A guide to Windows 10 new web browser – Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge Windows 10 Browser

How to master Microsoft’s new Internet browser in Windows 10.

In Windows 10, Microsoft has replaced Internet Explorer 11 with Microsoft Edge, (While IE 11 is no longer the default browser, it’s still present in the background, because many applications still use it, and is integrated into many business operations.) Edge is very good but missing a couple pieces: it does not support Chrome and Firefox extensions yet (coming soon), and it has some limitations when compared to those browsers that you should be aware of. But Edge looks like the future of Microsoft’s Web browser, so get to grip on navigating it with our hints and tips.

Edge’s touch friendly user interface

While the user interface(UI) elements in Internet Explorer were optimized for mouse and keyboard input, Edge’s address bar and top buttons have been bulked up for touch navigation. These do not push down your webpage – because Edge integrates its tabs into the title, where they operate above the address bar instead of next to it. Each tab has a large X to tap or click to close it, and there is a bigger plus sign to create a new tab. The Refresh button has been moved away out of the address bar and put next to the Back and Forward buttons.

Making Web Notes

Click the Make a Web Note button in the upper right-hand corner to swap Edge’s UI with buttons that enable pen-like input. When you click-and-drag with your mouse pointer in this mode, it will act a lot like the paintbrush tool in Adobe Photoshop and draw a line that follows where you move your mouse pointer (or your fingertip, if you have a touch screen device). The buttons in the upper left are fairly intuitive. Click the leftmost one to open your colour picker and brush size selector. The button to the right of that switches the brush to a highlighter.

edge 4.png

The button to the left of the highlighter button switches to an eraser, but it will remove an entire stroke, rather than wiping away the part of the painted area that you’re clicking. The next button in the series lets you add or remove text annotation. The Clip tool at the end of the series saves a selected area of the screen.

Oddly, none of your Web Notes results can be saved as an image file. You can only send them to OneNote or add them to your Favorites.

Using Favorites (bookmarks)

Ctrl-D in Edge gives you two ways of bookmarking a page. It defaults to creating a favorite, which is more or less a bookmark. Another option is Reading List. This works like Pocket – this list is organized by thumbnails with captions. It’s basically a more visual bookmark for quicker navigation. As with Internet Explorer, you can access your bookmarks and reading list by pressing Ctrl-I. But unlike Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, there is no search function here. And favorites and Reading List items are sorted only in reverse (the most recent entries show up first). Edge would gain from an add-on that sorts this properly.

edge screen shot 1.png

You can right-click your favorites to do things like rename it or open it in a new tab. However, right-clicking a Reading List item only gives you the option to delete. Both of these context menus pale in comparison to the ones available in Internet Explorer 11, Chrome, and Firefox. For example, you cannot create a desktop shortcut of anything that you have favorited.

Setting a start page and tab behavior

Pretty much every browser defaults to opening a start page or a blank page. If you’d prefer that Edge open where you left off, you’ll need to dig into your settings. Click the button with three dots in the upper right-hand corner — it’s labeled More Actions. Then click Settings at the bottom.

Be aware that there is no mechanism for returning your choices to default settings. So if you want to remember the original settings, take screenshots before you change anything.

With the Settings pane open, go to the Open With section and click Previous Pages. The next time you open Edge, it will reload the same tabs and pages you were looking at when you closed the program.

edge screen shot 6.png

While you’re here, you can change what happens when you open a new tab. The default is Top Sites, a grid of your most-accessed websites. This is the most useful selection for many of us, but feel free to experiment. You can also clear your browser history here.

Tip: If you’ve accidentally closed a single tab instead of the whole browser, get it back by pressing Crtl-Shift-T.

Managing your browsing history

If you want to look at your browsing history, Edge unfortunately does nothing when you right-click the Back button. Press Ctrl-H instead, which is a nearly universal shortcut for accessing browser history. If you prefer navigating there with a mouse, click the Hub button in the upper right, which has three horizontal lines on it, and click the History button, which looks like an analog clock face with a circular arrow going around it. (The names of these buttons appear when you hover your mouse pointer over them for a couple seconds.)

edge screen shot 2.png

The X on the right-hand side deletes all history entries categorized under it, such as Last Hour, Last Day, and Older. Edge won’t ask you to confirm this deletion, so be careful where you click. Choose Clear All History, however, and you’ll see a menu of deletion choices. The Show More link reveals more clearing options, but most users don’t need to mess with those.

When you want to close the History pane, click the Hub button above it or click an empty space on the webpage you’re viewing. Ctrl-H does not close it. If you want to keep this pane open, click the thumbtack to “pin” it. Clicking the Hub button will still close the pane, even when it’s pinned.

Advanced Settings: Home, forms, search, and more

Advanced Settings is the button at the bottom of the settings pane; you may have to scroll down to see it. But fear not, these “advanced” settings aren’t really that technical. For example, you can toggle the presence of the Home button that you may have gotten used to in IE 11. You can also toggle pop-up blocking and the Adobe Flash player. If you have a third-party password manager, you can tell Edge to stop offering to remember your passwords.

