Internet, Open Multiple Webpages Automatically

On a daily basis, when I open the internet, there are a handful of different sites I visit. Google, Google News, My bank account, and a couple others. Typing all of those in is just too much work. Here is the solution for both Internet Explorer and Firefox:

I'll warn you up front that you'll have to type them in one last time, so be patient. And a side effect not anticipated, it will take longer for your Browser to display because it's opening multiple pages.

Personally, I use Internet Explorer for multiple home pages, and I keep Firefox simple for quick internet access.

Internet Explorer: (You will basically create a "list" of home page links.)
1. Open Internet Explorer
2. Go to your first site, click the address bar with the full URL displayed, it should all turn blue, then press Ctrl C (copy)
3. On the menu bar, go to Tools, Internet Options, and the first screen will have "Home Page" displayed.
4. Click into that box and press Ctrl V (paste)
5. If you already have one in there, just click at the end of it and press Enter, then Ctrl V.
6. Repeat as many times as needed.

Firefox does have a feature so that when you open multiple tabs and close Firefox, it will ask you if you want to "Save and Quit". That works as long as you're on the homescreen of each site when you say Yes.
To set it up manually...

1. Open FireFox
2. Go to your first site, click the address bar with the full URL displayed, it should all turn blue, then press Ctrl C (copy)
3. On the menu bar, go to Tools, Options, General, and the first screen will have "Home Page" box.
4. In Firefox, it is entered in a continuous string separated by a pipe, "|". (That symbol is found on the same key as the
backslash, above the enter key.)

a. Click into that box and press Ctrl V (paste)
b. Now type a space, then a pipe "|" then a space, then paste the next URL and so on.
5. You will need to click OK, go get the next URL, copy, then go back in and paste, etc.

System Restore

Here is a Computer Super Secret that I use just once in awhile - but it's a biggy:

System Restore - the best thing Microsoft ever did for their customers. This will save you tremendous hours of heartache by re-setting whatever FREAK thing happened to your computer. I am a power user; I know what I am doing, and still I have to do a System Restore about every two months. Unexplainable things happen. This is how to fix them:

Windows XP Users:

1. click Start
2. All Programs
3. Accessories
4. System Tools
5. System Restore
6. Click Next

Window's Vista Users:

1. Just type restore into the Start menu search box, and you'll immediately see
System Restore at the top of the start menu

The dates in Bold are the most recent restore points which automatically set each time you shutdown. (Another good reason to do a system shutdown nightly.)

1. Choose a date very near to the time you discovered the problem.
2. Click Next
3. Read the screen, click Next, and trust it. It should all be fine.

If the problem still persists, choose another date slightly further back. (You can go back two months but I don't recommend that. Inch your way back a bold-date at a time until the problem is fixed.)

Warning: Sometimes System Restore doesn't fix the problem. At that point, you will have to fix it by trial and error. Of all the times I've used it, it has worked 98% of the time.

Auto Start your favorite programs

I like to save time, save clicks, get on with my life. Some people call this efficiency. I call it brilliant laziness. If I can get the computer to do a few extra tricks, then it's worth the setup time to make it happen. (In this case, about 15 seconds.)

First thing I want to do every morning is read my email. But I don't wait for the computer to start up only to click one more button to open MS Outlook and wait longer. It happens automatically when you set your programs to autostart.

Here's the trick...

Productivity Secret #4. Automatically startup a program when the computer starts up

For Windows XP...

1. On the Windows Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft Office,
and then point to the Office program you want to automatically start. (like Outlook)

2. Drag the the Office program to rest over the Startup folder on the Programs list.
(Don't let go of the mouse yet.) When the Startup folder displays a list of
programs, point to where you want the Office program to appear, and then
release the mouse.

3. If you drop it in the wrong spot, don't worry - just click and drag it to the right spot.

And another tip: while you're looking at your Programs list, click the right mouse button
and choose "Sort by Name". This will alphabetize the folders and programs in the list.

Quickly Shutdown

I learned very quickly, while shutting down a comptuer lab of 24 systems, that the "Start, Shutdown, Shutdown" process can be tedious and boring.

It's more like, Start... wait... Shutdown... wait... Shutdown.

Then I read somewhere online about a speedy alternative. "Alt F4, then press Enter" (Pressing enters assumes the last time you shutdown you actually clicked "shutdown". If you clicked Standby, then Enter will activate "Standby". So just make sure one-more-time and click Shutdown.

Pressing Alt F4 while inside a program will actually close that program. (Which is what happened to me while typing this. *smile*. This is the 2nd draft.)

Anyway, next time you're ready to shutdown your system (which you should be doing daily for System Restore points), give this shortcut a try.

Zoom In Zoom Out

While you are reading this, right now, press and hold Control on your keyboard and scroll the mouse wheel up or down.

Welcome to the Super Secret of Zoom control! No matter where you are or what you are looking at, the moment you feel your eyes squinting, just press Ctrl and Scroll the mouse wheel. So even if you can't find a Zoom button, this trick will work.

Another tip to zoom control, is to look at the bottom right corner of your Browser. There is "usually" a zoom button in the corner (depends on the browser you use).
Just click it - go ahead, right now - and your screen will zoom in. To zoom back out, you will have to click the arrow beside the button and choose "Zoom Out".

The keyboard shortcut to this trick is "Ctrl +" and "Ctrl -"

It's these little things that make our computer time so much easier to tolerate.

Zoom in Zoom out; Zoom image script; Zoom in online; Make text larger; Make text bigger.
I could go on and on... but I think you get the point. :)

Remote Access is Easy and Free

Sometimes productivity isn't possible if you're away from your main computer. For instance, I teach a class on Digital Cameras and demonstrate photo manipulation. But the lab computer does not have PhotoShop. My home office computer does. To teach the class productively, I remotely access my home office computer. To do that, I have to use a remote access product.

Productivity Secret #3. Remote Access...
You can remotely access your home office computer through Windows by following these 20 steps *cough wheeze* located at

Unfortunately, Windows processes depend largely on matching operating systems. I tried their solution and was very frustrated. Thankfully, there are other options that are easier, 2 of them I list here.

An excellent remote access that costs approximately $20/month is GoToMyPC - access everything on your PC from anywhere with GoToMyPC® The remote picture is crystal clear and the access time is "Speedy Gonzalez!" is Free, Free, Free. Did I mention it's FREE? Obviously you can pay for an upgrade version, but seriously, if you just need to read your emails while you're away, who cares about pixel quality?

I have personally used both programs. GoToMyPC is easy and by far a better quality, but beats all others for the ease and the price.

I hope this information was enlightening, and Welcome to the world of remote
access! It's VERY cool!

Computer People Tricks

Here is a Computer "Underground" Super Secret:

Everyone knows that when you work in an industry for any length of time you learn things that the general public does not know. Tips, Shortcuts, Secrets. Here are a couple I've learned...

1 - If you have to call tech support, exmaple: Dell's Tech Support - (by the way, the phone # is 1-800-INDIA) - and you cannot understand the accent/dialect of the person, just say, "Supervisor, please."

They'll transfer you. If you still can't understand that person, just say it again, "Supervisor, please." Keep saying it until you can understand someone and get help.

2 - Have you every had to make a phone call you were dreading? (Who hasn't?) Well, at you can leave a voicemail on someone's cell phone (doesn't work on land lines), and their phone will never ring. They will just see a message screen that says, "New Voice Mail". Try it. It's like virtual voicemail.
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