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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, January 25, 2015

In this Issue:
Special Feature: 6 Places Never to Use a Debit Card
Special Feature: Install Windows 8.1 Update 1
Special Feature: Laptop Buying Guide
Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Turn Off Auto Start Programs
Special Feature: Learn to Navigate the iPad Like a Pro With These Gestures:
Websites of Interest: January is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month; International Holocaust Remembrance Day; Real Simple; Long Island Kids

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Special Feature: 6 Places Never to Use a Debit Card

By Sid Kirchheimer of aarp.org

Credit or debit? Although both cards look the same, they offer different protections.

Under federal law, if your credit card is used to make unauthorized charges after it is lost or stolen, you’re liable for only $50 - no matter the amount and with no time restrictions to report the fraud. And many issuers won’t even charge the $50 for valued customers.

But with a debit card, you have just two business days to report an unauthorized loss or money transfer, or you could be liable for up to $500. Wait more than 60 calendar days after your statement is mailed and you could be responsible for all money pilfered from its connected account.

Although debit cards offer no-interest savings - which may factor for some plastic users - here are six places where you should never use them:

http://tinyurl.com/kk6ayyc

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Special Feature: Install Windows 8.1 Update 1

Important: You will not be able to install Windows 8.1 Update 1 if you have not upgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. To do this, please review the last edition of our newsletter at www.computerkindergarten.com/011815.html

From microsoft.com

Windows 8.1 Update includes improvements that make your favorite apps and settings easier to find and use, and provide more familiar mouse and keyboard options.

Here’s what you need to know about installing this important update.

It might already be installed. If you’re running Windows 8.1 and you get updates automatically, you don’t need to do anything: Windows Update will have downloaded and installed the update for you. It won’t interrupt what you’re doing except to tell you that you need to restart your PC to finish the installation.

To check if the update is already installed, go to the Start screen. If you see a Search button near your account name at the top of the Start screen, you already have the update.

After the update, the Search button appears on the Start screen.

Install the Update Manually

If you’re running Windows 8.1 and you don’t have the update yet, you can manually check for and install the update by following these steps:

Make sure your PC is plugged in and connected to the Internet. Don’t disconnect, unplug, or turn off your PC while the update is being installed.

Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Windows Update.

Tap or click Check now.

If updates are found, tap or click View details.

In the list of updates, select the update containing KB 2919355, and then tap or click Install.

If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation.

After the installation is complete, restart your PC and sign in.

Why you should install this update

We strongly recommend that you install Windows 8.1 Update (KB 2919355). This is a critical update that is required for future updates to Windows. If you prevent it from installing or you uninstall it, you won’t get some future bug fixes, security updates, and new features.

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Special Feature: Laptop Buying Guide

Your laptop is your go-to device for everything from productivity and gaming to social networking, so you should pick the system that matches your needs and budget. With dozens of choices at different prices and sizes–ranging from $199 11-inch Chromebooks to $2,000, 17-inch gaming behemoths–picking the right portable can pose a challenge to even the most tech-savvy consumer. That’s why we’re here to help.

Just follow the link below, answer the questions and we’ll provide custom recommendations based on your needs.

http://blog.laptopmag.com/laptop-finder

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Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Turn Off Auto Start Programs

As your Windows computer ages, its speed can decrease. You will notice an increase in response time when you give commands to open programs, files or folders, use the Internet and other tasks. There are several things you can do to speed up your computer.

Over the next several editions of this newsletter, we will present articles discussing some of the steps you can take to speed up your slow computer.

Important: Before making any changes to your system, always create a Restore Point. If anything goes wrong with the changes you make, this will allow you to revert back to a point when the computer was operating correctly. Please visit our Newsletter Archives to read our article, All About Restore Points:

http://computerkindergarten.com/restorepoints.html

Turn Off Auto Start Programs

Windows will automatically open programs that are in your Startup folder. You will find the startup folder in the Start button menus. Click the Start button or orb, point to Programs, and then point to Startup.

Everything you see in there automatically opens when you turn your computer on. (If you do not recognize everything in there, note that some programs run behind the scenes and you will never see them on your desktop).

While it may be convenient for programs to be open when you are ready to use them, this process usually significantly increases the time it takes to start the computer.

Some programs, in the installation process, are designed to put a shortcut in the Startup folder; you may not necessarily want that program to open every time you use your computer. These programs can be removed from Auto Startup.

To do so, click the Start button, point to Programs, point to Startup. Right click the Program that you want to remove. Left click Delete from the resulting menu.

You will be asked to confirm the deletion; click Yes, OK or Delete Shortcut (depending on your version of Windows).

Note: When you delete a program from the Start menu, you are not uninstalling the program from the computer. You are deleting the Shortcut, which is the command that tells Windows to open the program. The program will still exist on the computer, and, more than likely, another shortcut to the program will be elsewhere in the Start menu.

In our next edition, learn more about turning off programs that start up automatically.

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Special Feature: Learn to Navigate the iPad Like a Pro With These Gestures:

By Daniel Nations of about.com

The iPad is easy to use in part because many of the gestures used to manipulate it are very intuitive. But while it is easy to pick up an iPad and begin launching and controlling apps by tapping the screen, some other gestures might not come so easily until you discover them. This list will detail some of the gestures used to manipulate the iPad, which will help you get the most out of the tablet:

http://tinyurl.com/ld3swcp

 

In our next newsletter:
The List of All the New Gestures in iOS 8

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Websites of Interest:

January is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month
As the threat of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning increases during the winter months when the heat is on, it is crucial that awareness increases as well.
http://tinyurl.com/p5afj2q

International Holocaust Remembrance Day
January 27 is the international memorial day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust.
http://tinyurl.com/bvg7k3

Real Simple
Life made easier.
http://www.realsimple.com/

Long Island Kids
Places to go with your kids on Long Island
http://www.longisland.com/kids/