Trails End Computer Club

Bulletin for week of JANUARY 7 ,2013

MEETINGS
Every Wednesday

Library Room
Beginners
9:30 - 10:20
General Meeting
10:30-11:30
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS:
If you would like to meet in a small group to discuss special computer related subjects or form a Special Interest Group lets discuss it.

Our bulletin is also available online by visiting tecc.apcug.org and clicking on bulletin.


Welcome to our first meeting in over a year.
I am Harold Buechly and it is my desire to learn from
you what it will take to make this club successful.

Our web site is in development and I expect to have it
 operational the first week of the new year.

Normally each weekend you will receive an e-mail
with a clickable link to an informative bulletin.


LEWIS COCKS

Lewis Here is a link to a very good article on PC maintenance. Just click on or copy and paste the following to your browser and it should pop up. 
 http://www.microsoft.com/atwork/maintenance/speed.aspx#fbid=974G6FqtIo9

Microsoft has an answer to make your computer faster in 6 ways to speed up your PC

SandyApple, Google, & Microsoft Create Technology Ecosystems

By Sandy Berger, CompuKISS    www.compukiss.com    sandy (at) compukiss.com

Today's technology is being separated into ecosystems. Will you buy into Apple's ecosystem? Google's Ecosystem? Amazon's? or Microsoft's? Or perhaps you have already bought into one or the other without even knowing it? This is a must read for anyone making purchasing a piece of digital equipment or software.

Not only has technology changed over the last few years, but the way we use technology has also changed. There used to be two main camps when it came to technology: PC and Mac. These were built around the two competing computers systems, Microsoft's Windows PC operating system and Apple's Mac operating system. Software was written specifically for each of these systems, so you couldn't use PC software on a Mac or Mac software on a PC. When you bought a computer, you pretty much bought into one of these two types of computers. The PCs and Apple battled it out for years with PC garnering more than 90% of the market and Apple never getting out of single digits.

Now, however, things have completely changed. With the introduction of the iPhone and the iPad, Apple has soared in popularity. Other large companies have become technology powerhouses. Google with their Android operating system and Amazon have both entered the fray, while Microsoft is struggling to keep up.

Previously we were only talking about computers, but now we are talking about smartphones, tablets, and cloud computing. We are talking about entire ecosystems. The choices are mind-boggling. Each of the above mentioned companies is trying to get you to buy into their ecosystem. Each is pretty much proprietary. That means that for the most part, they are incompatible.

Right now, Apple has the largest ecosystem (I call it an ecosystem because it is an entire network or environment where one thing is dependent on another.) Apple's iPhone and iPads run on the iOS operating system. These devices run apps, which are like mini software programs that are purchased from the iTunes App store. There are currently more than 500,000 in Apple's App store. Some are free, but many are sold for a fee. These can only be used on Apple devices. If you switch to a Google Android phone or tablet, you cannot use the Apple products that you may have already purchased. You have to repurchase them from the Android Marketplace that has apps similar to those found in the Apple iTunes store.

This ecosystem also extends to storage and services in the cloud (think Internet). Apple has announced a cloud service, called iCloud that lets you store information on Apple's servers and access it from any Internet-connected device. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google also have cloud storage systems available. Since many of Microsoft's followers use Microsoft Office, Google has also developed a set of programs that are the equivalent of Microsoft Office programs, but that can be stored in the cloud and used from any Internet-connected device.

These companies make money from their hardware and their App sales. They give you a basic amount of cloud storage for free, but if you need more storage, there is a charge. You can see why so many companies are battling for supremacy of their ecosystem. It is very profitable.

Each of the current ecosystems is expanding. Apple not only has the software in its App store, but they also have the hardware in their iPhone, iPad devices and Mac computers. Apple recently announced their new cloud storage system and an App store for their Mac computers. Their new Lion operating system which is used for their Mac computers is so similar to the iOS operating system that you have to wonder just how soon the Mac computer and the Apple iPhone and iPads will share an operating system. When that happens, they will have added another component to their ecosystem.

