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Archive for the ‘Windows XP’ Category

Logitech’s support and warranty really really sucks.

On my Logitech mx1000 mouse, the cursor started acting funny whenever I pressed the scroll button. I had to reset it each time. I know computers well, so I tried 2 different Logitech drivers (even tried without the logitech driver), and 2 different Windows machines. I got this from a friend (but is under the 3 year warranty). I called Logitech support. But the rep said that he cannot give me a replacement mouse, b/c the warranty is not transferrable.

The Mx1000 mouse is supposed to be top of the line mouse, around $70 originally purchased.

But now, only after 1.5 years, the rep and the supervisor both refused to reissue a replacement mouse, since the mouse was given to me, and I was not the original purchaser.

But my question is this:

Why do they not stand behind their mouse?

The lame supervisor I ended up speaking with gave me this logic.

“If someone ends up getting a new mouse for their warranty, and they give that defective mouse to someone else, then they can also try to get a new mouse and we don’t want that.”

I almost burst out laughing. I said, “Why don’t you take the defective mouse back?” He didn’t really answer that. But he did repeat that the warranty is not transferrable. I said I know that, but I’m asking WHY it’s not transferrable.

I asked, “Why does it matter who owns it? If the mouse works as it should, it would not matter, and therefore, you should stand behind your mouse, replacing it if it did indeed break due to manufacturing defect, as it was in my case.” He said many companies have non-transferrable warranties.

The supervisor did ask if I wanted to troubleshoot it. I said I tried 2 different drivers, 3 different machines, and I’m very computer saavy. It’s a hardware issue. Then he said I could buy a replacement one at half off, at $50. Yeah, right – I can buy a new mouse for that.

I wonder if anyone will even read this. But if you do, please please never buy another Logitech product, especially if it’s going to be a gift. If it breaks, your only option is to throw it away.

Logitech really really sucks.

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I was watching someone use her computer at work the other day, and I was amazed to see that she was unaware of a simple way to minimize all her windows.  She went to each one, clicked on the minimize button – for like 5 windows.  That’s a waste of time.

There are 3 very fast ways to do this:

1.  Press your Windows key + M for minimize.  The fastest way.  The Windows key is between your Control and Alt keys on the lower left of your keyboard.

2.  Similarly, you can press Windows key + D (D for desktop).  This one is cool in that if you press the hotkey combo again, you’ll see all your windows maximized again.  Option 1 does not do this.

2.  If you insist in the mouse, you can do this – Right click on the toolbar on the bottom of your windows, you know, the one w/ the start button on the bottom left.  Select Toolbars > Quick Launch.  This will add some more icons to your toolbar.  Press the icon w/ the blue and white trapezoid to see your desktop.  You don’t have to do this whole thing every time. Next time, you can just press the icon, b/c it will always be there.

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With the proliferation of different software out there, one thing that becomes a problem for the average joe is that there are different file formats to deal with, and quite honestly, the average joe doesn’t understand the many formats out there too well. What in the world is the difference between jpeg and bitmap anyways, and how do I save one as the other or vice versa?

Also, now there are different audio and video formats. There is .mov which is used by quicktime (belongs to Apple) and then the more generic .mpg. And now you don’t know what software players you need for all of them, or just don’t want to deal with it.

You can do various file conversion for free at the following website!

www.zamzar.com

I’m not sure what the name means, but it sure is a nifty idea (esp. that it’s free).

You just upload your file that you want to convert (sorry, just one at a time), and then you select the type you want to convert it into. For example, you can convert a video file in .mov to .mpg or vice versa. A nifty feature is that you can download a google video (.gvi) playable only on their google video player to a regular .mpg type that you can play on any typical video players (such as your windows media player). Then it emails you a link to where you can download the converted file.

Anyways, try it out. I just converted a .pdf (adobe) to a generic word document (.doc) for free! It was 5mbs and over 700 pages, but now my .pdf file, I can edit in Microsoft Word! Took only about 10 mins total. Pretty amazing.

Give it a try.

