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Monday, May 20, 2013

Disable Error Reporting in Vista and Windows 7

In XP, we were often annoyed by messages like this. Some of us, me included, still are.
In Vista and Windows 7, we’re now annoyed by this.
Yes, Microsoft’s error reports can be irritating. However, this feature benefits the larger Windows community by (hopefully) enhancing security and dependability through patches and updates designed to address the root causes of the reported problems.
Microsoft’s definition of error reporting:
While it is possible to disable error reporting, in most circumstances, it’s not recommended. Nevertheless, there are times when it’s practical, at least temporarily. So, let’s look into a method for disabling these reports in Vista and Windows 7.
For instructions on how to do this in XP, see the tip, Disable Error Reporting in Windows XP.
In Vista, this is done through Problem Reports and Solutions. As it is with most Windows functions, there are several ways to get there. The easiest one I found was to type problem reports into Start search and click the Problem Reports and Solutions link.
In the dialog box, click the Change settings link on the left.
Here, either of the notification radio buttons can be activated, or clicking the Advanced settings link will present the option to disable notifications altogether…
…by clicking the Off button. Then click OK.
In the next screen, click OK again.
The following message will appear, and will pop up each time Problem Reports is accessed, until it’s returned to the default.
In Windows 7, just type the word problem and click the Choose how to report problems link.
Then click the radio button beside Never check for solutions (not recommended) and click OK.
Again, please remember that these reports do serve a purpose, so weigh the decision to disable them carefully.

What’s a MIMO Wi-Fi Router? Will it extend my wireless range?

The ever-changing advances in wireless communications have called for various technologies to increase data throughput and link range to improve performance.
One such example is MIMO (multiple input, multiple output). It is an antenna technology, which uses multiple antennas at both the source and the destination. This has led to improvements in applications of digital television, wireless local area networks, cell phone communication, and metropolitan area networks. Luckily for us, MIMO technology has helped Wi-Fi channels to have increased network bandwidth, range, and reliability.
However, MIMO Wi-Fi routers can supposedly get a range of up to 100 feet indoors and 1,000 feet outdoors. Whether you achieve this or not depends on what obstructions and/or interference there are between your computer and the router. Look for companies that have MIMO routers with good speed, eliminating dead spots in the house and outdoors, and have simple set-ups.
One good example of this is Belkin’s Wireless G+MIMO Router. It is perfect for individuals and small offices because it provides a reliable and wider coverage area.

Close Tabs With Your Mouse Wheel

When I’m browsing the Internet, chances are that at any given time I’ve got at least 6 to 10 tabs open in my browser. Obviously, I’ll need to close one or more of those tabs at some point, but I’ll also need pin-point precision to click that little “x” to do so.
Look at it!
It’s downright itty-bitty!
So here’s what you do. Instead of clicking the little “x” ever again, just use your mouse wheel button to close tabs! Just mouse over the tab and click with your middle mouse button!
This works in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, so give it a try!
Who knew tab closing could be so simple?

Repeat an Action in OpenOffice Writer

Recently while working in OpenOffice.org Writer, I found myself repeating my actions over and over again.
I knew that MS Office had a way to repeat the last action or word entered, so I went looking for what Writer has to offer.
What I found was on the Edit menu:

The third choice on the menu is the Repeat command (Ctrl + Shift + Y).
This command will repeat the last word typed or last formatting applied to text where ever you place the cursor/select text.
I couldn’t get it to repeat as many actions as the MS version of the command could but it did help with some of the more mundane work which is something I think that we can all appreciate.

Hi, I have Windows 7 64 bit ultimate. The other night I had two Desktop shortcuts appear on my desktop that were never there before (I do have (and have always) had my hidden folders and files showing). When I tried to delete these two shortcuts I got a warning that it would harm Windows. These files are also located in my user files (under my name). The content is quite different on the desktop as to the same file in the user folder. Do I need them? Can I delete them without harming my PC?

