Windows Vista’s AutoPlay options are a great improvement over Windows XP in terms of flexibility, but unfortunately there are so many options that it can be confusing, especially since there’s no specific mention of USB Flash drives in the options.
One of the more annoying default settings in Windows XP is the Desktop Cleanup Wizard. I guess I do not need Windows telling me what I should or should not have on my desktop. Also, I have found in IT that an employee may not use a certain icon for a few months and when they need to find that icon to run a program it may be missing. Disabling this just saves a needless call to the helpdesk.
A freeware tool I use many times in IT is System Info for Windows. This small lightweight utility comes packed with a lot of power. No need to install anything on the local hard drive … just run it from a jump drive or pop it on a disc. If you need detail about a computer you’re working on, SIW will give you everything including the kitchen sink!
A very useful feature in Windows is the ability to automatically hide system tray icons when they are not in use. The problem is that over time, Explorer caches a list of every single icon that it’s ever seen, and your list might grow to hundreds of items that Explorer knows about.
If you need to hurriedly work on a computer in the office or at home changing a few options before connecting can improve the connection speed. We are only connecting to the computer to fix an issue or do some troubleshooting so the graphics on the remote machine do not need to look fancy.
I’m the type of geek that has an SSH client open at all times, connected to my most frequently used servers so that I have instant access for monitoring and anything else. As such, it irritates me greatly when I get disconnected, so I’m sharing a few methods for keeping your session alive.
In my quest to get rid of every useless tray icon wasting memory, I was very annoyed when Vista’s automatic updates installed a new driver and the icon for the touchpad ended up in my system tray again. There’s almost no benefit to this icon, so it needs to go.
Since I gave up iTunes and went to Foobar2000; I have also decided to research other portable mp3 players as well. I ended up purchasing a Creative Zen V Plus. I have always been a fan of Creative products and this little guy does not disappoint. I have the 4GB model which allows me to store enough music and podcasts for trips and long walks.
After writing the article yesterday about how to restore the show desktop icon, I received a number of emails asking if I could post the shortcut for Flip3D as well, so I’ve zipped up a copy of that shortcut as well.
SpywareBlaster is a great freeware utility to add to your arsenal to combat evilness on the Internet. SpywareBlaster is a shield against harmful malicious software that can cause problems with your PC. While nothing is 100% effective … using this light utility and keeping Spybot Search and Destroy’s Immunization Database current will protect you very well.