Borrow Ebooks – Connect Your Local Library to OverDrive

Overdrive-appThe local library not only helps saving money on books when you have kids. Who can afford to buy five picture books each week? It is also a great place for me to discover books I would usually not think of. And I get to test books when I am undecided about whether they are worth buying. Although it seems counter intuitive at first, but I actually end up buying more books than I would have without the library, because of that. These are the ones I simply have to own because they are so good.

Borrow Ebooks via OverDrive

One drawback with libraries is when you have to wait for your next read to become available. You also may have a hard time to make the library times or simply prefer ebooks. To my great surprise I just discovered you actually don’t need to go to the library to borrow books if you are o.k. with reading them on a digital device like a tablet, your computer or smartphone. Many local libraries in the U.S.  and so far seven other countries can be added to an app called OverDrive Media Console or short just OverDrive. You can check if there is a local library in your area that cooperates with OverDrive. (more…)

August 21st, 2013|

My Favorite Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts

I believe everyone who works a lot on the computer will sooner or later start to replace mouse action with shortcuts. It is faster and everyone who has ever experienced ‘Mouse Pain’ in his hand will understand why I am trying to avoid constant mouse movements as much as possible. So I put this list together for you with my favorite Chrome keyboard shortcuts.


Chrome shortcuts

Scroll through Chrome tabs

CTRL + Page Up to browse the tabs from left to right
CTRL + Page Down to browse the tabs from right to left

Opening tabs and windows

Opening a specific tab
CTRL + number to open a specific tab, e.g.
CTRL + 3 to open the third tab

a new tab : CTRL + T
a new window: CTRL + N
the last closed tab: SHIFT + CTRL + T

the history : CTRL + H
the list with the last downloaded files: CTRL + J

Search within Tab: ‘CTRL + F’ then ‘Enter’ to jump from result to result


How to use Google Instant search without mouse

Using the mouse all the time can be strenuous for the entire arm up to your shoulders. That is the reason why I love keyboard shortcuts so much. I do a lot of online research and finally realized that there are also shortcuts that work with Google’s instant search.

Here is how you can use the Google Instant search without mouse:

You can always highlight the text in the address/search bar with F6 and then just type to search.


On the results page you can do the following:

1) Place cursor in the search window with /. Unfortunately, you’ll have to delete the / with Backspace again, but that is relatively quick.

2) In the search window you can type and browse through the suggestions with the Up and down arrow keys or continue typing.
search suggestions 640
3) Select suggestion with Enter.
4) Press Tab. Then use up and down arrow keys again to browse through results (a little triangle marks the position, see image below). Press Enter to select a search result.
search results
5) Use Arrow keys to scroll up/down to read the article. Press CTRL+F to search for a certain word or expression. You can go back with ALT + left arrow
Note: If you return from a search results you can press tab to be able to browse through the results again.


May 25th, 2013|Tags: , , |

How do I activate the Gmail keyboard shortcuts?

If you want to use the speedy keyboard shortcuts in Gmail then you need to turn them on first. Here is how to do it in 5 steps:

1) Click the Settings gear on the right side in your Gmail toolbar.
settings gear
2) Select Settings from the menu that appears.

Gmail settings1
3) Select the the General tab.

General Tab


4) Scroll down until you find Keyboard shortcuts. Check Keyboard shortcuts on.

Keyboard shortcuts on
5) Don’t forget to  click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.


Read about my favorite Gmail and Chrome shortcuts!

Windows ALT Codes – How to write symbols, hearts, arrows and more

Have you ever wondered how to write the Celsius degree symbol ° or how you can write these accents above vowels like é, è, ê, etc? Do I spell it naïve or naive? Both can be used (see Merriam Webster) but it seems the “naive” is used most of the time. Maybe because the ï is nowhere to be found on the keyboard. You can use the Windows ALT codes below to write all these special characters and more.


Three digit Alt codes

These alt codes are different in that they only require to key in the code as shown.
e.g. ALT + 3 gives ♥ (no need to type zeros).

How to use the 3 digit codes

With the cursor at the position where you want to insert the special character press ALT and type the code on the numeric key pad.
Example: for ♥ you press: ALT + 3

There are some things to note:

  • Num Lock must be turned on. Activate by pressing the NUM LOCK key. A light will indicate that it is on. Without activated Num lock you may e.g. cause your browser to go to the previous page.
  • this works only with the numeric key pad. If you have a laptop you can try to copy paste the symbols from this page
  • works only with the left ALT key when you have the international keyboard activated
Symbol Code Symbol Code
1 ü 129
2 é 130
3 â 131
4 ä 132
5 à 133
6 å 134
7 ç 135
8 ê 136
9 ë 137
10 è 138
11 ï 139
12 î 140
13 ì 141
14 Ä 142
15 Å 143
16 É 144
17 æ 145
18 Æ 146
19 ô 147
20 ö 148
§ 21 ò 149
22 û 150
23 ù 151
24 ÿ 152
25 153
26 Ü 154
27 ¢ 155
28 £ 156
29 ¥ 157
30 158
31 ƒ 159
32 á 160
! 33 í 161
34 ó 162
# 35 ú 163
$ 36 ñ 164
% 37 Ñ 165
& 38 ª 166
39 º 167
( 40 ¿ 168
) 41 169
* 42 ¬ 170
+ 43 ½ 171
, 44 ¼ 172
45 ¡ 173
. 46 « 174
/ 47 » 175
0 48 176
1 49 177
2 50 178
3 51 179
4 52 180
5 53 181
6 54 182
7 55 183
8 56 184
9 57 185
: 58 186
; 59 187
< 60 188
= 61 189
> 62 190
? 63 191
@ 64 192
A 65 193
B 66 194
C 67 195
D 68 196
E 69 197
F 70 198
G 71 199
H 72 200
I 73 201
J 74 202
K 75 203
L 76 204
M 77 205
N 78 206
O 79 207
P 80 208
Q 81 209
R 82 210
S 83 211
T 84 212
U 85 213
V 86 214
W 87 215
X 88 216
Y 89 217
Z 90 218
[ 91 219
\ 92 220
] 93 221
^ 94 222
_ 95 223
` 96 α 224
a 97 ß 225
b 98 Γ 226
c 99 π 227
d 100 Σ 228
e 101 σ 229
f 102 µ 230
g 103 τ 231
h 104 Φ 232
i 105 Θ 233
j 106 Ω 234
k 107 δ 235
l 108 236
m 109 ë 237
n 110 ε 238
o 111 239
p 112 240
q 113 ± 241
r 114 242
s 115 243
t 116 244
u 117 245
v 118 ÷ 246
w 119 247
x 120 ° 248
y 121 249
z 122 250
{ 123 251
| 124 252
} 125 ² 253
~ 126 254
127 255
Ç 128

Four digit Alt codes

How to use the four digit Alt codes

With the cursor at the position where you want to insert the special character press ALT and type the code on the numeric key pad.
Example: for ® you press: ALT + 0174

There are some things to note:

  • Num Lock must be turned on. Activate by pressing the NUM LOCK key. A light will indicate that it is on. Without activated Num lock you may e.g. cause your browser to go to the previous page.
  • this works only with the numeric key pad. If you have a laptop you can try to copy paste the symbols from this page
  • works only with the left ALT key when you have the international keyboard activated
  • you need to include all numbers of the code. If there is a zero then you have to type it



A based

Capital Code Small Code
À 0192 à 0224
Á 0193 á 0225
 0194 â 0226
à 0195 ã 0227
Ä 0196 ä 0228
Å 0197 å 0229
Æ 0198 æ 0230


E based

Capital Code Small Code
È 0200 è 0232
É 0201 é 0233
Ê 0202 ê 0234
Ë 0203 ë 0235


I based

Capital Code Small Code
Ì 0204 ì 0236
Í 0205 í 0237
Î 0206 î 0238
Ï 0207 ï 0239


O based

Capital Code Small Code
Ò 0210 ò 0242
Ó 0211 ó 0243
Ô 0212 ô 0244
Õ 0213 õ 0245
Ö 0214 ö 0246
Ø 0216 ø 0248


U based

Capital Code Small Code
Ù 0217 ù 0249
Ú 0218 ú 0250
Û 0219 û 0251
Ü 0220 ü 0252


 other letters

Capital Code Small Code
Ç 0199 ç 0231
Œ 0140 œ 0156
Ð 0208 ð 0240
Ñ 0209 ñ 0241
Þ 0222 þ 0254
ß 0223
Š 0138 š 0154
Ý 0221 ý 0253
Ÿ 0159 ÿ 0255
Ž 0142 ž 0158


Symbol Description Code
¢ cent 0162
Euro 0128
ƒ Florin 0131
£ Pound 0163
¥ Yen 0165

Math Symbols

Symbol Code
¼ 0188
½ 0189
¾ 0190
÷ 0247
± 0177



Symbol Code
¡ 0161
¿ 0191
« 0171
» 0187
¤ 0164
° 0176
© 0169
® 0174
¬ 0172
§ 0167

If you find these Alt codes useful please leave a comment!
February 4th, 2013|Tags: , , , , , , |

Google Drive is disconnected


Your Google Drive Icon is grayed out, doesn’t respond to any kind of mouse click and, when you hover the mouse cursor  over it, a “Disconnected” message shows up. Your Google Drive is disconnected and you don’t seem to be able to reconnect it again.


The Fix

If your Google Drive used to sync properly before then there is no need to install and re-install Google drive over and over again. In most cases you simply need to stop the Google Drive process (Googledrivesync.exe) and start it again.


Access Windows Task Monitor

Method A: Right click on the taskbar with your mouse

Taskbar menu

Method B: Press CTRL + ALT and DELETE on the window that opens select Task Manager.

Terminate Process

In the Task Manager Window select the Processes tab and look for Googledrivesunc.exe. Highlight the process and click the End Process button

Task manager

Restart Google sync

In Windows 7 search for “Google Drive” in the start menu search box or find the Google Drive program among your installed programs and start Google Drive.

Start Menu Search box

Unless your configuration has changed (e.g. the ports were blocked by your antivirus software) your Google Drive should re-connect properly start syncing.



November 6th, 2012|Tags: , , , |

How to not send Email on behalf of in Gmail

You can use Gmail to send emails with a different address

Gmail is not only great to store and keep all your emails organized for your Gmail address, you can also route all emails from other email account to your Gmail account. And the best is you can even send emails from this one Gmail account using  a different email address.

Let’s say Jenny Email as our favorite co-worker wants to set up her Gmail account to send emails via Gmail using her other address

There are two ways to accomplish this. One method uses the Gmail mail servers  and the other uses her other mailservice’ s outbound mail servers for sending emails. Both methods work great and the recipient of Jenny’s emails probably won’t notice any difference when they also use Gmail. They will only see that the emails were sent from

However, in other email programs like Outlook the recipients may see that the message was send from on behalf of As a result they may send the email back to Jenny using her Gmail address, which can be a problem if for example she wanted to keep copies of all her work related emails on the other mail server.


Gmail using SMTP


Configure Gmail to send Emails via another SMTP server

or how to not send  Email on behalf of

First access your Gmail settings by clicking on the gear symbol on the top right side and selecting Settings on the menu that opens.


Next select the Accounts and Import tab and look at the Send mail as: section. Here you can see that Jenny already added her account. Otherwise by clicking on Add another email address you own you could do just that.

Gmail Settings accounts

By clicking on edit info the right of the alternative email address a new window opens. Un-check Treat as an alias if you don’t want to get unread copies of the email you sent in your inbox (they will also appear in among your sent emails). I recommend doing so.

You could also define another “reply-to” address, but for now simply click on the Next Step button.

Gmail Edit email address

This opens the final window where you can add either select to use the Gmail mail servers or the actual SMTP servers of your other email address. You may have to ask you IT department for the correct SMTP server address and Port if you want to use your email from work.  Port 587 will work on most cases and you can find a list of SMTP of the most free email services here.

Enter your email log-in information. Gmail will immediately connect to the SMTP server and notify you of errors.

Gmail edit email address SMTP server

Don’t forget to click the Save Changes button. That’s it! Now you will not send Email on behalf of anymore you’ll be able to use Gmail with your other email address like it was also a Gmail address.






November 3rd, 2012|Tags: , , |

How to undo send in Gmail

Do you want to undo sending an Email?

You wrote this elaborate email to all your project partners … click send… and then realize this second you forgot to copy your boss. Now you have to send this email to everyone else again. Or you forgot to add the promised attachment. Or realized you forgot to spell-check. Whatever the reason, Gmail allows you to un-send an email with the right app installed.

How to enable Undo Send in Gmail:

1. Click  Settings

Access Gmail settings

2. Select  the Labs tab


3. Scroll down and enable the Undo Send application

Enable Undo send

4. Don’t forget to click Save changes


That’s it. The next time you send an email you will see this on top of the Gmail window:

Message has been sent

Simply click Undo and you never sent the email. Like all other undos in Gmail the chance lasts only to your next action.




October 24th, 2012|Tags: , , , |

Gmail reply box too small

The Problem:

When composing a new message the size of the box you are supposed to type your text in is alright, but when you answer to an email the box becomes tiny. Particularly on a widescreen laptop screen you are only given about one fifth of the screen for your response. The Gmail reply box is really way too small this way, it is almost impossible to read the email you are responding to, which forces you to permanently scroll up and down.

The Solution:

Simply click the diagonal arrow in the right corner of your response box.
This will open a new window, which when maximized gives your plenty of room for your response.

Reply, open in new window

Alternatively you can press ALT when clicking “Reply” to open a new window:

new Gmail window

A nice side effect is that your original Gmail tab will still be there to check back and search other emails if needed for your response. I used to open duplicate tabs, which was a bit confusing because suddenly I had two open tabs with my response. I really got used to answering emails in a new window. With F11 you can toggle full-screen mode on and off, which makes the box even bigger.


October 9th, 2012|Tags: , , , , , |

Pages Widget already added


A friend called me today because he wanted to add the pages widget in blogger, but must have added it already. He could not see it below his header or anywhere else. This is how it looks when he tried to add the widget:

 Pages Widged already added


On the interface of your blog click on Pages and select top tabs or side links in the scroll down menu next to “Show pages as”.


Show pages as


This did the trick for us. We hope this solution helps to solve your problem as well, when the pages widget was apparently added although you cannot see it.



September 9th, 2012|Tags: , |