And other useful information
Return to LCCUG Home Page
LCCUG YouTube channel:
Youtube videos from LCCUG
Bob Gostischa discusses Cyber Security
You'll find an entry about this presentation on Bob's Blog.
If you want to watch the presentation again at your own pace, just follow the link to the YouTube video that Bob created.
Recording of the LCCUG meeting is found here on YouTube.
Access to all the software we talked about at the meeting and much more is available via the following link.
Here are all the place you can find Bob on the Internet.
03/08/2022 Introduction to Tech For Senior
Zoom log in for the Monday meeting at noon 526 610 331
Hewie's Webpage https://hewie.net/
Newsletter 10.19.2021 links to Ray’s playlist
Geeks on Tour
Judy Taylour's APCUG APCUG Wednesday classes for March
Can you believe your eyes? (What are the ramifications of this technology?) This Person does not Exist
Deepfake Tom Cruise Youtube video
Radio Stations from around the world Radio Garden
Bone Conduction Earphones. Watch video
Two graphic tools from Hewie
Preserving Digital Photos from Mark Shulman
Should we backup your harddrive from Ron Brown
Glenn Pubal discusses his experience with Windows 11
Youtube video of the November 9th meeting.
Anxious to get Windows 11? Start here to check your computer & download windows 11.
Download the PC Health Check app.
Cell phone plans by LCCUG Officers
Youtube video of the LCCUG October 12th, 2021 presentation.
Cell phone service from Boost Mobile for $15 per month with 2GB of data.
Get a free SIM card here. (Scroll down & click on the link for: "Sign up for the $15/mo. Unlimited Talk, Text and 2GB 4G/5G Data Plan Here")
Shop for a compatible cell phone here. Buy a Sim Card Kit for your phone here.
Start the signup process here.
Get 2GB 5G/4G data per month at Boost Mobile for $9 per month for 6 months. This is a special deal that may be expired.
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G Android Phone for Boost Mobile + 1 Month of Free Unlimited Talk & Text for $100. This is another special deal that may be expired.
Cell phone service from Mint Mobile for around $17 per month with 4GB of data.
Buy a Mint Mobile 7-Day Trial Kit (SIM card for your existing phone) from Target for around $2.
Cell phone service from T Mobile for $15 per month with 2GB of data. Start the process here.
Unlocked cell phones from B&H Photo.
Make sure you select one that is North American variant or else the warranty is not valid in the US. Select a phone to match the carrier you choose:
Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile's towers which are GSM
Boost Mobile uses Sprint's towers which are CDMA (although they may also use GSM).
If you don't mind buying from Ebay, then this seller has discounted cell phones & SIM cards for Boost Mobile. Clark Howard's guide to The Best Phone Plans for One Person.
Clark Howard's guide to The Best Phone Plans for Two People.
Clark Howard's guide to The Best Family Phone Plans.
Clark Howard's article- Will 3G Phones Still Work in 2022?
Clark Howard's article- Best Cell Phone Plans and Deals in 2022
10/12/2021 Locast service ended, what now? TV & Movies discussion by LCCUG Officers
12 of the Best Places To Watch Free Movies Online.
Antenna Users: Rescan to Keep Getting Free TV.
Top 10 Locast alternatives for free live TV in 2021.
Amazon Fire TV Expands Free Local News Streaming To Include 158 Cities.
Cord Cutting 101: Cut The Cord With Our Favorite Tips and Advice (Youtube video). Top tips and advice for anyone who thinks they might be ready to cut the cord for the very first time.
Clark Howard's article- Best Live TV Streaming Services. Compare Top Picks for 2022.
Clark Howard's article- 11 of the Best Places To Watch TV Shows Online Free.
Clark Howard's article- Best Free Streaming Services in 2022: Movies and TV for Cord Cutters
Clark Howard's article- Pluto TV Review: Get Live Streaming TV For Free.
Digital Asset Estate Planning: Your ID Isn't Safe, Even After You've Died by Judy Taylour
Youtube video of the July 13th, 2021 presentation, by Judy Taylour.
Judy's slide show of the presentation as a PDF file.
Where is the stuff: Word document guide.
Where is the stuff: Word document check list.
Where is the stuff: Excel spreadsheet check list.
Article from AARP, Why You Should Think About Your Digital Assets Before You Die
Article from AARP, Challenges and Opportunities in Managing Digital Estates
Article from AARP, How to Stop Stalling On Getting a Will and Estate Plan
Article from AARP, Estate Planning guide
Resources from AARP, Personal Estate Planning Kit
Article from Equifax, Credit and Debt After Death: What You Need to Know
How Technology Has Changed the Way We Listen to Music by Ray Baxter
APCUG video from the APCUG Virtual Tech Conference of 11-07-20.
Computer backup programs: by Neil Higgins & Micky Knickman
Youtube video of the LCCUG May 11th, 2021 presentation, by Micky & Neil.
APCUG video about Why and How to Set Up Your Backup from the APCUG Workshop of 3-31-21.
Purchase Acronis True Image from User Group Relations for half price.
Acronis tutorial: how to back up entire computer using Acronis True Image 2020.
Acronis tutorial video: how to create a backup using Acronis True Image 2014.
EaseUS Todo Backup free version download site.
How to create a bootable rescue disk with EaseUS Todo Backup.
Cloud Computing: 03/09/2021 presentation by Judy Taylour
Youtube video of the LCCUG March 9th, 2021 presentation, by Judy Taylour.
Judy's slide show presentation as a PDF file.
The Bitwarden password manager: 02/09/2021 presentation by John Kennedy
Youtube video of the LCCUG February 9th, 2021 presentation, by John Kennedy.
Youtube video of a recording from APCUG's Password Manager Workshop, Part 1, by Kenneth Tubaugh.
Youtube video of a recording from APCUG's Password Manager Workshop, Part 2, by Kenneth Tubaugh.
Youtube video of a recording from APCUG's Password Manager Workshop, Part 3, by Kenneth Tubaugh.
Free password manager program, Bitwarden.
How to migrate from LastPass to Bitwarden Password Manager
Staying Safe and Secure: 01/12/2021 presentation by Bob Gostischa
Youtube video of the LCCUG January 12th, 2021 presentation, by Norbert (Bob) Gostischa.
Youtube video of a recording from the October 7th presentation, by Norbert (Bob) Gostischa. The information given in the video was similar to that given during our meeting on 01/12/2021.
Bob's presentation Security Seminar Follow Up Instructions click here for the notes
Free password manager program, Bitwarden, mentioned in Bob's presentation.
Free Software and Alternatives to Free: 10/13/2020 presentation
Youtube video of the October 13th meeting, by John Kennedy
PDF version of John's presentation slideshow download- click here
Why Should You Switch To A Chromebook?: 09/08/2020 presentation
Youtube video of the September 8th meeting, by Hewie Poplock
PDF version of Hewie's presentation slideshow download- click here
Digital Audio Workstations: LCCUG meeting of 06/09/2020
Youtube video of the June 9th meeting
Audacity audio software download
Best Garageband Alternatives for Windows 10
Pro Tools (download the free version)
Online Services: UBER, LYFT, DoorDash, UBER Eats, Airbnb
What are "UberX", "UberSelect", "UberTaxi", and "UberBlack"?
Uber, Lyft, and Self-Driving Cars Aren't Yet the Answer to the Senior-Driving Riddle
Uber/Lyft for grandparents. On Demand Rides that arrive in 15 minutes or less. Order one with a simple phone call, no smartphone needed.
Compare Uber vs Lyft. A Side-By-Side Comparison for 2020.
Rental property (Airbnb). The 15 Best Vacation and Property-Rental Apps to Book On.
Meal delivery services. Best Food Delivery Apps for iOS and Android.
Grocery Delivery Services: Can You Trust a Stranger to Shop for Your Food?
Windows 10 Information:
Windows 10 Dummies book (this is a PDF file)
Information from Cutting The Cord update meeting from Cliff Salisbury:
Cliff's document about Digital TV Antennas and Over The Air TV (this is a PDF file)
Linux information from third Tuesday meeting, 01/21/2020
Miscellaneous information about installing & using Linux as an alternative to Windows 7 & older, which should not be used if connected to the Internet.
Why Use Linux? click here
Linux Mint 19 For Windows Users click here
Linux Mint 19.3 is here and better than ever click here
How to determine if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit CPU. (Determine if you need 32 or 64 Bit Linux)
The Easiest Way to Switch from Windows 7 to Linux. (Review of Linux Mint & talks about reinstalling Windows 7 in VirtualBox).
VIDEO: Linux Mint 19 for Windows users.
Boot and Run Linux from a USB flash memory stick- YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer).
How To Test Drive 200+ Linux Distributions Without Ever Downloading Or Installing Them.
VIDEO: How To Install Linux Mint Alongside Windows. Get The Best of Both Worlds- Dual Boot.
Rufus web site. (needed if you follow the YouTube video above)
Lastly, for those using Chromebooks, here is a web link that discusses how to run Android apps on a Chromebook.
