Free computer & tech help for seniors

Computer & tech help for seniors

Computer & tech help for seniors

Imagine this conversation 15 years ago…

"Use anti virus software for safe computing."

"Use anti virus software for safe computing."

FREE Kindle eReaders Available Online

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.

Marsee Henon, from O’Reilly Media (www.oreilly.com/ebooks), explained that “our ebooks work not only on a Kindle, but also on the Kindle app offered on Macs, PCs, iPads, and other devices.”

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:

http://amzn.to/windows_kindle

Mac computer users: Snow Leopard and Lion
http://amzn.to/snowleopard_lion_kindle

Mac computer users: Leopard
http://bit.ly/leopard_only

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: gregory@alternatecloud.com
A website for Seniors learning technology: http://alternatecloud.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com
Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

“When Digital Disaster Strikes, Smile!…because you will be OK.”

by Gregory West

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

Gregory can be reached at: gregory@alternatecloud.com
For more tips visit his Blog: https://gregorywest.wordpress.com
Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

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

 

Make Your Computer Run Brand New Again

Don't Let This Bug You

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.

  1. 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:
    http://superantispyware.com
  2. 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.
  3. 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 XP:    http://bit.ly/lhPy7g
Windows Vista: http://bit.ly/kagWR9

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: gregory@alternatecloud.com

Check out our new FACEBOOK PAGE

Free Computer Help Seminars: Grace United Church – 519-542-1203

Online Petition – HELP Save Sarnia Jail

Sarnia Jail Help Save it sarnia jail

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 dmcguinty.mpp@liberal.ola.org

In our case we are trying to save the Jail in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

FACEBOOKSee Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarnia-Jail-Help-Save-it/212016418809742

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:

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.

Online Marketing Inside Out

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com
Member of Sarnia Computer Users’ GroupOnline Marketing Inside Out
Member of Port Huron, MI Computer Group
Blog: gregorywest.wordpress.com

Online Marketing Inside Out

by Brandon Eley & Shayne Tilley

Published by SitePoint Pty. Ltd.
ISBN-978-0-9805768-2-5
Pages: 184
USA: $29.95 / CDA: $29.95
http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780980576825

Nine dynamic chapters that guide you through your next “modern marketing campaign”. Chapter one explains how marketing is changing pointing out things you need to know before you begin planning your next promotion or campaign. You will learn how to make money from a website by page views, optimize the values within search engines (SEO) and how the main players in social media can help you go deeper inside the communities spreading the word of your company or product.

Even though email marketing has been around forever, it seems, this book sparks a new interest showing “many advantages” and the authors “walk you through every step towards a successful email marketing strategy”.

Having your own sales people working for you online is easy when you create an “affiliate marketing program” that is covered in Chapter seven. The advantages of having an “army of salesmen all over the world” promoting for you is explained in easy to understand terms in this chapter. This is followed in sequence with Chapter eight wherein you learn about the world of “online advertising” as you will be able to “plan, implement, test, and optimize” what you setup with your online advertising.

I really like the way this book is set out. The Table of Contents leaves nothing to imagination. The Preface wand Chapters have extensive headings that guide you through the various topics so that you can easily look something up and jump right in on that subject. For example, in Chapter two’s listing you will find headings such as: Press Releases. Then followed with sub-headings: Press Releases in the 21st Century, When to Write a Press Release, Stand Out From the Crowd and so on.

Every chapter tags your interest and keeps you coming back as a reference point for helping you develop your own online marketing campaign. This book is for those who “have a web site and…want to promote it”, or anyone else who wants and/or needs to learn this amazing subject of online marketing.

Even if you are already doing online marketing and feel fairly successful, this book will take you to the next level of expertise and guide you in directions you may have possibly passed by.

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

Review: Journalismnext – A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing

Journalismnext - A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing

 

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com

Member of Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
BLOG


Journalism Next: A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing

by Mark Briggs

Published by CQ Press
ISBN-978-1-604-560-6
Pages: 359
USA: $34.99 / CDA: $45.99
journalism20.com/blog/

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”.

 

“The technician set up my laptop, now what do I do?”

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE CAN BE REPRODUCED

BY GIVING ACKNOWLEDGMENT TO THE AUTHOR.

“The technician set up my laptop, now what do I do?”

