Category Archives: Tutorials


Comic Sans isn’t dead?

Graphic designer Craig Rozynski developed the new, funkier take on Comic Sans. He describes the new font as aspiring “to be the casual script choice for everyone including the typographically savvy”; it looks like someone told Comic Sans to straighten up and put on a tie.


Download the Font here:

Nicely done!


Free Images

Free Photos?

Looking for those free, high-quality images for your project? Check out Morgue Files

The morguefile was created by Michael Connors as a college student in 1996. It is currently a collaborative effort between brothers Kevin Connors and Michael Connors, with Johannes Seemann. The morguefile contains photographs freely contributed by many artists to be used in creative projects by visitors to the site. To acknowledge the artist’s accomplishments, we ask that you credit the photographer when possible. Any questions regarding liabilities should be directed to the specific photographer. If you have any questions, first consult the FAQ.


Save a wet phone

A great original article from Mat Greenfield at CNET

  1. Firstly, retrieve your handset from the drink right away. A prolonged plunge will increase the risk of damage.
  2. Resist the urge to check if it still works or press any buttons, since putting pressure on the keys could shift liquid farther into the device.
  3. In all cases, the best thing to do is immediately pull out the battery, thus minimizing power to the device that may cause it to short circuit.
  4. If you own a handset with a non-replaceable battery, like an iPhone or Nokia Lumia, then pulling the battery isn’t an option. You’ll have to risk pressing a few buttons to check if it’s still on and to swiftly turn it off if it is. Take care when handling the phone in this case.
  5. Remove any peripherals and attachments on your phone, such as cases.
  6. Extract the SIM card and any SD cards it carries, leaving ports or covers on your handset open to aid ventilation.
  7. Dry off everything with a towel, including the exterior of your handset, being careful not to let any water drain into openings on the phone.
  8. Even when everything’s dry, it’s very likely there’s latent moisture within the device that you’ll want to get out before turning it on. The most oft-reported fix for a sodden phone is to bury the handset in a bowl of dry rice. Desiccant materials, such as rice, have hygroscopic properties that can attract and absorb moisture. You can also use silica gel packs — the kind used in shoe boxes — to greater effect. If you don’t have any lying around, uncooked rice will do nicely.Silica gel packs work best for drying out a phone.
  9. Place your phone in an airtight container and completely cover it with your choice of desiccant. Leave the container for 24 to 48 hours for the material to draw all the moisture out of your handset. If you feel like splashing out, you can buy silica-lined, hermetically sealed pouches that are specifically designed for the task.
  10. When you’re confident it’s dried out, replace the battery and try switching it on. Good luck!

What not to do
A purported fast-track method of drying out a wet phone is to use a hairdryer, or applying heat to the device in other ways. While this would successfully evaporate all the moisture still sitting within the handset, it risks becoming too hot and causing damage to the components.

In cases of severe water logging, the steam created may not be able to fully ventilate and would simply condense again elsewhere in the phone. You may get away with it, but it seems rather perilous, so my recommendation is to avoid this method.

Another recurring recommendation is to stick your phone in a freezer, wrapped in paper towel to prevent frost damage. Supposedly, the reduced conductivity of water when close to freezing temperatures will stop your phone from short circuiting when in use.

This is definitely not a long-term solution, however, since as soon as the ice begins to thaw, you’re left with the same, if not exacerbated, problem. In the process you’ll probably mess up your phone’s very fragile screen, which hardly seems worth risking for a short-term fix of dubious effectiveness.

For less-severe dunkings, you may get away with drying your phone thoroughly on the exterior alone, paying special attention to openings like the headphone jack and USB port. To this end, a few have suggested gently poking into them with a toothpick wrapped in paper towel. While jabbing into your phone with a stick is always a bit iffy, the biggest risk is that rags of sodden paper could get stuck inside your phone and play havoc with its innards.

One suggestion is to overcharge the handset so that the build-up of heat is gradual and not excessive, but this carries all the risks you’d expect with running a current through wet circuitry.

Inevitably, someone reading this will wonder if it’s possible to dry out a phone by putting it in the microwave. Don’t do that!


