“IT” is Special – March 2016

“IT” is Special – March 2016

Handy guide to keyboard shortcuts

By Rob Seitz, Public Relations Specialist

keyboard-shortcutIn their ongoing attempt at keeping IT (Information Technology) Special at John Knox Village, this magazine’s staff has created a handy, simple guide to computer keyboard shortcuts.

Although arguably the world’s most popular, and perhaps most powerful box of wires, magnets, chips and cables you can still slay the Mighty Electronic Brain with just a few keystrokes and save yourself some time along the way too.

Nearly every function—for which you point and click with a mouse—can be carried out with the shortcuts listed below. Try these out and let us know what you think.

Save                                                                    Ctrl-S

Print                                                                   Ctrl-P

Find                                                                    Ctrl-F

Copy                                                                   Ctrl-C

Paste                                                                  Ctrl-V

Undo                                                                  Ctrl-Z

Delete                                                                Ctrl-D

Page break                                                        Ctrl-Enter

Change window                                               Alt-Tab

Quit application                                              Alt-F4

Minimize window                                           Alt-Space-N

Maximize window                                          Alt-Space-X

Close sub-window                                          Ctrl-F4

Shut down & reboot                                      Ctrl-Alt-Delete

SHOTCUTS IN WORD

Jump to end of document                           Ctrl-End

Jump to start of document                         Ctrl-Home

Go to last edit                                                 Shift-F5

Check spelling                                                F7

Select All                                                         Ctrl-A

Select a whole word                                      Ctrl-Shift-left/right arrow

Select a whole paragraph                            Ctrl-Shift-up/down arrow

Bold                                                                 Ctrl-B

Italics                                                              Ctrl-I

Underline                                                       Ctrl-U

All capitals                                                     Ctrl-shift-A

If you are using a Mac, you can use these shortcuts by replacing Ctrl with the Command Key ( ).

That easy step can literally “save” you a lot of data-loss pain. Have anything to add? E-mail me at (rseitz@jkvfl.com) or call (954) 784-4741.

“IT” is Special – February 2016

Ubiquitous Thumb Drive hitches on a popular, portable ride.

By Rob Seitz, Public Relations Specialist

f63a0c5e5776e628a1bfff6bef2785c1Perhaps you have seen one. Some call it a card, but it doesn’t look like anything Hoyle produces. Others call it a portable hard drive. Portable being a key word as it is ounces light, yet can plug into any computer and provide the user with heavy-duty data.

They have been called thumb drives, jump drives, memory sticks, flash drives, flash memory, SanDisk drives, pen drives, key drives or in its most official techie title—USB Drives. USB, which means Universal Serial Bus, basically provides a standardized way to connect your computer to other electronics.

So, what do these miniature marvels really do?

Compared to a computer’s external hard drive, USB drives are small enough to carry in a pocket or purse, more durable and do not have any moving parts.

They come in two speeds: USB 1.0 and USB 2.0, with 2.0 naturally being the faster and pretty much the format in which all new USB drives come.

Since its original release in 1995, the USB Drive has become quite ubiquitous, replacing virtually all other connections to computers.

Typically, they are shaped like elongated ovals, but can be custom made into nearly any kind of design (see accompanying photographs).

For some of the weirdest looking thumb drives, including one that, well, looks like a thumb visit (gadgets.fosfor.se.the-top-10-weirdest-usb-drives-ever/)

e2b96eadd1ff0655faabd66ebf3b1de2There is also an excellent video which offers more information about exactly how a USB Drive works at: (www.youtube.com/watch?v=msi5GDz9JIw).

Perhaps the most important tip to remember when using a USB Drive is to properly disconnect it from a computer. Although not always the case, the possibility exists for you to lose your data when just yanking the drive out.

The “Safely Remove Hardware” feature is on your computer for a reason. It is highly recommended you use it.

In the lower right notification area of the desktop is an icon that looks like a USB plug with a green check mark. Click it and select the drive you want to eject. After a few moments, you will get a message saying it is safe to unplug it.

That easy step can literally “save” you a lot of data-loss pain. Have anything to add? E-mail me at (rseitz@jkvfl.com) or call (954) 784-4741.

“IT” is Special – January 2016

“IT” is Special – January 2016

Some New Year’s Resolution technology tips.

By Rob Seitz, Public Relations Specialist

 

imagesMany treat the beginning of a new year much like a newborn, especially if a new electronic device landed under your Christmas tree. You cradle your new phone, swaddle your wee laptop in a goose down blanket and stare with wonder and trepidation at your iPad promising nothing bad will ever happen to it.

