Quick Tip: Where is the “Caps Lock” key on my Chromebook?

When I first started using my Chromebook (Acer Chromebook 15), coming from using Windows all my life, the first mystery I encountered was; “Where is the Caps Lock Key?“. You know; the key you push down to toggle between lower and uppercase text.

Well, Google had to be different. Where the “Caps Lock” key typically is located (or labeled) on the keyboard (left side above the “Shift Key”),  you will notice there is a magnifying glass icon on the key. That key on the Chromebook is the “Search” key. On the newer Chromebooks this also can serve as the “Google Assistant” key that allows you to use Google Assistant. Typically, If you push the “Search” key on the Chromebook, the search option will pop up where you can search your device, apps and even the web (or Google Assistant will be activated, if you have the newer Chromebook). So, if that key is being used for search purposes, “Where is the Caps Lock Key?

Mystery Solved: In Google’s method to their madness strategy, the “Caps Locks” key is not a readily identifiable key; instead, you must use a keyboard shortcut. If you hold the “ALT” key + “SEARCH” key in combination, this serves the same purpose as the “Caps Lock” key (to change to uppercase text). When you do that you will see in the notification area (bottom right corner) a small notification popup alerting you that the “Caps Lock” is “on”. To toggle it “off” either hit the “ALT” key + “SEARCH” key” again OR simply hit the “SHIFT” key.  Also, as an added note, if you really do not like this at all, you can go into your Chromebook settings, look for “Keyboard” and you will see an option where you can change (or remap) what the “Search” key performs.

If you can overcome some of the keyboard quirks on the Chromebook you will come to find that these Chromebooks are great computers; especially, for folks at home, kids and our elders (which is the category I am now heading into : ) …

Chromebooks are becoming the choice computer in many of the schools due to their ease of maintenance, better security, and low cost — CLICK HERE — to see what is out there.

 

Windows 10: How to Create A Shortcut For The Onscreen Keyboard

Windows 10 has two variations of onscreen keyboards available. There is one of the two that I especially like (which WAS sort of difficult to get to). Once I discovered this keyboard (the one that I like) I decided there had to be a better way to launch it; and, as a result I came up with the following solution.

You are probably wondering; Why would I want an onscreen keyboard?  I have a TV set up connected to a Windows 10 computer where the onscreen keyboard is a great addition when I am too lazy to go to the real keyboard. You would be surprised how fast you can point, click and type using an onscreen keyboard. I could also see me using an onscreen keyboard in a training scenario or if I had a disability.

To create a shortcut to the keyboard that I use, right mouse click on the  “Windows Start button (bottom right corner)”, then click on “run” and in the “run dialog box” type “osk”; then click on “OK”. At this point, the onscreen keyboard (the one I like) launches. If the keyboard is too big you can resize it by dragging the sides or corners. If you notice on the top right side of the keyboard there is a “Windows minimize button”.  Click on the “minimize button” and the keyboard will minimize to the Windows Taskbar (at the bottom of the screen).  At this point, right mouse click on the keyboard icon that is now on the taskbar and select “pin to taskbar”.  There you have it…

Now when you want to quickly launch the onscreen keyboard, just go to the taskbar and click on the onscreen keyboard icon and the keyboard will quickly launch. There are other ways to get to this keyboard, but this is the method I prefer and found to be the most user-friendly.


Since we are on the topic of keyboards
and you want a real keyboard,
CLICK HERE
for inexpensive recommended solutions

Price Break – Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus

Noticed a price break on the Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus. Where this keyboard excels is when it is connected to a computer that is connected to your TV (as a home entertainment setup). Battery life is up to 18 months… Excellent customer review ratings. See complete details below…

 

Integrated wireless keyboard with touchpad

Control your streaming entertainment without the clutter of multiple devices. A compact, slim living room keyboard puts all your controls in a single device. Comfortable, quiet keys and a large (3.5-inch) touchpad make navigating PC-to-TV entertainment effortless.

Long-range wireless connection

A wireless range of 10-meter (33-feet)* enables a responsive, uninterrupted connection in even the largest rooms. Watch video, stream music, connect with friends, browse web pages, and more— without annoying delays or dropouts.

*Wireless range may vary depending on operating environment and computer setup.

Familiar, media-friendly key layout

There’s no learning curve. You already know how to use the K400 Plus. Your media interactions are enhanced with comfortable keys, easy-access volume controls, and an arrow-key layout that simplifies navigation.

A second left-click button permits two-hand navigation and selection. Shortcuts simplify control for Android and Windows users. Hot keys work right from the box—no configuration is required.

Plug-and-play setup

Just plug the tiny Unifying receiver into a USB port and you’re ready to go. Plus, you can use the keyboard receiver to wirelessly connect up to six Unifying devices to your computer.

18-month** battery life

Virtually eliminate the hassle of replacing batteries. Use the on-off switch to extend battery life even further.

**Assumes up to two hours typing per day. Actual battery life will vary with use, settings

Works with multiple operating systems

Use K400 Plus with Windows 10 or later, Windows 8 or 7, Android 5.0 or later, or Chrome OS.


SOURCE: Amazon – Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus

Logitech K380 – Best Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard Out There

Stating, “Best Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard Out There” is my personal opinion; HOWEVER, I will tell you that the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard is, by far, the best bluetooth keyboard I have ever owned. I have tried quite a few bluetooth keyboards and my experience with them have not been good. I would often experience lag time when typing and disconnects from the device I was using.

The Logitech K380 changes all of that: but, the main feature of this keyboard is that you can connect up to three devices to the keyboard and toggle between the three on the fly. For example, I connected my Minix NEO Z83-4 Mini PC, my Samsung Galaxy Tab S, and my smartphone to this keyboard. Toggling between the three is a simple as 1-2-3 (number’s individually assigned to each device). I cannot get over how fluid this keyboard is. As a matter of fact, I am composing this article using this keyboard; AND, even though it is a mini keyboard, I would not hesitate in using it as my main keyboard. Another biggie with this bluetooth keyboard is that it takes two AAA batteries and according to Logitech the keyboard will give you 2 years of use between battery changes. The keyboard is available in four different colors.

As of this posting of this article, Amazon has the Logitech K380 on sale for around $30… Normally it is priced at $39.99… In my opinion, this price is reasonable, due to the fact that you have the option of connecting to 3 different bluetooth devices and that it is very reliable for a bluetooth keyboard.

Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

Logitech K380 Bluetooth Keyboard

 

Google Keyboard Update (to Gboard)

If you are an Android user, you will soon see a noticeable change to the Google Keyboard. One change is in the name. Following the update, it will be called Gboard with all the features that came to iOS users earlier this year. Apparently, Gboard has been big hit with the iOS users. One feature I am seeing that is nice is that you will be able to perform searches directly from the keyboard.

Source: Gboard FINALLY comes to Android and replaces Google Keyboard

Geek Squeaks (#2015-34) FEATURING — Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Samsung’s 18.4″ Galaxy View Tablet (can pre-order now) – Yes you are seeing that right. Samsung has developed an 18.4″ tablet called the Galaxy View that is in comparison to carrying a portable TV around; AND, that is exactly what I think Samsung is thinking in regards to this hugeous tablet. The pricing on this ($599) is a little steep for my pocketbook; however, if the price were to come within reason, I may consider the Galaxy View for home-based usage.

There are mixed reviews on this, from CNET’sSamsung has just taken the wraps off the best tablet we may have ever seen”, to the Verge’s “Samsung might’ve just priced itself out of success”… The Galaxy View is slated for release on November 6th and can be pre-ordered now… To see all the specs — CLICK HERE — scroll down the page and then click on “See All Specs”.

Samsung Galaxy View

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Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard for Computers, Tablets and Smartphones – The Logitech K480 is an excellent bluetooth keyboard, that works great either as an external keyboard for a Mac or a PC desktop system, or as a keyboard for a phone or a tablet. You can use this device to connect up to three Bluetooth wireless–capable computers or mobile devices. If this is something you may find of interest, check out Logitech’s Immersion Guide that will tell you everything you need to know about this keyboard.

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480

You aren’t limited to a single device, so why should your keyboard be?

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How To Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen – If you do not have your Android smartphone (or tablet) locked down, I suggest that you take the time and lock it down. For example, to use my Nexus 5, I enter a pin number in order to operate the device.  The ONLY problem I see with locking down your device is the chance you forget the pattern, pin or password that you used. Well, don’t fret, I came across this article,7 Ways to Bypass Android’s Secured Lock Screen.  A lot of folks don’t want to lock down their devices due that it is an inconvenience; however if you ever lose the device you will soon learn that you wished you had taken the precaution of securing it.

Android Security

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Display A Host Of System Information-Type Data On Your DesktopBGInfo is a system information tool (portable app) that is very useful for people who manage numerous systems. BGInfo automatically displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background, such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more. The information that BGInfo displays can be edited, as well as the font and background color. Stick this tool in the startup folder on your computer to display the system information each time the computer boots.

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How To Activate The Windows 8.1 Onscreen Keyboards During Those Times Of Laziness

There are times when I am at my computer where my posture and position are just not ergonomically correct (by all standards). It is called getting comfortable (by my standards). It is when I am in my comfortable posture and position, with feet propped to the side, that typing from the keyboard requires me to become a contortionist (which then defeats the purpose of being in my comfortable position).

To solve this problem of using the keyboard I use the onscreen keyboards that are built into Windows 8.1 and use the mouse pointer to type (using the hunt and peck method).  To get to these keyboards and have them readily available here is what you do:

1st OPTION: Using the Windows 8.1 Touch Keyboard

1 – To Activate The Keyboard: Right click the taskbar at the bottom of your screen, select Toolbars, then click on Touch Keyboard. 

2 – To Launch The Keyboard: Click on the icon that is now on the taskbar to show or hide the keyboard (you can also click on the close “X” button to hide it, as well).

Touch Keyboard

2nd OPTION: Using the Windows 8.1 On Screen Keyboard

1 – To Activate and Launch The Keyboard: Press the key combination [Windows-Logo]+[R] and type the following command: osk and then confirm by pressing [Enter].

2 – Pinning To Taskbar:  After the keyboard launches, click on the minimize button so that the keyboard minimizes to the taskbar.  Once it is minimized to the taskbar, right mouse click the keyboard icon and select “pin to taskbar”.

3 – Using the Options: This onscreen keyboard can be moved around and resized; whereas the previous keyboard option presented is stationary at the bottom of the screen. There is an option’s button built into this keyboard that will allow you to add or remove features of the this keyboard. One nice feature using this keyboard is that it has word prediction built in, which makes your typing experience faster (and more accurate); PLUS, it also has a “hover” option (when turned on) that you can hover over a key with your mouse pointer and the letter will be typed for you.

On Screen Keyboard

You will see many articles out there on how to turn these keyboards “off”; whereas, for purposes of laziness I have presented you with how to turn these keyboards “on”…

These keyboards are really handy when you need to type in short text strings, such as a web address, a password, etc… I don’t think I will be typing any letters with these; BUT, what I am finding is that I am really getting faster at mouse typing (using the “hunt and peck method” or, maybe I should say the “hunt and click method”).

How To Type the “Degree” Symbol From The Keyboard

[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] How To Type the “Degree” Symbol From The Keyboard – I always like sharing personal experiences here on the blog to show that I don’t pull these things out of thin air. Recently I was generating a report where I was typing out weather conditions (such as outside temperature). As I continued doing this I would always type out the word “degree” for the temperature (i.e. 90 degrees). It was at that point I started wondering if there is a way to generate the degree symbol from the keyboard?

If you look at your keyboard you will not visually find the symbol or character reference for the “degree symbol.  What you have to do is use what is called “ALT CODES”…

If you hold down the Alt key and on the numeric keypad on the right of the keyboard, type 0176, or Alt+ 248, then when you release the Alt Key, a ° should be there.

If you are interested in learning some more ALT CODES, click on the ALT CODES REFERENCE SHEET below.

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[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]

Learn a byte at a time, at What’s On My PC, with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, how to, Android, Windows, you name it… Be sure to check out MORE GEEK SQUEAKS BELOW!

MORE GEEK SQUEAKS

[PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE] Envelope Printer – While I could have used MS Office Word and other 3rd party programs to print out envelopes, I wanted something that was far easier to use and that required a heck of a lot less mouse clicks to get the job done. The program remembers your settings, so once all ready to go you can open the program, open the address book, choose the address hit use this address and the click print. 4 mouse clicks and you are done… @Tweaking.com

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[CLOUD STORAGE] How to tie your cloud storage services together – How can you tie your cloud storage services together?   It’s actually easy if you use MultCloud.   MultCloud ties together all of the most popular cloud storage services so you can upload files to multiple sites through a single sign-on… @TTC Shelbyville – Technical Blog

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[COMPRESSION SOFTWARE] ZipGenius handles more than 20 types of compression formats – It allows you to browse CD/DVD-ROM ISO image files as if they were common archives. It is the best companion for your daily tasks and you can even use it through command line module in batch operations… @ZipGenius

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[PORTABLE APP] A simple and free start menu application that can be installed on USB sticks or local PCs – Portable Start Menu organizes your programs in a simple menu system and launches them via a tray icon. If you close Portable Start Menu on an USB-Stick, running applications can be closed automatically, too… @Portable Start Menu

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[COMPUTER HARDWARE] Cable Matters USB 3.0 to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station – swappable access to 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA HDD/SSD, without having to mount the hard drive, or installing it in an enclosure. It provides a simple, fast, and cost effective solution for data recovery, drive imaging, and testing centers, or any environment that requires fast access to uninstalled/archived drives.. @Amazon

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[HOW TO – TROUBLESHOOT] When your computer won’t turn on – A lot of problems can keep a computer from booting Windows (or any other operating system). Fortunately, you can get a pretty good idea by noting how and when the PC fails. If you press the power button and nothing happens, you’ve got a very different problem than if the PC starts but Windows never loads. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities… @PCWorld

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[TECH NEWS] How the Internet of Things knows where gunfire happens – SST’s ShotSpotter pinpoints outdoor, urban gunshots for law enforcement agencies. Now it’s moving indoors with a service for schools… @c|net

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Today’s Geek Squeaks – December 7, 2013


DEFEND YOUR JUICE
with Battery Doctor. If you are experiencing battery drain on your Android devices (smartphones and tablets), Battery Doctor is definitely an app to look at…

TODAY’S RANDOM TECH SITE PICK featuring a blogger who has been at it since 2007. Very nice tech site…

ACCESS ALL YOUR ONLINE DATA with one simple interface. Combine multiple FREE online storage services and decide which should be selected to host your data…

A FUTURISTIC TECH TOILET that just may end up making your crappy day a happy day…

THE CUSTOMER REVIEWS SAY IT ALL on this natural ergonomic keyboard by Microsoft…

[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]


Battery Doctor (Battery Saver)

Battery Doctor, the professional power manager, is the best FREE battery saving app capable of extending your battery life. Over 150 MILLION downloads over Android and iOS worldwide supporting 19 languages.

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Defend Your Juice!
– Disable unnecessary apps that drain your battery!
– Task Killer kills tasks with one click!
– Kill apps when screen is off!
– Accurate battery remaining time!
– Accurate charging remaining time!
– Schedule power saving modes for work/class/sleep and more!
– Unique 3 Stage Charging system!
– Wifi/Data/Bluetooth toggle!
– Brightness control!
– CPU Management (for rooted phones)!
– Battery temperature!
– Charging Tips!
– 15 languages supported!
– Simple easy-to-use interface!

GET THIS BATTERY SAVING ANDROID APP HERE


Today’s Random Tech Site Pick

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(as listed @ Bookmarks4Tech.com)

Why Porting your Mobile Phone Number is Obsolete! – A few years back you would need to worry about keeping that number of yours for your friends and family, so they wouldn’t have to worry about updating that number of yours.   In today’s time we have a great option for everyone to keep your number where ever you go.   You no longer have to tell people to update there numbers for you… READ MORE


Jolidrive – Your Personal Space In The Cloud

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Jolidrive unifies all your content from multiple services in one simple and beautiful interface accessible from anywhere.

Built on HTML5 and Open Web technologies, Jolidrive works with all modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer… GET IT HERE


Toilet of the future? You might want to sit down for this

@ NBC.com

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The problem with trying to redesign something like a toilet, however, is that “it is incredibly difficult to introduce something new” since, like many basic pieces of furniture like chairs or tables, it’s “something most people use all the time without giving it much consideration… READ MORE


Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

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Microsoft’s best-selling line of ergonomic keyboards can pay dividends in greater comfort. According to some studies, ergonomic keyboard designs, such as the Microsoft Natural line, have been associated with significant reduction of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Rest your wrists against the plush palm rest in a relaxed, natural angle with this keyboard’s curved key bed, ergonomic arc, and reversed slope. Apart from comfort and support, enjoy quick, customizable way to reach files, folders, and web pages with handy hot keys. For close-in tasks, use the Zoom Slider, located in the middle of the keyboard, to zoom in and out with the touch of a finger… CHECK IT OUT HERE


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A Couch Friendly Keyboard By Logitech

Logitech is the best when it comes to the computer keyboard and mouse. One of their keyboard innovations that is quite impressive (in customer reviews) and is couch friendly is the Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad.

Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad

The reason I call this a couch friendly keyboard is because you can connect your laptop (and some tablets) to your TV and control the laptop from the comfort of your couch. The K400 has a range of approximately 33 feet (10 meters) and the best part is that it has a touchpad built right into the keyboard to control the functions of the mouse.

Long-range wireless control

  • Reliable Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connection with up to 33 ft range*
  • Control your TV-connected laptop from across the room
  • Turn up the volume, pause or tweet about the movie you just downloaded—all without leaving the couch

Built-in large touchpad with intuitive Windows 8 gesture support

  • No need for a separate mouse
  • Large 3.5-inch touchpad with multi-touch navigation for easy horizontal and vertical scrolling
  • Convenient left and right click buttons

Plug-and-play simplicity

  • No cords, software or hassles
  • Plug the Logitech Unifying wireless receiver into your USB port and start navigating
  • Tiny receiver can stay in your laptop and connect up to six compatible Unifying wireless devices

12-month battery life**

  • Go for a full year without changing batteries
  • On-off switch helps you save power when you’re not using the keyboard

Works with:

  • Windows 8/Windows 8 RT, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows XP
  • USB port

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What’s In The Bag Today???

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Instantly Search Google Street Views AND Maps On The Fly

Today’s post is a short post, but a good one. A London based web developer and consultant has taken the Google Street View technology to another level.

Instant Google Street View

Simply visit Instant Google Street View, start typing an address, place name or location and be instantly taken there via the Google Street View technology. If no Street view exists, a map will be shown instead.

When performing a search, the search box border will change color to indicate the status of the search:

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There are also toggle controls available that allow you to perform the following functions:

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Very ingenious and very addictive… 

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GEEK BONUS AREA

SEO in 2013 – Five Realistic Predictions

How To Swap Hard Drive PCB

The Best of 2012

FEATURED TECH PRODUCT

Logitech Wireless Wave Combo Mk550 With Keyboard
and Laser Mouse

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Links To All Articles Ever Posted At What’s On My PC

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The Easy Way To Close A Windows 8 App

As I mentioned in an earlier article, I never had any “hands-on” experience with Windows 8 until it was officially released by Microsoft back in October. I intentionally did this so that I would have that first time user experience (and challenge); like most of you will have.

As I continue to “find my way” there was one thing I started to wonder about. Was there a way to easily close a Windows 8 app once I opened it? In reality, in the scheme and design of things when it comes to Windows 8, you will find that it really does not matter; however, I wanted to know. I eventually found the answer that works for me on my desktop computer and find myself doing this all of the time now.

When you are working from the “Start Screen” (see screenshot of my Start Screen below) and click on an app, the app will open maximized on your screen and you will immediately notice that there is no close button or minimize button.

Start Screen

What you have to do, is this:  When the app is open move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen. When the cursor reaches the top of the screen a “hand” will appear (see cropped screenshot below). When the “hand” is visible on the screen, hold down the left button on your mouse, drag to the bottom of the screen, and the app will disappear (and close). As you are performing the dragging action, visually you will see the app shrink down from full screen to a much smaller screen (or window). Once you teach yourself to do this, I will guarantee it will become second nature to you when you want to close an app.

Close App

Note:  The cropped screenshot you see above is a Windows 8 app called SmartCalc.

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Has Bookmarks4Techs Been Kidnapped or Assassinated?
Now 8 Days Missing

Small Tricks To Make Your Photography Stand Out

View, Edit, And Retrieve Info Of Digital Pictures: Full Image Info

Type In Style With This Elegantly Designed, Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard For Windows 8

Bookmarks4Techs

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Access Any File You Need From Your PC From Anywhere With The NEW SkyDrive

A hot news item this week in the world of computers and information technology has been the re-design of Microsoft’s SkyDrive from its’ standard file management interface to the more metro look (that is the defacto Windows 8 GUI). If you have a Hotmail (or Outlook.com) account, then you can easily get access to SkyDrive. I highly recommend you take advantage of SkyDrive, because Microsoft is really getting this right.

With SkyDrive, you get 7 GB of free storage with SkyDrive—that’s enough for over 20,000 Office documents or 7,000 photos. For most people, this is plenty of space. But if 7 GB isn’t enough, you can add even more storage for a low yearly fee.

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It was not the metro look that captured my attention or that you can now upload and store any type of file; instead, it is a very powerful feature in SkyDrive that allows you to remotely access your files and folders on your Windows (or Mac) computer from anywhere you have internet access. For example, if I am at work and I need a document file from my computer at home, I simply log onto SkyDrive account where I am able to see my entire file/folder/drive(s) structure on my computer at home. This sort of reminds me when I used to manage network attached storage devices (NAS), with the end user interface being quite similar to this.

As long as your home computer is “on” and is running the SkyDrive software, you can access any file you need from your home computer—from anywhere.

In fact, you can browse through files just like you would if you were sitting in front of that PC. Want to show someone a photo on that home PC? You can view photo slide shows and videos on that PC from any browser, from any computer.

Fetch files from your Windows PC from anywhere

Here’s how it works, straight from the horses’ mouth:

  1. Download SkyDrive for Windows.
  2. Make sure you leave the box checked during setup that will allow you to “Fetch your files from anywhere.” (You can also choose this later by clicking the SkyDrive icon (SkyDrive icon) in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, and clicking Settings. On the General tab, under Fetch files, select Make files on this PC available to me on my other devices, and then click OK.)
  3. Open your browser and sign in to SkyDrive.com.
  4. Your PCs that have SkyDrive for Windows installed will appear in the Computers menu. Choose the computer that has the file you want, and you can view, print, or download the file you forgot.

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Technology News, Software, Apps, Wallpapers, Tech Products
and MORE…

Digital Sheep – Grazing on the Internet

3 Tips to Keep Your Online File Storage Secure

New to technology? Follow my classes

A Super Keyboard and Mouse Combo

Bookmarks4Techs

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Automatically Unlock The Cap Locks Key

I love my Logitech K350 Wireless Keyboard, but there is one thing I do not like about it. The keyboard does not tell you when the cap locks key is activated. As a result I find myself often messing with the cap locks key to turn it off.

A solution that I came across, that is automated, is called CapsUnlocker.

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What CapsUnlocker does is this. Let’s say I activate the cap locks key and forget to deactivate it. CapsUnlocker, after a period of 30 seconds (or whatever you set it at), will automatically turn off the caps lock key for you. I no longer have to wonder if the caps lock key is on or not.

CapsUnlocker is a portable app that can be set to load at Windows startup…

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Featured Software – 5/1/12

Technology News – 5/1/12

Best Selling External Hard Drives

CONGRATULATIONS Steve
Steve Mallard wins IT innovation leadership award –
IT Leadership Award winners showcase leadership innovation

CONGRATULATIONS Jacqui
Half a Million Hits–Wow

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[FEATURED PRODUCT] – Logitech Wireless Wave Combo MK550 With Keyboard and Laser Mouse

Logitech Wireless Wave Combo MK550 With Keyboard and Laser Mouse

Talk about a nice keyboard and mouse combo…  I have always been a fan of Logitech products and the Logitech Wireless Wave Combo MK550 Keyboard and Mouse are no exception.  It is a well designed  functional pairing of devices that will make your computing experience all that much better.

Features I Like:

The wave design of the keyboard that brings a natural and more comfortable typing experience, featuring Logitech’s ergonomic curve+wave+palm rest.

The included Logitech SetPoint software that allows you to program and customize the multimedia keys on the keyboard and the buttons on the mouse.

The small (very small) unifying receiver that connects both the keyboard and the mouse.

The long battery life.  Seems like I never have to change the battery in either the keyboard or mouse.

The keys are very responsive with no lag time from keyboard to screen.

The pricing…  For an ergonomic keyboard and mouse combo of this type, the price is better than other comparable products [ SEE HERE ] .

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Free Touch Typing Tutor for Windows

I bet you are someone that uses the computer on a regular basis that resorts to “hunting and pecking” when it comes to using the keyboard.

Folks, I cannot stress the importance of learning basic keyboarding skills. Personally, I learned to type (on a typewriter) in high school and it is probably one of the most important skills I ever learned. I truly believe, that very class paved the way to my future of learning computers, writing, etc…  On a a scale of 1 to 10, my keyboarding skill level is probably a 6 or 7.  I still have some fine tuning to do…

Knowing how important it is to myself and other computer users on learning or improving keyboarding skills, I periodically post an article about FREE software that is available where you can be “self-taught” on using the keyboard.

One of my favorites is called TIPP10, a FREE touch typing tutor for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

TIPP10

What sets TIPP10 above the others is the intelligent text selection feature that will automatically focus on the area of the keyboard that you are stuggling with.

The lesson texts react instantly to your typing mistakes by repeating mistyped letters more frequently. The system helps you eliminate typing mistakes and learn touch typing efficiently. A wide range of dictations ensures you’ll never get bored. You will become acquainted with all the keys on the keyboard in 20 sequential training lessons. Commonly used characters are practiced earlier and more frequently than those that appear less frequently.

TIPP10

TIPP10 if very popular (downloaded over a million times) and is also available in a portable version.

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Using the Alt Key on your Keyboard to Make Special Characters

The “alt” key, located on both sides of the “spacebar” of your keyboard, is a modifier key that when used in combination with the “numeric keypad” has special powers. Those special powers being the ability to type special characters. For example if you wanted to type the copyright symbol “©” , you hold down the “Alt” key and type “0169” on the numeric keypad and the symbol will magically appear.

Alt Key

You can even create mini pics to use in your chat sessions or at the end of an email, etc… when using the “Alt” key.

ô¿ô = Face——-> Alt 147, Alt 168, Alt 147

If you are wondering what other symbols are available using the the magic “Alt” key, I found the a great visual listing [ CLICK HERE ] .

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Shutdown, Sleep, Restart or Logoff Your Computer Using the Keyboard

Keyboard ShortcutsDid you know that there are built in keyboard shortcuts that you can use to shutdown, sleep, restart or logoff your Windows computer?  Well, there are, and they are good to remember in the event the mouse becomes unresponsive. The keyboard shortcuts differ between Windows XP and Windows Vista/Windows 7; however, the initial key press for all of these shortcuts commands are dependent on the Windows key (which is located to the left of the spacebar that displays the Windows Logo on the key).

For Windows XP:

SHUTDOWN – press the WINDOWS KEY and the letter “U” twice

RESTART – press the WINDOWS KEY, then the letter  “U” once and  then the letter “R” once

LOGOFF – press the WINDOWS KEY and the letter  “L” twice

SLEEP – press the WINDOWS KEY and the letter “U” once and the letter “S” once

For Windows Vista/Windows 7:

SHUTDOWN – press the WINDOWS KEY, then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “U” to shut down

RESTART – press the WINDOWS KEY, then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “R”

LOGOFF – press the WINDOWS KEY then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “L”

SLEEP – press the WINDOWS KEY, then press the RIGHT ARROW key three times and the letter “S”

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Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows XP, Vista and 7

Keyboard ShortcutsFollowing a recent post, I had a reader ask if I could provide some resources on where to find and how to use keyboard shortcuts. Ironically, following that comment, Steve over at Scoroncocolo had posted a very thorough article about Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts.  If your operating system is Windows 7, then you need to take a look at some of the cool shortcuts that Steve will show you [ HERE ] .

Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of two or more keys that, when pressed, can be used to perform a task that would typically require a mouse or other pointing device. Keyboard shortcuts can make it easier to interact with your computer, saving you time and effort as you work with Windows and other programs.

Granted, you may not have yet graduated to Windows 7 and may still be using Windows Vista or XP.  For your convenience, I have listed some great resources on the keyboard shortcuts that are available to each operating system. My favorite keyboard shortcut is “F1” .  You can press that key in nearly any application you are using and get an education.  What is your favorite keyboard shortcut?

List of the keyboard shortcuts that are available in Windows XP

Support4Vista – Windows Vista Keyboard Shortcut Commands

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts

FREE eBook – The Complete Windows 7 Shortcuts

ADDED Keyboard Shortcut Bonus:
How to get a picture of your computer screen

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Type Faster With More Confidence

One of the hardest computer devices to master is the computer keyboard. Couple that with poor spelling skills and your experience using the computer becomes that much more frustrating.

If you fall into this category, then I recommend you take a look at the software program called  eType.

eType

eType is a FREE software application that autocompletes your words while you are typing, thus eliminating spelling errors. Now, the really cool part about eType is that it contains an online multi-language dictionary with translations and word substitutes to virtually any language in the world.

eType offers you translations to words in your native language so you can be sure you are choosing the right word at the right time. eType serves not only as a dictionary for individuals to utilize, but as a dictionary for everybody who uses eType to benefit from. Contributions are gathered from global users all over the world and are centralized in one common dictionary.

eType works with virtually every program on your computer, plus online apps (such as web based email, blogging, social sites etc.) where typing is required. As a matter of fact, I tested it and used eType as I composed this article. If eType does not activate in the app you are using, simply hit Ctrl-F8 on your keyboard to make eType work for you.

eType

eType automaticlly pops up a small window that supplies you with word suggestions, while you type, that will assist you with choosing the right word.

To see eType in action, I encourage you to preview the following video.

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FREE eBook – The Complete Windows 7 Shortcuts

This FREE Ebook is in the PDF and XPS formats.  It features over 200 keyboard shortcuts that are available in Windows 7 and its’ default programs.  If you are unfamiliar with keyboard shortcuts, please let me briefly explain.  Instead of using the mouse to typically perform a specific function, you press 2 or more (assigned) keys on your keyboard (in combination)  to perform the function.  Believe it or not, keyboard shortcuts can save a lot of time and effort in comparison to the mouse.

This (very impressive) eBook was professionally crafted, in its’ entirety, by Nitin Agarwal via The Windows Club Forum.  For the everyday computer user and computer tech, this eBook is an excellent “must have” reference guide and learning tool.

This eBook comprises of more than 200 keyboard shortcuts containing almost all the keyboard shortcuts that are available in Windows 7 and its default programs like Paint, WordPad, MS Office, Calculator, Help, Media Player, Media Center, Windows Journal, Internet Explorer, etc.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#35)

image Each week What’s On My PC features links to articles (posted within the past 7 days) from the tech blogs that are on the What’s On My PC blogroll (at the sidebar of the blog).  If you are new or old to information technology and computers, these blogs are awesome resources for keeping in tune.

Canadian Tech News Blog
Top 5 Free Software

Snakebytez
Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 now available for Download

Carputer’s News and Computer Tips
Free Software for Business Use

Tux in the Midwest
Another website launched with Drupal

Worthy Tips
How to preset safe mode boot
before rebooting in Windows OS?

Technize
Download Free Windows 7 Product Guide From Microsoft

I Love Free Software
ADrive: Free 50GB Online Storage and Backup Space

TTC Shelbyville
Control the Ping Command With Performance Pinging

The Abbey Rose
Favicon’s

Techolar
How to disinfect your computer keyboard

Mrintech
WordPress XML and XHTML Sitemap

Freeware Elite
So, do you know what is a Browser?

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Facebook, my pet peeves.

Tuneup Blog
Tuneup Blog Diary: Extend Your Laptop’s Battery Life (Part Two)

Computer Too Slow
Setting up Dual Monitors

Crazy World of G
Open Sesame

Lifehacker
Google Chrome Beta Adds Bookmark Sync, Speed Boost [Updates]

Rarst.net
HP ProBook 4510s – nice small business notebook

Sugarloaf Tech
How to display your birthday, not your age, in Facebook

Tech-for Everyone
Windows 7 64-bit Adventures

AskBillFirst
What Did He Mean By That? SMS and E-mail Etiquette

Free PC Security
WOT Community Trust Certificate

AKS-Feel The Change
Free Windows File Manager Alternative

Carol’s Vault
Beautiful and free vector graphics

411-Spyware.com
How to Remove BlockWatcher

Teck~Line
See What a Mac User Has To Say About Windows 7

Plato On-Line
Facebook Spamming Practices Revealed

Is You GEEKed Up
Windows 7: What’s Wrong with It?

Evilfantasy’s Blog
Fix MSE Utility – Repair Microsoft Security Essentials

Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
Sending large files to a friend without a web service?
Create a torrent!

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
A Seriously Advanced Photo Tool – Free Image Analyzer 1.31

Right On Technology
Little Buddy GPS

Scoroncocolo Tech Pages
Backing Up and Synchronizing Files with SyncToy

What’s On My PC
Using your numeric keypad as a launcher…

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#27)

Wow…  Over a half-year of Geek Squeaks’. Combine all the articles together in a book and you have a technology book like no other.  Geek Squeaks’ are a compilation of articles from the authors of blogs (web sites) that are on the What’s On My PC… blogroll. I do have to admit I have associated with the best bloggers out there; no doubt about it.  If you want to read more “Geek Squeaks” be sure to visit the category link at the side of the blog.

