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COMPUTER & IMAGING TIPS
Tips On Digital Imaging And Using Your Computer
Changing File Associations
Here's how to change default file associations.
Single-click a file.
Hold the Shift key while right-clicking the file.
Select "Open With...."
Select a program.
If you want to permanently change its file association, place a check mark next to "Always use this program to open this type of file." Otherwise, this will be a one-time solution.
Here's how to make CDs autoload in Windows 98.
In Control Panel, double click on System
Choose Device Manager
Expand the CD-ROM branch and double click on the drive
Select the Setting tab
Check Auto Insert Notification
Using ActiveX Controls
ActiveX is the Microsoft technology that lets a website download and run a program on your computer. This can be a dangerous function, so your security settings manage access to this based on certain criteria.
To change this criteria in IE, go into Tools and then Internet Options. Click Security and reduce your security level one setting. Click OK and click Yes when the confirmation box pops up. You can also add this site to your list of "trusted sites" on the Security tab. Remember, only do this if you're absolutely sure the content is safe!
Saving Paint Files as GIFs or JPEGs
"My Windows system won't let me save a Paint file in either GIF or JPEG format. I found a reference that said I need to install the GIF/JPEG filter. What is that, and where can I download it?"
The filter in question is installed along with Microsoft Office, but strangely, Paint will not realize this until you alert it to the filter's presence by opening a GIF or JPEG file.
To ensure the filter is installed, launch Add/Remove Programs from the Control Panel. Select Microsoft Office and choose Add/Remove; then choose Add or Remove Features. Expand the Converters and Filters selection. Click on Graphic Filters and select Run all from my Computer. Finally, click on Update Now.
Now launch Paint, click on Open, and select a GIF or JPEG image (you'll have to set Files of type to All files). Once you've done that, you should also be able to save files in either of the two formats.
Make a Photo Slide Show in XP with Sound
Use the http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/moviemaker/default.asp built into Windows XP. The version 2 upgrade is available for free. It has great functionality. Although the user interface looks horrible, it'll get the job done.
Drag and drop the images you want to use into the program.
Drag the images onto your storyboard at the bottom of the interface.
Use the drop-down menu at the top of the interface to find transitions and effects. Drag the things you want to use into your storyboard.
Go to the Taskpane and click Import audio or music.
Browse to the song you want to use and click Import.
Make sure your timeline is visible and drag the music into the Audio/Music level of the timeline.
Play your movie to preview.
Go to the File menu and save everything out as a movie.
If you plan on making a lot of photo slide shows, you may want to invest in the http://www.microsoft.com/windows/plus/dme/dmehome.asp. It sells for around $20 and has slide-show functionality built in.
AND YOU WONDERED WHAT THAT STRANGE KEY DOES!
Most keyboards include a Windows key (winkey). It's on the bottom row, next to Alt, and has a little flag on it. It's really useful in combination with other keys. For example:
WinKey+R - Open the Run dialog
WinKey+Pause - Open the System Properties
WinKey+F - Find: All Files
WinKey+M - Minimize all open windows
WinKey+D - Show/Hide Desktop
WinKey+E - Open Windows Explorer
WinKey+F1 - Open Windows Help
Print on Non-Avery Labels
Avery is the default manufacturer for labels in Word 2000. If you purchase labels made by another company, you can find your brand in Word's database by choosing Tools, Envelopes And Labels, then clicking the Labels tab. Click the Options button, and under Label Products you have a choice of nearly a dozen of the leading manufacturers. Select your product manufacturer from this list, then you'll be able to choose your Product Number from the list in the lower-left corner.
Categorize Your Contacts
To categorize your Contacts list, double-click on a name, then click on the Categories button. In the Categories dialog box, check the categories that apply, then choose OK. Select Save, then Close. To create a custom category, once in the Categories dialog box, click on the Master Category List button to open the Master Category List dialog box. In the New box, type the name of the category you want to create, click on Add, then choose Close. Next, in the Categories dialog box, check the categories that apply, then choose OK. Select Save, then Close.
ONE BIG THING TO KNOW ABOUT PAY PAL
You should know that PayPal (eBay subsidiary) has different arrangements with various credit cards. If a buyer using Visa or MasterCard is defrauded, the buyer can get a chargeback from the credit card company. PayPal is stuck with the bill. Buyers using Discover and American Express do not have that protection. Keep that in mind when you buy through PayPal.
