Monday, April 13, 2009

Computer Tips [ What's Hiding In Your Digital Media Files? + Top 8 Family Photo Tips + Un-Name Your Icons ] 04/14/2009


Quick Tips

What the F-key? F5 through F8 (Extended)

Welcome back to another exciting edition of “What the F-key?” Today our special guest stars are F5 through F8. Let's give them a warm round of applause! Just to recap, the function keys are the line of “F” keys going across the top of your keyboard going from F1 to F12. As before, we'll be covering the ALT, CTRL and Shift functions of these keys to see what they do.

Note: Do not expect all of these key combinations to work. Some of them may be program specific, or obsolete. If you're slamming the keys and nothing is happening, move on! :)

Shift + F5 = Move to a previous revision (MS Word)
CTRL + F5 = Unconditional Refresh (Refreshes Internet Explorer from Internet, not cache)
ALT + F5 = Closes the Word Program (although nothing happened for me)
CTRL + F5 = Restore document window size (Apparently not functional)

Shift + F6 = Program specific. Experiment at your own risk, and don't forget to save your work first!
CTRL + F6 = Cycles forwards between open windows within a program
CTRL + Shift + F6 = Cycles backwards between open windows within a program

Shift + F7 = Opens the Thesaurus command in MS Word.
CTRL + F7 = Program specific. Experiment with this one, but save your work first!
CTRL + Shift + F7 = Updates linked information in a Word document.
ALT + F7 = Finds the next misspelling or grammatical error.

Shift + F8 = Shrink current selection (MS Word)
CTRL + F8 = Program specific. In Microsoft Project it resizes the project window.
Alt + F8 = Opens the macro menu (MS Word)

There are many more shortcuts to be had outside of what I've listed here. A lot of programs, like Adobe Photoshop, use combination functions all the time! It's all a matter of experimentation and remembering to save your work first!


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Welcome, welcome to the Tuesday edition of Computer Tips! Our F-key series is almost at a close, but keep the faith; there are more realms of the computer kingdom, yet unexplored! In the meantime, scroll on down to get the info on DRM, April's tip on searching faster in Outlook and the case of the mysterious "invisible" character. We've also got a lovely tip on capturing candid photos for our Tuesday feature and you may want to "study" Amanda's Cool Site extra hard! It's not one to be missed, people! Thanks for sticking around! Oh, and keep those photo contest submissions coming! Check it out here!


 Well, we had some GREAT feedback on our "Keychain Flashlight", Easter give-away...(looks like a bunch of you loved these!) Had a few folks say they wanted to send along a link to our newsletter to some friends so they could get the same deal but wouldn't be able to get to it til today. I know how a holiday weekend tends to disrupts everyone's scedule, so... to make sure everyone has had a chance to send out our link to your friends or family so they can have the same great deal, we're gonna run this ONE MORE DAY...(or as long as our supplies last, which ever comes first!)

So if you were one of those who asked about a chance to have some time to forward the newsletter to family or friends, here ya go!

Awesome Free Keychain Flashlight With Any Purchase!

Today Only - 04-14-2009!

We're giving away a FREE Keychain Flashlight with EVERY order!

Here's the Deal: Order Anything...that's right...Anything From Our Online Store And

You'll get A Free Super Bright, LED Keychain FlashLight!

What's the catch? There isn't one! It's just our way of saying, "Thank You" for taking time out of your day to visit with us! (

And this is a neat little flashlight that you're gonna love! This small light is less than 2 1/2 inches long, but has a super bright light that'll be a help in a pinch!

This is the perfect thing to have on hand for all those times you said, "I wish I had a flashlight handy", but didn't think you'd need one!

You know, walking to the car in the dark, trying to find the keyhole for the car. Or maybe you got home later than you expected and didn't leave the front light on so you're fumbling to find your keys. We've all been there - wishing we had a little more light - that's not a problem for you anymore!

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No matter what, place an order today and we'll throw in a FREE keychain flashlight for you (and today ONLY - Tuesday, April 14, 2009)!

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Oh, and just so you know - our shopping cart won't show these as part of your order, but don't worry - our shipping dept will make sure you get your keychain flashlight!

