Monthly Archives: August 2014

On the Threshhold of Windows 9

Toward the end of September — September 30 to be exact — I’ll be spying on computer world news. Spy with newspaper

Intelligence reports mark this date as a likely press event to unveil Windows 9 (code-name: Threshhold).

In April 2014, attendees at the Build conference were treated to a sneak peek of Threshhold. Rollout date is currently set for April 2015.

Why the hurry? Windows 8 just debuted. Therein lies the problem.

Windows 8 has received a less than stellar reputation. For the general computing public, Windows 8 is too heavy on apps and too light on desktop functionality. Honestly, I like Windows 8 —  my previous OS was Vista, the OS that almost single-handedly brought down the free world. I’ve also not upgraded to 8.1 because of a number of sketchy reviews from people who did.

I’m praying Microsoft’s trend of great OS – poor OS – great OS – poor OS continues making Windows 9 the next XP or 7. Sometimes I wonder if Microsoft releases bad OS’s on purpose so the good ones look phenomenal by comparison. I know, I know. What happened to my glass-half-full mentality? It’s still here, just undercover. 😉


On the Threshhold of Windows 9

I’ve tracked down a few new features of Windows 9. Beware, nothing is one hundred percent set in concrete gumshoes.

Changes/features may or may not be universal across desktops, laptops, and tablets (we hope not); and Microsoft could tweak anything to insure the best performance for each specific hardware device (we hope so).

NEW WINDOWS 9 FEATURES:

    • Start menu is back, just when we Windows 8 users figured out how to live without it. It’s probably like a bicycle: once you can learn, you never forget.
    • This is a leaked printscreen of the new Start menu.Windows_9_Start_Menu_Neowin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Removal of the Charms bar.side commands

Remember the Windows 8 bar that opens when you hover over the right top or bottom of your desktop? Yep, that’s the Charms bar. Honestly, it’s more of an Apple-wanna-be bar. It’s not coming back. At least not in Windows 9.

  • Metro apps are still a part of Windows 9, but in  a much lesser capacity… or so it’s said. Some of the leaked screenshots make me wonder about the reliability of the operatives. They’re reporting Window 9 Apps will open in small desktop windows.

What’s a metro app?  It’s all those little box programs that show up on the Windows 8 Start Screen, including the ones you added from the App Store.  Metro apps are fantastic if you have a touch screen tablet, but — as everyone found out with Windows 8 — not very user-friendly for keyboard computers.

  • Greater ability to personalize.Windows-9 Personalize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  •  Cortana — Microsoft’s voice-based assistant currently available on Windows Phone only — could be part of Windows 9.

Don’t panic. You’ll probably be given the choice to turn her off and on. And guys? Enjoy it. You may never get a chance to silence a woman this easily again.

  • Possibility the new Windows OS will be subscription-based.

Rumors are flying about the price. Software watchers vary in opinion of the cost from Windows 9 being free or negligible to subscription-based. Remember Office 365 priced at $100? It’s a subscription-based MS program. You get to use it for 365 days. When your subscriptions runs out — you guessed it — you have to pay again. Personally $100 annually for an upgrade is way to expensive for my taste. If Microsoft charges a subscription fee anywhere close to Office 365, and Windows 9 doesn’t perform up to expectations, this could start the next Cold War with OS defections inevitable.

I’ll leave you with a few more leaked screenshots of Windows 9. Enjoy.

Thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀


Windows 9 Desktop:
Windows-9-Design-Mixes-the-Desktop-and-the-Modern-UI-Screenshot-385249-2

 

Outlook:
Outlook-Windows-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own unless otherwise noted. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.

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Scanning Without Extra Program Downloads

Welcome to a blog for the everyday techie. Although, there are times intermediate to advanced users can benefit (i.e. Finally, A Fix for Windows 8 OpenGL Error).Printer

Today, we’re talking specifically about scanning or printing without the extra software supplied with your hardware.

