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April '17

Opinions, suggestions, recommendations or ideas found on our site are applied at your own risk. 


The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits - Albert Einstein



PLEASE - Do not give control of your computer to ANYONE unless you are absolutely certain who they are!  For more information see our Self Help > Scams!   New to computers?  Our updated index may be useful.

In this newsletter

Sorry.  We forgot to send out March newsletter notice.  Here's the link.

This month:

Stupid Windows

Recently we applied Windows updates and since, our network indicator (lower right of Taskbar) appeared with the "no cable connected" icon.  But everything worked just fine.  If you see this but can still get to the network and Internet, just ignore it...  Nice going, Microsoft!

no network

Out of curiosity and to be thorough, we uninstalled the recent update KB2952664 and the network icon was again normal.  We then reinstalled KB2952664 and the icon was (still) normal.  Just no explaining computers sometimes...

If however you have a red X and cannot get to the Internet, the cable is unplugged, your network adapter is disabled (or faulty), the router, network switch or modem is acting up.  See network problems.

Similar heading

Windows 10 has a "feature" that when a CD or USB drive is inserted, a notification opens (lower right corner) asking "what you want to do" with whatever you plugged in.  But that notification quickly disappears!  See Installing software.

Renaming stuff (101)

While you can rename almost any file or folder, you need to be aware of the ramifications.  Examples: 

Renaming - An extreme example would be an Outlook data file (PST).  If you rename Outlook.PST to say Outlook2016.PST, launching Outlook would produce an error that it cannot find the data file.  Fortunately will prompt you for the data file (location).   Other applications are not so friendly and may error or crash out!

Linked files are also problematic when renamed.  For example, labels in a Word document can be linked to various data sources like Outlook Contacts and Excel spreadsheets (and other sources).  If you rename the data source, e.g., Outlook Contact folder from Contacts 2015 to Contacts 2016, the label document will no longer find the source and will then prompt you to relink the data.

Moving - You have a Word document in your Documents folder named Addresses.docx, the file's location is: c:\users\username\documents\Addresses.docx.  If you move that address list to the desktop, the location then becomes c:\users\username\desktop\Addresses.docx.  So again, if this is a (linked) data source for another application, the data file no longer exists at the last known location and an error will occur.

Think before renaming or moving files or folders.

To rename a file or folder from the Windows File Explorer, select the file to be renamed and press the Function F2 key or simply right click

Note: By default, Windows does not show File Extensions, but if you have that option turned on, Windows will try to protect the extension by selecting only the file name during the renaming process:
protecting extensions

If you have a shortcut on your desktop to a file in your Documents folder, you can rename the shortcut as desired. Windows will not change the original file name.  If however you rename the original file, Windows is smart enough to propagate that name change to the shortcut properties.  But it only changes the properties of the shortcut, not the shortcut's name. 

Example: We had created a file named Text.txt in our Documents folder and then made a shortcut on the desktop to that file.   

We then renamed the original file to "123" and Windows automatically changed the shortcut's properties (shown below right), but it did not change the shortcut's name which remained Text-Shortcut (desktop on left).

 

Aside but related - Save As dialog box

If you are saving a file, be sure to look where that document will end up, i.e., what folder!  Every month we get a call or two that someone just saved a file and cannot find it. 

Whatever application you are using typically remembers that last saved in location and will want to save future files there too...

save as

Above we have created a new document in Word and are about to save it.  Notice the default destination folder is our Documents (blue square), the default document name is Doc1.docx and the default file type is DOCX. 

Attachment vs. Link (101)

Be forewarned!  Either a link or an attachment can be dangerous, especially when received in an email! 
The difference between an attachment and a link is:

attachment vs link

Obfuscated links:  The microsoft link is not where you would end up if clicked.  Instead of Microsoft you would end up at (the fictitious site) www.youwillbescammed.com.   Always hover over the link to see the true destination before clicking.

Another popular scam is to "print a label" for missed USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc., delivery (which makes no sense anyway).

If sending an attachment, you must select a file (or multiple files) but you cannot send a shortcut.  Also, you cannot send a folder as an attachment.  If you need to send multiple files, you must zip/compress them

Quickies

The season is here for power outages - do you have a UPS?

Still too many people falling for email scams!  The ZDNet article.

Word document attachments can have malicious contents.  The ZDNet article.

Switching from Mac or interested in a laptop or tablet?  Here are some details what to look for...

If you find a USB stick or don't know for sure if it's safe, DO NOT PLUG IT IN TO YOUR COMPUTER!  The article.

Toshiba laptop loses keys 1, 2, 3, 4, space and maybe others.  Weird but uninstall the Synaptics Touchpad driver.

Remember Google Earth? It's still there but don't bother trying the link if you don't have Google Chrome as your default browser.

Skype users hit by ransomware through in-app malicious ads (Another Flash issue and failure to check ads)

Be aware!  Ransomware is back, now as a PDF attachment.  The article.

Opinion

Studies of bones from Ice Age megafaunal animals across Eurasia and the Americas have revealed that major increases in environmental moisture occurred just before many species suddenly became extinct... 
What?  Major environmental changes not caused by man?
   :-D  
The article.

 

Leaving you with

Sorry, got nothing this month other than our ongoing reminder: 

Thanks for all the help over these years, Jeff...