Why does every single application insist on installing a completely useless icon into the system tray? It would be one thing if it performed some function, but it doesn’t do anything that you can’t do from your control panel. The least they could have done is have a dialog during the setup process that says “Would you like a useless icon in your system tray?”
Quite a few people have written in asking me if it’s possible to turn off Aero when on battery power to save a few precious minutes of battery life. While I dispute the claim that Aero drains the battery life, there is now a utility that will automatically turn off Aero when in battery mode so you can test it for yourself.
The new Parental Controls in Windows Vista will allow you to filter the content your children can view on the web. You could, for instance, block your kids from using MySpace or other similar sites. Before you set this up, you should make sure your child has a non-administrator account so they can’t immediately reverse the changes.
Windows is always trying to save you from yourself and with Windows Home Server it is no exception. Anytime you log on as the administrator, you receive an annoying caution message, but we can disable this annoying message from coming up every time you log on to your server.
It only took two days for somebody to come through on my offer of a bounty. Reader Shawn wrote in with a link to Vista Thumbnail Sizer, a utility written by Andreas Verhoeven, that performs exactly the features I was looking for.
Windows Home Server is Microsoft’s upcoming version of Windows designed for storing your pictures, videos and files so you can share them between all the computers in your home.
Reader Jeffrey wrote in with a problem – The New Contact Group button wasn’t showing up when he went into his Vista Contacts folder. After checking, I noticed I had the same exact problem.
This will bring up a list of current user accounts on your system. At the bottom of this screen click on ‘Create a new account’
Ever since Windows Vista came out, I’ve been trying to figure out how to increase the size of the tiny Windows Vista taskbar preview windows. I’ve scoured the registry, used process monitor to try and find hidden registry keys, and looked at every setting I could find anywhere with no luck.
If you’ve been experiencing the problem where you can’t add files to Windows Media Player’s library no matter what you do, then you probably have a corrupted database, and you’ll need to delete it and then re-add all of your media to the library.
Did you know that you can drag sidebar gadgets to the desktop, and then Close the sidebar? This tip might be obvious to many of you, but judging from all the emails I get on the subject, I felt that I should write an article about it anyway.
One of the more irritating things about Windows Vista is that you can’t easily get to your Network Connections list – at least not without clicking through half a dozen links in the control panel. I’ve previously written about how to make a shortcut to the Network connections list, but how about just adding them to the built-in start menu search?
If you like to use Windows Calculator to perform quick calculations while in Excel, you can save time by adding it to your Quick Access Toolbar. This should work for any version of Excel that has the Ribbon.
You have a directory full of log files that you want to import into Excel or a database so you can do some processing on them… but there are hundreds of files… how do you make them into a single file?
Do you sigh when it comes to starting up your computer because it takes what seems an eternity to boot up? Here is a quick tip which should make your computer start up faster by removing startup items quickly.
When I need to perform a repetitive task such as checking my email or switching to an open IM window, the quickest option is to assign a hotkey directly to the window, so I can toggle the window minimized/restored with nothing more than a single keystroke.
The new taskbar previews in Windows Vista are pretty slick, but they seem to stop working for me after a while. This isn’t a permanent fix, but it does solve the problem on a temporary basis.
The new Explorer window in Windows 7 and Vista doesn’t have an Up button, which drives me completely batty. Thankfully I found a keyboard shortcut replacement.
Whenever you enter user credentials into Internet Explorer, map a drive to a remote server, or connect to a Windows domain, you are given the opportunity to save your password. What you may not realize is that you can backup or restore the list of those credentials using a mostly hidden control panel utility.
Windows is well-known for having driver and .dll conflicts, as well as all sorts of software that causes problems with your computer. Luckily there’s a System restore feature that can return your computer back to a known working configuration, as long as you’ve created a restore point.
When I switched to Vista, one of the biggest annoyances was that Trillian started opening links in Internet Explorer instead of Firefox, even though Firefox is set as my default browser and works everywhere else.
The Keyboard Ninja uses shortcut keys to accomplish tasks in less time than using the mouse. He uses the keyboard to launch applications, switch between windows or tabs, or change settings on his computer.
If you frequently use Microsoft Word and want to achieve Keyboard Ninja status, you need to learn how to add tables to your Word document without touching the mouse.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the mouse was probably the greatest innovation in computing since the silicon chip, but for a power user it’s really the slowest form of input. Taking your hands off the keyboard to reach for your mouse takes easily 500 ms of time, if you’re fast. Add to that the time to actually find the cursor (no small feat on high resolution screens), and the time to find and click on that one tiny icon you need, and you’re talking some serious productivity cramping. Of course, you could always be one of those *nix rebels who refuse to use any graphical environment, but what’s the fun of using bash, VI and command-line compilers for the rest of your days?
If you’ve installed a new driver that is causing problems on your computer, you can easily roll back to the prior version of the driver with a few simple steps.