This post is a little tip that I've picked up and used many many times on my windows machines. Over the years, on occasion, I've had windows open up off the visual desktop. They open up somewhere off the top of the screen or bottom.
This makes it really awkward as you can't get your mouse on them to reposition them. However, this tip will show you how to do just that.
Ok, so the first thing you need to do is select the window you want to reposition. Now, this may be easy or not. If it's in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen then you can simply select it. However, in many cases it's not so you're going to have to use the ALT + TAB keys to scroll through all open windows until you reach the one you want.
So, now that you have the window you need to reposition selected, press ALT + Space keys on the keyboard to open the specific windows menu. Next press the M key which will select the move option.
Now you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the window around. Move it into your screen and press enter to place it down.
It's that simple. Simply move the window to your visual desktop and then you can use your mouse to move it around. This has been something I have used many many times, I'd say often more than once each week.
So, is this useful? Have you had this happen to you? Why not leave a comment below if it has, or if you have any other issue or tip you would like to chat about.
So, this weekend we decided to pay a visit down to Bournemouth town, somewhere I've not been for about 9 months.
The reason for the visit was, well, three fold. First thing was, my daughter wanted to spend some of her Birthday money (well, her birthday isn't until the end of the week but she had some pre-birthday money from grandparents).
The second reason was, now, as its heading to Christmas time, they have the Christmas huts up. So, this is basically little stalls that are put up in rows of wooden huts. They sell many things, gift and so on, that you can give for Christmas.
Finally, the third thing was, that, we can go and see the Christmas lights in the gardens in the town.
So, at least for the past 2 years, at Christmas in Bournemouth gardens they have the lightboxes. Well, they have the lightboxes and they have an ice ring.
For reference, the above is one from Christmas 2014.
So, these really make for an interesting and enjoyable display. Each one had different lights, effects and each one was really interesting.
However, they don't seem to be down there this year. Instead, there were just some few lights on the trees. A truly disappointing affair. I have to say that the ice ring is still there, in fact, this year they have two - one which is designed for smaller children to enable them to have less buzzing past.
Ice rings aside, I feel let down, as I say, about the lights. Now, it may be that in the next month, more lights will appear. It may be some other display will be put up, maybe even the boxes. If they are then we will be down again, seeking them out and taking the photos. I truly hope this is the case - I'd hate to think that a down on the South Coast of the UK, a town that is for tourists, I'd hate to think they were not doing much for Christmas.
So, I've done a few of these posts now and the one application I use, probably the most in comparison, I have not talked about. So, for this week's Top App Friday I am going to do just that. The application, as you can guess from the title is of course GIMP.
Now, it's probable that I am talking to the converted. What I mean about that is that many of you probably know of GIMP and may even use it. However, for the small minority who don't, GIMP stands for 'GNU Image Manipulation Program'.
The application is an open source (so free) image editor, with a fair bit of kick behind it. It's amazing just how powerful it is, and of course, have I mentioned its FREE?? Not only that, it's cross-platform, so there are executables for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
You can use this program to edit your photos, design and create banners and logos, create illustrations, really anything you can think of when it comes to image creation and manipulation.
As an example, I use it all the time to resize my images as well as converting from PNG to JPG and so on. I can load in the image (you a right click and select open with GIMP under windows for example). When loaded I can crop any sections I don't want. If I want to add a box or text (or a box and text) I can do that. I can then resize and export.
This tool has been invaluable for my blogging as well and quick image edits. I have even created a number of website logos, there is an option for that; and remember, its FREE.
Now, I won't go into all of its functions and details, mainly because that would take too long and the post would be massive. I will leave that to be discovered by you; its also more fun that way, playing around, finding out what it can do.
For this, it has to be mentions, to have a place in my top apps pick. It had to be mentioned really. As I already have said earlier in the post, I maybe preaching to the converted, but if not, why not check it out. You haven't got anything to loose and, on the other hand, have so much to gain.
Have you got a favorite app you want to share? Then why not leave it down in the comments below. Alternatively, why not write as a guest post and include it in our top app pick Friday list.
So today's quick tech tip is more for windows users - although, there are other ways on other operating systems to do something similar.
What I want to talk about is how you can reduce your CPU time or limit the number of cores an application is using. This comes to play when you find your system is running slow when executing a particular application.
