Thursday, 30 May 2013

How Google search works

Google's search engine is a powerful tool. Without search engines like Google, it would be practically impossible to find the information you need when you browse the Web.
Like all search engines, Google uses a special algorithm to generate search results. While Google shares general facts about its algorithm, the specifics are a company secret. This helps Google remain competitive with other search engines on the Web and reduces the chance of someone finding out how to abuse the system.­Google uses automated programs called spiders or bots, just like most search engines. Also like other search engines, Google has a large index of keywords and where those words can be found.
What sets Google apart is how it ranks search results, which in turn determines the order Google displays results on its search engine results page (SERP).

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Where did the new Toolbar come from and why has my Homepage changed?

If you have installed or updated any new "free" programs, chances are you did not see the small print that says they are going to install all these other things as well.
 When you install a new program, especially if it's freeware or shareware, don't just blindly click through each page of its installer.  If you're not paying attention, you might click right past the setup screen that lets you opt out, (usually a check box that you can untick). Take your time, and make sure you're not inadvertently agreeing to install a toolbar.
Often  if you did not opt out you may also find that your Homepage has been changed.

Below: example a toolbar opt out option when installing java.

Do not let your browser get cluttered with toolbars,  yes some toolbars are  legitimate and designed to make your surfing experience easier and more pleasant, however  having many toolbars reduces the size or your web browsing area and often slow down your browsing experience.
There are also Virus/Infections that disguise themselves as helpful toolbars. Shopping Deal toolbars are a common one. Remember once a virus gets into your system it can open up all sorts of other doors for more infections to come creeping into your PC wreaking havoc along the way.

 Below: A browser cluttered with Toolbars.

Live studio & webcam effects software!

ManyCam - allows you to Broadcast simultaneous video chats and has many effects, graphics, animations, screen doodling. It works with Skype, MSN and you tube and allows you to create a virtual webcam.

Link  and video snippet of this software below.

below: screen shot  (click to enlarge)

watch this video

Saturday, 25 May 2013

How to add a Webpage shortcut on your Desktop

To add a shortcut to a webpage is really very simple. Below I will describe the  windows method & the easier browser method.

Windows method

Right click on your desktop a menu will appear select  'New' then select 'Shortcut'

right click desktop to create a new shortcut

Copy the URL from your browser address bar and paste it in the text box 'Location of the Item'

Internet shortcut screenshot 1
then click 'Next.'

Internet shortcut screenshot 2
Name the short cut to what ever name you want to call it then click 'Finish'

Browser Method
You can use your browser  whether it be Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome to create a shortcut on your computer's desktop to a page you've visited:
  1. Re-size your browser window so you can see both your computer's desktop and the browser window on the same screen.
  2. Click on the site icon next to the location bar, i.e. where the web address (URL) is shown.
  3. While still holding the mouse button down, move the pointer to the desktop, then release the mouse button. The shortcut will be created.

    drag address from browser.png
You can also drag and drop items to the desktop from the Bookmarks menu and the Bookmarks and History sidebar to create shortcuts.
You can then rename the shortcut to what ever you want and when you click on it your default browser will open and display the page for which you made the shortcut.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Common functions of the Function Keys F1 through F12

Below is a short-listing of some of the common functions of the functions keys. Not all programs support function keys and may perform different tasks then those mentioned below.

  • Almost always used as the help key, almost every program will open the help screen when this key is pressed.
  • Enter CMOS Setup.
  • Windows Key + F1 would open the Microsoft Windows help and support center.
  • Open the Task Pane.
  • In Windows renames a highlighted icon, file, or folder in all versions of Windows.
  • Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens document window in Microsoft Word.
  • Ctrl + F2 displays the print preview window in Microsoft Word.
  • Quickly rename a selected file or folder.
  • Enter CMOS Setup.
  • Opens a search feature for many programs including Microsoft Windows when at the Windows Desktop..
  • In MS-DOS or Windows command line F3 will repeat the last command.
  • Shift + F3 will change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case or a capital letter at the beginning of every word.
  • Windows Key + F3 opens the Advanced find window in Microsoft Outlook.
  • Open Mission Control on an Apple computer running Mac OS X.
  • Open find window in Windows 95 to XP.
  • Highlights address bar for input in Windows Explorer , Internet Explorer , Chrome
  • Repeat the last action performed (Word 2000+)
  • Alt + F4 will close the program window currently active in Microsoft Windows.
  • Ctrl + F4 will close the open window within the current active window in Microsoft Windows.
  • In all modern Internet browsers pressing F5 will refresh or reload the page or document window.
  • Open the find, replace, and go to window in Microsoft Word.
  • Starts a slideshow in PowerPoint.
  • Move the cursor to the Address bar in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and most other Internet browsers.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F6 opens to another open Microsoft Word document.
  • Commonly used to spell check and grammar check a document in Microsoft programs such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, etc.
  • Shift + F7 runs a Thesaurus check on the word highlighted.
  • Turns on Caret browsing in Mozilla Firefox.
  • Function key used to enter the Windows startup menu, commonly used to access Windows Safe Mode.
  • Opens the Measurements toolbar in Quark 5.0.
  • With Mac OS 10.3 or later shows all open Windows.
  • Using the Fn key and F9 at the same time will open Mission Control on an Apple computer running Mac OS X.
  • In Microsoft Windows activates the menu bar of an open application.
  • Shift + F10 is the same as right-clicking on a highlighted icon, file, or Internet link.
  • Access the hidden recovery partition on HP and Sony computers.
  • Enter CMOS Setup.
  • With Mac OS 10.3 or later shows all open Windows for active program.
  • Full-screen mode in all modern Internet browsers.
  • Ctrl + F11 as computer is starting to access the hidden recovery partition on many Dell computers.
  • Access the hidden recovery partition on eMachines, Gateway, and Lenovo computers.
  • With Mac OS 10.4 or later hides all open windows and shows the Desktop.
  • Open the Save as window in Microsoft Word.
  • Shift + F12 save the Microsoft Word document.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F12 prints a document in Microsoft Word.
  • Preview a page in Microsoft Expression Web
  • Open Firebug.
  • With an Apple running Mac OS 10.4 or later F12 will show or hides the Dashboard.

What is a POTS Filter and why do i need them?

 Post Office Telecommunications (POTS) Filter

The ADSL POTS Filter in-line filter/splitter maximizes the performance of your ADSL 
service, It allows you to connect an ADSL modem and telephone device to the same ADSL port.
It creates clearer voice communications and prevents interference by separating high frequency ADSL transmissions from phone signals. The filter isolates low-frequency voice signals to ensure
the cleanest network performance with fast, error-free data transfers.

The POTS filter must be connected to every secondary phone in your house hold or business, this includes alarm systems and fax machines that are on the same ADSL line. A POTS filter must not 
be connected to the router. A POTS splitter would be used in this case.

The benefit of an ADSL Splitter over an ADSL POTS filter is that a splitter can ac
commodate both an ADSL modem as well as a standard telephone device whereas a POTS filter 
only accommodates standard telephone devices and can complicate a setup when you want to
connect your ADSL modem as well as a telephone device at a single location.

Below: A typical POTS filter
 Below: A typical POTS filter/splitter

 POTS filter/splitters can be purchased from your nearest Telkom Shop
Telkom Direct Shop Finder

Free Windows 8 update to address confusion

A planned Windows 8 update to address complaints and confusion with Microsoft's new operating system will be made available for free this year, the company says.
Not charging extra for Windows 8.1, previously code named "Windows Blue", is consistent with the company's practice of offering "decimal point" updates to operating systems for free. But when Microsoft announced the update last week, it didn't say that it would be free.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Disabling Start-up Programs in Windows using Msconfig or Ccleaner

The more software you install on your computer, the longer it may seem to take to start up Windows. Many programs add themselves to the list of programs started when you boot your computer, and that list can get long.

Disabling Start-up Programs in Windows using Msconfig

For some programs, it’s smart to have them start with Windows, such as anti-virus and firewall software. However, for most programs, starting them at boot-up just wastes resources and extends start-up time. There is a tool installed with Windows, called Msconfig, that allows you to quickly and easily see what’s running at start up and disable the programs you prefer to run on our own after start up as needed. This tool is available and can be used to disable start-up programs in Windows XP, Vista, Win7 & Win8
Important Note: MSConfig can be used to configure several things other than just startup programs, so be careful what you do with it. If you’re not sure about using it, just follow the steps in this article and you should be fine.

If you are using Windows XP, open the Run dialog box from the Start menu, type “msconfig.exe” in the Open edit box, and click OK.

If you are using  Vista or Windows 7 click the Start Orb in the menu search box type “msconfig” (without the quotes). As you type, results display. When you see “msconfig.exe,” click on it or press Enter, if it is highlighted.

