Check your internet speed by typing into Google “Internet Speed Test”

October 17, 2017

Did you know that an easy way to determine if your internet speed is up to par is to perform an internet speed test by simply going to Google and typing, “Internet Speed Test”?  Not only does this work on your computer, it will also work on your smartphone and tablet. The test and the results are provided by a company called M-Lab (for which Google has a partnership).

The graphics below and information is courtesy of Google to help you understand how this works and what the results mean. This is a good way to determine if you are getting the bandwidth speed you are paying for.

How the test works:

The test takes about 30 seconds. It figures out your Internet speed by measuring how much data can move through your connection in that time.

Understand the results:

The Internet speed test measures your connection’s download speed, upload speed, and latency. The best Internet connections have high download and upload speeds but low latency.

  • Download speed is how fast information can be transferred to you. It affects things like how long it takes to download large files or display webpages with lots of images. Download speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
  • Upload speed is how fast information can be transferred from you. It affects things like how long it takes to post pictures to social media. Upload speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
  • Latency measures how quickly you get a response from the server. Low response times are important for real-time apps, like video calls and online gaming. Latency is measured in milliseconds (ms).

SOURCE: Google – Internet Speed Test


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

October 15, 2017

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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Did you know you can “Voice Type” in Google Docs?

October 1, 2017

Google Docs is a very powerful word processor that is available (for FREE) to anyone who has a Google (Gmail) Account. One feature in Google Docs that you may be interested in trying is the “Voice Type” feature where you can type and edit by speaking. This feature not only works in Google Docs, but also works in the Google Slides speaker notes. Voice Type only works when opening Google Docs through the Google Chrome web browser and you will need a working microphone connected to your computer. The newer notebook PC’s have mic’s built in.

To try Voice Type, follow the instructions below:

  1. Turn on your microphone.
  2. Open a document in Google Docs.
  3. Click on “Tools”; then “Voice Typing” (a microphone box will appear)
  4. When you are ready to dictate or speak, click on the microphone icon.
  5. Speak clearly using a normal volume and speed.
  6. When done, click on the microphone icon.
  7. After you start voice typing, you can use commands to edit and format your document. For example, “Select paragraph,” “italics,” or “Go to the end of the line.” (Note: There are numerous commands you can use to edit and format a document.  To get a listing of these commands, “CLICK HERE“).

SOURCE: Google Docs


Need help installing a particular computer component? Here are links for each piece of hardware in your PC…

July 27, 2017

The links below are part of PCWorld’s recent post on “How To Build A PC”…

thinkstockphotos 101767870

How to avoid common PC building mistakes

How to install or replace a case fan

How to install a power supply in your computer

How to install an Intel or AMD CPU in your PC

How to install new memory in your PC

How to replace your PC’s motherboard

How to install a graphics card

How to install a hard drive in your PC

The ultimate guide to proper PC cable management

 Troubleshooting your home-built PC


SOURCE: PCWorld – How To Build A PC


How to remove the “FWD” in forwarded Gmails…

July 20, 2017

As I continue to work on my project of How To Use A Gmail Account To Create Your Own Customized Note-Taking App, I am sure learning a lot about Gmail. For example, I wanted to know if you can remove the “FWD” in the subject line in a forwarded Gmail? I could see where this could be useful; especially, when you don’t want the recipient (such as a customer) to know that it was an email you received from someone else and then forwarded it to them. In my case, where I am using one of my Gmail accounts exclusively as a note-taking app, by removing the “FWD” would help me clean up any notes I had edited (forwarded) and ultimately would give the appearance of a true note-taking app (such as Evernote, OneNote, and Simple Note).

After some exploring, I found that you can easily remove the “FWD”. You just have to look for it. When you forward a Gmail you will notice a small box (see screenshot) with an arrow pointing to the right (which indicates it is a forwarded Gmail) and beside that arrow, you will see a small arrow pointing downward. Click on that arrow and a drop-down menu will appear. On that menu, click on “Edit Subject”. After you click on “Edit Subject” you will be permitted to edit the subject of the email; for which you can remove the “FWD” and actually change the subject line to anything you want. Also, after you have completed editing the subject line, go into the body of the email and remove any other extraneous text that you typically would see in a forwarded email. Once you get this cleaned up, the recipient will never know the email was forwarded.

SOURCE: What’s On My PC – How To Remove The “FWD” In Forwarded Gmails


Using The Fireshot Browser Extension To Email Web Content To My Gmail Note Taking Account

July 16, 2017

This is sort of a repost of two things that go hand-in-hand… I recently posted the article, “How To Use A Gmail Account To Create Your Own Customized Note-Taking App“; AND ALSO, back in December posted the article, “FireShot – Google Chrome Extension to Take Screenshots“.

My project of customizing and using a Gmail account solely as a note taking app is working better than I ever anticipated and better than the other note-taking apps I was using (such as Evernote, OneNote, and Simplenote). I don’t see me going back to anything else. Just too many benefits with using the Gmail platform…

One benefit that I am taking advantage of is the FREE version of the Fireshot browser extension which allows you to capture an entire web page, the visible part of a page or a specific part of a page (that you can select). Where the benefit to me with this is that Fireshot has an option where you can use Gmail to send whatever it is that you clipped (in the PDF, PNG or JPEG formats). I prefer the PDF format due that after the conversion is made, the links in the captured page are active. Many of the other note taking apps have browser extensions that allow you to clip web site text, pictures, pages, etc… I can now do the same (and better) by using Fireshot to email web content to my Gmail Note Taking account. Fireshot is available as an extension for Firefox, Chrome, Opera or IE.

SOURCES: Fireshot and How To Use A Gmail Account To Create Your Own Customized Note-Taking App


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

July 13, 2017

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