Microsoft is a slightly different story. They don't manufacture smartphones or tablets, but they have a new mobile operating system called Windows Phone 7, which runs on hardware from other manufacturers. Microsoft has an App Marketplace like Apple and Google. They also have cloud storage. The phones that run the Microsoft operating system shine at running Microsoft office programs like Word and Excel. This is a part of their ecosystem. I expect that when Microsoft comes out with Windows 8, it will also be able to run on tablets, so we will soon see tablets running Microsoft software and apps.

Amazon has developed their own app store filled with Android apps. They also have a cloud storage system called Amazon Cloud Drive. They are already into the hardware business with their Kindle e-reader, and I expect that they will soon release a tablet to compete with the Apple iPad.

Blackberry and HP have both entered this competition with operating systems, hardware, and app stores of their own.

It's not that you cannot mix products. For instance, my husband has an Android phone, while we also own an iPad. He obviously can use both, but to do so, he had to learn two different operating systems. On top of that, if he wants to have a certain app on both his phone and our tablet, we may have to purchase it twice, buying a copy for his phone from the Android Marketplace and buying a copy for our tablet from the iTunes store. So not only is it easier to stay within one ecosystem, it is also more economical.

Knowing about these ecosystems may make purchasing a tablet or a new smartphone a little more complicated, because besides assessing the qualities of the hardware, you also have to stop and think about the ecosystem you are buying into. Yet, the number of large companies involved in this rivalry and the constant changes, additions, and improvements they make to their line-ups makes this a very exciting time in the history of technology.


Andrew CumminsA New Windows

Andrew Cummins, President, ICON Computer Users Group, MO

October 2012 issue, The ICON Newsletter,  www.iconusersgroup.org,  Andrewcummins (at) yahoo.com

 
For two decades, Microsoft’s Windows operating system has dominated the personal computing landscape. Microsoft’s success comes from making computers easier to use, without being tied to one particular computer hardware manufacturer. But, what really makes Windows King of the Hill is that it provides a common experience between users and a common platform for hardware and software developers. This is a quality at odds with multiple versions of Windows being in use, but Windows must nevertheless progress to new versions. And so, Microsoft is releasing a new version of Windows October 26, Windows 8.

 Windows 8 is the most secure and stable Windows ever. It is also faster than other versions of Windows in common use, provided you have enough memory. Windows 8 is, in nearly all respects, the best Windows yet. With maybe one exception: Microsoft is introducing a new user interface for the PC, the first new interface since 1995. Microsoft wants a consistent interface across Windows smart phones, tablets, and PCs.

 Whether you like the new interface may be a matter of personal preference. If you don’t like it, the old interface is still available.

 Now is the time to consider upgrading. Windows 8 improves performance over previous versions of Windows. But, more importantly, support for Windows XP is dwindling. A couple of years ago, Microsoft stopped releasing new versions of their software, such as Internet Explorer, for Windows XP. Windows XP users, and soon Vista users, find their operating system increasingly without support from software and hardware companies. Here, at ICON, we’ll soon get to the point where we’ll have to focus on Windows 7 and 8.

 Windows XP users who upgrade will likely need to upgrade memory as well. But, you might consider a new computer, rather than investing more into an old computer. Computer hardware has come a long way since the days of Windows XP.

 Windows Vista users, your computer should run Windows 8 much better than Vista. Go get the upgrade! Window 7 users, upgrade only if you really like that new interface, or if you want the new tablet-like ecosystem Microsoft is going to provide for Windows 8.
 



The Tip Corner – July 2012

Bill Sheff, Novice SIG Coordinator, Lehigh Valley Computer Group, PA

July 2012 issue, The LVCG Journal   www.lvcg.org    nsheff (at) aol.com

Shift+Space Web Browser Navigation

Here is a way to make navigating pages in your web browser a little easier. Instead of using the Page Up and Page Down keys, you achieve the same results by pressing your Space Bar to go a page down and pressing Shift+Space to go a page up.

What Is Pinning and how do I do It?

Pinning is keeping items within a window in the same place for easy access. Programs, applications, web sites, etc. can all be “Pinned.” For Example: The Windows Start Menu is divided into two sections. The top half of the menu is reserved for pinned items. Since I use Excel and Word almost every day, I keep them pinned, making them accessible at the click of a mouse at any time.

How does one do this? Simply right-click on an icon on your desktop and choose “Pin to Start Menu.” That’s it.

