|This month we look at:
Using the Snipping Tool
Windows 7 has a great utility for copying the screen called 'snipping tool'. I've used similar ones for years to illustrate help-guides, so it's great to see one built into Windows. In fact I have it pinned to my start menu.
When you start the snipping tool, you can choose to copy the whole screen, a window, a rectangular area or one that you outline (I've not seen this in other tools).
Open it by using the search bar at the bottom of the start menu, choose what sort of snip you want from the new button, then go and snip it with the mouse.
Full-screen snip copies your main monitor immediately
Window snip lets you choose. The target window is outlined in red and then you left-click
Rectangular snip enables you to click-drag the mouse to select a rectangle and copies when you let go
Free-form snip is similar but you just move the mouse to select any area you want.
Really useful but there is one small hint: in 'options' tick 'always copy snips to the clipboard' so you can paste into your application straight away.
Keeping your browsing secure
Using the internet is much quicker than it used to be, with broadband and stuff. But internet browsers still have functions to speed up those old dial-up modem systems. However, they can slow down your experience.
Computers have a cache, where they store the web pages you visit. The idea is that if you need the same page again, it is delivered from the cache rather than the internet. However, the bigger this gets, the longer things take. And you may not get the latest page.
More worrying is that you keep a trail of what you have looked at, which can be useful for you but can also be seen by websites. They use it to target advertising and also web search results.
Worse, anyone else who uses the computer can see what you have done. So if you borrow a friends or use a public computer they can find out where you have visited: which bank you use, online accounting package and all sorts. Maybe even get the passwords.
So for a number of reasons, it is good to clear your trail. In Internet Explorer go to settings (might be the gearwheel icon) and look under the browsing history heading. Firefox is options – privacy. Chrome uses options (the spanner) – under the bonnet.
Whilst these are quite good, dedicated cleaners are more effective. Try the free ccleaner. Or if you are using other computers, bring your own browser with you. Look at http://portableapps.com/apps/internet for browsers that run from a USB memory stick and put nothing on the host computer at all. Even better, you have your favourite sites with you.
Wireless security is a topic that we have covered before. But things move on and it's time for a review.
So why do we need security? Firstly to stop someone getting a free ride on your broadband, but most importantly to stop them getting into your network and computers.
What sort of security can I have? WEP, WPA and WPS. WEP is the earliest and just about discounted now as it is so easy to break. WPA offers stronger security and has been enhanced into WPA2. Use this.
WPS isn't actually security but a way to make strong security easier for users. It stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup and is offered by many recent routers. The simplest method is to have the security code printed on the router, so it isn't much different to normal wi-fi security.
Windows vista and windows 7 have a method where the security can be passed from an existing computer to a new one.
The most recent is PBC or push-button configuration. On this, one presses a button on the router and a real or virtual one on the device that we wish to attach, which then sorts everything out. Pity it isn't all that widespread.
In brief, use WPA security and if you have to set up your own password, make it a strong one (By I mean long, using letters, numbers and punctuation).
You may have been hearing about a new operating system called Chrome. An operating system is the basis of a computer system, like Windows, Linux or OS X.
So what about Chrome? It's from Google, so the internet is involved. In fact Chrome uses the internet to provide all the functionality to Chrome-based computers. The benefits are that you always have the latest versions of the programs. You can also access your data from anywhere. Yet, without an internet connection, you can do nothing.
Some of you may remember 'thin-clients': cheap low-power computers in offices that relied on servers to provide all their capability. They have gone by the wayside. Maybe Chrome is the reincarnation. The only problem is that Chrome-based computers have very little capability on their own, yet cost a lot more than traditional netbooks and similar.
So my view is to wait and see.
People that I'm working with
I've been working with David Hurst who organises Fly to the Past
It's next at Oxford Airport on 21 August. Sounds like fun with stuff to do on the ground and a great flying display.
I've also signed up to Kashflow after trialling it for a few months. It's one of the few accounting packages that I want to use as it makes sense to me. Integrates with Capsule CRM, does invoices and gives me a great snapshot of the business.
Franchise partner opportunities
We've released the next five territories for franchise partners to join the fleet using our proven business model to build a successful business.
The flying doctor is looking for enthusiastic individuals who enjoy working with computers. You can help them run their own business and turn their passion into profit!
Think of the people you know who would like this opportunity then get them to:
call the flying doctor on 01865 748197
visit the website
to start on their success.