Archive | September, 2011

Where are the unabridged handouts??

27 Sep

Hello all, For those of you who have visited this site in the last month or so, you may have found yourself asking the question, where are the unabridged handouts.  Normally, the link to the top right of this page entitled “Digital Workshop Handouts” would be your go-to-spot, and in the near future that will indeed be the case.  At the moment the unabridged handouts are not available for download, and that is because we have re-named all of our sessions, as well as added two more, and we are in the process of re-branding these materials.  They should be up soon though, and at that time the link at the top right will take you to both the condensed and the unabridged.  Sorry for any confusion this has caused and we hope to have the full (new) handouts up asap.


The Digital Workshop

Why are these things so small?

25 Sep



Often our guests on Holland America Line ships, who visit the Digital Workshops, ask if there’s a way to increase the size of the items on the screens of their home computers.

I’ll show you two ways!

                     So stop squinting and open your eyes to this!


                                           Let’s get digi with it!


In Windows 7, click on the “Start Button” located in the lower left hand corner of the screen.

You will now see the “Start Menu” pop up. On the bottom you will see the ”search box” which looks like this: clip_image001[4]

Want to see things bigger? In the search box, type in the word “bigger.”clip_image002

Above the search box you will now see the search results. At the top you will see an option called,  “Make text and other items larger or smaller”.clip_image001[6]

Click on “Make text and other items larger or smaller”. clip_image001[8]

You will then see a “smaller” and “Medium” option. Choose the medium option by clicking the little circle next to it. The circle will turn blue after you click on it.

Now, everything on your screen will be 25% bigger! If you ever want to change it back, just follow these instructions again and choose the “smaller” option.

                                            Here’s another way. .


Click on the “Start Button” located in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.

You will now see the Start Menu pop up. On the bottom you will see the ”search box” which looks like this: clip_image001[4]

In the search box, type in the word “Mag”.clip_image004

Above the search box you will see the search results. At the top you will see an option called “Magnifier.”


Click on “Magnifier”.

The Magnifier tool will show up. Click the plus or minus button to make your screen larger or smaller.clip_image008

For your viewing pleasure, this was brought to you by
Techspert Trevor on the MS Veendam.


Lets get digi with it

Tsu yé ikhwasatîn (I’ll see you again)!

22 Sep

As the Statendam ends her season in Alaska, I found it rather poignant to learn that the Tlingit people (indigenous people of Alaska) wouldn’t say goodbye, just “I’ll see you again, Tsu yé ikhwasatîn.”  Those of you who have been on a cruise or worked on a cruise ship will hopefully understand why I found this touching, as you have experienced how people become a part of your life very quickly and then are gone just as suddenly.  Certainly this is not isolated to the cruise ship industry, but it does seem to be magnified on ships, as people are constantly coming and going, embarking and disembarking.

I’ve found, however, that people you become close to, even for just a moment, are never truly gone from your life.  In three years of being a Techspert on nine of Holland America Line’s 15 ships, I can’t count the number of guests who have shown up to the Digital Workshop and realized we’ve sailed together before!  When it comes to fellow crew members, the numbers are even higher!  So many lives are brought together and often changed forever because of the connections made.

What I find truly incredible is that technology enables us to keep in touch with all these people, no matter where in the world we are!  Microsoft offers amazing free services through Windows Live Essentials ( so you can stay in contact with all those around the world who matter to you.  It’s easy to see why Microsoft’s partnership with Holland America Line (through the Digital Workshop) makes so much sense!  Holland America Line brings people together and Microsoft allows them to stay together !

The past three years were unbelievably life-changing for me.  I have been truly blessed to be a part of this program and will always be grateful for the experiences I’ve had as a Techspert with Holland America Line.  As this phase of my life comes to a close, I’d like to leave you all with a song which embodies the Tlingit saying “Tsu yé ikhwasatîn (I’ll see you again)!” and comes from a time when it was far more difficult to keep in touch with those dear to you.

“We’ll Meet Again”

We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn


-Lauren, signing off for the last time as Techspert, ms Statendam

A Windows Live ID – Used for much more than just an email address

15 Sep

Have you seen the pop up “Sign In with your Windows Live ID” when you started Windows or opened a program? Did you choose to ignore and close it? Maybe you wondered simply what it was.

Today I wish to share what it is as well as a few features and benefits a Windows Live ID offers you.

What it is:
A Windows Live ID is simply a free email account through But, it’s MORE than just email. It also allows login access to some great websites and software designed by Microsoft.

Why use it:
1. Send emails with many included safety and security features other email providers may not offer. A few of these features include Sweep, phishing filters, and secure encrypted login mode. Receive only real emails in your inbox with high levels of junk and phishing filters working to keep the inbox clean and safe.

2. Store photos, movies and documents in 25 GB of free SkyDrive online storage space. You can upload to this space directly at or from within Windows Live Essentials or Microsoft Office software programs installed on your PC.

3. Create Microsoft Office files on your PC and edit within the Hotmail online email environment. Use online versions of Word, Publisher, Excel, and OneNote. You can even collaborate on files with a group, provided you’ve set up the group from your trusted contacts and they also use a Windows Live ID.

4. Use the Windows Live ID and password to sign in to Windows Live Essentials software installed on your computer to do things like video chat or share photos directly in a text chat in Windows Live Messenger.

Windows Live Essentials Programs include Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Writer and more. The software is available at

What to do next:
Go to Hotmail and create a Windows Live account. The website has tips and video demos for some of the features I’ve only briefly mentioned here…Sweep and Online Office for example.

Just today I received a great article in my Hotmail inbox regarding collaborating with a group to work on an online Excel document. I recommend you check out the video at the following Microsoft link. Impressive!

Excel Web App

Techspert Trisha on the ms Rotterdam


Camera Tip For Cruisers

12 Sep

Imagine losing your camera in a port of call. How would you ever hope to recover it?  Even if it was found by a “Good Samaritan,”  how would that nice person be able to reunite you with your camera and, more importantly, your memories?

Create a Digital “Reward Poster”

Before you leave home, the first picture you take on your new camera card should be one that can help to identify you in case your camera goes missing on your trip.  A picture of your business card would be good.  Even better, how about the picture of a homemade flyer on a standard piece of a paper that includes: your name, address, phone number and email address.  You might also include helpful information such as the name of your cruise ship and itinerary.  Last, but certainly not least, consider offering a reward for the safe return of your camera or (at least) your camera card.

By taking this small precaution, you provide the finder of your lost camera with a way to identify and contact you.

John Roberts – Techspert – ms Prinsendam

Personalize Your Windows 7!

8 Sep

Windows 7 makes it easier to personalize your PC than ever!

My name is Bryan Roper and I am the Techspert aboard the Holland America Oosterdam, and today Ill show you how to customize your windows 7 to get a cool look like this!


First we will right click our current desktop to get the “Personalize” option.



After clicking on “Personalize” we will click on “Desktop Background”


Now we can choose one of the many backgrounds included in Windows 7, or one of our own pictures! I went with this copper theme!


Remember to save your changes!

Now we are off to change our window color!


Choose a color! I liked the red!


Remember to save your changes!


Last, I added a cool red clock from the gadgets menu to set off the whole theme!

I simply right click my desktop and then click on “Gadgets”


When the Gadgets menu opens, I chose the clock!


And there you have it! A super cool Windows 7 theme personalized in minutes!


Here are some other variations to consider!



The possibilities are endless!



Bryan Roper


ms Oosterdam