Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Do we need anti-virus software?

Tech News and Views

I think all users will find the following article very interesting. In essence, it says that users do not need 3rd party anti-virus programs.

Monday, January 30, 2017

How to create a restore point in Windows 10

Tech News and Views

Windows should automatically create restore points that you can use to revert your PC to an earlier point. However, the option to create restore points may be turned off. And, sometimes you may want to create additional points.

Click in the Windows 10 search box and type "Create a restore point". Click above the search box on the same phrase. You should see a screen like that shown below.

Check to see if protection is on. If it is Off. Click the configure button. If you want to create a restore point, click the Create button.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Scammers use Event Viewer to scare you into sending money

Tech News and Views

One of the tricks scammers use to convince you that your computer is infected is to have you open the event viewer on your computer. What most users don't know is that all computers will show errors in the event viewer.

If you haven't ever looked at the event viewer, you should take a look. Just type "Event Viewer" without the quotes into the computer search box. Then click on the App that shows up above the search box. Scroll through the errors. You will be surprised how many warnings there are in a perfectly functioning computer.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Another couple bitten by scam

Tech News and Views

I recently got a call from an another Oak Runner who got caught up in the Microsoft Scam. Fortunately the resident cut off the call when the scammer requested a credit card number.

However, the scammer, in a fit of pique and in retaliation, installed a lockout that prevented the user from logging on to his computer, and I had to do a complete recovery of the machine.

If you are not familiar with the scam and want to know what happens and how involved the fix can be, look at the following article:

Friday, January 27, 2017

Wireless mouse hesitating

Tech News and Views

If your wireless mouse is hesitating or the pointer just doesn't want to move, here are a few adjustments you might try:

Of course the first option is to check to see if the mouse switch is on. Then check the status of the battery. Make certain the Bluetooth dongle is firmly in the USB port.

In Windows 10, click Start, Settings, Mouse and Touchpad, Additional mouse options, Pointer Options. Then adjust the speed of the pointer with the slider. Try clicking on some of the other tabs to make other adjustments until you are satisfied with mouse operation.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Store sets up computer with wrong monitor

Tech News and Views

One of our Oak Run Computer Club Members asked for my help. It seems that he had purchased a new computer and a 27" monitor, but the picture displayed on the 27" screen was about 4" x 5". It was next to impossible to make any adjustments on the tiny display.

I immediately suspected that the monitor was set wrong, but HP had not put any markings on the monitor to identify various bottom mounted buttons. I pushed various ones hoping I would find an auto adjust button which is common on most monitors. There was none.

Fortunately, the club member had his old monitor. The picture displayed full screen as soon as I connected the old screen to the computer. I downloaded new monitor drivers, reconnected the 27" screen and all worked perfectly.

Here is why the problem occurred. The computer and monitor were purchased at Best Buy. The store offered to clean bloatware from the computer, but connected their own monitor at initial computer set-up, hence, the drivers for their monitor were there but the driver needed for the 27" monitor was not present.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CCleaner contains an easy to use duplicate file finder

Tech News and Views

CCleaner, the popular free temporary file cleaner, contains many other utilities. The duplicate file finder is easy to use and works well.

Download CCleaner at www.piriform.com. Run the program. Then click on the tool icon (it looks like a wrench) and then on duplicate finder.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How to use Gmail spell check

Tech News and Views

If Gmail is set up correctly, misspellings are underlined in red. If the user right clicks on the red underlined word, the correct spelling of the word will appear at the top of a pop-up menu. If the user clicks on the correctly spelled word, the correction will appear in place of the misspelled word in the document.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hurry through Customs

Tech News and Views

When you travel, you can save some time going through Customs by using a new mobile passport app. The app is currently available for android phones. You will still need a passport but the app takes care of the declaration form and is said to speed up the trip through Customs.

The download process is easy. Go to Google Play Store. Find the Mobile Passport app (approved by Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP). Install the app and then enter the requested passport info. Then take your photo ID as directed.

Note that the app currently works at about 20 airports and only one cruise port (Port Everglades), but the service is rapidly expanding.

Mobile Passport allows travelers to submit their passport control and customs declaration information via their Android device and bypass the regular line to enter the United States. This app effectively replaces the traditional blue-and-white paper declaration form required of all travelers entering the U.S. by air or sea.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Make text easier to read

Tech News and Views

You can make type fonts easier to read by activating Clear Type. To enable it, type cttune.exe in the search or run box and follow directions.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Quickly create hyperlinks

Tech News and Views

You can quickly create hyperlinks in Word, Excel, LibreOffice and OpenOffice by highlighting the text and pressing CTRL + K together.

