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December 7, 2011

Technology Petting Zoo at Southwest December 14

Are you curious about the latest mobile devices? Are you thinking of buying an eReader or tablet? Join us December 14 and get your hands on the latest digital technology! We've got the latest eReaders, like the Nook and Kindle, and tablets, like the iPad and Galaxy. Learn how you can use them to download free music, audiobooks, and eBooks from our digital collection.

For more information, call 407.835.7323
No registration required.

Wednesday, December 14
4:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Southwest Branch Library

October 9, 2008

Computer Classes for Children and Teens

children_and_computers_large.jpg Southwest is now offering computer classes for children and teens (ages 8-18). In October and November the following classes are offered: Microsoft Word Level 1 Tuesday, October 7 at 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 8 at 11:30 p.m.; and Microsoft PowerPoint Level 1 Tuesday, October 21 at 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 8 at 3:00 p.m.

To register for computer classes, go to http://calendar.ocls.info/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp
Make sure you are viewing the class schedule for Southwest Library. Next, select an underlined class event and get your name on the list. If you have questions or want to register by phone, please call 407.835.7323; email southwest@ocls.info


May 17, 2008

Learn and have Fun at Camp Savvy!!!

Camp Savvy

Kids and Teens! Come and join us this summer and learn a wide variety of computer programs. From June through August, become part of the Camp Savvy summer program. You will learn various programs such as GIMP, Audacity, Google SketchUp, PHUN, Podcasting and more!

For more information or to register, call us at 407.835.7381 or check out our online calendar.


April 3, 2008

Keep Your Computer Safe

Owning a computer is like owning a car where you have to do certain maintenance tasks to keep it protected and safe to use. Keeping your computer safe means you must understand and take responsibility for the maintenance and safety of your data. Remember that it is nobody's responsibility but yours to insure that you have a safe computing experience.

Listed below are some tips that you could use in order have a safe computing experience.

Regular Maintenance
  • Install antivirus (AV) - keep your antivirus up to date, and run a regular scan. If you don't have an antivirus. Try a free one called AVG.
  • Update antispyware - keep it up to date and scan occasionally. Install at least one antispyware apps, such as Windows Defender, Spy Sweeper, and Spybot Search & Destroy.
  • Don't accept EXEs - downloading executable files (ending in .exe, .com, .bat, and .scr) will give you a risk of getting a virus so be wary of those attachments being sent to you.
Passwords and More
  • Use strong passwords - a mixture of numbers and letters makes up a strong password. Also, the longer your password is, the harder it is to detect. You could also try PassPub.com which randomly generates strong passwords you can use.
  • Change your passwords regularly - this is the best thing to do especially if you suspect your password has been compromised.
  • Don't AutoComplete - using this feature from your browser will store your password. Not a good thing to do especially if you're using a shared or public computer. To disable this feature in Internet Explorer, go to Tools -> Internet Options, and in Content Tab, go to AutoComplete settings.
Safe Surfing
  • Use other browsers besides IE - IE is most targeted by hackers so try different browsers such Firefox or Opera.
  • Look for the lock - if you are going to send personal information via a Web site like shopping online, make sure that the site is encrypted. Look for the https in the URL and a lock icon in the address bar or status bar.
Physical Security
  • Be prepared for theft - be sure to record the model and serial numbers of your computer in advance in case this happens. You could also check your homeowner's insurance policy to see if you can recover your money.
  • Alarm your laptop - use a software like Laptop Alarm for your laptop's security. This software can emits a screech if someone shuts down yuor PC without permission and it can even send a warning message to your phone.
  • Know your rights - it is always best to read the end-user license agreements (EULAs) when you install a program. Check them out with EUKAlyzer which analyses EULAs to point out potential problems.

For more tips on safer computing, visit PCMAG.com. Also keep checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.

For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

February 2, 2008

Microsoft Excel Tips

If you have taken Excel classes at the library, then you should have learned many of its features. For those of you wanting to learn a little bit more, here are some additional tips that you can add to your Excel knowledge.

CREATING CUSTOM LISTS
Remember how to do lists for the months of the year or the days of the week? You use auto-fill to do that, right? Well, you can also create your own custom fill lists. Just follow these steps.


  1. Go to Tools menu and select Options.

  2. Select the Custom Liststab.

  3. Type a list of entries in the List entries box, one entry per line, separating them by pressing the Enter key. You could also copy a list from a range of cells in your worksheet (if you have the data) by using the Import list form cells.

  4. Click Add to add the list and click OK to finish.

  5. Now type any entry from your list in a cell and drag the fill handle to create the sequence.


customlists.JPG

USING FORMS
Use form feature in Excel instead of navigating around a large table. Here's how to do it.


  1. Create your heading labels in your worksheet.

  2. Highlight your heading labels and go to Data menu and select forms. Click OK on the dialog box that will appear.

  3. Now you can enter data into your table using the Form dialog, which is quicker and more convenient. Click Close to finish.


REARRANGING DATA
One of the commands in the Data menu has a way of splitting information in a cell for easy re-sorting or reformatting. For example, if you have a list of full names and you want to sort it by last name you could split their contents by following these steps.


  1. Select your data.

  2. Go to the Data menu, and select Text to Columns.

  3. On the Convert Text to Columns Wizard, choose the file type that describe your data (we will use Deliminate) and click Next.

