February 2012

Photo by Nancy Ford

February 2012 On SSS New ITS Website Windows and Mac Tips & Tricks
Issue #4

A cautionary tale to demonstrate how SSS can save your academic work in a crisis.

We discuss the brand new features of the ITS website.

An series of articles discussing the uses of the Windows key and the command key.



New Semester, New ITS Website

ITS launched a brand new website on January 11, 2012. The website was improved in order to help you find what you need more quickly. The most important changes are options to find information by search, task, or browsing.

Google Reader and Themes Now Available

Google Reader and Themes are now available to students as part of HillConnect. Google Reader will help you to organize your news feeds and blogs, putting all of their updates in one place for easy access! Google Themes will let you further customize your Google and HillConnect experience!

Academic Film Screenings Assistance

If your class is asked to watch a film outside of class and glitches arise, please call the Help Desk at x4181 for assistance.

Why SSS Matters

It was an average week before finals. Too much to do and so little time in which to do it. To top that mess off, the Writing Center incinerated my paper and my dataset was no closer to completion than it was a week ago. It was difficult, but it was manageable. My computer changed all that and nearly brought me to the brink of a mental breakdown. Yet, salvation lay within SSS. This is my story to emphasize the importance of SSS.

On the Wednesday before finals, the rewrite of my biology paper was nearly complete and my philosophy paper was ready for review by the professor. As I awaited my meeting in 202 College Hill Road, I decided to bring up the paper on my Macbook to prepare for the meeting. Opening the machine, I soon realized that it wouldn't load. Assuming it was another bug on a machine, I performed a routine hard reboot; however, the loading screen did not appear. Immediately concened, I began to reboot again; twice, three times, and yet it would not start. Eventually, the screen appeared and the machine properly loaded. Realizing that I may not be able to resuscitate it again, I did the first thing that came to my mind: save my documents. After connecting to SSS, I managed to get my two most important documents over to SSS before my machine went into an eternal sleep mode.

With SSS and with the aid of a personal backup, I managed to save my most important documents from extinction, allowing me to progress through finals week without a massive loss of data or sanity. In the end, I relied on the massive network of on-campus computers to get me through the week, and learned that creating datasets is much easier with a much larger screen.

Mine is a cautionary tale, a story of success. But it so easily could have been one of failure, to be written in the growing accounts of failed students and lost documents. SSS can unquestionably save your academic life.

Tips and Tricks, The Command Key ⌘ - Ryan Coyle

The command key is the one which is directly to the left of your spacebar on a Macintosh keyboard.  It has the square with the squiggles (also known as a bowen-knot) on it and if you’re old enough you may remember it being called the Open Apple key.  Either way, here are a couple shortcuts that you might find useful to shave a few seconds off common tasks you use during the day:

Option+shift+command+esc  (hold for 3 sec): This invokes the Force Quit dialogue.  This is the handiest key sequence to know on a Mac if you ask me.  There will be plenty of times where you get an application that for one reason or another just sits there and hangs.  In many cases the only way to kill it is a force quit.  This key sequence will help you out when you’re stuck with the spinning beach ball of doom

Command+[: This command will navigate your browser window back to the previous page you were viewing. This command is handy when you have your hands on the keyboard for entering text into a browser rather than using your mouse.

Command+]: This command will navigate your browser window forward to the next page if you’ve hit the back button previously

Command+Delete: This command will move your current selection to the trash.  Make sure that you are currently using Finder

Command+Shift+Delete: This command will empty your trash.  Careful as once you empty the trash, there’s no way to get it back

Command+W: This command will close the foremost Window that is open on your screen.  If you are using a tabbed browser, it will close that browser tab

Command+H: This command will hide the foremost Window that you have open

Command+F: This command when using the Finder will open up a Spotlight search box.  In many browsers it will also open a search box

Option+Command+W: This command will close all open Windows.  You will get prompted to save your work if necessary

These last four are priceless if you do any work with text or writing:

Command+C: This command copies the selected text to your clipboard

Command+X: This command will cut the selected text from your document and place it into the new location.  Cutting text removes it from the original document

Command+A: This command will select all the text on the screen

Command+V:  This command will paste the text that you cut or copied into your document

I hope these tips and tricks shave a few minutes of work off your day and help you get things done faster!

Computer Tips & Tricks - The Windows Key - Ryan Coyle

If you're a Windows user, chances are there are 104 keys on your keyboard. One hundred and three of which you use more than the Windows key in the bottom left of your keyboard. Yes, that key that you probably annoyingly brush over every once in awhile and it pops up a start menu when you least want it. I'm here to tell you that the Windows key has some actual uses, besides you know, annoying you. Here are some time saving keyboard shortcuts to use with your Windows key. To execute them, make sure that you're holding down the Windows key in addition to the specified key, to get the effect. If you're using Windows on a Mac, the Windows key functionality is provide by the Command key.

Windows Key + E - This handy shortcut will launch an Explorer window. Very useful for browsing for files or searching a location for that file you lost.

Windows Key + D - This key combination will minimize all open windows and show your desktop. Hitting the key again will reopen your windows back to where they were.

Windows Key + F - This set will open the Find all files dialogue box. Using this box will allow to do a global search for files on your computer

Windows Key + M - This key combo will minimize all open windows

Windows Key + Shift + M - This key set will restore your minimized Windows to how they were before they were minimized

Windows Key + L - This combo will lock the computer, requiring a password to log back into when you come back. Very handy if you need to use the little persons room and don't want people snooping at your computer while you're gone.

Windows Key + R - This key set will open the Run dialogue box, allowing you to quickly launch command line commands.

And last but not least, Windows key + Tab - This key combo will provide a graphical scroll through your open programs. Similar to Alt + Tab but way fancier.

I hope these shortcuts save a few moments of your time each day.


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