Friday, 30 November 2007

How to lock computers when idle by using GPO

What I wanted to do is that, after my computer has been idle for 3 minutes, it should lock itself. How to achieve this is one of the trouble for me for almost two days. I have been digging around the net, but no answer. I tried to find myself in GPO (Group Policy Editor), but I don't find the option directly.

But many articles I read on the net pointed me that I can changed four options in GPO. But that is for screensaver. I tweak a bit to achieve what I want. Remember I have told you guys about how to create shortcut to lock computer. Well, I used that tweak.

Here are the steps that I took:

  • First go to Start -->> gpedit.msc
  • Go to User Configuration -->> Administrative Templates -->> Control Panel -->> Display



There are many options there, but you just need to change four of them as follow.



  • For screen saver option, just choose Enabled.
  • For screen saver executable, choose Enabled and then type "rundll32 user32.dll,LockWorkStation"
  • For password protect the screen saver, choose Enabled.
  • For screen saver timeout, choose Enabled and then type the amount of time you want to lock your computer in seconds. (For example, if you want to lock your computer after three minutes of idle time, type 180)

That's it. Next time if you're away, you don't have to worry about some other would invade your computer.

BtoN's Tips : I have tested this on Vista and should work on Windows XP too. For screen saver timeout, if I set value less than 60, it won't work.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Cnet did it again

I don't trust Cnet anyway. I have always doubted about their product reviews and ratings. I'm sure all of these reviews are clearly biased based on how well someone paid them.

You know what? Cnet just named Vista as top ten terrible technology of the year. Come on, I confessed that Vista has been out for almost a year and has got many resistance than XP introduction was. But this is because XP has been out for 5 years and as strong as a rock. When the time XP was introduced, everybody was sick with Windows 9x Blue Screen of Death.

I'm sure Cnet must be paid by Apple marketing guys behind the door. Just look at their pathetic sentence such as:

Windows Vista conforms to all of the above. Its incompatibility with hardware, its obsessive requirement of human interaction to clear security dialogue box warnings and its abusive use of hated DRM, not to mention its general pointlessness as an upgrade

Isn't this funny?

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

How to keep update with your favorite website which don't offer RSS

RSS feed is a very convenient way to keep in touch with our favorite website. But what annoy me most is some of my favorite website don't have RSS feeds at all. So that I have to manual check regularly whether they have updated their content or not.

One of my friend told me there are many websites that offer to keep you updated with our favorite website which don't have RSS. After filtering through googling results, I found these two websites (Feedity and Feed43) suit my need.



By using these websites, you can enjoy the following services:

  • Data syndication facility to web-based services and SMB's globally.
  • Web data integration with backend systems, databases, and mashups.
  • Create a custom RSS web feed for any ANY webpage!
  • Easily track and monitor changes to your favorite web sites.


How their service work is that they converts free-form HTML or XML documents to valid RSS feeds by extracting snippets of text or HTML by means of applying search patterns, and then joining these snippets together using output templates to form user-friendly content of feed's items. The principle of extracting specific data from source documents is also known as “HTML scraping”.

Yes, I'm combining two of these web sites technique to explain it just like one website because basically these two web sites work the same way.

Monday, 26 November 2007

How to get rid of Thumbs.db file

If you're a Windows XP user, you might have seen Thumbs.db file in some folders. It is a hidden file.

What is Thumbs.db file?
Thumbs.db is a file used by versions of Microsoft Windows that stores a cache for Windows Explorer's thumbnail view. Thumbs.db is saved in each directory that contains pictures or photos.


In which Windows versions you can find it?
You can find it in Windows XP Pro and Home. I'm not sure about Windows 9x (Who would've used it anyway nowadays?)

In Windows Vista, Microsoft replaced thumbs.db files with a centralized thumbnail database thumbcache_xxxx.db located in Users[user name]AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsExplorer.


How much space could it take?
You may not believe it, but it could take a few hundred MBs.


How can you get rid of it?
  • Go to Start -->> Control Panel -->> Folder Options
  • Go to the View tab
  • Remove the check box from Do not cache thumbnails
  • Click the Ok


What is the advantages and disadvantages of removing it?
  • Advantages are that you can save a few hundreds of your hard disk space and you'll never see those annoying little hidden file here and there.
  • Disadvantage is that if you browse a folder that contains many image files with moderate file size, it will take a long time for that folder to load because the thumbnail images have not been cached in Thumbs.db.


So next time if you see one of your friends is wondering about thumbs.db file, you can easily bossy him/her with enough confident.

