8 Tips and Tricks for Google Drive

Posted Posted by Leah Rice in , Comments 0 comments

8 Tips and Tricks for Google Drive

Now that businesses and individuals are preferring to use cloud-based information storage systems, Google Drive has become one of the most well-known collaboration tools in the market with hundreds of millions of users. As a college student, I personally love the versatile suite of tools because they make collaboration with teammates and study groups more productive and effective. If you’ve worked with Google Drive and some of its more popular tools such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms, you’re probably familiar with how these tools work. But, I bet you didn’t know about these 8 useful tips and tricks for the Google software suite! 

#1 Google Drive Apps

Google Drive gives you up to a maximum of 15GB of free storage. This makes it an ideal location to store, edit, and share larger media files like music, photos, and videos along with all of your documents. Google Drive provides you with a ton of useful apps for creating mind maps, converting files, signing documents, drawing diagrams, editing videos, filtering/editing pictures, and many, many more! Check out their selection of apps here.

#2 Add-Ons
Similar to apps, add-ons allow you to bring extra functionality to your Google Doc or Sheet. By clicking on the handy ‘Add-Ons’ tab at the top of your document, you’re able to download and install many different add-ons from Google’s open-source Add-On library. Do you need help creating a bibliography for your paper? How about accessing a comprehensive thesaurus on your sidebar or generating a mail merge? There’s probably an add-on for that! 

#3 Auto Upload
Usually, you click on a big red button labeled ‘New’ in the upper left-hand corner to upload a file to Google Drive, but with the auto upload feature, you can simply drag and drop a file from either Windows Explorer or MacOS Finder. Easy!

#4 Work Offline Mode

Sometimes you may come across situations in which you don’t have an internet connection. In times like these, it may be helpful to have access to important documents from your Google Drive so that you can still work on them. Using the Work Offline function, Google Drive will save your files to your computer via Chrome so that you can work anytime, anywhere, no matter what! Select the gear image in the far right corner labeled Settings, and click the General tab from there. You can check or uncheck the “Offline” check box to control whether or not you want to keep your Google Drive files locally on your machine.

#5 Short-Cut Menu
Google Drive features a host of short-cuts that allow you to manipulate controls with only a press of a few keys. Once inside Drive, press the Ctrl key quickly followed by the backslash / key to open up the short-cut menu.

#6 Revision History

If you have accidentally deleted a Google document or want to revert back to a previous version, you can use the Revision History feature to restore files up to 30 days old. Either select See Revision History from the File tab, or quickly enter the keys Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and g to open up the Revision side panel. Each file will be displayed chronologically, with the newest edit appearing first. This feature also comes in handy when you want to audit a document to see who added what in a group collaboration.

#7 Web Clipboard

Google Drive has its own clipboard, but unlike Microsoft’s version, it can hold multiple clips at a time. This tool takes images, texts, and other objects stored in your Google Drive and stores them on the Web Clipboard. Add clips via the Edit menu by selecting “Copy selection to web clipboard” from the Web Clipboard submenu. Re-access the Web Clipboard to choose which clip you want to insert into your Google Doc or Sheet.

#8 Research Panel

This tool is only available in Google Docs and is extremely useful when you need to conduct some quick web browsing or online research. Naturally, it’s the perfect collaboration tool when working on projects that require extensive sources. There is even an option to access the Google scholar library from the Research pane. Open this nifty tool by clicking the Tools and selecting the second option Research. You can also opt for the shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift + Alt + I.

Twitter's New Algorithm

Posted Posted by Erin Hasler in Comments 0 comments

It was announced Sunday (Feb. 7th) night that Twitter is going to be rolling out a new algorithm later this week for how tweets appear in timelines, and there have certainly been mixed reactions.

For now, not much is known about what the new timeline will look like, but there are several guesses. The most prevalent idea is that it will be similar to the current "While you were away" function that Twitter currently has in place. It is assumed that this is intended for less frequent uses, so that they can get caught up on the "big" tweets that they missed over the period they were away from Twitter.

A lot of users are worried that this is going to change the entire format of the timeline and make it all about the popular tweets, a change from the precious "chronological timeline" that Twitter currently holds. However, it seems as though this change is more than likely going to be an optional one, with the normal timeline no more than a refresh away.

Sometimes Twitter can be confusing for new users; when I first tried to get an account I was so overwhelmed that I immediately deleted it, so this new algorithm may serve to help with the learning curve.

