Download Facebook Albums

We’ve been asked to write a post about how you can use DownAlbum to download complete photo albums from Facebook. We’ve gone one step better and have created a Youtube video that explains the whole thing.

Here’s the video. You can play it here or on Youtube itself:

Here are some tips to remember:

  1.  If the album is very large, wait until all of the photos are shown on the first DownAlbum page before trying to save the album. If the page hasn’t finished loading, you won’t get all the photos.
  2. Even though the photos on the DownAlbum page are shown smaller than the original, the full-size photo will be saved to your computer.
  3. You will need a lot of RAM on your computer before you will be able to load large photo albums. If you’re squeaking by with 2 gigs or 4 gigs of RAM, you probably won’t be able to load albums with 100 or more photos.
  4. If you don’t have a lot of RAM, try closing everything down first. Make sure you only have the single Facebook page open before you load the album. Basically you want to single-task, not multitask.

Good luck!

Thanks for reading and watching! Why not like us on our Facebook page? Here is the link:Computers Made Simple on Facebook.

Pokémon GO – 10 Tips for Beginners

 

Pokémon GO
75 million players can’t be wrong, can they?

We’ve been playing Pokémon GO for about two weeks now. Most of what we have learned has been by trial and error. In order to save you some time and frustration, here are ten tips for your Pokémon GO expeditions:

1, You have to leave your mobile device on during your hunting trips. That means no screensaver, no black screen, nothing but Pokémon GO  on the display.

2, To save your battery, turn your display brightness down to about 1/4 or less. Make sure you also turn off the music and sounds. Leave the vibration on, though. That’s how you’ll know when there is a Pokémon close to you.

3. If you can’t rotate the map or you can’t tap on a Pokémon or a Pokémon Stop, your connection to the Pokémon GO servers is weak or gone completely. You can try waiting but that hasn’t worked for us. Instead, bring up your app list, swipe right to close Pokémon GO and then restart it. If that doesn’t work, restart your phone then restart Pokémon GO. If that doesn’t work, read #4.

4. Depending on where you live as well as the time you go hunting, Pokémon GO’s servers can be very busy. How will you know? Check the spinning Poké ball on the top left of your screen. If it’s spinning and stopping continuously, it might be better to head home and wait until the server’s aren’t so busy. Remember, there are at least 75 million other people using this app. That’s enough to overload any Internet server out there.

5. We’ve found that it’s much easier to catch Pokémon in the morning. If you can manage to get up and out before everyone else does, you’ll stand a better chance of maintaining a decent connection to the Pokémon GO servers which translates into more Pokémon to catch.

Squirtle
One of the many Pokémon you can catch.

6. Somehow, we’re not sure how, we ended up with nine eggs. We also have two incubators, one with unlimited uses and another which can only be used three times. If you incubate an egg, your phone has to be on continuously while walking (read #1 again) in order to accumulate the distance needed to hatch the egg. When that happens, you night just be get a new Pokémon, We hatched an Abra this morning after walking 5K, Surprise! A brand new Pokémon for our collection.

7. You collect berries as you go around spinning the Poké Stop icons. Those berries are very useful, specially if you’re short of Poké balls. When a Pokémon appears, click the symbol on the lower right corner of your screen, choose the berry and toss it, much as you would toss a ball. For a short time, the Pokémon that you’re trying to catch is frozen. This makes it much easier to catch.

8. The Poké Stops turn purple after you’ve used them but they turn blue again quite quickly. We hunt in an area where there are seven Stops within a very short distance of each other. If you’re short of Poké Balls, walk in a circle, collecting ammunition from the Stops again and again.

9. Don’t be afraid to head off in new directions. We discovered two Poké Stops this morning in the same plaza, not that far off our normal route. If you’re in a new city, it would be fun to use Pokémon GO to discover local attractions. Just be careful and make sure you know the kind of area you’re entering.

10. Finally, if the game freezes while you’re in the middle of catching a Pokémon, try this: leave the app, put your device into Airplane Mode then go back to the app. When Pokémon GO tells you that you have no Internet connection, turn the Airplane Mode off. Supposedly, the Pokémon you were trying to catch will be in your list of captures. We can’t guarantee this but it’s worth a try.

Comments and questions are welcome but  Likes on our Facebook page get immediate attention.  Here’s the link: Computers Made Simple on Facebook .Thanks for reading!

 

Pokémon Go – Initial Reactions

When an game app sets a record for most downloads in its first week, we had to pay attention to it. Here are our initial reactions after playing  Pokémon Go for two days.

  • It’s fun! Much like geo-caching, Pokémon Go uses your mobile device’s GPS to lead you to various targets in your current geographical location.
  • It doesn’t matter where you are, even if you’re traveling there are characters to catch and interesting places to discover.
  • It’s good exercise! Sure it’s only been a couple of days but we’ve spent a fair bit of time outside wandering around hunting for Pokémon in the wild. You have to stop now and then but that gives you time to reconnoiter and maybe catch your breath.
  • Once you’re out walking, the impetus to keep going is always there. Why? Well, you’re not only looking for Pokémon , you’re also searching for PokéStops. These stops will allow you to power up your game, meet other players, train and duel. We’re not 100% comfortable with the game yet so we’ll describe these PokéStops in greater detail once we know what we’re doing.

