How to Get Rid of Windows Messenger in Windows 7

on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Windows 7 automatically pins Windows Messenger (Microsoft's Instant Messaging service) to your taskbar. It takes up system resources, runs on startup and uses system memory. Plus, there are better IM clients out there (Digsby, ICQ, etc.).

It can be a hard program to hunt down and uninstall. Here's how to get rid of Messenger in Windows 7.

Go to the Control Panel. Select Uninstall a program.

Scroll down the list of applications. Select Windows Live Essentials.

Chose Uninstall (don't worry, this won't uninstall all of your Windows Live components, just the ones you choose).

Check the Messenger checkbox and click Continue.

That's it!

Setting Up a System Backup in Windows 7

on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To set up a backup in Windows 7, open up Computer, right-click on your local drive and select Properties. Then click on the Tools tab and click the Back up now button.

Click Set up backup.

Choose your backup location. An external backup location is recommended; a network location is an excellent option (you might need a password to do so).

Choose if you want Windows to decide what to backup, or if you want to do it yourself.

If you decide to do it yourself, choose what you want to back up.

Review your settings. The bottom of this dialogue box also allows you to set a scheduled backup day and time (circled).

Set your schedule. After the schedule is set, click Save Settings and Run Backup. Be aware this could take over an hour, particularly if this is your first backup.


on Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wikispaces ( is a free and painless way to set up a Wiki.

First things first: a wiki is set of easily created and edited, interconnected webpages that can be built by an individual or a group. At its broadest, it can be edited by anyone who visits the page (e.g. - Wikipedia). More commonly, editing is allowed only to invited Wiki members. Thus, you can create a Wiki about a specific subject, and invite group members to add pages or edit existing ones. It's a good way to gather and share information.

Wikispaces allows to to easily create new pages (by clicking the New Page button) or edit existing ones (by clicking the Edit button). Tools are clearly labeled, and a navigation bar to the left automatically add links as new pages are added. In addition, you can embed images, multimedia, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, PDF files, links and more.

A "cheat sheet" for often used commands is available at The screenshots are a little old, but the information is accurate.

Below is a screenshot of a hastily assembled demo Wiki gathering information on one of my favorite topics. Link to it here.

The Tableizer

on Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This free and fast little tool converts spreadsheet cells into HTML so they can be published on the web or embedded directly into a webpage as an HTML table. You copy-and-paste the Excel or Calc spreadsheet cells into the box, choose the font size, font style and header color, click the Tableize It! button, and it spits out the code and a preview of what the table will look like.

Try it at

Thanks to Loretta Lohman and Erin Pheil for the tip.