PLUS - make sure you check out the links below - they lead to some of the most popular stuff in the store!

Here's the main store page:

WorldStart Software Store - Check It Out!

Here are some of the "hot spots" on the site - check 'em out!

Cool Gadgets - My personal favorite! Lots of great stuff for your computer and MORE!

Utilities - Make your computer run faster and do more - the easy way!

Photo & Video - Edit photos, make incredible projects, create video masterpieces!

Graphics and Print - Make projects, scrapbooks, grab clipart -it's all here!

Home & Garden Software - Cookbooks, Redecorating, landscaping - Check it out!

Kids Software - Got kids? Keep 'em busy and make 'em smarter with these software titles!

$4.97 Titles - Two pages of GREAT software - just $4.97 each!!

Vista Software - Looking for Vista software? Try these 5 pages! WOW!

Reference - Bibles, cookbooks, medical sets, maps, dictionaries, encyclopedias - WOW!

New Titles - See what's hot now - the latest and greatest! 

Whatever You Do - Don't Buy An External Hard Drive!

Make One Yourself And Save BIG!

Super Easy! Anyone Can Do It!

Great Way To Give Your Old Hard Drives A Reason To Live!

SimpleDrive 3.5 I'm so excited! We just got a jaw-droppin' deal on some do-it-yourself External Hard Drive Cases! I've used these in the past (a lot, actually), and I've saved literally HUNDREDS over buying the "prefab" deals at the stores! Super easy too - my 7 year old can do it!

OK, so how's this work anyway? Glad you asked! Really easy - we sell you this great little case, you take an internal Hard Drive (IDE connection) and just plug it in. Put the case back together (a few screws - not hard), then plug it in! That's it! When you plug it into your computer's USB port windows will AUTOMATICALLY install the drive and list it under MyComputer! It's just like plugging in a GIANT flashdrive! It's THAT easy!

From there, just use it like any other drive! It's an absolutely fantastic idea for extra storage or backups!

PLUS, like I say, this can save a TON on money! There are two ways to do this - The first is to watch for a sale on internal Hard Drives at your local electronics store. You can get HUGE drives for less than $100 all day long! I've seen them for less than $40 after rebates and such! You get them for WAY less than external drives since you're not buying some snazzy case.

The second way these save money is letting you give new life to old hard drives! You know how it is - you have that old computer sitting in your closet - there's nothing on it you need anymore, it's really not worth anything, but you're worried about throwing it away. Why not salvage it's old HD and stick it into this handy case? You instantly have an external HD - for less than $20!

Now, I know you may be a little worried about having to assemble something like this, but trust me, it's easy. If you've ever used a screwdriver and plugged a lamp into the wall, you're qualified! You simply take any IDE drive up to 750GB, in plug the power cord (inside the case), then just push it into place! A few screws later and the case is assembled! I put mine together in less than 5 minutes! Really! Still not sure? I'll make you a deal - if you can't figure it out, you can call out tech support and they'll walk you though it!

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Computers 101

I ran into the letters DRM the other day and I have no idea what they mean. Can you help?

Doesn't it just drive you crazy when you come across certain terms or acronyms and you have no idea what they mean? It drives me bonkers! That's why I always do a quick search for it and I find out right away. That way, my wondering mind wonders no more. So, you want to know what DRM stands for? Well, stay with me and you'll find out!

DRM is short for Digital Rights Management and it mainly deals with copyright protection issues on CDs, DVDs, etc. DRM is the technology that publishers, who are the copyright owners, use to control the access of their data, including software, music, movies and some hardware. As I said before, DRM is associated with copyright protection and also technical protections measures. Both of these technologies work to secure the access of digital media and they both work in reference to the DRM design.

There are other types of DRM as well. One in particular is Enterprise Digital Rights Management (E-DRM). This type doesn't work so much with controlling digital media, but it's more on the side of corporate documents, such as Word, PDF, TIFF and AutoCAD files. E-DRM subscribers include Microsoft, Adobe and EMC Corporation. There are also some open source companies that take advantage of it as well.