Windows 7 Start in Safe Mode

Start your computer in safe mode

Safe mode starts Windows with a limited set of files and drivers. Startup programs don’t run in safe mode, and only the basic drivers needed to start Windows are installed. For more information, see What is safe mode?

Safe mode is useful for troubleshooting problems with programs and drivers that might not start correctly or that might prevent Windows from starting correctly. If a problem doesn’t reappear when you start in safe mode, you can eliminate the default settings and basic device drivers as possible causes. If a recently installed program, device, or driver prevents Windows from running correctly, you can start your computer in safe mode and then remove the program that’s causing the problem. For more information about troubleshooting problems in safe mode, see Diagnostic tools to use in safe mode.

  1. Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer.
    Click the Start button , click the arrow next to the Shut Down button , and then click Restart.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If your computer has a single operating system installed, press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts. You need to press F8 before the Windows logo appears. If the Windows logo appears, you’ll need to try again by waiting until the Windows logon prompt appears, and then shutting down and restarting your computer.
    • If your computer has more than one operating system, use the arrow keys to highlight the operating system you want to start in safe mode, and then press F8.
  3. On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight the safe mode option you want, and then press Enter. For more information about options, see Advanced startup options (including safe mode).
  4. Log on to your computer with a user account that has administrator rights.

When your computer is in safe mode, you’ll see the words Safe Mode in the corners of your monitor. To exit safe mode, restart your computer and let Windows start normally.


How do i take a screenshot without additional software

Windows – How to take Screenshots

This document describes how to capture an image of the screen in all versions of Windows.

Press the Print Screen (sometimes marked as PrtSc or PrtScn) key on the keyboard (generally located in the top right hand corner) to capture an image of the entire screen and store it in the Windows clipboard.

Press Alt & Print Screen (sometimes labeled as PrtScn) to capture an image of only the active window and store it in the Windows clipboard.

When the desired image is stored in the Windows clipboard (only one image can be stored at a time), it can be extracted by opening a word process program (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, etc.) or an image manipulation program (such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Paint), and selecting Paste from the Edit menu or pressing Ctrl-V.

Windows 7  - Snipping Tool

Click on the Start button to open your Start Menu.

The Start button looks like this: Windows Button

  1. Then click on the All Programs menu option.
  2. Then click on the Accessories group
  3. Finally click on the the Snipping Tool icon which looks like this:

Snipping Tool


Upgrade your family tech without becoming their help desk

don't let this happen to you

Here is a great article from Fast Company written by Kevin Purdy:

Upgrade Your Family And Coworkers’ Tech Without Becoming Their Help Desk | Fast Company

At work, deep in a project, you try to make the moves that will create the fewest questions and hassles down the line. So why do so many of us computer-proficient types settle for triaging our friends, relatives, and coworkers’ recurring problems? You can upgrade their browser [1], but as soon as the browser asks them to upgrade again, it’ll be you who gets the call (or, possibly, the recurring, gramatically aggressive email). You can go so far as to make them switch to a Mac or an iPad for supposedly frustration-free computing, but you’re still the person they turn to when the file they emailed to themselves just isn’t there.

Here, then, is a short list of things you can do to best help the people who push you outside your job description and nibble at your free time. Knowing that some people use computers with corporate lock-down policies, we’ve tried to focus on fixes and upgrades that don’t always require installing new software.

Get Them A Dropbox Account

As John Gruber of Daring Fireball succinctly put it [2], “The only people who aren’t using Dropbox are those who haven’t tried it.” Dropbox [3] gives everyone, for free, the ability to sync up to 2 GB of files between all their computers, as well as have those files accessible from any browser or smartphone or tablet. And Dropbox is just a folder–a magic folder that backs up whatever you put in it, and shows up on every computer.

So if you can get the people who carry around thumb drives and email themselves files to install Dropbox on their computers and phones, and to use their Dropbox folder, you’re good to go. But old habits die hard, and some people will always keep their stuff on their computer desktops, or their documents folder. If you can, sneak onto their system and run this quick command line trick [4], which automatically backs up any files they put in their favorite spot to a Dropbox folder. Then tell them that any time they need a file from their computer, any computer, it’s on that Dropbox website you bookmarked for them.

