Archive | May, 2014

NEW Windows 8.1 Updated

21 May

Windows 8.1 Update is largely a collection of tweaks to the interface, rather than the type of feature improvements we saw with Windows 8.1 last year. A new title bar will be displayed at the top of Windows 8-style apps with the latest update, making it possible close these apps with a mouse and keyboard. Microsoft has also tweaked the hot corners that typically appear for the Charms and quick app switching in the desktop, adding a delay so they don’t pop up unexpectedly when you go to close a desktop app or navigate backwards in a browser.


Your Desktop taskbar with your Start Screen apps.

Changes and tweaks has also been extended to the taskbar, where Start Screen apps can now be pinned and accessed directly from your Desktop taskbar. The Windows Store app will be pinned by default, a change designed so that desktop users will still be able to discover new apps. This change makes it definitely much simpler for the desktop users to only use the all the apps on Windows 8.1 on your desktop.


Right Click Drop Down Commands.

A real nice change also came for mouse users with the right click in the Start Screen. When you use right click on an App tile in the Start Screen you get a drop down menu with commands and not the command bar at the bottom of the screen, which makes it easier and faster for mouse users to access commands.


 Start Screen Power and Search Buttons

Other tweaks and changes include a new shutdown and Search button the Start Screen. “The number one question I get on the ship is ‘I don’t know how to shutdown my machine is there an easier way to do so?’. The new shutdown button only appears on desktop PCs and laptops (similar to boot-to-desktop) and you won’t see it at all on your tablet devices. The search option will appear on every machine, but you can still use the easy search by just typing in the start screen. Microsoft has also tweaked the way new apps are installed on your device, with a notification on the Start Screen for each new app that’s installed from the Windows Store.



YouTube Microsoft Video.


TehSpert | Abrie Venter

ms Maasdam



Get Busy More Quickly: How to avoid the Windows 8 lock screen and log in automatically

16 May

By default, when your Windows 8 computer goes to sleep and then wakes up, it will display the lock screen. This is similar to the lock screen on most smart phones that appears each time you turn the screen on. You see a nice graphic and perhaps info such as the number of new email messages and upcoming calendar events. On a tablet or phone, it sort of makes sense; on a desktop or laptop, maybe not so much. If your computer doesn’t have touch-screen support, click the mouse or tap a key to “raise” the lock screen. Then you see the log-in screen where you enter your password.

If you’d prefer not to encounter these screens before you get to your desktop, you can disable the display of the lock screen with a simple change to the local Group Policy. 

Be sure you’re logged on as an Administrator and do the following:

  • To open the Group Policy Editor, press Win+R and enter gpedit.msc.
  • At the Group Policy Editor console, in the left console tree pane, navigate to Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Control Panel/Personalization as shown here:
  • In details pane on the right, double click the setting labeled Do not display the lock screen.
  • Click the Enabled option, then click OK.

Now, you’ll go straight to the log-in screen without seeing the lock screen.

If you are the only user on this computer, you can even bypass the log-in screen if you wish. However, be aware that access to your computer will not be as secure as before.

  • Log in as an Administrator. Press Win+R and enter netplwiz.
  • In the center section of the User Accounts window, select your User Name, the one that is an Administrator.
  • Uncheck the box at the top and click OK.
  • You will then be asked for the password. After entering it twice, click OK again and you’re done.Image

Now, when you wake or boot your computer, you can get busy right away. 

Techspert John B.
ms Eurodam



Get ready for the Alaska Season!

4 May

Hello everyone! This is Techspert Scott posting from the beautiful MS Volendam! We are ready for another exciting season in Alaska!  Our ship is hosting another photo contest in coordination with our photography department.  Let us use the skills we learned here in the Digital Workshop to edit, stich, create and save our photos! We are encouraging everyone to take advantage of “Techspert Time” to stop by the Digital Workshop where we will assist with transferring your photos to the computer and then using Windows Photo Gallery to edit, retouch, and create beautiful works of Art! Use fun effects to make your photo look Black and White or apply a Sepia Tone to get a rustic look, giving you an artistic upper hand in the photo contest! We’ve seen some beautiful photographs that have been edited using Windows Photo Gallery! See you during Techspert Time!

Have fun in Alaska!

Techspert Scott

MS Volendam