Why? Less miscellaneous computer programs means less clutter which increases efficiency, not to mention lessens lag and frees up computer memory. Windows operating systems have a plethora of drivers and functions that make those additional programs unnecessary.

But the big reason I avoid installing pre-packaged software is there are stealth (a.k.a. sneaky backdoor) programs that install with your new hardware drivers. Yep, they’re on digital downloads, but also on the disks included. We’ll cover those another week: Spotting Pesky Add-on Programs You’ll Never Need.

Today’s hint works for printers/scanners, cameras, or any usable device that shows up in your Windows Control Panel.


How to Scan Using Only Windows

I have a HP printer/scanner/fax machine. Yes, it’s ancient, but it still works so I keep it around. Since I don’t want to deal with the tag-along programs (technical terms are “crapware” or “junkware”. I’m not kidding), I initiate it through Windows.

If there are features you want beyond barebones — ink levels come to mind — you’ll need to download the program that comes with the hardware. We’ll cover how to choose the features you need vs. the extra garbage in another blog.

NOTE: I use Windows 8 so finding Devices and Printers through Control Panel may be a bit different for you if you use Windows 7 — the last good Windows Operating System (OS). There is a new Windows OS on the horizon. I’ll tell you about that next week. 🙂


1) Plug the printer USB into the computer if it’s not already. Turn on the printer.

Windows now recognizes there’s a device attached… we hope.

2) Open Control Panel.

I use the Windows key + X.
windows-keysmall

 

In Windows 8, the Windows key + X gives me this:
Control Panel

 -OR-

You can also access the Control Panel from the Settings menu (hover over the top/bottom right corners of your screen). Click Settings at the bottom.
Setttings Shortened

 

 

 

 

 


-OR-

You can access it by typing “control panel” in the application search area. Hover over top/bottom right of your screen, click Search and type in your request.
Control Panel-App

FYI: In Windows 7, you can simply open your Start menu and in the right column is your Control Panel.

Where were we? Oh yes, initializing your printer/scanner without installing the included programs.

3) In Control Panel, click Devices and Printers.Devices and Printers

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Scroll down. Your printer icons are at the bottom (Arrow 1). The printer with the green check below is your default printer.
Devices and Printers with arrows.

What’s Arrow 2? Arrow 2 is where other devices, like cameras, show up. If you don’t find the device you are looking for there, you can Add a Device (Box 3).

FYI: The squiggly lines in the middle is the area any device allowed on your home network shows up. I have twelve or so listed, even people who visit four times a year show up. Yes, the inactive ones can be hidden, but one must jump through hoops and mess with the computer registry. I Just scroll past them. If they really bother you, search “Hide Inactive Multimedia Devices” on the internet for instructions. After reading the instructions, I’m fairly confident you’ll scroll past the multimedia icons also.

5) Click the printer you’re using for the project/letter/whatever you’re scanning.

6) When the next window opens, choose Scan a Document or Picture.
scanner


7)
The New Scan window opens.

Here’s where you create different profiles for items you’d like to scan. Notice mine. I have Photo which is higher resolution in color and Documents with less resolution in grayscale. scanner profiles

 

You can also choose Manage Scan Profiles from the Printer/Scanner window. You’ll get a different looking window, but with the same editing options as the New Scan window.scan profile

 

A third way to access Scanner Profile is by right clicking on your printer icon under Devices and Printers (see below). Ninth option down on the menu is Scan Profiles. NOTE: Right above Scanner Profile is a Start Scan command. Yep, you can use that to take you to the New Scan window.Right Click on Printer


Bingo! You are a scanning-without-any-added-programs pro.Thumbs up

What? You don’t feel like a scanner pro?

There’s a lot of information here. Grab a cup of tea, check your tweets or Facebook, and come back later to reread this huge amount of material.

Remember some of these steps are duplicates. Simply different routes to get the same result. Pick the one you like best and is easiest for you to remember.

 ADDED TIP:

I’ve got a secret to show you. How to change the default folder where your pictures/documents/music land.

