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insight ■

■ tips and tricks

Power
Windows
Secrets to attaining peace of mind when
working with Windows—here’s everything you
need to know to run a lean, mean, killer
1
machine

contents
1 Windows 98
5 Windows 2000 Professional
7 Windows XP Professional

Tweak UI for Windows 98 and 2000,


Tweak UI for XP
Tips on becoming a Photoshop Guru
Find it on the Mindware CD

97 JANUARY 2003
insight ■
■ tips and tricks

WINDOWS 98 but again, on most comput- tems today, this slight over-
ers, this is on by default. head hardly makes any
This most widely used OS is more tolerant DMA is supported only in difference, especially consid-
than later versions and allows many power Windows 95 OSR 2 and later. ering the performance gain
To enable DMA, open it provides.
Turn off Task Scheduler Enable DMA Control Panel > System > Device
First of all, turn off the Task Direct Memory Access Manager. Expand the Disk Optimise virtual
Scheduler, unless it really (DMA) is a technique that drives tree, select the hard memory
is scheduling something hard disks and CD-ROM disk and click Properties. The way virtual memory is
important. Most users have drives can use to transfer Under the Settings tab, configured tremendously
no critical programs sched- data directly to and from check the DMA option. affects Windows perform-
uled, especially after freshly memory, without passing Repeat this for all other ance. This is true for all
installing Windows. The through the processor. DMA hard disks and the CD-ROM versions of Windows,
scheduling utility keeps run- reduces the load on the sys- or DVD-ROM drives. including the now-obsolete
ning in the background, tem processor since data Windows 3.1. The swap file
unnecessarily hogging mem- transfers do not require File system properties is what Windows uses to
ory. To disable it, double- monitoring by the CPU. Changing the File System store temporary data when it
click the Task Scheduler icon With DMA, a write or read settings can also provide bet- runs out of RAM. Thus, your
in the system tray and click operation can be executed in ter performance. First, working is not limited by the
Advanced > Stop Using Task two to four clock cycles. change your computer’s role amount of RAM on your
Scheduler. When you create a Without DMA it will cost the to a Network Server, even if machine. However, for a
scheduled task, the feature CPU a minimum of 16 clock it is not one. Open Control program to be able to use
will be enabled. cycles per operation. Not Panel > System > Performance this data, it must be trans-
only do disk read/write oper- and click File System. Under ferred back to the RAM. The
Nix the Active Desktop ations gain a significant the Hard Disk tab, change data that is not immediately
For a healthy Windows, you boost in speed, but Windows the typical role of the com- required is moved to a part
have to get rid of the Active also works faster, since it can puter to Network server of the hard disk and recalled
Desktop. Microsoft had load system files much faster instead of Desktop comput- when required. However,
2 added this feature with
Internet Explorer 4 and later
and also accesses the swap
file at higher speeds.
er. The setting controls the
size of various internal data
since hard disks are nowhere
as fast as RAM, swapping
into Windows when it Older hard disks and CD- structures used by the 32-bit data back and forth drasti-
integrated the browser and ROM drives do not support file access driver (VFAT). cally reduces speed. No mat-
the operating system. It DMA, but almost all com- When you use the Desktop ter how much RAM you
allows you to display Web puters today use DMA-com- computer setting, VFAT allo- have, Windows will always
content on the desktop pliant devices. In case you cates memory to record the use the swap file for some
itself. The Active Desktop face a problem after enabling 32 most recently accessed infrequently used parts of
hogs a ridiculous amount DMA, reboot Windows to folders and 677 most recent- the OS (read the next tip to see
of memory and often causes Safe Mode and disable the ly accessed files, consuming how to avoid this).
the system to be unstable. option. Also, DMA needs to approximately 10 KB of By default, Windows
Simply right-click on an be enabled from the BIOS, memory. With the Mobile or
empty area of the desktop docking system setting,
and disable View as Web VFAT allocates memory to
Page to turn this off. If record 16 folders and 337
you set JPEG or GIF files files, taking up around 5 KB
as your wallpaper, this of memory. As a Network
feature needs to be turned server, VFAT allocates
on. It is better to convert around 40 KB of memory to
them to BMPs before setting record 64 folders and 2,729
them as the wallpaper. Enabling DMA significantly files. With the kind of Optimise the Windows swap
improves speed memory available on sys- file for better performance

98 JANUARY 2003
(non-variable) swap file. Ide- tions the OS has to show, the
Defragmenting ally, it should be two-and-a- higher is the processor and
half times the amount of RAM usage. Typically, turning
Regularly defragmenting the files such as documents, RAM on your system, but if off all such features instanta-
hard disk maintains optimum spreadsheets, images, etc, you have a separate partition neously shows the difference
performance for read/write the fragments of the file may for it, you may not want it to in speed. Right-click an
operations. Hard disks store not be on contiguous clus- be less than 512 MB—if it is empty area of the desktop
data in sectors and clusters, ters. Reading and writing to lower, it will have to be a and click Properties. Under
the latter being the smallest such files spread all over the FAT16 partition, not FAT32. the Effects tab, uncheck the
addressable unit. Clusters are partition is obviously slow. boxes for ‘Animate windows,
of a fixed size, depending on Defragmenting brings pieces Avoid the swap file menus and lists’, ‘Smooth
the file system (FAT, FAT32, of the file together, so that When Windows loads, it
NTFS, etc). A cluster can hold they are accessed faster. moves certain parts of the
only one file, but a file may All versions of Windows operating system to the swap
span over several clusters. are bundled with defragment- file anyway, regardless of
For FAT32 partitions, the ing tools. In Windows 98, you whether it has run out of
cluster size is 4 KB. Thus, any can run it from Start > Pro- RAM or not. This is very good
file between 0 bytes to 4 KB grams > Accessories > System for systems with less memo-
will occupy one cluster. Tools > Disk Defragmenter. In ry, since it leaves some free
Should its size increase Windows 2000 and XP, right- RAM and applications will
beyond 4 KB, it will look for click My Computer and click start much faster. Otherwise,
the next free cluster to fill up. Manage. Look for Disk when you start an applica-
With frequently changing Defragmenter under Storage. tion and memory is required, Turn off unnecessary graphic
Windows will have to first effects
move all this data to the swap
uses a variable swap file that is 64 or 128 MB of RAM where file to free up RAM. This edges of screen fonts’ and
created on bootup and where data would frequently be functionality is usually not ‘Show window contents
the size is dynamically modi- swapped to the hard disk and required on systems with 256 while dragging’.
fied when required. Though
this works just fine, it is not
can be easily done with BIOS-
es that allow booting from
MB or more RAM, especially
if they only run common Temporary cleaner
3
the most optimal. You can the D drive. productivity tools such as Regularly removing files that
never get the speed of RAM To change the swap file Office and Internet applica- accumulate in the Temp fold-
from the hard disk, but you settings, open Control Panel > tions. You can prevent Win- er can also show better per-
can make it slightly faster. System > Performance and click dows from using the swap file formance—these files are
The best way to configure the Virtual Memory. Choose ‘Let until absolutely required by usually very small and
swap file is to have a perma- me specify my own virtual adding the line below to the unnecessarily fill up the hard
nent swap file, preferably on a memory settings’ and select [386Enh] section of the disk. This also causes high
dedicated partition. This min- the drive for the swap file. \Windows\ system.ini file. disk fragmentation and
imises the effect of disk frag- Note that no matter what ConservativeSwapfile pushes important data
mentation and increases seek partition you boot from, it Usage=1 towards the periphery of the
time. Another practice that a will always appear as the C You can edit this file in disk, where read/write opera-
few power users have adopt- drive from DOS and Win- Notepad. In case you face any tions are slower. Ideally, cre-
ed is to place the swap file on dows 98, and the first parti- problems such as programs ate a batch file that empties
the first partition and the tion that is recognised as C by crashing frequently, remove this folder and place it in the
operating system on the fol- the BIOS will be assigned a this line and reboot. Startup, so that it runs every
lowing partition. Data closer higher drive letter. Set the time you boot to Windows.
to the centre of the drive is minimum and maximum Display settings You could do this from the
read slightly faster than data size for the swap file. Both The display settings affect the autoexec.bat too, but this file
at the periphery. This is espe- these numbers should be speed of Windows too. The runs while still in DOS mode,
cially useful for PCs with only identical to set a permanent more animations and transi- so disk access will be much

99 JANUARY 2003
insight ■
■ tips and tricks

slower than when in Win- set only the monitor to be


dows. You should strip all file turned off. Open Control Panel BIOS Tweaks
attributes before running the > Power Management and Changing certain BIOS settings BIOSes, you can simply select
delete command, since hid- choose Always On under can reduce the amount of time the Auto Detect Hard Disks
den and system files will not Power schemes to disable all it takes to hand over control to option. Disable Boot Up Flop-
be deleted from the Com- power saving features. the operating system, thereby py Seek. This option checks if
mand Prompt. Also, using the Optionally, you can set only reducing the time taken to there is a floppy in the drive.
deltree command instead of the system standby and hard boot. Although there are sev- You also don’t need the Virus
del will ensure that even fold- disk settings to Never. eral different BIOSes with vary- Protection feature. Enabling
ers are deleted. Thus, your ing options, there are some this from the BIOS often caus-
batch file should contain the Disable Autorun settings common to all. Look es problems with system
following commands: Autorun was an innovative around your BIOS to find these updates and also slows down
attrib -a -s -r -h c:\Windows\ feature to automatically options. Usually, to enter the the booting time. Change the
Temp\*.* /s launch programs from CD- BIOS setup, you have to press boot order so that it loads the
Deltree/y C:\Windows\ ROM and DVD drives. How- the [Delete] key while it is operating system from the
Temp\* ever, the way it works, it loading. hard drive first. You would
affects system performance, Configure your hard drives hardly ever boot from a floppy
Managing power apart from being irritating at in the BIOS, instead of setting or CD-ROM and when you
Power Management is a very times. While this feature is it to automatically detect them need to, you can switch to this
useful feature for notebooks, on, Windows polls the drive every time it boots. For most configuration in the BIOS.
but not as critical on a desk- every 5 seconds to check if
top PC. With default power some media has been insert-
management settings, the ed. If it finds a new disc, it should remove them. Both to 1 will bring up a prompt
computer will automatically will check it for the files can be edited in asking if you want to run
reduce the spinning rate of autorun.inf file and execute Notepad. Scandisk and setting it to 2
the hard disks and blank off the commands within this. A third file, the msdos. will run Scandisk automati-
the monitor after a few min- This is quite an overhead, sys, sets several parameters cally. BootDelay=x sets the
utes of idle time. In older sys- especially when you need the for Windows. It specifies the amount of time you have to
4 tems, this sometimes causes
Windows to lock up. Depend-
feature only sometimes. This
is true for all versions of Win-
Windows folder, the location
of the startup files, behaviour
press [F8] to bring up the
boot menu. The default value
ing on the settings, every dows. To turn it off, open of the boot menu, etc. for this is 2 seconds. If Boot-
time you need to use the PC, Control Panel > System > Device Changing a few parameters Menu is set to 1, it will
the hard disk will have to Manager. Expand the can ensure faster booting of always bring up the boot
spin up again before data can CDROM tree, select the drive the operating system. If any menu, BootMenuDelay sets the
be accessed on it. Turning and click Properties. Under parameters exist, you can number of seconds this
off power management the Settings tab, disable ‘Auto change its value, or simply menu is displayed for, before
completely will not harm the insert notification’. add a line with the parame- booting with the default
system in any way. At most, ter. Before you can edit this selection. When BootWarn is
Boot faster file, however, you must strip set to 0, Windows will boot
Before Windows loads, it its read-only and hidden to Safe Mode without warn-
processes certain files to set attributes. To do this, open a ing, whenever it does not
the correct environment and Command Prompt window start properly.
load initial drivers and Win- and type this command: By now, you probably
dows settings. The config.sys attrib –h –r msdos.sys have FAT32 on all drives, so
typically loads drivers and When Windows is not disk compression utilities
the autoexec.bat sets the shut down properly, it auto- will not work. You should
environment and runs pro- matically runs Scandisk disable the driver for this by
grams before Windows loads. when it boots again. You can setting DblSpace and Drv-
If these files are loading any disable this by using Space to 0. Also, if you do not
Turn off power saving features unnecessary items, you AutoScan=0. Setting its value have a SCSI controller, set

100 JANUARY 2003


DoubleBuffer to 0. You can a few changes you must make
disable logging of the boot to get better performance.
process by setting the value Under the General tab,
of DisableLog to 1. Setting disable Window animation,
SystemReg to 0 will disable Smooth scrolling, Menu ani-
scanning of the Registry at mation, Combo box anima-
startup, but it is better to tion and List box animation.
leave this on. On the Explorer tab, disable
‘Animated Click here to
Defragmenting to Log on to Windows begin’. Next, switch to the
rearrange programs automatically IE4 tab and disable ‘Active
Windows 98 has a pretty use- Desktop enabled’. On the
ful feature to help load appli- box. Open Control Panel > Net- Boot tab, you can control Use Tweak UI to speed up
cations faster—over time, it work to configure the net- boot settings such as the Windows 98
tracks your usage patterns work properties. You don’t behaviour of the boot menu, be disabled under the Para-
and logs the frequency with require the Microsoft Family Scandisk, etc. Autorun for noia tab.
which you use each applica- Logon, so select it and click CDs
tion. It can then rearrange Remove. Ensure that the Pri- can WINDOWS 2000 PROFESSIONAL
the files of the application on mary Network Logon is Win-
your hard drive so that they dows Logon and click OK. If Windows 2000 lacks little in terms
will load faster. After you you don’t have any password of performance and stability, but can be
have used your computer for for the user, Windows will squeezed for even more juice
a few weeks, run the Disk automatically log on without
Defragmenter and select the the prompt. If you did set a Get rid of services ly started. If you are unsure,
drive you want to defrag- password, you can locate and Services are background appli- choose the Manual mode—
ment (usually C). Click Set- delete the PWL file from the cations that run on Windows. the service will be started only
Windows folder, restart Win- They may be system-related when required, but will not
dows and this time enter a programs without which Win- cause any errors. If perma-
blank password. dows cannot run, or helper
applications, providing cer-
nently disabled, dependent
programs will throw up errors
5
Using Tweak UI tain functionality to other when they need the service.
Tweak UI is a very powerful programs. For example, the Right-click My Computer
software that lets you change Security Accounts Manager and click Manage. On the left
Defragment the hard disk to various system settings with- service stores security infor- pane, expand Services and
rearrange programs out having to edit system files mation for user accounts to Applications and click Ser-
tings and check the box to or fiddle with the be used by all applications vices. Sort the services in
‘Rearrange program files so Registry. It is free and can for authentication. Windows descending order by the Sta-
my programs start faster’. be downloaded from www. 2000 starts several services by tus column to bring the serv-
Plus, you also have the added microsoft.com/ntworkstation/dow default, many of which you ices that are currently run-
advantage of the disk getting nloads/PowerToys/Networking/N may not require. You can ning on top. You can select
defragmented. TTweakUI.asp. Version 1.33 is a either permanently disable a each service and double-click
consolidated version that will service, or set it to be manual- it to read its description,
Windows logon work on Windows 9x as well change the Startup type to
If you are not on a network as NT systems—it will give Manual or Disabled and to
and Windows is not config- you different options on dif- stop it. As you go through the
ured for multiple users, or ferent OSes. After it is list, you may realise that you
network users are not installed, it will be available don’t require more than half
authenticated by an NT from the Control Panel. the services, such as Distrib-
domain, you should turn off Using Tweak UI is pretty uted File System, Task Sched-
the Windows logon dialog straightforward, but here are Stop services you don’t require uler, Remote Registry Service,

101 JANUARY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

RunAs Service, etc. If you Disable ‘Use transition effects install more programs. Setting
don’t have any NTFS parti- for menus and tooltips’, a small size does make a
tions, Distributed Link Track- ‘Smooth edges of screen fonts’ difference though—Windows
ing will not help in any way. and ‘Show window contents loads the registry into memo-
Similarly, if you don’t have while dragging’. ry, so the smaller the registry,
any printers installed, you lesser is the memory used.
can turn off Print Spooler. Performance options
Built over the NT architec- Maintaining temporary
Personalised menus Web content on the desktop ture, Windows 2000 provides files
Windows 2000 introduced hogs resources performance options similar By default, Windows 2000 sets
personalised menus, tracking to Windows NT 4. Open Con- up different Temp folders for
usage of menu items across all the OS. You should avoid trol Panel > System > Advanced each user along with the
local users. Items that have using GIFs and JPEG images as and click Performance \Winnt\Temp folder. Thus,
not been used recently are your wallpaper. To disable Options. Here, you can set when clearing out temporary
hidden away, providing faster Web content on the desktop, Windows to optimise proces- files, you have to check this
access to frequently used right-click on the desktop, sor and memory usage for folder, as well as the Temp
shortcuts. This is a very click Properties and switch to folder under each user’s
resourceful addition to the the Web tab. Uncheck the box account profile, under \Docu-
user interface, but comes at a to ‘Show Web content on my ments and Settings\<User>
price. Every time you open a Active Desktop’ and click OK. \Local Settings\Temp. This is
menu, Windows checks up as unmanageable as it is irri-
which items are to be dis- Away with display tating. Fortunately, you can
played and which ones are to effects change this behaviour. Open
Windows 2000 brought with Control Panel > System >
it a new set of display effects Advanced and click Environ-
for menus, lists and windows. ment Variables. You will see
Turning these off will save up two boxes for User variables
some resources. The perform- and System variables. Delete
Setting the swap file sizes and
6 ance gain will be more appar-
ent on low-end computers, the maximum registry size
the TEMP and TMP variables
for the user, or set their paths
but you will definitely notice it
when minimising or maximis- applications or background
ing windows. Right-click on services. For desktop PCs, you
the desktop, click Properties don’t need to change this set-
and switch to the Effects tab. ting. If it were a server, you
would choose to optimise for
Disable personalised menus in background services. You can Change environment variables
Windows 2000 also change the virtual mem-
be hidden. This is quite ory settings. You can have to %SystemRoot%\TEMP. You
unnecessary and one can one swap file per drive, each will have to repeat this for
actually feel the delay on slow with different sizes (Check every local user.
systems. Turn off personalised the tip Optimise virtual
menus from Start > Settings > memory in the Windows 98 Power boot
Taskbar & Start Menu. section for more on swap On the System Properties dia-
files). You will notice that log, under the Advanced tab,
Active Desktop here you can also set the click Startup and Recovery to
Though there haven’t been maximum registry size. change the boot options for
any known issues with Active Squeeze out even the last drop You should not set this to a the NT Flex boot loader. If
Desktop on Windows 2000 as of power by turning off display very low value, or you will you have only Windows 2000
against 98, it can slow down effects start facing problems as you installed, disable ‘Display a

102 JANUARY 2003


list of operating systems’. If word and enter the domain, mand Prompt. For example, with the Command Prompt.
you dual boot with another user name and password to you can type in the first char- On the Logon tab, you can set
OS, reduce the amount of automatically log on to. acter of the file or directory an account to automatically
time for which the boot name and press Tab to have log on after booting Windows.
options are displayed. Thus, Using Tweak UI for Windows fill in the rest for This is useful for single-user
when you switch on your PC, Windows 2000 you. This is extremely useful PCs, or where security is not
you will not have to hang Tweak UI for Windows 2000 even if you work only occa- critical.
around to press [Enter] to is a very powerful tool to sionally
load Windows. modify system settings. WINDOWS XP PROFESSIONAL
Though the installer is the
Automatic Logon same one as for Windows 98, XP is quite user-friendly with an impressive
If yours is a single-user PC, or the options available and its interface, but is sluggish on low-end systems
a particular user logs on to behaviour are different in sev-
Windows 2000 most often, eral respects. On installing Change the theme processor and RAM. Right-
you can have the operating Tweak UI, you can launch it The default Windows XP click on an empty area of the
system logon automatically from the Control Panel. theme looks very pretty, but desktop, click Properties and
with that user’s credentials. On the General tab, turn hogs a lot of system resources switch to the Appearance tab.
You should not use this if off Combo box animation, for the eye-candy effects such Click Effects and clear all the
security is a concern. If the as bevelled objects and transi- checkboxes.
computer is part of a work- tions. If looks are not impor-
group and not logging on to a tant to you, switch over to the Choose performance
domain, open Control Panel > classic Windows look. To do Windows XP has some very
Users and Passwords and this, right-click an empty area good features to maximise
uncheck ‘Users must enter a performance. Unfortunately,
user name and password to the default settings are no
use this computer’. On the good. You can choose to have
Advanced tab, uncheck it optimise itself for faster
‘Require users to press Ctrl- Switch to the classic Windows computing. To change these
Alt-Del before logging on’.
If Windows is set to log on
theme settings, click Start, right-
click My Computer and click
7
to a domain, you can enable of the desktop and click Prop- Properties. Switch to the
this functionality by editing erties. Under the Themes tab, Advanced tab and click the
the registry. Start regedt32 Tweak UI for Windows 2000 set Windows Classic as the Settings button under Perfor-
from Start > Run and navigate current theme and click OK. mance. By default, ‘Let Win-
to HKEY_Local_ Machine\ Cursor shadow, List box ani- dows choose what’s best for
Software\Microsoft\Win- mation, Menu animation, Turn off display effects my computer’ is selected.
dowsNT\CurrentVersion\ Menu fading, Menu selection Switching off transition and Choose ‘Adjust for best per-
Winlogon. Create the keys fading, Smooth scrolling, animation effects can save a formance’ instead, and you
DefaultDomainName, Defaul- Tooltip animation, Tooltip lot of system resources. These will almost immediately
tUserName, and DefaultPass- fade and Window animation. effects are not required to run notice a boost in speed. This
Switch to the IE tab and programs and cause an is because all graphic effects
uncheck the box to ‘Allow unnecessary load on the are turned off. You can
Active Desktop to be turned
on/off’. On the Paranoia tab
you can disable Autorun for
audio and data CDs.
Options on the Cmd tab
let you configure keys to auto-
Log on automatically to matically complete file and XP lets you optimise the OS for
Windows 2000 directory names at the Com- Disable all display effects on XP performance

103 JANUARY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

optionally choose each type optimum size and click OK. never runs, or set it to be
of effect that should be manually started.
enabled from here, but if it’s Boot options Right-click My Computer
power you are looking for, If you are not booting multi- and click Manage to bring up
leave them all off. Note that ple operating systems, you can the Computer Management
the behaviour and appear- turn off the option perma- console. On the left pane,
ance of a lot of Windows such nently, until it is required. If select Services under Services
as the Control Panel, will there is another OS on your and Applications to control all
become quite different. If you system, say Windows 98, you installed services. The easiest
Power up with Tweak UI for XP
prefer the helpful wizard-like can reduce the amount of time way to filter through the list is
interfaces, you may want to the option to choose which to sort it by the Status column. gain that extra inch of power
sacrifice a bit on performance OS to load is displayed. Right- Services that are ‘Started’ are from XP. You can download
and enable the option to ‘Use click My Computer, click Prop- the ones you need to look at. this version from www.
common tasks in folders’. erties > Advanced and click the (Read more on services in the tip microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/
Settings button under Startup ‘Get rid of services’ under Win- downloads/powertoys.asp.
Paging options and Recovery. Here, you can dows 2000 Professional’.) Under General, you can
On the Performance Options choose which operating sys- turn off display effects such as
dialog (right-click My Com- tem to boot by default. You Quit indexing fading and animations.
puter and click Properties > can uncheck the boxes to The Indexing Service stores Under Explorer, uncheck the
Advanced > Settings), click on show the boot options, or information from documents boxes for ‘Allow Web content
the Advanced tab to access select the number of seconds and organises it for faster to be added to the desktop’
even more performance fea- for which the choices are dis- searches. This is not useful to and ‘Enable smooth scroll-
tures. You can adjust the played. Five seconds is usually many users, especially if the ing’. Expand the Explorer
processor and memory more than enough. documents are well organised. tree, select Thumbnails and
options, but for desktop PCs You will notice recovery Not only does this service take move the Image Quality slid-
settings in case of a system fail- up system resources, it also er to around the centre. Next,
ure. Alerts and debugging involves frequent read/write expand the My Computer >
information will not be very operations to the hard disk, AutoPlay branch. Under Dri-
8 helpful for most users, so you
can turn these options off too.
which are particularly slow.
From the Computer Manage-
ves, you can disable AutoPlay
for all drives, thus reducing
ment console (right-click My this overhead. Under the
Turn off services Computer and click Manage), Types branch, you can choose
Depending on your comput- select Indexing Service from to disable AutoPlay for CD,
er’s configuration and options the left pane under Services DVD and removable drives.
chosen when installing Win- and Applications. You will see Under the Command
dows XP, it will have certain the list of catalogues on the Prompt branch, you can con-
services enabled. Many of right pane. If any of them are figure special keys to auto-
these you may never require started, you can stop them matically complete file and
Changing swap file settings and can safely switch off. You from here, and even delete the directory names, as on a Unix
in XP can disable a service so that it catalogue. Optionally, you can system. If you have a single-
expand the tree on the left user system, you can have XP
you should leave the default pane for each indexed item logon automatically from
options (optimise for Pro- and restrict the folders it scans. Logon > Autologon. Under
grams). What you should Logon > Unread Mail, you can
change are the virtual memo- Tweak UI for XP disable the notification of
ry settings. You can have one Tweak UI is available for Win- new e-mail messages for each
swap file per drive (Check the dows XP too. It gives you user. Not only is this more
tip ‘Optimise virtual memory’ in access to quite a few system secure, but it also reduces the
the Windows 98 section for Reduce load on CPU and RAM settings that are otherwise not overhead of polling for new
more on swap files). Set the by turning off services readily available, and can help messages for every user.

104 JANUARY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Power Builder
Want to build that
dream machine? Here
are tips from power
users on how to build
a souped up system—
the fastest and most
stable, this side of the
Arabian Sea

9
contents
10 Intel-based systems
11 Athlon-based systems
12 Installing mother-
boards
13 Power supply
15 Cooling tips
15 Overclocking tips

Power tweaks for


Windows 98

Find it on the
Mindware CD

ILLUSTRATION: Mahesh Benkar

97 FEBRUARY 2003
insight ■
■ tips and tricks

8
10 POWER TIPS FOR iron out the bugs and flaws Willamette or North-
INTEL-BASED SYSTEMS that may crop up. Newer BIOS wood
updates can also mean signif- While the newer North-
The right installation will pave the way for icant performance boosts. wood Pentium 4 processors
trouble-free operation and let you harness the built around the 0.13-micron

6
To HyperThread or fabrication process are more
full potential of your PC. Keep in mind the
not? popular than their older 0.18-
following tips while buying and installing an Intel’s new 3.06 GHz micron Willamette counter-
Intel-based processor processor now incorporates a parts, the latter is still available
technology called Hyper- in the market. The Willamette

1
Keeping your cool just a dab—too much thermal Threading, which enables the processors draw more power
Since processors are con- paste and it will ooze out. Also processor to perform far better and therefore generate more
tinuously stressing on make sure there are no air when running multiple appli- heat. Also, the Northwood
faster speeds, cooling becomes bubbles. cations simultaneously. How- processors integrate twice the
an important issue—gift your ever, this comes at a price and amount of L2 cache (512 KB)

3
processor a rated heatsink and Power to run you should opt for it only if as compared to 256 KB inte-
cooling fan combination. Due to additional power you need the high perform- grated by the Willamettes.
Most processors come with requirements, all Pentium ance for executing multiple

9
the heatsink and cooling fan 4 processors need the extra tasks. You will also need to Special drivers
in tow, but you may require a +12 V rail to run correctly. confirm if your motherboard Intel supplies drivers for
better cooling solution, espe- Therefore, make sure the supports HyperThreading. the new 800-series
cially in the case of the Pen- power supply for your new chipsets (including the 845,

7
tium 4 processors. processor has the necessary A question of memory 845-DDR and 850 chipsets)
four-pin +12 V connector that The current scenario called the Intel Application

2
How much thermal goes into the ATX12V connec- gives users the choice of Accelerator driver—another
paste? tor on your motherboard— SDRAM, DDR and RDRAM fancy name for the UDMA
If your heatsink is cov- both your power supply and memory in a Pentium 4- drivers. These increase the
ered by thermal tape, you motherboard should support based system. DDR memory performance of your IDE
10 don't need to apply any ther-
mal paste. Otherwise, apply
this connector. offers high data transfer
bandwidth and is priced
devices quite significantly.
They offer better boot times

4
Go for quality lower than RDRAM. Howev- and also surpass the 137 GB
Don't skimp on the er, RDRAM's higher data limitation of the IDE drives in
motherboard—a high- transfer rate makes it ideally the native Widows drivers.
quality motherboard may suited to demanding applica-

10
make you a few thousand tions such as gaming, CAD Application sup-
rupees poorer, but will guar- modelling and graphics- port for special
antee far greater stability intensive, texture-heavy app- instruction sets
and support for hardware, lications. Also, RDRAM needs Intel processors have special
chipset and BIOS. You’ll also to be installed in pairs, unlike instruction sets such as SSE2
get more features such as the DDR or SDRAM—this that help deliver better per-
more overclocking options needs to be kept in mind formance with certain types
and integrated peripherals. while buying memory mod- of data. Ensure that you look
ules. These three types of out for applications that sup-

5
BIOS updates memories cannot be used on port these special instruction
Make sure you buy a the same system, therefore, sets when using a P4 proces-
motherboard that offers choose your camp with care sor. In some cases, you might
regular BIOS and driver as you will not be able to need to install specific
The Pentium 4’s Thermal Heat updates on the company Web change your memory type patches that let these appli-
Spreader protects and site. This spells great support later without also changing cations use the special
dissapates heat from its core for newer hardware and helps the motherboard. instruction sets.

98 FEBRUARY 2003
THE RIGHT WAY TO INSTALL A PROCESSOR
STEP Preparing the zone, wipe it clean of any
1 motherboard dust. Then evenly spread
Set your motherboard to run some thermal paste, careful-
at the correct core voltage, ly avoiding any air bubbles.
bus frequency and clock
multiplier settings by con- STEP Seat the processor
sulting the manual. In some Smoothly apply the thermal paste 4 in the socket
cases, you may need to do to the processor core so that there Clamp the processor firmly Make sure the heatsink is firm-
this through the DIP switch- are no air bubbles into the socket on the moth- ly latched onto processor socket
es on the motherboard or erboard and make sure that
core, but smoothen out the it is correctly aligned with the retention hooks of the
paste such that there are no the pins. Do so without processor socket to ensure
air bubbles. Also, the paste applying too much force on that it is in firm contact
should be in contact with the processor. with the processor.
every portion of the proces-
sor core. STEP Connect the CPU
6 fan
DIP switches to set the correct STEP Preparing the Finally, connect the CPU fan
bus frequency and clock multi-
3 heatsink on the correct point on the
plier settings Next, locate the region on motherboard. Make sure
the underside of the that the heatsink assembly
the Frequency/Voltage set- heatsink where the proces- is firmly seated—there
Firmly seat the processor in the
tings in the BIOS. sor is going to touch the should be no play in it.
motherboard socket
processor core. This is usual- There, you're now good
STEP Preparing the ly in the centre of the flat STEP Install the heatsink to go!
2 processor area of the heatsink. Once 5 Place the heatsink on
Next, apply thermal paste on you have ascertained this the processor gently, but
your processor by using a
thin plastic visiting card—
On the
heatsink,
firmly—take care not to
damage the core of the
11
a plastic card is best suited to apply thermal processor. Make sure that
spreading the paste smooth- paste on the the heatsink is seated such
ly all across the surface of the area that will that it is in complete contact
be in contact
processor core. You can also with the processor core, Connect the CPU fan to the
with the
extend this paste around the processor core then fasten the clasps into motherboard

10 POWER TIPS FOR down—do not angle it or try tem, otherwise the CPU and
ATHLON-BASED SYSTEMS to slide it in, as this would possibly the motherboard
graze the top of the processor would be damaged within
Since you belong to the AMD camp, consider or chip its sides and render it seconds of switching on the
the following steps to build a reliable and useless. system. Also see that the CPU
fan is correctly mounted on
high-performance system

2
Keep it cool the system using thermal

1
Take care while care needs to be taken to AMD processors are paste so that it maintains
mounting the processor ensure that the processor is extremely susceptible to good contact between the
AMD processors have a not damaged by rough and heat and it is critical that heatsink and the processor
very delicate processor core as incorrect installation of the they be kept cool. Therefore, (refer to the box, ‘The Right
the silicon is exposed on top heatsink. Ensure that the the CPU has to be plugged in Way to Install a Processor’, for
of the chip. Therefore, great heatsink is installed flat before powering on the sys- more details on how to do this).

99 FEBRUARY 2003
insight ■
■ tips and tricks

3 9
Stick to ratings streamline the power of cer- inherently supports these Drive it in
Always use a CPU tain applications. To realise processors before buying Ensure that you down-
heatsink and fan combi- the full potential of these them. Optionally, you could load and run your AMD
nation that has been certified processors, make sure that download a BIOS update that motherboard with the latest
by AMD. If you prefer to buy your applications integrate would enable the support, if chipset drivers for high per-
a separate one, make sure it support for the special your motherboard allows it. formance and to eliminate
is rated and can run with instructions. In some cases, possible bugs and compatibili-

8
your particular processor as you might need to load spe- Don’t scrounge ty issues. Visit the chipsetman-
Athlon has stringent cooling cial patches to enable the A cheap motherboard ufacturer's Web site frequently
requirements. support. will run your processor, for newer driver updates.
but will also put the stability

4 6 10
Power considerations A matter of memory and reliability of your system BIOS updates
If you plan to use the The AMD processors let at risk. Also, there are plenty Make sure you buy a
faster Athlon processors you choose between of features that a good-quali- motherboard that
(2000+ and above) along SDRAM and DDR memory. ty motherboard allows you in offers regular BIOS and driver
with power-hungry peripher- While SDRAM is the cheaper the form of better hardware updates on the company Web
als such as a CD-Writer, large of the two, DDR memory support, cutting-edge fea- site. This spells great support
hard disks and a powerful offers higher bandwidth and tures and even support for for newer hardware and helps
graphics card, use a high- it is continually evolving in overclocking. A branded iron out the bugs and flaws
quality power supply with a terms of technology and motherboard will also feature that may crop up. Newer BIOS
rating of at least 300 watts. speed. SDRAM is a good cost- BIOS and driver updates on updates can also mean signif-
Most low-end power supplies effective option if you plan to its Web site. icant performance boosts.
cannot deliver clean power to run memory-intensive appli-
systems built on these com- cations. However, DDR's
ponents, resulting in an inherent speed and falling 10 TIPS ON INSTALLING
unstable system. prices make it a good invest- MOTHERBOARDS
ment for the future.

5
Follow the instructions The motherboard is the physical and
12
7
AMD processors also Which processor? electronic foundation of your system.
have specialised instruc- AMD gives you three
Here are a few tips that will help smoothen
tion sets like 3DNow! which choices in processors.
While the Duron range offers the installation process and enable it to be
reasonably good perform- installed in a stable manner
ance given its price, it makes

1
sense to choose the Athlons Get it set right components. Tick the
as Duron processors are on Before you install the appropriate jumper settings;
their way out. Here again, motherboard, consult this makes it easier to
you get to choose between the accompanying manu- implement these settings
the older Palomino proces- al—you may have installed during installation.
sors built around the 0.18- motherboards numerous

2
micron process and the times, but manufacturers Handle with caution
newer Thoroughbred proces- add last minute addendums The motherboard has
sors built around the 0.13- that describe special consid- very sensitive electronic
micron process. While the erations or last-minute components that are suscep-
latter boasts higher clock changes incorporated into tible to damage by static
speeds, lower power con- the board. Also, mark out all charge. Therefore, ensure
sumption and consequently the jumper settings in the that you are properly
better performance, not all manual tables so that they grounded (touch a metallic
The AMD’s exposed core invites motherboards support them. correspond to your proces- object to get rid of static elec-
damage Ensure that your motherboard sor, RAM and other system tricity) and that the mother-

100 FEBRUARY 2003


board is kept in its anti-static heatsinks, veri-
packaging until the time of fy that it is not
installation. large enough
to push against

3
Setting the jumpers other surface
before installing it mounted com-
Set the jumpers to their ponents close
correct positions before to the proces-
installing the motherboard sor socket.
into the system cabinet.

6
Doing this lessens your Anchor-
chances of missing any criti- ing the
cal settings and it is also board
far easier to access certain Make sure that
jumpers when the board is your mother-
outside the system. board is com-
fortably seated

4
Mount the processor in the cabinet.
and RAM before P r e f e r a b l y,
installing your cabinet
It can be quite difficult to should have a
mount the processor, espe- detachable Some boards, like this MSI KT4 Ultra, include a fan for its chipset—something to
cially the heatsink, after the backplate—this look out for
board is seated in the cabinet, lets you mount
since the power and IDE the motherboard using the viate any unnecessary build- and motherboard being per-
cables get in the way. There- spacers and mounting screws up of stress by cards that manently damaged—and all
fore, mount the processor, the outside the system. Ensure might have been forced into this could happen within
heatsink and fan and the that the motherboard has a slot. seconds of powering up the
RAM modules when the anchor points near all the system, leaving you with
13
8
motherboard is outside the extremities of the board so Take care while absolutely no time to correct
system. This also allows you that it will be firmly seated attaching the IDE your mistake!
to visually verify if the and all its edges are adequate- cables

10
heatsink is properly seated on ly supported. The IDE cables are usually sit- Listen for diagnos-
the processor. uated near one edge of the tic beeps

7
Remember to connect the Tighten later motherboard. Therefore, care Remember to con-
CPU fan to the correct point Most of the time, one needs to be taken that the nect the motherboard speak-
on the motherboard. would tighten all the board is not bent when plug- er. Study the motherboard
screws of the motherboard ging in the ends of the cables. manual for deciphering the

5
Ensure a comfortable upon placing it into the sys- This could cause breakages in sequence of the diagnostic
fit tem. A better option is to the delicate tracks on the beeps that are emitted when
The power conditioning lightly fasten all the mount- motherboard’s surface, ren- the motherboard is powered
capa-citors next to the proces- ing screws so that there is dering it useless. up—a single short beep
sor socket can get in the way still a bit of play in the means things are in order.

9
of mounting the CPU motherboard after it has Attach the CPU fan Otherwise, you need to diag-
heatsink. Make sure that your been mounted. Tighten the This cannot be stressed nose what’s wrong with the
heatsink does not push motherboard’s mounting enough—ensure that help of the beep sequence.
against these, as this could screws after the rest of the the CPU fan is plugged into Check if all fans are spin-
damage or even dislodge add-on cards have been the correct point on the ning, and that the cards and
them from the motherboard. placed in their respective PCI motherboard. Failing to do RAM modules are properly
Also, in the case of special or AGP slots. This helps alle- so could result in your CPU seated.

101 FEBRUARY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

10 POWER SUPPLY
CONSIDERATIONS
With today's power-hungry processors and
system peripherals, a good power source is
critical for a smooth and reliable operation

1
Make sure you have lower-quality components
enough juice fabricated of cheaper and
Very often, the standard hence lighter materials. The
power supplies that come lighter weight may also mean
Some SMPSes
with the system casings have that some components, such feature two fans—one for
a bare minimum power rat- as the heatsink, are complete- cooling the processor and the other for ventilation compo-
ing of 235 watts. While this ly left out. nents. This

6
is suited to very basic sys- Go in for the highest makes it important for the

4
tems, the power require- Special processor Even though you might fan to be powerful enough to
ments in your super system compatibility not need the additional handle the airflow in the sys-
could soon supersede this Depending upon your power, it makes sense to tem, without letting too
low-end power supply. It is processor, make sure that your invest in a power supply that much heat to be developed
therefore wise to choose the power supply can provide the is rated slightly higher than within the system.
highest rating your budget juice required to run the for your application. Also, a

9
will allow—at least 300 watts, processor. Look for any indi- higher rating does not mean Lower the noise
or in the case of peripheral- cation that the power supply that it necessarily draws more The SMPS fan tends to
packed gaming rigs and is rated for use on AMD or power—it will only draw as make a lot of noise due
workstations, even 500 watts. Intel-based systems specifical- much power as is needed by to the vibration. To prevent
ly. In the case of Pentium 4- your particular mix of system this, the SMPS unit must be

2
Trust the brand based systems, look out for components. firmly fastened to the casing,
14 There are numerous the presence of the ATX12V with no play in it. A loose

7
brands of power supplies four-pin connector that is How's the head count? attachment causes the power
on the market, many of needed to power Pentium 4 You may find out, much supply to vibrate excessively
which use very low-quality processor-based computers. to your dismay, that the and can also cause compo-
parts. Stay away from these number of power supply nent stability problems in the

5
and spend a little more on a Beware the bundles heads from your SMPS may future.
reputable and reliable brand Most power supplies be lesser than the number

10
such as Codegen or Antec. bundled with the system needed by your hard disk, Clean the fans
casing are of low quality CD/DVD/CD-RW drive, etc. regularly

3
Watch the weight since their cost has to be inte- This is another factor you The SMPS fan is one
As a rough rule of thumb, grated into the cost of the need to consider—your of the biggest components in
take two power supplies system. Beware of these power supply should have the system and sometimes
of the same rating but differ- power supplies and make enough power connectors, serves as the only duct for
ent brands and see which one sure that their rating is high so that you do not need directing the heated air out-
is heavier. Usually, a heavier enough for your particular to invest in additional side the system. Hence, it is
power supply implies that processor, peripherals and Y-cables for powering all your very prone to dust and needs
higher quality components internal system components. components. to be cleaned regularly to pre-
such as heat sinks, capacitors If need be, opt to trade in the vent dust build-up within the

8
and transformers are used and integrated power supply with SMPS cooler SMPS and the fan. A blower
this translates into higher another of a higher rating, In most systems, the or brush does a competent
quality. Lighter power sup- quality and brand, and offer SMPS fan shoulders the job of dislodging any dirt or
plies usually comprise of to pay the price difference. burden of cooling all the dust stuck on the fan blades.

102 FEBRUARY 2003


10 TIPS FOR COOLING and frequency ratings than RAM and motherboard by
they are meant to, resulting modifying your system cas-
Now that your system is up and running, it is in higher heat levels. There- ing and installing more fans.
important that you keep it cool for greater fore, consult the mother-

8
reliability. A cool system is also better board manual while setting Go with the brushless
the voltages and frequencies. Invest in a brushless
equipped to handle overclocking experiments
type of cooling fan as

4
Get a system dash- these are far more efficient—

1
Case cooling fans clocking. In such cases, board they ae silent and feature a
If your casing has provi- choose a more powerful solu- Most systems have higher rpm as compared to
sions for cooling fans, tion from brands such as applications that monitor the older fans.
invest in a couple of good ThermalTake or CoolerMas- sensor chip on your mother-

9
ones. A CPU fan concentrates ter. Also, see to it that the board to keep you informed Clean the fans regu-
on only the processor and CPU fan has an airflow of at about the current tempera- larly
additional system cooling least 34 cfm (cubic feet per tures, frequencies and volt- Case cooling fans are
fans draw hot air from heat- minute) for reliable cooling ages of its critical susceptible to picking up dust
generating components such under strenuous thermal components. This is especial- and dirt from the environ-
as the CD-ROM, chipset and conditions. ly useful while overclocking, ment and need to be taken
graphics card, maintaining a when you want to keep the care of. If they are too

3
constant airflow within the Of frequencies and rated thermal levels under clogged with dust, they could
system cabinet. voltages safe limits. slow down or even stop rotat-
While installing your ing completely, causing over-

2 5
Upgrade your proces- motherboard and processor, Arrange your cables heating or even failure of
sor cooling make sure that your voltage Internal cables such as components. Clean out these
While the bundled and frequency settings are at your IDE, power and fans with a brush or a blower
heatsink and CPU fan do a their correct values, unless sensor cables can cause a so as to dislodge any build-up
good job of cooling the CPU you mean to be overclocking mess within the system and of dust on the fan blades. It is
during normal operations, them. An incorrect setting hamper the airflow. Make wise to keep your system cov-
you will need a more robust
solution if your system is sit-
could run sections of your
system with higher voltage
sure that these cables are cor-
rectly ordered and tied
ered during the day when it
is not being used as this pre-
15
uated in an especially together to circulate the air vents dust from settling on it.
warm environment within the cabinet for more

10
or while over- efficient cooling. Keep the system
away from dusty

6
Double-barrel cool- environments to
ing prevent dirt clogging
Opt for a casing that Keep your system away from
has at least two blowholes dusty environments—this
with provisions for cooling includes open windows fac-
fans. One fan should be ing main roads or construc-
placed in the front and the tion sites. While a sealed, air
other in the rear of the sys- conditioned room is best
tem for smooth circulation. suited to a computer, today’s
computers are hardy enough

7
Additional cooling to work well in a normal
If you are going to room, but care needs to be
carry out overclocking taken that they are not in

5
A good heatsink and fan experiments, make space for direct sunlight, causing
combination is vital for cooling additional cooling for your unnecessary build-up of
your processor processor, graphics card, heat.

103 FEBRUARY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

7
10 OVERCLOCKING TIPS have adequate cooling for Overclock in steps
components such as the Start out your overclock-
Now that your system is all set firmly, processor, RAM and mother- ing at the rated settings
you may feel the urge to push its performance board chipset. If necessary, and work your way up in
purchase a better heatsink or small increments—do not be
that extra mile. Here are a few things
cabinet cooling system. overzealous. Working in small
you need to keep in mind before embarking steps allows you to closely

6
on any overclocking adventure Multiplier or bus monitor your system for signs
speed? of instability, before pushing

1
With a little help from them from being tweaked You can increase the it to the next level.
your motherboard through that component. In effective speed of your sys-

8
Firstly, consult the manu- such cases, the bus speed tem by either increasing the Tablulate your find-
al to make sure that your needs to be used, but take care clock multiplier or the bus ings and find out the
motherboard supports over- so that the rest of the system frequency. However, since most stable setting
clocking through jumper set- is not adversely affected. most processors are clock- for your system
tings or BIOS tweaks. Once you locked, you will have to take At each step of your over-

4
are sure that you can change You are on your own! the bus-frequency route. clocking adventure, tabulate
the CPU’s core voltage, clock Keep in mind that your However, in this case, the present frequency, voltage
multiplier or bus speed, only warranties will not cover installing a system monitor- and thermal levels of your
then should you go about any damage cause by tweak- ing software would be a good processor and system. At each
pushing your system harder. ing; so be very sure of the idea to keep tabs on your stage, run a strenuous appli-
extent to which you can push temperatures, voltages and cation such as a looping game

2
Tighter control of your system safely. This is frequencies. See that limits benchmark and look for any
voltage/frequencies especially applicable if you are not exceeded—tempera- signs of instability. Your tabu-
Opt for a motherboard want to modify any part of tures should not exceed lated results will pin down
that offers fine control of your hardware to accommo- 60º C and voltages should the point at which your sys-
parameters such as the core date experiments. not swing more than 5 tem runs most stable.
voltage, clock multiplier and per cent away from their
16
5 9
bus frequency. If these param- Ramp up your cooling rated values. Throttle back Monitor the status of
eters can be incremented by The first by-product of a as soon as you feel that your system
small units, your overclocking tweaking experiment your system is reaching its Throughout your over-
experiments can be that much will be the generation of heat limits and if it shows any clocking efforts, monitor your
more controlled and safer. in your critical components. signs of instability. system temperatures and volt-
Therefore, make sure that you ages very closely. It is critical

3
Processor permission that they remain within limits
Most processors allow for your system to run reliably.
overclocking only to a Failing to do so will result in
certain extent. Others, by shortening the life of your
virtue of their design, allow processor or even failure.
overclocking to greater

10
degrees. A processor with a Run an acid test
lower amount of L2 cache, a Once you’ve over-
smaller fabrication process clocked to satisfac-
and a lower bus speed support tion, you need to run a
can be overclocked to far burn-in application for at
greater extents as it has more least 4 hours. This will ensure
room for expansion. that your overclocked com-
Most processors today puter will run all your appli-
have their clock multipliers Some AMD processors require their L1 bridges to be shorted with a cations reliably, without lag
locked and this prevents graphite pencil before overclocking them or failing.

