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Why I Prefer Using Google Drive
to Microsoft Office Word

Microsoft Word has long been established as the world's best-selling program for creating text documents. However, it's also a very pricey application, depending on which version you buy or rent.

I prefer writing my newspaper column for the
San Diego Union Tribune with "Google Docs"
for several reasons.

Docs is part of a free "suite" called "Google Drive," which includes "Sheets" (an Excel-compatible spreadsheet app) and "Slides" (a PowerPoint-compatible presentation slideshow app) and
"Forms" (a Google unique form-creation app).

Another feature is that users are allowed 15 Megs of free storage space, which holds all the data created via the above-mentioned applications.
(Microsoft's OneDrive only allows 5 Megs of free space.)

One of my favorite features of Docs is that everything I type is instantaneously saved in a Google 'Cloud' server, without my having to activate any traditional 'Save' or 'Save As' command.

This means if my computer crashes -- or my internet connection dies -- everything already typed would remain intact and unaffected by the breakdown.

In the event of a PC or cellphone crash, I can continue working by simply switching to another internet-connected device.

Another advantage of having one's work instantaneously preserved is that a writer can ramble on without worry of overstating things. Everything can be easily edited after one's my main points have been expressed.

So how does one name a document if there is no 'Save As' option? Click on 'File' and choose 'Rename.' By default, one's first line of typing will appear as the document's file name, but this can be overtyped with any name you prefer.

Just press ENTER after typing the preferred title.


Another 'File' option is: Make a Copy (ENTER). This creates a duplicate document of what's been typed up to that point and lets you continue working on the original and/or the duplicate.

To make a copy for my physical computer I do CTRL+A (Select All) followed by CTRL+C (Copy) and CTRL+V (Paste) into a blank Word, Wordpad, Notepad or outgoing Gmail message.

If I want to output my typing as a more exotic class of document, I do File>Download As and choose 'PDF Document (.pdf)' or 'Rich Text Format (.rtf)' or 'MS Word (.docx)' or 'Plain Text (.txt).'

Experimenting is the best way to become familiar with the various 'Download' options.

Regarding images, they can be inserted into a Google Doc with simple COPY and PASTE commands.

After clicking on an inserted image you'll see the options: 'IN LINE,' 'WRAP TEXT' and 'BREAK TEXT.'

Clicking on an image will also display a box around it with markers for changing its size and/or shape along with showing a 'handle' for rotating the image.

Again, experimenting is the best way to learn about all the options.

Google Docs also has built-in spell-check tools that flag a suspected misspelling along with showing suggested corrections.

Amazingly, the app will even flag and correct misspellings in multiple languages that might be used within a document. (I often compose messages that are partially in Spanish.) (A menudo redacto documentos parcialmente en espaŮol.)

Computer Tutor in the San Diego Union Tribune    10/01/17
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Don Edrington's Newsletter
Hijacking a PC for Ransom
"Your PC is locked. It can be unlocked for $****"
     Weíve all heard about cyber-criminals "locking up" someoneís computer and "holding it for ransom." If you've been victimized by this cyber-crime, we suggest contacting IT technician Michael Scheer at 760-730-5246. (MichaelAScheer@hotmail.com)

The process of remotely taking over a PC is not new. It has long been used by professional technicians to examine and repair computers via the Internet.

If you are unfamiliar with this scam, it usually starts with a phone call from someone who claims to be with Microsoft and says "We have detected a virus in your neighborhood and we can kill it if you will let us take control of your computer for a few minutes."

Just hang up!

If you agree, youíll be asked to click on an OK button that appears on your screen Ė which immediately takes away your control of the PC and gives it to the crook (who usually has an Indian accent).

    Recently, the crooks have been asking for permission to take control of your PC via an email or a popup on your screen, that includes a toll-free 800 number (allegedly from Microsoft).
    Do not fall for this -- it's still the same SCAM.

Historically, the technology used for controlling a PC remotely has been expensive software designed for professional technicians.

Now, however, this capability has been built into Windows 10 and itís called "Quick Assist."

Quick Assist lets you use your mouse and keyboard to remotely operate someone elseís computer, which means allowing you to do everything on a remote computer that you can do on your own PC.

You can launch Quick Assist by typing its name into the Windows 10 "Type Here to Search" box (activated by clicking the Cortana "magnifying glass" on the Start menu).

Launching the app presents you with two choices: "GIVE assistance" or "RECEIVE assistance." And Quick Assist requires two people to initiate the connection. To GIVE assistance, start by logging in with your Microsoft account.

You will then be provided with a six-digit security PIN that you must relate to the person youíre assisting. (Both parties must enter the same PIN.)

Be aware that the PIN security code is active for only 10 minutes.

Letís assume youíre the one giving assistance. Once Quick Assist is activated, youíll see on your screen a window displaying the other personís desktop, which is surrounded by a border containing several special icons.

You will click inside this window to make your cursor take control of the other personís PC.

Quick Assist comes with few limitations ó you see the other personís entire desktop displayed on your screen along with being able to open folders and run whatever apps are inside a folder.

The icons on the newly-created border allow you to "annotate" the window with "digital ink," expand the Quick Assist window to full-screen, reboot the computer, or bring up the "Task Manager" (via CTRL+ALT+DEL).

The "annotation tool" may be slightly awkward to use with a mouse, but itís definitely worth some experimentation.

A "Pause" and "Stop" button allow you to pause or disconnect the remote PC at any time.

Navigating the remote computer gives you all the rights and privileges of the computerís owner: You can change settings, use "Personalization" options, delete files, etc.

Remember, Quick Assist uses an Internet connection, so tweaking any network settings as you work may disconnect the procedure.

Most importantly, bear in mind that Quick Assist opens the door to your friendís digital world. When receiving help, remember that anything on your computer can be seen by your helpful friend, even if youíre monitoring him/her the whole time.

Quick Assist is powerful, but it requires absolute trust on both sides.

    (Above information was prepared with assistance of my friend Carl Von Papp, retired computer instructor/technician at Bellevue College, WA).

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