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четвер, 24 лютого 2011 р.

Best Practices for Deploying Windows 7

I recently had the chance to sit down with John West from Microsoft Services to talk about his work with our business customers, and he mentioned some really helpful tips for ensuring success with Windows 7 Enterprise deployments. It’s my pleasure to bring these best practices to you, along with some of my favorite customer stories of successful Windows 7 deployments.

Microsoft Services is the services and support division of Microsoft and helps customers around the world get the most value out of their investments in Microsoft products and technologies. In his role as a technology consultant, John has created a deployment solution used to migrate more than 200,000 PCs from one technology to another, including Windows 7.

To learn more and to read the entire article at its source, please refer to the following page, Best Practices for Deploying Windows 7- Windows for your Business Blog

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Some Handy, If Obvious Tips On Being A Better PC Gamer

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Some Handy, If Obvious Tips On Being A Better PC Gamer
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By Luke Plunkett on February 16, 2011 at 8:30 PM

You’ll want to skip to around five minutes into this video, but once you do, you’ll get some tips on how to play games that sound incredibly patronising and basic… until you realise you never actually use them.

This is Sean “Day[9]” Plott, a star in the world of StarCraft II who last week devoted one of his vidcasts to something that seems so obvious you’ll wonder why you don’t think of it more often: how to play PC games. And not just StarCraft. Any PC game.

I don’t mean how to formulate strategies, or foster relationships with other people. I mean how to actually play a game. How you sit, how you hold a mouse, how you position your hands over a keyboard, etc.

In many other pastimes, whether they be sport, dance or even art, the fundamentals of technique are the first things you learn. Where to put your feet, how to hold a brush, etc. We’re never taught that with video games, so it’s almost funny seeing it spelled out here in detail like this.

Don’t think of it as Plott teaching you anything. Think of it as a reminder that just like you would if you were taking a long drive or playing a game of basketball, warming up and positioning is important to better gaming.

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5 Tips to Avoid Hackers and Computer Viruses

As we all know computer viruses are ubiquitous these days, and given the opportunity, hackers all over the world are waiting to break into your computer in an attempt to steal sensitive information. This post, which comes to us from Better Business Bureau in San Diego, is a great resource for anyone who wants to ensure their computer, and identity are safe when online.

Knowing how to use the Internet in the 21st century can only be equivocated to having a super power. You can do things that people 30 years ago thought only The Jetsons would be able to accomplish: send letters without needing postage, turn your car on from your phone, operate traffic lights and fire, police and ambulance notification systems. The world is your oyster. However, like any super power, if all of this control is placed in the wrong hands, personal and public safety is called into question.

I try to use the Internet with caution, and I struggle to understand why anyone would hack into your computer or spread a virus. But, just last week, I was the victim of a Viagrus (an email virus touting Viagra). True, this email spammer does no actual damage to my computer, but there is sustained damage to my dignity.

Within moments of opening the Viagrus, it was sent to all of the friends and family in my contacts list. My dad, brother and husband didn’t miss a beat: Was I trying to send them a not so subtle signal? No, dad, I’m not angling for another sibling. No, it’s not a hint. The jokes flooded in, and, in a few days, I was rid of the Viagrus and a little wiser, too.

Even though, my situation could be resolved by a few uncomfortable jokes between father and daughter, brother and sister, it got me thinking: With so many hackers and viruses floating around the Internet, the need for understanding what viruses are and how they affect your virtual world is more important today than ever. Unfortunately, computer safety is rarely taken as seriously as it should. So listen up. Keeping your information safe is easy, just follow these steps.

Hacking

To understand what hacking is, think of it as virtual breaking and entering. A masked villain is infiltrating your computer to steal what is rightfully yours: your virtual property. Once hackers break in, they can alter important information, delete key files, and even crash an entire network of computers.

Most often, computer hackers break into large consumer websites. The goal: to steal bank account and credit card information. Consider these tips for your Internet security:

* Use a firewall. Even though hackers usually affect large company websites, that does not mean that home networks are completely safe. With a firewall in place, you can control your security, and filter what information from the internet is safe and what is not.
* Use caution when giving out personal information on the internet. We hear it all the time, but do we really listen? Use software to keep information safe, and only give out your information if you trust the company. Check the BBB Business Review before buying from a company of which you have no direct knowledge.
* Ignore your preconceived notions. Kids hack too. It’s hard to imagine a teenager that has the power and knowledge to bring a network of computers to their knees, but it’s been done. According to Martha Stansell-Gamm, Head of the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, an 18 year old “instructed 7,000 computers to attack Microsoft networks.” Teach your children safe computer practices, just as you would teach them that robbing a bank or driving drunk is wrong. Just because it’s virtual doesn’t mean the consequences are virtual too.

Viruses

Viruses are similar to hacking in that they exist to impair or destroy the infrastructure of your computer. However, much as its name would signify, a virus is like a common cold. It is easily passed from computer to computer through the Internet with nothing more that the click of a button or the opening of an email. Once it reaches as far as it can, the virus takes over the hosting computer.

Unfortunately, for its victims, viruses infect your computer often before you even know what you did wrong.

