Tag Archives: Videos

TuneTune – YouTube To MP3 Converter Browser Add-on

imageSt. Patrick’s Day is over for another year – and, thank goodness for that. Along with New Years Eve, St. Paddy’s Day, it seems to me, brings out the worst in the non-drinking drinkers who load-up well past their capacity to handle the juice of the barley. As an Irishman (of some renown   Smile ), I do celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – but, in comfort – at home – with good friends – and, a boatload of Guinness.

Traditional Irish music, along with good craic (conversation), plays an essential role in properly celebrating Ireland’s patron saint. So, this year, as in previous years, I turned to YouTube audio ripping to augment my collection of  traditional Irish music (no, not Danny Boy, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, or the like).

Ripping music from YouTube videos is a quarrelsome question. There are those who consider anything downloaded for personal use to be legal. There are those who consider downloading anything that is copyrighted to be illegal – under any circumstances.

The YouTube audio ripping situation presents a different set of legal issues though, it seems to me. I’m not sure I see the difference between saving a YouTube video to disk (which loads of people do), for later playback – and, simply ripping the audio portion for later playback.

There are any number of ways to extract audio from YouTube videos, but many are cumbersome and time consuming. There is a solution thought, that’s neither cumbersome, or  time consuming – TuneTune, a freeware YouTube to MP3 converter. Once this browser add-on is configured, it’s one click simple – more or less.

Following installation, the add-on will append an icon to the toolbar or status bar. This icon will go from gray to color (as shown in the following screen captures), when you’re visiting a YouTube page.

Non YouTube page:

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YouTube page:

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Clicking on the icon will convert the video from YouTube, to MP3, in one click.

Additional choices are available in the options menu – as shown below.

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Here’s a quick walkthrough which will illustrate how quick and convenient this browser add-0n is.

First up – a visit to a YouTube page hosting the Neil Diamond tune – “Hello Again.”

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Since I obviously have the add-on installed, you’ll notice the TuneTune icon displayed (in the screen capture above), directly on the YouTube page. A simple click on the icon begins the conversion process – as shown below. BTW, pasting the YouTube link is not necessary.

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Following the file conversion, users have the opportunity to customize the converted file, in a limited way – as shown below.

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The following screen shot shows the converted file in the directory which I created specifically for this test.

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Elapsed time (clicking on the icon to file download completion) – under 15 seconds. That’s fast!

Supported browsers:

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TuneTune is available in multiple languages. The current language is changeable by clicking on your language of choice in the footer.

Visit the author’s site – here (TuneTune.net).

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Filed under Audio Software, Browser add-ons, downloads, Freeware, Software, YouTube

Save Your Sanity – Let Teach Parents Tech.Org Handle Those “Help Me Out” Calls

imageHigh level computer users are often seen as built in tech support by family, friends, neighbors, co-workers; the good looking chick you’re chatting up at a party – the list goes on.

So, a “help me out” call, during the Christmas Season, is not at all an uncommon occurrence – if, you’re a high level computer user. But, you know that – which is why you’re going to change your telephone number to “unlisted”, or move out of the country.

From a personal perspective, I’ve learned over the years, that a verbal “solve my computer problem” walkthrough is a non-starter – in most instances. It’s a virtual certainty that some/most/all of the instructions, will have to be repeated – any number of times.

If you’re the type of “helpful friend” who has extraordinary patience, you’ll probably buy into this awkward arrangement. But, you will need prodigious patience – and, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to test it.

Rather than trudge down this twisty winding path, you might be better off directing your “client” to a terrific free resource  “TeachParentsTech.org”; a site developed by a group of Google employees which is, as they put it “ designed to help “kids” teach their parents about computer basics.” The group has developed a series of 50 plus instructional videos, dealing with computer basics – the type of basic issues that often confuse new users.

The following screen captures will give you some idea of what’s available on the site, and just how easy it is to link up with the correct instructional video. Click on a graphic to expand it to its original size.

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This graphic illustrates how easy it is to select a video, choose the email message and get it ready to go.

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Note: Make it clear that you expect active participation. In fact, insist on it. Unless you do, I can assure you that you will be the one doing all the heavy lifting. And, it’s this heavy lifting that, over time, sours many tech savvy users on staying in the “I’m a helpful tech savvy kind of person” game.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

If you sometimes think that you have a sign painted on your back, that calls out to the world – “I’m the go-to guy for all your computer woes”, you might just find this site invaluable.

Check it out here: Teach Parents Tech.

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Filed under Education, Help, Recommended Web Sites, Windows Tips and Tools

Windows Live Photo Gallery – Top 4 Features

My name is Mitz from http://tips4pc.com/ and I have been a Windows computer geek for over 25 years. I have seen software come and go over the years, succeed and fail, but Windows Live Photo Gallery is definitely a keeper.

I know this software is not new, however I feel that people are not seeing its full potential. Some of the features included with Windows live Gallery are so new to all of us, that we do not even know we have these amazing abilities on our computers.

Without further ado, I will mention some of my favorite features in Windows live photo Gallery.

#1. Windows Live Photo Gallery – Searching

Windows live photo Gallery has its own Find tab entirely dedicated to finding the photo or video you want on your computer. This makes it so much easier to find a lost photo or picture on your computer.

  1. Simply go to the find tab at the top of the program.
  2. Choose a folder from the left navigation pane. If you do not know what folder to choose, I usually click on my pictures folder.
  3. You can search by dates, tagged faces, star rated, or even simple text search.

In the screenshot below, I first pressed on the Months icon and narrowed my search down to April 2011. After doing this I pressed on the text search icon on the right. Now I can type in what I am looking for and the search has already been narrowed down for me.

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#2. Windows Live Photo Gallery – Photo Fuse

This is by far my favorite feature in Windows live photo Gallery! You can get three or four pictures and turn them into one really great photo. Look at my examples below. Initially I started with two photos, took the best from them both, and then ended up with a photo where everyone is facing the front.

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How to fuse photos together?
  1. Select two or more similar photos in the Windows live photo Gallery by putting a tick in the left corner of the photo. This means it is selected.
  2. Go to the create tab at the top and click on the photo fuse icon.
  3. Select the area of the photo that you want to replace.
  4. When you have done this you will see some choices appear. Pick the best part of the photo by clicking on it.
  5. Your photo will now be changed instantly.
  6. Go through and change all the parts of the photo that do not look right.
  7. When you are happy with your picture you can click on the close file icon at the top.
  8. Your picture will be automatically saved. You will see that you now have a new version of the picture in the folder where the original pictures were saved.

#3. Windows Live Photo Gallery – Retouch Tool

If you are an expert at retouching photos using Photoshop then you will probably cringe at the thought of using anything else to do the job. Let me tell you that this retouch tool is just a quick fix and will not do the same job as a professional photo editing program.

Here is an example below. Look very closely at the clothes line in the background. In one photo it has a cloth on the line and in the other it does not. I removed the cloth in literally one second.

All I did was select the area and it was taken away. Now with this kind of photo the Windows Live Gallery retouch tool worked well for me.

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How to retouch a photo?
  1. Double-click on the photo that you want to retouch.
  2. Click on the retouch icon at the top of the screen.
  3. Select the area on the photo that you want to read touch. For example, I selected the cloth hanging from the clothesline. You may not be able to select the entire section, therefore just choose a small area.
  4. As soon as you choose the area it will change.
  5. When you have finished retouching the photo simply press close file.

As I said, this photo retouching tool is really just for the simple jobs but it is very handy to have around because it is so quick to do. I definitely will be using for jobs likes this..

#4. Windows Live Photo Gallery – Importing photos and videos

It is fantastic that Windows live photo Gallery is able to import photos and videos from your digital camera. Back in the days when Windows XP was king, we had the Microsoft scan and camera wizard to import photos to our computers. Unfortunately when Windows Vista came along, the scan and camera wizard disappeared from existence. This is why it is great that Microsoft has bought out Windows live photo Gallery as I see this program as more than an equivalent to the Microsoft scan at and camera wizard.

