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Getting Along With Your Computer

Contest results...and more

Thank you to everyone who answered the question, “How do you organize your passwords?” This week I answer two questions; “Where is that mouse cursor?” and “What is the Mobility Center?”

Contest results

Thank you to everyone who sent me a story about how you keep track of your passwords now, and why you would like a copy of the Internet Password Organizer.

I thought it would be pretty easy to pick four winners. I was wrong. A lot of you had great password stories. Many of you use Word or Excel to keep track of your passwords. A surprising number of you hide your passwords behind furniture. Several of you use address books, recipe boxes, and Rolodexes to keep track of your passwords. Some of you write your passwords on currency, prescriptions, and the back of grocery lists. A whole lot of you have pieces of paper supplemented with post-it notes.

I wish I had about 50 of these organizers to give away. I’ve contacted everyone who will be receiving an organizer, and I put those in the mail. If you’re expecting one, you should receive it about the same time you read this column. The winning entries were submitted by Jennifer in Westbank, Jim in Westbank, Manon in Kelowna, and Shari in Salmon Arm. I’ll share some of the winning entries in future columns.

Thank you once again to everyone who took the time to enter the contest.

Where’s my cursor?

Have you ever lost track of your mouse cursor? It’s easy to do if you have a lot of windows open, a long document, or a cluttered desktop. It’s really easy to find your mouse cursor whenever you want if you change one setting now, while you can still find your mouse!

  • Click on Start
  • In the Search box, type the word mouse
  • In the results at the top of the window, click on Mouse
  • Click on the tab called Pointer Options
  • Place a check mark in the box called Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key
  • Click OK

Next time you lose track of your cursor, press the control key, and you’ll see animated concentric circles around the cursor location. Here’s a brief screencast so you can see what I mean:

What is Windows Mobility Center?

Mobility Center is a great little utility that you already have if you are running Windows 7 Home Premium or better (or even Vista Home Premium or better) on your laptop. If you are mystified by the blue pictures of things on the top row of your keys, Mobility Center is for you. It provides ready access to the most useful settings on your laptop without forcing you to use key combinations.

The only key combination you need to remember is “Windows Key + X” (Press the Windows and the X key at the same time). The Mobility Center presents you with a “tiles” for controlling screen brightness, volume, switching your wireless connection off and on, and lets you see the battery status. Sometimes there are tiles for external displays and presentation settings. Not all computers can do all functions, and some computer manufacturers replace the generic Mobility Center with their own branded one.

You’ll find more information about the Windows 7 Mobility Center here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Using-Windows-Mobility-Center. Vista users go here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Using-Windows-Mobility-Center. If you have a Vista or Windows 7 laptop, try out the Mobility Center and see what you think.

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

You can read previous columns here: http://rlis.com/column.htm . If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618 . It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml.

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About the author...

Cate Eales has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible and fun for over 20 years. She lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric, and her dog, Sandy. Cate is a partner in Computer Care Kelowna, helping individuals and small businesses with virus, spyware and malware eradication; personal computer training and management; digital image management; music transfer; and website design, hosting and management.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with your comments, suggestions, or questions. To browse the column archives, visit the Real Life Internet Solutions website at www.rlis.com.




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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