The Day My PC Crashed – White As A Sheet 2

PC Crashed

I Knew It Was Coming

On Thursday 20th February 2014 my PC crashed and I could not recover it this time without major surgery.

I knew it was coming. My PC had slowed down markedly all of a sudden and I could hear the disc chattering more than usual. Sounded like bad sectors to me (areas on the disc probably worn out). And which bits of the disc get used the most? Yep, the important bits where the operating system lives.

I thought, I’m going to have fix that pretty soon, I’ll back up again at the weekend and sort it out then. I procrastinated a bit because although I have everything to do a total rebuild it takes a few days. READ MORE

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Simple Tech Tips – Working With Images – Transparency

Transparency

Transparency / Gradient / Opaque / Opacity

You can overlay one image onto another so that the foreground image does not completely obscure the background. Here are a couple of ways this can be done.

One way is to discard the background so an image like a logo or a person can be overlaid onto whatever background or colour is required. PowerPoint slides and web pages are typical examples of where you might want to do this. In this example the logo has no background and overlays the grey lines without obscuring them. This is not really transparency but amounts to a similar effect. READ MORE

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Simple Tech Tips – Working With Images – Canvas Resizing

Resize Canvas

Resizing The Image Canvas

Sometimes an image is just the wrong shape. There are two easy ways to deal with this, one is to crop the image and the other is to increase or change the canvas size.

Increasing or changing the canvas size is straightforward enough on images that have a uniform background but images with a variable background are not so easy. I will show you how to deal with filling in the new canvas area where the background is simple and some ideas on how to deal with more complex and variable backgrounds.

The video below explains how to resize an images canvas and work with the new canvas areas. What you will learn is listed below the video. READ MORE

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Simple Tech Tips – Working With Images – Resizing

Resize an image

Simple Ways To Resize An Image

Another very common and simple thing that you might want to do to an image is to resize it. This is a very easy and quick to do.

The video below explains the few simple things you need to know to effectively resize an image. What you will learn is also listed below the video.

What You Will Learn About Resizing

What is resizing? Resizing is the process of making an image bigger or smaller. The proportions of the image can be changed but this will usually result in a noticeably distorted image. READ MORE

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Simple Tech Tips – Working With Images – Cropping

Cropping

Simple Ways To Crop An Image

Cropping is one of the most common things that people do to images.

The video below explains some simple and fairly basic cropping. What you will learn is also listed below the video.

I will explain more of the available cropping options and advanced features in a future article.

What You Will Learn About Cropping

What is Cropping? Cropping is the process of selecting one or more areas of an image and discarding the rest. For example, if you have an image of a cat and a mouse, you can select just the mouse and discard the rest of the image. Cropping usually reduces the size of an image as a consequence of selecting less than the whole image. READ MORE

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Simple Tech Tips – Working With Images – Introduction

Working with images

Working With Images Can Be Easy!

You can do some very complex things with images but most of the time most people only need to apply simple changes to them. This series of articles will deal with those simple popular changes to images that will get you by in the majority of cases. Changes like cropping, resizing, etc.

You can use whatever image editing software you like but in this series I will be using Paint.net because it’s free and easy to use. If you have used Adobe Photo Shop you will find Paint.net familiar but lighter. Paint.net uses less of your computers resources which makes it pleasant to use. READ MORE

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How To Create WordPress Menus For External Pages

Wordpress menus

WordPress Menus – More Powerful Than You Might Think!

Creating WordPress menus or sub menus to external pages without utilizing WordPress pages or a plugin is not a secret but many people don’t realize that you can do this so I hope this demonstration will succeed in showing you how easy it is.

The Main Points

The great thing with WordPress menus is that they are flexible enough that you can have your cake and eat it!

To Create a sub menu of external links without using WordPress pages:

  • Go to Posts -> Categories from your WordPress dashboard.
  • Create a category with a suitable name for your menu.
  • Go to Appearance -> Menus
  • Choose the menu category you created and add to menu
  • Now you can create external link items:
  • Line them up appropriately and save the menu. It should look similar to this:

I recommend you use a WordPress page instead of a category for the main menu item and add the same menu options within it as I think it looks tidier and offers another option. READ MORE

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Deals At Namecheap For December 2013

Namecheap Deals

The Deals

As I’m a raving fan of great suppliers like Namecheap I thought you should know about these deals!

