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Feb 052014
 

Worth a look. Out by early April.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Preview: Hands-on with Build 16596 | Windows 8 content from Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows

A surprising number of fun little improvements

Feb. 3, 2014 Paul Thurrott

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Preview: Hands-on with Build 16596 | Windows 8 content from Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows

 Posted by at 4:10 pm
Jan 262014
 

How do you get Windows 8.1 to do what you want it to do? You can command a computer in many ways, depending on your equipment. For example, a desktop computer with a keyboard has different options from a handheld device like a tablet with a touchscreen.

Touch Your Screen

The following terms refer to ways you interact with a touchscreen:

    Tap: Briefly touch the screen. You open an object, such as an app or activate a function, such as a button, by tapping it.

    Press and Release: Longer than a tap. When you release, you may see a context menu.

    Drag: Touch and hold your finger on the screen, then move your finger across the screen. You move an object, such as an onscreen playing card, by dragging it.

    Swipe: Touch and move your finger more quickly than with drag. You can swipe your finger across the screen from any of the four sides of the screen to display options and commands. You swipe pages to move forward or back. Swipe an icon or tile up or down to select it. (You may see the word flick instead of swipe. Some people insist that a flick is faster or shorter than a swipe.)

    Pinch and spread: Touch a finger and thumb or two fingers on the screen. Move your fingers closer to each other to pinch and or spread them away from each other. Generally, a pinch reduces the size of something on the screen or shows more content on the screen. Spreading your fingers usually zooms in, increasing the size of something on-screen to show more detail.

<Tip>

Watch for the words touch, tap, swipe, or pinch to indicate using your finger. Touch actions are often called gestures.

Use a Mouse

The following terms describe methods for using a mouse with Windows 8.1. In each, move the mouse first to position the pointer over a specified item before proceeding:

    Click: Move the on-screen arrow-shaped mouse pointer over a specified item and press and release the left mouse button: that’s a click (sometimes called a left-click to distinguish it from a right-click). This usually opens the selected object, such as an app.

    Right-click: Press and release the right mouse button to display available functions. Note that the word click by itself means use the left mouse button.

    Click and Drag: Press and hold down the left mouse button, and then move the mouse pointer across the screen. When you want to move an object, you drag it. Release the mouse button to release the object. (Compare with Right-click and Drag, which displays a context menu on release.)

<Tip>

Watch for the word click to indicate using a mouse button and roll to indicate using the mouse wheel.

Keystrokes for Almost Anything

Keystroke combinations are fast but require a keyboard and some memorization. If you have a keyboard, you owe it to yourself to learn some of these — they are quite literally handy.

  • Win (the Windows logo key) switches between the current app and the Start screen
  • Win+C displays the Charms panel on the right [other keys take you directly to an option without showing Charms first]
  • Search [Win+Q] (unnecessary on Start screen – just type)
  • Share [Win+H]
  • Start [Win]
  • Devices [Win+K]
  • Settings [Win+I]
  • Win+Tab switches between open applications (compare with Alt+Tab, which includes open windows on Desktop)
  • Win+Z displays the command bar (top and / or bottom of screen)
  • Win+D displays the desktop (minimizes all windows); repeat keystroke to restore open windows
  • Win+E opens File Explorer on the Desktop
  • Win+1, Win+2, Win+3, etc opens or switches to apps pinned to the taskbar on the Desktop. (Usually, Internet Explorer is 1 and File Explorer is 2, but apps can be pinned, unpinned, and reordered on the taskbar.)
  • Win+X opens the Power User’s Menu
  • Win+Down Arrow closes a modern app or minimizes a desktop app (compare with Alt+F4)
  • Win+Up Arrow maximizes an app or desktop window
  • Win+Right Arrow or Win+Left Arrow moves the current app to the right or left side of the screen.
  • F11 displays window full-screen “F(u)ll” (not all applications — desktop version of Internet Explorer is one)
  • Within an app or desktop program:

    • Ctrl+A selects all text or objects in a document or window
    • Ctrl+C copies the selected text or objects to the Clipboard
    • Ctrl+X cuts (removes) the selected text or objects to the Clipboard
    • Ctrl+V pastes text or objects from the Clipboard to the cursor location
    • Ctrl+Z undoes the most recent action
    • Ctrl+Y redoes most recently undone action
    • Ctrl+S saves the current document
    • Ctrl+P opens the Print diialog
    • Ctrl+T opens a new tab in Internet Explorer (and in some apps, like Reader)
    • Ctrl+W closes the current tab in Internet Explorer (and in some apps, like Reader)
    • Ctrl+Shift+T reopens a closed tab in Internet Explorer (repeat as needed)

    I’ve uploaded a PDF of this information.

     Posted by at 1:00 pm
    Jan 262014
     

    Here is a link to the online cheat sheet for Windows 8.1.

