FaceTime Shortcuts

Do you use FaceTime to keep up with family and friends who own Apple products? If so, FaceTime has several built-in keyboard shortcuts that make navigating FaceTime’s interface a breeze. These shortcuts will work on all macOS versions, but always make sure your device is up to date.

FaceTime’s Interface

  • Expand/ minimize window to fullscreen: Cmd + Ctrl + F
  • Switch from landscape/ portrait view: Cmd + R
  • Minimize Facetime: Cmd + H
  • Minimize everything except FaceTime: Cmd + Option + H
  • Minimize FaceTime Window: Cmd + M
  • Close FaceTime: Cmd + W
  • Turn off FaceTime: Cmd + K
  • Quit FaceTime: Cmd + Q

Note: Apple does not permit these shortcuts to be customized or disabled.

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Taking A Screen Capture On A PC

Taking a screen capture of your screen has many benefits, especially if your computer is misbehaving and you want to show your tech support what is going on. It is also beneficial for saving things you find online or creating guides involving your computer. In today’s post, we want to show you the different ways to take a screen capture on a PC.

Find The Print Screen Key

The Print Screen key is going to be in the top row of keys on your keyboard. It usually is after the F keys; but also may be a secondary function to a key. It will read something like ‘PRT SCRN’ or ‘PrtSc.’ If it is a secondary function to a key, you will have to press the ‘Fn’ key to make it work.

Capture Your Whole Screen

This process will allow you to capture everything on your screen (if you have multiple monitors, it will capture these as well). First, press the Print Screen key (again, you may have to press the Fn key before you press the Print Screen key). If you have multiple monitors, and only want to capture the active one, add the ‘Alt’ key to the combination.

Once the screen has been captured, it will be moved to the clipboard, allowing you to paste it in another app. Next, open up the app you want to put the capture in like Paint 3D or another image editor. From here, you can save the picture.

Capturing Multiple Screenshots

If you must capture several screenshots in quick succession, the process mentioned above may take too much time. Windows has a way to capture screenshots rapidly, saving them to a location on your computer. Thus, avoiding having to paste the capture in another app.

Press and hold the Windows Key + Print Screen (add the ‘Alt’ key to capture the active screen if you have multiple monitors). Once you complete your screenshots, you can find them in your pictures folder. File Explorer > This PC > Pictures > Screenshots.

Capturing Part Of The Screen

If you want to be more precise with your capture, there are a few options. The most common is the Snipping Tool. If you type ‘Snipping Tool’ into your Windows 10 search bar, it will come up. Microsoft is replacing the Snipping Tool with the Snip & Sketch App which functions in the same way.

When you open either app, click new in the top left-hand corner. Next, your screen will darken, and you will have the ability to drag a box around what you want to capture. By clicking the dropdown arrow, you can add a time delay to this capture. Once the screenshot has been captured, you will have the ability to edit it in the app.

To quickly pull up the Snip & Sketch app, press Shift + Windows Key + S to open it immediately.

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Moving Large Files

Getting an error saying that awesome video that you just spent a week making is too big to send to someone?  There are several ways to fix this issue. We compiled a list of the most effective, simplest, and most secure approaches to transferring large files.

Compress files before attaching

No matter how you decide to send a file, changing the size to make it start will only help; it takes up less storage. Compressing files is easy.  It will make the file smaller and transfer no matter what method you choose – email, cloud storage, or FPT.

Most operating systems have file compression software built into them, creating a ZIP file simple.  Here’s how it’s done on Windows and Mac operating systems.

WindowsMac
Find the file that is too big to sendFind the file that is too big to send
Right Click on it and select ‘Send to’ from the menuTwo fingers click or control-click on the file
Choose Compressed (zipped) folderSelect Compress

If you are trying to transfer a multimedia file, like a video or music, you may want to use RAR compression instead of ZIP. RAR will use a better compression algorithm. This will help limit data loss and corruption.  Several free and paid programs can be used for this conversion.

Upload to Cloud Storage

The most popular and most convenient option for transferring large files is using the cloud. The user can upload them to an online storage service or the cloud, and the recipient can download them. There are several options for cloud services to choose from. Below is a list of popular ones but does not include all the ones available.

Google Drive

If you already have a Gmail account, you will have access to Drive. Google Drive offers up to 15GB of free storage. It has backup and syncing options, which make sharing large files a snap. Drive also has an upgrade option for more storage, starting from 100GB for $2.00 per month to 1TB (1,000GB) for $10.00 per month.

