New Snip & Sketch Windows Tool

If you have been keeping up with your Windows updates then you have the new Snip & Sketch Tool. This tool replaces or for now sits with the on Snipping Tool in Windows 10. When I first started checking this new tool out I felt it was over blotted until I started using it. Now it is easy to make a new snip. Hold down the Windows Key, Shift and then hit S. A box will appear at the top of the screen. You will notice that your cursor will change to a crosshair. You just drag your mouse across what you want to snip.  Once you complete your snip you will see this box appear. Now, this is where the magic happens.

SnipandSketch

You can mark up your snip with the tools at the top of the program.

Marking Up

You can also click the pull-down menu on the RIGHT to share you snip in many different ways.

Sharing Snips

You can still just click on the menu bar for copy and paste the snip into an email or a web page. This new program is worth a look and once you start looking at it and using it you will do like I did make it your default.

Windows 10 20H1 Preview

Windows 10 20H1 Preview

Today I have begun to test the newest Windows 10 20H1 Preview release of Windows 10.

The first error I found was when I was creating the bootable USB from the ISO I downloaded from Microsoft. I used the recommended settings on Rufus and created a Partition scheme as GPT and a Target system UEFI. When I tried to boot onto my 8-year-old test laptop is would not boot legacy I had to make some changes. I had to recreate my bootable USB to Partition scheme (MBR) and the Target system (BIOS). Once these changes were made the OS installed fine on my test system.

SettingsI installed Windows 10 Pro and was impressed that the Start Menu was not cluttered with all of the junk any longer. In business, it takes us hours cleaning up all of the un-needed icons on the start menu. This will be a big-time saver.

New Start Cleaner

I did join the new release to the Domain and found it connected as normal and I had no issues pushing Group Policies to the new test machine. I will make notes as I continue to test the new Windows Release and see what new features I can find for you. I would suggest that you sign up for the FREE preview and begin testing the new releases also.

Microsoft Office 365

Office365Online

Many people that I talk to think that Office 365 is only the online component of the Microsoft Office package. The truth is Office 365 is really a label for the subscription model of Microsoft Office. Once you pay for a yearly subscription you will not only receive the benefits of using Office Online you will also be able to download the full package of Office to install onto your computer. We refer to the installed package as the FAT client. Also with the subscription model you are licensed to install Office on five machines. You can even mix and match Windows and Mac. You can also log into the Office apps on your tablets.

Everyone remembers when you were working on an important document or maybe a presentation at your office desk and saving it to a flash drive to do some touch up at home. Once you get home and plug in the flash drive into your home computer you find it didn’t copy? With Office 365 this becomes a thing of the past. When you are logged into either the online version or the desktop client all of your work is saved onto the Microsoft Cloud. With this, you will never forget your work at the office or at home. Whenever you want to work on your projects just log into Office Online and pick up right where you left off.

I also enjoy using the Outlook Online. Once I set it up the way I want it to look with folders and contacts I can be anywhere and check my email without missing a beat. My last thought is when you were almost completed with that large power point for that important meeting in the morning and your computer crashes or freezes? Well, there goes hours of your hard work! This will not happen with Office 365 as you are working it is doing an autosave in the background. Even if your computer dies all you need to do is log onto another computer with Internet access and pick up where you left off.

Two Step Authentication Password Protection

Google

We all have them and we all use them every day in one way or another. We also trust the companies that we use them to keep our information hidden.  What are we talking about? Well Passwords of course. Let’s talk a minute about trusting the companies that you deal with to keep your information and passwords secure. Remember hearing about the Target Breach? So you say you don’t shop at Target or one of the many other retail chains that have been breached. Well, I know you use a password for your banking or even your email. How many people use the same password on every site they visit? If your user name and password gets picked up and put on a public list then you could stand to be hacked on any number of your accounts. Sound scary? Well, it should and you need to take steps to protect yourself.

Step up to what is known as Two Factor Authentication. You can use the FREE app on your smartphone shown above called Google Authenticator or there is one by Microsoft. The idea with these apps is once you turn on Two-Factor on the sites you visit whenever you log into the site it will show the message above. You then open the app on your phone and it will give you an ever-changing number that you enter to access your site. I have also found that if a site does not support this tool they will have a way that they will text you a number to enter to ensure that it is YOU trying to access your account.

I hear you now. This will take to much time to get into my accounts. Wonder if I don’t have my phone sitting next to me? How can I share my account with others NEVER DO THIS! The simple truth is this. We all take an extra minute to lock our house when we go to work and we all take the extra minute to lock our cars before walking away from them. Why not take an EXTRA SECOND to protect all of your ONLINE accounts?

Keeping Your Computer Running Fast

MalwareBytes

When we buy a new computer and take it out of the box most peoples first reaction is that this new computer is so fast! But over time as you use the computer from day in and day out you might start to notice that the computer is running slower and slower. After a few months of the computer running slower, many of us would simply toss the computer and buy a new one.

For me, that is like your car running out of gas and you run out and buy a new one with a full tank. Sounds pretty dumb right? Well, there is a better way. We need to clean our computers and have routine maintenance. We all worry about our cars and getting the oil changed but I have found not many people out there give this same care and understanding to their computers.

Computers run slow over time because as we use them on the Internet even if we are very careful Spyware or Adware can begin to clog up our machines. So do we toss it in the scrap pile? NO, We need to clean it and get it running like new again.

One of my favorite tools for this is MalwareBytes. There is a FREE version. Once you download and install this tool you need to then run it on the computer. It will clean all of these bad files from Spyware and Adware. With the FREE version, you have to run it when you want to clean your machine. For continued worry-free cleaning of your system, you will need the paid version. It just happens I am a reseller of this great software and can get it for you at a discount. Contact me if you would like to get the full version of the software. And don’t worry if you are not a computer geek. I can remote to your machine and do the install and cleaning for you. So don’t buy a new computer, clean your TODAY!

Do You Need A Firewall At Home

Firewall

Let’s face it we all worry about identity theft. So you take the time to watch for little locks in front of a website address before you buy anything online. We feel around the card slot at gas stations before we slide our card into the slot. Maybe you even watch the waiter or waitress as they walk away with your card at a restaurant? But what about when you are at home on your own wireless with your own Internet connection and your trusty tablet sitting on your couch. Are you SAFE?

Really the answer has to be NO! Let’s look at it this way. You walk into your house and before you go to bed you lock the front door and make sure your windows are locked. Even your car sitting outside is locked up tight. But many of us leave another path right into our private lives. Your Internet line coming into your house is always on and ready for your use. But my friends it is also always on and allowing others into your house. So that password list that you keep in that folder called HIDDEN or PRIVATE can be accessed by anyone in the world. How about that baby monitor with that cute camera that you can watch little Jr. sleeping? So can anyone else in the world. I have even heard that people are now listening to your conversions at home using your Amazon or Google devices. So what can you do?

Well, we could pull the plug on the Internet whenever we are not using it? Really not the best idea because our computers and phones get updates when we sleep. No, a better way is to install a Firewall at home. We once thought these were just for business. But in reality, you have more private information then what you have on your work computer right in your own homes. Okay, so you might be saying I don’t know anything about this Firewall stuff? I can help with that. Please contact me and we can find a cost-effective way to secure your home or even small business with a Firewall that will keep you and your family safe and allow you to sleep at night knowing no one is watching or listening to you!

GitHub Programming Ideas

GitHub

Sometimes coming up with the next big program that everyone wants to use or maybe a new tool that makes something easier to do with your computer is no easy task. Or maybe you just want to learn how to program and one of the best ways is to look at someone else’s code. Maybe you want to be a part of a development team and join in on a project? Then GitHub is the place for you to begin.

You can search thousands of software projects written in just about every programming language. GitHub is a community of developers that come together and share ideas and better yet work on projects together. Even if you are not a programmer you can still get involved with a project. You could work on the GUI or Graphical User Interface. You might be a person who loves to try new software and look for bugs, you could be a bug reporter or a software tester. Maybe you like to write about software, you could be a technical writer on how to use the software.

As you can see there are many ways to get involved with the next big thing of software without having to come up with the base idea. And if you are coming up with the next big thing and need help put your project on GitHub and start to build a community around your project.

10″ Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire

I recently turned in an iPad I was using from the job location I was working at. I told my wife that we should go out and buy an iPad of our own. We used the iPad every day while walking on the treadmill. As I was doing some research on tablets I ran into something that I knew was out I just didn’t know if it could replace the trusty iPad. While move over iPad I found a tablet that will do everything I need it to do at a fraction of the cost.

Meet the 10″ Kindle Fire. Instead of spending $350.00 for the iPad I found the 10″ Kindle Fire on sale at Best Buy for $119.00. It comes pre-loaded with most of the apps I use, Amazon Video, Amazon Music and a few others. My wife likes to watch programs on NBC and it was easy to install that FREE app as well. I even found a FREE HD YouTube app that I installed.

I am not writing this to do a full review but I can say I used it this morning on the treadmill and was able to watch the series I am watching on Amazon Video with no issues and the HD screen looks really good. I was even able to connect my Bluetooth headphones up just like any other device.

I will be doing some more testing with the device but for what we bought it for it works very well. So if you mainly consume on your tablet such as watching videos or checking email or even reading books and checking FaceBook than this might just be the device for you and you are going to save a lot of money. I give this device ten thumbs up and would recommend it to anyone.

Word Processing Programs

Office Map

I can never get over how many college professors tell their students that they will only accept Microsoft documents! They should be telling their students they will only accept Microsoft formatted documents such as .doc or .docx. This will save the students and their parents a ton of cash. They will not have to run out and buy Microsoft office just because a professor is uneducated with all of the other programs out there. The simple truth is that all of the major word processing programs in the World today can export to a MS Word formatting of .doc or .docx.

Our middle daughter has been using her Chromebook for 4 years of college and now 2 more years of a masters program and she submits all of her work in Word formatted documents. Her professor never knows or has to know that she is writing all of her work using Google Docs. Oh NO WHAT! Yes Google Docs. She just selects email as an attachment and selects send as MS Word Document.

If you don’t want to use Google Docs download the FREE LibreOffice program. It works on every operating system and will cost you nothing, yes FREE! Before you run out and buy any software look at free open source solutions. I am starting to enjoy using Linux more and more. It just feels fast and it seems not to get viruses or spyware.

I hope this post will open your eyes and save you some money. Even for your business you can use these tools to get the job down and save on the bottom line.

Does Operating Systems Matter

Operating Systems

I have been working with computers since the early day’s of DOS, yes we didn’t even have a graphical user interface. When you wanted the computer to do something most of the time you would have to be able to write a program and then do the project.

Then came Apple and Windows with their pretty point and click graphical user interface. You wanted to open an application you simply double clicked on it and it opened. What was even more impressive was the fact that you could have multiple applications opened at the same time. Which I believe was the beginning of giving all of us a little OCD. This is because we could be working on one project and quickly switch to another application and look at the news. You may do this today? You are working on a large project and you open another tab and check your email or facebook?

At one time the operating system meant that you choose it because of the application you are used to using. Such as running Microsoft Windows because you are a Microsoft Office user. Or using a Mac because you enjoy using Final Cut Pro. Or you might have been a FREE type of person and you went with Linux?

In today’s modern computer world the operating system is really the less important thing on the computer. Why is this? Easy most software vendors have found that programming for the web is the best choice for their applications. I am working on a large database program now and after careful consideration, I decided to write it for any web browser. Why would I choose to do this? I am like the big guys. I want my application to work on any operating system as well as any device that may could be invented for years to come. As long as there is a way to view the Internet I can adjust my program to run on that device.

We see in schools today most of the daily work is done inside of the browser. We have Google Suite and Office 365. Kids take their tests using a web browser. Teachers are teaching from the web browser. So you can see that the operating system basically boils down to what you want to look at all day.

One last thought of today’s post. This is why when Google released the Chromebook it is such a great hit. Because people who use a computer know that the only place they will be spending their day is inside of a web browser and most people choose to use Google Chrome so why not buy a full function laptop for a few hundred dollars and put the saving into some other form of technology.