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Saturday, October 21, 2017

1861. Screenshot my iPhone with mark-up

I recently found myself needing to take a screenshot on my iphone, and mark it up with instructions. How can I take a screenshot, and then how can I add markings to it and send the screen shot to a friend?

You've been able to take screenshots with an iPhone for as long as I can remember by holding the home button and the on off button together and this would take a screenshot of the current thing you're seeing on the screen and store it in your camera roll.
The problem is if you did this often you ended up cluttering up your photo collection with screenshots which you probably only wanted temporarily.
Starting with IOS 11 they've made this a lot more functional. Now when you take a screenshot the same way by holding the home button and the on off switch it doesn't put it in your camera roll right away. Instead it puts it at the lower left corner of your screen.
Tap that little tiny image of the screen you just took and from there you can mark it up. They've added mark up tools like pens and highlighters so you can highlight that screenshot and then immediately use the share button to share it with friends or wherever else you want. 
To save it you can decide to save it to your camera roll if you like or you can just delete it because you're done with it. Either way IOS 11makes this a lot more functional and a lot easier.

1862. Reboot my iPhone 8

I can't figure out how to reboot my iPhone 8. The buttons I used to press don't work with this phone. There's got to be some way to reboot this phone!

Starting with the iPhone 7 with the new home button using the old keystrokes you might have used to reboot your phone will no longer work. On the other hand you definitely can reboot your phone it just takes a little bit of extra knowledge to do it.

On the iPhone 7 you have to know the magic steps:
1. Press and hold the on off button and while you're holding it
2. Press the volume down button and continue holding both buttons until your phone reboot

Wth the iPhone 8 it's different. I don't know why on the iPhone 8 you:

1. Press the volume up then the volume down
2. Then press and hold the on off button until it reboots.

Good luck remembering all bad in any case you can always search "reboot iPhone 8 or reboot iPhone 7" online and you'll find those answers.

To reiterate for the iPhone 8 press volume up volume down and then press and hold the on off button until it reboot. Easy to memorize but obviously impossible to figure out on your own.

1859. Amazon Reviews

I often wonder if I can trust the reviews I read on Some of the reviews are totally glowing, while others are totally down on the product. How can these both exist for the same product? I’ve heard that a lot of Amazon reviews are fake, and are either created by computers or the seller pays people to write them. What do you think?

We all count on Amazon reviews to help lead is to the correct purchase. It seems like an obvious choice: You browse to the item you want on, and do comparison shopping based on the reviews you find there. In a perfect world, the reviews would all be honest, helpful, and meaningful.

In the real world, however, the reviews are often dishonest, unhelpful, and not very meaningful. Because only directly sells a small percentage of the products you find on its site when you search for items, it’s very difficult to manage and approve all the reviews that appear on its pages. (At this point, the majority of items sold on Amazon are sold through private vendors, using the Amazon store front to sell their wares. Ken has been known to sell used tech products this way in order to recoup some of his costs and upgrade to new items. It works, really! And none of his reviews are fake!)

The problem is that no matter how hard Amazon tries to ensure that its reviews are “real,” too many crooks selling things on Amazon either find ways to write reviews themselves, hire friends or compatriots to positively review their products, or even write software that creates reviews that look like the work of humans. We’ve all seem this—myriad reviews that are essentially all the same, hoping to trap unwary users.
What’s a shopper to do? If you can’t trust the reviews on Amazon, how can you make use of them to make informed shopping choices? Common sense helps, of course—if all the reviews are glowing, you know something’s likely wrong. Sure, some products deserve 100% praise, but not many.

There is a Web site you can use, as well, to help untangle the mess of Amazon reviews. Check out the site paste an Amazon URL from your Web browser into this site, and it analyzes the reviews and attempts to let you know how valid it thinks the reviews are, as a whole. It’s not foolproof, but it can give you a little more information on the validity of the reviews you find on an Amazon product. As with any other information, take it with a grain of salt, but it’s possible that can help you weed out the honest human-generated reviews from the fake reviews.

1857. IOS 11 and more

I noticed that Apple released iOS 11. Should I update? What are some of your favorite new features?

Not only has Apple released iOS 11, it has already released an update (iOS 11.0.1) that fixes a few small problems. It has started beta testing (that is, allowing developers to test) iOS 11.1, which adds some new features.

We have installed iOS 11 on our Apple devices, and it’s looking good. (There are the usual stories about the installation causing battery life deterioration, but we haven’t seen it. On the other hand, our devices are relatively “young”—an iPhone SE and an iPhone 8. Your device may behave differently.

