Friday, March 31, 2017

How to print a portion of a page

Tech News and Views

You may often wish to print just a small portion of a page. There are many programs that will let you do just that. I have been using Duck Capture to print selections for many years. The program is free. To activate it, you simply press the Print Screen button on the computer keyboard. After pressing the Print Screen key, drag across the area you wish to select. You can print the selection, save it to a file or save it to the clipboard.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Change the size of objects in Windows 10

Tech News and Views

Computer manufacturers generally suggest that the computer resolution be set at the maximum resolution. However, that normally results in very tiny desktop icons. You can leave the resolution at maximum but enlarge the icons with this simple Windows 10 trick.

Right click on the desktop. Select Display Settings. There you will see a slider that will let you increase the size of objects. Drag the slider to the setting of your choice.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Use Uninstall to get rid of programs

Tech News and Views

I have encountered many users who attempt to get rid of unwanted programs by deleting them. That procedure rarely works because programs may have files in many places. The correct procedure to remove the programs is to uninstall them.

In Windows 10, right click the start button. Left click on Control Panel. Left click Programs and left click Uninstall Programs. Left click on the program you wish to uninstall and left click Uninstall.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How to access Google Drive

Tech News and Views

If you have an attachment such as a photo that is too large for your email provider to accept, you can use a cloud service such as Google Drive.

Here's how to use Google Drive.
  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. Open or create a folder.
  3. Click New and then Folder
  4. Name the folder
  5. To upload files and folders, drag them into the new Google Drive folder.

If you use Gmail for your email provider, click Compose. A small pyramid shaped symbol will appear at the bottom of the email. Click on it. Click on the folder you created and then on the picture you would like to attach.

Monday, March 27, 2017

External drive not recognized

Tech News and Views

Here's an excellent article from World Start that shows what a user can do when an external drive is not recognized.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Kapersky Anti-Virus CD not there

Tech News and Views

One of my neighbors purchased the Kapersky anti-virus program at Best Buy. However, when he got home and opened the package, there was no CD or DVD. All that was in the big CD box was an alphanumeric code on a small piece of paper. The user thought he had been cheated.

It seems that Kapersky is not alone. More manufacturers are saving the few cents that a CD costs by sending users product activation codes and having the users download the programs. It's annoying but appears to be the current trend.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Replace corroded doorbell buttons with wireless doorbell

Tech News and Views

Wireless doorbells have been around for several years, but I never game them much thought until yesterday. A couple tried to ring my doorbell, and nothing happened. Fortunately I heard the couple talking and answered the door. I figured the button was corroded and I' d sand down the contacts. I took it apart. It was full of bugs and badly corroded. When I removed the wire from the button, the wire broke off so close to the wall that there was no way I could splice it, and even with long nosed pliers, I couldn't extend the wire out any further.

I removed the indoor chime, disconnected the transformer, put a cover plate over the hole and went to purchase a wireless button and chime. Walmart had one by GE that plugged in an outlet, thus needing no battery on the chime end. The button contained a watch battery. Using the included adhesive strip, I attached the button to the wall. I pushed the button and Voila! I had my choice of 8 tones. If I had replaced the wired chime and button, it would cost more than my great new wireless system.

Friday, March 24, 2017

How to burn an ISO file to a flash drive

Tech News and Views

Many users asked if there was an easy way to burn an ISO file to a flash drive rather than to a CD. There is. Insert a flash drive in a USB port. Download the free program called Rufus at rufus.akeo.ie. The program does not need to be installed. Click on the small image of a disk to browse to your ISO file. Then click Start. When the file has been written to the flash drive, simply close the Rufus window.

You will find that you will be able to burn to a flash 3.0 drive much faster than with a 2.0 drive, and since flash drives have dropped in price, buy the faster drives (if your port supports 3.0).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Burning Linux Mint ISO file

Tech News and Views

I recently gave a talk on creation of a Linux Mint disk. One of the listeners attempted to follow my suggestions, but missed one important step, and therefore the disk he created didn't work.

After downloading the Linux Mint ISO from the Club's website, you must burn the disk. Do not make the mistake of burning the disk as a data file. That will not work. If you are using Burnaware to burn the disk click on Disk Images and then on Burn ISO.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Malwarebytes detects hundreds of PUPs.

Tech News and Views

I think that Malwarebytes is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It easily detects and gets rid of Trojans and other malware items.

Several computer users seem concerned when Malwarebytes detects hundreds of PUPs (No, I don't mean young dogs). The acronym stands for Potentially Unwanted Problems. PUPS are often just adware, but they can be annoying. You can quarantine them or delete them.

I suggest you run the malware program at least once a month and preferably more often.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Windows 10 causing havoc

Tech news and Views

I really like Windows 10, but the updates are driving me crazy. Frequently the computer just hangs during the middle of an update.

