October 18, 2007

Miranda 0.7.1

Miranda IM – 1.43MB (Freeware)
Miranda IM is a multi protocol instant messenger client for Windows. Miranda IM uses very little memory and is extremely fast. It requires no installation and can be fitted on a single floppy disc. Its powerful plugin system makes Miranda cialis 8 cpr riv0mg IM very flexible. Only the most basic features are built in, but there are currently more than 350 free plugins available for download that allows users to extend the functionality of Miranda IM.

Available Protocols

  • ICQ
  • AIM
  • MSN
  • Jabber
  • Yahoo
  • IRC
  • Gadu-Gadu
  • Tlen
  • Netsend

Screenshots (Click image to view)

Screenshot 1Screenshot 2

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10 things to look for in a laptop

Date: October 16th, 2007

Author: Erik Eckel

Laptops are all the rage. Once reserved for mobile professionals and elite executives, notebook PCs are replacing desktop computers in many organizations and homes. Driven by changing habits and the ease of locating and joining wireless networks, sales of laptop computers began exceeding those for desktop models in mid-year 2005. The trend shows no signs of easing.However, just buying a laptop doesn’t ensure you automatically become an effective mobile computer user. In fact, the odds are you’ll end up with a subpar PC if you purchase a model directly from many retailers’ shelves.

Due to competitive pressures, many office supply and electronics chains aggressively market very low prices for laptop computers. The problem is, because of cost constraints, many of those PCs aren’t well-equipped for most real-world computing. Here are 10 things to look for in your next laptop to help you choose a model that readily meets your needs.

Note: This information is also available as a PDF download

#1: Operating system

Most PCs sold in office supply and major big box electronics stores come preloaded with Microsoft’s consumer operating system. Deploying PCs powered by Windows XP Home or Vista Home Basic might not appear problematic, at least at first. In many cases, it may even appear beneficial. Why pay for the more expensive business edition if all you really need to do is write documents, crunch spreadsheets, send and receive e-mail, and use the Internet?

As so many organizations and users have discovered in the real world, the business versions of Microsoft’s operating system offer many features that may well become necessities down the road. Many a client has found the migration from a workgroup environment to a client-server system complicated by the need to purchase new Windows XP Professional or Vista Business licenses (not too mention the time and cost associated with upgrading each user computer).

Microsoft’s consumer operating systems typically don’t support joining server domains. Nor have they readily enabled hosting remote desktop connections. For this reason, when purchasing a laptop PC, be sure it comes preloaded with the Microsoft operating system that cialis 5mg tablets will meet all your professional computing requirements.

#2: CPU

Laptop models advertised at attractive price points often don’t have potent CPUs. When selecting a portable computer, buy a model with a CPU tailored to the rigors of mobile computing. Fail to do so, and you could end up with a PC that takes seven to eight minutes to fully boot into Windows, provides minimal battery life, and can’t reasonably power the applications you use.

Intel’s new Core 2 Duo CPUs (Figure A) perform exceptionally well. In addition to packing considerable processing power, these chips use less energy (resulting in improved battery life) and generate less heat than previous Pentium CPUs. Laptops featuring these chips (2.0 GHz and higher) should meet most users’ computing needs for the next three or four years (the timeframe in which accountants amortize information technology assets).

Figure A

Intel’s Core 2 Duo CPU is a potent CPU that’s the favorite of many road warriors.

#3: RAM

Many Windows Vista laptops are marketed as having a full 1 GB of RAM. While 1 GB of RAM works well for most Windows XP installations, it typically isn’t enough to enable a Vista system to work smoothly. Any users planning to run multiple applications simultaneously on a Windows Vista laptop should consider loading the notebook with 2 GB of RAM.

While most users don’t think of themselves as power users, 2 GB of RAM should be the norm for individuals planning to maintain multiple Office application windows while surfing the Internet and checking e-mail. Anyone planning to edit digital photographs or play more advanced games on a Vista system should also upgrade to 2 GB of RAM.

#4: Video card

Video performance is notoriously shortchanged on laptop computers. This is especially true for $500 notebooks frequently featured on the front covers of electronics and office supply store circulars.

Windows Vista operating systems, in particular, require potent video cards to maximize the system’s many new features (including its resource-demanding Aero interface, translucent menus, and Flip 3D technologies). Windows XP computers that must power three-dimensional engineering and drafting programs also require strong video cards, as do gaming systems, regardless of OS.

When preparing to purchase a laptop computer, consider selecting a model with at least 128 MB of onboard RAM. If you plan to run drafting and engineering applications, video production software, or games, you should upgrade to video adapters with 256 MB of RAM.

#5: Ports

Many users assume that any modern laptop computer has numerous USB ports, as well as VGA, DVI, serial, and parallel ports. Those same users may learn a painful lesson; increasingly, in another effort at managing costs, laptop manufacturers are reducing the number of ports found on their PCs.

Budget notebook computers often ship with only a pair of USB ports, with no serial, parallel, or DVI ports and only a single VGA port (if a video port is even included). When purchasing a laptop, review the model’s technical specifications and make sure that the chassis includes the ports you require. While most PCs now include integrated wired NICs, they don’t always have PC Card slots, so that’s an additional factor to consider before purchasing a new unit.

#6: Screen size

Carefully review your monitor needs before ordering a new notebook. You may think that a 17-inch widescreen display is just what you need. Ultimately, that may prove to be too big.

How’s that?

Think about how you’ll be using the laptop. If the computer will truly be used most often on the road, placing the notebook in a protective case, lugging it onto a cramped airplane, removing it for baggage inspectors, carrying it into a meeting room, and transporting it wherever else you go is made exponentially more difficult for each inch of display size beyond 12 inches.

Models with 12-inch displays are much easier to carry through doorways, into tight airline seats, and in coffee shops. They’re also much lighter.

If your laptop will see only occasional travel, a larger model may be just what you need. But if not, consider purchasing a 12-inch model. You can always mate it to a 22-inch widescreen on your desk. Just be sure the laptop offers the correct ports to do so, as described in item #5.

#7: Integrated wireless

There should almost be a rule that any laptop sold today include an integrated 802.11g wireless (WiFi) adapter. But of course there is no rule, and not all models include one.

Make sure that the laptop you’re considering includes the WiFi technology you use. For many, that will soon mean that the laptop includes integrated 802.11n compatibility. Read specifications closely to verify that the model you’re buying provides the wireless connectivity you require.

#8: Integrated Bluetooth

Integrated Bluetooth technology used to be a luxury in laptops. Most users associate Bluetooth now with the wireless hands-free headsets used with cellular telephones, but Bluetooth is also growing in importance when it comes to connecting handheld devices to laptops.

Bluetooth technology enables synchronizing cell phone contacts, e-mail, calendars, and tasks lists wirelessly with a laptop. The same Bluetooth technology can also be used to add a wireless mouse to a notebook.

#9: Track pad

Most every laptop now comes equipped with a track pad mouse and corresponding click buttons. Some models include a simple track pad, while others include a track pad and an integrated pointer (usually nestled between the G and H keys). These so-called pencil-eraser pointers (Figure B) have long been popular, gracing everything from older Toshiba models to newer ThinkPads.

Figure B

The “pencil-eraser” pointer (shown here in blue) is the favorite of many mobile users.

It’s not important to choose a laptop computer that includes a sophisticated track pad and pencil-eraser pointer. Just make sure you select a notebook PC that features the pointing device you prefer.

Some models permit scrolling pages when two fingers are used versus scrolling within the currently displayed page when a single finger is used (such as with Apple laptops). Other laptops feature track pads that contain two separate tracking areas, such as are found on Compaq Presarios, for scrolling entire pages versus the contents of those pages.

Review the model you’re preparing to buy to confirm you find its track pad agreeable. Even if you plan to use an external mouse, there are times when you’ll be without it and the track pad is all you’ll have.

#10: Battery life

Battery life is a critical consideration but not a deal breaker. When purchasing a laptop, if the only battery option doesn’t provide the lifespan you require, you can always buy a second battery.

Many users, however, don’t want the hassle that comes with carrying multiple batteries. In such cases, upgrade laptop orders to include 12-cell batteries (if available) instead of a standard six- or nine-cell battery. Bigger batteries almost always last longer, which is usually a key factor for mobile professionals traveling by air.

Just be aware that the larger cell batteries often have a greater footprint. In other words, they could violate a notebook’s aesthetic look. But no one ever said functionality doesn’t come at a price.

