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MyTrevo

 
THIS WEEK’S TIP
Remove the Formatting When Pasting

When you copy text from any source, programs will usually copy any formatting that comes with it. To paste this as plain text, press CTRL + Shift + V instead of the standard CTRL + V, and the system will paste unformatted text. Note that many programs follow this rule (Chrome, Firefox, etc.) but not all, particularly Microsoft programs like Word or Outlook. For those there's a couple alternatives: A) CTRL + ALT + V will show a 'paste special' dialog box. B) CTRL + Spacebar will remove formatting in already pasted text.


PREVIOUS TIPS
July 25, 2013
Get rid of Gmail's new ads
Google's latest redesign to gmail attempts to solve inbox clutter by separating your mail into tabs. You may have noticed a tab named Promotions, which contains all of your groupon, living social and other promotional emails. Along with these however, are Google's own targeted ads disguised as e-mails. How do we get rid of them? The first is to get rid of just the irrelevant ones. By clicking the "x" on each message, you will train gmail to not deliver any more from that provider. The second way is to get rid of the Promotions tab all together — all future promotional e-mails will appear in the main tab. This can be accomplished by hitting the settings button (looks like a gear) on the top right corner -> Configure Inbox -> uncheck Promotions.

July 18, 2013
Bookmarkletts
Download YouTube Etc gives you links to download standard, and HD (high definition) versions of videos directly from YouTube in a number of formats, including FLV, MP4, MP3, and AVI. It works not only on YouTube pages, but also on any public website with an embedded video from this and a variety of other sources.

GmailThis! shows a Gmail pop-up pre-populated with a link to the site you are visiting, as well as any text you have highlighted on that page. Add additional text if you wish and then email or save as draft from within GmailThis!

Tip: Try right clicking the links above and saving them as a bookmark. You now have a bookmarklet

July 11, 2013
Security
Cookies are useful for storing information about a user's preferences when using a particular site, so outright blocking them is far from the best option. But since cookies can also be used to correlate a variety of information related to your online activity some tweaking should be in order. For instance, going to the privacy settings on your browser you can set it to clear cookies and other site data every time you close the program or after a certain period of time (e.g. 15 days). You can also create exceptions to block certain sites and always allow others.

July 3rd, 2013
SugarSync
I’ve been a huge Dropbox fan for a long time, and as a result didn’t go looking for alternate cloud-storage services. I stumbled across SugarSync recently however, and have been very impressed. Most especially I discovered that it lets you pick folders from all over your computer to sync, rather than having to reorganize, and throw everything into a single folder. This allows very fine-grained control over what to sync to each device connected to your account. That extra flexibility does bring some added complexity – especially compared to services like Dropbox that require almost no user intervention. Other features include uploading via email (with Outlook integration), no file size limits, media streaming to mobile devices, and the ability to share files and folders with specific users or publicly, with the option to password-protect said files. SugarSync is available on Windows and OS X desktops and just about every mobile platform.

June 27th, 2013
Windows 8 Search Feature
Windows 8 Search feature is… well, it’s debatable whether it’s as mediocre as it ever was, or if it’s actively getting worse. There’s not a whole lot you can do to change this, but you can make your results less cluttered by excluding some apps that you don’t intend to use. Go to “Win + I > Change PC Settings > Search” to manage the search list.

June 20th, 2013
AutoHotkey
AutoHotKey is an open-source utility that records keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can write macros by hand or use the macro recorder. You can also create hotkeys for keyboard, mouse, joystick, and handheld remote controls. Virtually any key, button, or combination can become a hotkey. Similarly, you can define abbreviations that expand as you type them. For example, typing ‘ftw’ can automatically produce ‘for the win’. Finally, you can create custom data entry forms, user interfaces, and menu bars. Other features include remap keys, change soundcard settings (like volume or mute), use a joystick or keyboard as a mouse; make any window transparent, always-on-top, or alter its shape; manipulate the clipboard, customize the tray menu's icon and menu items, and convert any script into an EXE file that can be run on any PC.

June 13th, 2013
OtherInbox
It seems like my email is divided into three categories – Important (things I need to read and answer right now); Semi-important (things I want to read soonish, or keep because they have information I may need later); and things I never want to read. Gmail and Yahoo do a decent job of separating the first and third categories for me, but the majority of my emails fall into the second category – and they are just a mess.

Otherinbox is service for Gmail and Yahoo mail that aims to reduce that second tier clutter. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to do any of the work. After connecting your email account with the service, simply sit back and watch as messages are labeled and archived into Shopping, Travel, Business, and other predetermined categories. Emails sent from the contacts you deal with the most are left in your inbox, so you can read the important stuff first and deal with the rest later. In some ways it’s similar to the Priority Inbox feature of Gmail, but the two services actually complement each other: Priority Inbox keeps the emails you really want at the top while Organizer can keep any automated emails out of your inbox altogether. Additionally you can set it to organize shipping information, payment reminders and upcoming sales into your calendar, or create multiple disposable email addresses you can use when registering to a new website -- making it easy to determine where the spam is coming from and block those messages with the click of a button.

June 6th, 2013
Jump Lists
Recently opened items, such as files, folders, or websites, are organized by the program that you use to open them. You can use a Jump List to open these items, and you can also pin favorites to a Jump List, so you can quickly get to the items that you use every day. Jump Lists—new in Windows 7—take you right to the documents, pictures, songs, or websites you turn to each day. To open a Jump List, just right-click a program button on the Windows 7 taskbar. (You can also get to Jump Lists by clicking the arrow next to the program name on the Start menu.) What you see in a Jump List depends entirely on the program. The Jump List for Internet Explorer shows frequently viewed websites. Windows Media Player 12 lists commonly played tunes. If a Jump List is missing a favorite then you can "pin" whatever files you like there. Jump Lists don't just show shortcuts to files. Sometimes they also provide quick access to commands for things like composing new email messages or playing music.

May 30, 2013
OpenDNS
DNS (Domain Name Servers) servers compile lists of the URLs that match each IP address. However, most DNS servers have incomplete lists. This means your request could be filtered through many different servers before the site is loaded. OpenDNS keeps a gigantic list of domain names and funnels requests more efficiently to speed up Web browsing. It also keeps you safer by detecting phishing sites and blocking them – as well as porn and gambling sites. You can set strict parental controls to limit what your kids see.

May 23, 2013
Secure browsing on public Wi-Fi networks
Free public Wi-Fi networks are becoming more accessible than ever before. Walk into any Starbucks, Mcdonalds, and even on some buses you will find free Wi-Fi for you to stay connected. But did you know that anything you do over an unencrypted connection can easily be seen by traffic sniffers?

There are 2 ways to prevent this:

  • Use a secure connection (https) when possible. All financial institutions should provide a secure connection when logged onto their website. Even facebook has an option for users to surf on a secure connection. You'll know it's a secure connection if you see "https" in the beginning of the url.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN allows a computer to securely send/receive data over a public network. Some companies provide VPN access so that you can work remotely and still be able to access their private networks. Or you can always subscribe to a VPN service such as Strong VPN, Witopia, or Private Internet Access.

May 16, 2013
Ditto - Clipboard Manager
One drawback to window's built-in clipboard is that it only allows you to copy one time before you paste. So if you wanted to save a large chunk of text, but accidentally copied something else, you'd have to go back and copy that text again. With Ditto, any item you copy will automatically be saved and you'll be able to quickly access your clipboard history by hitting ctrl + `.

May 9, 2013
Backup Your Gmail
Gmail Backup is a simple, straight-forward and even though it hasn’t been updated in a couple years, it does exactly what it says it will do. Upon installation, just type in your credentials and it will begin downloading all your e-mails, backing them up securely, and allowing you to restore them to your account should the unthinkable happen. The program is free and Windows-only.

If you're willing to shell out $20, Gmail Keeper will back up Gmail messages or messages from a Google Apps Mail account as a .zip file to a local disk. It supports multiple accounts and even stores labels associated with each message, while those concerned about privacy can encrypt their mail and password protect it.

May 2, 2013
WiFi Piggybackers
I got the idea for today’s tip while troubleshooting my parent’s slow internet connection this weekend (they hadn’t given their Wi-Fi a password, and the neighbors were using it). The first thing you need to do is login to your router's administrative console by typing its IP address directly into the browser address bar -- typically 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 depending on which router you have. If you don't know your router's default address go to the command prompt (Start > Run/Search for cmd) and enter ipconfig. The address you need should be next to Default Gateway under your Local Area Connection.

Once inside your router's administrative console look for a section related to connected devices or wireless status. It will be different for everyone, sometimes it’s available under Status > Wireless but can also find it as "Attached Devices", under or "Device List".

This should provide a table with the IP, MAC address and other details of every device currently connected to the router. Check that list against your gear to find any intruders. You can find out the MAC/IP address of your computers by going to the Command Prompt again and entering 'ipconfig /all'. The MAC address will be shown as the physical address.

April 25, 2013
HTTPS Everywhere
This is a great, free browser plug-in. The software forces browsers to display information with HTTP Secure, the same encryption technique most companies use when processing online credit card orders. The extra step helps protect any sensitive information traveling between your computer and the websites you browse.

April 18, 2013
Shortcut to Gmail Shortcuts
Who can ever remember all the shortcuts available for Gmail? If you press Shift and Question Mark (?) you’ll see a list of Gmail shortcuts overlaid on the page. To make them easier to read use the “open in a new window” link on the upper right.

April 11, 2013
Windows 8 Hotkey Shortcuts

  • Windows key: Shows the new Start screen (Metro).
  • Win + type keyword: Instant application search (same as in Windows 7).
  • Win + D: Standard Windows desktop. Also minimizes/restores all open windows in desktop mode.
  • Win + Q: Shows all installed apps.
  • Win + W: Instant search for settings.
  • Win + F: Instant search for files.
  • Win + I: Settings sidebar (control panel, network, volume, brightness, notifications, and more).
  • Win + P: Shows multi-monitor options, also useful for connecting an external monitor or projector.
  • Win + X: Power user shortcut menu (Device Manager, Control Panel, Command Prompt, Power Options, etc.).
  • Win + Z: Shows App Bar in Metro applications.
  • Win + . (period): Snaps the current Metro app to the right side of the screen. Do it twice and it will snap to the left.
  • Win + . (period) + Shift: Snaps the current Metro app to the left side of the screen.

April 4, 2013
Google reinvents Pac-Man for your playing pleasure
Released as a homage on the 30th anniversary of the popular arcade game, Google’s Pac-Man was their first ever interactive, playable doodle and was so well received by users that the company decided to host it indefinitely instead of just for 48 hours as initially planned. The game is based on HTML5 with a fall-back Flash option for browsers that don’t support it yet. Much like the original Pac-Man, Google had programmed the game to glitch and end at the 256th screen.

March 28, 2013
Get in control of your online privacy
Privacyfix is a free browser extension that walks you through you privacy settings on popular social networking sites, and helps you learn how you’re being tracked online. The Privacyfix browser extension scans for privacy issues based on your Facebook and Google settings, the other sites that you visit, and the companies tracking you. Privacyfix then takes you instantly to the settings that you need to fix. It also can warn you of new privacy issues as you surf the web, so you know when sites like Facebook change their privacy policies or have privacy breaches.

March 21, 2013
Block Annoying Ads
Pop-up ads are obnoxious, they slow down your browser, and if you accidentally click on one you’ll never find your way back out of the black hole. Instead of being resigned to them, get rid of pop-ups for good by downloading NoScript for Firefox or AdBlock for Firefox and Chrome. Both are free browser extensions that improve your browsing experience by blocking the code that triggers the ads.

March 8, 2013
Android Spring Cleaning
Clearing out cache files (temporary files that apps store on your phone) periodically can significantly improve the performance of your phone. Press the Menu key on the phone and tap Settings. On the Settings screen, tap Applications and then Manage Applications. Select the All tab and flick down the screen to the app you want to clear. On the Application Information screen you can see how much space the app’s cache is taking up. Tap the Clear Cache button to dump the files. Depending on your version, the same screen may also have a Clear Data button, but be warned that tapping it will wipe out personal information that the app has stored - like user names, passwords, and saved games. If an app is persistently misbehaving, tapping the Clear Data button may fix the problem, but restores the app back its original state.

Repeat the process with as many apps as you like.

February 22, 2013
Storify
Storify is a website that aggregates updates from social networks in a new and clever context. Users tell stories by collecting those updates and placing them in a narrative that is interactive, dynamic and relevant. You can click on the story associated with each media element to get the context of why it’s interesting. Any element can be re-used for your own stories, or also commented on, liked or shared. It’s a new way of bringing together disparate elements of news and information in a very personal way.

February 7, 2013
Secret Zoom for iPhone/iPad
One of the primary problems with mobile devices is the small screen size, and subsequent small size of any text. We all know that you can zoom in on pictures and web pages using the pinch or finger spread; but there are times when you need the zoom and it isn’t supported. The reasons for this vary - some apps don’t allow it, and others, like Google Maps, resize everything so the street names still stay too small to read.

There is a great little work-around however that is the "Three Finger Zoom". This will work on any screen at any time. Just use three fingers to double tap the screen, making sure first that it is configured in your settings: Settings –> General –> Accessibility –> Zoom (Set "Zoom" to "On").