Social Security presentation
Miscellaneous information about Social Security. Be aware that some of these videos are years old and the numbers specified in the videos may have changed:
Create a my Social Security Account here
Why You Should Set Up an Online Social Security Account. Click here
5 Tools to Optimize Benefits. Click here.
10 Social Security Claiming Strategies That Work. Click here.
5 Unusual Strategies to Boost Social Security Benefits. Click here.
Innovative strategies to help maximize Social Security benefits. Click here.
Social Security Basics with Devin Carroll (04/19).
Social Security Spousal Benefits - The Easy Guide (05/17).
2021: When Social Security Changes Forever (12/18).
How to Calculate Social Security Benefits (03/19).
Social Security Intelligence: Making sense of Social Security, run by Devin Carroll.
Maximize My Social Security helps single or married persons decide when to collect retirement, spousal, widow(er), divorcee spousal, divorcee widow(er), child-in-care spousal, mother (father), young child, and disabled child benefits. Now also handles adults receiving disability benefits! ($40/year for households)
Social Security benefits planner
Windows 7 sunset: Windows 7 support ends 1/14/2020.
Note from your LCCUG officers: As of 09/10/2019, the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is still free, even though Microsoft is not officially acknowledging this. Remember to backup your Windows 7 PC before trying the upgrade.
Watch Greg Skalka's presentation here
Download the current version of Windows 10 Media Creation Tool here
Windows 7 in place upgrade to Windows 10. Watch this video to see an example of Windows 7 being upgraded to Windows 10 using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool.
How to Install Chrome OS on Any PC and Turn It Into a Chromebook
How I learned Computering, by Bruce Brockman
Watch Bruce's presentation here
Download the presentation web links from his presentation here
Adobe Flash is being discontinued.
Read more here
Read Google's blog article about their Chrome browser.
Amazon Alexa & Google Home information:
Streaming TV Information and Resources (cutting the cord):
Free Malware removal programs:
Free Antivirus programs:
Youtube video of our May 14th meeting about Chromebooks
How To Chromebook (A Google “ChromeBook 101” website recently “updated”)
Chromebook simulator To learn more about your Chromebook, try the step-by-step interactive tutorials.
Read the article: A Chromebook's Superb Security Is Another Good Reason To Leave Windows 10's Update Failures Behind
Chrome Story is a 10-year-old blog dedicated to everything Chrome, Chrome OS and Chromecast.
chromebook cheat sheet: how to get started
Chromebooks for seniors by Hugie Puffnock (APCUG)
Chromebook touchpad information
Geeks on Tour: Meet the Chromebook
Video from Ron Brown of APCUG: Chromebooks are for Seniors
Youtube video of our April 9th meeting where Dan Hornbeek talks about stock portfolio tracking & investments.
Youtube video of our March 12th meeting about Digital Assistants
6 pro Alexa skills you’ll use every day
Complete list of Amazon Alexa commands you didn’t know you could use
How to set up an Amazon Echo from Digital Trends
Complete guide to Amazon Alexa from THE AMBIENT
Alexa information- sample commands & information compiled by LCCUG officers.
10 of the best things you can do with the Amazon Echo.
115 brilliant Alexa Easter eggs: Funny things to ask your Amazon Echo
The Most Fun (and Useful) Things You Can Do With an Amazon Echo or Google Home
Alexa commands from Alexa.bio, The living book on Amazon Alexa.
Amazon's Alexa Guide
Brief information on Alexa capabilities- from an Amazon email update.
Echo vs Google Home
Youtube video about Echo vs Google
How to Call someone from Your Amazon Echo
8 Best New Alexa Skills & Updates
Using Music on your Alexa
How to Use Alexa to Help You Prep For a Job Interview. Alexa isn’t going to listen to your answers and provide you feedback, but they can work as good prompts to get you started thinking about things you might be asked.
07/2020 Updated from Clark Howard: Best Live TV Streaming Services in 2020: Compare Our Top Picks.
04/2020 Updated from Clark Howard: Best Video Streaming Services for Your Money
03/2020 Updated from Clark Howard: Best Free Streaming Services: Movies and TV for Cord Cutters.
Youtube video of our February 12th meeting about Cutting The Cord
Sandee Ruth's Powerpoint presentation about Cutting The Cord (this is a PDF file)
How I fired my cable company, Stew Bottorf, APCUG VTC. New video as of 08-07-19.
How I fired my cable company presentation on Google Docs from Stew Bottorf
How I fired my cable company Full page PDFs of presentation from Stew Bottorf
How I fired my cable company Hyperlinks resource page from Stew Bottorf
Streaming TV comparison: Which service has the best channel lineup?
The best live TV streaming services for cord-cutters in 2018
Clark Howard- YouTube TV is the best live TV streaming service right now
Which Live TV Streaming Service Is Right for You?
Free streaming comparison- Pluto TV vs. Roku Channel vs. Sony Crackle
4 Ways to Cut TV Costs to $25 a Month — or Less
Example antenna information from LCCUG
Streaming TV channel lineup table from LCCUG
Consumer Reports' guide to shrinking your cable bill.
15 Must-Have Apps to Take Your Streaming to the Next Level
Minimum internet speeds for YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, Sling TV and other live TV streaming services
Cut the Cord, Things to Consider Before Firing Your Cable Company, Hewie Poplock, 11-3-18 from APCUG Virtual Technology Conference
Cutting the Cord- presentation notes from APCUG 2018 Virtual Technology Conference
Cutting the Cord- reference list from the presentation
Cord Cutter Express. Get a list of streaming services based on the channels you like to watch.
Your TV channels may be moving frequencies. Change is coming to antenna TV.
By law, many TV stations are moving to new frequencies between now (2018) and 2020. If you watch TV for free, using an antenna, you must take action to keep your channels. Any time after a station moves, rescan your TV or converter box to continue to receive your local TV stations. Rescanning is when your TV finds all of the available channels in your area. Because stations must move at different times, you may need to rescan your TV more than once.
AdWCleaner (Here's an article about how to use this program)
Norton Power Eraser Free antimalware program that eliminates deeply embedded and difficult-to-detect crimeware that traditional virus scanning doesn’t always detect.
Amazon Alexa & Google Home information:
Streaming TV Information and Resources (cutting the cord):
Free Malware removal programs:
Free Antivirus programs:
07/2018 Top 20 Windows Keyboard shortcuts
05/2018 Windows 10 April 2018 Update information
Sandee Ruth's Presentation Material, "Public Library Digital Resources":
3 Library Databases
Services by Library
Bruce Brockman's Presentation Material, "Searching the Internet":
01/2018 Chromebook Presentation from Neil Higgins
Windows 10 information:
Introduction to Windows 10 video course <==NEW!!!
Windows 10 Training Courseware
Preserving Your Privacy in Windows 10
Introduction to Windows 10 Security
7 Tips for Customizing the Windows 10 taskbar
12/2016 Windows 10 Simplified booklet
12/2016 How to bring an old laptop back to life for free. Neverware, an operating system developer, now offers a free software called CloudReady -- which can turn about 200 old PC and Mac computers into usable machines again. CloudReady is a version of the same operating system found on Google Chromebook laptops, and it's lightweight enough to be compatible with older, slower computers.
11/2016 Seven things you should never do online by Kim Komando.
09/2016 Resources available to help keep your computer safe. Websites & information mentioned on 9/13/16 by LCCUG presenter, Bob Gostischa, is available for viewing by following this link, goo.gl/5v4sIQ.
08/2016 How to Really Erase All Personal Data From Your Laptop, Tablet, or Phone. Selling or giving away a device is economical, but shouldn't become an opportunity to lose private data. And the delete button isn't as permanent as you think.
08/2016 Windows 10 free upgrade is still available using Windows 7 and 8 product keys. In spite of the official end of the free Windows 10 update offer on July 29, it seems any valid Windows 7/8.x retail product key still installs Windows 10 for now.
08/2016 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Walkthrough. On the 2nd of August, Windows 10 will receive the largest update to the Operating System we have seen so far – The Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Here’s what you need to know.
08/2016 Here's how to get Windows 10 for free- still. People who assistive technologies still quality for the free upgrade, though Microsoft doesn't ask for any evidence that you actually use such tools.
08/2016 The dangerous cost of ‘free’ Wi-Fi. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Free Wi-Fi is no exception to this adage. Security company Avast tested this theory by setting up a number of free fake Wi-Fi hotspots to see how many people would take the bait. They caught a lot of fish.
07/2016 4 cheap senior medical alert systems.
06/2016 Tech support scammers are now impersonating victims’ Internet Service Providers. Read more from this article.
03/2016 PDF version of Neil Higgins' presentation on Backing Up Your Computer.
02/2016 5 Easy Steps to Keep Your Computer and Tech Safe in 2016. Spring cleaning isn’t just about washing drapes and scrubbing walls. Follow these steps to bolster efficiency and security in your technology.
02/2016 Windows 7 & 8.1 Users: Brace Yourself For a 6GB Windows 10 Download! First Microsoft made the OS upgrade free - and then last July Microsoft pushed the download out to millions of customers who had "reserved" a free copy, whether they were ready to upgrade or not.