The Namecheap coupon code NCHOLIDAYS will activate any and all of these deals. These offers are valid until 11:59:59pm EST December 31, 2013. Just click here and input your coupon code when you make a purchase.

  • 30% off all Shared and Business hosting plans applied to your first billing cycle, regardless of length.
  • Special price of $9.61 for popular .com, .net, and .org domain registrations or transfers.

Namecheap are cheap but they are definitely not “cheap”, anything but, a good deal is really a good deal with Namecheap – check out what they did for me here – Hosting Nightmares And Solutions. READ MORE

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Simple Time Saving Shortcuts

If I Only I Had Known That Before

If Only I had Known This Before

This information is all over the internet but I am repeating it here because much of it is often overlooked and if this is where you came across it and it helps you then that’s great.

The more geeky amongst you will probably already know many of these Windows shortcuts, also known as Hot Keys. All the same, I often come across people who don’t know about many of the following keyboard shortcuts for Windows even though most of them have been around for many years.

I suggest that you take time to learn these, print them out, I guarantee that they will make your life easier. Many of them work nearly everywhere; in Word, Web browsers, Windows explorer online software, offline software, the list goes on. READ MORE

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How To Save & Upload Images Really Fast

Upload Images Really Fast

Upload Images Really Fast

Some people will know how to do this already but some won’t. It didn’t occur to me for quite a long time.

Let’s say you want to find an image on the internet (watch out for royalties etc.) and then insert it into a Word document, an email, Facebook, a WordPress post or anything that uses the Windows Explorer dialogue. I bet this is the way that most people do it:

  1. Find the image in your web browser
  2. Right click it and save it to your hard disc
  3. Go to Word and choose “Insert image”
  4. Go to the folder where the image is
  5. Select the image and press return or click insert

If that’s what you are doing there is a quicker way and I’ll show you in the video below how to upload images really fast. Ok, maybe not really fast but significantly faster and if you like me, insert images into things a lot then this is really useful. READ MORE

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Blog Spam And What To Do About It

Comment Spam

Blog Spam

This is more of brief on blog spam rather than a full blown run down on the whole thing. One thing is for sure and that is if you have a blog, after a while you are going to get spam comments and you could get a lot of it.

Why do you get blog spam? One of the main reasons you get it is because people are trying to build up back-links to their blog site or web page. They want to do this because it makes their web site or blog rank higher with Google and there is nothing wrong with this in itself, back-links are good (back-links are where you put a link back to a website as part of a blog post comment in this case). The problem comes when people start making comments that have nothing to do with your web site or blog post and they are doing it merely for the link. READ MORE

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How I Made My Video Better!

How I Made My Video

It’s Not That It’s Hard

If you are a reasonably technical person then making video’s and editing them should come fairly easy. Maybe you already know how to do all the following but this is primarily aimed at those who don’t, are not so familiar with technical things and perhaps are even a little afraid of having a go. See “My Technical Mandate” for more information on my approach to explaining technical things.

I started off making an introductory video so that people could put a face to a name.  The internet can be such an anonymous place sometimes and having seen some other people do this I thought it was good idea to do the same. Then I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to put a little credits video clip at the beginning and some slides at the end showing some of the things I think are good and that I promote. The result was this: READ MORE

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A Simple Free Plugin That Makes WordPress Easier To Use And Saves You A Lot Of Time

Shortcoder

Shortcoder, A Macro Of A Difference

Once discovered this is one WordPress plugin you won’t want to be without.

WordPress has shortcodes built in, shortcode extension plugins and for this post, plugins that let you create your own shortcodes. There are a number of plugins that do this but the one I am using and the one I am going to talk about is this one “Shortcoder“.

What Is A Shortcode?

A shortcode is a “Macro” so I guess the question really is, what is a macro?