If you are using Windows 8, just type “msconfig” straight into the metro (start-up screen) and you will see msconfig.exe appear in the  results,  click on it

In XP, Vista and Windows 7 click the Startup tab on the System Configuration main window. A list of all the startup programs displays with a check box next to each one. To prevent a program from starting up with Windows, select the check box next to the desired program so there is NO check mark in the box. Click Apply once you have made your choices.

In Windows 8  clicked on the Startup tab select the link Open task Manager here you will see a list of programs however no check box. Under status you can see whether the program is disabled or enabled. to change whether the program starts up or not right click on the program in question and click disable if its enabled  or vice versa.

In XP, Vista and Windows 7 To prevent a program from starting up with Windows, select the check box next to the desired program after unchecking a program box you will have to select apply and a dialog box  will display telling you that you may need to restart your computer for the changes to take affect. Click Restart to restart your computer immediately. If are not ready to restart your computer, click Exit without restart.

 Disabling Start-up Programs in Windows using Ccleaner

The free PC-cleaning utility CCleaner also has a tool that allows you to disable startup programs. In CCleaner, click the Tools button on the left side of the dialog box and click Startup to see the list of startup programs. The Enabled column indicates whether each program is set to start with Windows. To disable a program that is enabled, select the program in the list and click Disable. You can also enable programs that have been disabled.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Why does my Computer Boot-up so Slow?

Are you getting frustrated  with your PC - taking forever to start up.  Ask anyone who has needed to get on their PC in a rush, only to wait seconds and minutes too long for their PC to start up.  If you’re still dreaming about an instant boot PC, but living with the reality of a slow computer and a slow boot time, don’t despair.  There are many reasons to blame for a slow PC boot: background apps, virus / malware scan, HDD problems.  Read on to get your PC boot process explained and learn how to shorten a long boot time by selecting which apps should and should not run in your computer start-up.

Why does my computer boot-up slow?
A number of factors play a role in slowing down your PC’s start-up – the age of a PC, battery health, antivirus, an outdated or hard drive with problems can all cause a PC’s boot time to be slow.  One of the biggest issues in causing a slow PC boot is the number of computer programs and apps that start during boot.  If too many apps are starting during the boot it can add seconds and even minutes to the time it takes for your computer to turn on.

 In order to speed up boot time it is very important to remove apps or programs, that are not necessary for your computer to start from boot. To do this you can run Msconfig and remove the programs or apps from starting up. If you are not familiar with using Msconfig you can download and install  a program called Ccleaner  which is easier to use. See below in Start-up Programs, I will explain how to use both Msconfig  or Ccleaner in an article linked there, but before I do that there are also other factors to look at.

How can I speed up my PC’s boot time?

Here are some specific resolutions for slow boot time when caused by your PC’s:

Hard Drive: If your hard drive has been slowing down your PC, a simple hard drive cleanup, or a “checkdisk” can solve problems and get things started faster.  An SSD (solid state drive) is the way to go if you’re willing to make an investment – it speeds up your computer considerably.
 read my article Solid-State-Drive-SSD-vs-Hard-Disk Drive

 Ram: A computer slow down, including a slow boot, might be due to the fact that your computer simply does not have enough RAM.  Adding RAM can help to take time off your boot for a faster computer start.

Start-up Programs (apps that automatically start during boot): These are the apps that you don’t need to be loaded the minute your computer starts, and that you can remove from boot. Read my article: How to use Msconfig or Ccleaner to remove unwanted Start-up

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Add a Quick Way to Shutdown Windows 8 from the Metro Screen

Its easy enough to shutdown in desktop mode - just press Alt +F4  however users in the Start Screen and similar Metro interface apps have to dig through the Settings Charm (Win+I) to get to the power button.
You can, however, create a DIY Shutdown button and place it on the desktop and Start Screen.
 To do so, go to desktop, right click, and create a new shortcut.

Type in "shutdown /s /t 0" (omitting quotes and using /r instead of /t if you want to restart instead).
click next

rename to any name you desire (you can remove the .exe extension)

 right click shortcut and select 'Pin to Start' from the pop up menu.

God Mode for Windows 8 Power Users

One of the more interesting bits of functionality hidden in Windows 8 is "God Mode," a hidden menu that allows power users access to a massive selection of administrative, maintenance, and troubleshooting utilities and features. To reveal God Mode, first bring up File Explorer and then click on the View tab. Make sure that "Hidden items" and "File name extensions" are both checked.

