Brainerd Memorial Library
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Tech Tips

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How To Tether An iPhone: The Guide To Setting Up Personal Hotspot!

How to Tether your Mobile Phone Internet to your Laptop 

If you’re traveling or do not have an Internet connection, you can connect by using your phone. Perhaps you’ve heard of a personal hotspot, but don’t know how to set it up. This article will explain how to tether an iPhone or Android phone to another device, via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.  Note: Setting up a personal hotspot may affect your wireless data plan and you may need to speak to your mobile phone carrier.  It may be as simple as turning it on in your phone and plugging the USB cable into your laptop! Link to Android only phone tethering directions

Get intelligent writing assistance from Microsoft Editor

Write with confidence across documents, email, & the web. Features help strengthen spelling, grammar, & style.  And even get suggestions in different languages! Receive basic guidance in over 20 languages, and spelling suggestions in more than 80.

JustWatch makes it easier for people to navigate the jungle of content and streaming services.  Use it to locate a particular show or film! JustWatch constantly monitors more than 1,000 streaming video services and digital download catalogs from companies like Apple & Amazon. There are thousands of entertainment options that constantly change and vary by country.  It’s a problem that startups such as JustWatch and Reelgood have been trying to solve. Instead of making you bounce between disparate apps, both services can tell you what’s available on practically any streaming service. You can then add movies and shows to a watch list, get more suggestions based on your viewing habits, and even load their apps on your television to use as a centralized streaming menu.

How to Use Split-Screen in Google Maps

The Google Maps app now has a split-screen street view option on Android. Turning it on lets you use Street View and the map simultaneously, which makes finding and navigating to a destination—or virtually exploring the surrounding area—much easier than relying on the map or the street view alone.  Open link from graphic or view PDF at bottom.

Microsoft Office Training – Microsoft offers free online tutorials for MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access and more. –provides quality innovative online computer learning. Whether you are new to the computer, require review or just want to gain more skills, these free tutorials can help. From Computer Basics to Microsoft Office to Apple, choose from dozens of free training topics. is a program of Goodwill Industries of Easter NC, Inc.

Ignore phone companies about 5G

According to the New York Times Tech Section writer Shira Ovide

There might not be smartphones in billions of pockets today if the phone companies had their way. Now they’re again standing in the way of progress.

This week’s unveiling of new iPhone models started the typical selling season for smartphones. What’s different in 2020 is Americans are getting pitched hard on buying a new phone to get access to the next generation of cellular networks, known as 5G.

The message is: 5G = Good! Fast! Get it now!

Reality: It is not that good or that fast at the moment and most people in the United States don’t need to get it now. Americans should be angry about marketing blather winning over clarity about 5G. I fear people will waste their money on half-baked technology and grow disillusioned by 5G’s potential to improve lives.

My message for U.S. phone companies: Communicate more effectively about 5G or go away… Click Title for full PDF

Upgrade to Windows 10

Support for Windows 7 etc. ended in January.  If you haven’t installed Windows 10 for free, there is still an opportunity.  Note:  It’s not for the faint hearted and takes hours, as the machine keeps installing and re-booting.  But if you have old software on an old machine it’s worth upgrading!

Cloud Storage 

Amazon Drive

Cloud storage is a good alternative to physical back up units and devices and you have access to your files anywhere you go. If you have an Amazon Prime account you have 5GB of free storage with unlimited photo storage.  There’s an additional charge starting at 100GB.  There are many other cloud storage services like Google Drive, One Drive, Drop Box, & Microsoft etc. to explore and discover the one that best suits your needs.  


Access 100 Free Tech courses on: Social Media, Online Shopping, Entertainment, Security and more!


Zoom Logo

Free Video Conferencing!  Meet with family, friends, and colleagues.

Stay connected wherever you are.

Screenshot ImageSkyView® Lite

Brings stargazing to everyone! Simply point your iPhone, iPad, or iPod at the sky to identify stars, constellations, satellites, and more!

This is an Apple App and the links direct you to a free app on the Apple Store site. 

SkyView® Lite [Google Play App for Android Devices]

You don’t need to be an astronomer to find stars or constellations! Open SkyView® Free and let it guide you to their location and identify them. SkyView Free is a beautiful, intuitive stargazing app that uses your camera to precisely spot and identify celestial objects in sky, day or night. Find constellations as they fade in and out while you scan the sky, locate planets in our solar system, discover distant galaxies, and witness satellite fly-bys.  Enjoy!

How to go Incognito Online

Incognito Chrome browser window focusing on New Incognito WindowIncognito or Privacy Mode on your browser offers some measure of privacy.

It helps you browse the web without storing browsing history so that it can’t be retrieved later. This means that your searches, visited pages, login details and cookies will not be saved on the device after you close your private windows.

You can use the new window to log into an extra social media or other page so you don’t have to sign in and out, and avoid some tracking by vendors. 

Teleconferencing: Another Option is Microsoft Teams

Three people in a conference room engaged in a Teams meeting displayed on a large monitor with another group of people who are all in different locations

If you have a Microsoft account you can sign in and use it for free.



How your browser protects your privacy

Provides breakdown, by browser, on tracking protection. Each browser was tested to see how it handles first-party cookies (used for remembering login information and what’s in your shopping cart) and third-party cookies (used by advertisers and others to collect information and track your online behavior).  Also explains how to adjust the settings for each browser to maximize protection against cookies or to eliminate them.

Scrabble tiles spell out the word Ranking the major browsers on privacy

The rankings were revealed in a research paper by Trinity College Dublin which analyzed and rated the privacy provided by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Brave, Edge, and Yandex. The study examined the browsers’ sending of data—that could be used to track users over time. The findings put the browsers into three categories.

Portable Tech Station

This newly acquired all-in-one computer monitor was donated recently and will be used for computer instruction, presentations, and even films for small groups.

Email Robbie for Tech Help appointments or questions at 

In-person sessions resume when library re-opens


By appointment on Wednesdays from 10 – 12 TBD 

Drop-in on Fridays from 12-2. TBD

Call the library or email Robbie at



Tech Library

Handouts will also be available in the library.

Here we will have PDFs and links to information like How to: