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Alternative to Microsoft office Use Open Office Its Free Open Source

OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose

I see a lot of articles about Microsoft Office but the avergae home user doesn’t need most of the stuff contained in Office. A cheap alternative is Open Office which is available from http://www.openoffice.org. It is sponsored by Oracle. It was sponsored by Sun but I believe that Oracle bought out Sun.

Its completely free to download and use. It includes compatible versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Database, Draw and Math. Files can be saved to a whole range of file types including Microsoft file types to send to co-workers or friends who have Microsoft Office.

85 Windows 7 tips, tricks and secrets

Read on for 85 tips to help you get the best from Windows 7.
Some very handy tips from http://www.techradar.com
By Mike Williams

1. Problem Steps Recorder
As the local PC guru you're probably very used to friends and family asking for help with their computer problems, yet having no idea how to clearly describe what's going on. It's frustrating, but Microsoft feels your pain, and Windows 7 will include an excellent new solution in the Problem Steps Recorder.

When any app starts misbehaving under Windows 7 then all your friends need do is click Start, type PSR and press Enter, then click Start Record. If they then work through whatever they're doing then the Problem Steps Recorder will record every click and keypress, take screen grabs, and package everything up into a single zipped MHTML file when they're finished, ready for emailing to you. It's quick, easy and effective, and will save you hours of troubleshooting time.

2. Burn images:Windows 7 finally introduces a feature that other operating systems have had for years - the ability to burn ISO images to CDs or DVDs. And it couldn't be much easier to use. Just
double-click the ISO image, choose the drive with the blank disc, click Burn and watch as
your disc is created.

3. Create and mount VHD files :Microsoft's Virtual PC creates its virtual machine hard drives in VHD files, and Windows 7 can now mount these directly so you can access them in the host system. Click Start, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter, then click Action > Attach VHD and choose the file you'd like to mount. It will then appear as a virtual drive in Explorer and can be accessed, copied or written just like any other drive.

Click Action > Create VHD and you can now create a new virtual drive of your own (right-click
it, select Initialise Disk, and after it's set up right-click the unallocated space and select New Simple Volume to set this up). Again, you'll be left with a virtual drive that behaves just like any other, where you can drag and drop files, install programs, test partitioning software or do whatever you like. But it's actually just this VHD file on your real hard drive which you can easily back up or share with others. Right-click the disk (that's the left-hand label that says "Disk 2" or whatever) and select Detach VHD to remove it.The command line DISKPART utility has also been upgraded with tools to detach a VHD file, and an EXPAND command to increase a virtual disk's maximum size. Don't play around with this unless you know what you're doing, though - it's all too easy to trash your system.

4. Troubleshoot problems: If some part of Windows 7 is behaving strangely, and you don't know why, then click Control Panel > Find and fix problems (or 'Troubleshooting') to access the new troubleshooting packs. These are simple wizards that will resolve common problems, check your settings, clean up your system and more.
Windows 7 Desktop

5. Startup repair :If you've downloaded Windows 7 (and even if you haven't) it's a good idea to create a system repair disc straight away in case you run into problems booting the OS later on. Click Start > Maintenance > Create a System Repair Disc, and let Windows 7 build a bootable emergency disc. If the worst does happen then it could be the only way to get your PC running again.

6. Take control: Tired of the kids installing dubious software or running applications you'd rather they left alone? AppLocke is a new Windows 7 feature that ensures users can only run the programs
you specify. Don't worry, that's easier to set up than it sounds: you can create a rule to allow everything signed by a particular publisher, so choose Microsoft, say, and that one rule will let 
you run all signed Microsoft applications. Launch GPEDIT.MSC and go to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Application Control Policies >
AppLocker to get a feel for how this works.

7. Calculate more:At first glance the Windows 7 calculator looks just like Vista's version, but explore the Mode menu and you'll see powerful new Statistics and Programmer views. And if you're clueless about bitwise manipulation, then try the Options menu instead. This offers many different unit conversions (length, weight, volume and more), date calculations (how many days between
two dates?), and spreadsheet-type templates to help you calculate vehicle mileage, mortgage
rates and more.

Don't take any Windows 7 applet at face value, then - there are some very powerful new features hidden in the background. Be sure to explore every option in all Windows applets to ensure you don't miss anything important.CALCULATE MORE: The new Calculator is packed with useful features and functionality

8. Switch to a projector :Windows 7 now provides a standard way to switch your display from one monitor to another, or a projector - just press Win+P or run DisplaySwitch.exe and choose your preferred display. (This will have no effect if you've only one display connected.)

9. Get a power efficiency report :If you have a laptop, you can use the efficiency calculator to get Windows 7 to generate loads of useful information about its power consumption. Used in the right way, this can help you make huge gains in terms of battery life and performance. To do this you must open a command prompt as an administrator by typing 'cmd' in Start Search, and when the cmd icon
appears, right-click it and choose Run as administrator.

Windows 7

Then at the command line, just type in 'powercfg -energy' (without quotes) and hit Return, and
Windows 7 will scan your system looking for ways to improve power efficiency. It will then
publish the results in an HTML file, usually in the System32 folder. Just follow the path it gives
you to find your report.