Turning off Save Form Entries is a good idea if you’re using the browser to send credit card information, home addresses, and other sensitive data. If an unauthorized user gains control of your device, they’ll be able to dig that data up. The Do Not Track system is only moderately useful, because websites must agree not to track you. The dangerous websites are the ones that are least likely to accept this request.

By default, Microsoft Edge uses Bing when you search in the address bar. If you prefer Google, you must go to Google’s website, then open Edge’s settings pane again, scroll down to View Advanced Settings, click it, scroll down to the “Search in the address bar with” drop-down menu, click Bing to open the menu, click the choice labeled “<Add new>,” click www.google.com, and select “Add as default.”

Also, the “Show search suggestions as I type” toggle only works when Bing is the default search engine.

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The last four options in Advanced Settings are probably fine with their default selections. If you start blocking cookies, websites may have trouble remembering your settings. Page prediction can improve browsing, but Edge has to send info about your browsing habits to Microsoft for that to work correctly. This info is more or less anonymous, as far as we know, but the privacy implications are enough to leave that toggle in the off position.

Sharing links

As a rule, mobile browsers have a sharing function so you can send a text message or email with the URL of what you’re looking at on the Web. Oddly, desktop browsers usually don’t have a sharing function. Edge is the exception, putting a share button in the upper-right corner, though you may not recognize it at first. Instead of the branching dot style adopted by most of the Internet, Edge’s share button depicts dots connected in a circle.

In a fresh installation of Windows 10, you are limited to three sharing options: Twitter, the Mail app, and Microsoft OneNote. OneNote is digital journal that works like Google Keep. When you use OneNote with a Microsoft account, you can access your entries on other devices that use a Microsoft account and have OneNote installed. (Find out more about the difference between local and Microsoft accounts in the next section.)

edge screen shot 3.png

To expand your Edge sharing options, fire up the Windows 10 app. Instead, you press the Windows key or click the Start button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and click the Store icon, which looks like a shopping bag. Unfortunately, you’ll have some trial and error finding apps to add to Edge sharing, because Edge doesn’t integrate search for Windows Store apps it can share with, and the Windows Store does not tag an app for compatibility with this function. For example, we found success with the Windows Store versions of Facebook and Poki for Pocket, but not with Viber, Line, or QQ. Right now there’s not a Windows Store version of Skype for Windows 10, so it won’t show up in Edge’s list of apps it can use to share. On the bright side, when there is a Windows Store version of an app and it has a sharing function, it will show up in the sharing list immediately after it’s installed — no need to restart Edge or Windows 10.

The Windows Store and local accounts

Since Edge has some integration with the Windows Store, and this store may be the delivery mechanism for addons, there’s a few things you should know about it. There are two ways to log in to a Windows 10 device: a local account and a Microsoft account. A Microsoft account logs you in automatically to Microsoft services like OneDrive, OneNote, and the Xbox Live app. And when you log in to your Microsoft account on another Windows 10 device, that device can automatically download all Windows Store apps associated with the account, making it easier for you to get up to speed. However, some users may not want to be logged in to a Microsoft data center for the duration of their session, despite the convenience.

Now when you download an app from the Windows Store, it will ask you to log in to your Microsoft account. If you are logging in to Windows with a local account, confirming your identity during the installation of a Windows Store app will switch your login from a local account to an Microsoft account. You can prevent this behavior and keep logging in locally, but it’s a little tricky.

After you’ve logged into your Microsoft account as requested by the Windows Store, you’ll see a window labeled “Make it yours,” where you are prompted to enter your local account password. This is where you make the switch. Click instead on “Sign in to just this app instead.” This will allow you to use the Windows Store app in the future without having to log in to a Microsoft account, unless the app is owned by Microsoft (OneDrive, Skype, and so on). And you can keep using your local account to log in to Windows 10.

Managing your downloads

Ctrl-J opens the pane that shows what you’ve downloaded with Edge — again, a shortcut that performs the same function in Firefox and Chrome. Unlike the latter two browsers, Edge does not allow you to change your download destination from the Downloads folder on the C: drive. So you’ll have to make sure that the size of your download does not exceed the available space on your C: drive. As with Edge’s Favorites pane, there is no search function here or any sorting options. You get only reverse chronology. There is also no mechanism to open the destination folder with a specific file preselected for easy interaction. You can only open the Downloads folder.

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If you click the X next to the download, that will remove the entry from the list, but the file will still be present in the Downloads folder. This is actually conventional behavior, but it’s something to be aware of.

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Getting started with Windows 10 – essential guide download

windows 10 upgrade

With the release of Windows 10 and the opportunity to upgrade for free for all legitimate Windows 7 and Windows 8, 8.1 customers. Ahead of Microsoft’s most important Microsoft Operating system for years, Lenovo has published a user guide that will help bring you up to speed.

Quite a lot has changed or been added since Windows 8.1, so for those people who decided to stick with Windows 7 – and there are many such people, the jump is now even bigger.

Lenovo’s guide serves as an excellent starting point for learning about what’s new, how things work, and what’s is different. Think Windows 10 101: introducing the Start menu, Action Center, and more.

The ‘starting to use Windows 10’ guide is for Lenovo customers, but the 23 page PDF can be downloaded by anyone who’s looking for a quick introduction to the operating system. When the guide was produced Windows 10 was still to reach RTM stage, Lenovo has worked with one of the preview builds — it’s possible to make out the desktop watermark in the screenshots — but everything should still be accurate. (Somewhat more up to date, by the way, is the image at the top of this post. This is a Windows 10 retail boxshot.

