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Miscellaneous Computer Tips

Rename Multiple Files In Batch Mode In Windows
by Chris Hoffman & Walter Glenn   How-To Geek   1 Nov 2016
You can easily rename one or more files just with Windows Explorer, but you can do even more with
the Command Prompt or PowerShell. Add in third-party renaming utilities, and the possibilities are
endless. Let’s take a look at each option and how it works.

Windows Update - Fixing It When It Gets Stuck
by Walter Glenn & Chris Hoffman   How-To Geek   25 Oct 2016
This can happen on Windows 7, 8, or 10, but it’s become especially common with Windows 7. 
Sometimes updates will error out, or some mes Windows Update may just get stuck “searching for
updates” forever.  Here are a few ways to give it a kick start.

Windows' Built-In Troubleshooters
by Chris Hoffman   How-To Geek   27 Jun 2016
The Windows Control Panel includes a variety of “troubleshooters” designed to quickly diagnose and
automatically solve various computer problems. Troubleshooters can’t fix everything, but they’re a
great place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer.

Text Messages - Send Them From Your PC With Your Android Phone
by Cameron Summerson    How-To Geek    17 Jun 2016
You’re sitting at your PC and you receive a text message, so you pick up your phone, unlock it, read
the message, and type one back using the tiny touch screen keyboard. Why not use your PC
instead? If you’re already sitting at your computer, you can easily take advantage of your computer’s
keyboard to send and receive text messages.

Screenshots - How To Take One On Any Device
by Eric Griffith   PC Mag   23 May 2016
If you need to take a screenshot (or 10), this is the tutorial you need. We run down everything you
need to know about capturing screenshots, no matter the platform-Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android,
and other mobile operating systems.

Password Managers
By Michael Ansaldo   PC World   Apr 2016
We tend to use passwords we can easily recall. And that means they’re easy to hack.  A good
password manager is the best way to relieve the burden of memorizing complex logins and keep
your data secure.  Considering that the security of sensitive data is at stake, you shouldn’t take
choosing a password manager lightly. This guide will tell you what features to look for in a password
manager and compare four of the best.

Deleted Files - How To Recover Them
by Eric Griffith   PC Magazine   Mar 2015
How to recover files you've accidentally deleted.

9 compelling reasons to keep your old PC
By Brad Chacos   PC World   Mar 2015
Unless you're a gamer or a video editor, you might be better off saving your cash and sticking with
the PC you already own. Here’s why.

15 Simple, Secret Windows Tips and Tricks designed to save you time
By Brad Chacos   PC World   Aug 2014
These small, yet obscure Windows tips and tricks can make a big difference in your workflow and
save you tons of time in the process.

17 Obscure Windows Tools and Tricks Too Powerful to Overlook
By Brad Chacos   PC World   Jun 2014
Windows is so deep and flexible that many of us never touch its more powerful tools, whether from
unawareness or sheer forgetfulness. But beneath Internet Explorer and the Start button hides a
universe of tools and tricks that are positively brimming with potential.

18 Google Search Tips
By Evan Dashevsky   PC Magazine   Aug 2014
It's easy to take the common Google search for granted. But if you take just a moment to really think
about it, you might appreciate it for what it truly is: crazy superhero magic!

10 Best Practices for Boosting Your Online Privacy
Don Reisinger    eWeek    Aug 2014
Here's how we can all improve our online privacy. It might not be simple and there's no way to be
entirely anonymous online, but with the right moves, we can improve the current state of our privacy.

Stop Facebook's Annoying Auto-Playing Videos
Kim Komando   Jul 2014
Notice how on Facebook videos have started playing automatically? It can be annoying on your
computer, but it can destroy your data plan on mobile gadgets. Here's how to stop them from

6 Types of Browser Errors While Loading Web Pages and What They Mean
Chris Hoffman   How-To Geek   Jan 2015

Let your PC start the new year right!
By Fred Langa    Windows Secrets    Jan 10 2013

    Undo a year's worth of wear and tear
    Preserve and protect system data - Take 1
    Check the hard drive's physical/logical health
    Patch and update all software and the OS
    Do a thorough review of your PC's defenses
    Take out all the trash accumulated in Windows
    Defrag (or optimize) data on hard disks
    Preserve and protect your data - Take 2
    Dust you must, for a truly clean PC
    You're now ready for another year of computing

Need productivity software?  Try these FREE alternatives:

Spreadsheet, Word Processor, and Presentation software:
     LibreOffice from The Document Foundation

Bookkeeping - Personal:   GnuCash     jGnash                    
Bookkeeping - Small Business:  GnuCash 

Email - saved on your PC: Thunderbird

Web Browser: Firefox

Print-to-PDF (as if it's a printer)
doPDF  or  Cnet Review/Download link
Choose "doPDF" as the printer in your program, then print.
PDF4Free  or  Cnet Review/Download link
Choose "PDF4u" as the printer in your program, then print.
PDF reDirect  or  Cnet Review/Download link
Choose "PDF reDirect" as the printer in your program, then print.
Can also preview, optimize, and merge pdf files.

