New Google Search Series

This is a change from my normal blog. This time the article(s) and videos are in the LambtonShield online newspaper.

I am doing a 3 part series on the new Google Search. This is also part of a live presentation I am doing for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group in Sarnia, Ontario.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AND ARTICLE: CLICK HEREgoogle search

 

MAC Users Should Protect With Software and Common Sense

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.”

Apple news site offers this resolve:

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:

Mac OS X – Security – Keeps safe from viruses and malware

The built-in defenses in Mac OS X help keep you safe from viruses and malware without the hassle of constant alerts and sweeps.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/security/

Security Advice

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.

and…

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.
As a Lambton College Mac computer instructor I advise my students to download and use a copy of iAntivirus and ClamAV

Check out our FACEBOOK Page
 – CLICK THE LIKE BUTTON to get in.

BEST iPAD APPS – a review

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16(at)gmail.com
Member of Computer Groups
bwcomp.orgscug.caapcug.net

ipad apps book review Best iPad Apps

The Guide for Discriminating
Downloaders

by Peter Meyers

Published by OReilly Media Inc.

ISBN- 9781449392475
Pages: 230
USA: $21.99 / CDA: $25.99
oreilly.com

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

Mac & Chrome Users BEWARE

I have been a Chrome web browser user since day one of it’s inception. Now I have to go back to Firefox browser.

THE REASON WHY: Chrome supports less and less than other browsers, including its OWN GOOGLE GEARS.

THAT IS CORRECT…
GOOGLE DOES NOT SUPPORT ITS’ OWN SOFTWARE
ON ITS’ OWN BROWSER:
CHROME.

Gears, Docs, Chrome: a nonfunctional combination.

Why?

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT

Book Review: iPad the missing manual

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com
Member of the Computer Operators 
of Marysville & Port Huron
Member of Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
By J.D. Biersdorfer
ISBN- 978-1-449-38784-6
Pages: 299
USA: $24.99 / CDA: $31.99
Learning a new program, gadget, or tech device is easy. You just turn it on and start clicking or pounding buttons until it works. For many people this method is sufficient. However, if you really want to get the most from your new device you need go further. You need advice from someone who has discovered all the features and then some. Pounding and clicking aimlessly may work, but to find out all about the iPad you need more than hit and miss techniques.
This book is an excellent learning tool and a reference guide. The sixteen chapters help you get to know your iPad, interact with all the features and discover the deep secreted “undocumented tips and tricks” that are found in this book.
Chapter one gets you jump-started and takes you on a guided tour of the “home screen icons”. You find all about connectivity, working with iTunes and some iPad maintenance.   As the chapters progress so does your learning. Chapter two gets you interacting with the various features and functionality, while the next chapter explains all the intricacies of getting online, staying secure while using public “hot spots”, and how to use Skype to make Internet calls.
Other chapters show you how to work with photography on the iPad, tour the iPad’s Mail program, set up your calendar, take notes and watch YouTube video clips. Mapping is detailed as you learn to “Find Your Way with Maps” and “Locate Your Position with GPS”.
Applications (apps) are important features on the iPad covered in Chapter Seven. From buying to adjusting and troubleshooting your apps, the guided tour takes care of all your app needs and more.
If you are a reader you are in luck. Chapter eight covers “iBooks and ePeriodicals”. Learn how to download the iBooks App, use the apps bookstore, buy books and how to read an iBook. Newspapers and magazine apps are covered as you learn how to subscribe to ePeriodicals from comic books to National Geographic magazines.
Appendix A demonstrates iPad settings that are very important. In this section you “Tour the iPad Settings” learning how to use the iPad in Wi-Fi zones, Airplane Mode (Wi-Fi and 3G), and connecting to Cellular Data. Appendix B is for all of us who need Troubleshooting from time-to-time.
This book is complete with excellent coloured screenshots that make it very easy to understand the information on each page. This book is a must have while you learn the amazing features on your iPad. It is an excellent book for future referencing.