January 31, 2013
Outlook Attachments
A small time-saving tip that I’m currently loving, is for Microsoft Office on Windows 7. If you drag an item from the ‘Recent Documents’ jump list to Outlook it makes a new email with it as the attachment, and adds the filename as the subject. And apparently this will work with any file, or group of files, from Windows Explorer. Just drag them into your Outlook inbox and they'll become an attachment. However, jump lists are often forgotten, and it's probably a surefire place to find that file you want to attach.

January 24, 2013
Steady Camera Shots on Smartphones
Smartphone camera quality has improved over the last few years. Five- and eight-megapixel cameras are now common in many popular models. Because the phones have also become thinner and lighter, being able to hold them steady long enough to take the best photo can be a challenge. There are ways around this, however. For example, on the Galaxy S III you can use the voice-control feature built into Android to take a photo by saying "Shoot" into the phone.

Tapping the shutter button on Apple’s Camera app may jiggle the phone and cause the photo to blur, but you can hold an iPhone like a regular camera and press the volume button to take the picture in iOS 5 and later. Holding down the iPhone’s onscreen shutter button while lining up a shot and then gently lifting your finger off the screen can help stabilize the Camera app as well.

January 17, 2013
Tax Deductable Tech
Your computer, cell phone, Internet service, software and even some cool tech gadgetry are possible tax deductions if you use them to run your business. With most gadgets, you need to claim a percentage of time that you used that device for business purposes – but be aware that it’s a bit of a red flag to the IRS if you claim 100% of the time. Internet use and cell phone costs qualify too. So if you travel a lot and often buy Wi-Fi on the plane, don’t forget to add the expenses come tax time. The type of work you do matters as well since the IRS’ standard for a legitimate deduction requires the item to be a usual, necessary, customary and reasonable expense for your type of work - so don’t go claiming an iPad as a work expense if you make shoes for a living.

January 10, 2013
Flight Explorer
Planning to get away? Find flights quickly by using Google's Flight Explorer. Just type in the departure and arrival destinations, set the dates and click search. Then you can sort by number of stops, price, duration, and even compare which dates have the cheapest prices.

January 3, 2013
Repeat videos on Youtube
Youtube offers a great video streaming service, but where's the repeat button? Here's a third party solution by listenonrepeat.com:

  1. Find a video on youtube you'd like to play on repeat.
  2. In your browser's address bar, remove everything before ".com", replace with "listenonrepeat", and hit enter.

    Example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9Q7GISatW0
           listenonrepeat.com/watch?v=l9Q7GISatW0

December 27, 2012
Activating Family Safety in Win 8
Built into Windows 8 is a revamped version of Family Safety. When activated, it can help make your kid's computer and online experience safer by restricting websites, controlling when they can use the pc and for how long, and you can even get activity reports sent to you.

Here's how to activate this feature:

  1. Create a new user account for your kid. Begin at the Start screen and navigate to Control Panel -> Users -> Add a User.
  2. Check "Is this a child's account..." and click finish.
  3. Now you can configure which features you want to use and its settings.

December 20, 2012
Universal Packing List
Packing for a trip can be a difficult task, especially if you're going to a foreign country with no idea what to expect. Luckily, the Universal Packing List is an online wizard that can automatically create a packing list suited to your travel plans.

December 6, 2012
Deleting locked bookmarks on your Android Phone
If you have an Android phone, you might be familiar with the annoying "locked" preset bookmarks in your web browser. Trying to delete them via the the browser will just result in an error message. An easy work around is to install Bookmark Folder Manager Free. From there, you may choose to delete any, or all, of those locked bookmarks.

December 13, 2012
A few iPhone tricks you didn't know

  • Have the camera flash blink when you receive a phone call, text, e-mail, or push notification
    Navigate to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> LED Flash for Alerts -> On
  • Taking steady pictures with your headphones
    If your headphone includes volume buttons, you can set your iPhone down and use the headphone's volume buttons as a "remote" clicker. Additionally, the volume buttons on your phone can also snap photos.
  • Immediately scroll to the top of a long webpage
    If you're on the bottom of a really long webpage, just tap the time above your browser and it will immediately scroll you to the top.
  • Taking a screen shot
    Press the home button and the power button simultaneously to take a screen shot.
  • Fun tip: Invert colors on the homescreen
    On your (or an uninitiated friend's) iPhone, navigate to General -> Accesssibility -> Triple-click Home -> Toggle White on Black. Now the screen's color will be inverted.

December 6, 2012
Deleting locked bookmarks on your Android Phone
If you have an Android phone, you might be familiar with the annoying "locked" preset bookmarks in your web browser. Trying to delete them via the the browser will just result in an error message. An easy work around is to install Bookmark Folder Manager Free. From there, you may choose to delete any, or all, of those locked bookmarks.

November 29, 2012
Maximize Cashback for your Online Shopping!
Every online shopper should take advantage of cashback programs such as: mrrebates.com, shopathome.com, ShopDiscover by Discover, or UltimateRewards by Chase. There are many to choose from, and sometimes it gets a little frustrating trying to compare which program yields the most cashback. Cashbackholic.com, a cashback comparison site, gives you up-to-date info on which program yields the most cashback for a merchant. Remember to use this new tip when you shop for bargains through Retrevo's Daily Deals page - where we scour the web daily, for the best bargains!

November 22, 2012
Shorten those long URLs!
I recently tried to share a link with a friend by texting him the link. He responded minutes later, saying that the link was too long, resulting in the link getting cut into 2 separate messages; The link was unclickable. And so I went and found a solution to my problem: a URL shortening service, such as bitly.com or tinyurl.com. They mask the original, much longer link with a much shorter one, making it easier for me to share the link.

November 15, 2012
Start button on Windows 8
With Black friday coming around the corner, a lot of people are probably on the look out for a new laptop. Unfortunately for the old school Windows 7 users, most of these laptops come preloaded with Windows 8. If you're still not ready to part from the good 'ol start button, you can get it back by buying and installing the Start8 software.

November 8, 2012
Ultramon: Multiple Monitor Utility
Having multiple monitors is great for increasing work efficiency on your computer, but it gets a little overwhelming when you have too many windows open at the same time. This is where Ultramon can help with management, by creating a smart taskbar for each additional monitor. This way, your taskbars will only contain items that are on that respective monitor. You can also set a different desktop wallpaper for each monitor, amongst other things.

November 1, 2012
Is your PC Windows 8 Compatible?
Some of you brave PC users may be in the market to upgrade to Windows 8, but is your PC Windows 8 compatible? Run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant and find out! It checks your PC's hardware and software for compatibility issues, and will let you know what is not compatible.

October 25, 2012
Printing directly onto Envelopes with Microsoft Office
Being able to print directly onto an envelope saves time, money, and also looks more professional. Here's how to do it in Office 2007 and later.

