If you've been running XP for a while there's a quick easy tweak to make it boot faster. XP uses a prefetch technique to make your apps launch faster...basically XP keeps track of the apps you use and stores bits of them in the c:\windows\prefetch folder. Each time you reboot as the computer is booting it's loading those bits into memory so when you launch those apps they launch faster since some of the app is preloaded.
Problem is over time the prefetch folder fills up with all the apps you launch and thus bootup time starts to go down. So periodically do the following:
1) click START>RUN 2) type "prefetch" in the dialog box 3) Select all the files in the folder that opens 4) Delete all those files (edit: don't delete the layout.ini file) 5) Enjoy a quicker XP bootup time
EDIT: Bob gave me a heads up that this "trick" is surrounded by controversy. FWIW, I ran across this tip from one of my favorite sites, techrepublic.com. So I did some digging. Some say don't do it as it doesn't work ... others say it does work, but don't delete the layout.ini file. The concensus though is don't delete. And now a Microsoft dude has said don't do it. There is however evidence to suggest that some spyware hides in the prefetch folder...so deleting it could actually help a spy-layden PC.
Of course how often do you really reboot your PC? My desktop at work goes weeks without a reboot, my laptop I just put into standby when traveling, my home PC averages about 11 days mainly because of the poorly written win95 games my kids play on it.
So bottom line? I guess leave the folder alone unless you've got spyware out the wazoo. I'm still going to delete the files for kicks and see what happens :-)
The beta2 release of OpenOffice version 2 is now available for download. As always, OpenOffice is opensource and thus no cost.
I've been using OpenOffice on my home PC's for about 4 years now ... partly because I don't want to pay the crazy MS Office prices and partly because I want to see if there are things it can't do that MS Office can.
Now I'm not a hardcore office application user ... meaning I don't consider myself an office power user ... I have done some pretty complicated spreadsheet calcs though and they work perfect in either OpenOffice or MS Office. I've also done some comparisons with Powerpoint presentations. Take a pretty nifty PPT file and open it in both apps. I was pretty surprised when there was no difference when running a slideshow in either app.
So ... for home use OpenOffice is a definite winner. Only thing missing is an Outlook clone. For a church on an ultra tight budget I can totally see using OpenOffice. But do note that you can get the full blown MS Office2003 Pro version for ~$60 through Microsoft's charity licensing. So I'd recommend spending the $$ for MS Office over OpenOffice ... why? - Most everyone is already familiar with MS Office. Most schools and colleges teach MS Office. - Volunteers will know MS Office. - If/when you get big enough to start utilizing server technologies MS Office intergrates into Windows Server, Exchange Server, Live Communications Server, SharePoint, etc.
Here's the start of my first weekly reoccuring post ... I'm calling it Friday Funnies until I can think of somethings clever which may never happen. Basically, it'll just be funny stuff I run across throughout the week that makes me laugh.
So here's the first installment...
meCHURCH ... a humorous look at what if the Church was all about YOU?
Oh man, it's stuff like this that makes me feel old! Yesterday marked the 10yr anniv of Windows95 release.
I remember the hype surrounding win95...and yes, I went out and bought it the day it was released. I remember it installed without a hitch on my Gateway 2000 Pentium 90 with 8MB ram and 730MB hard drive which cost me $3406 back then. I still had that PC until I moved to Granger...I gave it to the kid across the street when we moved...though by then I'd put in an Evergreen 180MHz overclocker and maxed out the ram at 64MB.
It was my playing with Win95 that really peaked my interest in becoming a geek. I still occasionally run into Win95 in use today and it's amazing how much I've forgotten how to do in Win95.
I think most everyone agrees that Win95 was a huge turning point in computing. It brought a more friendly and simple user experience to the masses ... and you weren't cool if you didn't have Win95.
BetaNews has a nice Win95 tribute page detailing some of the facts surrounding the release as well as pictures of the launch ... fun stroll down memory lane.
I hope they really stick it to this dude...though I'd like to check out his car collection ;-)
At just 25 years of age, Christopher Smith of Prior Lake, Minnesota, a southern suburb of Minneapolis, had amassed $1.8 million worth of luxury cars, $1.3 million in cash, and two homes. But Smith's fortunes obtained from sending spam came crashing down Wednesday.
