Archive | January, 2014

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. 


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.     


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.




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:




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.



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.


Cheers from the Noordam,