If you’re using XP Home, you might want to know that, by default, your computer isn’t protected at all. You think a password is required to log in? Wrong. Anyone can log in as an adminstrator, without typing a password, simply by starting in safe mode (with F8). XP Home is for the home indeed. Actually, not: that’s the kind of trick that kids will discover long before their parents. So, if you want to fix that, you have to start your computer pressing F8, log as administrator, and set a password.
By the way, there are two possibilities in XP Home that allow you to change file access persmissions in advanced mode (i.e., the way that’s available only in XP Pro). Either by starting in safe mode again, in which case the Security tab is said to appear (untested), but it’s obviously not all that convenient to have to reboot everytime you want to change access rights; or through the command line, by typing cacls, which isn’t extremely practical either, but at least a little bit more accessible.
Do you want a couple of other tricks? If you want to deactivate the Picture and Fax Viewer that loves stealing file associations (or maybe it takes precedence over them only when you open a file in the My Documents folder), you have to execute this:
regsvr32 /u shimgvw.dll
If you want to deactivate the irritating gadget that expands the file explorer’s tree view, everytime you click a directory name, you have to uncheck the
Display simple folder view in the folders list” box in the folder display options. I mention it because the option title is pretty unclear, and I never thought of unchecking it. Incidentally, it also removes the .zip files from the tree view, which is a surprising choice, but one I won’t mind.
I thought I had already blogged the ClearType configuration page, but I couldn’t find the address back when I searched for it, so here it is.
Impressive, very impressive—and yet, once you think about it, not so complicated. Check out this picture (180 KB, stolen from A. L.) and either press Ctrl-A on Internet Explorer, on save it and display it at half it size. (Caution: not work safe, as they say.) It’s certainly a very basic trick, that anyone with the slightest interest in steganography ought to know, but it’s still impressive, and magically visual. If you have Explorer 6, you can also click the button that resizes the image to accomodate the browser window, and then resize the window at will to see the effect in real time: it’s even more fun.
An article about MacOS X as seen by a Windows user allows me to discover how the Dock really works, exemplified by this screenshot. And, uh… I don’t get it. So, user-added shortcuts are mixed with all running application shortcuts. It seems weird, but I can accept it. But the window icons are only displayed when windows are minimized?! I don’t understand the point of this. Separating applications (the executables) from documents (the windows) has always been a basis of MacOS, but then why bother displaying icons for minimized windows? If you want to reach a Photoshop window that’s hidden by another Photoshop window, the Dock is useless, and you’ll have to use the Window menu; why does it work differently if you want to access a minimized window?
OS X is weird: so many good ideas, such a good design, all spoiled by unexplainable mistakes. Now I end up being happy I’m using ObjectDock rather than a real Mac (except for the fact that no Windows dock is able to properly handle folder icons, but it’s bound to happen someday).
P.S. Post edited to fix the image address. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to code this blog to replace underscores with non-breaking space (they’re much more used in French, that’s why). Maybe I should have picked something that doesn’t occur in half the URLs I link to. But it’s a bit late now to change the system…
I just realized that, now that I ping weblogs.com, that I’ve got RSS, and since I put GeoTags a while ago, I should appear on GeoBlog. Which, anyway, isn’t bound to bring me enormous traffic, but it can still be fun. Ok, it looks like it locates me more in Belgium than in France, but let’s say it doesn’t mind because the picture is small anyway…
P.S. Okay, doesn’t work. I’ve been spending twice five minutes staring at my computer in expectation of my personal red spot, and nothing comes. And yet I’m in no shortage of red spots. But I digress. So long for GeoBlog.
P.S. Okay, works. I changed the URL I ping weblogs.com with, so that it doesn’t use a redirection anymore. What’s stupid is, when I manually entered my URL in the firstname.lastname@example.org, it found my location, so it is indeed able to understand the redirection. Anyway, now it works, that’s what’s important, it’s useless, but it works.