Summary

Laptops, increasingly, are decreasing in price. But a cheap laptop isn’t necessarily a good laptop. Ensure that the laptop you buy meets your computing needs by carefully considering these 10 factors before making a purchase.

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50+ keyboard shortcuts to move faster in Windows XP

By Jason Hiner, MCSE, CCNA

Special thanks to TechRepublic members who responded to the first version of this document with suggestions for additional keyboard shortcuts that should be added. They have helped us double the number of keyboard shortcuts on the new version of this document.

Author's Note: The Windows key (􀃡) is normally located between the Ctrl and Alt keys on most keyboards. However, some vendor keyboards and some laptops do not have this key.

: The Windows key (􀃡) is normally located between the Ctrl and Alt keys on most keyboards. However, some vendor keyboards and some laptops do not have this key.

Keystroke

Function

􀃡

Opens the Start menu

􀃡 + E

+ E

Opens My Computer in Windows Explorer

􀃡 + Pause/Break

+ Pause/Break

Opens the System Properties dialog box

􀃡 + U

+ U

Opens the Utility Manager

􀃡 + R

+ R

Opens the Run… prompt

􀃡 + F

+ F

Opens the Search for Files and Folder window

􀃡 + Ctrl + F

+ Ctrl + F

Opens the search for computers on the network

􀃡 + M

+ M

Minimize all windows

􀃡 + Shift + + M

+ Shift + + M

Maximize all windows (after minimizing them)

􀃡 + D

+ D

Minimize all windows to the desktop, and then restore all Windows

􀃡 + L

+ L

Lock Computer

􀃡 + Tab

+ Tab

Cycle through the open programs on the Taskbar

􀃡 + B

+ B

Selects the first item in the System Tray; use the arrow keys to cycle through the items and use the Enter key to open a selected item in the SysTray

Alt + Tab

Switch between open programs

Alt + F4 (in a program)

Closes the program

Alt + F4 (from desktop)

Opens the Windows Shutdown/Restart dialog box

Alt + Enter

Opens the Properties page of a selected item

Alt + Esc

Cycle between open programs in the order that they were opened

Alt + Spacebar

In the active window, this brings up the corner dialog box for Move, Size, Minimize, Maximize, or Close

Shift + Insert CD/DVD

Inserts a CD/DVD without triggering Autoplay or Autorun

Shift + Delete

Permanently deletes an item (rather than sending it to the Recycle Bin)

Ctrl + Shift + Esc

Opens the Windows Task Manager

Ctrl + drag an icon

Copies that item

Ctrl + Shift + drag an icon

Creates a shortcut for the item

Keystroke Function

Right-click + drag a file

Brings up a menu to copy, move, or create a shortcut

PrtScn

Takes a screen shot of the entire screen; go into a photo program (the Windows program "Paint" will also work) and hit Paste to edit and save the screen shot

Alt + PrtScn

Takes a screen shot of only the active Window; hit Paste in a photo program to edit and save the screen shot

F1

Opens the Windows XP Help

F2

Rename selected item

F3

Opens Windows search for files and folders

F5 (or Ctrl + R)

Refresh Internet Explorer page, or refresh any other window

F6

Cycle through the different types of elements that can be selection on a screen or window

F10

Selects the menu bar in the active program (usually "File") so that you can use the arrow keys to navigate through the menus and the Enter key to select

Shift + F10

For a selected item, this does the same thing as a right-click with the mouse

Tab

Move through the different elements on a page or the fields in a form

Shift + Tab

Move backward through the different elements on a page or the fields in a form

Ctrl + A

Select All

Ctrl + C

Copy

Ctrl + X

Cut

Ctrl + V

Paste

Ctrl + Z

Undo

Ctrl + Y

Redo

Ctrl + P

Print

Ctrl + O

Open

Ctrl + Esc

Opens the Start menu

Ctrl + Backspace

Deletes the entire word to the left

Ctrl + Delete

Deletes the entire word to the right

Ctrl + Right arrow

Moves the cursor to the beginning of the next word

Ctrl + Left arrow

Moves the cursor to the beginning of the previous word

Ctrl + Down arrow

Moves the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph

Ctrl + Up arrow

Moves the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph

Ctrl + Shift + Arrow keys

Highlight a block of text

Click Shift 5 times

Turns StickyKeys on cialis 5mg side effects or off

Hold down the right Shift key for 8 seconds

Turns FilterKeys on or off

 

