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I originally shared this post well over a year ago, but since I get visitors looking for this exact information on a near-daily basis I figured I should share it again.

You’ve probably seen them all over the place: images of a computer or tablet screen that show what’s on the screen. Those images are called “screenshots”, because each one is basically a snapshot, or picture, of a computer screen. Screenshots are also sometimes called “screen grabs”.


Screenshots: What Are They Good For?

Screenshots can be VERY useful. Here are just a few examples of things you can do with them:

1. Take a picture of an error message on your screen to share with a tech support person.

2. Take pictures of online images for future reference. This is especially great for when you’re redecorating or remodeling: grab screenshots of every color scheme, room layout or idea that appeals to you. It’s also a godsend for party planning and craft ideas.

3. Take pictures of suspicious or offending messages posted online, in case you need them as evidence later. For example, if your child is being bullied on Facebook you can take a picture of the posts to prove they existed if the bullies should delete them before school or other authorities can be informed.

4. Take pictures of your screen when you’re using a certain program, like MS Word, and you need to explain to someone else how to do something in that program.

5. Take pictures of maps you create in Google Maps, MapQuest and so on, in order to have the images available on your tablet even when you don’t have a WiFi connection or in order to print hard copies to take with you on the road.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.


Overview of the Process

The basic process is this: press a certain keyboard button or button combination (I’ll get more specific about this in a moment) to copy the image of your computer screen to the computer’s ‘clipboard’, and from there you can paste it into any program that can accept images. Just open the desired program and click on the ‘Paste’ icon. It’s usually a picture of a little clipboard with a tiny piece of paper on it.

Most of the time, I’ll just open up MS Word and paste the screenshot in there. You can also paste screenshots into graphics editor programs, photo editor programs, Microsoft PowerPoint, and many more. Just go with whichever program you’re most comfortable working with.


One Caveat

Remember, when you take a screenshot the image will include EVERYTHING that’s visible on your computer screen. You can either close or minimize any windows you don’t want in the shot, or you can edit the image so it shows only what you want after you’ve pasted it into another program.


Taking A Screenshot in Windows

When the image you want is displayed on the desktop, press the appropriate keyboard key, or key combination:

1. If your keyboard has its own, totally separate Print Screen button (it may say “Print Screen”, “PrtScr”, “PrtSc” or something similar), just press that button to take the picture and copy it to the Windows clipboard.

2. If your keyboard does not have a separate Print Screen button (most laptops don’t), you’ll need to use a key combination: two keys pressed simultaneously. Depending on your keyboard, the correct combination will be one of the following:

a) If your keyboard has a “FN” or “Fn” key (the abbreviation stands for ‘function’), press that key + the Print Screen key (see the list of possible key names in item #1, above) simultaneously to take the picture and copy it to the Windows clipboard.

Note that the Print Screen key will combined with some other key, and the Print Screen function is only activated when you press that key and the Function key simultaneously. For example, on my keyboard the “End” key is also the “PrtSc” key; to take a screenshot, I press the “END/PrtSc” key and the Function key simultaneously.

b) If your keyboard does not have a Function key, follow the same procedure as in #2 above but press the Control (Ctrl) key in place of the Function key.


Taking A Screenshot On A Mac

When the image you want is displayed on the desktop, press the Command, Control, Shift and numeral “3” keys simultaneously. From there, paste into your desired program as described above.


How To Take A Fire Screenshot

This works on all generations of Fire Tablets, provided the tablet has buttons for volume control—the first generation Fires didn’t.

With the image you want to capture onscreen, simultaneously press the power and volume down buttons. These must be light, quick key presses, just hard enough and lasting just long enough to register as key presses. It doesn’t always work every time, it’s one of those things where you kind of have to get the hang of it but keep trying and it will work. I take screenshots from my various Fire tablets this way all the time to illustrate how-to posts about the Fire tablet line.

Your screenshots will be stored in a Screenshots folder, accessible on the Photos tab of your Fire.


And that’s all there is to it!


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And now, a word from our sponsor…

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Tech Tip of the Week: Where’s My Stuff? Cloud vs. Device.

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As I recently explained in my DMM post, Want To Get The FBI / Moneypak Virus? Download Flash!, the Flash browser plugin is an unsafe technology that’s become a favorite tool of hackers for spreading malware.