The bottom section of the Start Menu is reserved for frequently used programs or programs that are used on a regular basis. Though this may sound the same as a pinned menu, the items on the list change dynamically based on what I’ve been apt to do lately. So if I’ve been using the calculator a lot, its icon will show up, but if I stop using it for a while and make use of something else, that icon will show up.

What happened to Normal View in Word 2007 and 2010?

If you’re using either Word 2007 or 2010 and preferred working in the Normal view, then you’re probably wondering what happened to it. If you went to the View tab of the Ribbon it is not there. Well, it was not deleted. They just renamed it Draft view. Now all those page separations are gone. Unfortunately when you reopen the file it again opens in the Print Layout view.

So how do we tame Microsoft to open in the Draft view every time? Click on File and choose Options then Advanced on the left. On the right scroll all the way down to the General section. Locate and select the “Allow opening a document in Draft view” option. Click OK. When you open a file that you saved in Draft view it will still be in Draft view.

Should I use Sleep, Hibernate or Shut it down?

The answer to this depends on who you talk to. Way back when, you shut your system down to prevent burn-in. Then came screen-savers. With screen-savers and less burn-in on the LCD screens it is no longer an issue. Before I put in my two cents worth, let’s pin down these terms once more.

When a computer goes into sleep or standby mode, it shuts off its display screen, video card, CPU and hard drive, so processes like anti-virus scans won’t run. It stores the computer’s last state (software opened on the desktop, etc.,) to the RAM, and so requires a small amount of electricity (called a “trickle charge”) to maintain that. Since

RAM is transient memory, once the computer shuts down completely the computer’s current state is lost, including any unsaved information. So a word to the wise, SAVE before you leave.

The advantage to sleep mode is that, when you “wake” your computer, it comes back to its current state very quickly - almost instantly. So if you’re only going to be away from it a couple hours, this is quite convenient.

In hibernation mode, the computer writes everything from the computer’s RAM, including its current state, to the hard drive and then shuts down, so it functionally uses no power while in hibernation. Once the computer is brought out of hibernation, it goes straight to the computer’s current state, including all open programs. Although this takes less time than a full shut-down and start-up, it does take longer than simply waking it up from sleep, although it uses no power when hibernating, as opposed to little when asleep. Again, no programs or scans will run while a computer is hibernating.

Power off is, duh! Off. The main reason for shutting your PC down is, of course, power savings. The amount of money that it takes to run a PC depends on how many watts you’re actually using to run your PC (this can be determined by buying a Kill-a-watt or similar device for about $30), and how much you’re being charged by your electric company per kilowatt hour. Most estimates seem to run about ten to twenty dollars per month, running 24 hours per day.

There’s also the question of stress on your computer components. Whereas having it on is harder on your components than having it off, the process of shutting down and starting up your PC puts more stress on these components than simply leaving them on.

So what it comes down to is personal preference. In my case, I leave my computer on at night to run virus scans, hard drive scans and defragging. The monitor is pretty much off by itself. If you do leave your computer on overnight, it’s a good idea to do a restart in the morning. This allows your computer to clear any information in the memory cache and in your RAM and allows your computer to run more quickly.

Windows 7 Autoplay Settings

When you connect a device or media to your computer (digital cameras, phones, DVDs, CDs, etc.) are you happy with the choices your computer gives you? For example, when you insert an audio CD, you may not want iTunes to load it – maybe you would rather import through Windows Media Player. And with a DVD should it play automatically, just like your regular family room DVD player?

Here is how to make your media do exactly what you expect it to do. Click Start and in the Search Box type, AutoPlay and hit Enter. A window will pop up. Now simply go down the list and use the provided drop-down menus to choose what each media type does when it’s inserted into your computer. When you are done, press Save. That’s all there is to it. If for any reason you want to go back to the default Windows 7 settings, hit the Reset all defaults button at the bottom.


Submit Your article; deadline for next bulletin is Tuesday noon each week. Only what you write may be published. We cannot publish other peoples work without written permission. Simply click here EDITOR AT TECC and paste your write-up to submit it.
Share your computer experiences with other members. We need articles to publish in the TECC Bulletin each week.

UPDATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION Change your e-mail address, unsubscribe to this bulletin, etc.  Use link below.
UPDATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP