76. Use a Free, Full
Featured Office Suite
Microsoft Office is expensive, but pretty much standard
in the working world these days. Other word processors like WordPerfect are
available, but these come with a cost attached also. There is a way to get a
full-featured, Microsoft compatible office software suite completely free
though. It's called Open Office.
Open Office is an offshoot of the successful commercial
Star Office suite for Linux and Windows. Open Office is completely free and is
constantly being worked on and updated by the Linux and Windows user community.
The interface may be considerably different from Office, but the functionality
is essentially the same and you can't argue with the price. Try it out.
77. Create a Windows XP
Bootable CD with Service Pack 2 Built-in
If you have any plans to re-install Windows XP and you
would rather not go through the lengthy Service Pack download and installation
process, we have a guide for you.
Did you know that you can create a legal, bootable
Windows XP CD with Service Pack 2 included as long as you possess an original
Windows XP CD? The process is called slipstreaming, and involves copying the
contents of the XP CD to your hard drive, updating the files with the Service
pack, then recreating a bootable Windows XP CD with the new files. It's easier
than it sounds, and you might well learn something. Check out PCstats guide to
'Slipstreaming Service Pack 2 for Windows XP'.
78. Edit Local Computer
Settings with GPEDIT (XP Professional)
Windows XP contains a vast amount of possible
configuration options, many of which are not available from the control panel.
The easiest interface with which to change most of these option is the Group
Policy Editor Window.
You can access this by going to the run prompt
('start\run') and typing 'gpedit.msc'
As you can see, the local policies are divided into two
groups, computer configuration and user configuration. Computer configuration
options change the way Windows XP operates, while user configuration options
change the way users interact with the operating system. It's worth noting that
all the settings here apply equally to all users of the computer, and only your
As you can see, there are many, many configuration
options available here. Explore, but be cautious, as unwary changes here can
mess up your system as fast as a bad registry edit can. The next few tips will
cover some interesting things you can do in this interface.