SITTING DUCKS

A reader asked us a question we’d never heard before. How do you trim the boring parts out of your duck-hunting video? (You know: when there are no ducks.)

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BACK TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Microsoft Office just came out in a new version for 2013. But some of us (Joy’s looking at you, Bob) haven’t upgraded Microsoft Word since 2003. This can be a problem when Joy sends Bob a file created in a newer version.

If Joy forgets to save a Word document in the “Doc” f

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GETTING THERE

Microsoft Streets and Trips is a $40 program that has been around for many years but is still popular with many, especially the recreational vehicle crowd, despite the existence of free Google maps, cheap GPS devices, and recommendation sites like Yelp. There’s a major difference here: You have to be able to get online with the Internet to use Google Maps, but Street and Trips works from information on a DVD or one-time download of the program. We did a comparison between the online Google Maps and the offline Streets and Trips on our Windows laptop. We chose Newport Beach, California (Joy’s hometown and the site of our most recent trip) as our base.  Streets and Trips found 236 restaurants […]

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FREE BOOKS FROM MICROSOFT PRESS

Microsoft is giving away over 80 e-books on tech topics like Windows 8, SharePoint and Office 365. To make them easier to find, we shortened the web address to tinyurl.com/FreeFromMS.

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WINDOWS 8 BUZZ

FrugalDad.com has a run-down on the new Windows 8. With its new “Metro” system, the Windows 8 screen will look more like a phone screen, with a social app, a cookbook app, games, etc. A portable version will let you carry all your preferences on a USB stick. Then, when you plug it into another Windows 8 machine, you will see your familiar desktop and apps.

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THE UNMANAGEABLE “TOUCH MOUSE”

When we wrote about the “Microsoft Touch Mouse” back in October, we said we weren’t sure it was worth its $80 price. Now we’re sure it isn’t, even at its new $60 sale price.

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KINECT ME

There was some new action at the Consumer Electronics Show inLas Vegas: Microsoft said their new Kinect motion-sensing game player will work with Windows and not just the Xbox 360.

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LANDING ON MEMORY LANE

Microsoft Flight Simulator will be free starting this Spring. This is one of the most famous entertainment programs in computer history. In fact it was such a combination of sophisticated programming, animation and skill that it was typically kept running on autopilot, so to speak, in the show windows of Microsoft stores. Back in those days – back when there were lots of companies making Microsoft compatible computers – some with wonderful names, like “Kentucky Fried Computers,” the true test of whether or not a system was compatible was whether it could run Flight Simulator. Those early versions trained you how to land at airports like Chicago’s Meigs Field, which no longer exists (a nostalgia trip). This Spring you can […]

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ANSWER DESK

Microsoft has launched a new tech support service called “Answer Desk.” Fifteen minutes of help is available free round the clock, seven days a week.

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A TOUCHING TAIL

This is one fancy mouse. The new “Touch Mouse” from Microsoft has a touch-sensitive surface that covers the whole mouse, so you can let your fingers do the walking. The Touch Mouse responds to one-finger, two-finger and three-finger commands. The first time you plug the mouse in, a video pops up to teach you the tricks. For example, moving three fingers away from you displays capsule images of all the windows you have open, side by side. Moving three fingers down the surface sends all open programs to a minimized state in the task bar. Move your thumb from side to side to go forward or back on the Web. Regular scrolling is done by moving a finger.

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