About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

October 19, 2015

2015-10-19 Show Notes

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , — Ron @ 12:09 pm

Welcome to the next in the series…well, ok, one the many radio shows and podcasts we have done over the years.  Enjoy, laugh and maybe even learn.

Here are some of the things we talked about today.

Tech News

Windows 10 users back away from the Edge browser

Microsoft’s new Edge browser has been largely ignored by U.S. users of Windows 10, an online measurement company said Monday.

Instead, Google’s Chrome has shanghaied Windows 10’s top browser spot.

Although Edge—the default browser bundled with Windows 10—got a temporary boost when the operating system launched in late July, its share of all browsers on the OS quickly slipped from an early peak of about 16% to its current 12%.

According to San Francisco-based Quantcast, Chrome is the dominant browser on Windows 10 in the U.S., with a share slightly north of 70%.

Don’t make this mistake on LinkedIn

Last week, I received two very inappropriate LinkedIn requests. No, not inappropriate because I didn’t know them (a topic I have written about previously). But, in fact, because I knew them all too well. And what I remembered was not so good.

Let me explain. Until a few years ago I was an executive with a digital media company, with hiring and firing as a core part of my job. When the request from “Barbara” (not her real name) appeared in my inbox, I scratched my head for a moment trying to place her. Then, I did. The last time we had spoken was about five years ago when I had to tell her she was being let go for “performance reasons.” In other words, I fired her because she wasn’t good at her job. What chutzpah, I said to myself as I deleted the networking request from my inbox.

Send & receive SMS and MMS from your computer or tablet, using your current Android phone number. Messages stay in sync with your phone’s SMS inbox.

Never miss notifications from apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram. You can even dismiss them right from your desktop.

Google Voice Info

This is an article from a couple of years ago by me and it is still good…with an exception or two.

Google Voice has now been combined with Google Hangouts. And now it has more to offer.

Check out what I had to say about this great "phone replacement."

See you next month!


August 11, 2015

Emailed Questions, Part 4

Thanks for all of the emails I have received regarding the last few columns on applications and sites I use.

I will answer a few more questions today.

I am often asked how I check my email accounts.  Since I probably have many more than the average user I may operate a little differently than most folks.  For my main Gmail account I use the website and all is well.

Thunderbird logo

However, since I have email for testing, personal, work, columns, and purchasing I also like to keep them in one place so I only have to check one application.  Now this can all be done through Gmail but I prefer using a better (IMHO) application.  That application is Thunderbird ( which was created by Mozilla.  Mozilla is the same company that produced the Firefox browser.

Using Thunderbird I can have all of my email accounts in one location with separate inboxes for each.  It was quite easy to set up with only my email addresses and their corresponding passwords.  So if you have Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo mail, etc. you can now view them all in one place with access to many advanced features the web sites do not have.

Evernote logoI get this question often from readers, "If you are out and think of something you want to write down or make a note of for later…where do you put it?"  I could be a wise guy and say take paper and pencil with you and write it down.  But unless you are my buddy Shannon you have a phone with you already so you are set.  There are many applications you can take notes with, Evernote ( being one of the leaders. However, the one I use I believe is even better and much more user friendly.   It is Google Keep ( and you can tell by its name who the company in charge is. 

Google Keep logo

With Keep you can, from your phone, tablet or computer, type in a note, create a list, add a photo, copy from a website and paste it in a note or even leave an audio message.  An audio message will be converted to a test message and both will be saved in Keep.  There are many other features that you should check out.  

Another neat feature is that you can set alarms for individual messages if you wish.  The alarms can be set for a date and time or even a location.  If you need to remember to take out the trash when you get home from work you can set your home location for a message to remind you.  If you need to do something at 10:43 AM next Tuesday, set a note with the alarm. 

We will start looking into Windows 10 toward the end of the month.  Keep sending in those W10 questions.

Windows 10 logo

March 16, 2015

2015-03-16 Show Notes

Here are the notes from today’s show. Please enjoy reading, learning and clicking.

Also, the podcast is available for you to listen to 365/24/7 so have at it.

Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(This app can be found on Google Play from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)
Gas Buddy (

Get local Gas prices as you need them 
You can get any grade, including diesel and any brand name of gas you use.

You may also check prices online before you leave or on any phone system used today.

Here is the link for Android devices,

Nest Protect Smoke Alarm helps stop burned toast sirens!
It doesn’t just start yelling at you.

Before turning on a loud, howling alarm, Nest Protect gives you an early warning we call Heads-Up. Nest Protect lights up yellow and speaks with a human voice. It tells you where smoke is or when carbon monoxide levels are rising. This gives you an earlier warning if there’s an emergency, or allows you to silence Nest Protect if it’s just a nuisance alarm, like an overly enthusiastic toaster.

No more frantically swinging towels at the smoke alarm to quiet it down. If there’s a nuisance alarm, just stand under Nest Protect and wave your arm to hush the alert. As you wave, your hand should be 2-8 feet away from the alarm.

Laptop Comparison Chart
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place online that you could go to, tell it what you were looking for in a new laptop and it would tell you. Boom! You are done and it is here.

Take a look at "Laptop Comparison Chart" which is totally interactive at finding the notebook you want. Pick it by screen size, weight, hard drive, ram and more.

One page with most every search engine featured.

Music, Google, Flickr, YouTube, Weather Channel, Ebay and many more. It also includes most of the top email sites.

Thanks for listening, reading or whatever!  Come back to WSVA for the next show on April 20 to see what’s new in Tech.

And don’t forget to read the article here or on the Daily News Record every Tuesday.


August 27, 2013

Google Keep

Welcome back to another week of Double Click!  I would like to remind you to shoot me an email with your tech/computer questions when you run into them.  I am always glad to hear from you guys any time. 

If you read the column regularly you will know that I have a love/hate relationship with Google.  I love many of their products but I hate it when they have a really good one that they decide to remove from their cadre of apps.

So let me share a little love and hope that Google does not decide to kill it in the next couple of years.  The app/site is called, "Google Keep" and it works really well.  Google even added a very good feature to it this week, so it will be around for a while…well, I guess.

It is presently available for all Android devices.  Sorry iPhoners, it is not an app yet; however, it is available as a website for one and all. 

imageBasically, Google Keep is a note taker/keeper.  I know you have been doing one thing with your phone/tablet (device from here on out) and think of something you need to get to later.  Yes, you could email yourself, write it on a piece of paper or do it the ancient way…remember it.  But with Keep (yes, I shortened that one too) you open the app with a click and add your note.

There are similar apps out there but they are not as simple to use or available everywhere electronically.  Evernote is one of the others I have used.

You can type in a note, create a list, add a photo with or without notes and even leave an audio message.  The speech to text transformation is smooth and fairly accurate but not perfect.  For instance, with audio I recorded the previous sentence and it was all correct, except for "smooth and" which was changed to "moving."

All of your "notes" are added to your Google Drive so you can log into, "" and see your notes there.  Then you may edit, delete or create new ones online.  In just a few seconds they will be available on your device too. 

Tablet ScreenNow let’s discuss the recently added feature. It can mark an existing or new note to alert me at a specific time.  Yeah, neat but not extraordinary.  However, I can also set it to alert me at a specific location, if I have a data or Wi-Fi connection at that time.  For instance, I set an alert the other day to notify me to write a column about, "Google Keep" the next time I went to my favorite coffee shop.  When I arrived here this morning, ding-ding, I received the reminder to write the article.  I don’t even need a brain anymore.  Hmm. 

Think about this, since you can create lists in Keep, how about your grocery list?  Set it to alert you when you get to the grocery store.  When you arrive at the store, there it is, ready to read from your phone or tablet.

Keep in mind this new feature may not be available to you right this second since they are adding this through the end of the month.  So make sure you do your updates.

Yes, I know the brain and paper are probably just as easy but not as cool…

February 5, 2013

Browser Tricks, Part 1

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 6:22 am

I have a couple of tricks for your browsers today.  These questions came in emails from Ivan and a couple of other readers recently.  Today we will look at some of them.  Please remember to send me your questions because I like to write about some of them from time-to-time.

First, Ivan asked about putting website links on his desktop.  I know many people use bookmarks in their browsers but apparently some like Ivan and me enjoy a few on our desktops.  There are several ways to do this; however, I like the easy way so here it is…

Open your browser and go to the site you would like to save to your desktop.  Make sure your browser is sized so that you can see your desktop (best to the left of the browser window).

Icon on address barDirectly to the left of "http://" in the URL you will see a small icon for the site, a  globe or some other small placeholder.  Left click on that icon and drag it to your desktop.  There you go; you now have an icon on your desktop for that site.  Close your browser and double click on the icon to test it out.  You should go directly to the page you were on.

For the more adventurous of you try right clicking on the icon and select properties.  Click on the tabs and look around.  You will find a place to change the icon, (graphic) the web address, the text on the link and a couple of other items.  Go ahead and try. If you really mess it up you can just delete it and create it all over again.

Next is one that I just found out about a week or so ago and have been using very often.  I might call this one, "The Super Browser Trick."

Have you ever been browsing the web and just wanted to take a quick note?  You may open Notepad, WordPad or even Word to type it in.  This could take a lot of time – minimizing and clicking, so it would be neat if you could just type a note in your browser and save it for later.  Well, you can!

Copy this exactly, "data:text/html, <html contenteditable>" except DO NOT include the quote marks. Do include all of the other characters and symbols.  Paste the text you copied into your browser’s address bar and press the, "Enter" key on your keyboard.

You will now be presented with an empty white page.  Click on the page and start typing all the notes you like. Hopefully you are using a tabbed browser and can click back and forth from one page and back to this one to write ideas.  You can also copy text from another site and go back and paste it in this page.  Once you are done and want to save the notes, you can.  Depending on which browser you use, find the "Save" command in its menu and save the file.  You cannot save it by dragging the icon to the desktop as we discussed before.

This was created by a developer named Jose Jesus Perez Aguinaga.  Finally, I have read it works in all browsers except Microsoft Internet Explorer.  I have found it very useful in Firefox and Google Chrome; however, like they say, it will not work in MSIE for me.

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