Here are some interesting Operating system and softwares tips and tricks 4u.JUST CLICK ON THE PICTURE IN THE BLOG FOR ENALARGED VIEW.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

High-end graphics card reduces useable system memory(RAM under 32 Bit)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 No comments
           It’s common to see less free memory space when you’ve recently installed a hefty graphics card in your Windows XP machine. What can you do to free up some of it?
           In the case of certain types of hardware confi gurations, 32-bit operating systems are forced to reserve memory addresses less than 232 bytes for memories other than RAM, so that applications can write directly onto them. This RAM area is then no longer accessible to the system. While graphics cards are the largest address occupants, even network adapters, audio hardware and mass memory controllers require individual memory addresses. While a 32-bit operating system ideally has access to 4 GB RAM, a fully equipped machine with SLI graphics can even fall below the 3 GB mark, despite actually having 4 GB in the memory base.
            To get the most out of the memory base, you'll have to deactivate all unused onboard components in the BIOS. Also, if you install a 64-bit operating system, then you’ll have access to the entire 4 GB chunk of RAM. Though hardware components block memory addresses here as well, this doesn’t matter much, because of the considerably large address spaces.

Make your old printer work with Windows 7(HP printer)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 No comments
             Many Windows XP fans preferred their operating systems even after the release of Vista. But now, Windows 7 seems to attract a majority of users. However, after you migrate to Windows 7, some devices, such as your printer, might not function due to incompatibility of drivers.
             Windows 7 has built-in drivers for many devices and printers aren’t an exception. Despite the fact that few printer drivers are included in Windows 7, Windows update should resolve most driver-related issues. Connect the printer to your computer and ensure that it is switched on. If Windows detects the printer and confi gures the hardware without the driver, then activate Windows update.
            Alternatively, users can resort to the official HP website for the drivers corresponding to their respective printers. The website shows a list of printers, where you can choose the relevant driver and download them directly. Visit the Support and Drivers page at welcome. Here, under ‘Select a product category’, click ‘Printing and Multifunction’. Choose from the type of printer and model number and download the drivers compatible with your operating system - Windows 7.

Block toolbar against undesired changes(Internet Explorer 8)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 No comments
             The toolbars of a browser are enabled by default. But this setting can be changed via a menu command. On a shared computer, you want to prevent other users from being able to change the appearance of the browser.
            The option of locking toolbars can usually be enabled and disabled with the command ‘View | Toolbars | Lock Toolbars’. This setting has been confi gured in the registry. It is also possible to confi gure a setting there via a guideline, owing to which, the users can no longer make any changes via the menu command.        
             For this, open the command ‘Start | Run’ followed by the ‘regedit’ instruction in the ‘Open’ fi eld and click on ‘Ok’. Navigate to the key ‘HKEY_CURRENT_ USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\ Internet Explorer\Toolbar’ there. If individual sub-keys of the path are not present, create them with the command ‘Edit | New | Key’. Then click in the right area of the window, open ‘Edit | New | DWORD Value’ enter the term ‘Locked’ and press [Enter]. Double-click on the new entry to edit it. Now change its ‘Value’ to ‘1’ and confi rm with ‘Ok’. Then close the registry.
           The toolbars can no longer be modifi ed now. In order to enable this function in the menu again later, set the value entered in the registry to ‘0’ or delete it.

Make caricatures out of your own photos(Photoshop CS 2, 3, 4)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 , No comments
            The year is over and the birthday is just around the corner. You want to have your own party. The invitation that you have created on the PC should be equally enticing.
            In addition to settings for tonal value corrections, poor horizons and depths/light dialogs, you can also use Photoshop to have fun and alienate pictures. An image with a right background is ideal for a start since it gives you a lot of freedom.
EDIT HEADS: Open the image and create the level ‘Body’. In the 100% view, select the head using the magnetic lasso. In the option bar, adjust the ‘Soft edge’ with a width of ‘1 px’. Use [Ctrl]+[X] to cut the head from the image and use [Ctrl]+[V] to paste it at a new level which is automatically created by the program. Use ‘Image | Transform | Free transformation’ to increase it to 200% and move and turn it into the position. Now activate ‘Filter | Distortion fi lter | Fuse’ and the ‘Blow up’ tool. The values for ‘Tool tip’ and ‘Tool pressure’ depend on the resolution, e.g. ‘30’ and ‘50’ would be right. They stand out with just a few clicks of the eyes. FORMING WIDE SHOULDERS: Just like the head, now select the upper body in the ‘Body’ level. Cut and paste it back into the image using ‘Edit | Paste’. Photoshop creates a new level, which you rename as ‘Shirt’ in the level pallet. Now go to ‘Image | Transform | Distort’. Move the shirt to the suitable height, click one after the other at the upper corner of the selection, and pull it away from each other and upwards. Due to the distortion, the upper body looks blown up with superhero shoulders. You should also do a little trial and error with the settings till you have attained the desired result.
MAKE THE LEGS SHORTER: The photo becomes funny when you shorten the legs in the V form downwards. Use the distortion fi lter for this.

Click better portrait photos with easy tricks(Digital photography)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012
               Modern digital cameras provide lots of automatic mechanisms that are supposed to make close-ups easier. But they by no means guarantee highquality photos.

              A good portrait photo is much more than just selecting the right program and pressing the button. If this was the case, many professional photographers would be out of work. But even the not-so-professional ones can make their photos much better with the help of a few tips and tricks. It is often the minor details which turn heads.
SUBJECT: There is no standard focal length for portraits. You just need to know what eff ect the focal length has on the lens. Usually, sharpness with less focal length increases if the aperture remains constant. The background is also no longer as unsharp. A 50 mm lens is suitable for complete natural photography. It ensures non-distorted proportions as far as the human eye can tell. A moderate wide angle of 28 to 35 mm allows the environment to be integrated into the image as an artistic element. But be careful; If you are close to the subject, there are small unfl attering drum-like distortions. A greater focal length enables a greater distance to the lens, which makes photographing the subject easier. In case of slightly closed aperture, the person stands out from the unsharp background. Moreover, tele-focal lengths have a consolidating eff ect. They allow the distance to the background to be visually shrinking.
RIGHT CLOTHING: An unusual photo tip, but important. The clothing must be suitable to the situation and the person. Basic rule - no black, no white, and no loud colors. Black causes loss of any structure, white provides excessive light, stripes and checks fl icker (cloudy effect), and in case of loud colors, there are slight color tears since the color sensor cannot process the tonal values. Do not hide the background. This works best with a wide open aperture (less aperture) and a small tele-focal length of 80 to 120 mm. Make sure that you focus on the eyes – that is the fi rst thing that one usually notices.
GOOD QUALITY SCENES: Most people have a chocolate side. Some want to show it, others not as much. For this, work with light and shadows as well as with the position and the cutout. In case of this option, you can also change the point of photography. Why not photograph a person from an angle above? Relaxed body language is also important. Upper arms pressed against the body do not give this eff ect. You also look fatter than you actually are.
LINE OF VISION: Make use of an important psychological eff ect. If you make the subject look from the right to the left, i.e. in the direction opposite to our usual reading direction, it looks like he or she is looking into the past. And the other way gives the eff ect that he or she is looking in the future. This is important for our picture.
BREAK THE RULES: The most fi nal important note - break rules and you will have expressive and unusual snaps. But you must also know what eff ect this has on your photos.

