Three Tight Tweaks.

In the following tweaks, whenever you are told to type something, the [ ] are never to be typed, merely type the text that appears between them.

First, the Win XP search fix.

You're all probably aware that Windows XP comes complete with a "search companion" Dog to help you find files. You've also probably noticed that he is less a helpful companion and more of an annoyance. About the only good thing you can say about him is that he won't accidentally pee in your files, but that's probably only because he can never seem to find the damn things in the first place.

As any long-term Windows user knows, the earlier versions of Windows had a much more robust, less annoying search system, and no annoying puppy standing between you and your data.

To get that version back, follow these steps.

Click [start] and choose [Run].

Type [regedit] and select OK.

When the Registry editor appears, use the navigation window on the left to navigate to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ CabinetState

Right click on the main window and choose [new -> string value].

Give it the name [Use Search Asst], then specify the value data equal to [no].

Second, the Messenger Hack. You might notice that annoying little man that always loads whenever you start XP. He's a system hog and he serves no real useful purpose to most users. There are a couple of ways to remove him. One is another registry hack. If you'd like to pursue that method, hunt around online and you'll find instructions for that. But instead, I'm going to show you a different way that is far easier, .

Go to the Start menu and choose [Set Program Access and Defaults] and click the down arrows next to the [custom] setting. That is the one we'll be using.

Microsoft bundles a lot of software with their operating systems, and this panel is where they give you control over what is enabled by default. To get Messenger to bug off, uncheck the [enable access to this program] option next to the Messenger listing. You can also change other settings here, I have disabled Windows Media Player and Outlook Express as well, since I use Winamp or Media Player Classic and Mozilla Thunderbird for those tasks.

The third tweak is for Firefox, and comes courtesy of this entry in Simply Geeky.

Recently advertizers have figured out how to get around some popup blockers using the flash plugin. It executes the popup command and the blocking system doesn't know to filter that.

To solve that problem, and return to a pop-up free world, follow these instructions.

1. Type [about:config] into the Firefox location bar and hit enter.
2. You'll see a page full of lines of text labeled Preference Name/Status/Type/Value. Right-click anywhere on this page and select [New -> Integer].
3. Name it [privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins]
4. Set the value to [2].

The possible values are:

* 0: Allow all popups from plugins.
* 1: Allow popups, but limit them to dom.popup_maximum.
* 2: Block popups from plugins.
* 3: Block popups from plugins, even on whitelisted sites.

And there you have it. Back to browsing in peace.


Sunday, August 21, 2005


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