New Website

In case you were wondering why I haven’t posted a tutorial here in quite a while, it’s because I’ve purchased proper hosting! Hooray!

You can go to my new website by clicking here or by typing the following into your address bar:


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Tech Terms

If you’ve found that your teachers have been using long words like ‘fibre-optic’ or ‘ethernet’ lately, don’t worry- it’s probably because they’re excited about the laptop rollout!

Here’s a list of tech terms that are commonly used and their meanings. More words will be added as I hear them.

Airport – This can either be a place where planes take off and land, or the name of the Wireless Router made by Apple computers, but usually when teachers mention an ‘Airport’ when talking about DERNSW, they are referring to any Wireless Access Point, whether it be made by Apple or not.

Commission – Basically the commissioning process is when you type your name in to a  ‘naked’ laptop so it knows it belongs to you. After commissioning, nobody else can log into your laptop using their own login details.

Ethernet – Just a type of wired network. An ethernet cable is just a blue network cable, while an ethernet port is where you plug that blue cable into your computer or network router.

Fibre-Optic – Special cables used for connecting the wireless access points in classrooms to the main server.

Intranet – Different to Internet. Local to your school. Almost like a mini-internet with it’s servers in your school. Sometimes they are kept private and can only be accessed from inside the school, while some schools make them public so you can access them over the Internet.

Moodle – An online application for schools where teachers can post assignments and resources. Ask your computer admin if your school has it.

Re-Image – If your laptop isn’t working properly, or even won’t work at all, you’ll most likely be sent down to the TSO to get it re-imaged. This is where your hard-drive gets wiped and is replaced with the original software that is on all S1’s.

T1 and S1 – The name given to our laptops. Both are the same, but the teachers’ (T1) are black and the students’ (S1) are red.

TSO – Tech Support Officer. Appointed to your school to fix the laptops.


Filed under Laptops

Locking your Laptop

If you are going to leave your laptop on your desk in class for a few minutes, say, to go to the toilet, you’ll need to lock it to ensure your friends don’t go through your files or pull a computer prank on you. I’m sure they wouldn’t mean any harm, but they may accidentally delete some essential files or important documents.

Luckily there’s a simple shortcut built-in to Windows 7 that locks your computer:

Windows Key + L

The Windows Key is that picture of a house between the left Ctrl and Alt keys, and hopefully you know where the L key is.

This takes you back into the log in screen, so you have to put in your password. Do this whenever you leave your computer on it’s own, but you shouldn’t be doing that too much anyway.

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Filed under Windows 7

Enabling Hibernate to Shut Down & Start Up Faster

Hibernation is another way of ending your computer session, along with Shut Down, Switch User, Sleep, Logoff, Lock and Restart. Hibernating saves all your open applications as they are and then shuts down your computer. It is much faster to boot up from a computer that’s hibernating, which is why I do it all the time. It’s so much more convenient than waiting for my computer to boot up every lesson, then waiting longer for OneNote to start up. With hibernate, my computer boots up in exactly 20 seconds, and after I type in my password (you don’t need to type in your username when you hibernate), I’m instantly logged in and OneNote is already open.

I’ve run my own little experiment to see how long it takes to shut down, start up and login using the Shut down and Hibernation methods.

comparedHibernation is obviously much faster than Shut Down.
Here’s how to hibernate:
Click the start orb on the bottom left hand corner of your screen. Click the arrow next to ‘Shut down’ and select ‘Hibernate’.

Here’s how to get your computer to Hibernate when you close the lid:

Click the battery icon on the bottom right corner of your screen and choose ‘more power options’.

batteryA new window will open up. On the left side panel on this new window, select ‘Choose what closing the lid does’.


Find the drop-down box that’s located next to ‘When I close the lid’ and under ‘On Battery’. From the list of options, choose Hibernate and make sure you save changes.

Now whenever you close the lid, you computer will automatically Hibernate. To switch it back on, just click the power button as you normally would, and you’ll be using your computer again within seconds!


Filed under Windows 7

I’m still here

I had a bit of a break from posting over the holidays since I pretty much wanted to forget about school and everything school-related for a while. I’ve got a couple tutorials in the making, but for various reasons, Internet access at home is very limited. WordPress is also blocked from school and on the laptops, which makes it hard to post tutorials *cough*

Anyway hopefully I’ll have some new content up soon. Thanks.

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Filed under Blog Updates

Reading blocked email at school (gmail, hotmail…)

The only email service you can access from school or from the laptops is the DET email, based on Gmail. This is a filtered service provided by the government especially for students and teachers. Chances are your main email address is a blocked one, such as Gmail, Windows Live Mail or Yahoo Mail. You can still read your Gmail/Live/Yahoo emails from your DET inbox.

We’ll be setting up your main email in such a way that it forwards all your email to your DET email. It still gets filtered by the system. The process is similar for most emails, but I’ve used Gmail.

Log into your Gmail account and go to settings.


Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.



Enter your DET email address and you are done! Now whatever is sent to your main address is forwarded on to your DET address.

Make sure you have a secure password on your DET email. You don’t want anyone reading emails from your main address!

If you want to read your DET email from home, you can either log into the DET portal by going here and logging in as usual, or set up your school email to forward to your main address using the same method above (DET emails are based on Gmail, therefore it has most of the same features.)


Filed under Internet

Suggest a tutorial

I’ve run out of ideas. I’m not sure what people need to know.

I’m planning to make video tutorials in the future. Maybe i’ll write some more tutorials when I get bored on the train tomorrow, but I need ideas.

Post a comment here, email me or send me a tweet.



Filed under Blog Updates