Installing a printer in Windows 8


The team behind Windows 8 have really pushed the limits with the operating system and out done themselves. It brings a lot of innovations and makes things a lot easier for the user, when comparing with now ancient versions like XP or Vista.

One of the reasons why I’m saying this is because the process of installing a printer in Windows 8 is now really easy. To be more specific, there are two ways of doing this and I’m going to detail both of them below.

The ‘easy does it’ way.

Your first move here is to power on the device and then plug in the USB cable in any of the ports you have available. If you have a printer which supports the network printing standard, you should make sure that you have it connected to your home network properly before doing anything else.

Once you’re done with all of that, in a few seconds, a pop-up balloon will appear on the lower right corner, informing you that a new hardware has been detected and that Windows is installing the drivers. It is very likely that you’ll be asked to confirm a thing or two but nothing else than that.

devices_printers_menu_2

If you’re not seeing this, it can be triggered manually by going to the Devices & Printers menu from the Control Panel. You can access it by typing ‘devices and printers’ in the Charms bar and then selecting the Settings section.

A new window will now open and if your printer is not listed in the Printers section, then you have to right click anywhere in the window and select the ‘Add devices and printers’ option.

add_printer

A built-in scanner from Windows 8 will then initialize and it will search for any hardware which was recently connected to your PC, either using a cable or by using the home network.

add_device

 

Once it finds your printer, select it and then click on the Next button to start installing the drivers for it. Please allow a couple of minutes for the process to complete. Then, go back to the Devices and Printers window and double click on your printer icon to open up the configuration menu.

configure_printer

In my case here, I’ve installed the HP OfficeJet 4500 series and in order to configure the printer I have to use HP’s own menu called ‘Solution Center’. Depending on the manufacturer of your device, this option may or may not exist so you should not consider the install unsuccessful if you don’t see such a menu available.

The ‘high way’ method.

If you cannot install the printer using the first method described above, then the alternative would be to do it using a driver which must be downloaded manually. Check the exact model of your printer and then do a Google search using the string ‘driver’ after its name; among the first results you should see the manufacturer’s website.

Once you have downloaded the file, connect the printer to the PC and run the application. Allow it a few seconds to detect the device and then you should see something like the below image.

installing_hp_printer

The setup should then ask you to select the model and then for you to confirm a couple of settings. If everything was selected correctly, you should see this after a few minutes.

hp_officejet_4500_installed

When Windows 8 was launched, Steven Sinofsky said in a blog post that their new engine for installing a printer supports up to 2,500 models, so if your hardware is not older than Windows 7, you should be able to install it without any major problems.

If the printer is older than that, you can use the second method that I’ve described. That one always works no matter what!


First iOS 6.1 evasi0n untethered Jailbreak is minutes away!

Months before Apple announcing the official release of version 6.1 for iOS, there was a lot of talk on specific forums whether it can be Jailbreaked soon after. Well, Apple made the iOS 6.1 update available last week and it looks like today we are going to see the first Jailbreak for it.

The team behind the project is called Evad3rs and according to their website, the release for the iOS 6.1 evasi0n Jailbreak is just minutes away. At the time of writing this article, the progress for the final testing and preparation was at 98%, asking us to come back and check it again soon.

iOS 6.1_evasi0n_jailbreak

Apparently, the team scheduled the jailbreak to be released on Monday, the 4th of February, a few hours after Sunday Super Bowl ends. This announcement brings nothing but joy for iPhone 5 users out there, who up until this date were unable to alter the software so that they can install apps from outside the iTunes environment.

In addition, this is actually the first untethered Jailbreak announced for iOS 6 which means that anyone using the previous version can now update from iOS 5, knowing that there’s a way to have their apps back and running again.

In early January, the team developing the evasi0n Jailbreak said that they are not going to release details about their work because they were afraid of Apple patching the bugs prior to the iOS 6.1 launch. Still, even with all this secrecy some information emerged and it looks like the tool will support the following devices running iOS 6.1: iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2, iPad mini, iPod touch 5, iPod touch 4 and the Apple TV 2. As you can probably tell by now, the device missing from the list is the Apple TV3 which is really new and therefore, unsupported.

As soon as the Evasi0n jailbreak becomes available for download, come back again and you’ll also find a how-to guide on our website.

Bug found in OS X Mountain Lion crashes any application

In the never ending Mac versus PC war, one of the main arguments is the fact that there are less bugs in Mac OS than there are in Windows. Well, the truth lies somewhere in the middle because these days everybody is talking about the phrase which can crash any application you have running.

