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Who this page is for Edit

This book is designed by Tmxxine HolyGeek as a resource for all users to empower their use of computer skills and knowledge. You will need a PC compatible and might find a basic vocabulary of Geek Speak useful but not essential. Most of this stuff is for users of Microsoft Windows.

Linux users might like: Peace penguins Tmxxine Linux Python

Software Edit

2005 Reviews of DVD Burner software

Drivers Edit

Free CD's Edit

Entertainment Edit

Tutorials Edit

Free information, help and consultancy Edit

There are several organisations offering free geek help

  1. Windows Help pages
  2. Get Net Wise
  3. Freebyte
  4. Ehow Hardware(includes other categories)
  5. Tech tutorials

On Line Collaboration Edit

Direct link Image storing Edit

Photobucket free, simple, fast, reliable image hosting site and online photo album that allows direct linking Flickr is another photosharing site in a similar vein, and uses an advanced flash interface for easy management and organization of photos, that has the advantage of serving several sizes of photos.

Direct linking is very important You can put something like this in a wiki

eg. (photobucket)

eg. (flickr)

Email listsEdit

The following specialise in tips on getting the best from your computer. Please add your favourite

  • scambusters Keeping free of internet scams
  • LockerGnome Excellent range of specialised lists including Linux, Windows Fanatics, Hot downloads, Web masters and Search Engine news. More commercial than previously.
  • Tourbus In depth support
  • HolyGeek Computer support group
  • Blackviper Lists Windows services and what they do, useful to help disable what you don't need. Also gives other performance help.

Essential skills Edit

Keyboard and mouse skills are usually the first we learn using a Web Browser, email, a text editor or word processor and paint programs. These types of program are built into Windows, most desktop Linux distros and Mac (?).

Next we develop specialised skills. For example:

  1. Photo retouching
  2. DTP
  3. Structured drawing
  4. Ray tracing

according to needs and requirements.

More speed Edit

Turn off some of the "visual effects" to get a faster computer

  1. Click Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Click to Open "System"

An alternate method is to right click

My Computer on your desktop and select Properties.

The System Properties dialog box will appear.

  1. Select the Advanced tab
  2. Under Performance section click the Settings button

the Performance Options dialog box will appear

Remove the check beside the following options:

  • Fade or slide menus into view
  • Fade or slide ToolTips into view
  • Fade out menu items after clicking
  • Show Shadows after menus
  • Slide open combo boxes
  • Slide taskbar buttons
  • Use a background image for each folder type
  • Use common tasks in folders

Speed Xp up !!!! This is for ADVANCED USERS ONLY!!!

1. Goto the directory where you have your windaows xp installation

for example if windows is installed in c:\ then the windows installation would be c:\windows or c:\winnt

2. Goto the c:\windows\prefetch\ folder and delete everything there...

restart windows and  .. viola!! your computer is a performer

3. go to

c:\documents and settings\ current user\local settings \temp\ delete everything there (must click on "Tools". Then "Folder Options". Then click on "view" tab. and finally: uncheck the "Do not show hidden files and folders" option in order to access c:\documents and settings\ current user\local settings \temp\)

4. Goto c:\windows\temp and delete everything there...

5. On Windows XP

   Increase Virtual Memory
    1>Right Click on My Computer>Properties>Advanced Tab
    2>Under Performance Click Settings>Advanced
    3>Virtual Memory>Change
    4>Select Custom Size set your minimum and maximum as high as possible according to your Hard Drive's Free space, (Like 1024-2048)

6. Search for *.tmp and *.chk(Check Disk Fragments) and delete those

RUN command Edit

To use Run left click on the Start button. Click on Run. (or press the Windows key on your keyboard and the letter "r")

calc (opens calculator utility)

cdplayer (opens cd player)

charmap (opens character map utility)

clipbrd (opens clipboard utility)

command (opens DOS window at command line)

defrag (opens defrag utility)

drvspace (opens drive space utility to compress drives, etc.)

