Monday, January 31, 2005

Access Your PC Anywhere In the World For Free

WebEx launched MyWebExPC, a free service that allows you to remotely and securely access your PC from anywhere in the world. The MyWebExPC software is easy to install and setup.

A Pro version is also available for $9.95 a month that offers more sophisticated features. For more information, go to the MyWebExPC web site.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Free Online Computer Courses

CNet offers a free Instructors-led computer courses online, through its '' web site. Each month they offer additional courses, taught by an expert in the field. The courses cover topics from business to technology to personal development.

These courses are non-accredited, but what do you expect for free. The instructors can talk to students and students talk with each other on the site's message boards.

Check out the site for more information.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Surf the Web With Your Peers

Jybe is a free peer-to-peer browser plug-in for Internet Explorer and Firefox that allows you to surf the Web with your friends, family and business partners in real-time. It allows you to show off your favorite web sites, shop with your friends, assist your peers with how to use the Web.

This is not new technology, but hopefully will last longer then the other companies that have offered the same technology in the past. Jybe claims that their software is spyware, and they also don't collect information about surfing habits.

Check out their privacy policy, to understand what information they do collect. Check out the site's FAQ, if you have questions about the features or limitations of the product.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Windows AntiSpyware (Beta)

Microsoft is currently offering their Windows AntiSpyware software for free, at least until July 31, 2005 for free. Microsoft acquired the technology from a company called GIANT Company Software, which they bought recently. This company made one of the better Anti-Spyware scanners on the market.

I personally use this software, and I am very impressed with it. It not only finds more spyware, adware, etc. It also has very extensive proactive features, to help prevent you from being infected in the first place.

This software is now part of the everyday arsenal to protect myself while on the Internet.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Staying Safe Online

Microsoft has published several articles about how to protect your computer and privacy online. There is also article about how to avoid online donation scams.
Remember, knowledge is power.

Do you ever have the need to send a large file (such as: audio or video) to a friend or relative, but you can't send it via email because of the attachment size limitation imposed by your or receiver's mail service provider. There is an answer to this problem, allows you to send large files (up to 1GB) to someone else. The great thing about this service is there are no: passwords to share, software to install, accounts to create, and no full mailboxes.

How it work:
- Enter the Recipient's email address, to whom you want to sent the file to. You can specify multiple email addresses by separating them with commas.
- Select a file to send. Your file will be stored on YouSendIt's server, without filling up your recipient's mailbox.
- Click the Send button. YouSendIt will automatically email your recipient a link to the file stored on their server.

Note: The file you send will be automatically deleted off of YouSendIt's servers after seven days.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Password Protect Your Compressed Folders

In previous versions of the Windows OS, if you needed to create or open a .ZIP file you needed a 3rd party utility such as WinZip. Windows XP has a native ability open or create ZIP files, now known as 'Compressed Folders'.

To create a Compressed Folders, all you have to do is right-click and existing folder, select Send To > Compressed (zipped) Folder. If you need to prevent other people from viewing the contents of the these files, you can password protect the files in the Compress Folder.

Note: Compress Folder and ZIP file, uses a simple data encryption method that will only stop the casual computer user from viewing the file. If you need more security use a more sophisticated application like PGP or GnuPG.

To assign a password to a compressed folder:
  • Open the Windows Explorer, and find the compressed folder you want to password protect.
  • Double-click the compressed folder to open it.
  • From the File menu, select 'Add a Password...'.
  • Type in your password twice and press the OK button.
To remove the password compressed folder, just open it up select 'Remove Password...' from the File menu. Enter your current password, and press the OK button.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Microsoft Time Zone (Cool Utility)

For: Windows XP Professional and Home Edition

Do you have to constantly know the time in several different time zones for one reason or another? The Microsoft Time Zone utility runs in the system tray and allows you to easily view the date and time in various locations around the world.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP

Microsoft offers several PowerToys for Windows XP as a free set add-on to enhance the operating system. Some of these are add-ons are more useful then others, for example Tweak UI allows you to modify certain aspects of the OS. Other add-ons Alt-Tab Replacement, are a little less useful in my opinion.

