DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

June 15, 2015

2015-06-15 Show Notes

Welcome back to the podcast and show notes for today.  Remember the third Monday of each month at 9 am on WSVA radio you can find myself and Jim Britt talking tech.

Below are some of the things we mentioned on the show.  Use the links to go directly to the site.

Tech News
Windows 10 Free – you heard it right!
Microsoft.com/Windows10

Microsoft is making Windows 10 free to licensed/registered Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users.

  • You must download and install in first year after release.
  • Year starts, July 29, 2015.
  • Licensed to that specific machine for the life of the machine (not clear on what happens if you rebuild it in the future.)
  • Rumored to also be free to people with an unlicensed copy, but that remains to be seen.

I have tested it out and some findings are…

  • For those that loved Windows 7, you will most likely like this.
  • For those that hated Windows 8.1, you will most likely like this.
  • The much hated Metro screen is gone and just showing up a little in the Start Menu but can be rearranged, in the test version I had you could not totally remove it but no one knows for sure about final version.
  • MSIE is gone now you get Microsoft Edge.
  • Cortana has arrived in all platforms. Named after Cortana, an artificial intelligence character in Microsoft’s Halo video game series. Now Cortana is your personal digital assistant. (Think Siri or OK Google, but not quite as smart yet.)

Microsoft to Introduce $149 Windows 10 Notebooks

Despite a lackluster start, Chromebooks are becoming relatively popular in the super-budget end of the portable market. This has worried Microsoft for some time. After all, with a Google-centric experience, not to mention an operating system in the form of Chrome OS, there’s little if anything to be gained here by Microsoft and everything to lose. That’s why it’s targeting the Chromebook specifically, with a most likely Windows 10-based $149 laptop.

I am using my Chromebook now and it does most everything I need…not all but I guess 95% of everything I do…not at work. The prices are killing lots of other “low cost” notebooks. Say, $150 compared to $350.


Ron’s Windows App Recommendation
FileHippo App Manager
Application Updater
The App Manager does what, “Windows Update” does for the Windows Operating system. The difference is that FileHippo has created this for many of the other applications on your computer.Go to the link above and click the green, “Download Latest Version” button and install.


Portable Apps
PortableApps.com
PortableApps.com is the world’s most popular portable software solution allowing you to take your favorite software with you. A fully open source and free platform, it works on any portable storage device (USB flash drive, memory card, portable hard drive, etc), cloud drive (DropBox, Google Drive, etc), or installed locally. With millions of users all over the world and a full collection of open source software as well as compatible freeware and commercial software and partners in the software and hardware industry, PortableApps.com is the most complete solution for life on the go.


The only article I have ever written that the papers refused to PRINT next…

God Mode
This is a longstanding trick for Windows computers and although. I have not tried it in Windows 10; however, I hear it works in all versions of Microsoft OS’s back to Vista (only some versions of Vista).

Basically when you follow these directions you can adjust anything in Windows OS in one place. You do not have to go to each area of the Control Panel to get to them.

Be warned that you can mess stuff up, so I suggest only Geeks use this
(which they probably already know about this) or calm, self-controlled normal people.

    To create the God Mode function do the following in order.

  1. Pick a place to put it, I like my desktop.
  2. Copy the following not including quotation marks, “GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}“.
    • “GodMode may be changed to anything you want to title the folder. That is the title the geeks-of-yore named it, I call mine Super User (spaces are OK too.)
  3. Right click and chose, “New/Folder”.
  4. Paste the copied text as the blank folder’s name.
  5. Click off of the newly made folder, which will change it’s icon.
  6. Double click the new “app” to launch it and take a look.
  7. Again, read carefully and only change what you intend to, one at a time and test after making more changes.

If you want to create it and look, just don’t change any items. Then when you are done all you need to do is delete the folder. GodMode Window


That is all for this month. I hope to see you back here next time, July 19, 2015 at 9am. Ron

March 3, 2015

Google Tricks, Part 3

Google Logo

For the last couple of weeks I have told you about some interesting Google tricks you can do, some helpful, others fun.  Your interest in emails has shown me that you would like a couple more of their tricks, so here we go.  Remember always start on the main Google.com page for these to work.  Most will anyway but they will definitely work from the main page.

