Tag Archives: Patti’s Pathways

Patti’s Pathways has computer and health tips and solutions for daily life.

Securing Your Online Persona

I had coffee recently with a super fun group of ladies. The topic came up about personal information available on the internet when one mentioned she’d received an email from Facebook asking for her phone number. She ID’d it as a scam and deleted it. I believe it was probably a legit email, but it never hurts to be careful.

That discussion, and a request from a dear friend, warranted a blog about securing your online persona (a.k.a. choosing what people can see about you on the internet).

There are a loComputer Identity2t of articles dedicated to getting off the grid or becoming invisible on the internet. We’re not interested in going that far. People can know we’re on the internet, but if you’re like me, you want to control how much personal information leaks out. Me? I like to keep my public personal information to a minimum. My friends and family know how to contact me and that’s what’s important.


In case you were wondering, here’s why websites ask for our phone numbers.

Reason One: New website security these days includes what they call “two-step” verification. Step 1: you log in with your normal user ID and password, Step 2: a security program sends a code to your phone via text, voice, or mobile app. You enter the newly sent code to log on.

Do you have to do this every time? No. There is a box to check or a question telling the security program to stop flagging the computer where you just logged on and to allow logging on from that computer without the code in the future.

Reason Two: Websites, such as Twitter, are allowing log ins with only a telephone number. There’s no user ID or password. You get a security code texted to that phone number and use it to enter the website.

cell phoneReason Three: The website is using marketing apps. Advertising texts, including coupons, and voice mail marketing are part of this.

Reason Four: Websites where you transact business will ask for your phone number as well as your address. These websites usually have your info on a secure page (denoted by https:// at the beginning of the URL address).

Bank, broker, auction, and other financial or sales websites are different than social media websites like Facebook or Twitter. I don’t put my phone number on social websites; I don’t want to be that social. Facebook would like to be the next Amazon, and does offer advertising packages. But for the majority of Facebook users it’s still just another social media site. No hate mail please, Facebook lovers.

Whether you give out your phone number or not is up to you. I do on financial and sales sites because I want them knowing they can call me if there’s a problem. On social media sites, I do not. They have my email address; they can email me.

There is also the fact that typing my landline number into any search engine (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc)  will pull up my address. If you know my cell phone number, my name and address can be requested for a fee.


 Securing Your Online Information

Let’s talk about securing what personal information is floating out in cyberspace. The one we’ll tackle today is social media.

social mediaWe all love social media. There are so many wonderful things about it. It keeps us in touch with distant friends and relatives, and lets us know in real time what’s happening in people’s lives. We can view photos of loved ones we don’t see regularly, and follow businesses and events.

In my opinion, the best of all worlds is to be able to utilize social media while keeping my personal information safe.

I’ve included a few the largest social media sites in the U.S. below. Believe it or not, there are dozens of others in almost every country around the planet. If your favorite isn’t listed, I bet you’ll see a trend in the below examples and be able to find your way through your site.

Facebook Privacy

Not long ago, Facebook redesigned its site to make it very easy to tighten up your personal information and security.

Find the padlock in the top right corner of your Facebook page. 1) Left-click on padlock, and select 2) Privacy Checkup.
Facebook privacy checkup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The screens to update your information look like example screens, but they’re actually interactive so you can click and adjust your information.

First Step is “Your Posts”. Remember, Facebook Terms of Service allow that your intellectual property rights (pictures, videos, etc.) are “subject to your privacy and application settings”. So if you set your privacy to “public”, Facebook assumes you mean anyone and everyone.
fb checkup options

Second Step is setting “Your Apps”. These are sites you’ve logged onto with Facebook. Remember being asked by a website if you want to use Facebook to log on? This is where the sites you said yes to are listed.
Connect with FB

FYI: Being a paranoid individual, I rarely sign on with Facebook. Exceptions would be benign website like National Geographic, Washington Post, Fox News, etc. I’m okay with these sites knowing as much about me as Facebook.

Third Step is “Your Profile”. You can make this as secure or as public as you wish. I bet you didn’t know you had an individual Facebook email address, did you? Now you do.

