A Program To Create and Customize Your Own Windows 8 Start Screen Tiles

November 30, 2012

One of the downfalls to Windows 8, especially from the Start Screen level, is the ability to create your own tiles. You will find that when you install a Windows 8 app, the tile is automatically created for you has that metro look; whereas, if you create a tile from a normal Windows program, the tile that is generated is nothing close to being metro in appearance. As a matter of fact, if you pin a normal Windows program to the Start Screen, Windows 8 will create the tile using the built in icon of the program (which I have found in most cases to be not attractive at all).

Solution to this problem is an up and coming program that is in the early beta stages of development, called OblyTile.

  OblyTile

OblyTile, is sort of a techie type of a program, where you need to have a good understanding of file and folder paths; however, I think once you get a handle on this program you will find it to be just what the doctor ordered. On top of it all, it is a portable app.

The cool thing about OblyTile is that you can use your own images and icons to create your own tiles using a selectable background color. OblyTile also has a built in quick list of programs and icons already built-in. For example, OblyTile gives you the ability to create a shutdown tile, a task manager tile, a control manager tile, etc…

To give you an example of some tiles I created, reflected is a partial screenshot of my Windows 8 Start Screen. If you notice, one of the tiles is a tile that will launch me directly to What’s On My PC…  In a since OblyTile makes your Start Screen become a Windows 8 program launcher.

Screenshot

Again, I emphasize this program is in beta; however, I can see OblyTile becoming a mainstay, highly sought after, program.

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

A look at Microsoft’s Surface

World’s Best and Largest List of Free Security Software

Best Selling Products – Updated Every Hour

77 Windows tips

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


Is Your Computer Usage Harming You?

November 28, 2012

My mother always told me that if you consume too much of anything, it is bound to cause you harm. The same goes when we indulge ourselves in too much computer time. We can suffer chronic pain from poor ergonomics, develop mush brain from too much multi-tasking, develop blue light insomnia, get fat from lack of moving around, lose our eyesight, and become addicted to games (and porn). Wow! Nothing here sounds too positive; however, there are things you should do to prevent harming yourself.

Reflected below is a clip from a infographic, titled, “Is Your Computer Killing You?”. Click on the clip to get the full-size version of the infographic to get answers on how you can save yourself from the harmful effects of excessive computer usage.

image

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

New Grand Theft Auto 5 Trailer

Four Things Most People Don’t Know Their iPhones Can Do

Best Selling Products – Updated Every Hour

6 Ways To Identify Microsoft Windows Support Call Scam

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


FREE Software To Customize Windows 8 Start Screen Background

November 27, 2012

You are very limited when it comes to changing the background on the Windows 8 Start Screen; however, today I want to show you a third party utility, called Windows 8 Start Customizer, that will give you the ability to jazz up that background screen and use the images that you want.

Windows 8 Start Customizer

A couple of things to point out here is that the Windows 8 Start Customizer is in beta and can be downloaded with an installer or as a portable app. Even though this is in beta, I found it to work flawlessly on my desktop PC. If you download the portable (zipped version), you will have to rename the executable file in order for it to run (not as difficult as it sounds). Also, Windows 8 Start Customizer runs on startup and does not appear to change any registry settings that could cripple the actual Windows 8 Start Screen. Super job from the developer on this!

What you can do with this utility is this:

You can set your desktop wallpaper as background picture (not support for multimonitor, it just uses the main monitor’s desktop wallpaper)

You can select your pictures from any folder and set it as a sequence of background pictures.

There is a blur effect available, it is slow and slower on bigger resolutions, but it might work for you.

Tiles opacity can now be changed (not perfect though)

You can revert to default background

You can choose a picture and select the area to be shown as background picture.

You can set the Start Screen transparency

You can set the rows of you tiles (limited by your screen resolution)

You can run it on startup hidden, so you can see your custom background as soon as this tool starts

Save configuration to ini file.

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Hack Firefox For Maximum Internet Speed

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 27, 2012

Best Selling Products – Updated Every Hour

Top 4 Must-Have iPhone games

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


Bookmarks4Techs is Back!

