Windows 7 is Microsoft’s latest and greatest OS. Here are some tips and tricks for getting your Windows 7 computer running just the way you want it.
March 14th, 2009
Amazon’s Kindle 2 is a wireless reading device that makes it easy to take (and read) your books whenever and wherever you wish. Here are some tips and tricks to try on the Kindle 2.
February 9th, 2008
The Nokia internet tablet is a handy little device to do a great deal of tasks when you’re on the go. By adding these seven applications, you can do even more.
Applications I’ve added to my internet tablet:
1. GPE-Calendar – a great little calendar app that helps me keep track of all my appointments. By also using Erminig, I can sync GPE-Calendar with my Google Calendar.
2. VNC Viewer – remote control software allowing you to view and interact with any computer running a VNC server.
3. Canola – This application turns your internet tablet into a mini media center for playing music, videos, podcasts, viewing photos, etc.
4. Maemo WordPy – a fully functional WordPress client for blogging.
5. Other Maemo Weather – Applet for your Home screen for displaying weather conditions.
6. Gnumeric Spreadsheet – GNOME spreadsheet app.
7. Pidgin – a multi-protocol IM client. Definitely needed if you chat with protocols unsupported by the native client.
February 3rd, 2008
Live Writer makes it simple to add maps and aerial shots to your blog when you want to provide driving instructions or pictures of a specific location to your readers.
To insert a map/aerial shot:
- Go to the menu at the top of Windows Live Writer. Click Insert and select Map.
- Input the desired place in the Find location textbox.
- Click the button with the magnifying glass on it.
- A road map of the location will appear. If you want an aerial picture of the area, select Aerial from the dropdown to the left of the map.
- Depending on the location, a bird’s eye view may also be available. This is a much closer aerial picture of the area. If the option is available for the location, a large button will appear to the left of the map.
- You can zoom in and out and move within the map by using the controls beneath the dropdown.
You can also click inside the map and by holding down the left button on your mouse, drag the map to find the desired location.
- When the map reflects the desired effect, click the Insert button.
January 15th, 2008
If you own a Dell computer or laptop, it is safe to say that at some point in time, you will need to get drivers for the hardware. Maybe you’ve had to perform a fresh load of the operating system and you’ve misplaced your driver disc or maybe your hardware is running poorly and you’re hoping the latest drivers will fix your problem. A friend of mine ran into this a few days ago, but he got a little lost in how to accomplish this. Dell didn’t really help things by not giving direct access to the downloads from the homepage. Here’s what you do:
- Go to Dell’s homepage.
- From the menu at the top, select My Account (don’t worry that you don’t have one).
- Select the Support tab from the top of the page.
- Under Choose a Support Option, click the Drivers and Downloads link (or icon).
- From the Select Your Product Model section, you have two way of specifying your system, Select Model and Enter a Tag.
Select Model will take you through a series of options to specify your computer. You have to designate whether its a desktop or a notebook, then the product line, and finally the model.
Enter a Tag makes things much simpler. Just input your service tag into the textbox and click Go. Your service tag is located on the bottom of your notebook or on the side or back of your desktop.
- Once you specified the model, it’s time to narrow down the search criteria. You need to specify the Operating System of the computer and the Driver Language. You can also use the Category and Importance dropdowns to narrow your result list.
- Below the criteria selection, you will find a list of items with a count of how many files each one contains.
Click the + next to the desired item to expand it and reveal the desired drivers.
- You can download the desired driver at this time, or, if you are looking for more than one driver, you can select Add To My Downloads.
Using Add To My Downloads allows you to build a single page of links to the desired drivers. When you have finished selecting your drivers, click the View and Edit Your List link on the right side of the page.
It will take you to your Downloads List, where you can download each selected driver.
- Once you have downloaded the desired executable(s) from the Dell site, run it. Follow the prompts and the drivers will be installed on your computer.
October 28th, 2007
I frequently send links and images from various sites to my friends and family. Gmail makes this quite simple as you can drag and drop the link into your new message instead of copying and pasting the url or typing it in by hand.