The biggest thing that surrounds DRM is the controversy over it. Obviously, the music distributors and broadcasting companies object to any sort of copying of the music or whichever data they're working with. On the other hand, the consumers (you!) think otherwise. Some people think that if they pay their own money to buy the CDs or the DVDs, they should be able to do what they want with them.

If you try to copy any digital media, you may run into some problems, depending on the programs you use. For example, the digital media player software you use, like Windows Media Player, etc. Although copyright protection is making a bigger scene these days than in the past, it just depends on what type of media you buy to know how many problems you'll run into. There are also programs out there today that help you get past the copyright restrictions, but all of that just makes the controversy rise even higher.

DRM is mainly used in connection with the entertainment industry, but it's making its way to other media types as well. Even stores like iTunes and e-books have placed DRM restrictions on their material. It's so easy to duplicate data these days and everyone has to try and keep their information safe. I guess that's what it all comes down to.

It is one's own opinion, but be careful what you do when working with DRM protection. Be careful not to dig yourself into a copyright hole!

~ Erin

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MS Office

Use Specific Criteria Search without Expanding the Outlook Search Box

OK - So by now I'm sure that you've found the Search box in Outlook 2007.

This is a quick and handy way to locate a message with a quick key word or phrase.

However, sometimes the results are so numerous that it's no help at all…

Logically you might take the next step to expand the search box by clicking the double down chevrons at the very right.

This then gives you access to all kinds of fields - allowing you to tell Outlook exactly which part of the messages to search.

It's a good idea but what if you only need to put your keyword into a single field?

Isn't there a faster way? Maybe we can find something that doesn't involve expansion and locating the correct field?

As I'm sure you've guessed there is a quicker method and I'd like to share it today.

In the search box before you enter your keyword simply use the field name first.

For example, if I want to search for any e-mail from someone with a address then I would use


I've tested quite a few and found that I could use "Subject:", "Body:", "Received:" - well, I'm sure that you get the picture.

It's definitely a very quick way to do a pretty specific search.

~ April

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More Cool Stuff

Make Your Loose Change Work As Hard As You Do


With Your Own Personal "Money Machine"!!!

I bet you've got loose change all over the place! On the dresser, in the car, probably a ton of it between the sofa cushions and who knows where else! It's funny how you can look at loose change and it doesn't mean much. But these days, it's more important than ever to watch and keep track of every penny! And we've got just the think that'll help you do that!

Now you don't have to just throw your loose change to the side. This neat little machine will count your change and tell you what your total savings is! Yep, this hard-working machine electronically counts every coin as you deposit it! PLUS, it shows a running total of all you've deposited! (Ka-Ching!!! Yeah, baby!!!)

Money Machine

Not only that, but it automatically shuts off after you've deposited your coins to conserve batteries! (talk about saving money!)

Kids Think of It As "A Counting Piggy Bank!"

This is a great way for kids to learn how to count while learning how to save as they watch loose change add up!

How's this as a money saving: Instead of spending your loose change, at the end of each day, deposit your change in your "Money Machine" and let it accumulate! We all know small amounts add up to big dollars - we just need a systematic way to do it...and here it is!

We're gonna let these go at a great price for ya so we don't have to worry about keepin' track of inventory. Only $11.97 and U.S. Shipping is FREE!!!

P.S. - Didn't get many in, so we're not sure how long we'll have 'em. Order now to be sure you get one!

This Is a Pen You'd Expect James Bond To Use!

3 In 1 Pen

It's a portable 2 GB USB flash drive! No wait...

3 in 1 Pen

It's a Laser pointer! No wait...

3 in 1 Pen

It's a Ball point pen! No wait...

Holy Cow!!! It's All Three...Combined in One!!!

Wait til you see this Sleek, Stylish 3-in-1 Executive Style Pen

First, you're able to write with this refillable ballpoint pen. It's sleek, stylish feel makes it a practical writing instrument but with an added "kick" of class!

And then when you need to point something out during a presentation, you'll definitely make your point in an impressive way with the built-in Laser Pointer! (By the way, my cat loves to chase my laser pointer across the floor! Keeps him entertained for hours!)