The Future of Computers is NO COMPUTERS

Note: This article will appear in First Monday Magazine next month…

The Future of Computers is NO COMPUTERS

By Gregory West

As a computer consultant and instructor I get asked which type of computer is a good deal and one that will last. As I explain the pros and cons of various computers, I know that they are in for a major change, and very soon computers will be a thing of the past.

We are now racing towards one of the most drastic changes in computer history. Welcome what I coin as: CLOUD COMPUTERS. We have all heard of the “Cloud” that exists on the Internet. Simply put, a “cloud” is a program where you store things such as photos (Flickr or Picasa), and videos (YouTube or Vimeo). Of course EVERYONE knows that you can store these on Facebook as well which is also a “cloud” program online.

I know, enough of the mumbo-jumbo computer talk and let’s get to the point.

Google is soon to announce its online operating system. This means you will not use your computer to use programs such as Word or Excel etc. These will be offered free in the new Google operating system. Soon there will be no more need for Microsoft’s XP, Vista, Windows 7, or even Apple’s Snow Leopard. It also means no more complicated computer systems. It will be somewhat like your TV and it will “just work”. You MUST watch this video: <http://bit.ly/91Fnm7googlecomputer> to see how it works.

No, Google’s new online operating system will not replace Apple or Microsoft systems just yet. However, this is a start to a very interesting future that is quickly unfolding before our very eyes. This new online operating system idea will virtually change the need for a computer. All we will need is a device that has a browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome. These will connect you to your online computer system.

Just think, many of us have been doing this for sometime now and not paying much attention…When you go online with your Smart Phone you are using a “Cloud Computer”. It can only get easier and better and less expensive. A full report on how this works is found here: <http://bit.ly/azhyJ6cloudcomputers>

George Orwell predicted 1984 as the year of “Big Brother” and I say that 2011 is the year we see “Cloud Computers”…I can’t wait.

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College. 
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of Sarnia’s new 
COMMUNITY Tech School at: <http://central-united-church.org/news&gt;. This is free and open to the public as a community service.

Gregory can be reached at: prospector16@gmail.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com

TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH THIS MUST-SEE VIDEO

Video Not Working On Google’s Chrome Browser

If you own a Macbook and are running Snow Leopard I can guarrantee that you cannot watch video using the Google Chrome web browser.

I have posted the question in many Google forums challenging Google employees to explain the “WHY NOT” or “HOW COME”.

If I do get an answer to why we Apple users cannot watch video on that browser it will be posted here. In the meantime it is back to ole Safari because Firefox is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay toooooooooo sloooooooooooooooow now. I am not fussy on Safari but what can I say that hasn’t been said about Safari.

Stay Tuned…as they say…

Death to the mouse: Apples trackpad hits the shops | Technology | guardian.co.uk

As a keyboard guy, I have been advocating the DEATH OF THE MOUSE for a long time. Smart Phones have no mouse. Most laptop users do not use a mouse. And now iMac users will be de-mouseitized.

death of a mouse

Death to the mouse: Apples trackpad hits the shops | Technology | guardian.co.uk.

Free iPhone 4 Case: How About Switching to Android?

Who likes Android instead???

Free iPhone 4 Case: Apple To Offer FREE iPhone Bumper To Solve Antenna Issue.

Google Bans Windows PCs

Well, they have banned their employees from using any Microsoft operating system claiming they are NOT SAFE TO USE.

The employees can use either Apple or Linux based computers.

Computer World’s, Preston Grala, informs us that “John Pescatore, an analyst at Gartner who specializes in security issues told Computerworld “If [hackers] know that Google uses Macs, then they’ll just target the company with Mac malware.”

My take on this is that Google is flexing its’ tech muscle against a country and keeps its’ citizens repressed and restricted via Internet usage. Google wants to show the world they won’t put up with a hack attack by China or anyone else.