Ok, so the illusion of multi-threaded applications; particularly back in the day or a single core CPU, was done by sharing CPU time. An application would have a set amount of time of the CPU then pass it over to the next application. These would go round robin so that every application would have some CPU time.
To that end, some applications had a higher priority for the CPU. All this can still be seen even in today's Windows 10 from the task manager; that tool that gets run from a ctrl-alt-del and chosen from the menu listed.
So, lots of info. If you select the details tab you have a list of the applications and it shows the PID (this is the Process ID that it is running as under Windows), the Username, the CPU usage, memory and all that kind of details.
Now, sometimes you can find the actual application you want in this tab. If thats the case, go back to processes and right click. Select the 'Go to details' menu item and it will take you over to the Details tab with the application running highlighted.
So, once you have found the application in details, we can now increase/decrease its CPU priority as well as choose the CPU cores for it to run on.
So, first let us talk about increasing or decreasing the application CPU priority. If you have an application that is running an important task, you may want this to have more CPU time to complete quicker. You can raise (or lower) its priority by right-clicking on the task, choosing the 'Set priority' menu option and then choosing higher or lower depending. See the image below.
You can even increase/decrease the number of CPU cores an application is running on. To do this you right click the application again. From the menu, you choose 'Set affinity' option (like in the below image).
When you select this, a new smaller window pops up showing you all the CPU cores you have available; on my computer, it's 8 as I have an Intel i7.
From this window, you simply deselect or select the cores you want the application to run on. In the case of the above image, this application has access to all 8 cores of my CPU.
Now, you have all the skills you need to change the priority of an application or limit the cores it uses. In most cases, you may never want to do this, but it is something you can do if you find an application is taking more than its fair share of CPU and your computer slows down.
If there are any other tips or questions you have, why not drop me a comment below. I love to chat about all things techie.
As strange as it may seem, we actually went out this weekend rock hunting. Let me explain in a little more detail, just so you know we're not just gone bonkers for rocks.
So, what is this rock hunting thing? Let me start with - does everyone here know what geocaching is? For those that don't, geocaching is a game where you use your phone to and the info that is given on a location to hunt down a cache. This is usually something like a log book in a box, where you put your name, date and so on. Its a kind of seek and go hide.
This whole rock hunting thing is very similar to that. Now, I have to say that I am not sure if this is the latest craze everywhere, or if it just happens to be local to us down here in Dorset. What it is, simply, is people decorate rocks and then place them in locations, usually in a location that is easy to see but not obvious. Then put a note on a Facebook page/group such as the BH Rocks group for BH Area.
People that want to go find, such as use this weekend gone, look at these pages and see locations where people have hidden the rocks. You then go to those locations and try and hunt down the rocks. When you do so, you take a photo, log it on the Facebook group and then either take the rock home or go and re-hide it.
From what we have seen, it doesn't have to be in the same place - we saw an image of one rock found on a train at Southampton.
So, this weekend just gone, we decided to try this game out. The great thing is, it gets you outdoors walking around, looking and taking note. We went to a beach not too far from us (5 minutes down the road), Sandbanks beach, and started to look.
We had seen a post saying that someone was placing 4 rocks down there today. 10 minutes before we started to look we saw a post that one had been found and that they were re-hiding. So, we started to look.
Around 20 minutes went by and we found 1. Placed on a wall behind one of those showers where you go to wash the sand off your feet. Not too difficult to find but again, not something you would have seen if you weren't looking. Up until that point, we had been having some fun, but there is nothing like a find to elevate the kid's enthusiasm. Especially our daughter, she went into full excited, let's find more mode.
So, we took a photo of our find, logged it in the group and then went and rehid the rock. We then continued our walk but didn't find any others. At that point, our daughter wanted to go to another location over at Upton Country Park where loads have been found and placed - but we think that is for next weekend.
All in all, its fantastic fun and gets you out in the fresh air. It's also fun for the people that have painted the rocks as they see a record of them being found. This week we also have plans to create some rocks of our own and place them over the weekend. Continue the fun.
So, is this something you have seen played in your area? Is it being placed without you knowing? Try checking out Facebook for groups near you and if not any, try creating one and starting the trend. Its so much fun to do, as I keep saying.