By Gregory Westdionsaur and kid in costume

Ah, the wonderment of getting a new computer. No more having to watch others show off their computer skills as they demonstrate their new digital slide show, or listen about how they talk with relatives across three oceans for hours at no cost. With your new computer you are ready to join the online communities around the globe.

Three gigabytes of random access memory, five hundred gigs of hard drive, a one year subscription to some antivirus / malware protection software utility and you are “good to go,” says the clerk in the computer store.

“But does it come with a manual,” you ask?

“The manual is in the OS software,” the clerk says as he gets you to sign his copy of the credit card slip. “Have a nice day,” he hollers as you lug computer through the doors towards home.

“Ya right,” you mutter under your breath.

So many choices, too many decisions, but at least you finally got it home. Once you open the lid and go to turn on the new computer you realize that you have no idea what you are doing. In fact, you don’t know a gigabyte from a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and you couldn’t care less. All you want is to on the Internet and check your email, surf some websites and maybe learn how to get those 265 photos from your digital camera.

“So now what,” you say aloud to yourself? “Where do I begin, you ask your dog in desperation as she gives you that puzzled look?

There is an easy way to learn the various computer functions you need to catch up with your computer geek of a neighbour. First, you can take a formal course at your local college. These courses usually range from beginner to advanced. You can also take online courses (courses offered over the Internet), but this takes a special skill, as many people are not used to working alone and need to get out into a classroom setup with real humans. You can also join a local computer group. Here you will find people with similar interests who provide various seminars on tech-related issues.

I have been on a computer since 1972 where an IBM System/360 Operating System was the popular system in data processing centres. Over the years I have received computer training from all methods mentioned about. In fact, today I am taking two computer courses from books that came with DVD training programs.

However, if you simply need to know one certain function on the computer, learn a software program, or how to troubleshoot a problem in your computer, I suggest Google’s YouTube videos. Computer instructors, tech companies, libraries, schools and many knowledgable individuals upload training videos to YouTube. Here you not only get free training, but targeted training. For instance, if you need to know how to install a USB flash drive in Windows 7, you simply go to youtube.com on the Internet and there will be many videos to help you through this process.

One tip for searching within YouTube for help, try using the term: “tutorials” with your search. Sometimes this will give you a full training course on the particular subject you are interested in learning. I use YouTube all the time when I need help with a particular computer program. But it doesn’t stop there either. I wanted to learn how to winterize my RV and save the hundred dollar fee, so I searched for videos on YouTube and have winterized my own trailer ever since for only the cost of antifreeze.

You can get free training from the best of both worlds. If you are new to the computer, YouTube videos will help you get an idea what you are up against, but what if you still need the help of a human. Central United Church operates a free computer drop-in training centre where you can get free help on any computer-related issue. Since September 2010 over two-hundred people have found this training centre an excellent way to learn at one’s own speed. The only cost is a food item to donate to the Food Bank. For more info: go to the website ( http://central-united-church.org/training ) or phone: 519 344-4561.

[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 Computer Training Centre at: http://goo.gl/76H15.
This is free and open to the public as a community service.

Learn at your own speed.

Gregory can be reached at: prospector16(at)gmail.com

Windows FREE Office 2010

Microsoft Rolls Out “SkyDrive” Online Office Apps and Storage

by Ira Wilsker

WEBSITES:

http://explore.live.com/windows-live-skydrive

http://docs.google.com

 

It is obvious that there is some heavy competition between Microsoft and Google in  the online document market.  About a year ago I wrote about the services offered by Google Docs (docs.google.com), which includes free online document creation and editing, along with online storage and collaboration.  Microsoft has also been providing a somewhat similar service, originally with its Office Live Workspace (beta), but now with its enhanced and upgraded SkyDrive service, which is also free (explore.live.com/windows-live-skydrive).  While the office components in Google Docs are generally compatible with Microsoft Office, Microsoft’s SkyDrive provides a free online version of Office.  Since SkyDrive is online, it is accessible from anywhere there is an internet connection, and works with most browsers; I tried it on Firefox and Internet Explorer, and it worked flawlessly on both browsers. SkyDrive is platform independent, and works equally well on a PC and a MAC, or any other operating system with a compatible browser and internet access.  Documents can be “collaborated” and edited or shared with others, even if the other users do not have Microsoft Office.  Microsoft SkyDrive offers 25MB of free storage, an adequate if not generous amount of storage space for almost all users.  SkyDrive requires registration, which is free; registered users of most other online Microsoft products, such as the other Microsoft Live services, Hotmail or Messenger can use their existing usernames and passwords on the SkyDrive service.