11/2015 Free Up Disk Space by Moving Windows Apps to External Media. Note that this method only works on certain apps (namely, universal apps and Modern apps). You can’t change the installation location for desktop apps with this method.
11/2015 The Ultimate Windows 10 Activation & License FAQ, answering some of the most commonly encountered questions regarding Windows 10 activation and licensing.
11/2015 Here are two references about removing the Windows 10 upgrade icon/nagging:
What is the “Get Windows 10” Tray Item and How Do You Remove It?
A second tool can be download from this web site.
Using either of these tools will probably be safer than editing the Windows Registry on your machine by hand. Read the web sites thoroughly to understand how to use either program.
11/2015 10AppsManager: Tool to uninstall, reinstall Windows 10 preinstalled Store apps. 10AppsManager is a freeware that will allow you to easily uninstall and reinstall the default, built-in, preinstalled Windows Store apps in Windows 10. While you can always manually uninstall or reinstall the Store apps, the process is not so easy for the preinstalled apps. It is easy to uninstall or reinstall 3rd-party apps, but not the default preinstalled apps. What this tool does, is automate the process and let you carry out the operations in a click.
11/2015 10 Reasons to Finally Upgrade to Windows 10.
09/2015 Windows 10 after one month: Hits and misses.
09/2015 Ten Quick Ways to Customize & Personalize Windows 10.
09/2015 Installing Windows 10 using the media creation tool. The media creation tool can be used to upgrade your current PC to Windows 10 or to create a USB or DVD and install Windows 10 on a different PC.
07/2015 Windows 10 download. If you need to install or reinstall Windows 10, you can use the tools on this page to create your own installation media using either a USB flash drive or a DVD.
09/2015 If You Regret The Upgrade to Windows 10, Downgrade with EaseUS System GoBack Free. EaseUS System GoBack Free is a great way to allow yourself the freedom to upgrade your OS without totally committing, meaning that if you are not happy, for whatever the reason, you can simply go back to where you were before. Read more here.
08/2015 Windows 10: Good, but is it good enough? As even cave-dwelling monks probably know by now, Windows 10 is out for all the world to see — and it appears to be a qualified success. Is downloading and installing the new OS a no-brainer? If you use Win8, the answer is almost assuredly yes; but if you’re a Win7 fan, some serious considerations await.
08/2015 How to Clean Install Windows 10.
08/2015 Bogus Emails Making the Rounds as Windows 10 Upgrade. Here's a link to another article with good examples about this scam
08/2015 Microsoft is now releasing their new Windows 10 Operating System. This is an upgrade that is free for legitimate owners of Windows 7 & Windows 8.1 systems. Windows 10 promises to fix problems with earlier versions and claims to be more secure. Microsoft's plan is to upgrade a billion personal computers, causing inevitable confusion among PC users.
Bad guys are trying to exploit this confusion. You might get calls from scammers that claim to be Microsoft tech support and try to charge you for the upgrade using your credit card.
Be very careful with any email claiming to be from Microsoft about "your Windows 10 upgrade". Make sure that any links in the email really go to Microsoft. Better yet, do not click on any link or open any attachment, but go to the Microsoft website for more information.
08/2015 How to Downgrade from Windows 10. While most of the response to Windows 10 has been positive, it might not be for everyone. The good news is that downgrading from Windows 10 to your previous operating system is a relatively simple task.
08/2015 10 Awesome New Features in Windows 10 You Should Know. Touch-centric Windows 8 was widely panned. Windows 10 is a return to form, with some fun extras too.
08/2015 How to Disable Windows 10 Microsoft Account Login
06/2015 How Security Questions Can Get You in Trouble. Who’s your favorite superhero? No matter which name you choose, bad guys have a decent shot at correctly guessing it due to the limited number of possible answers, according to a new study. There is a major problem with the security questions often used by online services to help users recover passwords: The answers to such questions are either memorable or secure, but rarely both.
06/2015 How to Build Your Own PC. If you want the strongest, most adaptable, and most upgradeable personal PC, you should build it yourself.
03/2015 Too many users are still habitually downloading their software from untrustworthy sources such as Download.com. This article explains the dangers of downloading from untrustworthy sites & what to look out for- even from legitimate download sites.
03/2015 When installing software, you can avoid unwanted crapware by using a program called Unchecky, which automatically unchecks unrelated offers in the installation process. Read about this great software here. Unchecky is still in Beta stage, which means the software is still undergoing refinements.
03/2015 Think Twice if You Get a Call From the IRS or the ‘Prize Patrol’. As if consumers don’t already have enough scams to worry about, the Federal Trade Commission says impostor scams are on the rise. Here are the FTC’s top 10 impostor scams.
03/2015 ALERT: A vulnerability that could allow man-in-the-middle eavesdroppers to crack HTTPS (secure web connections) and steal sensitive data exists in every version of Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and even Blackberry OS. Click here for the full article. For added reassurance, you can visit http://freakattack.com and check the top line for a message about whether the browser you are using is vulnerable to the loophole.
03/2015 Security Expert: Uninstall Your Flashlight App Immediately. Security experts say some of the most popular flashlight apps for Android phones could be stealing data from your phone, including your location, phone number, contacts list or, potentially, your mobile banking information. Here is a Threat Assessment Report of 10 Top Android Flashlight Apps. A YouTube video can be viewed here with a report of the issue.
02/2015 Does your Computer Have VD? If you bought a Lenovo laptop any time since September, 2014, it may have come with a piece of adware called Superfish that puts all of your Web browsing sessions at risk of hacking. The same flawed technology has been found in three different parental control programs, and may be incorporated in any number of other legitimate programs. Here's what you need to know, and do... Lenovo may have to defend a class action lawsuit which follows the revelation that the adware had the potential to spy on users.
03/2015 Hard Drives, SSDs, Flash Drives: How Long Will Your Storage Media Last? We know that CDs and DVDs don’t last forever. What about hard drives and solid state drives?
03/2015 Should I Remove It? is a very simple but extremely powerful Windows application that helps users, both technical and non technical, decide what programs they should remove from their PC.
02/2015 19 Hidden Chrome Features That Will Make Your Life Easier. Click through this slideshow for a list of 19 hidden tricks hidden inside Chrome that you really need to be using.
02/2015 How do I route my email through Gmail? Gmail is a great spam filter. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that as I write this, it is perhaps the best. Only a small amount of spam makes it through, and very few false positives are thrown. It’s not perfect, but no solution is.
02/2015 Safepasswd.com is a simple website that generates random passwords with options for password length and type, such as Easy to Remember versus all manner of not easy. The website is also useful for those who “can’t think of a new password”.
01/2015 Microsoft to give away Windows 10 as free upgrade.
01/2015 Ransomware Strikes Again - Cryptowall. Making regular backups of critical data and keeping your software up to date is more important than ever thanks to the arrival of new, “improved” malware like Cryptowall 2. This update to a well-known ransomware exploit is making life miserable for business and personal computer users worldwide. Here's what you need to know...
01/2015 DOWNLOAD ALERT: Foistware Warning. Foistware is a term used for software that's "foisted" on you, typically without your knowledge or explicit consent. How can I avoid this?
01/2015 Downloading? Watch Out For These Danger Signs. A look at two other popular download sites, to see if they are also guilty of foisting garbageware on downloaders.
01/2015 How do I get rid of the ASK virus that hijacks my browser and configure my computer so I never see it again?
01/2015 Microsoft's support timeline. Check this page to see if your Operating System is still supported or when it will cease to be supported.
01/2015 Start the new year with a clean Windows PC. A little time spent now on preventive maintenance can save hours of PC troubleshooting later undefined and provide better computing all year long. Use the following steps to give your PC an annual checkup undefined and ensure it starts 2015 as healthy as possible.
11/2014 Ten Tips for Online Holiday Shoppers. Shopping online for the holidays is easy and convenient, but when you use the right tools, you can also save a lot of cash. Here are some money-saving tips for the smart online holiday shopper.
06/2015 Red cursor files to make your computer cursor more visible.
01/2015 4 Ways to Make Your Gmail Safer in 2015. If you’re not taking every measure available to protect your email account, now is the time to start.
01/2015 Mobile Threat- Android Malware Looks Safe, Steals Your Photos and Messages. A nasty app called PhoneSpy takes advantage of our trusting relationship with our phones to harvest the most personal of information.
12/2014 Need help deciding which anti-malware product to use? The not-for-profit organization AV-Comparatives claims to run the most comprehensive suite of real-world malware tests, and it regularly reviews popular free and paid anti-malware packages, with results posted monthly.
When looking at this or any other AV performance table, be aware of numerous caveats. For example, AV-Comparatives notes that while some products might achieve 100 percent protection in the tests, that’s not a guarantee that you’ll see the same level of protection. The tests are extensive, but they don’t include all malware. Moreover, the results are a snapshot in time. Existing exploits can adapt quickly, and new forms are popping up every day. (It’s the reason new virus definitions are offered frequently - and are necessary!) The full article from Windows Secrets Newsletter is available here.
