CG Computing Tips – Top 10 keyboard shortcuts everyone should know
1. Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert Copy the highlighted text or selected item.
2. Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert Paste the text or object that’s in the clipboard.
3. Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y Undo any change. For example, if you cut text, pressing this will undo it. This can also often be pressed multiple times to undo multiple changes. Pressing Ctrl + Y would redo the undo.
4. Ctrl + F Open the Find in any program. This includes your Internet browser to find text on the current page.
5. Alt + Tab or Alt + Esc Quickly switch between open programs moving forward. Tip: Press Ctrl + Tab to switch between tabs in a program. Tip: Windows Vista and 7 users can also press the Windows Key + Tab to switch through open programs in a full screenshot of the Window.
6. Ctrl + Back space and Ctrl + Left or Right arrow Pressing Ctrl + Backspace will delete a full word at a time instead of a single character.
Holding down the Ctrl key while pressing the left or right arrow will move the cursor one word at a time instead of one character at a time. If you wanted to highlight one word at a time you can hold down Ctrl + Shift and then press the left or right arrow key to move one word at a time in that direction while highlighting each word.
7. Ctrl + S While working on a document or other file in almost every program pressing Ctrl + S will save that file. This shortcut key should be used frequently anytime you’re working on anything important.
8. Ctrl + Home or Ctrl + End Move the cursor to the beginning or end of a document.
9. Ctrl + P Print the page being viewed. For example, the document in Microsoft Word or the web page in your Internet browser.
10. Page Up, Space bar, and Page Down Pressing either the page up or page down key will move that page one page at a time in that direction. When browsing the Internet pressing the space bar will also move the page down one page at a time. If you press Shift and the Space bar the page will go up a page at a time.
Article supplied by C G Computing based in Walmley Village, Sutton Coldfield.
This article appears in Walmley Pages Magazine, a local publication delivered free to homes in Sutton Coldfield post code B76
The latest internet scam to affect Sutton Coldfield residents comes in the form of Android apps that contain illegal malware. What happens is this; you download a popular App such as Angry Birds from Android Market, which is Google’s version of Apple’s App Store. The download appears to fail but that’s okay as you haven’t been charged for it. What has actually happened is that you have just given your phone “permission” to send a text message that will add £3 to your phone bill. This is a fairly widespread problem; a security consultancy identified 27 apps on Android Market that contained this malware, its name is RuFraud, and estimated that they had been downloaded some 140,000 times. Google has now removed all the infected apps.
It was glaringly obvious that this problem was going to occur. Google has never vetted any of the apps that are listed on Android Market and even made a big deal of it, claiming they wanted to create an “open” marketplace. They may now have to rethink this strategy, particularly when you consider that Amazon has put its financial weight behind its own app market where every app is vetted before it can be listed.
Let’s put this latest scam in perspective though; admittedly, 140,000 people have each lost £3 and that is annoying, particularly for Google, but it is hardly the end of the world. Compare that to some of the other plagues that have stalked the internet over the years and it pales into insignificance. The most prolific internet scam that has generated the greatest losses has to be phishing which has been around for an astonishing 15 years. This is where you receive an email purporting to be from your bank or credit card company asking you to enter your account details, user id and password. These details are then used to transfer money out of your account or buy things on your credit card. Countless people have lost thousands of pounds through phishing scams; globally losses are estimated in the billions of dollars.
Then there are computer viruses, normally transmitted by email, that do anything from slowing down your operating system to wiping your entire hard disk, many of which seem to have been created simply for the malicious pleasure of causing the maximum amount of inconvenience to as many people as possible. Or what about malware – spybots, worms and Trojans that can hijack your computer and use it to send spam emails, or record your keystrokes, or enable someone to spy on every email you send or website you visit.
The thing is, all of these threats are receding and I put this down to three developments. The first is the creation of anti-spam software that is selective, effective and inexpensive. Computer viruses and phishing scams operate via email so anti-spam software greatly reduces the threat from them. Secondly, anti-virus software is now highly developed and free versions are available online, from AVG for instance. This means that even if a virus should evade your anti-spam software or arrive on a memory stick, it will be detected and quarantined before it can do any damage. Finally, anti-malware software is now extremely sophisticated and is usually incorporated in anti-virus software; Windows 7 and the latest version of Internet Explorer also have malware protection built in. Malware is not transmitted via email but rather via the internet – you can pick up a Trojan Horse simply by going on the wrong website – so this is a major development.
