Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Windows 7: Program Access and Computer Defaults

In Windows 7 you can set the program defaults (e.g. browser, email, media player, instant messaging, and Java VM) for the computer (which means this applies to all users), in the Program Access and Computer Defaults control panel.

If you choose the Microsoft Windows option, it will make Microsoft applications the default program that is open for specific file types (e.g. a browser shortcut will cause Internet Explorer to be utilized).  If you choose the Non-Microsoft options, it will hide certain Microsoft applications (e.g. Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, etc).  By selecting the Custom option, you can choose your own default programs.

  • From the Start menu, open the Control Panel.
  • Under Programs, select Program Defaults
  • Open the Program Access and Computer Defaults control panel

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Taking Control of your Data on Google

Are you worried that Google knows too much about you?  With the tools below you can take control of your account and data stored in Google's cloud.  For example, you can download your data using Google Takeout, or you can control certain aspects of the data that the company stores about you.

  • Google Takeout: Allows you to download a copy of your data stored within different services. 
  • Google Dashboard: Shows you what information is stored in your account.
  • Privacy Center: In the tools section, there links to different privacy tools available on the site.  There are a variety of links on this page from Google Dashboard to Controlling Your Location in Google Latitude.

Friday, October 21, 2011

10 cool technologies to look for in your next PC

TechRepublic reports: "It’s an exciting time for PC enthusiasts. I can’t remember a period when so many existing technologies were being upgraded to the next generation and new technologies were being introduced. Even non-enthusiasts need to know about the changes that are happening to the desktop PC." (Read the rest of the article)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Windows 7: Shrinking a Partition

It use to be if you had a formatted hard drive with existing partitions, and you wanted to add or shrink one of them you needed a special utility called a disk partitioning tools such as Partition Magic.  The Windows 7 Disk Management console has disk partitioning functionality built into it.
Warning: Make a good backup of your drive before proceeding with the instructions below.
  • To open the Disk Management console from the Start menu, in the Search field type DISKMGMT.MSC, and press Enter. Press the YES button if prompted by the UAC (User Account Control).
  • Right-click a drive that you want to shrink and choose Shrink Volume... from the menu.
  • A dialog will display showing you how much space is available you can shrink the drive by. Specify an amount, then press the Shrink button.  
  • Right-click the newly available partition and choose New Simple Volume. Follow the steps in the wizard to specify the size and assign a letter to the new drive, and format the new drive.

Firefox ABOUT Pages (Hidden Features)

  • This article covers a semi-advanced topic, and is not recommended for those that don't understand technical information about applications, network and system information. 
  • Use these features at your own risk, some of them are for debug web page or the browser and can intentionally cause the tab or browser to crash.

Want to enable experimental features in Mozilla's Firefox browser, get diagnostic data, or see hidden information and features. Then you want to check out the Firefox's ABOUT pages, to access them in the address bar type "about:about" to see a list of available pages.

  • about: - Displays basic information about Firefox
  • about:about -  Lists the available “about” pages
  • about:addons - Displays information about installed add-ons, extensions, plugins, and themes
  • about:buildconfig - List the Firefox source and build information.
  • about:cache - Displays information about memory, disk and offline caches
  • about:config - Allows the enable or modification of application features.
  • about:crashes - Lists crash reports on your local system.
  • about:credits - Displays a list of contributors who helped create the Firefox browser.
  • about:home - Displays a built-in home page
  • about:license - List information about different licenses used by Firefox for different parts of its source code.
  • about:logo - Shows the Firefox logo.
  • about:memory - Shows the memory allocation for different firefox processes.
  • about:mozilla - Displays a passage from The Book of Mozilla
  • about:permissions - View or change web site permission (e.g. store password, set cookies, etc.) for different sites
  • about:plugins - List technical information about each plug-in installed in browser.
  • about:privatebrowsing - If you create a link to this page when clicked it the browser enter into its private browsing mode
  • about:rights - Displays a page titled: "About Your Rights" (includes links to licence, privacy policy and service terms)
  • about:robots - Displays a page titled: "Welcome Humans!" (displays bulleted items about robots)
  • about:sessionrestore - Displays a session restore tab
  • about:support - This page contains technical information that might be useful when you're trying to solve a problem
  • about:sync-log - Displays the synchronization logs.
  • about:sync-tabs - Displays the synchronization tabs from other computers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Software: BlueStacks Android OS Emulator for Windows

BlueStacks allows you to run Android OS applications on a Windows PC. Video below offers a visual tour of the software.  To get more information or to download the application, check out the following web site.  This application is currently in Alpha as of this writing, so it might not be ready for prime time.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Windows 7: Installing IIS

Internet Information Services (IIS) is Microsoft's web server software can be installed on a Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate edition.

It is not installed by default, so you will have to follow the steps below to enable it.

  • Log on to the computer with an account that has Administrators privileges. 
  • From the Start menu select the Control Panel, click Programs
  • Click the link Turn Windows features on or off
  • Check Internet Information Services
  • Press the OK button when finished. 

By default it will install a minimal set of features, if you need additional functionality, you'll need to check the appropriate boxes within the Windows Features dialog box (e.g. Web Management tools).

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Windows 7: Scheduling Your Computer to Shut Down Automatically

Do you leave your computer on for extended periods of time, and would like it if your computer would automatically shut down at a specific time of day.  Follow the instructions below.

  • Click the Start button, in the search box, type "scheduled tasks" then click the item in the search results.
  • In the Task Scheduler console, in the Actions pane on the right, click "Create Basic Task ...".
  • In the Basic Task Wizard dialog, enter a name for task, such as "Shutdown Computer" and include a optional description such as "Shuts down computer at 12:00 a.m. everyday", press the Next button.
  • On the Task Trigger page, select "Daily" and press the Next button.
  • On the Daily page, enter a start date and time that you want the task to first begin (e.g. 12/1/11 and 12:00 a.m.) and press the Next button.
  • On the Action page, select the "Start a Program" and press the Next button.
  • On the Start a Program page, in the Program/script field, type:  %SYSTEMROOT%\SYSTEM32\SHUTDOWN.EXE
  • Press the Next button, review the Summary page and press the Finish button.

Based on the task that was defined above Windows will now automatically shut down at 12:00 a.m. each day. Although before it does the system will display a pop-up notification, "Windows will shut down in less than a minute."

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Troubleshooting Sound Problems

Are you having problems with the audio or speakers on your computer? Here are some troubleshooting techniques to help you diagnose most problems. (Read the rest of the article)