mjh

Mark writes about Microsoft Windows, computer topics, and digital photography.

Nov 262013
 

I find it as sign of the ruthlessness of corporations, that they look for ways to attack their competitors from within. There is nothing noble about the vaunted market forces. Like all things human, there is violence and blood — and greed. Apple is moving from innovator to stifler of innovation.

Apple acquires Israeli tech firm | ABQJournal Online

Apple has acquired Israel-based motion technology company PrimeSense for an undisclosed sum.

PrimeSense spokeswoman Kayla Egbert confirmed the deal, but says the company isn’t revealing additional details.

Founded in 2005, PrimeSense makes chips used in three-dimensional sensing products. Its technology is used in Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect, which lets gamers use their bodies to control the movements of on-screen characters.

Apple acquires Israeli tech firm | ABQJournal Online

 Posted by at 9:37 am
Nov 242013
 

Dell’s 8-inch Windows tablet makes a big impression | ZDNet by Ed Bott

[T]his tiny tablet has earned a place in my travel bag. And based on reviews I’ve read from buyers at Amazon and Dell, I have lots of company. Dell appears to have a genuine hit on its hands. [read the rest at the link]

Dell’s 8-inch Windows tablet makes a big impression | ZDNet

added to mjh’s Amazon computer wishlist

 Posted by at 9:10 am
Nov 152013
 

Guiding Tech put together some nice Windows 8.1 tips. Most of these tips also link to more tips. Worth a look. That said, I don’t recommend going straight to the desktop (#5) and I use Win+D for switching to the desktop (#4) and Win+Tab more often than most shortcuts. I also don’t care for GT’s pop-up subscription add.

Top 8 New Windows 8.1 Productivity Tips and Features – Guiding Tech

 Posted by at 1:00 pm
Nov 152013
 

Microsoft News | Xbox Music And Xbox Video App Updated For Windows 8.1 Devices With New Features

Microsoft recently updated their Xbox Music and Xbox Video app for Windows 8.1 devices. Both these apps has got new features and improved experience with this update.

Microsoft News | Xbox Music And Xbox Video App Updated For Windows 8.1 Devices With New Features

 Posted by at 12:07 pm
Nov 052013
 

It’s not particularly difficult to end, close, or exit a Windows 8.1 app, although it isn’t obvious, either. In fact, there are several different ways to close an app. (Different strokes for different folks.) Microsoft would argue that you don’t need to close any apps because Windows will close what it needs to. However, switching between apps or displaying two apps on screen at once are easier if you have open only those apps you want immediate access to.

Using Touch

Swipe down from beyond the top edge of the screen and keep dragging down until you see the app shrink. Don’t let go until you get to the bottom of the screen. Notice there are two different actions:

If you lift your finger as soon as you get to the bottom of the screen, the app is hidden but not actually closed.

If you hold down until you see the app thumbnail flip around to reveal the app splash screen, then release, the app is really closed.

Using the Keyboard

Alt+F4 has been the kill switch for apps for decades.

Make note of Ctrl+W, which closes an open window in an app. For example, if you have several tabs open in Internet Explorer, Ctrl+W closes the active tab.

Using the Mouse

With the mouse, you have two choices:

Move the mouse pointer to the top edge of the screen. Click and drag down until you see the app shrink. Don’t let go until you get to the bottom of the screen. Restart the app and do this again to notice there are two different actions:

If you lift your finger as soon as you get to the bottom of the screen, the app is hidden but not actually closed.

If you hold down until you see the app thumbnail flip around to reveal the app splash screen, then release, the app is really closed.

The mouse alternative is to move the mouse pointer into the upper-left or lower-left corner of the screen to display the active apps.

Move the mouse pointer over an app thumbnail.

Right-click for a context menu.

Choose Close.

Bonus option: The Task Manager

On the Start screen, type task and select the Task Manager (also available in All Apps).

The Task Manager opens on the desktop.

Select an app and then select Close.

Note: you can pin the Task Manager to the Start menu (and/or to the taskbar) to make this handier.

 Posted by at 8:47 am
Nov 042013
 

You can display two apps on screen at one time in Windows 8.1. For example, say you want to Skype with someone while you play a game. Perhaps you want to track an arriving flight while working on another task.

Screenshot (100)

As with most activities, you can get this done with touch, using a mouse, or with keyboard shortcuts. I’ll start with keyboard shortcuts because they are easiest to document and demo.

Use the keyboard

From the Start screen, open any app you wish. Switch back to Start and open a different app.

Switch between the apps by using Win+Tab.

