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The Best Password Managers

April 2021 – What types of password managers are there and which are best?

Send files securely

February 2021 – Email is insecure, so sending private information via email is dangerous. Additionally, many email providers have maximum size limits for sending and receiving. Tresorit gives you a very easy way to encrypt the files on your computer. Send them encrypted, and then have the person who downloads them decrypt on their computer.

Finding stuff in Keepass

February 2021 – As important as saving your passwords and other information in a password safe, is being able to retrieve it. Here are three ways to make finding your keepass stuff easier.

Check your privacy settings

January 2021 – As laws and regulations take effect, we are gaining some possible control over who tracks us, and shares our information with marketers. It is worthwhile to visit places that have your information and opt out of their merchandising you. Here's a headstart.

Best articles of 2020

December 2020 – A list of the best articles of 2020. These are the ones I think are most important.

Review of the reMarkable tablet

December 2020 – The reMarkable 2 is a next-generation paper tablet. Replace your notebooks and printed documents with the only tablet that feels like paper. Subscriber, attorney Ross Hart wrote a review of this interesting tech option.

Key status indicators

December 2020 – A small free program to display the status of some toggle keys like caps lock and num lock.

Preparing for a new computer

November 2020 – Create a spreadsheet for all your software to ease the transition to a new computer.

How to check you Ballot

October 2020 – Oregon has been doing mail in balloting for a long time and do it reasonably well. Here's a link to check registration, ballot tracking, ballot drop boxes and more election related information.

Windows Emoji picker!

October 2020 – Here's how to use Windows itself to embed emojis into any program that will display them. Also links to emoji meanings.

Label you stuff

October 2020 – Here's how to easily label your cables. Having a label on both ends can save you a lot of frustration in the long run.

Bargain Alert!

October 2020 – Amazon is having its Prime Days October 13 and 14 this year. Big bargains available.

High memory issue

September 2020 – What is high memory usage and how is the issue resolved?

Create Windows 10 installation media

July 2020 – I explain and recommend making two emergency boot disks for your computer. One for your image backup program, the other for Windows. New Windows installation disks should be made after each major feature update.

How to Postpone Windows Feature updates

July 2020 – Windows 10 Feature updates should be postponed. I explain how and why here.

When a Window leaves the screen

July 2020 – Sometimes Windows open off of your screen, so it appears the program doesn't open. This article explains how to move the off-screen windows back onto your screen.

Do not install Win 10 2004

June 2020 – The next feature update to Windows 10 is version 2004. Wait at least a few months before installing it. Let the bugs get worked out first and give Microsoft a chance to work out the upgrade process.

Ease of access keys

June 2020 – Windows Ease of Access settings offers some useful adjustments as well as some possible thorns. Here are some I change for myself and clients.

Check your backups

April 2020 – If you haven't checked your backup recently, assume it is not working! I review three kinds of backups and how to quickly and easily check whether each is working.

Working from home

April 2020 – Just letting clients know that I help people work from home.

Using Keepass to track license expires

March 2020 – Keepass can be used to monitor expiration dates for antivirus and other subscriptions and renewals.

Startup programs

March 2020 – Startup programs run whenever you log into your computer. They run in the background, consume resources and slow down your computer. Here's how to check and control them.

Change folder icons

February 2020 – Sometimes changing the folder icon on your desktop or in file manager would make finding frequently used files and folder quicker and easier. Here's how to do it.

Activate Active Hours

January 2020 – Setup Windows 10 active hours to keep Microsoft from rebooting and installing updates when you want to work.

Best Articles of 2019

January 2020 – I've selected the best articles of 2019. Some answer problems my clients come to me with while others answer problems I wish they'd come to me with. Finally, there are three general security articles.

Run troubleshooters

December 2019 – Microsoft has many built-in troubleshooters to help you diagnose and fix many computer problems. It makes sense to try these just in case they work. Sometimes they do. You might be able to quickly solve your problems without needing to pay a consultant.

