Saturday, January 26, 2008

Smooth edges of screen fonts

Smooth edges of screen fonts: #Activating this option uses antialiasing to smooth the edges of screen fonts, significantly reducing the dreaded "jaggy" effect. This makes text much more attractive in word processors and web browsers. However, it only works with TrueType fonts and if your graphics display is set to more than 256 colors.

  • Action after restarting the system

  • Follow the following action in registry editor

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

New String Value >> FontSmoothing

Technology Gets Your Goat

Computing is now ubiquitous. But who will fix the hassles?

This is an extract from the PCWorld Magazine.

Does technology have to be so complex? This is the most frequent question posed by users when they are let down by the devices they've come to rely upon.

Our globe trotting chairman, visiting from the USA wanted to use his Blackberry in Bangalore. A seasoned traveler, he checked with his service provider before emplaning for
India and was assured that the
device would function at his destination.
Imagine his consternation
when he couldn't get it to fetch email
after he landed in Bangalore.
Patrick Mc Govern, no mean
hand at technology himself, made
a few attempts to get it going—
and then brought in the troops.
We confi rmed that the Blackberry
could identify the local telecom
service provider—but it just
wouldn't get his messages. A
quick check on the local telecom
service provider's web site yielded
no solutions. So, we made a call
to the service provider's technical service
helpdesk. After describing the problem we
prepared to wait. We were pleasantly surprised,
they seemed to be very familiar
with the problem—and the solution was
instantly provided. Obviously we weren't
the first to experience this Blackberry
glitch. Just interrupt power to the device,
and get it to restart, we were told. Yup,
remove the battery and put it right back.
Skeptical that the solution could be so
trivial, we put the technical support engineer
on hold and promptly carried out the
operation. Tens of seconds later, the
Blackberry was back to doing what it does
well. Quite naturally, Patrick was delighted
by the quick fi x, and his anxieties were
instantly banished.

This incident got me wondering why
such a sophisticated device needed a "cold
boot"? Couldn't the designers have foreseen
this situation? Or is there a technology
impediment that necessitates this workaround?
Patrick, on the other hand, didn't
care. He was just happy to know that the
next time around he could fi x the problem
himself—without the assistance from the
technology guys. In some sense, he had
been inducted into a secret sect that knew
the ritual of reviving misbehaving Blackberrys
on foreign networks!

Whilst vendors and software developers
have invested considerable effort in
improving user interfaces and designing
better stuff, the products themselves are
not always foolproof. Either they fail at
inopportune moments in totally unanticipated
ways, or users fail to understand how
to make them work the way they want.
Read the manual you say? Unfortunately,
very often the supplied documentation is
grossly inadequate or totally incomprehensible.
And when the problem arises, you
probably can't locate it. Use customer support?
Well, only if it works 24x7. Many vendors
operate only weekdays, so what
if the problem strikes on weekends
or late evenings?

So, what are the alternatives?
Either fi nd a tech guru who can fi x
your problems, or go to the Internet.
The fi rst is scarce commodity
and may need considerable inducement
and persuasion to do your
deed. And it is possibly a highmaintenance
resource too. (Hint:
This might be a good time to pay
homage to the guru, if you've been
recently slacking).

The second option, the Internet,
could be too much of a good thing.
There are possibly hundreds of
sites, forums and discussion
groups with reams of information.
Which one do you consult? Do you really
have the time and the inclination to
plough through pages of search results
to fi gure out the answers? Then again,
how can you be sure that the information
they give you is correct? When you
want to shop for a new device, is the
advice from the Internet useful and
unbiased? Questions, and more questions.
No simple answer.

Or perhaps there is. A handy expert to
help you fi x problems and assist with buying
decisions. A trusted, authoritative
source of advice that is consulted by millions
of readers around the world. You
have it in your hand—PC World.
Welcome to the India edition.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Empty TEMP folder

Empty TEMP folder on startup: When this option is enabled Windows automatically deletes the contents of the TEMP folder when you power up or restart the system. This is useful for two reasons: It can help to stop data garbage collecting in the TEMP folder and it can also improve security, as the folder may sometimes contain data you don't want unauthorized people to see.

