Capture Part of your Screen in Windows: Behold the Snipping Tool!

October 26th, 2014

Snipping ToolLet’s say you need to capture all or part of your puter’s screen. You’d like to grab a quick image of your browser window, or maybe you want to capture a frame from a video playing on your puter. Maybe you want to save an image from a web page, but they’ve disabled the right-click menu.

There are lots of ways to do this with fancy software. There are also much, much easier ways that you may not know about.

The first is the “Shift-PrintScrn” trick.

Hold down the Shift key, and then press the Print Screen key on your keyboard (usually to the right of the F12 key, and usually abbreviated as PrtScrn or some other such thing). Shift-PrintScrn will copy your entire desktop – or both desktops if you have multiple monitors – onto the clipboard.

All that’s left is to paste the captured image into Paint, Paint.Net, Photoshop Elements or whatever, and save it as an image.

Okay, but that’s kind of involved… And there is a much easier way!

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Computers , ,

Windows 10 Preview: Yes, they’re fixing everything

October 5th, 2014

Windows 10 Start MenuIf you’ve been anxiously awaiting Windows 9, you’re in for a long wait. But Windows 10 will be coming next year!

You see, the official explanation is apparently that, “7 8 9″ – 7 ate 9 – so Microsoft will be going straight to Windows 10. Isn’t that cute? No, because Windows 8 still sucks.

Furthermore, instead of releasing Windows 10 in April 2015, we now apparently have to wait until the end of next year. Because, ya know, taking Windows 8 and making it not suck takes way, way longer than making that much-hated “Start Screen” in Windows 8.x.

You may recall me ranting about why I left Win 8 and switched back to Windows 7.

So, the question on everybody’s mind is: Will the next version of Windows fix everything wrong with Windows 8?

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Computers , ,

Windows Backup Failed, Part 3: Problem reading file global-messages-db.sqlite

September 27th, 2014

Backups are Good!Sweet mother of pearl!!

Does Windows Backup ever work?!  Well, yes. Sort of… Sometimes…

There are many factors to consider, though, such as the phase of the moon, whether or not the groundhog saw his shadow, sunspot activity, and the extent of the “twerking” performed by the latest raunchy pop star at last night’s performance.

Which reminds me: I’m officially changing my legal name to Lord Gaga Googoo Poopoo. It’ll be a real bother though, because is kind of a long address to remember… SIGH.

But, I digress.

Once again, if you are having problems with your Windows Backup failing, check out my two earlier articles on the subject:

So, you did all that, but it’s still failing on you… And this time, the message is something about being unable to read the file “global-messages-db.sqlite”.

This one’s the easiest fix of them all!

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Computers ,

Network icon disappeared: Fix missing and “disconnected” network icons in Windows

August 10th, 2014

Eek! No Internets!One of the most common problems I’ve seen is missing or “disappeared” network icons in Windows 7.

This problem can take a few different forms.

For example, you may be able to connect to the internet just fine, but your ethernet/WiFi icon in the system tray always claims you are disconnected.

Or, you open up the Network and Sharing Center, click the “Change adapter settings” link, and no network adapters show up – it’s just blank.

But in both cases, everything still works!

There is one fix I have found that actually works, time and time again…

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Computers, Networking , , ,

SSD: How to upgrade your computer with a Solid State Hard Drive

July 16th, 2014

SSD Upgrade HowtoIf you haven’t seen Part 1, it’s here:

SSD: Why you need to upgrade your computer with a Solid State Hard Drive

With Part 1 out of the way, you’ve decided to take the plunge. Great!

How do you actually do the upgrade? Well, that can get a bit complicated.

There are a few things you’ll need to know before you even think of a DIY upgrade.

After covering those, I’ll discuss a few options for the different upgrade cases you might encounter.

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Computers , , ,

SSD: Why you need to upgrade your computer with a Solid State Hard Drive

July 7th, 2014

Why SSDs?Everyone is always looking to make their computer faster, whether they realize it or not. Usually, it’s only after an upgrade that we realize just how pokey our machine was running beforehand.

These days, there isn’t a huge difference between a 2-year-old computer and a brand new one. Oh, sure, newer puters will always be faster… But unless you’re doing something hardcore like video editing or gaming, you probably won’t notice much of a difference.

There is one upgrade, though, that makes a huge difference pretty much across the board: the addition of an SSD.

At this point, you probably have 2 questions:

  • What is an SSD?
  • How do I add one to my puter?

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Computers , , ,

JavaScript Fun: Looping with a Delay

July 1st, 2014

JavaScript is Awesome!If you’ve ever programmed something in JavaScript, you most likely ran into a situation where you needed a delay.

Normally, we do this with setTimeout().

For repeatedly calling some function every X milliseconds, one would normally use setInterval().

Well, that’s fine. But what if you want to so something 10 times, and delay 3 seconds between iterations?

The solution is not as obvious as it appears…

But it is simple!

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Programming , ,

Windows Backup Failed, Part 2: The system cannot find the file specified

June 22nd, 2014

Backups are Good!Dear, sweet Jesus… You’d think that Microsoft’s built-in “Backup and Restore” feature in Windows would just kind of work.

You’d be wrong.

If you haven’t seen my earlier post on Windows Backup problems, see here:

Fix It: Windows Backup Failed Trying to Read from Shadow Copy

If you’re still having problems with failing backups – especially if you get the error “The system cannot find the file specified. Error 0x80070002″ – then read on.

The fix will both make you happy and make you cry at the same time…

Read more…

Computers ,

Why HTTPS and SSL are not as secure as you think

March 12th, 2014

SSLIn this day and age of well-known NSA spying, everyone keeps saying that the only way to be safe is to use SSL/TLS, commonly known as “browsing with https://”.

The sad reality is that HTTPS does virtually nothing to protect you from the prying eyes of alphabet soup agencies – or anybody else with enough knowledge about how these supposedly “secure” connections actually work.

It’s true that connecting to web sites with SSL will certainly prevent “script kiddies” and other more winky opponents from eavesdropping on your surfing or otherwise interfering in your affairs. But as for the Real Bad Guys, forget it…

We shall begin by taking a brief dive down the rabbit hole of SSL, hopefully in a way that will make sense to even the least technically inclined among us.

This issue is, after all, so extremely important that I think everyone needs to understand what is really going on, and how web security actually works, without needing a PhD in cryptography, computer science, or engineering!

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Computers, How Does it Work? , , , ,

The State of Technology Address at the End of 2013

December 31st, 2013

Happy 2014! Oh, 2013, what a high-tech year you were!

From the general recognition (finally) that the US government was spying on everyone, everyone’s dog, and everyone’s dog’s lawn presents, to the almighty Mobile Revolution, to the 64-bit iPhone with 2X the awesome, to the complete abortion that is Windows 8/8.1…

Yes, it was a year to remember in the tech world.

Pay no attention to all those fireballs everyone was talking about.

As 2014 rolls in, I thought I would take a brief, syrupy-sweet and fluffy look at The State of Technology.

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Computers, Gizmos, Spare Me! , , , ,