* Don’t open emails that are suspicious. It’s relatively common knowledge that you shouldn’t open an email that touts “FREE FREE FREE” or “VIAGRA CHEAP” in the subject line, but the landscape of email viruses has changed in the last few years. Now, viruses can appear as if they are coming from someone in your contacts. Make sure to monitor subject lines, even if you know the sender, and if you are the victim of an email virus, immediately warn your contacts because they are the next target. After that, change your password often over the next few weeks.
* Back up your information. Viruses can affect just your email, but, too often, they spread throughout your entire computer. While buying a new computer can be painful, losing pictures, documents and music can hurt even more. Once a month, once a week, even once a day, take the time to back up information that you can’t live without.

In summation, use your powers for good, but remember that the Internet houses many-a-Lex Luthor just waiting in the shadows for the opportunity to wreak havoc on your virtual life.

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10 tips to work faster in Windows

When Microsoft first launched Windows, it was a revelation.

Not only did it bring together the disparate parts of the operating system (OS) in a way that made it navigable, but it added basic tools for communication and productivity. Over the years, Windows has been refined and extended – not always for the better – while PC
users have found themselves using third-party programs and tools to supplement those found in Windows itself.

The result is that we now have multiple ways of achieving different tasks – and far too many means of communicating or being contacted. It’s therefore more important than ever to have Windows set up the way that works best for our particular needs and to be able to
easily access the tools we need, when we need them.

With an ever-growing number of distractions that are fighting for your attention throughout the day, it’s important to be as productive as possible. With that in mind, we’ve dug up the best Windows tricks and talked to several productivity experts to find 51 tips sure to help you get more work done with your PC in less time.

Although these tips apply primarily to Windows 7, most also work in Vista and many apply to XP as well.


Minimise all windows
When your desktop becomes so cluttered that you can’t find anything, a good way to re­­gain focus is to minimise all the windows except the one you’re working on. Grab the title bar of the window you want to use and shake your mouse a little. All other windows will vanish into the Taskbar. Shake again to restore the windows. Ctrl, Home also works.

Use folders in your email client
Letting email accumulate in your inbox makes it difficult to quickly find important messages. It also increases the odds that you’ll overlook a message that re­­quires urgent attention. Right-click to delete the junk and file non-actionable messages into clearly defined folders.

Be judicious with email folders
An email folder shouldn’t be so narrow of purpose that it’s never used, but neither should it be so broad that it becomes overstuffed with messages – unless you use it for archiving. Use a descriptive name and keep it short enough that it doesn’t require scrolling within the Mail Folders pane. Folders can usually be nested, too.

Use rules to route messages
When your personal involvement isn’t necessary, email rules can save time. For example, do newsletters from the same company arrive 10 times a day? Put them into a folder for ‘later review’. In Outlook, select Tools, Rules and Alerts. Other clients have a similar option.

Remap the Windows key
If you never use the Windows key or would rather swap its keyboard position with another button, download a keyboard remapper. Many cheap or free applications for this purpose are available, but Keyboard Remapper (tinyurl.com/38w8jk3) works well. Remap to your heart’s content, but keep in mind that, since it bypasses Windows, there’s no way to change or disable a laptop’s Fn key. You can also use the utility to check your computer’s Bios for any potential tweakability.

Choose your own search engine
Your computer maker probably preset Internet Explorer’s default search en­­gine
to whichever company paid it. Otherwise, it’ll be set to Microsoft’s liking: Bing. Either way, it may not be the best choice.

Change the search default engine by clicking the drop-down arrow in the top-right corner of the Internet Explorer window (within the search box), and click Find More Providers. You won’t find Google without a hunt, so type Google into the ‘Find add-ons...’ search box and select the first result, Google Search Suggestions. Click ‘Add to Internet Explorer’ and, at the pop-up, click ‘Make this my default search provider’.

Improve Windows Search
If Windows Search isn’t finding everything that you know you’ve saved, check the Windows Indexing Options and the locations included in the search index. Type indexing options into the Start Menu search bar, then click Modify and navigate through the C drive to add more locations to index.

Rename files fast
If you need to rename several files in Windows Explorer, save time by selecting the first file in your list, pressing F2, and typing in the new name. When finished, press Tab instead of Enter. Explorer will jump you to the next file in the list and automatically select the entire file name so you can rename it without having to press the Backspace key. Continue pressing Tab, and you’ll zip through the list one file at a time.

Drag-and-drop items in Outlook
Outlook lets you drag any item to any other area of the program, where it will create a new item that includes the dragged information. Drag an email to the Contacts button to create a new contact for the sender, for example, with Outlook automatically populating the Name and Email fields, and putting the body of the message in the Notes field. Alternatively, drag a contact to the Calendar to create a Meeting Invitation for that person.

Don’t keep checking your email
Frequent checking breaks your concentration and interrupts what you’re doing, wasting time as you return your focus to the task at hand. Reduce how often your email client checks for new messages to something less distracting: every 10 minutes should give you time enough to focus without keeping people waiting too long for a response. In Outlook, click Ctrl, Alt, S and change the setting for ‘Schedule an automatic send/receive every X minutes’ (where X is the number of minutes).

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