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Welcome to this week's edition of the Computer Kindergarten Newsletter.
Today is Sunday, July 20, 2014

In this Issue:
Special Feature: Malware
Special Series: Useful Microsoft Windows 8.1 Tips & Tricks
Special Feature: If You Have A Mac, Memorize These 13 Keyboard Tricks
Today's Topic: Three Windows Shortcuts Every Beginner Should Know
Special Feature: iPad Basics - Mail
Websites of Interest: The Best Family-Friendly Road Trips Across America; Learn More About Climate; Track New Book; Mathway


Special Feature: Malware

By Peter May of How Stuff Works

In addition to spyware, there are other kinds of invasive programs that can make your computing life miserable, so it's worth it to take a moment to define a few terms:

Malware: Short for malicious software, malware is a catch-all phrase used to define any program that runs on a computer without the user's knowledge and performs predetermined functions that cause harm. In that sense, spyware can also be malware.

Adware: Similar to spyware and malware, in that it resides on a computer without the user's knowledge, adware specifically refers to programs that display pop-up advertisements. The subject matter of the ads is often based on surfing habits, but may also be tied to a specific advertiser.

Virus: As the name implies, a virus is a program that is designed to spread itself among files on a single computer or computers on a network -- usually the Internet. Often, crackers (hackers with malicious intent) create these programs just to see how far they will spread. Unfortunately, even a supposedly harmless virus can have a serious effect on processing and network operations.

Worm: Similar to a virus, a worm spreads itself around a network. Worms, however, do so by making copies of themselves as they spread. They also may be capable of changing their profile to avoid detection.

Trojan: Like the infamous horse of Greek mythology, the computer version takes on the appearance of something benign, such as an update or add-on to an actual program. Once on your computer, it may perform harmful functions such as erasing your hard disk or deleting all your image files. Like spyware, a Trojan may also gather information and send it to the developer.

Cookie: While cookies aren't really malware, they can be used in similar ways. Cookies are small data files used by Web sites to store information on your computer. For example, a shopping site may want to identify items you've looked at, but not purchased, or store data on current purchases until you head for the checkout. A less scrupulous site, however, may decide to look through your cookies for personal information, such as recent sites you have visited.


In our next newsletter:
The Effects of Spyware


Special Series: Useful Microsoft Windows 8.1 Tips & Tricks

From hongkiat.com

With the upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1, Microsoft has made several changes mainly to improve on certain aspects that Windows 8 has received criticism for. For starters, there’s the return of the good old Start button, ability to create a lock screen slideshow, and even support for 3D printing!

View Options from the Start Button

The Start button is back. It is similar to the Start button found on Windows 7. Left-click on the button (bottom left of the screen) and it will redirect you to the Start Screen. If you right-click on it, it will show options for Run, Search, Desktop, Shut Down, and many more.

Log In Straight to Desktop

When you start your computer, by default it will take you to the Start Screen. There is a way to start your computer and go straight to the Desktop instead. Right-click on the desktop toolbar, select Properties and go to the Navigation tab. Under the Start Screen options, enable the box "When I sign in or close all applications on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start".


Customize Home Screen Tiles

Besides resizing icons, you can also customize your home screen tiles on Windows 8.1. To move and group tiles, just go to your Start Screen and right-click on any of the tiles. After grouping your tiles, you can also name them by filling in the Name Group field.

Customize Start Screen Background

Windows 8.1 also allows you to customize your start screen. Just swipe the Settings Charm menu and tap on Settings. Click on Personalize to change the colors of the background as well as the accent.

Create a Lock Screen Slideshow

Previously, your Windows lock screen could only be a static photo. On Windows 8.1, you are able to create a lock screen slideshow with your favorite photos. To do this, go to the Settings Charm menu, click on Change PC Settings, select PC and Devices then click on Lock Screen. Enable the option On to create a lock screen slideshow.

Customize Privacy Options

Windows 8.1 offers you options to set what devices and data are used by apps found in the Windows Store. You can allow or block apps from accessing your personal information. You are also able to turn off your advertising ID so that advertisers do not use your personal data to display personalised ads. To customize these settings, go to Change PC settings and navigate to Privacy.

Prevent Apps from Running In The Background

Previously on Windows 8, when you drag a Start Screen app down to the bottom of the screen, it will close the app. However, on Windows 8.1, this action will only make the app disappear – it is still running in the background. To close the app, drag the app down to the bottom of the screen but instead of letting it go, hold on to it. Wait until the app card flips over, and only now the app is closed.

Restore Libraries

By default, Windows 8.1 has hidden Libraries. If you want to get it back, open File Explorer and you will find the newly renamed This PC view. Here, select View, and click on Navigation pane. Lastly, enable the option to Show Libraries.

Use Help & Tips App

For further help on how to get the most out of Windows 8.1, an app has been added to guide you on pretty much everything. There are short animations to show you the correct gestures and concepts to master Windows 8.1. You can find this app on the Start Screen, titled Help+Tips.


Special Feature: If You Have A Mac, Memorize These 13 Keyboard Tricks

By Carina Kolodny of huffingtonpost.com

If you're going to spend your life with your hands hovering over a keyboard, you might as well do it right. Or at least make the experience as tolerable as possible.

And while most Mac users know basic keyboard shortcuts -- command + "X" to cut, command +"V" to paste, etc. -- there are so many more life-altering, time-saving tricks to be discovered. Let us lead you into the light.

1. If your boss walks by while you're reading this article, press...


Command + W quickly closes the current tab on your web browser, which is helpful if you're trying to sneak in a cat video at work.

2. If your boss walks by and basically everything you're reading is incriminating, press...


Command + H hides the current application and all of its windows. Because, let's face it, sometimes more than one tab can be incriminating.