COPYING TEXT AND FORMATTING
Maybe you have a document with underlining and bold letters. Or you've downloaded stuff from the Web with box outlines and other funky things.
You can get rid of this formatting in Word. First select Format from Word's menu. Then, select Styles and Formatting. From the box that pops up, select Clear Formatting. It's that easy!
Formatting can be a real problem in stuff you copy from the Web, too. You can clean it all out in Word. When you're ready to paste it into a Word document, click Edit. But rather than selecting Paste, pick Paste Special. Click Unformatted Text and OK.
CAN YOUR CAMCORDER REPLACE YOUR CAMERA?
The still pictures taken by most digital camcorders are a very low resolution. In digital camera speak, the stills are about 1.3 megapixels, or perhaps even lower, depending on the camcorder. That's fine if you are going to leave the stills in an electronic format or you will not print the pictures any larger than 4-inches by 3-inches. Otherwise, you better add a digital or film camera to your luggage when traveling.
Did you know that there are over 60,000 computer viruses worldwide and the list grows daily? If you don’t have a quality anti-virus solution protecting your PC, you could be infected with a viruses and not even know it. Here comes NEW McAfee FreeScan to the rescue!
Based on the award-winning McAfee VirusScan engine, FreeScan searches for viruses, including the latest known "in the wild" viruses, and displays a detailed list of any infected files. Should viruses be found, FreeScan even provides links to give you more information about the virus and what you can do to clean your system.
Remember, FreeScan only identifies whether you have a virus on your computer. To clean infected files and ensure you stay protected from future viruses and outbreaks, McAfee Security recommend you install an industry-leading anti-virus solution, like McAfee VirusScan Online.
Microsoft Word 97/2000
Make a Smiley Face
Word 97 automatically replaces the :-) emoticon with a smiley face symbol. Other versions of Word may not have this default setting. To set up the default, open the Insert menu and click Symbol. In the Symbol dialog box click the Symbols tab and select Wingdings in the font box. Choose the smiley face and then click the AutoCorrect button. Type :-) in the Replace box and click OK.
Windows Media Player 9 add-ons:
Install the dancing stick figure visualization.
Use the http://www.wmplugins.com/ItemDetail.aspx?ItemID=171 to change your player's default color, full-screen options, and more.
Invest in the http://microsoft.com/windows/plus/PlusHome.asp pack. You'll be able to have people dance on your desktop.
RETURNED E-MAILS MIGHT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU
It's disconcerting to get returned e-mails that you didn't send. It's enough to make you question your sanity. But you aren't losing your mind. Your e-mail address is probably on a computer infected with the Klez virus. This pest harvests e-mail addresses from a computer's address book, cache memory, and temporary directories. Then, Klez e-mails itself using those addresses in the mail's "From" line. Don't open anything attached to the returned e-mail; it may include the virus. Your ISP's support department can help you identify where the mail originates.
STEALING PASSWORDS and AUTO COMPLETE
If you use a public computer, such as in a library or school computer lab, you don't want the computer to save your password or credit card number. Someone else might access it. Same goes for a home or work computer that is shared. The answer? Disable Auto Complete before you enter sensitive information. In Internet Explorer, click Tools> Internet Options> Content> Auto Complete. Under "Use AutoComplete for," clear all the boxes. If you entered data and failed to clear the boxes first, go to the same window. Under "Clear AutoComplete history," click both buttons. That will erase any data you entered.
AVOIDING VIRUS INFECTION BY PHOTOS
W32/Perrun is a new kind of virus that appeared in June 2002 and may be hidden in a JPEG - a horrific idea for photo fans who exchange images via the Internet. Fortunately, however, it rarely occurs "in the wild", since it is more of an experiment than a serious threat. Nevertheless, in order to have at least a minimum degree of protection against attacks of this kind when working with Windows, you should not only use a virus scanner, but also take two other safety precautions: Outlook, for example, is at very great risk and should be set to the "Restricted sites zone" in the "Tools - Options - Security" menu. In addition, viruses are often disguised as photos by having file extensions like .jpg.exe or .bmp.scr. Windows automatically truncates these extensions to .jpg or .bmp, meaning that program files of this kind appear to be harmless images. To blow their cover, you have to go to the File Manager, call up "Tools - Folder options - View" and deactivate the checkbox that leaves out the extension for known file types. The site at http://www.agfanet.com/newsletter/?id=3026 provides detailed information on what you need to know about the correct security settings for Windows and Mac.
Microsoft Windows 98
See a Running Total of Backup Jobs
You can view a running total (size-wise) of the number of items you've selected for a particular backup job. To do this, from the Start menu, select Programs, Accessories, System Tools, then Backup. Choose Selection Information from the View menu, then watch the resulting dialog box for file and byte estimates.
IE Tip: Navigate to Favorites
If you want to edit your Favorites, there's an easy way to get to it in Windows Explorer.
Click Start and select Run (or press the Windows key and R).
A window with your favorites will open.
Microsoft Windows 95/98, Registry Edits
Protect Your Registry from Accidental Overwrites
One potentially dangerous Windows default setting involves files .reg file types (the Registry export files you can create in the Registry Editor). When you double-click this type of file, Windows will automatically import that file into your Registry, and overwrite any information that the Registry presently has. This can be a disaster if you don’t have a current Registry backup available and you overwrite valuable Registry information. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, change the default action associated with the .reg file type. The simplest way to do this is to open Windows Explorer and find a file of the .reg type. Press the Shift key, and right-click the file. When you see a menu called Open With, choose Notepad, then click the option next to Always Use This Program To Open This Type Of File. Click OK. Once you make this change, whenever you double-click a .reg file, it will open in Notepad as plain text, rather than overwriting your Registry. You can still import the .reg file if you want by selecting the Import option from the Registry menu in the Registry Editor.
Capture Stills From AVI Movies
In Windows Media Player, you're going to have to make the movie render in software instead of hardware.
Click Tools and choose Options.
Go to the Performance tab and move the Video Acceleration slider to None.
Now you'll be able to capture the image from the AVI.
Play your video in Media Player.
Resize your screen to the size you want to capture.
Hit the Print Scrn button on your keyboard.
Paste the image into your image editor.
CHECK FOR VULNERABILITY TO MESSENGER SERVICE SPAM
Need another aggravation in your life? Consider Messenger Service spam. This is a new route into your computer. Messenger Service (not to be confused with Windows Messenger or any other instant messaging service) is a Windows XP and 2000 utility used by system administrators. If it is left open, spammers can shoot their garbage into your computer.
The best guard against this is a firewall. Two firewalls free for personal use are Outpost Firewall, http://www.agnitum.com , and ZoneAlarm Personal, http://www.zonelabs.com . Just download either one and install it. Or turn off Messenger Service:
Click Start> Control Panel
Double click Administrative Tools
Double click Services> Messenger
Under Service Status, click Stop
Under Startup Type, click Disabled
Click Apply> OK
Messenger Service spam is not a security risk, but it's mighty aggravating. You can test your system for this vulnerability at this Web site: http://www.mynetwatchman.com/winpopup.asp
IN WINDOWS XP, THERE IS NO SCANDISK; USE CHECK DISK
One of the first things that new Windows XP users notice is the lack of ScanDisk. The popular utility is used to check hard drives for flaws in earlier versions of Windows.
But Microsoft put a different utility, Check Disk, in Windows XP. To find it, click Start>>My Computer. Right click the drive you want to check, then click Properties. Click Tools. Under Error Checking, click Check Now.
Move to the Last Cell
You can quickly move to the last cell in a contiguous block of blank or non-blank cells without leaving the current cell. You simply double-click the current cell's border; the border you choose will determine the direction of the move. For instance, if you're in the middle of a large block of data and you want to move to the top cell within that block of data, simply double-click the top border of the current cell. You'll know you're in the right place to double-click because the cursor will change to a four-headed arrow. If you want to move to the last cell to the right within that same block of data, double-click the current cell's right border. The same is true when moving to the left or down. Double-click the left or the bottom border of the current cell, respectively.
You can get a similar effect by holding Ctrl while pressing an arrow key. If the adjacent cell in the selected direction contains data, you'll move to the last non-blank cell in that direction. If not, you'll move to the next non-blank cell in that direction.
Hide That Pointer
If the mouse pointer gets in the way of your typing, just hide it.
Click Start > Settings > Control Panel.
Click the Mouse icon.
Click the Pointer Options tab and put a check mark next to Hide Pointer While Typing.
Capture Desktop Images
Take a screen capture of your desktop by clicking the Print Scrn key to take a snapshot of your desktop. Hitting Alt + Print Scrn will capture everything in an open window. Now you can paste the image into any image editor, including Microsoft Paint.
There are several ways to delete data from worksheet cells. To clear information but not formatting, select the data, then press either the Delete or Backspace key. To remove formatting, select the cells, choose Clear from the Edit menu, then select Formats. To remove both information and formatting, select the cells, choose Clear from the Edit menu, then select All.
Internet Explorer 5/6
Disable Animated GIFs
To disable animated GIFs, select Internet Options from the Tools menu and click the Advanced tab. Scroll down to the Multimedia section, un-check the Play Animations option and click OK. From now on, you'll see only the first frame of each animated GIF that loads.
Microsoft Excel 97/2000/2002
Format a Row Based On One Cell's Value
To base of row of attributes on a cell's value, use the conditional formatting feature. Suppose you have a range of cells starting at A1, and you want all cells in a row to be red if the value in column B is over 90. Select cell A1, and choose Conditional Formatting from the Format menu. Set the condition to Formula Is, and enter =$B1>90. Click the Format... button, set the font color to red, and click OK, OK. With A1 still selected, click the Format Painter button on the toolbar, then select the entire range. The $ character preceding the column address in the formula marks it as absolute, so each cell's formatting will be based on the cell in column B in the same row. (Note: although you can specify up to three conditions for conditional formatting, the first condition that evaluates to TRUE will control the formatting.)
Quarantine Selected E-Mails
Most of the spam you get isn't addressed specifically to you, so how can you get Outlook Express 5 to take any e-mail messages that are not addressed directly to you and put them somewhere other than your in-box?
The procedure for this is slightly more difficult than the usual Message Rules task, because you want to select messages that do not meet a certain condition. Here's how, step by step:
Select Tools> Message Rules> Mail from the menu.
Click on New.
Check the box labeled Where the To line contains people.
Click on the blue underlined words contains people in the description at the bottom.
Enter your e-mail address and click on Add.
Click on Options, select Message does not contain the people below, click on OK, and then OK again.
Check the box labeled Move it to the specified folder.
Click on the blue underlined word specified.
Create a new folder named Not to me and select it.
Name the rule "Not to me" (or anything else you want to call it) and click on OK, then OK again.
That's it. After you complete this procedure, an e-mail message that arrives without your address in the To field will be placed in the Not to me folder rather than your in-box. You'll still have to review the messages in the Not to me folder; they could be legitimate messages using a Bcc field or messages sent to an e-mail group you've joined. But you can count on your in-box containing only messages addressed to you.
Microsoft Word 97/2000/2002
Change the Default Font
The default font for the Normal.dot template is Times New Roman. To have all your New documents use a different font automatically (for example, Arial), click Font from the Format menu. The Font dialog displays. In the Font field, scroll the list of typefaces until the font you want displays in the Font window. Click this font. Select the appropriate Font style, size settings, and font color, then click the Default button at the bottom of the Font dialog box. Word pops up an alert box asking if you want to change the default font to the selection you've made and advising you that the change you are about to make will affect all new documents based on the Normal.dot template. Click Yes.
Music vs. Data CD-Rs
Music CD-Rs pay a royalty to the RIAA. Set top CD recorders will only burn audio to a music CD-R. When burning audio with your computer, it doesn't matter which type of CD-R you use.
Lost Recycle Bin
In Windows XP, if you want to drag a file to the Recycle Bin, but the Bin is covered by open windows, just drag the file to the Taskbar. Your Desktop will appear, and you can drag the file to the Bin.
Internet Explorer 4/5/6
Create Shortcuts to Web Pages
You can create a shortcut to the Web page you are viewing in any of three ways. Drag and drop the icon in the upper left corner of IE to a folder (or onto your desktop); drag and drop the icon that's next to the URL in the Address line to a folder; or right-click a Web page (not on a link or graphic) and choose Create Shortcut.
GET RID OF OLD DOCUMENT INFORMATION LISTED IN WORD
Let's say you work on a document, then save it and close Word. The next time you open Word, that document will be listed, along with others, at the end of the File menu. You can use that list to open documents. On the flip side, there may be a time when you want to remove an item from that list. Fortunately, it is easy to do.
In Word, hold down Ctrl and Alt, and press the hyphen key. A cursor appears that looks like a huge minus sign. Open File to get to the document list. Put that huge minus sign on the document name that you want to delete. Click the mouse. This deletes the document name from the list, but not the document itself.
YOU CAN STOP THE ERROR-REPORTING MESSAGES
One of the new features of Windows XP is error reporting. When Windows or a program suffers a crash, Microsoft wants to know. It uses the information to find and fix weaknesses in Windows.
Not everyone wants to ship his or her data off to Redmond. And the Message gives you the option of refusing. But you can go Microsoft one better - turn off the message! To do that:
Click Start. Right-click My Computer. Select Properties
On the Advanced tab, click the Error Reporting button
Disable the message, or limit it to certain programs
Click OK> OK
TURN OFF FILE AND PRINTER SHARING TO PROTECT YOURSELF
This problem has been around for ages, but it's worth discussing again. The file and printer sharing setting in Windows could leave you wide open to invasion from the Internet. So, turn it off, already!
In Windows 98 and ME, click Start, Settings and Control Panel. Then:
Double click the Network icon
Select Configuration and click the File and Print Sharing button
Deselect file sharing and print sharing
Click OK> OK. Restart the computer.
In Windows XP, double click the Network icon as before. Then:
Right-click Local Area Connection
Click Properties and the General tab
Clear File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
Click OK. Close the Network Connections window. Restart the computer.
If you must use file and printer sharing, be sure you have a firewall. I recommend either Zone Alarm, http://www.zonelabs.com, or Outpost, http://www.agnitum.com.. Both are free for personal use. If possible, disable file and printer sharing until you need it.
First, create a digital signature:
Write your signature on a piece of paper.
Scan or take a digital picture of it.
Save your image as a JPEG or GIF.
Now create new stationary with Outlook Express using the image of your signature:
Click Message, New Message Using, and Select Stationary.
Click the Create New button to launch the Stationary Wizard.
Choose your signature image as your background and position it at the bottom of your message to the left, right, or center.
Choose your fonts, set your margins, and name the stationary.
Choose your new creation and send your email.
You can put an email on your desktop to remind you to respond to it later. Click on an email in your Inbox and drag it to the Desktop. An icon of the email will now appear on you Desktop. Once you've responded to the email, delete the icon.
Music in iPhoto
To select different music for slide shows in iPhoto, here's what you do:
In iPhoto, go to Share.
Go to Other.
Navigate to the music folder.
Navigate through the menu to find the tracks you want.
Also be sure to click the Advanced option in the Preferences tab to double-check if your tracks are in the right place.
Try exporting finished slide shows as QuickTime files.
Windows XP and 2000
Play Back Your CDs With Digital Audio
Formerly, to pipe the CD signal through the sound card, you needed an audio cable connecting the drive to the sound card. Today, many systems have multiple optical drives, and one cable isn't enough. Don't sweat it: Just enable digital audio. Right-click on My Computer, then choose Manage. Select Device Manager from the left-hand pane. Navigate to the properties box for each of your CD, DVD, CD-RW, or DVD-RAM drives, and check the box Enable digital audio.
Uninstall Internet Explorer from Windows XP.
This is actually a bit tricky. Microsoft defines Internet Explorer not as a separate application but as a Windows component. Here's how you uninstall Internet Explorer:
Open the Add/Remove Programs control panel.
Click the Add/Remove Windows Components icon on the left. This will bring up a window that will let you uninstall Internet Explorer.
If you're removing Internet Explorer, you might want to try an alternative Web browser such as Netscape, Opera or Mozilla.
Here's how to disable the Windows Messenger service in XP, 2000, and NT.
Right-click My Computer and choose Manage.
Go to Services and Apps and select Services.
Find Messenger on the list and right-click it.
Go to Properties and change Automatic to Disable to stop the service.
Be very careful not to touch anything else in there. You could damage your operating system beyond repair.
You held the Shift key too long in Windows XP and now you get a feature that you can't turn off?
When you hold the Shift key too long, you activate Sticky Keys in XP. Here's how to turn it off:
Open the Control Panel.
Open the Accessibility control panel.
Click on the Keyboard tab.
Adjust the option for Sticky Keys to your liking.
If you're a little overwhelmed by Windows XP's updated look and feel, you might want to try turning back the clock to a simpler, less beveled time. Seriously, Windows XP allows you to revert to Classic mode in a few simple steps.
Start by right-clicking on an empty space (no icons or maximized applications) on your desktop
Select Properties from the drop-down menu
Select the Appearance tab
In the Windows and buttons: drop down menu, select Windows Classic style
Create Your Own Toolbars
You can make the Windows taskbar more useful by adding toolbars to it. Right-click on the taskbar and select Toolbars to see choices for several built-in toolbars, including Address, Desktop, and Quick Launch.
But perhaps the most interesting option is New Toolbar, which lets you create a toolbar to get fast access to any folder, file, or URL.
Among other uses, creating a personal toolbar can be helpful for immediate access to a particular group of files—if you're working on a long-term project, for example, and want one-click access to all the files or subfolders in the project directory.
AutoSave your work in Microsoft Excel
Go to Tools.
From the Add-Ins menu, place a check mark next to AutoSave, then click OK.
Now go to Tools again, and select AutoSave from the menu. In the pop-up window, set your preferences and click OK.
Now you'll never lose your Excel work again.
Maximize Battery Life
Careful use of power management tools and decreasing screen brightness can stretch battery life by 30 to 45 minutes. Go to the Control Panel and open Power Options. You'll see half a dozen tabs (the layout varies slightly among notebooks). Make sure that your notebook can go into Standby mode (in the Power Schemes tab), meaning that the system stops most activity and uses the battery to refresh system memory.
A computer in Standby loses 10 to 15 percent of its charge each day. You should set your system to go into Hibernate mode after Standby, meaning that it writes an image of the memory contents to the hard drive and then shuts down. (Windows 98 doesn't offer Hibernate.) In Hibernate, there's no loss beyond the battery's own gradual discharge.
In many areas across the country you now must dial the area code (but not the 1) for all local calls. Making your PC do this is not as straightforward as you might expect. If you don't use Locations and Dialing Rules, you can just specify the ten-digit number. If you do use rules and locations, follow these steps.
In Windows 98 and Me, go to the Control Panel, then Modems. Click on your modem and choose Dialing Properties> Area Code Rules> Always dial the area code.
In Windows XP and 2000, go to Control Panel> Phone and Modem Options and click on Dialing Rules. If your location exists, click Edit; otherwise, select New. Go to the Area Code Rules tab and select New. Type in your area code, and place a check mark next to Include the area code.
Use DMA Mode For All ATAPI Drives
Slave drives on ATAPI channels are often set to PIO mode by default, even if they are capable of modes such as UltraATA or DMA, which allow more efficient data transfers. This means CD/DVD burning, DVD playback, and other performance may suffer unnecessarily.
To fix this problem, in Windows 2000 or XP, open the System applet in the Control Panel and select Device Manager in the Hardware tab. Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers section and double click on the Primary IDE Channel. Choose Advanced Settings, and change the transfer mode for each drive to DMA if possible. Repeat this with the Secondary IDE Channel. For Windows 98 or Me, go to Device Manager, then Disk Drives | Hard disk properties and click the Settings tab. Click the DMA box. There's no harm done if a device can't handle DMA mode.
WINDOWS Startup applications
How to stop applications from launching when you boot your Windows machine. There are several ways to do this.
From within the application that launched, go to the options and look for a setting that tells the application to start at boot. Where this setting is located varies from application to application.
Perform a Find File or Folders on your PC and look for the Startup folder. Delete any applications that you don't want to launch. These are Shortcuts, so it's OK to delete them. You won't delete the actual application.
Open the Run box and type msconfig. Click on the Startup tab. You will see a list of applications that launch at boot. Uncheck the ones you want to turn off.
IS YOUR DESKTOP A MESS? STRAIGHTEN IT OUT!
Do you have icons all over the place? You can easily arrange them in neat rows. Right click the desktop and mouse over Arrange Icons. Select Auto Arrange. You can also arrange them by Name, Type, Date and Size. Now, there will be no more messy desktops in this crowd!
IF YOU CAN'T SEE THE MOUSE POINTER, MAKE IT BIGGER!
Sometimes pointers are hard to see, especially on smaller screens. Windows XP will let you enlarge it. Click Start>>Control Panel. Double click the Mouse icon. On the Pointers tab, click the down arrow under Scheme. Try Windows Standard (large) or (extra large).
Clean Your CDs
Don't spend money on expensive chemicals and cleaning kits. Instead, run your CD under the tap to rinse it with water. Then take a 100 percent cotton cloth and gently wipe from the center out to the rim of the CD. Don't wipe around the circumference of the CD. That's how your CD stores the data.
Do you need to remove scratches from your CD? Regular toothpaste with baking soda seems to work best. Read a full article on commercial and home remedies. http://cgi.techtv.com/memberservices/newsletters?click=14381&release=2203
Microsoft Windows XP
Networking with FireWire
Although FireWire was originally designed to connect high-speed peripherals such as hard drives and CD-ROM drives, it can also be used as a very fast (400-Mbps) way to network two PCs. In fact, Windows XP automatically creates a network connection for FireWire adapters. The connection appears in the Network Connections control panel as 1394 Connection, and it works much like any Ethernet connection.
Unlike USB (which requires a special crossover cable to connect two PCs together), a FireWire connection requires no special cables, hubs, or adapters. Be aware that there are two types of FireWire connectors in common use. The larger, six-pin connector is most often used for external hard drives, CD drives, and other AC-powered equipment, while the smaller four-pin connector is used on DV camcorders and small, portable equipment. Be sure to get a cable with the appropriate connections.
FORMATTING IN MICROSOFT EXCEL
If you do much work in Excel, your eyes can tire from keeping track of results. But you can format your results and make them easier to see. For instance, you can color positive and negative results green and red, respectively. Highlight the cells where results will be displayed. Click Format>>Conditional Formatting. In Condition 1, make Cell Value "less than" and put a zero in the next box. Click Format. Select red. In Condition 2, make Cell Value "more than" and put a zero in the next box. Click Format and select green. When you run your calculations, your positive and negative numbers will come up with their colors. You can set a color for zero, also, or leave it black. Excel has a wide range of colors. There are many other tricks under Format. Use them to make your spreadsheets unique.
DO YOU COPY AND PASTE PASSWORDS? LOOK OUT!
Microsoft's Internet Explorer has a flaw that could allow someone to steal your passwords. It permits intruders to look at your Clipboard. The Clipboard is the area within Windows that stores the data that you copy. A Web site running a simple piece of code could pick up the contents of Clipboard. Here's a work around: In Internet Explorer, click Tools> Internet Options. On the Security tab, click Custom Level. Under Scripting, disable "Allow paste operations via script."
Advertisers are tracking your surfing habits. That way, they can tailor the ads that you see on the Internet. This won't hurt your computer, but who wants to be watched?
Send them on their way. Go to the Web site for Doubleclick at http://www.doubleclick.com/us/corporate/privacy/privacy/ad-cookie/ and opt out. While you're at it, opt out at the Network Advertising Initiative, too: http://www.networkadvertising.org/
Don't believe what people forward you in e-mail. You know, the free offers, virus alerts, Nigerian scams and more. Before you forward, check them out. Two places to check are:
Microsoft Windows XP
Fix A Mangled IP Configuration
In the days before Windows XP, a corrupted IP installation could often be fixed simply by removing and reinstalling TCP/IP. In most cases, the IP-related files remained intact, but some related Registry keys would be corrupted beyond repair.
You can't uninstall TCP/IP in Windows XP, because there is no Uninstall button for this protocol. According to Microsoft, that is because TCP/IP is an integral part of the operating system, and removing it would cause major problems. You can, however, use the Windows XP command line utility NetShell to reset all IP-related Registry settings to their default values. The result is a brand-new TCP/IP configuration.
The Netsh.exe program is located in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. To use the program, enter the command
netsh int ip reset filename
You must specify a filename, such as Ipstuff.txt. After Netsh.exe runs, the file will contain a detailed log of the Registry keys that were modified.
Make sure you're taking full advantage of your keyboard shortcuts. Take a look at the help file on your operating system and search for "using shortcut keys," or, if you're using Windows, check for "using Windows keys." Some shortcuts you can use on Windows desktop:
Ctrl+C: Copies the file
Ctrl+X: Moves the file
Ctrl+V: Places the file in the desired location (known as "paste")
Ctrl+D: Deletes the file
Ctrl+U: Undo the last action
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