10. Understanding System Restore :Using System Restore in previous versions of Windows has been something of a gamble. There's no way of telling which applications or drivers it might affect - you just have to try it and see.

Windows 7 is different. Right-click Computer, select Properties > System Protection > System
Restore > Next, and choose the restore point you'd like to use. Click the new button to 'Scan
for affected programs' and Windows will tell you which (if any) programs and drivers will be
deleted or recovered by selecting this restore point. (Read our full Windows 7 System Restore

11. Set the time zone: System administrators will appreciate the new command line tzutil.exe utility, which lets you set a PC's time zone from scripts. If you wanted to set a PC to Greenwich Mean Time, for instance, you'd use the command
tzutil /s "gmt standard time"

The command "tzutil /g" displays the current time zone, "tzutil /l" lists all possible time zones,
and "tzutil /?" displays details on how the command works.

12. Calibrate your screen: The colours you see on your screen will vary depending on your monitor, graphics cards settings, lighting and more, yet most people use the same default Windows colour profile. And that means a digital photo you think looks perfect might appear very poor to everybody else. Fortunately Windows 7 now provides a Display Colour Calibration Wizard that helps you properly set up your brightness, contrast and colour settings, and a ClearType tuner to ensure text is crisp and sharp. Click Start, type DCCW and press Enter to give it a try.

13. Clean up Live Essentials: Installing Windows Live Essentials will get you the new versions of Mail, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery and others - great. Unfortunately it also includes other components that may be unnecessary, but if you like to keep a clean system then these can be quickly removed.If you left the default "Set your search provider" option selected during installation, for
instance, Windows Live will install Choice Guard, a tool to set your browser home page and search engine, and prevent other programs from changing them. If this causes problems later, or you just decide you don't need it, then Choice Guard may be removed by clicking Start, typing msiexec /x and pressing [Enter].

Windows Live Essentials also adds an ActiveX Control to help upload your files to Windows Live SkyDrive, as well as the Windows Live Sign-in Assistant, which makes it easier to manage and switch between multiple Windows Live accounts. If you're sure you'll never need either then remove them with the Control Panel "Uninstall a Program" applet.

14. Add network support : By default Windows Live MovieMaker won't let you import files over a network, but a quick Registry tweak will change this. Run REGEDIT, browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Movie Maker, add a DWORD
value called AllowNetworkFiles and set it to 1 to add network support.

15. Activate XP mode :If you've old but important software that no longer runs under Windows 7, then you could try using XP Mode, a virtual copy of XP that runs in a window on your Windows 7 desktop. But there's a big potential problem, as XP Mode only works with systems that have hardware virtualisation (AMD-V or Intel VT) built-in and turned on. If you've a compatible CPU then this may just be a matter of enabling the option in your BIOS set-up program, however some high profile brands, including Sony Vaio, disable the setting for "security reasons". And that blocks
XP Mode from working, too.One solution has emerged, but it's a little risky, as essentially you'll have to alter a byte in your laptop firmware and hope this doesn't have any unexpected side-effects. Gulp. If you're feeling brave then take a look at the Feature Enable Blog for the details, but don't blame us if it goes wrong.

A safer approach might be to use VirtualBox, a virtualisation tool that doesn't insist on hardware support, but then you will need to find a licensed copy of XP (or whatever other Windows version your software requires) for its virtual machine.

16. Enable virtual Wi-Fi :Windows 7 includes a little-known new feature called Virtual Wi-Fi, which effectively turns your PC or laptop into a software-based router. Any other Wi-Fi-enabled devices within range - a desktop, laptop, an iPod perhaps - will "see" you as a new network and, once logged on,  immediately be able to share your internet connection.

This will only work if your wireless adapter driver supports it, though, and not all do. Check with your adapter manufacturer and make sure you've installed the very latest drivers to give you the best chance.Once you have driver support then the easiest approach is to get a network tool that can set
up virtual Wi-Fi for you. Virtual Router (below) is free, easy to use and should have you sharing your internet connection very quickly.If you don't mind working with the command line, though, maybe setting up some batch files or scripts, then it's not that difficult to set this up manually. See Turn your Windows 7 laptop into a wireless hotspot for more.

17. Recover locked-up apps :If an application locks up under a previous version of Windows then there was nothing you could do about it. A new Windows 7 option, however, can not only explain the problem, but may get your program working again without any loss of data.When the lockup occurs, click Start, type RESMON and click the RESMON.EXE link to launch the Resource Monitor.

Find your frozen process in the CPU pane (it should be highlighted in red), right-click it and
select Analyze Wait Chain. If you see at least two processes in the list, then the lowest, at the end of the tree, is the one holding up your program. If it's not a vital Windows component, or anything else critical, then save any work in other open applications, check the box next to this process, click End
Process, and your locked-up program will often spring back to life.

18. Fault-Tolerant Help : Windows 7 includes a new feature called the Fault Tolerant Help (FTH), a clever technology that looks out for unstable processes, detects those that may be crashing due to memory issues, and applies several real-time fixes to try and help. If these work, that's fine - if not, the  fixes will be undone and they won't be applied to that process again.While this is very good in theory, it can leave you confused as some applications crash, then start working (sometimes) for no apparent reason. So if you'd like to check if the FTH is running on your PC, launch REGEDIT, and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\FTH - any program currently being protected
by the FTH will be listed in the State key.

