And other useful information
Click here to go to: Windows 8 resources
06/2015 How Security Questions Can Get You in Trouble. Who’s your favorite superhero? No matter which name you choose, bad guys have a decent shot at correctly guessing it due to the limited number of possible answers, according to a new study. There is a major problem with the security questions often used by online services to help users recover passwords: The answers to such questions are either memorable or secure, but rarely both.
06/2015 How to Build Your Own PC. If you want the strongest, most adaptable, and most upgradeable personal PC, you should build it yourself.
03/2015 Too many users are still habitually downloading their software from untrustworthy sources such as Download.com. This article explains the dangers of downloading from untrustworthy sites & what to look out for- even from legitimate download sites.
03/2015 When installing software, you can avoid unwanted crapware by using a program called Unchecky, which automatically unchecks unrelated offers in the installation process. Read about this great software here. Unchecky is still in Beta stage, which means the software is still undergoing refinements.
03/2015 Think Twice if You Get a Call From the IRS or the ‘Prize Patrol’. As if consumers don’t already have enough scams to worry about, the Federal Trade Commission says impostor scams are on the rise. Here are the FTC’s top 10 impostor scams.
03/2015 ALERT: A vulnerability that could allow man-in-the-middle eavesdroppers to crack HTTPS (secure web connections) and steal sensitive data exists in every version of Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and even Blackberry OS. Click here for the full article. For added reassurance, you can visit http://freakattack.com and check the top line for a message about whether the browser you are using is vulnerable to the loophole.
03/2015 Security Expert: Uninstall Your Flashlight App Immediately. Security experts say some of the most popular flashlight apps for Android phones could be stealing data from your phone, including your location, phone number, contacts list or, potentially, your mobile banking information. Here is a Threat Assessment Report of 10 Top Android Flashlight Apps. A YouTube video can be viewed here with a report of the issue.
02/2015 Does your Computer Have VD? If you bought a Lenovo laptop any time since September, 2014, it may have come with a piece of adware called Superfish that puts all of your Web browsing sessions at risk of hacking. The same flawed technology has been found in three different parental control programs, and may be incorporated in any number of other legitimate programs. Here's what you need to know, and do... Lenovo may have to defend a class action lawsuit which follows the revelation that the adware had the potential to spy on users.
03/2015 Hard Drives, SSDs, Flash Drives: How Long Will Your Storage Media Last? We know that CDs and DVDs don’t last forever. What about hard drives and solid state drives?
03/2015 Should I Remove It? is a very simple but extremely powerful Windows application that helps users, both technical and non technical, decide what programs they should remove from their PC.
02/2015 19 Hidden Chrome Features That Will Make Your Life Easier. Click through this slideshow for a list of 19 hidden tricks hidden inside Chrome that you really need to be using.
02/2015 How do I route my email through Gmail? Gmail is a great spam filter. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that as I write this, it is perhaps the best. Only a small amount of spam makes it through, and very few false positives are thrown. It’s not perfect, but no solution is.
02/2015 Safepasswd.com is a simple website that generates random passwords with options for password length and type, such as Easy to Remember versus all manner of not easy. The website is also useful for those who “can’t think of a new password”.
01/2015 Microsoft to give away Windows 10 as free upgrade.
01/2015 Ransomware Strikes Again - Cryptowall. Making regular backups of critical data and keeping your software up to date is more important than ever thanks to the arrival of new, “improved” malware like Cryptowall 2. This update to a well-known ransomware exploit is making life miserable for business and personal computer users worldwide. Here's what you need to know...
01/2015 DOWNLOAD ALERT: Foistware Warning. Foistware is a term used for software that's "foisted" on you, typically without your knowledge or explicit consent. How can I avoid this?
01/2015 Downloading? Watch Out For These Danger Signs. A look at two other popular download sites, to see if they are also guilty of foisting garbageware on downloaders.
01/2015 How do I get rid of the ASK virus that hijacks my browser and configure my computer so I never see it again?
01/2015 Microsoft's support timeline. Check this page to see if your Operating System is still supported or when it will cease to be supported.
01/2015 Start the new year with a clean Windows PC. A little time spent now on preventive maintenance can save hours of PC troubleshooting later undefined and provide better computing all year long. Use the following steps to give your PC an annual checkup undefined and ensure it starts 2015 as healthy as possible.
11/2014 Ten Tips for Online Holiday Shoppers. Shopping online for the holidays is easy and convenient, but when you use the right tools, you can also save a lot of cash. Here are some money-saving tips for the smart online holiday shopper.
06/2015 Red cursor files to make your computer cursor more visible.
01/2015 4 Ways to Make Your Gmail Safer in 2015. If you’re not taking every measure available to protect your email account, now is the time to start.
01/2015 Mobile Threat- Android Malware Looks Safe, Steals Your Photos and Messages. A nasty app called PhoneSpy takes advantage of our trusting relationship with our phones to harvest the most personal of information.
12/2014 Need help deciding which anti-malware product to use? The not-for-profit organization AV-Comparatives claims to run the most comprehensive suite of real-world malware tests, and it regularly reviews popular free and paid anti-malware packages, with results posted monthly.
When looking at this or any other AV performance table, be aware of numerous caveats. For example, AV-Comparatives notes that while some products might achieve 100 percent protection in the tests, that’s not a guarantee that you’ll see the same level of protection. The tests are extensive, but they don’t include all malware. Moreover, the results are a snapshot in time. Existing exploits can adapt quickly, and new forms are popping up every day. (It’s the reason new virus definitions are offered frequently - and are necessary!) The full article from Windows Secrets Newsletter is available here.
12/2014 A dozen tools for removing almost any malware. Need to get a system clean of malware and/or verify that it’s completely malware-free? Use one or more of these free tools to clean up even the worst malware infections undefined and keep PCs clean.
12/2014 Is it a simple software error undefined or malware? The causes of anti-malware failure range from minor system errors to raging, full-blown infections. Here’s how to safely sort things out. Plus: Security concerns about bypassing Windows’ UAC, a reliable DVD drive suddenly dies, and a free DOS-emulator helps you run very old apps and games.
12/2014 Temporarily disable your laptop touchpad as you type. Two freeware programs are available that will temporarily disable the touchpad for a number of seconds any time a key is pressed. If no key is pressed after a certain amount of time, then you are able to use the touchpad freely. This will help to eliminate the issue of your cursor jumping around the screen as you type due to inadvertently hitting the touchpad as you type.
03/2015 Why You Should Connect a PC to Your TV (Don’t Worry; It’s Easy!) OK, you have a Roku, or a Chromecast, or some other streaming device. HowToGeek explains why you should connect a PC to your TV too. The post also has advice to hook it up and control the PC.
12/2014 Cutting the Cable Cord. If cord-cutting is on the rise, why are there more cable subscribers than ever? We're busting the cord-cutting myths everyone takes for granted.
01/2015 Interactive TV Coverage Browser. This is a mapping tool that will let you browse the TV transmitters in your area and see their coverage maps presented in a visual and dynamic format.
12/2014 How to Cut the Cord and Ditch Cable Once and For All. Quitting cable cold turkey is an intimidating prospect, especially if you're a heavy user. But it's easier than ever to fill the void, with more quality content than ever to fill it with.
12/2014 Dealnews decided to test out a Chromecast for a review and discovered that it's not as streamlined as it seems. In their latest, hard-hitting video, they blow the lid off the device and expose some of the flaws that Google failed to mention.
12/2014 8 Things You Didn't Know Your Chromecast Could Do. While the ultraportable device is pretty much plug and play, there are a few tips and tricks that can make casting more magical. Check them out in this slideshow.
12/2014 Quick & Dirty Guide: The Difference Between a Streaming Stick & Set-Top Box. If a streaming stick is cheaper, why would you pay more for a set-top box?
01/2015 Can You Run It On Linux? 10 Vital Apps You’ll Want When You Switch. Now has never been a better time to switch to Linux, but you may still be hesitant about it because you’re not sure whether your favorite applications from Windows will work on it. To help answer your questions, we’ll take a look at 10 popular Windows applications and whether you have options for them in Linux or online.
12/2014 An online Spirograph. Change the background and pen colors, number of teeth on fixed and rotating parts, roll the gear around and watch the geometric shape appear. Then erase or download your creation.
01/2015 Near-certain ways to improve PC startup times. Four free tools offer safe and certain ways to pare your boot times to the minimum. The process takes a little time and effort, but if you follow the steps outlined here, better boot times are all but guaranteed!
12/2014 The First Eight Things To Do With Your New Computer. A few steps immediately after you get your new computer can save you a lot of time, effort and loss of data later. Here are some recommendations.
12/2014 Are You Getting The Internet Service You Pay For? ISPs around the world are notorious for shaping traffic and limiting traffic in a way that is oblivious to their users. Most of the time, Internet users believe that the fault is with their connections or their network setups but they are unaware of ways to test their Internet connection for this problem. This article describes how to test your ISP.
12/2014 Missing Windows DVD? How to Download and Reinstall.
11/2014 How to safely test-drive Win10 undefined step by step. The safest and easiest way to install and work with the preview of the next Windows is within a virtual machine undefined this article shows how.
11/2014 Windows 10 Hands-On: A Good Start. Notes from a user who had the chance to spend a few moments with a demo PC running the new platform. He was impressed with a UI that seemed both familiar and fresh at the same time.
11/2014 Windows 10 Start Menu & other features. Worldstart has an article describing some of the new features in Windows 10. Click here to read the article.
10/2014 Did the Store You Shop At Get Hacked? Here’s What To Do. Everyone seems to agree that companies should do more to protect the people who’ve entrusted them with valuable data, but the trend of high-profile hacks seems likely to continue in the near future. Here’s how you can protect yourself.
09/2014 Free eBook- PC Maintenance Handbook, 2nd Edition. Improve your PC's performance, speed, and reliability.
This handbook is designed to help you find ways to maintain your Windows PC and ensure it remains clean and speedy throughout its life. Computers quickly get bogged down by junk files, invalid registry entries, a fragmented hard drive, spyware, adware, low disk space, and more. A speedy system is just a few clicks away, but sometimes it's hard to know where to start or even what to do. The purpose of this eBook is not to define the ultimate solution; its purpose is to give you simple, unbiased advice on what have been found to be the best options out there.
08/2014 Windows 3 Fun: Getting Really Old Software Running On A 64-Bit PC. Here’s how to get incredibly old 16-bit software and games like Chip’s Challenge running.
11/2014 On the subject of games, Console Living Room is a part of the Internet Archive. They bring you not only a collection of consoles from video gaming history, but they also allow you to access and play the games design for those consoles in your internet browser!
When you arrive to the Console Living Room you’ll be treated to a gallery of old consoles. Each console will offer you a library of games to pick from.
08/2014 ALERT: Serious Security Flaw in USB Drives. Undetectable malware can be hidden in any USB flash drive, according to security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell.
07/2014 Use Windows' Problem Steps Recorder to assist in getting help with a problem. Most of us have had the frustrating experience of trying to explain some kind of problem with our computer to someone over the phone. It’s often hard to relate what the problem really is in words unless you know a whole lot about computers. There’s a simple solution that’s already available on your Windows 7 and 8 computer. It’s called Problem Steps Recorder and it could be the best-kept secret of Windows. Here’s how to use it.
07/2014 The 2014 Guide To Windows 7 For Ex Windows XP Users.
Have you finally decided to upgrade from Windows XP and managed to get a cheap copy of Windows 7? You made the right decision! You will get used to Windows 7 in no time. Best of all, we have many great resources to help you settle in and get up to speed.
07/2014 How do You Search for Multiple File Types at the Same Time in Windows 8? (Note: this also works for Windows 7)
07/2014 How to Bypass and Reset the Password on Every Operating System. Passwords can be reset or bypassed on every operating system. These tricks all require physical access to the device.
06/2014 Tired of unchecking unrelated offers while installing software?
Have you ever felt, while installing software, that the installer tries to push additional unwanted programs at all cost? Unchecky aims to keep potentially unwanted programs out of your computer.
06/2014 14 Free & Open Source Alternatives For Paid Software. Don’t waste money on software for personal use! Not only do free alternatives exist, they most likely offer all the features you need and may be easier and safer to use.
05/2014 The Best Free Video Editors For Windows. Here are the five top choices for Windows users.
05/2014 Here is a collection of previously recorded presentation videos from past LCCUG meetings, including Virtual Credit Cards & using Truecrypt & Keepass.