Plus, if you need to store or transfer some files, "No Problem"! The top half of the pen pulls off to reveal the USB connector plug! And this isn't some tiny little drive just for show! No siree! This baby sports an impressive 2 GB worth of storage! It's "Plug and Play" so no drivers are needed for most operating systems. And get this: the USB drive supports password protection!! (Of course every super agent should have password protection! All this operates on 3, small, "button cell" batteries (included!).

Now how often do you have something that looks this good and is so much fun and, at the same time, is SO practical! Heck, you'd expect to pay this much just for a USB drive at most places. And - it wouldn't even look THIS good! Think of it as getting a Laser Pointer and a great looking ballpoint pen thrown in for free!!!

Even though these are really practical, we're gonna give you a great price on 'em. Might want to grab a couple to have in the house, car, office even your briefcase or purse! Right now these are only $18.97 and U.S. Shipping is FREE!!!

P.S. - These make great gifts too...Plus they'll think you spent a lot more than you did! (Don't worry...we won't say a thing!)


Today at

Make a point!

What do I mean by the word "point"? Well, in this case, I am referring to a system restore point. And yes, you should make one! Head over to the Worldstart site and read all about it!


Ever wonder where those saying come from? Like "You can't judge a book by it's cover", etc? Well, if you swing by the WS site today all your questions will be answered! Okay, not all of them, but the ones pertaining to idioms will!

Here's the link you need: Enjoy!

Tip of the Day

The Invisible Character

Do you have something that requires a name but you don't want anything in it? You could just throw nonsense in there, but a blank space would be best. Well, guess what? There is an invisible character! This special character is the equivalent of a space:

Hold down ALT then type 0160 (Alt+0160) on the number keypad at the right side of your keyboard.

You could use it as an email address when filling out forms:

@ .com

But here's what I think is the coolest use of it... giving your desktop shortcuts blank labels so all you see is the icon. Interested? (This will only work on shortcuts, not on My Computer, My Documents, or program icons.)

You must have your shortcut labels set to drop shadow so that the they are clear. To find out how to do this, check out this tip:

Now, follow the normal name change procedure: click the name slowly two times to highlight the name. Or click the icon once and hit F2.

Type in our invisible character code (Alt+0160). There you go—an icon with no label.


Keep in mind that if you want to do this to other shortcuts you can't have the same name, so just type the code more than once. That means that for the first shortcut you type Alt+0160 release the Alt key then type Alt+0160 again. For the third icon do it three times, etc.

Doesn't that look nice?

~ David Samuel Thomas

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Today's Feature
Tips For Capturing Family Gathering Candids

A gathering of family and friends, no matter what the occasion, is always special. Such gatherings need to be recorded for posterity on film! How else can you look at it years down the line and remember the good times?
The most common photos are the ones where everyone is sitting and posing especially for the camera. These are wonderful pictures and will always bring back poignant memories of the family together. However, a lot of us need to dig deep to dredge up particular instances to remember that particular occasion by. Why was everyone laughing at the table? Was that when Uncle Glen laughed so hard he sprayed everyone with wine? In the usual photos where everyone is posing, it is easy to remember how many people were present, who made it, who didn’t. What cannot be conveyed are the feelings, the adrenaline which was so evident during that gathering. Posing for photos doesn’t capture all these emotions, all these moments. That is where candid photography is required! The following eight tips will help you capture all these memories and more, if practiced well!

Tip #1
At any family gathering there is always someone taking photos. Most people like to put on an act especially for the camera or will avoid it completely! If you let your family know before hand that you will be taking photos and that they should ‘act natural’, the odds of you managing to capture everything on film is much higher. It is quite possible that not everyone will listen to you, but it is better if people are aware of the camera and ignore it than if you, as the photographer, distract them.

Tip #2
Now that you’ve prepared the crowd and they know what to expect, it is perfectly okay to be a tad bit sneaky while taking photos. Hide around corners and near the back of the crowd. Be polite. But don’t draw attention to yourself. There are chances that there is someone else in the family who already has the responsibility of saying, ‘Look over here!” while you are taking photos. The best way to make the most of that opportunity is to be prepared with the camera! Once people are done with posing for the standard photos, they are more relaxed and will start acting natural. This, then, is the perfect time to capture all those wonderful candid family memories!

