Thursday, December 31, 2009

Windows 7: Display Color Calibration Wizard

Windows 7 includes a new feature called Display Color Calibration Wizard. This tool is designed to helps you adjust your computer monitor's brightness, gamma, contrast & color settings.

To access this tool, in the search field under the Start menu, type: "dccw"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Article: Microsoft releases Windows 7 upgrade tool for netbooks

InfoWorld reports: "Microsoft has released a tool that lets netbook owners install Windows 7 on their machines using a USB flash drive, sidestepping the usual requirement of a DVD drive."

Before starting this, you need to make sure that computer you're trying to upgrade to Windows 7 is bootable via USB drive, although most modern computers support this feature. You will also need a flash drive that is 4GB or greater.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Windows 7: Choose a presentation display mode

A new feature in Windows 7 allows you to quickly and easily change presentation display modes on your laptop without going into the Mobility Center. All you have do is press the Windows logo key + P and you'll be presented with a dialog that allows you to choose one of four modes:
  • Display using the built-in screen only.
  • Display a duplicate image on the built-in screen and external monitor or projector.
  • Extend the desktop across both the built-in and external display.
  • Display only on the external screen.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quotes of the Day...

- "The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made." - Jean Giraudoux

"Don't anthropomorphize computers - they hate it." - Anonymous

Friday, October 30, 2009

Windows 7: Adjust the Size System Restore Points

Windows automatically backups certain area of your operating system, under different conditions. These backups are called Restore Points, and are generally triggered when you make some kind of change to the OS, such as installing a new program or driver.

I don't recommend modifying this setting, but you may need to depending on the circumstances such as you're running low on disk space.
  • Under the Start menu, open the Control Panels.
  • Open up the System control panel applet.
  • In the left pane, click the "System protection" link
In the list under Protection Settings, you can see which volumes have this feature enabled. You can also click on the partition that you want to adjust, and press the Configure button. A new dialog will open, and present you with a slider that you can use to change the the amount of storage this feature will use.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Windows 7: Its Finally Here

Well as the title says, Windows 7 is finally here, Microsoft released it on 10/22/09. I have been playing with the Windows 7 betas, and RC candidates for the past few months since Microsoft has released them to the public. Overall, I have liked the experience.

I have to admit I was worried about compatibility with one of my favorite games, but it ran like a champ even on the betas. I didn't do extensive compatibility checks , but I have only had issues with one piece of software, and one web site (which was DRM'ed and didn't recognize Windows 7).

One of the biggest changes you might first see is the new taskbar, and how you get live previews of all the Windows you have open. The second thing you might notice is that you don't get all those UAC (User Access Control) confirmations. Microsoft has made several changes and enhancements under the hood (or in the Kernel) to improve the overall OS.

So far the response in the press and in the blogosphere has been really positive, its gotten a lot of great reviews. I do see the occasional pundit article where someone will take a bug, or security flaw and blow it out of proportion (IMHO). Overall, I would highly recommend the OS to just about anyone, including Linux and Mac OS X users a like.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Windows 7: New Tips are Coming

It's been a several months since I last posted anything online. I have taken a hiatus from posting in my blogs to explore new hobbies.

Although with Microsoft releasing Windows 7 soon, I think this is a good time for me to start writing again. I am not sure if I will post a new tip everyday in this blog like I started out doing, but I will publish something as often as I can.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Windows Vista: Changing the Domain to a Workgroup

Changing the domain to a workgroup:
  • Go into System Properties control panel
  • Under “Computer Name, Domain, Workgroup Settings” section press the “Change Settings” link
  • Press the Change… button.
  • Select the Workgroup radio button (you might need to enter a value into the field), press the OK buttons.
  • You will need to reboot your computer.

Firefox Easter Eggs

These are not the chocolate Easter eggs you eat, but they are hidden features in applications that you can access if you know what to do. Not all applications have Easter eggs, but sometimes programmers install these secret features for fun.