Twitter Privacy

Adjusting Twitter privacy settings are pretty much like any standard website. You can tell people as much or as little as you’d like by what’s in your profile.

1) Go to the Me tab, 2) left-click the Account gear, then 3) Settings. Under Settings you will see how your information is presented on Twitter. 4) Edit profile will allow you to edit your information.
Twitter Settings

 

Pinterest Privacy

PInterest’s privacy settings are accessed in the upper right corner under your name. 1) Left-click the gear, then 2) left-click Account Settings. You don’t need to click “Edit Profile” because you can adjust that under Account Settings.

PInterest account settings

Youtube Privacy

Settings are in the top right corner by your picture. See a pattern here? Many, if not all, setting options are in the upper right corner of your browser window very close to where your picture is or would be if you uploaded one.

1) Left-click your picture, 2) left-click the Settings gear icon,
Youtube

 

 

 

 

3) The left margin contains areas you might wish to adjust.
Yourtube privacy

 

Google+ Privacy

If you don’t know what Google+ is you might not have an accounGoogle+t. But, if you have Gmail for your email provider, you might have an account and don’t know it. To find it, in the top right of your email main page you’ll see your name with a + behind it. Left-click on that to get into Google+.

Google+ Privacy settings are…you guessed it, upper right corner by your picture.
1) Left-click the menu arrow beside the picture area, 2) click Privacy.
Google plus

 

If you hover over the Home area to the left, you’ll get more options. You can edit your profile here and access Settings at the bottom of the list.
Google plus Home

Don’t forget to update the Audence tab (1). This lets you determine who can see your Google+ stuff.  It’s under Settings.
Google plus privacy

 


I hope you now know a bit more about how much of yourpersonal information is accessable through websites.

There is  great government website that addresses these issues also: Guide to Keeping Your Social Media Accounts Secure 2015 .

Rest easy with your new social media piece of mind, and thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀


Other security articles you might find interesting:

Facebook: LIttle Known Tips and Tricks Tip Six three-fourths of the way down the page also talks about public posts on Facebook.

Giving Out Credit Card Numbers

Microsoft Won’t Call You…EVER!

Creating the Safest Passwords

Spotting Hoax Emails


DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own. 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.

Battling Influenza

I’ve been out fighting a form of Influenza. Don’t know which numbers and letters—N3H2, N1H1…A, B—but it was a hard-fought battle and I remained victorious.

Thankfuknight battle buglly it wasn’t a life or death struggle. I was blessed to not develop any bacterial infections. I’d like to think it’s because I’m a preventative kind of person, but it might just be dumb luck.

I know you’re asking why I didn’t get an annual flu shot. I did, but since I got mine in November it wore off before this beast attacked. FYI: flu shots are effective for ninety days only.


Here’s more than you ever wanted to know about influenza and flu shots. If you don’t care, skip down to the important stuff.

pink cat nurseAnnual Flu Vaccines: My take on these is they are a very good thing. I request the single-dose shots as they aren’t preserved with thimerasol, which is a form of mercury, like the multi-dose vials.

There’s a plethora of material saying thimerasol mercury is a different form of mercury, and won’t hurt people. I am not a chemist, but I do have common sense so when manufacturers have taken thimerasol out of contact solutions and children’s vaccines I have to ask, “Why if it’s safe?”

The CDC says thimerasol is removed under their better-safe-than-sorry policy. I think that’s wonderful. Especially since at times I feel there’s a certain amount of collateral damage acceptable in the U.S. regarding drugs marketed for human use. Right now I’d like to send a huge heartfelt thanks out to the CDC for their interest in pharmaceutical safety. Thanks, CDC!

For more information on thimerasol, check out FAQ’s About Thimerasol from the CDC website.

Other flu shot ingredients.

Aluminum salts. I never condone putting excess harmful chemicals in the body. While I won’t buy foods with aluminum in them as preservatives, I feel use in vaccines—which are a few doses given over a lifetime—is acceptable as vaccine benefits greatly outweigh the risks.