12/2014 A dozen tools for removing almost any malware. Need to get a system clean of malware and/or verify that it’s completely malware-free? Use one or more of these free tools to clean up even the worst malware infections undefined and keep PCs clean.
12/2014 Is it a simple software error undefined or malware? The causes of anti-malware failure range from minor system errors to raging, full-blown infections. Here’s how to safely sort things out. Plus: Security concerns about bypassing Windows’ UAC, a reliable DVD drive suddenly dies, and a free DOS-emulator helps you run very old apps and games.
12/2014 Temporarily disable your laptop touchpad as you type. Two freeware programs are available that will temporarily disable the touchpad for a number of seconds any time a key is pressed. If no key is pressed after a certain amount of time, then you are able to use the touchpad freely. This will help to eliminate the issue of your cursor jumping around the screen as you type due to inadvertently hitting the touchpad as you type.
03/2015 Why You Should Connect a PC to Your TV (Don’t Worry; It’s Easy!) OK, you have a Roku, or a Chromecast, or some other streaming device. HowToGeek explains why you should connect a PC to your TV too. The post also has advice to hook it up and control the PC.
12/2014 Cutting the Cable Cord. If cord-cutting is on the rise, why are there more cable subscribers than ever? We're busting the cord-cutting myths everyone takes for granted.
01/2015 Interactive TV Coverage Browser. This is a mapping tool that will let you browse the TV transmitters in your area and see their coverage maps presented in a visual and dynamic format.
12/2014 How to Cut the Cord and Ditch Cable Once and For All. Quitting cable cold turkey is an intimidating prospect, especially if you're a heavy user. But it's easier than ever to fill the void, with more quality content than ever to fill it with.
12/2014 Dealnews decided to test out a Chromecast for a review and discovered that it's not as streamlined as it seems. In their latest, hard-hitting video, they blow the lid off the device and expose some of the flaws that Google failed to mention.
12/2014 8 Things You Didn't Know Your Chromecast Could Do. While the ultraportable device is pretty much plug and play, there are a few tips and tricks that can make casting more magical. Check them out in this slideshow.
12/2014 Quick & Dirty Guide: The Difference Between a Streaming Stick & Set-Top Box. If a streaming stick is cheaper, why would you pay more for a set-top box?
01/2015 Can You Run It On Linux? 10 Vital Apps You’ll Want When You Switch. Now has never been a better time to switch to Linux, but you may still be hesitant about it because you’re not sure whether your favorite applications from Windows will work on it. To help answer your questions, we’ll take a look at 10 popular Windows applications and whether you have options for them in Linux or online.
12/2014 An online Spirograph. Change the background and pen colors, number of teeth on fixed and rotating parts, roll the gear around and watch the geometric shape appear. Then erase or download your creation.
01/2015 Near-certain ways to improve PC startup times. Four free tools offer safe and certain ways to pare your boot times to the minimum. The process takes a little time and effort, but if you follow the steps outlined here, better boot times are all but guaranteed!
12/2014 The First Eight Things To Do With Your New Computer. A few steps immediately after you get your new computer can save you a lot of time, effort and loss of data later. Here are some recommendations.
12/2014 Are You Getting The Internet Service You Pay For? ISPs around the world are notorious for shaping traffic and limiting traffic in a way that is oblivious to their users. Most of the time, Internet users believe that the fault is with their connections or their network setups but they are unaware of ways to test their Internet connection for this problem. This article describes how to test your ISP.
12/2014 Missing Windows DVD? How to Download and Reinstall.
11/2014 How to safely test-drive Win10 undefined step by step. The safest and easiest way to install and work with the preview of the next Windows is within a virtual machine undefined this article shows how.
11/2014 Windows 10 Hands-On: A Good Start. Notes from a user who had the chance to spend a few moments with a demo PC running the new platform. He was impressed with a UI that seemed both familiar and fresh at the same time.
11/2014 Windows 10 Start Menu & other features. Worldstart has an article describing some of the new features in Windows 10. Click here to read the article.
10/2014 Did the Store You Shop At Get Hacked? Here’s What To Do. Everyone seems to agree that companies should do more to protect the people who’ve entrusted them with valuable data, but the trend of high-profile hacks seems likely to continue in the near future. Here’s how you can protect yourself.
09/2014 Free eBook- PC Maintenance Handbook, 2nd Edition. Improve your PC's performance, speed, and reliability.
This handbook is designed to help you find ways to maintain your Windows PC and ensure it remains clean and speedy throughout its life. Computers quickly get bogged down by junk files, invalid registry entries, a fragmented hard drive, spyware, adware, low disk space, and more. A speedy system is just a few clicks away, but sometimes it's hard to know where to start or even what to do. The purpose of this eBook is not to define the ultimate solution; its purpose is to give you simple, unbiased advice on what have been found to be the best options out there.
08/2014 Windows 3 Fun: Getting Really Old Software Running On A 64-Bit PC. Here’s how to get incredibly old 16-bit software and games like Chip’s Challenge running.
11/2014 On the subject of games, Console Living Room is a part of the Internet Archive. They bring you not only a collection of consoles from video gaming history, but they also allow you to access and play the games design for those consoles in your internet browser!
When you arrive to the Console Living Room you’ll be treated to a gallery of old consoles. Each console will offer you a library of games to pick from.
08/2014 ALERT: Serious Security Flaw in USB Drives. Undetectable malware can be hidden in any USB flash drive, according to security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell.
07/2014 Use Windows' Problem Steps Recorder to assist in getting help with a problem. Most of us have had the frustrating experience of trying to explain some kind of problem with our computer to someone over the phone. It’s often hard to relate what the problem really is in words unless you know a whole lot about computers. There’s a simple solution that’s already available on your Windows 7 and 8 computer. It’s called Problem Steps Recorder and it could be the best-kept secret of Windows. Here’s how to use it.
07/2014 The 2014 Guide To Windows 7 For Ex Windows XP Users.
Have you finally decided to upgrade from Windows XP and managed to get a cheap copy of Windows 7? You made the right decision! You will get used to Windows 7 in no time. Best of all, we have many great resources to help you settle in and get up to speed.
07/2014 How do You Search for Multiple File Types at the Same Time in Windows 8? (Note: this also works for Windows 7)
07/2014 How to Bypass and Reset the Password on Every Operating System. Passwords can be reset or bypassed on every operating system. These tricks all require physical access to the device.
06/2014 Tired of unchecking unrelated offers while installing software?
Have you ever felt, while installing software, that the installer tries to push additional unwanted programs at all cost? Unchecky aims to keep potentially unwanted programs out of your computer.
06/2014 14 Free & Open Source Alternatives For Paid Software. Don’t waste money on software for personal use! Not only do free alternatives exist, they most likely offer all the features you need and may be easier and safer to use.
05/2014 The Best Free Video Editors For Windows. Here are the five top choices for Windows users.
05/2014 Here is a collection of previously recorded presentation videos from past LCCUG meetings, including Virtual Credit Cards & using Truecrypt & Keepass.
Kim Komando also has a short article about Keepass.
04/2014 10 Common Web Tasks You Can Do Without Signing Up. Security bugs like Heartbleed make it abundantly clear that your logins and passwords are not safe. But what if you could use the Web for common tasks like uploading photos and videos or chatting with friends, all without signing up for an account?
02/2014 Acronis Drive Monitor. Free, downloadable software application developed by Acronis to monitor hard disk drives. Acronis Drive Monitor can help predict when a hard drive is about to fail, giving you the chance to backup your data before disaster strikes.
12/2013 Don’t Get Scrooged by These 20 Nasty Holiday Scams. Retailers do big business during December, but so do thieves. With so much money flowing freely, con artists are out in full force.
12/2013 How to Talk to a Live Person: Every Customer Support Number You'll Ever Need. PC Mag has compiled a list of customer support phone numbers and tips for navigating to an actual person. From retailers to wireless carriers to cable providers to manufacturers, calling these numbers and following a few easy steps will get a real person on the line before you know it.
If you're interested in contacting a company not on the list, ContactHelp.com and GetHuman.com are also great resources to check out.
02/2014 How to Get Data Off an Old Hard Drive (Without Putting It in a PC). You saved an old hard drive (or three) from previous computers and now you’d like to get at the data on them. Is there an easy way to access the data without cracking open your current computer and mounting the hard drives inside?
02/2014 Sorting out the revolution in PC backups: Part 1. An overview of the five leading types of backup technology available today for Windows users. These capsule summaries should help you quickly sort through the benefits and limitations of each option.
02/2014 Microsoft Excel School- Formulas and Functions.
Lesson 1: Why Do You Need Formulas and Functions?
Lesson 2: Defining and Creating a Formula
Lesson 3: Relative and Absolute Cell Reference, and Formatting
Lesson 4: Useful Functions You Should Get to Know
12/2013 9 Ways to Profit From Broken Electronics. Selling your older-model smartphones, laptops and other electronic gadgets is a fairly easy way to bring in extra money (or offset the cost of new devices), but what if those old models are broken? You might be tempted to send them straight to the recycling center, but even broken electronics can bring in a little cash. Before you recycle, check out these options for selling your gadgets. You won’t get as much as you would for like-new items, but the extra cash may be worth it.
