Here is something they can try for free. Microsoft is offering free tutorials and also streaming live tutorials daily on their MakeCode site. There are several to choose from for learning computing.
Circuit Playground Express
LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3
For Windows 10 computer owners, they also have apps for micro:bit, Adafruit, and Cue by Wonder Workshop.
For some of the courses you may need some peripheral products. The micro:bit computer can run about $20. The circuit for Adafruit Circuit Playground Express runs about $25.
Find out more: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/makecode
Adafruit Circuit: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3333
micro:bit computer: https://store.birdbraintechnologies.com/collections/featured-items/products/micro-bit
Technology is all about change. Thinkgs are in constant state of flux as you have to get used to changes as they come around.
One change we have recently found was that Microsoft will start flagging double spaces after periods. The new norm is one space after sentences. Back in the day of typewriters, we were always taught to make 2 spaces after a sentence. In the world of web development, when you try to put in two spaces, it will ignore one of them in most cases unless you use an editor, then it might force the second space in with code.
If you run a search about using one or two spaces, you will see there is a lot of controversy about this subject. Most of the ones against 2 spaces say only old people (over 40) use 2 spaces. Then people cite older versions of APA guides that say to use 2.
Another change we came across was kind of weird. We had recently updated a PC’s software and then every time we do a restart, it opens up MS Publisher. I looked in the startup programs and it wasn’t there. It must be I had MS Publisher open when I started the update. It turns out that a new setting can cause this. To fix this, go to Settings >> Accounts >> Sign-in options >> Privacy – toggle off “Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device and reopen my apps after an update or restart.”
It was recently reported that Microsoft was going to stop development and in the future remove the My People app from Windows version 1909. Some other changes are the Driver model for Remote Desktop.
Full list of Windows 10 features no longer being developed: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/planning/windows-10-deprecated-features
Full list of features that have been removed: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/planning/windows-10-removed-features
It kind of reminds me of the old song, “Let My People Go”. This phrase was first spoken by Moses in Exodus when he was trying to get Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt.
Here is a video of a walk through the years of Microsoft. In Microsoft the Musical, where they say “It’s all happening here!,” 150 interns spent their free time outside work hours (mornings, evenings, weekends) making this video in eight weeks from start to finish.
It brings you on a journey of Bill Gates and what he achieved. They acknowledge the problem with Vista, as well as the Windows Phone. Their mission is to empower every person to achieve more.
Remember Microsoft Paint? Usually it is disparaged by people, especially those who have access to something more powerful like Photoshop.
Microsoft has added some new features to MS Paint that are to be included in the Windows 10 May 2019 update. The most key new feature is that the keyboard will be used as the primary input. This will give users the added ability to draw only with their keyboard.
In keeping with the accessibility features, they have also improved the way Paint interacts with screen readers like Windows Narrator.
See more information along with the keyboard shortcuts illustrated.
There is an extension for the Chrome browser called Windows Defender Browser Protection. It extends your Defender protection to include your browser. It will keep you from accidentally clicking to phishing site. You can also turn the protection on or off. If you click to a link from an email it will help by reporting to you that the website is unsafe.
After you install it on your browser, you will see a small defender icon on the top of your browser. You can click it and then you will see the dropdown (shown below). You can turn on or off temporarily.
Get the extension for Chrome here.
Learn more about how it works from Microsoft.
You can purchase Office [Year] as a standalone program or purchase a subscription service to Office 365.
Office 2016 (current edition) will run $149.99 and licenses one user on one PC. It includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
Office 365 Home or Personal will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. It also includes 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage space and 60 minutes per month of Skype calls per user. This will run $99.99/year (or $9.99/month) for Home and $69.99/year (or $6.99/month) for Personal. Personal is for 1 user only. Home is for up to 5 users. It also includes apps for devices (including Apple products).
When you have Office 365, you also get the latest Office software. It also has automatic billing so you won’t ever run out. With Office 365, you also get support for any issues.
When Office 2019 is available later this year, it will require you to have Windows 10.
When the Victor crew was notified of the Windows 10 Creators Update, we scratched our heads. What in the world is that? Why would I need it?
There is a new Gaming category in Settings. When in game mode it will make the experience smoother.
You can use the new Paint 3D app to make 3D drawings along with 360 degree view.
There is feature that allows you keep open tabs by setting them aside so you don’t have to favorite them but put them aside for small projects you may be working on.
Microsoft Edge becomes the default eBook reader. You can customize the eBook as you are reading it, highlight parts, set bookmarks. You can also change the screen for night use.
There is a setting for Mixed Reality that works with HoloLens VR headsets.
Plan and measure trips on Maps. You can share them with others.
There’s a new privacy dashboard to allow you to set your own security settings.
Mini View allows you to keep a video in a small window.
The first of these updates were rolled out April 11, 2017.
The Jody Victor crew ran across an article that is truly disturbing.
