Filed under: Alternate Cloud computing, Computer Help for Seniors | Tagged: alternatecloud.alternate cloud, computer help, gregory west, help, mac, ontario, pc, sarnia, seniors, tech help, tutorials, windows | Leave a Comment »
by Jacob Redding
Published by O’Reilly Media Inc
Pages: 480 Formats: ePub, Mobi
Price for eBook: $25.99
There is no question that Drupal web creation software has a steep learning curve. I personally can vouch for this statement. While in the very early days of learning Drupal I quickly came across a stumbling block where I found myself stuck. I could not create links to any of my webpages.
I have taken online Drupal courses, checked out YouTube video tutorials and I regularly visit the Drupal community and its forum for ideas and help. This time, even with the help on a fellow Drupal user in the forum, I came close to fixing my problem, however I just did not understand what it was the forum people were suggesting.
Armed with a bit on knowledge know, I opened up Redding’s “Beginning Drupal” book, went to the third and fifth chapters with the ease of keyboard click in this eBook and there it was…Step-by-step to get me back on track with my website using Drupal.
The book itself is very well laid out for beginners like me who know very little about Drupal software. The author explains this book is for “people who want a robust website and are not afraid to get their hands dirty.” The book begins with a history and full explanation of what exactly Drupal is and where you can get extra help. From there Chapter 2 takes us right into the install stage. The final chapters cover advanced topics and a “preflight checklist” to ensure you are on track.
What I really enjoy about this book is two-fold. The first is at the beginning of each chapter is a list of “What you will learn” and at the end there is an exercise of questions to make sure you got what the author was explaining. Also, there is a final statement of “What you have learned in this chapter.”
This book is well thought out and is the perfect reference book to keep beside your computer as it is definitely geared to ensure your Drupal journey is a smooth ride.
Filed under: drupal | Tagged: alternate cloud, alternatecloud, Content management, Drupal, E-book, ebook, gregory west, gregorywest, learning, mobi, OReilly Media, PHP, sarnia, web design, youtube | 1 Comment »
FREE Kindle eReaders Available Online
“Turn Your Computer Into an eReader”
by Gregory West
It just keeps on getting better in Cyberspace!
“WOW,” I hollered when I learned I could get a free app (software program) that turns my computer into the Kindle eReader. It was a fluke coming across this beauty.
I ordered a technology book to review from OReilly Media. Usually my review books get emailed as a PDF or a real paper book. This particular book came as a an attachment in an email that my computer did not recognize, nor open. I tried and tried to open the file without success. Finally, after emailing OReilly’s back, they explained about the free app to run the Kindle eReader on a computer.
At first I didn’t believe it would actually work. I clicked to the amazon website (listed below) and downloaded the program, all the while, still thinking it probably won’t work. Even when I had the program downloaded, it wasn’t until I clicked on the ebook attachment in OReilly’s email when a miracle happened. The ebook opened on my computer and I had my very own Kindle on my laptop. Amazon also through in several free books too. Yeah!
Marsee sent me the links (listed below) for the free download. If you have a Windows computer less than 12 years old, or a Mac computer with an Intel chip, you should have no problem using your computer as a Kindle eReader. You can check the required specs on the following websites.
Choose one of the links below and download the Kindle app for your computer.
Windows PC computer users:
Mac computer users: Snow Leopard and Lion
Mac computer users: Leopard
The Kindle application for your computer offers many functions, “including functionality such as zoom and pan, highlighting, note taking, dictionary lookup, and bookmarks,” according to Amazon.com.
Once you get your free Kindle eReader app visit the Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) where there are over 30,000 book titles. These books are free as the copyrights have run out. There are some real gems to be had here. Treat yourself this free eReader; you will be amazed with this easy-to-use technology. I know I enjoy my new free Kindle.
PROBLEM – Last month a reader emailed me that he had a problem after downloading the anti malware program (Superantispyware.com) I wrote about in the June issue called: “Make Your Computer Run Brand New Again”. He said the program worked fine then “it began asking for $19.95”. He also said he had an difficult time trying to remove this program.
SOLUTION -After several emails and a telephone conversation it was discovered this reader clicked the “UPGRADE” button. This took him away from his free version to the paid version. Moral of the story: Be careful what you click. “UPGRADE” usually means a better program and one that costs. The reader was thinking he was getting an “UPDATE”. Therein lies the difference: UPDATE is when a program fixes or makes it better or safer to use. UPGRADE is taking you to the paid version.
PROBLEM - Another reader said his computer had a virus. This nasty thing disabled his anti virus program and he could not get rid it. The virus warned him if he paid for their anti virus his computer would be fixed. His computer had been “hijacked” and he was being held for ransom. This is quite common and usually simple to fix.
