Windows 8: How to Change the Start Menu Background

Hover (don’t click) your mouse over the bottom-right corner of the page. This is the charmingly charmful way of making Windows 8 display the Charms menu.

From the Charms menu select Settings. It’s the icon that looks like a giant gear.

In the settings sidebar-menu, click Change PC settings.

Now that we’re here, check out the Personalize tab. Then visit the Start screen sub-tab. Choose your favorite, and settings will instantly apply.


Windows 8: How to Capture a Screenshot

  1. Press the Windows + Print Screen (PrtScn) keys and release.
  2. You will notice the screen quickly dim and return back to normal as a snapshot of the main display is captured as a screenshot.
  3. Afterwards, the screenshot is saved as a PNG file in your C:\Users\(user-name)\Pictures folder and Pictures library folder.

Windows 8: How To Customize the Lock Screen

Windows 8 lets you customize the look and feel of the Lock Screen. You can change the image to one included in the system or one of your own and add additional apps.

From the Windows 8 Start screen pull up the Charms bar and select Settings, then Change PC Settings.

The PC Settings screen opens. Select Personalize on the left and Lock Screen in the right pane. There you can change the background image to one of Microsoft’s designs.

Or, click the Browse button to use a photo from your collection.

You’ll get a preview of how the picture you choose will look.

Scroll down a bit further and you’re able to select which apps you want to show data on the Lock Screen. You can choose from Mail, Weather, Calendar and info from certain third party apps you’ve install from the Windows Store.


Windows 8: Pin Favorite Websites to Start Screen

  • In Windows 8, if you want quick access to your favorite web sites, there’s a new way to access them via the Start screen.  Here’s how to pin favorite websites.
  • From the Start screen, launch Internet Explorer 10 and browse to one of your favorite sites. On the address bar at the bottom, click the tack icon. Enter in a description for the site and click Pin to Start.
  • To remove a Favorite from the Start screen, right click the website tile. A checkmark appears on the upper left corner. Now click Unpin from Start at the bottom.

Windows 8: Create Groups for Items on Start Screen

  • From the start screen, hover the mouse pointer in the lower right corner, and click the “zoom out” icon (or CTRL + mouse wheel).
  • The icons on the start screen are minimized. Right click any of the existing groups. A green checkmark appears in the upper right corner of the group. A menu bar appears at the bottom too, click Name Group.
  • Now name the group whatever you want it to be called.
  • Then long press or click the icons you want to move into the groups you’ve created.
  • Click the Magnifying icon again, and you can move complete groups around for easier access.
  • After moving tiles around, you’ll find that you can make as many different groups as you need. Having the ability to move complete groups around really helps to get faster access to them.

Enabling the .NET Framework 3.5 in Control Panel

You can enable the .NET Framework 3.5 yourself Control Panel. In Control Panel, choose Programs and Features, choose Turn Windows features on or off, and then select the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1 check box. This option requires an Internet connection.


Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts

Win + C Open Charms Bar
Win + Q Open Search Charm
Win + H Open Share Charm
Win + K Open Devices Charm
Win + I Open Settings Charm
Win + W Search Windows Settings
Win + F Search Files
Win + Z Open Metro App Options
Win + Tab Cycle to next open app (replaces Flip 3D)
Win + . Snap Metro App Left
Win + Shift + . Snap Metro App Right
Win + PgUp (or Win + PgDn) Move Metro desktop between displays
Alt + F4 Close Metro app
Win + D Open the Windows Desktop (or toggle minimize if already on desktop)
Win + B Switch Back to Windows Desktop
Win + X Open Fast-Access Menu (with links to system tools, Mobility Center, and Command Prompt)

How To Get List Of Installed Apps In Vista/Windows 7

Recently, I was going through a blog which featured Belarc Advisor software to create the list of  installed applications on Windows so that you can install all those applications when you reinstall Windows. To be frank, I didn’t know about Belarc Advisor as I was using a built-in Windows feature which does my job without fail.

Last week, I blogged a guide similar to this which helps you generate list of running processes and services in .txt format. By following this guide you will be able to generate a text file which contains all the installed programs on your Windows machine.

If you are not in mood to install Belarc software, you can read on this small guide to create your entire installed applications list in .txt format.


1. Open command prompt with admin rights. That is, type in cmd either in Start menu search box or in Run dialog box and hit Ctrl + Shift +Enter to open the command prompt with admin rights.Alternatively you can also go to All Programs > Accessories and right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

2. Click continue button if you get User Account Control (UAC) Prompt.

3. Here in the Command Prompt, type WMIC and hit enter. Once you type hit enter to see below message.

4. Next, you need to type the following command:

/output:C:\InstallList.txt product get name,version

Where “C” is the drive letter where Windows will store the installed applications list. You can also change the name of the output file and drive letter if you want to modify the output location. Also note that this trick should work in Windows 2000 & XP operating systems without problems.

However Belarc Advisor is also good as it creates a detailed list installed apps, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status and displays the results in your Web browser.



Setting Windows 7 Bluetooth Discoverable by Others

You can set up your Windows 7 computer to be discoverable by other Bluetooth devices using these steps:

  1. Click the Windows “Start” button.
  2. Type in “Change Bluetooth Settings” in the Search field and press the “Enter” key. You will see the “Bluetooth Settings” window showing up.
  3. Check the checkbox on “Allow Bluetooth devices to find this computer” as shown in the picture below:
  4. Click “OK” to save the change.

Warning: To protect your privacy, set your computer to be discoverable only when you want a Bluetooth device to find your computer.


PHP: Creating Automatic MySQL Database backups


Every database needs to be backed up and if you’re currently doing it manually you can stop because there’s a simple solution using PHP. With this script you can either pass a specific table to backup or choose to backup the whole database.

 PHP |  copy code |? 
backup_database_tables('HOST','USERNAME','PASSWORD','DATABASE', '*');
// backup the db function
function backup_database_tables($host,$user,$pass,$name,$tables) {
    $link = mysql_connect($host,$user,$pass);
    //get all of the tables
    if($tables == '*') {
        $tables = array();
        $result = mysql_query('SHOW TABLES');
        while($row = mysql_fetch_row($result)) {
            $tables[] = $row[0];
    } else {
        $tables = is_array($tables) ? $tables : explode(',',$tables);
    //cycle through each table and format the data
    foreach($tables as $table) {
        $result = mysql_query('SELECT * FROM '.$table);
        $num_fields = mysql_num_fields($result);
        $return.= 'DROP TABLE '.$table.';';
        $row2 = mysql_fetch_row(mysql_query('SHOW CREATE TABLE '.$table));
        $return.= "\n\n".$row2[1].";\n\n";
        for ($i = 0; $i < $num_fields; $i++) {
            while($row = mysql_fetch_row($result)) {
                $return.= 'INSERT INTO '.$table.' VALUES(';
                for($j=0; $j<$num_fields; $j++) {
                    $row[$j] = addslashes($row[$j]);
                    $row[$j] = ereg_replace("\n","\\n",$row[$j]);
                    if (isset($row[$j])) { $return.= '"'.$row[$j].'"' ; } else { $return.= '""'; }
                    if ($j<($num_fields-1)) { $return.= ','; }
                $return.= ");\n";
    //save the file
    $handle = fopen('db-backup-;'.time().'-'.(md5(implode(',',$tables))).'.sql','w+');