Windows News, Updates, tips and software

The complete guide to optimizing Windows XP

Windows XP will be the dominant operating system for the next years even though Microsoft released the successor Windows Vista just a few days ago. The major disadvantage of Vista is that it is hardware hungry and poses problems to users of Windows XP who would like to change but can't because of the hardware of their computer.

pocket divx encoder

Encode divx movies for certain devices

If you are looking for an easy way to convert divx movies for special devices such as mobile players, pdas or mobiles you should take a look at the excellent freeware application Pocket Divx Encoder. Pocket Divx Encoder can be unzipped and run from that location without installation. You may select a device from the list if you want to encode the files for that device, it is possible to change the device later.

Lock Folders in Windows

Windows has no obvious method to lock folders, even administrators have no obvious way of locking folders. Locking folders could be important if you want to hide certain files or folders to prevent someone else from seeing them or altering the contents. You never know what your children could do until they do, so better lock the important folders.

Link your Images to Google Earth

Taking pictures while you are on holiday is one thing, linking those pictures to Google Earth using the geolocation feature is the next level. Instead of just showing the pictures that you have taken you can now show the viewers the location the picture was taken in Google Earth.

malwarebytes anti malware

Remove rogue antispyware, antivirus and hard drive utilities

We all known that quite a few spammers make big bucks by offering software like antivirus, antispyware or hard drive utilities whose main function is to either spy on the user or spam him. Those products are quite common nowadays and it is difficulty for an inexperienced user to remove the software completely again.

Enlarge the Windows Open File Dialog Box

It is really painful to open a file in Windows if the directory that contains the file has a lot of files. Ever had to find a file in the windows folder or another large folder like system32 ? The freeware Windows Multienhancer enlarges the dialog box that displays the files and adds additional information like file size and the date the file was modified. This is done by patching the Comdlg32.dll if the version that is installed on your computer is supported by Windows Multienhancer.

Extend the Vista activation period

Did you know that it is possible to extend the 30 day evaluation period of Windows Vista to a maximum of 120 days with a single command from the command line ? You can use the following command to reset the counter up to three times to use Vista for a period of up to 120 days without activating it.

Make Clean Installs with Vista Update DVDs

For some time everyone thought that it was only possible to use a Vista update DVD from within Windows XP to update to the latest operating system. The Windows XP key would become invalid and the Vista installation could commence. DailyTech posted a workaround which makes it possible to install Windows Vista using a Vista update DVD without XP.

sysinternals suite

Sysinternals Suite

If you ever wanted to download all the troubleshooting applications from sysinternals at once you can do so by downloading the Sysinternals suite right from Microsoft. The suite contains all troubleshooting applications that made sysinternal famous, 67 utilities in total which make it easy to troubleshoot Windows problems. This suite is not for you if you already have most of the utilities installed.

duplicate images

Find and remove duplicate images

Have you ever tried to manually check a image collection for duplicates ? It would take ages to find the duplicates in my image collection and I was looking for another program that would specially work with images only. Similar Images was mentioned in my article that was describing a program that was finding all duplicate files and I decided to give it a try by letting it scan my image collection.

show hidden devices windows

Find out which devices have been connected to your pc

Normally you do not see which devices have been connected to your computer in the past. It could be interesting to say the least to find out if someone else connected a device to your computer in your absence. You have to change a value in windows using the command prompt.

doublekiller duplicates

Remove duplicate files with Doublekiller

Doublekiller scans the selected folders and hardrives for duplicate files that are detected by comparing at least one of the following filters: identical names, identical files sizes, identical dates and identical CRC-32 checksums. Subdirectories are automatically included in the scan, additional filters can be defined to narrow down the scan.

idiary

Keep a Daily Diary

It was only a matter of time until someone create a software that would function as a virtual diary. I do know many people that keep a diary and all of them are using the usual notebook to write their daily entries. Another method for the virtual generation would be to use a software like iDaily Diary to keep a diary on your computer. Software diaries have some advantages over notebooks.

undelete plus review

Recover Deleted Files with Undelete Plus

I delete files most of the time by pressing down the shift key which will delete them immediately without moving them to the trashbin first. It happens from time to time that I deleted a file that I want to recover, sometimes it is because another file depents on the deleted one or it could be that I need to access the information again that was contained in the file. There is unfortunately no direct way to recover the files in windows which means that we have to rely on third party tools to recover lost files.

Microsoft admits to a 1% false positive WGA check ratio

Microsoft recently published updated figures about their Windows Genuine Advantage protection that tries to hinder users of illegal versions of Microsoft Windows to update their system with some of the software that can be downloaded from the microsoft homepage. Software like the new Internet Explorer 7 or the Windows Media Player can only be downloaded after a successful WGA check. The download and installation will be denied if a check fails.

Add Transparency to your windows

Glass 2k is a little freeware application for Windows 2000 and Xp which makes it easy to add a transparency effect to any window on your system. A great feature of Glass 2k is that it is able to remember the transparency settings that you set in a previous session. The default keyboard shortcut to add transparency is CTRL + SHIFT + a key between 1 and 0 with 1 being transparent and 0 not. Click on the image below to load a bigger image see some effects that I enabled on my desktop.

windows explorer context menu

Add Context Tools to Windows XP

Windows XP and previous versions such as Windows ME or Windows 98 lack some important context menu entries that make it easier to work with the operating system. If you want to copy files from one folder to another one you normally have to open two explorer windows to move the files. The Camtech Context Tools add many functions to the context menu to make such operations easier. The Copy to Folder menu entry would do the job in this case.

userassist

Windows stores information about the programs that you use

I really had troubles finding an appropriate title for this article. Windows XP displays a list of the most recent programs that you have accessed by default in the start menu. Did you know that those information are continuously updated even though the option to show them has been disabled ? A check on my personal account revealed that Windows stored information from 2005 until today.