A flaw in Microsoft Office given the ID CVE-2017-0199 has quite a history. This vulnerability allowed remote attackers to use Microsoft products to execute arbitrary code and take over computers. Ryan Hanson found the flaw last year. He spent some time to see if it could be made more deadly before contacting Microsoft in October 2016. Microsoft did not patch this right away. If they told people of a change in Word settings that would fix the flaw, then word would be out that there was a flaw with more ramifications.
They decided to release a fix in a later update. However, they sat on it and took their time. They started working on a solution in January but attacks had already begun. Through links in email, computers were infected with software that allowed eavesdropping. McAfee saw some attacks on April 6 of this year and blogged about it April 7. April 9, a program was for sale underground for hackers to exploit the flaw. On Tuesday, April 11, the flaw was finally patched in an update.
They don’t know how many computers were hacked or how much money was stolen before this exploit was patched. If you don’t automatically patch your PC, please do so now!
So Microsoft has an event scheduled for October 26 at 10 am EDT in NYC. They say to join them to find out what is next for Windows 10. One can only speculate…
While we’re on the subject of Windows 10, did you know you can ‘write’ in the Edge browser and save it as a note to OneNote? If you have a touch enabled device you can use your finger or a stylus. If not, your mouse will work.
First you need to enable your “pen.” This is in the top right corner of the Edge browser.
Next you need to choose the type (pen or highlighter), color, and size. This will show up on the left hand side of the browser after you enable the pen.
Then you can write on your page and save it as a note for later.
The Victor crew.
Google has a way to teach kids how to code. Not with a computer but with blocks. Called Project Bloks, it allows kids to learn some skills they need for programming.
They us a brain board based on Raspberry Pi to provide connection to the program and each individual “puck” can be the instructions that go to the brain board to move it. Toys can take any form. Check out the video:
Apple has a way to teach coding in Swift using an app on their iPad. Solve puzzles to learn the basics of Swift. Find out more here: https://www.apple.com/swift/playgrounds/
Not to be outdone, Microsoft also has a way to teach concepts using Minecraft Education Edition. You can find out about it here: http://education.minecraft.net/
We’re sure if you’re an adult you won’t get demerits for trying this out.
The Victor crew
So one of Jody’s crew decided to make the leap and install Windows 10. So how does it work? It went pretty well upgrading from Windows 7 to 10. It installs just like a regular update … it just takes a bit longer. When it was ready on my computer, it just popped up that it updates were ready from the small app icon on the task bar.
So the big difference is the start menu. It is basically a hybrid between the Windows 7 and Windows 8 look. What you used to call programs are now called apps. As we continue to use Windows 10, we will go over some solutions to make it easier to navigate.
You betcha! According to the Microsoft Windows Blog, Windows 10 will launch this summer in 190 countries and in 111 languages. If you are currently running Windows 7 or newer, you will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Once upgraded they will keep Windows 10 current for the lifetime of the device. An older post told about the possibility of Windows 10 being free. It has since been confirmed by Microsoft.
In an attempt to make Windows 10 more personal, Microsoft is introducing Windows Hello. So what is it? It’s biometric authentication. This will provide you with instant access to all your Windows 10 devices. Show your face or touch your finger to devices running Windows 10 and you will be instantly recognized. They say this is more secure than a password. If you currently have a device that has a fingerprint reader, you should be able to use Windows Hello to unlock the device. For facial or iris detection, it will be able to tell if it’s really you or a picture of you through infrared technology.
Or should we say bigger!
Microsoft just announced that you will now have 15GB free (up from 7GB). They want to make it easier for people to have all their stuff in one place.
All versions of Office 365 will come with 1TB of OneDrive storage space. For Office 365 Home users that’s 1TB/up to 5 people.
Without Office 365, you can purchase more space: $1.99/month for 100GB (was $7.49) and $3.99/month for 200GB (was $11.49).
~ Jody Victor
Why not get both in one? Microsoft just came out with Surface Pro 3. It claims to be both a laptop and a tablet. As a hybrid, it runs Windows 8.1 Pro. There are different price points based on the type of processor/RAM/storage. They range from Intel Core i3 to i7; 4-8 GB RAM; 64-512 GB Storage. The prices range from $799 to $1,949.
The Keyboard/Cover is considered an accessory and has to be purchased separately for $129.99. It’s height is .4″, width is 11.5″, depth is 7.9″ and weight is 1.8 pounds. The display is HD touchscreen and diagonal screen measurement is 12″. It comes with and SD card slot, front facing webcam at 5.0MP. The Camera is 5.0MP. It has 1 USB port.
Most people know by now that the second Tuesday of the month is known as Patch Tuesday for users of Microsoft Windows. Maybe you didn’t know this and just thought the updates and patches just came whenever. Maybe you don’t fire your laptop every day or just don’t pay attention to the timing.
It is important to put these updates and patches in as soon as possible or you could be a victim of “Exploit Wednesday.” The patches are analyzed by hackers to see what vulnerabilities are being patched and have that open window of time to exploit the vulnerability.
