- Open the Control Panel folder
- Open the Security Center control panel
- In the left pane, click the link labeled "Change the way Security Center alerts me"
- Uncheck the item(s) that it's complaining about (i.e.: firewall, automatic updates, or virus protection)
- Press the OK button.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Here is an excerpt from the Microsoft site about this patch: "This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
This security update is rated Critical for Internet Explorer 5.01, Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1, and Internet Explorer 7."
- Open an Internet Explorer
- From the Tools menu select Internet Options..., and click the Security tab
- Click the Internet zone icon in the top part of the dialog box and move the slider control below it to High.
Note: To get around issue this you must add the sites to the Trusted Sites zone, its in the same dialog as the Internet zone outline in the instructions above.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Follow the instructions below to learn how to do this:
Note: You need an account with administrative privileges to the computer for this tip to work.
- Remove the programs from the Startup group if they are already there
- From the Search field in the Start menu type "Task Scheduler".
- In the Task Scheduler, press the "Create Task..." link in the Action panel on the right.
- Type a name for the new task, for example "Start Notepad"
- Check the "Run with highest privileges" checkbox
- Click the Triggers tab.
- Press the New button.
- From the "Begin the task" dropdown menu, select "At log on."
- In the setting section, choose the "Specific user or group" radio button (change if necessary).
- Press the OK button
- Click Actions tab, and press the New... button.
- Enter the path for the program that you want to be launched, the press the OK button
- Press the OK button
Monday, December 01, 2008
In Vista if you do a clean install (not an upgrade), this account has been disabled by default. If for some reason you need to reactivate this account (which I recommend against unless there is a good reason) the instructions are below:
- Log on to the machine with a local administrator account (if you don't have one already then these instructions will not work for you).
- In the Search field under the Start menu type MMC.EXE and press the Enter key. Press Continue button in the UAC prompt to open the console.
- From the File menu, select "Add/Remove Snap-in".
- In the "Available Snap-ins" list on the left, scroll down and select "Local Users and Groups", then press the Add button.
- In the "Choose Target Machine" dialog box, select "Local Computer" press the Finish button, then press the OK button.
- Expand the "Local Users and Groups" icon in the left pane and click the Users folder.
- In the right pane, right-click Administrator account and select Properties
- In the General tab, uncheck "Account is disabled" box, then press the OK button.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The application has gotten better with several new enhancement that Google has added in this release. Below is a brief summary of changes in the new version of Picasa 3:
- Improved automatic sync between your PC and the Picasa Web Albums site.
- Improved photo collage tool
- New editing tools include a : retouching, text, and smart cropping tool.
- A new movie making tool that allows you to create video slide shows from your photos, videos, and music. The tool also allows direct upload of your videos to Picasa Web Albums or YouTube.
- One of my favorite features is the new photo viewer for browsing photo on your hard drive.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
For example, using this exploit you can be tricked into turning on your web cam, or installing malware. All browsers are vulnerable to this type of threat, so this is not just isolated to I.E., Firefox, etc.
The way the attack works is you go to a site that has been modified by a malicious attacker, then the content (i.e.: web pages, flash animation, etc.) of the site tries to trick you into clicking links and buttons that you might not realize you're clicking. They do this by disguising the content to look like something else.
To help protect you, here are some resources:
- For Internet Explorer, under Internet Options... in the Security tab you can set the Internet security slider to high. This should block all scripting technologies from running on any web pages you visit. If you want grant permissions to specific web site, you need to add them to your Trusted Site list.
Monday, November 10, 2008
It runs on Windows 2000/XP/Vista (32-bit) Operating Systems. This version of the software is only free for personal use, if you're a business you will have to buy a licensed version.
Windows Vista already has built-in functionality to create, shrink, extend and delete a partition. So I would suggest trying this built-in functionality first. If you're running Windows XP or below, then you might want to try this software.
Note: I need to note that I have not personally tested this program, so use it at your own risk.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Note: This tip is more technical then the way I generally write. Although, the people who would use this feature should understand what I am talking about.Sometimes when they upgrade software they change or remove things. Most of the improvements in Windows Vista I really like, but one small feature that was removed that I really used was the "Run as..." context menu command.
This Windows XP feature allowed you run a program under a different set of user credentials then the one you logged in with. You won't often need this functionality, unless you do systems administration. There is also a command line version of this utility that is still available, but its just not as easy to use.
Mark Russinovich and Jon Schwartz created ShellRunas v1.01 to add this functionality back into Windows Vista. To get this program to install, use the Run... command (press WinKey+R) and type "[path]\shellrunas.exe /reg" (you need to include the [path] where the executable is located.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This patch fixes a new security vulnerability in the Server Service that could allow remote code execution. For those of you who don't know what that mean, it basically means that someone can run a program on your computer without your knowledge.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
- Right-click an empty area on your desktop and select New > Shortcut.
- In the field labeled 'Type the location of the item,' type: shutdown.exe /s /t 00 (note: those are zeros, and not 'O's). You can also use the command shutdown.exe /r /t 00 to restart your computer instead of shutting it down.
- Press the Next button, then give your shortcut a name (i.e.: Shut Down), then Press the Finish button
- Optional: if want a different icon image. Right-click the new item you just created, then click the Shortcut tab and press the Change Icon button to select a different image to display.
Monday, October 06, 2008
So for example, let say that you have eight different programs open, but they can be grouped into 4 different categories. You can assign related application windows to different virtual desktops. So when you switch to that desktop, those application windows will be visible to you.
The advantage to using a program like this is that it allows you to organize your application windows. You can also assign hot-keys, or you can use the icon in the Notification area to switch between desktops.
I don't post a lot of these videos, but I thought this was a very good comparison of a Samsung Solid State Drive (SSD) vs a standard Hard Disk Drive (HDD). SSD uses the same type of memory as portable flash drives. The SSD wins in weight, reliability, speed, and power consumption.
The problems with SSD, is that its more expensive and the available capacities are limited right now when compared to HDD.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Remember: You want to find a USB hub that has a power adapter.
You can see some examples of what I am talking about here.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
This is a technical article, but it's very interesting. If you want to understand what is really going on with state of Windows Vista security then read this.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Keeping up with all the latest malware that is being created is an overwhelming job for any anti-virus company. Some have stated its even a losing battle. This is a very interesting video where Mikko Hyppönen discusses the various motives of Crimeware in a follow up to Re:solution. After watching it, you can begin to see why its getting its such a tough job.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I am in the process of checking this out for myself before I make any comments. Although I just wanted to post this just in case someone didn't know about it. Read the article for more information.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Here is the download site IE8.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
If you want more information, check out my article on this subject.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Here is except from their site describing the project: "This project examines personal firewalls, Internet security suites and other similar products for Windows OS that implement process-based security. We call all such products personal firewalls. In our opinion, personal firewalls should prevent spying and data and identity theft. So, we require personal firewalls to include host protection features too. The list of personal firewalls we are aware of is available on the product list page. We know that our terminology may be in conflict with the common understanding of what the firewalls are. To distinguish between personal firewalls and firewalls in the common sense, we call the later packet filters. A typical example of a packet filter is WIPFW. Most of the personal firewalls include a packet filter component. Simple packet filters are not worse than personal firewalls, they are just different kind of software – for different kind of users. This project does not examine stand-alone packet filters."
Last update: 2008-08-01
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I have never been a big fan of these driver version update tools, because they never really helped me but some people like them. Although, here is a article that talks about some of the issues with this class of tools and recommends some of the better products that you might want to check out.
Monday, August 11, 2008
- Award certificates
- Business cards
- Content slides
- Design slides
- Expense reports
- and lots more...
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
On Windows Vista-based Media Centers content is displayed in a DVD gallery. However, the DVD Library is not automatically enabled in Windows Media Center on a Windows Vista-based computer. This feature should allow you to play your commercial DVDs from the hard drive.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Some of the Windows Calendar features include: sharing your calendar with others, creating multiple calendars for different events, and publish the calendars for others to subscribe to. You can also color code calendar items, search for specific appointments and tasks, and set up recurring events or add reminders to appointments.
To access Windows Calendar, open the Start menu, in the Search field type Calendar then press the Enter key.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Microsoft has made available an updated version of its Office Accounting. There is a free version called Express and a paid version that has several more features.
If you manage your home-based business and are just looking for a way to manage your accounts, track your invoices and bill payment, the free version might be what you're looking for. Otherwise you will have to buy the full version to use all the features.
Some of the features include:
- Create quotes, invoices, and receipts.
- Write checks, track expenses, and reconcile online bank accounts.
- Convert a quote into an invoice without having to transfer information from one program to another.
- Track employee time.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
MBSA 2.1 added support for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. MBSA 2.1 also provides full 64-bit installation, scan tool and vulnerability assessment (VA) checks, improved SQL Server 2005 checks, and support for the latest Windows Update Agent (WUA) and Microsoft Update technologies.
More information on the capabilities of MBSA 2.1 is available on the MBSA Web site.
Monday, July 21, 2008
If the automatic switching funuctionality is causing problems for you, you can turn this feature off:
- Open the 'Manage Wireless Networks' applet.
- Right-click the network profile on which you want to turn off automatic switching, and select Properties.
