Tag Archives: keyboard shortcuts

Windows 8 – No Thank You – I’ll Pass!

imageRudyard Kipling, in his Barrack-Room Ballads wrote“East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet”, to describe the disconnect between two cultures – but, he might just as easily have been describing Microsoft’s attempt, with the development of Windows 8, to wed a Desktop/Laptop operating system and a Smartphone/Tablet operating system.

No doubt, Microsoft deserves a ton of credit for being adventuress and taking risks with the development of Windows 8. But, in re-imagining Windows “from the chipset to the user experience”, to quote Windows division president Steven Sinofsky – they have failed to meet their own target, which is, according to Microsoft – to give “users the same great experience whether they are on a tablet or on a desktop.” The experience, from my perspective is not so great.

Windows 8, developer preview (expires March 12, 2012) , was released yesterday for download and of course, I had to take the opportunity to test drive Microsoft’s latest OS offering. I’ve been running Windows 8 in a production environment for roughly 12 hours, so I’ve had an opportunity to develop some short term views.

The Windows 8 user interface is a radical departure from the traditional desktop UI and as such, it fails to satisfy my basic requirements. Since a desktop is my primary work unit, I have little interest in swiping features, keyboard shortcuts, slider menus and  an OS navigation system designed with a Tablet PC, or a Smartphone, in mind. As one of my friends observed – “ If I wanted my desktop to have the look and feel of a Tablet, I’d buy a Tablet.

Installation on a test system running Windows 7 (on which I kept settings), was smooth and flawless, with little user interaction required – much like a Win 7 install.

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Following startup and login, the surprises came in bunches – starting with the new Metro GUI. Super on a Tablet, I expect – but on my desktop – Yuck!

All application can be viewed as tiles, and are reachable with the click of a mouse, or accessed with the touch of a finger. The desktop, (shown on the far left tile in this screen capture), has been reconfigured as an application.

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The desktop (which I setup like my old Win 7 desktop), can also be accessed by cursoring to the left edge of the GUI – and voila! However, this is not an instinctive move.

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To take full advantage of Windows 8, users will need to develop a solid background of mouse gestures, and keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcuts include –

Alt-F4 – closes applications.

Windows key – switch between GUI and running application.

Windows key + R brings up the Run dialog box.

The Start menu has been replaced by the following virtually useless abomination – just look at what’s missing here. Including access to – shutdown. What were these guys thinking!

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Shutdown – Restart can be reached by clicking on Devices, which brings up the following – click on the power button and you’re out. In theory that is. Despite repeated attempts, I could not shutdown the system. I had no choice but to put the system into sleep mode.

Truthfully, I had to Google search “Windows 8 shutdown” to get a grip on the shutdown command – and, I can assure you, I was not alone. How sad is that in a new operating system.

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In my attempt to become familiar with Windows 8 as quickly as possible, I found myself relying on Windows Explorer more than normal – only to find THE RIBBON, has been incorporated into this venerable piece of Windows.

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This would have been a perfect opportunity for Microsoft to improve Windows Explorer with the addition of dual panes (very handy for geeks), but instead – we get the ribbon.

There’s little doubt that back behind the GUI, Windows 8 advances computing technology in a number of very substantial ways. Especially in that most important of areas – system security. But, this hybrid just doesn’t work for me.

Given that this is a developer preview, and at least one of the reasons for its general release is the feedback necessary to fine tune the system, I’m hoping to see a final product that more adequately reflects the “real” needs of desktop users.

In the meantime, within a day or two, Windows 8 on my test system will be deep sixed in favor of Windows 7 – in my view, the best Windows system to come out of Redmond.

If you are interested in checking out Windows 8 developer preview – you can download it here.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Freeware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows 8

Get Your Geek On With These Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts

imageThere are plenty of ways to identify a “geek”, but the one  that stands out strongest in my mind is – geeks generally use keyboard shortcuts whenever possible. Watch a geek at a word processor and you’re likely to see the magic of – Ctrl + C (copy) and Ctrl + V (paste). Pretty cool, no?

No doubt you’re familiar with that old standby used to launch Windows Task Manager (Control+Alt+Delete), but with a little practice, you can dazzle your friends with your newfound “geeky” ability to bypass your mouse by using one/more/all, of the following Firefox keyboard shortcuts.

Consider printing the shortcuts so that you have a handy reference until the key combinations become second nature. I’m in the process of learning these shortcuts myself, so I’ve done just that.

Method:

With the Control (Ctrl) key held down, press the additional key to complete the action.

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+ s – Saves a webpage to your computer for offline viewing.

+ o – Opens a webpage.

+ t – Opens a new browser tab.

+ w – Closes the current (open) browser tab.

+ n – Open’s a new Browser window.

+ j – Opens the Download Manager to view and track downloaded files.

+ + (plus sign) – Zooms in a webpage.

+ – (minus sign) – Zooms out of a webpage.

+ l – Opens Bookmark search.