If you haven’t installed any updates in a while, go to Windows Update and it will check for updates. If there are updates, install them. Then check for updates again. There are some that have to be installed before others so there may still be some updates you missed. This will be especially true tomorrow for users of Windows 8.1. You need to have installed the April patches to get all the updates for May.
So the next time your system reminds you that you have updates to install, don’t delay – do them as soon as you can!
Microsoft will end support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. So what does that mean?
It really means a lot and is a big deal, volumes have been written, lawsuits are beginning from companies that claim they have custom software that can’t be migrated and on and on and on. So here are few points to consider from some one that loves his Dell 4400 laptop that can’t be upgrade so it now sits in a bag.
1. There will be no more security updates or patches for XP or the IE browsers that run on XP!
2. Much of the newest web technology will not display or run correctly on older IE browsers that XP supports.
3. Your favorite software programs may not continue to to be supported and updated.
4. Older versions of IE that XP will run are already security risks and will continue to degrade.
Microsoft is almost begging people to upgrade to Windows 8 and will pay you to do it, they are offering a $50 gift card if you buy a new machine with Windows 8.
If you decide to keep running XP consider the following suggestions:
1. Run the machine offline, if you do not need the computer in question to be online then physically take it offline (unplug it!)
2. Quit using IE and switch immediately to the latest version of the Firefox or Chrome web browser and keep it updated.
3. Obtain and deploy the latest greatest anti-virus software and run it and keep it up to date.
Remember: There will be no more security updates or patches for XP or the IE browsers that run on XP!
It is estimated that there are approximately 18,000,000,000 (18 million) computers world wide that will still be running XP on April 9, 2014 which is a huge target for Malicious Software Developers (hackers and virus developers) and they will go after these machines.
The decision is yours but Remember, There will be no more security updates or patches for XP or the IE browsers that run on XP After April 8, 2014!
~ Jody Victor
Can’t decide what you want? Well, Jody‘s crew found that there’s a phone coming out that will run both Windows and Android. Karbonn Mobile is looking to develop a dual boot Android-Windows phone! It is set to release in June.
Apple is working on a new integrated iPhone voice-control system. It will allow drivers to control their iPhones via touch and voice. It will allow a driver to access their contacts, phone calls, listen to voicemails all with both hands on the wheel. CarPlay will debut in Farrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show this week. CarPlay will also be available in cars from BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota Motor Corp. Maybe a reason to choose iPhone?
~ Jody Victor
Microsoft just launched their new OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) today. If you already have an account, you can log into it now and find all your stuff. To celebrate, they gave away 10 petabytes of storage (that’s 1×107 GB!) For those of us who missed out, if you signed up for early notification, you can still claim 20 GB for the next year for free. Find out more about it here.
~ Jody Victor
Yes, Microsoft SkyDrive. Only it won’t be called SkyDrive for much longer. It will be changing its name to OneDrive. They want to emphasize that it’s one place to keep all your stuff (photos, videos, files, etc.) SkyDrive Pro will become OneDrive for Business. One nice feature about this cloud drive is that you can access other computers’ files by using an access code and allowing that device/computer to fetch files. Nice when traveling. You’ll just have to leave your main computer on so you can access it.
~ Jody Victor
Microsoft and Godaddy have partnered to make it easier small businesses to use Office 365. The email will be connected to your domain name. Plans start at $3.99 per user per month for 5GB storage. This includes 2GB storage on SkyDrive. The other plans offer 50GB email storage and 25GB storage on SkyDrive for $8.99 per user per month; for $12.49 per user per month, you get full access to Office 365 with desktop apps on up to 5 PCs and Macs and access to mobile apps on iPhone, Android, and Windows phone.
>PCWorld Magazine stops print issues.
After 30 years, the current August 2013 issue will be the last. You will only be able to get the online version, also in digital format on most mobile devices.
Find out how the NSA got encrypted messages from Microsoft.
Dropbox is ready to connect all your devices/apps.
~ Jody Victor
So here are some links to some articles and items new in tech this week:
Microsoft has new 2-step verification process for Microsoft accounts (formerly Windows Live ID), including SkyDrive, Outlook.com, and Messenger.
Google Glass Explorer editions will be rolling out in early May. They should be available by the end of the year for under $1,500.
CGI iPhones video
Roku 3 came last month. Here is a new review.
Some people have bought the Microsoft Surface tablet thinking they were getting Windows 8 when they really got Windows RT. So what’s the difference? Windows 8 is a full OS like you would have on any laptop or desktop. Windows RT is a mobile OS that works with apps rather than programs. If you want a full Office Suite on your tablet, then you want Windows 8, but if you can settle for an app, you can use Windows RT. Some other differences are price, size, weight, thickness, connectivity. You can find a full comparison chart here.
So depending on what you want to use a Surface tablet for, you can find the correct one to purchase.
~ Jody Victor