  1. Open a new word document and navigate to 'Mailings' on the top row of tabs.
  2. Click the 'Envelopes' icon.
  3. Fill in the required information.
  4. Click 'Options' to configure envelope size, font, and feed method for your printer.
  5. Now, you can either print or print later by clicking on 'Add to Document'.

October 18, 2012
On-screen text too small? Make it bigger.
Sometimes I find that the text on the screen is just too small for comfort. We can always lower the display resolution and make everything larger, but everything will also look pixelated and distorted. To get larger text without the distortion, all you have to do is increase the DPI Scaling. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to acheive this in Mac OS, but here's how you do it in Windows 7.

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select 'Screen Resolution'.
  2. Click the link that reads 'Make text and other items larger or smaller'.
  3. Select a larger size and apply settings (Note: You may have to restart your computer to see the changes.

October 11, 2012
Password protecting your PDF file
Sometimes it's necessary to send someone a PDF with sensitive information on it. If using Adobe Acrobat X to create it, you can choose to password protect it so that only your recipient may open and view the file. Here's how:

  1. Inside Adobe Acrobat X, navigate to File -> Properties.
  2. Under 'Security' tab, there is a dropdown for 'Security Method'.
  3. Choose 'Password Security'.
  4. Check 'Require a password to open the document', and enter a password.

If you are running Mac OS X or higher, and you want to create a protected PDF from a document or webpage, you can do this natively:

  1. Go to the document or webpage you wish to convert to a password protected PDF and navigate to File -> Print.
  2. On the lower left corner, click and hold the 'PDF' button and select 'Encrypt PDF'.
  3. Enter a password, and hit continue.
  4. Name your PDF and save.

October 4, 2012
Get rid of duplicate files
I recently ran into an issue where I had multiple - I mean thousands - of duplicate songs in my music folder. I spent over half an hour sifting through and deleting duplicates, until I stumbled upon DoubleKiller. This small and light-weight program allows you to automatically find duplicate files in folders and delete them.

September 27, 2012
Prevent your Android phone from getting wiped
If you own an Android phone, you may be vulnerable to a recently discovered security exploit in earlier versions of Android OS (before 4.1). It allows an attacker to restore your phone to its factory settings if you visit a website with malicious code embedded within it. An easy way to check if you are vulnerable is to go to this website. If your phone is vulnerable, then it will cause your phone to open up the dialer and display the IMEI code. Here are a couple of apps you can install to prevent the malicious from being executed: TelStop or Auto-Reset Blocker

September 20, 2012
Updating to iOS 6
iOS 6 was just released by Apple, and many of you have probably heard of all the new & exciting features. Here is a step by step to update your compatible device to the latest iOS 6:

Through iTunes:

  1. Make sure your Apple device is compatible* with the iOS 6.
  2. Connect your device to iTunes.
  3. Click on your device on the left hand menu.
  4. Click on 'Check for Update'.
  5. A window should popup asking if you wish to update to iOS 6, select yes and follow the directions to download and install.

Through your device:

  1. Make sure your Apple device is compatible* with the iOS 6.
  2. It is recommended you have at least 50% battery life and keep your device plugged into a wall charger.
  3. Go to settings -> General -> Software Update
  4. Your device should now check for updates, and prompt you to install iOS 6.

*iOS 6 is only compatible with: iPhone 3GS & above, iPad 2 & above, and iPod Touch 4th Gen. All new features may not be available on all devices.

September 13, 2012
Stop annoying Facebook app blasts
Many of us have installed social news apps on Facebook such as Yahoo or Washington Post. Some may like the automatic blasting of every article you read, so that friends and family can read what you read too. But for those who are annoyed by this feature, here are a few simple steps to stop those posts.

  1. While logged into Facebook, click on the upside-down triangle on the top right.
  2. Click on "Account Settings".
  3. Click on "Apps" on the menu bar to the left.
  4. Click "Edit" on the app you wish to remove the posts for.
  5. Look for the Posts on your behalf options and select "Only Me".

September 6, 2012
Creating Compressed (Zipped) folders
One of the benefits of creating a compressed folder is that it shrinks your files so that they take up less disk-space. It also makes it easier to send many files through e-mail by compressing them all into one zip file.

For Mac OS X:

  1. Locate and select the file(s) and/or folder(s) you want to be compressed.
  2. Hold down "ctrl" and click on the select item.
  3. Select "Compress", and you should have a zip file generated in the same directory, rename as necessary. (In Mac OS 10.3 or later, select "Archive")

For Windows XP or later:

  1. Locate and select the file(s) and/or folder(s) you want to be compressed.
  2. Right-click the selected item and select "Send To -> Compressed (zipped) Folder".
  3. A compressed folder will be generated in the same directory, rename as necessary.

August 30, 2012
Send SMS (text messages) using Gchat
Sometimes you need to send an urgent message to a friend on Gchat, but they've already signed off. A new feature that Google has been testing, SMS in Chat, solves this problem by allowing you to send the message directly to your friend via text messaging. It's also alot easier to send sms with a keyboard! This is how you enable it:

  1. Log into your gmail account.
  2. Go to settings, it is the gear icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Click on Labs and search for "sms".
  4. Enable SMS (text messaging) in Chat.
  5. To send a SMS to a phone, just type the 10-digit phone number in the Gchat search window and click SMS.

August 9, 2012
Google Search by Image
Trying to do a Google search on an image using keywords can be quite challenging. How do you accurately describe the image? Luckily, Google search has a feature that lets you search by image. All you have to do is:

  1. Navigate to google.com.
  2. Click on the images link.
  3. Simply drag and drop the image into the search bar, and Google will show you similar or related images and also other relevant results from the web.

August 16, 2012
Saving a word document (or any document) as a PDF
There are many benefits to saving a document as a PDF rather than a word document. The formatting stays the same, it's readily accessible on any PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet, and it can't be modified by others. Mac users have a built-in method of saving a document to PDF, while Windows users are left in the dark. Thankfully, if you own Microsoft Office 2007 or above, you can install an Add-in that will allow you to save in PDF format. To save a webpage or any other document to PDF, there are a few third-party applications like PDFCreator, CutePDF, and DoPDF that can help solve this problem. Once installed, you have the ability to print a document to PDF.

August 9, 2012
Google Search by Image
Trying to do a Google search on an image using keywords can be quite challenging. How do you accurately describe the image? Luckily, Google search has a feature that lets you search by image. All you have to do is:

  1. Navigate to google.com.
  2. Click on the images link.
  3. Simply drag and drop the image into the search bar, and Google will show you similar or related images and also other relevant results from the web.