November 26, 2012

You may have read my recent article, Has Bookmarks4Techs Been Kidnapped or Assassinated?, where the host of the site (Google’s Blogger Service), through an automated classification system removed my sister site (Bookmarks4Techs.com) without warning (for suspicion of SPAM). The only notice I received was this:

Hello, Your blog at http://www.bookmarks4techs.com/has been reviewed and confirmed as in violation of our Terms of Service for: SPAM. In accordance to these terms, we’ve removed the blog and the URL is no longer accessible. For more information, please review the following resources:

Blogger Terms of Service: http://blogger.com/terms.g

Blogger Content Policy: http://blogger.com/go/contentpolicy

-The Blogger Team

Needless to say, after 2 weeks of working through a Google Groups Moderator (who was as polite as a badger), my site at Blogger has not been restored and I do not expect it to be restored. My last communication with the moderator resulted in this response:

Unfortunately, “bookmarks4techs.blogspot.com” was recently confirmed as a spam host.

As a result, I have went back to the drawing board to do a rebuild of Bookmarks4Techs.com.  I have decided to keep it simple and to avoid the complexities I had in place that apparently tripped Google’s automated classification system.

Bookmarks4Techs

Bookmarks4Techs.com is back! I request your patience as I update the site and thank you for your support.

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Stay Safe From Holiday Cyber Attacks:Cyber Monday is Today!

The Top 20 Social Networks [INFOGRAPHIC]

Best Selling Products – Updated Every Hour

Data Security Guide

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


Wallpaper of the Week (#97)

November 24, 2012

With Christmas coming upon us, I could not pass up posting this wallpaper. It looks absolutely gorgeous on a widescreen monitor.

To Get This Wallpaper [ CLICK HERE ]

Christmas Wallpaper

Windows 7 Users: If you are using Windows 7, did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [ CLICK HERE ] .

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

The Rebuild of “Bookmarks4Techs”

FREE PDF Download: Windows 8 for Dummies eBook

Reset Windows 8 Start Screen To Default (Unpin All Items) [How To]

Compare and Find Cheaper Prices with Ciuvo

TECH DEALS

Laptops, Tablets & Netbooks

Desktops & Servers

Computer Accessories & Peripherals

Computer Parts & Components

Software

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


Watch FREE Movies and TV Shows On Your Android Phone or Tablet

November 23, 2012

With tablet computers (and smartphones) projected to be the hot item again this year, today’s post is pointed toward those who have an android tablet or those who are wishing for one for Christmas.

One of the neat things with tablet computers (and smartphones) is that you can do just about anything with them; even stream videos, movies, TV etc… to the devices. The problem is that most services that stream movies and TV require a paid subscription.

Today I want to share with you, a cloud based  (TV and Movie) service called Crackle that gives you the ability to watch full-length Hollywood movies & TV shows on your tablet or phone (and computer) — Free and on demand. What you are going to find at Crackle is not the latest and greatest, but you will find content that is pretty darn good for being FREE.

Crackle

* Watch full-length Hollywood movies and TV series
* FREE to download app, FREE to watch
* Unlimited, on demand viewing
* New movies and TV episodes added monthly
* Genres including: action, anime, comedy, crime, horror, thriller, sci-fi and anime
* Optimized for both phones and tablets
* Browse Movies, TV, Originals, Collections and Genres
* Build and manage your Watchlist for viewing on the app or online at Crackle.com.
* Stream HQ video via 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi
* App works in US, Canada, UK and Australia

Note:  You can get Crackle on your desktop or notebook computer at the main site [ here ].

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Bookmarks4Techs Was Assassinated, But Has Been Resurrected Here (in a new format)

Ghosts From Thanksgivings Past

The Best Portable Solar Charger – Recharge iPhone 6X faster than any ordinary chargers

How to Remove Win 7 Antivirus Pro 2013, Win 7 Antispyware Pro 2013 (Uninstall Guide)

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


The Easy Way To Close A Windows 8 App

November 20, 2012

As I mentioned in an earlier article, I never had any “hands-on” experience with Windows 8 until it was officially released by Microsoft back in October. I intentionally did this so that I would have that first time user experience (and challenge); like most of you will have.

As I continue to “find my way” there was one thing I started to wonder about. Was there a way to easily close a Windows 8 app once I opened it? In reality, in the scheme and design of things when it comes to Windows 8, you will find that it really does not matter; however, I wanted to know. I eventually found the answer that works for me on my desktop computer and find myself doing this all of the time now.

When you are working from the “Start Screen” (see screenshot of my Start Screen below) and click on an app, the app will open maximized on your screen and you will immediately notice that there is no close button or minimize button.

