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    #2473984

    This topic is for providing replies to the Daily Computer Tip.

    Please post your comments and suggestions regarding the various tips in this thread.

    On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
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    • This topic was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by geekdom.
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    • #2472216

      Thanks for the reminder, @geekdom! Whenever I (infrequently) do this, I first export my bookmarks to an HTML file, which makes it easier to see all of them on one “page.” I can then scroll down the page, opening and double-checking those to weed out. [It does help that they’ve already been organized into relevant folders.]

      Win 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit; Office 2010; Group B (SaS); Former 'Tech Weenie'
    • #2472315

      If you are attempting new-to-you technical tasks, print off the instructions before you start the tasks.

      I add a small adjustment to this tip. I “print” the instructions to PDF and upload the PDF to my smart phone. This saves paper and ink; and has easy storage or discarding after the fact.

      HTH, Dana:))

      HTH, Dana:))

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2472578

      I often use Print Friendly to export the content to PDF.  However, if you use NoScript you have to add the site to your whitelist, or it won’t work.  I also find I like the interface in Firefox better than Chrome and its derivatives.  I also store my finds in my Bookmarks which I now store in BookmarkOS.com which offers a very good free plan as well as paid.  I also tend to print my finds so I can make notes on them as I go because often there are missing steps and I have to know for the future any corrections.  Then I can use a PDF editor to update my notes.

    • #2472982

      I would add to this tip:

      When reading anything that you don’t seem to totally understand, read another author explaining the same thing. The two different ways to explain the same thing will greatly increase your understanding of the subject.

      HTH, Dana:))

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2473268

      Make sure your filename extensions are turned on in File Explorer.

      I agree that there are times file extension should be shown, but most of the time the file extensions are unnecessary information that makes renaming files more of a hassle. A folder full of .jpg photos or .docx documents doesn’t need me to see .jpg or .docx on each file name. Usually the icon tells me what type of file it is.

      The vast majority of the time I leave file extension hidden. When I want to know a file extension is is easy to turn on in the ribbon of File Explorer.

      HTH, Dana:))

    • #2473448

      And batteries.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

    • #2473481

      Windows 11 can notify you when a program gets added to Startup apps, if you switch Settings, System, Notifications, Startup App Notification to On:

      Get notified when a program adds itself to the Startup list in Windows 11

    • #2473707

      If your printer eats cartridges (for breakfast)

      If you go thru that much ink, then I suggest PretonSaver (link below). You can fine adjust the reduced ink usage that looks better than draft, but still saves a lot of ink. If you print a lot, the savings in ink will pay for the software subscription.

      PretonSaver

      HTH, Dana:))

    • #2473918

      (Make sure mail preview is off, too.)

      This is vital, preventing any ‘leaks’ back to confirm receipt or maybe flag your IP to the bad guys, trigger a payload, etc.

      You can also study the ‘full message’ or find an online service to run a check on it, find the IP of the sender and run checks on that; sometimes there are ‘easy’ clues to pick out, eg.

      Received: from 127.0.0.1
      by my.mail.server.address with HTTP; Thu, 25 Aug 2022 17:07:10 +0000
      Return-Path:
      X-Originating-Ip: [212.227.126.187]
      Received-SPF: fail (domain of royalmail.com does not designate 212.227.126.187 as permitted sender)
      Authentication-Results: my.mail.server.address;
      dkim=unknown;
      spf=fail smtp.mailfrom=royalmail.com;
      dmarc=fail(p=NONE) header.from=royalmail.com;

      The above snippet is taken from the first several lines only, already showing glaring warning signs.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2473979

      Occasionally some don’t go to spam on retrieval so,
      as a secondary precaution I’ve employed the following:
      Disabled image/ resource loading in the email client to protect from email trackers and pixeltracking.
      Within different email clients and accounts, the ‘plain text’ option is also more secure across the board.

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2474316

      11.  The Disk Cleanup operation permits deletion of Downloaded Program Files in the default Downloads location when the toggle box is checked.  Move your downloaded files out of Microsoft’s default Downloads location on your computer to a Documents folder. Make sure the download files are also copied to an external hard drive.

      I created a Download folder on my separate drive where I store all my data files which is backed up on a regular automatic basis. I then changed the default download location in my browsers. Now all downloads goes to that folder which is not part of any Disk Cleanup.

