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Sunday, December 14, 2014

1552. Restrict App Usage of Cellular Data

I have a smartphone and I keep getting messages that I am over my data usage.  I am guessing I am downloading podcasts and using the podcast app that is using the cellular data,

I can vouch for this problem myself. The last two months I have gone over my data usage. When you want to use a WiFi signal you have to make sure your phone has all of the correct selections. This varies by phone and carrier.  

For Podcasts you can specifically set your phone to only use WiFi.  

Look in your phones settings and review the WiFi, cellular, Airplane Mode, and Hotspot settings. Also review your app settings. Make sure they all are set appropriately to use WiFi. One way I found to make sure I had things set for WiFi was to turn on the Airplane Mode setting review the settings mentioned, and then turn on the WiFi setting.  

Remember all phones and services may have different settings but it is worth the time to review them so you don't pay for extra service you don't need to pay for.

1555. What's that Clutter Folder in Office 365?

I use Office 365 for my email.  And recently I noticed a new folder called Clutter.  Where did it come from?  Can I use it?  And what is it used for?

If you are an Office 365 business user you have probably seen this Clutter folder. I was confused at first because it didn't seem to do anything and Microsoft never told me about this folder. I started to do some basic searches and finnally have some basic understanding.  

It is like the SPAM/Junk mail but what goes into clutter is not the stuff you don't want at all. It is the stuff you just want to be separated from the more important things. You need to access your Office 365 account using the browser and Outlook Web Access and turn on Clutter. Now as you start to deal with mail in your Inbox, Clutter will learn about how you organize things and what is important and what can wait.  

When you start you can also move messages to clutter. As you do this Clutter will learn and start to move mail there automatically. If you find something in Clutter you need to pay better attention to move it to your Inbox.  

As you continue to use it clutter will get smarter. I have started to use the Clutter feature. My feelings are not yet convinced this will work for me. I will keep using Clutter to give it a chance and I will update the TIP as I do.  
If you have Clutter email send your feelings to and let us know.

1554. What is One Note?

I see One Note on my new PC.  I am guessing that it is part of Microsoft's Office.  Can I use it and what can it do for me?

I can't remember when I first saw One Note. I actually think it was when I upgraded to Office 2013 as well.  

But if you have ever used those yellow sticky notes you may want to look at Microsoft's One Note. It is Yellow Sticky Notes on steroids. And you don't need to be a Microsoft user. It works on all platforms, Windows, iPhone IOS, all Android devices and of course your Mac. And it is FREE.  
I suggest you get a copy by downloading it, and start to kick the tires. It is a great way to organize all of your note taking tasks. It is that and so much more. You can organize by topics, companies, and tasks. You can add date reminders linked to your calendar. You can integrate great 3rd party applications that work with One Note.  

I can only say One Note has changed my ways I organize data. Give it a look. 

1553. Using Multiple Internet Providers

I currently use AT&T’s U-verse service for my internet provider, but I really need a backup—it AT&T goes down, my business requires that I can still access the Internet. Cable Internet access is available in my area, as well. If I’m willing to pay for both services, can I use both concurrently? If one goes down, is there some way to automatically switch to the other?
Not only using dual connections a possibility, but it’s a good solution in cases where a home-based business requires constant Internet access. It can be expensive (paying for two online services concurrently), and in order to take advantage of the two services with automatic failover, you’ll need a router that supports the feature. Luckily, just about every router manufacturer sells a product that can handle two incoming Internet connections. Doug uses a Cisco router, and Ken uses one from Asus. In Doug’s case, because Comcast isn’t available at his office’s location, he maintains two DSL connections, and that configuration works as well. (In addition to failover, having two WAN—Wide-Area Network—connections may allow you to bond the two, providing you with faster access to the Internet. This feature depends on both the router and the two connections, so leave this planning to a professional.)

Another possible solution is to use a cellular connection as a backup. Depending on your location, one or more of the cellular companies might have good enough service so that you could use their connectivity in case your preferred connection goes down. Some advanced routers provide a USB port for a cellular modem, so that the router can automatically use the cellular connection in failure cases. The problem with this solution (isn’t there always a problem?) is that most cellular companies charge a fixed fee per month, whether or not you use their data. And the charges can add up quickly. There is a good alternative, however: A product named Karma provides a “bucket” of data that doesn’t expire, with no monthly fees—you pay only for the data you use. This plan is unlike most other cellular data plans. If you’re interested in a cellular plan with a sane cost structure, with a modem that you can carry with you anywhere in the country, check out Karma: (and if you use this link, you and Ken both save $10 on data—you can’t lose!)

1551. AT&T Uverse

Here is one I don't get.  AT&T recently forced my father tio switch from DSL to Uverse.  And that means that his dial tone comes through the Uverse modem.  He lives in Houston, they have hurricanes, he loses power, he has no phone service. How can he make a phone call if he loses power.

If you loose power your UVerse system will have at best limited function. And you are correct to be concerned for you father. Without power to Uverse you need to know what limited functions you have.  

Don't just blame ATT, Venison FIOS and Comcast Xfinity will also have some limitations. You can read that some of their devices have battery backup. Well I know for a fact that they don't. If they do it is limited to maybe 4 hours.  

So I suggest you test your system. Unplug your modem. If you still have dial tone you may be OK for up to 4 hours. Remember you will not have dial tone on any other phone attached to the system unless you supply your own power.  

You can get inexpensive UPS (Unitteruptable Power Supply} that will allow you to use these other phones as well as your modem. But test them!  

And don't plug other things like lamps and TV's. You need the power for as long as the power is out. Make sure you are prepared.  

UPS is a partial answer. Make sure you know the limitations. Ask your provider if you are concerned. And you should be living in our rural area.

No power, no dial tone. UPS is the answer

1550. What's Up with Windows 10?

I have been reading about Windows 10 recently and is seems like Windows 8 and 8.1 just came out. Obviously everyone seems to like Windows 8 so what's up with Windows 10.  When ican I expect to see when it's available.

Windows 10 is the next release of the Microsoft Windows operating system. It is expected to be relreased in the fall of 2015. There are technical beta releases now and there will be public beta release in the first quarter of 2015.  

You might ask what happened to Windows 9? Well there are many rumors going around about why MS skiiped V 9 but they are mostly all rumer. Windows 10 will carry the Microsoft "Modern" application format further. It will make the desktop/laptop, tablet, and phone interface even more similar so the interface between the physical formats will be even easier to master.  

And for everyone worried that they will be stuck with the Windows Version 8 and 8.1 no worries. It will be a free upgrade and all of the Windows 8 computer hardware and software will be supported. There are many articles coming out weekly so do a search for Windows 10 and get the details of this new OS.  

Both Ken and myself have the current Beta installed and we like it.

Friday, December 12, 2014

1520. Moving to a Mac.

Tracie asked: I previously used a Windows computer, but my daughter convinced me to get a new Mac. I can't figure out how to use it. Do you have any suggestions?

Switching from one operating system to another may seem confusing but they are actually very similar.

I am very fond of David Pogue's books switch to a Mac. And you can find information on those on or any book seller.

There is also a website I found recently that has a nice easy to understand article about how you can move from Windows to a Mac. 

But remember both operating systems Windows and Mac OS X are just Windowed operating systems that provide similar pattern for working with files and data. So the switch really shouldn't be very difficult.,