Use lens with motor on DSLR housing with motor(Digital camera)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 No comments
            You are extremely satisfied with your camera, minus the problem that it takes a lot of time to take a sharp picture. You are thinking of buying a new lens but are not sure whether this will lead to an increase in the AF performance. The motor is in the housing.
            Some cameras such as the Nikon D90 have an integrated drive for focus control of the lens. It allows the use of economical lens systems. The cameras still allows the fl anging of a lens that has a separate motor installed. Nikon too has such lenses in the delivery program such as the AF-S DX Zoom Nikon 55-200 mm.          
            Depending on the requirement, it is practical to use this. A motor located in the lens is faster than its counterpart in the housing since the mechanical coupling to the body is not required, which in turn reduces the tedious friction losses.
            The drives cannot result in problems or damage. The camera detects an optic with AF motor automatically and switches the internal drive off . It also does not consume more power.

Determine the last day of the month easily using integrated function(Excel XP, 2003, 2007)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 , No comments
            You often need to check the last day of a particular month for due dates and deadlines. You want to automate this determination of the right date in order to avoid any errors caused due to leap years, for example.
           The table function ‘EOMONTH’ helps in calculating the correct date. In the older versions of Excel, you always need to enable this option first. For this, open ‘Tools | Add-ins’, enable the option ‘Analysis Functions’ and confirm the dialog with ‘Ok’.
            The two criteria required for the ‘EOMONTH’ function are a predefined date and a whole-number diff erence in months. For example, in order to determine the last day of the current month, on the current date in case of stock market orders, you can use
             The argument ‘0’ must also be specified if no other month is desired. A due date at the end of February 2012 can be calculated using the formula
              What is practical here is that you don’t need to think whether a year is a leap year. The last day of a month can be calculated even three months after a particular day thanks to the function =eomonth(‘10.1.2010’,3) 
            Here, ‘10.1.2010’ is the reference date, ‘3’ stands for the last day of the fourth month from today

Right-click to scroll back during live presentations(PowerPoint 2003, 2007)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 , No comments
             Controlling a presentation using wireless mouse is practical. Clicking the left mouse button takes you to the next slide, but right-clicking only displays the context menu, whereas you want to scroll back with it.
             You can disable the display of the context menu. For this, go to PowerPoint 2003 and open ‘Tools | Options’ and disable the ‘Show menu on right mouse click’ option in the ‘Slide show’ field under the ‘View’ tab. Once you have confirmed this change with ‘Ok’, rightclicking will always take you back to the previous slide during presentations. You can also enable this option again if you right-click to display the context menu.
           In PowerPoint 2007, click on the Office button, select ‘PowerPoint Options’ and then the category ‘Advanced’ to the left. This contains the ‘Show menu on right mouse click’ option in the ‘Slide show’ field.

Quick presentation of data using color graphics and symbols(Excel 2007)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 , No comments
              Diagrams help in explaining the data and relations in large tables. But they also take up extra space in the data sheets.
              Excel supports conditional formatting of data cells, which helps in increasing the visual presentation of values. Till now, the options for this were limited, but with the 2007 version, Excel has expanded the conditional formatting so that you can often do without additional diagrams. Select a data field to be presented by Excel and click on ‘Conditional Formatting’ in the ‘Home’ tab in the multi-function toolbar. Position the cursor on the ‘Color Scales’ and then click on one of the symbolized color gradients. All the selected cells thus get a gradational background color that depends on the relevant numeric value. Excel automatically determines the required value range so that the color scale with the default values is sufficient in a lot of cases.
               The conditional formatting is equally easy for ‘Data bars’ in the relevant color as well as for ‘Symbol sets’, wherein you can choose from a wide range of variants. This includes signal symbols, tendency arrows or level indicators. Several variants can also be combined with each other as long as the presentation is not impractical.
             The default setting of the color scale is not always suitable, especially in tables containing just one or a few outliers, i.e. high or low values. In such a case, you can define for yourself which values should have which format. Select ‘Conditional Formatting | Color scales | More rules’ or ‘Conditional Formatting | More rules’. The ‘New Formatting rows’ dialog provides access to all settings. Set the row type to ‘Format all cells as per their values’. In the combination fi eld ‘Format type’, change the setting to ‘3-color scale’, for instance. All further options are automatically changed to the relevant elements. Now, define further configuration for Minimum, Average and Maximum separately. For Average, the type ‘Percentile’ with a value of ‘50’ percent is often practical. For linear or absolute scaling, you can also select the ‘Percent’ or ‘Number’ type and provide it with suitable values.

Checking automatic formatting of tables just got better(Word XP, 2003, 2007)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 , No comments
            Text processing automatically formats tables when pasting and editing. Well meant, but the result is often not what the user desires.
            Automatic formatting is definitely useful for creating simple tables. However the same cannot be said when it comes to complex dimensions and indents to the right. In order to disable this function, right-click on the relevant place in the table and select the context command ‘Table Properties’. Click on ‘Options’ in the ‘Table’ tab. Uncheck the checkbox ‘Allow automatic changes in size’ and confirm all the open dialogs with ‘Ok’.
           The function for automatic adjustment of the entire width, on the other hand, is practical and can also be run manually. For this, right-click on the relevant table and select the command ‘AutoFit | AutoFit to Windows’ in the content menu. The table thus gets automatically formatted as per the total width of the text mirror. This value is retained even if the individual column widths are subsequently changed. NOTE: Unexpected text formatting within the table is mostly caused by format templates. In such cases, it is better for you to select the entire table and then click on the combination fi eld of the format templates in the ‘Format’ toolbar. Then open the ‘Clear formatting’ command in it and then re-insert the table.

Customized numbering for pages in one single document(Word XP, 2003, 2007)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 , No comments
              In addition to the table of contents, large documents often require special numbering. For example, the page numbers start only after the cover page or the table of contents has Roman numbers.
             Word can divide documents into sections, e.g. cover page, table of contents and text, which can either have separate numbering or numbering continued from the previous section. The method in different program versions is not very different from each other.
             Position the cursor between the cover page and the table of contents in the document. Then, in the multi-function toolbar of Word 2007, select ‘Page Setup | Page Layout | Breaks | Next page’. In the older versions of Word, open ‘Insert | Break’ and in the following ‘Section Break Types’ dialog, select the option ‘Next page’. Then click on ‘Ok’. If required, delete all manually inserted page breaks and then separate the table of contents from the actual text with the help of another section break.
             Position the cursor in the table of contents and click ‘Header’ or ‘Footer’ in the ‘Insert’ tab of the multi-function toolbar. In the older versions, open ‘View | Header and Footer’. Word first goes into the header and you can go to the footer using the ‘Switch between header and footer’ option in the now visible, floating toolbar. In order to have a header and footer that is different from the previous section, disable the ‘Link to previous’ option in ‘Design’ under ‘Navigation’. In Word 2003 and XP, disable the ‘Link to previous’ or the ‘Same as previous’ option.
             You can now add the desired header and footer. To add page numbers, place the cursor where you want to enter the page number and click on ‘Page number’ under ‘Header and Footer’ in the ‘Design’ tab of the multi-function toolbar. Click on ‘Page number’ and select ‘Format page numbers’. In the older versions of Word,enter the page numbers using the ‘Insert Page Number’ command in the floating toolbar.
               The next dialog is the same for all versions of MS Word. Under ‘Page Number Format’, define the required format of the page numbers, e.g. Arabic or Roman. Also enable ‘Start at’ and select ‘1’ in the following fi eld so that Word starts the numbering pages of that particular section with 1. An alternate option is to select the ‘Continue previous list’ option. After this, confirm with ‘Ok’ and click on ‘Close Header and Footer’ or ‘Close’. Repeat the same steps if you would like to use any other number formats.

Accelerate the startup of a bundled DVD software(Windows XP)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 No comments
             Most DVD-writers bundled with them disc-burning software, but Windows XP also has a built-in tool to write on optical media. This however slows down the startup of third-party discburning applications.
             To accelerate the startup of the bundled application, you need to disable the default feature in Windows. Go to 'Start | Settings | Control Panel'. Here, double-click ‘Administrative tools’ and select ‘Services’. The existing services are listed in alphabetical order. Now, look for the entry ‘IMAPI-CD burn COM services’. Double-click to open this entry and in the following dialog box, under ‘Start type’, change the setting to ‘Disabled’. Click on ‘Accept’ and then ‘Ok’ to apply the changes. After rebooting, the bundled software will have sped up.

