Getting Comfortable With The Basics

How it works

Use a Streaming Stick or Set-Top Box

Don’t Bother with Smart TV Software, Use a Streaming Stick or Set-Top Box Instead by reviewgeek.com

It is all but impossible to buy a TV without getting some kind of bundled software that’s supposed to make your life easier (but mostly just frustrates everyone). If you’d rather enjoy using your TV (and get a longer life out of it), here are our picks for streaming sticks and set-top boxes.

Your Smart TV Just Isn’t Very Smart

If you have a smart TV, you’re probably well aware how lackluster the software is. TV manufacturers just aren’t very good at making software. 

Find and Store Account Recovery Passcodes​

Here’s How to Find and Store Your Account Recovery Passcodes​ by lifehacker.com

Losing (or breaking) your phone is never fun. Yes, there are the complications that come from it being covered in fragile glass, but the issue that’ll ultimately cause your more grief is this: your phone is the key to your online identity. If you’re using two-factor authentication on your devices, you may rely on the authentication app or SMS texts providing randomly generated access codes used to verify your identity when you log into a different device, or make a purchase. For added security, you should keep a physical copy

High school kids get video of the eclipse

High school kids get video of the eclipse… from 32,000 meters above the Earth! by www.syfy.com

Look, I know: After the total solar eclipse in August, you probably reached saturation with images of videos of it. I know I did, having seen the event from every angle and manner possible.

Or so I thought. In fact, there was one I hadn’t considered, and jaded as I was I still gasped with delight when I saw it: a video of the Moon’s shadow on the ground taken from a weather balloon from a height of 32 kilometers (105,000 feet)!

How cool is that? And it gets better: That balloon was launched by high school students. They were participating in a group called Earth to Sky Calculus, started by some of the students who were “tired of being lectured to and wanted to explore Nature in a different, more hands-on way.” So Dr. Tony Phillips — the person who created the fantastic…

Backup Your Hard Drive Using Google’s Backup

How To Backup Your Hard Drive Using Google's Backup And Sync Tool? by fossbytes.com

Backup & Sync is a tool developed by Google. It automatically uploads the data from your hard drive and connected USB devices to your Google Drive.

Backing up their data is an important task for regular users, be it the computer or smartphone. But an important question in this regard is how you backup your data? Locally or on a cloud drive. And how often you do it? 

In the past, I have told you about backing up your hard drive using…

Computer Keyboard Key Explanation

Computer Keyboard Key Explanation by Computer Hope

When dealing with technical commands that use the keyboard (for example, web pages or the command line), you may hear such things as forward slash, backslash, and caret.

Many times, this can be confusing for anyone unfamiliar with each of the symbols on a keyboard. The table below identifies non-alphanumerickeys with a description or link for additional information.

Cellular Signal Strength

No Bars? Here’s Everything That Can Affect Your Cellular Signal Strength by How-To Geek

Cell signal is weird. One moment you could have five bars, but walk a few feet and it drops to two. In my house, the signal downstairs is awful, but it’s perfect upstairs. There’s a lot going on with cell reception, so let’s look at some of the main factors that affect it.


How Weather Affects Your Cell Signal by OutsideOnline

Using a phone outdoors? This is what you need to know to stay in touch.

Whether it’s dialing 911 in an emergency, streaming music in camp, or checking in on weather radar, phones are playing an increasingly important role in the outdoors. But, out in the woods, cell signal is…


Line-of-sight propagation by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Line of sight propagation to an antenna. Line-of-sight propagation is a characteristic of electromagnetic radiation or…


Cellular frequencies in the US by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Carrier Frequency

The usage of frequencies within the United States is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). When distributing initial spectrum…


 

Google’s New ‘Backup and Sync’ App

Google's New 'Backup and Sync' App Beams Your Photos to the Cloud by petapixel.com

Google this week launched a new desktop app that consolidates file backups for both Google Photos and Google Drive. It’s called Backup and Sync, and is an easy way to protect your precious photos from being lost.

Backup and Sync replaces Drive for files and the Google Photos desktop uploader for photos.

Chromebook Improved Printing Options

Your Chromebook is about to get some improved printing options by TechRadar

Printing from Chrome OS has always been a somewhat convoluted affair, with printers needing to get hooked up to Google Cloud Print in the cloud before becoming available on a Chromebook or wherever else you've got Chrome installed.


