Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Email Address Change

October 23, 2009

Hi Everyone,

Effective immediately, my main email address is: prospector16
This is my main online connection for all cloud software and networks.

I am canceling Bell Sympatico and switching to Cable Internet.

If you get this email twice, I apologize.


Gregory West
Columnist and Computer / Internet Instructor
Web: (click on Groups)
Phone: 519-331-5067
Email: prospector16 (at)



July 11, 2009

This is our 3rd. season for our Basic Computer and Internet Training Seminars. It is a FREE program open to the public.

Free Computer / Internet Training

Free Computer / Internet Training

The only catch is that you can bring one canned goods product for a donation to the Sarnia Food Bank.

Here is our proposed lineup and it is numbers by the weeks of the presenation order.

I am looking for suggestions and comments so PLEASE email me: (Greg West)

Getting Started with Your Computer…and then some!

1: Buying a Computer.

– what to look out for
– what kinds are good ones
– what stores are better and safer
– is that low price really a good deal
– what do you need inside your computer
– how much should I spend

2: Setting Up Your Computer.

– add password
– additional users
– set time & date
– set screen size
– turn off computer

3: Getting around the Windows Desktop.

– taskbar
– quick launch bar
– recycle bin
– desktop shortcuts
– change desktop picture
– start button/menu
– arrange desktop icons (R-click)
– recycle bin
– find a file with Win Explorer
– start a program
– switch between programs
– resize a window close a program
– how to remove USB devices

4: Customizing Windows.

– change desktop background
– choose a desktop theme
– set up a screen saver
– change mouse behavior
– uninstall an application

5: Working with Files and Folders.

– understand how Windows organizes data
– find and open files
– choose a file or folder view
– create new folder
– rename folder
– search for a file
– add file to favourite list (open windows by Right click START and choosing EXPLORE
– back up – USB, CD, DVD

6: Working with Printers, Scanners, and Fax Machines.

– invite guest from Data Tek or Staples to demonstrate

7: Getting FREE Help
– forums
– using search engines such as google & bing

8: Creating Documents with Works Word Processor.

doc = documents
– open new documents – enter & edit text
– save a doc
– open existing doc
– cut copy paste text
– format text
– add photo or graphic
– resize objects
– spell check
– print a doc
– types of text file such as rich text etc. 

9: Work with Numbers and Finances.

– spreadsheet – guest speaker
– online banking – guest speaker from a bank
– online investing – as above
– pay bills online – my wife

10: Get the Most from Movies and Digital Photos.

– Windows Media Player
– Windows Photo Gallery
– Googleʼs Picasa
– Windows Movie Maker
– play movies with Windows Media Player
– upload photos from digital camera
– view digital image in Windows Photo Gallery
– add tags to photos
– play a slide show with Windows Photo Gallery
– fix photos
– burn photos to CD

11: Listening to & Downloading (recording) Music and more… 

– iTunes
– Windows Media Player
– create Windows Media Player Playlist
– burn CD music
– buying music online
– playing online Radio Stations & Podcasts & TV

12: Playing Games in Windows Vista.

I am not a game player. I am sure we can get a few people to help demonstrate some of the computer games they like to play. We can show how to find FREE games, how to play games on the Internet against other people around the world in live sessions. And of course we can set a general discussion and live demonstration.

Exploring the Internet

13: Understanding Internet Basics. 

– explain the Internet
– different types of connections & speeds
– navigate the web: enter click on blue E show back and forth
– tabbed browsing etc.
– popups
– setup a home page with tabs
– secure surfing and online safety

14: Browsing the Web with Internet Explorer & FireFox

– add website to favourites
– change website name in favourites
– organize favourites
– customize Internet Explorer Toolbar
– download files and save to hard drive doc
– printing web pages
– playing podcasts
– finding podcasts
– cookies
– privacy settings
– enable content advisor

15: Keeping in Touch with E-Mail.

– set up an account
– set up Windows Mail
– Windows Mail and inbox
– manage email accounts
– create and send email
– send an attachment
– read a message
– reply to and forward email
– create and add signature
– format email messages
– add contacts
– customize Windows Mail
– create message folders
– organize messages in folders
– create mail rules
– spam 

16: Connecting with People Online. 