  4. In the list of Delimiters, click the Space checkbox and click on Next.

  5. The last wizard step will let you select each column and set the data format. Select the general data format and click on Finish.


names.JPG

Reference: www.pcmag.com

Keep checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.

For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

November 1, 2007

Top Undiscovered Sites

PC Magazine has listed their best 100 undiscovered sites for the year 2007. They're categorized in different levels - from Info and Research all the way to Web Applications. Make sure to check them out because you'll definitely like them . Here are a few of these top sites:

Info, Reference, & SearchHealth and FoodLifestyle & Entertainment
Hard to Find 800 NumbersExtraTastyGoing.com
NinjawordsMenupagesI Can Has Cheezburger
UncyclopediaTop Secret RecipesMeeVee
Wikisky.orgThe World's Healthiest FoodsMyPunchbowl
Money and CareerMusicNews, Politics, and Government
BullPooBeethere.netGuerilla News Network
IndeedImeemMediaStorm
KivaSingShotTech President
RentometerSlackerTopix
Shopping, Classifieds, & TravelDownload and DIYGaming
The BargainistDaFontK2xl
Roadside AmericaInviteShareKongregate
Ugallery.comMajorGeeks.comLikeBetter
YaptaWebsite GraderLine Rider.com
Hardware and Software BlogsVideoWeb Apps
All Things DigitalDabbleBubbl.us
GoodClean TechuLinkxEyejot
Download SquadUstream.tvMeebo
MashableVideoJugPicnik


Keep checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

October 12, 2007

Google Presentations

September 18, 2007 was the release date of Google Presentations. This is a PowerPoint-like application added to the Google Docs & Spreadsheets (which is now called Google Docs).
Google Presentation allows you to create slides and apply pre-defined themes, layouts, add images or text and organize it any way you want. You can also import your exisiting presentation files here. It has a simple interface which may benefit those who currently struggle using presentation tools.

googlepr.bmpgoogle edit.JPG

Another neat feature of this application is users will be able to manage and share presentations by just sending email invites and this would enable them to edit the presentation together online in real-time or at different times. Users can also present and control the slide shows over the Web without any additional software and simultaneoulsy chat with viewers via integrated chat.

present.bmp

Check out the Google Tour for more information about this application and feel free to create a Google Account if you haven't done so.

Keep checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

August 30, 2007

Computer Tips & Tricks: Working With Function Keys

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Every now and then, someone will ask me about Function Keys. I know every one of us has seen these 12 function keys on the keyboard. But how many of us use these keys? I bet some of us never even touch these keys. Actually, using Function keys will help get our work done easily. They perform different functions in different applications and programs. They can also be used in combination with other keys such as the CTRL, ALT, and Shift keys.
Here is the brief rundown of the function keys and what they can do for you.

F1
This will bring up a help menu. If you press F1 while in a program, the help menu for that program will usually appear.
F2
You can use this to rename an item when working in Windows. To do this, highlight any folder or file, and press F2. You can then type a new name for the object. This works just like when you right-click on a file or folder and selecting Rename.
F3
When you are working in Windows, this key will open the Find Files window.
F4
Press this to open the Address bar when working in Internet Explorer. It will allow you to type the address of a Web page for quick access. You can also press ALT and this key at the same time to close the open Window that you are currently working on.
F5
This key means refresh. When viewing a Web page, you press F5 to refresh the screen. When you are in MS Word, you will have the Find and Replace window if you press this key.
F6
F6 is often used to move the cursor around the structure of the program. For example, if you're in MS Word, press this key and you will go to the next pane or frame.
F7
Users have no use of this key in Windows. But in other programs such as MS Word if you press this key, you will get the spelling command.
F8
This can be used to access the Safe Mode if pressed while booting the computer.
F9
Users have no use of this key in Windows. But in individual programs such as MS Word, pressing this key will update the selected fields.
F10
This key is used to activate the menu bar in many programs. Pressing the Shift key and F10 will bring up the shortcut menu. This is similar to right-clicking on an object.
F11
Pressing this key will open your window in full screen mode or what we call the KIOSK mode. All the toolbars will disappear and can be useful to see more information on the screen. Press F11 to toggle you back to normal view.
F12
Users have no use of this key in Windows. In other programs like MS Word, this will give you the Save as command.

Reference: www.aarp.org

Keep checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

August 20, 2007

Computer Tips and Tricks: Administrator Account: I Forgot My Password!

Have you ever tried to figure out your password to your Administrator account? Let's say you're trying to log on to your computer but you don't remember your password at all. This is quite a problem especially if you have the Administrator account because you won't be able to modify anything in your computer or even change settings. This usually happens because you don't usually use that account, and you end up forgetting the password. Well, if this happens to be you, here's what you can do.
  1. Reboot your computer in Safe Mode. To do this, restart your computer, but once Windows starts to boot up, hit the F8 key on your keyboard. You will see a list of boot options and just select Safe Mode and hit Enter.

  2. safe mode.jpg
  3. Once your computer is in Safe Mode, go to Start, Run and type in "control userpasswords2." A new window will then come up with all of your user names listed.

  4. Start-run.gif control-user-password-2.gif
  5. Click the Administrator account and hit the Reset Password button.

  6. user accounts.jpg
  7. Type in a new password in both the New Password and Confirm New Password boxes.
  8. Click OK and your passwords will be changed.
  9. Restart your computer normally and you are all set!