Hold down Num Lock for 5 seconds

Turns ToggleKeys on or off

Make your own custom keystroke for a program

Right-click on the icon of a program or shortcut; go to Properties; click on the Shortcut tab; enter your custom keystroke combination in the "Shortcut key" field (it will only let you assign key combos that aren't already taken)

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10+ Windows XP keyboard shortcuts to speed everyday tasks

Date: October 17th, 2007

Author: Jody Gilbert

How expansive is your repertoire of Windows XP keyboard shortcuts? A lot of users learn a handful of shortcuts but turn their backs on a host of other ones that could come in handy. Check out the selection of shortcuts below and see if there aren’t a couple you didn’t know about that could be saving you some real time.

You can also download a PDF that lists 50+ Windows XP shortcuts.

The shortcuts

Keystroke Function
Alt + Tab Switches between open programs
Alt + F4 (in a program) Closes the program
Alt + F4 (from the desktop) Opens the Windows cialis 5 mg daily Shutdown/Restart dialog box
Alt + Enter Opens the Properties page of a selected item
Alt + Esc Cycles between open programs in the order they were opened
Alt + Spacebar In the active window, this brings up the corner dialog box for Move, Size, Minimize, Maximize, or Close
Shift + Insert a CD/DVD Inserts a CD/DVD without triggering Autoplay or Autorun
Shift + Delete Permanently deletes an item (rather than sending it to the Recycle Bin)
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Opens the Windows Task Manager
Ctrl + drag an icon Copies that item
Ctrl + Shift + drag an icon Creates a shortcut for the item
Right-click + drag an icon Brings up a menu to copy, move, or create a shortcut for the item
F1 Opens Windows XP Help
F2 Highlights the label of a selected item for renaming
F3 Opens Windows search for files and folders
F5 (or Ctrl + R) Refreshes an Internet Explorer page or other window
F6 Cycles through the elements that can be selected in a screen or window
F10 Selects the menu bar in the active program (usually the File menu) so that you can use the arrow keys to navigate through the menus and the Enter key to display one
Shift + F10 Displays a shortcut menu for an item (like right-clicking with the mouse)
Ctrl + Esc Opens the Start menu

Roll your own shortcut

You can also create custom Windows XP shortcuts. Just right-click on the icon of a program or program shortcut, choose Properties, click the Shortcut tab, and enter a keystroke combination in the Shortcut Key field. Windows will let you assign only key combos that aren’t already taken.

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Basic Keyboard Shortcuts

Today's quick tip may seem a little basic for some of you, but I think a lot of you out there will appreciate this. I get e-mails and even phone calls all the time about such procedures like copy, paste and cut. Since I receive so many requests about those things, I thought it would be a good idea to take a step back and go over them one more time. So, if you ever have trouble doing those little tasks, listen up, because this tip is dedicated to you! We'll go over the basics of copying, pasting, cutting and maybe even a couple others.

 

Here we go!

 

Let's begin with copying. There are a couple different ways you can copy something on your computer. Both are pretty easy to do, so you'll just have to decide which one you prefer. But, before you can do anything else, you have to figure out what you want to copy. Once you've done that, click your mouse button, hold it down and drag it over what you'd like to copy. It will then be highlighted. You can then either right click and choose Copy or you can hit Ctrl + C on your keyboard. Next up is the paste function. This always comes after the copy, because you have to have something copied so that you can paste it. Go to where you'd like to paste your material (in an e-mail, a Word document, etc.) and click your mouse once. Then you can either right click and choose Paste or hit Ctrl + V on your keyboard. That's all there is to that!

 

Some of the other commands you all sometimes ask about are cut and undo. I promise both of these functions are rather simple too, so let's go over them right now. If you ever want to cut something out (a portion of text, a picture, etc.) of what you're working on, all you have to do is highlight it and then you can either right click and choose Cut or hit Ctrl + X on your keyboard. That part of your document will then disappear. Now, what if you're working cialis 40 mg on something and you make a mistake? You probably want to undo it, right? Well, the easiest way to do that is to hit Ctrl + Z on your keyboard. That combination will automatically undo what you just did. Cool, huh?! Yep, just a couple mouse clicks or a few taps on your keyboard will take you a long way!

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