Category: About Computers

Security For Everyone – Reviewing McAfee Total Security 2015

The last time we tested McAfee’s security products we were quite disappointed. However, a new version is now available, so things might have changed in the meantime. We thoroughly tested McAfee Total Security 2015 for a week and we’re ready to share our conclusions with you. Read this review to learn about “the good, the bad & the ugly” of using McAfee security products on your Windows computer.

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5 reasons to love the new Outlook for iOS and Android apps

Tony Bradley lists five reasons why you should start using the new Outlook for Mobile app.

Two months ago, Microsoft acquired Acompli, a developer of email apps for iOS and Android. Last week, Microsoft launched a new Acompli — rebranded as Outlook for Mobile. The new Outlook app is a significant improvement over Microsoft’s OWA app.

When I wrote about the Acompli acquisition, I listed three possible benefits that Acompli could bring to the Outlook experience. Microsoft delivered on all three, plus a couple of bonus benefits. Here are five reasons you should start using the new Outlook for Mobile app.

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Enable Thumbnails For Video, Audio & Image Files In Windows/File Explorer

Windows Explorer or File Explorer may show thumbnail previews for all kinds of files, like “.avi” movie files but they may not show thumbnail previews for “.flv” (Flash Video) or “.mkv” (Matroska Video) files. Luckily, with the help of an application named Media Preview you can enable thumbnail previews for multiple file extensions. It works for video, audio and image formats and you can set how each thumbnail preview looks like. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Download & Install Media Preview

First, you need to download and install the Media Preview application. You can find the download link here: Media Preview, media file thumbnailing for Windows.

Run the setup file that you have downloaded and, during the installation process, make sure that you select all shell extensions, so that you can set the thumbnails for all types of supported files.

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How To Change The Default Playback & Recording Audio Device

One of the many creative options built into Windows is the ability to record and play back multimedia files. Windows even makes it simple by selecting a default device for audio recording and playback, but what if you’d prefer that another device be used? Let’s take a look at how to change the default and how to troubleshoot certain problems.

Working With Audio Devices In Windows

Before we make any changes, it’s important to know what we’re dealing with. We record audio using microphones, for example, and play them back through speakers. We can also record sounds from devices inside the computer, like the optical drive, and playback through headphones. Many people have more than one device attached (like the microphone included in a web cam plus a standalone microphone plus a microphone built into a headset) and it’s important to pick a default so the sound is recorded and played back with the highest fidelity. You don’t want your voice to sound like you’re in an empty hallway because your default is the webcam microphone three feet away from you instead of the microphone in your headset or on your desk.

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7 Ways To Open File Explorer In Windows 8.1

Some of our readers have asked us about several methods for opening File Explorer. Some of them lost the File Explorer shortcut from the taskbar while others simply wanted to know more than one way of opening this Windows 8.1 application. To help you out, we decided to share all the ways we know for openingFile Explorer. Let’s get started:

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APCUG – Virtual Technology Conference, February 21

Member-of-APCUG-Square-200-WideAPCUG’s FREE 2015 Winter Virtual Technology Conference (VTC) will be held on Saturday, February 21, from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight time. The sessions are 50 minutes in length and offer attendees the opportunity to ask questions via a chat window. Videos from earlier conferences can be found on APCUG’s YouTube channel

  • To register for this VTC, please click on the below link:

  • This link is where you can view the presenter bios and, after the conference, you can download the handouts and get links to the videos.

Spread the word by forwarding this e-mail to your members. VTCs are a great way for them to expand their technology experience and be introduced to new skills. Below are the sessions that are currently scheduled.

If you would like further information, please send an email to


Windows 10 Demo

Bill James, VP of Operations, Computer Club of Oklahoma City; APCUG Advisor, Region 8

Windows 8 was a hard sell for many people who were very happy with Windows 7 and they are still using Win 7. Windows 10 starts a new conversation about the Windows operating system that desktop and touch-screen end users are sure to appreciate.

Win10 addresses many of the complaints or concerns that occurred with Windows 8. The focus is the desktop which will be the default screen for many users with a revised Start Menu which is similar to the start menu of previous versions of Windows. Bill’s presentation will be about the desktop and pointing out the similarities of Windows 10 with Windows 7 and 8 plus pointing out some of the features that, hopefully, will make it to the final version. Bring your questions for Bill. He has been using Win 10 since its release and has given many demos to his group as well as other groups via Webinar.

Linux Software Superstore

John Kennedy, Training Chair & Linux SIG Co-leader, East Central Ohio Technology Users Club; APCUG Advisor, Regions 6 & 7

John will share information about the wide choices of free software available to the Linux user. He will have examples of software that relates to all the common computer tasks we do on a day to day basis. Attendees will see that running a Linux operating system doesn’t hinder them doing anything. A lot of the software John uses is also available for Windows and even Mac’s.

The Secrets of Making Chrome a Solid Computer

Stew Bottorf, Linux SIG Leader, Tampa Bay Computer Society

Chromebooks, Chromebases and Chromeboxes are for sale everywhere at very favorable prices compared to Windows 8 computers. They are often thought inferior to “real Windows” computers but Chromebooks are perfect for most of our group members. They cannot catch viruses and are always backed up but can they be made productive offline? This presentation shows with proper app selections the Chromebook, Chromebase or Chromebox are real gems that work both online and offline at a fraction of the heavier computer complexity, price, weight and battery power. I value my Chromebook and often use it in place of more complex units sitting on the shelf.

Marketing Your User Group on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, Sabrina Watson

Sabrina Watson, President, Crystal Rivers Computer Users Group; APCUG Advisor, Region 9

We’re all looking for new members for our groups; this presentation will give you some ideas on how to accomplish that using social media.


