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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.

If you are using the linked clone feature in VMware (and you should be), then you might be annoyed that you can’t move the base virtual machine around without breaking all of the linked clones.

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One of the new changes in Windows 7 and Vista is that each user has a “Home” directory that is actually accessible and meant to be used. In XP and 2k, you had a hidden home directory that you weren’t meant to muck around in.

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I don’t know about you, but I really preferred having the My Computer icon right on the desktop. Seems like modern versions of windows don’t have it by default anymore. There are two different ways you can add the icon back.

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Windows Vista includes a built-in calendar application that’s pretty slick, but as an addict to Google Calendar, I’d like to just view my Google calendar in a desktop client. This is where Vista’s “Subscribe” to calendar feature works out pretty well.

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Windows Vista includes Internet Explorer 7, and on a new install it defaults to Microsoft’s Live Search, which is just terrible. Here’s the easy steps to make Google the default search engine instead.

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Windows 7 and Vista include an enhancement to the system clock that lets you display 2 additional clocks when you hover your mouse over the system clock.

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There are a lot of reasons you might want to manually set your MAC address for your network card. I won’t ask you what your reason is.

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Installing MySQL 5 Server on Ubuntu is a quick and easy process. It almost feels like it should be more difficult.

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Installing MySQL 4.1 Server on Ubuntu is a quick and easy process. It almost feels like it should be more difficult.

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This article covers installing subversion with the apache module so that it can be easily accessed from other systems on a public network. If you want a more secure svn server, you could use svnserve+ssh, which isn’t covered in this article.

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Digg.com is the absolute biggest source of traffic that most content authors are going to ever see. The “Digg Effect” can cripple your site within an hour, so it’s nice to know if somebody has submitted one of your articles to Digg. Here’s a quick and dirty trick on how to set up an alert.

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When your Ubuntu system boots, you will see the GRUB menu if you hit the Esc key, or if you’ve enabled the menu to show by default. The only issue with this is that the default timeout is only 3 seconds. You may want to increase this amount… or you may even want to decrease it. Either one is simple.

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When Ubuntu boots, you normally briefly see a screen that says “GRUB loading. please wait… Press Esc to enter the menu…”

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Kernel customization is not for everyone. Please note before you try any of this that it can break your system.

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Kubuntu includes the built-in ability to allow other users to control the desktop. Like Ubuntu, you can allow users to access and control the desktop via the VNC client. Unlike Ubuntu, there are a lot more options.

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If you’ve used Windows Vista for more than 3.7 minutes, you know what UAC (User Account Control) is.. it’s the obnoxious, nagging popup window that will be your life for the next 3-5 years unless you switch back to XP in frustration, or to a better OS like… OS X, Suse, Ubuntu, or even XP.

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Windows Vista includes a screen capture/screenshot tool that is actually pretty decent. You can take region captures or full screenshots and easily save them using this tool.

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If you are a developer using ASP.NET, one of the first things you’ll want to install on Windows 7 or Vista is IIS (internet information server). Keep in mind that your version of Windows may not come with IIS. I’m using Windows 7 Ultimate edition.

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The goal of this site is to provide computer help for everybody. When building a site like this, it’s important to cover everything, not just the more interesting how-tos. This means there will continue to be a lot of simple articles like the last two.

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I dislike the system beep on any computer, anywhere, anytime. Here’s how to turn it off in Ubuntu.

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If you are constantly tweaking your setup the way I do, the login sound will drive you crazy after a short while. Of course, if you are constantly tweaking your setup, it’s very unlikely that you are reading this article because you already know how to do this.

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TrueCrypt is a phenomenal open-source disk encryption software that runs on Windows or Linux. Unfortunately, the installer doesn’t work so well on Ubuntu Edgy, so I’ve created this article to help walk you through the process.

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SecureCRT uses the Ctrl+Ins and Shift+Ins keys for copy and paste instead of the normal windows defaults of Ctrl+C / V. The reason why this is done is because most unix or linux varieties use those keys as part of the shell.

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The default shell on most Linux operating systems is called Bash. There are a couple of important hotkeys that you should get familiar with if you plan to spend a lot of time at the command line. These shortcuts will save you a ton of time if you learn them. 

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If you are running Ubuntu Server, or even if you prefer to administer your desktop from the command line, you will want to be able to see what packages are available for update. Ubuntu includes a great package management tool called Aptitude that gives you an interactive environment from which to install/upgrade packages.

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