I recently tried to start my computer. The Windows 10 logo appeared and disappeared. The little rotating circle appeared and went on and on and on. I thought Windows was corrupted, but I couldn't get the machine into the bios mode or safe mode to do a recovery. My only option was to just let the machine run. So I let it run and run. Finally, after perhaps 15 minutes, the machine booted and told me that updates were being installed. After the updates installed, the computer operated normally.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Turning off computer by using power button

Tech News and Views

Recently, I have encountered several computer users who have been turning their computers off by holding down the power button. I come from the old school, and was taught that the process was harmful, but according to How-to-Geek, it is perfectly safe now. Read the following article from the How-To-Geek.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Will you be driving an electric car?

Tech News and Views

If you think you would never drive an electric car, think again. Here's a list of all the electric cars on the market plus some that are planned and some that were discontinued. You will not believe how many electrics there are. The odds are that you will all be driving an electric car within 5 years, and an autonomous electric within 10 years.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The problem is not with your computer

Tech News and Views

I frequently get calls from users who think they have major problem with their computers when the problem is not with their machines.

The problem is often caused by external sources. Internet providers (DECCA or Century Link, in Oak Run) may be down. Yahoo, AOL, Google, etc. may experience problems with their servers.

Consider this. Most people use web based email. If they can't access their emails when the Internet is working, it means the email provider is experiencing problems.

Before blaming your poor computer, think logically about where the source of the problem is likely to be before taking corrective steps.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Scammers strike again

Tech News and Views

I can't believe it. I just talked to another Oak Runner who got taken to the cleaners. The computer user in question thought he was having problems with his computer. He called a number he found on the web. Foreign sounding people who identified themselves as Smith and Jones remotely accessed his computer and told him that his computer was loaded with problems which they could fix.

The user told Smith and Jones his credit card info and was told that for $400 they would insure his computer would be free of viruses for two years.

The user suddenly got smart, called his credit card company to block usage of the card and changed his phone number.

This is approximately the 20th time I've heard a similar story from Oak Run residents. When are we going to wise up?

I guess the Pennsylvania Dutch expression sums it up well: "Ve grow too soon old and too late shmart".

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Connect Echo to Stereo via Bluetooth

Tech News and Views

Amazon Echo, Dot and Tap are nifty gadgets, but the internal speakers sound is somewhat lacking. Here's a way you can connect them to a non-Bluetooth receiver:


If you just want to connect the devices directly (non-Bluetooth), follow the steps on this video

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A $35 Raspberry PI wrist computer

Tech News and Views

Fascinating! Here's a neat article that appeared in Tech Republic about using legacy Window's operating systems on a wearable computer.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Cloud computing rated

Tech News and Views

If you are thinking about storing info in the cloud, you might want to look at the following online review of cloud programs by the editors of PC Magazine:

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pin to Start, Pin to Taskbar

Tech News and Views

If you are just kinda using Windows 10, you might want to experiment with the start menu and the taskbar. I suggest you click on Start and find an app of your choice in the app list. Right click on that app and click on Pin to Start. Right click on the app again, select More and click on Pin to Taskbar.

You can remove the app by right clicking on the app in the app list and selecting Unpin from Start or Unpin from Taskbar.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

What's with the names?

Tech News and Views

You may be aware that each version of the Android operating system not only has a number but also has a name. Here are some of the recent ones:
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Android 4.4 Kit Kat
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
As it turns out, all Android operating systems are named after desserts. And, just in case that wasn't nerdy enough for you, Google put these sugary names in alphabetical order. It must be fun working for Google!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Executive Board Minutes


Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
Mar 10, 2017

Bill Cahill, Vice President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Bob Leiner, Bill Balch, Jim Tromboli, Elliot Bogart, Bob Kenlay, and Bill Cahill.

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

Jim Trimboli read the Treasurer's Report. The current balance is $2152.68.

Jim Trimboli presented to the board his new format for the Treasurer's Report. The Board made a motion and accepted the new format, which includes detailed exhibits of the club expenses.

Future meeting topics:
Mar 15 - Alan Marcus to develop program
Apr 19 - Ocala Computer Clinic
May 17 - Malware Problems & Solutions, Bob Kenlay
June 21 - DECCA Services ? (Bill Cahill will check into)
July 19 - Q & A
The meeting adjourned at 9:45AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Bob Kenlay, Secretary

Differences in Linux Mint versions

Tech News and Views

If you have ever wanted to experiment with Linux Mint (operating system), you may have been confused by the various flavors it comes in. Here's a synopsis of each type:

Cinnamon: is the most advanced and modern desktop of Mint, and is rightly considered to be its flagship. It's easy to use, yet fast, sophisticated and slick. Cinnamon is relatively heavy on the system resources, especially when many visual effects have been enabled (by default, only a few are enabled). Big advantage: it's definitely the best-looking of the Mint desktops!

Mate (pronunciation: mahtay, because it's named after the South American beverage Maté): is a successful attempt to continue the former Gnome 2 desktop. This makes Mate simple and intuitive to operate. Furthermore, Mate is fast, stable and reliable.

