Archive for the ‘Shortcuts’ Category

Deep Shot uses camera to move application states between PC, phone

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Apple isn’t the only entity trying to ease users’ transitions between devices. Tsung-Hsiang Chang, a graduate student at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, and Yang Li, a Google employee, have developed an application that lets users transfer the state of an application from a computer to a smartphone or vice versa just by snapping a picture of the computer’s screen. Once the picture is taken, the application is opened right where the user left off.

The application is called Deep Shot, and was designed to work with Web apps. Most Web apps can describe the state they’re in with a combination of symbols, called the unique resource identifier (URI), which Deep Shot can use to seamlessly transfer the working state of an open app without the need for cables or interacting with a third-party app to handle the syncing. Deep Shot is technically a third party, but it appears to work in the background and doesn’t involve itself in a visible way with the transfer process.

With Deep Shot’s software installed on a computer and phone, users can take a picture with the phone of an open application on the computer—like a restaurant’s page on Yelp. The phone’s software will then use digital vision algorithms to figure out what application is in the picture and open it. Meanwhile, the computer transmits the corresponding URI to the phone using a WiFi connection, though “the medium can be replaced with any networking protocols,” Chang tells Ars.

The phone opens the Yelp app, reads the URI, and produces the same page without the user having to search for the restaurant again, e-mail the page to himself, or use other workarounds. Changing how much of the screen is photographed even changes how the information is displayed on the phone.

Likewise, users can throw an app’s state from a phone to the computer by taking a picture of the computer’s screen with the phone again. The phone uses the picture to figure out which computer it should connect with based on the appearance of the screen in the picture, and then pushes the app or page and its state to the computer.

Deep Shot’s system also doesn’t require linear transactions between different versions of the same app. URI transactions could also work more generally between two different kinds of mapping apps or review services, if desired. The creators note that Deep Shot could work with other software and non-Web applications, though Jeffrey Nichols, a researcher at IBM’s Almaden research center, notes that it would require an agreement on interoperability standards, which are tough to set up and maintain. Nichols told MIT News he hopes that “companies like Microsoft would really consider adding it,” but cautions that he thinks computing is moving away from native apps toward Web ones.

Deep Shot currently only works with a handful of Web apps, including Google Maps and Yelp, but the creators note that it could be made to work with any Web app that determines its state using URIs. The problem is that URIs are often used less plainly than in applications like Google Maps, so they can be harder to extract and exchange between devices.

There are some features we’d like to see added, like the ability to move working states between devices in the background, without having to have the relevant app pop open each time Deep Shot is used. We could also envision simpler additional services that could fill out Deep Shot, like if photos of text on a PC screen could become copy- and paste-able on the phone.

The app was developed at Google, so Google holds the rights, but it hasn’t put forth any official plans for it. In a space where companies are falling over each other to offer cloud and syncing services, Deep Shot could be a serious contribution to Google’s syncing arsenal.

Source:  arstechnica

Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office Unites Office With Google Docs

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Wouldn’t it be great if you could combine the best of Microsoft Office and Google Docs? Imagine the feature set and usability of Office with the ability of Google Docs to store documents in the cloud and share them. With Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, that’s exactly what you get. This free add-in for Microsoft Office, which hails from Google, lets you save your Office documents to Google Docs, where you can use them as you would normally.

After you install the software, it runs as its own toolbar at the top of Office. When you want to save a document to Google Docs, simply click Sync, and it saves the file, and then syncs it automatically every time you save. If you want, you can change that syncing behavior, and having Google Cloud Connect sync only when you manually tell it to.

You can also use the Google Cloud Connect toolbar to share a document that you’ve saved to Google Docs. Click the Share button and a dialog box opens that lets you share your document. You can use Google Cloud Connect with multiple Google Doc accounts; simply switch from one to the other. There are a few limitations, though. You can’t use multiple accounts simultaneously, and you can’t open a document stored on Google Docs from directly within Office.

There’s no simpler way to combine the power of Microsoft Office and Google Docs than Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office–and you can get it for free.

Source:  PCworld

Enabling the real administrator account in Windows Vista and Windows 7

Friday, January 21st, 2011

There will occasionally be times when you want unfettered administrative access to your machine without the risk inherent to simply disabling UAC. This can be accomplished quite easily by enabling the real administrator account which is disabled by default in Windows Vista and Windows 7. It is important to remember, however, that this account should not be used as your default account since it being compromised would be tantamount to allowing bad guys complete control of your PC.

The process is identical for both Vista and Windows 7 users.  First, open a command prompt. Type “compmgmt.msc” and hit enter. When the Computer Management console opens, expand Local Users and Groups and select Users as shown right.

Before you get all excited, right-click on the administrator account, uncheck the disabled box and start to celebrate your newly acquired administrative powers, you should set a password. Right-click on the account and input your desired password, selecting one as secure/obscure as possible. The warning that appears (see right) is due to the fact that you’re changing the password of the admin account from within another account. You can proceed without any worries because you will be enabling the real administrator account for the first time.

Finally, right click on the account again and select Properties. Now you can uncheck the “Account is disabled” box and activate your real administrator account. Hit OK, log out of the current account and log into your new administrator account with the password you just set. To disable the account, simply recheck the box to disable the account.

For those who prefer the simplicity of the command line UI, the same operation can be performed with the following command:

net user administrator /active:yes

The operation can be undone with this command:

net user administrator /active:no

Kill rogue processes with taskkill in Microsoft Windows

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

There are times, regardless of your operating system, when you will need to manually kill a rogue process. Most of the time, this can easily be done with the help of the Microsoft Windows 7 Task Manager. There are times, however, when that tool doesn’t seem to have the ability to kill a rogue process. I have seen this plenty of times when trying to kill an Acronis process that has gone astray. When this happens, I have to employ a more powerful tool, taskkill, which is used from the command line.

Note: In order to run the taskkill command, you will have to open the command window. To do this, click Start | Run and type cmd in the text field or just enter cmd in the Run dialog box (access Run dialog box by clicking Win+R) (Figure A).

Figure A

Open the command window.

Using taskkill

The general syntax of the command looks like this:

taskkill [OPTIONS] [PID]

As you might expect, there are plenty of options available for this command. Some of the more helpful options are:

  • /s COMPUTER — (Where COMPUTER is the IP or address of a remote computer). The default is the local computer, so if you’re working with a command on the local machine, you do not have to use this option.
  • /u DOMAIN\USER — (Where DOMAIN is the domain and USER is the username you authenticate to). This option allows you run taskkill with the account permissions of the specified USERNAME or DOMAIN\USERNAME.
  • /p — If you use the /u option, you will also need to include the /p option, which allows you to specify the user password.
  • /fi — Allows you to run the taskkill command with filters.
  • /f — Forces the command to be terminated.
  • /IM — Allows you to use an application name instead of the PID (Process ID number) of the application.

One of the most useful options is the help switch (Figure B):

taskkill /?

Figure B

Use the help switch for the taskkill command.

Killing with application name

The simplest way to kill a rogue application with taskkill is using the /IM option. This is done like so:


Where APPLICATION_NAME is the name of the application you want to kill. Say, for example, Outlook is refusing to close. To close this with taskkill, you would execute the command:

taskkill /IM outlook.exe

Killing with PID

Let’s say you do not know the name of the application, but instead you know the PID of the application. To kill a process with a PID of, say, 572, you would issue the command:

taskkill /PID 572

Killing all processes owned by a particular user

What if you want to kill all processes owned by a single user? This can come in handy if something has gone awry with a user account or if the user has logged out, but some of the processes owned by that user will not go away. To manage this you would issue the taskkill command like so:

taskkill /F /FI “USERNAME eq username”

In this case, the username is the actual username that owns the processes. Note: The USERNAME option must be used in order to tell the taskkill command a username will be specified.

