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3 Tips to Upgrade to Windows 10 Seamlessly

It won’t be long before Windows 7 or 8.1 users will be able receive a free upgrade of the latest Windows 10.

Of course, if you’ve already made a reservation, your turn will come to download the new operating system at no cost whatsoever.

Just in case you’re wondering, there’s a lot to love about Windows 10 since there’s not only an interface revamp but also under-the-hood tweaks that are worth upgrading for.

Still, it’s best to take precautions before you do so in order to ensure a seamless transition between the two.

Here are 3 tips that will help you do so quite easily:

1: Backup Your Data

Before you upgrade, get a local backup done if your data is already uploaded to OneDrive or another cloud service. Of course, it’s good to have three copies: offsite and local backup and one backup on your system.

2: Acquaint Yourself With Windows 10

Those who begin using Windows 10 will see that there are a lot of features that resemble Windows 7. Of course, one familiar one is the Start screen. However, there are new ones such as Task View, the Edge browser, the Cortana personal assistant, modern Office, windowed modern UI apps. Last but not the least, Windows Hello, if you’ve got the right hardware.

3: Learn the Shortcuts

At first glance, the new shortcuts on Windows 10 isn’t very different from Windows 7. A number of them are still the same with one example being Windows key + E to open File Explorer. However, there are a few new additions such closing new virtual desktops, snapping with Windows 10 Quadrants while also working with Task View. There are also new trackpad gestures that have also been added that are very similar to what you would find on a Mac.

5 Steps to Removing a USB Drive Safely

Unplugging a USB drive before it is safe to do so can result in disaster. Corrupting files is one issue. The USB drive not being usable is the second.

If anything, recognizing the importance of removing your USB drive should be understood here. So, here are 5 steps to removing a USB drive safely even Windows tells you that it isn’t:

Step 1: Use the Windows’ Remove Hardware Tool

Click the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the notification area. Select your device. Wait until a message pops up which says ‘Safe to remove hardware’. Now, remove the hardware. If it is says ‘Device currently in us’, then move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Take An Educated Guess

In this case, think about what you loaded from the USB whether it is a portable program, document, photo or any other file. Sometimes the application in which you might have opened a file might still be hanging on to it. So, close that application and try again. Also, check both the Applications and Processes tabs in Task Manager to see if anything is hanging on still.

Step 3: A Third-Party Utility Might Be Useful

One example is USB Safely Remove which replaces the Windows Safely Remove tool. Only difference is that if it can’t remove the USB safely, it tells you which program is causing the trouble. It costs about $20. If you buy it, then you might never have to move to step 4.

Step 4: Log off and Turn It Back On

Now, you can log off your computer. It will close every file you’ve opened. But it’s annoying and also time consuming. You’ll have to save all files that you’ve opened. Of course, if another user account is holding on to a file, then you might have to move to step 5.

Step 5: Shut Down Your PC

While this one is time-consuming, it always works. Remove the external drive after shutting down. Then boot your computer. That’s all.

3 Tips to Increase Your Chromebook’s Battery Life

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Given that Chromebooks employ a less resource-intensive operating system, the battery life is so much compared to Macbooks or even PCs with Windows.

However, there are other tweaks that can be made so as to ensure the battery last even longer.

Having said that, here are 4 tips to increase your Chromebook’s battery life:

#1: Reduce the number of Chrome tabs

The more number of Chrome tabs you have open, the more it reduces battery life. Keeping fewer tabs open will ensure that it lasts longer, of course. In order to do this, right-click your mouse on a browser tab and ‘Close other tabs’ or two finger-press the trackpad for the same thing.

#2: Turn off Wi-Fi

Even if it’s a Chromebook which depends heavily on the internet, turning off the Wi-Fi can help save battery life especially you’ve got very little to go on. Apart from this, you can also perform a number of tasks offline such as Gmail, Google Docs among a host of other apps that are available. Of course, you turn on Wi-Fi again, these services will sync with Google’s servers.

#3: Turn off Bluetooth

It makes no sense keeping this service on if you aren’t using it. For this, navigate to Settings>Advanced Settings in the Chrome options menu. After this, scroll down to the Bluetooth section and then uncheck the box. Of course, you can use the Search option to find the Bluetooth option and turn it off as well.

What Experienced Film Actors Bring to the Set

Film acting is a different kind of craft than stage acting, and it can be far more intimate of an experience for those on set. It requires incredible focus, and long hours of repetitious behavior to get exactly what the director wants. Staying in character becomes a lot more important when you have to maintain composure after your fifth, seventh, tenth or more take. Professional actors know how to handle themselves on set, have the stamina to do a full day of work and they take their craft seriously.


Never under estimate stamina. It’s the difference between your first twelve hour day and your twentieth. Actors who can’t keep up a good pace, can’t deliver later into production when their performances matter most. You can’t waste time while actors regain composure, and it’s frustrating to work with too many stoppages happening at once.


Experienced actors understand that acting for the back row is over acting. Film acting is complicated, requiring nuanced approaches to a character and a script. That doesn’t mean loud or boisterous. The camera is often centered on a specific part of the actor’s body, like the face or the upper body. Experienced film actors understand how to work within those boundaries.


When an actor is cast for a role in film or television, it’s likely the actor will be approaching a character that has never been portrayed before. Stage actors do not have that luxury in all cases, and often have to live in the shadow of an actor before them. New takes on a character are always welcome, but if a character is played too far away from the expectations of the audience, the play could fall flat. Film leaves room for surprise, and experienced actors understand that power and approach their characters with that in mind.


Bio: Charles Matthau directed, and is best known for, the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “The Grass Harp.” The Charles Matthau Company is also producing the upcoming TV series “Mexican High.” More information about Charles Matthau, including additional projects, is available at the Matthau Company.

What You Need to Know About Sync & Storage and Backup Services

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For those who aren’t aware of the difference between backup and sync & storage services, it’s true that they’re both cloud-based services but they’ve been created for different purposes.

While both these services will back your files in a protected environment and they can be accessed from anywhere, there are certain differences that make each of them unique in their functions.

While sync services such as Google Drive and Dropbox require you to upload all files to one folder while backup services allow you to upload files into separate folders if you wish.

Alternatively, backup folders will back up all of your folders but the thing is that they will not sync. That said, one account will back up one computer but in the case that it backs up several, it will so separately.

Also, if you download these files and alter them – these changes won’t be reflected in the files stored in the backup service such as Carbonite, these alterations won’t be reflected back in the cloud.

Of course, Mozy and Carbonite offers their paid subscribers sync tools. However, these require extra software and will be run separately from backup.

There’s also the issue of versioning and which all backup services will provide but sync and store services also do the same. Having said that, Microsoft’s OneDrive will do it only with Office documents be it .docx or .xlsx files.

No matter what, you don’t have to pay for both services. However, if you use a true backup service, you can easily do with a limited, free version of the sync service that you use.

Three Filmmaking Problems and How to Solve Them

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Filmmaking is a constant learning experience, and every experience will bring a host of new challenges. Of course, some of those problems are recurring and easy to solve if you understand what causes them. This creative pursuit can be extremely rewarding, but here are three common problems all of us face and some thoughts on overcoming them.


One of the biggest and most common problems for low budget films especially, is staying within budget. Knowing your script is your best defense against budget overages. Choose a script that works within your budget, meaning effects and long-distance location changes are kept to a minimum. You can still have a solid set piece, just choose your elements wisely. Also remember you’re budgeting for post production, marketing and distribution as well.

Work with Experienced People

Experienced people do cost money, but working with them carries its own set of advantages. Experienced people also help save time in post too. An experienced camera person can help by labeling takes. Blocking shots properly, picking up audio through external mics and generally improving on-set production will help post go a lot smoother. Don’t pressure yourself, but try to keep in mind that time really is money.

Avoid Mistakes

Make sure you coordinate your production schedule, plotting everything out well in advance, and that key members of your crew understand what is going on. Don’t cut corners on safety, plan better. Nothing halts a production faster than an avoidable lawsuit for worker’s compensation.


Bio: The Charles Matthau Company is owned and operated by the director and producer Charles Matthau. The Charlie Matthau Company is best known for the film “The Grass Harp,” and is slated to produce the upcoming television show “Mexican High.”

What You Need to Know About Multiple Desktops and the Workspace Switcher

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A wonderful feature of Linux has been the use of virtual (and multiple) desktops. This is something that Windows users have never had the privilege of using for some time now.

Of course, with this feature being added to Windows as well, it’s surprising to see that it is being removed from a number of Linux distributions.

So, here how you can activate it for your use, if you consider it necessary:

Firstly, you have to look for the Workplace Switcher, which is a series of grid or rectangles, and that aren’t enabled by default.

In Ubuntu, you would do this by going to All Settings>Appearance>Behavior and select the checkbox titled ‘Enable workspaces’. After you exit, you’ll find the Workspace Switcher on Unity’s dock.

