Thursday, October 16, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
* This wide-ranging guide helps ordinary users fight back against Windows slowdowns, glitches, and annoyances
* Windows is the world’s dominant desktop operating system, with 93.8 percent of the market as of 2002
* Packed with savvy tips for decluttering a system, speeding up access to programs and data, customizing the interface, rooting out resource hogs, tuning up e-mail and web browser performance, protecting against viruses, and more
* Focuses on Windows XP and covers the new Service Pack 2, but many techniques are applicable to older Windows versions
download from rapidshare
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Would you like to use the Windows Update feature without being forced to register with Microsoft? OK then, this is what you can do:
Launch good ol' Regedit.
Go down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.
Look for a value named RegDone. If it isn't there create a new value with that name.
Right click the new value and choose Modify. Make the value 1.
Close Regedit and
Yes, firefox is already pretty damn fast but did you know that you can tweak it and improve the speed even more?
That's the beauty of this program being open source.
Here's what you do:
In the URL bar, type “about:config” and press enter. This will bring up the configuration “menu” where you can change the parameters of Firefox.
Note that these are what I’ve found to REALLY speed up my Firefox significantly - and these settings seem to be common among everybody else as well. But these settings are optimized for broadband connections - I mean with as much concurrent requests we’re going to open up with pipelining… lol… you’d better have a big connection.
Double Click on the following settins and put in the numbers below - for the true / false booleans - they’ll change when you double click.
browser.tabs.showSingleWindowModePrefs – true
network.http.max-connections – 48
network.http.max-connections-per-server – 16
network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy – 8
network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server – 4
network.http.pipelining – true
network.http.pipelining.maxrequests – 100
network.http.proxy.pipelining – true
network.http.request.timeout – 300
One more thing… Right-click somewhere on that screen and add a NEW -> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0”. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives. Since you’re broadband - it shouldn’t have to wait.
Now you should notice you’re loading pages MUCH faster now!
Some of the firefox tweaks:-
http://www.tweakfactor.com/articles/tweaks/firefoxtweak/ **Very good**
I was recently playing games and this nasty windos logo key keep annoying me , cause i often accidently clicked it , and i start to search a solution to solve my problem, and found the following article in microsfot website, and it did work, hope this helps, thanks!
or in other articles, u can copy the following messages into ur notepad and save as *.reg, and use it..
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Open a Command Prompt window and leave it open.
Close all open programs.
Click Start, Run and enter TASKMGR.EXE
Go to the Processes tab and End Process on Explorer.exe.
Leave Task Manager open.
Go back to the Command Prompt window and change to the directory the AVI (or other undeletable file) is located in.
At the command prompt type DEL
Go back to Task Manager, click File, New Task and enter EXPLORER.EXE to restart the GUI shell.
Close Task Manager.
Or you can try this
Click File>Save As..>
locate the folder where ur undeletable file is
Choose 'All files' from the file type box
click once on the file u wanna delete so its name appears in the 'filename' box
put a " at the start and end of the filename
(the filename should have the extension of the undeletable file so it will overwrite it)
It should ask u to overwrite the existing file, choose yes and u can delete it as normal
Here's a manual way of doing it. I'll take this off once you put into your first post zain.
3. Type: command
4. To move into a directory type: cd c:\*** (The stars stand for your folder)
5. If you cannot access the folder because it has spaces for example Program Files or Kazaa Lite folder you have to do the following. instead of typing in the full folder name only take the first 6 letters then put a ~ and then 1 without spaces. Example: cd c:\progra~1\kazaal~1
6. Once your in the folder the non-deletable file it in type in dir - a list will come up with everything inside.
7. Now to delete the file type in del ***.bmp, txt, jpg, avi, etc... And if the file name has spaces you would use the special 1st 6 letters followed by a ~ and a 1 rule. Example: if your file name was bad file.bmp you would type once in the specific folder thorugh command, del badfil~1.bmp and your file should be gone. Make sure to type in the correct extension.
Create 3 folders - C:\WINXPSP1, C:\SP1106 and C:\XPBOOT
Copy the entire Windows XP CD into folder C:\WINXPSP1
You will have to download the SP1 Update, which is 133MB.
Rename the Service Pack file to XP-SP1.EXE
Extract the Service Pack from the Run Dialog using the command:
C:\XP-SP1.EXE -U -X:C:\SP1106
Open Start/Run... and type the command:
Folder C:\WINXPSP1 contains: Windows XP SP1
How to Create a Windows XP SP1 CD Bootable
( no download manager !! )
Extract xpboot.zip file (xpboot.bin) in to the folder C:\XPBOOT
Start Nero - Burning Rom.
Select File > New... from the menu.
1.) Select CD-ROM (Boot)
2.) Select Image file from Source of boot image data
3.) Set Kind of emulation: to No Emulation
4.) Set Load segment of sectors (hex!): to 07C0
5.) Set Number of loaded sectors: to 4
6.) Press the Browse... button
Select All Files (*.*) from File of type:
Locate boot.bin in the folder C:\XPBOOT
Click ISO tab
Set File-/Directory length to ISO Level 1 (Max. of 11 = 8 + 3 chars)
Set Format to Mode 1
Set Character Set to ISO 9660
Check all Relax ISO Restrictions
Click Label Tab
Select ISO9660 from the drop down box.
Enter the Volume Label as WB2PFRE_EN
Enter the System Identifier as WB2PFRE_EN
Enter the Volume Set as WB2PFRE_EN
Enter the Publisher as MICROSOFT CORPORATION
Enter the Data Preparer as MICROSOFT CORPORATION
Enter the Application as WB2PFRE_EN
* For Windows XP Professional OEM substitute WB2PFRE_EN with WXPOEM_EN
* For Windows XP Home OEM substitute WB2PFRE_EN with WXHOEM_EN
Click Burn tab
Check Finalize CD (No further writing possible!)
Set Write Method to Disk-At-Once
Press New button
Locate the folder C:\WINXPSP1
Select everything in the folder and drag it to the ISO compilation panel.
Click the Write CD Dialog button.
1) Insert your original in your CD-ROM.
2) Open CDRWin (or any other image extractor) to make an iso image of the game
on your hard disc. Click on 'Extract Disc/Tracks/Sectors'
3) Here are the settings which work for me (!):
Disc Image/Cue sheet
RAW, CD+G, CD-TEXT and MCN/USRC all Unchecked
Error Recovery: Ignore
Jitter Correction: Auto
Subcode Analyses: Fixed
Read Retry Count: 10
Audio Speed: MAX
Subcode Threshold: 900
There are a lot of reports, that Raw reading also works, but I had problems with it enabled.
4) Click on 'Start'
RECORDING TO A DISC
1) Install Fireburner
2) Double click on the Cue File For The Game
3) Right Click And select burn To CD
That?s all there is record DAO, and you can try to burn it fast at 2X
Using PNY Black Diamond CDR'
Your hard drive must be formatted with a file system such as FAT, FAT32 or NTFS so that Windows can be installed on to it. This system determines how files are named, organised and stored on the drive. If you’re not using it already, NTFS (New Technology File System) is recommended for Windows XP because of the additional functionality it offers. If your PC came with Windows XP pre-installed then there’s a chance that you’re already using NTFS. If you’ve upgraded from Windows 98 or Windows Me you may still be using FAT or FAT 32. The option to change over to NTFS would have been available during the upgrade process. Don’t worry if you skipped this as it’s possible to convert at any time from within Windows XP without losing any data.
The recommended option
There are a number of features in Windows XP that will only work if the NTFS file system is present, which is why it’s suggested you make use of it. File and folder permissions, encryption and privacy options are just some of those you’ll be able to access. In particular, those of you who have set up user accounts will find NTFS invaluable. For instance, if you continue to use FAT or FAT32 anyone with physical access to the drive will be able to access the files and folders that are stored there. However, with NTFS you’ll be able to use a level of encryption (Professional Edition only) that will enable you to protect your data.
You’ll also find NTFS more reliable in that it’s more able to recover from disk errors than its FAT or FAT32 counterparts. A log of all disk activity is kept so should a crash occur, Windows XP can use this information to repair the file system when your PC boots up again. To find out what file system you’re using, open My Computer, right-click your main hard drive and choose Properties. Take a look at the General tab to see confirmation of the file system that’s in use.
You can use the convert tool in Windows XP to change the file system on your hard disk from FAT or FAT32 to NTFS. The whole process is safe and your existing data won’t be destroyed. To begin, click Start -> Run, type cmd and press [Return]. At the command prompt type convert c: /fs:ntfs and press [Return] (where ‘c’ is the letter of the drive you’re converting). When you try and run the convert utility, it’s likely that Windows XP will be using your paging file so the process won’t be completed immediately. Therefore, you’ll see a brief message on screen informing you that the conversion will take place instead the next time Windows starts up. Having restarted, the Check Disk utility will run, the conversion will be performed automatically and you may find that your PC will reboot twice more.
With your drive now running NTFS, it’s time to take advantage of the new options that are available. Having created a number of different user accounts you can now control the level of access that’s granted to individual users. For example, there are going to be certain files and folders that you’ll want some users to be able to access but not others. If you have Windows XP Professional Edition you can do this immediately.
Right-click any file or folder, choose Properties and select the Security tab. A dialog will be displayed showing the names of all your users. Alongside will be two columns which enable you to select levels of access for each of them, the permissions include Full Control, Modify, Read and Write. You can then check the appropriate box to determine whether or not to Allow or Deny a particular permission. For Windows XP Home Edition users, the Security tab won’t be immediately available. To access this option you’ll need to restart your PC, pressing [F8] until a menu appears. Next select Safe Mode and wait for Windows XP to start up. You can then set your options in the same way.
