Using a PC Keyboard with OSX (Command Key Switch-er-oo)

I recently started using a Macbook Air as my full time computer, so I needed to hook up a keyboard and mouse to it. Automatically, OSX assigns the “Windows” key on the keyboard to be the “Command” key in OSX, which will drive you insane.

After doing a lot of digging, I realized there is a very easy solution to this built right into the Keyboard settings section in OSX System Preferences.

system-preference_upload

1.  Go to System Preferences > Keyboard

keyboard-settings_upload

2.  Hit the “Modifier Keys” button

switch-settings_upload

3.  Select your USB keyboard from the drop-down menu (there should be two keyboards listed), make sure to not change the built-in keyboard settings.

4.  I found that turning my keyboard’s CTRL key to the Command key made it intuitive for me to CTRL-C and CTRL-V and perform the other command options.

5.  Since you do need to sometimes access the CTRL key in OSX, I made the function of the “Windows Key” (Command Key) on the external keyboard map to the CTRL key in OSX.

For reference, this is the “Windows” key on a PC keyboard:

windows-key

Hope this helps!

How to Restore the Recently Changed files shortcut in Windows 7

Looking to restore the shortcut in your explorer window that says “Recently Changed”? I was too. In a nutshell, you must save this code snippet, which creates the Recently Changed file search, and then drag that shortcut to your favorites bar. Here are the instructions:

1. Download the raw version of this code below.

http://pastebin.com/embed_js.php?i=NSfwr6eF

2. Paste the file contents to NotePad

3. Save the file as “Recently Changed.search-ms” (keep the quotes so it makes that the correct file type)

4. Save the file to C:Users{YOUR NAME}Searches

5. Drag the shortcut to your favorites bar (same place “Recent Places” appears)

How To Backup and Export Google Docs

Google recently changed the layout of the Google Docs interface, and made it a little difficult to figure out how to export and backup your documents.  It is always recommended to have a backup of anything you store in the cloud, so here is a quick tutorial on how to download and backup your Google docs.

Step 1 – Right click on any file in your Google Docs list, and select “Download”
Step 2 – Click on the “All Items” tab, and press the “Download” button

Step 3 – Select “Email when ready”
Step 4 – Wait until you receive the e-mail, then click download link.

After the file is downloaded, you are still not done.  It is necessary to extract the zip file, and open a few of the documents to make sure they are readable.  In my experience, the export has always worked very well, but it is imperative to check for yourself each time you save the backup.

Sort Gmail By Attachment Size

gmail-size

Update 3/19/2013 

You can now actually run a search for attachments based on size!  Approved operators:

  • size:5m – Find emails with attachments of 5M
  • larger:5m – Find e-mails with attachments larger than 5M

Suggested query: larger:5m older_than:2y

^ Will find all e-mails larger than 5MB and older than 2 years.


gmailattach

Gmail inbox getting full?  Mine was too.  For some inexplicable reason, Google does not allow you to run a simple search of your inbox where you can sort by attachment size.  There are some options to get your Gmail account under control, most useful of which is searching for particular file types.   Run a search for the most commonly large file types, and optionally add a date modifier so you only look at mail older than a certain date.

Enter this into the search box:
filename:(mpg OR mpeg OR avi OR wmv OR zip OR bmp OR mp3 OR wma OR mov) before:2010/12/31

Note: Change the “before” date to whatever date you want.  It can even be today’s date.

I did not exclude JPG or JPEG because pictures are often a useful thing to save.  I still recommend going through each e-mail before doing a mass-delete with the above search query, but this will at least give you a useful workaround while Google works on a sortable attachment filter.

Google is well aware of the need for this feature, but feel free to cast your vote on their suggestion page, like I did.

gmailsize2
Make sure to vote for Google to add this as an official function.

Stop and Delete Print Jobs Windows Vista/XP/Windows 7

One of the biggest headaches with printers, especially USB printers, is getting a print job to stop once it has already started. Sometimes you can click cancel on the print job, but other times the job will go until completion. Even turning off the printer does not always solve the problem. I finally came across a solution that fixes all printing problems for me.

Step 1. If you need to immediately stop the printer from wasting paper/ink, turn off your printer. This may involve unplugging the power cord from the surge protector if the regular power buttons fail.

Step 2. Go to Start button > Run > net stop spooler

Step 3. Click OK

Step 4. Start > Run > C:WindowsSystem32SpoolPrinters


Step 5.
Hit OK, and delete all files within the “Printers” folder you just opened. This will delete any print jobs you had remaining.

Step 6.
Start > Run > net start spooler


Step 7.
Hit OK, and turn your printer back on.

All of your printing problems should now be solved. Please post comments if this did or did not work for you.

Disable Automatic Updates in Adobe CS3

I recently realized that Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Adobe Premiere CS3 were updating themselves without permission to do so. I looked for an option within each respective application to disallow automatic updates, but could not find one. After doing some searching, I found this workaround.

To disable automatic updates in Adobe CS3 for Windows Vista (Should work for Windows XP too):

1. Start > Run > C:Program FilesCommon FilesAdobeUpdater5AdobeUpdater.exe (if this does not work, navigate to to the common files folder and follow the same directory structure to get to AdobeUpdater.exe.
2. Adobe Updater will open, and select continue as it searches for updates.
3. On the screen where you tell it to download the updates, it will have a preferences link. Click the preferences link.
4. Un-check the box that says “Automatically check for updates.” and hit okay, then close out of the updater.
5. Enjoy.