1) Go to your Libraries folder. I access mine through the file folder icon on the quick launch bar at the bottom of my Desktop.

Alternate ways to get to your Libraries folder: Windows key+X > File Explorer -OR- Windows key+E.

Psst1
2) Right click on any of the Libraries folder icons to access Properties. We’re talking about photos so we’ll use Pictures for our example, but you can change where to store your documents, music, or videos also.
LIbraries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


3) 
Select Add, then select the folder you wish to store your photos in.Picture Properties

Your chosen folder will now show up in the Picture Properties menu. I have a folder I send pictures to then move within my photo folders (e.g. Holidays, Family, Cartoons, etc.)

4) Click the new folder added, then 5) Apply, and 6) Set Save Location (middle left).Set Save Location

 

 

FYI: See the P:\Photos folder? P is for Patti, and I’ve partitioned my harddrive so I can save documents and photos to a location that won’t get reformatted if Windows takes a dive and I have to reinstall. That’s my safety partition until I find time to save my files to an external harddrive or flashdrive.

What? You want to know how to partition your harddrive. That’s another blog. 🙂

 

If you followed the steps above, you’re done changing where your pictures will save from your devices. Neat trick, huh?

Well, have a super day and happy scanning! And, thanks for visiting Patti’s Pathways. 😀


 

DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own unless otherwise noted. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.

Flash Fiction Short – Inside Out

If you didn’t know already, I write fiction as a hobby, not to mention a release. There’s a link to my author website in the right margin. Nothing’s published yet, maybe some day.

Over the summer, I entered a few flash fiction contests. Haven’t won anything and probably won’t, but writing short stories turned out to be great fun.

For a mid-week treat, I’m posting one of my stories. Some of you will like it. A lot of you won’t. I’m okay with that. 😀reptile girl close up

It’s not techie, but there’s definitely a Sci-Fi slant.

Enjoy.