Another feature is NTFS compression. It’s quick and seamless as your file or folder is decompressed automatically when you access it. (Don’t confuse this with a Zip compression utility where the files need to be extracted before they can be accessed.) Although you may have used NTFS compression on a file or folder, there’s no way of telling just by looking at it. To remedy this, open My Computer, click Tools -> Folder Options and select the View tab. Under Advanced settings, scroll down and check the option ‘Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color’, then click Apply and OK. Take a look at your compressed items in My Computer and you’ll see the text label has changed from black to blue. Something else that’s exclusive to Professional Edition users is the Encrypting File System (EFS). You can use this to protect your important data so that no one else can read it. Your encrypted files and folders will only be accessible when you have logged into your user account successfully.
How To: Change Your Ip In Less Then 1 Minute
1. Click on "Start" in the bottom left hand corner of screen
2. Click on "Run"
3. Type in "command" and hit ok
You should now be at an MSDOS prompt screen.
4. Type "ipconfig /release" just like that, and hit "enter"
5. Type "exit" and leave the prompt
6. Right-click on "Network Places" or "My Network Places" on your desktop.
7. Click on "properties"
You should now be on a screen with something titled "Local Area Connection", or something close to that, and, if you have a network hooked up, all of your other networks.
8. Right click on "Local Area Connection" and click "properties"
9. Double-click on the "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" from the list under the "General" tab
10. Click on "Use the following IP address" under the "General" tab
11. Create an IP address (It doesn't matter what it is. I just type 1 and 2 until i fill the area up).
12. Press "Tab" and it should automatically fill in the "Subnet Mask" section with default numbers.
13. Hit the "Ok" button here
14. Hit the "Ok" button again
You should now be back to the "Local Area Connection" screen.
15. Right-click back on "Local Area Connection" and go to properties again.
16. Go back to the "TCP/IP" settings
17. This time, select "Obtain an IP address automatically"
tongue.gif 18. Hit "Ok"
19. Hit "Ok" again
20. You now have a new IP address
With a little practice, you can easily get this process down to 15 seconds.
This only changes your dynamic IP address, not your ISP/IP address. If you plan on hacking a website with this trick be extremely careful, because if they try a little, they can trace it back
Monday, October 6, 2008
Step 1 - Modify Explorer.exe File
In order to make the changes, the file explorer.exe located at C:\Windows needs to be edited. Since explorer.exe is a binary file it requires a special editor. For purposes of this article I have used Resource Hacker. Resource HackerTM is a freeware utility to view, modify, rename, add, delete and extract resources in 32bit Windows executables and resource files (*.res). It incorporates an internal resource script compiler and decompiler and works on Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems.
get this from h**p://delphi.icm.edu.pl/ftp/tools/ResHack.zip
The first step is to make a backup copy of the file explorer.exe located at C:\Windows\explorer. Place it in a folder somewhere on your hard drive where it will be safe. Start Resource Hacker and open explorer.exe located at C:\Windows\explorer.exe.
The category we are going to be using is "String Table". Expand it by clicking the plus sign then navigate down to and expand string 37 followed by highlighting 1033. If you are using the Classic Layout rather than the XP Layout, use number 38. The right hand pane will display the stringtable. We’re going to modify item 578, currently showing the word “start” just as it displays on the current Start button.
There is no magic here. Just double click on the word “start” so that it’s highlighted, making sure the quotation marks are not part of the highlight. They need to remain in place, surrounding the new text that you’ll type. Go ahead and type your new entry. In my case I used Click Me!
You’ll notice that after the new text string has been entered the Compile Script button that was grayed out is now active. I won’t get into what’s involved in compiling a script, but suffice it to say it’s going to make this exercise worthwhile. Click Compile Script and then save the altered file using the Save As command on the File Menu. Do not use the Save command – Make sure to use the Save As command and choose a name for the file. Save the newly named file to C:\Windows.
Step 2 – Modify the Registry
!!!make a backup of your registry before making changes!!!
Now that the modified explorer.exe has been created it’s necessary to modify the registry so the file will be recognized when the user logs on to the system. If you don’t know how to access the registry I’m not sure this article is for you, but just in case it’s a temporary memory lapse, go to Start (soon to be something else) Run and type regedit in the Open field. Navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\ Winlogon
In the right pane, double click the "Shell" entry to open the Edit String dialog box. In Value data: line, enter the name that was used to save the modified explorer.exe file. Click OK.
Close Registry Editor and either log off the system and log back in, or reboot the entire system if that’s your preference. If all went as planned you should see your new Start button with the revised text.[/b]
Fix the problem with seeing them secrue sites (banks or online stores) i found this very usefull to me at my work (isp backbone support lol, at the time i was regular support )
Any way... what u need to do is make a new notepad file and write in it the followng DLL's.. just copy-paste these
and save it as > all file types, and make it something like securefix.bat.
then just run the file and ur problem should be gone.
