Archive | May, 2012

What are User Accounts? Why should I create them? How do I create them?

27 May

How many of us have one computer that multiple people in the household use? How many of us have grandchildren that come over sit down at the computer and know how to change your settings and background on your computer faster then you can stop them? How many of us are worried that they might get on stuff they are not suppose to?

There a few simple and easy ways to keep your computer safer, the way you want it, and keep it safer for the little ones. This simple method requires the creation of Multiple User accounts. There are many benefits of creating various user accounts and there are 3 different types of User accounts you can create.

I will give you a brief explanation of how to do this and the difference between all 3 different types of accounts.

First is the Administrator account

  •  This accounts has full control of the computer and can make whatever changes they want to  the system.
  • You should really only log on as an administrator only when you are certain you know what you are doing and only when you are making extensive changes to your computer
  • When you are executing something that Windows 7 considers security-sensitive they might ask you for your administrator account and password if you set one up

Second User account is called Standard Groups

  • Users can do most things on a computer without ever running into a need for Administrator permission
  • Allowed to run programs , use and create files and install programs
  • You can have multiple Standard Accounts based on how many people are using your PC
  • It’s Great for everyone that uses the computer to have their own accounts for many reasons but also just for the simple reasons of everyone being able to organize their files the way they want and have their Desktop look the way they want it to

The Third Group is called Guest Groups

  • This is for people that don’t have their own user accounts on your PC.
  • When logged on as a Guest account, you can work on the computer without being able to modify the computer or any of its files.
  • This is a limited account that requires no password
  • This would be a great account to have on your computer that can be set up for family members  or friends that visit and need to use your computer. Also its a great account to let children or young adults to use when they visit.You can set Parental Controls on this account if needed

So now that you know the difference between the 3 different types of users, you are ready to determine which accounts you should have. I will give you a few examples of my suggestions. If you have two users to your computer, an example : Husband and Wife – I would create two Standard Accounts. One for the husband and one for the wife, and then I would have a third account set up as a Guest account for visitors.

So how exactly do you set up a User account?

For those Windows 7 users it is very simple

Step 1.  – Click on the START button in the lower left corner of you screen

Step 2. – Type in “Add user account”

Step 3.  – Select “Add user account” at the top of your list

Step 4.  – Select on “Create New account”

Step 5. – Select what you would like to name the account ex: Person’s Name

Step6. – The computer will ask what kind of account you would like it to be. Either, Administrator, Standard or Guest

Step 7. – It will then give you a series of settings that you are allowed to change for account ( Name, password, picture, set up Parental Controls, delete account)

YOU DID IT! You now have your own user account, and you can continue to create one for everyone that uses your same PC! It’s almost like having different computers for each user without having to actually buy an additional PC! Enjoy setting up your user account, and organizing it the way YOU want it!

– Techspert Erin Ms Oosterdam

Managing HealthCare Information with HealthVault

21 May

Taking a Holland America cruise to South America and need to find your immunization records? Want to maintain a healthy weight by keeping track of your exercise regimen? Just need a safe place to store all of your medical records and information that could be accessed in an emergency? HealthVault from Microsoft might be the solution for you.

What is HealthVault?

HealthVault is a trusted place for you to organize, store, and share your health information online. And it’s free. HealthVault is accessible through your Windows Live Login and password on a 24/7 basis.

What HealthVault can do for you:

1.You can use it as a safe and secure place to store all of your medical records, including prescriptions, and X-rays.

2.It’s a great way to keep all of your records up to date. This can be most helpful in case of an emergency. You can even print out an emergency card to carry with you.

3.Important information can be shared with caregivers and others you need to consult with about important health issues.

4.You can use this tool to improve your health and fitness by linking it with record keeping devices like a pedometer, that can send data directly to your HealthVault account on a daily basis. How far do you walk on a daily, or monthly basis? How many calories do you burn? Now you will know.

How Secure is HealthVault?

It’s yours and its private; You, decide what goes into it, who can see, use, and share your info, and which health apps have access to it. Take a look at our security policy by going to the link below:

Online Health Apps help you manage your information;

Use online health apps – these websites offer features that help you get more out of your health information. Some help you add information to HealthVault. E.g. pharmacies, labs, hospitals, and clinics that connect to HealthVault let you update your medical information. Some help you analyze your health information. Some apps offer recommendations to keep you at your best. There are over 270 apps online today and more are being added.

How do I get started?

Getting Started Simply go to the HealthVault website at and register or use your windows live ID and password. It is that easy.


for the Holland America Digital Workshop, powered by Microsoft Windows, I am Frank Barcelona, Techspert MS Nieuw Amsterdam

Play It Safe: Back It Up

18 May

You probably play it safe in many areas of your life. You drive carefully (hopefully), you secure your valuables, you don’t take unnecessary risks and you have insurance protection. But what about all the data on your computer? I always like to ask people in my Digital Workshop sessions: “What would happen if you lost all the information on your computer right now? Would you go straight for the razor blades or would you be able to restore it from a backup?”

Much of the data on your computer is irreplaceable. I keep decades of my life on my computer and I would be most vexed if something happened to it, so I back it up on a regular basis. The risks could be from things like malicious software, but could also be from a catastrophic hardware failure or even “user failure.” In any case, you probably don’t want to lose those files.

Think of backing up as insurance for your data. Hopefully, you would never have to use it, but it’s good to have the peace of mind from knowing that it’s there. Backing up is simply a matter of making a copy of your information—your documents, photos, archival data and any other personal information—onto some destination outside your computer such as an external hard drive. That way, if something unfortunate happens to what is on your computer, you will be able to restore it once the problem is corrected. An external drive is an excellent option because there would be no intervention necessary. You can easily find large-capacity USB drives available for cheap.

