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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Teaching Islam at Victorian public schools

Teaching Islam at Victorian public schools

As-Salamu Allaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barkathu, 

Many of you would not be aware that the Muslim community is entitled by law to teach Islam at Victorian public (govt) schools, both primary and secondary. The law allows for the teaching of Special Religious Instruction (SRI) by faith groups at government schools, and this has been the case for decades. It is estimated that there are between 20,000 - 25,000 Muslim students at public schools, and only a tiny fraction are receiving Islamic SRI. Unfortunately, you can count on one hand the number of public schools where Islamic SRI is being offered.

It would be safe to assume that a large percentage of these 20,0000 - 25,000 children would have very little opportunity to learn about Islam. In reality, Islamic SRI would represent the only means through which these children can be taught about the basics of their faith, including Islam's main tenets, values, and practices. 

There are several reasons for this absence of Islamic SRI at public schools, with the two main ones being the general lack of community awareness, and the lack of infrastructure to be able to deliver Islamic SRI. We are now trying hard to address these two issues. A number of committed people are working on this program, but we want to start offering Islamic SRI from today and we need a lot of help.

There are several ways that you can support and participate in this very important initiative : 

Register to become a volunteer Islamic SRI Instructor - if you can spare 30mins per week to teach at a local school then you satisfy the main criterion. You will be provided with all the lesson material.

Spread the word amongst your friends and colleagues - feel free to forward this email or direct people to the website.

Help out with the program - anything from recruiting Instructors and arranging for their training & accreditation to liaising with schools to schedule SRI classes.

Nominate your local school - by nominating a school, we can begin to undertake the necessary steps required to offer Islamic SRI at that school.


Please let me know if you require more information. Alternatively, you can check out the website

Jazaakum Allahu khayran

Anvar
anvarsadik@gmail.com

Thursday, September 22, 2011

গুগল ম্যাপ এডিট করতে শিখুনঃ দেশের জন্য অবদান রাখুন


গুগল ম্যাপ। ডিজিটাল যোগাযোগ ব্যবস্থার এক অনন্য নাম ! জিপিএস ছাড়া উন্নত বিশ্বের দৈনন্দিন জীবন অচল। কিন্তু আমাদের দেশে অবহেলিত! দেশের ডিজিটাল ম্যাপিং এর অবস্থা খুব করুন। অনেক দেশে শুধু ব্যবহারকারীদের অবদানের জন্য নগরীগুলো ডিজিটাল ম্যাপিং এর সবোর্চ্চ শিখরে পৌছেছে। কিন্তু আমাদের দেশে কনট্রিবিউটর খুব কম। চলুন আমরা সবাই দেশকে ডিজিটাল বানাতে অবদান রাখি, আর শিখে ফেলি কিভাবে ম্যাপ এডিট করতে হয়।

টিউটোরিয়ালঃ

গুগল ম্যাপ এডিট খুব সহজ কাজ! নেট ব্যবহার করতে জানেন এমন কেউ আলাদা কোন প্রশিক্ষণ ছাড়াই গুগল ম্যাপে অবদান রাখতে পারবেন।
1. প্রথমে আপনার একটি জিমেইল একাউন্ট বা গুগল একাউন্ট লাগবে। একাউন্ট না থাকলে এখান থেকে তৈরী করে নিন
2. এবার গুগল ম্যাপ এডিটের এই লিংকে প্রবেশ করুন। http://www.google.com/mapmaker
ম্যাপ এডিটের বাটনগুলোর সাথে একনজরে পরিচিত হোন।

যেভাবে নতুন রাস্তা বানাবেনঃ

ধরুন আপনার বাসার পাশের রাস্তাটি গুগল ম্যাপে নেই, কিন্তু আপনি অ্যাড করে দিতে চাচ্ছেন। নিচে স্যাটেলাইট ভিউ থেকে একটি রাস্তা দেখা যাচ্ছে যেটি ম্যাপে নেই (আমরা অ্যাড করে দেব)

এই রাস্তাটি বানাতে প্রথমে 1 চিহ্নিত বাটনে ক্লিক করুন। তারপর 2 বাটন থেকে Road সিলেক্ট করুন।

