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Lowell Heddings

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.

I wasn’t going to write another Firefox article tonight, but after restarting Firefox the automatic updater ran without my permission and broke my favorite extension. I could obviously crack open the extension and manually fix the problem, but it’s just ridiculous to have to do that.

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How many times have you wanted to put a sticky note on a page to remind you of something?  For instance, you could put a sticky note on digg.com so the next time you visit it tells you that you should really be doing something more productive.  =)

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How often have you typed in a command in your linux shell, and then realized that you forgot to type sudo, so you end up with an error or editing the dreaded read-only file? This happens to me much more than I’d like to admit, so I’m writing about it.

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We couldn’t live without Firefox’s tabbed browsing support, and we also couldn’t live without 10 of these 11 tips for optimizing your tab experience.

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Everybody knows how to change their Vista logon/start menu picture, but if you select a new picture, Windows Vista removes the last picture from the list entirely, leaving just the new picture and the default pictures. Does anybody really use the robot or the fish picture?

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If you’ve entered the wrong address into the Windows Vista Mail client, you might have problems getting rid of the wrong autocomplete entries in the list. There’s a couple of things you can try to delete the entries in the list.

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Update: This bounty has been claimed.

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If you are unfamiliar with the Sysinternals Process Explorer utility, you should really check it out… it gives you so much more information than the default task manager, including a tree view of all the processes so you can see which processes launched other processes. You can look at pretty much every piece of data concerning a process, including associated registry key handles, open files, dlls. There’s even a search function.

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If you allow Firefox to store your passwords you might be worried about the recent security holes found in the password manager. The solution to these problems is to use the Secure Login extension to prevent Firefox from automatically filling in password fields, but at the same time giving you the automation that saves you time. In fact, using the hotkey means that this method is probably even quicker.

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Update: The Bounty Program has a new home page.

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In the next logical extension of this site, I’ve added a forum so that the readers can interact with each other. The geeks behind How-To Geek will be answering any questions that you might ask, and hopefully other readers will participate in answering questions as well.

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Let’s face it – the Windows Vista shutdown dialog is one of the worst pieces of UI nonsense ever. Just look at it… what were they thinking with that popup dialog?

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If you are doing a lot of testing of different builds, there’s nothing more annoying than rebooting and then having the system boot into the wrong choice on the grub menu before you have a chance to pick the one you want. Reader Victor wrote in with this tip: You can just comment out the timeout line entirely to stop grub from picking anything, giving you time to get your morning coffee.

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Every time you delete a file, Windows asks you “Are you sure you want to move this file to the Recycle Bin?” This is typically a good thing, to prevent you from deleting files by accident, but if you are trying to do some cleanup and need to delete a lot of files, you might not want to be prompted every single time.

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I realize this is probably only relevant to about 3 of the readers, but I’m posting this so I don’t forget how to do it myself! In my efforts to ban the completely insecure FTP protocol from my life entirely, I’ve decided to disable the FTP service running on the How-To Geek server, which is running the CentOS operating system.

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Here at geek central, we’re in the business of making things as easy as possible. There’s a registry hack for Windows that will let you add a Copy To Folder or Move To Folder to the right-click menu, which can be very useful when you want to move a file but don’t have the other folder open already.

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We’ve come a long way in our coverage of Windows Vista, and it’s time to put together a roundup of all the articles that tweak the appearance of Windows Vista. If you’d like to suggest something that we left out, leave a comment with the details of what you’d like us to feature next.

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I tend to leave a lot of comments on various blogs that I read throughout my day, and typing in the same name, email and site URL takes quite a bit of time if you don’t automate it somehow.

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Up until now, there’s been no way to show the Alexa rankings directly in Firefox… if you wanted to see them you had to either use the really great About This Site extension, or use the toolbar for Internet Explorer.

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Download LogonStudio from Stardock (Free)

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The market seems to be full of OS X Expose clones, but this is the first one that I’ve found that not only works really well, but has a ton of customization options. It’s called Switcher, and you might already be familiar since it’s been out for a while.

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From the unsure why you’d want to do this department comes this tip on how to completely disable tabbed browsing in Firefox. I’ve gotten quite a number of requests for this over the last few months, so I’m finally breaking down and writing an article about it.

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Let’s say you have a directory with hundreds of files with the wrong file names, and you’d like to replace every filename containing test with prod. (this is a contrived example). We can easily do this with the “for” command in bash, combined with a little bit of bash goodness. Today we’ll learn how to replace text in a variable in a for loop.

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If you’ve looked in Task Manager and wondered what on earth the jusched.exe process is and if you can turn it off, then you are in luck. This process is the Java Update scheduler, which is a process that wastes memory all the time just to check once a month whether there are new updates to Java.

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Why does every single application insist on installing a completely useless icon into the system tray? It would be one thing if it performed some function, but it doesn’t do anything that you can’t do from your control panel. The least they could have done is have a dialog during the setup process that says “Would you like a useless icon in your system tray?” 

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