Mozilla apparently agrees with me because the most recent version of Firefox won’t play YouTube videos using its usual default, Flash-plugin-based video player technology. The latest Firefox browser disables the Flash plugin by default and labels it as “vulnerable”:

But don’t worry, the DMM’s got you covered with a simple solution to get those YouTube videos playing again in two shakes!


HTML5: The Safer Alternative to the Flash Plugin

I was going to explain the reasons why HTML5 is now being subbed for the Flash plugin to play videos online, but since you probably don’t care about that and just want me to cut to the chase, here’s the two-second solution that works in the most recent versions of all of the following browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Apple Safari.

Go to the following URL (it’s a link, you can just click it):

On the page that loads, click on the “Request the HTML 5 player” button:

That’s it! You’re done! Nothing to download or install, and you don’t even have to re-start your browser session!

Note that some VERY old videos that were uploaded to YouTube a VERY long time ago still may not play, because they may not be HTML5-compatible. But I’ve tested videos that were uploaded going as far back as 2008 and have yet to find one that won’t work with the HTML5 player.


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And now, a word from our sponsor…

If you’ve been considering one of those snazzy new 2-in-1 laptops with the detachable tablet computer screen, here’s a great one to try: the the ASUS Transformer Book 10.1″ T100TAM-C1-GM Detachable 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop, 64GB has an average review rating of 4/5 stars across over 280 Amazon customer reviews, and right now you can get it at $70 off: it’s priced at $329 instead of the usual $399, and is eligible for Prime shipping, too!


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Tech Tip of the Week: Where’s My Stuff? Cloud vs. Device.

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Okay, Who Broke The Internet?

Those of us who are old enough to remember dial-up internet connections have gotten pretty spoiled. If that page hasn’t loaded in two Mississippis or less, we’re convinced there’s something wrong. And on a home computer with a high-speed internet connection, we’re not wrong about that. Here are 6 easy fixes for a slow internet connection to try before you call in tech support.

Work your way down the list, in order, until your issue is resolved.



1. Shut Down Any Bandwidth-Hogging Activities
The more people in your household (or office) who are using the internet simultaneously, the higher the internet traffic coming into, and going out of, your network. Streaming video, playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMRPGs), videochatting and downloading or uploading very large files are all activities that can reduce available internet bandwidth to a trickle for anyone else on the same network. See if anyone else who’s sharing your internet connection is using it to do bandwidth-hogging tasks and where possible, get them to stop.

If you’ve got more than one browser window or tab open, check each one to see if there’s just one tab or window in particular that has slowed to a crawl or locked up completely. If that’s the case, the problem is with the site or page you’re accessing in the slow or locked up tab/window. Close that tab or window.


2. If Possible, Move Closer To Your Router
Sometimes your internet connection is just fine, but the WiFi signal that brings it to your computer is weak due to distance from the router, or interference of some kind between your machine and the router. Your WiFi signal is weak if the WiFi indicator icon on your computer shows anything less than five full “bars”, or if you find you’re frequently losing your WiFi connection.

If it’s simply not possible to get closer, but you strongly suspect a weak WiFi signal is the issue, consider investing in a WiFi Signal Booster (also known as a “repeater” or “range extender”). They’re not very expensive and many are designed to simply plug into an available electric outlet located near the edge of the existing router’s range.



3. Close and Re-open Your Browser
Sometimes you’ve just got a bad browser “session” that’s hung up on some background tasks you gave up on long ago (e.g., errors on pages you visited early in the session, pages that didn’t fully load before you gave up on them and switched to a new tab, etc.). This can also happen if you don’t allow the browser to finish all its loading and startup stuff—like allowing your specified Home Page to load completely—before you start clicking links and whatnot.

Close the browser completely, wait at least twenty seconds to allow all background browser activity to stop, and then re-open it.


4. Shut Down and Restart Your Computer
Sometimes a twenty second wait isn’t long enough for a bad browser session to completely clear from your computer’s short-term memory, especially if you were attempting to download or upload something in that bad session. Uploading and downloading lets the browser work with your computer’s offline operating system, so problems with those activities can affect your computer’s performance even after the browser is closed.

When the computer is done booting up, re-open the browser and wait until it’s fully loaded to try browsing.



5. Reset Your Router
From my previous Digital Media Mom post, How To Solve The ‘Connected, No Internet’ Problem On A Windows PC (Vista and Above):

Your router is the electronic box your internet service provider installed in your home when you first signed up with them.

The router should have a large reset button right on the front. The button may be in a slightly different location or look different on different models of router, but in general it will be large and have an image that looks a lot like the curvy arrow “reload” / “refresh” link or button you’re used to seeing in your browser.

