Gmail goes to next level

My Current Happenings

I’m still around, but like I said in my last post, there’s not much I can do when I’m unemployed and can’t afford to get new computers, tablets, mobile/cell phone or much else really.

hang in there-words

I just wanted to say thanks for hanging in there. Credit: Jo Ann Fitzgerald

However, we are working towards making a new computers up, but have to save like hell to get each component at a time. Its a lengthy process.

Anyhow, I saw this article this morning, yes I’m still reading IT things to keep myself in the loop, and thought I’d bring everyone’s attention to it.

Gmail News

As the title of this post suggests, Gmail is now adjusting their screens and functions of it. I know a few years ago, when we were teaching things like emails to people who had never used them before, we used Gmail.

It was free and pretty easy to use once people understood how to do it.

However, now Gmail is trying to go a bit higher tech by preempting text like your mobile/cell does. They are calling it Smart Compose. Nice name. I can see people going crazy at this. Remember the SMS’s we got where you’d say OMW and it would change it to OWE or something?

Well, the Gmail will be doing the same thing. I can hear the screams already.

How many meme’s have we seen because of this problem? Its like trying to spell annually and getting anally or something. Crazy.


Example of a preemptive text. Credit

Here’s an article about what Gmail is going to look like and how to turn it on once its made active.

Click here to see a video as WordPress has stopped me from putting videos in my posts now?

Here are some highlights:

When is this happening?

The article says by the end of May 2018.

What’s exactly happening?

Gmail will try and “help” you with what you are typing usually its referred to as preemptive text insertions basically. If you use a mobile or cell phone and you type a message and the phone knows better and changes the word. This is what is referred to as preemptive text.


Another example. Credit

Honestly, it annoys me to no end. Its like anything, when it works it does it well, but when it doesn’t, then you are forever trying to correct it before you give up saying “Whatever” and throw the phone across the desk.

Will the function be turned on automatically?

According the the article, you can turn it on yourself now as a trial or experimental.

However, they go on to say by the end of the month. If I had to guess, I’d say for those of you who want to try it, it’ll be there by the end of May 2018. However, I’d say they will wait maybe 6-9 months before making it automatic.

My hope and prayer is they make it so if you don’t want to have the stuff turned on, you can go into your settings and turn it off. I don’t know if they will make it that way or not, but we can hope.

Is that all they are changing?

The article does say they are also changing their Smart Actions which has to do with Google Photos. If I’m reading it right, then it will look at the faces in your pictures and try and identify people in them and tag them – just like Facebook used to do until people complained.

I wonder if this is going to get the same complaints as that? We shall see I guess.

However, if Google sees the pictures and locates the person in your contacts, it then shares the picture with them. Hmm maybe not so good.

It will also offer to adjust basics of the picture too like lighting.

In closing, we have seen this stuff already. Some people love it, usually the younger generation I’m finding, but some of us don’t want to be tagged or notified of the picture. The picture basic editing sounds ideal though.

The preemptive text – well I hate that.


This is me trying to correct the preemptive text messages. Credit


Sorry I haven’t been around, but since I’m unemployed there’s not much I can share on a first hand knowledge basis. Add to this the amount of spam I get, and its crazy.

I saw an article on one of the sites I read regarding CompuServe forums. How many of us can put our hands up remembering CompuServe and their forums? CompuServe was my first online email and forum when I first started back in 1995. Yep, 1995.

I did try other services, but I didn’t like them, but CompuServe was functional for me. Ahhh memories! I had this service before I met my husband, which is saying something as we met online and have been married over 20 years now.

So this post is in dedication to CompuServe’s forums. RIP on December 15, 2017.

For the official explanation, you can read below or go here. Many of the IT related blogs and websites have articles out there about this.


RIP CompuServe…

Updating to Windows 10 before the free update ends – July 29, 2016

As I have discussed earlier in this blog,Microsoft Ends Support on Windows 8 and Internet Explorer, Windows has a free upgrade from either Windows 7 or 8 (all Windows 8) unless they have detected on your computer it is not a true Microsoft license.

July 29th is approaching!

July 29th is approaching!

Anyhow, this offer for a free upgrade will be coming to an end soon – July 29th!

Yes, this is within the next month! What if I don’t want to upgrade, well there’s been some thought to that too – Read these articles…

My Experience

I have to admit, I haven’t updated my computer here at home. Why? Because I like using the Windows Media Center and this is one thing that will disappear once I upgrade. Microsoft has not continued any support for the software because people were having problems with it. I haven’t had that many problems (maybe 3 in about 4 years if that) and once I explored the software I liked it. It was very easy to use.

However, it’s going out the window once I upgrade. Now I have to make a decision – do I upgrade and loose it or do I keep what I have and loose the upgrade? Decisions, Decisions….

Will I Upgrade or not?

Jo Thinking about next blog

Thinking if I am going to upgrade to Windows 10 or not…

I think for stability and security, I will upgrade to Windows 10, but now I have to find the time and energy to transfer things just in case something happens. Thankfully I don’t keep much on my main drive, but to reinstall everything is going to be major pain in the butt.

