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The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

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The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:00 am

Salute!

Seeing as a lot of us are pretty pro with the computers, I think it's about time we started a thread that a lot of tech sites have, listing useful little tricks we can do with software.

"Software" can include Microsoft Windows, Office suites, Photo Editing suites (i.e. Photoshop), Xfire or other Instant messengers, IE/FF/Opera, and any other programs that many people would use

It doesn't matter if they are basic or advanced, people may not know what you know, so someone will be enlightened Smile

-- September 2007 - Compiled the list into the first post for browseability.

The Lists:

1) Windows Shortcut Keys

a) General Shortcuts
-) Windows Key + D = Show the Desktop
-) Windows Key + L = Log out/ Lock computer
-) Win + F1 = Open Windows Help
-) Win + Pause/Break = Open System Properties
-) Win + Tab = Cycle through taskbar buttons
-) Win + E = Open Windows Explorer
-) Win + R = Open Run... box
-) Win + M = Minimize all windows
-) Win + Shift + M = Restore windows
-) Win + F = Open Find Files
-) Win + U = Open Utility manager (not available unless installed)
-) Alt + Esc = Cycle open windows
-) Alt + Tab = Switch windows by icons
-) Ctrl + Tab = Cycle child windows
-) Alt + Space = Open system menu of current window
-) Alt + Minus = Open system menu of current child window
-) Alt + F4 = Close the currently selected program
-) Ctrl + Esc = Open Start menu (almost the same as Win key alone)
-) Ctrl + Alt + Del = Task Manager
-) Ctrl + Shift + Esc = Process Explorer (Process Tab in Task Manager)

b) Explorer Shortcuts
-) Shift + ... = Selection mode (... can be any movement key or shortcut)
-) Ctrl + Space/Mouse click = toggle selection on item
-) Ctrl + Up/Down/Left/Right = move focus without altering selection
-) F2 = Rename the Selected Item

c) Text Shortcuts
-) Ctrl + X = Cut text
-) Ctrl + C = Copy text
-) Ctrl + V = Paste text
-) Ctrl + A = Select all text
-) Shift + Del = Cut text
-) Ctrl + Ins = Copy text
-) Shift + Ins = Paste text
-) Ctrl + Left = One word back
-) Ctrl + Right = One word forward
-) Ctrl + Up = scroll one line up (not widely supported)
-) Ctrl + Down = scroll one line down (not widely supported)
-) Ctrl + Page up = one page left (Advanced Editors only)
-) Ctrl + Page down = one page right (Advanced Editors only)
-) Ctrl + Home = Start of text
-) Ctrl + End = End of text
-) Ctrl + Enter = Page break (Line break in text boxes)
-) Shift + Enter = Line break (for example in Xfire chat)
-) Ctrl + L = Align Text Left (Advanced Editors only)
-) Ctrl + E = Align Text Centrally (Advanced Editors only)
-) Ctrl + R = Align Text Right (Advanced Editors only)
-) Ctrl + B = Make Text Bold (Advanced Editors only)
-) Ctrl + I = Italicize Text (Advanced Editors only)
-) Ctrl + U = Underline Text (Advanced Editors only)

d) General Other
-) Ctrl + F = Find Specified text

Contributors: GodJonez, Amelt, Majesticmerc, Dascoo, CaptCapacitor, tokoyami200, xapachex


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2) Windows Efficiency

-) Speed up Disk Cleanup
If you open regedit (Start -> Run -> type "regedit" (without quotes) and hit return) and go to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches" and delete the key (with the folder icon) called "Compress old files", Disk cleanup will take significantly less time to load.

-) Turn off Windows Animations/Effects
When on the desktop, if you right click on my computer and go to properties, then click on "Advanced" and then on the top "Settings" button, you can choose what advanced graphics Windows can show, turning them off can significantly speed up a low spec machine.


