Thursday, November 20, 2014

Adding Printers To PCS Computers With Windows 8.1

Updated: 11/20/2014

Click on the Start button
In the 'Start Screen' just start typing: \\printsever  (and press enter)

The server named "PrintServer" will show up with a list of printers on the network. Just double click on the one you want. That's it!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Signing In and Out of Windows 8.1 At Potsdam

Starting this summer (2014) Potsdam Central will be using Windows 8.1 in many locations. As in all major versions of software there are some differences. For the most part, we only expect you to have to deal with three new parts;

1) Signing in.
Just as you have in the past, click the 'OK' button to agree to the Acceptable Use Policy.

The next screen will show you the time and date. Just press any key or click the mouse to continue.

Fill in your username (example: jdoe) and password. Press <Enter> to continue.
That's all there is to signing in!

2) Signing Out.
Click the 'Start Button' (the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen).

On the top right of the screen will be your name. Click on your name and choose 'Sign out' from the menu.
Optionally you can click the 'Power' icon to the right of your name to either restart or shutdown the computer.

3) Start Screen.
The 'Start Screen' is the biggest difference with Windows 8.1 but luckily you don't have to do much with it (unless you want to). IF you want to search for programs or files, press the 'Start Button' (see 'Signing Out'). On the Start Screen is a list of SOME of the programs install on the computer. If you do not see what you are looking for, simply start typing. (the next field will automatically appear once you start typing). Once you see what you want, click on the item.

To get out of the Start Screen either click the 'Desktop' tile or press the 'Esc' key.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Backup Procedures

With some exceptions, generally only the “Documents” (or “My Documents”) and “Desktop” folders are backed up.
The following files/folder are intentionally not backed up (we have deemed them either not worth backing up or too big to backup)…
  • Any folder or file labeled ‘purple’ (only relevant on the Macs)
  • Any file or folder named ‘Caches’
  • Any folder named ‘Microsoft User Data’
  • Any folder named ‘Downloads’
  • Any folder named ‘Netboot’
  • Any folder named ‘cache’
  • Any folder named ‘iTunes’
  • Any folder named ‘iMovie Events’
  • Any folder named ‘iMovie Projects’
  • Any file named ‘NTUSER.DAT’
  • Any file named ‘NTUSER.DAT.LOG’
  • Any file named ‘parent.lock’
  • Any folder named ‘Temporary Internet Files’
  • Any file named ‘UsrClass.dat’
  • Any file named ‘UsrClass.dat.LOG’
  • Any folder named ‘Temp’
Other files/folders will likely be added in the future but they are not likely to be important files, just ‘extra stuff’ that doesn’t need to be backed up.
Note: Typically if a document is open it can not be backed up at that time. This usually doesn’t affect most files with the exception of Microsoft Outlook. At this point in time I only know of three people who use Microsoft Outlook.
Generally, PCS Instructional Staff and students log on to the network and have their Documents and Desktop stored on the server, not on the local machine (with a few exceptions). Their files are backed up when the server is backed up (typically two or three times a week).
Generally, Clerical and Administrative Staff log on to the network, or just their own computer, but have their files saved to their local computer and thus are backed up remotely (typically two or three times a week). The following are staff that are actively backed up remotely (i.e. they do not typically store their files on the server automatically)…
  • aadams
  • apetroccine
  • aregan
  • bgallagher
  • bkellogg
  • cellis
  • cmattimore
  • cyoung
  • dbaxter
  • dcmcmartin
  • dgordon
  • dgravilin
  • dmartin
  • dvotra
  • gjadlos
  • jchambers
  • jcruikshank
  • jfoote
  • jherrick
  • jhobbs
  • kchristy
  • kfennell
  • kzender
  • kmiller
  • krobinson
  • lhart
  • ljenne
  • lrichard
  • mbrown
  • mclary
  • mjoy
  • pbrady
  • pkingsley
  • mbonno
  • rbrown
  • saustin
  • sbaker
  • smccargar
  • spike
  • mwilson
  • tsullivan
  • twhite
Note: LA Staff that have the white laptops are backed up when they ‘sync’ their computer to the network (if you don’t know what that means you probably don’t have one of the laptops). All other laptops in the district are not being backed up (unless your name is listed above) and you should be taking measures to back up your data.
These backups are currently being stored on a large set of hard drives in the Lawrence Ave. IT Department Office. Once a month I copy all (or as many as I can fit) onto an external hard drive and store it at my house. We currently have two hard drives so we switch back and forth. The reasons I store the external hard drive at my house are convenience and that the auditors once commented that we did not have an off campus backup.
I do my best to check the backups twice a week (typically on Monday and Friday) to make sure they appear to be running correctly.
If you feel we should be including someone else, not excluding certain files/folders, changing backup frequency, or making any other changes please feel free to contact me.
-Rob Best