I've moved

November 2019 – I've moved to 18485 SW Pacific Dr. #66 Tualatin, OR 97062

Millions of Windows 10 users may lose Microsoft support

November 2019 – Millions of Windows 1803 users will lose security updates after the November update. Here are steps you should take.

Making Windows easier to see

October 2019 – Here are two options that will make the text, and mouse pointer larger and easier to see in newer versions of Windows 10.

TreeSize free

October 2019 – Treesize is a program that will analyze any drive or folder, including mapped network drives, and show you what is taking up the most space.

Screen clipping

September 2019 – Microsoft's new screen clipper is a little better than their last one. Here's how to use it.


August 2019 – Wordweb is a wonderful dictionary and thesaurus program that works with all your software. It is available free or advanced features are available inexpensively. Quickly check spelling and definitions with an extensive dictionary, or synonyms. Even hear the pronunciation.

Check their business model

August 2019 – When deciding what search engine or browser to use, consider their business model. I review various business models and which browsers and search engines use each one.

Darpa voting system

May 2019 – Darpa is funding some excellent research on voting machines. They are building open source systems that will give verifiable results and be openly tested.

Equifax more problems

April 2019 – Get your unsafe Equifax account before some miscreant gets your account instead. Despite incompetent security and the inability to properly store passwords, it is safer to get your MyEquifax account than to leave it for someone else to get.

Stopping Notification requests

April 2019 – How to stop websites from offering to send you notifications.

Windows 7 support ends

March 2019 – Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. This means your security updates will cease. If you have a Windows 7 machine that touches the Internet, you should replace it sometime this year.

Swiss testing online voting

March 2019 – The Swiss are testing an online voting system that might be worth a close look.

Syncing Notes between devices

February 2019 – If you'd like to automatically have your notes or other writing synchronized on all your devices, there are some excellent options.

Adding Fields to Keepass

September 2018 – Adding custom fields, like account numbers, to Keepass entries.

What CIA can Know

September 2018 – The Mueller charges against alleged Russian hackers reveals startling information about what our government can know.

Grammarly Mobile keyboard

August 2018 – Grammarly has a very nice mobile keyboard for iOS and Android. It helps you with grammar and clarity issues even from your mobile device.

Spideroak has fantastic unlimited offer. This week only!

August 2018 – Spideroak One backup has a fantastic unlimited promo available this week only.

Ninite Updater and Super

July 2018 – Ninite does update SuperAntiSpyware, but it calls it Super. Let it update.

New Features of Windows 10 release 1803

July 2018 – Windows 10 version 1803 offers a few new features that are worthwhile.

Better Writing Aids

June 2018 – We can improve our writing with either free or moderately priced options. Current technology will not only correct our spelling but also our grammar and improve our writing style. These programs will make our writing better.

Two important KeePass changes

June 2018 – KeePass just keeps getting better. Two of the newest improvements were especially useful. There is now an autosave option and an auto-minimize option.

Work Remotely

May 2018 – A good, secure, inexpensive way to use your office computer from anywhere. Work from home or while traveling, safely and conveniently.

Transferring your digital assets

May 2018 – How to Make sure your lawyer, trust attorney, estate planner, or executor has access to your online assets, like Facebook or investment accounts.

Veracrypt: Securing files

April 2018 – VeraCrypt is a solid, safe, simple way to maintain strong security for some of your files. Their File Container option excellent if you need to keep some of your files private.

Our vulnerable voting machines

April 2018 – Voting machines are getting hacked. Here's the current state of our machines and how Oregon fares.


February 2018 – The Windows clipboard holds only one piece of text at a time. AceText from JustGreatSoftware holds as many as you want (a thousand by default) in the ClipHistory. Whenever you cut or copy text, AceText captures it into its clipboard history. AceText saves your clips even when you reboot your computer.

Dotz cable labels

February 2018 – Identify each end of cables so you know which cords go to which items. It also as stick-on dots to identify each end of items that are not cables, like power transformers.

Moving System tray icons

February 2018 – You can drag and drop icons around in the system tray and also between the showing and not showing areas.