Start Screen

What you have to do, is this:  When the app is open move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen. When the cursor reaches the top of the screen a “hand” will appear (see cropped screenshot below). When the “hand” is visible on the screen, hold down the left button on your mouse, drag to the bottom of the screen, and the app will disappear (and close). As you are performing the dragging action, visually you will see the app shrink down from full screen to a much smaller screen (or window). Once you teach yourself to do this, I will guarantee it will become second nature to you when you want to close an app.

Close App

Note:  The cropped screenshot you see above is a Windows 8 app called SmartCalc.

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Has Bookmarks4Techs Been Kidnapped or Assassinated?
Now 8 Days Missing

Small Tricks To Make Your Photography Stand Out

View, Edit, And Retrieve Info Of Digital Pictures: Full Image Info

Type In Style With This Elegantly Designed, Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard For Windows 8

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


A Free Powerful Lightweight Image Editor That Is Portable

November 19, 2012

Toolwiz Pretty PhotoTo find a good FREE image editor is one thing, but to find one that will run from the stick (your flash drive) is another. One of my favorite all-round system maintenance utilities is Toolwiz Care. While visiting their site, I happened to notice that they also have a product called Toolwiz Pretty Photo.

What makes Toolwiz Pretty Photo unique from any of the other image editors I have experienced is two things. One it appears it does not rely on the NET framework to run and two it is available as a portable app. Granted, the portable version is a 75 to 76 MB download; however, I found it to be worth it. This program is loaded to the gills, which is no surprise from Toolwiz!

Toolwiz Pretty Photo

ToolWiz Pretty Photo is a free powerful lightweight image editor.  With just few clicks on this free tool, you can edit photos, create photo collage, and make them look the way you want them to be, and much prettier.  Yes, it is that simple.  ToolWiz Pretty Photo does not only come with 80+ professional image (art) filters and thousands of objects, but also supports frequently used functions, such as Resize, Flip, Crop, Rotate, Layers, Shadow, Frame and so on. Recently, it also made photo collage easier. With 97 collage patterns for your selection and DIY pattern designer, photo collage is never this simple before!

Operating Systems Supported

  • Microsoft Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows XP (32-bit)

Hardware Requirements

  • 500 MHz processor or faster processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 2GB of hard disk space

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Has Bookmarks4Techs Been Kidnapped or Assassinated?
Now 7 Days Missing

PC Speed Tips

iPhone Data Recovery

Glide Through Windows 8 With
The Logitech Rechargeable Touchpad T650

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


Wallpaper of the Week (#96)

November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving and Christmas are on the way and along with these holidays is snow. Here is a really nice detailed wallpaper of a squirrel in a snow bound pine tree. This image would also make for a nice Christmas card.

To Get This Wallpaper [ CLICK HERE ]

Squirrel

Windows 7 Users: If you are using Windows 7, did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [ CLICK HERE ] .

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Has Bookmarks4Techs Been Kidnapped or Assassinated?
Now 5 Days Missing

Convert your files online and for free with Imverter

Are You Keeping Your Computer in Optimal Operating Condition?

7 Computer Threats You Might Miss

TECH DEALS

Laptops, Tablets & Netbooks

Desktops & Servers

Computer Accessories & Peripherals

Computer Parts & Components

Software

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


A Start Menu for Windows 8 That Is A Portable App

November 15, 2012

Wow, since the release of Windows 8 I have seen so many variations of Start Menu’s for Windows 8 that it is mind boggling. You may ask why? When you get to the desktop level of Windows 8 you will immediately notice that there is no Start Menu. To some, this is a crisis! As a matter of fact my first look at Windows 8 made me second guess this to the point that I even wrote an article Seven Alternatives To Restore The Start Menu In Windows 8.  Following that article, I found at least three more variations of third party start menu replacements.

Folks, listen to me…  Once you get settled in and learn how to use Windows 8; the Start Menu, as we have know it, really does not matter. I have tried all of these Start Menus and to tell you the truth, once I got a handle on navigating Windows 8 and punched through the learning curve, I do not use them.

If you are looking for a way to slowly wean yourself from the Start Menu, or you are missing the Start Menu, I encourage you to give Power 8 a try. Why is this any different than the other third party replacements for the Start Menu?  Well, Power 8 may be what the doctor ordered to help you through your Start Menu crisis. Power 8 is available as a portable app, which means it will not mess with your system.