But then, quickly for some much slower for others, the honeymoon ends. Phones are left on all the time. Laptops are carelessly tossed onto the kitchen table. Power cords are pulled like inflamed incisors from outlets.

Let the tech-care crime spree begin.

Here are tips to avoid some of the most common poor choices people make with their gadgets.

  1. Always, Always, Back Up. We know, you’re getting around to it, but put this on the top of your Technology Resolutions List! Unless you know when a major problem will arise ahead of time (and if you have that fortune-telling ability perhaps a trip to the casino is in order) backing up your data will avoid one gigantic potential headache.

    The simplest way is to attach a USB flash drive and use Windows Explorer to copy files from your computer to the removable drive. This is a completely manual method but there is backup software you can purchase and download to make the process automatic.

  1. Improper Cord Maintenance. Do not yank out power or charging cords from their wall sockets unless frequent visits to the store with the fruit-bearing name provides you with a day’s worth of entertainment. The cords are sensitive and can fray easily.

    When transporting them do not wrap them too tightly. This holds true for headphones as well. Wrap them loosely around your iPod.

  1. Power off Your Laptop (every once in awhile). Many of us are guilty of keeping our laptops on all the time—keeping our laptops in a constant state of sleep. Periodically, you should power cycle your laptop’s battery. To do this, run your battery all the way to zero percent and then charge it, while it is off, until it is full again. This will improve the life of your laptop’s battery.
  1. Window Cleaners are your Enemies. What’s swell on your dirty sliding glass doors is a bad idea for your computer screens. The chemicals in household cleaning products eat away at the coating on your screens.
  1. Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot. Cuddling under the covers with your laptop and a schedule of Netflix shows provides an increasingly popular indulgence. But unless you have a cooling pad or a properly ventilated area your laptop will overheat if it is used for too long.

    Not only does overheating reduce the life of your battery, but in some cases it can cause serious damage to your computer. There is also the potential to catch fire.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be singing your newborn’s praises all year long. Have anything to add? E-mail me at (rseitz@jkvfl.com) or call (954) 784-4741.

“IT” is Special – December 2015

“IT” is Special – December 2015

Keep Those (Computer) “Mouses” Stirring this Holiday Season

By Rob Seitz, Public Relations Specialist

 

computer-mouseClement Clarke Moore’s poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” hit the snowy streets of America in 1823, and there were many lines that became popular culture favorites, among them:

“Not a creature was stirring. Not even a mouse.”

Fast forward 191 years, and nearly everyone has a stirring mouse—a computer mouse that is.

For this special holiday edition of IT (Information Technology) is Special at John Knox Village, we offer some tasty technology tips about the ubiquitous mouse—perhaps the most important and effective tool for interacting with your computer.

Optical and track ball are the two most popular kinds of computer “mouses” on the market.

The advantage an optical mouse has over the other is its lack of moving parts and ability to work on just about any surface.

An older computer mouse is the track ball kind, but often the track ball gets dirty and your mouse pointer will skip around the screen randomly. The problem can be resolved rather easily, by opening the bottom disc that holds in the track ball and removing any foreign objects that may be causing its erratic movements.

If you’d like to learn more about how both they work you can check out this Website: (computer.howstuffworks.com/question631).

If this sounds like an endorsement for the optical mouse you would be correct. The holidays could be the perfect occasion for such an upgrade as either a gentle hint for a present from someone to you or a treat for yourself.

Now with either mouse in hand, you still need to have a basic knowledge on “clicking” and “double clicking.” For beginners or those needing a refresher, this Website can help you practice this most important skill: (www.mouseprogram.com).

At the Website are activity pages that will help you practice clicking, dragging and much more. Keep those “mouses” stirring this holiday season!

“IT” is Special – November 2015

“IT” is Special – November 2015

Save Websites you like to your “Favorites.”

By Rob Seitz, Public Relations Specialist

 

In this month’s installment of “IT” (Information Technology) is Special at John Knox Village, we will show how to make Websites you frequently visit easier to access.

Let’s say the John Knox Village Website is one of the most popular sites you like to call on. How can you get to it quicker than typing (www.johnknoxvillage.com) every time?

John Knox Village Website

Click the “Favorites” button on the upper left.

Click the down-arrow next to “Add to Favorites” and select Add to Favorites bar.

Then to show the Favorites bar, right-click the Favorites button and click Favorites bar. The Favorites bar will appear below the address bar.