Avoiding a password prompt after resuming from the powersaving mode(Windows 7)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 No comments
               It can be irritating to be prompted for a password each time your system resumes from the power-saving mode. How do I disable this function?
               To access this control, you’ll have to dig into the Power Options of the system. Go to 'Control Panel | System and Security | Power Options'. Here, see which power scheme is selected on your machine and click ‘Change plan settings’. Then click ‘Change advanced power settings’. In the following window, the option for negating the ‘Require a password on wakeup’ option could be unavailable. In that case, click ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’. This should activate the option. Now, select ‘No’ and click ‘Ok’. Affi rm by clicking ‘Ok’ on all the windows and exit.

How to seamlessly toggle between minimized windows(Windows 7)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 No comments
             When working with multiple windows minimized on the taskbar, it can be troublsome to switch between them one after the other, especially when they are grouped and hidden one behind the other.
            Windows 7 groups several folders together, but you have the option to disable this feature. Right-click on the taskbar and select properties. You’ll see a window that says 'Taskbar and Start Menu Properties'. Here, under the Taskbar tab, look for ‘Taskbar buttons’. From the drop down menu, you can opt to ‘Never Combine’.
           But here’s an effective way to toggle between windows while they are combined. When multiple folders are open, push [Ctrl] on the keyboard and click on the group icon. With each click of the mouse, the folders pop up consecutively.
Note: The beta version of Windows 7 RC, which might still be in use, groups the buttons only once the taskbar is full. You can choose to group the windows by selecting the option ‘Always group, hide captions’ from Taskbar and Start Menu Properties.

Using the presentation mode on a desktop PC(Windows 7)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 No comments
           I can enable the presentation mode on my Windows 7 laptop, but I want to use this feature on my desktop PC. Where do I fi nd it and how do I enable it?
           The Mobility Center is available on all Windows 7 versions, irrespective of whether the operating system is running on a laptop or a desktop PC. However, by default, it is disabled in the latter. Slight alterations in the Registry can enable all functions, including the presentation mode. Go to 'Start | Run', type ‘regedit’ and push [Enter] to pull up the Registry Editor. When prompted for the UAC security confi rmation, click ‘Yes’. If you have logged in as a normal user, you must select the administrator account and enter the relevant password. Otherwise, the registry cannot be modified.

           In the registry editor, navigate to the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Microsoft” key. Right-click and create a new key, and name it ‘MobilePC’. Then create two sub-keys named ‘AdaptableSettings’ and ‘MobilityCenter’. In ‘AdaptableSettings’, right-click and select ‘New DWORD value’, and enter ‘SkipBatteryCheck’. Double-click this new entry, change its value to ‘1’ and click ‘Ok’. Then, open the sub-key ‘MobilityCenter’ and create the ‘New DWORD value’ and enter ‘RunOnDesktop’ in the same manner. Its value should be ‘1’. After closing the Registry, the Mobility Center can be accessed by executing ‘mblctr’ from the 'Run' command. It can be more convenient, if you create a link for this command on the desktop.

Adding a folder shortcut to the taskbar(Windows 7)

By Thursday, January 26, 2012 No comments
             Windows 7 allows pinning program shortcuts to the taskbar, but what if you want to pin a folder shortcut.
              You can outsmart Windows by creating an executable file that actually takes you to the target folder. The process is very simple. First, create a text fi le and give it the name of the shortcut you want on the taskbar, followed by the extension ‘.exe’. You’ll see the icon change from a text file to that of an executable. If this doesn’t happen, use the command line interface of DOS to do it. Right-click on this file and select the option ‘Pin to Taskbar’. Now, navigate to the target folder, hold the [Shift] key down, right-click and select ‘Copy as path’ from the context menu. Now, come back to the desktop, right-click on the dummy icon, which is already pinned to the taskbar. From the context menu, scroll to the fi le name and right-click again. From this context menu, select ‘Properties’. Here, under the shortcut tab, erase the path from the ‘Target’ fi eld and paste the path saved in the clipboard. The pinned shortcut in now ready to use and will take you directly into the target folder. You can delete the dummy executable fi le from the desktop.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Recording screencasts in AVI and converting them into Flash(Windows XP, Vista, 7)

By Saturday, January 21, 2012 , , No comments
             Giving step-by-step instruction for a DIY software workshop can be a laborious task. What if you could illustrate the entire process in a video? But the questions is, how do you record a software while it performs tasks?
             Similar to taking screenshots of applications, even videos of the entire process can can be recorded. This is called screencasting and it can be done using freeware such as CamStudio. While this application creates AVI files by default, you can even create flash videos, which can later be uploaded to videosharing sites such as YouTube.
             Installation: The installation process is farily simple. All you have to do is uncompress the contents of the zip file into a folder and execute the program. Even the recorder is simple to use, However, before starting, you need to configure some crucial settings.
            Settings: The ‘Region’ option from the main menu offers options to select what area or window you want to capture. As the name suggests, ‘Full Screen’ captures the entire screen, and if you want to record only a paticular portion of the screen, select the option ‘Region’. Now, when you start recording, if the latter is selected, you’ll be prompted to select an area. You can then make your selection by clicking on the top left-corner and dragging the mouse cursor diagnolly. Before you begin recording, you might also want to set the default destination of the recorded video. Go to ‘Options’ from the main menu and navigate to "Program options | Temproary directory for recording | Use user specified directory". Here, select the folder where you want to save the raw recorded fi le. Preferably, select a folder in the secodary partition so that you can prevent the raw video from clogging the system’s resources.
               There are certain hotkeys you can use, such as [F8] for recording/pausing and [F9] to stop the recording. In order to define shortcuts, go to "Options | Keyboard shortcuts". If you wish to pre-determine the quailty of the resulting video, you can do it from "Options | Video Options". Here, you can customize the data compression and frame rate. You can even use ‘Time Lapse’, which will save memory considerably. A value of 50 is adequate for a lengthy and stutterfree playback. As long as ‘Auto Adjust’ is enabled, the tool autmatically adjusts the value under ‘Playback rate’. The time lapse starts half way through the recording. This means that the program records frames with time intervals, and then puts together 20 frames per second and saves the fi le. Here, the playback appears to be sped up. Other settings such as cursor display and audio are also customizable.
              Creating Flash videos: After the recording is complete, the program saves the file in AVI format, so you then need to convert it into SWF format. In order to do this, go to "Tools | SWF-Producer", select the AVI file that needs to be converted, and if requried, make the desired settings such as picture rate, in the following steps. Click ‘Ok’ to to begin converting.