SOLUTION – I told the reader to start his computer in “SAFE MODE”, then run his own anti virus program. This caught the nasty virus, deleted it and now he is a happy computer user. Be careful what you click on in Cyberspace…It may cost you!
If you have a computer problem or a great tip, please pass it along to Greg at First Monday and he will post it in the next issue.
Gregory can be reached at: email@example.com
A website for Seniors learning technology: http://alternatecloud.com
For more tips visit his Blog: http://gregorywest.wordpress.com
Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203
Filed under: computers | Tagged: alternate cloud, alternatecloud, Amazon Kindle, Comparison of e-book readers, ereader, free, gregory west, ipad, kindle, Kindle eReader, mac, ontario, OReilly Media, pc, Project Gutenberg, sarnia | Leave a Comment »
HOW TO GET A FACEBOOK PAGE – HOW TO SECURE YOUR FACEBOOK
Have you ever deleted photos from a camera or computer by mistake?
A friend of mine called me recently after going through a “catastrophe”, as he called his situation. It happened about mid way over the Atlantic Ocean, thirty-seven thousand feet up. He was sitting in his seat with not much to do so he decided to check the photos on his digital camera. All these photos were from this trip to Portugal, a trip that involved hiking in the wilderness and visiting old buildings. You can only imagine some of his prized photos.
I think you know where I am going with this…Yes, while looking at the photos, clicking from one to the next, he inadvertently deleted not just a couple of photos, every photo from his trip was gone in one simple click. After checking and double checking he knew it was fruitless to look further; the photos vanished.
When he got home he called as told me about this situation.
“That’s no problem,” I tried to reassure him. I explained that there is a software recovery program that people use in such cases with much success. The voice at the other end of the line was silent. I knew he didn’t think this process was possible. After he recovered every single photo from his vacation he couldn’t thank me enough.
However, my tale doesn’t end there. I had a similar problem where a new SD (photo storage card in camera) failed to produce 250 pictures and some video clips. After taking a deep breath I remembered my advice I had doled out and quickly downloaded a copy of Recuva, a recovery program that is free and works. Within no time I had all my pictures and video clips stored on my computer, thanks to Recuva.
The moral of this story is when you delete photos, music from an MP3 player, or data from your computer, remember that it is possible to recover the data. Don’t say it will never happen because you are careful. I am sure it has happened to the best of us.
To avoid a similar “catastrophe” you need to have a recovery software program installed on your computer. One of the best recovery programs around is called: Recuva. As an added bonus this program is free and it comes “highly” recommended.
You can read the reviews here: http://cnet.co/filehelp
How does it work? Recuva scans your drives for the files you need and “recovers them in a flash” (www.piriform.com). Even if the files are partially damaged “Recuva will show you a list of files it has found on the drive, and give you an estimate of the likelihood of success of recovering them”. You can’t ask for much more.
Let’s not forget when we delete those important emails. Yes you can recover them too. Recuva says that “The email program doesn’t delete the email or emails to the Windows Recycle Bin, but rather empties its own internal trash or Recycle Bin.”
I use word processing software every day. And yes I have lost documents that I have spent hours working on and never got them back. That is until I discovered Recuva. They assure us that their software “can intelligently rebuild Word documents from their temporary files”.
We all can agree for the most part that weddings, graduations, and other such special events are best remembered with lots of photos. Music downloaded to your MP3 player is a treasure chest to cherish. While those word documents on the hard drive on your computer are from hours of work, you dare not lose them anymore.
To find out more and to get your free copy of Recuva go to this website:www.piriform.com/download
Filed under: computers | Tagged: Atlantic Ocean, data recovery, deleted photos, digital photography, Disk Management, Error Checking and Repair, find photos, gregory west, Hard disk drive, Lambton County, lost photos, ontario, Portugal, recovery, Recuva, sarnia | 2 Comments »
This is a change from my normal blog. This time the article(s) and videos are in the LambtonShield online newspaper.
Filed under: computers | Tagged: alternate cloud, apple, classes, computer help, computer training, google, google search, gregory west, lambtonshield, mac, ontario, sarnia, teaching, training, tutorials, video, youtube | Leave a Comment »
They say that computer users belong to a group known as procrastinators when it comes to maintenance. I confess I sometimes fall into this group too often and get reminded its time when someone cries out their “computer is so slow”.
In the old days of computing we had to manually clean out files and programs on our computers. This is when we had to know what we were doing. Cottage industries quickly grew in popularity, taking on the task of cleaning up computers. These businesses still flourish today. However, you can easily avoid the high costs of sending your computer in for repair by doing it the easy way: Do it yourself.
