the need for a green screen.

You can switch back to your regular camera by clicking the up arrow next to the Stop Video icon on the Zoom toolbar. Notice XSplit is checked. Click the other Webb Camera to turn XSplit off for this season but you will need your green screen.

Next week will be on Wednesday… 4-7-2021