  10. Keep checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
    For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

July 2, 2007

Computer Tips and Tricks: MyEbayFox

myebayfox.png
Do you use Firefox as your web browser? Do you buy and sell items on Ebay on a regular basis? If you do, you could definitely use MyEbayFox.
eBayToolbar.png
MyEbayFox is another version of Firefox that has been designed for you to give you a better Ebay experience. When you download this browser, you will get a new toolbar that is set up for your Ebay interactions. There is less hassle than with Ebay's actual web site because you already have all the buttons you need to handle your Ebay business. You could search through Ebay items, access your account, see ending auctions immediately, and more. MyEbayFox also comes with security like phishing and spyware protection and this browser definitely works with all Windows versions (including Vista), Mac OS X, and later.
phishing.png
Adblock Plus is an added feature along with this nifty toolbar. This will remove all of the banner ads and animations you see on Ebay's site and it definitely limits your distractions to help you get your work done faster. noAds.jpg
Want to try out MyEbayFox for yourself? Just click here.

Keep checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

May 23, 2007

Computer Tips and Tricks:

If you love "eye candy", fancy animations and visual effects in your computer, this week's computer tips and tricks is for you. If you don't have Windows Vista, you can actually download cool programs in your computer and apply all of these visual effects. We're going to introduce you to Glass2k and WindowFX.

Glass2k is a program that allows you to make your computer windows transparent. This is an advantage (of course aside from having a cool glass-like window) when you have several windows open, you don't have to keep moving windows around to view certain data. To start using Glass2K, just follow these steps:
  1. Click here to download Glass2K. Once downloaded, open it. A splash screen will display, followed by the Settings window. (You can also see the Glass2K icon in your taskbar)
  2. In the Settings Window, you can select Glass2K to run on start up. You can also change your Keyboard Shortcuts. Ctrl +Shift is the default hotkey. Pressing this hotkey plus a number (0-9) will indicate how transparent you would like the window to be. You can also right click anywhere in the open window and a pop-up menu will appear.

  3. glass2ksettings.png
    With Glass2k, your screen would be able to look like this:
    glass2kpic.jpg

The next program that we would like to share is called WindowFX. This is a shareware program that allows you to add a number of special effects to windows. Some of its features are its ability to morph windows when minimizing and maximizing, its wide range of semitrasparency options and more. Many of these effects are actually found in Windows Vista but you can now also have them in XP/2003.
  1. Click here to download WindowFX.
  2. After the installation, a window will appear. Select Continue and then a settings wizard will appear. That will allow you to select what specials effects you would like to add.

  3. effectsvis4.jpg
  4. Read the description of each effect and decide whether you would like it or not. Click Next.
  5. Continue the settings set up in this manner. You can also see a preview of some of the settings.
  6. windowsfx.jpg
    windowsfx2.jpg
Now, after all these downloads, you can now enjoy your computer with all of its special effects. Enjoy!

Keep checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

April 25, 2007

Computer Tips and Tricks: A Non-Google Search Approach

search2.jpg
We recently posted a blog about Google and its features, but we also would like you to know that searching is not all about Google. There are plenty of Google alternatives out there in the World Wide Web for you to try out and see where they will take you. Here are a few of them:
  • ASK.COM - a feature-rich search engine and uses "subject-specific popularity". Instead of ordering results simply by popularity, it orders them by "popularity among pages considered to be experts on the topic of your search."
  • DOGPILE - a metasearch engine that fetches results from Google, Yahoo, Windows Live Search, Ask.com, and several other popular search engines.
  • CHACHA - a search engine that pays human "guides" to answer questions for users. A technique knows as social searching. ChaCha lets you talk to a real live professional "guide" who takes your query and returns results made to your specifications. Completely free and can be a lot of fun.
  • QUINTURA - a visual search engine, powered by Yahoo, that has become the first search engine to help visually find web pages, images, video, and Amazon products. The search returns both a list of search results and a tag cloud that contains the original search terms surrounded by related tags. They also have QUINTURA FOR KIDS which is designed specifically for kids.
  • KOSMIX - a topical search engine that is still in beta mode. It conducts searches by category, including these six topics: Health, Video Games, Finance, Travel, US Politics, and Auto. Most of the results were outdated though but in non-timely issues and search terms, like health topics, it is a lot better and included lots of information on prevention, treatment, and risk factors, along with the standard list of search results.
  • STUMBLEUPON - a web browser plugin that gives you thumbs-up/thumbs-down icons in your toolbar allows you to discover and rate webpages, photos, videos, and news articles you come across. As StumbleUpon learns your preferences, it gets better at directing you to stuff you'll like. It is a recommendation system which uses peer and social networking principles.
  • TECHNORATI - a search engine for searching blogs, competing with Google, Yahoo and IceRocket. This blog search service includes plenty of ways to search for the hottest blog content, including a Top Searches list, a list of the most-linked-to blogs, and the music, movies, videos, and games that the most bloggers are linking too. You can sort your results by timeliness or authority.
  • DRAZE METASEARCH - a search engine that lets you collect search results quickly from Google, MSN, and Yahoo. A typical Google-looking page, with a search bar. Yu can also view the results from just one of the search engines, or exclude the results from one. The results page includes a "Peek-a-Boo" feature that gives you full, scrollable page previews, so you don't have to click through to see that a page isn't a helpful.
  • MS. DEWEY - a search engine that has a "flirty" style. It is a Flash-based experimental interface for Windows Live Search. Ms. Dewey is an interactive search assistant who audibly comments on searched keywords in her own style and makes random actions when idle, including taking props from behind her desk. It also features a modern-looking cityscape as a backdrop and the search results appear on the right. If you're a little bored on Google looks, you'll enjoy this one.
  • NETTREKKER - an educational search engine that is aimed at schools and students, and every site that is included in a list of search results has been hand-picked by a staff of educators to ensure safe surfing. A search for "stars" for instance, will include lots of info about constellations and zero about celebrities. The service is not free ($4.95/month), but your kids may have a school login, which they can use at home.

