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I’ve been having a very frustrating issue with Windows Vista on my HP notebook: I put the computer into sleep mode, close the lid, and then unplug the network cable… and the computer wakes back up, typically when it’s already safely in my laptop bag, so I don’t notice until I get to my destination and the battery is nearly dead.

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A very common task for a web developer is uploading a single file from a subdirectory on your development box to the same subdirectory on a remote server. Unfortunately, this always ends up being an annoying manual process involving switching directories on both servers, and wastes a large amount of time.

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Since moving to Windows Vista, a lot of the keyboard shortcuts that I was used to just don’t work quite the same anymore. As a keyboard junkie, I find it imperative to learn the shortcut keys, so it’s good that there is a quick way to enable underlining of all shortcut keys.

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When you are all finished with a Word document that has been passed around your company for reviews, you can mark the document as final so that your colleagues know that it’s the final version and does not require additional editing. It also prevents people from accidentally making changes to the document before forwarding it on to a client, for instance.

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This isn’t for everyone, but you can enable a mouse mode in Windows 7 or Vista where just hovering over a window with the mouse will switch to that window. In the old days, this used to be called the XWindows mode, and was enabled through TweakUI, but now it’s built right into Control Panel for everybody to use.

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As this site has gained popularity, the time required to keep the site running has also grown. For instance, even though Akismet blocks virtually all of the spam comments, I still have to manually filter through hundreds of spam comments per day to see if any valid comments were blocked.

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Firefox has a spooky feature called “Prefetching” that downloads pages that it thinks you are going to click on. (note: this is a good excuse for how those pages ended up in your history). It’s also a waste of CPU and bandwidth that slows Firefox down.

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The Instant Search box in Outlook 2007 is a huge improvement over previous versions of Outlook, but remembering all the search operators can be a little difficult, so here’s a quick one that I use all the time.

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If you are worried about sensitive data in your Microsoft Word document you can both encrypt and password protect the document to keep it secure. This feature is very useful if you have to store your documents in a shared location, such as a network folder or home computer.

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Windows Vista includes an extremely useful utility called Mobility Center, designed for laptop users to give you lightning quick access to all functions that a mobile user would need.

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