Desktop Icons

June 20, 2009

I like having an icon on my desktop for “Computer”.  If your current Desktop is missing the Computer icon it’s an easy fix.

Windows tip: 
1.  In Vista right click on your Desktop.
2.  Click on Personalize
3.  Click on Change Desktop Icons (in the left window pane)
4.  Place a check mark for the icons you want on your Desktop
5.  Click OK
Note- You can also customize Desktop icons by selecting it and then choosing Change Icon 


Browser Zoom

May 26, 2009

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my eyes really need a relief on web pages with tiny text.  There is a way to zoom in and make everything more readable.  On Internet Explorer 8 click on  Page  (upper right) and scroll down to  Zoom.  You can choose the zoom you want.  Also notice the keyboard shortcuts.

Windows tip:
CTRL+  =  zoom in
CTRL-  =  zoom out
CTRL0  =  Return to normal  (that’s a zero)

There’s even an easier way with most mice.  Hold  CTRL  and scroll the center roller wheel in or out.  Cool huh?

Start Menu

May 20, 2009

Logo KeyHave you ever opened a program that covers the entire screen?  You can no longer see your Start Menu?  There is a keyboard button that will bring up the Start Menu.  It’s located at the bottom left of your keyboard,  often called the Windows Logo button.  Press it and you’ll have your Start Menu.  Another way is CTRL+ESC.

Keyboard Shortcuts

May 20, 2009

While I usually use my mouse for most everything, there are a few occasions to use the keyboard shortcuts instead.  This is especially helpful on a laptop when my external mouse is not connected.  Here  is a list from Microsoft on keyboard shortcuts.

How Many Windows?

May 18, 2009

If you are like me, almost all of my computers have come with Microsoft Windows.  Do you know how many Windows there have been?  Years ago I converted from Microsoft MS-DOS to Windows/286.  Windows/286 was a far cry from what we have today, but it was a start at desktop computing without having to type complicated or repetitive text commands.

Windows 7 is the new upcoming version, rumored to be released this Fall.  I now use Windows XP, Windows Vista, and keep another old computer with Windows 98 SE  for old programs and defragging floppy disks.  Look here for a history of Windows.

(Update:  Windows 7 was released in Nov ’09)

Quick Task Manager in Vista

May 15, 2009

There are several ways to open Task Manager in Windows Vista.  One quick way is to right click on the bottom taskbar and click Task Manager

Computer Restore Disks

May 14, 2009

Help, where’s my disks?  I’ve helped many friends and family members fix computer problems.  Sometimes the “best” or only way to fix it is to re-install everything.  The most time consuming thing is finding and backing up all their photos, music, and documents.  But, usually the biggest hurdle is locating their original software CD’s.  Depending on the brand of computer, we need the “restore” disks, install disks, program disks, or in some cases the Windows CD.

With many programs, including Windows, there is a special code that is needed to use the install disks.  Don’t EVER toss away these codes!  Whenever you buy a new computer keep all the disks, manuals, codes, and your receipts in one place.  I prefer a small clear plastic “shoebox”.  This is usually a perfect fit for CD’s and small manuals.  Of course put the shoebox in a place you can easily find.  Also don’t forget to label it (“Tom’s computer” or “Kid’s computer”).  Keep separate boxes (even different colors) for different computers.