TEST DRIVE IE9

Internet Explorer 9

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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

Sneak Peek at Internet Explorer 9

NVIDIA Demos IE9 on Netbooks

First Look: Internet Explorer 9

Windows Live shares your Messenger contacts

I do not use Windows except for teaching purposes. My OS flavours are: Ubuntu and Snow Leopard.

Microsoft Drops the Ball AGAIN - come on guys!

WARNING: MICROSOFT FAILS SECURITY TESTS AGAIN…

click here for details:
Windows Live shares your Messenger contacts.

10 Expert Tips For Microsoft Word 2010 | PCMag.com

10 Expert Tips For Microsoft Word 2010 | PCMag.com.

MS Word Tips

gmail and MS Word

Get better email service

WHAT’S THAT? YOU DO NOT USE gmail? ARE YOU CRAZY???

gmail just keeps on getting better and better and better

AND IT SAVES YOU TONS OF MONEY IN SOFTWARE TOO…

Posted by Marc Miller, Software Engineer @ Google
If you receive Microsoft® Word files as attachments in Gmail, you can now view them with a single click — no need to download, save, and open files with a desktop application when you just want read them. The Google Docs viewer that allows you to view .pdf, .ppt, and .tiff files in your browser now supports .doc and .docx formats too.

Just click the “View” link at the bottom of a Gmail message and the viewer  will take it from there. If you decide you want to edit the file, clicking “Edit online” will open it in Google Docs, or you can download it to your desktop from there.

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

Why I Don’t Use Hotmail

down with hotmail

Still Using Hotmail? Read on...

Boo: Hotmail & Yahoo Mail

Why?…Read on…

The geeks know that when some says their email is suchandsuch@hotmail.com they cringe and think to themselves this person is stuck back in the 1990’s Microsoft Box.

As you will see below from http://www.webanalyticsworld.net hotmail has lost.

People are dumping hotmail for gmail in massive moves.

One reason is when Hotmail blocks, what it thinks to be a bad attachment for you, it is impossible to open that attachment.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FULL SCOOP

I must admit I am and never have been an Internet Explorer user. Back in the 1990’s I used Netscape and got stuck with Windows Outlook email until web mail came along. In 1997 Microsoft offered Hotmail as a free online email service.

Yes, I did use Hotmail back in the late 90’s but soon switched. I began trying out every email program “out there” and finally landed on Googles free: gmail and have not looked back.

Check out the ratings of Yahoo, Hotmail, and gmail and you see gmail the clear winner:

get gmail the best out there

Get GMAIL: The BEST email available in Cyberspace...

Now this is real news:

Overall we prefer Gmail over all other webmail applications because performance (speed) is consistently fast, and emails can be tagged making search much more effective. They also offer more storage and other features, and it’s free.”

And if you need more:

However, Yahoo and Live Hotmail offer more mainstream Outlook-like user interfaces (although Live Hotmail does not allow you to access other email accounts from their application), whereas Gmail takes some time to get used to. If you are looking for speed and tagging is important, Gmail is for you. If you are looking for the closest thing to Outlook online, go with Yahoo Mail.

For the full report analysis CLICK HERE

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…

A Windows 7 moment…

CAN’T RUN THAT OLD PROGRAM IN WIN

Oh yes you can…maybe!

See the missing manual series for more

Try this:

Click START an right above in the new search box start typing:
compatibility
until you see “Run programs made for previous versions of Windows”
Press Enter/Return button on your keyboard.

Tip: Right-click to get the wizard: Right-click a program’s icon, or shortcut icon, or even its name in the START menu; from the shortcut menu, choose “Troubleshoot compatibility.”

Answer the questions. You will come to a screen giving you a choice of auto or manual modes:

  1. try recommended settings (means let Windows do its thing)
  2. troubleshoot program (means find out what is wrong yourself)

Work through the question screens. When it is over you get a “Start the program” button to test if the program will run.

If this doesn’t work, return to the troubleshooting wizard and click “Next” for a new round of troubleshooting tests.