Google Help – Set up your printer

You can print from your Chromebook using most Wi-Fi printers.

Note: If your printer doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi, you can’t set it up with your Chromebook.

Step 1: Connect to Wi-Fi

  1. Turn on your printer.
  2. Connect your printer to a Wi-Fi network. If you need help, follow your printer manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. If you haven’t yet, turn on your Chromebook and sign in.
  4. Connect your Chromebook to the same Wi-Fi network as your printer. Learn how to connect to Wi-Fi.

Step 2: Add your printer to your Chromebook

Important: You’ll need to know your printer’s IP address, protocol, and queue. To find them, check your printer’s display panel, manual, device specs, or help website.

  1. Click your account photo.
  2. Click Settings Settings.
  3. At the bottom, click Advanced.
  4. In the "Printing" section, click Printers.
  5. Click Add Printer.
  6. Enter your printer information:
    • Name: Type any name.
    • Address: Type your printer’s IP address.
    • Protocol: For most printers, the supported connection protocol is IPP.
    • Queue: For most printers, the queue is ipp/print.
  7. Click Add.
  8. In the box that appears, choose your printer manufacturer and model.
    • To find this info, look at the label on your printer.
    • If you don’t see your printer in the list, check your printer info for its "printer language" or "emulation." Then choose the "Generic" option that looks similar.
    • If you have your printer driver, click Browse to upload it. The file must be 250 kb or smaller.
  9. Click Add.

Step 3: Print a page

After you’ve set up your printer, you can use that printer to print from your Chromebook:

  1. On the page you’d like to print, press Ctrl + p.
  2. Next to "Destination," click Change.
  3. Under "Local Destinations," select your printer.
  4. Click Print.

You Shouldn’t Use SMS for Two-Factor Authentication

Why You Shouldn’t Use SMS for Two-Factor Authentication (and What to Use Instead) by How-To Geek

Security experts recommend using two-factor authentication to secure your online accounts wherever possible. Many services default to SMS verification, sending codes via text message to your phone when you try to sign in. But SMS messages have a lot of security problems, and are the least secure option for two-factor authentication. Click Here to Continue Reading

 

Set Up Authy for Two-Factor Authentication

How to Set Up Authy for Two-Factor Authentication (and Sync Your Codes Between Devices) by How-To-Geek

Strong passwords are not enough anymore: we recommend using two-factor authentication whenever possible. Ideally, that means using an app that generates authentication codes on your phone or a physical hardware token. We prefer Authy when it comes to authentication apps—it’s compatible with all sites that use Google Authenticator, but is more powerful and convenient.

Switch to VoIP and Ditch Your Home Phone Bill

How to Switch to VoIP and Ditch Your Home Phone Bill Forever by How-To Geek 

You can enjoy the convenience of a whole-house phone line without shelling out your hard earned money to your local telecommunications provider. Read on as we show you how to ditch the phone bill, keep the land line, and enjoy free local and long distance calling in the process. Click Here to Continue Reading

 

Verizon’s Move to AOL Mail

Transitioning From Verizon Email Servers to AOL or Gmail Service

Clarification of who's involved with the termination of Verizon's Email Service.

How do I start the process of moving my verizon.net email address to AOL Mail?

When it is time for you to move your verizon.net mail to AOL Mail, you will be notified by an email from Verizon and messaging on webmail.verizon.com. Select Option 1 in the email or on webmail to begin the AOL Mail registration process. Once you register with AOL, you will have access to your verizon.net email, folders and contacts on mail.aol.com. This video shows just how simple the process is!

It's easy to see how this issue can be confusing. Here's our attempt to clarify who may have to take some action:

First: If you are a Comcast customer, you are not involved.

Second: If you are a Gmail user and all your contacts are in your Gmail account, you can forget about the changeover. Your Gmail will not be affected.

  • Likewise if have been using AOL, MSN, Outlook, Yahoo, Apple or any other account you are also not affected.

Third: If you want to keep your Verizon Email address and use AOL Mail service choose Option 1 when responding to Verizon's notification to you and just follow the instructions for the next steps. Verizon and AOL will handle the transfer to the AOL email server.

