To be sure your important files are automatically backed up, turn on a feature in Windows 10. This is pretty handy and here’s how to get it.
Click the “start” button. Then choose “settings,” by clicking the gear off to the left. Now choose “Update & Security,” and then “Backup.” Plug in a thumb drive or any kind of external storage device. Click “add a drive” and choose the one you just plugged in. You’ll now see a list of folders that will be automatically backed up. Click on any you don’t want and choose “remove” to remove them. Click “add a folder” to add the one you do want.
We used a hotel’s “business center” computer a while back at L’Auberge in Del Mar, Cal., a three-star hotel, no less, and within a couple of days started getting scurrilous ads in our email, some really filthy stuff. At the “Conrad” in Indianapolis, one of Hilton’s upscale hotels, we noticed the computers in the business center had not been upgraded in more than four years, and did not seem at all well protected. Joy installed the latest Internet Explorer. She shouldn’t have been able to install anything.Preview
Almost no computer that can be accessed by the public is safe from someone installing the kind of software that logs your keystrokes – every letter and number you punch in. So we got pitched recently about a program that encrypts every keystroke you enter.
It’s called “GuardedID,” and sells for $30. It prevents bad guys from doing what’s called “screen scraping,” getting info from your screen even if they can’t capture your keystrokes. It also prevents so-called “click jacks.” These are hidden objects in legitimate ads; you click on the ad and it takes you somewhere else.
OK, so whether you add GuardedID to your anti-virus and anti-spyware arsenal depends on how paranoid you are. We decided to install it. We may not need it, but remember: even paranoids can have enemies.
Our laser printer is great for documents and clip art, but not so hot for photos; inkjets have had our best results. So we tried the new $150 Epson Premium XP-640 “Small in One” for photos; the “in one” part is that it comes with a scanner on top. Here’s what we found:
It’s heavy and not small, and $150 seems steep for an inkjet. It was difficult to set up and annoying to use, but … it produced outstanding photo prints and you could do them 4×6 or 8×10. We were impressed with that. But as the song says, you must remember this: The quality of any print is heavily dependent on the quality of the paper.
High quality glossy paper runs anywhere from 30 cents to a dollar a sheet. You can find some for as little as 16 cents a sheet, but we don’t think it’s worth saving money this way if you plan to keep a big print and frame it. A full set of inks for this printer costs around $48, but of course that’s enough for lots of big glossy prints — anywhere from 50-100 of them.
Compared to having your photos printed at Walgreens or some other store, it’s cheap. An 8×10 photo printed at Walgreens or most other stores, costs about $4. Doing it yourself at home would be less than half that. Frame them and you’ve got some nice holiday gifts.
It’s tempting to save by buying cheaper ink from what are called “third party suppliers.” (Shouldn’t they be called “second party suppliers?”) But of course the printer companies don’t want you to do that and say it will void the warranty; Hewlett Packard recently caused howls of protest when they automatically updated their printer software through the Internet without telling anyone that this would make all other ink cartridges non-operational. They disguised it as a “security update.” Pretty sneaky. Of course, for Hewlett Packard, ink is most of their profit. (By the way, we used to have an HP printer that stopped us from using third party inks. We tricked it by going back to an earlier installation of the software and then everything was fine.)
The cost of ink is so high that even Bob’s doctor recently complained about it. We have purchased ink cartridges made by outside companies and had no problem with it. It did not damage our printer and as for voiding the warranty — who cares? In a comparison test by Consumer Reports magazine a while back, reviewers preferred the quality of the third party inks to the manufacturer’s own brand.
Back to the Small in One printer: Using the Epson “Creative Print” app on your phone or your computer, you can make collages, greeting cards, etc. or post to Facebook or Instagram. In theory. Joy, a world-class greeting card maker, found the card feature baffling.
Bottom line here: The photos were great, but the machine is too expensive and awkward to use,
- TonightsBedTimeStory.com has free books to read or listen to. They have Beatrix Potter’s stories, Jack the Giant Killer and 79 classic fairy tales.
- Fotor.com offers an easy way to make photo collages, Facebook posts, art for your YouTube channel, greeting cards, banners, and other designs. There are ads along the bottom of the screen, but we found these easy to ignore.
- Gaming.Youtube.com/PrimeTime is an hour-long, live show about video games. Viewers interact with game creators.
- NoLabels.org is trying to get Congress to focus on solutions, not party politics. It was founded by a former Congressman, Mickey Edwards, who wrote a book about the problem: “The Parties Versus the People.”