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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 just got a new Windows PC, and noticed an application called OneNote that I had never noticed before. I open it up, and it’s not clear what it’s for or how I would use it. Should I remove it?
Actually, OneNote is part of Microsoft Office (and has been for the past several versions). It started its existence as a simple note-taking application, but has blossomed into an incredibly useful “brain dump, keep track of everything in your life” application. You can use it for making notes, outlining, and tracking any bit of important information. You can set up multiple virtual “notebooks” for organizational purposes, and because it’s part of Microsoft Office, Microsoft supplies hooks all over Windows and in other applications for sending data to OneNote (such as the ability to clip part of a Web page and send the clipping to a note in OneNote).
Your notes aren’t just stuck on your computer, either. You can download the OneNote app for your phone or tablet, and gain access to all your saved information there, as well. Recently, Microsoft updated its OneNote apps so that you can not only view saved notes, but you can create new content on mobile devices, as well.
And that’s not even a tiny portion of what OneNote can do to organize your online life. You can scan directly from some scanners into a OneNote note, and you can forward email to a special email address that adds the email as a note.  You can draw directly into OneNote notes, to keep sketches handy (think maps)! OneNote indexes everything you enter, so it’s easy to find things you toss in there, later, when you need them.
As you can tell, we’re big, big proponents of applications like OneNote. (We say “like” because Doug uses OneNote and Ken uses a competitor, EverNote, which he’ll swear is better because it’s not tied to a particular platform. Doug will tell you that OneNote has apps for just about every platform, but Ken will tell you it’s not really the same thing.) In any case, if you ever thought about having a digital filing cabinet for anything you might need to find later, OneNote (or EverNote) makes a great tool. Both tools provide solid security models (and support two-factor authentication), so your data is as safe as it can be in the “cloud.” (Do consider backing up the data in OneNote occasionally, especially if you use it to store data that is crucial to your life or business.)

We use OneNote (and EverNote) for all sorts of things. Ken stores copies of his drivers license, credit cards, product manuals, online tips, technical information, and much more in EverNote—OneNote could (and does) store the exact same sorts of things. We love these apps, and couldn’t recommend them more highly. For more information, check out these links:,

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 and hearing about Windows 10 recently, and it seems like Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 just came out—they’re moving on already? My company hasn’t even moved from Windows 7 to Windows 8 yet. Should I just skip Windows 8 and jump on to Windows 10?
My, that’s a lot of questions! First of all: Yes, it’s true. Windows 10 is due out some time in 2015, and there should be a public “beta” version of the operating system available sometime in early 2015. If you’re adventurous (and have an extra computer, or a really good backup of your current one), you can give it a try. We can’t say this firmly enough (and we’ll say it in upper-case letters so it will feel like we’re yelling): DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER INSTALLING THE EARLY VERSION OF WINDOWS 10 ON THE COMPUTER YOU USE FOR “REAL” WORK. Install it on a separate computer, in a virtual machine (assuming that’s something you’re comfortable with), or leave it alone. It can be fun and informative to work with the latest and greatest from Microsoft, but you’re working “without a net” when you install a preview version of an operating system.
So, what’s new in Windows 10? There’s no complete list yet, and anything you read now is subject to change, but we’ve read that the Start menu is coming back, in a slightly altered format; Modern apps come to the Desktop, in individual windows (as opposed to requiring you to switch to a different layout); multi-tasking and multiple desktops will be improved; you’ll find a new command prompt and updates to the touch interface. In addition, Microsoft is working to standardize Windows across all its platforms (desktop, tablet, and phone). You can review basic information about Windows 10 here: You can find more current information here:
And yes, it’s true: Many companies have yet to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. We’ve heard that many of these companies will skip Windows 8 altogether, and simply move from Windows 7 to Windows 10. That’s most likely a wise move for companies that haven’t yet moved to Windows 8.
Wondering what happened to Windows 9? Why the skip from Windows 8 to Windows 10? We’ve heard lots of rumors, and they’re all vaguely apocryphal. We’ll let you research this one yourself, rather than spread rumors ourselves!

We’re both running early versions of Windows 10, and like what we see so far! If you’re in an experimentative mood, you might want to give the public beta a try once it’s released—just don’t install it on your main computer. You will be sorry. We promise.

