July 2017




Name Of Column Author Title Article Type
The Scuttlebutt Tom Whitworth WebWhispers at the IAL Voice Institute Commentary
VoicePoints Kim Almand, M.S., CCC-SLP The IAL Voice Institute & Future Directions Education-Med
Between Friends Donna McGary Make New Friends But Keep The Old Commentary
Speaking Out Members How Long Have You Been a Lary? Opinion
Dear Lary Noirin Sheahan Finding Our Tribe Commentary
The Speechless Poet Len A Hynds Don't Be Rude, The Lady Might Hear You Prose & Poetry
Bits, Bytes & No Butts! Frank Klett Got Windows 10? Computers



INDEX AND LINKS TO EACH ISSUE MAY BE FOUND AT: http://webwhispers.org/news/WotWIndex.asp




WebWhispers at the IAL Voice Institute


The IAL Annual Meeting & Voice Institute was held June 14-17 in Newport News, Virginia and there cannot be too many good things said about it. Attendance of 161, included at least 50 laryngectomees, 35 caregivers, and 22 larys attended a voice institute for the first time, more than in recent years. Speech-Language Pathologists had the opportunity to earn as many as 31 continuing education units, up from the recent record of 28 hours last year. Friday afternoon, a large number of us enjoyed an excursion to the Mariner’s Museum and Park. Everyone seemed to enjoy the visit there and, needless to say, it was over the top for this sailor. I can’t wait to return and take in more and at a slower pace.

Thanks to our Buck Martin Fund and the generosity of both Atos Medical and InHealth Technologies, nine attendees received scholarships totalling $5,050.00! Of particular note are the fact that no scholarship was left on the table this year and five went to first time voice institute pupils, who had surgery as much as five years ago. What a great thing it is for WebWhispers to be able to help this many people attend the event. Special thanks to our friends at InHealth Technologies and Atos Medical for their participation in our scholarship program and to the late Buck Martin for his bequest for this purpose. Keeping with an eighteen-year tradition, our pre-dinner reception was sponsored by Bruce Medical. As if that were not enough, forty larys present at the WebWhispers dinner received a “winning ticket” good for our choice between an ADDvox 7 voice amplifier or a whole year’s supply of foam filters! Wow! No strings attached!


Scholarship recipients were as follows:

WW Buck Martin Fund:
Margaret Beck - Deltona, FL
Kathy Miller - Deltona, FL
Marilou Percival - Ontario, CA

InHealth Technologies:
Phyllis McQueen, Brooklyn, NY
Karen White, Arlington, VA
Phyllis McMullen, Taneytown, MD
David Kinkead, Phoenix, AZ

Atos Medical:

Karen White, Arlington, VA
Phyllis McQueen, Brooklyn, NY
Ron Matoon, Des Moines, WA
Kevin Berry, Barrie, ON


The WebWhispers Annual Awards Dinner was a special time for 106 of us. Our guest speaker was Helen Grathwohl, President of the Tidewater Lost Chord Club, and recent addition to the IAL Board of Directors. Helen serves the IAl as Vice-President & also Treasurer. She shared with us her personal story and a lot about how to support others in their journey. Her address to us was encouraging, inspirational, and absolutely delightful.

Unlike in recent years, we reserved actual awards to a limited few. In 2015, we passed out 25 awards and 28 last year. We felt it was time to scale that down a bit and focus on some truly superlative awards and that we did. My hat is off to Donna McGary for her work on these. Though we are truly grateful for all who serve WebWhispers and its members, the following awards were presented:



Mike Rosenkranz
Distinguished service
Certificate of appreciation
Presented To
Our Very Own Creative Explorer

Ron Mattoon
Volunteer of the year
Certificate of appreciation
Presented to
Our Man of the Hour

Jeff Vanden Hogen
Unsung Hero
Certificate of appreciation
Presented to
Our Very Own Superman


There is nothing better than visiting with old friends and meeting new ones, learning to love life together. Next year’s event is in Orlando, FL. Come join us!

Enjoy, laugh, and learn,
Tom Whitworth
WebWhispers President


The IAL Voice Institute and Future Directions


For over 50 years, the mission of the International Association’s Voice Institute (IALVI) has been the education of professionals assisted by laryngectomized individuals in the training of alaryngeal voice and speech. This year, the Voice Institute carried on this tradition during a comprehensive and intensive four-day program that focused on the methods of voice restoration and the many bodily changes that take place as a result of total laryngectomy. WebWhispers, as an affiliate of the IAL, and many of its members participated in events throughout the meeting.


Removing the larynx not only changes the ability to use voice; many bodily changes occur and all were a focal point of the education events during the Voice Institute. When the larynx is removed, breathing changes. The trachea is rotated to the front of the neck and a stoma is created. Air is no longer inhaled in the same way through the nose and mouth, thus affecting the sense of smell and taste and activities such as blowing, sipping, snoring, showering, and swimming. After a total laryngectomy, the upper esophageal sphincter is altered, changing swallow function and the body’s ability to maintain pressure for lifting and elimination of waste. Digestion and eating are often affected.


This year, the Voice Institute curriculum was a combination of formal didactics, laryngectomee demonstrations, hands-on training sessions, and observation in the Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Department at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Vendors were readily available for hands-on assistance and/or demonstrations with various supplies, including artificial larynx devices, heat and moisture exchange systems, laryngectomy tubes, and tracheoesophageal voice prostheses. Experienced clinicians provided training to new clinicians and laryngectomees in the use of artificial larynx devices, production of standard esophageal voice, and tracheoesophageal voice. Laryngectomees had the opportunity to demonstrate a variety of voice options, as well as some of their “everyday living” adaptations such as blowing their nose, smelling, or playing a musical instrument.


After a total laryngectomy, a person may lose his/her vocal cords and may learn from professionals how to talk again; however, the IAL meeting and Voice Institute is about more than learning how to talk again. It is sharing how to adapt to the many changes that take place following a total laryngectomy and how to function, even thrive, as one did before surgery.


Additional historical coverage of the Voice Institute is provided in the following reference: Reeves, S., Alaryngeal Speech Rehabilitation Training. Salmon, S. (ed), Alaryngeal Speech Rehabilitation. Austin, Texas: Pro-Ed, 1999.

Our WebWhispers Library also contains detailed tips, audio samples and suggestions for SLPs and laryngectomees wanting to know more about some of the adaptations discussed above. Here is one link to get you started:


Even as this meeting is wrapping up, next year’s 2018 Voice Institute is already taking shape. The following announcement is from the new IAL Voice Institute Director, Dr. Caryn Melvin:


Save the date! June 6-9, 2018 for the International Association of Laryngectomees Annual Voice Institute. Come join us in Orlando, Florida at the Holiday Inn at Lake Buena Vista for a varied and inclusive look at all aspects of laryngectomee rehabilitation. This 4-day course is a comprehensive introduction to laryngectomy assessment and rehabilitation. This course is geared toward the speech-language pathologist who is beginning to work with laryngectomy patients or who would like to learn more about working with this population. It is also ideal for allied health professionals, graduate students or family members who want to learn more about laryngectomy. This conference is an excellent foundation for more advanced courses such as the Association for Head and Neck Cancer Rehabilitation (AHNCR) Clinical Laryngectomy Conference or other advanced topic conferences. Opportunities for hands-on skill building will be offered for the tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis, standard esophageal speech and the artificial larynx device. CEUs will be available. Inquiries can be made at: ialvoiceinstitute@gmail.com.


This month’s column is written with gratitude for my dear mentor and friend, R.E. (Ed) Stone, Jr., Ph.D., who, along with his wife Dee, are a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to me. His original VoicePoints column in 2003 provides a more detailed review of the Voice Institute and can be found at: http://www.webwhispers.org/news/documents/WhispersontheWeb-December2003.pdf


Many thanks to Susan Reeves, M.S., CCC-SLP and Caryn Melvin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP for also contributing to this month’s VoicePoints. As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions for our monthly newsletter (kbalmand@gmail.com). Check back next month and into the fall as we discuss topics such as troubleshooting methods for alaryngeal voice and how to make sense of all the mucus. We also have some fascinating new research applications to share!








Make New Friends But Keep the Old - One is Silver and the Other Gold



This picture sums it up for me – what the annual meetings of the IAL is all about. More than the speakers, classes, meetings, banquets; more than the vendors, SLPS and doctors it is about the people we meet who are just like us! Our tribe- our people – folks who get us and accept us just the way we are now. I met Ellen last year when she gave a terrific talk about humor and we decided we were twin sisters from different mothers. This year she was back as keynote speaker and we discovered we even dressed alike. Karen was new to the IAL this year and she is a dynamo who went back to work in international IT sales after her lary (she is fluent in Mandarin & Spanish in TEP) and yet another kindred spirit. This picture was taken the night we all went out to dinner at a local Italian restaurant in Newport News. The food was great, the company even better.


I posted this photo on FB both on the WW page and my personal page and the response was eye-opening. There were a number of larys, mostly women, who wrote “I wish I had some friends to hang out with like that.” What we have all been through is tough … no two ways about it. I’m basically an optimistic person but it still gets me down sometimes. Hanging out with folks who truly understand is priceless.


I usually hate any picture of myself but I love this one because clearly we are all interesting women who are seriously cool and beautiful even though we have holes in our necks and talk funny AND most importantly we are obviously having a great time regardless!!


The adorable young waiter we had took this picture and who knows what he thought of this gaggle of old gals old enough to be his grandmothers with odd voices but he was gracious and earned a nice tip. It was a moment of perfect normalcy. 3 women of a “certain age” out enjoying good food, wine and that camaraderie that only comes with age and shared experiences.


This should not be unusual but unfortunately for some of us it is. Not everyone has access to a local support group where they can meet folks face to face. I don’t and the only time I get to hang out with my “tribe” is at the annual IAL meeting. For more on our ‘tribe” please read Noirin Sheahan’s column this month under The Mindful Lary. It is the perfect description of what it feels like to find your “people”.


WebWhispers is, for many of us, the ONLY place we have to be with folks who truly get this oftentimes strange and difficult journey we have found ourselves on. We are not going to like everyone who is on this path with us. I admit there are a few I have met who I could do without but there are many more who have changed me for the better, enriched my life and helped me accept this next step on the path of life’s adventure that goes who knows where next?!

I remain optimistic (most of the time) largely due to the fact I did finally find my tribe, my people, my family. All at the touch of my fingertips here at WebWhispers.







How Long Have You Been a Laryngectomee
and How Did You Hear About WebWhispers?



My surgery was March 12, 2014, so I’m not yet 3.5 years out. My SLP had mentioned WebWhispers to me when I was scheduled for surgery within 3 days. Hard as she tried to bring me up to speed, I couldn’t remember the name of WW after I got home from the hospital. I do believe I googled “laryngectomee” about two weeks into living in the recliner at home. That led me to the website for The International Association of Laryngectomees” (IAL), which had a link in its menu to “WebWhispers”. I applied for membership in WebWhispers that day, April 4, with the following in my comments: “Not much is working like it's supposed to yet and I am eager to learn all I can, and of course, support others, once I know what I’m talking about.”

Tom Whitworth – Powder Springs, GA
WW President
March 2014



I have been a laryngectomee since February 12, 2010. I was first diagnosed with vocal cord cancer in 2006 and had radiation done at that time. In October, 2009 the cancer returned and a laryngectomy was performed.

I first learned about WebWhispers from a speech therapist who made home visits through my insurance company after my surgery. I use an electrolarynx to speak and recently attended the IAL Conference in Virginia for the first time. I found it very informative and enjoyed the speakers.

Mike O'Connell - Staten Island, NY
February, 2010


I had my surgery on Aug 4, 2005 at the U of MN hospital in Minneapolis. I learned about WebWhispers from the speech pathologist. They all highly recommended it. So when I got home to Brainerd, MN I joined. So much good info.

Al Novak- Brainerd, MN
Class of 2005


I had my laryngectomy on Feb 14, 2017 (Happy Valentine's Day!). I was referred to Web Whispers by someone in the Oncology Department of Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah where I had my surgery. I wish I could remember if it was the doctor or the nurse, but things were a bit overwhelming at the time. All I remember is that they said it was a good resource. How true! Thank you for all you do!

Pam Lodal - Boise, ID
February, 2014


I have been a laryngectomee for 9 years. I don’t exactly recall how I found WebWhispers, but I think I was searching online and I found it. I had a trach tube before, and had done some searching online for trach tube info, so this was a natural extension of my searching.

WebWhispers website provided a lot of useful information. Hospitals and doctors, nurses, SLPs are not that informative on our condition sometimes. So the website helped to fill in the gaps, on stoma care, and other tips and tricks.

Scott Sysum - Concord, CA
Lary Aug 2008


I have been a laryngectomee for twenty-four years. If you look back to the early '90's, you will recognize that high speed internet was just a distant vision for most people. The idea of doing a web search with Alta Vista, using a dial-up modem, while your wife was trying to make a phone call is now a distant memory.


I believe it was in 1997 that I finally did some searching for laryngectomee web sites and ran into this email list run by a former Air Force officer named Dutch Helms. I returned off and on over the next couple of years and finally joined his list in 1999. The rest is history. As his list numbers expanded it first became obvious that he needed to moderate the list to exercise some control over what people were saying. It soon became obvious that he couldn't handle it alone, so he solicited a few people to become volunteer helpers. Pat Sanders, Barb Stratton, Mike Csaspo and a couple of others were among the first. Dutch asked me to be a fill in moderator in 2002, put me through a rigorous training, and I have been a substitute moderator ever since.

Carl Strand - Mystic CT,
Laryngectomy February 1993

My Lary surgery was seven years ago in June 2010. But I really do not remember for sure how I heard about WebWhispers. I think my primary SLP suggested I check it out. Or it might have been when I first visited the Portland New Voice Club. There were so many things that were a blur back then, so I guess that is understandable. Regardless, it has been invaluable to me for my own issues, and whenever I can help new folks to recover and get on with life.

Pete Meuleveld -Salem, OR
June 2010


I have been a laryngectomee for four years. Obviously it has changed my life, but my association with WebWhispers has helped out. I found WebWhispers from the IAL site and immediately got involved. I work online in a few jobs and really enjoy it. It is fun to go to the conventions and see all my friends. We all need to get out. Just because we lost our voice, doesn't mean we lost our life. I had a doctor tell me to remember what you still have not what you lost.

David Kinkead - Peoria , AZ


Discovered web whispers from Google

Mohan Raj – Bangalore, India
Lary Mar 2010

I became a Patient in December 2009. My surgeon set me up with another of his Lary patients and he told me about WebWhispers.

Loyd Enochs - Evansville, IN
December 2009



My lary surgery was in May of 2009, ten days later, had to have esophagus reconstructed with skin, an artery and a vein from my inner forearm. I was a lost puppy for a long time depressed, felt alone... and had a very rough time. About a year after my surgery, a friend got a new laptop and gave me her old one.. shortly thereafter I had to get my prosthesis changed, and told my SLP I had gotten a computer. She told me about WebWhispers. and suggested I join.

Wow, what a difference it made in my life. I no longer felt like a freak, alone... and not normal. I had finally found where I belonged. WW has been a Godsend for me, found much information, and comrades... love it... it has been the thing I needed more than anything. Pat Sanders was a great support for me... she encouraged me a lot. and helped me to finally get to the IAL meeting in Baltimore... and that was pretty much Nirvana for me.. had such a great time... met so many others... and it was eye opening, and I cherish that meeting very much..

Lynn Foti- Akron, Ohio
May 2009

I became a laryngectomee in February, 2004. I believe the WebWhispers site was recommended to me by my SLP, Dr. John Samples. I became a devoted user and follower of WebWhispers right off the bat. The most important thing I learned about was the use of the HME. Neither my surgeon nor SLP was aware of the existence or purpose of the HME. I was able to print HME articles and other information available on WebWhispers and present them to my docs and get a prescription for the HME supplies.

Another great benefit of WebWhispers was learning about the annual IAL meetings. I attended my 1st meeting in Anaheim, CA, in the summer of 2004. I attended as a Voice Institute Pupil (VIP), met Dutch Helms and was floored when I entered a large meeting room filled with the sounds of ELs, TEPs, Tokyo Artificial Larynx and esophageal speech. Our Sonoma County, CA, laryngectomee support group co-sponsored the 2009 IAL annual meeting in San Mateo, CA, and I have attended the annual IAL meetings in Buffalo & Dallas.

I still use WebWhispers all the time for new medical info and new product information, and always look forward to reading the monthly Whispers on the Web newsletters.

Greg Smith - Windsor, CA
February, 2004


I have been a Laryngectomee for 27 years. I first heard of Web Whisperers from Dutch Helmes when I met him at a Texas Laryngectomy Association meeting. Web Whisperers was still an idea and had not come to the place where it is today.

Sally North – Dallas, TX



I have been a Lary for over nine years. I went to my first IAL Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas just 4 months after my surgery. That's when I met Pat Sanders and we became instant friends. She suggested that I join her group called Web Whispers and later she asked me to become one of her east coast moderators. I wasn't sure that I would enjoy screening messages but I was willing to try. I'm sure she is proud to know that I am still doing the job she, and her experienced moderators, trained me to do.

Tom Olsavicky - Newport News, VA
2008 Laryngectomee


In December 1996, Dutch Helms started his Cancer of the Larynx website which attracted 10 members. It is believed that Wayne Baker and John Ready are the only surviving members out of the original 10. One year later there were 130 members and I believe I was part of that group. Back then there was only the website, and all communication was done via a clumsy email system where Dutch manually forwarded all emails to the group.

In 1998, at the urging of Pat Sanders, we switched to the current List Server system and “WebWhispers” was formed. Through the years we have grown to over 2,000 members and unlike most laryngectomee organizations we continue to grow each year. Last year we averaged over 21,000 hits per month on our website and over 3 emails per day.

The service and support we provide depends on people knowing who we are and how to find us, so that is why I asked this month’s question. Thank you so much for the above responses.

Jack Henslee – Stockton, CA
Class of 79,88, and 95




Next Month's Question:

“When did you get your first computer? Tell us about your skills and how you use it.”



Thank you for your submissions. Edits are used for length, clarity and to keep comments on subject of the month. 

Staff of Speaking Out






Finding Our Tribe

I had my laryngectomy on 25th July 2013 – almost 4 years ago. I found WebWhispers about 6 months later on one of my first days in my own apartment after the surgery (I’d been staying with friends for the previous months). I was probably looking up something to do with laryngectomy on the web and stumbled on the link to WebWhispers. I remember my elation on finding there was a vibrant community of laryngectomees that I could join. That gave me a great sense of optimism about laryngectomee life. It was a new beginning.


My speech therapist had arranged for me to meet one laryngectomee prior to surgery, and she was evidently quite happy with life and spoke clearly with her TEP. I should have been reassured but maybe I was too numb with shock to feel anything. Over the seven weeks in hospital after surgery I noticed a few other laryngectomees. One was in ICU with me. I never got to see their face, but heard the weird cough and wondered what awful surgery they had gone through. It was only when the physiotherapist later asked me to cough, I realised that this weird sound was a feature of laryngectomy. My heart sank. Who would have thought we could be so attached to the sound of a good throaty cough!

Another Lary was on the same ward as me. Though I felt a close bond of kinship, I could never muster the courage to approach him. I’d never heard him speak – I think he was, like me, using a white-board. We used to smile sympathetically at one another as we passed in the corridor, but never got any further than that.

I got some complications about a week after surgery and was transferred to a High Dependency Unit. There was a man opposite me who had the tell-tale bib of a lary. He seemed to be in total shock. I could never even catch his eye to smile a hello. His wife would rush in at visitor’s hour, and pull her chair close to his bed. For the next hour he would stare into space, never looking at her. Neither of them made any attempt to communicate.

I could empathise with their predicament. Life had dumped them overboard from the raft of delusion where we fool ourselves that ‘bad things happen to other people’. They were both stricken dumb with shock.

I also got to recognize another Lary who was on a different ward to me. Again we would smile knowingly at one another as we met in a corridor, but never stopped to scribble any greetings on our white-boards. Ships that pass in the night.

Not having had any happy encounters with other laryngectomees, you can imagine what a joy it was to stumble across the Webwhispers site. I still remember the great surge of optimism that took hold of me upon finding my new tribe!

If any of you saw the documentary ‘African Cats’ you will remember the wonderful scene where the cub Mara is reunited with her tribe. After her mother died, Mara had been adopted by another lioness but when they were attacked by a rival pride all the cubs scattered. For months Mara struggled to survive alone on the African plains. She made a few attempts to re-join the pride but they ran her away. It was the dry season with little prey to catch and she would just have been another mouth to feed. Then the rains came, the herds of wildebeest returned to the plains and Mara even managed to make a kill herself.

The old pride realise she is now an asset. Mara skirts warily around their territory, watching for the usual signals of rejection. When these don’t come, she races towards them. Her joy is so immense she cannot contain herself and dives on her adopted mother as if she were pouncing on prey. They roll around and Mara gets a few snarls but undeterred she tumbles others into the melee. Lots of rolling and growling but that’s the way a lion pride stages a ‘welcome home’ party! The rolls and growls are soon followed by nuzzling and grooming, as Mara is happily adopted by the pride.

It’s a graphic description of the joy of belonging. We need our tribe. They tell us we’re important, valued. Of course our families and friends do this too. Friends were my saviours after laryngectomy, they coaxed me back into the world. And my first meetings with family unearthed a happiness beyond words.

Despite all that, there was this new reality of being different to my family and friends. Unable to talk or eat in those first months, lugging around carts of medical equipment wherever I went. There was a tinge of shame about all that, a wish to apologize for being such a nuisance.

That evening when I stumbled across WebWhispers, I felt my first taste of pride as a laryngectomee. Here was a group of spirited, intelligent people helping one another. Going through the forum I got to know some of the mainstays of the group and met Larys who were living successfully, even telling jokes and sharing photos. I was overjoyed. I had found my tribe. Like Mara, I raced towards you and tumbled in!






A true story of how I met a refined elderly lady in the middle of the night, outside her house front door as I was struggling on the ground with a fighting shop-breaker who was trying to escape. Nevertheless the elderly grey haired lady and myself maintained our conversation in that typical British politeness. Worthy of a smile.




One night in 1952 I was on duty at the Brixton Crime Patrol standing in a deep shop doorway to get out of the cold night wind when during the early hours I suddenly saw a face peering around the corner of the road opposite. I had myself a customer, a potential burglar who was about to commit a shop-breaking and was making quite sure that the main road was clear of the odd pedestrian or passing car before committing his foul deed.

Eventually he came out onto the pavement, carrying a brick and raising his arm he hurled the brick at a jeweller’s shop window. Even as the glass pane was falling shattered to the pavement, with an appalling din, he was moving forward to grab his loot and I had emerged from my hiding place and was racing across the road to grab him.

He suddenly realised that I was almost on top of him and threw himself sideways and ran terribly fast down that same side turning with me in close pursuit. After several streets he was beginning to slow down and I caught up with him, but instead of giving up the fool started to fight me. A fist fight went on for a couple of minutes, until at last I got him to the ground with me laying beside him, my legs wrapped round his waist, one of my arms around his neck forcing his head back and my other hand was forcing an arm up his back in a half-nelson.

We had finished up on the deck in this locked in position down the garden path of an old Victorian house and the villain in his struggles was kicking at the street door. I knew that once I got my breath back and tried to stand up with my prisoner, the fight would start again in his attempt to escape and I knew by the size of this man the trouble I would have. There were no such things as personal radios in those days and very few households had telephones. As I was contemplating my next move, so as not to lose my prisoner, the street door opened very slightly
and a very elderly lady peering round the door with her hair in curlers, looked down in amazement at us.

I asked her if she had a telephone and she said that she had so I asked her to dial 999 and tell them that an officer needed urgent assistance. She vanished and shortly afterwards the door opened again and she said that she had done that. 
She then said, “My sister told me to ask you if you would like a cup of tea, Officer, and do you take sugar and we’re afraid we only have biscuits.”

I found it hard not to smile at this but thanked her very much and explained I was pretty tied-up at that particular moment. She smiled sweetly and closed the door.