Google Chrome: Synchronizing Bookmarks & Passwords

Recently we started installing a new web browser on PCS computers from google called “Google Chrome”. One of the many nice features in Chrome is the ability to synchronize your bookmarks and passwords among different computers (school, home, desktops, laptops, etc.). This also has the added benefit of backing up your bookmarks and passwords for you (no more losing bookmarks and passwords when you get a new computer).

To open Chrome
From the ‘Start’ menu, type: Chrome
The system will then  search for anything containing the phrase “Chrome”.
You should then see a single option, ‘Google Chrome’. Just click on it to open Chrome
Note: If you don’t have Chrome or want to install it at home, you can go to the web site  and download Chrome for free.

To “Sign In To Chrome” (only required to ‘sync’ your bookmarks and passwords)

From the ‘Customize’ icon (on the far right, looks like a wrench) choose “Sign Into Chrome…”

Enter your google username and password (you’re PCS email account works just fine)

Google will then confirm you want to sync everything (passwords, bookmarks, and other settings). Feel free to either say ‘OK’ or go into ‘Advanced’ and choose specific options.

Synchronizing will now be done automatically for you. Feel free to follow these steps on any copy of Chrome at work or home and all will stay ‘in sync’.

How To Show and Make Bookmarks In Chrome
From the ‘Customize’ icon, choose ‘Bookmarks->Show bookmark bar’ and your bookmarks ‘bar’ will show at the top of the window.

To add a web site to the bookmarks, just check the empty ‘star’ on the right of the URL (it will then turn yellow and be in your bookmarks).

PCS Email Lists

Because gmail does not have the same email lists that we have been using (i.e., AAKStaff, HSStaff, etc.) those email lists have been retired.

HOWEVER, new email/web groups have been create (with more features than before) to replace the old lists. These new email/web lists are available as of right now.

To subscribe to the Potsdam High School email list, just end email to:

To send a message to the entire PCS-HS group (onc, send an email to:
(you must subscribe first)

To subscribe to the A.A. Kingston Middle School email list, just end email to:

To send a message to the entire PCS-AAK group, send an email to:
(you must subscribe first)

To subscribe to the Lawrence Ave. School email list, just end email to:

To send a message to the entire PCS-LA group, send an email to:
(you must subscribe first)

Protected View in Microsoft Office 2010

If you have Microsoft Office 2010 installed and view a Word, Excel or PowerPoint on a web page (such as our email), by default the document will open in ‘Protected View’, meaning you can not print it, save it, or edit it.

Assuming you want to do something with the document other than look at it, you need to disable ‘Protected Mode’. To do so…

1) Choose ‘Options’ from the ‘File’ menu.

2) Choose ‘Trust Center’ from the menu on the left

3) Press the ‘Trust Center Settings…’ button.

4) UNCHECK ‘Enable Protected View for files originating from the Internet’, ‘Enable Protected View for files located in potentially unsafe locations’, and ‘Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments’.


I wanted to pass a long a tip about a very useful program called “Dropbox”. Dropbox creates a folder (named “Dropbox”  on your computer that is shared among any number of computers. What this means is you have a folder of files that follow you to each of your computers (such as your school computer, home computer, etc.). By doing this you would no longer need to “transfer” files over the Internet, email them to yourself, or even use a USB flash drive.
To get started, go to the website and download dropbox.
Install dropbox. You will then be prompted to either create an account (which you need to do the first time) or logon to an existing account (which you do for all additional computers).

On Windows, the folder ‘Dropbox’ is located inside of your ‘My Documents’ folder.

On Mac, the folder is created in side of your ‘home’ folder (ie. usually your logon name).

To use just move any files or folders within ‘Dropbox’. That’s it! (Dropbox does the rest for you)

The only catch is that the free version of Dropbox only allows you 2Gigs of storage (don’t worry, it gives you warning). If you want more, they you pay for it.

Tip: If you get good at using Dropbox you can even create folders within Dropbox that you can choose to ‘share’ with other Dropbox users.