Windows 8 Tips

header_girl_bottomIf you are like many people that have a new computer and are in desperate need of help, do not worry, there are many folks in your situation. Your new Windows 8 Program can be very confusing if you have never had any experience with it before, but all you need is a few Windows 8 pointers. Once you get used to the system, you will be able to maneuver through it quickly and without any problems.

When you buy your computer you will have a default theme. If you do not like this, there is a simple way to change it. All you have to do is right-click the desktop and click personalization. You can also enter personalization in the search field and click the personalization result. You can choose from four different options. The My Themes option allows you to customize and make your own themes. Windows Default Themes allow you to choose from a set list of themes. Installed Themes could be from your device’s manufacturer or other non Microsoft provider. High Contrast Themes make the text standout and easier to read.

If you have been looking for the Windows messenger on your Windows 8 machine or device, it is not there. In 2013 it was replaced with Skype. You get free IMs and are able to transfer your contacts when you update to Skype and sign in with your Microsoft account.

If you are looking to increase available disc space on your computer it is very easy. All you have to do is go to start. You will see an instant search text box. Simply type “disc cleanup” in the box. Then you will need to click the disk cleanup option. Then select the drive that you would like to clean up and select OK. Then you will click the Disc Cleanup tab, and select the boxes for the file types you wish to delete. Then in the confirmation screen you will click Delete Files. It is just that simple. More disc space frees you to download more pictures and do other things on your computer. It will also help your computer to run a little quicker. Windows 8 is easier than you think. Keep working and every day it will be a little easier.

More tips to come!

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Holiday Shopping on Cyber Monday

Tired of waiting in line for the sales of Black Friday? Well, now you can get great deals from the comfort of your own home on Cyber Monday. “What’s Cyber Monday?” You ask. Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving when online shoppers congest the e-commerce world with traffic. It is the cyber world’s equivalent to local retailers Black Friday. Many online distributors offer customers holiday discounts and sales in attempts to lure patrons away from crowded malls and into the relaxing world of online shopping. With the abundant array of stores now located on the World Wide Web, the hassles of holiday shopping can be made easier with just a few clicks of the mouse from the comforts of your own home.

And to make online shopping more enticing to the holiday shopper, many online retailers, like Superwarehouse.com, offer customers not only great holiday deals, but also ideas for gifts and convenient shipping discounts on Cyber Monday and through out the rest of the holiday shopping season. Have your holiday shopping lists prepared and ready to go? Many online retail sites offer their own easy to use search engines to make zipping through that holiday list near effortless. Just type in the brand or product name of the gift that you are looking for and let your computer takes care of the rest.

So why wait in line all night in the cold after your Thanksgiving meals? Take a few days, relax until Monday and shop with ease online. Best of all, you are sure to find everything to meet your holiday needs at the tip of you fingers without having to wait in any long holiday check out lines.

The Greenest Technologies

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The independent global campaigning organization Green Peace is constantly working to encourage the preservation of the environment and peace. In their efforts to try to persuade people to change their attitudes and behaviors to be more environmentally conscious, Green Peace developed the “The Guide to Greener Electronics” in 2006. This “guide” informs the public about the top 18 electronic manufacturers’ policies regarding toxic chemicals and plant waste. By publishing this information and making it readily available to the public, Green Peace has motivated many manufacturers to take responsibility for their ecological footprint and change their policies to commit to improving their green efforts. This includes abolishing the use of any toxic chemicals, increasing plant and product energy efficiency, and taking responsibility for their electronic waste. Not only has Green Peace’s efforts motivated manufacturers to change their ways, they have also inspired many consumers to change their buying habits as well. As more green options become available to consumers, consumers can make the choice not to support brands or manufacturers who do not abide by these “green guidelines”.

In 2008 Green Peace began extended its “Guide to Greener Electronics” and published its first “Green Products Survey”. This survey invites top electronic manufacturers to submit one of their products that they consider to be the greenest. Among those to participate were Acer, Dell, HP, Panasonic, Sharp, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba.

