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Thread: My Weekly Tech Journal

  1. #61
    SB Legend Major General hotspicyhot's Avatar
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    Arrow A quicker way to upload articles on forums and websites

    Mozilla Firefox

    A quicker way to upload articles on forums and websites


    Being an Internet fan, you often communicate through webmail and post many contributions on forums. Since you often use similar text to identify yourself on a lot of website, you would prefer to work with auto-complete in Mozilla FireFox. Equip Firefox with an autotext function with free extension ‘Clippings’. This saves, for instance, the effort of typing in forums or complicated copying.The XPI ile for installing this update is available on addons. ID = 1347.

    Click in the website on the ‘Install’ link or open the XPI file with Firefox if you have downloaded it. Start the integration by clicking on ‘Install now’. Also select the ‘Restart Firefox’ command to complete the installation process.
    You need to first create the text before using it. Select a desired text in the browser and right-click on it. The context menu now displays the update. You can either set the selected text as a clipping with ‘Clippings | New entry with selected text’ or start the main dialog with ‘Clippings | Open Clippings Manager’. Further possibilities: double-click on the new text symbol on the right part of the status bar or pull the selected text to this position by drag and drop. After you have created the text fragments, organize them in folders in the Clippings Manager. Each folder later represents a sub menu—this gives you a quick overview. Use the ‘Options | New entry from Clipboard’ command to use copied texts in the quickest possible way. At this point, you can also save your data in an RDF ile with ‘Options | Export’. Now close the dialog.using the Auto teXts: To use these texts, right-click on the entry field of the opened website. You can now access the hierarchically arranged folders with the sorted texts through ‘Clippings’ and insert them with a click.
    Last edited by hotspicyhot; 26-02-2008 at 01:33 AM.
    If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, then, you become something else entirely.
    Are you ready to begin?

  2. #62
    °l||l°Lucky 4 Girls°l||l° Brigadier General im_thebestin's Avatar
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    HSH .....Dude ....!!!!

    The registery Tips are really Fantastic.....

    Reppzz Error ....!!!

  3. #63
    SB ICON Major General rikkuartz's Avatar
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    nice work BRO!!!!!!!!

  4. #64
    sb lover Captain sameergoodboy's Avatar
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    Good Work Coolboy.....!

    But What About Dust In Our Cpu Case........it Affects The Performance Too....!

    HOW CAN WE CLEAN THE SO MUCH DUST.......I TRIED ONCE BUT GOT SKIN INFECTION....!
    Last edited by sameergoodboy; 27-02-2008 at 03:32 AM.

  5. #65
    SB Wizard jessy's Avatar
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    nice work hsh repz error sorry

  6. #66
    SB Legend Major General hotspicyhot's Avatar
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    Arrow Step-by-step bookmark recovery

    Step-by-step bookmark recovery

    If you don't see your bookmarks when you open Firefox, Mozilla Suite or SeaMonkey, and you've tried closing and reopening the browser or restarting the computer, the bookmarks file may have been damaged or the contents deleted.

    Firefox automatically makes a bookmark backup every day you use it (up to 5 backups total), with newer backups replacing the older copies. If you use the profile, you must act quickly, before they are all overwritten. However, there are other reasons why your bookmarks may be missing, so it is important that you follow all of these steps:

    1. Mozilla browsers store user data in a separate place for each user account on your computer. Make sure you are logged on to your computer with your usual logon name.
    2. Mozilla browsers allow you to store different sets of bookmarks and other user data in separate profiles. You may have created a new profile in the past for troubleshooting or other reasons. Make sure you are using the correct profile (see Multiple profiles and profile in use, below).
    3. If bookmarks appear in the Bookmarks Manager but not in the main menu, and they can't be edited, try the fix for a corrupt localstore.rdf file, given below.
    4. If your problem is still not solved after doing the above, see Finding your bookmarks and Restoring bookmarks from backup (below). To identify the correct backup file, you can open and view bookmarks files with your browser.
    5. Other methods of recovery


    Preventing future problems

    • You can minimize the likelihood of future problems by following these suggestions (below).
    • If your Web browser is not properly shut down, your bookmarks may be lost after restarting..