Xfce: the Xfce edition is much more lightweight than both Mate and Cinnamon. Therefore it's very suitable for older computers.

KDE: the KDE edition is of interest to advanced and experienced users, who like tons of configuration options in the menus. The sheer amount of configuration options in KDE, can be bewildering for beginners with Linux.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

What is Linux Live and how do you use it?

Tech News and Views

Years ago, and even today, there has been some resistance by users to try the Linux operating system. So, Linux providers began offering what they called Live Linux. It simply means that users could insert a Linux disk into a Windows or Apple computer and could try out the Linux program without having to install the operating system. When the disk is removed, the computer runs the originally installed operating system.

If users decide that they like Linux, they can click on Install, when the disk is in its drive to leave the Live mode and install the Linux operating system on the computer.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Easy way to create a recovery disk

Tech News and Views

If your Windows 10 computer should ever crash, you'll need a way to get it running again. The easy way is by using a recovery disk. Insert the disk in the drive and reboot the computer. Then follow directions.

Here's an easy way to create the recovery disk. It comes from How-to-Geeks:

To open the disc creation tool, press the Windows key, type recdisc, and press Enter. The disc creator will open on the desktop. Select the disc-burner drive with a writable CD or DVD in it and click the Create disc button to create a recovery disc.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What are uploads and downloads?

Tech News and Views

speedtest.net is a great place to go to check Internet speed, and the site nicely defines download and upload speeds:

The download speed is how fast you can pull data from the server to you. Most connections are designed to download much faster than they upload, since the majority of online activity, like loading web pages or streaming videos, consists of downloads. Download speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

Monday, March 6, 2017

How often should you charge your cellphone?

Tech News and Views

Many users want to know how often to charge their cell phone batteries. Here's what Popular Mechanics has to say on the subject:

"Leaving your phone on the charger all night (or all day) is far better for your battery than running it down and charging it up. 2. Charge a little bit whenever you can. Lithium-ion batteries don't respond well to being charged all the way up and then run all the way down.   May 26, 2015"

Sunday, March 5, 2017

How can I install PDF files on a Fire tablet?

Tech News and Views

The new Amazon Fire Tablet is a very good tablet for just $49, but some files and icons may throw Kindle users for a loop. Case in point! The documents folder in older Kindles was in a menu across the top of the e-reader. That folder has been moved to the main set of icons on the desktop.

The user can click on the new document icon to open PDF files.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

What is a locked hard drive, and how do you unlock it?

Tech News and Views

(The following is from the Microsoft Community forum)
When a drive is locked that means that there are files still open in memory. You can't make a system-wide change if the drive is locked. If Windows did not lock the drive, the data in memory would be lost. The way to 'unlock' a drive is to make sure that all applications have closed.

It doesn't happen that often, but applications sometimes don't exit cleanly when you close them. Bits and pieces remain in memory. You'll see this when you try to shutdown Windows and it tells you that this or that program has not shut down and "If you choose to end the program immediately, you will lose any unsaved data. To end the program now, click End Now." It's a problem caused by the application that isn't shutting down, not by Windows.

When you get the locked drive message the safest thing to do is to wait. The application(s) locking the drive may have a programmed timeout that will eventually kick in, and the program will close by itself. Otherwise, you can force the program to end, in which case you will lose what's hanging around in memory, which may or may not matter.

Once the drive is unlocked, you can restart your computer safely, which is the first step in a reset or refresh.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Remove temporary plastic from new computer

Tech News and Views

I have had a stainless steel Bosch dishwasher for 8 years. It works fine, but my wife tried to clean the front and said she was wearing a hole in the front of some sort of cloth covering. I found that it was really a self adhesive plastic sheet meant to protect the appliance in shipment, and the installer had neglected to remove it during installation. When I removed it, I found a much shinier appliance underneath.

The experience reminded me of many computer users who neglect to remove the protective plastic from their computers. The plastic may not harm the computer, but I have seen metal door kickplates that were ruined because the plastic was not removed.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Move DVD burner if power cable is too short

Tech News and Views

I recently wanted to put a second hard drive in a desktop computer. There was room for the drive and there were ample connectors, but the connectors wouldn't reach between the DVD and the new hard drive. Necessity became the mother of invention. I removed the DVD burner and placed it in the 2nd DVD bay so the cable would just reach. I didn't have to purchase a new cable or a different power supply.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Dual boot using two hard drives

Tech News and Views

Many users dual boot computers by creating extra partitions on the computer's hard drives and by installing different operating systems on those partitions. They select from a menu after the computer boots and choose one operating system or the other. I have done that many times but find that problems often arise.

I recently tried a different approach to dual booting. I installed Windows 10 one one hard drive and Linux Mint Xfce on another. When the computer begins its boot sequence, I press ESC to get into the BIOS and select the drive I want to use. Since I don't switch between the two drives very often, I just keep using the selected drive until I want to switch. This process works well and doesn't cause the complications dual partitions can create.

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