Experienced users may also try tweaking the FTH settings to catch more problems, and perhaps improve system stability. A post on Microsoft's Ask The Performance Team blog (bit.ly/d1JStu) explains what the various FTH Registry keys mean.

19. Automatically switch your default printer: Windows 7's location-aware printing allows the operating system to automatically switch your default printer as you move from one network to another.To set this up, first click Start, type Devices, and click the Devices and Printers link. Select a printer and click Manage Default Printers (this is only visible on a mobile device, like
a laptop - you won't see it on a PC).Choose the "Change my default printer when I change networks" option, select a network, the default printer you'd like to use, and click Add.Repeat the process for other networks available, and pick a default printer for each one. And now, as you connect to a new network, Windows 7 will check this list and set the default printer to the one that you've defined.

20. Explore God Mode : Windows 7 has changed Control Panel a little, but it's still too difficult to locate all the applets and options that you might need. God Mode, however, while not being particularly godlike, does offer an easier way to access everything you could want from a single folder.To try this out, create a new folder and rename it to:

The first part, "Everything" will be the folder name, and can be whatever you want: "Super
Control Panel", "Advanced", "God Mode" if you prefer. The extension, ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C, must be entered exactly as it is here, though, including the curly brackets. When you press [Enter] this part of the name will  disappear, and double-clicking the new folder will display shortcuts to functions in the Action Centre, the Network and Sharing Centre, Power options, troubleshooting tools, user accounts and others - more than 260 options in total.

21. Right-click everything : At first glance Windows 7 bears a striking resemblance to Vista, but there's an easy way to begin spotting the differences - just right-click things. Right-click an empty part of the desktop, for instance, and you'll find a menu entry to set your screen resolution. No need to go browsing through the display settings any more. Right-click the Explorer icon on the taskbar for speedy access to common system folders:  Documents, Pictures, the Windows folder, and more.
And if you don't plan on using Internet Explorer then you probably won't want its icon permanently displayed on the taskbar. Right-click the icon, select 'Unpin this program from the taskbar', then go install Firefox, instead.

22. Display the old taskbar button context menu :Right-click a taskbar button, though, and you'll now see its jumplist menu. That's a useful new feature, but not much help if you want to access the minimize, maximize, or move options that used to be available. Fortunately there's an easy way to get the old context menu back - just hold down Ctrl and Shift as you right-click the taskbar button.

23. Desktop slideshow : Windows 7 comes with some very attractive new wallpapers, and it's not always easy to decide which one you like the best. So why not let choose a few, and let Windows display them all in a desktop slideshow? Right-click an empty part of the desktop, select Personalise
> Desktop Background, then hold down Ctrl as you click on the images you like. Choose how
often you'd like the images to be changed (anything from daily to once every 10 seconds),
select Shuffle if you'd like the backgrounds to appear in a random order, then click Save Changes and enjoy the show. DESKTOP SLIDESHOW: Select multiple background images and Windows will cycle through  them

24. RSS-powered wallpaper : And if a slideshow based on your standard wallpaper isn't enough, then you can always create a theme that extracts images from an RSS feed. For example, Long Zheng has created a few sample themes to illustrate how it works. Jamie Thompson takes this even
further, with a theme that always displays the latest BBC news and weather on your desktop. And MakeUseOf have a quick and easy tutorial showing how RSS can get you those gorgeous Bing photographs as your wallpaper. Or you can watch our custom theme video tutorial.

25. Customise the log-on screen: Changing the Windows log-on screen used to involve some complicated and potentially dangerous hacks, but not any more - Windows 7 makes it easy.
First, browse to
UI\Background in REGEDIT, double-click the DWORD key called OEMBackground (not
there? Create it) and set its value to 1.

Now find a background image you'd like to use. Make sure it's less than 256KB in size, and
matches the aspect ratio of your screen as it'll be stretched to fit. Next, copy that image into the %windir%\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds folder (create the info\backgrounds folders if they don't exist). Rename the image to backgroundDefault.jpg,  reboot, and you should now have a custom log-on image.

Alternatively, use a free tweaking tool to handle everything for you. Logon Changer displays a
preview so you can see how the log-on screen will look without rebooting, while the Logon
Screen Rotator accepts multiple images and will display a different one every time you log on.

26. Recover screen space
The new Windows 7 taskbar acts as one big quick launch toolbar that can hold whatever
program shortcuts you like (just right-click one and select Pin To Taskbar). And that's fine,
except it does consume a little more screen real estate than we'd like. Shrink it to a more
manageable size by right-clicking the Start orb, then Properties > Taskbar > Use small icons >

27. Enjoy a retro taskbar
Windows 7 now combines taskbar buttons in a way that saves space, but also makes it more
difficult to tell at a glance whether an icon represents a running application or a shortcut. If
you prefer a more traditional approach, then right-click the taskbar, select Properties, and set
Taskbar Buttons to "Combine when taskbar is full". You'll now get a clear and separate button
for each running application, making them much easier to identify.

28. Remove taskbar buttons
One problem with the previous tip is the buttons will gobble up valuable taskbar real estate,
but you can reduce the impact of this by removing their text captions. Launch REGEDIT,
browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics, add a string
called MinWidth, set it to 54, and reboot to see the results.

