How do I make a SkyDrive album public?

When you wish to allow access to a SkyDrive photo album to everyone and anyone on the Internet the share setting needs to be set to Everyone. When you create a new folder of album the sharing will be set to imageThis folder is not shared”.

To share the folder click the Share folder link.

imageThis brings up a dialog where you can specify email addresses and other specific ways to share. To make the album public click Get a link.

imageThis next dialog has a Make public button.

Click the Make public button.

The folder is now public. You will see a text box with a length URL. imageYou can copy this web address and share it with your friends. There is also a Shorten button. Clicking that provides you with a shorter web address.

imageThe information pane will now show that the folder is shared with Everyone.  There is an X to the right of this setting, the normal “delete” icon. Click that to remove the permission.

You can use the web address in emails to your friends or in blog posts and wherever you wish to provide a link to your SkyDrive photo album. Viewers do not need to sign in to see public albums.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

How do I make a new SkyDrive photo album?

There are a number of ways of making a new photo album or folder in SkyDrive. Here are several of the procedures.

Create new folder in SkyDrive

imageWhen you are in your SkyDrive online, that is, viewing it in a browser,  there is a “New folder” link above the main pane. Click it to make a new folder or album. Instantly a new folder tile will be added in the main pane. The folder name will be highlighted indicating that you can just type the folder name. Type the name you want to assign to the folder or album.

imageThis folder will initially be set to Folder type Documents. You can see that when you expand the Information section in the pane on the right. There will be a Change link there. You can change it to Photos, or you can just leave it as is. When a photo is uploaded to the folder it will change to Folder type Photos by itself.

Create a new SkyDrive photo album from Live Photo Gallery

Sometimes the easiest way to add a new SkyDrive photo album is to do it as you upload photos from Live Photo Gallery. In Photo Gallery sign in to your Microsoft account (upper right). Then select the photos you wish to upload to a new SkyDrive photo album. Click SkyDrive in the Share section of the ribbon. A dialog pops up with the first option being the defining of a new SkyDrive photo album. Type in the name you wish to assign to the album and click Publish. Note the Publish button is not enabled until an album name has been typed. The SkyDrive photo album will be created and the selected photos will be uploaded to the album.

image

Creating a SkyDrive photo folder in the desktop app

If you have the SkyDrive desktop app installed you can create a new folder for photos just the way you would create any other new album using Windows Explorer. Open Windows Explorer, click SkyDrive in the left navigation pane. Then click New Folder.

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Using the SkyDrive desktop app allows you to create the new folder anywhere in the folder hierarchy in your SkyDrive. Keep in mind that you cannot upload from Photo Gallery into any sub-folders.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

What is that “Links” item on the Windows 8 taskbar?

The taskbar in Windows 8, and earlier versions of Windows, provides a very convenient place to manage your tasks, keep track of them and launch applications. Links toolbar and menu

You can pin shortcut icons for applications, even documents and folder to the taskbar. In addition there are a number of toolbars than can be placed on the taskbar to make this even more powerful.

The “Links” toolbar is one of these. It provides a quick way to launch Internet Explorer and go to a favorite site.

First you have to have some websites marked as “favorites” so you can get back to them quickly. When you are viewing a site and wish to mark it for future visits, adding a website to Favorites barclick the star near the top right the browser window. Click the down-arrow by the “Add to favorites” command, then click Add to Favorites bar. See the red arrows in the illustration. There are some other ways to accomplish this task, you may prefer another.

The “Favorites bar” will get turned on. This lets you get to your most often needed sites with just a click.Internet Explorer Favorites bar 

Before long you will have more favorites sites than fit on the bar and you need to click on the double-chevron at the end of the bar to see the rest. turning menu bars on/offYou might also prefer to not have this bar take up real estate in the browser window. You can turn it off by right-clicking in the top area and unchecking the tool bars.  Those that are checked will be displayed.

So what good is a “Favorites bar” if it is turned off? enabling the Links barYou still have quick access to your favorites with the “Links” bar on the task bar. If you don’t see it there, right-click on an empty spot on the taskbar. In the pop-up, click on Toolbars. Then click Links so the checkmark shows.

You will now have the Links toolbar. Move the pointer to the area where the double-chevron shows and click, the menu that pops up shows all your sites on the Internet Explorer Favorites bar.

You can edit the names, you can rearrange the order by just dragging the listings up or down. You can, of course, also change the size of the taskbar and the toolbars that are on it. With the taskbar not locked, you can drag the taskbar top edge to change the height, you can drag the dimples at the end of the toolbars to resize them. Here is a view of part of my taskbar so rearranged.over-blinged taskbar

Some things that are possible, are not necessarily good ideas. Having the Links toolbar, however, is very useful.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

How do I lock the screen for Windows 8 in a virtual machine?

Aha, you noticed that when running Windows 8 in a virtual machine the lock-screen shortcut, logokey+L, locks the host system as well as the guest system. This is true for VMware Player and Oracle Virtualbox.

This shortcut is intercepted by both the host and the guest and you have to sign in to both to get back. It is a very convenient and quick way to blank the screen when you need to leave the computer.image

To lock just the virtual machine here is the long way: Press the logokey, then click on your name in the upper right and click Lock.

If you are mostly working in the desktop you can also place a shortcut on the desktop to allow locking with just a double-click on an icon.

Here is the procedure for setting up a desktop lock shortcutimage

  • Right-click on a free space on the desktop.
  • Click New and in the secondary menu, click Shortcut.
  • In the Create a Shortcut dialog, enter this text: shutdown /l – the word “shutdown” followed by a space then a slash and a lower-case L. Don’t worry, this command will not shut down the system just lock the screen.
  • Click Next.
  • Replace the default shortcut name “shutdown” with lock or lock screen for the name of the shortcut.
  • Click Finish.

image

image

imageYou now have an shortcut on the desktop that looks about as shown here. For a better looking icon, right-click the shortcut, click Properties, then  click Change icon. Click OK in the complaint dialog.image

An icon selection dialog opens. imageClick the one you like. I like the padlock symbol.

Click OK to close the Change Icon dialog.

Click on Normal window in the Run box and click on Minimized. This will prevent the command box from flashing on the screen when the icon is double-clicked.

imageClick OK to close the Properties dialog.

You now have a nice looking “lock screen” icon.

To lock the screen, just double-click this shortcut. Only the guest system will be locked down, your host system will not have to be unlocked.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

Does the SkyDrive desktop app use disk space?

UPDATE 16Nov2012: Selective sync is now enabled. See: How do I choose the SkyDrive folders to sync with the desktop app?

When the SkyDrive app is installed a folder is created on your computer and all of the contents of your SkyDrive is downloaded to that folder. Win8-64-08So the answer to the question, “does the SkyDrive desktop app use disk space”, is definitely yes. This folder is synchronized with SkyDrive.

So what is the advantage of having the SkyDrive app?

The most important advantage is that with the SkyDrive app you can manage your SkyDrive like any other folder on your computer. You can add and remove files, add and remove folders and subfolders. You can copy files and folders with sub-folders and all their contents to SkyDrive with the normal drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste routines that you are familiar with.

Another advantage is that all your SkyDrive contents is available even when you are not connected to the Internet. When a connection is reestablished SkyDrive is automatically synchronized.

If you have multiple computers, all of them can be up to date and have your SkyDrive files available.

Win8-64-10Where is the SkyDrive folder on the computer and how much space does it take?

The default location for the SkyDrive folder is C:\Users\YourName\SkyDrive. It is set during the SkyDrive app installation and another location can be selected. Note the Change button shown in the illustration here. The picture also shows where in Windows Explorer SkyDrive can be found: It is listed in the Favorites group.

Since the SkyDrive folder maintains a copy of everything in your SkyDrive the disk space will be the same as the online SkyDrive space. If you have 5 GB of files in SkyDrive, this folder will need 5 GB.

imageWhere do I get the SkyDrive app?

Go to your online Microsoft account, go to SkyDrive. At the bottom of the listings in the navigation area on the left, click on Get SkyDrive apps. This will take you through the download and installation procedure.image

How do I know when the files are up-to-date?

Open the SkyDrive folder. While a folder is being synchronized there will be a little double-arrow symbol next to it. imageWhen it is up to date, there is a checkmark in a green circle. While processing changes, you can also see a progress bar under the little SkyDrive icon in the notification area (right end of taskbar). Move the pointer to the symbol to get a screentip message of the status.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

Can I install multiple SkyDrive apps on my desktop?

The short answer is “no, you can’t”, but the longer answer is, “there is a way”.

If you have two Microsoft accounts (Windows Live IDs), you have a SkyDrive for each. The SkyDrive app on the desktop makes managing the files and folders in the SkyDrive as easy as any other folder. So you might want to have access to both right on your desktop.

imageYou cannot install the SkyDrive app multiple times on the desktop, that simply does not work. There is a work-around, however, and once established, works just as you expect – two folders on the desktop, each accessing its own SkyDrive. Not only that, both get synchronized automatically.

Here is the how to install two separate SkyDrive folders on your desktop. Assumed here is that the computer is running Windows 7.

  • Create a user account on your computer for the second Microsoft account. In this article I will call the original user “user 1” and new user “user 2” and the SkyDrive belonging to that user SkyDrive 2. User 2 can be a “Standard user” (and really should be).image
  • Switch to user 2. Start > power ►> Switch user
  • Start Internet Explorer, sign in with the user 2 credentials. Click SkyDrive in top menu.
  • imageClick Get SkyDrive apps (navigation pane, bottom). Follow through and download and install the SkyDrive app.
  • Switch back to user 1.
  • Open Windows Explorer. Navigate to Local Disk > Users > user 2. This is the default location where the local SkyDrive folder is located.
  • Right-click on the SkyDrive folder listing. Click on Send to in the drop-down menu and click Desktop (create shortcut).

That’s it. You now have a desktop shortcut to SkyDrive 2, the one for user 2.

Note that I did not ask you to log out either user. So long as both users are logged in on your computer the synchronizing of the SkyDrive folders will proceed for both. Keep in mind that downloading and especially uploading of files takes considerable time as determined by your Internet connection.

Both folders will be accessible, of course, at all times, including when the Internet connection is not available. Synchronization will resume when the Internet connection is reestablished.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck