Keyboard Shortcuts

Usually in Windows there are more than one way of doing things. You can use a mouse or touch to select items or initiate action.  

You can also use Keyboard shortcuts, combinations of two or more keys to perform a task instead of a mouse or touch. Keyboard shortcuts can make it easier to work with your PC, saving you time and effort as you work with Windows and other apps.

Most apps also provide accelerator keys that can make it easier to work with menus and other commands. Check the menus of apps for accelerator keys. If a letter of a word is underlined in a menu, it usually means you can press the Alt key and the underlined key together instead of clicking that menu item. When you’re using a touch keyboard, you can also see some shortcuts when you press the Ctrl key.

Pressing the Alt key in some apps, such as Paint and WordPad, shows commands that are labeled with additional keys that you can press to use them.

An exhaustive list of Keyboard shortcuts is available in the Windows Help documentation at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/keyboard-shortcuts#keyboard-shortcuts=windows-8

 

These are Some Useful Keyboard Shortcuts activated by pressing Windows Logo Keyclip_image002 together with a Letter Key

Press This

To Do This

clip_image002

Switch between Start Screen and Desktop

clip_image002 + B Show Task Bar
clip_image002 + C  Open Charms
clip_image002 + D Open Desktop
clip_image002 + E Open File Explorer
clip_image002 + F Search For Files
clip_image002 + H Open Share Charm
clip_image002 + I  Open Application Settings for Apps
clip_image002 + K Open Devices Charm
clip_image002 + L Lock Computer
 clip_image002 + M Minimize All Windows on Desktop
clip_image002 + P Switch Monitors / Projection Devices
clip_image002 + Q Open Search Charm
clip_image002 + R RUN Command
clip_image002 + S Open Search Charm
clip_image002 + T Cycle through Task Bar items
clip_image002 + U Open Quick / Ease of Access Items
clip_image002 + W Open Setting Search Charm
clip_image002 + X  Open Power User Menu to Access Advance Options
clip_image002 + Z Open App Bar for Metro Apps
clip_image002 + + Zoom In
clip_image002 +  – Zoom Out
clip_image002 +  > Snap App to Right
clip_image002 + < Snap App to Left
clip_image002 + TAB Cycle through through Open Apps
clip_image002 + L Switch Users through the Lock Screen

 

Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1

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Partition Your Hard Disk

The Hard Disk in your New PC will normally have only one partition C:\.  The drive size these days will be 500GB, 1TB or even 2TB.

Such a disk with only one large partition presents these difficulties for a smooth operation of your PC.

  1. Hard Disks need to be periodically cleaned to remove unnecessary remnants of Windows Updates, temporary files created during program installations, Internet browsing,  deleted data files etc. All these files get written all over a large partition of the hard disk and removing them takes inordinately long time. Also the time required to defragment the hard disk increases.
  2. If you want to take a backup of your operating system, the image size becomes huge and has to be written on an external disk.
  3. Search time in a disk increases.

Therefore you need to partition the disk into manageable partitions.
However, before you partition the disk some preparatory work is required.

Change Drive Letters:  The new PCs come with three drives. C: for System, D: for Recovery Partition and E: for DVD Drive. When we make new partitions on the hard disk the new drives will be assigned drive letters next in the existing sequence and we will end up with new drives like F: G: H: etc. To avoid this type of assignment we have to change the drive letters of existing drives. D: to R: (Recovery), E: to F: assuming we will create new D: and E: partitions.

  1. Press clip_image002+ X to open the Power User Menu and Select Disk Management.

    image

  2. Right click on the Drive you want to change and Select “Change Drive Letter and Path” From the Menu Displayed

    image

    Select Change and assign the drive letter from the dropdown list in the next window.
    In Our example we are changing recovery drive D to R and DVD drive E to F. If your existing partitions are different you will have to select drive letters accordingly.

