Author Archives: Mitch Brown

Guide to Windows 7 Shortcut Keys

Filed under Microsoft, Tips & Tricks, Windows 7

While good old Control + C and Control + V are timesavers known by (hopefully) most of us, there’s a whole other world of shortcut keys and commands built right into your Operating System that can speed up your working life. With the release of Windows 7, we thought it would be a good time to run through the basic Windows shortcuts along with all the new goodies available in Microsoft’s latest OS.


WinThe Windows Key. Generally found on the lower left our your keyboard between Ctrl and Alt. The one with the little Windows logo on it!

+ Means press the key in conjuction with the one preceding it. eg. Ctrl + V means press Ctrl and the V key at the same time. Shotrcuts are generally pressed at the same time, not in sequence.

The Basics: Window Management & Navigation

  • [Win + E] Launch Windows Explorer
  • [Win + R] Open the Run dialogue Box
  • [Win + D] or [Win + M] Minimise Windows to Desktop
  • [Alt + Tab] Switch between your currently open Windows
  • [Win + Space] Make all windows transparent (view your Desktop without minimising windows)
  • [Ctrl + Shift + Escape] Open the Windows Task Manager
  • [Win + L] Lock your Desktop
  • [Win + Up Arrow] Maximise your current window
  • [Win + Down Arrow] Minimise or Restore your current window
  • [Win + Left/Right Arrow] Un-maximise and move your Window to the edge of your Desktop
  • [Shift + Win + Left/Right Arrow] Move the current window to a different monitor

Windows Explorer Shortcuts

  • [Ctrl + Shift +N] Creates a new folder in Windows Explorer.
  • [Alt + Up] Move up a folder level
  • [Alt + Enter on a selected file] Opens the Properties of the select item
  • [Alt + P] Open the preview pane on Windows Explorer’s Sidebar
  • [Shift + Right-Click on a selected file] Allows you to Copy As Path, letting you easily paste file paths into emails

Taskbar Shortcuts

  • [Win] Pressing the Windows key will open up your start menu
  • [Win + Tab] Cycle through Taskbar Items
  • [Win + (1-9)] Switches to the application in that position on your taskbar or starts a pinned application in that position
  • [Alt + Win + (1-9)] Display the Jump List for the application pinned in that position on your taskbar
  • [Win+T] Switches focus to the taskbar and allows you to toggle/scroll between applications

Display Shortcuts

  • [Win + P] Select your Display output. Allows you to visually switch between one or two monitors or a projector
  • [Win + (+/-)] Zoom in or out on your Desktop. Handy if you want a better look at smaller text or images

Simplify your PC Setup with Ninite

Filed under Around The Web, Tips & Tricks, Web 2.0

One of the more annoying parts of rebuilding your home or even small office PC is tracking down the installers for all those downloadable apps that have become an essential part of your workspace – browsers, FTP clients and the like.

Ninite is a neat little web tool that appeared on my radar this weekend (thanks Lifehacker!) that allows you to easily create a custom all-in-one installer from a variety of the best free apps the web has to offer, saving you the time of tracking down and downloading individual installers for all those little apps that often go forgotten after a rebuild.

Simply pick your software from a list, click the ‘Get Installer’ button and you’ll be handed a neat little package with all your favourites ready to go.

Ninite supports a wide range software including:

  • Browsers (Chrome/Safari/Opera/Firefox)
  • Messaging (Skype/Live Messenger/Pidgin/Digsby/Google Talk/Thunderbird)
  • Media (iTunes/Songbird/VLC/Audacity and others like Hulu that are largely useless to Australian users!)
  • Imaging (Paint .NET/Picasa/GIMP/IrfanView/XnView)
  • Documents (OFfice 2007 Trial/OpenOffice/Adobe Reader/Foxit Reader/CutePDF)
  • Anti-Virus (MS Security Essentials/Avast/AVG)
  • Runtimes (Flash/Java/Silverlight/.NET)
  • File Sharing (uTorrent/eMule)
  • Utilities (CDBurnerXP/Recuva/Defraggler/RealVNC/Launchy/CCleaner/ImgBurn/Revo Uninstaller)
  • Compression (7-Zip/WinRAR)
  • Developer Tools (Python/FileZilla/JDK/WinSCP/PuTTy/Notepad++/Eclipse)
  • Other (Dropbox/Evernote/BumpTop/Google Earth)

You can get started building your own custom installer at the Ninite website.

Windows 7 is Here!

Filed under Around The Web, News

Windows 7 releases today but will it be able to right Vista’s wrongs?

While a new OS is often a great time to get yourself a new PC or Laptop, if you are planning the upgrade to Win 7 LifeHacker show you how to Prep your PC and Cnet have  a guide on surviving an upgrade from Windows XP and also from Windows Vista.

Tuesday News & Links (25th August 2009)

Filed under Around The Web, News

Wednesday News & Links (29th July 2009)

Filed under Around The Web, News

Monday Morning News & Links (27th July 2009)

Filed under Around The Web, Links, News

Tuesday Morning News & Links (21st July 2009)

Filed under Around The Web, Business Continuity, Links, News

Monday Morning News & Links (12th July 2009)

Filed under Around The Web, Links, News

Google to launch own Operating System

Filed under Google, News

For quite some time those “in the know” have been speculating on the possibility of Google releasing their own Operating System. Today Google announced Google Chrome OS on their official blog:

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Read more here at Google’s Development Blog.

Preparing Your Business For A Disaster (SMH)

Filed under Business Continuity

Excellent article in the SMH today on Disaster Prevention and Business Continuity for small business owners:

More than half of all Australian small businesses don’t have a disaster plan. But there are simple solutions.

In recent months we’ve witnessed the full range of natural disasters in Australia, from flash flooding to bushfires. Man-made disasters such as virus attacks, accidentally wiping data and power outages can also affect businesses.

Having a disaster recovery plan in place is one thing small business owners should consider. What would happen if everything that relied on IT suddenly vanished? Would you have the ability to continue running the business? How long could you do it without IT before it begins to affect performance?

It is almost impossible to prepare for the worst but planning is critical to ensure your business has the ability to get through in the worst-case scenario.

A Telstra-commissioned survey revealed more than half of all Australian small businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place. It indicates about 52 per cent of businesses have not thought ahead and given more consideration towards a disaster recovery plan.

Read the full article here.

We recommend our Business Resilience service for disaster proofing your business. Business Resilience provides enterprise grade backup for SMEs – a full operating copy of your IT environment, accessible via the internet and available within 2 hours of a disaster.

Read more on how to disaster proof your Small Business.