Let your desktop wallpaper display system information(Windows XP, Vista, 7)

By Saturday, January 21, 2012 , , No comments
             When looking for solutions for computer-related problems on a forum, you are asked to provide system information such as details of the processor, RAM, operating system and so on. Sifting thorugh the Control Panel for this information can be irritating at times. So how do you keep this handy when in need?
              A good option is to leave this task to a program desinged specifi cally for this purpose. It’s called Bginfo, by Microsoft Sysinternals. It reads into the system information and turns it into your desktop wallpaper. So whenever you need it, you don’t need to dig into your operating system or Control Panel.
             You can download the latest version of Bginfo at
              Download the compressed fi le, make a folder named ‘Bginfo’ in the Windows folder, and extract the contents of the downloaded fi le into it. Execute the program. When the main window appears, there’s a button at the top-right corner, which reads ‘Time remaining’. Click on this to keep the program from closing automatically after ten seconds.
               When you click ‘Preview’, you’ll see what the wallpaper looks like. You can make changes to it from within the application. All preset values such as font, and background are selected in the text area, and can be formatted here. If the standard font is excessively large, select all the details, and change the font size to suit the appearance of your desktop. Use the ‘Option’ tab and click ‘Position’ if you want to change the location of the displayed information on the desktop. Since some values, such as the name of a network card, are lengthy, their extension can be restricted with the ‘Limit lines to’ option. Click ‘Background’ if you’d like to change the overall appearance of the wallpaper. The default option ‘Copy user’s wallpaper settings’ leaves the current wallpaper unchanged, except that it displays the information on it. This proves to be the best setting for most situations.
             When you are done with the settings, click ‘Apply’ and then click ‘Ok’ to close the program. Usually, the settings are stored in the registry, but alternatively, you can store the settings in a BGI file. Go to "File | Save as", so you can transfer the preferences to another PC if you’d like. To automate the application, create a program shortcut in the ‘Startup’ folder. This tool doesn't have any ill-eff ects on system performance. It only modifies the wallpaper with the information found and then closes on its own when the countdown timer is left on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Operating two network adapters simultaneously on a Vista computer(Network)

By Wednesday, January 18, 2012 No comments
             You have two network adapters in your Vista PC, which you want to use at the same time for different things. Unfortunately, Windows constantly tries to connect to the Internet through the wrong card—and fails.
             Using two network adapters in the computer for different purposes can be a very practical idea—for example, when one of the adapters is responsible for the Internet connection, while the other one is used for the home-network devices, which are not supposed to have any Internet access. If Windows wants get on to the Internet, it usually uses the Gateway of the first network adapter.
             However, if that is not the adapter, which has the connection to the router, the connection to the Internet fails. Which network adapter can establish which connections, is specified in the routing table.
             You can call the entries of the table using the command ‘route print’, which must be entered in the command prompt (‘Start | Run | cmd’). The standard gateway can be identified in the output of the route-command from the ‘Network destination’ and ‘Network mask’ which are ‘’ each. For Windows to stop trying in vain to connect to the Internet through the wrong adapter, simply deactivate the standard gateway for this.
              For that, click ‘Network and sharing center’ and then ‘Manage Network Connections’ and open the properties of the Ethernet card by right-clicking on it. After double clicking on ‘Internet protocol Version 4’, you can shut down the gateway by deleting the address that you see in the corresponding field for that adapter.
Note: This change of setting does not affect any connections to any devices in the home network, since these are all usually in the same IP address range.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Controlling access to the previous browser session(Internet Explorer 8)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
          Ouch! Clicked on the red cross by mistake and closed the browser. You might have wanted to search for more information on the last site.
           All sites visited so far are usually displayed in the browser in the ‘History’ function. However you cannot see whether these pages were the ones opened last. Internet Explorer 8 now offers a new command, for which you will need to go to ‘Tools | Open last browser session again’. With that, you can replace the currently opened websites with the contents of the last session in new tabs. Exception: if you have surfed in the anonymous mode in the previous session, then those sites will not appear, but only of the last normal session.
            If you want to block this function on a commonly used computer, you can do so with a new registry entry. For that, open ‘Run’ in the start menu, enter ‘regedit’ and press Enter. Then navigate to the ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\Policies\Microsoft\’ key. With the ‘Edit | New | Key’ command, create the entry ‘Internet Explorer’. Then open this and under that, create the sub-key ‘Recovery’ as described. Click in the right-part of the window and open ‘Edit | New | DWORD value’. Enter the name ‘NoReopenLastSession’ and press Enter. To edit, double-click on the new value. Change it to ‘1’ and confirm with ‘OK’, before closing the registry. There is no need to restart the computer as the change is immediately effective.
             Henceforth, the new restoration function will be deactivated. However, remember that the visited sites, except those visited anonymously are still available in the browsing history.
             If you wish to use the function again, either remove the entry created from the registry, or simply assign it the value ‘0’ to reverce the change.

Capturing flying insects sharply with less exposure(Macro photography)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
           Getting sharp photos of flflying insects is a challenge, because the auto-focus of most of the cameras reacts too slowly for the agile flflyers. What do you do?
           For impressive photos of flying insects, first select a suitable place to keep the camera. The best would be spots where the dragon flies fly past every now and then hunting for food. For that, one must observe the insect while it hovers. Once you have the right position, manually adjust the focus. Now switch the camera back to auto focus and wait till the insect is in focus again. The auto focus must now adjust only a few millimeters on pressing the trigger, which goes much faster than what it has to when completely set to auto. When you keep the trigger pressed half way, you can move with the dragon fly and change the picture composition a bit.

Making your own website for foreign-language speakers(Homepage)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
             As responsible world citizens with numerous acquaintances and friends all around the globe, you want to offer your website to your friends in their language. How dumb though, that you hardly know this language.
            With certain restrictions, a gadget by Google can solve this problem to a large extent. A short code integrates the reference of this tool in its Website. For that, open ‘’. Check under point 1 that the language of your website is set to ‘English’. Then click in the display fifield under that, so that the HTML code appears marked in blue. With the Key combination [Ctrl]+[C], copy it to the clipboard.
             Now open the start page of your homepage locally with an HTML-Editor to edit. Insert the one-line script reference in the suitable location for the gadget. Check the display of the gadget in a preview. The script command does not function locally. The changed content must be put online again.
            Now, through the combination field in the gadget, you can select the desired target language. Then Google directs your website to its translation service and delivers the result. On top, there is a note regarding this automatic translation by Google as well as a link leading back to the original version of the website. The viewer is then in a mode, to let all other linked pages run through the tool by Google and be displayed in the previously selected language.
Note: An automatic translation is always flawed with considerable drawbacks. Apart from funny effects, there are also errors, which can easily lead to incomprehensibility or misunderstanding. For a commercial page, this gives a very unprofessional impression. Incidentally, the service can be reached directly through ‘’.

Saving the current status of the browser automatically(Opera)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
          Important settings such as bookmarks or sessions should be automatically saved by the browser.
          Although the free tool ‘Opera Launcher’ primarily serves the purpose of a couple of additional settings on starting the browser, it is very useful for automatically backing up data. To download, type the complete download address in the browser: ‘’. On the page, click ‘Download File’ and select a suitable memory location in the dialog. The ZIP-Archive can be extracted and copied from the file ‘OperaLauncher.exe’ in the program folder of Opera.
            The tool brings up the configuration window when you start it for the first time. Keep the backup options activated and change the intervals if required between the data backups. Otherwise, you can define a relevant key combination with the option ‘Enable keystrokes’ and which will be automatically run with the Opera-Start. For example, switch on the full screen mode by pressing ‘{F11}’. In case of special keys, use the character ‘^’ for [Ctrl], ‘!’ for [Alt] and ‘+’ for [Shift]. Confirm the settings with ‘OK’.
             In the future, you can choose to start Opera through this tool as it accomplishes all determined tasks in the background automatically. For a data backup, you will find the relevant fifi les in Windows Explorer in the profile folder of Opera. For that, enter ‘%AppData%’ in the address row, press Enter and navigate further to the sub folder ‘Opera\ Opera\profile\backups’. Search for the desired files ‘opera6.adr’ and ‘notes.adr’ with the suitable date identifications in the name and copy this to the profile folder. There, change the name in ‘opera6.adr’ and ‘notes.adr’ respectively. If you don’t find it, you can create it yourself. Right click on the empty white space in the folder and create a new text document. Rename it to ‘notes.adr’ or ‘opera6.adr’ in case you don’t find these files.
Note: The configuration of the start program cannot be called later. To be able to make changes to the settings you will either need to edit the ‘OperaLauncher.ini’ file or you could choose to delete this file to bring up the configuration window again.

Securing the private sphere on the Internet while surfing(Internet Explorer 8.x)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
            The surfing history of the browser is practical, since one can easily find previously called websites. Disadvantage: even co-users of the computer can follow your surfing pattern.
            Since the websites called have been recorded in several places in the browser, manual cleaning requires a lot of work. Apart from the history, the browser also saves the entered search terms or addresses and uses these for automatic completion. You can completely delete this data via ‘Tools | Delete Browser History’ but this also deletes data that you might require. Such problems can be worked around in the new Version 8 of the Internet Explorer simple with the private mode. The mode is especially useful on public computers.
             The change in the protected private mode takes place with ‘Tools | Browse InPrivate’. It opens a new browser window. From here on, you can open further tabs or even new windows in private mode. The original unprotected window also remains open. The respective status can be identified from the logo ‘InPrivate’ in the beginning of the address row.
            All symbol bars and add-ons are switched off in the private mode. History, form data and Information regarding automatic completion is not saved by the browser. It holds cookies in the memory for the function of the website and deletes these on closing the window.
Caution: Network administrators can still follow your traces. Besides, keep in mind that favorites added in the private mode as well or feeds are generally retained in the browsers.
Note: The new Microsoft-Browser is a part of the normal Windows-updates. You can however also directly download it, from ‘’. While installing it, you must adjust a few settings. First, answer the question ‘Activate recommended Sites’ with ‘No’, so that a Microsoft online service does not analyze your browser history, to give you personalized suggestions.
            Now click on ‘Select User Defined Settings’, to determine important things such as the search engine and default browser. Finally, restart the computer once you have made necessary changes.

Using tabbed browsing again without restrictions(Internet Explorer 7)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 , No comments
              In the browser, several websites can be managed at a time using tabs. Although you have not changed the settings at all, the command ‘New tab’ is nowhere to be seen in the File menu.
              It is perhaps other system settings that are blocking the tab browsing with Internet Explorer. In XP Professional, you can solve the problem with the Group Policy Editor.
              For that, select ‘Run’ in the start menu, enter ‘gpedit.msc’ and press Enter. Navigate to the left in structure to ‘User configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Explorer’. On the right-side of the window, search for ‘turn on Classic Shell’. If this guideline is activated, it blocks the display of tabs in Internet Explorer. To correct, double-click on it and change the setting in ‘Deactivated’ or ‘Not configured’. Navigate further in the structure to ‘User Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Internet Explorer’. On the bottom right of the list, search for the guideline ‘Turn offtabbed browsing’. Set this as well to ‘Deactivated’ or ‘Not configured’.
             In XP Home, you must look for the corresponding registry entries and change them. For that, select ‘Run’ in the start menu, enter ‘regedit’ and click ‘OK’. Then navigate in the RegistryEditor to the key ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Policies\Explorer’. Search for the DWORD value ‘ClassicShell’ on the right side. If it is available, remove it with ‘Edit | Delete’ and confirm the security query with ‘Yes’. Then navigate further to the key ‘HKEY_ CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\ Microsoft\’. Check here, whether the subkey ‘Internet Explorer\TabbedBrowsing’ is available. If that is the case, delete the key ‘TabbedBrowsing’. Then close the registry. After restarting, IE should work properly again.

Controlling the computer with pre-installed speech recognition(Windows Vista)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
              Vista has an integrated speech recognition – which you wish to use. But you want to activate this and need to know how it works?
              To set up the speech recognition, open the Control Panel, click on ‘Simplified Operation’ and ‘Speech recognition options’. Next, you must ‘Start Speech Recognition’ and follow the instructions given by the wizard. By doing that, you will automatically reach in the independent dialog ‘Set up microphone’. Here e.g., select the option ‘Headset microphone’ and click twice on ‘Next’. Then say a sample sentence to calibrate the system. Through the green bar in the wizard, you can check sensitivity of the microphone reception.
                In the following steps of the wizard, you can also ‘Open Speech reference card’ as additional help as well as the ‘Run speech learning program’. Then a new function bar will appear on the screen. Using the round microphone symbol, click to switch from the ‘Stand-by’ mode to ‘Listen now’. Now you can control Vista with speech recognition. Both buttons along the rightborder in the bar can be used to close the speech recognition or minimize in the info area of the taskbar.
                The main window always shows the current status, e.g. ‘stand-by’ after the first start. With ‘Listen now’, activate the speech recognition and see the status change to ‘Listen’. If the system has not understood the command, It asks you to repeat with ‘Pardon?’. With the command ‘Show speech recognition options’, you will directly reach the context menu to customize the speech recognition.

Getting rid of the annoying message because of a small swap file(Windows XP Pro)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
             Since the time you have changed the authorizations of some drives, you get a message with the system-start ‘The System either has no swap fifile or the swap fifile is too small’. But you know that it is big enough.
             This error message indicates that the system account does not have the necessary rights for the management of the swap file. You have probably changed the rights to the system drive to increase security and while doing so, blocked the system account by mistake. This can happen, if you remove the account ‘ANYONE’ from the authorizations and for instance, grant access as ‘Administrators’ only to your account or group. Since the system account belongs to the ‘ANYONE’ group, you have also deactivated that.
              To solve the problem, you grant the system the necessary rights. For that, restart the computer in safe mode. During the boot process, keep the [F8] key pressed and select the corresponding option with the arrow keys.

              As soon as Windows starts, open Windows Explorer and select the drive with the swap file in the folder dialog, i.e. usually, ‘C:’. You must change the authorizations for the entire drive, since the Security tab is not displayed for the file ‘pagefifi le.sys’. For that, right-click on the drive symbol and select ‘Properties’. Switch to the ‘Security’ tab and click on ‘Add’. Then enter ‘SYSTEM’ and click on ‘OK’. Now again, click ‘Add’, enter ‘Administrators’ and click ‘OK’ once again. While doing so, do not confuse the group name ‘Administrators’ with the user ‘Administrator’.
               Now select the entry ‘SYSTEM’ in the group overview. Then next to ‘Full access’, activate the option in the column ‘Allow’. The remaining options are selected automatically. Select the group ‘Administrators’ and grant it Full access as well.
             Confirm the changes one after the other with ‘Accept’ and ‘OK’. After restarting the system, the swap file should function properly again.

Defining the detailed view as the default in Windows Explorer(Windows XP, Vista)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 , No comments
           Objects in folders in Windows Explorer are usually displayed as large symbols. Although this looks great, it is very chaotic and does not give any information. You cannot see anything apart from the fifile name. And setting all folders to the detail view is annoying.
          Defining the detail view as the system default. For that, open Windows Explorer with [Win]+[E] and activate the desired viewing mode from ‘View | Details’. In Windows Vista, you must first unhide the Windows Explorer’s menu bar with [Alt]. This limitation of Vista is also applicable for all following menu commands.
           Then open ‘Tools | Folder Options’. Click on the dialog of the same name on the ‘View’ tab under ‘Folder Views’ on ‘Apply to all Folders’ or ‘Apply to this folder’. Confirm the following query by the operating system ‘Set all folders on your computer to match the current folder’s view settings’ with ‘Yes’. Close the ‘Folder options’ dialog by clicking on ‘OK’. Windows now changes the view of all folders of the current type as per the instructions in the directory.

Give the system folder ‘My Computer’ a name(Windows XP)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
          You want to give Windows a personalized look and want to change the name of the ‘My Computer’ folder.
           With a registry entry, it is possible to change the name. Start with ‘Start | Run’, ‘regedit’ and click on ‘OK’ and then open Registry Editor and navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069- A2D8-08002B30309D}’. Then doubleclick on ‘Default’ placed on the right side of the editor. Enter the desired name you wish to give ‘My Computer’ in the ‘value’ field, e.g. ‘Kill Theory’. Confifirm the entry and close the editor. This change is applicable only for the currently logged on user. If you wish to rename the ‘My Computer’ space for other users as well, you must login from the relevant user account and go through the settings and give a different name.

Using huge USB-memory sticks in XP as well(Windows XP)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
            Big USB drives or those formatted under Vista cannot be read on your XP computer. How do you use your data?
            In Windows-XP, the widespread file-system F fi AT32 by Microsoft is arbitrarily restricted to a maximum size of 32 GB for every data carrier. Larger USB sticks can therefore not be formatted without any additional tools. In addition, XP cannot read data carriers formatted with the new exFat (Vista) without extra help. While you can fix the problem only with Tools like Partition Magic, the second problem can be easily solved by manually playing an update. Go to the website ‘’ and then to the link ‘Download the Windows XP update package now’.
           Check the file name ‘Windows XP-KB955704-x86-ENU.exe’ and click on ‘Download’.
Attention: If the language version of the update does not match that of your Windows, the installation will not work. To install, start the program, follow the steps through the set-up and reboot the computer after that.
             The exFAT file-system is a further development of FAT32. With its 64-Bitaddressing, it can take care of very big drives and files of up to 18.4 Exabytes. Furthermore, it provides improvements for faster access and an optimized arrangement of the data on Flash-drives.
              The implementation in XP is however restricted. While formatting, you can only use a default size for the allocation units. Besides, there is no support for the data carrier management. The drive is not displayed here. You should use this file system in XP only if needs the size of the data carrier. The main advantage of the updates is the smooth cooperating with the USB-data carriers, which have been formatted in Vista or Windows 7 with exFAT, as well as the unrestricted usage of very big drives.

Getting a better view of My Computer(Windows XP)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
             In the ‘My Computer’ folder, Windows shows references to ‘Shared Documents’ and files of the set up user among other things. Since you use your computer alone these references are superfluous.
             With an entry in the registry, you can get rid of the folder references. For that, open ‘Start | Run’, enter the command ‘regedit’ in the following ‘Open’ dialog and confirm with ‘OK’.
             In the editor, navigate through the tree-structure on the left side to the key ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\ DelegateFolders’. The key contains several sub-keys with cryptic names, which all begin and end in curved brackets. Select the key {59031a47- 3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe 6b30ee} and remove it. Answer the security query by the operating system, whether you really wish to delete the key with all its subkeys, with ‘Yes’.
              By doing so, the symbols for ‘Shared Documents’ and the files of the different users will disappear from ‘My Computer’.
Note: In case you need these symbols again later, you create the key ‘{59031a47-3f72-44a7- 89c5-5595fe6b30ee}’ under ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\ explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\ DelegateFolders’ from ‘Edit | New | Key’. The fastest way of doing it is to select it before deleting it and save it in a REG-file through ‘File | Export’. Then all you need is to double-click on the relevant REG-file to restore the sub-key.

Updating the view in Windows Explorer faster(Windows XP)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
              While creating, copying or moving a new folder, it takes a long time till the operating system shows the changes in all views. Even hitting [F5] or the command ‘View | Update’ yields no result.
              Ensure more speed in a few simple steps: Open ‘Start | Run’, enter ‘regedit’ and click ‘OK’. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the key ‘HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\Control\Update’. Then, on the right-side, open the entry ‘UpdateMode’ with the default value ‘1’ by double-clicking on it. In the dialog ‘Edit DWORD-Value’, overwrite the ‘value’ with ‘0’. Confirm this change with ‘OK’. Close the Registry Editor with ‘File | Exit’ and restart the system. The change accelerates the updation of views from Windows Explorer by the operating system.

Activating the quick-launch bar on the top screen border(Windows Vista)

By Saturday, January 14, 2012 No comments
              Like XP, Vista does not have the option of removing the quick-launch bar from the task bar and, for instance, placing it at the top border of the desktop. This would thus create more space in the quick-launch bar for more symbols and quick access to frequently used programs.
              Start the Windows Explorer with [Win]+[E]. Before we go any further you will need to unhide folders. For that click on ‘Organize | Folder and Search Options’ and switch to the ‘View’ Tab. Under ‘Hidden files and folders’ select ‘Show hidden files and folders’ and click on ‘OK’.
              Now, go to the current user folder and navigate through ‘AppData\Roaming\ Microsoft\InternetExplorer’.
              There, right-click on the folder symbol for ‘Quick Launch’ and select ‘Create Shortcut’. Now select ‘Quick Launch – Shortcut’, keep the left mouse-key pressed and drag it to the top border of the screen. Windows Vista then creates a second task bar of sorts with the entries of the quick-launch bar.
               You can now do away with the quicklaunch bar in the task bar, right-click on the task bar and select ‘Properties’.
               In the following dialog, remove the checkmark from ‘Show quick launch bar’ on the ‘Taskbar’ tab page. Confirm this change with ‘OK’.
               In addition, right-click on the new quick-launch bar along the top border of the screen and by activating the options ‘Always in the foreground’ and ‘Automatically in the background’, define that the bar should be visible as long as the cursor is not moving on the top part of the screen, and should always be on top of other applications.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Using the full four GB RAM under Windows Vista 32-bit(Working memory under 32-bit)

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             Memory is currently reasonable. Despite that, you are annoyed that 1,000 MB of your working memory remains unused under Vista.
             When you use a 32-Bit Vista on a computer, in which a 64-Bit-enabled CPU is running, you could – if available – use the entire four GB memory. If you are not sure whether you have a 32-Bit Vista, find out, by right-clicking on “My Computer” and then by clicking on “Properties” – you can then see the used memory as well as the Windows Version. Now you only have to confirm whether your CPU is 64-Bit-enabled. In order to be safe, ask the Tool CPU-Z. Shortly after the start, there is a window, in which the CPU-properties are listed. If here, under “Instructions”, the entry EM64T (Intel- CPU) or x86-64 (AMD-CPU) is found, then your CPU can be compatible with 64 Bit. Start the command prompt in the administrator-mode (context menu). In the command line mode, switch to the “Windows/system32” directory.
             Now type “BCDedit/set PAE forceenable” and confi rm with “Enter”. This is how you can activate the PAE (Physical Address Extension). If there are problems after restarting, you can undo everything with “BCDedit/set PAE forcedisable”.
            The DEP (Data Execution Prevention) should prevent any malicious code from being executed. Unfortunately it also prevents the desired operations from being executed, causing them to be switched off normally. With the DEP however, the PAE is also deactivated. You can permanently switch off the DEP using the command line (command prompt in administrator mode) “BCDedit /setnx AlwaysOff ”. When in the next line, you type “BCDedit /set PAE force enable”, you can restart the address extension. After restarting the system, the full capacity should be available.

Resetting a forgotten TPMpassword in BIOS(IBM / Lenovo ThinkPad)

By Wednesday, January 11, 2012 No comments
           You have already replaced the old hard disk of your ThinkPad-notebook with a new, bigger one. You want to use the contents of the old disk in an external housing – however, that does not work.
           TPM-boards are hardware keys that ensure that the contents of a hard disk can be read only on the belonging computer. In order to remove this protection – e.g. when you want to read the disk on another computer – a password is required. Since this password is entered once and not asked again, one hardly knows when it is needed. ThinkPad owners can reset it.
            For this purpose, shut down your ThinkPad (with the old hard disk on board). Then switch it on again and press the [Esc] key untiringly – and for as long as the Windows boot-screen appears. As soon as that happens, keep the powerkey pressed, till the computer is switched off again. Then restart notebook and go to the BIOS by pressing F1.

Enabling more than six parallel downloads(Internet Explorer 8)

By Wednesday, January 11, 2012 No comments
         In contrast to the previous versions, the IE8 allows six simultaneous downloads. Sometimes however, this number is also not sufficient.
         Especially when you wish to download several big fi les from slow sources, a bigger number of possible downloads makes sense. Similar to the previous versions, the limit is defined in the registry, however, at a different destination. First, close Internet Explorer. To customize, open the command ‘Run’ in the start menu of Windows, enter ‘regedit’ and click on ‘OK’. Navigate to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\ Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_ MAXCONNECTIONSPER1_0SERVER’. In the right side of the window, search for the DWORD-value ‘iexplore.exe’. If it does not exist, create it with the command ‘Edit | New | DWORD value’. Then double-click on the entry to edit it; change its ‘value’ to ‘10’ and leave the ‘Base’ at ‘Hexadecimal’. Confi rm the value with ‘OK’. Navigate further to the adjacent key ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\ Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_ MAXCONNECTIONSPERSERVER’. Here as well, on the right, search for the DWORDvalue ‘iexplore.exe’ or create it, if it is not available. Then again, double-click to edit and change this value to ‘10’ as well. Close the registry. In some cases, this also accelerates normal surfing speed.

Conjuring up a dynamic zoomeffect in the photo(Digital photography)

By Wednesday, January 11, 2012 No comments
           Outside, only blurred stripes, and a sharp main focus in the center: especially in sports photography, such techniques add enormous speed. How do we create this effect?
            Zoom effects are fascinating. They emerge when the focal length changes while capturing the subject. Since the eye does not find any stop in the blurred areas, the viewers eye inevitably goes to the sharp part of the photo. But the eye hardly stays there, because the many diagonals created in the photo created by the effect also create incessant movement and thus suggest a lot of restlessness. You can create the effect either directly while photographing or add it later to any picture.
WITH THE CAMERA: Prerequisite is a zoom lens, the focal length of which can be adjusted smoothly, without shaking, with a zoom-ring at the tube. Compact cameras with an adjusting compensator must unfortunately fi t here. Another important utensil is a stand. Set your camera on it, select a suitable composition and focus with the main subject in the center. If possible, select the program automatic aperture (‘TV’), then, using the timer, you can set the exact exposure duration. The camera then automatically determines the suitable exposure time. At 1/15 or 1/8 seconds, experience has shown that the zoom effect is brought out very well. Now the difficult part: when capturing the photo, you must change the focal length as uniformly as possible. Whether you increase it of reduce it, is your choice. The following has always worked: start turning the zoom ring before clicking the triggers and continue turning it through the exposure time. With that, you will have uniform lines stripes in the picture. If you first press the trigger and then frantically turn the ring, the shakes are inevitable. The fi rst time however, the ‘Wow!’-effect is difficult to get. Trial and error is the way to go here. Try the trick several times in both directions, vary the speed of rotation. Interesting effects can also be created if you accelerate or slow down the rotation during the exposure.
USING PHOTO EDITING: The solution is the filter ‘Radial soft focusing’ from the menu ‘Filter | soft focus filter’. First call the layer palette with [F7] and duplicate the background layer. For that, rightclick on the miniature layer and select ‘Duplicate layers’ in the context menu. Then open the Filter. With the instruction ‘radial’ you will get the desired zoom effect. Set the ‘Strength’ using the slider control to approx ‘60’ and use the quality level ‘Very good’ – it avoid rough graining.
             After clicking on ‘OK’, Photoshop integrates the filter in the picture. The problem in that: there is no sharp area remaining. Therefore, with a mask symbol, (circle in the right corner) put a mask on the background copy and select the brush tool. Set a large radius and the border sharpness to ‘0’. Set black as the foreground color and then paint over the area, which should be sharp.

Optimally tuning wide angled photos with panorama stands(Panorama photography)

By Wednesday, January 11, 2012 No comments
              As a big fan of panorama pictures, you have concluded that sometimes it is very difficult to put pictures together to form a panorama. Especially when the photographed objects are relatively close to the camera.
             The culprit is the parallax shifting. When you are taking individual pictures for a panorama, and for that, using your body axis as the pivot, objects in the depth of the photos appear to have varying distances next to each other. Correspondingly, it is difficult to position them on one another while superimposing them in the photo editing.
              This effect can be prevented using a special panorama stand. Thus, the pivot can be the so-called nodal-point. When adjusted correctly, the parallax shifting can be avoided fro closer subjects in the photo as well.
              The nodal-point is different depending on the camera; its position depends on the focal length. Usually, it is somewhat in the middle of the lens. Therefore, the pivot of the panorama stand is not fi xed in the area of the camera body thread, but can be freely moved in a wide area. While setting up, a lens with a fi xed focal length is advantageous. So, the following setting has to done only once. After mounting the camera on the stand fi rst tilt it slightly downwards and then align it to the center by marking a center.

Optimizing boring picture compositions(Picture Optimization)

By Wednesday, January 11, 2012
              In some situations, you have to be fast: take out the camera and switch it on, position the camera and click. And then often, the main subject – like the seagull in the picture – is not optimally in the centre of the picture.
THE PROBLEM: The seagull in this picture could have fl own away the very next moment, which is why one must stop dithering in such situations. Focus for a bit and click. At that speed however, it can easily happen that the horizon is not exactly straight in the picture. This is all the more prominent in pictures like these, in which the ocean ruthlessly cuts through the picture. However, what is more important than the perfect picture is that the subject should be sharp. In this picture, the cloudy weather gives the picture a very dreary gray tone. In all, the photo is not as exciting as it could have been.
CLICKING IT DIFFERENTLY: When non-artistic reasons compel a consciously symmetrical picture composition, you must place the main subject off the center of the picture. This increases the excitement. In the example shows us another faux pas: the sea gull is divided by the horizon. However, it would stand out better on a single-color background. This can be managed easily: simply squat and then take a picture of the bird against the sky.
OPTIMIZING ON THE PC: The picture can be edited very well with the help of some photo-editing software such as Photoshop. Straighten it out fi rst – for that, select the ruler tool in the tool list and draw a line over the horizon in the picture. Then proceed with ‘Photo | Rotate work surface | Apply’. Photoshop has already determined and entered the right value through the first action. Now you only have to click on ‘OK’. Now select a narrower, asymmetrical picture section, which will shift the focus back on the actual subject of the photo – the seagull. Our suggestion above shows the optimized picture. Now pep up the dreary colors to some extent. For that, use the ‘Selective color correction’, which can be called through ‘Photo | Customize’. In the dialog, vary the color channels of Cyan-, Blue-, Magenta- and gray tones. The optimal values must be determined by tying out. In the last step, we also stamped out the wooden stick.
             Set the camera such that the center auto-focus field is identical with the marking. Then set-up the camera again. Now search a point in the foreground, e.g. a lantern, or a lead going back. Now when you rotate your camera on the stand towards the left and right, the distance between the two points will increase of decrease depending on the rotation. Move the camera on the guide, till you reach a point where the distance between the two markers no longer varies on rotating the camera.

Using the Find and Replace function only for text contents(Excel XP, 2003, 2007)

By Wednesday, January 11, 2012 , No comments
          Just like Word, the table calculation off ers a function to Find and Replace terms. After you have changed a few words on a worksheet, the formulas compiled before with much eff ort cease to work and give wrong results.
           Perhaps you have not only changed the text contents, but also expressions in the formulas. To avoid this, before replacing, open ‘Edit | Go to’. Then click on ‘Special’ and select the option ‘Constants’. This selects all cells that do not contain any formulas. Now you can deactivate the individual check boxes under it – ‘Numbers’, ‘Text’, ‘Actual values’ or ‘Errors’, to further restrict the selection. Confirm with ‘OK’. Now you can execute the desired task.
BACKGROUND: The table calculation replaces key words in formulas with the ‘Find & Replace’-function without any warning. This, at best, causes error messages to appear, in worst case, unnoticed, wrong results. For example, if you wish to replace the term ‘Number’ with ‘Numbers’, this also replaces the function ‘NUMBER’, which you have possibly used in a formula. The situation gets more critical, if you wish to replace ‘and’ with ‘or’ in the text. This also changes the logical function ‘AND’ or ‘OR’ in formulas and give the wrong results, or perhaps no result at all – or only after its too late.

Duplicating certain text parts of a document faster(Word XP, 2003, 2007)

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             You want your documents to have the same contents, with slight changes in the details – for example signatures – to be able to send them to two diff erent recipients. The Mail Merge function would be too much for that.
            Using a link, you can make every text change get copied automatically in another area. First write the desired text on the first page and manually enter a page-break in the end with [Ctrl]+[Enter]. On the second page, enter the different text parts like headers and footers. Then on the fi rst page, select the text to be copied and copy it to the clipboard. On the second page, select the command ‘Edit | Paste’. In this field, select the type ‘Rich Text Format (RTF)’ and click on the ‘Paste link’ option next to it. After the confirmation with ‘OK’, Word creates a field, which reproduces the original content as it is and usually updates it automatically with a slight delay.
             In Word 2007, click on the menu ‘Start’ and then in the multi-function toolbar on the arrow under ‘Paste’, to execute the command ‘Paste’.
NOTE: For the next texts take care that changes to the source text are made within the source area of the link. Besides, you must not make any changes in the linked section, which can be identified with the grey of the border, since these are automatically overwritten. In the context menu of the linked area, you can manually ‘Update the links’ or make other settings through ‘Linked document object | Links’.

Defining a preset size and color for notes(Outlook 2003, 2007)

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             When creating a new note, the application opens a tiny window – too small to edit anything. So, an extra action is always required to increase its size with a mouse which can be very annoying.
             With a few actions, you can create a template, which can later be used instead of the standard note. For this, create an empty note through ‘File | New | Note’ and change its size to suit your requirement. You can also assign a new color, by clicking on the note symbol on the left in the title-bar and opening the system menu and selecting a ‘Color’. Alternatively, select ‘Tools | Options | Note Options’. Outlook now offers fi ve colors and three prescribed sizes as well as other fonts for the notes.
TIP: In Outlook 2007, you can only select the note color and through the ‘Categorization’ of notes.
             If the given options are not enough, open the system menu in a note, select ‘Save as’ and in the following dialog under ‘File type’ select the entry ‘Outlook-template (*.oft)’.
            Then assign another name and click on ‘Save’. To use your own template, open ‘File | New | Select form’. In the dialog of the same name, activate the entry ‘Templates in fi le system’ in ‘Search in’ and then double-click on the entry that you have created.
            You can considerably speed up the opening of the template, if you define a shortcut to it in the links area of Outlook. For that, you will require the path to the directory, in which the template is saved. You can find out the path as follows: in the combination fi eld ‘Search in’ of the dialog ‘Select Form’, select the entry ‘Templates in the fi le system’. Now you can read the path in the fi eld directly under the combination field.
             Start Windows Explorer with [Win]+[E] and navigate in the said directory. In the folder options under ‘View | Advanced Settings’ you might need to first activate the display of hidden files and directories with the help of the option ‘Show all fi les and folders’. Then click on the template you have saved, keep the left mouse key pressed and drag the entry in Outlook to the title ‘Links’ in the navigation area. As soon as a small plus-sign appears, let go of the mouse key. The new link has been created.

Finding commands faster through usual classic menus(Office 2007)

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           After the switch to Offi ce 2007, many users are irritated with the new operation of the multifunction toolbar. To avoid the tedious search for a command, you would like to use the usual old menus at least temporarily.
           Microsoft did not provide any option in the new Office to use the menus established over several generations of programs along with the new Ribbon-command toolbars. The freeware can be downloaded from ‘’ – giving you the option of additionally integrating the usual menu structure in new multi-function toolbar. This method is recommended, since you do not need to hide any menu points and at the same time, you can use the new operation method. If you do not find the command you are looking for, you can simply make way for the known menus.
          After the download, close all Office programs and install the program. The tool is an add-in, which is integrated as a general template. From the next program start, you will the additional Ribbon ‘Menu’ in all Office programs in the multi-function toolbar. With that you can access the usual structure of menus and toolbars. When you later no longer require the menu help, it can be easily removed from the Control Panel in Windows later.

Checking results and formulas more easily(Excel XP, 2003, 2007)

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            In a comprehensive calculation, you want it to be easier to identify as to which values are a result of formulas and which data has been entered. Besides, you want to quickly verify, how formatting the formulas aff ect the results.
             The editing toolbar shows the formula saved in the active cell. If you want excel to display all formulas of a worksheet at the same time, open ‘Tools | Formula Auditing | Formula Auditing Mode’. This mode can also be activated using the key combination [Ctrl]+[`], which can also help you switch back to the normal view.
              To be able to check all calculations effectively you will need to view the formulas and their results at the same time. For that, you use two windows one below the other with a view of the same calculation.
              Close all still open worksheets. Keep the cursor at the beginning of the current table and open ‘Window | New Window’. To arrange both views, select the ‘Window | Compare Side by Side with…’. In Excel 2007, switch to the Ribbon ‘View’ and click on ‘New Window’ and ‘Arrange all’. Select the option ‘Horizontal’ and confirm with ‘OK’. Then click on the button ‘Compare side by side with’. Then click in one of the two display windows and press the key combination [Ctrl]+[`], to display the formulas there. Every action in a Window is automatically visible in the adjacent window so that you can always compare the same section. To control the action, you can activate or deactivate the scrolling of the other table in the displayed toolbar ‘Compare side by side with’ using the button ‘Synchronous scrolling’. Editing of values or formulas is possible in both windows.
CAUTION: As far as possible, do not close the checking ‘Close side by side’. This changes the window arrangement, but leaves the second window open. It is better to close one of the two windows, so that the original worksheet is viewable in full size again. Then save the changed data, since you have only closed the viewing copy till now.

Starting the System Console window immediately in a practical size(Windows XP)

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            Windows opens the windows of important system consoles, e.g. the Computer Administration or the system services in a very small size. So you have to drag and enlarge the window every time. That is certainly not clear and in keeping with times.
            In the view settings of the consoles, there is no option to save the window settings. With a trick however it can be done. Open ‘Run’ in the Start Menu, enter ‘mmc’ and click on ‘OK’. In the Microsoft Management Console window, now open the menu ‘File’.
             Here, you will find references to the four last used system dialogs. For example, to customize the window for the computer management, select the entry that ends with ‘compmgmt. msc’. ‘services.msc’ opens the system services; ‘devmgmt.msc’ opens the Device Manager. Should the desired system dialog not be available, you can start the relevant MSC-file through the ‘Open’-dialog.
              Now change the size and position of the respective program window as you wish and close the dialog. Confirm the enquiry with ‘Yes’. It can also be that a note offers the update to a new version for this console file. Confi rm this question with ‘Yes’ as well. Henceforth, every customized dialog starts with the new settings.

Translating error messages in comprehensible clear text(Windows XP, Vista)

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            In case of a system error, Windows usually delivers cryptic numbers, which hardly help any further to look for the error. A search for the error on the Internet is thus often a tedious aff air.
            The freeware ‘MS Windows Error Messages’ helps understand an error quickly and off ers all explanations regarding the error codes. You can download this tool from ‘http://’. Extract the archive and install the tool. Error Messages is immediately ready to use. The question takes place based on the internally stored information, so that an Internet connection is not required. Activate the tab ‘Lookup’ and enter the fi ve-digit error number in the ‘Error Code’ fi eld. The explanation is given under this.

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