However, isn’t Google coming out with their own operating system that will compete against Micrsoft’s Windows 7? Yes they are.

Hey, would the US Army allow free access for Russian or Chinese agents to check out any files and computers they please? This is what China threatened through Microsoft’s known unsafe systems…

Hey, we all know that any computer can be hacked…It is simply an matter of time.

Personally, I believe Google and so does many security experts who are now stating that:

China hacked Google to steal U.S. industrial secrets

FireFox Fading Out?

Here We Go Again

Can Firefox Be Saved?

So says its’ Co-Founder…

Can Firefox Be Saved?

Many of you will remember the 1990’s when Netscape took a huge chunk from Microsoft’s web browser: IE’s 90% market share.

In fact it was during these web wars that the mighty Netscape was taking down by Microsoft. What happened doesn’t matter today. What matters today is that Firefox is being intentionally let sink below the other browsers.

Chrome, Google’s web browser is winning the race this time. It is faster and more people are switching over to Chrome. Even Apple’s Safari and Microsoft IE8 are gaining ground. This is serious.

I was a former Netscape user and NEVER did like IE and still don’t. This is sad times again; a decade since Netscape faded away.

To be honest, I have been test-driving Chrome and find it very interesting and fast. The only hold back to Firefox for me right now is a app that I happen to use that isn’t available for Firefox. However, I just might forget about the app and make the complete jump toChrome and click that little checkbox that asks something like: “Do you want to make Chrome your default browser?” Answer is soon to be YES 😦 not without regret.

To get the scoop from the guy who designed Netscape and Firefox and has moved  to Facebook, read this interesting article on the demise of Firefox: CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE in Techcrunch

Watch Windows Video on a Mac

If you are a Mac user and have been sent a video from someone who made it in Windows Movie Maker you will know how frustrating it is not to be able to open this monster.

FEAR NO MORE

watch windows movies on your mac

Free Flip4Mac Player

Download Flip4 RIGHT HERE

This software loads fast. Once you have it you can open Microsoft and play them instantly on your Mac. If they the movies are sent as an attachment in an email you just right click the attachment and click “Open With” and select this program.

Happy viewing…

iPad Upate

iPad Shoppers Beware!

Please Note: This article is published in First Monday magazine April 2010.

iPad Shoppers Beware!
by Gregory West

Apple's iPad

To Buy or Not to Buy?

If you are bent on getting an iPad don’t ready any further. However, if you are trying to decide between buying a laptop and an iPad this article is for you.

I like my laptop because I can load any software, connect any device such as a digital camera, memory stick, backup drives, by USB connections. I like the idea of being able to load free software from any company or source and not be restricted to one company such as Apple.

“Your computer should be yours to control,” said Peter Brown, the Free Software Foundation’s executive director. “By imposing such restrictions on users, Steve Jobs (APPLE CEO) is building a legacy that endangers our freedom for his profits (The Microsoft Blog).”

For me, choosing a laptop is simple: Macbook. I run Windows XP and Windows 7 on my Mac laptop without a glitch. Of course there are many other laptops, notebooks and net books that work great too and all of them avail you the opportunity to install third party applications, many at no cost.

The iPad has landed in North America and is creating huge hype. Rightfully so! It is a wonderful device allowing for various functions. According to Wikipedia the iPad “is part of a device category between a smartphone and a laptop computer.” This may be true but it is not close to my Macbook laptop, not by a long shot.

For starters the hard drive is only 16 to 64 gigabytes (GB) of flash memory (a technology that is primarily used in camera memory cards). My laptop is 250 GBs and with a terabyte hard drive connected by USB, I now have a grand total of 1274 GBs of hard drive space. Very different from 16 to 64 GBs of the iPad.