How to import pictures?
  1. On the home tab in Windows live photo Gallery, simply press on the import icon.
  2. Make sure your camera or device is connected to the computer and on so Windows live Gallery can find it.
  3. Choose your camera from the list and click import.
  4. Now you get many choices when import in your photos to your computer. You can review organize or group photos so you will have no trouble finding them in a year or two.
  5. When you are done choosing, categorizing, and so on, choose import.

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I strongly suggest that you check out Windows live photo Gallery for yourself! It is seriously an all in one program that is absolutely amazing because it is free. There are so many more features included with this software that it would probably take an entire day to go through.

Guest post by Mitz Pantic http://tips4pc.com/

What is your favourite feature in Windows live photo Gallery? Comment below and let me know.

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14 Comments

Filed under Free Photo Applications, Freeware, Guest Writers, Integrated Photo Applications, Microsoft, Windows Tips and Tools

PC Tools Exposes “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” Cyber Threat

imageThe waiting game is almost over for Harry Potter fans who are hungry to feast their eyes on the much-anticipated final chapter in the Harry Potter franchise – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

There are always those of course who won’t wait – in this case until July 15. You know the type – the buttinskis who push ahead of you in line, or cut you off on the expressway – the ones you’d like to clunk upside the head.

Unfortunately, the obnoxious dimwits who behave in this way, tend to repeat this behavior across a broad range of personal activity, and I suspect, that the niceties of copyright law is well below their personal radar horizon.

The reigning experts in social engineering – cybercriminals (who, in my view, could teach “legitimate social engineering experts” a thing or two), are well aware of the “can’t wait buttinskis”, and in a perfect replay of the old “there’s no honor amongst thieves”, have made available through free torrent downloads –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, except

ExceptPC Tools, the company which brings you PC Tools Firewall Plus (free), ThreatFire (free), and of course a complete line of award-winning commercial grade security offerings, has discovered that these free torrent downloads are nothing more than a new online malicious scam. Gotta admit – I love Karma payback!

I’m posting the bulletin PC Tools sent me yesterday on this, since it’s very instructive in terms of just how much effort cybercriminals will go through, in order to penetrate a target’s computer.

It’s not often possible to capture an online attack as it occurs, but in this case, PC Tools managed to do just that – see images and links listed below.

Here’s how the malicious scam works:

  • First, a user searches torrents for free downloads of the final Harry Potter movie
  • Results claiming to offer a free download of the new movie appear
  • Once users download the file, .RAR file and password.txt downloads appear
  • Users receive a message saying, “This video is password protected to stop automated leeching and detection. To get your password, please visit:
  • Here, users are taken through a series of instructions to obtain their password.

One of which is choosing a link for a special offer while the site “verifies” the password

  • Once users click on an offer, a new tab and pop-up open, asking users to save what seems to be a legitimate file
  • After saving the file, cybercriminals have access to your computer—and the movie, of course, never appears on the screen

Harry Potter Threat  Exposed

Here’s what victims find while searching for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 movie or videos:

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Users can discover apparently ripped versions of the new Harry Potter movie on file-sharing websites.

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It looks like the movie is being downloaded on the victim’s computer.

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The victim is instructed to decompress the archive.

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RAR and password.txt files suddenly appear.

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User is told to visit separate website by password.txt file.

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The victim then sees this screenshot, claiming to be MovieYT.com.

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User follows 3-step instructions, which takes them to a verification code check.

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User clicks on VLC Player and a new tab is opened.

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When hovering over the download button, the download executable file looks real.

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Once the user clicks on the file, they are prompted to save it – this, of course, contains malware.

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While all this is happening, the user is still waiting for the “Verification Check” from MovieYT – but the cybercriminals now have access to the victim’s computer. They have your password and other personal information that they can use to further attack you, your finances, your friends and social networks.

Worth repeating: Consider the trade-offs, and the very real risks involved with Peer to Peer and Torrent applications.

Privacy: When you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unintentionally allow others to copy confidential files you did not intend to share. So be sure to setup the file-sharing software very carefully.

If you don’t check the proper settings when you install the software, you could allow access not just to the files you intend to share, but also to other information on your hard drive, such as your tax returns, email messages, medical records, photos, and other personal and financial documents.