IBM at the Forefront of the Supercomputer Industry

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The U.S. government has recently contracted with IBM to make the most powerful supercomputer in the world. This supercomputer, named Sequoia, is said to occupy an estimated 3,422 square feet when completed by its 2011 anticipated delivery.

Now what could the U.S. government want with a supercomputer the size of a large house. The Sequoia will help the U.S. Department of Energy at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to simulate nuclear tests. Simulation of U.S. nuclear weapons will allow scientist to make estimates about the safety and reliability of such weapons without doing any actual real-life testing. Additionally, the Sequoia could potentially be used for peacetime estimations such as weather forecasting and potential oil explorations. Simulation of possible pharmaceutical drugs effects on the human body or possible market events’ economical impact on Wall Street are also some expected capabilities of the Sequoia.

To run such stimulations the Sequoia will be backed by some impressive hardware and software. The supercomputer is said to have the capability of performing at twenty petaFLOPs per second. A FLOP is an acronym meaning FLoating point Operations Per Second- it is a measure of performance for fields like scientific calculations which entail floating point calculations; peta is equal to 1015 as mega is equal to 106. The Sequoia will have the power of two million laptops and hold an approximated 1.6 million processors. It is anticipated that the Sequoia will have 1.6 TB of memory and run on Linux, a highly regarded open operating system. IBM servers have also proven to be respected and capable of supporting such advanced programming.

IBM has been a leader in the supercomputer sector for more than fifty years and continues to be in the forefront of supercomputer technologies.

Delay in the Switch from Analog to Digital

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If you haven’t heard the news already, Congress recently passed legislation delaying the deadline for television stations to stop broadcasting in analog. Last year the deadline was set for February 17, 2009 for all stations to end broadcasting in analog, but with millions of people still not equipped for the change, Congress has given television broadcasters until June 12, 2009 to make the move. Though some full-power stations may stop broadcasting in analog this month on the 17th, others are deciding to postpone their switch until sometime between March 14th and June 12th. Additional information regarding exact dates around the switch to digital can be found on the FCC’s Digital TV Transition website.

Congress’s decision gives the public more time to make the decision to either upgrade to a new television or to buy a converter box. For many, this legislation is giving people the push needed to go out and upgrade thier television. Though digital converter boxes enable people with analog televisions to view digital broadcasting, some are finding this not be an easy transition.

One complaint that has been made is that when the digital converter box was installed, less channels were received then without the converter box. This is because analog can pick up on weak signals, while digital cannot; with digital reception you either have reception or you do not. While your analog television may have delivered some stations in poor quality, these stations probably will not be picked up at all with digital.

Another concern that has frustrated the public is that people with analog televisions will no longer be able to record programming directly off of the air with their VCR’s. Though this problem can be overcome fairly easily, it does pose one more obstacle for those still utilizing analog. One option is to connect the digital converter to the VCR and to also connect the VCR to the T.V.; the problem with this method is that the viewer cannot change channels while recording programming. A second option would be to buy two converter boxes and have one connected to the T.V and the other connected to the VCR. The final option would be to buy a digital video recorder (DVR) to record programming digitally off the air.

The only real way to avoid all of the upcoming hassle involved with making the switch from analog to digital would be to invest in a new television set. If your T.V. still works with analog you probably haven’t upgraded in a long time anyways- televisions on the market now are quite impressive in their functionality. Clarity, color vibrancy, and all together image quality are remarkable in some of the new HDTV’s and prices are also fairly reasonable. Brands such as Samsung, ViewSonic, and Panasonic offer a wide range of television models that accommodate for trade offs made between image quality and price.

Why Should You Buy a Plotter?

hp_designjet_500Plotters, or wide format printers, are great for printing poster size prints and large architectural plans. If you do a lot of large scale printing, then stop debating and invest in a plotter today; it will make your life a whole lot easier. If you require large format prints only once a month or less, then you will be better off outsourcing large print jobs to your local print shop. However, if you require poster size prints more frequently then you will be better off investing in your own plotter instead of wasting money to have other people print your items.

