The Tech Guy Blog

"Scan" Your Physical Photos With an Easel + Tripod + Digital Camera

If you have a bunch of photos you want to scan, Leo actually recommends getting an easel, tripod, digital camera, and good lighting. Put your picture on the easel, snap a digital photo, rinse and repeat. Modern cameras are so high-resolution that they can take pretty good photos of pictures when angled right. An alternative is to ask a service like ScanCafe, which takes mailed photos and scans them for you. Costco also has a scanning service of their own, where you can bring your pictures to them before they convert them.

Use Youtube Unlisted Links to Share Your Videos With Others You Know

If you want to share a video with friends and family members, but not have to worry about file formats and codecs (NTFS, FAT32, etc.) that may be incompatible with their computer/device, upload to Youtube. You don't even have to make Youtube videos public, as there are a couple of options that keep your upload out of public searchability. "Private" allows ONLY the person logged into the account to view the video, most likely you (the uploader). However, "Unlisted" allows the uploader to send a simple link out to acquaintances, who can then watch it on their screens without being logged in.

Windows Disk Clean-Up Tool for Thumbnail Restoration

If you are using Windows 10 and can not see the thumbnails for your photo files (or otherwise), try rebuilding the thumbnail cache. There's a little-known program called the Windows Disk Clean-up Tool that can do the job. Select "This PC" > [Your Drive] > "Properties" and finally check the "thumbnails" option (while unchecking the other options) to rebuild the icons next to your files' names. It may take a while, but just wait it out and you should be good to go. Not everyone names all their files descriptively, so it's really handy to keep thumbnails visible!

Try Amazon Photos for Additional Cloud Backup of Your Pics

You should always back up your photos to the cloud, and many people use Google Photos. However, it is highly recommended to be prepared with a 2nd or 3rd backup in case something happens to your Google account. If you have Amazon Prime, use their unlimited uploading feature to back up your phone's pictures using Amazon's Photos app. As a Prime user, you also get to store full resolution versions of your photos, unlike Google (though limited to 5 gigabytes of video storage).

Call Microsoft for a Refund on In-person Support

Microsoft has closed all 86 of their stores due to the ongoing pandemic, but what about your one-on-one support that you paid for? So frustrating, isn't it?! Their Assure Plan may include alternatives to in-person meetings, like online chats, but certain customers expected/needed inspections from an actual store expert. Try calling and pressuring Microsoft to refund your payment. They should make good on the situation.

Back Up Your Old Aging iPod and its Music!

If you have an old iPod and there are music files that haven't been transferred from computer to computer throughout the years, it is time to back up that library as soon as you can. If you use a Mac, there's an app called Senuti (iTunes backward!) that can help with the process. For Windows users, try YamiPod. At the very least, back up the iPod onto your computer with iTunes via the "Back Up Now" function. Don't lose those years of music tracks!

Disable Repeating Keys in Windows

Sometimes we get older and our fingers become less mobile, causing our fingertips to stay on the same key for more than a split second. If your keyboard is repeating letters against your intentions, there are ways in Windows to prevent that from happening. An accessibility feature will disable key repeats and can be accessed in the Control Panel to switch on. Or you can try this... From tollie in the chatroom: Hold "RIGHT SHIFT" for eight seconds to turn on FILTER KEYS

Have a 2nd Account on Your Windows Operating System

Make sure UAC is enabled to ensure the popup appears each time you're about to install something. It's a great idea to have a 2nd account on your Windows PC by going to Control Panel, Accounts, and Users, and then add a new user. 

You will probably want to make one of them an "admin" account, while more actively using the standard account. In case one account gets messed up, you can use the other one.