Setting Default Browser in Windows 10

A controversial topic presented by Mozilla (developers of Firefox) said that it was “disturbing” that Microsoft was being would change the default browser preference when Windows 10 is installed. I wrote a Twitter comment that stated Mozilla should “get over it”. Others said the same thing. I appreciate that Microsoft said they would leave this open for change based on user feedback. I like this stand by Microsoft and I stand by my own statement. Innovation and improvements based on user feedback and experiences should be a core goal of software companies. Microsoft has provided a new browser, Edge, and I think everyone should give it a test drive.

Helping people to perform basic Windows functions is something I need to know. It takes a bit of time and effort to negotiate the new Windows menus to find where to set the default applications so I set out to document and provide simple instructions on changing your Windows 10 default web browser back to something else, whatever it may be.

I like using Microsoft Edge, it’s simplicity, basic features, and speed. For example, I really like the Book icon on the toolbar that minimizes the contents of the current web page by removing extra assets (photos, videos, ads, etc.) and makes reading even easier and faster.

Setting Default Windows Browser

This instruction can be followed on all Windows 10 versions.

  1. Click on the Start button
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Scroll down the list and choose “Default apps”
  4. Scroll to find “Web browser”
  5. Click the currently selected web browser, by default it’s “Edge”
  6. Pick a browser application from the drop-down list
  7. Close (X) the windows to save your changes

When you open your favorite browser enough times, they can recognize this frequent action and ask if you want to set the default. If this happens, it’s a way to set it, but we hope this instruction will give you the step by step so it’s not hidden to you when it does it.

This completes the instruction we hope it was helpful.

Reset Default apps to original system preferences

If you want to reset the default applications to the system installed preferences, click the Reset button at the bottom of the “Default apps” window.

Manage Search Engine in Microsoft Edge

Now that Windows 10 has introduced the new light-weight and fast browser called Edge, it has reset a few settings. We personally love the new browser and it gives a lot of slim and slender features and choices. Although we like it, we would encourage you to try Edge for a few weeks to see how you like it. These are instructions to help add a new search engine because it’s not intuitive.

These instructions help to do the following:

  • Register/add a new search engine
  • Set a default search engine
  • Remove a search engine

Prepare by loading a search engine to register

  1. Open the Edge browser
  2. The first most important step is to have your search page already loaded in an Edge tab if you are registering a new search engine, if you are setting a new default or removing, you can skip to the next section.
    1. Click your mouse in the top “hidden” area next to the Refresh circle, this is where prior browser text boxes are located. When you blindly click in that area, the URL/Search text box will appear. As a note: we haven’t really liked this “hiding” of the URL/search box, but it does make the page look more simple.
  3. In the URL/Search box type the search page of your choice and load it, repeat this step in a separate tab for as many search engines you want to register.
  4. Here are our favorites (including Bing, but it’s the default already). Click the links below to load them in a new tab:
    1. http://www.google.com
    2. http://duckduckgo.com
    3. http://search.yahoo.com
    4. http://ask.com
    5. and other search engine choices by Wikipedia

Manage search engines

This may be easier if you Pin the Advanced Settings to the right side of the Edge window area. This is done by clicking on the Pin in the top-right corner when you have clicked on step 3.

  1. Click on the ellipses menu button at the top-right of the Edge toolbar
  2. Click the Settings menu option
  3. Click on the View Advanced Settings button at the bottom of the list
  4. Find the entry “Search in the address bar with”, click the drop-down and choose “<Add new>”
  5. A list of all search engines you’ve previously registered or recently loaded in separate tabs will appear
  6. For each entry, click it and choose to Add as default or Add or Remove
  7. This will take you back to the previous page, repeat the process starting with step 4

As we mentioned, it’s not very intuitive to have the search engines loaded in separate tabs first but we hope this is a worthwhile instruction.

 

EC2 and SQL Server Micro

As we are learning the new EC2 Amazon Cloud Services, I am compelled to post a “how to” when setting up and connecting to an AWS EC2 SQL Server box. This will answer many questions for others so they can get around the few issues that will creep up when Launching a new EC2 SQL instance. This same information can be used for other server launches too. Continue reading

WebsiteSpark Program for Noobies and Small Businesses

Microsoft has been moving at lightning speed to give software away. Especially to web professionals that want to make a huge difference in their new start-up career.  They may actually be on their way to provide a great stimulus package, that’s what I think. When Microsoft decides to give away thousands of dollars of software for free, you should perk up and listen. WebsiteSpark is a participation program you will not want to look past. Continue reading

Dreamspark Opportunity Extended

The opportunity for students just got a little sweeter. It used to be that under the Dreamspark program, college students wanting to get their feet wet in programming, could signup for the program and receive some of Microsoft’s flagship programming applications for free! Yes, free! When did Microsoft ever offer something for free. Well, they got close … it is free … however, they simply want to make sure the offer is being provided to the right market group. Students.

The sweet spot just hit by offering this now not to just College students, but now High School students. In the grades from 9 through 12. The “very small” catch is that the students must go through a few “small” hoops to get it.  I would highly advise that anyone in school from grade 9 to college look into this … it’s great. The students in High School will need to have the assistance of a school representative to make the requests, download the keys, and download the software for the student, but that’s a small price to pay for the really small price to start getting into programming.

Change Joomla Table Prefix

We are interested in your security and performance! To improve performance and enhance security of the Joomla platform be sure to provide a new prefix for Joomla database tables. This can not only provide improvements as indicated about security and performance, but it can provide a unique instance of the tables so more tables and Joomla installations can be performed. This may not be the case in your situation, like for single company installation, however it can provide a self-documenting installation. That’s to say that when you see the tables for a company “Joe’s Hardware Shop” in your database you can easily recognize the owning tables by the prefix. It’s more recognizable as to which business the database belongs to.

Just in case you installed Joomla with the default “jos_” table prefix, here are the instructions to change the prefix to something else to improve security. Notice:  follow the instructions as they’re listed and it will minimize downtime since youre website is running. Here at SnapJag Creative Designs we want our instructions are such that you can feel assured that you are able to perform the steps with accuracy, efficiency, and with as little impact as possible to your operations.

It is highly recommended that you perform these steps at a low-peak time. But make sure you are awake enough to follow the instructions if you’re doing it at night. =) Note: This method does not ask you to remove the tables first, so don’t delete the old “jos_” tables until the end. This is to help make sure you have a backup in place and that the old structure is still ready in case anything goes wrong.

  1. Kick people out: make sure no one is doing administration or management in the Joomla back-end.
  2. Login to phpMyAdmin.
  3. Click on the Export link, leaving all options as they are; specifically for:
    1. Export: SQL
    2. SQL options: SQL Export compatibility = None
    3. SQL options: Structure (Add AUTO_INCREMENT, Enclose table and field names with backquotes)
    4. SQL options: Data (Complete inserts, Extended inserts, Max Length: 50000, Use hexadecimal for binary fields, Export type: INSERT)
    5. Save to file: not on, you will use the query box to copy and paste the values to disk. If you have large content then use the method to capture to the server and retrieve the data.
  4. Click the Go link, this export may take a few minutes depending on the size of your content.
  5. Open your favorite editor (like UltraEdit), copy the content from the query box and paste it to a new text window in the text editor.
  6. Save the file as a new name to make a backup of the old data.
  7. Save the file again as a new name to make a copy of the new data.
  8. Do a search and replace for “jos_” and replace with the four character prefix of your choice. If you are using UltraEdit, choose to see a line listing of all results and scan them to make sure replacements didn’t happen with any other data than that of table name references.
  9. Comment out with dashes (‘–‘) the statement ‘Create Database…’ if it exists in the script so that an attempt to create the database doesn’t occur. This will cause an error, no damage, just an error and you’ll have to do this step and run it again if you don’t.
  10. Click on the SQL Query Window link to bring up a new SQL query window. You can’t do this next step in the same window as the query box output.
  11. Copy the text from the text editor and paste them into the SQL Query Window where it says “Run SQL query/queries on server localhost:”
  12. Click the Go button to begin the script to create the new tables.
  13. Wait for the response from the server in the browser window behind the SQL Query Window. Address any issues if you need to.
  14. If the response is not an error. Close the SQL Query Window show the phpMyAdmin home window.
  15. It’s possible the left side of the browser will say “No Tables Found”. Don’t worry, press F5 to refresh the window, and you’ll see all the new tables.
  16. Open your Joomla! back-end, go to Site | Global Configuration | Server
  17. Change the Database Settings | Database Prefix to your new prefix and click Save
  18. You may now be required to sign-in again. You will now be connected to your new tables.
  19. One more step is to delete the old ‘jos_’ tables. Go back to the phpMyAdmin window
  20. Click the Databases link, then the database where the tables exist
  21. Select all the ‘jos_’ tables, be careful to not select any new tables.
  22. At the bottom of the list, click the combo box “With Selected” and click Drop. This will build a script to remove the selected tables, confirm they are only the ‘jos_’ tables, and click Go.
  23. Wait for a ‘Executed Successfully’ statement and then
  24. Close the myPHPAdmin window
  25. For one final test, back in Joomla! logout and log back in and create some articles or do normal things to test the functionality.
  26. Also, confirm in the Site | Global Configuration | Server screen that the Database Prefix is set accordingly.

