Computer Lab software updates coming!!!!

Other News
Computer Lab software updates coming!!!!

Please mark your calendars for updates coming to the Instructional Computer Labs.

Spring Quarter: 
  • Laptops with Windows 8.1; Office 2013
    • 4214 (Library Classroom)

Summer Quarter: 
  • Labs with Windows 8.1; Office 2013
    • 1302
    • 1308

Fall Quarter: 
  • Remaining Instructional Labs move to Windows 8.1; Office 2013
    • 1301
    • 1304
    • 1305
    • 1401
    • 4102
    • Library Reference

All Division labs will be updated as needed.

Please let TSS know if you have any questions.

Creating Simple Graphs

Other News
Put the graph paper and rulers away! Here are some links for how to create graphs that can easily be saved, printed, and embedded into reports.

How to create a simple graph in Excel

Excel is an excellent tool that will allow you to quickly create a chart. Use Excel especially if you want to have variety of chart types–bar, pie, line, scatter, and more. Add all the standard chart features like titles and axis labels so that the chart looks professional and presentable.

It has been years since I’ve used a graphing calculator, and I found Desmos to be a great alternative to trying to remember how to graph on a graphing calculator. It’s simplicity is not restricting though–it seems to have all the same functionality of a complex graphing calculator.

A Cleaner Browser Experience


To complement my post about removing unwanted toolbars from browsers, you can also clean up your viewing experience by installing Adblock Plus. Let’s look at an example. I recently provided link to

Here is a snippet of what the website looks like without Adblock:

Here is a snippet of what the website looks like with Adblock:
There’s some controversy over Adblock. Although Adblock might not be perfect, I prefer the second option which allows me to see the picture clearly.

Getting Familiar with Windows 8.1

Tips&Tricks, Windows

Change can be tough, but change keeps us moving forward. Across the Shoreline campus, faculty, staff, and students will start to see Windows 8.1 replacing older versions of Windows. For those of you who are hesitant about learning this new system, I understand because I was hesitant too. Take a deep breath, set aside time for a couple of tutorials, and soon enough, you won’t even miss Windows 7.

Here are some links to help you familiarize yourself Windows 8.1:

How to Enable Boot to Desktop in Windows 8.1 – This trick will certainly take the edge off of learning Windows 8 by providing a little comfort in familiarity.

Become familiar with the new Start Menu – The new Start Menu is intended to make your life easier, but that’s only true if you take the time to set it up. Learn to Pin Apps and Applications to the Start Menu.

Don’t get confused by the Apps – “Apps” are a new concept that do not act like “Applications.” Trust me, it pays to understand how they work whether you intend to use them or not. For one thing, there is an App and an Application for Internet Explorer and you might find yourself lost in the unfamiliar App.

Check out more of Microsoft tutorials

Windows XP Must Go!


It’s been a long time coming, but the end is nigh! Microsoft is ending all support for the Windows XP operating system on April 8, 2014. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide operating system updates, known as patches, to correct flaws in the operating system.  The implications are that security vulnerabilities discovered in the XP operating system after April 8, 2014will remain unpatched. 

TSS has been systematically upgrading XP machines over the past year in order to meet the Microsoft deadline.

It is strongly recommended that anyone still using XP on their personal home computer or laptop upgrade to wither Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 before April 8, 2014.

New to Dropbox?


Get Started Sharing with DropBox! Although there are many ways to share files with people, I’ve recently been asked about Dropbox. You can use Dropbox in any browser, anywhere you have an internet connection. Here’s how:

  1. Go to and log in/create an account.
  2. Click Sharing on the left hand side.
  3. Choose New Shared Folder from the right hand side.
    1. If this is your first time, you will be prompted to confirm your identity. An email will be sent to you with a button that says “Verify your email”
    2. Once you verify, click the New Shared Folder button Again.

  1. Choose an existing folder or create a new one. Click Next.
  1. Name your folder. Click Next:
  1. Invite others to share with you. Type in their email addresses and add a message if you want. Then click Share Folder:

  1. Notice the folder you created is now in your Dropbox folder in Windows Explorer:
The people you shared the folder with will also have this Dropbox folder.

