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Windows 10 Anniversary Upgrade

A picture (slide show) is worth a thousand words.  Here’s a synopsis of several well-regarded tech outlets regarding the latest “anniversary” upgrade for Windows 10. Including how to postpone and manage the update installation schedule.

(Click on any slide to link to the original article)

[huge_it_slider id=”2″]

 

 

 

Windows 10 Upgrade Deadline July 29

Let’s start with a quick caveat (e.g. CYA) from the “about this blog” page.  “… we cannot assume liability for any actions you take as the result of reading this blog.” There’s a reason for this: time is money.  And, even though most cases we know of have gone without a hitch, there have also been a few that didn’t.  And recovering the data and PC configurations took them (or their contractor*) several hours.

This graphic links to another good article from CNET about Windows10

This graphic links to another good article from CNET about Windows10

Our view on the looming deadline for a free upgrade to WIndows 10 is this: If you haven’t yet, and your system is meeting your needs, why bother? Consider the time/effort required, and then weigh them against the potential benefits. Sure, it’ll save you $120, but why? Here’s another perspective from our friends at CNET:

If you do decide to upgrade, we recommend backing up both your data (desktop, downloads, music, pics, documents, etc) as well as making a complete disk image (incase you need/want to revert back afterwards). Then, set aside at least a couple of hours when your pc won’t be used, to allow for the download, and another hour or so for the actual installation.

VISTA USERS:  Read this article from the NY Times.  We certainly agree with their approach and suggestions!


*Footnote: From the “about this blog” page: Since 2010, Piedmont has been focused exclusively on internet-based services such as websites, email, and social media.  However, we still get questions about pc’s, viruses, wi-fi, and various tech gadgets. PC Support and Tech Tips posts are intended to offer guidance and provide the benefits of our own experiences.  If you need assistance locating a PC repair outlet, please send an email to service@piedmonttechnology.net.

How to find Internet Explorer after Windows10 upgrade

We had two frantic calls for help in a single day from clients who couldn’t find their Internet Explorer browser after upgrading to Windows10.  “My bookmarks are gone!”  “I don’t like this ‘Edge’ browser!”  And so on…save IE to taskbar

Relax – despite Microsoft’s attempts to get you to use it’s new “Edge” browser, your trusty old IE is still there.  In this post, we’ll show you how to access it, and create a shortcut in your task bar (that small horizontal bar across the bottom of your Windows screen) so it’s only 1 click away.  Not only is IE there, your bookmarks and other settings will be there as well.

Start by simply typing (without quotes) “Internet Explorer” into the search box at the bottom, left (small rectangle that’s usually pre-populated with “Search the web and Windows”).  At or near the top of the results, you’ll see the familiar logo and the words “Desktop App.”  Simply right-click on that logo and select “Pin to Taskbar.”  You’ll then see it, along with other shortcuts, along the bottom of your screen:

ietaskbar

 

 

Make your browser work for you (instead of the other way around) by having it open your regular “go-to” pages automatically.  This example is for Internet Explorer, and can easily be applied to Chrome, Firefox, Safari and other browsers.

Start by going to the gear icon and from the drop down, select Internet Options :1

On the resulting page, either enter (include http:// before the www…) the address of the websites you want opened by default, or go back and open the ones you use most and return here and select “use current.”  This example will open a Google page and my own website everytime I launch IE.  Don’t forget to click the Apply buttom at the bottom.  2

Note: Opening more than 3 or 4 tabs concurrently may slow down your PC’s responsiveness.

Merging cells in Excel without loosing data
It’s easy to highlight a couple of adjacent cells and click on the mergexcl icon to make the two become one.  Using this method, you’ll end up with only the data from one cell.  But, what if you want the CONTENTS of both cells to be merged? (example – a column of last names and a column of first names merged into a single column that shows “last name, first name”)  Here’s how:
  1. Select the cell in which you want to combine the contents of other cells.
  2. To start the formula, type =(
  3. Select the first cell that contains the text that you want to combine, type &” “&(with a space between the quotation marks), andthenselect the next cellthat contains the text that you want to combine.
    To combine the contents of more than two cells, continue selecting cells, making sure to type &” “& between selections. If you don’t want to add a space between combined text, type & instead of &” “&. To insert a comma, type &”, “& (with a comma followed by a space between the quotation marks).
  4. To finalize the formula, type )
  5. To see the results of the formula, press ENTER.

