DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

January 12, 2016

2015 Sites in Review, Part 2

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:21 am

If you have been keeping up you know that last week we looked at all the sites I wrote about for the first half of 2015.  Today we continue by starting with July. 

Thanks for the many emails I received about the article and please keep them coming.  Enjoy!

  • VLC Player, rd.dblclx.com/1LTJDOH – in my opinion this is one of the best video and audio players available. It plays any version of video and audio with no issues.
  • 8GadgetPack, 8gadgetpack.net – if you miss the old Windows gadgets like time, stock prices, etc. on your desktop this brings back these features and more. 
  • Dropbox, rd.dblclx.com/use-Dropbox and Copy.com, rd.dblclx.com/freeCopy – again, in my opinion some of the best free "cloud" storage available (use the links above and get some extra space).
  • CCleaner & Defraggler, piriform.com – two of my must have utilities for a windows PC one cleans old files and junk files the other is a better "defragger" application that the one that comes with Windows.
  • Malwarebytes, malwarebytes.org – great app that fights to protect your computer.
  • FileHippo App Manager, filehippo.com – this app updates many of your applications to make sure you have the latest secure versions.
  • 7-Zip, 7-zip.org – a good zipping application used to unzip downloaded files and also zip your files to save storage and password protect them if needed.  
  • Thunderbird, rd.dblclx.com/1ejd3ax – an email application where you can use multiple email accounts all in one organized place.
  • Microsoft.com – everything Microsoft.
  • Cortana, rd.dblclx.com/cortana-faq – many questions answered about the new Windows 10 search/voice interface.
  • Wi-Fi Sense, rd.dblclx.com/wifi-sense – Wi Fi Sense automatically connects you to Wi Fi, so you can get online quickly in more places.   However, it may have some drawbacks, check this FAQ for details.
  • Start Menu 8, rd.dblclx.com/1LShmDO – put the Windows 7 start menu back on Windows 8.1 and 10; however, for W10 I stick with its default menu and it works well. 
  • Google Products, rd.dblclx.com/1ReLX2G – a listing of all current and deceased Google products, some I really miss.
  • Calendar Sync +, rd.dblclx.com/22TOsim – an excellent replacement for Google Calendar Sync that many of the Double Click readers really miss.
  • Karenware Replicator, rd.dblclx.com/KWReplicator – an excellent manual backup application.  You simply choose the files you want to backup and where you want them placed and let it run.
  • Kmashi 15000mAh, rd.dblclx.com/1PG9nRf – an exceptional external battery power supply which when fully charged can then recharge your phones, tablets or any other device to full power.  I have had it charge over five devices on one charge. 

And there is the list of sites we visited in 2015. 

Please keep all of those emails coming.  I enjoy helping you with computer problems and also appreciate your suggestions for new columns.  Have a great 2016!

January 14, 2014

2013 Sites in Review, Part 2

This week I will continue with the second half of the links we talked about last year at DoubleClicks.info.

Remember, if the site addresses are too long to type I have shortened them with bit.ly.  Here they are in their order of appearance with short descriptions of each.

  • Dropboxbit.ly/aszzao.   A very good cloud storage app.  Use the supplied link to sign up and get more space.
  • Kill Diskkilldisk.com.  This application will totally wipe your drive clean so that it is almost impossible to retrieve deleted data.
  • Nexus 7 2013bit.ly/1esugJz.  My current favorite Android tablet. 
  • Hulu.com and Hulu.com/plus.  The very popular free and paid TV movie streaming apps. 
  • Google Musicplay.google.com/music.  Google’s free/paid (depending on what you want) music streaming plus you can upload your own music to it and listen anywhere you have internet connectivity.
  • BGCallwww.vieas.com/en.  A wallpaper changer which was less than adequate at the time I wrote about it.
  • Google Keepgoogle.com/keep.  A very good note taking app where you can add pictures, lists, texts and be alerted by them using the time or location of your mobile device.  I just hope Google does keep this one.
  • Recuvapiriform.com/recuva.  Did you accidentally empty the Recycle Bin and need a file back?  If so try this app which is one of the better ones for recovering deleted files.
  • Facebook.com and Twitter.com.  Two popular social web sites.
  • PayPal.com. A safe place to pay for online purchases.
  • Device ManagerAndroid.com/devicemanager.  How to locate, send an alert or wipe your data from your Android device(s).
  • Ubuntuubuntu.com.  Operating system which operates as well as Windows; however, this one is free. 
  • Join Mejoin.me.  A free application for individuals, which will allow you to log onto someone else’s computer, while they are there.  Great to use for helping and training.
  • Should I Remove Itshouldiremoveit.com.  A free app that will locate and remove unwanted programs including adware, toolbars, bloat-ware, crap-ware and other junk.
  • AniPet Aquariumbit.ly/anifree. A nice live wallpaper for Android devices. Also similar for Windows and OSX is Serene Screen at serenescreen.com. 
  • Glympseglympse.com and Waze.com.  A good and much better GPS navigation app for your mobile devices. 
  • Chromegoogle.com/chrome, Firefoxfirefox.com, Internet Explorer – search at Microsoft.com, Operaopera.com and Safariapple.com/safari.  The five most popular web browsers.
  • OpenOffice (openoffice.org) and LibreOffice (libreoffice.org) are two similar but excellent free replacements for Microsoft Office. 

