Thursday 20 October 2016

Gestures and tips for touchpads

Mouse, trackpad, touchpad....whatever you use there are a range of options to assist your input and control on the screen. 

Head to Settings> Devices>Mouse and Touchpad to investigate the options for your preferred input. There you will find details of how the mouse/touchpad reacts to certain gestures. In Windows 10 choose  Additional mouse options to find the settings for both the mouse and your touchpad device.

Do you like to zoom in to the page you are viewing to enlarge the text or view the details in a photo? On the touchpad place two fingers close together and pinch out to enlarge. Want to return to the normal view, pinch back in. Find out which two and three finger gestures are enabled on your touchpad.

A single tap is equivalent to a left click mouse action. If the touchpad on your laptop does not have a right and left click button, explore the settings to determine the right click options.

Mouse and device settings

I've come across laptop users who complain the touchpad interferes with their typing. In Windows 10 the touchpad can be disabled in Device settings.

Windows 8 and 10 users will find two finger scrolling, three finger swipe down to minimise all open windows and the reverse action to display them again are useful additions.

touchpad options

Friday 14 October 2016

Lessons learned from a spamathon

A certain person who shall remain nameless, drew my attention to the offer of a free trial of a particular upmarket brand hairdryer. As my 35 year old model had recently expired, I made the mistake of signing up and then realising one had to express an interest in some other products. I scrolled my way through the multiple offers, no I did not want x, y or even z. In fact I think there were close to thirty offers I declined. At this stage I opted out of confirming any further details. Aha, it was too late, I had filled in email and mobile on the previous screen. Luckily I have gmail and within 3 days it had rejected 42 spurious offers as spam.

Then my mobile started to ring. Unrecognised numbers. More spam. After a couple of false starts I answered without speaking, yes these computer generated dialling robots simply hang up if there is no verbal response. After burrowing around in my mobile's settings I found where to block the numbers. So far there are eight numbers I've had to block. Lesson learned after all these years on the net, if the offer looks to good to be true then it probably is!.

Steps to block numbers

- Nexus 5 - These steps will be similar in many Android phones
In the phone app:
  • Locate the number in the log of calls
  • Touch and hold down until copy number appears
  • Choose settings from the phone apps menu (usually three dots, the 'hamburger')
  • Choose Call blocking, Add number and touch and hold down to paste.
Blocked numbers may still be able to leave voicemail, but generally nuisance callers desist when they receive no verbal response.

How to extend ring time on your mobile

Positive outcome: So many times I miss calls on my phone by not answering within the 15 seconds allocated by the Telstra. This constant ringing of my phone made me resolve to pursue the issue, now I have a full 30 seconds before the call switches to voicemail.
Choose your telco for instructions on how to add ring time to your mobile before it diverts to a message bank or voicemail.

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