Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

A Word About Word #2 (Some Useful Tricks)

Folks, I have been using Microsoft’s document maker (aka “text editor”, or “word processor”) –  Word – basically since it first came out, back in the Paleozoic Age of computing (circa 1984, or so) so I was pleasantly surprised when I reviewed a Word Tips article where I actually learned something new.

MS Word document iconHere it is (you might not know all these either..) Five tips that will increase your Word productivity

Most of us don’t have time to discover all the ins and outs of the software we use on a daily basis. We learn on the fly, we occasionally pick up a tip or shortcut, and we grudgingly plow through the Help system when we absolutely have to.” Read more..

Also, down at the bottom, there’s: Additional resources

And, yes. People still use Office (Word/Excel/Access/PowerPoint/Outlook) and yes, they “own the disc”. (Frankly, I think you always want to have the disc..)

Audience participation: Is anyone out there actually using Toucan for backup/sync? Or.. tried to? I’d appreciate some ‘feedback’, if you’d be so kind.

Today’s quote:A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs.” ~ Joan Welsh

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

January 26, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, MS Office, MS Word, PC, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Topics Of Interest

Busy day here, but I found some good articles whose topics I hope you will find interesting, and the info provided, valuable. Some “recommended reading”, if you will.

How The New ‘Protecting Children’ Bill Puts You At Risk

A bill now makes the online activity of every American available to authorities upon request under the guise of protecting children from pornography..

“Protecting Children” forces ISPs to retain customer names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and dynamic IP addresses..

It’s like having your wallet plus the web sites you visit tracked and handed over on request. These logs are now going to be retained for the scope of one and a half years.Read more..

(Those of you with a brain might wanna make a point of reading this one.. This is just plain wrong [IMHO]. The article contains a link for voicing your opposition.)

• 10 ways to safeguard your college-bound student’s computer

You protect your corporate systems, but what about that back-to-school laptop you just bought your kid? Here are some things you can do to keep your student safe from cyber dangers.Read more..

Five reasons Android is superior to the iPhone

While on vacation, I was reminded (yet again) how superior the Android platform is to the iPhone.Read more..

Creating Shortcuts to Google’s Gmail, Docs, Tasks, Calendar and Contacts

I am a big Gmail user and have come to depend on Google’s Gmail and many of the other Google apps as an online personal information manager.Read more..

Three things Chromebooks need to fix to win buyers

While Chromebooks have the potential to win corporate customers, I still think three things need to happen before Chromebooks will attract consumers and businesses in large numbers.Read more..

The 10 Best Apps Of July From The Daily App

From Google+ for iPhone to Firefox for Android, here’s a glimpse at the best mobile apps we’ve featured in July on The Daily App blog.Read more..

10 things you should still do to every Windows PC

There are at least 10 things you should take a few minutes to do to every new Windows PC to get it ready for daily use. Don’t let your back-to-school PC drag your first semester down. Read more..

10 Cool Security Features In Mac OS X Lion

No doubt, when it comes to security, Apple’s new Mac OS X Lion is shedding its spots and is ready to roar. As the dust has settled on the release of Apple’s Mac OS X Lion, unveiled July 20, experts have started asking, “Yes, but is it secure?”Read more..

And for the super-Geeky.. (Here at T4E Headquarters, “geek” is a compliment.)

i-NVMM: Securing non-volatile memory on the fly

Computer memory is a treasure of unencrypted information. Fortunately, power off and it disappears. That’s not the case with next-generation memory.Read more..

10 Biggest Cyber Attacks Of July

The lazy days of summer were anything but for hackers this month. If anything, hackers were ramping up their efforts under increased pressure from international and domestic law enforcement agencies.Read more..

(Hmmm.. maybe you all should look at this one also..)

Today’s quote:I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.”  ~ Abraham Lincoln

Have a great day, everybody. And what do you say, let’s do the right thing.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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August 2, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, computers, cyber crime, Google, Internet, Microsoft, mobile, News, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

First ‘Quik Reco’ Of The Year

Folks, 2011 is starting off a busy year, and I only have time – at the moment – to bring you a quick recommendation for a read I found to be ‘most excellent’. This article tells a “tech support” story that I found delightful (I am a tech, after all) and I believe you will not only enjoy it too but, maybe pick up a pointer or two. (My apologies to all grammarians out there.)

Please see, Story of the F11 Computer Fix

I recently was called upon by a friend, to help him fix a computer problem that he described as something that replicated a browser hijacker involving Internet Explorer. I really could not get much out of what was occurring without sitting down at the PC; besides, I hadn’t seen the guy for awhile and I thought, why not, let’s get dirty…”

* What Is The “Windows key” Good For?
* Tip: Keyboard Shortcuts – Manage Your Windows with Alt
* Using Your Keyboard Instead Of Your Mouse*

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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January 3, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, tech, troubleshooting | , , | 6 Comments

What Is The "Windows key" Good For?

Have you ever wondered about that keyboard key (in the lower left) that has the Microsoft logo on it? Maybe wondered what it does?

That is called the “Windows key”, and it is useful for launching several ‘keyboard shortcuts‘. Keyboard shortcuts expedite common operations by reducing input sequences to a few keystrokes, hence the term “shortcut”. Not only do keyboard shortcuts save you time and motion, they make you look savvy.

Here is a list of some Windows key shortcuts. Try them out yourself, and see if you don’t agree.

