Between the crtl and alt on the lower left of your keyboard, resides the Windows key. Some of you may know that pressing the Windows key opens the start menu but, did you know that there are a variety of other shortcuts that you can use to increase your productivity. Some of our favorites are listed below.

Windows key + L: Lock your device

Windows key + [Left][Right]: Position windows on your screen. For example, if you press Windows key + Left, it will position the current window to the left half of your screen. If you use Windows + Up afterward, the current window will be placed in the upper left quarter of your screen.

Windows key + D: Show the desktop and minimize all programs. If you press it again, it will reopen all your programs.

Windows key + [1][2][3][4][…]: Open the programs that are pinned to the task bar. For example, if Word is the third program on your taskbar and you press the Windows Key + 3, then Word will open.

Windows key + Alt + Number: Open the right-click menu for the app pinned in the number position on the taskbar.

Windows key + A: Open the Windows notification center (only on Windows 10 devices).

Windows key + E: This will open the file explorer. This is how you get to your H: and K: drive.

Windows key + X: Opens a start menu that will quickly take you to task manager, control panel, and other useful settings.

Windows key + [+][-]: Zoom in or out on your current window.

Windows key + Shift + Up arrow: Maximizes the active window vertically while maintaining its width.

Windows key + Up: Maximized the selected window.

Windows key + Down: Minimizes the selected window.

Are there any you like to use? Comment below!

 

 

 

When you receive Windows 10, you may notice a new feature on your toolbar. This is the Task View pane. Task View allows you to see all of the programs that are currently open on your desktop and you will be able to toggle through them. However, this feature also allows you to create additional desktops.

Using multiple desktops can allow you to better organize your programs and job functions. You may want one desktop to keep your email and Skype for Business chat. On the next, you can have Excel, PRISM, and Word open. This can help you to organize your actions and see multiple things without having to minimize what you are working on.

To get the task view:

  1. There are multiple ways to get the task view open. You can click on the Task View button on the task bar.
     
  2. You can also press the Windows Key + Tab

To create a new desktop:

  1. In the Task View pane, click New Desktop to add another desktop.
  2. To open a new desktop quickly, you can press the Windows Key + Ctrl + D

To move items to the new desktop:

  1. To move a window from one desktop to another, open the Task View pane and then right-click the program you want to move. You will then see an option that says Move and select the desktop that you would like to move it to.

To move between desktops:

  1. When you want to move between each of your desktops, open the Task View pan and click on the desktop you want to move to.
  2. You can also do this by pressing the keyboard shortcuts Windows Key + Ctrl + Left Arrow and Windows Key + Ctrl + Right Arrow.

To close a desktop:

  1. Open the Task View pane and hover over the desktop you would like to close. After a few seconds, a small X will appear in the upper right corner. Click the X to close the desktop.
  2. You can also close the desktop you are currently in by pressing Windows Key + Ctrl + F4. Please make note that this will not close the programs you have open. They will be moved to the first desktop.

 

It is a well-perpetuated myth that closing apps on your iPhone will help save battery and make your phone’s performance improve. The result of closing apps on your phone has the opposite result compared to the desired effect.

When you “force close” your apps by double-tapping the home screen to show the Multitasking Menu and swiping up to close them, it creates more harm than good. When you see how many apps are open on your phone, you think that they must all be running in the background, draining the battery, and making our phones slower. However, you need to understand how iPhones suspend apps when they are not in use.

Most apps have three states:

  1. Active – This app is running in the foreground and is receiving events. This is the normal mode for an app that you are using currently.
  2. Background – This app is in the background and still receiving events. An app can run in the background momentarily while it is on its way to being suspended or it could run for longer. An example of this is when you have a navigation app giving you directions to a location. You may not be in the map app; however, it is giving you directions intermittently.
  3. Suspended – This app is the background and not receiving events. The system moves apps to this state automatically and while suspended, an app remains in memory. This means that the app will remember what you were doing last but, it will not get updates, use any battery, or harm the performance.

