This page provides real solutions to real problems that you might come across while surfing the Internet. Please note that I have no dealings at all with the marketing of any of the products mentioned below (other than as an end-user).
Computer and Internet Tips (1)
(November 7, 2016) If you should have trouble opening a video file or even a movie the best thing you can do is to install VideoLAN (VLC Media Player). Even if other media players like Windows Media Player or Real Player cannot play the file I bet VLC will not let you down. Once you have installed VLC (you can download it from here), launch it and go to the folder where your media file is. In practically every case it will be able to open it.
If you have a very big video clip that you want to send to a friend, no email account will allow you to do it. The solution is to send it through this website: http://www.filemail.com/ Actually you send it to them and then your friend will go there to download it. As a matter of fact it also allows you to send a whole folder (which might contain thousands of photos or simply hundreds of miscellaneous files put together so you can send them at one go) since it allows up to 30Gb under the free version. Your recipient will be informed by email and has 7 days to download whatever it is that you sent.
It can be very frustrating indeed if at times your internet browser does not display the updated page because of some files that remain in the cache. By itself the cache is meant to save loading time since the same files will not have to be downloaded every time but in certain cases you are stuck with old files which prevent you from seeing the updated page.
In such a case you have no choice but to clear the cache in your PC. Be warned though that you might have to retype that long password all over again once the cache has been cleared. To clear the cache you normally go to Tools or Settings and from there look for the History or Cache tab (in Firefox the Cache tab is under the History tab).
If you find that the website you want to open is blocked (this happens often when you are surfing from the university or public library) there is a simple solution. Open this site (called theProxyindex - it's free) and just copy/paste or type in the url of the site that you want to unblock in the box provided. You will then be able to access the blocked site and surf anonymously.
Do you know that from June 1, 2015 there is just one place to go to if you want to check on your privacy settings for every Google-owned account (such as Gmail, YouTube, Google+). Once you are logged into anyone of those accounts you will be able to see the settings that affect all the other Google-owned accounts as well. This is the url of the page to go to:
https://myaccount.google.com (You can click on it here to go to the page).
It is also from here that you can tell Google NOT to keep track of your surfing in order to display ads that reflect your surfing history. Do you know, for instance, that if you should google for "underwear" within a few minutes you will be seeing underwear ads all over the place when you continue surfing? So to avoid such monitoring by Google, look for "Personal info & privacy" in the page then - Ads Settings - Manage ad settings - Settings for Google ads and finally click on "Opt out" in both "Ads on Google" as well as "Google ads across the web". You might still see ads but these will not reflect on your surfing history.
To disable the sound when new messages arrive in Windows Live Mail (if you receive too many spam mail or if you're in the office) choose "Options" from the WLM menu and under the "General" tab, uncheck the box that says "Play sound when new messages arrive" (the default has the sound on). It is also from here that you can tell WLM how often you want it to check your mail (mine has it on for every 3 minutes) as you can see from the screenshot below.
Mysterious things sometimes happen under Windows. For some inexplicable reason my Windows Live Mail shortcut icon suddenly disappears from the Task Bar. When this happens (if you are under Windows 8.1) go to All Programs and under the letter W look for Windows Live Mail. Or from "Start" go to Search and type "windows live" in the search box. In either case, once you see "Windows Live Mail" rightclick on it and choose "Send to desktop".
After the previous tip on how to make a shortcut on your desktop to shut down your computer (better don't use a keyboard shortcut for this as it
is an action that could be disastrous!) here are two more tips. First for putting your PC temporarily in sleep mode because you want to have a black screen. In such a case look for the crescent-moon button on your keyboard (mine is next to the NumberPad) and just press it. The crescent moon means bedtime (yes even for your PC!) It will come back to life without a password when you press the Enter key.
But when you want to lock your PC (as when you are reading your personal email in the office and the boss suddenly makes an appearance or when you leave your room temporarily for coffee) what you want is really to lock your PC so the shortcut is logically to press the Windows logo in the keyboard followed by the letter L (for Lock). In such a case you will need to retype your password in order to have access to your PC again.
Fastest way to shut down your computer.