Friday, December 12, 2014

1520. Moving to a Mac.

I’ve always used a Windows computer, but my office uses only Mac computers, and I’d like to make the switch now. I’m having a hard time figuring out how to make it work. Do you have any suggestions?
Honestly, Mac OS X and Windows are awfully similar in many respects, as far as end users are concerned. They’re both windowing operating systems that allow you to run multiple concurrent desktop applications, browse the Web, and run business and creative applications as well as games and other applications. The devil is, of course, in the details. While they both have the same intent, they handle pretty much everything slightly differently. Microsoft Office on Windows is similar to Microsoft Office on a Mac, but they’re different enough to confuse lots of people. Even simple things, like finding files and moving them from one place to another feel different on a Mac than on a Windows PC.

Ken made this transition pretty much fulltime around 8 years ago (he still uses Windows for work, and runs it in a virtual machine on his Mac—a topic for a different day), and found the transition a little slow at the start. He found a series of books by New York Times author David Pogue to be helpful in making the transition, however. His books, “Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual” (one for each version of Mac OS X) are well written, and make it easy to switch. You can find the most current version on at this link: Ken uses a Mac daily for all his computing needs (except for work, still on Windows) and Doug uses a Mac reluctantly—your move shouldn’t be a crisis, as long as you take the time to take the computer skills you’ve already learned, and apply them to the slightly different Mac OS X operating system. You can do it!,

1522. Close unwanted online accounts

Close Unwanted Online Accounts

Over the years, I’ve set up a bunch of online accounts, and I don’t use a many of those. I’d like to close some of these accounts, but don’t even know where to start. Is there some way to do this in an organized fashion?
We’re with you on this: It’s so easy to sign up for an account on so many sites, and it’s easy to lose track of them. Occasionally, we get emails from sites we don’t even remember registering on, and we’d like to close those accounts and remove our information from the site. You would think Web sites would make this easy, but very few do.
Say, for example, imagine that you realize it’s time to finally close down that MySpace account you created in 1997. (Yes, unbelievably, you can still browse to and find new content. We had no idea.) You can go to the site and look for a link to click that will delete your account, but it’s hard to find (if possible at all—we didn’t try). Rather than struggle with searching for the link, we’ve got a tip for you—check out the useful site This site can help you delete your account on hundreds of other sites, including myspace, FaceBook, Gmail, and more. In addition to the sites for which can help you remove your profile, it maintains a “black list” of sites where they’re unable to help you. For easiest use, use the sites list of All Sites—the black sites are ones where you cannot remove your account info; the grey sites are ones where you must call on the phone to remove your account into, and the white sites are ones where you can remove your account online. We’ve had good luck in our tests with—give it a try if you have a site you’d like to divorce.

(And, not to be morbid, but this site provides a useful tool after a loved one has moved on to the great Web afterlife. Given the task of closing accounts for a lost loved one can be daunting, and can make the task slightly easier.)

1523. Batch Delete iPhone Photos

I've taken a lot of photos on my iPhone, and now the phone is completely full. I need to delete a bunch of photos. Is there an easy way to do this? It takes forever to do this one photo at a time.

It is certainly easy to get your phone filled up with photos. My 16GB iPhone 5 fills up quickly.

If you are using Windows you can connect your phone, drill don through the folder hieracrcky find the photoes and simply delete them.

If you have a Mac, you can connect the phone and use the Image Capture application. All the photos will show up and you can delete them in a batch.

I suggest you back them up first because once you delete from the phone they are gone. So make sure you do a backup of your iPhone first so you have a backup of your photos.

1524. Getting past Cryptolocker

I heard about the CryptoLocker malware that encrypts all the files on a computer and then demands ransom money in order to decrypt them. Is there some way around paying this horrible fee?

It never fails to surprise me on how awful people can be. And yes there are some malware that you can download to your computer that will encrypt every file on your computer and yes they then ask for money.  A large sum of money so they can decrypt those files. And yes if you give them the money they will decrypt the files.

But why would you do this? The simple solution is keep a backup of your computer. An image backup. This backup will allow you to say HAHAHA I don't care and just install your backup.  

There are tools like Acronis True Image that allow you to take backups of your entire computer so you can work around this horrible encryption.

If you haven't done that there are a couple of options.
1. Look for a tool to install before you get the malware t guard against it. But that doesn't help because who is pay money for a tool to protect you from the malware before you get bitten by it.

Interesting enough I read about a site that you can send one of the encrypted files the malware has bitten and they will use that file to generate a decription key to help you decrypt your files. Check out

So if you get bitten by this there is a way out without paying their fee. So before you cough up the money go to

The easiest solutions is the have an image backup.

1525. Cleaning up Facebook Likes

Since signing up on Facebook a few years ago, I’ve “liked” a large number of pages. At this point, I’d like to like less pages, and clean up some of my “likes.” Is there some easy way to do this without having to dig through all of Facebook?
We saw an article, a while back, about a Facebook user who decided to see what would happen if he “liked” every single thing that Facebook put on his feed for two days. Even if he hated the item, he “liked” it. Just to see. What we didn’t know (and you probably didn’t either) is that Facebook doesn’t just display postings from your friends and “likes”, in sequential order. It’s more devious than that—Facebook uses complex algorithms to determine what you should see on your Facebook feed, and in what order. The order and content is strongly tied to things you have “liked”, and the more you “like”, the more you see. The article is interesting, and here’s a link so you can read it:
The point is, if you “like” too many pages, you end up seeing all sorts of stuff on your own Facebook feed that you really don’t care about. And this stuff can get in the way of what you’re spending ostensibly useful time doing: tracking your friends and their doings. Or whatever. (Ken says “Go on a Facebook moratorium. It’s a big, fat time suck.” But not everyone agrees.)

But back to the question: If you want to kill your likes en masse, we have found an ingenious, and useful open source tool at this site: . The Like Cleanser logs into your Facebook account, presents all your “likes” to you, and allows you “unlike” any or all of them quickly and easily. We’ve both tried it out, and did some pruning along the way. Remember: the pages you’re “unliking” don’t know that you’re no longer a fan, so there’s nothing rude about giving them the old heave ho. And you’ll have more time for the important things in life (that is, anything but Facebook). Check out to get rid of the things you thought you liked, but apparently don’t.

1532. Connecting different services.

I subscribe to a bunch of different Web services, like DropBox and Gmail and Evernote and more. I’d love it if these services could “communicate” better. For example, wouldn’t it be great if, when I mark an email as important, it sends it to a special notebook in Evernote? Or when it’s going to rain tomorrow, get a text on my phone to let me know? Is there some service that does something like this?
Good question! There’s not only one such “uber” service, we know of two of them! One service, If This Then That (or IFTTT, as it’s known) can link together multiple online services and add actions that cause the services to interact. It’s simple to use existing “recipes” that IFTTT provides, or to create your own. Visit to sign up and check it out.
Ken uses for several purposes. He does, in fact, receive a text message if the weather is going to be rainy. Using the device attached to the OBD-II port in his car, IFTTT logs every trip he takes to a spreadsheet. (Clearly, someone’s a little retentive.) You can select channels corresponding to services, like BuzzFeed, ESPN, Facebook, Evernote, Gmail, and tons more, use recipes that handle data from the service for you. IFTTT’s ESPN channel includes sample recipes to do things like make your home lights flash when  team scores, or send you an email with the latest Fantasy Baseball news. The Facebook channel has sample recipes—one of them updates your Twitter profile picture if you update your Facebook profile picture.
The possibilities are endless, and is free.
If you really, seriously get into this sort of cross-product interaction, another site,, does it even better then supports more services, with more interactions, than does Of course, for this power, there is a cost— lets you “taste” its service for free, but for production use, you must pay a small fee.

Check out both and—you’ll be amazed at the kinds of things you can do with online services that you never would have thought possible. You’re only limited by your imagination (and the particular services these sites support).

1533. Instal OS X Yosemite and save the installer

I support multiple Macs, and would like to install the latest operating system, OS X Yosemite, on all of them. I upgraded one last night, and my plan was to copy the installer to all the rest, but as soon as I installed the upgrade, the installer disappeared. Is there some way to download the upgrade only once and apply it to multiple computers (it is free, after all)?

As is often the case with these questions I make Doug ask the question but it actually happened to me. I do have multiple Mac's and was trying to install Yosemite on all of them and once I downloaded the installer and run it, it was gone.  

I then realized what I needed to do. You download the installer from the Mac App Store and befor you run the installer just make a copy of it. Then you can take this copy to the other Macs and run them.  

So you want to keep a copy before you run the install. There is no problem downloading it on each computer but it takes a lot of time. It is a large file.

This trck can save that effort. Run the copy before you install it. Then copy the copy to other computers. It will save you the downloading time.