Give Them VLC Media Player

Music and video formats are a lot more standardized these days, but people still shoot stuff and send files in all kinds of weird formats. What, for example, is a Windows XP user supposed to do with a video shot on an Android phone, sent as a 3GP file?

If you can install something, install VLC Media Player [5], then set it to be the default for playing all videos and audio files on their system. VLC plays pretty much everything any computer can possibly play, and does it in fast, crud-free style. If you can’t install VLC on a locked-down system, try downloading the portable version [6] and stashing it somewhere safe but convenient (like pinned to the Start menu). The equivalent on a Mac is downloading and stashing the VLC app bundle somewhere, without actually copying it to the Applications folder.

Set Them Up With An Auto-Updating Browser

Upgrading browsers beyond Internet Explorer 6 and 7 is, indeed, a much-needed move, and one that helps move the web forward as a platform. If you can get someone to upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 or 9, hey, that’s a nice move. If you can get them into a newer version of Firefox [7] or Chrome [8], you’ve put them inside a browser that automatically updates. It’s a settings tweak [9] in Firefox, and totally automatic in Chrome, each time the browser restarts. That helps keep them safe from badware, but also helps you with (hopefully rare) troubleshooting, because now they’re running the same version you are.

Give Them Smart Printer Alternatives

There’s a really good chance a tech-needy person’s most common gripe involves their Brother/HP/Canon/Epson HJXQ4352 Wireless Inkjet something-something, and there’s nothing you can really do to make that device less painful. What you can do, though, in the spirit of fixing the problem instead of the symptoms, is show them the many ways you can get by without a printer these days.

If they’re printing out long things from the web just for record-keeping, show them how to print anything to a PDF, on a Mac [10], using that Chrome you just installed [11], or a simple software package like doPDF [12]. Have them stash those PDFs in their Dropbox account, possibly. And if they’re printing things to read, show them the wonders of the Instapaper [13] and Readability [14] bookmarks, which make reading and printing much, much cleaner and ink-efficient.


Securing your wireless router

Many of you probably already have it, but may not have it configured properly. If you have a wireless router at home you should password protect it.

There are two types of passwords you can put on a wireless router:

  1. To secure any changes being made to the router
  2. To lock down from people using your signal

Secure the Router

Depending on the router type but you are going to type in the IP address into your internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari etc) to access the configuration page. This number will differ from brand.

D-Link Router =
Linksys Router =
Belkin Router =
Apple –
Buffalo –
Netgear – or

You’ll be presented with user ID and password. Those too will also vary. See below for more.

D-Link Router = User ID: admin = Password = <none>

Linksys Router = User ID: admin = Password = <none>

Worst case scenario, you can always hit the RESET button for 10 seconds. This will restore the system to the factory defaults. Here is the back of a Linksys router:

Click for larger image

Some router default user names and passwords are:

Default user names:

  • Linksys BEFW11S4, WRT54G: admin
  • Linksys EtherFast Cable/DSL Ethernet routers: Administrator
  • Linksys Comcast routers: comcast
  • All other Linksys routers[none]

Default passwords:

  • Linksys BEFW11S4[none]
  • Linksys Comcast routers: 1234
  • All other Linksys routers: admin

Wireless Password and SSID name

Wireless password

See more instructions here


How to Clear Cache

Clearing your browser cache is simple and helps you perform better and keep you safer while online. Some tips from the sources:



Google Chrome

Deleting cache and other browser data

You have full control over your browsing data. This data includes your browsing and download history, cache, cookies, passwords, and saved form data. Use the “Clear browsing data” dialog to delete all your data or just a portion of your data, collected during a specific period of time.

Delete all your data

  1. Click the wrench icon wrench icon on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Tools.
  3. Select Clear browsing data.
  4. In the dialog that appears, select the checkboxes for the types of information that you want to remove.
  5. Use the menu at the top to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select beginning of time to delete everything.
  6. Click Clear browsing data.

Delete specific items from your browsing data

Instead of deleting entire categories of your browsing data, you can pick specific items to delete. Click these links to see more instructions.

