Windows Paint an Overlooked Tool Included with all Windows Versions

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Windows paint an over looked tool that has become more robust as of Windows 7 is a great but mostly unknown about tool for photos and social media. This tried-and-true program is now easier to use and more fun as well. You can touch up those phone pictures you want to post add text and much more. The new realistic digital “brushes” will bring your pictures to life in shades of watercolor, crayon, and calligraphy. Paint is now touch-ready too, so if you’ve got a touchscreen PC, you’ll soon be finger painting right on the screen. You can even use two fingers to trace two separate strokes.

History of MS Paint

ZSoft Corporation's PC PaintbrushPaint was introduced with the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0. It was a licensed version of ZSoft Corporation’s PC Paintbrush, and supported only 1-bit monochrome graphics under a proprietary “MSP” format. Paint was later superseded by Paintbrush in Windows 3.0, with a redesigned user interface, color support and support for the BMP and PCX file formats. The early versions were very crude and limited and if you really needed to edit photos or create banners or signs you needed very expensive graphics editing software. Windows 95 Microsoft introduced a new version of Paint. The same icons and color palette continued to be used through Windows XP. Not so useful a tool until Windows 7.

MS Paint Windows 7The version of Paint in Windows 7 and Windows 8 makes use of the Ribbon GUI It also features “artistic” brushes composed of varying shades of gray and some degree of transparency that give a more realistic result. To add to the realism, the oil and watercolor brushes can only paint for a small distance before the user must re-click (this gives the illusion that the paint brush has run out of paint). The Paint application can now undo up to 50 subsequent changes. It also has anti-aliased shapes, which can be resized freely until they are rasterized when another tool is selected. This version supports viewing (but not saving) transparent PNG and ICO file formats and saves files in the .png file format by default. There is now an option to make any shape bigger or smaller after drawing it. Text can now be pasted into text boxes that don’t have enough room to display the text. A text box can then be enlarged or reshaped appropriately to fit the text if desired. Previous versions of Paint would display an error message if a user tried to paste more text than there was room for. The Windows 8 version of Paint mostly corrects a long standing defect from previous versions involving an inability to scroll the window when editing in Zoom view. All in all for those of you unaware of this little gem included with your PC get creative add some text to that cute picture of your cat perhaps it will go viral or show off your artistic ability and do a water color with paint. If it is more robust features are what you need then it would be time to visit some of our sponsors web sites and break out the wallet to buy professional image editing software but you can have a lot of fun with paint. For more information about using Microsoft Paint visit Microsoft’s website CLICK HERE>>

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Driver Scanner Software

Are you having problems with your hardware?

Old drivers impact system performance and make your PC and hardware vulnerable to errors and crashes. Uniblue DriverScanner can help you to update these drivers.

What does DriverScanner do?

Driver Scanner Software
The Problem:
Old drivers may cause a range of problems, from diminished hardware functionality to conflicts and system crashes. Although drivers are available for free and can be updated manually, identifying outdated drivers can take a long time. Moreover, pinpointing just the right driver from the manufacturer’s website, downloading and installing it can be laborious and technically risky.

The Solution:
Built with simplicity in mind, DriverScanner scans your computer to provide a list of drivers that need to be updated. With single-click convenience, DriverScanner will then search and download the latest updates and safely install them on your PC

Drive Scanner Software

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SpeedUpMyPC Software

Uniblue SpeedUpMyPC can help you identify what’s causing your PC to slow down. You can fix all your speed issues to finally have an optimized, cleaner, and faster PC.

What does Speed Up My PC do?

SpeedUpMyPCThe Problem:
With so many different settings, files and processes to monitor, it is hard to identify just what is slowing you down, let alone implement the necessary technical adjustments to recover speed and performance.

The Solution:
SpeedUpMyPC scans your computer to identify any issues hindering speed, before wielding a powerful range of tools to optimize your system for improved performance. Invalid registry entries are removed and unused processes deactivated to improve system responsiveness. The result is a computer that works faster and better.

