Saturday, August 6, 2011

Windows 7 finally made its official appearance last couple months
ago, it is proving itself as a worthy successor to the long serving
Windows XP.
   My opinion is that Windows 7 is a solid, well-performing
operating system, free of many of the glitches that bedeviled the
launch of Windows Vista. Speed improvements, interface enhancements
and easier ways to manage your documents makethis a new operating system
in its own right and one that’s well worth the upgrade.

Quick, what is the most reviled feature of Windows Vista? As far
as I can tell it’s User ccount ontrol (U ) Microsoft’s method for
keeping your computer safe. Unfortunately, many users felt that
UAC was so inconvenient that they turned it off entirely. In
Windows 7, UAC finally gets out of your way and strikes the right
balance between security and usability. Fewer pop up appear only
for good reason.
Still if you’re Vista user you’ll do well to upgrade to Windows 7
it’s a superior operating system What if you use XP? irst check if
your hardware can handle it. If it can, and if you’re not wedded to
XP for the remainder of your time on

1.    Change the Theme

 Right-click on the desktop, click on Customize. Then, select one of
the default themes available to you. You can change the system
sounds, and the way the menus and the bars look. The new feature in
Windows 7 is that a theme can have a set of images that cycle
automatically after a particular amount of time. The second ease of
access theme is a throwback to good old Windows 95.

2.  Use the search bar as a run bar

There is no run bar by default. However, when you click on start,
the search field can be used for running programs. This process is 7,

type in the complete name of a file or program to open or run it.

3.    Windows Media Player

The first time you use Windows Media Player, instead of the
 default settings, go to the custom settings. Here, disallow Windows
Media Player from updating the information on a file from the
internet. This is because an unpatched Windows Media
Player provided with Windows 7 changes the file when it retrieves
this information from the internet. For example, the audio
information from the first few seconds of an mp3 file may be lost.

4.Cutting down the size of the taskbar

A significant difference is made by the size of the icons in the
taskbar. By the standards of XP or Vista, they are huge. To change
this, right-click on the taskbar, go to Properties > Taskbar and check
use small icons.

5.Right-Click Mania

In Windows 7, right-clicking may just be your secret friend. There
are many ways the right-click can simplify your computing
experience. Here are just a few:
a. Right-click any empty spot in your Desktop, and you have the
control to change the screen resolution.

b. Right-
program from the


c. Last but not least, right-click the Taskbar Explorer icon to access
your most frequently used folders.

6.Grouping of active applications

Vista already had this feature — multiple instances of applications
were grouped into a single icon to save taskbar space. In Windows 7,
the icons are more distinguishable. You no longer have to click; you
can simply move your mouse over the icon and a real-time preview of
each of the instances will appear. The window can be closed by
middle-clicking on the preview. If you like to have the application
name appear along with the icon, right-click on the taskbar and click
on Properties. Choose the Never combine option from the menu.

7.Using window actions for managing windows

Click and drag the title-bar of any window to the top of the screen
to maximize it. Click and drag the top bar away from the top edge to
restore the window. Click and drag the titlebar of any window to
either side of the screen to make that window fit half the screen on
the side to which you drag it. You can also use the [Windows] and
the arrow keys to arrange the window. [Windows     ] + [Left] or
[Windows     ] + [Right] will place the window on either side,
[Windows     ]+Up will maximize and [Windows     ] + Down will
minimize the window.

8.Shake the rest away!

If you have many windows open and for some reason, you want
them all minimised except for the one you are currently using, you
can do this by clicking on the title bar of the application and moving it
around quickly. All the other windows immediately minimise.

9.Change network settings

The age old two computer icon for network connections has been
replaced with a monitor and a cable icon. This will be one of the few
icons on the system tray by default. Click on this icon, and then click
on Open network and Sharing center. This view will seem a little
complicated. To get direct access to your connections for changing IP
settings and the like, click on Change Adapter settings.