1534. Comparing storage providers

There are so many different cloud storage providers, like DropBox, Copy, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud and so on. How can I tell which one is best for me?

I wish I knew the answer so I wouldn't have set up accounts on all of them so my files wouldn't be spread out on all of them on different free services.

Each of them give away a certain amount of store and to get more storage you can upgrade and buy more storage. 

For Drpbox for example you get 2GB for free and you can invite friends to join up and you can earn more storage. That is hard at this time because most people have a DropBox account.  If tou want to give them $99 per year you can get a huge amount of space.

iCloud has a free version and a paid version.

Onedrive gives you a lot of free space if you have Windows 8 computer.

They all have different features and costs involved and wouldn't it be nie if you could go to one place and compare them. They of course don't want you to compare them because then you can choose.

I find something positive about all of them and hopefullyou can find one that will work for you.

Compare them.

1535. Create Dos bootable USB Key

As part of a support call, I was instructed to create a DOS-bootable USB key. How on earth do I do that? I didn't realize DOS still even existed.

or those of you that aren't as old as we are and don't know much about DOS which is a text based view of an operating system which has been paved over and covered by Windows.  

Yes and updating the BIOS in some computers is sometimes requires you to create a DOS bookable USB key.  And it is actually quite simple.

There is a utility called RUFAS that I found that is easy to download and easy to use that creates the DOS bootable USB key.   You install whatever tools you need on there and boot on the key and run those tools.

Dos Bootable USB Key

1536. Replace cracked screen

I need to get my cracked iPhone screen replaced and would love to do it somewhere locally. Is there a phone repair service in western Nevada County?

You know if you didn't carry your phone in your back pocket you would be far less likely to break your screen.  

Actually the way most people break their screens is by dropping them on the floor. Even a small drop can often break a screen.  

There is a website that I use called that has a lot of screens available and very detailed instructions on how to replace it themselves. Pretty much anyone with a little skill can follow the instructions.  

If on the other hand you would like to have someone else do it for you fix it. I did find a shop in Brunswick hear in Grass Valley. 

Check out the Cell Phone Repair shop.

They keep iPhone/iPad and Android screens available and they can do the work for you. But if you would like to do it yourself check out .

1537. Remove previous recipients in Mac Mail.

Using Mac Mail, I want to delete old email addresses that keep popping up every time I type a person's name in to the To field. I can't figure out how to remove old email addresses from the list. Can you help?

I couldn't agree more and this could be really irritating. You send an em ail to a person once and now the email address appears in the suggested list of two every time you write an email to someone whose name starts with the same first letter.

It's not obvious how to remove the name from the list. Goodness knows I've tried delete, right clicking on things. The trick is awfully obscure.

You have to actually select the name you don't want in your email address then there is a little arrow that appears next to it in Mac mail. Click that little arrow, there is a drop down menu appears land there is an option to remove that name from the list of recipients. Then the next time it will not appear. The trick you have to select it once from the list so you can remove it. Who thought of this?

It works for me in OS X 10.9.. It may work in earlier versions but it does work in later versions. 

1527.Repurposing an Old Smartphone

Repurposing an Old Smartphone

I finally upgraded my 3-year-old iPhone and got a new phone recently. I don’t think my old phone has much resale value. Can you think of something useful I can do with the phone rather than leave it lying in a drawer somewhere?
Absolutely! Remember, your 3-year-old iPhone is basically a powerful, handheld computing device. It may not be as speedy as a new phone, and it may have a few scratches, but that doesn’t keep it from being useful in many other capacities besides being your primary phone.
The fact is, besides the fact that you won’t be paying for cellular service on the phone, it still works fine anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. And if you think about it, if you have a good Wi-Fi connection, you really don’t need a cellular connection for anything at all, making your old phone just as useful as a new one. Because of services like Google Voice/Hangouts and Skype (among many others), you can make voice calls using Wi-Fi, calling anyone who has a phone number. If you live or work in an environment in which you constantly have Wi-Fi available, your old phone without cellular service makes a nice voice phone, as well.
But you just bought a new cellular phone, and perhaps don’t really care about using your old phone to make phone calls, we’re guessing. In that case, you can still use your old phone for any activity that doesn’t require a connection, or that can work with a Wi-Fi connection only. For example, Ken uses his iPhone 3GS as a wireless remote control for his Sonos sound system. You can use the phone as a remote control for your home entertainment system and your home as well, using the Harmony Remote ( You can turn any iOS device into a home monitoring system using the Manything software ( Doug found a cool app that turns your old phone into a heads-up device for your car, replacing an expensive heads-up display for navigation ( The technology is cool, but it’s a little difficult to use without a cellular connection (but it does work without cellular—you must download your maps before you leave the Wi-Fi connection, however).

