How To Open The “Command Prompt” From An Open File Explorer Window

Thanks to MSPoweruser for sharing this power user tip… I love tips like this; plus, I have always been a fan of using the Command Prompt.

Tip: I wish I knew this Windows 10 Command prompt tip years ago – MSPoweruser

To open a CMD window in the same directory as the folder you are viewing, you simply need to type CMD in the directory path area of the File Explorer. There is also a tip which goes in the opposite direction.  If you want to open an File Explorer window in the same directory as your command prompt, merely type Start . with the full stop.

Source: Tip: I wish I knew this Windows 10 Command prompt tip years ago – MSPoweruser

Learn “How to Install (or Move) Apps to Another Drive on Windows 10” at How-To Geek

I ran into this situation with my Minix NEO Z83-4 Mini PC where I am limited in internal hard drive space (32GB) and wanted to install (or move) apps to an external drive. With Windows 10, it is possible to do exactly that. The only apps that I could not move were the apps already baked into the OS.

To learn how to install (or move) apps to an external drive I encourage you to follow the instructions that are posted at How-To Geek (see source link below). If you need an external hard drive, click here to see the wide array of options available.

Windows 10 allows you to install apps from the Store on any drive you like. You can also move apps you’ve previously installed to a new location without uninstalling and reinstalling them.

Source: How to Install (or Move) Apps to Another Drive on Windows 10

The next big Windows 10 update is coming in April

It is important to know when major updates are going to transpire. As a former IT Manager, Windows Updates would make me cringe; knowing that a well-intended update could have negative consequences. Now that I don’t have that worry, on a grand scale, I still pay attention to the update schedule, even with my PC’s at home.

Windows 10 April 2019 Update: Everything You Need to Know | Digital Trends

Windows 10 updates are always free. You’ll be able to download the April 2019 via Windows Update at no charge once Microsoft determines it is compatible with your computer. Roll-outs of major Windows 10 updates are gradual to ensure the best quality experience, so you might not see it on your PC right away.

windows 10 october update

Source: Windows 10 April 2019 Update: Everything You Need to Know | Digital Trends

Learn this neat trick on “How to create a slide-to-shutdown feature for a Windows 10 PC” | TechRepublic

By copying and pasting the command below, as a new shortcut on your desktop, you can create a slide to shutdown feature for a Windows 10 PC… Much faster and better than shutting down the PC from the Start Menu. To get full details on how to do this, click on the source link below.

%windir%\System32\SlideToShutDown.exe

Source: How to create a slide-to-shutdown feature for a Windows 10 PC – TechRepublic

TechRepublic Shows You “How to find, use, and modify the Windows 10 Show Desktop button”

The Show Desktop button on a typical Windows 10 Desktop is in an odd position. So much so, that many users may not know it is there. Drag your mouse all the way down to the very bottom right corner of the Taskbar—all the way to end (Figure A).

ashowdesktopbutton.png

Figure A Figure A The button is just a thin sliver, and unless it is configured for it, hovering over the button may not be acknowledged by Windows 10 at all. Click the button and all of the currently open application windows will close to give you access to your Desktop. Click it again to re-open the application windows.

Source: How to find, use, and modify the Windows 10 Show Desktop button – TechRepublic

Learn How “Windows Sandbox is a safer way to run programs you don’t trust”

Sandboxing applications are nothing new but is nice to see Microsoft bake an option into the OS… As a reader of the blog noted, after I posted the article, “The feature is available for users of Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise running Build 18301 or later, and requires AMD64 and virtualization capabilities enabled in BIOS.” So, this is not an option in the home version of Windows 10. 

Microsoft is introducing a new solution that brings it in line with a standard already found on other operating systems: Windows Sandbox.

The feature creates “an isolated, temporary desktop environment” (and lightweight, at 100MB) on which to run an app, and once you’ve finished with it, the entire sandbox is deleted — everything else on your PC is safe and separate.

Read More @ Engadget

Windows 10 October update delete your files? This tool might recover them | by ZDNet

I don’t like the idea of these updates (major updates) causing issues. Here is an option, as suggested by ZDNet, to recover files in the event you encounter this issue.

For some unknown reason, moving up to Windows 10 version 1809 may delete all the files in user folders. The folders remain, but the files within them are gone, leaving users in potentially a worse pickle than ransomware victims experience. However, there is a chance that early Windows 10 upgraders who encountered this problem might be able to recover lost files by using the free version of Avast-owned Recuva recovery software.

Source: Windows 10 October update delete your files? This tool might recover them | ZDNet

What is up with the huge Calculator in Windows 10, Microsoft? | gHacks Tech News

Those who use the Calculator regularly may have been shocked by the giant size of the Calculator in the new version of Windows 10. The calculator takes up most of the screen when launched initially. The screenshot below shows it right after launch on a 1920×1080 monitor on a PC running Windows 10 version 1809.

giant calculator windows 10

Source: What is up with the huge Calculator in Windows 10, Microsoft? – gHacks Tech News

Here is “4 Ways to Factory Reset Your Windows Computer”

The very first thing this article will instruct you to do is to make sure you have backed up your personal files. Reason for that is that one you go nuclear and perform a factory reset, all will be lost… Secondly, the reset options available vary, depending on your Windows version; however, after reading the instructions you will get the drift.

Windows-10-Recovery-Reset

Want to know how to factory reset a computer? We show you the best methods to reset a Windows computer using Windows 10, 8, or 7.

Source: 4 Ways to Factory Reset Your Windows Computer

Learn What “LockApp.exe” is on Windows 10

“LockApp.exe” is one of those hidden tasks that you don’t initially see unless you run the Windows Task Manager. The Windows Club (follow the source link below) will educate you on “LockApp.exe” and will provide steps to disable it. When I see “exe’s” such as this running; especially with a name like “LockApp.exe” I become very skeptical as to what it is actuall for and whether or not it is not a malware payload.

Its an official application from Microsoft, and is part of the default lock screen app on Windows. It’s safe. It is usually located under Windows > SystemApps > Microsoft.LockApp_XXXXXX> LockApp.exe. It is possible that this could be doing a lot more than that including notifying you about an update when you unlock your PC.