Follow the following steps
1. Open notepad.exe, type "del c:\windows\prefetch\ntosboot-*.* /q" (without the quotes) & save as "ntosboot.bat" in c:\
2. From the Start menu, select "Run..." & type "gpedit.msc".
3. Double click "Windows Settings" under "Computer Configuration" and double click again on "Shutdown" in the right window.
4. In the new window, click "add", "Browse", locate your "ntosboot.bat" file & click "Open".
5. Click "OK", "Apply" & "OK" once again to exit.
6. From the Start menu, select "Run..." & type "devmgmt.msc".
7. Double click on "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers"
8. Right click on "Primary IDE Channel" and select "Properties".
9. Select the "Advanced Settings" tab then on the device or 1 that doesn't have 'device type' greyed out select 'none' instead of 'autodetect' & click "OK".
10. Right click on "Secondary IDE channel", select "Properties" and repeat step 9.
11. Reboot your computer.
It's a very useful trick ......i found a great change in my booting time
There are a lot of PC users that know little about "Spyware", "Mal-ware", "hijackers", "Dialers" & many more. This will help you avoid pop-ups, spammers and all those baddies.
What is spy-ware?
Spy-ware is Internet jargon for Advertising Supported software (Ad-ware). It is a way for shareware authors to make money from a product, other than by selling it to the users. There are several large media companies that offer them to place banner ads in their products in exchange for a portion of the revenue from banner sales. This way, you don't have to pay for the software and the developers are still getting paid. If you find the banners annoying, there is usually an option to remove them, by paying the regular licensing fee.
There are thousands out there, new ones are added to the list everyday. But here are a few:
Alexa, Aureate/Radiate, BargainBuddy, ClickTillUWin, Conducent Timesink, Cydoor, Comet Cursor, eZula/KaZaa Toptext, Flashpoint/Flashtrack, Flyswat, Gator, GoHip, Hotbar, ISTbar, Lions Pride Enterprises/Blazing Logic/Trek Blue, Lop (C2Media), Mattel Brodcast, Morpheus, NewDotNet, Realplayer, Songspy, Xupiter, Web3000, WebHancer, Windows Messenger Service.
How to check if a program has spyware?
The is this Little site that keeps a database of programs that are known to install spyware.
Check Here: http://www.spywareguide.com/product_search.php
If you would like to block pop-ups (IE Pop-ups).
There tons of different types out there, but these are the 2 best, i think.
Try: Google Toolbar (http://toolbar.google.com/) This program is Free
Try: AdMuncher (http://www.admuncher.com) This program is Shareware
If you want to remove the "spyware" try these.
Try: Lavasoft Ad-Aware (http://www.lavasoftusa.com/) This program is Free
Info: Ad-aware is a multi spyware removal utility, that scans your memory, registry and hard drives for known spyware components and lets you remove them. The included backup-manager lets you reinstall a backup, offers and multi language support.
Try: Spybot-S&D (http://www.safer-networking.org/) This program is Free
Info: Detects and removes spyware of different kinds (dialers, loggers, trojans, user tracks) from your computer. Blocks ActiveX downloads, tracking cookies and other threats. Over 10,000 detection files and entries. Provides detailed information about found problems.
Try: BPS Spyware and Adware Remover (http://www.bulletproofsoft.com/spyware-remover.html) This program is Shareware
Info: Adware, spyware, trackware and big brotherware removal utility with multi-language support. It scans your memory, registry and drives for known spyware and lets you remove them. Displays a list and lets you select the items you'd like to remove.
Try: Spy Sweeper v2.2 (http://www.webroot.com/wb/products/spysweeper/index.php) This program is Shareware
Info: Detects and removes spyware of different kinds (dialers, loggers, trojans, user tracks) from your computer.
The best scanner out there, and updated all the time.
Try: HijackThis 1.97.7 (http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/downloads.html) This program is Freeware
Info: HijackThis is a tool, that lists all installed browser add-on, buttons, startup items and allows you to inspect them, and optionally remove selected items.
If you would like to prevent "spyware" being install.
Try: SpywareBlaster 2.6.1 (http://www.wilderssecurity.net/spywareblaster.html) This program is Free
Info: SpywareBlaster doesn`t scan and clean for so-called spyware, but prevents it from being installed in the first place. It achieves this by disabling the CLSIDs of popular spyware ActiveX controls, and also prevents the installation of any of them via a webpage.
Try: SpywareGuard 2.2 (http://www.wilderssecurity.net/spywareguard.html) This program is Free
Info: SpywareGuard provides a real-time protection solution against so-called spyware. It works similar to an anti-virus program, by scanning EXE and CAB files on access and alerting you if known spyware is detected.