And don’t forget the obvious: your old smartphone is still a great music device. Hook it up to any home entertainment system, and it can provide music stored on the phone, or from any online music service. 

1528. What;'s in the Windows store?

A lot of people are upgrading to Windows 81. and they are finding on their Start Screen a Tile for the Windows Store. Most people don't know what it is or why they should go there. Can you explain what they will find there and what they will use it for? 

Even though Microsoft is a little late to the party, The Microsoft’s Store is just like the Apple and Google stores. When you purchase a new Windows 8.1 computer you really want to log into the Microsoft Store from the start. The Windows 8.1 startup provides you with dialogs that walk you through this task.

You can use an email address of your own or if you already have a Microsoft email address like,, Hotmail,com and Or can sign up with a new Microsoft email as well.

Once you sign up you can connect to the MS tore by just clicking a Tile on the Start screen. Your Microsoft licenses will all be managed at the store like Office 2013 and all of the “Modern” applications.

Be aware of counterfit application on the MS store. Microsoft store had initially a lot of “bad” applications that were meant to look like legitimate applications but were counterfit. They have cleaned up this mess and are now very aggressive monitoring bad programs downloading from the store. Apple and Google had similar problems but they have also cleaned up the problems.

If you have a new Windows 8.1 computer or plan to get one you will want to visit the Microsoft store and look around for some great new products and applications.

1529. Simple screen shots

Recently, when I had a problem with my Windows computer, I asked a friend for help. My friend asked me to email her a screen shot showing the problem—I had no idea how to do it. I found the PrtScn key on my keyboard, and that sort of did the job, but I ended up with a huge image of the entire screen. I just wanted to capture the window causing trouble. Is there a better tool?
Yes, PrtScn has worked, sort of, since the beginning of recorded time (well, you know what we mean). It’s a tricky key to find unless you know where to look, and it does capture the entire screen to the Windows Clipboard. You can then paste the image into an email or a document. Pressing the Windows Key+PrtScn takes a screen shot of the entire screen, and saves it into the Screenshots folder within your Pictures folder. We also found (by doing some research) that you can press Alt+PrtScn and Windows captures only the current window to the Windows Clipboard.
If you want a little more control over your screen captures, try running the free Windows utility called Snipping Tool (it’s been in Windows since at least Windows XP). You can use Snipping Tool to capture the full screen, a single window, or a portion of the screen (even a non-rectangular area). It’s free, it’s easy, and for the most part, for capturing portions of the screen and saving them, it works fine.
If you want to invest a little money, you can’t do better with Snagit, from TechSmith ( This tool does it all. SnagIt, available for both Windows and Mac, makes it easy to capture anything off the screen (even windows that are too large to fit on the screen, like long Web pages). SnagIt also provides editing tools so that you can mark up your screen captures. We both use this excellent tool for creating screen captures, and it’s worth the cost for us. It’s currently $50, so it’s not cheap, but if you create screen captures regularly, it’s worth every penny!
There are a ton (and we mean, a TON) of other options for capturing screen images. We haven’t looked at them all, and we can’t really recommend others, although I feel sure we’ll get a lot of emails telling us about your personal favorites. That’s great, but between Windows Snipping Tool and SnagIt, we’re happy

1530. Recycle old printers

Stacy told me she had an opportunity to get a new printer. She has offered to give me her old Dell printer. Do I want to do this? 

My first answer is no. Well all my answers to this would be NO.

This has nothing to do with Dell. It is the printer market. We all know these new printers will do everything including copying, printing, scanning and faxing and the prices are far too low to get all these features.

The reason why is the manufacturers are making all their money from repairs and selling ink cartridges. Newer printers are still low in cost and they can print and some will print money and make coffee.

The older printers do not always keep up with the print drivers for the new operating systems and certainly not the advanced functions of the printer.

So don't spend the time with the old printer. Get the new printer for very little money that supports the new features and operating systems.

Most of your devices like the iPhone, iPad, Android are also supported by the new printers. The new printers will usually support a network WiFi connection so you yu can locate your printer anywhere you have WiFi access. No Wires.