    Multiple profiles and profile in use


    Mozilla browsers allow different users to have different settings and bookmarks. You may have inadvertently switched to another profile. Start the Profile Manager (If Mozilla Suite or SeaMonkey 1.x is running, click "Tools -> Switch Profile") and, if multiple profiles are listed, select the other profile. If you receive a message that the profile is "in use" or if you are unable to start the original profile, read this article.

    Corrupt localstore.rdf

    (Firefox) If your bookmarks appear in the Bookmarks Manager but not in the main menu and can't be edited, this can be caused by a corrupt localstore.rdf file . You can fix this by either deleting the localstore.rdf file from the profile folder or, in Firefox 1.5 and later, by starting in Firefox Safe Mode and selecting the option to reset toolbars and controls, then clicking the "Make changes and restart" button, as explained in this article.

    Finding your bookmarks

    • In Firefox 1.5 and above, five daily bookmark backup files are saved in the bookmarkbackups folder, located in the Firefox profile folder. Important: You must recover one of these five backups before they are overwritten by newer versions.


    To find all bookmarks files anywhere on your computer, you can use your operating system’s file and folder search feature to locate find bookmarks* (be sure to include the asterisk, with no space).

    • Firefox and other Mozilla browsers store bookmarks in file "bookmarks.html", located in the profile folder, except that Firefox 3 (not yet released) stores bookmarks in the places.sqlite file and only uses bookmarks*.html files for backup. There is also a "bookmarks.html" file in the program folder, but this one is only a template and does not hold your bookmarks.


    To make sure you have the right file, you can open the bookmarks.html file or any bookmark backup file using "File -> Open File" from the Firefox or Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey menu to review the contents (see this article for details).

    Important: Windows users should make sure they can view and search hidden files and folders as the profile folder containing your stored bookmarks is hidden by default.

    Restoring bookmarks from backup


    The following applies to Firefox (2.x and 1.5.x versions) as well as Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey (all versions):
    • The import bookmarks feature of the Bookmarks Manager will add the contents of any bookmark backup to your current bookmarks.


      • Firefox: "Bookmarks -> Organize (or Manage) Bookmarks... -> File -> Import... -> from File"
      • Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey: "Bookmarks -> Manage Bookmarks... -> Tools -> Import..."
    1. When the file picker appears, navigate to the folder that contains the bookmarks file you wish to use and select that file. Windows 2000/XP/Vista users can navigate to the Firefox bookmarkbackups folder by typing "%APPDATA%" in the file field and pressing Enter, going into Mozilla, then Firefox, then Profiles, then xxxxxxxx.default (where xxxxxxx is any sequence of numbers and characters), then the bookmarkbackups folder .


    • If your current bookmarks file is corrupt, however, it may be better to completely close the browser, find a bookmark backup file, rename it "bookmarks.html" and then replace the bookmarks.html file in the Firefox or Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey profile folder with the renamed backup. Firefox users may prefer to use the Firefox Safe Mode option, "Reset bookmarks to Firefox defaults" and then select the option, "Make Changes and Restart", which will replace the corrupt bookmarks.html file with a new default copy. The Bookmarks Manager can then be used to import the bookmark backup file, as explained above.


    Note: Starting in Firefox 3 (not yet released) a bookmark restore feature is accessible from the Bookmarks menu ("Bookmarks -> Show all bookmarks -> Places Organizer -> Import and Backup -> Restore") that allows you to replace your current bookmarks with a bookmark backup file. Warning: Switching back and forth between Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 using the same profile can result in what appears to be bookmark data loss, since the bookmarks.html file used in Firefox 2 will not be automatically imported into Firefox 3 a second time (see Browser.bookmarks.overwrite for more information). In such cases, you can use the Places Organizer to restore your more recent Firefox 2 bookmarks from one of the bookmarkbackups.

    Restoring bookmarks from external media


    If you are restoring bookmarks (or an entire profile) from CD-Rom or other storage media that creates write-protected files, make sure that you remove the read-only attributes from any copied files. Otherwise, read-only bookmarks or other profile files can result in multiple numbered copies of the read-only file (e.g., "bookmarks-<n>.html") and a read-only *.moztmp" file (e.g., "bookmarks.html.moztmp") in the profile folder . See Multiple profile files created for details.