Once you have the first cell combination looking right, you can copy it down the length of the column and, voila! — you’re done.  Don’t forget – if you want to take the resulting column and paste it into another spreadsheet or another column – select what you want –> right click + “copy” –> select the destination –> right click + PASTE SPECIAL and then select “values.”  This will copy/paste the results of your formula instead of copying the formula itself (which would likely generate errors).

It’s easy to highlight a couple of adjacent cells and click on the merge icon to make the two become one.  Using this method, you’ll end up with only the data from one cell.  What if you want the CONTENTS of both cells to also be merged? (example – a column of last names and a column of first names merged into a single column that shows “last name, first name”)  Here’s how:
  1. Select the cell in which you want to combine the contents of other cells.
  2. To start the formula, type =(
  3. Select the first cell that contains the text that you want to combine, type &” “&(with a space between the quotation marks), andthenselect the next cellthat contains the text that you want to combine.
    To combine the contents of more than two cells, continue selecting cells, making sure to type &” “& between selections. If you don’t want to add a space between combined text, type & instead of &” “&. To insert a comma, type &”, “& (with a comma followed by a space between the quotation marks).
  4. To finalize the formula, type )
  5. To see the results of the formula, press ENTER.
Once you have the first cell combination looking right, you can copy it down the length of the column and, voila! — you’re done.  Don’t forget – if you want to take the resulting column and paste it into another spreadsheet or another column – select what you want –> right click + “copy” –> select the destination –> right click + PASTE SPECIAL and then select “values.”  This will copy/paste the results of your formula instead of copying the formula itself (which would likely generate errors).
Today’s Tech Tip

Turn off the beaters you used to whip up the pumpkin pie topping…

trky

 before you lick them!

Today, we’re reminded that gratitude is wanting what we have – instead
of having to have what we want.  Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends
from Piedmont Technology!

click for larger image

Did you get an alert about updating Java from Oracle?  If so, by all means accept it and keep your system current.  However, be aware that (by default) the updater will install one of those annoying add-on’s to your web browser.  Just be sure to UN-check the box (see picture at right) highlighted in yellow in this screen capture before continuing the installation.

 

I’ve had several people ask, “How can I take advantage of the free apps offered by Google?”  In particular, how to best use  Google Drive (formerly known as Google Docs).   Here is a synopsis, as well as some links to reputable onlilne resources that will help you make the most of your Google account.

If you have a g’mail account, you have a Google Drive account.  It provides 15 gig of free online storage.  Terms, conditions, capacity, and privacy are per Google’s policies.  Know that information stored under your profile can be scanned for keywords that are then used for things like targeted ads.  If you’re comfortable with the above, read on!  (If not, email me or watch this space for an update on Piedmont’s personal cloud storage offering).

Step 1. Login to your google account and click the matrix of squares4-2-2014 9-52-17 AM (box of 9, small squares in top, right corner).  From there, select “Drive.”  You’ll see a prompt (like this) to install an4-2-2014 8-52-13 AM extension that will let you access your Google Drive account from a folder on your PC.  Click it — and you’re there!

And, as promised, here are some links to reputable online resources that dive deeper into the “how-to’s” for this and other Google apps:

Described in layman’s terms, from an end-user perspective. eye-magnifying-glass-small (you’ll have to endure a few seconds of advertisement, but well worth the view)  

Link to Video:  Computer virus locking important files targets local business http://t.co/f7V4nYevnd

For a limited time, Piedmont is offering a comprehensive PC 2-12-2014 11-39-18 AMmigration package for $225, that takes the effort out of upgrading, and the risk out of using, Windows XP or Office 2003 beyond Microsoft’s offical cutoff date.  Details…

A compendium of thoughts, reflections, and suggestions regarding life online.

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