  • No system files patching;
  • No hooks over system objects;
  • No app-init DLLs;
  • No additional services, drivers, etc;
  • No trash in registry;
  • No installation – just unpack and launch

Power 8

Power 8 is really designed with Windows8 in mind: however, it also works under XP SP3 and Se7en SP1 as well.

Power 8 features a long laundry list of features:

  1. Launches🙂 and positions itself in the Taskbar opposite to Show Desktop button. For XP, it places itself over Start button;
  2. Styled similar to Show Desktop button (as in Developer Preview);
  3. Power and session features:
    • Shutdown;
    • Sleep;
    • Hibernate;
    • Restart;
    • Log off;
    • Lock screen (start screensaver);
    • Lock Windows;
  4. Displays expanding “All Programs” menu as it was back in old good XP&98 time:
    • With real icons;
    • With real descriptions (from desktop.ini);
    • Click to launch item;
  5. On main button right-click:
    • Allows to toggle auto-start;
    • Allows to enable automatic check for updates;
    • Allows to block Metro corner mouse rectangles;
    • Allows to show About window;
    • Allows to exit application;
  6. Context menu over menu items (Open folder, Open common folder, Run, Run as Administrator, …):
    (screenshot taken under WindowsXP SP3 RU, take a note on how Power8 uses system localized elements);
  7. Activated by hot key (Alt+Z) (see details here);
  8. Checks for updates (see details here);
  9. Has dedicated special menued folder buttons: open folder or show the menu with contents(see details here);
  10. Can search your PC and Internet 3 different ways (see details here):
    • Immediate All Programs and Most Frequently Used (MFU) applications search;
    • Windows Search returned results;
    • Support for internet search (like “w driver”);
  11. Shows MFU history taken from system (see details here);
  12. Shows Jump Lists for MFU elements (see details here):
    • System Jump Lists for Windows 7 and 8, when obtainable;
    • Elements from internal JL engine for all supported OS.
  13. Allows you to pin/unpin MFU elements;
  14. Localized (see languages list above);
  15. Allows you to configure various settings in the settings window (see details here).

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Has Bookmarks4Techs Been Kidnapped or Assassinated?
Now 3 Days Missing

Free Computer Protection

Sony prepping to release a flagship device “that can compete with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S III”

The Ultimate Laptop Backpack

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


Access and Manage Your Files (and Folders) From The Windows 8 Start Screen With My Explorer

November 14, 2012

If you are new to Windows 8, you probably have discovered that you have to get to the desktop level of Windows 8 to access the file explorer that is built into Windows 8. In previous versions of Windows, the built in file management utility was called Windows Explorer.  In Windows 8 it actually is called “file explorer”.

What I was looking for was a way (or a Windows 8 app) to get to my files and folders from the level of the Windows “metro” Start Screen without leaving the metro interface. I started my search through the Windows Store and soon found several file management apps (that I tested). Also, to point out here, the Windows Store is still new; therefore, the quality and number of apps available to Windows 8 is still on the low side, but that number is increasing rapidly.

The app I ended up going with, at this time, to access and manage my files (and folders) from the metro interface is called My Explorer.

My Explorer

With My Explorer you can perform the following functions:

  • Browse your computer, network locations, removable devices, homegroup computers and media server devices
  • Manage favorites and recent groups
  • Manage your files and folders (cut, copy, paste, move to, copy to, rename, recycle and delete)
  • Snap the app to the side to use it as a fast file opener/switcher
  • Pin folders to Start for fast and direct access to selected folders
  • Use the share option to interact with other apps (i.e. e-mail attachment)
  • Customize the look and feel of the app

The restrictions to all Windows 8 applications that affect My Explorer are:

The following folders are not accessible to any Windows 8 application: System folders (i.e. program files); hidden and protected folders and files; executable files (i.e. exe, js)

It is not possible to launch files that depend on other files (i.e. complete webpages, the ones that save an html file and a folder with its images)

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Has Bookmarks4Techs Been Kidnapped or Assassinated?

Cloud storage comparisons: Pros and cons of each service

Tech Tip #32: My Taskbar Got Moved to the Side

Lord of the Rings Wallpaper Set 3

TECH DEALS

Laptops, Tablets & Netbooks

Desktops & Servers

Computer Accessories & Peripherals

Computer Parts & Components

Software

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


Has Bookmarks4Techs Been Kidnapped or Assassinated?