As you know the traditional way of shutting down the computer is quite laborious. There is an easier way. First copy the text below as you will need to paste it later:
%windir%\System32\shutdown.exe /s /t 0 Don't try to type it as you could easily make a mistake. Now from the desktop (you can get here by pressing the Windows logo and D), right-click on any empty space, go to "New" and choose "Shortcut". In the box that opens paste the text that you copied earlier. Click on Next. Give a name to this shortcut eg. Quick shutdown. Then OK. You should be able to see this shortcut on your desktop.
Whole books have been written about Windows 8.1 but I wonder how many people have the time (and the patience!) to read through them. The most useful tip there is for Windows 8.1 (if you have still not been using it) is to press the Windows logo on the keyboard then the X key. It will open up almost every function that you need to make your PC work the way you want it to. And in case you want to have your new PC open up with that old familiar Windows 7 desktop look instead of the new Windows 8.1 Start screen, this is how to go about it:
Go to the Desktop (by pressing Windows logo + D), then right-click on any empty space in the taskbar on the bottom line and choose "Properties". On the page that opens click on the "Navigation" tab. Under the "Start screen" check the box that says "When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start." Click OK and that's all there is to it. The next time you turn on your PC it will be the old familiar Desktop that opens instead of the tiled Start screen which is more meant for smartphones than for PCs. Hey Microsoft, you just can't please everyone, can you?
Are you sick and tired of seeing certain programs (eg. Real Player, Skype etc.) that you do not need, start automatically each and every time you start your computer? To make sure you don't see them in future just click on the Windows logo for Start then click on Run. Then type msconfig in the box that opens and OK. The Systems configuration (settings) page will appear. Click on the Startup tag. You will see the names of the unwanted programs ticked. Just untick them, click OK and restart your computer. The unwanted programs should not be there anymore.
As you know IE (Internet Explorer) and FF (Firefox) are not indispensable for internet. There are other standard browsers like Chrome and Safari with Opera making some little headway. But if you are using a small netbook you might want to use a really "lightweight" browser such as Maxthon. As a matter of fact it is advisable to have at least two browsers on your computer so that if a video clip or song doesn't open, you can always try your luck with the other browser. I have 5 different browsers installed on my computer (I use them for testing purposes, as web pages might appear differently from one browser to another). And if you want to surf anonymously all the time you can install and use the Tor browser (it might be a bit slower though). To try the Tor browser download it from here.
Do you find yourself having to send a dozen photos or even some 50 (god forbid!) photos by email? The best way to do this, if you are using Windows, is to put them all in a folder (which you can create for this purpose), then right-click on the name of the folder, then "Send To", then "Compressed (zipped) Folder". This will result in the folder (which will then have the .zip extension) being considered as a single file, thus facilitating your task of sending. You can also just select all the photos one by one by keeping the Control button pressed, then right-click on one of them and continue from the "Send To" step mentioned above.
Are you frustrated at times to see funny characters appearing in the web page? It has got to do with the character encoding used by the webmaster. To see the foreign characters or accented characters displayed correctly go to View - Character Encoding and see what your present encoding is. Just click on some other encoding (you can always return to your earlier setting), such as Western (ISO-8859-1) or Unicode (UTF-8), these being the most common ones used. There are also Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Central European encodings that you can select from.
Are you tired of having to go to the Start button every time you want to shut down your computer? Why not create a shortcut on your desktop for this? It's quite simple and works with almost all versions of Windows. You start by right-clicking on an empty space anywhere on the desktop area. Choose New, then Shortcut and in the empty box that opens type shutdown.exe -s -t 0 exactly as shown (with the spaces and hyphens and ending with a zero). Click on Next and you should see the new shortcut. You can rename it to whatever you like (eg. Quick Shutdown) if you right-click on it. If you want to give it a meaningful button like this one you can download it for free from here. After having downloaded it, right-click on the new shortcut button, choose Properties then Change icon and go to the folder that contains the .ico file.
Take note of the following two sites if you happen to have a very long url and you wish to shorten it:
(1) http://is.gd/ (2) http://tinyurl.com/ Let's say you type pgoh13 (or whatever) in your Google Search box. It will open up the results page with the following url:
Quite a mouthful indeed. Just how are you going to note that down (you don't really need to, I agree, but this just serves as an example). Well if you put that string of characters in the first site you get:
http://is.gd/lezoqu (if you opt for "lower case pronounceable")
and in the second you get:
Both are much shorter but they take you to the same page. Try it out!
If you always check your email first thing in the morning, you might find this service useful to remind yourself of some important appointment in the near or distant future. It works like this: You send an email to followupthen.com PRECEDED by the time and date when you wish to be reminded plus the @ sign eg. if your appointment with a specialist is on 11 May, you could ask them to send you an email on 10 May (the day before the appointment) entering the details (doctor's name, where and at what time) inside your own email. The address on the email will then be: 06amMay10@followupthen.com You don't have to register for this service. But before you start using it they'll need you to send them an email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org in order to verify your email address. Once your email address has been confirmed, try sending another email with a date this time. If you have done it correctly, you will immediately receive a confirmation email saying "We've got you covered" before they send you the intended email on the day itself.
As you might know, the five most popular browsers used today are: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera. But you might not know that there is no harm in installing all 5 of them and see how your favourite website appears in each of them. And if you should prefer one of them above the others, you could make that browser your default browser (which means it will be the one that opens up all your search results as well as other links). Go here to install them all one after the other.
During your internet session you might have to wait a very long time for a particular site to open. You don't mind waiting as it is an important site to you. But should you keep on waiting forever? After all the webhosting server of the website might be down and no amount of waiting will do you any good. On the other hand the problem could be with your computer or with the ISP that you subscribe to and you could be able to access it from another computer. But how would you know? There is one way to find out. Copy the url and then paste it on the box in CheckSite.us It will let you know immediately if the site is down for everybody or just for you (in which case you might as well give up waiting for it to open). But if the site is really down for everybody you can give them your email and it will inform you once the site is up and running again (it does this by checking the website on your behalf every 15 minutes for up to 3 days). Another such site is at http://downorblocked.net/ Just type pgoh13.com in the search box.
I received a Powerpoint presentation in my email today but for some unknown reason, my PowerPoint Viewer just refused to open it. I then clicked on my other .pps files which used to open before but they too did not open. There was no error message - nothing happened, that's all. In such a case what I usually do is to uninstall the program completely, then do a fresh installation of the same program. So I went to the Start button, then Control Panel, then Programs and finally Programs and Features. I picked the program concerned (in this case it's the Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer) then clicked on Uninstall. After that I downloaded and then re-installed the same program (PowerPoint Viewer) from here. That solved my problem. All my Powerpoint presentations open again without a hitch!
I wonder if, like me, you have, on occasion, received the same junk email every day (and sometimes a few times in the same day) until you know them all by heart. If you have, then you might be interested to make use of this email refusal service. Just as under snail mail of yonder years you would write "Return to Sender" on the envelope and put it back into the mailbox, here you just forward the unwanted and unsolicited email to this email address:
email@example.com and they will do it for you. So each time you receive one such mail, don't tear your hair out! Just click on the "Forward" button and type (or Copy-Paste from here) firstname.lastname@example.org on the address line. You will be informed each time the junk mail has been returned. Oh, by the way, you can also use this service to send back all those unwanted emails from an ex-bf or ex-gf who keeps on harassing you or imposing you with their attention! Their official website is at this address: http://www.return2-sender.com/ The spammer will receive the forwarded email with the heading "Your email to (your email address) has been refused delivery" and the text:
We're sorry, but the recipient of your email has refused delivery of your
message. If you are curious as to why you are receiving this message, please
visit http://www.returntosender.co/mail or contact us at email@example.com
Rejected By: (your email address)
Original Message was as follows: (the content of the spam email)
You will find the IP address of the computer you are using at the moment by clicking here. Or if you prefer, just type IP or ip (yes, small letters will do) in Google and the IP of the computer you are using will be displayed. It is important to know the IP address in a number of cases. You might need it when you play online games. You will also be able to know if your Gmail account has been compromised through malware, for example, if other IP addresses apart from yours appear in the "Last account activity" section (click on "Details") at the bottom right-corner of your email page. In such a case you should change your password immediately. However, if you should consult your email from a computer in a public library, your office or a cybercafe it is only normal that its IP address, and not yours, will appear (in which case you should note its IP address, so you will not be worried unnecessarily). How would you know its IP address? By typing IP in Google, for example. Note it down for your own future reference as it will be different depending on whether you are using your own internet service provider at home or the PC belonging to the local library, your office or a cybercafe! And you should also be aware that other people will be able to locate you through the same IP address (not from here though) if you should download some music illegally or when you enter an "anonymous" commentary in a blog or when you edit an article in Wikipedia. They can easily find out what your IP address is and therefore know where you are writing from and the name of your ISP! In fact the IP address is in some way your internet Identity Card.
