Computer Users’ Group
January 18, 2012
Toolbars: Let’s start by seeing what toolbars our browser has. We’ll start with opening our browser and where there’s a difference among browsers, we’ll point that out. Toolbars are in the menu and command areas at the top of the page. Point the curser in the toolbar area and Right Click. You should get a list of possible toolbars with the ones in use having a checkmark next to them. To see what each toolbar is, Click on one with a check mark to close it or one without a checkmark to open it. Go through all of them to see what each one is and choose the ones that you think are most useful for you and leave them open. Firefox has a Navigation Toolbar that is very useful; both Firefox and IE have a Menu Bar that should be open. The Command Bar has shortcuts to items that you can get in other ways like Print and Blog and may take up more space than it’s worth but that’s up to you. Other toolbars that you may have or can be obtained include Search Provider and you may have others that are snuck in when you visit other web sites. Many Downloads may include toolbars and some sites list what will be included in the download so that you can opt out. The Yahoo toolbar often appears so be careful to check over what is included when you do download something. Many downloads also try to change your search provider and your Home Page but we’ll get into that shortly.
Having settled on the toolbars that you want, let’s try to establish how we’ll search the Internet.
You can download a separate search toolbar for each search engine that you want to use but that only clutters up your browser. One exception to that may be the Relatively Curious Toolbar which offers several lists of genealogical records on the Internet. You can get it here: http://relativelycurious.ourtoolbar.com/ You can, however, open a toolbar when you want to use it and dismiss it when you no longer need it. You can search using existing toolbars without using up more room. It varies among browsers but the process requires you to locate the search box and select a provider. In IE 9, the search box is the same as the address bar. At the right of the box, there’s a down arrow that when pointed to says Show Address Bar Autocomplete. Click on it and go to the bottom of the resulting box and click on Add. You’ll be presented with a vast array of items that you can add. There’s a vertical scroll bar but to scroll horizontally, just move the cursor to the right to see more. Google is located in alphabetical order and you can click on it to add it. You can also click on Bing and Yahoo if you want more choices. However, you can shorten the process somewhat by selecting the Search option and looking through just a few hundred search sites. Click on the ones that you want to install them. To search, enter your search terms and click the magnififying glass at the right of the box. When you first enter a term in the search box, you’ll be presented with icons for the search providers you have added and you can click one to make it the default. Each search will bring them up again so you can change your mind if you want to. If you don’t want to choose among Search Engines you can use a search engine that searches them all at once. One is called Dogpile that you can get here. It searches using all of the popular search engines and provides the best answer.
In IE 8 and below and in Firefox, there is a search box at the right of the Address Bar and you can click on the arrow next to the search icon and choose another search provider or if one isn’t listed, click on Manage Search Engines and then Get More Search Engines if what you want isn’t shown. If the first list doesn’t satisfy you, click on Name at the top of the page to see thousands of search engines including an Amazon one for every different country. It’s a long way just to get to Bing if that’s one that you want. Yahoo will take forever to get to.
When you download something from the Internet or sometimes if you just visit a site, you will find that you have a new default Search Engine and perhaps a new start page. Some sites warn you before changing something; others just sneak it in. Be careful to read all of the options when you download something. A free program that will warn you when a site tries to change something on your computer is called Spybot-Search-n-Destroy. It can be downloaded from here: http://www.spybot-search-n-destroy.com/ It’s best to start by viewing the Tutorial that will tell you how to scan and remove threats and how to immunize your computer against new threats. You can use it to scan for existing mal-ware problems and have it warn you when somthing tries to make a change. It asks if you want to allow the change so that you can allow changes that you’ve requested and refuse those that you don’t want. When you reject a change, make sure to check Remember This so that you won’t be continually requested to make the change; it will always be refused.
There are many places on the Internet that offer a broad array of Internet sites to visit for genealogy. Pastfinders home page. http://www.rootsweb.com/~flpslc/index.htm lists many sites that offer many places of interest. Here are a few exceptionally informative ones. Go to Pastfinders and scroll down the left column until you come to Links/Genealogy. Look through the list to see what is of interest to you. We’ll start by clicking on Internet Public Library, and we can see a wealth of topics covered. Click on Reference and in the right column, click on Genealogy. Look through the list of sites and I’m sure that you’ll find one or more of interest to you. The list is not as extensive as Cyndislist but provides more detail about each site if you click on the Icon next to the text.
