Screen sharing and conferences calls

I have mentioned a few services for screen sharing and conference calls before. Here are a couple new ones I’ve discovered.

Join.me is a service that allows you to share your screen, chat, send files, and conference call with up to 250 people on your computer or mobile devices. It’s incredibly easy to use. The person sharing their screen downloads the software and sends an email to the attendees. In the email, attendees can click a link to open a view of your screen in their web browser, and can call a number at which the service has created a conference line. It’s a great solution for reviewing documents, training staff, or demoing anything on your computer.

If you need something even simpler, QuickScreenShare allows you to instantly share your screen with another user. No registration or software, just click a button and share the link with your friend. They will be able to view your screen in their browser.

Try Join.me
Try QuickScreenShare

Return to your track in iTunes

While listening to music in iTunes, you may decide to look through your library or browse the iTunes Store. To get back to your song/playlist quickly, just hit CMD-L (Mac) or CTRL-L (PC) and it will take you back to where you started.

Application launchers

Usually if you want to open a program or document, you click on your Dock/Taskbar icon or search for it in the Finder/Windows. An application launcher allows you to access those same files with only a few quick keyboard strokes. It’s a huge timesaver! Here are a few launchers you can try:

Force quit an application

If an application on your computer isn’t responding, wait a few minutes. It may only be temporarily stalled. If the program really is stuck, use one of the following options to force quit.

Mac:

  • Press Command-Option-Escape (or Apple Menu > Force Quit), select the application and click Force Quit
  • Press Control-Option and click on the Dock icon (or Option and right click), choose Force Quit
  • Open Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities), find the application, select it and click Quit Process. Confirm by clicking quit.

PC:

  • Press Control-Alt-Delete. Click on Task Manager and then the Applications tab. Select the program you want to quit. Choose End Task. Be careful with Ctrl-Alt-Delete, if you press it twice in a row, your computer will automatically restart.

Authorizing iTunes accounts

When you buy music or other media through iTunes, only devices authorized by your iTunes account can use them. You can authorize up to five computers to use the files you purchase. This is useful when you want to share your media with other computers in your home or with your friends.

You can only authorize or deauthorize a particular computer directly through the computer in question. This means it is important to deauthorize any computer you plan to sell, give away, or reformat.

If you need to deauthorize a computer and don’t have access to it anymore, the only option is to deauthorize ALL computers associated with your iTunes account on your computer. This can be done only once per year, and—for some reason—only when your account has five computers authorized.

Read more on Apple’s website

Change your Screensaver

The screensaver is the animated images that appear on your screen when your computer has been idle for a few minutes. Here’s how to change it:

Mac: Open up your System Preferences by clicking on the icon in your Dock or go to the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen and choose System Preferences. Choose Desktop & Screen Saver. Click on the Screen Saver tab. From here you can choose any number of different Screen Savers or choose an album from iPhoto to shuffle through specific photos. You can also click on the Options button to tweak the settings.

PC (Windows 7): Right click on a blank area of your desktop. Click “Personalize” and your Personalization settings will open. Next, click on Screen Saver in the bottom row. From here you can select from a list of Screen Savers, you can also hit Settings to create a custom Screen Saver from your own photos. Click OK when you’re finished and your new Screen Saver will be set.

PC (Windows XP): Right click on a blank area of your desktop. Click “Properties” and your Display Properties will open. At the top, click the Screen Saver tab. From here you can select from a list of Screen Savers, you can also hit Settings to create a custom Screen Saver from your own photos. Click OK when you’re finished and your new Screen Saver will be set.

Changing your Desktop Wallpaper

Do you still have the default Windows or Mac picture on your desktop? It’s easy to change it. Why not have some fun?

Mac: Right click on a blank area of your desktop. Click on “Change Desktop Background” and your System Preferences will open. From here you can choose an image from the default library, or anywhere else on your computer. Just select the image and close your System Preferences.

PC (Windows 7): Right click on a blank area of your desktop. Click “Personalize” and your Personalization settings will open. At the bottom, click Desktop Background. From here you can choose an image from the default library, or anywhere else on your computer (by pressing the browse button at the top). Click “Save Changes” when you’re finished and your image should change.

PC (Windows XP): Right click on a blank area of your desktop. Click “Properties” and your Display Properties will open. At the top, click the Desktop tab. From here you can choose an image from the default library, or anywhere else on your computer (by pressing the browse button). Click “OK” when you’re finished and your image should change.

Ripping your DVDs

If you’re looking to backup your DVD movies to your computer or view them on a mobile/tablet device, you’ll need to rip them to your computer first. When you “rip” a CD or DVD, you make a copy of the contents of the disc in the form of a data file that you can play on your computer or other devices. Here are two highly rated programs that can do this for you:

  • HandBrake: Free, works on Mac/Windows/Ubunto and has a lot of advanced options.
  • RipIt: $24.95, for Mac. Very simple and easy to use.

Browser Tab Keyboard Shortcuts

All modern browsers have the ability to open several websites in the same window with tabs. Using tabs instead of opening multiple windows keeps your screen less cluttered and makes it easier to switch back and forth between websites. Instead of using your mouse to open a new tab, you can just hit CMD and T (CMD is the button with the Apple on it) or CTRL and T on a PC. If you want to switch between tabs without using your mouse, hit CTRL-TAB (the tab key). To close a tab, hit CMD-W on a Mac or CTRL-W on a PC.

Calibrating Your Apple Laptop Battery

It’s a good idea to recalibrate your laptop battery every month or so, especially if you rarely run it on battery power. Recalibration helps keep the onscreen battery display accurate and keeps the battery operating at maximum efficiency.

Recalibrating Instructions:

  1. Plug in your power adapter and fully charge your battery (till the plug turns green). Leave it plugged in for at least two additional hours.
  2. Disconnect the power adapter and start using your laptop (open several programs or play a movie to drain the battery faster).
  3. When the “battery low” message appears, save or close any important work.
  4. Continue using your computer until it goes to sleep and you can’t wake it.
  5. Allow your computer to sleep for 5 hrs or more. It may shut itself off during this time.
  6. Connect your power again and leave it connected until the battery is fully charged.

Read more from Apple

PC Users:
Calibrating the Notebook Battery in Microsoft Windows 98, ME, XP and 2000
Calibrating the Notebook Battery in Microsoft Windows 7 and Vista