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A smart collection of insider tips and tricks, Windows XP Hacks, Second Edition covers the XP operating system from start to finish. Among the multitude of topics addressed, this must-have resource includes extensive coverage of hot-button issues such as:
- web browsing
- controlling the control panel
- removing uninstallable XP components
- pop-up ads
About the Author
Preston Gralla is the editor of WindowsDevCenter.com and OnDotNet. He is the author of more than 30 books, including Internet Annoyances, PC Pest Control, and Windows XP Hacks, Second Edition, and co-author of Windows XP Cookbook. As an award-winning author and technology expert, Preston has written articles for major national newspapers and magazines and has also appeared on several TV and radio programs.
Table of Contents
Credits; About the Author; Contributors; Acknowledgments; Preface; How to Use This Book; How This Book Is Organized; Conventions Used in This Book; Using Code Examples; Safari Enabled; How to Contact Us; Got a Hack?; Chapter 1: Startup and Shutdown; 1.1 Hacks 1-7; 1 Customize Multiboot Startup Options; 2 Change the Picture That Appears on the XP Startup Screen; 3 Speed Up Boot and Shutdown Times; 4 Halt Startup Programs and Services; 6 Create Multiple Startup Profiles with Advanced Startup Manager; 6 Miscellaneous Startup and Shutdown Hacks; 7 Control User Logins by Hacking the Registry; Chapter 2: The User Interface; 2.1 Hacks 8-20; 8 Customize the GUI with Tweak UI; 9 Control the Control Panel; 10 Hack the Start Menu and Taskbar; 11 Clean Up the Most Frequently Used Programs List; 12 Rename and Change "Unchangeable" Desktop Icons and System Objects; 13 Remove "Nonremovable" Desktop Icons; 14 Hack Your Way Through the Interface; 15 Remove "Uninstallable" XP Utilities; 16 Make Your PC Work Like a Mac; 17 Create Your Own XP Themes and Find Thousands Online; 18 Give XP a Makeover with WindowBlinds; 19 Make Your Own Cursors and Icons; 20 Instant Linux; Chapter 3: Windows Explorer; 3.1 Hacks 21-31; 21 Generate Folder and File Listings for Printing or Editing; 22 Control Windows Explorer with Command-Line Shortcuts; 23 Empower Windows Explorer with PowerDesk Pro; 24 Better File Rename; 25 Find Files Faster by Mastering the Indexing Service's Query Language; 26 Force Windows Explorer into True Usefulness; 27 Customize Folder Icons and Balloon Text; 28 A Power User's Hidden Weapon: Improve the Context Menu; 29 Take Your Work on the Go with Offline Files and the Briefcase; 30 Get More Hard-Disk Space by Using NTFS Compression; 31 Put a Command-Line Prompt on Your Desktop; Chapter 4: The Web; 4.1 Hacks 32-48; 32 Give Internet Explorer a Face-Lift; 33 Stop Pop Ups with SP2and Without It; 34 Kill Spyware and Web Bugs; 35 Take a Bite Out of Cookies; 36 Surf Anonymously Without a Trace; 37 Don't Get Reeled In by Phishers; 38 Read Web Pages Offline; 39 Hack Internet Explorer with the Group Policy Editor; 40 Speed Up File Downloads; 41 Secrets of Web Site Hosting with Internet Information Services (IIS); 42 Surf the Internet Ad-Free; 43 Hack Firefox; 44 Build Your Own Firefox Search Engine; 45 Google Your Desktop; 46 Out-Google Google with MSN Desktop Search; 47 Better Internet Searching from Your Desktop; 48 Run Java Applets Without Crashes or Problems; Chapter 5: Networking; 5.1 Hacks 49-58; 49 Tweak DNS Settings for Faster Internet Access; 50 Optimize Your Home Router; 51 Troubleshoot Network Connections with ping, tracert, and pathping; 52 Troubleshoot Network Connections with netsh, netstat, and ipconfig; 53 Speed Up Network Browsing; 54 Control Another PC with Remote Access; 55 Make Servers Always Available by Mapping a Hostname to a Dynamic IP Address; 56 Renew Your DHCP-Assigned IP Address; 57 Repair a Broken TCP/IP Connection; 58 VoIP Hacks; Chapter 