One of the primary features is the “Office Web Apps for SkyDrive”, which includes online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Clicking on the “Office” link will open up the basic Office App page, where the desired application can be opened.  The first window for all of the apps is very simple, where the user is asked to enter the name of the document.  I started typing this column on the online Office Word App, and the screen was almost identical to the desktop version of Word.  Anyone who can use Word, or another similar word processor, will find the online Word app familiar and easy to use; almost all of the features, commands, controls, and features of the desktop version are available in the free online version of Word.  In terms of functionality, I could not find any significant differences between the web and desktop versions of Word.  The user can choose to save the file on the SkyDrive servers (the default), print, and share the document.  Under the “Share” option, others can be invited to view or edit the document, all under the control of the original user.

As with Word, the online Excel App has the same look and feel as the desktop version of Excel.  To open a new workbook, the clean opening screen asks the user for a file name, and then the workbook opens.  Once data is entered, there is no “Save” button, as the Excel App continuously saves the workbook as it is produced.  The user also has the option to “Save As” and save the workbook under another name.  Unless explicitly downloaded to the computer, all of the workbooks are saved to the SkyDrive servers.  Workbooks can be selectively shared with others, while the others can be granted access only to view the workbook, or edit it; this is the heart of online document collaboration.

I frequently do PowerPoint presentations, and the SkyDrive PowerPoint app offers the ability to create, edit, store, and show a PowerPoint presentation from anywhere there is internet access.  When opened, the PowerPoint app has the same look and feel of the desktop version, and uses the same command set.  As with Excel, there is no “Save” button, as the presentations are automatically saved as they are created.  One interesting feature is that when a PowerPoint presentation is shown (“View – Slide Show”) it opens in a browser pop-up window, so the user must allow browser pop-ups from the application in order for the slide show to be viewed.  If connected to a projector, the output looks the same as if it was from a desktop version of PowerPoint.  As with all of the other Office online apps, the user can choose to share the file with others, and selectively allow others to edit the file.  Since Microsoft provides 25MB of free storage, SkyDrive is a practical place to store presentations; if for some reason the presentation must be shown from a computer lacking Office, the SkyDrive file can be shown, as long as there is internet access.

Microsoft OneNote is hard to explain, but basically both the desktop and SkyDrive App versions are both note-taking utilities.  OneNote can easily organize any notes that are taken, and would be useful in a classroom, organizational, or professional environment where notes are taken.  OneNote looks like a simplified version of Word, but allows the user to “flag” important points, or quickly search for desired terms or phrases.  OneNote can incorporate images, web pages, and video, and can itself be incorporated into Word or PowerPoint.  A few of my students use OneNote to share class notes during my lectures, ensuring that each of them has a comprehensive set of notes for test reviews.  As with the other Office apps, it can be selectively shared with and edited by others.  As with some of the other apps, there is no “Save” button as the information is saved to SkyDrive in real-time.

I have several students who do not have Microsoft Office on their personal computers, but need to be able to access Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote; SkyDrive is a free alternative to Microsoft Office, provided that the student has internet access.  For the frequent times when several of us must work together (there is that “collaboration” term again) on an Office file, SkyDrive could be the appropriate utility that we could all share, giving us secure and controlled access to our files.  For those who have the desktop version of Office 2010, there is a direct and transparent online connection with SkyDrive, allowing files to be saved on SkyDrive directly from the desktop Office. The SkyDrive files can be selectively shared with anyone on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, AOL Mail, Hyves, Gmail, Outlook, other Windows Live users, and anyone else with an email address.  For security and privacy reasons, access is limited to only those authorized by the user, and that degree of access is also under the control of the original user.

I found SkyDrive and its Office Apps to be every bit as useful as their desktop counterparts, with the bonus of secure online storage of files.  Some of us have used SkyDrive and its apps to work together on producing Word documents and PowerPoint presentations, without the need to physically swap files between us.  SkyDrive and its Office Apps would be very worthwhile for any computer user with internet access.

 

Don’t Forget to VOTE

Brian White for Sarnia City Council

GOOGLE 411 is NO MORE!

If you never used Google’s FREE 411 service you really do not know what you missed. You missed a lot.