Controlling Your Backups

January 2018 – What you need to do to make sure your data is being backed up properly.

Who owns your stuff?

January 2018 – Who owns the books you buy from Amazon, Audible or Kobo? I chatted with their support. Here are the answers I got and suggestions for leaving your collections to your heirs.

New US Post Office Service

January 2018 – US Postal service now offers informed delivery. This alerts you of incoming mail and packages, and allows you to control delivery and manage your mail.

Search tips for Windows 10

December 2017 – Simple tips for using Windows 10 search bar.

A better way to pay some bills

December 2017 – Online banking has a new better way to pay some bills. Send money to people for free.

Everyone should place a Fraud Alert

October 2017 – Everyone should place a Fraud Alert on their credit reports. The process is simple and free. It requires lenders to verify your identity, usually by a phone call, if someone tries get credit in your name.

Doing a Credit or Security Freeze

October 2017 – I did a credit or security freeze to reduce the problem of identity theft. Here is all you need to know to determine if you should too.

Macrium Image Guardian

October 2017 – Macrium Reflect has a new Image Guardian that protect your images from Ransomware attacks. Also, the free version is now available for single commercial workstations.

Internal Controls

September 2017 – Internal controls protect you from fraud, some theft and employee embezzlement. Here are some basics.

Firefox File Share

September 2017 – Firefox excellent secure simple free file sharing service was discontinued

Some useful Windows Shortcuts (and a fun one)

July 2017 – Useful Windows shortcuts for Windows and many programs.

My Newsletter's email links

June 2017 – My newsletters contain trackers. Here's what they are doing, and why, and how to opt out.

Wireless printers and networking considerations

June 2017 – The differences between ad-hoc and infrastructure networks and the need to avoid printer makers quick and easy wifi installation processes.

Spideroak Purge Tool

May 2017 – I've created a simple purge tool to reduce the number of previous versions SpiderOak One Backup retains.

Backup Power Recommendations

April 2017 – Uninterrupted power supply options. A look at 3 recommended UPS solutions for different purposes.

Amazon Prime Cards

February 2017 – Amazon has two cards for Prime members that allow them to earn 5% credit on all Amazon purchases. One of these rewards cards is great while the other is terrible. Which is which?

Keeping your computer healthy

February 2017 – There are a few simple things you can do to help your computer remain happy and healthy.

Revealing Fake Amazon Reviews

February 2017 – This site let's you check for possible fake product reviews on Amazon. Very useful.

Chaos Calendars

January 2017 – If you are using Time and Chaos or Intellect from ChaosSoftware, don't forget they have free calendars showing national holidays.

PDF-Xchange Viewer Tips for Beginners

January 2017 – My recommended PDF Viewer is not the old terrible Adobe viewer, or any of the new function challenged viewers from Microsoft, Chrome or Firefox, but rather the wonderful PDF-Xchange viewer from Tracker Software. This is a beginner's getting started guide.

Archive old Chaos Stuff

January 2017 – Those using Time and Chaos or Intellect should consider archiving old tasks, appointments, emails and contacts at the beginning of each year (or every other year).

Taskbar Tricks

December 2016 – Here are some simple options for controlling how your taskbar looks in Windows 10. This probably works well for Windows 8 also.

Nice Mozilla Add-on

December 2016 – Part of Mozilla's appeal is the huge add-on eco-system that has developed for the products. This add-on works for both Firefox and Thunderbird and makes the programs easier to use. It is a better scrollbar.

Windows Trick - Arrow Keys (and more)

October 2016 – Windows key plus arrow keys produce interesting results. An even better option is the Divvy program by Mizage software

Yahoo Earns 5 Strikes

October 2016 – Yahoo has earned 5 strikes. It is time to consider perhaps they should be out. They have lost my trust.

SpiderOak New Pricing

October 2016 – Spideroak has new pricing

Spideroak Simple File Share

September 2016 – SpideroakOne Backup makes it very quick and simple to share a single file that you have backed up.

Cloud storage considerations

June 2016 – Before you store your information or your clients', you should consider the security of the online storage service. Here are the principles you need to know.

File Explorer Tips

May 2016 – Microsoft's File Explorer is actually a very good file manager, however few people know all the tricks that can make it work best. Here are some tips to help you get the most from Windows File Manager.

Upgrading to Windows 10

February 2016 – Who should upgrade to Windows 10? Who should not upgrade. How to you do it safely?

Some interesting news stories

January 2016 – 2 news stories: Isis is using its own secure messaging application, so the are safe from the NSA backdooring normal programs, and the EFF has released their annual report on which online companies and working to help preserve our privacy.

Fujitsu Home Office scanners

January 2016 – Fujitsu offers some of the best home / office scanners and they can make your life much easier. Here's a list and description of a few I recommend.

Stop Get Windows 10 intrusions

December 2015 – GWX Control panel stops the heckling Microsoft is doing to force us into Windows 10. Upgrade if you want, when you want.

Updating to Windows 10 - NO!

November 2015 – A shocking percentage of Windows 10 upgrades fail and many of those lose their machine entirely. We took a poll of local computer consultants with shocking results.

Reboot your computer

November 2015 – Reboot your computer every Monday morning. It will run much better.

10 reasons your computer might be slowing down

October 2015 – If your computer is getting slow, here are 10 possible causes.

Online clocks and timers

September 2015 – Here is where you can find online clocks and timers

Backup your Google stuff

August 2015 – Two ways to make local copies of your Google saved files. This makes copies of Google drive, Contacts, Calendar, Photos and much more.

Wait on Windows 10

July 2015 – Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 hard. You have a full year to upgrade for free. Wait until the first set up upgrade patch problems are solved before upgrading

What kind of desktop do you want?

July 2015 – Things to think about when buying a new computer. The factors you need to consider

Recommended Windows Programs

July 2015 – My recommended Programs for Windows with links to get them.

Check out your Google History

June 2015 – Google allows you to see and control much of the information they keep on you. Here's how to check it out.

Google I/O a glimpse into the future

June 2015 – Google I/O gives you a glimpse into where computing is headed. The Verge provided a nice 10 minute video summary of Google's 2015 I/O conference.

Planning the transfer to your new computer

May 2015 – Tips for making the transfer to a new computer smooth.

System Tray clock replacement

May 2015 – Free Desktop Timer offers an excellent system tray clock replacement which has many themes and options, takes minimal resources and can be seen easily.

Bigger your mouse

May 2015 – The mouse pointer can easily be made more visible and easier to find when it hides. Here's how.

Auto Login with Keepass

May 2015 – Keepass allows you to log into a website or program with the press of a hotkey (CTRL-Alt-A). This article shows you how to adjust it if the default conditions don't work.

Thicken your cursor!

April 2015 – As we get older, the little skinny Windows cursor gets harder and harder to see. Windows has an easy way to make it thicker.

Using Jump Lists

April 2015 – The jumplist feature is quite useful but not everyone knows how to use them. This article explains how to save time and energy with Windows Jumplists

Setting up Share Rooms with Spideroak

March 2015 – Spideroak Backup makes it very easy to share even very large files securely and very easily. Here's how.

Windows 10 Preview

February 2015 – This is a good video summary of Windows 10 features. It reduces the 2.5 hour Microsoft presentation to 12 minutes.

SpiderOak New Pricing

February 2015 – Spideroak has changed their pricing structure, providing a lower cost less storage option and a higher cost more storage option, but eliminating the current $100/yr for 100 GB option. Current users with current accounts do not need to change and their option will be honored.

The Best Articles of 2014

December 2014 – My own picks for my best articles of 2014 in case you might have missed any.

Using Google as a backup for sending E-Mail

December 2014 – How to setup Google as an alternative email sender, just in case of emergency. If your standard SMTP server goes down, you'll still be able to send email.

Additional expenses that come along with a new computer

December 2014 – When you buy a new computer, the additional expenses are often as much or more than the computer. In addition to the new box, what other things must you consider and budget for?