How to go to that Favorite Site

To go to a Favorite site, click the Favorites button  to open the Favorites Center, and then click any site in the list. Or you can click the site on the Favorites bar. If you want to keep the Favorites Center open all the time, pin it to your browser window.

Put IT Into Practice

Try adding the (www.johnknoxvillage.com) Website to your Favorites list.

Keep Learning IT

If you’d like to learn more about setting your Favorites and other computer topics, try searching the Internet for helpful tutorials.

There are some good ones at (www.windows.microsoft.com) under the “How-to” section if using Internet Explorer, as well as at (www.googlechrometutorial.com) if using Google Chrome as your browser.

E-mail us back how you did at (info@jkvfl.com).

“IT” is Special – October 2015

“IT” is Special – October 2015

Technology tips to help you navigate most popular search engine.

By Rob Seitz, Public Relations Specialist

 

What do Lycos, AOL, Snap, AltaVista, Bing and Google have in common? How about Mamma, Qwant and even Duckduckgo?

They are among the myriad of search engines at a keyboard’s touch for millions of American Internet users.

In this latest installment of “IT (Information Technology) is Special at John Knox Village, we explore some of the most popular ways to navigate the Internet. Conventional wisdom has it that you’ve heard of two or three of the above mentioned search engines. Conversely, it may have surprised you to find out that Google was not the only search engine in that really, really, big World Wide Web.

By far, Google has been winning the search-engine market share war. According to latest figures provided by (www.searchengine.com), more than three times as many people use Google (a staggering 67.6 percent) compared to Bing in a very distant second place at 18.7 percent.

That said, if you want to start (or want to get better at) effectively finding information that is important to you, make Google your friend.

Here are several search engine features Google offers that you might want to check out now, and in the future, as their IT teams continue to enhance their Websites:

  • Want to keep up on current events? Newspapers certainly have their place, but use this
    Google site—like your grandchildren do—to find stories that are only minutes old: (www.news.google.com).
  • If you’re trying to find a picture of something happening today go to (images.google.com). An informational bar will pop up at which time you could then, for example, type in Residents of John Knox Village Pompano Beach and see hundreds of pictures taken of your compatriots participating in activities throughout the campus. (See screenshot)

IT Special Images

  • Want to review your stock portfolio? Check the market at this website for a quick overview: (www.google.com/finance).
  • Need to get directions from John Knox Village to your cousin’s house in Chicago? Find an up-to-date map or satellite photo, along with amazingly easy to manipulate maps at: (www.maps.google.com). (See screenshot)

IT Special Map

  • How can you supplement what you learned during this week’s Flower Arranging Class with Steven? Google has its own video search engine which enables you to find educational videos that you can play at: (www.video.google.com).
  • Looking for James Patterson’s latest thriller? Or want to re-read Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club”? Check out a book online, read some passages (in some cases entire novels) or find out where you can buy a copy at (www.books.google.com).

Now would be a great time to take this helpful magazine article to your computer desk, turn on that engine and begin your search. Practice visiting any of these Websites to see what you can find. There’s a whole wide webbed world out there (on your computer) just waiting for you!

“IT” is Special – September 2015

“IT” is Special – September 2015

Don’t go hyper over sending a link by e-mail.

By Rob Seitz, Public Relations Specialist

 

John Knox Village WebsiteStarting with this month’s feature of “IT” (Information Technology) is Special at John Knox Village, we will provide a chance for residents to power up with helpful tips on personal technologies, electronics and computers.

Imagine this: You discover an interesting Website, and in a conversation with a friend or family member they say they would like to see it as well. This month’s Tech Tip will help you respond when they ask, “Why don’t you just e-mail me that link?”

A “link” is shortened for “hyperlink,” which are those blue, underlined words that take you to another Webpage when you click on them such as (www.johnknoxvillage.com) for our Website.

To e-mail our Website to, say, your niece in Schenectady (New York), you could copy and paste the above Web address or type it anywhere in the body of your e-mail and send it to her.

Another way is to get the address directly from the desired Web address. You will find addresses in the “address bar” of Internet Explorer. See the screenshot below.

To get John Knox Village’s address into an e-mail just copy and paste it. “RIGHT” click your mouse on the address you want to copy and select “COPY” from the menu that appears.

Open up a new e-mail, type your message and then paste the Web address wherever you want by “RIGHT” clicking the mouse, then choosing “PASTE.” When you paste the address, your cursor will appear at the end of the Web address, then either press the Space Bar or press Enter and the address will automatically turn blue and underlined. Click send and “Voila” you have just e-mailed your first hyperlink!

Look for more fun tips in the months to come.