Posts Tagged ‘#desktop’

Windows 8, Part II

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis January 5th, 2013

I think Windows 8 may fall by the wayside as another Microsoft “step-child” like Vista and ME.  Evidently they were so desperate to compete with i-pads that they forgot their roots (and loyal customers).  Case in point:  The new GUI, or Graphical User Interface (aka “Metro”) is really nice but falls short for those of us who need to work on a highly detailed screen.  For this we use mouse (or stylus) and keyboard.  You CAN drop back to the old style desktop, but once you get there you’ll find some very important things missing.  The corner Start Button is gone, and if you hover your mouse in that corner you only get the option to return to Metro.  If you find yourself in this quandary, you’ll need to remember some keyboard commands.  The main one is the Start key, which is usually on the bottom left of your keyboard (the one with the Windows logo… see photo).  This will get SOME of the things that you need, but not all.  One of the main things MISSING, once you find the start menu, is the All Programs list.  I’m still looking for a better fix, but in the meanwhile here’s what you have to do;  1) Go back to the Metro screen and 2) do an edge swipe.  When the sidebar menu pops out,  3) Choose search.  If you check the programs box it will show you all available programs.  UGH… REALLY?!  Microsoft, you guys couldn’t come up with anything better than this?!  Come on…   NEXT TIME:  Email, user accounts, and other Win 8  frustrations.

Searching Windows

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis April 13th, 2012

Trying to find something in Windows 7?  Scratching your head?  No results?  You’re not alone.  Windows XP had a great tool called the “Search Companion” that could find ANYTHING.  In particular, it had the ability to search EVERY FILE for stuff INSIDE it.  So if you needed to find any file with the word giraffe, for example, it was a few clicks away.  Granted, it might take it all day to perform such an exhaustive search, but it could do it with the patience of, um, a Computer.  Things changed when Google Desktop came along.  The new trend was to INDEX everything beforehand, so that searches were very quick.  Microsoft followed suit with their own search gizmo, and the race was on.  These programs go through all your files while you do other things, and create a list of your stuff, and keywords inside.  And therein lies the problem:  a keyword is usually found in the dictionary.  But what if you need to find the number 12345?  Sorry, that’s not indexed.  This is the problem with the Windows 7 search tool.  Besides being clutzy to use, they have taken away the ability to search for “strings” within files.  Supposedly you can type content:”STRING” in the search box to accomplish this, but I tested it and it failed for a random 5 letters/numbers within an Excel file.  Sometimes with Microsoft it’s One step forward, Two steps back.  This is a terrible search tool.  Once again I’d like to say “IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT”.  Meanwhile, I found some nifty search tools;  1) for general searches of text within files Windows GREP (after the UNIX GREP command) is easy-to-use software that’s quite powerful.  unfortunately it has a hard time with the latest office formats, in particular Excel XLSX files. I believe it could do it, but you have to tell it the column layout of your spreadsheet.  UGH.  Instead, I recommend 2) IceTeaReplacer.  I was able to find my random string within seconds of using this tool, and had the option of replacing it if I wanted.  Very Nice!