Archive for the ‘Miscl’ Category

Favorite Chrome Shortcuts

Monday, August 14th, 2017


  1. Press Shift and click a link – Opens the link in a new window.
  2. Ctrl 9 – Switches to the last tab.
  3. Ctrl Shift V– Paste copied content from the clipboard without formatting (ie,pastes as plain text if you copied some content from a webpage)
  4. Ctrl Shift B– Toggles the bookmarks bar on and off.
  5. Ctrl Shift T– Reopens the last tab you closed. Google Chrome remembers up to 10 tabs you closed recently.
  6. Alt F or Alt E – Opens your settings menu for Chrome.
  7. Shift Esc – Opens the Task Manager of Chrome, which will let you monitor system usage by each tab and kill tabs you wish.
  8. Type a URL, then press Alt Enter – Opens the URL in a new tab.
  9. Press Alt and click a link. – Downloads the target of the link.
  10. Ctrl Shift D– Saves all open pages as bookmarks in a new folder.

Net Neutrality and Privacy

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Last year Obama created new rules that regulated the way consumer data could be exploited by your ISP. They were scheduled to go into effect this December. President Trump scuttled this. The future of your broadband privacy is at risk more than ever.

Please contact your congressman/woman to protect the internet and don’t let our President allow companies like ATT and Comcast to control what we do on the internet. This is called net neutrality and is most likely the next thing president Trump and Congress will try to destroy. This is voted on each year, and this year could be the end of the open internet. Whether you like this Administration or not, set aside your political ideals and protest the end of net neutrality. This will only end up costing us little guys more cash to use the internet. You have let the administration take away our privacy, don’t let them allow us to be charged more for it’s use.



Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

During the past month many have asked what is happening to Evernote. Instead of explaing this, a blogger named Thorin Klosowski has an excellent article in the following link:

How to jump-ship from Evernote-And Keep Your Data


Check it out.


Are Your Devices Worth Repairing?

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

This is a question I am often asked concerning mobile device repair.

With the help of a few questions you can determine whether or not your mobile device it is worth repairing. Just remember three factors: value, age, and cost of parts and labor. If the device is out of warranty or an insurance policy, take a look at this article.

1. Cost of the Mobile Device
What was initially paid for the device, if it is only a couple months old? If it is a couple years old, how much is a used device of the same model number on EBay? Is the device in good condition, or is the screen scratched or the case damaged (liquid or otherwise)? If it’s already in rough shape, determine that into the value variable you’ve gotten from researching online retailers or auction websites.
If it is an older device and in rough physical shape, it may not be worth repairing. Other factors include age and cost of repair.

2. Age of the Device
As mobile technology evolves, the content that is served to the device evolves as well. One example is how older websites usually appear very small on modern display resolutions, and they often look extremely plain and basic.
Another example is many Android devices with versions below International Classification for Standards (ICS) are still in the hands of consumers. Newer apps being developed may not be compatible with anything below ICS, which means the consumer will eventually have to unlock their device to be able to flash a newer Android version into ROM for use with newer apps. (For the average consumer this means purchasing a new device).
While the operating system version of the device is important, the initial cost of the device is also important. For instance, if the initial retail price of the device is quite low compared to other devices in the same size range, age is more important because a lower retail price typically indicates lower quality, and lower quality means it won’t last as long or run some newer apps.

3. Cost of Parts and Labor
Next you’ll need to consider the parts that need replacement. How much will you need to pay, (including tax and shipping)? For an older device sometimes replacement parts will be more expensive. Not always, but sometimes.
How long will it take you to repair the device? If you’re not familiar with the model, have you researched disassembly and repair, and then reassembly? This is the biggest factor in mobile device repair. Taking apart and reassembly typically takes considerable time.
Factoring Everything
Now that you have considered the above what is the estimated value of the device given the initial price, the current price for a used device in similar condition, and it’s age? Next, what is the cost of parts and labor? How much does the cost of repair compare to the value of the device?
Here is where the decision becomes more complex because we’ve only factored in the static value of the device. What we haven’t factored in is the value of the device to you. Was it a gift? Does it have data stored that wasn’t backed up? Are you willing to pay an extra fee to recover your lost data?
With an older device, not only could it suffer damage while repairing it,
(e.g. components or case have become brittle), but it could be at the end of its lifespan. If so, you might be spending money on a repair that might only last a few months to a year. On an older device you will also have an older operating system that might be less compatible with newer apps.
In conclusion, when trying to decide whether to repair or purchase, consider the following:
1. the initial cost of the device versus a new device
2. The age of the device
3. The cost of parts and labor, including data restoration.

I can always help you make these decisions. Give us a call for help.