Great question. Turning on the ability to view protected operating system files is sometimes required for certain fixes to your operating system or virus removal/spyware removal, however it also shows you files not intended to be seen by the user.
Think of these files like the software that runs your car’s various electrical components. Sure, the car maker could let you edit these files using a touch screen in your car, but for almost all situations letting someone edit or delete these files would do more harm than good.
So how do you turn these files off yet leave regular hidden files on? Easily. Click Start>Computer. Now hold down theAlt key on the keyboard and press the letter T. From the tools menu, click Folder Options.
In the Folder Options window, click on the View tab and scroll down to “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)”. Click the box next to it so there is a check mark. Click Apply then OK.
You will no longer see those desktop.ini files or other operating system files anymore.

Windows 7 Preview Pane

Hey Windows 7 users. Do you have a giant folder of pictures you need to go through, but you can’t be bothered to click through each and every one?
Have you tried using the preview pane?
It’s a little button you’ll notice at the top of your Windows Explorer window that looks like this:
Click on it, and you’ll be able to single-click on an image and see a larger preview size on the right.
It makes skimming through a folder of pictures way easier than double-clicking each picture and having it open up in Windows Photo Viewer.

When I start windows 7, I have to click on an icon to continue the boot. Is there a way to get around that? Thanks!

In an effort to keep your computer secure and provide options if a profile experiences problems, the Windows 7 operating system normally requires you to log into a specific account when you start your computer. Unfortunately, this adds an unnecessary step that increases the startup time if you don’t use a password with your account – or if you frequently only sign into one single account. To avoid going through the process of clicking the account’s icon every time you turn on your computer, Windows 7 offers the ability to automatically log into an account during the startup process.
The simplest method of accessing this feature is to open the “Start” menu and type the phrase “netplwiz” in the search box. Click the “netplwiz” icon at the top of the search results field to open the “User Accounts” window.
Accessing User Accounts
Instead of using the Windows 7 search feature, you can also access the “User Accounts” window through the “Run” command. To open the “Run” feature, tap the Windows Key and “R” button at the same time (the Windows Key is positioned at the lower-left corner of your keyboard, in-between the “Alt” and Ctrl keys). Type the phrase “control userpasswords2” into the “Run” box and tap “Enter” to access the “User Accounts” window.
Using the Run Command
Navigate to the “Users” tab in the window and locate the name of the account you want to automatically access when you start Windows 7. Click the account name so the line is highlighted then remove the check mark from the box at the top of the window labeled “User must enter a user name and password to use this computer.”
Selecting the User Account
After removing the check mark, all other account names will automatically be grayed out so they can’t be selected. Click the “Apply” button at the bottom of the screen to confirm your selection.
Confirming Your Change
After clicking “Apply,” a new box will appear on the screen asking you to enter the password for the account you selected. Type your password into both of the empty text boxes and then click the “OK” button. If you don’t use a password for the selected account, instead simply leave both password boxes empty and click “OK.”
Entering Your Password
After making the change your computer will automatically log into the selected account on startup, and you will no longer have to click the account’s icon. If you later want to turn this feature off and manually choose an account at startup, return to the “User Accounts” window and click the “User must enter a user name and password to use this computer” check box.
Using this feature doesn’t completely prevent you from accessing your other accounts, however. To switch to a different account after the operating system has already loaded, open the “Start” menu and click the arrow icon positioned to the right of the “Shut Down” button. Select the “Switch Users” option and then click the icon for the account you want to access.
Switching Between Account
Instead of using the “Shut Down” button, it’s also possible to switch between user accounts by pressing the “Ctrl,” “Alt,” and “Delete” keys simultaneously. After the new menu appears on the screen, click the “Switch Users” button and choose the account you need to open.