August 2, 2012
QR Codes
A QR (Quick Response) code is similar to a standard bar code, but in the two dimensional space. They normally contain links to a website, app, e-mail, coupons, etc. Your smartphone will scan a QR code as long as they have an app that can translate the information. QR code apps can be downloaded free of charge and are extremely useful to have when attending shows, since they eliminate the need to carry around masses of brochures. These types of codes are becoming more and more common place in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, business cards; I even saw one on a poster in a woman's restroom recently.

July 26, 2012
Organize Your Start Menu
By default Windows will alphabetize the Start menu, but there is a way to arrange it to your own preference. Right-click on the Start button, choose Properties from the contextual menu and click on the Start menu tab in the Properties box. Click the Customize button, scroll down and remove the checkmark from the box next to "Sort All Programs menu by name". Click OK to close the Properties box and apply the new settings. You can now drag programs into your preferred order on the Start menu.

July 19, 2012
Taking screen shots with OS X
If you just switched to a Mac from a Windows PC like I did, you must be wondering where the "print screen" button is. Well here is a helpful shortcut so you can take screenshots with ease: Hold down Command + Shift + 4 and click and drag the region where you want to take a screenshot of. Once you let go, your screenshot will be automatically created on your desktop. If you simply want a screenshot of a window, such as your browser, hold down Command + Shift + 4, press space, then select the window. Again, your screenshot will appear on your desktop.

July 12, 2012
CCleaner
Over time your computer will get cluttered with old temporary files, browser cookies, and other unused files. This may slow down your computer, and your privacy online may be vulnerable. CCleaner is a free utility that finds and delete unused files on your windows PC or Mac, making your computer run smoother and also helping to maintain your privacy online.

July 5, 2012
Buy movie tickets in three steps
Start by asking Siri for your preferred movies showtimes in your zip code. With Fandango integration the list of theaters and showtimes are clickable, which will direct you to the ticket purchasing page for that movie and theater. You can set Fandango to remember your login credentials, so with one click you can purchase those tickets.

June 28, 2012
InstantWatcher.com
Keeping track of the new movies added to Instant Watch on Netflix can be frustrating sometimes. Luckily there's a pretty snazzy website that does all the hard work for you. InstantWatcher.com catalogs every single title in the Netflix library, you can sort them any number of ways – the newest, the most popular, top-rated and lowest-rated, New York Times Critics' Picks, and many others, with a variety of filtering methods. My favorite part is where they list the movies that are coming soon to Watch Instantly.

June 21, 2012
Need two Excel windows open simultaneously?
Sometimes you need to have two Excel spreadsheets open side-by-side, but no matter what you do, it just won't open in a new window. But fear not, the solution is simple:

1. Open up the first Excel spreadsheet file.
2. Go to your start menu -> programs -> Microsoft Office -> and double click the Excel icon.
3. Another Excel window should pop up, allowing you to open up a second Excel spreadsheet.

Now you should be able to compare the spreadsheets side-by-side, and work more efficiently.

June 14, 2012
Disk Wiping
Some people will tell you that reformatting your hard drive is a good enough method for protecting your information. But it is still quite possible to recover information off of the drive. Even more secure than reformatting is a process called disk wiping (or disk scrubbing). The term disk wiping is not only used in reference to hard drives but any storage device such as CDs, RAIDs, flash drives and other storage devices. Disk wiping is a secure method of ensuring that data, including company and individually licensed software on your computer and storage devices is irrecoverably deleted before recycling or donating the equipment. Some good disk wiping products that we recommend are: Active KillDisk and Wipe Drive. Both are compatible with Mac and Windows.

June 07, 2012
Join.me
Join.me is all about screen sharing, so you can run a virtual meeting and invite far-flung colleagues to watch what you're doing on your desktop. To start an account you download an installer that enables screen sharing on your system. It creates a web address just for you, and up to 255 colleagues can join by keying it into their browser.

They can now see your screen and a small suite of additional tools such as chat and voice call appears at the top of their browser window. The quality of voice calls, at the same time as screen sharing, will depend on the internet connection available to participants at both ends.

The paid version of join.me does all the above and allows the virtual meeting convener to give out temporary screen control access to participants as he or she sees fit.

May 24, 2012
Digital Photo Image Quality
It's a bit of a marketing myth that megapixels = better photo quality. You also want to pay attention to the size of the image sensor – the larger each pixel on the image sensor is, the more light it receives, and the better the image data becomes.

One trick for figuring out how big your camera's image sensor pixels are: Google the size of the image sensor on your camera, then divide its megapixels by that surface area.

May 17, 2012
Merge two photos into one in iPhoto
A friend and I recently spent a solid hour figuring out how to merge two photos in iPhoto on Mac. I don't think it can be done, but we came up with a useful work-around. Open up the two photos, side by side in iPhoto, that you want to merge. Next take a selective screenshot (Cmd+Shift+4) of the photos. The screenshot is saved as a .pdf so export it as JPEG (or your preferred file extension). Then select "Options", set the quality slider to Best, and save.

May 10, 2012
Padmapper.com
Most will agree that finding an apartment to rent is very difficult. You spend hours looking through dozens of apartments, just to find out it's in a bad neighborhood, or a little too expensive. With Padmapper.com, you can hunt with ease. Just enter the criteria and the website visually lays out all the apartments for lease on a map. Click on a "point" on the map and a popup conveniently shows all the important information, so you can look and move on.

May 3, 2012
Aviary's Phoenix Image Editor
For those of you who require an image editor with more bells and whistles than Microsoft Paint, but do not want to pay an arm and a leg for expensive photo editing software, try Aviary's Phoenix Image Editor. Retouch your vacation photos, or create images with complex effects straight from your browser. For Photoshop users who need to edit something away from their workstations, you can even edit and save PSD files.

April 26, 2012
Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials is a comprehensive anti-virus software used to protect your PC against viruses, spyware, and malware. It runs quietly and efficiently, in the background, without slowing down your PC's performance. You can download it directly from Microsoft for free!

April 19, 2012
Picture-shark
Picture-shark will "stamp" visible logos or text on your images. For those of you who don't have PhotoShop or would like to be able to batch "stamp" several images at once. Whether you want to use your logo or your signature (which you've scanned in and saved as a transparent .gif file) Picture-shark is a nice little tool. Best of all, it's Free!

April 12, 2012
Visualize.me
Visualize.me is still in beta at the moment but it's a really cool tool. They believe that the traditional text resume is boring, lengthy and long overdue for a makeover. Connect your Linkedin account to make your interactive infographic resume quickly. Of course, it always helps to have your Linkedin account updated.

April 5, 2012
Dragon Tape
Basically, it is a browser-based visual playlist editor, which enables users to merge video files from different online sources into one. The result is a new gapless video which can be easily shared and embedded as if it was a single file – meanwhile the sources remain in their original location so there are no duplicates only a rearrangement of files. With the quick search function users can find their favorite video within seconds and integrate it into their playlist by simply dragging it on their endless tape.