Windows Calculator

October 2014 – The calculator built into Windows is much better than most people believe. With just a few tweaks, you'll find it very useful.

Computer Replacement

October 2014 – If your computer is working just fine, should it still be replaced? Recommended replacement schedule.

SpiderOak Backup

October 2014 – SpiderOak is a great online backup program, but it needs to be cleaned up some and updated occasionally.

Notebook and SSD Power Settings

August 2014 – Windows Sleep and Hibernate are normally unnecessary and sometimes reek havoc with a notebook's proper functioning. You do not need to use them. Here is how to stop it.

New forms available

August 2014 – I have many useful computer related forms available for you to use.

Why Doesn't that PDF look right?

August 2014 – What to do to make sure your pdf files will be searchable, and print out properly on other computers and operating systems.

Free Microsoft Books

August 2014 – Microsoft has a vast collection of free Ebooks on Windows 7, Windows 8, SQL, Sharepoint, Azure and much more.

Google Drops storage costs

June 2014 – Google Drive offers an excellent inexpensive option for archiving files that do not need to be kept private.

How long do hard drives last?

June 2014 – How long can we expect our Hard drives to last?

Windows 8.1 Update

April 2014 – Microsoft has updated Windows 8.1 to make it better for people using a mouse instead of a touch screen.

How to use the OCS Website

April 2014 – The OCS Website, http://steveshank.com is a valuable resource. Here's how to get the most out of it.

Portland may get Google fiber

April 2014 – Portland is in the race to be selected by Google for their very high speed Fiber Internet. What it might mean.

What is Reddit?

April 2014 – CGP Grey explains Reddit. Great video.

I Wipe Hard Drives

February 2014 – I offer a reliable hard drive wiping and computer recycling service.

Help With Regular Computer Maintenance

December 2013 – Monthly maintenance should be done on all computers. This includes checking for possible problems and updating. I offer this as a service, but explain here what needs to be done.

Adding Image Backups to your routine

December 2013 – In addition to data backups and online backups, image backups should be standard practice. They allow you go get up and running quickly if the hard drive fails, or Windows goes nuts, or you get a virus.

Good File Sharing Site: Shared.com

October 2013 – Shared.com gives you a 100 GB of storage and an easy way to share large files.

Daily Computer Maintenance

October 2013 – If you do not turn your computer off at night, you should follow these steps every evening.

Printing from Keepass

October 2013 – How to print from Keepass password safe. This article shows you how to print single entries, groups, or the entire database as well as to configure your output.

Business use of Open Source Software

October 2013 – A good PC World article on 10 open source programs for business use.

PDF Xchange issue

August 2013 – Sometimes people have trouble printing some of the edits done with PDFXchange Viewer. Here is how to minimize this possible issue.

Troubleshooting Slow Computers

June 2013 – Is your computer getting slower and slower? If so, here are some steps that might help.


June 2013 – Dwolla is a payment network allowing you to send and accept money within seconds very inexpensively. A potential alternative to high credit card fees.

My Favorite Android Tablet Apps

June 2013 – These are my current (May 29, 2013) favorite Android Apps for my tablet. Perhaps you'll find something new in here.

Maintenance Service

April 2013 – To keep your computer safe and profitable, it is necessary to do monthly maintenance. Here is the checklist I use to do it, and some explanation of how it works. I also offer a service where I'll do it for you every month, or quarterly, or I can simply work with you as needed to teach you exactly how to maintain your own computer.

Easily Sign PDF Documents

February 2013 – How to sign PDF documents for free. No need to print, sign, and scan back into your computer. Just paste your signature into the PDF document and return it.

Free PDF-XChange can now OCR!

December 2012 – PDF-XChange is my PDF viewer of choice. It now offers free OCR for pdf scanned images. Here's how to use it.

Two Great Alternative Word Processors

August 2012 – Jarte and Google Docs are both excellent alternatives to those large clunky difficult to use word processors. Jarte is a small desktop application that does everything I need. Google Docs is even better and add wonderful sharing and collaboration.