Source: What is LockApp.exe on Windows 10

Did You Know That You Can Rename a Printer in Windows 10 for Easier Device Management?

This tip (follow the source link below) is very helpful when dealing with multiple printers, such as on a network.

rename printer windows 10

Instead of forcing yourself and your family or coworkers to memorize printer model numbers, you can manually rename printers to something more descriptive and helpful. Here’s a quick tip on how to rename a printer in Windows 10.

Source: How to Rename a Printer in Windows 10 for Easier Device Management

Not happy with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update? Here is how to do a rollback and uninstall…

With any major Windows Update, such as the April 2018 Update, problems can occur… If they do and you cannot resolve them, your only option for the moment may be rolling back in time to the place where you started.

The Windows 10 April 2018 Update is rolling out to users. If you install it and encounter major problems, as some users doubtless will, you might want to go back to your previous version, and wait until the update is a bit less buggy.

Source: BetaNews – How to rollback and uninstall the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

The Update Assistant Can Help You Get the Windows 10 April 2018 Update NOW…

The Windows 10 April 2018 is a major update for Windows (with added features). To me, this is more than an update; should be called an upgrade. If you don’t want to wait for the update to show on your PC, you can get it by clicking on the source link below.

windows10-laptop

Keep in mind, when updates (upgrades) like this occur, it is a good idea to have your important files backed up. The “April 2018” on an older laptop I own took nearly 2 hours for the whole process to complete and when it did complete it messed up my display driver which caused the display to be distorted. I was able to correct the issue by downloading an updated driver; however, to me, this should not be happening due that most folks will not know how to resolve these issues.

Anyhow, if you can’t wait, and are prepared, click the source link below…

Source: Windows 10 April 2018 Update now available

Microsoft’s Windows 10 April 2018 Update arrives on Monday – The Verge

Windows 10 “April 2018 Update” is the official name for Microsoft’s next major Windows 10 “upgrade”  which is to start rolling out on Monday, April 30th. Thought I would let people know. This update was originally called the Spring Creator’s Update, which was delayed due to a bug in the update. As with any major operating system update, expect potential issues and longer than usual install times. To learn more, follow the source link below.

Source: Microsoft’s Windows 10 April 2018 Update arrives on Monday – The Verge

Computech Windows Tweaker 1.0.0.0

If you are a computer tech, this utility (called Computech Windows Tweaker) may be of interest to you. Based on what I am seeing at the Major Geeks software download site, Computech Windows Tweaker is described as a “niche utility for anyone looking to hide or show drives, disable the Firewall, USB storage, UAC, Remote RPC, Security Center, Offline Files, and Action Center temporarily. It might also be able to re-enable these, especially after a virus or malware infection”. It appears (based on the version number) it is a relatively new app; which means, this will only get better as the development progresses. Also, I downloaded and found that this is a portable app.


SOURCE: Major Geeks – Computech Windows Tweaker 1.0.0.0

Use dictation to convert spoken words into text anywhere on your PC with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update…

If you updated your Windows 10 PC to the Fall Creator’s Update, there is a NEW feature that allows you to do dictation (convert spoken words to text). To invoke the dictation feature, select a text field and press the Windows logo key  + H to open the dictation toolbar. To learn more about the dictation feature and the associated commands, be sure to visit Microsoft’s Support Site (see source link below).


SOURCE: Microsoft Support

Are you stuck trying to install the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update?

Yesterday (October 17th) was the rollout date for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Instead of waiting for the update to rollout to my computer, I ended up forcing the install by using the Update Assistant on my laptop to test out the installation experience. In a nutshell, the installation stalled on me on two occasions and spit out an error code (for which I was unable to see what the error code was). In other words, I was stuck.  I ended up going to Google to research further and found this article, “Windows 10 Fall Creators Update common installation problems and fixes” at WindowsCentral.com that helped me punch through the install process. After running the Windows disk cleaning utility (right click start > run > type in: clnmgr > click on “OK”) to delete the temporary install files, I was then successful in completing the installation. In the end, the installation process (which was mostly unattended from my end) took hours.  I then moved to my 2nd computer (desktop) and decided to let the install run during the night. This morning when I checked the desktop, the install process had also failed. I will be working on this computer to narrow down the cause.

From my experience, with these major Windows 10 OS updates, expect problems…


SOURCE: WindowsCentral.com – Windows 10 Fall Creators Update common installation problems and fixes

 

You Can Get The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Now

Per MSPowerUser.com – If you want the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update right NOW in three different ways: using the Update Assistantusing the Media Creation tool, or by clean installing using an ISO. Installing with the Update Assistant is probably the better choice as it is easier to use, but you can also get a fresh start by downloading the ISO using the Media Creation Tool and clean installing using the ISO.

You do not have to do any of the above options.  The Fall Creators Update will eventually rollout to your PC. You do have to have Windows 10 on your PC in order to qualify for the update. Typically, what I do is use the “Update Assistant” option on my laptop to see how the install performs and how long it takes, before I install on my main computer. From my experience, these updates can take a considerable amount of time; and, as with any major update (or upgrade) problems can be expected.


SOURCE: MSPowerUser.com – Get the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update right now

A Hack And Some Other Options To Help Reduce Your Satellite Broadband Data Usage With Windows 10

If you are using Windows 10, a “desktop computer” on an ethernet connection, and you are using a Satellite broadband service where there is a cap on your data usage, you may want to try this registry hack (see source link below) to help reduce your data usage. This hack fools a Windows 10 desktop computer into thinking it is on a metered connection. If you have a notebook computer on a wifi connection that is on Satellite broadband, this registry hack does not apply due that you have the option for a notebook computer (in the Windows 10 network settings) to meter the connection.

Also, anytime you go to edit the registry, always back the registry up. Failure to do so can cause your computer to malfunction. It is always best to find someone who is familiar with editing the registry.

Why we tried this registry hack…

When my parents, who have a desktop computer on a Satellite broadband connection, went from Windows 7 to Windows 10, we immediately noticed a dramatic increase in their data usage each month. This was due to Windows 10 capturing privacy data in the background (that can be turned off); due to the option where Windows 10 uses your computer to help update other computers on the internet (that can be turned off); the regular update cycle (that cannot be turned off, but can be set to occur during different hours); and the Windows 10 version updates that have occurred transparently on a regular basis (such as the Creator’s update and now the Fall Creator’s update).

In the end, what we are finding is that Windows 10, a desktop computer and a Satellite broadband connection are not a good mix. Our last option was to trick the desktop into thinking it is on a metered connection, as reflected in the Windows Central article. The downside of this is that not all the Windows updates will come through; except the Security updates. If I find that the connection continues to exceed the data limits, we are planning to look at a Chromebook or Chromebox and get away from Windows altogether.

If you are on a Satellite connection, please let me know your thoughts, suggestions, etc… on how to reduce data usage.


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Recent Windows Update Causing HP Computer Black Screen At Login (here’s a fix)

I had this happen on my Daughter’s NEW Hewlett Packard Notebook PC… If you have a HP computer, you may experience this issue. In our case we ended up doing a full reset of the computer… Below you will find a link for instructions to keep the “black screen” from occurring and preventing you from taking alternative action (such as a full reset). In our case, we learned of the fix after the fact. and my Daughter needed her notebook PC to be functional for her classes ASAP (therefore, we performed the full reset). After learning of the fix, I had her perform the steps necessary, as outlined in the source link below, to prevent the issue from occurring again. Reportedly this issue stems from a recent Windows update…

Windows 10 update causes HP login lag, here’s the fix


SOURCE: MSPOWERUSER.COM

 

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update coming Oct. 17th

Just noticed on the Windows Blog that there will be a major update to Windows 10, beginning on October 17th… Typically, these updates can takes days/weeks to reach your PC. Just know that it is coming so that you are not scratching your head and going “now what?”… You can read more by clicking on the source link below.

The next update of Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, will be available worldwide October 17. With the Fall Creators Update we are introducing some fun, new ways to get creative. As part of the update we will deliver an evolution to the photos experience that will let you tell your story like never before using photos, videos, and 3D effects; enhancements in gaming, security, accessibility, and immersive new experiences made possible by Windows Mixed Reality. All of this innovation will be brought to life by a range of beautifully designed, and feature rich modern devices available from our hardware partners this holiday.


Source: Windows Blog – Create and play this holiday with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update coming Oct. 17

Windows 10 – The “Nuclear Option” to Resetting Your PC

Decided to post these steps here on the blog for my own future reference, in the event I need to “reset” my Windows 10 based computer and perform what I call the “nuclear option” (which means the computer is “reset” and “everything removed” including my settings, personal files and any programs that I may have installed).

When performing the “nuclear option”, it is also good to “pray” and have a Windows 10 Recovery Disk handy. It is also good to have a backup of your personal files in place and have ready any program install disks (so that you can re-install any of your programs — such as Microsoft Office, as an example). Resetting a Windows 10 computer requires planning and time. I recommend you set down, prior to doing this and list out the steps of what you want to do (and in the order of how you want to do them).

Steps to “Reset” your Windows 10 based computer are as follows:

  1. Click on “Start Button”
  2. Click on “Settings” icon
  3. After the “Windows Settings” window loads, click on “Update and Security”
  4. After the next “Settings” windows loads, click on “Recovery” located on the left side of the window.
  5. You will then see “Recovery” with an option to “Reset This PC”.  Click on the “Get Started Button”.
  6. A blue box will appear with two options. Click on the option “Remove Everything” (including personal files, apps and settings).
  7. After click on “Remove Everything”, the process to do this can take quite a bit of time.  Just be patient…

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Quickly get started using Windows 10 features with the tips and tricks included in “Getting to know Windows 10 – for employees”

First saw this, “Getting to know Windows 10 – for employees”, at Major Geeks. It caught my attention and I explored further. This is a guide that may be helpful to my readers at home in exploring and learning about the features of Windows 10. The guide is available as a PDF or PPT (Powerpoint) — see source link below.

Getting to know Windows 10—for employees

SOURCE: Microsoft – Getting to know Windows 10 – for employees

Geek Squeak #17-024: Creating a USB thumb drive loaded with Windows 10 installation media is very easy thanks to Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool….

Found this great mini-tutorial on how to install Windows 10 on a USB drive, for Windows 10 install purposes, by using the Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool at PCWorld.  With a prepared USB drive you can install the latest version of Windows on a new PC or have an install drive ready should your own Windows 10 PC malfunctions… READ MORE

mediacreation 3


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My Two Favorite Hidden Tricks Inside Windows 10

There are so many different way to navigate Windows 10 to get a specific task done. Many of those ways require multiple actions from the end user which can be hard to remember. PCMag recently posted an article, “Hidden Tricks Inside Windows 10” (see source link below) that will make using Windows 10 easier and more interesting.

My two favorite hidden tricks inside Windows 10, from the PCMag article, are the “Secret Start Menu” and the “Secret Desktop button.  To elaborate:

Secret Start Menu – If you go to the “Start Menu” icon in the bottom left corner and “right mouse click” you will be presented with a smorgasbord of commonly used Windows 10 program commands or utilities (such as run, settings, device manager, etc…). The only command that I do not see anymore is one for the “Control Panel”. This may be due to the UI changes taking place in Windows 10 as it continues to mature. I will say I go to this “Secret Start Menu” on a constant basis.

Secret Start Menu

Secret Desktop Button – On the bottom right side of the screen, to the right of the time and date, there is a very thin vertical button that is virtually unseen. If you take your mouse pointer and place it in the right corner of the screen (on the button) you magically see the desktop. If you “left mouse click” at that location the desktop will be launched and the programs you had open will be minimized to the taskbar. This is very handy when you need to get to something on the desktop. Also, when you “left mouse click” at the same location, you can toggle back to whatever it was you were working on. Again, this is another secret feature in Windows 10 that I have trained myself to use on a regular basis.

SOURCE: PCMag – Hidden Tricks Inside Windows 10


Other Related Content

Windows 10: The Best Hidden Features, Tips, and Tricks – ExtremeTech

Windows 10’s best tricks, tips, and tweaks – PCWorld


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How can I download a video posted on Facebook?

This is a question I recently searched for using Google. What I found is that there is no easy way on Facebook to download a video that has been posted by another party; however, I did find savefrom.net that will download a Facebook video providing you have the URL for the video.

To get the URL, simply right mouse click on the video, click on “show video URL”, then click on the “URL” (to highlight it), then hit “Ctrll+C” to copy the URL to the clipboard (or you can right mouse click and select “copy” which will copy the URL to the clipboard). After you have copied the URL to the clipboard, go to savefrom.net and enter the URL in the input field at the top of the main page. This action should present a download button where you can initiate the download (which will either be in MP4-HD or MP4-SD file formats).

With safefrom.net you can also download audio, video, and other types of files from various websites and social networks such as youtube.com, vk.com, vimeo.com, and others.

Source: savefrom.net


GEEK SQUEAKS’ OF THE WEEK
(17-010)

Keeping You Safe With Google Play Protect – One of the biggest security risks you’re likely to face is simply losing your phone. To help in these times of need, we’re launching Find My Device as part of Google Play Protect. With Find My Device you can locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches… READ MORE


How To Unlock A Locked Account in Windows 10 – This tutorial explains how to unlock a locked account in Windows 10. A user account is locked when total number of invalid login attempts are reached. In that case, that particular user account is locked for 30 minutes (default lockout limit) or it can be more if you have manually set account lockout time… READ MORE

unlock a locked account in windows 10


Note-taking made easier for everyone—redesigning OneNote – As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “We will focus on designing and building products that our customers love and that are accessible to everyone and built for each of us.” In this update, we focused on making OneNote more usable for those with disabilities—such as vision and mobility impairments… READ MORE

Screenshot of OneNote’s new design showing the navigation all on the left hand side. The columns are labeled from left to right: Notebooks, Sections, Pages.


Malwarebytes AdwCleaner 6.044 – a free anti-malware app that deletes adware, PUP’s (Potentially Unwanted Programs), toolbars, and browser hijackers… READ MORE


How to add a second clock to the Windows taskbar – All modern versions of Windows allow you to add up to two additional clocks. To do so… READ MORE


How To Remove A Photo From Your Device But Not Google Drive – If you bought a device that doesn’t have a lot of storage space, this is a great way to make sure you don’t run out of space on it… READ MORE


Stop users copying PDF text with PDF Anti-Copy – PDF Anti-Copy is a free tool which protects PDF content by preventing users selecting or copying its text… READ MORE

PDF.Anti_.Copy_-768x540


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How To Tell What Version Of Windows 10 Is On Your Computer

Windows 10 was released in July of 2015 and has went through several version changes (or major updates). You may have heard of the “November Update – Version 1511” or the “Anniversary Update – Version 1607”; and, the most recent “Creators Update – 1703”. I know for some home-based computer users this all may sound quite confusing to the point that you are not sure what version of Windows 10 you are running.

Any easy way to determine what version of Windows 10 you have installed (and the build number); simply, click the Start Button (at the bottom left corner), then click on Settings, then click on System (cog wheeled icon), then click on About (see screenshot below). Another method to determine what version you are running is CLICK HERE (which will open your web browser to the Microsoft site “Get Windows Creator Update”). Once the page loads, click on the button labelled “Check your version of Windows 10”.


GEEK SQUEAKS’ OF THE WEEK
(17-007)

Windows 10 Tip: Unlock the UWP File Explorer – If you’re running Windows 10 version 1703 (Creators Update) or newer, here’s a nice surprise: You can unlock a hidden UWP version of File Explorer… READ MORE

Windows 10 Tip: Unlock the UWP File Explorer

How to find the Windows 10 Creators Update’s hidden desktop themes – To get started with Windows Store themes, open the Settings app by clicking on Start and selecting the cog icon in the lower left corner of the menu. Once the app opens, go to Personalization > Themes. Scroll down a bit in that screen and under the sub-heading “Apply a theme,” click the link labeled Get more themes in the Store… READ MORE

themesnew

Read web pages offline with Chrome for Android  Google’s mobile browser just made it even easier to cache and read pages when you don’t have the internet. Google’s mobile browser added offline reading last year, but a new update expands the capability with a couple handy features… READ MORE

Create multiple partitions on a USB drive in Windows 10 using MakeWinPEMedia – In Windows 10, you can use MakeWinPEMedia to create multiple partitions on a USB drive. Windows 10 v1703 Creators Update allows you to create multiple partitions on a USB drive so that you can have a single USB key with a combination of FAT32 and NTFS partitions… READ MORE

Create multiple partitions on a USB MakeWinPEMedia

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair 3.9.30 – An all-in-one repair tool to help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including registry errors and file permissions. Video tutorial available below… READ MORE

Try This Coupon Code [TA9JX297] – For Pasonomi VR XMAS – Virtual Reality Headset with Stereo Headphone Speaker for iPhone, Samsung, Google and all Android Smartphones. Try coupon code (for $14 off) at checkout … READ MORE


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How To Use Windows 10’s “Microsoft Print To PDF”

A feature that I really like in Windows 10 is the “Microsoft Print to PDF”. Typically when you print a document, the document is sent to your default printer to be printed. In Windows 10 you have another optional printer to select from called “Microsoft Print to PDF” that allows you to print a document to a native PDF file. What this means is that the document you desire to print does not go to a physical printer; instead, the document is printed (converted) to a PDF file that you can save to your computer, email to another party, etc… An example of how I use this is, when I make an online purchase, instead of printing the invoice to my printer, I simply select “Microsoft Print to PDF” and print the invoice to a PDF file that I then save on my computer.  You can save a lot of paper by printing documents to “Microsoft Print to PDF”…

In Windows 10, the default PDF viewer is Microsoft Edge; however, you can install another PDF viewer such as Adobe, Foxit Reader, Nitro and my freeware favorite Sumatra