Kim Komando also has a short article about Keepass.
04/2014 10 Common Web Tasks You Can Do Without Signing Up. Security bugs like Heartbleed make it abundantly clear that your logins and passwords are not safe. But what if you could use the Web for common tasks like uploading photos and videos or chatting with friends, all without signing up for an account?
02/2014 Acronis Drive Monitor. Free, downloadable software application developed by Acronis to monitor hard disk drives. Acronis Drive Monitor can help predict when a hard drive is about to fail, giving you the chance to backup your data before disaster strikes.
12/2013 Don’t Get Scrooged by These 20 Nasty Holiday Scams. Retailers do big business during December, but so do thieves. With so much money flowing freely, con artists are out in full force.
12/2013 How to Talk to a Live Person: Every Customer Support Number You'll Ever Need. PC Mag has compiled a list of customer support phone numbers and tips for navigating to an actual person. From retailers to wireless carriers to cable providers to manufacturers, calling these numbers and following a few easy steps will get a real person on the line before you know it.
02/2014 How to Get Data Off an Old Hard Drive (Without Putting It in a PC). You saved an old hard drive (or three) from previous computers and now you’d like to get at the data on them. Is there an easy way to access the data without cracking open your current computer and mounting the hard drives inside?
02/2014 Sorting out the revolution in PC backups: Part 1. An overview of the five leading types of backup technology available today for Windows users. These capsule summaries should help you quickly sort through the benefits and limitations of each option.
02/2014 Microsoft Excel School- Formulas and Functions.
Lesson 1: Why Do You Need Formulas and Functions?
Lesson 2: Defining and Creating a Formula
Lesson 3: Relative and Absolute Cell Reference, and Formatting
Lesson 4: Useful Functions You Should Get to Know
12/2013 9 Ways to Profit From Broken Electronics. Selling your older-model smartphones, laptops and other electronic gadgets is a fairly easy way to bring in extra money (or offset the cost of new devices), but what if those old models are broken? You might be tempted to send them straight to the recycling center, but even broken electronics can bring in a little cash. Before you recycle, check out these options for selling your gadgets. You won’t get as much as you would for like-new items, but the extra cash may be worth it.
12/2013 How to Digitize/Backup Cassette Tapes and Other Old Media. If you have some old cassette tapes lying around, it’s a good idea to digitize and back them up before they decide to show their age and stop working. In this guide, we’ll show how to convert your old collections to digital files, and the best practices for doing so.
12/2013 How to Get Started With Speech Recognition on Windows 7 or 8. Did you know Windows has had Speech Recognition built-in since Windows Vista? This is more than just a way to type by speaking aloud undefined you can use it to control applications and navigate the desktop with your voice.
It’s a free, built-in alternative to paid voice dictation programs like Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It’s a shame most Windows users will likely never find it buried in the Control Panel.
12/2013 Research Your Family Tree Online. MakeUseOf staff writer Christian Cawley will help you to get the data you need by teaching you about all the best tools for the job. By reading this guide, you’ll know exactly how to approach your family tree project.
11/2013 What The Windows XPocalypse Means For You. In April of 2014, Microsoft will stop offering security and performance updates for its elderly operating system. What does this mean for you?
10/2013 CryptoLocker Is The Nastiest Malware Ever & Here’s What You Can Do. CryptoLocker is a piece of malware targeting computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. It is typically spread as an email attachment, often purporting to be from a legitimate source.
This article discusses the malware and how to avoid it, including a utility that locks down Windows to prevent infection by the Cryptolocker malware. Note, however, that Micky tried this utility and it seemed to add an unwanted program to the computer that had to be removed. Please be careful about this utility, but pay attention to the other advice given in the article.
11/2013 CryptoLocker: The Worst Malware Ever? This is malware that when it infects a computer, it starts encrypting every document, spreadsheet, PowerPoint, graphic and photo file it can find. Once everything is encrypted, the malware posts a ransom notice demanding money. The Greater Cleveland PC Users Group has created a special CryptoLocker page and updates it regularly with articles, software, tips and video links.
10/2013 Opt out of Google's invasion of your privacy. Google wants to use your image and name in ads without compensating you. That is, unless you complete their opt-out procedure. Another link to the same topic from Clark Howard. However, I think Clark doesn't explain the procedure as clearly as Bob Rankin does in the previous link.
11/2013 How to Slash Your Monthly Expenses by $1,000 (or More) per Year. This article explains how you can cut your cable bill, slash other monthly expenses from your budget, and provides details on how to save money on monthly service and subscription fees.
12/2013 MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition is a free partition manager software designed by MiniTool Solution Ltd. Home users can perform complicated partition operations by using this powerful yet free partition manager to manage their hard disk. Functions include: Resizing partitions, Copying partitions, Create partition, Extend Partition, Split Partition, Delete partition, Format partition, Convert partition, Explore partition, Hide partition, Change drive letter, Set active partition, Partition Recovery.
11/2013 11 Amazing Ways People Are Using 3D Printers For Good, Not Guns.
11/2013 Sending Large Files Made Easy. Finding it difficult to send email attachments larger than 25MB in Gmail? Well, there are several alternatives to sending large files. Here are a few that are better than the best in the business…
Favorite Web Sites. Lists of web sites from past presentations:
01/08/2013 presentation web sites.
11/22/2011 presentation web sites.
09/07/2009 presentation web sites.
Here is the link to the power point that was used at the November 13 meeting concerning TVs and Computers. It is saved as a PDF and hopefully everyone can access it. TVs and Computers is a big subject that is changing faster than we can get a handle on it. Hopefully this presentation will give it some clarity.
Also during our November 13th meeting, we briefly discussed watching Football games via Internet streaming. Here is an article about that topic:
How to stream live football games online for free. Don't have the cash for that premium NFL package from your cable provider? Here's how to watch live football games streaming online for free.
Information presented in the AVAST Online Security Presentation of July, 2012.
Handout on using Picasa from the May 8 meeting from Geeks on Tour
Recomended free software from John "Free John" Kennedy
What's In Your Hard Drive?
Slide show from 08/09/2011 presentation by Neil Higgins.
Cloud Computing revised powerpoint - 7-12-11
The 10 hottest Five Apps lists of 2012. Here are the ten most popular Five App Blog posts in 2012 according to Google Analytics. For instance: Five apps for crapware cleanup; Five must-have apps for your USB stick.