Josh told me about this sweet software his using at home called Multiplicity. And it's another "must have" item for me.
Image you have 2 or more computers at your desk that you use often ... each with it's own set of roles ... and each with it's own monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Now imagine how cool it would be to be able to sit the 2 monitors side by side (still plugged into separate PC's) and using only one mouse and keyboard be able to control each PC just by moving the mouse from one screen to the next. So when you move the mouse to the left screen you're controlling the left PC. Move the mouse to the right screen and now you're controlling the right PC...all from one keyboard and mouse. DUDE!! That rocks!
It's kinda like a remote control and KVM mutation of sorts. I currently run 3 monitors off my main PC. (pic was taken in my prior office right before moving to our new digs)
Also on my desk is my test PC that I use for...well, for testing duh :-) Of course the test PC takes up space on the desk .. monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables, yuk.
With Multiplicity I'll be able to move the test PC monitor next to the others, toss the keyboard and mouse and easily switch between it and my main PC ... along with easily copying files to/from each PC.
The price is right too ... $40 for the Normal version and $70 for the Pro. And of course, they have a trial version so you can kick the tires before buying. I'll kick the tires in the next few weeks and report back.
Picked this up from engadget and it's too kewl not to share.
Got some hard drives sitting around collecting dust that you keep saying, "someday I'll find out what's on that drive"? But it's a pain to open a computer case and set up Master/Slave stuff, etc.
Or if you have a drive that's starting to fail and you need to get to some files spinning the drive as little as possible? Don't boot the drive...just get to important files.
OR some windows system files are damaged due to bad sectors or somesuch and you just want to get to your files on the drive ... and of course it's NTFS so you can't just boot into DOS and copy away.
OR it's a laptop hard drive ... how do you do a Master/Slave arrangement for that?
Here's a great low cost ($35) solution. A cable plugs in your USB port then into the back of the hard drive (even laptop drives!). Another cable feeds power to the hard drive. Now you have access to the contents of the drive...how slick is that!
The world is a buzzin' over Google's new Instant Messaging client today. But I'm sitting here thinking, "So what?" Unless it does something really incredible that no other client is doing I'm wondering why all the fuss? Other than the cool factor what's the payoff.
I already have Trillian installed so I can use both my AIM and Messenger accounts in one client ... last thing I need is one more "presence" to deal with. I've already dropped my ICQ account and I'm working to thin down the umpteen email addresses I have. Simplify!!!
I've been driving everyone I know to Messenger. Why?
It's built into Windows. I don't have to tell people where to download it or how to install...it's just there. Here at Granger users don't have admin rights to their computer so they can't install another client anyways.
You can use your .NET passport to login to other needed sites
It ties into Windows Remote Assistance ... a user (and my MOM!) can just right-click on my screen name, select "request remote assistance" and bam I can help them remotely.
It ties into Outlook and Office ... and if we ever get time to get Live Communications Server up and running it will integrate even tighter.
It does everything I need at this point...and there are many of it's functions I never use.
Of course I'll install Google Talk at some point just so I can say I've played with it, but I'm not in any hurry.
If you'd like to instant message me I'm at MSN: jpowell(at)gccwired(dot)com or AIM: fizzx
It's not too late to register for our Innovative Church Conference (ICC) coming Sept 29-30. And as if there weren't already a zillion reasons you should be there ... this year we're hosting a Blogapalooza.
Come hang out with all your favorite Granger bloggers (your's truly included) during lunch...it's sure to be a great time! Rumor has it some well know guest bloggers will be in attendance as well.
This is strictly a word of mouth deal ... so tell your friends ... and be sure to leave a comment on Tony's blog so we know you're coming. Mention my name in your comment to receive a neat-o prize ;-) [what would life be without some bribery?]
side note: Along with many other vendors, Fellowship Technologies will have a booth set up during the conference so you can demo and chat with them about their sweet Church Management System, Fellowship One
side note #2: I'll also have Windows Vista beta loaded on a machine for people to check out