Money, Money, Money – makes the world go ’round.  From

I just wanted to remind you of this upgrade or else you end up spending at least $120USD (according to one of the above articles) and I’m all for free and saving money – if its worth it.

Free 2GB Google Drive space – limited time!

I just wanted to let you know, it’s on again. Last year I posted about the Free 2GB size in my post titled “Would you like 2GB of FREE storage?” and earlier this week I found it is on again.

It took less than a minute for me to do and I got another 2GB of storage! More space for my family history notes and IT information!

This is a way to make sure your Google account is safe and protected. Head over to Secure Account in Google and grab your free 2GB of Storage!

In 2015, I received my free GB of storage and received an email as well which started out like below.

Taken from my email received from Google in 2015

Taken from my email received from Google in 2015

Happy saving!



Back after an interruption…

Hi All,

Sorry I haven’t been around, but I’ve had some personal things happening and its been a very busy 6 months. Things are starting to slow down and get back to normal living.

It wasn’t an expected interruption which is why there was no notice. However, it may take me a little while to get back to posting more, but I will be as life calms down once again.

I just want to say thanks for staying there with me.

I just wanted to say thanks for hanging in there

I just wanted to say thanks for hanging in there


Jo Ann

Microsoft Ends Support on Windows 8 and Internet Explorer

Please be aware Microsoft is once again narrowing their product base and is ending support of Windows 8. Further Internet Explorer (IE) versions 8,9,10 have had the support ended as well.

There’s been many different articles on it, but here’s two articles which explain it – including with videos.

Security updates for windows 8 to cease after January 12 2016

Windows 8 Microsoft ends support for 3 year old operating system

Microsoft cutting support for IE 8 9 and 10

Windows 10

In our house my husband and I have both been invited to upgrade to Windows 10. We have both wanted to upgrade but didn’t want to do it without knowing what exactly would happen to our computers. Once we did some research, we found Windows Media Center wouldn’t be in Windows 10. My husband uses it sparingly but has had many problems with it. On the other hand, I use it daily and have had no problems with it. Its very easy to use and does what I want. The problem is it saves in formats which I have to convert the things I record in.

The screen when you updating Windows 10

Finally yesterday, my husband loaded Windows 10 on his computer. We have both downloaded the software but it still took him about 3 hours to put Windows 10 Operating System on his computer. Since then, he’s find that it ‘operates fine and Ok’ according to him. He did say it is easier to transfer things to our Media TV sets, which is an improvement.

Because of my issue with Windows Media Player, I haven’t loaded Windows 10. I have to find software which can record TV easy enough. I’m still looking for something which could fit, but now that my husband has the software loaded it might be easier to find software that fits.

Blogging Series- Setting up an Appearance

In a prior post in my Blogging Series, I outlined where to start, how to get a name for your blog, signing up for a blog, and have explained WordPress’ Dashboard and comment control for you.

In this post, we will be going over how to set up a blog’s appearance online.

A blog’s appearance is one of the draw cards to your blog. However, it depends on what the blog is for, personal preferences, and what you can afford which makes it all unique.

To set up the appearance, go to your dashboard and click on the appearance choice on the left side of the screen.

Notice the red circle - this is the appearances section.

Notice the red circle – this is the appearances section.

This activates everything which deals with the appearance of your blog.

Here’s a video where I show you how to get into different screens with appearances or you can read about it below.


There will be a menu which drops down and gives you more options for appearance changes. These are:

Themes – This is where someone has made a template to get you started. You can pick from Free and Paid templates. It’s up to you and how much you want to spend!

Customize – This is how you make the templates yours. Remember, the more you want to customize things the more its likely that its going to cost you money.

Custom Design – If you want to change things in a big way you might need the premium plan which means you pay money.

Site Title and Tagline – You’ve given your blog a name, maybe a tagline or even a picture – make sure it’s on the blog so people know what you blog name is!

Colors & Backgrounds – It’s exactly what it says – changing colors and backgrounds. It’s very basic and if you want a specific color chances are you are going to want to spend some money.

Fonts – Again it’s exactly what it says – fonts. The basic ones are free but if you are trying to use a certain type of font, again it’s probably going to cost you.

Header Image – Do you have an image you want people to know you as? Then use it here – think of Nike and other famous companies with logos.

Widgets – Want to put something that’s completely outside of WordPress? Chances are there’s a widget for it – sometimes these depend on the theme you’ve chosen, so choose wisely young Palawan as Yoda would say.

Static Front Page – this means if you want your front page which doesn’t change then turn it on, but if you want the most recent posts to appear, then turn it off. It’s up to you…

Widgets – These are the widgets which are available to you. From displaying spam, to about me, to blogs follow, blog stats, RSS links, Twitter – they are all here for you to use. Click on Add and add them you go…

The Widgets section

The Widgets section

Menus – Do you want a menu on your site? If so, this is where you put the menu structure in place.

Header – Again this is where you can customize your Header image, tagline, etc.

Background – Again, this is another way you can customize the background.

