Archive | September, 2012

Which cable goes where?

14 Sep

Hi there folks! Kristin here on the beautiful Prinsendam currently ported in Cadiz, Spain. Today I want to talk about cables because I always have many guests coming into the Digital Workshop and ask me things like, "What do you use this plug for?" or "What goes into this plug?" So here are a few examples of some of the most common types of plugs and their uses that you can find that also will connect other devices, such as mobiles devices and other electronic gadgets.

USB Cables and Connectors                  

   image               image

USB Cables can connect flash drives (also known to some as jump drives or memory sticks), external hard drives to the computers, along with other portable media players (external DVD players), internet modems,e-readers, digital cameras and camcorders.

Other types of computers hardware and accessories can also be connected via a USB cable like a mouse, webcam, keyboard, microphone, printers, scanners and speakers.

These cables also have the ability to charge a variety of electronic gadgets and can also transfer information from one computer to another using an usb transfer cable which is a cable with a USB on each end of the cable

There are also other types of USB cables that have one end as a USB cable and the other end has a different shape (most commonly a USB-B) which is a square connector most commonly used for external devices like hard drives, printers or scanners).  There are also smaller connectors that will connect devices such as phones or cameras which are Mini-USB and Micro-USB




Video Cables

I always have guests ask me how they can connect their computer to there Television and using a VGA cable is the most common way to connect to a high definition TV.  One end connects with you computer and the other end will connect to your TV or projector.




If you have purchased a computer in the recent past there is a chance that you might have a DVI port instead of an VGA port.  Many of the newer ultra books (very thin computers) use this type of port. 




HDMI cables


HDMI cables provide you with both visual and audio transmission through a single cable, instead of having to hook up both a video cable and an audio cable.




Ethernet cable


An Ethernet cable connects you to the internet via a wired connection.  I have found many hotels around the world still use this type of cable and sometimes they charge you for one if you didn’t bring one with you so I always keep a spare in my laptop case.




I hope this information will be helpful for you down the road and remember to always stop by the Digital Workshop when you come to cruise with us on Holland America!


Cheers from the Prinsendam,



Flip it with Windows!

8 Sep

When you have a number of windows open in Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can use the Flip 3-D feature to quickly preview all of them without clicking the taskbar.

Flip 3-D displays your open windows in a stack. At the top of the stack, you’ll see one open window.  To see other windows, you can flip through the stack.

Flip 3-D!

To use the Flip 3-D feature, just hold down the Windows logo key (it’s the one with the picture of a waving flag divided into four parts) and then press the Tab key.  All of your open windows will then be shown in 3-D and cascade across your desktop.

Next, simply flip through the cascading thumbnails by continuing to press the Tab key. When the thumbnail of the window you are looking for appears at the front of the stack, release the Windows logo key. The window you want will remain on top, while the others will be layered beneath.

To learn more tips and tricks, please come and visit us in the Holland America Line Digital Workshop Powered by Windows!

John Roberts – ms Oosterdam

How to share files and stay ‘virus free’ using Microsoft Security Essentials

1 Sep

People think that we can only get viruses from the internet but what about when we import files from external hard drives and USB sticks? What precautions do we need to take when we borrow another persons hard drive or memory stick to share pictures or documents, and import those files. All it takes is one corrupt file and our whole PC could be compromised.

Luckily with Microsoft Security Essentials it’s easy to use the scan feature and do a security scan on any external device you plug into your computer.

1. Once your external device is plugged into your PC — open up Microsoft Security Essentials – if your not sure where it is go to your Start Menu and type in the search field – ‘Microsoft Security Essentials’ and when it appears left click on it to open it up.

2. Next go to where you see Scan Options and select ‘Custom’ then left-click on ‘Scan now’.


3. When the next window opens up, select your external device and then left-click on ‘OK’.


4. You will then see Security Essentials is scanning your computer – in other words it is scanning the device that you plugged in.


