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· One min read

Navigating around Windows 8 can be a lot faster and more efficient with the use of keyboard shortcuts called Hotkeys – the below guide is a list of Windows 8 hotkeys for navigating the user interface.

Windows Key – Opens the Start screen
Windows Key+Tab – Metro app switcher
Windows Key+C – System charms
Windows Key+Z – Application charms
Windows Key+I – Settings menu
Windows Key+K – Devices menu
Windows Key+H – Share menu
Windows Key+F – Search files on Start screen
Windows Key+Q – Application search on Start screen
Windows Key+W – Settings search on Start screen
Windows Key+. (Period) – Snap Metro app to the right side of the screen
Windows Key+Shift+. (Period) – Snap Metro app to the left side of the screen (only works on wide-screen monitors)

· 2 min read

Networking is a marvel of interconnected devices and languages – Windows networking protocols help that happen by making sure 2 devices are sharing the same method of communicating. This is a quick reference guide on what each Protocol and Client on the Windows OS does.

Client for Microsoft Networks
Used to access other shared resources on your local network running the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks protocol.
QOS Packet Scheduler
Used to provide traffic management on your network for applications that support the protocol.
File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
Used to share your printer and files on your computer with other computers on your local network.
Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor Protocol
provides the ability to load balance between two or more network cards.
Microsoft LLDP Protocol Driver
Used to create the network map used in the Network browser and Networking and Sharing Centre.
Link Layer Topology Discovery Mapper I/O Driver
Used to discover other computers connected to your local network.
Link Layer Topology Responder
Used to identify your computer to other computers connected to your local network.
Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)
A new version of the IPv4 protocol. Unless you are connected to an IPv6 network (most of you are not), you can safely disable this protocol.
Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
Primary network communication protocol. Do not disable this protocol.

· One min read

Imaging computers using Windows Deployment Services or System Center – can be painful when you don’t know the MAC address of a computer finding a MAC address through PXE boot can be quite useful – this needs to be done from the physical workstation.

  1. Start the computer
  2. Tap F12 to start network boot as soon as the computer starts to boot
  3. You should get to a black screen with some white writing – select Pause/Break on your keyboard to pause this screen the MAC address should display.

· One min read

Most Ricoh network capable printers include a Telnet server that is used by Ricoh for maintenance of their printers allowing you to access the Ricoh Printer maintenance shell. Using telnet or in my guide – I am using the third party tool pUTTY (as in my domain environment – telnet hasn’t been installed on most workstations) you can access the Maintenance Shell.

  1. Download and run PuTTY.
  2. Open PuTTY and choose Telnet under Connection Type.
  3. Type in the IP address or hostname in the Host Name (or IP address field).
  4. Click Open.
  5. This will then start the RICOH Maintenance Shell – type in the login name _(default is using admin as the username – and a blank password).
  6. You will be greeted with the maintenance shell.

· One min read

Adjusting Java Security settings can be used to fix a variety of problems – especially around certification validation and problems with java security updates. However although not recommended for security reasons it can be used as a “quick fix” or “work around” until a permanent solution can be found and also just takes a few clicks of the mouse to change.

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click on the View by: option – top right and select Small icons
  4. Click Java (32-Bit)
  5. Up the top – click Security
  6. Change the Security Level slider to Medium
  7. Click Apply (down the bottom)