12/2013 How to Digitize/Backup Cassette Tapes and Other Old Media. If you have some old cassette tapes lying around, it’s a good idea to digitize and back them up before they decide to show their age and stop working. In this guide, we’ll show how to convert your old collections to digital files, and the best practices for doing so.
12/2013 How to Get Started With Speech Recognition on Windows 7 or 8. Did you know Windows has had Speech Recognition built-in since Windows Vista? This is more than just a way to type by speaking aloud undefined you can use it to control applications and navigate the desktop with your voice.
It’s a free, built-in alternative to paid voice dictation programs like Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It’s a shame most Windows users will likely never find it buried in the Control Panel.
12/2013 Research Your Family Tree Online. MakeUseOf staff writer Christian Cawley will help you to get the data you need by teaching you about all the best tools for the job. By reading this guide, you’ll know exactly how to approach your family tree project.
11/2013 What The Windows XPocalypse Means For You. In April of 2014, Microsoft will stop offering security and performance updates for its elderly operating system. What does this mean for you?
10/2013 CryptoLocker Is The Nastiest Malware Ever & Here’s What You Can Do. CryptoLocker is a piece of malware targeting computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. It is typically spread as an email attachment, often purporting to be from a legitimate source.
This article discusses the malware and how to avoid it, including a utility that locks down Windows to prevent infection by the Cryptolocker malware. Note, however, that Micky tried this utility and it seemed to add an unwanted program to the computer that had to be removed. Please be careful about this utility, but pay attention to the other advice given in the article.
11/2013 CryptoLocker: The Worst Malware Ever? This is malware that when it infects a computer, it starts encrypting every document, spreadsheet, PowerPoint, graphic and photo file it can find. Once everything is encrypted, the malware posts a ransom notice demanding money. The Greater Cleveland PC Users Group has created a special CryptoLocker page and updates it regularly with articles, software, tips and video links.
10/2013 Opt out of Google's invasion of your privacy. Google wants to use your image and name in ads without compensating you. That is, unless you complete their opt-out procedure. Another link to the same topic from Clark Howard. However, I think Clark doesn't explain the procedure as clearly as Bob Rankin does in the previous link.
11/2013 How to Slash Your Monthly Expenses by $1,000 (or More) per Year. This article explains how you can cut your cable bill, slash other monthly expenses from your budget, and provides details on how to save money on monthly service and subscription fees.
12/2013 MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition is a free partition manager software designed by MiniTool Solution Ltd. Home users can perform complicated partition operations by using this powerful yet free partition manager to manage their hard disk. Functions include: Resizing partitions, Copying partitions, Create partition, Extend Partition, Split Partition, Delete partition, Format partition, Convert partition, Explore partition, Hide partition, Change drive letter, Set active partition, Partition Recovery.
11/2013 11 Amazing Ways People Are Using 3D Printers For Good, Not Guns.
11/2013 Sending Large Files Made Easy. Finding it difficult to send email attachments larger than 25MB in Gmail? Well, there are several alternatives to sending large files. Here are a few that are better than the best in the business…
Favorite Web Sites. Lists of web sites from past presentations:
01/08/2013 presentation web sites.
11/22/2011 presentation web sites.
09/07/2009 presentation web sites.
Here is the link to the power point that was used at the November 13 meeting concerning TVs and Computers. It is saved as a PDF and hopefully everyone can access it. TVs and Computers is a big subject that is changing faster than we can get a handle on it. Hopefully this presentation will give it some clarity.
Also during our November 13th meeting, we briefly discussed watching Football games via Internet streaming. Here is an article about that topic:
How to stream live football games online for free. Don't have the cash for that premium NFL package from your cable provider? Here's how to watch live football games streaming online for free.
Information presented in the AVAST Online Security Presentation of July, 2012.
Handout on using Picasa from the May 8 meeting from Geeks on Tour
Recomended free software from John "Free John" Kennedy
What's In Your Hard Drive?
Slide show from 08/09/2011 presentation by Neil Higgins.
Cloud Computing revised powerpoint - 7-12-11
The 10 hottest Five Apps lists of 2012. Here are the ten most popular Five App Blog posts in 2012 according to Google Analytics. For instance: Five apps for crapware cleanup; Five must-have apps for your USB stick.
Did you know you can restore previous versions of files and folders in Windows 7? Here is a link to a good article explaining how to use this function:
Use Windows 7’s Previous Versions to Go Back in Time and Save Your Files
When I’m in a folder in Windows XP, I see a button called Back and one called Up. What’s the difference? Moving Up and Back in Windows Explorer
Have you ever booted up your computer and not been able to reach the Windows desktop? This tip explains how to use Safe Mode with Command Prompt to run System Restore from a command prompt. Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Beginner Geek: How To Change the Boot Order in Your Computer’s BIOS. The boot order in your computer’s BIOS controls which device it loads the operating system from. Modify your boot order to force your computer to boot from a USB drive, CD or DVD drive, or another hard drive.
Microsoft Virtual PC is a free application that helps you create your own virtual machines inside your current operating system, so you can test software, or learn a new environment easily. Here’s how to get started.
How to Create a Virtual Machine in Windows 7 Using Virtual PC
08/2013 Run your Windows XP system in Windows 8 with VMware. Use VMware tools to convert your existing Windows XP system into a virtual machine and then run it in Windows 8.
08/2013 Convert your existing Windows XP system into a virtual machine. This article shows you how to use free VMware products to convert your existing Windows XP system into a virtual machine and then run it in Windows 8.
================ Windows Backup: ====================
01/2016 Good articles about using Windows Backup from the How To Geek:
How to Use All of Windows 10’s Backup and Recovery Tools
Learning Windows 7 – Backup and Recovery
How to Create a System Image in Windows 7, 8, or 10
01/2013 How to install the Backup utility from the CD-ROM in Windows XP Home Edition. The Backup utility helps you protect your data if your hard disk stops working or your files are accidentally erased. With Backup, you can create a copy of all the data on your hard disk, and then archive it on another storage device, such as a removable hard disk or a tape. The Backup utility is not included in the default installation of Windows XP Home Edition. Therefore, to use Backup, you have to install it manually.
To manually install Backup, follow these steps:
Put the Windows XP Home Edition CD in the CD Drive.
Double-click the Ntbackup.msi file in the following location to start a wizard that installs Backup:
When the installation wizard is finished, click Finish.
If the wizard completed the installation, the program was successfully installed and you can now use the Backup utility
01/2013 How to use the Windows XP Backup utility. Windows XP requires third-party disk-imaging software in order to back up the entire hard drive including the operating system (Win7 has it built in).
01/2013 Here is a list of free Hard Disk Backup / Restore and Image / Cloning Utilities. These utilities are NOT just for Windows XP, however. They can also be used with Windows 7.
Using Windows XP Backup- a YouTube tutorial. This tutorial backs up "Documents & Settings", but a similar method can be used to backup "All information on this computer".
How to use Windows XP: Restoring your backup files.
Create a System Repair Disc in Windows 7. You never know when a malfunction might occur. This article takes a look at an option in Windows 7 that lets you create a System Repair disc in case you need to boot from it to recover your OS.
How to create a system image of your Windows 7 installation Even though the end of this article states that Windows' Imaging is only available on business and ultimate versions of Windows 7, it is available on the Home Premium version as well.
01/2015 Emergency repair disks for Windows: Part 1. When your PC won’t boot from its hard drive, you might be dead in the water — unless you’ve created a bootable emergency repair disk or drive. Repair disks don’t simply get PCs started; they also include tools that might fix what’s wrong with the system. And creating a repair disk takes just minutes.
How do I create an image of my new machine? (This example uses Acronis True Image)
What Files Should You Backup On Your Windows PC?
Backup and restore: frequently asked questions. Here are answers to some common questions about backing up and restoring files.
How does Windows choose which files to back up? When you back up your files using Windows Backup, you can let Windows choose what is backed up or you can select the individual folders and drives that you want to back up. Depending on what you select, your backup will contain the items described in this article.
How to back up your files with Windows 7's built-in backup utility. To help ensure that you don't lose your files, you should back them up regularly. You can set up automatic backups or manually back up your files at any time. This guide includes a one-minute video.
How to Create a System Image in Windows 7. Another article from the How-To Geek.
Free backup software, Macrium Reflect Free. This version does disk imaging and cloning. The free version, does NOT do incremental or differential backups, however.
01/2013 Imaging with Macrium Reflect. Here are two video tutorials on how to use Macrium Reflect to create a full system image backup. The first video tutorial is only around 7 minutes long. The second video tutorial is around 30 minutes in length.
01/2013 Purchase Acronis True Image Home backup utility at half the retail price from User Group Relations website. If asked for an Order Code, use Order Code UGNL0812. If you have problems ordering, you can contact Gene Barlow at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will assist you.
