CmdrKeene's Blog

thoughts from shawn keene: analyst, technologist, microsoft mvp, skywarn storm chaser, fitness freak, and nerd

Plus! Pack Themes for Modern Windows


I found some old Plus! pack themes on an old hard drive this week. During some downtime I modified the source of the files to make them compatible with modern versions of Windows and packaged them up for your enjoyment.

Windows 10 Technical Preview Observations

Windows 10 screenshot with notes

A look at what I’ve noticed in Windows 10. These observations are for build 9841, which became generally available on October 1, 2014. Since there is still a year or more before release, most if not all of all observations are not a representation of the final product and are either going to be adjusted […]

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Reset a Forgotten Windows Password


If you forget your computer’s password, it can be difficult to recover from and might require special tools and skills. However, the built-in system administrator account can be a great avenue to reset a forgotten Windows password, especially for home users.


Quickly Repair PC Problems


Windows has a number of recovery features to get up and running again quickly after a problem occurs.  These simple tools are easy for anyone to use, and are a good first step to try before taking your computer in for professional service.

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Fix a Sluggish, Slow PC


Gas prices and slow computers, two things we love to complain about. But your computer probably wasn’t slow when you bought it, and unlike gas prices, it shouldn’t get worse over time. Here’s how to identify the source of slowness and bring your computer back to life.


Making peace with the Start screen


For the past 23 years, the Start menu has been the staple interface of the Windows operating system. When Windows 8 removed updated the start menu to be full-screen, many users balked at the change. But is any functionality really lost? This post explains how to regain common and not-so-common functions of the legacy Start […]


Turn off a built-in monitor from a shortcut


If you have a laptop or all-in-one computer, you might have times where you wish to leave the computer on but turn off the display. Although most computers with built-in monitors lack a monitor switch, you can still turn it off in a click. Here’s how.

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Monitor or Limit Data Usage in Windows 8.1


With the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft made a great number of improvements to Windows 8. Unfortunately, it also marked a step backwards in terms of easily adjusting your network settings. Here’s an update of how to monitor or limit data use in Windows 8.1.

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Declutter browser tabs from your taskbar


Usage tracking shows that 95% percent of home users typically have 5 or fewer browser tabs/windows open at a time. In an office environment though, this number easily triples.  This tip will help you juggle dozens of browser windows more easily, and let you spend less time finding the one you need.

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Open Files on the Desktop in Windows 8


If you use Windows 8 on a typical desktop computer (with a keyboard and mouse), you may not like getting whisked over to a full-screen tablet interface just because you opened an email attachment or picture file.  Here’s how to stop that and stay on the desktop.

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Bing Tells You Where the Movie Is

Bing Storms

Bing in fact has a secret power that is kept too secret. Searching for a movie provides an index of which services carry the title, which saves you from individually searching various apps and sites.  Big deal?  It saves real money too, when the movie is already on a service you subscribe to, you can […]


Windows 8.1 Reading Mode

Reading mode example from

Most of us don’t typically consider our browsing experience. We use the web and take it as it is. But the new reading mode in Windows 8.1 adds one more to a growing list of reasons to come back to the browser you loved to hate.

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January Optional Updates for Windows 8.1

PC Settings app logo

If you have Windows 8 on your PC, you might want to check for some optional updates waiting for you to install. The optional updates from January’s patch Tuesday include a host of fixes for some frustrating problems. The update needs you to install, so here’s how to get it right now.


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