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We’ve all gotten the call from some family member asking why their computer isn’t working properly. After an hour of troubleshooting over the phone with them or trying to get remote assistance to work we’ve decided we’re skipping the next family reunion to avoid being asked to help… there has to be a better way…

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One of the nice little features in Windows Vista that you don’t think about is the graph of drive space for your drive icons, so you can visually see at a glance how much space is used. There’s no reason to upgrade for this feature, especially since some programmers created a small utility for XP that gives you the same functionality.

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The look of the Windows Vista Sidebar is a little drab, and there’s no way to customize it with the default tools in Vista. Thankfully third party developers have stepped up to the plate and created an application that will let you re-theme the sidebar.

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Reader Jeffrey wrote in asking how to create an icon to start up the screensaver in Windows Vista. This question is so common that I figured I’d write up the answer for everybody, as well as provide a downloadable set of shortcuts to all the default screensavers (for Vista users).

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After writing about how to setup Gmail IMAP in Outlook, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from users wondering how to make Outlook download the entire message instead of just the headers. You’ll have to navigate through a convoluted set of menus, but it’s really quite simple.

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While troubleshooting a programming problem today I noticed that you can’t use a LIKE search for string columns containing special characters like % or _ without using a special syntax. Figuring out the problem took only a few minutes, but remembering syntax is always easier if you write about it.

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As a Keyboard Ninja, I’ve always been very dissatisfied with the choices for todo lists, since none of them cater to the hotkey enthusiast… until I stumbled across Tudumo, a great little Windows application that follows David Allen’s GTD methodology.

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Amarok is a wonderful application for managing and playing your music collection, but the default settings aren’t optimized for speed when it comes to large collections of music. The problems are especially noticeable while trying to use the search box.

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My inbox has been flooded with people asking why the “pretty” icons in their user folder keep turning back into regular folder icons, and what they can do to fix it.  After writing the first article about the Music folder, I decided to just put all of the information into a single article.

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I was browsing to a website today that actually required I have Real Player installed.  Real Player?  I definitely would not put that annoying Spyware/resource hog on my PC. Then I remembered I installed a version of QuickTime Lite to view sites that required that, so I figured there would be a cool alternate version of Real Player out there.  Sure enough!  Real Alternative is a great way to bypass installing the whole Real Player pig.  Also, when installing it you can choose to just install what you need. 

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