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.