026: Wikipedia: the internet’s free encyclopedia

Wikipedia, the Internet’s free encyclopedia.
Wait, Wikis, aren’t they the big hairy guys from Star Wars? No, That’s a Wookiee.
What is a wiki? Basically, a wiki is a website where users can collaboratively modify content. The name comes from the Hawaiian word for quick.
Basically, a site where pretty much anyone can change what the site says. For an encyclopedia, that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen but in
general, it works surprisingly well.
As at the latter part of 2018, there is currently over five and a half million articles on the English language version of Wikipedia with a total of more than forty million articles in over 300 languages. Not bad for a site that started in 2001
Realistically Wikipedia is a great place to look up general information but you have to understand that just because it’s on the site doesn’t make it the
truth. That said you could say the same about anything on the internet. If you do like to believe everything you read on the Internet, I urge you to click on this link to the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus and leave a comment about it below.
The joy of it being a wiki, of course, is that if there’s a topic you’re a subject matter expert on, you can correct or even create a page subject to some conditions. Some pages have forms of locking on them to prevent vandalism and can only be edited by registered users or administrators.
That said there is tons of useful and correct information on Wikipedia.
It’s a great place to look up geographical information like the population or area of a country, it’s great for finding the exact size of a queen mattress in
your home country or the technical specifications of the new iPhone XR.
It’s also a great place to read up about technology new and old,  governments, plants, brands or whatever. There’s even a random article linked in the left menu if you really can’t decide what to read.
There are even games that use Wikipedia. Known by the name Wiki Racing or just The Wikipedia Game, where two or more people pick a starting page and attempt clicking on internal links to get to a predetermined destination page the fastest.
Leave a comment below with a great Wikipedia link that you found.
I hope that was really useful for you.
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Leave any questions or comments below, I’m here to help.
Thank you so much for watching and have a great day!

025: What is this Cloud thing?

What is this cloud thing all about? Do I need an umbrella?

The Cloud is many different things depending on who you are, but in its most basic form the cloud is a bunch of server computers that can store and process your data.

Back in the early days of the internet, it would be common to use a diagram of your computer connected to the Internet which was a big cloud then connected to a website or whatever somewhere else. The reason it was pictured as a cloud is because the internet is designed to always find the fastest way but it may not be the same way every time, so it seemed to disappear into a cloud and then come back out the other end.

The internet then sort of became synonymous with a cloud. Later as the internet started to do more than just be pictures and text on webpages,
the concept of internet-based server computing and storage was born and
dubbed Cloud Computing.

What this means for you and I is that the internet (or cloud) can both store and process things for us, without them being tied to our computer. Once this video you are watching was completed and edited by me, I uploaded it to YouTube’s server. The servers there process it into multiple formats and store it for me waiting for you to watch. YouTube is a cloud service.

Gmail is a cloud service. We log into the Gmail site and there is all of our email. Google received it for us, stores it, processes it and, if we ask it to, it forwards it to others or reply or whatever. They also handle the backups for us.

Backups and storage are a huge part of the cloud. Several companies have built huge businesses storing data for individuals and for each other. The massive economies of scale of these giant data centers, scattered all over
the world, with really fast connections in between them, mean companies can store huge amounts of data and quickly replicate it around the world.

It’s really reassuring to know that not only is my file accessible from anywhere it’s stored in many places, so that if a particular part of the world suffers some sort of disaster, it’s not the only copy.

Back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina struck the Eastern USA, the data center where I housed several of my websites at the time was mildly impacted, with several outages over a few days. 13 years on, the internet is a different place and that same site can be replicated across the cloud with virtually no downtime.

The theory is all well and good, but how do you, the viewer, make use of the cloud? You probably already are making some use of it, with services like iCloud, Gmail Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook or YouTube.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some more specifics on these topics but I needed to lay the groundwork first.

I hope that was really useful. At The Tech Doctor Network, our goal is to help you feel comfortable with your computer. Come back every weekend for new videos. Scroll down, hit subscribe and ring the bell to be notified when new episodes are out.

While you’re there, leave a comment or ask a question. We’re here to help.
Thank you so much for watching and have a great day.

024: Google Chrome Extensions Evernote/Lastpass/Great Suspender/Monument Dash/Adblock/Ebay

Hey there YouTube!

Chrome extensions, are they like those tail fins on cars like
the EK Holden? No!

Chrome extensions are little additions to chrome that extend its capability and customise the browsing experience. They allow the user to customise Chrome to their preferences.

Extensions are usually downloaded from the Chrome Web Store or can be directly installed with other programs. For example, Evernote which we learned about in Episode 18 installs a Chrome extension that allows you quick access to save web pages in a variety of forms to our Evernote List.

Extensions are designed to have a single fixed purpose and be minimal. To access existing extensions simply go to the hamburger menu, click more tools and then extensions. Here you can see some of the many extensions I use every day and a few that I’m testing at the moment.

To add new extensions you need to go to the Chrome Web Store which you can access by going to the menu at the top left of the extensions, clicking open Chrome Web Store from the bottom. You can also access it by clicking the chrome apps button at the left end of the bookmark toolbar and then clicking on the web store apps or the link at the bottom right corner.

The Web Store itself lists probably tens of thousands of available extensions with many ways to search and filter them. I won’t spend too long here other than to suggest that you have a look around and try a few and see what you like.

I will, however, recommend a few of my favourites. I’ve already mentioned Evernote and another program I spoke about, LastPass relies heavily on its Chrome extension.