Press and hold it down for a couple of seconds, then release. Wait for all the lights on the front of the router to come back on before trying your computer again, particularly watch for the one that has a “WWW” or picture of globe next to it: that’s the one that signals whether or not you’re connected to the internet. Note that this may take several minutes.

If you’re not sure how to find the reset button on your specific router, refer to the user manual that came with it or call your service provider and ask them to help you find it. Alternatively, you can just skip to the next fix, below.


6. Turn The Router Off, Wait, Turn It Back On
Note that this one will temporarily suspend internet access to every device that relies on the router for its internet access, and could also temporarily interfere with certain of your cable TV features (e.g., video on demand, menu/guide/software updates) if you get your internet and TV service from the same provider. Don’t worry, after the router has re-started all the usual functionality will return.

First, shut down your browser window because you’re only going to have to shut it down and re-start it when you’re done with this fix anyway.

Next, turn the router completely off (unplug its power cable if it doesn’t have an on/off switch, or if you don’t know where the on/off switch is located), wait AT LEAST 30 SECONDS, then turn it back on (or plug it back in). Wait until it has completely finished its start-up routine and all of its indicator lights are back on before attempting to re-start the browser on your computer.


If All Else Fails…
Unfortunately, these are just about all the quick, easy and simple fixes you can try with zero risk to your devices and network. If none of them work, you’ll have to call your internet service provider for tech support.


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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The Apple TV Streaming Media Player Bundle including remote and High-Speed HDMI Cable is currently (as of 12/16/14) on sale at 61% OFF, priced at just $129.99 instead of the usual price of $329.99. If you’re heavily invested in the Apple/iTunes “ecosystem” for your video and digital music libraries, this is the box you need to stream that content to all the compatible devices in your household, as well as the usual streaming video service suspects (like Hulu, Netflix, and so on). This item is also eligible for Amazon Prime shipping.


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Tech Tip of the Week: Where’s My Stuff? Cloud vs. Device.

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Today’s post is brought to you by Apple EarPods with Remote and Mic, which work with any device that has a standard earbud port and are the first earbuds I’ve ever owned that are comfortable, don’t fall out, don’t “leak” sound and don’t require me to set my volume so high that it gives me a headache. See my full comments about them at the end of this post. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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Welcome To Free Music Monday!

Fans of The Black Crowes (She Talks To Angels), Joan Osborne ([What If God Was] One Of Us), or just good old fashioned, straight-ahead honkytonk rock n’ roll, have I got a gem for you this week: the Front Row Live EP from Trigger Hippy, the new supergroup that includes both Osborne and Black Crowes co-founder Steve Gorman.

From the Trigger Hippy site:
Cruise through the [debut album] from this well-credentialed Nashville quintet and you’ll hear propulsive rock, gritty blues, heart-searing soul, sinewy grooves, sublime vocal harmonies and a rich, earthy sensibility steeped in Americana roots. What to call it? Drummer and co-founder Steve Gorman favors “a rock band that can jam.”

These musicians can certainly do that. Gorman, of course, also co-founded The Black Crowes more than 25 years ago; and is considered one of the best rock drummers of his generation, playing not only with the Crowes, but also with Jimmy Page, and Stereophonics, among others. Singer Joan Osborne has released seven albums since her triple-platinum 1995 debut Relish and its Top 5 hit “One of Us;” she’s also collaborated with The Dead, Phil Lesh & Friends, and Motown’s Funk Brothers, with a featured role in the film Standing In The Shadows of Motown. Singer-guitarist-keyboardist Jackie Greene, who performed with The Black Crowes during the band’s 2013 tour, has seven solo albums to his credit and has logged time in Phil Lesh & Friends, among others. Tom Bukovac is a first-call Nashville cat who won five consecutive MusicRow Session Guitarist of the Year awards, while bassist Nick Govrik performed in his former band Highwater and played more recently with singer Mike Farris.
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In cooperation with Amazon, Trigger Hippy have released a FREE 3-song digital EP – Amazon Front Row: Trigger Hippy (currently rated 5/5 stars). This EP features live versions of three of the singles off the band’s self-titled debut album, Trigger Hippy, which was released on 9/30/14 and has already racked up over 30 reviews with an average review rating of 5/5 stars.


Click here for the FREE Amazon Front Row EP: Trigger Hippy. Note that its product page also includes videos of the band playing the songs on the EP.