How to delete all entries in "My Contacts" list in Gmail. You can never be sure that your email will not be hijacked one day* (just happened to a friend of mine). When this happens, all the people in your Contacts List will be sent spam mail under your name, some of which can be very embarrassing to you. To prevent this from happening you have to clear your Contacts List from time to time. Of course it will mean that you will have to retype the email address again each time (i.e. when you can't click on the Reply button) but I overcome this by copying my friends' email addresses in a separate file then Copy-Paste each time I need to send a mail . It is not very easy to delete all entries in "My Contacts" list in Gmail (probably because it tries to discourage users from doing so). First click on the "Contacts" button in the left hand column. The "Delete" button is hidden under "More" but will not appear unless you have selected certain contacts (or all of them with the downward button). Once you have done this, go to "More" and you will now be able to see the "Delete" button.
How often have you come across an interesting page in internet and told yourself "I must keep this page to read later?" Well, this site, appropriately called Read It Later at readitlater.com does just that! It can also allow you to read all those saved pages offline on your laptop/smartphone later, as when you are flying or travelling by train i.e. in places where there is no internet connection. Thus whenever you come across a particular recipe, a news article or the model of the mobile phone or laptop that interests you, you need only to click on its icon on the top menu bar. You know it has been saved when the icon changes to a red tick . And when you want to refer to them later just click on this other icon. Note: To enable reading later offline go to Options (the cog icon) - Offline and then tick the box that says "Automatically make all saved pages available offline". By the way it can also sync your list to all of your other computers/devices. There is a similar website here.
If you wish to listen to a YouTube song over and over again without having to click on the Replay button each time, this is what you have to do. Just copy the URL of the song (the line starting with http://www.youtube.com/....) and then paste it in the box on this page, which is the site called TubeReplay at this url: http://www.tubereplay.com/
I am sure you must have seen the green Microsoft sticker at the back of your laptop or netbook. It is a very important sticker because it mentions your Product Key number. If you reinstall your Windows OS (or even if you take it to the shop to have Windows re-installed for you) you will need to produce this number. And yet if no attention is given to this the number will eventually be effaced through constant putting in and out of your computer bag. One way to prevent this from occurring is to use a transparent scotch tape and cover it entirely to protect it. In this way the Product Key number will always be visible despite the rough treatment it gets over time.
If you happen to stumble upon a website whose print is so tiny that you have difficulty reading it, all you have to do to make the print bigger is to press down your Ctrl key then press the + (plus) key. Each time you press the + key the print becomes bigger. The opposite is true i.e. to reduce the print press down the Ctrl key then press the - (minus) key. Try it out!
Ever wonder how total strangers can find your email address? It is really very simple. All the spammers have to do is to download an "email extractor" (just type this in the Google searchbox and you'll find lots of them for free) which will then "crawl" the Internet to extract email addresses from web pages. So if your email address should appear anywhere in Internet (eg. in a forum or blog or a social network) it could easily be picked up together with many others. So NEVER let your email address appear anywhere in Internet (or if you must, replace the @ sign with "at sign" or "at symbol" in your email address since @ is an indication of an email address to robots.
This little program called "Directory List & Print" is going to be very useful to those who have many, many folders in their computer and need to see what files are contained in each folder. Instead of opening and closing each folder in turn to see what files are kept there they can do this very easily indeed from a single table. Go to this page to learn more about it and to download its .exe file.
Now this is quite a useful service indeed. It is not only free but also hassle-free! In its home page it asks "Have you ever wanted to convert files without the need to download software ?" And it does just that. Whether you need to convert a .pdf file to a Word document in order to make changes or a .wav file into .mp3 so you can have it in your mp3 player Zamzar does it for you. Just send it the file you want converted and within minutes it will send the new, converted file to you via your email. Go here if you want to convert any of your files.