104 FEBRUARY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Freeware Tips on some powerful freeware tools


that you can use everywhere—at home, in
for all the office and while online. Fortified with

Occassions*
these tools and the secrets to getting the
most from them, you can thrive entirely
on freely available software!
*Also see ‘All the Software you’ll ever need’ on page 64
17

contents
18 Developer Tools
18 Home Tools
19 Office Tools

ILLUSTRATIONS: Mahesh Benkar


21 Internet Tools
More than 75 freeware! 22 Multimedia Tools
23 System Tools
Find it on the Mindware CD
24 Essential Tools

131 MARCH 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

DEVELOPER TOOLS
Bloodshed Dev-C++ 4
Smaller EXE files
You can ensure smaller file
sizes for your EXE files com-
plied from the C/C++ code.
Go to Options > Compiler
Options. Under the Linker Create custom setup files with
page, make sure the ‘Generate Optimise your EXE files this tool
debug information’ box is left
unchecked. Also, under Code Setup Creator Package Manager
Generation/Optimization, To create a setup package When you install additional
select Best Optimization. which will let others install Dev-C++ packages such as
your executables, click Tools extra libraries, you can man-
Setting Classpaths in JCreator v2.50 > Setup Creator or press [F11] age them using the Package
JCreator is a fast IDE for Java, offering you all the functionality to open the Setup Creator Manager utility. The Package
within commercial IDEs. With JCreator you don’t need to head menu. Fill in the details such Manager gives you detailed
off for the command prompt while working with Java—with a as the software title and information at a glance
powerful GUI-based interface, everything is a mouse-click away. organisation name; set other about the contents of the
When working with multiple libraries scattered across different options such as the back- package, including file list-
folders, adding all the paths to ground colour scheme. You ings, descriptions and ver-
the Autoexec file makes it can set the license details sion details. It also lets you
rather unwieldy. Also, you run and add the files you intend remove any packages. To
the risk of the program refer- to distribute along with their access the Package Manager
ring back to an older library, final location. Finally, click within the main window, go
which is located on the class- on Build to create the setup to Tools > Package Manager, or
path. In JCreator, you can set EXE file. press [Ctrl] + [F12].
18 Set the profiles and classpaths
up custom classpaths and pro-
files by clicking on Configure >
Options and selecting JDK Profiles from the list at the left side. HOME
Clicking on New lets you select the directory where the JDK is
located. Then, you can add additional paths and libraries by ClickTray Calendar
clicking on Add > Add Path... or Add > Add Archive... This lets Setting alarms
you define custom paths and libraries, unique to that profile. To set alarms, select
If you work across several versions of the JDK or would like to Alarms from the list on
create unique profiles of the JDK for different uses, click on the the right in the main
New button to add in another profile. Remember that the first window. Under the
profile listed will be the Data Input tab, enter
default. the time of the alarm
You can choose a specific and choose between dis-
profile or add a library class- playing an alarm mes-
path for a project without sage or starting or
opening the Options menu. closing a program. If
Click on Project > Project Set- you choose to display a
tings and select a JDK profile. message, you can enter the or name in the field. Flip
You can also set up the message in the message field. through the other tabs to set
required Libraries and JDK Tool Set project-specific profiles and If you choose to start or end even more detailed prefer-
options specific to that project. classpaths a program you will need to ences.
enter the program’s location Finally, from the list at the

132 MARCH 2003


OFFICE
Create your own Multimedia Card with FreeCard 2.0
FreeCard 2.0 will give you a OpenOffice.org
great multimedia card in a Turning off AutoFormat
jiffy. To create the card, first and AutoCorrect in Writer
start the FreeCard application. Writer, the word processor
You can add pictures by click- within the OpenOffice.org
ing on the Select Graphic or suite, comes with automa-
Video button (the first button tisms, namely the auto for-
to the left). You can add mat and auto correct
Create colourful multimedia Bitmaps (BMP) or videos (AVI facilities. While these may be
files instantly format). If you choose a useful, they can also be irri-
Bitmap, then you can set the way the presentation opens, by tating especially when text is
selecting it from the drop down list. To add music, click on the being corrected or formatted go to Insert > Special Character.
Select Music button. You can use MIDI or WAVE files. You can wrongly. For example, with Choose Symbol from the Font
write a personalised message on the text field to the right. the default settings it will list and click on the symbol
Finally, preview the card by clicking on Run. You can now see capitalise the first letter of you want inserted.
the card that you have created. To send the card, click Send. every sentence, or every URL
You can choose to have it sent by e-mail or through Windows is recognised and is coloured Locking text in Writer
Messaging or make a standalone EXE file. to mark it out as a hyperlink. Writer also has the option
To turn off such auto format where you can lock in a sec-
and auto correct options, go tion of the text to prevent it
create a new category by click- to Tools > AutoCorrect/AutoFor- from being edited or changed.
ing on the Add New Category mat. Under the Options tab, Select the portion of text that
button on the bottom left. You uncheck the specific options
can choose an existing catego- that you don’t want. You can
ry by highlighting and check- choose not to have it auto
ing it. To add a task to the correct and auto format while
category, enter the text into
the Text Enter Area window
you modify the text or while
you enter the text on to the
19
Set your daily alarms here and click on Add Entry. Final- page. To turn back the auto
ly, click on the OK button. correct and auto format
bottom of the Data Input tab, If you have finished your options, select the options
Lock up your text from here
select Insert Alarm (this is the To Do tasks, just click on that you want enabled.
first button from the right). Done! you want protected, go to
You should see the alarm Inserting special charac- Insert > Section and under the
listed in the alarm text list Countdown Clock ters in Writer entry for Write protection,
on top. You can then min- If you are driven by time and To insert special characters select the Protect option.
imise ClickTray Calendar would like to have a count- such as the ® or © or ™ sym- Finally, select Insert. The
back to the system tray, and down clock ticking away on bols within the document, selected text is now locked;
continue working. your desktop, select Count- bring the cursor to the place you cannot overwrite the text.
down Clock from the list at where you want the character If you would like to safe-
To Do lists the right side in ClickTray or symbol inserted, and then guard the section with a
ClickTray Calendar will help Calendar. In the window that password, choose the With
you maintain a comprehen- comes up, you can set the Password option, provide a
sive To Do list, which you countdown time under the password and click OK.
could sort separately by cate- Settings tab. Once the time is
gory. In the main window, set, click on the display tab Freezing the panes in Calc
choose To Do List and set the and click on Start Clock. Your If you would like to see row or
categories and tasks. First, time starts now! Adding special characters column captions for a long

133 MARCH 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

spreadsheet as you work Finally, click on Save and the


through it, you can freeze the text file is generated.
fields that hold the caption. If
it is a single row or column Saving Draw documents as
caption that has to be frozen, standard formats in Draw
click on the cell just below or Draw is the OpenOffice.org
to the right of the row or col- application that lets you work
umn that will contain the cap- with the images in your doc-
tion. Select Windows > Freeze. If Protecting the data within your uments. It saves the images in
you have either column cap- cells the SXD format, which is a
tions or row captions, you can document format. To save the
create a cross freezing by click- Protected option under the Draw document as a standard
ing on the uppermost left side Cell Protection tab. You will graphics format, go to File >
cell that does not contain a need to turn on the protection Export and from the dialog
caption. For example, in a at the sheet level. Select Tools > box that appears, choose the Share your programs from here
sheet with single row and col- Protect Document > Document. graphics format you want the
umn captions, you should You can provide a password files saved as; click Save. can enable total sharing by
choose the B2 cell. here to ensure that those fields selecting Allow Control under
If you have multiple row cannot be edited. Cropping images in Control. This will allow peo-
and column captions to be OpenOffice.org Draw ple to access the remote appli-
frozen, you can split the sheet ###….? Once the image is inserted cation and make changes to it.
window. Click on the cell just You may see ### in a cell into your drawing file, click
below or to the right of the where you have entered some on the image to open the Transferring files
row or column where you data value in Calc. This hap- image toolbar. Within the To send a file to another com-
want to insert your caption, pens if the value is too large puter on NetMeeting, go to
and select Windows > Split. The to be displayed—Calc will clip Tools > File Transfer. This will
sheet window will be split. it and display ‘###’. To read open the file transfer menu.
Now you can scroll both parts the value, you can resize that Go to File > Add Files and add
20 of the split window, display-
ing the caption as per your
particular cell. If the cell con-
tent is text, you can double-
the file that you want sent.
Then click on the File > Send A
requirements. click on the cell. This will Cropping the image in Draw File to send the file to the
other computer or highlight
Cell protection in Calc image toolbar, select Crop and right-click the file and
All the cells in Calc are pro- (the right-most button). This select Send A File. To send
tected by default. However, will open up the Crop menu. multiple files at the same
you can turn off this feature. You can add the exact meas- time, first add all of them to
To do so, select all the cells in Unhashing the hashes urements of the canvas that the menu, then go to File and
the spreadsheet. Go to Format you want cropped. Finally, select Send All. This will send
> Cells and select the Cell Pro- show a red triangle that indi- click on OK. all the files to the other
tection tab. To turn off protec- cates that the field is over- computer.
tion for all the cells, uncheck flowing. Microsoft NetMeeting
the Protected option. Click on 3.01 Whiteboarding
OK to finish. Saving as text files Sharing it all To create an area for all the
If you would like to enable You can output the Calc Microsoft NetMeeting also lets parties to interact, you can set
the option, just select the spreadsheet into an ASCII you share entire programs, up a common whiteboard
Protected option. delimited text file. Go to File > which you can access as through Tools > Whiteboard in
To selectively enable the Save As and select Text CSV as though you were at the NetMeeting 3.01. This will
protected option, select the the File type. Enable the Edit remote computer. Go to Tools > open the Whiteboard, which
cells you want protected, go to filter settings box. Set the Sharing and select the pro- can be viewed and used by all
Format > Cells and select the delimiters that you need. grams you want shared. You the parties in the meeting.

134 MARCH 2003


INTERNET left. To close a page, just hold
down the right mouse button
on the system tray and and move down, and then to
then flip over to the User the right, tracing an ‘L’. There
Data on the Options are mouse gestures for nearly
menu. Select Set Master all commonly done tasks
Password and enter a mas- within Opera—you wouldn’t
ter password. This will be really need to press the but-
used to protect your iden- Set search keywords here tons on the toolbar!
tities and passcards. ‘g SETI’ in the address bar and
you will immediately link up Zoom and full screen views
Auto filling forms to the search result page at To zoom in and out of a Web
To auto fill a form, click on Google.com. To access other page, don’t look around for
AI RoboForm in the system search engine options, go to an option within the toolbar-
tray; go to More on the File > Preferences and select just press [+] to zoom into a
toolbar and choose Search from the list. You Web page and [-] to zoom out
Options. Under the Form can choose from Google, of a Web page.
Filling tab, select Auto Fill AllTheWeb, Lycos, Down- Full screen views in Opera
Without Asking. It will fill load.com and other search are accessed by pressing [F11],
engines. For each there is a but here is where the differ-
AI RoboForm keyword to be entered before ence lies: within Opera you
Adding your vital stats adding the search term. get a totally ‘full’ screen view.
With AI RoboForm you can Unlike IE, there are no tool-
save a lot of your confidential Customise and disguise bars on top.
personal data. Click on AI If you would like to stop open-
RoboForm in the system tray ing (or start opening) pop-up Remembering where you
and go to Edit Identities. Here windows or access other went last
you can flip through the tabs options on the fly, you can do If you abruptly stopped your
to enter details for the current
identity, such as name,
so by pressing [F12] while in
Opera and set options such as
last browsing session, Opera
remembers where you went
21
address, password, e-mail accepting or refusing pop-up last. When you restart Opera,
address, credit card informa- windows or enabling/dis- you will be prompted to start
tion, bank account informa- abling Java and cookies as well
tion and so on. Since all this as identifying your browser as
data is encrypted and stored IE or Mozilla. You could access
locally on the disk, it is safe. all these options from the
Use it for accessing pages that AI RoboForm’s AutoFill stands by Quick Preferences option from
require registrations and pass- the File menu.
words, shopping sites and forms from a passcard if a pass-
even for logging into your card matches the current Web Mouse Gestures
Hotmail account! page. If no passcards match the One really useful feature with-
current page, it will fill forms in Opera is the Mouse Ges-
Protect Your Identity from the Current Identity. tures feature—it allows you to Crashed? Resume effortlessly
Since you may tend to entrust do common tasks within the
quite a lot of confidential and Opera 7 browser without clicking but- from where you stopped and
personal data to AI Robo- Google within Opera tons on the toolbar. For exam- resume what you did last.
Form, it makes sense to pro- If you are a heavy search ple, to access the previous page
tect your identities and engine user, you will find this in the history, you need to Netscape 7
passcards. To do so, choose very handy. To run a Google keep the right button pressed Tabbed Browsing
Options from AI RoboForm search on say, SETI, just type as you move the mouse to the With tabbed browsing being

135 MARCH 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

one of Netscape’s better fea- Dub and go to Video > Com- Filters
tures, this is how you can pression. The options listed will VirtualDub comes with some
enable it in case it hasn’t be the ones for which the very useful filters. You can use
been enabled. Click on Edit > codecs are present in your these to resize or realign your
Preferences to access the Pref- machine. Choose the DivX video files, crop or integrate
erences window. Expand the codec, which gives the ideal
Navigator tree and select balance between file size and
Tabbed Browsing. Select the quality. Click on OK; this
options you want. You can brings you back to the main
open a new tab by pressing Set in the search preferences screen. Click on File > Save as
[Ctrl] + [T] and cycle through AVI and save the output file.
all the opened tabs by press- cally search for it in the default The conversion then starts and
ing [Ctrl] + [PgUp] or [Ctrl] + search engine. you can monitor the progress
[PgDn]. of the encoding from the Vir-
Enabling Quick Launch tualDub Status indicator.
Searching from Netscape If you have not configured
The default search engine Netscape to load at startup,
for searching from within then enabling the Quick
Netscape is Google, but you Launch option will give you
can set another search engine. fast loading times. To enable Using the filters in VirtualDub
Go to Edit > Preferences and Quick Launch, click on
select Internet Search. You can Edit > Preferences and select special effects such as motion
specify the search engine that Advanced from the list at the blur or smoothing into the
you want to work with from left. In the Advanced menu, video files. The filters are
within the drop down list. under ‘Enable features that accessed from Video > Filters.
Finally, click on OK to set the increase performance’, select For example, if you would like
preference. If you enter a term Enable Quick Launch and to have still smaller file sizes,
on the Address bar that cannot select OK. After a reboot, you you can resize the video. To
22 be resolved into a Web page,
Netscape will now automati-
should see Netscape loading
faster. Encoding with the Indeo codecs
resize the video, open the
source file. Then click on Video
> Filters and then click on Add.
MULTIMEDIA If you are using the Indeo This will open a list of avail-
AVI codecs, then in the Video able filters. Choose 2:1 Reduc-
VirtualDub > Compression screen, you will tion (High Quality) and click
Compressing Video need to specify the video OK. You can add more filters
If you have large MPEG files compression quality—choos- to the list in the same way.
and would like to see them ing a value between 80 to 90 Then choose your compres-
converted into smaller sizes, per cent should give you sion settings and save as an
you can choose to re- good file sizes with little loss AVI file. You select the order
encode them into the AVI in quality. Lower settings will in which you want the effects
(Audio Video Interleave) affect the quality, but will applied.
format. The best AVI codec give you lower file sizes. You
is the DivX codec series. will also need to enter the dBpower AMP Music
However, you would need value for a keyframe inter- Converter
to have the DivX codec val—this will ensure quick Right-click!
installed in your computer. fast-forwards and rewinds To start using dBpower AMP,
You can also use the Indeo within the video file. A lower all you need is to have the plu-
codecs, which give good value here is recommended. gins for the format into which
results. Select a value of 85, which you need to encode your
Open the file in Virtual- will give you good results. audio files. Once you have

136 MARCH 2003


them installed, you can start
right away. Within Explorer, PC Inspector File Recovery
locate the file that you want This is an indispensable tool for those times when you delete a
encoded. Then right-click and file, only to realise that you need it back! Relax, you are forgiv-
choose Convert To. You en—you can use this excellent file recovery tool
should see the listed options First, start PC Inspector File Recovery. You can choose
for the audio formats support- between recovering lost files, finding lost data, and finding a
ed. Select the format of your lost or inaccessible drive. Select Recover Deleted File. Then,
choice and click on it. This within Select Drive, click on the Logical Drive tab and choose
will bring forth the Options the drive on which your data was located, then click OK. Within
menu where you can set Cleaning up scratchy audio files the Explorer-like interface, choose Deleted and locate the folder
parameters such as encoding where the file was located. The deleted file will be indicated in
quality and type. When you removed from the file. Final- green and alongside you would be able to view the status of
have entered the options, ly, select the audio section the deleted file. Right-click
click on Convert to start con- from which you want the on the file and choose to
verting the file. unwanted sound artefacts Save To… to save it. You
removed, go to Effects > Noise would need to save it on
Audacity removal, and select the another drive (physical or
Removing noise amount of audio you want logical). Choose the loca-
To remove excess noise or filtered. Experiment with tion and click OK.
hiss from the audio file, first how much sound you want Depending on the disk
select a few seconds of hiss removed—too little and the and the deleted file, you
(at the beginning or the end artefacts remain, too much should have a working file
of the clip) and then click on and the audio portions may recovered. Recover those deleted files
Effects > Noise Removal. Click be lost. Finally, click on
on Get a Noise Profile. This Remove Noise. That is it. and set the parameters for it. such as Yahoo! or MSN or
will generate a profile of the Audacity will start cleaning You can choose between mIRC. You can assign these
frequencies you need the audio file. denying access, to allowing rights from Programs Control

SYSTEM TOOLS
outright access or settle on the
program asking for permis-
under the Programs tab
panel. ZoneAlarm continu-
23
ously monitors the activity of
ZoneAlarm the programs and hence pre-
Program control vents unauthorised access.
Clicking on Program Con-
trol lets you set security Alerts
levels for programs that If you have chosen to view
may access the Internet alerts while installing Zone
from your computer. Click- Alarm, you will be alerted as
ing on the Main tab lets Set Program Control from here soon as a program tries to con-
you set broad-based rules; nect to the Internet or net-
set Medium here. sion every time it wants to work. The alert will specify
To set specific rules for connect. which program is trying to
each program, open the connect, and you can choose
Program tab—here you will Server rights to allow or disallow it. You can
find listed all the programs er, mail client, or any other ZoneAlarm may alert you ensure that programs that you
that have tried to connect. specialised programs. For about granting server rights frequently use, such as your
You can also add any pro- example, if you use file-shar- to certain programs—this is browser or mail client, can be
grams here that you would ing programs over the Inter- the case with chat and file allowed to establish such con-
like to allow access to. net, you can add the file name transfer software that allow nections. There may be other
These could be your brows- here through the Add option, for real time conversations, programs that may try to

137 MARCH 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

control a remote computer. ESSENTIALS


But be sure to restore it later!
Internet
PGP Freeware Explorer 6
Creating your key pair Image toolbar
Encryption with PGP requires The Image toolbar
that you generate a public and pops up when you
a private key. The public key is hover your mouse
distributed to everyone so that over certain Web
they can encrypt and send you page images. It lets
secure messages. The private you save/print/
Alerts warn you about inbound key is kept confidential and is e-mail pictures and
and outbound connections used to decrypt the messages. also opens up the
After installation, PGP will My Pictures folder. If
access the Internet—some prompt you to create your key you find the toolbar to be a select (or deselect) the Enable
may be legitimate, but there pair. To create additional keys, nuisance, you can disable it Automatic Image Resizing
may also be some spyware click on PGP on the system by right-clicking on the tool- option.
programs. Use your discre- tray and choose PGPKeys. To bar and selecting Disable
tion before allowing them to create a new key pair, go to Image Toolbar. Deleting cookies and
connect. Clicking on the personal information
More Info button at the You can get rid of tiresome
AlertAdvisor connects to cookies through Tools > Inter-
ZoneLabs online, and gives net Options. Under the Gener-
more information regarding al tab, locate Temporary
the alert. Internet Files and click on
IE6’s Image Toolbar Delete Cookies.
Full stop If you use IE6’s AutoCom-
If you would like to stop all You can later restore the plete feature you may end up
24 Internet connections, except
inbound and outbound, click
Creating the key pair Image Toolbar through Tools >
Internet Options > Advanced.
with IE hanging on to much

on the red Stop button—this Keys and select New Keys. This Scroll down to the Multimedia
will stop all connections at will open the Key Generation section and select the Enable
once. The Internet lock can be Wizard. Choose Expert if you Image Toolbar option. The
configured from the Program wamt to specify additional next time you launch IE, you
Control screen, in the Main parameters such as the key size will get the Image Toolbar.
tab. This is obviously a drastic and key type. Clicking on Next
measure—you would need to will prompt you for a Enabling/disabling auto
use this in the event that you passphrase, and finally, you resize
are certain that a Trojan or can generate the key pair. The Auto Resize function in
some major security loophole IE 6 resizes large images to fit
exists within your computer. Distributing the public key into the browser window so
You should distribute your you no longer need to scroll Clearing out personal data from
Temporarily stepping public key so that people can horizontally or vertically to the AutoComplete feature
down security send you securely encrypted view the file. This is enabled
You can step down the secu- messages. Simply right-click with the default install, but of your confidential informa-
rity if your programs tend to on the key and choose Send To you can can enable/disable tion. To erase this informa-
conflict with ZoneAlarm. > Domain Server to send your the function from Tools > Inter- tion, go to Tools > Internet
This may happen if you use key. To send your key by net Options > Advanced. Within Options and click on the Con-
software such as VNC or e-mail, choose Send To > Mail the list, scroll down to the tent tab. Click on Clear Forms
PCAnywhere that let you Recipient. Multimedia section and and Clear Passwordst

138 MARCH 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Stay
Connected
If you have just put
together some
computers, cables and
adapters, and are
vying to venture into
the networked world,
you definitely need
some help. This month
we bring you easy
tricks to get your
network up and
running, and help you 25
make the most of
your time

contents
26 Windows Networking
32 Network Printers
31 Internet Explorer

ILLUSTRATIONS: Mahesh Benkar

99 APRIL 2003
■ tips and tricks

WINDOWS NETWORKING added to the chart. Use this to


determine if your system is
Windows features some very useful tools to slowing down on account of
troubleshoot your network. You can use them shared resources. You may
to ensure that your network is up and running, need to disconnect a user or
unshare a resource to remedy
and detect problems, as well as find out it.
important network parameters
Win IP Config
NetWatcher Win IP Config can be
NetWatcher is installed accessed by going to Start >
with the full installation of Run and typing in winipcfg in
Windows 98. If it is not so the open dialog box. Win IP
in your machine, go to Config lets you view all your See your complete TCP/IP
Control Panel > Add/Remove current TCP/IP settings in a configuration on Win IP Config
Programs and click on the single menu. By clicking on this may be static, fixed or
Windows Setup tab to More Info, additional infor- dynamically allotted. The
install it. Click on ‘System mation regarding the net- static value would be entered
Tools’ and then ‘Details’, work can be viewed. in the TCP/IP network con-
and then scroll down to If the IP address was figuration menu.
select NetWatcher; you will dynamically allocated by a
be prompted to insert the DHCP (Dynamic Host Con- Subnet Mask
Windows 98 CD. figuration Protocol) server, This is used to mask a portion
then you can use the Release of the IP address to determine
and Renew buttons to release the subnet where the com-
and renew the IP address. puter is located, that is,
already installed, you can The information displayed where the computer is locat-
install it from Control Panel > on Win IP Config is described ed within the internal net-
26 Use NetWatcher to track what
resources are users accessing on
Add/Remove Programs, here
navigate to Windows Setup >
below. work. All computers running
TCP/IP must have the subnet
your machine System Tools > Details. Scroll Adapter address mask defined.
down and select System This is a hexadecimal address
NetWatcher lets you see Monitor. that is unique to every Default Gateway
who is using the shared Within System Monitor, network adapter. It is hard This is the IP address of the
resources on your computer at click on the Add button and coded into the card by the computer that provides the
any given moment in time, choose Microsoft Network manufacturer, and consists of connection to a remote net-
across the network. You can Server from the category field. six 8-bit numbers. However work. The gateway computer
use it to add shared folders, as Choose the parameters that remember that modems is the computer that TCP/IP
well as disconnect users from you want to track. This will be (both internal and external) will use to communicate and
your computer or just a specif- do not have this address— route data destined for com-
ic file. Note that disconnecting this is restricted to network puters on remote networks.
the users does not prevent adapters while the number On clicking on it for more
them from reconnecting to for a modem or dial up information, the following
your machine. For that, you adapter is set to a meaningless settings are displayed.
need to either hide or unshare default number.
the specific resources. DHCP Server
IP address This entry indicates the IP
System monitor This is the current IP net- address of the DHCP server.
System Monitor is a standard System Monitor graphs your working address. Depending The DHCP server, when
utility in Windows. If it is not system performance on whether DHCP is used, present, will dynamically

100 APRIL 2003


assign an IP address to the configuration in your that is used to communicate
machine upon connecting machine. The IP Config utility with NetWare networks. It
to the network. Clicking on displays all the information in supports routing too.
the Release button will the Win IP Config utility, but IPX/SPX is needed only if
release the IP address, and on the command line. To your computer is connected
the Renew button requests a obtain all the information, use to, or communicates with a
new IP address from the Use tracert to troubleshoot your the ipconfig/all command. NetWare network.
DHCP server. routing problems NetBEUI: You need to
Net install this protocol only if
Primary and Secondary net) that a packet takes to The Net utility in the com- your network uses NetBEUI as
WINS Server reach its destination, giving mand line contains a host of a transport protocol.
These settings specify the IP the path and the amount of other interlinked utilities. You Generally, for a small net-
address of the Primary and time taken between each hop. can choose to do basic net- work, all you need to have
Secondary WINS Server, if On a LAN, this can be used to work configuration, diagnos- installed is the TCP/IP proto-
present. The WINS servers diagnose problems in routing. tics, inspect print queues, as col suite that is installed by
translate the NetBIOS names Use it on the Internet to well as connecting and dis- default in Windows 98.
into the corresponding IP choose the nearest and fastest connecting to the network
addresses. download sites. from the command line. Type Driving for DOS
in net /? on the command line If you use DOS applications,
Lease Obtained and Leased Netstat to access more information you may not be able to use
Expired Use Netstat to display proto- on the different commands files and shared resources that
These values show when the col based statistics, as well as within the Net utility. are located across the net-
current IP address was all current inbound and out- For command line utili- work, since these programs
obtained and when it is due bound connections. Netstat ties, in order to be able to read need a full path to the files,
to expire. You can use the can be configured to display the text output one screen at starting with a drive letter.
Release and Renew buttons to a time, type in the command Within Windows, you can
release and renew your cur- through the More paging map folders that are shared
rent IP address. In any case, command—this would be of across the network, to free
the DHCP client automatical-
ly attempts to renew the lease
the form net /? | more. drive letters to your computer.
Use Explorer to get to the
27
when 50 per cent of the lease LAN protocol shared folder and then right-
time has expired. The exchange of information click and choose ‘Map Net-
takes place through estab- work Drive’. Select any free
Ping lished protocols. Windows 98 drive letter in the configura-
Netstat shows you inbound and
The Ping utility will let you supports the following trans- tion screen. Now you can
outbound connections through
determine whether a specific port protocols:
all the ports
IP address is accessible. It TCP/IP: TCP/IP is installed
works by sending a data all connections and listening by default in Windows 98. If
packet to the specified ports and Ethernet statistics, your computer is located on
address and waiting for the as well as statistics on a pro- an interconnected network
reply. Ping is a simple, yet tocol basis. This would with diverse hardware and
highly configurable tool. include statistics for TCP, operating systems, you would
UDP, ICMP and IP. This is a need to use the TCP/IP proto-
Trace Route very useful command line col. TCP/IP is the standard
You can troubleshoot your utility that lets you know protocol for the Internet, and
Internet connection with the who is accessing the machine. also the de-facto standard for
Trace Route option. To use LAN communications.
Trace Route, type tracert in the IP Config NWLink IPX/SPX Com-
command line. Tracert traces IP Config is a very useful tool patible Transport: This is the Mapping frequently used
every hop (router on the Inter- that displays the entire TCP/IP standard network protocol network shares

101 APRIL 2003


■ tips and tricks

access the shared folder as down and protect it, add in a


though it were located on password too.
your hard drive. If you intend
work within this shared fold- Messaging across the LAN
er regularly, tick and enable You can send a quick message
the ‘Reconnect at Logon’ across the LAN using a stan-
option, to make the drive dard tool within Windows.
mapping permanent. WinPopUp is a standard and
Now these drives will be easy-to-use messaging utility
fully accessible through DOS within Windows. To use Win-
or any older Windows pro- PopUp, go to Start > Run and
grams. type in winpopup in the Open
field, and click OK. This will
Searching for a server open the WinPopUp window.
If you are working on a large To send a message through Configuring the ICF
LAN, then getting into a WinPopUp, click on Send—
shared network resource or Removing File and Printer turn on ICF, go to the Control
folder would mean making Sharing Services panel and select Network Con-
your way through the Net- nections. Open this, and right-
work Neighbourhood and the take place. click on the displayed
various workgroups. The Now no one will be able connection, and click on
entire list of computers across to access any files on your Properties. Under the
the network could take quite a machine, since your comput- Advanced tab, you can enable
while to build up; instead, go er will not appear on the net- ICF. While the default settings
to the address bar and type work. You will, however, be may work fine, you may want
\\computer_name to directly able to access files and folders Using the WinPopUP messaging to tweak the settings. Click on
connect with and browse the on other computers as long as utility the Settings button to access
remote computer. You can also Client for Microsoft Networks all the ICF features and set-
28 go to the Start > Run menu and
type \\computer_name to access
is installed. this opens up the Send Mes-
sage window. Type message in
tings. You can fine tune the
network services under the
the computer. This is the Uni- Protecting your shares the Message text field, and the Services tab, set logging details
versal Naming Convention To ensure safe sharing of your name of receipient (the com- under Security Logging and
(UNC) style network name. network shares, you can puter’s name) and click on OK. details about ICMP under the
restrict access to your shared Incoming messages are also ICMP (Internet Control Mes-
File and Printer Sharing resources. Right-click on the displayed in the WinPopUp sage Protocol) tab.
To share resources across the folder or drive you want to window. Keep in mind that for
network, you will need to share, and select Sharing. the recepient to be able to ICF - Do you need it?
enable the ‘File and Printer Here you can set the level of receive your message, he or Keep in mind that ICF is for
sharing’ option. If you do not access. You can mark a folder she would also need to have use only with a direct con-
intend to share any folders or as read-only, give it full access WinPopUp running. nection to the Internet, such
printers from your computer, and assign a password for as a dial-up or cable modem
you can uninstall the same each. A quick way of hiding Firewall connection. This means that
for Microsoft Networks. To do your shared folders is to add Windows XP comes with a computers connected to the
this, go to Start > Settings > Con- the ‘$’ sign as the last charac- firewall known as the Internet Internet through a LAN or
trol Panel > Network and click ter in the share name. This Connection Firewall or ICF. Internet Connection Sharing
on the File Sharing. Uncheck way even though the folder ICF provides only inbound (ICS) or a hardware router
both the ‘Give access to files’ appears to be hidden from protection—unlike a full- don’t need an ICF. Moreover,
and ‘Give access to printer’. public view, it can still be fledged firewall, it only moni- you may tend to have some
You will have to restart your accessed and viewed—so if tors data coming into your trouble with networking
computer for the changes to you really have to lock it machine from the Internet. To with other computers on a

102 APRIL 2003


Networking tab. You will then 8D87-00AA0060F5BF}.
see the real-time graph of net- First click on Export and
work utilisation. save the selected branch
as, say, restoreshare.reg in
IPConfig in XP a folder. Once you have
Windows XP doesn’t feature exported a copy of the key,
the GUI Win IP Config tool, right-click on this subkey Routing data in Windows 2000
so to quickly locate all the and click on Delete. This
relevant TCP/IP configura- should fix the problem. ing table. This can affect the
tion details, you will need to path that the network traffic
use the command line IP Network indicator takes to get from one place to
Disabling the ICF Config tool, accessed by typ- On a PC with a modem, you the other. Be careful while
ing ipconfig. can see the little flashing editing the routing table
LAN, as File and Printer Shar- computers in the System Tray though—a little mistake here
ing services are blocked. It Faster Windows sharing could play havoc with your
would make sense to disable When you try to view the network communications.
the ICF if you intend to use shared folders on a computer You can find out the differ-
File and Printer Sharing serv- running Windows 98 or ME ent options for usage by
ices that would be essential from a PC running Windows typing route/? at the
in a LAN environment. To 2000, there may be a delay of command line.
disable the ICF, go to the up to 30 seconds. This is
Control Panel, and select the Pathping
Network Connections. Open The pathping command line
this and right-click on the utility in Windows 2000 gives
desired connection, click on you the best of ping and trac-
Properties and under the ert, by sending out packets to
Advanced tab, disable ICF. Turning on the network monitor each router on the way to a
final destination over a period
Viewing the network
utilisation Open up shared folders within
that shows you that there is
some data flowing. Now in
29
You can view the current per- Windows 98/ME faster Windows 2000, you can see
centage of network utilisation the same flashing computers
in the Windows XP task man- because Windows 2000 tries style indicator for your local
ager. Open the Task Manager to determine if any ‘Sched- network.
by holding down [Ctrl] + uled Tasks’ are enabled on the Right-click on My Net-
[Shift] + [Esc] and click on the other computer. You can fix work Places, click on the Use pathping to determine any
this delay by deleting a Reg- Local Area Connection. Click weak links on the network
istry entry on the Windows on the Properties button. At
2000 machine—but only after the bottom of the Properties of time, and then computes
backing up the Registry window, you will see the the results based on the pack-
before making any edits. Show Icon in taskbar when ets returned from each hop.
Go to Start > Run and connected option. Enable this Since pathping shows the
type REGEDIT to open the and you will see the indicator. degree of packet loss at any
Registry Editor. Navigate to given router or link, you can
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Soft- Routing your way use it to determine which
ware\Microsoft\Windows\Cur- Windows 2000 has a very routers or links might be caus-
rentVersion\Explorer\RemoteCom powerful command line tool, ing network problems.
puter\NameSpace, and locate the Route command that can Type pathping /? at the
the subkey that reads be used to view, and even command prompt to get
View the network utilisation {D6277990-4C6A-11CF- change the computer’s rout- additional information on

103 APRIL 2003


syntax and options. nectors on each end. To get page to confirm that the print-
the two computers physically er is properly installed.
Net Send connected, just connect
You can use the net send either end of the cable into Setting a printer as a
command line utility to the slot on the network default printer
send messages to another adapter of each computer. You can install the network
computer, or choose to send printer as a default printer—
messages to everybody in Connecting three or more within Windows, both local
computers and network printers are
For networking three or more located under Printers in the
computers, you would need Control Panel. Simply right-
to have standard CAT5 click on the printer and click
Sending messages through cabling with standard con- on Set as Default.
net send nectors, one network adapter
for every computer and a hub Mapping the printer
the domain. Just typing in or a switch that acts as a Set up File and Print Sharing For some applications, you
net send computer_name and central connection point for services from the Control Panel may need to assign a print job
typing in your message after networking the computers to a specific port number, such
that should do it! For more utility menu; click on File and as LPT1 or LPT2. This way,
syntax and options type in Hubs and Switches. Print Sharing. Enable the within an application, you can
net send /? at the command If you are setting up a options and then click on OK. send the print jobs to the ports
prompt. SoHo network with not more instead of specifying the print-
than four to six computers Installing network printers
Connecting two computers that you will use for relatively You can access a number of
For networking two comput- light network traffic, consider shared printers across the net-
ers, you need two network using a hub instead of a work. To do so, you need to
adapters, and a crossover net- switch to network the com- install the printer within Win- Mapping the printer to a
work cable of adequate puters. dows—locate the computer specific port
30 length with the RJ-45 con- that is sharing the printer on
the network from Network er by name. To do so, first
NETWORK PRINTERS locate the printer on the net-
work from the Network Neigh-
Sharing a printer on the network saves a lot of bourhood, right-click on it and
trouble, not to mention time and resources. We go to Capture Printer port.
Choose the appropriate port
bring you some tips on sharing and accessing a
number from the drop-down
Networked printer list and assign a value such as
LPT2. This value needs to be
Installing File and Print greater, if you already have a
Sharing Services Installing the network printer printer attached locally to your
To access and print files computer. Enable the Recon-
stored in your computer Neighbourhood. Right-click nect at logon option if you
through other comput- on the shared printer and want the mapping option to be
ers on the network, you choose Install—the Add Print- present every time you login.
will need to install File er wizard will guide you dur-
and Print Sharing Services. ing the install. If you are Sharing a local printer
To do so in Windows 98, go printing from within Win- If you have a printer attached
to Start > Settings > Control Panel dows, tick No for the printing to your computer and want
and click on Network. This from MS-DOS programs. The to share it across the network,
will open up the Network wizard will offer to print a test go to the Control Panel > Print-

104 APRIL 2003


printers to specific users by
typing in a password in the
Share Printer menu. This way
only those people with the
password will be able to use
the printer.

Queuing up
Before giving a print com- The RemoteAccess key holds the
mand, find out if there is key to your Dial-Up settings
another print job that is
Sharing your local printer across pending. You can do this by REGEDIT. Now, in the left
the network going to Start > Settings > Print- pane, navigate to the
ers and selecting the printer. Getting online faster with DUN HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Remote
ers. Within the Printers folder, Click on the selected print- Access key. To backup this
right-click on the printer you er—this will open up the Click on the Dial-Up Net- branch of the Registry, go to
want to share and select Shar- print queue window. working folder in My Com- Registry > Export Registry File
ing. Here, select Shared as Once you have issued a puter. Right-click on the command. Choose the select-
and type in the name of the print command, you can connection that you want to ed branch option and assign
printer in the Share Name pause or cancel the same by change, and go to Properties > a name, say INTERNET.REG.
field. To finish, click OK. The right-clicking on the printer Server Type. While keeping To import this setting to
printer will now be shared icon on the system tray. TCP/IP turned on, turn off another computer, just copy
across the network. Locate the job, and right- support for NetBEUI and the key to the second PC, run
click and select Cancel IPX/SPX. Note here that turn- REGEDIT, and import this file
Restricting access Printing. This will terminate ing off support for IPX/SPX into the Registry.
You can restrict access to the the job. will disable access to NetWare.
Another time saving trick Monitoring the modem
would be turning off the Log You can use your System
INTERNET EXPLORER
Get networked on the Web
on to network, which you
need only if you are dialling
Monitor to monitor the qual-
ity of your dial-up connec-
31
into a Windows LAN. Finally tion. To do this, start System
Speed up the Dial-Up Net- speeded up in a couple of click OK to set the changes. Monitor from Start > Programs
work (DUN) initialisation steps: > Accessories > System Tools. Go
The Windows DUN tools are Backing up the ISP to Edit > Add Item and click on
relatively easy to set up and settings Dial-Up Networking Adapter >
can be tweaked to con- It pays to backup all the CRC Errors. Finally click on
nect faster to information stored in your OK. If you encounter a lot of
your ISP. One of DUN connection for easy CRC errors, then there may
the most irritat- retrieval, in case you need to be problems either with your
ing delays reset all the values for future phone line or modem. If both
occurs installs, or while transferring
to another computer. All the
information that you need to
after the dial into your ISP—namely
connection has the authentication details,
been estab- telephone number and IP
lished, before address information for all
the DUN has sig- DUN profiles—is stored in
nalled the successful the registry. System Monitor can track your
connect. This can be Go to Start > Run and type Internet connection

105 APRIL 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

appear to be fine, try adding


Framing Errors and Timeout
Errors from Edit > Add Item >
Dial-Up Networking Adapter to
pinpoint the problems in
your connection.

Automatic re-dialling
If you often need to dial more
than once before you con-
nect through your ISP, you
can setup automatic re-
dialling. This can be done by Smart searching with search Automatic refreshing: Enabling
going to Start > Programs > Getting your modem's truthful toolbars and disabling it
Accessories > Communications > speeds
Dial-Up Networking > Connection (toolbar.google.com). Most those pages faster. To change
Name > Settings. Check Redial, cate. But this is not the true popular search engines, such any cache settings, go to Tools
and select the number of data transfer speed—the as Google, Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves > Internet Options > General >
times that you want to re-dial speed at which your modem and Toema, have free search Settings. To automatically
(between 2 and 100). To wrap communicates with the toolbars that are tightly check for updated versions of
it up, click OK and close Dial- modem on the other side is integrated into Internet visited pages, enable the
Up Networking. the true speed. To see this, go Explorer. These toolbars ‘Automatically’ option under
to Start > Settings > Control make searching online ‘Check for newer versions of
Honest modems Panel > Modems > Properties > quicker and easier. stored pages:’. This will give
When you open up the Connection. Click on the you faster and updated ver-
modem icon from the sys- advanced button and in the Speeding up sions of the Web pages you
tem tray, it indicates the Extra settings, put ATW2L0. You can speed up navigation frequently visit.
speed at which the comput- You should now get the cor- within Explorer 5 or Explor-
32 er and modem communi- rect speed. er 6 by disabling page transi-
tions. To make this change,
…Or disabling it
You may want to disable the
in Explorer, go to Tools > above feature, if the pages
...Speed it up Internet Options. Under the you visit are not updated very
Advanced tab, disable the often. To do this, set the
New Windows Faster Searching option for ‘Enable Page option to Never. If you want
A single page may take its own To search in Internet Explor- Transitions’ and click OK. to open the latest version of
sweet time to load, so optimise er 5 or greater, instead of This will allow for faster the page, click Refresh, or
your time by opening links in jumping to your favourite browsing. press F5.
new windows. To open a Web search engine, press [Ctrl] +
page hotlink in a new window, [E]. The Search pane opens Faster loading Cache Sizes
hold down [Shift] as you click into MSN search. Here, If a text or graphics-heavy If you want to store versions
on the hotlink; this is faster choose your category, enter page takes a long time to of the Web pages that you
than right-clicking and select- the search term you’re look- download its graphics, hit- visit, adjust the amount of
ing ‘Open Link in New Win- ing for, and click Search. ting F5 or clicking Refresh space in your cache. Go to
dow’. This is particularly useful can speed up the loading the Tools > Internet Options and
when you have a Web page Smart Searching second time. select General. Move the slid-
that has numerous links that If you are one of those who er to select the amount of
you want to open as you read trusts Google to get to a page Automatic refreshing hard disk space you would
the Web page. Note that this worth your while, then you IE cache keeps a record of the like to devote to your cache.
will not work with JavaScript should get hold of the Web pages you have visited; Ideally, keep aside about 75
pages. Google search bar this can be used to retrieve to 100 MB.

106 APRIL 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

E-mail is a part
of everyday life,
whether you are a
entrepreneur or a
student. Here are a
few tools to make
your everyday e-mail
experience more
efficient

33

contents
18 Microsoft Outlook
ILLUSTRATIONS: Mahesh Benkar
21 Eudora
23 Evolution

99 MAY 2003
insight ■
■ tips and tricks

MICROSOFT OUTLOOK Abbreviated time


If you need to insert the
Outlook users can tweak and tune to get what time anywhere in an e-mail,
they want, using these tips and add-ins Outlook has some simple
shortcuts. For example, to
type 5 pm, just type 5p,
while 6:45 am can be
entered as 645a.

Days at a glance
You can view 1 day, 5 days, 7
days or 31 days at a glance,
in the Outlook calender. It is
also possible to view 2 to 14
Print a blank calendar by days at a glance—any 14
creating a new folder days irrespective of the
month or year.
for the folder and press OK. While in the Calendar
Now select the newly creat-
ed folder and print it in the
desired print style.

Bypass read receipts Here ‘yes’ means a read Move fast


To skip read receipts you receipt is requested. There are some shortcut keys
need to know which e-mails To bypass, you have two in Outlook, which are very
request them. To do this, you alternatives—the first is to helpful while navigating.
need to change the look of click ‘No’ when such an e- Pressing [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [I]
your Inbox. Select your mail opens. You can make moves you directly to the
You can choose to view any
34 Inbox and click Field Choos-
er, in the combo box. Select
Outlook remember your
answer for all e-mails that
Inbox folder and similarly
[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [O] moves
selected date
‘All Mail Fields’, and locate request read receipt. you to the Outbox folder.
the ‘Receipt Requested’ field. Another alternative is to Similarly, if you are view, press [Alt] + [0 to 9].
Drag and drop this field to go to Tools > Options > E- working with Calendars and For example, if you press
the Inbox window. You will mail Options > Tracking constantly need to switch [Alt] + [0], you get a view
see an additional column Options, and select any of between the weekly and that shows the next 10 days
with the values ‘Yes/Blank’. the three responses— monthly view, then you can from the current selected
Always, Never or Ask—that use the keys [Alt] + [-] and day. Say you wish to plan all
need to occur when e-mails [Alt] + [=] to do so. Sundays of the month, click
with read receipt arrive. the first Sunday, press [Ctrl]
Categorising e-mails and select all the Sundays of
Printing blank A lot of people do not write the month.
calendars subjects to their e-mails.
Sometimes you urgently There are ways you can Forward contact(s)
need a blank calendar for insert the subject, making it The simplest way to forward
the week/month. Outlook easier to categorise and contacts is to switch your
lets you do so. It is as simple manage e-mails even after view to Phone list in Con-
as creating a folder and receiving them. Just open tacts. Select the single or mul-
printing it. Just click on the the e-mail, click on the sub- tiple entries that you wish to
Choose to bypass Read Receipts Calendar icon and select ject line, modify the subject forward, right-click and select
in the Tracking Options New Folder. Key in a name and save it. Forward Items. Now, type the

100 MAY 2003


e-mail address of the intended ing rules that will redirect your idays as you want, as long as can be bought at http://www.
person and press Send. incoming mails to this folder. you add the proper count sperrysoftware.com
after the square brackets.
Manage PST file size Add holidays Now, go to Tools > Options > Always inform BOSS
All the e-mails in Microsoft Marking the holidays on Calendar Options > Add Holi- Some organisations pass
Outlook are saved in a single your Outlook calender will days, search for the entry about a large amount of cor-
file with a PST extension. If make it easier for you to plan ‘India’, select it and press OK. respondence in the form of
you have used Outlook for a around them. Outlook does e-mails. In such cases, it is
long time, the size of the .pst have a way to add holidays, Add-ins mostly mandatory to mark a
file will be large. Keeping the but you will find no entry for Outlook has add-ins to facil- copy to the project or
file down to a manageable size India. To personalise it to itate and automate many fre- department head, so that
is a problem. One way to Indian holidays, you need to quent tasks. These are easily the progress of the project
reduce the file size is to archive modify the Outlook.txt or downloadable from the can be tracked. Certain add-
the old items. The archived Outlook.hol file. Internet. Here are some of ins put in a default e-mail
items are then moved to Locate the Outlook.txt or the more popular ones. address, that is added to
another PST file. But the Outlook.hol file and open every e-mail that is sent,
archive file size will also it using word pad. The file Manage attachments without the knowledge of
increase over a period of time. contains a list of holidays— Attachment add-ins help in the sender. One such add-in,
Another way is to create extracting attachments from called ‘Always BCC’, can be
many data files—one for per- e-mails into a folder. Most bought at www.sperrysoft-
sonal mail, one for depart- add-ins remove the attach- ware.com
ment mail, one for company ments but add a link to the
mail, one for external client file in the e-mail. An exam- Time stamp
mail, and so on. In this way ple of one such add-in is Sometimes your e-mails take
the mails will be split over TODI. The add-in and infor- hours to reach the recievers,
different files, resulting in mation on how to install even over an Intranet. There
smaller single files. and use it is available at are add-ins that time stamp
To make a new data file go the exact time and date of
to File > Data File Management.
Press Add to add a new data
when you sent an e-mail. This
helps to keep an exact record
35
file, then select the ‘Types of You can add holidays using the of important e-mails. These
storage’ as Personal Folder File calender options add-ins can be enabled or dis-
(*.pst), name the new PST file abled with a mouse click. You
and press OK. You can now one per line, grouped by the can get one such add-in from
view the new folder. By country name. Go to the http://www.sperrysoftware.com/jc
default, it contains a Deleted bottom of the file and add a TimeDateSignature.asp
Items folder. Now you need to new group name—‘India’ in
add sub-folders to store e- square brackets, followed by Automatically sort your Mass mail
mails in, and create new sort- a number, denoting the attachments in to specific folders Mass mailing has become the
totalnumbe of entries. new mantra of marketing
Finally add the names and http://www.aufgang.org/koch gurus, add-ins that enable
dates of the holidays you /homepage/software/todi.htm Mass mailing from Outlook
want to mark. are available. The add-ins
It should look something . Auto print vary in the features they pro-
like this: The print add-ins are for vide—some just help you
[India] 3 offices that constantly send e-mails, while others
Republic Day: 2003/01/26 require to print e-mails. Add- help you sort the responses as
Independence Day: 2003/8/15 ins in this category print well. PC iMail is available at
Control the PST file size with Gandhi Jayanti: 2003/10/2 the e-mail as soon as it http://www.prosoftapps.com/
Data Management You can add as many hol- arrives. One such add-in pcimail.htm. It can extract

101 MAY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

addresses from your Outlook creates a folder within the up a message box asking
address book. Depending on Inbox, called Redirect: xyz@ for permission to forward
your security settings, you something.com. the e-mail. You can disable
may get a pop up asking for As soon as you restart this message box by adding
permission to carry out the Outlook, it will ask you for another add-in from IvaSoft
operation or stop it. the e-mail address to which available at http://www.
you wish to redirect your e- express-soft.com/mailmate/
Auto zip attachments mails to. If you drop any e- clickyes.html
This add-in helps to reduce mail into this new folder it
bandwidth requirements. will automatically be for- Auto reply
Whenever you attach a file warded to the e-mail address Replying to each and every e-
in a new e-mail, this add-in you have set. Next, create mail in your mailbox can take
converts your attachment some rules in Outlook that up a lot of time. Add-ins can
into a zip file reducing its You can use e-mail reminders to would drop a copy of all your be used to send pre-formatted
file size, in turn, reducing organise your daily schedule mail to the redirect folder responses, depending upon
the time taken to transfer Once installed it lets you the content of the e-mail
the e-mail. One of the add- access any file remotely from You can configure the add-in
your computer via e-mail. to search for words such as
You just write an e-mail spec- resume, bio-data, etc and
ifying the path of the file and instruct it to send a precom-
you get a return e-mail with piled e-mail to the sender.
the file as an attachment. It The add-in is available at
takes care of the security issue http://www.nextword.com/
by allowing you to specify the autoReplyprod.htm
return address initially. Thus You can redirect company e-
You can automatically Zip whenever a request arrives mail to a Web mail account for SMS
outgoing e-mail attachments the file needed is sent to only easy access away from work Typing an SMS on your cell
that e-mail addtess. Howev- phone can cause eye strain.
36 ins in this category is bxAu-
toZip from www.baxbex.com.
er, you should know the path
of the file in advance, as it
created. You can now access
your e-mails through a Web-
With this new plug-in you
can SMS in the form of an
Before any e-mail is sent, does not allow you to view mail service. e-mail, using a persons
bxAutozip compresses and directory structures. If the e-mails are not for- mobile number as the e-mail
zips attached files. warded, you might be using
Auto redirect Outlook in Internet Mail
Reminders via e-mail Not all companies have a Web- Only (IMO) mode. In this
Some might wonder about the mail facility, they just provide case you will need another
uses of e-mail reminders. They POP3 access from com puters, add-in called redirector2002
can be sent to yourself, your within the organisation. You to support AutoRedirect. This
colleagues, subordinates, boss- won’t be allowed to access add-in is also available at the
es, or even friends. Another your e-mail from outside the IvaSoft Web site http://vic-
advantage is that the company premises. In such a tori.hypermart.net/redirec-
reminders aren’t limited to situation, you need a tool that tor.html. To check what mode
Outlook users, as they can be redirects your e-mail to a Outlook is running in, go to Use the auto reply to answer
sent even to non Outlook Web-based e-mail account, Help > About Microsoft Out- your mails when on vacation
users. This add-in is available which will allow you to access look, the second line or text
at www.sperrysoftware.com. them from anywhere outside string will tell you which address. The plug-in is
office. One such add-in is mode your Outlook is con- available at http://www.
Access files from home AutoRedirect from IvaSoft figured in. tamingthebeast.net/ringtones/
This is a unique add-in and (http://victori. hypermart.net/ Whenever an e-mail is sms-plugin.htm. However, there
perhaps the most exciting. autoredirect.html). This add-in sent Outlook might pop is a fee applicable.