Belarc Advisor - builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware,
network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks,
and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept
private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.
Ccleaner - cleans out leftover scraps that slow down your computer
Classic Shell - changes the Start Menu and Windows Explorer back to what you're used to
(whether "what you're used to" is Windows XP, Windows 7, or possibly newer - it's your

FreeFont - get a Free Font of the Month from Softmaker, a German software company
(What's the difference between TrueType (ttf) and OpenType (otf)?  See OTF vs TTF.)

Text Editor:   NoteTab Light
It's far more versatile than Microsoft's Notepad, and great for anything you want to write that's
just simple text - not a lot of formatting.  You can keep many files instantly available in their own
tabs, without having to reload them each time you start the program -- which is great for those
files you may come back to repeatedly.  

eBook ReaderCalibre
It can read all major ebook formats.  It will also call up your default pdf reader (usually Adobe
Reader) to read pdf files, and your default text file reader (most likely Notepad) for any files that
are straight text.

TechConnect.com recommendations:
Your New PC Needs These 15 Free, Excellent, Programs 
by Brad Chacos   PC World   25 Dec 2016
ATM Skimmers Warning
Computer Protection
Computer Tips
Free Software Suggestions
Best in Class Awards
per InfoWorld
Learn Excel
Linux Info
Misc Software
Smartphone Info
Wi-Fi Safety
Windows 10 Notes
Windows 8 Notes
WebBuilder logo & link
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Internet Privacy Using AccountKiller
by J. Carlton Collins   Journal of Accountancy   Nov 2016
Q. Is it possible for me to delete all of my personal profile information on the internet? If so, how?
A. The website accountkiller.com contains instructions for removing your personal profile information
from many popular websites, including Facebook, Google, Skype, Twitter, Windows Live, Yahoo!,
and numerous others.

Small Businesses - Prime Hacking Targets
by Sammi Caramela   businessdaily.com   11 Jul 2016   (via AIPB General Ledger   Oct 2016)
Do not assume hackers will ignore you because you’re small. A report by Keeper Security and the
Ponemon Institute reveals that roughly half of all small businesses have been hacked within the last
year, possibly due to poorer security than large corporations, but also to being less careful with the
security they have.

Why (and When) You Need to Replace Your Surge Protector
How-To Geek   Mar 2015
Surge protectors aren’t like diamonds. They have a definite lifespan. At some point, your surge
protector will stop protecting your gear from power surges and become a dumb power strip.

Back Up My Computer - What's The Best Way?
by Chris Hoffman   How-To Geek   Feb 2016
You’ve probably heard about countless different backup methods, but which one is right for you? And
what files do you really need to back up?

Windows Registry - How Do I Back It Up Or Restore It?
by Lowell Heddings   How-To Geek   Jan 2015
Any time you make a change to the Windows Registry, any responsible article will probably tell you to
backup the registry first. But how do you do that? It’s not quite as simple as you might think

PC Mag's Dec 2016 Best Antivirus and Best Free Antivirus
By Neil J. Rubenking   PC Magazine   Dec 2016
These days, there's no question that keeping your computer safe from malware and other threats
should be a top priority. We've tested more than 30 premium AV packages to help you choose the
one that's right to protect your PC.  (See Apr 2015 choices here.)

Be Prepared: Create a Recovery Drive for Windows, Linux, Mac, or Chrome OS
How-To Geek   Aug 2014
Computers don’t come with operating system installation CDs anymore. If your operating system
won’t boot, you’ll need a bootable recovery drive to fix it. All operating systems allow you to create

ATM Skimmers Explained: How to Protect Your ATM Card
by Chris Hoffman   How To Geek   Jul 2014
An “ATM skimmer” is a malicious device criminals attach to an ATM. When you use an ATM that’s
been compromised in such a way, the skimmer will create a copy of your card and capture your PIN.

How Excel counts business days, holidays and more
Lincoln Spector   PC Magazine   17 May 2016
Spreadsheets do a couple of crazy things with dates so they can count them for you correctly.  This
explains how Excel sees dates and how to work with dates in formulas.  (Also useful with other

Learn Excel: 40 Free Tutorials And Reference Sites
by Brad Zomick   SkilledUp.com   Oct 2014
Nothing beats getting something for nothing! When it comes to learning Microsoft Excel, the same holds
true. Excel is such an important software application, many organizations have taken it upon themselves
to publish free Excel tutorials and how-to guides.

