Tag Archives: Tutorials

Adding Mail Accounts to Windows 8 Mail

Windows 8 has a nice mail client built into the operating system. Setting it up to work with multiple accounts is pretty easy too. One thing you might remember is that you can use your Hotmail account as your Windows 8 security account. This is pretty nice. If you do this, then your Hotmail/Outlook.com account will already be setup automatically for you after you get Windows 8 installed. Today, I would like to show you how you can add a mail account to Windows 8. In particular, I will show you how to set up your Gmail account on Windows 8 Mail.

First, you need to find the tile on the main start screen labeled “Mail”. See the picture below.

Mail Tile

Next, you need to put your mouse in the top right corner of the screen to reveal the “Charm Bar”. On the “Charm Bar”, find the “Settings” icon.

Settings

At the top of the “Settings” window, you will see an option that says “Accounts”,pictured below. Click “Accounts”.

Accounts

Now, you’ll be given a list of account types that you can configure for Windows 8 Mail. If you look at the picture below, you will see it has the major account types like Hotmail, Gmail, Exchange, and then “Other Account”.

Account Types

For this tutorial, I am picking the “Google Connect” option, which will allow me to import my Gmail account on here. Believe it or not, it is incredibly simple to integrate this Windows 8 with Gmail. Pictured below, you can see all of the information it asks for when building an account. If you use Gmail contacts or calendars, you can include them as well.

Gmail

Once you hit “Connect”, you’re in business. Pictured below, you can see that the mail client grabbed all of my folders from my Gmail account. Notice in the bottom left corner of the picture, that I have highlighted the area that shows both accounts I have on the Windows 8 machine. All I have to do to switch between them is click the name of the account and it will show me mail from that account.

Mail Inbox

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. As you can see it is pretty easy to setup mail accounts in Windows 8. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to comment or email me and I will try to help you the best I can.

Insert Screenshots Into Your Word Documents

Have you ever needed to create an instruction manual and wished you could insert screenshots? There are lots of software options out there that will help you to do this. One of those options is probably sitting right under your nose and you haven’t noticed it. Microsoft Word 2010 has a screenshot feature that will allow you to take a picture of your desktop screens and insert them into your documents as pictures. In this article, I will show you the steps to do this. Let’s get started.

In Word 2010, click the “Insert” tab and then click the “Screenshot” button. In the picture below, you can see that when you click the “Screenshot button”, you get several options. First, you will see the “Available Windows” area. This shows you a representation of all of the windows that you have open. In this example, I wanted to insert a screenshot of an installation I was doing. I chose the appropriate window from my choices below. The second area I would like to call to your attention is highlighted in purple below. It is called “Screen Clipping”. This option will allow you to highlight a specific region on your screen that you would like to insert into your document. For instance, you might see a logo on a web page that you would like to clip into your Word document, simply click the “Screen Clipping” button and highlight the logo. When you release the mouse button, the highlighted area will automatically be placed into the document.

Screenshot Button

Once you have inserted your screenshot into your document, you can edit it just like any other picture you would insert. You will see your picture with selection handles (dots) all around. Clicking and dragging these handles will allow you to resize the picture. You will also notice, at the top of the picture, a green dot. This green dot will allow you to rotate your image 360 degrees. You may also choose to use Microsoft Word’s drawing tools to put arrows and text boxes on your image like the one pictured below.

Inserted Screen Shot

When it comes to writing tutorials, it helps to have pictures to illustrate what you’re writing. I guess this is supported by the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words”. I hope you find this tutorial useful. If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear back from you.

Creating a “Loading…” Animated GIF Using Photoshop [Video Tutorial]

In web designing, it is very much necessary for designers to be creative and use different techniques to attract a viewer, and we have seen most websites using animated GIF images to drive attention. In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at the Photoshop animation feature which can be used to create animated GIF image.

Note: In this tutorial, I am using Photoshop CS 5

Final Preview

Here’s a final preview of what you will be creating –

"Loading..." Photoshop Tutorial

Step One:

Draw the outline (circumference) of a circle, like the one shown below.

"Loading..." Photoshop Tutorial

Step Two:

Using the Polygon Lasso tool, slice a part of the circle. In other words, create an arc. You should obtain the following shape:

"Loading..." Photoshop Tutorial

Once done, delete the rest of the circle. We don’t need it anymore.

Step 3:

Create three additional copies of the arc (i.e., by duplicating it) by pressing Ctrl + J. Arrange the four arcs in such a way, that it appears like a (broken) circle. Go to Edit > Transform > Rotate 180/90 CW/90 CCW

"Loading..." Photoshop Tutorial

Step 4:

The steps from here are quite tricky and confusing. Hence, the rest of this tutorial is shown in the video below:

Gradient Color used:  b2e10f

I hope you have followed the tutorial carefully and  accomplished  the end result. After you saved the file, make sure you open it in the browser to view it.

