Acer Chromebook 15 Unboxing & Hands On

December 12, 2017

I ordered an Acer Chromebox 15 for Christmas and prior to ordering I did some research and watched the following video. I have always been a Windows user; however, as we continue to tread down that path of computer technology, I am finding that most of what I do on the computer these days is strictly internet based. I have found that nearly all people that I know who use a computer at home are using it to strictly browse the web and really for nothing else. If you fall into that category, then what you may not know is that you can save a lot of money and tech headaches by going with a Chromebook.

By definition, a Chromebook is a laptop that runs Google’s Chrome operating system and Chrome Web browser. Providing a total Web-based operating environment, all applications are downloaded from the Web, and although an Internet connection is mandatory, some apps may run offline as well“.

If interested in exploring a Chromebook, [ CLICK HERE ] to see the various Chromebook options at Amazon. If you get really serious, go to a local Walmart or Best Buy and play around with one. Very inexpensive and simple to use (and maintain) compared to the typical Windows based computer.

Acer Chromebook 15 Unboxing & Hands On


SOURCE: Amazon – Acer Chromebook 15


If You Are Immoral You Can Still Upgrade To Windows 10 (for Free) By Using This Loophole

November 1, 2017

If you did not take advantage of the FREE Windows 10 upgrade that officially ended on July 31, 2016, you can still get the upgrade (for Window 7 and 8.1 users) by claiming that you use assistive technologies. Now, this may not sound like the moral thing to do; however, there is a wide belief out there that Microsoft deliberately left this loophole in place so that people would eventually take advantage of the loophole to perform the upgrade.  So, if you want to be “immoral”, simply go to the Microsoft Assistive Technology page and get started. It’s that easy…

You have only until December 31, 2017 to take advantage of this loophole…


SOURCE: PCWorld – The last free Windows 10 upgrade path for consumers will shut down by December 31


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

October 24, 2017

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


A FREE Way To Create A Slideshow With Transitional Effects And Music

October 23, 2017

I have featured FastStone Image Viewer here on the blog in the past. If you are looking for a full featured image viewer, this is the one to get. One of the features that I fail to mention, is the slideshow builder that allows you to build a slideshow with 156 transitional effects and the option to include music. Once you get everything just the way you like it, you simply click on the “Create” button and FastStone Image Viewer will create the slideshow and compile it into an executable file. The beauty of this is that when you go to present the slideshow, you only need the executable file to launch the slideshow. This feature allows you to take the slideshow with you on a flash drive and launch the slideshow without having to install the FastStone Image Viewer software. The slideshow builder is an easy and free way to compile a slideshow for  events, a class, a memorial or family get together.

After you install FastStone Image Viewer, click on “Create” on the top menu, then click on “Slideshow Builder”.  You will then be presented with an interface as reflected below with the various options.

(click graphic to enlarge)


SOURCE: FastStone Image Viewer


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