  • Action immediately

  • Follow the actions in registry editor

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WinExtra\TweakUp

Create a New DWord <given below> Entry with Value as 1

  1. ClearTempFiles    -    Empty TEMP folder

  2. ClearCookies        -   Delete cookies at Windows startup

  3. ClearInternetFiles -   Delete temporary Internet files

  4. ClearDocHistory    -   Clear "Documents" history

  5. ClearRunHistory    -   Clear "Run" history

  6. ClearRecycleBin     -   Empty Recycle Bin

  7. ClearUrlHistory      -  Clear Internet Explorer history

  8. ClearFindHistory    -  Clear "Search for Files and Folders" history

  9. ClearRecycleBin     -   Empty Recycle Bin

For extra support, just put a comment in this blog post!

User can use registry editor

User can use registry editor: Almost all of Windows' security settings and configuration parameters are stored in the registry database.

If users can access the registry directly with the registry editor (REGEDIT.EXE) it is very easy for them to change their own rights and permissions if they have the necessary knowledge, which makes security strategies pointless. In addition to this, inexperienced users can do serious damage to the system by "playing" with the registry editor.

  • Disabling this option significantly increases system security by preventing users from using the registry editor.

  • Active Immediately

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

    DWord <given below> Value 1

     

  • DisableRegistryTools    -    User can use registry editor

  • NoDispCPL                    -    User can access Display settings

  • NoDispScrSavPage       -    User can configure screen saver

  • NoDispBackgroundPage   -    User can configure desktop background

  • NoDispAppearancePage   -    User can configure desktop appearance

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Internet Options : Limited Control of Windows/Microsoft Internet Explorer

Show Internet Options: Shows or hides the Internet Options icon in the Control Panel.

Deactivate this option to remove the Internet Options icon from the Control Panel so that the current user cannot access these settings.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\don't load

New String <INETCPL.CPL> NoKey


User can view and edit Internet Options

User can view and edit Internet Options: Deactivate this option to prevent the current user from being able to access and edit the Internet Options item in the Internet Explorer Tools menu.

NOTE:
Access to these options is also possible with the Internet Options icon in the Control Panel. To prevent this you should also disable this icon in PowerUp / Security / Control Panel / Show Internet Options.

Action is Immediate

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions

New DWord <NoBrowserOptions> 1


User can download files and save them locally

User can download files and save them locally:#This option permits the user to download files from the Internet/intranet and save them on the local system.

  • Deactivating the option prevents file downloads and local saving for the current user.

  • Action is Immediate

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions

    New DWord <NoSelectDownloadDir> 1

Monday, January 21, 2008

Customize Windows System Paths - Desktop

Windows system paths: The options in this tab enable you to change some of the standard system paths used by Windows.

USE WITH CAUTION: Please be aware that changing system paths to incorrect values can cause unexpected and even serious errors. Always make sure that the path you set really exists before making the change, and NEVER set a system path to a directory on a RAM disk or removable drive!!

The action is Applied Immediately without the need to reboot the system.

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders

    New String < given below> followed by Complete Path/Data Entry

    • Favorites

    • Desktop

    • Templates

    • Send To

    • Windows Installation

    • Cookies

    • Temporary Internet Files

    • History

  • Automatic message at system start

    Do you have something you'd like to say to yourself or other users who use your computer every time Windows is started?

    Then just fill out these fields. The title is the title of the dialog box in which the message is displayed, the text is the text of the message displayed in the box.

    The action is Applied Immediately without the need to reboot the system.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

    New String Value with Label:

    • LegalNoticeCaption

    • LegalNoticeText

    "LegalNoticeCaption"="It's i-geek blog info"
    "LegalNoticeText"="Access to thousands of Windows Registry Tweaks available for free downloads at the geek's blog:
    http://i-geek.blogspot.com/ "
     

  • Thursday, January 17, 2008

    Upgrading MP3 player firmware

    Okay, everything seems fine and you, now, want to upgrade the firmware version of your MP3 player, most probably a PRC made. Please, back up your data before proceeding any work and make ready for the original sotwares/drivers/firmwares you have. Remember, you are taking RISK yourself.

    Basics of the Firmware:

    s1fwx (s1 firmware extractor) is a free commandline tool (public domain) which lets you extract the original firmware from your s1 mp3 player device plus additional futures support operations on the firmware files like decrypt, extract and archive. this way you could investigate all the files included in any fw file, change their content and put them back together.

