Tips

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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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.

I have just installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

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It all started after I successfully installed Ubuntu on a XP laptop; it’s cd/dvd player didn’t work and because of the way Ubuntu installs (from boot up) I couldn’t use an external dvd player; but had to make a bootable flash drive and tell Ubuntu help me installing (this meant that Ubuntu created a dos bat file telling where the software could be found). After that I could perform a total installation.

So being rather of an inquisitive nature, I just had to install Ubuntu onto one of my win7 learning pcs (it kindly comes with “Libra Office”, “Firefox” and much more software, that I still haven’t worked out how to use and access). I installed it as a dual-boot system; and found that Ubuntu is the controller of which environment to boot. There are 15 seconds to decide whether to boot Ubuntu or win7.

The choice is displayed on an Ubuntu coloured screen. Ubuntu is the norm and unless win7 is required this will be loaded; it’s a matter of moving the cursor down to win7 & hit the [enter] key to load windows. Loading Ubuntu is way faster than loading win7.

I have managed to change the normal background to something gray and easy to look at. I have also managed to look at and use documents from my windows directory. That was easier than I had anticipated.

It was so easy to install my Wi-Fi Canon printer, way easier than onto a win7 pc

All I needed to do to access to my Dropbox was a quick installation and all my files are now available in Ubuntu. The same applied for Twitter; it was so easy and quick.

 

How to revive an old XP-PC to a useful PC

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First you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it – for instance:

  1. has it got enough memory (2gb or more)
  2. is the processor good enough (2mhz or better)
  3. is there 6gb or more free disk space on your hard drive

If you answered “Yes” to all the above questions you can then safely install Ubuntu (Linux) onto your PC/Laptop.

You can install it either as the ONLY operating system on your PC or change your PC to become a dual boot system; where you have to answer (at boot time) which system to use (a Ubuntu screen where both Ubuntu and Windows are the choices).

By using dual boot you can then when you need to re-boot and use Windows for example for your scanner – that is – if you can’t find the Linux driver for it.

Linux Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS will automatically install:

  1. Rhythmbox – Music Player
  2. Shotwell – Photo Manager
  3. GIMP – Image Editor
  4. PiTiVi – Video Editor
  5. FireFox – Web Browser
  6. Thunderbird – Email reader
  7. LibraOffice – similar to OpenOffice Word, Excel, PowerPoint …

Ubuntu offers thousands of apps available for download from the software center. Most are available for free and can be installed with just a few clicks.