Windows XP

Download of the Day: Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (Windows)

Posted on February 20, 2007. Filed under: Virtual, Windows, Windows XP |

Windows only: Want your XP inside Vista or vice-versa? Virtual PC 2007 (3 years older and wiser than the 2004 edition) can run several versions of Windows on one physical PC.

You’ll need a full license of that other version of Windows to run it with Virtual PC, which can share the internet connection, hard drives or only certain folders between host and virtualized OS seamlessly. Virtual PC 2007 is now Vista compatible (but only runs on the Ultimate, Enterprise and Business editions as well as XP Pro), and it’s a free download courtesy of Microsoft.

+ Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 [Microsoft via Hackszine]

Also see “Run Windows XP inside Vista with Virtual PC” [via lifehacker]

Also see

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30 Essential Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows

Posted on February 18, 2007. Filed under: Downloads, Free, Software, Windows, Windows XP |

Recently, I received a fresh new laptop from Dell. Upon receiving it, I did the traditional “installation of Windows from scratch” on it to remove a lot of the garbage that is preinstalled on Dells. Then I got really busy installing tons of great software that takes care of pretty much every software need I have. Not only was all of the software free, every piece of it was open source, which means that the code is peer-reviewed; no spyware here!

What follows, after the jump, is a list of thirty pieces of software that are the cream of the crop of open source software for Windows. Not only is every piece of it free, almost all of them directly replace expensive software packages.

Now, if only there were an open version of The Sims 2, I might go the whole way and switch to Linux…

+ 30 Essential Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows [via thesimpledollar]

The list includes Firefox, Thunderbird, Open Office, Bit Torrent, VLC Media Player, NotePad 2and more…..

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Download of the Day: Microsoft Time Zone (Windows XP)

Posted on February 1, 2007. Filed under: Clocks, Downloads, Time, Windows XP |

Windows only: The free Microsoft Time Zone app displays the current time from multiple locations in the XP taskbar.

If you haven’t yet upgraded to Vista but you would like its multiple clocks feature, the not-as-pretty, but just-as-functional Time Zone’s for you. Microsoft Time Zone is a free download, and requires .NET 1.1 to run.

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A Visual History of Microsoft Windows

Posted on January 31, 2007. Filed under: History, Windows, Windows Media Player, Windows XP |

The world’s most ubiquitous operating system was not always so. The evolution of Windows was often uncertain and precarious. Its success was symbiotic with advancements in processor speed and memory capacity, and Microsoft relied heavily on third-party software to bridge the gap between concept and consumer. Tour the 23-year history of the Windows OS through these screenshots.

+ A History of Microsoft Windows [from Wired News]

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How to Install a Vista Upgrade on a Blank Hard Drive

Posted on January 31, 2007. Filed under: Vista, Windows XP |

from Gizmondo – I love Microsoft. We had just started to resign ourselves to the fact that we were going to need Windows XP on our hard drive if we ever had to reinstall our upgrade version of Vista. Then they came up with a solution left open a gaping loophole. That’s right, you can install the upgrade version of Vista on a blank hard drive. The bad news? The workaround’s almost as much of a pain in the ass as the original problem, requiring multiple installs…

Basically, start the setup for your upgrade version of Vista on a blank hard drive, but don’t enter the product key. Instead, install it as a 30-day trial. Once Vista’s up and running, run setup again, entering your product key this time. Do a clean install, then pat yourself on the back for saving $80 not having to keep XP around in case you want a new hard drive at some point.

Act fast, cause there’s no telling how long this little hole’s going to stay open.

+ Workaround Discovered For “Clean Install” With Vista Upgrade DVDs [DailyTech via digg]

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How to upgrade from Windows XP to Vista

Posted on January 18, 2007. Filed under: Vista, Windows XP |

Planning to make the move to Vista when Microsoft ships the new OS at the end of the month? Tech site ExtremeTech tells you everything you need to know about upgrading your XP PC. For example, is your system even a candidate?

You can only perform an in-place upgrade from certain Windows XP versions to certain Windows Vista versions; you can’t upgrade any of the pre-Vista Windows operating systems (including Windows 9x/Me and Windows 2000) to Vista without performing a clean installation.

