The Beginner’s Guide to LastPass

You know you are supposed to use a password manager. In my workshops, attendees often ask me how I manage my passwords, and my answer is to use LastPass. At first glance, it seems like password managers are a pain to set up. Good news: getting started with a password manager is easier than you think.

In this workshop, I will cover the basics of LastPass and what makes it my favorite.

How to:
Log in to LastPass
Save a Site
Create a Form Fill
Generate a Password
Share a Password
Secure Your LastPass Account
How to Use LastPass on Your Smartphone

The Only Backup Solution You Need

It’s a fact of computing life. Hard drives fail. It’s not a matter of whether your computer’s disk will stop working; it’s a matter of when. The question is how much value do you put on your data?

Backing up your data is not the most exciting task you can do, but it is an essential one you should do on your computer.  The challenge is figuring out how to get started. In this workshop, I will show you how to set up a set-it-and-forget-it backup solution so you can rest easy.

Topics covered:
What is a backup?
3-2-1 Rule
Local vs Online Backup and Why You Need Both
Using cloud storage

Typing x_bar, y_bar, q_hat, etc., in Microsoft Word

If you teach statistics, you know the pain of typing x_bar, y_bar, etc. You can use Microsoft Equation Editor, but it has two issues: it’s cumbersome, and not all versions of Word handle the equations equally (some as text, some as pictures). You can type “x_bar” but that’s just not pretty. I had not found a way to get around this and was resigned to typing out the variable names.

Until I found this tip.

Microsoft Word does have a way of creating statistical symbols. The key is to use the Arial font and the capability called “combining diacritics” (look that up). Here is how it works.

  1. Open Microsoft Word. I tested this in 2016 and 2013. The tip should work in older versions as long as it has the Arial font (it should, as it is a common font).
  2. Choose “Arial” as your font.
  3. Let’s do p_hat. Type in “p” by itself, like this:


  4. Next, go to Insert -> Symbol. Look for More Symbols. Make sure the font is Arial. Then look for and select the hat symbol. The character code is 0302. Click Insert, Close.
  5. You will go back to the editing mode and you will see the p with the hat. You can do the same for the bar. The character code is 0305.

Even if your other text is in a different font, when it comes to typing out statistical symbols, you just go back to Arial and do the steps above, and return the original font.

It’s beautiful.


Organizing Outlook Email

Organizing Outlook Email

You will learn:
Organizing Email
Finding Messages
Email Tips in Outlook

Covers Microsoft Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016. The demo will be with Outlook 2013.

Content Level: Beginner

Camtasia 9


Techsmith released Camtasia 9. Two big changes that I like:

  1. New 64-bit engine for faster editing and encoding
  2. Cross-platform project compatibility

The 64-bit engine is a welcome upgrade that would make editing and encoding faster. That is one thing I don’t enjoy about making videos. It sometimes takes too long to edit a video.

I also like that now we can use Camtasia on both Mac and Windows. There used to be a Windows version and a Mac version. Now we can create a project in the Windows version and easily share it with the Mac version.

Time to go watch the tutorial videos to go make videos!


Windows 10: What You Want To Know

Windows 10 is the best Windows ever. Microsoft included a bevy of helpful features, including the Cortana digital assistant, an improved Start menu and Windows Store. This workshop will introduce key Windows 10 features that will get you excited about using the new Windows. See new features, improvements to old features, and a lot of new ways to alize a desktop, including the Start menu!

Windows 10 and Office 2016



I spent the last weekend setting up a new computer. I finally decided to ditch my 5-year old laptop and get a new machine. I ended up with an All-in-One computer, since I don’t need to really move around my laptop anymore because I do my mobile computing on my iPhone.

Along with my machine came Windows 10. I waited until now to give it a try. My rule of thumb is that, when it comes to Windows and Office versions, wait a year before I start using them. The rule came in handy as Windows 10 just received the “Anniversary” update and so I was able to update to that version without jeopardizing breaking any existing settings. So far, I really like it. I do think it’s better than Windows 8.1, but there is a lot new to learn. I hope to write about it more. One thing I no longer need is to find a replacement for the Start menu. That’s what I did when I upgraded to Windows 8.1, but as of now, I really like the new menu.

I also upgraded to Office 2016 (not 365). I took a quick look to see what’s new. Aside from a slightly-new interface, I don’t see anything significant. You may want to check out what’s new in 2016 before you think about purchasing the new version.

Let the fun begin!