Monday, July 25, 2011

Windows 7: Location-Aware Printing

Note: this feature is only available for mobile devices, and not on desktop computers.

One of  Windows 7's new feature is it can automatically switch your default printer when you move between networks (for example, when you move your laptop from your home network to your business network).

To configure this feature, follow the instructions below:

  • Click the Start menu and in the search field type Devices.
  • Click the link for Devices and Printers.
  • Select a printer and right-click Manage Default Printers 
  • Select Change my default printer when I change networks
  • Select a network, select the default printer you want to use when on that network and press the Add button.
  • Do the same for each network that you joined your laptop to it.
When you connect to a network, Windows will automatically select the default printer that was specified for it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Online OCR Site

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the process of converting scanned images of documents into text. In the past OCR programs had to be installed on your computer.

The site allows you to upload scanned documents (including multi-page PDF files), photographs from digital cameras and scanned images (JPG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, GIF) to be converted into text.  This site supports 32 different languages.

The converted documents can be exported in Word, Text, Excel, PDF, and HTML formats.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Video: Creating a Strong Password

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, then how many words is a video worth? Creating a strong password is your best defense for protecting your data on the Internet. As we move more and more data into the so called "Cloud", the keys to your digital kingdom may only be as strong as the password you select to protect it. This video provides one of the best visual explanations of how to create a strong password and why you should do it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Google Project Emerges as Facebook With More Refined Manners reports: "After more than a year of denials that any major social network initiative was in the works, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) June 28 unveiled Google , the company's take on social networking. Not to be confused with the existing Google 1 search result and ad-sharing services, Google is intended to alleviate certain pain points that plagued Facebook as its network grew to 700 million-plus users. For example, while Facebook users added friends, family and colleagues to one big connection pool, Google is designed to let users create smaller buckets of contacts that share common interests. Users may create these Circles by dragging and dropping Google Profile pictures of users into separate Circles and sharing information only within those Circles."

(see the slide show)

Its been a few years since I have seen something interesting happen in the Social Networking space. I think Google might have gotten it right this time. If they generate enough buzz and interest with this product it will have a chance to survive.

Hopefully it will have privacy by default, and not require you to jump through several hoops just to lock down your profile.


Windows 7: Changing Remote Desktop Listening Port

Note: This is an advanced tip and only applicable to certain situations.
The Remote Desktop by default uses TCP/IP port 3389, some people think that they can increase the security of the RDP protocol by changing it too different location. This is almost as effective as moving a lock on a door and hoping a thief won't be able to find it. This technique would only be effective against someone who knows absolutely nothing about TCP/IP.

If you still want to move the Remote Desktop default TCP/IP port, here is how you do it:
Warning: This tip requires modifying the registry proceed at your own risk.
  • Open the Windows Registry Editor, from the Start menu in the search field type REGEDIT.EXE
  • In the Windows Registry Editor navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\PortNumber
  • Click the Edit menu and select Modify... or right-click the registry value and select Modify...
  • In the properties dialog box, click Decimal, and type in the new port number that you want to use (make sure its not used by another protocol)
  • Press the OK button to close the dialog.
  • Close the registry editor and reboot the computer.
To access the computer via Remote Desktop over your local network or the Internet, when you enter the machines DNS name or IP address in the Remote Desktop Connection client (under All Programs > Accessories), add a colon and the port number that you used (e.g.: or

Monday, July 04, 2011

Windows 7: Start Menu Web Searching

Note: This tip only works on Windows 7 Professional and higher.

With the Windows 7 Search box under the Start menu you can search for programs and files, but did you know you can enhance it to also search the web?

Using the Group Policy editor you can enable the Start menu Internet search feature, follow the instructions below:

  • In the search field under the Start menu, type GPEDIT.MSC.  This will open the Group Policy Editor.
  • In the left pane, under User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates.
  • Click Start Menu and Taskbar.
  • In the right pane, double click Add Search Internet link to Start Menu.
  • Click Enabled and then press OK button.
  • Close the Group Policy Editor.

In the Search box under the Start menu when a search term is typed a  link will be displayed that says Search the Internet.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Firefox 5 Browser Launches, Boasting Tweaks, Security, Privacy reports: "Mozilla's new Firefox 5.0 for PCs and Firefox for Android aim to offer users a best-of-class combination of security, privacy and speed. Coming a mere three months after the release of Firefox 4, this latest browser supposedly includes more than 1,000 improvements and performance enhancements. However, features like 'Do Not Track' may do more to draw users increasingly leery of the Web's rampant data mining. For most consumers, downloading and installing Firefox 5 will only take a few minutes, although larger companies still deploying Firefox 4 could become annoyed at having to switch so soon. Despite those hundreds of improvements, Firefox 5 doesn't seem to offer a radically different experience from its predecessor."

Read the rest of the article and view the slide show.