Source : Wikipedia

Friday, 23 November 2007

How to open docx files without Office 2007

Microsoft has introduced a new file format called the Microsoft Open Office XML Format (.docx) with their latest office suite, Office 2007.

But most people are still using Office 2003. The big problem is that this new format is incompatible with older Microsoft Office versions or any other Office alternatives such as Open Office or Lotus, StarOffice, NeoOffice. Before anyone blame Microsoft, they have already created a program called Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. After you've downloaded this program, you can easily convert new Office format such as .docx to old Office format .doc and vice versa.

Or if you don't want to install any program, you can try .docx online converter. Hope this advice help your incompatibility headache.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

How to find MAC addresses for your wireless card

One of my friend ask me how to find MAC address for his notebook wireless card. I asked him why he want to do that and he told me it's just a new policy at his office.

Having never think of that before, I just go to command prompt and fire a series of command what I think would be relevant. After a few tries, I've found out that ipconfig /all would solve this question. It is quite amazing that how ipconfig could show all the related infos about your all networking adapters.



Well, this is just a small and quick tip. But this would come very handy when you need it.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Do not rely too much on TinyURL

I've noticed that many webmasters become very obsessed with Tinyurl.com services. Of course, I can't deny that tinyurl indeed provide very useful service for all of us. But there are many alternatives available too.

Why shouldn't you rely on TinyURL?
Do you know that if you solely rely only on TinyURL.com for URL shortening services, if it faces technical difficulties, then all your links could become broken. If you google for tinyurl.com reported outrage, you can find it happened already.


Shouldn't you use URL shortening services at all?
Of course not. URL shortening services help us a lot. Making our life a lot easier by not having to post longer url. Also keep our affiliate links save from danger hand. I'm not saying you shouldn't use URL shortening services, but I'm suggesting that if you use URL shortening services, don't use tinyurl.com for all your links. Try to make balanace with many alternatives out there.


Where are the alternatives?
Here are my favourites. You can google for many more.



I have no reason to be against Tinyurl.com. I am just giving you all to avoid disaster. Better safe than sorry!!

Notebook going to revolve?

We are living in a world that is constantly revolving, aren't we? Yeah, technology evolution is very fast. Now for the notebook (laptop) world, there are many new ideas popping up every day. How do you feel about dual-screen notebook? Huh? That would be like a real book-a-like.



Wondering where is the keyboard or mouse? There are not there anymore. That's revolving indeed. When you want to type, the other screen will show you virtual keyboard and touchpad. As with all new ideas, we'll have to wait and see whether this could turn into reality or not.

Reference : gadgets-reviews

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

How to create physical IDE disk in VMware

Yesterday, I've tried to install Windows XP in VMware 6.0. I've tried to use physical hard disk in VMware. But every time I create, VMware won't let me choose the option of IDE or SCSI. Instead, it only let me select in SCSI whether I want Bus logic or LSI logic.

So I googled around and found out that I've to edit VMware hard disk configuration file manually as follows.

ddb.adapterType = "ide"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.geometry.heads = "16"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "16383"


And I delete these lines in VMware config file .vmx.

scsi0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
scsi0:1.present = "TRUE"
scsi0:1.fileName = "disk-2.vmdk"
scsi0:1.deviceType = "rawDisk"


Your config file might not look exactly as mine. But you know what to look and how to change. Any question? You can contact me via contact form or leave a comment.


Reference : VMware forum

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Workaround to download Vista Beta SP1 directly from Microsoft

The Vista SP1 is thought to be launched in the first quarter of 2008.

However, Microsoft released beta versions of Vista SP1 to their chosen 12,000 beta testers. As always, even though it is possible to close the lid of the bottle, it is impossible to shut the mouth. That's being said, the Beta Build 6001.16659 of the service pack has been leaked to peer-to-peer file sharing networks. You might be able to grab it from your favorite torrent site. But some of you might be afraid to download such an important pack from other sites than Microsoft.

Don't worry! Now there's a workaround available (Thanks to ghacks.net)

  • Download This zip file and unpack it to your system.
  • Run SP1Beta_Hack.cmd with administrator privileges and Windows Updates afterwards. You should see KB935509. Download it and restart your computer.
  • Run Windows Updates again, you should see KB937287. Download and restart your computer again.
  • Run Windows Updates again (Yeah! it's quite a lot!). Download KB938371, restart your computer again (I know, I know, it's a lot of restart).
  • Finally, visit Windows Updates again and you should see the Service Pack 1 Beta for Microsoft Windows Vista available for download.