Formaldehyde. This is a non-issue to me. Why? I’ve read when the serum is processed the formaldehyde is “cooked” out leaving hardly a trace. Even if this isn’t 100% accurate at least 21 of our most popular fruits and vegetables have naturally occurring formaldehyde. Actually, the coffee I’m drinking right now probably has more formaldehyde than the flu shot I had last fall.

Here’s a link for more information on vaccine ingredients: Vaccine Safety.

sick mouseThere are two prevalent types of influenzas affecting humans: A and B. Of the Influenza A, humans get N1H1 and N3H2. FYI: There are 18 different N’s and 11 different H’s—Influenza B is coded differently—but currently the other letter combinations affect only animals.

Annual flu shots include serum for three to four strains each year: N1H1, N3H2 of Influenza A, and one or two viruses from Influenza B. You can check out more about influenza viruses here.

My insurance company picks up all the cost of a flu shot. If it didn’t, I’d still pay the $30 cost out of my pocket. Only next year—after talking with a friend who happens to be a nurse—I’ll be getting mine in early to mid-December.

homeworkHomework: Research which months have the heaviest flu outbreaks in your area of the world and coordinate your flu shot for the 90 days covering it. No one can predict 100% perfectly, but you’ll have a good chance of being protected.


I also know you’re asking, “Did you go to the doctor?” No. Here’s why.

  • I didn’t really know it was the flu until almost forty-eight hours had passed. When you’re really sick you lose track of time.
  • I was dizzy the first forty-eight hours so probably shouldn’t be operating a motor vehicle anyway.
  • It’s a viral infection which usually has to run its course.
  • flu germSitting around the doctor’s office can expose me to more viruses while I’m trying to fight off one already. Yes, my doctor’s office has masks to wear if you are sick, but I’m skeptical of their effectiveness. One study on masks shows that use of masks alone did not stop catching the flu, but masks use with hand washing did. Facemasks, Hand Hygiene, and Influenza.
  • The only thing the doctor can do for Influenza with no bacterial infections is to prescribe Tamiflu. Tamiflu has to be administered in the first two days of symptoms. Doctors can’t agree on whether Tamiflu works or not.

Now you’re asking, “So Patti, what do you do to recover from the flu?” You’re not? Sorry, I’m telling you anyway. It’s for your own good.

Let’s talk in the order of symptom severity.

FEVER:

I never run a high temp when I’m sick, even with influenza. No, I’m not lying; that’s just how my body responds.

I know people who run temps high enough I’d freak out, but they say it’s normal for them. And they live to tell about it repeatedly so it must be true.

Even with a low-grade temp if I’m sick enough I have chills. Last week I tried to let my body use the fever to fight off the virus, but after a few nights of no sleep because I felt so rotten, I broke down and cracked open the ibuprofen bottle. I slept better.

COUGH:

coughProbably the best cough remedy I’ve ever used was suggested by  a dear friend in India. Ginger root. Yep, it’s better than cough drops by a long shot. In India they chew straight ginger root. Being an American girl, and too much of a wuss to go for the hard stuff, I suck on crystallized/candied ginger.

honeyRemember your grandma saying to drink tea with honey when you’re sick? She was right. According to a government study, honey in tea before bed is more effective than over-the-counter cough suppressants. Click here to view the study.

A miscellaneous note on cough meds.

Suppressants stop the cough, but also don’t let you cough up mucus so it sits in your lungs where it can fester.

Expectorants loosen mucus and encourage coughing it up.

If I have a productive cough—coughing up mucus—I don’t take either. If I do use something, it’s usually only expectorants unless I’m in desperate need of sleep then I use a suppressant, but only at night and only for a short while.

SORE THROAT:

Try chicken noodle soup. Yep, Grandma was right again.

Remember gargling chicken noodle soupwith salt water to heal throat abrasions from coughing? I agree; it’s nasty. I couldn’t do it this time around. It made me gag, and I had sore abdominal muscles from coughing so gagging was not a fun place to go. Here enters chicken noodle soup. Part of its magic is the salt in the broth. See where I’m going with this? I knew you would, you’re smart that way.