    There are two known archive formats:

    • AFI: this archives include files needed to flash the device, a minimal set may consist of an BRECFxxx.BIN (the bootloader) and a FWIMAGE.FW file (as below)

    • FW/FWI: firmware image files include all firmware files needed during runtime

      Commandline usage:
       

      usage:     s1fwx {i|x|s|a|l|f|r} {filename{:[afi|fw|enc]}}    examples:     display file info                s1fwx i fname.ext     extract firmware file            s1fwx x fname.ext     generate script from file        s1fwx s fname.ext > new.script     create firmware file by script   s1fwx a new.fw:fw < def_fw.script     create afi file by script        s1fwx a new.bin:afi < def_afi.script     list entire content of any file  s1fwx l *.bin     extract firmware from player     s1fwx f dump.bin     repair dumped firmware files     s1fwx r dump.bin  

    You may need admin-rights to extract firmware from your player.

    How To Extract and Repair Firmware?

    Extracting your players firmware is a very good idea just to create a backup of the original firmware files. It's no promise that you could always backup your player after some bad firmare update, but at least you have some more possibilities.

    • First download newest version of s1fwx from the link provided at the last of this post and extract the archive.

    • Then connect your mp3 player device to your computers USB port and wait until it gets detected.

    • Now double click the extracted file "extract.bat" or run "s1fwx f dump.bin" from the windows commandline console. Skip the disclaimer by pressing space and select the drive your player gets mounted to. (eg. if detected drives displays "<x>" then choose drive "x:" by pressing x)

    • Now s1fwx should start extracting your firmware, this may take arround 10 seconds.

    • If everything went well and no error gets displayed it will display the content of the extracted firmware file as it was redden from your player.

      Before you could update your player with this firmware file using the original "Mp3 Player Update Tool" you will first have to repair it.

    • Start "repair.bat" or type "s1fwx r dump.bin". A backup will be saved at "dump.bi$" automatically and the repaired file is now available as "dump.bin".

    • Notice that its not possible to do a firmware recovery with this file (only regular firmware updates) since there are missing files needed by the "Mp3 Player Update Tool" recovery mode. Since this files couldn't be found on your player you will need to get them from some official firmware file which is known to work with your players hardware.

    • Either you first could recover to this firmware before updateing to "dump.bin", or you could insert the needed files from the original AFI file into "dump.bin" using s1fwx. The original firmware has to support your flash chip(s). It doesn't matters if its just using different backlight or key-mapping.  

    Extracting Firmware

    Here some example how to extract the whole content of the AFI file "firmware.bin". Place firmware and s1fwx in one folder, open commandline console (run "cmd") and go to the folder containing the files. To extract the AFI type "s1fwx x firmware.bin". Then make a sub- folder "md fw", change "cd fw" and extract the firmware files using "../s1fwx x ../fwimage.fw". Now you should have extracted all the files usually included in some general firmware file.  

    Achieving Firmware Files

    To modify files in a firmware you will have to extract, modify and then archive the files back together to one AFI file. First generate the script from the firmware file "firmware.bin" using "s1fwx s firmware.bin >firmware.bin.script". Then extract the files and modify their content if you want. if you want to add or remove files or change file specific parameters edit the generated script using an usual text editor (I think the syntax is self explaining). To archive the files back together type "s1fwx a new_firmware.bin:afi <firmware.bin.script".
    This could also be used to archive firmware files like "fwimage.fw". In this case use "s1fwx a fwimage.fw:fw <fwimage.fw.script".
     

    How to recover extracted Firmware files?

    Flashing your player with an extracted firmware file is a very simple procedure, just take care you repaired the extracted file and use the latest "MP3 Update Tool" available.

    This works good until the day we flash our player with some partial corrupted firmware (a total corrupted firmware will damage the player permanently) and the update tool tells something about recovery mode and just opens an open-dialog. (maybe you will have to open your player and short some pins to get to this point).
    If you select an extracted firmware file now, it just displays "Invalid upgrade firmware file". This isn't a bug of s1fwx! The problem is that recovering needs some extra files included inside our AFI-file that isn't needed for simple flashing. This files couldn't be found on the players flash, the only source is to look for them inside some original firmware files.

    There are two methods to solve this problem and each of them expects you could find some original firmware file which is compatible to your players hardware and extracted firmware.

    [Method 1]
    - recover using some official firmware
    - format the player (with the "MP3 Player Disk Tool")
    - finally update to the extracted firmware file

    [Method 2]
    - extract the extracted and the official firmware file using s1fwx (only the AFI part)
    - generate a script for both files ("s1fwx s dump.bin >dump.script")
    - merge the scripts to some new script file using a text editor
    - build a firmware using the new script ("s1fwx a new.bin:afi <new.script")

    Both methods should have the same effect, give it a try!

    s1res (s1 resource editor) is a free win32 gui licensed as public domain. It enables you to modify/change all possible resource information of your s1 mp3 player.