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

If you’ve bought, and been disappointed by, countless pairs of earbuds over the years then you really need to get a set of Apple EarPods with Remote and Mic. I have also suffered from earbuds that fall out, earbuds that fit so snugly they make my ear canals hurt, earbuds that don’t block enough outside noise (so you have to crank up the volume to headache-inducing levels), and earbuds that “leak” so much sound that they irritate those around me. I’ve tried high-end, costly pairs and ultra-cheap pairs, pairs that came with my various devices and pairs I received as gifts, but until I got myself a pair of these Apple EarPods I’d pretty much given up on earbuds altogether.

These are not the least expensive earbuds out there, but at a regular retail price of $28.49 (as of this writing, on 12/15/14) they’re nowhere near as expensive as some of the higher-end earbuds I’ve owned and thrown or given away. Most importantly, where other earbuds have failed you, these will succeed: they’re comfortable, they don’t fall out, they don’t “leak” sound, and they block enough outside sound that you don’t have to risk damaging your hearing with that volume control cranked up to max. I don’t use the in-line microphone, but if you use these with a phone it allows you to quickly mute/pause your music to take a call. Highly recommended, and well worth the price. These may well be the last earbuds you ever have to buy.


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Tech Tip of the Week: Where’s My Stuff? Cloud vs. Device.

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Free App Friday for 12/12/14

Posted December 12, 2014 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the Microsoft Xbox LIVE 12 Month Gold Card, currently being offered by Amazon at $51, instead of the usual $59.99 you’d pay in brick and mortar stores. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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Free App Friday!

Here are some of the top 100 most downloaded AND highest-rated apps (4/5 stars or better) from Amazon’s Android App Store as of this writing. Note that where a given app has already been included in a Free App Friday post, a different one (still with a minimum 4/5 star rating) will be subbed in. Remember that free apps may include in-app purchase (IAP) options or be ad-supported, but given that these apps have been given very high ratings by MANY consumers, where IAP links or ads are present they must be pretty unobtrusive. Descriptions below are from the apps’ product pages.

Pudding Pop – Pudding pop is a fun and simple puzzle game where you try to link three or more pudding blobs of the same color. Use your fingers to link as many pudding blobs as you can and go for the high score!

My Singing Monsters – A world inhabited by strange creatures for you to collect, breed, play and control! Marvel as your monstrous minions sing for you. They’ll hum, whistle, bounce and scream their hearts out! You have never seen an extraordinary game like this before!

Definitionado – Use your sharp intellect and knowledge of word meanings, idioms, riddles, and trivia to solve these fun puzzles!

RGB Express – Mini Truck Puzzle – You are running RGB Express, the one and only company specialized in delivering colors. This is how you do it: 1) Draw routes for your drivers. Make sure that every house receives the correct package. 2) Press play 3) Sit back and watch while RGB Express delivers! The game starts off with easy puzzles, which will teach you the many tricks, that help you solve the more difficult ones.

Bruce Lee: Enter the Game – Fight for justice as the greatest martial artist of all time – BRUCE LEE! Defeat thousands of enemies with powerful attacks in amazing, non-stop, 2-D action.

Drone: Shadow Strike – Drone Shadow strike is the most epic military warfare game that offers an addictive mixture of strategy, fast-paced combat and real action! Operate the world’s best UCAVs with an arsenal of weapons and bring the rain!

QuizUp – The world’s largest trivia game is now available for Android!

Cow Evolution – Find out what happens to an ordinary cattle when mutations start taking place. Combine cows to evolve them and discover the most curious, exotic and bizarre forms of cows. As evolution continues, zoom out from your farm and explore the continent, the world and BEYOND!

Master of Words – Master of Words is an amazing word-construction game. Have fun and train your brain – at the same time! Thousands of people from around the world play on the same board. By the end of every match, you can see the worldwide rankings and the progression of your skills.

Longhorn Slots Jackpot Bonanza – Hit the jackpot with our multiline slot machines (pokies for our friends down under) – multiple paylines, generous payouts, multiplier Wilds, scatter symbols, doubledown mega bets, and epic Free Spin modes – our slot games have a huge variety of features and play styles.


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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Is it coming up to the deadline to renew your household’s XBOX Live Gold membership, or is there an XBOX gamer on your holiday gift list? If so, take advantage of this offer and save a little cash. Right now, Amazon’s offering the Microsoft Xbox LIVE 12 Month Gold Card for $51, 15% off its usual pricetag of $59.99.


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