Plus hot chicken noodle soup breaks up mucus and has valuable nutrition you need when sick. I’ve included an easy recipe at the bottom. Yep, easy enough you can make it when you’re sick.

Menthol chest rub, like Vicks, works great for breaking up mucus caught in lungs. I swear by the stuff. I truly believe using this goes a long way to keeping pneumonia at bay. I also slather it on my throat if it’s sore and wrap a three- to four-inch-wide section of old t-shirt around it.lemon-lime soda

Try lemon-lime soda with ice. I hardly ever drink soda; I’m a water girl myself. But when you’re sick sometimes straight water just doesn’t do it. Not only does it not sit well on a stomach already filled with mucus drainage, it tastes blah. I drank at least six liters of diet lemon-lime soda when I was sick last week. It felt great on my sore throat and kept me hydrated.

Popsicle are good also because they have sugar for energy, cold for throat relief, and will help you stay hydrated.

SCRATCHY EARS:

When I have a serious cough, coconut oilnot only does my throat get scratchy, but so do the insides of my ears. Sometimes so badly I can’t sleep. A drop of coconut oil in each ear gives immediate relief. Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal so it’s safe. I run hot water over the outside of the container to thin my coconut oil in the winter.

DRY NOSE:

Sometimes my nose gets so dry it hurts. There is a sinus saline gel. It comes in a tube. I put a tiny squeeze on a cotton swab and circle the inside of each nostril. Two cotton swab ends, two nostrils. Funny how that worked out.


If your flu is over and you still have cold symptoms or just a cold, my pharmacist recommended this and it really helps to keep sinus infections away.

Sinus Infection Prevention.

Suck on Altoids (or other mints made with real oil of peppermint,  but not imitation peppermint). Use saline nose spray as recommended on bottle for as many days as you need. The mints and spray will keep your sinuses clear. I write my name on my saline with a marker and keep it handy, even just for a dry winter nose without a virus.


Now that we’ve talked about things you can do to stay out of the hospital if you get influenza, here’s a handy shopping list you can highlight and print off.

TIP: Find a shopping bag/cardboard box/something to store your “sick” supplies in after you buy them in October. Store the frozen items in the freezer; just sayin’. When you feel crappy with the flu, you’ll thank me for this tip. And if you’re blessed enough to not get sick, you can use the items that won’t keep until next time over the spring and summer.

SICK LIST:

  • Ibuprofen
  • crystalized/candied ginger
  • honey
  • tea (chamomile or passion flower encourage sleep)
  • menthol chest rub (our $1 store carries it)
  • lemon-lime soda
  • popsicles
  • coconut oil and ear dropper
  • saline sinus gel
  • saline sinus spray
  • Oil of Peppermint mints
  • Chicken Noodle Soup Ingredients
    • powdered chicken base
    • 1-2 cans of chicken
    • 12 oz. bag of peas and carrots
    •  Amish/kluski noodles

Easy chicken noodle


I hope this helps you and your loved ones the next time they are attacked by the influenza bug.

Have a great week-end, and thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀


DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own. On any health related blogs, I am merely giving advice that seems logical to me after research and investigation. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any medical degrees or certificates related to nutrition, psychological, pharmaceutical, or medical health.

 

Tax Time 2015

scrabble taxI’m recycling a past blog as the timing is right for it.

Remember there are a lot of telephone scams that sound legit. Be safe everyone.

Click this link to read all about it.

Scammers Posing as the IRS

Have a fantastic rest of the week, and thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways.

Facebook: More Cool Features

After reviewing items for a previous Facebook blog, I realized there are more Facebook features people might appreciate. Today our feature presentation will be the Save option. Grab a bag of popcorn, dim the lights, sit back, and enjoy.

Patti's Pathways presents
Facebook’s Save Feature:

Did you know you can save posts on Facebook similar to bookmarking pages in an internet browser?

Here’s how.

First, a post has to have a direct link if you wish to save it.

Don’t all posts? Nope. Posts without a direct link don’t offer a Save option. Facebook says you can track down the original post and save from a different Facebook page. We’ll talk about this later.

How to Save A Facebook Post:

1) Click the dropdown menu in the right top of the post you wish to Save.