Resources: PCMAG.com, Wikipedia

Keep checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

April 11, 2007

Computer Tips and Tricks: More About Google

logo-Google2.GIF
Google, as we all know, is a search-engine tool for finding resources on the World Wide Web. But now, it has expanded and improved. Most of us are big Google Users which probably means we must have Google accounts. With the Google Accounts service, searching is just not enough. There's Gmail, Google Alerts, Google Adwords, Froogle, and more.
So what else does Google offer that we might find useful? Following is a list of some Google programs that you can pick and choose from. Just click on the hyperlinks to get to the page. Enjoy Googling!
  • Adwords: An advertising/marketing program
  • Alerts: A reminder service
  • Blog Search: A blog search service
  • Blogger: A blogging tool
  • Book Search: A book search service
  • Checkout: An e-commerce checkout application
  • Desktop: A collection of tools to make your desktop more user-friendly
  • Directory: A service to browse the Internet by topic
  • Earth: A combination of satellite imagers and mapping applications
  • Froogle: An e-commerce price-based comparison service
  • Gmail: An e-mail application
  • Google Docs & Spreadsheets: A Web-based word-processing and spreadsheets application
  • Maps: a Web-based mapping application
  • Notebook: A note-taking and information collection application
  • Page Creator: a Web-design application
  • Picasa: a photo-editing and sharing application
  • Scholar: A search service specifically for scholarly papers
  • SketchUp: A 3D modeling application
  • Translate: a Web-based language translation service
  • Video: A video sharing application

Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

March 26, 2007

It's Game Time @ Southwest

gamepic.png xbox360logo1.gif
It's time to have fun!!!

Come and Join us on April 18th, Wednesday, from 3:00-5:00 pm. Southwest is going to have it's first GAMING NIGHT where kids and teens are all welcome. You will get to check out our new gaming consoles and play games such as Dance Dance Revolution. Snacks will be provided.

***Must be a regular library card holder to attend***

For more information on Gaming Nights, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out here: Gaming @ OCLS

March 20, 2007

Tech News to Use - Cyberbullying

cyberbully.jpg
There's a new kind of bully in town.

Increasingly today, young people are using technology against each other. The new kind of bully uses email, instant messages, cell phones, text messages, photos, videos and social networking sites to humiliate and threaten others. For example, a student uses her cell phone camera to take a picture of a classmate changing clothes after gym, then uploads it onto her computer and forwards it to friends along with cruel commentary. What makes cyberbullying so easy and tempting is the anonymity the Web provides along with a potentially large audience. And, even if a student identifies himself, the fact he doesn't instantly "see" people's reactions to his behavior adds to the attractiveness and ease of cyberbullying.

Wiredsafety.org provides the following statistics to show how common cyberbullying is:
*90% of middle school students have had their feelings hurt online.
*75% have visited a Web site bashing another student.
*40% have had their password(s) stolen and changed by a bully who then locked them out of their own account or sent communication posing as them.
*Only 15% of parents polled knew what cyberbulling was.

State legislators and educators are starting to incorporate cyberbullying into their policies or drafting new laws, but parents need to become more aware of cyberbullying and learn what they can do to protect their child from either becoming a victim or stop their child from becoming a cyberbully.

For more information on cyberbullying and other related Internet safety concerns, visit these sites: wiredsafety.org and isafe.org

March 16, 2007

Computer Tips and Tricks: Web Site Shortcuts

Recently, we posted a blog on how to create Restart and Shutdown shortcut icons. Now you will learn how to create desktop shortcut icons of your favorite web sites. It's very simple to do and there's a couple of ways to do this:

First way:
  1. Right-click on your desktop and select New, Shortcut.
  2. new shortcut.JPG
  3. When the wizard window pops up, type in the Web address of the site you want to add. (Do keep in mind that it has to be a Web site with the normal "www") Click Next.
  4. type in.JPG
  5. Type in a shortcut name for that Web site.
  6. name.JPG
  7. Click Finish when you're done. You will now see a new icon on your desktop.
  8. ocls icon.JPG

Second way:
  1. Open your browser and go to the Web site you want to create a shortcut for.
  2. Look in the address bar at the top and you'll see a little Internet Explorer icon.
  3. dragging icon.JPG
  4. Drag the icon with your mouse and just drop it in your desktop.
  5. A new icon for it will then appear and you can then right-click the icon, choose Rename, give it a name, and then press Enter in your keyboard to lock the name of the new icon
  6. southwest blog.JPG
When you're ready to visit the site, just double-click on the icon and you will be taken to it automatically.

Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

February 27, 2007

Computer Tips and Tricks: Best Free Softwares

This week's blog is all about free softwares. Not just free, but the BEST free softwares that you can download at home. These are recommended applications that we can use everyday at work and/or at home, from internet security to photo or video editing. If you'd like to see more of these softwares, check it out at PCMAG.com

SECURITY
  • avast! 4 Home Edition
    A slick antivirus application that scans files on demand and on access, including e-mail attachments.
  • Comodo Firewall
    This firewall keeps the hackers out and keeps unauthorized programs from accessing the Internet, even tricky ones that sneak around normal program control.
  • StartupMonitor
    This application will alert you to programs that try to install themselves whenever you boot up Windows.
PRODUCTIVITY
  • Notepad++
    This is the advanced version of the Microsoft built-in text editor. A source-code editor that includes macros, collapsible sections, and syntax coloring for over 40 programming languages, from HTML and JavaScript to Fortran and Smalltalk.
  • OpenOffice.org
    The alternative to Microsoft Office. It includes a very capable word processor and spreadsheet that are compatible with MS Office files. There's also a presentation app, a diagramming tool, and a database.
UTILITIES & MANAGEMENT
  • Foxit Reader
    Adobe Acrobat can slow older systems to a crawl -- or even crash them. This application lets you get your PDF goodness without the Adobe bloat. It runs small and swift, either as a standalone app or from within your browser.
  • Gaim
    Gaim is a multiprotocol instant-messaging client that works with Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, IRC, Yahoo, and more.
  • RoboForm
    RoboForm automatically fills in username and password fielsds in your browser, with an option to password-protect them.
MUSIC & AUDIO
  • Audacity
    A powerful audio editing/recording package software that works on Linux, Mac, and Windows. Perfect for quick recordings and editing long files.
  • CDex
    CDex is a CD-ripping and file-conversion software for the extremely picky. It includes many different encoders and also has jutter correction for error-free CD ripping.
VIDEO & GRAPHICS
  • GIMP
    A powerful and efficient open-sourge bitmap-editing package. You'll need to get used to its nonstandard menus.
  • Picasa 2.0
    A photo-management tool from Google that creates a library of images on your computer, sorted by date.
  • Winamp
    A classic alternative music player that supports every audio format.


Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

February 12, 2007

Computer Tips and Tricks: Restart and Shutdown Shortcut

Are you getting tired of the long process of shutting down or restarting your computer? This process is where you go to the Start menu and select Turn Off or Shut Down and then make a selection again if you want to restart or shut down your computer. To avoid all these hassles, you can create shortcut icons either on your desktop or in your quick launch area. Just follow these simple steps.
  1. Right-click anywhere on your desktop.
  2. Go to New -> Shortcut. A wizard will then pop up and walk you through the steps.
  3. In the "Type the location of the item:" box, enter this code: %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe -r (This is to restart the computer).

  4. restart.JPG
  5. Click Next when you're done.
  6. In the box that says "Type a name for this shortcut," enter in whatever you'd like such as "Restart PC" or just simply "Restart".
  7. Click Finish to complete the process.
To create the shutdown icon, just follow the same steps but enter this code instead: %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe -s and then name it Shut Down.
icons2.JPG
You should now have 2 extra icons in your desktop. You can also add them to your quick launch area if you want. Very simple, right?

Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

January 22, 2007

Computer Tips and Tricks: Understanding and Testing Your Firewalls

Firewalls are a software or hardware product that can secure data coming into your computer. They act as guardian between a PC or local network and the rest of the network/Internet. When an unauthorized computer user attempts to scan and look for an open door to your system, the firewall sends a shield that reflects the scan, giving the indication that the attempted recipient computer is not even there. Windows XP does come with a basic and rigid firewall but it's better to have one than nothing at all.
If you haven't enabled your Windows XP firewall, just follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Network Connections icon.
  3. Right-click an icon and select Properties.
  4. Click the Advanced tab.
  5. Place a check in the box next to Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet.
  6. Click OK.
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Now if you don't think you need a firewall, or you have installed one and want to see if it's working correctly, you can use free utilities online to check for Internet-based vulnerabilities in your computer. One of these utilities is called ShieldsUP! which is being offered by Gibson Research Corporation.
To test your computer with ShieldsUP!, visit www.grc.com and click the ShieldsUP! link. Look for the section "Hot Spots", and click the link for ShieldsUP! Just follow the onscreen instructions, and be sure to run the Test My Shields! and Probe My Ports! tests.

Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

January 9, 2007

Computer Tips and Tricks: Displaying Function Keys

Would you like to learn Microsoft Word's functions keys (F1, F2, etc) without having difficulty remembering what each one does? You could do this by displaying a toolbar right in the program window. This toolbar will not only display what each function key does but it will also display what happens when they're combined with the Shift, Ctrl and/or Alt keys.
To display the toolbar:
  1. Click on the Tools menu and select Customize or right-click on any toolbar and choose Customize from the bottom of the list.

  2. Toolscustomize.JPG
  3. Select the Toolbars tab.
  4. Select the Function Key Display toolbar from the list and click Close to exit.

  5. functiondisplay.JPG

You should see an added toolbar across the bottom of your program window which looks like this:
functiontoolbar.JPG

You now have a list of what each function key will accomplish. Any keys that are "grayed out" will become active once the needed requirements are met like having the text highlighted. If you also hit either the Shift, Ctrl or Alt key, the display will change to show what each function key does with the new addition.

Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

December 21, 2006

Computer Tips and Tricks: From Double-Click to Single Click

Normally you open your files and folders by double-clicking on them. If you are having difficulty double-clicking or just want to open items more quickly and consistently, you can customize Windows XP to open items with a single mouse click instead of a double-click.
Just follow these easy steps:
  1. In any folder window, click the Tools menu.
  2. Select Folder Options.

  3. singleclick.JPG
  4. In the Folder Options dialog box, select the General tab.
  5. Click the Single-click to open an item option. If you don't like the look of all those underlined files and folders, click the Underline icon titles only when I point at them option.
  6. Click OK to exit.
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Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

December 19, 2006

Computer Tips and Tricks: Customizing Your Start Menu

Customizing the Windows XP Start menu will give yourself quick access to the programs that you use most often.
The items on the Start menu such as My Computer and Internet are very handy because they require just two clicks to launch. To start up all your other programs, you must click All Programs and then negotiate one or more submenus. You can avoid this extra work by pinning the icons of the programs you frequently use permanently to the Start menu.

To pin an item to your Start menu:
  1. Click the Start buttons.
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Open the submenu that contains the program you want to pin to the Start menu.
  4. Right-click the program icon.
  5. Click Pin to Start menu.

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Also remember that you can remove a pinned item by right-clicking the item and then clicking Unpin from Start menu.

Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

December 12, 2006

Tech News to Use - Online Communities Important to Many People

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The Digital Future Project recently released its sixth annual report concerning the Web's impact on society. Some of the major findings:

* 43 % of Americans who belong to online communities feel just as strongly about their membership in them as their real-world communites.
*More than 40% of Internet users say the Web helps them stay in touch more with family and friends.
*The number of U. S. bloggers and the number of people who post photos has doubled since 2003.
*Majority of parents feel their kids spent the right amount of time on the Web.
*Despite kids' opinion that Web access helps their schoolwork, 3/4 of parents report no change in their grades.

The overall findings seem to indicate the Internet's growing importance in the social lives of Americans.

Click here to read the complete article.


December 6, 2006

Computer Tips and Tricks: Print Your Folders

Would you like to know how to print a folder in Windows XP? Usually, if you have a folder containing 10 Word documents, you would select each and every document and print it. But wouldn't it be nice if you could print them all at once without spending too much time?
Windows XP does not have the option of selecting a folder and printing it, but you can make your own by writing a small batch file and placing it in the right location.

First, open your Notepad program (Start->All Programs->Accessories->Notepad) and type the following contents carefully, each on a separate line.

@echo off
dir%1/-P/O:gin>
"%temp%\listing"
Start/wnotepad/P"%temp%\listing"
del"%temp%%\listing"
exit


Next, you need to save this as Printdir.bat and store it in the location of C:\Windows\ (get here by double clicking the My Computer icon on your desktop, select the C: drive and find the Windows folder).
Printdir.JPG
Note: You can give any name to the file but it should have the .bat extension and remember when you save it, change the Save As Type from Text documents to All files.

You now have successfully created a batch file. Now do the following steps to bring up the option to print the folder.
  1. Double click on My Computer icon from your desktop.
  2. From the Tools menu, select Folder Options.
  3. Click on the File Types tab.
  4. Under "Registered File Types", select the File type called Folder and click on Advanced.

  5. Advanced.JPG
  6. The Edit File Type box will open, and then click on a button called New.
  7. In the New Action dialogue box, type Print Directory under the Action option.
  8. Under the "Application used to perform action" option, select C:\Windows\Printdir.bat (the path where your Notepad file is located) with the help pf the Browse button.

  9. new action.JPG
  10. Click OK to close the dialogue boxes.

Now, right-click on any folder and you will find the Print Directory option, where all the files in that folder will be printed, if you select them.
printdirectory.JPG

Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

November 21, 2006

Computer Tips and Tricks: Internet Browsers

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When surfing the net, most users have Internet Explorer as their browsers. The tip for today is to familiarize yourselves with other internet browsers that you can download and use. Below is a list of some popular browsers and their features:
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer - the new version (check our previous blog) features tabbed web browsing, RSS feed integration, multiple search engines, and security changes.
  • Mozilla Firefox - an open source browser featuring tabbed browsing, customization via feature extensions and UI themes, RSS support, news, forums, and more.
  • Netscape Browser - has a security center for adware and spyware protection, identity theft protection, real-time feeds, site controls, and more.
  • Opera Browser - features bitTorent, site preferences, content blocker, thumbnail preview, widgets, and more.
  • Maxthon Browser - a highly customizable interface based on the Internet Explorer engine.
  • Flock Browser - browser that integrates social networking, photo uploading, bookmarks, and other features.
  • Safari Browser - a KHTML-based web browser with a built-in RSS manager for Apple Computers and optimized for Mac OS X.


Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

OCLS and MySpace

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The Orange County Library System has created a MySpace account which is geared toward the younger generation. The teen MySpace page is created in order to reach teens in Orange County and raise awareness about the programs and services the library offers. This will also provide opportunities for teens to communicate with the library and each other.
Feel free to check the site at http://www.myspace.com/ocls.

