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Tricks & Tips

Archive for October, 2008

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Today we present a new style for Tips & Tricks.  This is an original video we created to demonstrate How to Print on Envelopes:

  1. Watch our short 2 minute video: How to Print on Envelopes (click here)
  2. Print or view the step-by-step textual guide
  3. Try it!  We welcome your feedback.  Or, if you try this tip and need help, feel free to ask in the comments section.
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Print What You Like (Easy!)

October 28th, 2008
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www.printwhatyoulike.com is a dead simple way remove images, ads, or unneeded text from a crowded web page your about to print.  Skip the fluff and the wasted ink and print what you like.

“Save money and the environment by reducing your paper and ink usage” – printwhatyoulike.com.

Again, this is easy and takes seconds.  Just move your mouse over what you want and click.  A few options are on the left and then click the Print button when you’re ready.

Tip: You can click multiple boxes of text, and then click Isolate to remove everything else.  Just play around a few times.

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The extra clutter along the edges drive me crazy sometimes when I want to print a nice document of a webpage.   It doesn’t always matter, but often I don’t want the extra details like the URL, page numbers, date, etc.  Here’s how you can leave those off:

Internet Explorer -

  1. From the Print menu, click Page setup (or hold ALT + F, then hit Print setup)
  2. Delete everything from the Header and Footer fields
  3. Click OK

Firefox -

  1. From the File menu, click Page Setup
  2. Click the Margins & Header/Footer tab
  3. In the Headers and Footers area, set all the fields to –blank–
  4. Click OK

Now print clean pages of exactly what you wanted!

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Milk Your Money blog offers 27 tips for around the house.  This isn’t specifically IT related, but too great a list to pass up.  And, it’s a link on the Internet! ;)

Here’s an excerpt from above:  “Goodbye Fruit Flies: To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it ½’ with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!”   Click here to continue reading more…

Also, I’ve been hoping for a long time to share my own “around the house” tip but it wouldn’t fit anywhere else.  Use Vaseline on door hinges to stop a squeaky door. I tried everything I could find: WD-40, synthetic lube FOR hinges, nothing stopped it.  Vaseline has worked perfect now for months.

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Say what you mean in the subject of your email and add EOM to the end. This tells the recipient there is no need to open the email, just read, apply, and delete.

EOM stands for End of Message.  For example, your subject might look like this: “Let’s meet in Conf. Room 223 at 3pm 8/21/08 EOM” and nothing in the body.

I always enjoy tips on GTD (Getting Things Done), time management, etc.  Today we’re bombarded with emails that consume our time.  This little trick could  help speed us through.

I learned about EOM recently from an article on Lifehacker: Read more on practical use here.

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Get Cash for Your Gadgets

October 14th, 2008
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Gazelle.com pays you for your old gadgets.  They make it easy.

If you’ve upgraded and have old or unwanted items such as a cell phone, MP3 player, digital camera, laptop, GPS device, gaming console, etc, Gazelle will send you a postage paid box to ship in your item, then send you a check or PayPal funds (or donate to charity).

If anything, this sure feels better than tossing old items in the trash… or leaving them lay around forever collecting dust.  You might make more selling on Ebay, but Gazelle makes it a 2 minute job.  Done!

Video:  www.gazelle.com/main/index/how_it_works

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Free Online Books

October 9th, 2008
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www.pdfgeni.com is a really neat site I just found. The search box comes up on the first page. Type in your search and it returns tons of results for free ebooks, articles, reports, or just about anything in a PDF. No need to signup for anything.  Besides books, also try searching for a specific article, or subject.

Here are some examples:
My Favorite Book
Photography Tips
MS Office 2007
Business Plans

Other resources for books/articles online:
Scribd.com
Amazon’s Book Preview

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It can be aggravating to have a program start every time you turn on your computer. If you don’t use AOL Instant Messenger but see it every time you login, or Weather Bug pops up, or Adobe Updater, etc. These all just slow down your startup, and running Windows in general thereafter.

If we’ve worked on your computer, we’ve probably limited your start items. This is common practice for any tech savvy person to help “clean up” your computer. The method below may seem technical, but it is in fact quite simple and effective.

Here’s how…

  1. Click on the Start menu
  2. Click Run (skip this step for Vista users)
  3. Type: msconfig and hit enter
  4. Click on the Startup tab across the top (see image example)

Here you will see a complete list of items that start when you load Windows. Some may look like Greek to you, no worries! Look for the program you don’t want to load and uncheck it. Click OK and reboot your computer. After your computer loads, you may see a popup warning. Check the box and hit OK. You won’t see it again thereafter.

Extra help…

How about all the other stuff you see in that startup list? NONE of it is required to run Windows. However, some of it could be very important. For example, your backup program is probably listed, probably something to run your sound or mouse, etc. Have a look through the list and feel free to turn off anything, give it a try, and turn back on if there is a problem. Be careful here as you could disable something that you shouldn’t.

Note:
Some programs have built in options for startup. You should review these first.

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Basic Lessons in Plain English

October 2nd, 2008
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The CommonCraft Show produced the neat video we watched earlier this week, how to search the Internet.  If you didn’t explore more of their videos, you’re really missing out.  Again, their unique approach really breaks things down into small, short bites.  Learning and applying are simple.

Here is a great introduction to “Blogs”:
Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN2I1pWXjXI

Social networking:
Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a_KF7TYKVc

See much more at www.commoncraft.com/show (scroll down).

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