Using my last blog topic as an example, we’ll save “Setting Default Programs”.
Save post dropdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy, right? Now you’re probably asking yourself, How do I find my new saved Facebook posts.

Retrieving Saved Posts

On your Facebook’s Home page, you have a left margin item named Saved. Here’s where all your favorite posts have been saved to view later.
saved

 

 

 

 

When you click Saved, your saved posts will open in a new window. Facebook is nice and categorizes them for you.
Retrieve saves

 

When you don’t want a post any longer, you can delete it from your saved posts.

Deleting Saved Posts

1). Archive the post you wish to delete by clicking the ‘x’ in the upper right of the post on your saved posts list.
To archive Saved

 

2) Go to Archive
go to archive

 

3) Find the link you wish to delete, 4) Click the “…” .., 5) Delete.
Delete saved post

 

Finding an Original Facebook Post Link:

Remember earlier in the post I told you that you can only use the Save option if the link is in the post? Here’s how to find the original post link:

1) Right-click the time stamp and 2) left-click Copy Link Location.
Copy Link Location

3) Paste into your browser’s address bar, and go.

Earlier in this post I said “Facebook says” you can copy a link location because I followed one and never found any save options. I’m not certain if I could’ve followed the link farther back or if a Facebook user is just out of luck. Play around with it and see what you find. If you figure it out let me know in the comment section, I’d appreciate it.


While we’re discussing Facebook, did you know…

  • cell gpsFacebook mobile apps can be used like a GPS to track users.

This is bad if strangers wish to track your kids, but great if you do. For their sake, help them disable their Facebook mobile tracking: Settings>Messenger Location Services>Disable.

  • There’s at least one, possibly more, websites where you enter a Facebook user name and it will try to hack that Facebook account for you.

Horrible, isn’t it? I’m not going to post a name or link because these criminals don’t need the publicity.

Just be aware that idiots abound in this world. Don’t be scared to use Facebook, just do everything in your power to keep your passwords safe. If you’d like help, read my post Creating the Safest Passwords.

Facebook EULA statements you may or may not know.

According to Facebook’s EULA,

  • “You will not create more than one personal account.”

No clue what happens if they find out you have. I suppose they delete one.

  • “For content that is covered by intellectual property riFB logoghts, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).”

I’ve updated this section as originally I neglected to mention the usage of your information by Facebook is subject to your privacy settings. Facebook won’t use your items publically if you have your privacy settings restricted. And yes, if you have your settings as public, they can use them for advertising since they are a for-profit corporate entity.

  • “When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).”

Your name and profile picture (as well as your cover photo, I believe), have always been public information regardless of your privacy settings.

And don’t forget the ever inclusive:

  • “We reserve all rights not expressly granted to you.”

For more information on EULA’s, read my post Making Sense of Terms of Service.)


Now that you’ve found another tool offered by Facebook, go ahead and save your favorite posts. Thanks again 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.


Setting Default Programs

Finally, we’re talking about setting default programs. Thanks for being so patient.

Every computer application has a designated program that opens it. Most of these are set to a default when you load or download the program.


What’s a computer application? A computer application is software that lets you perform a basic task (or sometimes not so basic).

Examples of computer applications are word processors, spread sheets, music players, PC e-book readers, calendars, even your web browser.


Setting Browser Defaults:

You’ve probably gotten a message at some time in your computing life like this:
default browser check

No, you won’t have pretty pink boxes. They’re where your browser name will appear.

We get this message because when we download/load new programs many times we also download commands to change our current default settings. We usually don’t know we’ve done this. Annoying, yes; malicious virus-ware, no.


FYI: your default browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.) is different from your default search engine. For example, my browser is Firefox, but Google is my default search engine.


You want to reset your browser default? Great. Here’s how.

1) At the top-right of your browser window, click the menu bars  menu bars   in Chrome or Firefox, or the tools icon gear iconin Internet Explorer.

2) Select Options/Internet Options/Settings depending on your browser choice.

Here’s what you’ll see:

Firefox:

Under the General tab at the very top is where you make changes in Firefox. Click OK when you’re done.
Firefox default check

 

 

 

 

And no, I didn’t realize Firefox was not my default browser. That’s just how fast other programs can change your settings.