Windows 7 has a nice backup utility built right in. It’s simply a matter of specifying when you would like the backup to occur, what should be backed up and where it should go. The first time you run a backup, all your data is included. Then, typically, on subsequent runs, only the information that has changed since the previous backup will be included, so it will be much faster. This activity can be scheduled to happen automatically whenever you want, such as at night if you leave your computer on, or you can initiate it manually.

If you have a high-speed broadband Internet connection, there are many on-line backup services available. This provides the added benefit of off-site storage. These web sites are in the business of keeping your data safe and secure and the procedure is the same: just specify when to back up and what to backup. These sites are surprisingly inexpensive. Go to for evaluations of the many on-line backup services that are available.

However you do it, just do it. You may be very glad you did.

– John Busey, Techspert, ms Maasdam

Reach For The Cloud

16 May

Hi Everyone,

Rob here on board the Eurodam as we make our way up North to the Baltic.

One of our most popular classes at the moment is the “Introduction to Cloud”, discussing a fantastic way of storing and sharing your files from literally anywhere in the world!  Here we have SkyDrive, Microsoft’s complimentary cloud service.

Now for those of you who haven’t yet heard of Microsoft’s Skydrive this it how it works:

Get yourself a Windows Live ID, simply go to, enter a few details and you are good to go!

After getting your ID go to, log in with your information and from then on you are free to store, access and share any information you want from any computer in the world.  Yep, this means you are not bound to your own PC, you can access your own personal SkyDrive from your friends PC, Smart Phone, Tablet and even a Mac! It’s just like having your own personal online hard drive.

Now to make SkyDrive even more accessible Microsoft have a variety of Apps for all your different devices.  Visit to see what’s on offer.

Try the “SkyDrive for Windows” application to quickly and easily add files and documents to your SkyDrive straight from your desktop, it also automatically syncs up your files so if you make changes to your Word files it directly backs up online.

Also make use of the great Office Web Apps which allow you to not only create but edit certain office documents online also, just in case you need to make some last minute changes and don’t have a PC with Office installed.

So if you don’t have your own SkyDrive sign up right away and and get the most out of Cloud!

Safe travels,


ms Eurodam Techspert

What Does This Button Do? Digital Camera Questions Answered

8 May


Hello There!

This is Techspert Mollie reporting from the ms Zuiderdam! We are currently finishing up our repositioning cruise from the Caribbean to Alaska. Along the way I have had quite a few classes on the “Camera Basics” and I always seem to come across a lot of the same questions from guests. I thought it would be a perfect topic to blog about so that everyone can have these questions answered J Hopefully these questions will be helpful in learning more about your digital cameras as well!

So the majority of the time I have guests coming up to me and saying, “I think when I was playing with my camera a pressed something and now [ insert issue here  ] has happened”

Most of the time these little issues are a quick fix so I’m going to present some easy solutions and hopefully ease the stress of working with your digital camera!


  • If your screen is showing multiple pictures on your LCD Screen

This means that while you were viewing the photos taken in your camera, you may have zoomed out by mistake. The more time your zoom out of your pictures, the more photos you will see. This is helpful if you want to jump from one picture to another one that way taken previously.

In order to go back to just viewing one photo, you simply press the zoom in button


  •  If you are seeing extra “stuff” on your screen such as icons, numbers, or a histogram

This means that you may have pressed the DISP button on your camera. Each time you press it, information is “Displayed” on your screen. You can usually press it about two or three times until the information will go away. Sometimes pressing this button may also make your entire screen go black; however, pressing it a second time will bring your screen back to normal.

  • If you have different letters on your camera and are unsure what they are


ADEP-Automatic Depth of Field Mode


M-Manual Exposure Mode


Av-Aperture Priority


TV-Shutter Priority/Action Shot Mode (Time Value)


P-Program Mode-Exposure and Aperture set automatically




If you click an option to “format” your card, all of your pictures will be erased!


There is an internet site called that you can get your pictures back but just in case, stay away from formatting your card unless you are trying to get rid of your pictures!


Hopefully this information will help alleviate some of the questions you may have about using your digital camera! Now go take some pictures!


~Techspert Mollie

Ms Zuiderdam








Spectacles of the Orient

6 May

     Hi there folks, Kristin here reporting from the Zaandam that’s making her way to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  I am near the end of my contract here on this lovely ship and boy what a time it has been.  The Zaandam has been making its way around Asia since December and we have seen some of the most spectacular sights and cities along it’s route. We have recently just transitioned over to Alaska from Kobe, Japan and were able to experience the amazing cherry blossoming all along the itinerary.  I wanted to take this time to share with you some of my pictures that I have taken while aboard the Zaandam, all of which have been edited using the program Windows Live Photo that we teach here aboard all HAL ships.  For those of you who are thinking about taking a cruise with HAL to the orient I cannot think of a better experience and be sure to stop by the Digital Workshop when you do. 

Cheers from the Zaandam,



The giant reclining Buddha of Wat Pho, Bangkok


The Grand Palace, Bangkok


Getting a Tuk Tuk in Sihanoukville


Taking a traditional Kymer Cambodian cooking class


Vistas of Halong Bay, Vietnam

The lovely village of Hoi An, Vietnam

Hotel de Masion in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam

The lush countryside of Nha Trang, Vietnam


The Great Wall of China, near Tianjin, China

Nightime shot of the Zaandam in Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong


Colorful Chinatown District

The also colorful district of Little India


The Golden Pavilion of Kyoto, Japan

Shinto Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

Beautiful cheery blossoms, Kyoto, Japan

Osako-Jo Castle amoungst the cherry blossoms

The vibrant Dontonburi District of Osaka, Japan

The hypocenter of Nagasaki where the A-bomb dropped in 1945.