প্রয়োজনে জুম করে নিন। এরপর মাউস দিয়ে ক্লিক করে করে রোডটি বানিয়ে ফেলুন।

সিলেক্ট করা হলে কিবোর্ডের Enter বাটন চাপুন। 1 নং ঘরে রোড এর নাম দিয়ে Save করুন! :D
বিঃদ্রঃ (নিজের নামে কোন রাস্তা বানাবেন না, এটি নিষিদ্ধ)
(ব্যাস রোড তৈরী হয়ে গেল! রোডটি কিন্তু সরারি ম্যাপে প্রকাশ পাবেনা। আপনি নতুন ইউজার হলে একজন গুগল রিভিউয়ার আপনার ম্যাপটি রিভিউ করে তারপর পাবলিশ করে দেবে। সাধারণত 2-1 দিন সময় লাগে রিভিউ পেতে। ম্যাপটি পাবলিশ হবার সাথে সাথেই যে মোবাইলের গুগল ম্যাপে রোডটি দেকতে পারবেন না নয়, 10-15 দিন পর পর লেটেস্ট সব আপডেট কে ম্যাপে সিনক্রোনাইজ করা হয়, তখন মোবাইলে আপনার রোডটি বিশ্বের সবাই দেকতে পারবে।)

যেভাবে কোন জায়গা (পার্ক/অফিস/রেস্টোরা) বানাবেনঃ

প্রথমে 1 চিহ্নিত জায়গায় ক্লিক করে 2 নং থেকে যা বানাবেন তা সিলেক্ট করুন। এখানে আমি একটি পার্ক (Park) বানাবো।

আগের মতই (1) মাউস দিয়ে প্রথমে এরিয়া সিলেক্ট করে দিন। এরপর (2) পার্কটির নাম দিয়ে দিন (3) এটি পার্কের এরিয়া না বিল্ডিং তা সিলেক্ট করুন (4) Save করুন।
বিঃদ্রঃ আপনার বাসা ম্যাপে যোগ করবেন না। এটি গুগল সমর্থন করেনা। মডারেটর ডিনাই করে দেবে, আপনার ম্যাপিং অ্যাকুরেসি রেটিং কমে যাবে। বিজনেস এরিয়া ও জনপ্রিয় স্থানগুলো যুক্ত করুন।

যেভাবে কোন রাস্তার নাম সংশোধন করবেনঃ

ধরুন আপনার এলাকার কোন রাস্তার নাম ভুলভাবে ম্যাপে রয়েছে। এটি সংশোধন করার জন্য (1) সিলেক্ট বাটনে ক্লিক করুন। এরপর যেই রাস্তাটি সংশোধন করবেন তার উপর ক্লিক করুন (2)। রাস্তাটি সিলেক্ট হয়ে যাবে।

এবার Edit এ ক্লিক করুন। এখান থেকে Edit entire (রোডের নাম) এ ক্লিক করুন।

(1) এ রোডের নামটি প্রবেশ করান (2) সেভ করুন। :D

যেভাবে ভুল রোড ডিলেট করবেনঃ

ধরুন আপনার এলাকার কোন রোড ভুলভাবে ম্যাপে এসেছে. বা রোডটি নেই কিন্তু ম্যাপে আছে এবং আপনি ডিরেট করতে চাচ্ছেন (সতর্কতার সাথে ডিলেট করুন, কারণ আসল রোড ডিলেট করলে ব্যবহারকারীরা অসুবিধায় পড়বে)।
রোডটি ডিলেট করতে  (1) সিলেক্ট বাটনে ক্লিক করুন, এরপর যেই রাস্তাটি ডিলেট করবেন তার উপর ক্লিক করুন। এবার (2) Edit মেনু থেকে Delete This এ ক্লিক করুন।

এবার রোডটি কেন ডিলেট করবেন তার কারণ সিলেক্ট করুন।

ব্যাস রোড ডিলেট হয়ে গেল! :D

সতর্কতাঃ

  • গুগল ম্যাপ এডিটে প্রচুর ডাটা খরচ হয়। প্রিপেইড ব্যবহারকারীগণ এক্ষেত্রে সতর্ক থাকবেন।
  • নিখুঁত ও নির্ভুল তথ্য দিন, মনে রাখবেন আপনার দেয়া তথ্য হাজার হাজার মানুষের কাজে আসবে।
  • নতুন ব্যবহারকারী হিসেবে আপনার এডিট সরাসরি প্রকাশিত হবেনা, কিছু সময় লাগবে।
  • গুগল ম্যাপে আপনার এডিট প্রকাশ পেতে 10-15 দিন সময় লাগবে। (স্টাবল ভার্সনের জন্য)
দেশের জন্য অবদান রাখুন, দেশকে ডিজিটাল করুন। এই পোস্টটি নিজস্ব ব্লগ ও অন্যন্য কমিউনিটি ব্লগে ছড়িয়ে দিতে পারেন যাতে সকলে গুগল ম্যাপ এডিট করতে শিখে দেশের জন্য অবদান রাখতে পারে।

Windows 8 Review- A closer Look.


