Google Docs and Blogging

It’s a common trait when writing a blog to want to collaborate , share the effort to decide what to write, what graphics to include, and have many head edit the work. Using an office suite like MS Office or Google Docs makes this possible by keeping the working document online and allowing many folks to look it it and share it.

Simply using personal Google accounts anyone can share with others Google accounts. Using Google Suite it is manageable by an Admin as well.

But the point I want to show is once a document is finalized simply copying the document and pasting into the WordPress editor causes all sorts of formatting troubles.

Probably the simplest solution is a plugin for WordPress which imports MS .docx files in the editor, Mammoth Docx. Once installed in WordPress this plugin gives the WordPress editor an ‘Import Docx button’ so you can download the file from Google Docs and import it into WordPress. This post is being added to the EPCUG Website this way.

WordPress Users

business coffee composition computer
Photo by Pixabay on

EPCUG has dissolved greatly since its heyday (before the Internet) but I see a continued interest in being able to publish to the web and WordPress has groups around the world helping each other in the effort. I propose we get Eugene/Springfield involved as well.

Whether you are new to WordPress or have worked with it since it first came out come join us Mondays at 5;30pm at the Fifth Street Market Food Court (upstairs) teach or learn what you can while enjoying good company (Live!) and food.

Why Virtual Private Network? (VPN)

A member asked, “Why VPN?”


Virtual Private Networks have been around for some time. In short, you encrypt everything you send and receive through the Internet and work through a server the VPN hosts. If you use cyber cafes or just wonder if your own Internet service and wifi at home is secure, using a VPN makes your machine secure. Anywhere.

It amounts to a private tunnel and separate address for you so no one else can see what you do. I chose to start using one shortly after Trump was elected when he changed the rules so your Internet provider is allowed to use logs of your use for its own profit. Using a VPN uses their service but encrypts it so they see nothing readable from (or to) me.

Most of these services are not free, but a few are. But for them to exist they may cause your surfing to slow down or receive ads that pay for it instead. Most services are more than $50/year, but some are less if paid yearly. I went with PIA for $35/year for five machines. For me this covers my wife’s and my computers and Androids. I use west coast servers and still get 75 mbps download and 7mbps upload speed from Without VPN the speeds are 80 and 8mbps respectively, not much higher.

There are many other differences in services and I recommend Googling and shopping for what is best for you. But if you intend to visit sensitive sites, banks, email, etc. I see them as a must these days.

7 DIY Projects You Can Make With an Old Hard Drive — MakeUseOf

Since EPCUG is a group associated with making the most of computers I found this post at MAKEUSEOF quite interesting. I didn’t know about some of the boxes for drives now available. Maybe they could be plugged into the back of the Xfinity modem as a network drive? Ideas folks?


Don’t throw out that old hard drive from your computer! Yes, that’s even if you’ve got a fancy new solid state drive (SSD) or if your hard disk drive (HDD) finally gave up. Whether it’s functional or not, your old drive still has some cool uses. What you do with it depends on whether the…

via 7 DIY Projects You Can Make With an Old Hard Drive — MakeUseOf

Linux laptop vs. Chromebook

We work with any computers that come our way at EPCUG and lately we have been playing with Chromebooks and various versions of Linux on laptops.

Just for fun I’m going to give away a (2006 I think) Toshiba laptop and power supply with Peppermint Linux installed. It will do all a Chromebook will do but does have a hard drive and can run installed programs as well which is now a feature Chromebook is adding so they can run LibreOffice or Gimp, the office and photoshop for Linux.

The battery on this machine is not great but it seems to hold for 15 minutes or so, long enough to go from one outlet to another. If you are interested in having all the abilities of Chromebook or Android in a laptop just join us at our meeting.

Woops! Sorry…

First I need to apologize for having cancelled last week’s meeting. It wasn’t intentional so I’ll make it a lesson on using Google Calendar.

After setting up our new Google Group as a maillist I saw that it would connect to Google Calendar and I set up my EPCUG calendar to have the meeting dates on it. Now my personal calendar this then showed this calendars event and the one we get from John Morrison.

So to eliminate one of the listings and not thinking that I could really edit John’s calendar I opened it up and cancelled the meeting so it wouldn’t appear on my calendar.

Well as it turns out John’s calendar emails all of us through the mail list of meeting events and when I cancelled it, it sent out a cancellation email to us all.

The surprise to me was that I could edit John’s calendar. I’m still not sure why that happened. the long and the short of it is we will be having our meetings normally and I will set up a calendar so my EPCUG calendar sends out the notice to the group.

Looking forward to seeing you all next week!

Computer Variety

Our group has evolved from being a PC computer group to an ‘All things computer’ type of group. The notebooks coming to the meeting are mostly Windows, but Don brings a Mac, Steve has machines with a variety of Linux OS’s on them, I have my new acquisition, a Chromebook, and everyone has an Android or iPhone with them when we gather.

Our discussions are not limited to the computers, what they do is just as interesting. Using Office apps, working on websites, navigating with phones or enjoy gaming, that just touches the surface or our discussions. If you have questions about something or if you think you could help answer others questions you are invited to visit with us.

We often eat at the kiosks in the market so if your stomach growls at dinnertime there is a lot to enjoy.

Come join with us, 5:30pm Mondays, Fifth Street Market Food Court.