- Click the Connection tab, then uncheck the 'Connect to a more preferred network if available.' checkbox.
- Press the OK button
Thursday, July 17, 2008
To see the System Diagnostics Report, from the Start menu in the Search field is "perfmon.exe /report"
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Seems like a pretty good deal, especially when you consider its for 3 computers.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Managing this type of computers can be difficult, and time-consuming. Also without system restrictions and protections, users can inadvertently damage the computer's operating (such as: modifying system settings, installing malware, etc.).
SteadyState provides an effective way to help defend your public computers from changes by untrusted users and unwanted software installations. This software also protects user privacy by not saving, Internet history, saved documents, or cached Web pages available of subsequent users.
Windows SteadyState includes the following features:
- Windows Disk Protection – Protects the Windows system partition, which contains the operating system and other programs from being modified without administrator approval. This feature allows you to remove all changes upon restart, or remove changes at a certain date and time.
- User Restrictions and Settings – Allows you to enhance and simplify the user experience by restrict user access to programs, settings, Start menu items, and other options in Windows.
- User Account Manager – Create and delete user accounts. You can use SteadyState to create user accounts on alternate drives that will retain user data and settings even when Windows Disk Protection is turned on.
- Computer Restrictions – Control security settings, privacy settings, and more, such as preventing users from creating and storing folders in drive C:\ and from opening Microsoft Office documents from Internet Explorer.
- Schedule Software Updates – Schedule updates of your shared computer with the latest security updates when it is convenient for you.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Excerpt from the Microsoft site: "The Pro Photo Tools allow you to add, change, and delete common metadata properties for digital photographs. You can place photos on the Live Earth map and then drag them to the right location. The GPS information will be stored back into the photos. If you have a GPS device, can load track route files from the most popular formats (NMEA, GPX, and KML) and see them on the map. Then you can place your photos on the track route. Again, the GPS info will be stored into your file. When you have the right GPS location for your photos, you can automatically generate location info like country, state, city and even street names. Or if you know the location where a picture was taken, you can type it in and get the GPS location information automatically.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
To make sure that these file stay secure when you're offline, you can encrypt the file stored on your local computer. So just in case your computer is lost or stolen the data won't be compromised.
To enable offline file encryption:
- From the Start menu select Control Panel (in the Classic View).
- Double-click the 'Offline Files' applet.
- Click the Encryption tab.
- Press the Encrypt button.
- Press the OK button.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Although, most problems can be traced to a few different factors, the OS, drivers, hardware, or applications. The trick is figuring out which one is causing the problems, and correcting it.
For example, video drivers are notorious for causing system failures because they have to run at a very low level of the OS. When your system does crash its hard to tell what really caused it, was the problem with the OS or was it a driver. You should also not discount failing hardware, or even a bug in the system BIOS.
I hope that you can see that the OS is not to blame for all system failures. To help you identify these problems, Microsoft has incorporated a few technologies to assist with diagnosing a failure if one does happen.
Some of these tools include the Reliability Monitor, Event Logs, and dump files. The Reliability Monitor is one of easiest tools to help you understand what happened when your system crashes. The Event Logs and dump files contain a lot of useful information, but they can be hard to understand if you don't know what you're looking for.
I have really only touched on a few of the diagnostic tools available in Windows Vista, there are several more that I will talk about in later articles. But if you do have a systems failure, here are few things that you can do:
- Use Windows Update under All Programs in the Start menu, and make sure that your OS and other Microsoft applications are up-to-date. Note: you should make sure the Microsoft Update feature is enabled, this will update all Microsoft Applications as well .
- Go to your computer or motherboard manufacture's web site and download the latest BIOS firmware updates for your system. You should also do this for other hardware, such as your video card.
- Make sure that your 3rd party applications and games have the latest updates.
- Run Vista's RAM diagnostic program to make sure that your computer's memory is working correctly.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
If your computer's processor supports multiple cores, then Windows Vista allows you assign a process to a specific CPU or set of CPUs. This is known as setting the processors 'Affinity'. Normally this is handled by the OS, but this feature allows you to override this function.
Open the Task Manager (press Shift+Ctrl+Esc at the same time), select process from the Processes tab then right-click it, and then select 'Set Affinity'. From here you can select or deselect one or more of the cores.
Ideally what you're trying to achieve is isolating the process to a specific CPU and boosting its efficiency. I have to note that your 'mileage will vary' from process to process so you will need to test it and see if you get better performance.
Monday, June 30, 2008
You can now do this with Google Talk (Google's IM chat client). Open the Setting dialog under General, check the "Open GMail when I click on email links", press the OK button.