Did you know you can restore previous versions of files and folders in Windows 7? Here is a link to a good article explaining how to use this function:
Use Windows 7’s Previous Versions to Go Back in Time and Save Your Files
When I’m in a folder in Windows XP, I see a button called Back and one called Up. What’s the difference? Moving Up and Back in Windows Explorer
Have you ever booted up your computer and not been able to reach the Windows desktop? This tip explains how to use Safe Mode with Command Prompt to run System Restore from a command prompt. Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Beginner Geek: How To Change the Boot Order in Your Computer’s BIOS. The boot order in your computer’s BIOS controls which device it loads the operating system from. Modify your boot order to force your computer to boot from a USB drive, CD or DVD drive, or another hard drive.
Microsoft Virtual PC is a free application that helps you create your own virtual machines inside your current operating system, so you can test software, or learn a new environment easily. Here’s how to get started.
How to Create a Virtual Machine in Windows 7 Using Virtual PC
08/2013 Run your Windows XP system in Windows 8 with VMware. Use VMware tools to convert your existing Windows XP system into a virtual machine and then run it in Windows 8.
08/2013 Convert your existing Windows XP system into a virtual machine. This article shows you how to use free VMware products to convert your existing Windows XP system into a virtual machine and then run it in Windows 8.
================ Windows Backup: ====================
01/2013 How to install the Backup utility from the CD-ROM in Windows XP Home Edition. The Backup utility helps you protect your data if your hard disk stops working or your files are accidentally erased. With Backup, you can create a copy of all the data on your hard disk, and then archive it on another storage device, such as a removable hard disk or a tape. The Backup utility is not included in the default installation of Windows XP Home Edition. Therefore, to use Backup, you have to install it manually.
To manually install Backup, follow these steps:
Put the Windows XP Home Edition CD in the CD Drive.
Double-click the Ntbackup.msi file in the following location to start a wizard that installs Backup:
When the installation wizard is finished, click Finish.
If the wizard completed the installation, the program was successfully installed and you can now use the Backup utility
01/2013 How to use the Windows XP Backup utility. Windows XP requires third-party disk-imaging software in order to back up the entire hard drive including the operating system (Win7 has it built in).
01/2013 Here is a list of free Hard Disk Backup / Restore and Image / Cloning Utilities. These utilities are NOT just for Windows XP, however. They can also be used with Windows 7.
Using Windows XP Backup- a YouTube tutorial. This tutorial backs up "Documents & Settings", but a similar method can be used to backup "All information on this computer".
How to use Windows XP: Restoring your backup files.
Create a System Repair Disc in Windows 7. You never know when a malfunction might occur. This article takes a look at an option in Windows 7 that lets you create a System Repair disc in case you need to boot from it to recover your OS.
How to create a system image of your Windows 7 installation Even though the end of this article states that Windows' Imaging is only available on business and ultimate versions of Windows 7, it is available on the Home Premium version as well.
01/2015 Emergency repair disks for Windows: Part 1. When your PC won’t boot from its hard drive, you might be dead in the water — unless you’ve created a bootable emergency repair disk or drive. Repair disks don’t simply get PCs started; they also include tools that might fix what’s wrong with the system. And creating a repair disk takes just minutes.
Backup and restore: frequently asked questions. Here are answers to some common questions about backing up and restoring files.
How does Windows choose which files to back up? When you back up your files using Windows Backup, you can let Windows choose what is backed up or you can select the individual folders and drives that you want to back up. Depending on what you select, your backup will contain the items described in this article.
How to back up your files with Windows 7's built-in backup utility. To help ensure that you don't lose your files, you should back them up regularly. You can set up automatic backups or manually back up your files at any time. This guide includes a one-minute video.
How to Create a System Image in Windows 7. Another article from the How-To Geek.
Free backup software, Macrium Reflect Free. This version does disk imaging and cloning. The free version, does NOT do incremental or differential backups, however.
01/2013 Imaging with Macrium Reflect. Here are two video tutorials on how to use Macrium Reflect to create a full system image backup. The first video tutorial is only around 7 minutes long. The second video tutorial is around 30 minutes in length.
01/2013 Purchase Acronis True Image Home backup utility at half the retail price from User Group Relations website. If asked for an Order Code, use Order Code UGNL0812. If you have problems ordering, you can contact Gene Barlow at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will assist you.
FBackup is a free backup program for both personal and commercial use. It protects your important data by backing it up automatically to any USB/Firewire device, local or network location. The backed up data can be either compressed (using standard zip compression) or an exact copy of the original files. However, it doesn't do a full system backup (disk image backup). FBackup has a simple interface and guides you through the process of defining a backup job using a friendly wizard.
03/2013 A free backup program from Paragon Software, Backup & Recovery 2012 Free. This company makes excellent products and this backup program also can create full disk image backups.
01/2013 Where is the Backup program in Windows 8? The ability to create System Images was buried in Windows 8, but not eliminated.
07/2013 4 Ways to Quickly Install Your Desktop Programs After Getting a New Computer or Reinstalling Windows. Installing your favorite programs doesn’t have to involve downloading installer after installer, clicking through wizards for hours.
01/2015 How Do I Schedule Automatic Backups? Leo Notenboom walks through the steps of scheduling a monthly full backup, using the free version of the backup software he uses and recommends: Macrium Reflect.
09/2013 How to Fix Browser Settings Changed By Malware or Other Programs. Malware, adware, and pushy software installers all love changing your browser settings, giving you new home pages, default search engines, and obnoxious toolbars. It’s easy to forget to uncheck these options while installing software.
09/2013 Windows XP Users: Here Are Your Upgrade Options. Windows XP won’t be officially supported for much longer. Sure, you could keep using it undefined it won’t just stop working one day. It will just become more insecure over time as Microsoft and everyone else stops supporting it.
09/2013 Do You Really Need to Regularly Reinstall Windows?
For many people, Windows seems to slow down over time. Quite a few people fix this by regularly reinstalling Windows. But do you really need to regularly reinstall Windows? And, if so, how regularly do you need to reinstall it?
08/2013 How to Recover a Deleted File: The Ultimate Guide. It’s happened to most of us. You delete a file and realize you need it back. This guide will explain when you can get that file back and how to go about it.