Let me know in a comment below if you are playing this also, or if it sounds like something you would love to try.
This week I am going to be talking about another WordPress plugin. This is something I used so much on a previous site that I paid for the premium version. However, the options and reasons for me using this plugin are all in the free version, so that is what I will be talking about and looking at.
So, some of you may already know of this plugin, some may not. Before I do give the name, let me talk a little about what and why I use this.
So, we all create posts, such as this one, and we want to get it out for people to see. Social media is a big part of that, I don't need to tell you that, you already know. Creating post after post can be time consuming though, especially if you have regular posting. Case being for another site of mine where I had about 5-8 posts a day - it was time consuming.
So, after some research I came across Nextscripts Social Networks Auto Poster (SNAP for short). SNAP allows you to setup social network configurations such as Facebook, Twitter and many others, then when you publish a post this plugin posts out to all those configured social networks with a defined text (something you can change) which can include the link to the post.
There is one thing to note, this free version will only work with social media systems that have their own API, something that the tool can use. However, you can still post to those that don't (such as Pinterest I believe is one) if you pay for an account. They have an in house API that will post to those. However, you don't need this for the big ones.
The other great thing about this plugin is that you can setup reposting of older post and content to your social media accounts. You setup, like with the new posts, which social media you want to post too, setup a schedule, posts you want to post (I choose all of them) which can be from a time frame and then set it in motion. I re-post a post every 10 hours for example. Its an all in one tool to both post out to social media that new post plus repost old posts.
So, to test the plugin you can install the free version right from the new plugin menu option. Give it a try, play around and so on. The Pro version of the tool gives you a few more options, I won't list them all, you can find them at their website. You may want to check out API subscription, see if there are any social media listed in there that you want to also post too.
I just love writing, In Conclusion. I do need a conclusion of my thoughts, so a great place to add them. This plugin has allowed me to free up some major time over the past year I have been using it. Would spend 10 minutes or more posting out my links to posts on my other site, 5 days a week. This plugin allowed me to automate that which means I now don't spend any time.
On top of that it now allows me to re-post old posts, this means I could remove a second plugin I had just for that. I can honestly say that this plugin has saved me time and I can't even setup another wordpress site without installing this. Don't take my word for it, try the free plugin yourself.
If you have and you have a comment or review, why not leave it below. I would love to chat to others on this subject.
Ok, so I am not sure about you, but I find that a lot of the time I can't get that perfect image edit through my phone. Sometimes I also have a great image I've taken with my regular digital camera and I want to get it on Instagram.
So, for this tech tip Wednesday I thought I would cover, how I can edit my pictures from my phone on my computer and upload as well as how I can take an image from my camera and put it on Instagram.
Now, this is the easy part. We have many free to use cloud services out there, I prefer Dropbox. It really is that simple.
Sign up for Dropbox if you haven't already. Connect your computer to your Dropbox. Install the phone app (there is both Android and IOS) for Dropbox. Then, simply upload the image from your phone to your Dropbox.
Once there, you can edit the image on your computer using whichever image editor you use. Finally, you can then save the changed image to your dropbox again.
Then from Instagram you can click the add new plus symple from the app. Then, from the dropdown menu at the top (will have something liek Gallary as default) select 'Other'. Choose Dropbox then navigate to where you saved the photo. Select it and you then go through the same set of steps as if it was on your phone (such as crop etc)
So, you will already know the process on this. Basically, its exactly the same process as the above with the exception of it being from your camera and not your phone. You simply take the image off your camera and put it on your computer.
Edit your image, save to Dropbox and go through the same process as selection as above. One thing to remember though. The image taken from your camera may well be in a different perspective view than from your phone. So the cropping part of your image post is more important.
If you have an Apple Mac, you may or may not be aware of an app called Flume. This app allows you to view your Instagram feed. Better still, if you purchase the pro edition you can actually upload images from your Mac to your Instagram.
I bought this app some time ago now and have used it from time to time. It saves me going through the upload from Dropbox part as I can just drop the image into the App.
Just one other thing to think of if you have a Mac.
So, there you have this Wednesday's top tip. Edit your images on your computer, if you have some good software, and upload away. I personally find it much easier editing on a bigger screen.
If you have any other tips, why not share them below. I would love to hear from you.