Windows experiences and tips
Whoever works with any flavour of Windows encounters a number of problems and an even greater number of annoyances. The user interface is not consistent at all, a lot of stuff is missing, system documentation does not exist etc. She or he also develops preferences for tools and utilities. I have now used Windows 3.x, 95, NT 4 and finally 2000. Most of the experience I have collected in a local help database on my system, but some tips may be of broader interest.
- Entfernen bekannter viren
- Windows à jour halten
- Handle file attributes within a file structure
- Information sources
- System tools
- Tips and tricks
Windows 95 … XP
In the good old days of main frames there were system programmers, now zillions of so called Personal Computer users do the same thing over and over: hunt problems, fix bugs, download updates, install new hardware (because programmer's discipline is a foreign word to MS) etc.
Windows users spend at least 20% of their time with dragon fights. This is our money directly going into the pocket of BG. Fortunately some generous peers provide information for free:
- Windows Annoyances - the web site to the book with many many essentials.
- My own help system – now that WebHelp is available, also you may get a hand on it (if I find time to convert)..
Did you know, that Windows 95 and its successors are not that bad at all?
- Keyboard shortcuts can speed up your work or help you with a dead mouse
- Move the coursor carefully with mouse keys
- Number files with File Explorer:
- Select the files to rename,
- Right-click the first, choose Rename and type the name, for example Vacation2003.jpg.
- Files will be named Vacation2003(1).jpg, Vacation2003(2).jpg and so on.
- Start File Explorer with parameters to get a specific view
- Copy PostScript file directly to PostScript printer (add a command to the Send To selection).
- Highlight important text files
- Indicate open folders
- Quick View Plus from Avanstar is a universal file browser. For W95 I used FMView.
- Enhance the Send To command to get file information to the clipboard. Be aware that not all PowerToys work in newer Windows versions. This is a real releaf if you have multiple projects. Rather than dig down in every Open dialog, you get the file information from where you are and enter it directly into the Open of any application.
- Application Mover from Funduc, to move programs to another location after installation. Many program installations do not allow to install the application where I want it to be.
- Replendent Registrar, an ultimate registry editor from Respendence.
- StartUp Cop helps to manage programs which start automatically. There are many places in Windows where they can reside. Search for Startup Cop Pro on PC Magazine Free Utilities.
- TweakUI – to keep your system in usable state. Why is this tool from Microsoft not standard in an OS?
- Acrobat Reader 6 plugins – what they do
- Beware of zero length files when cleaning up your system
- Delete a file which is claimed to be in use
- Press CTRL + ALT + DEL to launch the Task Manager
- Locate and kill the explorer.exe process
Start up Explorer again:
in the Task Manager, choose File > New Task (Run...) and type
explorer.exeand click OK.
- Desinfektion nach virenbefall
- Do not report errors to Microsoft (XP)
- Go to Control Panel > System-> Advanced tab, Error Reporting
- Set the Disable error reporting option and
- Set the But notify me when critical errors occur checkbox.
- Measure windows on your desktop with this screen-ruler
- Shut down Windows without any warnings
- Save any open files
- Press CTRL + ALT + DEL
- Select Shutdown and hold CTRL as you click Turn Off
- Stop Indexing service slowing down your machine
- Choose Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services
- Disable the Indexing Service.
- Stop W2K/XP paging the core process
If you have 512Mb or more of RAM, stop W2K/XP paging:
- Locate the Registry key HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management and set the DisablePagingExecutive value to 1.
Some of these utilities are used very often
- AutoHotkey (AHK) is
a universal scripting language for Windows. Since it is free it has replaced
Window Ware) on my desktop since XP. At Windows start and end I run scripts
for cleaning up directories, logging
etc. A full blown application is FM+EN,
which controls FrameMaker and EndNote (and Word) by sending keystrokes.
Another script is ShortHand (see below).
With the help of the AutoHotkey I have automated my start up (clean out files every monday; log in case of problems etc.) and Shut down procedure (update working log etc.) as well as some helper applications: Rename files by means of a table, maintain a to-do-list.
- Babylon is a very good tool when dealing with various languages. I use it also to check my correct use of an english word. Most of the dictionaries and glossaries are free. See an example use here.
- EditPad Pro from Just Great Software replaced TextPad from Helios Software Solutions after long time of use. The reason for change was support of Unicode. EditPad Pro brought me into contact with RegexBuddy (develop regular expressions) and DeployMaster (create installation programs) from the same vendor. AceText I have not yused that much until now. The support from Jan Goyvaerts is excellent.
- Multi-Rename (part of the PCmag File Utilities.) to rename all those images from the digital camera (the camera counts only to 999, but I have many more... Multi-Rename can renumber, insert name parts etc. even using regular expressions
- PTFB (press that f… button) can take over much of this mindless activity for you. If you always click a button, check box, option button, or menu item as soon as it appears, you can teach PFTB to click it for you. See Technolgy Lighthouse. With Win-7 I discontinued use of this utility.
- Search and Replace from Funduc is a great utility to change things in multiple files or ZIP archives. Top support of regular expressions and multi-line constructs. Operations can be saved in scripts.
- ShortHand by OfficeSoft LLC is a great help for typists and writers. It can place words and lines into any application and you may even set up data entry panels. I have used it for many years, until I discovered AutoHotkey and created such a utility by myself, which even contains string conversions and hotkeys to size windows and other goodies.
- SnagIt from TechSmith has replaced Capture Pro (which I used for several years) due its capability to create compressed TIFF and to read text from arbitrary screen images. This is a real help for documentation of software. However, most time I use the RoboScreenCapture which comes with FrameMaker.
- TimePanic soon became my time clock to track my use of time for the various projects and to note the time I spend for administration, system maintenance, bug hunting and other distractions. It seems that I was one of the first users of this tool which I still use, although I do not sell my time anymore …
- Winstep Xtreme is an integrated workspace environment providing a tabbed interface on the taskbar for all my applications. For the most used programs I have set up an additional vertical dock to the right of my left monitor. Winstep Extreme took over from RipBar from SoftDesign, because this was not developed further for Win–7.
- Xplorer² is a great replacement for the Windows File Explorer and replaced on my desktop the long used PowerDesk Powerdesk from Avanquest. I learned about this tool from a user of my FrameMaker toolbarsduring a TeamViewer session to help her. It provides tabbed folder panes – a great tools to switch between folder sets in projects!
For documentation tools D+DD uses, see section documentation.