Killing processes on a remote machine

This one is very handy. Say something has locked up your desktop and you know exactly what application is the culprit. Let’s stick with our Outlook example from earlier. You can hop onto another machine and remotely kill that application like so:

taskkill /s IP_ADDRESS /u DOMAIN\USERNAME /IM Outlook.exe

Where IP_ADDRESS is the address of the remote machine (Note: The hostname can be substituted if the machines are able to see one another by hostname), DOMAIN is the domain (if applicable), and USERNAME is the username used to authenticate to the remote machine.

Final thoughts

The ability and power that comes with the taskkill command can be a very valuable tool that might save you from having to forcibly reboot a machine. Having a solid grasp of this tool, in conjunction with using the Windows Task Manager, will help to keep your Windows machines enjoying longer uptime and, should the occasion strike, the ability to manage a task when a virus, rootkit, or trojan has taken over your machine.



Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts

Friday, September 24th, 2010

How to View and Explore Web Pages With Shortcut Keys

To view and explore Web pages with shortcut keys in Internet Explorer:

To do this                                Press this key
Display Internet Explorer Help or to      F1
display context Help about an item in 
a dialog box

Toggle between full-screen and other      F11
views in the browser

Move forward through the items on a       TAB 
Web page, the Address box, or the 
Links box

Move through the items on a Web page,     SHIFT+TAB
the Address box, or the Links box

Go to your Home page                      ALT+HOME

Go to the next page                       ALT+RIGHT ARROW

Go to the previous page                   ALT+LEFT ARROW or BACKSPACE

Display a shortcut menu for a link        SHIFT+F10

Move forward between frames               CTRL+TAB or F6

Move back between frames                  SHIFT+CTRL+TAB

Scroll toward the beginning of a          UP ARROW

Scroll toward the end of a document       DOWN ARROW

Scroll toward the beginning of a          PAGE UP
document in larger increments

Scroll toward the end of a document       PAGE DOWN
in larger increments

Move to the beginning of a document       HOME

Move to the end of a document             END

Find on this page                         CTRL+F

Refresh the current Web page              F5 or CTRL+R

Refresh the current Web page, even if     CTRL+F5
the time stamp for the Web version and 
your locally stored version are the same  

Stop downloading a page                   ESC

Go to a new location                      CTRL+O or CTRL+L

Open a new window                         CTRL+N

Close the current window                  CTRL+W

Save the current page                     CTRL+S

Print the current page or active frame    CTRL+P

Activate a selected link                  ENTER

Open the Search box                       CTRL+E

Open the Favorites box                    CTRL+I

Open the History box                      CTRL+H

In the History or Favorites boxes,        CTRL+click
open multiple folders

Microsoft keyboard shortcuts

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Microsoft Windows keyboard shortcuts – you’ll use them more than you think

Windows system key combinations

  • F1: Help
  • CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu
  • ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs
  • ALT+F4: Quit program
  • SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently
  • Windows Logo+L: Lock the computer (without using CTRL+ALT+DELETE)

Windows program key combinations

  • CTRL+C: Copy
  • CTRL+X: Cut
  • CTRL+V: Paste
  • CTRL+Z: Undo
  • CTRL+B: Bold
  • CTRL+U: Underline
  • CTRL+I: Italic

Mouse click/keyboard modifier combinations for shell objects

  • SHIFT+right click: Displays a shortcut menu containing alternative commands
  • SHIFT+double click: Runs the alternate default command (the second item on the menu)
  • ALT+double click: Displays properties
  • SHIFT+DELETE: Deletes an item immediately without placing it in the Recycle Bin

General keyboard-only commands

  • F1: Starts Windows Help
  • F10: Activates menu bar options
  • SHIFT+F10 Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item (this is the same as right-clicking an object
  • CTRL+ESC: Opens the Start menu (use the ARROW keys to select an item)
  • CTRL+ESC or ESC: Selects the Start button (press TAB to select the taskbar, or press SHIFT+F10 for a context menu)
  • CTRL+SHIFT+ESC: Opens Windows Task Manager
  • ALT+DOWN ARROW: Opens a drop-down list box
  • ALT+TAB: Switch to another running program (hold down the ALT key and then press the TAB key to view the task-switching window)
  • SHIFT: Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature
  • ALT+SPACE: Displays the main window’s System menu (from the System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the window)
  • ALT+- (ALT+hyphen): Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) child window’s System menu (from the MDI child window’s System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the child window)
  • CTRL+TAB: Switch to the next child window of a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program
  • ALT+underlined letter in menu: Opens the menu
  • ALT+F4: Closes the current window
  • CTRL+F4: Closes the current Multiple Document Interface (MDI) window
  • ALT+F6: Switch between multiple windows in the same program (for example, when the Notepad Find dialog box is displayed, ALT+F6 switches between the Find dialog box and the main Notepad window)

Shell objects and general folder/Windows Explorer shortcuts

For a selected object:

  • F2: Rename object
  • F3: Find all files
  • CTRL+X: Cut
  • CTRL+C: Copy
  • CTRL+V: Paste
  • SHIFT+DELETE: Delete selection immediately, without moving the item to the Recycle Bin
  • ALT+ENTER: Open the properties for the selected object

General folder/shortcut control

  • F4: Selects the Go To A Different Folder box and moves down the entries in the box (if the toolbar is active in Windows Explorer)
  • F5: Refreshes the current window.
  • F6: Moves among panes in Windows Explorer
  • CTRL+G: Opens the Go To Folder tool (in Windows 95 Windows Explorer only)
  • CTRL+Z: Undo the last command
  • CTRL+A: Select all the items in the current window
  • BACKSPACE: Switch to the parent folder
  • SHIFT+click+Close button: For folders, close the current folder plus all parent folders

Windows Explorer tree control

  • Numeric Keypad *: Expands everything under the current selection
  • Numeric Keypad +: Expands the current selection
  • Numeric Keypad -: Collapses the current selection.
  • RIGHT ARROW: Expands the current selection if it is not expanded, otherwise goes to the first child
  • LEFT ARROW: Collapses the current selection if it is expanded, otherwise goes to the parent

Properties control

  • CTRL+TAB/CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Move through the property tabs

Accessibility shortcuts

  • Press SHIFT five times: Toggles StickyKeys on and off
  • Press down and hold the right SHIFT key for eight seconds: Toggles FilterKeys on and off
  • Press down and hold the NUM LOCK key for five seconds: Toggles ToggleKeys on and off
  • Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK: Toggles MouseKeys on and off
  • Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN: Toggles high contrast on and off

Microsoft Natural Keyboard keys

  • Windows Logo: Start menu
  • Windows Logo+R: Run dialog box
  • Windows Logo+M: Minimize all
  • SHIFT+Windows Logo+M: Undo minimize all
  • Windows Logo+F1: Help
  • Windows Logo+E: Windows Explorer
  • Windows Logo+F: Find files or folders
  • Windows Logo+D: Minimizes all open windows and displays the desktop
  • CTRL+Windows Logo+F: Find computer
  • CTRL+Windows Logo+TAB: Moves focus from Start, to the Quick Launch toolbar, to the system tray (use RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW to move focus to items on the Quick Launch toolbar and the system tray)
  • Windows Logo+TAB: Cycle through taskbar buttons
  • Windows Logo+Break: System Properties dialog box
  • Application key: Displays a shortcut menu for the selected item

Dialog box keyboard commands

  • TAB: Move to the next control in the dialog box
  • SHIFT+TAB: Move to the previous control in the dialog box
  • SPACEBAR: If the current control is a button, this clicks the button. If the current control is a check box, this toggles the check box. If the current control is an option, this selects the option.
  • ENTER: Equivalent to clicking the selected button (the button with the outline)
  • ESC: Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button
  • ALT+underlined letter in dialog box item: Move to the corresponding item