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Mysticgeek

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

Sometimes it is necessary to be able to zoom in on electronic documents for easier viewing.  This is especially helpful for those who are visually impaired.  Like in most PDF viewers Outlook 2007 also has a zoom feature for reading and composing your emails.

about 6 years ago - by  |  Comments (0)

What geek doesn’t like Bruce Campbell?  This looks like another classic!  What are some of your favorite Bruce flicks?

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Well, I figured I would join The Geek in the social network-sphere (is that a word?) … Anyway, I think it will be a lot of fun meeting our readers and hooking up online. I am not sure how much I will be updating these sites at first, but just bear with me and I will get them rolling as quickly as possible. The main focus of my time right now is the HTG site. Go ahead and add me to your profiles! We hope to get the largest network of computer geeks on the Web!

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In a previous article I wrote about minimizing The Ribbon in Office 2007.  This is great for saving space on your screen so you have more area to work.  In that article I mention that you can still pull up The Ribbon for any function you need while working on a document.  Here I am going to show a different take on accomplishing tasks while keeping The Ribbon hidden.  I usually only use the most basic functions, but if I need to add more we always can. 

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While updating my work computer I came across a pop up that was welcoming to the Microsoft Download Center Beta. I thought it rather odd M$ would throw a pop up at me. I checked out the URL and it seemed legit … so I went with it. Besides … it’s only my work computer … LOL.

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If you have an older PC which has not had regular maintenance, updates, etc. (a relatives computer you looked at over the holiday) … when trying to run Disk Cleanup it may hang or take ridiculous amounts of time to complete.  Usually what this means is the Disk Cleanup Utility is getting hung up on a corrupt temp file.  Here is an easy way to get past that annoyance.

about 7 years ago - by  |  Comments (0)

Have you ever wanted to make sure that a reply goes back to more than one email address? You might want to have somebody automatically reply to your home and personal address, or you might want to make sure your boss is included on replies instead of having to forward the messages to him.

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Although I am not a Keyboard Ninja I still like to navigate quickly through Windows.  You can make your mousing more efficient using the snap to option which is inherent to XP.  This also works with Vista although getting to this setting is obviously different.

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I have heard and seen many funny situations in my IT career but today was the best one I have heard in a long time. A person referred to the asterisk key on their keyboard as “The Snowflake Key”. LMAO doesn’t do the 20 minutes of laughing I did justice.

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Let’s face it … CRT monitors are still out there in the office environment.  Where I work we are slowly phasing them out as our budget allows.  The other day I was troubleshooting an issue with an older computer with a CRT monitor and when I looked at it I almost got sick from the flickering screen.  Fixing that issue is easy, here is how.

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After a buddy of mine pestered me enough about Winamp I finally decided to take the 10th Anniversary Edition for a test run. Previous versions of Winamp never impressed me much. I hate having to configure tons of worthless features in a player. Also, I have never liked inviting intrusive advertisements on my computer. Today I have put my preconceived biases aside and have started to really dig into what all the hype is about.

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I was browsing to a website today that actually required I have Real Player installed.  Real Player?  I definitely would not put that annoying Spyware/resource hog on my PC. Then I remembered I installed a version of QuickTime Lite to view sites that required that, so I figured there would be a cool alternate version of Real Player out there.  Sure enough!  Real Alternative is a great way to bypass installing the whole Real Player pig.  Also, when installing it you can choose to just install what you need. 

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This article was written by MysticGeek, a tech blogger at the How-To Geek Blogs.

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This article was written by MysticGeek, a tech blogger at the How-To Geek Blogs.

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When you want to categorize all of your email messages in Outlook a lot of people use Folders to achieve this.  The traditional drag and drop is a good way to keep them organized.  However, in the blustering fury of your day, how many times have you caught yourself accidentally dragging a folder into another where it is not supposed to be?  I caught myself doing that today and thought I would share this quick tip.

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Should I turn off my computer every night?  Is it better to have it Hibernate?  Should I have set it to Standby?  What is the best option for my computer?  I get these questions all week when people are asking about their home PC’s.  I believe the jury is still at on what is the best answer.  Instead of going into a long explanation I advise people about what I do.  I never turn of my home computer or my work computer for that matter and have never had any issues.

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I get home PC security questions all the time.  So, I figured I would post my opinion on various methods for protecting your PC from viruses, spyware, etc.  First off, I by no means endorse any pay for security suites except for one situation; and that is if you’re grandma is using a PC.  They grew up in a non tech age and if you don’t want to be running over there every 10 minutes (which may happen anyway) just throw Norton or Trend on it.  Set up auto updates and daily scans.   Set it and forget it.

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Nothing is worse than spyware, Adware, Malware … etc. However, Crapware comes in extremely close. Crapware is all the extra needless applications say Dell puts on their computers. They sell it as though you’re getting some great deal because your computer is coming pre-installed with say a 90 day trial of Mcaffe. Well, Crapware strikes it’s ugliness in many places. While rebuilding a computer this week I found a great example from Adobe’s Shockwave.

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When you have hundreds of e-mails to go through in any given day, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. Going through them in the morning before having your coffee you may miss one or two that you thought were read. Here is a quick tip to show if the message has been read or not from the Reading Pane.

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I really get annoyed with Error Reporting in Windows XP.  It is just another wasted click to close the message … and especially if the system is slowing up and an error message pops up multiple times.  I rely on Event Viewer to troubleshoot any issues with an OS anyway so … here is how to disable Error Reporting in XP.

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If you use Ad-Aware se Version 1.06 you know all to well of the annoying sound it makes when a scan is complete.  Here is how to disable that annoyance.

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When you have a document up on your network that several users have access to, it is nice to know the time and date it is modified.  For instance if there is an interoffice group project, team leaders can keep track of when a document is created, printed, or last saved. 

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In continuing with my apparent PDF theme this week, I thought it would be good to point out a nice Add-In for Microsoft Office 2007 which allows you to save or email documents in PDF format.  Just download and install the Microsoft Save As PDF Add-In.  Installation is very simple, only takes about a minute and you are ready to use a feature long ignored by Microsoft.  There are actually 2 different Add-Ins, one allows only PDF and the other allows both PDF and XPS format.

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In a typical day I will use up to 8 different PC’s.  When I am on these machines I want all of my custom settings to be there for me.  Having a user profile on a Windows machine is easy.  However, what to do with all the customizations I make to my favorite web browser?  MozBackup solves this issue by allowing me to back up all Firefox settings, including extensions (although the program author does not guarantee they’ll all transfer successfully) stick them on a flash drive and restore them on a separate machine.  I have been able to use this with both Vista and XP.

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As I mentioned in my previous post I loved the fact that OpenOffice allows such easy creation of PDF files.  In this post I will show how we can still do this in OpenOffice without actually installing the open source office suite.  We can accomplish this using Portable Apps which includes OpenOffice Portable.

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