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I’m surprised at how often I encounter people that don’t know how to select multiple files in their windows explorer folder without using their mouse awkwardly to try drag all the ones they want. But then again, I think about how you can’t really know this unless someone told you, b/c it’s not like it’s very intuitive or written clearly in a manual somewhere. As a matter of fact, if you click on the Windows XP Help section, and type in “select multiple files” you get zero results.

Anyways, here is how you do it to select just certain files.

1. First, go into ‘detail’ view by right-clicking anywhere in your folder, and then going to view > details (it’s the easiest way to view all your files if you have a lot)

2. Hold down the CONTROL key on your keyboard, and select the first file. Then while still holding down that button, select the second, third, etc. file. You have more than one selected.
controlselect.jpg
3. Now you can right-click again, and cut or copy the files to move/copy them to your desired destination.

Now here is how you select a range of files:

1. Assuming you’re still in detail view, hold down the SHIFT button, and then click the first file.

2. Then scroll down to the last file you want to select with the SHIFT button still down. Now you’ve selected everything in between as well. Simple. Again, you can cut/copy to whereever you want.
shiftselect.jpg

another tip:
Many windows applications work this way with CONTROL select and SHIFT select. Programs such as Picasa photo manager by Google uses the same select keys. It’s a fast way to select mutiple files.

Hope today’s tech tip for the average joe was helpful.

By the way, on a personal note, I’m feeling a bit lonely! I’m not sure if I’m talking to an empty room or if anyone is actually finding my tips helpful. Please leave a comment if you can – otherwise, I guess it’s better if I just stopped wasting my time.

“If a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear it, then does it make a sound?”

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Have you ever wished that you could just record what you’re doing on the screen to share with others as a video for tutorial purposes?

Well, you can with Camstudio. It’s yet another open-source software. I find myself using this here and there so that others can see how to do something with their computer. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, so a video must be worth exponentially as much!

One word of warning – this saves to AVI format, and it can run kind of big. Try the ‘convert to flash’ mode, as flash videos are compressed and takes signifcantly less memory.

About a 1 min, 15 second video translated to 25mbs as AVI, and 5.5mbs as a flash video. Please note that to view flash video files, you need Adobe’s flash plug-in.

They are both free. Note that Camstudio currently only has a Windows version (no Mac OS X). I haven’t been able to find an equivalent one for OS X, sorry Mac folks.

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I didn’t know too much about mind mapping until I read this book about photoreading. Photoreading – I won’t go into that today, because I’m not sure if it works. Anyways, then a friend told me about mindmapping software. Basically mind mapping is just creating bubbles that represent ideas and then linking them together with other ideas, so that you can visually see the relationships between them. It looks something like this:

Mind Mapping

I have tried it once myself for a presentation, and believe it or not, it really did help me. It’s more useful than an outline b/c it’s not linear.

The problem is that the mind mapping software is usually pretty expensive. Mind Manager comes to mind.

But there is a free, open-source one out there you might want to try, called FreeMind (available for windows, Mac and Linux). Give it a whirl for yourself. You might find yourself being a clearer thinking and presenter.

Check out FreeMind

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If you’re still using the Internet Explorer that came with your PC, you’re so outdated! 🙂

Actually, one of the things that annoys me most on the internet is the overabundance of ads that try to fill my brain. Is there a free solution for this? Yes! Use the Firefox browser, and a plugin that goes with it, called “adblock plus”

You can get them both free here:

1. Download Firefox

2. Download AdBlock Plus

If you’re completely new to firefox, don’t worry, functionally, it’s almost the same. Except with firefox, you can do a few more nifty things like have tabbed multiple browsers open, and also change the skin of the browser. If you use it for nothing else, just use it for AdBlock Plus. Then compare using IE versus Firefox on sites like cnn.com. You’ll notice some pictures missing at times, but no worries! You were just saved from yet another ad begging for your money and attention!

It’s not perfect (sometimes it misses some, but rarely), and it might make the webpage load a slight bit slower, but it’s all worth it for me.

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