    Other methods of recovery
    • Check the Recycle Bin/Trash for a file called "bookmarks.html".
    • (Windows) Run the error-checking tool Chkdsk (Windows 2000, XP) or ScanDisk (Windows 95, 98, ME) to see if you can recover any file fragments that contain your lost bookmarks. Look for files with names like FILE0001.chk or FILE0002.chk on the root directory (the files may be inside folders named FOUND.000 or similar). Open each file in Wordpad or Notepad and, if it contains bookmark data, rename it with an .html extension (for example, rename FILE0001.chk to bookmarks1.html). Finally, import the file using the Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey or Firefox Bookmarks Manager .
    • Use a file undelete utility to see if you can recover the file
    If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, then, you become something else entirely.
    Are you ready to begin?

  7. #67
    SB Legend Major General hotspicyhot's Avatar
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    Bookmarks missing after restarting

    This may occur on Windows systems if your Web browser is not properly shut down before you power down or restart the computer. Make sure you always close the browser before shutting down or restarting the computer.

    The problem can also be caused by a faulty or misconfigured plugin or extension, or even malware, causing Firefox to remain in memory. To see if this is your problem, perform the following steps:
    1. Use Firefox to browse the web for a while, then open the Windows Task Manager, select the Processes tab and find firefox.exe in the list.
    2. Use "File -> Exit" from the Firefox menu to close Firefox, then wait for firefox.exe to disappear from the Task Manager Processes list (this may take a few seconds if many tabs were open, or Firefox was using a lot of memory). If the firefox.exe process disappears and doesn't come back, this is normal, so if your bookmarks are always missing whenever you restart the computer, it could be related to bug 333907 which may cause .rdf file corruption. To avoid it, exit Firefox before shutting down your PC.
    3. If firefox.exe remains in the Processes list, end the firefox.exe process by selecting it in the Windows Task Manager and clicking "End Process".
      • If the process disappears and doesn't come back, you may have an extension or plugin issue causing Firefox to persist in memory (for example, firefox.exe may remain active after running a Java applet). You should make sure all plugins and extensions are up to date and seek support if the problem persists.
      • If the process disappears but comes back, you probably have a virus, or some other malware. Anti-virus software may not be able to detect it. If yours doesn't, seek support. See also Firefox.exe always open.



    Prevention
    • Periodically save your bookmarks to the backup location of your choice:
      • Firefox 1.5 and earlier: "Bookmarks -> Manage Bookmarks... -> File -> Export..."
      • Firefox 2: "Bookmarks -> Organize Bookmarks... -> File -> Export..."
      • Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey: "Bookmarks -> Manage Bookmarks... -> Tools -> Export..."
    • Do not power down your computer with Firefox/Mozilla Suite running.
    • Be careful when using Firefox Safe Mode. If you use the option to reset bookmarks to Firefox defaults, this will delete your bookmarks.
    • You can lose your saved bookmarks by accidentally deleting them in the Bookmarks Manager so be careful when organizing your bookmarks.
    • Some "computer clean-up" programs like System Wiper may delete your bookmarks. Make sure you do profile backups before using such programs.
    • You can increase the number of saved Firefox backups by modifying the value of the browser.bookmarks.max_backups preference to the desired number.
    • Instead of backing up just your bookmarks, you can also back up your entire profile. See also Guide: Bookmark Back Up Extensions/Utilities and More.
    If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, then, you become something else entirely.
    Are you ready to begin?

  8. #68
    SB ICON Major General rikkuartz's Avatar
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    Bookmarks missing after restarting
    Only FF has that problem..........!

    Nice additions.!!!

  9. #69
    SB MahaGuru Colonel
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    g8 going hot!!!!!!!!!

  10. #70
    ......salsa...... Colonel smarty_geo's Avatar
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    ny better way to increase uploading speed for torrents????
    "I was out cuz i dint remember my password "

  11. #71
    SB Legend Major General hotspicyhot's Avatar
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    Arrow !!! T H A N K Z Z Z !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by im_thebestin View Post
    HSH .....Dude ....!!!!

    The registery Tips are really Fantastic.....