Hope this has been thorough and helpful. If you see any problems, errors, or changes that need to be made, please let us know.

Picasa for Mac

It’s been a few months since it’s release, but as I promised in my previous post about Picasa for Mac that I would enhance my computer arsenal with another Mac as soon as the software was released. Well, that’s just what I did. I purchased a great new BigMac. Here are the specs. This will help tremendously in providing up to date information, speed, and brute force to the instructions and support of my Mac clients.

  • MacPro 2×2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (yes, that’s 8 cores, happy times)
  • 8GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
  • 1.5 Terabytes of HDD space
  • 30 inch HD Cinema Display

About Picasa for Mac

The new Picasa for Mac application has been installed and rearing to go. I am currently moving my photos from my UBUNTU system to the Mac. I will give everyone instructions on how to do this as I couldn’t find concrete information about how to do it. So, in the spirit of the SnapJag support system, you’ll get your answers.

I use Lightroom as my main photo manager and not Picasa, but my wife and kids use it because it has very simple, straight-forward features that match their computer skills. Lightroom is more advanced and requires more skill. It handles my organization, editing, and production requirements much more powerfully than Picasa could. But they aren’t meant to be in competition with each other.

Picasa is meant to be an entry level photo manager providing all the basic features that would be required by light users. Lightroom enhances those light features by 7 fold giving the state of the art workflow processing modules (steps) and fine tuning editing photos, and exceptional export capabilities. Also, the ability to organize photos in folders, categories, and EXIF (embedded photo key information) are provided simply and effortlessly.

Here is the link to download the Picasa for Mac software. It’s appears to be very stable, friendly as usual, and you’ll love the speed and enhancements it provides. If you need help or support with your Mac or Picasa, give us a ring.

Fix: HP Mediacenter Blu-ray Error

Use this link to find a software update for the HP Media Center by Cyberlink for playing Blu-ray DVDs when and if you are getting the message that you need to update your DVD software/hardware. The error message on the computer states you need to visit the site http://cyberlink.com/bdupdate and perform an update of your DVD blu-ray hardware and software; but the problem lies in it not detecting any software to download.

Use the link to find the free patch to update your machine and get it working again. In short, this worked!

  1. follow the link
  2. download the software
  3. begin the installation
  4. answer the questions to uninstall the old HP Mediacenter software and install the new
  5. start the Mediacenter

The disc was recognized and started playing the movie. Finally!

The Long of the Story

I bought the X Men trilogy blu-ray for my wife for Mother’s Day and tried playing it in our HP Pavilion dv7-1273cl laptop. It didn’t work. It initially started when I had previlus model of HP laptop in December of 2008, but the fan failed. I returned it and purchased a more updated model. Now having the fan taken care of the same problem still existed for the DVDs.

But, thanks to this posting on the HPs forums I found the link to take care of it.

Originally, we bought Horton and it didn’t work. I bought Batman, it worked. I now bought X Men and it didn’t work … consistently. Now that I’ve done the patch, all of them, so far, are working.

Hope this helped you out too.

Ungrouping Taskbar Applications

In recent versions of Windows there exists the option to group your applications on the Taskbar. This is expected to reduce the amount of windows on the screen. To reduce clutter. It’s helped me, but at times, I can’t tell which window is which, or I want to compare side by side and it’s clumsy to do it with grouping on. So here’s how you ungroup the similar applications on the Taskbar.

1) Right-click on your Taskbar
2) Click Properties menu item
3) Make the Taskbar tab active
4) Untick the Group similar taskbar buttons

If you have a handy tip that you’d like to share, please forward it to us.