Thursday, December 16, 2010

Audio volume recorded by Sound Recorder is lower than in XP

Have you noticed that when you record audio through a microphone, using the Sound Recorder application in Windows 7 (or Vista), playback volume is lower than in XP using the same input volume settings? That's because the Sound Recorder now has different default settings. KB article 973446 tells you how to adjust the record volume.

The audio volume recorded by Sound Recorder in Windows Vista or in Windows 7 is lower than in Windows XP

What's new with handwriting recognition in Windows 7?

I'm most comfortable with handwriting rather than typing on a regular or touchscreen keyboard (and I don't like voice recognition because you can't do it silently). I've been waiting for Windows to get good at handwriting recognition. I had an old XP Tablet PC but it didn't quite do the job. I've been hearing that there are going to be Windows 7 Tablets coming out soon to compete with the iPad. Does Windows 7 have a Tablet version and if so, is the handwriting recognition feature improved? - Edward S.

Rather than releasing a separate Tablet PC edition, Microsoft built tablet functionality into all editions of Windows 7. To use handwriting recognition, you launch the TIP (Tablet Input Panel), where you write your text, and then it's converted to regular text. The handwriting recognition engine has been improved, and you can create personalized dictionaries. You can now can enter math expressions via the new Math Input Panel (MIP). The math expression is converted and can be sent directly to a spreadsheet or other application. When you use the onscreen soft keyboard, text prediction, which is based on the words you frequently enter, has been enhanced. Finally, support for more languages has been added. Find out more about that here:

What's New in Handwriting Recognition

Safer surfing with SmartScreen

The SmartScreen Filter is a feature in Internet Explorer 8 that helps you avoid socially engineered malware phishing websites and online fraud when you browse the web. The SmartScreen Filter checks websites against a dynamically updated list of reported phishing and malware sites, checks software downloads against a dynamically updated list of reported malicious software sites and helps prevent you from visiting phishing websites and other websites that contain malware that can lead to identity theft. Find out more about the SmartScreen filter and how to report phishing web sites here:

Surfing with SmartScreen

How to fix a problem where Windows Live Photo Gallery freezes up or won't start

Windows Live Photo Gallery is a handy free photo editing program, but several readers have reported a problem whereby the application either won't start at all, or freezes up and stops working after you open it. This happens when the database that's created by WLPG gets corrupted. Here's what you can do to fix it.
1. First be sure to back up pictures you have saved in WLPG.
2. Close Windows Live Photo Gallery.
3. Click Start and in the Search box, type %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Photo Gallery
4. Click OK.
5. Look for the files OLD_pictures.pd4 and OLD_Pictures.pd5. Delete these.
6. Locate files called Pictures.pd4 and Pictures.pd5 and rename them to OLD_Pictures.pd4 and OLD_Pictures.pd5
7. Restart Windows Live Photo Gallery. The database will be regenerated and this should fix the problem.