      HTH, Dana:))

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2474356

      Much simpler method that saves faffing about with folder locations is to ensure that the “downloads folder” is unticked within disk clean-up (in both user and admin/ system)
      Also ensure any 3rd party cleaners don’t empty out the “downloads folder” a common mistake made by many clients.who say they cannot find their downloaded files.

    • #2474387

      Bluemail email client has an option to block tracking images (is a Store App for Windows desktop, which may deter some). Presumably known trackers.

      The DuckDuckGo email relay service will remove KNOWN trackers from your email.

       

       

      Group A (but Telemetry disabled Tasks and Registry)
      1) Dell Inspiron with Win 11 64 Home permanently in dock due to "sorry spares no longer made".
      2) Dell Inspiron with Win 11 64 Home (substantial discount with Pro version available only at full price)

    • #2474402

      11.  The Disk Cleanup operation permits deletion of Downloaded Program Files in the default Downloads location when the toggle box is checked.  Move your downloaded files out of Microsoft’s default Downloads location on your computer to a Documents folder. Make sure the download files are also copied to an external hard drive.

      Downloaded Program Files are not normal user downloads and are not stored in the default Downloads folder:

      Downloaded-Program-Files

      Those ActiveX and Java applet files (saved by Internet Explorer) are stored in C:\Windows\Downloaded Program Files and the check box to delete them has been pre-selected in Disk Cleanup since Windows 95.

      Microsoft did add the Downloads folder to Disk Cleanup in Windows 10 version 1809 (not pre-selected), added a warning about it in version 1903, then removed Downloads from Disk Cleanup in version 2004 (after receiving negative feedback from users):

      Windows 10 version 1809: pay attention to Disk Cleanup settings
      Windows 10’s Disk Cleanup Getting a New Warning About Downloads Folder
      Microsoft to Remove Downloads Folder from Disk Cleanup

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2474426

        Win10Pro 2004.19041.572, my old offline computer, shows Downloaded Program Files.

        From your information cited below:
        For Windows 10 1809, 1903, and 1909, the Downloads option was present in Disk Cleanup (and would delete user downloads).

        Windows.old appears in Disk Cleanup System Files as “Previous Windows Installation(s)” (which is unchecked by default): How to delete the Windows.old folder on Windows 10 Downloads doesn’t appear in Disk Cleanup on versions 2004/20H2 (only 1809, 1903, 1909): Microsoft will remove option to clear Downloads folder using Disk Cleanup

        Source:
        https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/susan-recommending-version-2004/#post-2341097
        February 5, 2021

        On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
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        • #2474434

          I don’t understand why you’re repeating what I said today and last year, but not commenting or disagreeing.

    • #2474438

      If you have Windows 10 1809, 1903, and 1909, you will see “Downloads” in Disk Cleanup. These “Downloads” are your user downloads that are in your user Downloads folder.

      If you have other Windows versions, you will not see “Downloads” in Disk Cleanup.

      “Downloaded Program Files” are not your user downloads nor are they in your user Downloads folder.

      I will provide an addendum to this tip.

      On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
      offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
      online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1992 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox116.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
    • #2474448

      If you have an older Windows version, you will see “Downloads” in Disk Cleanup. These “Downloads” are your user downloads that are in your user Downloads folder.

      If it’s important to cater to the 5% using three unsupported versions, but it’s not all older versions.

      If you have a newer Windows version, you will see “Downloaded Program Files” in Disk Cleanup. “Downloaded Program Files” are not your user downloads nor are they in your user Downloads folder.

      You’ll see those in every version of Windows from the last 27 years, not just newer versions.

      • #2474450

        See amended statement above. While you were typing, so was I.

        On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
        offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
        online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1992 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox116.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        b
    • #2474743

      13. When third-party software is installed, other packages can be offered at the same time. (Offering additional packages during installation is called bundling.) Move slowly when installing software; read carefully and make sure additional, offered software is not selected.

      A precursor to this is to ensure that the user selects a “custom install” over the “default” giving much more control over what is installed and avoiding the potential of PUP’s (Potentially Unwanted Programs)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2475740

      17.  Remove email contacts that are unused or invalid. Export your contacts to a .csv file.

      I would save the email contacts as a preclean .csv file before removing “unused” emails.  I have had to go back and retrieve an email address that I “thought” I would never need again. Saving that email saved me a lot….you never know and it only takes little more time.