FBackup is a free backup program for both personal and commercial use. It protects your important data by backing it up automatically to any USB/Firewire device, local or network location. The backed up data can be either compressed (using standard zip compression) or an exact copy of the original files. However, it doesn't do a full system backup (disk image backup). FBackup has a simple interface and guides you through the process of defining a backup job using a friendly wizard.
02/2013 Here is a link to a simple utility called FreeFileSync that you can use to synchronize and backup just a few folders. WorldStart wrote a review on it that you can read by clicking here.
03/2013 A free backup program from Paragon Software, Backup & Recovery 2012 Free. This company makes excellent products and this backup program also can create full disk image backups.
01/2013 Where is the Backup program in Windows 8? The ability to create System Images was buried in Windows 8, but not eliminated.
07/2013 4 Ways to Quickly Install Your Desktop Programs After Getting a New Computer or Reinstalling Windows. Installing your favorite programs doesn’t have to involve downloading installer after installer, clicking through wizards for hours.
01/2015 How Do I Schedule Automatic Backups? Leo Notenboom walks through the steps of scheduling a monthly full backup, using the free version of the backup software he uses and recommends: Macrium Reflect.
09/2013 How to Fix Browser Settings Changed By Malware or Other Programs. Malware, adware, and pushy software installers all love changing your browser settings, giving you new home pages, default search engines, and obnoxious toolbars. It’s easy to forget to uncheck these options while installing software.
09/2013 Windows XP Users: Here Are Your Upgrade Options. Windows XP won’t be officially supported for much longer. Sure, you could keep using it undefined it won’t just stop working one day. It will just become more insecure over time as Microsoft and everyone else stops supporting it.
09/2013 Do You Really Need to Regularly Reinstall Windows?
For many people, Windows seems to slow down over time. Quite a few people fix this by regularly reinstalling Windows. But do you really need to regularly reinstall Windows? And, if so, how regularly do you need to reinstall it?
08/2013 How to Recover a Deleted File: The Ultimate Guide. It’s happened to most of us. You delete a file and realize you need it back. This guide will explain when you can get that file back and how to go about it.
03/2015 CD Recovery Toolbox Free (download) was developed for recovering damaged files from different disk types: CD, DVD, HD DVD, Blu-Ray, etc. Click here to open a web page describing how to use this software.
04/2013 What’s All the Fuss About Evernote? Should I Be Using It?
04/2013 I’ve Been Using Evernote All Wrong. Here’s Why It’s Actually Amazing.
04/2013 Get Creative With Evernote: 10 Unique Uses You Haven’t Thought Of.
07/2013 How to Enable Full-Page Evernote Clipping on Android Devices. Evernote is a fantastic tool for clipping web pages for later perusal, but the default configuration on Android simply clips the URL and not the page/article. Read this to see how to remedy this oversight and enjoy the same kind of full-page clipping on your Android device that you enjoy on your computer.
03/2013 Five Tech Myths Debunked: Cell Phones Don’t Cause Cancer & More. Technology is as susceptible to myths as any other niche. Let’s set these tech myths straight.
01/2013 Beginner Geek: How to Reinstall Windows on Your Computer. Depending on your version of Windows and how you installed it – or whether it came with your computer – there are a number of different ways to reinstall Windows.
Seven steps to securing Windows 7
Configure Windows 7 for a Limited User Account. For best security, run your PC primarily with a limited-user account and not in administrator mode. This article has excellent instructions for setting up a limited-user account.
Build a complete Windows 7 safety netHow to Recover Windows and Software Keys from a Broken Computer
07/2014 Optimize Windows 7 for better performance. Here are some tips from Microsoft to help you optimize Windows 7 for faster performance.
07/2014 How to Open the Performance troubleshooter. The Performance troubleshooter checks issues that might slow down your computer's performance, such as how many users are currently logged on to the computer and whether multiple programs are running at the same time.
Make Windows XP Run Faster
How to improve performance of Older PCs
The Best Tips for Speeding Up Your Windows PC
12/2013 The Windows Speed Up Guide. MakeUseOf’s guide includes all the information you need to speed up your slow PC! This manual explains why Windows slows down and what you can do to prevent this from happening too quickly. We will explain how to store your data to reduce disk fragmentation, how you should properly remove programs to avoid registry junk, which system maintenance tools you should use to maintain a top notch performance, how to protect your system from malware attacks, and how to physically clean your machine to avoid hardware damage and failure.
Ask How-To Geek: Why You Should Never Vacuum Your PC
7 ways to work faster in Windows 7
How to make your Windows 7 system even faster
How to use the Resource Monitor in Windows 7 Every once in a while, your computer will slow down or freeze, or a program won’t work the way you expect it to. Windows 7's Resource Monitor can help you find out what is going wrong, and why undefined whether it’s CPU use, memory use, a program behaving badly, or something else. This tutorial will show everything you need to know about this great tool and how to use it.
Why It’s Good That Your Computer’s RAM Is Full. Is your operating system using a lot of RAM? Don’t panic! Modern operating systems use RAM as a file cache to speed things up. Assuming your computer is performing well, there’s nothing to worry about.
5 tips for PC health from Microsoft: Organize your folders, update Windows, run antivirus software
The 35 Best Tips and Tricks for Maintaining Your Windows PC- a list of useful articles about maintaining your computer, operating system, software, and data.
Use Windows 7 Event Viewer to track down issues that cause slower boot times
Windows 7 Tutorials: How to Setup a System from Scratch? The Best Order for Installing Everything. This also applies to other versions of Windows as well.
How to Reinstall Windows 7 Without Having to Reactivate
06/2014 GoWatchIt is a site that helps you search for movies across any service and add them to one universal queue. Whether you're looking for a fun kids movie or a more grown-up thriller, GoWatchIt can find out where it's available to stream online or if it's available on DVD or Blu-ray. You can even see trailers and release dates for upcoming films.
The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 7 Media Center
How to watch & record TV with Win7 Media Center
Schedule Times to Record Live Broadcast TV in Windows 7 Media Center
Schedule Live TV recording
Stream video to your TV
Full article available to SmartComputing subscribers: 09/2010 issue
Don't pay more for fancy HDMI cables
Why HDMI Brands Don't Matter
HDTV Setup: You're Doing It Wrong. Have a new HDTV? Make sure you set it up right to get the best possible HD viewing experience.
02/2013 Easily record TV shows on your computer. Many people believe turning your computer into a DVR requires serious tech knowledge, but it really doesn't.
02/2013 Watch free TV online. Trying to find legitimate content online isn't easy. Here's a list of sites to try.
03/2013 Yes, You CAN Watch TV Online Legally & For Free. Whether you’re thinking of cutting the cord or just want to watch TV on your own schedule instead of the television network’s, there are more legal ways to watch TV online than ever.
08/2014 Where to Watch Free Movies and TV Online.
How to Download Hulu Videos to Your PC for Offline Viewing. If you have ever tried to download videos from the Hulu website, you will have probably noticed that most methods don’t work because of the protocol that Hulu uses. Here’s how to download any video you want from the Hulu website.
11/2014 This site will download Youtube videos & also content from other sites: savefrom.net
05/2013 5 Free YouTube Downloaders & Converters Compared: Which One Is Right For You?
A Quick Alternative Way to Download Videos from YouTube. This method of downloading YouTube videos, is different, in the sense that you are just retrieving a buffered version of the video from your browsers cache.
01/2013 The Best Free Programs and Online Services for Sending and Sharing Large Files. Many email services impose a limit on the size of files you can send.
01/2013 The Best Free Ways to Share Photos With Friends and Family Other Than Facebook. A collection of additional free options, other than Facebook, for posting your holiday photos for family and friends to enjoy.
Auslogics Disk Defrag screen saver:
Five apps for crapware cleanup You don’t have to put up with the aggravation of crapware. Here are several effective tools for removing it from your Windows PC.
If you have files to convert from one format to another, visit the web page convertfiles.com where you can convert files up to 250MB in size for free.
02/2014 Cloud Convert. At Cloud Convert you can convert anything to anything. Meaning if you want to convert documents, ebooks, audio, video, spreadsheets, images or other files that you can do it all here at this one site!
Save paper by printing to a PDF file. Use Nitro Reader to create PDF files. The download manager will automatically complete your installation with the latest version of Nitro Reader 3.
04/2013 How to Print to PDF in Windows: 4 Tips and Tricks. You can install a PDF printer to print to PDF from any application in Windows. When you print any document to the PDF printer, it will create a new PDF file on your computer instead of printing it to a physical document.
07/2013 4 Easy Ways to Remotely Print Over the Network or Internet. Remote printing doesn’t have to be hard, whether you want to print to a printer down the hall or half-way around the world. This article covers some simple ways you can print without being directly connected to your printer.
07/2013 How to Send and Receive Faxes Online Without a Fax Machine or Phone Line. Some slow-moving businesses and government agencies may not accept documents over email, forcing you to fax them in. If you are forced to send a fax, you can do it from your computer for free.
Free Tech Support Software Tools. Read about Nine Portable Tech Support Software Utilities and Bootable Rescue Disks
MakeUseOf.com's "Best Of" series. This page links to their articles on The Best: Websites, Windows Software, Linux Software, Android & iPhone Apps, browser plugins, etc.
Is it be better to shut the computer down when done with it for the day or keep it on 24/7? This link has a good explanation of the Pros and Cons of each scenario plus a recommendation for the "average Joe user". You'll need to scroll down to the section that discusses this topic.
How Can I Disable or Reassign the Windows Key?
03/2013 Getting Started with Keyboard Shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are an essential tool for dramatically speeding up everything you do on your computer. Geeks make extensive use of keyboard shortcuts, but every computer user can benefit from them.
How to Search Google Like a Pro: 11 Tricks You Have to Know
How to Use Gmail’s Advanced Search Features & Create Filters. Learn Gmail’s search tricks to master your massive inbox.
Google Voice Search. Google's latest update to the voice search app makes it one of the favorite features for your Android device.
08/2013 Google has a built-in timer function. Read about it here. Basically, to set a timer for 5 minutes, search for "set timer for 5 minutes", without the quotes.
How to Use Bing’s Advanced Search Operators: 8 Tips for Better Searches
10 Amazing Uses for Wolfram Alpha. Apple’s Siri uses Wolfram Alpha for 25% of its searches. You can leverage that magic and put Wolfram Alpha to work for you undefined the empty search box on its homepage holds endless possibilities.
Gmail - presentation from October 27, 2009
If the Gmail scare in early March, 2011 has you thinking about backing up your Gmail or other web-based email account, we’re here to help. Read on to learn how to backup your web-based email using open source email application Thunderbird.
04/2013 Here's another brief article on how to set up Thunderbird to receive your gmail emails.
01/2013 A neat program called MozBackup allows complete backup and restoration of the mailboxes. It works exceptionally well and is free.
If you use Google Gmail, there is a fantastic utility which allows you to back up all of your e-mails to a folder on your computer. Read more about Gmail Backup.HTG Explains: What Can You Find in an Email Header? While viewing email headers probably isn’t a part of your typical day to day needs, there are cases where the information contained in them can be quite valuable. You can quite easily identify senders masquerading as something they are not.
How to Own Your Own Website (Even If You Can’t Build One) Pt 1
Learn how to become a real website owner and put together an awesome feature-rich website of your own with little to no experience. Part 1's topics are Hosting and Installing.
How to Own Your Own Website (Even If You Can’t Build One) Pt 2
Part 2's topics are Themes and Menus.
How to Own Your Own Website (Even If You Can’t Build One) Pt 3
Part 2's topics are Customization, Widgets and Plugins.
CDs Are Not Forever: The Truth About CD/DVD Longevity, “Mold” & “Rot”. By being aware of what determines the life span of optical discs and what causes them to break, you can make choices and significantly increase the survival time of your stored data.
The Best Websites for Free Online Courses, Certificates, Degrees, and Educational Resources. There are several colleges and other sites that offer free online courses, certificate programs, some degree programs, and education resources for teachers and professors.
APCUG videos from past web conferences. Fall 2012 VTC (Virtual Technology Conference) videos have been uploaded to APCUG’s YouTube channel. Be careful- you might just learn something by watching these videos!
02/2013 Which Windows Services Can You Safely Disable? If you want to squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, you might consider disabling some of the built-in Windows services. But which ones should you disable? And which ones can you safely disable?
02/2013 Microsoft has finally released the latest version of its web browser, Internet Explorer 10, for Windows 7. Click here to download it.
03/2013 A new anti-piracy program, which gives users six warnings for suspected violations, has now taken effect.
============ Security & Privacy information ==========
01/2015 Has Your Android Phone Been Infected with Malware? Malware presents a threat to mobile devices, including Android. Are you prepared?
01/2015 Ten Common Smartphone Mistakes That Expose You To Security Risks.
01/2015 The Big Scams and Security Threats to Watch Out for in 2015. Scammers will take advantage of new technologies to try to steal our identities and our money.
11/2014 How to Remove Malware that Keeps Coming Back?
11/2014 How to keep your life, your family, and your home clean and safe, brought to you by Fraud Aid, Inc., fighting bad guys since 1999. This site is very informative and includes a List of Scams and Scam Victim's Solution Center.
08/2014 Let’s Put A Stop To Pop-Up Browser Ads Once And For All! Chances are that you have encountered a pop-up advertisement at some time in your online life. These pop-ups can appear out of nowhere and surprise you, and if you panic you may make a stupid mistake.
07/2014 The seven reasons you will fall for a scam artist, from 20 years’ experience.
07/2014 Want To Ensure Your Personal Android Data Is Truly Wiped? Just Turn On Encryption Then Reset.
05/2014 10 things scam artists won’t tell you. Your information is less secure than ever.
11/2013 10 Free Ways to Protect Your Identity. Identity theft, which hits an estimated 9 million to 12 million Americans per year, carries a per-victim cost of nearly $5,000, according to some reports. So the need to protect yourself is obvious. Protection doesn’t have to be costly in terms of money or time. Here are 10 quick, easy and free ways to reduce your risk.
08/2013 How to Ensure Your Router, Cameras, Printers, and Other Devices Aren’t Accessible on the Internet. Some people’s networked printers, cameras, routers, and other hardware devices are accessible from the Internet. There are even search engines designed to search such exposed devices. If your devices are secure, you won’t have to worry about this.
08/2013 How A Computer Virus Spreads Online, And What You Can Do To Stop It.
03/2013 Why You Need An Antivirus on Windows, No Matter How Careful You Are. No matter how smart think you are, you can still benefit from an antivirus on Windows.
02/2013 Avoid tech support phone scams. Cyber criminals might call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. Read this article to protect yourself from this type of scam.
02/2013 How to Protect Yourself From Java Security Problems if You Can’t Uninstall It. For years, Java has been the top source of browser exploits. Even after a recent emergency patch, Java is still vulnerable. To protect ourselves, we should assume that Java is always going to be vulnerable.
Watch out for online charity scams relating to disaster relief:
As disasters spread, so do online scammers
Ask Leo- Internet Safety article: How do I keep my computer safe on the Internet?
PDF download: Internet Safety- Keeping Your Computer Safe on the Internet (this document from AskLeo.com has some very worthwhile information in it)Password Protection: How to Create Strong Passwords
Credit Freeze and Thaw Guide. Credit freezes are one of the most effective tools against economic ID theft available to consumers.
Keepass Password Safe (password manager). The Classic version doesn't need Dot Net installed in order to work.
An alternative to Keepass is KeepassX which should work in Windows 8.
Securely Store Your Passwords with KeePass. A brief tutorial on using Keepass.
KeyScrambler encrypts your keystrokes at the keyboard driver level, deep in the operating system, to defeat existing and future keyloggers.
This link takes you to information on KeyScrambler
This link compares the free (Personal) edition with two other paid editions
The How-To Geek Guide to Getting Started with TrueCrypt. If you’re looking for a simple and powerful way to encrypt everything from system drives to backup discs to everything in between, TrueCrypt is an open-source tool that will help you lock up your files. Here's how to get started.
05/2014 How To- Encrypt Your Entire Hard Drive The Easy Way Using TrueCrypt.
The Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Data. These 10 articles are the top methods that How-To Geek has covered for securing files and personal information both online and off, securing your Wi-Fi network, protecting website login information and passwords and other offline data.
Free Parental Control Software. Qustodio’s internet parental controls empower you to provide greater protection for you children as they explore the online world. Using Qustodio, you can monitor how your kids use the Internet, set healthy access limits, and guard them against inappropriate content, cyberbullying, online predators, and more!
Own Your Space--Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online
Free digital book for teens
Free Security Check-Ups from StaySafeOnline.org. Many computer security vendors offer free computer security checks for your computer. Visit any of the links on this site to check your computer for known viruses, spyware, and more and discover if your computer is vulnerable to cyber attacks.
WiredSafety.org: The World's First Internet Safety and Help Group providing one-to-one help, extensive resources, information, and education to people of all ages on a myriad of Internet, mobile, gaming and interactive technology safety issues.
How to Wipe Yourself Off the Grid. Whether you need to go on the run or you just want to settle down into a less digital life, here's how to get lost.
4 Ways to Outsmart Websites That Force You to Register. Every now and then, you’ll encounter a website that forces you to register to view it. Rather than give the website your real email address – often an invitation to spam – you can use one of these tricks instead.
How to Clean Up the List of Apps that Have Access to Your Accounts. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Dropbox, and all the other web services out there can be accessed by various applications and other services. Here are a couple of links that you can use to quickly remove anything that has access.
Advanced GEEK: Whonix adds a layer of anonymity to your tasks. The Whonix operating system is a nice solution if you're looking for a cheap layer of anonymity.
01/2013 Standard drive- and file-wiping tools are no longer adequate for completely removing data- especially when used with the newest hard drives. Secure Erase, developed at UC San Diego’s Center for Magnetic Recording Research, is a free download that’s designed to securely erase magnetic media of all types- and it works with SSDs as well. Another article on using HDDErase to securely erase SSD or flash-based memory drives.