For some fun I called a local computer repair business to find out what it would cost to clean up my very slow computer. I don’t have a slow computer, I was curious on some pricing. I know it would be costly but I was not ready for the price of $101.70 for virus removal, of which they would not guarantee to get all the viruses or spyware. They suggested spending $113.00 for a complete format of my hard drive, meaning it would wipe everything from my computer and I would lose all the data. Wow!
What is a person to do?
My advice is to NOT pay these high costs when you can very easily do the same work yourself with a few clicks with a mouse? Want to learn more? Read on…
There are usually three issues that can slow down your computer.
- Malware and Spyware: Spyware and Malware software “programs can collect various types of personal information” (wikipedia.org) and redirect you to unsafe websites while on the Internet. It gets worse in that “Spyware is known to change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages, and/or loss of Internet connection or functionality of other programs.” Here is a free program you should download and run:
- Wasted Hard Drive Space: More than likely your computer is clogged up with junk files, unused useless files, traces of your Internet searches and other data that puts your registry out of sync. In the past, a highly trained technician was the only one to repair this section of your computer. Now the same task can be easily performed by you, and done extremely fast. The program to download for free is called CCleaner found at http://www.piriform.com/. You will note that more than 600 million people have already downloaded this program and it comes highly recommended for computer maintenance.
- Slow Starting Computer:I have worked on computers that are so slow starting up I didn’t think the machines was even going to run at all. Some didn’t. Those that were so slow starting were terribly slow running and some people said they could put a load of laundry in while waiting for the computer programs to appear.The problem could very well be that there are too many programs on your computer fighting for startup at the same time. Everything on your computer wants to begin running at the same time and that makes for a very slow computer. Why would you have a full blown office program starting up when you are not going to use it right away? What to do, you ask?
CCleaner does a fast and amazing job of cleaning “up your Taskbar, ActiveX, Brower and Startup programs. WinPatrol monitors and exposes adware, keyloggers, spyware, worms, cookies, and other malicious software (cnet.com).” A real benefit of this program also is that it keeps a watchful eye for you as it takes “a snapshot of your critical system resources, then alerting you to any changes that occur without your knowledge.” This is a good way to know if the bad guys have tried to enter your computer without your knowledge.
If your computer is still running strange, then you should consider formatting your hard drive, which means a reinstall of your operating system. Here are some websites that will help you:
Windows 7: http://bit.ly/ivEwt4
Good luck and I hope the first three items work well for you and no further work is required. Email me and let me know how you make out.
Gregory can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our new FACEBOOK PAGE
Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203
Filed under: Computer Maintenance | Tagged: alternate cloud, alternatecloud, antivirus, CCleaner, Computer program, computer training, gregory west, Lambton County, maintenance, malware, Microsoft Windows, ontario, sarnia, spyware, windows 7, windows os, Windows Vista, Windows XP, WinPatrol | Leave a Comment »
There is a lot of hype in the media today about a security issue for Macs. In Krebs’ blog KREBSONSECURITY he wrote a blog entitled: “Weyland-Yutani Crime Kit Targetss Macs for Bots“. In this blog Krebs clearly pointed out that users are responsible and must maintain common sense while online and using a computer, be it Mac, PC or even Linux.
The media has hyped this issue up because it could involve Mac users. Krebs tells us that “A new crimeware kit for sale on the criminal underground makes it a simple point-and-click exercise to develop malicious software designed to turn Mac OSXcomputers into remotely controllable zombie bots. According to the vendor of this kit, it is somewhat interchangeable with existing crimeware kits made to attack Windows-based PCs.”
“What does this mean for normal Mac users? For the moment, only that you really do want to stay up to date with security updates to Mac OS X and Web browsers. If Weyland-Yutani were to become popular with criminals, the anti-malware market on the Mac would certainly heat up.
But for the moment, just be sure to install security updates, be careful opening email attachments that could contain code, and stay away from dodgy Web sites pushing pirated software, gambling, and porn. Oh, and keep reading TidBITS for news of changes in the security landscape. In other words, use your common sense, since the Internet simply isn’t an entirely safe place and hasn’t been for years.“
Any Mac user who takes their computers seriously have read Apple’s advice on Security that is posted near the bottom of the Apple website:
The built-in defenses in Mac OS X help keep you safe from viruses and malware without the hassle of constant alerts and sweeps.
The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, antivirus software may offer additional protection.
Here are some other ways to help keep your information as safe as possible:
- Download files only from known and trusted websites.
- Use FileVault to encrypt your most important documents.
