Tech Talk #88 – Oct. 13, 2018
Browsers and banking
If your computer can’t connect to your bank or financial institution anymore, you need to switch your browser.
Old Windows and Mac computers become “unsupported,” meaning they no longer receive security and bug fixes from Microsoft or Apple. The default browsers (Internet Explorer or Safari) on these computers are also no longer supported. As security on the internet evolves, these old versions of IE and Safari don’t know what to make of modern, secure, websites.
Even if you can’t upgrade your computer from XP or Vista or OSX 10.6.5 to something newer, you can install a new browser. Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox are good choices for both Apple and Windows computers.
If your computer is pretty old, you may still find warnings in either Chrome or Firefox about your browser being “unsupported.” You’ll probably be able to connect to sites you couldn’t connect to before, but Chrome or Firefox won’t get any updates beyond the one you just installed. If that “unsupported” banner from your new browser on your old computer is unsettling, it might be time to replace the computer.
Remove typos from your browser’s autofill
Most browsers use something called autofill to help you get to websites you’ve been to before. Start typing facebook into the address bar of your browser and before you finish typing, a dropdown list shows up with facebook’s complete address. But what happens when you type in facebok instead? Not only will you not get to the facebook page, but now facebok shows up in your autofill list. Want to get rid of it?
You’ll have to do this for each typo in your list, but it’s more surgical than completely clearing your browser’s cookies and history. Here’s how to take typos out of your autofill lists:
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox
Start typing the address. When your typo shows up in the autofill list, hold down Shift (or Shift and Function on a Mac) and hit Delete. Once you see a website highlighted, you can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to pull up any proposed result to delete it. Seems a bit fussy on my system, but it worked.
In the upper right corner of Edge, click on the three dots, then Settings > View advanced settings > Clear browsing data. Check the top four items and then Clear. Yes, you have to throw everything away. Maybe in a future version of Edge we’ll have more granular control of the autofill list.
Like Microsoft’s Edge, you’ll have to delete everything to get rid of the typos in your autofill lists. To delete your browser history, click on Safari in the upper-left corner of your screen and select Clear History. Click all the options and click Clear History.
Casting your screen
What is “casting your screen” and why would I want to do that, whatever it is?
Casting your screen means sending, or “casting,” whatever is on your computer’s screen to a TV. Why? To show off a YouTube video, watch a movie stored on your laptop, run a slideshow so everyone can see it, maybe? There are lots of answers for “why,” but only a couple for “how:” dongle, player, or cable.
A Chromecast is a device (dongle) that plugs into a TV and lets you cast from your computer to your TV and works with either Mac or Windows. Google hardware loves Google software and in this case, a Chromecast only works with tabs from the Chrome web browser.
On your computer, use Chrome’s three-dot menu and choose Cast. Pick your Chromecast from the list, and you should see your current browser tab show up on your TV screen.
It’s a bit laggy, so Chromecast is better for photos and websites. If you want to show a video and if it’s on YouTube, while you’re casting YouTube shows a Chromecast button.
When showtime is over, click the Cast option in Chrome’s menu list again, and then Stop.
You can cast from your computer to Roku sticks and players. In Windows, open the Action Center by clicking on the notification icon on the right of the taskbar, then choose Connect. Choose your Roku from the list to start casting.
For Macs, you need a third-party app. AirBeamTV for Mac gets good reviews but I haven’t tried it. There’s a free trial so you can see if you can get it working before you spend any money on it.
If you don’t have WiFi in your house, or just want to keep it simple, you can always run an HDMI cable from your laptop to your TV, then tell your Mac or Windows PC to either mirror your screen or extend it to your TV. Modern laptops may not have an HDMI port, so you may need an adapter, but other than that this is the simplest solution for casting your screen to your TV.
It’s true! It’s True!
I don’t always use Internet Explorer, but when I do it’s to download Firefox.
Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at email@example.com.