Divided up into six chapters, this is certainly not Windows 10: The Missing Manual, but it’s not supposed to be.

It’s a quick-start guide that covers the essentials so those who have not yet tried Windows 10 do not feel completely lost.

Head over to Home-Computer-Fix.co.uk for your free copy!

windows 10

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Rombertik – PC Killing Malware

rombertik malware

 

 

 

 

 

 

A virus that commits hara-kiri is a rare occurrence

Hard to believe that a piece of malware can cause so much havoc

Researchers at the Cisco-owned Talos Security Intelligence and Research Group have discovered a piece of malware, named Rombertik, that can best be described as exhibiting kleptomaniac and suicidal behaviours.

Ben Baker and Alex Chiu, who were part of the team that unearthed Rombertik, found out that this malware lives on the victim’s browser,  similar to the way a parasite does, and exfiltrates sensitive login details and other piece of information to an external server.

The data capture occurs at the source itself, i.e. as the target enters it in your browser, before the information is encrypted and sent over HTTPS.

While its propagation methods remains remarkably simple, relying mostly on social engineering and the gullibility of the weakest link in the system (i.e. human beings), it is what follows afterwards that makes it interesting.

“If the sample detected that it was being analysed or debugged it would ultimately destroy the master boot record [MBR]” wrote the pair.

A nasty piece of bits!!

Doing so just makes your computer unusable forcing you to reinstall your operating system altogether. If the malware doesn’t have the permission do that, it will encrypt the home folder and restart your computer.

That is not a new behaviour remarked David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab. “”Trashing sections of a hard disk, or corrupting data was quite common in the 1990s – that was a time when the threat landscape was dominated by cyber-vandalism e.g. Michelangelo, Dark Avenger, Maltese Amoeba, Chernobyl. Equally, it’s an approach that has been employed more recently by ‘wipers’ (e.g. Shamoon) to sabotage infected systems. Likewise, encrypting data, while used in ‘old school’ attacks for mischief (e.g. One-half) has become a key feature in today’s ransomware programs.”

Making sure that your Internet Security software is installed current and fully up to date, that you don’t click on suspicious attachments and block certain types will go a long way to protect yourself against this threat.

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Convert music & video for free with VLC

How to convert music and videos with VLC

​Sometimes the music and videos we enjoy are not in a format supported by the device we want to listen to or watch them on.

vlc player

Obtaining  software to convert music and videos for free is easy, but usually comes with some drawbacks. When you try to install the freeware, several other applications may try to sneak in by disguising themselves as tools for your computer. Also, you may end up with a converter that displays ads all over the interface.

Ensure you download VLC from official site here:

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.en_GB.html

If you’re already using VLC on your desktop, you’ll be pleased to know that not only does it play pretty much all audio and video formats, it can convert them too. Here’s how to convert between formats in VLC:

vlc media menu

Step 1: Head to Media > Convert/Save. Click Add and locate the file you wish to convert.

Step 2: Next to Profile, Select a format from the drop-down box. Ensure you pick a format supported by the device you want to play the end result on.

save location
Choose a name and location.

Step 3: Choose a destination and suitable name for the converted file, then click Start.

NB. If you’re converting a large video, you’ll see the timer on the player progress as it encodes to the new format.

Although the VLC application may lack the bells and whistles when it comes to conversion, it gets the job done!

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Does your Laptop need a new screen?

laptop screen repair coventry

Do You Need A New Laptop Screen?

Laptop Screen Repair? Or Not?
The most fragile component on a laptop is it’s display.  Below are listed problems and possible solutions to check to see if you require a new laptop screen. We can diagnose your screen issue and let you know what we find.

Dead Pixels

Dead Pixels is a term given to pixels on a LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen that remain unlit or black. Each pixel on an LCD screen is made from 3 separate sub-pixels: red, green and blue. It is when these different colours are combined, they form the colours that users see on the monitor. Dead pixels are rare and largely go unnoticed but if you have just bought a new laptop or monitor then you could be entitled to a warranty replacement if you have more than 0.05% of dead pixels.

Dim Screen

Normally occurs when it has a faulty or broken backlight CCFL (cold-cathode fluorescent tube) or faulty inverter. If the back light has gone then you may have noticed faded colours over a period of time or seems like the monitor has to “warm up” before it gets fully bright.  If the inverter is malfunctioning then your screen won’t light up the backlight leaving the monitor with a dim display. You may just about see a very feint image.

Cracked Screen

The LCD screen is one of the most delicate and vunerable to damage parts of a laptop – and probably the most common repair home-computer-fix.co.uk do. It can be caused by dropping it, or simply shutting the laptop with a pen left on the keyboard, flexing the screen when opening and closing (always close by holding the screen in the top centre) etc.

Cracked notebook screens are not repairable and require replacing.

Lines On Your Screen

If your LCD screen exhibits vertical or horizontal lines then this could indicate either a faulty LCD screen or faulty graphics card/chip.  To test if it is the screen or your display drivers / software is to connect your laptop to an external monitor. If the image appears ok on the external monitor then you have a faulty LCD screen which will need replacing.

