Personalize the Start Menu on Windows 10

Show/Hide Folders in Start Menu

To get started, go ahead and click on the Start and then Settings, which is the gear icon.

Next, click on Personalization.

Just to mention a few things while we are here, if you toggle off the Show app list in Start menu option, it will remove that middle section that we talked about above (the list of programs and apps).

Recently added apps will show you any programs that you have installed recently at the top of the list. For Show most used apps, it’ll list your most accessed apps right below the recently added apps.

If you want to hide recently opened files from the right-click menu on taskbar icons, you should make sure to toggle off the Show recently opened items in Jump Lists on Start or the taskbar option.

Finally, at the bottom, is what we are looking for. Click on the Choose which folders appear on Start link. Microsoft likes to name these items folders, but links or shortcuts seems more sensible to me.

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Avoiding Fake Google Map Listings

When we Google search a map listing we expect the business or service to be where it says it is. Much to everyone’s surprise, there are irregularities in the search engine that have been hijacked by the bad actors, as they say.

Here is a Google posted response from its blog detailing its effort to combat fake business listings.


“It’s a constant balancing act and we’re continually working on new and better ways to fight these scams using a variety of ever-evolving manual and automated systems,” it reads. “We have an entire team dedicated to addressing these issues and taking constant action to remove profiles that violate our policies.”
There are ways for you to spot a fake. No one method is foolproof, so instead you’re looking for a combination of these signals that something is off:

  1. Confirm the business name
    Be wary of business names with keywords like ““best” or “dependable” or “emergency.”
    Spammers know that listings have a better chance of showing up high in the search results if they use popular search terms. That’s not to say legitimate businesses don’t sometimes have superlatives in their names; just give keyword-heavy listings some extra scrutiny.
    Ben Fisher, another volunteer Google product expert, suggests doing a search on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Some businesses apply for BBB accreditation, but you might find other useful information there too, like customer reviews and confirmation of state licensing.
    If you really want to sleuth out the company, you can look for records about it on your secretary of state’s website. Look for a link for the state’s business directory or search, then type in the business name to see if it’s listed. Mr. Fisher warns however that some businesses aren’t required to register.
    The Google spokeswoman recommends checking to see if the listing has a website associated with it and if so, clicking through to make sure the link isn’t broken or giving you a malware warning.
  2. Google the address
    If you set the listing aside and just search for the address itself, does the same business appear? If you tap the Street View icon, can you clearly see signage or other evidence of the company at that location? Or is it a residential street with no business in sight?
    To make things more complicated, some of these spam listings appear on a map, but don’t have a visible address. A legitimate business might not list its address if it has a specific service area but doesn’t actually see customers at any office. But just because there’s a dot on the map doesn’t mean the business is located anywhere near there.
  3. Screen the phone number
    Calling the number on a suspicious listing can lead to several scenarios: You might get an actual business that’s just not located where Google says it is, or you might get one of the lead-generation call centers.
    Businesses that have nothing to hide won’t be cagey answering questions like whether or not they have a physical office and where it’s located. And if you are connected to a lead-generation firm who say they’ll connect you to someone who can help, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker.
    The important thing is to get the name of the actual business that’s being represented—and whether or not its pricing and level of service are what you’re expecting. Before committing, verify the existence of the company in other ways, such as through its own independent website or, better yet, a listing on Yelp or some other competing search tool.
  4. Be careful with reviews
    As helpful as customer reviews can be, they are often faked. Mr. Waddington suggests looking for clusters of reviews all posted around the same time. Another trick is to look out for repeated positive language and/or imprecise praise, accompanied by five-star ratings. (“Excellent service!” “Highly recommended!” “Definitely the best!”)
    The Google spokeswoman suggests sorting the reviews by different star ratings to see if something is amiss.
    If there’s a profile for the person who posted the review, click through to see what other businesses that person has reviewed and if anything looks suspicious. If Bob Smith has left short, vague reviews on service providers in multiple cities, odds are Bob is a spammer, not a jet-setter.

Taking Better Phone Photos

It is always with us, comes in handy for receiving messages, getting help in an emergency, talking to our children and the home front, and most of all, documenting our busy lives by taking a photo of everything we see and do.  So how do I take a better picture so I get the very best out of my phone’s cameras?

When a person starts out playing golf, they spend a lot of time concentrating on the fundamentals. How should they stand? How should they hold their arms? Are their shoulders correct? Is their head down?

A new golfer thinks about these things as they approach the T-box. They think about it as they’re lining up for their shot. And they’re really thinking about it after they shank their drive into the left rough.

So, what does this have to do with photography and composition?

It’s about taking methodical steps to become proficient.  Ask yourself questions, train yourself to see the frame, be alert to colors and objects that attract you- but there is more that you can do.

When you take a photograph that doesn’t work the way you envisioned, analyze it. Don’t just toss it aside and move on. Figure out why it didn’t work.

You can also take this step further-

Search out photographs that you think are fantastic and analyze why they’re fantastic.

Imagine if that image were formatted as a vertical instead of a horizontal, or vice versa.

Change your angle of shooting. Use model cars.

car

Imagine if the subject of the photograph was centered, or not.

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Now let’s take a photo:

For those that want to take your photography to a higher level- learn your “phone”.

Your phone is a wide angle – fixed lens

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The winner of the phone wars will be the one that makes an optical zoom, has a bokeh or blur background, while still having ease of use. Several phones have multiple cameras to accomplish this already.

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When you capture the image, you need to make a workflow for post-processing.

When to do what, when to use what app:

Capturing:

  • Shoot in default
  • Use burst mode – hold down the shutter button
  • Take cool silhouette pics by shooting into the light
  •  Phone a friend. Use another camera phone for a light source.
  • Change the way you hold the phone. Try it upside down and a lower angle and reflection.
  • You don’t have to unlock your phone.
    • Swipe left. Apple
    • Hit the power button twice for Samsung.
  • Tap for focus and set the exposure- works like a point and shoot.
  • Tap and hold until the yellow rectangle locks it in.
  • Use remote shutter release. On the iPhone, it is either the up volume button or the up volume button on your earbud if you have one.
  • On a Samsung, set it to Voice command and your hands never leave the phone for stabilization. Say “cheese”.
  • Never just punch the screen. Always take the time to focus first.
  • Look for the “light bulb” icon so you can change the exposure before the shot.
  • Once your phone is focused, it will appear.
  • Then move around and it will keep the frame lighting.
  • Review images after taking- does it catch your eye? Start deleting.
  • Useful- create an album on the device- call it “to edit”- move into an album and you can see them all together.  Much easier to find.

Do small specific apps first that do one thing at a time. (heal or clone)

Use the final photo with an app like Snapseed, VSCO, Camera +, Cyberlink PhotoDirector, Adobe Photoshop Express, or Lightroom CC.img1547408754609

Take a class at the AGE Computer Lab on Taking Better Photos. 

Next issue will be on Photo Phone Apps- stay tuned.

 

 

Happy Holidays from AGE

Happy HolidaysHappy holidays from all our volunteers here at the lab.  We have been working hard to bring you up to speed on all your devices and PC’s. Last year we made books, posters, movies, notecards and learned about our Digital After Life. this year will be just as exciting.

I found a great article on pairing fonts (Font Pairing) was very helpful in my Holiday newsletter as well as my book for the family. I have been using Mixbook and enjoy the interface and the print quality. for postcards and greetings cards, I have been using Touchnote, an app on my phone and iPad. Touchnote

Do you still need photo downloading help from your phone or how to take better photos? Check out our January calendar and get some help from peers like yourself who understand that you weren’t born with a digital literacy. http://www.agecomputer.org

Windows 10 Log In Tip

Windows 10 rolled out  their anniversary update edition on August 2nd .You don’t have to do anything to get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, it will roll out automatically to you through Windows Update if you’ve chosen to have updates installed automatically on your device starting with newer PC’s.

There are many tips and tricks to be discovered the more we use this operating system. There is still one annoyance for me on my personal PC at home.

Wouldn’t you like to log into your Windows account at home with out a password? It can be done.

First, log into your Windows 10 user account as you normally do by entering your password at the login screen. Next, click Start (or tap the Windows Key on your keyboard) and type netplwiz. The “netplwiz” command will appear as a search result in the Start Menu search. Hit Enter on your keyboard or click on the result to open it.netwpl.jpg

A new window labeled “User Accounts” will appear, listing all user accounts on the PC. Click on your user account to select it and uncheck the box labeled “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.netpl2.jpg

You’ll be prompted to enter the user account’s password (this is a safeguard to ensure that other users on the PC can’t change the settings for accounts they don’t have access to). Enter your account’s password and then click OK to close the window.

Finally, test the new setting by saving all open work and rebooting your PC. If all steps above were performed correctly, Windows 10 should bypass the login screen and load directly into your user account without prompting you for the account’s password.

This and lot more tips and tricks will be available in class called Windows 10; Ask the Expert. Come and meet Rod our local guru in all things Windows 10. And bring your questions…Win10 seminar

September is Save Your Photos Month

YOUR PHOTOS ARE ONE OF YOUR MOST CHERISHED POSSESSIONS.

Photos tell the stories of our lives.

However, in this chaotic, rapid and ever-changing digital landscape, our photos are scattered across multiple devices, in numerous boxes tucked in a closet and stored in outdated media. They’re disorganized, vulnerable, and in some cases, inaccessible.

Save Your Photos Month is the direct result of witnessing devastating losses many people experienced after natural disaster struck their communities. Wild fires, gas explosions, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters are a constant in the daily news. Natural disasters or human error will always be a threat to your photo collection. We can help you safeguard your memories so you can prevent the loss of these irreplaceable treasures.

Follow the whole blog at Save your Photos  a professional photo organizer group.

Aaron Siskind once said,
“Photography is a way of feeling, loving, and touching.
What we have caught on film is captured forever.
It remembers little things long after we have forgotten everything.”

Also there is a very interesting blog,  DIY for using Photodex Pro Show video slide show maker.  Andrea Sims writes a comprehensive blog on how to organize, get started and execute your video slide show from photos. Read the rest of it here.

If video is not your favorite form of saving photos, try our September Make a Book class or Restoring your old photos or Learning Adobe Photoshop Elements . Nothing is more permanent for future generations than keeping and treasuring a book. cat-254572_1920.jpg

Tech Tips for the Summer

1. Are you  looking for new and easy ways to make your computing life stress free? Here are a few random tips that I found helpful.

Check out our August and September calendar for more classes and tips.

Techspot for all PC Tips and Tricks techtips

2. Did you know that Amazon has thousands of Kindle ebooks on photography, from beginner to advanced – and every level in between?

Many titles are absolutely free, and you won’t even need a Kindle device to enjoy them!

Click here to check out the awesome selection of free and low-cost photography ebooks at Amazon!photo tips

3. For whatever reason, the folks at Microsoft have decided that it’s a good idea to hide file extensions by default in recent versions of Windows, and Windows 10 is no exception.

You can easily force Windows 10 to display all file extensions from this point forward. Here’s how: 

1 – Press the Windows+E key combination to launch File Explorer.

2 – Select the View tab.

3 – Click Options (located at the top right-hand side of the window). The “Folder Options” dialog box should appear.

4 – Select the View tab.

5 – Uncheck the box beside Hide file extensions for known file types.

6 – Click Apply, then click Ok.

That’s all there is to it. From now on all of the filenames listed in File Explorer will include their file extensions.Windows-10-logo-300x154