At this point, we can’t see any negatives in the game other than it’s sometimes hard to hit the wild Pokémon with the balls but that’s not a function of the game, it’s a skill that we’ll learn as time goes by.

Niantic, the game’s creator, is currently developing a wearable piece of hardware that uses Bluetooth, allowing the wearer to interact with the game without constantly checking their main mobile device. We expect this bit of fun to be a big seller. The game is free, of course, but you can purchase Poké balls and other items. So far we haven’t found the need for anything other than what comes with the app.

Stay tuned, there will be more from us on this record-breaking phenomena.Comments and questions are welcome but  Likes on our Facebook page get immediate attention.  Here’s the link: Computers Made Simple on Facebook .Thanks for reading!

Pokémon Go
Get used to this name, you’ll see it everywhere!

 

WeChat Recover Account Problems

Most of our comments these days have to do with WeChat, almost all pertaining to lost access to accounts. It would seem that hundreds of people are being locked out of their accounts on a daily basis. We’ve begun to think about whether this is really what’s happening or not. Maybe there’s another answer.

Back in the early days of Hotmail, there were many websites that described how to hack someone’s password, mainly because Hotmail was linked to MSN Messenger at that time. Since then, Microsoft has moved on to Skype as a messenger service, leaving Hotmail to its Outlook department. Now when someone suspects their partner of cheating on them, we’re pretty sure they’ll be using WeChat or another social networking app, not Hotmail and Messenger.

That thought led us to believe that many of the comments we get are from jilted lovers who are trying to hack into their current or ex-partner’s account. What else would explain the high number of locked accounts?

We’ve written many posts about WeChat and how to protect your accounts, your privacy and your identity. Maybe it’s time to move on, don’t you think? If you can’t manage to think your way through the process of securing  your account, there’s not much we can do. We’re not WeChat, we just try to help people out.

What we’re trying to say is that it’s not complicated. WeChat works, it’s free and it serves a purpose. If you’re locked out of your account, there is no magic key that will get you back in. If you haven’t covered yourself adequately, it’s not WeChat’s fault. They’re in the business of protecting your account. They’re not in the business of letting you into someone else’s account. For that, we appreciate WeChat’s security setup. From what we can see, it’s foolproof.

WeChat thing
Keep your account safe, use the tools that WeChat gives you.

Finally, if you’ve been locked out of your account, search through our posts to see if you can find a solution. If you can’t find a post that deals with your particular situation, look through the comments to find an answer. From now on, we’re simply going to link to this post when someone asks for help in recovering their account. We hope you understand.

Thanks for reading.

Speed Up Your Laptop

You may remember that we recently picked up a new laptop for the office. We posted the specs on our Facebook page, check us out there if you haven’t already.

The new laptop is pretty good but we found it a bit slow, mainly because it uses Windows 10 as an O/S. With 6 Gigs of Ram, we felt it should have been faster. Here’s what we did to speed it up, step by step:

  1. First job was to make sure we created the Recovery disks. Since our laptop has an optical drive for reading and writing DVDs and CDs, that was a snap. Once you have the Recovery Disks, it’s easy to switch to another hard drive.

2. Next, we ditched our 500 Gig standard hard drive and replaced it with a 250 Gig SSD (solid state drive)

SSD Drive
An SSD has no moving parts. Less prone to damage and much faster than the standard HD.

An SSD has no moving parts, in case you didn’t know. What does that mean? It means that access, both read and write, is much faster than on a normal magnetic drive. Cost is going down by the minute on these so if you can manage it, adding an SSD is pretty cheap, well worth the money when compared to the speed increase it will give you.

RAM
This is what RAM looks like before it goes into your laptop.

3. Then we decided to add more RAM. RAM, random access memory, is what lets your computer think when it’s turned on. The more RAM, the more it can think about at one time. If you like to have a dozen browser tabs open at one time, RAM is what you need…lots of it. We upped ours to 16 Gigs, the most our new laptop could handle, for less than $100.00. Adding RAM yourself is much less expensive than buying it with the computer.

Lithium
Most laptops come with very small and cheap batteries, usually 4 cell. Adding a 6 or 8 cell battery afterward is a cheap way to increase your usage time.

4. Now that we had a faster laptop, and the speed difference was incredible, we used it for longer periods of time. That meant that our little 4 cell laptop battery wasn’t quite up to snuff for hours of use. For less than $50.00, we doubled our usage time. Now we can surf and write for about six hours. Again, adding an 8 cell battery from the manufacturer is very expensive. The computer itself might seem like a good deal but when you get hit with the extras, you’d be shocked at how high the price can climb.

TIP: Look for your laptop’s model number (it’s on the bottom), then type that into the search window on the site where you buy your parts.

Adding RAM and the SSD might be too tough for you but we’re sure you’ve got a techie friend who could help. Upgrading the battery is a snap. Make sure your laptop is off not in hibernation, take out the old battery and insert the new one. Plug your laptop in and wait until the the new battery is fully charged. That’s it!

Comments and questions are welcome but  Likes on our Facebook page get immediate attention.  Here’s the link: Computers Made Simple on Facebook .Thanks for reading!

 

a little bit of hi-tech, a little bit of common sense and a lot of fun