Windows 8
Finally Microsoft has unvail its brand new OS Windows 8 Developer Preview and allowing everyone to pre test it features and get the feel of it. At Maximus IT we are thrilled to let our reader know all about Windows 8 which just been unleased for testing,

 
Speed Tests: It’s Faster than windows 7 in almost every way, Firstly the boot time  -Windows 8's boot times were significantly faster than Windows 7's, Microsoft made a big effort in. I would get boot times more comparable to Windows 7, and sometimes it would be fast as testing on Virtual Box. We will wait and see how that changes in a year when the final version come up, but for right now, we're going to assume that this goal of fast boot times is resulting in some pretty hefty speed increases.

On the first startup on my HP Laptop , I had to give the computer a name, choose a Wi-Fi router, and configure settings.  after that it went to do recommended update and security options and by default it allowing programs to use my name, location, and user pictures.

Windows 8 Login Screen
Next step is setting up a Google Chrome and sign into or create a Windows Live account by this way your apps can connect with Microsoft cloud services like SkyDrive storage, Hotmail, and any other connected services you’ve connected—Facebook and twitter and LinkedIn accounts . Once logging in, the new Windows 8 took a couple minutes to prepare my Computer.

When I reboot and start up again, I saw the lock screen image, and next to it is my login screen. Windows 8 Developer Preview have an innovative new option in that is to create a  picture password  in which you touch and swipe parts of an image to log in. very cool yea.

Windows 8 Developer Preview is combined desktop, laptop and tablet operating system, it is designed to go from tablets to big screens, from portable notebooks to big gaming systems and business desktops.

We also tested Windows Phone 7 Metro-style touch interface of live tiles, the Metro programming model for building web apps and native apps that run full screen and share information. Its basically what you use every day on you smart phone making your computing experience similar.

Windows 8 another features is to put two apps on screen side by side, and the traditional Windows desktop for when you need richer apps like the ones we've been using in Windows for years.

Windows 8 interface: You can customise both the image you see on the Windows 8 Lock screen and the details of unread emails and missed instant messages that it shows. And you can pin desktop apps such as Office or Task Manager, and even a link to the desktop, to the Lock screen.You can group tiles together - giving groups a name or leaving them blank - and make any tile single or double width. Just swipe the tile up a little to get the option to change the size, unpin the app or uninstall it completely. You'll be able to do that for pre-installed Metro software too (which is what Microsoft is encouraging OEMs to bundle on new Windows 8 PCs).
Windows 8 Log in

As well as moving a tile to a new location by dragging it, you can also drag it up to the top of the screen with one finger and hold it there while you swipe across the screen to get to where you want to drop it - a much easier way of dealing with a long list of tiles. Future builds of Windows 8 will also enable you to pinch to zoom out so you can see all the tiles on screen at once, and rearrange groups at the same time.

Once you launch apps, you can use gestures to arrange them as you do in Nokia N8 or other Smart phones. Swiping from the left switches to the next app, but you can also swipe and drag to put two apps on a screen side by side - and one of those can be the Windows desktop.

Windows 8 Log in
Touch keyboard: Windows 8 has two touch keyboards for ultimate mobility and flexibility. An improved, full-sized touch keyboard with larger buttons and a unique thumb keyboard make it easy to use your computer on the go. Whether you’re walking around or sitting down, it’s more comfortable and natural to type using your thumbs when the keyboard is split.

The touch keyboard in Windows 8 includes several features to speed up your typing and make it more accurate. Improved keyboard technology is designed to minimize inaccurate key strokes while automatically correcting mistyped words without slowing you down. To make typing more efficient, Windows suggests words on screen as you type, allowing you to choose the suggested word with a single tap.

Your apps come with you:When you sign in with your connected Microsoft account to another PC running Windows 8, your Metro  style apps and settings go with you, so it’s just like you’re using your own PC. You’ll also be signed in to all of the websites you were signed in to. Your connected account is like a portable, personal PC that appears on any Windows 8-based PC you’re using. You’re always ready to pick back up where you left off no matter where you are.

Apps can work together: Apps can communicate with each other in Windows 8. So, if you want to send pictures in email, and they’re in different places like Facebook, Flickr, or on your hard drive, you can easily pick and send the ones you want. Windows 8 provides a single view.

Internet Explorer 10: the web by touch Metro style Internet Explorer 10 provides a fast and fluid touch-first browsing experience that’s all about your sites, making them feel increasingly more app-like. With faster performance, leading security protection, more hardware acceleration, and site-ready HTML5 support, IE10 continues to allow developers  to build a richer and more beautiful web.
Windows 8 in Virtual Box

More for power users: If you want to push the limits of your PC experience, we’ve invested in the features most often used by power users. We redesigned Windows Explorer and Task Manager to greatly enhance productivity, and developed new, flexible options for multi-monitor setups.
File management with ease: With enhanced Windows Explorer to make file navigation and common file management tasks straightforward. The ribbon organizes Explorer’s rich functionality, surfacing previously buried features and has new commands like ISO mounting and single-window move or copy. We’ve brought back a long-lost favourite: the Up button. We’ve also introduced a new enhanced copy experience so you can view and manage all of your file operations in one place.

Task Manager: The new Task Manager is your easy-to-use, all-in-one dashboard for monitoring and controlling your PC so you always know what’s going on with it. The information is presented in color-coded tiles to help draw your eye to items that are using the bulk of a resource. You can keep track of your system efficiently and in real-time, taking advantage of summary graphs and detailed information on processes, applications, and history. You can see the services associated with each process on one screen.
Windows 8 Task Manager

Security: Smart Screen filter: SmartScreen is a set of sophisticated technologies to help protect you from malicious websites and programs. Whether you’re downloading or running a new program on the desktop, Smart Screen has you covered. SmartScreen continues to provide protection from phishing and socially engineered malware attacks using URL and application reputation and removes unnecessary warnings for programs and publishers with an established reputation. To add another layer of protection, SmartScreen is now integrated with program launch to screen programs downloaded from the web. It also shows new warnings before higher-risk programs can run and will block known malware.

Windows Defender: To ensure legitimate antimalware protection to all users, Windows 8 provides Windows Defender. It monitors and protects against viruses and other malware in real time and detects and removes malware if your computer becomes infected. With Windows 8, third-party antimalware software becomes even more effective: by loading approved antimalware drivers during the boot process, antimalware software can start from a known good state and continue its vigilant watch over your PC from that point on.

Secured boot: Secured boot stops malware in its tracks and makes Windows 8 significantly more resistant to low-level attacks. Even when a virus has made it onto your PC, Windows will authenticate boot components to prevent any attempt to start malware before the operating system is up and running. If the component isn’t correctly signed by Microsoft, Windows will begin remediation and start the Windows Recovery Environment, which will automatically try to fix your operating system.

Microsoft Windows 8 System Requirements:
  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch

Download  Links: 


Monday, August 8, 2011

Bangladesh NEXT. Next IT Destination.

Bangladesh NEXT. Next IT Destination:
The demographic advantage, the stability and the social developments have set the platform for Bangladesh to emerge as the one of the next large players of global service outsourcing market. As outsourcing costs in traditional countries like China, India and Philippines are rising dramatically and global clients are increasingly looking for diversification of sourcing portfolio, Bangladesh is surely the Next best alternative.
Bangladesh possesses one of the most attractive population demography in the world. This is a country powered by youth. In terms of number of youth population, Bangladesh is among top ten countries of the world and top five within Asia. This unique age demography makes Bangladesh as one of the best attractive country for service outsourcing (ITES/BPO, Software, Call centre etc.).

A significant portion of the youth population is proficient in English. Within the non-speaking developing countries, Bangladesh education system has the 3rd largest number of enrollment in English courses at secondary and higher secondary level. Because of this second-language advantage, the country is surely one of the natural choices for service outsourcing for English speaking North American countries.

Adoption to new digital lifestyle among young generation is very high. The urban youth are quite tech savvy and always keep pace with different modern tech-driven lifestyle updates (e.g. in terms of Facebook users, Bangladesh ranks within top twenty in the world. The country already has over 2 million facebook users).

Over 10 million (around 7 percent of total population) citizens of the country work outside the country (4th highest in the world), in different parts of the world. This has contributed significantly in cross-cultural adaptability skill of the professionals. A significant number of the overseas people are technology professionals. They are working successfully in different leading technology companies at different parts of the world. This technology skilled diaspora can also be instrumental in outsourcing boom (as it has been the case in India).

Within the country, the rapid technological development in recent years has set the tone for significant growth in technology driven service industry. Mobile growth in the country is one of the highest in the developing world. Major technology infrastructure like country-wide fiber connectivity, Wi-Max broadband, 3G are being implemented at quick pace.

During last few decades, the country has achieved significant social sector development, particularly in education and health. As recognition of this, Bangladesh has recently won UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Award.

During last decade, Bangladesh economy has emerged as one of the most stable developing economies of Asia. Helped by very strong growth in both export and foreign remittance, the local currency (Taka) is one of the most stable currencies.

Powered by people Over 25,000 IT engineers are working in over 600 software and IT service companies: around 150 of these companies are specialized in serving overseas clients.

Specialized IT Education in Bangladesh is well established at the graduation and post graduation levels. Over 90 universities and 700 colleges across the country offer IT education programs. Every year, over 6,000 IT graduates come out of these universities and colleges.

A large part of these IT graduates also possess global IT vendor certifications (e.g., from Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Sun) on top of their academic degrees.

Excellence of IT workforce from Bangladesh is a well-accepted fact at home and abroad. Over 10,000 IT professionals from Bangladesh are working successfully in various IT companies in USA including Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Sun, Oracle, Texas Instruments, Cisco, Nortel, and Lucent – to name a few.

Bangladesh Government and the IT industry have taken up aggressive plans to scale up the number of IT workforce to meet the increasing demand. The plans include national skills assessment and enhancement programs for IT professionals, increasing the number of yearly IT graduates to 10,000 and development of outsourcing focused specific skill sets.

Government Support to IT outsourcing: Software and IT Services have been declared by the Government as a ‘High Priority’ export sector.

All Software and IT Services companies including those having foreign ownerships have been exempted from Income Tax until 2011.

Special government sponsored long-term equity fund and short term working capital financing are offered to IT companies.

Since 1996, Government has been allowing zero/low tariff for computers and other capital goods required for software industry.

Special Hi-Tech and Software Technology Parks are being built by the government to facilitate all the infrastructural supports needed by outsourcing companies.

ICT Policy 2009 has been approved by the Govt. of Bangladesh in June 2009

A Roadmap to transform Bangldesh into ‘Digital Bangldesh’ has also been formed
know more at:Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS)

BSRS Bhaban (5th Floor - West)12 Kawran Bazar
Dhaka -1215,Bangladesh
Phone: +880 2 8151196; 8144708-09
Fax: +880 2 8151197
Email: secretariat@basis.org.bd
Web: http://www.basis.org.bd
http://www.bangladeshnext.com/index.html
http://www.basis.org.bd/catalog/

Live Cricket Streaming | Watch Cricket Online

Watch Live Cricket Streaming free online. Cricket Live Streams on Internet. Live Cricket online on computer



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Make Use of online teamwork and collaboration

Conceptboard:

Conceptboard is another great web app for online teamwork and collaboration.Among many features, you can draw directly on a board for your team to see, drag files directly on to your concept boards, write over your documents, leave comments easily for others to see, invite colleagues and clients to participate and even work on it using your iPad. The free account gives you a lot of options and is worth a look.

Got 15 minutes? Give Ruby a shot right now!

Got 15 minutes? Give Ruby a shot right now!

Ruby is a programming language from Japan (available at ruby-lang.org ) which is revolutionizing the web. The beauty of Ruby is found in its balance between simplicity and power.

http://tryruby.org is an extremely well produced site for anyone who is interested in learning about Ruby on Rails. It has a number of different lessons that teach you the basics in a new and interesting way. Enjoy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bangladesh Central bank takes step to rev up ICT business

Central bank takes step to rev up ICT business
By: Financial Express


The central bank has allowed online transactions for the country's information and communication technology (ICT) firms aiming to expedite ICT related businesses, officials said on September 02, 2010.Under the new provisions, banks are allowed to remit up to US$ 10,000 on behalf of ICT or software firms in a calendar year for the purposes of international alliances like software registration fee, domain registration and hosting fees and server maintenance fee without prior approval of the Bangladesh Bank (BB). 

ICT businessmen welcomed the BB's latest move, saying that it would facilitate their businesses through allowing internet transactions."Bangladesh opens a new chapter of e-business allowing internet transactions," Chairman of the committee on international marketing of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) Shameem Ahsan told the FE.
He also said it would help to create new employment opportunity through boosting ICT related businesses including software exporting across the world. 

