Category Archives: Hardware

Mouse Tips

When navigating the screen with your computer (PC) mouse, take note on the number of buttons that are available;


RIGHT BUTTON- This button provides the action of clicking, double clicking, and dragging the cursor to create action. Single or double clicking on an icon will open the file/program, or clicking and dragging will ‘highlight’ files/programs and even text in documents.

  • Use the

rightclickLEFT BUTTON- This button provides extra commands in the form of pop up menus. By ‘left-clicking’ on an icon, text, program, you get a pop up menu with commands such as Properties or Cut/Paste commands. This varies depending on what item you selected.

SCROLL BUTTON- This button moves like a wheel to navigate through web pages or documents in word processors. But it can do other things too;

  • Hover over a hyperlink and press the Scroll Button down like a button and it opens another tab.
  • In a browser, click the Ctrl key while scrolling and this will enlarge or make smaller the text.

A tutorial on Mouse properties;

What do the F1-F12 keys do?


Ever wondered about the F1-F12 keys? Here’s what they do:

F1   I like to think of this as the ‘panic button’. It opens the help menu to anything that is open. If nothing is open, F1 opens your operating system help menu. The Windows button + F1 opens the help menu as well.

F2   Highlight the file or folder and click this button, and you can rename it. If you’re in MS Word, click Ctrl + F2 and you get print preview.

F3   Opens a ‘find’ feature in many programs that you want to look up text. This includes browsers and word processors. In MS Word, SHIFT + F3 changes the first letter of a word lower or upper case.

F4   This opens the address bar in Windows and Internet Explorer. Alt + F4 also closes the window/program that is open.

F5   This button refreshes a browser window. (Reloads). This also open the Find/Replace and Go To window in MS Word. F5 also starts a slideshow in Powerpoint.

F6   This button moves the cursor to the address bar in Internet Explorer. This works in other browsers as well.

F7   This button opens the spellcheck function in MS Word. In some laptops it increases volume.

F8   This important key is often used during computer start ups to start in Safe Mode. When the computer is starting, tap the F8 key. It should prompt you to enter Safe Mode.

F9   This button refreshes a MS Word document.

F10   This buttons activates the menu bar in open applications. Also used to enter CMOS Setup.

F11   This button enables you to enter and exit full screen mode of browsers.

F12   This button opens the debug function in browsers, and opens the Save window in MS Word.

There are other functions these keys can do, even on Macs. Some laptops use the F function keys for specific things like entering a partitions or startup features. It depends on the make/model.

My Top 10 Blog Posts 2014

What happens if you play along with a Microsoft ‘tech support’ scam? (Wired UK)

A quick email scam alert: FedEx

Local Event: Fall Fest in Hagerstown City Park

Online Courses for Free:

Heartbleed bug: Check which sites have been patched – CNET

The USB Hub- an under rated tool

Grammarly on sale


Microsoft Is About To Leave One-Third Of All Computers Vulnerable To Hacking

Buying a tablet? Consider this…

Link: Windows Phone Review

A very helpful review that covers many features of the Windows phone.


The USB Hub- an under rated tool

017When I mention a USB hub to my clients, I often get blank stares, or an expression of intrigue. “What a USB hub?” I’m asked.

A USB hug is that little do-hicky you see in the photo, connected to my tablet- it includes four USB ports so I can plug in things like printers, keyboards, computer mice, cameras, my iPhone charger, and any other USB plug.

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus which is the industry standard for many computer peripherals. You find them on printers, cameras, phone chargers, flash drives and tons of other technology stuff.

The hub enables you to plug in MORE USB stuff on a single USB port. For instance, my tablet has only one port. This would make it otherwise impossible to have a wireless keyboard and mouse plugged in at the same time. This hub, like magic, lets me plug in up to four devices.

Hubs come in many shapes and sizes, but more importantly, they also include even more ports. You can find 4, 8, and even 10 port hubs. You can also ‘daisy chain’ hubs, so you can add up to 127 devices on a single port. Your only drawback would be powering that many devices. But still….that’s impressive, right?

They are also cheap. Mine cost around $5 at an office store. Even the 10 port hub you see in the graphic costs around $24. (click image to buy if interested).

USB plugs look like flat, rectangle shaped plugs. The other end looks different depending on its function such as iPhone cords or printers look very different.


The port looks similar to where you’d stick in the memory card of a camera, but fits the cord. It also bears the USB symbol (seen on the plug above photo). My laptop has two ports here;


If you want to learn more, or need help with your computer, you can contact me via my web site,