August 23, 2015 |

Quick overview of Microsoft Windows 10

What is Windows 10?

Windows 10 is an entirely new version of the Windows Operating as we have experienced it to date, working on more of a tablet-type interface using tiles, as shown below. With this release Microsoft intends to ultimately replace all previous Windows versions currently used worldwide. windows 10

Upgrading to Windows 10

Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for the first year of release (until July 29, 2016) for those of us who have a legal version of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or a Windows Phone 8.1 device. After that you will presumably still be able to upgrade, but you will need to purchase it.

Even though the free upgrade version of Windows 10 is only available for a year, Microsoft stressed that those updating during the promotional period will be able to use Windows 10 at no cost in the future (or as Microsoft says, for the “supported lifetime of the device”).

If you have Windows 7, you’ll need to make sure you meet the system requirements recommended below:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Free hard disk space: 16 GB
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • A Microsoft account and Internet access

If you have a device with Windows XP or Windows Vista on it, you’ll need to do a clean install as well as meeting the system requirements above.

If you’re on a version of Windows that can be upgraded (7 or a version of 8) you might have seen an icon appear on your desktop via Windows Update (assuming your PC is up-to-date). Clicking this icon launches a window that enables you to reserve your place in the queue to download the free upgrade and you’ll be notified when it’s ready to install.

There is a load of information online regarding this upgrade, so make sure you do your own due diligence and read up on it thoroughly before going ahead – perhaps starting with the Wikipedia rundown:


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July 27, 2014 |

Easily Secure Your USB Drive

I have lost count of the number of times I have lost a USB drive – as a trainer, my common fault is leaving them in a training room and then only realising days later when the USB is long gone. So…this tip won’t stop you losing the USB, but it will stop anyone else’s prying eyes from actually opening the USB and seeing what you have stored on it.  You can only encrypt then password a USB if you are on the Enterprise version of Microsoft Windows 7.

(Hint:  so maybe do this at the office!), but once encrypted and pass-worded, you can open the device on any PC, provided you know the password.  So  if a stranger picks up your USB up and decides to have a sticky beak at your files they are out of luck.

You might also consider naming your USB (right click, Rename and give it your own name), in case someone in your office finds it and can then easily return it to you.

So….here you go: the instructions for locking your USB using Bit Locker! Password Lock a USB Drive Jul 2014.


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September 20, 2013 |

Tick Tock – Time is Running out for XP Users!

Just in case you’ve not upgraded yet, Microsoft will end support for Windows XP  and Office 2003 on April 8, 2014  This means there will be no more security updates or bug fixes from Microsoft and third-party security providers like Symantec won’t be able to guarantee that they can keep XP systems safe from viruses and malicious attacks, leaving XP users as prime targets for those with bad intentions.

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July 9, 2013 |

Larger Text for Tired Eyes in Windows

If you’re finding it difficult to read things on your computer because they look a little small on your screen, there’s a quick way to remedy this in Windows 7.

1. Open the Start Menu in the lower left and select Control Panel.

Read the rest of this entry »

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April 23, 2013 |

Use Your Own Photos for the Microsoft Windows Desktop

Would you like to make one of your personal photos your MS Windows background? Its easy, and here’s how in Windows 7.
004desktop picNote:  First make sure you have saved the desired photo somewhere accessible like the Pictures Library.

  1.   RIGHT click somewhere on your Windows Desktop.
  2.   Left click on Personalize (not my spelling!)
  3.  Click the Desktop Background icon and then click Browse to select the folder where you saved the picture, click OK once you have located it.
  4. Your photos are now displayed so you can easily choose the one you want. Click the photo you want to use and then choose click on Save Changes.
  5.   The photo now appears as your Windows desktop – don’t like it? Just follow all the steps and go back to choosing one of the default Windows desktops.

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January 10, 2013 |

Forward Slash/Back Slash, all is Revealed!

Forward/ Slash\Backslash

There’s a whole lot of slashing going on, but which way is which and does it matter? Well, yes it does…

Forward slash is this /, and backslash is this \.

Forward slashes tell your computer you’re looking for something external to your system, like web pages e.g.

Backslashes tell your computer you’re looking for something inside your system, like a drive or a file, e.g. C:\Programs\MSoffice\Word\letters.


December 27, 2012 |

Tame the Windows Taskbar

Windows Taskbar Options

Here’s a list of things you can do with your Windows taskbar:

Firstly right-click a blank area of your taskbar and select Properties. In the resulting window, make sure the “taskbar” tab is selected and you will see the following options:.

Lock the taskbar – bbviously named. If this is selected, you cannot re-size or move your taskbar. This is perfect for folks who find their taskbar on top of their screen one day and can’t remember why.

Auto-hide the Taskbar – great for the neat-freak who wants a perfectly blank desktop. Select Auto-hide and your taskbar with only  peek out when you mouse-over the bottom portion of the screen.

Use small icons – if you think the icons on your Taskbar are too big, then select this option.

Depending on which version of Windows you have, there may also be an option to relocate your Taskbar on the screen (you can also click, hold and drag your taskbar to a different place, too!) as well as a drop-down box to set whether or not open Taskbar buttons combine when more than one instance of the program is open.

May 1, 2012 |

Windows 7 Clock and Dates

Finding a date in Windows 7 is super easy – you just click the clock on the Taskbar and you get an easy readout of the month. And clicking the arrows moves on to the next (or previous) month…. but did you know that if you click on the name of the month…it goes back in sequential steps to show the whole year and even whole decades?

Return back to the present date by clicking the current date across the very top of the window.




April 12, 2012 |

Electronic PostIt Notes in Windows 7

Do you like to use Post It/sticky notes to remind yourself of tasks?  Well why not pop them directly onto your Windows 7 desktop:

Just type “Sticky Notes” into your Windows 7 Search Box (Located above your Start button) and hit Enter.

The Sticky Notes gadget will open up (it looks just like a PostIt note).

Next just type your list or note and you’ve got yourself an instant desktop resident reminder! You can even change the color by right-clicking and if you wish to another one, simply click the plus sign.

April 3, 2012 |

Quick Way to Open a Program Twice

If you are running Windows 7 you have a super easy way to open a second instance of a program:

Just hold down the shift key and then click the program’s icon – in our example below this is opening a second copy of Microsoft Word by shift clicking the Word icon on the Task bar.


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