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Showing posts from February, 2007

Add a new Download Action in Firefox

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Recently I was asked how to add a new Download Action to Firefox. In other words, how can I get Firefox to always use the same program and open a file from the web without having to save it first each time. I scratched my head for a minute and then thought, "this is easy, just click Tools | Options, and then the Content tab." I found out I could only manage them here, not add.

After being perplex for a while, I realized it is actually very easy. Download the file type (e.g. PowerPoint), select the Open with radio button, select the application you want to open it with, and (here's the hard part) check the box next to Do this automatically for files like this from now on.
Now you can go back to the Content tab in the Options menu if you want to remove or change the file association.
Ahh, such an easy solution to any easy problem.

DVD Doesn't Play on Your PC

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Recently I took a class where the instructor could not get one of his DVDs to play for the class. This particular DVD was a custom compilation made by his organization. The error I saw when trying it on my laptop was that it was blocky and played fast. Another person tried it and got a black screen.

I search Google on "free DVD codecs" and found a codec to that worked.
Once installed, it still did not play with my default player, but it did play with the player installed with the codec -- the Media Player Classic.
Because this first codec worked, I did not try the other downloads. I tried this one first because the file size was the smallest. So if you find that you still have trouble, try one of the other links within the first result (Codec Pack All in 1 or K-Lite Mega Codec).

View My Computer as a Menu

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Have you ever thought it would be easier to find a particular drive if My Computer would display a menu of all drives? Well actually it can do that, with a little configuration change.

Right-click on the Start menu, and select propertiesMake sure the Start menu radio button is selected, and click the Customize button next to itClick the Advance tabScroll through the list of Start menu items until you find My ComputerSelect the radio button next to Display as a menuClick OK twice

That's all there is to it.

Is Your Windows XP Computer Internet Safe?

It is extremely easy to have your computer compromised if it is not setup to protect you before going on the Internet. Here are the steps to validate against your own Windows XP computer to make sure it is secured.
Install a router. Even if you only have one machine connected to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the router provides incoming firewall protection.Install a software firewall. Use this to protect your machine from having applications access the Internet without your permission. It can be a bit of a pain at first, because you will be prompted to approve applications that you do want to access the Internet, but it is worth it in the long run. I recommend ZoneAlarm (get the pro version if you want more information on messages, otherwise the free version is fine). The firewall that came with Windows XP does not protect you for outgoing traffic, so it doesn't give you any more benefit than your router. The software firewall will also protect you from incoming requests if…

Fixing Boot Problems in Windows XP

It can be quite frustrating if you cannot get Windows XP to boot. Here are several things to try, which can solve boot problems:
Look for clues where it hangs. First, if your computer is cycling through reboots, press F8 after the first beep of the reboot and select Disable the Automatic Restart on System Failure. Next time you boot, when the computer hangs, it may give you some clues to the problem.
Use a Windows XP Boot Disk. This assumes you have made one prior to your problem. To create a boot disk, begin by formatting a floppy disk. Then copy the following files onto the disk: boot.ini, NTLDR, and ntdetect.com. Alternatively, you should be able to create this with a CD.Use System Restore. Assuming you can boot in Safe Mode (press F8 on reboot immediately after hearing a single beep, then select Safe Mode from the list of choices), from the Start menu, go to Accessories | System Tools and select System Restore. Follow the wizard interface to restore your machine to a previous poin…