Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How to start a new line in a spreadsheet cell

Tech News and Views

In order to start a new line in a spreadsheet cell, follow one of these procedures:

In the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program, press Alt + Enter to create a new line within the same cell. You can create many new lines in a cell by repeatedly pressing the Alt + Enter key combination.

In the OpenOffice or LibreOffice Calc spreadsheet program, press Ctrl + Enter to create a new line within the same cell. You can create many new lines in a cell by repeatedly pressing the Ctrl + Enter key combination.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Windows 10 - Accessing safe mode

Tech News and Views

Most users know that pressing F8 will enable the computer's safe mode. Unfortunately, that method will not work when using Windows 10.

Here's one way to enter safe mode when using Windows 10.
  1. Press the Windows key and the R key together to access the Run option.
  2. Type msconfig in the Open: field.
  3. In the System Configuration window, click on the Boot tab.
  4. On the bottom left, in the Boot options section, check the box for Safe boot.
  5. Select the Minimal option, then Apply, and then the OK.
  6. Restart the computer and it should load into Safe Mode.
Note: If you use the above option to access Safe Mode, you need to follow the same steps and uncheck the Safe boot option when you're done. Otherwise, your computer will continue to automatically boot into Safe Mode each time you restart it.

Monday, November 28, 2016

What are Android launchers?

Tech News and Views

The world of cell phones is just like the world of computers - Lots of buzz words. One of these is Android launcher. A launcher is an app that lets you redesign the phone desktop to make it simpler or to customize it to your tastes. The app is downloaded from the Google Play Store.

One such app is called Phonotto. It's designed for seniors and reminds me of the phone Jitterbug

Cell phones are incredibly complex and anything that helps simplify them is welcome.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Opening and operating the alarms and clocks in Windows 10

Tech News and Views

Many users have reported difficulty in opening and using the alarm and clock feature in Windows 10. Here's how to operate the feature. We'll use the Timer feature as an example.

Click Start, All Apps, Alarms and Clock. Click Timer. Click the + sign at the bottom of the screen. Set the timer. Let's set it for 1 minute. Click the Save icon at the bottom of the screen (looks like a floppy disk). Click the double headed arrow to increase the size. Click the right headed arrow to run the timer. An alarm will ring when the minute is up. Click Dismiss to stop the alarm.

If you would like to run the timer again, click the symbol that looks like an arrow going around in a circle. It will reset the time to 1 minute. Click the arrow and you're off and running again.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sam's Club starts a new quick check out system with a new app

Tech News and Views

Sam's Club has created a new app that enables those with smart phones to check out much faster. Here's how it works for Android users.

Navigate to the Google Play store. Do a search for 'Scan & Go'. Download and install the app. Enter the requested information to finish installing the app. After the app is installed, you click a button that lets you scan each item you are going to purchase. You can do this as you shop. When you are done shopping, click done. You can delete any or all of the items before you finish and get ready to pay.

Enter the payment method (such as PayPal or credit card) and end the transaction. A bar code will appear on your phone. Show the bar code when you exit the store. A receipt will appear on your phone and you can send it to your email account.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Compact fluorescent bulb not working in post lantern

Tech News and Views

Many people make the mistake of trying to use compact fluorescent bulbs in post lanterns in Oak Run only to find out that the bulbs burn out every couple of days.

The problem lies in the fact that compact fluorescent bulbs require a different type of photocell. The solution is to buy the correct type of photocell or change back to use an incandescent light. The photocell unit is just beneath the bulb and screws into the lamp socket below.

The lamp can be tested in daylight by covering the photo cell window with your finger.

Webmaster's note: The correct photocell unit will look something like this.
(click or tap image to enlarge)

Read more about this problem on the Oak Run Ocala website > HERE.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Create PDF files to export to Kindle

Tech News and Views

Some time ago I posted an article about sending PDF files to a Kindle e-reader. The process involved sending an email to the Amazon Kindle account with the PDF as an attachment.

But what happens if the document you would like to read on the Kindle isn't in PDF? The solution is easy. If you have LibreOffice you can simply click File, Export as PDF. If you don't have LibreOffice, you can get it here:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How do I run a program as an administrator in Windows 10:

Tech News and Views

In order to run a program as an administrator in Windows 10:

When you are running a program from the Start Menu in Windows 10, right-click the program in the list, select More, then click Run as administrator.

How do you know if the computer has a virus?

Tech News and Views

5 signs you have a computer virus

1. If pop-ups are coming at you when your browser isn't even open, it's likely you have a virus. This is especially true if the pop-ups advertise some magic cure-all to your "virus woes"

2. Messages you didn't send - Most viruses have one goal in mind once they infect your computer: to make the virus as widespread as possible. An easy way to do that is to send messages to as many of your friends as possible in hopes they'll get infected.

3. You're locked out of your computer - You're surfing the Web when suddenly, a scary message appears saying you're locked out of your computer. It may claim to be from law enforcement or an anonymous blackmailer.

4. Programs and tools are out of reach - More often than not, a computer user will rely on one simple command when their computer starts misbehaving: Ctrl + Alt + Del. The "three-finger salute" opens up Task Manager, which can tell you so much about your computer.

5. You're not seeing any symptoms at all - No news isn't always good news when it comes to viruses. Powerful viruses can hide deep in your computer without causing any red flags. They'll just go about their business without you even knowing they're there. The only clue in these cases might be a slower Internet connection.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My scanner won't recognize my computer

Tech News and Views

If whenever you try to scan a picture or document, you receive a message that there is no connection to the computer, try this:

Get to the Control Panel. If you are using Windows 10, just right click on the start button and then left click on Control Panel. Click Hardware and Sound and then Devices and Printers. Right click on the icon of your printer and select Printer Properties. Click on the Sharing tab. Click in the box that reads Share this printer. Click OK. That's it. Your scanner should now work.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Situations that can be improved with proper training

Tech News and Views

Those of you who have been using computers for awhile will get a kick out of this.
A guy called me this morning to ask if I could fix a laptop that was displaying half a screen. I immediately thought of all kinds of scenarios. I thought he might need an inverter, backlight or new screen. I was thinking about hooking the laptop up to an external monitor. I did some research on the Internet to see what other situations might cause the problem.

Then, he brought the laptop to me. It seems he didn't know what the maximize, minimize buttons do. I hit maximize and he stood there in amazement. I solved his entire problem in 1/2 a second.

Since I am a retired corporate trainer, the situation reminded me of all the CEOs who, when times get tough, lay off their training departments when what they really need is to do more training.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Watch a car drive itself

Tech News and Views

My thanks to Bob Leiner for sending the following video of a completely autonomous car. I think you'll enjoy the video but will find the prospect of your car taking control a little unnerving.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Remember to put labels on separate lines on spreadsheets

Tech News and Views

A recent caller complained that the note she was trying to write within a spreadsheet ran across the row and way past the margin so that the entire note could not be read.

The problem lies in the fact that labels (text) in spreadsheets don't word wrap the way Word, LibreOffice Writer and similar word processing programs do. Thus, the words continue on and on and on in the same row. The solution is to only write in one row what is legible. Then, drop down to the next row and start typing again. Continue in this manner until you have completed the paragraph, so that what was on one row is now on several.

Webmaster's note: You can also format the spreadsheet cell to wrap the text, which will increase the row height but maintain the column width. This works well if the text is not too long! You can also merge adjacent cells and then format to wrap the text.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Wondering what to do with those old cell phones?

Tech News and Views

Wondering what to do with those old cell phones? Are they gathering dust in some drawer? Here's a site, sponsored by Verizon, that will distribute your old phones to victims of domestic violence.

You can use the link to get a prepaid label to ship the phones or you can take them to a Verizon store. Local stores that will accept the phones include Walmart and Best Buy.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Change image size when posting to

Tech News and Views

Newer cameras take pictures that are many megapixels in size. Such pictures upload to sites such as, very slowly if at all.

Users need to reduce the size of the images before uploading. Pixresizer is an excellent free utility to help you reduce the image size to something more manageable. Go to the site, shown below, but don't click on the green download icon (that's for something else). Look for the words "Download current version 2.08". Just below that is a download button. The download is a ZIP file. After it downloads, click Extract All. Then run the program. The reduction process will be self explanatory.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

OOMA prices have come down

Tech News and Views

Some time ago I wrote about an alternative phone service provided by OOMA. OOMA is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) type phone like Magic Jack and Vonage. It connects using the internet.

I have used OOMA since June, 2015, and am very happy with the service. It is not perfect, but is far superior to Magic Jack (which I owned for the same length of time). OOMA, unlike Magic Jack, provides excellent customer service.