102 MAY 2003


ing. Find the Eudora folder— new ‘Stationery’, go to Tools >
EUDORA it’s location in Windows 98 is Stationery, a blank window
c:\windows\application will open up. Right click in
For all you Eudora fans out there, learn how to
data\qualcomm\eudora— select this window and select New.
enhance your e-mail experience all the files with *.mbx, *.pce, In the composition window,
*.txt and *.fol extensions. fill as many fields as you wish,
bars again, select the lines and Copy the selected files to a and save the stationery. Send-
press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [.]. backup storage device. The ing the e-mail is as simple as
*.mbx, *.pce and *.fol files double clicking a Stationery
Sponsored mode relate to e-mails, while *.txt item and making last minute
problem files contain the address book. changes, if any.
The free version of Eudora
available on the Internet is a Delete the entire e-mail Mail list
sponsored version. Hence, Eudora, by default, does not Sometimes, people have more
sometimes you might get an delete attachments. To delete than one e-mail address. You
error message that says both the attachments and the can send an e-mail to all a
Eudora could not download e-mail, go to Tools > Options > persons addresses easily by
ads. To tackle this problem, you creating a Mail list. To do this,
need to locate your Eudora when you create a user entry
folder, and go to eudpriv > ads in the address book, you see a
Insert recipients folder. Delete all files within the box stating ‘This nickname
quickly ads folder, and restart Eudora. will expand to the following
If you send frequent e-mails to The problem will vanish. addresses’, just enter as many
certain addresses, then you e-mail addresses as you want
can make use of the ‘Recipient Change mail arrival and your list is ready.
List’ in Eudora for quick access sound
to their e-mail addresses. To You can change the sound Hot chillies
add a user to this list, go to played whenever a new mail Whenever you are composing
Tools > Address Book. Click on
the desired user and you will
arrives by assigning a .wav file
within Tools > Options > Getting You can delete e-mails in their
an e-mail, Eudora determines
your mood by checking for
37
see the entire details for the Attention. Click the unnamed entirety when exiting Eudora specific words in the message.
selected user. In the Recipient button, locate the .wav file, Depending on the words and
List checkbox, select Yes. and click Open. Now, when- Attachments. Select the ‘Delete language used, it checks the
Once you have added the ever you receive a mail, your attachments when emptying degree of offensive material.
desired users to the Recipient choice of sound will be played. trash’ option. From now on Eudora gives a symbolic rep-
List, sending e-mail to them e-mails will be deleted in resentation to each e-mail—1
will be much easier. To do this, Backing up all their entirety. chilly, 2 chillies or 3 chillies—
right click in the To, Cc or Bcc Backing up your Eudora e- to represent the type of lan-
box, select ‘Insert Recipient’ mails is as simple as copy-past- Drafts guage. As the offensiveness of
and click on the desired user. Instead of typing similar e-
mail body text for commonly
Remove bar while reply formatted e-mails, such as
Those who are irritated by the responses to standard infor-
bar that appears while reply- mation requests, You can save
ing, there is some good news. general layouts of the e-mails
There are shortcut keys to you most commonly send.
remove those bars. Select the These are saved as ‘Stationery’
lines from which you wish to in Eudora, and are all ready to
remove the bar and press [Ctrl] You can customise the tune that be sent later with minor last Eudora can gauge your mood
+ [.]. If you need to add those plays when an e-mail is recieved minute changes. To create when you type an e-mail

103 MAY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

the language used increases, sis of the amount of e-mails HTML files will reside after
so does the number of chill- being handled. It shows a conversion. Apart from this
ies. To check or change the graphical chart for e-mails you can even convert the
settings, go to Tools > Options > arrived, e-mails sent and You can convert your address mails into normal text files.
MoodWatch. Eudora usage. It shows the book to HTML, in order to The plug-in is available at
report for the current day and upload to a Web page http://users.erols.com/tgitlin/
Work faster the previous day. Similarly, it
The fastest way to send e-mail also shows a weekly, monthly know the folder location of Synchronise two PCs
is to press [Ctrl] + [E] to open and yearly report. the address book. In Windows If you have two computers,
the send e-mail box. 98 the default folder is C:\Win- both running Eudora, with
Add-ins dows\Application Data\qual- seperate address books. You
View all headers Eudora has add-ins to facili- comm\eudora. The add-in can use this plug-in to syn-
Generally e-mail clients don’t tate and automate many fre- needs ‘NNdbase.txt’, which chronise the address book
show all the header fields. To quent tasks. These are easily contains the entire address between both machines. It has
view all header fields, open downloadable from the book of Eudora. On clicking an interface window where
the e-mail and click the ‘BLAH Internet. Here are some of the convert button an html you have to select the address
BLAH BLAH’ button. the more popular ones. file is created in the same fold- file, NNdbase.txt, from first
er by the name NNdbase.htm. computer and then the
Filter on nick Mail alert The add-in itself provides a address file from second com-
Eudora provides a different This add-in runs as a stand- way to view the converted puter. A destination file that
way to filter e-mails. Instead of alone program, using Eudo- file. This add-in is available at consists of a compiled address
the normal filter, using the ra’s e-mail settings to poll the http://www.mindspring.com/~aeg book from both machines is
e-mail address, Eudora allows e-mail server at regular inter- reene/eudora/. created. The plug-in is avail-
you to filter using nicknames. vals. If it detects new e-mail able at http://eudora.interweb.be/
In this way even if the e-mail addins.html
address of the person changes,
the mail will still be consid- Backup
ered recognisable. Though, if BackDora, an add-in from
38 both nick and mail Id change,
it would bypass the filter. To This add-in alerts you as soon as
ajsystems.com, helps to back-
up Eudora e-mails and the
setup a filter go to Tools > Filter there is an e-mail on the server address book. It combines
> New. Specify the condition, Convert your e-mails to HTML important files into a com-
and action, and you’re done. at the server, then it pops up and upload to Web pages pressed zip file. The add-in is
a window indicating the available as a free download at
Vacation reply arrival. It also provides ways Mail to HTML http://eudora.interweb.be/addins.
With the help of Filter and Sta- to read, reply and delete the Similar to the address to html. The add-in works as a
tionery, you can configure e-mails directly from the HTML, is the Mail to HTML.
Eudora to reply to all e-mails server. The MailAlert add-in Let’s say you subscribe to a
that arrive within a specified can be downloaded from mailing list and have an inter-
period. The filter acts a http://www.diamondridge.com/so esting e-mail in your inbox,
dummy controller—you can ftware/mailalert/index.htm. which you would like to share
draft a personalised reply and with others. You can upload
whenever an e-mail arrives, Address book to HTML this to a Web site, Intranet or You can backup your important
during this vacation period, You may want to publish your Internet based, with just a few e-mails and your address book
the personalised draft is sent address book on your Web site mouse clicks. The add-in effec-
as a reply to the sender. for others to refer to. This add- tively converts the entire standalone application, but
in helps to export Eudora’s mailbox into HTML pages. It uses Eudora’s settings. When
E-mail traffic report address book to HTML format. generally finds the source fold- you run BackDora for the first
One of the useful features of It consists of an executable er, and you have to specify the time, you will be requested to
Eudora is the graphical analy- program, which needs to destination folder where the select the profile to backup.

104 MAY 2003


EVOLUTION Emptying trash rule name, such as daily mail
It is tiresome to delete mails or recent mail, select Date
Using Evolution just got simpler. Learn how to from the inbox and then again received under the If criteria.
use the add-ins and tips to your advantage from the Trash. A better option Click on ‘Click here to select
is to let Evolution delete the a date’, and select Compare
against ‘A time relative to the

Letting only recent mail into the


You can Empty the trash folder on
mailbox
exit to save time

trash, when you exit. To set this current time’. Adjust the
option, click on Tools > Settings, number of minutes, hours,
and select the Mail Preferences days, etc., according to your
tab. Under deleting mail, check preferences and click Ok.
Setting up LDAP vFolders Empty trash folders on exit.
Many companies provide vFolders are virtual folders, Prevent image loading
LDAP (Lightweight Directory which can be used to receive Importing contacts In order to prevent images
Access Protocol) servers for mail using specific search cri- from Outlook from loading in Evolution, go
tracking people’s contact teria. This is quite similar to Using Outlook, export all your to Tools > Settings, click on the
information. To configure an filters except that vFolders do contacts to a .csv file. A perl Mail Preferences tab. Here,
LDAP server in Evolution go not contain any e-mail— script csv2vcard.pl is provided select HTML Mail and click
to Tools > Settings, select the what appears in the virtual in Evolution to convert .csv
‘Directory Servers’ tab and
click Add. You will see the
folders are just links to actual
e-mails contained in the
files to VCard (.vcf) files. Use
the command: csv2vcard. pl file-
39
LDAP configuration assistant. inbox. Deleting mails in name.csv filename.vcf and import
Click on Next and enter the vFolders does not delete them the .vcf file into Evolution
server name, for example from the inbox. using File > Import. Select
ldap.somecompany.com, and To create a new virtual ‘Import a single file’ and click
select the login type. Click folder, select Tools > Virtual Next, then select the file type
Next, select the port number Folder Editor. Click Add and as Vcard and type in the file- You can prevent images from
to use—by default it is 389— specify the rule name, for name. Click on the Import loading in Evolution
and enter the search options, instance, Huge Mails. Select button and select a folder, to
if any. Select a display name, the If criteria, for example, which the file will be import- on ‘Never load images off the
click Next and click on Finish. file size, and the vFolder ed, and click Ok to finish. Net’, and click Apply/OK.
sources, and click Ok.
Managing recent mail Creating a new e-mail
If you get annoyed by the account
huge e-mails lined up in your To create a new account, go to
mailbox and only want Tools >Settings and select Mail
recent mail, then Evolution Accounts. Click Add, fill in
has the perfect solution for the details, and select the
you. You can set it to display server type—generally POP.
You can use Evolution settings Use vFolders in Evolution to sort recent mails by going to Give the name of the POP
to set up an LDAP server e-mails virtually Search > Advanced. Type in a server, such as pop.jasub-

105 MAY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

hai.com, and your username. with color’ and select the windows so that you are not
Make sure that the Authenti- preferred colour. restricted to doing one thing at
cation type is Password, and a time. To do this in Evolution,
then click Next. Set the e-mail Enable spell checking just right click on the folder in
checking and message storage Go to Tools > Settings, select the folder bar and select Open
options as per your personal Composer Preferences and in a new window. If the folder
preferences. Select the server click on the Spell Checking bar is not visible, select View >
type (generally SMTP), type in tab. In the option section, Folder Bar from the menu.
the host name and your user- select ‘Check spelling while I You can add news feeds of your
name. Click Next. Type the type’. Adjust the colour of mis- choice in Evolution Default forward style
name of the account (by spelled words and click Ok. Forwarding e-mail is one of
than those provided in the the most frequent e-mail
Adding folders to default list, click on the ‘Add activities. Forwarding mail
Summary news feed’ button, give the can be done in a number of
In Evolution, the Summary name and address of the Web ways—inline, quoted, or as
page displays your most site and click on Ok. The Web attachments. In Evolution,
important folders. By default site will now appear in the list you can specify a default
it displays the inbox of the of available news feeds. method. Go to Tools > Settings
default account. But what and click on Composer Prefer-
if one of your accounts is Adding emoticons
equally important and To add emoticons or smileys
Configure new accounts easily deserves a place in the to messages, start composing
using the Account: Assistant Summary? You can add a message and place the cur-
another folder by going to sor at the required line. Then
default it will be your e-mail Tools > Settings. Click on select Insert > Smileys and insert
ID). Click Next and then ‘Summary Preferences’ and the emoticon you want. In
Finish to complete the select the required folders. case the emoticons don’t
account creation. show, go to Tools > Settings,
40 Using colour
Adding news feeds
The Summary page displays
Quoted text can be highlight- news feeds from many Web Set the forwarding and reply
ed using various colours in sites using RDF (Resource styles in Evolution settings
Evolution, unlike the tradi- Description Format). To add
tional methods of indenting news feeds, go to Tools > Set- ences > General. In the Default
quotations. Go to Tools >Set- tings, click on Summary Pref- behavior section, select the
tings and click on Mail Prefer- erences and then the News Forward Style as Attachment,
ences. In the General tab, Feeds tab. Select from the Inline or Quoted.
select ‘Highlight quotations given list of Web sites, and Select the Automatically insert
click on Add. To add a Web smiley option to customise your Composing HTML mail
site of your own choice, other e-mails Writing an e-mail in plain text
can be monotonous, which is
click on Composer Preferences > why users may prefer using
General, uncheck ‘Automati- HTML. Evolution provides
cally insert smiley images’ facilities for formatting text in
and click Ok. a variety of ways using HTML.
To enable this, go to Tools > Set-
Open folders in a new tings and click on Composer
window Preferences. Select the General
Highlight quoted text with your Subscribe to news feeds using Sometimes it is much better to tab and check ‘Format mes-
choice of colours Evolution open many folders in multiple sages in HTML’.

106 MAY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Leaving
xplorer
behind
We dissect two of the best Web browsers 41
that serve to tame the Internet experience:
Opera and Mozilla take up the Web
gauntlet and teach Internet Explorer a trick
or two. With features galore, we show you
how to get the best of the two
IMAGING: Atul Deshmukh

For Windows and Linux


Opera 7.10 with Java
Mozilla 1.3

For Windows
contents
42 Opera
Plug-ins for both browsers
45 Mozilla

237 JUNE 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

OPERA a link and select- thankfully, can


ing ‘Open in Press F11 for be tweaked into
Tabbed browsing, mouse gestures and a great background the full-screen a leaner inter-
e-mail client Opera never looked better page’—a better mode toggle; face. Right-click
feature as it lets [Shift] + [F11] is the on the Main
advised. Note that you can you browse the small-screen mode, Bar, click on
always recall these saved Web parent page while for handhelds and ‘Images only’,
site sessions even while the link opens other small-screen and then
browsing some other sites; without disturb- devices uncheck ‘Large
File > Sessions > Insert Session will ing you. Note that images’. Right-
take care of this. once a background tab fin- click on it again and choose
Next, press [Alt] + [P] to ishes loading a Web page, Left; then disable the Per-
bring the Preferences dialog, the text of the tab will sonal Toolbar by right-click-
and head to File > Preferences > change colour to indicate ing on it and selecting ‘Off’.
Start, and Exit. Then click on this. Switch off the Hotlist by
the ‘Show startup dialog’ You can browse between pressing [F4].
check-box. This will show tabs using the [Ctrl] + [Tab] Go to View > Status Bar >
the startup dialog box every Bottom, View > Page Bar > Top,
time you boot into Opera. View > Address Bar > Top, View
This box allows you to main- Navigation Bar > Auto. You can
ILLUSTRATIONS: Mahesh Benkar tain multiple sessions and drag-and-drop elements to
eliminates the frustration the toolbars. We will do so
Multiple sessions associated with a browser for the Address Bar. Right-
You can start your browsing crash—you can start brows- click on it and choose ‘Cus-
experience with the same set ing at exactly the point tomize toolbars’. You will
of Web sites every time by where the crash occurred—a Done rendering background tab find three tabs here, Large,
saving those sites as a session. very useful feature. Small and Fields. The last tab
This done, you can ask Opera The default path for the combination. You can also is where you will find search
42 to start with your saved ses-
sion whenever you boot the
saved sessions is:
Windows 2000/XP:
use the mouse to do this:
Keep the right-mouse button
options—Zoom and Status
field. Let us add the Google
browser. For example, if you C:\Documents and Settings\ pressed and use the scroll search field to the Address
visit a Web-based e-mail and <login name>\Application button to move up and Bar. Just click on it and drag
a few news sites, open them Data\Opera\Opera7\ down the list of tabs. it to the bar. Note that it is a
and click on File > Sessions > profile\sessions\opera.win Any active window, such drop-down field and an
Save session. A session is saved Windows 95/98: C:\ Win- as a tab, can be closed by especially useful search crite-
with a .win extension. You dows\Application Data\Opera\ pressing [Ctrl] + [W]. You can rion is the ‘Find’ in page
can save this file anywhere, Opera7\sessions\opera.win close all open tabs by press- search, which highlights
but the default location is ing [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [W]. To keywords within the Web
Tabbed browsing close all tabs but the one you
Opera comes with a great are browsing under, press
tabbed browsing feature. To [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [W]. You can
use this, first ensure that the also change the position of
Page Bar is enabled; View > the tabs by dragging and
Page Bar > Top should do this. dropping them wherever
Call a new tab by either you deem them to be fit.
pressing [Ctrl] + [N] or by dou-
ble-clicking on an empty Clothes that make the
Page Bar area. You can also browser You can drag and drop toolbars
You can recover your crashed open a tab in the back- The default user interface of to customise the Opera UI
browsing sessions from here ground by right-clicking on Opera is a space-hog but

238 JUNE 2003


page as you type in the field. password’ for added security. you back to a site in the
You can also change it when history. If you have jumped
Bound together Opera asks you for the pass- from Google.com to
You can create copies of the word, and when it asks Thinkdigit.com, you can
current page that you are whether the same should be rewind back to Google by
browsing. This enables you used for both the e-mail client pressing [Shift] + [Z]. Rewind
to maintain a cloned copy of and the Wand. takes you back a Web site, so
the page for cross-referencing unless you have followed
or comparison. Right-click on Download manager Opera supports searching more than one link at
a page and select ‘Duplicate’ Opera comes with a down- from the Address bar, find Thinkdigit.com, you can
or press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [N] to load manager (Transfers) that the appropriate alphabets press [Shift] + [Z] to go instant-
do this. can pause, resume and for engines here ly back to Google. Pressing
retransfer a corrupted down- [Z], on the other hand, would
Magic Wand load. You can specify a default the list of engines supported take you just one page back.
Logging into Web sites is a download directory. Press [Alt] and the associative alphabet. Note that [Shift] + [X] takes
much simpler task, thanks to + [P] > Programs and Paths and Here, you can also change you forward in a similar vein.
the Wand feature—a pass- the relevant pane can be the number of results dis-
word and forms manager. Log played per page. Slideshow
in to a site and let Opera save To use the Address Bar for In a Web site that has a lot of
your username and password. a Google search, press [F8] and images linked in a continu-
When you next come to the precede a query with a g, eg: ous manner (eg. a site that
same site, the login boxes will g X-Men movie Web site displays family photos or
be bordered golden. Press [Enter], will search for the ‘X- screenshots of games), you
[Ctrl] + [Enter] at the login Men…’ string in Google. can use the Slideshow feature
screen and Opera will fill the of Opera to enjoy the pic-
requisite personal informa- Choose a default path to Forward rewind tures better. The FastForward
tion and automatically login. download all files to When viewing a page with no button displays photo files
All Wand passwords can user forward history, Opera on the Web in a slideshow.
be cleared from Delete private
data on the File menu. Your
found on the right. You can will try to detect a possible
also choose external pro- forward link that you can
To see photos full-screen on a
black background, press [F11]
43
usernames and passwords are grams for viewing the source access. The Forward icon will to invoke Opera’s presenta-
scrambled by the Wand before code of a page, etc here. Press change into a FastForward tion tool OperaShow.
they are saved to disk. Howev- [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [T] to quickly call icon when this is possible.
er, for added protection you the Transfer window. Certain Web sites, mostly Reload time
may set a master password in forums and search engines, Opera can reload a Web site
Opera's Security preferences. Search me have a single link at the bot- after a user-specified time.
Press [Alt] + [P] and go to the Opera supports several tom that takes you to the Right-click on a Web page and
Security section of the Prefer- search engines. You can next page of posts. Try it with go to Reload every > Enable. Note
ences dialog box. Click on ‘Set either type in a query into a search engine to go to the
password’ next to ‘Master the search field—[Shift] + Next page link, or when read-
[F8]—or you can use the ing a multi-page article. It can
Address Bar to do the same. detect link-next elements,
Every engine is associated and will perform checks to
with a single alpha- find one if not.
bet, thus Google Press [F12] for Press the
gets a ‘g’, Down- quick access to spacebar to
load.com gets a 'w', preferences, such follow the link
etc. Press [Alt] + [P] as pop-up block- to the next Opera can automatically reload
You can enable or disable the and go to the ing and disabling post, or page. a Web page after a set amount
Wand from here Search option for GIF animations Rewind takes of time

239 JUNE 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

that you can also set a custom background window. Here are Keyboard shortcuts
time to reload at, say, every 2 some of the gestures support- Here is how you can use the keyboard to navigate and use Opera
minutes and 30 seconds. The ed by Opera, to use them: Click more efficiently:
Custom dialog box also lets and hold right mouse button,
you reload only if the Web page move the mouse in the indi- Command Key combination
has expired (as determined by cated directions then release Find text [Ctrl] + [F]
the site programmer). the right mouse button. Find next instance of text [F3]
Open new document Find previous instance of text [Shift] + [F3]
By proxy Move down Display context (right-click) menu [Ctrl] + [M]
To set up a proxy server, press Reload Preview page as if printed [P]
[Alt] + [P] > Network > Proxy Move up and down Close all pages and exit Opera [Ctrl] + [Q]
Servers. Add the address and Restore or maximize Enter a Web address [F2]
port number for the appropri- window Paste and go [Ctrl] + [D]
ate proxy server type here and Move up then right Enter nickname for fast bookmark access [Shift] + [F2]
make sure that the check box Minimise Go to parent directory [Ctrl] + [Backspace]
is ticked. You can also disable Move down then left Go to next page in history (or Fast Forward) [X]
proxy for certain addresses, Duplicate window Go to previous page in history [Z]
Move down then up File a page as new bookmark [Ctrl] + [T]
Close document Save selected link as new bookmark [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [T]
Move down then right, Manage bookmarks [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [B]
or move right-left-right Show transfers [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [T]
Set your preferences [Alt] + [P]
Note it down Set focus to address field [F8]
Opera lets you keep snippets Set focus to search field [Shift] + [F8]
of text from Web sites as Check e-mail [Ctrl] + [K]
notes. For example, a partic- Write new e-mail [Ctrl] + [E]
ularly interesting piece of Go to next e-mail [J]
Enter information on your proxy news can be saved for pos- Go to next unread e-mail [Shift] + [J]
44 server here terity as a note. To do this
select any amount of text off
Go to previous e-mail
Go to previous unread e-mail
[U]
[Shift] + [U]
such as within a LAN, and a Web page, right-click and Reply to e-mail [R]
can point Opera to an auto- click on Copy to note ([Ctrl] + Reply to all recipients of e-mail [Shift] + [R]
matic proxy configuration [Shift] + [C]). Notes can then Recognize sender of e-mail as new contact [A]
URL, if your ISP requires such be accessed by pressing the View all e-mail associated with sender [E]
a setting. [F4] key, to invoke the Hotlist
under the Notes section. You here. It also provides a quick
Mouse gestures can delete notes here and listing of all the windows
Mouse gestures are a novel way create new ones as well. You open (Windows), informa-
to navigate the Web using can also send a note via e- tion on the Web page that
Opera. For example, you can mail by right-clicking on it. you are browsing (Info), and a
hold the right mouse button listing of all the links off a
and draw an 'L' into a Web The Hotlist Web page (Links).
page to tell Opera The Hotlist panel is If that is not enough, you
to close it. Similarly, Double-click toggled by the [F4] can customise this panel by
you can hold a on a blank key. It is a reposito- adding games, news pages,
right-clicked mouse page or press ry of useful stuff— dictionaries, etc. To show a
over a link and [Ctrl] + [Space] Bookmarks, Mail, Web page in the Hotlist,
move the mouse to go to your Contacts, History bookmark the page by press-
down, then up to home page and Transfers can You can play a game like Snake ing [Ctrl] + [T] and select to
open the link in the be accessed from here, right inside the Hotlist show it as a panel. You can

240 JUNE 2003


find more panels, specifically Mail MOZILLA
designed for the slim, vertical It is possible to import e-
layout that the Hotlist offers, mails to Opera’s M2 e-mail Claiming to be the fastest browser out there,
at http://my. opera.com/cus- client, from earlier versions Mozilla has lots of tricks up its sleeve, such as
tomize/panel/. of Opera, Outlook Express,
Eudora, Netscape Mail (only an IRC and an e-mail client
Bookmarks version 6 and 7), or any group messages
To file a bookmark, press mailbox stored in the gener- from here.
[Ctrl] + [T], you can show the ic mbox format, including
page under the Hotlist or on older versions of Netscape. Popup
the Personal Bar here. You Select File > Import > Mail to Windows
can also give a bookmark a import your e-mail. You can Those annoying
Nickname. For example, by import different accounts, popup ads can be
giving Thinkdigit.com the folders, settings and con- turned off from Edit >
nickname of Home, you can tacts. When importing from Preferences > Privacy
enter Home in the Address Opera 6, the folder structure & Security > Popup
bar and Opera will take you will be copied to My folder Windows. You can
to the Web site. Make sure and the imported e-mails also define Web sites as
you do not assign a com- will be saved to the Received exceptions for both,
mon URL such as Microsoft. folder. Image blocking allowing and suppressing
A bookmarked site gets Quick reply is useful for You can change the behav- pop-up windows. Additional-
precedence over a URL. So chat-like conversations. You iour that Mozilla defaults to
typing Microsoft will take can type a short text that will for images. Image loading
you to Thinkdigit.com in be appended to the top of the can be turned off complete-
this case. original quoted message. ly, image animations can be
Manage your bookmarks When you are viewing a mail, forced to loop once or never,
by pressing [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [B]. type your message in the text
Note that deleted ones are box and click on the Quick
stored in a Trash folder. You
can import bookmarks from
reply button. This will send
the reply to all the recipients
45
IE, Netscape, Mozilla, etc, over of the original e-mail. You can specify certain Web
here. You can also export your Set up filters for My sites, which Mozilla will allow
current bookmarks for backup folders and Spam by right- pop-up windows for.
or other purposes. clicking on a folder and
then Properties. Click on ly, Mozilla can play a confir-
Add filter, Boolean operators You can change default mation and can display an
are supported—you can behaviour for images here icon in the status bar, upon
match your filters by com- successful popup blocking.
ponents such as Sender, To or you can specifically ask
header, or Entire mail. The Mozilla to only load images Form manager
condition can be set to that originate from the To better fill out forms on
‘Contains’, ‘Doesn’t con- server you are visiting— Web sites, the Form Manger
tain’, or ‘Matches regular effectively eliminating can remember your personal
expression’. When you are advertisements and banners information. Go to Edit > Pref-
finished with each filter, set that are hosted on other erences > Privacy & Security >
the filters to ‘And’ if your servers. Go to Edit > Prefer- Forms and click on the ‘Save
messages must satisfy all ences > Privacy & Security > data from…’ check box. Fur-
Assign a nickname to a Web site the filter terms or ‘Or’ if Images to defines such intent. ther more, you can also pre-
to visit it via the nick in the they only need to match Note that you can also block fill personal details by
Address bar one of them. images in Mail and News- clicking on the 'Manage

241 JUNE 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

right into the Sidebar.

Sidebar
The Sidebar can display
browsing History, your Book-
marks, and the search engines
A master password can be used amongst other things. These
to effectively lock your sensitive 'other things' can be down-
The Form Manager can store data loaded from http://dmoz.org/ Mozilla’s in-built IRC client can
your personal data to better fill Netscape/Sidebar/. There, you be accessed with [Ctrl] + [F3]
online forms also be tagged to a timelim- will find calendars, games,
it—useful if your PC is used news, and reference sites. To the channel.
Stored Form Data' button. by multiple users. add something to the Sidebar, Also available is a down-
Contact information, billing click on its name, and a con- load manager—Tools > Down-
details and shipping particu- Search firmation window will let you load Manager—which lets you
lars can all be separate sets Mozilla lets you perform a complete the process. The pause and resume your down-
of data, granting search on Google, amongst Sidebar can be toggled on and loads (double-click on a file to
greater flexibility. other popular off by pressing the [F9] key. do this) without the need for
After you have Type about:config engines. You
configured this, in the address bar to can type the
you can save a rel- get a comprehensive text that you
evant form's data listing of all the wish to search
from Edit > Save tweaks and under- for in the
Form Info and the the-hood operations Address Bar.
saved data can be that Mozilla will let This should
loaded by clicking you play with bring down a
on Edit > Fill in drop-menu
Form. You can from where Pause and resume downloads,

46 select which
auto-fill here.
fields to you can select the search
engine and press [Enter].
The contents of the Sidebar can
be customised to suit your need
using the Download Manager

To change the engine used, an external manager. Howev-


Password Manager go to Edit > Preferences > Naviga- er, it cannot split a file into
The Password Manager can tor > Internet Search; you can You can add, remove and multiples for faster downloads.
store your login information also choose to display search change the order of entries in
for password protected Web results in the sidebar. the sidebar by right-clicking Proxy server
sites, mail and news servers. If you choose the on the bar and selecting Cus- You can define your network's
You can turn on this option Advanced radio button of the tomize Sidebar. proxy server (if it has one)
from Edit > Preferences > Privacy Sidebar Search Tab Preference, under Edit > Preferences >
& Security > Passwords. You can you can type in text to search Miscellaneous tools Advanced > Proxies. If your net-
also encrypt this stored data. Mozilla comes bundled with work uses a script for proxy
Stored data such as passwords an IRC client, press [Ctrl] + [3] detection and switching, you
can have a master password to invoke it. You can choose can type the address of the
acting as a safety mechanism. from the default list of servers script file under the Automat-
This way Mozilla can confirm that are tagged within the ic proxy configuration URL
your identity before auto-fill- client or go to a personal radio text.
ing login information, and favourite by typing in the
such. You can ask the brows- address in the input line Tabbed browsing
er to ask you the master pass- below. To join a channel type Taking a page out of Opera,
word the first time it is You can change the search ‘/join xyz’ in the input line, Mozilla also allows opening
needed or every time. It can engine from here where ‘xyz’ is the name of new Web pages onto tabs.

242 JUNE 2003


file—Exit Mozilla, Filtered
including Quick The Windows mail
Launch, go to version of Mozilla You can set up
your profile folder can notify you of filters for e-mail
(see the Who am new messages if messages. Start
I? box for further Mail or News is the e-mail
information), open. Go to Edit > client, go to
back up the Preferences > Mail Tools > Message
prefs.js file in case & Newsgroups > Filters > New and
of problems, and Notifications enter the appro-
Tabbed browsing in Mozilla is Create (or edit) priate informa-
not as appealing as it is in the file user.js. Add this tion. You can filter by Subject,
Opera Assigning a keyword to a line to the file: user_pref(“net- Attachment, Sender, etc. Fil-
bookmark acts as a nickname work.protocol-handler.exter- tered messages can be moved
You can play with how this for the address field nal.mailto”, true). to another folder, labelled dif-
works under Edit > Preferences > This will open the default
Navigator > Tabbed Browsing. [Ctrl] + [B]) and select the system e-mail program when
Click on ‘Load links in the bookmark you want to set a you click on an e-mail link in
background’ to open links in keyword for. Click Properties Mozilla.
the background tab. You can or press [Ctrl] + [I] and enter a
also define a middle-click on keyword for that bookmark. Exporting mail
a link or a [Ctrl] + [Enter] in the You will now be able to go to Since Mozilla stores e-mail
address bar to open a tab by that address by entering its files in the standard plain text
default, instead of a new win- keyword in the Mozilla mbox format, almost all mail Here any message from
dow. Tabs can be navigated by address bar. programs can use or import it. Programmers Heaven will be
using the [Ctrl] + [PgUp] and Your e-mail files are inside moved to the PH folder
[Ctrl] + [PgDown] keys. Tabs, Browsing on speed your profile (see Who am I?),
like any daughter window in Go to Edit > Preferences > in the Mail and (if you use ferently, deleted, etc.
Mozilla, can be closed by
pressing [Ctrl] + [W].
Advanced > HTTP Networking IMAP) ImapMail folders. Each
and check Enable Pipelining. mail folder (Inbox, Sent, etc.)
Mozilla has automatic
junk mail detection; some-
47
Save sets of tabs as a group Mozilla defaults this to ‘off’ as is stored as two files; one with thing that can be helped by
bookmark by going to Book- certain servers and proxies no extension (e.g. Sent), tagging spam messages as
marks > File Bookmark have problems with pipelin- which is the mail file itself (in junk using the Junk Mail
([Ctrl]+[Shift]+[B]) and check- ing, but when ‘on’, the mbox format), and one with a toolbar button. Tools > Junk
ing File as group. Now, when browser fetches everything .msf extension (e.g. Sent.msf), Mail Controls under the e-mail
you go to this bookmark, all on the page in a which is the client can be evoked to
the tabs will open at once. single connec- Open Mail/News index to the change spam settings.
Multizilla is a Mozilla add- tion, rather than and go to Tools > mail file. Tell
on that adds better tabbed one connection Import to import e- the other pro- Malicious e-mail
functionality to the browser. per item, boost- mail messages from gram to import JavaScript is switched off by
Get it at http://multizilla. ing browsing per- other mail clients e-mail from the default for mail and news, so
mozdev.org/. A stable version is formance. file with no an e-mail cannot run script
slated to be out by the time extension. code just by being opened.
you read this. A different mail If you want to transfer Mozilla Mail will not allow a
To make Mozilla use another an e-mail file to another virus or worm to execute
Bookmark keywords e-mail program, you can either Mozilla profile or another automatically. Attachments
Keywords are custom short- install or re-install just the installation of Mozilla, simply can be viewed without a virus
cuts to bookmarks. To set a browser using the Custom put the e-mail file into being able to execute. You
keyword, go to Bookmarks > installation method. Or you the other installation’s would need to save an attach-
Manage Bookmarks (or press can customise the profile Mail folder. ment to your system and

243 JUNE 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

run it to cause and create a Keyboard shortcuts


harm, if it is You can export new profile. Here is how you can use the keyboard to navigate and use
a virus. your bookmarks by Exit Mozilla Mozilla more efficiently:
pressing [Ctrl]+[B] to (also Quick
Profiles bring the Bookmark Launch). Command Key combination
Your profile is Manager, then click- 3. Go to the Close Window [Ctrl] + [W]
what Mozilla ing on Tools > profile folders Find [Ctrl] + [F]
identifies you Export. Import in a and copy all Find Again [F3]
with. It contains similar fashion files from the
Find Links As You Type ['] (apostrophe)
your bookmarks, old profile
Find Text As You Type [/]
mail, news files, account set- folder to the new profile
tings, stored passwords, folder, allowing existing Open search engine page [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [F]
address book, security certifi- files in the new profile’s Open Context Menu [Shift] + [F10]
cates and preferences. You folder to be replaced. Exit Mozilla [Ctrl] + [Q]
can set-up multiple identities 4. If you want to copy your Start Navigator [Ctrl] + [1]
if others share your comput- form data and passwords: Start Mail & Newsgroups [Ctrl] + [2]
er. Mozilla will boot with save some any form data
Start IRC Chat [Ctrl] + [3]
the Profile Manager if and passwords in your
Start Composer [Ctrl] + [4]
multiple profiles exist. Go to new profile. Find the two
Start > Programs > Mozilla > Pro- numbered files with *.w Start Address Book [Ctrl] + [5]
file Manager to add multiple and *.s extensions in your File a Bookmark [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [D]
profiles. new profile’s folder. Find Reload [Ctrl] + [R]
For Linux: Open a shell files with the same exten- Select all text in Location Bar [Ctrl] + [L]
prompt, cd to the Mozilla sions in your old profile Open Web Page Location [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [L]
program directory and enter folder, make copies of Caret Mode (toggle) [F7]
mozilla -profilemanager. them and rename them
Full Screen (toggle) [F11]
To find out where your so that the numbers
profile is stored, look in the match those of the files in Zoom text Smaller [Ctrl] + [-]
Zoom text Larger [Ctrl] + [+]
48 ‘Who am I?’ box. the new profile folder.
Copy them to the new New Navigator Tab [Ctrl] + [T]
Rescue me profile, replace files. Switch to next Tab [Ctrl] + [Page Down]
If your old profile has been 5. Restart the Profile Manag- Switch to Previous Tab [Ctrl] + [Page Up]
corrupted, follow these steps er and start as the new Sidebar (toggle) [F9]
to rescue your data: profile. The contents of
1. Note the name of the your old profile should
folder containing the old now have been successful- Add-Ons
profile. ly restored to the new VISIT HTTP://WWW.MOZDEV.ORG/
2. Start the Profile Manager profile. PROJECTS/ACTIVE.HTML

FOR MORE ADD-ONS

Who am I? MozBlog
Mozilla creates profiles for storing various settings, passwords, Blog with Mozilla while you
etc. This information is located at different places for different surf
OSes; note that some of these files or directories may be hidden: http://mozblog.mozdev.org/ Add Piemenu to Mozilla
Windows XP/2000: C:\Documents and Settings\[Windows Login Mouse Gesture Support
Name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\[Profile Name]\[random Navigate the Web using click- Mozilla UI, piemenus reduce
string].slt\ and-drag mouse gestures mouse movements and are
Windows 95/98: C:\Windows\Application Data\Mozilla\ http://optimoz.mozdev.org/ thus easier and faster to get
Profiles\[Profile Name]\[random string].slt\ gestures/ used to
Linux: ~/.mozilla/[Profile Name]/[random string].slt/ Piemenus http://www.gamemakers.de/mozil
A radical way to access the la/radialcontext/

244 JUNE 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Jumpin’
Jukeboxes
If the audiophile in you is looking for
ways on making the most of the
music (and videos) sitting on your 49
hard disk, here come some power
user tips on managing the best media
players in the world today.

GRAPHIC DESIGN : Atul Deshmukh

Winamp 2.91, Winamp3, Media Jukebox 8, Media Jukebox 8,


contents
MusicMatch Jukebox 8, Windows Media Player 9, iZotope Ozone 50 Winamp
for Winamp 2 and Winamp3, MuchFX2 for Winamp 2, 52 Media Jukebox 8
Bobware Stereo Delay for Winamp 2, iZotope Vinyl for Winamp 2, 53 MusicMatch Jukebox 8
Enhancer 0.17 for Winamp 2 55 Windows Media Player 9
Find them on the Mindware CD 56 Enhancing you music

117 JULY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

WINAMP 2 remove the file from the favourite tracks such that
library and the drive. they can be accessed in a
This is the classic llama rocker—with its simple jiffy, you can bookmark
exterior and plethora of features. This Playlist Editor them with Winamp’s con-
skinnable player comes with video support as Winamp 2’s Playlist Editor venient bookmarking fea-
hasn’t really changed in its ture. To bookmark tracks,
well as tons of new features
new makeover. However, it right-click the selected tracks
still remains the easiest to in the Playlist Editor and
specific rules for work with. If you have just select Bookmark Item(s). You
each View. can also use the [ALT] + [I]
If you flip across combination for the same.
the default audio To access the bookmarks,
and video Views, right-click on Winamp, go to
you will notice that Bookmarks and pick up your
there is a lot you can track from the list there.
do in each View. For
example, under Audio, Movies
you can view your collec- Winamp 2's Playlist Editor is Arguably, the coolest feature
ILLUSTRATIONS: Farzana Cooper
tion by artiste or album. easy to work with in Winamp 2 is the addition
There’s also a useful search of video playback. Winamp
Meet the library facility that lets you search for loaded a huge playlist, and now supports a wide variety
Winamp now comes with a files within the library, with want to search for one spe- of formats including MPEG,
media library—the Winamp cific track, getting hold of WMV, AVI and DivX. To
Library. This looks pretty the search plugin for playback all the DivX videos,
similar to the Media Library Winamp 2 could do it. How-
in Winamp3, but doesn’t ever, you can get a quick
contain all the advanced fea- search-and-select done by
tures. Open it by right-click- pressing [F3]. This opens up

50 ing on the Main window and


select Library. You can navi- Search for files within the library
the ‘Jump to file’ window,
where you can enter the
gate over the main sections, using the search facility search criteria.
called Views, from the left
side pane. To add your files, the results displayed in the Bookmarking You can also watch movies
click on Library and select Result pane. You can narrow If you want to list your using Winamp 2
the directories containing all down your search by entering
your media files. Winamp in multiple keywords. You can Shortcuts
immediately separates the choose to either enqueue the
audio files from the video results to the current playlist Task Shortcuts
files, and puts each under or play it straight off the Play, or Restart, or Unpause [X]
the correct Views. library. Here’s another cool Stop [V]
You can also choose to tip; if you right-click on the Pause [C]
create custom Views with track in the Results pane, you
Next Track [B]
can choose to play all the
Previous Track [Z]
tracks by the same artist, or
play all the tracks in the Winamp Preferences Menu [Ctrl] + [P]
album, or add the files to a Winamp Library [Alt] + [L]
playlist. Right-clicking on the Adding Bookmarks [Alt] + [I]
track in the Result pane will Volume Increase/Decrease [ á] / [ â]
let you access and change file Cycle focus around the windows [Ctrl] + [Tab]
The Winamp Library looks information, as well as

118 JULY 2003


you need to install the DivX back quality appears to be dio and the Winamp brows- The results of your search are
codec bundle separately. inferior, try turning off the er. To toggle the Thinger, displayed in the Playlist
Winamp’s video window Allow video overlay option. click on the Winamp sym- Selection window. If this fea-
is tightly integrated into bol on the bottom right side ture has been turned off, you
Winamp itself. Just drop the Plug-ins of the main window. can enable it by making the
videos into the playlist and With Winamp, you have Playlist Editor window active
click on them—your movies plugins for just about Playlist Editor and pressing [F3].
will start playing! everything-from general The Playlist Editor has just
Right-click anywhere on plug-ins to input and about all the features that Media Library
Winamp, and navigate to output, as well as DSP Winamp 2 has, and some The Media Library is a splen-
O p t i o n s > P r e f e r e n c e s . From and visualisation support. more. You can use the did Winamp3 addition, and
here, you can configure video You can find them at Playlist editor to drag and lets you catalogue your
playback. If the video play- www.winamp.com. drop in files from all over audio and video files. You
your collection, and then can enable this through the
use the extensive sorting Thinger or by right-clicking
WINAMP3 and organising features to at the main window and
NullSoft’s Winamp3 is Winamp 2 on steroids. sort your music and videos. selecting Media Library.
For example, if you have Start by adding in all your
It comes with support for a whole load
duplicate entries in the audio and video files. You
of audio and video formats playlist, weed them out by can then use the Media
going to S e l > S e l e c t d u p l i c a t e s . Library to add the selected
Main window face doesn’t let you access This will highlight, and list songs to the Playlist Editor.
The Main window in the crossfading and channel them in the Playlist Selec- It also features a handy
Winamp3 is the hub of all balance functions. You can tion window at the right search option and the inter-
the activity—you can con- enable this by clicking on side. To remove them, click face has four windows that
trol all playback settings the third button from the on D e l > D e l e t e d u p l i c a t e d i t e m s you can use to sort the titles
from here. Winamp3 also right, on the top-right hand or right-click in the Playlist in the list by artist, album,
side of the window. editor and select ‘Remove genre, comment, genre and

The Thinger
duplicated entries’. year, and also use a combi-
nation of all of the options
51
The most visible feature in Quick selection to filter out the results.
Winamp is the thingie The Quick Selection box, lets
called the Thinger. It pro- you search for files quickly Multiple Playlists
Tweak all playback settings in vides single-click access to using specific search terms. You can open up multiple
the Main window all the other components.
Use the Thinger to access Shortcuts
has built-in support for
crossfading that you can Task Shortcuts
toggle from here. Play, or Restart, or Unpause [X]
Use the Thinger to access the Stop [V]
Advanced Equaliser Video Window
Pause [C]
settings
Next Track [B]
The default Equaliser inter- the Playlist editor, the Media
Library, and the Preferences Previous Track [Z]
menu. You can also use it to Winamp Preferences Menu [Ctrl] + [P]
start the Video Window that Volume Increase/ Decrease [ á] / [ â]
will let you load your Cycle focus around the windows [Ctrl] + [Tab]
favourite video clips Video in full screen mode [Alt] + [Enter]
Use the Advanced Equaliser and movies, as well as the
Exit full screen mode [Esc]
Settings to tweak crossfading Advanced Visualisation Stu-

119 JULY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

the new window by clicking Shortcuts


on them.
Task Shortcuts
Viewing video Play or Pause [Ctrl] + [P]
Winamp3 now supports Stop [Ctrl] + [S]
MPEG, AVI and WMV for- Previous Track [Ctrl] + [ L]
mats, as well as the ASF Next Track [Ctrl] + [N]
streaming video format. Media Jukebox Settings [Ctrl] + [O]
NullSoft also has its own Jump to Search [Ctrl] + [F]
streaming video standard, Jump to Playing Now [Ctrl] + [2]
Catalogue audio and video files the NSV that is fully sup- Jump to Media Library [Ctrl] + [3]
using the Media Library ported by Winamp3. If Jump to Playlist [Ctrl] + [4]
you have the DivX codecs Toggle between mini-player
Playlist Editor windows and Jukebox mode [Ctrl] + [E]
by selecting P l a y l i s t > C r e a t e
p l a y l i s t i n n e w e d i t o r . In this ing the General, Playback
manner, you can edit your recording and Encoding set-
playlists without making tings from there. Flip across
changes to your existing the options using the scroll-
ones. Since the new playlist able list at the left side. The
opens up in a new window, crossfading option here is
the old playlist continues just ideal for smooth cross- Adding your files to the Library
to play uninterrupted. The fading for a long party
new Playlist Editor window playlist. You can configure By clicking on Advanced, you
features full drag and Winamp3 supports the ASF can configure additional
drop support from the streaming video format as well parameters such as the type
old window as well as of media file, and also set
Explorer. When you are installed, then you will be other advanced options.

52 done, you can play files in able to see DivX videos. Finally, click on Start Search
to start the search. Media
The Settings window Jukebox will display the
MEDIA JUKEBOX 8 results and let you add them
this from the Playback set- to the library.
Compared to other shareware jukeboxes, tings in the Options window.
Media Jukebox comes with a rather plain Another cool feature is that Using the library
interface. But beneath its ordinary exterior lie you can set in all file associ- The library can be accessed
ations straight from the File from the main window, by
powerful organising and playback features Associations settings in the clicking on Media Library in
Options window.. the left pane. The organisa-
Setting options tion tree opens up and you
It’s very easy to Making libraries can browse the library by
configure your The Media Jukebox library album, artiste, genre, and so
Media Jukebox set- and organisation features are on. Clicking on each of them
tings. To access second to none. To start with, further opens up the tree, and
the Settings and you can import all your this lets you see individual
Options win- media files by going to File > entries under each section.
dow, go to S e t- L i b r a r y > I m p o r t M e d i a . You can You can add the files that you
tings > Options . choose the drives and folders want to play to the current
Tweak all the in which you want Media playlist by right-clicking on
settings includ- Jukebox to search from here. the file and selecting Play.

