Learning for 50+

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.

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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.

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.

Just another week as an IT-buddy

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My first student on Wednesday was a partial sighted young man who had problems with the settings on his laptop. Especially as he could/can only sit at the laptop for about an hour at the most. I was auto-upgraded to Win10; but it also had Office 2013 installed, and the poor lad was used to Office 2003. So I went through the settings of 2013 with him showing where it was and how to change things. Next time we will look at styles and how to create quick stiles, save them and re-use them when required. A very interesting session.

My next session was with an elderly lady who inherited a smart phone (a layoff from her son) she has been a couple of times and is very good at writing down all her questions; so we spend the time sorting out what she can’t do from the last session. This is such a nice non stressed and satisfying session.

On Wednesday my first (and theoretically only session) came with her laptop, she still has difficulties with Gmail she thinks she can’t write an email nor can she reply to one. So we spend the whole session going over “creating”, “replying” and checking her folders. I asked her to create an email to herself, and then to respond to said by replying. I also asked her to reply a second time to the same email and adding extra text on the subject line to indicate a change of heart.

I packed my thing and was ready to leave when Aggie asked if I could please help this lady who had some problems with her iPad. Of course I could and did. We didn’t finish in the hour that is allocated, so I said why don’t we finish at my workshop? And told her the cost. She agreed and that was it.

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Movie Maker by Microsoft

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Have you ever on your smart-phone or your camera shot a whole movie upside down or sideways?
When you look at it, at home on your PC, you could cry! What to do?  Bin it or try to recover it?
Don’t worry; Microsoft can help you here.  Download and install from the Microsoft download site: “Movie Maker”.
Read about it here.
For a Microsoft software it’s quite user-friendly, you can even publish direct to YouTube

Easy merge of PDF files

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I was scanning a booklet into PDF formatted files; but I really only  wanted one file and couldn’t remember how to make the scanner do the work.

So I looked around and found this easy and free software: PDFbinder (and downloaded it from CNET).
Wow it worked, it wasn’t intrusive to install, and it was quick; all I had to do was adding the files I wanted to merge; move them around into sequence and press “Bind” then tell it the new name and where to save it.

That was all. Great stuff.