Windows 8 – Tips & Tricks

Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts

Knowing at least some of the Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts will make your Windows 8 experience much more enjoyable. Try to memorize these top Windows 8 shortcut keys.

  • Press the Windows key to open the Start screen or switch to the Desktop (if open).
  • Press the Windows key + D will open the Windows Desktop.
  • Press the Windows key + . to pin and unpin Windows apps on the side of the screen.
  • Press the Windows key + X to open the power user menu, which gives you access to many of the features most power users would want (e.g. Device Manager and Command Prompt).
  • Press the Windows key + C to open the Charms.
  • Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings, which is the same Settings found in Charms.
  • Press and hold the Windows key + Tab to show open apps.
  • Press the Windows key + Print screen to create a screen shot, which is automatically saved into your My Pictures folder.

Use a picture password to log into your computer

Windows 8 includes a new feature called Picture password, which allows you to authenticate with the computer using a series of gestures that include circles, straight lines, and taps. Enable this feature if you want a new way to access your computer or have a hard time with passwords.

  1. Open the Windows Charms.
  2. Click Settings and then More PC settings
  3. In the PC settings window click Users and then select Create a picture password

Bonus tip: A four digit pin password can also be created and used to access your computer.

Zoom in tight

The Start Screen is full of nice, big, chunky tiles that represent all your apps. The tiles are easy to see in small groups, but what if you have hundreds of apps installed? Most will be hidden from view, unless you want to do a lot of scrolling. Enter the new semantic zoom feature. If youre using a touch display, simply squeeze the Start screen with two fingers to receive a birds eye view of your entire screen contents. And the feature is also available to mouse and keyboard users: Simply hold down the Ctrl button, and use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out.

Categorize your apps

Your Start screen can become a cluttered mess if you collect too many apps and other elements that have been pinned to the screen as tiles, so take advantage of built-in organization tools that let you divide everything into labeled groups.

First, drag all the tiles you want to assign to a single group to the far right-hand side of your Start screen in vacant territory; the OS should sequester the tiles together. Once you’re satisfied with your assembly, use semantic zoom (described above) to get a bird’s eye view of your desktop. Now right-click the group (or simply drag down on it) and select the “Name group” option on the left of the bar that appears below. Type in the name and enjoy your newly organized Start screen!

Startup items are now on task manager

You no longer have to run the MSCONFIG program to change startup items. Startup items now show up in a tab on Task Manager. Simply hit Ctrl+Alt+Del and select Task Manager. Click the “More details” tab at the bottom and find the Startup tab at the top.

Create a picture password

Using a picture password is a fun way keep your device secure while not having to remember a complex password. To enable it, press (Windows) + I to get to the settings charm. Click “Change PC settings” at the bottom right, and go to the Users tab. Under “Sign-in options” will be the “Create a picture password” button. This will give you the option to choose any picture, and then define three gestures anywhere on the image. Your gestures can be circles, swipes and clicks.

For example, to set a picture password for the image above, you could click on the highest palm tree, draw a circle around the island, and then swipe down from the lens flare in the upper right. Just beware: The direction of each gesture matters! After confirming it a couple times, your picture password will be set.

Boot to the desktop without an app

One of biggest complaints about Windows 8 is that it boots straight to the Start screenan annoyance for many committed desktop users. The Start8 utility helps you avoid this indignity (among other cool features), but you can actually boot straight to the desktop without installing anything extra.

Go to the start screen and type in “schedule” to search for Schedule Task in Settings. Click on Task Scheduler Library to the left, and select Create Task. Name your task something like “Boot to desktop.” Now select the Triggers tab, choose New and use the drop-down box to select to start the task “At log on.” Click OK and go to the Actions tab, choose New and enter “explorer” for the Program/Script value.

Hit OK, save the task and restart to test it out!

Shut down with one click

Windows 8 hides the Power button in the Settings menu, forcing a multi-step process just to shut down one’s PC. But thanks to a crafty shortcut trick, you can pin a Shutdown button right to the bottom of your desktop. Here’s how.

Create a shortcut on your desktop (right -click, go to New, then Shortcut). Enter “shutdown /s /t 0″ (with no quotes, and, yes, that a zero not an “O”) as the location of the item, and hit next. Now name the shortcut (prefereably “Shutdown”) and hit Finish.

Right-click the shortcut and navigate to Properties. Choose “Change Icon” in the Shortcut tab, and OK out the warning box. Choose an icon of your choice from the list. In the screenhot above, you’ll see we chose a Power button.

Right-click the shortcut again and select “Pin to Start.” You can place the icon on your Start screen wherever is convenient. Hitting it will instantly shut down your computer.

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How To Recover Data From a Dead Computer?

One of the most dreadful feelings that you can have is having a pc computer or laptop die that hadn’t been backed up recently; especially if you have valuable pictures, music, videos, documents or other files on it.

