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Tips, Tricks and Links

  • Internet Explorer Full Screen Mode
    Use the F11 key to make your screen go full screen mode.  Press F11 again to return to normal mode.

  • Locate who owns a phone number
    Did you know you can enter a telephone number in the address bar to find out who that number belongs to?

  • Searching from the Address Bar
    To search from the Address bar, type go, find or ? followed by a word or phrase.

  • Shortcut to Website
    Did you know you can drag the icon at the beginning of the address bar to your desktop to create a shortcut to that location?

  • Google Map Searching
    Need directions to or from a location?  Try http://maps.google.com for a new way to search for locations.

  • Start Menu
    To customize the Start Menu, right click on the Task Bar and select Properties.

  • Lock the Task Bar
    You can prevent changes to the Taskbar such as moving or resizing it by right clicking on the taskbar and selecting "Lock the Taskbar."

  • Use the Quick Launch Toolbar
    You can put shortcuts to frequently used program on the Quick Launch Toolbar.  To start a program simply click once on the application to launch it.

  • Change the Date and Time
    To change the Date or Time, double click the clock in the lower right hand corner of the taskbar.

  • Automatically Sync Your Clock
    You can sync your clock automatically by double clicking on the clock in the lower right hand corner of the taskbar.  Next, select the Internet Time tab and select the Internet time server check box.

  • Single Click Icon to Activate
    If you hate to double click on an item to open it, open My Computer, then select Tools from the menu, then select Folder Options.  Locate the the General tab and then select "Single-click to open an item."  Next select the "Underline icon titles only when I point at them."

  • Mouse Pointer
    Do you have trouble seeing or locating the mouse pointer?  You can change the size and color of the mouse point by going into the Control Panel, selecting Mouse,  and then Pointers.  Select from a list of sizes and colors.

  • Mouse Click Speed
    Do you have trouble trying to double click the mouse?  You can change how fast it takes to open a folder or a program by opening the Control Panel, select Mouse and then  select the Buttons tab, and then moving the slider bar to increase or decrease how sensitive an double click action function works.

  • Left Handed Mouse Operation
    If you are a left handed person and want to set up the mouse so you can use your left hand, open the Control Panel, select Mouse, and then select the Buttons tab.  Next click on the box next to "Switch primary and secondary buttons."

Secunia Personal Software Inspector

Secunia PSI (Personal Software Inspector) is a free security tool that's designed with the sole purpose of helping you secure your computer from software vulnerabilities. Software vulnerabilities affect all applications installed on your computer, from the Operating System down to your email client, office application, instant messaging, and so on. Use Secunia PSI to assess the security patch state of software installed on your system. It constantly monitors your system for insecure software installations, notifies you when an insecure application is installed, and even provides you with detailed instructions for updating the application when available.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

If you are thinking about upgrading your computer to run Windows 7 then you want to check out this free tool from Microsoft. The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor is a small software tool that is designed to scan your computer and will create an easy to understand report of all known system, device and program compatibility issues.  In addition, information on how to resolve any issues is also included.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

Windows Shortcut Keys

Looking for an easy way to perform functions in Windows and other applications? Have you ever heard of a shortcut key? A shortcut key is a keystroke combination that lets you perform a specific function without having to use the mouse. Click on the link below to see a list of dozens of shortcut keys that you can use in Windows as well as other applications.

Windows Shortcut Keys

Learn More with Microsoft at Home

Microsoft At Home

Want to learn more about using your computer? If you are looking for ways to have more fun, get more done or ways to stay in touch then this page has something for you. Whether you are a Newbie or an old salt there is plenty of cool things for everyone!


Download Microsoft Photo Story 3 - Its Free!

Microsoft Photo Story helps you to create exciting video stories by adding panning and zooming effects to your pictures. You can use Photo Story to record narration for your pictures, add titles and background music to your story. You can even share your story in a variety of ways with this professional quality program.


