By popular demand…

By | September 28, 2015
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Not long ago I wrote a bit about Bluetooth – it’s a way of connecting two devices together without having to plug one into the other, as long as they aren’t too far apart.

Several people have asked me for a bit more information about it and what it does – so by popular demand, here you are!

It’s a bit like wifi, the way you connect to the internet without wires, in a way, but it works completely separately.

You can use it to connect all sorts of different devices – connecting a mobile phone to a car speaker system so you can hear a phone call while you’re driving without having to hold the phone.

Or you can connect your phone or a tablet to your computer so you can copy photos from it to your PC.

Or you can use it to connect a special bluetooth keyboard to an iPad or other tablet, so you can type on that instead of on the screen.

Or I use it to connect a special set of speakers to my phone to listen to music I’ve put on it through much better speakers. And because it’s a small set of speakers and my phone is small I can even easily carry it from one room to another without stopping the music.

My brother and I even used a bluetooth connection to get photos from Mum’s phone onto mine so I can move them onto a computer to print out, when she was having trouble getting at them.

So, how do you do it? Well, it does depend on what devices you want to connect. But for example, if you want to connect a special bluetooth keyboard to an iPad, here’s what you’d do:

Make sure the keyboard is turned on – most of them will have a battery inside to power them.
Turn your ipad on and make sure bluetooth is turned on. On an iPad you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen and you’ll get a few options, including the one you want – it has a symbol like this:

If you’re using a different device, you might need to find the options somewhere else, but it should have the same symbol.

Once you’ve done that it’ll probably make a “bing-bong” noise and bring up a message on screen, saying it’s detected a device (the keyboard) and asking if you want to connect to it. Tap to allow it to connect and wait a few seconds while it makes the connection and then it should be ready to use.

Then in the case of the keyboard, you can type on that instead of on the screen… if you’re connecting speakers to your phone then when you play music on the phone it should now come out of the separate speakers.

Next time you want to do this, it might remember the connection and you won’t have to do the stage where you tap to connect.

As I say, you can use it for all sorts of things – you don’t need to use it to connect the same devices I use it for.

Shutting down a PC without the start menu (Windows 10)
Normally, to shut down your PC in Windows 10 (or WIndows 7 or earlier versions), you go to the start menu and find the power off option.

You don’t want to just turn it off at the wall as it needs to finish everything it’s in the middle of or it’ll complain next time you turn it on… and if you have a laptop turning it off at the wall won’t help anyway as it’ll just go onto the battery.

But very occasionally you might find you can’t get the start menu up. If there’s something up with your computer or it’s got itself into a pickle, it might just not work when you click on the start button.

Don’t panic. First of all, in Windows 10 you can try right clicking on the start button instead – it should bring up a shorter, more basic version of the start menu and you can select shut down from that.

But if even that won’t work (or you’re using an older version of Windows), you can hold down the ctrl and alt keys on the left hand side of the keyboard and then tap the delete key on the right.

This brings up a screen with a few options on it – most of them you’re unlikely to want very often, but down in the bottom right hand corner of the screen is a little power button symbol – click on that and you can turn it off from there.

Windows 10 – books (and CDs) arrive this week
The brand new Windows 10 books I mentioned last week are taking a bit longer to get printed than I’d hoped – actually it’s the CDs that come with the books that are delaying it
But they should arrive any day now – and as soon as they arrive we’ll be getting everyone’s order out straight away.

So if you’ve already ordered, we should be getting yours out to you this week.

If you haven’t already ordered, but you have Windows 10 or are thinking of getting it, you can read more about the books here:
The One Step at a Time books, that show you how to use it, nice and simply – read more here.

The Help is at Hand books, explaining what to do if something goes wrong or you have any problems with your computer – read more here.

11 thoughts on “By popular demand…

  1. Alan

    That is a good tip about Windows 10. I have had three crashes where File Explorer and the Start Menu stop working some worse than others. The most recent one gave me a message and told me to sign out and that gave me the start screen with power options. Once I had no option but to force the computer to shut down.

  2. Mr Sandy Duncan

    I use a bluetooth pendant to be able to answer my smart phone up to 5 metres away from my phone. It suppresses the outside noise and directs the sound directly to my two hearing aids when set in the T setting. I also use it to listen to music from my laptop around the house.

  3. Martin Cox

    Tim, I have a problem for which I will value your help.
    My Lenovo laptop was supplied with Dolby sound installed, but when I changed to Windows 10, the Dolby drivers disappeared. There are many claimed programmes for reclaiming it, most wanting to charge, but I am reluctant to download untried sites, as many just download malware.
    Can you help, please?
    Martin Cox.

    1. Tim Post author

      there are a couple of things you can try – though it’s possible that the drivers just aren’t compatible with Windows 10 and that’s why they’ve been removed.
      Here’s what I’d try, though:
      First of all, Lenovo tend to put a copy of all the files you need to reinstall things (including Drivers) on the hard drive – and since it’s usually on a separate partition of the drive it usually survives installing a new version of Windows. Have at look at these instructions to see if that helps.
      Failing that, Lenovo themselves have a webpage where you can download drivers – free and since it’s from Lenovo themselves you don’t have to worry that it’s a malware scam! – it’s here:
      (you may need to click on the drivers option on that page or it might automatically start trying to work out what model you have so it can give you the right drivers.)
      Hope that helps
      Tim Wakeling

  4. Edith Rees

    Dear Tim,
    How do I transfer photos from my tablet to my laptop? My tablet is a Ployer Momo 12 (Chinese) and my laptop a Toshiba Satelite Pro with Windows 7. Also how do I download Google Earth to my tablet?
    Edith Rees

    1. Tim Post author

      Usually you can copy the photos over by using the cable that came with the tablet to plug the tablet into the PC. Give it a second or so and a message might pop up on the PC saying it has found the table and what would you like to do with it – you can select a photo option but I usually choose the File Explorer option and use that to copy them.
      If you can’t see a cable that’ll plug into the PC, have a look at the charger for the tablet. Often the cable unplugs from the three pin power socket to reveal a USB plug that you can plug into the PC.
      You can download Google Earth from here: (or use it on a PC from there)
      Hope that helps

  5. Edith Rees

    Dear Tim.
    Thank you for the above. I bought the tablet in 2011 and have lost the cable so will have to buy a new one as the cable does not unplug from the power socket. That is the least of my worries at present. I have probably done a rather silly thing but one learns from ones mistakes or so I’m told. When I first had the tablet I entered a gmail address somewhere and a pass word. Unfortunately I have forgotten the password so have been unable to get into such things as play store where I had hoped to find out about google earth. So I thought the best thing would be to switch off entirely. So I consulted my P.C and found out that I would lose a lot of what I had but at least I could start again. So I went to Settings and from there to Back Up and Reset. I then said to choose the Reset Device and then to Select Everything to confirm the operation.
    Well guess what. no you will know, everything came up in Chinese. I figured out where to go to get it back to English. I was also able to set the time and date. So now when I switch on that’s what I get. When I unlock it I get the time e.g 07.14 whereas it is 19.14 when I first switch on. The configurations here are in Chinese as is the 2017 month of March (03) that comes up. How do I get rid of this and where do I enter a new gmail account and password? and what else do I need to do to get back to normal. I did find google account and I entered the exemail address and then a password then up came something about pop etc and I hadn’t a clue which one to choose so deleted what I had done.
    Your sincerely,
    Edith Rees
    I have just ordered some of your books so am looking forward to their arrival.

  6. Jacqueline Sheldon

    My husbands mini iPad suddenly stopped functioning yesterday.
    I sent an email to you and you responded immediately and gave me the apple number to contact.
    Within an hour the iPad is again in perfect order.
    Thank you for saving me a long trip to Brent Cross to get help from the Apple Store.

    1. Tim Post author

      You’re welcome! Glad it’s all sorted now.

  7. Michael Colborn

    I am wholly Apple and use phone, ipad and Mac pro. All the devices insist on putting photos, wherever stored, in chronological order. This is not always convenient, how can I put them in the order I want?

    1. Tim Wakeling Post author

      it’s possible to use albums to keep groups of photos stored separately – so they don’t end up all mixed up and just in chronological order.
      Within each album they’ll be in chronological order, but say you wanted photos of the family separate from work photos or whatever, you can do that, even if they were taken over the same time period.
      Details about how to use albums are covered in the new books coming out on Monday!


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