Zamzar for converting files

WVLS has a new Digital Byte video that walks you through Zamzar, a free online file converting tool (also covered in these 2009 and 2018 TechBits posts).

Like the video format? Check out other Digital Bytes here.

Help Desk Tidbits

Early morning work on staff and patron PCs

When SCLS tech staff arrive in the morning they check on different things with both staff and patron PCs. Things like the status of the anti-virus and disk locking software. If we see a problem and we know the library isn't open yet, we will remote in to fix the problem. So if you are working and you see a PC move by itself that is just us working on it. Please don't shut off the PC thinking it has been hacked because we may be in the middle of fixing a problem. If the PC is rebooted it may cause more harm or we may have to start over and run the risk of still be working on the PC when you open. If you want to verify it is us you can always feel free to call the Help Desk and find out for sure.


Help Desk Portal gives "Connection not secure" error message

We've been getting a few calls lately reporting that when going to the Help Desk Portal people are getting an error message saying "Your connection is not secure." This is only with Firefox and is being caused by the fact that we secured the portal with a self-signed security certificate. We have a fix posted on our TechBits page and you read all about it by visiting this page.


Slow Staff PCs

We've been getting a lot of calls lately about slow staff PCs. Before you reboot those PCs, please call the Help Desk so we can remote in and hopefully see what is making the PC slow. Once we remote in what we'll probably do is run a virus/malware scan on the PC and this takes at least 20 minutes to complete. So hopefully you can be without the PC for a while as we look at it.

Creating and using Tasks in Google Calendar

In 2018 I wrote about using the "Reminders" feature of Google Calendar. Since then, Google has introduced a "Tasks" option that is slightly different than the Reminders option. 

Googletasks2To get started with Tasks, select the Tasks checkbox on the left side of the screen. This will enable the Tasks option on your Google Calendar. 


GoogletasksTo create a Task, click on the appropriate day, enter the information, and select Task. You can select a certain time for the task, or leave it as "all day." Currently, you cannot set up a repeating task. Tasks also include the option to add a description. Reminders do not include this option.

After you have completed the Task, you can mark the task as complete to cross it off of your list. To do this, click on the Task, and click Mark complete in the lower right-hand corner. Googletasks1

Unlike Reminders, Tasks do not continue to appear each day until you mark them complete. I think this makes them less useful than Reminders, so I haven't used Tasks nearly as much as I have used Reminders. However, I think they can be useful when you want to include detailed information about your Task. When using Reminders, you only have the option to enter a Title, while the Task option includes both the Title and Description.

The Wonderful World of Fonts!

Some times a presentation or a letter need something to make them Pop! There are many ways to do it from bright colors to funny shapes, but the easiest way has to be with fonts.

There are silly fonts,bnıǝʇ ın ʇɥǝ bɐɔʞ, old fashioned fonts,𝕳𝖊𝖆𝖗 𝖄𝖊, 𝕳𝖊𝖆𝖗 𝖄𝕰,  and the just plain bizarre, 🍳⛎🎐🎗🌴 🎐🎵 🌴♓🎗 🅱🅰🌜🎋.  

When it comes to creative fonts, there is no end. A lot of users have been finding customized fonts online from various genre's such as Dr. Seuss and Dr. Who. It is important to not only get the font that you need, but to do it safely. When downloading fonts from the internet there is always the risk, however slight, that there may be a virus attached to the file. 

One easy way to ensure that doesn't happen is to copy your font from an online font generator, such as fontmeme. It is a fairly simple process. All one would need to do is visit the website, select the desired font, type your message, and copy and paste into your own document. 

If you do choose to download a font package, I highly recommend that you scan if for viruses before opening the file. The easiest way is to follow these steps.

  1. Download the font into your downloads folder (or folder of your choice)
  2. Right click on the file and select Scan with (your antivirus)Image result for right click scan with
  3. Once the scan is complete you can open the file or delete it, as needed.

 

The next time you find yourself in need of a new font, just follow these steps, and enjoy!

To RSS Feed, or Not? or, Check your SCLS blog registration

There will be a lot going on with SCLS Technology and ILS services in 2019 (new Enterprise wireless solution and migration to Bibliovation). We will be using our respective blogs to relay updates about these changes, and all other Tech (Technology News) and ILS (LINK2.0Koha) news. Now is a good time to make sure that you are signed up for these blogs so that you don't miss a detail. Most SCLS blogs can be followed by signing up for an RSS feed or via email subscription (see below for a list). 

Thinking about our blogs made me wonder if RSS feeds are still a "thing." I haven't used an RSS reader in years. They DO still exist and the reasons to use them are still the same. Check out this SCLS Tech Bits blog from 2009--it's still valid today. Here is an article from Wired that advocates for an RSS Revival.
 So, if you are interested in trying out RSS feeds, the Wired article lists a few.

Here is a summary of where to follow each SCLS blog:

Annual Report Blog -- RSS only; scroll to the bottom of the column on the right

Get in the Van (Delivery) -- RSS and Email; at top of column on the right RSS or Email?

Know More (CE) -- RSS and Email; in the middle of the column on the right

LINK 2.0 Koha -- RSS and Email; scroll to the bottom of the column on the right

Past Program Information and Handouts -- RSS and Email; in the middle of the column on the right

TechBits -- RSS and Email; Click box under Header

Technology News -- RSS, Email and Twitter; scroll to the bottom of the column on the right

Image credits (Pixabay):
Birds - Image by Uschi_Du, RSS - Image by FreeCliparts, Email - Image by geralt

PowerPoint Pointer

Laser PointerLast year while I was working on a PowerPoint presentation I came across a nifty little feature. In slide show mode you can make your regular mouse curser look like a laser pointer. Even though I didn’t use it then it came up as a topic during a presentation I sat in on last week, so I thought I’d share this with you now.

