January 23, 2008

Don’t Highlight That!

Have you ever noticed that Windows XP always highlights the new programs you install on your computer in the Start menu? I mean, it’s helpful if you’re new to computers and you’re not sure where to go after installing a new program, but sometimes Windows will also highlight multiple aspects of the installed programs that aren't really necessary, such as the "Read Me" files and so on. Plus, those items remain highlighted until you actually run them. That can get quite annoying, especially once you become more experienced with your computer and know where the items go once they’re installed. Talk about frustrating!

If you let it continue, your Start menu will start to look like an orange striped zebra! That is, unless you go through and run every program you install at least once (and many times more often than that, because for some unknown reason, some programs will be rehighlighted after restarting your computer). Who has time for all that?! So, if you would prefer not to have to go through all of that, there is a way you can get back to normal. Here's how you can turn the highlighting feature off in Windows XP. Let's go!

First, as with most things, we will begin with the Start menu. It looks like this:

Next, use your right mouse button and right click on any blank space on the Start menu. That will bring up an option to go to the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window:

From there, click on the Properties button when it comes up. Now, you can also right click on the actual Start button to bring up a menu where you can select Properties. Either way brings up the same screen.

Once the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window is open, about half-way down, you will see a Customize button on the first screen next to the version of the Start menu you have selected. (It will be either the Start Menu, which is the original Windows XP style or the Classic Start Menu, which gives it the appearance of earlier versions of Windows). For this tip, we will be dealing with the Customize options under the first default setting of the regular Windows XP Start menu. So, click on the Customize button to bring up the next screen:

Next, you will see the Customize Start Menu window. At the top of that, there are two tabs: General and Advanced. Click on the Advanced tab to proceed.

Under the Advanced tab, the second option is “Highlight Newly Installed Programs” with a checkbox next to it to either enable or disable this feature. To turn it off, just make sure the checkbox is unchecked. Alternatively, if you are following these instructions to turn this feature back on, make sure the box is checked.

Now, all that’s left for us to do is save the settings and close out the windows. To do that, simply find the OK button at the bottom of the Customize Start Menu pane:

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Then just repeat this step in the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window (you can either hit the OK button by itself or hit the Apply button, followed by the OK button. In this case, both of them will do the same thing).

There you have it! Now, you don’t have to see every newly installed program highlighted until you run it. It makes for a cleaner looking desktop and it can always be switched back at a moment's notice. Give it a try today!

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LogMeIn Hamachi – How It Works

Hamachi is a UDP-based virtual private networking system. Its peers are helped by a third node called a mediation server to locate each other and to bootstrap the connection between them. The connection itself is direct and, once established, no traffic flows through our servers.

Hamachi is not just truly peer-to-peer; it is verifiably secure peer-to-peer.

Hamachi is able to successfully mediate p2p connections in roughly 95% of all cases. This includes peers residing behind various firewalls or broadband routers (aka NAT devices).

Getting Started

If you have not already done so, you will need to download the LogMeIn Hamachi software.

The installation process is straightforward. Once setup has finished, Hamachi detects if you are running the program for the first time and will run a Quick Guide for new users to acquaint themselves with the program basics. By following this guide, you will be set up with a Hamachi address.

For more information, please download our Getting Started Guide. (pdf)

Creating a Network

Using Hamachi begins with the creation of a network. You do this by selecting the Networks button and then the Create new network option.

In the Create new network dialog box, you will need to name your network and create a password. The network name should be unique and is limited to 64 characters in length. The password – or pass phrase – should be something that only you know and is very hard to guess – the security of your network is dependent on it. There is no limit to the length of the passphrase. Once you have done this, click Create and non prescription cialis the network now appears in the Hamachi client.

Joining a Network

The next step is to have other computers join you network. On a computer other than the one used to create the network, click on the Networks button. In the menu that appears, select Join existing network.

The Quick Guide gives you an example network to join, however, in the above example, the name and passphrase of another network: MyPrivateNetwork, have been entered. The next step is to select Join. The network then appears in the Hamachi client, showing that you have joined it.

Leaving a Network

Leaving a network created by someone else is done by right clicking on a network in the client, and selecting Leave network.

Deleting a Network

If you wish to leave a network that you created the situation is significantly different. In this case, you are not leaving a network, but deleting it. Be careful with this option, as it will completely sever all connections between other members of that network and the action is irreversible.

It is done by right clicking on your network and selecting Delete network. Once you confirm the action, the network will disappear from your client and that of every other network peer.

For more information, please download our Getting Started Guide. (pdf)

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I’ll Reply to That Later

Do you have an e-mail in MS Outlook you know you need to reply to, but you just don't have the time right now?

I know you hate to just leave the e-mail sitting there though, because let's face it, there's a very good chance you'll completely forget about it.

So, what can you do to ensure you address the situation on time?

Well, I can think of a couple of things. First, you could set up an appointment for the message.

Yep, that's right, I said appointment. You can turn that e-mail into an appointment so that Outlook reminds you to take care of the situation before it's too late.

To create an appointment for your message, simply drag and drop it into the Calendar section on the Outlook Bar (or drag it to the Calendar folder).

A new appointment will open up with the body of the message already there. Next, simply complete your normal steps for setting up appointments (don't forget to set enough reminder time for yourself to get the job done) and hit the Close and Save button.

With the appointment set, you'll be reminded to handle the message just like you're reminded about any other appointment you create.

A second way to get Outlook to give you a helping hand when it comes to that message you just can't forget is to use message flags.

To flag a message, select it and right click.

In older versions of MS Outlook, you'll see this:

From the menu that opens, choose Follow Up.

The Flag for Follow Up dialogue window will then open, allowing you to set up some basic information.

When you've set everything to your liking, click OK.

Now, for those of you working with Outlook 2007, here's what you'll find.

When you right click on the message, you'll find that the Follow Up choice opens as a submenu.

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You can quickly pick one of the Quick Flag times offered or choose Add Reminder, which will open the following dialogue window:

Set your preferences and click OK.

Outlook will remind you about this item if the flag has not been cleared by the due date/time you set. (That's right, this option isn't a reminder before the time you set, rather it actually lets you know right after the time it was due).

When a message has a Follow Up Flag, there's a red flag displayed with the message (in Outlook 2007, instead of a red flag, you'll see the text "Follow Up") as a visual reminder that the e-mail requires your attention.

Once you've completed the job, right click on the message again and choose Flag Complete or Mark Complete (depending on your version of Outlook).

To remove a Follow Up Flag, completely right click on the message and choose Clear Flag from the menu.

There you have it! Two ways you can deal with an e-mail message later on, without it slipping your mind. Yep, Outlook's got you covered!

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The Right Size

What's the right size for a picture, you ask? Well, that depends on the photo.

Most monitors display pictures at 72 dpi (dots per inch). So, if you want the picture to be five inches wide (that's probably about the biggest you would want for an e-mail message), the picture would be 360 pixels wide (5 inches x 72 dpi = 360 pixels).

Pixel is short for "picture element" and it is the smallest unit of visual information used to build an image. If you have ever zoomed in on an image, pixels are those little squares you may see. The more pixels in an image, the better the resolution.

So, how do you get your pictures to be the right size? Well, you use your imaging software, of course! Most scanners and digital cameras come with some sort of imaging software that will allow you to resize an image.

To do so, open the picture in your imaging software and resize the image to your desired resolution. You can usually do this via an Image or Edit menu. Your menu style and commands may vary depending on your software.

Usually, you'll get a screen that allows you to input the image size in pixels. If there's a checkbox that allows you to constrain proportions, make sure that is checked as well (that ensures that when you change the height or width, the picture remains proportional).

That medicament cialis should do it! Since you've changed the picture size, you may want to save it under a different name. Use the Save As command under the File menu of your imaging software to do that.

This little tip comes in handy when you want to place a picture on your desktop or if you send it by e-mail. Now your friends won't have to wait forever to download a 10 MB picture file that is way too big when it could have been 10K and just the right size. Give it a try today!

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