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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Customize Your Windows 10 Tiles

Those of you who are now using Windows 10 and used Windows 8.1 previously may have been disappointed that the tile images could not be customized as they could be with OblyTile on Windows 8.

There have been several attempts to provide a way to do this, all of which were marginal and required an app to run in the background.

Now... Enter TileIconifier.  This neat little utility allows you to create tiles and assign any image of any size to them.

Check it out at: https://github.com/Jonno12345/TileIconifier/releases. After a little bit of practice and experimentation. you should be able to create any kind of small or medium tile.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

How to Download Windows 10

Windows 10 may install automatically on your computer if you have requested it.  If you have been putting off the upgrade, you may download it and then install at your convenience.

 We recommend downloading it into an ISO file, which is type of file that could be burned onto a DVD; BUT you don't need to create a DVD.  Windows has the ability to "Mount" this file so it looks like you are running a DVD.

Here's step by step directions:

  1. Go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10  but DON'T SELECT Upgrade Now.   Scroll down a bit and click on Download tool now. This will start the download of MediaCreationTool.exe. By default this will save in your Downloads folder, but you may save it wherever you like... just remember where it is.
  2. After the download completes, find the file and double-click on it to run it.
  3. Accept the first page of fine print
  4. Select Create installation media for another PC and click Next
  5. The default of Use the recommended options for this PC should be fine. Click Next
  6. Select ISO file and click Next
  7. A file dialog will open to allow you to select where to save this file.  Pick and place and REMEMBER IT :-)   Save
  8. Go have a cup of coffee or other refreshment.  It will take a little while to download.
  9. When the media creation is complete, click Finish. DO NOT CLICK Open DVD burner
You now have a Windows.iso file stored in the location you selected.

When you are ready to install, right click on this file and select Mount.  If you have multiple computers you want to upgrade to Windows 10, you may select Burn disk image to create a DVD to use on the other computers.

Now follow the instructions in the Windows 10 Upgrade Configuration Checklist.  Be sure you have read Introduction to Windows 10 for Desktop and Laptop Computers so you understand the intent of configuring Windows 10 differently than the default (and useless) Microsoft rollout configuration.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Windows 10 Upgrade Checklist

If you are ready to upgrade to Windows 10, you may want to configure your computer in a way that you may find much more useful than the default Microsoft configuration, without all of their phone apps. Furthermore, the Microsoft default configuration gives them many permissions that you may find to be an invasion of privacy.

This checklist presents an easy, step-by-step guide to set up your computer as described in Introduction to Windows 10 for Desktop and Laptop Computers.

Download Windows 10 Upgrade Configuration Checklist and get started.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Windows 10 Tips & Tricks

Tips and Tricks for Windows 10 will be a dynamic listing of useful items, so check back often  If you have an item to add, please let me know.  
(Note: Win = the key with the windows icon)

Copy Files Maintaining Original Creation Date
If you copy files from your camera to your hard drive or any other location using the copy command, you will discover that the Creation Date of the files is assigned the current date and time.  If you wish to maintain the original date so, for example you know when a photo was taken, use the existing (but little known) windows command robocopy.  Syntex is the same as copy.

Display Selected System Apps
The right edge of the task bar is called the System Tray.  This can contain certain icons, such as Action Center, Network, Battery and other system apps. Some of these items are 'hidden' unless currently active and can be seen by clicking on the up arrow to the left of the System Tray.

When you click on this arrow, a pop-up window of all system apps are displayed.  If you want any of these to always be displayed in the System Tray, just click and drag the selected icon to the System Tray.  

You may also hide any icons in the System Tray by click and dragging into the pop-up window.

Customize the Action Center (30Nov15)
Have you noticed the Action Center, that icon to the left of the Time and Date in the taskbar.  If you click on it you may find a bunch of options that are useless if you are on a PC. Turns out you can select the top 4 items and only display them.
  1. Open Settings   ( Win-I)
  2. Click on System : Notifications & actions
  3. Click on each of the 4 icons at the top of the window and select items you find useful (for example Brightness, VPN, Project, Wifi)
  4. Close the Settings window
  5.  Click on the Action Center and choose Collapse (if more than 4 icons are showing)

Create a Start Shortcuts Folder in your Documents Folder  (30Nov15)
Many of the features of Windows 10 require you perform them on Shortcuts of the actual files. This folder may be used to keep all of these shortcuts is one place, so you can readily access them. You might also want to Pin to Start (right-click:Pin to Start) this folder.

* Pin Any Program, Document, Folder, or Shortcut to Start Page (30Nov15)
* Remove the "-Shortcut" text from created shortcuts 

Microsoft does not provide this capability in all cases.  Go to the Download link in the menu at the top and download and run the selected files.  This will modify your registry to accomplish the desired effect. You will receive warnings as you install, but this is simply because you are modifying the registry.

Pin Any Document to Taskbar (30Nov15)
Is there a specific document you use all of the time. For example, I like to keep a Notes file handy to jot down info quickly. Rather than place this on the desktop, I have pinned it to the taskbar so I can quickly open it anytime.
  1. Create shortcut to document and move to your Start Shortcuts folder
  2. Right-click on the shortcut, select Properties , type  explorer   to the beginning of  the Target field.
  3. Change Icon to appropriate one
  4. Click OK
  5. Right click on shortcut and Pin to Taskbar
  6. Arrange the order of the Taskbar icons as you desire by left-click dragging them.

Pin Control Panel Item to Start Page   (30Nov15)
Sometimes there are Control Panel items we like to access easily by creating a tile on the Start Page. For example, I like to be able to check Windows Defender easily. Here's how to do it:
  1. Open Control Panel (Right-click bottom left or Win-X, then select Control Panel
  2. Right-click on desired item and Create Shortcut on Desktop
  3. Drag into Start Shortcuts folder
  4. Right-click on shortcut and Pin to Start

Display Currently Installed  Version of Windows 10   (30Nov15)
What update do you currently have? Simple:
Press Win-R  and type winver in the text box.  A window will pop up to show you.