Sunday, October 30, 2011

Selecting Files and Folders in Windows

file-selectedSelecting files or folders is rather simple, just left click on a file or folder and it and little highlight will appear around the file or folder indicating that it is selected.  There are however, a few trick that you may not know about that come in handy when working with files or folders.  An important thing to remember with some of these solutions is the fact that they can be used in other programs as well

Drag Selecting
To Drag select, simply press and hold the left mouse button down and select all the files or folders you need.  Once selected release up on the left mouse button.  This works best if all the files or folders are visible on one screen.

drag-selecting-multiple-files

Selecting all Files
There are two ways of selecting all files or folders in a folder.  In a folder under Edit select Select All.  If you do not see Edit press the Alt key.  Secondly, and the way I prefer is to simply use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A (press both the Ctrl key and the A key at the same time).  Either of these methods will select all the files and folders.

selecting-all-files

Selecting all Files within a Range
This is a handy for selecting all files between the first file you selected and the last file you selected.  Start by selecting the first file and then while selecting the last file hold down the Shift key on the keyboard.

using-shift-to-select-a-range-of-files

Selecting only certain Files
To select multiple files that are not within a range, simply hold down the Ctrl (Control) key on the keyboard and start selecting files or folders.  You do not need to select the files or folder in any particular order.  Of all the methods of selecting files, I generally find this to be the most useful and possibly the least known.  Just as a warning, when using this solution be careful not to move the mouse while selecting the file otherwise you will end up copying the files rather than selecting them.  Also, you do need to hold down the Ctrl key the entire time, just while selecting the file.

selecting-some-files-using-the-control-key

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Watch for Twitter Scam!

I just had some trouble with my Twitter account getting hacked.  Basically you get message from on of your friends that says “I here there is a rumor/blog going around about you [Link] might want to read it”  The link sends you to a page that says you need log in and it appears to be coming from Twitter.  The actual website though is www.itwitterj.com.  Apparently this is an elaborate scam to get your Twitter account information.  If your account has been hacked change your password immediately also let your friends know if they received a message from you to delete it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How to Prevent Your Laptop From Sleeping When You Close the Screen?

I personally find this feature to be very annoying, I leave for a few minutes and shut the laptop screen and the laptop hibernates.  Fortunately this a easy fix.  Please note though that I do not recommend leaving your laptop on for long periods of time with the screen closed!  Heat tends to come up through the keyboard and can cause the screen to be come extremely hot.

Please note that these directions are for Windows 7.

  1. Start by going to Start and then the Control Panel:
    start-menu-control-panel
  2. Go to Hardware and Sound:
    control-panel-hardware-and-sound
  3. Click Change What the Power Buttons Do, under the Power Options
    control-panel-hardware-and-sound-change-what-the-power-buttons-do
  4. Change the settings from the dropdown, next to When I close the Lid.  In my case I want the it to Do Nothing.  When you are down click Save Changes.
    changing-what-the-power-buttons-do

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Moving Files To and From a Flash Drive

There are a number of ways you can move files around, but for flash drives, I find using the Send To feature in most cases to be the easiest.

  1. First plug your flash drive in and wait for Windows to recognize the device.  Once Windows has recognized the flash drive it will appear on the Send To menu.
  2. Next, right click on the file/s or folder/s you wish to send to the flash drive and go to Send To and find the flash drive on the list; usually the brand name in is in the name somewhere, in my case an HP flash drive.  Your file should now be on the flash drive – just make sure you wait for the files/folders to be copied before you unplug the device.
    send-file-to-flash-drive 
    Moving Files From the Flash Drive
  3. Next to move files off the flash drive, Go to My Computer and open the flash drive or if you just plugged the flash drive, Windows should popup a window with various options for the flash drive, one of which should be opening the device to view files.
  4. Find the file/s or folder/s you wish to move and right click on them, go to Send To and send them to the Documents (or My Documents).  Just to note if you send them to the desktop, this simply creates a shortcut and does not actually move the file.  Again make sure you wait to unplug the device until the files and folders are done being moved.
    send-file-to-my-documents

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Operating Systems

This is something it seems like I always get asked/have trouble with – what operating system do you have?  When I do phone support, one of the first questions I usually ask is “what operating system do you have?”  It seems like very few people know or they’ll says something like “does Windows XP sound right?”  There are slight differences (sometimes not so slight) between different operating systems/versions.

Most of you have probably heard of Microsoft and their Windows operating system there are actually a larger number of operating systems including Mac OS, Linux, or a newer contender Chrome OS.  The first version of Windows was released in 1985 and was version 1 or Windows 1; before that it was DOS.  The latest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system is Windows 7 (see screen shots below of both Windows 1 and Windows 7).

Windows-1

windows-desktop

So, what is an operating system?  An operating system manages the computers hardware allowing for interaction (mouse, keyboard, ect.) between a user and an application (such as browsing the web).  An operating systems is basically just a giant program (actually set of programs) and without it your computer is worthless.

How do you know what version of Windows you have?
The desktop is not an good choice for determining which version of windows that you have due to the fact that various themes can make your version either look like an older edition or a newer edition. 

  • First when you bought your computer you should have documentation that says what version of Windows was installed on your computer.  It is worth noting that this sometimes is not correct.  Also worth noting there are different editions of versions for example Windows XP Home and Windows XP Pro.
  • The next easiest way to tell what version of Windows you are running is while the computer is booting.  Below are the screenshots of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 starting up.
    Windows XP
    windows-xp-startup-screen
    Windows Vista
    windows-vista-startup-screen
    Windows 7
    Windows-7-startup-screen
  • A third easy way to determine which operating system you have is go to Start, right click on My Computer (or Computer) and click Properties.  This will open up the system information.  This method will also tell you what Version and Edition of Windows that you have.
    right-click-my-computer-properties-from-start-menu
    windows-7-edition-system-information