6: Email; 6.1 Hacks 59-64; 59 Slam That Spam; 60 Open Blocked File Attachments in Outlook and Outlook Express; 61 Back Up and Restore Outlook and Outlook Express Datafiles; 62 Retrieve Web-Based Email with Your Email Software; 63 Gmail Hacks; 64 Fire Outlook and Outlook Express; Chapter 7: Wireless; 7.1 Hacks 65-74; 65 Go War-Driving for WiFi Access; 66 Extend the Range of Your Wireless Network; 67 Check WiFi Network Performance with Qcheck to Help Improve Throughput; 68 Protect Your Home WiFi Network; 69 Enable WiFi Encryption; 70 Stop Moochers from Stealing Your WiFi Bandwidth; 71 Solve Hotspot Woes; 72 Set Up Bluetooth on XP; 73 Connect to the Internet with a Bluetooth Phone; 74 Set Up an Ad Hoc WiFi Network; Chapter 8: Security; 8.1 Hacks 75-82; 75 Hide Folders and Files with the Encrypting File System; 76 Test Your Security with Shields UP!; 77 Protect Your Computer with the New Windows Firewall; 78 ZoneAlarm: The World's Best Free Firewall; 79 Use a Proxy Server to Protect Your PC; 80 Punch an Escape Hole Through Your Firewall; 81 Close Down Open Ports and Block Protocols; 82 Set Up a Virtual Private Network; Chapter 9: The Registry; 9.1 Hacks 83-87; 83 Don't Fear the Registry; 84 Hack Away at the Registry; 85 Safely Edit the Registry Using .reg Files; 86 Better Registry Backups; 87 Track and Restore Registry Changes with RegSpy; Chapter 10: Applications; 10.1 Hacks 88-98; 88 Remove Unruly Applications and Uninstall Entries; 89 Force XP-Incompatible Applications to Run; 90 Force Older Programs to Use XP Common Controls; 91 Launch Applications with Command-Line Shortcuts; 92 Open and Create Microsoft Documents Without Microsoft Office; 93 Stop Hidden Fields in Word from Stealing Your Files and Information; 94 Speed Up Your Hard Disk by Immmmmmproving Defragging; 95 Extend Your Screen Real Estate with Virtual Desktops; 96 Build a Better Backup Strategy; 97 Go Beyond Messaging with Windows Messenger; 98 Universal Messaging: Trillian Unites AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, and ICQ; Chapter 11: Graphics and Multimedia; 11.1 Hacks 99-107; 99 Image Conversion in a Pinch; 100 Problem-Free CD Burning; 101 Save Streaming Music to Your PC; 102 Import Lyrics into iTunes and iPod; 103 Convert from Apple iTunes Format; 104 Use Ogg Vorbis for Digital Music; 105 Hack Windows Media Player with TweakMP; 106 Fix Windows Media Player's Privacy Problems; 107 Make Videos with Windows Movie Maker; Chapter 12: System Performance; 12.1 Hacks 108-114; 108 Track System Performance with the Performance Console; 109 Get the Most Out of Your RAM; 110 More Power: Registry Hacks to Speed Up XP; 111 Repair and Recover with the Recovery Console; 112 Speed Up System Performance with the Task Manager; 113 Hack Your Way to a Cleaner Hard Disk; 114 Fix SP2 Upgrade Woes; Chapter 13: Hardware; 13.1 Hacks 115-120; 115 Troubleshoot Hardware by Decoding Device Manager Error Messages; 116 Uncover Hidden Hardware with the Device Manager; 117 Check Your PC's Pulse and Tweak It for Better Performance; 118 Remap Your Keyboard; 119 Use ClearType for Better Laptop and LCD Resolution; 120 Networking on the Cheap: Set Up a Direct Cable Connection; Colophon;
Preston Gralla, the author of more than 20 books, is also a freelance journalist and columnist. He has written for major national newspapers and magazines, including PC Magazine, Computerworld, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News (where he was the technology columnist), USA Today and several others. A well-known technology expert, Preston has also appeared on many TV and radio programs and networks, including CNN, MSNBC and NPR. In addition, he's won a number of awards for his writing, including for "Best Feature in a Computer Magazine" from the Computer Press Association. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts