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Monthly Archives: November 2009

How to setup a Windows 7 Homegroup

Windows 7 provides a new and exciting feature called Homegroup. This improvement allows users a unique way to network other computers running Windows 7 in a home or workplace situation.

Under Windows 7 you can forget about setting up a conventional network system as Windows 7 Homegroup is simpler and easier to set up. This new feature works with all computers running Windows 7.

What is Windows 7  Homegroup?

Homegroup allows you to connect wireless to other computers allowing you to share documents, photos, music and other files as well as your printer. As the initiator of Homegroup you can ensure the security of your files by making them read-only. However, you also have the option of allowing other members of your Homegroup to modify your files.

How to setup a Windows 7  Homegroup?

To create a Windows 7 Homegroup you need two or more computers running Windows 7.

The Desktop computer takes the first step in setting up a Homegroup. This involves deciding whether to share library files and printers and then generating a Homegroup password so other user(s) can join the Homegroup network.

The Desktop Computer

  1. Click the Start button or press the Windows key.
  2. When the Start Menu opens, select Control Panel.
  3. When the Control Panel window opens, in the section labelled Network and Internet, Choose “Homegroup and Sharing Options.”
  4. The Homegroup window opens, click the button labelled, Create a Homegroup.
  5. The “Create a Homegroup” window opens, displaying the features you can share – Pictures, Documents, Music, Printers and Videos.
  6. Check the boxes for those items you wish to share.
  7. Click the Next button.
  8. Next, Windows 7 generates a password to allow other computer user(s) to join the Homegroup.
  9. Click Print password and instructions.
  10. Give the Password information sheet to the other computer user(s).
  11. Click the Finish button.

Note: Your part is now over. The other computer user(s) now has to register their computer to join the Homegroup.

On the Laptop / Notebook / Netbook

To successfully connect to a Homegroup, the other computer(s) must be running Windows 7. You will need a copy of the Password information sheet containing the password.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. When the Start Menu opens, Homegroup.
  3. The Change Homegroup settings window opens indicating that another computer is on the Homegroup network. It also shows that there are shared Libraries and Printers.
  4. Click the Join now button.
    Note: If you don’t see the Join now button, there might not be a Homegroup available. Make sure that someone has created a Homegroup first or you can choose to create a Homegroup yourself.
  5. The Join a Homegroup window opens. You need the Homegroup Password to join.
  6. Type in the Homegroup Password.
  7. Click the Next button
  8. Windows 7 informs you that you have joined the Homegroup.
  9. Click the Finish buttonYou are now ready to utilize Homegroup across two computers, the Desktop computer and the Laptop computer.Accessing your HomeGroup

    With both computers switched on, you can now access each other’s HomeGroup libraries.

  10. Click the Start menu.
  11. Select Homegroup.
  12. The Homegroup window opens.
  13. Click Homegroup.
  14. Homegroup expands telling you the laptop is registered.
  15. To see what libraries within the Homegroup network, click on the arrow button on the left.
  16. Homegroup displays the registered Libraries.
  17. To see what’s in a Library, such as Documents, click Documents. Its contents appear in the right window.
  18. On the other computer’s Homegroup you can now access the Libraries.
  19. To view the contents, click on the arrow on the left of each Library folder to expand it and display the folders within it.
  20. In the screen picture below the extent of the Document folder is revealed. This was achieved by clicking on its icon.

By now you should have a good idea of the potential of Windows 7 Homegroup and how useful it is in a networking situation providing of course the other computers in your home or workplace are running Windows 7.

Minimize all your open windows quickly in Windows 7

If you have multiple windows open on your desktop and things are getting too cluttered, it used to be a time-consuming process to close them all down.

In Windows 7 you can use the Aero Shake feature to minimise everything in seconds, using a cool mouse gesture.

Grab the title bar of the window you wish to keep open and give it a shake, and rejoice in a clear desktop area.

New useful WordPad file formats in Windows 7

By default WordPad will save documents in Rich Text Format, just as before.

But browse the Save As Format list and you’ll see you can also save (or open, actually) files in the Office 2007 .docx or OpenDocument .odt formats.

