Odds & Ends

Computer Tips 4 Writers

Commonly Used Acronyms & Their Meanings

ATA - Advanced Technology Attachment
ATM - Asynchronous Transfer Mode
BIOS - Basic Input/Output System
BMP - Bitmap
CD - Compact Disc
CGI - Common Gateway Interface
CPU - Central Processing Unit
DBMS - Database Management System
DLL - Dynamic Link Library
DNS - Domain Name System
DSL - Digital Subscriber Line
DVD - Digital Versatile Disc
FTP - File Transfer Protocol
JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group
LAN - Local Area Network
MPEG - Moving Picture Experts Group
P2P - Peer To Peer
POP3 - Post Office Protocol
RGB - Red Green Blue
TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
USB - Universal Serial Bus
WiFi - Wireless Fidelity
WWW - World Wide Web 

Tabbed Browsing

Ctrl + Shift + T – Opens last tab closed.
Ctrl + T - Opens a new tab in the foreground.
Ctrl + Click - Opens links in a new tab in the background.
Ctrl + Shift + Click - Opens links in a new tab in the foreground.
Alt + Enter - Opens a new tab from the address bar.
Alt + Enter - It also opens a new tab from the search box.
Ctrl + Q - Opens up quick tabs, which are thumbnail views.
Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl + Shift + Tab - Allows you to switch between tabs.
Ctrl + 9 - Switches to the last tab.
Ctrl + W - Closes the current tab.
Ctrl + Alt + F4 - Closes other open tabs.
Alt + F4 - Closes all the tabs. 

Mouse Shortcuts for the Internet

1. If your mouse has a middle mouse button, click on a link to open that link in a background tab.
2. Double click any empty space next to the last tab opened and it will open
up a new tab.
3. Click the middle mouse button on one of your tabs to close the tab.

Bug.gd - Error Search & Collaboration

To search for information about your error, type the error message into the search box and then click on the Search button. If you leave the Reminder button checked, you’ll get a pop up window asking for your e-mail address to send you a reminder to share your solution on the site. You can skip that by either unchecking the reminder box or selecting the No Thanks, Just Let Me Search option. "It's about 100 times better than waiting on hold to talk to a support rep."
PC World Magazine


Create a Table of Contents (TOC) in Microsoft Word
“1 Apply the built-in Heading styles to the headings in your text.

2 Insert > Reference > Tables and Indexes. Click on the able of ContentsTab. Click OK.

Creating a table of contents in a Microsoft Word document is a two-step process. First, identify the text that you want to appear in the Table of Contents. Second, tell Word to insert the Table of Contents. Having created your Table of Contents, you can then customize it in several ways to suit your needs."



With so many of us spending lots of time in front of the computer every day it comes to no surprise that research is showing a rise in visual problems. What can one do? First, it’s important to find out how you can protect your eyes through eye health exams and by making a few minor changes in your computer viewing habits. Here are some helpful Eye Care Tips:

Correct positioning of your computer, keyboard and typing copy is essential. Your screen should be positioned about an arm’s length from your eyes and 20 degrees below eye level. Consider foot and wrist rests for added comfort.

Room lighting should be diffuse, not direct, to reduce glare and reflections from your screen. Look into an internal or external glare screen and be sure to set your colour, contrast and brightness levels to suit you.

Anti-reflective coatings on the lenses of your glasses can be applied by your optometrist to reduce discomfort and to ease reduced vision from bright and/or flickering light sources such as VDTs and fluorescent lights. And don’t forget, your doctor of optometry can talk to you about eyeglasses designed specifically for people who use computers a lot.

Step I
After every 20 minutes of looking into the computer screen, turn your head and try to look at any object placed at least 20 feet away. This changes the focal length of your eyes, a must-do for the tired eyes.
Step II
Try and blink your eyes for 20 times in succession, to moisten them.
Step III
Time permitting of course, one should walk 20 paces after every 20 minutes of sitting in one particular posture. Helps blood circulation for the entire body.

Did you know that on average we blink 12 times per minute? But wait, did you know that when we’re on the computer we only blink 5 times per minute? That can add up to dry eyes. Relieve the discomfort by using artificial tear drops or gels and remember to blink!

Sit straight at your workstation and rub your palms against each other till you feel them warm. The warmth of your palms helps soothe and relax tired eyes. Then, lightly cup your eyes with your palms and relax for 60 seconds. Count the seconds in your mind. Repeat this exercise two to three times whenever your eyes feel tired, or as often as you want. While palming, you can either rest your elbows on your desk or keep away from the desk and cup your eyes. Both ways are fine.

During breaks, splash water on your face while closing your eyes. This has an overall relaxing effect and helps you feel refreshed.

Keep two used tea bags in the refrigerator before you leave for work. Once you are home, place the tea bags on your eyes for a few minutes as you relax. This not only soothes tired eyes, but also reduces puffiness.

Incorporate Vitamins A, C, and E on a daily basis; eat citrus fruits, green leafy veggies, tomatoes, spinach, poultry and dairy products. Pack a box of chopped carrots, cucumber and fresh fruits and munch in-between meals at the computer.

Simple Way to Check IP Address in Microsoft Windows
Wanna check IP address in Microsoft Windows? Follow this simple way to find out.
This is an easy task! 

     IP (Internet Protocol) address is the 32-bit address used to identify your desktop computer, laptop, router, switch or other network devices in your network or Internet. The address is assigned to network card (can be wireless adapter or wired network adapter) on your computer to communicate with other network devices. This is quite similar to the address of your house for your friends to send you mail or come to visit you. 
     If there is incorrect IP address or no IP address assigned to network card on your computer, it won't be able to communicate with other computer or access to Internet regardless it's wireless or wired connection. 
     Without wasting more time, let's follow step by step instructions here to find out: 
1) Go to Start and click Run.
2) Run window will appear. Type in cmd and click OK
3) Command prompt window will appear. Type ipconfig and hit Enter button. You will then see the IP Address of your network card, which is in this case. It also shows you Subnet Mask and Default Gateway. As you can see here, Subnet mask is and Default Gateway is
     Don't quite know what is default gateway? It's the LAN IP address of your router that knows how to route your network traffic to correct destination server. Most of the time you should be able to ping this default gateway IP address too. 
Note: Please read your IP address information correctly by identifying correct network card. From the output here, I’ve one network card and another wireless card in my notebook. Please note here no IP address is shown for wireless card because it’s not connected to any wireless network. 
Note: If you want to check detailed network information which includes DNS server and physical MAC address details, then type ipconfig /all
 If you want to learn more about this ipconfig command, type ipconfig ?
Other Articles:
Internet Speed Test How to
Test Computer Security with Shields Up
Easy Way to Check WAN IP of Cable/DSL Connection
Return to top of "Simple Way to Check IP Address in Microsoft Windows"!!
(Thank you Randa)


 for abbreviations
ABC Search engine - every search starts with ABC
About for guidance, not guesswork
Acronym finder - for over 750,000 human edited definitions
Ajaxwhois is a great for site statistics searches
Alexa is good for finding information on the top 100k sites
AllPlus - meta search and discovery engine
AlltheWeb - part of the Yahoo family
AltaVista is still out there, still doing a good job
Answers is the world's leading Q&A site
AOL Search no, I didn't think it was still going, but it is
Ask (Jeeves) still limping along, shadow of its former self
Ask if you want the US/global version
Azoos is the brightest yellow search engine out there
Backtype for realtime conversational search
Beaucoup has been around a while, but doesn't impress me
Behold for flickr images
Betterwhois gets you good accurate information on domains
Blindsearch to compare results of major engines
Blinkx is a video search engine, with 35 million hours of it!
Browsys is a multi search engine
ChaCha allows you get other people to help with your search
Clusty provides good clustered results
Collarity for personalised searching across different types of data
Collecta for real time search

CompletePlant for 70k of searchable databases. Good for deep web

Country search engines is my list of 4,000 engines for 200+ countries

Definitions is good for thousands of definitions

Deepdyve for deep web searching

Digital Librarian; a librarian's choice of the best of the web

DMOZ for a hierarchical directory, old but still good

Dogpile for multisearch of Google, Yahoo, Ask & Bing (GYAB)

Dooblet finds alternatives for you

Draze to compare Google, Yahoo and Bing

DuckDuckGo is a family safe engine

eBingBong is another social search engine

Entireweb is a freetext search engine

Exalead is an excellent alternative to Google

Excite is there, but does anyone use it any more?