       

      HTH, Dana:))

      • #2477597

        17. Remove email contacts that are unused or invalid. Export your contacts to a .csv file.

        I exported my Yahoo mail contacts to a .csv file. However, I’ve discovered that if more than one e-mail address is recorded for a contact, only one ends up in the .cvs file.

        Yahoo mail’s Contact List will indicate those with more than one e-address. By opening up the details about that contact, I can cut and paste the omitted e-addresses to the .cvs file.

    • #2476761
      • When reading computer literature: If you come across a technical term you don’t understand, open a web search to reference the term.

      As a corollary to this:
      An easy way to initiate the search is to highlight the word or phrase, right click on it, and select “Search” from the pop up context menu.

    • #2476961

      If you can plug and unplug a device from your computer,

      Always use ‘safely remove hardware / eject media’

    • #2477500

      Always use ‘safely remove hardware / eject media’

      Not necessary by default for the last four years:

      Beginning in Windows 10 version 1809, the default policy is Quick removal.

      In earlier versions of Windows, the default policy was Better performance.

      Quick removal: This policy manages storage operations in a manner that keeps the device ready to remove at any time. You can remove the device without using the Safely Remove Hardware process.

      Change in default removal policy for external storage media in Windows 10, version 1809

      • #2477594

        I am Win10/Pro, 21H2.
        On one of my laptops, I can’t remove an external HD by clicking on the symbol for removing it in the Taskbar, even if I have stopped using it a very long time before. The white light on the external HD (a WD Passport) is still flashing and when I try to safely remove it, I get a message that the device is in use.

        I am reluctant to ‘pull the plug’ on the device (it has my system backups on it). I either continue waiting for the “Safely Remove a Device” to work (it eventually WILL after a long, long wait) or else I shut down, pull the plug on the device, and powerup again.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2477595

          Could be A/V or indexing going on. Frustrating I know! I don’t trust Quick Removal.

          Never Say Never

        • #2477618

          I have experienced this also with WD Passport. Often, I haven’t closed File Explorer before trying to eject. Other times, with no apparent residual usage, a second click on the Safely Eject Taskbar icon successfully ejects the device.

          Hope this helps. Regards, Phil

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2477643

            I usually eject usb devices then within ‘devices and printers’ remove the ejected device, which reactivates the driver when the USB device is inserted the next time. And I don’t get any MSFT BS regarding ‘this device may have problems….’ as I’ve come across on other peoples systems, which is usually attributed to the usb device being used on different devices from my observations. This method hasn’t failed me using Win8.1 or 10 for years, of course YMMV

            Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2477504

      20. If you can plug and unplug a device from your computer, it’s probably an external  peripheral device. Know the make and model of your external peripherals: printer, mouse, external monitor, external speakers, external keyboard, and others.

      When I get new equipment I create a label that contains make/model/serial #/date of purchase and attach this to the front or other part of the device that will always be seen. Easy to do when you first get it. This way when I need to know that info I’m not crawling around in the dark messing with wires in the back of the device to find out the serial number or digging thru files to find where I wrote all that down.

      Side Tip: I also create a label for each PC that has all that info plus the specific keys for that PC to enter BIOS/UEFI.

      All this info there when I need it.

      HTH, Dana:))

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2481898

        Regarding the BIOS: Is there a need to somehow backup all the settings in my computer’s BIOS? I am relatively inexperienced in computer hardware/software, but I booted my computer to show the BIOS settings and there were tons of them. I quickly got out of BIOS since the information was Greek to me, but if I have problems with my computer, will I need a copy of these settings?

        Thank you for any info you can provide.

        • #2481909

          Regarding the BIOS: Is there a need to somehow backup all the settings in my computer’s BIOS?

          If you have not changed any of the BIOS settings (other than boot order), then there is no need to back the settings up as any failure will result in the BIOS resetting to default settings (without changes is what you have now).
          If you did make changes then it would be wise to keep a record of those changes. Most BIOS firmware allows screen captures as follows:
          Connect a flash drive to the PC. The flash drive must be formatted in FAT32 and I suggest you have nothing on the drive you want to keep.
          Boot to the BIOS.  Make sure the flash drive is detected.  On the screen you wish to capture press F12 or PrintScreen keys (different keyboards use different keys for this BIOS function so try both). You will get a message that the capture has been made when you press the right key. It will send it to the flash drive and could overwrite anything on that drive. The capture will be in .BMP format.

          This works for many PCs, but not sure if it will work for your PC. Depends upon the BIOS firmware you have.

          HTH, Dana:))

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2481961

          Some motherboard’s BIOS also provides a option to save/restore the BIOS settings under one of the menus.

    • #2477994

      Or json as your browser allows.

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2478010

        Could you explain what this refers to please?

        • #2478011

          json and the argonauts with a typo? nah…

          23. In your browser, there is an option to manage bookmarks. To keep a readable “snapshot” of your bookmarks that can be ported to other browsers or serve as bookmark backup, export your bookmarks as HTML

          Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
      • #2479197

        json is the format my firefox derived browser saves bookmarks in. For my Pale Moon fork it is the better way to back up bookmarks.

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2478646

      Often, I haven’t closed File Explorer before trying to eject.

      eject usb devices then within ‘devices and printers’ remove the ejected device,

      Yes, I have closed all of the apps (such as WD Backup) associated with the external drive and have closed all open File Explorer windows. I’ve also tried restarting File Explorer, as @Carl suggests <here>. I’ll try the ‘second click’ suggestion.

      I’ve also tried the ‘eject-usb-devices-then-within-‘devices-and-printers’-remove-the-ejected device’ method that @Microfix suggests. No dice.

      It happens with only one of my two laptops. It seems to be a quirk of this laptop. The other laptop, which also has its own WD Passport external drive for its backups, will usually eject using the ‘Safely remove device’ after a reasonable wait or responds in time to ‘devices-and-printers-remove-device.’

    • #2478650

      25. If you have a problem with your computer, you will need to know the operating system name  (including version and build) and how to find this information on your computer.

      As much good as a chocolate kettle with no method for those who do not know how to aquire the build and version number

      FYI – winver within the operating system search field, powershell or the command prompt

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2479247

        As much good as a chocolate kettle with no method for those who do not know how to aquire the build and version number

        FYI – winver within the operating system search field, powershell or the command prompt

        Your method works very well for those here who have a version of Microsoft Windows installed, but what about those here who DON’T have Windows but have another OS instead, such as those who use Macs, or those who run a version of Linux??

        That’s probably why @geekdom omitted OS-specific instructions of how to find the OS version information in the original post of tip number 25, which you quoted in your post above.

    • #2480245

      29. If your display turns suddenly black press WIN+CTRL+SHIFT+B to restart display driver.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2481994

        Could have given that a try this morning 😫😁

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2480370

      29. If your display turns suddenly black press WIN+CTRL+SHIFT+B to restart display driver.

      So, @Alex5723, are you taking over for @Geekdom now? Or can everyone post a tip here??

    • #2480623

      29. Your picture dimensions come in pixels as width x height. Picture dimensions are used in sizing.

      Also very important in sizing is pixels/inch (also called resolution). If you increase the pixels/inch 2x it will make the picture 1/2 the size it was.

      HTH, Dana:))

    • #2481995

      Maybe you should include a link to the comments thread for this thread in your byline geekdom.

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2482999

      Windows 10/11 drivers backup

      (run as administrator) :
      dism /online /export-driver /destination:”(drive:\folder)”

    • #2483756

      36. Some programs don’t require installation; these programs are portable. In general, the advantage of portable software is that the registry remains unchanged and if the program is no longer needed, it can be deleted rather than uninstalled.

      I saw #36 posted this way when it showed up in my e-mail. But, only the first sentence is in the post now.

      What other advantages are there to choosing to use a portable version of a program rather than an installable version of a program? I am guessing that you could put a portable program on a flash drive or on something like Dropbox. Then you could use the program on another PC, so long as it can access the flash stick or can access that cloud URL or has the cloud app on it.

      Could I put a portable version of a program on Dropbox, access the portable program via Dropbox on my iPad, and run the program on the iPad that way? Does the portable program have to be iOS compatible to run it on an iPad?

      For example, Firefox has a portable version. My iPad has only 16GB and it doesn’t have much more room for new apps. Could I put the portable version of FF on Dropbox and run it from my iPad?

    • #2483816

      Could I put a portable version of a program on Dropbox, access the portable program via Dropbox on my iPad, and run the program on the iPad that way? Does the portable program have to be iOS compatible to run it on an iPad?

      The answer is NO.
      Portable apps are Windows OS, not MacOS, iOS, iPad…

      * ~95%+ of my Windows software is portable. Exception are real-time A/V, security apps and a couple of apps with no portable versions (iTunes, Handbrake..)
      All portable apps are on drive D.