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StatCounter
Scoroncocolo

Multicore Computers and Old Programs*
Tech-for Everyone

Boost Firefox in a single click with SpeedyFox
Snakebytez

USB Image Tool
Evil Fantasy’s Blog

Best Websites of 2009
Carputer’s News and Computer Tips

Are You an Internet Addict?
Plato-online

Zune HD – And Drool All Over my Keyboard
Tux in the Midwest

Going after the hackers! Wanna help?
The Spyware Biz Blog

Give your file advance security with Cryptor encrypting utility Piyada’s World

How to Remove Antivirus Pro 2010
411-Spyware.com

Test Your Computer’s Stability
TTC Shelbyville

List of Portable Web Browsers
AKS-Feel The Change

JavaRa
The Abbey Rose

Computer Security
Crazy World of G

Nokia set to release a Net book mini computer
Computer Too Slow

Design Your Own Exercise Program Using Seven Key Moves [DIY] Lifehacker

Use Google Talk to get Latest & Top NEWS!
Mrintech

1by1 – tiny and portable mp3 audio player
Rarst.net

I Don’t Care If You’re Naked – Stop Spamming Me!
Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

Microsoft Office 2007 – Deal for college students
Sugarloaf Tech

Rootkits, Malware and Registry Protection
Free PC Security

How to List and View Installed Windows Fonts
thePC Security

Glass Notepad
Technize

ZeroRemote
Freeware Pharmacy

Learn how to keyboard…
What’s On My PC…

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Are wireless keyboards secure?

I was sitting here typing on my wireless keyboard wondering what I could write about and explore next; when, low and behold it hit me.  Are wireless keyboards secure? In other words, could another person intercept my keystrokes as I typed from my wireless keyboard?  If this is possible, this is not good.  In my case I am an internet junkie and my credit card numbers, usernames and passwords to all of my accounts, could be stolen. I know as an IT professional that wireless networking can be a security risk; so why not wireless keyboards.

Wireless Keyboard

During my research I soon found out quickly from an article at Enterprise Security Today, titled “Symantec Warns of of Wireless Keyboard Security Threat”, that a new form of attack aimed at users of wireless keyboards had been uncovered.

Excerpts from that article:

The warning follows the release of Keykeriki, an open-source “sniffer” project that allows users to remotely decode wireless transmissions.

The project was created by a site called remote-exploit.org. “This open-source hardware and software project enables every person to verify the security level of their own keyboard transmissions, and/or demonstrate the sniffing attacks (for educational purpose only),” the site notes.

Symantec warned that, although the creator’s intentions appear honorable, making the software code and hardware schematics open to everyone means that criminals could use the software to eavesdrop on wireless keyboard inputs.       [ Source: Enterprise Security Today ]

I then came across excerpts and a YouTube video with Steve Gibson, Security Expert and Founder of GRC.com (makers of the Spinrite hard drive data recovery software), being interviewed by Leo Laporte (from the “The Lab with Leo Laporte”) regarding “The Frightening Insecurity of Wireless Keyboards” (see excerpts and video below).

Having a keystroke logger installed on a computer is one of the worst things that can happen. But what it everything you type on your wireless keyboard can be easily intercepted by a neighbor or office worker?!!! It turns out, it probably can be.

Leo and I will examine and describe the incredibly weak “encryption” used on Microsoft’s 1000 and 2000 series (and probably other) wireless keyboards to show how easily that encryption can be broken to allow anyone within “radio range” to log everything typed.

If you Google: “wireless keyboard encryption” right now you’ll find a number of links to articles about the recent revelation of how simple Microsoft’s wireless keyboard encryption is. [ Source: The Lab with Leo Laporte ]

[ CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO ]

Lab With Leo Laporte

Needless to say, following my reviews of this information, I am considering going back to a wired keyboard; at least until the wireless keyboard manufacturers can responsibly demonstrate that the data being transmitted from my keyboard to the receiver is encrypted and is not at risk of being intercepted.

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Learn how to keyboard…

When I was in high school, several of us guys, decided we were going to take an introductory class on typing. Back then the typing was on a typewriter and our intention was not to learn typing; but, to be surrounded by all the girls in the class with the hope of getting some attention. Well, the opposite occurred, we learned to type and did not get any attention. Not knowing at that the time I would develop a future obsession for computers, where keyboarding (typing) is an integral part of navigation, that class was one of the best investments of my high school years. Not that I developed into a world class typist (keyboarder) or anything, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to learn the keyboard. Learning how to type is a definite confidence builder when it comes to the operation of any computer that will reduce the frustration factor tremendously. If you have a desire to improve your skills or learn from scratch I came across a typing tutor software program that is freeware; that can either be installed on your PC OR installed as a portable application on your flash drive. The program is called “RapidTyping Typing Tutor“. For a freeware app, this program uses a simple and colorful interface, has a typing game built in, provides statistics on how you perform, and can be set up to emulate various types of keyboard layouts.

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