March 22, 2012
Touch Keyboard
By default the Touch Keyboard will try to help you out by, for instance, playing sounds as you type, capitalising the first letter of each sentence, adding a period if you double-tap the spacebar, and more. If any of this gets in your way, though, you can turn the relevant feature off: just go to Control Panel > General and customise the keyboard to suit your needs.

March 8, 2012
Task Switching Windows 8
To see them just press Alt+Tab. Pressing Win+Tab will switch from one running app to the next, and on a touch screen, swiping repeatedly from the left also cycles through running apps. If you have a keyboard, repeatedly pressing the Windows key will always toggle you between the Metro screen and the last app, and if you have a mouse, move its cursor to the far left of the screen (roughly in the center, vertically) and a thumbnail of the last app you used should appear. Click it to relaunch it.

March 1, 2012
Track your Android's Battery Usage
Is it a rogue app, or are you just using your android device a lot? The first step is to use Android's built-in battery reporting. Press the menu button, then go to Settings, then About Device. There you'll find battery stats, and you can break things down even further from there, see where exactly most of the battery usage is coming from and take steps accordingly.

Feb 24, 2012
Fun and Useful Windows 7 Shortcut
Most Windows users know how to use alt-tab to cycle through open apps and files but if you have Windows Aero running try pressing the windows key along with the ctrl and tab key and you'll see a neat display on your desktop that you can use the arrow keys to cycle through. Use the esc key to exit this mode.

Feb 17, 2012
Travel Tech Tip
Seatguru.com is a wonderful, to-the-point website that gives you all the information you could ever want about airlines. It tells you what size and type the seats are, whether you'll have power outlets and Wi-Fi, it gives you phone numbers, baggage charges, policy's on minors, infants, and pets, and a ton more.

Feb 10, 2012
Taking Better Photographs
A typical compact camera tends to use its flash whenever it's in doubt. The problem with this is that flashes make subjects look harsh and the background dark. Whenever possible turn the flash off, which will give you a more subtle, nuanced picture. This means that the "blur factor" may increase, so be sure to hold the camera as steady as possible.

Feb 3, 2012
Facebook Subscriptions
There are some people on Facebook who we might admire and be interested in befriending, but who don't want anything to do with us. Just because they don't know us in real life doesn't mean we're not lovely people. But there is a way around that now – you can go to their page and (provided their privacy setting allow for it) subscribe to them. This doesn't make you friends, but it means that their updates will show up in your News Feed.

Jan 31, 2012
Lend a Friend a Book on your Nook
Head into your library and find a book that you'd like to let a friend borrow for 14 days free of cost. The book has to say "LendMe" next to it in order to be eligible. Tap LendMe > With Contacts > Select a Contact > Add Contact, then enter their name, e-mail and a short message (we suggest, "If you don't love this book as much as I do, we can't be friends any longer. No pressure"). Then Send the book.

Jan 23, 2012
GetJar
With their Fire Amazon chose not to allow users access to the Android Market, instead only allowing them to use their own App Store. This means that there are some great apps (Google Maps, Facebook, the Nook Reader) that are unavailable for your tablet. To work around this we recommend getjar.com, a great place for sideloading popular apps.

But first, be sure to go into Settings > More > Device and Turn ON the ‘Allow Installation of Applications" option.

Jan 13, 2012
Power Strip
This built-in widget is a bit hidden and not everyone knows that it's there. Long press on the homescreen, select 'Choose Widget', and then tap on the 'Power Control' tab. This will launch the Power Strip on the homescreen which will allow you to easily control Wi-Fi, Screen brightness, Sync, Bluetooth and GPS.

Jan 6, 2012
Mango Keyboard Shortcuts
Holding down any of the virtual keys will bring up more options associated with that key. For example, holding down the number 1 will bring up 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc. It also works for .com as well, which brings up .org, .edu, .net.

Holding down any text field will also bring up the cursor, allowing you to select previous parts in the text field without having to get back to it by erasing any text.

Jan 3, 2012
Multi-tasking in Mango
Switching between applications is done by holding down the ‘Back' button, which is located at the base of the handset. This key-press opens up a screen that shows the last five applications that were used. From here you can control what you want to leave running, and open the program of your choice.

Dec 25, 2011
3D Maps
When looking at the map drag down with two fingers to tilt the map into 3D. Rotate it by placing two fingers on the map and sliding in a circular motion. Orient yourself by centering on your location and pressing the compass button, the map will flip into 3D and rotate to whichever direction you're facing. Move two fingers together or apart to zoom.

Dec 16, 2011
Voice Actions for Andoid
Write a note: Say "note to self [ message]"
View Map: Say "map of [address/city]"
Call a Contact: Say "call [contact name]"
Go to Website: Say "go to [website]"
Get directions: Say "navigate to [address/city/business]"
Send an Email: Say "send email to [recipient] [subject] [body]"
Send text messages: Say "send text to [recipient] [message]"

Dec 9, 2011
Revo Uninstaller
One of the side effects of the holidays are the relatives who ask you to look at their lagging, sluggish computer. Revo is a good program to have in your arsenal, it completely removes unwanted programs, toolbars, and other useless auto-starting programs that slow things down.

Dec 2, 2011
Google Maps Offline
My appalling sense of direction has turned me into a Google Maps junkie; a fact made all the more apparent by a recent trip to Yosemite, where I had no cell signal and therefore couldn't really leave my cabin. Luckily, I discovered that Google Maps now lets you download a section of map (an area within 10 square miles) to your phone.

This feature is still in Labs because it's not quite ready for prime-time. To enable it, launch Maps on your phone. Press the Menu button and open Labs. Select "Pre-Cached Maps" and voila, you're good to go. Now you just long press at any location on the map to download.

Be sure to remember to do this before you lose your signal!

Nov 18, 2011
OS X Lion
Like the other iDevices OS X Lion has the same auto-correct feature that drives some people crazy (so crazy that a website has sprung up around its mistakes). Luckily, this can be turned off. On your computer open the System Preferences, then click Language & Text, then the Text Tab. You'll see "Correct Spelling Automatically" with a box next to it – uncheck this box.

Nov 10, 2011
More on iOS 5 Tricks
Anyone who has tried to hold the iPad in landscape view and type with their thumbs, like on a smartphone, knows how difficult that can be. Apple has fixed this by including the option to split the keyboard in half. While in landscape mode simply place two fingers on the keyboard and then pull them in opposite directions.

Nov 3, 2011
More on iOS 5 Tricks
This feature is similar to the one on the Kindle Readers. Tap and hold any word (where possible) and then tap ‘Define' on the menu that appears. The Dictionary will slide up cleanly with that words definition. The option to ‘Define' will only appear when it is possible to give a definition, i.e. the option will not appear if you tap and hold a proper name.

