DIY Tech Tips 6

Welcome to another series of DIY Tech Tips part 6.  It has been quite a while since the last DIY Tech Tips post.  Well, I have been messing around with some new tech stuff that I have almost forgotten about doing another issue of DIY Tech Tips.  Here’s your dose of fix that you need.


Parental control feature in Windows 7

Parents will love me for this tip and kids will hate me to the core for revealing this. You can use the Parental Control feature that comes bundled in Windows 7 to limit the games your kids can play, block them from bad sites, schedule how many hours they can use the computer, view what files have been downloaded and even block instant messaging contacts to people you don’t feel comfortable having your kids talk to them.

Go to Control Panel and select “User Accounts and Family Safety” to create a new user account. This account will be the locked user account. Sign in to your Windows Live account and edit the usage settings for your kid. After which, you can log in to fss.llive.com with your Windows Live ID with your own computer to monitor all the information that you want to see.


Calculate distance with Google Maps

You can make use of the Google Maps Distance Calculator from Google Labs to check out the distance between two destinations.  This tool can be activated by clicking on the small ruler on the bottom left hand corner of the map Click once on the map to mark the first point and then tap the second location.  The distance will then be displayed.  You can also tap multiple distances to calculate the total distance of a trip


Install multiple operating systems

It won’t hurt to install additional operating systems in your computer, apart from being able to double check if an error on a website is caused by an issue on your current system, it is also able to act as a test bed for programs that you do not trust or feel safe to install on your real system. Download and install Virtualbox from www.virtualbox.org.  This free open source software allows you to test operating systems in a separate window and while you are still running in your main operating system.


Use the Mac’s Exposé

The new feature that comes with Snow Leopard is called Exposé, which is something that will push the entire screen backwards and have all your opened windows listed out in a neat fashion.  This is useful in the event you need to jump between applications real quick.  Hit the F9 key to use the Exposé.  Hit the F10 key to create thumbnails of the open windows of your applications.  F11 to move all open windows to the side so that you can view the files that are on the desktop.  You can also click and hold the application in the Dock to show the windows for just that app.


Write Chinese with your fingers

With the new feature built-in Snow Leopard, you can make use of a multi-track pad to write Chinese characters if you happened to know how to write it instead of trying to remember the “Pinyin” version of the character.


Back up with Time Machine

Time Machine is the free “clone software” bundled with Snow Leopard.  Simply hook up an external drive to have the program perform the backup on the external storage, since it is not practical to have your backup on the same drive in case you lose everything when the drive becomes corrupted.


Add a Bookmark menu bar in iPad

It is quite easy to bookmark sites with the Safari browser.  But most users do not know that there is actually a Bookmark bar that can be inserted onto the browser so that you can access your favorite sites real quick.  Go to Settings, click on Safari and select “Always Show Bookmarks Bar”.  You will now be able to access your bookmarks with the menu bar below the address bar.


Taking screenshots with Mac

Unlike Windows that uses a delicated key on the keyboard to take screen shots, you will need to hit a combination of keys in the Mac OS in order to take a screenshot.  Press Command + Shift + 3 to take a shot of the entire screen.

Press and hold on to Command + Shift + 4 to select a portion of the screen to capture.  A cross hair will be present for you to select the space you wish to screen shot.

Press Command + Shift + 4


Organize your files with the libraries feature

Windows 7 comes with this new feature called the library.  Think of it as a playlist.  Take for instance, In the past, if you want to show a bunch of photos to your friends, but lets say you will want to show certain photos to your school friends and certain photos to your work colleagues.  You might need to copy and paste those photos into separate folders.  This results in wasted space and extra job being done.  Now you can simply create a library list and on those files you wish to add to a certain library, right click and add to that “named” library.  You can even tag the same file to multiple libraries.


Get more themes for your Windows 7

Finding themes could not be easier, simply right click on the desktop and select Personalize.  Click the link on the right side that says “Get more themes online”.  This will fire up your Web browser and take you to the Microsoft Windows themes website.  You can try those associated with Microsoft’s “Bing” search as they are pretty good choices.

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Posted by on Jan 9 2014. Filed under Tech Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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