If you are inviting a number of friends to your house for dinner it might be a good idea to provide them with a street map of your address by email. This is how you do it. From the Google Searchbox click on "Maps" (menu bar at the top). Then click on "My Maps" and "Get started" (unless you see "Create new map"). You need to sign into your gmail account (create one now if you don't have one yet). Give a name to the title of your map eg. "How to come to my place". Fill in the description eg. "You have to type the entrance code number which is 1234". Choose to make your map public or unlisted ("unlisted" unless it's a business address!) Then click on "Done". After that type your house address on the Google Maps searchbox. You should see your house address displayed on the map. Now click on "Send" (if you don't see it it's hidden, so click on "More"). As a final step you enter your friends' email addresses (put a comma after each email address) and "Send". That's all there is to it. Appears complicating but is really very simple once you get the hang of it.
Do you want to copy a song from a YouTube video clip so you can play it over and over again in your mp3 player? It's really very simple.
Go here to learn how. (You will also learn how to copy a video clip that you like from YouTube into your hard disk.)
It's funny how all of a sudden something doesn't work anymore as it should or just doesn't work at all. For instance when I opened my gmail account with Internet Explorer today I could see my incoming mail but the "Inbox, Sent Mail, Outbox, Drafts, Spam" folders on the left side were not there anymore. I only found the "Contacts" and "Tasks" folders which are of no use to me if I want to go to the "Sent Mail" folder, for instance. Yet when I opened my gmail under Firefox all the usual folders were there. So the problem here lies with IE, not with gmail. By going to IE's Tool then clicking on "Delete all navigation history" and reloading it, everything was back to normal again. Try this each time something goes awry unexpectedly in your browser.
Do you know that it is possible to read recent emails in your Gmail account offline without using any of the email clients such as Outlook, Eudora or Netscape Mail? This is possible through a program called Gears which is able to download a local cache of your mail. So when you are faced with network issues or when you are high up in the clouds or in a train and no connection with the Google server is possible, you can still reply to all your mail and these will be sent the moment Gmail detects a connection. Follow these steps: From inside your Gmail account click on "Settings" then "Offline" then "Enable Offline Mail".
I have a USB flash drive with USB 2.0 support and a storage capacity of 64GB that for some inexplicable reason suddenly was not recognised anymore neither by my desktop computer nor by my laptop or notebook. I even tried using it in a cybercafe's USB drive and it didn't show any sign of life either. Not only that. I was not even able to reformat it. Then I read an article that the solution could be to change the USB drive letter. To do this right click on My Computer - Manage - Stockage - Disk Management, then right click on the letter of the drive used by the USB, choose Modify the drive letter and give it any other letter, then click on OK. How great was my delight when I found that I was now able to reformat my USB flash drive and make full use of it again!
If you go often to look at the details of files you have in your folders, it is very frustrating at times to see that the details in them have been changed eg. if that folder has gone through a photo editor the details you get now are more relevant to photo files eg. "Date of photo, key words, notation, etc." will appear instead of the "Name, Size, Date of Modification, etc." that you had seen previously. In order to put the details back to what they were before go to "Display - Choose the details" and tick in the details that you would want to appear from there.
If you have a Gmail account you will be happy to hear that there is a possibility to have a backup of all your emails there in a folder on the hard disk of your computer in order to be able to read them even when you are offline or when the gmail server is down. The program that makes this possible is called the Gmail Backup program and you can download it free from here. After downloading it install it where you want to and let it retrieve the totality of your emails from the very beginning (to do this make sure you untick the box that says "Newest emails only" and enter the date of the very first email). When all your emails have been downloaded you should put a tick on "Newest emails only" so you don't have to start all over again the next time. Note:The backups are not automatic. You have to do it every now and then.