Inside Out

Fear raged red inside her brain threatening to overtake her logic. Her head pounded, the pressure making it impossible to think. Blinking against the sweat stinging her eyes, she tried to hold onto her humanity. Was she going to explode at any moment or could she tamp down the internal, and infernal, creature for another day?
Crouched against the wall for support, her chest heaved as she struggled for breath. Swallowing hard, she closed her eyes, trying to deal with the terror inside. The terror she’d kept hidden… until tonight.
“Deena? Mom said—,” Devin Skinner rounded the corner and skidded to a halt. His thoughts blanked at seeing his twin sister. “Holy crap.”
Deena Skinner’s eyes flew open, her beautiful blue irises now yellow with black elongated pupils. Around a mouth full of pointed teeth, her deepening voice warned him, “Stay away from me, Devin.”
Oh, no. He should’ve told her. She was his twin. Did he think she’d be spared the agony of the curse he assumed was his alone to bear? By neglecting to confide in her, he’d wronged her grievously. Now he needed to make this right. He only hoped he could.
“Deena. Can you hear me?” Devin waited for a response. None came. “Do you see me?”
Tears streamed down her tormented face as she shook her head at her brother. “Dev. Run. Please. For the love of God… run!”
“I’m not leaving you like this.”
Screaming, Deena threw back her head. The drywall behind her crumbled. Bones cracked and fingernails grew as her hands morphed into claws.
Hearing the noises, their mother called up the stairs, “Are you two all right?”
Devin glanced down the hallway praying she didn’t come up to investigate. She didn’t.
“We’re fine, Mom. I just scared Deena.“ But not half as much as she’s scaring me right now.
“Shh. Deena, listen to me. Concentrate on the sound of my voice.” Devin quietly closed and locked the door. “You can fight this. You’re strong. Channel your human self.”
Between clenched teeth, Deena ground out, “It’s. Gone.”
“No, you’re still human. It’s there… inside. Find it.” Devin watched her panting frame. Her breaths came in short, fast bursts.
He had to do something, but he couldn’t chance leaving her to seek help from those who’d saved him. The others lived across town. Left unattended, Deena could wreak havoc in no time. Not to mention Mom was home.
Their parents had adopted the twins when they were under a year old. That was almost eighteen years ago. Both he and Deena loved them with all their hearts. How were they to know the seemingly normal babies they’d nurtured would grow into this?
“Deena. Mom’s downstairs. I can’t let you hurt her.”
“I don’t want to hurt her.” Her red-rimmed reptilian eyes pleaded with him. Her weak and defeated voice begged him, “Kill me. Devin. Help me and kill me now.”
Devin released a barking laugh. “Ha! As if. Now work with me here, Godzilla. You can harness this.”
Deena’s shoulders began shaking as great sobs racked her aching body. She wasn’t strong, she couldn’t control this. “I can’t.”
If she turned any further, she’d be lost to him. Devin had to make her understand. “See. Your voice was normal that time. You’re learning to deal with your inner beast.”
A fierce snarl escaped her. Yellow eyes flashed at him. In a throaty growl an octave deeper than her usual voice, she answered him, “I’m not. Now. Kill. Me!”
“I’d rather let you kill me. Do you want to kill me, Deena?”
“No,” she whispered. Bowing her head into her clawed hands, she wept.
“If you were truly possessed, you wouldn’t care. Now help me out.” Devin stopped, waiting for Deena to look at him. She nodded. “Take a deep breath.” She inhaled.
“Good.” Devin pushed open the bedroom window, letting in light and life from outside.
“Think about the sunny day. Listen to the birds chirping, the neighbor’s dogs barking, the children laughing and playing in the schoolyard down the street. Concentrate on the world. Smell the clean, crisp air. Think about walking — upright, not ambling like a Neanderthal — down the street, petting the dogs, waving at the neighbors and their kids. Remember how wonderful it feels to be human.”
She could do this. He was her tall, dark and handsome older brother — five minutes older, but still older. She’d try … for him.
 Deena closed her eyes. She focused on the sounds drifting into her room. Drawing a slow breath, she listened with a human heart.
The burning haze in her brain lessened, the throbbing quieted. Exhaling long and deliberate, Deena yearned to be herself again.
Thoughts of life’s pains and pleasures wound their way through her clearing brain. Living hurt, but the tradeoff was the happiness that weaved its way through every human soul a few minutes each day. No other species could boast the wonders of being human. Deena wanted that more than anything.
Opening her eyes — her human eyes — she was greeted by her brother’s heartwarming smile.
“I knew you could do it, tiger.”
Devin backed up to the wall and slid down it, ending on the floor beside his sister. He wrapped an arm around her and hugged her sweat-soaked body to him. Kissing her on the forehead, he confessed, “Boy, do I have a lot of freaky things to tell you.” Glancing behind them, he added, “Man, Mom is going to kill us for denting her wall.”
Exhausted but comforted, Deena closed her eyes and laid her head on her big brother’s broad shoulder. “I’m so blaming you for this, Dev.”

© 2014 Patricia S Gunther. All rights reserved. This document and the information contained herein is the sole property of Patricia S. Gunther.  Any reproduction, including copying and/or publishing, in part or as a whole, is strictly prohibited without written permission from the author.

Getting the Most from Gmail

Gmail logoI’ve had requests to blog about useful Gmail tips and tricks. There are enough I could string this out over weeks. I won’t.

If there’s too much information to digest in one sitting, I suggest taking a tip or two, play with them, and come back later for the rest.


 So, without further ado…

Patti’s Pathways presents:

Getting the most of Gmail header


GMAIL TIP 1:

The Undo Command

We’ve all done it. Typed so fast we’ve enabled hotkeys which highlight an epistle we are preparing and we type over it. Fear not! Things are not as dire as they seem.

One of the best tricks in Gmail is the ability to “undo” a deletion in an email. The Undo command will flip back through your recent activity, including the highlight and the deletion.