The iPad’s 9.7-inch (25 cm) screen has a low end resolution of 1024 X 768. What this tech talk means is that the iPad will not support HDMI video which many have come to love. With high definition the rave…Why go back to a lessor screen resolution. This does not make sense.

Other features lacking in the iPad are: no camera, no webcam, no multitasking, no drag and drop file management, no USB port, no SD slot, no Flash, no HDMI out, no 1080p playback, and no native widescreen. Are we going backwards here? In 2005 it was “the Year of High Definition Video,” according to cnet.com. How come the iPad lacks these features?

Many are saying the iPad has its neat functions and is esthetically appealing. Just make sure you are getting the exact features you require in any tech device. Do your homework on this one.

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a Mac Instructor for Lambton College. 
He is also Webmaster at Central United Church, the home of the new COMMUNITY Computer Room at: http://central-united-church.org/news

Gregory Can be reached at: prospector16@gmail.com

Leopard OS X – A Review & Preview

Missing Manual Leopard OS X

A Must Have

Mac OS X Leopard

The Missing Manual

by David Pogue
Published by O’Reilly Media Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-0-596-52952-9
Pages: 893
USA: $34.99 / CDA: $34.99
missingmanuals.com

If you love your Mac, you will love this book. This book details every aspect of the Leopard operating system, from simple to advanced. Looking up how to do something is fast and easy, although this book is a real treat for simply browsing topics to learn some tricks and tips that you won’t find in most other Help sections.

For instance, only about 4% of us back up our computers and now there is no excuse. Leopard comes equipped with its own backup system, Time Machine, and with this book you can easily follow the simple step-by-step process to ensure you never lose anything again. When working through these types of sections you can easily set up the process, read the technical stuff, or try out some of the exciting tips that are all highlighted: basic, moderate, and advanced data. But the bottom line is all these sections are designed to get you going, give you the “under-the-hood” scoops, and show you some magic tricks to boot that helps make this book a good read.

Apple created 300 new features inside Leopard, however they failed to let you in on many of the tricks and tips that “demystifies” this amazing new operating system. In this book David Pogue also shows “refugees”, who escaped Windows and moved to a Mac. Windows users need no other books, as Pogue shows where they went in Mac OS X 10.5.

This book is spread out in six parts: The Mac OS X Desktop, Programs in Mac OS X, The Components of Mac OS X, The Technologies of Mac OS X, Mac OS Online, Appendices.

In the first part you discover folders and windows and how to organize your data. Pogue takes you through the various items such as: Spotlight searching, using the Dock, Desktop and Toolbars and gives you an expert feel as you see how simple Leopard is to use.

Without a doubt, this book is a great refresher; it is one that you will refer to when you you’re stuck. The thing I really like about this book is that you can pick it up and open it anywhere and begin reading.  I highly recommend this book for all level of users, both as a learning tool, and as a quick reference guide. Before you call a technician for a problem, treat yourself to this “must have” book first.

GET A SNEAK PEEK PREVIEW OF THIS BOOK –  CLICK HERE

Review Written by Gregory West – Member of COMP & APCUG

FREE Computer Help 24/7

Please Note: This article will appear in the December issue of First Monday magazine.

No Strings Attached …

“Computer Problems Solved FREE OF CHARGE”
24/7 Service for the Public

http://tinyurl.com/ask-pamela

by Gregory West
prospector16(at)gmail.com

The title of this article is true. Just ask members of the Sarnia Computer Group: SCUG (www.scug.ca), as they know first-hand how fast and efficient this free service works.

All too often we find ourselves sinking in the mystery sea called Windows. We know what we would like to do but just can’t figure out the “how”. The further we click through our computers the worse our adventure becomes. We end up at a DEAD END and completely frustrated to the point of never wanting to turn the computer on ever again.

If the above situation sounds even remotely familiar, read on because now you are in luck and at no cost this time. Our saving grace: “The Computer Tutor”, Pamela Tabak.