    Reppzz Error ....!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by rikkuartz View Post
    nice work BRO!!!!!!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by sameergoodboy View Post
    Good Work Coolboy.....!

    But What About Dust In Our Cpu Case........it Affects The Performance Too....!

    HOW CAN WE CLEAN THE SO MUCH DUST.......I TRIED ONCE BUT GOT SKIN INFECTION....!
    Quote Originally Posted by jessy View Post
    nice work hsh repz error sorry
    Quote Originally Posted by rikkuartz View Post
    Only FF has that problem..........!

    Nice additions.!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by faisal4pro View Post
    g8 going hot!!!!!!!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by smarty_geo View Post
    ny better way to increase uploading speed for torrents????

    SWITCH TO ULTRA HIGH SPEED BROADBAND
    If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, then, you become something else entirely.
    Are you ready to begin?

  12. #72
    SB Legend Major General hotspicyhot's Avatar
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    Arrow XP Secrets

    XP Secrets

    Easter Eggs (Definition) - A hidden message or feature in an application. This guide covers the undocumented and hidden features in Windows XP. All of the following were tested in Windows XP only.

    Notes - This is not a performance related guide.

    Application Secrets

    Defrag

    Secret - Hidden Command Line Switch
    Instructions - Go to "Start", "Run" and Type defrag c: -b to defragment the Boot and Application Prefetch information.

    Notes - Windows XP will run this automatically every three days or so, during system idle periods. BootVis will evoke this when you run the "Optimize System" function. There is no need to manually run this unless you wish to immediately optimize a newly installed application's load time.

    IExpress

    Secret - Hidden Install Creator
    Instructions - Go to Start, Run, type iexpress

    Notes - IExpress is a technology designed to simplify creation of a setup program. Using the step-by-step IExpress Wizard, you can create self-extracting files that automatically run the setup program contained inside. The setup program can be an .inf file or an executable program. IExpress technology automatically removes the setup files after installation, saving the user time and frustration.

    Netmeeting

    Secret - Hidden Internet Conference Application
    Instructions - Go to Start, Run, type conf

    Notes - Windows XP is the last version of Microsoft Windows to include NetMeeting. NetMeeting delivers a complete Internet conferencing solution for all Windows users with multi-point data conferencing, text chat, whiteboard, and file transfer, as well as point-to-point audio and video.


    Notepad

    Secret - Create a Log File
    Instructions - Launch Notepad, Type .LOG on the first line, and then press Enter to move to the next line. On the File menu, click Save As, type a descriptive name for your file in the File name box, and then click OK. When you next open the file, note that the date and time have been appended to the end of the log, immediately preceding the place where new text can be added. You can use this functionality to automatically add the current date and time to each log entry.

    Paint

    Secret
    - Image Trails
    Instructions - Open an image and hold down Shift then drag the image around to create an image trail.

    Secret
    - 10x Zoom
    Instructions - Open an image and select the magnifying glass icon. Left-Click exactly on the line below the 8x.




    Private Character Editor

    Secret - Hidden Font Editor
    Instructions - Go to Start, Run, type eudcedit

    Notes - You can use Private Character Editor to create unique letters and logos for your font library.

    Windows Media Player 6.4

    Secret - Hidden Windows Media Player
    Instructions - Go to Start, Run, type mplayer2 - Source

    Notes - Windows Media Player 6.4 (Classic) is installed along with Windows Media Player 7. The only update is that it now supports the latest codecs.
    Last edited by hotspicyhot; 14-03-2008 at 11:24 PM.
    If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, then, you become something else entirely.
    Are you ready to begin?

  13. #73
    SB Legend Major General hotspicyhot's Avatar
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    Arrow Game Secrets

    Game Secrets

    FreeCell

    Secret - Instant Win
    Instructions - Hold down Ctrl + Shift + F10 during game play. Then you will be asked if you want to Abort, Retry or Ignore. Choose Abort, then move any card to instantly win.

    Secret - Hidden Game Modes
    Instructions - In the "Game" menu choose "Select Game". Enter -1 or -2 to activate the hidden game modes.