GEEK SQUEAKS’ OF THE WEEK
(17-007)

[ OFF TOPIC – IMPORTANT ] The Most Important Things They Don’t Want You to Know About the Health Care Bill – I follow the Congress very closely and what I am seeing is unprecedented. We the people need to stop looking at politics as some type of team sport of taking sides and take an interest in following what is going on. Our politicians are taking advantage of us in an effort to dumb us down so that we are a nation of the poor and of the very rich. For example, the House of Representatives just passed a health care bill that many of them (who voted for it) will outwardly tell you, is not a good bill. This bill will hurt the very base of the people that elected our President and it is being touted as some type of a trophy. Please contact your representatives and express your displeasure; seriously, your life and the future of your financial integrity could depend on this. The bill still has to go through the Senate where it is expected to be basically rewritten. A good read on this is at the popular website LifeHackers, where details on how this will impact you is outlined —  “lawmakers plastered on a few lipstick-like changes to the bill: things that they hope will make it look prettier and deflect some criticism, but that do nothing to change the fact that this is a terrible bill and they all know it”… READ MORE

The 10 Best Camera Apps For Android – Despite manufacturer’s best efforts, default camera apps have not enjoyed the privilege of consistency. This gave birth to an entire library of camera based apps to squeeze every bit of power from that camera. Here is our pick for the 10 best best android camera apps… READ MORE

Why you don’t need 27 different passwords – According to a poll by Intel Security, the average person has 27 discrete online logins. From social media accounts to banking to online shopping to utilities, credentials—which usually include a username and password—are required for each… READ MORE

Why you don’t need 27 different passwords

NirSoft unveils UninstallView 1.0 – NirSoft has released UninstallView (32-bit here), a portable tool which collects and displays information on your stored applications… READ MORE

UninstallView

Turn Your Android Phone (or laptop) Into An Endoscope – I just did a search for endoscopic cameras on Amazon and was surprised to see the results (and really how inexpensive these cameras are). What these cameras do, is allow you to see in and around small narrow spaces, using a long snake-like waterproof camera attached to  your Android phone (or laptop) as the viewer and power source.  Amazing stuff at little cost… READ MORE


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Identity Theft – Here is what to do if someone is using your information to open new accounts or make purchases…

If you are a victim of identity theft or know someone that is, the Federal Trade Commission has an identity theft website setup (identitytheft.gov) where you can report an event. The site provides streamlined checklists and sample letters to guide you through various recovery plans and processes based on the type of identity theft you have been exposed to. Note: I also encourage victims to contact and file a report with their State Police so that there is record of the event (at the local level) and to alert the police to a trend that may be occurring in their jurisdiction.

Identify theft can occur through breaches of your credit card account; telephone, mobile or utility accounts; debit, checking or savings accounts; employment or taxes; government benefits or IDs (such as your Social Security Number); loans or leases; AND, other accounts such as internet accounts, medical accounts, insurance accounts, investment accounts, etc…

Clues that someone stole your information are:

  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
  • You don’t get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
  • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
  • Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
  • Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
  • A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
  • You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.

Source: Federal Trade Commission – Identity Theft Recovery Steps


GEEK SQUEAKS’ OF THE WEEK
(17-005)

MusicWire – Portable App to search for and download music. All downloads are in the MP3 format… READ MORE

MusicWire

Chrome to More Aggressively Highlight Insecure Sites – Starting with Chrome 62, the browser will show the “not secure” warning when users type any data into HTTP sites… READ MORE

How to snooze your Wi-Fi in the Windows 10 Creators Update – Click on the Wi-Fi icon in your taskbar, and when the panel listing all the available Wi-Fi connections appears, click the Wi-Fi tile in the lower-left corner. Next, the panel as pictured here appears. By default, your Wi-Fi will only be restored if you activate it manually by clicking the Wi-Fi tile. If you want it to turn on automatically after a set time, click the drop-down menu under Turn Wi-Fi back on. Here you’ll see options for turning it back on in an hour, four hours, or one day… READ MORE

wifionmanually

Schedule web pages to open automatically with Open Me Later! for Chrome – Open Me Later! is a free Chrome extension which enables scheduling a page to open automatically, as the date and time you specify… READ MORE

OpenMeLater

Amazon Echo – The Echo may be the closest thing we’ll have to a Star Trek computer at home… READ MORE

What is Echo?


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How To Enable Night Light Mode In Windows 10

One of the new features that come to Windows 10, after the Windows Creators Update, is “Night Light”…

If you are one of those computer users who is on the computer during the night hours, then “Night Light” is a feature that you may want to enable. Studies have shown that our sleep cycle can be disrupted as a result of blue light that emanates from our computer displays (monitor). A solution to this is to change the hue;: thus,  restricting the blue light. This is where “Night Light” comes in to play. “Night Light” will help you display warmer colors to help you sleep; is fully adjustable; and, can be scheduled to auto turn “on” and “off”.

To get to “Night Light” on your computer: Click on Start > Settings > System > Display > Night Light Settings

Night Light


 GEEK SQUEAKS’ OF THE WEEK
(17-004)

Don’t install the Windows 10 Creators Update on your own, Microsoft advises – Microsoft would prefer it if you didn’t try to install the Windows 10 Creators Update yourself. Instead, the company is encouraging everyone but advanced users to wait for the Creators Update to become available via Windows Update. That means workarounds for excited users, like the Media Creation Tool or the Windows Update Assistant, are discouraged… READ MORE

Windows 10: The big changes headed your way in 2017 – As a perpetual work in progress, Windows 10 continues to accrue new features, as Windows catches up with Microsoft’s vision of it being an OS that runs anywhere, syncs with the cloud, and has an intelligent assistant at its core… READ MORE

5 Free Software to Measure WiFi Signal Strength – Here are 5 free software to measure WiFi signal strength. Using these free software, you can easily measure the signal quality of your WiFi which is coming from the router… READ MORE

5 Free Software To Measure WiFi Signal Strength

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit – 16 GB Edition – An exclusive Starter Kit from CanaKit that includes the fastest model of the Raspberry Pi family – The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and everything you need to get up and running within minutes in the exciting world of Raspberry Pi!… READ MORE


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Which Recovery Option Should I Use When Experiencing Problems With Windows 10

Found the following information on the Microsoft Support site that may be helpful in deciding which recovery option you should use in the event you are troubleshooting and experiencing problems with Windows 10.