  • Windows Key + “E” – Opens a new Explorer Window. (explorer is the file manager you use to view and manage drives, folders, and files.)
  • Windows Key – Displays the Start Menu.
  • Windows Key + “DMinimizes all windows and shows the Desktop. Hitting it again opens all windows and takes you right back to where you were.
  • Windows Key + “F – Displays the Find (aka Search) all files dialog box.
  • Windows Key + “LLocks your computer, so the next person to sit at it needs to enter the User password (prevent snoops).
  • Windows Key + “M”Minimizes all open windows. Windows Key + Shift + “M”Restores all previously open windows to how they were before you Minimized them.
  • Windows Key + “R” – Displays the Run command.
  • Windows Key + F1 – Displays the Windows Help menu.
  • Windows Key + Pause/Break – Displays the Systems Properties dialog box.
  • Windows Key + Tab – Cycles through the tabs (open programs) on the Task Bar.
  • Windows Key + “U” – Displays the Utility Manager with accessibility options; Magnifier, Narrator and On-Screen Keyboard.
  • Windows Key + “X” – Opens the Mobility Center on laptops, where you can manage your settings for conserving battery, etc. (see, Travelers’ Tips for Maximum Laptop Battery Life)

I use the “R” and “E” shortcuts all the time. And, if I was in an office environment, or had kids in my house, I would use “L” religiously! Which will you use most?

Folks, a holiday weekend is again upon us. Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties. I hope you all have a great, safe, weekend.

Let’s kick things off..
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Green Day (live) Welcome To Paradise, posted with vodpod

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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September 3, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to | , , , , | 16 Comments

Icons Cluttering Windows Desktop – A Problem?

There is a compromise solution which “Power Users” know..”

Q: “Paul-
May I ask you a question? I have a few small programs on my desktop and lots of shortcuts.  Will this slow my computer any or cause any other difficulties? Thanks for your help & have a great day,”

A: On a reasonably modern computer, with reasonable graphics ability (say.. anything from 2004 to present) the number of icons on the Desktop becomes mostly a matter of personal preference, and not one of performance degradation.

True, each shortcut is usually associated with an icon (typically, a 16 x 16 pixel graphic), and Windows will have to look each one up (from its “icon cache”), and draw each one in, and this can take a moment or two (or three).. which technically you could be using for working… The more icons to draw, the longer it will take – but, we are talking moments, not minutes.

* Some people are in search of an “instant on” speed to get to their online Casino games, while other people turn on their PC on their way to brush their teeth. The first category might value those few moments.. and they may want to delete “shortcuts” (and associated icons). Deleting a shortcut does not delete the program itself.

* Some people find icons distracting, and want as few as possible; while others view them as friends, and want as many around as the screen will hold. (me.. I set my Desktop “wallpaper” to a nice, calming, nature photo, so to me, shortcut icons are a distraction.. why is there a white “W” [Word] up in that palm tree?)

There is a compromise solution which “Power Users” know: you can right-click on your Desktop, then:
Windows XP: choose “Arrange icons by” (I know.. not intuitive!)
Then uncheck Show Desktop Icons.
Windows Vista/7: point to “View“, and then click Show Desktop Icons to clear the check mark.

That will clear every icon off your Desktop, yet leave you the Taskbar.
Then, when you want access to your icons, you repeat the steps and check it again – getting them back. It’s too much hassle for me, but some folks swear by it as it gives the best of both worlds, and makes them seem tidier and more organized than they really are.

Note: Hiding all of the icons on your desktop doesn’t delete them, it just hides them until you choose to show them again.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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July 1, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, PC, performance, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows 7, XP | , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Gmail Quick Tip — Keyboard Shortcuts

The reason I am as fast on a computer as I am is my use of keyboard shortcuts to navigate, edit, and control the machine. (And, in the Realm of the Geek, one measure of your skilz is how much you can do without touching your mouse. Reaching for the mouse slows you down, and makes you look like a newb.)

I have a Gmail account (I think one or two of you may have one too) and one of the first things I did was to go into my account settings and enable keyboard shortcuts. Gmail always allows the standard editing shortcuts when you are composing (Ctrl + U for underscore, etc.), but many more are available.

To enable keyboard shortcuts, click “Settings” (upper right), and click on “enable”, and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Save changes” button. That’s it. Done.

Now you can navigate, mark, flag, reply, etc. with a keystroke. Any time you need to refresh your memory of the various commands, enter a “?” and the list will open. To see the list of available shortcut commands now, click here.

Using Your Keyboard Instead Of Your Mouse*

Shortcuts for Word

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 6, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, Google, how to | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Firefox Tips and Shortcuts

Whether you’re a beginning, intermediate or advanced user, these shortcuts and suggestions will help you get the most out of Firefox 3.

images.jpgAfter a recent update to my Firefox web browser, an unusual thing happened. Upon restart, instead of open to the standard “You’ve just upgraded Firefox!” page, (uh.. yeah. I know. I’m the guy who launched it. Duh.) it opened to a “Tips & Tricks” page.

This page has 5 tips each in Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced “levels”. I sort of hate to confess, but I found a few I didn’t know in each one.

There are tips on shortcuts, bookmarks, plug-ins, downloading, and more. Some are Firefox 3 specific, but most are generic.

It will only take you a few minutes to look over, and if you use Firefox, I believe you’ll be glad you did. Click here to visit the Firefox 3 Tips & Tricks page.

Today’s free link: A super easy way to listen to internet radio…

Today’s free download: Firefox 3 Web browser from Mozilla. “There are literally thousands of totally free ways to customize your Firefox to fit exactly what you like to do online.”

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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May 2, 2009 Posted by | advice, browsers, Firefox | , , , , , , | Leave a comment