I look forward to continuing the discussions about software, computers, the internet and all sorts of technology this year.  I hope that you, your families and friends have a great 2013 and continue to join me in the newspaper, on the radio and on the web! 

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.

March 2, 2013

Logitech M310 Wireless Mouse

FACTS:
  • I have owned approximately 7-8 wireless mice over the years, including ones for my wife.  
  • I am currently using the Logitech M310 on my Latitude D620 notebook.
    • I have used it extensively for about two years.
  • I bought it to replace a worn out Microsoft  Wireless 3000, with the big USB receiver shown below in black & white.
  • User Manual.

PICS:

Logitech M310 & USB Plug Logitech M310 bottom open   Microsoft 3000 Wireless Mouse


DESCRIPTION:
  • Starting at the top the first thing you notice is the small receiver which I prefer much more than the older MS mouse…for very obvious reasons. 
  • The M310 is for lefties or righties so if you use either hand or are ambidextrous you are covered. 
  • They come in multiple colors of which mine is blue.
  • The left and right buttons large and have a division down the middle but no back slot since they are flexible and seem to be solidity built.
  • On the bottom you can see that there are the standard drag-pads as with most modern wireless mice.
  • An “On-Off” slider switch.
  • The “Invisible Optic” port that takes the place of the old mouse ball.
  • The battery compartment is opened by pushing and sliding the cover out of the way.
  • One AA battery powers the mouse.
  • A space is provided to store the USB receiver when needed.

PERSONAL OPINION:

Per the list above, you may not care to but I leave the USB receiver in one of my USB ports 24/7/365 with never an issue…other than taking up a port.  I have four ports on this computer so it really has never created a problem for me.

The shape is fine, pretty standard other than the left or right design.  I have issues with carpel tunnel syndrome from time-to-time and this does not bother that any more or less than other mice…I wish there was one that was an anti-CT version (fantasy).

The buttons work well, easy to click but firm.  I have read one review where the person got a little into saying that they were too easy to click.  I think they may just have had very heavy fingers.  As with most the scroll-wheel also allows push click for other uses.  I never change mine from the default so I cannot comment about other uses.

The “On-Off” switch works easily and never by accident.  There is a sleep mode to conserver battery life.  When it has not been used for a period of time the mouse/battery shutdown.  However, I have to say that I have rarely forgotten to turn the mouse off after I use it.  I am not that smart just hyper about batteries.  I would figure that the sleep-mode works but how would you know for sure.  I have never noticed a lag as if it were waking from sleep, so no complaints there.

The battery life on mine is excellent and in the two years I have used it I have replaced the battery once.  I do not use it everyday but I would bet I use it about as much as the average user.


PRICES:

These mice are currently listed on Logitech’s site at $29.99; however, I got mine much less than that when it was on sale at the local Target store.  Look around and see if you are interested. 

I always suggest you look in your local “brick & mortar” stores and buy there to help your local community.  You can sometimes find good deals online too.  Just do not forget to include the cost of shipping and handling.


RATING:

I would rate it an 8.5 out of 10 as it is a good mouse that does exactly what it should.  For me it has performed better than expected.  I always expect some problems or design flaws but this one really works for me. 

I would like to see it improved by having a more positive sleep mode so that you really “know” that your battery is being saved.  Yes, I know this may be a weird issue, but guess I am just an inquiring mind.

Any thoughts?

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