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Showing posts from August, 2004

Disable Print Screen Key in Windows

Often abbreviated Prt Scr, the Print Screen key is a useful key supported on most PCs. In DOS, pressing the Print Screen key causes the computer to send whatever images and text are currently on the display screen to the printer. Some graphics programs and Windows, use the Print Screen key to obtain Screen Captures.

1. Maximize the window you'd like to capture.
2. To copy/capture the current window, hold down ALT + Print Scrn at the same time. To capture the entire screen, just press Print Scrn.
3. Open a new document in MS Word, MS Photo Editor, or Adobe PhotoShop.
4. Paste the screen shot by holding down CTRL and V at the same time.
5. Print the document when you're finished pasting screen shots.

Macs prove more versatile because the screen captures are automatically saved as files in the PICT format - Apple's version of Microsoft's BMP. This file is created when one presses Command plus Shift plus 3. To save just the window you want, hold down Command plus Shift plus 4 pl…

Must Have Tools for Web Design

ColorPic - There certainly is no shortage of specialized eyedropper utilities, but few have pulled all the right functionality together as usefully and elegantly as Nico Westerdale's ColorPic.

Accessibility Toolbox - Ian has pulled together some of the accumulated wisdom found at his renowned site. At this point, it comprises of an 'accessible form element builder' paired with an 'accessible pop-up builder'. There are buttons reserved for 'accessible tables' and 'accessible forms' but there's no word as to whether these are due any time soon

MWSnap - Screen capture? What's wrong with the old Print Screen button? Nothing at all but MWSnap is one of those nicely crafted little apps that makes it faster and easier for you to continue working the way you already do. It's all about ease and convenience.

TopStyle - Nick Bradbury got sick of the HTML editor he was using and decided to sit down and darn well write his own. HomeSite …

Get Windows XP SP2 on CD

Microsoft will ship the CD to you free of charge. This CD includes the same Service Pack 2 software that is available for download from Windows Update. You'll wait 4-5 weeks for delivery, according to the site. You can also download the complete service pack here.

Note that Microsoft started the electronic delivery of SP2 to Windows XP Home Edition users last week, and to XP Professional Edition today via the Automatic-Updates distribution route.

I received my Windows XP SP CD today.

Microsoft Website Layout

Microsoft have updated their main website,

The site features a new layout, with more focus on directing users towards security and feature updates like service pack 2 for Windows XP. The navigation also appears clearer, allowing easier access to the many parts of Microsoft's site.

One problem that still remains, however, is the site's lack of standards compliance. It doesn't validate to the very basic (and somewhat aged) 4.01 HTML standard. Also, the site appears quite different in non-IE browsers - Firefox users don't see all elements of the site, and they also enjoy 'poor' images due to DHTML image rendering filters. See this post for more information.

StopDesign has an interesting piece on the new design, pointing out that Microsoft have moved away from tables, towards css, the effect being to reduce page size massivly. They've also moved away from "bulky javascript" that previously dominated the code.

'SP2' a Must For XP Users

Service Pack 2, "SP2" for short, is Microsoft's most important release since XP itself. It aims to stop viruses, worms, browser hijackings and worse by including security features that people had to add and adjust on their own. (Users of Windows 2000, Millennium Edition, 98 and 95 will still need to do that, since Microsoft has no plans for a comparable update of those systems.)

The most important part of SP2 is an new firewall program to stop break-ins by network worms such as Blaster. Unlike XP's earlier firewall, this one is turned on automatically and protects every connection on a computer -- even if you already have another firewall active. It also watches what your programs do; if one wants to open its own channel of communication with the Internet, you'll need to approve this action.

Service Pack 2 is a free update, but it's not easy to get -- yet. A 266-megabyte download is available at Microsoft's site, while users with automatic updates enabled w…

Secure Linux Computers from Internet Hackers

What you should do to a new Linux PC before connecting it to the Internet. Always keep the software on your computer up to date with the latest security patches should you be running Linux, Windows, BSD or WhoKnowsWhat. Your distribution will release regular security patches that should be applied and are available off the Internet. As with Windows, this should always be your first Internet destination. Your second Internet destination may be to install system monitoring software.

Configuring the /etc/hosts.deny and /etc/hosts.allow files

To further secure this server from unwanted traffic or potentially hackers, we may wish to limit the hosts or computers that can connect to this server application. The /etc/hosts.deny and /etc/hosts.allow files allow us to do just that.

When a computer attempts to access a service such as a secure shell server on your new Linux PC the /etc/hosts.deny and /etc/hosts.allow files will be processed and access will be granted or refused based on some easily…

Google Web Hosting Service - Unlimited Storage, Web Analytics

Google, an ICANN-accredited registrar of domain names, could soon expand into the web hosting industry. Google is approved to sell names in seven top-level domains (TLDs) including .com, .net, .org, .biz, info, .name and .pro.

Google Web Hosting recently made a proposal to host some of the content of the Wikimedia projects on Google Servers. Wikimedia Foundation are continuing to talk with Google Hosting about creative ways in which they might provide support to the project.

Blogger, a free Google Web Hosting platform already has the largest user base. Google can easily acquire some of the most popular web hosting companies and use it as a base to build a business around. Alternatively, Google could simply buy up tons of customers from smaller hosts.

Web hosting requires tons of servers, data centers, and skilled technical support staff. Google already has all that. Google also acquired Urchin that offers web analytics to customers for free. Most business customers want Email (gmail) and…

Download Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2)

Microsoft Service Pack 2 for Windows XP is available for people to download and install on their systems. The XP SP2 file, at just over 250 Megs, is a hefty download yet is packed with new updates well worth getting (Microsoft will allow people to order a CD with it on in due course).

The install took about 5-10 minutes, yet clearly this figure will vary from system to system. After installing and rebooting XP asked me to turn on automatic updates (even before reaching windows). An excellent move on Microsoft's behalf, and one that serves to highlights a growing commitment to security and user safety. On the first run, Microsoft also loads up the new Security Center. The Security Center monitors your Antivirus, Firewall, and Auto Update situation. If it detects anything that is potentially damaging or hazardous, it will prompt you with a warning and give you advice on how to resolve the issue. Microsoft has saved a lot of hassle for users in that if you have Zone Alarm installed, t…