03/2015 CD Recovery Toolbox Free (download) was developed for recovering damaged files from different disk types: CD, DVD, HD DVD, Blu-Ray, etc. Click here to open a web page describing how to use this software.
04/2013 What’s All the Fuss About Evernote? Should I Be Using It?
04/2013 I’ve Been Using Evernote All Wrong. Here’s Why It’s Actually Amazing.
04/2013 Get Creative With Evernote: 10 Unique Uses You Haven’t Thought Of.
07/2013 How to Enable Full-Page Evernote Clipping on Android Devices. Evernote is a fantastic tool for clipping web pages for later perusal, but the default configuration on Android simply clips the URL and not the page/article. Read this to see how to remedy this oversight and enjoy the same kind of full-page clipping on your Android device that you enjoy on your computer.
03/2013 Five Tech Myths Debunked: Cell Phones Don’t Cause Cancer & More. Technology is as susceptible to myths as any other niche. Let’s set these tech myths straight.
01/2013 Beginner Geek: How to Reinstall Windows on Your Computer. Depending on your version of Windows and how you installed it – or whether it came with your computer – there are a number of different ways to reinstall Windows.
Configure Windows 7 for a Limited User Account. For best security, run your PC primarily with a limited-user account and not in administrator mode. This article has excellent instructions for setting up a limited-user account.How to Recover Windows and Software Keys from a Broken Computer
07/2014 Optimize Windows 7 for better performance. Here are some tips from Microsoft to help you optimize Windows 7 for faster performance.
07/2014 How to Open the Performance troubleshooter. The Performance troubleshooter checks issues that might slow down your computer's performance, such as how many users are currently logged on to the computer and whether multiple programs are running at the same time.
12/2013 The Windows Speed Up Guide. MakeUseOf’s guide includes all the information you need to speed up your slow PC! This manual explains why Windows slows down and what you can do to prevent this from happening too quickly. We will explain how to store your data to reduce disk fragmentation, how you should properly remove programs to avoid registry junk, which system maintenance tools you should use to maintain a top notch performance, how to protect your system from malware attacks, and how to physically clean your machine to avoid hardware damage and failure.
How to use the Resource Monitor in Windows 7 Every once in a while, your computer will slow down or freeze, or a program won’t work the way you expect it to. Windows 7's Resource Monitor can help you find out what is going wrong, and why undefined whether it’s CPU use, memory use, a program behaving badly, or something else. This tutorial will show everything you need to know about this great tool and how to use it.
Why It’s Good That Your Computer’s RAM Is Full. Is your operating system using a lot of RAM? Don’t panic! Modern operating systems use RAM as a file cache to speed things up. Assuming your computer is performing well, there’s nothing to worry about.
The 35 Best Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Your Windows PC- a list of useful articles about maintaining your computer, operating system, software, and data.
Windows 7 Tutorials: How to Setup a System from Scratch? The Best Order for Installing Everything. This also applies to other versions of Windows as well.
06/2014 GoWatchIt is a site that helps you search for movies across any service and add them to one universal queue. Whether you're looking for a fun kids movie or a more grown-up thriller, GoWatchIt can find out where it's available to stream online or if it's available on DVD or Blu-ray. You can even see trailers and release dates for upcoming films.
The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 7 Media Center
How to watch & record TV with Win7 Media Center
Schedule Times to Record Live Broadcast TV in Windows 7 Media Center
Schedule Live TV recording
Stream video to your TV
Full article available to SmartComputing subscribers: 09/2010 issue
Don't pay more for fancy HDMI cables
Why HDMI Brands Don't Matter
HDTV Setup: You're Doing It Wrong. Have a new HDTV? Make sure you set it up right to get the best possible HD viewing experience.
02/2013 Easily record TV shows on your computer. Many people believe turning your computer into a DVR requires serious tech knowledge, but it really doesn't.
02/2013 Watch free TV online. Trying to find legitimate content online isn't easy. Here's a list of sites to try.
03/2013 Yes, You CAN Watch TV Online Legally & For Free. Whether you’re thinking of cutting the cord or just want to watch TV on your own schedule instead of the television network’s, there are more legal ways to watch TV online than ever.
08/2014 Where to Watch Free Movies and TV Online.
How to Download Hulu Videos to Your PC for Offline Viewing. If you have ever tried to download videos from the Hulu website, you will have probably noticed that most methods don’t work because of the protocol that Hulu uses. Here’s how to download any video you want from the Hulu website.
11/2014 This site will download Youtube videos & also content from other sites: savefrom.net
05/2013 5 Free YouTube Downloaders & Converters Compared: Which One Is Right For You?
A Quick Alternative Way to Download Videos from YouTube. This method of downloading YouTube videos, is different, in the sense that you are just retrieving a buffered version of the video from your browsers cache.
01/2013 The Best Free Programs and Online Services for Sending and Sharing Large Files. Many email services impose a limit on the size of files you can send.
01/2013 The Best Free Ways to Share Photos With Friends and Family Other Than Facebook. A collection of additional free options, other than Facebook, for posting your holiday photos for family and friends to enjoy.
Auslogics Disk Defrag screen saver:
Five apps for crapware cleanup You don’t have to put up with the aggravation of crapware. Here are several effective tools for removing it from your Windows PC.
If you have files to convert from one format to another, visit the web page convertfiles.com where you can convert files up to 250MB in size for free.
02/2014 Cloud Convert. At Cloud Convert you can convert anything to anything. Meaning if you want to convert documents, ebooks, audio, video, spreadsheets, images or other files that you can do it all here at this one site!
Save paper by printing to a PDF file. Use Nitro Reader to create PDF files. The download manager will automatically complete your installation with the latest version of Nitro Reader 3.
04/2013 How to Print to PDF in Windows: 4 Tips and Tricks. You can install a PDF printer to print to PDF from any application in Windows. When you print any document to the PDF printer, it will create a new PDF file on your computer instead of printing it to a physical document.
07/2013 4 Easy Ways to Remotely Print Over the Network or Internet. Remote printing doesn’t have to be hard, whether you want to print to a printer down the hall or half-way around the world. This article covers some simple ways you can print without being directly connected to your printer.