Oct 28, 2011
iOS 5 Tricks
With iOS 5 now released we thought that the next few weeks of tips should be dedicated to helping you figure out all the ins and outs of some of the new features. From now on you no longer have to unlock your phone, find your camera app, launch it and take a picture. Simply double-tap the home button when it's locked and a camera button will appear next to the unlock bar. Tap the camera button to launch the camera. No more missed photo ops!

Oct 21, 2011
Laptop Security
Laptops are pretty much a staple of the office these days, unfortunately they are also significantly easier to walk away with than a desktop. The solution to this is fairly easy, even though most people don't think about it until it's too late. A basic and inexpensive laptop lock can secure it to your desk so you feel more comfortable leaving it at the office overnight; they can also secure your secondary monitor. Most laptops (and monitors) have a security slot specifically for this purpose and Kengsington Locks are among the most popular. If you have a laptop without a security slot, the D&D Snap Lock can be secured with an adhesive gel.

Oct 12, 2011
Avoid Charges When Emailing on your Kindle
If you want to send personal documents to your Kindle Amazon will charge you if you do so while your Kindle is connected to 3G. You can force it to only send while you're connected to Wi-Fi however by configuring your Kindle email address. The default format is: [username]@kindle.com. The next time you want to email something to your Kindle simple change the format to: [username]@free.kindle.com. This way it will arrive the next time you're connected to Wi-Fi and therefore avoid all charges.

Oct 5, 2011
Text Google
Even if you have a smartphone, this tip is still relevant for you because sometimes finding out really basic information can be a headache. Text Google at 466453 (GOOGLE) to find out scores (e.g. ‘score Giants'), movies (‘movies san jose'), businesses (‘shushi 95045'), definitions (‘define nepotism'), weather (‘weather 90210'), translations (‘translate chocolate in spanish'), and the list goes on. Google will then text you back with the information you requested, and sometimes you can follow up on that information. For example, if you ask for movies playing nearby, it will return a list of titles – you can then select a title and it will return showtimes.

Sept 28, 2011
Open Office
Microsoft Office costs $150, even though most of us don't use (or understand) the majority of its capabilities. The best alternative is Open Office - a fantastic, open-source program that does word proccessing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases, etc. It works on all common computers, is available in many languages and can read and write files from other office software packages. And because it's open-source it is completely free to download and use.

Sept 21, 2011
yousendit.com
As far as the internet and our technology has come, sometimes basic stuff can still trip us up. Like large files that are too big for email to either send or receive. Luckily there are websites that address this need: both yousendit.com and transferbigfiles.com will allow you to send files for free.

Sept 14, 2011
Snopes.com
We've all received emails from our friends and relatives that tells a story or asks a favor that seems to be amazing (Don't help that Nigerian business man move his money, and Neiman-Marcus never sold a $250 cookie). Before passing them along, check them out at Snopes.com, who are the best resource for fleshing out internet hoaxes and urban myths.

Sept 7, 2011
Delete Duplicate iTunes Files
I recently spent an entire Friday night sorting my music in iTunes. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of it, but in case you're not as inclined to waste five hours of your life, the newer versions of iTunes makes the process pretty easy. If you click on ‘File' and then select ‘Delete Duplicates', a window will open with all of the files that have identical names and file compositions. Now it's just a matter of going through and deleting the copies, with plenty of time left over to see a movie.

Aug 31, 2011
Text Editing
I only recently discovered this little gem. Normally when you copy and paste in Microsoft Word the text that has been copied (say from a website) retains all the formatting of the original text. If you don't want all the fonts and coloring and complicatedness, then select Paste Special under the Editing tab after you've copied, and then select Unformatted Text. This strips the selected text of all formatting and you just get the words.

Aug 26, 2011
Use Gestures to Control Safari
One of the best things about the new OS X Lion is multi-touch gestures. Rather than clicking through Safari webpages simply use two fingers to swipe right across the touchpad, the current page will slide away and the previously viewed page will appear below it. If you've gone too far back you can reverse the swipe and move forward through the pages.

Aug 18, 2011
Turn Off In-App Restrictions
I recently fielded an outraged phone call from my sister, when she realized that her seven year old daughter had purchased $80 real world dollars worth of virtual berries in a game called Smurf Village. The game itself was free, but the player can spend money inside the app. I walked her through the process of turning off in-app purchases, and here it is for anyone else who uses their phone to occupy their child.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Restrictions
  3. Enter your passcode
  4. At the bottom of the restrictions screen select In App Purchases
  5. Turn it to the ‘off' position

Aug 10 , 2011
Android Power Settings
If you're looking for an easy way to keep control of how much power your android device is using, there are a few apps that will help. But there is a built-in ability to do that as well that will save you from having to download anything.

Long press on the home screen and select Android Widgets. Then choose Power Settings (this name may be slightly different based on which version of Android you're running and on what type of device) from the list. You now have a widget on your home screen that gives you immediate access to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Sync, Screen Brightness, and GPS - all of which are some of the biggest drains on your battery.

Aug 3 , 2011
One-Click Startup in Chrome
I use Chrome as my default browser and there are several pages that I open automatically every morning when I get to the office: Retrevo; Gmail; Grooveshark; Google Calender; Engadget. Turns out, as I accidentally discovered today, that there's a way to have Chrome bring up the same pages whenever it starts.

Open the menu under the wrench and click on Options. Under the Basics tab are the ‘On Startup' options, one of which is ‘Open the following pages'. Type in all your regulars (or click, ‘Use current pages' if they're already open) and you're golden.

July 27, 2011
iPad's Hidden Menu
Okay, maybe everyone else knew about this and I'm the last one on the boat, but just in case there are other like me I'm going to share. With the addition of multi-tasking to iOS 4 came the ability to double click the home button, allowing you to open the current programs pane. But it turns out, if you click the home button twice, and then slide the icons to the right: a new menu! From here you can lock the screen orientation, control music, adjust volume and screen brightness.

July 20, 2011
Android Travel Trip
Android phones just love using data in the background, and normally we love it that they do. But when you're traveling that data usage adds up to some serious dollars. One method for cutting down on this is to turn off auto-syncing. That means you'll have to manually refresh email and social networking, but not only will you return from vacation with a manageable phone bill, it will also save on battery life while you're traveling. Go to Settings > Accounts to change the settings in each of your accounts.

July 13, 2011
iPod to TV
Storing movies on our iPods has become one of the most convenient ways to carry our entertainment with us. Sometimes though you want to watch something that's on the iPod on a big screen. According to Apple this is easy enough to do – you just have to buy the proprietary iPod AV cable from them for about $25, because nothing else is compatible. This is not entirely true though. Grab the A/V cable from your camcorder (if you don't have one it will cost you about $5, be sure to get the eighth inch to RCA cable), set your iPod to ‘Output to TV', then plug one end in your iPod and the other into the back of your TV. Because Apple output video to the red cable you'll have to plug them in non-standard; red into video (yellow), yellow into white, and white into red.

