Computer repair and networking for the Windom, MN area


Settings replacing Control Panel 4/26/17

Most computer users are somewhat familiar with the Windows Control Panel. The Control Panel has been around for as long as I can remember — even going back to Windows 3.1.

Think of it as the place to manage your computer. The Control Panel is where you install printers, manage your network and adjust your monitor display, among other things. Since Windows 8, Microsoft has offered an alternative called Settings. Settings does the same thing as Control Panel. It is a place to manage your computer.

However, all versions of Windows 8 and Windows 10 still allow users to use the Control Panel. I’ve suspected for some time that Microsoft will eventually replace the Control Panel with Settings.

The latest version of Windows 10, called the Creators Edition, now confirms my thoughts. While Control Panel is still available, Microsoft is making it harder to find. Gradually, but surely, Control panel is going away.

At the same time Microsoft is adding features to and beefing up Settings.

So, if you want to make changes to your computer — if you want to manage it — here is how:
• Control Panel — Use Cortana (Search) and type in Control Panel. Click on it and you will see the familiar Control Panel. You can also right-click on it and choose Pin to Taskbar. It will then be pretty handy to get to it.
• Settings — Click on the Start Button and then Click on the small Gear symbol just above the Power Icon.

Change is always hard, especially for old geeks like me. I’ve used Control Panel for years. However, I am weaning myself off of it and getting more familiar with Settings. I’m certain that eventually Microsoft will cancel Control Panel the same way it has for many other features and programs it has wanted to modernize. I recommend you take a little time as well and get familiar with Settings.


Live TV from YouTube — coming soon? 4/19/17

YouTube is launching a new live TV service that promises delivery of many of your favorite live channels for a very reasonable price. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for it for the time being.

The new service is only available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area.

If successful, it will be rolled out rapidly to other areas of the country.

Here are the details:
• 40 channels of live TV for $35/month including the major networks, most sports channels and many other popular networks. Some premium channels will also be available.
• Stream live TV to your computer, tablet, phone or smart TV.
• Six accounts included, no restrictions on where or when they are used. (One TV package for you, your parents, kids or friends)
• Unlimited recording of shows in the cloud for each user — no DVR needed.
• No need to buy or rent any equipment other than the devices you already have. However, TVs do require a Chromecast device ($69) if you do not want to stream to them from your other devices.
• A strong Internet connection and WIFI are necessary.

It will be interesting to see how soon the service will roll out to other areas and when it will be available in Southwest Minnesota.

As a consumer, I believe in competition. While this may put some stress on some local TV providers it should drive down pricing and make TV more affordable.

This is another example of technology changing the world as we know it. We’ve come a long way from when we had three to five channels on a snowy, fuzzy, black-andwhite TV, when I was a kid.

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