Friday, January 20, 2017

You may already have drive wiper software

Tech News and Views

Many people call me wanting me to wipe their computer hard drives before the computers are sold. These same callers may already have software that can be used to wipe the drives. The wipe drive utility resides within the CCleaner program.

If you don't have CCleaner, you can download the free version from this site:
Click on the downloaded program to install CCleaner.

Click on the Tools menu, choose drive wiper and select the drive you'd like to wipe. The program will take over. Note that it may take more than 2 hours to securely wipe the drive.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Computer user's display half size

Tech News and Views

A computer user called me today to tell me the picture on the monitor of his Windows 10 computer was about half the normal size. A techie had worked on his computer, and now icons were in different locations and nothing seemed to work correctly.

This is a classic example of a resolution change and its effects.

The resolution is normally set to the maximum that the monitor will allow. If set too low, the display shrinks, icons become larger and move to different locations.

To reset the display in Windows 10, click Start, Settings, System, Advanced Display Settings. Click the down arrow next to the resolution display settings to see all of the possible resolutions. Click on the highest one.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

iPad Pro Black Screen of Death

Tech News and Views

The new iPad Pro came out in November. An update caused a problem with many of the devices. The result is a black screen or a warning that your pass code is incorrect. If your iPad encounters the problem, here is the fix.

First, try a simple reboot. Press and hold the power and home buttons for about 10 seconds. If that doesn't work, connect the iPad to a computer that has iTunes and update the software (takes about 40 minutes). If the device still does not work, you'll need to do a recovery.

To do a recovery, connect the USB cable to a computer but do not connect the other end of the cable just yet. Press and hold the power and home buttons until the Apple logo appears and then disappears. Connect the free end of the cable to the iPad. Press the button that says Recovery. It may take half an hour or more to complete the recovery cycle.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Change the size of icons

Tech News and Views

A Windows 10 user called to tell me that the icons on his computer desktop had gotten very large. I told him to take the following steps to restore the icons to a size of his liking. Click Start, Settings, System. There you will see a slider with the words "Customize your display". Move the slider backward or forward to change the size of the icons.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Find function shortcut

Tech News and Views

Here's a quick way to access the Find function. Hold down the CTRL and F keys simultaneously.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Get to system properties quickly

Tech News and Views

If you need to quickly get to system properties, press the Windows and Pause keys at the same time.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Can you recover hard drive info?

Tech News and Views

Many people wonder if info can be retrieved from a defective hard drive. The answer is, it all depends. It depends upon why the drive is defective. If the head crashed or the discs are damaged, retrieval is nearly impossible for the amateur. If software within the computer caused the drive to quit, data can normally be retrieved.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Executive Board Minutes

Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
Jan 13, 2017

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Ron Kenyon, Bob Leiner, Bob Norton, Linda Tingley, Jim Trimboli, Bob Kenlay, Bill Balch, Elliot Bogart, Don Forgette 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 $2030.52.

Future meeting topics:
Jan 25 - Sierra Club, solar presentation
Feb 15 - Century Link
Mar 15 - Keith Mackey, “Drones”
Apr 19 - Ocala Computer Clinic
Linda Tingley gave a summary of the Christmas party. We purchased 9 dozen donuts and 6 dozen bagels. We had 74 people in attendance this year (compared to 95 people the previous year). We had about 2 dozen donuts and 3 dozen bagels left over. The board agreed to have the same quantities for next year (better to have leftovers than to be short of food).

Bob Kenlay gave the report summary of the Computer Club Survey for 2017 to Alan for discussion. The #1 concern is with Malware. We can use some of our previous class presentations for our regular club meetings. We will ask Bill Cahill to schedule a program on “Malware, Spyware and Backup” and a “Windows 10” program.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Bob Kenlay, Secretary

Reasons to buy an electric car now

Tech News and Views

There's no doubt! I have a bias toward electric car ownership, but I thought readers might enjoy reading the following article which explains why it's time to replace your old gas burning clunker with a new BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle).