The prisoner said, “The bleedin’ old cow, she didn’t offer me a cup.” I pushed his arm further up his back until he yelped with pain, “Wotcher do that for?”

“Don’t be rude, the lady might hear you.”





This was originally published 3 years ago and is still one of my favorites from Len’s True Tales of a London Bobby series. It still makes me chuckle and I hope it lightens your day as well. ~ Donna






Got Windows 10?

Time goes by faster than we may like and that is very true in the realm of software. Windows 7 (which I still use) has until the year 2020 before it will expire. Meaning that Microsoft will no longer support it with updates and fixes.

Many of you may feel this is not something to be concerned about but consider this. Microsoft has its reputation as a secure source of operating system software and of course its business goals...selling more products. If Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 or Windows XP then it must also restrict the use of those systems in order to maintain the integrity of Windows 10 as well as its other products.

By allowing operating systems that are not being maintained leaves them vulnerable to intrusion which in turn opens the door to infect systems that are being maintained. Sort of like "one bad apple spoils the whole basket". So should you switch to Windows 10 now? You can if you like but I prefer another alternative which is to install Windows 10 now and use it as I wish alongside Windows 7. This is a very real possibility and, no, you don't need a second computer. Best of all it’s free! There are some limitations on this free version but it really is Windows 10 and it really works.

To begin with (for those of you who have never ventured into the deep end of the computer world) you will need to partition your hard disk to have a new partition ready to install your new Windows 10 on. Depending on your hard disk size and how you use your PC you will need 20-30 MG. for the new installation. Bob Rankin has put together a step by step article for you to painlessly prepare your system by creating a new partition, which will allow you to install Windows 10 alongside your Windows 7 and once completed you will be able to boot from either operating system.  http://askbobrankin.com/windows_10_tip_dual_boot_setup.html


Once you have successfully partitioned your hard disk you will need to download your free copy of Windows 10. To do that you'll need a USB flash drive (thumb drive) of at least 5 GB capacity. You can use a read write CD if you prefer and if you have one however this is something that newer PC's no longer have, but if you do it will work.

You can follow Bob's Tip #2 article step by step guidance and in 30-40 minutes you'll have your free copy of Windows 10. A few reminders for you again. This is not an activated copy of Windows 10. It sets limits on how much personalization you can do, in other words it may seem to be crippled in some ways, but it is a working copy of Windows 10. You can use it just as you would any other Windows system including using your own files you have been using.

To continue follow this link to Bob's Tip # 2 Article:


Now that you have Windows 10 what do you do with it? Well, Bob has thought ahead for you to give you a bit of a tutorial on the Windows 10 landscape to make it a bit easier. Bob has put together a series of how to articles that lay out an easy to navigate pathway to painlessly transition to Windows 10. This is Tip #3:

One of the many complaints about Windows 10 (and Windows 8 before that) was the demise of the Start Menu. Windows 10 has tried to meet users half way with a start menu that has a small bit of the old familiar Windows 7 style menu and the new "Metro" look introduced with Windows 8. Many folks are still not satisfied and for those of us who really liked the Windows 7 version we have found "Classic Shell" to be an excellent replacement menu. You can download the "Classic Shell" free of any charges from: http://classicshell.net

Configure it to your taste or just accept the default settings. The default settings are those of Windows 7, but you can configure it back to Windows XP if you prefer. (I like it so much I even use it on my windows 7 desktop.)

Summertime and the Music is Streaming

As you get ready for the summer months and your time on the beach or in the woods you may want to review your music choices . There are so many available today for those who are willing to pay for the selections and features of some providers , but as an average semi-retired/non-working Lary I have a preference for the "free" providers. Also as an Amazon Prime member I get a ton of free music that I can stream through my PC or Amazon Echo.
Actually my favorite is YouTube. Since I spend a lot of my time on my desktop I can start it up on Autoplay and let it play my playlists or just let it randomly play the "Best of...".

In general, trying to find a single source to compare all the services is tough but once again Bob Rankin has put together a listing of the most popular music services and their features...

For those of you in the UK and think you are forgotten you may have seen this group in 2014 who won the opportunity to perform for the Queen...








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