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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sharing in Dropbox-Can someone else delete my stuff?

There are different ways to share folders in Dropbox. You are in charge of how you share folders or documents. 


If you want to share so that the other person can edit the document, the choice comes up after you type their email address into the To: line

You can choose how they will interact with the document. 

You can also choose to share only a link to the folder in your Dropbox. 





If you Create a Link you can send it in your own email and the recipients will have access to your folder. They cannot change anything in it, but they can download the contents to their own computers. There are additional choices for how the link is managed if you sign up for a paid account. 

Here are step by step directions for sharing. You can do it from your own Dropbox folder on your computer, but I think it is more straight forward if you sign in online.

1. Get online-any browser should work.
3. Sign in. Your files should appear and look like this when you roll over them.

Inline image 2

4. Click on the "Share" button
Inline image 3
5. Fill in the To line with the email or email addresses.
6. Add a message.
7. It will be sent letting the people you are sharing with that they have access to that folder.

If you have given someone editing permissions for your folder they can add and remove items. It is always good to have a backup somewhere for the items you store in Dropbox. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

WiFi On the Go

Traveling has gotten me thinking more about mobile wifi. In Japan I had friends who had devices which allowed them to have wifi anywhere. We were traveling to parts of the country where we would not have Internet access, so it was really nice to be able to access the Internet all of the time.

One other benefit to having your own mobile wireless is that using shared networks can be risky. You are exposing your computer and the information on it to anyone else who is on the network, which could be anyone. It is important to think about that if you do go to coffee shops to do work or just use your computer for whatever. 



The way it works is that the device connects to a cellphone tower and converts the signal to Wifi. If you have a recent iPhone you can already do this by going to your settings and turning on your personal hotspot. So, if you are in a place that does not have cellphone towers (which is becoming more and more unlikely) it would not work.




Because it is using a cellphone connection this device is something that has a monthly charge. It is just like your cellphone. If you use it too much you are charged huge overages, so you have to be careful. There are no plans with unlimited minutes and you find that the number of “free” (or paid for with your monthly charge) minutes is not enough. It costs more than using Home Wifi.  These devices also need to be charged. They last about 10 hours depending on the device and how you use it.

The device itself costs from as high as $450 to $50!  It makes me wonder If they are just making up the prices to see what people will spend!  The higher end ones connect to more devices and have faster connection speeds.  

There are reviews online which are worth looking at. These companies make devices that you can purchase and set up an account for.
  • TMobile
  • Sprint
  • Verizon
  • ATT

There are several smaller companies and they cost less usually, but it is good to remember that they use the same cellphone connections as the big companies. For example if Sprint is weak in your area the smaller company will also be weak.

One interesting company is Karma Go. Their device works in a little different way. It is set up so that you can share your connection with others and in that way lower your own bill. I am not sure how it totally works, but it might be worth looking at their website to understand it. You should also find out which cell network they use before choosing their service.

Karma Go – $150  shared wifi


Freedompop

Millenicom - Popular with RVers

How to choose the fastest....

The Best Mobile Hotspots

Friday, July 29, 2016

Converting PDF to Word on your Phone

Every once in awhile I get a request to try out something and then to write about it on my blog. This post is about an app for your phone called PDF to Word.

Cometdocs has created an app that makes it really easy to convert a pdf to a word document and send it to yourself. You can find a link to the app store, the play store and other information at their website. 



Here is what I did:

1. I downloaded the app from the App Store. Look for PDF to Word from Cometdocs.



2. I found a .pdf document in my email. When I opened it I had an option to send it to PDF to Word. Look for the "share" box in the top right corner. When you open it one choice will be PDF to Word.

3. The PDF to Word app opened up and a little wheel began to turn. The app told me that if I wanted faster conversion I could purchase it rather than use the free version. It said that it could take 1-3 hours to convert.  I looked it up and if I wanted to add a quicker conversion it was only $5.99 and I could also link other services like Dropbox for another $1.99.

4.  I had other things to do, so I set my phone down and came back to it later.

5. When I returned the document was there. I clicked to open it and then clicked on Share and sent it to my computer. 

6. Used Airdrop to send it to my computer (that is a Mac thing). It is great!  The document looked a bit funny on my phone, but when I opened it on my computer it was perfect.





Monday, June 20, 2016

MY EXPERIENCE WITH TECH CONFUSION-Note to Microsoft

I am writing this because I am often thought of as an "expert" and I am a teacher of how to use technology. However, my business is called "I'm not a Geek.com" for a reason. There are times when I am amazed at how frustrating technology can be and think that if it is frustrating for me it must be 10 times as frustrating for other people I work with.


Dear Microsoft, 


A week or so ago I paid for MS Office 365. I downloaded and installed it to my computers both Mac and PC. Then I ran out of time, so that is as far as I got.

Today I needed to open something that was a Word document, so when I clicked on the Word icon (assuming I would be able to use it because it was already paid for, downloaded and installed),  the Word program tried to open for the first time. It asked me for a username and password. Right away I realized that I would not remember what password I put in, so instead of guessing and losing time trying to figure it out I put in my email address and chose "forgot my password".