Personally, I'll wait and see what this update actually brings before passing judgement, but I do know that in order for tweets to get "popular" enough to show up on a timeline they have to be seen, so it would seem as though the mixture of the chronological timeline and the "While you were away" feature makes the most sense.

Question About Reinstalling Windows 10

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Please read all of the information in red print.

Occasionally, PC users have to reinstall Windows to fix issues or viruses on their computer. By reinstalling Windows 10 you risk losing EVERYTHING saved to your computer. Please DO NOT REINSTALL WINDOWS without seeking advice from a professional first.

Also, DormNet DOES NOT REINSTALL WINDOWS for our customers, however we will help you with any questions or concerns you have about this issue. However, we have a list of professionals in the area that can handle the task. And, we can also show you the steps you need to take to do it on your own via the Microsoft support website.

I decided to write this blog, in order to answer a frequently asked question


Microsoft provided a free upgrade to Windows 10 for any Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 machines, but the upgrade did not come with a serial number and obviously did not come with an installation DVD. If i need to reformat my hard drive and reinstall the operating system, then what do I do? How do I reactivate Windows (without a product key/serial number)?


You may not even need a product key (serial number) to activate Windows 10 after a clean installation depending on how you upgraded, and the version you were previously using. Windows 10, version 1511, was released last November as a system update. Microsoft claims that product keys for many versions of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 can now be used for version 1511. Product Keys for Enterprise editions of the older Windows versions, volume licenses, and or counterfeit copies of Windows will NOT work.

When Windows 10 was first released as an upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, Microsoft was activating the new software with what it called a "digital entitlement" which took the place of a product key. If your PC is fully upgraded, if it is a legitimate version of Windows 10, and if it was activated without errors, then the digital entitlement should give you permission to reinstall Windows 10 whenever. Side note: Microsoft says that if you had to make major changes to the PC's hardware, like replacing the motherboard, you might have to call Microsoft Customer Support to reclaim and reactivate Windows 10.

Before you reinstall Windows 10, you need to be sure that system has been activated. First go to the Settings from the Start menu, then to Update & Security, and then to Activation. When you go through the process of reinstalling Windows 10, it may ask for a product key. If you did not use the number from an older version of Windows to originally activate the software, click Skip. Windows 10 should proceed to activate itself automatically after it finishes installing.

If you have to completely reinstall Windows 10, there are several ways you can do this: a previously created recovery drive, or from Windows 10 installation software on a DVD or USB drive. The Microsoft Software Download page has all the tools you will need to create a bootable DVD or USB recovery drive. You may also want to refer to the Microsoft FAQ page for extra help.

I received most of this information from J. D. Biersdorfer in an article on NYTimes.com.

2nd Warning:

Many students will never have to reinstall Windows 10. This blog was written as an answer to a frequently asked question. Please speak to DormNet or a PC repair shop before you attempt to reinstall Windows 10.

It’s the Little Things..

Posted Posted by Robert Welch in Comments 0 comments

Who doesn’t love gadgets? You know, the small (or large), generally unnecessary but cool “toys” of the tech world. It’s that time again: Gadget Review.

Enter the Rii Mini i8 handheld wireless keyboard. This ergonomically designed gadget comes with a charging cable and USB Bluetooth adapter. This means that the Rii is compatible with computers, Xbox 360 and One, PlayStation 3 and 4, most smart TV’s, as well as some internet-based TV boxes (such as Android or Google).
It’s powered by a 3.7 V lithium-ion battery that charges in roughly four hours and has a standby time of twenty days, and it can be used while charging if necessary.
As you may have noticed in the image above, there are a few extra buttons by the touch pad, mainly for use with computers:
1.       Opens the default media player
2.       Opens default email program
3.       Mute
4.       Left click
5.       Opens file search
6.       Opens file browser
7.       Opens default Internet browser
8.       Right click
Beyond these special hotkeys, there are media controls on the top left, as well as many function keys.
Now, some have many wireless gadgets, game controllers, and headsets, and need to know frequency and range. The Rii has a working range of ten meters at 2.4 GigaHertz (2.4GHz) with anti-interference technology.
Finally, the catch. Price. Well for all of you Amazon shoppers, the Rii is available for $16.99, with free shipping on orders over $35 a la Amazon Prime. Just for you, click here!
All in all, the Rii Mini i8 is a reliable, efficient gadget that’s cost effective for the college student. Happy gadget hunting!

Uncheck That Box!

