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Sunday, August 10, 2014

1515. Different Folder Views

Folder Views in Windows 
I have a folder full of photos on my computer, and when I open that folder, all I see is a list of file names. A friend recently showed me her photos, and when she opened the folder, she saw a large thumbnail of each image. I’d love to see my photos in the folder that same way, so I don’t have to open each one individually to determine what it is. How can I change my display of images so it displays large thumbnail images instead of just file names? 
Each time you open a folder in Windows, the operating system “guesses” how you want the content displayed, based on previous choices you have made for that folder, default settings for all folders, and what it finds in the folder. You can override Windows’ “guessing” by telling it exactly how you want the contents of a specific folder displayed. 
To specify how you would like an individual folder’s contents to be displayed, open the folder in Windows Explorer, and then right-click on any white space in the folder’s display. In the context menu, select View. You’ll see a list of options, and you can select from items like Content, Details, Small Icons, and Large Icons. Select Extra Large Icons to see the largest thumbnails of your images, but give all the options a try so you can see how each View option affects the display of your images.
If you want to modify View options for all folders, open Control Panel, and find the Folder Options applet. Here, on the View tab, you can specify options for all folders. You can always override these settings for any specific folder (as described in the previous paragraph), but for overall settings, this is the place to go. If you try things out and decide to put them back the way they were, select the Restore Defaults button. For more information, check out this link:

1516. Windows HomeGroup?

Everytime I install Windows on a new computer the installation always asks me if I want to join a Windows Home WorkGroup. I don't even know what a Home Group is?

There are three ways in Windows to organize computers on a network. A domain is usually only used in networks greater that 10-15 computers. Every computer on a home network will belong to a workgroup. Each computer can also belong to a HomeGroup. 

A workgroup is a common name for a group of computers on a network. If you do not specify the workgroup name you will be default belong to a workgroup called yes here it is "workgroup". You an change your workgroup name at any time. But if you want to easily share resources with other computers the workgroup name needs to be the same.  

A homegroup is a workgroup but is easier to set up and has a group password. The workgroup does not have a group password.

Once you do this you can share folders and files, printers, and other resource with the other computers.

Other people can't change the files that you share, unless you give them permission to do so.Read the details using the link on our website and you will find details on how to decide whick group you want to use.

1517. Windows Printer Sharing

I have a friend with a small home network and an old printer that doesn't support any kind of wireless sharing. He would like other home members to print to that printer that is directly connected to his computer. Is there someway to share his computer with others when his printer is not on the network?

The new printers you buy today have at least an ethernet connection and most have a wireless connection. that would allow all computers on the network an easy way to connect to the printer.

Printers older than a couple of years may have had an ethernet connection but before that printers had to be connected to a computer with a USB cable or yes even an old LPT parallel cable.  

How did we survive?  

Well we did. Windows has a function that is called a workgroup and now it is often called a homegroup. This allows computers on the network to talk to other computers on the same network with the same group name to share things like printers, disks and other resources.  

So if you have an older printer that works and it does not have a wired or wireless connection then all you have to do is join both computers to the same group and the computer with the printer can share it so others in the group can use that printer.  

It works and the only real negative is the computer sharing the printer must of course be turned on. The user of that computer does not have to be logged in but the computer must be on.

How did we survive. Someday we will have a tip about floppy drives. It will amaze you. 

1518. Hidden Files on the Windows Desktop

I turned on my computer the other day and fold a new file on my desktop that I didn't expect to see. It is called Desktop.INI and it shows a little gear icon. Why is that there and how do I get rid of it.

Ken, this is a required Windows system file so it has always been on your desktop and if you delete it, it will reappear.

The question is really why did it suddenly appear and that can only be because someone changed your Folder Options. If the options were changed to Show system files then you would start to see this file. It s the only system file that is located on your desktop.

You should not normally have system files displayed. It becomes too easy to accidently delete these files. Fortunaely if you do delete the desktop.ini it will be created the next time you boot. Or you could just changed the folder options for the desktop folder.

1519. Use Windows’ File History for Simple-to-Use Backup

I’m running Windows 10, and need some super-easy way to back up files that I’m working on. I’d love to have a way to restore files if I delete them inadvertently (I’ve done this, of course), and I’d feel better if all my work was backed up. But I can’t remember to do it faithfully. Is there some tool built into Windows to make this easier?
You’re in luck! Starting with Windows 8, the File History feature makes backing up as simple as possible. All you need to do is attach an external drive for the backup, and then enable the feature. To enable it, open the Settings app, and then navigate to Update & Security, and then Backup. Click the Add a Drive button, and select your external drive as the destination for your backups (the feature won’t work without an external drive, however).
You can select More options how long File History keeps your backups, which files it backs up, and how often it performs a backup. By default, File History backs up every hour, but you can change that interval. Normally, File History keeps your backups forever, but you can also indicate that they should be deleted after a specific period of time; you can also have File History clear out old backups to make room for new ones.
You’ll definitely want to review which folders File History backs up. By default, it backs up all your documents, assuming that you store your documents in the Documents folder; it also backs up your Desktop, Downloads, Music, and Videos folders. Select Add a Folder to add more folders—you can also use this option to remove folders that File History backs up by default. You’ll find more advanced options, as well, and these may be useful for you.
A backup isn’t helpful if you can’t restore your files, and of course, File History supports this functionality. In the Settings app, select Update & security, More options, and then select Restore files from a current backup. This option allows you to select specific files to restore.
One of our favorite features is the ability to restore previous versions of files right from within File Explorer: Simply right-click on a file, and select Restore Previous Versions. This can be useful if, for example, you are working on a document and you realize that you really preferred the version from the previous day: Select Restore Previous Versions, and if you backed up the file, you’ll be able to select a previous version to restore.

This simple solution is an excellent feature in Windows 8 and Windows 10, but remember, it’s only part of a well-balanced backup strategy. We recommend three backups of everything you don’t want to lose. Our plan: Full image copy of your hard drive, using a tool like Macrium Reflect Free (, an off-site backup using a tool like Crashplan ( or Carbonite (, and a local backup using a tool like Windows’ File History. For more information on File History, start with this article:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

1514. Windows Mobility Center

Often when I first open my laptop in a new location there are a bunch of settings I want to changethe screen brightness or the volume, or some wIfI SETTINGS, Is there some single utiliY that allows me to change all of these settings at once.\?

Ken it sounds like you are not a Windows Mobility Center guru. If you are using Windows 8.1 it is about time to start using WMC.

The core system allows you to instant access to fom 6-12 settings that would otherwise require you to click through the Control Panel, System Tray and other places. These settings include speaker volume, display brightness, battery status, wireless network status, external display connection  settings, external display and presentation settings.

One way to get to it is to right button on the start button (yes Ken start button is actually used to do some things in Windows 8.1 contrary to some belief that the start button is no longer used.  Another way is to use the E|Windows key + S and start to type Mobility  Select Windows Mobility Center and you now have the power of Windows 8.1.  Each block allows you to adjust settings like brightness, volume and other from one central location.  Must faster that any way in Windows 7. 

There are ways to customize what functions that are available in the Center.  OEM's can add tiles to it that are directly used to show off their features.  

So if people would stop complaining about not having a start menu and start using the new tools they may find that some change is good.  

Check out our links for more information on WMC Windows mOBILITY cENTER.

1513. Unlimited Photo Storage Space

I’m always filling up my phone with photos, and would love to have some simple way to store them online without taking up any space on my phone—that way, I could get to them if I need to, but they wouldn’t take up all the space on my phone.

The trick is to discern between the photos you want to keep on your phone and those you don't. If you need the photos on your phone no matter what, there’s not much you can do besides keep a conscious eye on the photos you have taken, and delete the ones you don’t need. On the other hand, there are photos you take that you just want to share or have on the Web somewhere, when you need them. And for that purpose, there is an easy app named Shutter from StreamNation (available for both Android and iOS).

Shutter provides free, unlimited storage for your photos (to get unlimited storage, you have to invite 5 friends—otherwise, you start with 5GB of storage, which should be plenty for most folks). Any photo you take with the Shutter app is immediately uploaded to your content on the StreamNation site. You control who can see your photos, and they take up no space on your device. Shutter seems like a really useful service, and you can learn more about it at


1512. Change Android Settings Based on Location

I know it’s perhaps a bit esoteric, but I’d love to be able to change settings on my Android phone based on my location. Like, if I’m at home, I want a particular home screen background; if I’m at work, I’d like a different one. Is there some way to do this?
Well, we’re the geekiest folks we know, and this is something that wouldn’t have even occurred to us! In any case, it’s certainly possible, if you really want to change settings based on your location (and we concede that there might actually be meaningful uses for this technology, such as changing screen brightness, or selecting a different Wi-Fi connection, based on your current location).