I only had a certain amount of time before I had to be somewhere and things got muddled. It said that it was going to send me a code but somehow when the code finally came to my email, I could not find the window that I needed to put the code into. The window I was seeing said that there was no account with my email. I tried two other emails (one active and one old and closed) and they all said the same thing. I had to leave it to try again later and I never was able to open the program.

Now I am trying to open it again and it is taking forever. I put in my email address and this time right away it said that it had sent a code to my email. It took a minute, but I copied it and pasted it into the right space and it told me to create a new password, so I did and then it told me that I do not have MS Office 365 and so I need to pay for it or I can try it for free for a month.

Why is this so HARD.  I have already paid my $$$$$. I know it might be user error, but it is so frustrating and I feel so stupid. 

Here I go again with my other active email.

It worked. But both times I had to type in those weird long capcha codes. I understand the need for them, but they do add to the frustration because they are hard to read. 



It turns out that I signed up for it with my work email. Who knows what password I used?  For some strange reason Dashlane (my password manager that usually saves me lots of time) did not save the password and so it did not Auto-enter it. MS Word was going from the program into a website, but I do not know what website, so I don't know the URL. I guess this has something to do with Office 365 using the cloud. It is possible that my Dashlane did not register the URL because it was not from a website.

Then when it finally opened up it needed TWO updates which took a while. aaaaaugh. Then in order for the update to be complete I had to close Word. 

No wonder clients of mine are frustrated and confused when using the computer!!  I am guessing that the designers of MS products are high level users and they skip steps because the steps make sense to them and they think that people do not need them.

I can eventually figure this out…. but it frustrates me. Many of my clients cannot figure these things out and so after paying $99 for software and downloading it (which is huge, by the way) they give up when trying to open it!!

Microsoft you may need to employ some really basic users to give you advice on your error messages and processes for setting up passwords and that sort of thing.

Sincerely, Janice- I'm not a Geek.com


Saturday, May 14, 2016

My Experience with Google Photos

This week I have had more than one person talk to me about saving their photos. These days most of us have more photos than we know what to do with because we always have our Smartphones with us and we take pictures of EVERYTHING.

I usually organize my photos using Mac's Photo app. It works well for me. If you have a PC you can use Microsoft Photo Gallery which comes free with Microsoft Windows. Today I am going to try and also describe my experience using Google Photos.

external hard driveBefore I begin with Google photos I want to make sure that you are backing up all of your pictures on a hard drive or in the cloud somewhere (or both). The cloud is just a way to talk about a huge bank of computers that you can get space on in order to save things. iCloud is Apple's cloud. Dropbox is a cloud. Microsoft has OneDrive. If you use Google Photos you are backing up on Google's Cloud.

What I have learned is that in May of 2015 Google made a big announcement and began Google Photos. It was designed as a pain free way to store, organize and share all of your photos without having to do much of anything. The program does it for you. It is a single location for ALL of your photos from your computer, phone and any other devices you have. It works with Android phones as well as iPhones.

The first thing that you do is to download the Google Photo Autobackup App. This will search and find all of your photos from all of your devices and put them on Google Photos which you can find by going to http://photos.google.com. This process takes a long time, maybe a few days, but when it is done ALL of your photos are backed up and accessible to you on all of your devices. If you choose to save them as "high resolution" the space does not cost you any money. If you want the RAW original format you will have to pay for extra space after your allotment is filled up. Even the "high resolution" photos are formatted perfectly for most of us. If you are a photographer and usually print large copies of photos you may want to pay for the extra space.

Now for my experience using the app.
  1. It has pop out tools on the sidebar. There are three ways to look at your photos
    • view photos iconPhotos-This is the view that you first see when you upload your photos. It is organized by date that the photo was taken. You can view all of these photos on all of your devices. You can see them as individual pictures, days, months and years by pinching and unpinching the screen. They are located "in the cloud", so they are not taking up space on any of your devices. You can download them or send them to someone from here.
    • albums iconAlbums-Google Photos will organize your photos for you by face (It is amazing at recognizing faces even as they change through aging) and by places and things. This is also the place where you can view albums that you have created using the assistant. 
    • Assistant-This is where you can create your own albums and other creative things. To do this Click on "create new album". Then click on all of the photos that you want in the album. The album will appear with "untitled" at the top. You click on it and give the album a name. 
search bar
  • You can also search your photos for specific photos that you remember. The search is amazing. I tried searching for "snow", "food", and several other things. Even though I had not tagged or named the pictures a bunch of snow pictures and food pictures were found. A few of the other searches were not as successful (books, beach), but I am not sure that I had any pictures that fit these categories. Also, my pictures were still being downloaded.
In the agreement that you must sign in order to use their free services it says that they can "host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works, communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute these photos".
  • There is the issue of trust. What is Google doing with all of your photos? Google is a search and advertising company. They make their money by very precise advertising. Your photos make it possible for them to know you better and target advertising directly to you. They do this already, but your photos make it even better for them.  If this is a problem for you then it is better not to use it. Many people think that the value of using all of the free apps that Google offers is a fair exchange. Targeted marketing is a little creepy, but in some ways is better than constantly getting ads for things you do not want. One video said that being selective about which photos are stored on Google Photos can protect some of your privacy. 