07/2013 How to Send and Receive Faxes Online Without a Fax Machine or Phone Line. Some slow-moving businesses and government agencies may not accept documents over email, forcing you to fax them in. If you are forced to send a fax, you can do it from your computer for free.
Free Tech Support Software Tools. Read about Nine Portable Tech Support Software Utilities and Bootable Rescue Disks
MakeUseOf.com's "Best Of" series. This page links to their articles on The Best: Websites, Windows Software, Linux Software, Android & iPhone Apps, browser plugins, etc.
Is it be better to shut the computer down when done with it for the day or keep it on 24/7? This link has a good explanation of the Pros and Cons of each scenario plus a recommendation for the "average Joe user". You'll need to scroll down to the section that discusses this topic.
How Can I Disable or Reassign the Windows Key?
03/2013 Getting Started with Keyboard Shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are an essential tool for dramatically speeding up everything you do on your computer. Geeks make extensive use of keyboard shortcuts, but every computer user can benefit from them.
How to Search Google Like a Pro: 11 Tricks You Have to Know
How to Use Gmail’s Advanced Search Features & Create Filters. Learn Gmail’s search tricks to master your massive inbox.
Google Voice Search. Google's latest update to the voice search app makes it one of the favorite features for your Android device.
08/2013 Google has a built-in timer function. Read about it here. Basically, to set a timer for 5 minutes, search for "set timer for 5 minutes", without the quotes.
How to Use Bing’s Advanced Search Operators: 8 Tips for Better Searches
10 Amazing Uses for Wolfram Alpha. Apple’s Siri uses Wolfram Alpha for 25% of its searches. You can leverage that magic and put Wolfram Alpha to work for you undefined the empty search box on its homepage holds endless possibilities.
Gmail - presentation from October 27, 2009
If the Gmail scare in early March, 2011 has you thinking about backing up your Gmail or other web-based email account, we’re here to help. Read on to learn how to backup your web-based email using open source email application Thunderbird.
04/2013 Here's another brief article on how to set up Thunderbird to receive your gmail emails.
01/2013 A neat program called MozBackup allows complete backup and restoration of the mailboxes. It works exceptionally well and is free.
If you use Google Gmail, there is a fantastic utility which allows you to back up all of your e-mails to a folder on your computer. Read more about Gmail Backup.HTG Explains: What Can You Find in an Email Header? While viewing email headers probably isn’t a part of your typical day to day needs, there are cases where the information contained in them can be quite valuable. You can quite easily identify senders masquerading as something they are not.
How to Own Your Own Website (Even If You Can’t Build One) Pt 1
Learn how to become a real website owner and put together an awesome feature-rich website of your own with little to no experience. Part 1's topics are Hosting and Installing.
How to Own Your Own Website (Even If You Can’t Build One) Pt 2
Part 2's topics are Themes and Menus.
How to Own Your Own Website (Even If You Can’t Build One) Pt 3
Part 2's topics are Customization, Widgets and Plugins.
CDs Are Not Forever: The Truth About CD/DVD Longevity, “Mold” & “Rot”. By being aware of what determines the life span of optical discs and what causes them to break, you can make choices and significantly increase the survival time of your stored data.
The Best Websites for Free Online Courses, Certificates, Degrees, and Educational Resources. There are several colleges and other sites that offer free online courses, certificate programs, some degree programs, and education resources for teachers and professors.
APCUG videos from past web conferences. Fall 2012 VTC (Virtual Technology Conference) videos have been uploaded to APCUG’s YouTube channel. Be careful- you might just learn something by watching these videos!
02/2013 Which Windows Services Can You Safely Disable? If you want to squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, you might consider disabling some of the built-in Windows services. But which ones should you disable? And which ones can you safely disable?
02/2013 Microsoft has finally released the latest version of its web browser, Internet Explorer 10, for Windows 7. Click here to download it.
03/2013 A new anti-piracy program, which gives users six warnings for suspected violations, has now taken effect.
============ Security & Privacy information ==========
01/2015 Has Your Android Phone Been Infected with Malware? Malware presents a threat to mobile devices, including Android. Are you prepared?
01/2015 Ten Common Smartphone Mistakes That Expose You To Security Risks.
01/2015 The Big Scams and Security Threats to Watch Out for in 2015. Scammers will take advantage of new technologies to try to steal our identities and our money.
11/2014 How to Remove Malware that Keeps Coming Back?
11/2014 How to keep your life, your family, and your home clean and safe, brought to you by Fraud Aid, Inc., fighting bad guys since 1999. This site is very informative and includes a List of Scams and Scam Victim's Solution Center.
08/2014 Let’s Put A Stop To Pop-Up Browser Ads Once And For All! Chances are that you have encountered a pop-up advertisement at some time in your online life. These pop-ups can appear out of nowhere and surprise you, and if you panic you may make a stupid mistake.
07/2014 The seven reasons you will fall for a scam artist, from 20 years’ experience.
07/2014 Want To Ensure Your Personal Android Data Is Truly Wiped? Just Turn On Encryption Then Reset.
05/2014 10 things scam artists won’t tell you. Your information is less secure than ever.
11/2013 10 Free Ways to Protect Your Identity. Identity theft, which hits an estimated 9 million to 12 million Americans per year, carries a per-victim cost of nearly $5,000, according to some reports. So the need to protect yourself is obvious. Protection doesn’t have to be costly in terms of money or time. Here are 10 quick, easy and free ways to reduce your risk.
08/2013 How to Ensure Your Router, Cameras, Printers, and Other Devices Aren’t Accessible on the Internet. Some people’s networked printers, cameras, routers, and other hardware devices are accessible from the Internet. There are even search engines designed to search such exposed devices. If your devices are secure, you won’t have to worry about this.
08/2013 How A Computer Virus Spreads Online, And What You Can Do To Stop It.
03/2013 Why You Need An Antivirus on Windows, No Matter How Careful You Are. No matter how smart think you are, you can still benefit from an antivirus on Windows.
02/2013 Avoid tech support phone scams. Cyber criminals might call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. Read this article to protect yourself from this type of scam.
02/2013 How to Protect Yourself From Java Security Problems if You Can’t Uninstall It. For years, Java has been the top source of browser exploits. Even after a recent emergency patch, Java is still vulnerable. To protect ourselves, we should assume that Java is always going to be vulnerable.