-)Set Virtual Memory to 2048mb
From the Control Panel go to: System> Advanced> Performance Settings> Advanced>Virtual memory Change> Set to 2048mb min and max. (note best results when set on separate hard drive on separate channel)

-) Load OS kernel and drivers to ram (for users with 1GB or more)
Go to Regedit (Start>Run>type regedit) and find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management > change DisablePagingExecutive DWORD value to 1.
(note XP SP2 users may not have to set this if they have 1GB+ as it will already be set to 1.)

-) Erase Temporary Files
Delete cookies, offline temp files and run Disk Cleanup (Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup) once a week.

-) Defragment Occasionally
Occasionally run Windows Disk Defragmenter (Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter) or another defrag program, as and when necessary. Defragmenting your drives can speed them up and extend the life of your hard disks.

-) Better Defragmentation
1) Go to the Windows Command Prompt (Start > Run > Type: cmd)
2) Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc
3) Right click on "Explorer.exe" and click "End Process", click yes when asked to confirm. Exit the Task Manager
4) in the command prompt, enter (without quotes) "defrag x:" (replace "x" with the drive letter (e.g: defrag c:)
5) Hit Enter, and wait until done.
6) When done, enter (again, without quotes) "defrag c: -b"
7) When done, enter (once again, without quotes) "explorer"
Cool enter "exit" in command prompt and resume as normal

-) Speed up browsing your computer
On almost all systems, file indexing can be quite a system whore, particularly when looking through your folders in "My Computer" and "My Documents". Unless you are regularly using the search function in Windows XP, file indexing is virtually useless.
To disable it, go to "My Computer", and right click on your hard disk, go to "Properties" and at the bottom of the "Properties" window, untick the "Allow Indexing Service To Index This..." box, click "Ok" and when asked tell Windows that you want to apply this to all folders. Allow time for this to complete (it could take a long time) and you will find that "My computer" and related folder browsing tasks take significantly less time to load, the only downside being that searching takes longer.

-) Disable Unused Services
Type services.msc into the run dialog box (Start > Run). This will tell you what each service does as well as give you the option to set it to start up automatically with windows, manually when a program requests it or disable a service altogether.
NOTE: Best practice here is to look up each service in the The Elder Geek: Services Guide for Windows XP or BlackViper: Windows System Services Configuration Guide and do what the guide tells you to do with each service. DISABLING SERVICES THAT WINDOWS NEEDS CAN BREAK WINDOWS.

Contributors: Zen1aserMan, Majesticmerc, InsaneDave1986, MentalTruckDriver


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


3) Windows General Tips and Techniques

-) PC Shutdown shortcut icon
I know that computer chassis and motherboards allow you to shut down the system by simply pressing the power button, but for those without this capability (or those on network nodes. More on this later), you can create a desktop shortcut that will shut it off.
1) Right click your desktop and create a new shortcut.
2) For the location, type: shutdown -s -t 0
3) Name the shortcut and click OK. You can assign it an icon, such as the red shut-down icon from the Windows shell.
4) Drag the icon anywhere you want.

-) Changing the default path for 'My Documents/Music/Pictures'
This registry hack will change the Windows' default path for its 'Desktop', 'My Documents', 'My Music', etc.
1) Open the Registry Editor (Start>Run>type regedit)
2) Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Shell Folders.
3) Find the folders whose default save locations you'd like to change and modify their paths to one you desire--they can all point to one giant folder if you wanted to.
4) Close Registry Editor and reboot the computer.
NOTE: Be careful because some programs whose resources are located in some of those folders may cease to function. Note: If you changed 'My Documents' to point to "C:\Junk Folder", anything (including the browser and even word processors) will go to that folder instead if you hit the 'My Documents' shorcut button in the Save As... window. This will work on the x64 Edition of Windows.

-) Message Box Copying
Whenever you get any message box, and you want to copy the contents, click on the message box (anywhere except the answer buttons or 'x') and press Ctrl+C (if you do it right, you will hear a sound).
Then open a program like notepad (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Notepad), and paste the contents. The contents of the message box will be pasted in.
This is particularly useful if you get a massive error message when a program crashes or suchlike and you need to tell someone about the error. This way, even if you can't tell the relevant person straight away, you can copy the error into Notepad, save it, and return to it later.

-)View Hidden Files and Folders
You can view hidden files on Windows by going to
Tools>View>Hidden Files And Folders > click "show hidden files and folders" > Hit OK or Apply

-) Browse a folder directly from the taskbar
First, unlock your taskbar.
Next, drag the icon of the desired folder to the space between the taskbar buttons and the clock. (Wait for the no-entry cursor to change to an arrow. It's a very tiny space; you will have to hunt for it.)
You can rearrange and resize the taskbar toolbar you just created.
You can even turn the taskbar toolbar into a menu by resizing it until only its name is visible.

Contributors: Setsunakute, Majesticmerc, lKevinl, theaznman121


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


3) Web Browser General Tips and Techniques

Key:
[O]: Applies to the Opera Browser
[E]: Applies to Windows Explorer Browser
[F]: Applies to the Firefox Browser
[A]: Applies to All browsers
[x=0.00]: Applies to Browser 'x', version '0.00'

-) Find Text in a page [A]
Hit Ctrl+F, enter the specified text and hit enter/return/

-) Go to a website by using Googles 'I Feel Lucky' search from the address bar [F=1.5+]
Enter a keyword for the website in the address bar and hit Enter or 'Go', if Google cannot identify a good site from the keyword provided, it will take you to the Google search results.

-) Autocomplete addresses ending in '.com' [A]
enter the name of the site, then hit Ctrl+Enter and the www. and .com will be filled in for you

-) Open a new Tab the easy way [F=2.0+]
Double click an empty space on the tab bar to create a new tab


Last edited by Lord~Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:57 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:07 am

PC Shutdown shortcut icon

I know that computer chassis and motherboards allow you to shut down the system by simply pressing the power button, but for those without this capability (or those on network nodes. More on this later), you can create a desktop shortcut that will shut it off.
Right click your desktop and create a new shortcut.

For the location, type: Code:
shutdown -s -t 0



Name the shortcut and click OK. You can assign it an icon, such as the red shut-down icon from the Windows shell.

Drag the icon anywhere you want.
You can assign a system restart shortcut as well, useful for laptop users where there is only a single power button on the chassis. To make one, the location line should read like this: Code:
shutdown -r -t 0


The number following the -t parameter is the shutodwn delay (hence it follows -t, which represents time). I haven't tried placing the shortcut in some interesting places yet (such as the Firefox toolbar) or assigning it a keyboard shortcut combination. On the other hand, I wonder if one could shut down a server from a network node using this in a Windows XP-based client network.

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:08 am

3 methods for making XP a bit snappier...


1) Set Virtual Memory to 2048mb
*from Control Panel- System> Advanced> Performance Settings> Advanced>Virtual memory Change> Set to 2048mb min and max. (note best results when set on seperate hard drive on seperate channel)

2) Load OS kernel and drivers to ram (for users with 1GB or more)
*Start>Run>type regedit... find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management > change DisablePagingExecutive DWORD value to 1.
(note XP SP2 users may not have to set this if they have 1GB+ as it will already be set to 1.)

3) Delete cookies, offline temp files, defragment hard drive once a week.

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:09 am

No Popups/Ads in Firefox

1. download extension Adblock Plus https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1865/

2. download extension Adblock Filterset.G Updater https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1136/

and you should have no ads.

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:10 am

Changing the default path for 'My Documents/Music/Pictures'

This registry hack will change the Windows' default path for its 'Desktop', 'My Documents', 'My Music', etc.
Open the Registry Editor (Windows Key+R -> then type regedit into the field and hit enter).

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Shell Folders.

Find the folders whose default save locations you'd like to change and modify their paths to one you desire--they can all point to one giant folder if you wanted to.

Close Registry Editor and reboot the computer.
Be careful because some programs whose resources are located in some of those folders may cease to function. Note: If you changed 'My Documents' to point to "C:\Junk Folder", anything (including the browser and even word processors) will go to that folder instead if you hit the 'My Documents' shorcut button in the Save As... window. This will work on the x64 Edition of Windows.

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:36 am

Message Box Copying.

Whenever you get any message box, and you want to copy the contents, click on the message box (anywhere except the answer buttons) and press ctrl+c.

Then open a program like notepad, and paste the contents. The contents of the message box will be pasted in.

This is particularly useful if you get a massive error message when a program crashes or suchlike and you need to tell someone about the error. This way, even if you can't tell the relevant person straight away, you can copy the error into Notepad, save it, and return to it later.

===============================================

To try:

Open notepad, and type any old garbage. Then, WITHOUT SAVING, quit the program. When it asks you if you want to save, click in the message box (not on the yes, no or cancel) and press ctrl+c (you'll hear a "Bong" if you did it right).

Next click the "Cancel" button, and go to the Edit menu and "paste":

Result wrote:

---------------------------
Notepad
---------------------------
The text in the Untitled file has changed.

Do you want to save the changes?
---------------------------
Yes No Cancel
---------------------------

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:39 am

Get tuneup utilities.
it let's you secure delete stuff in the recycle bin, and un-delete items that you thought were deleted, change the boot screen, log on screen, registry clean, and much more.

Get it from here: http://www.tune-up.com/products/tuneup-utilities/

It's a 30 day free trial, no limitations, there are ways to extend it however. Not that I know of any

In Firefox, or anything really, hold control and move the mouse wheel up and down to increase or decrease text size.

If your on a new monitor, go into control panel, power options, turn of monitor after one minute, you can mess with the rest of the options in there

To play music on teamspeak, ventrillo, yahoo, xfire group chats, or anything compatible with a microphone, go into control panel, switch to classic view, sound and audio devices, audio tab, sound recording, volume, select wave to play whatever is in your speakers as the microphone would

Get everest to tell you a lot of info about your pc, as well as the temperatures.

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:50 am

Spybot Search & Destroy.
is a very powerful and free program, a must have. Honestly.

Spybot Search & Destroy (often Spybot-S&D) is a malware, spyware and adware removal program which works on Microsoft Windows 95 and later. Like most malware scanners, Spybot-S&D scans the computer hard disk and/or RAM for malicious software.

Spybot is able to fix problems with tracking cookies, system internals (Registry), Winsock LSPs, ActiveX objects, browser hijackers, BHOs, and is able to protect a user's privacy, to some extent, by deleting usage tracks. Spybot also includes an "Immunize" feature which can be used to block the installation of spyware before it occurs. Another tool included in Spybot is a file shredder, for the secure deletion of files. Spybot is not intended to replace anti-virus programs, but it does detect some common trojans and keyloggers.

As some programs which ship with attached spyware or adware will refuse to run should the unwelcome co-programs be removed, later versions of Spybot allow it to replace the spyware binaries with inert dummies (designed to fool those programs which insist on the spyware's presence).

In order to efficiently detect recently created programs, Kolla regularly releases detection updates along with help improvements, new languages, and better heuristics algorithms. These updates are downloaded from within the software from a variety of mirrors and are then automatically installed.

Spybot is available for all versions of Windows from Windows 95, and offers more than two dozen different languages and several skins to users. Instructions are available on the website so users can design their own skins.

Support is currently supplied by means of Internet forums and support e-mails (with a response time of usually no more than 24 hours).

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:54 am

Better Defragmentation:

1) Go To: Start Menu > Run > Type: cmd > Hit return/enter
2) Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and go to the processes tab.
3) Right click on "Explorer.exe" and click "End Process", click yes when asked to confirm. Exit the Task Manager
4) in the command prompt, enter (without quotes) "defrag x:" (replace "x" with the drive letter (e.g: defrag c:)
5) Hit Enter, and wait until done.
6) When done, enter (again, without quotes) "defrag c: -b"
7) When done, enter (once again, without quotes) "explorer"
Cool enter "exit" in command prompt and resume as normal

=======================================

Disable indexing

On almost all systems, file indexing can be quite a system whore, particularly when looking through your folders in "My Computer" and "My Documents". Unless you are regularly using the search function in Windows XP, file indexing is virtually useless. To disable it, go to "My Computer", and right click on your hard disk, go to "Properties" and at the bottom of the "Properties" window, untick the "Allow Indexing Service To Index This..." box, click "Ok" and when asked tell Windows that you want to apply this to all folders. Allow time for this to complete and you will find that "My computer" and related folder browsing tasks take significantly less time to load, the only downside being that searching takes longer.

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:57 am

5 Firefox Extensions you can't live without

This tip is somewhat centred on Firefox users. Following are some of the most useful extensions that you can download for Firefox.

1) Adblock
Absolutely invaluable extension for Firefox. Allows you to block any image/flash that offends your eyes usually with just a simple right click. When set up right, you can ensure that you never see a page advert again!

2) Download Statusbar
Very Useful tool that allows you to almost never use the Firefox Download manager again. All downloads are instead shown in a status bar at the bottom of the browser, and when in minimal mode, becomes just a button on the status bar that shows how many downloads are unfinished/finished. When clicked, the button shows you a list of all your downloads, how quickly they are downloaded and an estimated time of download. There is also a full right-click menu that allows you to cancel, pause, run and open the folder it is being downloaded to.

3) FasterFox
This tool includes lots of options to allow you to optimise your Firefox to run as quickly as possible. It also unlocks pipelining settings that by default are turned off and lead to a slower than normal Firefox.

4) Tab Mix Plus
This tool adds dozens of new functions to the tab bar, and includes a session manager that detects if Firefox crashes and restores the point from when you crashed. Included also is an "Undo Closed Tab" button that remembers up to 5 closed tabs and when clicked re-opens them for you where you left off. Tab mix plus allows you to set up almost everything about tab behaviour, ranging from things like when a link should open a new tab to what colour the tab should turn when the page has loaded and you have not yet viewed it.

5) IE View
Ever find a site that wouldn't show properly unless it was opened in Internet Explorer? IE tab allows you to open a page in IE with the click of a button. If a page doesn't show, just right click on the page, and click "Open page in IE" and presto the exact same page opens in Internet Explorer.

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:59 am

Graphics Card Drivers:
- Nvidia Forceware (For Nvidia Products)
- Nvidia Forceware Beta Drivers (Caution: BETA software)
- ATI Catalyst Drivers (Official)
- ATI Omega Drivers (NOT supported by ATI)
- Intel Graphics Card Drivers
- 3DFX Graphics Card Drivers

Processor Drivers:
- AMD Processor Utilities and Drivers
- Intel Processor Information, including Downloads*

Chipset Drivers:
Intel Motherboards
Nvidia nForce Chipset Motherboards

*Not all Intel Processors have drivers

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Re: The Ultimate Collection of Computer Tips, Please post!

Post  Lord*Jani on Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:31 am

Personalised Google Homepage:

Disclaimer: Before we get into fanboyisms, this example is from my experiences with the Google Homepage, and similar results can be achieved with the live.com homepage.

First off, you need a gmail account, providing you have one, all is good!

1) Go to http://www.google.com/ig to enter the personalised google homepage, then go to "add more to this page". REMEMBER: you need to be signed into your gmail before you can do this.

2) Add all the gadgets and things you want/need to your homepage. Don't forget that if you have a lot, you can add tabs by clicking on "Add A Tab".

3) when done, admire your work! The following are screenshots to show you what one can look like...
http://img132.imageshack.us/my.php?image=googlehomead1.gif



I speak no lies that this setup for my Google homepage has cut almost 20% out of the time I spend browsing the internet!

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