Most plotters use inkjet technology and produce clear images that you can be proud to put your name on. These wide format printers range in price and in size; anywhere from 13 to 60 inches wide. The most common sizes are 24, 36, 42 and 44 inches and the most popular wide format printer brands are HP, Canon and Epson. If you invest money in a good plotter now, you will save yourself money over the course of your business.

If you need a smaller plotter, the 13 inch plotter is an excellent choice. Starting at around only $789, this plotter can print on 18 x 24 sheets and has about a 70 sheet capacity. If you need one that can handle a larger paper size and capacity, then you should go for a 36 or 42 inch plotter, which are average in size.

The HP plotters deliver clear, crisp, rich images and have versatile paper handling capabilities that allow you to choose between roll and sheet-fed paper along with many different weights and types of paper. They also have long life printheads that mean fewer supplies changes, unattended printing and low cost of ownership. HP plotters allow easy printing from any Microsoft Windows application, have USB connectivity, and come with warranties. If you need help with the plotter, don’t worry because it comes with a user manual on CD, a quick start guide and a reference guide.

There are all kinds of plotters that you can buy for your business. Just think about what you will print now and in the near future and any must-have features for your business. Making sure you get the right one will be worth your time and effort. Wide format printers are durable and will make your business better than it is today.

How to Setup Dual Monitors

How_to_setup_dual_monitors_two_monitorsMore and more people are running dual monitors on their computers today. There are even some professionals and gamers who connect three or more monitors to their computers. One of the main reasons to consider running multiple monitors is that it is a tremendous time savior. Dual monitors increases productivity for anyone that opens multiple windows and applications simultaneously. This is especially true for designers who work with various graphics programs; you can code on one monitor and view results on another. Contrast to using a single monitor, you do not have to worry about constantly maximizing and minimizing screens when working with two or more monitors.

In order to set up dual monitors, you will first need to make sure that you have everything you need. Requirements for doing this include two monitors, a computer, Windows OS and two monitor connections on your video card. The video card is the part of your computer that sticks out from the back. Before you get started, you need to look and make sure that you have either two VGA connections, two DVI connections or one of each. In most computers produced in the last few years that is not a problem. In the rare event that you do not have more than one connector, you have two options. One option is to add a second video card and the other option is to replace the video adapter with a card that offers dual monitor support. There are many different video adapters from which to choose; varying in terms of performance and price. You can usually find one; however, that will support even a small budget. It is a good idea to keep in mind that in the event you work with a lot of graphics, you should make an attempt to obtain a card that supports Video Ram or VRAM.

To find out whether you have everything you need, take a look at the back of the computer and look for two VGA connectors, two DVI connectors, or one of each. If you only have a single DVI or single VGA connector then you will need to either replace your existing video adapter with one that has two connections or install a video adapter.

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Once you have two of the right connectors, you can connect your second monitor to the computer by plugging the second monitor into the port. Then restart the computer. This will give it a chance to detect the second monitor.

You will then need to adjust the display settings by clicking on the Start menu and then on the Control Panel. Next, click on monitor icon labeled Display. From there, click on the Settings tab in the Display Properties box. (A faster way to get here is to right click anywhere on the desktop, click on properties, and then click the Settings tab.) Now, click the monitor icon that is labeled ‘2’. Next, select ‘Extend my Windows Desktop onto this Monitor.’ There should be a checkbox next to that option.

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This will allow you to extend the desktop onto both monitors rather than having it just on one. It may take a moment for your computer to start running on both monitors. In fact, your screens may go black or freeze up for a few seconds. Do not worry as this is normal. Your computer needs a few seconds to ‘talk’ to the new monitor. Within a few seconds the screen should come back to life and you should be able to see your desktop on the screen. Now, enjoy!