    Hearts

    Secret - Show All Cards
    Instructions - Edit this registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Applets\Hearts and create a new String value named ZB with a Data value of 42. Start Hearts and Press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + F12 to show all the cards.

    Background
    - This secret is a reference to Douglas Adams' book the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 'ZB' is the initials of the character Zaphod Beeblebrox, the Galactic President. '42' is the answer to The Ultimate Question Of Life, the Universe and Everything.

    Minesweeper

    Secret
    - Reveal Mines
    Instructions - Minimize or close all running applications. Launch Minesweeper, then type xyzzy. Next hold down either shift key for one second. Now when you move the mouse cursor over a Minesweeper square you will see a tiny white pixel in the top left corner of your desktop screen. This pixel will change to black when your mouse moves over a mine. You may need to change you desktop background to a solid color other then white or black to see the pixel.

    Secret
    - Stop Timer
    Instructions - Launch Minesweeper and start a game so the timer starts counting, then press the Windows Key + D to show the desktop. Now when you select minesweeper from the taskbar you can continue playing with the timer stopped.



    Pinball

    Secret - Extra Balls
    Instructions - Type 1max at the start of a new ball to get extra balls.

    Secret - Gravity Well
    Instructions - Type gmax at the start of a new game to activate the Gravity Well.

    Secret
    - Instant Promotion
    Instructions - Type rmax at the start of a new game to go up in ranks.

    Secret
    - Skill Shot
    Instructions - Launch the ball partially up the chute past the third yellow light bar so it falls back down to get 75,000 points. There are six yellow light bars that are worth a varying amount of points:

    First: 15,000 points
    Second: 30,000 points
    Third: 75,000 points
    Fourth: 30,000 points
    Fifth: 15,000 points
    Sixth: 7,500 points

    Secret - Test Mode
    Instructions - Type hidden test at the start of a new ball to activate Test Mode. No notification will be given that this is activated but you can now left-click the mouse button and drag the ball around. While in test mode press the following keys for more secrets:

    H - Get a 1,000,000,000 High Score
    M - Shows the amount of system memory
    R - Increases your rank in game
    Y - Shows the Frames/sec rate

    Secret
    - Unlimited Balls
    Instructions - Type bmax at the start of a new ball. No notification will be given that this is activated but when a ball is lost a new ball will appear from the yellow wormhole indefinitely. Once this is activated you will be unable to activate other secrets without restarting the game.



    Solitaire

    Secret - Instant Win
    Instructions - Press Alt + Shift + 2 during game play to instantly win.

    Secret
    - Draw single cards in a Draw Three game
    Instructions - Hold down CTRL + ALT + SHIFT while drawing a new card. Instead of drawing three cards you will only draw one.
    If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, then, you become something else entirely.
    Are you ready to begin?

  14. #74
    SB Legend Major General hotspicyhot's Avatar
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    Arrow OS Secrets

    OS Secrets


    Add/Remove

    Secret - Hidden Uninstall Options
    Instructions - Warning: Proceed at your own risk! Browse to C:\Windows\inf\ and make a backup copy of sysoc.inf. Then open the original file C:\Windows\inf\sysoc.inf in notepad. Go to "Edit" and select "Replace". In "Find what:" type ,hide and in "Replace with:" type , then select "Replace All", save and close the file. Go to the "Control Panel", "Add/Remove", select "Add/Remove Windows Components". You will now see many more Windows components to uninstall. Do not remove anything with no label or that you do not recognize or fully understand what it does. Doing so can break certain functionality in Windows.


    Control Panel

    Secret
    - Hidden Control Panel Extensions
    Instructions - Download and install TweakUI, launch, go to "Control Panel" and check any item not selected, then "Apply" and "OK". You will now see the hidden control panel extensions.

    Device Manager

    Secret - Hidden Devices
    Instructions - Go to the "Control Panel", "System" icon, "Hardware" tab and select "Device Manager". Select "View" and Show hidden devices.

    Secret - Phantom Devices
    Instructions - Go to "Start", "Programs", "Accessories" and select "Command Prompt". At the command prompt, type "set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1" and press Enter. At the command prompt, type "start devmgmt.msc" and press Enter. Select "View" and Show hidden devices. You can see devices that are not connected to the computer. - Source

    Notes - When you close the command prompt window, Windows clears the "devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1" variable that you set and prevents phantom devices from being displayed when you select "Show hidden devices".


