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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

1541. Using LED for flash

I find that when I’m in meetings, I don’t want my phone to ring, or even buzz, when I get an email or a text. On the other hand, I’d still like my phone to indicate that someone tried to get hold of me. Is there some way to use the camera’s flash LED as an indicator?
Clearly, you’re not the first to think of this excellent idea! It’s funny, you think when you put your phone in “silent” mode that it would be silent, but the buzz that the phone makes when an alert occurs is clearly audible to everyone around you. This sound can be disruptive during meetings!
To avoid the irritating buzz, on an iPhone, select Settings, then General, and then Accessibility. Select the LED Flash for Alerts option.  You’ll also want to ensure that you turn off the vibration, so you don’t hear that noise: Select Settings, then Sounds, and make sure to switch off the Vibrate on Silent option.
On an Android phone, you can set things up similarly. Go to Settings, then Accessibility, and find the Flash Notification option. Again, you’ll want to turn off the vibration, so that you don’t hear the sound of the vibration motor.

Note that setting up the LED notification only causes the LED to flash once. Things work differently on Android phones (and you’ll need to look up for your particular phone how to do this), but for an iPhone, for each application for which you get notifications, you can indicate how many times you want the alert repeated. For example, you could go to Settings, then Notifications, then Messages, and find the Repeat Alerts option. Set that to indicate the number of times you want the phone to wait two minutes, and blink the LED (or whatever notification you have selected) again.



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

1542. Uninstall Malware Installs

I was recently visiting my family, and found that my father’s computer booted extremely slowly. Upon examination of his installed programs, I found all sorts of applications that he didn’t even know he had, many of which started up as his computer booted. I laboriously uninstalled what I could figure out, but there must be a better way. How do you uninstall a bunch of programs from a Windows computer?
Ken recently had this happen, as well, on a friend’s computer. In his case, the friend’s computer took over 45 minutes to boot up! It took hours to remove all the malware (often called “crapware”) that had gotten installed on the computer. After many reboots, the computer finally worked as intended. How does all this stuff get installed? Often, people just click on anything on a Web site, and this action grants permission to install an application, even if it’s unwanted. Other Web sites exploit flaws in the operating system to simply install applications without even asking—we call these “fly-by installs”, because they happen without your knowledge.

Sometimes, it’s simply easier to reinstall Windows than to deal with the thicket of crapware, but that, too, is a big job best left to a professional. Another alternative is to make use of one of our favorite tools, CCleaner (short for “Crap Cleaner”). This free tool has a bunch of useful features, including displaying information about which applications run at startup, and the providing a means of uninstalling one or more applications relatively painlessly. And did we mention that it’s free? Check out CCleaner here: You can use the free version, and if you like the tool, you can let the vendor know by purchasing the professional version. You can download a version for Windows or Mac (the Windows version is slightly more mature than the Mac version, but they’re both helpful). CCleaner has been used by millions of Windows users for many users, and we highly recommend it!

1521. Selling an old iPhone

I’d like to get a new iPhone 6, but I can’t figure out what to do with my three-year-old iPhone 4S. I’d like to sell it and recoup a little of the cost of the new phone. I’ve had bad luck trying to sell stuff on CraigsList and eBay. Are there other options for me to sell this old phone?
We’re with you—we hate selling stuff on eBay and CraigsList. There are just too many folks out there trying to scam you from every direction, and it’s difficult to handle sales of small electronics items; you must have heard the stories about people selling things, only to have the buyers claim that they didn’t get the right item, or returning the item, replacing it with a rock or something. The only way to sell through these sorts of sites, these days, is to perform the transaction in person. And that’s just too much trouble.
Ken has had really good luck with the online sites and He’s tried each for selling used iPhones, and in each case, the transaction went smoothly, from getting a quote to receiving payment. At the time of this writing, Gazelle offers only $95 for a carrier-unlocked 64GB iPhone 4S (so you’re not going to get rich this way). Nextworth is currently offering $100 for the same phone. In both bases, you must unlock the phone, so it can be used with any carrier. Verizon phones generally come this way, T-Mobile and Sprint generally unlock phones if you ask, and AT&T requires your phone to be off-contract in order to unlock it. and offer to purchase used phones—their prices are generally less than those you’ll find at Gazelle and Nextworth. Your cellular provider may also have a “buy-back” program—Verizon was offering up to $200 for older iPhones earlier this year, for example. It’s worth doing the research!
One thing to remember: No vendor can or will accept your phone for resale unless you have turned off the “Find My iPhone” feature, so make sure you have turned this off. (You’ll generally find it easier to simply reset the phone to its factory settings, which is an option available in the phone’s settings. )