- Control access to your Mac by locking your screen after a period of inactivity.
- Securely delete outdated sensitive files with the Secure Empty Trash command.
Check out our FACEBOOK Page - CLICK THE LIKE BUTTON to get in.
Filed under: anti virus | Tagged: anti virus, apple, ‘Weyland-Yutani’ Crime Kit Targets Macs for Bots, bots, gregory west, Lambton County, mac, mac computer group, Mac OS, Mac OS X, Macintosh, mackintosh, macosx, malware, Microsoft Windows, mug, Personal computer, sarnia, security | Leave a Comment »
Petitions now are sent via emails. Once the required number of signatures are met, the final person is to send the PETITION to the listed addresses within the PETITION. PLEASE GO THE EXTRA MILE AND SEND IN AN EMAIL COMPLAINT YOURSELF TOO. USE THE EMAIL ADDRESSES LISTED IN THE PETITION.
For example here is a real PETITION that is being distributed in order to collect 200 names and thus the final 200th person is to forward the email with the signatures. For example, in the body of the said email you will see these instructions:
Please copy this message out of the original email and paste into a new email. Lastly, add your name to the bottom and pass it on to people who have the same concerns within our community. When there are 200 names, please forward to Jim.Bradley@Ontario.ca and Mr. McGuinty email@example.com
In our case we are trying to save the Jail in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.
See Facebook page:
PLEASE FORWARD THIS IN THE BODY OF AN EMAIL TO YOUR FRIENDS AND CO WORKERS IF YOU WANT TO HELP US SAVE THE SARNIA JAIL. DON’T FORGET TO COPY THE NAMES IN THE LIST AND THEN ADD YOURS.
Here is a copy of the petition:
To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
WHEREAS, the Government and the Minister of Finance has announced in theOntario budget of 2011 the closures of Walkerton, Owen Sound and the Sarnia Jail;
AND WHEREAS, these closures are only to offset the cost of building and running the two new Super Jails being built in Windsor and Toronto at the expense of other jails and security;
AND WHEREAS, the closures will undermine the fundamentals of public and security;
AND WHEREAS, the closures will cause families undue hardship to travel two hours to attend courts and visitations;
WE the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:
1. Jim LaPier – Corunna, ON
2. Chris Parkes – Petrolia, ON
3. Dave Mitchell – Brights Grove, ON
4. J.Wolfenden-Bright’s Grove, ON
5. R.&P. Dummitt – Sarnia Ontario
6. F & N Strickland Corunna On.
7. K & D McGarry – Sarnia ON
8. Allan Anderson – Sombra, Ontario
9. Jamie Pole- Sarnia, Ontario
10. Gregory West – Sarnia, Ontario
11. ADD YOUR NAME HERE AND PASS THE EMAIL TO SOMEONE ELSE.
Filed under: JAIL | Tagged: Allan Anderson, alternate cloud, canada, city of sarnia, court house, Dave Mitchell, gregory west, judge, lawyers, miniciple, ontario, ontario provincial police, OPP, Owen Sound, police, politician, queens park, Rob Wilson, sarnia, sarnia jail, sarnia lambton, sarnia ontario, toronto, tourism | Leave a Comment »
DON’T GO ONLINE ALONE ANYMORE…IT JUST IS NOT SAFE OUT THERE.
NOW YOU CAN SURF WEBSITES SAFELY WITHOUT THE DREAD!
This new technology is called: WEB OF TRUST…Download a simple app with Google Chrome or Mozilla FireFox web browsers and your worry about website safety is over. This includes hyperlinks within emails where you are TOLD not to CLICK. Now you can peek at the links before you click and you are also guided by a traffic light warning system.
WOT protects YOU from phishing scams, SPAM, and other Internet scams online. This is a must have app (software application connected to your web browser).
In fact, the New York Times includes this program in their recent
New York Times:
“Google says its automated scans of the Internet recently turned up malware on roughly 300,000 Web sites, double the number it recorded two years ago. Each site can contain many infected pages. Meanwhile, Malware doubled last year, to 240 million unique attacks, according to Symantec, a maker of security software. And that does not count the scourge of fake antivirus software and other scams. So it is more important than ever to protect yourself. Here are some basic tips for thwarting them.”
The New York Times article goes on to state that “Free tools like McAfee’s SiteAdvisor and the Firefox [also other browsers mentioned above] add-on Web of Trust can also help — warning about potentially dangerous links.”
I personally use this program with Google Chrome and FireFox and have found it an excellent buddy to have looking over your online shoulder. You can never be too safe online and programs such as WOT are a must have these days.