July 8, 2011
Take Better Photos With Your Mobile Phone
More and more of us are turning to our mobile phones to do double duty as our primary camera. As the camera technology is getting better it's up to the user learn how to best use it.

  1. High Resolution: Many people pick the lowest resolution because it saves on space. If you're serious about improving the quality of your photos however, this is the easiest way to do it. Buying extra storage is very cheap right now, so buy a high capacity memory card and then you don't have to worry about it.
  2. Phones are light, so use both hands when holding it to better stabilize and reduce blurring. Remember that the shutter speed on a phone is slower than a regular camera, so be sure to continue holding it steady until the picture has been captured.
  3. Avoid zooming if you can. Camera phones have fixed optics, so all the zoom does is blow up pixels. If that's what you want you can do it later on your computer.

July 1, 2011
Windows Dialogue Box Keyboard Commands
Using keyboard shortcuts is often much more efficient that using the mouse - here are some good ones that are useful when filling out forms.

  1. TAB: Move to the next field in the dialogue box
  2. Shift + Tab: Move to the previous field in the dialogue box
  3. Spacebar: If the selected field is a button, this clicks the button. If the selected field is a checked box, this toggles the checked box. If the selected field is an option, this selects the option.
  4. Enter: Equivalent to clicking the button that is highlighted.
  5. ESC: Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button
  6. Dialog Box Keyboard Commands

June 24, 2011
Activate New iCloud Features
Some of the new iCloud features have already made their way to iOS 4.3, one of which is the ability to setup automatic downloads for the things you purchase from iTunes. What this means is that when you buy a new book/album/app on one device, you can automatically download it to all your other iOS devices wirelessly. Here's how:

  1. Go to Settings and open ‘Store' in the left pane
  2. On the top right you should see ‘Automatic Downloads'
  3. This is where you can turn automatic downloads on or off for Music, Apps, and Books
  4. There is a setting below this which gives you the option of doing this when you are not connected to Wi-Fi. By default this is ‘Off'. You will want to consider leaving this off because turning it on means using your cellular data plan.

June 17, 2011
Google Navigation
We're all familiar with the wonder that is Google Maps by now, but not everyone realizes just how useful it can be. A couple weeks ago Google Maps Navigation got an update, it now uses real-time traffic information to route you around any current traffic jams. You don't have to do anything differently, just launch Navigation as you normally would, in-put your destination, and let it tell you the best route.

June 10, 2011
If you've got a website or blog and want to reach more readers, this tip is for you
Google Gadgets are wonderful things and worth exploring. The one I recently discovered is their translation gadget, which you can add to your blog. This will automatically give foreign readers the option to translate your page into over 50 languages. The translations can vary in quality depending on the languages involved, but it's certainly more than adequate. Simply go the the website, and follow their instructions.

June 3, 2011
Facebook Scams
Given the amount of personal data on Facebook the large number of viruses cropping up lately shouldn't be a surprise. Most ask you to click on a link (with a scandalous or eye-catching title), which then directs you to a phishing site. A basic way to check a link before clicking is to hover your mouse over it; the URL will then pop up in a small bar at the bottom of your screen. This is a good way to see where that link will take you, without having to click it. Read the name of the URL and only follow if it is reputable or you recognize it.

May 27, 2011
iPhone users rejoice! Here's how to turn off auto-correct.
Those of us without iPhones greatly enjoy all the funny and random changes Auto-Correct makes. If you're an annoyed iPhone user however, here's how to turn it off.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Then General
  3. Scroll down to Keyboard
  4. Tap the ON switch after Auto-Correction to switch it to OFF

May 20, 2011
If you notice some lag in your computers boot-up time, here's a tip to make it quicker.
Windows users notice that as time goes on the startup process of their computer begins to take longer and longer. This is because programs accumulate in the startup configuration. To clean this out, click on the Start button and type ‘msconfig' (without the quotes) in the search box. This will allow you to decide which programs start when the computer does. Some of these programs are necessary though, so a good rule of thumb is if you don't recognize it, leave it alone.

May 13, 2011
It may seem obvious or unnecessary, but don't forget to clean your printer!
A quick flip through your printer's user manual (if you need, find yours here at Retrevo) will tell you how to run it through a "Self-Clean" process. It's important to do this every few weeks, as it will push out any excessive toner or clotted ink that may get stuck in the mechanics. It will improve the quality of your print jobs and the performance of the printer

May 6, 2011
How to Access Hidden Characters on Your iPad
If you ever searched fruitlessly for that elusive umlaut or diacritic on the iPad then read on. To access lots of hidden characters, long-press on the letter that you want to modify. A menu will pop up shortly with additional variations on that letter.

April 22, 2011
Block Content on Your iPhone
I know a lot of parents who like to hand their iPhone to their kids as a way of keeping them entertained. Then when they get it back they realize they now own every version of Angry Birds ever made as well as all the Toy Stories. If this sounds familiar, pay attention: Go to Settings, General, Restrictions and then 'Enable Restrictions'. Now you can choose a passcode as well as which apps are accessible.

April 8, 2011
Improve Your Spring Break Photos
Given that it's about time for Spring Break, this week's tip is intended to help you take some better pictures while on holiday. Tripods are expensive and unwieldy to carry around for the amateur photographer, but they can steady and tilt the camera for some great shots. Try using a small beanbag instead, which will provide an excellent, adjustable base on which to place the camera but is also easy to travel with.

March 25, 2011
Making Your Phone Airplane Friendly
When flying the airline will always ask the passengers to turn off their electronic devices. You can avoid having to do this by simply disabling the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your equipment before boarding. Most smartphones have an "Airplane" mode that handles this, but for anyone with a PDA, iPad Touch, laptop, etc. ensuring the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are fully switched off will take care of the problem.

March 19, 2011
Close Programs on Your iPhone
With multi-tasking now enabled on the iPhone you may be noticing an extra drain on your battery. To close programs running in the background, double tap on the home key. Hold your finger down on the app you'd like to close until it starts wiggling. Then tap the red minus icon to close.

March 9, 2011
Don't Forget to Set You Gadget Clocks Ahead, Here's How
Daylight Saving Time begins on March 13th Retrevo has over 100,000 manuals that show you how to set your clocks.

March 2, 2011
Did you Know Windows had a Soft Keyboard?
Bring up the on-screen keyboard in Windows by opening the Run dialogue box and typing 'osk' (without the quotes). This is useful for people with limited mobility, and bi-lingual users who switch frequently between different character sets.


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