Technology

HP moves to ease printing from Android tablets, smartphones

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Hewlett-Packard wants to make wireless printing of documents from Android mobile devices as easy as tapping one button.

The company on Tuesday announced a new wireless laser printer—the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476—which takes advantage of native printing support on mobile devices running the Android 4.4 operating system, code-named KitKat.

The office printer, priced starting at US$529, is the first printer certified to take advantage of a plug-in developed by the Mopria alliance, which aims to makes wireless printing easier from smartphones and tablets with Android 4.4, said David Laing, director of innovation for LaserJet Enterprise Solutions at HP.

The Mopria alliance has top printer firms such as Xerox, HP, Canon and Samsung as its members. More Mopria-certified devices will roll out in the future, Laing said,

With the Mopria plugin, users can pass a mobile print command to the M476 without having to go through a separate application such as HP’s printer app. Users will be able to punch the print icon inside an app, much like on PCs, and then select a wireless printer of choice.

The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476 will be able to print over peer-to-peer Wi-Fi or near-field communication (NFC) connections. Previously, access to a wireless network was needed to print documents on a wireless printer, Laing said.

The new printer has a 3.5-inch display, and can also copy, scan and fax. The product, which is targeted at small offices, also has two-side printing and scanning, and can be managed remotely.

The M476 also prints directly from files in online storage services such as Box.net and Google Drive. The installed black, cyan, magenta and yellow cartridges can yield roughly 1,200 printed pages each.

The printer succeeds the previous M475 model, which was more expensive, Laing said.

Read more at http://www.pcworld.com/article/2098660/hp-moves-to-ease-printing-from-android-tablets-smartphones.html

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8 Great Hidden Features in iOS 7

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Ios7

If you’ve upgraded to iOS 7 on your iPhone or iPad, you’re probably familiar with a whole collection of new features. But some of the best additions in the software update are hiding beneath the surface and take a little time to uncover.

We’ve been digging deep into Apple’s new mobile operating system, discovering some surprises along the way. From night mode in Apple Maps to a faster way to close apps, here’s a few useful features that you can find — as long as you know where to look:

1. Clock Icon

Clock

Go ahead and look at your clock app icon. Take a closer look. It’s an actual clock with a working second hand. A nice little touch from Apple.

2. Text Timestamps

If you slide text messages to the left, you can see the timestamp for all of them — not just the most recent.

3. The Level

Level

By opening up the Compass app and swiping your finger across it, a new digital “level” feature is revealed. You’ll never have a crooked painting on the wall again.

4. Night Mode for Maps

If you’re driving late at night, the glow of your iPhone screen can be nearly blinding as you try to use the Apple Maps app. Now, the platform displays a darker interface at certain times. This is less distracting and easier on the eyes when navigating at night.

5. Closing Multiple Apps

You can close multiple apps at once! Here’s how: double click the home button to reveal open webpages and platforms. You can then swipe up to three apps at the same time by using three fingers and dragging them upwards.

6. Siri Controls Settings

Siri

You can use Siri to set alarms and reminders on previous iOS versions, but now you can lean on her to navigate settings too. For example, by saying “Open Settings,” Siri will open the Settings folder. By asking Siri to “Turn Off Wi-Fi,” she’ll gladly oblige without you having to lift a finger. You can also tell her to make calls and play voicemail messages too.

7. Block Calls

If you’re getting harassing calls, you can now put a stop to it. Visit Settings > Phone > Blocked to add numbers you want to restrict.

8. Apps Near Me

NearMe

The Apple App Store has a new “Near Me” feature, which shows apps that are popular near your current location. So if you live in New York City, it will highlight handy apps such as NYC Subway KICKMap and Way2ride taxi, which lets you pay for cab rides via the app.