WOT…”Web of Trust” - http://www.mywot.com/
Filed under: SURF THE WEB SAFER | Tagged: Google Chrome, google search, gregory west, internet search, Lambton County, McAfee, McAfee SiteAdvisor, Mozilla Firefox, new york times, protection, safe, sarnia, sarnia lambton, sarnia ontario, surf, web, web browser, World Wide Web, WOT, WOT Services Oy | Leave a Comment »
The Guide for Discriminating
by Peter Meyers
Published by OReilly Media Inc.
Everyone now owns an iPad. Well maybe not everyone, however the number of sales are far reaching into the millions. If you look at a graph depicting the sales of Apple’s iPad you will see a line that looks like the path of the Space Shuttle taking off. The iPad has taken off with an huge explosion of sales. There is a good reason: Apps.
Apple announces the iPad has “thousands of apps…available in every category”, which is mind numbing to say the least. How does one sift through such numbers to find the top notch apps and not get stuck with one that, well let’s just say stuck with an app that is not the best? How does one find the best of the best in iPad apps?
Well you need to look no further. Peter Meyers’ book offers the easy solution to such a complex issue of sorting through thousands of iPad apps to make sense, with precise reviews on each one.
Meyers says that “this book helps do some serious chaff snuffing” in that he has gone through the thousands of apps to bring us the best. The book is sequenced with seven color coded chapters, making referencing easy. Each chapter takes us to a new use for the iPad: At Work – At Leisure – Creative Corner – At Play – At Home – Out and About – For Your Health. Browsing through these chapters is fun to see what you can really do with your iPad.
For instance, in Chapter 6, “Out and About”, you will find numerous apps that cover “Finding (and booking) a Restaurant”, “Finding Cheap Airfares”, to “Driving Instructions in Your Car”. For the more serious users you can get one for your “Health” such as: “Portable First Aid Reference”, “Dieting and Weight Loss”, and even “Bird Watching”. Games were not left behind, not at all. Meyers offers Chapter 6: “At Play”. Here you get to read about the best apps for “Arcade Games”, “Puzzles”, “Racing”, “Combat” and many more.
Each App review page lists the price, the version, and short synopsis about the App. The review page also includes a graphic and an explanation of how it works. From reading sheet music to drawing to gaming to buying online, Meyers book has it all covered and then some.
Gregory West is a Mac Computer Instructor at Lambton College, Ontario. He is also a crew member for TVCogeco. In his spare time he runs a free computer “drop-in” centre that assists people who want to learn about technology. He can be reached at prospector1(at)gmail.com
Filed under: computers | Tagged: APCUG, apple, apps, best ipad apps, computer users groups, gregory west, ipad, iphone, lambton college, mac, Macintosh, O'Reilly publishing, ontario, oreilly books, sarnia, Space Shuttle, United States | Leave a Comment »
Review: by Gregory West
by Mark Briggs
I was a journalism student in the early 1970’s. I have been working with computers since 1972. I have been on the Internet since the very early 1990’s. I currently teach computers courses at a local college. I write technology columns for magazines, and I review technology and software books for O’Reilly Publishing. I have been blogging since 2005. However, I must say, that this is the most precise book on how to be in tune with today’s journalist culture I have ever come across. After reading this book you will not wonder why this book is so widely used in colleges throughout North America.
Briggs states at the onset that “Journalism is about people, not technology.” In this book you will learn the inner secrets of how to connect with your readers. You will see how this connection spreads to more and then more readers. Of course you will learn the why and the how that technology is involved so deeply in today’s journalist’s work. You will learn how technology and the Internet are utilized in a career in Journalism.
Briggs covers all the bases, from the importance of advanced and micro blogging, making audio reporting visual, to the techie equipment you will need for the job. In this book he teaches how to “build an audience”; how to maintain that audience. Briggs demonstrates details of why setting up a Facebook or Twitter account is a must.
The book is filled with references and articles by several top bloggers and online editors. Many innovative companies open yet other doors to peek in and learn more interesting tips and tricks. The contents of this book cover every aspect of journalism today, information that would take years of experience and study to learn otherwise.
If you are at all interested in writing or becoming a journalist, especially writing for an online publication, or even if you are a seasoned journalist and need to get up to speed with what is out there today, this book is a necessity. Don’t forget to purchase a yellow highlighter for this read due to the many topic points where you will find yourself saying, “I didn’t know that”.
Filed under: computers | Tagged: blogging, book review, college, course, CQ Press, electronic publishing, facebook, gregory west, journalism, journalism school, journalismnext 2.0, mark briggs, media, new york times, ontario, sarnia, sarnia computer users group, twitter, United States, Writers Resources, youtube | Leave a Comment »