If evaluation message annoys you, follow the steps below:

  • Run watermark_fix.reg first
  • Rename user32.dll.mui to user32.dll.mui.old in C:WindowsSystem32en-US
  • copy user32.dll.mui from the archive to that location
  • Restart your computer


With no official reaction from Microsoft about this workarounds, a lot of debate is going on in the blogosphere whether this method is legal or not. Judge yourself whether it is legal or not. Remember this is beta version to limited 12,000 testers only. So that it is very high probability that it would be buggy. My advice to you is that wait for official release of Vista SP1.

Monday, 5 November 2007

How to create image trail with Paint

I love MS Paint for its simplicity. Even though it is such a small program, it could have done a lot of jobs. Of course, don't compare it with Photoshop or any other premium photo editing standard software.

Most of my screenshots editing have been done with Paint. What's more? You can create trailing effect with Paint too.

First you need to hold select the part of the image
And then hold down Shift key
Then drag the way you want to trail it.

Here is the sample trailing pic I have made.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Disable automatic restart

Windows 9x handle critical errors by showing Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). But starting from Windows XP, the default setting is for the computer to reboot automatically when a fatal error occurs. The good news is that you can control how it responds to certain critical errors.

You can disable the automatic settings as follow:

  • 1. Right click on My Computer, Choose Properties
  • 2. Then go to Advanced tab and click Settings under Startup and Recovery
  • 3. Clear the Automatically restart check box, and click OK.
  • 4. After that you'll need to restart your computer for the settings to take effect.

disable auto restart

The question is why would you want to do that? Well, you can see the error dialog box as long as you want when it happens. So, maybe you could figure out where the problem comes from or you can call your geek friend with the necessary info.

Source : Microsoft Help

Windows Welcome music

Windows Welcome music is quite some great. Have you ever wondered where is that music file?

It is located in

C:Windowssystem32oobeimagestitle.wma

It is five minutes long and quite amusing. File properties' artist show that the artist is Microsoft. Wonder when will Microsoft release music album though.



Saturday, 3 November 2007

How to zoom more in MS Paint

I've just told you guys about how to make image trail in MS Paint. Here is another tip again. Do you know that you can zoom more in MS Paint than default. MS Paint default zoom is 8x, but you can zoom more than that. I've got this tip from one of the metacafe video. But I can't find it again now.

Anyway, here is how you should do it.



If you press the white line as in the above picture, you'll get your pic zoom more than 8x as in the following picture.



Before you start to complain me about these feature is useless compare to your Photoshop or whatever program, remember paint is very small, simple program just for very simple task. I'm just telling you this tip as a fun. Enjoy it!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Yahoo Messenger 9 Beta

I've always been a big fan of Yahoo! Messenger in IM world. I've tried AIM, MSN, Gtalk, Skype, but nothing can beat Yahoo! Messenger.

Even though Skype and Gtalk are much better in VOIP call, Yahoo! messenger smiley and audible, their amazing interfaces make me stick to it.

Now Yahoo! announce on their blog that they are releasing Yahoo! Messenger 9 Beta version. Actually, I'm waiting for Yahoo! Messenger for Vista (Yahoo! did promise on their blog that this will release soon too).

Here is the screenshot of new amazing Yahoo! messenger 9 Beta.



New features in version 9 are:

  • A whole new look for your contact list.

  • Brand new skins and emoticons!

  • New Flickr integration in the photo sharing feature.

  • A new in-line media player that makes it easy to view maps, photos and videos from sites like Yahoo! Video and YouTube right in the IM window.

  • New features for voice calls. (Like forwarding to your mobile and voicemail)


I've already installed on my PC and it is quite lovable. If you wanna enjoy new interfaces, you can download Yahoo! Messenger Beta.

You should install only if you want to experience new interfaces and features. Remember Beta versions are not as good as final version. Here I quote from Yahoo! blog
As with any new Beta software, Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 is not perfect but we think we got most of the major bugs out.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

How to use the word "Google"

We all know that Google become word in famous dictionaries like Merriam-Webster and the Oxford. But do we really know how to use "Google" as noun, verb?

This is the definition of Google from Merriam-Webster dictionary.
to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web

Normally, we think Google means searching the internet, but the correct meaning is searching the internet by using Google search engine. So, obviously the following sentence is wrong.
I googled her on Yahoo and she seems pretty interesting.

You can't google on Yahoo!. You can google only on Google search engine. So that if you have to use Yahoo! or MSN or whatever alternative search engine, you'd better use the term "search" instead of "google".

Anyway, this is for your information. If you use the wrong word, you can get embarrassed in front of crowds or even worse you can get sue as Google is the brand to protect. Knowledge is gold. Knowing the correct usage can't give you any trouble at all.

Reference : Google Blog