29. Restore the Quick Launch Toolbar
If you're unhappy with the new taskbar, even after shrinking it, then it only takes a moment to
restore the old Quick Launch Toolbar.
Right-click the taskbar, choose Toolbars > New Toolbar, type "%UserProfile
%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch" (less the quotes) into the
Folder box and click Select Folder.
Now right-click the taskbar, clear 'Lock the taskbar', and you should see the Quick Launch
toolbar, probably to the right. Right-click its divider, clear Show Text and Show Title to
minimise the space it takes up. Complete the job by right-clicking the bar and selecting View >
Small Icons for the true retro look.

30. Custom power switch
By default, Windows 7 displays a plain text 'Shut down' button on the Start menu, but it only
takes a moment to change this action to something else. If you reboot your PC a few times
every day then that might make more sense as a default action: right-click the Start orb,
select Properties and set the 'Power boot action' to 'Restart' to make it happen.

31. Auto arrange your desktop
If your Windows 7 desktop has icons scattered everywhere then you could right-click it and
select View > Auto arrange, just as in Vista. But a simpler solution is just to press and hold
down F5, and Windows will automatically arrange its icons for you.

32. Disable smart window arrangement
Windows 7 features interesting new ways to intelligently arrange your windows, so that (for
example) if you drag a window to the top of the screen then it will maximise. We like the new
system, but if you find it distracting then it's easily disabled. Run REGEDIT, go to
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop, set WindowArrangementActive to 0, reboot, and your windows will behave just as they always did.

33. Browse your tasks
If you prefer the keyboard over the mouse, you will love browsing the taskbar using this nifty
shortcut. Press Windows and T, and you move the focus to the left-most icon on the taskbar.
Then use your arrow keys to change the focus to other icons, and you get a live preview of
every window.

34. Display your drives
Click Computer in Windows 7 and you might see a strange lack of drives, but don't panic, it's
just Microsoft trying to be helpful: drives like memory card readers are no longer displayed if
they're empty. We think it's an improvement, but if you disagree then it's easy to get your
empty drives back. Launch Explorer, click Tools > Folder Options > View and clear 'Hide
empty drives in the computer folder'.

35. See more detail
The new and improved Windows 7 magnifier offers a much easier way to zoom in on any
area of the screen. Launch it and you can now define a scale factor and docking position, and
once activated it can track your keyboard focus around the screen. Press Tab as you move
around a dialog box, say, and it'll automatically zoom in on the currently active control.

36. Extend your jumplists
By default a jumplist will display up to 10 items, but it can often be useful to extend this and
add a few more. Right-click Start, select Properties > Customize and set "Number of recent
items to display in Jump Lists" to the figure you need.

37. Disable Aero Peek
Hover your mouse cursor over the bottom right hand corner of the screen and Windows 7 will 
hide open windows, showing you the desktop. Seems like a good idea to us, but if the feature
gets in your way then it's easy to turn off. Simply right-click the Start orb, select Properties >
Taskbar and clear the "Use Aero Peek to preview the desktop" box.

38. Pin a drive to the taskbar
The taskbar isn't just for apps and documents. With just a few seconds work you can pin drive
icons there, too.Right-click an empty part of the desktop, select New > Text File, and rename the file to
drive.exe. Drag and drop this onto your taskbar, then delete the original file.
Right-click your new "drive.exe" taskbar button, then right-click its file name and select
Properties. Change the contents of both the Target and Start In boxes to point at the drive or
folder of your choice, perhaps click Change Icon to choose an appropriate drive icon, and
you're done - that drive or folder is now available at a click.

39. Expand your taskbar previews
Move your mouse cursor over a Windows 7 taskbar button and you'll see a small preview of
the application window. To make this larger, launch REGEDIT, browse to
right-click in the right hand pane and create a new DWORD value called MinThumbSizePx.
Double-click this, choose the Decimal option, set the value to 350 and reboot to see the
results. Tweak the value again to fine-tune the results, or delete it to return to the default
thumbnail size.

40. Hiding the Windows Live Messenger icon
If you use Windows Live Messenger a lot, you'll have noticed that the icon now resides on the
taskbar, where you can easily change status and quickly send an IM to someone. If you prefer
to keep Windows Live Messenger in the system tray, where it's been for previous releases,
just close Windows Live Messenger, edit the shortcut properties and set the application to run
in Windows Vista compatibility mode.

41. Customise UAC
Windows Vista's User Account Control was a good idea in practice, but poor implementation
put many people off - it raised far too many alerts. Fortunately Windows 7 displays less
warnings by default, and lets you further fine-tune UAC to suit your preferred balance
between security and a pop-up free life (Start > Control Panel > Change User Account Control 

42. Use Sticky Notes
The Sticky Notes app is both simpler and more useful in Windows 7. Launch StikyNot.exe
and you can type notes at the keyboard; right-click a note to change its colour; click the + sign
on the note title bar to add another note; and click a note and press Alt + 4 to close the note
windows (your notes are automatically saved).

43. Open folder in new process
By default Windows 7 opens folders in the same process. This saves system resources, but
means one folder crash can bring down the entire shell. If your system seems unstable, or
you're doing something in Explorer that regularly seems to causes crashes, then open
Computer, hold down Shift, right-click on your drive and select Open in New Process. The
folder will now be launched in a separate process, and so a crash is less likely to affect
anything else.

44. Watch more videos
Windows Media Player 12 is a powerful program, but it still won't play all the audio and video
files you'll find online. Fortunately the first freeware Windows 7 codecs package
[shark007.net/win7codecs.html] has been released, and installing it could get your
troublesome multimedia files playing again.

45. Preview fonts
Open the Fonts window in Windows XP and Vista and you'll see the font names, probably
with icons to tell you whether they're TrueType or OpenType, but that's about it. Windows 7
sees some useful font-related improvements.
Open the new fonts window and you'll find a little preview for every font, giving you a quick
idea of how they're going to look.
The tedium of scrolling through multiple entries for each family, like Times New Roman, Times
New Roman Bold, Times New Roman Bold Italic and so on, has finally ended. There's now
just a single entry for each font (though you can still see all other members of the family).
And there's a new OpenType font, Gabriola, added to the mix. It's an attractive script font, well
worth a try the next time you need a stylish document that stands out from the crowd.

46. Restore your gadgets
Windows 7 has tightened up its security by refusing to run gadgets if UAC has been turned
off, so limiting the damage malicious unsigned gadgets can do to your system. If you've
disabled UAC, miss your gadgets and are happy to accept the security risk, though, there's
an easy Registry way to get everything back to normal. Run REGEDIT, go to
create a new DWORD value called AllowElevatedProcess and set it to 1. Your gadgets should
start working again right away.

47. New WordPad formats
By default WordPad will save documents in Rich Text Format, just as before. But browse the
Save As Format list and you'll see you can also save (or open, actually) files in the Office
2007 .docx or OpenDocument .odt formats.

48. Protect your data
USB flash drives are convenient, portable, and very easy to lose. Which is a problem,
especially if they're carrying sensitive data. Fortunately Windows 7 has the solution: encrypt
your documents with an extension of Microsoft's BitLocker technology, and only someone with
the password will be able to access it. Right-click your USB flash drive, select Turn on
BitLocker and follow the instructions to protect your private files.
PROTECT YOUR DATA: Your USB flash drives can easily be encrypted with BitLocker

49. Minimise quickly with shake
If you have multiple windows open on your desktop and things are getting too cluttered, it
used to be a time-consuming process to close them all down. In Windows 7 you can use the
Aero Shake feature to minimise everything in seconds, using a cool mouse gesture. Grab the
title bar of the window you wish to keep open and give it a shake, and rejoice in a clear
desktop area.

50. Configure your favourite music
The Windows 7 Media Centre now comes with an option to play your favourite music, which
by default creates a changing list of songs based on your ratings, how often you play them,
and when they were added (it's assumed you'll prefer songs you've added in the last 30
days). If this doesn't work then you can tweak how Media Centre decides what a "favourite"
tune is- click Tasks > Settings > Music > Favourite Music and configure the program to suit
your needs.

51. Customise System Restore
There was very little you could do to configure System Restore in Vista, but Windows 7
improves the situation with a couple of useful setup options.
Click the Start orb, right-click Computer and select Properties > System Protection >
Configure, and set the Max Usage value to a size that suits your needs (larger to hold more
restore points, smaller to save disk space).

And if you don't need System Restore to save Windows settings then choose the "Only
restore previous versions of files" option. Windows 7 won't back up your Registry, which
means you'll squeeze more restore points and file backups into the available disk space.
System Restore is much less likely to get an unbootable PC working again, though, so use
this trick at your own risk.

52. Run As
Hold down Shift, right-click any program shortcut, and you'll see an option to run the program
as a different user, handy if you're logged in to the kids' limited account and need to run
something with higher privileges. This isn't really a new feature - Windows XP had a Run As
option that did the same thing - but Microsoft stripped it out of Vista, so it's good to see it's
had a change of heart.

53. Search privacy
By default Windows 7 will remember your PC search queries, and display the most recent
examples when searching in Windows Explorer. If you're sharing a PC and don't want
everyone to see your searches, then launch GPEDIT.MSC, go to User Configuration >
Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer, double-click "Turn off
display of recent search entries..." and click Enabled > OK.54. Tweak PC volume
By default Windows 7 will now automatically reduce the volume of your PC's sounds
whenever it detects you're making or receiving PC-based phone calls. If this proves annoying
(or maybe you'd like it to turn off other sounds altogether) then you can easily change the
settings accordingly. Just right-click the speaker icon in your taskbar, select Sounds >
Communications, and tell Windows what you'd like it to do.

55. Rearrange the system tray
With Windows 7 we finally see system tray icons behave in a similar way to everything else
on the taskbar. So if you want to rearrange them, then go right ahead, just drag and drop
them into the order you like. You can even move important icons outside of the tray, drop
them onto the desktop, then put them back when you no longer need to keep an eye on them.

56. Extend your battery life
Windows 7 includes new power options that will help to improve your notebook's battery life.
To see them, click Start, type Power Options and click the Power Options link, then click
Change Plan Settings for your current plan and select Change Advanced Settings. Expand
Multimedia Settings, for instance, and you'll see a new "playing video" setting that can be set
to optimise power savings rather than performance. Browse through the other settings and
ensure they're set up to suit your needs.