Tip #3
Since you are not using a flash for your photos, light color is going to be an issue. The good news about this is that there are chances that most of the light will be from the same color temperature such as incandescent or fluorescent lights. The bad news is that this light will probably change from room to room and from indoors to outdoors. The easiest way around this problem is to shoot RAW. Shooting in RAW ensures that you have a great chance to correct certain lighting conditions during the post processing. If you set your camera accurately to the lighting situation, continue in the same direction as it is time-saving. If, however, you are unsure of colors, then shoot in RAW.

Tip #4
If you have a choice, choose an 80mm lens, or one that is slightly longer. A zoom lens is actually preferable, but the challenges in using that will be discussed in the next tip. A wide angle is helpful once in a while, but most of the time you will be capturing facial expressions of the people around you. And since you might not have much place to maneuver, you need to be able to zoom in from behind your other family members. With a telephoto lens (zoom or otherwise), you will be able to capture either one or two family members as they interact with each other. This is exactly what you are aiming for as candid shots. If the lens is too wide, the individual expressions of those being captured, will be lost.

Tip #5
It is highly unlikely that everyone would have a nice low f-stop lens in their camera bag. But if you have an option of taking just one lens, make sure it’s your fastest one. By using a low f-stop and a slightly higher ISO of around 800-1000, you will can avoid using a flash and therefore attract minimal attention to yourself. If you are interested, you could always consider renting a fast lens online prior to a family get together. You could check out DPS’ post ‘Where to Rent A Lens Online’ for more information and prices.

Tip #6
As with most people shots, a tight focus on the eyes in a must. Eyes, usually convey much more than words, and this is good when you are not recording sound. Some blurring in images is acceptable, especially when the flash is not being used. Care should be taken to keep the eyes of the main subject sharp.

Tip #7
The kitchen is almost always the hub of the family get together. Everyone, at some point or the other, is always in the kitchen. Either they are genuinely helping out, or just standing around conversing and getting in everyone’s way! The kitchen is also a more relaxed place where people are more natural than in a formal dining room.

Tip #8
Having fun is what a family get together is all about! Even if you are the designated photographer, don’t forget to relax and enjoy yourself. Take a few moments to reflect on what it is like to be surrounded by the people you love and to be able to capture these wonderful moments you have spent together for posterity.

~Zahid H Javali

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Amanda's Coolsite


The goal of wePapers is to create the world’s largest study group. Here you’ll be able to find papers on just about any subject that you need to study. Reading papers other people have written can expand your knowledge of the topic and shed a different perspective on what you already know.

I have found myself using it to double check I have my formatting right, before I turn in a paper. But it could be a great resource for expanding your thoughts for papers you need to write.

On the left side of the page you’ll find a section called Papers We Like. You’ll find seven papers highlighted there. While I was there, there was a great paper on satire and Mark Twain that rocked my socks. It gave me a perspective that I hadn’t really thought about on Huckleberry Finn.

Have a topic you’d like to learn about in mind? Then the center of the page is for you. Type your topic into the search field and click the Go button. I think you’ll be amazed at the range of topics that come up for the subject you’ve looked up.

Want to contribute? Well you certainly can, but you’ll have to register to do so. Don’t worry registration is a breeze. Click the Sign Up link at the top of the page. Fill in the form with your name, e-mail address, and name of the college or university you’re attending, and then create a password and prove you’re human by filling in the Captcha. After you’ve got that all filled in, you can click the Sign Up button.

You’ll be automatically logged in after clicking the Sign Up button. You’ll be on an invitation page which I skipped by clicking the wePapers logo at the top of the page to return to the main page.

Now there are two ways to contribute to the page you can: become a course leader, or upload your own papers to share with other students. Becoming a course leader means that you’re going to teach other people something, for example, the course I looked at while I was here was Algebra 1. It brings Algebra to life using realistic examples and practical knowledge. So if you have something to teach, this is the spot for you.

To find a course, click Navigate and the scroll down until you see the Course tab. Click the tab, and scroll down past the Google ad, and you’ll see a listing of course offerings. Once you find the course you want, make sure you click the join course link on its page.

Uploading papers is by far the easier way to share your knowledge. Especially if you are crunched for time! Click the Upload button at the top of the page (its green). Then click the Add Files button, choose the file you’d like to upload, and then click the upload button. After you’ve uploaded the file you’ll be asked to fill out a form about it. This form covers basic information like what subject it is about, what style it is, etc.

Used responsibly this site could be the perfect study tool. Check it out today!


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Do you have a cool, non-commercial site that you want to share?
Send it to Amanda at

Monthly Wallpaper

 Your Friends Will Be Amazed!!

Make Hallmark Cards Right From Your Computer!

Blowout Deal Too!!

WOW! We've featured lots of card-making software, but seriously, who makes cards better than Hallmark? And with Hallmark Card Studio you can make amazing Hallmark Cards right from your own home!!

I don't know how Hallmark keeps out doing themselves again and again!!! Each previous edition of the software has been good- but not this good!!!

So what does this software do?

Basically, this it allows you make Hallmark cards right from your computer. Yes, they are authentic cards with even the "Hallmark" trademark on the back. The program comes with predesigned cards with pictures, graphics, and expressions. All you do is customize it (if you like). If you really want to make your card unique, they even have the ones where you insert your own picture (of course, you do this through your computer so it looks fantastic).

And it is so easy to use!!! By far, I would say this is one of the easiest programs I have ever used! All you have to do is just point and click to create your cards. I was shocked!!! I mean could anything be any easier to use?

Curious about what the finished product will look like once it is printed? Check it out! It was really awesome!



This program includes 10,000 different images, 5400 Hallmark cards, projects, and tons more! This gives you over 1 million ways to create your personalized cards.

Personally, I really like that the cards are "pre-written". It makes it so much easier. I never have to rush through the store again looking for the perfect card. It really has saved me time!!!

Of course, you can replace what they say with what you want to say (or add to it, modify, etc). Plus, people really dig you more custom message and what to know where you found such a personalized card.

Oh, and it's not just limited to the printing out out-dated paper cards (that's so 20th century) - you can also send e-mail greetings complete with animated pictures and sounds!

As if all the above weren't enough, this can also do scrapbooks, calendars, and even has a really good built-in photo editor! WOW!! And just wait till you check out the event planner! Never forget to send another card - this will remind you! How cool is that??

All this probably sounds really expensive!!! Relax!!! Your price is just $6.97 (retail $49.95)! Of course, if you live in the US shipping is FREE! AND if you order today, you'll get that FREE Keychain Flashlight at the top of the newsletter too! Here's a link with all the info:

Hurry on this one. Last time we sold this program, they flew out the door!!! And remember- the price will increase to $18.97 tomorrow!!!!

Monthly Wallpaper

April Wallpaper

Here's this month's free calendar wallpaper! As always, it's 100% free, so head on over and grab one!

Pink Flower

This was actually in my front of my house! It had rained the night before, and this pink flower (lily?) was looking especially pink.

Mossy Stream

This just has to make you think "Spring"! Taken last April in the Smokys - and man that water was cold!

Valley Of Fire Road

Just about an hour's drive from Las Vegas is this amazing place! It really does look like that when you round the top of the hill! You think you're on another planet (and may sci-fi movies were shot there, including Star Trek Generations)

Here's April's wallpaper. It's all free, so enjoy!

All can be found here:



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Personal & Educational Use Only This blog consists mainly of FREE newsletters from computer web gurus that I receive. I thought you might like to see them all in one place than try to discover them on your own. A moderate amount of editing may be done to eliminate unrelated repetitious ads or unnecessary text which bloat the post. However I have given the authors full credit and will not remove their site links because you deserve to see where it comes from and they deserve to get credit for what they have written. Your use of this site is simply for educational purposes. For more computer-related help go to: CPEDLEY.COM for free software, advice and tips on low cost products which are very helpful. If you want to contact the editor, please go CPEDLEY.COM and check the Contact page for email address.