  3. Once the drive letters are reassigned you will SHRINK drive C and create space for partition D and E
  4. SHRINK Drive C to 100 GB. Right Click on Drive C and Select “Shrink Volume”, The System will calculate and show you a screen showing amount of space that is available to Shrink.

    image

    Adjust the value of Amount of Space to Shrink in MB such that Total Size after Shrink in MB becomes 100 GB ( 100,000 MB)
    Select Shrink and create unallocated space after drive C

  5. Create Drive D and E
    In the unallocated space right click and create Basic NTFS Volume Drive D of 100 GB and another Basic volume of the rest of the space for Drive E. You can assign the drive letters as the volumes are created. You should also Quick format the Drives for use. You may also assign Volume labels of Data and Etc. to drive D and E respectively.

    Your Hard Disk is now ready for further setup.

Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1

Personal Files Folder

Windows 8 stores the personal files of each User like documents, pictures, music and videos etc. in a User Folder.  Each User Account has a separate folder and all these user folders are stored in c:\USERS.

There are 12 folders created for each user account.

image

One of the smartest things you can do with these folders is to relocate them to a different drive than the one that contains Windows and your Program Files folder (C:\).
The advantage? By separating system files from data, you make it easy to back up and restore each. Create an image-based backup of the system drive and back up data files using whatever method works best for you. If something happens to your system drive, you can restore the system image, and your data files remain unaffected. Similarly if you have to reformat your system drive all your Data is safe.  

  1. Press clip_image002 + E to open the File Explorer. Open Drive D: from This PC. Create a New Folder on D: drive and Rename it to User1Docs. Press clip_image002[4] + > to snap this folder to the right.
  2. Open the USER File folder on the Desktop by double clicking the User File Icon. Press clip_image002[4] + < to snap this folder to the left.

    image

  3. Point to the window on the Left and press CTRL+A to select all User Folders. Point to any User Folder and keep the left mouse button pressed. Drag all User Folders to the right while keeping the SHIFT Key pressed. Drop all User Folders in the window on the right to move all User Folders to the New Location.

    Screenshot (6)

  4. All references to the User Folders will be changed to point to the New Location.

Note:

  • You can choose your own name for your Data File Folder on the D: drive.
  • If you have multiple User Account choose a name to distinguish each User.  You will have to relocate each User’s Files separately by Logging in as each User.
  • If you have Show Hidden Files turned on in Folder Options, you will see 13th folder named AppData in the  User File Folder. You should not relocate this folder to D drive.

 

Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1

Start Screen

Windows 8 provides two interfaces through which you interact with your computer to launch programs, control attached devices and do useful work. One interface is the Traditional Desktop, similar to the earlier operating systems like Windows 7 etc. The other is the Modern Interface (Previously known as Metro) which is approached through the Start Screen. Windows 8 provides many facilities for interactions between these two interfaces.

What you can do in a Desktop.

  • You can Install Programs and Run these Desktop Programs/Applications.
  • Set and Control facilities of the computer, attached devices and network.
  • You can run more than one program at a time. A program continues to RUN even if it does not have current focus . Minimized or non focus programs still continue to use all acquired resources.
  • You can have multiple windows open at any instant each running its own program.

What you can do in the Modern Interface.

  • Install programs called Modern Apps from the Microsoft Store only. These are curated by Microsoft and so are Safe. ( How to get Apps from Store )
    Each Modern App runs full screen.
  • Set and Control a limited subset of facilities of the computer, attached devices and network. For a more complete control you have to use the desktop facilities.
  • More than one App can be started but only the App having focus is Running. Others are in a Suspended State. Over time a suspended App is removed from the System except for a small foot print required to restart the App.

(Note: There are some Apps like Music playing Apps that continue to Run even without focus. There are a limited number of Apps that can be assigned on the Lock Screen which will work in the background. E.G. Mail App which can check Mail. Also Apps that support Live Tiles can run in the background.)