Configure Windows 7 for a Limited User Account. For best security, run your PC primarily with a limited-user account and not in administrator mode. This article has excellent instructions for setting up a limited-user account.
02/2013 How You Can Be Infected via Your Browser and How to Protect Yourself.
08/2013 Sandboxes Explained: How They’re Already Protecting You and How to Sandbox Any Program. Sandboxing is an important security technique that isolates programs, preventing malicious or malfunctioning programs from damaging or snooping on the rest of your computer.
Discount Computer Parts Presentation
LCCUG Aug 11th 2009.ppt
Free Apps & Other Fun Stuff October 13, 2009
Free Apps and other Fun Stuff.pdf
========== Wireless information: ==========
06/2014 Changing your wireless router's network passphrase. This article explains how to change the password for connecting a computer to your wireless network.
06/2014 Resetting A Wireless Router's administrative access Password. This article explains how to change the administration password for accessing your router’s settings.
11/2013 Ask HTG: What’s an ESN and Why Do I Care If It’s Clean?
If you’re in the market for a cellphone, especially a used one, you’ll hear a lot of talk about ESNs with an emphasis on whether or not the phone is “clean”. What exactly does acronym stand for and what does it mean if the phone is clean or not?
Set up and Manage a wireless network - March 23, 2010
Installing a wireless router:
Connecting to Wireless Networks with Windows 7. Being able to connect to a network and the web from wherever you are is almost essential. Windows 7 provides a simplified user experience for wireless LAN networks.
Secure your wireless network. Some good articles:
Secure Your Wireless Network
How To Secure Your Wi-Fi Network Against Intrusion
Layering Your Home Network Security
Five Common WiFi Security Mistakes.
Is Your Wireless Router REALLY Secure?
10 tips to help improve your wireless network:
Changing Your Wireless Network Password. Your wireless security password can’t be modified through the Microsoft Windows network settings, but must be changed by logging into your router.
Routers using WPS are intrinsically unsafe. Simple hacker tools can easily sniff out Wi-Fi passwords from routers that have Wi-Fi Protected Setup enabled undefined quite possibly yours included. Read more from this article.
HTG Explains: Why You Shouldn’t Host an Open Wi-Fi Network. Hosting an open Wi-Fi network can cause a number of problems for you, whether you’re trying to do a good deed by sharing your connection or just haven’t set up a password yet.
How to Access Your Router If You Forget the Password. If you’ve forgotten a router’s password – or if you acquired a used router and don’t know its password – there’s a way to reset the password.
07/2013 10 Useful Options You Can Configure In Your Router’s Web Interface. Your wireless router has a variety of useful options you can configure. These are practically hidden undefined you wouldn’t know these features exist unless you were digging through your router’s configuration pages.
05/11/2010: Using Photoshop
It seems there are many Photoshop tutorials out there. Just Google "Photoshop tutorials" and see what you get. Here are just a few results:
Here is a web site that has "2 Minute Photoshop Tricks" This site will be home to all kinds of Photoshop tips, tricks and tutorials.
How To Properly Scan a Photograph (And Get An Even Better Image). Unless you know how to use your scanner correctly, the image quality can turn out poor. Here’s how to get the best results.
Unusual photo and video effects from Microsoft. Digital photography gives us the freedom to take hundreds of photos and videos of places and people, at very little expense undefined so many images, that family and friends might be blasé at best about your latest efforts. But three little-known apps from Microsoft can put some unexpected novelty back into your images.
radio on your computer. Any computer with an Internet connection can easily be turned into a global radio receiver.
======= Mobile/Tablet/eReader information: =======
02/2015 10 common misconceptions about mobile device batteries. Have you run into a few old-school users with antiquated ideas about how to treat smartphone batteries? Here are several myths worth debunking.
05/2014 Cryptocat is a fun, accessible app for having an encrypted chat with your friends, right in your browser and mobile phone. Everything is encrypted before it leaves your computer. Even the Cryptocat network itself can't read your messages. Available for Web browsers & Apple iPhone mobile device; coming soon to Android.
11/2013 The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013. Navigate the galaxy of apps in Google Play with PC Mag's handy, carefully selected list of the 100 best Android apps.
So You Lost Your Smartphone, Now What?
11/2013 HTG Explains: Can You Use Any Charger With Any Device? Every device undefined smartphone, tablet, eReader, laptop undefined seems to come with its own charger. But do you really need all these chargers? Can you re-use the same charger for multiple devices?
Prey lets you keep track of your laptop, phone and tablet whenever stolen or missing -- easily and all in one place. It's lightweight, open source software that gives you full and remote control, 24/7.
10/2013 Why the Police Want You to Upgrade to iOS 7. Apple has added a great feature to its new iPhone operating system that has the potential to render stolen phones useless.
How-To Geek Explains: Does Your Android Phone Need an Antivirus?
03/2013 How to Avoid Android Malware and Other Android Security Threats. Android malware can be avoided with a few common-sense tips.
BlueStacks App Player. Run 750,000 Mobile Apps on Windows or Mac.
Don’t Be A Victim: Practical Tips To Protect Your Smartphone From Theft.
02/2013 How to Switch to VoIP and Ditch Your Home Phone Bill Forever. You can enjoy the convenience of a whole-house land line without shelling out your hard earned money to your local telecommunications provider.
07/2013 How (and Why) to Get Started with Google Cloud Print. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could print from any of your devices (desktops, phones, tablets) to any of your printers, at any time? This article explores Google Cloud Print, a fantastic way to enable printing on all your devices big and small.
07/2013 How to Enable Native Google Cloud Printing and Printer Sharing in Windows. This article shows how to add Cloud Print functionality as a Windows service and native printing from any of your Windows computers.
========== Windows 8 information: ==========
03/2015 Windows 8 For Dummies book.
11/2014 How to spend your first hour with Windows 8.1
Here’s what every knowledgeable Windows user should know about setting up Win8.1, whether they’re coming from Windows 8, Win7, Vista, or XP.
01/2015 Mastering Windows 8’s backup/restore system. Windows 8 has easily the most comprehensive backup-and-recovery system ever seen on a personal computer. With little user effort, and when applied correctly, Win8’s built-in backup tools provide automatic, frequent, triple-data redundancy.
09/2014 Reset Windows 8.1's Start Screen. If you've made changes to the Start Screen, you can return it to its previous state -- and even its original appearance. This article explains how.
07/2014 Windows 8.1 File History – A Realtime Backup Tool. Once activated, it archives older versions of your files automatically. Now it’s not a total system backup, but it does archive your documents, photos, music and videos.
05/2014 The only thing you need to know to master Windows 8.1. Windows 8/8.1 is a dramatic departure from the traditional Windows interface, and it can be overwhelming to find what you're looking for unless you know this one trick.
12/2014 Classic Shell: Turn Windows 8 Into Windows 7/XP. Some very creative people over at Classic Shell have released a freeware utility which can give you back the Start Menu everyone loved.
11/2013 Get the ISO you need to create your own Windows 8.1 DVD. Microsoft wants you to run the update just like you would a Service Pack from Windows Update (there is no opportunity to download an ISO or order a DVD).
But what if you have two or more Windows 8 systems? Do you really want to sit and wait while the online update runs multiple times? I didn't think so.
Note: Even though the end result of this trick is have a Windows 8.1 DVD, keep in mind that this DVD can only be used to perform a Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 upgrade. You cannot use it to perform a clean install of Windows 8.1.
11/2013 Track down the Create a System Image tool in Windows 8.1. Learn where to find and launch the Create a System Image tool in Microsoft Windows 8.1, because it is not where it used to be.
11/2013 How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 & How To Downgrade Back To Windows 8. Windows 8.1 is here and brings many new and improved features. The update is free for current Windows 8 users, it’s available from the Windows Store, and the installation process, if not quick, at least is easy. If you would like to boot to the desktop, take advantage of the improved SkyDrive integration, or run multiple apps next to each other with the new dynamic Snap feature, you should consider upgrading.
01/2013 How to decide: should you upgrade to Windows 8? With all the hype about Windows 8, one question remains for most current Windows users: should you upgrade to Windows 8? In this article, David Gewirtz walks you through all the possibilities, so you're armed with the best decision-making strategy for your needs.
11/2013 Pro tip: Override the 4GB memory barrier on 32-bit Windows 8.1 systems. Turn on Physical Address Extension mode and unleash the full potential of your 32-bit RAM memory.
12/2013 Make the Internet Explorer app run in two windows. A secret hidden in the Internet Explorer app that will allow you to have two tabs open on the screen at one time and position them side-by-side.
How To Play DVDs on Windows 8. Upgrade to Windows 8 and you may be surprised to find that you can no longer play video DVDs. Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 doesn’t include built-in support for playing DVDs.
How to Stop Windows 8 Waking Up Your PC to Run Maintenance. Windows 8 comes with a new hybrid boot system, this means that your PC is never really off. It also means that Windows has the permission to wake your PC as it needs. Here’s how to stop it from waking up your PC to do maintenance tasks.