Tag Archives: screenshots

Lefties – how to adjust the mouse buttons in Windows 10

I wrote up a quick how-to for a student of mine and thought it might be useful for other left handers out there.

Step 1

Click the START button [circled in red] to display the Start Menu. On the Start Menu, click ‘Settings’[shown in green] :

Step 2

With the Settings dialog box displayed, click ‘Devices’ [shown in green] :

Step 3

With the Devices dialog box displayed, click ‘Mouse & touchpad’ [shown in green]:

Step 4

With the ‘Mouse & touchpad’ dialog box displayed, click ‘Left’.

The option for ‘Right’ will now be displayed.

Click ‘Right’ as shown:

Left handers should now be able to mouse click using the index finger of their left hand and the right button of the mouse. 🙂










A naughty weekend in Warrandyte

No! Not that kind of weekend…;) This kind of weekend:

The lighting effects are truly glorious in Elder Scrolls Online, and they inspired me to create classically inspired interiors for my in-game house. That involved finding recipes, gathering ingredients and finally crafting beautiful items like:

…the goblets and knick knacks you can see displayed on that shelving.

I also splurged and bought a very expensive recipe for a glass goblet and some ‘food’. In this last screenshot, you can see my wedge of cheese, the bread platter, and some kebabs. Dinner chez moi. 🙂

I loved the player housing in Final Fantasy XIV, but the housing and control in ESO are an order of magnitude better. Harder to master, but I think the effects speak for themselves. And yes, I did spend a lot of time playing this weekend. But I also spent a lot of time, and most of my energy mowing. I literally did not have enough oomph left over to write. Today, though, I will make up for lost time.





2 free days for the KDP how-to books

I should probably stretch these promotions out but…meh, let’s have some fun. 🙂

Okay, from October 23 to 24 [2 days], the ebook version of How to Print Your Novel with Kindle Direct Publishing and How to Print Non-Fiction with Kindle Direct Publishing will be free on Amazon:

The difference between the two books is that the How to…Novel is pitched at absolute beginners while the How to Non-Fiction is for self-publishers who have to deal with lots of graphics. Oh and the How to Non-Fiction has a new Index of Links at the very back. You can find it by looking at the bottom of the Table of Contents.

If you’re just interested in the KDP side of the equation, both books cover the same information. This includes three appendices that contain information specifically for Aussie authors.

Both how-to books are in colour and fixed layout:

Although you can pinch-and-zoom with fixed format ebooks, you can’t change the font size to suit your comfort zone. That’s why I made the font size 24. On my Kindle Fire, that size is like a normal size 12 font in a paperback. I also made the pictures as ‘visible’ as possible so you wouldn’t have to keep zooming in and out all the time. I haven’t tried either book on a phone so if anyone gives it a try I’d love to know how well [or badly] it works.

Fixed format ebooks can only be read on one of the Kindle Fires or via the free Kindle app.  You can get the app. for a variety of devices at this web address:


The free promotion should start at midnight tomorrow for the Northern hemisphere. For us Aussies, it will begin at about 6 pm tomorrow.  I genuinely hope lots of people download the books, and I would really, really appreciate the odd review. 🙂



IngramSpark cover template builder

Just a very quick post about the covers for IngramSpark.

First, you can find the template builder on the IngramSpark website here:


You won’t have to register with IngramSpark to use the cover generator, but you will have to type in an ISBN for the book plus other details like total page count etc:

IngramSpark will send you an email so you can download the template [two choices InDesign or PDF].

The template will look like this:

The cover has to fit over the entire coloured area, with particular attention to the text that goes on the spine. Then the WHOLE template plus cover image has to be saved as one, converted to whatever [for me it’s PDF] and that is sent off as the cover file.

Hope that makes sense.

Night all,


#FFXIV – decorating my new room

Non-gamers look away now!

Just a couple of pics of my room in the Tonberry FC. Absolutely adore the ‘rust red’ of the walls:


Okay, back to work now. -waves-





#Windows 10 updates – #Metered Connection

This how-to is for all non-US users of Windows 10 who have capped broadband plans – i.e. only get XX gigabytes of data per month.

Pre-Step A

Go to:

  1. Start
  2. Settings
  3. Update & Security
  4. Windows Update
  5. Advanced Options

Now make sure ‘Choose How Updates are Installed’ is set to ‘Automatic (recommended)’ as shown below:

update auto is on

[Note: if this option is set to ‘Notify to reschedule restart’ at this point, Windows becomes…confused and could go into a perpetual loop. Mine did and I had to do a hard shutdown to get it to stop].

Step 1 – Finding the ‘Metered connection’ option

Click on the Start button and then select:

  1. Settings
  2. Network and Internet
  3. Wifi
  4. Advanced Options

Under ‘Metered connection’, click the slider button to show ‘on’:

metered connection

Step 2 – changing how Windows 10 updates are scheduled

Now go back to:

  1. Settings
  2. Update & security
  3. Windows update
  4. Advanced options

and under ‘Choose how updates are installed’, change ‘Automatic’ to ‘Notify to schedule restart’.

Now, Windows 10 will notify you of:

  • available updates, and
  • how much broadband they will use

but it will not download and install them automatically. This is what my laptop now shows:

new update option

My heartfelt thanks to The Opening Sentence for showing me where the ‘Metered connection’ option was hiding! I feel a lot better now. 🙂


Working with Children Check – step-by-step

Most community based learning centres have some programs for children, so most community centres require volunteers [and paid staff] to be cleared for working with children. Given the horrific tales of child abuse all over the media, I agree that vetting adults who work with children is a good idea. Unfortunately the implementation of that good idea is a bureaucratic nightmare.

Having just struggled with this nightmare myself, I thought a step-by-step walkthrough of the process might be useful to others. So here it is.

Step 1 Go to the Working with Children home page :


Step 2 Ignore the animated prompt to register and click on the big, blue ‘Apply for a check’ button on the right of the page :

working with children home page

Step 3 You should now be looking at a page full of information about who should apply, etc etc. Ignore all that, and scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find some more big, blue buttons. Right at the very bottom you will see a slightly smaller, blue button called ‘Start Application’. Click it as shown :

working with children app page2

Step 4 You should now be looking at another long page of information. Scroll down until you reach the bottom of that page. There you will find this :

working with children app page4The first text box asks if you’ve applied for a check before. Click on the small arrow next to the question and select either yes or no. I selected no.

The second text box is only for those who have applied for the check before and already have some documentation. For newbies like us, ignore.

The third text box requires that you choose between a check for an employee, or a volunteer. If you select ’employee’ it is assumed that you will be paid for your work and/or that the employer will pay for your check. The fee for an employee check is $102. If you select ‘volunteer’ there is no fee, but you will not be able to work with children in a paid capacity.

To select either employee or volunteer, click the small arrow to the right of the text box and make your selection. To continue, click ‘Next’.


Step 5 At last, the contact details form. This should have been very straight forward, but it wasn’t. You start by filling in your current, residential address details. Then you get to the bit shown in red below :

working with children app page7

This is for your postal address, and includes a little checkbox that you can click if your postal address is the same as your residential address. This is what happened when I clicked the checkbox and ‘Next’ :

working with children app page7 errorThe address details aren’t real, but you can see that they were carried over quite nicely to the postal address fields… except for the state. For some reason the application doesn’t recognize its own data.

The only way to get around this error is to uncheck the checkbox and manually type your postal details in again. Then hit ‘Next’ and everything is fine. -face palm-

Step 6 The next page asks for ‘Organisation details’:

working with children app page8

The organisations in question are the companies for which you are volunteering. Now despite the fact that I am volunteering to work with adults, not children, I may be asked to do something with children in the future – e.g. take a class, or take over for 5 minutes while the assigned carer goes to the loo – so I need to have the checks in place ahead of time…

– click ‘yes’

– click the small arrow next to ‘Occupational Work Codes’ and select the option that best describes what you will be required to do with children.

Step 7  Then you click ‘Next’ and get this :

working with children app page8 error

Luckily, this error is actually not a real error at all. What’s happened is that when you clicked ‘yes’ under  Organisation details, the system did not allow you to specify the names of those organisations. This form is a kind of catch-up [and something you should have seen all along]. Click in each box and fill in the relevant details. Finally click ‘Add organisation to list’ as shown :


working with children app page9 error

Step 8 If you need to add multiple organisations, click ‘Add another organisation’ as shown :

working with children app page10 error

Step 9 Almost done. You should now be looking at a legal looking page. Right down the bottom you should see this :

working with children app page11

– Click the small checkbox [small red circle] and then,

– Click on ‘Sign and Submit’

What this does is send a sort of electronic ‘intent to apply’. But…. YOU STILL HAVE TO SEND IN THE PAPER APPLICATION!

Step 10 The Confirmation page. This is actually rather important:

working with children app page12 print

You now have to print off the form you have just filled in by clicking ‘Print or Save’. It will have a box for signing… BUT DO NOT SIGN IT! Take the unsigned form, along with a passport photo and suitable ID – e.g. passport, driver’s license, Medicare card etc – to an Australia Post office*. The Australia Post employee will then watch you sign the printed form [and date it]. They will then certify that the ID you have shown and your signature all match.

Then, they will take your application and do whatever it is they do with it. In return, you will receive a receipt to show that you have applied. However you will not, legally, be authorized to work with children until your application is accepted. Not sure how long the acceptance part will take but I’d guess at least two working weeks.

