Make Google The Home Page In Windows 7

Introduction

A friend found they had got MSN as their Home page and asked me how they could make Google the Home page in Windows 7.

What They Saw

make google the home page
IE11 showing MSN & the Command Bar with the Tools Menu selected and the Pointer on Internet Options .

I haven’t seen their screen but I would expect it to look like the screen shot above, when they select their Home page, with MSN showing. Here I have recreated their situation and then selected Tools on the Command Bar. In this example the Command Bar is very short and placed at the end of the Favourites Bar. Most of the commands, including Tools, show on a drop-down menu which appears when the chevrons are selected at the right-hand end of the Command Bar. Continue reading “Make Google The Home Page In Windows 7”

Drag-n-Drop Context Menu in Windows 7

Drag-n-Drop Context Menu Discovered After Nearly Losing Files

drag-n-drop context menu
A File Icon Being Dragged Across The Desktop

After many years I have just found that there is a specific Drag-n-Drop Context Menu, in Microsoft Windows 7 at least. For much of that time I avoided Drag-n-Drop in favour of Copy and Paste. This discovery came about after I found I was Moving files out of folders accidentally, by using Drag-n-Drop, when all I wanted to do was copy them to other folders. This resulted in me nearly losing some files by moving them out of their original folders. Continue reading “Drag-n-Drop Context Menu in Windows 7”

I Reduced Windows 7 Startup Time To Two Minutes

Introduction

I have wanted a way to get a reduced windows 7 startup time for a while. I was concerned about the time it took from switch on to the point where all apps that start automatically were ready for use. This has generally increased over the years during the time I had previous versions of Windows and on into the time I have had Windows 7.

There are those who would say I have too many apps starting. Well I didn’t buy a cheap computer and that’s what computers are for. To have apps running that a person can use at any time without much notice.

How I Reduced Windows 7 Startup Time

In the hope I would get reduced Windows 7 startup time I bought a Crucial Adrenaline solid state cache in 2012. It was controlled by NVELO Dataplex v1.1.3.0. I questioned how good it was because it still took a long time to start. However if I left it for a while after starting Windows, prior to logging on to my desktop, there was a noticeable improvement on the start-up time for the multitude of programs that loaded after log-on. So I continued to use it.

Yesterday (6th March 2013) I was notified by NVELO of a new version of Dataplex v1.3.0.0. I followed the process carefully to perform the upgrade. After the upgrade, and following restart, there was a very long startup time (5mins or more) while the cache was sorted out. Everything was OK but I didn’t restart again that day.

Today (7th March 2013) I started and the logon screen appeared after 1min 25secs. I logged on by 1min 30secs and my extensive range of icons, toolbars and gadgets had all loaded within 2mins from switch on. It took at least 4mins before. There must have been a problem with the previous version. I don’t think it’s wholly due to the improvements in the new version.

IE9 Zero Day Vulnerability Fixed

For a week now it has been known that there is an IE9 Zero Day Vulnerability.

Get This Zero Day Vulnerability Fixed

Now Microsoft have published a fix which came to me today in the form of an update as follows (for Windows 7):

Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 9 for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2744842)

Update type: Important

Security issues have been identified that could allow an attacker to compromise a system that is running Microsoft Internet Explorer and gain control over it. You can help protect your system by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install the update, you may have to restart your computer.

More information: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=255505

Help and Support: http://support.microsoft.com

Zero Day Vulnerabilities are those which have already been exploited by the time the software developer finds out about them.

Visual Basic .NET Radio Buttons get auto-clicked

I was up until 01:20 this morning debugging code in VB.NET 2010. For hours I thought there was something amiss with my math or logic when a calculation in a secondary window which was affected by Radio Buttons kept giving an erroneous result.

The Problem – Visual Basic .NET Radio Buttons

At first I thought I was trying to use public variables in the wrong way and completely re-wrote the code only to get the same error. Eventually I found for myself by debugging with several breakpoints that when the secondary window was opened there was an automatic click on one of the Visual Basic .NET Radio Buttons (RadioButton1). Continue reading “Visual Basic .NET Radio Buttons get auto-clicked”

My Excel Jump List stopped adding Recent Files

Transparent Boundary LineMy Problem

Excel Jump List stopped adding Recent Files
Excel Jump List shown above the Task Bar.

I had a problem where I had MS 2010 Excel pinned to the Task Bar but the Excel Jump List stopped adding Recent Files. The Jump List is the one you see when you right click on an icon of an application pinned to the task-bar. Some programs (not all) show recently used files on this list. The user can then choose to permanently pin them to the Jump List. On the right is an example of an Excel Jump list.

In my case new recently used files stopped appearing on the MS Excel Jump List. I read through various bulletin board threads on the Internet but their suggestions did not resolve the problem.

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My Fix when the Excel Jump List stopped adding Recent Files.

This is how I resolved it. I repaired my MS Office application. The application has this facility built in. To repair it go to Control Panel > Programs and Features and right click on MS Office Professional Plus 2010 (in my case). The options are Uninstall or Change. Choose Change and the following window opens:

Excel's Jump List stopped adding Recent Files

Select Repair and click continue. This will start the repair process which will take several minutes. I think it more or less re-installs Office but doesn’t interfere with your settings. Beware that you may find other Office Jump Lists get cleared. But they all work afterwards.

Microsoft Garage Mouse without Borders

I have just found this amazing software, Mouse without Borders from Microsoft Garage, that allows me to move my pointer off the right-hand edge of my desk-top screen and onto the left-hand edge of my laptop to take control of it. I can then use my desk-top keyboard to type on my laptop. The process works in reverse too (i.e. I can control my desk-top PC from my laptop touchpad & keyboard.) I could do this with up to four PC’s if I wanted. These are the controlling windows:

mouse without borders

mouse without borders

Initially when you install the software on PC1 you are given a security key and the name of that PC so you can enter them on PC2 when you install the software on that one.

You can get the software for free here: Microsoft Garage – Mouse without Borders

What are the benefits you ask: Well I can just drag a file from one PC to the other. I don’t have to keep moving to the keyboard of the other to control it.