dxdiag (for DirectX, sound, input devices-joysticks, etc. info)

freecell (opens freecell game)

mplayer2 (opens Windows Media Player 6.4)

msconfig (accesses programs that run on startup)

mshearts (opens hearts game)

msinfo32 (accesses system resources info)

notepad (opens program)

regedit (accesses command to edit the registry)

rsrcmtr (loads resource meter utility in system tray)

scandskw (accesses scan disk utility)

scanregw (registry scan)

services.msc (like msconfig but more options)

sndrec32 (opens sound recorder)

sndvol32 (opens sound volume utility)

sol (opens a solitaire game)

sysedit (accesses the System Configuration Utility)

sysmon (opens system monitor utility)

win.ini (accesses file that loads some Windows components)

winipcfg (displays Internet connection/adapter info)

winver (displays the Windows verson installed on the computer)

wmplayer (opens Windows Media Player)

wordpad (opens program)

wupdmgr (connects to Windows update)

Security InformationEdit

where someword is a identifier and x is the number of emails - so you can trace where email was sourced from

This is most useful for when some companies ask for your email address

promise not to pass it on etc . . .

also mailinator allows you to fill out a form (some require an email to activate service and provide passwords, confirmation etc)

the email is only active for a few hours

You go to the address and put in the name you used

Another good method of avoiding registration is by accessing BugMeNot's database of usernames and passwords.

Up Your SecurityEdit

1. Dump Internet Explorer. Use Firefox, Mozilla, or Opera to browse the Web. You will still be forced to use IE to update your system, but that is the ONLY thing you should use it for.

2. Patch your system. Install the recommended security updates and patches for ALL software on your system, not just the operating system.

3. Run a proven firewall. Don't rely on the Windows Internet Connection Firewall (ICF); it blocks inbound attacks only. ZoneAlarm and Sygate offer excellent free versions of their products.

4. Run a good antivirus program. Choices abound. AntiVir Personal Edition (free); other good ones are Norton Antivirus, Panda Software, and Grisoft's AVG (free).

5. Run Spyware Blaster and keep it updated. This free program blocks adware and spyware from installing in the first place and is frequently updated.

6. Run Ad-Aware and keep it updated. I recommend you scan weekly, more frequently if you are a heavy surfer.

7. Run Spybot S&D and keep it updated on the same schedule as Ad-Aware.

8. Use this if you are technically competent x-raypc - if unsure avoid it

pop up test

Access to Tools Edit

  1. Winuscon easy access to numerous built in Windows tools

Creating an ISO imageEdit

Linux distributions and other files are often supplied as an ISO image which has to be burnt or copied onto a CD with a CD writer

Have a breakEdit

On line games for a change of pace

Installing Linux Distros to a hard diskEdit

By downloading and using a bootable linux distro we also have the opportunity to install it on the hard disk. In this example Mepis is used

On line ServicesEdit

Dropload Web site that allows you to share large files with specific people. You can use Dropload as a means of sharing files. With Dropload, you can literally drop a file on a server. An e-mail will be sent to the intended recipient to come and pick up the file. Once you drop your file on the server, it is held for 48 hours then deleted. There is a file size limitation of 50 MB. On line compiler Compile your programs from anywhere

I just signed up for an account with and will see how it works out. Looks good so far and i like the flexibility they give you when creating your address...

XP Specific Edit

How to Buy a PCEdit

If you are certain that a new PC is required then read the computer press. However it is quite likely you may just need to upgrade parts of your machine.

PC World Buying computer equipment. Commercial magazine but updated advice. (if you have better impartial and NO AD sites or blogs please add)

In October, 2004, prices for complete, (name brand), Pentium 4 systems clocking at just below 3Ghz are as low as $350 after completing rebates. Some 17" LCD monitors are as inexpensive as $200, usually involving a rebate. This would make a PC and monitor package cost around $550, if you shop effectively. Conversely, some popular retailers will sell similar packages for $200 to $300 more.

Do you need a new PC?Edit

More memory

If you hear your computer constantly addressing the hard drive you need more memory - cheap and cheerful upgrade 128 meg is underpowered 256 meg is minimum

If you are unsure it is safer but slower to have a virus checker in memory

Linux users do not have this situation . . .

Virus checkers and other programs in memory can slow a system down (they are taking up CPU time). The registery (a database of settings) can also become overburdened with data and slow the machine down.

Most viruses come from e-mail - so if you are set to only receive text and do not automatically open .SCR .pif and all the other potential viruses you are OK

So if you do a virus check each day ideally you do not absolutely require a virus checker in memory

- oh one more tip on speeding up your computer

- use faster software . . .

and as usual fast software (like fast hardware - as in overclocking)

that is so fast it crashes

is not fast (though it may be fun) . . .

Buying EquipmentEdit

How to upgrade your hardware

Don't - buy a laptop or PDA instead . . .

If you get a new motherboard, get one with EVERYTHING built in (it is designed to work together). At the present time (Jan 2005) buying a whole bare bones computer is not much more than second hand or the price of a motherboard. This may vary in your section of the market.

If you're looking into installing RedHat Linux, sacrifice a pci slot to plug in a cheap network card like a D-Link so that it can be auto-detected rather than using the built-in motherboard network card because the proprietary chipsets are typically not easily recognized. Having the network interface allows you to download what linux drivers are available for the rest of your hardware.

Using the Windows KeyEdit

Are you a user who finds reaching for the mouse an annoying action? If so, then consider keeping your fingers on the keyboard to accomplish the same objectives by using the keyboard shortcuts listed below.

Windows Key + E

Opens the Explorer window.

Windows Key + D

Minimizes all open windows and displays the Desktop. If you repeat the keyboard combination, the open windows will return to their original state.

Windows Key + F

Displays the Search Result window.

Windows Key + L

Locks your Windows XP computer.

Windows Key + R

Displays the Run command. (try that and type in OSK - just in case you have no keyboard)

Windows Key + F1

Displays the Help and Support Centre window.

Windows Key + Pause/Break

Displays the Systems Properties dialog box.

Windows Key + Tab

Cycles through the buttons on the Task Bar. To activate the selected button on the Task Bar, press the Enter key.

Alt + Tab

Toggles or switches between open windows.

Alt + F4

Closes the open window.

Graphics cardEdit

If you scroll through a text document with graphics or a web page and it is slow, a new graphics card will speed this up.

However here are some guides for getting an add on

PCI cards are the oldest technology

AGP is now the standard and watch out that your motherboard can cope with the different speeds of AGP





(I recently bought an AGP card but my motherboard only goes up to X4 - the amount of data that can be pumped in and out)

So I am using an old voodoo 16 meg PCI accelerator - great for all but very intense video work such as ray tracing and video editing

A new graphic system known as PCI Express is emerging. Probably about 1-2 years away for most users

Unless you are playing games or using ray tracing the most useful part of a graphic card is the amount of memory

There is one more family of graphics card in the market called Dualhead Graphic Cards

At times it's annoying to switch between the screens and if there are two or more windows to be referred to it becomes a

little clumsy. These kind of graphic cards helps you in connecting two monitors to a single CPU

Learning programming Edit

Free Programming resources

the "Learn To Program" wiki

Future DirectionsEdit

Buy a machine with EVERYTHING on the motherboard. The processor is not that important as most are sufficient
for the majority of tasks
High processing tasks (that require the fastest processor) are video work and games. 
If you intend to specialise in graphics or audio, you can purchase specialised and optimised cards
(PCI) and disable the inbuilt ones. See how you get on with the built in options
- these can vary. The most important component of a video card is amount of on board memory
- some video cards have dual processors and 256 and 512 MB of memory

Linux users – Windows and Linux are slowly beginning to merge – WinX

as much as possible try and use software that runs on Linux and Windows so that our skills will have long term security

Linux on the desktop is beginning to emerge as an ease of use option.

The memory and support chips for the the CPU (presently on the motherboard) will all be integrated, networking, graphics etc. Eventually we will have (already developed) computers on a single chip - allowing the computer to be integrated into our monitor/TV's

Emerging standards are

  1. Ogg vorbis to replace MP3
  2. Wikis to replace 'static web pages'
  3. Operating System on the motherboard
  4. Open Source certified software

Tech Tips from HolyGeeks Edit

Recommending familiarisation with the following

  • Operating System: Linux
  • Communication: ICQ, Skype, Gaim
  • Browser: Firefox
  • Email: Thunderbird
  • Office Suite: OpenOffice

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