You may get more money for your phone selling it yourself on eBay or CraigsList, but it’s a lot simpler to let Gazelle, Nextworth, or Amazon do the work for you! (It’s interesting to note that Gazelle, like Amazon, recently started selling used phones at a good price. If you’re the opposite situation—you want to purchase a used smart phone—check them out!)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

1515. Different Folder Views

Folder Views in Windows 
I have a folder full of photos on my computer, and when I open that folder, all I see is a list of file names. A friend recently showed me her photos, and when she opened the folder, she saw a large thumbnail of each image. I’d love to see my photos in the folder that same way, so I don’t have to open each one individually to determine what it is. How can I change my display of images so it displays large thumbnail images instead of just file names? 
Each time you open a folder in Windows, the operating system “guesses” how you want the content displayed, based on previous choices you have made for that folder, default settings for all folders, and what it finds in the folder. You can override Windows’ “guessing” by telling it exactly how you want the contents of a specific folder displayed. 
To specify how you would like an individual folder’s contents to be displayed, open the folder in Windows Explorer, and then right-click on any white space in the folder’s display. In the context menu, select View. You’ll see a list of options, and you can select from items like Content, Details, Small Icons, and Large Icons. Select Extra Large Icons to see the largest thumbnails of your images, but give all the options a try so you can see how each View option affects the display of your images.
If you want to modify View options for all folders, open Control Panel, and find the Folder Options applet. Here, on the View tab, you can specify options for all folders. You can always override these settings for any specific folder (as described in the previous paragraph), but for overall settings, this is the place to go. If you try things out and decide to put them back the way they were, select the Restore Defaults button. For more information, check out this link:

1516. Windows HomeGroup?

Everytime I install Windows on a new computer the installation always asks me if I want to join a Windows Home WorkGroup. I don't even know what a Home Group is?

There are three ways in Windows to organize computers on a network. A domain is usually only used in networks greater that 10-15 computers. Every computer on a home network will belong to a workgroup. Each computer can also belong to a HomeGroup. 

A workgroup is a common name for a group of computers on a network. If you do not specify the workgroup name you will be default belong to a workgroup called yes here it is "workgroup". You an change your workgroup name at any time. But if you want to easily share resources with other computers the workgroup name needs to be the same.  

A homegroup is a workgroup but is easier to set up and has a group password. The workgroup does not have a group password.

Once you do this you can share folders and files, printers, and other resource with the other computers.

Other people can't change the files that you share, unless you give them permission to do so.Read the details using the link on our website and you will find details on how to decide whick group you want to use.

1517. Windows Printer Sharing

I have a friend with a small home network and an old printer that doesn't support any kind of wireless sharing. He would like other home members to print to that printer that is directly connected to his computer. Is there someway to share his computer with others when his printer is not on the network?

The new printers you buy today have at least an ethernet connection and most have a wireless connection. that would allow all computers on the network an easy way to connect to the printer.

Printers older than a couple of years may have had an ethernet connection but before that printers had to be connected to a computer with a USB cable or yes even an old LPT parallel cable.  

How did we survive?  

Well we did. Windows has a function that is called a workgroup and now it is often called a homegroup. This allows computers on the network to talk to other computers on the same network with the same group name to share things like printers, disks and other resources.  

So if you have an older printer that works and it does not have a wired or wireless connection then all you have to do is join both computers to the same group and the computer with the printer can share it so others in the group can use that printer.  

It works and the only real negative is the computer sharing the printer must of course be turned on. The user of that computer does not have to be logged in but the computer must be on.

How did we survive. Someday we will have a tip about floppy drives. It will amaze you. 

1518. Hidden Files on the Windows Desktop

I turned on my computer the other day and fold a new file on my desktop that I didn't expect to see. It is called Desktop.INI and it shows a little gear icon. Why is that there and how do I get rid of it.

Ken, this is a required Windows system file so it has always been on your desktop and if you delete it, it will reappear.

The question is really why did it suddenly appear and that can only be because someone changed your Folder Options. If the options were changed to Show system files then you would start to see this file. It s the only system file that is located on your desktop.

You should not normally have system files displayed. It becomes too easy to accidently delete these files. Fortunaely if you do delete the desktop.ini it will be created the next time you boot. Or you could just changed the folder options for the desktop folder.