Archive for the ‘Windows 7’ Category

Click “Start” to “Stop” – – – Huh?

April 13, 2010

Turn off your computer with ONE click.

As a former speech pathologist and a human communication expert I’ve always been interested in word derivations and our inability to communicate simple things. The more we attempt to explain, the more complicated the answer. It’s no different trying to understand the logic and derivation behind computer processes, and the slang of the computer world – geek speak. For guys like me, ‘eek” speak would be more appropriate.

Here’s a fun technology flashback. Remember when the computer keyboard had a “Return” key? That was a throwback to the teletype machine and electric typewriter keyboard. “Return” was short for “Carriage Return.” It’s amusing that the first computer keyboards had a “Return” key. After several years the key was renamed “Enter.” However the key still has an icon that looks like the old “Return” icon.

 Another baffling computer mystery is why we have to click the “Start” button to “Stop” or turn off a computer. This sounds like contradiction of terms or the perfect example on an oxymoron. The term oxymoron comes from a man named Oxy who we all thought was a moron for making us click “Start” to “Stop” – a real Oxymoron. (just kidding).

 I hoped that Windows 7 would give me a “Stop” button and eliminate this oxymoron. They managed to come half way by removing the “Start” text from the button at the lower left of our displays. However, someone at Microsoft still can’t let “Start” die in dignity. If you put your mouse on the button “Start” still appears! So we could make a new word called Quazimoron for a process that has hidden contradictory terms by a man named Quasi that still works at Microsoft.

 How many the extra mouse clicks have I made in the fifteen year of shutting down Windows? Eventually some petty things really get under my skin! Today I decided I’ve had enough with the “Start” to “Stop” scenario.

 Please Note: If all this is a little over your head, trying pressing and releasing the power button on the first of your computer. Some computers are setup to automatically start the shutdown process if you click and release the button. Do not try this with the power button on the back your computer.

 I did a Google search for “Create shutdown shortcut.” I knew I was on the right track after typing “Create Shut” because Google filled in the rest – “Create shutdown Shortcut.”

 I did not test the following process on XP or Vista. This process is for Windows 7. However, I’m assuming the process will be very similar for Vista and XP.

 Here’s what I learned to do and it was easy. 

  1. Right Click on your desktop anywhere there are no icons.
  2. Click New > Shortcut
  3. Type in shutdown -S -t 0
  4. Click Next.
  5. Type in Shutdown or another word you like better such as Don’t Bug Me – Turn off!
  6. Click Finish.

 Congratulations! You now have a one button click Shutdown icon.

 The shortcut doesn’t look like something you’d click to shutdown. Here’s how to change the icon image:

  1.  Right on the Shutdown shortcut.
  2. Click Change Icon – I received an error message from Windows 7 telling me it contains no icons – do I really care? What else can I do but click OK. Duh – so click OK.
  3. Click on one of the icons you like.
  4. I selected the orange square with a white “I” ’cause it looks important (see image at the top of this blog)
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Apply.
  7. Click OK.

 Caution: You should save your work and close down all your programs before using this shutdown process. Your computer will close down in about 1 minute and will not ask you to close programs that are still up and running. Translation – all the work and stuff you are doing in other programs will be lost unless you save your work and close the programs before clicking your new Shutdown Icon.

 I have not had any problems using this shutdown process. I cannot guarantee what will happen if you create and run the process outlined above. I’m sure that makes us both feel much better!

 Close your other programs and then test your new “One button click shutdown.”

 You can also drag and “Pin” the new icon to your taskbar in Windows 7.

 Start to Stop – not on my computer!!

Free Family History Tips and Suggestions


Windows 7. Where’s the E-mail?

December 19, 2009

You will need a new e-mail program for a new computer or if you upgrade from Vista to Windows 7. 

Microsoft removed e-mail from Windows 7. It’s gone and you will have to use something else. I searched the internet for recommendations and reviews for another e-mail option. The more I searched and read, the more confused and frustrated I became. I finally gave up and installed Windows Live. I decided it might work better with Windows 7 since it comes from Microsoft.

My Verdict After Two Days of Use

  • I like the Live Mail interface better than Gmail.
  • It can run in the background and check for new e-mails like Outlook.
  • You can attach and send large image files. It places a little thumbnail of each file attachment The recipient clicks on a thumbnail to view it full screen. Double clicking on a thumbnail downloads the image so you can view it full screen and save the image.
  • The recipient does not need a fast internet connection to receive a Live Mail e-mail because images are not attached to the e-mail, just small thumbnails.
  • You can drag the image into the e-mail to attach the file. That easy and I like this a lot!
  • I was relived it had a spellchecker that highlights each misspelling word so you can correct as you type instead of running a spellchecker later.
  • It has some fun little Emoticons some of you will enjoy using to eliminate misunderstandings when you are trying to say something funny.
  • My first e-mail message was easy to compose and write. 

 Be sure to check the Outbox to make sure it sent your first mail. I had to do a little more initial setup before it sent the first message    


 Double click on a thumbnail in Windows 7 Live Mail to view it full screen or to download and save it.  

 Biggest Frustration

WHERE’S THE SEND / RECEIVE BUTTON? Yes, I’m yelling and using red ink. What good is an e-mail program if you can’t check for e-mail when you want to? It took me 30 minutes searching the internet to discover they renamed “Send / Receive” to “SYNC!” I like “SINK” better since I’ve had more experience with that word. (I’m always cleaning up something). 


I think I will eventually get the hang of Windows Live e-mail. However, it may have to season in the closet for a few weeks like any new pair of shoes or shirts I get before I will attempt to use them.

Windows 7 Upgrade / Things you need to know

December 5, 2009

Which upgrade option?

One of the problems with Vista was it would not work with older hardware (scanners / printers) and software. Yes, that frustrated me big time! Good News! Windows 7 is more compatible with older software and hardware than Vista. However you may need to purchase the more expensive Windows 7 Professional version  to have a better chance of working with your older hardware and software.   

Recently I helped one of our local users upgrade her Vista Home Premium computer to Windows 7.  I went to the Windows 7 system requirements site to check the requirements. Her newer computer easily passed. Just to be absolutely sure I went the extra mile and downloaded the Upgrade Advisor from

We ran the test and the computer passed with no problems. I was relieved and thought we were good to go and we’d be done in 45 minutes.  We marched off to Best Buy to get the upgrade. I’m thinking this will be simple until I was confronted with several upgrade options and prices. We decided on the more expensive Windows 7 Professional because it indicated it would work with older hardware and software. 

We then proceeded to run the upgrade. SURPRIZE!  We see the message, “You can NOT upgrade Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional.” Suddenly I’m not happy because this means many programs will need to be reinstalled.  One positive is Windows 7 does create a backup of all your files. However, this could be a problem if you do not have enough free hard drive space and I’m not willing to trust any backup except one I make myself.

Just to be safe, we created a complete backup of all her files to an external hard drive. We also used Heritage Collector’s backup system to safeguard all her collections.

Unfortunately my friend had to reinstall many programs including Heritage Collector. We then used Heritage Collector’s  “Restore from HD” to copy all the groups and collections back into the new Windows 7 system.

 Please refer to my free newsletter, “Windows 7 – an Evaluation,” for a complete summary of my experiences using Windows 7.

One final note. Heritage Collector works with Windows 7.