You have surely read about Trojan horses that could be a real threat to your computer. To see if there is any Trojan horse in your PC go to PC Flank and click on "Quick Test". This free, no-hassle online test takes only 5 minutes. While there you might as well do the "Stealth Test" too. This test will determine if your computer is visible to the others on the Internet (you don't want to leave your door wide open to strangers, do you?). To make the test even more complete I also use the free RootkitBuster (download it here) from Trend Micro which will reveal any hidden files in the MBR (Master Boot Record) or registry entries. I think the above tests are indispensable each time you finish making use of your online banking services as the real danger lies here.
If your computer takes an eternity to start, it could be due to a large number of programs that are loaded each time it starts. Many of them are not necessary (such as Real Player, Adobe Reader or Google Update, for instance) and only add to your waiting time. To remedy this, go to Start then click on Run and type the word msconfig in the box. When a page opens look for the Startup tab (it's the fourth from the left). Click on it and untick all the programs that you don't need at the startup.
Without warning your mouse suddenly goes dead. Don't worry, you can still do some basic operations with your keyboard. Like saving the file you are working on, for instance, so you won't lose all your work. To do this press the Ctrl and S (for Save) buttons. If it is an old file it will be saved under the same name otherwise you will be asked to type the file name. Sometimes you have to use the Alt button instead of the Ctrl button. This is when you see a number of instruction words, each word having a particular letter in it underlined. Press the Alt button and the underlined letter of the instruction you want. If you are using a Windows keyboard there will be a button with the Windows logo on it. By pressing this button you will have access to the various options in the Start button. You can go from one option to the next by using the Up and Down arrow keys on the right side of the keyboard. You will be able to shut down your PC neatly from here. In all cases you can cancel an operation by pressing the Esc key in the top left corner. Have this printed or note it down somewhere so the next time your mouse goes berserk you will know that all is not lost!
With certain files, such as those having the .avi extension for instance, you can choose what program you want to open it with (RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, QuickTime, VLC, Winamp, etc). This is what you do to associate a particular file extension with a specific program:
(under Vista) Click the Vista logo - choose "Default Programs", then "Associate a file type or protocol with a program". Highlight the file extension name you want, then click on "Change program" and choose the program you want to open the file with.
(under XP) Click "My Computer", click on C: then go to Tools, "Folder Options" and "Type of Files". A whole list of file extensions will be displayed on the page. Highlight the extension that you want, click Modify and select the program that you want it to open with. See that the box which says "Always use the program to open this type of file" is ticked before validating it.
Sometimes you come across a message telling you that you are not authorized to make certain changes to your computer - and yet you are the only one using it. A message tells you to check with your system administrator. In such a case you are likely to be able to get the necessary authorizations (for yourself!) by rightclicking on your C: or D: drive, choose Properties and click on the Security tab. Highlight System, Administrator or Users in turn, then click on Modify and put a tick on Total Control under the Authorizations column. If you still have the same problem with a particular program, rightclick on the program's name and repeat the above steps.
It was possible to locate any site visited in Internet Explorer 6 by clicking on the "History" tab in the top menu bar. However, in Internet Explorer 7 the History pane is not visible anymore so don't try to look for it. If you want to see a list of all the websites you've recently visited you will now have to click on the yellow star on the left of the top menu bar and select "History" on the pop-up that follows. You will also get the same result by pressing the Ctrl and H (for History) buttons. If you want to delete that list from your computer then go to Tools - Internet Options and under the "Navigation History" tab click Delete and what to delete.
To delete the history of the sites you have visited automatically each time you close your browser (in order not to leave any trace) this is what you have to do:
For Firefox: Go to Tools - Options - highlight the "Privacy" tab then check the box that says "Always clear private data when I close Firefox".
For IE: Go to Tools - Internet Options - Advanced tab then under the "Security" section (it's near the bottom) check the part that says "Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed".
More and more people are using the free OpenOffice in the place of Word. To make sure that your file can be read by someone using Word you have to save it with the .doc extension. The default setting in the OpenOffice Text Document, however, gives your file an .odt extension. To change this setting go to Tools - Options - Load/Save - General - "Default file format" and under "Always save as" choose "Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP" and click on OK. The file will now have the .doc extension and can be open by both OpenOffice and Word.
It is also possible to use the OpenOffice spelling checker if you should use two or more languages in the same article. This is how you go about it. First you have to activate the AutoSpellCheck option by clicking on its logo at the top menu bar (look for ABC with a wavy line). Then you highlight the section that uses the first language you want to check before going to Tools - Language - For Selection and choose your first language from there. Go through the same process for the second and subsequent languages.