10.    Use Sticky Notes

A great new feature in Windows 7 is the Sticky Notes. Start > Sticky
Notes, and a small square appears on the screen exactly like a post it.
Click on the plus sign to add a note, and drag the bottom right corner
to resize the note. Click on the cross to close and delete the note.
Note that the text stored in the sticky notes cannot be saved, but the
notes will survive restarts as long as you do not close them.

The Sticky notes feature helps the user keep track of tasks that he

needs to do. The Sticky Notes application is hidden away under the
Accessories sub-menu. Notes are left on your desktop. Notes are
added by clicking the + icon on the top left of the stick note window
and closed using the close icon.

11.Use libraries

Libraries are a great way to navigate files on your computer. Say
you have music stored across different hard drive partitions, and an
external hard drive that is not always connected to the computer.
Placing all the folders with music in them in the music library, will let
you access the music files from essentially one folder. The files are
not stored in the library, but the directory structure indexes the files
and makes it accessible in this manner. You can also store the same
files in different libraries using different library structures.
 Just right click on any folder, select Include in library and select
category for it

12.    Moving order of applications in the taskbar

There are more changes done to the taskbar in Windows 7 than
just the thickness. It lets you change the sequence of applications
running in the taskbar. Changing the order is as simple as moving
tabs in browsers such as Firefox and Opera. Simply left-click and drag
the icon in the taskbar, and watch it slide into place. Another
interesting feature is when you try moving the icon upwards, it opens
the rightclick menu.

13.     Shortcuts for window operations

Managing windows is also much simpler with Windows 7. You no
longer have to use the window controls such as minimize or
maximize on the top right. Windows can be minimized using the
Windows key     + Down arrow and maximized by pressing Windows
key      + Up arrow. Windows key     + left/right arrow keys fit the
expanded window to the left or right side of the screen. This is
particularly useful for widescreen users. It lets you fit two windows
side by side accurately without having to use the Tile horizontally
features from the taskbar. If you try resizing a window using the
corner right up to the bottom of the screen, Window 7 lets you scale
it vertically by drawing a faint outline. Dragging the window by the
titlebar and moving it towards either end of the screen will
automatically resize to take up half the screen and leave the other
half for another application.

14.Adding additional sources into Documents, Music, etc

 Initially, Windows only allowed a single My Documents folder, so
users would have to move all of their music and pictures into the
specified folders. The other way was to move the target destination
of the specific folder to the location on your hard drive. Windows 7
lets you add as many paths as you want for either of the predefined
folders. Simply click on the Start button and right-click on one of the
folders — Documents, Pictures, Music and then click on Properties.
Click on the Include a folder button and add the paths you want and

15.Pinning applications to the taskbar

The Windows 7 taskbar has become a very powerful part of the OS.
You can now pin applications to the taskbar just like you could to the
Start menu. Even after applications are closed, the icon still remains.
as well as run multiple instances of it. Many pinned applications also act like a Quick Launch
menu. Active applications are displayed in this same menu, but

Friday, September 18, 2009

What is a PDF SPam ?

What is PDF Spam?
First there was email, then came spam - unsolicited commercial email - hawking pharmaceuticals, stock trades, sex, and more. Spam filtering became smarter with keyword and bayesian filtering, and the spam was minimized for awhile. Then image spam began, the emails with little more than a link to an image on a server. When the email is opened with an HTML email reader the spam appears a few seconds after viewing the email. Since there weren't keywords to analyze, most image spam slipped through spam filters with ease. However, now spam filtering tools have added OCR capabilities to "read" an image and search for keywords and phrases just like text emails. So what's next for the spammers to try...PDF Spam.
google_protectAndRun("render_ads.js::google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad);
Spammers have now resorted to attaching PDFs to emails to entice users to open the PDFs and read their ads. Very annoying, since almost all spam including a PDF is much larger in size than a normal email. At first, I wondered if a virus writer had been able to inject a PDF file with a virus and was infecting computers. I received literally hundreds of these types of emails a few weeks ago. Luckily it does not appear that way. Although many of the newest viruses are hijacking computers and sending these PDF spams from these drone machines.

