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Mysticgeek

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

This article was written by MysticGeek, a tech blogger at the How-To Geek Blogs.

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I happened to Stumble Upon this cool online music application today.  JamStudio.com is a very cool site where you can mix audio loops and not have the need to know how to read or write music.  I have already wasted a few hours on this site.  If you are a music fan you will have a great time with this.  JamStudio allows you to save your music projects and even includes code to place a player on your MySpace page.

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This is not a tech article but does affect all of us who work in the office place.  Today when I came in to start my day … THREE people walked by my office coughing, hacking, and snotting up the place.  There is no reason for this!  It is bad enough we have to go to a crappy job and make a corporation money everyday, let alone breathe in other peoples nasty viruses and germs.  I cringe every time I hear the cough, sneeze, or nose blow of a co worker who is obviously sick.  So, please!  Stay home if your sick!  There is absolutely no honor in “toughing it out” when you jeopardize the wellness of others.

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I love when I find a fun online game to play.  When the workday is going completely insane and I want to burn the place down (Milton in Office Space) it is helpful to immerse oneself in fantasy.  Treasure Of Cutlass Reef allows just such opportunity.  This is a cool game where you’re a pirate ship who’s goal is to plunder and destroy other vessels.  Plunder as much gold as you can in each level then between levels you can increase your ships armor, crew, weapons, speed, etc.

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Usually the people listed in your Contacts list are regarded as safe by Outlook’s Junk E-mail Filter.  Usually being the key word.  I ran into an instance today where an interoffice email sent went into the recipients Junk Folder.  To correct this I used the following steps.

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This is a quick tip to speed up the start menu in Vista.  I wrote a previous article about helping the user interface more snappy.  This tip concentrates on the start menu but will have a similar effect.  So if you employ both strategies the UI will run more smoothly.  This tip requires a registry edit so as always when doing a registry edit make sure to create a restore point and/or backup the registry settings.

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This article was written by MysticGeek, a tech blogger at the How-To Geek Blogs.

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I was playing around with System Information for Windows this morning and went into the “about” section of this program and thought this picture was hilarious.  I love it when programmers include some humor! 

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If you’re like most PC users you have thousands of files all over your computer in different directories.  When it comes time to do maintenance on your PC and clean up some of those files you probably don’t remember what is what.  In fact I know myself that I will download a bunch of utility programs and have no idea what they are for.  Here is a tip that will allow you to recall what those files are month or years down the line.  *Keep in mind this is a pro-active tip.

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If you own a machine which includes an AMD processor, AMD actually provides a cool free download to monitor your processor.  This is a simple graphical user interface to monitor Core Utilization, Core Voltage, and Core Frequency.  You can also minimize to the system tray to keep your eye on the usage.

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Spybot Search and Destroy seems to be getting a bad rap in the press lately, which I wrote about in July.  Then I read an article in PC World last month and they were also slamming this free application.  Well, the heck with them!  Let’s take a look at the new version of Spybot 1.5

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Ah, the Recycle Bin … it always sits on the desktop waiting for your old files.  Don’t ask me why but I think the Recycle Bin deserves more attention.  I don’t know how many times I have helped end users recover files from the trash.  Often used but misunderstood … Here I will demonstrate a few easy tips to customize the Recycle Bin in Vista.

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Many of you know I am a musician and huge music fan.  I am always trying out new music players, different compression formats, home recording software, etc.  I have used Last.FM but quickly grew tired of it.  However I have found one cool web based player that really rocks.  Anywhere FM which is currently in beta allows you to listen to your music collection anywhere you have a web connection.  Creating an account is extremely easy and once you have done that begin uploading your tunes to the player.

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How many times have you sent out an email only to realize you forgot to include the attachment, or really shouldn’t have sent a response to the entire company? If you are using Outlook in an Exchange environment you can attempt to recall the message.

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Anything I can do to make XP function more efficiently at work is definitely a plus.  Although I am not a Keyboard Ninja, I do like to make navigation within the OS easier.  One way of achieving this is to add additional locations to the “Send To” menu in XP. 

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Ok!  In Part 1 we went through and set up the basic configuration for our Virtual PC using Windows Virtual PC 2007.  Now lets go ahead and load the Operating System and look at some of the features.

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Why should Vista Ultimate get all of the cool toys like Virtual PC?  You can add Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 to your existing XP box now.  This is a free download from Microsoft.  In this post I am going to go through the set up and basic configuration of a virtual machine on Windows XP.  I find this most useful for other Microsoft OS’s.  If you want to run Linux an other alternative OS on Windows I would check out vmware.

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In IT having good backups is extremely essential.  Your worst nightmare is when an end user deletes the company yearly accounting reports.  If your business is using Server 2003 getting those files back in a hurry is extremely easy with the Shadow Copy feature.  This feature was added to Server 2003 for just such instances.  In fact, by educating the end users they can retrieve the files without having to involve IT.

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Gmail Drive is a third party software extension originally thought up by Richard Jones  that allows you to use your Gmail account as though it is a drive attached to your local machine.  You have the ability to drag and drop files into that drive and retrieve the files from another machine if necessary.  Let’s take a look at how it works.

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This article was written by MysticGeek, a tech blogger at the How-To Geek Blogs.

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You can install Add-In software to most Office 2007 applications.  Microsoft bundled add-in software with this release of Office.  The software is included with 2007 but is not automatically installed.  Here I am going to demonstrate how to complete the process with Excel 2007.

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How many times have you tried to email a co-worker or colleague an executable or batch file that is desperately needed and you get a message such as:

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Hate the new calendar in Vista?  Not a fan of the Outlook calendar or don’t like the idea of always being connected to the web to use Google’s Calendar?  Love Open Source and all things Mozilla?  Then Sunbird is for you. Sunbird is a stand-alone calendar application.  If you want Sunbird to integrate with Thunderbird then you would want to install the Lightning extension.

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For those of you still running XP you might be looking for ways to improve the XP experience.  One of the better ways to add unique features to the OS is installing Power Toys.  These are add on programs that Microsoft developers have designed after the XP release.  These have been around for several years, and are proven to work.  Although Microsoft does not “officially support” them.  I thought I would highlight a few of my favorites.

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