CmdrKeene's Blog

thoughts from shawn keene: analyst, technologist, microsoft mvp, skywarn storm chaser, fitness freak, and nerd

Making peace with the Start screen

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For the past 23 years, the Start menu has been the staple interface of the Windows operating system. When Windows 8 removed updated the start menu to be full-screen, many users balked at the change. But is any functionality really lost? This post explains how to regain common and not-so-common functions of the legacy Start […]

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Turn off a built-in monitor from a shortcut

turnOffMonitor

If you have a laptop or all-in-one computer, you might have times where you wish to leave the computer on but turn off the display. Although most computers with built-in monitors lack a monitor switch, you can still turn it off in a click. Here’s how.

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Monitor or Limit Data Usage in Windows 8.1

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With the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft made a great number of improvements to Windows 8. Unfortunately, it also marked a step backwards in terms of easily adjusting your network settings. Here’s an update of how to monitor or limit data use in Windows 8.1.

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Declutter browser tabs from your taskbar

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Usage tracking shows that 95% percent of home users typically have 5 or fewer browser tabs/windows open at a time. In an office environment though, this number easily triples.  This tip will help you juggle dozens of browser windows more easily, and let you spend less time finding the one you need.

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Open Files on the Desktop in Windows 8

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If you use Windows 8 on a typical desktop computer (with a keyboard and mouse), you may not like getting whisked over to a full-screen tablet interface just because you opened an email attachment or picture file.  Here’s how to stop that and stay on the desktop.

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Bing Tells You Where the Movie Is

Bing Storms

Bing in fact has a secret power that is kept too secret. Searching for a movie provides an index of which services carry the title, which saves you from individually searching various apps and sites.  Big deal?  It saves real money too, when the movie is already on a service you subscribe to, you can […]

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Windows 8.1 Reading Mode

Reading mode example from rethinkie.com

Most of us don’t typically consider our browsing experience. We use the web and take it as it is. But the new reading mode in Windows 8.1 adds one more to a growing list of reasons to come back to the browser you loved to hate.

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January Optional Updates for Windows 8.1

PC Settings app logo

If you have Windows 8 on your PC, you might want to check for some optional updates waiting for you to install. The optional updates from January’s patch Tuesday include a host of fixes for some frustrating problems. The update needs you to install, so here’s how to get it right now.

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Use POP email in Windows 8

Where Windows 7 required you to get your own email program to use POP email, Windows 8 now lets you do so in an elegant way using Outlook.com to aggregate and combine your accounts.

The Windows Mail app is built for connected devices like mobile phones and tablets, and allows full sync across all your devices. If you move a message into an email folder from your tablet, your phone and computer will also show that same change. Where Windows 7 required you to install your own email program to […]

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Windows 8 Myths, Busted

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It’s time to have a frank discussion busting the myths of Windows 8. If you receive nothing else from this, I want you to understand that Windows 8 does not take anything away from you. Anyone claiming otherwise is either trying to spread FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), quite likely for profit, or is simply […]

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Testing Early AntiSpyware Software

Giant AntiSpyware immediately after being acquired by Microsoft (image from Paul Thurrott's review in 2004).

After Microsoft purchased GIANT Company Software, Inc. in 2004 (ahem, who’s giant now?), I decided I needed to test out* the Microsoft Antispyware program by giving it a chance to remove some junk, namely Bonzi Buddy. Bonzi Buddy is actually a close relative to the infamous Clippy** and Rover in Windows XP.

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