Find any other not-so-obvious features? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more at http://mashable.com/2013/10/02/ios-7-hidden-features/

8 More Hidden iOS 7 Features

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Ios73

Apple’s iOS 7 hit the iPhone and iPad last month and packed the new release with not only a brand new design, but lots of new gestures, feature and capabilities. We’ve already discussed some of our favorite things in iOS 7, as well as some of our gripes and along the way have managed to learn a new trick or two.

Thanks to your feedback — and some additional sleuthing — we’ve got even more hidden iOS 7 features that you might not have run across.

Some of these features are nice to have, and others — like some of the keyboard shortcuts — really make iOS 7 a more productive experience.

1. Controlling Control Center

control-center-controls

Control Center is awesome. In fact, it’s far and away one of our favorite iOS 7 features. The problem is, it can be easy to accidentally pull up Control Center if you are furiously scrolling through a list in an app or in certain games.

Fortunately, Apple has made it easy to disable Control Center inside of apps.

Do do this, just go to Settings > Control Center and then toggle “Access Within Apps” on or off. If you toggle it off, you can’t pull Control Center up inside of apps, but can still access it on the home screen.

2. Auto Focus With Shutter Button (iPhone 5S Only)

auto-focus-ios7

The new iPhone 5S has a lot of slick features, including the ability to activate auto-focus without touching the screen. Just briefly press the volume up button and the familiar auto-focus square will appear.

Sadly, this only works on the iPhone 5S (at least as far as our tests go), but it’s one of those tricks that makes the iPhone that much more like a regular point and shoot camera.

3. Burst Mode for Photo Buttons (All Devices)

One photo feature that isn’t limited to the iPhone 5S is the ability to take consecutive shots by hitting the volume up or down button in the camera app. Press and hold and prepare to fill your camera with dozens of consecutive shots.

To be clear, this isn’t the same feature as Burst Mode on the iPhone 5S — that feature not only takes more snaps, iOS 7 gives you a neat way to select what shots you want to keep. Still, this is great for anyone who wants to take lots of photos at once.

4. Access .com by Long-Pressing “.” Key

ios7-keyboard-ip5

My personal biggest gripe with iOS 7 was the death of the “.com” button inside Safari. I love the new omnibar for search and URL entry (or return to the omnibar if we’re being historically accurate), but I hate not having access to .com.

It turns out, you CAN access that button! Simply press and hold the “.” key and a .com, .net., .us and .edu selection pops up. How great is that!

Macworld goes into even more depth of secrets of the iOS 7 keyboard, and I thank them for this tip!

5. Quick Apostrophe on iPad Keyboard

ios7-ipad-kb

Speaking of keyboard tips, in iOS 7 on the iPad, you can quickly access the apostrophe key by pressing and holding the comma button. It’s much easier to use the correct form of “it’s” when typing.

OK, our bad. This one isn’t actually new to iOS 7. It was just new to me. Still, enjoy!

6. Peek in Messages and Mail

ios-7-peek-back

This is a hidden feature you’ve probably stumbled upon. As we’ve discussed, iOS 7 is considerably more gesture-driven than previous versions of iOS. One of the cool features Apple has enabled is the ability to swipe forward and backwards in its messaging apps.

If you’re on an email message in the mail app or viewing a conversation in iMessage, you can slightly swipe to your right to reveal a peek at the message list below.

BlackBerry 10 fans might notice that this is similar to the way the peek and flow gestures works on the Z10,

7. Create New Events On Date or Times in iMessage

ios7-event

One of my favorite features in OS X is the smart way you can create appointments or calendar entries based on text inside an email or on a web page. Now, more of that functionality is in iOS 7.

Inside iMessages, typing something such as “Dinner with Dan at 7 on Thursday” will underline “7 on Thursday.” Tap the underline text and you can create a calendar event with that subject.

8. Look at Most Visited Areas

ios7-locations

This one might cross the creepy line, but we think it’s pretty slick. You can view a map of your most recently visited areas by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (scroll all the way down to see System Services) > Frequent Locations

When this is on, you can view your location history on a map. You can also opt to use frequent locations to improve Apple Maps. This is neat because iOS 7 will learn your location patterns and offer better predictive ideas of how long it will take to get to your next appointment.

