Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Microsoft Updates SkyDrive, Faster, Better, With HTML5 Support

ghacks reports: "SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud hosting service, has been around since 2007. The service gives users access to 25 Gigabytes of free online storage, for file hosting, sharing and collaboration. While it has been a great service to store data online from the start, it felt slow at times especially when navigating folders or photo albums in a web browser."

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Command Prompt Tricks

Back before the invention of the mouse and Graphical User Interface, was the command prompt. Every operating system (e.g. UNIX, CP/M, MS-DOS, VMS, etc.) of the day had some type of command line interface.

There are still command prompt power user and purest. If you're one of these people check out ultimate list of command prompt power tricks. These tricks will show you how to fully utilize the Window's command prompt.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Windows 7: Using the Dvorak Keyboard Layout

Do you want to use the Dvorak keyboard layout instead of the traditional QWERTY layout? Here is how switch between the two keyboard layouts:
  • From the Start menu click Control Panel.
  • In the Control Panel folder click the Clock, Language, and Region link
  • Click the Region and Language control panel
  • Click the Keyboards and Languages tab.
  • Click the Change Keyboard... button
  • On the General tab, press the Add button.
  • Scroll down to English (United States), expand it then check the box for United States - Dvorak.
  • Press OK buttons close the dialog boxes.
In the notification area in the lower right corner of the screen will be an keyboard icon (aka Language bar) to switch layouts.

Monday, June 20, 2011

StrongVPN: Extra Security and Other Features

I recently learned about a service called StrongVPN that provides a few features I really like. I am not personally endorsing this company or its products.  Although, I would suggest investigating their service offerings to see if you like their features.

  • Extra Security: A VPN service can provide you an extra layer of security when surfing the web, or logging into a public hot spot.  All the traffic is generally encrypted between you and the VPN provider.  This makes it difficult for an attacker to steal your data while you're using a public hot spot.
  • Surfing Privately: When using a VPN service can provide you an extra layer of privacy, by hiding your true IP address from web sites. Companies mine IP address information to track your web surfing habits.
  • Overseas Web Sites: One of the unique features of StrongVPN is that they allow you to have an American IP address.  So when traveling overseas you can get access to American sites that otherwise could be blocked.  This feature also applies to other countries that they support (more information).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Google: Search by Image

Now you can use an image instead of words to start your Google search. To use this feature, go to

Windows 7: Verifying the Operating System Edition and Version

Do you need to find out what edition of the Windows Operating system you're running (e.g. Windows Home Basic, Home Premium, Enterprise, etc.), or if you're running the 32-bit or 64-bit version?

There are two easy places to look:

  • From the Start menu in the search field, type WINVER

  • From the Start menu, click Control Panel, click System and Maintenance, and then click System.

To learn more about the differences between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, check out the following article.

Monday, June 13, 2011

F‌inding Unknown File Extensions

Every now and then you will come across a file extension (e.g. .DOCX, .EXE, .TXT, etc.) that you might not know.  If you're looking for the application that can open that type of file, check out a site called

This site contains a list of several thousand file extensions and programs that are supposed to open them.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Windows 7: Using VHD Files

Windows 7 allows you to create and mount VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) files. These files were originally created for Microsoft's Virtual Machine (VM) technologies like Hyper-V and Virtual PC.  Using this feature you can directly access and edit the contents of these files.

Creating a VHD:
  • From the search box in the Start menu, type DISKMGMT.MSC then press Enter.
  • In the Disk Manager, in the Action menu select Create VHD
    • Choose the options in the dialog that best fit your system requirements for the VHD that is being created (e.g. name, size, format, and type of VHD).
  • Right-click the VHD and select Initialize Disk, then right-click the unallocated space and select New Simple Volume.
    • Follow the options in the wizard and make the selections that best fit your system requirements for the VHD that is being mounted.  In general the default options will probably be the most appropriate selections for most situations.

VHD drive behave like any other drive, you can put files on them, install applications, etc.  To remove a VHD drive in the Disk Manager right-click the disk and select Detach VHD.

Mounting a VHD
  • In the Disk Manager, in the Action menu select Create VHD.
  • Find and select the VHD file you want to mount.
The virtual drive will appear in Windows Explorer as any other mounted disk.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Windows 7: Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) with SP1

If you work with Windows servers in a small lab or a large data center, then you need Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 with SP1. It enables system administrators to manage roles and features that are installed on computers that are running Windows Server 2008 R2, 2008, or 2003, from a remote computer that is running Windows 7 including SP1. (download software)