Within the limit of $10,000 in foreign exchange authorised dealer banks, officially known as ADs, may issue international card (IC) favoring a nominated official of ICT or software firm for US$1000 with the recommendation of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the central bank said in a circular, issued Thursday. 

"As a part of ongoing liberalisation of BB, We've incorporated internet/ online transactions particularly for ICT firms into our regulations. We hope that it would be a milestone for digital transaction of the country's banking industry," a BB senior official told the FE.The IC may be refilled for another $1000 subject to production of documents showing the fact that the previous transactions were carried out for the purposes."The ADs shall ensure that the aggregate amount of refills of IC and outward payment through other means do not exceed $10,000 in a calendar year," the circular added.In the context of web based trade, the foreign buyer settles the payment through international credit cards (ICC) using internet/web. 

To accommodate such internet/web generated payment to beneficiary account, it has been decided to allow ADs to work as 'Acquiring Banks' for realisation of internet/web generated payment favouring BASIS member ICT/software firms registered and operating in Bangladesh.
"…ADs shall have to comply with the applicable regulation of foreign exchange transactions, AML/CFT, payment and settlement systems and other relevant laws/regulations in force and report the transactions with monthly returns to Bangladesh Bank in the relevant schedules/statements," it noted.

Bangladesh among best spots for IT outsourcing

Bangladesh among best spots for IT outsourcing
By: The Daily Star  December 27, 2010 

Bangladesh has carved its place among the world's best destinations for IT outsourcing, largely thanks to its low cost, according to a study by a leading research and consulting firm.
Bangladesh usually offers an attractive cost proposition for the investors, as its low salary level and low-cost of living are ideal for jobs that are commoditised and have low risk, said the study conducted by Gartner (It delivers technology research to global technology business leaders) in its annual listing of top countries for IT outsourcing globally.
“Bangladesh is an emerging country from an offshore location perspective, but ranks poorly in language, infrastructure and data and intellectual property security,” the research said.
“Although it offers a good cost proposition, the government has to address many issues such as education, infrastructure and data security or IP protection in order to propel the top ranks,” said Gartner, which has put Bangladesh on its list of top 30 destinations for global IT outsourcing for 2010-11.
This is the first time that Bangladesh has been listed in the top ranking by any global research company on IT outsourcing and has been placed on par with China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam in Asia.
“The achievement is significant given the growing potential of Bangladesh as an attractive IT outsourcing destination,” said Mahboob Zaman, president of the Bangladesh Association for Software and Information Services (BASIS), at a press conference in the capital yesterday.
“However, it would require proper government policy support in addressing the shortcomings identified in the study to keep up the same rating,” he added.
Bangladesh has debuted in the list along with eight other countries that have made it for the first time to the Top 30 of the Gartner ranking.
“The country offers an attractive cost proposition, given its low salary levels and low cost of living,” said the study, which took into account ten separate criteria for rating the individual destinations.
The criteria include language, government support, labour pool, infrastructure, educational system, cost, political and economical environment, cultural compatibility, global and legal maturity as well as data and Intellectual Property Security and Privacy.
Bangladesh has been ranked 'very good' in the criteria of cost, according to the Gartner findings while rating 'fair' in all criteria apart from the areas of language, infrastructure and data and IP security and privacy.
Noting that Bangladesh's cost of living is one of the lowest in the world, the report found that the median salary per annum of a software engineer or developer in Bangladesh is about $5,070, while the median salary of a senior software engineer is $7,300 and that of an IT manager is $9,734.
“In recent years, the government has taken several bold steps in boosting the country's IT industry, which has been partly reflected in this rating,” said State Minister for Science and ICT Yeafish Osman.“Most recently, the office of electronic signature certifying authority has been set up for authorising a digital signature system, while a cyber security policy is going to be formulated and cyber tribunals are going to be formed to address the cyber crime issue,” he added. 
The Gartner report finds the country's PC penetration and teledensity 'low' and the overall English language competency 'poor' while stating that the essential infrastructure elements such as electricity, airways and rail networks are not up to the global standard.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

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.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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
tutorial.)

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
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\Logon
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 >
OK.

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
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Taskband,
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 
Settings).

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
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Sidebar\Settings,
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.
Alt+P
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
details.

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
command
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
usual.

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
applet.
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

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