120 JULY 2003


You can also rename, move, enter ‘a r t i s t = O f f s p r i n g ’ and will be prompted for a pass-
or delete the file, by accessing ‘~ t = 6 0 ’ in the search pane. word. In the party mode, the
the options when you right- Here ~t limits the playtime more advanced disk and file
click on the file. to ‘t’ minutes. Typing in features (such as deleting)
The library comes with a ‘d o o r s’ and ‘j i m m o r r i s o n ’ will are protected. You will need
powerful search feature too. create a smartlist that nar- to use the password to switch
To access the search feature, Making a Smartlist rows down the results to The back to the normal mode.
click on the Media Library in Doors and Jim Morrison. You
the main window. In the Once you have created the can create any number of Movies on the Jukebox
search text pane, you can playlist, you can fill it up with such smartlists based on Media Jukebox can also play
enter in the search string. your favourite songs. You can numerous criteria that you your favourite videos and
The really cool thing about drag and drop the media files can define. movies. With support for the
its search feature is that you from Explorer. To do so from DivX, QuickTime and Real
can search using just about Media Library, select the Party mode lockup formats, this is a versatile
any criteria, including the songs or the criteria that you Media Jukebox is perfect for video player. To play media
usual artist and album, and want to import. Right-click creating party playlists where files in the QuickTime and
year searches. For offbeat on it, head to S e n d T o > P l a y l i s t you would like to have your Real formats, you will need
searches, you can search by and select the playlist that guests browse the playlists to have the QuickTime and
comment, bit rate, the last you have created. You can and have non-destructive Real players installed sepa-
played songs, the playlists, even do this from the Playing access to the files. To access rately. To play DivX videos,
and also search giving the Now list. the party mode, go to View you will need to have the
file types option. Smartlists are better than and select Party Mode. You DivX codec bundle installed.
Playlists—you can embed
Playlists and Smartlists special rules within them
Create custom playlists by using select keywords. For MUSICMATCH JUKEBOX 8
right-clicking on Playlists on example, if you want to
the left pane of the main win- make a selection of songs by In the age of all-in-one complete players
dow, and select Add Playlist, one particular artiste for a and jukeboxes comes MusicMatch Jukebox.
or go to E d i t > A d d P l a y l i s t . time limit of sixty minutes, The all-new Version 8 of MusicMatch Jukebox 53
has slick, colourful skinnable interface,
Some common Smartlist keywords increased Super Tagging features,
Keyword Usage Example as well as unique visualization features
artist= ar="jim morrison"
album= al="morrison hotel"
name= name="blue sunday"
numberplays= numberplays=10
(returns all files played 10 times)
bitrate= bitrate=256
(returns all files with bitrate equal to 256 kbps)
~a ~a blue sunday
(get full album containing this song)
~s ~s 700
(limited to 700 MB size)
Recorder quality do so, go to O p t i o n s > S e t t i n g s
~t ~t 60
settings and click on the Recorder
(Time limited to 60 mins)
You can set in your own per- tab. You can set file encoding
~n ~n 25 sonal file quality preferences quality here, for all the sup-
(limited to 25 tracks) in MusicMatch Jukebox. To ported formats. MusicMatch

121 JULY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

ly, select the screen resolu-


tion at which you want to Shortcuts
see the slideshow, and click
OK. You can preview it by Task Shortcuts
clicking on Start in the Select Play [Ctrl] + [P]
Visualisation menu. Stop [Ctrl] + [S]
Pause [Pause/Break]
This is where Quality matters! Music library Increase Volume [Alt] + [ á]
The music library manage-
Go to Previous Track [Alt] + [ ß]
Jukebox lets you rip and ment in MusicMatch is very
Go to Next Track [Alt] + [ à]
encode MP3s at upto 320 good. You can add MP3s,
Decrease Volume [Alt] + [ â]
Kbps encoding quality. You MP3PROs, WAV and WMA
can also set additional set- audio files to My Library. You Mute [Ctrl] + [M]
tings, such as the location of can choose to have Music- Jukebox Settings [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [S]
the encoded files, delayed Match scan all your local Open AutoDJ [Ctrl] + [D]
recordings and changing the Slideshow full screen [F11]
Recording Source.
looking up the data on the Spinning with the
Slideshow features Internet. To use this service, AutoDJ
You can use MusicMatch highlight the track in My The AutoDJ option lets you
slideshow to display your Library, or the Playlist, right- create custom playlists auto-
personal photographs as click and select Edit Track matically from those tracks
your music plays. To enable Tags. Within Edit Track Tags, in the library that have the
this, go to View and select select Lookup Tags. Music- Tag info filled in. Click on
V i s u a l i z a t i o n s > C h o o s e r . Under Adding tracks to the library Match will attempt to locate
Select Visualization, choose the information on the
the ‘MUSICMATCH Slide- drives, as well as mapped Internet, and return the
show Visualization’ and click networked drives for audio results in the Lookup Tags

54 on Configure. This will open files. To do so, go to O p t i o n s >


Music Library > Search and Add
Results window.

T r a c k s from all Drives…, and Sorting and searching


scan the whole drive, or the library
restrict the search to specific You can sort the files listed
folders. You can also add within My Library. To do Setting up the AutoDJ
by dropping a file into the this, click on My Library in
My Library window from the the Music Center, and under AutoDJ in the Music Center,
Explorer. View By, choose a new way or select O p t i o n s > P l a y l i s t >
to browse for tracks. A u t o D J. After setting the
Tweak visualisations here Looking up your tags To locate any file within playtime in the window,
MusicMatch Jukebox has the library, click on Find in you can choose from an
the Slideshow menu and let enhanced tag support, which the Music Center, and enter exhaustive list of criteria,
you tweak the settings. First, means that you can now the name of the track you that include selecting by
select the picture folder, and embed more than just text want to locate. If multiple Artiste, Album, Genre,
then choose the interval in into your digital music files. entries are present, the first Mood, and so on. You can
seconds. The slideshow can While editing and adding instance is highlighted and combine this across several
display pictures that transi- text and images to your shown. You can narrow down criteria. Click on Preview to
tion from one to the other, audio files, you can choose your search by being case-spe- give you an idea of what
with many transition to update them using the cific (uppercase or lowercase) you will get and when done,
effects—you can choose and Super Tagging process. This and also restrict searches to click on Get Tracks to add it
apply them from here. Final- automates the process by the exact string specified. to the current playlist.

122 JULY 2003


open the Burner Plus window. computer’. Select the options
To add any more files, click on and click Search. This will
the Add button. You can also scan your hard drives for
add tracks by dragging and media files and add them to
dropping using Windows your Media Library. You can
Explorer. Finally, when you also add tracks that are cur-
are ready to write the CD, Tweaking the SRS WOW effects rently playing, or all the
The slick Burner Plus interface click on the Burn button. tracks in the playlist by going
stereo effect, move the WOW
Burning CDs SmartSplit Effect slider to the right.
MusicMatch Jukebox Basic, If you have lots of files to burn
that is bundled in the free ver- and you aren't sure how many Media library
sion MusicMatch Jukebox, CDs you will need, here is a Before you create playlists,
allows you to make music nifty utility within Music- you should add links to your
CDs. The Burner Plus, that is Match that will help you. digital media files in the
bundled with the shareware First, select all the files that Media Library. The easiest
version, comes with plenty of you want to write on the CD way would be to add files into
advanced features that makes and drag them into the Burn- the library by getting Win- Adding files into the library
it almost as good as any stand- er Plus window. Then, click on dows Media Player to scan
alone CD writing software. To the SmartSplit button. All your computer. To do so, go to F i l e > A d d t o M e d i a L i b r a r y
create Audio CDs, first open a your files will be divided into to F i l e > A d d t o M e d i a L i b r a r y and selecting ‘Add Currently
saved playlist, or create one the required number of discs. and choose ‘By Searching Playing Track’. Also, all the
that contains the tracks that Finally, click on Burn to get
you want to burn; this will started! Shortcuts

WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER 9 Here are some of the more commonly used shortcuts
for Windows Media Player 9.
With support for encoding on
the acclaimed Windows Media Audio codecs, Task Shortcuts
55
this is one skinnable player Access the Now Playing,
you need if you are an WMA fan! Media Guide, Copy from CD,
Media Library, Radio Tuner,
ker around with. You can Copy to CD or Device,
access it by going to V i e w >
Premium Services, and
Enhancements > Graphic
Skin Chooser taskbar features [Alt]+ [V] +[G]
E q u a l i s e r.
Making your videos run in
SRS WOW Effects full-screen mode and restoring
Turn it on by going to V i e w them back again [Alt] + [Enter]
> E n h a n c e m e n t s and selecting Playing the previous track [Ctrl] + [B]
SRS WOW Effects. You can Playing/Pausing the selected track [Ctrl] + [P]
optimise the output, specific Stopping the selected track [Ctrl] + [S]
to your audio set up, by select- Playing the next item [Ctrl] + [F]
ing the kind of speakers that Muting the volume [F8]
are attached to your comput- Turning down the volume [F9]
Graphical equaliser: er. To improve the bass out-
Turning down the volume [F10]
Windows Media Player has a putted, move the TruBass
Opening the Search box
10-band graphic equaliser slider to the right. If you want
(in the Media Library) [Alt] + [S]
that you can access and tin- to widen and enhance the

123 JULY 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

music that you copy is auto- media information. Most players today make up more than one DSP plug-in
matically added to the library, Within Windows XP, you for this by restoring the crys- at one go. This can be used
as is all the media content can edit the tags with the talline highs and the low to stack up all the DSP plug-
that you purchase and down- Advanced Tag Editor. Access rumble of the bass, and also ins that you want by click-
load from the Internet. this by locating the file, restore some stereo separa- ing on the ‘+’ (Add) button.
right-clicking and selecting tion by piping the sound You can also configure them
Sorting the library Advanced Tag Editor. through DSP plug-ins. through MuchFX2, by click-
You can locate all the music In Winamp 2, to access ing on the CFG button.
files that you have entered Using the Internet all the DSP plugins, right-
into the Media Library by Windows Media Player has click anywhere in Winamp Bobware Stereo Delay
going to Media Library and been fully integrated with and select O p t i o n s > P r e f e r - This plug-in lets you config-
expanding the All Music the Internet. You can locate e n c e s and scroll down the list ure stereo delay, crossover
tree in the left pane. To information about the to Plugins. All DSP plug-ins and delayed amplification for
search for any file within albums in your playlist by are located under DSP. your music, and restores
the Library, click on the right-clicking on the album In Winamp3, DSP plug- some of the stereo loss that
search button. In the Search in the Media Library and ins are loaded as you start occurs on account of the MP3
For field, enter the search clicking on Find Album Info. the player, and you can con- compression technology.
term that you would like In this manner, you can figure the settings there.
to search. The results are update or change informa- In Media Jukebox, you iZotope Vinyl
displayed in the details tion regarding an album. can access all the plug-ins by While all the other plug-ins
pane. going to S e t t i n g s > P l u g - i n here will enhance the way
Make videos look M a n a g e r and picking out the
Editing media better plug-in from there, and
information Windows Media Player sup- clicking on Configure.
To edit information on any ports a large number of pop- MusicMatch Jukebox lets
media file, locate the file with- ular video formats, including you access and configure
in the Media Library. Then the VCDs, DVDs and DivX plug-ins from V i e w > S o u n d
formats—you will need to Enhancement.

56 install the DivX codec sepa-


rately. It also comes with iZotope Ozone
robust video playback Izotope Ozone is a DSP plug-
enhancement features. in for Winamp 2 and Oops, I just unscrewed the
Adjust the playback controls Winamp3. It is one of the faceplate!
by clicking on V i e w > E n h a n c e - most powerful plugins avail-
m e n t s and then Video Set- able. The Winamp3 version your music sounds, iZotope
tings. You can fine-tune the lets you try out all the set- will toss you back into
Editing information hue, saturation, brightness tings for a trial period. You another age. Vinyl can make
and contrast controls using can access all the presets, and your MP3s sound as though
right-click in the details pane, the sliders. When you are save your own custom ones you were playing music
and select Edit to change the done, click on Close. by clicking on Presets in the from an age-old LP.
main Ozone window. Ozone
lets you tweak the acoustic Enhancer 0.17
ENHANCING YOUR MUSIC characteristics of the room, Enhancer is a tweaker's
making your music sound dream, and lets you config-
If your MP3s sound dull and lifeless, cleaner and better. ure your DSP settings to the
then here is how you can enliven them maximum in Winamp 2. You
MuchFX2 can use Enhancer to optimise

O
wing to the lossy standard, some of the fine MuchFX2 is a Winamp 2 your base and treble settings,
compression tech- highs and lower thumping DSP plugin stacker that has and also set precise values for
nology of the MP3 bass are lost after encoding. been designed to let you add the dry signal volume.

124 JULY 2003


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■ tips and tricks

Imagine
Imaging... 57
We tell you how to make your
imaginations a reality. Master these tips
and tricks on the three major graphics
software. Create jazzy effects, and play
with images in a much faster and
efficient way.

contents
58 Paint Shop Pro 8
61 Adobe Illustrator
GRAHIC DESIGN: Atul Deshmukh
63 Adobe Photoshop

111 AUGUST 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

PAINT SHOP PRO 8 colour. Create a circle, using


the Preset Shape Tool with
This image editing software from JASC the following specifications:
Type: Circle; Style: Stroked
Software now has a more polished look than
& Filled; Line Width: 22;
ever before, and has lots of features which are with Antialias checked.
unique to it. Find out how you can achieve Add a new layer—Layer
special effects in few easy steps. 2. Using the Webding font, You can create your buttons
hold in the Shift key, and icons easily in few steps.
sented. If your text is and type @ for the hammer
not visible, it is and spanner symbol that again, and fill it with a Sun-
because both, we will be using in this burst Gradient fill. Adjust
the fill and out- example. Type in a font size the settings so that the
line colours, of 100, and select ‘Create white part of the sunburst is
are white. as Selection’. in the top left corner of the
Click any Back in your image, the preview square.
colour on selection will appear as a Go to Image > 3 D Effects >
the palette dotted line around the text. Outer Bevel, and select the
to choose Do not release the selection, following settings: bevel,
the outline and your type will instantly smoothness: 13; depth: 5;
colour and disappear. If the entire font ambience: 0; shininess: 0;
right-click to is on your screen you’re ok, light white; angle: 315;
fill in the if part of it is off the screen, intensity: 38; elevation: 47.
colour. If the let- you will need to try again. Invert your selection.
ters overlap each Place the cursor in the mid- Using the Flood Fill tool set
ILLUSTRATIONS: Farzana Cooper other, increase dle of the window, and click to solid, fill the interior
the kerning—the space to go back into the text areas of your figure with the
Curved text between the letters. Nor- editor. Click ok, and see if solid colour, selected as the
58 To create curved text, first
you need a curve on which
mally, auto-kerning works
well. Click OK, and the
the entire phone symbol is
on the window. Go to Selec-
background colour. Invert
the selection again, and add
to place the text. With the curved text is seen. tions > Modify > Expand on the a drop shadow with the fol-
Preset Shape Tool, draw a To make the circle invis- Menu Bar, and expand the lowing settings; Opacity:
circle on a new canvas. ible, locate the layer that selection to 4. 100; Blur: 13; Horizontal: 0;
Switch to the Text tool. The contains your text and Using the Flood Fill Vertical: 0.
cursor changes to the vector object. Click on the tool, fill your selection with
Curved Text cursor when ‘+’ to expand the layer, the solid colour you used for Glowing text
you move it over the image. right-click on the ellipse, a background colour. Using Create a new file with a
Click, and enter the desired and click properties. the Move tool, position the black background, set to 16
text in the dialog box pre- Uncheck the Visible check- hammer and spanner sym- million colours. For the
box; click OK, and the circle bol in the centre of the cir- foreground colour, select
will disappear. cle. If all has gone well, the light purple—RGB (128,128,
phone symbol should be 255). Enter some text. Uns-
Custom moulded large enough to fill the elect the text by going to
button inside of the circle, barely Selections > Select none. Go to
Open a new image with a touching the edges. Unse-
white background and lect any selections, and
immediately add a new merge all of the layers.
layer (layer 1). Select any Once the layers are
Use Paint Shop Pro to curve background colour, and merged, use the Magic
your text as desired white as the foreground Wand to select the figure Glowing Text

112 JULY 2003


Keyboard shortcuts for PSP 8
Menu Command Shortcut Description
File > Import > [Shift] + [C] Start a capture
Screen Capture > Start Neon Text
Edit > Paste > [Ctrl] + [L] Paste the clipboard contents into the
This method can also be
Paste As New Layer current document as a new layer
applied to shapes such as
Edit > Paste > [Ctrl] + [E] Paste the clipboard data into the
hearts, found in the Webd-
Paste As New Selection current image as a new selection
ings font, for example.
Edit > Paste > [Ctrl] + [G] Paste vector data in clipboard, into the
Paste As New Vector Selection current image, as a new vector selection Neon text
Edit > Paste > [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [E] Paste the clipboard contents into the Create a new file with a
Paste As Transparent Selection current image, using the background black background, set to 16
colour as transparent million colours. With white
Image > Crop to Selection [Shift] + [R] Crop Tool: Used to eliminate, or crop as your foreground colour,
areas of an image. enter some text. Unselect
Image > Flip [Ctrl] + [I] Flip image the text by going to Selections
[Ctrl] + [R] > Select None. Go to Adjust >
Image > Rotate > Free Rotate... Apply rotation to image
Blur > Blur More. Now go to
Adjust > Brightness and Contrast > [Shift] + [B] Adjust brightness and contrast
Effects > Artistic Effects > Solar-
Brightness / Contrast... ize. Set the Threshold to
Adjust > Brightness and [Shift] + [G] Apply gamma correction to the image 128, and click OK.
Contrast > Gamma Correction... Now, click the Adjust >
Adjust > Hue and Saturation > [Shift] + [H] Adjust the hue, saturation and/ Color Balance > Red/Green/
Hue/Saturation/Lightness... or lightness Blue, and enter these per-
Selections > Float [Ctrl] + [F] Convert the current regular selection centage values; Red: 100,
into a floating selection Green: 0, Blue: 100, for a
Selections > Invert [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [I] Invert the current selection area light purple colour. This is
the final image.
59
Effects > Edge Effects > Dilate, Golden text white as your foreground Water text
and repeat this thrice. This Create a new image with colour, and give the text a Create a new image with
will expand the text. Now white as your background hot wax coating by selecting a white background, set to
go to Adjust > Blur > Blur More. colour, set to 16 million Effects > Artistic Effects > Hot 16 million colours. Enter
Do this thrice to create the colours. Enter some text Wax Coating. some black text, preferably
glowing effect around the using in light grey—RGB Now, go to Adjust > Color with a thick font such as
text. (192,192,192). Keep the text Balance > Red/Green/Blue, and Arial Black. Keep the text
Now, select dark pur- selected throughout the enter these percentage val- selected. Now, select the
ple— RGB(0,0,64) as your entire tutorial. Now go to ues: Red: 100; Green: 50; Paint brush tool, and set it
foreground colour. Enter the Selections > Modify > Feather. Blue: 0. Do this twice to get to Size: 50; Opacity: 100;
same text again, and move Enter 3 in the ‘Number of a realistic gold colour. Texture: Marble.
it so it superimposes the pixels’ field, to expand the Finally, add a drop shad- With white as your fore-
blurred text. This is the selected area. Now, select ow for a 3D effect. Go to ground colour, click and
final image. Effects > 3 D Effects > Drop
This effect looks best Shadow with the following
with a lighter colour on the options; Color: black; Opac-
outside, and a darker colour ity: 100; Blur: 10; Vertical
on the inside. Offset: 4; Horizontal Offset:
Golden Text 4. This is the final image. Water Text

113 AUGUST 2003


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■ tips and tricks

drag the paint brush over er the selection by 2 or 3 Now go to Effects > Geo- thumb in the control box.
the text once. Unselect the pixels. This will give you a metric Effects > Perspective-ver- Press Add again, to add a
text by going to Selections > smoother edge. Use the Air tical. Set the Distortion to gap. You can keep adding
Select None. Now go to Effects Brush tool with black as 100 and Color to the back- dashes and gaps.
> Edge Effects > Dilate. This your foreground colour. ground colour you are To save your styled line,
will increase the lighter Select a brush size of 10, and using. After that, unselect, press the ‘Save As New’ but-
areas of your text. opacity 50. Go around the and you’r e done. ton. Once you save your
Go to Adjust > Blur > Blur image close to the edges to new line style, it’s available
more. Create a watery effect, create a dark border. Use Creating styled lines with any drawing tool. You
by going to Effects > Artistic opacity of 20 to create a To create a styled line, press can create styled lines for all
Effects > Hot wax coating. This lighter border, further in the arrow or preview win- sorts of purposes, including
will create a liquid effect. To from the darker one. You dow for Styled Lines on the navigation buttons for a
add some colour, go to can also use dark brown to Tool Options palette, then Web site, or separator bars
Adjust > Colors > Red/Green/ give more realistic burnt press the Custom button at for a Web site, or newsletter.
Blue, and use Red: 0; edge effect. the bottom on the Line
Green: 20; Blue: 100. Style selection list. The Seamless Tiling
Note that all colours are Flying text Here, you can manipu- effect
possible. Start with any colour back- late several line properties. Turn any selection into
ground. Choose a font, and To set one of the caps, press a seamless pattern for appli-
Burnt edges some text. Press [Ctrl] + [C] the arrow button near the cations such as painting,
Open an image, and select a caps preview window, to get adding text, or creating
white background, set to 16 the selection box. Choose
million colours. Use the the cap you want by click-
Magic Wand tool, and click ing it. You can then set the
on the white area around cap size relative to the line
the image. Invert the selec- width, by pressing the cap’s
tion by going to Selections > Flying text effect Size button and then setting
Invert. This will allow you to the Height and Width for
60 work only on the image,
and not the white border.
to copy the text to clip-
board. Now, unselect your
the cap. You add dashes and
gaps in the Style pane of
Use the Paint Brush tool text. Flatten the image by the Styled Line dialog box.
with white as your fore- clicking Layers > Merge > The first time you press Add,
ground, and create an edge Merge All (Flatten). Then, go you add a dash, which you
as if has been burnt. to Image > Rotate > Rotate can size by setting a value
Click Selections > Select Clockwise 90. Next, go to with the Length control, or
None, and select the white Effects > Distortion Effects > by dragging the pointed
areas again, using the Magic Wind. Set the strength at
Wand tool. Invert the selec- 100, from the Right.
tion, and if you wish, feath- Then, go to Image >
Rotate > Rotate Anticlockwise The Seamless Tiling Effect in
90, to bring the image back PSP 8
to its original position. Now
paste the text you had backgrounds, with the
copied to the Clip Board. Seamless Tiling Effect under
Flatten the image once the Effects > Image Effects
again. Now, click the Selec- menu. This feature gives
tion tool from the tool bar, you the option to create
and drag it across your wind tiles using three methods.
effect to cover the effect in With Paint Shop Pro 8, you can Try this effect. You are sure
Burnt Edges Effect the selection rectangle. create your own Styled Lines. to like it.

114 AUGUST 2003 AUGUST 2003


ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR print clean, and crisp. Vec- (added to Photoshop’s Paths
tor shapes can be easily palette), or shapes (as a new
If you want a top of the line graphics program modified; just a little tug on shape layer).
that deals with both raster and vector a handle turns a line into a Photoshop lets you con-
curve. Vectors can be easily trol the conversion from
graphics, Adobe Illustrator 10 is the software rasterized into pixels; it precious vectors to bland
for you. Use these small time saving tips to get takes specialised programs pixels. If you choose pixels,
the best out of this powerful tool. to convert pixels into vec- a transformation box
tors. If vectors could be appears around the import-
transferred between differ- ed art work. Use the bound-
at the palette’s bottom, ent programs, it would be a ing box handles to scale,
and say yes, when very handy feature. Here is rotate, or skew the art work
asked if you want how we can do it between any which way you want. As
to delete the Photoshop and Illustrator. long as you don’t double-
selected styles. From Photoshop to click, or press [Enter],
Follow the Illustrator you’ve still got resolution-
same proce- Between Illustrator 9 and independent vectors.
dure for brush- Photoshop 6, you can drag Finally, if you want to
es, swatches and drop paths, directly drag and drop from Illustra-
and symbols from Photoshop into tor into Photoshop, you can
(symbols are in Illustrator. Previously, you control the created object
AI 10 only). You could only export, or copy, type as follows. With no
will now only and paste. Just select the key pressed, drag to create
have items used in the Photoshop path, and drag a pixel layer. Hold [Ctrl] to
document in the palette. it to an open Illustrator create a path. If a shape
Create custom styles Next, delete the objects document. layer is currently active, the
To create custom styles, set using the styles from the Export paths from Pho- path will be added to that
up objects with the strokes page. New styles are stored toshop, by going to File > shape layer. Hold [Shift]
and fills you want to save as
styles. Drag each of them to
in the styles palette. Save
the file, give it a descriptive
Export > Paths to Illustrator.
You can choose a specific
and place the new object
in the centre of the Photo-
61
the styles palette. Do not name, and close it. Remem- path from the Paths palette, shop file.
delete them from the page ber, the file must be closed a path from a shape layer, or
yet. On the Styles palette, to load the styles. crop marks that define the Make your own gift
click the options triangle, To use the styles, go to Photoshop file size. Note tags
Window > Style Libraries > Other that the path exported to You can create your own tags
Library, and navigate to Illustrator, will have no fill, that are business card sized
where you saved the file. or stroke. Select all, or to put on gift boxes. By
Highlight it and click Open switch to the outline mode default, the 0 on the ruler is
to open it. The styles will be to see your vectors. set to the left side horizon-
in the styles palette, ready From Illustrator to tally, and the bottom verti-
for use. Photoshop cally. Change it by clicking
You can also get vectors on the crosshairs on the
Create your custom styles and Transferring vectors from Illustrator into Photo- rulers’ top, and dragging it to
use them later to ease your between Illustrator and shop. If you select the Illus- the top left corner.
work and attain consistency Photoshop trator objects, and then Unfortunately, you can’t
Vectors are important as copy and paste, a dialog box change the page margins in
and choose ‘Select all they are resolution inde- appears that lets you control Illustrator. They’re set to the
unused’. pendent—so they can be whether you want the path unprintable area of your
The unused styles are scaled up or down with no converted into pixels (on printer. You can move them
selected. Click the trash can loss of detail—and they their own layer), paths around on the page, but you

115 AUGUST 2003


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■ tips and tricks

Transform Again, or the key- Turn guides into vector Scratch disk
board shortcut [Ctrl] + [D], lines For best performance, pro-
three more times. Go to View > Guides > Lock vide Illustrator with ample
Select everything ([Ctrl] + Guides, to unlock locked swap space on the hard disk
[A]). Then, choose Object > guides. Then, go to View > where it can temporarily
Transform > Move again. This Guides > Release Guides, and store information such as
time, enter 3.5 for the hori- the guides will turn into the image information,
zontal position, and 0 for the vector lines. undo information, etc. This
vertical position. Press copy, will ensure its smooth func-
and all the graphics will be Changing tool pointer tioning, especially if you
positioned as desired. You can change the point- work with large, complex
Print this, and you are er’s appearance, from the graphics. Change the loca-
ready with your Gift Tags. tool pointer to a cross hair, tion of the scratch disk, by
for more precise control. clicking on Edit > Preferences >
Changing the default More artwork is visible, Plug-ins & Scratch Disk.
Create your own gift tags and Illustrator file when using a cross hair
put them on gift boxes! If you want a brush, symbol, pointer. This is convenient Easter egg
swatch, or style to be avail- for detailed drawing, and By default, in the lower left
can’t change their size. able whenever you create a editing. To change a draw- hand corner of the drawing
Hence, you’ll need to pull new document in Illustra- ing tool pointer to a cross area, Illustrator displays the
out horizontal guides to tor, you can edit the Illus- hair, press [Caps Lock], current tool being used.
0.75, 4.25, and 7.75 inches. trator Start up documents in before you begin drawing Click on it to view other
Click on the ruler, and drag the Illustrator plug-ins fold- with the tool. To make this items such as, the Date and
with your mouse, to pull er. For example, if you change permanent, open Time, the amount of Free
out guides. You’ll also need installed Illustrator 10, the Edit > Preferences > General, Memory, and the Number of
to drag vertical guides out to start file for CMYK will be and check ‘Use Precise Cur- Undo’s. If you hold down
0.5, 2.5, 4.5, 6.5, 8.5, and called ‘Adobe Illustrator sor’, and click OK. [Alt] while clicking on the
10.5 inches. Startup_CMYK.ai’ and will drop-down, you can choose
62 Place the image you
want to use. Select File >
be located in ‘C:\Program
Files\Adobe\Illustrator 10
Draw straight
When you draw, or move
such items as number of
shopping days left till
Place, and navigate to the \Plug-ins’. Just open the file objects, hold down the Shift Christmas, a pair of eyes
directory with your image in Illustrator, add the key, so as to move them that follow your cursor, the
and double-click on the file content you want available, within a range of 45 degrees. number of mouse clicks,
name. Select the image, save, and close the docu- This angle can be changed and the moon phase,
once you have it placed ment. The next time you from Edit > Preferences > Gener- among other things!
properly. Once it’s selected, create a new document al. Enter the new Constrain
the bounding box, and in Illustrator it will be there. Angle, and click OK. Custom brushes
small rectangles appear Remember that unless To use an object as a brush,
around it. Then, choose you do a cleanup on every
Object > Transform > Move. final document you save, by
Put in 0 for the horizon- deleting unused brushes,
tal position, and -2 for the symbols, swatches, and
vertical position. Negative styles, everything you add
numbers move objects increases file sizes. Hence,
down; positive numbers delete items you will never
move objects up. Press the use from the start up file.
copy button—this places a Once again, this is not for
copy of the object you select- the casual user. It’s akin you can personalise a lot of Alt Click and keep yourself
ed, at the chosen position. to changing the Windows things, through this Preferences updated with some interesting
Choose Object > Transform > registry. Dialog. information.

116 AUGUST 2003


select the object, and click PHOTOSHOP
on the new brush icon
in the brushes palette. In the Use everyone’s favourite image editing tool in a
new brush dialog box, select smarter way with these smart tips.
the kind of brush to create,
and click OK. Set the If you want to
properties for the brush make the same
from the Brush Options dia- change to more
log box, and click OK to cre- Use Path Type tool to curve than one Type
ate the brush. your text the way you like. layer at the same
time, just link
Artwork and preview it is very hard to try and all of the
You can view some items in keep that cut straight. Press layers you
Preview mode, and other [Alt], and then begin cut- want from
items in Artwork simultane- ting, because if you begin the Layers
ously. Place the objects on cutting, and press [Alt] later, palette, then
separate layers. Double-click the cut will be crooked. If hold [Shift],
the layers you wish to see in you have several layers with- and make your
Artwork mode, and disable out any item selected, and changes to one
Preview from the layer you begin cutting it with the Manipulating layers of the linked layers. All of the
Options dialog box. Knife Tool, the cut will Selecting layers linked layers will show the
apply to all layers. If you Press [Ctrl] and click on a same change.
Text on path want to cut only one item, layer in the Layers palette to To delete your active
You can apply text around make sure that it is the only automatically select every- layer, and the layers linked to
any object in Illustrator. thing selected. thing. This is the best way to it, hold [Ctrl], and click on
First, create the object select small, complex objects the trash icon in your Layers
around which you want the Moving objects on a layer. To show only one palette. You can quickly lock
text to appear. Select the Here’s how to move one layer, and hide all the others, all of your linked layers, by
Path Type tool. To do so,
hold down the mouse but-
item from one layer to the
next. Select the item you
press [Alt], and click on the
eye icon to the left of the
choosing ‘Lock All Linked
Layers’ from the layer palette
63
ton on the Type tool, until want to move. The layer layer, in the layers palette. drop down menu. You can
the options below it appear. with the selected item has a Deleting layers easily align your linked lay-
Create an insertion point little square in it. Hover over To delete a layer set, but not ers by selecting the Move
near the object’s edge, and the little square and you’ll the layers within the set, go Tool and looking at the
type the text. see a hand with a pointing to the Layer palette drop- Options bar. There’s a selec-
Enter the new height or finger. Press the Alt key, down menu, and choose tion of buttons that will
width value in the transform and drag that item to a Delete Layer Set. Click on Set align your layers to the left,
palette; hold down [Ctrl], new layer. Only, when the dialog box right, horizontally, vertically,
and hit Enter, or Return. The Find the complementa- appears, and click OK. to the centre, and even
other value will be entered ry color for a selected item Linked layers adjust the spacing.
automatically. More trans- by holding down [Ctrl], and Using masks
form tricks here. clicking inside the bar, If you want your Layer mask
when working in the colour to have clean sharp edges,
Use that Knife nicely bar area (the area at the bot- add a Vector mask. To do this,
Using the Knife tool, can tom with all the colors). hold down [Alt], while click-
have an uncertain outcome This gives you the colour ing on the ‘Add a Mask’ but-
if you don’t know the short- immediately. It will not ton, at the bottom of the
cuts to making it work. change the actual art piece, Layers palette. Mask a layer, or
If you select the Knife Tool, unless you actively select Delete only the set, not the set of layers with Layer Masks
and begin cutting a shape, the item. layers that are contained in it. already attached, by adding

117 AUGUST 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

them to a layer set, and ing which platform you want old of 4, then play around tones in CMYK mode, by
adding a mask to that set. To to see. Don’t keep saving your with the amount until you applying the filter to the
quickly and easily copy your images as JPEG, because Pho- are satisfied with the result. image’s cyan channel.
Layer Mask, just click on the toshop compresses the file Crooked scans are common,
Layer you want the mask each time. Save it as a loss-less and annoying. Fix them eas- Text effects
copied to, then click directly format until you’re done with ily by selecting the Measure To numerically enter the
on the Layer Mask you want the editing. tool, and dragging it along exact size for a type box, hold
copied, and drag it to the Lay- After working on a Photo- the top edge of your image. the Alt key, and click on your
ers Mask icon. shop document for a while, Now, go to Image > Rotate document using the Text
More Layer settings you may have some unseen Canvas > Arbitrary. Press OK, tool. A ‘Paragraph Text Size’
If you want to move more data lying on the outside of and Photoshop straightens dialog box will pop up. To
than one layer in your doc- the image. To get rid of this, the image automatically. quickly render your text layer,
ument, just link the Layers and hence, shrink your file just right-click on the layer’s
together. Do that, by click- size, press [Ctrl]+[A] to select, name in the layers palette,
ing on the little empty box and then, go to Image > Crop. and select Rasterize Layer. To
next to the eye icon in the To shrink the size of your get your fancy quotation
Layers Palette. Photoshop files further, go to marks back (the real ones, not
Change your background Preferences > File Handling, and the block foot, or inch mark),
into a fully functional layer, uncheck the box that says look under Preferences, and
by double-clicking on it in ‘Always Maximize Compati- choose General Preferences.
the Layers Palette. bility for Photoshop PSD Here, you can choose to tog-
If you want to save your Files’. gle the quotes with the ‘Use
personal style as a Layer To undo the save, just Clone one image into another Smart Quotes’ selection.
Style, you can add a Layer press [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Z] a cou-
Style to its own layer by ple of times, until you see Other useful tips
going to Layer > Layer Styles > your layers coming back. To Playing with colours Gradient banding: To elimi-
Create Layers. It will appear on close all of your currently Text colour changes when nate gradient banding when
its own Layer beneath the open images, press [Ctrl] + highlighted. To view the orig- printing, go to Filter > Noise >
64 original layer.
Change the opacity of the
[Shift] + [F4]. inal text colour, and yet keep
it selected, press [Ctrl]+[H], to
Add Noise. When the dialog
opens, enter 2 in the Amount
layer you’re working on, by Manipulating images hide the selection. field, select the Gaussian
pressing a number on your Use the Clone Stamp tool, to To get a finger painting option in the Distribution
keyboard. For example, typ- clone from one open image effect, hold [Alt] while using section, and check the Mono-
ing 4 will set it to 40 per to another quite easily. Just the Smudge tool. When chromatic box. Now, just
cent, typing 5 sets it to 50 hold down [Alt], and click on using a spot colour gradient click OK.
per cent, etc. If you want it the image you want to clone, that fades to white, make View at 100 per cent: No
to be 52 per cent, just type in then go to the original image, white a zero percent tint of matter what your current
5, and 2 quickly. and start painting. the spot colour. This ensures zoom level is, to view your
To quickly change the that the entire gradient is image at 100 per cent, just
File handling size of your preview thumb- maintained in the separation. double-click on the Zoom
You can double-click any- nail in your palettes, just CMYK colours Tool icon.
where on your open work- right-click in an open area of If you’re working in CMYK Kerning and Tracking
space, to bring up the Open the palette, and a menu will mode, the colour picker is Adjust: To set the Tracking
dialog box. appear with your selections. still in RGB. To get around tighter, highlight the type,
When using the ‘Save for Gain lost detail of a this, press [Ctrl] + [Y], while and press [Alt] + [Left arrow].
Web’ dialog box, you can see shrunken image, by going the colour picker is open. To loosen, use [Alt] + [Right
how your image will look on under Filter > Sharpen > This is the Shortcut for Proof arrow]. Adjust kerning, by
different platforms by using Unsharp Mask. In the dialog Colours found under the clicking the cursor between
the arrow in the preview’s box that appears, try using a View menu. Get the best the two layers, and using the
upper right corner, and select- Radius of 1.0 and a Thresh- effect when sharpening flesh same shortcuts.

118 AUGUST 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

GRAHIC DESIGN: Solomon Lewis

From cleaning
cartridges to new
ideas on how to
use your printer,
here’s all the
printer-related 65
information you
need for home or
office use

contents

Print
66 Toner and ink cartridges
66 Using the Right Paper
66 Maintenance

Away
67 Printing Images
68 Power Tips
69 Fun with your printer
70 Troubleshooting
70 Network Printing
71 Miscellanous Tips

133 SEPTEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Toner and Ink clean the outer surface regu- Greeting cards variety. For example, iron-on
Cartridges larly. Use a damp cloth to These papers are thicker, pre- paper allows you to print and
Cartridges are not only the clean the accumulated debris folded, and smaller than reg- image and transfer it to a
most important part of a and dust, whenever you are ular paper. They come with cloth. Banner papers, used to
printer, they are also the changing a cartridge. Pay matching envelopes. Printers create banners, also come in
only part that is maintained special attention to the rub- typically come with bundled this category. Other papers in
and handled by the user. We ber rollers—never use alco- software, with several tem- this category are Vellum,
tell you how to squeeze the holic cleaners on these. plates, for creating greeting parchment, printable fabric
last drop out of your car- cards. Use this paper to cre- sheets, shrink-wrap plastic
tridges, and get crisp and Inkjet Printers ate personalised greeting and so on.
sharp prints that won’t bur- If you are installing a cards that have a profes-
den your pocket. new cartridge in your inkjet sional look. Stickers and labels
printer, keep it in the upright Stickers and labels are avail-
Laser Printers position for a few moments Glossy paper able for mail, folders,
Generally, over 50 per before fitting it in. This Glossy paper has a shiny, diskettes, CDs and whatever
cent of printing problems ensures that the ink will be coated surface on one or else you can think of. You
related to laser printers are at the nozzle when you are both sides. This produces can use fonts, images and
resolved when the toner car- ready to use the printer. Also, vibrant colours, but the prints colours to customise them.
tridge is cleaned. So, clean store the cartridge in an a r e Re-stickables allow for a lot
your toner cartridge regularly. upright position, in an air- of creative flexibility.
Never touch the drum sur- tight, rigid plastic container. Remember to check your
face while handling toner Whenever you feel tha your printer manual for compati-
cartridges since this could prints aren’t as crisp as they bility, before using specialty
lead to oil spots and scr- should be, run the printer’s papers. Otherwise, you may
taches which will be evident head-cleaning utility. This is experience paper jams and
on your printouts. Also, the necessary especially if you such.
cartridge should be protect- are using your printer after a
ed from sunlight so it’s long time. Maintenance
66 always stored it in its origi-
nal box. Using the Right Paper
Clear paper jams
Carelessness while clearing
At times, in certain HP The regular paper that a paper jam could lead to
printers, the screw in the car- you use for printing accumulation of toner
ILUSTRATOR: Mahesh Benkar
tridge cover becomes loose does fine for day-to- dust, which could be haz-
due to vibrations. This screw day print jobs. However, ardous to the health of
needs to be checked and at times, you may want to susceptible to fingerprints. your printer. If the paper
tightened, if you see a hori- print on special types of Use glossy paper for jams before it reaches the
zontal white line in the cen- paper. Different types of brochures, flyers and report Fuser roller—the roller that
tre of a printed page. paper are available for differ- covers. fuses the toner with the
Another common prob- ent printing needs. paper—the toner will just lie
lem is the black dots that Transparencies on the page, in the shape of
appear on printouts. This is Photo Paper These are clear plastic sheets, the image being printed.
usually because of a nick on This is similar to the paper and are used to create over- Caution is necessary here, so
the drum, caused by a for- used by film developers, and head-projector presentations. that the toner doesn’t fall
eign object. If this has hap- is designed to produce high- These can only be used with into the printer while you’re
pened, there’s no way you quality images. They come inkjet printers, as transparen- pulling out the paper. If it
can get the cartridge in both, matte and glossy cies cannot tolerate the heat has not yet begun to come
repaired—you’ll have to finish, and in standard generated by laser printers. out of the printer, pull the
replace it. So make sure you photo sizes such as 4 X 6 paper towards the inside of
are using dust-free paper. inches. Use photo paper for Craft papers the printer. If the paper had
Also, keep the printer clea— studio quality photos. Craft papers come in a huge just begun to feed, and you

134 SEPTEMEBR 2003


pulled it back through the electricity around the printer is needed to clean them. head by wiping it gently
Feed rollers—the rollers that using a solution comprising Most vertical streaking with a soft cotton cloth—
feed the paper in the print- one tablespoon of liquid fab- caused by a dirty Corona don’t use tissues since they
er—the toner on the paper ric softener and about 300 wire will be hazy or uneven, tend to stick onto the head.
could fall onto the rollers. ml of water—spray this on and intermittent. The wire is Snap the cartridge in and out
This could cause following the carpet around the print- found in a metal furrow that a couple times, to get a good
copies to come out dirty. er. Do not spray it directly runs the width of the paper, connection after cleaning.
onto the printer. along the bottom. It may be
Avoiding paper jams covered with angled wire. General Cleaning
The thumb-rule is not to AB switches The wire is very thin, like a If the printer is printing in
overload the printer. Too Be careful when using man- strand of hair, and care streaks, and is smearing,
many papers can lead to ual AB switches for should be taken not to there’s excess ink in the car-
pressure on the paper sepa- printer sharing. break it while clean- riage area. Open the printer
ration tabs, and result in In most ing. First, the fur- and remove the cartridges.
double feeds. Special care is cases, row should be Fold a letter-sized piece of
needed to feed specialty t h e cleaned with paper in half, and then in
papers such as photo paper. ven- a vacuum half again the other way, so
Since these are thicker, the cleaner, and that it is quartered. Insert
best thing to do is to feed then with a this paper into the regular
them manually, one by one. cotton swab feed slot or space. Move the
Also, do not use transparen- dampened paper to the left and to the
cies, or other media that can- with water or right, to remove excess ink
not tolerate high levels of peroxide. After under the carriage. Once the
heat. Cleaning your printer, all the toner is excess ink is removed, the
especially the roller, plays an removed from the printer should resume print-
important part in avoiding dor’s warranty becomes void floor and walls of the trough, ing normally.
jams. This is because dirty if you use them. A better gently brush the length of Apart from this, do call
rollers hamper the move- option would be to use elec- the corona wire with a dry your technician at least once
ment of paper inside the
printer.
tronic switches. cotton swab to remove any
dust or debris.
a year to get your printer
cleaned thoroughly. There
67
Ozone filters Many toner cartridges are parts that are impossible
Static electricity One more component that have a charge wire inside to get at without disassem-
The laser printers that are needs to be taken care of is them. Removing dust from bling the machine. These
most affected by static elec- the ozone filter. A clogged this will prevent most verti- need to be attended to by a
tricity are those based on the ozone filter can harm your cal streaking. professional.
Corona Wire technology. printer by increasing its tem-
Static electricity increas- perature, and by blocking Inkjet Printers Printing Images
es because of two things— the airflow—thus slowing There are a few general rules
wind or movement, and dry down the fan. A fan that’s Cleaning the head that can be followed to print
air. In winter, the problem is slow causes harm to printer The head cleaning utility, high quality photographs.
compounded by low humid- components, and the ozone that comes with almost all The first rule is to use spe-
ity, and dry heat in offices produced oxidizes them. printers, does not always do cially designed photo papers.
and homes. You may notice Change the ozone filter once an efficient job. Often, ink Several well-known brands
random black streaks, or in 6 months. deposits build up on the end such as HP, Kodak and oth-
blotches of toner on your of the print head, causing ers have their own brand of
pages because of this. To Corona wire the cartridge to function sub- photo papers. The second
remedy this, the humidity Some of the older laser print- optimally. It’s better to clean rule is to use a photo car-
level in the room should be ers, such as the HP Laserjet II the head manually, to ensure tridge. Your inkjet printer
at least 35 per cent. Further, and III, are based on corona proper functioning and will have to support this,
you can decrease the static wire technology. Special care crisper prints. Clean the however. The third rule is to

135 SEPTEMEBR 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

choose the correct settings in image editing software such Normally, the drying time is
the ‘Print’ dialog box. For as Adobe Photoshop, or one hour. If the photo will be
this, click ‘Printer proper- PaintShop Pro. in close contact with some-
ties’, and set the print quali- Also use a photo editing thing else—for example, if
ty to the highest possible software to edit your image, you’re going to frame it—it’s
value. Also choose ‘photo to correct the red eye, dust better to let it dry for 24
paper,’ if you are using one, and specks problems. You hours. If you are printing
as the paper type; use high can use sharpening filters to multiple copies, remove each
resolution. improve photo edges. copy from the printer as
soon as it is printed. Use the Print dialog box in
Customising images Print settings and Internet Explorer to choose
First off, the photo that you paper Printing black and what you want to print
want to print should have a Next comes the printer. The white photos
resolution of at least 300 dpi, printer should be able to The best way to print black Decide upon the pages that
otherwise the prints won’t be print at and white photos is to print you want to print in the
good enough. If you’re scan- least them using the colour car- Print Preview dialog box,
ning a photo to print, scan it 600 tridge. Yes, you read right! and then click ‘Print…’. Now
at 300 dpi. Use a format such The black cartridge is in the Print dialog box, enter
as TIFF that preserves the designed to print black text, the page numbers and click
colours and sharpness, if you and cannot produce shades OK. This procedure is
intend to print the image. of grey as efficiently as a practically the same for
You should therefore also colour cartridge can. Use an most browsers, including
save your digital camera image-editing software for Netscape.
images in the TIFF format, good quality results. Open
if there’s an option to do so. the photograph in your Printing large
Also, don’t enlarge the favourite image editing documents
image using an image-edit- tool, and convert the Sometimes, you might want
ing software. This is because photo to greyscale. to print a large document
68 an image of 1280 x 960 pix-
els at 72 dpi, has the same
Now, print the photo-
graph with ‘Automat-
that is laid out in many
pages—one being the index
amount of details, as a 4 x 3- ic’ colour settings, the page, and all the chapters
inch image at 300 dpi. How- x 600 dpi. The higher the highest print quality and the linked to it. Internet Explor-
ever, this also means that dpi, the better will be the correct paper type. You’ll get er has an easy solution for
you can safely use a 1280 x quality of the printed a fine photo. this problem. Just print the
960 pixel image to print a 4 images. You also need to index page, and in the Print
by 3-inch photo. keep your printer drivers Power Tips dialog box, tick the ‘Print all
You might notice that updated. Printing marked linked documents’ option.
the printed image doesn’t The next step now, is to selection
look exactly like the one on adjust the print settings. Set When printing selected text Printing with back-
the screen—this is simply the print-quality to maxi- say on a Web page, select the ground
because the images on the mum, and choose the right text, and go to File > Print. If By default, the background
screen are in the RGB (red, paper setting, as it controls you’re using Internet Explor- of the page—that may
green and blu) format, and the amount of ink that gets er 5 or higher, choose to include images—is not
the printer uses CMYK inks onto the paper. It’s better to print ‘Selection’ in the dialog printed. To print background
(cyan, magenta, yellow and use the same brand of paper box that pops up. Most of images and colours in Inter-
black). There are colours that as your printer’s as a compa- the newer browsers have the net Explorer, go to Tools >
can be rendered in RGB, but ny usually customises its Print Preview in the File ‘Internet Options…’. Click on
not in CMYK. To avoid this paper for its printers. menu. This feature can be the Advanced tab, and scroll
problem, convert your image After printing, you need very useful if you want to down to Printing. Here, tick
to the CMYK mode, using to allow the printout to dry. print only selected pages. the box that says ‘Print back-

136 SEPTEMEBR 2003


ground color and images’, print, into your word pro- spray it with acrylic, and photographs from digital
and click OK. Now, you will cessing or image-editing pro- leave it to dry again. Peel cameras without a PC! Some
be able to print a Web page gram, customise it and away the covering from of the latest printers provide
with its background images then print them. one side of the adhe- you with a special slot for the
and colours. Another sive, and apply it to memory card of your digital
If you use Netscape, go way is the flipside of the camera. You can download
to File > Page Setup. Under fabric. Cut out your pictures to the printer,
‘Format & Options’, you will the design, preview them on the print-
see a check box labelled a n d er’s LCD, choose the ones
‘Print Background (colors remove the that you want printed, make
& images)’. Tick this, and other cov- adjustments, and then print
click OK. Now go to File > ering of them. HP has come up with
Print and click Print. the adhe- its Photosmart series of
sive. Now, cameras and printers, which
Fun with your printer paste it on provide you with this
Creating monthly the foam functionality.
calendars sheet. Cut out Some printers do not
Most word processing the foam sheet require a memory card to be
applications come with in the shape of inserted; the camera is direct-
specific methods to create to use specialised software the design, and your mouse ly attached to the printer via
calendars. In MS Word, you such as Calendar 200X, pad is ready! a cable. Canon’s Powershot
can find it by going to Insert which can be downloaded series is one such example.
> ‘Object…’, and then choos- from www.graffman.net. You Card modelling You can customise photo-
ing ‘Calendar Control.’ But can also use Outlook to print Card modelling is the art of graphs by using the camera
this might not provide the a calendar. Just switch to cal- creating a scaled model with controls and the LCD, and
level of customisation that endar, and go to File > card paper. This is somewhat print directly to the printer.
you want in order to mark ‘Print…’. You will be present- similar to Origami—the craft
certain important occasions, ed with a dialog box, asking of folding paper. You can use Page setup
like your anniversary. An
easy solution is available at
you to choose the printing
style. You can print weekly
your printer to print ready-
made kits, available on some
Most of the printing software
provide you with a ‘Page
69
http://www.timeanddate.com/ca or monthly views of your Web sites, or create them Setup’ feature. This lets you
lendar/. This Web site has cal- calendar, with your appoint- yourself from scratch. Here determine how your page is
endars customised for many ments marked out. are a few Web sites that going to print. The first
countries, which you could will help you get started: thing that you can set is mar-
use as your template. Copy Creating a person- www.fiddlersgreen.net, www. gin. The margin is the dis-
the calendar pertaining to alised mouse-pad digitalnavy.com, www.paperpar- tance of the printed material
the months you wish to You can create a personalised adise.com and www.cardfaq. from the edge of the paper.
mouse pad, using a 3mm org/faq. All you need in order If you were printing formal
thick foam sheet, double- to create these paper models documents, you would
sided adhesive sheets, inkjet is a computer, printer, scis- prefer larger margins—espe-
coated-satin finish fabric, sors, glue and good quality cially the left margin. Other-
coated paper, glossy-finish printing paper. wise, you can opt for smaller
acrylic spray, and a pair of margins. Remember that you
scissors. First, choose a Computerless printing cannot set the margins to be
design that you can print on Thus far, you’ve needed a zero—most applications are
coated inkjet paper. If you computer to act as an inter- smart enough to warn you if
are satisfied with the results, face between your digital you try to do so.
You can print the Outlook take a final printout on the camera and your printer. The next customisable
calendar with all notes satin-finish fabric. Allow the Now, with newer cameras thing is the gutter. The gutter
and meetings reminders ink to dry completely. Then, and printers, you can print identifies a blank space on

