Category Archives: Operating Systems

How to Get Windows Narrator to Stop Reading Your Screen

I just updated my computer to Windows 8.1 and while I was working on a spreadsheet in Google Drive, I suddenly pressed a combination of keys that made my computer start reading out stuff on the screen. Here is how I got it to stop.

Press [Windows] and [Enter].

This will also make it start again. I got myself into this mess by trying to make a line break in a cell in my spreadsheet (which is done with [Alt] and [Enter]) and mistyping.

More info is available on the Windows site.

How to Fix the Windows Taskbar Problem in Google Chrome

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.

How to Fix: iTunes Audio Sync Problem

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

How to Get a Jawbone Jambox to Connect to a Windows 8 Computer

When I tried to connect my Jambox to my Windows 8 machine, at first it didn’t recognize it at all. Then it recognized it as a phone device and asked for a passcode (but wouldn’t let me enter the passcode that Jambox suggests, which is “0000”). I tried connecting the device again and again, in various ways, but had no luck. I looked up some solutions online, but they were fairly complicated and I am of the opinion that there is usually a simple solution out there if you look hard enough. I decided to go back to first principles and shut everything off, and then turn everything back on, one by one. This is what finally worked.

First, make sure nothing else is connected to your Jambox, such as your phone or mp3 player. If anything else is connected, first disconnect it, then continue with these instructions.

Turn your Jambox off. Then, turn your computer’s bluetooth connection off. Then turn your computer’s bluetooth connection back on again. Turn your Jambox back on and set it to search for devices to pair with. Then search for new bluetooth devices.

By doing this, I was finally able to connect the Jambox without resorting to any complicated fiddling. I think that this is one of those problems that is not actually a problem. It just requires both devices (the computer and the Jambox) to be both ready and “clean” before the connection will work. If you are having trouble connecting your Jambox to your computer, I recommend trying this first before seeking out more complicated solutions.

If the above doesn’t work, maybe try turning your computer’s bluetooth off, then turning your computer off, then turning your Jambox off. Then restart your computer, turn your bluetooth back on, and turn the Jambox on. My guess is that should work in most cases.

Please report back on your success or lack thereof in the comments.


Note also that if you pause what you are listening to for a certain amount of time, you may lose your connection with your Jambox. In that case, just turn the Jambox off and on again and it should sort itself out.

Japanese Keyboard Doesn’t Work on English Windows 7 Laptop

I bought a new laptop that was custom made. It had Windows 7 in English, but the keyboard was Japanese (i.e. quotation marks [“], rather than the at sign [@], above the 2). However, the keyboard mapping wasn’t correct. When I pressed shift+2, I got an at sign instead of a quotation mark.

I looked around for ways to fix this problem, but couldn’t find anything useful. Almost everyone said to change the keyboard settings, but that didn’t work. Some also said to change the registry, but that didn’t work either.

What did work was using a different driver for the keyboard:

  1. Go to device manager and find the keyboard driver. Double click on it.
  2. Update the driver. Driver tab –> Update Driver.
  3. Click on “Browse My Computer…” and then “Let me pick…”.
  4. Deselect “Show compatible hardware” so you will see more options.
  5. Scroll up or down until you see “Japanese PS/2 keyboard (106/109 key)”. Click on it, then click “Next”.
  6. You will probably receive a driver warning. Click on “Yes” to ignore it.
  7. Follow any other necessary steps and then restart the computer.

Hope this fixes the problem for you too!