Stan's Chrome-Plated Tech Tips

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Gmail - Why must you alway be so full of yourself?

So if you're like the countless numbers of businesses and individuals with GMail accounts, you've likely filled that sucker to the brim.  If you're an especially big abuser of email attachments as a means of spreading the love, you've likely filled 'er up to the point of getting a notification to the effect of: "Uh yeah, you're gonna either need to pay us some money for more space or delete some of your crap.  This message ain't going though."

Well I'm about to tell you the most effective means of getting the particularly egregious suckers out of the inbox and clearing out enough space in your GMail to once again let you send messages.

So you'll need to start with an effective desktop email client.  Sorry phone/tablet peeps, this solution ain't gonna cut it for ya.  I've got a great computer repair guy for you in that case.  For my purposes Microsoft Outlook is the ticket, but this should work with any client that supports IMAP mail.  You'll need to set up GMail (this Handy Guide'll show you how to do it) in Outlook first.  Once it populates you'll find the root of the problem in a nasty folder called "All Mail."  Here's the dirty little secret that gets most people stuck: deleting from the inbox in a mail client like Outlook still leaves the same messages in the "All Mail" folder.  Sucks right?  Well here's how we beat them at their game:  We'll delete from the "All Mail" folder directly.

Once you navigate to the All Mail folder, the way I've found most effective is to sort the messages by size (this guide shows you how) and first copy the messages you want to keep to a local folder.  Only then can you delete the extra large messages you just archived.  Make sure to empty your trash either in Outlook or GMail directly, and there you have it.  Easy-peasy and those pesky bounced messages are a thing of the past.  

In any case, if you're sending or receiving a lot of large attachments, your storage space can fill up rather quickly.  Consider using a file sharing application like Dropbox or Usendit as a better means of transmitting large files.  It's just good netiquette and for basic use, FREE.  Dontcha love free?  Of course you do, it's not like you're paying for GMail!

Anyway, there's my tip for you guys this time 'round.  

As always,

I'm not a Geek.  I'm you're friend.  And I'm here to help.

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Monday, May 20, 2013


Windows 8 - You Can Have It Your Way!

Oh Windows 8 - you poor soul.  You're actually a pretty decent OS (minus the Metro or whatever you're calling it these days interface), but we're about 6 months in, and folks would have you believe it's the second coming of Vista.  Well on this you can trust me - it's in no way a nightmare of Vistonian proportions.  A quick installation of a handy start menu rebuilder, and you're back to the natural progression of the traditional Windows desktop.

So let's say you're willing to give it a go, what should you do first?  Well on initial installation, you're going to probably run into a few "huh?" moments, but I'll go over those in a future blog post.  First things first, go to your web browser (probably Internet Explorer at this point), search for "Windows 8 Start Menu," and choose from any of the free or very inexpensive start menu apps.

FWIW, my personal fave is Startisback! for a whopping $3.  For you extra "frugal" types, go with the free Classic Shell.  Either of them does the job, and unless Microsoft gives you some good reason, you never have to see the new interface until you're ready.  There are grumblings that the first major update for 8 (codename: Blue) might recreate the start menu as well, but in the meantime this'll have to do.  Couple of simple clicks and there you go, right as rain:

For most of you this is enough to get you going in the wild and crazy universe that is Windows 8.  Now what it won't do is get rid of all the preloaded bloatware your new Windows 8 computer came loaded with.  For that I recommend you take the thing to the best Computer Repair Los Angeles has to offer - I know the guy well and I promise he'll take care of you! ;-)

Thanks for reading!

As Always,


I'm not a Geek.  I'm your friend.  And I'm here to help.

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