137 SEPTEMEBR 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

the paper that will be head part of the cartridge in bottom of the cartridge that icon—this will bring up the
trimmed off or bound into a shallow bowl containing a can block the flow of ink. Add Printer Wizard. Follow
the bind of a book. Set this mixture of very hot water Wrap the cartridge in a towel the on-screen instructions to
option only if you plan to and bleach (or ammonia) in or cloth, and place it in a plas- install the network printer.
bind the pages. You can set it equal amounts—just enough tic bag. Hold it in your hand,
to be on the top or on the to cover the print head, for with the head or exit ports Sharing a local printer
left of the page. two or three minutes. This pointing down. Extend your If you want to share the
You can also choose the should hydrate the dried ink, arm, and swing the cartridge printer that’s connected to
Page Orientation. It can be causing it to flow through down towards the floor rap- your computer, go to Control
Landscape or Portrait. In the print head, and the ink idly, as if you Panel > Printers. Right-click on
Landscape prints, the width should bleed out. Repeat if would if you the printer icon, and click
is more than the height. For needed. Now, insert the car- were Sharing. Here, select ‘Share
Portrait prints, the height tridge into the printer, and t o As,’ and type in the name of
exceeds the width. run the printer’s print head the printer in the Share
cleaning utility. Name field. Click OK.
Troubleshooting
Inkjet Printers Laser Printers Controlling net-
If horizontal or vertical lines Streaks appear on work printing
appear on your printouts, printouts when the If your computer
the first step would be to run drum cleaning blades has Windows 98 and
the print head cleaning util- make improper con- the print server is
ity three or four times. In tact with the drum running Windows NT
most cases, this solves the surface. These or 2000, you don't
problem. Check the paper if blades are made of have much control
the printouts appear faint. rubber, and so over the printing
The paper should not be require replace- process. One solution to
damaged, old, or loaded ment. If the streaks look like throw it. Repeat this a couple this would be to install a
incorrectly. If you use spe- thin pencil lines, the drum of times. Then, remove the Remote Procedure Call Print
70 ciality paper such as photo
paper, make sure you’re
itself has scratches, and must
be replaced. Try cleaning the
cloth wrapping. There should
be a visible spot of ink from
Provider (RPCPP). To install
RPCCP, insert your Windows
printing on the correct side. drum with alcohol. Wipe each chamber. Repeat if there 98 installation CD into your
Also, check the printer’s it gently with a soft tissue. isn’t. Now, place the cartridge CD-ROM drive, go to Start >
manual for information If this doesn’t work, you back in the printer. Settings > Control Panel and
regarding the compatibility have to change the drum. double-click Network. From
of the paper with the printer. Do check the Fuser unit, Network Printing the configuration tab, select
To unblock a cartridge’s where the toner is fused with Installing Network Add. In the ‘Select Network
print head, place the print paper. Be careful, as this Printers Component Type’ dialog
head in a shallow bowl of may be very hot. You will In order to access a shared box, choose Service and then
hot water for 20 to 30 min- need to clean the upper heat printer on a network, you click Add. Then click Have
utes. This will soften the roller, which is usually black need to install it first. You Disk. In the ‘Copy Manufac-
dried ink so that it flows in colour. can install any number of turer’s File From’ box, type in
through the print head. You Sometimes, a brand new printers on your machine. ‘E:\tools\reskit\netadmin\rpcpp
should see the ink bleed out. cartridge may not work prop- You’ll need to first locate the ’ (where E is the drive letter
Repeat if necessary. Next, erly. A reason for this could be computer that has put the of your CD-ROM). Then
insert the cartridge into the that there is no pool of ink at printer up for sharing, using click OK. Click OK again
printer, and run the print the exit port (the pre-cham- Network Neighbourhood. after the installation, and
head cleaning utility. If soak- ber) that the built-in print Right-click on the printer reboot your machine.
ing the cartridge in water head can suck from. Some of icon within that computer After you’ve done this,
hasn’t cleaned and dissolved the sponge-filled cartridges and click Install. Alternative- you’ll be able to choose the
the dried ink, place the print can develop air pockets at the ly, double-click the printer remote printer to send your

138 SEPTEMEBR 2003


job to, as well as being able Enter a value of 1. This choices near the top: ‘Always whenever you want to print
to see the print queue. You disables the announce- available’ and ‘Available in a hurry, just highlight
can also cancel any print ments, but also means From...’, where you can set the file you want to print,
jobs by going to Start > Set- that the printer will not be the time during which print and drag it onto the printer
tings > Printers. visible when one is brows- jobs can be printed. Users shortcut on your desktop.
ing the network. It can can still submit jobs any You can also add a short-
Installing additional still be accessed by entering time they want, but the jobs cut to the Send To menu of
drivers the name in manually. will not be printed except the Explorer for immediate
If you’re sharing your print- To turn the announcements during the times set for the printing. To do this, open
er, you’ll want users running back on, change the value printer as available. C:\Windows\SendTo, and cre-
any version of Windows to in the registry back to 0. ate a shortcut there for
be able to use it. If you're Instead of disabling the Command Line Control your printer. Next time you
running Windows 2000 or announcements altogether, You can use the Net Print want to print a file, simply
XP, it is advisable to install you can change the time command to control what right-click the file in the
additional drivers, so that interval between announce- print jobs are currently explorer window, and
others don’t have to look for ments. Simply add a new key running on a computer. choose your printer from
drivers before using your named ServerThreadTimeout The syntax for the Net Print the Send To menu.
printer. To do this, go to Start at the same location as command is NET PRINT
> Control Panel > Printers. above. Enter the value for \\computername\sharename Economic printing
Right-click the printer icon this key in milliseconds. For [\\computername]job_id[/ To save toner or ink, it’s a
and choose Properties. In example, if you want to HOLD|/RELEASE| /DELETE]. good idea to keep your
the Sharing tab, click the extend the interval to one Here the vertical bars default print settings to
'Additional Drivers…' but- hour, enter the value mean ‘or’, job_id is the iden- Draft, or EconoMode—espe-
ton. Follow the on-screen ‘3600000’. tification number of the job cially when you don’t always
instructions to install the and the optional fields are in need high quality prints. To
drivers. Now all users will be Restricting printer square brackets. If you type do this, go to Control Panel >
able to install the drivers by times in just the command with- Printers, and choose the print-
just double-clicking the You can set a schedule for out any options, it will dis- er properties by right-click-
printer name. when a printer will be avail-
able for use. In Windows
play the current print jobs. If
you don’t remember the
ing the printer icon. You can
later change the settings
71
Disabling printer 2000 and XP, go to Start > share name of the printer, temporarily through the
announcements Control Panel > Printers, right- type in ‘NET VIEW \\computer- Print dialog of the applica-
If you are sharing a printer click on the printer, and name’ to list all the shared tion that you are printing
on a Windows 2000/NT choose Properties. On the resources. from, as and when you need
machine, it will announce Advanced tab, there are two high quality prints.
to the other print servers on Miscellaneous Tips Further, save paper by
the network that it has a Printing shortcuts printing on both sides of the
printer available, every 10 You don’t have to launch page. If your printer doesn’t
minutes. These announce- an application and then support two-sided printing,
ments can cause excessive go to File > Print in order to feed the paper manually, and
network traffic. To disable print a file. Go to Start > Set- flip it over to print on the
them, go to Start > Run and tings > Printers. Select the other side. You can also use
type in ‘regedit’ to open up printer of your choice. software such as FinePrint
the registry editor. Navigate Right-click the selected (www.fineprint.com) for dou-
to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ printer, and select ‘Create ble-sided prints. Do remem-
SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Con Shortcut’. Windows will tell ber to set the page margins
trol\Print, and add a new you that it can’t create the to the minimum value s
value with the name as shortcut here, and will ask upported. This will allow
DisableServerThread, and You can restrict the times when you if you want it on your more matter to be printed on
the type as ‘REG_DWORD’. a printer will handle jobs desktop. Click Yes. Then, fewer pages.

139 SEPTEMEBR 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Two printers flexibility and customisa- Stuck Print Jobs any other reason—go to Start
Generally, black text print- tion that you would like to Sometimes a print job gets > Settings > Control Panel, and
outs are taken in economy have. There are various soft- stuck in the print queue. click Printers. Now go to File
mode, while images are ware that let you do them. Viewing the queue shows > Server Properties. Under the
printed using the best quality One such software is that the job is being deleted, Advanced tab, you’ll see a
mode. This requires you to FinePrint (www.fineprint.com). but it never is actually delet- field that says ‘Spool Folder.’
change the printer options, to FinePrint is a Windows ed, and other jobs don’t Here you can type in the
suit the print job at hand. printer driver that provides move forward. To resolve new location path of the
Avoid this by installing you with advanced printing this, you don’t have to spool folder.
another copy of the printer, capabilities. It has some restart the print server, but
but with a different name. Do very useful features, such as only the print spooler. To do Printer pooling
this by going to Control Panel > the ability to add blank so, if you are using Windows If you are using Windows
Printers, and clicking Add New pages, and delete pages. 2000 or XP, open up the DOS 2000 or XP, and using sever-
Printer. Now, use different The ‘Ink Saver’ provides prompt, and type in the al identical printers, you
default print settings for these options to convert coloured command ‘net stop spooler’. can create a pool of the
two printers. You can choose text to black, and to skip Wait until the service stops, printers, that will enable
either of them, to suit your graphics. You can print and then type in ‘net start Windows to balance the
printing needs. multiple pages on a single spooler’. You can also do this print jobs. To do this, con-
sheet of paper, add water- by going to Start > Settings > nect all the printers to your
Speed printing marks, headers and footers, Control Panel > Administrative
Windows normally spools and you can even insert Tools > Services, highlighting
print jobs before sending customised letterheads. It the Spooler service, right-
them to the printer. Spooling also allows you to design clicking it and choosing
involves writing the data to your printouts as an image, Restart. Now you should be
be printed, to a temporary and also to retain the able to delete a stuck print
file. This allows you to work text format maintained in job, if it is not deleted auto-
while the printing in the Web page that you’re matically.
progress. However, this slows printing from.
72 down the printing process.
On most printers, you can
Another useful software
is Directory Printer (www.gal-
Cleaning up old
printer files
turn off the spooler by going cott.com). With this, you can By default, any print jobs
to Start > Settings > Printers. print the directory structure sent to a printer will be tem-
Right-click on the printer of your hard drive. It can porarily spooled to a folder
icon, select Properties, and print all the folder names and on the hard drive. Usually, Create a pool if you have
then click Details. Click file names. It can also export these files are deleted when multiple, similar printers
‘Spool Settings’ at the bot- the structure to a text file. the job has printed. Some-
tom of the dialog box. Select PaperlessPrinter (www. times, these temporary files machine on different ports.
the ‘Print Directly to Printer’ rarefind.com) allows you to don’t get deleted. If you’re Install the drivers for one
option. This will tie up your convert printable documents not expecting anything to be printer. Now go to Start > Set-
application until the printer to HTML, JPEG and BMP for- printed, you may safely tings > Control Panel, and dou-
has all the data, but your mats. You can use it to pub- delete any files in that folder. ble-click Printers. Right-click
print job will be done faster. lish documents in HTML, The default folder location is the printer name and click
This option is handy if your JPEG or BMP, preserving their %systemroot%\system32\spool\ Properties. Under the Ports
print spooler crashes, and look and content—complete printers, where %systemroot% is tab, tick ‘Enable printer pool-
you need to print before you with fonts and graphics. You usually either ‘C:\windows’ ing.’ Now tick all the ports to
reboot your PC. can distribute your HTML or ‘C:\winnt.’ which your printers are con-
documents by e-mail, or If you want to change the nected. Click OK. Windows
Print-related software store them on the Web, an location of this folder— will automatically handle
The standard print dialogue intranet, a file system, or because you want to free up the allocation of print jobs
box doesn’t provide all the on a CD. space on your drive, or for across the printers.

140 SEPTEMEBR 2003


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■ tips and tricks

Here are a whole


bunch of keyboard
shortcuts to rescue
yourself from those
tiresome ambles
with the mouse...

73
contents
74 Windows
75 Microsoft Office
78 Windows Media Player
78 Winamp
79 Graphics software
80 Internet

A Short Cut

IILUSTRATOR: Mahesh Benkar


away

117 OCTOBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

WINDOWS If you want to... Press

relevant to a selected object— next to the right-hand


same as right-clicking the Windows key)
mouse
Close an active window [Alt] + [Spacebar] + [C] or
[Alt] + [F4]
Minimize an active window [Alt] + [Spacebar] + [N]
Restore an active window [Alt] + [Spacebar] + [R]
Maximize an active window [Alt] + [Spacebar] + [X]
Expand the view of everything
under the current selection, [*] (on the numeric keypad)
when working in Windows
Explorer
Go one folder level up in My
Computer or Windows [Backspace]
Explorer
If you want to... Press
Display the properties of a
Select a menu; select or clear a [Alt] + [Letter], where the selected item, while working [Alt] + [Enter]
check box by the letter under- [Letter] is the underlined in a window
lined in the menu name letter in a menu command Display the document menu
Select or deselect an active —the same as left-clicking [Alt] + [-], or [Alt] + [Spacebar]
item—after selecting a group [Ctrl] + [Spacebar] the top left of a window
of items using [Ctrl] Copy or cut a selected file to Hold [Ctrl] and drag on the
Select the main toolbar, a folder by dragging it there file will copy a file. Holding
beginning from the first item [Shift] and dragging a file
(generally File). After the first will move it
option is activated, navigate [F10], or [Alt]
SPECIAL SHORTCUTS
74 through menu options using
the appropriate arrow keys.
Press [F10] or [Alt] to exit If you want to Press
Rename a selected item [F2] Display Windows Help [Windows] + [F1]
Open the drop-down list box [F4], Pressing [F4] again Open the Start menu [Windows], [Ctrl] + [Esc]
in Windows Explorer moves the keyboard focus Open the System Properties [Windows] + [Pause Break]
back to the previously used dialog box
item Open the Find Computer [Windows] + [Ctrl] + [F]
Bypass the AutoPlay feature dialog box
when you insert a CD-ROM; [Shift] (while inserting the Open Windows Explorer [Windows] + [E]
to suppress the AutoExec CD, or while opening Word) Open the Find All Files [Windows] + [F]
macro in MS Word dialog box
Delete items permanently, Minimize all open windows [Windows] + [M]
without moving them to the [Shift] + [Delete] Expand previously opened [Windows] + [Shift] + M
Recycle Bin windows, and go back to
Make a selection from the last the window you were
selected item, to the current working in last
item, in any extended [Shift] + [Spacebar] Display the Run dialog box [Windows] + [R]
selection dialog box, combo Select and cycle through [Windows] + [Tab]
box, or list box the taskbar buttons
Display a shortcut menu [Shift] + [F10], or the Set focus on a notification [Windows] + [B]
that shows a list of commands Application key (the key (only in Windows XP)

118 OCTOBER 2003


If you want to... Press
MICROSOFT OFFICE
Insert or delete one line [Ctrl] + [0]
space preceding a paragraph
Single-space the lines of
selected text within a [Ctrl] + [1]
document
Double-space the lines of
selected text within a [Ctrl] + [2]
document
Set the spacing between [Ctrl] + [5]
lines of selected text to 1.5
Centre align a paragraph [Ctrl] + [E]
where the cursor is located
Insert a page break at the cur- [Ctrl] + [Enter]
sor's position in a document
Microsoft Word Apply subscript formatting
(with automatic spacing) to [Ctrl] + [=]
If you want to... Press
selected text
Insert the copyright symbol (©) [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [C] Indent a paragraph from the [Ctrl] + [M]
Insert the euro symbol (¤) [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [E] left
Insert a comment [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [M] Move cursor's position to [Ctrl] + [Page Down]
Switch to Normal view [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [N] the top of the next page
Switch to Outline view [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [O] Move cursor's position to [Ctrl] + [Page Up]
Switch to Page Layout view [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [P] the top of the previous page
Move the cursor to the top of [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [Page Up] Remove current formatting [Ctrl] + [Q]
the window of selected paragraph
Insert an ellipsis [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [.] Remove a command from a [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [-], and then
Insert the trademark symbol [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [T] menu select the menu item to
Go back to the cursor's
previous location
[Alt] + [Ctrl] + [Z]
Display Customize Keyboard
remove
[Alt] + [Ctrl] + [+], select a
75
Return cursor to first cell in a dialog box and create a menu command and add,
row, when working with a [Alt] + [Home] shortcut key for a menu change, or remove the
table command desired shortcut key from
Move to the first cell in a within the dialog box
column when working with [Alt] + [Page Up] Add a toolbar button to a [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [=], select the
a table menu bar toolbar button—Word auto-
Insert a Date field into [Alt] + [Shift] + [D] matically adds the button to
a document the appropriate menu
Insert a Page Number field [Alt] + [Shift] + [P] Increase the font size of [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [>]
into a document selected characters
Insert a Time field into [Alt] + [Shift] + [T] Format selected letters as [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [A]
a document all capitals
Expand text below a Double-underline a [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [D]
heading, while working [Alt] + [Shift] + [+] selection of text
in a document outline Insert a column break at the [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Enter]
Move between a master cursor’s position
document and its associated [Ctrl] + [\] Select the font field on the
sub-documents main taskbar, to change the [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [F]
Increase the font size of [Ctrl] + []] (]) font of the selected text
selected text by 1 point Reduce the selection size [Shift] + [F8]

119 OCTOBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

If you want to... Press MS PowerPoint


Apply hidden text [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [H] If you want to... Press
formatting to a selection Advance to the next slide [N], Left-Click, [Spacebar], [!],
Format selected letters as [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [K] ["], [Enter], or [Page Down]
small capitals Return to the previous slide [P], [Backspace], [#], [$], or
Remove a paragraph indent [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [M] [Page Up]
from the left Go to a particular slide [Number] + [Enter]
Select the font size field on Blacken or un-blacken the [B], or [.]
the window toolbar to [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [P] screen
change the font size of Whiten or un-whiten the [W], or [,]
selected text screen
Underline selected text, but Show or hide the arrow [A], or [=]
not the spaces in between [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [W] pointer
the words Stop or restart automatic [S], or [+]
Activate the ruler while [F10] + [Ctrl] + [Shift] show
working in a document End, or exit slideshow [Esc], [Ctrl] + [Break], or [-]
Display a shortcut menu [F10] + [Shift] Erase drawing on screen [E]
Display Save As dialog box [F12] Go to hidden slide [H]
Change the cases of selected [F3] + [Shift] Rehearse-use new time [T]
letters Rehearse-use original time [O]
Activate Extend mode, EXT [F8], EXT appears at the Rehearse-advance on [M]
appears in the lower right bottom right-hand corner mouse-click
corner of the window; of the window. Pressing Change pointer to pen [Ctrl] + [P]
pressing [F8] repeatedly [F8] repeatedly expands Change pointer to arrow [Ctrl] + [A]
extends the selection to the the selection; press [Esc] Change pointer to eraser [Ctrl] + [E]
word, the line, the docu- to cancel Hide pointer and button [Ctrl] + [H]
ment; press [ESC] to cancel. Automatically show or hide [Ctrl] + [U]
76 arrow
All Slides dialog box [Ctrl] + [5]
View taskbar [Ctrl] + [H]
KEYBOARD CONTROL FOR DESKTOP
Show or hide ink mark-up [Ctrl] + [M]
Ever thought of browsing your desktop using only the
keyboard? Here's how you can do it:
% Press [Windows] + [D] to show the desktop MS Excel
% Press the [Windows], to bring up the Start menu
% Press [Esc] to make the Start menu disappear, but If you want to... Press
keep the taskbar active) Select a Help topic while [Alt] + [Number] (hitting [1]
% Press [Shift] + [Tab] once to toggle between the using Office Assistant selects the leftmost option,
taskbar and the desktop. Your desktop will now be [2] the next, and so on)
Move to the left between [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [#]
active, although you may not notice any visual indi-
nonadjacent selections
cation of it
Display the Style command; [Alt] + [']
% Press [Down Arrow] to see which desktop icon is works even in a spreadsheet
active, and continue to use the cursor keys to move Insert the AutoSum formula;
to the icon you want to use works within a cell, or [Alt] + [=]
% Press [Enter] to run the icon, or press [Shift] + [F10] to formula bar of a spreadsheet
Select the entire active [Ctrl] + [Spacebar]
see the context menu for that icon
column

120 OCTOBER 2003


If you want to... Press If you want to... Press

Select a folder or a file in the With scroll lock on, extend


Open and Save As dialog the selection to the cell in [Shift] + [End]
boxes—use the arrow keys to [Alt] + [0] the lower-right corner of the
move through the listed fold- window
ers and files Extend a selection to the end
Scroll through a block of data of a field, when working in [Shift] + [End]
within a row or column, in [End] + Arrow key Data form
the direction of the arrow key Select from the insertion
Move to the last cell in the point to the end of the text [Shift] + [End]
current row that isn't blank— box entry
only works if you haven't [End] + [Enter] Complete a cell entry and [Shift] + [Enter]
selected the Transition navi- move up in a selection
gation keys check box on the Display a shortcut menu that
Transition tab shows a list of commands [Shift] + [F10]
Move to the last cell on the [End] + [Home] relevant to the selected object
worksheet Move to the previous pane [Shift] + [F6]
Insert a new worksheet into a [F1] + [Alt] + [Shift] Move a selected field into the
workbook Page area when working with [Alt] + [P]
Open Office Assistant in order the Pivot Table Wizard
to display context sensitive [F1] + [Shift] Open Microsoft Outlook
Help, or to reveal formatting Message Options dialog box [Alt + [P]
of selected characters when sending an e-mail
Maximize or restore the [F10] + [Ctrl] Display next screen to the
workbook window right, while working in a [Alt] + [Page Down]
Create a chart [F11] worksheet or workbook
Display Visual Basic Editor [F11] + [Alt] Display previous screen to
Insert a new worksheet into a
workbook
[F11] + [Shift] the left, while working in a
worksheet or workbook
[Alt] + [Page Up]
77
Display Save As dialog box [F12] Open the Address book while
(file menu) working in the To: field, [Alt] + [.]
Edit a cell comment [F2] + [Shift] when sending an e-mail
Paste a function into a [F3] + [Shift] Move a selected field into the
formula row area while working with- [Alt] + [R]
Repeat the last action [F4] in the Pivot Table Wizard
Display the Go To tab on the [F5] Send the active spreadsheet [Alt] + [S]
Find and Replace dialog box as an e-mail
Turn Extend mode on. This Select only visible cells in the [Alt] + [;]
allows you to select as much [F8] to turn on, [Esc] to quit active window
of a worksheet or workbook Ungroup selected Pivot Table
as you want items, while working with [Alt] + [Shift] + [#]
Increase the size of selected [F8] + [Shift] Pivot Table
area Ungroup rows or columns in [Alt] + [Shift] + [#]
Display the AutoFilter list for [Alt] + ["] an outlined spreadsheet
the current column Group selected Pivot Table
Extend or reduce a selection [Shift] + Arrow Key items, while working within [Alt] + [Shift] + [!]
by one cell a Pivot Table
If multiple cells are selected, [Shift] + [Backspace] Group rows or columns while [Alt] + [Shift] + [!]
select only the active cell working within a worksheet

121 OCTOBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER 9 WINAMP

If you want to... Press

Play an item [Enter], [Spacebar] Action Shortcut


Switch to full mode (on the [Ctrl] + [1]
anchor window menu) Miscellaneous Commands
Display the skin shortcut [Shift] + [F10] Always on top toggle (all but [Ctrl] + [A]
menu (in skin mode) playlist editor).
Shuffle the playback order Cycle through the Winamp [Ctrl] + [Tab]
of items in a playlist (in skin [Ctrl] + [H] windows
mode) Go to Preferences [Ctrl] + [P]
Repeat the playlist (in skin [Ctrl] + [T] Jump to time in current track [Ctrl] + [J]
78 mode)
Increase the volume [F10]
Open new Winamp window
Main window Shortcuts
[Ctrl] + [Alt] + [N]

Decrease the volume [F9] Toggle the Repeat option. [R]


Mute the volume [F8] Toggle the Shuffle option. [S]
Switch to full mode (in skin [Ctrl] + [1] Open the current file info box [Alt] + [3]
mode) Playback Controls
Access the Features Taskbar [Ctrl] + [Tab] Play or restart a track [X], [5] on the numeric keypad
Play or pause [Ctrl] + [P] Stop a track [V]
Stop playback [Ctrl] + [S] Stop a track with fade-out [Shift] + [V]
Play the previous item [Ctrl] + [B] Pause or restart a track [C]
Play the next item [Ctrl] + [F] Play the next track [B], [6] on the numeric keypad
Rewind (available only [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [B] Play the previous track [Z], [4] on the numeric keypad
when playing video files) Rewind 5 seconds [#], [7] on the numeric
Fast-forward (available only [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [F] keypad
when playing video files) Fast-Forward 5 seconds [!], [9] on the numeric
Display the menu bar in full [Ctrl] + [M] keypad
mode Open or play a file [L], [0] on the numeric keypad
Display video in full screen [Alt] + [Enter] Open or play a directory [Shift] + [L], [Insert]
Zoom to 50 per cent [Alt] + [1] Turn the volume up [$], [8] on the numeric
Zoom to 100 per cent [Alt] + [2] keypad
Zoom to 200 per cent [Alt] + [3] Turn the volume down ["], [2] on the numeric
Eject the CD or DVD [Ctrl] + [E] keypad

122 OCTOBER 2003


GRAPHIC SOFTWARE Photoshop 7

If you want to... Press


Viewing
Fit an image in the window [Ctrl] + [0]
Get 100 per cent [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [0]
magnification
Scroll left, right, up or down [Shift] + [Page Up] to go up,
10 units [Shift] + [Page Down] to go
down, [Ctrl] + [Page Up] to go
left and [Ctrl] + [Page Down]
to go right.
Toggles layer mask on or off [\]
Editing
Move type in image [Ctrl] + drag type when Type
layer is selected
Align left, centre, or right [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [L], [Shift] +
Paintshop Pro 8
[Ctrl] + [C], or [Shift] + [Ctrl] +
If you want to... Press [R] (while the type tool is
selected)
Start a capture [Shift] + [C] Align top, centre, or bottom [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [L], [Shift] +
Paste the clipboard contents [Ctrl] + [C], or [Shift] + [Ctrl] +
into the current document as [Ctrl] + [L] [R] (while the Vertical type
a new layer tool is selected)
Paste data from the clipboard Show or hide a selection on [Ctrl] + [H]
into the current image as a [Ctrl] + [E] selected type
new selection Toggle Small Caps on or off [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [H]
Paste vector data from the
clipboard into the current [Ctrl] + [G]
Toggle Superscript on or off
Toggle Subscript on or off
[Shift] + [Ctrl] + [+]
[Shift] + [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [+]
79
image as a new vector Toggle paragraph hyphen- [Shift] + [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [H]
selection ation on or off
Paste data from the clipboard Toggle single and every-line [Shift] + [Alt] + [Ctrl] + [T]
into the current image using [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [E] composer on or off
no background colour Decrease or increases type [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [<], or [Shift] +
Use the Crop Tool to elimi- [Shift] + [R] size of selected text by 2 [Ctrl] + [>], hold down [Alt] to
nate or crop areas of an image. points or pixels decrease or increase by a fac-
Flip an image [Ctrl] + [I] tor of 10
Apply rotation to an image. [Ctrl] + [R] Path editing
Adjust brightness and [Shift] + [B] Select multiple anchor [Shift] + left-click, while the
contrast points Direct Selection tool is
Apply gamma correction to [Shift] + [G] selected
the image Select the entire path [Alt] + left-click, while the
Adjust the hue, saturation [Shift] + [H] Direct Selection tool is
and lightness. selected.
Convert the current regular Switch from Path Selection
selection into a floating [Ctrl] + [F] tool, or Pen tools to Direct [Ctrl]
selection Selection Tool
Invert the current selection [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [I] Switch from Direct Selection [Alt] + [Ctrl]
area Tool to Convert Point Tool

123 OCTOBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

INTERNET
Keyboard shortcuts are useful when
you need that little extra control over
your surfing ways. Indeed, they are of
great help when when filling Web forms,
moving to a different tab, completing
a Web address that’s been typed over
a million times, etc. Here are some
useful key combinations that give you
a tighter grip over your Web cruises

Command Internet Explorer Opera Netscape

Add Bookmark [Ctrl] + [D] [Ctrl] + [T] [Ctrl] + [D]


Back [Backspace], [Alt] + [#] [Backspace] or [Alt] + [#], [Backspace] or [Alt] + [#]
[Ctrl] + [#], [Z]
Access Bookmarks [Ctrl] + [I] [F4] [Ctrl] + [B]
Close Window [Ctrl] + [W] [Ctrl] + [W] [Ctrl] + [W]
Auto-complete .com Address [Ctrl] + [Enter] NA NA
Decrease Text Size NA [9] NA
Delete [Delete] [Delete] [Delete]
Find Again [F3] [F3] [F3]
Find on page [Ctrl] + [F] [Ctrl] + [F] [Ctrl] + [F]
80 Forward [Shift] + [Backspace] or [Alt] + [!] [Shift] + [Backspace] or [Alt] + [!]
or [Ctrl] + [!], [X]
[Alt] + [!]

Full Screen [F11] [F11] [F11]


Show entire forward history:
History [Ctrl] + [H] [Alt] + [X] Show entire [Ctrl] + [H]
backward history: [Alt] + [Z]
Home Page [Alt] + [Home] [Ctrl] + [Space] [Alt] + [Home]
Increase Text Size NA NA [Ctrl] + [+]
Move to Next Frame [F6] NA NA
Move to Previous Frame [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Tab] NA NA
New Tab NA NA [Ctrl] + [T]
Next Tab NA NA [Ctrl] + [Page Down]
New Window [Ctrl] + [N] [Ctrl] + [N] [Ctrl] + [N]
Open File [Ctrl] + [O] [Ctrl] + [O] [Ctrl] + [O]
Open Address in New Tab NA NA NA
Page Source [Ctrl] + [F3] [Ctrl] + [F3] [Ctrl] + [U]
Previous Tab NA NA [Ctrl] + [Page Up]
Reload [F5], [Ctrl] + [R] [F5], [Ctrl] + [R] [Ctrl] + [R]
Reload (override cache) [Ctrl] + [F5] NA NA
Select Location Bar [Alt] + [D], [F6], [F4], [Ctrl] + [Tab] [Ctrl] + [H], [F8] [Ctrl] + [L]
Select Search Bar [CTRL] + [E] [Shift] + [F8] NA

124 OCTOBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

ILLUSTRATOR: Mahesh Benkar If gaming’s your thing,


here comes a collection
of tips to get the
best gaming rig
ever. Right from
hardware and
software issues,
to tweaking and
extracting that 81
extra from your
graphics cards,
this is the place to
park your rig and
get to work

contents
Power Tweaks 82
83
84
Windows XP
Under the Hood
ATi Tweaking
85 nVidia Tweaking
86 Game Tweaks
87 PDA Tweaks

133 NOVEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

XP LOVIN’ Advanced. Click the Users formance of the disk drives,


folder, and right-click the press [Windows] + [Pause / Break]
‘HelpAssistant’ account. to bring up the System Prop-
Choose Properties, and make erties dialog box. Click on
sure the ‘User cannot change Hardware, and then Device
password’, ‘Password never Manager. Now click the ‘+’
expires’ and ‘Account is dis- sign next to Disk drives to
abled’ checkboxes are expand it, and double-click
checked. This is necessary for the disk name to bring up the
security purposes. Properties box. Click on the
Policies tab, and select ‘Opti-
Healthy hard drives mize for Performance’, check
Go to Windows Explorer, the ‘Enable Write Caching on
right-click your hard drive the disk’ checkbox and click
and choose Properties. Clear OK. Now under ‘IDE
the checkbox that says ATA/ATAPI Controllers’, dou-
“Compress drive to save disk ble-click on ‘Primary IDE
space”. Also, clear ‘Allow Channel’, go to Advanced
Indexing Service to index this Settings and check ‘DMA if
Prevention is better your PC, leave your password disk for fast file searching’— Available’. Do this for all the
than cure blank. Now you won’t be this relates to the Indexing IDE channels.
Make sure you back up all asked for your password every Service, which indexes your
your data before you attempt time you boot, thus reducing files to reduce the time need- Looks or power?
to change anything—this your booting time. ed to search the hard drive for Open the System Properties
could save you a lot of time If you have multiple a specific file. If you disable it, by pressing [Windows] +
and hair later. Create a Sys- accounts on your computer, normal performance becomes [Pause/Break], go to the
tem Restore Point by going to go to Start > Run, type ‘control better. In the subsequent dia- Advanced tab and click on
Start > Programs > Accessories > userpasswords2’ and press log box choose ‘Apply the Settings button under
82 System Tools > System Restore,
click ‘Create a restore point’
[Enter]. Clear the checkbox
that says ‘Users must enter a
changes to [Drive letter]:\,
subfolders and files’ and click
Performance. Click ‘Adjust
for Best performance’—this
and then click Next. Now, username and password to OK. This will improve the per- turns off all the bells and
name the restore point, and use this computer’. Now, go formance of your hard drive. whistles, sets the theme to
the date and time will be to Advanced tab and click For optimum perform- classic Windows and
automatically added. Finally, ance, it is necessary to improves performance
click Create. Also, remember ensure that your hard tremendously, especially in
to backup your registry. Go to drives are error-free. For low-end systems. Now, click
Start > Run, type ‘regedit’ and this, scan your hard on the Advanced tab and
press [Enter]. Go to My Com- drives and defragment click Change in the Virtual
puter > File > Export, and select them regularly. Right- memory area. For optimum
‘All’ in the ‘Export Range’ click on your drive let- performance of your comput-
area at the bottom, choose a ter in Windows er, it is necessary to set the vir-
directory and file name, and Explorer, go to Tools tual memory size correctly,
click Save. and click ‘Run Now…’ depending upon the amount
or ‘Defragment Now’. of RAM installed. It’s better to
Boot-up time You can also use have a dedicated partition for
Use the Welcome screen for Diskkeeper, which is the paging file, rather than
logging in, as it enables faster faster and more power- using the system partition.
boot ups. Disable Fast User ful, to Defragment Make sure that Virtual Mem-
Switching, and if you have Decrease the bootup time by disabling your drives. ory is around 1.5 times the
only one user account on password entry by users To increase the per- RAM, or higher if you use

134 NOVEMBER 2003


trative Templates > Win- ‘AutoEndTasks= 1’. Here, 1000 Advanced’, and create a
dows Components > Win- means 1 second. DWORD value named
dows Explorer > Remove Now, navigate to ‘HKEY_ ‘Enable BalloonTips’ and set it
Shared Documents from LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ to 0.
My Computer CurrentControlSet\Control\ To turn off the ‘low disk
Computer Configura- Session Manager\Memory Man- space’ notification, go to
tion > Administrative Tem- agement\PrefetchParameters’ ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\
plates > System > Remove and change the value of SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\
boot / Shutdown / Logon / ‘EnablePrefetcher’ to 5. Services\lanmanserver’ and cre-
Logoff messages To remove the Outlook ate a DWORD value named
User Configuration > Express splash screen, go ‘DiskSpaceThreshold’ and set
Administrative Templates to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identi- its value to between 0 and 99.
> Start Menu and Taskbar ties\{Unique Identity}\Software\ This will denote the threshold
> Turn off user tracking Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0’, free space in percentage,
Computer Configura- create a new DWORD value before the notification pops
tion > Administrative Tem- named ‘NoSplash’ and set its up. This is especially helpful
Set the same initial and maximum Virtual plates > System > Turn off value to 1. when you have a partition
Memory size for better performance Autoplay To disable Balloon tips, that is almost full, but don’t
Computer Configura- go to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ want to delete anything from
memory-intensive games and tion > Administrative Templates > Software\Microsoft\Windows\ it such as a swap partition
applications. Make sure the Windows Components > Internet C u r r e n t Ve r s i o n \ E x p l o r e r \ with a fixed swap file.
initial and maximum sizes Explorer > Disable Showing the
are the same—if Windows Splash Screen UNDER THE HOOD
has to increase the paging file Computer Configuration >
size, the performance gain is Administrative Templates > Win-
lost. For more information on dows Components > Windows
Virtual Memory, visit http:// Messenger (Enable both items)
aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.php. User configuration > Adminis-

Fine tuning
trative Templates > Desktop >
Remove My Documents icon from
83
Go to Start > Run, type ‘mscon- Desktop
fig’ and press [Enter] to open
the System Configuration Tuning the registry
Utility. In the Start Up tab, Though editing the registry
uncheck programs that you can give you power, it can
don’t want to load at start up. damage your operating sys-
If you’re not sure about an tem as well. Always backup
entry, leave it unchanged. up your registry before edit-
Finally, click OK and restart ing it. Once you’ve taken a
your PC. Now, go to Start > backup, open the registry edi- BIOS tweaks Set the Boot Sequence to
Run, type ‘gpedit.msc’ and press tor—go to Start > Run, type On POST, press [Delete]—or boot from the drive where
[Enter] to open Group Policy ‘regedit’ and press [Enter]. To [F2], depending on your Windows is installed.
Editor. This is applicable only improve the shutdown and BIOS—to enter the BIOS Disable ‘Video BIOS
for Windows XP Professional. restart process, navigate to Setup utility. You can also use Shadow’.
Enable the following policies: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control utilities such as TweakBIOS Enable Shadow System
User Configuration > Adminis- Panel\Desktop, and edit the for this. Customise the fol- BIOS—see if it increases per-
trative Templates > Windows following entries: lowing settings: formance for your system,
Components > Windows Explorer ‘HungAppTimeout=4000’, Disable ‘Boot Up Floppy otherwise disable it.
> Remove CD Burning Features ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout=4000’, Seek’. Most newer systems Disable ‘Video BIOS
User Configuration > Adminis- ‘MenuShowDelay=20’ and don’t require this. Cacheable’—most new video

135 NOVEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

cards do not need this. more, set it to 64 MB or 32 value from the BIOS in small Cables, cables
Enable ‘Video RAM MB. If you have less than increments, say from 133 to Cables from the SMPS are
Cacheable’, only if you have 128 MB of RAM, set this to 135 or 140. Now, change the quite often slack; wind up
older cards, Disable it for half or quarter the amount CPU ratio setting marginal- the excess length; if possi-
newer cards with more than of RAM you have—if you ly. As all Intel CPUs are ble, tie up the power cables
16 MB RAM. have 96 MB, set this to 48 locked, this is only applica- with string, anchoring them
Set ‘8 & 16 bit I/O Recov- MB, or 24 MB, etc. Make sure ble to Athlon CPUs. Remem- to the top of the cabinet.
ery Time’ to 0 or N/A, if you you allot at least 16 MB to ber not to change the Bunch data cables
do not use ISA cards. the graphics card. voltage settings, as it may together using duct tape—
Enable ‘SDRAM Precharge cause overheating. or split flexible PVC tubing,
Control’ unless it causes Overclocking and place the cables within
problems with your system. Caution: Overclocking your Fan please it. Not only does this keep
Set the CAS Latency Time CPU will void your warran- Ideally, ensure that there are your cables tangle free, it
to 2 for fastest performance. ty, and if done improperly, at least two fans within the also keeps them from
This sets the time delay will shorten the life of your cabinet. A fan in the front collecting dust, as well
before the SDRAM starts to CPU, or even cause a will suck fresh air into the as keeping your cabinet
carry out a read command. burnout. If you still want case, while a fan behind will airy. Also, make sure that
Set the RAS-to-CAS Delay to overclock, do so with push out the warmer air. An there are no cables directly
to 2T. This inserts a delay extreme caution—do not SMPS with two fans will above the CPU or graphics
between the RAS (Row push your CPU beyond a also help. card fans.
Address Strobe) and CAS (Col- reasonable limit. Done prop-
umn Address Strobe) signals. erly, it can yield significant
Set the RAS Pre-charge performance boosts. ATi TWEAKING
Time to 2T. This is used to set If you have an Intel
the number of cycles for the motherboard, chances are
RAS to store its charge before you cannot overclock your
the memory refreshes. CPU, as Intel desktop moth-
Disable ‘Memory Hole’. erboards are generally
84 Disable ‘Passive Release’.
Disable ‘Delayed Trans-
locked. On the other hand,
the performance mother-
action’. boards from Gigabyte and
Choose PCI or AGP for MSI let you tweak a little.
‘Init Display First’, as per Before overclocking your
your display card. CPU, you have to change the
Set the KBC Input Clock FSB. Increase the default
to 16 MHz. This set-
ting is related to the
Super I/O chip.
The AGP Aper-
ture size determines OpenGL settings mance option here, and set
how much of your For optimal performance the Anisotropic Filtering slid-
system RAM is with the OpenGL API, flip er to the least possible value.
shared with your across to the OpenGL tab. Similarly, set the Texture Pref-
graphics card, to Under Main Settings, enable erence, as well as the Mipmap
help it function the Custom Settings option. Detail Level, to High Perfor-
smoothly. Set it Under Custom settings, mance. You can choose to
according to the move the slider for the Anti- leave the Application Prefer-
amount of RAM on Aliasing settings to the ence options for all the set-
your system: If you Change FSB first, before changing the extreme left, which in this tings disabled. Finally, turn
have 128 MB or CDP ratio case, is 2X. Select the Perfor- off the Vertical Sync option.

136 NOVEMBER 2003


Direct3D settings available options. The per- Remember, too big an incre- use. Watch out for excessive
The Direct3D settings menu formance options are locat- ment will damage your card temperature increases; ensure
is similar to that of the ed by going to Performance irreparably. You can choose that your cooling unit is
OpenGL settings. In the profiles > Configure. From to save the setting as a per- working properly before
main settings, enable the here, you can tweak the per- formance profile for future attempting this.
Custom Settings option. formance features of the
Under Custom Settings, Radeon without entering the nVidia TWEAKING
reduce Anti-Aliasing and Catalyst driver applet. Using
Anisotropic Filtering to the PowerStrip, you can also
least possible values, and tweak other settings, such as
the ideal Colour and
Display profiles.

Overclocking and
pushing it
To obtain the best out
of your card, you can
overclock your GPU
and graphics memory
speed; but remember,
doing so will void your
warranty. Moreover,
you may damage your
card irreparably.
You can overclock
your Radeon using Performance ture Memory Size at its
Use the Direct3D settings menu to fine PowerStrip; the stan- Under the Performance and default level. You may need
tune your ATi graphics card dard ATI Catalyst driver Quality Settings option in to enable Fog table emula-

enable Performance instead


interface will not let
you tweak the GPU and
the fold out menu, you can
tweak the card for best per-
tion if you see a plain white
screen while playing a game.
85
of Quality. Adjust the memory speeds. This can be formance. First, move the
Texture Preference and done by moving the sliders Image Settings slider to High OpenGL settings
MipMap Detail levels to within the Clock controls sec- Performance. After that, This is located next to the
High Performance, and turn tion of the Performance pro- move the Anti-Aliasing slid- Direct3D setting; set the
off Vertical Sync. files applet. If they appear to er to the left, to ‘Anti-Alias- ‘Default Color Depth’ to 16
have been disabled, check ing - Off’. Similarly turn the bpp for good performance;
Advanced ATi Tweaks and see if the ‘Disable clock Anisotropic Filtering to the remember that setting it
To access some of the hid- controls’ option has been Off position. After this, de- to 32 bpp will result in a
den features of the ATi selected, and if so, deselect it. select the Texture Sharpen- performance hit. Turn off
Radeon cards, use Power- Overclocking will lead to a ing option. Vertical Sync and disable
Strip. It will let you compre- performance boost, but do it Anisotropic Filtering.
hensively tweak all standard cautiously, in 5 MHz incre- Direct3D settings
and hidden features of your ments. Move both the Engine Under the Performance and Unlocking hidden
Radeon card. Clock and the Memory Clock Quality Settings option, you features
speeds up by 5 MHz, and test can set the Performance and To unlock the more subtle
Performance counts the system to ensure that it’s Compatibility options for features within the Detonator
PowerStrip resides in the Sys- stable. Once you feel that the Direct3D API-based drivers, use tools such as
tem Tray. To access all the you’ve got that additional applications. Select ‘Best Per- nVHardPage (http://www.
features, right-click on the punch in performance, leave formance for Mipmap Detail nvhardpage.com). Run the util-
icon, and choose from the the sliders in position. Level’, and leave the PCI Tex- ity. To get the hidden options,

137 NOVEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

under the Tweaks tab, enable ing options are not exposed from your TNT card. You may half or quarter your system
Activate Cool Bits, Activate within the nVidia driver, but have a little trouble with the RAM size. Now, open the
Hardware options, Activate if you have enabled the Acti- very newest Detonator driv- nVidia settings and make
AGP Options and Activate vate Cool Bits option ers, since these have opti- these changes: Set Mipmap
Display Orientations. through nVHardPage, you mizations for the latest cards, Levels to ‘Best Performance’.
Depending on the nVidia can run up the clock fre- and may tax TNT. Be on the Enable ‘Enable Fog Table
card you have, you should quencies of your GPU and lookout for older, stable driv- Emulation’, under the Direct
see several new options acti- graphics memory. ers, such as those in the 20- 3D Settings tab. If you have
vated within the Detonator To do so, click on the series family. a powerful CPU, choose
driver, including Clock Fre- Clock Frequencies option. ‘Default Color Depth’ as
quencies, AGP Settings and Enable the ‘Allow clock fre- Setting the cards ‘Always use 32 bpp’, other-
Hardware Options. quency adjustments’ option. Set the AGP aperture size to wise choose 16 bpp.
You may need to reboot to
Hardware options enable it. Once enabled, you GAME TWEAKS
Hardware Options will let can change the Core Clock
you reset the AGP settings Frequency, which controls
on your machine. The moth- the frequency of the GPU.
erboard setting is automati- The Memory Clock Frequen-
cally detected and you can cy controls the speed of the
manually set your AGP set- graphics memory on the
ting to the highest value sup- card. Ideally, increase the
ported by your motherboard frequencies by a factor of 2
and graphics card. to 5 MHz at a time and test
the settings. Raise the levels
Overclocking your of the GPU speed, as well as
nVidia the graphics memory, syn-
Overclocking your nVidia chronously. Remember,
card might give your gaming don’t move the sliders by
86 a performance boost, but
again, this needs to be done
ridiculous intervals—you
will damage the card. A little
with caution. Keep in mind overclocking, on the other Quake III runtime. Make sure you pre-
that if you recklessly over- hand, may give you just that Advanced Tweaks cede each command setting
clock, your graphics card little boost you crave for. Simple tweaks can be set with the word ‘seta’.
might go kaput. Also, watch out for excessive straight from within the The Gun: This command
By default, the overclock- heat—it might make sense to game, and these commands will allow you to toggle the
get additional cooling should be entered at the con- gun display; for the best per-
fans mounted within sole. The console is accessed formance, turn off the gun
the case. by typing ‘~’ during the game. display. Use cg_drawGun 0 to
To invoke the same settings turn it off, and cg_drawGun 1
TNT and TNT2 every time, you could create a to turn it on.
cards new document and enter all Shelling hard: Though see-
If you have a TNT or TNT the desired settings. Then ing the ejected shells pop-
2-level card, this will be name it, say, custom.cfg. Dur- ping out of your gun may
of interest to you. While ing game play, pull down the feel realistic, it takes its toll
a lot of new games may console and type ‘/exec cus- on performance; to get the
demand no less than a tom.cfg’ to load in your cus- best, disable it by using
GeForce class card, the tom configuration file. You cg_brassTime 0 and cg_
fact remains that with a can also enter the settings brassTime 500 to turn it on
Overclock your nVidia card by slight tweak, you could into the q3config.cfg file, and Sixteen makes sense: While
dragging a few sliders, but be careful still command the best invoke it automatically at you may be scoffing at run-

138 NOVEMBER 2003


install. While all the simpler jumping frame rates and
graphics tweaks can be set would like to stick to a
from within the settings defined value. Locate ‘MinDe-
menu, you can tweak this file siredFrameRate= 35.000000’
to give that extra perform- under [WinDrv. WindowsClient].
ance boost. Open the As you can see, the default is
UT2003.ini file in any text 35 frames per second.
editor to try out these tweaks. Increase this to a value that
Before you start to edit the you believe is sustainable for
Turn off eye candy in Quake III file, be sure to back it up, in Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic your system. UT2003 will
to get higher frame rates case you want to restore Filtering turned off in UT2003 compensate by reducing eye
the original settings. Scroll candy through the game play,
ning Quake III at 16-bit down the file and locate this one is recommended and try to maintain the frame
colour, keep in mind that all these settings under only if you happen to have rates around this number.
swiching over to 32-bit ren- [D3DDrv.D3DRender Device],
dering, though it’s higher unless mentioned otherwise. TWEAKING PDAS
quality, will definitely give Pre-caching textures: Set
that frame rate drop. Opti- ‘UsePrecaching=False’ to dis-
mal settings would be r_col- able loading of textures into
orbits 16 while going back to video memory while loading
32-bit would be r_colorbits 32. the level, especially if you are
Sky, no sky: While all the using a graphics card with
dynamic sky effects and see- 32 MB of video memory.
through portals look great, This should give you
turning them off will yield smoother gameplay. On the
much better performance. To other hand, should you have
set optimal performance use a card with 64 MB or more,
r_fastsky 1. To go back to eye you can set this to True.
candy, use r_fastsky 0
Pretty flashes: Weapons in
Trilinear texture filtering:
Setting ‘UseTrilinear=True’ will
87

U
Quake III come with some enable trilinear texture filter- nlike mobile phones, need it, and the battery lasts
very realistic lighting and ing, which will give you PDAs are like mini- longer too—unless you play
flare effects, but at the cost of enhanced quality but you computers and can games all day!
performance. To turn it off, might suffer a performance be tweaked to yield better Caution: before playing
use r_dynamicLight 0. Turn it hit on older cards. To turn it performance. A PDA can be with clock frequencies, make
back on with r_dynamicLight 1 off, set it to False tweaked in two ways—over- sure you know what you’re
Curves cost more: Turning Compressed lightmaps: If clocking and using a tweak doing, or else you might
off those pretty curves in this is enabled, your loading utility. Everything is faster damage the CPU. Remember,
Quake III could do wonders times will increase, but you when a PDA is overclocked; overclocking increases CPU
for performance. Do that by should see increased in-game unfortunately the battery power and reduces battery
setting r_nocurves 1. If you performance. Enable it with drains quicker too. The other life, while underclocking
want to get back to the ‘UseCompressedLightmaps= True’. option is to use a tweaking reduces CPU power and
curves, use r_nocurves 0 On the other hand, if you utility that raises the CPU increases battery life. Also, be
happen to have a very high- clock speed only when careful to make changes in
UT2003 end graphics card, such as required—such as when small increments, and check
Advanced tweaks one with 128 MB of video playing a game—and lowers the performance-to-stability
UT2003’s main settings can RAM or more, you can disable the clock when using less ratio. Last but not least,
be accessed from the this to get more realistic, CPU intensive applications. always backup your data.
UT2003.ini file located under uncompressed lightmaps. This provides you with a The utilities available
the System folder of the Minimum frames: Again, device that is fast when you depend on what CPU and

139 NOVEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

At Your Service
You should turn off unwanted ! Routing and Remote Access Administrative Service ! Secondary Logon
services. This frees up system ! Alerter ! MS Software Shadow Copy ! Security Accounts Manager
resources, which the games ! Application Layer Gateway Provider Server
can utilise. Service ! Net Logon ! Smart Card
Creating a Hardware ! Application Management ! NetMeeting Remote ! Smart Card Helper
Profile ! Background Intelligent Desktop Sharing ! SSDP Discovery Service
Go to Start > Control Panel > Transfer Service ! Network DDE ! System Restore Service
System. In the Hardware tab, ! ClipBook ! Network DDE DSDM ! TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
click the ‘Hardware Profiles’ ! COM+ System Application ! Network Location ! Task Scheduler
button. You will see a profile ! Computer Browser Awareness (NLA) ! Telnet
named ‘Profile 1(Current)’ in ! Distributed Link Tracking ! NT LM Security Support ! Themes
the Available Hardware Profile Client Provider ! Uninterruptible Power
list. Click the Copy button to ! Distributed Transaction ! Performance Logs and Supply
copy this profile and name it Coordinator Alerts ! Universal Plug and Play
‘Gaming’, or any other con- ! Error Reporting Service ! Portable Media Serial Device Host
venient name. Don’t make any ! Fast User Switching Number ! Upload Manager
further changes, and click OK Compatibility Help and ! Print Spooler ! Volume Shadow Copy
twice to close the windows. Support ! Protected Storage ! Windows Image Acquisition
Disabling Services ! IMAPI CD-Burning COM ! QoS RSVP (WIA)
for Gaming Service ! Routing and Remote Access ! Windows Installer
Go to Start > Run, type ‘servic- ! Indexing Service ! Remote Desktop Help ! Windows Management
es.msc’ and press [Enter]. ! Internet Connection Session Manager Instrumentation Driver
Disable all the services men- Firewall (ICF) / Internet ! Remote Procedure Call Extensions
tioned below by right-clicking Connection Sharing (ICS) (RPC) Locator ! Wireless Zero Configuration
and selecting Properties > Log ! IPSEC Services ! Remote Registry ! WMI Performance Adapter
On > Disable. ! Logical Disk Manager ! Removable Storage ! Windows Time

88 operating system your PDA gram also shows you running triggers for the CPU load— application is, thus increasing
runs. For example, in PDAs processes, threads, loaded this basically increases the battery life.
with Intel XScale processors DLLs, etc. One of the best fea- CPU speed when a particular iPaq 1910 users can use
and Palm OS, such as the tures is the ability to set Scale load is reached. Download it Clear Speed (http://revolution.
Sony CLIÉ and Palm Tung- from http://download.com. cx/speed/speed.htm). This gives
sten, there is a utility com/3000-217810193651.html. you the option of control-
called Lightspeed (http:// Another utility for ling the Pocket PC speeds
www.clievideo.com). If you XScale processors is XCPUS- and backlight, based on how
have a Pocket PC with an caler (http://www.immiersoft. much power is remaining in
XScale processor running com). It allows you to the batteries. Basically, when
Windows CE, you can use dynamically scale the your battery is full, the CPU
Pocket Hack Master. It allows processor speed of Pocket runs at full power, and as
you to overclock your 400 PCs and Windows Mobile the batteries drain, the
MHz CPU to 500 MHz. 2003. It allows for a change speed reduces—this increas-
Pocket Hack Master has in speed of up to 50 per es battery life. iPaq users
Turbo and Run modes, which cent. A very useful feature of can also download the JS
tweak the memory and LCD this application is Auto Scal- Overclock utility to squeeze
multipliers to run according- ing—it increases or decreas- every ounce of speed
ly. You can also set the es CPU power depending from their CPUs. Get it at
SDRAM latency, refresh-rate Use Pocket Hack Master to overclock on how CPU-intensive http://www.jimmysoftware.
or refresh-cycles. This pro- your XScale-based Pocket PC the currently running com/Software/Overclock.

