Things to do before calling your IT GEEK in a panic!

We all have problems on our computer from time to time – yes, even the “experts” get screen lock-ups occasionally. Those of us who’ve been working with computers for a long time have a mental list of things we try first.

Thanks to the foresight of Bill Gates (Ctrl/Alt/Delete & the “5 second reboot key”) and Microsoft (Windows’ self repairing technology in Windows 10), if nothing significant has changed recently on your PC, one of these “actions” could well dig you out of the proverbial. 

So, next time something untoward happens on your PC, before hitting the PANIC button and calling your favourite IT “Geek” for help, you should try these suggestions (in order) first… Continue reading

Anti-Tracking Software

 

I was reading an article in a consumer magazine about how to protect your privacy when using Facebook and the author had added a sidebar about an anti-tracking product (Privacy Badger) that he recommended. From there I found the Privacy Badger reviews online and decided to give it a go. Privacy Badger is a free browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Firefox for Android created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

When asked to give a demonstration of the product at a recent Question & Answer (Q&A) session, I took a longer look at anti-tracking extensions and decided the presentation should be a comparison between two of the available products. Continue reading

Online Challenges

Click to see where you can file an online NZ Tax ReturnMany times recently I’ve been met with the challenge of completing forms on line. This can sometimes be an absolute nightmare particularly when you’re completing them on behalf of someone else who isn’t “fond” of computers.

I’d tried hard to be patient and muddle my way through, as each website invariably asks for the same information, but unfortunately sometimes not in the same format. Government department forms are so long you almost give up completing them. Continue reading

The Waiting is Over – It’s Time to Upgrade!

Confession: I’m a Windows 10 fan! I’ve been using it since September 2015 and I have absolutely no complaints about it. It’s easy to use, easy to navigate, packed with features and 100% better than Windows 8….and it was free! I even like MS Edge, the new browser – how sad is that!! Of course there are a few things which could be improved in Windows 10 but that’s nothing unusual for Microsoft software and certainly not cause to criticise what appears to be the most robustly created Windows Operating System ever. Heck, it even runs well on older ex-Windows 7 machines with 2Gb memory.

What really concerns me though is that the July 29th free upgrade deadline is fast approaching and there are still a lot of members out there who haven’t upgraded for whatever reason. Continue reading

My New BFF – Siri!

By Dianne Cooper (Tutor)
If you use an iPad3, iPad mini, iPhone 4S or iPod Touch 5G, or any of their successors, you have Siri on board.  Siri is a voice assistant feature. Apple Support/About Siri, will provide you with pages about what Siri can be used for, and how to do it. Here’s a brief review of one user’s experience…

IMG_1180Siri allows you to use your voice to command the device, rather than your fingers. Supposedly, Siri understands natural speech. S/he needed some familiarization with my Kiwi accent. I did this by dictating an email (which I never sent), correcting the text manually when s/he got it wrong. Over and over. If you want punctuation in your text, you have to say the word. eg comma. I find the more I use Siri, the fewer mistakes s/he makes.

The main way to access Siri is to simply press and hold the Home button. You’ll hear a couple of quick beeps, and see “What can I help you with?”. If you don’t say anything, you will be presented with a rolling screen of examples of things Siri can do for you. Continue reading