+ h – Opens up your web browsing History.

+ d – Adds the open webpage to your bookmarks.

+ b – Lets you organize your bookmarks.

+ Tab – Toggles forward between all open browser tabs.

+ Shift + Tab – Toggles backward through all open browser tabs.

+ Shift + p – Opens an InPrivate Browsing session.

+ Shift + Del – Opens your browsing history so you can delete history, cookies, passwords, ……..

You can gain the title of “Uber Geek” by using keyboard shortcuts to launch common Windows functions. Read Get to Know Your Windows Key – Get Geeky With Keyboard Shortcuts, on this site.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Firefox, Geek Software and Tools, Help, Timesaving Tips, Windows Tips and Tools

Get to Know Your Windows Key – Get Geeky With Keyboard Shortcuts

image When I need to leave my computer unattended I simply press the Windows key plus “L”. Combining these two keystrokes locks the computer by launching my profile icon, and unlocking the computer requires retyping my password.

This neat little shortcut is only one of many Windows key combinations that I use to save time and mouse clicks by launching lots of common Windows functions through the keyboard.

With a little practice you can dazzle your friends with your newfound “geeky” ability to bypass your mouse.

You might want to print the following shortcuts so that you have a handy reference.

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Windows Key – Launches your Start Menu; saving you from having to click the lower left-hand corner on your Taskbar.

Windows Key + E – Launches Windows Explorer allowing you to view your computer’s drives, folders, and files.

Windows Key + D – When you need to get back to your Desktop, this key minimizes all open programs/windows.

Windows Key + D (repeated) – Reverses the process, and back you go to your opened programs.

Windows Key + L – A quick way to lock your machine in XP, or Vista. To unlock, click on your profile icon.

Windows Key + F – This shortcut saves 2 mouse clicks in opening the Search application.

Windows Key + R – This shortcut takes you to the Run command.

Windows Key + F1 – A quick way to get to Windows Help.

Windows Key + Tab – Revolves through the open applications on your Taskbar.

Windows Key + Pause/Break – Launches the System Information applet; you finally have a use for this orphaned key!

For even more geeky keyboard shortcuts, check out Microsoft’s help and support page – “Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows”.

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Filed under Timesaving Tips, Windows Tips and Tools

Windows Key Geeky Shortcuts

When I need to leave my computer unattended I simply press the Windows key plus “L”. Combining these two keystrokes locks the computer by launching my profile icon, and unlocking the computer requires retyping my password. This action is now so ingrained that I even do it at home!

This neat little shortcut is only one of many Windows key combinations that can save you time, and mouse clicks, by launching lots of common Windows functions through the keyboard.

With a little practice you can dazzle your friends with your newfound “geeky” ability to bypass your mouse. You might want to print the following shortcuts so that you have a handy reference.

Windows Key – Launches your Start Menu; saving you from having to click the lower left-hand corner on your Taskbar.

Windows Key + E – Launches Windows Explorer allowing you to view your computer’s drives, folders, and files.

Windows Key + D – When you need to get back to your Desktop, this key minimizes all open programs/windows.

Windows Key + D (repeated) – Reverses the process, and back you go to your opened programs.

Windows Key + L – A quick way to lock your machine in XP, or Vista. To unlock, click on your profile icon.

Windows Key + F – This shortcut saves 2 mouse clicks in opening the Search application.

Windows Key + R – This shortcut takes you to the Run command.

Windows Key + F1 – A quick way to get to Windows Help.

Windows Key + Tab – Revolves through the open applications on your Taskbar.

Windows Key + Pause/Break – Launches the System Information applet; you finally have a use for this orphaned key!

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Filed under Timesaving Tips, Windows Tips and Tools

So, What’s That Windows Key On My Keyboard For? – Windows Key Shortcuts

windows-key-3.jpgPressing the Windows key, in combination with certain other keys, can save you time and mouse clicks, by launching many common Windows functions through the keyboard. You might want to print the following shortcuts and give them a try.

 

Windows Key

  • Launches your Start Menu; saving you from having to click the lower left-hand corner on your Taskbar.

 

Windows Key + E

  • Launches Windows Explorer; allowing you to view your computer’s drives, folders and files.

 

Windows Key + D

  • If you need to get back to your Desktop, this key minimizes all open programs/windows.

 

Windows Key + D (repeated)

  • Reverses the process, and back you go to your opened programs.

 

Windows Key + L

  • A quick way to lock your machine in XP, or Vista. To unlock, click on your profile icon.

 

Windows Key + F

  • This saves 2 mouse clicks in opening the Search application.

 

Windows Key + R

  • This shortcut takes you to the Run command.

 

Windows Key + F1

  • A quick way to get to Windows Help.

 

Windows Key + Tab

  • Revolves through the open applications on your Taskbar.

 

Windows Key + Pause/Break

  • Launches the System Information applet; you finally have a use for this orphaned key!

1 Comment

Filed under Timesaving Tips, Windows Tips and Tools