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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, March 29, 2015

We will not be publishing this newsletter next week so that we can celebrate the holidays with our families and friends. We wish all of our readers a Happy Passover and Happy Easter.

In this Issue:
Special Feature: IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam
Special Feature: Your Mac Computer - Getting Started with OS X - Shortcuts
Special Feature: iPad Tips and Tricks
Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Detect and Repair Disk Errors
Websites of Interest: Palm Sunday; Passover; Easter


Special Feature: IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

From irs.gov

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

“This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country. We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves. Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.” Werfel noted that the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail.

Learn more here:


Special Feature: Your Mac Computer - Getting Started with OS X - Shortcuts

From gcflearnfree.org

Whether you're new to computers or just new to OS X, it's important to learn the basics of using your computer. If it all seems a little overwhelming right now, don't worry! We'll take you through it step by step and show you some of the most fundamental things you'll need to know.


If you have a file or folder you use frequently, you can save time by creating a shortcut on the desktop. Instead of navigating to the file or folder every time you want to use it, you can simply double-click the shortcut to open it. A shortcut will have a small arrow in the lower-left corner of the icon.

Note that creating a shortcut does not create a duplicate copy of the folder—it's simply a way to access it more quickly. If you delete a shortcut, it will not delete the actual folder or the files it contains. Also note that copying a shortcut onto a flash drive will not work; if you want to bring a file with you, you'll need to navigate to the actual location of the file and copy it to the flash drive.

Use this link to learn to learn more:

In our next newsletter: Finding Your Files


Working With Files and Folders:

Moving and Deleting Files:

Selecting Multiple Files


Special Feature: iPad Tips and Tricks

A collection of tips showing some useful features of iPad with iOS 8.

From apple.com

Take Artistic Control

Using the camera app, to override automatic settings and set your own focal point, touch where you want to lock exposure and focus, and hold until the rectangle pulses. Now you’re free to frame your shot.

Find Anything

Drag down the center of the Home screen to reveal Spotlight. Search your iPad, Wikipedia, iTunes, and much more. Change what’s searched (and the order) in Settings > General > Spotlight Search.

Open a Link in a New Tab

Explore a link in Safari without losing your place. Touch and hold the link, then choose Open in New Tab.

Use Siri Hands-Free

When iPad is connected to power, say “Hey Siri” and your request. To turn it on, go to Settings > General > Siri.


Today's Topic: Speed Up a Slow Computer – Detect and Repair Disk Errors

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.

In our ongoing series, Speed Up a Slow Computer, 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:

Detect and Repair Disk Errors

As a computer gets older, parts of the hard drive can begin to develop errors. Disk usage and improper shutdowns can cause what are called bad sectors. This kind of error takes up disk space and can lead to slow performance.

Windows includes a tool called CheckDisk or Disk Checker (depending on your version of Windows). It searches the disk for errors and bad sectors and attempts to fix them. To use CheckDisk, follow these steps:

Open My Computer or Computer. My Computer is found in Windows XP and Computer is found in Vista and 7. Look for the icon on the desktop or in the item in the Start menu.

Right click on the C: drive. Click Properties in the resulting menu.

Click the Tools tab at the top.

Click the Check Now button.

Click to select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box and click Start.

This will check the hard disk and, if possible, repair any errors it finds.

In our next edition, Speed Up a Slow Computer – CCleaner


Websites of Interest:

Palm Sunday
Today is Palm Sunday, the sixth and last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week. To learn more, take a look at this website:

Passover begins this week. Learn more about the celebration of the Jewish holiday of Pesach.

Take a look at this site for Passover recipes.
Visit this website for information about the religious traditions and history of Easter.

Easter brunch, dinner and desert ideas and recipes