    Windows 8.1 For Seniors For Dummies Cheat Sheet – For Dummies

    Windows 8.1 For Seniors For Dummies

    From Windows 8.1 For Seniors For Dummies by Peter Weverka, Mark Justice Hinton

    Take charge of the Windows 8.1 operating system by knowing how to get to the Start screen, what the functions at the edge of the screen are, how to switch between apps, and how to handle passwords.

    Windows 8.1 For Seniors For Dummies Cheat Sheet – For Dummies

     Posted by at 12:20 pm
    Jan 242014
     

    As a Verizon customer, I’m still waiting and waiting for the Black update to my Nokia Lumia 928.

    Stay safe with Windows Phone Driving Mode – Nokia Conversations

    [A]s part of the recent Black Update, compatible WP8 phones now benefit from added safety features when gobbling up road miles.

    If you’re new to Driving Mode, let us get you on course. Firstly, jump into Settings and tap on the Driving Mode set-up option. Here you’ll get an overview of what the new safety feature does. In a nutshell it disables all notifications apart from incoming phone calls and text messages while you’re driving.

    Though, there are various options to customise your level of contact. …

    Stay safe with Windows Phone Driving Mode – Nokia Conversations

     Posted by at 3:00 am
    Jan 232014
     

    Sergey Tkachenko has the steps for turning off the requirement for a password to log into your Windows 8.1 machine. I don’t recommend this for a portable computer — you don’t want it to be easy for someone to use your misplaced / lost / stolen machine. Actually, I feel the same way about my non-portable desktop. Consider setting up a PIN if the password is too much trouble.

    Autologon with Microsoft Account in Windows 8.1 | Winaero

    If you are the only user of the computer/tablet and would like to save your time and speed up the logon process, you might want to enable automatic logon for your Microsoft Account. It is very easy to do this. This method has been used for years to auto logon

    Autologon with Microsoft Account in Windows 8.1 | Winaero

     Posted by at 3:00 pm
    Jan 232014
     

    How do you like the nerdy phrase, “end-user readiness content”? Though aimed at business users, there are enough resource links here to be worth perusing by anyone using Windows 8.1.

    Announcing Windows 8.1 end-user readiness content

    Today we’re announcing the availability of the Windows 8.1 business user guide package. The package provides a range of guides and video tutorials that will ensure your users take full advantage of Windows 8.1.

    Announcing Windows 8.1 end-user readiness content

     Posted by at 11:43 am
    Jan 212014
     

    I use spoken commands with my Nokia Lumia 928 and a bluetooth headset (not required, but handily hands free). I can say “answer” or “ignore” a call, “read” a text, “reply” to a text (and dictate the text), etc.

    Using Speech on your phone | Windows Phone How-to (United Kingdom)

    Using Speech on your phone

    Make a call, send a text message, take a note, open an app or find something online using just your voice? You can! With Speech, you can do all these things and more.

    Using Speech on your phone | Windows Phone How-to (United Kingdom)

     Posted by at 3:57 pm
    Jan 212014
     

    Using the Mail app, create a contact from incoming mail by left clicking (or tapping) the contact’s name in the email message. That’s unexpected, especially because the name shows no indication of being clickable. This will pop-up a small box with an option to Add Contact.

    add contact in Mail app

    For existing contacts, clicking the name in an incoming message will give you contact options, including email address and phone number, if you have that information in the contact record.

    Screenshot (117)

     Posted by at 4:12 am
    Jan 202014
     

    Mailing list groups are tricky in Windows 8.1. In fact, so far, the Mail and People apps don’t allow you to create a group. Instead, you have to log into www.outlook.com, then choose People from the little drop down arrow next to the word Outlook.

    access Outlook tools

    outlook tools

    In People (on the Web, not in the app), New has its own drop down arrow for Group.

    Once you have a Group, you add existing contacts by name. (That is, you cannot create a new contact and assign it to a group in one step.) 

    add members to new group 2

    If you want to add a member to a group later, select the group, then select Edit. Add members one at a time.

    edit group

    Just as you can’t (yet) create Groups in the People app in Windows 8.1, you can’t use the group in the Mail app (perhaps this will change with an update this year), Again, the solution is to browse www.outlook.com. Start a new message and type the name of the group in the To box.

    send email to group

    If you spend a little time with outlook.com, you may find it preferable to the individual apps in Windows 8.1, although the latest Mail app actually has a few features lacking on the Web (pinning contacts, for example).

     Posted by at 3:51 pm
    Jan 182014
     

    I switched from gmail to Outlook.com about 6 months ago. I don’t miss gmail at all. (I do miss Google Calendar, which is better than Outlook’s.)

    How to Import a Gmail Account in Outlook.com – Video

    Microsoft has launched a new account importing wizard in December 2013 in an attempt to make it easier for users who want to migrate from Gmail to Outlook.com and rely solely on Redmond’s email platform.

    In addition, the company has recently rolled out a video tutorial to assist users throughout the entire process, and thus provide more information on a process that’s supposed to significantly improve its user base.

    How to Import a Gmail Account in Outlook.com – Video

     Posted by at 8:33 am
    Jan 152014
     

    Not available until after you receive the Windows Phone “Black” system update. Verizon customers, like me, are still waiting.