Problem: Your PC isn’t working well because of a recently installed app, driver, or update.

Solution: Restore from a system restore point

Problem: Your PC isn’t working well and you’re not sure why.

Solution: Reset your PC

Problem: You want to clear all your personal data off of your PC before you donate or recycle it.

Solution: Reset this PC > Remove everything > Remove files and clean this drive

Problem: Your PC won’t start. Or You tried to reset the PC, but encountered the error: There was a problem resetting your PC.

Solution 1: If you’ve previously created a USB recovery drive, use the recovery drive to restore or recover your PC

Solution 2: If you haven’t created a USB recovery drive, use installation media to restore your PC or Use installation media to reinstall Windows 10


GEEK SQUEAKS’ OF THE WEEK
(17-003)
 

Privacy Screen Guard & Filter (for Android) – Block people from peeping into your apps, notifications and private chats on a subway train, bus, mall, at work or school by using our privacy shade… READ MORE

 Privacy Screen Guard & Filter- screenshot

How to use Storage sense to free up space automatically on the Windows 10 Creators Update – Starting with the Creators Update, Windows 10 introduces Storage sense, a new feature that automatically monitors and free up storage space on your computer… READ MORE

Windows 7 Games For Windows 10 – Windows 7 Games For Windows 10 installs the broken (or missing) Windows 7 games for your Windows 10… READ MORE

Wise JetSearch – Free Local File Search Tool – A nice “go to” search tool replacement for Windows… READ MORE

Renogy E.Lumen Multi-Functional Solar Power & USB Rechargeable Flashlight – I have one of these… Awesome flashlight, for the price, that also serves as a multi-purpose emergency tool…  READ MORE


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Here Is How To Manually Initiate The Windows 10 Creators Update

Typically those in the IT field will not immediately download an OS upgrade (or major update) until there is assurance all the bugs and problems have been worked out; HOWEVER, if you are one of the brave you can NOW download the Windows 10 Creators Update. As a general rule of thumb, backup your personal files.

CLICK HERE and you will be taken to Microsoft’s site where you can download the Update Assistant.

Windows 10 Creators Update

Once you download and run the Update Assistant, the update process will begin with the update files being downloaded to your PC (which will take some time). While the update files are being downloaded you can continue doing what you were doing on your PC; however, when performing updates (or upgrades) such as this, I typically do not do anything. Once the update files have been downloaded, the actual update process will automatically begin (which will also take some considerable time, so be patient).

Source: Microsoft – Download Windows 10

When the Windows 10 Creators Update arrives next week, its users will have several privacy options to comb through…| PCMag.com

Windows 10 is sure developing a bad reputation for data collection…  Here is an article from PCMag.com (see source link below) with some insight and instruction on what you can do to shut down or limit what data is being harvested…

 

When the Windows 10 Creators Update arrives next week, its users will have several privacy options to comb through…

Source: Use Windows? Microsoft Might Know a Ton About You | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

Here’s What Changes and Here’s What’s New With The Windows 10 Creators Update

A source at Reddit has scraped through the changelogs of all the Insider Builds since Build 14393 (the Anniversary Update) and has turned this into a something you may want to take a look at. The list below has been compiled to show the changes to expect with the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update on April 11th.

The update may take some time to hit your machine; however, experienced users will be able to force the update through the Microsoft Update Assistant (which has not yet been posted).

Some highlights:

  • Night light (Blue light reduction, on/off manually and scheduled)
  • New OOBE (Out Of Box Experience – the wizard(s) that guide you through the initial setup & install of Windows)
  • Native USB Audio 2.0 support
  • New keyboard shortcut: Win + Shift + S (select an area on your screen and an image of it is copied to your clipboard)
  • Can now create folders in the Start Menus tile area
  • Game mode (preliminary testing seems to indicate it helps with FPS dips/minimum FPS)
  • New inbox app: Paint 3D
  • You can now buy books through the Windows Store (and read them In Edge)
  • The Win32 Windows Defender has been removed and Windows Defender systray icon replaced with Windows Defender Security Center icon
  • “Pick up where you left off” (requires Cortana)
  • Game Bar now provides support in full screen for an additional 88 titles
  • On-screen touchpad
  • Updated Bluetooth API with GATT Server, Bluetooth LE Peripheral role and unpaired Bluetooth LE device connectivity support

Windows Update experience:

  • Numlock setting, UAC settings, startup shortcuts, custom (registry) scan code mappings, optional components, custom printer names and folders pinned to the Start Menu are now preserved through updates
  • Apps that have been de-provisioned from your OS image won’t install again automatically unless you reinstalled them yourself
  • Apps you have previously uninstalled will no longer be installed with every new upgrade
  • Windows Update will now ask you to schedule a pending update if no good timeslot to automatically update can be found
  • Unified Update Platform (future updates can be smaller now => faster download and install)
  • Ability to defer/pause cumulative security updates for 7 days

Shell:

  • Lunar calendar support in the Taskbar-Calendar flyout
  • You can now connect to a VPN from within the Network fly-out after selecting it
  • New default tile layout for clean installs
  • New Share icon
  • New share experience / Share UI
  • Improved high-dpi scaling in Microsoft Management Console (MMC) and Disk Management
  • Desktop wizards like “Map a network drive” and “Extract from zip” will now scale properly when moving from one monitor to another
  • New per-application enhanced scaling mode
  • Improved the system tray logic to be more robust when bad data is presented
  • Notifications in the Action center now support inline progress bars
  • Behavior of the scrollbar has been improved for apps using the Creators Update SDK (Apps targeting 15063+)
  • The “Settings” entry in the taskbar context menu has been renamed “Taskbar settings”
  • The “All apps” button in Start will now show a badge with the number of new apps