Pretend that you are researching some item on Google, say bananas.  You search using Google.com as usual with, "banana farms" and find many links with information.  Many of the sites reference, "Chiquita" but you do not want any more information on that company.  To weed out that company type, "banana farms -Chiquita".  The results will have removed, "Chiquita" from most all of the searches.  The use of a minus sign filters your searches by removing the following word.

You may want to get information is a particular format, say a Microsoft PowerPoint slide show which contains the phrase you are looking for.  Search Google this way.  Type, " ‘space the final frontier’ filetype:ppt" in the search box.  Two things to remember.  First thing is that you need to put regular quotes around the phrase you are searching and no space between the colon and the file type after it.  You could also search for graphics using, "jpg" extension; however, it is better to use the Google image search for that.  Other extensions you may search for are Word files (doc and docx), Excel (xls and xlsx), Portable Document Format (pdf), PowerPoint as stated previously (ppt), Text (txt), Open Document Format (odf) and many more from various programs.  

What can you do if you remember reading an article on a site in the past and need to "refind" that article?  Google allows you to search a site for keywords.  For instance you remember an app I wrote about called "Ninite" and want to find it.  You could go directly to my site and search for it or you could go to Google.  In Google type, "ninite site: www.doubleclicks.info" search and you will find several times I have mentioned it online.  Capitalization does not matter; however, spacing is very important.  You must have a space between the term you are searching for and after the colon or you search may fail. 

Two last items are more of a set up and not a trick.  First, if you like the "I’m Feeling Lucky" link in Google and now it is gone most likely you have somehow turned on "Instant predictions."  To go back to the "old" way go to Google.com page, look in the lower right corner and click, "Settings," "Search settings." Finally under "Google Instant predictions" click the "Never show instant results" button.  While there you can also try, "Advanced search."

Try searching with your voice if you have not before.  From Google.com click the gray microphone to the right of the search box.  You will see when it is ready, then just talk away.  This will only work if you have a mic on your computer and it is on/working.

January 7, 2014

2013 Sites in Review, Part 1

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year since we last talked.  I wanted to say, "Thanks!" to all of you readers who support the "Double Click" column by reading and writing over the past 12 years.  It is very much appreciated.  Please keep it up.  I always enjoy hearing from you.

It is the time of year when I review all of the sites mentioned during the previous year.  As always, have fun remembering, discovering, or rediscovering all the info! 

If the site addresses are too long to type I have shortened them using "bit.ly" for print, so the links may not look quite right.  Without further ado…here they are in their order of appearance with short descriptions of each.

  • Online music streaming sites;  "Slacker Radio" (slacker.com), "Spotify" (spotify.com), "Maestro" (maestro.fm), Last.fm and the one I like best…Pandora (pandora.com).   These are accounts for listening to most any type of music imaginable. 
  • Google Musicmusic.google.com.   Google’s music site is similar to above; however, you can also upload up to 20,000 of your own songs and listen to them online from any device.
  • Daily News-RecordDNROnline.com.  My flagship newspaper, read it often! 
  • Double Clicksdoubleclicks.info.  This column’s site, read it often, too!
  • Portable Appsportableapps.com.  A site where you can get apps that are… well, that’s obvious.  
  • Microsoft Officebit.ly/1kJ3oK4.  You know this one, "The" most popular office suite of programs.
  • Libre Officelibreoffice.org.  One of the two most popular free office suites.
  • Solutosoluto.com.  One of many ways to speed up your computer and keep all of your applications up to date, not just the Microsoft ones. 
  • Lynda.com. A paid online training site for many different applications used today.
  • Microsoft Office Trainingbit.ly/1cBOoM9.  Good free office training.
  • YouTube.com – among millions of other videos you can find excellent Office training videos created by people like you and me.
  • Google.com – the most popular search engine.
  • Gmailgmail.com.  Google’s branded email.
  • A Toy Train in Spacebit.ly/1bHdbc3.  A dad uses a Raspberry Pi computer to take his son’s toy train into space and return with some great video of the ride.
  • Newsblur.com, Feedly.com, TheOldReader.com, Pulse.me and Flipboard.com.  Several of the many popular RSS feed readers to replace the dead and gone Google Reader.  They vary for mobile platforms and web viewing.

Well that takes us through the middle of 2013.  Check out part two of the year in review next week.

