About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

October 21, 2014

What To Do With That Screenshot

Last week I told you about several applications which would enable you to take screenshots from your computer.  They were SnagIt, Snipping Tool and Screenshot Captor.  Those reviews led to several emails I received from readers so we will take a look at a couple of their questions.

Someone asked why they would need a screenshot.  Well, many people may not; however, many others would desire this ability.  It basically allows you to take a picture of anything you see on your computer.

I will pretend that you are looking at a new piece of furniture online that you would like to show your spouse.  You could email them the link to the site but you could also just send a picture (that way the price is hidden…you sneak).  Once you take the "picture" of the chair or whatever you can save it or edit it in your screenshot program.  When you are ready you can insert it into an email and send it on its way.

Say you are going to do a presentation using a paper handout.  You can include screenshots of anything which appears on your computer and is related to what you are promoting.  You can add text, pointers and other graphics to make it more professional.  Also, the same can be done with any slideshow software like Microsoft PowerPoint.  You can make some very good looking and professional "shows." 

Next, I received an email asking about which file type should be used for saving pictures. In many cases it is not vital to the average presentation.  That being said there are a basic few to pick from.  Basically today the standard is JPG which is a lossy format.  This means that it cuts some of the pixels out when edited or losses resolution to some extent.  A lossy format is not as clear and sharp the more you enlarge them.  For finer resolution you can use a lossless format type. 

The most common lossless formats are PNG or TIF which have better resolution but larger file sizes.  You may see GIF occasionally but this is a very lossy format and not good except when you need a small graphic.  Since GIFs have such a small file size they are often used on websites so the sites will load faster…less information to download to your computer.

My opinion is that if I plan to print it or enlarge it I prefer JPG or PNG.  Yes, JPG is lossy but unless you make them very large or edit them a lot they will look very good.  For emailing to friends and presentations go with any format; however, JPG is usually the winner for me.  With a JPG containing up to 16.7 million individual colors it looks pretty good most of the time.

It is different for photography as RAW and TIF (or TIFF) are the highest color quality and resolution.  But we are not looking at that.

According to research, January, 2014 marked the first time that mobile internet usage exceeded PC usage by approximately five percent.  So friends you send screenshots and photos to, could very likely be looking at them on their phones or tablets, and resolution may not matter at all.

April 21, 2014

2014-04-21 WSVA Show Notes

Today we had the April show on WSVA, 550AM.  If you have 40 minutes to learn some new tech info and listen to Jim Britt and I having fun…take a listen here.  A few calls, a few issues, a few news items and a lot more.  Enjoy the links we talked about below.

Tech News
Heartbleed Explained
If you’re an IT professional, gadget blogger or token geek in your circle of friends, chances are, you’ve been hounded relentlessly over the past couple of days about "this Heartbleed thing."

"Do I need to update my antivirus?"

"Can I login to my bank account now?"

"Google already fixed it, right?"

We’ve heard them all, but the answers aren’t all that clear or simple. In an attempt to take the pressure off — it is the weekend after all — we’ve put together a primer that should answer all of those questions and a few more. Next time someone asks you about that "Heartbleed thing," just shoot them in our direction.

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.)

Snapseed is the only photo app you’ll want to use every day. It makes any photograph extraordinary with a fun, high-quality photo experience right at your fingertips. Anyone can enhance, transform, and share their photos with ease using incredibly advanced features from the leader in digital photography software. Built-in Google+ capabilities make it even more powerful to share your images with your friends and family.

Links mentioned:
"Play Some Music"
Sometimes, having your entire music collection in your pocket can be a bit overwhelming. When there are hundreds (or in our case, thousands) of tracks at your disposal, where do you even begin to listen? To help thwart that paralysis of choice, Google is going to do the guessing for you with its latest tweak to Search. From Google Now or the search bar, simply say the magic words "play some music" and your Android device will start playing a random Play Music "I’m feeling lucky" mix that’s based on recent listening habits.

  • Rent an MBA
    The best business brains can now be hired on the cheap and by the hour. Two new websites make it possible for companies and individuals to get consulting help from young MBAs newly minted from such top business schools as Harvard and Wharton.

    The same 35-hour consulting job for which a traditional, blue chip firm might charge $20,000 might cost as little as $1,500 on these sites. That’s, in part, because the participating MBAs typically are ones still in school or just starting out on their careers; it’s also because the websites don’t carry the same overhead as traditional consulting firms.

    Have a great afternoon and let me know what you would like to hear about on the show next month, Monday, May 18th.


  • August 30, 2011

    Stumble Upon It

    Thanks for the emails regarding last week’s column.  I always appreciate hearing from you readers.  So, thanks for reading Double Click!

    This week I am going to talk about an interesting site that I put off using for several years.  There was really nothing wrong with it but I just didn’t "get it".  I was told by a friend how they used it to discover new things in areas of interest and enjoy winding down at the end of the day by stumbling upon different sites.

    StumbleUponThe site is, you guessed it, simply named Stumble Upon (  The way Stumble Upon works is you begin by creating a free account with an email address and password.  They also allow you to "relate" it to your Facebook account so that you use the same sign-in for both.  I don’t like doing that so I have a separate account. 

    You then proceed to manage your interests in Stumble Upon.  They have some categories set up to guide you through the process. Once you are done you can start stumbling.  My interests are currently set at things like Gadgets, Technology, Internet, Christianity, Programming, Movies, Photography and TV to name a few.

    To stumble you start from your Stumble Upon homepage and click the large golden button labeled, "Stumble Your Interests".  It also adds a toolbar to the top of the browser.  Do not worry.  It is only temporary while you are stumbling.  If you wish to add a "full time" Stumble Upon toolbar you can, but the choice is yours.  I don’t want extra toolbars so I don’t choose that option. 

    It then takes you to other sites dealing with one or more of your interests.  The toolbar also allows you to "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" the site depending on how you like it.  You may also share the site with Twitter, Facebook, email and others if you wish.

    I do like to stumble upon sites using this on occasion.  It is really great when you find a site that you are interested in; however, I have found that I have about a 50/50 chance of getting a site that actually interests me.  If you don’t like it or don’t care you don’t have to rate it and can just click your, "Stumble!" button to continue on to the next suggestion.

    You can also choose to share your interesting sites with your followers…yes, think Facebook or Twitter-like on that one.  There are many other options on the site you may want to experiment with, try it out and let me know how you like stumbling through cyberspace.

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