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.

Excel 2016: formula not calculating

Home computer use can mean self-tutoring. The tutor shares an idea about cell formatting in Excel.

Yesterday, using Excel 2016, I began a new spreadsheet and discovered a formula wouldn’t calculate. When I entered, for instance, =6+7, it wouldn’t evaluate to 13; the cell would simply continue to say =6+7. I’ve never encountered that behaviour.

I looked around the internet for a solution. The cell, many suggested, might be formatted as Text, in which case it would remain what was literally entered.

Checking its format, however, it said General.

Perhaps I accidentally changed the format to Text. (I can’t easily imagine that happening.) Anyway, what I seem to have learned is that just changing the format, once it’s been Text, won’t cause the formula to calculate. First you need to delete the cell’s contents, then change its format to General (for instance), then re-enter the formula. Then, the formula will calculate.



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

Home computer use, English: bookmarks

Home computer use can lead to constant self-tutoring. The tutor reflects about bookmarks.

In The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost arrives at a fork where he must pick one road to travel. Looking down each as far as he can, he chooses the second. He then confides to the reader,

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

An internet researcher faces much the same situation: one site can lead to another, then more may link from it. You might even visit a page but not read much of it, only to save it as a bookmark “for another day” – knowing, just like Frost intimates, that you’ll unlikely return.

Today I began looking through the bookmarks that I’ve accumulated on the main computer. I rediscover so many links to great sites that I recall finding, but didn’t follow up. Time is limited, and the topic that was urgent that day soon gave way to another.

On the internet, we’ve all joined the company of Robert Frost in a way perhaps unimaginable when he wrote The Road Not Taken circa 1915. With so many pages acting as nodes to groups of others, the internet surfer faces choice after choice, leaving by far most pages – and the ones that would follow – unexplored.


Smith, Philip (editor). 100 Best-Loved Poems. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1995.


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

Home computer use: removing all hyperlinks with Microsoft Word 2016

Home computer use means, for me, constant self-tutoring. The tutor mentions a trick to remove all hyperlinks from a Word document at once.

I do this with Word 2016. Does it work with other versions? I don’t know.

To remove all hyperlinks at once, here’s what I do:

  1. Ctrl+A to Select All.
  2. Ctrl+Shift+F9




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

Microsoft Word 2016: putting .pdfs and .docx files into a single file

Home computer use can mean self-tutoring. The tutor mentions how to assemble .docx files and .pdf files into a single one.

I was posed the problem of assembling .pdf files with .docx ones into a single file. It can be done on Word 2016:

  1. Copy and paste the .docx files into a single new blank document.
  2. Now, click the Insert tab (just right of the Home one).
  3. Perhaps near the right, select Object, then Create from File, then Browse…
  4. Select the .pdf you want, then click Open. It’s similar to attaching one to an email.

The steps above are as I recall doing, anyway.



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

Home computer use: five weeks with McAfee

Home computer use means continual self-tutoring. The tutor mentions his renewed relationship with McAfee.

Around twenty years ago, I had McAfee virus protection on a computer. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out too well. I moved on to Norton, I think.

Buying new computers, or replacing expired subscriptions, I’ve tried numerous malware protection programs since then – Kaspersky and Bitdefender, to name a couple.

Recently, on a new Windows 10 computer, McAfee made sense to try again. I thought about it, then searched the Web for opinions. Reading them, I decided to take the chance.

I’ve run McAfee on the Windows 10 computer for five weeks now, with no problems. I still run Bitdefender on the Windows 7 computer.

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