* You will not be able to find a list of ‘participating Australia Post offices‘ by clicking the link on the Confirmation page. That link only takes you to the main Australia Post page. Where you go from there I have no idea. I’d suggest ringing up one of the larger Australia Post offices instead.

And there, at last, you have it, how to navigate one of the worst interfaces I have ever had the misfortune to use. Good luck, and now I’m off for a much needed coffee.



p.s. My application is in! I went to the Australia Post office in Eltham and everything went smoothly.




Nice feature WordPress!

I’ve been noticing something strange in my stats lately, so tonight I looked at them more closely, and discovered a really nice WP feature in the process. Basically it allows you to look at the stats of individual posts over time :


If  you already know about this little gem then please ignore the rest of this post. If not, I’ll show you where to find it.

Click on the Stats tab of your WordPress page [the main one, not Dashboard], and look on the right hand side where it lists the top posts and pages :

wp feature


If you click on that little zoom icon, the stats for that particular post will be displayed.  And they’re amazing. 🙂

I still have no idea why my post on the Samsung Galaxy SII is getting so much attention all of a sudden, but I know I’ll be playing with the zoom icon from now on. Gotta love some of the toys um, I mean tools WordPress gives us.

Goodnight all!


SWTOR screenshots using FRAPS

Getting the material for this post killed 3 birds with one stone! No, not real birds, metaphoric ones. :p After a long day of slaving over a hot blog, taking these screenshots gave me something to post about, gave me a chance to play with the FRAPS application I bought the other day and… it gave me an excuse to play SWTOR [Star Wars The Old Republic] during the afternoon, guilt free. Come, have a look!

The lady with the dreads is, surprise, surprise, my gunslinger Meeka. 🙂 I have had a Meeka in almost every single MMO I have ever played. Not one of them has ever looked anything like me – they’ve all been tall and deadly – but each one has had a little bit of me in there, in the wish fulfillment department if nothing else!

This latest Meeka is badass with an attitude but I like to think she has a heart of gold – all 24 carats of it. 😀 [Click on the picture to get a better look].

Meeka is quite obviously my favourite toon [gamer-speak for character].

Next up we have a little eye-candy… for me. 😀 Sadly, like WoW [World of Warcraft] and most western MMO’s, the males in SWTOR are all bog ugly, except for this one. Miir is the only cute looking male in the whole game. He also speaks with a very sexy British accent because he is a Sith and all Sith are evil. Something about that didn’t quite come out right… 😉

For those who are interested, most MMO’s are designed around two factions – one good one not good. The reason for this is to give the blood thirsty amongst us a reason to whack at each other in player-vs-player battles. So. Most of my toons belong to the Republic and hence are ‘good’ but Miir belongs to the Sith Empire so he is ‘bad’. Well actually Miir is probably one of the few ‘good’ Sith in-game because that’s the way I play him but you get the idea. Frankly he was just too cute to resist. 🙂

And finally we have Ktah. She is a Republic Trooper and does the whole soldier-speak stuff, like saying ‘affirmative’ instead of ‘yes’. For some reason I find it hard not to role-play her as a poker-up-the-bum moron. No offence to any real soldiers out there. Ktah’s only redeeming trait is that she can be stubborn about ‘doing the right thing’, sometimes even if that means going against orders but generally she’s a bit boring. I also have a Jedi Knight but she is just too boring to post about. Whoever came up with the Jedi Knight concept needs to be shot.

So there you have it – a woman with attitude, a pretty-boy and a soldier. Are all three me? Not likely but they are a lot of fun. 🙂

And now to something less frivolous. Was buying FRAPS a good decision or not? The answer to that is a resounding YES! I love it. However before I start singing the praises of FRAPS I should confess that until now I have been taking screenshots using the most basic of all tools – the PrintScreen button on my keyboard.

Yes, yes I know, only dinosaurs use PrintScreen and MS Paint but you see I really haven’t had to do much graphics work for years so scrooge that I am I made do with the primitive tools available for free. If you have used these two tools then you will know how primitive they are. If you haven’t then I won’t bore you with an explanation. Just take my word for it that it’s a horrible process.

Now to FRAPS. Installation was a breeze and setting the application up for taking screenshots was just as easy. I changed the destination folder from the default folder to a location where I knew I’d be able to find it again. Then I changed the default screen capture key from F10 to F12 and voila, all done.

Using FRAPS has been just as easy. When I see an image I wish to capture I just hit that F12 key and continue playing. Behind the scenes FRAPS takes that image, assigns it a name and automatically saves it to the destination folder I specified. Literally too easy. 😀

So the moral of this post is : if you take more than 3 screenshots in any given year then I highly recommend FRAPS as an easy to use alternative. I bought the application outright because I’m anal like that but I think you can download and use the free version if you want. There may be a few less functions and bells and whistles with the free version but it sure beats PrintScreen and Paint.




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