Got Any More Hidden Features or Tips? Let Us Know

Even after almost a month with iOS 7, we’re still discovering new and fun tricks and hidden extras. Have we missed one of your favorite new features? Let us know in the comments.

Read more at http://mashable.com/2013/10/10/8-more-hidden-ios-7-features/

Windows 8 tips: troubleshoot

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Updated Hints and tips to help you get more from Windows 8 and 8.1

By Mike Williams 24th Jan 2014 | 15:27

56. Help and Tips

If you’re a newcomer to Windows 8, and having trouble getting a feature to work, then scanning the official Help files might prove useful. Open the Charms bar, click Search, and type Help: ‘Help+Tips’ is a Windows 8.1 app with some useful, but basic information, while ‘Help and Support’ has more in-depth advice.

If you’re an expert PC user, though – or the problems are more severe – then consulting the usual Control Panel applets may point you in the right direction. Action Centre may reveal problems Windows has noticed already; Device Manager and Event Viewer often highlight relevant low-level issues, and the Troubleshooting applet has a wide range of fixes on offer.

Windows 8 Help and Tips

57. Fix it if Windows 8 apps won’t launch

If you click a Windows 8 app, and nothing else happens, display issues are often the cause. In particular, Windows 8 apps don’t currently support screen resolutions lower than 1024 x 768 (or 1366 x 768 when snapping), so increase your resolution if possible (launch the desktop, right-click, select Screen Resolution).

Or if that’s no help, try updating your video drivers.

58. Solve Store problems

Installing or updating Windows 8 apps normally takes only a moment, but if your PC just can’t do either any more then there are several potential causes.

A corrupted Store cache is one of the more likely candidates, for instance, but fortunately Microsoft has provided a tool to help. Press Win+R, type wsreset and press Enter, and the Store cache will be cleaned for you.

If Windows Update is broken or disabled then you’ll also have app problems. Launch the Control Panel Troubleshooting applet (press Win+W, type trouble, and click “Troubleshooting”) and click “Fix problems with Windows update” to detect and resolve any issues.

And if these don’t help then it’s time to try the official Store troubleshooter.

Windows 8 tips, tricks and secrets

59. Fix performance problems

If your Windows 8 system seems sluggish, the revamped Task Manager may be able to offer some clues. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to take a look.

Click ‘More Details’. The simplified Processes tab then reveals what’s currently using your CPU time, RAM, hard drive and network bandwidth. (The more in-depth data available in previous Task Manager versions is now accessible via the Details tab.)

The Performance tab gives you a graphical view of resource use over the last few seconds, while the App History dialog looks back over days or more to reveal which app is the most resource-hungry.

And is your boot time slow? Click the new Startup tab to see programs your system is launching when Windows boots. The ‘Startup impact’ now shows how much of an effect each of these has on your boot time; if you spot high impact programs you’re sure you don’t need, then right-clicking them and selecting ‘Disable’ will ensure they’re not loaded next time.

Powerful though all this is, if you can think of a reason to use the old Task Manager then it’s still accessible. Hold down the Windows key, press R, type TaskMGR and press Enter to launch it. (Typing TM will launch the new version.)

Windows 8 tips

60. Diagnose with Device Manager events

If you’ve got a driver or hardware-related problem with Windows 8, launch Device Manager, browse to the relevant device, right-click it, select Properties and click the new Events tab. If Windows has installed drivers, related services or carried out other important actions on this device then you’ll now see them here, which is very useful when troubleshooting.

61. Speed up chkdsk

If you suspect your Windows 8 system may have a corrupted hard drive, then you might be tempted to use the old chkdsk /f command. This does still work, but it’s horribly slow, and won’t do anything at all until you reboot. What’s more, it may no longer be necessary now.

