Ctrl yourself.

Here’s a Tuggie the Techno-Owl tip for you. (You know that Tuggie’s smart enough to know that nobody knows everything, and discrete enough to teach you things you can claim to have always known.)

A short history of a shortcut key.

Like many other elements of the computer keyboard, the control key is a vestige of earlier technology updated and adapted to remain relevant. Originally found on

Continue reading “Ctrl yourself.”

No, I mean *exactly* where?

Tired of missed connections? There’s something I just discovered on Google Maps that might help. It’s called Plus Codes.

Plus Codes work similar to street addresses. They can help you get and use a simple digital address. They can also help you define a specific location for a conventional address. For example, you can identify different entrances to the same building. 

… or for example where in Phillippi

Continue reading “No, I mean *exactly* where?”

So what work did your grandfather (great-grandfather, etc) do?

Did you get enthused by STUG’s monthly meeting about getting started in genealogy? (Did I spell that right?)? Even if you’re not a beginner, but elbow-deep in ancestors, there’s some great info there (listen to why borthdates might not always be as accurate as they could be LOL)

Here’s the meeting’s recording on the STUG YouTube channel.

Is it any wonder?

Ever feel like throwing a shoe through your computer? I do. This is a real actual screen shot of what happened to me one day. Need I add that yes, it was on a device running Windows.


And, okay, I imagine some geek got tired of creating a password then having it rejected as not complicated enough. His/her solution? This message:

Oh yeh, I got those memorized.

And then there’s life’s little frustrations.

Every. Single. Time.
Some help you are.
A little help from your friends.

So what to do? Well, there are folks at STUG who can help! Free classes and monthly meetings, small online Q&A sessions, and even one-on-one help. All for an incredibly low membership rate. Join today.

Some of the smiles above are mine, some aren’t, and if you’re the creator who would like to have credit, let us know and we’ll happily share your info… ’cause you’ve certainly lightened our day.

Get Started in Genealogy

This is one monthly meeting you won’t want to miss! On Wednesday September 1 at 7PM Eastern, via Zoom, you’re invited to learn, free, how to get started, free, with researching family history. Just another perk from thestug.org!

You do need to register beforehand so we can save you a seat and remind you via email that it’s coming.

Designed for the beginning genealogy researcher, you will learn:  

  • How to begin and avoid mistakes;
  • library resources across the country;
  • free genealogy online websites and resources;
  • your computer group and genealogy,
  • plus a word about DNA and social media.

Presenter Susan Mueller is a retired educator and administrator. She leads the monthly Genealogy SIG at Computer Users of Erie PA and has been working seriously on genealogy for more than 25 years.  Sue is also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and serves as the local chapter’s registrar.  An active participant and presenter for the Erie Society for Genealogical Research, she also teaches at the Erie County Public Library.

The meeting’s free for all, but joining STUG helps us keep you supplied with ways to make the most of your screen time, and for $30 a year, is the cheapest tech education you’ll ever find! Remember to register … and to let friends and family know about this educational opportunity!

Join the Space Age

One day I decided to explore the extensions in my Chrome browser, and it’s been a joy ride to uninterrupted reading ever since.

My favorite Chrome Extension is Mercury Reader. If you’ve ever been annoyed and distracted by ads, popups, videos which run without your permission you need this!

In addition to (almost 100%, nobody’s perfect) eliminating the commercials while leaving the meat of a web page, Mercury Reader also allows you adjust font size, copy text, and even adjust the background color from white to black. You can print the cleaned-up page, send it via email, even make a PDF of it. You can even send pages to your Kindle reader, though I haven’t tried that.

The upper right of my screen in Chrome browser.

With Mercury Reader, I make the most of my screen time!

Just the facts, m’am

As Jack Webb on Dragnet was famous for saying,

Just the facts, m’am.

Well Jack would be astounded at the feast of facts our Members-Only newsletter has in it each month. In addition to the “coming attraction” of our monthly virtual meeting (this month, learn about Zwave, Zigbee, Wifi hubs and all sorts of stuff for automating your home), the August issue has a Beginner’s Guide to Zoom (Zoom meetings don’t seem to be going away any time soon…),

Bill Crowe explains (with pictures!) how to bypass phone trees on your iPhone

Phil Sorrentino really digs into “the cloud”

and Jim Cerny waxes lyrical, expanding on my short blog topic of right-clicking and the real difference it can make in your life.

Of course, every monthly issue also includes the details on our presentations of Tech for Seniors, our Help Desk, iPad and iPhones, the MAC Forum, MAC classes, and Members Helping Members, and so much more.

Yup, Ron Brown & Hewie Poplock, Bill Crowe, Bob Gostischa, Jim Cerny, Ray Baxter & Dewey Kloos and Phil Sorrentino are just some visible “facts” and benefits of membership in STUG. Between them and the back-stage folks managing all this… won’t you join us?

Jack Webb would be so proud of you.

Let me get back to me on that…

I love to cruise the ‘net, but alas… I get so easily distracted. So I’ve learned how to save articles and feast on leftovers later. Kinda like eternal Tupperware.

If you’re running the latest version of Chrome on your computer, you’ve probably noticed the Reading List button—it’s right below your avatar in the top right corner of the browser, unmistakably labeled “Reading List.” (On an iPhone or iPad? Tap the three dots in the bottom right of the screen.)

Using the Reading List is the same as bookmarking a web page. It’s available in Chrome on the desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and for iPhone and iPad. Android user? Read this.

Pages saved to your Chrome Reading List can be read without an internet connection—though you do need internet to add to the list.

I prefer Pocket myself; It’s the graphics it saves that help me remember why I wanted to get back to me on that. It also can read many of your saved articles to you. I do need some organizational skills though so I should probably read this.

How about sending webpages to your Kindle? Yup, you can do that.

The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Want a deeper dive?

Is your favorite charity here?

There are many ways to help your favorite charity. And now, you can do that FOR FREE. And, as a bonus, keep your underused electronics out of the waste stream.

That’s right. Avoid the landfill, help a fellow citizen, and just, well, feel good.

Trained volunteers of STUG have been recycling computers, tablets, phones and related electronics since 2004. After deleting sensitive/personal data, we install updated operating systems and programs on these devices and pass them on, free of charge, to over 40 local non-profit organizations, students, unemployed residents and seniors.

To date, more than 17,000 devices have been donated to the community, more than 600 just since the beginning of this year. All devices that cannot go to a new home are recycled, not trashed. If you have an unwanted laptop or other device, phone us at 941-539-7401 or email refurb@thestug.org for more information. Our blog and our website have more info on how to donate or to apply to receive a computer.

Your favorite charity could benefit! We have helped these local groups thrive, thanks to your donations and the volunteer refurb crew from STUG.

21st Century After School Program + 4 Hope Communities AARP + ABA Academy + Atwater Elementary School + Beyond the Spectrum +Booker Elementary School + Career Source Suncoast clients + Children First + Children’s Guardian Fund + Community Foundation + Dreamers After School + Education Foundation + Emma Booker + ESOL + Faulhaber Fab Lab + Florida Center for Children and Family Services of Venice + Foundation for Dreams + Girls Inc + Goodwill clients + Guardian Ad Litem + Harvest House + Heron Creek Elementary School + Historic Spanish Point + Indian Festival + Jefferson Center + Joseph Recovery Center + Komputer For Kids + Laurel Civic Center + Literary Council of Sarasota + Living With Dignity + Mothers Helping Mothers + Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church + Newtown Janie Poe Housing Project + Newtown Masonic Temple + Newtown Children’s Preschool + Nur Academy + Our Mother’s House + Phillippi Shores First Grade students +Project 180 + Purpose House + Red Cross + Red Cross Ham Radio + Resurrection House + Salvation Army clients + Sarasota Housing Authority + Sarasota Native American + Sarasota Music Archive + Sarasota School Students + Sarasota Suncoast Academy + Sarasota Virtual School students + SPARCC + STC students + Students Leadership Academy in Venice + Suncoast Polytech students + Suncoast School of Innovative Studies + Suncoast Tech College students + Take Stock in Children – Manatee +Take Stock in Children – Sarasota + True Worship Outreach Ministry + Tuttle Elementary 2nd Grade students + Voice + Wee Care Christian Academy + Wilkinson Elementary School + Woodland Middle School