To send the url from the site you are visiting, simply drag and drop the address from your address bar into the body of the new message.
The link will appear in the new message:
This same technique works with images as well as any text that you highlight in the webpage.
October 14th, 2007
Tabbed browsing is a great feature, but it can get out of hand. You can easily have a dozen tabs populated in no time. You could take the time to close all of those tabs individually, which could end up taking a while. Better yet, you can close all of the tabs, except for the current one, in just a few clicks of your mouse. Here’s how:
- Select the tab you wish to keep open so that it becomes the current tab.
- Right-click the current tab.
- Select Close Other Tabs from the context menu.
All other tabs will close and you will be left with only the current tab.
October 6th, 2007
If you are going to use del.icio.us, a social bookmarks manager, then you are going to want to upload your web browser’s current bookmarks (or favorites) instead of putting them in one at a time. Even if you only use del.icio.us once in a while, it is a great place to back up your bookmarks.
First thing you will need to do is to export your bookmarks from your browser. The steps will vary slightly depending on what browser you are using. I will cover Firefox and Internet Explorer 7.
- Open Firefox, go to the menu bar, click Bookmarks and select Organize Bookmarks.
- When the Bookmarks Manager appears, go to the menu, click File and select Export.
- The Export bookmark file window will appear. Browse to the location you wish to save the html file and click Save.
Internet Explorer 7:
- Open IE7 and press the Alt key on your keyboard to show the menu bar.
- Click File and select Import and Export.
- The Import/Export Wizard will start, click Next.
- Go to the left pane and select Export Favorites.
- Click Next.
- Select which folder you want to export from. If you want all of your favorites exported, select the Favorites folder.
- Click Next.
- Browse to the location you wish to save the htm file and click Next.
- Click Finish when the wizard has completed. Click OK when the prompt appears.
Now go to del.icio.us and login to your account.
- Go to the upper right and click the Settings link.
- Under the Bookmarks column, select import / upload.
- Go to step 2 and browse to the location of the saved file from earlier.
- You can now add additional tags to your imported bookmarks and add popular tags if you wish.
- Click the import now button.
- The import process will begin. Leave your browser open to the window until you have been prompted that the import has completed.
October 3rd, 2007
You can come up with some really cool looking images by taking a photograph and turning it into a sketch.Â It sounds like a complicated concept, but you can do it in PHOTO-PAINT very easily.Â So go find an image file you’d like to use and then follow these simple steps:
Fire up PHOTO-PAINT and open the photo that you wish to convert.Â We’ll use this desert landscape as an example:
Go to the menu and click Image, mouseover Adjust and select Desaturate.
This will give us a grayscale version of the color photo.
Now use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to copy and paste the image.
This will lay a copy of the desaturated image on top of the original.
Make sure the copy is still selected.Â Go to the menu and click Image, mouseover Transform and select Invert.
This creates a negative of the image.
With the negative image selected, go to the Objects docker on the right side and use the dropdown to select Color Dodge.
This will turn the image almost completely white.
Finally, go to the menu and click Effects, mouseover Blur and select Gaussian Blur.
Use the slider control to adjust the radius of the blur to get the desired effect.Â My end result looked like this:
When I was running Windows XP, I would use various applications for dealing with image files. I never really became too attached to any of the ones I found. When I moved to Vista, I decided to do some hunting to see what other applications were available. I came across a free piece of software that makes the mounting and unmounting of CD and DVD images (iso, ccd, dvd, img, udf, and bin) a piece of cake.
Download Virtual CloneDrive from Elaborate Bytes and install it on your Vista system. Once installed, start up the application to select the number of virtual drives that you want to have at your disposal. Under the Settings tab, use the Number of Drives dropdown and select the desired number of virtual drives you want to have.
Click OK and then go to computer to see the newly created drive(s):
Right-click the new virtual drive, go to Virtual CloneDrive, and select Mount.
Browse to the location of the CD or DVD image file and click OK. The image file will then can be accessed as if it were an actual CD or DVD.