What is the Start Screen

  • Start screen is like a Start Menu realized  through a Set of Customizable Tiles that are displayed on your computer screen instead of a text based Menu.
  • These Square Tiles come in various sizes that can be set by you. Text on each Tile explains its purpose. Clicking a Tile starts an action which could be to Run an APP, Open a folder, open a specific page in a browser or take an action programed into it.
  • Tiles of some APPs are live and display information from the APP. This could be current status, picture etc. This Live Tile feature can be turned off if desired.
  • You can Pin Desktop Applications and Apps from the Store  to the Start Screen. These can be arranged in Titled groups. A list of all installed Apps and Desktop programs can be displayed by clicking on the small arrow at the bottom left corner of the start screen. You can select Apps to be Pinned to Start Screen from this list.
  • The Start Screen background can be set to the Desktop Background through the Taskbar Properties.

A representative Start Screen is shown below showing the features described above.

image
Examples of Tiles on the Start Screen keyed to Numbers below.

1. Wide Tile showing information from PEOPLE Modern App.
2. Small Tiles of Desktop Apps of Word, Excel, Skype, MS Money, cCleaner  and  Store Modern App
3. Medium Tile of Windows Live Mail Desktop Program
4. Medium Tile of Modern App ASPARION CLOCK showing Live information about current time etc.
5. Medium Tile of a Desktop Shortcut to a DOS Command.
6. Large Tile of Modern WEATHER App showing Live Weather Information
7. Large Tile of Modern PHOTO App showing Photos from the Picture Library.
8. Small Tiles of Desktop Programs and Modern Apps
9. Large Tile of DESKTOP.

Here are some more pictures of Start Screen Showing a Variety of Items Pinned to it to facilitate App, Website and Desktop Program selection.

1. Modern Apps for News showing Live News on Tiles

Screenshot (119)

2. Modern Apps for GAMES and Pinned Items for Website Pages

Screenshot (123)

 

2. More Pinned Items from Websites.

Screenshot (124)

 

Click Here For More Information on Start Screen

 

Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1

Remove Programs

Some of the manufacturer installed programs are really not required. They need to be removed.

Windows 8.1 has a built in Windows Defender which is the Anti Virus Program. It is better to remove the Anti Virus installed by the manufacturer.

You can remove Programs and Features through the Control Panel.

 

1. Press clip_image002+ X to open the Power User Menu

2. Select the “Programs and Features” option in the Power User Menu.

image

3. Select the Program to uninstall from the list of installed program displayed.

image

Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1

Migrating Blog from SPACES to WordPress

Early this month Microsoft told us that the days of our Blogs on SPACES.LIVE.COM are numbered. They are closing SPACES.LIVE.COM in March 2010. Fortunately all was not lost as Microsoft had made arrangements to migrate our blogs to the well-known blogging platform of WordPress.Com. The tools necessary for this migration were made available on the SPACES site. Though it appeared to be a straight forward process I decided to be cautious and approached it in following step by step process.

  • The first step was to get familiar with WordPress. Getting started was easy. Just choose a User Name and register at WordPress.com. I created a sample blog on the site.  WordPress presents you with a bewildering array of choices and menus. The post creation/edit screen is very minimalist with a tiny area to enter your material. I remembered Windows Live Writer 2011 and switched to it.
  • Live Writer 2011 supports WordPress blogs. I registered my newly created blog and created a sample post. I published it on WordPress and switched to it to try out all the options available. The layout “Theme” scheme of WordPress is very flexible.
  • After playing around with my blog with all the options available on WordPress I developed enough confidence that it is indeed a workable and better alternative to SPACES.