140 NOVEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Registry
Unplugged
Editing the registry is not black magic; it is just
another step towards taming Windows. Learn
89
the top registry tweaks to get complete control

contents
90 Customisation
92 Office
93 Performance
94 Annoyances
95 Ease the Task
IMAGING: Solomon Lewis 95 Covering Tracks

163 DECEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

T
he registry is the place tem Restore and select ‘Create the data type of the entry to
where Windows stores a restore point’. To revert to be created.
all its settings. These this point later, you will have
settings are used to control to start System Restore and Restart
hardware, installed applica- select which point you want When a change is made to the
tions, the user interface— to restore to. registry, the effect may or may
practically every setting in not be visible immediately. For
the system. So to make any Creating a new key example, when changing the
changes to the default set- To create a new key, just title bar text of IE, you need to
tings, the registry has to be right-click the parent key restart it for the changes to
edited. To open the registry and select New > Key. To cre- be reflected. For OS-related
editor, go to Start > Run, type ate an entry, select the key in tweaks you may need to log
‘regedit’ and press [Enter]. the left pane, right-click over off and log on again, or even
The registry editor contains in the right pane and select restart the machine.
two vertical panes. The left
pane has a Windows explor-
er-like hierarchy structure.
CUSTOMISATION
Each item here is called key,
and a key can have sub-keys.
When you select a key, you’ll
find some items in the right
pane. These are the entries
corresponding to the selected
key. The keys are organised
containers for the entries; it is
the entries that store the set-
tings. The entries can store
different types of data: String,
90 Binary and DWORD values.

Back up...back up
The registry is critical for the
health of any Windows sys-
tem. Any damage to it will ILUSTRATOR: Farzana Cooper
cause the system to behave
erratically. It’s recommended Creating icons such cases, try increasing the
that you don’t make any The icon of a bitmap file icon cache to make the fold-
changes to the system reg- can be set as the file image ers load faster. The icon
istry without backing up the itself. To effect this setting, cache can be increased
current settings. To take a navigate to the key HKEY_ using the ‘MaxCachedIcons’
backup of the registry, open CLASSES_ROOT/Paint.Picture/ entry (type string) in the
the registry editor and select DefaultIcon and set the value HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\
Registry > Export Registry File. In of ‘Default entry’ to ‘%1’. Software\Microsoft\Windows\
the dialog box that appears, Also navigate to the key CurrentVersion\Explorer key.
select ‘All’ and enter a name HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/.bmp and Increase the value of this
for the backup file. It’s also set ‘Default entry’ to entry to increase the icon
possible to back up specific ‘PAINT.PICTURE’. The flip side cache; use any value between
registry keys. To do so, select of this tweak is that folders 100 and 4,096.
the key to be saved, and go with a lot of bitmap files
to Registry > Export Registry File, might take longer to load. In Start Menu scrolling
check ‘Selected branch’ and When your Start menu
click OK. overflows, it isn’t pos-
Windows Me and XP sible to list all the
users can create system entries in a single col-
restore points. This feature umn. Then, Windows
lets you revert to a particular either creates a second
state in case of a system column or a scrolling
crash. To take a snapshot of menu. You can control
the current state of the sys- this through the
tem, go to Start > Programs > registry. Navigate to
Accessories > System Tools > Sys- Use bitmap images as icons the HKEY_CURRENT_

164 DECEMBER 2003


USER\Software\Microsoft\ placed after the Windows Display Administrator pressed files and folders,
Windows\CurrentVersion\Explor installation. This serves as a in logon screen create or modify a binary
er\Advanced, and select the blockade during the Like the root user in Linux, entry named ‘AltColor’.
entry called ‘StartMenu inevitable Windows reinstall. Windows XP has a default Specify its value as men-
ScrollPrograms’. If it’s not In case of Windows 95, the user called ‘Administrator’. tioned above. For this
present, create a new String product key can be obtained This user is not displayed in tweak to work, the ‘Show
value called ‘StartMenuScroll- from the system properties the logon screen where all the encrypted and compressed
Programs’. Specify the value window (Windows key + [Pause\ users in the system are dis- folders in color’ must be
as ‘Yes’ if you want the Start Break]). For Windows 98, it’s played. To view this account, enabled via the folder
menu to scroll, and ‘No’ if possible to extract the key go to HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE options window.
you need the Start menu as from the registry. Select the \Software\Microsoft\Windows-
multiple columns. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\ Detailed information
Software\Microsoft\Windows\ SpecialAccounts\UserList. If the in the device manager
IE Title bar text CurrentVersion key, and in the binary Administrator key When this tweak is applied,
Internet Explorer installa- right pane, the value of the does not exist, create it. the device manger in Win-
tions distributed by compa- entry ProductKey will give Assign its value to ‘1’ to see dows 2000 and XP will
nies other than Microsoft the product key of the cur- the Administrator, or ‘0’ to show an extra tab called
might have their names in rent Windows installation. hide it. ‘Details’. Selecting this tab
the title bar. If you want will provide additional
to change this, navigate to Logon message Change the welcome information about the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Soft- To create a personalised screen device. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_
ware\Microsoft\Internet Explor- logon message in XP, go to Windows XP displays three MACHINE\SYSTEM\Current-
er\Main, and edit or create a HKEY_ LOCAL_ MACHINE\ SOFT- different screens during ControlSet\Control\Session-
string value entry called WARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\ boot-up. The second screen Manager\Environment. Here,
‘Window Title’. Double-click CurrentVersion\Winlogon. In is the one that says you’ll find a string entry
the entry and enter any the right pane, double-click “Welcome”. To change this, with the name ‘DEVM-
the string navigate to HKEY USERS\. GR_SHOW_DETAILS’; if
entry ‘Legal- DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desk- there isn’t one, create it.
NoticeCap-
tion’, enter
top. Under this key, you will
find an entry named ‘Wall-
Assign this entry a value of
‘1’ if you want the system
91
the string ‘My paper’; double-click it and to display the details tab; to
Windows XP enter the path of the image hide the tab, assign it a
Machine’ and file you want displayed. value of ‘0’.
Remove unwanted text from the IE title bar click OK. The file can be a BMP
Next, double- or JPEG image. If you want Prevent access to
string you want. Leave it click the ‘LegalNotice Text’ to tile the image, set the specified drives
blank if you want to remove string entry, and enter the value of the ‘TileWallPaper’ Use this tweak to prevent
the default string. You’ll message to be displayed. entry to 1. If you want access to drives to certain
need to restart Internet to stretch the wallpaper, set users. Remember, once this
Explorer for the change to Screensaver grace the value of the ‘WallPaper- is applied, the prohibited
take effect. period Style’ entry to 2. user can’t access the drive by
If you’ve set a screen saver any means. Log into Win-
Size of desktop icons password in Windows 2000 Colour of encrypted dows using the user account
Using the Control Panel dis- or XP, and the screen saver and compressed files that you want to restrict
play settings, icons in Win- activates, there is a grace Windows XP displays access to, open the registry
dows can be displayed in period before which Win- encrypted and compressed editor and go to HKEY_CUR-
only two different sizes. dows doesn’t prompt for a files and folders in a differ- RENT_USER\Software\Micr
Tweaking the registry allows password when you press a ent colour. To change the osoft\Windows\Cur-
you to have any size for key or move the mouse. For default colour, go to rentVersion\Policies\Explor
icons. Go to HKEY_CUR- security reasons, it is advised HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Soft- er. Create a DWORD value
RENT_USER\Control Panel\Desk- that you remove this grace ware\Microsoft\Windows\Cur- with the name ‘NoViewOn-
top\WindowMetrics, and create period. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_ rentVersion\Explorer. Under Drive’. Double click this
or modify the string value MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft this key, create a binary entry and in the dialog box
‘Shell Icon Size’. Give the \ W i n d o w s N T \ C u r r e n t Ve r - entry named ‘AltEncryp- that appears, select the radio
value of your desired icon sion\Winlogon, create a string tionColor’. Set its value as button named ‘Decimal’. In
size, in pixels. entry named ‘ScreenSaver- the RGB ratio of the desired the value data field you need
GracePeriod’ and give it a colour for encrypted files; to enter a number that
Extracting the value of ‘0’. If the key exists, the format is RR GG BB 00. depends on the drive that
product key modify its value to ‘0’, or else The last two digits are needs to be hidden. Use the
The Windows product key is create a DWORD entry, with always ‘00’. Similarly, to formula ‘2n-1’, where n is 1
sometimes forgotten or mis- the above details. change the colour of com- for your A drive, 2 for B

165 DECEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

OFFICE

Minimise Outlook to ‘10.0’, 2000 is ‘9.0’, etc.).


Get extra information about the system tray Create or modify the
system devices Outlook 2003 can be min- DWORD entry ‘EnableFour-
imised to the system tray, DigitYearDisplay’ and enter a
drive, and so on until 26 for but it’s possible with earlier value of ‘1’.
drive Z. If you need to hide versions of Outlook as well.
more than one drive, add Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Change the number of
the respective drive numbers Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\ undo levels in Excel
and enter it into the value Outlook\Preferences and create By default, Excel can perform
data field. For example, to 16 undo operations. You
hide drive C you need to can customise the num-
enter 4 (23-1); to hide drives
92 D and E you need to enter
ber of undo levels, but
remember that increas-
24 (24-1+25-1). To apply the ing the number of levels
change to all users in the results in more RAM
system, follow the same being allocated to Excel.
method, but use the key You can minimise Outlook XP to Go to HKEY_CURRENT_
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ the system tray USER\Software\Microsoft\Office
Software\Microsoft\Win- \ [ Ve r s i o n ] \ E x c e l \ O p t i o n s .
dows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ a DWORD entry named Under this key, create a
Explorer instead. To remove ‘MinToTray’. Give it a value DWORD value with the
all restrictions, just delete of ‘1’. Restart Outlook for the name ‘UndoHistory’. You
the entry. change to take effect. can turn off the undo feature
by giving a value of ‘0’, use
Know your real writ- Give four digits for the maximum allowed level
ing speed in Nero year in Excel ‘100’, or provide an interme-
While writing a CD using Whenever a date is entered diate level of your choice.
Nero 5.5, only the average in an Excel cell, the year field Remember to select the deci-
speed is displayed in is automatically truncated to mal radio button when
the burn status dialog box. two digits. For example, entering a value between 0
To force Nero to display when the user enters the date and 100.
the actual writing speed, 9-11-2000 in a cell, it is auto-
navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_ matically replaced with Remove attachments
USER\Software\ahead\ 9/11/00. This is bad when restrictions
Nero-BurningRom\Recorder. spanning across a century, When an incoming e-mail
Under this, open the such as records from 1999 to has attachments such as
DWORD entry ‘ShowSin- 2003. This tweak makes EXE, SCR, etc., Outlook XP
gleRecorderSpeed’ (create Excel display dates with four doesn’t download the attach-
one if it doesn't exist). digits for the year field. ments, for security reasons.
Change the value of this Locate HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ The complete list of file
entry to ‘1’ to display the Software\Microsoft\Office\ extensions which aren’t
actual writing speed, and ‘0’ [Version]\Excel\Options, where downloaded in Outlook XP
to display the average [Version] indicates your and 2003 is: ADE, ADP, ASX,
writing speed. Office version (Office XP is BAS, BAT, CHM, CMD, COM,

166 DECEMBER 2003


CPL, CRT, EXE, HLP, HTA, bar on the right that con- This is because XP tries to get allows you to increase the
INF, INS, ISP, JS, JSE, LNK, tains links to common loca- information about the files. USB polling interval. For
MDA, MDB, MDE, MDZ, tions such as My Computer, To disable this feature, open Windows 98 and Me, go to
MSC, MSI, MSP, MST, PCD, My Documents, etc. Using the registry and go to HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE\Sys-
PIF, PRF, REG, SCF, SCR, SCT, this tweak, you can add cus- HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ tem\CurrentControlSet\Services\
SHB, SHS, URL, VB, VBE, tom locations to this bar. CLSID\{87D62D94-71B3-4b9a- Class\Usb\0000; for Windows
VBS, WSC, WSF and WSH. For example, if you often 9489-5FE6850DC73E}. Append 2000 or XP, go to HKEY_
If you want Outlook to save your work on a net- a [-] (a minus sign) in front LOCAL_MACHINE\System\
download any of the above work drive, you can add it of the ‘{87D…’ key, so that it CurrentControlSet\Control\Class
mentioned file extensions, to the places bar. Navigate becomes something like ‘- \{36FC9E60-C465-11CF-
go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ {87D…’. 8056444553540000}\0000.
Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0 Software\Microsoft\Office\ Create a DWORD entry
\Outlook\Security (11.0 for [ Ve r s i o n ] \ C o m m o n \ O p e n - Prevent OS being called ‘IdleEnable’ and give
Outlook 2003), and create or Find\Places\UserDefinedPlaces, paged to disk it a value of ‘1’. To revert to
modify the string entry where ‘[Version]’ indicates At times, when there’s a the previous refresh rate,
named ‘Level1Remove’. The the current office version. dearth of RAM, the system give the entry a value of ‘0’.
value of this entry is the file Create a sub-key with the will move some portion of
extension that it will down- name ‘PlaceX’, where X is a the main memory to the Quicker access to
load; so, add the file exten- unique number. In other hard disk. Obviously, this network folders
sions that you wish Outlook words, name the first cus- slows down the system, but When you open a remote
to download, separated by a tom location ‘Place1’, the there’s nothing much that location by entering the
semicolon—for example, to second ‘Place2’, and so on. can be done about it. In case computer name in the Run
force Outlook to download Now select the newly creat- your system is blessed with dialog box or through Net-
EXE and BAT files, assign the ed sub-key and create two loads of RAM (256 MB or work Neighbourhood, Win-
value ‘exe;bat’. string entries in it: ‘Name’ more) and runs Windows dows takes a long time to
and ‘Path’. The value for NT, 2000 or XP, you can use open the location. Instead,
Add custom places to ‘Name’, is whatever you this tweak to prevent the when the complete address
the open/save dialog box want to call that location, kernel mode code from of the location is given such
In the MS Office Open and
Save dialog box, there’s a
and that for ‘Path’ is the
exact path to that folder.
being moved to the hard
disk. While this will improve
as ‘\\computername\folder-
name’, it opens immediately.
93
system performance, it may Microsoft has confirmed that
affect programs that rely on this occurs when a Windows
Performance Windows swap space. So if 2000 system tries to access a
you notice any eccentric Windows 98 system. The
behaviour after applying this system tries to read the
setting, revert to the previ- scheduled tasks of the
ous setting. Go to remote system—a fairly use-
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYS- less step. To solve the prob-
TEM\CurrentControlSet\Con- lem, open the registry and
trol\Session Manager\Memory delete the HKEY_LOCAL_
Management. Look for a MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\
DWORD entry called ‘Dis- W i n d o w s \ C u r re n t Ve r s i o n \
ablePagingExecutive’; set it Explorer\RemoteComputer\
to ‘1’ to disable the kernel NameSpace\{D6277990-4C6A-
being paged. if you face 11CF-8D8700AA0060F5BF} key.
problems, set it back to ‘0’.

Disable Windows XP later, go to Start > Run and Increase USB


support for Zip files type ‘regsvr32 %windir%\ polling interval
Windows XP comes with system32\zipfldr.dll’. Disabling By default, Win-
in-built support for Zip files, support for Zip files in XP dows checks for
but this can be a curse in does not in any way affect connected USB
disguise. While searching the functionality of third- devices once every
for files, XP automatically party tools such as WinZip, millisecond. This
searches through Zip files, WinRAR, etc. might prevent the
resulting in a slow search. processor from
To disable support for Zip Speed up access to going into power
files, go to Start > Run, type folders with AVI files saving mode, which
‘ regsvr32/u%windir%\sys- Windows XP sometimes is vital for laptops
tem32\zipfldr.dll’ and click takes a really long time to to conserve battery
OK. If you want to enable it open folders with AVI files. life. This tweak

167 DECEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Turn off support for you use any UnPnP devices


UnPnP over your network, leave
Universal Plug and Play it enabled.
(UPnP) devices can be con-
nected to any system over Window refresh rate Stop the annoying low disk
the network instantly—like a All open windows are space warning
PnP device being connected refreshed at a predefined
to a local system. Windows interval; but when there’re CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
XP supports this feature, but too many windows open, and create or modify the
Microsoft has acknowledged and a paucity of memory, DWORD value called
a security flaw. Though there they often appear blank—a ‘NoLowDiskSpaceChecks’. A
is a patch, it is recommended file copied to a folder may not value of ‘1’ will disable the
to turn off this feature—there appear immediately on the warning message, ‘0’ will
are so few UPnP devices window. This tweak allows enable it.
available anyway. Navigate you to set a faster refresh rate
to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ for open windows. Go to Disable CD burning
System\CurrentControlSet\ HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE\SYS- Windows XP comes with in-
Services\upnphost and double TEM\CurrentControlSet\Con- built support for CD writing.
click the DWORD entry trol\Update. Create or modify Since this offers limited func-
named ‘Start’. To disable sup- the DWORD key called tionality, power users might
port for this service, give it a ‘UpdateMode’. Assign it a not need it. To disable sup-
value of ‘4’; to enable it value of ‘0’ for a faster refresh port for CD writing, go to
again, give it a value of ‘3’. If rate, and ‘1’ for default. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\
Software\Microsoft\Windows\
ANNOYANCES CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
Create or modify the
DWORD entry called
‘NoCDBurning’. A value of
94 ‘1’ disables CD burning and
‘0’ enables it.

Hide the links folder


Internet Explorer incessantly
creates the ‘Links’ folder
under the Favourites section,
even if the user deletes it.
You can get rid of it perma-
nently by going to HKEY_
C U R R E N T _ U S E R \ S o f t w a re \
Microsoft\InternetExplorer\
Toolbar. Set the value of the
‘LinksFolderName’ entry as a
blank string. Now, open IE
and delete the Links folder. It
Menu display delay Disable low disk space will no longer be displayed
When a menu is opened, warning under Favourites.
Windows opens the menu Windows XP will
after a small delay. For exam- show a warning
ple, after clicking on Start, the message whenever
Programs menu takes ages to the drive is low on
expand. This is because the disk space. For some
‘Menushowdelay’ entry has reason, whether we
been given a large value. have an 8 GB or 80
Open the key HKEY_CURRENT_ GB hard drive, it’s
USER\Control Panel\ Desktop never enough, and
and modify or create a string this message just
value named ‘MenuShow gets irritating after a
Delay’. In this entry, give the while. To suppress it,
required delay in millisec- go to HKEY_CURRENT_
onds; the accepted limit is 0 USER\Software\
to 999. Microsoft\Windows\

168 DECEMBER 2003


EASE THE TASK below: Search for ‘<search
terms>’. This will take you
directly to the results page in
Google. Open the registry and
navigate to HKEY_ CURRENT_
USER\Software\Microsoft\Inter-
netExplorer\Main; change the
value of ‘Use Search Asst’ to
‘no’; change the value of
‘Search Page’ to ‘http://www.
google.com’; change the value
Get the ‘Copy to’ in the context of ‘Search Bar’ to ‘http://
menu www.google. com/ie’.
Next, go to HKEY_
‘Default’ entry value as C U R R E N T _ U S E R \ S o f t w a re \
the path to the executable Microsoft\InternetExplorer\
for example, ‘C:Windows\ Search URL and change the
notepad.exe’. values of ‘Default’ to ‘http://
www.google.com/keyword/%s’
Make Google default and ‘provider’ to ‘gogl’. Then
search page go to the HKEY_LOCAL_
Google-holics ahoy! You can MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft
Beep on printer errors To’. Select the key you creat- set IE to search using Google \Internet Explorer\Search key
Use this setting to enable the ed and in the right pane, as default. Enter the search and modify the ‘Search
machine to beep every few modify the value of the terms in the address and select Assistant’ entry’svalue to
seconds when a print error ‘Default’ entry to ‘{C2FBB630- the option that appears ‘http://www.google.com/ie’.
occurs. For local printers, go 297111d1A18C00C04FD75D13}
to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ ’. Similarly, navigate to
System\CurrentControlSet\
Control\Print and create or
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\
shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
COVERING TRACES 95
modify the DWORD entry and create a sub-key named
called ‘BeepEnabled’. A value ‘Copy To’ and give the same
of ‘1’ enables beeps and ‘0’ default value as above. For
disables them. the ‘Move To’ option, dupli-
For network printers, cate the above mentioned
go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ steps, but rename the sub-
Software\ Microsoft\Windows keys as ‘Move To’ and
N T \ C u r re n t Ve r s i o n \ P r i n t \ the Default values as
Providers\LanManPrintSer- ‘{C2FBB631-2971-11d1-
vices\Servers and create or A18C-00C04FD75D13}’.
modify the DWORD entry Now when you right click on
called ‘BeepEnabled’. A value any file or folder—except on
of ‘1’ enables beeps and ‘0’ the Desktop—you will get
disables them. these two options.

Include Copy to and Start button context


Move to in the context menu Selectively
menu Using this tweak, you can remove cached
When you right-click a file, open applications from the Run commands
you get a menu called con- context menu of the Start Commands entered
text menu. This tweak shows button, i.e. by right-clicking in the Run dialog
you how you can add two on the Start button. Open box are automatical-
useful entries to it, namely, the registry and select the ly cached to be used
‘Copy To’ and ‘Move To’. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ Directo- again later as Auto
Therefore, copying and mov- ry\Shell key. Create a new Complete. You can
ing files can be done in sub-key named after the pro- selectively remove
2 steps. To add the ‘Copy To’ gram you want to associate it entries from the
option, go to HKEY_CLASS- with, say, Notepad. Now cached list of
ES_ROOT\ Directory\shellex\ select this key and create instructions. Go to
ContextMenuHandlers and cre- another sub-key named HKEY_CURRENT_
ate a sub-key called ‘Copy ‘Command’ and set its USER\Software\

169 DECEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Microsoft\Windows\Current can selectively remove items that you don’t want files to
Version\Explorer\RunMRU, and from the Start menu. Go to be stored in the Recycle bin.
on the right pane, you will HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\
find entries, each one repre- Software\Microsoft\Windows\ Software\Microsoft\Windows\
senting a cached instruction. CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer, CurrentVersion\Explorer\BitBucket
Delete the unwanted entries, and add a DWORD entry and create a DWORD entry
or delete all if you want to for each item you want named ‘NukeOnDelete’. Give
clear the cache. to remove. this a value of ‘1’ to disable
Here’s a list of items: the Recycle bin and ‘0’ to
Remove Logoff from ‘NoRecentDocsMenu’ enable it.
Start Menu removes the Documents
In Windows 98, the start menu. Disable recent files list
menu will have a Log Off but- ‘NoFavoritesMenu’re- in Media Player 8
ton, but many users don’t use moves the Favourites menu. Windows Media Player 8
it, especially in stand alone ‘NoFind’ removes the maintains a list of files
systems. To remove this but- Find command from the accessed recently in the File
ton from the Start menu, Start menu. menu. Use this registry tweak
go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ ‘NoRun’ removes the Run to do away with that list.
Software\Microsoft\Windows\Cu command. Open the registry and navi-
rrentVersion\Policies\Explorer, ‘NoClose’ removes the gate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\
create a binary entry and Shutdown command (be care- S o f t w a re \ M i c ro s o f t \ M e d i a
enter its value as 01 00 00 00. ful as it prevents you from Player\Preferences. Here, double
shutting down Windows). click the ‘AddToMRU’ entry.
Removing typed URLs ‘NoSetTaskbar’ removes Give this a value of ‘00’ if you
from IE address bar the Taskbar command in the intend to disable the recent
Internet Explorer stores 25 Settings sub-folder on the Start files list. You can enable it by
URLs that were previously menu. Adding this entry will changing the value to ‘01’.
entered into the address bar. also prevent a user from mak-
96 Click on the drop down but- ing changes to the taskbar by
ton at the end of the address right-clicking on the taskbar
Clear Add/Remove Pro-
grams list
bar to view the cached URLs. and selecting Properties. Certain program entries do
To selectively remove URLs In Windows 2000 and remain in the Add/Remove
XP, adding programs list owing to an
‘NoSMHelp’ uninstallations that go hay-
will remove wire. This tweak enables you
the help to do away with those. Go to
item and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\
‘NoCom- SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Selectively remove cached URLs in IE monGroups’ W i n d o w s \ C u r r e n t Ve r s i o n \
will remove Uninstall. Under this key,
from this list go to HKEY_ all the entries located in you will find sub-keys for
CURRENT_USER\Software\Micros C:\Documents and Settings\All each program installed.
oft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs. Users\Start Menu and its sub- Right-click and delete all
In the right pane, you will folders. the entries you want removed
find the list of URLs ordered After adding any entry, from the Add\ Remove pro-
with names url, url2, …url25. assign it a value of ‘1’ to grams list.
Delete the entries you wish to remove the item
remove. Rename the remain- from the Start Menu,
ing entries so that the order is or ‘0’ to bring it back.
maintained. For example, if
you delete two entries, Remove the
rename the others so that Recycle bin
they list as url1 to url23. If you’re tired of hav-
ing to delete things
Remove Start menu twice and the Recy-
items cle Bin seems redun-
Most users don’t use all the dant, you can
items in the Start menu. remove it. Using this
Entries such as Help and Log tweak, you can force
off are sometimes never used Windows to delete
at all. Using this tweak, you files directly—be sure

170 DECEMBER 2003


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Photo Finish! Click those


cho-chweet moments,
scan that Swiss
landscape, and doll it
up...with aplomb!

contents
2 Digital Photography
4 Scanning
6 Processing

IMAGING: Mahesh Benkar

123 JANUARY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY appropriate for portrait pho- reduces glare and reflection,
tos. Zooming out and choos- and results in more saturated
Use these tips to breeze through a photo shoot ing a small aperture results in colours, especially in the case
using a digital camera! an equal focus on the back- of sky. Use your sunglasses in
ground and foreground. case your camera doesn’t
have support for one. Place
Shooting fireworks the glasses as close to the
Snap up those beautiful fire- camera as possible, check the
works using a digital camera LCD to see that its frame does
with a shutter speed longer not obstruct the view and
than ½ a second. Ideally, opt shoot. For better results, use
for a shutter speed between 2 it when the light source and
to 10 seconds to capture all the subject are at right angles,
the sparkle and razzmatazz. i.e., when the sun is exactly
You will also need a tripod to over your head. Further, set
avoid jerky, haphazard pho- the white balance to ‘Cloudy’
tos. Eliminate even the slight- for warmer photos.
est possibility of vibration by
using a camera that comes Flash modes
equipped with a remote shut- Normally, digital cameras
ter release. have three flash modes—
Set ISO to the lowest set- Auto Flash, Fill Flash and Red
Focusing izontally and vertically, then ting to reduce noise—the tiny Eye Reduction.
You might face this problem the four intersections are the dots across such snaps. Auto Flash mode is used
if you use an auto-focus cam- best places to put your sub- Enable long exposure noise for general photography. In
era—the camera captures the ject, instead of the centre of reduction, if the camera this mode, the flash deter-
distant background and blurs the frame. This yields an comes with it. mines whether it needs to be
the subject. This is because Preview the shot on the fired or not, based
2 cameras are usually designed
to have a central focus. The
LCD screen, and accordingly
adjust the aperture so that it’s
on the amount
light present. This mode is
of

solution is quite simple. Point just the right size to get bright represented on the LCD by
the camera at the subject and sharp photos. Keep spare bat- a lightning icon with a
position it in the centre of the teries with you. capital ‘A’.
frame. Keep the shutter but- In the case of Fill Flash,
ton pressed halfway down to Warm tones the flash is always fired. This
lock the focus on the subject Follow the Rule of Thirds to click Normally, the default white is useful when the subject is
and re-position the camera so appealing photos balance setting for most digi- sitting in the shade with
the scene is framed to your tal cameras is set to ‘Auto’. bright sunlight around. If set
liking. Finally, press the shut- appealing image. Though this is fine in most to Auto, the flash would not
ter button down completely In case of a landscape cases, sunny landscapes and have fired, resulting in dark
to take a snapshot. shoot that needs an empha- portraits taken in bright light spots around the eyes. In the
sis on the sky, get the horizon could turn out dull. Hence, Red-Eye Reduction mode, the
The Rule of Thirds on the lower horizontal grid. change its setting to ‘Cloudy’ flash is fired several times
One of the most popular rules to get warmer reds and yel- before the shutter actually
of photography, it applies to Foreground and back- lows that make the picture opens. Thus, the eye-pupils
both traditional, as well as ground look better. are contracted and the red-
digital photography. Accord- Zoom in and choose a large eye effect reduces. Use this
ing to this rule, if the frame aperture setting for sharper Polarising filter mode when there is very little
of the viewfinder were to be foregrounds and blurred Polarising filter is used for light and the photo depends
divided into thirds, both hor- backgrounds. This setting is outdoor shoots since it on the flash.

124 JANUARY 2004


Snapping water tions. Since this also means as a screensaver. Right-click camera icon in My Comput-
A camera with a shutter speed longer exposures, use of a tri- the desktop, select Properties er, and choose Properties. Go
that’s slower than a second or pod is recommended. and choose ‘My Picture to the Events tab, click ‘Save
two can be used to shoot Slideshow’ in the Screen all pictures to this folder’ and
flowing water and make it Taking silhouettes Saver tab. Click on Settings specify the folder. Now,
look like a painting. Set your Silhouettes make for appeal- to specify the folder and whenever you connect your
camera on a tripod. Adjust ing photographs. To shoot a other settings. camera, the pictures will be
the aperture either to f-8, f- silhouette, first position your- In case you use Windows automatically downloaded to
11, or f-16 for better depth of self with the sun somewhere 98, or intend to create a that folder.
field. Now, set the shutter in front of you. Now, set the screensaver file, use utilities
speed to 2 seconds, and exposure on the brighter part such as Irfanview (www.irfan- Care and maintenance
shoot. Since you are using of the scene. Use the expo- view.com). In Irfanview, click Carry your camera and other
long exposures, make sure sure lock button to secure the File > Slideshow, specify the accessories such as memory
that the subject is positioned exposure. Re-compose the folder and other settings, and cards, batteries, cleaning kit
in the shade. Use polarising photo and shoot. If it doesn’t click on ‘Save as .scr’. Save and tripod in a separate bag.
filters to enhance the effect. have an exposure lock but- this file in C:\Windows\System Keep your camera covered
ton, set the exposure com- in Windows 98, or C:\Win- with a plastic bag to protect
Master the modes pensation to -2 or -3. dows\System32, if you use it from moisture. Also, place
Digital cameras have many Windows XP. some silica gel bags along
presets, called modes or Slideshows and screen- with it to absorb moisture.
macros that let you click pho- savers Transferring pictures Never use paper tissue or
tos differently. Some of the To view your pictures as a There are two ways to transfer napkins to clean lenses. They
common modes are Auto, slide show in Windows XP, images from a digital camera contain scratchy wood prod-
Portrait, Landscape, Sports open the images folder in to a computer. One is tether- ucts and may damage the
and Night. Auto mode is the Windows Explorer and click ing, wherein the camera is coating on the lense. Use a
general picture-taking mode. directly connected to a PC camera-cleaning kit that
When you use this mode, the using the cable provided with incudes special brushes and a
exposure, focus, and flash are it. This can be slow and cum- lens-cleaning solution. Keep
set automatically. When this
mode is active, there is usual-
bersome and drains the cam-
era’s batteries, unless it has an
the bristles of the len-clean-
ing brush from coming in
3
ly a small camera icon on AC adapter. The other way is contact with your hands as
your LCD to indicate it. Por- to use a CardReader. Simply body oil gets transferred onto
trait mode, usually shown on insert the memory card of the them. After cleaning with a
the LCD as a face, sharpens camera into the reader, and brush, put a drop of lens-
the subject and leaves the connect the reader to the PC. cleaning solution on a lens-
background out of focus. Most readers don’t require cleaning tissue, and clean the
Landscape mode is indi- separate drivers and support lens in circular motions.
cated by mountains on the Use WIndows XP’s ‘My Pictures all major card formats. Avoid high temperatures
LCD, and is suited for shoot- Screen Saver’ option to view as these affect the camera.
ing subjects that are at a dis- your photos as a screensaver Download pictures auto- When in bright sunny light,
tance. Often, a slower shutter matically keep the camera covered in
speed is chosen and hence, on ‘View as slide show’ under You can configure your digi- a white towel when not in
it’s better to use a tripod Picture Tasks in the Common cam in Windows XP to use. Keep the camera away
while using this mode. The Tasks area. Alternatively, download pictures automati- from strong magnetic fields,
Sports or Action mode pro- right-click any image, select cally when it’s plugged in. as it may damage its memo-
vides a faster shutter speed Open With > Windows Picture However, the camera should ry card. Finally, remove the
and is use to shoot fast mov- and Fax Viewer’. Once the either have the Windows batteries and store them in a
ing objects. Night mode, as image is opened, press [F11] Image Acquisition driver, or dry cool place if you do not
the name suggests, is used to to start the slide show. You support Picture Transfer Pro- plan to use the camera for a
shoot in poor light condi- can also view this slide show tocol (PTP). Right-click the few weeks.

125 JANUARY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

SCANNING
A scan lets you get that lovely little picture
onto your desktop. Using these nifty tricks
while you are at it!

Use Descreen
filter when
scanning
printed
material

buy a model which come 128, 128) reference colour


with these accessories, as card from a photo lab, and
buying them separately is scan the image along with
expensive. it. Open it in Photoshop and
press [I] to activate the Eye-
Calibrating the scanner dropper tool. The Info
Calibrate your scanner every Palette shows the RGB val-
one or two months for opti- ues as you move the mouse
mum results. Calibration pointer over the colour card.
involves scanning a known If it matches with the actual
colour and adjusting the colour (RGB = 128, 128, 128
Buying a scanner Another factor is the Bit output to match that colour. in this case), your image
Before buying a scanner, you Depth. This is concerned In case the scanner doesn’t colours are perfect. Other-
4 need to keep your budget in
mind and evaluate the scan-
with the analog to digital
conversion of images, dur-
support calibration, get a
standard gray (RGB=128,
wise, change the colour bal-
ance and brightness of the
ner on the following points: ing scanning. Typically,
Resolution, measured in scanners have 48-bit con- Calculating image size and PPI
dots per inch (dpi), deter- versions, with 16-bit each Use this table to calculate the scan dpi, depending on the
mines the sharpness of the for red, blue and green. The print resolution and printed size desired:
scan. Typical flatbed scan- next feature that you should
ners offer a resolution rang- consider is the speed of Printer Type Standard inkjet High-quality Photo-quality
ing from 600 to 2400 dpi. scanning. Though there is printer inkjet printer inkjet printer
The second factor is Dynam- no standard method of Print Resolution 300 to 320 dpi 600 to 720 dpi 1,200 to 2,880 dpi
ic Range. Scanners that measuring the speed, you Scan Resoltion 150 ppi 150 to 240 ppi 240 to 360 ppi
reproduce white perfectly can compare the time taken Printed Size Actual Pixel Dimensions (Average)
have a minimal optical den- to scan the same image at 2 x 3-inch 300 x 450 400 x 600 600 x 900
sity or Dmin of 0.0. On the the same settings by differ-
pixels pixels pixels
other hand, scanners that ent scanners.
4 x 6-inch 600 x 900 800 x 1,200 1,200 x 1,800
output a perfect black have a Finally, look for trans-
pixels pixels pixels
maximum optical density or parency adapters for scan-
5 x 7-inch 750 x 1,050 1,000 x 1,400 1,500 x 2,100
Dmax of 4.0. These two val- ning slides and negatives,
ues constitute the dynamic Automated Document Feed- pixels pixels pixels
range of the scanner. Typical ers (ADF), etc. If you are 8 x 10-inch 1,200 x 1,500 1,600 x 2,000 2,400 x 3,000
values for these are 2.5 and looking for any of these fea- pixels pixels pixels
3.5. tures, make sure that you

126 JANUARY 2004


image size to the smaller than the double the like lower1.tif, lower2.tif.
m i n i m u m . longest side of your scan- This is necessary because we
Remember to re- ners glass, you can follow will have to flip these lower
size and rotate at this method: images before creating the
the time of scan- Make a mark after every final image.
ning, to preserve eight inches on the longest Open all the images in
the final image side of the image from the Photoshop. Create layers for
quality. right to the left. Now, rotate each image by clicking Layer
The other the image by 180 degrees > New > Layer from Background.
method is the and mark it in the same Rotate the canvas by click-
grayscale mode, manner, on the opposite ing Image > Rotate Canvas >
or 8-bit scanning longest side. Here, we 180O for all the lower-half
that records assume that the image has a images. Create a new blank
shades of grey. landscape orientation, i.e., image, large enough to
Use the Lineart mode in the scanner software This results in its width is greater than its accommodate all these
to scan line-arts much larger height. Now, align the images. Put all the layers on
files, but it’s suit- upper-right corner of the this image and align them
image until you get the pre- able for line-art with shades. image with that of the scan- appropriately to get the final
cise reference colour. Final- The third method— ner glass. Choose the set- picture. You can also use
ly, crop out the scanned halftone—is a format that tings at which you want to Photoshop CS’s (Creative
reference colour card. prints black dots in a manner scan the whole image and Suite) Photomerge feature to
that simulates shades of grey. start the scan. Save this file automate the last step.
Scanning magazines as Image1.tif. Move the
Scans of magazines or news- Scanning for fax image to the next mark and Saving scanned images
papers often result in dotted Scanning at 200 dpi in Line scan without altering the Save images scanned to be
image patterns, commonly Art mode, 100 per cent is settings. Save this file as used on the Web or be sent
referred to as moiré. Min- most suitable when the image2.tif. Repeat the as e-mail attachments in the
imise this effect by scan- image has to be faxed. The process till you have .JPEG format. . GIF is a better
ning the image at 300 dpi
with the scanner software’s
easiest method would be to
print the image to the fax
scanned the entire image.
To scan the lower half of the
option for images such as
line arts that have less than
5
Descreen filter on, and then driver directly from your image, turn the painting by 256 colours since it results in
re-sizing it to 33 per cent of scanner program. Fax 180O and repeat the above smaller file sizes.
its size using photo-editing always uses the Line Art process. This time use a dif- If you plan to edit the
software such as Photoshop. mode—even if you scan it ferent naming convention images later, save them in
Finally, apply the Unsharp in some other an uncompressed format.
Mask filter. mode, the fax O You may also save them in
Image 1 V Image 2
software con- E the TIF format as it allows
R
Scanning line-art verts it into L compressing without caus-
A
Line-art is a clip art, drawing Line Art. P ing loss of image quality. If
P
or pencil sketch, consisting of E
you are scanning images for
two colours. There are three Scanning D archival, it’s always recom-
methods of scanning line-art. oversized mended that you save one
The first is the Black and images copy in your image editor’s
White Mode, or 1-bit scan- If the image to native format. For example,
ning that just picks up the be scanned is if you use Photoshop, save
black areas. This method larger than a copy in the PSD format.
suits line-art that does not your scanner You might want to save the
have shades akin to that of glass, but its Scan images larger than the scanning area by second copy in high quality
pencil sketches as it keeps the longest side is dividing it into sections JPEG format.

