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Showing posts from 2008

Missing Power Volume Network icons from Taskbar in Vista

Sometimes, Windows Vista loses the icons that are normally displayed in the taskbar area. In order to get them back you would normally do the following... 1. Right hand mouse click on the Windows Start Button 2. Select PROPERTIES 3. Select the NOTIFICATION AREA tab 4. Check the appropriate icon check boxes If the check boxes are greyed out, there is a possibility that another software driver has over-ridden the default Windows icons. In this case, you would click on the CUSTOMIZE button and check through the list of icons available in there and select SHOW next to the icon. If the icon is not there, then a registry edit is required (as per instructions from Microsoft). Here is the workaround as proposed by Microsoft (NB: editing the registry can cause damage to your PC operating system if done incorrectly. If you are not certain or confident of the procedure, please contact us or your preferred I.T. consultant)... You can make

Getting the most from your PC

Ever wanted to do more with your PC. Here's a list of software that I think will help you get more use out of your PC - be it for fun or productivity, but mostly fun :) NB: Most of this software is free for personal use only (not for commercial or business use unless you pay for the commercial licence accordingly). Web Browser Firefox Version 2 - although version 3 is already out, Firefox V2 has a lot of useful add-ons that make its functionality a bit more versatile. I am sure V3 updates are not far off though Update: 17/7/2008 - Just tested the add-ons below on Firefox version 3 and it appears that most of them have been updated to work with the new version. The time has come to move (cautiously) to the new version :) . Also available for MAC. Firefox Themes Noia Extreme 2.0 (or above) Firefox Add-Ons Video Download Helper - ever wanted to download that video from YouTube to show your friends or family? This little add-on makes it a breeze to do just that. Pi

AVG Antivirus - Friend or Foe?

Many of us have been hit by a computer virus at some point in time. The solution is simple, stop visiting 'dodgy' websites, stop opening suspicious emails and definitely - invest in a good security program. Now, here is the most common answer I hear when I ask if a user has antivirus protection - "I have AVG antivirus, and it's free". This is all good and I have nothing against getting free stuff, but the question is "How effective is AVG antivirus?" I am all for free and open source products (mind you, not all free software is safe so be mindful of this), but when it comes to PC security is this 'free' software good enough to keep 'nasties' off my PC which may be trying to hack into my banking details or key log my credit card info - is this 'free' software going to do the job well enough to protect me? Based on all the blurb that I have read and user reviews, AVG Free appears to be the best bang for buck antivirus (seeing

Hewlett Packard HP2133 Mini Note Ultraportable Notebook

After months of waiting and putting off the purchase of the Asus EEE PC, the long awaited Hewlett Packard Mini Notebook has arrived at my favourite tech place. At first looks, it is a formidable unit with a nice sturdy shell, unlike my Sony Vaio VGN-TX46GP notebook (which I have nothing against, bar the flimsy feel of the screen - its paper thin). It sports a light gunmetal finish and pretty much feels like a large aluminium cigarette tin. I was initially stumped as to where the on button was but soon found it on the front of the unit (near the headphone jack). With much deliberation, umm'ing, arr'ing and figuring out where I'd whangle the AUD$999 to pay for it, I decided to purchase this little beast to have a play with at my leisure. Upon getting it home, I unpacked the unit and found very little in terms of anything in the box - 1 x HP2133, 1 x battery, 1 x power cord, 1 x power supply, 2 x booklets and some packaging. The front of the unit sports the po

Speed up copying of Large files in Windows Vista

You may have noticed that Vista has a tendency to take time calculating the size of the file when copying. This is caused by a new 'feature' called Auto Tuning which by default is set on by Microsoft. To disable this feature, do the following... 1. Open up a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges 2. Type in ... netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled 3. The prompt should read... OK 4. You may have to restart the PC for the effects to take hold. If this does not solve your problem, the autotuning feature can be re-instated by typing... netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal.

Joining Mac to SBS 2003 Domain

Software Version Used OSX 10.5.2 I have researched into how to connect the Mac to a Windows Domain and according to Microsoft's Technet the instructions are as follows. However due to Mac Updates the naming conventions for some of the items may differ. Macintosh Direct Access Client Configuration Open the Direct Access Utility. Click Enable next to Active Directory, and then click Active Directory. Click Configure, then enter your Active Directory Forest and Domain. Enter a computer ID for your Mac client. Click Unhide Advanced Options, and select the Cache Last User Login for Offline Operation and Allow Administration by: check boxes. Add the usernames and groups that you want to give administrative access to your Mac in the format domain name\user or group, and then click Bind. You will be prompted for a user account with rights to join your domain. Click OK and then click Authentication at the top. Make sure

Connect Windows Printer to Apple Mac OS X Ok Only works with latest version of Mac. The Version I am working off is 10.5.2 OSX. Make sure that you download the Mac Drivers for your PC and Install. First Open up Safari and type into the the address bar http://localhost:631 and click on Add a Printer Type in the appropriate Names Locations Etc. and Click on Next. Choose Samba and click on next. Ensure that you type in the URL as smb://username:password@(IP address)/sharename

Backups - How long does it take?

Data backups are part of our digital lives (or at least they should be). The question is... "How long does it take to do a backup?" Before I answer this, a quick explanation - many backups are done via USB nowadays, as can be seen by the myriad of USB backup drives that are available and with sizes varying anywhere from 1GigaByte (1GB = 1000MB) up to 1 Terabyte (1TB = 1000GB). With USB there are 2 types USB1 and USB2. If you have a PC (or MAC) that has a USB1 connection, the maximum speed you can achieve, theoretically, is about 25MB/s. USB2 gives a better rate at 50MB/s. Though this is so, just like a car that accelerates from standing to max speed - it takes a little time for the speed to reach it's peak i.e. it does not start at 50MB/s straightaway, thats why an 3MB music or MP3 file still takes a few seconds to transfer to your USB device. Theoretically speaking, at 50MB/s you can transfer 3000MB/minute (2.9GB/Min) or 180000 MB/hour (175GB/hour). The reason wh

Print Screen with Apple MAC (OS X 10.5 - Leopard)

For those of you who are used to the Print Screen (PrtScn) function in Windows you will know that you will get the whole screen if you just press PrtScn and you will get the selected window if you press ALT+PrtScn. You then have to paste the captured screen into an appropriate program e.g. Word Pad or Microsoft Paint. Apple Mac has a different approach to this. (I have tried this on OS X 10.5 Leopard only) To print screen on the Mac Press the combination of the - SHIFT + Mac COMMAND Key (Flower Key) + 3 This will give you a full print screen. To print a selection of the screen Press the combination of the SHIFT + Mac COMMAND Key (Flower Type) + 4 The mouse pointer will turn into a selection target, click drag and release and it will printscreen the selected area for you. The files of the printscreens are typically placed on the desktop as .PNG files


Have you got your hands on a new video file only to find that it is causing your system to crash coming up with a - COM SURROGATE STOPPED WORKING - issue..? There are several possibilities, however the most likely issue would be incompatible CODECS being used on the VISTA operating system. When you open the folder containing the video you want to view, VISTA automatically tries to preview the file for you. If you have loaded on an older codec e.g. XP Codec Pack , then the COM SURROGATE error emerges. This is because the VISTA is trying to run the preview using the older codec which is not compatible and stops the system. There are two main ways of overcoming this issue. Disable automatic preview or thumbnails for the folder / operating system Download the latest codec pack If you are like me and like to load up all the codecs so that you can watch all the necessary videos that travel past your desktop, then it is best you get your hands on the latest codec pack. The one I hav