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Are you still using W7 or W8.1, and do NOT want to go to W10, at least in the near future? If so you may like to investigate a free program that will stop Microsoft automatically installing the upgrade, and control the constant downloads that MS will continue to send. 

For background on the problem, open and read this Techradar article and maybe google 'GWX Control Panel' for the latest situation.

If you then want to check or use the 'Mayfield' program mentioned in that article, go to and click on: GWX Control Panel (formerly GWX Stopper).  It is free, with donations if one likes the program. Check it out yourself, but if you want to manage Microsoft's overly enthusiastic attempts to get you to upgrade to W10 this could be just what you need.

Below is a list of 10 keyboard shortcuts that will help you increase your productivity by eliminating the need to reach for the mouse.

  1. CTRL + C will copy text after it has been highlighted.
  2. CTRL + V will paste text that you have copied.
  3. CRTL + Z will undo any change that you have done.
  4. CTRL + ESC will bring up the Start Menu.
  5. SHIFT + F3 will turn all capitalized text into lowercase.
  6. SHIFT + DELETE will delete an item immediately without placing it in the Recycle Bin.
  7. ALT + TAB will bring up a Window with a list of icons representing programs which are currently running on your computer. While holding the ALT key, press and depress the TAB button to cycle between each icon task.
  8. ALT + ESC will switch to the next task running on your computer. Hold down ALT before pressing and depressing the ESC key to cycle to the next task.
  9. CTRL + ALT + DELETE will bring up Task Manager and allow you to end a process (terminate a program) if it has crashed or has stopped responding. Select the process which has stopped responding, and then press "END PROCESS".
  10. SHIFT + INSERT will paste any text that is in your clipboard. Your cursor must also be placed in an area that will accept keyboard input for this to work.

Carl Cardey - Tech Tips

Shortcuts Using the Windows Key

You can happily operate a Windows PC without ever touching the special Windows key on Microsoft and other keyboards. However it provides many useful shortcuts that are worth knowing and if your mouse fails it can be a life saver.

On all versions of Windows simply press (and release) the Windows key to bring up the Start menu. Use the Arrow keys to make your choice then press Enter. The 'Esc' key will close the menu if you change your mind.


Have you noticed as years go by that web designers seem to be using smaller fonts?

Firefox users may know that 'CTRL +' / 'CTRL -' ­ will expand / reduce the fonts and graphics on a web page, making it easier to read. If you find you are using this all the time then Tools > Options > Content will display a window where you can set the default font size. Increase this to 18 or 20 and you should find that text is easier to read. Photos and graphics stay the same size leaving more space for text.

But you may still be struggling to see your bookmarks or history as the Options > Contents menu doesn’t affect system fonts. To change these you need to go behind the scenes and find your Firefox profiles folder. You can find details of where this is stored on Windows, Macs and Linux systems at:

The folder normally contains a single folder with a name like wxyz1234.default which contains the actual profile. If you have updated your system, reinstalled Firefox or created multiple profiles there may be more than one profile. Choose the one with the latest ‘Date modified’ or use the Profile Manager described at:

Your profile contains your bookmarks, history and much more. Open the folder named “chrome”, this is where you may install two files: userChrome.css and userContent.css. These control the look of the system and web content respectively. You may find files: userChrome-example.css and userContent-example.css in the folder which you can copy, rename and customise. Or you can use any text editor to create userChrome.css from scratch. Here is a simple example:

/* Do not remove the @namespace line -- it's required for correct functioning */
@namespace url("");
/* Make all system font sizes 20 pt ­ UGLY BUT READABLE! */
* { font-size: 20pt !important }

Save the four lines of the last paragraph in your ../Mozilla/Profiles/<Profile>/chrome folder as a plain text file with the name userChrome.css then restart Firefox. All the fancy looks will have gone but you WILL be able to read your menus! To put things back as they were delete the userChrome.css file.

For more information on customising Mozilla products see: which contains your profile In that folder you will find a number of folders firefox.exe -profilemanager


Tips to cut through Google spam

The Google spam problem is filling up search results with endless junk hits. Although Google is aware of the problem and invites you to report such sites there is little hope of a quick solution. All the average user can do is try to be smarter when it comes to searching. Here are a few tips.

  1. Exclude search results you don't want by placing a minus sign in front of a word that is not to appear in the pages returned. There must be a space before the minus sign to distinguish it from a hyphen. You can specify more than one exclusion - for example:
    > rotary -watch -pump -machine
    - the example will exclude adverts for Rotary watches and rotary machines but note that it will also exclude pages about water pump projects.
  2. If what you are looking for is nota web page then use the filetype: option.
    Researching dishwashers? - search on:
    > dishwashers
    - you get thousands of reviews, price comparisons and personal opinions
    > dishwashers filetype:pdf
    - you get manufacturers' manuals, environmental reports and regulations.
    Filetypes indexed by Google are listed here.
  3. If you know who has the answer you are looking for use site: to specify the site or domain to be searched.
    > scholarships
    - returns over 43 million hits
    > scholarships
    - returns 600 pages covering scholarships that may be available through Rotary.
  4. Use the wildcard symbol * to match any word. Fans of the tennis player Andy Murray can search on:
    > Murray beat * in the * championship
    To review his successes.
  5. Use OR or the symbol | to include either of two search terms.
    > Rotary project food water
    - You probably wanted all pages about food and water aid, but this gives you only pages that mention both food and water. Projects just providing water will be not be listed.
    > Rotary project food or water
    - This will return pages about projects involving food, water or both.

Finally a couple of practical tips. If you know you will have to search through page after page to find that elusive result, switch off Google Instant and set the number of results to be returned to 100. Now use your browser search (usually CTRL-F) to scan the pages for likely results.

The most heavily spammed topic is inevitably the one to which most people devote an enormeous amount of search time: planning holidays and booking accommodation. Google has provided a useful way of searching for accommodation and comparing reviews from Trip Advisor and similar sites. As an example we will use Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

  • Search for "accommodation Katoomba" and you will get a list of accommodation with a map.
  • Double click the map and switch to which displays a thumbnail list of the accommodation that you can page through.
  • Click the "..more info" link on any location you are interested in.
  • Google assembles a standard page that presents information, pictures and reviews in a standard format that makes it easy to compare locations.

There may be better ways but this certainly speeds up a common search procedure.Back to Newsletter


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