Archive | October, 2013

Windows 8.1 is coming soon!!!

12 Oct

On October 17th, those of us who have Windows 8 will be able to go the Windows Store and download the free upgrade known as Windows 8.1. Why should you do this? Look below for some of the great features that have been added.

1. Larger and smaller tiles;

You will now be able to customize your start screen with two more tile sizes. A “extra large” tile for your emails and “extra small” tiles that will add more real estate to the screen. To select a tile, you now need to press and hold it. You can now select multiple apps all at once, resize them, uninstall them, or rearrange them into a group: View all apps just by swiping from the bottom to view all apps, and we’ve added the ability to filter your apps by name, date installed, most used, or by category. . Check this out below


2. Increased Personalization;

Change the start screen background to the same presentation as your desktop screen. Make the lock screen display a slide show of your latest vacation pictures. Its all possible with Windows 8.1.


3. Aggregated Search;

Instead of having to select an app and then search when you go to the Search charm, Bing now powers an aggregated search system from the web, your files, SkyDrive and elsewhere. Results from local files, apps, and settings are easily accessed in the same convenient view by scrolling to the left. See and example of an aggregated search below;



4.Enhanced Apps;

For example, the  Photos app now has some new editing features that let you quickly edit or adjust photos when you view them in the Photos app or open them from other places like the Mail, SkyDrive, and Camera apps – you can now create Photosynth panoramas directly within the app.


5. More Snap Views;

This is the game-changer for Windows 8 apps. Now you will have more ways to see multiple apps on the screen at the same time.You can resize apps to any size you want, share the screen between two apps, or have up to three apps on each screen if you have a multiple displays connected, you can have different Windows Store apps running on all the displays at the same time and the Start Screen can stay open on one monitor.


6.Changing app switching;

You can now also change the settings for the hot corners and App switching, so you can prevent the Charm bar or app switching bar from appearing if you don’t want them to. And you can boot directly to the Desktop Screen if you wish.

change apps

7. The Shut Down Option Returns;

Here is a tip. Press the Windows key and the X key on the keyboard and in Windows 8.1 you will see a “shut down” option in the lower left had side of your screen. It’s the second from the bottom option.

Well, I am running out of space, and there is so much more, check it out for yourself at the Windows Store on October 17th.


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


Frank Barcelona Techspert, Zuiderdam.


1 Oct
We are ready to start filming!

We are ready to start filming

I had the pleasure of hosting a camera crew on the Oosterdam last week in Seattle. Bob, our director, used the Digital Workshop as the setting for an all new commercial that will hopefully air in mid November on the onboard channels. They are the same crew that shot the new Greenhouse Spa commercials.

The crew hard at work.

The crew hard at work.

Not being a natural in front of the camera, they were very patient with me throughout the process. We had a few actors hired to appear as my “students” and to my surprise, I found a few of them looking very familiar to me. After a few moments trying to figure out where I knew them from, it hit me.

“You’re Karen Feldman!”

One of the actresses looked like a woman who appeared in some of the demonstration photos that we use for editing during the Edit Your Photos Like a Pro class. She quickly gave in and laughed, saying that yes, she had been photographed with her family for them five or six years ago. Then she pointed at two of the other actors, who are her husband and son, both of whom also appeared in the photos. Her real name is Mary, although we had tagged her in our Photos using the name Karen Feldman. Her family was also given various aliases under “The Feldmans”.

The original picture of the "Feldmans" we have been using in our Photo Editing classes. Mary & her son Michael in the red hoodie appear in the new commercial.

The original picture of the “Feldmans” we have been using in our Photo Editing classes. Mary & her son Michael in the red hoodie appear in the new commercial.

Another classic photo we displayed for editing on our Windows computers of “The Feldman’s”

Above are a few photos that you might recognize if you have taken some any of our Photo Editing classes. Mary aka “Karen Feldman” is the wife of a photographer that was asked if he would allow his family for Microsoft ads and materials. They complied, and although their daughter and two young sons appeared in the photos used on our computers, for the new Digital Workshop Commercial, only Mary, her husband Chris aka “The Dad” and her oldest son Michael will appear. They all had a great time reminiscing and checking out all the photos of them on our Windows 8 computers. Their son Michael has definitely grown since his first photo shoot, and now he will appear in this new commercial. We had a number of laughs over how “The Feldman’s” have returned and are continuing their role in being a vital part of the Digital Workshop legacy. Check out our photos from the shoot!

Chris aka "The Dad" photobombing in a classic pose behind his wife and son.

Chris aka “The Dad” photobombing in a classic pose behind his wife and son.

Michael, Mary and me. Micheal sure has gotten big!

Michael, Mary and me. Micheal sure has gotten big!