There may be other alternatives, but we found the Tasker app for Android ( This app can perform tasks based on the contexts (application, time, date, location, event, gesture), and makes it possible to change settings based on your current location. Tasker gives you access to all sorts of things you wouldn’t be able to automate, including settings, playing sounds, displaying popups, sending SMS messages, and so on, based on your location, the time of day, or when a particular application runs. The app can even identify a cell tower, Wi-Fi network, or a set of GPS coordinates and can do things based on those settings. For more information on Tasker (and other apps that attempt to solve similar problems) check out this link:

1511. Using Multiple Monitors with Windows

I feel constrained with the screen real estate I get using a single monitor. I have an extra old monitor lying around, and I’d like to connect it to my computer. Can I use multiple monitors concurrently with Windows?
We usually end up with so many windows open at the same time we wonder how anyone can work without multiple monitors.  In Windows you can work with multiple monitors easily and you can drag windows from one screen to another. As long as your computer provides multiple video ports (one for each monitor), Windows can support as many monitors as you can connect. (And if you run out of ports, you can usually add more monitors using a USB connection, although USB 3 works far better than USB 2. But that’s a topic for a different tip.)
Using multiple monitors really helps your workflow, but it's not perfect. There are some features that are missing. You might want to say what happens when you move a window to the edge of a screen or have different wallpapers on different screens.
Windows doesn't handle these things easily. Ken recently found software called Display Fusion. It's inexpensive and makes this all easier. It can do all sorts of wonderful things, including running Windows Modern applications in a Window on your desktop. Check out Display Fusion for more information on controlling monitor setup in Windows.

With DisplayFusion, you can manage multiple monitor wallpapers, make windows snap to the edge of any screen, apply multi-monitor screen savers, and set up keyboard shortcuts and buttons for moving windows around. For more information, check out this link:

1510. Convince the BBC that you Live in the UK

Some great TV shows I want to watch are available on the BBC web site. Apparently, they're only available to people who live in the UK. Is there any trick to working around this?

I will admit to being a fan of Downton Abbey and wanting to watch the latest season before it is available here in the US. They show it in the UK first.

One solution is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Although it's not important for your to understand how it works, it;s just a piece of software that you install on your computer that allows you to browse to web sites and it provides a protective tunnel around your browsing. That's a side effect that's useful but it also allows you to specify what endpoint you want your browsing to come from.

So if you want to watch BBC you can tell your VPN to make it look like you're in the UK.

The BBC software won't be able to tell and you will be able to watch your episodes of Downton Abbey or what ever.

Cloak isn't free but there are several versions online that are. I ran across one recently called Cyber Ghost that provides a free VPN service and the same country specific browsing.

1509. Safari Crashes Constantly

On my Mac, Safari keeps crashing every time I try to enter any internet address. What's up? I can't use the computer like this!

I would have thought you were making this up except for the fact that I saw it happen on your computer. 

Every time you entered anything in your URL bar Safari just went away, crashed, gone. And it's really hard to use your computer like that.

It turns out a little research found the answer and it's really simple.  

All you have to do is clear your history and your Safari cache and it solved the problem. Below are the steps to do that and steps to do manually. That is if you can;t start Safari. You can to the operating system and remove those files manually.  

It's a simple process and it fixed the problem.

1. Clear cache and history. If that doesn't work: 
2. Open the Finder. From the Finder menu bar click Go > Go to Folder
3. Type or copy paste the following: "~/Library/Caches/"
4. Click Go then move the Cache.db file to the Trash.

Try Safari. If it crashes again...

1. Open the Finder. From the Finder menu bar click Go > Go to Folder
2. Type or copy paste the following: "~/Library/Safari/History.plist" 
3. Click Go then move the History.plist file to the Trash.

Try Safari

1508. Rebuilt Mac OS X Recovery Partition

On my Mac, I was playing around with Disk Utility, and stupidly removed my OS X recovery partition. Can I recreate the Recovery Partition?

It would be fun to tease you and tell you no you can't possibly re-create that recovery partition and basically you are in big trouble. But that is not the case.

As a Mac user you need that recovery partition because you need them for recovering your hard drive should something go wrong. It'sd also used for other features like "Find my Mac".

You can re-create it yourself. It's kind of a pain but we have a link on our website which takes you to a site which includes a script you can run which recreates it for you. And that's a lot easier.

So yes you do need the recovery partition. It lakes some things work. And iy's easy to re-create with the right tools. Check out the link below.