    How to change Graphics or Text on my S1 MP3 Player?
    Its very simple, just extract and repair your firmware using s1fwx. Then run s1res and edit the extracted firmware file directly. Save the file and upload it using the original MP3 Update Tool.

    Disclaimer: I'm not responsible for any damages made to your system <MP3 or Flash Player> by using any of this information. This info here is retrieved from following links where you can find details, but modifications are made to suit the current needs.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008

    Windows Vista : Tips and Tricks

    Disable UAC:
    User Access Control is that annoying thing that keeps on popping up tirelessly to ask you if it is okay to install a particular program when you try to install one. <one of the biggest irritants in Vista>

    Open COntrol Panel>Type in user account and enter> opt for Turn User Access Control (UAC) ON or OFF > restart the system
    An alt from command line,
    c:\windows\System32\cmd.exe /k%winder%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CUrrentVersion\Policies\System\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

    Gadgets without the sidebar:
    The sidebar is a bit of a distraction and occupies too much desktop space. but you probably do like some of the gadgets without the need of the sidebar: just drag and drop one to the Desktop, right click anywhere on the clear part of the sidebar and choose Close Sidebar. The gadgets continue to run.

    Hide the Floppy Drive in Windows Vista
    What's the use of Floppies these days?... wanna delete the display for the floppy drive
    in the regedit <Registry Editor> ::: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsof\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
    If this key does nt exists, create it. Then modify or create a 32-bit DWORD named NoDrives. Assign it a value of 1 to hide drive.

    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Write protection for USB Storage Devices

    USB-Sticks or other portable mobile devices are great. Simply insert the device and data can be copy to and from the device. Sadly USB devices offer the some comfort for thief to steal data from your computer.

    • Using this function, prevent the write to USB devices.

    • This function is only available if you are using Windows XP SP2, I'm unsure of the other Windows OSes.

    • Action is immediate without need to reboot or log off the system.

    • Risk yourself but you can always write to me for further queries.

    Simply, go to registry editor it regedit in Run Dialog Box,

    • Point to or search HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

    • Create or check for New Dword, create or edit string WriteProtect and assign the value 1.

    • Close the registry and there you're.

    • Got seen the USB DEVICES blocked or unrecognized by the system.

    Thursday, January 03, 2008

    Hibernate your Computer

    Go to the locagtion:
    HKEY+CURRENT_USER\Softrware\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\explorer
     
    open %windir%\system32\msgina.dll file in resource hacker
    goto dialog-> 20100-> 1033
    if u want the following look ie hibernating on the bottom centre
    paste the following code
     
     
    20100 DIALOGEX 0, 0, 208, 122
    STYLE DS_SYSMODAL | DS_SETFOREGROUND | WS_POPUP | WS_BORDER
    CAPTION ""
    LANGUAGE LANG_ENGLISH, SUBLANG_ENGLISH_US
    FONT 8, "MS Shell Dlg"
    {
     CONTROL "Flag", 20101, STATIC, SS_OWNERDRAW | WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE, 176, 0, 32, 26
     CONTROL "Good Bye", 20102, STATIC, SS_OWNERDRAW | WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE, 7, 0, 162, 26
     CONTROL "&Stand By", 20104, BUTTON, BS_OWNERDRAW | BS_NOTIFY| WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE | WS_TABSTOP, 45, 47,22,20
     CONTROL "Switch &Off", 20103, BUTTON, BS_OWNERDRAW | BS_NOTIFY| WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE | WS_TABSTOP, 91, 47, 22,20
     CONTROL "&Reboot", 20105, BUTTON, BS_OWNERDRAW | BS_NOTIFY| WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE | WS_TABSTOP, 140, 47, 22, 20
     CONTROL "&Hibernate", 20106, BUTTON, BS_PUSHBUTTON | BS_NOTIFY| WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE | WS_TABSTOP, 79, 94, 48, 20
     CONTROL "", 20108, STATIC, SS_OWNERDRAW | WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE |WS_DISABLED, 22, 73, 50, 8
     CONTROL "", 20107, STATIC, SS_OWNERDRAW | WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE |WS_DISABLED, 79, 73, 50, 8
     CONTROL "", 20109, STATIC, SS_OWNERDRAW | WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE |WS_DISABLED, 136, 73, 50, 8
    }

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