This will make Gmail as your default mailto: handler. Which means when you click a hyperlink email address, a Gmail compose window will be pre-populated with you email address in your default web browser.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Rather then trying to 'rewrite the wheel', I am going to post a link and excerpt from an eWeek article that reviews the browser: "At first glance, it doesn't look that different from previous versions of the browser. And while there are nice improvements from a usability standpoint, there's nothing radically different for Web users." Read the rest of the article here.
You can also download the browser and try it for yourself.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
To add more providers, in the search drop-down (in the upper-right corner of the browser window) menu select 'Find More Providers...' Then select the search engine you want to use. After you make your selection, press the 'Add Provider' button.
To select a default provider, in the search drop-down menu select 'Change Search Defaults...'. Select the search provider you want to be your default, then press the 'Set Default' button.
Monday, June 23, 2008
To add more providers, in the drop-down menu select 'Manage Search Engine..." Then click the link 'Get More Search Engines...' in the dialog. Press the Add to Firefox button next the search engine provider that you want to ask, then press the Add button in the dialog that displays.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Right-click a file, choose Properties, then click the Details tab. At the bottom of the window there is a link called 'Remove Properties and Personal Information.' From there you can remove the information from the file, or create a copy of the file with that data removed.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
To access the site you will need to install SilverLight Beta 2 (you will be prompted when you visit the page), but in my opinion its work the install. I was very impress with the controls and the detail of the objects that you can see. It's important to note that the scroll wheel allows you to increase or decrease the magnification of what you're looking at.
Note: If the site doesn't work after you install the plug-in close your browser, and open it back up again.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Windows Search 4.0 is available for following operating environments:
Friday, June 13, 2008
(Requires Microsoft Silverlight)
Thursday, June 12, 2008
You can download any of the utilities without having to unzip them. All you have to do is remember the following URL to download them live.sysinternals.com.
You can also attach live.sysinternals.com like any other network mounted drive, and run the utilities directly from the Internet.
- Open a command prompt (type CMD in the search field under the Start menu)
- Type: net use * \\live.sysinternals.com\tools\
- You will see a message like "Drive Z: is now connected to \\live.sysinternals.com\tools\"
- All you have to do is enter the drive letter it returns (i.e.: type Z: then press the Enter key)
- Now type DIR and you will see all the utilities, or open the Windows Explorer and goto the Z: drive (or whatever drive letter the NET USE command gives you).
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Goto the article to view a demo of this Windows 7 technology.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
- On May 23, 2008 Computerworld reports on a problem with Symantec Norton security products: "Symantec Corp. on Thursday said it was Microsoft Corp.'s code that crippled some PCs after upgrades to Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) emptied Device Manager, deleted network connections and packed the registry with thousands of bogus entries." More information is available in Symantec's Norton forums.
- HP is also working with Microsoft on a new patch to fix problems for customers with certain AMD-based PCs. To download the patch that corrects the problem, you will need to visit www.hp.com and enter the patch name SP37394 in the search box (or just click this link). From there you will get download and installation instructions.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
For example here is an of a search using the keyword Laptop. If you use this site, please post feedback to let others know what you think of it.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Note: This is not a typical article that I would post in this blog, but I thought it would be worthwhile posting it here. I originally posted this article in my other blog.Looking for a free credit report monitoring service. Well at least it will be free for six months. Check out the article to learn more.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
To change the volume levels:
- Click the Volume icon in the Notification Area (looks like a speaker with sound waves coming out of it).
- Click the Mixer link at the bottom of the little window that pops-up.
- You can scroll through the different applications that are running on your computer. Then you can set different sound for each by adjusting the slider controls for each one individually or you can press the mute button to quiet that application.
Note: The master volume control which is labeled Device (the first slider) controls the total amount sound that can be outputted from the whole computer. Even if you have all the application sliders maxed out, they can't output more sound then is allowed by the master control slider.
Monday, June 02, 2008
The PC Decrapifier is free for personal use, however If you have find the tool useful the author would like you to show your appreciation by making a $5 donation. This is not required to use the program, but you will receive releases before the general public as well as access to special forums (coming soon).
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
There are several different software application that can do this for you, such as Paint.Net. Although, if you want to learn how an easy way to shrink the image, follow the instructions below:
- Open the folder that contains the picture(s) you want to email to someone
- Right-click it and select 'Send To > Mail Recipient'
- In the Attach Files dialog, select the size (1024x768, 800x600, 640x480, etc.) of the picture that you want to send.
- Then press the Attach button.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Below is a brief list of features:
- Record live audio.
- Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
- Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
- Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
- Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
- And more (see the complete list of features).
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Watch the video below for more information:
Friday, May 23, 2008
Below is a list of just a few of the features:
- Syntax Highlighting and Syntax Folding
- User Defined Syntax Highlighting
- Regular Expression Search/Replace supported
- and a lot more.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Some of the other features of the free version include:
- Make the calculator as big or as small as you like.
- Save, print, or clear the simulated paper history tape.
- Select a color combination.
- Visible memory value
- Digit groupings
- Tray icon
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
This product is not without its limitations, but it may be worth checking out. For example, it's not possible to sync events on secondary calendars at this time. Google Calendar Sync can only sync events between your primary Google Calendar and your default Microsoft Outlook calendar.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
To help assist in the recovery of these lost devices, the following laptop tracking and recovery services may be able to help you:
Monday, May 19, 2008
Here is an excerpt from a Microsoft KB (929605) article: "If a computer has 4 gigabytes (GB) of random-access memory (RAM) installed, the system memory that is reported in the System Information dialog box in Windows Vista is less than you expect.
For example, the System Information dialog box may report 3,120 megabytes (MB) of system memory on a computer that has 4 GB of memory installed (4,096 MB)."
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Basically this is a Windows PE disk (a CD bootable version of Windows) that contains some system repair utilities. Creating a Windows PE is generally a pain in the rear, I think most people would give up trying to create one. Although this utility simplifies the process down to just two clicks.
To find this utility, from the "Start menu > All programs > Maintenance > Create a Recovery Disc". You will need a blank CD or DVD, and your original Windows Installation DVD. It takes about 5 minutes to complete the process.
Now all you have to do is boot a computer with the disc you created. Once you enter into the Windows Recovery Environment, click the "Repair your computer" link at the bottom of the Welcome screen and then select the Windows partition you would like to repair. After this, it will present you with a list of available system recovery options:
- Startup Repair
- System Restore
- Windows Complete PC Restore
- Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
- Command Prompt
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Its a fairly simple program to install and use. All you need to do is download and run it. Select the events to respond to, and press the Options button to set a password. Then press the Lock Computer button to protect your laptop.
Note: This program is only a deterrent, and can't protect against all types of theft. The program can only respond to a few types of events (such as AC power loss, mouse movement, etc.)
Monday, May 12, 2008
The company is beta-testing a new version of its Microsoft Download Center Web site using the technology, a browser plug-in and development runtime for adding multimedia and high-definition video to Web-based applications."
Silverlight is Microsoft's answer to Adobe's Flash technology. I also checked out the new Microsoft Download Center site and it looks really nice.
Personally, I would like to see more sites leverage the Silverlight technology so I can decide which one I like more based on how people are implementing it.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
These files are created when your operating system or application crash. Programmers use these files to find what cause your OS or program to fail.
The problem with these files is that they will sit around for a long time sucking up space. The file size can vary from a few kilobyte to a few gigabytes.
If you run the following command from the Command Prompt it will find these files and show you where and how big they are.
for /r c:\ %i in (*.dmp) do @echo %i ^(%~zi^)Note: This command needs to be entered exactly as shown. You can change the .DMP extension to something else if you want to (i.e.: .TMP). You can also change the drive letter (i.e.: C:\) as appropriate.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
MediaCoder uses various open source audio and video codecs and tools to transcode different audio/video files into different formats. Common uses for the program include compression, file type conversion and extraction of audio from video files.
Below is a brief list of the many formats that are supported by the application:
- Windows Media Audio
- DivX 4/5
Monday, May 05, 2008
Microsoft has finally release the Windows Server 2008 Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). This software allows you to remotely manage roles and features in Windows Server 2008 from a Windows Vista SP1 workstation.
This software provides similar functionality to the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack. It also includes support for remote management of Windows 2008 servers running either the server core or a full installation option.
Friday, May 02, 2008
DBAN can use several different data destruction techniques (such as: 'American DoD 5220-22.M Standard Wipe') that can prevent or thoroughly hinders all known hard disk recovery methods.
Note: This software is not perfect, and can't promise to make it impossible for any of the data to be recovered. To do this, you would need to physically destroy the drive.To use DBAN, all you have to do is download the ISO from the site, burn it to a CD, and boot your computer with it. All the instructions are on the CD.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
I would never recommend any of the methods shown in these videos for destroying your old hard drive. Although, these videos do emphasize the need to destroy the data on your old hard drives (or USB drives) before discarding them. If you don't someone could easily extract this information and use it against you.
You could format the drive using the tools that come with your OS, and that might stop someone who doesn't know what they're doing. Although with a quick query on any search engine, and a few free tools they could recover your data with some effort.
If you're looking for a way to more permanently destroy the data on some type of media, such as a hard drive or flash drive. There's another way to accomplish this task without physically destroying the drive. Read the following article on 'Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN)'
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
In Windows XP, Standby mode turns off the monitor and hard drive and then your computer goes into a low power state. The advantage of this mode is that computer can resume quickly to its previous state by moving the mouse or touching the keyboard. The disadvantage to this low power state is if your computer loses power or the battery dies you loose the contents of RAM.
In Hibernation mode, the current state of RAM is saved to the hard drive, and then the computer is completely shutdown. The advantage to this mode is the current state of your computer is saved, so when you turn it back on you can resume from where you left off. Since the computer is turned off, there is no power being used. The downside is your computer will take a minute or two to return to an operational state.
In new Sleep mode, the content of RAM is saved to disk, and your computer then goes into a lower power state where on RAM and the CPU stay alive. When you press a key or move the mouse, the computer will be restored to its previous state.
If you have a notebook and the battery gets low, the machine will shut itself down automatically, to prevent loosing your data. To get it to restore itself, all you need to do is press the power button.
Note: For information on configuring this feature, please see the following article about Windows Vista Power Options.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
- From the Start menu, in the search field type power options, then click on it in the results.
Monday, April 28, 2008
In sleep mode the hard drive is turned off, then the the monitor and motherboard are put in a low power state. In hibernation mode, a copy of RAM is saved to the hard drive, then it and the motherboard are turned off, then the monitor is put in a low power state.
When you press the power button on your computer or notebook, this will put your computer into a sleep or hibernation state (depending on which its setup to perform).
Another way to put your computer in a sleep or hibernation state is to create a shortcut that can do the same thing as pressing the power button. Follow the instructions below to learn how to do this:
- Right-click an empty area on your computer's desktop, and select New > Shortcut.
- In the field type: rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll,SetSuspendState
- Give the shortcut a descriptive name, then press the Finish button.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Crafted by our analysts and editors and tested in PC Labs, our tips compendium starts with the fundamentals of computing: the operating system and basic productivity applications such as Word and Excel. Then we touch on multimedia, mobility, and business, with hundreds of tips in each section."
Here is a cornucopia of tips from PC Magazine. The tips cover Windows, Office, Google, Browsers, and more.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
From the Services management console you can start, stop, restart, or disable the different services on your system. When you start or stop a service, that is very obvious what it does. Although when you stop a service, it's only stopped until you reboot your computer.
When you restart a service, it stops and starts it again. When you disable a service, that prevents the service from restarting next time you reboot your computer.
You also need to be aware that some services can have dependencies, and if you stop one it can have a cascade effect and stop other related services. For example, if you opened the 'DHCP Client' service, and clicked on the Dependencies tab you would see the other services that rely on it.
Below is a brief explanation of the different tabs in the Service dialog box:
- General: Displays the state of the service, and where the related executables are located.
- Log On: Allows you to manage the which account the service uses to run.
- Recovery: Allows you manage how a service will try to recover itself if it fails.
- Dependencies: Shows you which other services dependencies on that service.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Unless you're performing some type of system maintenance or diagnostics, you will almost never need to worry about them. Most of the time they run quietly in the background and you won't even know that they're there.
Although, if you need to know how to access them, follow the instructions below:
Warning: If you disable any critical system services you can prevent Windows from working correctly. So make sure that you understand exactly what function a service does before you disable it. As always proceed at your own risk.
- From the Start menu select 'Control Panels', then open the 'Administrative Tools' folder.
- Double-click the Services icon. If you have the UAC enable it will ask you to confirm this action.
- When the Services management console opens, you will see a list of services installed on your computer.
Friday, April 18, 2008
It tries to install the applications and features that people will most often use. Although like anything that makes automatic assumptions for you it will never be 100% correct. If you find there is an application or functionality that you need or don't need you can add or remove it by using the 'Programs and Features' control panel.
Follow the instructions below to add or remove features from Vista:
- Under the Start menu open the Control Panel folder, then select the 'Programs and Features'.
- In the tasks pane on the left, click the 'Turn Windows features on or off' link.
- Check or uncheck the features you want to install or remove. Each feature has a checkbox next to it to indicate whether its installed or not. If you want to install a feature, just check it. If you want to uninstall an existing feature uncheck it. Some items have a '+' next to it, this indicates that there are sub-features that you can enable or disable.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
- Open the Start Menu, in the Search field type cmd then press Ctrl-Shift-Enter (this opens the administrative level command prompt).
- In the command prompt type powercfg /hibernate on then press Enter.
- Reboot your computer and the hibernate feature will be enabled.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I was happy to read this review from PC Mag. about the latest version of avast, because its a free for personal use anti-malware program.
Monday, April 14, 2008
These machines generally include some type of system recovery media (such as: CD or DVD), or a recovery partition on your computer's hard drive. These system recovery options (media or partition) will restore your computer to the original state when you first bought it.
Warning: Be careful when using any of the system recovery options, its designed as an option of last resort. Make sure that you have backup of all your data, and original media for your applications that didn't come with the computer. Also make sure that you have product keys or serial numbers for installing these applications.Generally what happens when you use the system recovery option, your hard drive will be formated and the original system image from the factory will be installed. This image includes all the crapware that was originally installed when you bought your computer, and none of the latest patches or service packs
The first thing that you need to do after re-installing your operating system, is make sure your firewall is turned on. Install the latest system and application updates, then install your anti-virus and malware software. Then and only then should you install your applications, hardware drivers, other updates, or even attach your computer on the Internet.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Generally at this point you have two choices, do a clean install of the OS or do a system recovery install. A system recovery install involves copying the system files back to your computer from the installation media. This type of install can replace damaged files or corrupt settings that can prevent your system from booting, while leaving your programs, configuration, and data intact.
There are two problems with this type of system repair vs. using a clean install. One, there is no guarantee it will work. Two, it doesn't remove the clutter that built up in your old system.
Warning: Whatever method you use to recover your system, there is always a danger of losing your data. You should always make sure that you have a good backup of your data before continuing. And as always proceed at your own risk.To perform a system recovery follow the steps below:
- Boot your computer using the Windows XP Installation CD.
- When prompted press the Enter key to start the install of Windows XP.
- By pressing F8 you accept the End-User License Agreement
- The installation program will then detect your existing Windows XP installation.
- Press R to begin the recovery process.
- The installation program will copy all the system files to your hard drive.
- When the installation is done copying all the files, and the setup program reboots your computer. Do not press any key when your system tries booting from the CD-ROM, let the setup process continue.
After you finish the repair process you will need to reinstall the latest service packs and any other system updates since they will have been removed by the recovery process.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
SP1 includes an uninstall feature that allows you to remove the the update if you decide you don't want it. This feature works by moving all the pre-SP1 files to a temporary location on the hard drive during the install of the update. These files can consume about 800MB of storage on your drive.
If you need the disk space, and you're sure you want to keep SP1 installed on your computer. Then there is a command that you can use that will remove these files, and free up space on your hard drive. Although by removing these files, you lose the ability to uninstall SP1.
There is a special tool called the 'Windows Vista SP1 Files Removal Tool' that is automatically installed when you run the update on your system. To access this tool follow the instructions below:
- Open a command prompt by typing "CMD" then press Ctrl-Shift-Enter in the search field under the Start menu. This will open the command prompt in an administrator mode (note: if you have the UAC enabled, you will receive a UAC prompt).
- In the command prompt type "vsp1cln.exe"
Monday, April 07, 2008
The programs listed below will help you fight against these types of malicious software by helping you to detect, remove, and prevent your system from getting infected in the first place.
Anti-Virus Scanners (Real-time)
Protects your system in real-time, which can prevent or limit the effects of an virus infection.
Anti-Virus Scanners (Standalone)
These tools can test if a system is infected, or for disinfecting it after it has been contaminated.
- avast! Virus Cleaner
- Trend Micro Sysclean
- Note: Read the README.TXT file for update instructions.
- Clam AntiVirus
- Malicious Software Removal Tool
These tools can test if a system is infected, or for disinfecting it after it has been contaminated.
Checks your system for different types of malware (spyware, keyboard loggers, trojans, etc.).
- BitDefender - Free Edition (Trailware)
- Microsoft Defender (included with Windows Vista)
- Spybot S&D
- Webroot Spy Sweeper (Trailware)
If you receive a file that you think may contain malicious code, you can upload or send it to one of the following sites below to have it scanned.
These programs can help protect your computer from getting infected or help you detect the existence of malicious software.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
I would suggest that you take advantage of the site's Test Drive feature to see if you like the service before signing up. Photoshop Express requires a broadband connection and Adobe's Flash plug-in, and runs in most if not all modern browsers on a variety of operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux).
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Initially offline access to your documents will be limited to: 1) viewing and searching your document list; 2) viewing and editing word processing documents. Currently presentations and spreadsheets can't be accessed offline as of yet. Also for now, offline access will only available in English.
For more information watch the video below.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
One way to do this is use Microsoft's built-in XPS printer driver. When you print a document using this printer driver, the output will go to a local file on your computer instead of a printer. This document will look exactly like the document would if it was printed, and can be viewed or file away for future reference on your local hard drive. Another advantage to XPS is that it is an application neutral format that doesn't require the original application to be installed to use it.