When you close the apps, you are taking the app from that suspended state and putting it into an inactive state. This makes it more laborious for the phone to re-open the app next time you use it. Closing the app will also drain the precious battery that you are trying to save. The only time that it is necessary to force-close an app is when the app is unresponsive. Otherwise, forcing close apps is much like turning your car off at stop signs, unproductive and wasting resources.

If you are concerned with battery, you can go into Settings>General>Background App Refresh and disable the refresh from apps that you don’t use or need to refresh frequently. Background App Refresh is a setting that lets certain apps check for new content and download updates in the background when they receive notification that it is available. Background App Refresh allows it to be ready for use the next time you open the app or you could just turn Background App Refresh off and let it update the next time you open the app.

 

These are the events that have helped to shape technology as we know it and they all have occurred in July.

July 1: The first Sony Walkman went on sale in Japan. This revolutionized the listening habits across the world.

July 3: The creation of the first computer network. UCLA created a network of the computers that linked together no matter the operating system or make of the computer. This was the first step in creating what became known as the internet.

July 9: Donkey Kong was released in 1981. This was the start of Donkey Kong and Mario, two of the most recognizable video game characters of all time.

July 10: The first International Communications Satellite was launched into space. This was a collaboration between US, Britain, and France to bring in a new world of communication.

July 14: Mariner 4 became the first spacecraft to perform a successful fly-by of Mars in 1965.

July 16: Apollo 11 is launched and becomes the first space mission to land men on the Moon.

July 17: The first photograph of a star was taken at Harvard Observatory in 1850.

July 18: Intel was founded on this day in 1968 in Santa Clara, California.

July 20: Viking 1 landed on Mars in 1976.

July 28: Dell Workstation 400 was introduced for mostly engineering purposes. The average cost was between $3000 and $8000.

 

The F keys that sit at the top of your keyboard aren’t just useless decorations. Each as a special function that could help make your day a little easier.

F1: This is considered as the universal shortcut for help. If you press this in almost all programs, it will bring up the help menu.

F2: This key will help you edit or rename files. If you press this while selecting the file, you will be able to rename it. In Office, Ctrl+F2 will open print preview.

F3: F3 will help you search. It can search folders and files in Windows Explorer. If you press Shift + F3 in Word, it will toggle between capitalizing each word, lower case and upper case for the text you select.

F4: When you want to get to the cursor to focus on the address bar in Windows Explorer, press F4. Also, Alt+F4 will close the current program without saving the program. This is handy when you need to close something quickly.

F5: This may be the most useful of all the buttons. It will refresh for you. Whether that be when your desktop when icons are missing, your browser content isn’t cooperating, or you want to start a slide show over again in PowerPoint. Also if you press it in Office, it will open the “Find and Replace” dialog.

F6: When you are in Office, it will toggle between the menu items. When you are on the desktop, it will toggle from the desktop files to the taskbar and system tray. Also, when you are in a browser, it will toggle to the address bar.

F7: Easily access spell check in office by pressing this key. Also, Shift+F7 will run a thesaurus on a highlighted word.

F8: This is most useful in Word. Shift+F8 will allow you to shrink your current selection and Ctrl+F8 will allow you to resize the document.

F9: In Word, F9 refreshes the document. In Outlook, it will send or receive emails.

F10: Shift+F10 will function as a right-click on highlighted icons, files, and internet links. It will also activate the menu bar in the open application.

F11: This button will enter and exit fullscreen mode.

F12: This will open the “Save As” window in Microsoft Word. Shift+F12 just does a basic save and Ctrl+F12 opens a Word Doc.

Take this quiz, Workplace Security Risk Calculator,  to find out if you activities while at work are risky and what you can be doing on the front lines to protect our organization!

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Welcome to the TIL (Today I Learned) blog series about social and tech industry trends that affect your everyday life. Today, we delve into a few of the many social media platforms!


Currently, most websites have a social aspect to them. Yelp reviewers are connected to each other through shared locations and the comments section of a website that posts articles about news or culture connects users by facilitating conversation. Overall, it is important to remember that while each social media platform has a function it excels at, there are diverse ways to use a social media account on any platform to achieve social or business goals. Additionally, it is important to remember to be considerate of not only your privacy and security concerns, but also those of people your interact with and post about on social media. For example, consistently posting about your and others’ locations through restaurants you visit or places you frequent could create a portrait of your whereabouts that others could exploit. Do not be afraid to talk to your friends about how they feel about being tagged in posts, photos, and locations, as social media should and can enrich social life both online and offline.