Dropbox

Dropbox is very similar to Google Drive in terms of features. The basic account comes with 2GB of free space with several sharing options. An advantage to Dropbox is that it is more accessible than Drive.  It has an app for non-android or iOS devices like the Kindle. A $10.00 per month subscription can get you an additional 1TB (1,000GB) of storage, and $20.00 per month will give you other features and sharing controls like the ability to set passwords and create links that will expire after a period.

OneDrive

OneDrive is Microsoft’s in-house cloud service. It has done a lot of growing over the years and is one of the best solutions for storing files and folders. OneDrive will allow you to share anything where ever you are and will enable you to stop sharing with the ease of clicking your mouse. It comes with 5GB of free storage. A user can get 50GB for $2.00 per month; $7.00 per month will increase you to 1TB (1,000GB) of storage.  If you have Office365, you automatically receive 1TB of storage as part of your subscription.

iCloud

If you are an Apple user, the iCloud is a great option. It comes with 5GB of free storage; but also has upgrade packages. 50GB of storage will run $1.00 per month, 200GB for $3.00 per month, 2TB (2,000GB) for $10.00 per month. Any songs, videos, or movies downloaded from iTunes will not be included in your storage limit. However, it is important to mention that automatic iCloud backups can devour your limits quickly.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP is losing popularity as cloud services gain favor by users. FTP is the best solution if you do not want to compress files before sending them. Using FTP can be a rather lengthy process, but it is the most reliable way to transfer large files for free.  FTP is also not the most secure way to move data. Popular programs are Cyberduck, Filezilla, or the sFTP extension for Google Chrome.

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Taking A Screenshot On Your Mac

Just like on a PC, there may be something on your Mac that you want to screenshot. Whether you are trying to save something you found online, creating a guide on your computer, or getting information for tech support, we’ve got you covered. Below are all of the different ways to capture your screen using the MacOS.

Before continuing reading this guide, update your Mac to Mac OS Mojave to take advantage of all the features listed in this post.

Simple Screenshots

To take a screenshot, press Shift + Command + 3. The thumbnail of the screenshot will then populate on the bottom right portion of the screen. Clicking on this thumbnail will allow you to crop, rotate, or share it to an editing app or email.

Another option, press Shift + Command + 5. The first group of 3 icons are your static screenshot options. Next, you will see two options to video record the screen. Click the Options button to access the settings.

Tool Bar Options

Turn off the thumbnail appearance but deselecting ‘Show Floating Thumbnail.’ You will add a timer to your capture. Lastly, the options to select where the screenshot will be saved.

Need Sound?

If you want to record your screen with sound, select one of the screen video record options. By default, the video will be captured with no sound. When you choose a video option, you will have the ability to add a sound from your computer’s microphone.

Older MacOS?

If your Mac doesn’t support Mojave, you can still capture your screen. To capture the whole screen, press Command + Shift + 3. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop. To only capture part of the screen, press Command + Shift + 4. This will turn your cursor into a crosshair, and you will be able to draw a box around the area you wish to capture.

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How To Make Multiple Browser Profiles

Did you know that you can set up browser profiles to keep your work and personal life separate? Enabling profiles allows you to have a separate favorites list, add ons, and other browser features. Creating browser profiles varies depending on your browser; find out how below.

Google Chrome

Firstly, open up the Chrome browser on your computer. Click on the profile icon in the top right corner. This would have a picture or letter if you did not set an image on your Google account. Next, in the drop-down menu, click the Add option. Create a name and select a picture for this Profile. Lastly, hit Add, and you’re ready to start browsing.

Mozilla Firefox

Firstly, open up your Firefox browser and type about profiles in the URL bar. On the new page, select the button to Create a New Profile. Read through the introduction and hit Next. Following this, create a profile name and hit finish to set up the new Profile.

Microsoft Edge

Firstly, open up the Edge browser. Select the profile icon in the top right. Click the button to + Add Profile. Next, click Add. Sign in to a Microsoft account to sync data and connect an existing account, then click Continue. Lastly, slide the toggle to Yes > Confirm to finalize the new Profile.

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Traveling With Electronics

If you’re going on vacation, you may want to take your electronics. Before you start packing your gadgets, you may want to consider how you should pack them. Just last year, the US government banned lithium-ion batteries from all checked bags. This means you will have to put it in your carry-on bag. Today, we want to go over some ways you can make your travel experience easier.

Lithium-Ion Batteries & The Cargo Area

Battery technology has advanced dramatically in recent years. As a result, Lithium-ion batteries are relatively stable but still have some risks associated with them. Lithium batteries will catch fire when overheated or punctured. For more information about why Lithium-ion batteries catch fire, check out our post here.

Make the Most of Your Carry-On

The ban means you will have to bring any device with a Lithium-ion (most devices) in a carry on bag. This can be challenging if you are trying to travel with multiple devices. First, consider what you will need during your flight. You will want to put these items in a bag that goes under your seat. This will make the devices easier to access mid-flight.

If you plan not to check any bag, you may want to separate your clothes, toiletries, etc., in a separate bag. You can throw this bag in the overhead compartment and have it readily available under your seat. The TSA requires all electronics removed and placed in different bins for screening. This isn’t a huge deal as long as your bag is organized.

If you have several electronics, batteries, cords, etc., you plan on taking with you, consider getting an electronic organizer. There are several varieties out there, but BAGSMART makes a highly reviewed one. If you aren’t a specially designed carrying bag, we suggest packing them on top of your bags, so they are easy to get to at security.

Follow the Ban, Even if it Isn’t Enforced

The FAA is currently not severely enforcing the ban, but you still should follow it. The FAA requires electronic devices to be kept in a carry-on bag.  If you put it in your checked bag, the device should be turned off and protected from accidental activation and damage. With that said, keep it in your carry-on. You do not want to start your vacation by unpacking your bags and finding your device damaged in transit (airline support staff doesn’t always hand luggage with kid gloves). For more information about the FAA rules, check out their website.

TSA Pre-Check

If you don’t want your luggage to be organized, don’t want to deal with the hassle of security, and travel a lot, the TSA Pre-Check might be for you. The process is time-consuming to enroll, but traveling is a breeze. You will have to do a face to face interview, provide fingerprints, and allow a background check. If you pass all of these steps, you will pay an $85 fee for a five-year enrollment. After enrolling, you will have access to the TSA Pre-Lane. As a result, your trip through security will be reduced.

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How To Capture Your Screen

Screenshotting your screen has many benefits, especially if your computer is misbehaving and you want to show your tech support what is going on. It is also beneficial for saving things you find online or creating guides involving your computer. In today’s post, we want to show you the different ways to screenshot on a PC.

Find The Print Screen Key

The Print Screen key is going to be in the top row of keys on your keyboard. It usually is after the F keys, but also may be a secondary function to a key. It will read something like ‘PRT SCRN’ or ‘PrtSc.’ If it is a secondary function to a key, you will have to press the ‘Fn’ key to make it work.

Capture Your Whole Screen

This process will allow you to capture everything on your screen (if you have multiple monitors, it will capture these as well). First, press the Print Screen key (again, you may have to press the Fn key before pressing the Print Screen key). If you have multiple monitors and only want to capture the active one, add the ‘Alt’ key to the combination.

Once the screen has been captured, it will be moved to the clipboard, allowing you to paste it into another app. Next, open up the app you want to capture in like Paint 3D or another image editor. From here, you can save the picture.

Capturing Multiple Screenshots

If you must capture several screenshots in quick succession, the process mentioned above may take too much time. Windows has a way to capture screenshots rapidly, saving them to a location on your computer. Thus, avoiding having to paste the capture in another app.

Press and hold the Windows Key + Print Screen (add the ‘Alt’ key to capture the active screen if you have multiple monitors). Once you complete your screenshots, you can find them in your pictures folder. File Explorer > This PC > Pictures > Screenshots.

Capturing Part Of The Screen

If you want to be more precise with your capture, there are a few options. The most common is the Snipping Tool. If you type ‘Snipping Tool’ into your Windows 10 search bar, it will come up. Microsoft is replacing the Snipping Tool with the Snip & Sketch App, which functions in the same way.

When you open either app, click new in the top left-hand corner. Next, your screen will darken, and you will have the ability to drag a box around what you want to capture. By clicking the dropdown arrow, you can add a time delay to this capture. Once the screenshot has been captured, you will have the ability to edit it in the app.

To quickly pull up the Snip & Sketch app, press Shift + Windows Key + S to open it immediately.

If you found this article interesting or helpful, check out our other posts!

Properly Clean Your Monitor or TV

Your TV or Monitor will attract dust, just like everything else in your home or office. Wiping down the top and sides of the TV or Monitor is a breeze. The screen of these might be a little harder to clean. Grabbing a household cleaner might seem like a logical solution, but we would not recommend it.

The Do’s

  • Soft, lint-free, dry cloth. Microfiber cloths are the best to use; some TV or Monitors may provide one
  • A solution of mild soap and water if need be (last case scenario)

The Don’ts

  • Solvents, abrasives, or aerosol sprays. (this includes cleaners like Windex)
  • Hard cloths or towels
  • Fingernails or sharp objects to remove stains
  • Liquid directly on the screen
  • Anything other than warm water

Steps To Clean Your TV or Monitor

Firstly, try only to use the dry, lint-free cloth. If you do not have the cleaning cloth that came with the device or it didn’t come with one, a microfiber cloth will work well. Secondly, if you have a smudge that the dry cloth is not removing, create a warm water solution with a drop of dish soap (Dawn works well). Next, dip one end of the cloth into the solution and gently wipe your display. Remove any soap residue and take a dry cloth to remove any final streaks on the screen.

Note: do not put pressure on the screen when cleaning it. Ideally, you will not put any pressure on the surface of the display panel. They are very fragile and can be damaged. Replacement parts are not readily available for most TV models.

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Windows Display Settings

Using multiple monitors in Windows 10 is a great way to multitask and be more productive. However, if you rearrange your desk or add new ones, you need to tell Windows where they are. In today’s post, we show you how to use Windows display settings.

Arranging Your Displays

Telling Windows where your monitors are pretty is straightforward. Firstly, right-click on the desktop. In the drop-down that appears, select Display settings. The next window will appear in the settings menu for your displays.

When you have more than one monitor hook up, you will see it in the visual representation section. If you want to rearrange the monitors, you will have to change the diagram. If your not sure which monitor is which, hit the Identify button. Once you know which monitor, click a monitor in the diagram and drag it to its desired position. If your diagram shows monitors of different sizes, this indicates that they have different resolutions.

Changing Your Primary Monitor

With Windows 10, the primary monitor is the monitor in which new windows open by default. However, this, too, can be changed. Open up the Display settings menu, and select the monitor you want to make the primary. Next, scroll down and select the option to Make this my main display.

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How Does Streaming Work?

More and more people are cutting the cord and turning to online streaming services to consume their entertainment. Today, we wanted to cover how you can stream from sites like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and others.

One Piece at a Time

Before you can playback media on your computer or phone, it has to be downloaded. It is a similar process when you stream, but instead of the entire piece of media being downloaded instantaneously, it is downloaded in small pieces. The data arrives at your data in a continuous stream.

When you stream media, your computer downloads the pieces of the data in real-time. If your internet connection is fast, the entire file may download before you are finished watching it. This is why you can continue the stream, even after your internet goes out. This data does not go to permanent storage on your computer.

Infrastructure Improvements

Streaming content from the internet is not a new concept. The masses have recently adopted it because it is more convenient than hard copies of media. This convenience has come out of several technological improvements like faster and stronger internet speeds.

YouTube and Netflix started on only a few data servers, and when there was a lot of traffic or a user was far away, the result would be a lag. These and other services have invested heavily in data centers and global networks to provide users the best experience.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) also have competed to provide faster internet connections for their users. Fiber is dramatically improving the connection speed and is slowly replacing cable connections.

Even with these improvements, users can still experience lags due to high traffic. For example, Netflix uses 15%, and YouTube uses 11% of global bandwidth. To help prevent substantial scale slowdowns, stream services will provide Open Connect Appliances (OCAs) to ISPs. These are servers full of popular movies, songs, and other content. This allows the ISP to reroute internet traffic from the streaming services and alleviate some of the networks’ pressure.

Future Streaming

Live streaming, whether on YouTube or other social media platforms, are gaining popularity. Live streaming presents new challenges to the current infrastructures. The live stream is recording that video while it is being broken down into smaller pieces, for starters. These are then code and sent out over the internet. Once received by your computer, the process described above occurs. For this to be a seamless process, both the streamer and the person watching must have stable internet connections.

Another use of streaming will be to stream video games. While this concept isn’t new, companies like Nvidia try to create a service that will allow even the cheapest computer to play high endgames. Like the example above, streaming a game introduces more challenges and will require a robust connection.

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