DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

June 2, 2015

My Chrome Extensions

I have spoken about my favorite current browser before: Google Chrome.  It is still my number one.  I get questions about Chrome Extensions often.  First is usually, "What extensions are available for Chrome?" followed by, "Which ones do you use?" 

An extension is an addition to a browser which gives it more functionality to perform other tasks.  The word extension may be referred to as a plug-in, add-in or add-on, etcetera, depending on the browser you are referring to.   Microsoft has even called them, "helper objects."

The first question cannot really be answered since there are millions of them doing millions of different things.  Some useful – some playful.  Here is a list of the ones I use most often, with a short description of each.  To find new extensions open your Chrome browser and type, "bit.ly/1GX925C" (shortened link with Caps.)  Next on the upper left of the Chrome Web Store that opens, type the extensions in the "Search the store" box and press Enter.  Be sure to spell them as I did in quotes below.

"Chrome Remote Desktop" is a great extension which allows you to log into your computers, if you have more than one or to log onto another person’s computer to help them, if they allow it.

Chrome Remote Desktop

"Clearly" is another good one which basically takes a webpage and removes all the graphics. It makes it much easier to read page information without being distracted by ads and graphics when you do not need them. 

Clearly by Evenote

"Google Cast" is used to cast, or broadcast your browser screen to your TV if you have a Chromecast device on your TV.  That way if you can watch something in your browser you can also easily watch it on TV.

Google Cast

"Google Keep" is my favorite note taking online app, and gives you direct access to your Keep notes.

Google Keep

"IE Tab" allows specific sites you enter in IE Tab to only open in Microsoft Internet Explorer windows.  Some sites are only viewable in MSIE (mostly work oriented) so this extension allows you to make sure you see those pages without having to open MSIE. 

IE Tab 

"Office Apps" Google Docs is a great natural for Chrome (both owned by Google) but people use MS Office.  Office Apps gives you free Office online and you can save regular office files to Microsoft’s "One Drive."

Office Apps

"Spell Checker for Chrome" is a spell checker for your browser.  If you are posting to Facebook, Twitter or typing on any web page, this will help you correct it with suggestions just like your word processor.  It says it supports 12 languages but I have no idea since I only almost speak one fluently. 

Spell Checker

"Weather" (Weather Unground or Wunderground) gives you a small icon at the top of the browser showing you the temp with a picture of what it is like outside.  Click it once and you get details for several days.  Click a day and get more detail. 

image

February 25, 2014

October 22, 2013

Get Help, Windows Remote Assistance

After the column last week about "Problem Steps Recorder" Andy emailed from Waynesboro, VA and asked an interesting question. 

He was wondering if there is a program that allows him to give a "fix it" person access to his computer to repair it from long-distance.  He had heard of large computer manufacturers logging into home computers to fix problems on computers they had sold.  Could he allow one of his more knowledgeable friends to log onto his computer to do the same thing?

Remote AssistanceWell sure, Andy, you can.  There are maybe two million ways of doing so.  I have a couple I recommend over the others.  Here are my favorites.  

The first one, already built into your computer by Microsoft, is known as, "Windows Remote Assistance."  This works very well and may bring your search to a close.  But read on. 

Easy ConnectFor WRA if both of you are using Windows 7 you can use, "Easy Connect."  To get there click your Windows start button, then type "Remote Assistance."  Now click on, "Invite someone you trust" then finally, "Use Easy Connect."  After it checks your network to make sure you have enough speed to share your screen it will give you a password.  The other person starts up Remote Assistance on their computer and clicks on, "Help someone who has invited you."  After it starts on their side give them the password.  Usually at this point you are on the phone with them so you can read it.  Do not fret, after you close this session of Easy Connect on your computer a new password would be needed to log on.  So you are immediately protected once you close the program.  

They will now be able to see your computer and guide you through your troubles.  You can also allow them to run your computer from their location by clicking, "Would you like to allow PERSON’S NAME to share control of your desktop?" 

Make sure they can see what you want them to see.  Remember they can see your windows screens so close other apps if you do not want them to see them.  If you suspect them of doing something evil (like looking for passwords, etc.) you can shut them down.  Chose, "Stop Sharing" or just close the applications window.

If you and the "helper" are using different versions of Windows you only need to do a couple of things differently.  So try this.

Use the same sequence you did originally by going to Start, Remote Assistance, Windows Remote Assistance but this time chose either, "Invite someone to help you" or "Save this invitation as a file."  I recommend the first over the second just for ease of use.  Finally click, "Use email to send an invitation."  Fill in their email address and send that info to them.  When they receive the email it explains what to do with a link to click.  Once the link is clicked they follow the instructions in the file and gain access to your system.

Next, week I will give you my absolute favorite way to connect.  The reason I value it is that you can help Mac, Windows or even Linux computer users – regardless of versions.

November 27, 2012

Join Me

Several weeks ago I was technologically surprised by a non-geek.  Over the phone, a good friend of mine and I were discussing a problem with his home PC.  For some strange reason he could not get a particular Microsoft Excel formula to work properly. 

At work I use an application that must first be installed on our work computers and allows IT people to take a look at the other computer while the person shows us what is wrong.  Another geek way to access a computer is built into MS Windows called "Remote Desktop Protocol." However RDP only allows the person logging into the computer to see the screen. This makes it useless in helping to solve problems.  I suggested to Steve that he install a program I use on a regular basis, "Team Viewer."  I have written about that previously. 

Steve said, "Why don’t you just use "Join me?"  Since I am the uber-geek I responded with, "Huh?"  Steve said that "Join.me" is a very quick remote connection he has used before when showing his kids something on their computers while he was out of town.  Since I always like to learn new things, I asked for a demo.

There are many programs which do pretty much the same thing.  Some of the more popular "remote computer access" applications are "DameWare," "Go to Assist," "PC Anywhere," "LogMeIn" and many, many others.  Some of these charge for their services and others are free. 

When Steve showed me how easily and flawlessly "Join.me" works I decided to give it a try. 

First, if you are the person who needs someone to log onto your computer and take a look, open your browser and type in "Join.me" in the address bar.  It will automatically add "https://" and take you to the site.

image

Now, if this is the first time you have used it go to "Share," "Basic" and the large orange arrow button.  This will start downloading the small executable file to your computer.  Once the download has finished, find the file and double click it to start "Join.me."

Once installed and running you can click the "Share" button and a nine digit code will be generated for you.  It will show something similar to, "join.me/123-456-789." The nine digit number varies each time you use it.  All you have to do now is give the number to the person you want to invite to your computer.

image

They go to "https://join.me,” add the code to the "Join" text box and click the green arrow.  They will go to your machine and you can both see what is going on with your computer.  Do not worry about anyone else using the code.  Once you end the session and close "Join.me" someone else would need a new code, generated only by you, to get into your computer.

It includes many other neat features such as allowing the people you invite to have voice chats over the Internet using their free VOIP, text chat between all the members in the meeting, transferring files to each other and more. 

There you go. Next time you have to give or receive help on your computer I hope you remember to give "Join.me" a try.  This is another free application provided by "LogMeIn.com." Keep in mind there is a "pro" version which offers more.

January 12, 2010

2009 Links in Review, Part 2

Today we get to see part two of the 2009, Double Click review.  Sit back, relax and browse the web for the sites that interest you.  As always, if you prefer clicking to typing please visit the DoubleClicks.info site and read the column later the same day it is published in the paper and actually click the links.

Here they are in their order of their appearance with short descriptions if needed.

  • WalMart.com and Costco.com, these need no explanation; although, I wrote about their specific ability to print your vacation photos online.
  • Picnik.com, an online photo editing program.
  • Picasa, a site where you can download a photo organizational tool to edit and store digital pictures but you can also upload them to Picasa online to create photo albums.  (Our vacation photos shortened, http://bit.ly/lJgaF)
  • Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows, an excellent blog about MS Windows products.
  • MSNBC news & information site
  • CrossWalk, a Christian study, blog, information site, etc.
  • RonDoyle.wordpress.com, my boring blog which is pretty much in no way related to my columns.
  • WordPress.com & WordPress.org, two sites for creating your own blog (There are differences between the two.)
  • Hulu.com, an online site where you can view movies and many current TV shows for free.
  • Firefox (mozilla.com), today’s best internet browser (in my opinion).
  • Microsoft Office 2007 discount (TheUltimateSteal.com), the entire MS Office program for students at a much discounted price of $59.95 (as of the date I wrote this…it may not last long).
  • Bing.com, Microsoft’s new online search engine.
  • Google Earth, a great mapping application.
  • MMTaskbar, extend your task bar across multiple monitors.
  • Desk Drive, allows a desktop icon to appear when you plug in an external drive, including thumb drives.
  • MS Live Workspace & Google Docs, two similar but different free online file storage sites.
  • Google Chrome, Google’s internet browser.
  • Evony, free online role playing game.
  • Gutenberg.org, Audible.com & Podiobooks.com, three online books sites which have text and/or audio books for free and/or a price.
  • Medicalert.org.
  • Go to My PC, a site that allows you to login to your home/work computer from another location.
  • Team Viewer, similar to above but free and not as stable.

I hope you have found the two "Year in Review" columns helpful!  Don’t forget to keep those emails coming in 2010.

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