DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

February 18, 2014

Printing from the Cloud, Part 1

Several weeks ago after a column about Google Chromebooks, I received a great question from a reader and friend of mine, Joe. Joe asked about how he could set up Google Cloud Printer on his Chromebook.  After I researched and set it up I started receiving many other emails concerning the same question, so here we go.

If you have heard about it before, Google’s "Cloud Print" feature sounds great.  It will allow you to print documents to any printer having cloud print set up from anywhere in the world.

Image from Google.comThis is really convenient.  There are several things you must have to do this.  First, you must have a Google/Gmail account.  Next, a computer that is online and physically connected to the destination printer; obviously, they must work together at that location.  Also, for this to work both the destination computer and printer must be on, or you cannot print to them.  The reason for this is that you will actually be sending the file you want to print from your computer to the computer in another location which is connected to the printer, so they must be on and working.  All of this is accomplished through Google Chrome browser on both devices. 

The Google Chrome browser, "Chrome" has to be installed on both computers (the one you are printing from and the one connected to the printer). 

You must start the setup process from the computer which is physically connected to the printer, your destination device.  The first step is to open your Chrome browser, click the small wrench in the upper right-hand corner, (it could also be a small box with horizontal lines) click on Settings and then again on Settings located in the left navigation area of Chrome.

Scroll down to the bottom and click "Show advanced settings…"  Move down that screen until you see "Google Cloud Print."  You could click on "Learn more" for help from Google or read on.  Click the "Manage" button and then "Add printers."  You may need to sign into your Google account, if you have not already been in your Gmail, etc.  You will see a list of printers connected to that computer, click the checkbox for the printer and click "Add Printer."   You will now have a Manage Printer button, click it to see that your printer has been added.  Now that printer will be available on any computer on which you are running the Chrome browser and have logged in with your Google account.

You are now in the Caribbean with your notebook computer or Android tablet.  You want to print your memoirs to your home computer.  Click the Print button in your writing program, Word or Libre Office, or even a webpage.  You must be logged onto your Google account and have Chrome installed.  Next, you will change to the Google Printer previously setup by you at home and hit the print button.  When you get back home your documents will be waiting for you.

But wait, that is not the entire story…tune in next week for a better idea.

October 29, 2013

Get Help, Join Me

Last week we looked at "Windows Remote Assistance" to see how you could give or receive help with your computer issues.  It works well but as I said there are drawbacks in that you need to be going from a Windows to a Windows computer and could not link with a Mac or Ubuntu (Linux) system.  Today we will look at "Join Me."

There are many programs which do pretty much the same thing.  Some of the more popular applications are "DameWare," "Go to Assist," "PC Anywhere," "LogMeIn" (the parent company of Join.me) and many, many others.  Some of these charge (a lot compared to free) for their services and others are free.  However, I do not believe any are as easy as Join.Me. 

First, the person who needs someone to log onto their computer for help needs to start the process.  It is easy since all you do is open your browser and type in "Join.me" in the address bar.  It will automatically add "https://" (the "s" means a Secure site) and take you to the site.

join.meNow, if this is the first time you have used it go to "Share," "Basic" and click 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."  Your browser may also choose to "Run" the file if your browser allows it which is fine. 

 

join.meOnce 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/252-743-655." The nine digit number varies each time you use it.  Now give the helping person the nine digit number or email them the generated link.

If you email them the link they can click the link in the email and be instantly logged onto your desktop.  If you read them the number, via phone as most often happens, they log into Join.me just as you did.  But this time they choose the "Join" the meeting after they add the nine digits.  They finally click the green arrow and they are in.  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.

You have full control and the "helper" can only view your computer unless you allow them further access.  If you wish to give them permission to actually "drive" your computer go to the meeting tools (pointer) button and click, "share mouse control."  When they are finished take it back.  Easy.

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 are always updates and changes to this and every other app.  They recently added a couple you may find helpful…if you are a helper.  If you have an Android phone/tablet or an iPhone/iPad you can only view someone’s computer from them.  You cannot share your screen to get help.  It also depends on which version of either OS you have.  For Apple products it must be the latest version and depending on what you need to do it could cost you.  For Android, free…ah, my favorite word.

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.

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