To reclaim your epistle, simply right-click in the body of your message.undo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIP 2:

Gmail Groups

Send frequent emails about the same thing to the same people? Set them as a Gmail group.

 1) Open Contacts (upper left margin).
Gmail ContactsFYI: If Contacts won’t open — there’s a perpetual message of Loading… -or- Still Working… — clear your browser history and/or cookies.

I know. I know. Clearing cookies is a pain in the patootie. Now you have to re-enter all your passwords, but cleaning periodically may be a good thing. Find tips about passwords in my previous blog “Creating the Safest Password” (June 2014).

2) Select New Group at the bottom of the right margin.
New Group

 

 

 

This opens a box asking you to name your new group.

I’ll name this one “TEST”.

You’re thinking, Thank you, Captain Obvious.

 

3) Click your new group name (Arrow 1), then click the Add icon (Arrow 2), type the first letter of the contact names you want to add to that group. Gmail will autofill your contact names.
Group Name

 

 

 

 

4) Click Add at the bottom of the group name window and Presto! You’ve added a new contact group.

FYI: To get back to Gmail, go to the top left margin menu again. (Tip 2, Example 1)

 

TIP 3:

Blind Carbon Copy

Ever receive an email with fifty or more addresses in the To: field? Not cool, huh?

To make your bulk emailing polite and political correct, use Blind Carbon Copy or BCC.

1) Put your email address in the To: field. Yes, you’ll get a copy in your Inbox, but look at the bright side. It won’t be notes from others criticizing your email etiquette.

2) Click BCC: at the right of your message compose box. Now add your recipients behind the BCC.
BCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Type and send your email as usual.

The receiver will see their name in the To: field and yours in the From: field.

 

 Tip 4:

Replying Without Including Every Thread Comment

Let’s talk about the punishment of viewing every single message in a long reply thread.

Yes, you can stop this. Never knew you had the power, did you?

Unfortunately, there’s no setting in Gmail to turn off every reply in a thread. But…there are workarounds.

Workaround 1:

  • After 1) clicking Reply, 2) press Ctrl + A and 3) simply start typing.

Ctrl + A is a shortcut for “highlight all” (A = all). This deletes the string of thread messages in the body of your reply and keeps only what you now type.

Workaround 2:

  • Enable Quote Selected Text lab.

Whispers: “We’ll talk more about labs later”.

Settings

 

1) Click the gear icon in the top right corner of your email window.

 

2) Go to Gmail Settings.

 

 

Lab Tab

 

 

3) Click Labs tab

 

 

 

Now you should see all the fun Lab options, or as Google calls them “crazy experimental stuff”. Don’t be scared.

We’re looking for this lab. Scroll down to it and enable.Quoted Text

 

 

USING THIS LAB: highlight text you wish to reference in the message you’re replying to, select Reply, and your highlighted selection should magically appear in the body of your reply message. You can then type and reference it.

Workaround 3:

  • Turn off Conversation View.

Remember eons ago when your email box didn’t have threads? Yeah, me neither. Trust me. There was a time. You saw every message as an individual email. This was before Conversation View, which groups conversations together by topic.  Turning off CV will only include two emails in your reply —the original email and your reply. Personally, I like CV better —less clutter on a long conversation — but if you don’t, you can turn off Conversation View in a few clicks.

1) Open Gmail Settings (gear at the top right)

 Settings

 2) Under the General tab, about one-third of the way down the page is your Conversation View settings. You can turn them off or on by clicking the appropriate radio button, then saving at the bottom of the page. Conv View

 

 

 

 

 

TIP 5:

Task/To-Do List

Did you know Gmail had a Task/To-Do list? Yep, it does. Where? Here.

1) Remember the Contacts list (top left) we looked up before? The Tasks option is directly underneath it.

Gmail Contacts-Tasks

2) When you click Tasks, you’ll see this. Well, kind of. You still need to input your personal To-do’s.