The bug found in Mac OS X Mountain Lion which involves typing a specific phrase in any given field, can cause an application to be suddenly terminated. Apparently, if a user would type in this string: File:/// in any filed which allows to do so, will kill the iTunes app, or any other for that matter.

The key here is to type it in using a capital F and from there on, most of the apps which are currently running will start locking-up or crash.

bug_crashes_app_osx_mountain_lion_2

I have to say that I and others who reported the story are quite surprised of how such a bug slipped in the latest version of Mac OS X. There are reports of some apps like Gimp, not being affected by this bug, but this is still a big issue for the majority of software.

What is really funny here is that OS X Mountain Lion users can’t even inform others about the bug because once they finish typing in the string, the application where they did this will suddenly crash.

Users who tested the bug said that the crash could be caused by an error in Spellchecker, which is built-in the operating system. As the issue happens also with text boxes which do not use the feature, this is not plausible. Reports also show that users who are running on OS X Lion or Snow Leopard are not affected by the bug.

Source: 9to5mac.

Sony hands-out free $299 headphones for Xperia Z preorders in the UK

Sony unveiled at this year’s CES from Las Vegas, their upcoming flagship phone called Xperia Z which should go head to head with the iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S4. Because the smartphone is designed to fight in the premium category the specs that it comes with belong to the same league.

The Xperia Z will have a 1.5GHz Snapdragons S4 quad processor from Qualcomm, it will have a Full HD 5-inch display along with the latest iteration of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Obviously, the price for such a configuration will be in line with other handsets which are currently available, so nobody should expect to pay less than $600-700 without a contract.

Because a good product always needs a great marketing campaign, Sony’s first attempt is to offer $299 headphones at no cost to those who preorder the Xperia Z in the UK before the 27th of February.

sony_xperiaZ_free_headphones

With a ‘get it while it’s in stock’ rule, the free gift in discussion here are the Sony MDR-1R headphones. The catch here is to pre-order your device using one of Sony’s launch partners, listed on their website.

The pricing announced for the UK with no contract is £449.99, which is pretty much in the same price range of other high-end devices. Sony’s flagship phone will be available for purchase with a contract from Vodafone, Three or O2. The latter carrier has its own promotion, offering it for free to anybody who is willing to sign-up for a two year agreement.

Unfortunately, there’s no information whatsoever if this marketing campaign will be extended to the US or to other countries from Europe. The rest can only enjoy the latest Xperia Z ad released by Sony on their YouTube channel.

Source: 9t05Google.

Google Glass specs revealed via FCC documents

One of the most expected gadgets of the year is Google Glass, a project which was showcased last year by co-founder Sergey at a fashion event taking place in New York. Ever since then, there were a lot of speculation regarding what exactly was the hardware that they used in the device.

At last year’s Google I/O Developer conference, Sergey said that those present can pre-order the Explorer Edition of the device at the price of $1500. When they asked about shipping, the company suggested the availability in early 2013.

Thus, it is very likely that the recent documents filed by Google to the FCC could in fact represent the specs for Google Glass, the first edition which should be delivered soon to devs.

google_glass_specs_revealed

According to these documents, Google Glass work in the 2.4GHz WiFi frequency, supporting the 802.11b/g/n standard, come with Bluetooth 4.0 technology and a connector. I have not clearly specified which connector that is because some of the files indicate a USB charger, while others list something called ‘barrel’ connector.

Within the dossier filled to the FCC, there’s also a very interesting feature. The company mentioned that Google Glass will have a ‘vibrating element’, with the purpose of sending the audio to the user’s head by close contact.

This makes sense because a similar technology was also showcased by Panasonic early this year, using ‘bone conduction’ as the name.

google_glass_specs_2.4GHz WiFi_USB_connector

Moreover, another technology patent for a ‘wearable computing device’ was filled a week ago by Google, specifying that it would use bone conduction speakers.

Even though these documents don’t reveal a lot of specifications, we can’t think of anything else from Google. It’s very likely that this is could be the real deal for what developers pre-ordered.

Source: The Verge.

Leaked iPad 5 back plate shows thinner design overall

With each week that passes, rumors about upcoming Apple products pop-up across the globe like nothing else. The most recent rumor concerns the next iPad and comes from China via 9to5mac. Apparently, an accessories manufacturer sent them a few images which should allegedly represent the back plate for the iPad 5.