Note: These tools are unsupported by Microsoft, so if you have any problems you're on your own.
  • ClearType Tuner (New): Allows you to tune the ClearType technology to make it easier to read text on your screen.
  • HTML Slide Show Wizard (Updated): Creates an HTML slide show of your digital pictures, ready for your Web site.
  • Open Command Window Here: Provides a quick way to open a command window.
  • Alt-Tab Replacement: Displays the icon of the application window you are switching to, you will also see a preview of the page. This helps particularly when multiple sessions of an application are open.
  • Tweak UI: Grants you access to system settings that are not available in the Windows XP default user interface.
  • Power Calculator: Graphing calculate that can evaluate functions, perform different types of conversions.
  • Image Resizer: Allows you to resize one or many image files with a right-click.
  • CD Slide Show Generator: View images burned to a CD as a slide show.
  • Virtual Desktop Manager: Manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar.
  • Taskbar Magnifier: Magnify part of the screen from the taskbar.
  • Webcam Timershot: Allows you take pictures at specified time intervals from a Webcam connected to your computer and save them to a location that you designate.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Manually Opening Ports in Windows Firewall

Sometimes you need to manually open ports in the Windows Firewall to allow programs on your computer to talk to the Internet. Be forewarned that opening up ports in your firewall exposes your computer to the Internet which can make it vulnerable to attack.
  • From the Start menu, open 'My Network Places'.
  • Under Network Tasks, click 'View Network Connections'.
  • Right-click your Internet connection, and select Properties.
  • Click the Advanced tab, and then press the Settings button.
Note: If the Settings button is unavailable, the Windows Firewall is not enabled on this connection, and you do not have to open any ports.
  • Press the Add button to open a new port.
  • In the 'Description of service' field, type a friendly name for the port to help you remember why you open it. For example, type Remote Desktop : Port 3389.
  • In the 'Name or IP address' field, enter the address of the computer hosting this service on your network box. Generally this will be local computer, so type "". Although, you can specify the IP address of another computer on your local network.
  • In the External port and Internal port boxes, type the port number that you want to open.
  • Select either TCP or UDP, and press the OK button.
Repeat the steps above for each port that you want to open.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Using the "Show Updates" Option (Windows XP SP2')

For: Windows XP Professional and Home Edition

Before Windows XP SP2, in the Add or Remove Programs control panel the Microsoft updates that were applied to your system would show in here. This is great if want to see what patches were applied to your system. Although it was annoying if you had to scroll through the list trying to find the program that you wanted to remove, and accidentally removed a system patch or service pack.

In SP2 a new feature prevent the system updates from being displayed in the list by default. So if you want to see the system date you have enable this feature.

- Open the Control Panel folder
- Open the Add or Remove Programs control panel
- At the top of the Add or Remove Programs window, check the "Show updates" checkbox.

You're now able to scroll down and see the system updates intermixed with the other programs.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Changing the Default Action With Removable Media

For: Windows XP Professional and Home Edition

Whenever you insert some type of removable media (such as: CD/DVD disk, flash card, etc.) into your computer, Windows will pop-up a dialog questioning you on what you want to do with it (such as: play the audio, play the movie, display the pictures, etc.). You can also specify for Windows to never AutoPlay any type of content for this device.

If for some reason the AutoPlay dialog box stops appearing, or you want specify AutoPlay default actions for different types of content. Follow the instructions below:

- Inserting the media into its reader
- Open the Widows Explorer
- Expand 'My Computer', then right-click on the drive letter that represents your removable media, and select Properties
- Click on the Autoplay tab.
- In the dropdown menu, choose the type of content that the removable can contain, and click the "Select an action to perform" radio button.
- Select the default action for this media type.
- Repeat the last two steps for the different types of content, and the action for that content.
- Press the OK button when done.

Note: If the system doesn't remember your settings you may have repeat this task a few times to get it too work.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Choosing the Windows Explorer Start Folder

For: Windows XP Professional and Home Edition

When the Windows Explorer is launched, it opens the My Documents folder by default. To make Windows Explorer start in another folder, you can create a shortcut that causes it opens in a new location.

- Right-click on the desktop and select New > Shortcut.
- In the Location field type "explorer.exe /e,C:\", then press the 'Next >' button.
- Give your shortcut a new name, or accept the default, then press the Finish button.

Whenever you launch the shortcut it will open the Windows Explorer to the C:\ drive. You change the location of folder which the Explorer opens, you need to modifying the path (i.e.: 'C:\') after the '/e'. If the path includes a space, then the whole path name needs to be enclosed in quotes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Creating a Password Recovery Disk

For: Windows XP Professional and Home Edition

In the previous versions of Windows if you accidently forget your password all you had to do was the press the ESC key. In Windows XP if you forget your password you can be locked out of your computer.

This is because Windows XP uses a more sophisticated method of managing each user's permissions. These premissions are also enforced by file system and operating system itself.

To help protect you from getting locked out your computer, you can create a password recovery disk. The password recovery disk can allow you back into your computer even if you forget your password.

Note: You will need some type removable media to create a password recover disk, such as a floppy disk. The Password Recovery wizard will want to erase disk that you will use.

- Open the Control Panel
- Open the User Account control panel
- Click on a user, to create a Password Recover Disk
- On the left hand side, click on 'Prevent a forgotten password'.

You will now be presented with a wizard which will walk you through creating password recover disk. You will also need to know the current password for the account you want to create the recover disk.

