Make Windows XP Boot a Lot Faster

There is a simple registry option in the Windows XP Registry that, if not altered, adds a delay time to the the XP boot process. However you can easily set this delay time to zero if you know where to look for it: Open the Windows Registry by entering regedit into a Run... prompt. The registry is parted in two frames, the one on the left containing a large list of keys and sub-keys, the one on the right displaying the keys' values. In the list of keys, browse the following:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ContentIndex

Left-click the ContentIndex-key to see its values, look for StartupDelay and double-click to modify it.

The default value is the hexadecimal number 75300, which is the decimal number 480000. Leave the hexadecimal button active and just change the value to 0 (you can also pick another value; to see which hexadecimal value you have to take for a decimal number, just switch to decimal, enter the value and switch back again).
After making this change, close the registry and reboot Windows to see how fast it has become.

Install GNOME Desktop On Ubuntu 11.10

If you would like your Ubuntu 11.10 better with the old GNOME desktop (no launcher but a good old system panel and so on), you can just install the gnome package and choose it as your default desktop environment. Therefore open a terminal and enter:

sudo apt-get install gnome

During the installation there will be some prompts that you will have to answer. Click OK on the first one after you are done reading:

Next, you will have to decide which desktop environment you want to configure as your default:

After installation, the GNOME as well as the Unity desktops will be available on the cogwheel-button in the login-screen:

Make Caps Lock Behave Like Shift (Windows)

The minority of Windows users have really ever needed Caps Lock - most of the passages written in capital letters are still done with Shift only. Because of that, most people will find the Caps Lock key rather annoying since everybody has already experienced accidently using it and finding out too late. If you are one of those who could easily abandon the Caps Lock function there is a great registry option for you (with which you can not only change the function of Caps Lock, but of every other key as well). Open the registry by entering regedit in a Run... prompt and browse the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout key. Now create a new value inside of it by right-clicking on the right-hand registry frame, selecting New > Binary Value and naming it Scancode Map. Modify it by double-clicking and enter the following (without the spaces - these will be added automatically; don't get confused about the four-digit string on each line's beginning):

00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 00 2a 00 3a 00 00 00 00 00

This is what it should look like in the window:

After the changes are done, close the registry and reboot your machine. The Caps Lock key should now function like a normal Shift key.

FTP, SFTP and SCP Client for Windows

If you look for a powerful tool to move files to FTP or SFTP servers or want to move them via SCP on Windows, there is a valuable solution for you called WinSCP. WinSCP is a useful Client able to deal with files in all three ways and comes with an easy-to-understand graphical user interface. You can download it >here<

Just log yourself in with the receiving server's data, choose the protocol you want to use and you will be presented with a two-framed window that lets you drag and drop files between the servers:

Add Defragment Command to Drives’ Context Menu

Since it takes a relatively long time to browse the Windows Control Panel to find the items you are in need of, here is a workaround for one of the items you probably use or should use most, the defragmentation of drives. This guide describes how you use the Windows Registry to add the defragment-command right into the drives' context menu appearing on right-click.
To do so, open the registry by entering regedit into a Run... prompt. What appears is a window parted into two frames, a large arrangement of directories (keys) on the left and their contents on the right. Browse the following key in the left frame:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell
Now right-click the shell key, select New > Key and name it runas. Runas (run as...) defines a new entry in the context menu which lets you open a file, in our case a drive, with a certain application. Look at the contents of runas and double-click the (Default)-value. Change it to the name you want to be displayed in the menu, e.g. Defragment Drive.

Now right-click the created runas-key and create another key inside of that, call it Command. The value inside of that key determines which action should be run upon using the option.

Now you basically could enter any command you can enter in a Windows command line. For defragmentation, the command is defrag followed by the drive and a number of possible switches. To look up which switches are possible, enter defrag -? into a command line. The switch characters are then added to the command lead by a hyphen, as the question-mark before. I think defrag %1 -Uv is basically a good option, so I change the (Default)-value to defrag %1 -Uv. After that, close the registry and right-click a drive and use your newly created defragment-command:

Set a custom boot message on Windows 7

On Windows 7 there is an option that displays a text message to the user of the computer on system start-up. This message is configurable in the Local Security Policy which you can access over the start menu's program search bar. Once in there, expand Local Policies on the left frame of the window and select Security Options. There, find the two entries named message title for users attempting to log on and message text for users attempting to log on.

As the names say, the value of the title message is later displayed as the title, same goes for the text. The text can hold an infinite amount of lines and approximately 94 characters in one line. Close the window after you have specified your desired entries.

Both of these settings are also available in the Windows Registry. To find them, open the registry by typing regedit into the Run... prompt and browse the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\System key. There, the legalnoticecaption and the legalnoticetext values are stored. These are the registry storages for the values you entered in the Local Security Policy window.

Unpack Compressed Files with WinRar

While working with your computer you surely have come across files in the .zip or .rar format. These are so called packed or compressed files, their function is to store multiple files and/or folders into one single file and compress them so they are easier to send and waste less space. Windows has a built-in function to pack and unpack files: to compress files, just right-click them and select Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder. To uncompress, right-click the zipped file, select Extract all... and choose a directory where to put the uncompressed folder. However there is a more powerful tool called WinRar which is easy to handle, has a bunch of useful functions and also supports another compressing format, .rar which is safer than zipped compression if provided with a password. WinRar is downloadable for free as a 30-day trial version and reminds you to buy the full version after 30 days but is still usable then. You can download the appropriate version for your system here:
http://www.win-rar.com/download.html

Double-click the downloaded file and click Install on the appearing window. The next window displays WinRar's configuration. The checkbox-filled panel on the left determines which formats your computer is supposed to open with WinRar. Usually all predefined settings should be alright, so click on OK.

On the next screen, click on Done to finish installation. Nearly all compressed files are now being associated with WinRar and have adopted its icon:

Uncompress files associated with WinRar by double-clicking them and drag-and-dropping its content anywhere on the screen or clicking on Extract To and choosing the target directory.

To compress files, just select the ones you want, right-click them and choose to either compress them to a .rar archive immediately or to add them to another archive (.zip or whatever you want) with more detailed options.

Disable “Send to” Option on Windows

When you right-click any object on a Windows system, there is the option Send to which is able to literally send objects to other computers by automatically opening a new mail and attaching the chosen file as attachment, process them with other programs selectable from a list, or just moving the file to a different location (hold the Shift key when right-clicking to enable more options to Send to). The common user however does not use this function really often, in fact, he may also find it annoying since it might cause short freezes on slower computers if one accidently hovers the mouse over it and thus makes it load a list of applications. But as for every other problem on your computer there is also a solution for this one, disabling the Send to command with the registry.
To do that, open your registry by entering regedit in to a Run... prompt and direct it to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Send To key.

Now the default value that is found in that key is

{7BA4C740-9E81-11CF-99D3-00AA004AE837}

If you ever want to revert your setting the easiest way is to just save this value somewhere safe, since the thing you need to do to disable the Send to command is to double-click the value and remove the string so that it is empty. Leave the registry afterwards and the command should no longer appear on right-clicking.

More Options on Right-click (Windows 7)

There is a feature in Windows 7 that allows access on more options on right-click with any file, just by holding the Shift key while clicking.

The shift option alters the menus of nearly every file to open. For example, it adds the Run as different user and Copy as path options to executables, the Open in new process, Open command window here and Copy as path options to folders and many different new options such as the libraries to the Send to option.

Find malicious system entries with HiJackThis for Windows

HiJackThis is a software that is able to detect unusual entries on your registry and hard drive and create a log file with the information it gathered about the running processes. This log file can either be analysed by the user himself or be copied into an automatic analyser that shows if the entries are rated safe or dangerous.

You can download HiJackThis here: http://www.trendmicro.com/ftp/products/hijackthis/HiJackThis.msi

If you made the program create a log file after scanning, it is recommended to copy and paste it into an automatic analyser such as the one you can find here: http://www.hijackthis.de/en. The analyser will then give you an overview of the scanned files combined with a rating given by visitors.

If you find any unsafe entries, you are given the option to fix them in the program's window. Be cautious what you delete however, inform yourself about the stated entries and do not rely on information provided by a single source. Always double-check before you delete an entry.