February 19, 2013

Program Installations with a Twist, Part 1

This column was brought about by a group of us geeks discussing the current Windows operating systems.  Of course, this included the Windows Registry and the way applications are now installed on a Windows based computer.  Basically there was a consensus that we would like to do away with the registry and the way applications are set up.

Windows RegistryFirst, we need a very simple definition of the registry.  The registry is a component of Windows which sets up all hardware, software, and any attached devices in a large database with information about each of those items.  Basically, the registry contains settings for everything on and in your computer.  When you open an application the registry is pinged and all the data pertaining to that app is loaded into the program to help it run quicker and be more stable than in the past. 

Now let’s talk about installations of today’s applications.  Back in the day, a program installed all of its related elements into one folder.  For instance, if you installed a program named, "Double Click anagrams" it would be installed in a folder named something like, "DCAna."  Then when you wanted to delete the program from your computer all you had to do was delete that specific folder and you were done.

Today when you install a program, most often it will install many files for that application in one folder. (C:\Program Files\Program Name) makes some additions to the registry, then adds configuration files, DLL files and other library files all over your hard drive.  When you uninstall these applications using the Windows 7, "Programs and Features" module it attempts to uninstall all of them, but unfortunately sometimes misses some of them.  This creates a problem I had not heard of before but was informed about, "cruft." Crufts are the junk files left behind when an install is not totally successful.   

I think it could be nice to go back to the old days and take the easy way out to delete applications…completely and cleanly. 

In steps, "Portable Applications." I wrote about them over three years ago coming from a different angle.   

Sometimes today when you install a new program, usually one you download, you may have the option of installing it normally or in a portable version.  If you choose to install it as a portable version or get a program specifically designed to be a portable application, you can defeat the "cruft-monster."

Portable apps are entirely autonomous. When you install them, you pick one folder where you want it installed.  Once installed in that location you will find that program and all of its related files in that one, and ONLY ONE folder.  It puts absolutely no files anywhere else on your system and it runs as well as the original file which installed everywhere on your system.  They are completely self-contained which means that 1: you can move the folder to any other location on your computer or copy it to another computer and it works and 2: if you do not like the program, you can delete the folder it is in and it is gone…totally.

We will talk more about portable applications next week.

February 15, 2011

Power of the Broom, Part 4

I

did not think we would be talking about Ubuntu for yet another week but here we are. I suppose this will be the last one but you folks are the drivers, I am just the tour guide. Keep those emails coming!

Several readers have been reading about Ubuntu and doing some studying. Great job! They have read about being able to install Ubuntu on a USB Thumb Drive and run the system from that drive. Roger wanted to know how it worked and asked if it would be worth getting a thumb drive to try.

imageFirst off, I could not survive in the IT/Tech world without a good portable drive so yes, get one. I have seen them online for about $20 for a 16 GB drive. To give you an idea, the first one I bought years ago was $40 for 512 MB so you currently get much more storage for half the price.

Next, there is a program available for Pen Drives, (same thing- different wording) that says it will enable you to install any Linux operating system on a pen/thumb drive. You are supposed to be able to fully run the “portable” operating system off of the drive, even without a hard drive.

Not to be a party-pooper but I tried installing two different Linux systems on my thumb drive twice and they both failed to function as advertised. I also tried them on different computers and neither would work. Both had different errors. Could it have been my install, possibly? That could be the case, but twice in a row? Tom from Harrisonburg tried, too, and he was only successful when he installed the 64-bit version, which my computer can’t use. Hmm, this apparently needs more research and development.

Now how about booting Ubuntu from a CD? I have done this many times without any problems. So for a CD driven Operating System I say, “Success!” Keep in mind that you cannot write any data to the CD. This means that you will have to save any files you create to your hard drive or a thumb drive. Also, be forewarned, if you make any changes to the OS, like setting your homepage on the Ubuntu Firefox browser it will disappear the next time you start it up.

OK, I believe I am now finished with writing about Ubuntu for a while; however, I will continue using it on my notebook.

SNAGHTML5fafb0One final thought. I have had many readers over the years ask me to create some training videos. I have always put it off with, “Good idea, I will do that one day.” Well that day arrived. I have added a couple of simple, “How to” videos on YouTube. Go to “youtube.com/user/dblclx” and let me know what you think. These are just experimental at this point as I am still learning how it is done.

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