Black Screen

The LCD screen does not have enough brightness or a black screen usually means you have a defective or dead backlight (CCFL) or inverter.  To test your fault is the screen and not your laptop (faulty battery, dead cpu, dead graphics cards etc) connect your laptop to an external monitor. If the image appears okay on the external display then the fault is your screen and needs investigating.  If the external monitor is also black or you dont have any activity coming from your laptop (no lights, no hard disk light flashing etc) then the problem is more likely stemming from your laptop.

Flickering Screen

Flickering can be the result of a broken cable from the internal motherboard to the inverter. This cable normally runs through the hinge and can get damaged due to twists when opening/closing the laptop.  It if it not the cable then it is likely the inverter is failing.

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Help with Recognizing and Avoiding Spyware

How toTell If Spyware Is on Your Computer

The following symptoms may indicate that spyware is installed on your computer.

  • You are subjected to endless pop-up windows.
  • You are redirected to websites other than the one you typed into your browser.
  • New, unexpected toolbars appear in your web browser.
  • New, unexpected icons appear in the task tray at the bottom of your screen.
  • Your browser’s home page has suddenly changed.
  • The search engine your browser opens when you click “search” has been changed.
  • Certain keys fail to work in your browser (e.g., the tab key doesn’t work when you are moving to the next field within a form).
  • Random Windows error messages begin to appear.
  • Your computer suddenly seems very slow when opening programs or processing tasks (saving files, etc.).

How to Keep Spyware from Getting Installed on Your Computer

To avoid unintentionally installing it yourself, follow these good security practices.

    • Don’t click on links within pop-up windows. Because pop-up windows are often a product of spyware, clicking on the window may install spyware software on your computer. To close the pop-up window, click on the “X” icon in the titlebar instead of a “close” link within the window.
    • Choose “no” when asked unexpected questions. Be wary of unexpected dialog boxes asking whether you want to run a particular program or perform another type of task. Always select “no” or “cancel,” or close the dialog box by clicking the “X” icon in the titlebar.
    • Be wary of free downloadable software. There are many sites that offer customized toolbars or other features that appeal to users. Don’t download programs from sites you don’t trust, and realize that you may be exposing your computer to spyware by downloading some of these programs.
  • Don’t follow email links claiming to offer anti-spyware software. Like email viruses, these links may serve the opposite purpose and actually install the spyware they claim to be eliminating.

As an additional good security practice, especially if you are concerned that you might have spyware on your machine and want to minimize the impact, consider taking the following action.

  • Adjust your browser preferences to limit pop-up windows and cookies. Pop-up windows are often generated by some kind of scripting or active content. Adjusting the settings within your browser to reduce or prevent scripting or active content may reduce the number of pop-up windows that appear. Some browsers offer a specific option to block or limit pop-up windows. Certain types of cookies are sometimes considered spyware because they reveal what web pages you have visited. You can adjust your privacy settings to only allow cookies for the website you are visiting (see Browsing Safely: Understanding Active Content and Cookies for more information).

How to Remove Spyware

    • Run a full scan on your computer with your anti-virus software. Some anti-virus software will find and remove spyware, but it may not find the spyware when it is monitoring your computer in real time. Set your anti-virus software to prompt you to run a full scan periodically (see Understanding Anti-Virus Software for more information).
  • Run a legitimate product specifically designed to remove spyware. -Many vendors offer products that will scan your computer for spyware and remove any spyware software. Popular products include LavaSoft’s Adaware, Webroot’s SpySweeper, PestPatrol, and Spybot Search and Destroy.
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Laptops and liquids – Seconds Count What to do?

laptop water damage repair coventry
What to do if your laptop is subjected to a water (liquid) spill. When I ask people what they would do they say reach for a absorbent cloth and try to soak up the liquid. Then shortly after their laptop cuts off never to be switched on again, this is only because the liquid has found its way onto the motherboard and short circuited.

This can be made even worse if its a fizzy drink like Coke or worse alcohol the damage doesn’t stop there, the issue with these liquids is that they will also corrode the circuit board after the initial short circuit, which makes it much more difficult to repair and normally more costly.

Sticky motherboard

Correct Procedure:

Step 1 – Remove Laptop Power source + Power down
If your laptop is connected to the mains, disconnect it. Then power down as quickly as possibly – This does not mean through the usual Operating system ‘Start’ ‘Shutdown’ sequence as this will take to long.

Step 2 – Remove the Battery

Laptop Battery – After removing the A/C power – whip out the battery for instant power off!

removing laptop batteryStep 3 – Place laptop face down
Although this may be pretty obvious as to why you should place it face down, I’m going to briefly explain the reasoning. By placing face down you are helping to stop the liquid finding its way onto the venerable motherboard, obviously this will depend on the laptop design but most are the same.

If your laptop does not extend fully like the one in the picture you could for example hang it off the edge of a flat surface (like a table top) with the keyboard face down and with a couple of books to weigh it down. Also putting your laptop somewhere warm (for example an airing cupboard will help speed up the drying process).

laptop open face down

Where appropriate laying in uncooked Rice will also help draw and soak up moisture.

DO NOT POWER BACK ON UNTIL INTERNALLY CHECKED!
Following these instructions will help to minimize damage – then take you laptop for local repair (www.home-computer-fix.co.uk)

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How to tell If Spyware Is on Your Computer?

spyware image

These symptoms may indicate that spyware is installed on your computer:

You are subjected to endless pop-up windows.
You are redirected to websites other than the one you typed into your browser.
New, unexpected toolbars appear in your web browser.
New, unexpected icons appear in the task tray at the bottom of your screen.
Your browser’s home page has suddenly changed. The search engine your browser opens when you click “search” has been changed.
Certain keys fail to work in your browser (e.g., the tab key doesn’t work when you are moving to the next field within a form).
Random Windows error messages begin to appear.
Your computer suddenly seems very slow when opening programs or processing tasks (saving files, etc).

How to Keep Spyware from Getting Installed on Your Computer To avoid unintentionally installing it yourself, follow these good security practices:

Don’t click on links within pop-up windows.
Because pop-up windows are often a product of spyware, clicking on the window may install spyware software on your computer.
To close the pop-up window, click on the “X” icon in the titlebar instead of a “close” link within the window.
Choose “no” when asked unexpected questions. Be wary of unexpected dialog boxes asking whether you want to run a particular program or perform another type of task.
Always select “no” or “cancel,” or close the dialog box by clicking the “X” icon in the titlebar.

malware
Be wary of free downloadable software.
There are many sites that offer customized toolbars or other features that appeal to users. Don’t download programs from sites you don’t trust, and realize that you may be exposing your computer to spyware by downloading some of these programs.
Don’t follow email links claiming to offer anti-spyware software. Like email viruses, these links may serve the opposite purpose and actually install the spyware they claim to be eliminating.
As an additional good security practice, especially if you are concerned that you might have spyware on your machine and want to minimize the impact, consider taking the following action. Adjust your browser preferences to limit pop-up windows and cookies.
Pop-up windows are often generated by some kind of scripting or active content.
Adjusting the settings within your browser to reduce or prevent scripting or active content may reduce the number of pop-up windows that appear.
Some browsers offer a specific option to block or limit pop-up windows.
Certain types of cookies are sometimes considered spyware because they reveal what web pages you have visited.
You can adjust your privacy settings to only allow cookies for the website you are visiting (see Browsing Safely: Understanding Active Content and Cookies for more information).

spyware related terms
How to Remove Spyware Run a full scan on your computer with your anti-virus software:

Some anti-virus software will find and remove spyware, but it may not find the spyware when it is monitoring your computer in real time.
Set your anti-virus software to prompt you to run a full scan periodically (see Understanding Anti-Virus Software for more information).
Run a legitimate product specifically designed to remove spyware. -Many vendors offer products that will scan your computer for spyware and remove any spyware software.
Popular products include LavaSoft’s Adaware, Webroot’s SpySweeper, PestPatrol, and Spybot Search and Destroy.

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Microsoft Office 2013 Quick Start Guides

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013

Microsoft Word 2013 Quick Start Guide

Microsoft Visio 2013 Quick Start Guide

Microsoft Publisher 2013 Quick Start Guide

Microsoft Powerpoint 2013 Quick Start Guide

Microsoft Excel 2013 Quick Start Guide

Microsoft OneNote 2013 Quick Start Guide

Microsoft Outlook 2013 Quick Start Guide

Microsoft Project 2013 Quick Start Guide

Microsoft Access 2013 Quick Start Guide

 

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Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

mac keyboard shortcuts

1.Control + Option + Command + Eject

Use the keyboard combination of Control + Option + Command + Eject to instantly shut down your Mac. This is a great time saver because it bypasses the shut down counter that you get when using Apple menu > Shut Down. As an alternative, you can also press Option + Command + Eject to sleep your Mac.

2. Command + Shift + A/U/D

finder

These keyboard shortcuts are used to navigate around the Finder. To open the Applications folder on your Mac, press Command + Shift + A in an opened Finder window; press Command + Shift + U to open the Utilities folder; and, press Command + Shift + D to open your Desktop folder in the Finder. These keyboard shortcuts can also be used when in an opened save dialog to navigate to these folders.

3. Shift + Command + I

new emailWhen used inside of Safari, this keyboard shortcut (Shift + Command + I) will automatically generate a new email message inside of Mail.app and paste the link of the web page you were browsing in the body text. This shortcut is great for quickly sharing a website address with a friend via email.

4. Control + D

To the bane of many Windows to Mac switchers, the Mac’s “Delete” key doesn’t actually function as the delete key as it does in Windows. The “Delete” key on the Mac instead functions as a backspace. Instead use Command + D in any text area on your Mac to delete from the front of the cursor.

5. Control + Option + Command + 8

inverted mac coloursUse this keyboard shortcut to invert the colors on your Mac’s screen. This high contrast display is used by individuals with visual impairments needing high-contrast screens.

6. Control + Command + D

dictionaryWhen writing, we often need to quickly look up the meaning of a word; however, it can be a pain to open Dictionary.app and type in the word we want to look up. Instead, we prefer this nice way to quickly look up a word. With your mouse cursor over top of the word you’d like to look up, press Control + Command + D. A dialog will then pop up with the word defined by the built-in Mac OS X dictionary. While holding down the keyboard combination, you can mouse around to different words in the document.