To create an XPS document:
- Open any document in just about any application and select Print.
- In the Print dialog, choose 'Microsoft XPS Document Writer' driver then press the OK button.
- A file dialog will display, and allow you to name the file and choose where to save it.
- Double-click the XPS file, and it will open in Internet Explorer.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Windows Marketplace hosts a section on their site dedicated to these add-ons. Each add-on is screened by Microsoft and rated by users. Check out the site to find the best ones for you.
Friday, March 28, 2008
To add an additional time zone, follow the steps below:
- Right click on the time in the notification area (in the bottom right hand corner).
- Select the 'Adjust Date/Time' option.
- In the dialog, select the 'Additional Clocks' tab.
- Check the 'Show this clock ' checkbox, then use the drop down menu to select the time zone you want to display.
- Press the OK button.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Photoshop Express, available for free with 2 gigabytes of storage at www.photoshop.com/express, is a significant departure from Adobe's desktop software business and a big bet that it can make money offering Web services directly to consumers."
Read the following article for more information.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Below is a brief list of features the available features:
- Tabbed Browsing Management
- Spell Check
- Inline Search
- Crash Recovery
- Proxy Switcher
- Mouse Gesture
- Webpage Capturer
- AD Blocker (w/Flash Block)
- Greasemonkey like User Scripts platform
- And more.
Note: When you install the browser it will redirect your web searches to its site (its states this in the install procedure). The IE7Pro search uses Google results. The developer of the IE7Pro add-on makes its money to support itself through your web searches.
Monday, March 24, 2008
This image is intended for administrators that need to download multiple language versions of each security update. This ISO is also useful for Windows home users who don't have an Internet connection.
Friday, March 21, 2008
The lackluster performance problem is well known to regular Storage Bits readers - search on Solid State Disk if you aren’t. I’m still working on unraveling the issues in detail, but the basic problem is that flash was never intended for frequent small random writes."
It looks like the first generation Solid State Disks (SSD) are having some problems. They're also not delivering any real performance advantages over the traditional mechanical hard drives that we use today.
One thing that is not addressed in this article is that you can only write to a flash memory so many times before it fails. Currently, its generally about 100,000 write cycles per cell on the device. Although most devices don't write to the same cell over and over again, instead they spreads out the writes over many different cells.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Here are some resources to assist your Windows Vista SP1 upgrade (note: Most of these documents below are targeted at IT professionals who are going to deploy this update across a corporation. So the documents might be very technical, but there's a ton of great information for the person to wants to know more about SP1.):
- Things to know about Windows Vista Service Pack 1
- Notable Changes in Windows Vista Service Pack 1
- Overview of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (white paper)
- Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Deployment Guide
- Release Notes for Windows Vista Service Pack 1
- Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Support
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Hotfixes and security updates included in Windows Vista Service Pack 1
- Windows Service Pack blocker tool (for organizations want temporarily prevent installation of Windows SP1 through Windows Update)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
IE8 has a few other features that are under the hood (such as greater compliance with web standards). Although they're not as visible the 'Activities' and 'Webslices'. Watch the video below more information.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
This version of SP1 is intended for system administrators of companies, organizations, or government IT departments to make available to their users. Microsoft prefers that people download this service pack through the Microsoft Update service. The download is also smaller if you use the online service.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Just to be absolutely sure, I un-installed and reinstalled the trackpad driver from the manufacturer's site. In most cases this would have corrected the problem if it was not a hardware failure, or some type of resource conflict.
I always try to ask for a history of the problem before I start working on something. Generally you might find the answer by listening. The person who gave me the laptop said they were doing a presentation and people were fiddling with her computer before the problem happened.
Then the answer hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that some laptops have the ability to disable certain hardware functionality through the function keys (this varies from laptop to laptop). Sure enough that was the problem, all I had to do was hit the right function key.
I am documenting this, because I am hoping it will one-day help someone who is working on a laptop and can't figure out why something is not functioning.
- Listen before you do anything.
- Sometimes the unobvious solution is the answer.
- Always double-check someone else's work, they may not have done it correctly.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Although, if you want to know how to do it, I have included the instructions below.
Warnings: This tip does require modifying your Windows registry, and if you're not comfortable performing this operation then I don't recommend that you do it. Also As always, you should backup your registry before editing it. Finally use this tip at your own risk.
- Open up the Windows Registry Editor and then navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
- Right-click in an empty area in the right pane and select New>DWORD value.
- Give the new value the name NoTrayItemsDisplay
- Double-click it, then assign it a data value of 1 and press the OK button.
- Close the registry editor
- Log off your system and then log back in, and your change will take effect.