Windows 8.x Graphics

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Out of some 400+ Windows 8.x installs, the main complaint other than a lack of the start menu is complaints about the video. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft had the Aero graphics interface. Windows Aero featured a translucent glass design with subtle window animations and new window colors. Aero was discontinued with Windows 8.x. Because of this, graphics display for some users result in a sometimes blurry graphics and a somewhat unappealing text rendering.
The top complaint is text. In windows 7, under the Personalize | Color setting, there was an advanced tab that allowed you to change font and window appearance. Along with Aero, this setting has been removed. Until Microsoft re-codes these settings, about the only thing that can be done is to turn to a third party application. A company called Stardock ( has a product for $10 called Stardock WindowBlinds that might help some of you dissatisfied with Windows 8.x graphical interface. Stardock is the company that produced one of the best third party appscalled Start 8,that brings back the lost start menu in Windows 8.x. They also make a program called Launch 8that adds a stationary dock to the Windows 8 start screen much like a Mac.
Stardock WindowBlinds so far appears to be the best third party app for customizing the graphics and text on the Windows 8.x desktop. There are four main aspects of your windows that you can modify: style, color, texture, and background. Styles are preset schemes to make your windows look new. Each style contains a sub style that will modify a graphic or tailor your windows and taskbars to be more in line with your current version of Windows 7, Vista, or XP. You can also add or change a texture overlay complete with various color hues. WindowBlinds enables users to customize the Windows desktop interface with skins. Skinnable elements include the start panel, taskbar, window frames and control buttons. Personalize any of the default Windows themes or any skins downloaded from or create your own skins. WindowBlinds also includes SkinStudio, a powerful skin editor application that enables you to design your own skins. Customize only the parts of the Windows interface you want to change and SkinStudio will do the rest. This makes it easy for inexperienced users to create a great skin quickly, while advanced users can still enjoy designing every aspect of the windows interface.
If you are having trouble with graphic engine in Windows 8.1, miss your Xp, Vista, or Windows 7 graphical experience, try Stardock WIndowBlinds. It has a free trial, after that it is less than $10 to purchase. Trial download at

Windows 7 vs Windows 8.1

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Many of our customers have made the move to Windows 8. Now that Windows XP will no longer have security patches created, one of the biggest concerns is do I move from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 or should I use Windows 7? Windows 7 was such a good operating system that Hewlett Packard brought back a line of Windows 7 machines during 2014. The demand for Windows 7 over Windows 8 was so great, they again began making Windows 7 computers!

Since Windows 8.1 release, if you wanted Windows 7 it would have to be a custom build or you could “downgrade from Win 8.1 to Win 7 at an additional cost. We at Coast Computing have built many Windows 7 boxes for customers not wanting to go through a Windows 8 transition. So, what is the answer, Windows 7 or Windows 8? (now Windows 8.1) What is the difference between Microsoft’s operating systems?  Below are a few key differences.


Boot time: Windows 8.1 boots significantly faster than Windows 7. Windows 7 can take 2 to 3 minutes to boot when started, however, Windows 8.1, when configured with the hardware, can boot up as fast as 8 to 10 seconds. WOW!


Performance: Windows 8.1 is redesigned and uses simple colors and fewer visual effects, drawing fewer resources than Windows 7’s Aero Glass effect.

Windows 8.1 performs better than 7 in everyday use and benchmarks. Extensive testing has revealed improvements in tests like PCMark Vantage and Sunspider.


Features and Interface: The interface for Windows 8 has a steeper learning curve compared to Windows 7. However, using system tweaks Coast Computing can configure your Windows 8.1 computer to be a more friendly experience. Connecting to a home network is easier in Windows 8.1, and mobile device management is improved. Backing up your data in Windows 8.1 is improved along with security enhancements (see below). Also, if you have a touch screen on your laptop, the Windows 8.1 experience is surprising.

Other features of Windows 8.1 include: OneDrive is free online storage that’s built into Windows 8.1. Save documents, photos and other files to OneDrive automatically, similar to Google Drive. Internet Explorer 11 is built for touch—now with larger tabs, simpler controls, and fluid response to gestures. If you use Internet Explorer, you should always use the most current version. Skype is now owned by Microsoft, so it is now integrated within the operating system. In addition, Windows store is the place to pick up both free and paid apps. Although much smaller than the Apple store, you can still find decent apps to run under Windows 8.


Security:  Windows 7 and 8.1 share security features. Both use BitLocker Drive encryption, but 8.1 enables it automatically. You can download Microsoft Security Essentials free for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 has this protection built into the operating system. Windows 8.1 also includes support for secure booting on UEFI systems, making it harder for rogue malware to infect the boot loader.  PCs running 8.1 can also automatically connect to Virtual Private Networks


In summary, Windows 7 has a shorter learning curve to those who have been using Windows XP, however, The improvements to Windows 8.1 make the operating system an excellent candidate for laptops and computers with touch screen capabilities. It is also a more secure desktop system

XP End of Life

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

As you are all aware, Microsoft has discontinued support for MICROSOFT XP. What does this mean for you millions of users happy with MICROSOFT XP, and those who do not plan to purchase a new computer at this time?

Microsoft has released bulletins scaring you into thinking your data is now compromised, and the only fix is to spend money to upgrade to Windows 8. THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY TRUE!

Although upgrading from MICROSOFT XP is inevitable, there are steps to take that can secure your computer and allow you to continue using MICROSOFT XP until hardware component(s) break down.

The first step in securing MICROSOFT XP is to stop using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Without monthly Microsoft patches, this browser has become unsafe. Switch to Google Chrome or Firefox.

Next, you need to uninstall  (if used) Microsoft Security Essentials and Outlook Express. These programs will either not work correctly, or have security issues that relied on updates. Install a third party anti-virus such as Avast or AVG.

If you are using Microsoft Office 2003, beware this program is also now open to hacking vulnerabilities. You can switch to Open Office, and still have the ability to modify your MS office 2003 documents. Uninstall MS Office 2003.


Unless there’s a massive vulnerability that security software can’t protect against, Windows MICROSOFT XP should still have a long life in front of it. As long as security software, drivers and other applications have Windows XP updates for them, the operating system can continue to be used securely and reliably. At some point you’ll find that new hardware and software won’t support the OS, and updates stop coming from manufacturers, but until that day you don’t need to upgrade.