5. The scan will then be complete and hopefully there will be no threats detected on your PC (your device), however if there were any threats detected you will be prompted to take action – to ‘remove it’ so that your external device will become virus free.

No threat detected…


If there is a threat detected…

MSE 5 real

6. Once you have determined that the external device contains no threats, you can safely import files from that device on to your computer.

Being able to safely share files with our friends and colleagues not only keeps our PC’s secure, more importantly because of Microsoft Security Essentials we can have peace of mind.

Stay safe out there!!

Patti – Techspert

ms Amsterdam

Using OneNote for Travel

1 Sep

Hello everyone!

imageEvery once in awhile I get questions about one of the programs in the Microsoft Office suite: OneNote.  What is it?  What does it do? If you have a full version of Microsoft Office 2010 installed on your PC, you might have OneNote, and if you’ve never used it before you may be wondering why you might use it.

OneNote is a digital notebook. You can collect all your notes and materials for your next project, activity, plan, or even your next vacation, in one place.  The best part?  It doesn’t matter what the information is or where it comes from, you can store it in your notebook.  Pictures, text, audio, video, even info you find on websites- these are all things you can place in your OneNote notebooks. 

But how can you use it?  Well, if you’re reading this blog there’s a good chance you like technology and enjoy travelling the world, and OneNote provides a lot of solutions for someone like you.  Here are some ideas if you want to try it out:

1) Planning your Vacation… simply
You have been researching for weeks and now you have information everywhere: hotel reservations, e-mail contact information for guided tours, restaurant phone numbers, even maps to and from your destinations. Keep everything together in one notebook with OneNote.  You can even make different sections for every aspect of your trip!

2) Scrapbooking and/or journaling your amazing HAL cruise… digitally
I see lots of guests journaling with Microsoft Word and they become frustrated when they’re trying to add multiple photos.  Inevitably they won’t all fit on one page, and then they end up with an awkward page break.  Don’t get me wrong, Word is amazing for a lot of things, but if you want more flexibility and the look of a scrapbook OneNote might be a better option.  Plus, you’ll never run out of paper like you might if you brought a handwritten journal or hardcopy scrapbook on your cruise.  But if you do want a hard copy version at some point, you can print out your notebooks directly from OneNote!

Want some ideas?  Check out this notebook on Seattle (home of Holland America Line and Microsoft…), it’s part scrapbook and journal, part guidebook. 

3) Planning a group or family trip…easily
So the family is going on vacation together?  Whether you have a group of 5 or 50, planning with a group is never easy, but OneNote can make it easier!  Tired of sending a million e-mails back and forth and getting lost in multiple conversations regarding schedules, budgets, and activity plans and requests?  Create a OneNote notebook (You could even create different sections of your notebook, one for each person in the group), and then upload it to and share it with everyone who’s joining you on the trip (more info about and how to sign up below).  That way you can all add your ideas and requests for the trip to one location online, accessible from any computer or device (like a tablet or smartphone) that’s connected to the internet.  No more long e-mail conversations to sift through! Did I mention that you could do all that, share and collaborate with your friends and family, for free??? 

Basic Info and “How-To” instructions for OneNote

OneNote Blog – keep up with new features and get helpful tips and tricks

Check out OneNote TripBooks- 40 travel bloggers made notebooks about 40 different cities and you can see them all here. Get ideas for your own TripBooks or use one of them to help you plan your next trip.

Remember, you can use the OneNote Office Web App online at for free if you don’t have OneNote installed or want to try it out before you purchase. is a free service, but you will need a Microsoft Account.  Don’t have one?  Sign up here!  Get 7GB of storage space for your photos, documents and your OneNote notebooks!  Share your files with friends and family and access to Office Web Apps for free!


Hope I’ve given you some ideas on using OneNote for your next trip. Enjoy your travels, wherever they may take you.

-Techspert Krista, ms Maasdam