57. Write crash dump files
Windows 7 won't create memory.dmp crash files if you've less than 25GB of free hard drive
space, annoying if you've installed the Windows debugging tools and want to diagnose your
crashes. You can turn this feature off, though: browse to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl, create a new
DWORD value called AlwaysKeepMemoryDump, set it to 1, and the crash dump file will now
always be saved.

58. Protect your data
If you have confidential files in a particular folder or two, and would like to keep them away
from other network users, then right-click the folder, select Share With > Nobody, and they'll
be made private, for your eyes only (or your user account, anyway).

59. Reorganise the taskbar
Windows 7 taskbar buttons are now movable - feel free to drag, drop and otherwise
reorganise them to suit your needs. And then remember that each button can be launched by
holding with the Windows key and pressing 1 to activate the first, 2 the second and so on, up
to 0 for the tenth.

60. Repair your PC
If Windows 7 won't start, you may not need an installation or repair disc any more, as the
repair environment is now usually installed on your hard drive. Press [F8] as your PC starts,
and if you see a "Repair Your Computer" option, choose that to see the full range of Windows
7 recovery tools.

61. ReadyBoost revamped
If you were unimpressed by ReadyBoost in Vista, it may be worth trying the technology again
under Windows 7. The operating system now allows you to combine multiple USB drives,
each with larger caches, to deliver an extra speed boost.

62. Fixing Windows 7 N
If you have Windows 7 N then this means you'll be missing key multimedia applications, like
Media Player, Media Centre, DVD Maker and more. But that's not all. You also won't have
some of the subsystems required by third-party apps like Nero MultiMedia Suite, which
means that even if they install, you could have problems getting them to work correctly. Fortunately there's an easy fix, though, as the missing components are available in the form
of Microsoft's Windows Media Pack. If you're currently having media-related issues on a
Windows 7 N installation, grab your copy from support.microsoft.com/kb/968211.

63. Find bottlenecks
From what we've seen so far Windows 7 is already performing better than Vista, but if your
PC seems sluggish then it's now much easier to uncover the bottleneck. Click Start, type
RESMON and press Enter to launch the Resource Monitor, then click the CPU, Memory, Disk
or Network tabs. Windows 7 will immediately show which processes are hogging the most
system resources.
The CPU view is particularly useful, and provides something like a more powerful version of
Task Manager. If a program has locked up, for example, then right-click its name in the list
and select Analyze Process. Windows will then try to tell you why it's hanging - the program
might be waiting for another process, perhaps - which could give you the information you
need to fix the problem.
FIND BOTTLENECKS: Resource monitor keeps a careful eye on exactly how your PC is 
being used

64. Keyboard shortcuts
Windows 7 supports several useful new keyboard shortcuts.
Display/ hide the Explorer preview pane
Windows Logo+G
Display gadgets in front of other windows
Windows Logo++ (plus key)
Zoom in, where appropriate
Windows Logo+- (minus key)
Zoom out, where appropriate
Windows Logo+Up
Maximise the current window
Windows Logo+Down
Minimise the current window
Windows Logo+Left
Snap to the left hand side of the screen
Windows Logo+Right
Snap to the right hand side of the screen
Windows Logo+Home
Minimise/ restore everything except the current window

65. Drag and drop to the command line
When working at the command line you'll often need to access files, which usually means
typing lengthy paths and hoping you've got them right. But Windows 7 offers an easier way.
Simply drag and drop the file onto your command window and the full path will appear, 
complete with quotes and ready to be used.

This feature isn't entirely new: you could do this in Windows XP, too, but drag and drop
support disappeared in Vista. There does seem to be a new Windows 7 complication, though,
in that it only seems to work when you open the command prompt as a regular user. Run
cmd.exe as an administrator and, while it accepts dropped files, the path doesn't appear.

66. Customize your jump lists

Right-click an icon on your taskbar, perhaps Notepad, and you'll see a jumplist menu that
provides easy access to the documents you've been working on recently. But maybe there's
another document that you'd like to be always available? Then drag and drop it onto the
taskbar icon, and it'll be pinned to the top of the jumplist for easier access. Click the pin to the
right of the file name, or right-click it and select "Unpin from this list" when you need to
remove it.

67. Faster program launches
If you've launched one instance of a program but want to start another, then don't work your
way back through the Start menu. It's much quicker to just hold down Shift and click on the
program's icon (or middle-click it), and Windows 7 will start a new instance for you.

68. Speedy video access
Want faster access to your Videos folder? Windows 7 now lets you add it to the Start menu.
Just right-click the Start orb, click Properties > Start Menu > Customize, and set the Videos
option to "Display as a link". If you've a TV tuner that works with Windows 7 then you'll
appreciate the new option to display the Recorded TV folder on the Start menu, too.

69. Run web searches
The Windows 7 search tool can now be easily extended to search online resources, just as
long as someone creates an appropriate search connector. To add Flickr support, say, visit I
Started Something, click Download the Connector, choose the Open option and watch as it's
downloaded (the file is tiny, it'll only take a moment). A "Flickr Search" option will be added to
your Searches folder, and you'll be able to search images from your desktop.
A multitude of other ready-made searches, such as Google and YouTube, can be downloaded
from the windowsclub.com website.

