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Short PC tips and tricks

Speed Up Disk Cleanup in Windows XP

Part of the previous tip used the Windows utility called Disk Cleanup. In fact, this is a very useful built-in application for removing various kinds of accumulated junk from the Windows system and it comes in all current versions of Windows. It is not as comprehensive as multi-purpose programs like the freeware CCleaner but it has the advantage of already being part of Windows and requiring no installation.

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Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Tips

Service pack 1 (SP1) for Windows 7 has been out for a bit now and perhaps you have installed it. If you are happy with it, I have a tip for you. But then again maybe you are not so happy with it.  In that case, I also have a tip for you.

Free up some space by removing Windows 7 SP1 backup files

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Create a Bootable USB Key (Thumb Drive) in Windows Vista/7 with the Command Line

This tip is for more experienced computer users and uses a powerful command that can wipe out a disk.

A bootable USB flash drive can be a handy thing to have. For one thing, you can try out other operating systems without messing with your hard drive. For another, you can have a tool for repairing Windows systems that won’t boot. Or you can use it to install software on a PC that has no DVD drive. 

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Three Lesser Known Google Search Operators

Here's a follow-up to the previous tip that discussed the undocumented AROUND operator. Although they are documented, there are three other Google operators that are not well known and in this tip, I’ll describe them. Make use of these and you can improve your search results.

The asterisk wildcard (*)

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How to Use the Undocumented Operator AROUND to improve Google Searches

The key to successful searches with Google or any other search engine is knowing how to narrow down the results to something manageable. Searches typically can show thousands or even millions of hits and useful references are often buried far down the list where they will never be seen.

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Easy Ways to Run Windows Programs with Restricted Rights

In these days of drive-by downloads, poisoned websites and various other malware traps, it pays to have multi-layer defenses. One general technique involves running an entire account with limited system privileges. This can have a substantial effect on usability, however, and just restricting the privileges of particular programs may be preferable for many users. Since it is on the front line, the Internet browser is frequently run with limited rights.

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Wizard to Adjust the Display Colors in Windows 7

These days we have a richness of color in what we display on our computers. Mega-pixel photos and high-definition video are among the things that put a high demand on the computer display. Correct color calibration is more important than ever and Windows 7 comes with a new tool for making display colors look better.

Display Color Calibration Wizard in Windows 7

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Some Less Familiar Mouse and Keyboard Shortcuts Worth Knowing

A few months back, Gizmo wrote an article about three under-utilized shortcuts for text operations. In this tip, I am going to add a few more to the under-utilized list.

Select text quickly with mouse clicks

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How to Check If Somebody Else Has Used Your Facebook Account and Other Security Tips

Facebook is very popular and that makes it a prime target for hackers. Here are some steps to take to ensure better security for your Facebook account.

How to configure the security settings in Facebook

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Save Time and Typing With Windows Shortcuts That Use Environment Variables

You may be wondering what an “environment variable” is. You’ve probably seen them—they are those expressions wrapped in percent signs that you sometimes see in file paths. They are shorthand expressions that stand for certain standard system properties. Some of these system properties are used frequently in filename paths and scripts. Having a short version can save considerable time and effort. This tip will show how convenient they can be and where to get a full explanation of how to use them.

No need to know system details

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