Windows 8 now regularly runs chkdsk in the background, looking for problems, and recording them. And then, when run at boot time, it doesn’t have to scan every single sector of your hard drive. It just fixes the known problems, usually in a few seconds.

The first lesson here is that you probably won’t have to use chkdsk any more.

But if you want to try it anyway, don’t use chkdsk /f first. Enter chkdsk /spotfix instead, agree to run a check when you next reboot, then restart your PC and any fixes will be applied, much more quickly.

While this works most of the time, there are no guarantees. If you’re out of other options then you can still try chkdsk /f later.

62. Recover your system

Windows 8 has performed well for us, but if you find it won’t boot at some point then you now have to press Shift+F8 during the launch process to access its recovery tools.

Access the Troubleshoot menu, then Advanced Options, and you’ll be able to try the Automatic Repair tool, which may fix your problems. No luck? The same menu enables you to use the last System Restore point, tweak key Windows Startup settings, and even open a command prompt if you’d like to troubleshoot your system manually.

If that all seems like too much hassle then the Troubleshoot menu’s option to ‘Refresh your PC’ may be preferable, because it essentially reinstalls Windows 8 but keeps your files, and will fix many issues.

But if it doesn’t then there’s always the more drastic ‘Reset your PC’ option, which removes all your files and installs a fresh new copy of Windows 8.

You don’t have to access these features from the boot menu, of course. If Windows 8 starts but seems very unstable, then open the new Recovery applet in Control Panel for easy access to the Refresh, Reset and other disaster recovery features.

Windows 8 tips
Page 7 of 7Windows 8 tips: troubleshoot

Read more at http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/50-windows-8-tips-tricks-and-secrets-1028220/7#articleContent

Windows 8 tips: try Explorer tricks

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Updated Hints and tips to help you get more from Windows 8 and 8.1

By Mike Williams 24th Jan 2014 | 15:27

50. Customise the Quick Access toolbar

Windows Explorer in Windows 8 features a Quick Access toolbar immediately above the menu, providing easy access to options such as ‘New Folder’, ‘Minimise’, ‘Undo’ and more.

This is customisable, too – click the arrow to the right of the default buttons, in the Explorer window caption bar, and choose whatever options you need. And you can include add any other ribbon option on the Quick Access Toolbar by right-clicking it and selecting Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

51. Try the advanced menu options

If you need to run the command prompt as an Administrator then your instant reaction will probably be to reach for the Start menu. Before becoming annoyed a microsecond later when you remember it’s no longer there.

It’s good to see that Microsoft has provided a simple alternative, then – just click the File menu in Explorer and click Open command prompt > Open command prompt as administrator.

And while you’re there, make note of the other advanced new options also on that menu: you can open a new window in a new process, open Explorer, and even delete your Recent Places and Address Bar histories with a click.

Windows 8 tips

52. Show folders and libraries

The default Windows 8 Explorer view doesn’t show all the usual drives and folders – Control Panel, Recycle Bin and so on – in the left-hand navigation pane. Windows 8.1 may hide the libraries, too. This certainly keeps the display simple, and if you want to list all your drives then you can just click Computer, but if you prefer to see everything upfront then it only takes a moment. Click View > Options, check ‘Show all folders’ and ‘Show libraries’, and click OK.

53. Mount ISO files in Windows 8

Need to take a closer look at an ISO file? Right-click it in Explorer, click Mount and you can view it as a virtual drive, launch the files it contains, or add more if you like.

54. Open new file types

If you find a file type that none of your applications can handle, then right-click on the file in Windows Explorer and choose Open With. You’ll see a ‘Look for an app in the Store’ option, which enables Windows 8 to use an automated search tool to find and highlight an app for you.

You can also click ‘More Options’ to see currently installed programs and apps that may be able to open the file.

Windows 8 tips

55. Restart Explorer

If Explorer locks up for some reason, then regaining control is now very easy. No need to close the process any more: simply press Ctrl+Alt+Esc, select Explorer in the list, click Restart and Windows 8 will handle the rest.

Page 6 of 7Windows 8 tips: try Explorer tricks

Read more at http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/50-windows-8-tips-tricks-and-secrets-1028220/6#articleContent

Windows 8 tips: tweak and customise

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Updated Hints and tips to help you get more from Windows 8 and 8.1

By Mike Williams 24th Jan 2014 | 15:27

39. Set Start screen background

If you’d like to change your lock, user tile or start screen images then go to the Start screen press Win + I, click ‘Change PC settings’ and choose the Personalize option. Browse the various tabs and you’ll be able to choose alternative images or backgrounds in a click or two.

In theory you’ll also be able to define apps that will display their status on the lock screen, although the app must specifically support this before it’ll be accessible from your Personalize settings.

Windows 8.1 extends Personalize with several useful options. In particular, it enables you to set your desktop wallpaper as the Start screen background, a great way to reduce the jarring effect when you’re bounced from one to the other.

Windows 8.1 personalisation

40. Boot to the desktop

The Windows 8 Start screen hasn’t been Microsoft’s most successful innovation, and many Windows 8 users avoid it just as much as they can. But if that sounds like you, Windows 8.1 provides two new tweaks which just might help.

To begin, right-click the taskbar, select Properties > Navigation, check ‘Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start’, and click OK. Clicking the Start button then displays all your installed applications, rather than app tiles, perhaps making it easier to find whatever program you need.

If that doesn’t work for you, though, it’s now possible to boot straight into the desktop and bypass the Start screen altogether. Right-click the taskbar, select Properties > Navigation, check ‘When I sign in or close all applications on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start’, click OK, and you’ll be seeing far less of those colourful tiles in future.

Boot to desktop

41. Schedule maintenance

Windows 8 can run common maintenance tasks – software updates, security scanning, system diagnostics and more at a scheduled convenient time, which is good.

Unfortunately it doesn’t actually ask you what time is convenient, instead just setting it to 3am and allowing the system to wake your computer (if hardware and circumstances permit) to do its work. Which isn’t so good.

To change this, launch Control Panel, click System and Security > Action Centre > Maintenance. You can now click ‘Start maintenance’ to launch any outstanding tasks right now, while selecting ‘Change maintenance settings’ enables you to choose a more convenient time, and optionally disable the feature’s ability to wake up your computer if that’s not required.

42. Restore the Windows “Updates are available” alert

If you’ve set up Windows 8 to check for Windows updates but enable you to choose whether to download and install them, then of course it’s very important that the system tells you when updates are available. And it does this – but only in the logon screen. The “Updates are available” system tray icon has disappeared, so if you don’t log off or restart your PC regularly then no matter how important Microsoft’s latest security patches might be, you won’t hear about them.

As with many other Windows 8 issues, though, it’s not taken long for other developers to fill the gap, and there are now several free tools that can help. Install a copy of the Windows Update Notification Tool or the Windows Update Notifier and the “Updates are available” alert will be restored to your system tray.

Windows 8 tips, tricks and secrets

43. Close apps easily

Closing a Windows 8 app can sometimes be awkward. You have to drag or swipe down from the very top of the screen right to the very bottom – which might be quite some distance – and if you don’t quite swipe all the way, the window just reappears and you have to start again.

The solution? Get Windows to close the app without you having to travel quite so far. It works like this.

Launch REGEDIT, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\Switcher, and create new DWORD values called MouseCloseThreshold and TouchCloseThreshold.

These define how far mouse and touch users will have to drag the app before they can drop and close it. Start by setting each value to the maximum 1000, reboot, and you’ll find you can now drop the window maybe only half way down the screen and still have it close correctly, which is much quicker and easier.

You may also be more likely to close apps accidentally, of course. If this happens, reduce the value of the relevant Registry key a little (the minimum value is 1, setting it to 0 prevents that method of closing at all), reboot and try again. Or delete the keys if you have problems with this and would like to restore the default settings.

44. Set a picture password

Windows 8 enables you to create a picture password, where you choose an image, then draw on it in a combination of taps, lines and circles – only someone who can reproduce this pattern will be able to log on. Select Win + I > More PC Settings > Users > Create a Picture Password to give this a try.

Windows 8 tips, tricks and secrets

45. Hibernate or Sleep

You won’t necessarily see either Hibernate or Sleep in the Windows 8 shutdown dialogs, but if that’s a problem then you may be able to restore them.

Launch the Control Panel Power Options applet (powercfg.cpl) and click ‘Choose what the power buttons do’ in the left-hand pane.

If you see a ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’ link, then click it, and if Windows 8 detects that your PC supports Sleep and Hibernate options then they’ll be displayed here. Check the boxes next to whatever you’d like to use, click Save Changes, and the new options should now appear in your shutdown dialogs.

46. Simplify search

By default Windows 8 includes every bundled app in its Search results. If you’ll never want to use some of these – the Store app, say – then select Win + I > Change PC Settings > > Search, choose which apps you don’t want included, and your search list will be more manageable in future.

47. Save bandwidth

Set up lots of live tiles on the Start screen and you could find they’re using a lot of network bandwidth, which could perhaps become a problem if you’re running a slow or metered connection. But Windows 8 does offer one option that might help.

Click your network connection on the taskbar (or the Start Screen Charms bar), right-click your network connection in the list and select “Set as metered connection” (you’ll only see this with wireless adaptors). Windows will then limit what individual live tiles can do, while also downloading only priority Windows updates, and applying a few other restrictions. Right-click the connection again and select “Set as unmetered” to change it back.

Windows 8 tips, tricks and secrets

48. Touch keyboard

By default the Touch keyboard will try to help you out by, for instance, playing sounds as you type, capitalising the first letter of each sentence, adding a period if you double-tap the spacebar, and more. If any of this gets in your way, though, you can turn the relevant feature off: just go to Win + I > Change PC Settings > General and customise the keyboard to suit your needs.

49. Sync and privacy

One very useful Windows 8 feature is its ability to synchronise your settings with other PCs and devices. So if you’ve set up your new Windows Phone device with your contacts, email details and so on, then use the same Live account on Windows 8 and it’ll import them for you: very convenient.

Of course that may not always be a good idea. If several people use a device then you may not want your website passwords to be synced, for instance. In which case you’ll want to hold down the Windows key and press I, then click Change PC Settings > Sync Your Settings and disable anything you’d rather not share.

Page 5 of 7Windows 8 tips: tweak and customise

Read more at www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/50-windows-8-tips-tricks-and-secrets-1028220/5#articleContent

Windows 8 tips: new options and features

Posted on Updated on


Updated Hints and tips to help you get more from Windows 8 and 8.1

By Mike Williams 24th Jan 2014 | 15:27

32. Tweak SmartScreen

Windows 8 now uses Internet Explorer’s SmartScreen system-wide, checking downloaded files to ensure they’re safe. This is a very good thing – a report by NSS Labs revealed that IE10 blocks more malware than any other browser – but if you have any problems then it can be tweaked.

Launch Control Panel, open the Action Centre applet, and click Change Windows SmartScreen Settings in the left-hand pane. Here you can keep the warning, but avoid the requirement for administrator approval, or turn SmartScreen off altogether. Make your choice and click OK to finish.

33. Set up Windows 8 File History

Windows 8 includes an excellent File History feature, which can regularly and automatically back up your libraries, desktop, contacts and favourites to a second drive (even a USB flash drive – just connect it, and choose ‘Configure this drive for backup using File History’ from the menu).

To set this up, go to Control Panel > System and Security > File History. Click Exclude Folders to help define what you’re saving, Advanced Settings to choose the backup frequency, Change Drive to choose the backup destination, and Turn On to enable the feature with your settings.

And once it’s been running for a while, you can check on the history for any file in Explorer by selecting it, choosing the Home tab and clicking History.

Windows 8 tips, tricks and secrets

34. Use VHD – enhanced

Windows 7 added support for creating and attaching virtual hard drives in Microsoft’s VHD format. Now Windows 8 extends this with the new VHDX format, which improves performance, extends the maximum file size from 2 to 16TB, and makes the format “more resilient to power failure events” (so they shouldn’t get corrupted as easily). Launch the Computer Management Control Panel applet, choose Disk Management, and click Actions > Create VHD to give the format a try. Or, for an easy and free way to create VHDX files from physical drives, take a look at the excellent Disk2vhd.

35. Keep apps quiet

Windows 8 apps will often raise notifications, alerting you to new emails, messages, calendar events, status updates and more. This is generally a very good idea, but if you don’t want them popping up when you’re not working at the system (overnight, say) then a new Windows 8.1 feature can help.

Open the Charms bar, click Settings > Change PC settings > Search and Apps > Notifications. As before, you can selectively turn off notifications for individual apps, but a new ‘Quiet Hours’ option allows you to turn them off altogether for a period of time. Just turn ‘Quiet Hours’ on, set the ‘From’ and ‘To’ times – 00:00 to 07:00, say – and you’re done. Unless you’re using the PC, notifications will be disabled during that period.

36. Pool storage spaces

If you have multiple hard drives packed with data then you’ll know that managing them can be a hassle. But that’s all about to change with a new Windows 8 feature, Storage Spaces.

The idea is that you can take all your hard drives, whether connected via USB, SATA or SAS (Serial Attached SCSI), and add them to a storage pool. And you can then create one or more spaces within this pool, formatting and accessing them as a single drive, so you’ve only one drive letter to worry about.

What’s more, the technology can also maximise your performance by spreading files across multiple drives (the system can then access each chunk simultaneously). There’s an option to mirror your files, too, so even if one disk fails your data remains safe. And if your Storage Space begins to fill up then just plug in another drive, add it to the pool and you can carry on as before.

Yes, we know, this is just a consumer-friendly take on RAID. But there’s nothing wrong with that, and it looks promising. If you’d like to read up on the technical details then the official Windows 8 blog has more, and you can then create and manage your drive pool from the new Control Panel\System and Security ‘Storage Spaces’ applet.

Windows 8 tips, tricks and secrets

37. Enable virtual machines

Install 64-bit Windows 8 Professional or Enterprise and you also get Microsoft’s Hyper-V, enabling you to create and run virtual machines (as long as you’re not running in a virtual machine already). Launch OptionalFeatures.exe (press Windows Key and R and type it in to run), check Hyper-V and click OK to enable the feature. Then switch back to the Start screen, scroll to the right, find and click on the Hyper-V Manager tile to begin exploring its capabilities.

38. Smart search

When you’re in the mood to track down new Windows 8 features relating to a particular topic, you might be tempted to start by manually browsing Control Panel for interesting applets – but there is a simpler way.

If you’d like to know what’s new in the area of storage, say, just press Win+W to launch the Settings Search dialog, type “drive”, and the system will return a host of related options. That is, not just those with “drive” in the name, but anything storage-related: BitLocker, Device Manager, backup tools, disk cleanup, and interesting new features such as Storage Spaces.

This Search feature isn’t new, of course, but it’s easy to forget how useful this can be, especially when you’re trying to learn about a new operating system. So don’t just carry out specific searches, use the Apps search to look for general keywords such as “privacy” or “performance”, and you just might discover something new.

Windows 8 tips
Page 4 of 7Windows 8 tips: new options and features

Read more at http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/50-windows-8-tips-tricks-and-secrets-1028220/4#articleContent