Another hodgepodge of tips, tricks and a contest, too |

Another hodgepodge of tips, tricks and a contest, too

eRin pheiL
eRin pheiL

Happy Halloween to everyone! Not only is today a holiday – it’s almost the weekend; so I hope you’re smiling big.

Today we have a jumble of interesting items. And so without further ado, here we go.

First off is a mini-contest. You see, I received several sample mousepads in the mail from a company trying to sell their products to me. I’m still undecided as to whether I’m going to buy anything or not – but I know for a fact that I don’t need all these extra mousepads laying around my office. So here’s the deal: I have 5 extra mousepads left. I will mail these out to the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th people that

e-mail me at in regard to this contest. Make sure to type “MOUSEPAD” into the subject line and to include your name and mailing address.

Please note that I don’t think these mousepads would work very well with optical mice.

Also, this collection of mousepads is very, very arbitrary. One pad is round with yellow and red oils inside that mix and flow when you move your mouse over it. Sounds cool – looks a bit tacky to tell you the honest truth. One has a photo of a kid on it as well as some type of advertisement for the Macomb Intermediate School District in Michigan. Another is for something called, um, geosynthetica.

Get the point? These are very random mousepads and I have a strong hunch they won’t be winning any beauty contests in the near future. If you’re all about “lookin’ good,” I don’t think this contest is for you. But they work! So e-mail me if you want one.

Let’s move on.

Here’s a very cool time-saving trick. Let’s say you have 5 programs open, such as your Internet browser, your e-mail program, an instant messaging program, a rockin’ solitaire game, and your computer cd-player.

How do you get from one program to another? Do you move your mouse to the taskbar at the bottom of your screen? Do you minimize (shrink down) each program screen until the one you want to look at is remaining? NO!

Check this out. Take your left thumb and hold down the Alt key (directly to the left of your space bar). Now take your left ring finger (though some people prefer to use their left pinky) and, still holding down that Alt key, tap the Tab key. Walla!

A rectangular box should have popped up in the middle of your screen. As you continue to tap the Tab key, you can cycle through each of the programs and windows that are open on your computer – without ever having to lay a finger on your mouse.

As you continue to hit Tab (remember, your thumb is holding down the Alt key this entire time), a highlight square inside the box that popped open will move from one program to the next. When the highlight square is over the program you want to change to, just let go with both your fingers. Now how cool is that?!

Next up I have an interesting little piece of information for you. At a recent evening soiree I was asked about that funny button on that’s immediately adjacent to the famous “Google Search” button we all press when we’re ready to search the web. In case you can’t remember, ladies and gentlemen, that funny button on the right of the Google key reads “I’m Feeling Lucky.”

Some people are scared of this button and have never clicked it. Some people are intrigued by it and click it often – but don’t understand what happens afterward. Let’s clear things up.

According to Google, the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button takes you directly to the first web page Google returned for your search. You will not see the other search results at all.

Google provides the following scenario as an example: If you wanted to find the homepage for Stanford University, you could simply enter “Stanford” into the search field and click on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. Google would take you directly to,

Stanford’s official homepage – instead of providing you with a long list of results.

So that’s it for today, folks. Enter my contest. Check out that Alt + Tab trick. Give Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button a whirl. And most importantly, have fun out there.

Based in Frisco, eRin pheiL

is the primary creative force behind timeforcake


She can be reached via phone at (970) 668-0709 or e-mail at

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