A shortcode or macro is a place holder that can be replaced by something else such as a sentence, a block of code or some paragraphs. Not only can you substitute them but you can send parameters or if you like values from the macro to that which substitutes it. READ MORE

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How To Center Things In WordPress And Make It Stick

Center Things In WordPress

This Works In WordPress And Anything HTML

This is a nice simple technical tip on how to center things in WordPress and keep them centered. It will work with anything HTML but is particularly useful in WordPress as when you center things in WordPress the editor strips the centering out sometimes.

For example, if you embed a Youtube video and try centering it, the editor will often strip the centering out. You can try saving it from the text/HTML tab but it’s a hit and miss business. It also depends on what version of WordPress and which editor that you are using but here’s a very simple way to add centering that almost always works, the WordPress editor doesn’t strip it out, well it’s worked up to now 🙂 READ MORE

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My Technical Mandate

Technical Panic

Succumbing To Technical Things

I’m from a technical background, I spent 20 years in IT. I’m digital marketing now (internet marketing if you like) but my main strength is on the technical side of things so after some thought I have decided to succumb to it and make it my mission to try and explain technical things mostly related to Digital/Internet Marketing for the benefit of people who are not technical and in an easy to understand way without going into geekdom. That’s why I have re-branded as a “Digital Marketer With A Touch Of Tech”! READ MORE

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How To Add A Twitter Feed To Your WordPress Web Site

Twitter Feed

Creating a Twitter feed on your website is easy whether it’s on WordPress or a normal website.

Twitter provide an easy to use way to do this and in this WordPress example WordPress provide a very easy way to install it.

There are WordPress plugins for this but really they are not necessary. In my opinion it is better only to install the plugins you really want and/or need on WordPress. Don’t get me wrong, I like plugins but too many plugins or some not very good ones can cause problems. READ MORE

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Dang, I Hit The Send Button Too Soon!

Email delay

Email is great isn’t it! You can send stuff to the other side of the world in seconds. There are couple of things you have to watch out for though. One of them is that you have to be careful that what you say is not misinterpreted and this is the same for any written word and the other …

The Problem

… the other problem is making sure that you send what you mean to send. Here’s a few examples of things that have happened to me and I bet some of them have happened to you too!

Oh My God, I have just sent that email to the wrong email address .. I’m in trouble now! READ MORE

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Gmail Tabs – Stick Or Twist?

Gmail tabs

Do you like the new Gmail tabs? I read my Gmail using Microsoft Outlook so from that point of view it doesn’t matter too much how it’s presented on Gmail itself because generally I don’t use it but

Gmail tabs could be a bit of killer for email marketing though 🙁 Maybe, maybe not! I have rules to control my email so that the stuff I’m not really that interested in still comes in but gets shoved out of the way until I’m ready to look at it which of course might be never. I’m betting that it’s not going to make a big difference as people generally filter out what they are not interested in with at least the delete key anyway, they will still be keen to read what they are interested in at least some of the time and those they will make sure they get to see. READ MORE

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How To Add Images To Ten Minute Pages From WordPress

Ten Minute Pages - Inserting Images

Ten Minute Pages is an excellent WYSWIG Squeeze Page builder from Kyle Graham. It’s not perfect but it’s much better than the alternatives that I have seen out there so far and it’s getting better all the time. The support has been pretty good so far.

One of the things some people have asked about is how to insert images into Ten Minute Pages on the WordPress plugin version so have made the video below to show you how to do this and it’s really easy!

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Hosting Nightmares And Solutions

Hosting Nightmares

Hosting Nightmares – Arggggghhhhhhhhhh

I really don’t like hosting nightmares, it can take a lot of time up sorting them out either by fixing it yourself when you can or by contacting your hosting company’s support.

I have been having hosting problems for the last week or so but I’m still going to sing my hosting company’s praises because they have always been there to sort things out as best they can and as fast as they can. They also put up with me when I get a bit frustrated with it. I am fairly patient but I still get a bit fed up sometimes. And, as usual with them, I have a happy ending. If you read my post Migrating WordPress And Some Tips you will know I touched on how important it was to have good support there. READ MORE

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