Tech – for Everyone

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

How to repair/tweak your "Send To" menu

A handy time-saver is the Send To feature, found in the right-click menu (called the “context menu”). By using the Send To command, you can quickly send a file to different locations such as a ‘zipped’ folder, another person using e-mail, or the My Documents folder.

This image shows the default places you can send your file in Windows XP: compressed file, desktop, mail recipient, My Documents, and 3½” floppy disk. You can remove Send To destinations you never use — such as the floppy drive if your machine doesn’t have one (most newer PCs don’t) — or add destinations you use frequently, in a few simple steps.

Tip of the day: Take control of your menus. This process is much like adding/removing shortcuts from your Start Up folder, which I’ve discussed in this prior article. First, we need to open the Send To folder, which is a “hidden” folder inside your Documents and Settings folder (to read my article on hiding/unhiding folders, click here). Open your Run dialogue by hitting Windows key+R, or Start >Run, and type in “sendto” (no quotes).
Here you see the Send To shortcuts which appear on your right-click submenu. To remove an item you never use, just drag it to your Recycle bin (I have already deleted the floppy drive). I frequently send files to a folder on another computer on my network, and for purposes of example I am going to demonstrate adding that to my Send To menu — but this method can be adapted for any location you’d like to send files.
[update 10/1/07: this can method can also include a printer.] Right-click on any blank area in the Send To window and select (click) New, then Shortcut.
Now the Create Shortcut Wizard opens. We need to browse to our new destination so click on the browse button. To choose a destination, click on it and then click OK. To find my folder on the other computer, I ‘drilled down’ by expanding the plus signs until I could see my folder. Now complete the Wizard by clicking OK, Next, Finish. Now my new shortcut appears in my Send To window.
Now all I have to do to send a file from this machine to my ‘storage’ machine is right-click on it…
and select “downloads on P3”.

Today’s free link: Today, some fun: Knight Online is an extremely popular online fantasy game. From site: “Knight Online is the critically acclaimed medieval fantasy MMORPG developed by Mgame and Noah System. Since its introduction in Korea several years ago, Knight Online has thrilled millions of players in over 80 countries. Players choose between El Moradian Humans and Karusian Tuareks, adventuring as rogues, warriors, mages, and priests.”

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix 

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June 14, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, file system, how to, PC, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Show off your photos with a screensaver slideshow

If you have seen someone’s customized screensaver and thought to yourself, “that’s really neat…I wonder how they did that?” then this post is for you. The trick is in using Windows’ built-in slideshow feature, and it is a straight-forward and easy adjustment to make.

Tip of the day: To create a custom screensaver slideshow, all you have to do is, basically, turn it on. It will by default show a slideshow of the pictures in your My Pictures folder, but you can point it to any folder which contains images — and here’s where the customization comes into play.

To get started, let’s assume that all you want to do is display your My Pictures folder. This will allow me to demonstrate the first step: turning on a screensaver slideshow. First, right-click on any blank area of your desktop and select Properties (in Vista, “personalize”>”screensaver”). This will open the Display Properties window. Click on the Screen Saver tab. Now go down to the drop-down arrow box labeled Screen saver (which by default should say “Windows XP”) and click on the down arrow to open your list of choices. Select “My Pictures slideshow”. Now instead of the boring black background with a moving XP logo, the screensaver will be your pictures. Click the Preview button to see what it will look like.

While we’re here, let’s take a look at some of the other settings. Here is where you can set how long a period of idle time elapses before the screensaver kicks in. If you’re in an office setting, I would reduce this timer to a low number; and if you’re at home, you might want to adjust it to give yourself a little more time. To redirect the slideshow to a different folder, and to modify your slideshow’s variables (such as how long each picture displays), click the Settings button. You should get a screen like the one pictured below.


As you can see, you can “tweak” your slideshow quite a bit here, and even add transitions between slides. Again, use the previous screen’s Preview button to see how these adjustments will actually play out. If you’re happy, you can quit here, but if you don’t want to display your whole My Pictures folder — but instead, only a subset — or want to use a different folder of pictures, keep reading.

First, open your My Pictures folder (Start >My Documents >My Pictures) and right-click on any blank area. On the menu that opens, select New, and then folder. Give your new folder a name like “slideshow”. Now fill this folder with copies of the pictures you do want to display, by right-click+dragging them into the “slideshow” folder, letting go, and selecting “Copy here”. Repeat this until you have your selections all copied.