    • #2484106

      37. Think of your computer as a blackhole filing cabinet.

      Any materials entered can never be retrieved? 🤪

    • #2484485

      38. A bit is the smallest computer unit. It has a value of 0 (off) or 1 (on): binary math. 1 byte = 8 bits. Computer storage capacity is measured in bytes.

      Also, computer memory is measured in Bytes.  Your Internet connection speed however, is measured in Bits.  Divide your ISP speed by 8 to get your speed in Bytes.

      Being 20 something in the 70's was more fun than being 70 something in the 20's
    • #2485558

      41. If your hardware or software came with a manual, read the manual.

      I scan all new manuals (if I can’t download the pdf version of the manual) and save as pdf file. I keep a copy of theses pdfs on my iPhone for easy access like deciding on a part or accessory at the store or fixing the PC that the pdf manual is stored on and currently not accessible.  I usually discard the paper manuals once I have a pdf manual.

      Side tip: I also placed a pdf version of my personal recipe book and placed on my phone.  When shopping I can see exactly what ingredients I need for a recipe.

      HTH, Dana:))

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2489026

      51. Command Prompt (CMD) allows more direct access to your computer’s disk drives and uses DOS (disk operating system) commands. Learn (legacy) DOS commands.

      For reference and easy format to use, the link below is to a pdf with all of Windows Commands with example use. This is a large file of over 1500 pages and 7.7 MB, but the Table of Contents items are linked to the topic for easy navigation.  I had to place the file at my upload host because it exceeded the posting limit of 2 MB.  The download link is a free hosting site so you may see a popup ad…close the ad and download the PDF file.

      Command Prompt Commands

      HTH, Dana:))

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2489869

      what about .cmd files??

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2490708

      54.

      Alright, maggots!
      Drop and give me 50 BACKUPS!

      FYI: Unless we see the code underlying this, we have no idea how this could be a computer tip!!

      Since I subscribe, I get an e-mail that has the underlying code in it.

      54-BB-Code-for-size

    • #2490746

      And why is no one (you) responding to comments here? This where you requested comments be posted!

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2490773

        And why is no one (you) responding to comments here?

        Probably too busy being creative.

        This where you requested comments be posted!

        The request and this Topic were made to try to prevent the tips thread from being swamped by comments.

        • #2491200

          I know that, not a bad idea but I would expect the author to follow up here.

          🍻

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2492118

      If there is an error in the Daily Computer Tip, a correction to the tip will be placed with the tip. Errors can and will be addressed if there is a problem mentioned here.

      These daily tips provide guidance, general instructions, and starting points. They are an overview of your computer systems and address basic concepts. You may have developed other means or methods for performing tasks.

      On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
      offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
      online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1992 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox116.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
    • #2493325

      Item 64. Personally I’ve never liked named folders for photos. Mine are in date folders, the date being when the film was processed or for digital, date transferred to PC. All of those photos are captioned, tagged, dated (for the film ones) and geotagged. I can find whatever I want using those EXIF fields. You can have more than one tag, for example I have groups of people with all of them tagged, and I can also tag them with holiday destinations as well. It’s flexible and meets my needs. YMMV.

      I’ve got over 21,000 photos and my wife is always surprised when I can tell her when we did such and such quite quickly!

      Eliminate spare time: start programming PowerShell

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2495147

      Ref 62

      Clippy

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2496703

      66. Not only a ‘backup’ an ‘OS image backup’ on any significant OS changes.
      Better safe than saaarry…tooo bad!

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
    • #2496895

      72. Use zip ties to help organize your computer cords and cables. Don’t cinch anything tightly. You just want to keep from tripping over all the non-wireless stuff.

      I use split wire loom rather than zip ties.
      Covers all the wires rather than a tie every so often. Need to add or remove a wire – cut the zip tie and use another one (single use). Split wire loom can be reused over and over again and much easier to add and remove wires. Over time saves money and saves single use of plastic products to save on the amount of plastic waste. Split wire loom can’t be tighten to cut into the wire’s insulation.

      HTH, Dana:))

    • #2497602

      Tip 74.

      Ordered sometime ago a battery replacing my Lenovo’s Y530 swollen battery (4 years old). The part didn’t have the same part number.. but was close to the original specifications and had the same shape and connectors.
      Battery inserted, charging and works fine.