Customise User Account Control (UAC) in Windows 7

Windows Vista’s User Account Control was a good idea in practice, but poor implementation put many people off – it raised far too many alerts.

Fortunately Windows 7 displays less warnings by default, and lets you further fine-tune UAC to suit your preferred balance between security and a pop-up free life

(Start > Control Panel > Change User Account Control Settings).

HotKey combinations for Windows 7

General

Win+Up Maximize
Win+Down Restore / Minimize
Win+Left Snap to left
Win+Right Snap to right
Win+Shift+Left Jump to left monitor
Win+Shift+Right Jump to right monitor
Win+Home Minimize / Restore all other windows
Win+T Focus the first taskbar entry
Pressing again will cycle through them, you can can arrow around.
Win+Shift+T cycles backwards.
Win+Space Peek at the desktop
Win+G Bring gadgets to the top of the Z-order
Win+P External display options (mirror, extend desktop, etc)
Win+X Mobility Center (same as Vista, but still handy!)
Win+#
(# = a number key)
Launches a new instance of the application in the Nth slot on the taskbar.
Example: Win+1 launches first pinned app, Win+2 launches second, etc.
Win + +
Win + –
(plus or minus key)
Zoom in or out.

.

Windows Explorer

Alt+P Show/hide Preview Pane

.

Taskbar modifiers

Shift + Click on icon Open a new instance
Middle click on icon Open a new instance
Ctrl + Shift + Click on icon Open a new instance with Admin privileges
Shift + Right-click on icon Show window menu (Restore / Minimize / Move / etc)
Note: Normally you can just right-click on the window thumbnail to get this menu
Shift + Right-click on grouped icon Menu with Restore All / Minimize All / Close All, etc.
Ctrl + Click on grouped icon Cycle between the windows (or tabs) in the group

.

Note that this list focuses on stuff that’s specific to Windows 7

General Computer Maintenance Tip’s

The following is a list of twelve simple steps for general computer maintenance. By following these steps you increase the chances that you can avoid some of the most common problems that are brought to our attention.

Carry your laptop in a protective case or bag, free from any potentially harmful substances.

  • Computers should be carried in a bag with lots of padding and protection.
  • Alternatively, you can purchase a “laptop sleeve” to protect your computer. Models with padding inside and a hard shell are preferred.
  • Don’t place food, drink, or other potentially hardful substances nearby or in a bag with your computer, as liquid spills on laptops are all too common and often come with a heavy price tag.
  • Be sure to include accident protection in your warranty, if you are concerned about accidental damage or spills.

Always power down your laptop before moving it around, and at night.

  • The hard drive, where your data is stored is a series of spinning discs with a read/write head (analogous to a record player). Thus, transporting or moving your laptop while powered on can cause corruption to the hard drive (analogous to a record scratch).
  • To avoid long boot-up times, you can also put your computer into Sleep, Standby, or Hibernate modes.
  • Shutting down your computer (or putting it into Sleep or Hibernate) will also extend the life of the hardware.

Take care with the screen and keyboard.

  • The laptop’s compact design means sensitive components must be stored directly below the keyboard.
  • Avoid slamming or punching down on keys with excessive force, as this may damage the components underneath.
  • The LCD screen is also sensitive, so avoid poking the screen too hard or placing heavy objects on top of your laptop.

Keep the laptop on a flat surface when in use and avoid blocking air vents.

  • Blocking air vents will cause the computer to operate above the normal operating temperature range, which over time will decrease the lifespan of your computer.
  • Avoid using your computer in a particularly dusty area.
  • Consider purchasing a compressed “air” canister and blowing out the dust from the vents, or request help from Phuket Hosting.

Back up your data regularly and backup important files to multiple locations.

  • Hard drive failure is difficult to predict and may even occur within the first few months of computer ownership
  • Develop a strategy for backing up your data regularly, suggestions are available in the FAQ on Backing Up.

Keep your email healthy by keeping your inbox small.

  • Often webmail is slow because your inbox is too large, making loading times of your inbox very slow.
  • If you inbox becomes too large (greater than 500MB or so), it may become corrupted and you could lose emails or miss incoming messages.
  • To check the size of your email folders, go to webmail interface.
  • Consider setting up an email client program and using it regularly instead of Webmail.
  • You can also download your email whole folders at a time using webmail

Install a Antivirus Solution, keep it updated, and perform scans regularly.

  • Be sure to install a Antivirus Solution. Your computer may come with a free trial of a antivirus, but we strongly encourages uninstalling the trial version provided and installing a full Antivirus Solution (Most of them are free for private use).
  • Keep the software updated by setting your Antivirus Solution to check daily for updates.

Set strong passwords.

  • Be sure to set a strong password for your username, using numbers, letters, and capitals.
  • In Windows XP, be sure to set a strong password for the Administrator account too.

Delete unwanted programs and files, and avoid installing lots of ‘extras’.

  • In Windows, There are many flashy programs that run in the background of your computer (usually showing up as little icons in the task bar, e.g. WeatherBug). Use ‘Add/Remove programs’ in Control Panel to remove these programs or any others not in use.
  • In OS X, be sure to remove unwanted programs from your ‘Applications’ folder.
  • Empty your Recycling Bin or Trash.
  • Delete old files from your desktop or documents folders.
  • Remove any excess user accounts that may be taking up space.

Update Windows/OS X regularly.

  • To have the best patches and security updates available, be sure to regularly update your computer.
  • Instructions forWindows Updates and Mac OS X Software Updates are located in the FAQs.

Avoid P2P software.

  • P2P programs often come bundled with adware or spyware.
  • P2P downloads can sometime be bogus files and may contain viruses.

Keep track of your software CD/DVDs and license keys.

  • Never discard the Windows, Office, or other discs that come with your computer, these can be invaluable in getting your computer running fast.
  • Keep all official documents, receipts, and license keys for your software, which are needed if the software must be reinstalled.

Are your DNS nameservers impeding your Internet experience?

If you have problems with your Domain Name Server’s provided by your ISP, take a look at this tool,  it might help you to resolve the problem.

If you look for alternative DNS server ip’s , click here to find a list which is working usually fine here in Thailand.

Other DNS solutions you also can find here:

Google Public DNS Service or  OpenDNS information

Confused Which Free Public DNS To Use, Here Is How To Benchmark The Fastest DNS Server From Your Location:

If you are looking for a professional grade hardcore DNS speed benchmarking tool, multi-platform, open-source utility namebench would be the answer, capable of utilizing your web browser history, tcpdump output, or standardized datasets to benchmark DNS server speeds namebench provide well laid-out, easy to understand individualized recommendation.

However, if you are looking for something fast and noob-friendly free windows-only utility DNS Tester gets the job done but you will need to manually evaluate and compare the results.

Another free alternative would be DNSBench for fast, easy and comprehensive DNS Benchmarking on windows.

Facts about Internet in Thailand (ADSL / EDGE / GPRS / WIFI / CDMA)

All about the Internet in Thailand regarding

  • Internet Domain Names
  • Internet Backbones
  • International & Domestic Bandwidth
  • International Gateways
  • Domestic Internet Exchange
  • Internet Service Providers
  • Internet Data Centers (IDC)

you can find here in this WIKIPEDIA fact sheet.

Some more information, like the up to date Thailand Internet Map and more,  is also available here at the Internet Users and Statistics in Thailand web site.

Any more questions regarding regional specialties for Phuket and the surrounding areas, contact Phuket Hosting, we will give you the latest updates about it.

Windows 7 / Get back the “Quick Launch Toolbar”

  1. Right-click the taskbar, choose Toolbars / New Toolbar
  2. In the folder selection dialog, enter the following string and hit OK:
    %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
  3. Turn off the “lock the taskbar” setting, and right-click on the divider.
    Make sure that “Show text” and “Show title” are disabled and the view is set to “small icons”.
  4. Use the dividers to rearrange the toolbar ordering to choice, and then lock the taskbar again.