    Organising your Lumia Start screen, with App Folder – Nokia Conversations

    What is App Folder?

    App Folder was created by Nokia to bring your Lumia even more personalisation, and enables you to group apps and settings together into a folder. That folder can then be pinned to your Lumia Start screen as a tile, or accessed via the apps list.

    You can name your App Folders however you like, with the obvious choices like Photography, or Social Life. It’s a one-click gateway into all that’s important to you.

    Organising your Lumia Start screen, with App Folder – Nokia Conversations

     Posted by at 8:00 am
    Jan 142014
     

    We’re getting closer to having a universal translator at hand. These two apps — one for any Windows 8 device, the other for Windows Phone — take input through the keyboard, through voice, and through a camera and translate input text into other languages of your choosing. Output can be onscreen or spoken by the device. Wow.

    Translator | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)

    Bing Translator is your companion when you need to overcome the language barrier. Use your camera, voice or keyboard to enter text you want to translate. Use Bing Translator on-the-go, even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

    • Text translation – Type and translate text into more than 40 languages.
    • Camera translation – Translate signs, menus, newspapers, or any printed text with your device’s camera in an instant.
    • Voice translation – Translate by speaking into your phone. Voice translation requires a network connection.
    • Text to speech – Hear translations spoken with a native speaker’s accent. Text to speech requires a network connection.
    • Offline translation – Translate when you are not connected to the Internet and when you want to avoid expensive data roaming charges, by using downloadable offline language packs.
    • Word of the Day – Improve your vocabulary by pinning the Translator to your Start screen.

    Pin each mode to your Start screen and jump straight to translating in a single tap. Copy and paste or use your keyboard to quickly enter the text you want to translate. New in 2.8: – Redesigned offline packs UI – Faster and more accurate voice translation

    Translator | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)

    Bing Translator app for Windows in the Windows Store

    Description

    The Bing Translator App for Windows is your companion when you need to quickly translate what you are looking at. Use your camera or just type the text you want to translate. Text and camera translation work offline with downloadable language packs, so you can get the power of Bing Translator on-the-go, even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

    Show more

    Features

    • Text translation – Type and translate text into more than 40 languages.
    • Camera translation – Translate signs, menus, newspapers, or any printed text with your device’s camera in an instant.
    • Voice translation – Translate by just speaking the phrase. Voice translation requires a network connection.
    • Text to speech – Hear translations spoken with a native speaker’s accent.
    • • Offline translation – Translate when you are not connected to the Internet and when you want to avoid expensive data roaming charges by using downloadable offline language packs.
    • Translate from anywhere – Translate text from other Windows Store apps using the Share charm. Just select and share.
    • Multitask with Snap View – Translate quickly while doing other tasks by snapping Bing Translator to the right or left of your screen.
    • Word of the Day – Improve your vocabulary by pinning the Translator to your Start screen.
    • History – Saves your translations and lets you edit them.

    Bing Translator app for Windows in the Windows Store

     Posted by at 4:26 pm
    Jan 102014
     

    Ed Tittel singles out 5 new small cheap Windows tablets. I have an older version of the Acer Iconia (actually intended for Windows 7) that has been mostly good; the newer W7 is likely better. Note that a device suitable “for business” could be a good device for any use.

    Better Windows 8.1 Tablet Options for Business Use – Windows Enterprise Desktop

    Of the current crop available — and there are possibly as many as a dozen already in the marketplace — these five have captured my particular attention:

    Better Windows 8.1 Tablet Options for Business Use – Windows Enterprise Desktop

     Posted by at 6:23 pm
    Jan 102014
     

    First the good new: Some great updates are available. Follow the next link for details, including screenshots and availability. As for the bad news: This essential update is not yet available for Verizon customers and in the past we’ve gotten updates later than others. Finally, there may be another update in April. Hopefully, Verizon won’t wait until then to give us Lumia Black, then name of the most recent updates.

    Nokia Lumia Black update begins rollout – Nokia Conversations

    The Lumia Black update combines a host of new features, improvements in imaging, new apps and app updates from Microsoft and Nokia to make your Lumia smartphone experience even better. So what can you look forward to, once Lumia Black is installed?

    Nokia Lumia Black update begins rollout – Nokia Conversations

    The updates to Glance and Bluetooth should be very helpful. Likewise, App Folders, if they are easy enough to use. I’m especially looking forward to Beamer, which will make it easy to project *any* screen from your cellphone onto *any* Internet device. There is already a Photo Beamer (in the Phone Store) that is pretty cool.

    PhotoBeamer | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)

    PhotoBeamer is a new, innovative and easy way to show your pictures on any screen. Just point your Nokia Lumia at any screen displaying www.photobeamer.com and you can enjoy your photos anywhere with family and friends. It’s a mobile projector that’s available anytime, anywhere. Features Show your Nokia Lumia pictures on any screen supporting a current web browser – including desktop screens, projector screens and laptops.

    PhotoBeamer | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)

     Posted by at 9:01 am