Soon someone will invent wireless power and life will be perfect.

1526. Backing up Password

We have talked a lot about using password managers like LastPass or DashLane. Some people do it only if he can have a hard copy of the passwords that he can store in a safe. Can he do this?

I understand his concern. All of the password managers have a master password that they will not save. They do not allow you to reset your password like most websites allow. If you forget your password manager password you cannot get into your passwords. 

If you are using the feature to generate passwords you really have no way to even guess at your passwords for the websites. Most of the password manager’s like Lastpass and Dashlane will allow you to export a list of your passwords. Are you giving up the security you now obtained by using the password manager? Yes you are giving up some protection. 

But if the option is to not use a password manager unless you have a hard copy, then I recommend it so as long as you do not keep the list on your computer or the back of your hand. Print it out or put it on a thumb drive and store them in your safe. Yes you should have a safe. And yes use a password manager. Protect your electronic world.

1538 Adding new USB ports

Tom asked this. He is running out of USB ports on his computer. He has a number of USB peripherals and and not enough ports. Is there some way to add new USB ports to his computer? 

Fortunately the USB port was created and it replaced the COM port. The COM port was very difficult to set up and as the USB port there was never enough ports to satisfy the peripheral you wanted to use.  

The USB is a lot better than the COM port and when you plug in a device it just works. The bad news is most computers have 3 maybe 4 USB ports. And you always want more. When looking for a computer you want to make sure the computers has at least 1 or more USB 3.0 ports. These are much faster than the USB1.0 and 2.0 predecessor.  

You can also purchase a USB Hub. These allow you to plug the hub into 1 port and create 3-4 additional ports. You still need to be concerned about the overall performance so if you use a hub make sure it is a USB 3.0 hub and you plug it into a USB 3.0 port. You should also consider devices that don't use USB connections. Many USB devices like keyboards and mice are available using Bluetooth technology. So to save USB ports look into Bluetooth options.

1539. UNDO text iPhone

You know whats making me crazy today? Things make me crazy alot, but this one today. I was typing message and I wanted to undo something I typed or I deleted a message and wanted to undo the deletion. I can't find an undo key on my iPhone. Is there some thing I am missing?

Undo Link 

I have had an iPhone on and off for more than 4 years and I continue to marvel at everything it can do. Besides of course making a phone call. And I am not just talking about Email and other smart apps.  

There are many little tricks and tips that I am finding out about the iPhone. The one that Ken has brought up a need for is one I use a lot now. Since I am the worst typist in the world and the small keyboard has not make it easier the UNDO trick has become very useful.  

If you start typing and find you have just created the worst sentence ever constructed all you need to do is shake the iPhone and up will pop the UNDO option. Just select UNDO or cancel. UNDO removes the previous mess you typed. Cancel just continues like the shaking was a mistake.  

You can UNDO multiple levels, and REDO multiple levels. So give this a try and see if this tip gives you additional text writing capability. This feature seems to work in most applications.

1540. Get the best shot IOS

Although I was a pretty good technical writer and a pretty good pianist, I was a terrible photographer. When I use my phone to take pictures they often turn out blurry. Is there some way I can take bunches of pictures of someone and pick out the best of the lot?

I am the worst photographer. And I can never click the shutter at the right time. The newer iPhones have not only made my photography easier by giving multiple shutters like the volume up and down keys, but if you hold down the shutter the iPhone will capture a series of multiple photos. So you can now look at the 20 shots and find the one that has all five of your subjects with there eyes open.  

You can then delete the other photos and save the best picture.

1543. Override default browser

I know it would be nice if all of the web browsers had the same functionaliy but they don't. Sometime I want to browse to a page that just won't render correctly in internet explorer which is my default browser. Is there some way to override opening the default browser to some other browser like Chrome instead?

Right click on the link and choose Copy Link and paste in the other browser URL.  

Lately you need to use more than one broswer. It seems like you always run into some error when rendering a web site. Have access to other browsers is required. But how can you change the default browser when click on an embeedded link? Well you can right button click on the link and copy it and then open the other browser and past it in the URL. I always have a shortcut to the Other browsers available for easy access on the desktop.

1546. When and How to Reset a Mac's SMC and PRAM

My Mac has been performing strangely lately--among other things, the fan runs all the time, even when the computer's not doing anything. Do I need to replace it?

This is such a common problem it is worth re-visiting even if we have discussed 
it before.