According to the pictures, the design of the rear shell for the new device is in line with the one launched by the iPad mini not so long ago. Other rumors that emerged recently claimed that Apple will use on the iPad a thinner design that features the same color pattern and materials as the younger brother.

ipad5 back prototype

Even though nobody can confirm the source as being reliable, I have to say that the leaked pictures show a pretty real back plate. The Chinese manufacturer said that this is actually a prototype for the rear pice of a 9.7 inch tablet from Apple.

When comparing the iPad mini and this hardware piece side by side, it looks like the upcoming device is going to be really thin and in line with the current design of Apple products. Based on the antenna cuts present on the prototype piece, this could be from the LTE version.

If we are to believe the fact that Apple is considering a March 2013 release for the new generation, this leaked back plate could turn out to be an exact representation of the actual product. A spring launch is plausible considering the fact that leaks usually happen just weeks or days before the official date.

thin design ipad5

Then again, other sources immediately claimed that there’s no chance of Apple ditching the late fall launch, as it was the case for the current version. What is definitely sure, is that Apple plans on using a 128GB of storage space for the new lineup.

Five ways to free up disk space in Windows 8

Even though laptops and desktop PC’s nowadays come most of the time with a large hard drive, disk space will always be a problem. Taking this into consideration, Windows 8 is no exception from the rule as the partition you install it on will rapidly fill up with all sorts of files.

Freeing up disk space on the OS drive was never an easy task, so I hope that this article will shed some light on what you have to do in Windows 8 in order to solve this problem.

Use Disk Cleanup.

This tool is built-in the operating system and it is the most basic one which you can use. Fortunately though, its features are not that basic and you can actually clean up a lot of junk files with it.

You can run the tool by right clicking on the operating system drive in My Computer, selecting the Properties option and then by clicking on the button with its name.

run disk cleanup

The tool will load shortly after performing a basic search on a set of files residing in your computer. Once the window opens, a list of files which is safe to delete will be displayed. Among them you will find temporary files, Recycle bin files and other temporary files.

After selecting the ones you want, don’t just click on OK yet. You have the option to go deeper and Clean up system files. By clicking on the button with that name, you will enable a couple of other options. Here you can choose to delete files created by System Restore and Shadow Copies so make sure that you won’t need this data in the future.

cleanup system files

Once you are done with your selection, as soon as you click on OK the tool will remove the files from your drive.

Uninstall programs eating up a lot of disk space.

Another way to make some room on your drive is to browse through the software that you’ve installed and select the ones using a lot of space, but which you don’t necessarily need. You can do this by opening the Programs and Features menu from the Control Panel.

remove programs

By simply clicking on the Size column, you will be able to sort them and find those who fit the pattern. If the column is not visible, you can bring it up using the Details view.

The downside of using this method is that some programs do not actually show how much space they use, so you should use it with caution.

Analyze disk space used.

If you cannot tell how much do some programs use, you can install a third party software called WinDirStat which analyzes your hard drive and then shows a detailed report about the size of each folder or file.

analyze space WinDirStat

This way, you can identify if there are any files or programs which eat up space and which you don’t need, so that they can be removed.

Remove temporary files.

Even though Disk Cleanup removes most of the files which are not needed anymore, there are still some temporary files which it cannot detect. This is why you should install an application called CCleaner, which can search thoroughly the drive and then allows you to select which files to delete.

Just to be on the safe side, even after performing a cleanup you should also make sure that the temporary files from this folder are removed C:\%TEMP%.

CCleaner

Change System Restore settings.

Deleting System Restore points using Disk Cleanup solves just half of the problem. If you’d like to gain some more disk space you have to options: completely turn it off or adjust the spaced used for creating the backups.

To do this you will have to open the System Properties and then click on the System Protection link found on the left side. When the window opens, you will have to select the OS drive letter and then click on configure.

disable system restore in Windows 8

In the new window you will be able to change the settings as you like; here the disk space used by System restore can be either increased or reduced to zero and you are able to completely turn off the feature.

The latter will most likely free up more than a couple of gigs but please use it with caution, as by doing this you will remove an important feature from Windows 8.

Advanced user alternatives.

If you are still not satisfied by the amount of disk space gained after using the above methods, there are some additional ways that you can use to free up some. In general, this is not recommended as it could seriously impact how Windows 8 performs.

One additional method would be to disable hibernation, which means that the operating system will not save anymore the contents of your RAM to the hard drive. In addition to this, the option will disappear from the Power Menu if it’s disabled.