Chrome:

Chrome’s default browser update is at the very bottom of the Settings page.
Chrome browser default

 

 

 

 

Internet Explorer:

Internet Explorer’s default settings are located under the Programs tab in Internet Options.
IE default browser set

 

 

 

 

 

3) If your browser isn’t your default browser, click where it says Make this my default.

You’re welcome to check the box in front of Always check to see…, but the notifications can get annoying fast. I checked the box and am about ready to uncheck it. I open Firefox when I want to surf the net so it’s my default browser by habit.


 

Now that we’ve warmed up on setting our default browser, we’ll advance to setting programs for your applications.

Setting Default Applications

Every application has a set default inside your OS.

FYI: Remember what an OS is? No? Check out last week’s blog: Finding and Setting Browser Downloads

In Windows 7 or 8, you’ll find your Default Program directory within your Control Panel.

FYI: Access your Control Panel from the Start menu in the lower-left corner of Windows 7, or by hovering over the top or bottom right of the Windows 8 screen to enable the Charms Bar, then choose Settings.

TIP: If you don’t like the new fangled look of the Control Panel, you can go back to the trusty alphabetically ordered list by changing the View by: details. I have mine set to Large icons.

In the Control Panel, click Default Programs.Control panel- default programs

 

Just look at all the choices you have to change default programs in your Windows OS. Remember, I have Windows 8 so your screen may look a bit different if you’re running Windows 7 or earlier.
default program screen

Here, you can not only set your default programs, but you can change associated file types, and set computer defaults. Go ahead. Open any one of these to look around.

Oh. You’re scared to? It’s okay. I’ll give you a tour first.

This is what you get when you click on Set your default programs.
Set your default Programs screen

 

If I click on a program listed, I’m shown the current defaults. Let’s use Paint as an example.

When I click Paint, I see this.
Paint default settings program screen

Notice under Paint’s description box it says “This program has 4 out of 14 defaults”?

If I want to know which defaults Paint is set to, I click Choose defaults for this program. This screen actually tells me how the other 10 defaults are set.
Paint Choose defaults

 


FYI: If I click Set this program as default instead of Choose defaults for this program (under the Set Default Programs window), everything will be reset to Paint as a default. In other words, all those boxes that aren’t checked will be checked.


WhaQuestiont? You looked back and don’t see a word processor program or spread sheet program listed in the Set Default Programs window? You’re right! That’s because they aren’t there.

To find these, we need to go to the list of all file associations. And when I say all, I mean ALL.

Here’s how.

Open (or Cancel back to) our Default Programs screen from the Control Panel.

This one:default program screen

Then click Set program access and computer defaults to find our file extensions or associations.

I’ve scrolled down to my .doc files so you can see they’re set to open with Word, and that’s what I want.
Set file associations

 

If I wanted to change which program a file extension/association uses to open, I would 1) click the extension to highlight it, 2) click Change program…, 3) Choose the program to set as default, then 4) Close.
Change file association screen

 


Congratulations! You’ve learned a lot today. How do I know? I can see the words and graphics floating out your ears. Now take a break, grab a cup of tea, and relax. You’re earned it.

Have a super rest of the week, and thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀


DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own. 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.


Finding and Setting Browser Downloads

Today’s blog topic started as changing default programs. Then I realized saving images and files was intertwined with the topic, and that’s an entire lesson in itself.

So today’s blog has morphed into Finding and Setting Browser Downloads. In the next blog we’ll tackle changing our default programs in Windows.

Browser Downloads

Remember when  you Poofsaved a downloaded picture or file, and it mysteriously disappeared forever within the infinite folders associated with your OS? That’s because an OS has pre-determined areas to save your stuff.

 


OS is short for Operating System.aVenndiagram It’s different from your internet browser, but they work together when you download items.

Operating systems are what makes your computer work. Without them you’d have an expensive doorstop.

Have you heard the commercials for PC versus Mac?

