Month: January 2015

Enable Thumbnails For Video, Audio & Image Files In Windows/File Explorer

Windows Explorer or File Explorer may show thumbnail previews for all kinds of files, like “.avi” movie files but they may not show thumbnail previews for “.flv” (Flash Video) or “.mkv” (Matroska Video) files. Luckily, with the help of an application named Media Preview you can enable thumbnail previews for multiple file extensions. It works for video, audio and image formats and you can set how each thumbnail preview looks like. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Download & Install Media Preview

First, you need to download and install the Media Preview application. You can find the download link here: Media Preview, media file thumbnailing for Windows.

Run the setup file that you have downloaded and, during the installation process, make sure that you select all shell extensions, so that you can set the thumbnails for all types of supported files.

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How To Change The Default Playback & Recording Audio Device

One of the many creative options built into Windows is the ability to record and play back multimedia files. Windows even makes it simple by selecting a default device for audio recording and playback, but what if you’d prefer that another device be used? Let’s take a look at how to change the default and how to troubleshoot certain problems.

Working With Audio Devices In Windows

Before we make any changes, it’s important to know what we’re dealing with. We record audio using microphones, for example, and play them back through speakers. We can also record sounds from devices inside the computer, like the optical drive, and playback through headphones. Many people have more than one device attached (like the microphone included in a web cam plus a standalone microphone plus a microphone built into a headset) and it’s important to pick a default so the sound is recorded and played back with the highest fidelity. You don’t want your voice to sound like you’re in an empty hallway because your default is the webcam microphone three feet away from you instead of the microphone in your headset or on your desk.

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7 Ways To Open File Explorer In Windows 8.1

Some of our readers have asked us about several methods for opening File Explorer. Some of them lost the File Explorer shortcut from the taskbar while others simply wanted to know more than one way of opening this Windows 8.1 application. To help you out, we decided to share all the ways we know for openingFile Explorer. Let’s get started:

The Complete Article, with pictures

APCUG – Virtual Technology Conference, February 21

Member-of-APCUG-Square-200-WideAPCUG’s FREE 2015 Winter Virtual Technology Conference (VTC) will be held on Saturday, February 21, from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight time. The sessions are 50 minutes in length and offer attendees the opportunity to ask questions via a chat window. Videos from earlier conferences can be found on APCUG’s YouTube channel

This link is where you can view the presenter bios and, after the conference, you can download the handouts and get links to the videos.

Spread the word by forwarding this e-mail to your members. VTCs are a great way for them to expand their technology experience and be introduced to new skills. Below are the sessions that are currently scheduled.

If you would like further information, please send an email to


Windows 10 Demo

Bill James, VP of Operations, Computer Club of Oklahoma City; APCUG Advisor, Region 8

Windows 8 was a hard sell for many people who were very happy with Windows 7 and they are still using Win 7. Windows 10 starts a new conversation about the Windows operating system that desktop and touch-screen end users are sure to appreciate.

Win10 addresses many of the complaints or concerns that occurred with Windows 8. The focus is the desktop which will be the default screen for many users with a revised Start Menu which is similar to the start menu of previous versions of Windows. Bill’s presentation will be about the desktop and pointing out the similarities of Windows 10 with Windows 7 and 8 plus pointing out some of the features that, hopefully, will make it to the final version. Bring your questions for Bill. He has been using Win 10 since its release and has given many demos to his group as well as other groups via Webinar.

Linux Software Superstore

John Kennedy, Training Chair & Linux SIG Co-leader, East Central Ohio Technology Users Club; APCUG Advisor, Regions 6 & 7

John will share information about the wide choices of free software available to the Linux user. He will have examples of software that relates to all the common computer tasks we do on a day to day basis. Attendees will see that running a Linux operating system doesn’t hinder them doing anything. A lot of the software John uses is also available for Windows and even Mac’s.

The Secrets of Making Chrome a Solid Computer

Stew Bottorf, Linux SIG Leader, Tampa Bay Computer Society

Chromebooks, Chromebases and Chromeboxes are for sale everywhere at very favorable prices compared to Windows 8 computers. They are often thought inferior to “real Windows” computers but Chromebooks are perfect for most of our group members. They cannot catch viruses and are always backed up but can they be made productive offline? This presentation shows with proper app selections the Chromebook, Chromebase or Chromebox are real gems that work both online and offline at a fraction of the heavier computer complexity, price, weight and battery power. I value my Chromebook and often use it in place of more complex units sitting on the shelf.

Marketing Your User Group on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, Sabrina Watson

Sabrina Watson, President, Crystal Rivers Computer Users Group; APCUG Advisor, Region 9

We’re all looking for new members for our groups; this presentation will give you some ideas on how to accomplish that using social media.


How Secure is My Device?

Jere Minich, Program Chair, Lake-Sumter Computer Society; APCUG Advisor, Region 5

We need to make informed decisions when using any electronic device. Tips for keeping your mobile devices secure and malware free.