Gmail Task

Gmail will remember your list eternally. Yes, even if you click the X at the top right of the box or log off. You have to manually remove your items through the Actions menu (arrow).

 

TIP 6:

Desktop Email Notification

A few years ago I purchased a program called Gmail Notifier Pro. It tosses a notice on the lower right corner of my desktop when I receive a new email. It does this for all my email addresses (I have several and I’ve set each to a different color). I love it.

Gmail now offers a version of this free…freefree.  If you’d like to try it, here’s where to find it.

  • Open Settings (top right)

Settings

  • Scroll down to Desktop Notifications and click the radio button in front of New Mail Notifications On.Desktop Notification

Notice the middle option: Important mail notification on? As far as I know Gmail decides what’s important and what’s not. I suggest setting to notify on all new emails, and you decide what’s important.

FYI: It will not notify you of Spam, but it will notify you of promotions you’ve signed up to receive.

 

 More Talk About LABS:


Labrador Retriever
Not that kind of lab, silly.

Good dog.

 


What is a Gmail Lab?

These are pre-releases Google is letting you use… for now. Can you say guinea pig?

Their disclaimer reads:  “If you’re going to brave the Labs world, it’s important to keep the following things in mind about these features:

  • They may break at any time.
  • They may disappear temporarily or permanently.
  • They may work so well that they graduate and become regular features.”

Lab Tab

 

I think Gmail labs are wonderful things. They can be very helpful and are easy to equip. If you see one you want to try, simply click Enable, then Save Changes.

 

Here are a few I’d recommend.

Great Lab 1:

  • Undo Send – This gives you an option to unsend an email.

If you’ve ever hit Send and thought, “Oh, dang. That wasn’t what I meant to say.” – or- “Oops, forgot to say that.”, this lab is for you.

After it’s Enabled and Saved, your Undo Send lab will give you an option after each email to Undo it.Undo send

When you click Undo, it brings your email back so you can add, delete, or whatever you’d like to do with the original.

NOTE: The default setting for Undo Send is 10 seconds. I changed mine to the maximum — 30 seconds — by going to Settings > General tab, then about 1/4 of the way down the page.

ADDITIONAL CAUTION: The max is only 30 seconds. If you sent a harsh email to the guy who stood you up or to your bff about her failure to tell you she’s dating your ex, there’s probably not enough time to Undo those.

Moral of this: Think — and calm down — before you email. Makes life easier.

Great Lab 2:

  • Canned Response

If you re-send the same something over and over, this is the lab for you.

To use it, type in your email compose box, then highlight it.

Here’s the tricky part: Click at the bottom right of your email window (arrow 1), click on Canned Response, and New Canned Response (arrow 2).

New Canned Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll get a window that asks you to name your new canned response. I named mine Directions to My House. Of course.

Those are my favorite Gmail Labs. Yours may be different from mine. Check out the entire list. Oh, and if you want to keep up with old or new Gmail labs, visit Gmail’s blog: Official Gmail Blog


 ADDED COOL INFO:

I found this blog on utilizing your Gmail as a business/organizational tool. I don’t know the author, but I appreciate the time it took to put the blog together. Great article. Thanks, Most Epic Stuff!  13 Simple Hacks You Should Know About Gmail


confused smilie
Remember, there’s a lot here to let sink in. Take your time, and play with some of my recommendations.

I think you’ll find one, maybe more, that’ll make your correspondence life easier.

Take care… and thanks for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀


 

DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own unless otherwise noted. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.

Adding a Single Playlist to Your iPod

No, your eyesight is fine. I am posting a second post in as many weeks.

When I have troubles with something (or need to figure out a how-to all over again), it’s probably a safe bet more people have this problem than just me.

My challenge this week was adding a single playlist to my iPod. At first blush, iTunes is not that user-friendly. Actually, it’s fairly simple.

It’s time to make sense of the nonsensical. I knew you’d be excited.


A little background and my thoughts: I love music. I don’t have cable tv or a satellite dish —  I did, never used it. When I’m home, music is my constant companion.CD

My music comes from the radio, CD’s, or digital downloads. People work hard making the media that give me energy, inspiration, and joy so I do not condone pirating or bootlegging music, videos and movies, or computer software,

Tip: If you can’t afford or have an aversion to buying music, you can a) use the radio airwaves for free, b) ask for music gift cards at every occasion, and/or c) get a cheap monthly subscription to a legitimate music hosting website.


Now… the reason you came to this blog in the first place: Adding playlists to an iPod.

I’m taking a leap of faith that you know how to get your music from your digital downloads or CD’s into iTunes. That’s the easy part.

ADDING A SINGLE PLAYLIST TO iPOD

mp3 player

1) Plug your iPod into you computer’s USB port.

2) I believe default settings will open iTunes automatically at this point.

If not, you’ll need to locate the iTunes program. Try C:/Program Files or look for an icon on your desktop.

3) In iTunes, double left-click the iPod image in top right corner.

NOTE: Don’t click the up arrow on the right side of the iPod button. This will close your iPod. If you did, simply unplug the iPod’s USB and replug, It will show up again in the same place.

SECOND NOTE: If iTunes is not recognizing your iPod through your PC, reset the iPod connection by holding down the Menu + Center area together until the apple (Apple Icon) shows up on your screen (6-10 seconds). Now your iPod should show up on your PC.ipod plugged in

4) Click on the On This iPod tab. Now you can see what’s on your iPod.On this iPod
5) Click on Add To…

You’ve just opened a window showing what’s in your iTunes Library (left red arrow) and what’s on your iPod (right red arrow). iPod and iTunes Lists
6) Left-click, hold and drag the playlist you wish to add from iTunes and drop into your iPod lists.Drag and Drop

Congrats! You’ve done it! See, there’s a Done button at the top right. 😀

ADDING MOVIES

To add movies is primarily the same as music. The only difference is to choose Movies in the left dropdown iTunes menu instead of Music.

Left dropdown menu

Click Add To…, then Drag and Drop.

ADDING PHOTOS:

iTunes treats photos as completely different creatures. You can’t add a single photo to your iPod photo library. However, you can save a folder (or multiple folders) of photos, add/delete photos within it, and re-sync it to your player when you want to change those photos.

1) Make a folder of photos you want on your iPod.
I named mine “iPod Photos”. Yes, I’m just smart that way.

2) Plug in your iPod,

3) Open your ipod.
iPod plugged in
4) Left-click the Photos tab
ipod photo tab
5) Choose your folder.
Choose folder photo

6) Check Sync Photos From box.

7) Click Apply at the bottom right to tell the software to choose your folder.

8) Click Sync

Voila! Your photos are on you iPod.


I hope this helped answer questions and solve problems you had with iTunes. Now, go enjoy your newly added music, movies and photos. What are you waiting for? Go,

Oh, and thanks for visiting Patti’s Pathways. Y’all come back now, ya’ hear 😉

Helping Kids Understand Finances

I was sorting through articles I’ve kept over the years again and found several on helping kids manage money. Some of these tips were too good not to pass along. Many of them are great for adults, too.


Money Tip 1:dollar sign

I heard this tip on John Tesh’s radio show, Intelligence For Your Life. The tip’s geared toward adults, but could be tweaked for older children, tweens and high schoolers.

  • Instead of one big savings account, open several small accounts, earmarking them for different goals: Car, Computer/Electronics, Vacation, even Nights Out/Party. People who have earmarked savings accounts save 31% more. They have a goal and are excited to work toward it. Thirty-one percent seems an incredible number, but would John Tesh lie?

Money Tip 2:

Some people just aren’t cut out to budget. They are short every month. Plus kids don’t understand the concept yet. Enter The Money Envelope System. I don’t know the original person who came up with this idea, but it’s super.

  • Here’s how MES works:

envelope money1) Take large-sized letter envelopes.