Clear Internet Explorer Cache


Clear Firefox Cache

Automatically clear the cache

You can set Firefox to automatically clear the cache when Firefox closes:

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button (Tools menu in Windows XP) and then click Options.
  2. Select the Privacy panel.
  3. In the History section, set Firefox will: to Use custom settings for history.
  4. Select the check box for Clear history when Firefox closes.Clear Cache Win2
  5. Beside Clear history when Firefox closes, click the Settings… button. The Settings for Clearing History window will open.
  6. In the Settings for Clearing History window, click the check mark box next to Cache.Clear Cache Win3
  7. Click OK to close the Settings for Clearing History window.
  8. Click OK to close the Options window.

Not sure why I picked a squirrel?

Better Web Browsing

Better Web Browsing

A few tips when browsing the web. Useful for most browsers:

GO BACK – Backspace - previous page (unless your cursor is in a text field) – instead of clicking on the back arrow

FIND – Control + F is find – Enter to find next item in your search – Escape to close your search

CLOSE – Escape to close most dialogue boxes – instead of clicking on the X

SWITCH – ALT + Tab switch between open programs – instead of clicking at the bottom of your screen (taskbar)

SCROLL – Mouse Wheel click push down to navigate any direction on the page

Click once to place your cursor – Click twice to highlight a word – Click three times to highlight a sentence.

See Tips for each Browser

Internet Explorer –

Google Chrome –

Mozilla Firefox –

Apple Safari – (I couldn’t find an actual tips link on here)


Transfer Google Places

I’ve read a few things about transferring Google accounts where people said that it cannot be done. Wrong. I recently had to transfer ownership of a Google place and this is how it’s done:

  1. Log in to your Google Places Account
  2. Go to the dashboard
  3. Select delete (under your business details)
  4. Select “Remove this listing from my Google Places account“. This removes the Places Page from your Gmail account. Don’t select “Remove this listing from Google Maps”.
  5. Your Places Page will still show up in search & will show “owner-verified” but that’s fine.
  6. Now create your business Places Page in your new Google Places account, identical to how it features already, ensuring you pick the existing business when Google provides a choice of similar businesses (don’t create a new one).
  7. Then verify with a PIN as normal and then it’s just a case of waiting.
  8. Your original Places Page will remain in search but you will notice your new Places Page as a duplicate (although it won’t feature as prominently). This is perfectly normal.
  9. After a couple of weeks the two Places Pages will merge and your listing be fully accessible through your new Google Account.



Stuck in a loop

Recently as I was working on a friend’s laptop (Toshiba Satellite) and was restoring back to the factory defaults and thought I was stuck in a loop, I wasn’t.

They system kept rebooting and saying, “Preparing your computer for first use”. Then it would boot into a Toshiba system customization in progress screen, this image:

This screen does not show you what is happening in the background, installing stuff and configuring. It seemed to be in a loop as there was no progress bar indicating what was being done. It wasn’t until I moved this screen away did I see different icons on the desktop.

Just let the configuration keep doing it’s thing, rebooting and it will be done. It took about maybe 15 restarts for mine to be done.

Hope this saves someone some time down the road.



Got a virus?

Here are some tools that I’ve used to help disinfect a computer:

You may have to start your system in SAFE MODE. This can be accomplished by rebooting your machine, and after the bios at the beginning loads, pressing F8 until you see the Safe Mode options menu

Once logged into the system in SAFE MODE, run a scan of your system. Safe mode can prevent programs from running while you’re trying to remove them.


Get rid of the É instead of question mark

Find yourself typing away and go to hit the Question Mark and have É instead?

  • press CTRL+SHIFT (press CTRL first and while holding press SHIFT, sometimes you have to do it twice in a row to disable.)

Should be back to normal keyboard.

Disable permanently:

  • There’s two ways to do this. Right click on the keyboard icon and left click Settings. Select the “Advanced Key Settings” tab. Click the “Change Key Sequence” button and select “not assigned”. Click OK a few times and you’re done.
  • If you cannot locate the keyboard icon you can get at this through the control panel. Go to Regional and Language control panel. Select the keyboards and languages tab and click the change keyboards button. This takes you to the language settings described in step 2 above.


Quick Snapshot of a webpage

Whether you are trying to find a website that you have visited in the past, or want a quick look for reference, you can save some time online by clicking on the small magnifying glass beside the website link.

See link to video


  • Click on the magnifying glass

  • Displays the web page as an image plus where the words below the link are placed on the page