Another useful extension is Adblock plus. There are many of these types of programs, I tend to look for the one with the lots of downloads and a good rating. The one I have has a logo of ABP and is currently at version 3.4.

Grammarly is a great extension that helps with spelling and grammar and the paid version adds a bunch of other features. Momentum is a great New Tab replacement with its own personal dashboard including To-do, weather and inspiration.

The Great Suspender is an amazing extension that puts apps to sleep after
an hour, great for people like me who have lots of tabs open but don’t want
them using lots of available memory.

The last one I’ll mention is eBay; an extension that allows you to keep tabs on the items you’re watching, buying or selling on eBay.

I hope that was really helpful for you. At The Tech Doctor Network, our goal is to guide you each step of the way as you become comfortable with your computer.

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Please leave any questions or comments down below.

Thank you so much for watching. Have a great day!

023: Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows (Bonus Melbourne Cup Day Episode)

Today is Melbourne Cup Day in my home city of Melbourne: a day of high fashion, horses and a four-day weekend for most people.

[If something looks odd with me, I’ve shaved. I’m supporting Men’s Health by taking part in Movember. Please feel free to donate to support this wonderful cause.]

I’m celebrating with an episode talking to you about what on earth keyboard shortcuts are and how they help.

A keyboard shortcut is a series of two to three keys that you press together
that do something quickly for you. If you do a lot of typing you have both hands on the keyboard then these shortcuts allow you to keep your hands on the keyboard, rather than reaching for the mouse. They’re really useful and a time saver once you get used to them.

Many keyboard shortcuts utilise the Ctrl keys on the bottom row of the keyboard the outer left and right of the main part of the keyboard, the Alt keys either side of the spacebar, the Windows key between the left Ctrl and Alt keys, and the Function keys across the top of the keyboard.

Three of the most common keyboard shortcuts that work in almost every
program are Copy: hold the Ctrl key down and then press C this is usually denoted like this [CTRL+C]. Paste: which is [CTRL+V] and Cut: which is [CTRL+X]. Copy stores whatever is currently highlighted in a special storage area called the clipboard. Paste simply takes that same item from the clipboard and puts it back in your document where the cursor is located. Cut is copying something but also deleting it from the document which is great if you want to move it somewhere else. [CTRL+Z] will undo whatever you’ve just done.

Other useful windows shortcuts include [F5] which causes the screen to refresh in many applications including web browsers and windows explorer. Also for windows explorer is the Windows key + E [Win+E] which opens a new windows explorer window and then [CTRL+Shift+N] which creates a new folder for you in the current folder.

[Delete] deletes the highlighted item sending it to the Recycle Bin while [Shift+Delete] deletes it completely, bypassing the Recycle Bin, so be careful.

Now it’s your turn; have a play with using the Windows key and the four arrow keys and see how you go moving windows around.

The final shortcut I’ll leave you with is [CTRL+F] which is the search or find shortcut, allowing you to type a few letters, a word or a phrase and see if or where it is contained in the current document or webpage.

I hope that was really helpful for you. There’s also a great reference sheet from Microsoft Support Keyboard Shortcuts.

At The Tech Doctor Network our goal is to guide you each step of the way to help you feel comfortable with your computer. Come back every weekend for new videos. Press the subscribe and the bell icon to be notified of new ones.

Thank you so much for watching and have a great day!

022: Saving yourself from Scams

Hey there YouTube, do you want to give away all of your hard-earned savings to a scammer?

Stay tuned to hear some ways to detect the scams and stay safe online.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes a scam as a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. Basically, someone trying to take your money without a physical threat.

I receive some form of scam usually via an email about 5 to 10 times
a day. Thankfully, most of these end up in my spam folder and I never actually see them. Some though, do slip through so I thought I’d take a moment to have a look at a few and explain how I recognize
them as scams.

The first 3 points I look at are: Is it too good to be true? This is
a simple one that people often forget be it due to greed or some other
blindness, we forget the basic internal fact check: If it seems too good to be
true it’s probably a scam.

Secondly: What do they want from me? Usually, it’s clicking on something or a request for personal information that they can use to scam you in some other way.

Thirdly: Where are they trying to lead me? This is, in fact, almost the easiest one to spot. Did you know that simply by putting your cursor to hover over a link, most programs will display either as a pop-up beside the cursor or down the bottom left or right corner of the screen, the address where clicking the link will take you. If it doesn’t match up with what they’re saying it’s time to be on high alert.

Here are some examples that I found in my spam folder this week:

The first one, other than the warning that Gmail has posted, the obvious thing for this one is that it’s from the Canadian Tax Office, and I live in Australia, so it’s clearly a scam.

The second one is from a well-known big Aussie company, the hardware store Bunnings, but hovering over the link shows that the link will take me to a website called work-careersservice.com. Scam

The third example, a job that earns thirty-five thousand dollars a month. That fails the too-good-to-be-true test. Scam

These are just a few examples from emails I’ve received in the last few days.

I hope that was really helpful for you. At the Tech Doctor Network, our goal is to guide you each step of the way to help you feel comfortable with your computer.

Come back every weekend for new videos and please subscribe and hit the bell icon to be notified for each new episode.

Leave your questions and comments below. I’m here to help you. Thank you so much for watching, have a great day!

Buzzer sound by guitarguy1985 on Freesound.org: https://freesound.org/people/guitarguy1985/sounds/54047