Your Mac contains some non-volital memory. This memory doesn't lose the values even when you turn ythe computer off. And it controls the behavior of your Mac. It sometimes can get a little messed up, maybe some memory got written to that shouldn't have ot something is just wrong. And it is easy to reset these areas of the computer.

Fix 1/2 in a gap.

1549. Reset Kindle Fire

Jeff asks: My Kindle Fire is totally frozen up. It's completely charged, but nothing I do makes it react to any touches, presses, or anything else. Is it dead? What can I do?

This question actually came to me at the gym one day.  I was on the olyptical someone asked me this and I pulled out the iPad which is there so I can watch Netflix.

A quick search shows that there is an answer here.  I wouldn't have guessed but involves pressing and holding the power button for more than 20 seconds and then shutting it down, starting back up and so on.

This happens a lot because there are dozens of websites that discuss resetting your Amazon Kindle Fire when it becomes non-responsive.

1548. Download Youtube videos

I'd like to be able to download videos from YouTube, so that I can view them when I'm offline. I can't find any way to do this. Can you help?

You and everyone else. This is such a popular search on the web that you will find tons of CRAPwear installed on your computer if you just click on any item you get when you search for related to download YouTube videos. So don't do that.


The article below shows you how to legitimately download YouTude videos.

Actually they are not legitimate either.  It is illegal to download videos from YouTube unless the author makes that possible.   On the other hand everyone needs to do this occasionally and you'll find several different ways to do this.

Personally I found an add-in for FireFox that make it safe and easy to download videos from YouTube for those few times I need to download a legal copy of a video online.

In any case I can't repeat enough do not search online for download youtube videos or you will be bitten by bad malware. It's just too easy a target.

1547. Manage the Clipboard

I use a Mac, and get tired of the policy of only being able to have a single item on the clipboard. I know this is how it has always worked, but it would be so great to be able to have a stack of clipboard items that I could go back to and reuse, as I'm editing. Am I dreaming?
Certainly a reasonable request, but let’s be clear: This isn’t an issue specific to the Mac OS X operating system—it’s a problem for every computer user, in every operating system. It’s just the way the Clipboard was meant to work: It stores a single item for a short period of time, and when you need it, you paste it into its new location. The Clipboard was created to hold just that one item. The problem is that you, and many other people, would prefer it if the Clipboard could hold multiple items. Of course, that’s not possible: The solution is to use a separate utility that manages the contents of your Clipboard for you, storing a list of items that you've copied or cut to the Clipboard, and then allowing you to select an item and paste it into a document on demand.

There are many applications available, for various operating systems, which handle this task for you. You can find applications for Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android that manage multiple Clipboard items for you. On the Mac, Ken’s favorite is an app called iClip. It’s not free, but it’s a popular and useful utility that allows you to store multiple items, as you copy or cut them, and then retrieve any of the items that have been on the Clipboard for later use. For more information on iClip and other utilities like it, check out this article:

1545. Verify Google Account Devices and Activity

1545 I've heard a lot about securing email accounts carefully, and to be honest, I use my Gmail account for a lot of logins on various computers, phones and tablets. Is there some way to see which devices are logged into my Google account, to verify that no one has logged in except me?

It does seem that recently there has been a change to the way applications and service allow you to login. It used to be that you had to have a different password and user name for every service.

But now a lot of them allow you to use public authentication email like Yahoo or Google to log into there service.  Faceook does that.  I refuse to use my facebook credentials anywhere.  But I do use my Gmail credentials.

Google has recently made it easy to see devices are logged into your account.  So you can see that you have logged into a specific service using your phone and you logged in using your Gmail credentials.

Use the link below to check to see who is using your Gmail account and credentials.

1544. Preventing ID Theft

I've heard advertisements for services that protect my credit, like LifeLock, on the radio. Do I really need to pay for a service like that?

That''s an interesting and important question.  I am a fan of Clark Howard who has a radion and podcast that I listen to regularly.  And on his podcast he says you really don't need a service like LifeLock.

Instead you can set up a freeze on each of the three credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. This costs $10 in most states, that is $10 per person per credit bureau.

So it cost me $30 to put a credit freeze on my credit report.  That means no one can open a credit card in my name because they don't know the special pin number I set up to unlock the credit information.  Using this credit freeze makes services like LifeLock unnecessary and it will completely block anyone from making changes to your credit.

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.