    MIDI Files

    Secret
    - Hidden MIDI Files
    Instructions - Browse to C:\Windows\Media and you will find 3 hidden MIDI files:

    flourish.mid
    onestop.mid
    town.mid

    Notes
    - "MIDI" stands for "Musical Instrument Digital Interface" - A compression format for encoding music.



    Music

    Secret
    - Music from the Installer
    Instructions - Browse to C:\Windows\system32\oobe\images\title.wma and play.

    Notes
    - "OOBE" stands for "Out-of-Box Experience".


    Shutdown

    Secret - Display Hibernate Option on the Shut Down dialog
    Instructions - Go to "Start", "Turn Off Computer..." and press either Shift key to change the "Stand By" button to "Hibernate".



    Support Tools

    Secret - Over 100 Windows XP Support Utilities are on the install CD

    Instructions for Pre-SP2 users - If you do not have SP2 installed, put the original Windows XP CD in the CD-ROM Drive, run the D:\Support\Tools\setup.exe file.

    Instructions for SP2 users - If you have SP2 installed, Download the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools and install.


    End

    The following are not secrets :

    C:\Windows\clock.avi
    C:\Windows\"0" file

    The following are Myths :

    'CON' Folder - 'CON' is a reserved file name so is AUX, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, PRN and NUL.

    Notepad Phrases - This is an encoding issue, any combination of characters in the same order 4-3-3-5 will cause the same problem.

    Telnet Star Wars
    - No hidden version of Star Wars exists in Windows. These can be viewed online at ASCIIMATION
    If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, then, you become something else entirely.
    Are you ready to begin?

  15. #75
    SB Legend Major General hotspicyhot's Avatar
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    Arrow How to Optimize Dial-up Performance

    How to Optimize Dial-up Performance


    Dial-up access to the Internet is an older technology that is rapidly being replaced by broadband (e.g., DSL and cable) in many areas because of its much slower nominal speeds. Whereas the maximum downstream (i.e., reception) speed for dial-up connections is 56Kbps (kilobits per second), the downstream speed with broadband can reach at least 6Mbps (megabits per second).

    A dial-up connection is a connection from an end user to an ISP (Internet service provider) that can be created over a conventional telephone line in a matter of minutes and without any special arrangement with the telecommunications carrier. Dial-up access is still in widespread use and will likely continue to be so for years to come because of its substantially lower user charges and the high cost of extending broadband to rural areas, particularly in lower income countries. Moreover, it is also used as an emergency backup system by broadband users.

    Fortunately, there are several simple techniques that users can employ to optimize their experience with dial-up connections and, in some cases, even make their Internet experience comparable to that attained with broadband.
    In fact, some users who utilize such techniques find that they are quite satisfied with dial-up and feel little urgency to convert. The techniques are as follows:

    (1) Make certain that the modem conforms to the V.92 standard, which remains the most recent standard for dial-up modems as of the start of 2006. A modem is a device that converts the digital signals used in computers to analog signals so that they can be carried over conventional analog telephone lines and which also converts analog signals from such lines back into digital signals. Most modems produced in the last several years conform to the V.92 standard. In the case of external modems, the standard is usually indicated on the modem; in the case of built-in modems, it should be indicated on the printed instructions or disk that comes with the modem, or it may be on the modem card itself.

    If the modem is V.90 or earlier, it should be replaced1. Although V.90 has the same downstream bit speed as V.92, it can actually be slower because it employs an older data compression technique than the V.44 used in V.90 modems. There are also several other features of V.92 that provide for a better Internet experience than V.90.

    (2) Confirm that the computer itself is operating at maximum efficiency. It is very common for computers, mainly those using the Microsoft Windows operating systems2, to become sluggish after as little as a few months of operation. This can make users think that their dial-up connection is extremely slow and can become an incentive to convert to a more expensive broadband connection. Sluggish computers are, of course, less noticeable with broadband.

    But often the best solution is to optimize the performance of the computer. There are several causes of sluggish performance, most notably (a) a full, or nearly full, hard disk drive (HDD), (b) an older computer with a slow microprocessor and limited memory and (c) the presence of viruses or other malware. Typically, the first of these is the easiest to correct; this can be accomplished by removing little-used files and programs.

    (3) Empty browser caches, which are directories that the browser uses to retain copies of previously visited web pages. When these caches become very large, they can consume considerable space on a HDD and thus slow down computer operation in some cases, including the displaying of web pages.

    (4) Use a fast web browser. There are large differences in the speeds at which browsers render (i.e., convert to the final form) web pages. The fastest is said to be Opera, followed closely by Firefox. Also, the newest versions of these browsers are generally the fastest3. Reasons for these high speeds include improvements in coding and in how previously visited pages are stored in the browser cache. Internet Explorer should be avoided because it is the slowest of the major browsers, because it has inferior security and because it lacks other advanced features. Opera and Firefox can be downloaded from the Internet at no cost and are available for use with most major operating systems.

    (5) Use tabbed browsing. Tabbed browsing is an innovation built into advanced browsers such as Firefox and Opera that allows multiple pages to be open simultaneously in what appear to be different pages in a single browser window. Each of these pages is easily accessible by clicking the appropriate tab along the top of the window. This can be much more convenient than having to open each page in a separate browser window when it is desired to have a number of pages open simultaneously. Moreover, it can also speed up the web surfing experience by making it more convenient to be downloading other pages while one page is being read.

    (6) Create browser bookmarks that consist of sets of URLs rather than just single URLs. This is possible with browsers that have advanced tab capabilities such as Opera and Firefox. Thus, for example, if a user visits a certain group of web sites every morning, a bookmark titled Morning could be created that will automatically open all of those pages, each in a different tab. The same thing could be done for afternoon, evening, days of the week, areas of interest, users, etc. This can further speed up the effective web experience by eliminating the need for some amount of mouse movements and typing.

    (7) Make certain that the maximum speed setting for the modem is as high as the modem allows. Most modern operating systems usually take care of this automatically. However, some older systems have a default setting that is slower than the current 56Kbps dial-up modem maximum. This setting can be easily confirmed using the utility that is used to dial the modem.

    For example, on Red Had Linux the default dial-up program is KPPP. It can be accessed either by clicking on the Red Hat icon (i.e., small image) in the bottom left hand corner of the screen and then searching under Internet and then under More Internet Applications. It can also be accessed by opening a terminal window, typing kppp and then pressing the ENTER key. The connection speed can then be found by pressing the Setup button on the KPP panel, followed by opening the Device panel.

    (8) Avoid unnecessary browser plug-ins, which are downloadable software that is designed to add functionality to browsers. Plug-ins can substantially increase web page rendering time because they allow additional data to be downloaded for many pages. Perhaps the most notorious example is Flash, which is used for moving images. These images are very common on web pages and are used mostly for animated advertisements. Thus, for users who have no interest in waiting for and seeing such images, it is best to not download the Flash plug-in, or if it is already downloaded, to disable it. One convenient way to disable a plug-in is to locate its file or directory and then make a slight change name to that file or directory, such as by adding the letter x to the start or end of it; then, if it is desired to reactivate that plug-in at a later date, all that is necessary is to restore the original name.

    (9) Turn off pop-up windows. Such unrequested windows, which are usually used for extra advertisements, consume bandwidth and can slow down the rendering of desired pages by browsers. They are also a nuisance because the user has to click them to close them. The ability to turn off pop-up windows is a major feature of advanced browsers such as Firefox, Opera and Safari; it was not available on Internet Explorer as of early 2006.

    (10) Turn off web page images. This is probably not desirable for most people, but for those who are interested solely in text, it can speed up the rendering of pages considerably, particularly those which contain numerous advertisements or other images. With the Firefox browser, for example, this is accomplished by clicking on the Edit menu to open the Preferences panel, clicking on the Web Features icon and then removing the check mark from the Load Images check box. Finally, click the OK button at the bottom of the panel.

    A number of programs are available that promise to optimize modems. However, they are not necessarily free and and there are questions about how effective they are. Also, it is important to be careful about downloading software from untrusted sources, as it may contain spyware or other malicious code.
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