Be aware that iOS 11 won’t run on every Apple device—for phones, you must have an iPhone 5s or later; for iPads, you’ll need an iPad Pro, an iPad 5th generation, an iPad Mini 2 or later, or an iPad Air.

Both iPhones and iPads get a number of common new features: a completely overhauled control center, a fancy screenshot editor, a “Smart Invert Colors” mode that acts like a dark mode. The new Files app allows full access to documents stored not only on the device, but also in online storage, such as iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive, and more. This one feature makes iOS devices far more useful as general-purpose computing devices. Both devices support drag and drop between applications, making it possible to do things like drag text from an application into an email.

iPad users will find a new keyboard that some folks love, and others hate (Ken is a fan). The move visible new iPad feature, however, is the dock, which makes the iPad infinitely easier to use. Like the Mac’s dock, you can pin any (reasonable) number of apps to the dock, allowing for quick and easy access. Larger iPads make better use of multi-tasking in iOS 11, as well.

iPhone users will find a number of iPhone-specific features, including a quick-dial emergency SOS feature (please don’t test this out; local 911 services are overwhelmed with the less-than-thoughtful folks who try out the feature). Ken’s favorite new feature: An automatic Do-Not-Disturb mode while driving! Yes, it’s possible to override this feature or even turn it off, but if you find yourself absently looking at notifications while at stoplights (or worse, while driving—please don’t!), this new feature could save a life or two. With the default settings, if the phone is moving in a car, it won’t display notifications at all. You can have the phone send out a response to texts (like “I’m currently driving. I’ll get back to you.”) You may disagree, but we think this is a useful, and life-saving feature.

For more information, check out this link for a short list of new features that matter: [].

1858. Guest Accounts and why use them!

When my friend was in town recently, he asked to use my computer to do some research. I just handed him my laptop, but later worried what I had done. What if he poked around in my documents or email, and found things I didn’t care for him to see? Is there some way to avoid this problem in the future?

Both PCs and Macs support a built-in guest user, allowing you to grant access to the internet, and basic file handling, without granting access to any of your content, when you let someone borrow your computer. Guest accounts can’t install applications or configure hardware devices, so it’s unlikely that someone logged in as a guest could hurt your computer or find anything private.

On the other hand, because guest users can browse the Web, they certainly can get your computer infected with a virus, just as easily as you can yourself!

The trick is to first ensure that the guest account is enabled on your computer. On a Mac, go to System Preferences, then Users & Groups, and enable the Guest User if currently disabled.

On a Windows 7 or 8 computer, it’s really easy: from the Start menu, type “user accounts”. Click on “User Accounts” in the search results, and from this window, click “Manage another account.” Click “Guest”. If necessary, click “Turn On.”

In Windows 10, it’s a lot more complicated. You’ll find the details here: []. It’s not a difficult process, but it does require a few steps. It’s hard to know exactly why Microsoft made it more obscure to enable a guest user (called a Visitor in Windows 10), but the linked article makes it clear how to proceed.

No matter which operating system you’re using, handing a friend your laptop while logged into your own account is a bad idea. First, log out, and then have them in as the guest/visitor user, and you’ll feel a lot safer!

1860. Maps on-line

Lately, I seem to be looking for maps and directions and distances more often. When I search online for just "Maps" I seem to get a lot of choices. Many of them require me to download some files. I am always leery of unneeded downloads and have gotten into trouble in the past. What map programs would you recommend?

We well remember the days of Microsoft Maps (and other applications) that required you to load a bunch of CDs worth of content to your hard drive in order to look up locations and get directions to places. Ken still has a fresh copy of Microsoft Maps 2012 in his storage closet at home! Of course, such things are antiques at this point, and there’s no reason to install anything or run a special application to get general-purpose cartographic information (big words for “maps”).

Online versions of mapping software have replaced any sort of downloadable/installable maps, and if you find yourself installing anything to view maps online, you’re doing it wrong. The “big” maps are Bing ( and Google ( Each service has its particular focus, and special features. We’ve tried both extensively. (It’s quite possible that you have a different mapping product that you like—there are many others besides Google and Bing—they’re just the biggest/most popular.)

With either service, you can provide an address, a zip code, or a description of where you want to go. You can ask for directions from either service. In our experience, Bing is slightly easier for sharing maps (it just seems a little easier with Bing to send someone a particular map location, but that could just be personal preference). Both map services provide mobile applications so that you can easily use their mapping services on a mobile device, as well. Note that both Google and Bing/Microsoft allow you to download maps to a mobile device, so that you can use their mapping information while you’re disconnected from the internet. This feature doesn’t work on all phones or operating systems, so check carefully before making a decision which to use.