Verizon option 1: Keep your current email address with AOL Mail.
Choosing this option you will:

  • Keep your verizon.net email address
  • Migrate to AOL Mail, this video shows just how
  • Retain email, contacts and calendar(s) automatically

Fourth: If you are on Gmail, having previously arranged to have emails sent to your old Verizon.net address either imported or forwarded to your Gmail account, you will have to indicate to Verizon/AOL that you wish to keep your Verizon.net email address (use Verizon option 1 above). 

  • To continue the importing feature in Gmail, you need to update your Gmail Settings> Accounts and Imports> Check mail from other accounts to show the AOL server, rather than the Verizon server after the switch to the AOL server has been made.
  • Alternately (the best option) after completing the migration to AOL add forwarding of all future email from the AOL to your Gmail account, follow these four steps. 
    1. Log into your new AOL account (remember to use your complete email address with @verizon.net at the end) using the password you created in "Migrate to AOL Mail" step above.
    2. On your AolMail inbox page at upper right under you email address choose: Options> Mail Settings> General> Forward To
    3. Type in you Gmail email address, be sure to click "Save Settings" button at the bottom of this screen.
    4. At this point any email sent to you Verizon address will immediately be forwarder to the Gmail inbox.

Finally the option we recommend: You switch from the Verizon/AOL email service to Gmail you should:

  • Choose Verizon Option 2. Use any other email provider (Note: This step must be done before using Verizon Option 1) or some contact data formatting will be lost.
    • In the Option 2 screen select Export Contacts to a vCard file (.vcf). This will export all contact data from the old Verizon account formatted properly for importing into your new Gmail account.
    • After Export Contacts to a vCard file your contact data will be downloaded and saved with the file name "Contacts.vcf" to you computer's download folder.
    • Now go back to the page with the two options.
    • This time select Option 1. Keep your current email address with AOL Mail. ​By choosing this option you will:
  • Keep your verizon.net email address
  • Migrate to AOL Mail, this video shows just how
  • Retain email, contacts and calendar(s) automatically (we don't care about these contacts since exporting property formatted version above).
  1. At this point all new email addressed to your @verizon.net address will go to the new AOL account.
    • Log into your new AOL account (remember to use your complete email address with @verizon.net at the end) using the password you created in "Migrate to AOL Mail" step above.
    • After login into AOL add forwarding of all future email from the AOL to your Gmail account. On your AolMail inbox page at upper right under you email address choose: Options> Mail Settings> General> Forward To
    • Type in you Gmail email address, be sure to click "Save Settings" button at the bottom of this screen.
    • Now any email sent to you Verizon address will immediately be forwarder to the Gmail inbox.
  2. One last step, import the contacts previously exported in step 1 above into your Gmail account.
    • Sign in to Gmail.
    • Click Gmail at the top-left corner of your Gmail page, then choose Contacts.
    • Click the More button above the contacts list and select Import….
    • Click the Choose File button.
    • Select the file you'd like to upload (It's the one exported in step 1 above named "Contacts.vcf") and click the Import button.
         Note: This "Contacts.vcf" file should be in the downloads folder unless you have designated a different folder for saving downloaded files.
    • When it's done, Gmail will display the number of contacts imported.

Enjoy your new email experience!

Font With Slashed Zero

Font With Slashed Zero

Which fonts in Google Docs has a zero with a line through it like this / ?

For some printouts it may be beneficial to use a zero with a slash through it rather than the standard zero without a slash. This is called a "slashed zero", and while not every font has one, several of the fonts installed in Google Docs do.

A solution is to simply change to a different font that uses a slashed zero in place of the regular zero. There are any number of such fonts already be installed in Google Docs. They are Consolas, Inconsolata, Roboto Mono and Share Tech Mono fonts. You'll need to experiment with whatever font you select to see what looks best for your document.

How to Add Fonts to Google Docs

  1. Go to the fonts drop-down menu.
  2. Select "More fonts" at the bottom.
  3. Make sure "Show all fonts" is selected at the top.
  4. Look for the font you want in the fonts list.
  5. Click on the font you want to add it to the "My Fonts" list at the right.
  6. Click the blue OK button to close out the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here are a few more fronts suggested by Mike B, these fonts are not in Google docs but can be installed in Windows.

 

 

 

Google Assistant – Google Search Guide

Your guide to using Google Assistant and the Google search app on Android & iPhone by Danny Sullivan, Founding Editor of Search Engine Land

Google Assistant is coming widely to Android phones. Here's how to use it and other ways to Google on your smartphone — even for iPhone users.