2) Label them. Each monthly bill or priority gets its own envelope.

For adults: Rent, Food, Insurance, Phone, Utilities, etc. For kids: Games/Game Consoles, Bike, Friend Birthdays, etc.

Be sure to Include an envelope for Savings and Entertainment (movie rentals, dinner out, concert tickets, etc.).

3) Place cash from your paycheck/allowance into each envelope to cover that month’s expense. Example: if your rent is $350, $350 in cash goes into the Rent envelope. Don’t touch it for anything else.

MES Tip #1: IMPORTANT: Keep these envelopes somewhere very safe! After all, there’s cash in them.

4) After you’ve paid the month’s bills, any money remaining in any other envelope gets split between savings and entertainment.

5) Deposit the savings immediately. Your extra entertainment funds roll over to the next month to enjoy.

MES Tip #2: Your gas and electricity no doubt fluctuate monthly depending on the temperature. You should probably  leave the Utility envelope out of the savings/entertainment split at the end of the month. The money in it will grow and shrink depending upon the need.

Remember old television show moms who kept a wad of cash in their cookie jars? These envelopes are your cookie jars.Dave Ramsey Envelope System Wallets

Dave Ramsey has great wallets on sale for the money envelope system. I didn’t hear the original idea from him, but stumbled on these while visiting his great site. Dave Ramsey Envelope System Wallet


Money Tip 3:

Next time you give money to a child/grandchild/godchild for a birthcheckbookday or special occasion, split your gift in two.

The article says write two checks: one to the child, one to the charity of the child’s choice.

Personally, I’d give cash to the kid and a check to the charity. Have a  few charity suggestions in mind. Me? I’d suggest Make-A-Wish, March of Dimes, Special Olympics, Wounded Warrior Project, a local homeless mission, and a local animal shelter.

This idea works great for babysitting payments also. Pay the sitter the money they’ve earned and then give them an additional check for the charity of their choice. Or being the great person you are, tell them you’ll send the donation and ask where.

Set a wonderful example for our future charitable givers. It’s important.

Money Tip 4:

Rememmoney treeber when (and how often) your parents use to say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” You probably learned that the hard way after you got your first paycheck.

It’s important to talk specifics about money with your child.

  •  Show your child a paycheck. Tell them how you earn money. Explain how taxes are deducted, or savings are automatically deposited each pay period.
  • Show your child a credit card statement. Explain interest and what happens when you can’t pay off the amount charged. Be sure to tell them when it’s appropriate to use credit cards and how to avoid sinking into debt. Tell them they should never let others use their card or know the number.

***Insert here the discussion about why Mommy knows Daddy’s credit card number and uses it a lot…or vice versa.

LAST THOUGHTS ON CHILDREN AND MONEY:

  • Your child should be given a weekly/monthly allowance. Even if it’s only a few dollars. This teaches saving and fiscal responsibility.

I know, I know. I’m sure many congressmen and congresswomen got childhood allowances; I’m just not sure what happened during their college years.

  • Don’t tie your child’s allowance to behavior. You’ll be tempted to removekid piggybankmoney allowance for bad deeds, but don’t. Yes, I wanted to say dirty deeds done dirt cheap, but I refrained. 😉

If you want to charge a quarter for each cuss word or leaving Legos on the floor so Daddy screams in pain during middle of night, give the child an extra few dollars earmarked for that.

Tell them why. Hey, kids are smart. They know you don’t like them cussing or to be screaming in pain during the middle of the night. Also tell them if there’s any money left at the end of a certain time period, it’s theirs to keep.

If it were me, I’d give the extra funds to them in quarters and keep a quarter ‘cussing/bad habit’ jar handy for them to deposit their fines. I’d also reward good behaviors by giving back quarters.

Those are my suggestions. You may use two, one or none of them, but consider the benefits of talking over finances with your kids. It could put them on a path to a sound future.

Have a safe and prosperous week, and thanks for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀


 DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own unless otherwise noted. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.