To get started with OOMA, you can purchase the device, which is available on line, at Walmart for $99.95, or you can get a refurbished unit from Groupon for $59.95. You connect the device to your router or between the modem and the router. The monthly cost is just the local phone taxes. My costs average $4.15 per month.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Roofing of the future

Tech News and Views

Most insurers won't insure homes that have roofs over 20 years old. Unfortunately, many of the homes in Oak Run are just about that age.

We'd all like to have the latest and greatest roofs on our homes, and the video (link below) shows the type of roof most people will have in the future (solar tiles rather than asphalt shingles).

It's too bad that most Oak Run residents won't be able to benefit from the new type of roof because the initial cost is high and the payback is too long in the future. Nonetheless, I think all of you will enjoy seeing the futuristic roofs shown in the video.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

HP backtracks on ink cartridge security

Tech News and Views

If you have been using refilled 3rd party ink cartridges in your HP printers, you may have encountered a problem whereby the cartridges will not work. Some users ignored the warnings from HP of illegal cartridges being used and went and used the cartridges anyway.

HP clamped down even harder so some cartridges wouldn't work at all. However, there were so many complaints that HP backtracked somewhat and issued the following statement:

We can confirm that an optional firmware update to remove dynamic security is now available. For more information and direct links to the firmware updates, see Dynamic Security Feature Affecting Use of Non-HP Cartridges. Our COO has also updated his blog to communicate this as well, which can be found here.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

How to register for MyHealtheVet

Tech News and Views

In June I posted some info about a Veterans Admin. site called Myhealthevet. The site gives access to veterans regarding appointments, medical records, pharmacy orders and much more. If you want to see what the site provides use this link >

If you want to access the personal information the site provides, you must register. Use this form to become a registered member > myhealthevet/user-registration

I have used Myhealthevet many times to re-order medicines, send messages to my doctor, and to review and retrieve records.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Executive Board Minutes

Oak Run Computer Club - Executive Board Minutes - November 11, 2016

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Bill Cahill, Don Forgette, Bob Leiner, Elliot Bogart, Bob Kenlay, Bob Norton, Bill Balch and Alan Marcus.

Secretary’s report read by Bob Kenlay. No corrections or additions necessary.

Bob Norton read the Treasurer's Report. The current balance is $2133.97.

Future meeting topics:
Nov 16 - Bob Kenlay, “The Helpful Internet”

Dec 21 - Christmas Party ; Q & A

Jan 25 - Sierra Club, solar presentation

Feb 15 - Century Link

Mar 15 - Keith Mackey, “Drones”
Elliot Bogart suggested that the gift cards will be for members only. Bob Kenlay will make a sign to be placed where the tickets will be distributed “For members only”.

Bill Balch gave a summary for the Club Fair event. The general consensus was that it went well. We might want to use some additional TV’s at future events.

Bob Leiner suggested that we do Smartphone Apps at our regular meetings. Bill Cahill was willing to do a presentation on the “Golf Pad” App.

It was suggested that we get better descriptions for the meeting topics.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Bob Kenlay, Secretary

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review of non-stick fry pans

Tech News and Views

I don't know about you, but I have always been leery of those TV infomercials that show non-stick pans. The host just slides eggs out of the pan and doesn't use any oil. It just sounds too good to be true.

I recently purchased the T-Fal giant fry pan with a non stick coating, seasoned it as suggested, and made grilled cheese sandwiches using tortillas and Swiss cheese. Nothing stuck, and clean-up was as simple as wiping the pan with a paper towel. I use wooden utensils when using the pan.

The secret to successful use was summarized by an Amazon reviewer. His suggestions were:

1. Never use high heat. A non-stick pan is not designed for searing food at very high heat. For that you need stainless or cast iron. You need to use the pan that's designed for what you are cooking. Using high heat will screw up the coating and burn the pan.

2. Never put them in the dishwasher. This pan cleans up so easily in the sink anyway because the coating is so non-stick.

3. Always allow the pan to cool before washing, otherwise they get warped.

4. Never use cooking sprays, they leave a residue in the pan which builds up and you can never get rid of it. Just use a bit of oil if you need to, a little goes a long way.

5. This is obvious but people do it anyway - only use wooden/plastic/silicone utensils. ALWAYS. One little nick in the coating will only get bigger over time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Outlook problems with Yahoo

Tech News and Views

New users of Outlook are experiencing problems with Yahoo accounts since Yahoo prevented forwarding of emails to other email providers. Other accounts, such as those from Gmail, work fine.