Then, on your desktop, create a new folder, and change that folder's name to "GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}" (omitting the quotes). The folder's icon should change. Double click on it, and Explorer will present you with a ton of options to tweak your system.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Just type directly in Metro Start-up Screen

Many users are taken back by the completely new fangled screen that displays on first boot-up of Windows 8. But just thinking of it simply as a full-screen start button panel.

Just as with Windows 7's start button menu, you can simply start typing even though the search box is not visible, just type the name or a few letters of a program to display app names that match the letters you type. If what you're looking for isn't there, say, you want to run the control panel, switch the right-slide selector bar to Settings; if you're looking for a picture or doc, switch it to Files. Note that you can also search within any of the apps listed below these three choices.

Laptop Overheating Remedies

Have you noticed that your laptop has been getting hotter and hotter especially after leaving it on for a few hours.
Laptop's fans are notorious for collecting dirt, dust, and other chemicals in the air. Some of the things suggested in this article should help you cut down on your heat issues and keep your computer breathing better.
Laptop ventilation systems are in weird places, such as underneath the laptop, on the sides, you do not want to block the intake or exhaust areas.
Because of this here are a few tips to keep your laptop's heat down..
  1. Observe where the intake area/s are (this would be the vents where the fan/s are) and the exhaust area the vents where the warm air blows out, make a mental note of it and make sure you never block those areas.
  2. Use a can of air on your vents every few months or so. This will help expel out the dust and prevent dirt from clogging up the inside of your computer. (You can get a can of air from your local hardware store)
  3. Don't leave your laptop on a bed or couch. Because the laptop sinks in to the bed, the ventilation system can't do it's job keeping the laptop cool enough to operate. ( If the ventilation  is blocked chances are you could  'fry' your CPU, however most laptops have a protection feature in the Bios that addresses heat management, this will switch off the laptop when the CPU reaches maximum temperature. Often if this is the case and you try switch the laptop on - it will  almost immediately turn off again until CPU temperature has dropped.)
  4. During high pollen seasons, limit the time you use your laptop outdoors. These particles are nasty and clog up systems faster than anything else.
  5. Avoid smoking near computers. This will cause nicotine build up on your fans and burn them out. And a burnt out fan disables your computers ability to keep it self cool.
  6. Consider investing in a USB powered laptop cooler. I use one of these on my laptop and I've noticed a significant increase in performance when the laptop temperatures are kept cool.
  7. Put your computer into standby when your not using it. The less the computer is on, the less heat it will generate and prevent it from over heating.
Below: Typical laptop cooling system Note: some laptops have two fans a CPU & GPU fan

Below: a typical laptop with  CPU vent and exhaust vents on bottom and side. (this laptop has two exhaust outlets) 

Below: Typical Laptop cooler - helps airflow circulation.

The DurbanGeek website:   DurbanGeek Blog:

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Improved CCleaner v4.0

Piriform has updated its CCleaner application to version 4.0. Besides improved graphics, better Windows 8  compatibility and some new features, the latest version 4.0 includes two new tools including a Duplicate File Finder.

 Ccleaner in my opinion is the best registry cleaners for Windows. It is one of the most preferred junk temp file cleaner and free registry cleaning software  for clearing disk space  and removing invalid registry entries from your Windows PC.


1.       New improved graphics and icon.
2.       Improved internal architecture for better performance.
3.       New Duplicate File Finder tool.
4.       New System and Browser Monitoring (Pro Version).
5.       Optimized and improved Registry Cleaning.
6.       Added cleaning for Avast Anti-Virus 8, Adobe Photoshop CS6, Samsung Kies & Real Player.
7.       Improved Drive Wiper performance.
8.       Optimized Startup item detection algorithm.
9.       Optimized 64-bit builds on Windows 7 and 8.
10.    Many performance improvements and bug fixes.

Windows 8 Windows Key Shortcuts

  • Win : switch between the Start screen and the last-running Windows 8 app
  • Win + C : displays the Charms: the Settings, Devices, Share and Search options
  • Win + D : launches the desktop
  • Win + E : launches Explorer
  • Win + F : opens the File Search pane
  • Win + H : opens the Share pane
  • Win + I : opens Settings
  • Win + K : opens the Devices pane
  • Win + L : locks your PC
  • Win + M : minimises the current Explorer or Internet Explorer window (works in the full-screen IE, too)
  • Win + O : toggles device orientation lock on and off
  • Win + P : switch your display to a second display or projector
  • Win + Q : open the App Search pane
  • Win + R : opens the Run box
  • Win + U : open the Ease of Access Centre
  • Win + V : cycle through toasts (notifications)
  • Win + W : search your system settings (type POWER for links to all power-related options, say)
  • Win + X : displays a text menu of useful Windows tools and applets
  • Win + Z : displays the right-click context menu when in a full-screen app
  • Win + + : launch Magnifier and zoom in
  • Win + - : zoom out
  • Win + , : Aero peek at the desktop
  • Win + Enter : launch Narrator
  • Win + PgUp : move the current screen to the left-hand monitor
  • Win + PgDn : move the current screen to the right-hand monitor
  • Win + PrtSc : capture the current screen and save it to your Pictures folder
  • Win + Tab : switch between running apps

