Tips, tricks and stuff I didn't know where else to put...
Nov. 2011-New Dell laptops (running Windows 7) use a minidisplayport connection instead of VGA. DO NOT USE an Apple adapter. Use a StarTech MDP2VGA available online. Apple adapters do not work consistently.
Portable Storage solutions: WE NO LONGER SUPPORT ZIP or FLOPPY DRIVES.
|Buy a Flash Drive (also known as a thumb drive or pen drive). They are small, thumb sized USB drives that use the same flash memory that cameras & PDAs use. They come in sizes from 2G and larger. The benefit of these devices is that they are USB and plug-and-play; that is, they require no software. Just plug into any USB port and the drive appears to the computer as an external drive. Do not purchase one that requires software.|
Laptops: Laptop resolutions are often higher than our projectors (1024x768). When you hook it up, the resolution on the laptop screen may change. When you unplug it, it will return to normal.
RAM: RAM is the space in a computer system where information is stored when a program is in use. The more RAM you have, the faster and more efficiently your programs will run. Both Windows and OS X require 2 Gigs of RAM to work efficiently. Adding RAM is the easiest way to speed up your system. RAM is cheap and easy to install. 18004memory.com or crucial.com have fairly easy interfaces to find the RAM that's right for your machine. Treat your computer to an upgrade. It'll thank you for it.
Windows users: When you connect to the internet, Windows checks to see if there are operating system updates available. You'll see a balloon appear in the lower right corner of your screen telling you there are updates available. Don't ignore it. Microsoft deploys frequent updates to keep up with bug fixes and security issues. Click on the little icon under the balloon and update your operating system. This may happen when you are in class. If you see a message telling you the computer is installing updates, DO NOT CLOSE OR SHUT DOWN YOUR LAPTOP. Interrupting the update can cause it to fail and mess up your operating system. If you have no idea what I'm referring to, contact the Division of Information Technology on campus and ask for help. The hard drive you save might be your own.
Mac users: You too. Just because Macs are not as vulnerable to viruses as PCs, doesn't mean you're off the hook. Apple is constantly improving and tweaking OS X. System Preferences: Software Update. Do it now. I'll be here when you get back.
Quick Application Switching:
Windows Users: Alt-Tab allows you to switch between open programs. Say you're running a Powerpoint presentation and a web browser and you want to flip back and forth. Alt-Tab cycles between them.
Mac Users: Command-Tab does the same thing.
Best fonts for presentations: Helvetica, Arial or Verdana. These are sans-serif fonts that have more information for the projector to render.
More font stuff: Do not use anything smaller than 30 point for your text. You might be able to get away with using 24 point for smaller classrooms, but no one in the back of a large lecture hall will be able to see it. Keep in mind the size of the room and the number of students and adjust font size accordingly. In this case, size does matter.
When you want to quickly open an existing PowerPoint presentation, just double click on the file you want to use and it will open Powerpoint. Many people start PowerPoint first, then use the "open" command and have to navigate through their computer to find the file.
Slide Show: to quickly start your slide show, click on the little screen icon in the lower left corner of the PowerPoint window. It looks kinda like this: <-
When your presentation is interrupted by discussion, press the letter B key on your computer keyboard,. This will black out the screen. Your audience can now focus on you, instead of being distracted by your slide. Press the same key again to go back to where you were.
To Exit Slide Show: Press the "ESC" key.
Back in the day, the browser wars created a lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) about security, privacy, phishing and compatibility. I'm not here to endorse on browser over another, but I can tell you that having more than one browser on your system is essential. I'm also a big supporter of open-source software.
Firefox. or Chrome or Safari. Anyway, links on our links page.
Hiding the Toolbars:
Internet Explorer has a bunch of toolbars at the top of the window, you know,
the address bar, favorites bar, etc. full of icons and text. When all the bars
are visible, that can take up a lot of your viewable area. To make the bars
disappear press the F11 key (Windows) or press Command-B, as in "bars" (Macintosh).
The bars all disappear. Poof.
To bring the bars back, press the same keystroke again.
Open links in a new tab or window: When you do a search on Google, you get a list of results. When you click on one, it goes to that page and getting back to your Google results can be time consuming. Try this instead:
Okay, that's it.
"Don't tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to." -Buckaroo Banzai
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