This can also be done in the Cinnamon, KDE and Gnome version of Linux Mint as well but you’ll have to look through the Menus to find out how to add this feature if it isn’t enabled already.

When it comes to using the workplace switcher, clicking on it will give you an excellent overview of the workspaces and the applications open in each workspace. In other traditional desktops, this feature will just allow you to click between desktops.

All of them will allow you to drag and drop windows or even select which workspace to move the application to in a drop-down menu. Of course, there are additional mouse actions and keyboard shortcuts that can be used to carry out tasks in the Workplace Switcher.

In that sense, you can use different windows of the Workplace Switcher for different applications pertaining to work or fun.

This Quick Tip will Help You Adapt Short Stories Into Longer Films

Written by: Charlie Matthau

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Movies are able to tell a story using methods that a book cannot. Books allow us to get granular with character perspective, but they can digress for several pages describing just a moment. A good example is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. The film adaptation showed some of that horrifying imagery, but the book lingers on it for pages and pages. The film also presents us with far more background on the characters than the book does. The film took the relationship of the characters and focused on building the world to help viewers understand exactly how dire circumstances were.

That’s what adaptation is all about. Honing in on key elements and building a better story out of that.

Designing a Deeper Storyline

Almost every Nicholas Sparks story that was adapted for the screen was pretty short and almost assuredly depressing. What the filmmakers did was hone in on the central conflict and expand as needed. Add “meat to the bones” so to speak. So in situations where you’re adapting short stories, it’s like working with a pitch for something larger.

1408 is another example, where the story had to be expanded to create a full-length movie. The film stays fairly true to the short story, both centered almost exclusively on the main character’s visit to room 1408, but the film added a few haunting scenes to give the audience a greater sense of what the writer experienced. The film also changed the ending, which can be controversial. To some, the film wrapped the story up better, but you need to be careful when you’re dealing with another artist’s work.


Bio: The Charles Matthau Company produces movies and television programs, including the upcoming “Mexican High.” Charlie Matthau is a director and producer best known for his work adapting “The Grass Harp” to screen. The Charlie Matthau Company is managed and operated by Charles Matthau.

What You Need to Know About Changing Your Default Search Engine

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Google doesn’t have to be the search engine of choice when it comes to your Android phone.

Reason being: if you are currently using Google Launcher, then there’s a clever way by which you can use DuckDuckGo, Bing or even search directly when using Firefox.

Speaking of the Google Now Launcher, which works on Android devices using 4.1 Jelly Bean or above. All you have to do is hold the home button while swiping up to go into Search.

Usually, the action on your device to open search depends on the software and hardware.

If you install another search app, Android will ask you which one you would like to use by default.

As for the Firefox app for Android, it asks you if you’d like to use Firefox Search and then takes you to that page. Of course, if you want to use another search engine, all you have to adjust it in the browser rather than the app.

Now, if you want to switch back to Google Search, you’ll have to reset it in app preferences. For this, go to Settings>Apps and select the app that you’d like change the settings in. All you have to do is touch the ‘Clear Defaults’.

Also, if you want to reset all defaults, go to Settings and Apps and select ‘Reset App Preferences’. Remember that this will reset everything include the search app that you are using such as browsers, email and music player and so on and so forth.

Tips on Finding Actors for Your First Film

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Film can be an eye opening business. As directors, producers, actors and crew, our jobs are creative in nature but we must make a film that sells. Indies learn quickly that you can’t do that relying on friends.

Friends over act, they do not take stage direction well, and even the best intentioned can be flakey or moody. Friends don’t make films, so you need to learn how to hire actors who can. Here are tips for the first timer to pursue filmmaking seriously.


Your local playhouse is a better place to start than Craigslist. Craigslist will get you resumes, amateur audition tapes and a ton of time wasted trying to audition people who may or may not act professionally. A playhouse is a much more optimistic approach. Talk to the house manager and ask about posting a job on their bulletin boards. Find out which productions are running, and see if you can contact casting directors for advice or contact information for actors. Once you’ve exhausted your local options, including colleges, go online to find a wider range of actors.

What to Ask For

Recruiting acting talent online comes down to weeding out what you don’t want. Any ad you post on the Web will get many applications, so try to be specific about what you want so you can root out those who do not meet your criteria immediately. One good method to do this is to give a description of a character and then request a headshot. This immediately cues you into who may be a good fit for the part.


Charles Matthau is a director, writer and producer who is slated to produce “Mexican High” in 2015. The Charles Matthau Company produces for both film and television. For more information on upcoming projects, contact the Matthau Company online.

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