Try: XP-AntiSpy (http://www.xp-antispy.org/) This program is Free
Info: XP-AntiSpy is a small utility to quickly disable some built-in update and authentication features in WindowsXP that may rise security or privacy concerns in some people.
Try: SpySites (http://camtech2000.net/Pages/SpySites_Prog...ml#SpySitesFree) This program is Free
Info: SpySites allows you to manage the Internet Explorer Restricted Zone settings and easily add entries from a database of 1500+ sites that are known to use advertising tracking methods or attempt to install third party software.
If you would like more Information about "spyware".
Check these sites.
Try: Stop Windows Messenger Spam 1.10 (http://www.jester2k.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/j...r2ksoftware.htm) This program is Free
Info: "Stop Windows Messenger Spam" stops this Service from running and halts the spammers ability to send you these messages.
All these softwares will help remove and prevent evil spammers and spywares attacking your PC. I myself recommend getting "spyblaster" "s&d spybot" "spy sweeper" & "admuncher" to protect your PC. A weekly scan is also recommended
Free Virus Scan
Scan for spyware, malware and keyloggers in addition to viruses, worms and trojans. New threats and annoyances are created faster than any individual can keep up with.
http://defender.veloz.com// - 15k
Finding . is a Click Away at 2020Search.com
Having trouble finding what you re looking for on: .? 2020Search will instantly provide you with the result you re looking for by drawing on some of the best search engines the Internet has to offer. Your result is a click away!
http://www.2020search.com// - 43k
Download the BrowserVillage Toolbar.
Customize your Browser! Eliminate Pop-up ads before they start, Quick and easy access to the Web, and much more. Click Here to Install Now!
http://www.browservillage.com/ - 36k
excl.gif No Active Links, Read the Rules - Edit by Ninja excl.gif
Google is clearly the best general-purpose search engine on the Web (see
But most people don't use it to its best advantage. Do you just plug in a keyword or two and hope for the best? That may be the quickest way to search, but with more than 3 billion pages in Google's index, it's still a struggle to pare results to a manageable number.
But Google is an remarkably powerful tool that can ease and enhance your Internet exploration. Google's search options go beyond simple keywords, the Web, and even its own programmers. Let's look at some of Google's lesser-known options.
Syntax Search Tricks
Using a special syntax is a way to tell Google that you want to restrict your searches to certain elements or characteristics of Web pages. Google has a fairly complete list of its syntax elements at
. Here are some advanced operators that can help narrow down your search results.
Intitle: at the beginning of a query word or phrase (intitle:"Three Blind Mice") restricts your search results to just the titles of Web pages.
Intext: does the opposite of intitle:, searching only the body text, ignoring titles, links, and so forth. Intext: is perfect when what you're searching for might commonly appear in URLs. If you're looking for the term HTML, for example, and you don't want to get results such as
, you can enter intext:html.
Link: lets you see which pages are linking to your Web page or to another page you're interested in. For example, try typing in
Try using site: (which restricts results to top-level domains) with intitle: to find certain types of pages. For example, get scholarly pages about Mark Twain by searching for intitle:"Mark Twain"site:edu. Experiment with mixing various elements; you'll develop several strategies for finding the stuff you want more effectively. The site: command is very helpful as an alternative to the mediocre search engines built into many sites.
Swiss Army Google
Google has a number of services that can help you accomplish tasks you may never have thought to use Google for. For example, the new calculator feature
lets you do both math and a variety of conversions from the search box. For extra fun, try the query "Answer to life the universe and everything."
Let Google help you figure out whether you've got the right spelling—and the right word—for your search. Enter a misspelled word or phrase into the query box (try "thre blund mise") and Google may suggest a proper spelling. This doesn't always succeed; it works best when the word you're searching for can be found in a dictionary. Once you search for a properly spelled word, look at the results page, which repeats your query. (If you're searching for "three blind mice," underneath the search window will appear a statement such as Searched the web for "three blind mice.") You'll discover that you can click on each word in your search phrase and get a definition from a dictionary.
Suppose you want to contact someone and don't have his phone number handy. Google can help you with that, too. Just enter a name, city, and state. (The city is optional, but you must enter a state.) If a phone number matches the listing, you'll see it at the top of the search results along with a map link to the address. If you'd rather restrict your results, use rphonebook: for residential listings or bphonebook: for business listings. If you'd rather use a search form for business phone listings, try Yellow Search
Google offers several services that give you a head start in focusing your search. Google Groups
indexes literally millions of messages from decades of discussion on Usenet. Google even helps you with your shopping via two tools: Froogle
which indexes products from online stores, and Google Catalogs
which features products from more 6,000 paper catalogs in a searchable index. And this only scratches the surface. You can get a complete list of Google's tools and services at
You're probably used to using Google in your browser. But have you ever thought of using Google outside your browser?
monitors your search terms and e-mails you information about new additions to Google's Web index. (Google Alert is not affiliated with Google; it uses Google's Web services API to perform its searches.) If you're more interested in news stories than general Web content, check out the beta version of Google News Alerts
This service (which is affiliated with Google) will monitor up to 50 news queries per e-mail address and send you information about news stories that match your query. (Hint: Use the intitle: and source: syntax elements with Google News to limit the number of alerts you get.)
Google on the telephone? Yup. This service is brought to you by the folks at Google Labs
a place for experimental Google ideas and features (which may come and go, so what's there at this writing might not be there when you decide to check it out). With Google Voice Search
In 2002, Google released the Google API (application programming interface), a way for programmers to access Google's search engine results without violating the Google Terms of Service. A lot of people have created useful (and occasionally not-so-useful but interesting) applications not available from Google itself, such as Google Alert. For many applications, you'll need an API key, which is available free from
. See the figures for two more examples, and visit
Thanks to its many different search properties, Google goes far beyond a regular search engine. Give the tricks in this article a try. You'll be amazed at how many different ways Google can improve your Internet searching.
Online Extra: More Google Tips
Here are a few more clever ways to tweak your Google searches.
Search Within a Timeframe
Daterange: (start date–end date). You can restrict your searches to pages that were indexed within a certain time period. Daterange: searches by when Google indexed a page, not when the page itself was created. This operator can help you ensure that results will have fresh content (by using recent dates), or you can use it to avoid a topic's current-news blizzard and concentrate only on older results. Daterange: is actually more useful if you go elsewhere to take advantage of it, because daterange: requires Julian dates, not standard Gregorian dates. You can find converters on the Web (such as
excl.gif No Active Links, Read the Rules - Edit by Ninja excl.gif
), but an easier way is to do a Google daterange: search by filling in a form at
www.researchbuzz.com/toolbox/goofresh.shtml or www.faganfinder.com/engines/google.shtml
. If one special syntax element is good, two must be better, right? Sometimes. Though some operators can't be mixed (you can't use the link: operator with anything else) many can be, quickly narrowing your results to a less overwhelming number.
More Google API Applications
Staggernation.com offers three tools based on the Google API. The Google API Web Search by Host (GAWSH) lists the Web hosts of the results for a given query
When you click on the triangle next to each host, you get a list of results for that host. The Google API Relation Browsing Outliner (GARBO) is a little more complicated: You enter a URL and choose whether you want pages that related to the URL or linked to the URL
Click on the triangle next to an URL to get a list of pages linked or related to that particular URL. CapeMail is an e-mail search application that allows you to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the text of your query in the subject line and get the first ten results for that query back. Maybe it's not something you'd do every day, but if your cell phone does e-mail and doesn't do Web browsing, this is a very handy address to know.
Before you spend a dime on security, there are many precautions you can take that will protect you against the most common threats.
1. Check Windows Update and Office Update regularly (_http://office.microsoft.com/productupdates); have your Office CD ready. Windows Me, 2000, and XP users can configure automatic updates. Click on the Automatic Updates tab in the System control panel and choose the appropriate options.
2. Install a personal firewall. Both SyGate (_www.sygate.com) and ZoneAlarm (_www.zonelabs.com) offer free versions.
3. Install a free spyware blocker. My Choice ("Spyware," April 22) was SpyBot Search & Destroy (_http://security.kolla.de). SpyBot is also paranoid and ruthless in hunting out tracking cookies.
4. Block pop-up spam messages in Windows NT, 2000, or XP by disabling the Windows Messenger service (this is unrelated to the instant messaging program). Open Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services and you'll see Messenger. Right-click and go to Properties. Set Start-up Type to Disabled and press the Stop button. Bye-bye, spam pop-ups! Any good firewall will also stop them.
5. Use strong passwords and change them periodically. Passwords should have at least seven characters; use letters and numbers and have at least one symbol. A decent example would be f8izKro@l. This will make it much harder for anyone to gain access to your accounts.
6. If you're using Outlook or Outlook Express, use the current version or one with the Outlook Security Update installed. The update and current versions patch numerous vulnerabilities.
7. Buy antivirus software and keep it up to date. If you're not willing to pay, try Grisoft AVG Free Edition (Grisoft Inc., w*w.grisoft.com). And doublecheck your AV with the free, online-only scanners available at w*w.pandasoftware.com/activescan and _http://housecall.trendmicro.com. You can also download from this blog.
8. If you have a wireless network, turn on the security features: Use MAC filtering, turn off SSID broadcast, and even use WEP with the biggest key you can get.
9. Join a respectable e-mail security list, such as the one found at Security Supersite at _http://security.ziffdavis.com, so that you learn about emerging threats quickly and can take proper precautions.
10. Be skeptical of things on the Internet. Don't assume that e-mail "From:" a particular person is actually from that person until you have further reason to believe it's that person. Don't assume that an attachment is what it says it is. Don't give out your password to anyone, even if that person claims to be from "support."
