May 23, 2009

Find out how long your system has been running

Do you want to know how long has your system been running? This is a very simple method to find out the system uptime along with other important information such as product id, system model, system type, pagefile location etc.

Just follow these steps:

1.Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt
2.In the command prompt window, type systeminfo
3.A list of valuable information about your PC is shown

To bring the Command Prompt window, you can also follow this step:

1.Click Start > Run

2.In the Run dialog box, type cmd to open the command prompt window

system uptime

May 22, 2009

How to hide your hard disk partitions

I have always wished that I could hide my hard disk's partitions. This can be a good way of protecting your important files from the people around you who never miss any opportunity to sneak into your PC. Or it can be a really funny and maybe a cruel prank for someone who is still a novice to computers! But someone smart enough to disable this registry tweak or simply by using a little bit of common sense can have access to your drives in no time. So this is not the best way to hide your stuff from people hoping nobody will find it. I would recommend it to be played as a prank.

This trick hides all your local or networked drives. It does not deletes or disables them. So rest assured you can get them back the way they were before. This is how you hide your drives:

1.Open Start > Run and type regedit. The registry editor window opens up.

2.Find your way to HKEY_CURRENT_ USER\Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\Curre ntVersion\Policies\ Explorer.

3.In the right hand side pane, create a new DWORD value and set its value as 3FFFFFF (Hexadecimal)

hide your hard disk partitions

4.Now close window and restart your computer.

5.When the PC starts, open My Computer. All your drives would have gone. Only the Document folders will be there. But if you enter the path of any folder located in any drive such as C:/Program Files/Microsoft you can open that folder. So, anyone brainy enough to think of this can enter any drive.

6.To enable display of drives in My Computer as it was before, just delete the DWORD entry that you created in the registry editor and restart your PC.

May 21, 2009

How to end tasks automatically in Windows XP

Sometimes it happens that a certain application hangs and prevents the PC to shutdown properly and it also consumes a considerable chunk of Page file memory. As a result, your system runs at a lower speed than its original potential. To disable these applications automatically after a particular time you will have to do some registry tweaking. Just follow these steps:
But before that, do not forget to backup your registry.

1.Open Notepad and paste the following text in a new file-

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop]


2.Save the file as shutdown.reg
3.Double click the file thus saved to add the information to the registry.
Thats it!

May 18, 2009

Apple Safari - Is it the fastest browser?

Apple Safari vs Opera
I don't know if its too late, but let me say this, “Apple Safari 4 is cool”. I recently downloaded it when I discovered my recent love for everything and anything from Apple. But since I am in no condition of buying any Apple product, I thought of why not to get your hands on something which is free and at the same time Apple (rare combination!)

Apple Safari has a very distinct feel compared to other browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox or 
Opera. Apple is known for its superior design and appearance in all of their products, and this one's up the mark too. The way your web pages load and appear is quite different from other browsers and it is simply a refreshing experience. Even the thumbnail preview of history pages is neatly stacked pretty much in the iPhone style. Just like the 'Speed Dial' in Opera, Safari too has got 'Top Sites' which lets you keep a collection of your favorite pages neatly arranged with their thumbnails. As you go on using Safari, it automatically identifies the websites most frequently visited by you and puts them in the Top sites list. You can of course manually put other sites in it too.

It supports tabbed browsing, which has now become a standard feature almost all major browsers. Tabs tend to reduce a little portion of the viewable area, but still Safari manages to provide a larger viewable area thanks to the absence of those space eating menu bars, title bars and what-not-bar! I agree that Safari may seem a little weird to those who are accustomed to using Internet Explorer. But with time, they get used to it, and probably do not think of returning back to Internet Explorer.

There are however some problems which prevent me from using Safari as my default browser. Opera is still my favorite browser. The first reason is that while browsing, it takes a considerable time to return to the previously viewed page. That is, you have to wait for some time for the page to load after you hit the back button of the browser. Opera does not make you wait too long to view the previous page. In fact it shows the page instantly as you click the Back button. Maybe this is because it caches the content of the web pages in some different way, I don't know, it is an altogether different topic. I don't know if I can call this a problem but every browser that I have used other than Opera suffers from this wait-to-view-the-previous-page disease. Users with fast Internet connections do not complain about this, but for us dialup folks(Yeah, I am still on dialup!) hitting the back button in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and even Chrome is a painful affair.

The other reason being the slightly longer time it takes to get started. But it does not matter much because you don't start a browser too often, you just do it once and then you browse with it. 

And yes, Apple calls it the world's fastest browser, but I found Opera faster than Safari.

May 17, 2009

How to disable programs on startup in Windows XP

A lot of programs like download managers, DVD burners, P2P clients etc associate themselves to run at startup every time Windows XP starts. Actually, this is a good feature, otherwise you would have to start the anti virus manually whenever you boot your PC which would have been a very tiring job. But this run-at-startup feature is also one of the most common reasons for a sluggish startup. When you install a program like say an on-screen image capturing utility, odds are that it will schedule itself to run at startup. Now even if you don't want to use it, the damn thing will be sitting there at the bottom right corner of your screen consuming some of the precious system memory. As the number of such programs increases more system memory gets used by them. This eventually slows down the startup process. 

You can of course search for 'do not run when Windows starts' option or something like that in the program's settings, but you will have to do that for every such program. To reduce the labor, you can do some tweaking with the registry and voila! 

Here is how to disable the programs you don't want to automatically start every time Windows boots using the registry editor.

1.Click Start > Run and type 'msconfig' without quotes. Hit enter to get the system configuration utility.

2.Click the 'Startup' tab to find the list of all the startup items that load automatically.

disable programs on startup in windows xp3.Uncheck the ones that you do not need. 

4.Restart the computer.

May 6, 2009

Write Protect Your Pen Drive/USB Drive

Write protection was one of the most useful feature in floppies. It allowed prevented any data to be written on the disk's surface, just by sliding a small slider. USB drives have now replaced floppies but still write protection is not a standard feature in all USB drives. Sure, some pen drives do come with this nifty feature but most of them lack it.

Write protection allows the user to read from the drive but not write on it. It is the best way to stay away from viruses. So, if you have write protection on, you dont have to worry about viruses getting into your pendrive. 

There is a little nifty utility to write protect a pen drive. Its very tiny in size and offcourse its portable. Its available in multiple languages like English, German, French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, etc. Its only 187 KB in size. Now even if your friends PC has a virus, then also you can insert your pen drive in it without thinking. Download it from here.

write protect your USB drive