Archive for the ‘How To’ Category

The following is a translation of a Google alert page about Typhoon Francisco (from October 2013). You can track the progress of typhoons on the Japan Meteorological Agency website.


Fasten down loose roof tiles
If your roof tiles start flying off, there will likely be serious injuries. Check your roof and outer walls for places where leaks could develop. Fasten things like antennas, fences, bicycles, and plants down with rope, or move things inside if possible.

Do some preventative maintenance on your drainage systems
When drainage ditches get clogged, they cause water to collect in roads and yards and can cause damage to basements and parking areas. Make sure your gutters are clean and free of leaves and garbage.

Prepare flashlights and food
There is a possibility of power failures and the water being stopped. Prepare a flashlight and a way to obtain information, such as a radio. Imagine that you might not be able to go shopping for a few days, so buy enough food and drinks to be able to feed yourself for a few days.

Move your furniture to higher levels
Your household goods will be destroyed if they get wet. Move anything that will be ruined by water to a higher floor. Get flood insurance.

If you live in a low-lying area, prepare sandbags
Sandbags can be used by people in low-lying areas or near river banks to prevent or delay flooding. If you can’t get sandbags, you can fill garbage bags with water and secure them with concrete blocks. You can also fill PET bottles with water and wrap them in cardboard.

Avoid basements
Train stations, shops, and parking areas that are underground can flood, so be careful.

Don’t use elevators
Elevators may stop if their underground power source or machinery is flooded, so it is better not to use elevators.

Don’t go outside
The best way to wait out a typhoon is at home. If you are in transit during a typhoon, do not go outside. Don’t go near any rivers or canals to see what they look like as that is extremely dangerous. Also, don’t try to repair your roof when the typhoon is close. Finish your repairs well before the typhoon approaches.

Beware of landslides
Land that is sloped 30 degrees or more and is 5m high or more has a high chance of creating a landslide. You can check your city’s website for the locations of steep terrain. If you see cracks in the land, if small rocks are falling down the slope, or if water is coming out of the slope, the chance of a landslide is high. Take refuge in the upper floor of a strong building.

Try to envisage the possibility of flooding
If you are in an area where high tides or floods are being predicted, pay close attention to the weather information, and instructions from the local government. Make sure you are ready to evacuate immediately if necessary.

If information about evacuation is broadcast, help others evacuate
If the local government issues information about evacuation, take people to a safe place or an official evacuation center immediately by car or other vehicle. Give precedence to the elderly, disabled, and families children. You can take refuge in a high place, a friend or relative’s home, or a public building.

If an evacuation order is issued, move in groups
If an evacuation order is issued, lock up your house, gather up your neighbours, and walk together to the evacuation point. It’s best to wear practical shoes like running or hiking shoes for walking in flooded streets.

Sorry to report that this was only a temporary solution. It worked until I turned my computer off, and then it stopped working. If I repeat the procedure, the taskbar comes back again until I turn the computer off. Back to the drawing board…


I like to have the maximum amount of screen space, so I set the taskbar at the bottom of Windows to hide when it’s not in use. Whenever I need the taskbar, I just hover over where it should be and it pops up. However, I recently noticed that I couldn’t get my taskbar to unhide itself when I was using Google Chrome as my browser. The taskbar worked fine with every single other program, but not Chrome.

Here is how I fixed this problem.

Unhide the Windows Taskbar When Using Chrome
Follow these steps to move the position of your taskbar and move it back again:

  1. Minimize Chrome or close it so you can see you taskbar.
  2. Right click on the taskbar and select “properties”.
  3. Change the position of your taskbar from the bottom of your screen to the right of your screen.
  4. Click on Apply or OK and close the dialogue box.
  5. Right click on the taskbar again and select “properties” again.
  6. Change the position of your taskbar back to the bottom.
  7. Click on Apply or OK and close the dialogue box.

That is it. After I did that, my taskbar worked fine in Chrome. I’m not sure if this will be a permanent fix or not, but it seems to be working for now. I will report back if this solution doesn’t seem to stick.

Whenever I try to watch videos through iTunes, the audio goes out of sync. If I open up the file in QuickTime, the problem disappears, but it is annoying to have to open everything one-by-one in QuickTime. I *think* I have found a solution.

1. Close iTunes, Quicktime, and any other media-playing software.

2. Check your QuickTime settings.

Even though this is a problem with iTunes and not Quicktime, the problem may be solved by making sure your iTunes audio settings match your computer settings. Open QuickTime, go to QuickTime Settings, go to Audio, and under Audio Out, check what your settings are. They should be something like 16 bit, 44.1khz.

3. Check your speaker settings.

Open up your speaker settings and make sure they match your QuickTime settings. They should be something like 16 bit, 44100 hz (CD Quality). If they do not match your QuickTime settings, change them.

4. Start iTunes.

Open iTunes again and see if the problem is fixed.

This seems to have fixed the problem for me. Please mention in the comments if it works for you.

Source: iTunes Forum

In order to make and save canned responses, you have to first enable them in your Gmail settings.

Enable Canned Responses

  1. Click on the “gear” icon at the top right of your Gmail screen.  Select “Settings”.
  2. Click on “Labs”.
  3. In the “Search for a lab” box, enter “canned”.
  4. When “Canned Responses” comes up, select “Enable”.
  5. Click on “Save Changes”.

Once you have done that, you can make, insert, and delete your canned responses.

Make a Canned Response

  1. Click on “Compose” to open a new email.
  2. Enter the text that you want to “can” in the email (e.g. Dear…  I am writing today to…).
  3. In the bottom right hand corner of your new email, you will see a very small triangle (beside the trash can).  Click on the triangle.
  4. Select “Canned responses”.
  5. Under “Save”, select “New canned response”.
  6. Enter a title for your canned response (e.g. Test).

Insert a Canned Response

  1. Click on “Compose” to open a new email.
  2. In the bottom right hand corner of your new email, you will see a very small triangle (beside the trash can).  Click on the triangle.
  3. Select “Canned responses”.
  4. Under “Insert”, select the name of the canned response you want to use (e.g. Test).
  5. The text that you saved above will be inserted into your email exactly where your cursor was.  Note that canned responses do no include the “Subject”, so you will have to include your own subject each time.

Delete a Canned Response

  1. Click on “Compose” to open a new email.
  2. In the bottom right hand corner of your new email, you will see a very small triangle (beside the trash can).  Click on the triangle.
  3. Select “Canned responses”.
  4. Under “Delete”, select the name of the canned response you want to delete (e.g. Test).

This is an easy one.

  1. Click on the tab in the upper right hand corner that lets you go to your Chrome settings.
  2. Click on “Settings”.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and click on “Show advanced settings…”.
  4. Under “Privacy”, click on “Clear browsing data…”.
  5. The following four items should have checkmarks:
    • Clear browsing history
    • Clear downloaded history
    • Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data
    • Empty the cache

    The following four items should not have a checkmark in them (unless you want to clear this information too):

    • Clear saved passwords
    • Clear saved Autofill form data
    • Clear data from hosted apps
    • Deauthorize content licenses
  6. The default setting will be to delete the browsing data for the past hour, but if you have had this problem of not being able to use Google Search in Chrome for longer than an hour, you can change the setting of “Obliterate the following items from…” to a longer period. If you are not sure, leave this as “the past hour” for now. If this solution doesn’t work, try increasing this and doing it again.
  7. Click on “Clear browsing data”.

This should fix it, especially if the problem has just started recently. If it doesn’t do the trick, please say so in the comments.