~Information, Imagination, Inspiration~

November 8, 2006

Computer Tips and Tricks: Creating Desktop Icons

If you accidentally deleted an icon in your desktop or would like to make a shortcut icon of any program, just follow these simple steps:
  1. Click on Start->All Programs.
  2. Right-click on any program that you want to create a desktop icon.
  3. Move your mouse to Send to.
  4. Click on Desktop Create Shortcut.
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You can also create a shortcut icon in your desktop of a web page that you frequently visit.
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Go the site/page that you want to create a shortcut.
  3. Click on the File menu.
  4. Scroll down to Send to and select Shortcut to Desktop.
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Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

October 23, 2006

Computer Tips and Tricks: Internet Explorer 7

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On October 18th, Microsoft announced the release of Internet Explorer 7. This is the biggest upgrade for the popular web browser since 2001 and it has promised to bring new features that will provide better online security and increase the ease of use. Some of these features are as follows:
  • Simplified User Experience
  • Advanced Printing
  • RSS Feeds
  • Tabbed Browsing (My Favorite!)
  • Page Zoom which includes both text and graphics
  • Phishing Filter
  • Address Bar Protection
  • URL Handling Security<.li>
  • CSS Improvements
Here is a sample screenshot.
Click here to enlarge

If you use Windows XP, downloading IE 7 should be easy. It is also designed to work right along with the new operating system, Microsoft Vista, when it comes out. To start enjoying its new features, click here to download it now. Enjoy!

Keep on checking our blog for more computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info

October 16, 2006

Tech News to Use - MySpace and Partners Offering Parents Help

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No doubt MySpace has become a successful online social network phenonemem --with more than 100 million profiles created by users, including chief executives and Fortune 500 companies. Unfortunately, child predators have made it "TheirSpace" too. But there is more good news. MySpace will announce a partnership with Seventeen magazine, the National School Boards Association and the National Association of Independent Schools to offer parents tips on how to protect minors online. Brochures will also be distributed to about 55,000 schools representing grades 7 through 12 in the United States during October.

To download the guide for parents, surfers can click on "Safety Tips" found at the bottom of MySpace's home page. It also offers an option for parents to remove their child's profile, information on monitoring software, and links to other Internet safety resources.

For the complete article, "Seventeen, Schools to Help MySpace Educate Parents" found at ZDNet, click here.

October 11, 2006

Computer Tips and Tricks: Keyboard Shortcuts


Learn some of these keyboard shortcuts for Windows:
  • CTRL+C: Copy
  • CTRL+X: Cut
  • CTRL+V: Paste
  • CTRL+Z: Undo the last command
  • CTRL+B: Bold
  • CTRL+U: Underline
  • CTRL+I: Italic
  • F1: Help
  • CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu
  • ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs
  • ALT+F4: Quit program
  • SHIFT+DELETE: Deletes an item permanently without placing it in the Recycle Bin
  • CTRL+A: Select all the items in the current window
  • CTRL+TAB: Move through the property tabs
  • Windows Logo: Opens Start menu
  • Windows Logo+R: Opens Run dialog box
  • Windows Logo+M: Minimize all
  • Windows Logo+E: Opens Windows Explorer
  • Windows Logo+F: Find files or folders
  • Windows Logo+S: Toggles CAPS LOCK on and off

Keep on checking our blog for more weekly computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.

For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info.

October 5, 2006

OCLS enters the world of YouTube

Check out this OCLS promotional video in YouTube. Feel free to leave comments as well.

Computer Tips and Tricks: Customizing Your Toolbar

Did you know you can easily customize your Internet toolbar? Just follow these quick, easy steps using Internet Explorer(version 6 and below):
  1. Click on the View Menu.
  2. Scroll down to Toolbars and select Customize.

  3. toolbars.JPG
  4. Customize your toolbar by adding or removing any toolbar buttons. You can also change their locations by selecting Move Up or Move Down, and change the view by using the Text and Icon Options.

  5. customize.JPG
  6. Click Close to apply your changes
Before:
old toolbar.JPG
After:
new toolbar.JPG

Easy, right?

Keep on checking our blog for more weekly computer tips and tricks. Also, register for computer classes at any Orange County library. Remember these classes are free for Orange County residents.
For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info.

September 27, 2006

Computer Tips and Tricks: WordArt and More

If you want to add a “special effect” to a title or other text in your Microsoft Word document, use WordArt. WordArt enables text effects such as skewing, shadowing, stretching and more in different shapes and colors. To add WordArt:
  1. Click on Insert Menu.
  2. Scroll down to Picture and select WordArt.
  3. Select the style you want from the gallery and click OK.
  4. Choose your font type and size then type in your text and click OK.

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You can customize your WordArt by using the WordArt toolbar. If you can't see the toolbar, just right-click anywhere in your WordArt and select Show Format Toolbar. From here, you can edit your text or change it's style. You can also change the color of your WordArt by selecting the formatwordart.JPG icon in the toolbar. A display box will show and you will be able to change your fill or line colors. Use Fill Effects if you'd like to see different effects or patterns.
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You'll learn more of Microsoft Word features by taking computer classes at any Orange County library. For more information, call us at 407.835.7323 or check it out www.ocls.info.

September 20, 2006

Computer Tips and Tricks: Maintain a Healthy PC

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Would you like to have a faster computer? Do you have too many unused files that you would like to get rid of? Just use these simple tips:
Delete temporary files with Disk Cleanup Utility
  1. Double-click on My Computer.
  2. Right-Click on the drive you want to clean.
  3. Choose Properties.
  4. In the General tab, click on Disk Cleanup.
  5. Place checks on all the boxes which you want to remove the files from and click OK.
Check your disk with Scandisk
  1. Follow above steps 1-3.
  2. Click the tab labeled Tools.
  3. Click the button Check Now.
Defragment your PC to help your computer run faster
  1. Follow same steps 1-3.
  2. Click the tab labeled Tools.
  3. Click the button Defragment.
Do these procedures occassionally to keep your computer healthy. If you would like to learn more about this, sign up for Protect Your PC class. Southwest library is offering this class for the month of October so feel free to register.
For more information about the classes, check it out at www.ocls.info.