Four years ago, Douglas Wray of The Franklin Institute posted this photo on Instagram using donuts to explain social media:

On February 3rd, 2016, he posted:

It’s been four years since this Instagram changed my life. It’s funny to think both how much as changed in the social media landscape and also how much of this is still true today. #SocialMedia #SocialMediaExplained #Donuts #FourYears #Facebook

In the past four years, social media has become an integral part of daily life. Platforms such as Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine, and WhatsApp have dramatically changed the social media landscape and become household names. In this post, we will profile the major social media platforms and their uses, with examples from The University of Pittsburgh’s own social media presence. A comprehensive list can be found at Social Media at Pitt.


Facebook

Perhaps the most ubiquitous social media platform, Facebook most immediately connects its users to their real-life social network. Users can also join “groups,” such as private groups for coworkers, public groups for sports fans, and secret groups for friends. Event details can also be posted on Facebook, allowing hosts to keep track of potential attendance and contact those invited. Facebook additionally has options for businesses and professional and public personalities. “Sharing” and “liking” photos, links, and quick personal thoughts and questions are the foremost methods of communication on the site. Be conscious of how your friends feel about being tagged in posts, photos, and locations and never share any personal information that could lead to the discovery of your passwords or personally sensitive data.


Twitter

While Twitter is still primarily a site for sharing thoughts in the form of 140 character “tweets” and creating discussion through the use of “hashtags,” Twitter has also become a popular site to share photos, videos, and links. Direct communication between users is facilitated tagging in a tweet, such as at “@PittTweet The weather in Oakland is beautiful today!,” or in a direct, private message between users (known as the “direct message”). Twitter “lists” can be used to keep up with your favorite writers, activists, or actors by grouping their profiles into one feed. In regards to privacy, users can have their tweets available for public or private viewing, sharing only with the users they personally select.


Instagram

Instagram allows users to utilize their smartphone’s camera feature to post photos with filters to enhance their appearance. Instagram easily facilitates cross platform posting; if enabled, Instagram posts can be shared to your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr, and Swarm accounts. Instagram is perfect for managing your personal brand, sharing your creative work, and more recently, has become a site to market services and promote both online and brick and mortar shops.

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes – small enough you can have more than 1! #valentinesday #pittsweets A photo posted by Oakland Bakery and Market (@oaklandbakery) on


YouTube

While not commonly thought of as a “social media” site, YouTube is a video sharing site where content can be uploaded by users. Users can subscribe to a video creator’s channel to receive notifications when a new video is uploaded, comment on videos, give a thumbs up or thumbs down to a video, and share and embed video links. There is a vast amount of social communities on YouTube, such as makeup artists, amateur mechanics, and film and music reviewers. Be considerate of your identity when posting to YouTube via videos or comments, as your likeness and Google account will be affiliated with your contributions.


LinkedIn

LinkedIn bills itself as the “world’s largest professional network.” Users create profiles to list their skills, job experience, and qualifications. LinkedIn users can create their network through adding colleagues and connections who are also users of the site to build a more robust portrait of their professional network and gain endorsements of their skills. Most of LinkedIn’s revenue is made from selling user’s information to recruiters and sales professionals, so avoid LinkedIn if this is an issue for you.

Pitt Career Network Group


Pinterest

Pinterest is a photo sharing social media platform which allows users to create “boards,” not unlike mood boards, spanning a diverse range of topics, such as cooking, style, and gardening. Users can view public boards created by other users and create secret boards that are private from user’s views. Any image from the Internet can be posted to Pinterest, as long as it exists on a webpage. Thus, Oakland bakery could “pin” photos of their confections to a board featuring baked goods, and potentially be noticed by other users interested in baking and baked goods. As always, be considerate of those in your photos and be aware that Pinterest assumes ownership of your photos after you post them to the site.



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