Use the SkyDrive desktop app to access your SkyDrive from Win 7, 8 and Mac OS X

While SkyDrive needed complex folder mapping to be accessed from your computer's file system in the past it is now possible to download a desktop app from the Microsoft website:

Scroll down and click the Download the desktop app button to start downlowding. Install it afterwards by double-clicking the executable:

skydrive1After the installation your SkyDrive folder will be placed in your User's folder by default:


PrtScr key on a Mac keyboard on a Windows computer

PrtScr is the key that is used on Windows keyboard to make screenshots - this key however is specific to Windows keyboards and does not exist on Mac keyboards. So if you attach one of those to a PC you will face a problem whenever you want to make screen shots.

Now a possible solution is given with the F13-F15 keys of the Mac keyboard which are sometimes mapped as different keys on a Windows computer. It is possible that one of those acts as the PrtScr key on your machine (most likely F13) - try and press them all and then pasting a screenshot into Paint to see if Windows has mapped one of them!

Make windows of a VirtualBox guest system native to the host system with Seamless mode

VirtualBox offers a feature that let's you treat windows opened in the running guest system almost as is they were native to the host system - you can drag them around on the host system, copy and paste texts between the system and only see the host's desktop while doing so:

(Windows 8 Release Preview guest system on a Linux Mint 12 host system in Seamless mode)

The requirement for Seamless mode to run is that the VirtualBox Guest Additions are installed. You can quite easily install them by clicking on the Devices menu on the the guest system's window menu and selecting Install Guest Additions... - follow the installer afterwards and reboot the guest system when you are told to. After the reboot you can enter Seamless mode by selecting the guest system's window and pressing right Ctrl + L.

Revert cursor from block form to bar (Windows, Linux, Mac)

Windows as well as other platforms use two different forms to display a text-cursor. One, which is used most, is the bar-formed cursor which rests between two letters. The other has block form and rests on a letter, replacing it if new input is done and going one letter further. This is annoying if you activate it by accident.

You activate as well as deactivate it with the Ins key on usual keyboards. If you are using different hardware, look for a key combination equivalent to the Insert-key.

Google Chrome browser alternative: SRWare Iron

Many people may dislike Google Chrome products for some annoyances, such as the Google Updater installed alongside Chrome or the communications between Chrome and Google. Therefore, SRWare has developed an own fork of the popular browser which is built from the open-sourced Chromium code and is a near perfect copy of chrome, except that it leaves out the things mentioned above. For a comparison of the two, see SRWare's homepage.

Iron's interface looks exactly like Chrome's and all extensions are supposed to work with Iron:

Remember though that Iron does not have an automatic update function - new versions can be simply installed over the old ones though.

You can download SRWare Iron at Iron is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

Google Earth alternative – Marble (Linux, Windows, Mac)

Google products have the tendancy to not be liked for several reasons, such as installing additional stuff like updaters and managers.
For the popular Google Earth application, there is an alternative, originally developed for the Linux KDE desktop environment, but now available for the major operating systems including Windows and Mac.

Marble lacks the detailed photographic view that Google Earth offers, but includes all regular street maps as well as different other interesting views of the earth, such as night and temperature views.

You can download Marble on their homepage:

Create free mindmaps on Windows, Mac and Linux

Mindmaps always come in handy when it comes to planning stuff or just brainstorming:

To not waste tons of paper and being able to dynamically re-arrange and rename items, it is always good to have a digital solution for such things - in this case, there is Freemind, a freeware for creating simple mindmaps, downloadable here.

At least Java version 1.4 is needed to run Freemind.

You can drag the children anywhere you want and reorder everything after creating it. Every item can be assigned multiple icons, attributes and differently formatted path and/or bubble designs.

Unpack Compressed Files with WinRar

While working with your computer you surely have come across files in the .zip or .rar format. These are so called packed or compressed files, their function is to store multiple files and/or folders into one single file and compress them so they are easier to send and waste less space. Windows has a built-in function to pack and unpack files: to compress files, just right-click them and select Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder. To uncompress, right-click the zipped file, select Extract all... and choose a directory where to put the uncompressed folder. However there is a more powerful tool called WinRar which is easy to handle, has a bunch of useful functions and also supports another compressing format, .rar which is safer than zipped compression if provided with a password. WinRar is downloadable for free as a 30-day trial version and reminds you to buy the full version after 30 days but is still usable then. You can download the appropriate version for your system here:

Double-click the downloaded file and click Install on the appearing window. The next window displays WinRar's configuration. The checkbox-filled panel on the left determines which formats your computer is supposed to open with WinRar. Usually all predefined settings should be alright, so click on OK.

On the next screen, click on Done to finish installation. Nearly all compressed files are now being associated with WinRar and have adopted its icon:

Uncompress files associated with WinRar by double-clicking them and drag-and-dropping its content anywhere on the screen or clicking on Extract To and choosing the target directory.

To compress files, just select the ones you want, right-click them and choose to either compress them to a .rar archive immediately or to add them to another archive (.zip or whatever you want) with more detailed options.

Clean Up Your Windows System (CCleaner)

The common computer user often does not know that a simple uninstall of a software he or she is no longer in need of will not erase the program completely but will leave traces on your hard disk. These may stack up to a fairly high size and can slow your computer down. The same goes for all kind of temporary files your system stores, the most common being temporary internet files. Deleting these files manually can be a hard thing to do, especially if you do not know where to find those and how to recognize them. That is why there are plenty of tools on the internet that allow you to search for and erase them automatically.
One of these helpful tools is CCleaner.

CCleaner is a tool that allows you to clean up your Windows Registry (the key storage that is responsible for every kind of configuration on your system), uninstall software properly without leaving any traces, disable autostart processes, delete all kinds of temporary files and even format your hard drives and overwrite them up to 35 times so that your old files will no longer be accessible by any usual means.

CCleaner for Windows can be downloaded here:
It is also available for Mac on:

CCleaner's menu is divided into four main options, being Cleaner, Registry, Tools and Options. The Cleaner section is there for deleting temporary files, cookies, recent documents and other stored files of that kind. The Registry section searches the registry for disposable entries such as missing shared DDLs, unused file extensions or obsolete software and gives you the option to delete these entries. In the Tools section you can uninstall software, delete system restore points and wipe your hard drives empty. Options, speaking for itself, lets you configure your settings, mainly to include or exclude data from being deleted.

The fast magnifying glass for zoom the MAC screen

Want to zoom your MAC screen easy, fast and steplessly?
You only have to keep the CTRL key pressed and use the Mousewheel to zoom in and out.
On new MacBooks you can also use the touchpad with two! fingers up and down to zoom.

Hint: If you don't scroll back to normal view, the screen remains sometimes in a "strange" mode.