Watch out for online charity scams relating to disaster relief:
As disasters spread, so do online scammers
Ask Leo- Internet Safety article: How do I keep my computer safe on the Internet?
PDF download: Internet Safety- Keeping Your Computer Safe on the Internet (this document from AskLeo.com has some very worthwhile information in it)Password Protection: How to Create Strong Passwords
Credit Freeze and Thaw Guide. Credit freezes are one of the most effective tools against economic ID theft available to consumers.
Keepass Password Safe (password manager). The Classic version doesn't need Dot Net installed in order to work.
An alternative to Keepass is KeepassX which should work in Windows 8.
Securely Store Your Passwords with KeePass. A brief tutorial on using Keepass.
KeyScrambler encrypts your keystrokes at the keyboard driver level, deep in the operating system, to defeat existing and future keyloggers.
This link takes you to information on KeyScrambler
This link compares the free (Personal) edition with two other paid editions
The How-To Geek Guide to Getting Started with TrueCrypt. If you’re looking for a simple and powerful way to encrypt everything from system drives to backup discs to everything in between, TrueCrypt is an open-source tool that will help you lock up your files. Here's how to get started.
05/2014 How To- Encrypt Your Entire Hard Drive The Easy Way Using TrueCrypt.
The Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Data. These 10 articles are the top methods that How-To Geek has covered for securing files and personal information both online and off, securing your Wi-Fi network, protecting website login information and passwords and other offline data.
Protect your family from adult websites by using OpenDNS' FamilyShield freeware. It automatically filters out adult and other objectionable websites. You can set it up on a specific computer, or you can set it up on your home network's router.
K9 Web Protection is a free Internet filter and parental control software for your home Windows or Mac computer. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids.
Free Parental Control Software. Qustodio’s internet parental controls empower you to provide greater protection for you children as they explore the online world. Using Qustodio, you can monitor how your kids use the Internet, set healthy access limits, and guard them against inappropriate content, cyberbullying, online predators, and more!
Own Your Space--Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online
Free digital book for teens
Free Security Check-Ups from StaySafeOnline.org. Many computer security vendors offer free computer security checks for your computer. Visit any of the links on this site to check your computer for known viruses, spyware, and more and discover if your computer is vulnerable to cyber attacks.
WiredSafety.org: The World's First Internet Safety and Help Group providing one-to-one help, extensive resources, information, and education to people of all ages on a myriad of Internet, mobile, gaming and interactive technology safety issues.
How to Wipe Yourself Off the Grid. Whether you need to go on the run or you just want to settle down into a less digital life, here's how to get lost.
4 Ways to Outsmart Websites That Force You to Register. Every now and then, you’ll encounter a website that forces you to register to view it. Rather than give the website your real email address – often an invitation to spam – you can use one of these tricks instead.
How to Clean Up the List of Apps that Have Access to Your Accounts. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Dropbox, and all the other web services out there can be accessed by various applications and other services. Here are a couple of links that you can use to quickly remove anything that has access.
Advanced GEEK: Whonix adds a layer of anonymity to your tasks. The Whonix operating system is a nice solution if you're looking for a cheap layer of anonymity.
01/2013 Standard drive- and file-wiping tools are no longer adequate for completely removing data- especially when used with the newest hard drives. Secure Erase, developed at UC San Diego’s Center for Magnetic Recording Research, is a free download that’s designed to securely erase magnetic media of all types- and it works with SSDs as well. Another article on using HDDErase to securely erase SSD or flash-based memory drives.
Configure Windows 7 for a Limited User Account. For best security, run your PC primarily with a limited-user account and not in administrator mode. This article has excellent instructions for setting up a limited-user account.
02/2013 How You Can Be Infected via Your Browser and How to Protect Yourself.
08/2013 Sandboxes Explained: How They’re Already Protecting You and How to Sandbox Any Program. Sandboxing is an important security technique that isolates programs, preventing malicious or malfunctioning programs from damaging or snooping on the rest of your computer.
Discount Computer Parts Presentation
LCCUG Aug 11th 2009.ppt
Free Apps & Other Fun Stuff October 13, 2009
Free Apps and other Fun Stuff.pdf
========== Wireless information: ==========
06/2014 Changing your wireless router's network passphrase. This article explains how to change the password for connecting a computer to your wireless network.
06/2014 Resetting A Wireless Router's administrative access Password. This article explains how to change the administration password for accessing your router’s settings.
11/2013 Ask HTG: What’s an ESN and Why Do I Care If It’s Clean?
If you’re in the market for a cellphone, especially a used one, you’ll hear a lot of talk about ESNs with an emphasis on whether or not the phone is “clean”. What exactly does acronym stand for and what does it mean if the phone is clean or not?
Set up and Manage a wireless network - March 23, 2010
Installing a wireless router:
Connecting to Wireless Networks with Windows 7. Being able to connect to a network and the web from wherever you are is almost essential. Windows 7 provides a simplified user experience for wireless LAN networks.
Secure your wireless network. Some good articles:
Secure Your Wireless Network
How To Secure Your Wi-Fi Network Against Intrusion
Layering Your Home Network Security
Five Common WiFi Security Mistakes.
Is Your Wireless Router REALLY Secure?
10 tips to help improve your wireless network:
Changing Your Wireless Network Password. Your wireless security password can’t be modified through the Microsoft Windows network settings, but must be changed by logging into your router.
Routers using WPS are intrinsically unsafe. Simple hacker tools can easily sniff out Wi-Fi passwords from routers that have Wi-Fi Protected Setup enabled undefined quite possibly yours included. Read more from this article.
HTG Explains: Why You Shouldn’t Host an Open Wi-Fi Network. Hosting an open Wi-Fi network can cause a number of problems for you, whether you’re trying to do a good deed by sharing your connection or just haven’t set up a password yet.
How to Access Your Router If You Forget the Password. If you’ve forgotten a router’s password – or if you acquired a used router and don’t know its password – there’s a way to reset the password.
07/2013 10 Useful Options You Can Configure In Your Router’s Web Interface. Your wireless router has a variety of useful options you can configure. These are practically hidden undefined you wouldn’t know these features exist unless you were digging through your router’s configuration pages.
05/11/2010: Using Photoshop
It seems there are many Photoshop tutorials out there. Just Google "Photoshop tutorials" and see what you get. Here are just a few results:
Here is a web site that has "2 Minute Photoshop Tricks" This site will be home to all kinds of Photoshop tips, tricks and tutorials.