7. Command + Shift + 4 + Space bar

Screen shot of only required window. To grab just a one-window screenshot, press Command + Shift + 4, then when the cross hairs appear, press the space bar. The cross hairs will change to a picture of a camera that can be placed over top of the window to be captured and clicked. The resulting window-only screenshot will appear on your Desktop.

8. Option + Command + M

When working on a large task, you lose track of just how many windows you’ve opened on your Mac. To minimize all of your opened windows and clean-up your screen, just press Option + Command + M to have all of the windows minimized to the Dock.

9. Option + Shift + Command + Esc

Applications can sometimes crash. When this happens, you can press and hold Option + Shift + Command + Esc to instantly Force Quit the application, and bypassing the Force Quit app.

10. Command + `

Exposé and Command + Shift is a great way to cycle through all of the different applications and windows currently opened on your Mac, but what if you only want to cycle through the current application’s opened windows? In that case, use Command + ` This combination will cycle through all of the opened windows in the currently active application.

 

logo

 

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Using Windows Live Movie Maker: a Basic Guide

live1

 

 

 

 

 

There are three main steps when using Moviemaker to make your project:
1. Transfer files and sound/video footage to the PC
2. Editing the project
3. Saving the project in the correct format

Before you begin, create a folder for your files and working project on the Data drive of the edit suite PC. By saving all the components of your project here, they will be easily found next time you are working on the project.
Now you can begin your project: go to Start > All programs > Windows Live Movie Maker
Part one: transferring your files

Transferring a recording on a Camcorder/ Phone

1. First, switch on the camcorder and place your mini DV tape into it

2.

1

3. A new window will appear, which allows you to control the camcorder’s playback functions. You can either import the whole tape, or specific part. *If it’s a phone or other media device import the clips you require.

 

 

 

 

 

Adding content from the computer

add video adding content

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Use the buttons to view your movie as it would play. You can also use the space bar to start and stop playback. You can split clips and trim them by using the editing tools

From the Home tab, click Title

Part two: editing your project

  1. When you click on any point in your clips, the video editing toolbar will appear:

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Adding a title

1. You can add a title to the beginning of your movie:

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2.

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3.

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4.

10Using transitions and animation effects
To make the transitions between slides smoother to watch, use the tools in the animations tab.

Adding music and sound files

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2. Navigate to where you have saved your audio file(s), and click Open

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Saving your movie
Although (hopefully) you have been saving your project regularly as you go, you will need to save the finished movie in a suitable format.

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2. Navigate to your folder where you want to save the movie, and click Save.

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Your movie will now be saved as a ‘.wmv’ file, which can be played in Windows Media Player

Useful Information

Windows Live Movie Maker tutorial

Microsoft have a ‘YouTube’ channel where you can find lots of useful information, including a tutorial on getting started with Windows Live Movie Maker: http://youtu.be/3ZZij3NNyVg

Copyright
You can find huge numbers of media files on the web, but you need to be careful about copyright issues when you are using them in your work. Just as the copyright for printed text in books belongs to the author, so copyright of the vast majority of works on the internet belongs to the person(s) who created them.
There are, however, schemes that exist which allow the creators to specify the terms under which their work can be used, for example for non-commercial use. Creative Commons is a well-known example of one of these schemes.
Visit http://creativecommons.org/about for more details.

Searching for media files on the web

There are many websites where you can find image, sound and video files. Two particularly useful ones which help narrow your search down to files you might be able to reuse are:
• Creative Commons search engine: http://search.creativecommons.org/

• Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

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Toshiba Laptops hanging on ‘Please wait screen’.

Recently, I have come across the same problem on Toshiba Laptops numerous times where they hang on the ‘please wait’ screen. Fortunately, there is a solution which involves disabling a piece of software that is pre-installed by Toshiba and shipped with the laptop.The problem is caused by a program called ‘notebook performance tune up’ which runs automatically when your laptop boots up.

Disabling this service (also other related services that will most likely be slowing the laptop) is quite a simple process that takes a few minutes to perform.

Opening msconfig Vista/Windows 7 – To begin select the ‘start button’ and in the search box at the bottom of the menu enter ‘msconfig’ and press enter.

windows 7 msconfig
Opening msconfig Windows 8 – Go to your right sidebar (The one you use to shutdown) and select search.

In the search box type ‘msconfig‘ and then press enter to get the msconfig box.

msconfig

Select the start-up tab. When presented with program list – Those that are enabled and start with system will have a tick on the left hand side on those that are not set to auto start will have no tick.

msconfig startup

Toshiba Tempro

Look through the list and disable any programs that you do not want running. You are safe to disable anything marked as Toshiba (or whatever model laptop I have) in the manufacturer part but you don’t have to. You are quite safe and able to disable everything in this list and it will still boot. Because you are not deleting the programs you are just stopping them from running when you switch the machine on. You can still start the programs by clicking their icon on your desktop. Although one exception is try not to disable Security software & Antivirus software.

NOTE: If you find that you have disabled something accidentally and it has stopped something working (for example a printer) just re-enable it in start-up and reboot the laptop and you will be back to normal.

