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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Everybody knows that you can pop up the system clock in Vista by just hovering the mouse over the clock. What you might not know is that you can also do the same thing with the keyboard.

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Many people have expressed to me their dislike of the default ClearType font smoothing in Windows Vista, and asked for a way to change the settings to something better. You have a couple of options here:

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If you are thinking of installing an application but aren’t quite sure what it’s going to do to your computer, I would absolutely recommend creating a restore point before you install that application, and here are the steps to do so. Note that most application installs automatically create a restore point, but you can do this if you are really worried.

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I’d heard that Visual Studio 2005 has compatibility issues with Windows Vista, so I wasn’t surprised when I got this error message when trying to run for the first time. To resolve this particular error message, you need to install the SP1 Update, which is pretty much the service pack for the service pack, I think.

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There’s really nothing useful about this tip, but it’s still pretty cool. There’s a utility built into Windows Vista used for benchmarking your system called the System Assessment Tool. What most people don’t know is that you can call this utility from the command line and view some cool 3D benchmarks.

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I like to have the quickest access possible to folders on my desktop, which usually means putting something onto the taskbar if possible. You can add the Computer menu as a folder on the taskbar for the easiest access to your drives. You could also use this tip for any folder you want.

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Flip3D is pretty much the most useless feature in Windows Vista (and 7). It’s slower than Alt+Tab and pretty much completely worthless in every way. You’d be much better off using one of the Expose clones out there (Switcher, MyExpose, SmartFlip, etc) or you can completely disable this feature with a simple registry patch.

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I’m not a toolbar fan, especially if the bar takes up my viewing space, so I always try and find the most minimal setup possible.

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If you’ve found that your Hibernate option is missing from Windows Vista, it might be from running the disk cleanup wizard and removing the hibernate files. This is due to a known bug in Vista that might not have been hotfixed already.

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If you’ve found that your Sleep mode menu is dimmed out in Windows Vista, it’s most likely because Media Center disabled the option when it feels that media is being shared. This is an easy setting to fix, but it’s a little tough to locate without some assistance.

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The new Safari for Windows is a very slick browser that beats the pants off everything else in the speed department, but it crashes so much on Windows Vista that it’s virtually unusable.

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One of the immediate complaints people have had about the new Safari for Windows beta is how “fuzzy” the fonts seem to look in comparison to Internet Explorer or Firefox. There’s a quick solution to this issue, although only partially, since Safari doesn’t use ClearType on Windows for some odd reason.

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Keeping your bookmarks organized is a critical task for any web browser, so let’s see how the new Safari for Windows handles bookmarks.

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You can customize the toolbar in Apple’s Safari for Windows like you can with FireFox and Internet Explorer.  Here is how.

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It’s a pity that the people who write browsers don’t set the default home page to something useful. This is how you change the default homepage from Apple to one of your choosing in Safari for Windows.

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