Why is there a shield on my Shutdown button?

Once in a while an automatic update runs in the background on your computer imageand it now needs a shutdown or restart to complete the installation. Windows provides this little warning on the Shut down button in the Start menu.

You can get a bit more information on this when you move the pointer to the button.

image

This is not an alarm, but do heed the advice and shut down or restart the computer when you take a break. Pat yourself on the back for having set up your machine to perform updates automatically.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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Can I re-import photos when the computer says no new photos were found?

On occasion you will get a dialog that says “0 new photos and videos were found” when you try to import pictures from your camera.Import-01 This happens if you already have imported those photos, even though you might have deleted or moved the pictures on the computer.

Can you re-import the photos? You can, provided that you did not erase them on the camera. We are assuming here that you have set up your computer to use Windows Live Gallery to import photos from your camera. Just click the Next button (see illustration). In the next window you will see the photos on your camera arranged by date. It will say “0 items selected in 0 groups”. Note that the check box in front of the groups is not checked.

Import-02Import-03

Click on the group check box that you wish to import again. There is also a “Select all” option. Make sure you have selected just the ones you wish to import once more. Click Import and the process starts.

Import-04While the photos are being imported you will see the progress in a dialog like the one shown here. Note the check box with the legend “Erase after importing”. This means “erase from the camera after the photos have been imported to the computer”. I always leave that unchecked, which is also the default. This way the photos stay on the camera.

So what happens if you already have the photos on your computer? A new set will be imported, if the file name already exists, the import process will add a number in parenthesis at the end of the file name for the new file. You will wind up with duplicated photos. No harm will be done to photos that are already on your computer. Of course you can delete the duplicates.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

Can I pin my Hotmail Inbox to the Taskbar?

For users of Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9 it is easy to pin a Hotmail icon to the taskbar or to create a link on the desktop. This makes access to online mail just a click or two away.

imageUsing Internet Explorer 9 sign in to your Hotmail account. Move the pointer to the small icon in front of the web address in the address field. Note the little message balloon that says: “Drag to taskbar to pin site”.

As you drag the –image now larger – icon across an empty space on your desktop the message now says: “Create link in Desktop”. You can do that by just dropping the icon on an empty spot. This gives you a desktop shortcut.

If you continue the drag to the taskbar, the message now says image“Pin to Taskbar”. Just drop it on the taskbar.

The desktop shortcut when double-clicked starts your browser and takes you right to your Windows Live home page (if you selected “Keep me signed in” when last you signed in to your account).

When the icon on the taskbar is imageclicked it also takes you to your Windows Live home page. Right-click the taskbar icon and the jump list shows the options Home, Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, Send email. This makes getting to those services really easy.

There is another little feature that you might find useful. When you launch your browser from the taskbar or the desktop link, a small icon is placed in front of the Internet Explorer 9 “back” button and the little “home” icon on the right is removed.image

The message balloon for that link also shows you the keyboard shortcut method for getting to your home page, Alt+Home. So, wherever to roam to on the Internet, you can get right back to your Windows Live home page.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

 

Can I put a shortcut to SkyDrive on my Windows 7 desktop?

You certainly can, however, you need to use Internet Explorer 9. Sign in to your Windows Live account. Click “SkyDrive” on the menu bar to display your SkyDrive contents page.

If your browser is maximized, click “Restore down” and resize the window so you can see some blank area of your desktop.

In the browser address field note the small SkyDrive logo in front of the address. Move your pointer to that symbol. The message balloon will say “Drag to taskbar to pin site”. Drag the little logo to a blank area of your desktop. The SkyDrive logo will be bigger and the imagemessage balloon will say “Create a link in desktop”. imageJust let go the mouse button to drop the link. You will now have a desktop shortcut to your SkyDrive.

If you opted to “Keep me signed in” the last time you signed in to Windows Live, this shortcut will launch your browser and take you right to your SkyDrive page. Just double-click the icon.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

 

How do I pin SkyDrive to the taskbar in Windows 7?

The Windows Live SkyDrive is easier to use than ever. Here is how to pin a SkyDrive shortcut to your taskbar in Windows 7.

Note: You can do this only when using Internet Explorer 9.

Sign in to your Windows Live account, on the menu line click SkyDrive. imageWhen your SkyDrive page is displayed note the browser address field. It will show a little SkyDrive logo ahead of the address as shown in the illustration here.

When you hover the pointer over that logo the little message flag says: “Drag to taskbar to pin site”.image

Do just that.

The SkyDrive logo will then appear on your taskbar. Whenever you want to open SkyDrive just click on the logo.

If you have elected to “Keep me signed in” the last time you signed in to Windows Live, Internet Explorer will launch and go right to your SkyDrive when the taskbar logo is clicked.

That’s all it takes.image

But wait! There is more: That link on the taskbar can do more than just take you to your SkyDrive files. Right-click on the icon and you can select to go directly to see just your documents or just your albums. The same way as if you had clicked Documents or Photos on the drop-down menu from SkyDrive on your Windows Live home page.

You can even start a new Web Apps document, but, alas, it will be in the SkyDrive root, not inside any document folder.