Migrating Dnyankosh Blog

  • I decided to migrate my Dnyankosh blog first since it had a small number of posts.  I downloaded a backup to my hard disk before attempting the migration. This consists of all the images embedded in the posts and the posted matter in html format. All photos and videos on SkyDrive are not backed up. As an additional backup, I retrieved all posts from my bold through Live Writer and saved them my hard disk as drafts.
  • With backup done I proceeded to migrate my Dnyankosh blog to WordPress. The complete process took less than 5 minutes as I had about 19 posts only. Now that the blog was on WordPress it had to be customised and checked for transfer accuracy.
  • Customisation involved choosing Theme, Widgets, Privacy settings etc. I used Live Writer 2011 for making modifications to posts to adopt to the new layout. These were mainly changes in Fonts, Table Widths, Text alignments etc. The Live Writer 2011 provides two useful links for inserted Photo Albums from SkyDrive – View Slide Show and Download All.  I reinserted all Photo Albums to get these links in my blogs.
  • WordPress uses Serif fonts by default. I changed the fonts to San Serif for the posts I modified.
  • Apart from this no other changes were required for the migrated blog. However without Live Writer 2011 it would have been an impossible task.

Migrating KelkarFamily Blog

  • Now that one blog was successfully migrated to WordPress I had enough confidence to tackle the much bigger KelkarFamily blog. The difference was mainly in number of posts and number of embedded Photo albums from SkyDrive.
  • After taking a backup I skipped the earlier step of saving drafts of the items posted and went straight to transferring the blog to WordPress from SPACES. The transfer was actually very quick taking less than 10 minutes.
  • The customising took time as I had to prepare a composite collage of all my family members for the blog header.
  • The relinking of Photo Albums from SkyDrive went smoothly, though it took time.
  • Both the blogs are now online on WordPress at http://kelkarfamily.wordpress.com/ and https://dnyankosh.wordpress.com/

Conclusions

  • Overall the WordPress experience is much better than SPACES.
  • The Editing and Posting tools provided by WordPress are totally inadequate. Use of Windows Live Writer 2011 is highly recommended. Most of the work I had to do while migrating would not have been possible without Live Writer 2011. Also you can keep a backup of all your posts on your computer when you use Live Writer 2011.
  • WordPress provides only limited storage space for free accounts. Using SkyDrive with 25GB free storage space in combination with WordPress provides an unbeatable combination for your Blog – Best of Both The Worlds!

Random Quotes

On Twitter from Joel on Software – by Joel Spolsky

. . . Although I appreciate that many people find Twitter to be valuable, I find it a truly awful way to exchange thoughts and ideas. It creates a mentally stunted world in which the most complicated thought you can think is one sentence long. It’s a cacophony of people shouting their thoughts into the abyss without listening to what anyone else is saying. Logging on gives you a page full of little hand grenades: impossible-to-understand, context-free sentences that take five minutes of research to unravel and which then turn out to be stupid, irrelevant, or pertaining to the television series Battlestar Galactica. I would write an essay describing why Twitter gives me a headache and makes me fear for the future of humanity, but it doesn’t deserve more than 140 characters of explanation, and I’ve already spent 820.

With Cancer, Let’s Face It: Words Are Inadequate – By DANA JENNINGS

. . . And I’m still troubled by this sentence, which I’ve heard many times: “Well, at least
it’s a good cancer.” It’s usually applied to cancers that are considered highly treatable,
like those of the prostate and thyroid.

Most people mean well, but the idea of a good cancer makes no sense. At best, the
words break meaninglessly over the patient. There are no good cancers, just as there
are no good wars, no good earthquakes.

Words can just be inadequate. And as we stumble and trip toward trying to say the
right and true thing, we often reach for the nearest rotted-out cliché for support.
Better to say nothing, and offer the gift of your presence, than to utter bankrupt
bromides.

Silences make us squirm. But when I was sickest, most numbed by my treatment, it
was more than healing to bask in a friend’s compassionate silence, to receive and give
a hug, to be sustained by a genuine smile.

Strangely enough, although cancer threatened my life it also exalted it, brought with it
a bright and terrible clarity.

So, no, cancer isn’t a battle, a fight. It’s simply life — life raised to a higher power.