Using VMware Player to Create a Virtual Machine

Francis Chao, Member, WINdows ERS, Greater South Bay User Group, and the Tucson Computer Society

This presentation will be a hands-on demo of VMware Player as Francis installs the new Windows 10 Pro Technical Preview program. Some of the reasons for using a Virtual Machine is to be secure when surfing the Internet, downloading programs, trying a new operating system, testing software, etc. and this demo covers three of the reasons: downloading programs, trying a new OS and testing software. VMware Player is the only virtual machine program that communicates reliably with USB devices such as printers, external fax/data modems, and flash drives.


Google Glass

Mark Richards, Corporate IT Application Administrator for Range Resources, Oklahoma

Although interest in Glass has cooled over the last year, Mark remains a strong supporter of the technology. His presentation will be an overview of Glass and some of its potentials. It is a wearable, voice-controlled Android device that resembles a pair of eyeglasses and displays information directly in the user’s field of vision. If it doesn’t go forward, the technology is there to be used in other cutting-edge products.


​Judy Taylour, Chair
Virtual Technology Committee

Seven ways to sort and view Outlook email by accounts

Most users manage more than one e-mail account. Outlook 2010 and 2013 automatically create individual folders for each account. If you’re still using Outlook 2007 or earlier, you can simulate this convenience, but you’ll have to set it up yourself. In this article, I’ll show you seven ways to sort or view email messages by their accounts. I’ll include instructions for 2010 and 2013; even if you need to sort by accounts, you might want to use these methods to sort by other criteria.

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How To Set & Customize Screensavers In Windows 7 & Windows 8.1

Do you want to change your Windows screensaver? Do you want to disable the active screensaver completely? Do you want to change the way your screensaver works? In this article we’ll show you all steps that you need to go through to do all these things, in both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Let’s get started:

The Complete Article

Windows 10 to be free upgrade for many during its first year

Four months after pitching Windows 10 to businesses, Microsoft is focusing on consumers at an event where CEO Satya Nadella and other officials are pledging that the new OS offers individuals significant advances over Windows 8, its problematic predecessor.

“Today is a monumental day for Windows,” Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group, said at Wednesday’s event, being held at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, headquarters and available vialive webcast.

The first big news: Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to current users of Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 7 during its first year of availability.

However, Myerson said “this so much more than a free one-time upgrade.” Once installed, Windows 10 will be kept continually “current” throughout the lifecycle of the device.

The Complete Article

Are you ready for the next chapter of Windows 10?

Microsoft’s next event will be held on January 21, 2015. Greg Shultz speculates about some of the things we might see in the next chapter of Windows 10.

On Monday, January 12, Microsoft teasingly tweeted “Keep on starting. The Start Menu is back on #Windows10. More coming 1.21.15.” Of course, if you’ve been following along since Windows 10 was unveiled at the event in San Francisco on September 30, 2014, you already know that the Start Menu is front and center in the new operating system. Certainly, a host of other new features were revealed: A new Task view button, multiple desktops, Snap enhancements, apps that run in a window — just to name a few. However, the return of the Start Menu definitely stole the show as one of the more news worthy features.

So, it makes sense that Microsoft would use the return of the Start Menu to drum up suspense for its next event. This one is being called “Windows 10: The next chapter” and will be held at on Microsoft’s Redmond campus on January 21, 2015. The event will be hosted by the Operating Systems Group and will feature sessions by Terry Myerson, Joe Belfiore, and Phil Spencer. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is also expected to make an appearance. Best of all, Microsoft is planning to webcast the event live. (Microsoft will provide more specific details about the webcast on the Blogging Windows site.)

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Six tips for fitting Word content on a single page

Use these tips separately or together to force overflowing Word content onto a single page.

Nobody wants a two-page document when one will do, but often that’s exactly what you get. You’ve probably spent a lot of time perfecting the formats you use in your Word documents, so changing those to force content to fit on a single page is often counter-productive. Instead, try these simple tips to force overflowing content onto a single page.

Start by applying the tips in order — proceed down the list, only if needed. You’ll seldom use more than one or two of these tips in the same document. Being familiar with the possibilities is the key to getting the right results every time.

The Complete Article

Bring on Cortana for Windows 10!

The Cortana voice assistant is one of the most anticipated features for the new build of

Microsoft is hosting a media event later this week to unveil the latest public build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview. There is a wide variety of potential features and updates Microsoft can unleash, and Microsoft has hinted that this new build will focus heavily on the consumer experience. The one thing I’m looking forward to most, though, is Cortana.

Why will we use Cortana?

When Apple first introduced Siri, I was torn on whether that was a novelty parlor trick or a feature with actual value. The jury may still be out for many people, but I use Siri all the time. I ask Siri what the weather is like today. I ask Siri to play music. I ask Siri to answer trivia questions. It’s not “Siri” exactly, but I also frequently use the voice input for “typing” text messages or web search terms. It’s just faster and easier than typing on a small virtual keyboard on an iPhone.

the Windows 10 Technical Preview that Microsoft is scheduled to unveil this week.


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