September 14, 2006

Computer Tips and Tricks: Text Size

Do you get disappointed when you view something on the Internet like an article and the text is sometimes too small that you can even hardly read it? This is probably because your text size is setup too small or the webpage itself has their text defaulted to small font.
To fix this, this is what you need to do:
1. Click on the View Menu
2. Move mouse pointer to Text Size
3. Select your desired text size (Medium, Larger, or Largest)

textsize.JPG
Now you can view the page better. But keep in mind that if you do make the text big and you want to print the page, it will take up more paper to print it.

Always check our blog to learn more computer tips and tricks. Better yet, learn all of this by attending computer classes at any Orange County library.

For more information about the classes, check it out at www.ocls.info.


September 13, 2006

Tech News to Use - 'The Blackberry Thumb'

blackberrytwo.GIF According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), you can now add the "Blackberry Thumb" to a list of workplace maladies.

BlackBerry Thumb refers to an increasingly common, repetitive-stress injury stemming from use of the popular handheld electronic devices. This stress injury causes pain and/or numbness in the thumbs and joints of the hands.
The condition is caused by spending too much time on these devices -- checking and composing e-mails, instant messaging, and accessing the Internet.

What makes it worse is heldhand devices are no longer limited to the workplace as more and more people use them after-work hours to stay in touch with family and friends. And for those middle-agers who overuse the handheld devices, an underlying arthritis condition may be aggravated.

To read the article, including tips by the APTA on how to avoid the "Blackberry Thumb," click here.

August 1, 2006

Self-printer, Value Cards, and more...

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Starting today, Southwest Library is now equipped with self-printer and self-copy machines. Customers will be required to have an OCLS Library Card or a Value Card in order to purchase copies from a photocopier and printouts from a computer.

Value Cards can be purchased from a vending machine at the library for $1.00. The card will be dispensed with $0.50 value on it. Additional amounts can be added to Value Cards or OCLS Library Cards at the vending machine in increments of $1.00.

We hope this new service will bring greater convenience to the library experience. For further information, please call 407.835.7323 or email southwest@ocls.info

May 4, 2006

PROTECT YOUR PC

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Wanna know how to maintain a healthy PC? Sign up this month to learn the guidelines on how to protect your computer, become familiar with the security threats, and know the best solutions against these threats.

Dates: May 19 & 26 (Fri)
Time: 2 - 3:30 pm
Location: Southwest Branch Library

Recommended Prerequisite: Internet Basics
For registration, visit your library or call us at 407.835.7323.
For ages 18+ only.

March 25, 2006

Young people turn to the Web for news

Meg Scholz, a senior at the University of Texas, goes online at least a few times every day to check her e-mail.

When she does, Scholz invariably scans several news websites and blogs to see what's going on in the world. She rarely picks up a newspaper or watches TV news, because for her, the Web serves virtually all her news needs.

“It's not that I have anything against reading a printed newspaper,” says Scholz, 21. “But for my lifestyle, the Internet is more accessible.”

Justin Ulahannan, 22, watches TV news occasionally and he reads the print edition of The Wall Street Journal, which he gets free as an intern at the U.S. Business Council in Washington.

But otherwise, he gets news online from CNN.com or BBC.com. “It's just a matter of convenience,” Ulahannan says. “Why would I pay money (for a newspaper) when I can get the same thing online for free?”


For the rest of the article, click here.

For more information regarding the Orange County Library Systems newspaper and magazine databases, click here.

March 18, 2006

Will Google Threaten Microsoft Office?

Why is the blogosphere abuzz lately about Google buying Upstartle, a four-person software company with no revenues? The obvious answer: industry-watchers are sensing another fight coming between Google and Microsoft.

Upstartle makes Writely, a Web-based word processor that's free. Launched in November 2005, the product has gained around 150,000 users. That's just a blip for Google, of course, but the deal is interpreted by some as confirmation that the search-engine leader is trying to knock Microsoft off its software throne -- using so-called "Web 2.0" technologies. These technologies, such as asynchronous JavaScript and XML (together dubbed AJAX), allow Web applications, such as word processors, to perform at speeds comparable to desktop applications.

For the rest of the arcticle, click here.

Meanwhile, if you're interested in learning more about using Microsoft Office, the Orange County Library System offers many classes to suit your needs. To learn more about computer class information and scheduling, click here.

February 13, 2006

XBOX and PS2 Games Now Available

XBOX and PS2 computer games have arrived at Southwest!

The number of games in our collection grows weekly. The games can be checked out at the front desk for one week. Due to the anticipated popularity, the games can not be renewed or reserved; and there is a limit of one game per library card holder. All games are rated E (for everyone).

Some XBOX titles:
Shrek: Superslam
MVP NCAA Baseball 06
Need for Speed: Underground 2

Some PS2 titles:
Gran Turismo 4
NASCAR 06: Total Team Control
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2006

So get gaming @ your library. For more information, ask library staff.