    • #2498167

      Thursday, November 24, 2022, is a U.S. holiday — Thanksgiving. No tip will be posted that day. (Think Cornish game hen.)

      No tip will be posted December 25, 2022 or January 1, 2023.

      This notice will appear regularly on Monday in this thread as a reminder.

      and where is the tip??

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2499254

        79. Learn some mathematics. Notations and concepts such as ratio, decimal, fraction, offset, symbol (< > =) are routinely used with computers.

        Maybe, the author of these tips is underestimating the AskWoody audience/membership????

        • #2501119

          Often simplicity is overlooked on assumptions these tips cater for everyone in computing whether advanced, intermediate or beginners. Well done @geekdom, keep it up!

          Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
    • #2501083

      85. Avoid free gift email offers. The offers are spam. They ain’t free. They ain’t no gift.

      My guess is that someone is phishing for your medicare number with these e-mails or posts.

    • #2502029

      87. When performing computer tests or troubleshooting, make only one change at a time. If you make multiple changes at once, you will have no idea what made computer system performance better or worse.

      Extremely good advice when testing troubleshooting anything, not just computers!

    • #2503383

      In tip number 91, you wrote

      When visiting websites, hover over any hyperlink with your mouse to see the actual (underlying) web address. If the underlying web address appears suspicious, avoid clicking on the link.

      Fantastic tip. BUT, there’s such a thing as miscreants using something called “punycode”, which uses certain (Cyrillic, I believe?) characters that look like Latin alphabetic characters, but really aren’t. It’s designed to make you think you’re going to a legit site, but you really aren’t if you click on the miscreants’ carefully crafted link.

      Firefox, for one, supports displaying said punycode, but the ability is turned off by default and must be enabled in it’s about:config page’s settings. The actual name of the item you’re looking for in about:config is “network.IDN_show_punycode” and it must be set to “true” by double clicking on it. That will allow you to see any effort to hide a nefarious site’s actual address with obfuscation.

      I would hope that the same applies to browsers that are forks of Firefox as well.

      However, I’m completely unsure as to the capabilities of Chrome or any Chrome-based browser for displaying punycode, since I completely avoid the use of Chrome itself and only use Edge when I absolutely have to.  🙁

      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2503425

        I would hope that the same applies to browsers that are forks of Firefox as well.

        I can confirm that setting does exists (and is set to true) in my SeaMonkey v2.53.14 which is a derivative of Firefox ESR 68.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2505149

        My thanks. An addendum to that tip will be added indicating that a valid address character can be replaced with a look-alike Unicode character that will redirect a user to  malicious site. These Unicode characters are very hared to detect visually. However, some browsers have settings to show this type of Unicode replacement (Punycode).

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        • #2505493

          91.5 A valid address character can be replaced with a look-alike Unicode character (Punycode) that will redirect a user to a malicious site. These Unicode characters are very difficult to detect visually. However, some browsers have settings to show this type of Unicode replacement.

          Sources:

          Another, earlier source here on AskWoody:
          a November 27, 2022 post by AskWoody MVP @Michael432. Horowitz provides a link to his Understanding Domain Name Rules.

          There, under the heading “DOMAIN NAME TRICKS” and 11 bullet points down, he describes punycode and provides a couple of references: 1) an April 14, 2017 online piece by Xudong Zheng, who discovered its use in URLs; and 2) a link to a Feb 19, 2018 tweet by Mattias Geniar in which the Firefox option to reveal punycode is illustrated.

    • #2504248

      94. For the holidays get yourself something low-tech and low-maintenance: warm socks and wool hat

      You are TOO funny!?! Love your humor!!

    • #2504309

      BUT, there’s such a thing as miscreants using something called “punycode”, which uses certain (Cyrillic, I believe?) characters that look like Latin alphabetic characters, but really aren’t

      Wikipedia knows all: Punycode

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2506050

      96. Check your computer settings often. Make sure your settings are as you want them.

      Is there a Powershell Command or a Command Prompt that will list all of the settings? Or alternatively, is there an App that will do this (and perhaps indicate what the default is)?

      There are SO MANY settings and I don’t know what I have changed and what still is set at the default.

      • #2506129

        …is there an App that will do this (and perhaps indicate what the default is)?

        Off the top of my head, I’d say that the best place for that type of thing would be the folks over at SysInternals, headed by Mark Russinovich, who have produced a plethora of unique utilities for helping folks handle the deeper machinations of Windows.