Close every program every night

August 2012 – It is ok to leave your desktop computer on continually, but you still need to close all your programs every night. Closing all your programs every day eliminates many Windows issues.

Pocket: App of the Month

August 2012 – Pocket (formerly called read-it-later) is a great way to read an interesting article later on any of your devices, desktop, phone or tablet. Find it anywhere, read it later anywhere.

Another Screen Capture Program

June 2012 – Another screen capture program with lots of features and a lifetime license of only $20.

Forms you can use

April 2012 – I have a few forms that should help you working with security and your computers. They are in PDF format and freely available for use.

Chaos Software Version Update

April 2012 – Chaos Software has updated their excellent business management software. This program handles my contacts, tasks, calendaring and email.

Sending Large Files

April 2012 – We sometimes need to send large files and making them an attachment is a bad idea. Here I review two excellent services for sending large files for free. Both services also offer a low cost option with more features.

Screen Snipping Tools

April 2012 – Though I use Snagit to capture screen images, Windows 7 has a good screen snipping tool built in. Here is how to use it. Making a clip image of some part of a screen can often make it easier to show someone else exactly what you are referring to. This article also shows you how to add any program to the top of your start menu.

Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanners

April 2012 – Fujitsu has two new low cost personal scanners that are absolutely fabulous. Scan directly to pdf. USB powered for mobile use. Get organized and go paperless (or at least less paper. These two scanners are great for personal and small home business organization

Windows "Computer" Shortcuts

February 2012 – You can make Windows easier to use by adding shortcuts to your Windows Explore file manager that you get to by clicking on Computer.

My New Website

February 2012 – My website is completely re-done making it easier to find articles and browse for information. It was done by Peter Miller using his custom content management system.

Using Sync

December 2011 – What is Sync and how can you use it? The different types of synchromization. Using Sync for backup. Issues to consider.

21st Century Passwords

December 2011 – Making strong passwords for small form factor devices

Introduction to KeePass

October 2011 – An introduction to Keepass password safe.

Why switch to KeePass

October 2011 – Reasons to quit using OCS Passwords and move to Keepass password safe.

How to switch to KeePass

October 2011 – Switching from OCS Passwords to KeePass.

KeePass Quickstart

October 2011 – A Quickstart Guide to Keepass password safe.

Preview of Windows 8

August 2011 – Link to video previewing Windows 8

Libre Office

August 2011 – I recommend switching from Open office to LIbre Office

Minimizing your online backup size

June 2011 – How to reduce the size of your backup with MySecureBackup.

4 Tips for using Windows Explorer

April 2011 – 4 Tips for using Windows Explorer

How to Resize Pictures

February 2011 – Image Resizer is a great little program to make it easy to resize pictures for email with Windows 7 and Vista

New MySecureBackup Login

February 2011 – Mysecurebackup gives you a new and better way to login to your account and access files.

Getting programs to start automatically

December 2010 – How to set any of your programs to startup when the computer starts.

New Remote Control Program

September 2010 – Announcing a change in the program I use to remotely access clients' computers.

Reducing Your Online Backup Size

July 2010 – Reducing Your Online Backup Size

PDF Encryption

July 2010 – PDF Encryption

Print Emails to PDF

July 2010 – Print Email to PDF

Mastering Your Life

May 2010 – Chaos Software's Time and Chaos and Intellect

Adobe Acrobat Security Issues

March 2010 – Adobe Security Issues

David Cornelius Addition

March 2010 – Finding the Java control panel in 64 Bit Windows


January 2010 – Zoomig

The Underutilized Middle Mouse Button

January 2010 – Using the Middle Mouse Button

Adding Notes to Shortcuts

January 2010 – Adding Notes to shortcuts

Reduce Your Java Cache

January 2010 – Reduce Your Java Cache

Launchy Program Launcher

March 2008 – Launchy Program Launcher

Two Great Adobe Reader Replacements

October 2007 – Two replacements for Adobe Reader. For reading PDF files.


July 2007 – Description of the free, open source, cross-platform program launcher for

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