Bring Back Desktop Icons That Are Gone, Missing or Disappeared

June 16th, 2008

Occasionally a user will accidentally click on wrong place and all their desktop icons will be gone. They won’t be able to find the icons anywhere on the desktop. All their My Computer and My Documents shortcuts will be missing and even their recycling bin will be gone. They will be left with a plain background or a wallpaper.

It is easy to bring them back! Simply right click on your desktop, go to Arrange Icons By and then select Show Desktop Icons.

Show Desktop Icons

Wait several seconds and your desktop icons will be back.

Turn Off Auto Correction in Microsoft Office

June 15th, 2008

Microsoft Office suite comes with some annoying features such as automatic capitalization of the first letter of the first word each time you end the sentence with a period. Many of these features are helpful but at times when you copy text from Microsoft Word and paste in somewhere else the formatting will be lost because it does not recognize Microsoft Office Word format. Same will happen if you are using Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project or Publisher.

To avoid this, it is helpful to turn off auto correction feature in Microsoft Office.

If you are using Microsoft Office 2000 or 2003 version, you can turn of the automatic correction features by going to Tools -> Auto-Correction -> Deselect the features you want turned off.

Microsoft Office 2003 Auto Correct

If you are using the latest Microsoft Office 2007, you can turn off auto correction features by clicking on the Microsoft Office Button and then selecting Word Options. Note: If you want to turn off auto correction for other office programs such as PowerPoint then you would follow the same procedures but you will see PowerPoint Options.

Microsoft Office Word Options

Click Proofing and select AutoCorrect Options.

Microsoft Office Word 2007

Now deselect the options you want disabled.

  • Correct TWo INitial CApitals
  • Capitalize first letter of sentences
  • Capitalize names of days
  • Correct accidental use of cAPS LOCK key
  • Capitalize first letter of table cells

Install Windows Vista Cursors in XP

June 15th, 2008

Windows Vista has one of the best selection of cursors compared to other popular operating systems. Windows XP users can now have that same clear-cut cursors of Windows Vista on their system. Windows Vista’s cursors are anti-aliased, the edges are much more softer, and animated. The loading cursors changes to a cursor with an animated circle.

Popular Windows Vista Cursors

To install, download the Aero Cursors package.

Unzip the files, right click install.ini and select install.

Windows XP Cursor Install

Go to Start, Control Panel and select Mouse. Navigate over to Pointers tab.

Under scheme, select Aero Cursors (Alphablended).

Mouse Properties under Control Panel

Click OK and you are done. Cheers!

How to Record or Delete Videos and Pictures from HP QuickPlay

June 7th, 2008

Users of HP Pavilion Notebook can record videos and take pictures in QuickPlay with the integrated HP webcam or even 3rd party camera. If you have Windows Vista with HP QuickPlay installed on your HP Pavilion laptop, you can easily record movies or take pictures by launching HP QuickPlay.

HP Quickplay Menu

Click on Video icon Video Icon from the menu and select HP webcam in the Source column.

hp quickplay control panel

From your QuickPlay Control Panel, click the record button to record and stop button to stop the recording. You can also take snapshots by selecting the last button in the Control Panel. To delete the pictures and videos that you just have taken is tricky in Windows Vista.

You videos and pictures are by default saved to

C:\Users\Public\Videos\HP Webcam\webcam_2008067_1541.mpg

To reach that folder, press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to bring up the run box.

Windows Vista Run Box

Then type in the following:

C:\USERS\Public\Videos

Press OK and you will be at a folder where all your HP QuickPlay movies and pictures are stored. From here you can delete the videos and pictures you want. Creating a shortcut to this folder on your desktop to make it easeir to access all your QuickPlay pictures and videos in future. To create a shortcut on your desktop, right click on the folder called “Videos” and select send to “Desktop (create shortcut)”.

Desktop Create Shotcut

Now you can freely browse, edit or burn QuickPlay videos and pictures right from your desktop!

