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Disable Windows Tablet PC Input Components

If you don't have a tablet-based PC, you should disable the Windows Tablet PC components and services. These components may interfere with the Wacom Cintiq driver software.

Open the control panel. Select Programs and Features, then Turn Windows features on or off.

Scroll down the list. Deselect Tablet PC Components. Click OK.

(Note: they may be disabled already.)
If prompted to restart the computer, do so now.

Wacom Graphics Tablet Tips

A collection of Wacom graphics tablet tips. Many apply to all graphics tablets.

Some of the topics we'll cover:

- Configuring the Wacom Cintiq
- Using the Wacom Cintiq
- Wacom Cintiq (and other graphics tablet) cleaning and maintenance, and extending the life of the drawing surface
- Wacom graphics tablet application-specific tips

Disable Google Instant Search in FireFox and Chrome

I'll show you how to disable Google Instant Search without being signed in to a Google account!

I despise (really!) Google Instant Search. I find it annoying, distracting and unnecessary. If you are a long-time Google search user, you might feel the same way.

Google, once revered for its clean, simple search interface, seems like it's doing everything in its power to alienate users, by rejecting the principles that once attracted users away from bloated, annoying search engines of the past.

How do I turn off Google Instant Search?

You can disable Google Instant search by setting your account preferences while signed in to a Google account.

But what if you aren't signed in? What if you don't have and don't want a Google account?

Easy: Just visit http://www.google.com/search?complete=0 – bookmark that search (or set it as your home page if you like having Google's search page visible when you start your browser). It appears that you can add the complete=0 parameter to any Google search URL and it will disable the Google Instant search feature.

How do I turn off Google Instant in Chrome's OmniBox or FireFox Search Bar?

How to disable Google Instant in Chrome Omnibox

If you use Google's Chrome browser, and you like to use the Omnibox address bar you can disable the instant search feature in results pages (the page you see after you hit enter or 'go') by changing the built-in Google search engine template. Here's how:

Bring up the "Options" form (Wrench button, Options). Click the Manage Search Engines button.

Now, select the Google.com search engine's search template in the third column:

Replace the entire search URL template field with following text:
http://www.google.com/search?complete=0&q=%s

Dismiss the "Search Engines" form.

In addition, you might want to disable the Enable Instant for faster searching and browsing option, as this option is a form of Instant Search within the Omnibox address bar.

How do I turn off Google Instant in FireFox's Search Bar?

But what about FireFox? If you like to use the built-in search bar's Google OpenSearch feature, it's a bit more work.

The easy way

We've provided an OpenSearch plugin installer on this page to simplify the process. Simply drop down your FireFox Search Bar and click "Add Google NoInstant" to your search bar:

The hard(er) way

This method requires that you copy and rename FireFox's built-in Google.xml OpenSearch template, which is found in the FireFox installation folder's "searchplugins" folder, modify it to add the <Param name="complete" value="0"/> parameter entry (see below), then install the new OpenSearch definition in the FireFox profile folder's "searchplugins" folder.

Restart FireFox and click the Search Bar's dropdown button, and you should see Google NoInstant listed; make that your default search provider and you should be rid of the Google Instant curse henceforth.

What is ielowutil.exe and why is it running on my computer?

If you're anything like me, you've noticed that Internet Explorer 8 and 9 seem to be accompanied by a child process named ielowutil.exe. The file properties description for this process isn't very helpful, and, in fact, might lead you to believe that it has something to do with your computer's microphone!

The file description reads: Internet Low-Mic Utility Tool. This sure sounds like it's doing something with your microphone, doesn't it? It turns out that this is a misleading description.

Drupal 6 Block Cache Mode Patch Module

Overview

Drupal 6 has a long-standing bug in the block module (as of 5/10/2011). This bug affects block caching mechanisms. The bug manifests itself if you have block caching enabled.

Once a module's blocks have been registered with the system (in the {blocks} table), the block's caching mode settings are never updated in the {blocks} table, regardless of subsequent cache flushes or other system updates. This is only a problem for modules that change the 'cache' info returned from hook_block op='list' calls.

Uninstalling and re-installing the module won't fix the problem due to another Drupal 6 bug.

More info

This problem impacts any module that changes the caching mode returned in hook_block('info') operation. In particular, the views module allows you to edit a block view's caching mode after creation, but, due to this bug, the changes will never take effect, leading to much head-scratching.

More info

The fix

There are a few core patches available (see Issue 235673, above), but they may not apply cleanly to your Drupal 6 installation; I don't patch core unless there's a critical need. In this case, the patches failed to apply on the sites that needed the fix. So I created a simple custom module that implements the guts of the most recent patch.

Note: You can download the module in the Attachments section, below. Leave a comment if you find this module useful, or, if you have questions about it.

Windows Disk Defragmenter - Open Source and Free Alternatives

Ever since Windows Vista, the built-in disk defragmenter seems a bit... crippled.

No graphical progress display. No visual analysis. No visual or other indication of current fragmentation status.

I suppose this is intended to hide the computer's complexity from the average user.

But: Sometimes you need to know the fragmentation status of one or more disk drives. Sometimes you need greater control over the defragmentation process. Sometimes you need the power user option. Then what?

How to install iPhone, iPad, or iPod drivers without iTunes in Windows

If you have an Apple iPhone or iPod, and you want to use it with Microsoft Windows without installing the massive iTunes application suite, you may think you are out of luck. It seems that Apple went to great lengths to force you to install their bloated iTunes software.

In order to use an iPhone or iPod without iTunes in Windows, you will need to install the following components:

  • The USBAAPL.SYS driver
  • The Apple Mobile Device Support service

Motorola DROID Drivers

If you recently purchased a new Motorola DROID phone, you can use the links on this page if you need to download USB or charging drivers, or user manuals for your DROID by Motorola phone.

Smartphone Tech Tips

Here's a collection of smart phone tech tips.

Looking for a device driver for your smart phone?

Need help making your smart phone or cell phone work in Windows?

Check the links below for more information.

What SINGLE new feature is most important for the next release of the Drupal AdSense (Content) Injector module?