+ Upgrade from Windows XP to Vista [ExtremeTech]

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Install and run Ubuntu without disturbing Windows

Posted on January 17, 2007. Filed under: Ubuntu, Windows XP |

Want to take Linux for a spin? Forget partitions, dual-boot setups and live CDs: The new Ubuntu Windows installer lets you run the Linux distro while keeping the rest of your system intact.

In other words, it’s like a live CD without the CD. Just run the installer, which in turn downloads a disk image of Ubuntu (actually, your choice of four Ubuntu distros), and then reboot your PC. Choose the desired boot option from the menu that appears, and presto: You’re running Linux. This is a working prototype, not a finished product, so user beware. It didn’t work on my Vista box (I discovered after the fact that Vista isn’t supported yet), but it ran like a gem on an XP system. Great way to run Ubuntu without the hassles of partitioning or burning a live CD!

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Use your My Pictures folder as a screensaver

Posted on January 9, 2007. Filed under: Windows XP |

Here’s a novel idea for a screensaver from Parent Hacks: use your My Pictures folder (or wherever you store your digital photos on your machine) as the source for your screensaver. Here’s how it works with Windows XP:

  • Start Menu/Control Panel/Display
  • Find the Screensaver tab, and choose “My Picture Slideshow.”
  • By default, this points to your My Pictures folder, but you can point it anywhere you want.

I’ve had this on my ‘puter for years. One unexpected side benefit: my kids are absolutely mesmerized by the hundreds of family pics I’ve got sliding by whenever the screensaver is on (way better than being glued to the TV!).

+ Use Your My Pictures folder as a screensaver [Parent Hacks]

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Hide your Windows user account

Posted on November 9, 2006. Filed under: Windows XP |

 

The IntelliAdmin weblog describes how to hide a user account from the Windows XP welcome screen.

The author claims you might want to do hide your account so that other users aren’t “tempted to try getting into it while they are on [your] computer,” but we all know that the real reason you’d want to do this is so that you can do strange and kinky things on it and no one would know it exists. Just keep in mind that you’d probably want to move your Docs and Settings, too. Either way, you can hide your account with a little work with your registry, or you can use IntelliAdmin’s simple app for doing the same thing.

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Windows Vista RC 1, in screenshots

Posted on September 9, 2006. Filed under: Microsoft, Windows XP |

Release candidate software is a final product with most bugs resolved, so when Microsoft offered the Windows Vista RC 1 for download yesterday, I hopped right on it like a kid on a bus to Disneyland. The Vista Beta was a neat preview of what’s to come from Redmond, so I expected a lot from Vista RC1, and I wasn’t disappointed.

If you haven’t already, first check out this Vista Beta tour in screenshots to get an overall feel for the new operating system. Today, I’ve got a photo gallery of some of the new stuff that jumped out at me from the release candidate, so-close-to-final-it-hurts version of Windows, due out on the market early next year.

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Download of the Day: Windows Live Local Outlook add-in

Posted on September 5, 2006. Filed under: eMail, Microsoft, Windows XP |

Windows only: add maps, routes, driving directions, and more to Outlook with the new Windows Live Local Outlook plug-in.

This is a handy app for anyone who gets tired of switching back and forth between the web and Outlook to email directions; plus, you can totally integrate it with your task planner so your travel time is nicely aligned with your meetings, schedule, outings, etc. Windows Live Local for Outlook is a free download, Windows only.

+ Windows Live Local Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook (Beta) [Microsoft Download Center]

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Download of the Day: Windows Live Local Outlook add-in

Posted on September 5, 2006. Filed under: eMail, Microsoft, Windows XP |

Windows only: add maps, routes, driving directions, and more to Outlook with the new Windows Live Local Outlook plug-in.

This is a handy app for anyone who gets tired of switching back and forth between the web and Outlook to email directions; plus, you can totally integrate it with your task planner so your travel time is nicely aligned with your meetings, schedule, outings, etc. Windows Live Local for Outlook is a free download, Windows only.

+ Windows Live Local Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook (Beta) [Microsoft Download Center]

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Download of the Day: Browzar (Windows)

Posted on September 2, 2006. Filed under: Browsers, Windows XP |

Windows only (for now): Just when we thought we’d covered every porn private browsing tool available, out pops Browzar, a freeware, lightweight browser with privacy on the brain.

Browzar lets you surf to your heart’s weird content without keeping any of that incriminating or sensitive information on your computer. Browsing history, stored files, cookies, and autocomplete are nowhere to be found with Browzar, so each time you run it, it’s totally clear of your weird usage data.

+ Browzar [via PC World]

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Open source Windows alternatives

Posted on August 30, 2006. Filed under: Advice, Microsoft, Windows XP |

Don’t feel like shelling out the big bucks for college software apps (gotta save that for pizza money, ya know)? Thrifty blogger Jason Chen has come up with a nice long list of open source alternatives to popular Windows programs.

His list is organized into three columns: name of the free software, the comparable Windows application, and where you can go to download, download away. It’s a great list for anyone looking to stretch their computing budget.

+ Jason’s Free Useful Software List [via .etc]

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Five Reasons You’ll Use Google Office (and 5 Reasons You Won’t)

Posted on August 28, 2006. Filed under: Google, Microsoft, Online Applications, Windows XP |

Google launched today a hosted software package of productivity tools that places it closer into competition with Microsoft’s Live products.

Google Apps for Your Domain is a software bundle aimed at small and midsize businesses. The free package combines Google’s e-mail, calendar, IM and page creation software. The package creates a private label suite all hosted by Google. Aaron Ricadela at InformationWeek has a good in-depth story (although he doesn’t even mention MS Live and focuses on Office instead).

But read my lips: Google Apps for Your Domain (GAYD?) does not compete with Microsoft Office. Microsoft’s Office market may be $12 billion, but the lion’s share of those billions comes from a relatively small number of large companies. Writely can’t compete with Word, Spreadsheets can’t compete with Excel. They cater to the soccer mom, not the corporate worker. Right now, you need both to do your job. It’s not a zero sum game.

What Google gains from these apps is knowledge about how you use office software and what kind of information you’re sending back and forth. This data goes into its advertising efforts so it can target you better. Everything is in the service of advertising. Google is also firing a shot across the bow of Microsoft Live, which targets the same functionality.

+ read more

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Internet Explorer 7 Release Candidate (Windows)

Posted on August 25, 2006. Filed under: Microsoft, Windows XP |

Microsoft takes Internet Explorer 7 out of beta and makes the release candidate of IE 7 available for download this morning. The ‘softies say:

“The RC1 build includes improvements in performance, stability, security, and application compatibility. You may not notice many visible changes from the Beta 3 release; all we did was listen to your feedback, fix bugs that you reported, and make final adjustments to our CSS support.”

The RC installation requires not one but TWO restarts (it uninstalls any existing IE7 version first), plus it does a virtual pat-down and “validates” your copy of Windows AND it runs the Malicious Software Removal tool to make sure all’s kosher on your PC. After all that, you’re exhausted, but the new version does have a much speedier startup. IE7 RC is a free download, Windows only.

+ Internet Explorer 7 [Microsoft via IEBlog]

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Permanently delete data from your hard drive

Posted on August 24, 2006. Filed under: Advice, Windows XP |

Formatting your hard drive before you sell it on Ebay is not enough to permanently erase the data on disk. The Geeks are Sexy blog (aren’t they, though?) rounds up a few disk “white-out” applications which will wipe your hard drive of any trace of the data that once lived there.

Personally I’m partial to Eraser for Windows and Mac’s Disk Utility to get this job done, but these proggies (which fit on a floppy disk, if anyone still uses those) look like decent alternatives as well.

+ How to Get Rid of Your Data Permanently [Geeks Are Sexy]

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Top 10 Ubuntu apps and tweaks

Posted on August 23, 2006. Filed under: Advice, Windows XP |

When Adam Pash (LifeHacker author) made the switch to Ubuntu Linux on his desktop computer (that is, if you can call triple-booting Windows XP, Vista, and Ubuntu a “switch”), he was a little worried about finding the applications and tools that would make him as productive working in Ubuntu as he is working on Windows.

After a little searching around the interweb, however, he’s been more than impressed with the number of great, full-featured applications available for Linux, many of which outshine their Windows counterparts. And what’s best – they’re all totally free. Here are his top 10 favorite applications and tweaks that made replacing Windows with Ubuntu a breeze.

+ more 

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Switching from PC to MAC

Posted on August 20, 2006. Filed under: Advice, MAC, Windows XP |

No, it’s not me switching from PC to Mac, but the tech editor at The age. I’ve been thinking about it a lot though, and that’s why I found this short article interesting. Basically he describes all pros and cons and shares his experiences with the transition from PC to Mac.

+ more

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