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A reader wrote in this week asking why his folder pane in Windows XP wasn’t working… it didn’t display anything other than a gray background with nothing else. This is actually a common problem that I’ve personally experienced before, which I luckily knew the solution to.

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I’ve always wondered why Windows doesn’t allow you to set an arbitrary size for the filesystem cache. What if you have a slow hard drive in your laptop, but loads of available system memory? Shouldn’t you be able to maximize that memory in order to speed up hard drive access?

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As many of you know, after my iTunes rant, I have been trying out all sorts of new media players.  I guess I still have not found an “ultimate player” that I am completely satisfied with yet.  Each player seems to have its positive and negative points for me.  The trusty standby has been VLC although Spider Player and Foobar2000 come in close for my audio only needs.

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So you login to your computer every single day, but there’s more than one account to choose from… either because you got the computer from somebody else, or some software package added a user account that you really don’t want to see. So how do we hide that other account from the login screen?

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NOTE: You shouldn’t disable your page file unless you really really know what you are doing.

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Normally we try and focus on articles about how to customize your computer, but today we’ll take a break from that and do a book review. This is something I’ve not done before, so any suggestions or questions will be welcomed in the comments.

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If you want to test an explorer shell plugin or registry hack without having to log off, more technical users will usually just kill the explorer.exe process in Task Manager. Windows Vista has another way to do the same thing that you might not be aware of.

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If you are a Microsoft Outlook user that regularly uses iGoogle as your dashboard, have you ever thought about combining the two? It’s nearly trivial to add your iGoogle page to Outlook and make it the startup page.

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If you like the look and feel of Vista but don’t want to deal with the headache of swapping Operating Systems, Vista Inspirat from the folks at Crystal XP might be worth considering.  Unlike an application such as Window Blinds … Vista Inspirat is completely free (although they do encourage donations).  With this program you aren’t going to have the Areo Glass effects, but it still is pretty neat. 

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If you are the type of person that never uses any applications in the system tray, you might be interested in this registry hack to turn it off entirely. I can’t imagine using my own system this way, but we’re all about providing information.

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