November 13, 2012

My sister site, Bookmarks4Tech.com, has either been kidnapped or assassinated (after 3 years) by Google’s Blogger service and marked as a TOS (Terms of Service) violator by Google’s automated spam detection system. I am awaiting a review from Google to get the site back. The process to do this is not a friendly or easy process. It does not give you that warm and fuzzy feeling. As a matter of fact if anyone feels violated, it is me!

TOS Violation

Contained in my site was scripting language that I suspect their automated system identified as suspicious. The scripting language was used on my part, in good faith, to automate the content of the site.  There is nothing suspicious about it and if a real person would have looked at it then none of this would have occurred.

For the past several weeks I had received notices that my site appeared suspicious and was possibly being looked upon as a spam host.  Each time I posted on the site I had to go through a “human identifier” process to prove that I was a human maintaining the site and that the site was not a bot of sorts. I played the game, yet Blogger’s automated system still was not satisfied and killed my site. I woke up on Monday morning to find the following message in my email with no indication on how to contact Blogger support or any instruction whatsoever to recover the site. Needless to say, I was not happy!

Hello, Your blog at http://www.bookmarks4techs.com/has been reviewed and confirmed as in violation of our Terms of Service for: SPAM. In accordance to these terms, we’ve removed the blog and the URL is no longer accessible. For more information, please review the following resources:

Blogger Terms of Service: http://blogger.com/terms.g

Blogger Content Policy: http://blogger.com/go/contentpolicy

-The Blogger Team

I especially liked how they signed the email; “The Blogger Team”.  I would have felt much better, and part of the “team”, if they provided a method to contact the “team”.

Apparently, like in my case, there are many false positives where sites get locked out. This goes to show that I really have no control over my own content and the “team” really does not care.

In the meantime, I’ll be counting the hours and days to see if Bookmarks4Techs has been kidnapped by Google or assassinated by Google.

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Bookmarked Tech Sites: 550 Total – Dead In The Water

Intel unveils the latest Core i7 Extreme, 3970X, and “Stormville” Motherboard

Sony rolls out update for Xperia T and Xperia TX

TECH DEALS

Laptops, Tablets & Netbooks

Desktops & Servers

Computer Accessories & Peripherals

Computer Parts & Components

Software

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]


Wallpaper of the Week (#95)

November 10, 2012

This week’s wallpaper is that of a well dressed cat ready for winter… I can’t get over how wooly this cat is. I hope this is not a sign for a bad winter…

To Get This Wallpaper [ CLICK HERE ]

Wooly Cat

Windows 7 Users: If you are using Windows 7, did you know you can create a desktop background slideshow to show off your pictures and wallpaper images?  To learn how to use this feature [ CLICK HERE ] .

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Bookmarked Tech Sites: 550 Total

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 10, 2012

What’s the Best Tablet for Business Use?
Inquiring Marketers Want to Know

TECH DEALS

Laptops, Tablets & Netbooks

Desktops & Servers

Computer Accessories & Peripherals

Computer Parts & Components

Software

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]



FREE eBook Introducing Windows 8 – An Overview For IT Professionals

November 7, 2012

I came across this eBook today (at Microsoft Press) that may be of interest to IT Professionals and home based computer users alike. The book (in PDF format) describes the new and improved features of Windows 8 with focus on management, deployment and security. If you are new to Windows 8, this is a good read and best of all, it is FREE.

[ Download Here ]

If above linke does not work, try this one [HERE]

An Overview For IT Professionals

The Windows 8 operating system is the newest member of the Microsoft Windows family. It differs from earlier Windows releases as much for what it does not change as for what it does change. That is, the features that IT pros loved about Windows 7 are still there in Windows 8—just better. The same keyboard shortcuts, management tools, security features, and deployment options are available in Windows 8. But in many cases, Windows 8 improves them in intuitive and significant ways. Some examples are the ribbon in File Explorer and faster disk encryption when using BitLocker Drive Encryption. This book describes these enhancements plus many of the new features in Windows 8.

——————————————-

GEEK BONUS AREA

Bookmarked Tech Sites: 546

How To Open Your iMac (video) and More

5 Cool and Creative USB Drive Designs

Update Windows 8 Apps From Windows Store [Quick Tip]

TECH DEALS

Laptops, Tablets & Netbooks

Desktops & Servers

Computer Accessories & Peripherals

Computer Parts & Components

Software

Bookmarks4Techs

——————————————-

Bookmark and Share

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]