70. Schedule Media Centre downloads
You can now tell Windows Media Centre to download data at a specific time, perhaps
overnight, a useful way to prevent it sapping your bandwidth for the rest of the day. Launch
Media Centre, go to Tasks > Settings > General > Automatic Download Options, and set the
download start and stop times that you'd like it to use.

71. Multi-threaded Robo copies
Anyone who's ever used the excellent command-line robocopy tool will appreciate the new
switches introduced with Windows 7. Our favourite, /MT, can improve speed by carrying out
multi-threaded copies with the number of threads you specify (you can have up to 128,
though that might be going a little too far). Enter robocopy /? at a command line for the full

72. Load IE faster
Some Internet Explorer add-ons can take a while to start, dragging down the browser's
performance, but at least IE8 can now point a finger at the worst resource hogs. Click Tools >
Manage Add-ons, check the Load Time in the right-hand column, and you'll immediately see
which browser extensions are slowing you down.

73. An Alt+Tab alternative
You want to access one of the five Explorer windows you have open, but there are so many
other programs running that Alt+Tab makes it hard to pick out what you need. The solution?
Hold down the Ctrl key while you click on the Explorer icon. Windows 7 will then cycle through
the Explorer windows only, a much quicker way to locate the right one. And of course this
works with any application that has multiple windows open.

74. Block annoying alerts
Just like Vista, Windows 7 will display a suitably stern warning if it thinks your antivirus,
firewall or other security settings are incorrect.
But unlike Vista, if you disagree then you can now turn off alerts on individual topics. If you no
longer want to see warnings just because you've dared to turn off the Windows firewall, say, 
then click Control Panel > System and Security > Action Centre > Change Action Centre
settings, clear the Network Firewall box and click OK.

75. Parallel defrags
The standard Windows 7 defragger offers a little more control than we saw in Vista, and the
command line version also has some interesting new features. The /r switch will defrag
multiple drives in parallel, for instance (they'll obviously need to be physically separate drives
for this to be useful). The /h switch runs the defrag at a higher than normal priority, and the /u switch provides regular progress reports so you can see exactly what's going on. Enter the
defrag /c /h /u /r
in a command window to speedily defrag a system with multiple drives, or enter defrag /? to
view the new options for yourself.
76. Fix Explorer
The Windows 7 Explorer has a couple of potential annoyances. Launching Computer will no
longer display system folders like Control Panel or Recycle Bin, for instance. And if you're
drilling down through a complicated folder structure in the right-hand pane of Explorer, the
left-hand tree won't always expand to follow what you're doing, which can make it more
difficult to see exactly where you are. Fortunately there's a quick fix: click Organize > Folder
and Search Options, check "Show all folders" and "Automatically expand to current folder",
and click OK.

77. Faster file handing
If you hold down Shift while right-clicking a file in Explorer, then you'll find the Send To file now
includes all your main user folders: Contacts, Documents, Downloads, Music and more.
Choose any of these and your file will be moved there immediately.

78. Create folder favourites
If you're regularly working on the same folder in Explorer then select it in the right-hand page, 
right-click Favourites on the left-hand menu, and select Add to Favourites. It'll then appear at
the bottom of the favourites list for easy one-click access later.

79. Disable hibernation
By default Windows 7 will permanently consume a chunk of your hard drive with its
hibernation file, but if you never use sleep, and always turn your PC off, then this will never
actually be used. To disable hibernation and recover a little hard drive space, launch
REGEDIT, browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power,
then set both HibernateEnabled and HiberFileSizePerfect to zero.

80. Create a new folder shortcut
When you need to create a new folder in Windows 7 Explorer, don't reach for the mouse. Just
press Ctrl+Shift+N to create the folder in the active Explorer window, then type its name as

81. Open a jumplist
Most people right-click a Windows taskbar icon to view its jumplist. You can also hold the left
mouse button over the icon, though, then drag upwards to reveal the jumplist and choose the
option you need, a more natural action that should be just a little faster.

82. Search quickly
If you'd like to search for something in an Explorer window then there's no need to use the
mouse. Simply press [F3] to move the focus to the search box, enter your keyword and press
[Enter] to run the search.

83. Search file contents
There's no obvious way in the Windows interface to search the contents of files that haven't
been indexed, but all you need to do is start your search with the "content:" search filter. So
entering content:Microsoft , for instance, will find all documents (whether they're actually
indexed or not) that contain the word Microsoft.

84. Close in a click
Hover your mouse cursor over a Windows taskbar button will display a preview thumbnail of
that application window. You don't need that app any more? Then middle-click the thumbnail
to close it down.

85. Leave the Homegroup
Homegroups are an easy way to network Windows 7 PCs, but if you don't use the feature
then turning it off can save you a few system resources.
Click Start, type Homegroup, and click "Choose homegroup and sharing options". Click Leave
the Homegroup > Leave the Homegroup > Finish.
Now click Start, type services.msc and press [Enter] to launch the Services Control Panel
Find and double-click both the HomeGroup Listener and HomeGroup Provider service,
clicking Stop and setting Startup Type to Disabled in each case, and the services won't be
launched when you need reboot.

Enjoy Your Customized Windows 7

VirtualBox – An open source tool for virtualization--- professional, flexible, open

Virtual Box is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software. 
VirtualBox is an open source software developed and maintained by Sun Micro systems which is now owner by ORACLE. The main aim is to provide a virtual environment for running guest operating systems. Which means you can run a different operating system inside your current operating system.
It is meant for those people who just love to experiment new things on their PC but are afraid of making any accidental damages to their system. You can also use the .vmdk image files which are created using the VMWare software. Virtual Box can be installed on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and Solaris platforms.
The important part to note here is the settings of this software. You can limit the amount of RAM to be used by this software. Set it to the 3/4th of what you have in your PC. So that you can run other softwares simultaneously without much trouble.  By default when you click on the VirtualBox windows the mouse control is transferred to the guest OS. To use the mouse for the actual OS use the right ctrl key. You will learn more as you start using this software.
VirtualBox is an Open source software and is available for Windows, Linux and Mac systems. You can download the latest version of VirtualBox from the link given below.

Some of the features of VirtualBox are:
  • Modularity. VirtualBox has an extremely modular design with well-defined internal programming interfaces and a client/server design. This makes it easy to control it from several interfaces at once: for example, you can start a virtual machine in a typical virtual machine GUI and then control that machine from the command line, or possibly remotely. VirtualBox also comes with a full Software Development Kit: even though it is Open Source Software, you don't have to hack the source to write a new interface for VirtualBox.
  • Virtual machine descriptions in XML. The configuration settings of virtual machines are stored entirely in XML and are independent of the local machines. Virtual machine definitions can therefore easily be ported to other computers.
  • Guest Additions for Windows, Linux and Solaris. VirtualBox has special software that can be installed inside Windows, Linux and Solaris virtual machines to improve performance and make integration much more seamless. Among the features provided by these Guest Additions are mouse pointer integration and arbitrary screen solutions (e.g. by resizing the guest window). There are also guest additions for OS/2 with somewhat reduced functionality.
  • Shared folders. Like many other virtualization solutions, for easy data exchange between hosts and guests, VirtualBox allows for declaring certain host directories as "shared folders", which can then be accessed from within virtual machines.
A number of extra features are available with the full VirtualBox release only (see the "Editions" page for details):
  • Virtual USB Controllers. VirtualBox implements a virtual USB controller and allows you to connect arbitrary USB devices to your virtual machines without having to install device specific drivers on the host.
  • Remote Desktop Protocol. Unlike any other virtualization software, VirtualBox fully supports the standard Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). A virtual machine can act as an RDP server, allowing you to "run" the virtual machine remotely on some thin client that merely displays the RDP data.
  • USB over RDP. With this unique feature, a virtual machine that acts as an RDP server can still access arbitrary USB devices that are connected on the RDP client. This way, a powerful server machine can virtualize a lot of thin clients that merely need to display RDP data and have USB devices plugged in.

How to Install windows 7 from USB Drive /Pen drive.

Windows 7 Minimum Requirements:
  1. 1GB RAM and 16GB Hard disk space
  2. 1GHZ processor.
  3. Windows 7 iso file.
  4. Pen drive/ usb drive with 4GB space.
  Get a windows 7 DVD with your required Version of Windows 7

Follow the steps given below to install Windows 7 from USB drive.

  1. Insert your USB thumb drive.
  2. Open command prompt. If you are using vista open it with admin rights.
  3. Type diskpart and press enter.
  4. Type list disk.
  5. You will see all the disks connected to your system. If you don’t have any other disk than your Hard disk and pen drive then your pen drive will be Disk . You can guess your pen drive by it’s size also.
  6. If it’s disk 1 then type Select disk 1.
  7. Now before moving ahead take backup of your important data from pen drive as we will have to format the pen drive.
  8. Now go back to CMD and type CLEAN.This will remove partition or volume formatting from the current in-focus disk by zeroing sectors
  9. Type CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY and press Enter. This will create a primary partition of length size and a starting address offset on the current drive.
  10. Type SELECT PARTITION 1 and press Enter.
  11. Type ACTIVE. this will mark the currently selected device as active.
  12. Now type FORMAT FS=NTFS and press Enter.This process may take some time. Wait for this process to end.This will format your USB drive.
  13. Type ASSIGN and press Enter. Then type EXIT .
  14. Now insert your Windows 7 DVD in the DVD drive. I will assume that your DVD drive is at D and USB drive is G. Look in your MY computer to know the drive letters for your PC.
  15. If you have iso file of Windows 7 then you can use this trick to use iso file without burning.
  16. Now open new windows of CMD and navigate to your dvd drive using cmd. If your drive name is d then type D:
  17. Now type CD boot and press enter. Then type bootsect /nt60 H: (H is your usb drive letter).
  18. Now copy all files to your pen drive.
  19. Now the most important step: Reboot your PC and press F2 when the system restarts. This will take you in to BIOS Menu. Under the advanced bios options set the Primary boot device to your Pen drive. Now you are all set to install Windows 7 from USB drive.
Enjoy your Windows 7 and USB that you can use for the computers that done have any CD/ DVD drive.

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