Index

How do keep textbook cost affordable?
How do I "capture" my computer screen?

What are the most important navigation keystrokes in Excel?
How (and why) do I clear my browser's cache?
The Excel files (or Office 2007/2010) don't open correctly
How do I enable macros in Excel?
Moodle not working

Tell me about this "Moodle" product that is used in your courses.
Cannot log into Moodle
How do I show a picture of myself in Moodle?
Videos don't play
Test Internet speed
Which computer media player?
Due Dates
What to print?
Email to cell phones
How do I play Flash on some Android devices?

Questions

How do I keep textbook cost affordable?

Here is my best current example. The course textbook retails for $325. This is the bookstore price. However, the student can save about $100 by buying this textbook brand new on Amazon for $220. Alternatively, the used textbook price on Amazon is currently approximately $185. Alternatively, the student can rent this textbook on Amazon for approximately $50. If the student buys the textbook used, then sells it on Amazon used after the course is over, my best guess is that the net textbook cost should be less than $20. You choose. These are just some examples to help you make your decision.

How do I "capture" my computer screen?

I have used the product "Techsmith SnagIt" for many years, and it seems to provide me all the features that I need (and more) in a screen capture utility. It is available for PC's and Mac's, but you must buy it. I maintain a license to the Camtasia Studio Suite, which includes both SnagIt and Camtasia. Camtasia is a video screen capture utility. There are many "free" screen capture utilities, but I have been using the Techsmith products successfully for many years and like them.

Both PCs and Macs have internal screen capture methods. On the PC, you can capture your screen to the clipboard by using the PrtScn key, or capture any window with the Alt-PrtScn combination keystroke. MS Windows offers a snipping tool in the Accessories. On the Mac, you can capture your screen to the clipboard by using the shift-Command-3 keystroke (shift-Command-5 Mojave,) or a portion of the screen with the shift-Command-4 keystroke. In Mojave, screenshots are now quite a bit enhanced.

What are the most important navigation keystrokes in Excel?

Navigation in the various versions of Excel can be a little challenging. I created this spreadsheet showing some of the most important keystrokes for navigation, and a few more, for Excel 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2016. Also, if you are using VMware, I have included information on the keystrokes for running Excel 2010 and 2013 in a virtual PC.

How (and why) do I clear my browser's cache?

There are times when you might be trying to log into a system (such as Moodle), you put in your correct username and password, but you can't get logged in. The problem might be that your browser's cache (its memory) is taking control and putting in either the wrong username and/or password. If this happens to you, you can try a different browser, or a different computer, or you can clear your browser's cache. You can find information on the Internet about how to clear your browser's cache. I found three good resources (one, two, three).

The Excel files (or Office 2007/2010) do not open correctly.

Yes, this can happen, but it only seems to happen with certain versions of Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer and Office 2007 or Office 2010. Since the latest Office products switched to an "XML" file structure that contains multiple files, Microsoft "zips" these into one file and gives it an ".xlsx" file extension. Internet Explorer is trying to be too smart by looking into the contents of a file and changing the extension to what it thinks it sees, in this case, a "zip" file. The solution is change the file extension back to ".xlsx" either when you are saving the file, or after you have saved it but before trying to open it with Excel.

Here is another solution, try opening IE7 and go to Tools Options, Internet Options and click on the Set Programs button. Chose Set associations and make sure that .xlsm and xlsx are both set to associate with Microsoft Office Excel. Do the same for other Office file types.

How do I enable macros in Excel?

On the PC, go to the File Ribbon, Options, Trust Center, Trust Center Settings, Macros, Enable Macros, OK, Ok, Ok.

On the Mac, go to Excel, Preferences, Security, Macro Security, Enable all Macros.

Usually you should enable macros before opening the file. If these short instuctions do not suffice, search Google for "How to enable macros in Excel ..."

Moodle or the website is not working.

If your Internet works, but Moodle or the website is not working, contact Rick Jerz. Do not contact your school's IT department because they do not have access to managing these resources.

Cannot log into Moodle.

If you are having problems logging into Moodle, remember that there is a button on the login page for "Forgotten your username or password?". Click on the button and follow the directions. The problem might also be that you need to clear your browser's cache.

Tell me about this "Moodle" product that is used in your courses.

I have made a series of videos about how I use Moodle in my courses. My moodle videos can be viewed on this webpage.

The videos don't play.

I have recently transitioned from Flash to html5 video players. With most modern browsers, a video player is built into the browser. If you are having problems, try a different browser, or make sure that your browser is updated to the current version. This is true for tablets and smartphones.

On some of my webpages, you might still find links to my Flash videos. If these do not play, try a different browser or make sure that Flash is updated for your browser. Flash videos do not play on iPhones or iPads.

To stream videos, you need a relatively fast Internet connection, one that provides around 3Mbps speed (DSL is typically fine.)

The easiest way to play my podcasts is by using iTunes or Podcast Republic (for Android devices).

How do I test the speed of my Internet connection?

Go to http://www.dslreports.com/stest, pick Flash 8 plugin..., then pick a location. Download speed needs to be greater than 400 Kb/s for my streaming videos.

Which media player is best on the PC?

All modern video players can play my videos, which are H.264 encoded mp4s.

How do I show a picture of myself in Moodle?

When in Moodle, click on your login name (upper right-hand corner). This will get you to your profile. Edit your profile and you will see a section titled "Picture of". Use the browse button to upload your digital picture. Ideally, your picture should be around 100x100 pixels. If your picture is larger, you can crop and size it in a program such as Photoshop. There are many other programs that can crop photos. If you don't size your picture, Moodle will do its best. You can always swap a better picture of yourself in Moodle whenever you desire.

Where and how do I find what and when homework is due?

In Moodle, there are several ways to find out what is due when.

1) With your mouse, hover any colored date on the Calendar.
2) Right under the calendar, look at the "Upcoming Events". This shows what is due within the next 10 days.
3) Click on the Calendar month title (e.g., January 2017).
4) In the Upcoming Events block, click on "Go to calendar".

What do I need to print for class?

Printing is up to you. All my materials are online and always available to you, so you do not necessarily need to print anything. Personally, I would probably print the lecture PowerPoints, 3-per page view, and use these to take notes in class.

How do you send emails to cell phones, or, what is the "email" form of my cell phone's text messaging system?

I use the site http://www.email-unlimited.com/stuff/send-email-to-phone.htm that helps me configure the proper email address form for your cell phone provider. Here are some examples:

Verizon: 5551234567@vtext.com

AT&T: 5551234567@txt.att.net

U.S. Cellular: 6305551212@email.uscc.net

iWireless: 15555555555.iws@iwspcs.net

How do I play Flash on some Android devices?

Some Android devices, like Samsungs, have their own version of "Flash" and therefore, some Adobe Flash applications will not play. I have learned that the solution is to download an older version of Flash to your particular version of the Android OS. You can go to the Adobe Archived Version webpage to download the correct version.