Now that you have your slideshow folder all set up, return to the My Screen Saver Properties window (the one pictured above) and click the “…browse” button. Double-click on the “slideshow” folder (you may have to navigate to it: do so by clicking My Document >My Pictures >slideshow), and you’re done. Again, you can use the Preview button to see how it will look.

To make your PC more immune to casual browsing while you’re away from your desk, go back to Display Properties’ (right-click any blank area on your destop and select Properties) Screen Saver tab and put a check in the checkbox labeled “On resume, display Welcome screen.” If you’ve followed my advice from earlier posts, this will require your user password to log in.

Today’s free link: I don’t have my screensaver displaying my own photo’s, I have it set to display a series of “Demotivators” (free for personal use) — an amusing and ironic play on the “motivational” posters that Executive-types love to hang in work areas. If you haven’t seen the Demotivators (and their often spectacular photography) yet, do yourself a favor and click here. And be sure to browse the different categories.

*Original posting:6/26/07

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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April 24, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, Digital Images, how to, PC, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , | 4 Comments

I knew there was something about hybrids!

Someday — one day — a hybrid is going to kill a blind person, and so..
BALTIMORE – A bill intended to protect blind people and other pedestrians from the dangers posed by quiet cars will be introduced Wednesday in Congress. (AP)
(To read this news item, click here.)

Yes folks, two of our intrepid Senators are watching out for (some of) us, and so they are going to introduce a bill to enact a law which will require automakers to make hybrids noisy. This law/bill will be debated; printed up in multiple, legallese-filled hard copies (typed and re-typed), and quite probably, passed.. after all the rough edges are hammered out by our professional law makers in Washington. (After all, who wants to be seen as indifferent to the plight of the blind?)
To have this law have any real impact, it will most certainly have to made retro-active.. and owners of Hybrid 1.0’s will have to have noisemakers installed.

Hey! I have a suggestion for the sound hybrids will Have to make– the burb-b-ling sound the aircars from the cartoon The Jetsons make. (To hear what I mean, click here). says that the salary for a Senator is currently $169,300/yr., and that ain’t chickenfeed.
Hey,.. I guess they gotta do something to earn their money…

Now, I don’t want you to think I am unsympathetic to the difficulties faced by people with handicaps, but sheeze! Does this strike anyone else as ludicrous? (I just love that word. When I can’t slip it into my writing occasionally, I get cranky.) Why not just go to the auto manufacturers and suggest that maybe their quiet cars are a little too quiet? Why not encourage an auto parts/upgrades manufacturer to sell a noisemaker kit? And then tell folks that if they run over a blind person with their hybrid, and there wasn’t a noisemaker installed, they’ll get hit with a vehicular homicide charge.. and lose everything they have-ever/will-ever own because of the ‘catch’ of willful negligence and Civil Court?

No. That wouldn’t get any Senator’s names into any papers. And they couldn’t look like a hero to a “community”.
Gotta have a Federal Law.
Bell the hybrid. A Law to “prevent” something that’s never happened yet..

Sometimes.. I get tired.

[a brief aside: I want you to know, Dear Reader, that I have always been a “man ahead of his time”. My first few cars were sporty coupes, and I took the exhausts out so I could put on headers, big pipes, and glass packs and gain a few horses… loud? You betcha.]

Tip of the day: For those of you who are finding it harder to read the words on your computer’s screen (or, if you know someone who’s always leaning in and squinting at their monitor.. ahem), you may find some relief by clicking on this link,, and following the Quick Tip there.
And for those of you who need even more help, and need to make some more impressive changes,
For those with a true vision disability, an article on Windows’ Narrator and Apple’s Speech is on its way soon.

Today’s free link: I found the Jetson car sound effect by visiting and scrolling down to the “TV and Movies” category, but I could have used a keyword search as well. This is the place to go if you ever want to find a particular sound or “sound effect”.
Isn’t the Internet amazing?

PS– If you are a Senator, and want to pass a law that will REALLY help folks, try this one:
1) Members of our goods-transportation industry (trucking & railroads) will not pay more than $1.99 per gallon for diesel.
2) Diesel refinement facilities must meet production quotas as a matter of National Security. If more need to be built, certain exemptions from State and Federal environmental protection laws must be considered.
That’s how you can be hero.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.
jaanix post to jaanix

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April 9, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, PC, tech, tweaks, Windows | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments