Twitter Gadget for Windows 7 Sidebar

Since there are many people out there who frequently use twitter to stay up to date on news or in touch with people, a lot of gadgets have come up to speed up the use of twitter by sticking it to the desktop. One of those is Sidechirp, which adopts many functions of the actual twitter homepage, like viewing tweets and your personal messages, posting new tweets and following trends:

Download Sidechirp here:

System Control Gadget for Window 7 Sidebar

System Control is the right gadget if you are looking for functionality on low space use - it combines buttons for the regular system commands such as shutdown and restart, but also task manager, command-prompt, control panel, screen saver, run and additionally lets you set a timer to execute the available commands at a certain time:

Furthermore, System Control appeals with its high level of customisation. Download on

Create a Self-signed SSL Certificate on Windows

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is used for encryption and decryption, processing of S/MIME signed or encrypted mails, generation of certificates and more. To use it on Windows (32 and 64 bit versions), download the OpenSSL tools from
Uncompress it anywhere you like and start it by double-clicking the openssl.exe executable in the \bin folder.

If you create files with OpenSSL, they will appear in the \bin directory by default.
To create a self-signed SSL certificate, you first need a key. Create it like this:

genrsa -des3 -out server.key 4096

Type in your desired key (password) and confirm it. Next, you need a certificate request. Create it as follows and give the path to the config file in the -config option (it should be in the directory where you unpacked the files to):

req -config C:\path\to\openssl.cnf -new -key server.key -out server.csr

Next, sign the certificate request:

x509 -req -days 365 -in server.csr -signkey server.key -out server.crt

The -days option specifies how long the certificate will be valid - mine will be for one year. Now you have a signed certificate.
However if you want to use it with programs as Thunderbird or similar, you will need the certificate to be in the .p12 format. To accomplish this, enter following:

pkcs12 -export -in server.crt -inkey server.key -name "Your Full Name" -out server.p12

Save Power On Screen Lock (Windows 7)

The reason to lock your screen (Windows key + L) usually is that you leave your computer, meaning it would be reasonable to turn off everything else there is on your computer as the sound or your screen as well. MonitorES is a utility that does this for you whenever you lock your screen.

It turns off the screen, mutes your computer, pauses any media playing and changes your IM status to "Away" if you want it. Download it on

Tag Your Soundfiles Fast with Mp3Tag (Windows)

Mp3Tag is a program on Windows that lets you import the most common sound files you have got on your computer and quickly change their tags like artist, name etc. It is that fast because it enables you to select a whole group of items at once and change the tags they have in common in one action.

Download Mp3Tag on

Follow the installation instructions and start the program:

Select the files to tag by either dragging and dropping them on the white item panel or selecting a directory in the system panel. After each tag action, save the current file state. Mp3Tag is able to gather tags from various internet databases to help you get the correct information.

How to Call Functions in Powershell (Windows)

Functions in Powershell are called without any comma or parenthesis, although they are defined using them. The correct way to call a function with two variable parameters would be:

test $local1 $local2

The wrong way is:

test($local1, $local2)

If you put parentheses around your parameters, your input is treated as array and thus the processing might not run as you expect. If you want the input to be an array and to be converted to a string inside the function, use the out-string cmdlet. Type out-string -? for more information.

Timed Shutdown on Windows

You can time a shutdown on your computer easily by creating a short vbscript that contains either only the shutdown command, or a shutdown command with an integrated second timer. If you do not add a timer, you can also use Windows' Schedule Tasks function to have the computer shutdown at a specific time. The vbscript to shutdown looks like this:

Set objShell = wscript.CreateObject("wscript.Shell")"shutdown /s")

If you want a timer, add

/t xxx

to the quoted expression in the second line, where x is the number of seconds to count down. Enter this code into a notepad and save the file as .vbs. Do not save it as text file.

Send Mails Via Remote Server With VBScript (Windows)

You can use MS Windows' VBScript to write a script that is able to log into a remote mail server such as googlemail or any other with your account data and send mails from that server. This can be used to retrieve logs via attachments or to just automate mail processes. The bare script to send a mail looks as follows (the apostrophe after a line signals a comment to the lines content, it does not belong to the script. The data all go inside the doublequotes if there are any):

Set objMessage = CreateObject("CDO.Message")

objMessage.Subject = "Type in the mail's subject here"

objMessage.From = " <the sender mail goes here, you need the login data for it>"
'The mail address goes inside the tags

objMessage.To = "the receiver mail goes here"

objMessage.TextBody = "Here goes the actual mail message"

objMessage.Addattachment "Fill in the complete path to your attachment, otherwise leave complete line"

objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("") = 2
determines whether you use local smtp (1) or network (2)

objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("") = "
Fill in your smtp (outgoing) server"
You can find your provider's server address somewhere on the homepage or by googling for smtp server lists

objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("") = 1
Determines the authentication mode. 0 for none, 1 for basic (clear text), 2 for NTLM

objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("") = "
should be the same as the sender mail - login data for your server"

objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("") = "
your email's password - login data for your server"

objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("") = 25
This is the default port used by most servers. Find out if yours is using a different one if there are problems

objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("") = False
Use SSL? True or False

objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("") = 60

'Maximum time connection is tried to be established



It is recommended not to use this script on a computer you are not the only user of, since your email and its password are openly visible. However you can just create a new one for that purpose. You can easily embed this script into any other VBScript, schedule it or do whatever you want with it.

Break Lines in VBScript (Windows)

If you have the problem that you have really long lines in your VBScript that contain only one command, but need to be broken to be able to overview it, you can use the Underscore (_) operator. Placing a space character followed by an underscore at the end of the line will make Windows treat the next line as if it was part of the previous line.
However this does not work as easy for quoted expressions. In this case you have to close the quote, place the underscore and concatenate the next line to the previous one with an ampersand (&) like this (it does not make any sense to break the line here, it is only for demonstration):

Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.File" _
& "SystemObject")