Where to start

Computers are complex machines and when they work right, they are fun to use – but when something goes drastically wrong, it can feel as if your world crashed down around you. If your hard drive is still in working order, there is a very good chance that you’ll be able to recover your pictures, music, videos and valuable documents (and other data) simply with another computer; a specialized cable, a screwdriver; and a little time.

To start off, your best bet it to get a specialized USB cable that can plug directly into your hard drive that you’ll recover from the dead computer. There are several types, and I’d recommend getting one that can handle both PATA (IDE) and SATA hard drives (the two most common used in consumer computers) as well as 2.5” (laptop) and 3.5” (desktop) hard drives. You can also use a hard drive dock or external drive cases as well – but personally I find the specialized USB cable to be the easiest and most flexible option.

Next, remove the hard drive from the dead computer. On desktops it is usually held in with four Philips screwdrivers and on laptops it is usually under an access panel on the bottom of the computer. Remove any cables and caddies that the drive may have – all you need is the bare drive. Then plug in the USB cable into the hard drive (and a power cable if it is a desktop drive – also provided with the USB cable kit) and then plug the other end of the USB cable into a working computer. The computer will then set up the drive ad an external storage device and voilà! you’ll now have access to the files on that drive (provided that the drive is not encrypted or using some type of security feature).
Where to look

OK, so the drive is now plugged into your computer and seen as an external drive, now what? You have several options. One option is to simply look for the files on the drive from the dead computer that you plugged into the USB port and copy them onto the working computer. This is my preferred method personally. I like to “brute force” my way through the drive with Windows Explorer (or a similar file browsing tool) and manually copy/paste the data from one computer to the other. Another option is to follow a Windows dialog box (that usually pops up when you plug in an external drive) and have it help you copy your data from one computer to the other. If you are manually choosing to “brute force it” personal data is usually stored by default in the computers operating systems “home directory” for users.
Common Locations

for home directories (wheretakes the place of the drive letter):

Microsoft Windows 95-Me\My Documents
Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/ -2003\Documents and Settings\
Microsoft Windows Vista / -Windows 7\Users\

Other “What ifs”

What if the files on the drives are erased? If they are, you can use a free recovery program such as Piriform’s Recuva to look for and (hopefully) restore the files. This simple, easy-to-use tool is terrific for recovering pictures from a camera’s memory card that have accidentally been erased as well!

What if the hard drive is the reason that the computer died (actual hardware failure)? If the hard drive is the part that caused the computer failure, then you may be out of luck. Yes, there are specialty recovery services that will pull apart the drives data platters and attempt to recover data (and they are usually successful – such services were used, for example, to recover data from the hard drives that were used on computers from the space shuttle Columbia after it broke apart in 2003) but such services are usually very expensive.
A word to the wise

Backup, backup, backup! Whether using one of the Internet based cloud services or a separate external hard drive – if you make it a habit of backing up regularly, chances are good that you’ll keep the loss of such a failure to a minimum if a computer fails. Of course one of the benefits of using cloud-based backup services is that you can have access to your pictures anywhere you have Internet access.
Summing it up

A computer that dies can be a loss – but don’t lose hope that your valuable pictures (and other stuff) are gone forever. With a little work, you can retrieve your data off the hard drives from a dead computer!

STEPS TO DETERMINE EMAIL SENDER’S IP ADDRESS AND LOCATION

This is the age of technology and today we use electronic mails more as compared to the old form of physical mails. When we receive an email from someone we can find out who is the sender of the email from the sender’s address but there is no field that can tell us what the location of the email sender is. Sometimes it becomes very important to determine the location of the email to check its validity as a person may be sitting in some country and claiming to be in another.

Thus it sometimes, is important to find out the approximate location (if not accurate) of the email sender. To be able to find out the location of the email sender we first need the IP address of the email sender or the IP route used by the email itself. Determining this is not very difficult and every different email service has its own way of finding this out. It can be like right clicking and checking the properties or the Full Headers.If you are using Gmail primarily, then here is how to find the IP address of the sender and its location.

How to find the IP address of the Email sender in Gmail:

1. Open the email that you wish to find the IP address of.

2. From the drop down on right side, click the Show Original button

3. This will open a new window with lots of email information.

4. Now search for “Received: from”, you will see some IP address in the same line within square brackets like [XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX]

5. Now see for the last IP address of the page.
This will be the IP address of the sender or the route of the email used for delivery.

How to find the location of the email sender:

1. You can use the IP address noted above to find the location of the sender.
2. Visit this link, paste the IP in the Remote Address Field and click the Host Trace button.

3. Within few seconds, you would be able to see the location of the IP address on the Google Maps.
In the testing, I found this address to be more than approximation, if not accurate.
Note: Some email address might not be showing an IP address, this can be because they have protected their IP address from public display.