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February 2011-How We Use Our Computers

Email:

Meetup reminders, jokes, updates, ads, the Smart Computing daily update. If you hover your cursor over a link, you can see the actual link.

Hotmail has just started offering throw-away addresses. Use these to have an individual email address for online purchases. It will help you trace the sources of spam.

Play chess or scrabble online.

Send photos and short video clips. For larger files, place them on the web for people to download as they wish.

Video connection for communication anywhere in the world.

Google's gmail has many services including the ability to transcribe phone calls to email.

Sally Holt has System Mechanic, which restores, defrags. She uses a Viper subscription for antivirus. Some people use System Defender. She uses online bill pay, using Keyscramble to protect keystroke visibility. She does an image backup twice a month. She has some favorite sites. She likes Memories On TV for managing her pictures. She uses several route planners to check driving directions.

Support:  http://microsoft.com/fixit/ has lots of support suggestions.

Bud Gallagher likes System Mechanic and Viper. SemiDude allows you to cut and paste across the network. Since he has retired, he does not need Excel much. He likes the way Thunderbird filters spam. Mailwasher does a fantastic job of figuring out what is and is not spam. He gets lots of tech support newsletters.

If you go to WindowsLive and select Office from the top menu bar, you can store your documents in the Cloud, letting Microsoft take care of backups. You can share a document with selected people, avoiding the need to send email with document attachments. Once you have set up your SkyDrive account, you can store any kind of file.

Don Odle likes Carbonite for instantaneous back up. For about $60 a year, you can have automatic updates. He reminded the group that OpenOffice is totally free and does the equivalent of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The ribbon is simpler and easier to use than Word. It is becoming more compatible with Microsoft products as XML becomes the standard.

Bud Gallagher has used Your Uninstaller to remove programs, without problems.

Hulu, at http://www.hulu.com allows you to stream many TV programs and movies. Netflix has upgraded its services and is offering many plans.

Jan Fagerholm likes currently likes the free Avast anti-virus software. Nowadays one needs spyware protection as well as anti-virus. Hiren offers a variety of tools, but it is a bit techie.

Private, or incognito browsing cut off cookies and often javascript.

The Web Of Trust WOT add-on for Firefox alerts you to safe and questionable sites. The IE Tag allows you to run Microsoft updates from within Firefox.

After the break Jan asked if attendees would like to attend a meeting to learn more about OpenOffice. Bud suggested a SoftwareSIG as the venue for exploring various applications.

Bud reminded everyone that the backup program built into Windows 7 is very serviceable.

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