3. If you're drowning in a sea of windows...


Command + Option + M minimizes all your windows so you can create the illusion of a fresh start. But remember, "starting over" really just adds to the mess.

4. If you need to cut through the clutter, press...


Command + F3 pushes all your open applications out of the way so you can actually see your desktop, so you can procrastinate dealing with impending application overload.

5. To become a tab-scrolling expert, press..

COMMAND + 1 (and so on)

Command + a number helps you easily scroll through the respective tabs in your web browser, so you can quickly see what you need and, more importantly, click out of what you don't.

6. If you're kind of picky about your computer volume, press...


Option+Shift+F11+F12 will lower or raise the volume in smaller increments than the typical volume symbols.

7. If you need to add a little psychedelic flavor to your day, press...


Control+Option+Command+8 reverses the colors on your screen.

8. If you don't want to watch the entire hour-long YouTube video of your niece's dance recital, press...

1, 2, 3 (and so on)

1, 2, 3 will advance the video to 10 percent completion, 20 percent completion, 30 percent completion, respectively (and so on and so forth).

9. If you frequently write words like "antidisestablishmentarianism," press...


Option+Delete deletes entire words so you don't have to hold down the delete key forever.

10. If your vocabulary isn't quite as advanced, try...


Control+Command+D will define any highlighted word.

11. If formatting copied text drives you insane, try...


Control+Command+V pastes your copied text without including its formatting. Your formatting problems have now been disappeared.

12. If you're a fast reader, try


Command+Up and Command+Down will make your scroll jump. This command will have you hopping through the text for a speedier reading experience.

13. If the feeling of the sun on your face has been permanently replaced with the feeling of your retina display on your face, try...


Control+Option+Command+Eject quickly shuts down your computer so you can get outside!


Today's Topic: Three Windows Shortcuts Every Beginner Should Know

By Whitson Gordon of lifehacker.com/

If there's one thing that'll make you faster and more productive on a computer, it's keyboard shortcuts. There are a lot of keyboard shortcuts beginners should know, but here are three specific to Windows that can make getting around a lot easier.

This is a very small, basic list, and it's far from exhaustive—but it's a list of three shortcuts I definitely take for granted in Windows. If you want to really master keyboard shortcuts, check out our Back to Basics guide here (http://tinyurl.com/ce5lotq). Mac users should check out this list of productivity boosting shortcuts instead (http://tinyurl.com/lwjt5ec).

The Windows Key + Typing

Are you tired of clicking the Start menu, going to "All Programs," scrolling to a folder, hovering over it, and clicking a shortcut all just to open a program? (Or, if you're a Windows 8 user, scrolling through your start screen?) One of the best Windows shortcuts in existence is the Windows key: just press it, and start typing the name of the program you want to launch. It'll pop up in seconds, after which you can press Enter to launch it. It's a lot faster than all that clicking and scrolling! This works in both Windows 7 and Windows 8.


This one's a bit more basic. Even if you're a beginner, you're probably familiar with the ever-famous Ctrl+Alt+Delete shortcut. In older versions of Windows, this is how you'd bring up the Task Manager, which is useful if a program has locked up or is otherwise misbehaving.

In Windows 7 and 8, however, you may have noticed that Ctrl+Alt+Delete brings up a separate screen with more options, and requires an extra click to get to the Task Manager. Instead, just press Ctrl+Shift+Escape. It's easier to reach with one hand, and it'll take you directly to the Task Manager so you can manage your running apps. (Note that Ctrl+Alt+Delete is still a great way to quickly log out or shut down, especially in Windows 8).

Alt (or F10)

This is one of those lesser-known shortcuts that I wonder how I ever lived without. You've probably noticed that some programs—like Firefox, Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, and others—have done away with the traditional "File, Edit, View, etc." menus in favor of a more condensed layout. This is fine, until you need an option that only shows up in those more advanced menus, and you don't know where to look.

Luckily, the answer's very simple: just press the Alt key (or F10). It'll temporarily bring back that traditional menu bar with File, Edit, and other buttons so you can find what you're looking for. (Unfortunately this doesn't work in Windows 8's version of Windows Explorer, but it still works in most other apps).


Special Feature: iPad Basics - Mail

From gcflearnfree.org

Mail is probably one of the first apps you'll want to set up on your device. You can use it to catch up on email, reply to messages, and manage your inbox—all the things you're used to doing with your email account, except the app makes it much more convenient.

Mail is compatible with Gmail, Hotmail, and most other popular services. You can even add more than one account to the app; for example, your personal email, as well as your work email. That way, you can check all of your email in one convenient place.

Have More Than One Apple Device?

Most people will sync their email simply by signing into the same account on each device. This solution isn't as high tech as syncing with iCloud, but it works exactly the same way. You can sync Mail with iCloud only if you have an @icloud.com email address.

To Set Up Mail:

Open the Mail app.
Tap your email service to continue. If you don't see yours, tap Other.
Follow the instructions to enter your account information. The steps will be slightly different for each email service, because each one is unique.

Optional: Do you have your own contacts, calendar, or reminders tied to your email account? You can sync that information too, and it'll be added to the appropriate app on your device. Your options will vary depending on the type of email account you have. Use the controls next to each item to choose ON or OFF. Then tap Save to continue.

Your email will be synced with your device.


In our next edition: Getting to Know Mail


Websites of Interest:

The Best Family-Friendly Road Trips Across America

Learn More About Climate

Track New Book
Receive a notice by email when your favorite author publishes a new book

For parents and grandparents who help their kids with homework. This site solves any kind of math problem, from basic math to chemical equations.