Another great site is one used by professional genealogists. It’s called Genealogy Sleuth and if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, it probably doesn’t exist. Scroll down the Genealogy Links page and in the right column, click on Genealogy Sleuth. Browse through it to see what’s of interest to you.
To get help with computer problems or learn more about computers, go back to the Pastfinder’s web site and in the left column under Links, click on Computer and look through the links that are listed. Scroll down and click on Computer Hope and look through what’s offered. You’ll find many answers to common problems and if you click on the Free Help box, you can look through answers to previously asked questions or pose a question of your own. It’s a good place to go when you have a computer problem that you can’t solve.
You should organize you files so that you will know where to look when you want something. Pictures should go in a Pictures folder with sub-folders based on how you want to organize them such as by date, subject, location or event. Those can be further sub-divided into folders where a subject appears in different dates or locations.
Start by clicking on My Compouter or Computer in Win 7 and then on Drive C. At the top of the page, click on New Folder and name that folder what you want. To make a sub-folder, open that folder an click on New Folder. You can also Right Click on a blank space on any folder and then click on New and then Folder and then name it. You don’t have to start adding a folder to drive C; you can open any folder and add a sub folder to it. For instance, go to your Pictures folder and add a new folder for your latest photos with a title that matches the subject. When you have something to go into a folder, click on File/Save As, highlight the folder that you want it to go into and type a name for the file and press Enter. If what to want to save in the folder already exists in the computer, click on Drive C and any sub folders until the folder that you want to put the file in is listed. Click on the middle of the three boxes in the upper right and drag the sides in to make it about half a page wide. Click on the folder that holds the file that you want to move and repeat the resizing as above to make a folder next to the one you have open. Right Click on the file that you want to move and drag it over to the folder that you want to move it to and when that folder is highlighted and a box of choices pops up, click on Copy or Move Here depending on whether you want to keep a copy in it’s original location. To move more than one file at a time, if they are in sequence, click on the first file, hold the Shift Key down and click on the last file to select them all. Now Right Click on the highlighted group and drag them over to the file that is to receive them and repeat as above. If the files are not in sequence, hold the CTRL Key down and click on each file to select it. Then point to one, Right Click and drag the bunch over to the new folder.
Windows 7: Windows 7 takes a bit of getting used to. I found the biggest difference was in file organization and libraries. A library is merely a collection of pointers that point to and open up files in other folders; a clickable index, so to speak. A very good article on the subject can be found in the Windows Secrets Newsletter of March 10, 2011. You can get it here. You can also learn a lot by going to Start/Help and Support, entering Libraries in the search box and then click on Frequently Asked Questions. That’s a quick tour and other files in that folder offer more detail.
Just a few tips about Win 7. My Computer is now just Computer. Start there to see all of the files on your computer. Use the Pastfinders’ Keyboard Shortcutsi to get around. Drag files that you often use to the Task Bar in the lower left or Right Click on the file Icon and click Pin file to taskbar. Click the square in the lower right corner to go to your desktop. Return to the application you had open by clicking it’s Icon in the task bar. Older versions of programs that you carried over from Win XP may have a new version that runs under Win 7. Check for updates. If none is found, you can run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter to learn how to set Program Compatibility to run the program in a Compatibility Mode under Win 7.
Tutorials: You can search the web for Win 7 Tutorials and come up with some that will lead you through the learning process. Here are a few sites: gcflearnfree.org and Microsoft video. This is the index to the Windows Secrets Newsletter. Scroll through to find articles of interest to you. They are all free and so is subscribing although there is a paid version that comes if you make any donation.
Using the Pastfinder site and Links/Computer you can click on PCWorld and in the left column, click on Windows. You’ll find Win 7 fixes and some Win 7 How tos. Look through what’s available and choose what’s of interest to you.
The National Archives has a new site on You Tube that you can get here: http://www.youtube.com/user/usnationalarchives