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Speed access to your favorite or oft-used Windows applications using shortcuts

This page is part of a 7-part story, 7 things you can do to make Windows 7 (and other versions) easier to use.

Applies to: All
Why? It helps to have quicker access to your frequently used Windows applications.
How? Create desktop shortcuts. Create "Quick Launch" toolbar shortcuts. Create custom keyboard shortcuts to speed-launch your favorite applications by pressing a key combination.

Speed up your Windows system by reducing or eliminating auto-starting applications

This page is part of a 7-part story, 7 things you can do to make Windows 7 (and other versions) easier to use.

Applies to: All
Why? Because you grow weary of waiting for your Windows system to be ready to use.
How? Eliminate some of those notification area icons. Uninstall those programs you never use.

Helpful utilities and information

Start where you left off: Use hibernation features

This page is part of a 7-part story, 7 things you can do to make Windows 7 (and other versions) easier to use.

Applies to: All
Why? Start working with your projects and documents as soon as your computer powers up. This means you won't have to wait for Windows boot-up, then find and start your applications or open your documents; they'll be open and ready to use when you start Windows.

Group taskbar entries to eliminate clutter and help you find things quickly

This page is part of a 7-part story, 7 things you can do to make Windows 7 (and other versions) easier to use.

Applies to: All
Why? Sometimes it's a lot easier to find the window you are looking for on the taskbar if it's not cluttered with dozens of windows.
How? It depends on the Windows version you're using.
On Windows XP, download and install TweakUI.

Use handy Windows shortcut keys

This page is part of a 7-part story, 7 things you can do to make Windows 7 (and other versions) easier to use.

Applies to: All, with Windows Enhanced Keyboard connected.
Why? Because it provides several useful shortcuts that makes living with Windows a bit easier.
How? Learn and use the available shortcut keys.
The misunderstood and mostly ignored Windows Logo Key () is one of my favorite keys.

Windows Errors - find and fix them

Windows 7, XP and Windows Vista Troubleshooting

Find and fix DLL errors in Windows 7, Vista and XP

When you encounter a Dynamic-Link Library error (DLL error) or related Windows 7, XP or Windows Vista error, what can you do about it? How can you track down the source of the problem and, one hopes, fix the problem?

With a little bit of Windows troubleshooting skills one can usually find the problem and fix it. If a Windows error of this type is troubling you, it can be fixed in most cases with some effort.

FTC disclosure guidelines for website publishing

I just stumbled on to this PDF file that provides examples of misleading advertising or claims and how to avoid them when building a web site or page.

Update 10/10/2009: The FTC now requires disclosure if you've received gifts or other consideration from an advertiser whose products or services you write about.

More info:

Download AT&T Samsung Impression A877 drivers and manuals - no manuals, no drivers included with product.

My daughter bought a Samsung Impression A877 AT&T cell phone the other day. It's an interesting phone, and it looks like a high-quality mobile device (at least so far.)

She decided to connect it to her computer. She inserted the CD-ROM in the computer's CD-ROM drive and was greeted with a nice Flash-based menu which included links to install USB drivers and the 'friendly' PC Studio application. She clicked the link to install the software -- and was rewarded with a web browser opening up to visit the Samsung website in order to download the requested software. Same with the USB driver and documentation -- each resulted in a web browser directed to a Samsung web page to download the requested items.

Living without antivirus software

[adsense:728x15:5447199818]Ok, I'll admit it. I've been living dangerously for the last several years.

To be blunt: I refused to install any kind of antivirus or personal firewall software on most of my computers (but see Update 1/1/2012, below.) This included a Windows XP Home system that was used by my children as a web surfing / email / game system. I suffered zero infections during this time. (The only time I ever suffered a malware infection was before, when I did rely on Norton Antivirus to protect the kids' computer.)

Why do I refuse to use these massively popular widely-used products? Simple. I am convinced that in my case, they may cause more harm than good, and that they foster a false sense of security - leading some users to engage in riskier behavior.

Further, antivirus software is almost always behind the curve - by definition, the antivirus people are playing catch-up with the malware writers. It's a good living for them, but I choose not to contribute to it.

As a software developer, I cannot afford any downtime due to buggy software, and yes - antivirus software has bugs. Not long ago, one major antivirus package ran amok, causing widespread damage by deleting harmless user data and programs.

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