Top Computer Tips for November

by Bill Scobie

If you still use Windows Vista or XP and have been relying on Firefox as your up-to-date web browser, Mozilla has announced that Firefox will no longer be supported and fixed, as Microsoft stopped supporting Vista this past April.

Small Scanner

Using your smartphone as a scanner is rather easy now with free apps available from Microsoft, Evernote, Adobe, and others. If you are tied in with Microsoft Office, find Office Lens in your phone’s app store and learn how you can scan business cards, receipts, and even whiteboards, and save them to your OneDrive so you can access them on your other devices. Evernote has Scannable for iOS, while Adobe has Adobe Scan. Other products that people like include Genius Scan and Scanbot. And look at Scanner Pro if you need to scan text in other languages.

Separate Worlds

If you would like to keep your online personas separate in Firefox when you have multiple accounts on a particular website, such as different Amazon accounts, download Firefox’s add-on called “Firefox Multi-Account Containers.” Translated into English, this means you can have a container for “play,” for example, whose cookies won’t be available to your “work” container. This way you don’t have to rely on using a handful of different web browsers to keep your play separate from your work.

Don’t Play

Chrome, Google’s web browser, will finally start preventing sites from auto-starting videos. Google engineers promise this as a feature by the beginning of 2018. In the meantime, see if a quick tap on the space bar halts the video.

Chrome: Speed and Secrecy

Tab-heavy Chrome users sometimes find that, if one of their tabs stops responding, it slows down the whole browser. If you can click on those three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the browser, then highlight More Tools, then highlight and click on Task Manager, you will see a list of your open tabs, extensions, etc. Click on the offending site’s tab, then click on the End Process button in the lower right of this window. This lets you avoid force-quitting all of Chrome.

Private or incognito mode can be a helpful way to, among other things, check for website price differences based on your browsing. You can start a private or incognito window using the File menu or the three bars or three dots icon in the upper right of your browser. Just remember, private browsing does not hide your web traffic from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Bill Scobie fixes computers and networks for small businesses and home. 628-2354 or bill@scobie.n

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