When I was the editor for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group (scug.ca) I met Pamela somewhere in Cyberspace as she was writing a monthly article in another computer group’s newsletter. The one thing that struck me strange was that this person was offering a free computer-help service, not only for free, but offered answers back within 24 hours. Of course, it wasn’t long until we had The Computer Tutor column on the Sarnia computer group’s team as a columnist. Many SCUG members who began using this free service quickly began raving how simple and fast the answers back came.

Pamela tells the story of an “old gentleman” who told her he purchased a new computer.  He contacted Pamela for help because he was “tired of waiting for a phone call from his children and grandchildren” for computer help. Pamela did help this man to learn about his computer. Pamela quickly points out that “it is never too late in life, or even impossible, for seniors to learn about them.”

So how does this free 24/7 help service work?

Simply go to this site: http://computertutorinc.net/survey/questions_2008.htm and fill out the form with the details of your problem/question. One thing to keep in mind is that you must fill out the entire form, not forgetting to enter your email address so Pamela can reply to your issue.

After many suggestions and requests Pamela made the decision to publish a book that demonstrates the main questions others have queried via email. Pamela’s new book comes with the “most frequently asked questions” by seniors using computers. It overflows with excellent “how to” computer tips.  Check it out her website at: http://www.computertutorinc.net and see how she is helping others. Oh yes, Pamela is also a certified Ebay instructor so if you have questions on Ebay fire away!

TIP OF THE WEEK: BUTTERSCOTCH

Almost everyone likes butterscotch, right? Well if you do you will like it even better now. Butterscotch is now online, you cannot taste it, however you can use this website to get free video training on hordes of subjects, programs and more.

How about free tutorials on MS Word 2007, Blackberry Basics, Finer Points of FACEBOOK, Buying and Selling on Ebay, adding your Photos to Flickr, using gmail and Google Earth and so much more.

As well, Butterscotch has a downloads section where you can get some free software, shareware and demo programs for every computer system. (www.butterscotch.com/tutorials.html)

Thanks to Gerry Timm of Sarnia, Ontario for Emailing me this excellent find.

Gregory West is a Mac Computer Instructor for Lambton College.  He also holds free “Basic PC Computer and Internet Training” seminars at Central United Church: 
http://central-united-church.org – (Click on “Groups).
Gregory can be reached at prospector16@gmail.com
More TIPS on Greg’s Blog: http://tips4computers.wordpress.com

eHow To Do It EASY

Here is a website that shows you HOW TO in many areas.

GREAT HOW TO DO THINGS WEBSITE

I find this site http://www.ehow.com/guide_5-computers.html very useful in the latest computer tips in PLAIN ENGLISH.

If you like video tutorials this site has them too:
http://www.ehow.com/videos.html – scroll down where it says: More Featured Videos and use the slide bar on the right to see tons of topics.

let me know how you find this site???

NEW: YouTube – How to Use It

YouTube has made a major change in that you can now have your own channel and watch what you pick without all the other junk.

Getting ready for when TV goes online and away from the old way of viewing a show via TV set. Imagine the landfill sites with old TVs?

Problems Playing Some Video?

NO MORE PROBLEMS on your Mac or PC while wanting to view a video…

best video player on the planet and it's FREE

best video player on the planet and it's FREE

Join the over 52 million other people who have downloaded the FREE video player called: VLC

When I was trying to play one of my hundreds of videos on my Windows machine I came across several that Windows Media Player and Quicktime would not play.

Enter: VLC Player…Yes, it played every type of video format I found, without any problems whatsoever.

Say goodbye to Windows Media Player and Hello to VLC Player.

Click here to check this video player out for yourself.

Mac How-To Videos FREE

New to a Mac? Want to learn more about your Mac?

Mac Tutorial Videos FREE

Mac Tutorial Videos FREE

Maybe, just maybe, you want to “tap into your potential” with your Mac…

Look no further – CLICK HERE for the FREE VIDEOS