It must be said, traveling with my GPS Garmin Nuvi on the dashboard is a huge advantage while navigating the roads and highways of North America. The Garmin can find me Walmarts or gas stations when needed, and many more places of interest etc.

However, the Garmin DOES NOT give me any information about the place I want to go and visit. For instance, while driving up HWY 400 on a recent canoe trip, we needed to find out if the Canadian Tire store in Parry Sound  had a gas bar. Thus, Google 411 free service.

Dialing up Google 411 not only got me the phone number of the store but connected me directly to a human who informed they did have a gas bar, and that there were two stores so I told to take the first exit not the second one that shows with any GPS.

Bingo…We had success, thanks to Google 411 free information service from my cell phone.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now for the rest of the story.” Plain and simple, Google is opting out of the 411 program. For the complete details check this site out:

Google Shuttering GOOG-411

Directory Service Nov. 12

Your Business Needs Foursquare

“A company of McDonald’s size spends millions on advertising every year, and yet a simple $1,000 Foursquare campaign netted the company measurable success. Of course, the metric here was checkins (not sales), and there were likely several other factors contributing to the campaign’s success, but it’s still a story that many an agency should pay heed to.” (SOURCE)

Check out how a church uses Foursquare: CLICK HERE

ADOBE FRAUD – BEWARE OUT THERE

ALERT: ADOBE READER UPGRADE EMAIL SPAM/PHISHING SCAM

It has come to Adobe’s attention that email messages purporting to offer a download of a new version of Adobe Reader have been sent by entities claiming to be Adobe. Many of these emails are signed as “Adobe Acrobat Reader Support” (or similar), and in some instances require recipients to register and/or provide personal information. Please be aware that these emails have not been sent by Adobe or on Adobe’s behalf.

The Adobe Reader is free software available for download directly from the Adobe Reader download page on the Adobe website at http://get.adobe.com/reader/; it is not available in any other manner via download, including via email.

Customers receiving one of these emails should delete the email immediately without clicking on any of the links.

September 13, 2010

TEST DRIVE IE9

Internet Explorer 9

CLICK ABOVE for download

Children Restricted in Chicago Concert

Please Let My Grandsons In To Your Concert

Accompanied by two adults and denied entry!

PLEASE LET THE CHILDREN INTO YOUR CONCERT

Most websites today are quite efficient and are deigned in such a way to make sure the user has a quick and easy experience. This is especially true in websites where the customer is looking to purchase a product the vendor is selling.

The buyer clicks on a list of items, usually from a drop down box, then makes a choice and so on goes the normal web purchase routine.

NOT AT PARK WEST CHICAGO – A concert venue.

To be fair to Park West, they do not set the following policy, The staff for Playing for Change does by restricting children under the age of 18.

The strange thing about this restriction for children is that Playing for Change promotes and rightfully so, wants us to help out in their quest to help schools in other countries. They want us to help children. Children like my grandchildren who worship people like Ridley and Grandpa Elliot. Now, after buying tickets, they find out they cannot attend the Playing for Change concert in Chicago on Nov. 10th at the Park West.

WHY NOT?

They promise not to bother anyone. They promise not to clap too loud. They promise not to sing along too loud. They promise just to behave and watch this amazing concert.

In the wikipedia site on Playing for Change it is stated: “Playing for Change is a multimedia music project created by the American producer and sound engineer Mark Johnson with his Timeless Media Group, that seeks to bring together musicians from around the world. Playing For Change also created a separate non-profit organization called the Playing For Change Foundation which builds music schools for children around the world.”

Kudos to Playing for Change…For amassing this amazing talent from around the world. And to the musicians: GOOD FOR YOU!

I do hope that the people at Playing for Change will reconsider this move to restrict children from attending their concert in Chicago on November 10, 2010. Please…RECONSIDER.

————————————————————————————————

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

Evernote – Keeping an Online Diary Of FINDS

When you see something online that catches your eye but you don’t have the time right now to pursue it further, save it, don’t bookmark it; that is sooooooooo “old skool”.

NEVER LOSE YOUR INTERNET TREASURES AGAIN!

Evernote works in all browsers for both Mac and PCs. If you are working on a project and gathering data from the Interent Evernote is the best way to collect data, photos, charts, music, video etc. on the go.

Watch this video and see how it can work for you: