Bring back my lovely Windows 8 Start Screen please!!

12 Apr

Windows 8.1 received a necessary update on Tuesday April 8, 2014.  You should always download and install updates for feature and security reasons.  This update had me puzzled though…after 2 years of LOVING Windows 8 with the Start Screen tiles and teaching in my Digital Workshop how truly easy and fabulous this new style is to use I found my computer had basically reverted to mostly a Windows 7 Desktop environment.  For those of you who love your Windows 7 I will admit it was a great operating system, but I made the switch to 8 because I HAD to have the live tiles with all the great information!!!  But I also chose to have a non-touch screen computer due to cost.  Users of 8.1 with tablets will see no noticeable change to their machines, but desktop users may get a shock when they don’t boot to their tiles or return to the Start Screen when pressing the Windows key or after closing open programs.

If you would like to bring back the familiar Windows 8.1 way of working after you finish installing your April update follow the instructions provided here:

Step one:  Reveal your charms (Windows key + C)

Step two: Click search charm

Step three: Search for “taskbar” and select the search result “Taskbar and Navigation”

Step four: On the Navigation tab match the checked and unchecked boxes as shown. 

Step five: Click to the Taskbar tab and uncheck the “Show Windows Store apps on the taskbar” box.  (I realize after taking these screenshots that I have the box checked for auto-hide the taskbar, as that is a preference of mine, but you do not have to check that box if you like the taskbar to stay on your desktop).

 

Cheers from the ms Oosterdam from Trisha the Techspert!!

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How to use Movie Moments

30 Mar

Movie Moments helps you turn your videos into short movies you’ll love to share. You can trim scenes to keep only your favorite parts, highlight key moments with stylish captions, and add music to set the mood. Then share the finished movie without leaving the application.

This app is meant for making quick, fun changes to short videos. The final movies are all  60 seconds or less. If you are interested inn making more advanced edits or working with longer movies, check out Movie Maker in Windows Essentials 2012.

Install Movie Moments;

1. From the Start screen, open the Windows Store. You need to be connected to the internet and you’ll need to sig I using a Microsoft Account.

2. Enter Movie Moments in the search box in the upper-right corner of the search bar

3.Tap or click Movie Moments in the results,

4. Tap or click Install.

Open Movie Moments

1. Go to Start

2.Slide up from the Start Screen.

3. Enter Movie Moments in the search field

4. Tap or click Movie Moments

Create a Movie

1. From the Start screen open Movie Moments

2. Pick a video or take a new one

3. You cn do ay of these things when making your movie;

Delete scenes; Move the handles to where you want the movie to start or stop

Add a title or captions; tap or click the Caption button and enter your words and tap or click Done.

Change the style of the title and captions: tap or click the caption button then tap or click styles.

Add music: tap or click Music and then choose a song.

Next tap or click preview.

Next click or tap save.

Now go to the charms bar and share your masterpiece.

For the Holland America Digital Workshop powered by Windows, I am

Frank Barcelona Techspert Eurodam.

Beautiful Indonesia

7 Mar

Hey Folks,

Rob here on the ms Rotterdam. This time of year the Rotterdam is the one lucky ship in the entire fleet to be doing regular trips around the islands of Indonesia and this country sure does offer a huge variety of things to do. Whether it’s the bustling city life of Jakarta, the ancient religious grounds of Borobudur or the beautiful islands of Bali, Lobok and Komodo.

To demonstrate, here are a few examples of those fantastic islands… (editing and panoramics with the help of the ever useful Windows Photo Gallery of course!)

Bali Rice Paddie 1 (1280x457)

Bali Volcano (1280x765)

DSC_0010 (887x1280)

DSC_0024 (850x1280)

DSC_3126 (1280x729)

DSC_3201 (1280x850)

Komodo Stich (1280x523)

Just a little taster of one of the many fantastic destinations Holland America cruises.

Safe sailing, folks. See you in the Digital Workshop soon!

Rob
ms Rotterdam

OneDrive :: The New SkyDrive

22 Feb

Hello Everyone,

Techspert Erika here, writing to you from the Elegant Explorer MS Prinsendam. We are currently 49 days into our 68 day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage. What a tremendous experience this has been, from rainforests and beaches to icebergs and penguins, definitely an experience of a lifetime!

I’d like to take a moment to talk about Microsoft’s personal cloud storage service. Microsoft announced on February 19 that their personal cloud storage service, formerly known as SkyDrive, has been renamed to OneDrive. The name change came about because of a trademark dispute with another company, BSkyB. You may have noticed the change on your own computers.

OneDrive still offers the same great service, giving you one place to store your important photos, documents, and videos online. You can think of OneDrive as an external USB flashdrive (of sorts) instead of placing your photos or files to share on a flashdrive, you can place them in OneDrive and send an email sharing those files to whomever you want. This is a great way to get around those pesky email size attachment limitations. Signing up for a OneDrive account gets you 7GB of free storage.

If you want more information on OneDrive, I suggest to head to this website: https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/

Or you can always book a cruise with Holland America Line and join your onboard Techspert for a session on Discovering OneDrive.

 

Hope to see you soon!

Techspert Erika :: MS Prinsendam

Six Cool Ways to Shut Down Windows 8.1

22 Jan

Windows 8.1 offers diverse ways to get things done. At the very least you have three ways to do a particular task. But with shutting down there are even more options. Take a look below;

1.Use the New Start Button;

Simply right click the Start Button and left click the command to shut down option.

2. Launch the Charms Bar;

Use key strokes (Windows Key + C) and then, click or touch on “Settings” then click on the power switch.

3. From the Desktop press “Alt + F4”;

The Shut Down window will appear and give you several options – See Rob’s great blog below for more on this method.

4. Use the Log-in-Screen;

From the Start Screen, click on your account photo in the upper right hand corner and select the sign out option. Once you are logged out, tap or click any key to get past the lock screen. Then just click Shut Down in the lower right hand corner.

5. Set up your Power Button to do the work;

Those of you who simple like to use the power switch or closing the lid on a laptop will love this feature. Go to the Desktop, right-click on the battery icon locate in the lower right hand side of the screen. Click on “Power Options” and click on the setting to choose what the power button does. You can now change the settings for “on Battery”, “Plugged in” or both to tell the computer to shut down when you press the power button or close the lid. Be sure to hit the “Save Changes Button” when you exit this menu.

6. A great method for touch screen devices;

Last but not least, open up the “File Explorer” (it’s the littler file folder on the lower left hand side of your screen). Navigate to C:\windows\System32 folder. Scroll down the folder’s contents until you see a file named “SlideToShutDown.exe. Double click that file, and the lock screen appears at the top half of the screen promoting you to slide your finger down to exit Windows. Just slide your finger to power down. To make this method even more useful, right-click on the “SlideToShutDown.exe” file and select the option to “Pin to start”. Now you have a tile to click on or tap whenever you wish to shut down Windows.

 

Enjoy trying out these methods and select the one that works best for you.

 

Frank Barcelona Techspert Eurodam for the Holland America Digital Workshop powered by Windows.

The Two Sides of Internet Explorer

10 Jan

Ever wondered about those two different versions of Internet Explorer (IE) you have on your Windows 8 or 8.1 machine?  There are IE icons (the “e” with the ring around it) in a couple different locations on your computer, one on the Start screen and one on the Desktop.  And you’ve probably noticed that they’re not just duplicates of each other.  Clicking on the icon that’s on the Desktop opens up the classic IE browser that we’re used to, while clicking on the tile on the Start screen takes you to an IE that’s pretty different.  So what are some of these differences (and similarities)?  And do they matter?

Meet the Touch-Optimized Internet Explorer

The IE tile on the Start screen still takes you to the Internet, but it is a touch-optimized format that looks fairly different.  The address bar has been moved from its typical place at the top of our screens down to the bottom, and we have much fewer buttons or options to click on.  What buttons we do have are much larger, and are easier to select with just our fingers.  When you’re not using the address bar or buttons, you get a full screen experience, meaning there are no visible menus or tool bars.  This is a feature of the new Windows that is in response to the touch screens and smaller sizes of newer devices.  This full screen feature gives you a sleeker, more immersive experience. 

Similarities

When it comes to how it functions, the Start screen IE isn’t just a pretty face, and there are a lot of similarities with our classic IE browser.  You can still set your home page to whatever website you prefer.  You can also still add a website to your list of Favorites.  What’s more, not only can you save favorites using one IE version or the other, but whatever you add as a Favorite in one version will show up on your list of Favorites in the other version.  The same will happen with your frequent sites, history, and any URLs you have typed into the address bar.

Another similarity between the two versions is the same great access to privacy through InPrivate Browsing.  InPrivate Browsing allows you to go online without worry about important information being left behind when you are done, which is especially significant if you are using a shared computer such as at a library.  InPrivate Browsing can be used in the Start screen IE by swiping up from the bottom edge (or using the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Z) to activate the App Commands at the top and bottom of the screen, and then choosing “New InPrivate Tab” in the “…” menu.     

Differences

When it comes to differences between the two versions, there are a few key features which set them apart.  If you are visiting a website for which you already have an app on your device – for example, you are on the Bank of America website, and you also have the Bank of America app installed – then the IE accessed through your Start screen gives you the option to switch directly into the app.  If you don’t already have the app installed on your device, but there is one associated with that website, then you’ll have the option to download the app.  To do this, tap on the Tools button, and then click on “Get app for this site.”

The Start screen IE also has a great feature called “page prediction”.  This feature allows you to flip ahead through multi-page sequenced content (such as with a magazine article) using a swipe gesture.  You can also swipe backwards through previously visited pages, allowing you to quickly access content.  Although there are back and forward buttons available in the address bar, you won’t need to pull up the access bar and hunt for the buttons and can instead simple swipe to go forward and backwards through the pages.

One other feature of the Start screen IE is found in the button near the address bar that looks like a little thumb tack.  You may have noticed this same icon before when pinning apps to or unpinning them from the Start screen.  When you tap this button while visiting a website, you have the option to pin this website to your Start screen, meaning you’ll have quick and easy access to your most important sites with the simple tap of your finger.  Some websites will even provide notifications or other information for a live tile, meaning you’ll be able to see content on the tile from the Start screen, even if the website is not open on your machine.

Choices, Choices…

So, with these various similarities and differences, which version of Internet Explorer should you use?  In part, the answer to this question depends on your device.  If you have a more compact device that optimizes portability by sporting a smaller screen, then the IE accessed through the Start screen was created with you in mind with its full screen experience, larger buttons, and flip-ahead feature.  If, on the other hand, you’d like to take advantage of the larger screen of your desktop or all-in-one monitor, then perhaps the classic Desktop IE with its tabs is the one for you.  The decision also depends on your interface preferences, as you’ll find a better touch-only experience through the Start screen IE, no matter the size of your device.  And if you prefer to use your mouse, either version will allow you to click around, although the Desktop IE has more of your options visible on the screen at any one time. 

In the end, however, the decision doesn’t have to be set in stone, so if you can’t decide, no worries!  If you opt for the IE from the Start screen but then decide that the Desktop version was the way to go, there’s quick access to a “View on the desktop” option through your tools.  Simply tap on that, and you’ll be transported over to your desktop and looking at the same website in the other version of IE within moments.    

Happy web surfing!

Techspert Jessica on the ms Ryndam

POWER down

4 Jan

When we first started introducing Windows 8 in the Digital Workshop I think one of my most common questions was:

Where has the power button gone?!”

One of my favorite things to show our guests is the large number of ways you can now shut down your PC aside from accessing your settings through the Charms,  here are a few of them.

1.  First the easiest, the windows button on your desktop has been re-invented and features a large number of options that often go a miss.  At any point whether you are on the desktop or in an app move you mouse cursor to the bottom left corner of the screen and you will see some form of your start button.  Next up?  Just right click and you have a whole list of options, many that you would find in your older operating systems.

 

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2. Alt + F4, if you have been to our Navigate Windows 8 class then we have probably told you about the quick and easy way to close down your apps, simply hold down Alt & F4 on your keyboard.  Not only does this close your current open application but when used on your desktop it closes down the windows you have open.  What if you have no windows open?  Well you get this option instead:

 

Image

 

3. Setting your PC’s power button to shut down.  Gone are the days where you had to worry about accidentally brushing the power button and releasing your computer into an impromptu shut down sequence.  By simply going to your Start Screen and searching for the word “Power” in your settings you can access the option “Change what the Power Buttons do” you can now allow your computer to shut down safely by physically pressing it’s power button, the same way you would do to turn it on.

Image

 

Hope this helps folks!  See you at sea,

 

Techspert Rob

Helping Out the Locals

2 Jan

Hi there folks,

 

Kristin here, writing from a little café in San Juan, Puerto Rico, wanting to bring you a little information on what we as crew sometimes do on our time off the ship.  One of my favorite and most rewarding activities to do off the ship is to be able to volunteer my time to help some of the local environmental charities that our ships go to on some ports of call.  Many of these ports of call have amazing natural resources that guests come on a cruise to experience and I believe it is only right that we should help where we can to help support these beautiful and amazing places.  As well as helping out the local environments it is also a wonderful way to bond with fellow crew member as well as get to know the locals of the places we visit whom we wouldn’t have normally met.  Here are some pictures from two such volunteering activities from Sitka, Alaska and the beautiful Caribbean island of Bonaire.  In Sitka myself and others volunteered at the Sitka Raptor Center which is a rehabilitation and education center for native Alaskan birds. There, we helped to clear out the walking trail which visitors can take as they stroll through their grounds.  In Bonaire we helped to clean a small stretch of beach on the East Coast of the country where, unluckily for Bonaire, it presides on a current  that brings in tons of plastic from South America and deposits it on their beautiful beaches. We picked up over 138 bags of garbage and plastic there in only one hour, its was a great feeling but also rather a sad sight. This garbage and plastic is especially hazardous for the endangered turtles or other species that come to nest on the shores as many of them think plastic bags are the jellyfish that they eat or we were even told that the garbage even sometimes covers the turtle nests and doesn’t allow for the turtles emerge, basically suffocating them.  Volunteering is just such a great way to be able to enhance your travel experience as well as getting to know the land and culture that your traveling through.

 

http://www.debrisfreebonaire.com/collection-updates.html

 

Cheers from the Noordam,

 

Kristin

 

IMG_3732IMG_3734IMG_3736IMG_3738IMG_3740IMG_3741IMG_3742IMG_3743IMG_3744IMG_3746IMG_3747IMG_3748 

 

IMG_4348IMG_4338IMG_4339IMG_4340IMG_4342IMG_4343IMG_4344IMG_4345IMG_4346IMG_4347

Helping Out the Locals

31 Dec

Hi there folks,

 

Kristin here, writing from the Digital Workshop of the Noordam heading towards Key West, Florida wanting to bring you a little information on what we as crew sometimes do on our time off the ship.  One of my favorite and most rewarding activities to do off the ship is to be able to volunteer my time to help some of the local environmental charities that our ships go to on some ports of call.  Many of these ports of call have amazing natural resources that guests come on a cruise to experience and I believe it is only right that we should help where we can to help support these beautiful and amazing places.  As well as helping out the local environments it is also a wonderful way to bond with fellow crew member as well as get to know the locals of the places we visit whom we wouldn’t have normally met.  Here are some pictures from two such volunteering activities from Sitka, Alaska and the beautiful Caribbean island of Bonaire.  In Sitka myself and others volunteered at the Sitka Raptor Center which is a rehabilitation and education center for native Alaskan birds. There, we helped to clear out the walking trail which visitors can take as they stroll through their grounds.  In Bonaire we helped to clean a small stretch of beach on the East Coast of the country where, unluckily for Bonaire, it presides on a current  that brings in tons of plastic from South America and deposits it on their beautiful beaches. We picked up over 138 bags of garbage and plastic there in only one hour, its was a great feeling but also rather a sad sight. This garbage and plastic is especially hazardous for the endangered turtles or other species that come to nest on the shores as many of them think plastic bags are the jellyfish that they eat or we were even told that the garbage even sometimes covers the turtle nests and doesn’t allow for the turtles emerge, basically suffocating them.  Volunteering is just such a great way to be able to enhance your travel experience as well as getting to know the land and culture that your traveling through.

 

Cheers from the Noordam,

 

Kristin

 

IMG_3732IMG_3734IMG_3736IMG_3738IMG_3740IMG_3741IMG_3742IMG_3743IMG_3744IMG_3746IMG_3747IMG_3748 

 

IMG_4348IMG_4338IMG_4339IMG_4340IMG_4342IMG_4343IMG_4344IMG_4345IMG_4346IMG_4347

Resize Your Pictures with Photo Gallery!

19 Dec

Let’s say you want to send a number of photos from your latest Holland America Line cruise to a friend as attachments.  However, your new digital camera takes such high quality pictures that the resulting file size of some of  your images is very large. As such, you may end up with a rather bloated email that is hard to both send and receive.  Or, as is often the case, you may be limited in how many photos that you can attach by an overall attachment size limit set by an email service provider.

One solution would be to resize the pictures prior to sending them as attachments and Microsoft’s Photo Gallery makes that process a snap!

First, within Photo Gallery, find the thumbnail (the small version of the picture you see in the gallery view) that you want to resize and right-click on it.  A small menu will appear that includes the Resize option.  Then simply left-click on Resize.

Right click on the photo & left-click on Resize

Next, the Resize menu will appear and provide you with a number of file size choices.  Medium and large are good options for email attachments.  However, you should be aware that by resizing the picture you are sacrificing image quality for a smaller file size.

Select your file size and Save!

Finally, hit the Resize and Save button. This will create a new resized version of the photo with a modified filename and place it in the same directory as the original unless you choose Browse to save it in an alternate location such as your desktop.  It should be noted that your resized creation is a new file and that your original remains untouched and unmodified.

By resizing your pictures before sending them as attachments you can reduce the size of the email message and potentially send more of your cruise photos without hitting an overall size limit set by an email service provider.

You can find the latest version of Photo Gallery by going to http://windows.com/photogallery.

And, to find out more about this and other amazing features of this easy to use photo-editing software, be sure to visit us in the Digital Workshop Powered by Windows on your next Holland America Line cruise.

John Roberts – ms Niew Amsterdam

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