Files and folders

Tech Talk #188–September 17, 2022 We know that computers, phones, and tablets store files and folders on your device, but what ARE files and folders? Is it like in the movie Zoolander where Owen Wilson's character learns that the files he needs are IN the computer, so he drops it off a balcony and sorts through the debris, looking for the files he needs? Well, no. In an office, a paper file stores related documents

Passwords, security questions, email addresses, and phone numbers

Tech Talk #187–September 3, 2022 In most cases, when suddenly your password won't work with a website or email address, there is a "Forgot password" link, and this is where it can get scary. The site may want to send you a code to your phone or your recovery email address, or you'll get asked for answers to your security questions. What if the site has an old phone number for you? Or is your

Taking selfies

Tech Talk #186–August 20, 2022 Okay, I get it. I had hoped the whole selfie thing would be over by now. But it's turned out to be an excellent way to get yourself into your pictures. Now that your smartphone has a zillion megapixels, night modes, light and depth sensors, and even solar panels, for all we know, you can take some excellent selfies. Here's how. Background Since you're taking a picture of yourself, or

Multiple web browsers and Why it’s called that

Tech Talk #185–August 6, 2022 Multiple web browsers Modern computers have built-in web browsers, Microsoft Edge for PCs and Safari for Macs. And it’s just fine to use the Edge or Safari browser to spend time on the internet. But here are some reasons for you to have another browser on your computer, too. The people that develop websites have a pretty tough job these days. A website needs to work on any browser, any

No internet at home? Here’s what to check  

Tech Talk #184–July 23, 2022 After the day you just had, once you finally get home, all you want to do is check your email, play some Wordle, and maybe watch a movie on Netflix. Except, you've got no internet. Not on your phone, your tablet, or your computer. Now what? Getting the internet to your house is a complex undertaking involving global telecommunications corporations, federal, state, and local governments, fiber optic cables, satellites, communications

Email inbox hygiene

Tech Talk #183–July 9, 2022 It’s always been a best practice to keep your friends and family emails separate from the flood of emails from the places you’ve shopped online, the newsletters you’ve signed up for, your social media notifications, and all the political emails. For a long time, the best way to keep those essential emails separate from the rest was to use different email addresses for each type of email. It worked, but

Deleting your phone’s recordings of you, shutting down Windows

Tech Talk #182–June 25, 2022 If you use Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, or Google Assistant, your phone usually keeps and shares your voice recordings. As a result, there can be some pretty personal stuff in your requests to your assistant. Unfortunately, big tech companies have a checkered past about protecting and using our data responsibly. Here's how to delete the recordings on your phone and turn off your assistant if you don't want to use

Upgrade to Windows 11? and RadioShack’s version of Windows

Tech Talk #181–June 11, 2022 Upgrade to Windows 11? You don’t have to upgrade to Windows 11 if your computer asks you if you want to. Microsoft has committed to supporting Windows 10 until 2025. Ten years of support is standard for Windows versions. I did the math for you, Windows 10 came out in 2015, so support ends in 2025. Somewhere in the box that pops up asking you if you want to upgrade

Happy Birthday to the floppy disk

Tech Talk #180–May 28, 2022 Seven months too late, but better late than never, right? Fifty (plus!) years ago, IBM birthed the floppy disk, and, eventually, that’s how publishers distributed new software and how we saved files on our computers. But why and how did the floppy disk come to be? Early mainframe computers used core memory that kept information even when the power was off. Next, the mainframe computer industry moved to solid-state transistor

Basic software and extensions

Tech Talk #179–May 14, 2022 Thankfully, today most computers don’t come pre-loaded with software you don’t need. Okay, there are likely a few programs you don’t want or need, but they’ll stay out of the way and don’t take much space. But there are some programs that aren’t on your new computer but that you need. Adobe Reader–All computers used to come with the free version of Adobe Reader. Then someone at Adobe decided that