In this article I explain how to access two Easter eggs in Firefox 3.0:
  • First you need start the Firefox 3.0 (or greater) application,
  • In the address bar you need to type the following and press the Enter key.
    • about:robots
    • about:mozilla

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Check out BumpTop

BumpTop claims that they have "reinvented your desktop". The program replaces the Windows Explorer and offers a new way to organize your files that is suppose to help you become more productive. Personally I like the idea, but I am not sure how practical it is (for me).

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Software: VIPRE PC Rescue Program

The VIPRE PC Rescue Program is a free command-line utility that can scan and help clean an infected computer. This is not a real-time scanner so it won't protect you from being infected in the first place.

These types of programs are great for trying to disinfect an infected computer, or just you give you a second opinion to make sure its not.

The VIPRE PC Rescue Program is a self-extracting executable file that contains the virus scanner and definitions. There is no pretty graphical interface that makes this program easy to use.

So to use this tool it helps to be familiar with the basic concepts of using other command-line based utilities. For more information, check out the web site.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Millions Hit with Windows Worm as Infection Spreads

eWeek reports: "Nearly two months after Microsoft first warned of the Conficker worm targeting a vulnerability in its Server service, the number of infected computers is growing rapidly. While there is some dispute about the number of infections—F-Secure puts it at approximately 9 million, though others dispute that—the general consensus from companies such as Symantec and Kaspersky Lab is that the number of infections is in the millions."

One more reason to keep your system patched. There is some nasty malware out there that wants your computer.

If you have 'Automatic Updates' enabled your computer will download these updates for you in the background. Then when you shutdown your system these patches will be applied to your system. If you leave your computer on overnight they will automatically be installed and your system will be rebooted if necessary.
Warning: If you leave your computer on at night make sure you save all your work or you run the risk of losing it if your system has to be rebooted.
Enabling Automatic Updates
If you don't have 'Automatic Updates' enabled on your computer, I would suggest that you turn it on as soon as possible. If you don't want to enable this feature, you can always update your computer by visiting the Windows Update site and downloading and installing the patches manually.

To enable Automatic Updates (Windows XP):
  • From the Start menu, select the Control Panel folder.
  • Double-click the System applet in the control panel folder.
  • Click the 'Automatic Updates' tab.
  • Check the 'Automatic (recommended)' option. (optional: if you don't like this feature, you can set it to: 'download but not install the update', 'just notify you', or 'disable this feature altogether' [not recommended])
  • Press the OK button when done.
To enable Automatic Updates (Windows Vista):
  • From the Start menu, select 'All Programs' then 'Windows Update'
  • In the left pane, click the 'Change settings' link.
  • Check the 'Install updates automatically (recommended)' option. (optional: if you don't like this feature, you can set it to: 'Download updates but let me choose whether to install them', 'Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them', or 'Never check for updates' [not recommended])
  • Press the OK button when done.

Note: For the latest Microsoft Security Bulletins, check out this site.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Software: RUBotted (Anti-Botnet Scanner)

Trend Micro has release a free anti-botnet detection tool called RUBotted. This software can help prevent your computer from being taken over and used for malicious purposes such as sending spam or remotely attacking other computers.

Here is excerpt from Trend Micro site about their product:
"Malicious software called Bots can secretly take control of computers and make them participate in networks called “Botnets.” These networks can harness massive computing power and Internet bandwidth to relay spam, attack web servers, infect more computers, and perform other illicit activities."
If you have never heard of a Botnet, here is an article from Wikipedia that discusses it in more detail.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Microsoft Fix It LIve

A new feature of the Microsoft Knowledge Base system is called "Fix it live". Basically its a service from Microsoft that will attempt to fix certain problems outlined in the knowledge base articles.

Here is excerpt from the site: "Have you ever come across a Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article or been presented with a Windows Error Reporting (WER) solution and asked yourself, why can't Microsoft just fix this for me? Today KB articles and WER solutions provide you with a list of steps that can be followed to resolve your issue. However, tomorrow looks much different and we hope it helps you resolve any issues you have with our products faster and easier."