– Skype phone calling free phone calling between computers anywhere on
 the planet
– instant messaging what is it and how does it work
– use a webcam (it is really easy honestly)
– Magic Jack phone via computer
– Blogs and their many uses
– explore virtual worlds –
– find people with common interests
– playing games on the Internet live with other people for free

Taking Care of Your Computer.

17: Protecting Windows Computers. 

– cleaning inside and out and save yourself lots of money
– FREE virus protection that really works
– spyware
– adware
– malware
– Windows Defender included in Vista
– update patches Microsoft automatically
– run Windows Update
– enable Windows firewall
– run Windows Defender scan
– full scan, quick scan and custom scans

18: Maintaining Windows.

– defrag
– free up disk space
– delete cookies using IE
– set reminder for maintenance tasks
back up important files





Note: Outline for this came from Computers For Seniors For Dummies as a guideline

MacSpeech – It types as you talk and FAST

July 3, 2009

Monday next week I am giving training to a client on Apple’s “MacSpeech” recogition software. At first glance it certainly has potential.

This program types as you speak, and FAST. Listen this Apple representative as he explains the program in an interview with Geek Brief TV:

Also, here you can actually seen the program in real live action:

Sarnia Computer Group Newsletter

June 24, 2009

For some good tips and reviews please have a look at my final edition of SCUG Report magazine. I have resigned as Editor of the Sarnia Computer Group. I was spending too many hours each month whereas now I can use to explore new avenues in Cyberspace.

(CLICK HERE for a copy)

Picture 4

This move will allow me more time for other projects that I deem more important now.

CLICK HERE for info.

I am also working on a new murder/mystery novel and lovin it. To see the novel writing ideas and progress CLICK HERE for a Novel Idea.

This blog is updated now on a regular basis keeping the Computer and Internet Tips flowing freely.

So don’t forget to check back here at least weekly for NEW TIPS being added all the time. And check for the upcoming FREE Basic Computer and Internet seminars

CLICK HERE for information on FREE Basic Computer and Internet Training – Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

Bing vs Google – a New Engine In Town

June 22, 2009

Google Stand Aside – There’s A New Engine In Town

“bing” – The Decision Engine by Microsoft –

by Gregory West
(as published in the July 2009 issue of First Monday magazine and SCUG Report)

Given Google’s supremacy, who would ever have thought that there would be any competition in the Internet search business? Most of us would bet the farm that would never happen. But wait, hold your bets, because there is a new engine in online who is giving Google employees a major headache. Welcome the brand new search engine owned by Microsoft named: “bing”.

So what makes bing a competitor that can stand up against Google? The answer is quite simple:

* “Searchers can choose the best scope for their search query
* Bing can provide best match and useful links and information
* Quick Preview of any website
* Bing can provide Instant Answers
* Bing will Auto-Suggest the search queries” (

Soon, many of us will do our searching using bing for everything from travel, to shopping, and targeted researches. The main reason to switch to bing is you retrieve accurate and related websites in your search, rather the clutter that Google is now producing in their first five or ten listings. Google is gathering too many junk results for search requests. In that regard, I believe, as many others do, bing will put a serious dent into Google’s dominance in the world of search.

Is Google scared?

You bet. The New York Post says. “You’d think nothing would get under the skin of search giant Google. But co-founder Sergey Brin is so rattled by the launch of Microsoft’s rival search engine that he has assembled a team of top engineers to work on urgent upgrades to his Web service”.

Great praise for this new search engine is pouring in as INFORMATIONWEEK reports, “Bing includes features that allow users to book travel and engage in other e-commerce transactions with just a few clicks.”

To get a real taste of bing watch this VIDEO. It demonstrates the accurate search results that are more targeted results as Google squirms:
One must admit, “bing” is kind of a wimpy name, but hey, what about the name Google?