Microsoft Digital Photography Home Page

Looking for ways to do more with your digital camera or your photos? Microsoft has really outdone themselves with this site. You can download their Photo Story software as well as get great ideas and tips on ways to:

  • Take Great Pictures

  • Manage and Backup Your Photos

  • Enhance and Fix Your Photos

  • Share Your Photos with Family and Friends

  • Print and Scan Your Photos


Microsoft Windows Movie Maker

OK, this is one of my favorites. I enjoy making mini movies from old pictures and even pictures I recently have taken. This is a really cool site that has lots of information on making movies from photos as well as from your digital camcorder. Make sure to download the updated version of Movie Maker - it's free!


Microsoft Gaming Site

If you like computer games then you need to check out the Windows Gaming site. Whether you are an Xbox 360 user or just like to play Solitaire this site has something for you. Try the featured game download or check out one of the many online games. 


Music and Video with Windows Media Player

Do you enjoy taking your music when you are on the go? Do you have the latest version of Microsoft Media Player? Have you wanted to learn more about the world of digital music? Did you know you can watch video with Media Player 10? Take a spin over to Microsoft's Digital Music and Video How-To Center and learn about what you can do with Windows Media Player 10. 


Microsoft Media Center

Are you using Windows Media Center? This operating system is on steroids! Windows Media Center is a powerful operating system that allows you to work with all sorts of media including:

  • Watch, Pause and Rewind TV on Your Computer

  • Burn TV to a CD or DVD

  • Watch Home Movies

  • Download, edit and Look at Pictures and Videos to Your Computer

  • Play Music and Listen to Radio Stations

  • Transfer Music and Video to Your Portable Player

  • And much, much more!


Instant Messaging

Do you like to communicate instantly with others on the Internet? Have you tried Microsoft's Instant Messenger? This site has so much for those that like to Instant Message. Download the latest version of Microsoft Instant Messenger, learn keyboard shortcuts for emoticons such as smiley faces, frowns, hearts, cameras and so many more.


Windows XP Security and Privacy

Everyone needs to understand how they can be more secure and private when surfing the web or sending e-mail. This site helps you to learn to keep your computer and personal data more secure using Windows XP.


Home and Small Office Networking

Do you have two or more computers in your home or office? Do you want to know more about networking them together to share data and devices such as printers or your Internet connection? Use the Home Networking How-To Center to learn how to build a home network from the ground up, how to use firewalls and what hardware and software you will need to accomplish this task.


Dragnifier Screen Magnifier

Do you find yourself squinting when reading the computer screen? If so, try this nifty screen magnifier from Ed Halley. This magnifier is great for limited eyesight users or for those that need to see fine detail in their work.


Check your Browser for Address Bar Spoofing Vulnerability

Are you vulnerable to the address bar spoofing and phishing attacks? Check out this link to test your system to see if your system is open for this issue and learn what you can do to help protect your system.


Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products


Think your Spyware removal program is legit? You might want to check this link to see if it is. Rogue or suspect programs can be classified as software that may have questionable value or ability to provide protection against spyware. 


If you get an offer to load a program that is supposed to protect you from spyware you might want to check this list BEFORE you install. This list might be the difference between spyware protection and spyware infestation.





Macromedia Local Shared Object Settings Manager


Local Shared Objects are used by Flash content and applications to store information they may want to preserve between sessions. Flash content appears on the web in a variety of forms ranging from animations, product demonstrations or visualizations, applications, advertisements, and video clips.

Unless you specifically provide personal information to Flash content, local shared objects won’t contain anything you want kept private. No data about you is made available to Flash content by Flash Player, and information that content places in local shared objects is only accessible to the content which originally stored it. Users are always advised to be cautious about providing personal information over the web.

A website can use local shared objects, for example, to recognize that you’ve visited the site before, and present a tailored welcome message. Advertisers can also use this information to determine that you’ve seen an ad before. There is nothing personally-identifiable in this data—they know nothing about you, other than that you have visited previously, unless you specifically tell them.

Click below to access the Macromedia Local Objects Settings Manager:



Online Anti-Virus Scanners


Check your PC for viruses using one of these free online virus scanners. Using the Trend scanner, you can even clean a virus from your system. Give one or all of them a try to see if your PC is infected with one of pesky little critters. 


** You will need to run these scanners using Internet Explorer. **

**  These scanners do not work using the Firefox browser. **


Computer Associates: http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/virusinfo/scan.aspx

ESET NOD32: http://www.eset.com/onlinescan/index.php
F-Secure Antivirus: http://support.f-secure.com/enu/home/ols.shtml
Panda Software: http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/com/activescan_principal.htm

Symantec: http://security.symantec.com/
Trend Micro: http://housecall.trendmicro.com/


Free Anti-Virus Programs

Avast: http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html

AVG: http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php/doc/2/

Internet Explorer Tools


Use this utility to add a list of sites to the restricted zone in Internet Explorer. 

Restricted Zone Utility: https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ehowes/www/resource.htm



Spyware Utilities and Programs


Webroot Spy Audit Online Spyware Scanner


Use this utility to scan for spyware on your system. Click Here


Spybot Search and Destroy: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

Ad-Aware Personal Edition: http://www.lavasoftusa.com

Spyware Blaster: http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/


Host File Manager

HostsMan http://hostsman.abelhadigital.com/


IE SpyAD: http://www.spywarewarrior.com/uiuc/resource.htm


Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/tools/mbsahome.mspx



Free Image Management and Editing Software


Picasa is software that makes it easy and fun to view, organize, edit and share the digital photos on your PC. Picasa won't delete your pictures or put them online without your permission.



Learn how to bring pictures to life using Microsoft Photo Story 3 and best of all, it's free. Learn to capture memories, bring photo's to life and even share your stories with others. Did I mention... it's free!




Microsoft Power Toys for Windows XP

Computer icons

PowerToys are additional programs that developers work on after a product has been released to manufacturing. They add fun and functionality to the Windows experience.  These PowerToys are for Windows XP only.

Microsoft XP PowerToys

Learn about Digital IDs

Get a digital ID to protect your e-mail or documents.  Here are a few good sites to chose from to get your digital ID today.

Verisign Digital ID Center

VeriSign provides digital IDs for secure e-mail. Use your VeriSign digital ID to digitally sign e-mail messages, assuring recipients that your e-mail messages really came from you and not an impostor. You can also use your digital ID to encrypt the contents of your messages (including attachments), letting recipients know that your e-mail message was not altered in any way during transmission.


GeoTrust Personal Digital ID Center

My Credential™ from GeoTrust, Inc. is a personal digital certificate for doc signing and secure e-mail. Digitally sign and apply the U.S. Postal Service’s Electronic Postmark® to Microsoft Office Word documents, verifying that docs have been signed by you and time-stamped by the USPS. Also digitally sign Microsoft Office Outlook® e-mail messages to verify that they have come from you unaltered. The certificates are scalable and can be distributed to the enterprise or other community of users.


USPS EPM (Electronic Post Mark) for Microsoft Office

USPS EPM Extension for Microsoft Office allows users to sign Word documents digitally and then seal them with the USPS Electronic Postmark (EPM). After installing the EPM Extension, just click the blue eagle icon in your Microsoft Word toolbar, apply a USPS EPM to your document (contract, letter, or agreement), and electronically sign. This gives your document tamper protection against fraud, and it gives the recipient the ability to verify document authenticity online. Transaction records about postmarked Word documents are stored in the USPS EPM repository for seven years, providing third-party evidence to support non-repudiation of content.


Share your photos in a whole new way
Photo Story, which comes with Plus! Digital Media Edition, is the software that lets you turn your photographs into memories that will last forever, with music and professional transitions. Now you can try it yourself, free!

Beginners: Get photos from camera to computer
Find out how to attach your camera directly to your computer, use a memory card reader, and more.

Intermediate: Turn your photos into a coffee table book
You choose the pictures, design the layout, and more, to create a book of 10 to 50 pages that you can set out with pride.

Experts: Color manage your monitor
It's true. A color-accurate computer monitor is as important for image quality as any lens in your arsenal.

Great Websites

If you know of a link that should be included in our list, send us an email by clicking here and we'll take a look at it.


State/Local Government



Search Engines

Local Papers

News Sites

Tech News/Information


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