Web browsers, home computer use: setting the cursor in the search bar w/o using the mouse

Self-tutoring about home computer use: the tutor shares a keyboard shortcut to the search bar.

is meant to return the cursor to the search bar.




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Computer skills: a search tip

For me, search skills lead to constant self-tutoring. The tutor shares a technique he’s noticed.

“word” ≠ “word ”

Searching my posts for the word fire, I got many results in which it was part of a word – Firefox and fireweed, for two examples. Yet, I wanted to find instances of just fire, but itself.

I wondered if typing in “fire ” instead of “fire” would change the results to give only those where fire stands alone.

What do you know – it worked:)



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Windows, home computer use: command prompt file operations: xcopy

Maintaining a home computer requires frequent self-tutoring. The tutor shares.

This Windows 7 computer no longer performs the COPY command from the mouse, so I use the command prompt to copy files, etc.

Lately I’ve been backing up directories, which contain subdirectories and so on. (Directory can also be thought of as Folder.)

To copy an entire directory, including its subdirectories and the folders contained therein, I use the xcopy command:

xcopy source_directory destination_directory /e


xcopy source_directory destination_directory /s

With /e it copies the empty folders, but not with /s.

In my experience, assigning a destination directory is important, since xcopy doesn’t copy the enclosing directory itself, just its contents. So, for instance, if you want to copy the directory desktop0 to a backup called desktop0, you might key

xcopy the_source_path\desktop0 the_destination_path\desktop0 /e


  1. Although you can use the forward slash to navigate in Windows, it can’t (in my experience) be used in paths in Windows commands. Rather, the backslash must be. For instance, topdir\dir1\dir2 must be used, rather than topdir/dir1/dir2, within a file command such as xcopy. However, for switches such as /s or /e, the forward slash is used.
  2. You can’t use xcopy from within a directory you’re telling it to copy. I typically do it from the one above.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Home computer use, computer maintenance, Windows: disk management: how to use unallocated space on a storage device

Home computer use, for me, leads to constant self-tutoring. The tutor shares a video about Windows disk management that he was lucky to find.

My experience: On an external hard drive, if Windows calls a part of it “unallocated”, you can’t store there.

What if you need the unallocated space? One option is to extend the adjacent partition (assuming it’s functional) so that it annexes the unallocated space for use.

In this video, David shows how to extend a useful partition so that it overtakes the unallocated space, making it, too, available for storage.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Windows: file permissions: what does Bypass Traverse Checking mean?

Researching file permissions can mean self-tutoring. The tutor relays the idea of Bypass Traverse Checking.

Bypass Traverse Checking (file permission)

This permission allows a user to access a specific file that is not protected, but which resides in a folder the user does not have clearance to examine.

Under the Bypass Traverse Checking permission, the user can navigate to that specific file by its full path designation, without the operating system checking the user’s clearance regarding the containing folder. However, without the necessary clearance, the user cannot simply enter the folder.




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Home computer use: appeasing Windows 10

More self-tutoring: the tutor talks about a bump on his digital road.

Traveling, time is typically a concern for me. Though I’ve been doing it more and more, I’m still not accomplished at traveling. I can make it – but that’s about it.

When a computer crashes on the road, it’s even worse for me than at home, since time is tight anyway. This computer crashed this weekend while I’m over here in Abbotsford.

Twice, while using Chrome, I couldn’t post to my blog. After the second reboot, I’m using IE, with apparently no problems. Sometimes, when in doubt, I return to the on-board option – in this case it’s working (fingers crossed).

I’m a fan of Chrome. However, this moment, it seems not to be getting along with Windows 10, for whatever (likely temporary) reason. Actually, I’m a fan of IE as well.

Abbotsford has been great – more about that in a coming post.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Excel: how to type a forward slash, Excel 2016

Using Excel can mean self-tutoring. The tutor shares an observation about typing the forward slash in Excel 2016.

I went to type a forward slash (as a character, not part of a formula) at the lead of a statement in a cell using Excel 2016, but I couldn’t. That’s because, in my experience, typing the forward slash in a cell activates shortcut keys for the menu items across the top.

To type a slash (as a character) in a cell, here’s what I do:

  1. Select the cell in which I want it.
  2. Click in the separate text box above the cells.
  3. Type what I want, then press Enter. The text, slash and all, appears in the cell.




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Home computer use: some practical experience with HP Notebook

For me, home computer use means self-tutoring. The tutor shares some experience with the HP Notebook.

When I can’t use the desktop, I often use a Notebook by HP, purchased last May, which runs Windows 10.

I had some problems with the HP Notebook early on, and had to restore it once. I was fearful it wouldn’t succeed, but it did, and worked better afterwards. We have our tensions sometimes, this HP Notebook and I, but they seem less and less.

Today, while I was watching a video on YouTube, the computer suddenly shut down. It turned back on, the screen telling me a problem had happened. It tried to start Windows, but was unsuccessful, so restarted, then tried again. As I recall, it still failed to start Windows, so restarted again.

A different screen appeared, telling me that Windows had failed to start the last time. It offered me two choices:

  1. an advanced system repair, or something similarly named, or
  2. try starting Windows again.

The last time I did a system repair, or restore, or what it might be called, it took a long time. “What can I lose,” I decided, “from just trying to start Windows one last time?” Therefore, that’s the option I chose – to attempt, once more, to restart Windows.

The computer did what I asked, and it worked: Windows did start successfully. A couple of minutes later I logged in like normal.

Although Windows was up and running, I didn’t assume all was well. A question mark icon called the HP Support Assistant is on the task bar. I clicked it, then Troubleshooting and Fixes, lower left on the HP Support Assistant screen.

Across the centre are two options I was happy to see: Performance Tune-up Check and Operating System Check. I first chose Performance Tune-up Check. As I recall, I had to give it permission to run. Then it offered me several checkbox choices, including System File Checker. “Great,” I thought. “That’s exactly what I need.”

When I chose to run System File Checker, I was warned that it could take an additional 30 minutes. I chose it anyway, and though it did take awhile, I could still watch videos, use Excel, etc, while it ran. It just worked in the background.

Eventually the Performance Tune-up Check, including the System File Checker, finished running and reported no problems. Next I clicked Operating System Check. It ran in the background as well. Later on, I looked back and found it had finished, reporting no issues.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Excel: Conditional Formatting, part II

Tutoring computer use, you might talk about conditional formatting with Excel. The tutor mentions a quick example.

You can make up your own condition that causes cells to format specifically. It might be done, more or less, like so:

Let’s imagine you want to format all cells in the range f3:f10 so that values above 70 appear in green. You would select that range.

Next, on the Home panel, you can click Conditional Formatting, then click New Rule. A list of choices is shown, at the bottom of which is “Use a formula to determine which cells to format”. Clicking that option, you’ll see a label “Format values where this formula is true”.

In the box, key in =f3>70. Next, click the Format button.

Various fonts and effects are offered. The Color option, under the Font tab, appears at centre right, and might be easy to miss; it’s a drop-down menu.

After selecting the effects and colors desired, one has to click OK a couple of times to invoke the conditional formatting:)



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.