How To Debug Excel Spreadsheets
by Rayman Meservy and Marshall Romney, CPA   Journal of Accountancy   1 Nov 2015
Field audit results compiled by University of Hawaii professor and spreadsheet expert Ray Panko showed
errors in 88% of 113 spreadsheets audited between 1995 and 2007. That's a scary statistic, especially
when one considers that decisions involving thousands or even millions of dollars are often based on
spreadsheets.  This article walks you through different methods and built-in tools that can be used to
audit and debug Excel spreadsheets.  (pdf copy)
Windows 10 News

Where's The Control Panel in Windows 10?
by J. Carlton Collins   Journal of Accountancy   1 Jan 2017
One of the most popular features in Windows 10 is the return of the Start button (the Start button
menu is pictured below), but the traditional Control Panel window is no longer readily accessible in the
Windows 10 default menu.

The 22 best changes in Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15002
by Mark Hachman   PCWorld   12 Jan 2017
Microsoft releases new builds of Windows 10 for its Insider beta testers every so often-some minor,
some really significant. You can call Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15002, released this week, a
really big deal.  This will all be part of the Creators Update, coming in “early 2017”-most likely in a
couple of months.

Make Windows 10 Look And Act More Like Windows 7
by Lori Kaufman   HowTo Geek   31 Oct 2016
If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 but don’t love what you see, there are ways to make Windows 10
look and act like Windows 7. That way, you can get the familiar interface you love while still taking
advantage of Windows 10’s other useful features.

Windows 10 - 24 Hidden Tips, Tricks, and Features
By Jamie Lendino   ExtremeTech   16 Aug 2016
Now that Windows 10 Anniversary Update is out and millions of people are running it, let’s take a look
at some of the best hidden features, tips, and tricks in the operating system.

How To Make Windows 10 File Explorer Look Like Windows 7 Windows Explorer
by Lori Kaufman   HowTo Geek   7 Jul 2016
There are a lot of changes in Windows 10’s File Explorer compared to Windows 7’s Windows
Explorer. If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 and you don’t like the changes, this shows how you can
get the look and feel of Windows 7’s Windows Explorer back.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Will Double Start Menu Ads
Nick Mediati   PCWorld   15 May 2016
Microsoft plans to double the number of promoted apps that appear in the Start Menu with this
summer's big Windows 10 update.
3 Fixes For A Dead Windows 10 Start Menu     PDF file
by Lincoln Spector   PC World   11 Apr 2016
So much for the triumphant return of the Start menu. If it doesn't pop up for you, try these
Things To Remember When You Upgrade To Windows 10
by Erik Sherman   Inc.com   21 Aug 2015
The author has already upgraded a few machines and learned a few things in the process. Here are
some points to keep in mind.  (pdf copy)

How To Downgrade From Windows 10 to 7 or 8.1
By Chris Hoffman   HowTo Geek   29 Jun 2015
Don’t like Windows 10? As long as you’ve upgraded within the last month, you can uninstall Windows
10 and downgrade your PC back to its original Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 operating system. You can
always upgrade to Windows 10 again later.

Even if it’s been more than a month, you should be able to reinstall the version of Windows that came
with your PC using fresh installation media and its product key.

What We Will (And Won't) Find In Windows 10
By Don Reisinger   eWeek   2 Jun 2015
Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows 10. Here's what you need to know about it to help you decide
whether or not you should upgrade to Microsoft's latest OS.

Microsoft Tries to Make Business Users Comfortable With Windows 10
by Wayne Rash   eWeek   17 May 2015
NEWS ANALYSIS: The next version of Microsoft Windows will be available in six versions, half of
which are specifically aimed at business users.

COMPUTER NEWS - Windows 8.x

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 came out on 17 Oct 2013.

An improvement over 8.0, it nevertheless has a couple of new things to beware of.  Personally, I still think
it's probably useful for Tablet computers, but not so much for Laptops or Desktops.  I'll stick with
Windows 7 on my desktop.  But to help you make up your own mind, here are some links that I hope will
be helpful.

Windows 8.1 - What Every User Should Know (WindowsSecrets, 10/3/2013)

Windows 8: The Official Review (PC World, 10/25/2012)

Classic Shell - A free classic Start Menu - I use it with Windows 7, and it's been updated and expanded
for Windows 8 & 10.  Here's some reviews on SourceForge, and also a review article from PCWorld
(Classic Shell is toward the bottom of the article).

Windows 8 vs Windows RT (WinSuperSite  10/16/2012)
   Windows 8 runs on Intel processors, and runs "apps" and "traditional" programs.
   Windows RT is a version of Windows 8 that runs on ARM processors, and only runs "apps".
Interested in Linux?

