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Friday, June 22, 2012

Internet Hall of Fame

The Internet Society is a non-profit organization that has considerable influence, predominately in standards, public policy, and education. At their 20th anniversary annual meeting in Geneva, The Internet Society added a new award.

Congratulations to the 2012 inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame!

Take a few moments and visit the Hall of Fame Website.  The nominations are very impressive with the incredible impact they have had on the Internet, its development and growth.

Pioneers Circle
Recognizing individuals who were instrumental in the early design and development of the Internet: Paul Baran, Vint Cerf, Danny Cohen, Steve Crocker, Donald Davies, Elizabeth Feinler, Charles Herzfeld, Robert Kahn, Peter Kirstein, Leonard Kleinrock, John Klensin, Jon Postel, Louis Pouzin, and Lawrence Roberts.

Innovators
Recognizing individuals who made outstanding technological, commercial, or policy advances and helped to expand the Internet’s reach: Mitchell Baker, Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, Van Jacobson, Lawrence Landweber, Paul Mockapetris, Craig Newmark, Raymond Tomlinson, Linus Torvalds, and Philip Zimmermann.

Global Connectors
Recognizing individuals from around the world who have made significant contributions to the global growth and use of the Internet: Randy Bush, Kilnam Chon, Al Gore, Nancy Hafkin, Geoff Huston, Brewster Kahle, Daniel Karrenberg, Toru Takahashi, and Tan Tin Wee.☺

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hot Tip: Save Your Computer from Power Surges

When you bought your computer, it probably was suggested that you buy a surge protector (not a power strip which lacks the protection against power fluctuations.  This may protect your computer from disruptions in the flow of power. These disruptions, also called  "surges", "spikes" and "blinks" or "flickers", can be as quick at few nanoseconds (1/100 of a seconds or less) and yet they can do extensive damage.  A in inexpensive surge protector probably will protect your computer from the minor blinks and flickers but during a storm, it could easily let you down, causing damage to your system and your pocketbook.

When storms roll through, another computer related problem can occur, leaving you without a computer. Electricity can be carried through the phone lines and cables, frying modem and computers. You can add a phone surge suppressor at a very low cost, once again saving your system from a meltdown.

For a little more investment, you can purchase a backup UPS system which can give you time to shut down your computer in case of a power outage, phone surges and power fluctuations.

Many of these surge protectors can limit the damage of a power fluctuation, but the best defense from storms and potential direct electrical strikes is to shut down and unplug your computer and peripherals (printers etc) and any phone or cable connections. Note: A surge protector doesn't protect your computer or any electronic device from a direct lightening strike.  You may want to check your homeowners insurance for that coverage. ☺


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What are those F keys at the top of the keyboard?

So what do you use those F-keys on the top of the keyboard?  Well, those are called "function keys" and they are date back to the old days when computers used DOS. We don't use them much now but they can be used to perform shortcuts on your computer.

  • F1 is almost always a default for help in software programs.  If you use the Windows key + F1, it will open the Windows help and support center. 
  • F2 - Highlight an icon on your Windows desktop and press F2 to rename the icon. You can also rename the icon by right-clicking on the icon and then selecting rename, but what's the fun in all those steps?
  • F3 - From the desktop, F3 brings up the "find feature" to search your computer. If your Firefox browser is on-screen, it pops up the "fine feature" of the browser.
  • F4 - In the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers, it will open the address bar.
  • F5 - F7 will start the spell check in Word and Outlook. In Word, it will start the "Find and Replace" feature.
  • F6 - Like F4, it goes to the address bar in your browser. On your desktop it will go to various parts of your workspace. Helpful if you loose your mouse and need to move around with your keyboard.  Not something that happens often but trivia that might be useful in the future.
  • F7 - Turns on Caret Browsing in Firefox and I.E. which basically means to navigate the webpage using arrow keys.  Press F7 again to turn this feature off.
  • F8 - Another little used but helpful function. Hold down F8 when you are booting your Windows computer to get into Safe Mode.
  • F9 - No programmed use in Windows but will update selected fields in Microsoft Word.
  • F10 -  Shows or highlights the menu bar in many programs including Internet Explorer and Firefox.
  • F11 -  Opens full screen or "Kiosk" mode for your browser.  How cool is that?
  • F12 - No programmed use in Windows but will open the Save As dialog in Microsoft Word. 
Of course, various programs may use the function keys for other purposes. The function keys can also be combined with other keys on the board for keyboard shortcuts. ☺ 




Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Fresh, New Desktop Background

So, do you get tired of the same ol', same ol' background picture on your desktop?  Do you wish you could change it out regularly? Maybe use some images from your photo club, your Facebook page or a Picasa Web Album?

Introducing John's Background Switcher. I am really impressed with this little program that gives you so many options, even let you surf for... let's say, Horse Pictures!  JBS can also change the background for the Windows logon screen.


Note: This program is donationware. It is free to use, but the author accepts and encourages donations towards further development. ☺

Monday, June 18, 2012

Looking to the Future: The Microsoft Surface

Just announced, Microsoft will soon be hitting the market with the iPad competitor, the Microsoft Surface which will run Windows 8 or Windows RT. - Has a keyboard that attaches magnetically, creates its own cover and comes with a built in "kick" stand! Maybe they were listening. Looking forward to hearing more about this one. ☺