The problem was caused by the recent large scale hack of Yahoo mail. Yahoo has responded by stopping forwarding. The situation may change in the future, but for now, users will have to go into Yahoo directly rather than through sites such as Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The clever grandpa, grandma scam operation

Tech News and Views

I had heard about the scam wherein you receive a call from a fake granddaughter or grandson who needs money right away, but I had never received such a call. But, the other day I heard from the scammers. Here's how the scam took place.

I received a call from a female who, when I said hello, said "Hi grandpa". She then said, "you know who this is don't you?" I said, "Brynn?", although it didn't sound like my granddaughter. She told me how she went on a trip to Connecticut, was in an auto accident and needed money right away.

Since I knew about the scam, I said, "Brynn, what is your middle name". Interestingly enough, the caller immediately hung up.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Dealing with fake support pop-ups

Tech News and Views

Recently there has been a great increase in pop-up ads for fake computer support. The ad wants you to call a listed phone number. Of course the object is to suck some money out of your bank account.

The easiest way to get rid of the pop-up is to close your browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Bing, etc.). If that doesn't get rid of the pop-up, hold down CTRL, ALT and DEL keys all together and then end the running task.

Only as a last resort should you kill the power to the computer. Such action can corrupt files.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Want to watch that computer on a 70" screen?

Tech News and Views

Have a laptop? How large is the screen: 15.6"? 17.3" Too small! How about 70 or 80 inches? All you need is an HDMI cable, a laptop that has an HDMI port and a TV that has HDMI inputs (all new TV's do).

After you plug the cable into the TV and laptop, simply press the Input button on the remote, and scroll through the TV menu until you come to PC or something similar. That's it!

Remember to change the input back to TV when you are done with the computer, otherwise you will have other household members screaming at you.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

That old keyboard and mouse may be useless

Tech News and Views

Many users of old computers may be unaware that the mouse and keyboard of those old computers had 6 pin mini Din connectors that plugged into ports like those shown below. The connections are known as PS2 connections and derived their names from the old IBM PS/2 computers to which they were connected.

Newer computers have keyboards and mice that plug into USB ports such as those shown below. While USB plugs can plug into old PS/2 ports via an adapter, the old plugs just won't work in newer computers. Unfortunately, the old keyboard and mouse will prove virtually useless.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Essential keyboard shortcuts for every user

Tech News and Views

There are dozens of keyboard shortcuts, and just looking at the list of them can be overwhelming, but there a a few that I believe are essential for every user.

Most users know how to copy and paste using an edit menu, but often sites do not include an edit menu, and you will want to copy information. The easy way is to highlight the selection and use CTRL & C. The info stays hidden in the clipboard until you want to paste it somewhere. CTRL & V will let you paste the info. CTRL & P is not used because that is the shortcut for print.

You might also want to use CTRL & X to cut instead of copy. That will remove the item you want to copy from its original location.

Webmaster's note: View many more keyboard shortcuts > HERE.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Establish a new email address

Tech News and Views

I frequently meet with users who have forgotten their email passwords. And, while there are several ways to recover passwords (Text, phone, etc.), none is more convenient than having a note sent to a second email address. You might establish a Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook or other account in addition to your first account. The 2nd account can also be useful to access sites that you suspect as being suspicious or that send out lots of spam.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Don't struggle with an old printer, buy a new one

Tech News and Views

I know many users who struggle with old printers. Perhaps the print heads constantly clog, or the printer jams frequently. Some of these same people ask about the cost of repairs, but playing with an old printer is foolhardy. New printers can be purchased for as low as $20.

I often recommend that users buy inexpensive black and white laser printers. Just yesterday, Best Buy was advertising a Brother laser printer for $59, and rather than buy a Brother toner cartridge, I suggest buying a cartridge from The cartridge with shipping included is just $14.95.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Save that DVD writer from the old computer

Tech News and Views

Many users dispose of old computers when they purchase new machines without giving a thought about the value of some of the old parts. One part that can often be used in a new machine is a DVD writer. It can be very convenient to have two DVD's. Having two makes the process of duplicating disks much easier than having just one.

Other parts that might prove useful include the power supply and memory, and if you like to rebuild computers, you might save some of the SATA connectors.

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