Google Assistant has now come to Android phones beyond Google’s own Pixel. It’s a significant change to how Google’s previously offered search on mobile devices. It’s also the latest in a wide variety of ways people can search with Google on Android.

Alternative Browsers Based on Google Chrome

Why You Shouldn’t Use (Most) Alternative Browsers Based on Google Chrome by How-To Geek 

Google Chrome is based on Chromium, an open-source browser project. Anyone can take the Chromium source code and use it to build their own browser, renaming it and changing whatever they like. That’s why there are so many alternative browsers based on Google Chrome—but you don’t necessarily want to use most of them.

Migrate Windows Installation to a SSD

How to Migrate Your Windows Installation to a Solid-State Drive by How-To Geek

Many older (or cheaper) Windows laptops come with traditional mechanical hard drives—which these days, are pretty outdated and slow. Upgrading to a new, super fast solid state drive (or SSD) is the surest way to speed up an old computer. There’s one problem: moving your Windows installation can be tricky, especially since SSDs are often smaller than their traditional hard drive counterparts.


How to Upgrade to a Larger Hard Drive Without Reinstalling Windows by How-To Geek

If you find that your old hard drive is bursting at the seams and you want to upgrade to a larger one, it’s really easy to do so without losing any of your data.

What is Bitcoin

Bitcoin – Open source P2P money by bitcoin.org/

Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money. Find all you need to know and get started with Bitcoin on bitcoin.org.


What is Bitcoin? by CNN Money

Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them: You can buy webhosting services, pizza or even manicures.


What is bitcoin? by CoinDesk

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. No one controls it. Bitcoins aren't printed, like dollars or euros – they're produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems.


FAQ – Bitcoin by bitcoin.org

What is Bitcoin mining? How does Bitcoin mining work? Isn't Bitcoin mining a waste of energy? How does mining help secure Bitcoin? What do I need to start …

Why You Need to Upgrade to an SSD

It’s Time: Why You Need to Upgrade to an SSD Right Now by How-To-Geek

It’s time to upgrade to an SSD if you’re still using a mechanical hard drive in your computer. An SSD is the single biggest upgrade you can give your computer, and prices have come down dramatically.

Solid-state drives are so much faster because they don’t have a spinning magnetic platter and moving head.

Amazon Prime Is More than Free Shipping

Amazon Prime Is More than Free Shipping: Here Are All of Its Extra Features by How-To Geek

Millions of people have an Amazon Prime subscription for one reason: you can get just about anything shipped to your house in two days, with no extra shipping fees. But Amazon Prime comes with a ton of other features that you may not know about. Here are all the ways you can maximize the value of your Prime membership.

New Features in Android Nougat

The Best New Features in Android 7.0 “Nougat” by How-To-Geek

Android 7.0 Nougat is finally here, and Nexus users will start getting the updates very soon. Here are the coolest features in the latest version of Android.

Right now, the update should be rolling out to the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 9…


Four Excellent Android Nougat Improvements You May Not Know About

Android 7.0 Nougat is another feature-refining build for the OS, with lots of little tweaks and optimizations throughout.  Google covered a lot of the big features when it announced Nougat(then called “Andorid N”), but today we’re going to highlight a handful of features that you may not have already heard about.

SpinRite – USB Boot Device

SpinRite – USB Boot Device

We have seen mixed success with USB drive booting.  Only some flash drives seem to support it correctly and only some motherboards.

If your system can boot a USB device, here is some basic instructions for making a bootable USB key.

There is a free utility called Rufus <https://rufus.akeo.ie/>, that is very easy to use.

There is also a FREE utility that can create a boot USB device using the IMG file created by SpinRite.

When you start SpinRite 6.0 under Windows, you will see a few options (buttons) along the bottom of the dialog box that appears.  The option to choose is the "Create ISO or IMG File" button.  Then, save the IMG image file to the desktop of your hard drive (usually C: Drive).  Once the IMG file is created, you can create a bootable USB using this little FREE utility, "Win32 Disk Imager". <http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/>

Also, HP makes an easy to use utility called HP USB Disk Format Tool, which includes a "Create a DOS Startup Disk" option.  It's available for free download at <http://www.19systems.net/HP-USB-Tool-v2.1.8.exe> along with the Windows 98/DOS boot files <http://www.19systems.net/Win98-Boot-Files.zip>.

You can use the HP tool and point it at a directory where you unzip the DOS boot files and it automatically builds a bootable DOS USB key using those files.  Then, copy the SPINRITE.EXE file to that device.  Once done, reboot the system and at the DOS prompt, type   spinrite   to start SpinRite.

A quick search also found these sites . . .

Thank you for your cooperation, time and patience.

Greg McIntyre
Gibson Research
Technical Support

Better Pictures with Your Phone

How to Take Better Pictures with Your Phone’s Camera by How-To Geek 

They say the best camera is the one you have with you, and most smartphone cameras can now easily replace a point-and-shoot. For users who have experience taking pictures, the move from a “real” camera to a smartphone can be an easy one, but for users with no photography experience, it can be a real challenge to get a decent looking shot from your phone. Fortunately, smartphone cameras are often…

Project Fi Google’s wireless service

Google Project Fi Review by Paul Thurrott 

Google’s Project Fi is a near-perfect reinvention of what a wireless carrier can and should be, a great service with reasonable and fully transparent pricing. 


Google’s Project Fi Is One Step Closer to Unifying the World’s Wireless Networks by WIRED — and, in the process, providing your smartphone with a faster, more reliable, and less expensive signal.

Today, Google announced a deal with Three, one of the largest cellular carriers in Europe, that will allow Americans to use its experimental Project Fi wireless service when traveling in an additional 15 countries, bringing the total number of foreign countries where the service is available to more than 135. And at the same time, the company is removing the speed cap that previously limited the service overseas.


Google Fi covering 97% of international destinations of american tourists with 10X faster data speeds at no added … by Next Big Future 

Starting today, all Project Fi subscribers have access to high speed data in 135+ destinations. With the addition of Three to the Project Fi network, we're now able to deliver speeds 10-20X faster than before. And, just as before, there are no extra …


Project Fi revisited: 6 months with Google's weird wireless service by Computerworld 

Half a year with Google's multinetwork service teaches you a lot about what you want from a wireless carrier.

Let's face it: Mobile phone carriers kind of suck.

Some of them are better than others, to be sure. And most have gotten a littleless bad over the years — almost even bordering on the point of "not too terrible," in some cases. But by and large, carriers are right up there with airlines in terms of the levels of warm-and-fuzzy feelings they inspire (not to mention the number of absurd surcharges they tack on at every possible turn).

“Do Not Disturb” Settings Explained

Android’s Confusing “Do Not Disturb” Settings, Explained by How-To Geek

Travel back in time with me, if you will, to a time before Lollipop. Let’s go back to KitKat (and older!), because that’s sort of where this story starts. Back in those days, silencing your phone was pretty easy: you could just turn the volume all the way down to access vibrate-only and silent modes. It was a simple time, when moms would make homemade ice cream and kids would play in down by the creek until well past dark. We didn’t have to think about things like “how long will I need my phone to be silent?,” because everything was confined to that one simple volume slider.

Secret Google Search Tricks

9 Secret Google Search Tricks by gizmodo

Google is your portal to everything out there on the World Wide Web…but also your portal to more and more of your personal stuff, from the location of your phone to the location of your Amazon delivery. If you’re signed into the Google search page, and you use other Google services, here are nine search tricks worth knowing.

Encryption Tools – Encryption Explained

Five Best File Encryption Tools – lifehacker.com by Alan Henry

Keeping your personal data safe doesn't have to be difficult—as long as you keep the sensitive stuff encrypted and under your control. That's why this week we're looking at the five best file encryption tools you can use to encrypt your data locally so only you have the key.


A Beginner's Guide to Encryption: What It Is and How to Set it Up by Whitson Gordon

You’ve probably heard the word “encryption” a million times before, but if you still aren’t exactly sure what it is, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a basic introduction to encryption, when you should use it, and how to set it up.


Encryption Explained for the Less Tech Savvy by Thorin Klosowski

Encryption and how you control data your is a hot topic right now, but understanding encryption and how it relates to your personal data is confusing. YouTuber CGP Grey explains encryption, as well as some of the issues up for debate right now, as simply as possible.


Windows Encryption Showdown: VeraCrypt vs Bitlocker by Alan Henry

When you really need to keep your files safe and secure, you need encryption. We’ve covered the basics before, and even rounded up your favorite encryption tools, but today we’re putting two of the most popular options for Windows head to head to see which one is the best at keeping your sensitive data safe.

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