Fatal error: the system has become unstable or is busy," it says. "Enter to return to Windows or press Control-Alt-Delete to restart your computer. If you do this you will lose any unsaved information in all open applications."
You have just been struck by the Blue Screen of Death. Anyone who uses Mcft Windows will be familiar with this. What can you do? More importantly, how can you prevent it happening?
1 Hardware conflict
The number one reason why Windows crashes is hardware conflict. Each hardware device communicates to other devices through an interrupt request channel (IRQ). These are supposed to be unique for each device.
For example, a printer usually connects internally on IRQ 7. The keyboard usually uses IRQ 1 and the floppy disk drive IRQ 6. Each device will try to hog a single IRQ for itself.
If there are a lot of devices, or if they are not installed properly, two of them may end up sharing the same IRQ number. When the user tries to use both devices at the same time, a crash can happen. The way to check if your computer has a hardware conflict is through the following route:
* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Device Manager.
Often if a device has a problem a yellow '!' appears next to its description in the Device Manager. Highlight Computer (in the Device Manager) and press Properties to see the IRQ numbers used by your computer. If the IRQ number appears twice, two devices may be using it.
Sometimes a device might share an IRQ with something described as 'IRQ holder for PCI steering'. This can be ignored. The best way to fix this problem is to remove the problem device and reinstall it.
Sometimes you may have to find more recent drivers on the internet to make the device function properly. A good resource is www.driverguide.com. If the device is a soundcard, or a modem, it can often be fixed by moving it to a different slot on the motherboard (be careful about opening your computer, as you may void the warranty).
When working inside a computer you should switch it off, unplug the mains lead and touch an unpainted metal surface to discharge any static electricity.
To be fair to Mcft, the problem with IRQ numbers is not of its making. It is a legacy problem going back to the first PC designs using the IBM 8086 chip. Initially there were only eight IRQs. Today there are 16 IRQs in a PC. It is easy to run out of them. There are plans to increase the number of IRQs in future designs.
2 Bad Ram
Ram (random-access memory) problems might bring on the blue screen of death with a message saying Fatal Exception Error. A fatal error indicates a serious hardware problem. Sometimes it may mean a part is damaged and will need replacing.
But a fatal error caused by Ram might be caused by a mismatch of chips. For example, mixing 70-nanosecond (70ns) Ram with 60ns Ram will usually force the computer to run all the Ram at the slower speed. This will often crash the machine if the Ram is overworked.
One way around this problem is to enter the BIOS settings and increase the wait state of the Ram. This can make it more stable. Another way to troubleshoot a suspected Ram problem is to rearrange the Ram chips on the motherboard, or take some of them out. Then try to repeat the circumstances that caused the crash. When handling Ram try not to touch the gold connections, as they can be easily damaged.
Parity error messages also refer to Ram. Modern Ram chips are either parity (ECC) or non parity (non-ECC). It is best not to mix the two types, as this can be a cause of trouble.
EMM386 error messages refer to memory problems but may not be connected to bad Ram. This may be due to free memory problems often linked to old Dos-based programmes.
3 BIOS settings
Every motherboard is supplied with a range of chipset settings that are decided in the factory. A common way to access these settings is to press the F2 or delete button during the first few seconds of a boot-up.
Once inside the BIOS, great care should be taken. It is a good idea to write down on a piece of paper all the settings that appear on the screen. That way, if you change something and the computer becomes more unstable, you will know what settings to revert to.
A common BIOS error concerns the CAS latency. This refers to the Ram. Older EDO (extended data out) Ram has a CAS latency of 3. Newer SDRam has a CAS latency of 2. Setting the wrong figure can cause the Ram to lock up and freeze the computer's display.
Mcft Windows is better at allocating IRQ numbers than any BIOS. If possible set the IRQ numbers to Auto in the BIOS. This will allow Windows to allocate the IRQ numbers (make sure the BIOS setting for Plug and Play OS is switched to 'yes' to allow Windows to do this.).
4 Hard disk drives
After a few weeks, the information on a hard disk drive starts to become piecemeal or fragmented. It is a good idea to defragment the hard disk every week or so, to prevent the disk from causing a screen freeze. Go to
* Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk Defragmenter
This will start the procedure. You will be unable to write data to the hard drive (to save it) while the disk is defragmenting, so it is a good idea to schedule the procedure for a period of inactivity using the Task Scheduler.
The Task Scheduler should be one of the small icons on the bottom right of the Windows opening page (the desktop).
Some lockups and screen freezes caused by hard disk problems can be solved by reducing the read-ahead optimisation. This can be adjusted by going to
* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System Icon-Performance-File System-Hard Disk.
Hard disks will slow down and crash if they are too full. Do some housekeeping on your hard drive every few months and free some space on it. Open the Windows folder on the C drive and find the Temporary Internet Files folder. Deleting the contents (not the folder) can free a lot of space.
