Saturday, December 26, 2009

Internet Explorer 8 Welcome Wizard

The first time you open Internet Explorer 8 after install you will be greeted with the screen below. Click “Next”

The next screen has to do with “Suggested Sites.” Suggested Sites uses your browsing history to make web suggestions. I suggest that you select “No…” Answering “Yes…” will make surfing slower. Then click “Next”

In the screen beloow select the “Custom…” option.

Microsoft will set your search provider to their search engine by default. I prefer Google, but you will be given a choice of several at the end.

The IE 8 search box can be modified (new programming). If you want to allow search providers to install updates, click yes. I would click no because I don’t want Microsoft to install updates for Live (their search engine). More on that below.

I turn off all the “Accelerators.” You might select the “Show me...” option.

Definitely turn on “SmartScreen Filter”

Also say “Yes…” to “Compatibility Settings”

Then Internet Explorer opens with three tabs. One of the tabs is for search engines. As I said, I like Google.

For a more detailed look at Internet Explorer settings, follow this link.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

Twas the night before Christmas, and Oh, what a fervor,
It seems that the staff did not backup the Server!
The power went down and the battery failed,
the hard drives quit spinning, W-2’s must be mailed!
You called your technician, in hopes of relief,
and the magic he worked was beyond your belief!
Your Christmas is happy, ‘cause your computers are working,
May God Bless you and keep you from troubles yet lurking!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Internet Browsers

Most reading this post are using Internet Explorer (IE for brevity) on a Windows PC to "surf the net." Those using a Mac are probably using Safari. But there are other choices, and they all have their strengths. I use IE often, but sometimes I need some of the features that Firefox provides. While Opera has less third party support (available add-ons), it offers some really nice features and is one of my favorites.

Here are some links to other browsers. All are available on both the PC and the Mac.


BTW, if you have hot yet upgraded to IEv8, you should, but wait a week. Next week I will explain the options offered the first time you start IEv8 (or at least tell you how I think you should answer the questions).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Carbonite at $28 a Year

I only planned to post once a week, but this is a sweet deal, so here is a special midweek post.

Are you using Carbonite yet? Carbonite makes a copy of your data on a secure remote server. Then if your computer crashes you will have a copy of all your data that you can access from another computer or a new computer.

Perhaps you have another backup solution. If so, GREAT! (please be sure you have a reliable solution) But if not, you can get Carbonite for under $28 for the first year, or under $50 for two years. Use offer code CUST50. Just do it! The offer ends December 31, 2009. Oh, and it works on the Mac!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Keyboard Shortcuts

First, let me thank everyone that has subscribed. I hope you find these tips helpful. If you do, please feel free to share with friends and family.

In this post I am simply going to list a few helpful Windows keyboard shortcuts that may make your life easier.

Lock your computer -> Windows+L
Minimize all (show desktop) -> Windows+M
Undo minimize all -> Shift+Windows+M
Close a program -> Alt+F4
Copy -> Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Insert
Cut -> Ctrl+X or Shift+Delete
Paste -> Ctrl+V or Shift+Insert
Undo -> Ctrl+Z
Help -> F1
Activate the Menu Bar -> F10
Context Menu (same as Right Click or Context key) -> Shift+F10
Rename an object -> F2
Get an objects properties -> Alt+Enter
Refresh the current window -> F5

Switch between running programs -> Alt+Tab - Hold down the Alt key and then press and release the Tab key (don't release the Alt key) to view the task-switching window. Press Tab again to move to the next application. Release the Alt key when you have the desired application.

Skip the Autorun feature when a CD is inserted -> hold the left Shift key while inserting the CD

Open the Windows Task Manager -> Ctrl+Shift+Esc (this will make some of you dangerous)

Displays the main window's System menu (from the System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the window) -> Alt+Space

And a few for Internet Explorer (and most browsers)
Open a new tab in the current window -> Ctrl+T
Add 'http://www.' and '.com' to a word in the address bar -> Ctrl+Enter

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Opening Microsoft Office Files

Do you ever receive Office documents that you can't open? This can happen if you have an older version of Office, a version prior to Office 2007. With the 2007 version, Microsoft decided they needed to enhance the format they use to store documents. So if you have Word 2003 or older product on your computer, and someone that has the newer version sends you a Word 2007 document, you can't open the document. You have two options. First, you could buy the newest version of Office. Microsoft likes that option best, they like to get into your pocketbook. But the cheaper option is to download and install the Office Compatibility Pack.

Click here to get the download for Windows.

Click here to get the equivalent download for Macs.

If you are considering a purchase of a new version of Office, you should know that Office 2010 is scheduled for release the first half of 2010. However, it will not work with Windows XP, you will need Vista or Windows 7.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Previous Newsletters

You can review past newsletters at the following links:

2008 - August

2008 - September

2008 - October

2008 - November