    Backup Your Files


    Where are the majority of your files saved? For SCC students who log into campus computers using their student username (usually firstname.lastname), the default save location directs to their profile. These files are stored on a server, which has backups should anything bad happen to the server. For staff, the primary save location should be on a network drive. These files also live on a server that has periodic backups made.

    The one place that files should not be saved is the physical hard drive, commonly referred to as the C-drive or C:/. This disk is not backed up, so if something bad happens to the computer, these files could be completely lost.

    My personal experience has taught me to also back up my personal/school files just in case I have to access them outside of my usual environment. For this, there are two options:
    1. Save files to an online storage location, like Google Drive, DropBox, Evernote, SkyDrive, etc.

    • Benefit: Access files anywhere you have an internet connection.
    • Benefit: Works on a variety of platforms, including phones.
    • Con: Storage limits are typically smaller, and there might be a charge to get a larger storage capacity.

    2. Save files to an external drive, like a USB drive or a larger external hard drive.

    • Benefit: You can pick the storage capacity when you buy the device. The storage of USB capacity is constantly increasing and larger storage becomes less expensive.
    • Benefit/Con: The device goes with you where ever you take it. Forgetful types might find this difficult.
    • Con: Things can happen to these physical devices–a magnet could corrupt the files (this can happen if a USB drive is attached to keys!), rain/water could cause damage, and the device could get lost.
    Everyone has their personal preference on file management. Just be sure you have a back up system in place when you don’t save to a protected server.

    Trouble accessing something saved to a campus server? Contact TSS for help! 

    Computer Lab Updates Coming Soon!


    Over spring break, TSS will be working hard to get two computer labs updated: the 4214 lab in the library and the 2329 lab for nursing students.

    The lab in 4214 will be updated to laptops running Windows 8.1. New tables and the ability to share multiple screens onto the larger screen will better facilitate group work and collaboration for classes held in the lab.

    The 2329 Nursing Lab will receive updated PCs that will run Windows 8.1. These newer computers will not support older storage devices like floppy disks. Although there will be a floppy disk reader available in the lab, nursing students will want to begin moving files stored on floppy disk to USB drives.

    Update your Devices

    maintenance, TSSUpdate

    Have you updated your devices lately? Security is a major part of why updates are issued for phones and computers. This week Mac has addressed a serious flaw in security. The fix for users is simple: update your device!

    Mac users especially will want to install updates. Here’s how:
    For PC users running Windows, here is how to check for updates: How can I tell if my computer is up to date? Windows will either alert you about updates that need installed or report that “Windows is up to date”:

    Also, anyone using Windows XP will want to consider upgrading soon. In April 2014, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP. What does it mean if my version of Windows is no longer supported? In general, your computer will not get updates, which means it will accumulate more and more security risks over time.

    Updating an Android phone varies slightly, but here is the general how to update:
    • Go to Settings
      • Choose About Phone
        • Check for Updates
    For more precise directions, search for the phone model online.

    Quickly find Contacts in Outlook

    Outlook, Tips&Tricks

    This post is for anyone using an Exchange email account and accesses their account through Outlook. Scrolling through the list of all the contacts in Outlook’s Global Address Book can be cumbersome. Here is how you can improve you search for contacts when creating an email.

    Step 1: Open the Address Book from a New Message

    Step 2: Change Name Only to More Columns
    • Use the Advanced Find to narrow down the list of contacts
    Step 3: Type in a partial name, department, location
    • Unlike searching with Name Only, More Columns search will not show any contacts until you type something in the search and hit enter/click Go.
    Step 4: Select a contact and then Add to the To/Cc/Bcc lines

    • This step is the same as usual. Select a contact from the list and then click the To/Cc/Bcc line to add the contact.
    • If you have multiple contacts to add in the same area, you can select them all at once and then add them to the line:
      • To select multiple contacts at once, select the first contact, hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click on each of the other contacts. Let go of the Ctrl key once you have made your selections, and click whichever To/Cc/Bcc line that is appropriate. 
      • If you have a section of contacts all grouped together in the list, click and drag your cursor over the contacts you want to add. A group of contacts can also be added using a Shift Click: Select first contact, Hold the Shift key, and click on the Last contact in the group.

    • Once the contacts have been added, click ok to finalize addressing your email.