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The Disk Defragment utility in Windows XP does not include a way to defragment all hard drives at the same time, which is inconvienient when you have more than one hard drive in your computer.

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If you are a PocoMail user, you may be irritated by the blinking tray icon that shows up even when there are no new messages in your inbox.

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If you are using Outlook 2003 with a Microsoft Exchange server for your email, typically in a corporate environment, you may be interested to know that you can encrypt all network communications between the Outlook client and the server, to protect against potential hackers sniffing out your email traffic.

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Outlook doesn’t give you an option to export the Exchange Global Address list to any format. You don’t even have the option to sort while searching, which drives me crazy.. If I want to see who works in the Houston office, I don’t want to have to go through the entire list.

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I find it very annoying when I go home from work and plug my laptop into my external hard drive… The autoplay window always pops up and asks me what I want to do with the files, which may be fine the first time, but definitely isn’t after a year of that.

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If your Windows XP installation forces you to login every time you reboot, you can automate the login process easily so that you won’t have to login again.

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Since upgrading to XP SP2 a long time ago, I constantly get nagged by a popup message that tells me my computer might be at risk because I don’t have an antivirus software installed. Here’s how to turn off that annoying message.

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If you do a lot of work with SSH servers through an SSH client, it’s extremely annoying to get timed out all the time by the server. There’s a simple way to fix this problem in SecureCRT.

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If you are using a desktop computer, chances are that you don’t want the computer to go to sleep automatically. This is even more the case if you are running Windows 7 or Vista in a virtual machine for testing purposes.

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I don’t personally use the Windows Mail client that comes with Windows Vista, but while I was researching how to use it to access my Gmail locally, I discovered a nice option in the Junk Email Options pane.

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When you are creating a new Windows Forms application, it isn’t immediately obvious how to get a configuration file for your application. Your application configuration file is supposed to be called executablename.exe.config, and should be in the same directory as your application in order for the .NET framework to automatically use it.

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Most people realize by now that using instant messaging from work can be easily tracked and logged. If you have access to an SSH server anywhere (mine is at my house) then you can setup a quick SOCKS proxy to forward all of your traffic through your home SSH server, and your employer won’t even know that you are chatting by monitoring the network.

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Using the Remote Desktop client usually lands you in a seperate session on the windows server. There are times, however, when you might want to be able to connect to the console directly instead of being in a seperate session. This is how.

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If there is one bloated and unnecessary service that you should immediately disable, it’s definitely the Indexing Service built into Windows XP. The idea behind it is that you can search for files more quickly if it is enabled….  but you are using Google Desktop for that, right? 

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Fast User Switching is a way for users to quickly switch between accounts without having to fully log off. This is just one more service that doesn’t really need to be started.

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It’s frustrating enough when your application crashes. Then the annoying dialog expects you to “Send an Error Report to Microsoft”. As if I want Microsoft to know exactly which programs I’m running on my computer.

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Firefox, like many popular browsers, includes a built-in functionality to save your password. Often we’ll use the saved password feature so often that we’ve completely forgotten our password when we need to login to the same website on another computer. Here’s how to locate your saved password.

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A hidden functionality in Windows allows you to right click on a file, select Copy To Folder or Move To Folder, and the move to box will pop up and let you choose a location to either copy or move the file or folder to.

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Note: I’ve written an updated article for both Vista and XP

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A useful technique for your applications is allowing them to parse command line arguments. This can give a lot of extra functionality to your application, for instance to pass the name of a file to open on the command line.

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When you are programming a Windows Forms application, you will invariably need to get variables from a second form window, such as an options form or popup search prompt.

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If you are familiar with linux/unix, you will be very accustomed to the ability to kill (and start) processes from the command line. Linux gives you a very rich set of command line tools that simply don’t exist on Windows by default.

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To interact with the services panel from the command line, Windows provides the Net utility. From the command prompt, you can use this utility to start, stop, pause and continue services. What most people don’t realize is that you can also use this to display a list of services that are running on your computer.

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The Routing table dictates where all packets go when they leave your system. On most environments, all packets that leave your system will be forwarded over to your router or hub, and from there out to the internet.

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This seems to help out with the memory usage quite a bit. Generally, when you minimize a window the memory usage goes way down because that application isn’t active. Unfortunately, Firefox by default doesn’t adhere to this behavior. Here’s how to force it to.

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