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 Pexels.com

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 speedtest.net. 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.

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.

Keeping a WordPress Website

blogging blur business communication
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We’ve had a new guest the last few weeks who lost his website support and was unable to update his website. Most of our meetings attend to computer operation and web discoveries but we’ve had some fun problem solving WordPress managed websites.

WordPress operates about a quarter of all websites on the internet, quite an accomplishment for an open source project. The ability to add plugins for specific purposes makes it increasingly complex but the manner of troubleshooting it is fairly simple. One at a time turn off the plugins until the problem stops.

We’ll likely continue these talks in the next few weeks. If you have problems, or solutions, stop by and join us.

Holiday Post from Lare…

For reasons beyond just the season I will not be available at the Dec. 21 meeting but I found this offer and used it today and would suggest some others of us might benefit as well.

AVG   Christmas 2015 PC TuneUp offerAVG the virus protection program company also makes PC-Tuneup, a program like CCleaner (but more so) and normally sells it for about $50/year. I don’t usually recommend these types of programs because there are many free ways to get the same benefit, but the freebies can be more cumbersome. So when I saw an offer from AVG for a free one time use of their PC-Tuneup (if downloaded and used before Dec. 25) I tried it. It cleaned out gigs of files for me (mostly duplicate files, many videos) and has made my laptop faster. If you have time, the price is right.