Locating a song with Google. You hear a song that catches your attention and you'd like to know the title of the song as well as the name of the singer so you can buy or download it. It's very easy to do this in internet. To relate a personal experience: Upon waking up one morning I turned on the TV and happened to hear a very bouncy tune that I've never heard of before. It was nearing its end and being half-awake and hard of hearing to boot I only heard the words I saw.... followed by A woman in a..... I wanted to find out the song title or the name of the singer in order to be able to download it. So I went to the Google search box and typed the following: lyrics "i saw" "a woman in a" The word "lyrics" tells the search engine that you are looking for a song. It is important to put i saw and a woman in a within inverted commas because this will force the search engine to give you those words exactly in the same order (otherwise they would be of no use to you).
Go here to see (and hear) the results of my findings. (The song will auto-play.)
Sometimes you might want to know who the owner of a certain site is and where the site is located or even the email of the site-owner to write to if it is not mentioned in the site (as is the case with my website now). You can do this by going to any of the WHOIS sites. One such site is at http://whois.domaintools.com/ When you type the domain name of the site in the box provided, that is, without the http://www. part, you will be able to get some useful information about the site - such as, the name of the owner, his registered address, his email address and even his telephone number. Such information is indispensable when you are going to order something online from a little-heard-of site and to combat fraud or other internet abuse (racism, paedophilia, etc.) To give you an idea of what you will get, go to the above-mentioned site and type bbc.com i.e. the domain name of the BBC, in the search box at the top of the page.
Are you having problems with your Internet Explorer or even Firefox? Then it's time to try another browser. It's called Maxthon. Sometimes when one browser does not display a webpage correctly or a video clip does not load, another browser might not have the same problem. In my own experience, once my IE just displayed a big white rectangle where usually the YouTube screen is. When I copied the URL and pasted it in Maxthon the video clip played without any problem. It just goes to show that when a webpage doesn't load, the problem is not always with the site but could be with the browser (unless there is a problem with your internet connection - but that's another story!)
Quite often you cannot access a page because a message says that your browser does not allow cookies. Don't be afraid to accept them if you really want to access the website.
This is what you have to do to enable cookies: (Internet Explorer) Go to Tools - Internet Options - Privacy - Advanced - put a tick on “Override Automatic Cookie Handling” as well as “Always accept session cookies”. Validate it with OK.
(Firefox) Go to Tools - Options - Privacy - tick "Accept cookies from sites" - OK.
You can always delete cookies at the end of your session. To do so: (IE) Go to Tools - Internet Options - General - Navigation History - Delete the cookies
(Firefox) Go to Tools - Options - Privacy - Private Data - Settings - Clear now
Do you find the icons on your Desktop (main screen of your computer) too big? This is what you can do to reduce their size. Right-click on an empty space on the Desktop itself, select Display and from there you will be able to change the size of the icons to big, average (I find it still too big) or classic. The change will come into effect the very moment you click on your choice.
Even if you possess a good dictionary it quickly becomes out of date with new words being used every day. This feature of Google could be useful when the word you're looking for doesn't appear in your dictionary.
How to use Google as a dictionary: Just type define: followed immediately (no space in-between) by the word or idiomatic expression you're looking for eg. define:skimp or define:fly off the handle, "fly off the handle" being an idiomatic expression. Go on, test it out in the Google Searchbox above (to the left).
Opening Internet Explorer or Firefox with two of your favorite websites:
When you open Internet Explorer or Firefox you have what is called the home page opening each time. If you have two sites that you use daily and you would like to open both of them each time without having to type their url this is how you go about it:
(under IE) Go to Tools - Internet Options - General. Under "Home page" type the second url BELOW the one that you see then click on OK.
(Under Firefox) Go to Tools - Options - Main. Look at "Home Page" and you will find the URL of your current home page. All you have to do in order to add a second "home page" is to type the pipe sign | (use Alt 124 if you can't find it on your keyboard) followed by your second url.
If you now close the browser and then re-open it you will see that the site that is named first will occupy the whole screen. To see the second site just click on the other tab.