Sixty Symbols Educates You Through the Power of YouTube

The good folks at the University of Nottingham have put together sixty videos on a variety of topics, aiming to educate you (the young learner with a rapt internet-induced attention deficit), on some of the most mind boggling facts and facets of our science.

In other words, we live in a very very strange universe filled with squiggly diagrams and improbability that approaches Douglas Adams’ metaphorical science fiction escapades. Everything from Schrödinger’s Cat, infinity, vuvuzelas, quantum tunneling and Feynman’s squiggly diagrams have been put up in a mysterious-looking site.

sixtysymbols

Each video has an assortment of nerdy scientists explaining each phenomenon in the most non-confusing way possible (which is a paradox in itself, because trust me nothing is crazier than quantum physics. Nothing). The scientists, however, have done quite a marvelous job at explaining these concepts fairly well, and the project page itself is quite friendly:-

Ever been confused by all the letters and squiggles used by scientists?

Hopefully this site will unravel some of those mysteries.

Sixty Symbols is a collection of videos about physics and astronomy presented by experts from The University of Nottingham.

They aren’t lessons or lectures – and this site has never tried to be an online reference book.

The films are just fun chats with men and women who love their subject and know a lot about it!

Head over to SixtySymbols to get your science fix for the day! (via ReadWriteWeb)

How To Migrate Windows Live Spaces to WordPress

Microsoft recently announced that they would be shutting down Windows Live Spaces and moving all users to WordPress.com. If you are a Windows Live Spaces user, Microsoft has made it very easy to move your data elsewhere, so how do you move it to WordPress.com? Take a look at the steps listed below.

Step 1: Login to your Windows Live Spaces account.

Start Windows Live Spaces Migration

Step 2: When you view your Spaces account, you might see a notice which will prompt you to Upgrade your blog, click on the "here" link to start the migration process.

Live Spaces WordPress Migration

Step 3: Read the information on the page. Once you are done click on the "Get started. Upgrade my blog to WordPress.com!" link. Read the agreement on the next page and click on the "Confirm" button to continue.

How to Copy DVDs the Right Way with DVDShrink

dvd-ico Have you ever heard of DVDShrink? It’s a freeware program that allows you to make backup copies of your movie DVDs. The shrinkpart of the name of this software is the real power behind it. Movies are usually distributed on dual layer DVDs, while most blank DVDs are only single layer. The DVDShrink program can allow you to shrink a dual layer movie onto a single layer blank disk. However, there are a few tricks you need to know if you want to do it the right way and get the best possible copy.

I’ve used DVDShrink for years, but I never did know the finer points to using it. I always used it to create backup ISO files that I stored on my hard drives. Fortunately, I know someone who does know a good many tricks for using this freeware. Jim Hillier has posted a complete how toon one of my favorite newsletters Dave’s Computer Tips.

Here’s that post: How to use DVDShrink… The Right Way!

Wait! Before you head over there, here are a few things you might want to know.

• Where is the download for DVDShrink? The home site of DVDShrink is at dvdshrink.org, however, you won’t find a link to download it there. I always go to the DVDShrink page at Afterdawn to get the latest version.

• If you have any questions about DVDShrink, just post a comment below and I’ll ask Jim to lend a hand.

• If you’d like to read a good monthly newsletter, be sure to sign up for Dave’s Computer Tips.


200,000 Students a Month: Learning Science and Math on YouTube

salman-khan Sometime last month, Shankar posted a tweet about the Khan Academy. Have you ever heard of it? I followed the link and learned about Salman Khan, a man who gave up a successful career in Silicon Valley to teach people using Youtube videos. He’s posted over 1200 videos covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance.

Why does Khan do it? He’s not in it for the money. According to a recent interview, Khan said You know, I think I’ve always enjoyed teaching.

I believe him. His videos are not the dry lectures you’d expect from a geek. His enthusiasm shines through in the 10 to 20 minute videos. Here’s a video overview of the academy:

Link to this video at Youtube

When talking about his teaching style, he says:

I teach the way that I wish I was taught. The lectures are coming from me, an actual human being who is fascinated by the world around him. The concepts are conveyed as they are understood by me, not as they are written in a textbook developed by an educational bureaucracy. Viewers know that it is the labor of love of one somewhat quirky and determined man who has a passion for learning and teaching. I don’t think any corporate or governmental effort–regardless of how much money is thrown at the problem–can reproduce this.

Students all over the world are viewing Khan’s videos and are finding that they are learning previously difficult subjects much more easily now.

To find out more, visit the Khan Academy website.

Zip Up Files to Hide Your Secrets [How to]

zip-icon Zip files are a great way to pack up a collection of files to send them to other people, usually in an email. At least three or four times a year, I run into someone who doesn’t know how to zip up a collection of files in Windows. I ran into three people in the last two weeks at work.

Years ago, you had to have a third party tool such as WinZip to create and open zip files. In 2001, Windows XP was released with built-in zip capabilities. Microsoft decided to call these compressed folders.

Not only is it easy to use the built in zip features in Windows, it’s also possible to password protect zip files so that others can’t open the files inside them. However, even though a zip file is password protected, you can still see a list of files inside it. I have always hated that, but I found a way around it.

Here is how to hide all of your top secret files in a zip file (or compressed folder).

First, let’s create two zip folders. You’ll see why we need two of them shortly.

To create a zip folder, right click into any folder or in an empty place on your desktop, and choose NewCompressed Folder.

image

Let’s choose Stuffand Top Secretas the names of the new zip files.

Now we can add some top secret files to our Stufffolder. I’m going to add a JPG picture to it here. I’ll open up Stuff.zipby double clicking it, then drag the JPG file into it.

add-files-to-zip

Now let’s add the Stuffzip file to the Top Secretzip file.

add-zip-to-zip

Now we need to add a password to the Top Secretcompressed folder.

menu-add-a-password

You’ll have to type your password in twice to confirm it.

enter-password-twice

That’s it. The next time anyone opens that zip folder, all they’ll be able to see is a file named Stuff.zip. If they try to open it or extract it, they’ll have to know the password you’ve set.

trying-to-open-protected-file

As you can see, all of the files inside the Stuff.zip are hidden. That’s why we needed two zip files.

As a final cleanup step, you can delete the older copies of Stuffand the JPG. These are safely and securely inside the Top Secretzip folder now.

delete-older-copies

These techniques will work in all versions of Windows released after XP, as well as XP itself.

Here are some other ways to use zip files:

1. Compress and Zip Files Online Without Any Software
2. How to Fix Default Zip File Behavior
3. Open Zip Files Online
4. Repair Corrupted Zip Files
5. Unzip or Extract Files Online

Here are some other ways to hide files:

1. Lock And Hide Files & Folders
2. Windows Scripts: Show/Hide Hidden Files and Folders In Windows
3. Password Protect and Hide Personal Folders
4. Hide Drives From My Computer

If you have your own special way to hide secret data, let us know in the comments below.

How to Create Your Own Site Searches in Internet Explorer

internet-explorer-iconDo you have favorite websites that you need to search? You might already know that you can search specific websites by using the pull down menu on the built-in search box in Internet Explorer. You can see a list of sites, such as Bing, Google or Yahoo; these are called Search Providers.

what-are-search-providers

You can add Search Providers in Internet Explorer very easily, but what if the site you want isn’t included in Microsoft’s list of providers? Here are a few of the providers listed by Microsoft:

Bing SearchNew York Times Instant SearchWikipedia Visual SearchAmazon Search SuggestionseBay.com Visual SearchGoogle Search SuggestionsYahoo! Search SuggestionsESPN SearchRealtime Web Search (by OneRiot)Sports Buzz from Buzztap

Creating your own Search Providers is an easy trick to learn. It might save you several minutes every day if you have to perform lots of web searches. I’m only going to show instructions for Internet Explorer 7 and 8. If you have Internet Explorer 6, you should upgrade to a newer version. IE6 is getting too old, slow and insecure (like me). Unlike me, however, IE6 is not getting any wiser.

Let’s start with a good example. let’s say that you are in love with the Techie Buzz site and you need to search it every day. Follow the steps below to add your own “Techie Buzz Search” to Internet Explorer.

1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to Techie-Buzz.

Learn to Program with Microsoft Small Basic

This is what my first computer looked like. It was a Xerox Sigma, if I recall correctly, and it took up an entire room at the college I was attending.

xerox_sigma

I learned how to program this machine in 1977. The college course I took was for a language called Fortran. The next year, I fell in love with Basic, and I’ve used it on and off ever since then. Basic is one of the easiest languages to learn, and I actually learned it from an instructional program on that huge computer. The name is an acronym for   Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

Microsoft wants you to learn Basic, and they’ve made it as easy as possible with the recent release of Small Basic. They have a PDF beginner’s guide that walks you through Basic programming step by step. Here’s what Small Basic looks like:

small-basic-program-listing

The first thing that struck me was that this program gives all kinds of help while you are typing in the editor window. If you aren’t sure how to finish a command, you can scroll through the pop-up to see what your options and arguments should be. When you click on a command or object word, the sidebar tells you all about it.

Here’s a video showing your first steps:

Small Basic isn’t the only free programming suite that Microsoft offers. A few years ago, they made three of them available. Here’s the quick list:

The Visual Basic suite is the big brother to Small Basic. If you have it installed, you can even convert your Small Basic programs into Visual Basic so that you can create executable files.

Small Basic is definitely the best way to start if you’ve never tried programming. Once you have it under control, you’ll be ready to move to the other three I’ve listed.

Download Small Basic

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Microsoft Small Basic is one of the easiest programming tools I’ve tried. If you’ve ever considered learning to program a computer, you won’t find an easier way to learn. The instructional PDF file that’s provided, teaches you step by step. Even a cave man could do it.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1_thumb

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)