The last resort that you can use, is to move the Page File to a different drive than the one with the operating system. What is really important here is to understand that the method refers to a different physical drive, not just a different partition.

If you decide to do this then you should know that in some cases the performance of the OS will slightly increase, because Windows 8 will overload each separately.

I will detail these methods in a different article later on, so if you are interested in finding out how you can perform them come back again.

How to make Internet Explorer 10 your default browser in Windows 8

One of the main features of Windows 8 is Internet Explorer 10, which now comes bundled with the operating system in two forms: a Metro version and the classic desktop version. The novelty here is obviously the one designed to be used on tablets and touch enabled devices.

Microsoft says that with the new concept of the OS, the classic version was too much. As such, they decided to create a version which should be comfortable and easy to use on a tablet. As the purpose of this article is not to discuss the differences between them, I’ll get strait to the point.

One of the biggest issues of installing more than one browser on a computer running Windows 8 or any other version for that matter, is the fact that each software most likely will replace the previous one from being the default browser to be used.

If you’d like to know how to make Internet Explorer 10 your default browser in Windows 8, here are the steps that you should follow.

If you’re on a tablet or touch enabled device, you should swipe in from the right edge to bring up the Charms bar. On non-touch hardware, this can be done by simply moving your mouse towards the upper right corner of the screen and then slightly down. Either way, you should then click on the Search icon.

default programs

Now you should type in Default programs and once it is displayed, tap or click on it, depending on your device.

In the new window, you should click or tap on the option called Set your default programs.

Now go through the list of programs and then select Internet Explorer 10.

Clicking or tapping on Set this program as default and then on OK, will make your selection to be used as the default browser in Windows 8.

set as default program

You have now successfully restored IE 10 as default now but you’re not done yet. You will now have to bring back the IE tile in the Start Screen.

For this task you will first have to open the Start Screen and bring up the charms bar. Now type in the box Internet Explorer and then click on Apps.

Search results will be displayed instantly and now you should right click or swipe down on its icon. A menu will pop-up at the bottom of the screen where you can select the option called Pin to Start.

What about pinning the IE 10 icon to the taskbar or on the Windows 8 desktop? Well, this can be achieved in a similar manner, except that you should select the Pin to taskbar option from the bottom menu.

IE 10 metro

If you’re not sure what browser you have currently set as the default browser you can use a cool trick to find out. Open the start screen and then tap on the search button from the Charms bar.

Type in the box Internet Explorer 10 and then click or tap on it. If IE opens in the desktop mode, this means that you have a different browser set as default. If you do have it, then it should run using the Metro interface.

Spybot – Search & Destroy 2.0 for Windows 8 review

If you’ve recently upgraded to Windows 8 and are looking for anti-spyware software to scan your computer, I strongly recommend you to try Spybot Search & Destroy. The latest version of Spybot is 2.0.12.0, which was recently released and now comes with built-in support for Windows 8 plus a brand new interface.

Among the ad-aware / spyware detection tools this software is definitely in the top three. This performance is achieved thanks to its clever heuristics engine and to its capability of disinfecting a computer which has been compromised without any kind of problem.

In terms of features, Spybot is able to protect you in real time once it is installed and at the same time, it allows you to scan a computer on demand at any given moment. These are the main features and the most important but along with these, in Spybot Search & Destroy 2.0 the developers added a few extras called advanced and professional tools.

Spybot Search & Destroy 2.0 free edition

What you should know about the scanning feature is that if you intend to perform a full system scan, this could take up to half an hour depending on your system’s performance and on the number of files to be scanned.

With the help of the built-in advanced & professional tools you will be able to perform a scan of the entries in the start-up list, of the browser plug-ins which are installed, to shred files in a secure manner and so on. Obviously, some of these features are not available in the FREE license of Spybot so you will have to purchase a paid copy of the anti-spyware software.

Below you can find some details regarding the basic tools that you can take advantage of, if you choose to download the free version.

Whitelist preparation.

As its name says, with this option you can create a whitelist of files that you are sure of not being infected. These files will not be scanned when you decide to perform a manual scan, nor when an automatic one is scheduled.

whitelist preparation

System scan.

This is the place where the main action takes place. Using the menu found on the left side of the window you can perform a scan of the current drive, along with cleaning up the temporary files and third party cookies found there. If you’d like to pause or stop a scan you can use the buttons found here or the ones from the scan window.

system scan

File scan.

Using this option you can scan a specific file or folder and at the same time remove the malware found, if any. Here you have the option to save a log file of the scan that was just performed.

file scan

Immunization.

If you use this feature, Spybot Search & Destroy 2.0 will protect your system in real-time scanning everything that goes through your web browsers or any executable file that tries to run in Windows.

immunization

Quarantine.

In this section, you will be able to find any file which was infected once and which you confirmed to be cleaned by the software and if unsuccessful, to be quarantined. You have the option to completely remove the files or to restore them to their original location.

quarantine

Update.

This is probably the most basic option available and it’s pretty much evident what it does. Once you click on it, it will automatically connect to the servers and check if there are any software or heuristics definition updates. If it finds any, you will be prompted if you’d like to install them or not.

update

Moving on, here are some details about the advanced tools available in the free edition.

Create report.

Once you run the Rootkit scan option, with this feature you will be able to create a report based on the results from the scan.

Settings.

This feature allows you to configure and setup the options for Spybot S&D like scheduling a scan, select the language of the tool, select the system integration of its features and so on.

Startup tools.

It will scan and display all the entries currently loading at Windows startup for your system. From here on it allows you to modify or delete any of the items here, though I’d not recommend you to do so unless really necessary as it could cause your OS to become unstable.

startup tools

System repair.

Using this feature, you can scan for inconsistency among the files on your hard drive. If any are found, you have the option to repair these so that your operating system performs better.

Secure shredder.

If you have a bunch of sensitive files which you’d like to get rid of from your drive, this feature can be used to securely delete them.

Rootkit scan.

As the name says, using this feature you will be able to scan your computer against rootkit infection. I advise you to remove the files indicated by the results only if you are a proficient users. The changes made here cannot be undone and could lead to your Windows 8 not booting.

rootkit scan

If you’d like to use any of the Advanced tools like the iPhone scan or Boot CD creator, you will have to purchase a paid version of Spybot S&D 2.0.

To download the free edition, you can use this link to select a mirror that you are near of.

iOS 6.1 direct download links for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

You can officially download iOS 6.1 and install it on your iPhone/ iPod Touch/ iPad

Now it’s official! Apple has just announced that the latest version of their already famous iOS is available for download. Even if the novelties which are being brought by this new iteration are not so impressive, it took the Cupertino based company a couple of month of testing several no less than 5 beta versions of this new 6.1 release. Meanwhile, the Apple developers were able to download, install and test their applications on this new release, but you have to keep in mind that this is possible only for those which are paying a subscription of $99/ year.

But that doesn’t matter anymore because today all the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners are now able to download and install on their smartphones the new iOS 6.1 through iTunes or simply by using the update features with which your device is equipped.

Download links for iOS 6.1 are available in this article

As mentioned in the first paragraph, there are not quite so much novelties in this latest iteration. However, iOS 6.1 is bringing some improvements, trying to satisfy the requests which have been made by fans since 6th version of the mobile operating system has been released.

Between the new things that you will find in the latest versions of Apple’s mobile OS, we mention a Siri update which adds a new function that prevents the application to do other things except calling a contact from your agenda (if this is requested), several improvements added to Passbook, a new setup which softens the process of adding your Apple ID and password to several apps like FaceTime and iMessage, a new feature which allows you to use iTunes over high speed data networks when wi-fi isn’t available etc. However, we guess that the most useful adding in this new iteration of this famous operating system is the LTE support for other 36 data networks.

We are quite confident that even these small updates will bring joy between the fans of the Cupertino based company and many of them will be happy to test them as soon as possible. As mentioned before, you can find, at the bottom of this article, the direct download links for iOS 6.1. Of course, we strongly advise you to install this new version, even if we all know that Apple is already preparing a whole new version of their mobile operating system. The release date of iOS 7 is estimated to be scheduled in June, 2013.

several updates and improvements can be found in the new operating system

How to upgrade your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch to the new iOS 6.1

The upgrade can be done in three ways. You either use the update feature on your device, by accessing the following menu: Settings > Software Update or you can simply plug your device to your computer and open iTunes. Then, you will be notified that a new update is available for your mobile OS. The third way in which you can perform this upgrade is by downloading the new system by using the below mentioned direct links, accordingly to the device you own:

iOS 6.1 update has a size of 107 MB

We would like to hear from you if you have managed to download the new iOS 6.1 and, also what’s your opinion about it.