Personal computer’s (PC) are usually preloaded with a form of the Windows OS. Mac’s are preloaded with Apple OS’s, like OS X Leopard, OS X Lion, or OS X Yosemite. There are also lesser known OS’s: Linux, Haiku, Sky, Morph, and others.

Every device that runs from a computer, no matter how small, has an OS.

fitness trackerYour cell phone probably runs Android OS, the iOS (Apple), or Windows Phone OS. Your fitness tracker usually lets you download your favorite OS so you can sync it with your computer, cell phone, etc. to track your fitness goals.


 

Where Do My Downloads Go?

You’ve probably already figured out by trial and error your browser’s default download location. In case you haven’t, follow along.

There are other browsers, but we’ll stick to the three most widely used: Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and Mozilla’s Firefox. I use Firefox.

Locating Firefox Downloads:

While the download is processing, you’ll see a timer. After a download, the timer changes to a blue arrow. 1) Click the blue download arrow, 2) Right-click the item downloaded, and 3) Click Open Containing Folder.Firefox Downloads-containing folder

 

Locating Google Chrome Downloads:

Your download meter will show on the bottom-left of your browser window. To find where it saved 1) Click the menu bars, then 2) click Downloads.
Chrome download pic 1

 

A new download window will open. 3) Click Show in Folder.
Chrome download pic 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Locating Internet Explorer Downloads:

1) Click the Settings gear in the upper right of your browser, 2) click View downloads.

IE Find Downloads


READER HELP NEEDED! I’ve messed around on IE, but can’t get saved pictures to show in Downloads like they do in Firefox or Chrome. I’ve gone to Internet Options> Advanced> Settings> Multimedia, and enabled Show Picture Download Placement and Show Pictures. Still nothing. I do have the latest version. Maybe that’s my trouble. Ha! If you know something I don’t, please tell me in the comment section. Thanks!


 

CHANGING DOWNLOAD FOLDERS:

If you don’t like where your browser is sending your downloads, you can change it.

Firefox:

1) Click the top right menu bars, 2) Click Options,
Firefox change download locations pic 1

Under the General tab is your download location. You can set this as any folder you’d like. All your downloads will go there. If you want to select different locations for each download, check the radio button Always ask me where to save files. Click OK and you’re done.
Firefox change download locations pic 2

 

 

Google Chrome:

1) Click the menu bars in the top-right corner, 2) Select Settings.
Chrome Settings

3) Select Show advanced settings… option at the bottom of the window.
Advanced Setting Chrome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) Scroll down to the Downloads area and work your magic. You can also tell Chrome to let you pick where each download goes.
Chrome change download location

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internet Explorer:

Redirecting where downloads save is much easier than finding the downloaded picture log in Internet Explorer. By the way, your pictures save in the Download folder in Windows. You can get there through the Start Menu or Charms Bar folder list.

To change where your downloads save in Internet Explorer, 1) click the Settings gear in the top-right of your browser window. then 2) View downloads.
IE Find Downloads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3)  Choose Options. In the pop-up window, tell IE where to send your downloads.
IE Change Download Location3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


You’ve just customized your browser. You’re so good. Pat yourself on the back.

Now download some fun things and enjoy. And thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀


 DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own. 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.


Faster Computing: Startup Programs

Since it’s still early in the year, we’re continuing our journey into making your computer run faster, smoother, and just happier in general.

Today we’re talking about the programs that load when you start your computer.sexy cowgirl


 Psst. Computer savvy people. This might bore you. Come back later, but… y’all come back now, ya’ hear?


There are a lot…a lot…of program downloads that stick a command to start their program when your computer boots. Why? Good question.

Many of the programs that start when your computer boots up are unnecessary. You already have designated default programs that open automatically to view photos, listen to music, read manuals, and more. We’ll talk more about setting default programs in another blog.


TERMINOLOGY: Boot, bootup or booting is a fancy word for starting a computer. Reboot means restarting a computer.

Remember when the tech people told you to reboot your computer to boot computercorrect a problem? Restarting a computer behaving badly and not playing nice will reload programs completely as well as the OS’s (Operating Systems like Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, etc.). Many times this fixes any command-line that hasn’t loaded quite right.

Computer programs have thousands of command-lines, and each command-line has to sync with one another for your programs to work perfectly. Sometimes command-lines don’t load correctly. Often this doesn’t cause a problem; a few times it does.

FYI: Don’t confuse a first-time program download and install with a reboot or reload of a program already saved to your computer’s hard drive. Two different creatures.


Why limit programs that load at startup?

Full boots take time because along with starting your OS, your computer usually starts many other programs as well.

Non-operating system programs booting at startup are normally iTunes (just in case you decide to listen to music), Adobe Reader (in case you want to open a program with Reader), Skype (in case someone wants to chat with you), and others. None of these are necessary, but some you definitely want to boot at startup, like your anti-virus and spyware/adware programs. That’s so our computers are protected continuously.

timeEach program booted at startup adds seconds, sometimes many, to your computer’s boot up time. What? You think a few seconds is no big deal. Um, take those seconds times thirty programs. You’re talking about taking minutes off your computing adventure.

Boot time might not be a problem if you remember to turn on your computer before you get that first cup of coffee. But many of us 1) aren’t that organized, or 2) don’t have patience to wait 3-5 minutes for a computer to boot. I fall into category two.


TIP: Computers don’t always need a full boot. That’s why we have “sleep” and “hibernate” options.


Why tweak startup programs?

Many programs tell your computer to run them, or keep them on standby in the background, when your computer starts up. This feature is designed into the commands downloaded with the program.

LagThere’s a couple of reasons you might wish to limit how many programs boot at startup. You already know about the time factor. There’s also added lag in computer response time when programs run in the background.

To stop the programs you don’t really need from starting at bootup, you must manually disable them. Enough idle chat. It’s time to learn.

Setting Your Startup Programs

The place where we adjust startup programs changed in Windows 8. In Windows 7 and before, we use the msconfig command. In Windows 8, we can still use this command, but we get a lovely message along with a link directing us to our Task Manager.

Windows 7 and Before:

1) Type msconfig into your Run area.

You remember the Run area. It looks like this on Windows 7 or before.
You find it by clicking the Start menu icon.Win 7 Run

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

windows key You can also get to a Run command area by depressing your Windows key + R (for Run). Remember the Windows key?  →

2) The msconfig command opens on the General tab. Click the Startup tab.

Your Startup will look like this except you’ll probably have many more programs. Yes, it could be a mess. This is a clean install of Windows 7.
Win 7 msconfig

 

Under the Startup Tab, click 3) Disable All. It’s okay, we’re going to re-enable our anti-virus, spyware battlers, etc. next.

Now 4) check the boxes of the programs you want to run at Startup. These should be your anti-virus, ad blockers, and anything you like to have open continuously.

Click 5) Apply, then 6) OK.

In Windows 8:

Go to Task Manager. You can get there from the link at msconfig, or you can depress all these keys at once: Alt+Ctrl+Del.

You think there are other ways to get to where we want to go? You’re right. At least another two or three, but today let’s just use one of the two I mentioned above.

Here’s what my Startup looks like in Windows 8. To change program startup I have two options.

Either 1) highlight the program I’m adjusting, then click the Enable or Disable button on the bottom right,

or

2) Right-click on the program name, then click Enable/Disable in the dropdown menu.

Task Mgr StartUp-Disable or Enable

Notice I leave some programs enabled because I want them available after start up, like Skype and my weather program.


 NOTE: If you don’t know what a command in Startup does, google it. See hkcmd module in mine above? This enable my hotkeys at startup. I use hotkeys so I leave them enabled. I might be able to still use them even if the command was disabled, but I don’t really feel like messing with it. Yes, if I disable something I need, I can simply come back here and re-enable it at any time.


In Windows 8, restarting your computer isn’t needed for the new settings to take effect.

In Windows 7? Honestly, I don’t remember. If you receive a prompt to restart your computer, you can restart it right way, or do what I’d do—wait until I need to shut down for some other reason. The system will remember my changes.

Put the extra minutes you’ve just found to good use. Have a great week, and thanks for following Patti’s Pathways 😀


DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own. 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.