Drag a Folder or File Name to the DOS Prompt in Windows 7

 If you are  working in DOS prompt in Windows 7 and need to add the name of a file or folder to the command line with its complete path, you can save some typing by opening an Explorer window and navigating to the desired file or folder. Left-click it and hold, then drag the file to your prompt and it will instantaneously appear.
As a bonus, if the folder or file contains a space, the inserted value will be placed inside quotes.

click on image to enlarge.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Do i need to install an Anti Virus on my Windows 8 Operating System?

Windows users are now protected from viruses and other malicious software, right from the start, with Windows Defender .
Windows 8 combines the features of the Windows Defender found in Windows 7 with those of Microsoft’s Security Essentials software. It is a lightweight security solution, but many free and paid for Windows 8-compatible security products are available from the usual third parties. To avoid falling foul of antitrust laws, Microsoft disables Windows Defender if any other comparable security software is installed.

Seagate finally joining the consumer SSD market

Despite being one of the world's largest manufacturers of hard disk drives, Seagate has been somewhat slow or hesitant to jump into the SSD market, especially with consumer-focused drives. But today the company is finally getting serious about flash-based storage

Read More:

Monday, 6 May 2013

Start Windows 8 in Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a way to get into your system when something won't allow you to start up normally. Troubleshooting becomes a breeze when corrupted drivers and files aren't loaded that prevents a system from functioning.
It used to be as easy as tapping the F8 key when the system starts up, but doing so with Windows 8 will take you to Automatic Repair Mode. The trick to getting back to good old fashioned Safe Mode? Hold down the Shift key and press F8 while booting up.
This takes you to the Recovery mode. Select "advanced options," then "troubleshoot," then the "advanced options" again (there are a lot of advanced options).Select Windows Startup Settings and finally the Restart button. This will reboot the computer and give you the option to boot into Safe Mode.

 If you need to get into Safe Mode from within Windows, open the dialog box (the Windows key + R) and type "msconfig" (no quote marks). Select the Boot tab and check the Safe boot box. The system will continually boot into Safe Mode until you go back and uncheck the box.

Solid State Drive (SSD) vs Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

Is your pc running slow? Do you need an upgrade? Have you considered a Solid State Drive (SSD)?
You’re probably familiar with USB memory sticks??
A SSD can be thought of as an oversized and more sophisticated version of the humble USB memory stick.  Like a memory stick, there are no moving parts to an SSD, information is stored in microchips.  Meanwhile, a hard drive uses a mechanical arm with a read/write head to move around and read information from the right location on a storage platter.  This difference is what makes SSD so much faster.  

 Contact the DurbanGeek for more info contact:  or Kenny on 0711035273

How do I get the start button back in Windows 8?

This is the most commonly asked question about Windows 8 since its release

The link below describes the how you can get the start button back through 3rd party software.
Although i am a power user and use the windows + x key, i did try out the classic shell 3rd party software and it worked well.

Using the Search Box in Windows 7

Find and run anything in Windows by using the Windows 7 search box. Click the Start Orb (that is the little circle on the bottom left of the task bar with the windows flag / logo in it) or press then Windows key and type the name of the program you wish to run or file you wish to edit. Windows 7 does a very good job at finding an exact match and simply pressing enter will execute that program or open that file. If more than one match is found, use the up and down arrow keys to select the file you wish to open and then press Enter.

 Running as administrator: Some programs may require administrator mode in order to function properly. You can run any program as administrator from the search box by typing the name of the program you want to run and then instead of pressing Enter to run the program press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to run as administrator. If you want to click and run a program as administrator hold down the Ctrl+Shift and then click the icon.

How to Increase the size of your Desktop Icons & Fonts

While on the Windows VistaWindow 7 or Windows 8  hold down the Ctrl Key and scroll up and down using the wheel on your mouse. While scrolling up all the icons on the desktop will increase in size and while scrolling down all the icons will decrease in size. Note: that this acts as a zooming function  in a web browser or office document as well.