This only works if you’re in presentation mode in front of your computer--just hold the CTRL key down and left click your mouse button. Your mouse pointer should turn into a red dot. You can release the CTRL key when the red dot appears. You can move the dot around your presentation like a laser pointer now. When you release the mouse button your regular mouse pointer will re-appear.

A more permanent solution is to hold the control button down and press the letter P--this will turn your mouse pointer into a small red dot. Hit Esc on the keyboard to bring your mouse pointer back.

Spoofing

Last week we had a little flurry of spoofed email messages where the sender that displayed didn't really match the actual sender of the message. These spoofed email messages are designed to look and feel like they're coming from someone you know and trust so that you will click on the nastiness that they contain or share info that you shouldn't. Sometimes they are very, very, VERY convincing.

GiveMeYourFish
What can you do to protect yourself?

Read thoroughly before clicking 
  • be SKEPTICAL, especially of documents or links you weren't expecting
  • watch for spelling and grammar errors
  • think about whether you expected the message and whether it makes sense
If you receive a questionable message...
  • call the sender (Always call. Do not use email to check whether something is legitimate.)
  • DO NOT forward or reply to the questionable message (unless you are specifically requested to do so by the Help Desk)
If you're feeling techie... you can view the message details in O365 to see who really sent it
    • Click on the "..." and choose "View message details"
    • Ctrl-A to select all the text
    • Ctrl-F to "Find" ---- search for "Return-Path"
    • If the Return-Path does not match the "From" field and is something unexpected, the message may be suspect
      (for example, if it appeared to be sent by your coworker, but the return path is "golfpro@something.com", you'd be right to be skeptical!)
    • Even if the sender is legit, their account may be compromised the email may be malicious
If it turns out that the questionable message is NOT legit, right-click, mark it as junk (and click "Report" if prompted).
 
Other tips
  • Set a secure password for your email and don't use that same password for other services
  • If you think your account may have been compromised, change your password
  • If you have questions about an email you've received, contact the Help Desk
Want to practice spotting Phishing or Spoofed emails? Check out this previous TechBits post for phishing quizzes and tips!
 
 
 

Deleting old or bad email addresses from Outlook's Auto-Complete list

Even though Andrew covered this topic back in Dec. 2014 I thought it might be good to cover it again.

You've all encountered Outlook's Auto-Complete feature when you start typing in the To, Cc, or Bcc fields in Outlook and you get a list of suggested email accounts based on the first few letters you've already entered. These suggestions are coming from that feature and is trying to save you time in entering someone's full email address.

This time saving list is sometimes your friend and other times it is not. If you have ever mistyped an email address and sent it, then that incorrect email address is now stored in your Auto-Complete list. This also goes for an employee that you emailed frequently and now that employee has moved on to other ventures. Their email address will still come up if you type the first few letters of their email account.

In order to delete theses bad and old email addresses from your Auto-Complete list you must do the following steps:

  1. Open a new email message.
  2. Type the first few characters of the email address that you want to delete.
  3. Use your mouse and click the 'X' next to that email address or you can use the down arrow key to highlight that email address and then press the Delete key.

Now you know how to keep your Auto-Complete list current and up-to-date.

 

Some recent Digital Bytes

WVLSWisconsin Valley Library Service has some new (short!) Digital Bytes training videos ---

Dropbox
Time: 6:23
Description: Jamie talks about Dropbox, and how she uses it for library collaboration.
Watch    Training Guide

Password Protecting a Document
Time: 3:30
Description: Jamie shares how you can protect a document with a password.
Watch

Boomerang for Gmail
Time: 6:30
Description: Jamie talks about how she uses Boomerang to help keep her email organized.
Watch

The complete collection of Digital Bytes can be found here and includes a wide range of topics from technology to continuing education, reference resources, customer service and more : https://wvls.org/digital-bytes/

Using Macros on Google Sheets

Using keyboard shortcuts for certain things comes naturally to me. Most popular functions have them -- ctrl+c and ctrl+v for copy and paste, ctrl+tab to go to the next tab in your browser, and ctrl+tab+shift to go back a tab. Not everything that could have a shortcut does. I stumbled across Macros while I was trying to find how to add a new row to my spreadsheet on Google Sheets. There is no shortcut. I was about to enter 10 more rows, and although I could have done it manually, it just felt like there should be a way to do it faster. And that way was through Macros.

How to set up a keyboard shortcut through Macros on Google Sheets

1. Navigate to the Macros option through the Tools option on the toolbar.

Macros1

2. Once you click Record macro, a popup will show up at the bottom of the screen.

I suggest changing the box from absolute references to relative references, otherwise your changes will only affect the cells that are being changed during the recording. For example, when I was creating a macro for entering a row, I had absolute references selected. This meant, no matter where I was on the sheet when I did the keyboard shortcut, it would go back to the place where I originally recorded the macro and insert a row there. I had to change it to relative so that it would do the action where ever I was located on the sheet.

Macros3

3. Do the action. It will record that action in the macro.

Macros2

Macros4

4. Save the macro, and add a name. One bad thing about these macros is that you are limited to Ctrl+Alt+Shift+a number between 0 and 9, so you can only have 10 macros.

Macros5

5. Your macro has been saved and is available to use. You can access it through the toolbar or through its shortcut you created.

Macros6

Please note that the first time you try to use a macro, it will ask you for permission to run. Give it permission to run, then you're ready to use it!

Macros7

You can use this for various tasks, such as coloring a cell/entire row or column, changing a font, and anything else you can do through regular commands can be put into a macro. I just created one that changed a font to bright green and bolded Comic Sans.