Once, everything is disabled from start up you want to prevent from starting up is complete – simply click the ‘apply’ button.

Next we want to disable the service of the program that is likely causing the slow boot on Toshiba laptops.Select the ‘services’ tab. DO NOT go through this list disabling programs as you will cause problems.

At the bottom of the screen put a tick in the box that states ‘Hide all Microsoft Services’ This prevents you disabling something important and also make the whole list shorter.msconfig hide ms services

Msconfig Toshiba

Look through the list for a service called ‘notebook performance tune up’. Untick from its box and click ‘apply’ and select ‘ok’.

You will be required to restart your computer – you may notice a improvement in system start-up speed.

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Windows 8.1 tips and tricks to aid productivity.

windows81update

Windows 8 had some pretty big changes when compared to the familiarities that were always kept with every previous upgrade of Windows that Microsoft released – Namely on this occasion the removal of the Start menu button and the addition of the tile screen were met with mixed reviews.

Well Microsoft quickly took on board the complaints and set about rectifying some of the features people did not like in Windows 8 and recently released an updated Operating system named Windows 8.1.

Below are listed 9 tips to aid productivity when using 8.1

1 – Boot to desktop

In Windows 8.1 you can now boot directly to the desktop. Although, this feature needs to be manually activated. To accomplish this right-click the Task bar > Properties > Navigation tab. Under Start screen, select the first option that says, “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start”. Click on OK or Apply.

Windows 8 – Desktop

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2 –  Give me a proper Start Button

Windows 8.1 is reintroduced a dumbed down Start button, but thankfully there are alternatives that bring back the one we liked in the Windows 7 version. One of the most popular is Classic Shell. The app offers three types of Start Button – Classic, Two Column and Windows 7.

The latest version offers improved compatibility with Windows 8.1. New features include: a shutdown button and the ability to pin programs to the task bar from an explorer windows.

3 – Open Libraries

Microsoft has disabled the libraries feature. However this can be reactivated easily. To do this open up Windows Explorer > View > Options. Select the box ‘Show libraries’ in the navigation pane to re-activate the feature.

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4 – Uninstall unused apps at the same time

Windows 8.1 allows users to select multiple apps and uninstall them all at the same time. If you ever need to do this, right click on the Start screen > Customize > Tick apps you want to uninstall.

5 – Disable Charms

Charms in Windows 8.1 aim to speed up access to menus. But if you find yourself inadvertently activating the menu with your mouse, it’s possible to disable it.

Go to Task bar > Properties > Navigation and deselect the “When I point to the upper-right corner, show the charms.”

Windows 8 – Charms

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6 – Open files in the desktop instead of Modern UI

Music, videos, pictures and PDF files are automatically opened using Modern UI apps by default, but you can changed to be opened within the desktop.

To do this, from the Windows Start screen type “default programs and click on the Default Programs icon under results. Click “Set your default programs” and choose the app you want to set as your default for your files.

7 – Keyboard shortcuts

Many people still use the mouse to perform tasks which can be done more rapidly using a keyboard shortcut. Here some useful combinations which will get you started.

Windows key + F: Opens up the Search box to help find files.

Windows key + I: Opens up the Settings Charm.

Windows key + C: Opens up the charms menu

Windows key + H: Opens the Share charm in any app you are currently in.

Windows key + M: Minimizes all windows and brings you back to the desktop.

Window key + O: Locks the orientation of the screen

Windows key + Q: Opens up the App Search pane. This now appears alone and without the Start screen.

Windows key + (full stop) + Arrow key: Moves app to the left or right of screen so you can view more than one app at once. Using the down arrow key with this combination will close the app your currently in. More shortcuts can be found.

8 – Disable notifications

Get work done without being distracted by notifications, Windows 8.1 has got you covered.

Go to PC Settings > Search & apps and then make sure the Quiet Hours switch is on. You can

then choose which times you want to be left in peace.

9 – Search locally and on the internet

The search in Windows 8.1 searches files on your computer and also for solutions on the Internet simultaneously. When you enter a term, the local files will appear as normally, but swiping to the left will bring up other web pages Bing has trawled through. This also shows up files on One Drive too.

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Learn how you can protect your children online – Advice and tips!

All parents worry about their children on the Internet especially with the horror stories you read about in the media.

I have children who use the Internet and as a parent I do worry about what they could click on and see or do by installing something in this largely unregulated world. Although I take every precaution I can to protect them.
online predator
The Internet is never more than a few clicks away from something we definitely don’t want our children to see regardless of whether your starting point is cBeebies or Google.

Fortunately there are ways we can protect our children, some of them are common sense and others are making use of freely available and really very low cost products considering the extra piece of mind they offer .

There are many different things that can be done but it amazes me as I travel around supporting peoples home computers how the majority have nothing in place to prevent children from visiting/seeing websites they shouldn’t. Many parents put it down to having less computer ‘know-how’ than their ‘digital age’ children.

Having worked in education in the past it was made apparent to never under estimate how ‘tech savvy’ today’s youngsters are, finding evermore elaborate ways to bypass school web filters to access the Internet content they required – namely games during class.

