82. Force 'My Computer' and
Other Folders to Open in Windows Explorer Automatically
If you like to use the Windows Explorer application for
most of your file management, you may find it irritating that the 'my computer'
icon always opens like a standard folder. Wouldn't it be much easier if it,
along with the rest of the folders in your system, would open in Windows
Explorer automatically? Here's how to fix it:
Open 'My computer' and go to 'tools\folder options.'
Choose the 'file types' tab. Find the entry that says '(NONE) folder' and click
the 'advanced' button. Highlight 'explore' and hit the 'set default' button to
make Explorer the default application for opening folders.
83. Boost Foreground
If you find yourself doing a lot of work with one
demanding program, or you do not multi-task much, you can set Windows XP to
devote more resources and processor time to the foreground (active) application
than it will to any other processes. XP already does have a slight bias towards
the foreground app, but you can increase it further with this simple registry
Open Regedit and navigate to
Modify 'Win32PriorityControl' and give it a decimal
value of 38.
84. Place the Volume
Control on the Taskbar
You can return the volume control applet to its rightful
place on your taskbar with a quick settings change. Here's what to do; go to
'start\control panel\sounds and audio devices.' Under the 'volume' tab, check
'place volume icon in the taskbar.'
85. Experiment with Linux
Without Installing Software
Linux is the pre-eminent 'alternative' operating system
out there right now, with the one amazing advantage of being free. Of course,
being a free and open source operating system means that there are a zillion
different versions out there, most of which are not instantly intuitive to
This being the case, removing Windows XP or installing a
dual boot with Windows XP and Linux is not the most attractive prospect for
Fortunately, there are several 'live' flavours of Linux
that can be booted directly from CD (or even a floppy or USB drive) without
requiring hard disk installations. Using one of these live CDs is a great way to
get to know the various Linux desktops (like KDE and Gnome) as well as get an
idea of how Linux runs 'under the hood.' All you need is a CD burner and some
hard drive space.
The most popular live distribution of Linux is Knoppix,
but there are many others available. Try here for starters.