Computer Lab software updates coming!!!!

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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

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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.

4102 Student Computer Lab

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The 4102 Computer Lab, located in the lower level of the Library (Building 4000) houses 100 PCs and 5 Macs for students to use to complete classwork. Here are 3 ways you can improve your experience:
  1. Come to the lab with clean hands and do not bring food. For one thing, ’tis the season for germs to take hold. Also, although the keyboards and tables are cleaned periodically, crumbs in the keyboard or grimy keys from dirty hands can build up over time.
  2. Log into the computer using your student credentials, lock the computer when you step away, and log out when you are done. Using your student login allows you to save files to your profile, which follows you where ever you login. You will more likely be able to recover work if something terrible should happen while you’re in the middle of working. To lock your computer when you step away, use the keyboard: Windows Key + L. Locking when you step away and logging out when you are done keeps your information and files out of the hands of whoever sits down after you.
  3. Report any issues you come across. TSS strives to have computers and printers in good working condition. If something isn’t working for you, it could go unnoticed if you do not report it. If headphones don’t get sound, there’s a fix! Report issues to Erin Greenwood, the computer lab manager, or the TSS office. They will want to know the computer number and the problem.
This computer lab is a dedicated quiet, independent study environment. If you need to do group work, look into checking out one of the group study rooms offered by the library upstairs.

Dell buyout saga is over…

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Dell Inc. is no longer a publicly-traded company. It sealed a $24.9 billion buyout deal that will take the company private. Dell Inc. delisted from the NASDAQ at the close of Tuesday’s trading, as founder Michael Dell and private equity house, Silver Lake completed their controversial buyout of the struggling PC maker. Like its rivals, Dell got sideswiped by the speed of decline in PC sales globally in past years, as consumers increasingly chose to spend on ever-more powerful smartphones and ultra-light tablet computers.   click to read full article   source: CompTIA SmartBrief & Reuters News Agency

New Mac OS X Mavericks…

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OS X Mavericks, which is version 10.9, was released by Apple on October 22, 2013 and is now available as a free download from the Mac App Store. You will need an Apple ID for this download. The operating system has hundreds of new features & several new technologies, such as App Nap & Compressed Memory – to name a few. It is an easy upgrade from OS X 10.6.8 or later versions. It has been reported to be compatible with most software applications such as Office for Mac 2011 and Adobe Creative Suite versions, but some minor issues are arising with other applications. For more details and product info visit

Google Chrome tip…

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If you are a new user to the Google Chrome browser, here is a helpful tip. Clicking on the   button, which is the “Customize and control Google Chrome” button, in the upper right hand corner of the page – gives you several options and tools. For instance, you can open a new web tab, create and manage bookmarks, print, view source code (HTML, etc.), access Internet downloads, tweak some of your Chrome settings – like startup, appearance, and homepage, and do much more. 

If your personal information is stolen, 4 steps to take…

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It’s important to protect your personal information, and to take certain steps quickly to minimize the potential damage from identity theft if your information is accidentally disclosed or deliberately stolen: 1) Place a “Fraud Alert” on your credit reports, and review those reports carefully. Notifying one of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies is sufficient. 2) Contact your bank or other financial institution(s) and close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently. 3) File a police report with local law enforcement officials. This is an essential step for protecting your rights. 4) Report your theft to the Federal Trade Commission, online, by phone, or by mail. Visit more information.   Source: SANS Institute

Some Windows 8.1 Basics…

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We have all heard the numerous reports of how many people are not happy with Windows 8 – it’s confusing, frustrating, where is the damn Start Button, etc. Yes, there are many changes since Windows 7, but the good news is, with the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has fixed many of these issues and with a few pointers and a little practice it’s not that hard to learn! So here we go.

·        *Upon login to Windows 8.1, the user is taken to the Start Screen, which is like a system overlay with all the traditional Windows stuff underneath and reorganized. At the Start Screen, you have category tiles to click on as quick & easy ways to do some tasks like check email, look at maps, go to news articles, etc.
·         *Or, you can click on the Desktop tile and you go straight to your desktop – complete with the holy Start Button and more of a normal Windows look and feel.
·         *The   at the bottom left of the Start Screen takes you to your installed applications, i.e. MS Office, Adobe PhotoShop, etc. – similar to what clicking Start, All Programs in Windows 7 does.
·         *From the desktop, if you LEFT click the Start Button it will take you back to the Start Screen (remember that’s the screen with the big colorful tiles)
·        * From the desktop, if you RIGHT click the Start Button you will get you some traditional options, tools, & utilities, such as Control Panel, Search, Run, & Shutdown options.
·         *From the Start Screen or desktop, if you hover with the cursor over the lower right hand corner of the screen, icons for settings, devices, search, and other tools will appear – you can then click them in order to access these tools.  
·         *From the desktop, to access your local hard drive (C:) or your network drives, click on the Windows Explorer icon and you will see these drives available.
·         *That’s all for now. After 15-20 minutes, you will likely be rolling & have many things in Windows 8.1 figured out. It is a different experience, but not as tough as you were led to believe.

Windows tip…

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As an alternative to using the Alt key & Print Screen/PrtScn Key to capture a screen shot, you can also use the Windows Snipping Tool.  It’s a built-in feature of Windows 7. To use the tool – launch it by clicking Start, All Programs, Accessories, and Snipping ToolWhen it opens – your screen will go pale whitish and you will see a crosshair tool. Then simply put your cross-hair where you want to start and then left- click/drag the tool over anything you want to snip (cut out) – then release. It’s similar to the cropping tool in photo-editing software. You can snip error messages, text from the web or documents, pictures, etc. There are also tools that cut in different shapes. Once your snip is captured, you will get a pop-up window that gives you the option to copy the snip and send it via email or copy and paste it to a word document, email, etc. It’s a very handy tool to have!

Read error messages and checkboxes…

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When you see an error message pop up on the screen, read it! You may not understand everything, but if you look through the message, you can get the gist of it. Hackers can sometimes generate errors to collect everything you type and everything that comes up on your screen. If you don’t understand the error, at least capture the screen. To do that, hold down the Alt key and press the key labeled Print Screen or PrtScn. That will put the screen shot into short-term storage called the clipboard. Then open an e-mail message, right click on the message body and select “paste”. Now you can print it or send it to tech support for further analysis.   Source: SANS Institute