Cortana:

  • You can now set Cortana to not listen when Windows + C is used
  • When searching for an app in Cortana, it will now show you commands that work within that app
  • (Cortana) Time-based reminders can now be recurring every month or year
  • Cortana can now shut down, restart and lock your device
  • Cortana can now change the volume of your device
  • If the device is idle, saying “Hey Cortana” will show a full screen UI optimized for long distance reading

UWP and Apps:

  • New inbox “Quick Assist” App. Request remote help from friends or assist friends remotely even on Home Edition
  • New inbox “Mixed Reality” App
  • Apps can now implement compact mode, which allows an app to be shown on the screen in a small window on top of the window that’s currently in focus (like “Picture-in-Picture”-mode on many TVs)
  • Apps can now make custom groups for notifications
  • Apps can now overwrite the timestamp in their notifications
  • New rendering technology for all UWP apps
  • Reliability improvements to UWP apps
  • Alarms from 3rd party alarm apps can now break through Quiet Hours

Settings app:

  • New “Apps” settings page/category that consolidates many previously scattered settings
  • New “Gaming” settings page/category
  • You can now hide the apps list in the start menu
  • Custom accent color picker
  • Custom background color picker
  • Many Settings moved around
  • You can now set websites to open in apps if the website allows it
  • “Wi-Fi Sense” and “Paid Wi-Fi Services” have been merged into the new “Wi-Fi Services” on the “Wi-Fi” page
  • A new option has been added under “Storage” to allow you to let Windows remove unused temporary files and files that have been in the recycle bin for longer than 30 days
  • Dynamic lock
  • PCs will no longer have to reboot after turning on Developer Mode
  • Settings up Windows Hello now provides visual guidance which tracks your face in real-time
  • Improved design on the Printers & scanners settings page
  • Improved design on the storage usage settings page
  • Custom scaling factors now possible
  • “Theme” section in settings
  • “Enhanced” telemetry/diagnostics choice removed
  • Many more (custom) gestures for precision touchpads including custom key macros
  • You can now let Windows block most non-Store apps or ask for confirmation before installing
  • Under “Restart settings” you can now require Windows Update to show more notifications before restarting
  • Windows Update has a new icon, resembling the outline of the Windows-logo with two circling arrows in it

Hyper-V:

  • You can now override the scaling in Hyper-V Virtual Machines
  • Hyper-V instances will now remember your zoom level for the next session
  • You can now resize Hyper-V windows in Enhanced session mode

Other:

  • Windows Hello recognition has been improved
  • Improved video playback quality on the target device when using Miracast to connect between a high-DPI PC to another high-DPI device
  • Registry editor got an address bar (and new keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl + L)
  • Narrator keyboard shortcut changes
  • Narrator can now explain context of whatever it is reading
  • OAuth is now supported for Yahoo Mail accounts
  • Improved many translations
  • Rainbow flag emoji added
  • Support for spatial sound (e.g. Dolby Atmos)
  • Beam.pro livestreaming now built-in to the GameBar
  • Windows will now respond better when Win + L is pressed when playing a full screen game
  • The Alt + F4 Shutdown dialog has been improved to better handle DPI changes with external monitors
  • Updated advanced properties in Sounds control panel to allow you to select 24 and 32 bit at 176400Hz, and 16, 24 and 32 bit at 352800 Hz as the default format for devices that support it
  • The Trusted Platform Module Management control panel has been updated to provide more info when the TPM is “Not ready for use” or “Ready for use, with reduced functionality”
  • Snipping tool can now be used completely without a mouse
  • Installing Bash on Ubuntu on Windows will now install version 16.04 instead of 14.04
  • Many many WSL improvements lead to better compatibility – for example ifconfig works now!
  • You can now launch Windows binaries from a WSL command prompt
  • … and Linux binaries from Windows by calling “bash.exe -c “
  • The “Open command window here” context menu item has been replaced with “Open PowerShell window here”
  • Command Prompt has been replaced with PowerShell in the Win + X menu by default – same in File Explorers extended context menu
  • When you turn off Wi-Fi you can now set it to turn back on automatically on a timer
  • Can now set all audio to be mono
  • You can now disable Microsoft from using diagnostic data to provide a tailored experience
  • On devices with more than 3.5 GB memory, service hosts will be split into individual processes
  • – When one process fails, it will no longer take down the whole service host
  • – Task Manager will give a better overview of what Windows is doing in these background processes
  • – It will be easier to troubleshoot which process is causing issues for both IT pros and Microsoft
  • – Process will now all have their own individual permissions, improving security
  • Improved precision touchpad recognitions for left and right clicks, two-finger taps, improving pin-to-zoom and two-finger tap detection
  • Improved recognition for 3 finger gestures for precision touchpads
  • Improved framerates when the Game bar is being shown on full screen games
  • Wi-Fi Calling has been added
  • Improved scaling for games that have a different aspect ratio than the native display resolution
  • Braille
  • Ink Workspace: improved performance and reliability plus small improvements to usability

Microsoft Edge:

  • Edge will now open the Connect pane when clicking “Cast media to device”
  • Improves the behavior of the “Find on page” feature to show the found result more central in the page
  • eBook Reader (incl. reading books aloud)
  • Automatically blocks flash
  • Full color emoji
  • WebRTC 1.0 now on by default
  • H.264/AVC is now enabled by default for RTC
  • Re-deferral support
  • Chakra JIT is not out-of-process by default
  • Support for SharedArrayBuffer and WebAssembly behind the Experimental JavaScript Features flag
  • Web Notes has a new icon and works like Ink Workspace now
  • Set tabs aside (and share them!)
  • Run .exe download without saving it
  • New PDF toolbar + search
  • Improved performance, reliability and support for todays and tomorrows web standards and new technologies
  • You can now import and export favorites from and to a file
  • In addition to “Alt + D” and “F6” You can now also use “Ctrl + O” to move focus to the address bar
  • Noteworthy bugfix: When using the “uBlock Origin” extension, Edge would sometimes prompt to download websites instead of opening them – that is now fixed!