Speed Up My PC

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Registry Cleaner Kit

Free Scan for Windows Registry Errors

How many registry errors does your computer have?

Registry Cleaner Kit

You no longer need to guess… the free system scan will give you a detailed diagnosis and deep scan of your registry for errors.

The Problem

Have you noticed that the longer you have your computer, the slower it runs and the more it crashes? Often this phenomenon is caused by problems in the Windows® registry that occur over time. Installing and uninstalling programs leave behind fragments – stray files, orphaned startup tasks and corrupted drivers. Over time the registry starts to get bogged down and conflicts emerge. Left unchecked, your system will become increasingly unstable, run more slowly and crash more frequently.

The Solution

RegistryCleanerKit is the easy answer to your registry problems. It conducts a deep scan of your registry to identify problems and errors that can cause system crashes. It will keep your registry clean by removing problematic registry entries and restoring system stability.

A few minutes can save you months of frustration and crashes.

Registry Cleaner Kit

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VIPRE Internet Security 2014

VIPRE Internet Security 2014 is a premier home antivirus protection software. It combines powerful antivirus and
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Windows 8.1 Features A Closer Look

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Closer Look at Windows 8.1There has been a lot of talk about Windows 8.1’s new features like the return of the Start button. But there are some features and changes that have been mostly ignored. Here are some lesser-known features and changes that will affect the way you use Windows 8.1. Some good some no so good.

Privacy Controls For Data Used by Apps

Privacy Controls for Data Used by AppsWindows 8.1 has many controls to set what data and devices are used by apps from the Windows Store (many of which make great desktop apps). For example, you can allow or block apps from accessing your name, picture, and account information. You can turn off your advertising ID so that advertisers can’t use your data to display personalized ads. You can also control in detail which apps use your location data. Last but not least, you can set which apps are allowed to use your webcam, microphone, and other devices. All these settings can be changed from the Privacy section in PC Settings.

Compared to Windows 8, all of these controls are a big step forward and provide users with the tools they need to control what data is shared with the apps they’re using.

Better VPN Support When Adding Connections from PC Settings

Add VPN Connections Microsoft didn’t really brag about the new VPN connection wizard in PC Settings. The VPN connection wizard found in Settings > Change PC Settings > Network > Connections > Add VPN Connection provides more customization options than earlier version.

The most important novelty is that you can set the VPN provider, and it has built-in support for many providers. Windows 8.1 also prompts you to sign into the built-in VPN when an app needs to access a resource that requires that kind of connection. All of these changes make for a better experience when creating and using VPN connections.

Family Safety is Now Web-Based

Family Safety Updated
Family Safety has been completely rewritten in Windows 8.1 and transformed into a web service. The features that existed in Windows 8 are still available, along with several improvements.
Now it’s easy to link your family members and add or remove devices (including Windows Phone) monitored by Family Safety. You can set restrictions for the files that are downloaded, plus the games and apps that are installed on Windows Phone 8 devices. From the Family Safety website, you can manage everything without having to be at home. Also, reporting has been improved and Family Safety provides very granular activity reports so you have complete control over your child’s computing activities.

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Reading View – Mode in Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer 11 Reading ModeThis is a last-minute feature that wasn’t included in the RTM version of Windows 8.1, but in the updates that were provided during the global availability date. This Internet Explorer feature competes with renowned services like Readability or Evernote Clearly. Basically, when you load a page on any web site, you will see the Reading View icon in the address bar. If you click  it, Internet Explorer reloads the page, eliminates ads and other distractions, and displays a clean version that’s very easy to read.
Here you can see a preview of how web page looks in Reading View. What’s unfortunate is that Microsoft did not extend this feature to the desktop version of Internet Explorer 11.

3D Printing Support and Modeling Apps

#D Printer Supported by Windows 8.13D Printing is a trend that’s gaining a lot of ground in recent years and for good reason: 3D printers are both fun and very useful, and they have the potential to revolutionize manufacturing. Windows 8.1 is the first commercial operating system to provide native support for 3D printing. What does this mean exactly?

  • In Windows 8.1, you can print from both Windows Store apps and desktop applications.
  • Developers can add 3D printing support to their apps with ease.
  • Windows 8.1 provides a uniform feature set for 3D printing that’s compatible with today’s printers.

Microsoft has published a very extensive blog post describing this feature here: 3D Printing Support in Windows 8.1 Explained. The 3D printing support doesn’t stop here though. Microsoft also released an app named 3D Builder which can be used to view, prepare, and print your own 3D models.

No Right-Click When Using the Networks List

No Right Click Network“Unfortunately, Windows 8.1 no longer supports right-click.”

Now let’s talk about several potentially frustrating changes. First of all, there’s no right-click when using the Networks list. In Windows 8, when you pressed the networks icon, you could right-click on any of the connections listed and access useful configuration options, such as turning sharing on or off.

Libraries Hidden by Default in File Explorer

If you don’t like the library concept or you don’t use it, this change won’t affect you. You may even welcome it. However, there are users who actively use the libraries to organize their files. Since libraries are indexed by Windows 8.1 to provide fast search results, and many apps work with the libraries (e.g. the Photos app), I find it weird that Microsoft chose to hide them by default.  To enable libraries

  1. Open File Explorer and expand the View tab.
  2. Go to Options > Folder Options on the right side of the ribbon.
  3. Go to the General tab and check the “Show Libraries” checkbox at the bottom of the window. Click OK.

Now, Libraries should show back up, right where they were in Windows 7 and 8. The only other difference is that Libraries no longer include public folders, which is a curious change, but one that may or may not affect you. Hit the link below to read more about the new change.

SkyDrive Files Not Available When Offline

Sky Drive FilesA surprising change in Windows 8.1 your SkyDrive files are not fully downloaded to your PC or device. When you browse the SkyDrive folder in File Explorer, you’ll notice a new column named Availability. By default, all your files are listed as Online-only. What does this mean?
Online-only files are only placeholders for your files. They retain some of the properties of the original files—their metadata, but not their content. The full content of these files is found on Microsoft’s servers. When you need to use online-only files, you use them as if they were normal files. However, before using them, Windows 8.1 downloads their content to make them available for editing—then, their status changes to Available offline.
This behavior is due to a feature named Smart Files, described by Microsoft here. Smart Files are useful on tablets or laptops with very little free space available; however, most Windows 8.1 users are not tablet users and they do have lots of space available on their hard drives. Luckily, turning off this feature and making all your SkyDrive files available offline is as easy as flipping a switch in the Settings charm for the SkyDrive app.

Fetching Remote Files with SkyDrive No Longer Works

Fetch Files Sky DriveOne of the features of the SkyDrive desktop client in Windows 8 was that it allowed you to fetch files from anywhere, including files that weren’t synchronized with SkyDrive.
Unfortunately, SkyDrive no longer has a desktop client in Windows 8.1. SkyDrive has a Windows Store app and a synchronization service running in the background. Unfortunately, this means that the remote fetch feature is gone and you can no longer use it. Most users won’t miss it since they didn’t use it in the first place, but geeks and IT professionals will surely be unhappy about its disappearance.

Hope you will find information on these features helpful hope to add more tips and tricks for Windows 8.1 Soon

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Custom Support for XP Not For You

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[ad name=”G-Rectangle-left”]Just because Microsoft doesn’t plan on giving Windows XP patches to the public after April 8, 2014, doesn’t mean it’s going to stop making those patches.

In fact, Microsoft will be creating security updates for Windows XP for months — years, even — after it halts their delivery to the general public.

Those patches will come from a program called “Custom Support,” an after-retirement contract designed for very large customers who have not, for whatever reason, moved on from an older OS.

As part of Custom Support — which according to analysts, costs about $200 per PC for the first year and more each succeeding year — participants receive patches for vulnerabilities rated “critical” by Microsoft. Bugs ranked as “important,” the next step down in Microsoft’s four-level threat scoring system, are not automatically patched. Instead, Custom Support contract holders must pay extra for those. Flaws pegged as “moderate” or “low” are not patched at all.

[ad name=”G-Rectangle-right”]”Legacy products or out-of-support service packs covered under Custom Support will continue to receive security hotfixes for vulnerabilities labeled as ‘Critical’ by the MSRC [Microsoft Security Response Center],” Microsoft said in a Custom Support data sheet. “Customers with Custom Support that need security patches defined as ‘Important’ by MSRC can purchase these for an additional fee.

“These security hotfixes will be issued through a secure process that makes the information available only to customers with Custom Support,” the data sheet promised.

Because Microsoft sells Custom Support agreements, it’s obligated to come up with patches for critical and important vulnerabilities. And it may be required to do so for years: The company sells Custom Support for up to three years after it retires an operating system.

Custom Support and the XP security updates that result have been one reason why some experts have held out hope that Microsoft will backtrack from retiring XP next April. Their reasoning is straight-forward: Microsoft will have patches available — its engineers won’t have to do any more work than they already committed to doing — so handing them out to all would be a simple matter.

Or not. Most experts have said that the chance Microsoft will prolong Windows XP’s life run between slim and none. And giving away patches to everyone risks a revolt by those big customers who have paid millions for Custom Support.

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2014 is the Year that Windows XP Dies

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Windows XP ProfessionalExtended support for Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) will end April 8th 2014. You can argue that XP is an old operating system and anyone in their right mind should have upgraded years ago. But upgraded to what? Most home users may have in fact upgraded long ago and probably more than once with retail computers loaded with new OS and an abundance of add junk crap-ware and small amounts of RAM usually crash quickly.

Windows Vista

Businesses however mostly chose to downgrade to Windows XP that was available on new computers sold to business until January 31, 2009. The first OS after XP, Vista released January 2007, was a flop and few wanted to upgrade and business stuck with XP. Windows 7 released in July of 2009 fixed the problems with Vista but its step up in hardware requirements made it a poor choice for upgrading and still left Windows 7businesses wanting a better platform and many who did upgrade use Windows 7 with XP mode.

Microsoft is now pushing Windows 8 as the obvious upgrade path which many users simply don’t want to use because Windows 8 is another Vista waiting to be


Even the argument that XP is old isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. Yes XP was released in October of 2001 and it was superseded by Vista in 2007 but XP came installed on new computers until 2009 which means there are a lot more viable machines running XP than you might think. Windows XP was the most widely used operating system in the world until August 2012 when Windows 7 finally overtook it that’s less than a year and a half ago. It also means that there is more software that needs real XP than you might think and drivers are always a problem for business machinery that need to be in service much longer than the life expectancy of a computer. Is our infrastructure and data safeNow we have situations that all our most personal information is out in the “cloud” of the new health care system. I was at a doctors office a few weeks ago who was still using an XP computer to enter my most personal medical information. Should I just hope these medical and professionals and other companies are going to pay for custom support after the end of XP.
Yea right but that’s a whole other can of worms. For the rest of us Microsoft’s attitude seems to be that after 8th April you are on your own. More than likely there will be a steady stream of malicious attacks on Windows XP which of course will not be patched. Any XP machine connected to the internet or other source of infection is not only a danger to itself but to the other machines connected to the local network. It is reasonable to speculate that soon after support is withdrawn some malware will make XP an easy back door into the network and facilitate some sort of ransomware that will make the removal of XP essential.

Death of Windows XP

Well this user will certainly miss Windows XP. I will keep one around to run the programs that I have found to be so useful for the last decade but it will be all alone in the world with no Local or Wide area network connection an oldy but goody that made computer OS history.

Good Bye XP!
But what about my Office 2003 oh no its dead too and that’s a whole other article.

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