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Articles written by Bob Delaurentis

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Windows 11, personalize a device, account passwords

Q. What is the latest information on the Windows 11 upgrade? A. Since I wrote about it last month, the picture is much clearer. Windows 11 will be available on October 5. Moreover, thanks to Microsoft’s refreshed PC Health Check app, you should be...

 

Emoji dictionary, device chargers, Windows 11 update

Q. Is there a dictionary for Emoji? A. What a delightful question. There is not just a dictionary, but an entire encyclopedia! Point any web browser to emojipedia.org, your one-stop shop for all things emoji. While many people know about emoji, fewer...

 

Home automation do's and don'ts

In the decades since George Jetson previewed his push-button lifestyle, some of us have dreamed of a smart home of our very own. Yet this branch of technology has resisted the kind of progress that has put supercomputers in our pockets. Most home...

 

Accessibility: See better with your smartphone

Q. How do I make the text on my phone larger? A. The good news is that both iPhone and Android have system settings to make text larger, and many apps support adjustable-size text based on these settings. The less good news is that these settings...

 

Windows 11, teaching online, Apple Watch battery life

Q. I am excited about Windows 11, but I do not want to wait until December to try it. Is there a way to get an advance copy? A. It has been six long years since Microsoft launched Windows 10, and from what I have seen so far of Windows 11, it was...

 

App removal, Tracker tags, Google Photos fees

Q. There is an app on my phone that I do not use. Can I save space by removing it? A. Not only will you save space, removing unneeded apps will make the phone much less cumbersome to use. When I set up my mom’s new iPhone, I removed all but the...

 
 By Bob DeLaurentis    Columns    May 1, 2021

Cords, video stills and internet data removal

Q. My grandson accidentally sent my laptop crashing to the floor when his leg hooked around its power cord. Other than unplugging my new laptop when he visits, how do I tame the mess of cables that is lurking around my computer table? A. I am sorry t...

 

Best Android apps, iCloud and Apple Keychain

Q. I got my first Android smartphone over the holidays. Which apps do you consider must-haves? A. Best in class apps for Android are not hard to find. Depending on your phone model, many of them may already be installed. Here is a quick roundup of...

 

Slowing computer, AppleTV explained, family memories online

Q. My computer slows down the longer I use it. A restart will make it better for an hour, but I fear this problem will get worse. A. Computers slow down for many reasons. When a computer slows down, it generally means a resource is constrained. The m...

 

New life into old computers, unwanted alerts, iPhone security

Q. I have several old computers in my garage that are just taking up space. Before I send them to the recycler, I wonder if there is anything useful I could do with them. A. Working from home and remote learning has increased the demand for...

 

Printer woes, backup settings, Facebook 'news'

Q. I can’t print from my laptop computer. When I checked if my HP5255 was connected, I found a printer email address that ended with @hpprint.com. I also do not understand why that address is different than my regular email address. A. I feel your...

 

TV slideshows, printer fix, beta software

Q. Is there a way to view personal photos on my television? A. A living room TV is a perfect venue to share your family photo collection, and there are choices to fit every budget. Many televisions built in the last decade can already display...

 

Disinfecting phones; HBO; how to avoid data caps

Q. How do I disinfect a smartphone or tablet? A. Manufacturers usually publish guidelines for their products, and you should follow them. The most common advice is to avoid using too much liquid by applying it first to a clean, lint-free cloth. Use...

 

Selecting the best smartphone, Zoom privacy, and getting help

Q. Which mobile phone is the best value? A. Although many options exist in the smartphone market, one choice stands above all the others: The 2020 iPhone SE. I am so impressed by the new iPhone SE that I believe it should be the first phone anyone...

 
 By Bob DeLaurentis    Columns    May 1, 2020

Computer tune-ups, anti-virus, voice assistants

Q. What is an effective way to keep my laptop running like new? A. There is a powerful technique that can work miracles, but it also requires great care — reinstall the operating system. This is not the best option for everyone, but done properly i...

 

App Store permissions, internet self-care, new drive storage

Q. I was tempted by an app on the Microsoft App Store but stopped when I saw the permission list: “Access all your files, peripheral devices, apps, programs, and registry.” Do I have to let them breach my security? A. Any sort of restriction on...

 

Windows 7, smart home gear, iPad anniversary

Q. I see that Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft. Do I have to upgrade right away? A. If you found a 10-year old can of beans in your pantry, would you eat it? How about an ancient jar of mayonnaise? Just like old food hidden away in the...

 

Smartphone medical info, battery hogs, and cookies

Q. How do I show my medical information on my smartphone’s lock screen? A. Both Android and iPhone support storage of personal medical information and emergency contacts, accessible even when phones are locked. In an emergency, your phone can...

 

Fire Tablet, Disney+, 3G network shutdown

Q. My daughter gave me an Amazon Fire tablet. What is the best way to learn how to use it? A. The Amazon Fire is a great introduction to the world of tablet computers. Because the Fire can do so many different things, it can seem confusing at first....

 

Big TVs, voice assistants, preserving online accounts

Q. TVs in my price range are twice the size they were a few years ago. What should I keep in mind when buying one of these big sets? A. There are two measurements to focus on, screen size and resolution. The ideal screen size mostly depends on the...

 

New iPhones, streaming TV, and the Apple Watch

Q. What are your favorite new features on this year’s new iPhone? A. Every September Apple releases new iPhone hardware and a major system software update. Both deliver plenty of new features. This year the big hardware update is longer battery...

 

Password managers to the rescue

Q. What is a password manager and how does it work? A. Password managers are apps that use a master password to protect confidential information. They enable users to securely store more information than can be memorized. The two common...

 

Internet speed, surfing incognito, USB-C flaws

Q. The Internet in my house seems slower than at my local coffee shop. How do I measure the speed and compare the two? A. My favorite test site is located at www.speedof.me. Each connection has three numbers: Ping, Download, and Upload. Ping...

 

Disk recovery, lost keys, TV tracking

Q. My computer was crushed in an accident. I was able to rescue the drive from the wreckage, but how do I copy my files onto a new computer? A. This can be a surprisingly complex task. Simply installing the old drive into a new computer will not...

 

Killing iTunes, dying PCs, and missing email

Q. A few weeks ago I read that Apple was killing iTunes. How will I load music onto my iPod? A. In early June there was a flood of dire sounding news about the end of iTunes. Let me put some of the more alarmist implications to rest. Apple is...

 

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