So, the answer is simple: We don’t recommend any map program at all: Instead, we suggest that you simply use an online mapping service, and install nothing at all.

1863. Clean up Windows - Is Ccleaner OK?

We recommended ccleaner in the past but i recenly read an article that ccleaner itself got corrupted. is it safe again or should i not use it?

Ccleaner is free and has a pay for version. Yes it did have some issues in Sept 2017. Ver 5.33 was hacked and some malware was in the release. This has been fixed and Avast the company that owns Ccleaner assures us the problem has been fixed.

I have the free Version 5.35 installed and like it. I use it along with features of Windwos 10 to keep my Windows version running clean. If you want something more automatic consider buying the Ccleaner upgrade or other programs.

Ccleaner was the only good program available that had a free version.

1864. Old computer new life.

i have an older windows computer that seems to be slower and slower. what can iI do? i am not doinganyhing different. why?

Yes there are a number of things you can do to speed up your computer. Over time more and more '"features" get added to your computer without you really being aware. These are mostly related to your browser having new add-in or extension put into the browser. You can turn these features off but then you might lose some of the functions that were added.

Ken always promotes "repaving" your Windows install, putting things back to the original install but with all relevant windows updates. This can cause some problems with applications so be sure to have a goog image backup before trying this.

Adding the new SSD electronic disk is probably the best hardware upgrade and more memory is a great inexpensive option.

Using software like Ccleaner can make this faster as well. Sometimes however you just need to consider a new more powerful computer. I just purchased a new SurfacePro and am very satisfied and am sorry I didn't do it sooner.

1865. Navigating my Desktop

I have been working more and more with my Surface Pro and because I am able to start more programs concurrently I have been using the "Desktop" icon more and more. I think you had this in a tip awhile back. Can you review it?

The Desktop icon is the one in the taskbar about third from the left. It looks like a TV set with ears. You probably never tried using it. Yes go ahead and click it.

It show you ll of the "open" programs you have running and you can easily select which one you want by clicking on the program. The Alt+TAB will basically provide this view and allow you to tab through the windows. You can also create more views of your desktop by adding more destops.

On the desktop view page on the lower right you will see an Add Desktop selection. You will then have a second or third desktop that you can add Windows or move current windows to, creating multiple workspaces. This gives you a clean approach to creating your workspace. Give it a try. .

1867. Troubleshooting your PC.

Sometimes my computer seems to be very slow and unresponsive. What is the first thing you do to figure out what is wrong?

The first thing is to start the Task Manager. Right click on task bar. OR Ctrl+Alt+Del.

Then start to look at Processes, It will show the CPU, memory, disk, and network utilization. I always sort the list initially by CPU usage.

This can point to the program that may be "sucking" as you technically say to the problem. If you see a program that you don't recognize you can look it up on the internet to see if there are some know issues. Programs using more that 25% of the system for extended periods are usually a problem. You can cancel a program but that might create other problems.

The task Manager is your first line of offense to isolate problems on your Windows PC. Ken are you happy that you gave away one of my best secrets?

1866. What happened to My Computer?

What happened to My Computer icon?

What happened was Windows 10. No worries the My Computer icon functions are still there. Start by right clicking on the Desktop and selecting Personalize. You can also ask Cortana to Open Settings and then click on Personalize.

Click on Themes and go to the Go To Desktop settings. You can select other icons like Recycle Bin, Network, Control Panel as well as Computer.

The Computer icon will have the title of This PC. If you must stay in the past right click the icon and Rename it to My Computer.

When you click on the icon it may open with your Quick Access selections selected. If you want the This PC/My Computerto be selected. Open a new Explorer window.
Click View in the ribbon.
Click Options.
Under General, next to “Open File Explorer to:” choose “This PC.”
Click OK. You are now back in the year 2010. Happy?

1868. Remote Access Programs

I alway see you accessing other peoples computers. How do you do this?

Yes there are tools that I use to access other computers remotely. Some of these are Teamviewer, VNC, Remote Desktop built into Windows.

Many of these tools work with both the PC and the Mac. Some of them have free versions if you are not using them for commercial purposes.

Are they safe? Actually that is a very important question. You want to make sure that the program is encrypting the information going between the two computers. You also do not want to allow someone to access your computer without your permission.

I use Teamviewer, VNC and remote Desktop. Teamviewer and VNC works with both PC and Mac. If you use Remote Desktop that comes with Windows you want to be sure you also make the communications go through a VPN tunnel to make sure it is protected. Teamviewer and VNC provide their own encryption.

Yes these are great tools . Use them wisely. Remember if you get a call or solicitation from someone claiming you have a virus and they can fix it. They will want to remotely connect to your computer. DON'T LET THEM.