CONCLUSION
Having tried it I am impressed with Google Photos. I tend not to be someone who is very private, so my experience may not fit you. The important thing to take away from this article are that YOU are in charge of your photos and backing them up somewhere is EXTREMELY important. I think that having an external back up on a hard drive is a good idea because even Google may change its business model and who knows what would happen to your photos then? 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Allowing your Computer or Keychain in Mac to Save Your Passwords

Passwords are the bane of our existence when it comes to technology. So, anything that makes them easier is hard to turn down. What should you do when you are on a site and the question pops up, "Do you want to save this password?" or "Save this password in your Keychain?" YES or NO??

I did some searching and found several good reasons why you might want to say NO to this question and why Keychain and other Browser password savers are not as secure as Dashlane, 1Password, LastPass or other password managers.

First of all, let's clarify where this information is coming from. Browsers have their own password savers.  For example in Firefox under the Preferences you can see this window:


If you put a check in the box next to Remember Passwords for sites you will always get that question. Then you can click on Saved Passwords to see what you have saved. When I clicked on Saved Passwords there were 9 saved there! At first they were hidden, but then I clicked on SHOW and there they were. Anyone could have done that!  I deleted them all right away because I didn't even know that they were there!



One thing that would have made it more secure is if I used a master password. You can see above that there is a box next to that which you can check. If I had created a master password then someone could not get into my passwords so easily. 

Chrome, Internet Explorer and other browsers have similar password savers.

Keychain (the Apple built in password saver)  is a little different because it is actually on your computer and not connected to a browser. If you choose to activate Keychain in your iCloud account it will also sync to any other Apple Devices you have.

Most password managers will generate strong passwords for you. That is one thing that saves a lot of time when you are at a new site. You do not have to think up one more password that is really difficult, but that you can remember. The password management software will remember it so it can create really long difficult passwords and you will never have to even know them.

NOW FOR THE PROS AND CONS

PROS


  • It is much better than having the same password for everything.
  • If you create a master password it is more secure.
  • It works well (with a master password) for someone who never has someone else accessing their computer.
CONS
  • If you do not put in a Master Password (and many people do not) then all of your passwords can easily be found.
  • Keychain only works on the Safari browser and does not work with every single site. Use of Keychain is not supported by Banks, Credit Cards and some other places because of security issues. Other password managers each work on their own software (Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, etc...)
  • Keychain does not generate the strongest passwords.
  • Easier to hack than a Password Manager like LastPass or Dashlane. With these password managers your master password NEVER leaves your machine. It is not stored anywhere else. 

On some of the sites I read it said to NEVER use the password savers in browsers or Keychain. It is just not as safe as the other tools. 

And now for one more free tip. To find all of this out I just typed my question into Chrome (my favorite browser and here are some of the sites that I read to learn what I shared with you. It does take some time, but you can do that too. Maybe it is how you found this blog!




Que Publishing

Gizmag

HOW TO SET IT UP - FROM APPLE

iMore

Ask Leo

Step by Step how to access the Password Saving Feature of Browsers

More about Password Managers

I have now used Dashlane for a few years and LOVE it. Other people swear by different password managers, so I doubt that there is one that is the best, but it is definitely worth finding and using a password manager!!

Friday, February 26, 2016

What is Home Share on the Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV?

A client recently wanted to sync her music from her Mac to her iPhone. Since I am not a Geek and don't keep up with my iTunes Music much I assumed that it was automatically syncing just like my contacts, calendar, mail and photos.

I was wrong. (shocking I know!) My explanation for what things sync and what is treated a different way is ownership. I own my contacts, calendar, mail and photos. I do not own the music in my iTunes. In many cases I purchased the CD's that I copied onto my computer or paid for downloaded albums. Someone else owns the copyright, so Apple handles it differently. You are allowed to have 5 authorized computers. This allows you to put the same content on 5 different devices.

First you have to set up Home Sharing on all of the devices that you want to share. This involves going to the setup and putting in your Apple ID and Password. On your Mac open iTunes and go to FILE>Home Sharing. For some reason mine was already set up and it said Turn off Home Sharing. I don't remember setting this up, but was glad that it was already on. 

On your iPhone and iPad you do this through settings. Click on the Settings Icon and then Find Music in the list of things to set up. At the bottom it says Home Sharing and again mine already had my Apple ID entered in that space. On my Apple TV I also went to the Settings Icon. Then under General and Accounts I found Home Sharing. Again it already had been set up with my Apple ID

At that point I really wondered why my music lists were not the same on the different devices.  I was just missing one step. On each of the devices except for the computer I  had to find the place that listed what I wanted to listen to. On both my iPhone and my iPad there was a pull down menu that said Artists, Albums, Songs, Genres, Composers, Compilation and what I had not seen before Home Sharing!  Once I switched to Home Sharing the devices connected to my computer and now I can play the same music on all of them. Once I had done that magically all of the music was added to my list on the Apple TV.

Buena Vista Social Club
Right now I am listening to one of my favorite albums through my Apple TV and surround sound!