        I seem to recall seeing a link here on AskWoody to their site, especially when one or more of their utilities have an update available, however said link escapes me for now.  🙁

        If they don’t have such a utility, then it may not exist. I say that because the concept of tracking ALL of the settings within Windows that are user-or-Administrator-changeable is a VERY daunting task, especially when you have to also keep track of the setting’s default value.

    • #2506213

      is there an App that will do this (and perhaps indicate what the default is)?

      There are free tweak apps that help change settings and so will display current settings to change . Examples :

      Portable Winaero Tweaker
      O&O Shutup 10++

    • #2506239

      97. If you are unable to get something “right” on your computer the first time or many times, change things slightly — one at a time — and try again.

      Before you change anything make sure you can undo what you changed. Backups are good for undoing, but often you don’t want to make a new backup for a small change. Screenshots are good and fast ways to capture settings before changes to those settings. Windows 10 Clipboard manager will keep the last 25 captures. Captures can also be pasted into documents or photos to save for future reference.

      HTH, Dana:))

      • #2509871

        Before you change anything make sure you can undo what you changed. Backups are good for undoing, but often you don’t want to make a new backup for a small change.

        Often my “small” changes are in the registry.  I do want to make a new drive image after such successful changes.  From time to time the next small change can make a system un-bootable, or put it into a reboot loop.  Restoring a drive image makes that correction quite simple.

        <<<edited for clarity of concept>>>

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

        • #2509889

          I do want to make a new drive image after such changes.

          After?

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2509939

            After?

            I’ve edited my reply for clarity of concept.

            Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
            We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2509625

      104. Build a batch file (.bat) that copies your personal files and folders to an external device. Use this batch file often. When you “lose” an important-to-you file or folder, you can retrieve the copy quickly from your external device.

      Easier said than done. I’ve never written a batch file before, although I used to be familiar with writing other code — in PL/1, Cobol, JCL, HTML. Any advice on where to start learning to write batch files? This tip sounds like a good idea for me since I’ve been putting my personal files and folders on an external drive manually every month for the past three years!

      • #2509938

        It’s not that hard if you know DOS commands.  A batch file is essentially just a few, or a bunch of DOS commands written into a text file and saved as .bat instead of .txt.  There are some things to know to make them work better which can usually be found in any old DOS or Windows book.

        Being 20 something in the 70's was more fun than being 70 something in the 20's
    • #2511016

      108. Learn.

      All due respect, this should have been #1.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2511795

      Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

      OMG my mouse is dead 😧

      [Moderator edit] do not post your replies “directly” into the Daily Computer Tips topic!

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2512476

      109. Keep a spare computer mouse. If your mouse isn’t working, it’s probably your mouse and can be easily replaced. Try replacing the mouse first to see if the problem is resolved and before proceeding to other computer diagnostics.

      If yours is a wireless mouse, the first thing to check is its battery.

      • #2514712

        Clients that had ‘forgot’ input devices were wireless with dying batteries were a common false+ many years ago. Now it’s second nature for most to check batteries at first point of failure.

        Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
    • #2514594

      116. Forward slashes (/) are not backward slashes (\). Use the slashes precisely. Here is an example of each slash usage.

      Forward slashes are also used as “command line switches” when running a command.

      Such as ???.exe /help or ???.exe /? to display help for a particular command and dir /a to display all files and folders regardless of whether they’re hidden, system, junction points or symbolic links.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2514914

        This information might be addressed as other tips for other days with attribution to you. Thank you — DOS commands are complicated.

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    • #2527946

      Yes enjoy the apricity! 🌞

      [Moderator edit] please DO NOT post replies directly into the Daily Computer Tip forum!

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2527985

      133. Units of measure come in two flavors: English and metric. Learn how to convert between English and metric units for length, mass, and temperature.

      The Windows Calculator app’s Converter functions are very helpful for this.

      Regards, Phil

    • #2528004

      133. Units of measure come in two flavors: English and metric. Learn how to convert between English and metric units for length, mass, and temperature.

      It’s Imperial and Metric.  “The units of measurement are the units that are used to represent physical quantities like length, mass, temperature, current, area, volume, intensity, etc.”

       

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2533274

      I always double check a link I post to be sure it actually works and goes to the right place. Many people don’t take this step unfortunately!

