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Windows 8 was a mixed bag, both for users and Microsoft. The UI worked better for touch screens, but left people who were using PCs and preferred the desktop in the cold. However, you can return to normalcy with these tips. Turn Off Charms Charms appears when you move your mouse toward the edges and corners of your screen or swipe in from those edges. Charms are intended to provide quick access to the time, opened apps and settings, but they can simply be frustrating. To turn off Charms completely, you'll need to disable trackpad gestures. To do this, change "Mouse Settings" from the Control Panel. Secondly, you'll need to disable hot corners from the Taskbar. Right-click the Taskbar, choose "Properties" and click "Navigation." Uncheck the option that enables … Continue reading
Doctors and sleep researchers often point to out-of-control computer, mobile phone and gadget use as a potential contributor to the insomnia that affect a third of all people in the developed world. Bright sunshine during the day and relative darkness at night helps the brain know when it is time to wake up or go to sleep. Researchers believe that constantly staring at a bright screen makes it difficult for the brain's sleep center to know how to time its sleep rhythm. It mistakes the bright screen for the sun. Some computer monitors and even phone models come with ambient light sensing to help adjust screen brightness to the time. This feature, though, does nothing about color temperature. The character of the light that comes from the screens on … Continue reading
Windows 8 and 8.1 are the most resource-efficient versions of the operating system yet, and can make a netbook feel more responsive than with Windows XP. If you are interested in using the modern apps that come with these OS versions on your netbook, though, you could run into trouble. These apps need a screen resolution of at least 1024×768 to work: something many netbooks don't have. Usually, when you try to run a Modern app, you'll see a message that informs you about the screen resolution problem. Fortunately, there's workaround When your computer isn't capable of the resolution required, it's possible to trick Windows into thinking that you have a higher resolution than you really do. Your netbook's graphics card should have a function that helps. The driver … Continue reading
Microsoft Word comes with an extremely rich feature set. With thousands of options to dig through, though, the average user can find it hard to know where to look. some of these great features on Word are in plain sight. Yet, many users have never noticed them. The multiple Cut+Paste feature For some reason, the standard Cut feature on Windows has always only been able to hold one piece of information at a time. If you need to assemble a number of sections of text from different places in a Word file and add them to your clipboard, the standard Cut utility doesn't help. Microsoft Word, though, has an advanced Cut feature that helps: it's called Spike . For each block of text that you wish to cut to … Continue reading
With Internet hacker attacks becoming more common by the day, Internet users are often warned to check the legitimacy of the websites they visit. When you visit your bank's website to perform online banking transactions, for instance, you're supposed to look at the address bar on the web page to see if the bank's URL is preceded by an https:// rather than simply an https:// . On websites equipped with https:// security, you get a secure looking lock icon in the address bar that tells you that your connection to them is genuine and encrypted so that hackers can't listen in. In truth, though, such websites aren't really a guarantee of security. At least, they aren't anymore. How exactly is https supposed to be safer? In the beginning, years … Continue reading
Windows is a complex operating system. You can come up against a number of head-scratchers over the course of the typical day. Here are two such possibilities, along with explanations. Skype lowers the volume on your computer If you like to use Skype to keep a communications channel open when you play online video games, Skype has a feature that may annoy you: it lowers the volume of all other audio, including audio on your game. Skype has no settings available to help turn the feature off. Its creators simply seem to assume that when you have a Skype conversation going, you won't want to hear anything else. Many Skype users try to get around the problem by accessing the Windows Volume Mixer and turning all the sliders up … Continue reading
If the computers in your home are used by people who aren't comfortable with technology, you could often find yourself having to deal with malware. Users could visit a bad website or accept software suggestions from bad email, and have a situation on their hands when you come home. You can't depend on antivirus to stop all such installations. It's certainly possible to keep computers at home safe by making sure that everyone uses a Limited or Standard user account (and not an Administrator account). No new software installations are allowed on these accounts. Still, some programs can work poorly when Administrator privileges are not available. Luckily, there's another way to keep computers safe: you can create a whitelist of apps that are safe. Turning on Windows Family Safety … Continue reading
Up until a few years ago, you needed to be careful about what email you chose to even open to look at. You didn't need to go as far as to try downloading an attachment. Fortunately, email programs are much smarter and safer now. Today, you can open most malicious email without fear of catching a virus. What was it about email that made it unsafe? Email has been around for a long time, since when it carried nothing more than plain text. Over time, improvements made to the protocol allowed email, among other things, to carry executable code. The developers behind this feature, though, failed to foresee the dangers present in such abilities. The ability of email to carry executable code meant that hackers were easily able to send … Continue reading
Here are two common questions answered about staying safe when using your computer on the Internet. Google+ Auto Backup: What is it and why is it on your computer? Nearly everyone sees an application or two on their computers from time to time that they simply can't remember installing. Sometimes, these uninvited applications aren't a big deal: they remain quiet and unused. Once in a while, though, you get a program that is a nonstop nuisance. Google+ Auto Backup is one of these programs. Even uninstalling doesn't help: it always finds its way back on your computer. Many people are mystified by Google+ Auto Backup and its malware-like behavior. Would a tech major really stoop to such behavior? With Google+ Auto Backup, Google proves that large companies can try … Continue reading
Microsoft Word comes with a number of advanced features to help in nearly every kind of situation that calls for writing. The five tips below can be useful additions to your bag of Word tricks. Use Kerning While many word processing software packages usually only offers fixed character spacing, professional-level desktop publishing software always comes with an expert-level feature called kerning. It allows customizable character spacing for a visually pleasing effect. Microsoft Word offers kerning, too -- even if it doesn't come activated out-of-the-box. Clicking on the little pop-out button on the Fonts section on the Home tab turns brings up the Fonts Properties dialog. Under the Advanced tab on the box, clicking in the checkbox named Kerning for fonts turns the feature on. Insert Excel charts from within Word You … Continue reading