When is Big Too Big? The New Samsung Galaxy SIII Phone

You know the phrase “Bigger is Better”? Well, after many years (and a lot of broken buttons on pants) most fast food companies have realized that bigger isn’t always better – although some major phone manufactures haven’t caught on yet.
Samsung recently released the Samsung Galaxy SIII, a brand new 4.8″ screen Android 4.0 smartphone with the latest in technology. Featuring a 1280×720 pixel 4.8″ super AMOLED screen, a brand new quad-core 1.4 ghz processor, 1 GB of LPDDR2 RAM,16, 32 or 64GB of built-in storage and 4G LTE on compatible networks. It’s a beast on the specification charts.
The SIII is one of the first phones from Samsung exclusively built around Android 4.0, featuring a new S Voice feature (exclusive to Samsung), which will function in the same way Siri does for the iPhone, allowing you to speak a host of commands to your phone.
Now we’re certainly not going to knock the Galaxy SIII for its technical specifications, but I dare anyone to use this phone with one hand – unless your hands are the size of big foot’s, that is. It’s pretty huge!
Now some might be thinking that cell phones are just like monitors, and a bigger monitor is usually better, but let’s go over a few things:
1) The average pocket can’t comfortably fit a phone thats 5.4 inches by 2.8 inches big.
2) The average person’s thumb isn’t 4.8 inches long, and if you’re trying to use a phone while doing anything else, then you’re probably using your thumb to click things.
3) The average person wants to put a case on a phone to protect it, which turns an already huge device into an even bigger one.
From all initial impressions the phone is the fastest Android device yet, with an amazingly sharp screen to boot, but do yourself a favor before you plunk down hundreds of dollars and a 2 year commitment: try it out for size first. (That’s my hand below with the demo)
To make it easier we’ve made a PDF file for you to print for a do-it-yourself demo of how big this phone is. Download the PDF file here.

I just got my Turbo Tax program disk for this year and when I went to load the program, I found out that my D-Drive had lost its relationship to the computer and I couldn’t figure out how to get it back in the system. The drivers were still there in the list, but not the drive. Is this a hardware malfunction or a system problem? None of my disks would function in this drive. Any ideas?

Missing drive letters don’t happen often in Windows, but when the problem does occur it’s a baffling annoyance that can throw off your whole day – especially if you need to use a specific program or access a specific file. Solving the case of the disappearing drive letter isn’t too difficult, but it will require playing with your computer’s system settings (or possibly even taking apart the machine to check hardware connections).
If the drive that is no longer appearing is a physical drive, such as a hard drive or DVD drive, head to the “Start” menu and open the “Control Panel” window (instructions for mapping a network drive – instead of a physical drive – are found below).
The Control Panel
Click the green “System and Security” heading located at the top-left corner of the Control Panel.
System And Security
Open the “Administrative Tools” window by clicking the green link at the bottom of the window, located just underneath “Windows Anytime Upgrade” link.
Administrative Tools
Double-click the icon labeled “Computer Management,” which is in the window’s center panel and positioned underneath the “Computer Services” icon.
Computer Management
Open the “Storage” sub-menu on the left side of the screen so the “Disk Management” option becomes visible, and then click “Disk Management” to make a list of drives appear in the window’s center panel. The center panel may take a few seconds to populate with data as your operating system checks for all connected drives.
Disk Management
Right-click the drive that no longer has a proper letter association and choose “Change Drive Letter and Paths.”
Changing A Drive Letter
Click the “Change” button at the bottom of the pop-up window and then select the drive letter you want to use from the drop-down menu. Select “OK” to set the drive to the appropriate letter. If no drive letter appears at all, you need to click “Add” instead of “Change” and then select the drive letter and click “OK.”
The Change Button
The drive may not appear in the list at all if the issue isn’t caused by a software setting. The problem may instead be a simple hardware issue where the cable has become dislodged or the drive itself has died and needs to be replaced. If you are unable to add the drive through the “Disk Management” screen, turn off your computer and unplug the power cable. Disconnect the computer’s side panel (either by removing the attached Phillips screws or by pressing down on an unlock button) and pull the panel off so the drives and cables are visible. Check to ensure the cable attaching the drive to your computer’s motherboard is firmly connected at both ends and press them in firmly if they are disconnected. In the event the cables aren’t dislodged you will likely need to completely replace the drive.
If you have a network drive that no longer has a drive letter, instead of a standard physical drive, return to the “Start” menu and click “Computer.”
The Computer Menu
Click the button at the top of the window labeled “Map Network Drive.”
Mapping Network Drive
Open the “Drive” drop-down menu and select the letter you want to use for the network drive, and then click “Browse” and double-click the network drive’s location. Map the network drive to your selected drive letter by clicking “Finish.”
Choosing A Drive Letter