How To Get Started With Linux - A Beginner's Guide
by Chris Hoffman (PC World)    18 May 2015
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Wi-Fi (Wireless Network)

Boost Wi-Fi Speed By Choosing The Right Channel
by Jamie Lendino   ExtremeTech   15 Aug 2016
Some channels are indeed much faster - but that doesn’t mean you should go ahead and change them
just yet. Read on to find out more about 802.11 channels, interference, and the massive difference
between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi Standards - What's The Difference?
by Gordon Kelly   TrustedReviews   11 May 2015
An explanation of the ins and outs of new-gen and last-gen Wi-Fi standards.  "b, g, n, ac…"   They
haven’t had the most logical of alphabetical progressions.

Is Someone Stealing Your Wi-Fi?
by Jess Bolluyt   Gear Style Cheat Sheet   30 Oct 2016
It’s possible that your internet provider is just lying about the speeds that you should really expect on your
network, but it’s also possible that there’s someone other than you (and your roommates or family
members) using your Wi-Fi network.

Free Wi-Fi?  A Few Safe-Surfing Rules
by Manta Editorial Team    Manta.com    26 Jun 2015
"Free" Wi-Fi can be very expensive if you're not careful.  Before you jump on any old public network,
consider what you do most often online.  Many of those activities put you at risk for a multitude of data
security issues, including identity the and wicked viruses. Reduce your exposure with these simple

Your Wireless Network: Get a Better Signal and Reduce Interference
by Chris Hoffman   How-To Geek   10 Oct 2012
The main keys to improving your wireless network’s signal are positioning your router properly - taking
obstructions into account - and reducing interference from other wireless networks and household
appliances.   PDF file
ContactTim email link
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InfoWorld 2016 Bossies
Best of Open Source Software Awards
2016 Bossies Recognized 72 winners across five categories of software:
Applications Development Tools
Big Data Tools
Data Center and Cloud Software
Networking & Security Software

2015 Bossies Recognized 100 winners across six categories of software:
Applications Development Tools
Big Data Tools
Data Center and Cloud Software
Desktop & Mobile Software
Networking & Security Software
Smart-Phones & Cell Phones

Android - Clear Space On An Overstuffed Device
by Ben Patterson   PC World   15 Jun 2016
Zap cached app files in a single tap, clear the Downloads folder, delete unneeded offline maps, take
charge of music downloads, and more.

Android Phone - Lost or Stolen - How To Find It
by Cameron Summerson   How-To Geek   21 Jun 2016
Your phone is missing. Did you leave it at the restaurant? Or maybe at home? Did someone steal it?
Your mind races. You have no idea.  Fortunately, there are some things you can do in this situation to
hopefully get your phone back.

Check Your Android Phone For Spyware     PDF file
by Lincoln Spector   PCWorld   Jul 2016
If someone else has physical access to your phone and knows your PIN or password, or if they can log
into your Google account, they can install an app without your knowing or noticing it.

Cell Phone Signals - How To Boost Them At Home     PDF file
by Chris Hoffman   How-To Geek   Jul 2016
Poor signal strength could be your carrier’s fault, or it could be because of signal-blocking materials in
your home’s walls. Whatever the cause, you can boost that signal and get the maximum number of
bars at home. Or, better yet, just use Wi-Fi calling on a modern phone.

Batteries - Avoid These 7 Lithium-Ion Mistakes
by Joe McGauley   Thrillist Tech   Oct 2015
Some of our seemingly harmless habits are doing slow, silent, deadly damage to those precious
lithium-ion batteries.

Charging Smart-Phone Batteries
by Nat Berman   Money Inc   Aug 2016
Which phone charging myths do you believe? Here are five of the most common myths about charging
your smartphone, along with their corresponding truths.
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5 Budgeting Applications     PDF copy
by Michael Ansaldo    PC World   21 Jul 2016
There’s something here for everybody, whether you want a no-hassle way to keep tabs on your in- and
outflows, a tool to help maximize your means, or a way to build wealth through investments. Unless
otherwise stated, each of these programs is cross-platform and will sync across devices.
Internet Privacy Using AccountKiller
Small Businesses - Prime Hacking Targets
Back Up Computer - What's The Best Way?
Deleted Files - How To Recover Them

Wi-Fi Standards - What's The Difference?
Fixing Windows Update

Windows' Built-In Troubleshooters
Win 10 - 24 Hidden Tips, Tricks, Features
Cell-Phone (& Computer) Battery Mistakes
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Menu of Topics
Best Open-Source Software Awards
Free Productivity Software
Misc Computer Tips
Smart Phone & Battery Info
Windows 10
Windows 8
Check Android Phone For Spyware
5 Budgeting Applications
Best Open-Source Awards
Best Anti-Virus of Dec 2016
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