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Frequently Asked Questions - How to?

FAQs - How to?

We try to help members with common computing problems. If your problem is not listed her please contact a committee member and we will try to cover it.

Go to https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount?hl=EN, fill in the form and Bob is your proverbial uncle

The secret of attaching documents or photos is knowing where to find them. The linked tutorial will explain how to Save a file in Folder and how to create a folder. Once this has been mastered attaching it to an email is easy. I should mention that as far as the computer is concerned there is little difference between a file and a photo, to the computer they are all data files. To see the tutorial just click here.

Passwords can be a pain and the more you browse the web the bigger pain they become. It is tempting to use the same password more than once but this you should never do. The answer is a password vault which will store passwords and deliver them when required. Your passwords can be ultra secure and every one different and you will have to remember only one – the password to the vault.

The security of this password is important and I suggest you use a phrase, book or film title, or something with which you are totally familiar as the basis for the password.

For example you may have been deeply moved by a powerful book bearing the title ‘The Life and Times of Adolf Hitler’ Your password could start ‘TLaToAH’ we could embellish this with some symbols hence ‘TLaTo’ and so on. Work on this until you work out something that is both secure and memorable. This will be your vault password.

I use Lastpass which I find excellent, ComputerActive recommends it and I have heard nothing detrimental about it, You can find it at https://lastpass.com/ 

 

Go to http://imageresizer.codeplex.com/ and click on the 'Downloads' tab. 

In the first paragraph under the box click on the words Image Resizer and the file will download to your computer. Now where this is to be found depends on how your computer is set up, on my computer I have a file called 'Downloads' and they all go there. Find the file, it is likely to called ImageResizerSetup and click on it to install, follow the onscreen directions.

To use the Resizer all you do is go to your Pictures folder and find the image you wish to resize, right click on it and click on 'Resize picture' and make your choices from the drop down box. When you resize your original image stays intact and the new reduced image appears next to it.

 

 

Backing up in the Cloud

Cloud computing is a puzzle to many people who do not understand the concept, which is not surprising as it a most misleading phrase. Cloud computing, at its most basic level, means being connected, through the internet, to someone else's computer. These are not privately owned home PCs but large banks of servers owned by companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google. They all allow you to use their machines to store your data and what is more they allow a reasonable amount free. Using these services to back up your important files or pictures makes a lot of sense and although no system is fool proof it may reasonably be argued that it is the safest form of backup available. If your house burns down of thieves break in and take all your computing equipment then your files remain safe. The downside of this is that upload speeds are relatively slow so if you want to put a lot of data up there, be prepared to wait. You should consider this as emerging technology, try it, use it for a few files and get used to it, see how things go.

I looked at four of the main contenders in the field, Amazon Cloud Drive, Windows Sky Drive, Google Documents and Dropbox. For the purposes of this article I have selected Google Documents because it is simple to use and allows you to upload Folders as well as files. Google allow you 15 GB free. If you are just thinking about backing up your documents then the free allowance will be ample, if you are going to back up your ample photo collection then you may have to pay. 

To use this facility you will need a Google account, this is free just go to www.google.com and sign up, there is a minimum of information required. Having done this and signed into your new account go the menu bar at the top of the page where it says Search, Images etc. and click on 'more'. A new window appears with further options, click on Documents.

On this page you can create documents or upload existing ones. I am not dealing with creating documents in Google here so click on the upload icon, a rectangle with an arrow pointing upwards in a red box right next to the larger red icon with word 'CREATE' in it. This will bring up another window asking whether you want to upload a file or a folder, click on what is appropriate and another window from your Windows Explorer will appear for you to locate and select the file. The uploaded file/folder will stay on your machine, only a copy will be uploaded.

 

That, in a nut shell, is that. Your data is now stored on Google's machine and is accessible from anywhere or any computer if it is connected to the internet. You may think your file is a little bit vulnerable to prying eyes here so it is clear that a well-chosen password is required but that is the subject for another day.

First find your image. I am assuming here that you know what you want and where to find it. Right click the image and then click on 'Save Image as' in the drop down menu. Another window opens and you can then name the image and place it where you want it.

Have a look at this if you are not clear.

Alternatively use the Snipping Tool which is a Windows Accessory

To open Snipping Tool, type Snipping Tool in the search box on the taskbar, then select Snipping Tool.

To take a screenshot with Snipping Tool, select New, then select the part of the screen that you want to capture. Choose from free-form, rectangular, window or full-screen snips by selecting the arrow on the New button.

 

After you create the snip, you can draw on it with the built-in pens, save it, copy it or email it to someone.

Following my presentation on 8th September some members have asked that my slides be published to remind them of the content.

To see the slides please click here

Mobile Smart phones can do many things and now they are squeezing out the old SatNav.

Install WAZE onto your phone and it will guide with voice directions to wherever you want to go. WAZE has the advantage of having up-to-date traffic information and if it spots a jam it will try and route you around it. All those who use WAZE are a club who feed information into it and keep it up to date.

When you are abroad (not Europe) another problem arises, roaming charges. If you leave your roaming on to use your phone as a SatNav then you will be charged silly money by your service provider so the golden rule here is that while abroad make sure that ‘Roaming’ is switched off. There is another application called ‘HERE WeGo’ which you can install. Before leaving home you can download the maps for the country you are visiting and then use the phone with the roaming switched off using only the GPS signal. No traffic updates but nevertheless effective.

All this stuff is free.

Computer Active have written a comprehensive article on tweaking your Windows 10 privacy settings. Click here 

Computer Active have wriiten an article on this and it is reproduced here.

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