Spammers have now resorted to attaching PDFs to emails to entice users to open the PDFs and read their ads. Very annoying, since almost all spam including a PDF is much larger in size than a normal email. At first, I wondered if a virus writer had been able to inject a PDF file with a virus and was infecting computers. I received literally hundreds of these types of emails a few weeks ago. Luckily it does not appear that way. Although many of the newest viruses are hijacking computers and sending these PDF spams from these drone machines.

What Does a PDF Spam look like?
Most common PDF spam has very little in the body of the message, just a subject and the PDF file. You can see a copy of this type of spam below:

Can A PDF File Contain a Virus?
Well, yes and no. Back in 2001, a virus named Peachy was created that distributed via PDF. Fortunately, it could not be activated by someone viewing it with Acrobat Reader, only users with the full version of Adobe Acrobat were susceptible to this virus. Peachy exploited the fact that PDF files could contain executable files, in this case a VBScript file, that users
of Adobe Acrobat could actually open. Virus scanners were updated and the virus didnt have a huge effect on the internet
Luckily, up to this point there has not been a way for a virus writer to infect a PDF file so that a person viewing it with Adobe Reader would be harmed. Although its still best to scan ANY file including a PDF file with an up-to-date virus scanner before attempting to open it.

Can PDF Spam Be Stopped?
Although PDF Spam is a huge problem currently, spam filtering programs will catch up and start to filter this garbage email out. Unfortunately, the attachment spam will morph into other types of files, and I've already seen Excel files (.xls) being used for spam as well. Using a reliable spam filter from your ISP or business and being careful not to open ANY attachment you are not sure of will keep you the safest. Although PDF spam may not contain a virus, the best advice is to not open it and just delete it.

What About Greeting Card Spams?
A new round of electronic greeting Card
contains viruses are making the rounds as well. These ecards want you to download a file called msdataaccess.exe to view the card.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Remove the Shared Documents folders from My Computer

One of the most annoying things about the new Windows XP user interface is that Microsoft saw fit to provide links to all of the Shared Documents folders on your system, right at the top of the My Computer window. I can't imagine why this would be the default, even in a shared PC environment at home, but what's even more annoying is that you cannot change this behavior through the sh*ll
: Those icons are stuck there and you have to live with it.
Until now, that is.

Simply fire up the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ My Computer \ NameSpace \ DelegateFolders

You'll see a sub-key named {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}. If you delete this, all of the Shared Documents folders (which are normally under the group called "Other Files Stored on This Computer" will be gone.

You do not need to reboot your system to see the change.

Before: A cluttered mess with icons no one will ever use (especially that orphaned one). After: Simplicity itself, and the way it should be by default.

Add a Map Drive Button to the Toolbar

Add a Map Drive Button to the Toolbar

Do you want to quickly map a drive, but can?t find the toolbar button? If you map drives often, use one of these options to add a Map Drive button to the folder toolbar.

Option One (Long Term Fix)

Click Start, click My Computer, right-click the toolbar, then unlock the toolbars, if necessary.

Right-click the toolbar again, and then click Customize.

Under Available toolbar buttons, locate Map Drive, and drag it into the position you want on the right under Current toolbar buttons.

Click Close, click OK, and then click OK again.

You now have drive mapping buttons on your toolbar, so you can map drives from any folder window. To unmap drives, follow the above procedure, selecting Disconnect under Available toolbar buttons. To quickly map a drive, try this option.

Option Two (Quick Fix)

Click Start, and right-click My Computer.
Click Map Network Drive.

If you place your My Computer icon directly on the desktop, you can make this move in only two clicks!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Desktop Disappearing?

Although Windows 2000 is more stable than previous versions of NT, in some situations, strange things can happen. If, for example, Explorer crashes, most of your desktop, including the "Start" button, disappears. To bring back Explorer without rebooting your machine, press CONTROL-ALT-DELETE. When the "Windows Security" dialog box appears, click the "Task Manager" button. If the "Windows Task Manager' dialog box appears as it should, select the "File" menu and then "New Task (Run)". When the "Create New Task" dialog box appears, just type in "Explorer" and press the "OK" button. Windows Explorer should then reappear, complete with the "Start" button.