| || Microsoft Office 2010: plain & simple, by Windows Secrets contributor Katherine Murray, can make that task considerably less intimidating. This thorough reference guide breaks down Office into easily digested sections filled with tips and illustrations.|
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Windows Secrets Newsletter • Issue 307 • 2011-09-22 • Circulation: over 400,000
Table of contents
- Working with images and text in Office 2010
- Using Windows 7’s XP Mode — step by step
- Considering Windows Vista in context
- Learning that life can be a bit sour
- 1.8TB external drive goes down hard
- Getting the most from Windows Search — Part 1
- Leaving long cookie trails throughout the Web
By Fred Langa |
Looking for a sure-fire way to keep your oldest Windows applications alive while living in a Windows 7 world?
You’ll find it with Win7’s XP Mode, a free and fully functional version of XP Professional SP3 that runs entirely inside Windows 7. And even if you don’t have ancient apps to support, you gotta admit: keeping XP around for those times you want to indulge in a bit of nostalgia is pretty cool.
Windows 7’s XP Mode runs within a virtual PC (VPC). It’s not a dual-boot setup, which lets you run only one OS at a time; a VPC lets you run a second operating system within your current OS, giving you access to both simultaneously.
In a VPC, all the hardware (video boards, hard-drive controllers, etc.) an OS needs is emulated or moderated by the VPC’s software. In Win7’s XP Mode, the virtual hardware boots and runs XP Pro SP3 within a Win7 window (see Figures 1 and 2). It’s sort of like having a second monitor, but on your Win7 desktop.
By Kathleen Atkins
When a new Lounger asks whether Windows Vista is better than Windows XP Professional, a lengthy discussion ensues.
The conversation is every bit as analytical as you might think but also calmer than you might expect, given Vista’s denigrated history. The participants in the discussion are all experts, and it’s worthwhile catching their opinions. More»
The following links are this week’s most interesting Lounge threads, including several new questions to which you might be able to provide responses:
☼ starred posts — particularly useful
| By Tracey Capen |
One of the joys of interacting with babies is their complete lack of guile. Whatever they experience and feel — hunger, happiness, fear — is immediately and honestly reflected in their facial expressions.
Sometimes, their reactions to something new can be quite entertaining — to us. Take, for example, an infant’s first encounter with a lemon; it could be the first time she discovers that everything is not so sweet. Play the video
| By Fred Langa |
It can be a disaster when a large Network Attached Storage (NAS) device fails.
Because NAS drives and similar network devices (routers, network printers, set-top boxes, etc.) often base their internal OSes on Linux, sometimes you can repair them with standard Linux recovery tools.
Using a bootable Linux CD to rescue NAS drives
Reader Les Chadwick experienced a nightmare problem: the failure of his large Network Attached Storage drive, on which his Windows systems had saved — well, everything.
- “Can you please help? My worst fears have just been realized. I run a small Windows network at home, consisting of three computers and a LaCie 1.8TB Network Space 2 NAS Drive. As a photographer, I take a great many images and eventually archive them to the NAS. I also use the network drive to hold backups of each computer and to store many of my documents and software.
“This morning I was copying a folder of images across to said NAS drive when, about halfway through, the system suddenly crashed. I rebooted the computer, only to find to my horror that I can no longer access the main partition on the NAS drive, where all my information is stored. I have tried to access it from each of the other two computers, but to no avail.
“I can, however, access the drive through the LaCie Dashboard and see all the normal configuration data. I can even change the setup if required. What I can’t see or access is the ‘openshare’ partition, which is grayed out.
| By Woody Leonhard |
Searching in Windows used to be a frustrating, error-prone exercise in which you depended on slow, space-hog programs to bring you dubious results.
In Windows 7, search has improved enormously. But there are tricks that make it work even better — some of which are applicable to earlier versions of Windows, too.
Simple settings changes improve searches
Windows XP performs searches but often misses things that should be found. Vista’s a little bit better but still suffers from a faltering memory. You can try one of the old, stalwart alternatives to get decent searches in XP or Vista — Copernic Desktop Search (info page), for example — as a stopgap, but your choices for reliable searching in XP and Vista have dwindled as both OSes fade into the sunset. Google Desktop (page), long one of my favorites, was discontinued two weeks ago.
(XP fading, he says? Yes, indeed. As of last week, according to Microsoft, more consumers now use Windows 7 than XP. MS hasn’t published numbers, so it’s hard to say exactly how it came to that conclusion. But the evidence of Win7’s ascendancy is everywhere — including among Windows Secrets subscribers.)
So, better search capabilities are one of the more compelling reasons for upgrading to Windows 7.
Whatever version of Windows you’re on, improve your search results with one simple change in settings: have Windows always show you filename extensions — the short, typically three-letter suffix on every filename that identifies its type (such as .doc, .xls, .jpg, and so on). If you let Windows hide filename extensions from you, it’s impossible to figure out how and why some searches go wrong.
| By Susan Bradley |
Web-browsing leaves behind lots of history about what you’ve done and where you’ve been online.
Have you looked at your browser’s cookie files lately? You can — here’s how.
Taking a look at what’s inside your cookies
The subject of browser cookies is a two-sided tale. Their good side makes it easier to visit websites and set browsing preferences; their bad side compromises our privacy. Last year, the Wall Street Journal featured a multipart series on the dark side of cookies — how they’re used to track who we are and how we browse the Web. Reading it could almost knock you off your Internet habit.
To give you examples of what you might find in browser cookies, I took a look at mine. There are two ways to see what they know about me: using a browser’s own tools or via third-party utilities.
Some of the third-party tools I discuss below might be flagged by your antivirus software as suspect. If you don’t feel comfortable trying them, you’ll have to stick to the basic information easily viewed on your system.
Browser cookies are specific to the browser they’re created on. But you’ll also run into another type of cookie — Flash cookies, which work across multiple browsers. In your zeal to clear out browser cookies, you’ll probably forget all about Flash cookies. Woody Leonhard covered them in his Aug. 5, 2010, Top Story, “Eliminate Flash-spawned ‘zombie’ cookies.”
The Windows Secrets Newsletter is published weekly on the 1st through 4th Thursdays of each month, plus occasional news updates. We skip an issue on the 5th Thursday of any month, the week of Thanksgiving, and the last two weeks of August and December. Windows Secrets is a continuation of four merged publications: Brian's Buzz on Windows and Woody's Windows Watch in 2004, the LangaList in 2006, and the Support Alert Newsletter in 2008.
Publisher: WindowsSecrets.com, 1218 Third Ave., Suite 1515, Seattle, WA 98101 USA. Vendors, please send no unsolicited packages to this address (readers' letters are fine).
Editor in chief: Tracey Capen. Senior editors: Fred Langa, Woody Leonhard. Copyeditor: Roberta Scholz. Program director: Tony Johnston. Contributing editors: Yardena Arar, Susan Bradley, Scott Dunn, Michael Lasky, Scott Mace, Ryan Russell, Lincoln Spector, Robert Vamosi, Becky Waring. Product manager: Andy Boyd. Advertising director: Eric Gilley.
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