Posted Posted by Drew Locke in Comments 0 comments

Many of you may often wonder "what is this program on my computer and how did it get there?!" Often times, the way that some programs sneak onto your computer is when downloading intentional programs. Programs like this are called "Sneaky Installs" and can slow down your computer, be pretty invasive, but most of all can get extremely annoying!

The good thing is that you always have a choice of whether you want to install those programs or not. They get your confirmation at the installation point when you're just spamming the "next" button and it can be very easy to fall into that trap. Next time you install something, make sure to double check that other programs aren't piggybacking along with it.

Here is an example of one of the most popular sneak installs, the notorious Ask Toolbar!

Also, remember that if you ever want to remove these programs you can do so through 'Programs and Features' in the control panel.

Easy as 123456

Posted Posted by Mack Foster in Comments 0 comments

Good news! People are still astonishingly bad at picking secure passwords, and if you run your fingers across the top row of your keyboard, you will probably type seven of the 15 most-used passwords at once.

When we say “good news”, we mean “good news for people who want to break into password-protected accounts”, of course. If you are one of the people with a bad password, that is very bad news indeed.

Password management firm SplashData has compiled more than 2m passwords leaked over the course of 2015, to find the 25 worst passwords – those used by the most people at the same time.

Topping the list for yet another year is the gold standard of awful passwords, 123456, while hot on its heels is perhaps the only password worse still: password. Rounding out the top 10 passwords are five further variations on a theme (12345678, 12345, 123456789, 1234 and 1234567), as well as one from the next row of keys on the keyboard (qwerty) and two from spectacularly unimaginative people with hobbies (“football” and “baseball”).

Of course, there will always be some passwords which are the most used passwords. But let this be a lesson to you: if your password appears on this list, you should probably change it, now.

Worst Passwords of 2015

1) 123456

2) password

3) 12345678

4) qwerty

5) 12345

6) 123456789

7) football

8) 1234

9) 1234567

10) baseball

11) welcome

12) 1234567890

13) abc123

14) 111111

15) 1qaz2wsx

16) dragon

17) master

18) monkey

19) letmein

20) login

21) princess

22) qwertyuiop

23) solo

24) passw0rd

25) starwars

SplashData’s advice to users who find out that their passwords are sub-par is simple enough: use long passwords, which are different for every website, and – most importantly – don’t limit yourself to passwords you can remember. Instead, use a password manager, such as LastPass, 1Password, or SplashData’s own SplashID, to store the passwords securely.

But Brian Spector, the chief executive of security firm Miracl, argues that the list is yet more evidence that passwords are broken altogether. “Sadly, even though many people are now using a combination of letters and numbers, or substituting numbers for letters, passwords can’t protect your personal information or data.”

“The IT industry needs to get over passwords. They don’t scale for users, they don’t protect the service itself and they are vulnerable to myriad attacks.” Instead, he argues for new approaches which combine two-factor authentication (using a mobile phone in addition to a password to verify identity to a website) with biometric data and other proof of ID, to remove many of the threats that currently affect only security.

Computer Hostages - Ransomware

Posted Posted by Garrett Holmes in , , , , , Comments 0 comments

Ransomware is a particularly nasty piece of malware that is spread through email, malicious or compromised websites, or by other malware that is already on your computer. The general purpose of ransomware is to either lock you out of your computer or somehow affect your files in a way that is irreversible without the help of the ransomeware operator. After affecting your computer the program then presents you with a message stating that your computer has been affected and to undo any damage that was done, you must pay a fee that is anywhere from $24 to $600 USD or its equivalent in Bitcoin.

One example of ransomware (pictured above) is CryptoLocker. CryptoLocker finds files like word documents, excel spreadsheets, or pdf documents and encrypts them so that you are unable to open them without a special key that is stored on the malware owner's machine. To receive this key, you are required to pay $300 to the owner of the malware and he then hopefully confirms payment and sends the key and instructions on how to decrypt your files. However there is no guarantee that this will happen, and there have been reports of the key NOT being delivered as promised. Some ransomware can be removed by an anti-virus program or by a tech savvy user, but programs like CryptoLocker or most ransomware even if removed will leave your files in the same unusable state. All in all the best way to get out of a situation where ransomware has infected your computer is to not let it get there in the first place.

It is very important to keep your antivirus up to date to prevent threats like this from infecting your computer, and it is equally important that when you are browsing the internet or checking emails that you verify the sender of emails and only go to websites that you know and trust.

For more information on CryptoLocker you can visit pandasecurity or view the video below

For more information on ransomware you can visit Trend Micro Security