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March 2021

MVCUG Meeting Notes

March 13, 2021

Happy Pi Day one day early! We had a good group join us for our 12th virtual meeting via Zoom. One year ago on Pi Day 2020 we had a Mike & Barry Show gathered at the Cochise County complex. That was the last time we were together physically since the beginning of the pandemic. All the officers appreciate you “tuning in” every month and supporting the user group during #TheseChallengingTimes. Hopefully we’ll be able to get together physically again later this year.


John hosted and lead the meeting as he usually does up to our first break. This included introductions, Zoom etiquette, tips of the month, and sharing favorites. If you need to contact John, Mike, or Barry, you can use the email addresses on the Officers page of the group’s website. Remember, you’re talking to both Mike and Barry when you use the vice president address.

Tips o’ the Month

Windows 10 Timeline. Mike demonstrated this feature that allows a user to see a visual history of recent activity and jump back into that activity whether it be email, web browsing, or document creation of some kind. If you are willing to store long term activity on Microsoft’s server, this timeline can be synced and used across multiple Windows 10 PCs.
Reopen recent tabs and windows in Safari. If you find a tab or window full of tabs missing in your Safari browser, check the History menu for options to reopen recently closed tabs and windows, the last closed window, and all windows from your last session. Barry showed how these menu commands work. Check out this MacMost YouTube video for a demonstration of how this works as well as nine more things you probably didn’t know you could do in Safari for macOS.
How to remove apps from, and add back to, your iPhone home screen. You’ll need to be running iOS 14 as this feature involves the use of the new App Library screen to the far right of all your home screen pages. Barry demonstrated how to “hide” an app icon and then return it to his home screen without deleting the app. Here is an Apple Support video that provides an overview of this process. And this Apple Support video shows more detail on how to add an App icon back to your home screen.
iOS Apple Mail message options:
John provided this bonus tip where by tapping and holding on an email message in the list you will get a pop-over view of the message with a menu of action items listed below. The menu items provide shortcuts to replying, replying to all, forwarding, marking (flagging), setting a notification, muting, moving the message to a folder, or trashing the message. You can see John’s demonstration in the video of the meeting, once it’s posted on his YouTube channel.

Share a Favorite

Mike geeks out on Linux. Mike demonstrated how he was able to set up a Linux distribution directly under Windows 10. This was way over this writer’s geek index level, but here’s the Microsoft Support document about the process. Mike will probably explain it to anyone interested.
Barry loves documentaries! Barry shared a subscription streaming service dedicated to just documentaries. It’s called CuriosityStream. It boasts thousands of documentaries, all on demand, all for less than $20 per year. There are documentaries on science, history, technology, nature, society, lifestyle, and kids (or for kids, as the case may be). It’s available on Android, Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Roku, Android TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV & Stick, Apple TV, TiVo, and smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio. Barry also showed us Nebula, a brand new home for video content and all-new originals from “your favorite creators.” They bill themselves as “a place to experiment, explore, and tailor our content to our audience, not to unskippable ads or recommendation algorithms.” Basically, it’s a bunch of YouTube creators who banded together to create a different viewing experience. Barry was able to subscribe to both CuriosityStream and Nebula bundled together for an amazing $12.51 for the first year by using this link.
John shared a YouTube channel recommendation for people interested in both history and cooking. It’s called Tasting History with Max Miller.
John is fed up with nagging. Hush to the rescue! John shared this iOS app that blocks the nag bars that many websites display regarding their use of cookies or privacy-invasive tracking. It works with Safari and is available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Search for it in the respective app store. Barry just installed it on both his iPhone and Mac mini.

The Mike & Barry Show

At this point Mike and Barry took over the meeting to revive their meeting-running (or ruining?) dynamic duo of VPs, which usually only takes over in John’s absence. Sadly, there wasn’t any theme music this time due to the current limitations of Barry’s setup with Zoom.

Computer Term of the Month

We started with the Wikipedia entry for emoji and went on to learn a little bit about Unicode, the standard for text and emoji, and the Unicode Consortium, the standards board that governs Unicode. Watch the video replay of the meeting on John’s YouTube channel for the details of the discussion.
How To
This episode of The Mike & Barry Show was a tip fest made up of member requests from last September’s topic-planning meeting. None of these “how to” topic requests were enough for a full meeting on their own, so we grouped them all together for this mad-capped, fast-paced race through the garden of personal computing and mobile device tips. (Insert tongue-in-cheek emoji here—if only there was one.)
Inserting Emoji
See what we did there? Mike demonstrated how to insert an emoji character on Windows wherever text can be entered and edited. Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and tap the period key. This brings up a floating panel giving you access to all the emoji available on the system. Click on one or more to insert it into the text.
Barry demonstrated how to do the same on macOS and iOS. On macOS, hold down the control and command keys, then tap the spacebar. A similar floating panel will appear to choose an emoji. Click on one to insert it anywhere you can enter or edit text on your Mac (including file names, Safari bookmarks and favorites folders, email and text messages, word processing documents, etc.) There were some extra tips to use System Preferences to show an icon in the menu bar to provide access to not only the emoji picker but also a more comprehensive glyph picker to insert all kinds of unicode characters that you have available in many fonts but probably didn’t know about. See John’s meeting video for details.
Sharing Photos
Specifically, how to share photos with someone outside your household using email and text messaging. Mike sent Barry and email with a couple of photos. Barry showed how they came in on his Mac email client. Then Barry sent Mike a couple of photos back. There’s no bundled text messaging app on Windows, so to share photos from the desktop via text messaging you would need to acquire a third-party app. Apple provides the Messages app on macOS as well as iOS, so photos can be shared from (and messages synced across) both Mac and iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. Barry demonstrated how on iOS using the Messages app on his iPhone. Again, see John’s meeting video for the full experience.
How to Manage Desktop Debris
Mike showed us his Windows 10 desktop and how he manages the icons, their arrangement, and personalizing his background image. It was an interesting tour through the Windows 10 Settings app and how the desktop, start menu, and task bar can all be customized, controlled, and managed.


And that’s where we ran out of time. We did go a bit past noon with some question and answers, however, so check out John’s meeting video on his YouTube channel (have I mentioned that before?).

Next month another Mike & Barry Show is on the docket, so we will pick up where we left off and finish the “how tos” plus add some other app demos that don’t warrant a full meeting on their own.

Until next month, stay safe, keep calm, be kind, wash your hands, and get vaccinated.

Barry “Bazza” Midgorden
Vice President (macOS)
Mountain View Computer Users Group
Sierra Vista, Arizona

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