I use Windows 7 Home Premium on my laptop (which is my main computer) and like to think I am well versed in its workings. Friends and family are often amazed when I tell them about different shortcuts that I have been using in various incarnations of Windows for years and which I don’t even think about anymore. However, I am often astonished as to how many things there about the Windows OS (Operating System) that I simply didn’t know about and how much better of an experience they make my in my day-to-day use of the Windows OS.
One such thing I stumbled upon not too long ago was the “Windows Mobility Center” (pictured at the top) and it happened completely by accident. It occurred a little after I had written my post “How To Change The Network Adapter Priority In Windows 7” and I am sort of happy I learned about it afterward because if I had known about it before I never would have done the research for and written that first post. If you read that post, part of the root cause of why I had looked for a way to switch the adapter priority was because I was leaving my WiFi on all the time so I could leave the Bluetooth on all the time as well but I found it was slowing down my connection speed because my computer was preferring to use the WiFi connection over the hardline connection. Now that I found Windows Mobility Center the problem became pretty much completely irrelevant. Why? Well, as you can see in the top picture, the Windows Mobility Center gives a user easy one button access to turn WiFi on or off in its top right corner. Read more…
For a while after I got my Windows 7 computer I had no idea why it preferred to keep connected to my home wireless network over the wired network but that seems to be the default setting that Microsoft uses. Finally after scouring the interwebs I found the answer – it is very much the same as doing this in Vista so if you know how to do that you can probably stop reading. The problem with the wireless connection being preferred vs the wired connection for me is that the wired is a faster than wireless. As well, for me when I hit the “Turn off wireless connection” quick key on my laptop it turns off Bluetooth as well which is often annoying. Today, I thought I’d share with you the solution for telling your computer which network connection it should prefer.
Two things I thought I’d mention before we begin:
- To be clear, for this post I am using Windows 7 Home Premium with Service Pack 1 installed and all images and screen caps come from that version.
- All images can be clicked on to be full sized. They are downsized only so they can fit in the constraints of my WordPress blog’s theme.
First things first. You got to get to the network settings! Go to the Start Menu and click on “Control Panel” on the right hand side.
For the purposes of this post I am going to assume things are set to default settings so your Control Panel should be organized by ‘category.’ Now that you are in Control Panel you will see a number of different categories for setting on your computer as shown in the screen cap below. You are going to be looking for – as highlighted below – the “Network and Internet” category and click the line which reads “View network status and tasks.”
Once you click there you will be brought to the “Network and Sharing Center” which will look something like the image below. Notice how I am connected to two different connections at once for the internet and the basic network information says from my computer to the internet there are “multiple networks.” But none of that really matters right now because we are quickly going to be moving out of this screen. On your left hand side of the screen you’ll see the option (highlighted in red in the picture below) to “Change adapter settings.” Read more…
A couple of years back I was using a Nokia N80 and I wanted to change the faceplate from the stock black to silver. In order to do this I immediately went to the internet and started to Google and found a video much like the one you see in the screenshot below and linked here. This video came direct from Nokia (as evidenced by the image in the beginning shown below) so I figured it was pretty trustworthy.
The video told of the need for an SRT-6 Housing Opening Tool which is the little blue triangular thing you see in the screenshot above. Later in the video it showed the usage of this SRT-6 tool and it was to wedge the housing open and disengage a clip on the inside which can’t be seen from the outside. That seemed pretty important because that was exactly what I was trying to do, switch the housing.
It occurred to me that this SRT-6 Housing Removal Tool looked an awful lot like something else which is way more commonplace in most of our every day lives: a guitar pick. Sure the SRT-6 has 3 different edges with, I assume, different thicknesses and it might be better for gropping in the hand and using as a lever when opening gadgets but essentially it’s a guitar pick. You could probably play guitar with an SRT-6 and no one would be the wiser.
Not only do guitar picks fill the role of the SRT-6 but over the years I have found that they are an amazing addition to my gadget tool arsenal. They’re great for wedging underneath a SIM card to ease removal. The same goes for microSD cards.
I will, however, never forget my trip to buy my guitar pick. At first I asked some guitarists I knew if they would part with a pick and they all said no. The next step, obviously, was to find a music store. My friends all pointed me to a chain called Long & McQuade and off I went. I got there and asked one of the sales reps where I could find individual guitar picks. The guy showed me to a rack of little drawers which each had a different size, material, thickness, or make of guitar pick and I started looking. The rep tried to help out by showing me their most popular brand but I took one look and said that it was way too thick. He showed me one that he said his co-workers liked or that was made by a high end guitar pick manufacturer (or something like that) and I rejected them each. He remarked, “Wow, you guitarists are really so picky.” I stifled a laugh and sort of awkwardly replied, “Umm, ya, I don’t play the guitar. In fact, I don’t need this for anyone to play the guitar.” He started laughing and asked what I needed it for. I pulled out my phone and explained what I needed it for he was amazed that I had the same phone as him and he asked me some questions about the device and how to make his work better and then left me to my own devices.
A guitar pick is a great little thing to have for anyone who has a gadget or two in the house and I highly recommend it. It is a really cheap investment and I am sure you’ll find a ton of uses for it.
You may remember I told you how I had switched to Twitter for BlackBerry after being an UberSocial/UberTwitter loyalist for quite a while. This switch didn’t come without its sacrifices, however, one of which is being able to tell at a glance if someone is following me or not by looking at their profile.
In UberSocial it is all very straightforward and very easy to see at a glance if someone is following you and if you are following them. Twitter for BlackBerry makes it easy to see if you are following someone (as seen in the image below where it says “Following” with a check next to it right below their name) but there is no simple way to tell if they are following you.
As you can see in the image above, I am following my friend Josh aka @phjoshua who writes the awesometastic blog “The Reviews Are In.” What isn’t immediately obvious, as I mentioned above, is whether or not Josh is following me. But let’s look a little further down that same screen with another screenshot. After that we are then going to check out the profile of Wil Wheaton @wilw who has been a number of well known TV shows, writes a blog, is an author, and is definitely a celebrity who I am not friends with…maybe someday though! (Probably it would be nice to meet him in real life first.) Read more…