Category Archives: Microsoft


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File Sharing & Collaboration with GroupMe

If you’re a user of Microsoft’s chat app GroupMe, you’ll no doubt be pleased with the new update to allow file sharing of up to 50MB (per file). With the ability to share from a multitude of local or cloud storage locations including OneDrive, GoogleDrive, DropBox and Amazon Drive, this brings GroupMe higher into the league to compete with established networking apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

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Windows 10

Windows 10 Introduces direct Print to PDF Function

Microsoft have finally caught up with MAC OS X and included Print to PDF as a direct feature for any document in Windows 10 that is open in a text editing program that can be printed from, such as Microsoft natives Word or Notepad, or third party programs like LibreOffice. This also applies to any file, not just text documents.

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How to Save Microsoft Office Documents as PDF Files

Microsoft initially introduced the option to save files from their various Office applications as PDF documents as early as 2007, (alongside a whole range of existing file type options such as jpg, xls, csv and xps across different programs). Even though these options exist, however, doesn’t mean that all users are aware of them – so we’ve put together this simple guide to saving your office document as a PDF.

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Anniversary of Windows 1.0

Today is the anniversary of the day that Windows 1.0 was officially launched. Windows, developed by Microsoft, launched 1.0, a graphical personal computer operating system and it was the first of the well-known Windows line that we have come to love and rely on in recent years. Continue reading


A look back at the official release of Windows XP, 2001

On the 25th October, 2001, Microsoft released its latest offering, Windows XP.

 

Bill Gates said at the time; “Simply put, Windows XP is the best operating system Microsoft has ever built.” Continue reading


Editing label templates in PDF using Infix PDF Editor – a success story!

I am disabled, so to earn a bit of extra money, I design logos and labels for products that regular people sell.
I normally buy my labels from a specific company which I will not mention here. They provide templates for their labels in different formats and the only two I was familiar with were .doc and .pdf. I tried the .doc templates only to find out that the real template settings sometimes extended to 4 digits and Word can only handle 2 and it rounds up or down apparently randomly so by using that type of template, the labels always printed off the label.

I decided to try the .pdf templates and tried many different programs including Adobe Illustrator at a friend’s house. I spent 3 days (overstaying my welcome using his computer by quite a lot his son finally told me) and the learning curve to use Illustrator was just too much for me.

I finally found Infix PDF Editor. The tool-bar was laid out logically and the images describing what tool was what were very familiar to me. To say that Infix PDF Editor is user-friendly is a severe understatement.

I loaded up the .pdf template and Infix told me that this .pdf file might not be editable due to some reason I don’t remember, but there was a button to click to fix the issue so I clicked it and POOF, problem solved. I then easily found how to add an image to the .pdf template, and again, POOF, there was my image. It happened to be too large to fit into the templates so I chose the familiarly labelled Object tool which had a handy pop-up that informed me that I had chosen the tool to select, resize, or move objects. Once that tool had been chosen, my image now had the familiar ‘grab’ squares at the corners and centre of sides of my image. Within seconds, I had resized my image to fit into the label selection circle (I was using a 2 inch round label). At that point, it was a simple matter of copying and pasting my image into the following label selection circles.

With Infix PDF Editor, in less than 5 minutes, I was able to accomplish what I had been trying to do with a multitude of other programs for about 2 weeks.

I would highly recommend purchasing Infix PDF Editor especially since all the free ones I tried either had the same issue with rounding off label spacings or were just too difficult to learn to use in the time I had to get my order printed and out to the customer. The non-free programs I tried were essentially the same, the learning curve was just too long, or the program was so limited that I could not even do what I needed to do to even evaluate the software. If you get Infix PDF Editor, you will not be disappointed.

– William Connor


Anniversary of Windows Server 2003

 

April 24th 2003 saw the release of Windows Server 2003 by Microsoft, with the server operating platform set to provide greater performance and scalability compared to Windows 2000, its predecessor. At the same time as Windows Server 2003 Microsoft also launched Visual Studio .Net 2003 and the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2000, in turn enabling users to increase productivity with a more cost effective and reliable solution, as well as benefiting from a 30% increase in infrastructure efficiency that this new release offered over Windows NT 4.0

 

Following its beta version success, feedback confirmed that through Windows Server 2003 Microsoft were able to provide deployment cost reductions of up to 50% whilst providing a 40% increase in stability for some companies when compared to Windows NT 4.0.  Other benefits reported included a reduction of up to 30% in relation to the number of servers needed to achieve the same workload throughput with some customers also benefitting from a 20% reduction in management costs.

 

Windows Server 2003 was the first server designed to support Intel Itanium 64-bit systems and therefore able to serve high levels of demand and business workloads.  It offered increased scalability for those who needed it as well as a solution to meet the needs of the small business with simplicity and ease of use key features of the release.

 

Over 5,000 developers and 2,500 testers were involved in its production, Microsoft implemented 650 advancements and enhancements with Windows Server 2003 including increased security with changes made to default installation components and the IIS web server rewrite, as well as the first of Microsoft’s operating systems to be included in its Trustworthy Computing initiative, which it set up to address concerns regarding privacy, security and public confidence in the industry.  Further developments were evident in terms of improvements to Message Queuing, the Active Directory and Group Policy.  The Automated System Recovery which replaced rescue disk creation together with enhanced back up and disk management features were also included.  Greater management functionality was offered with the Manage Your Server Tool for administrators and support for watchdog timer for the restarting of a server was also included.

 

Microsoft offered Windows Server 2003 in five editions Web, Standard, Enterprise, Datacentre and Small Business and on December 6 2005, Windows Server 2003 RS was subsequently made available.

 

Windows Server 2003 would be succeeded by Windows Server 2008 following its release by Microsoft on 4th February 2008.

 

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1jA2DPF


Anniversary of Microsoft 3.1 Release

Microsoft released Windows 3.1 on 6th April 1992, and in doing so addressed a number of issues experienced with Windows 3.0, with over 1000 changes made offering enhanced usability following extensive client feedback.

Improvements were made to the Windows Installation with the inclusion of the Express Install feature, with Custom Installation and Batch Install options together with improved network setup also available to users.  The set up programme was also able to detect additional hardware and software configuration compared to 3.0.

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A Look Back at Windows 2000

 

Today marks the 14th Anniversary of the release by Microsoft of Windows 2000.  Windows 2000 succeeded Windows NT 4.0, and was referred to as Windows 5.0 during its development.  It would prove to be the last release by Microsoft under its Windows NT umbrella with Windows XP released the following year in October.

 

Having been designed to replace Windows 95, 98 and Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 offered increased reliability, greater ease of use, as well as improved support for mobile computing and internet compatibility. Windows 2000 allowed for easier hardware installation for its users as it now supported a vast array of Plug and Play hardware including wireless and networking devices, as well as USBs and infrared equipment.  Through Windows 2000 Microsoft also introduced support for operation system level hibernation without the need for special drivers as in previous releases.

 

With greater reliability and security key features of Windows 2000, Microsoft included Windows File Protection for the first time, to protect core files and prevent programs replacing them.  Microsoft also gave us the MMC Microsoft Management Console and Logical Disk Manager capability for dynamic storage, in addition to features such as Internet Explorer 5 and Windows Desktop Update now introduced into the NT line.

 

With personalised menus, expandable special folders and the ability to launch multiple programs from the Start Menus, a Re-sort button also allowed files to be sorted by name.  Windows 2000 also introduced us to visual improvements such as fade transition effects, with layered windows that were transparent, and supported balloon notification in the Taskbar.  With a default-enabled interactive Media Player for previewing video and sound files, additional assistive technologies for those with disabilities were also included by Microsoft.

 

Subtle logo changes and the addition of a melodic piano tune were added for start-up and shut-down also featured in the release.

 

Windows 2000 was made more accessible to those with visual and hearing impairments as well as other disabilities through the addition of assistive technologies, FilterKeys included SoundSentry which show a visual effect when sound is played, ToggleKeys with sound indicating when Caps, Number or Scroll Lock are pressed together with BounceKeys, SlowKeys and Repeat Keys offering further assistance. Serial Keys allowed for speech augmentation device support, with the Microsoft Narrator screen reader also offered for the first time, together with a screen magnifier.

 

Available in 4 editions, Windows 2000 was an instant hit with Microsoft reporting that over 1million units were sold within the first month of its release.

 

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1eLZWYP


Events in Computing History – December

December 2nd


Year:
1991

Event: Apple QuickTime was first released

Interesting Facts:

  • The first ever release of QuickTime, which introduced a video codec, had the code name of “Road Pizza”.
  • QuickTime 2.0 was the only ever software which didn’t release a free version, it added support for music tracks, which contained the equivalent of MIDI data and which could drive a sound-synthesis engine built into QuickTime itself (using a limited set of instrument sounds licensed from Roland).
  • The latest version of QuickTime is 10.6, which includes visual chapters, conversion, sharing to YouTube, video editing, capture of video and audio streams, screen recording, GPU acceleration, and live streaming.

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