It’s extremely important to be aware of the files that you place in, or download to, your shared folder. Don’t put information in your shared folder that you don’t want to share with others. Your shared folder is the folder that is shared automatically with others on peer to peer file sharing networks.

Copyright Issues: You may knowingly, or otherwise, download material that is protected by copyright laws and find yourself caught up in legal issues. Copyright infringement can result in significant monetary damages, fines, and even criminal penalties.

Some statistics suggest as many as 70% of young people between the ages of 9 – 14, regularly download copyrighted digital music. If you are a parent, you bear the ultimate responsibility for this illegal activity.

Adult Content: Again, if you are a parent you may not be aware that their children have downloaded file-sharing software on the family computer, and that they may have exchanged games, videos, music, pornography, or other material that may be unsuitable for them. It’s not unusual for other peoples’ files to be mislabeled and you or your children can unintentionally download these files.

Spyware: There’s a good chance that the file-sharing program you’re using has installed other software known as spyware to your computer’s operating system. Spyware monitors a user’s browsing habits and then sends that data to third parties. Frequently the user gets ads based on the information that the spyware has collected and forwarded to these third parties.

I can assure you that spyware can be difficult to detect and remove. Before you use any file-sharing program, you should buy, or download free software, that can help prevent the downloading or installation of spyware, or help to detect it on your hard drive if it has been installed.

Viruses: Use and update your anti-virus software regularly. Files you download could be mislabeled, hiding a virus or other unwanted content. Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses you might pick up from other users through the file-sharing program.

Generally, your virus filter should prevent your computer from receiving possibly destructive files. While downloading, you should avoid files with extensions such as .exe, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .dll, .bin, and .cmd.

Default Closing Behavior: It is critical that you close your connection after you have finished using the software. In some instances, closing the file-sharing program window does not actually close your connection to the network. That allows file-sharing to continue and will increase your security risk. Be sure to turn off this feature in the programs “preferences” setting.

What’s more, some file-sharing programs automatically run every time you turn on your computer. As a preventive measure, you should adjust the file-sharing program’s controls to prevent the file-sharing program from automatically starting.

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Filed under Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, internet scams, Internet Security Alerts, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, PC Tools, Peer to Peer, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

Nemo Documents – A Powerful Free Document Manager

My Hard Drives can be a bit of a “black hole” when I’m trying to find a particular document. With literally thousands of documents – Word files, PowerPoint presentations, Excel Work sheets, not to mention, images, videos, and more, spread all over, I occasionally feel as if I’m lost in space.

Stepping into this void for me, is a recent find – Nemo Documents, a powerful freebie document manager from Danish open source developer IOLA.

With Nemo Documents running, I can now view all of my Word docs (for example), in an easy to read “Calendar” view as well as a number of additional file formats. Better yet, the program integrates with Windows Desktop Search so I can locate files based on phrases within the documents, file types, modification dates, and so on.

Setup is easy, and on the first run the program will audit customary file locations in order to index files.

Click on any graphic to expand to original size.

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In my particular case, and perhaps yours as well, most of my documents are not located in the “usual suspect” places so, the ability to add locations is critical.

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File support is fairly robust – including support for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, images, video files, Google docs, and many more. You can choose which files to add and index, from the Settings menu.

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Calendar view – selectable Day, Week, Month, Year.

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Focusing on an individual  file allows you to view specific properties.

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The “List” view provides additional file references.

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The application can be run in a number of alternative languages including – Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Lithuanian, Russian, and Portuguese.

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Since Nemo Documents adds an application icon to the Windows notification area, direct access is quick and easy.

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System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7.

There is a version available for Linux here.

Download at: Developer’s site (nemo-docs.com)

Nemo Documents is not an application for everyone, but for those users who have to deal with a sizeable number of diverse document files, Nemo can certainly make the job much easier.

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Filed under downloads, File Management, Freeware, Linux, Open Source, Productivity Software, Software, System Utilities, Timesaving Tips, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free Nero Kwik – Media Management Application

Nero has just released a free media management application, Nero Kwik Media, that’s definitely worth a look. Richard Carriere, Nero’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing explains the new application this way – “Kwik Media …….. lets you do picture, music, and video organizing, managing, exchanging, putting up on social sites, viewing, and basic editing.”

