Category Archives: How To

Categorizing Contacts In Outlook

Categorize ButtonIf you’re like me, you have hundreds of contacts.  Sometimes trying to sort through all the clutter can be daunting.  Microsoft Outlook offers a great way to categorize these contacts.  Categorizing your contacts enables you to sort them into logical groups.  For instance, you may want to only view contacts that you work with, or you may want to only see family.  It is very easy to do this in Outlook.  In order to categorize we’ll need to open up a contact in Outlook.  In Outlook 2010 there is a colorful square labeled “Categorize” on the top right corner of the ribbon toolbar.  See the picture below.

Categorize Button In Outlook

You will notice that there are several color coded categories listed in the drop down menu.   Some of these categories have default labels on them such as Businessand Holiday.   The cool thing is you can use these, or you can customize them to make sense to you.   Below you will see a picture of the Categorizemenu.   At the bottom of the menu you will see an option called All Categories.   This is where you click to customize this menu.

Categorize Menu

When you click the All Categoriesoption you will see the box below.   Notice I have selected the generically named “Green Category”.   Over on the right side of the window you have the option to rename.   I chose to rename this Geeksjust for fun.

Renaming Categories Window

Once you have customized the categories the way you want them, you can assign them to your contacts and save them.   Now we can view our contacts in categories.   If we go to the Viewtab in Outlook, there is a button in the top left corner that says Change View.   Below you will see what this looks like.   Notice the envelope with the words By Categorywritten underneath.   Click this option to view your contacts by category.

View Menu By Category

Now you can see a list of categories.   There is a sideways triangle beside each category. When clicked they will expand to show you all of the contacts that are listed in that category.   In the picture below you will see where I have expanded the new Geekscategory I created.   You will also notice that each category heading tells you how many items are listed in that category.   Another thing to note is that a contact can be a member of more than one category if you so choose.   For instance, a personal contact may also be a business associate too.     Hopefully you will find this helpful and maybe think of creative uses for the categories in Outlook.

Outlook Contacts Categorized View

 

 

 

How To Get Ready To Upgrade To OS X Lion

As June comes to a close, we begin to look into July. If you are a Mac user like me, then you know that July will bring something very exciting. It was rumored, and then revealed at WWDC. I am talking about OS X Lion.

Many Mac users are looking at the impending release of Lion and asking the same question. “Is my Mac ready to upgrade?” While that question may seem simple at first, there are a few crucial steps that need to be accounted for. The breakdown is simple, but lets look at each one individually.

Get Up-To-Date

OS X Software Update Logo

If you are running OS X 10.5 (Leopard), then you will have to get a copy of Snow Leopard and install it. This is due to there being things in Snow Leopard that you need to upgrade to Lion. The main thing is the Mac App Store.

Also, Apple just recently released an update for OS X Snow Leopard which updated it to version 10.6.8. Within that update, it was noted that there were changes made to the Mac App Store that would be needed to get Lion. If you haven’t gotten that update yet, I would start by doing that. It also contains some security updates that are pretty important.

Get Gesture Ready

At the Lion reveal, Apple showed off a large number of multitouch gestures that are part of Lion. If you want to take full advantage of the new version of OS X, then you will need a multitouch touch pad. If you run a MacBook of any kind, then you are probably good to go. If you are on a desktop, then you may want to consider a Magic TrackPad from Apple. You can pick one up from Apple for $69.h

Get Compatible Apps

This is probably the biggest unknown at this point. App Compatibility is a two fold problem. The first people to blame are the developers at Apple. They work very hard to make sure that you can use your apps most of the time, but Lion is special. They are removing some much loved compatibility features (read: Rosetta) from the system.

RoaringApps

The second problem is the app developers. In the end, it is their responsibility to make sure their apps run on Lion. If you want to know if your app is compatible, at least with the developer previews that have been released, then I recommend you check out RoaringApps. This database has a large number of Mac Apps and current DP compatibility ratings.

Be Patient

The last things you need to upgrade to Lion is $30, an internet connection, and patience. The new version of OS X won’t be out until sometime in July, so you will just have to wait. When it comes out, I assure you that i will be upgrading.

How To Get Google+ Invites

Earlier today, Google launched a new social networking service called Google+. Google+ is Google’s latest service in the social networking segment and will compete with the likes of and .

Google+

In the past, Google has little success with some big projects including , and even their recent +1 button. However, just like and Google Music Google tries to build interest in their services by keeping it as invite only.

Most of the services Google launch are made available in US first, just like the invites for Google Music. Similarly, Google+ is also invite only right now and you can apply for an invite directly.

There are no direct invites being sent out right now but you can get yourself an invite by visiting this link. Additionally, you can learn more about Google+ service by visiting this link.

From the looks of it, this one definitely looks interesting.

Update: Google+ is now open to everyone with a Google+ account, please visit https://plus.google.com and sign in with your Gmail account to get access to Google+.

Update 2:  Don’t miss out on some really good articles on using Google+ along with several other editorials we have written for you.

How To Display/Enable Preview Pane in Yahoo Mail Beta

Back in April 2011, we had posted an article about the new features in Yahoo Mail Beta. Though Yahoo Mail has improved a lot, it has also added a little bit of annoyance by making the preview pane hard to find.

On the said post, several users have been discussing how to show the preview pane in Yahoo Mail beta, but it looks like most of the information available might not be helpful.

I recently wanted to enable this feature in my own account and found going around circles with no preview pane in sight. Turns out that the Options -> Mail Options -> General -> Show all messages in a scrolling list (with Preview Pane option) does not change anything.

However, I found another trick which can be used to display the preview pane in Yahoo Mail Beta. The trick is really silly but not many people will be aware of it.

Enable Preview Pane in Yahoo Mail Beta

In order to enable the preview pane in Yahoo Mail, go to your Inbox and click on the "Switch view" button next to the "Actions" button. From the available option select "In Scrolling List (With Preview)" option. Yahoo Mail will say that it needs to refresh the page to change the settings. Click on Ok and you should now see the preview pane below the email messages.

I have tested this change in multiple browsers including , and Internet Explorer 9. Unfortunately, the new version of Yahoo Mail Beta does not support . If you aren’t able to see the preview button in Yahoo Mail, you might want to try going to options and changing the settings.

If the above solution does not work for you, you can try logging in to Yahoo Mail using another browser and making the changes. The change is sticky, so it will then reflect across all browsers.

Create Strong, Secure and Safe Passcodes for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

A recent study about iPhone passcodes revealed that several users use unsecure passcodes for the , and . This study shows that people are more than vulnerable if their mobile phone or gadget lands in the hands of intruders.

While it is easy to create strong passwords with password creation tools and more, not many take the time to do it. If you are someone who uses any of the most common passcodes for iPhone or the most common passwords on the internet, it is time to buck up a bit and create a stronger and secure password for your device.

If you are an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad user, here is a simple way to create stronger passcodes for your device.

How To Use Strong Passcodes on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

Step 1: Go to the Settings App on your device.

iPhone General Settings

Step 2: Go to the General option and then click on the option "Passcode Lock". This will prompt you to enter your current passcode. Enter the same and click on the "Done" button.

Step 3: On the passcode screen, click on the "On" button next to Simple Passcode and change it to "Off". You will now be prompted to enter your current passcode, followed by an option to create a new alpha-numeric passcode. You can create very strong passcodes using alphabets, numbers and special characters.

Performing these three easy steps will allow you to protect your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad better than the 4 digit passcodes. You can always create strong passwords using the tips and tools mentioned above in this article.

How To Protect Facebook, Twitter From FaceNiff Hack

Few days back I wrote an article about FaceNiff, an Android app that lets users access web sessions profiles over Wi-Fi networks and hijack your connected Facebook or Twitter account. If your connection is unsecured, then anyone using FacNiff can easily deflect your data or steal your information.

How to protect your accounts from FaceNiff?

Here’s a tip you can follow. In order to protect your Facebook and Twitter accounts from being hijacked, always browse using a https connection.

FaceNiff, however, cannot hijack accounts that use https browsing. HTTPS encrypts the data sent and received with SSL, thus making it impossible to access your account.

By default, Facebook’s and Twitter’s https browsing is disabled. You must enable it manually from it’s settings page.

Facebook: Go to Account Settings and scroll down to Manage Account Security. Enable secure browsing by ticking it and save the settings.

Facebook HTTPS

Twitter: Go to Settings page and scroll down to enable https browsing. You’ll be prompted to re-enter your password to save the settings.

Twitter HTTPS

That’s all!

Disable Twitter Email Alerts for Replies/Mentions, Retweets and Favorites

A few days ago, I was hit with a flood with emails in my inbox from saying that someone had mentioned me in a tweet and some which said that my tweet had been marked as a favorite by someone.

Now, I was surprised since the only emails I used to receive prior to this was for direct messages (I have them on to search direct messages on Twitter and archive them). I checked around and saw that it was because Twitter had turned on some new email alerts for me without me explicitly telling them to do it.

If you have been hit with lots of email messages from Twitter recently, you can disable the Twitter email alerts for replies, mentions and favorites by visiting your Twitter profile.

To do that, go to your Twitter profile page and click on the "Edit your profile" link. On the profile page click on the "Notifications" tab. You can also visit this link (https://twitter.com/settings/notifications) directly in  your browser.

Disable Twitter Alert Emails

You can uncheck the boxes next to the notifications you do not require. Once you do that Twitter will stop sending you email alerts. The new email alerts system might be useful for some people, but I feel that Twitter should have kept these options as opt-in rather than opt-out by default.

How To Remove MacDefender Virus/Malware From Your Mac

Remember the Mac Defender malware which disguised itself as an anti-virus, and tricked users into paying for removing viruses from the Macs? The virus has been on the loose for quite some time now and has managed to infect quite a number of Macs out there.

Here are the steps to remove the Mac Defender malware from your Mac -:

Step 1 – Open up Activity Monitor, and select the option to view ‘All process’ from the drop down list.

clip_image001

Step 2 – Find the ‘MacDefender’ process from the list of running processes, and then click on the ‘Quit Process’ option and finally select the ‘Force Quit’ option.

Step 3 – Now, head over to the Applications folder in your Mac and find the ‘MacDefender’ folder. Right click on the folder, and select the ‘Move To Trash’ option. Empty the Trash folder of your Mac after this.

clip_image002

Step 4 – Fire up Safari on your Mac, and click on the ‘Safari’ option at the top of the screen and select the Reset Safari option.

There might be a possibility that users might not be able to delete the files related to Mac Defender. If so, reboot your Mac into Safe Mode and repeat all the steps stated above.

Alternatively, Mac users can also download and install anti-virus software like Sophos etc. However, some of these anti-viruses might make your Mac unstable or give kernel panics. So I would recommend readers to follow the steps stated above.

How To Disable Facebook Lightbox Viewer

Facebook’s new lightbox photo viewer is quite irritating. It certainly saves time, but its altogether a different viewing experience and users like me who are used to the earlier version of viewing photos will definitely find the lightbox viewer irritating and useless.

Facebook Lightbox

Facebook doesn’t allow users to disable this feature and allow users to revert back to the earlier version. However, there are ways by which you can disable the lightbox viewer.

Refresh (F5)

The easiest and probably the quickest way to overcome this viewer is to refresh your page by pressing F5 (or the refresh button in the browser). Refreshing the page will allow you to view photos in the old style. This is effective until you switch to another album.

Browser Extension

Switching to another album will bring back the lightbox again. To avoid refreshing your page for every album and to permanently disable the lightbox feature, you can install the available browser extensions.

Download Google Chrome Extension

Download Firefox Extension

Alternatively, removing &type=1&theater from the address bar and pressing enter will close the lightbox. However, this method worked only in Google Chrome for me.

Disable Facebook Lightbox

How To Get Invites For Google Music Beta

Earlier Today, Google launched Google Music at Google I/O 2011. The new music service will seamlessly integrate with mobiles and Android tablets.

google_music_beta_invites

Sadly, the service will be limited to US only for the initial period and there is no information on when it will be rolled out to other countries. Google Music is a service which gives you access to your personal music collection without the need to use wires or sync. You can add your music collection to Google music and access it from the web or any other compatible Android device.

If you are interested in trying out the new service, you can request a beta invite for the service by visiting http://music.google.com. You can learn more about Google Music by visiting this page.