127 JANUARY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

PROCESSING Auto Color. Finally, sharpen


them via Filter > Sharpen > Wipe off dust and
Snapped and scanned, but satisfied you are
Sharpen. scratches
not? Here’s how you add that touch of class to Make use of dust and
them! Sharpening scratch removal software to
You can sharpen any image get clean scans. One such
using Photoshop’s Unsharp plug-in is Kodak’s Digital
Mask filter (Filter > Sharpen > ICE (www.asf.com). Apply the
‘Unsharp Mask…’). This com- noise filter to the photo in
pensates for the blurring Photoshop by going to Filter
caused by the low-pass filter > Noise > ‘Dust and Scratch-
es…’. Next, despeckle the
image by going to Filter >
Noise >Despeckle.
You may also use the
Clone Stamp Tool to clone a
cleaner area to the dusty one.
To use this Photoshop tool,
press [C] and click on an area
that resembles your target
area, while holding down
Reducing red-eye effect the image precisely to that [Alt]. After defining the
Eye pupils dilate in the dark, size. Open Photoshop and source, release [Alt] and paint
thus reflecting the flash light press [Ctrl] + [R] to enable in the normal way. Do
in the eye’s blood vessels. rulers. Right-click on the remember to zoom in and
This gives the person a ‘red ruler, and select Inches to keep the brush size smaller
eye’. Hence, avoid photo- change the ruler unit. Now, Use Photoshop’s Unsharp Mask for better results.
graphing in the dark. If it’s drag the horizontal guideline filter to sharpen your images

6 absolutely necessary, use a


camera with red-eye reduc-
to 5 inches, and position the
vertical guideline at 7 inch-
that is found in almost all
digital cameras to improve
Creating panoramas
The latest version of Photo-
tion feature. es. Press [C] to switch to the image quality. Apply it before shop CS comes with Pho-
Tell the subject do not Crop tool, and drag a rectan- the image is re-sized, or tomerge—a feature that
look directly into the lens. If gle of 5 by 7 inches. Move it resampled, but after other allows you to create panora-
possible, use a removable to a suitable position, and corrections have been done. mas in just a few clicks. The
flash that is placed at some double-click to crop; trying Its ideal settings would be a best part is that you don’t
distance from the camera. unusual shapes may be a radius value of 0.3 to 0.5, even need to fix your camera
You may also use photo man- good idea. For example, threshold value of 0 to 2 and on a tripod while taking
agement software such as heart for a couple’s photo. amount between 200 to 500 images, as Photoshop adjusts
Photoshop album, Picasa, Cropping comes handy per cent. the level automatically. Open
ULead Photo Explorer, JASC while correcting horizon For compensating the Photoshop CS and click on
to remove red eye. lines or straightening your blurring done by output File > Automate > Photomerge.
photos. process, it should be sharp- Click on Use Files and use
Cropping ened after resize/ resample. the browse button to locate
Cropping is used to edit Automated features Generally, finer the print, all the images that want to
unwanted portions of a pho- Improve the quality of your the lower will be the radius. use for creating the panora-
tograph. Maintain the aspect photographs by using the For example, you will need ma. Make sure that the
ratio for prints when crop- automated functions in Pho- a radius of 1.0 to 1.5 for ‘Attempt to Automatically
ping using software. For toshop. Go to Image > Adjust- photos that are printed on Arrange Source Images’
example, if you need a 5 x 7 ments > Auto Levels and then premium inkjet photo check box is checked, and
print, you will need to crop apply Auto Contrast and paper. click OK. A dialog box with

128 JANUARY 2004


file, and images are corrected proper- thing to keep in mind while
extract the ly. Refer to the Readme.html printing images is the reso-
pano12.dll file inside the ZIP file for lution. Ideally, a 4 x 6 inches
file in the further details. photo should be have a reso-
folder where lution of at least 800 x 600.
Photoshop Warning! For 5 x 7 prints, it should be
is installed. There are two ways to rotate 1024 x 768 and for 8 x 10
Now, extract images in Windows XP. You prints, it should be 1600 x
all the files can right-click on the 1200 pixels. Furthermore,
inside the thumbnail view in Windows you need to have a dpi of
‘Photoshop Explorer and choose Rotate 300 for sharper, clearer
Create an impressive panorama in minutes using Plugin’ in Clockwise’ or ‘Rotate prints. Use Photoshop to
Photomerge in Photoshop CS! the ZIP file Counter Clockwise’, or use change all these parameters.
to the Pho- the rotate image button in Access them by going to
your images identified and toshop Plug-Ins or Filters Windows Picture and Fax Image > Image Size.
adjusted comes up. Click OK directory. Restart Photoshop Viewer. However, every time
to accept and use the Crop and open the photo in need an image is rotated, it’s Tinting black and white
tool to crop out unnecessary of correction. First, go to Fil- saved, which results in some photos
portions. ter > Panorama Tools > Correct loss of quality. Thus, make it Using photo-editing applica-
Visit www.panoguide.com— to bring up the ‘Correct a point to use specialised tions, you can add colour to
a Web site dedicated to cre- Options’ dialog box. Select photo-editing software that black and white photos.
ating panoramas, for more Radial Shift, and click on save only the final image. If Open the image in Photo-
tips and software. the option next to it to you use Photoshop, it would shop. Go to Image > Mode,
bring up the ‘Set Polynomi- be best to keep saving the and ensure that the colour
Distortion correction al Coefficients for Radial image that is being worked mode is RGB or CMYK. Now,
Distortion in photographs Correction’ dialog box. Set upon in the PSD format. press and hold down [Shift]
could be Barrel distortion—a ‘a’ and ‘c’ to zero for all Save it in the JPEG format and use the Lasso tool to
lens effect that leaves photos colours, and choose a value only when you’re done with select a certain area, say, the
with a spherical distortion at
the centre, or it could be Pin-
for ‘b’ and ‘d’ such that their
values add up to one. The
all the editing. The use of the
rotate image function in
skin of the photographed
person. That done, go to
7
cushion distortion, which values for ‘b’ should be neg- Windows XP should be the Image > Adjustments > Varia-
last step of your editing tions and adjust the levels to
process. obtain the desired colour.
Now, select other elements
Image resolution in the photograph and
Perhaps the most important adjust the colour variations
in the same
manner. Use the
Path tool for bet-
Pincushion No Barrel ter control over
Distortion Distortion Distortion selections.
results in images that are ative to correct barrel dis- Finally, create
pinched in the centre. tortion, and positive to a new layer with
An easy solution to cor- rectify pincushion distor- ‘soft light’ blend-
rect this would be to use the tions. Start with 0.015 for ‘b’ ing mode and 85
Panorama Tools plug-in for and 0.085 for ‘d’ to correct per cent opacity.
Photoshop that can be pincushion, and -0.015 and Now, use the
downloaded from http:// +1.015 for barrel distortion. dodge and burn
home.no.net/dmaurer/~dersch/In Increase or decrease the val- tool to lighten
dex.htm. Open the ZIP ues gradually until the Adjust image resolution before printing and darken the

129 JANUARY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

File naming histogram in Photo-


By default, images down- shop by going to
loaded from a digital camera Image > Adjustments >
are named as DSCN0001, Levels.
DSCN0002, … Use the batch The right side
function in Windows XP to of the histogram
rename them. Open the shows the lightest
image folder in Windows portion or ‘high-
Explorer, hold down [Ctrl], lights’ of the
select all the desired images images, the middle
and press [F2]. Name them section shows the
Use Adjust Variations dialog to appropriately and press Use Windows XP’s Web Publishing Wizard to mid-tones and the
colorize Black and White [Enter]. If you entered ‘birth- share your photos easily left most side shows
Photos. day’, the last selected file will the darker portions
be renamed ‘birthday’ and and a few other details as or ‘shadows’. The vertical
specific areas to finalise the the preceding files will be part of the registration axis shows the pixels in each
image. renamed ‘birthday (1)’, process. It then displays the
‘birthday (2)’, etc. Web address of your group.
Print easy Finally, the Wizard uploads
The easiest way to print your Photos on the Web the photos.
images is to use the Photo Windows XP’s Web Publish-
Printing Wizard in Windows ing Wizard stores photo- E-mailing
XP. Open the image folder in graphs online, as private or To e-mail photographs,
Windows Explorer, select the public albums. Open the right-click the image in Win-
images you need to print folder that contains your dows Explorer and choose
while holding down [Ctrl] photographs, hold down Send To > Mail Recipient. A dia-
and then click ‘Print the [Ctrl] and select the pictures log box in Windows XP pro-
selected pictures’ under Pic- you want to share. Next, vides you with three options
8 click ‘Publish
the selected
to re-size the image prior to
e-mailing it: 640 x 480 strict-
items to the ly for computer viewing, 800
Web’ under ‘File x 600 for 4 x 6 prints and Use Histogram to correct the
and Folder 1024 x 768 for 5 x 7 prints. exposure in your photographs
Tasks’ to start Of course, you can always
the Wizard. send it as it is! level. An underexposed
After you have image has many pixels con-
confirmed the Histogram centrated in the shadows.
photos you Exposure is one important Move the sliders to improve
want uploaded, factor that differentiates the distribution of brightness
specify its loca- good photos from shoddy levels. Alternatively, use the
tion to the Ser- ones. A good photo has all its Auto button to let Photo-
Print your images easily with Windows XP’s vice Providers elements illuminated prop- shop make the adjustments.
Photo Printing Wizard in the next erly. Use the histogram to Further, you can also adjust
screen. Here, correct exposure. Though histogram of channels, i.e
ture Tasks. Follow the we choose MSN Groups—the many cameras show a his- red, blue and green, if their
instructions to print your standard option. The wizard togram on their LCDs after distribution appears improp-
images in Full Page, Contact then gives you the option of you take a picture, it’s better er. For example, adjust the
Sheet, 8 x 10, 5 x 7, 4 x 6, 3.5 keeping your files public or to view the histogram in a histogram for the blue chan-
x 5 or Wallet prints. private. Accordingly, you are photo-editing tool and make nel if the sky looks dull in
asked the name of the group corrections there. Access the your photograph

130 JANUARY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Tracking it Sturgeon’s Law states


that 90 per cent of
everything is useless.

Down
You know this is true
while searching for
information online.
TnT comes to your
rescue with fast and
relevant searches
that help you defy
Sturgeon’s Law
9

contents
10 General search engines
12 Metacrawlers
14 Metacrawler tools
15 Peer to peer searches
15 Database searches

Grokker2
Copernic Agent Basic
Mahesh Benkar

145 FEBRUARY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

GENERAL SEARCH ENGINES domain box with a Web site main page. If you want your
that you want to restrict browser to remember your
results to, and select Only, or preferences, you need to set
avoid picking up results it to accept cookies—Tools >
from, by selecting Don’t Internet Options > Privacy for IE.
from the drop-down box.
Language, please
Pageing specifically You can choose to restrict
The options under the Page- searches to only English
Specific Search heading allow pages, but remember Google
for quickly locating pages that also provides a reasonably
offer services, or have content accurate translation of pages
similar to that of a specified in five listed languages—Ger-
Web page. For instance, if you man, French, Spanish, Italian
enter ‘space.com’ (a site for and Portuguese. Also, you
astronomy enthusiasts), the may occasionally need results
similar pages listed include that are listed in another lan-
Illustrations: Farzana Cooper
some from NASA as well as guage—say, if you’re research-
Sky and Telescope magazine, ing French poetry. If you only
Google and several other well-known need English results, set it
Think search, and space-enthusiast sites. from the Advanced Search
chances are you’ll page instead.
think www. google.com. Preferences
Here’s how we make If Google is your tool of Numbers and pages
the reliable horse work trade, it makes sense to You can set the number of
better for you. tweak it to your quirks— returned results on a single
At Google’s home head to Preferences on the page, and the way in which
page, if you click on
Want more than plain HTML? Look for Google Keywords
10 Advanced Search, you
can access advanced
specific document file types Keyword/ Usage Action
options that narrow down return formats that you symbol
[+] Chevrolet +Camaro Looks for documents containing
results to more specific links. don’t want, by selecting the
both ‘Chevrolet’ and ‘Camaro’
format and clicking ‘Don’t’.
[-] Chevrolet -Camaro Results will contain ‘Chevrolet’
Language but not ‘Camaro’
You tend to get a lot of Here’s a word [~] ~transducer Searches for the term ‘trans-
non-English results whilst If you usually look for spe- ducer’ as well as its synonyms
searching. By restricting cific words in a Web page, OR May OR June Results will have either ‘May’ or
your search to English sites fine-tune Google to do just ‘June’, or both
from the drop-down box, that. Use the Occurrences Cache: cache:http://www. Returns Google's cached pages
you don’t waste time on option that lets you specify yoursite.com/ of www.yoursite.com
results you can’t understand where you want to see the define: define:virus Gives the definition of the
word ‘virus’
anyway. search terms, whether in the
site: Apple site:www. Will restrict search to pages
text, URL, title, or anywhere
food.com containing ‘apple’ only at
Getting format specific else in the page. www.food.com
You can search specifically related: related:www. Will fetch results of sites similar
for, say, PDFs or PPT files. Domaining it greatvacations.com to www.greatvacations.com
Choose the format of your The Domain option lets you info: info:www. Will present information that
choice across the six listed limit searches to a particular sweepstakes.com Google has on www.sweep-
on the Advanced page, or domain, or avoid bringing stakes.com
exclude the results that up results from it. Fill in the For more search terms check out http://www.google.com/help/operators.html

146 FEBRUARY 2004


results are opened—under older engines around, but able under ‘Search with…’. Advanced? Not quite
‘Number of Results’, select a still comes with a bounty of Use keywords such as ‘AND’, If you prefer the query-build-
number from 10 to 100 from features. ‘OR’, ‘AND NOT’ and ing tool, check out the ‘More
the drop down box. Obvi- ‘NEAR’. ‘NEAR’ is used to Precision’ version of AltaVista
ously, the larger the number, Truly fast searches specify that two terms at http://www.altavista.com/
the more time it will take for While AltaVista is fast, should be located close ?qbmode=. You don’t get all
the results page to load. Tick nothing’s ever fast enough! together—within 10 the advanced features, but
the Results Window check- If you want even faster words—as in ‘iit NEAR admis- you do have access to the
box to open search results in results, switch over to the sions’ for a search on ‘IIT query-building options.
a new browser window. text-only version at admissions’.
http://www.altavista.com/ Wildcarding
Content censoring web/text. It’s plain and sim- Advance advanced AltaVista supports wildcard
To ensure that search results ple, with no graphical ele- Other Advanced Search characters; use [*] to get
do not turn up explicit sexu- ments to spice up and slow options trim your searches. search results based on varia-
al content, use the Safe- down the page. ‘Date’ will limit the date and tions of words. This is how it
Search option. This can be time-range of the Web pages works: there have to be at
set under SafeSearch Filter- Advanced search you are looking for and ‘File- least three letters before the
ing. Choose from three lev- Advanced Web searching is type’ will let you specify the [*] sign. Remember, any letter
els—no filtering, moderate accessible from the main formats. You can also limit or letters can take the place of
filtering that only blocks page. You can build up searches to specific top-level the wildcard character, so a
explicit images, and strict queries using exact phrase domains or site domains. search for ‘Micro*’ can result
filtering for explicit text matches, as well as by the Site Collapse, if enabled, will in ‘Micro’, ‘Micron’,
and images. presence or absence of key- display a maximum of two ‘Microsoft’, ‘Microscope’,
words across a results per site. If disabled, it ‘Microscopic’, and so on.
page. This is will show you all results,
possible from grouped by relevance. Preferences
the ‘Build a Results from the same site Click on Settings on the
query with…’ are indented beneath the main page to set your prefer-
option.
If you’d
first result. ences. You can choose to set
language settings (English or
11
prefer Boolean
AltaVista Keywords
operators, the
Make sure all your searches are safe for the family option is avail- Keyword/ Usage Action
Symbol
AND Custard AND Apple Looks for pages containing
All across Google both the words (any order,
Once set, your Google anywhere in the page)
preferences are main- OR Custard OR Apple Looks for pages containing
tained throughout all of both the words, if not at least
Google’s services, so one
between general search- AND NOT Custard AND NOT Results served up contain
es and Google Groups, Apple ‘Custard’, but not ‘Apple’
there are no differences [*] Col*r Looks for pages containing
in settings. both ‘Colour’ and ‘Color’
domain domain:edu Finds documents from the
.edu domain
AltaVista image:boating Finds pages that feature an
Image
AltaVista (www.altavista. image called boating
com) has powerful Like like:ebay.com Finds sites that are similar in
search capabilities content to eBay, the auction
under its plain and sim- The true strength of AltaVista is its site
ple skin. It’s one of the Advanced Search See the complete list at http://www.altavista.com/help/adv_search/syntax

147 FEBRUARY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Spanish), or access the METACRAWLERS


Family Filter page. For
Web searches, set the
options for displaying
Web page information,
the number of results to
be returned per page, as
well as browser language
troubleshooting, should
you have trouble with
junk text being displayed.

Filters Parlez-vous Français? Babelfish to


AltaVista takes explicit the rescue…
content very seriously; by altavista.com/babelfish/). It’s
default, all family filtering reasonably accurate for gen-
against sexually explicit con- eral use, and lightning fast— Mamma operators, to separate the
tent is turned on. You can be it a few lines of text, or an Claiming to be the mother wheat from the chaff.
access it at http://www.altavista entire Web page. Enter the of all search engines, Here’s how.
.com/web/ffset. You can choose text in the blank text block Mamma (www.mamma.com)
the sort of filtering, whether (up to 150 words), or enter gives fast results for your Refining your search
restricted to image video and the URL of the Web page you queries. And it’s got some Mamma provides a pretty
audio searches, for all or no want translated in the URL pretty cool advanced fea- nifty service called ‘Refine
searches. To enforce this, you box, to get it translated to the tures as well. Your Search’ that provides
can also protect the settings language of your choice. links to further sub-topics
with a password. Search operators within a search. This feature
Converters Search operators make life a provides more specific topic
AltaVista other searches With AltaVista around, you little simpler when you’re searches. If you input a
12 You can also search for more
than just Web pages—think
don’t have to dip into your
pocket calculator for any
searching through reams of
pages to locate elusive infor-
general query, such as ‘Linux
kernel programming’, the refine
images, MP3 audio, video and quick mathematical conver- mation. In Mamma, you search options will include
news. Like the Yahoo! Directo- sions. Use AltaVista’s quick can use both mathematical ‘kernel programming’ as well
ries, AltaVista too has a direc- converter functions to help operators, as well as Boolean as ‘Linux device drivers’.
tory that you can use while you work between conver-
searching for information. The sions—for example, enter- Mamma search keywords
Image Search has limited ing ‘convert 1 in’ at the Keyword/ Usage Action
options, in terms of size and AltaVista search box will Symbol
colour; however, it is very fast. give you all the metric and AND watch AND casio Looks for pages containing
imperial equivalents of 1 both the words (any order,
Cool tools inch. So, you can convert anywhere in the page)
OR watch OR casio Looks for pages containing
While not in the traditional time by using ‘convert 45 sec’;
either of the words, if there are
realm of search, these tools convert speed by typing
no results with both the words
will undoubtedly help you ‘convert 1 mach’; do tempera- Results served up contain
NOT watch NOT casio
while you work on academic ture conversions by entering ‘watch’, but not ‘casio’
research. ‘convert 40 F’; convert weight [+] watch +casio Looks for pages containing
using ‘convert 170 lb’; do area ‘watch’ and ‘casio’.
Babelfish conversions by enter ‘convert [-] watch -casio Results will contain ‘watch’ but
AltaVista’s coolest tool has 25 acre’; and do cooking vol- not ‘casio’
got to be the Babel Fish Trans- umes conversions by typing "" "casio watch" Results will have the exact
lation engine (http://babelfish. ‘convert 1 gal’. phrase ‘casio watch’ present,
and in this order.

148 FEBRUARY 2004


Jeeves, About, and other
search engines at a sin-
gle go.

Web search
Dogpile’s Web Search is
simple and easy to use.
You can pre-refine your
search by choosing
between Web searches,
images, audio, multime-
dia, new and shopping.
This will limit your
Even more refinements popping up, results to those cate-
thanks to good ol’ Mamma gories. Use Dogpile to sniff out elusive Web pages

Power search Setting preferences Advanced search Audio search


Use the Power Search Setting the adult filter here Dogpile’s advanced search is The audio search is a pretty
option found on the main will ensure that all your accessed from the main page. nifty tool. Input search key-
page to fine-tune your Dogpile searches are filtered. Start off by qualifying your words, and you‘ll get links
search. Here, under ‘Select Also, set the other options searches with key terms that to audio files that fit the
search sources’, you can such as language, automati- you want or don’t want listed description, or the key-
select the directories and cally correcting misspelled on the results—the Dogpile words you entered. And no,
indexing engines to be used terms—clicking on this will advanced search option this isn’t a smart way to
by Windows. Under Pay- auto-correct all spellings, a makes a exact phrase search, start downloading warez;
Per-Click, you can safely feature you may not like as well as a search using either copyrighted content is pret-
choose to ignore all the unless you make typos some or all of the listed key- ty much non-existent.
options, since the results often. You can also set the words. You can also use
displayed here may not be
relevant to your search. Set
way you want the results dis-
played. This can be arranged
Boolean search terms instead,
by using a combination of
Multimedia
The multimedia option is
13
adult content reduction, if either by relevance, or ‘AND’, ‘OR’ and ‘NOT’. for searching for video files.
desired, and other options grouped by search engine. The results you get are in
such as highlighting search Ideally, choose relevance, as More search options the formof links to sites
terms. Also, set the other this will remove obvious For more search power, you hosting video content in a
options for speed, number duplicates in the results. might consider using the variety of formats.
of results displayed (keep it However, if you find too few domain search option under
low for fast page loading), results, it makes sense to Advanced Search. You could News, shopping
descriptions, and whether view results by search start with restricting search- Dogpile’s primary news
you want the results to engine. You might also like es to, or excluding searches feeds are culled from ABC
open in a new window. to have all results open in a from, top-level domains News, and they aren’t
separate browser window; such as .com or .edu, or get always the latest around,
Dogpile this feature can be enabled more specific with specific but you can also get feeds
Another of those massive by checking ‘Open Search domains such as from the FAST search
Web crawling search Results Links in New Microsoft.com. The ‘Last engine, with quick, up-
engines, Dogpile (www.dog- Window’. Page Update’ option will let to-the-minute results.
pile.com), gives you results Remember, you need to you obtain results that were Shopping is also an option
from across a wide variety let your browser accept listed before an update on with Dogpile, but it’s US-
of search engines. Use Dog- cookies so that you the target date, or you could centric, and will, at best,
pile to search from Google, can save these preferences choose to see results after an give you an indication of
Yahoo!, AltaVista, Ask as default. update on a certain date. product prices.

149 FEBRUARY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

METACRAWLER TOOLS Enabling search information that it draws


engines from search engines such as
The quickest way to look at Google, as well as shopping
all the enabled search sites such as Amazon, and rep-
engines is by clicking on the resents the information in
hot link above the Category visual maps, making the rele-
pane at the left. By default, vance of the search results eas-
this reads ‘13 engines ier to understand.
enabled’. Click on this to
select the search engines Visual mapping
you want to work with. Grokker takes search terms
and draws maps; the size of
Verifying results the resultant mapped spheres
Over a period of time, if you corresponds to the relevance
are looking at saved results, of the document. When you
it makes sense to ensure click a link, Grokker opens up
that all the results still exist. the pages in a browser pane
Copernic Agent Basic the Copernic application Go to Results > Verify Links to on the right.
Copernic Agent Basic window, or from the Coper- verify all the links in the
(www.copernic.com) is a nic toolbar on Internet saved results. Metasearch tools
metasearch tool that allows Explorer. The Copernic You can use Grokker to run
you to query multiple application window search Viewing results searches by ranking, sources
search engines with a single takes place at the extreme Your search results are and domains—commercial,
request. At installation, left, and results are dis- only good if they’re under- educational, non-profit or
Copernic adds a toolbar to played in the right-hand standable. So, if you have other. The slider controls
IE and works with it bottom pane. All previous a cluttered result pane, are located at the bottom,
throughout. searches are listed in the top click Result Layout to get and let you tweak these
pane. Click on any of them the results either more results. You can see the
14 Working smart
You can search from within
to open the search results in
the results pane.
detailed or made simpler.
With the advanced features in
effect on the map drawn.
Grokker is an excellent tool
Copernic
Professional,
you can
group results
u s i n g
numerous
criteria, but
for the Basic
version, the
common
display tool
is a good
place to
start. Grokker draws a map and delivers visual search
results that will make more sense
Grokker
Grokker (www.groxis.com) is a to understand the relations
30-day trial software that’s not between search keywords
a metasearch tool in the tradi- and analysing the informa-
Copernic helps you perform a smart metasearch tional sense. It works with the tion obtained.

150 FEBRUARY 2004


PEER TO PEER SEARCHES Family filtering to the Filters tab. You can set
To keep the ‘U’ rating on the filter here, and choose
your P2P searches, you can from pre-configured modes
set in search filter limits. that filter adult content.
These can be accessed by Optionally, all such filtering
clicking on Search Filter on can be password protected.
the sidebar, or by going to You can also choose to filter
Options > Kazaa Lite K++ suspicious file types, based
Options and flipping across on file extensions.

DATABASE SEARCHES

KaZaA (using the utes. This can give a huge


KaZaA Lite K++ client) number of results, or none
KaZaA Lite is a popular P2P at all—depending on the
client software Whether it’s criteria, the rarity of the file
music, movies, software or you’re searching for and
even games, chances are your connection speed. To
you’ll find it on the KaZaA increase this time, click on
network. The best bit is that Auto Search More (top-left
you can choose to search side-bar). You can choose to
using Google, or choose search for longer for more Articles and extracts exact phrases, or the presence
instead to perform a P2P
search. Take a look at how
results, or do continuous
search—as clients keep con-
A good place to start searching
for articles online is www.find-
(or absence), of keywords.
15
to make advanced intelli- necting to the network, you articles.com, now owned by Directory
gent searches in KaZaA. should see more results. LookSmart. FindArticles stores As you search FindArticles,
article listings across many you can see the directory from
Specialise, specialise Audio searching genres such as automobiles, which you’re receiving the
Searching KaZaA is fairly Here’s the quickest way to art, computers, computing results. To narrow in on a
easy. If you’ve chosen P2P locate the right audio file in technology, etc., from as far source, inspect the source
searches over Google KaZaA. First, select P2P back as 1998. publications.
search, in the main search search and choose the
sidebar on the left, choose Audio option. Once done, Searching for articles Papers online
from searching for specific keep the default ‘All’ option The ‘Advanced search’, One of the biggest reposito-
binary files such as music, checked, and enter the accessed from the main page, ries of papers online is
video files, images, or doc- artist’s name and song. Sift is limited. However, the site www.itpapers.com. With links
uments. It makes sense to through the multitude of still features listings on many to over 25,000 whitepapers
do an ‘everything’ search results by clicking on ‘More arcane subjects with substan- on diverse topics, this site
only if you can’t locate a Search Options’. Now, you tial results. For a narrowed- can be invaluable as a central
specific file. can choose to refine the down list, search from the listing for research papers.
search by the ‘quality’ and magazine genre drop-down Search here is, unfortunately,
Timing searches ‘integrity’ ratings to ensure list to the right. limited to plain searches,
By default, KaZaA Lite that you get the best down- You can also tweak the with little tweaking possible;
searches for only two min- load from the lot. search here with searches for however the site main page

151 FEBRUARY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

back in time, the can also choose to generate a the way back to 1981.
cyber way. The PDF of a Web page. Advanced Group Search also
W a y B a c k lets you set in SafeSearch fil-
Machine, located For more than the Web ters to prevent adult content
at www. archive.org There’s more than just text at from being displayed.
(mirrored at http:// www.archive.org. As one of the
archive.bibalex. org), Internet’s premier indexing Directories
is the super-repos- and archiving organisations, Directories are aggregated
itory for all that you can also access a large collections of Web pages
was there, and amount of statistical data, and sources of information,
Use Find articles to locate documents from as may not exist free historic videos, and free under common subject-
far back as 1998 anymore. high-quality audio that spans based groupings. Searches
the Internet age. using directories turn up
lists the groups into which Advanced search results of similar sites, from
the papers have been dis- Click on Advanced Search Usenet where more detailed Web
tributed—whitepapers on to launch the WayBack There’s nothing like the site specific searches can
Linux, for instance, are Machine’s advanced search Usenet to access information be done.
accessible under Platform/OS page. You can specify the from peer groups and people
> Linux/Open Source. URL of the page you want from across the world. At one Yahoo directory
retrieve and its time (month, time, the biggest source for Located at http://dir.yahoo.com,
Going back in time day and year). You can archived posts, in the Usenet the Yahoo Directory features
If you’re searching for a page retrieve pages dating from community, used to be a wide variety of subjects
that existed and was updated 1996, although there won’t www.dejanews.com. But after from which you can search
later, or was taken off Google took it over, all for similar Web sites.
the Internet, there are archived Usenet posts are Advanced Search options
a couple of nifty tricks located at Google Groups (from the Directory main
for accessing it. (http://groups. google.com) page), will let you search
using keyword and phrase
16 Google caching
Use Google’s caching
Advanced Groups Search
The Advanced Groups Search
matches, as well as domain,
country and language
feature to access sites accessible from the Groups searches, which helps gener-
that are unreachable, page will allow you to locate ate results based on narrow,
or have messages by keywords, exact specific searches.
recently shut down. phrase matches, as well as by
Do this either by newsgroup posted to, subject, DMOZ
searching for the site Go back in time to search for now-defunct author, message ID and lan- The Open Directory Project,
on Google and click- pages using the Wayback Machine guage. You can also check located at www.dmoz.org aims
ing on the ‘Cached’ posts by message dates—all to be the largest human edit-
option, or by typing be every version of the page; ed directory of
‘ c a c h e : w w w. s o m e s i t e . most will be cached, depend- the Web, with
com/somepage .html’. ing on popularity. over four million
Note that Google typical- Web sites
ly caches a recent copy of Other great features grouped across
the Web page as it crawls the The WayBack machine also 5,00,000 cate-
Internet, so looking for real- offers you options such as gories. Advanced
ly old versions of a page may comparing two versions of searches let you
not be possible with Google. Web pages. In case a Web page access limited
has several similar cached ver- fine-tuning
The WayBack Machine sions, you can choose to see Perform a Usenet search from as far back as options for a few
This is how you get years all versions, or just one. You 1981 using Google Groups categories.

152 FEBRUARY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

To be a
Writer...
For those smitten by the writing bug, but facing
the writer’s block, we’ll make a writer of you 17
yet…

contents
18 Web toolkits
20 Blogging
21 Accessibility
23 Resources

Atul Deshmukh

115 MARCH 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

WEB TOOLKITS any problems that TidyHTML Insert > Tables…, and key in the
cannot solve. formatting as desired.
Your own Web site is one of the best ways to
display your art. These site creation tools will Quick and tidy Perls of wisdom
help you bring forth your creativity online… Use TidyHTML’s quick-fix fea- 1st Page 2000 comes with
tures (Tools > TidyHTML Quick loads of features to jazz up
Tools) to apply source-format- your Web pages. Go to Script-
ting, upgrade to a style sheet, ing > Full Featured Perl Scripts,
or convert to XML or output and choose from countdown
tags in uppercase. timers, credit card validators,
etc. Your server
should be running
a CGI service, in
case you wish to
use the script.

JavaScript
magic
Illustrations: Farzana Cooper Go to Scripting >
Instantz Scripts to
1st Page 2000 are familiar with the tools at access a list of
1st Page 2000 (www.evrsoft. hand, you can go to Options Use TidyHTML's powerful features to clean JavaScripts, such
com) is a simple HTML editor and switch to the Advanced up your HTML code
with loads of features to help or Expert mode.
you create some dramatic Insert
Web sites with little effort. Quick work The Insert menu eases
To access simple spell-check- the task of adding
Working around ing, press [F7] for all textual material onto the page.
18 The coding workspace com-
prises tabbed windows. By
content; use LiveSpell (Tools >
LiveSpell) to mark out incor-
Whether it’s adding an
anchor to another Web
default, the Edit window is rectly spelled text; use the the- page or another service,
displayed, followed by the saurus by pressing [Shift] + [F7]. an e-mail link, images,
Preview and Reference panes. tables or Java applets,
Click on the Reference pane Tagging etc, you can do it all. The Instanz JavaScript wizard has lots
to access a copy of several Find all assorted tag shortcuts For instance, should of easy-to-use JavaScripts
HTML guides, including the for start, end, bold, italics, etc., you want to add in a
W3C HTML Reference. under the Tag menu. Click to table to the page, click on as Audio Effects, Background
insert them into the HTML Effects, Buttons,
Moding around document. In the same menu, Calendars, Clocks,
1st Page 2000 lets you access are the common font faces, Menus, Passwords
various modes, depending on font colours and font sizes. and so on; click on
your familiarity with the any of them to get
software. You are in the Easy Cleaning up further options.
or Normal mode, by default, TidyHTML, a nifty customis- Choose the kind
when you start off for the able tool that comes with 1st of effect you want
first time. The page will Page, helps you clean and to display, and
show you large icons and tidy up your HTML code of click Insert.
simple controls, with all the all its errors—go to Tools > Selecting Scripts >
advanced features within the TidyHTML Format and Fix. Use the Insert menu's numerous options to Commonly Used
respective menus. Once you Warnings are generated for insert lots of little HTML code with ease JavaScript Wizard

116 MARCH 2004


lets you access JavaScripts Creating your sites customer support.
for several common FrontPage 2002 comes with a Go to File > New
applications such as drop- host of templates for all sorts Page or Web, and
down menus, document of Web sites. Setting up a sim- choose Web site
fade effects, browser type ple personal Web site is just a Templates from
and so on. matter of minutes. Start the right-hand
FrontPage, go to File > New pane. This opens
Rollover Images Page or Web, and select Per- up the Templates
One really cool effect you sonal Web from the right- applet for you to
can add to your page is the hand pane. Select Personal make a choice.
rollover image effect. While Web again and click OK. FrontPage 2002's menu-based interface sets
in the Easy mode, click on Thus, FrontPage creates a up database and front-end HTML in a jiffy Views
the palette icon on the tool- directory structure, as well as You can employ
bar, and select Insert all the pages that you imme- phone numbers in a data- FrontPage to inspect your
diately need for base. Go to File > New Page or Web pages too. Use the
your Web site. Web. In the right-hand pane, Views panel on the left-
You can select Database Interface Wiz- hand side of FrontPage to
edit the page ard and click OK. Choose see various parameters on
content direct- ‘Create a new Access database your Web site. For instance,
ly in the Nor- within your web’. Click Next, clicking on Page lets you see
mal pane. The and set a name for
HTML pane the database con-
shows you all nection. Specify
the HTML content for the names and
that page, while Preview types (whether
gives you a preview of the string, numbers,
page in Internet Explorer. etc.), of the data-
Finally, publish the page base fields in the
by going to File > Publish
Web wizard. You may
next screen. Click
on Next, and the
19
upload the pages directly database is created. The Views menu lets you inspect and change
to your Web site using the In the next screen, your whole site schema
File Transfer Protocol specify the pages
(FTP). Note that you need a you want created; by default the entire page in the work-
JavaScript for rollover images is now Web server with the a submission page and a space; Folders shows the
very easily inserted into your code Microsoft FrontPage 2000 results page are already folder structure; Reports
Server Extensions turned selected. Finally, click Next builds up a site summary
Rollover Image. In the applet on, or else the pages will not and then Finish. Upload the that details various Web site
that opens, specify the display accurately. database and the pages to a parameters such as pictures,
anchor and the ALT text to Web server that supports unlinked and linked pages,
be inserted, and the image Creating database- Active Server Pages (ASP), broken hyperlinks, etc. Nav-
name as well. Click OK when driven sites ActiveX Data Objects, igation shows you see a tree-
you’re done. FrontPage 2002 lets you build Microsoft FrontPage 2000 like layout of the entire Web
nifty database-driven Web Server Extensions or Share- site, where you can add,
FrontPage 2002 sites that work with your Point team Services. delete or link in more pages.
FrontPage 2002 is business even if you don’t Hyperlinks shows you
Microsoft’s standard HTML- know how to work with data- Creating all sorts hyperlinks or anchors for
editing and Web site cre- bases, HTML, or ASP. Here’s FrontPage also lets you create each page in the folder list.
ation tool that comes with how you can, for example, Web sites that provide a cor- Finally, Tasks shows you any
Office 2002. capture e-mail addresses and porate façade, or Web-based listed tasks for the Web site.

117 MARCH 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Add in tasks from Edit > Tasks host them on Apache or change the look
> Add Tasks… Use the Tasks Microsoft IIS Web servers. Go and feel of your
view to track these. to Tools > Page Options. Flip Mood icons and
over to the Compatibility tab, save the changes.
Page options and select the browsers that
Fine-tune compatibility you want to provide access to. S2
options for your HTML proj- Likewise, choose the appro- Live Journal lets you interact with a vast The layout cus-
ects so that they are accessed, priate version of the browser community of bloggers tomisation in the
either by several browsers, or a you’re targetting. Servers lets S2 system lets you
specific one. You can even you choose between Apache sible only to friends. You change language and themes.
and IIS. For example, can also disallow comments. Choose to blog in English, six
select Microsoft IIS for You can define pictures you other languages, or opt for a
pages that are dynam- want to use, as well as click customised language. Finally,
ically generated with the Pictures link to add new click Customize, under Indi-
ASP. Be sure to check pictures. Finally, click on vidual settings, to set colour,
the ‘Microsoft Front- Update Journal to load the font, presentation and text
Page Server Exten- entry onto the blog. options. Even more detailed
sions’ checkbox for
projects that need it. Customisation
You can also select the Live Journal allows
appropriate settings for limited cus-
from the remaining, tomisation within
such as ActiveX the page. Click
controls, VBScript, Manage > Customize.
Set the custom page options from the JavaScript, ASP, the Here, the settings
Page Options applet CSS version, etc. let you choose
between S1, the old
BLOGGING system and S2, the
20 Blogging is a neat way to get your work online,
new system. S2 lets you customise your blog’s layout, and
even has a style system language called S2
as well as a channel to communicate with S1
S1 lets you customise your presentation styles are possi-
other people of similar interests. Let’s look at
blog page layout using the ble with their style system
two popular Weblogs—Live Journal and Blogger Page Layout Style that has a language, also known as S2.
odyssey. It lets you set up a number of listed styles. Lay-
simple blog with images. Reg- out customisation is possible Adding friends
istration is very with recent events and views. You can add friends who will
straightforward. Also, set colour theme be able to access specific sec-
After logging in, options here. A cool feature is tions of your blog that are
go to Journal Style Override that
and choose lets you tweak spe-
Update… This cific things about
opens the your page layout.
Update page, These are valid at
where you can key in your the beginning of a
thoughts, adventures, experi- document, and are
Live Journal ences, etc., into the text field. limited to <title>,
Live Journal (www.livejournal. Additional options let you <base>, <style>,
com) is an excellent Web site put in access levels to make <link>, and The Friends tool lets you read your friend’s
to start your blogging posts public, private or acces- <meta>. Finally, posts, and lets them read all yours

118 MARCH 2004


not available to blog; E-mail lets you specify ConTemplating
the general public. other e-mail addresses to You can change templates,
You can also view route comments to, and from Templates > Blog
their posts on Members lets you add in Template and tweak the
the Friends page. team members who can also HTML code a bit. Choose
Friends have to be blog on the same page— New Template lets you
Live Journal users. the best way to set up a select from a list of existing
Go to Manage > community blog. templates.
Friends to edit, add
and filter friends. ACCESSIBILITY
Finally, click on
Save Changes and “The power of the Web is in its universality.
access the updated Access by everyone regardless of disability
Friends page there.
is an essential aspect.”

Blogger Set the FTP details to blog directly to your


Blogger (www.blog- personal Web space
ger.com) is another
popular blog spot. It has now your Web server. Choose to
tied up with Google. Posting ‘FTP it to your own server’
is simple—all you need to do while setting up your blog,
is click on your blog name. and provide the necessary
Blogger immediately puts details. Now you can add in
you at the posting page, all posts at Blogger.com, and
where you can add new view them on your Web site!
posts by clicking on Create
New Post. Once done, click Settings, and more
on Publish Your Post. Clicking on Settings lets you
access a lot of things about
21
Getting personal
If you have Web space, you
can create your blog page,
the way your blog works.
Under Basic, you can
change titles and the
S o said Tim Berners-Lee,
W3C Director and inventor
of the World Wide Web, and
choose to put in full-picture
descriptions along with the
ALT text. Use the LONGDESC
using Blogger’s editing and description of your blog. this aspect can be put into attribute to add this descrip-
publishing tools. You need to Publishing lets you set all practice with a little effort. tion. It can also take the form
supply the FTP authentica- your publishing details; For- Once you have put together of a separate page referenced
tion details (username and matting sets time, date, lan- your Web site, use these tips to by a d (descriptive) link.
password), and create the guage, etc.; Site Feed lets ensure that your pages are
appropriate directory on you link RSS feeds to your accessible to all. Quick images
Use the width and height
Images attributes for every IMG tag to
For those who do not use specify the dimension of an
graphical browsers, or cannot image. This speeds up image
access graphics in a browser, a loading, and the text around
simple accessibility tip is to use the images starts to fill in rap-
the ALT attribute and describe idly. Here’s their syntax:
the image. <IMG SRC=“coolcar.gif”
height=“200” width=“200”
Detailed description ALT=“My concept car” LONGDE-
Blogger is one of the most popular blog spots With HTML 4.0, you can now SC=“car_detail.html” ALIGN=left>

119 MARCH 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Flashing Java fuss access to information. pages look organised and W3C’s check
For all your efforts to make a The same argument goes for neat, but they can be quite a The W3C Web site
classy Web site with using Java applets on your hassle for those using a (www.w3c.org) offers you free
Flash effects, it’s possible that Web site. It’s possible that browser that does not sup- HTML and Cascading Style
someone may be Net-surfers may not have the port them. Hence, keep a link Sheets (CSS) validation serv-
accessing it with a browser Java Runtime Environment to a version of your Web site ices. Access the free HTML
sans a Flash player. Hence, (JRE) installed. Downloading sans frames. This ensures validation service at http://val-
keep an alternative link that it from the Internet takes access to all, regardless of idator.w3.org/. It checks and
lets people bypass such quite a while. Hence, keep a frame compatibility. ensures that your HTML code
effects. It is unreasonable to non-Java version too, and dis- Here’s what you can do. follows the W3C’s Web Con-
expect people to download play a visible link to it. After ‘</FRAMESET>’, write tent Accessibility Guidelines
an extra plug-in just to view ‘<NOFRAMES></NOFRAMES>’, (WCAG). Either submit the
the information on your Web Frames and include the HTML code URL, or upload an HTML file
site, especially when they can Frames may make your Web that you would want to dis- for inspection. Access the
find the same play in a frame-disabled tweakable features for this
elsewhere. browser within these two tags. service by clicking on
Keep the ‘Extended Interface’ or
same in mind Testing ‘Extended File Upload Inter-
while opting Testing each page on all face’ on the home page. Alter-
for Flash the possible browsers makes natively, gain access to them
menus. While a lot of sense, as if your pages at http://validator.w3.org/
the eye-candy are not in
is pleasing, strict con-
with slow formance
Internet of the W3C
access, people standards,
would prefer Here’s a site with reasonable frames, which allow then your
to have a no- for easy navigation through the site complex
22 Standards of Access
p a g e s
appear dif-
The various accessibility standards ensure that the Internet and ferently in
the World Wide Web is accessible to all, irrespective of the surfer’s d i f f e r e n t W3C’s site offers a free validation check. Just enter
mode of access or disabilities. There are two well-known stan- b r o w s e r s . the URL to get the page validated
dards and guidelines of accessibility. The first is the World Wide Ensure that
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and Web sites. URL of the CSS, or uploading

120 MARCH 2004


it. You can also enter RESOURCES
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23
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121 MARCH 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

com) is yet another 150m Templates


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122 MARCH 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Animating
Instincts
Atul Deshmukh

25
contents
26 Maya
Nifty tips compiled by
Suzzanne Rebello,
a Maya consultant,
who has lent her expertise
to many international
animation projects.

29 3ds max
So you want to be a graphics Here are 13 useful nuggets
animator... You’re definitely by Sachin Puthran. He
handles art direction for
going to need these tips to
audio visuals, especially
to make Maya and 3ds max in the area of film and
work for you... televison.

115 APRIL 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

MAYA
Get the most respected animation software to
create breathtaking animations for you
‘Use Default Button’ option,
set the Project as Current
and save your working
scenes. Transfer all file
textures to the
Source Image folder.
Before you render,
delete all unused
nodes. To do this, go to
File> Optimize Scene Size.
Farzana Cooper

Clean the Channel


box
Select Object and then Transfer unused channels into the NonKeyable attributes
go to Window > General
Editor > Channel Control. To revert to selections time. Rig this LowPoly model,
Select channels that you Go to Create > Sets > Quick and keep checking the skin-
won’t use on your current Selection Sets and name the ning results, the Outputs on
General user tips object. Click on Move to selection. Next, go to Edit > the hiRes model, or the
Manage your scenes transfer them to the Non Quick Select Set. This is handy Smooth Proxy. Keeping the
A project lets you group dif- Keyable attributes. Also, look when you have to revert to LowPoly and HiPoly on two
ferent files such as rendered out for Non Keyable attrib- selected vertices in a
images, needed for a scene or utes such as Shear, Ghosting, complex mesh. Use
26 a group of related scenes. Go
to Create Project and click the
etc.—you can transfer them
to the Keyable attributes with
the Lasso tool or go to
Edit > Paint Selection Tool,
the Move button. to make Selections. Use the sel box to name the selection
You can split an
outliner in two to Modeling different layers is usually
efficiently manage a Making polygonal helpful, for files with large
number of objects. Models scenes, and also when you
Click on the grey To keep a check on your have to edit vertices—the
line at the bottom polygonal count, Go to Dis- fewer the better.
of the outliner and play > Heads Up Display > Poly
drag it upwards Count On to do so. Make a To make wires, tails for
to do so. polygon smooth proxy by polygonal meshes
going to Polygon > Smooth To create creatures, pipes, or
Lock the camera Proxy. For symmetrical char- get multiple appendages to
To the right in the acters or models, model only protrude quickly, use the
channel box, select one half, and when complete, extrude process. To do this,
the channels by mirror the other half. Do this select the edges or faces you
name, click on the by going to Polygon > Mirror want to extrude and the
one on top, drag it to Geometry. Here, choose the curve you want to extrude
the last, right-click respective axis and select Mir- along. Go to Edit Polygons >
Group different files needed for a scene and select Lock ror. You can also opt to Extrude Face or Edit Polygons >
into a Project Selected. ‘Merge the Vertices’ at this Extrude Edge. Here, turn on the

116 APRIL 2004


‘Use selected curve for extru- respective function on, make after the current frame or ward Kinematics (FK) anima-
sion’ option and click your changes, and go back to keyframe lightens as their dis- tion over multiple frames, a
Extrude. Press [Ctrl] + [A] to Evaluate All. tance from it increases. This is blend can occur over a single
access the Attribute Editor visible only when scene view frame as well. This switches IK
and use its controls to edit the Smoothing weights Shading is set to Wireframe. to FK or FK to IK instantly.
extrusion. It’s a bit unnerving to keep
Use the Twist option to rotating the joints, or moving Move along rotation axes Indirect skinning
rotate the extruded polygons, the Inverse Kinematics (IK) to Use the Move tool to move Here’s how you can conform
and ‘Taper/Taper Curve’ to check the influence of the along the Rotation Axis the shape of the skeleton
scale them along the curve. To joints and their weights on option to orient the move through a lattice: Construct a
control the taper exactly, your skinned character. manipulator to the local rota- shape in the form of a snake—
open the Taper Curve section Instead, simply animate tion axes of the object. draw a curve, create a circle,
and use the graph control to the joints at their extreme and Extrude on Path. Draw a
set scaling along the length of positions. Set one key at bind Freeze joint orientation skeleton of 10 or more joints
the curve. pose at frame 0 and another Maya 5 lets you freeze the inside the model. Create an IK
at another pose, at, say, frame local joint rotation axes to handle that’s the length of the
Nurbs at render time 50. Now, compare or adjust match world space. To do so, skeleton. Select the skin and
To get rid of jagged edges of the weights as you scrub go to Modify > Freeze Transfor- create a lattice with ample
nurbs at render time, go to along the timeline. mation and turn on the Orient divisions. Select Skeleton and
Attribute Editor and drop- option. If this option is turned ‘Bind Skin to the Lattice’. This
down Tessellation. Check the Editing smooth skin bind off, the local joint rotation lets you deform the hardest of
Display Tessellation box and To change the weighting of axes are not affected by Freeze objects convincingly.
increase the ‘Curvature Toler- the CVs, other than by paint- Transformation.
ance’ by using the drop down ing weights, go to Windows > Rendering
menu. You can Increase the U General Editors > Component Edi- Parent constraints Pelting
and V divisions factor by typ- tor and under the Smooth With a parent constraint, you Reduce the effort and time
ing in a higher value. This Skin tab, type in the values for can relate the position—trans- you spend on adjusting those
increases the meshcount the selected vertices. lation and rotation—of one UVs when texturising charac-
when rendering, thereby out-
puting a smoother geometry. Ghosting
object to another, so that the
objects behave as if they are a
ters or models: The technique
is called pelting. Take your
27
This is a direct translation of part of a parent-child rela- mesh, for example, the face,
Animation the classical animation tech- tionship that has multiple tar- duplicate it and flatten out all
Reordering inputs nique of flipping through a get parents. the CVs onto a single plane,
The way the deformers or handful of cell drawings to get An object’s movement can almost as if you were to ham-
input nodes are assigned a feel for the timing of the also be constrained by the mer them. Apply a planar
affect the object to a consid- action you are working on. average position of multiple map to it. Now, transfer the
erable extent. To reorder You can control ghosting objects. UVs back to the original face
these, right-click on Object on each object in your scene mesh and then open the UV
and go to Inputs > All inputs, with the ‘Ghost Selected’ and Maintain offset editor. Isn’t that something!
click the middle mouse but- ‘Unghost Selected’ options Use ‘Maintain Offset’ to pre-
ton on the input node and windows, or with the Ghost- serve the original, relative Paint FX
place it below or above anoth- ing Information attributes. In translation, rotation, and scal- Flip Tube direction
er in the same stack. addition to ghosting individ- ing of a constrained object. Use this to switch the direc-
ual objects, you can now This option is present in all tion of the current brush
Evaluate nodes ghost entire skeletons or constraint option menus between Along Path (ideal for
This feature is present in the object hierarchies. IK/FK blending lets you canvas painting of plants) and
Modify menu. It’s great, espe- The appearance of ghosts apply keyframe animation to Along Normal (ideal for scene
cially when making a tiny in the scene view is also joints, and also control them painting of plants). This is
change in a completely rigged improved for Maya 5. The with IK animation. In addi- available as a hotkey.
character setup. Just put the colour of ghosts before and tion to blending IK and For- A ‘Force Tube to be Along

117 APRIL 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Path’ checkbox is added to The vertical axis repre- viously named Assign
the Canvas section of the sents the intensity or colour Textures and used only
Paint Effects Globals. When intensity value, and the hori- for assigning new tex-
checked, this causes brushes zontal axis represents dis- tures; it had
with tubes whose elevation- tance from the light source. no effect on existing
Min is greater than 0.5 to be Intensity curves and colour textures.
drawn along the path rather curves are similar to anima-
than along the normal in can- tion curves, except that the The displacement
vas mode. Thus, the plant horizontal axis of an anima- attribute
brushes draw in the expected tion curve represents time. Displacement is added
direction when painting in to the Attribute to Paint The Maya Vector to render in style!
the canvas. RampShader brightness drop-down list in the
Use this Shader Type to create File Textures section of the 3D Render layers
Paint effects and polygons cartoon-style shading with the Paint Tool settings. It is now a These are used to render
You can convert Paint Effects help of a ramp with stepped paintable attribute. huge scenes. Below the
strokes to polygonal meshes, values. The right side of the Channel box, there are dis-
including construction histo- ramp shows the colour output Output play layers. Click on the
ry, using Modify > Convert > where the brightness of the The Maya Vector renderer drop down menu, and
Paint Effects To Polygons. diffused and translucent light- Make good use of the Maya change to Render. Add the
This allows you to: Ren- ing is 1.0 or greater. The left Vector to stylise renderings. objects to the layers as you
der in any renderer, includ- side displays the colour with It offers cartoon, tonal art, create them.
ing the Maya Software brightness set to zero. line art, hidden line, wire- Now, go to Windows >
renderer—mental ray for frame in various bitmap Rendering Editor > Render Glob-
Maya—the Hardware ren- 3D Paint Tool image formats such as IFF, als. Here, in the Maya soft-
derer, and the Vector ren- Edit existing textures TIFF, etc. It also offers in the ware Tab, drop down
derer. Also to have Paint You can now edit both, the following 2D vector formats: Render Layers/MultiPass
Effects show in reflections, size and the file format of Macromedia Flash (non-inter- Control and turn on the
refractions and through existing 3D Paint textures active) version 3, 4 or 5 (SWF), option to Enable Render
28 transparent objects. Lastly,
you can use other polygon-
using the Assign/Edit Textures
button in the File Textures
Adobe Illustrator version 8
(AI), Encapsulated PostScript
Layers. All objects are
assigned to the default lay-
editing tools on them. section of the 3D Paint Tool Level 2 (EPS), Scalable Vector ers. Also, look for trans-
Turn on Quad Output, to settings. This button was pre- Graphics (SVG). parency throughout the
output to quadrilaterals. The layers at render time.
default is off, defaulting out-
put to triangles. Fcheck
Access Fcheck by going to
Lights Start > All Programs > Maya >
Intensity and colour curves Fcheck. This utility is provid-
Use a custom brightness ed by Maya to view images
decay rate to increase a spot- and animation sequences.
light’s brightness, or a custom Use it to view high-resolu-
colour decay rate to change its tion image sequences. If your
colour with distance. RAM doesn’t support play-
Intensity curves and back of larger images—
colour curves are graphical because the image sequence
representations of a light’s is too large—you can shrink
brightness and colour with it and reduce the image
distance. Use the graph editor by 50 per cent. Fcheck is
(Windows > Animation Editor), to also used to re-number the
view them. Adjust the brightness of a spotlight to suit your animated needs sequence or rename it.

118 APRIL 2004


3ds max port. You now have a square the ‘Pogo_element’. Move the
of 50 units. Name this ele- shape in the Top Viewport,
3ds max is one of the most sophisticated 3D
ment as Pogo_element in the using the Select and Move
software that makes your images come alive. Name and Color field. tool, and both move together.
Here, we take you through nifty tips that take
your work to a new animated dimension Create embedded Dynamic mouse undo
shapes If you are moving the
We need to embed a circle ‘Pogo_element’ from the
inside the square, so that we existing position to a new
can modify the size of the cir- position by left-clicking and
cle in animation. While there dragging the mouse, you can
are many techniques to do so, cancel this action by keeping
3ds max offers you a simple the left-click pressed and
method to create this effect. clicking the right button
once. This is a handy tool to
check certain functions with-
out committing your actions.

Animating the hole


First, convert the object into
a mesh. Select the object,
click on the modifier list and
select Edit Mesh. Alterna-
tively, press [E] after clicking
on the modifier list to jump
Select circle to get that shape in to the Edit Mesh modifier.

3
ds max is one of the the animation Expand the Editable
most popular 3D appli- Spline modifier controls and
cations used in the
broadcast and film industry.
To embed a new shape,
select the ‘Pogo_element’
select the spline module.
Click on the circle in the
29
Its intuitive toolsets help you that you have created in the object and the selected
create professional-quality Front viewport. Go to the spline is displayed in red.
3D models, photo-realistic Create panel and uncheck Click on the ‘Show end
still images, and film-quality the ‘Select New Shape’ result on/off’ toggle button
animation on your PC. The basic form of the Pogo logo option in the rollout. Now,
The new channel, Pogo, click the Circle button. Open
has made excellent use of Click the Create tab in the the Keyboard Entry rollout.
animation to package itself. command panel. Click the Enter 10 as the Radius value
We will use the Pogo logo as Shapes button to display the and click Create.
an example to help under- Splines shape type. The new shape is a part of
stand the plethora of features On the Object Type roll-
that are hidden in 3dsmax. out, click rectangle. Click the
Keyboard Entry rollout to
Creating the element open it. Here, select a numer-
The basic element of Pogo is ic field with the mouse and
a square with its top-right enter a value of 50 in the
corner rounded. Length and Width field.
Let’s create this shape: Leave the Corner Radius
Click on the Front viewport value at 0 and click Create. View the shape from the Front The magic icon to preview the
to activate the viewport. Observe the Front view- viewport end result

119 APRIL 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

for the mesh preview when save it as a new file before


keyframing. You can see the starting a new project.
mesh in shade view in the
Perspective viewport. Creating an array of
Now go to Frame 1 on animated shapes The Play/Pause toggle controls
the timeline and hit the Use the array command to playback
Auto Key button to activate create duplicates of the basic
it. Go to frame 20 and use shape. Remember to save as Select the second object in
the Select and Uniform Scale this file as tech2.max. Select the series and move each
tool to scale the circle. Simi- the object, and go to the keyframe marker that appears
larly, go to each successive Tools > Array command from on the timeline to a different
twentieth frame and the top menu bar. We will position. For example, move
keyframe the circle using now duplicate 10 copies on the keyframe marker 1 to
various scaling values. The the X-axis. Note that the size frame 5, keyframe marker 20
best way is to scale up and of our master object is 50 to frame 35, and so on. This
down during keyframing. units. In the Move incre- done, check the playback by
Remember to scale the circle mental field, set a value of selecting the perspective view
within the square. 50. Select type of object as and clicking the Play Anima-
Now your basic shape is tion button next to the time-
animated. Save this file as, line. Repeat this procedure for
say, Pogoanim_ master.max all the objects. On playback,
the circles are animating at
The rounded corner different time intervals.
Use the Fillet option to create Save this file as
the rounded top-right edge. tech3.max.
To get a better view, click on
the ‘Zoom Extents All’ but- Make an instanced
ton. This fits the shape to the array
30 best size in all viewports. Select all the 5 animated
objects and go to the Tools -
Make multiple duplicates in a jiffy array command again. Click
on ‘Reset All Parameters’.
Copy. In the array dimen- Enter 50 as the value in the
sions, select 1D with a count incremental Y Move field.
of 5 and click OK. The shape Select instance as the type of
The magic button to fit views in is repeated across the X-axis object. Enter 5 as the array
all the viewports with edge-to-edge accuracy. dimensions 1D and click OK.
Move the slider on the time- Notice that this creates a
Here’s how you fillet the line from 0 to 100 and you new set of objects on the Y-
edge: select the ‘Pogo_ele- will find that even the ani- axis. Go to the timeline and
ment’ and click the Modify mation parameters are
tab in the Command panel. The Fillet dialog box helps you copied with the object.
Here, the selected object is create those round edged corners
shown as an editable spline Randomising animation
object. Click on the ‘+’ to viewport. Now, enter ‘10’ in Notice that all the circles are
open up the sub-object con- the Fillet box and press animated in a similar way
trols. Click on the ‘Vertex [Enter]. Your Pogo shape is on the timeline. We can
sub-object’ and then on the now ready. Save this file as now bring in some variation
top-right vertex of the Pogo_master.max. For other by selecting each object and The Perspective viewport shows
‘Pogo_element’ in the Front techniques, remember to shifting the keyframe. the model with instanced arrays

120 APRIL 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

hit ‘Play animation’. All the Adding dynamism to Bezier control handles. Drag
vertical objects have the camera animation the left node vertically down
same animation. The base Regular keyframing gives to change the nature of curve.
object keyframes can now be you a very standard looking Preview the animation using
modified. Remember we had animation. You can add the camera viewport.
used the Instance option spice to your animation by Similarly, select the fourth
while creating an array. Let’s using Track View > Curve editor. node and select the Set Tan-
see how to use this feature. Select the camera and gent to Fast icon on the
Select the 3rd object in the select the Track View > Curve edi- curve-editor top panel. Pre-
bottom row. Observe that tor from the Graph Editors view it to see the difference.
the keyframes are the same menu to open the curve-edi- Save the file as tech6.max.
for the objects placed verti- tor window. Select the Trans-
cally above it. Modify the form Y position of the camera Handheld camera
keyframe position of the in the left panel of the editor effect
base object. All the window. A green curve Assign controllers to the X or
keyframes in the instanced defines the movement of the Z-axis to make the camera
objects above it are updated Quickly check your animations camera. It starts with an ease movements look wacky or
automatically. Group all the in Preview mode in, takes a peak and then ends like the effect of a jerk when
objects using the group with an ease out. This is the using a handheld camera.
command in the menu bar. left view along the X-axis Assign a controller by
Save this file as tech4.max. closer to the object. Move it right-clicking on the X posi-
Using Instance while along the same axis away tion of camera01, transform
copying, allows you to mod- from the object in frame 50. the position in the curve-edi-
ify the parameters of the Use your own creative cam- tor, and select ‘Assign con-
master object. All instances era compositions. Repeat the troller’ to open the Assign
created from the master same for frame 75. For frame Float controller box. Select
object are updated automat- 100, copy the keyframe from ‘Noise Float’ and click OK.
ically. This is useful when frame 1 to frame 100 by click- An irregular wave pattern
developing animation—say,
with a school of fish, where
ing and dragging the frame 1
marker, while holding down
Curves that can set things right appears in the Noise Con-
31
you modify one fish to [Shift]. Your basic animation is default attribute assigned to
update all instanced objects. ready. You can preview your animated objects in 3dsmax.
animation by selecting the However, we can assign dif-
Camera animation Animation > Make Preview com- ferent controls to change the
Create a free camera in the mand from the menu bar. nature of animation required.
Front viewport from the Save the file as tech5.max You can modify the
camera command panel. The Make Preview win- nature of curve in the graph
Move the camera along the dow has options that allow editor to change the tempo of
Y-axis so as to view the you to set the size and param- the animation. Click on the
grouped objects. Select Cam- eters of your preview. Ensure second node to display the
era view in Perspective view- that you have chosen Cam-
port or press [C] while there. era01 from the Render View- Tweak the curve controls to get
Your animation is displayed port drop-down option. You that jerky look
as seen through the camera. can also create multiple cam-
Move the camera till the eras in the same scene and troller property window.
objects just fit to the extremes animate them. You can name Preview the animation.
of the view. This is your view these cameras for your con- Observe that your camera
in Frame 1. Now, turn on venience. Set the camera has shifted to the left and
AutoKey and go to frame 25. name during preview in the Adjust the curve to change the the movement is a bit jerky.
Move the camera in the Render Viewport dropdown. pace of the animation Adjust the Group01 object

121 APRIL 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

by moving it to the left of light anywhere in the scene OK. Select a bitmap image
the X-axis in the front view- since the effect isn’t based on file from your image
port. Use the camera view- its position. You need to acti- resource and press OK.
port to move it till you are vate the Advanced lighting Notice that the image
satisfied with the framing. control to use the Skylight’s name is shown in the Pro-
You can also change the lighting property. To do so, go jector Map box. Open the
property of the noise to Rendering > Advanced light- spotlight parameters in the
strength by right-clicking on ing, and select Light Tracer. Modify Lights panel.
the X position name and Next, create a spotlight Choose rectangle as the
selecting properties. Change using the create Spot Target option for the shape of the
the values of Roughness and spotlight. Use the Bitmap Fit
Strength to get variations. A button to automatically
small feature called Ramp in resize the rectangle of the The ultimate makeup toolkit
and Ramp out allows you to spotlight to the rectangular
smoothen the start and end proportion of the projected opened group and click on
movements. Preview your image. Click on the Bitmap ‘Assign Material to Selection’.
animation at this stage and The magical light meter Fit option and choose the Create 5 such colours in
save the file as tech7.max projected image again. the Material editor and assign
in the lights create panel. You can also change the it to each object. Render a sin-
Using Skylight Use the Top viewport to cre- Hotspot/Beam and Falloff/ gle frame to see the result.
Now we can set up the basic ate light from the left of the Field values to adjust the cov- You are now ready to ren-
lights required for the ani- camera, pointing towards erage area of the spotlight. der the entire animation.
mation. Choose an Omni the group object. From the Render the scene. You will Select the Camera viewport
light from the lights pane. Left viewport, move the tar- see the projected image ren- and hit the Render Scene but-
Position this to the right of get upwards, pointing to the dered onto the group object. ton on the toolbar. Select the
the camera and in front of centre of the group. To make the animation inter- Active Time segment of 100
the object group. Reduce the Here’s a special feature esting, animate the spot tar- frames. Select the custom file
multiplier intensity of the that lets you project an get from the Front viewport size of 320 x 200 pixels. In
32 light to 0.5 in the light
properties box.
on the X-axis and Y-axis.
Save the file as tech8.max.
the Render Output section
select the Save File option
To make your illumina- and enter the filename as
tion convincing and softer, Texturing shapes for a render. Select MOV - Quick-
use Skylights. Click on the colourful final animation
Skylight button in the Create The animation will look very
lights rollout. Create this colourful and contemporary
if we can assign a different
colour for each square.
To apply colour maps, first
open the group object. select Ready to render
it and go to Group > Open from
the menu bar. Now, select time as the Save As type. Hit
The focus beam light each shape one by one and the render button and enjoy
apply different colours using your Pogo animation.
image onto this object. the Material editor. Remember to render in
Select the spotlight and Open the Material editor D1 PAL size, ie, 720 x 576 pix-
open Advanced Effects from by pressing [M]. Select the first els for professional television-
the Modify Light panel. sample sphere and change quality ouputs. Also,
Click None to open the the diffuse colour to blue. remember that the televison
Material/Map browser win- Select the shape at the format requires 25 frames per
Let there be light dow. Select Bitmap and press extreme-left and top of the second. Happy Animating!

122 APRIL 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Speed secrets
You don’t need the
latest hardware and
the best
33
configuration for
contents
boasting rights. Fine- 34 Hardware
tune your existing 35 Windows XP
system with these 39 Gaming
40 Forum
tweaks to race
ahead

ILLUSTRATIONS: Farzana Cooper

143 MAY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

HARDWARE change voltage settings—this


will significantly increase the
Dirty hardware
Cleanliness is next to godli-
Hardware is the first stop on the Tweak amount of heat produced. ness, even in technology.
Express. A few right and quick fixes, and your Keep your cabinet clean and
system will surprise you Basic BIOS tweaks in a well-ventilated area.
Here are some generic BIOS This is especially important
tips to increase performance. for surfaces such as those of
The gains are limited, but the CPU, GPU and power
the tweaks aren’t as risky as supply that heat up. As long
overclocking. as these are clean, the heat
Firstly, set the First Boot won’t build up.
Device to your C: drive and Use soft paint brushes to
disable the Second, Third clean fans to prevent them
and Other boot devices. On from slowing down or
the rare occasions when you locking up, which can cause
need to boot from a floppy hardware damage.
or CD, a deft move on
[Delete], and changing the Cable chaos
First Boot Device option to Arrange and tie your cables
Floppy or CD will remedy with rubber bands or cotton
the situation. threads to prevent entangle-
Change the ‘CAS Latency ment and improve ventila-
Time’ from 3 to 2—this tion. Also, try and space
reduces the amount of time hard drives as far away from
your RAM waits before it each other as possible. Con-
starts a ‘read’ command. sider adding a fan for your
Change the ‘RAS-to-CAS hard drives if your cabinet is
Quickly press [Delete] as Beyond clock Delay’ and the ‘RAS Pre- too small.
speeds
34 your computer starts up to
enter your PC’s BIOS. This The first step to overclocking
charge Time’ to 2—this
reduces the delay between Separate IDEs
is where you set your your CPU is to increase the signals and lets the memory please
system for better perform- Front Side Bus (FSB). Before refresh faster. A common assumption is
ance—no matter what OS you start, ensure you have a Make sure that the that if the hard disk and CD-
you’re running. well-ventilated cabinet, with bootup virus checking ROM drive are on the same
at least three fans—one for option is disabled to increase cable, data transfer will be
Flashers ventilation, one for the boot times significantly. faster. This isn’t true, since
Before anything else, if your Switched Mode Power Disable ‘Boot up Floppy data transfer rates depend
BIOS version is over a year or Supply (SMPS) and one for seek’ so that the BIOS won’t on Integrated Device Elec-
two old, chances are your the CPU. Increase the FSB in waste time looking for a tronics (IDE) controllers,
motherboard manufacturer the smallest of instalments— floppy drive. Disable the which run at the speed of
has released an updated ver- from, say, 133 MHz to 135 Video BIOS Shadow. the slower device. Since the
sion that will significantly MHz. Now change your CPU If you have a graphics optical drive is slower than
increase performance and ratio marginally, and keep card with over 16 MB of the hard disk, connecting
stability. If the flashing testing sytem stability and memory, disable ‘Video RAM them to the same IDE port
process is interrupted, your performance. Of course, this Cacheable’. slows down performance.
motherboard will be rendered only applies to Athlon CPUs. Set the initial display card Also, transfer speeds
useless: flashing is therefore Intel locks theirs to pre- as either PCI or AGP, and not between drives on two dif-
not for the faint hearted. Get vent overclocking accidents. ‘Auto’, depending on the ferent IDE channels is faster
your system assembler to Don’t give in to the configuration of your than that between devices
update your BIOS. temptation of trying to graphics card. on the same IDE channel.

144 MAY 2004


WINDOWS XP From within the
…because your RAM doesn’t oblige XP’s bells System
Properties dialog
and whistles box, you can set
Windows XP to
give preference
to performance.
You can allocate
its resources to
give preference
to the programs
you run

File system first In the User Accounts ‘Performance’. The dialog press [Enter]. In the User
When installing Windows window, click on ‘Change the box called Performance Accounts dialog box that
XP, make a clean install, as way users log on or off’; make Options pops up. Under pops up, uncheck ‘Users
opposed to updating from an sure the ‘Use the Welcome Visual Effects, select ‘Adjust must enter a username and
older version. This is because screen’ option is ticked, and for best performance’ and password to use this com-
formatting your hard drive to uncheck ‘Use Fast User click Apply. puter’. Since you are doing
use the NTFS file system is Switching’. Click on Apply Again, in the Perfor- away with passwords alto-
better, since FAT32 is slower
and less stable. To change
Options
the window.
and close mance Options dialog box,
click on Advanced. Under
gether, disable the HelpAs-
sistant account. In the User
35
your drive’s FAT32 file system Processor
to NTFS, go to Start > Run and Prettier equals scheduling
type ‘command’. At the com- slower and Memory
mand prompt, type ‘convert X: The first thing you notice in usage, make
/FS:NTFS’ and press [Enter]— XP is the look. Unfortu- sure the Pro-
here ‘X:’ is the drive you want nately, the crisp menus, the grams option
to convert. new fade-in and fade-out is selected in
effects and the breathtaking each case.
Start with the boot wallpapers drain your
What you should look to system’s memory. For any PC Do
improve upon is bootup with less than 256 MB of away with
time. You can save as much as RAM and a CPU slower than passwords
30 seconds by optimising 1 GHz, turn off all the frills. To disable
your boot options. If only The easiest way to do this logon pass-
one person uses your com- is to press [Windows] + w o r d s
puter, leave the password [Pause/Break] to launch the entirely, go to
blank. Also disable Fast User System Properties dialog box. Start > Run,
Switching by going to Start > Here, click on Advanced. type ‘control
Run, and typing ‘control user- You’ll see three ‘Settings’ but- userpass- If you have only one user on your computer, it
passwords’ and pressing [Enter]. tons. Click the one related to words2’ and makes sense to disable password requirements

145 MAY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

can be distributed all over searching’


the place. option. Turning
Windows may also split off disk com-
large files into many parts pression, how-
and spread them over the ever, is a little
hard disk. This is fragmenta- more compli-
tion. To counter this, you cated. Not all
need to defrag your hard users have 40
disks once a month. GB and 80 GB
Go to Windows Explorer, drives, and
right-click on a drive, select some would
‘Properties’ and in Tools, rather save
click ‘Defragment Now…’. every MB of
When Disk Defragmenter disk space DMA access will let your drives communicate
opens up, click Defragment. that they can, faster with other components
Setting the right folder options After the process is done, gladly waiting
will let you work faster in Explorer check your hard disks for a few seconds longer for pro- available’ is enabled.
errors. In the disk properties grams to load. Do the same for the Sec-
check ‘Display file size infor- box, click ‘Check Now…’ Another thing to ondary IDE Channel. You’ll
mation in folder tips’ and under ‘Error-checking’. remember is that if disk com- need to restart for the
‘Display simple folder view pression is already enabled, changes to take effect.
in Explorer’s Folder list’. No compression and your drive is almost full,
Under Offline Files, uncheck and indexing turning it off can have Unwanted fonts
‘Enable Offline Files’. Drive compression and unpleasant consequences— and applications
indexing is a feature of Win- prepare to lose a little data. Not only do extra fonts slow
Defragmentation dows XP that helps you save We suggest you turn off disk down your system, they also
One cause of system slow- space and search your hard compression only if you increase bootup times. Use
down is fragmented data. disk better—provided the have large hard disks, with a font management tool
38 When writing to your drive,
whatever space is available is
drive is formatted in NTFS.
To begin with, if you have
space to spare.
If you change any settings,
such as Typograph (http://
www.neuber.com/typograph/).
filled, so even small files slower 5,400-rpm drives, or click OK and then make sure Refer to the Quickstart
an older, slower computer, it’s to check the ‘Apply changes article—‘Fonts Sans Confu-
better that you leave these to <Drive>:\, subfolders and sion’—in the January 2004
features turned off. The eas- files’. You can do the same for edition of Digit for tips to
iest way to check if this is all your NTFS drives. use Typograph.
enabled, is to double-click My The same applies to
Computer, right-click on an Boost that drive unwanted programs. Unin-
NTFS drive and select Proper- Go to System Properties stall all that you don’t
ties. At the bottom of the ([Windows] + [Pause Break]) , need—too many applica-
dialog box that pops up, and then to Hardware > Device tions slow the system down,
you’ll see two check boxes manager. Look for ‘Disk even if you have space to
called ‘Compress drive to save Drives’ and double-click on spare. All installed programs
disk space’ and ‘Allow it. In ‘Properties’, check have associated keys and
Indexing Service to index this ‘Optimise for performance’ values in the registry, and ref-
disk for fast file searching’. and ‘Enable Write Caching erences to them are all over
If you don’t search your on the disk’. Now, go to IDE your hard disk. Try asking a
hard disk for files frequently, ATA/ATAPI Controllers, and hard disk that’s sorting
you can safely uncheck the double-click ‘Primary IDE through 2,000 fonts and
Defragment disk drives once a ‘Allow Indexing Service to Channel’. Under Advanced applications to hurry up!
month, for faster data access index this disk for fast file Settings, make sure ‘DMA if

148 MAY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

GAMING taiwan.net/util/ps.shtm), and


nVidia card owners, nVHard-
PowerStrip for Radeons and
nVHardPage for nVidia’s
Page (www.nvhardpage.com). cards—you can tweak your
Now for some help with your fps... For those still hanging on to GPU. Go to the clock fre-
TNT and TNT2 cards, we quency controller in your
suggest you use older, stable respective utility, and
drivers, instead of the increase the clock speed
latest Detonator drivers and memory speed at not
(www.nvidia.com). more than 5 MHz at a time.
The Detonator drivers are Keep testing for stability
optimised for the latest breed and excessive heat emitted
of graphic chipsets, and may by the card.
tax your older cards. Of The performance increase
course, if you can’t find the begins to go down as you
older drivers, stick to the new. overclock more and more.
Use your judgement to get the
Overclocking optimal setting where the
You can overclock your GPU overclocking is moderate and

T
o make your PC play nVidia cards to avoid seeing a to get better graphics, but the performance gain is satis-
faster, access the blank screen. there is a limit. Don’t expect factory. As always, add a few
graphics card settings to get 9800 Pro performance fans to your cabinet before
by right-clicking on the A clean win out of your TNT2. There’s a you do this.
desktop and going to Properties Keep your graphics card clean very fine line between a faster
> Settings > Advanced. You can and airy. All that gaming can GPU, and a minor explosion, LAN parties
tweak all options from here. really test the hardware, and so be wary. And do bear in Before connecting to a game
if you’re not careful, be pre- mind that overclocking is server, close all programs that
OpenGL settings pared to see a BSOD, or worse considered tampering, which use the Internet to maximise
For faster fps, and a more still, corrupted files after a voids your warranty. If you your connection speed and
enjoyable experience, turn off
eye-candy.
rather ‘hot’ reboot.
The area around the
have no clue what you’re
doing, skip these tips.
minimise your ping times.
Don’t spare even IM applica-
39
Make sure all the options graphics card should be open Using third-party utili- tions. Also, exit as many pro-
in your graphics card settings and cables shouldn’t obstruct ties mentioned earlier— grams and services as you can.
are tuned for high perform- the fan. If possible, install an
ance. Set the minimum levels additional fan on top of your Don’t forget
for—or turn off—resource cabinet. With typical mother- the game
hungry settings such as board placements, this new Apart from setting
Anisotropic Filtering, Anti- fan will blow air straight onto the graphics card
Aliasing, Mipmap Detail and the AGP graphics card. options, you also
Vertical Sync. need to adjust each
Get by with a little game’s settings for
Direct3D settings help high performance.
In your card’s Direct3D You can get power-user-type This is usually found
settings, set all eye-candy to control over your graphics in the game menu
a minimum, or just turn card drivers with third-party under Options > Set-
the settings off. Here again, tools. These will further tings > Graphics, or
turn off Anti-Aliasing, tweak your card settings for something similar.
Anisotropic Filtering, Mip- best performance with Set colour depths,
map Details and Vertical decent visual effects. Using tools such as nVHardPage can ‘details’, and all
Sync. You may need to enable Radeon users can try out give you that performance boost you other such settings
Fog table emulation for PowerStrip (http://www.entech- require so badly to Low.

149 MAY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Some of the smartest users we meet on the forum are long term Digit subscribers. Wait, is
there a pattern here?

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:30 pm Post subject:


Tweaking UR OS:
ice
1) Get XP antispy (freeware). Block all the worthless services. (It has a description for the services too)
Digitized!
2) Get System Mechanic... Run a registry check and a junk file remover check every week or so. Also, tweak the OS accord-
ing to your needs., eg, in the Optimization sub-menu, choose startup manager and remove stuff like kernel check and MS
Office. Btw, don’t delete the entries, just disable them, so that u can re-enable them later…In the Tweak Windows Set-
tings, you can change the options according to your needs. I’ve enabled Prefetching to monitor bootfile and application
launch
Joined: 28 Dec 2003 3) I use Tweak XP. It has a lot of cool options like cache optimization, hardware optimization—they are all depend-
Posts: 1635 ent on your RAM, hardware, etc. All you need to do is spend a good 30 minutes with the software.
Location: Mumbai
4) Cable nut (for Net speed) Yes the name says cable, but it also works with dial-ups, ADSL, etc Install it (freeware )
choose Start > Programs > Cable nut > Css > your connection speed > your OS. For XP, choose Windows 2000 as the OS.
5) Install Naviscope. It will tell you about your network usage—what goes on between your PC and the Net, block
adds, etc. Thus it speeds up the Net and has options of optimizing MTU/RWIN Settings in Windows 9x.
6) Install Hare, and change your kernel to 88-bit. If it isn’t stable, go back to 64-bit. BTW, never use Hare’s RAM opti-
mizer. It sucks! You can use Hare to change your GFX card options, Prefetching, etc.
7) If you want to decrease your boot up time, install Zoom. Enable boot file caching, and if you don’t change your
startup files regularly, enable Startup Snapshot, or whatever it’s called. It works! Also try BootVis, though I don’t guar-
40 antee it—it helped me, but didn’t help Dexter.
8) This is a big post. Do I get paid for this?
9) Yeah! Defragment! The most important thing is to defragment your drives regularly. Windows defragmenter is
slow, so try [Windows] + [R], type ‘cmd’ and press [Enter]. Now, type ‘diskeeper’ and press [Enter], choose the option
that best suits your needs and defragment. My comp defrags itself using this bat file every night at 3:
diskeeper c: -f
diskeeper d: -f
diskeeper e: -f
diskeeper e: -f
My C: is FAT32, so it takes ’bout 20-30 minutes. The rest are NTFS, and take less than a minute each.

Deep Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:01 am Post subject: Re: My XP freeze
Digitized
gauravsuneja wrote:
My XP freezes so that I can’t press even [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Del]. I have to cold reboot when this happens,
especially while using Photoshop.My configuration is XP Pro, 128 MB RAM, nVidia 64 MB graphics Cre-
ative sound, 40 GB hard drive. Any answers?
Joined: 23 Jan 2004
Posts: 324
Location: Mumbai, LOL! How can you expect XP to run properly with 128 MB of RAM? Time to upgrade to 384 or 512 MB. Deep
India

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:36 pm Post subject:


ice
Digitized! BTW Deep, my comp ran beautifully on 128 MB. All I did was:
1) Changed the visual options
2) Disabled the worthless services
3) Made my page file 512 MB, spanning two hard drives
4) Used a RAM optimiser
5) Used Hare
Joined: 28 Dec 2003
Posts: 1635
Location: Mumbai

150 MAY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

It s a Free-Free
W orld
Tried the free software on the CD along with this issue? Now here are
some quick tips to give you the winning edge
41
Farzana Cooper

contents
42 Essentials
42 Multimedia
43 Internet
46 System
47 Office
48 Developer Tools

177 JUNE 2004


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■ tips and tricks

ESSENTIALS MULTIMEDIA

Adobe Acrobat Reader The search interface sup-


Full 6.0 ports search using simple,
Adobe Acrobat Reader comes compound or Boolean argu- dBpower AMP Music the shortcuts work even if
in two flavours—the Basic and ments. Advanced search capa- Converter Winamp is not in focus. Thus,
the Full version. The difference bilities, such as stemming and To start using dBpower AMP, even if you’re working
is that the Full version has proximity, help you refine the all you need are the plugins in Word, you can pause,
comprehensive help, support search results. for the formats into which play, stop, or increase or
for accessibility features, and To search via an index, you need to encode your decrease volume with
most importantly, the provi- drag and drop the index file, audio files. Once you have the following configurable
sion to search within Adobe with the PDX extension, into them installed, you can start key combinations:
Catalog Index files. The Index the application. The search right away.
Action Shortcut
42 files provide access to a full-text
search system. This makes it
bar opens on the right hand
side. By default, the search
Within Explorer, locate the
file you want encoded, right-
Play/Pause [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Home]
Stop [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [End]
simpler and faster to search for application will be in Basic click on it, and choose ‘Con-
Next Track [Ctrl] + [Alt] +
text within multiple PDF files, mode, but by using the link at vert To’. You should see the
[Page Down]
through a single interface. the bottom of the page, you listed options for the audio
Previous Track [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Page Up]
can enable Advanced formats supported. Select the
Increase Volume [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Ç ]
mode. Remember, you format of your choice and
Decrease Volume [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [È ]
need to use the Full version click on it. This opens the
Left Seek [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Å ]
of Adobe Acrobat Reader Options menu where you can
Right Seek: [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Æ]
6.0 to avail these options. set parameters such as encod-
The results obtained can ing quality and type. When
be sorted in various ways. you have entered the options, Welcome the Media
Relevance sorting keeps the click on Convert to start con- Library
most probable results on verting the file. Winamp boasts of a powerful
the top. ‘Sort by filename’ feature called the Media
is self-explanatory. The
Digit Archive filenames in
Winamp 5.03 Library. Open it by right-click-
ing on the main window and
the second free CD with Global Hotkeys selecting Library, or by press-
this issue, have been cho- Winamp 5.03 features global ing [Alt] + [L]. You can navigate
sen such that, on being hotkeys that allow you to con- over the main sections, called
Acrobat allows you to search sorted, they appear in trol your player using the key- Views, from the left side pane.
within an index for quick search chronological order. board. The fun thing is that To add your files, click on

178 JUNE 2004


files which have a can be accessed in a jiffy, you the ‘repeat’ button is now a
bitrate of, or more can bookmark them with three-way toggle. It toggles
than, 192 Kbps. Winamp’s convenient book- between ‘No repeat’, ‘repeat
The media library marking feature. To bookmark playlist’ and the new ‘Repeat
can also keep track tracks, right-click the selected Track’, which will keep
of various playlists. It tracks in the Playlist Editor and repeating the current track.
also allows you to select ‘Bookmark Item(s)’. You Also on offer is the Notifica-
keep track of media can also use the [Alt] + [I] com- tion feature, which, if the
The Media Library is a manageable bird’s folders—your music bination for this. To access the player is minimised will pop
eye-view of all your music collection sources. These can be bookmarks, right-click on up details of new actions,
local or shared fold- Winamp, go to Bookmarks such as a track change, a
Library, and select the directo- ers. They can be scanned and pick up your track from playback pause etc.
ries containing your media automatically for new media. the list there. Additionally, you can
files. Winamp immediately Tags are used to generate make Winamp transparent,
separates the audio from the searchable info in the library Not just skin deep and as unobtrusive as you
video files, and puts each for later reference. The new Winamp boasts of want. Also, for those with
under the correct View. skin support which, apart changing moods, Winamp
If you flip across the The Playlist Editor from looking really great, can now wear multitudes of
default Audio and Video Winamp’s Playlist Editor has- has some new and impres- colours. Change the colour
Views, you’ll notice there’s a n’t really changed in this sive features. To begin with, to suit your mood.
lot you can do in each View. makeover. It still remains the
For example, under the Audio easiest to work with. If
View, you can view your col-
lection by artiste or by album.
you’ve just loaded a huge
playlist, and want to search
INTERNET
There’s also a useful search for a specific track, a quick
facility that lets you search search-and-select can be
for files within the library, done by pressing [F3].
with the results displayed in
the Results pane. You can nar-
row down your search by
43
entering multiple keywords.
You may choose to either
enqueue the results to the cur-
rent playlist, or play it straight
off the library.
If you right-click on the
track in the Results pane, you Winamp is full of features
can choose to play all tracks waiting to be utilised
by the same artiste, or play all
the tracks in the album, or add This opens up the ‘Jump to Eudora see all his/her details. In the
the files to a playlist. Right- file’ window, where you can Recipient List checkbox,
clicking on the track in the enter the search criteria. Insert recipients quickly select Yes.
Results pane lets you access The filtered song can If you send frequent e-mails Once you have added
and change file information, be played immediately, or to certain addresses, then use the desired users to the
and remove the file from the enqueued to be played after the ‘Recipient List’ in Eudora Recipient List, sending e-
library and the drive. the current song. for quick access to their e- mail to them will be easier.
You can even create your mail addresses. Just right-click in the To, Cc
own custom views, such as Forget me not To add a user to this list, or Bcc box, select ‘Insert
‘High Bitrate’ to automatically If you want to list your go to Tools > Address Book. Recipient’ and click on the
filter only those audio favourite tracks such that they Click on the desired user to desired user.

179 JUNE 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

You’ve got tweet! a Stationery item and mak- Eudora add-ins Mail to HTML
You can change the sound ing a few changes, if any. Eudora has add-ins to facili- Similar to ‘address book to
played when a new mail tate and automate many HTML’ is ‘mail to HTML’.
arrives, by assigning a wav Mail list frequent tasks. These are Suppose you subscribe to a
file within Tools > Options > Some people have more than easily downloadable from mailing list, and get an inter-
GettingAttention. Click the one e-mail address. You can the Internet. Here are some esting e-mail which you
unnamed button, locate the send an e-mail to all of these of the more popular ones. would like to share. You can
.wav file, and click Open. by creating a mail list. To do upload this to a Web site,
Now, whenever you receive this, when you create a user Mail alert Intranet, or Internet based
an e-mail, your sound of entry in the address book, This add-in runs as a stand- with just a few mouse clicks.
choice will be played. you see a box that says ‘This alone program, using Eudo- The add-in effectively
nickname will expand to the ra’s e-mail settings, to poll converts the entire mailbox
A backup a day keeps following addresses’. Enter as your e-mail server at regular into HTML pages. It general-
the doctor away many e-mail addresses as intervals. If it detects new ly finds the source folder,
Backing up your Eudora e- you want, and your list is mail at the server, then it and you need to specify
mails is as simple as copying ready. pops up a window indicating the destination folder where
and pasting. Find the Eudora this. It also provides ways to the HTML files will reside
folder—in Windows 98, it’s Work faster read, reply to and delete the after conversion.
located at C:\Windows\app The fastest way to send e- e-mails directly from the Apart from this, you can
licationdata\qualcomm\eudo- mail is to press [Ctrl] + [E] to server. The MailAlert add-in even convert mails into text
ra—and select all the files open the send e-mail box. can be downloaded from files. The plugin is available
with the .mbx, .pce, .txt and http://www.diamondridge.com/s at http://users.erols.com/tgitlin/
.fol extensions. Copy the Filter on nick oftware/mailalert/index.htm.
selected files to a backup Eudora provides a different Synchronise two PCs
storage device. The .mbx, way to filter e-mails. Instead Address book to HTML Use this plugin to synchro-
.pce and .fol files relate to e- of the regular filter, using the This add-in helps you export nise the address books of two
mails, while *.txt files con- e-mail address, Eudora Eudora’s address book to PCs running Eudora.
tain the address book. allows you to filter using HTML. This is handy, when There’s an interface win-
44 Drafts, or stationery
nicknames. This way, even if
the e-mail address of the per-
publishing your address
book on your Web site for
dow where you have to
select NNdbase.txt—the
Instead of typing the same son changes, the mail will others to refer. It consists of address file, from the first
body text for oft-formatted still be considered recognis- an executable program, computer, and then the
e-mails, such as standard able. Of course, if both the which needs to know address file from the second
responses to information nick and e-mail ID change, it the folder location of the system. A destination file
requests, you can save gener- would bypass the filter. address book. that consists of a compiled
al layouts of such e-mails. To set up a filter, go to In Windows 98, the address book from both
These are saved as Stationery Tools > Filter > New. Specify the default folder is C:\Win- machines is created. The plu-
in Eudora, and can be read- conditions, and the action to dows\ApplicationData\qual- gin is available at http://eudo-
ied to be sent with minor, be taken, and you’re done. comm\eudora. The add-in ra.interweb.be/addins.html.
last minute changes. To cre- needs ‘NNdbase.txt’, which
ate new Stationery, go to Vacation reply contains Eudora’s entire Opera 7.23
Tools > Stationery. A blank With the help of Filters and address book. On clicking
window will open up. Right Stationery, configure Eudora the ‘Convert’ button an html Down with the mouse!
click in this window and to reply to all e-mails that file is created in the same Opera supports a whole lot
select New. In the composi- arrive within a specified peri- folder, by the name NNd- of keyboard shortcuts. We
tion window, fill in as many od. The filter acts a dummy base.htm. The add-in itself list some of them here:
fields as you wish, and save controller—you can draft a provides a way to view the To go to a URL directly,
the Stationery. personalised respnse, which converted file. This add-in is you can press [F2], and enter
Sending the e-mail is now will be sent as a reply mail available at http://www.min the URL in the address bar
as simple as double-clicking during the vacation period. dspring.com/~aegreene/eudora/. which pops up. If your

180 JUNE 2004


address bar is enabled, you document to the top, and up as a fabulous presenta- server (POP accounts
can press [F2] to take the key- [End] takes you to the end of tion tool. only): This will leave a copy
board focus to the address bar. the document. Press [F11] to transform of the message on the server
Additionally, you can load a Additionally, you can use Opera into presentation even after you have down-
document from your hard [Q] and [A] to navigate to the mode. Scrollbars vanish, the loaded and read it. Good if
drive by pressing [Ctrl] + [O]. previous and next text link document opens in full you might need mail again
Document images can be on the page respectively. screen and menus hide. Cer- at another computer.
easily toggled simply by Once on a link, press the Mark messages
pressing [G]. This is a three- Space Bar or [Enter] to open as read if already
way switch, and will cycle the link in a new window. downloaded: This
between ‘Show all images’, Handy, eh? option will ask M2 to
‘Show loaded images’, and If there’s a form on page, mark a mail as read if
‘Do not show images’. If you despair not; you still don’t the mail has been
come across a Web page with need a mouse to enter the marked as read from
bad formatting, making it form. Press [Tab], and Opera some other mail
unreadable, you can press will promptly take you to the client earlier, or from
[Ctrl] + [G]. Of course, you can form fields. Don’t feel like some other location.
always use the classic [F5] or making a purchase at that Opera is capable of transforming a Web Download mes-
[Ctrl] + [F5] combination for a moment? Press [F9], and focus page to a slide sage body when
page refresh. will return to the Web page. checking: This
Once you are done with a Looking around for a his- tain parts of the document selects if M2 should down-
window, you can hit [Ctrl] + tory of URLs visited? Press may be hidden, and fonts load only the message head-
[F4] to close the active [H], and you get the list at and formatting may change er, or the complete message
MDI window. your fingertips…literally. to reflect presentation status. body as well. Choosing to
download only message
Zip zap zoom! Manage that document The M2 factor headers can come in handy
Opera boasts of true zoom Opera boasts of keyboard Another weapon in Opera’s so you can delete spam, or
functionally, which allows shortcuts for just about arsenal is the feature-packed an unsolicited, large mail
you to zoom not only text,
but even images and styles
everything. It allows you
to manage your document
M2 client that fulfils all
your news or mail client
just by reading its header.
Keep local copy of mes-
45
proportionately. You can windows easily using key- needs. sage body: This makes a
exploit this feature using the board shortcuts: To configure a new local copy of the mail for
trusty old keyboard by repet- newsgroup account, go to later viewing.
itively pressing [0] and [9] for Action Shortcut Mail > New Account. Choose Check for mail every #
a 10 per cent zoom out, or New document [Ctrl] + [N] the type of account—in this minutes: This forces M2 to
zoom in respectively. [7] and Duplicate window [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [N] case, it will be a news check for new e-mail after a
[8] can do. Reload all [Ctrl] + [F5] account. To subscribe to a specified duration.
If you’re lost, you can Cascade windows [Shift] + [F5] thread of the Microsoft Play sound when new
always press [6] to revert to Tile horizontally [F6] newsgroup domain, enter messages arrive: M2 can
100 per cent zoom. Tile vertically [Shift] + [F6] msnews.microsoft.com as the optionally play back a sound
Restore focus [F9] incoming server and your alert to indicate the arrival of
Scroll that page Switch to next [Ctrl] + [Tab] SMTP as the outgoing serv- a new mail.
You don’t need a mouse to Switch to previous [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Tab] er. The outgoing server will Queue messages (do
use the scroll bar. You can hit Minimise current [4] be used to send your posts not send immediately):
[Ctrl] + [F7] to toggle the scroll Maximise current [5] to the news server via e- Enabling this option causes
bar on or off. The arrow keys Close all [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [W] mail. Use the following set- M2 to halt a message imme-
can be used to scroll up and tings to better refine your diately. Instead, it queues it
down. [Page Up] and [Page Put across a point account usage preferences in the outbox. All messages
Down] scroll page-wise. Like- Apart from being an excel- in your mail account: will be sent only when the
wise, [Home] scrolls the lent browser, Opera doubles Leave messages on Send button is clicked.

181 JUNE 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

names, not limited to chang- The General Stuff


SYSTEM ing of case. StopYell’s General tab is
If you have a number of chock-full of features you
files downloaded from, say, can use. Often, Web sites
your digicam, and you need rename the filenames to
to prefix all filenames with a adhere to online Web
word, say, ‘goatrip_’, you can resource locator naming
turn on the Prefix option in standards, which are brows-
the Serial Filenames tab and er friendly, but forget to
enter the word you need to change the filename back to
add before all your filenames. its human-readable form.
This is when special charac-
Serial mender ters in the filenames get
So you downloaded a hun-
dred different photographs
from a hundred different
sites for your project, but the
mixed filenames are making
it hellish for you to keep
track of them?
StopYell 2002 lowercase or keep it all caps. Go to the Serial Filename
You can also choose to con- tab and enable the Auto-Ser-
Mend your filenames vert a long filename to sen- ial Naming option. The
StopYell is a one-stop solution tence case, which converts result will be filenames such
for all filename renaming the first letter of the filename as ‘picnic_trip_1.jpg’, ‘pic-
jobs. You can make elemen- to caps. If there are numbers nic_trip_2.jpg’, etc.
tary or complex filename or special characters in the Replace bad characters such
changes, and StopYell will filename, you can define if as % from filenames quickly

46 do it all at the click of a but-


ton. This feature comes
you want the character
immediately after the special
and easily

in handy when there are mul- character to be capitalised. replaced with codes. For
tiple file sources, and you Similar changes can example, space becomes
have to follow various file be made on filename exten- %20, and so on.
naming conventions. sions too. Fixing this on 50 files can
Use the simple dialog box StopYell, by default, keeps be a headache without
to change your filenames to the advanced filename StopYell. Go to the
rename options disabled so Advanced Options and
that no accidental filename switch to the Advanced tab.
change happens. Click the Here, in the General tab,
‘Enable Advanced Options’ StopYell can suggest filenames check Enable Replace. By
option to enable advanced to use for serial filenames default, underscores and
features. This will allow ‘%20’ are converted to
StopYell to generate new file- A powerful feature wait- spaces. Other configurations
ing to be exploited here are available as well.
is ‘Auto Suggest’. Once The same tab will also
enabled, it analyses the tar- allow you remove all digits
get folder to automatically from filenames, or remove
Advanced options allow StopYell suggest a prefix for a file- extra whitespace, at the click
Change your filenames from to improve filenames by more name, which, most often, of a button.
HiCcUpS.jpg to Hiccups.jpg than just the case makes sense. Eventually, filenames

182 JUNE 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

such as ‘34_gOa%20 builds up the filename ‘The tinuously and prevents unau- other major security loophole
Trip.JPG’, get converted to Corrs - So Young (Talk On thorised access. exists on your computer.
‘Goa Trip.jpg’. Did we hear Corners).mp3’. You can also configure
“Cool”? Full stop certain software to bypass
ZoneAlarm To stop all Internet activity, the Internet lock. This is
Name your tracks click on the red Stop button. useful, if, for example, you
Not resting at its capabilities Program control You can configure the Inter- wish to leave for the day, but
to rename simple and com- Clicking on Program Con- net Lock from the Program need a download to com-
plex naming requirements, trol lets you set security lev- Control screen, in the Main plete. In this case, you can
StopYell manages to auto- els for programs that may tab. This is obviously a drastic give, say, your download
matically rename MP3s by access the Internet from measure—use this if you are manager rights to bypass the
reading their ID3 tags. your computer. certain that a Trojan or some Internet Lock.
Give it a folder full of Clicking on the Main tab
songs, and it will look in lets you set broad-based
rules; set Medium here. To
OFFICE
set specific rules for each
program, open the Program
tab—here you will find a list
of programs that have tried
to connect.
You can also add pro-
grams such as your browser,
e-mail client, or a specialised
application to which you
would like to grant access.
For example, if you use file-
sharing programs over the
Rename a file from good_ Internet, you can add the
song.mp3 to
Californication.mp3
filename here through the
Add option, and set its
47
parameters. Choose between is coloured to mark it out as
each song to get related denying access, to allowing OpenOffice.org a hyperlink.
details such as Title, Artiste, outright access, or settle on To turn off these, go to
etc, and build up a logical the program asking for per- Turning off AutoFor- Tools > AutoCorrect/AutoFormat.
filename for each file, so you mission every time it wants mat and AutoCorrect in Under the Options tab,
know the song just by look- to connect. Writer uncheck the options that
ing at the filename. Writer, the word processor you don’t need. You can
StopYell changes the Server rights within the OpenOffice.org choose not to have it auto-
naming convention depend- ZoneAlarm may alert you suite, comes with automa- correct and auto-format,
ing on how much informa- about granting server rights tors, namely the auto-for- while you modify the text,
tion is found in the ID3 tag to certain programs—this is mat and auto-correct or while you enter the text
of a given song. Default and the case with chat and file facilities. While these may onto the page.
recommended naming con- transfer software that allow be useful, they can also be
ventions are provided by for real-time conversations, irritating, especially when Inserting special char-
default, but can be changed such as Yahoo!, MSN or text is being corrected or for- acters in Writer
if needed. Info tags get mIRC. You can assign these matted wrongly. For exam- To insert special characters
replaced by the actual infor- rights from Program Control ple, with the default such as the ® or © symbols,
mation. For example, a file under the Programs tab. settings, it capitalises the place the cursor in the
called ‘so young.mp3’, with ZoneAlarm monitors the first letter of every sentence; desired position, and then
‘%a - %t(%m)’ selected activity of the programs con- every URL is recognised and go to Insert > Special Character.

183 JUNE 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

Choose Symbol from the Font section with a password, tions or row captions, you the split window, displaying
list, and click on the symbol choose the ‘With Password’ can create cross freezing by the caption as per your
you want inserted. option, provide a password clicking on the uppermost requirements.
and click OK. left side cell that does not
Locking text contain a caption. About those pesky
Writer also has an option that Freezing panes in Calc For example, in a sheet ####s
lets you lock in a section of To view row or column cap- with single row and column If you see ### in a cell where
text to prevent it from being tions for a long spreadsheet as captions, choose the B2 cell. you have entered some data
edited or changed. Select the you work through it, you can If you have multiple row and value in Calc, it means that
portion of text that you want freeze the fields that hold the column captions to be frozen, the value is too large to be dis-
protected, go to Insert > Section, caption. you can split the sheet win- played, and that Calc has
and under the entry for Write If a single row or column dow. Click on the cell just clipped it to display ‘###’. To
protection, select the Protect caption needs to be frozen, below or to the right of the read the value, resize that par-
option. Finally, select Insert. click on the cell just below or row or column where you ticular cell. If the cell content
The selected text is now to the right of the row or col- want to insert your caption, is text, you can double-click
locked; you cannot overwrite umn that contains the cap- and go to Windows > Split. The on the cell. This shows a red
the text. tion. Go to Windows > Freeze. If sheet window splits. Now, triangle that indicates that
If you like to safeguard the you have either column cap- you can scroll both parts of the field is overflowing.

DEVELOPER TOOLS
istry key: HKLM\Software\ your application:
Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVer- ModifyPath (string): Path
sion\Uninstall and filename of the applica-
You need to add the fol- tion modify program
lowing mandatory keys: InstallSource (string): Loca-
DisplayName (string): This tion from where the applica-
48 is where the name of your
applications goes.
tion was installed
RegCompany (string): Com-
UninstallString (string): pany name of the application
Path and filename of the HelpLink (string): The Web
uninstaller. Always quote the site of the application
path to ensure that spaces do HelpTelephone (string): The
not prevent Windows from phone number for applica-
finding the uninstaller. tion support
Optionally, add the fol- URLInfoAbout (string): A link
NSIS 2 The information has to be lowing information to help to the application home page
added to the following reg- users get more data about DisplayVersion (string): Dis-
Showing the doors played version of the applica-
Any installation package is tion
incomplete if a corresponding VersionMajor (dword): Major
uninstall module is not bun- version number of the applica-
dled. Uninstallation is as tion
essential a component as the VersionMinor (dword): Minor
installation module. Hence, it version of the application
is necessary to add the correct NoRepair (dword): This is set
values in your NSIS script to to 1 if the uninstaller has no
allow for a successful unin- NSIS has many configurable options, such as which compression to option to repair the installa-
stall. use for the final install package tion

184 JUNE 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tricks

49

contents Take a look at how to have fun with some


50 Easter eggs professional software, and also become a
Take a look at some of the smart little fun things you
serious force with the most popular of games
can find hidden within some of the most commonly
used software

54 Game cheats
Tired of struggling with that game? We’ll show you
how to become a gaming god in no time—cheats
for 23 of the most popular games inside

119 JULY 2004


insight ■
■ tips and tr