Empty the Recycle Bin every week to free more space. Hard disk drives should be scanned every week for errors or bad sectors. Go to
* Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-ScanDisk
Otherwise assign the Task Scheduler to perform this operation at night when the computer is not in use.
5 Fatal OE exceptions and VXD errors
Fatal OE exception errors and VXD errors are often caused by video card problems.
These can often be resolved easily by reducing the resolution of the video display. Go to
* Start-Settings-Control Panel-Display-Settings
Here you should slide the screen area bar to the left. Take a look at the colour settings on the left of that window. For most desktops, high colour 16-bit depth is adequate.
If the screen freezes or you experience system lockups it might be due to the video card. Make sure it does not have a hardware conflict. Go to
* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Device Manager
Here, select the + beside Display Adapter. A line of text describing your video card should appear. Select it (make it blue) and press properties. Then select Resources and select each line in the window. Look for a message that says No Conflicts.
If you have video card hardware conflict, you will see it here. Be careful at this point and make a note of everything you do in case you make things worse.
The way to resolve a hardware conflict is to uncheck the Use Automatic Settings box and hit the Change Settings button. You are searching for a setting that will display a No Conflicts message.
Another useful way to resolve video problems is to go to
* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Performance-Graphics
Here you should move the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left. As ever, the most common cause of problems relating to graphics cards is old or faulty drivers (a driver is a small piece of software used by a computer to communicate with a device).
Look up your video card's manufacturer on the internet and search for the most recent drivers for it.
Often the first sign of a virus infection is instability. Some viruses erase the boot sector of a hard drive, making it impossible to start. This is why it is a good idea to create a Windows start-up disk. Go to
* Start-Settings-Control Panel-Add/Remove Programs
Here, look for the Start Up Disk tab. Virus protection requires constant vigilance.
A virus scanner requires a list of virus signatures in order to be able to identify viruses. These signatures are stored in a DAT file. DAT files should be updated weekly from the website of your antivirus software manufacturer.
An excellent antivirus programme is McAfee VirusScan by Network Associates ( www.nai.com). Another is Norton AntiVirus 2000, made by Symantec ( www.symantec.com).
The action of sending a document to print creates a bigger file, often called a postscript file.
Printers have only a small amount of memory, called a buffer. This can be easily overloaded. Printing a document also uses a considerable amount of CPU power. This will also slow down the computer's performance.
If the printer is trying to print unusual characters, these might not be recognised, and can crash the computer. Sometimes printers will not recover from a crash because of confusion in the buffer. A good way to clear the buffer is to unplug the printer for ten seconds. Booting up from a powerless state, also called a cold boot, will restore the printer's default settings and you may be able to carry on.
A common cause of computer crash is faulty or badly-installed software. Often the problem can be cured by uninstalling the software and then reinstalling it. Use Norton Uninstall or Uninstall Shield to remove an application from your system properly. This will also remove references to the programme in the System Registry and leaves the way clear for a completely fresh copy.
The System Registry can be corrupted by old references to obsolete software that you thought was uninstalled. Use Reg Cleaner by Jouni Vuorio to clean up the System Registry and remove obsolete entries. It works on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE (Second Edition), Windows Millennium Edition (ME), NT4 and Windows 2000.
Read the instructions and use it carefully so you don't do permanent damage to the Registry. If the Registry is damaged you will have to reinstall your operating system. Reg Cleaner can be obtained from www.jv16.org
Often a Windows problem can be resolved by entering Safe Mode. This can be done during start-up. When you see the message "Starting Windows" press F4. This should take you into Safe Mode.
Safe Mode loads a minimum of drivers. It allows you to find and fix problems that prevent Windows from loading properly.
Sometimes installing Windows is difficult because of unsuitable BIOS settings. If you keep getting SUWIN error messages (Windows setup) during the Windows installation, then try entering the BIOS and disabling the CPU internal cache. Try to disable the Level 2 (L2) cache if that doesn't work.
Remember to restore all the BIOS settings back to their former settings following installation.
Central processing units (CPUs) are usually equipped with fans to keep them cool. If the fan fails or if the CPU gets old it may start to overheat and generate a particular kind of error called a kernel error. This is a common problem in chips that have been overclocked to operate at higher speeds than they are supposed to.
One remedy is to get a bigger better fan and install it on top of the CPU. Specialist cooling fans/heatsinks are available from www.computernerd.com or www.coolit.com
CPU problems can often be fixed by disabling the CPU internal cache in the BIOS. This will make the machine run more slowly, but it should also be more stable.
10 Power supply problems
With all the new construction going on around the country the steady supply of electricity has become disrupted. A power surge or spike can crash a computer as easily as a power cut.
If this has become a nuisance for you then consider buying a uninterrupted power supply (UPS). This will give you a clean power supply when there is electricity, and it will give you a few minutes to perform a controlled shutdown in case of a power cut.
It is a good investment if your data are critical, because a power cut will cause any unsaved data to be lost.