Mobile – This is to make your site accessible by cell/mobile or tablet friendly. Remember, Google has made the rankings when people search for things dependent if your site is accessible via these devices as of April 2015.

You might need to make a change and then preview the page and go back and forth until you get the site how you want it. This is where I can tell you where things are located, but its personal preference as to how you set things up.

One thing I do recommend, is from time to time refresh or freshen up your blog – in other words, go in and make some changes to make it look new and exciting. Add new or delete old features as features change or new ones happen.

Did I cover what you wanted to know? If not, let me know!

 Your next step for the blog will be talking more in-depth about Widgets. This will be done on the next post in the Blogging Series.

New posts and Spam

Hello to all my followers and readers.

Firstly, I want to say thank you for following and reading my blog. Without you, I wouldn’t be doing this.

Secondly, I want to say sorry I haven’t been posting, but I’ve been, repeatedly, over the last amount of weeks, comment spammed.

I’ve been trying to weed out the genuine comments and the comments that are just spam. I have been using Akismet, but I found many emails which were not spam were actually found as spam.

Akismet Stats

Akismet Stats

Due to this, it has slowed down my research and creative blog posts which is why I haven’t posted. A further consequence is looking at more ways to protect against spam and this could mean other codes needing to be put in while commenting or other such measures. Again, this is taking away the time where I want it to be put – with you my readers.

Please be patient with me and I will return – promise!

Stay Calm

Stay Calm

Blogging Series-Is it difficult to set up your own blog? Are they very technical? Colors/theme?

Now we come to some of the questions I’ve been getting asked. These even get asked in one of the classes I teach which is part of a Social Media course.

Is it difficult to set up your own blog?

Actually it isn’t difficult at all.

Step 1:

Sit down and make a list of topics you want on your blog.

Before you do any of the setting up, sit down and list all the topics you want to talk about on your blog. How long will they be? Maybe put subtopics down and list ideas from there. What’s the overall, general topic of everything? Then sit down and think up a name for your blog using the general topic within the title. An example would be this blog. I talk about a range of IT or computer and internet problems, questions, and concerns. Then I’ve listed things like social media, viruses, software (operating systems), tablets and computers…and then named it an IT Blog with my name.

Step 2:

Choosing a site to host your blog. Back when I first started to blog, the most used blog site was Google’s Blogger. Keep in mind, back then a blog was basically a chat about what you did in a day, which is why after a while I stopped writing it because my life is just NOT that eventful – usually. After that, I was researching something else, and found the concept of blogging had changed. Its more topic driven rather than tell me what you’ve done today type of thing. This is when I started to get back into it.

Which do I choose? Other?                           Taken from


Then I found the hosting for blogs had changed from mainly Google’s Blogger to WordPress. I researched and found for social or hobbies people use Blogger but for “professional” or more business oriented feel people use WordPress. Which is why I have a blog listed on WordPress and 2 blogs (a personal views blog and a family history blog) on Blogger.

Are there more sites to host blogs out there? Yes, there are, but people are using Blogger and WordPress more often than not. Tumbler is a type of service which has been getting more popular, but still not as popular as the other 2 listed above.

Further, if you are more tech savvy, sometimes people put their blog on their websites using one of the services that are online. As this can be complicated, I won’t get into this here. In fact, I don’t use this at all, but I do have a link on my website to here so people can still find it.

Step 3:

Another question that is asked about quite a bit is cost. The blog, for me, has cost me nothing but my time and energy to set up and write. Well, except for the internet connection to have access. You can buy themes and such, but that is strictly up to you.

Step 4:

So far the setting up of the blog hasn’t been technical at all – am I right? Now we’re going to start getting into setting it up. This requires you to choose one of the blogging sites out there. For our purposes, I will show you how to set up a blog here on WordPress. You will need to sign up for the service on a blogging site. Below is what the website looks like. If you look at the address bar you would see you need to go to

WordPress' sign up page at

WordPress’ sign up page at

As you can see, its pretty much right there in the middle of the page for you to click on. Then there will be some information to fill out. One of these is to choose a URL or address for your blog. A Tip? Keep it connected to the name of your blog so people will remember it easily.

Can you change the blog address after you’ve named it?

Yes, you can BUT if you do this then the people who were following you before will probably be lost – either through not going back in and following the new address or not being told of the address.

Within the main dashboard (think of your car – this is what control the blog) you can click on My Blogs option and then run your mouse over the blog name and select choose. I’ve found full instructions on the WordPress site.

This is the page I would get if I go in to change the address of THIS blog.

This is the page I would get if I go in to change the address of THIS blog.

Step 5:

Once you sign up, then upon signing in, the first thing you will see is the dashboard. As I’ve mentioned above, think of it like the dashboard of your car. If you want lights on, know how fast you’re going, and on and on it will tell you and the same goes for the blog.

I’ve done a video explaining the Dashboard to you.

Also, here’s a video on how to protect your blog from getting unwanted or rude comments.

Is this answering any questions you were having about blogging? Are there things I’m missing? Please let me know!

 Your next step for the blog will be setting up an appearance. This will be done on the next post in the Blogging Series.