How Secure is My Device?

Jere Minich, Program Chair, Lake-Sumter Computer Society; APCUG Advisor, Region 5

We need to make informed decisions when using any electronic device. Tips for keeping your mobile devices secure and malware free.


Using VMware Player to Create a Virtual Machine

Francis Chao, Member, WINdows ERS, Greater South Bay User Group, and the Tucson Computer Society

This presentation will be a hands-on demo of VMware Player as Francis installs the new Windows 10 Pro Technical Preview program. Some of the reasons for using a Virtual Machine is to be secure when surfing the Internet, downloading programs, trying a new operating system, testing software, etc. and this demo covers three of the reasons: downloading programs, trying a new OS and testing software. VMware Player is the only virtual machine program that communicates reliably with USB devices such as printers, external fax/data modems, and flash drives.


Google Glass

Mark Richards, Corporate IT Application Administrator for Range Resources, Oklahoma

Although interest in Glass has cooled over the last year, Mark remains a strong supporter of the technology. His presentation will be an overview of Glass and some of its potentials. It is a wearable, voice-controlled Android device that resembles a pair of eyeglasses and displays information directly in the user’s field of vision. If it doesn’t go forward, the technology is there to be used in other cutting-edge products.


​Judy Taylour, Chair
Virtual Technology Committee

2015 APCUG International Computer & Digital Technology Conference

2015 APCUG International Computer & Digital Technology Conference

September 25-27, 2015

Palace Station Hotel & Casino

Las Vegas, Nevada

 Whether you are a computer or mobile device user, you will find sessions that will be beneficial to you. It doesn’t matter whether you are using a Windows-based, Linux, and/or Mac computer or an Android or Apple mobile device, many programs and applications have cross-platform functionality: there will be something that piques your interest. Or interests you – this was just a different wording instead of piques – someone needed to make a decision on which one to use.

Workshops include: Digital Photography, Microsoft’s Windows Server, “iPad instead of a PC,” Facebook, Instagram, Linux, Internet Security, Social media, “Traveling with your iPad,” plus many more.

Your registration fee allows you to choose from the 20 or more presentations. As an attendee, you will receive a welcome bag with vendor items, various discounts and special pricing order forms. Additionally, you will be eligible to win door prizes. Several meal events are planned where you can network with other attendees.

Conference reservations will be handled through Eventbrite at:

Fee Schedule

Early Bird Registration – $85 through June 30

Regular Registration – $100 July 1 through July 31

Late and On-site Registration – $120 August 1 through the conference.

  • Hotel Registration: Palace Station Reservation Department at 1-800-634-3101
  • Identify yourself as attending the APCUG conference (group code PCIAPCU)
  • When you make your hotel reservation be sure to request a Boarding Pass card; it will give you discounted meals at the hotel restaurants.
  • Room reservations come with access to pools and Jacuzzis, shuttles, fitness gym, and 24-hour Business Center.
  • Conference rate for Courtyard rooms: $55 Friday and Saturday ($30 per day three days prior to and after the conference)
  • Conference rate for Tower rooms: $79 Friday and Saturday ($49 per day three days prior to and after the conference)
  • Conference rates are based on reservations made through September 8, 2015
  • After the cut-off date, any new reservations, date or other changes to an existing reservation will be accepted based upon space rate availability.
  • The conference rate cannot be changed at check-in or check-out for guests who fail to request the APCUG conference rate. A credit card and one night’s room rate and tax must be provided for deposit. If the deposit information is not received within 14 days from the date the room reservation was made, the reservation will be canceled.
  • Reservations can also be made using this Conference URL:

The Palace Station Hotel & Casino is conveniently located a few minutes from the Las Vegas strip.


How to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview: Everything you need to know

Are you ready to walk on the wild side? Windows 10 is on the horizon, and even though it’s still roughly three-quarters of a year away from completion, Microsoft’s giving IT Pros and PC enthusiasts an early taste of what’s to come with the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

This isn’t like Windows 8’s Consumer Preview; the Windows 10 Technical Preview is being released via a new “Windows Insider” program that asks for user feedback and even provides private forums for discussing trouble spots with Microsoft engineers. Lots of things are sure to change going forward, from features to basic elements of the operating system.

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Here’s Our Complete Guide to Windows 8

During this holiday season, a lot of you will be getting new desktop and laptop computers, and chances are, it will come with Windows 8 pre-installed on it. If you’re coming from the Windows 7 environment, you’re probably wondering where to begin. We have you covered! Here’s a complete list of all articles we’ve written about Windows 8 that will help you master basic and advanced tasks and features.

When we originally posted this guide (November 2012), a lot of the articles were written using Windows 8, but since then, there’s been three big updates — Windows 8.1 and 8.1 update 1. We’ve updated some of the articles to reflect the changes in Windows 8.1 and the concept of a lot of these article’s is the same, the UI just looks a bit different.

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Simple Questions: What Is USB or Universal Serial Bus?

USBEveryone has used at least once a device that was connected to another device with the help of a USB port. Whether we are talking about flash memory sticks or other peripherals like printers, many devices are using the USB standard connector. In this article we will share what USB stands for, what it does and what are the advantages and disadvantages of using USB to connect devices.

Credit: The images used in this article are from Wikipedia.

What Does USB Mean?

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus and it is a term that defines cables, connectors and communications protocols used in communication between devices. It was designed in 1996 by a group of seven companies that included Microsoft, Compaq, IBM, Intel, DEC, NEC andNortel. Its purpose was to standardize the connection between peripheral devices like printers, keyboards, mice and personal compute.

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OMUG 2018