The Tech Guy Blog

Add Skills to Your Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo is a black cylinder that you can actually talk to. It can tell you the news, weather, can help with math, find information, and more. It's abilities can be expanded on even further with the use of Alexa Skills.

You can search skills that others have created at the Alexa Skills Store. You can add games like Jeopardy and math games for kids, a workout routine, and connect your internet-of-things devices like Nest and Honeywell.

Create Your Own Customized Google Maps

Google Maps has a feature that makes it possible to create your own customized maps that you can then share with friends or embed on a website. To do this, go to google.com/mymaps and sign in with your Google login. Then click the "Create a New Map" button. This will take you to an interface where you can add various things to the map. You can drop pins and label them, draw a line or shape, define a driving, biking, or walking route, add directions and more.

Set Up a Metered Connection in Windows 10

If you're using your mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your Windows PC, or just trying to stay within a data cap from an internet service provider, you'll want more control over what things get downloaded and when.

First of all, you can easily see in Windows how much data you've used. In Control Panel --> Network and Internet, there's a data usage tab. This will show you how much data has been used and which apps have been using data.

Back Up Your Web Based Email

Most of us use an email service on the web, such as Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo Mail. That means that our email messages are stored on their servers in the cloud, and typically isn't ever downloaded to your local system. There are some ways you can do this, however, to keep your own copy of those valuable email messages.

First, check for a download option that may be provided to you by the email service itself. It may let you download a copy of your messages directly to your computer.

How to Crack the Password on an Old Windows PC

In older versions of Windows, security wasn't a priority as it is in modern operating systems today. If you've forgotten the password for an older Windows PC, there are options to either get around it or crack the password itself. One quick and easy thing to try first is to type in "admin" in the user field, and leave the password field blank. If that doesn't work, there is a hidden administrator account that can be activated.

Send Postcards with PhotoCard for iOS

Leo Laporte recently interviewed Bill Atkinson, one of the fathers of the Mac, on Triangulation episode 244. During his time at Apple Computer, he created QuickDraw, an integral part of the graphical user interface, MacPaint, and HyperCard, which made programming accessible to non-programmers. In addition to this, he's been a lifelong photographer and pioneer of digital printing technologies. Recently, Bill Atkinson created an iOS app called PhotoCard, an app for sending quality photographs as postcards.

Prevent Your PC From Upgrading to Windows 10 with Never10

In the past, we had recommended using GWX Control Panel to get rid of the Windows 10 popup notification. But since Steve Gibson wrote a utility called Never10, we now recommend that instead.

Never10 simply performs the system editing required to stop Windows from automatically upgrading to Windows 10. This means there is no software that needs to remain installed on the computer, and Never10 can be deleted immediately after you run it.