Wallpaper Manager for the Gnome Desktop

June 7th, 2008

Desktop Drapes is a Gnome desktop application for those that love randomizing your desktop wallpaper. Users can add wallpapers they like to the list and select how often do you want the wallpaper to be changed. Indeed, a nifty little tool for your desktop eye candy list.

Screenshot of Desktop Drapes in action

Desktop Drapes goes a step further and automatically adds the wallpaper to the list from a specified folder. So a user can simply save wallpapers to a dictionary and Desktop Drapes will do the rest.

To install Desktop Drapes, open up a Terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install drapes

How to Delete a File That Won’t Delete

June 6th, 2008

Whenever you try to delete a file that is being used at the time, you will get this error in Windows XP: “Cannot delete [file name]: It is being used by another person or program. Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.” Below is a screenshot of “Error Deleting File or Folder”.

error deleting file or folder

Usually closing the folder or file you are using and then retrying to delete the file or folder works. But some files, for instance from Desktop, won’t delete no matter what you try. They will keep giving you the error telling the file or folder is being used by another person or program.

The solution is the Remove on Reboot Shell Extension which is a straightforward shell extension that will automatically remove the files you select after a reboot.

remove on next reboot

Simply download the application and install it. Then just right-click any file you want to delete, select the option “Delete on Reboot” and the file will automatically be deleted on the next system reboot.

Download HTC Diamond Ringtones and Alerts

June 6th, 2008

HTC DIAMOND

HTC Touch Diamond is a new Windows Mobile 6.1 powered device and also the successor of HTC Touch. The release date for HTC Diamond Pocket PC phone is set for June 2008 in Europe and then the rest of the world later this year. Its main features include the new and improved TouchFLO 3D technology from the old TouchFLO interface on HTC Touch. Some of the common names for HTC Diamond are O2 XDA Diamond and T-Mobile MDA Compact IV

The ringtones on HTC Diamond are short and sweet with a modern tune. Here are the 82 ringtones and alerts extracted from the Pocket PC’s leaked ROM. The format is WMA (Windows Media Audio). Click here to download the ringtones and alerts.

Ringtones List For HTC Touch Diamond

The ringtones above are all in WMA format and should work on Windows Mobile 6 devices. To install the ringtones on your Pocket PC, download the above file and extract all the files to your Windows Mobile My Documents folder either on the storage car d or the device. Alternatively, users have reported that extracting the files to your Windows folder on the device should also work.

Once all the files are on your device to the designated destination, go to Start -> Settings -> Personal > Sounds and Notifications. Here you should be able to select the new HTC Diamond ringtones for your phone and set it as the ringtone and as alerts.

How to Transfer Movies or Video files into iPod

December 28th, 2007

iPod Video ConverterSo you got a new Apple iPod that has the ability to play videos? That’s great! To transfer or load video files onto your iPod, you first need a converter that will resize and compress the video into a smaller size to fit into your iPod and have the best screen optimization.

There are only few free softwares out there that will convert the video files for you. My favorite is Videora iPod Converter. This software will do just about anything. You can rip a movie from DVD or simply take a video file from Youtube and then convert it in few easy steps. However, you will need DVD Decrypter to rip the movies from DVD first. It works for iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, iPhone and iPod Video. Once you get the converted file, you need to use Apple iTunes to transfer the compatible video onto your iPod.

Paid softwares such as DVDFab Platinum and Xilisoft iPod Video Converter offer more features and file formats but they are unnecessary in most cases. Videora converts the file just as easy and for free.

Terminate Your Sprint Contract With Out Early Termination Fee

December 28th, 2007

You should have received a postcard in your mail from Sprint stating:

Notice OF Discontinuance Of FPCR, Federal E999 and Federal WLNP Surcharges: Introduction Of Sprint Mail Postcard Administrative And Regulatory Charges Effective January 1, 2008. Beginning January 1, 2008 Sprint will no longer assess the following : 1) Federal Programs Cost Recovery ($ 1.55); 2) Federal E911 ($.40) and 3) Federal Wirelsss Local Number Portability ($.15).

Beginning January 1, 2008 Sprint will asses 2 new monthly charges per line. An administrative charge of $.75 and a regulatory charge of $.20 to help defray the cost on us that other telecommunications carriers charge Sprint.

Notice Of Charges To Sprint Terms And Conditions Of Service- January 1, 2008

The terms and conditions for Sprint and Nextel have been updated, but not limited to, the following paragraphs:

These new terms and conditions are effective January 1, 2008 and are available at sprint.com or upon request.
Please carefully review these terms as they apply to any future use of service.

I did some digging and found the following on Sprint’s web site regarding the new Terms and Conditions of Service:

The Administrative Charge will be $0.75 per line per month and is assessed by Sprint to help defray various costs imposed on Sprint by other telecommunications carriers, including, but not limited to, charges imposed by local telephone companies for delivery of calls from our customers to their landline customers and for certain network facilities and services we need to purchase from them. The Administrative Charge is not a tax and is not an amount we are required to collect from you by law. The Administrative Charge, and the components used to calculate this charge, is subject to change from time to time.

So here is your chance to cancel Sprint Account with the (ETF) early termination fee since Sprint is ‘adding’ Administrative Charge that is not government mandated, they are essentially changing the Terms and Conditions of Service which you agreed to originally. This is essentially a core charge because you have no option to opt out unless you cancel the service. Keep in mind this is not an existing charge that “Sprint can change from time to time” as in your original agreement. You need to call Sprint’s retention department and prove this change has an adverse affect on you.

I attempted to cancel one of my friend’s account. The representative told me yes, I can cancel my account with out the early termination fee starting 01-01-08. He advised me to call back Sprint on 01-01-08 and request for cancellation with out the early termination fee. He warned me using or paying for service after 01-01-08 is under the new contract, period. So you have 30 days grace period. Tell the representatives at Sprint that you want to leave Sprint with out early termination fee specifically to avoid the material change in the contract.

I’m quoting Sprint’s contract if you need it for reference:

Except as provided below, if a change we make to the Agreement is material and has a material adverse effect on you, you may terminate each line of Service materially affected without incurring an Early Termination Fee only if you: (a) call us within 30 days after the effective date of the change; and (b) specifically advise us that you wish to cancel Services because of a material change to the Agreement that we have made. If you do not cancel Service within 30 days of the change, an Early Termination Fee will apply if you terminate Services before the end of any applicable Term Commitment.

Good luck

Get out of Nextel Contract for Free

December 3rd, 2007

I received an email asking for a way to break Nextel contract without paying the early termination fee (ETF). Nextel With SprintFrom what I heard, Nextel does indeed has the worst service of all the wireless carriers. There is no easy way out of Nextel contract, just like Sprint contract, but there are two methods I know you can try:

Nextel and Sprint are both together. If you are attempting to cancel your Nextel contract for free (without ETF), you can call and request to be switched over to Sprint. You will be put on a new Sprint contract and just pick a phone that is free. You will not be eligible for a free or discounted phone if you bought a phone from Nextel that is less than 12 months old. If you are not eligible still go ahead simply buy a phone because you will be refunded in the end. You should no longer be in contract with Nextel once your service, the number and the plan, has been transfered to Sprint. Make sure you don’t use your new phone or make any calls. Now you need to cancel your Sprint account by going into a store and requesting to cancel. They will take your new phone back and cancel the account. The fine print for return policy located on Sprint contract states 14 days satisfactory, no questions asked. But they have recently implemented a new policy stating you are not allowed to do this if you are switching over from Nextel. A friend of mine did this just few weeks back and was successful. He is currently a happy Cingular wireless customer. This method is YMMV (your mileage may vary). If you get rejected in the stores, try calling Sprint to cancel.

Another method to get out of Nextel’s contract is if you are moving to somewhere where there is no service from Nextel or Sprint in this case. Ore City, TX is a perfect example where Nextel or Sprint offers no service. Call them and say you want to cancel because there is no service in Ore City, TX. Remember, you need to be persistent. If they turn you down, try again with another CSR (customer service representative).