“Back in the day”, or so they say, I remember when nobody used Google because it was a strange name. There was another strange named search engine along when Google started up named: “Dog Pile”. Dog pile never made the big time as Google certainly did and it never became a household phrase like “Google it”. However, “Dogpile search engine earned the 2006 and 2007 J.D. Power and Associates award for best Residential Online Search Engine Service”, according to

This new engine in town is a “must” to test drive.
See for yourself:

Gregory West is a software reviewer, basic home computer consultant and author. Gregory provides free basic Computer – Internet seminars at Central United Church. Gregory can be reached at
Check out his blog for free Computer & Internet Tips:

WEB 2.0 – A Book Review

May 28, 2009

Web 2.0:

execellent description on this subject

execellent description on this subject

A Strategy Guide
Author: Amy Shuen
Published: 2008
 O’Reilly Media, Inc.

ISBN: 978-0-596–52996-3
Pages: 236
US $24.99 CAN $24.99

We hear the question all the time: “How do they make money on the Internet?” The answer is: Web 2.0. But just what is this thing: Web 2.0, is the almighty question.

This book answers these questions and much more. In fact, if you are looking to start a new business this is a book that you cannot do without. It uses companies who have succeeded in the world of Web 2.0 to turn their business into amazing success stories.

Social networking, both online and offline is covered in great detail, demonstrating how corporations are now using this new medium to their advantage. Facebook, YouTube, Skype, MySpace and Flickr play a huge part in a “company’s business and financial valuation”, as it now depends on “the number of users and how quickly those users accept, adopt, and bring their positive network effects to a new online service” (page 77 – Web 2.0).

The challenge businesses face, from going from a Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, (static to dynamic websites) is high competition with the power of social networks. If a company today does not support social networking they will face “disastrous consequences”. This book shows, not only individual entrepreneurs, but major corporations such as Microsoft and Apple, how social networking and Web 2.0 can make the difference.

Businesses have changed their way of thinking and planning, by using the public’s help online.

This book shows how companies, such as Google, get advertisers to “pay for keywords”. Many small businesses are modeled as being a huge success as they take advantage of Web 2.0. Whether you are a corporate magnate, a Wall Street investor, a small business owner, or just a curious computer user, this book takes you on a fact filled adventure showing how Web 2.0 has changed the way we do business. This book also demonstrates the necessity of utilizing the public’s amazing network in the ever-growing Internet.

NEW MOVIES via Internet & TV Shows With Archives

May 11, 2009

WATCH 1st-Run-MOVIES THAT ARE STILL AT THE Theatre on your computer…You can connect your Computer to your TV too.

Click on the Star Trek LINK below here to watch the NEW movie at the theatre.

I confess, I am a Star Trek fan, mainly of the original series.

Yes I am a Trekie LOL

Yes I am a Trekie LOL

Star Trek Now at Theatres

If you want to watch TV shows or other 1st Run Movies go here:

FREE Movies and Tons of TV Shows.

COMMERCIAL FREE haha, gotta love it eh?

Enjoy the world of the Internet today…

PS: A tip on how to catch and download video from the Internet FAST is coming soon here via my tips4computers Blog…so keep coming back here.


“A blog?” What is it…

April 23, 2009

Blogs: What – Why – Whom?
by Gregory West
A Member of APCUG & SCUG

Blogs live in Cyberspace, but just what is a blog anyway?

Alright, let’s get this out-of-the-way right now…

DEFINE:blog       ”Blog — (weB LOG)  A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger” (

Enough tech talk…

Blogs are extremely popular. The newspaper business is smoldering in the aftershock of the Internet. Well let’s face reality here: Newspapers (as we know them) may edit themselves from newsprint to the Internet. However, time will tell for sure. What will be their replacements?

In fact, a recent article in the Globe and Mail newspaper shows us that “newspapers face the greatest crisis in the history of the business.” Globe reporter, David Ebner, goes on to say,  “Every paper is hurting. Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, among others, is freshly dead. Once-unassailable titles such as the San Francisco Examiner teeter.” We are certainly in interesting times.

So, what’s next?

From the United States comes startling statistics ( that “In total, 33% of internet users (the equivalent of 24% of all adults) say they read blogs, with 11% of internet users doing so on a typical day.” In anyone’s books, that is a lot of people who are reading blogs. And there’s more.

Canadians rank near the top when it comes to Internet usage. “Of Canadian internet users, a recent poll suggested that over 42% had read a blog in the previous three months” ( Canadians love their blogs; surprisingly, we love our political blogs. This may strike a strange note, but former Prime Minister, Paul Martin “kept a widely read blog while he was in opposition” and all political parties maintain blogs. Interestingly enough, “the largest political blog group are the right leaning Blogging Tories with 300 blogs and 3,000 readers on average every day” (

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries, while many blogs serve as a political platform. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. Many videos now include video to enhance the text. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Hyper-linking from one blog to another creates a massive spider web on the “information highway”. We can immediately see “the other side of the story”.

Popularity in blogging is growing and no wonder…Newspaper and magazine writers have their own blogs. Newspapers such as the London Free Press advertise their writer’s blogs on the LFP website ( More often than not, this is where the real “meat” of a story is told. Editors cannot take their scissors to the text…You may even find the “Paul Harvey” version of the story, the “rest of the story” that did not get edited out.

Newspapers world-wide are now facing the question of whether to disband from using newsprint and going strictly online (Internet version) only. The jury is still out on whether this will enhance blogs, making them much more in demand and widely read.

“In March 2008, Universal McCann published a report that indicated 184 million blogs worldwide were created, with 346 million people reading blogs globally (Brian Solis on March 10, 2009).

Most news agency-writers have blogs. CNN, The Detroit Free Press, The New York Times and on and on and on the list goes. David Pogue, a famous Technology writer has a very popular blog that is read by millions ( is called: POGUE’S POSTS. Pogue’s blog is connected directly to the NYT paper’s website as are most other writer’s blogs.

You can easily “google” content that may be found in a blog. For instance, bring up Google Search on your computer or cell phone, or whatever other flavour you choose to get onto the Internet.

Try a google search for a blog…

For instance, bring up your “Google Search”, and in the blank search box type in: barack obama blog. This will take you directly to the blog of the US President. Change out the phrase “barack obama” for anything you are interested, leaving the term: blog. You may never go back…

Welcome to the future; welcome to Cyberspace.

Gregory West is the Editor for “SCUG Report”, a monthly for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group ( SCUG is a non-profit computer/technology help group that is open to the public for Newbies and Geeks. Gregory also provides, FREE to the public, Computer – Internet lessons at Central United Church each Wednesday.  Gregory can be reached at

All Work & No Play…

April 11, 2009


Most of us would take play over work any day of the week. The reason is simple: Playing is fun.

Check out these FREE computer games

Check out these FREE computer games

On the computer many people take time out from their daily grinds to take on the enemy, to match minds with the best of chess, and to challenge themselves to solitary games on the computer.

Here is an excellent site that will keep you pumped for hours…The best thing about this site is that the games are FREE.

Personally, I am NOT a game player as I love to work on software programs. I have tried out several games and found them to be fun, however my thing is learning new software programs…The challenge of “man against machine” LOL.

Don’t forget to check out Gizmo’s

Digital Photos – Need Something New?

April 10, 2009

Just as we ALL have tucked away our digital cameras…Remember when everywhere you turned somebody was snapping a digital photo because it was new and the cost of taking pictures was and still is FREE?

After about eighteen months of this snapping and clicking, many cameras stayed, either at home, or were kept in pockets and purses and only pulled out for special occasions. Nothing new has popped up to bring back the rapid use of digital cameras; the novelty has well worn off and the paint is now dry.

Need Something New and Free?greg_drawing

Befunky. Yes, now you can have some fun with your ten million photos you have on your computer’s hard drive. Pick a picture, then turn it into a real work of art.

Why pay big bucks for these features, when you can befunky for FREE?

How? Go online and get

This photo editing enhancing program is amazing. The claim on their website is so true:

BeFunky Photo Effects allow everyday people to easily create photographically rich and artistic results from their digital images without the need for any technical knowledge. These “one-click” photo effect options produce desired results effortlessly and each effect comes with the option to make simple adjustments.”

Give it a try and show off your new-found talents to all your friends.