      :W10Pro 21H2 19044.2364
      Dell OptiPlex 990

    • #2535548

      155. Tag, label the tag, and organize your important flash drives so you can find them when you need them. Such drives include rescue drives, downloads, and operating system installation drives.

      Additional tips to go with this.

      Get a package of key tags from office supply stores or Walmart. Round tags come with ring clip for attachment.

      Hang flash drives on a keyboard. Flash drives bouncing around in a drawer get damage and debris in connector end.

      For the recovery bootable flash drive that I use to boot to restore an image: I have a DVD case with a home made paper insert labeled Image Recovery and inside the case is written step by step instructions (specific for 3 different PCs running Windows 10) on how to restore an image and the bootable recovery flash drive. All in one DVD case on my DVD shelf when ever needed.

      HTH, Dana:))

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2546566

      185. Surprise! Your computer system may update without notice or warning, Create an image backup to counter any surprise update.

      Not if you run Linux Mint where you still have complete control over the updating system. 😀

      But always an excellent point to create image backups regardless of what OS is in use.

    • #2547644

      188. Find a computer mouse that works well for you. Your computer equipment works for you, not you for it.

      Totally agree and, once you’ve found it, be sure to purchase multiples so you’ll have a replacement when it finally dies.

      Mice typically last 4-5 years before needing replacement (i.e. the switches stop working) and I found out the hard way that’s normally long enough for a particular make/model to no longer be available… nothing worse than trying to find a new mouse with the same feel & features you’ve come to depend on!

      Last time I had to buy a new one, Sep 2018, my old “preferred” one (a Logitech M305) was no longer available! After trying out a bunch of different “trial” mice at my local Office Depot, I bought 4 Logitech M325’s and still have 3 unused ones stored away.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2547655

        I bought 4 Logitech M325’s and still have 3 unused ones stored away

        I have 3 M325s for my three laptops. I really like them. One is 7 years old and still working, but now that I’ve read your advice, I’m getting a few new ones to stash away.

      • #2548459

        I prefer trackballs rather than mice. I have 4 systems with 4 trackballs.

        The Logitech wireless keyboard and trackball that is my daily driver that is so ancient that there is no model number on the keyboard, just “Logitech Cordless Keyboard.” The label on the trackball says “Logitech Trackman II.” The label is almost illegible.

        The set is at least 20 years old.

    • #2552361

      yes it is

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2562505

      Abstract Art.

    • #2564736

      248. Computer hoaxes are not designed to make sense. Computer hoaxes are designed to provoke an immediate reaction. If you perform the desired computer hoax action, you will compromise your computer.

      I get your point here. But, in understanding that a hoax is designed to provoke an immediate reaction, one takes time and asks “Does it make sense?” Hoaxes do not.

    • #2569416

      type

      Remember, depending on your typewriter, your font style might be pica.

      Pica and Elite only applies to the keys used on typewriters and it refers to the Pitch (i.e. how many characters per inch) they each took up on a sheet of paper not the font.

        Pica = 10 cpi

        Elite = 12 cpi

      The pitch on typewriters was determined by the actual physical key at the end of the type-bar or type-ball and, other than those models which had “removable” type-balls, couldn’t be changed.

      And regardless of whether the font was Serif (small lines attached to the end of larger strokes like Bookface) or San-serif (no small lines attached to the end of larger strokes like Letter Gothic) it was always mono-spaced (i.e. Pica was always 10 cpi and Elite was always 12 cpi)

      BTW, a particular typewriter font could be both Pica and Elite. I know for a fact that IBM Selectric typewriters had “interchangeable” Pica and Elite type-balls that used the same Prestige font set because I had to use one during my military career (“official” correspondence required Elite, “official” tech manuals/training instructions required Pica.)

      Nether term has any bearing whatsoever on the fonts used for PC’s because the space between characters (kerning) is controlled by special code in each different “font file” and, unless you’re using a “mono-spaced” font like Courier New, it’s not fixed like it is on typewriters (i.e. variable-spaced fonts won’t be “## characters per inch” because the space between each character varies from character to character.)

      Also, unlike typewriters, you can change the size of characters in PC fonts (i.e. larger size characters take up more space and will have less characters per inch where smaller characters take up less space and will have more characters per inch.)

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2569445

        My outtake was a small joke depending upon old-style typewriters, anachronism, and current usage. Apparently, it fell flat and I will include your information as clarification.

        Anachronism:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anachronism

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