iOS 6 – Add Webpage to Home Screen

I go to pretty much the same sites every day before anything else, and I like access to these sites to be pretty simple. So I was intrigued when I saw that iOS 6 allowed me to make a home screen icon for a webpage.
Here’s how.
From within Safari, browse the website you want to make an icon for and hit the share button up at the top. It’s the one that looks like a box with an arrow coming out of it.

Once the share box pops up, you’ll see an option in the middle – Add to home screen. Tap it, name the shortcut (or don’t – there’s a name in there by default), and click add.
Voila – home screen shortcut!

Set MS Excel Default Font

For many of us the font used in our documents, presentations and workbooks is a choice we actively make. When I’m creating something for others to see – which is most of the time – then I want it to look a certain way.
The easiest way to create something that I’ll like is to have my default font set to my preferences, not the preferences of the software makers.
So… along that line of thinking… today we’re going to locate the settings for Excel 2007′s default font.
First, we’re going to the Options dialog box. (Office Button, Excel Options button)
In the Popular category of options locate the “When creating new workbooks” section.
Here’s where you’ll find the settings to choose the default font and size.
Make your choices, click OK and you’re good to go.
All new workbooks will start out with your preferences instead of someone else’s.

Tablet Overload!

It’s looking like October will wind up being the month of brand new tablets. Two of the biggest names in computer technology, Apple and Microsoft, are both either releasing or announcing new tablets in the last week and a half of this month.
Surface Tablet
First is Microsoft’s Surface tablet which is set to go on sale October 26. The Surface tablet will enter the market at $499 for its 32-gigabyte model, following up on Microsoft’s promise during the summer to be “comparable” to other tablets. In comparison, Apple’s new iPad will cost you $499 for only 16-gigabytes of storage. Unfortunately, one of the Surface’s most interesting and innovative features will cost you an extra $120 unless you bundle it with the tablet purchase. It would then only cost you $599 total. The new feature is a full keyboard that doubles as a super-thin cover. The cover easily flips back and forth between cover and keyboard and it will come in a variety of colors, including red, white, magenta, and cyan.
The Surface tablet will come equipped with Windows RT. Windows RT is a scaled-down version of the new Windows 8 operating system, which is also set to be released next week on the 26th. Future versions of the Surface Tablet, set to be released early next year, will operate with a full version of Windows 8 and also include 64 and 128-gigabyte models. Currently apps for the Surface will only be available through the Windows 8 app store.
iPad Mini
Then there’s the iPad… again. This time its coming in a pint-sized version as Apple is expected to announce the new iPad Mini next week. While Microsoft is trying to penetrate the higher-end tablet market, the iPad mini looks to be Apple’s attempt to penetrate the smaller, and cheaper, tablet market.
Many believe the new iPad Mini will be approximately 7-inches in size (the current iPad is nearly 10-inches) and come with a price tag of under $300. Current heavy-hitting 7-inch tablets, such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7, both come with a cost of $199.
Apple typically announces its new products and then releases them for sale a couple weeks later. If Apple continues this trend we could see the iPad Mini on sale as early as the first week or two of November.

Record Video/Screen Capture Like A Pro

Have you ever watched a video where everything someone does on a computer screen is recorded so you can see step by step how something is done? Ever wonder how they do that? Ever want to make your own instructions or record someone showing you how to do something so you can replay it next time you need to?
BB FlashBack Express Free Edition is the application for you.
What does it do? Simply put, it lets you record what’s on your screen and transfer it to a video file for playback. What else?
  • Supports recording full screen, single window or region of the screen.
  • Record windows sound (sounds the program makes) or your microphone for voice narration.
  • Record webcam video (records a 1/4 screen size video in upper left corner so you can narrate with video from your webcam)
  • Mouse pointer location clearly highlighted.
  • Export video as flash files or as AVI video files to upload/share/e-mail.
  • Supports scaling down (lowering resolution) for smaller files.
  • Standard and Pro upgrades offered with many advanced.
Get the link to this free download here!

Change Your Thunderbird Receive Sound

Are you bored with the standard message alert sound in Mozilla Thunderbird? Want to spice things up a little with your own custom sound? Follow along – it’s easy!
First, open up Thunderbird and click Tools>Options up on the toolbar.
Now, make sure the General tab is selected, and under the When new messages arrive: heading, click the radio button for Use the following sound file. This should enable the Browse button, so you can use your own sound file…
Click Browse, then browse to the sound file on your hard drive that you want to use as your new message received alert sound. When you find it, click Open.
When you’re done you can either hit Play to test your sound or click OK and wait for a new message!

The other day I was reading one of my industry’s newsletters. After I finished reading it, down at the bottom was a link to confirm that I want to continue receiving this newsletter. Right after I had clicked on it (my antivirus/malware program) popped this warning saying that I’ve been downloading illegal copies of songs and I had to pay a $200.00 fine. Of course the place was over in Europe where I had to send it, so I knew that it was a scam. I ran my antivirus program and it removed it, but now I get this error saying that my vlc player.dll is missing. I just click OK and my computer runs fine, but still, what is the VLC player DLL and do I really need it? If so, how can I download a new version of it?

I’m glad to hear you were on the ball knowing any popup telling you about illegal music or saying that there is a fine you need to pay is definitely not legitimate. Running a virus and malware scan after any suspicious activity never hurts.
To answer your question – VLC media player is a freeware, open-source video player from VideoLAN, and it sounds like you either had an older version of the program or had some of its files infected and needed to be cleaned out. The good news is you can download the latest version of VLC Media Player by clicking here and clicking Download VLC.

For those who don’t know, VLC is a great alternative to Windows Media Player, supporting a wide range of file formats and developed by an open source project so it’s always free to download and use. VLC comes in versions for Windows, Mac and Linux and has built-in DVD playback support. I’ve used it for years as my media player and highly recommend it.

I have been told that running a single program on a Core i5 system and a Core i7 system will result in negligible differences in speed. It was said that a core i7 system only really improves performance when running multiple tasks simultaneously. Is that true?

The difference between most core i5 and i7 systems (along with various other CPU lines) is the number of threads the processor can work on at the same time. The term “CPU Core” or “processors” is often used to mean the amount of threads a CPU can process, as some CPUs may have 4 real CPU cores inside of them, but are able to process 2 threads at the same time for each core, thus giving your computer the same power as a 8 core cpu.
Intel’s highest end i7 “Sandy Bridge” processors can handle 8 threads of information at the same time, while most i5 processors can only handle 4. AMD’s highest end processors support 8 threads of information at the same time, while the A6 and A8 processors support 4.
Older software (and even some more recent software) may not be designed to take advantage of multiple threads, and will function speed-wise very similar on the same Ghz rated core i5 and core i7 processor. On applications that are multi-threaded, there can be a small to very large performance increase, depending on how many threads the application can use. For example, Adobe Photoshop – which can utilize many threads – runs complex filters almost twice as fast on a core i7 than a core i5 processor.
Keep in mind that while you may only be running one application on the screen, you may also have a virus scanner, chat client, e-mail program and other system utilities taking up CPU time, and limiting how much is left over for your main application to use.

Windows Explorer – Just Type it In

I blame Google Chrome for this, but I’m so used to being able to use the “Omni Bar” for finding stuff quickly, that I accidentally did it in Windows 7′s Windows Explorer the other day. I went up to what I thought was the address bar, and actually typed in “Desktop”.
To my surprise – and utter delight – it worked!
I then proceeded to test it out with a bunch of other locations on my computer – Fonts, My Documents, Music, etc. I was quickly zapped to the location on my hard drive, and anything that didn’t work opened up my browser for a web search.
So type it in next time – you might like it!

Posted By Nishad S S
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