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Click graphic to expand to original.

The install is a two stage process. In the initial stage, a number of Direct 3D extensions and sundry other bits and pieces, are installed – as per the following screen shot.

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Following the required reboot, the main Kwik Media application is installed. If you’re watching the install carefully, you’ll notice that an Ask Toolbar appears to be installed. The reality is – the Toolbar executable is copied to the HD. However, you will have an opportunity to reject activating the Toolbar.

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The user interface is underwhelming from a styling perspective – a perfect example of form following function.

If simple and unobtrusive is what you want – then, you’ve got it here.

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Click graphic to expand to original.

Media library user interface:

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Click graphic to expand to original.

Media Center user interface:

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Creation Center user interface:

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Click graphic to expand to original.

Burn and copy Disc Center user interface:

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Click graphic to expand to original.

Fast facts:

Move photos, videos and music anywhere – Move all the files your heart desires to and from your PC and mobile devices

Play back Blu-ray movies – View HD video projects on DVD and watch Hollywood Blu-ray movies on your laptop

Burn Audio CDs from MP3s – With just a few clicks, you can create a CD mix from your favorite playlists

Play and rip music – Play back your favorite jams from your laptop and rip Audio CDs to add to your computer

Find and organize friends by faces – Easily organize photos of friends and family by faces

Search and organize – Browse and organize photos, music and videos in one place

Play and rip music – Conveniently create projects to burn and share straight from your library

Edit photos before sharing – Make quick and easy edits of photos before sharing or adding to slideshows

Share videos on YouTube or myNero – Upload your photos, music and videos to social media websites with just a few clicks

Edit slideshows with effects – Add exciting, animated background themes to slideshows

Easy Media Syncing – Sync your music playlists as well as photo and video album contents from your PC to any mobile device with USB mass storage

Download at: Nero

Additional functionality can be purchased (although, some apps are free), from the Nero Store.

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Click graphic to expand to original.

Bottom line:

If you’re looking for a reasonably inclusive free media application, capable of handling videos, music, and photos, then Nero Kwik Media should make your short list.

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Filed under Audio Software, CD/DVD Tools, Connected Devices, downloads, Freeware, Graphic Software, Image Editors, Integrated Solutions, Media Players, Photo Tools, Software, Video Tools, Windows Tips and Tools

How To Be A Tech Hero Using Teach Parents Tech.org

imageMany of the regular readers of this site are very sophisticated computer users, and I’m sure, this sophistication can be something of a two edged sword. High level users are often seen as built in tech support by family, friends, neighbors, co-workers; the good looking chick you’re chatting up at a party – the list goes on.

Personally, I have no problem with the quick answer solution, and I do mean quick – but troubleshooting a system –  forget about it. When asked to jump in to save a system, I make it clear that I’m not the designated go-to guy, and that the Geek Squad, or the like, would be happy to help.

I do however, make an exception for one specific group; older adults – the so called “silver generation”. I have a soft spot for older people who are willing to take a bite out of the technology apple, and it’s a small way that I can contribute to my community.

It’s been my experience, that an older computer user is generally not too much different from any new user – it’s the simply things (simple to you and me, that is), that often trip them up.

Recently, I came across a a terrific free resource (which I’m now using as an assist with the “silver generation”),  “TeachParentsTech.org”; a site developed by a group of Google employees which is, as they put it “ designed to help “kids” teach their parents about computer basics.”

The group has developed a series of 50 plus instructional videos, dealing with computer basics – the type of basic issues that often confuse new users.

The following screen captures will give you some idea of what’s available on the site, and just how easy it is to link up with the correct instructional video. Click on a graphic to expand it to its original size.

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This graphic illustrates how easy it is to select a video, choose the email message and get it ready to go.

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If you sometimes think that you have a sign painted on your back, that calls out to the world – “I’m the go-to guy for all your computer woes”, you might just find this site invaluable.

Check it out here: Teach Parents Tech.

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Filed under Google, Instructional Videos, Interconnectivity, Older Adult Computer Users, Recommended Web Sites, Tech Net News