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.
As this site has gained popularity, the time required to keep the site running has also grown. For instance, even though Akismet blocks virtually all of the spam comments, I still have to manually filter through hundreds of spam comments per day to see if any valid comments were blocked.
Firefox has a spooky feature called “Prefetching” that downloads pages that it thinks you are going to click on. (note: this is a good excuse for how those pages ended up in your history). It’s also a waste of CPU and bandwidth that slows Firefox down.
When you administrate servers running Windows Server 2000 or 2003, one of the most frustrating experiences is when sessions get cut off but the server still thinks they are active. You’ll get this error message, which you are sure to encounter at some point:
We’ve all seen misspelled article titles (especially on Digg.com) Doesn’t Firefox have built-in spell checking?
Do you wish the IE7 Menu bar was located where it was in IE6? Here is how to quickly create a registry fix to move it back to the top.
Automatic Updates is a great feature. Your computer stays protected from threats without worrying about it… but if it’s 3am and I’m trying to play a video game, the last thing I want is for the automatic updates to pop up and remind me every 5 minutes that I need to reboot, interrupting my game… Drives me crazy!
Restarting Firefox is always difficult for those of us with dozens of tabs open, because you don’t want to lose all the open tabs, but you might not want to bookmark them all either.
It drives me crazy when applications install themselves into the system tray without giving me a choice during setup. QuickTime has no good reason to be in the system tray, but it’s there anyway after you install iTunes.
If you have an external hard drive that is always plugged into your computer, you can enable write caching to speed up performance significantly when writing to the disk.
Using the Disk Cleanup utility in Windows XP is a great way to clean up files and get more hard drive space. One of the options is to “Compress Old Files”, but the default setting is files older than 50 days. This setting can be modified if you only want to compress really old files.
Windows Media Player has an interesting option that will let you open files in the Mini Player mode instead of the full player window. This is especially useful for opening music files where you really don’t need the full-size window.
Windows Vista has a neat new feature for laptops called “hybrid sleep”. Actually, Windows Vista has a neat new feature for laptops called sleep too, so I’m getting ahead of myself a bit.
If your hard drive is short on space you might want to consider reducing the size of your Recycle Bin. By default Windows XP reserves 10% of your hard drive for the bin. You can save up to 3GB of space if you resize a bin to 1% on a 40GB hard drive. You can resize individual drive or all of them globally.
The close tab buttons on each tab in Firefox 2 are really annoying. When you have a lot of tabs open, it becomes very difficult to click on the tab without accidentally clicking the close button instead.
As a webmaster, I’ve often wanted to be able to see real-time hits as they arrive. Sure, Google Analytics is a wonderful package for looking at trends over time, but there’s a delay of a few hours there, and you really can’t see data like requests per second or total bytes.
One of the complaints that I’ve heard quite often lately about Firefox is that the default Firefox theme in Vista just doesn’t feel like it belongs with the rest of the eye candy. After doing some browsing around today, I’ve figured out some repeatable steps to make Firefox look a lot like IE7.
It was only a matter of time before people started cloning Windows Vista features and adding them into Windows XP. One of my favorite Vista features is the thumbnails that popup when you mouse over the taskbar. And now I can use them in XP as well.
If you’ve owned a computer running Windows, you’ve probably complained about things crashing on your computer. Windows Vista includes a Reliability Monitor utility that lets you track all of the times that something crashed.
Windows Vista has built-in support for Serial ATA(SATA) hard drives, but it doesn’t automatically enable advanced write caching features. You can speed up your computer by enabling this mode in Device Manager.
Vista Start Menu Health Without Start++
This tip really isn’t very useful, but it’s an interesting hack to show your friends. You can enable a “Slow Motion” animation that will only activate if you are holding down the Shift key while you minimize/restore/close/open a window.
If you like to build batch files to automate cleanup on your computer, you’ll probably want to include at least one of these commands in your batch script. You can automate any one of the functions on the Internet Explorer 7 Delete Browsing History dialog.
The Windows Vista start menu search box is one of my favorite features in Vista, but searching can be pretty slow if you have a lot of personal files, because by default the start menu search also searches files, windows contacts, windows mail, history, and favorites.
Expose is an application on Mac OSX that tiles all the open windows with the press of a key, letting you quickly choose between them. Now there is finally a Mac OSX Expose clone application for Windows Vista that runs great! Not only that, but it’s open source, so you can improve it if you wanted to.