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Let's have some fun

This week we’re taking a break from Windows 10 to point out several useful and fun websites.

We’re also taking a break from politics and cat videos. These sites are actually informative, and Totally Great.


I’m Rubber…

Remember that rhyme

But what glue works best? It kind of depends on what you’re trying to stick to what. Visit the This to That website  and discover how to stick almost anything to almost anything else.

Need to glue some glass to some other glass? Easy peasy. Use some Super Glue. And in the site’s Trivia Section I learned

The first cyanoacrylate (super/krazy glue) was discovered by accident, when chemists at Eastman-Kodak accidentally glued two prisms together when testing new organic compounds for light refracting properties.

I hope they got a picture of that.

Your ultimate guide to shelf life

What the heck is in that Tupperware container in the back of the top shelf of the refrigerator?  If you can’t even identify it, you should probably toss it. If you  know what it is, but don’t know if it’s still safe, have a look at the Still Tasty website.

Search by typing in the name of the food — or beverage. Or look for answers by category. You’ll also find informative articles on the site, including one called 9 Foods That Last Forever:

(Spoiler alert: Honey lasts forever. So does hard liquor if you store it properly. And yes, they tell you how to store it properly.)

The site features answers to questions, most of which seem to relate to poultry for some reason. But there’s an opportunity to ask your own question if you don’t find the answer elsewhere on the site.

Questions and answers are here. Now, you know why you don’t want to defrost those steaks on the kitchen counter.

Speaking of shelf life, have you been to the online library?

If you belong to the Okanagan Regional Library and you have set up your library card with PIN, vast resources are available to you online as well as in the actual libraries.

Head over to the ORL site and log in with your library card number and PIN, and have a look around.

You can read magazines online. You can get newspapers from all over the world on the day they’re published. You can watch movies. You can learn a language with Rosetta Stone. The list is here.

Incredibly, the list includes free access to Lynda.com, one of the best sources for video tutorials on a wide range of subjects. Normally, you have to subscribe to Lynda.com to access this information. It’s a wonderful place to learn about software, marketing, project management, photography and more.

I needed some help with Microsoft Excel, and Lynda.com came through for me. Get started with Lynda.com through the ORL page.

If you don’t have a library card or you haven’t set up your PIN, look here for instructions or turn up at your library and ask for help. Enjoy your free window to the world.

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].



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Change your POV

Microsoft takes one more shot at changing your mind about upgrading. Use Windows Libraries to change your point of view. Change your laptop’s situation to make it breathe easier.

One more upgrade notice

If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 and you haven’t installed GWX Control Panel, you’re going to get one more gigantic full screen reminder that the free upgrade offer ends July 29.

This time it’s relatively easy to decline. Look in the lower left hand corner of the notice, and click on Do not notify me again. They promise that will be the end of it.

Change the way you view your pictures library

Windows 7 introduced Libraries, but this totally great feature has been mostly unnoticed and misunderstood. Libraries are still with us in Windows 10, but by default they’re not displayed.

Libraries give you a way to group stuff that is actually spread over multiple folders.

For instance, if you have some pictures in your Pictures folder on your hard drive, other pictures in your OneDrive Pictures folder, and maybe another big whack of pictures on an external hard drive, you would have to navigate to each of those places to get to the pictures you need.

To simplify things, you could use the Pictures Library, and add the relevant folders. Everything is where it always was, but the Library just lets you view it as if it was in one spot. That’s what Picasa and Windows Live Photo Gallery do. They look all over your computer for pictures so you don’t have to.

I don’t know why I never knew this before, but I recently learned that you can change the way Pictures Library shows us pictures. They’re generally organized with Folders in alphabetical order, but holy smokes, you can organize them by date, too.

Begin by opening File Explorer and looking in the Navigation Pane on the left side of the window. If you don’t see Libraries, you can turn them on.

Click on View
Click on Navigation
Click on Show Libraries

(Microsoft made a little animation for you here:

Now you’ll see Libraries in the left pane. Expand them by clicking on the > next to the word Libraries, then click on Pictures. At the top of the window, click on the View tab, and pick the view you want.

I usually go with large icons, but it’s a personal choice. Do what makes you happy. You should see your picture folders arranged alphabetically.

Now, place your cursor anywhere in the Library (the right hand pane of the window) and right-click.
Click on Arrange by
Click on Month

If you have a lot of pictures, you’ll need to give it a minute or two, but eventually you’ll see the pictures arranged by month instead of alphabetically. You can toggle this view by going back to Arrange by and choosing Folder.

You can change the view in the other default Libraries, too. Right-click in the Documents Library to see the choices there.

Laptops need air flow

We had a couple weeks of summer weather recently, and that generated many service calls about laptops overheating or just shutting down.

Laptops need to breathe.

If you use your laptop flat on a wooden table or desk, a glass patio table or a stone kitchen counter — if you just have it flat on a flat surface — it’s going to overheat and eventually shut down in self defence.

Use a couple of rubber doorstops as wedges under the back of the laptop, or get the useful but unfortunately named Laptop Balls. Bonus: The tilting keyboard is easier on your hands and wrists.

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email.

Links

GWX Control Panel 

Never 10 

Show Libraries in File Explorer 

 

 



Microsoft letting you say no

Windows 10 is in the news again as the end of the free upgrade approaches. Evernote pricing is changing, and the “free” tier is a little more restrictive.

But still free. And still ad-free.

Microsoft backs off the aggressive Windows 10 Update. A little.

For almost a year some Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users have been trying like mad to decline Microsoft’s offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10. And those upgrade offers have become more and more aggressive, culminating in the Stealth Upgrade. (See this column if you want to know how to decline the offer or roll back to your previous version of Windows.

Now, Microsoft it rolling out a Windows Update that provides a clearer choice to decline the upgrade, and which does not assume that you consent to the upgrade when you close the window offering it.

Yes, the kinder, gentler upgrade offer now includes a “Decline free offer” choice.

According to Microsoft, this “new upgrade experience” is the direct result of customer complaints, perhaps including this one.

The upgrade to Windows 10 is free until July 29. If you upgrade your computer before then, you will never be charged for Windows 10 on that computer.

Microsoft says it intends to charge US $120 to upgrade after that date ($US $199 for the Pro edition). They have not said what they plan to do about the upgrade nag screens after the free offer ends.


Evernote changes pricing, limits free devices

Evernote is more than a “note taking app.” Evernote is an excellent way to appear more organized than you actually are. I love it. I use it all day every day. If you’re new to Evernote, learn more here.

I used the free version for years then upgraded to Premium because I wanted a couple of esoteric features only available there.

Last week, Evernote announced a change in price structure. Premium and Plus subscribers will see a hefty increase in price. Free is still free, but now there is a two-device limit for users of the basic free version. Evernote explains here.

If you become an Evernote user, the new structure will be in place for you right away. If you’re a current user, changes will roll out over time, and you’ll get an email from Evernote explaining your options.

Evernote says it plans to remain ad-free, and the pricing increases are the trade off.

If you’re using the free version and feel that the two-device limit will create problems for you, remember that you can still use the web version of Evernote on any device with an internet connection.

From what I can tell, using a web browser on any device doesn’t count against the limit.
 

Great Cycle Challenge results

My column deadline is before June 30, which is the end of the Great Cycle Challenge. As I write this, the total you’ve helped me raise for the Sick Kids Foundation is nearly $2,000.

I am so grateful to all of you who have contributed to the fight against kids’ cancer, and who’ve sent me messages of encouragement. You people are the best. Thank you so much.

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043.

Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email.

Links

Stealth Upgrades http://rlis.com/columns/column562.htm

Unwanted Windows 10 Upgrade Costs Microsoft $10,000 http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/06/unwanted-windows-10-upgrade-costs-microsoft-10000/

Evernote https://evernote.com/

Useful Utilities http://rlis.com/columns/column560.htm

Changes to Evernote’s Pricing Plans https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2016/06/28/changes-to-evernotes-pricing-plans/

 

 





Protect your photos

It’s almost Canada Day! It’s almost the 4th of July! Celebrate by taking some great photos. Do at least two of the following three things to protect your photos and keep them forever.

Take good care of your cards

Yes, I said cards. Use more than one card in your camera. If something happens to your camera or if a card malfunctions before you have a chance to back it up, you won’t have lost everything.

The more cards you use, the fewer photos you can lose. Rotate the cards daily rather than letting a card fill up before you use another one.

Keep the cards that are not in the camera in a card case. This protects them from heat, humidity and dirt, and it also keeps them organized.

You don’t want to give a thief the opportunity to get all your photos, so keep the card case someplace else from where you keep your camera.


Make a copy of your photos every day

Are you travelling with a laptop? Make a copy of everything on the card every day.

You’re going to take that card out of the camera and replace it with another card every day anyway, so do that and copy those photos right onto the laptop.

If you don’t have a laptop, maybe you have a tablet. You can use a USB OTG cable and the cable that came with your camera to transfer files from the camera to your Android tablet.

Your tablet has to be capable of that, and you do need an app to do the transfer. Don’t wait until you’re on the road to learn how to do this; try it at home first. Here is one way.

Apple offers a camera adapter kit to accomplish the same thing using in iPad/iPhone. See this Apple Support article for details.

If you are lucky enough to have a Nikon DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi, you can easily transfer your photos to any Android or iOS device

If you have a Nikon DSLR without built in Wi-Fi, you can probably use the Nikon Wi-Fi adapter to create the wireless network

Wow! What a time to be alive.

Put your photos online

Once you’ve loaded a copy of your photos onto a laptop or tablet (or even a phone), you can store another copy online. You have lots of choices.

Dropbox is good if you have enough storage. OneDrive is good if you have enough storage. But by far the easiest way to go here is with Google Photos. They offer an enormous amount of free storage.

From a computer, visit the Google Photos website, sign in to your Google account and upload (or just drag and drop) your photos into your secure cloud storage.

From an Android  or iOS device, install the Google Photos app, set up the backup and sync, and your photos will upload.

You can keep those photos completely private, or you can choose to share any of them. Bonus: This is a much better way to share those vacation photos than trying to email them.


Great Cycle Challenge

It’s almost complete! If you’re reading this before the end of June and want to sponsor my rides to help kids with cancer, go here. Many thanks!

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

 



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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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