Good luck out there…

This is taken from a current review I am working on for OReilly Publishing:
Windows 7
the missing manual

by David Pogue

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

FarmVille Hype

FarmVille: 81 Million Users Online?
www.farmville.com
by Gregory West

Over 81 million active users flock to FarmVille to perform virtual farming daily. These people do chores they would have never dreamed of doing a year ago. Some are saying that this game is the largest and fastest growing game in history. Just think, this game started online June 19, 2009. The developer, Zynga, states that FarmVille “is bigger than Twitter and [was] valued at $1 billion last month (mashable.com)”.

FarmVille’s popularity is exploding online and won the most prestigious award this year: The 13th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards ceremony declared last month in Los Vegas that “the top honor in the ‘Social Networking Game of the Year’ category went to Zynga’s massively popular Facebook game FarmVille”.

Since this game is connected with Facebook, the developer Zynga, believes while people check in on their Facebook sites, they will also check into FarmVille and tend to their crops and help their neighbours with their farm work as well.

In the virtual farmland of FarmVille, farmers must first create their own avatar (a virtual image representing themselves). According to the rules there are “six plots of land, four of which are in the process of growing, and two (eggplant and strawberries) which are fully grown”. As in real life farming, the market calls the shots where items can be purchased such as “seeds, trees, animals, buildings, decorations, vehicles and more using “farm coins”.

The game comes with a few hooks as well and thus there is some controversy (depending on your viewpoint) in that you can buy virtual goods. “Zynga the game-makers encourage you to buy game things with real money. Some people (Techcrunch, Guardian) say that’s an exploitation of users who are swapping real money for fake things,” reports Leach. However, this is nothing new on the Internet and people can spend money virtually anywhere online if they so choose.

Upon beginning a farm, the player first creates a customizable avatar.[8] There are six plots of land, four of which are in the process of growing, and two (eggplant and strawberries) which are fully grown.
The game is based around the market, where items can be purchased: seeds, trees, animals, buildings, decorations, vehicles, and more land using “farm coins,” the generic money of FarmVille (which is earned by selling crops) or “farm cash”. (which the player earns at a rate of one dollar per experience level).

So, all of this begs the question: Why are people so drawn to FarmVille each day to milk their cows and chase chickens into coups and to “sow, grow and harvest crops (Anna Leach of shinyshiny.tv)”?

My wife is also working hard in FarmVille. She says that “you can play along, online, with all your friends” from across the globe. “You get a sense of guilt when you find your crops in desperate need of water and fertilizing,” she said.

“To me, Farmville works the same dynamic of calling on your nourishing instinct and then guilt-tripping you. The Tamagotchi effect, reported Leach. Tamagotchi is “a handheld digital pet [online] created in 1996. Over 70 million Tamagotchis have been sold as of 2008 (wikipedia)”. Remember the “pet rock” several years back? Even my mother bought one of those little pets.

For me, FarmVille is not an attraction. For those of you who are not into FarmVille you can go here to learn how to stop FarmVille posts on your Facebook site: http://tinyurl.com/ydk3ew2

Happy hoeing out there folks…

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a basic home computer consultant for MAC and PC and software
reviewer for major computer companies. Also come and join in on his free Basic
Computer Training sessions, held weekly at Central United Church this Fall. For info: http://www.centralunitedsarnia.ca/free_computer_lessons.html
Gregory can be reached at gregorywest@bell.net
Also, check out his Blog: Computer & Internet Tips:
http://tips4computers.wordpress.com

A re-Blog: Computer Buyers BEWARE!!!

A Couple of Computer Tips For You

Computer Buyers BEWARE!!!
The Internet is Getting More Speed
and You Need Wireless “n”…

by Gregory West

Ok, without going into a rhetoric of computer mumbo-jumbo, the bottom line is DO NOT buy a computer that does not have 802.11n for a wireless Internet connection. Why, because it will be an old computer you are buying that will not connect to the Internet fast enough to keep up. The older computers have 802.11g. So, to sum up, you need the “n” version, not the “g” version for a wireless Internet connection. Don’t get fooled by an overzealous clerk.