How To Properly Scan a Photograph (And Get An Even Better Image). Unless you know how to use your scanner correctly, the image quality can turn out poor. Here’s how to get the best results.
Unusual photo and video effects from Microsoft. Digital photography gives us the freedom to take hundreds of photos and videos of places and people, at very little expense undefined so many images, that family and friends might be blasé at best about your latest efforts. But three little-known apps from Microsoft can put some unexpected novelty back into your images.
radio on your computer. Any computer with an Internet connection can easily be turned into a global radio receiver.
======= Mobile/Tablet/eReader information: =======
02/2015 10 common misconceptions about mobile device batteries. Have you run into a few old-school users with antiquated ideas about how to treat smartphone batteries? Here are several myths worth debunking.
05/2014 Cryptocat is a fun, accessible app for having an encrypted chat with your friends, right in your browser and mobile phone. Everything is encrypted before it leaves your computer. Even the Cryptocat network itself can't read your messages. Available for Web browsers & Apple iPhone mobile device; coming soon to Android.
11/2013 The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013. Navigate the galaxy of apps in Google Play with PC Mag's handy, carefully selected list of the 100 best Android apps.
So You Lost Your Smartphone, Now What?
11/2013 HTG Explains: Can You Use Any Charger With Any Device? Every device undefined smartphone, tablet, eReader, laptop undefined seems to come with its own charger. But do you really need all these chargers? Can you re-use the same charger for multiple devices?
Prey lets you keep track of your laptop, phone and tablet whenever stolen or missing -- easily and all in one place. It's lightweight, open source software that gives you full and remote control, 24/7.
10/2013 Why the Police Want You to Upgrade to iOS 7. Apple has added a great feature to its new iPhone operating system that has the potential to render stolen phones useless.
How-To Geek Explains: Does Your Android Phone Need an Antivirus?
03/2013 How to Avoid Android Malware and Other Android Security Threats. Android malware can be avoided with a few common-sense tips.
BlueStacks App Player. Run 750,000 Mobile Apps on Windows or Mac.
Don’t Be A Victim: Practical Tips To Protect Your Smartphone From Theft.
02/2013 How to Switch to VoIP and Ditch Your Home Phone Bill Forever. You can enjoy the convenience of a whole-house land line without shelling out your hard earned money to your local telecommunications provider.
07/2013 How (and Why) to Get Started with Google Cloud Print. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could print from any of your devices (desktops, phones, tablets) to any of your printers, at any time? This article explores Google Cloud Print, a fantastic way to enable printing on all your devices big and small.
07/2013 How to Enable Native Google Cloud Printing and Printer Sharing in Windows. This article shows how to add Cloud Print functionality as a Windows service and native printing from any of your Windows computers.
Ebooks/ereaders 2/22/11 Presentation
Ebooks presentation as PDF
========== Windows 8 information: ==========
03/2015 Windows 8 For Dummies book.
11/2014 How to spend your first hour with Windows 8.1
Here’s what every knowledgeable Windows user should know about setting up Win8.1, whether they’re coming from Windows 8, Win7, Vista, or XP.
01/2015 Mastering Windows 8’s backup/restore system. Windows 8 has easily the most comprehensive backup-and-recovery system ever seen on a personal computer. With little user effort, and when applied correctly, Win8’s built-in backup tools provide automatic, frequent, triple-data redundancy.
09/2014 Reset Windows 8.1's Start Screen. If you've made changes to the Start Screen, you can return it to its previous state -- and even its original appearance. This article explains how.
07/2014 Windows 8.1 File History – A Realtime Backup Tool. Once activated, it archives older versions of your files automatically. Now it’s not a total system backup, but it does archive your documents, photos, music and videos.
05/2014 The only thing you need to know to master Windows 8.1. Windows 8/8.1 is a dramatic departure from the traditional Windows interface, and it can be overwhelming to find what you're looking for unless you know this one trick.
12/2014 Classic Shell: Turn Windows 8 Into Windows 7/XP. Some very creative people over at Classic Shell have released a freeware utility which can give you back the Start Menu everyone loved.
11/2013 Get the ISO you need to create your own Windows 8.1 DVD. Microsoft wants you to run the update just like you would a Service Pack from Windows Update (there is no opportunity to download an ISO or order a DVD).
But what if you have two or more Windows 8 systems? Do you really want to sit and wait while the online update runs multiple times? I didn't think so.
Note: Even though the end result of this trick is have a Windows 8.1 DVD, keep in mind that this DVD can only be used to perform a Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 upgrade. You cannot use it to perform a clean install of Windows 8.1.
11/2013 Track down the Create a System Image tool in Windows 8.1. Learn where to find and launch the Create a System Image tool in Microsoft Windows 8.1, because it is not where it used to be.
11/2013 How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 & How To Downgrade Back To Windows 8. Windows 8.1 is here and brings many new and improved features. The update is free for current Windows 8 users, it’s available from the Windows Store, and the installation process, if not quick, at least is easy. If you would like to boot to the desktop, take advantage of the improved SkyDrive integration, or run multiple apps next to each other with the new dynamic Snap feature, you should consider upgrading.
01/2013 How to decide: should you upgrade to Windows 8? With all the hype about Windows 8, one question remains for most current Windows users: should you upgrade to Windows 8? In this article, David Gewirtz walks you through all the possibilities, so you're armed with the best decision-making strategy for your needs.
11/2013 Pro tip: Override the 4GB memory barrier on 32-bit Windows 8.1 systems. Turn on Physical Address Extension mode and unleash the full potential of your 32-bit RAM memory.
12/2013 Make the Internet Explorer app run in two windows. A secret hidden in the Internet Explorer app that will allow you to have two tabs open on the screen at one time and position them side-by-side.
How To Play DVDs on Windows 8. Upgrade to Windows 8 and you may be surprised to find that you can no longer play video DVDs. Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 doesn’t include built-in support for playing DVDs.
How to Stop Windows 8 Waking Up Your PC to Run Maintenance. Windows 8 comes with a new hybrid boot system, this means that your PC is never really off. It also means that Windows has the permission to wake your PC as it needs. Here’s how to stop it from waking up your PC to do maintenance tasks.