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Update on Walmart Savings Catcher App

Tech News and Views

Recently I gave a short talk about the use of the Walmart Savings Catcher app. I said that Walmart would compare their prices to nearby stores and would offer a gift card credit if the competitor's prices were cheaper. I assumed that meant that they would compare prices they charged on most items, to those of their competitors. So, when I recently bought some Walker Brothers short bread cookies at Walmart and then found them for 45 cents less at Publix, and didn't get credited for the difference, I complained. Here's what Walmart told me:

"Please note we do not match competitor's everyday prices; the item must be featured in a printed or online weekly circular".

I thought the wording of the app misleading and therefore no longer encourage people to use the app.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Insert hyperlinks in wordprocessing and spreadsheet programs

Tech News and Views

You can quickly insert a link in word processing and spreadsheet programs by pressing the CTRL key and the letter K at the same time. Once the linking window opens, simply type in the URL. Then you can test the link or just click OK.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Shortcut for moving cursor a word at a time

Tech News and Views

The Computer Hope website says:

Holding down the Ctrl key while pressing the left or right arrow will move the cursor one word at a time instead of one character at a time. If you want to highlight one word at a time, hold down Ctrl + Shift and then press the left or right arrow key to move one word at a time in that direction while highlighting each word.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Quick access to help facility

Tech News and Views

You can quickly access the Help function in almost any program by pressing the F1 key on the keyboard.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

How to print part of a page

Tech News and Views

Did you know that you can select and print a small portion of a page? Just hi-light the selection by holding down the left mouse button and moving the mouse across the part you would like to print. Click Print and then click in the box before the word Selection. Click Print once more and just the hi-lighted section of the page will print.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Toggle to and out of full screen mode

Tech News and Views

If you press F11 when the computer is displaying a web page, the page will occupy the entire screen space. The menu bar will no longer be visible. If you press F11 again, the page will be restored to normal size.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Shortcut keys to move up and down the page

Tech News and Views

I'll bet that you didn't know that you can quickly scroll down a page by pressing the space bar. You can quickly scroll back up by pressing the shift key and the space bar.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Quick way to bookmark a page

Tech News and Views

You can quickly bookmark a web page by pressing CTRL and D keys. Once you have done that, you need to specify where that bookmark will be saved. Many users like to save all bookmarks (favorites) to the bookmark bar at the top of the page.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Easiest way to transfer files to new computer

Tech News and Views

Many people have asked how they should transfer files from an old computer to a new one. Here is a simple method.

Purchase a flash drive. Most people can get by with a small capacity drive, but the drives have come way down in price, so I suggest that users buy a 32 GB, USB 3 drive (The cost will be about $10). The older USB 2 drives are slower and will cost nearly as much as the USB 3 drives.

Insert the flash drive in the old computer's USB port. Click on Computer or This PC (if using Windows 10), Note the letter of the flash drive and click on it. There should not be any files showing on the drive.

Navigate to the file you want to transfer. Hi-light all of them by pressing CTRL and A. Then press CTRL and C to copy the files.

Navigate to the flash drive and press CTRL and V to paste the files to the flash drive.

Remove the flash drive and insert it into the USB port on the new computer. Copy the files from the flash drive as you copied above. Then paste them in the appropriate place on the new computer.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Car chargers to be much faster

Tech News and Views

The fastest and most powerful electric car charging stations available today are the Tesla Superchargers. Most are capable of delivering up to 135 kw, but the other two DC fast charging protocols - CHadeMo and Combined Charging System, or CCS - are limited to 50 kw at stations operating today. The superchargers can add 170 miles of range in 30 minutes. However, it looks like things are about to change.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla tweeted that 350 kw is child's play. He indicated that 10 to 15 minute electric car charge time would be common in the near future.

Monday, January 2, 2017

What is an elevated prompt?

Tech News and Views

You may encounter commands such as System File Checker which must be run in an elevated prompt mode. That simply means you must run the program as an administrator.

If you are using Windows 10, press the Windows key on the keyboard and the letter X key at the same time. Click on Command Prompt (Admin) to enter the elevated prompt mode. Then you can enter a command that requires the elevated mode, such as /scannow.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

How secure is your password?

Tech News and Views

My thanks to Eliott Bogart for forwarding this password testing site:

Go to the site and type in a password that you think is secure. The site will tell you how long it should take to crack that password.

I put in one that I frequently use. The site said it would take 1 minute to crack. Then I put in a made-up password of about 10 characters, numbers, caps and symbols. The site said that it would take 6 years to crack.

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