Windows Remote Assistance (Part 2)

In Part 2 of this three part series, I will show you how to shout out for remote assistance by selecting “Use e-mail to send an invitation”.  As with “Save this invitation as a file”, help is just a few clicks away.  Click on the Start button and type Windows Remote Assistance in the search box.  You will be presented with two options…

  • Invite someone you trust to help you
  • Help someone who has invited you

Select “Invite someone you trust to help you ” and you will have three more options to choose from…

  • Save this invitation as a file
  • Use e-mail to send an invitation
  • Use Easy Connect

Select “Use e-mail to send an invitation” and an e-mail will be drafted that reads as follows….

Hi,

I need help with my computer. Would you please use Windows Remote Assistance
to connect to my computer so you can help me? After you connect, you can
view my screen and we can chat online.

To accept this invitation, double-click the file attached to this message.

Thanks.

Note: Do not accept this invitation unless you know and trust the person
who sent it.

As in mentioned in Part 1 of Windows Remote Assistance, for your safety this invitation is only valid for a limited time so I would advise you to call the person that will be assisting you to make the necessary arrangements in advance.

You will receive a message that confirms your invitation was received and they request permission to view your screen.  Once you grant them permission you can either chat via the Remote Assistance window or you can grant them permission to take control of your computer as if they were sitting in front of it.

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IE9 and InPrivate Browsing

We’ve all heard the saying “The only way to be safe is not to connect to the internet at all”.  I think in this day and age, you would be hard pressed to find someone who owns a computer that doesn’t access the World Wide Web for one reason or another.  Whether we go online to check our email, look for the best deal on an item we’re interested in or check our balance online, all of us run the risk of identity fraud.

Would you know if you had a key logger installed on your computer?  What can you do to protect yourself when going online besides the usual, firewalls and WPA2 encryption.  There is one more layer of protection that most users overlook or just take for granted.

Today’s modern Web browsers come equipped with some sort of Private Browsing capability. Internet Explorer 9 comes equipped with a feature called InPrivate Browsing.  Microsoft describes InPrivate Browsing in this way…..

InPrivate Browsing enables you to surf the web without leaving a trail. This helps prevent anyone else who might be using your computer from seeing what sites you visited and what you looked at on the web. You can start InPrivate Browsing from the New Tab page or the Safety button.

When you start InPrivate Browsing, Internet Explorer opens a new browser window. The protection that InPrivate Browsing provides is in effect only during the time that you use that window. You can open as many tabs as you want in that window, and they will all be protected by InPrivate Browsing. However, if you open another browser window, that window will not be protected by InPrivate Browsing. To end your InPrivate Browsing session, close the browser window.

While you are surfing the web using InPrivate Browsing, Internet Explorer stores some information—such as cookies and temporary Internet files—so the webpages you visit will work correctly. However, at the end of your InPrivate Browsing session, this information is discarded. The following table describes which information InPrivate Browsing discards when you close the browser and how it is affected during your browsing session:

Information How it is affected by InPrivate Browsing
Cookies Kept in memory so pages work correctly, but cleared when you close the browser.
Temporary Internet Files Stored on disk so pages work correctly, but deleted when you close the browser.
Webpage history This information is not stored.
Form data and passwords This information is not stored.
Anti-phishing cache Temporary information is encrypted and stored so pages work correctly.
Address bar and search AutoComplete This information is not stored.
Automatic Crash Restore (ACR) ACR can restore a tab when it crashes in a session, but if the whole window crashes, data is deleted and the window cannot be restored.
Document Object Model (DOM) storage The DOM storage is a kind of “super cookie” web developers can use to retain information. Like regular cookies, they are not kept after the window is closed.

What InPrivate Browsing doesn’t do
InPrivate Browsing keeps other people who might be using your computer from seeing what you visited on the web, but it doesn’t prevent someone on your network—such as a network administrator or a hacker—from seeing where you went.
InPrivate Browsing does not necessarily provide you with anonymity on the Internet. That means that websites might be able to identify you through your web address, and anything you do or enter on a website can be recorded by that website.
Any favorites or feeds that you add while using InPrivate Browsing won’t be removed when you close your InPrivate Browsing session. Changes to Internet Explorer settings, such as adding a new home page, are also retained after you close your InPrivate Browsing session.

Using toolbars and extensions in InPrivate
InPrivate doesn’t clear any history or information about toolbars or browser extensions that is stored on your computer. To help protect your privacy, Internet Explorer disables all toolbars and extensions by default in an InPrivate Browsing window. If you would prefer, you can do the following:
In Internet Explorer, click Tools, and then click Manage Add-ons.
Click Toolbars and extensions, click the toolbar or extension you want to use, and then click Enable.
Click Close.