1. Parental controls on computers

Not enough parents seem to be aware of parental controls on their home computer. Parental controls enable you to limit the sites your child can access and also the times they can use the Internet (Stops them using it while you are in bed unable to monitor their use) Although the latest versions of windows and the MAC operating system do come with parental controls I personally never find them quite enough for what I want to do and they can be a bit restrictive. Security software which is quite low cost means you can:

Restrict the times a computer can access the Internet (i.e. not allow access between 11pm and 7am
Restrict sites you don’t want them to access.
Come with a host of default settings from mild filtering to heavy filtering.
Select what categories to block from abortion and pornography to weapons and social networking sites (where bullying can occur).
Has overrides as a parent so it does not restrict your use (password protected)
Adds safe search to most search engines ensuring your child cant search for anything you don’t want them to see
Generates reports where they have been so you can monitor activity
And many more features

2. Keep the family PC in a room where you can monitor what they are doing.

This is becoming more and more difficult now with the number of children having access to mobile devices and laptops which pretty much allow access to the Internet from anywhere. It is easier to control with very young children and you should try to keep the computer in a room where you can monitor their access and what they are doing rather than in their bedrooms.

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3. Setting rules

Setting rules from the offset can help to curb problems later on. Although a difficult task with the number of ways we can all access the Internet nowadays it is worth remembering that most children rely on you to pay their mobile phone bill so you do control access to it. Setting firm rules with regards to their use and punishment for not adhering to the rules (No Internet for a day, mobile phone etc.) can help. In the age of cyber bullying it is every parents responsibility to always tell you child that been abusive and threatening online is not acceptable in any form.

cyberbullying-child1

4. Educating children in Internet Safety

If we want our children to be safe on the Internet the best thing we can do is educate then on the dangers of the Internet. The below is taken from the direct gov website

To keep your child safe you should tell them not to:

  • give out personal information to people they only know online – this includes name, home address, land-line and mobile numbers, bank details, PIN numbers and passwords
  • supply details for registration without asking for permission and help from you visit chat websites that aren’t fully moderated/supervised
  • arrange to meet an online friend in person without your knowledge and permission (if you agree to let them, always go with them).
  • give any indication of their age or sex in a personal email address or screen name
  • keep anything that worries or upsets them online secret from you
  • respond to unwanted emails or other messages

5. Be open with your child

If your child does accidentally go to a site they should not, rather than a lecture try to encourage them to tell you the site and how they got there. This helps you to filter the site in the future and also makes your child feel they can come to you in the future should they have problems online.

6. Ensure that your child is using an account that does not have administrative rights.

Most computer Operating Systems have a facility to set the privileges of the user.  Microsoft Windows Operating systems tend to have 2 account types:

STANDARD – Can use most software and change system settings that do not affect other users or the overall security of the system. Things such as installing software, disabling system settings or anything that could compromise the system will require the administrator password

ADMINISTRATOR –  Has complete access to the computer. Always ensure you password protect the administrator account.

If you have children and do not feel comfortable with configuring parent & children user accounts and Internet security products properly please inquire at our website for details:

Back to: www.home-computer-fix.co.uk

STAY SAFE ONLINE!

crook

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Slow Computer Or Slow Internet (how to tell)?

Slow Computer OR Slow Internet?

slow computer

I get a lot of calls about slow Internet connections and slow computers. A slow Internet connection is nearly always confused with a slow running computer and vice versa. It is easy to make a situation much worse especially as there are so many pieces of software on the Internet that claim to speed up/clean your computer to make it run faster. The majority of these programs do more harm than good and cost you money to remove once installed.

People are always concerned that their Internet connection is slow and they want to know if there is anything they can do. After 15 minutes of looking at their computer it is normally obvious that the cause of the problem is not with their Internet connection but with their actual computer itself.

Hopefully this guide will help you diagnose which is causing the problem – whether its a slow computer or slow internet connection

Slow Computer Symptoms

A slow computer is more often than not the culprit. The symptoms of a slow computer are pretty obvious… its slow but here are a few signs to look out for.

The computer takes a long time to start up. Once you are on your desktop it takes many minutes before (which is frustrating). General use such as opening your my documents or programs like MS Word is slow.

windows 7 not responding        program-not-responding
Antivirus software and firewalls can cause major problems with connections to the Internet and are often diagnosed as problems with your Internet connection. This is not always true as it could be a corrupted Internet security suite that is blocking the connection on your computer.
Unwanted Pop-ups & programs informing you of problems are normally a forms of Malware that will slow your computer. Never choose to fix issues or install software. Examples below:

unwanted popups          speed-popup
Clicking sounds from the computer can indicate a pending hard drive failure (time to get it replaced before you loose everything – your precious photos, music collection and important documents).

failor-data-recover

A slow running computer is also one of the first signs of hard drive failure.
Your Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome etc) not responding is more likely to indicate a problem with your computer than your Internet connection.

Slow Internet Symptoms

This is slightly harder to diagnose as most people assume it is their computer that is slow understandably. The easiest way to test if it is your connection is to do a speed test on the computer considered slow and a speed test on a computer that is running okay.

You can find a speed test tool Here:
http://www.speedtest.net/

speedtest.net

It should roughly display what speeds your ISP (Internet provider) states you should be getting although this is not always the case during peak times.

www.home-computer-fix.co.uk

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