If you forget your password, all you have to do click on the green arrow next to the user account at the login screen. You will then be prompted to insert the password recover disk.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Windows XP: Creating Your Own Toolbar

Have you wanted to create your own toolbar in the taskbar or on your desktop. Windows will allow you to turn almost any folder into a toolbar, even special folders like the Control Panel. It is pretty easy, follow the instructions below to convert the Control Panel folder into a toolbar. This same procedure should also work on just about any other folder:
  • Minimize all your windows so that the desktop is exposed. (Press the WinKey+D)
  • Right-click on the Taskbar.
  • Scroll to Toolbars > 'New Toolbar...'.
  • In the dialog, select a folder (open 'My Computer', then select 'Control Panel').
  • Press the OK button to continue.
  • Click on the new toolbar in the Taskbar and drag it on of the edges of your monitor. It should automatically lock into place.
You can make the toolbar auto-hide when it's not in use so it's not taking up valuable desktop space. Just right-click on its label where it says 'Control Panel', and select 'Auto-Hide'. To get rid of the toolbar altogether, right-click on label again and select 'Close Toolbar'.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Modifying XP's Visual Effects

You can increase Windows XP's system performance by disabling different visual effects, such as: fade or slide menus, visual effects on buttons, slide open boxes, etc..
  • Right-click on My Computer, and select Properties.
  • Click the Advanced tab.
  • In the Performance section, press the Settings button.
From here you can adjust the performance by turning on and off individual visual effects, or by using pre-defined configurations by selecting one of the radio buttons.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Producer for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003

"Microsoft Producer 2003 for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, allows you to capture and synchronize audio, video, slides, and images, then preview and publish a rich media presentation virtually anywhere for viewing in a Web browser."

Thursday, January 06, 2005 offers free: Firewall, Port Scans and other Internet Security tests. It also offers tools and links to audit browser's privacy settings and remove spyware.

The site is pretty crude, but I believe it has some potential

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Creating a System Floppy Disk

Back in the early days of Windows, creating a system floppy disk was pretty common. Although, newer desktops and laptops are not shipping with floppy drives installed, so this task is slowly becoming a lost art.

System requirements: a computer with floppy drive, and Windows XP installed, and a 3.5" floppy disk that can be formatted.
  • Insert a floppy into the disk drive, that you want to format. Warning: All the data on this disk will be destroyed.
  • Launch the Windows Explorer (In the Start Menu, click on 'My Computer').
  • Right-click the floppy drive icon, and select the Format option.
  • A Format dialog will be displayed
  • The following options can be set in the Format dialog:
    • Capacity: Specifies the capacity of the floppy that you are formatting (1.44MB is the default).
    • File System: Specifies the file system for floppy (FAT is the default)
    • Allocation Unit Size: Leave at 'Default allocation size' unless you have a reason to change it.
    • Volume Label: Enter a label for yourfloppy disk if you want.
    • Quick Format: Check this option to quickly format disks that were previously formatted.
    • Create an MS-DOS startup disk: Check this option to copy system files to make the floppy bootable
  • Press the Start button to begin formatting the disk.
After you press the Start button, you will be warned that all the information on the floppy disk will be destroyed. Press the OK if you want to proceed.

  • Some floppy will not format due to media errors, if this happens you will have to insert another disk.
  • If your computer's hard drive is formatted with NTFS, you can not use this system disk to access the local file system.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Quickly Access Network and System Properties

Quickly access either the 'Network Connections' folder or System control panel without going into the 'Control Panels' folder. All you have to do is right-click 'Network Neighborhood' or 'My Computer' icons in the Start menu or on the desktop, and select Properties.

Monday, January 03, 2005

'No to all' When Modifying Files

For: Windows XP Professional and Home Edition

When deleting or modifying files, depending on the type of files you're deleting a dialog will be displayed with 'Yes', 'Yes to All', and 'No' buttons. If you press 'Yes to All' button it will complete changes to the files that you requested.

If you press 'No' button you will have press it for each file. If you hold down the shift key while pressing the 'No' button, it will act like 'No to All' button.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Welcome to Windows Tip of the Day

Thank you for visiting my Windows Tip of the Day. This is where I going to post a daily (Monday-Friday) Windows tip, I might later add Saturday and Sunday. These tips are going to be for Microsoft current Operating System (OS) Windows XP, but some them will also work on Windows platforms (like: Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT Workstation, NT Server, 2000 Professional, 2000 Server, 2003 Server).

The tips that I am planning on posting will range from very basic to more complicated. Most of them will be directed to solve a problem, and showing off a feature of the Windows OS.

If you would like ask a question that I can address in this blog, I will later post an email address that you reached me at.

I hope you enjoy the site and find the content worthwhile.
Jason Savitt

p.s. For those interested in technologies other then just Windows, I also have my other blog called 'In My Humble Opinion'. This is where I publish different articles, stories and links about the latest technology news happening today.