Downloading movies will be a snap with “n”. As David Wylie, Canwest News Service says you will “download using wireless Internet devices [that] will be so fast you’ll be able to download a high-definition movie in less time than it takes to pop a bag of microwave popcorn. (go to (http://80211n.com) for full details on wireless Internet information.

Very soon, computer manufacturers will manufacture WiFi enabled computers to the former lower standards if they wish to have their products certified by the alliance. The old standard is 802.11g. The new faster and longer distance is called: 802.11n (g and n being the important namesakes with “n” now taking the huge lead in the wireless Internet world of WiFi).

The speed you are probably getting with your older WiFi 802.11(g) Internet connection is 7 times less than the newer “n” version. The “n” version covers twice the range. which is great for home computer networks. For some time now laptops have been selling with the 802.11n built in. Mine does; does yours? Check before you buy, remembering buyer beware.

Help Yourself Troubleshoot for Answers the Easy Way

I will probably be shooting myself in the foot and losing clients but here are two good ways to get free computer help.

First: Many reputable companies have a “Support” box on their websites that you can click for help. The support comes by way of CHAT. It is very easy. Once you have made the connection, usually by the click of a button on the website, a company rep will appear in text asking you what is your problem. You then type it in the box and wait for an helpful answer. I use this quite often for troubleshooting, not only computers, but also software that does not seem to be doing what it is supposed to.

Second: Forums, Forums, Forums. Can I say it again? One of the most valuable devices on the Internet for help is called an “Online Forum”. Basically, these are websites that are designed specifically for you. I own a Macbook. When I need to know something about my Mac I head over to the Apple’s website and click on their “Forum”. If I have a problem with my Kodiak Travel Trailer I go to that Forum for help.

Some Forums are designed by the companies themselves on their websites. If there is no forum quite likely someone has started up one that will help you with whatever product you have. For instance, my daughter and son-in-law’s central air conditioning quit. Yes right in the midst of the August heat wave. They quickly went to a forum for these devices and got help almost immediately.

Remember, people from every part of the globe use Forums and that makes it a 24/7 free troubleshooting paradise.

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a basic home computer consultant for MAC and PC and software reviewer for major computer companies. Also come and join in on his free Basic Computer Training sessions, held weekly at Central United Church (http://central-united-church.org) this Fall.
Gregory can be reached at gregorywest@bell.net
Check out his blog for more free Computer & Internet Tips:
http://tips4computers.wordpress.com

NOTE: This article appeared in First Monday magazine September 2009 and received flack from a local used computer outlet. They claim that people do not need wireless “n” in their computers. However, one must remember that they sell “Used Computers” so they have an axe to grind. If you are putting out good money for a brand new computer/laptop make sure you get the best for your money…Which is wireless “n” capability.

O’Reilly Media HELP Website

Your Questions Answered HERE

CHECK OUT THIS COMPUTER HELP SITE

See people helping people…

You won’t regret the few seconds it will take to find yourself gaining the how tos on topics from not just computers, but also Q&A on the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, digital photography and so much more you will not have a question that cannot be answered.

Let’s say you “know it all”, why not lend some of your knowledge to this site by way of answering questions posed by users. It is a lot of fun and you will be helping out other computer users. And who knows, like myself, you may just find yourself learning more about what you thought you knew and didn’t.

CLICK HERE to give this site a TEST DRIVE.

CLICK HERE and get involved with O’Reilly’s New Program

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

FREE VIDEO ADVICE

TIP OF THE WEEK: BUTTERSCOTCH

www.butterscotch.com/tutorials.html

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.

TRY THIS EXAMPLE VIDEO ON Ebay Shopping

Thanks to Gerry Timm of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada for this great tip.

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???

Windows 7 Upgrade or Stay With VISTA?

A recent report in the Globe and Mail warns: Stay with VISTA unless…

“Unfortunately, upgrading an existing PC from XP to 7 is not easy.

After upgrading, users will have to reinstall all their programs and find their files in the folder where Windows 7 tucks them away.

However, if you bought a Vista-based computer after June 25, you should be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 7 from the manufacturer, and I suggest taking advantage of it.” SEE GLOBE AND MAIL REPORT

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.