I admit that there are issues around social media these days but these are more to do with privacy than internet security. There’s a simple solution, don’t post information online that you wouldn’t be happy for anyone to see.
The Wild West was eventually tamed. It is my firm belief that one day the internet will be to.
Graham Iek – IT Consultant
Article featured in Walmley Pages Magazine, Sutton Coldfield
he departure of Steve Jobs from the position of CEO in August due to ill health puts Apple in something of a quandary. Apple is currently the biggest company in the world by market value so it seems absurd that one person can have such an impact on the business. However, Apple has been inextricably linked with Steve Jobs for most of its existence.
Jobs was one of the cofounders of the company in 1976 and oversaw the spectacularly successful IPO in 1980 which created 300 millionaires in the business. Next he headed up the team that developed the ubiquitous Macintosh which still forms the backbone of Apple’s offering in the PC and laptop sectors. A year later he was ousted by the board following a dispute with the CEO. He set up his own software firm, NeXT. Although Apple enjoyed a brief golden age between 1988 and 1991, by 1997 it was on the verge of bankruptcy following three years of heavy losses. Jobs returned as CEO and effectively saved the company, first by redesigning the Operating System around his own NeXT software to create a credible rival for Windows, then by going in to partnership with Microsoft to create a version of the market leading Microsoft Office that was compatible with the Mac.
The rest is history; the spectacularly successful iPod revolutionised the world of personal stereos, the ubiquitous iPhone made everyone want a smartphone and the iPad turned the tablet computer into the world’s must have accessory. But how much of this is down to the influence of Steve Jobs and how much is down to having good product development teams and simply being in the right place at the right time?
Jobs has delivered some basic but ground breaking ideas. Firstly, he understood the need to combine hardware and media. It was iTunes that made the iPod such a huge success and turned downloading music from an illegal fringe activity to the principle media of the music industry. The App Store was what made the iPhone the definitive smartphone because it allowed users to download numerous software applications cheaply and easily. It has also helped make the iPad the definitive tablet computer. Jobs also recognised that form is just as important as function. Every device Apple makes is sleek, minimalist and stylish – they are the Bang and Olufsen of the computer world. Finally, he realised that the way people use computers is changing; they are no longer just a work tool, they are a multimedia portal, a games console, communications device and much more besides. The iPad is all these things; just don’t try and type up a memo on it.
Most importantly, Jobs has never been afraid to take risks. Before the iPhone Apple had never made any kind of mobile phone; before the iPad they had never made a tablet computer. Every gamble Apple has taken in the past 10 years has paid off – and paid off big! Jobs is known for his single mindedness and his arrogance; it’s my way or the highway is his maxim and he is a tough taskmaster. He doesn’t compromise and he doesn’t learn from others; a good example of this is the way he pushed ahead with his own operating system at a time when over 90% of the PCs in the world ran Windows. Arguably, if he had adopted Windows in 1997 instead of developing a Mac compatible version of Microsoft Office, he would have sold a lot more laptops and desktops. Then again, perhaps he wouldn’t have created the mobile operating system that made the iPad and the iPhone possible.
My feeling is that Apple will become a much safer and more conventional company and the world of IT and media will be all the poorer because of it.
When the Apple iPad was launched I noted that it was more of a gadget than a serious office tool. I also predicted that it would be a big seller. In the event, I suspect that even the ebullient Steve Jobs will have been taken by surprise. In the first year from launch Apple shifted about 20 million units; not too shabby when you consider that number equates to over £4 billion in revenue. Apple has also already launched version 2 of the iPad.
This dramatic commercial success has not gone unnoticed by Apple’s rivals; virtually every PC manufacturer has at least one tablet computer somewhere in their product range. The most significant entrant into the fray is Sony which has just launched not one, but two tablet PCs. The first, the S1, has a 9½ inch touch screen and is similar to the iPad in size and feel. There is also an S2 which has a clamshell design and two 5½ inch screens similar to the Nintendo DS. The S2 is also a mobile communications device giving it the capability of a Smartphone. Both models will have access to Sony’s Qriosity media service which enables music and video streaming, PlayStation Suite which allows users to play PS games on the move and access to Sony’s Reader ebook store – this basically turns them into the equivalent of the Amazon Kindle. Interestingly, Sony has opted to use the Google Android operating system which is the most widely used Smartphone operating system.
This decision represents a seismic shift in the world of the portable computer. For almost twenty years laptops, or notebooks as they are known in the States, have simply been portable versions of the common or garden PC. But the way they are used, particularly by the younger generation, has changed beyond all recognition. Think what your kids do when they borrow your laptop – they will be on Facebook, or watching the latest episode of Doctor Who on iPlayer, or playing a game. Everything is recreational; everything is linked to the internet, only under extreme duress will you find your child typing up an essay for homework. This has been the key to the success of the iPad. It is not so much a computer as a multimedia entertainment console. With the ubiquitous iTunes music and video library and the App Store with however many tens of thousands of software applications it now boasts, Apple offers the content to go with the hardware. The touch screen and accelerometer technology which detects physical movements of the computer also make the iPad a superlative mobile gaming console.
Sony is going to have its work cut out if it is going to go up against the iPad but, in theory, should be more than up to the battle. As an electronics manufacturer Sony is a long established global giant with a solid reputation for quality. In partnership with Ericsson, Sony is one of the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturers. Sony has a sprawling media empire encompassing music and film and, as for computer gaming, I will just say one word – PlayStation! The tie up with Google via the Android operating system is also a smart move with both companies benefiting from the relationship.
However, all is not well at Sony. They were slow to switch their focus to Smartphones allowing Apple to overtake them in terms of market share. The theft of the personal data of over 100 million PlayStation and media customers has made Sony a dirty word among tech savvy consumers. Most of all, where the PlayStation was a market leading product, the S1 and S2 tablet computers are arriving rather late at the party. Sony very much needs its new tablets to be winners; it’s too early to say whether they will be or not. All I will say is that they’re going to have to be seriously good.
Wifi, Wifi… it’s everywhere
It used to be the case that as long as you had Wifi at home and in the office, that was adequate for most people’s needs. Only really dedicated business types expected to be able to work whenever they sat in one place for longer than a few minutes. Very few people took the trouble to cart around a laptop everywhere they went. This has all changed, now so many of us have an extremely compact computer tucked in our pocket in the form of a Smartphone. Increasingly, many have a tablet computer such as an iPad somewhere around their person and the whole point about such devices is that, if they’re not connected to the internet, they’re not much use.
Of course, Smartphones can access the internet via the 3G network but this is decidedly slow; only the other week I was trying to cheat at the pub quiz and I had to hand the answer sheet in before I’d even managed to Google the first question. Luckily, help is at hand in the form of a proliferating network of Wifi hotspots. But how do they work and how can you make use of them?
A Wifi hotspot is anywhere that’s in range of a wireless router, normally about 90 meters if you are outdoors. If you’ve seen the recent BT adverts you’ll know that BT Openzone customers can enjoy access to over 2 million wireless hotspots around theUK. Given that BT only has a network of 4000 wireless transmitters, mainly located in city centres, this seems like a tall order, but it is genuinely the case.
This is how it works. Millions of people have BT wireless routers that are protected by a firewall so that only they can use them. By signing up with BT Openzone you open up access to your router to anyone within range who has also signed up with BT Openzone. Don’t worry about security, the firewall is still in place and you are not giving access to your computer to any Tom, Dick or Harry who happens to be within range of your router. Anyone piggybacking off your router is only using a tiny fraction of the bandwidth so you shouldn’t notice any reduction in download speed either. The payback is that if you are within range of any other BT Openzone router, all 2 million of them, you have broadband internet access.
BT has also gone into partnership with O2 and TMobile so you can use their routers too, or if you have a Smartphone using either of those networks you can get broadband access via Openzone routers. You could also consider joining Fon, an international network that links over 3 million routers across the globe. You don’t have to be a customer of any particular ISP to use the Fon network, you just attach a small gadget that costs about £40 to your router and away you go.
Wireless hotspots aren’t perfect; you really need to be stationary, so you can’t use them on a train for instance, though you can hop from hotspot to hotspot in a car. Also, some routers have a very limited range; 802.11a routers have a range of only 30 metres outdoors or 15 metres indoors. The signal can also be impeded by brick walls, microwave ovens and a host of other things. You won’t find wireless hotspots in rural areas either, although most villages have a handful of them now.
All in all though, the revolution in wireless router sharing can only be a good thing and moves us one step closer to a world where broadband is available to everyone pretty much everywhere. It also demonstrates that even giant telecom providers can co-operate in the interests of their customers.
Computer advice article was provided by Walmley Pages, Sutton Coldfield community magazine advertising local usiness to the Sutton Coldfield public.