Factbites where results make sense

Factery Labs finds facts on trending subjects

FaganFinder is a superb collection of search resources

Fefoo multi search engine with access to 250+ search engines

Findanyfilm available in the UK in any format

FindSounds for sound effects

FinQoo is an underwhelming meta search engine

Freesearch  is a UK based search resource

Galaxy is a directory based search engine

Google doesn't need any words from me

Great PDF search engine - does exactly that - PDF search

healia is an excellent medical search engine
Hotbot is a blast from the past and that's about all
Hunch is a decision engine, which works very well indeed
iBoogie is a clustering meta search engine
Icerocket has RSS feed options and is a good alternative
IllumiRate lights your way through the web. Apparently.
Infomine for scholarly data, and is excellent
Info Service is quirky and very colourful. Odd directory though
Internet Archive to see all those old pages!
Intute for academic resources. First class service
Irazoo search, win gift cards. I want to search, not win $5
Iseek is a clustering search engine; very good too
Ixquick is an excellent metasearch engine
Jux2 compares Google, Yahoo and Bing results. Very useful
KidsClick is websearch for children by librarians
KidRex is another children's safe search engine
Kngine styles itself as a Web 3 semantic web search engine
Librarians' Internet Index is a brilliant resource
LocateTV find shows, actors and movies
Lycos is still out there, but getting old and creaky
Mahalo for social search, human created information resources
Mamma is the mother of all meta search engines
Melzoo results on the left, fullscreen page on the right pane
MetaCrawler is a meta search engine
Middlespot is a visual search engine
Monstercrawler for a GYAB search
Navisso is a search engine that doesn't push official sites up
Newscred for credible news stories
Nobrandsearch Search 3 engines blindtesting. Which is best?
OAIster for academic material that's otherwise hard to find
OmniMedicalSearch is a top notch medical search engine
OneRiot for realtime search
Oxysearch is a multi search engine for GYAB and Pixsy
Panabee for comparing results from different search engines
Pepesearch for freetext and directory search. Not impressed
Phrases.net for common phrases, casual expressions and idioms
Pinakes is a superb collection of virtual libraries
Pokersites is the premier guide to the best online poker sites
PolyMeta is an intelligent metasearch and clustering engine 
Questfinder is a selective web directory
Quotes.net for famous and not so famous quotations
Quintura for visual search in a word/tag cloud
Redz for visual search - an arch of webpage thumbnails
References is a good source of reference resources
Re-QUEST is a directory based engine
Rhymes.net is an excellent search engine for finding words that rhyme, with         translation and pronounciation options as well.
Scandoo checks for authority of the results it returns
Scirus for scientific data - great for academic use
Scoopler for real time search
Scour to search socially, see community votes and comments
Searchbug for people and company search in the US
Search is a multi search engine. Not stunned by it
Searchboth lets you compare results for 9 different engines
Searchbots is a 'build your own' resource
Searchdazzle puts 4 engines on one page. Messy!
Searchhippo is another multisearch engine that doesn't excite me
SearchMedia is a UK medical search engine for professionals
Searchthenet is a multisearch engine - 20 engines offered
SearchtheWeb is a directory engine which fails to impress
Select Surf selects the best sites the web has to offer, apparently
Sency for real time, what's happening this moment information
Similar-site finds similar sites to that which you provide
Similarsites finds similar sites to that which you provide
Similicio.us finds similar sites to that which you provide
Silobreaker is the #1 news site out there, bar none
Siteslike is a find similar sites engine
SlideFinder searches for Powerpoint presentations
Slider is a full text search engine that searches DMOZ
SmartLinks provides quick links in a directory structure
Spacetime 3D looks very similar to Redz; visual search engine
Spezify for multisearch visual results
Sproose search and recommend social search engine
Stilltasty is a food date/edibility search engine
Struly is a very neat multi search engine
Surchur for real time search
Sunsteam is a directory engine, now 10 years old
Sweetsearch evaluated sources designed for students
Synonyms net is the webs most comprehensive synonym resource
Technorati for blog search
The Net 1 is a directory engine
Thunderstone is a website catalog, directory based engine
Tinker for real time serach didn't impress me in the slightest
TopSite Find the best 10 top websites for almost any subject
Trooker is a great video search engine resource
Turbo10 used to be a great hidden web engine, now just freetext
Turboscout is an excellent multi search engine
Tweepsearch for Twitter biography searching
Twurdy checks for readability in search results
WebBrain is a human created set of search resources
WebCrawler is a meta engine for GYAB
Webkruz is a visual search engine
Web-Search is a multi search engine that offers 18 resources
WebWorld for quality sites on the web, in a directory style
Whozat is the people search engine
Wolfram Alpha is a computational search engine; good but different!
Wozzon is a UK events search engine. Works well
WWW Virtual Library for directory listing of virtual libraries
Xaphoo is a multi search engine but not exciting
Yabigo searches Yahoo, Bing and Google
Yahoo needs no introduction either
Yahoo for kids safe search
Yelbol is a knowledge based (smart) search
Yohogo is a multi search engine, but nothing special
YouTube is for videos, but you knew that already
Zakta is a personalised search engine resource
Zapmeta searches all the major engines
123 people is a UK people search engine


The above wonderful list was forwarded in a friend's email, and I don't know who put it together.

Good 50 Search Engine
Good50 is a elderly-friendly search engine. Because of its unique features, Good50 is beneficial for everyone including those who are ages 50+ as well as school-aged children, and people with low vision.

Wikipedia’s list of articles about search engines, including web search enginesselection-based search engines, metasearch enginesdesktop search tools, and web portals and vertical market websites that have a search facility for online databases.

Available Updates

Device Doctor
Many things can cause computer problems. But device drivers can be the most confusing culprits. These allow your hardware peripherals (printer, keyboard, etc.) to work with your computer. But they occasionally need updates.

But driver updates are a tricky thing. Some come through Windows Update. Some peripheral software regularly checks for updates. But for some, you’d never know when an update is needed.

Device Doctor is a great solution. It scans your computer hardware and looks for available updates. And you can download new drivers at the touch of a button.

This program is fast and easy to use. There is also a portable version that can be loaded on a thumb drive. You can check the drivers on any PC. 

Cost: Free - System: Windows XP, Vista and 7

(This, like so many other links here was emailed to me)

To make Divider lines with keystrokes

Type 3 hyphens --- then press Enter

Type 3 equal signs === then press Enter

Type 3 pound signs ### then press Enter

Type 3 tildes ~~~ then press Enter

Type 3 asterisks *** then press Enter 

Double Spacing

Drop Caps

Find & Replace




“To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.”  
Farmer's Almanac, 1978

The Long &the Short of It
"I am" is said to be the shortest sentence in the English language. The longest is "I do."