Want to go to your Windows Live home page? Click on the taskbar SkyDrive icon. When your files page is displayed, click on image“Windows Live” in the upper left – that takes you right to your home page.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

 

How do I add images to my WordPress Links Widget?

Showing links to other blogs and sites is a common way to help your readers connect with more of what they are interested in. Making those links interesting and easier to use with graphics adds a nice touch. Most blogs have sidebars for displaying information, details and links. In a WordPress blog, the Links Widget is a versatile and useful tool and can display images. This post tells you how to do it.

First you need images. These need to be stored on the Internet so they can be accessed and displayed. Lastly they need to be an acceptable size.

Let’s start with that last item, the size. Sidebars come in various sizes. You want images that fit the sidebar of you blog. Don’t know how wide your sidebar is?image In your WordPress Dashboard, click Themes (under Appearance in the navigation pane on the left). Your current theme is shown on the top. There is a link, “Read more about …”, click it and scroll down to find the “Quick Specs” panel about your theme.

It will list the column width, the sidebar width and the header image size. Note the sidebar width. I suggest you make your images about 10 pixels narrower than the sidebar so that they will fit nicely. For this blog, the sidebar width is 212 pixels, I make my images 200 pixels wide. The height is not so important, but the Links list looks best with strip images so it does not get to be too long.

Now what images should you use? If you link to other blogs or sites, the headers of those pages make excellent images. They show a visual of the target page even before your visitor gets there.

Making the logo images

Open your browser to your target page. Do a screen capture. I use the tools built into Windows 7, so Alt-PrintScreen captures the open window. Next open Paint and click Paste. The image of the browser will now be shown in Paint.

image Logo-capture

Click Select and drag a frame around the header image or header area of the page. Click Crop. The header image is now the only thing in Paint.

image

Click Resize. In this dialog click Pixels. Then enter the size for the width of the image. In my case that is 200. Leave the checkmark on Maintain aspect ratio so the image will not get distorted. imageClick OK.

 

The image will now be shown in the small size that you have selected. Save it into your Pictures folder (or another location) giving it a name that tells you what it is later on.

Do this with your other target pages that you will want to link to on your blog.

Windows 7 Paint saves the images as PNG format – that is fine for this intended use.

 

Upload the images to your WordPress Media Library

Once you have made your link logo images, upload them to the Media Library. In your WordPress Dashboard expand the Media section image(click on Media) then click Add New. The Upload New Media page opens.

Click Browse. In the File Upload dialog locate the folder with your link logo images. Click on one of them. Click Open. Then click Upload in the Upload New Media page.

Repeat for your other images.

Now the images are in your Media Library.

Add images to Linksimage

Open your Media Library – click MediaLibrary in the navigation bar. All your images are listed. Click on the one you want. The Edit Media page for that image opens. Under File URL you can see the full web address of the image. Select it (hold down the left mouse button and drag over the address). Press Ctrl+C to copy the address.

Now click LinksAll Links, then the one of interest. Scroll down until you see AdvancedImage Address. Click in the address text space then press Ctrl+V to paste the address. Click Update Link. That’s it. Do this for the others.

Be sure to check your Links Widget to make sure that the the Show Link Image box is checked. If it is not, click it so it’s checked and click Save.

Now your Links Widget displays your links with the logo images you prepared. Hurray!

Also see:

How do I show links to other blogs in the sidebar of my WordPress blog?

 

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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What is “God Mode”?

“God Mode” is a cute name for an otherwise mundane search listing of the various options in Control Panel. Having all the features displayed in imageWindows Explorer eliminates searching through the menus and offers a real convenience. The different ways of showing the results in Windows Explorer are another benefit of “God Mode”. This tool is actually very simple and does not take up much space.

Here is how to install “God Mode” on your Windows 7 computer:

You need to create a folder in the boot disk of your computer. The common name for this is “Local Disk (C:)”. The new folder has to have a special name. The name can start with any word you like, but the part below, starting with the period, must be as shown.

  • Select the next line shown here and copy it to the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+C.

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

  • imageOpen Windows Explorer – click the “Windows Explorer” icon in the Taskbar.
  • In the navigation panel, below Computer, click Local Disk (C:). imageYou may have to expand the Computer listing by clicking the arrowhead symbol in front of it.image
  • Click New folder in the menu bar.
  • imageThe name of the folder is already selected, highlighted, so you can type the desired name of the folder. Don’t type anything, just press Ctrl+V to paste the name you copied from this post. It will look like this:image
  • imagePress Enter to complete the naming process. The folder name will display as “GodMode” and be prefixed with the Control Panel icon.
  • To make this feature even more easily accessible, imageplace a shortcut icon on the desktop.
    Right-click the GodMode folder, move the pointer down to Send to, then to the right and click Desktop (create shortcut).
  • Close Windows Explorer.

 

You will now have a Control Panel shortcut icon on your desktop to invoke this feature. Double-click it, Windows Explorer will open and look about like this:

image

Here in one long listing you have all the control functions with good descriptive names. On my computers I get 278 items listed – more than I ever want to use, but, het, this is computing power. All the display features of Windows Explorer are, of course, available to make getting around in this list even easier.

 

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

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