Archives for December 2006

Disable Windows Error Reporting

Window error
When Windows freezes and you have to force a program to close you get the following error: “Windows has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.” Then there is some more text and it says, “Please tell Microsoft about this problem.” I don’t know anyone that actually does this and it’s quite annoying because this dialog pops up every time you force a program to close. This is easy to disable.

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Delete an in-use file

Delete error imageSpyware and viruses can be difficult to delete. Often times when you locate spyware on your computer and try to delete the file you get the following error: “Cannot delete file: Access is denied. Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.” There is an easy way to remove these files.

Install Creative Element Power tools. You can download Creative Element Power tools from their website.

Now when you right click on an icon, you will have the ability to “Delete in-use file.” See the screenshot below:
Delete in-use file image

If you choose to delete the in-use file you will be prompted with the following dialogue. If you choose “OK” the file will be deleted when you restart.

Delete in-use file 1

Combine multiple PDFs into one merged document

It is very useful to combine multiple PDF documents into one file. This is useful especially if you accumulate many PDFs (newsletters, bills, etc.) over time. I will walk you through the process of doing this in Windows XP using only free software.

The first step is to download and install Ghostscript 8.53. You can download Ghostscript via

The second step is to download and install PDFTK 1.12. You can download PDFTK via its homepage.

Note: When you install PDFTK it will appear as if nothing was installed (don’t worry, it is supposed to do this).

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Automatically mount your Linux partition in Windows

Linux drive image
You can automatically mount your Linux partition in Windows and have read/write functionality with a freeware application called Ext2Fsd. I will take you through the process of mounting your Linux partition using Windows XP.

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Create your own photo projects

XnView is a freeware application for Windows, Linux, and Mac that allows you to quickly create many different types of photo projects including: collages, film strips, web pages, and slide shows. XnView also allows you to batch resize, convert, and rename pictures. XnView supports quite a few different languages. I’ll walk you through getting started. Click the screenshot below for an enlarged version.

XnView screenshot small

The first step is to download and install XnView via their homepage.

The second step is to select a directory that contains your images and highlight each picture you want to be in your project (hold CTRL and click on each image).

Next, go to Create and choose the project you want. Creating each of the projects is very simple, so play around with it. One feature of XnView that I particularly like is that XnView allows you to tuck all of your pictures into a slideshow and export your slide show as an executable so that it can be viewed.

If you would like to batch convert your images you can do so in the Tools >> Batch Convert… section. See the screenshot below:
Batch convert images

Quick Tip: Mouseless browsing in Firefox

The following are useful key strokes to eliminate the use of the mouse and increase the speed of your browsing in Firefox. These keystrokes will work in Linux and Windows.

CTRL+L: Select the URL bar
CTRL+K: Select the search bar
CTRL+T: Open new tab
CTRL+W: Close current tab
CTRL+TAB: Shuffle tabs forward
CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Shuffle tabs backward
CTRL+R: Refresh
CTRL+F: Open find dialogue
CTRL+H: Open history menu
CTRL+D: Bookmark current page
CTRL+U: View page source
BACKSPACE: Go back one page
ALT+RIGHT ARROW: Forward one page
ALT+LEFT ARROW: Back one page
ALT+HOME: Go to homepage
CTRL+K followed by CTRL+DOWN ARROW: Select search bar and change search engine

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