Regressions or neutral/subjective changes:

  • The option to prevent Windows Update from installing drivers has been removed
  • It is no longer possible to disable an alarm on the lock screen
  • Kernel debugging over 1394 has been removed

*This list is just based on the changelogs from the Insider Preview Builds.

Windows 10 “Creators Update” Coming April 11

The Windows 10 “Creators Update” will be the 2nd major update to Windows 10, since its’ public release in 2015.  Rollout of this update is to start on April 11th. You can read more about the “Creators Update” and its’ new features by clicking on the source link below (which will take you to the official Windows 10 “Creators Update” site).

Most folks at home don’t keep up with major Windows changes as we do in the tech world and end up scratching their heads when the update(s) hit their computers. Pass the word and explain, a new update is rolling out on April 11th and to expect the update to take some time to install.

The Windows 10 Creators Update will begin to roll out to customers around the world on April 11 as a free update and Surface Book, Surface Studio are coming to new markets.

Source: Windows 10 Creators Update coming April 11, Surface expands to more markets – Windows Experience BlogWindows Experience Blog

“Windows 10 is great, but it has its issues. Here’s how to fix them.” | PCMag.com

Check out PCMag’s helpful tips (see source link below) on fixing the most annoying things in Windows 10.  My favorite “annoyance”, from the list, “Skip the Password Login”, is for the computers that I use at home where logging in each time is a PITA (pain in the a_ _)…

Skip the Password Login

Are you the only person who ever—and I mean ever—uses your PC? Then you can probably skip the password login screen that appears after every reboot or sometimes even when you come back from the screensaver. To do that, go to the User Accounts control panel by typing “netplwiz” in the search bar. Select the account, uncheck the box next to “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer. You’ll get a confirmation box that asks you to enter that very password—twice. Click okay when done. Reboot the PC and if it works, it should roll smoothly into the desktop without requesting a password. Don’t do this if it’s shared PC. And you’ll still need to know the password if you’re logging into the PC remotely.

Windows 10 is great, but it has its issues. Here’s how to fix them.

Source: How to Fix the Most Annoying Things in Windows 10 | PCMag.com

How To Create An Image Backup In Windows 10 | PCWorld

Did you know there is a featured component built into Windows 10 that will allow you to make an image backup of everything on your computer, including the partitions and boot sector?

I encourage you to follow the source link below to learn how to take advantage of this feature to easily make the backup AND instruction on how to restore an image from the backup. Recently, I purchased a new computer (see here) and one of the first things I did was make an image. In the event of a failure of some type, I can use that image to restore the computer back to the time that I had created the image. Trust me, if you have done this; then, do it!  Computers do and will fail.

Source: How to create and restore an image backup in Windows 10 | PCWorld

Windows 10: Using The File History Feature To Backup Your Personal Files

Let’s face it, you probably do not backup your personal files on your Windows 10 computer. When I talk about personal files, I am talking about your photos, videos, documents, etc… that are personal to YOU. I know you may say it doesn’t really matter, but it will. I have found that when computer users (including myself) lose files it sort of does something to you. You actually will feel that a loss has occurred and feel helpless in recovering from that loss.

An “automated” backup solution for Windows 10 users is built right into the operating system that I have found to be very easy to use. It is called “File History”… Below you will find a short video from BTNHD that will quickly get you up and running with using File History. What I like about File History is that you can fully configure it to backup any folders that you choose (to an external hard drive), at different time intervals (making it fully automated), and the option of how long you want to keep revisions of your files. I encourage you take a look at File History, learn how to use it, and save yourself some misery when that computer crash occurs…

How To Use Windows 10 File History Feature!

In Windows 10 There is More To “Ctrl-Shift-Esc” Than Meets The Eye

“Ctrl-Shift-Esc” is the keyboard combination that will launch the Windows 10 Task Manager. You can also “right-mouse-click” on the Windows taskbar to invoke a menu where you can launch the Task Manager, as well. The Task Manager is especially useful if you need to kill a program that is negatively impacting your computer.  Most techies use the task manager solely for that purpose; however, there is a whole lot more to the Windows 10 Task Manager that is often overlooked. Digital Trends has posted a nice (quick read) run down and video of what other featured utilities are available in the Task Manager that you need to know about — READ MORE 

Windows 10 Task Manager

Malwarebytes’ Junkware Removal Tool

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-018)

Malwarebytes has a junkware removal tool that I was unaware about that will aggressively perform the following tasks:

  • Removes adware that spawn popup ads, such as Conduit
  • Uninstalls unwanted toolbars and browser helper objects, including the Ask and Babylon toolbars
  • Removes potentially unwanted programs (PUPs)
  • Cleans up traces left behind by PUPs

I am a big user of the Malwarebyte products and decided to give this tool a test run. To run the tool, simply download and run it. A command-line window will open up that will prompt you to hit a key on your keyboard to launch the program.  If you have any browser windows open, they will automatically be closed. In the end I found that the tool is pretty aggressive in its’ cleaning to the point it actually removed one of my Chrome browser extensions that I use on a regular basis.  With that being said, I recommend you make a note of what extensions you have. If you are in a situation where you find your PC running slow and suspect an infection, you may want to run this tool.

Malwarebytes Junkware Removal Tool

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

Free Alternative to Office365 Called Open365I Love Free Software has a great article about LibreOffice’s new alternative to Office365 called Open365. After reading the article I went ahead and opened an account (for FREE) at Open365  (which appears to be in beta). Once I opened the account, client software was downloaded to my PC; which, I opted to not install. Instead, I went directly to the cloud-based version of Open365. First impression, not bad…  Will be keeping an eye on this.

Open365

Open365

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ZOTAC ZBOX E series Mini PC
with Intel Core i5 4200U, dual-core, 1.6 GHz, Turbo up to 2.6 GHz Barebone System

ZOTAC ZBOX E series Mini PC

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Easy Screen Capture MP3 Direct Cut

 Remove QuickTime Windows 10 Interruption

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