Windows Remote Assistance (Part 1)

In Part 1 of this three part series, I will show you how to shout out for remote assistance.  If you have Windows 7, help is just a few clicks away.  Click on the Start button and type Windows Remote Assistance in the search box.  You will be presented with two options…

  • Invite someone you trust to help you
  • Help someone who has invited you

Select “Invite someone you trust to help you ” and you will have three more options to choose from…

  • Save this invitation as a file
  • Use e-mail to send an invitation
  • Use Easy Connect

Select “Save this invitation as a file” and save it to your desktop.  After you saved the file a window will appear that contains a password.  For your safety this invitation is only valid for a limited time so I would advise you to call the person that will be assisting you to make the necessary arrangements in advance.

Next, open your default mail client and select the recipient and attach the invitation file before clicking the send button.  When the recipient receives the attachment they will ask you for the password that Windows Remote Assistance generated.

You will receive a message that confirms your invitation was received and they request permission to view your screen.  Once you grant them permission you can either chat via the Remote Assistance window or you can grant them permission to take control of your computer as if they were sitting in front of it.

Another thing worth mentioning, this feature is available with Windows XP and Windows Vista as well.  With Windows XP, the process of calling out for help is slightly different but if you are seeking help from a knowledgeable assistant they will be able to guide you through it.

Windows Phone 7 greater than 40,000 apps

As of November 16th 2011 Windows Phone Marketplace has now passed the 40,000 app and games submission mark.  Rafe Blanford writes “During the last four weeks, an average of around 165 new content items have been added each day” putting the store on track to reach the 50,000 mark sometime in January.  While that is impressive if fairs in comparison to Apple’s 500,000 apps and Android’s 400,000 apps.  Even though Microsoft’s App Store can’t match competing stores title by title, you will be able to find the most popular titles or the equivalent thereof.  The latest update aka “Mango” has integrated many of the productivity apps that iOS users seek such as Shazam, Facebook and Twitter to mention a few.

After reading the report by Rafe Blanford, I got to thinking about the 40,000 app milestone and decided to do a survey on my own.  I posted the following question to all of my Facebook, Twitter and Google+ followers “How many apps on average do you use on your smartphone on a daily basis?” and the response made me realize something that gave me a renewed faith about smart phones, apps and Windows Phone 7.  After polling 44 people the average app usage on a daily basis was 8.  With that said, is it important that Microsoft doesn’t have the 400,000 plus apps like Android or 500,000 like iOS?  I think not, what I do think is important is that they have the apps that most user want to remain competitive and desirable to existing and future consumers.

Windows Live (Part 2)

In Windows Live (Part 1), I told you how you can access your files using your Windows Live or Hotmail account, but what if the file you need is not one of the files you are syncing?

Using Windows Live Mesh you can log into your Windows Live or Hotmail account and click on “Go to Windows Live Devices”.  Assuming you have already setup the devices you want to access, you simply click on “Connect to this computer” and enter your user name and password.

Once connected, you can add the particular folder that you want for syncing purposes or you can email the file from the remote computer to yourself provided the file is not too large to send via email.

Windows Live (Part 1)

If you are running Windows 7 and you have downloaded Windows Live from Windows Update, then you probably know the benefits of Cloud Storage but if you have not taken advantage of this free service then I recommend that you download and familiarize yourself with it.

After you create a Windows Live account or a Hotmail account, then you can begin using Windows Live Mesh to sync your your laptop computer with your desktop computer or your home computer with your work computer.

Having setup this program when I upgraded my work computer, I was able to log into Windows Live with my Hotmail address and access the files that I forgot to backup to my thumb drive without getting in the car and driving to work.

Windows Live allows you 5.00 GB of storage accessible via any computer with an internet connection.  But what if you maxed out your Windows Live storage and the file you needed is not on the cloud or what if you are not comfortable storing your personal files on the cloud?  Windows Live Mesh can sync your documents from one computer to the other without storing any of your documents on the cloud.

Two things worth mentioning, first you can only take advantage of all that Windows Live Mesh has to offer using Windows Explorer 32 bit edition and second you need to remember with Windows Live Mesh or any cloud storage option, when you delete your account your files are no longer accessible so remember to back up your files before deleting your account.

Windows 8 Preview

According to all reports, Windows 8 will be available as early as Spring 2012.  When it does, I will have no other choice but to run out and buy it if I want to remain informative to customers who ask for my help and to remain competitive if I want to stay in business.  With every new operating system, there is a level of excitement I feel when I have the DVD in my hand and I am about to install it.  Over the past couple of months I have downloaded and installed the Windows 8 beta developer preview onto a virtual drive.  I purchased the Windows Phone 7 when it became available in November of 2010 so I was already familiar with the metro tiles.  Although Windows 8 is in it’s infancy, I have to admit for the first time in my life since becoming a computer enthusiast, I am not excited about this OS.  Windows 8 is supposed to be chock full of innovative features but so far I am not impressed.  As of today’s date, if you were to ask my opinion, when Windows 8 is ready for the general public, I think I will install it on a virtual drive and remain a loyal Windows 7 user.