Get To Know Your PC

Monday, July 31, 2006

Change Registered Windows Info

Want to change the "Registered to:" information in 's 'System Properties' window? Here's how:

- Start the '' (regedit)

- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

- Change the value of 'RegisteredOrganization' or 'RegisteredOwner' to the owner and organization that you want.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Windows Startup Programs

Is your computer starting slower than usual? Check which programs are being run when starts to see if unwanted programs are causing the slowdown.

- Open the Start menu and click 'Run'.

- Type "msconfig" and press enter to open the window.

- Click on the 'Startup' tab to view a list of programs started with .

- Uncheck the programs you want to disable and click Apply, then OK.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Guest Account

The default in is best disabled if you are not using it. This can help prevent unauthorized access to your computer.

- Open the and double-click on

- Click "Change an account", then choose the Guest account.

- Click "Turn off the guest account".

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Adding more details to the "Details" view

You can add other columns to the of the files contained in folders, such as Comments, Description, Category, and many others. To add new columns:

- Right–click the column header of the files list, and then click one of the fields listed, or click More.

- In the Choose Details dialog box, you can reorganize the order of column headers, specify column widths, and add columns to display details for the files in that folder.

Monday, July 24, 2006

About Windows XP Time

Is your computer's time not correct? In , the can be kept up-to-date automatically if you're connected to the internet.

- Double-click on the time in the .

- Under the '' tab, make sure that "Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server" is checked.

- Choose a time server from the "Server:" box. Then, click 'Apply'.

*You can change the by typing in the address of a new time server in the "Server:" box.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Change the Internet Explorer Title

Here's a tip to change the default text ("Microsoft Internet Explorer") shown in your window's title

- Start by clicking on 'Run' in the and typing "regedit".
- Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
- Right click on the 'Main' key and choose New, String Value. Name the new string "Window Title".
- Double click "Window Title" and enter the text you want to appear in the title bar.

*Caution! Always backup your registry before making any changes, especially if you are not familiar with Regedit.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Power User Accounts

Rather than staying with the default 'Administrator' account in , using a account will provide the same flexibility, but with improved security.

Here is how to create a :
- Right click 'My Computer', choose 'Manage'
- Choose 'System Tools', 'Local Users and Groups', then right click on 'Users' and select 'New User'.
- Type in a user name and password, then click 'Create'.
- Next, double click the new user you created in the 'Users' list.
- Under the 'Member Of' tab, click 'Add'.
- Type "Power Users" and click 'Check Names'.
- Click OK, and you've got a power user account.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Keyboard shortcuts that save time

When you have open, it can take alot of time to switch between the various windows with the mouse, especially when doing small . Try the '' keyboard shortcut to switch between the windows faster.
Hold down the 'Alt' key and press the 'Tab' key to popup a list of the active windows. Each press of 'Tab' will switch to the next window.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Start menu delay

The before a menu pops up in the can be made faster.

- Start Regedit.
- Navigate to 'HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop'.
- Select "MenuShowDelay", right click, and choose Modify.
- Enter a fairly low number (150 - 300) greater than 0.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Separate Window Processes

Has crashed on you and closed every one of your Internet Explorer windows? The following tip causes multiple instances of the same application to execute in their own process and memory space. This will take up more of your RAM, but will allow for greater .

- Open 'My Computer' (or any )
- Select Tools
- Select Folder Options, then select the View tab.
- Scroll down, check the "Launch folder windows in separate process" box, and click 'Apply'.

Friday, July 14, 2006

PodCasting and RSS

Have you heard the words "Subscribe to our Podcast" lately? What about RSS? is new method for distributing media over the internet. Essentially, when you "subscribe" you are signing up to receive automatic downloads of content from a feed that is either in or syndication format. These feeds can be providing video, audio, news headlines and articles, and lots of other content. You don't need an to receive , but you will need an , which is software that "reads the feeds".

Here is a non-technical explanation of RSS.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stopping Messenger Service

To help stop pop up messages on your computer (the kind that pops up in front of everything with a text message), you can disable the service.

- Click Start, Settings, Control Panel
- Click Performance and Maintenance
- Click Administrative Tools
- Double click Services
- Scroll down and right click on "Messenger", then choose 'Properties'.
- Click the STOP button
- Select Manual as the 'Startup Type' and click OK.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Command Prompt

Before the we use today had , computers were controlled using . was essential to running a computer, and even now that we point and click our way around Windows it can still be very useful. For instance, the command is a handy way to test the connectivity of a computer. Try it by going to the command prompt and typing:


To access the command prompt, go to the Start menu, click run, and type cmd.

Read more about the command prompt at PC Stats.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Google Pack

is a simple package of useful software that is essential. It comes with , , , , , , and a host of other optional softwares.
Check it out here!

Uninstall Hidden Windows XP Components

To uninstall some specific built-in in , you first have to make the component visible in the "Add or Remove Programs" section.

Edit the file: C:\Windows\inf\sysoc.inf

Remove the word 'hide' from the specific component you want to uninstall and it will appear in the "Add/Remove Windows Components" section in the Control panel.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Tweaking Windows XP

Want to have more control over the operating system? Check out Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP. provides a host of tools that allow you to fine tune the ways you use XP.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Windows shortcut key

The (logo) key can be used for more than just popping up the . Here are some that may save you time:

• Windows Logo: Start menu
• Windows Logo+R: Run dialog box
• Windows Logo+M: Minimize all
• SHIFT+Windows Logo+M: Undo minimize all
• Windows Logo+F1: Help
• Windows Logo+E: Windows Explorer
• Windows Logo+F: Find files or folders
• Windows Logo+D: Minimizes all open windows and displays the desktop
• CTRL+Windows Logo+F: Find computer
• CTRL+Windows Logo+TAB: Moves focus from Start, to the Quick Launch toolbar, to the system tray (use RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW to move focus to items on the Quick Launch toolbar and the system tray)
• Windows Logo+TAB: Cycle through taskbar buttons
• Windows Logo+Break: System Properties dialog box

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Publishing made easier

is a publishing tool that allows you create new documents from scratch, upload them from popular file formats, or even e-mail them in batches! Your files are stored online so you, or your collaborators, can access them from anywhere, anytime. And with data backup every 10 seconds, your work is protected from hard drive failures and power outages that could wipe out all your hard work!

Writely gives you full control over your by allowing you to manage your posts in many helpful ways! You can choose who can view your works, when changes are published, how they are categorized, who edited what, and revert to older versions of your documents.

Check it out!

Windows Alternative

Here's an alternative to using . Try ( The software and support are free of charge.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Spyware, adware, and viruses

It seems today that you can't browse more than a few search results before you stumble upon popups and malicious web page components. They popup ads, add toolbars, hijack your home page, and make other changes without your permission. To remove, and most importantly prevent, these abuses you need to have the software to fight them.

Here are a couple of products that can help you keep your computer clear of a good portion of internet threats:

ewido anti-spyware (Free) - Offers a free 30-day trial version containing all the extensions of the full version. At the end of the trial, these extensions will be deactivated and the program will turn into a feature-limited freeware version.

Ad-Aware (Free) - Ad-Aware Personal is a free download that provides advanced protection from known data-mining, aggressive advertising, Trojans, dialers, malware, , and tracking components.

Spyware Doctor (Free) - The free trial version of is designed to scan and detect the types of unwanted files you might have on your PC such as spyware, adware and .

Spybot Search & Destroy (Free) - can detect and remove spyware of different kinds from your computer.

These softwares alone won't guarantee that your computer will always be clean, but are a good start! Combined with an , anti-spam protection, and regular system "tune-ups" your computer should run relatively well all the time.

Monday, July 03, 2006

General Windows XP Performance

Does your computer always seems to run slow when you're simply opening the Start Menu, or your My Documents folder? Try turning off some of the visual effects in Windows to increase your .

Right click on the 'My Computer' icon on the desktop and choose 'Properties'. Go to the 'Advanced' tab and click 'Settings' under the Performance section. Picking "Adjust for best performance" will turn off all of the , including the stylized taskbar and Explorer windows. I suggest leaving checkmarked, "Use visual styles on windows and buttons", and "Use common tasks in folders".

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Computer Dos and Don'ts

Do: Run anti-virus and general regularly.

Don't: Eat or drink near the computer. Your computer doesn't need to be fed!

Do: Update your various softwares to lower the risk of viruses exploiting your computer.

Don't: Open attachments in email from a sender you don't recognize.

Do: Keep you computer clean and cool. Excessive heat from improper cooling and dust build-up can shorten the lifespan of your computer.

Don't: Open the computer case while the power plug is plugged into the computer's power supply!

Do: Use a power bar with surge protection, and even a backup power supply. Losing your data, or even the use of your computer, due to electrical problems can be upsetting!

Don't: Fill up every portion of your computer hard drive. Having very little free space will affect your computer's overall performance!

Finally, if your computer seems to be frozen or unresponsive, slowly count to 10 without pressing any keys. Programs eventually start to run slower as more of the are used up. Giving the computer a few extra seconds, and not pressing keys (which gives the computer even more to process), will often save you some frustration.