I must admit I’ve never much liked Windows 8 – I thought it was a brave approach from Microsoft but I always thought it didn’t really seem properly finished. But one tiny little tip has made it quite a bit easier to use…
A quick tip that makes Windows 8 easier
I’ve said before that Windows 8 and 8.1 are very different from earlier versions of Windows – so if you’ve used an older version and then switch to Windows 8 it can be hard to adjust.
One thing that’s really fiddly is that a lot of the important options are in the “charms bar” – and to get at that you have to point the mouse at the top right of the screen. It’s fiddly to do and then as you move the mouse down to click on the bit you want, it has a tendency to disappear because you’re no longer pointing the mouse in the right place.
There’s a useful trick though. Instead of using the mouse to make it appear, hold down the ctrl key and press C. It makes it appear straight away, without fiddling about with the mouse. Then you can easily click on whichever bit of it you like.
I’ve found it makes using Windows 8 much easier – you might too!
More on things I mentioned last time
Last time I mentioned about the Bletchley Park computers that were developed during the Second World War, to decode the German’s Enigma code, and said I’d have loved to see one working.
What I hadn’t realised was that at the museum at Bletchley about it all (which I want to visit anyway), they have a working reproduction of one of the machines. So I can get my wish! I’m told the place is really worth a visit, so if you happen to be near Milton Keynes with a day to spare, you might want to put it on your list.
I also mentioned about Lightbot – an app that’s a sort of game that helps kids learn the basics of programming. You can run it on an iPad or an Android tablet (just search for “lightbot” in the stores – there’s a short free version called “An hour of code” or the full version is a couple of pounds).
Well, I’ve given it a try – or more to the point, Alastair has. To be fair, he had a bit of help from me (mainly because he couldn’t read the instructions very well – he can read a bit, but they seem aimed at older children really) but once he got into it he loved it and has straight away asked if we can get the full version. I was quite impressed – it makes it easy for even fairly young children (he’s not quite 5) to learn the idea of a program as a series of instructions, loops, separate procedures and calling them from the main part of the program or from within another procedure… not bad for an hour or so!
And he had fun doing it. If you have a child/grandchild who likes playing on a tablet and you think might enjoy something like that, give it a try!
That’s about all for this week.
It’s been a busy (but interesting) couple of weeks for me. Georgia, who runs my Inner Circle Clubroom day to day, answering all the questions on there and helping people out, has been on holiday, so I’ve been covering for her. It’s been fun “talking” with the people on there and of course it’s interesting to see what different problems people have with their computers or tablets. She’s back now, though, so Inner Circle members will have her there to call on again!
If you’re not an Inner Circle member or don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a service where people can get extra help with problems on their PCs or tablets and access extra articles, videos and even ebooks about topics they might find helpful. (But right at the moment we’re not taking any new members on.)