Tech Tips


Short PC tips and tricks

Use a Single Mouse to Copy, Paste, Drag and Drop Files across Multiple PCs

It isn’t often that I get blown away by a free Microsoft release but the new Mouse Without Borders has done just that. This 1.8 MB freebie from a group at Microsoft called the Garage lets you do things with one mouse on as many as four different computers. It also lets you share the clipboard. Copy in one place, get it on up to four different PCs. The figure below shows some settings:

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Make Managing Windows Easier with This Very Useful Free Tool

There is a very useful feature in the right-click context menus of all current versions of Windows that is often overlooked. It is “Send To” and it has a number of helpful functions.  But “Send To” can be made much more useful with a free app that I have been using for years. It is called “Send To Toys” and it adds some functions that make “Send To” a powerful help in a number of common Windows tasks.

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How to use the Windows 7 Magnifier to Make the Computer Screen Easier to See

Did you know that Windows has a utility that allows you to magnify what’s on the screen? Some form of this utility has been in Windows for years but it doesn’t seem to be all that well known. In Windows 7, it comes with a variety of keyboard shortcuts that make using it quite easy. It is part of the Ease of Access Center discussed in a previous tip  It can be accessed there by opening the Ease of Access Center with the keyboard shortcut

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How to Make Your Computer Screen Easier to See

If your eyes are like mine, things on the computer screen seem to keep shrinking and getting harder to see. Also, the high resolution displays of today can make text harder to read. Fortunately, Windows has a variety of ways to enlarge the objects on the screen and here are some steps to make things easier on your eyes.

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How to Stop the Pesky Interference from Laptop Touchpads When Typing

Here’s how to get rid of a nuisance that can be a real bother. It is easy to accidentally brush a laptop touchpad when typing and that means the cursor goes flying off somewhere with all sorts of unwanted results. If you are using taps to indicate clicks, you may even inadvertently open a program.

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How to Cleanly and Quickly Terminate and Restart Windows Explorer

(This tip is for experienced PC users.)

Do you ever have a pesky application that hangs and you can’t seem to get it to close? Or do you sometimes edit the Registry and want to see its effect without having to log off first?

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Quick and Easy Way to Delete Internet Browser Caches, Cookies, or History

If you have ever been faced with wanting to delete your browser cache, cookies, or history, you know that the path to the browser dialog where this can be done involves a number of steps. However, there is a simple keyboard combination that will get you there faster. (Hold down all three keys.) It is
This shortcut works for Internet Explorer 8 and 9, Google Chrome, and Firefox 3.6 and up. The graphics below show the dialog that opens in each of the three types of browser when the shortcut is used.

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A Useful Key on the Windows Keyboard That You May Have Overlooked

Have you ever wondered what the key that looks like the figure on the right is for?Windows application key It is typically found on the right side of the keyboard between the right Ctrl key and Windows key or between the right Ctrl and Alt keys. It goes by the name of “application key” or sometimes “menu key” but I suspect that many PC users have paid it little attention.

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Use this Free Program to Create Great Flowcharts and Diagrams

"Visio" is most probably the application that comes to your or anybody else's mind first when being asked about a diagramming software. Not many know that there is a great and powerful program available for free that does a very good job in that area as well. In fact, I prefer it over others for its great auto arrange capabilities.

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Simple Way to See Who Is Connected to Your Wireless Network

Nobody wants eavesdroppers on their wireless network and it pays to keep an eye on who is connecting to it. There are various ways to do this but a very easy approach is to use a little program from Nir Sofer called Wireless Network Watcher. Like most of Sofer’s free utilities, it requires no installation and is a portable application. It isn’t an elaborate network tool but it is a very simple way to list all computers and devices that are currently connected to your network. The interface is shown below.

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