Christmas Greetings 2016

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I wish all my friends and followers
a Merry Christmas
and a prosperous New Year.

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Google is following Microsoft’s example

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I feel like swearing!!!
Google has changed its programs/apps so that they now only work to their full extent when used through Google Chrome.

clip_image002 To use voice commands (providing you have a microphone attached to your PC) in searches; click on the microphone icon and the speak something like: “how to use Google chrome”
clip_image004 In Translate, first click on the language tab, this will make the microphone symbol visible,
then click on the microphone and start talking; another little boxed symbol opens and blinks at you, as long as this is there you are being recorded – click the red speaker and your recording stops.
clip_image006

This is a great tool if you don’t know how to spell something and the spell checker will not give you the answer when you, like me, have used too many wrong letters and your spell checker can’t guess what you are saying eg: “foring” “foreign” .

This is also a great tool to communicate in foreign languages. I use it regularly to communicate with my a Polish cleaning lady, as I don’t speak a lot of Polish.

My pc-muse never arrived

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My pc-muse never visited me for the first U3A meeting after the summer break; but I managed to talk about emails and virus “pass-on” when replying, thanks to one member sending in a question about it.

This led to talking about Office Outlook 2010 and Microsoft forcing users to change to MS-Exchange Server. By telling them about my experiences, I touched on a couple of features in Outlook 2010 that the members were not aware of: Filters, Task, Appointments and recurrence. This will now become a topic for the next U3A meeting.

I also talked about backup; because I was annoyed that some backup programs don’t warn the user NOT to backup onto the same device where the data is held. This led to questions about how to backup Outlook 2010 and a physical demo of said as a topic for the next meeting.

When I was talking about my email system I demonstrated the way I had managed to move my system from Outlook 2010 to Mozilla Thunderbird; and vaguely touched on the difficulties of syncing the calendar from my PC to my mobile phone and tablet. Some members were interested in Thunderbird; like how to get started, download, install, and setup the email accounts. So here is another topic for a later U3A meeting.

I can’t remember how it came about; but somehow we managed to talk about OCR and I stated that most three-in-one printers came with some sort of OCR software; most members were not aware of this; so I requested they send me the name of their printer and I would check their software packages. This will become a short topic for another U3A meeting.

While talking OCR I also mentioned that the software I am using (OmniPage Pro) will let me open a picture of text, scan it and create text that can be imported into Word or Excel. This is quite a snazzy feature but I think one has to pay for that feature.

Somewhere along the many thoughts that were flying about we also spoke about using “Google Translate” to capture speech and convert it into text for Word. I tried it on the laptop but the microphone wasn’t available. Why? Because some laptops don’t have microphones installed. But if you add an external microphone to the laptop; Google Translate will display the mic-symbol.

I promised that I would find some Win10 problems pages:
First something positive about Win10: http://windows.about.com/

http://betanews.com/2016/04/25/windows-10-update-problems/

How to Fix Problems Caused by Windows Updates (Updated September 08, 2016)
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/system-security/a/fix-problems-caused-by-windows-updates.htm

How to Prevent Windows Updates From Crashing Your PC (Updated November 19, 2015)
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/system-security/a/prevent-windows-update-problems.htm

Windows 10 Update Fail (Updated August 20, 2015)
http://windows.about.com/od/securityprivacy/fl/Windows-10-Update-Fail.htm

 

Summer is over

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Back to reality. Get into work mode!
Start thinking of what to present to the U3A computer group that meets the second and fourth Thursday of the month.
The first meeting after the summer break is tomorrow, and I don’t yet know what to talk about.
Hopefully my pc-muse will come visiting before tomorrow.

Backup your system to your desktop, is not a good idea

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I have just spent 2½ hours cleaning a Win7 system that had run out of space.

My first thought was to back-up all the photos from the pc onto DVDs – yes I did need 2 DVDs there were 8.3 GB of photos; and once finished I found a handful of more photos but I left them on the PC – only about 1 GB.

I checked and I checked, but just couldn’t find 65 GB of data. I started to check installed programs and looking at the desktop to find and remove old installation programs. Lo and behold I found the offending file on the desktop.

The clever user had used his desktop as his backup media – because that wasn’t in his documents! – Hmmm – so if the hard disk crashes he could recover his data??? NO, NO I THINK NOT!

So with a 160Gb HDD and used approx. 85Gb for system, programs, Temp files & Recovery files – adding 65Gb and 10Gb swap file space – OOPS there is NO more space left to do anything! Clever – hum – NOT! I also think this is the 2nd time I have had this PC back for the same problem! Swear. #!$**##

I moved the backup to an 80 GB external HDD, ran CCleaner, and ADWcleaner and the system is happy.

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Microsoft Exchange Server in Outlook 2010

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I noticed that I was receiving email on my mobile that I wasn’t receiving on my desktop through Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 Pro. The last mail I had received was on the 9th of July. I searched high and low (for 2-3 days) and couldn’t find the reason why. There just wasn’t any useful explanation on why outlook.com emails weren’t received in Outlook 2010.

I remembered some Microsoft emails way back in Feb. / Mar that was talking about not receiving emails after their server upgrade. This email stated that I delete the existing IMAP account and create a new Microsoft exchange account. That sounded easy enough. What I didn’t do was to back up the old system and that’s where all my problems started.

I had a beautiful automated system that worked with three POP3/SMTP accounts all embedded into one primary, plus five separate IMAP (one hotmail.com, one live.co.uk, two outlook.com and one gmail.com) accounts. The whole email system was controlled by approximately 360 rules that would move my emails into relevant folders depending on contents and where they came from.

I also had a fantastic task setup that would automatically create a new task when completing the old one.

This is what happened when I changed the first of the four Microsoft accounts to “Microsoft exchange server” my system was destroyed! The reconfiguring of that account merged itself into my primary account with the other POP3/SMTP accounts.

I could NOT uninstall it without uninstalling the perfectly good POP3 accounts. Not only did it not want to be uninstalled it also became the master of the group, and because it didn’t have any rules and tasks, guess what; I lost the work I had created over the years, no rule, and no tasks. What a mess! Thank you Microsoft another brilliant software manipulation! I also lost the use of my shared linked Hotmail calendar (again).

As you can see I have had a brilliant week trying to solve problems introduced by Microsoft converting (forcing) everybody to use Office365.

NO, NO, NO I am not going there! There is harvesting, and there is harvesting of user data; but sorry not with me!

So what was the solution with Outlook 2010? I have recreated everything (I hope) in Mozilla Thunderbird. The only outstanding topic is my tasks. I must admit that the task handling in Outlook 2010 was quite brilliant.

Again the calendar was a little tricky to get working as Microsoft doesn’t permit Thunderbird to sync both ways with their calendar; but they do let Google sync both ways (I think but it doesn’t seem to work anymore), so I loaded Google calendar with my Microsoft online calendar; then I loaded Thunderbird with “Provider for Google Calendar add-on” and imported the Google calendar – without any problems and now I can update my Microsoft calendar from my desktop, my mobile and my tablet. Brilliant!

Scan (using Canon EX) and create a JPG file

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Today a friend of mine wanted to scan in a picture to publish it onto Facebook.
The all-in-one scanner-printer used was a Canon MG2100.
As each of the “Canon Solution Menu EX” works slightly different so I had to listen to what they were doing at the other end of the phone and hope that I could talk them through some sort of solution (without having the User Guide).

  1. We managed to scan using “auto scan”
  2. Then I was told that there was only a “Save as PDF” available
    (not quite correct but as always – we only see what we want to see)
  3. So we saved the scan as PDF – oops where did it get saved to?
  4. My instructions were:
    • click the Windows (Start) icon ->
    • click “Recent Items” on the left ->
    • find and click on the “just-saved-PDF-file”.
  5. So now we have the file open – what next?
    • Use the “Snipping Tool”
      – (which can be found by click the Windows (Start) icon ->
    • Click “All Programs” ->
    • find and click “Accessories” ->
    • and approximately in the middle of that list select and click “Snipping Tool”).
  6. When started it automatically is ready to snipe i.e. what you had on the screen is slightly greyed out
    • so now it’s just a matter of selecting the area you want to snipe –
    • click top left and drag the courser to the down right end position –
    • let go of the mouse and your selection is now placed on the clipboard and visible in the “Snipping Tool” window.
  7. You can now either save the image directly from the “Snipping Tool” or paste it into any applications – like Word, eMail or an image manipulation program.

That’s it – I am not telling you how to post/publish on Facebook.

I downloaded the Canon MG2100 user manual and saw that we could have skipped the PDF file and the snipping, but as I like the “Snipping Tool” I am only glad to pass that information on as well.