With either app fullscreen, press Win+Right Arrow. The current app snaps to the right side of the screen. You may see the other app on the left. (If you don’t, go back to Win+Tab or plunge on from here.)

Press Win+Left Arrow to snap the app to the left.

Press Win+Up Arrow to make the selected app full screen again.

Press Win+Down Arrow to hide/minimize the selected app.

Use the mouse

Now, try this with the mouse and notice you’ll get more information in the process.

Move the mouse pointer to the upper-left or lower-left corner of the screen to reveal the active apps

Slide the mouse pointer down to one of the app thumbnails. (If you move the mouse too far to the right, the apps panel disappears.)

Screenshot (99) 

Right-click over an app thumbnail to reveal these options:

  • Close
  • Replace [the current app]
  • Insert Left
  • Insert Right

Left-click whichever option you want to try.

When you have two apps on screen at once, place the mouse pointer over the bar that separates them. Click and drag left or right to resize the two apps relatively. Smart apps change the way they display information based on the width of the window. Drag the bar all the way left or right to leave just one app on screen.

Try double-clicking that bar to see what happens.

Screenshot (101)

If you repeat the process for snapping an app while you already have two apps on screen, the context menu changes:

  • Close
  • Maximize (covers both apps)
  • Replace [app on left]
  • Replace [app on right]

If you have a high resolution screen, you may also see options to insert this third app in place next to the other two.

Screenshot (97)

If two apps are side by side and you select a third app from the app bar on the left without using the right-click (ie, you display apps on the left and click one with the left mouse button), that app floats and wiggles in front of the other two. Click or tap the app to replace.

Touch works, too

Using Touch isn’t any harder, just different enough.

Slide your finger in from beyond the left edge of screen to reveal the active apps. Drag one of the thumbnails to the right and then lift your finger. If you do this in the left half of the screen, the selected app snaps left. If you drag farther to the right before lifting your finger, the app snaps to the right.

Drag the bar that separates the apps to resize them relatively.

Drag the bar all the way left or right to leave just one app on screen.

 Posted by at 5:07 pm
Nov 012013
 

Sometimes video gets a point across more easily than text.

Getting started tutorials for Windows – Microsoft Windows

New to Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1?

You’re at the right place. Whether you’re brand new to Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, or just want a refresher, these 10 tutorials will show you the basics.

Getting started tutorials for Windows – Microsoft Windows

 Posted by at 11:47 am
Nov 012013
 

XP is doomed and good riddance. Get a modern Windows.

Upgrading to Windows 8.1 from Windows Vista or Windows XP – Microsoft Windows

Before you begin

To upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows Vista or Windows XP, you’ll need to install it from a Windows 8.1 DVD and perform a clean installation. This means you won’t be able to keep any files, settings or programs when you upgrade. We strongly recommend you do the following before buying the Windows 8.1 DVD.

Upgrading to Windows 8.1 from Windows Vista or Windows XP – Microsoft Windows

 Posted by at 10:12 am
Oct 312013
 

This applies to a small group: Windows Phone users who also use RSS (and read my blog? would that be anybody at all?). However, I’m spreading the word because Nextgen Reader is great. I use it on my phone and also on Windows 8 (and paid for it on both platforms)

NextMatters teams up to make Nextgen Reader free for 24 hours

 

Nextgen Reader app for Windows 8 in the Windows Store

 Posted by at 10:47 am
Oct 302013
 

Recommended as an overview or reminder, as well as for some specific tips everyone should know.

Windows 8.1 is great for touch, mouse, and keyboard by Amy D

What I found was that touch with Windows 8.1 became second nature to me very quickly. I think most people have a unique “system” when it comes to their PCs and devices. They stay organized in a certain way, keep track of what they’re doing in a certain way, and navigate however feels comfortable. My favorite thing about Windows 8.1 is that I can choose how to do all these things. I found that touch became part of my mouse and keyboard “system” pretty seamlessly.

Windows 8.1 is great for touch, mouse, and keyboard

 Posted by at 8:10 am
Oct 292013
 

I recommend users of Windows Phone bookmark this, familiarize themselves with this and practice before they need it.

Find a lost phone | Windows Phone How-to (United States)

Find My Phone can help lay your worry to rest. This free service at the My Phone section of www.windowsphone.com can ring, lock, erase, or show your phone on a map from any Internet-connected computer. Find My Phone makes it easier to recover your phone, or to prevent someone from using it without your permission.

Find a lost phone | Windows Phone How-to (United States)

 Posted by at 1:04 pm