How to move the cursor with your head

This is probably one of the coolest things I've posted here so far. With any cheap webcam and a free piece of software from IBM, you can move your cursor, click, type text with an on-screen keyboard and much more - just by moving your head.

What you need:
1. a head (duh)
2. a webcam
3. Head tracking pointer by IBM

The download is easy, just fill out the form to create an IBM id and press download. You also need to extract the zip folder to any comfortable location.

How to use:
The program itself is very smart and will discover any webcams connected.
To start, connect your webcam and open the head tracker.

It needs quite a lot of light to work well, but not too much, or it won't tell your nose apart from the rest of your over-lighted face.

Tilt your head left and right 3 times and look straight at the center of the screen to let it find your nose position, which it will use to determine where you're looking at. You can repeat this at any time, if it starts tracking incorrectly. The pointer should automatically move to the screen center when it finds your nose shadows.

To move the pointer, gently move your head to look at the place you want it to go.
To click, stare at the same spot for approx. 3 seconds. Turn clicking on first from the Main menu to allow clicking. The menu also has buttons for double-clicking, right-clicking and for dragging and dropping.

You can also open the on-screen keyboard:
Start > All Programs > Accessories > Accessibility > On-screen keyboard

Although it will take some time to get used to, this hands-free alternative can be quite fun if you want a change.

More Cool Windows XP tips & tricks HERE

How to make an older program run in Windows XP

When you want to run a program designed for a previous version of windows, right click on it, open properties and choose the Compatibility tab. Check the box for run this program in compatibility mode and choose the operating system it was made for. If you aren't sure, try them all and see which one works best.

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How to increase your internet speed

By default, most systems have some bandwidth reserved for nothing. You can change this the following way: (Note: this only works in Windows XP Professional)

  1. Open gpedit.msc from the run box in the start menu.
  2. Navigate to: Local Computer Policy > Computer configuration > Administrative templates > Network > QoS Packet Scheduler
  3. Open Limit Reservable Bandwidth
  4. Check the enabled box and change the Bandwidth Limit to 0%.
Depending on your system, this might need a restart to start working.

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The ultimate Windows configuration tool

This is called the Local Group Policy Editor and it lets you customize just about everything on your XP. This only comes with XP Professional, so the registry editor will have to do for Home users.
Go to run from the start menu and type gpedit.msc to open it.

Look around and see for yourself what this wonderful tool has to offer.

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5 tips to surf faster in the web

These tips will show you how to surf the internet a lot faster.

1. When typing a web address into the address bar, just type the website and press Ctrl + Enter to add http://www. to the beginning and .com to the end. E.g. you want to go to google: type google and press Ctrl + Enter. It's as easy as that!
(Note: this only works with .com addresses.)

2. Use tabs instead of separate windows. This is a lot faster and doesn't mess up your taskbar.

3. Use Firefox. Firefox is a much safer than I.E. and is also a little faster. It has many useful plugins.

4. Press Ctrl and + to zoom in the text and Ctrl and - to zoom out.

5. If you can't find what you're looking for on google and yahoo, try a metasearch engine such as dogpile, which compiles results from most popular search engines.

Happy browsing!

More Cool Windows XP tips & tricks HERE

How to change your IP adress

If you get your IP blocked somewhere and you don't like it, then this can be pretty useful.

One way is to just turn off your router for some time, but most people don't have static IP routers and this won't help.

If that didn't help, then you have to renew your IP using windows' command prompt.

1. Type cmd into the run box from the start menu.
2. Type ipconfig into the command prompt. This will show you basic info about your IP address.
3. Type ipconfig /release. This will remove your current IP.
4. Type ipconfig /renew, and you will be presented with a new IP address!

You can also make a .bat program to execute these commands when opened.
To do this, open notepad and write all the commands on a separate line and save it onto your desktop as ip_renewer.bat. Make sure you choose All files when saving it.

It should be like this:

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

(Tip: If you want to see your IP info and stop the renewer program from closing itself, type pause after the commands.)

More Cool Windows XP tips & tricks HERE

How to capture a screenshot

I'm surprised that many people don't actually know this, and reach for their camera to take a picture of the current screen image.

Most keyboards have a special button Prt Scr / Sys Rq on them. It's just to the right from F12. When pressed, it captures the current screen into a bmp image which can be pasted (Ctrl + V) into any image editing software. Even Paint will do.

The only problem is that you can only take one screenshot, if you take another, the previous one will be erased. The .bmp file also takes a lot of space and compressing to .jpg is better.

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Shortcut of the week: Changing text size in browser

Tap Ctrl and + to make text larger or Ctrl and - to make text smaller.

PS: Sorry for no posts the last few days, my internet was down.

More Cool Windows XP tips & tricks HERE

How to speed up your PC: Display settings

By disabling unneeded visual effects, you can speed up your windows xp pretty much.

How to change display effects:

  • Go to control panel from the start menu
  • Open performance and maintenance
  • Choose adjust visual effects
  • In the window that appears, uncheck any effects that you don't consider necessary, or just choose "Let Windows choose what's best for my computer"
  • Hit OK and you're done!

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Speeding up your XP: Disabling unwanted programs at startup

You probably need only half the programs that have been set to be loaded at startup. Having too many programs drastically slows down your startup. It's very easy to specify which ones you want to start automatically. It's wise to leave all the anti virus and system tools.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Go to Run from the Start menu
  • Open "msconfig" (without the quotes!) and click OK
  • In the windows that opens, choose the Startup tab
  • Make your choices by unchecking the programs you don't need to load at startup
  • Hit OK and restart your PC.
  • After starting a box appears. Check the option that the dialog box won't display at restart.
That's all!

Check back tomorrow for the next part, display settings.

More Cool Windows XP tips & tricks HERE

News: Internet Explorer 8 BETA released!

A new beta version of Internet explorer was released this week at the MIX08 conference in Las Vegas. According to Microsoft, the browser will render the Acid2 browser test correctly and supports CSS 2.1. It also has various other bug fixes and improvements. In addition to IE8, Silverlight 2 and Expression Studio 2 (all in beta) were released.


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How to cheat in Windows Solitaire

Open up Solitaire from Start -> All Programs -> Games

1. When clicking on the stack in the top-left of the game, three cards will come. To have them come one-by-one, press down Ctrl+Alt+Shift while clicking on the stack.

2. Instantly Win: Alt + Shift + 2

3. Illegal move. Drag any card anywhere and press Escape before you release it.

4. All cards up. Ctrl + A will move any cards up that can move to their suit deck.

Happy cheating!

More Cool Windows XP tips & tricks HERE

Software Review: TuneUp Utilities 2008

This is a very useful all-in-one computer performance and speed enhancing program. The interface is simple and easy to use, and it has basically everything you need to speed up your computer. It includes: defragging, registry cleaner, disc cleanup, repair wizard and much more. This definitely helped to speed up my pc and freed up a lot of hard disk space.

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What is the difference between Windows XP Home and Professional editions?

The differences are not very big and casual home users will find XP Home Edition sufficient.

Windows XP Professional Edition has the following differences:

Administrative Tools in the Start Menu and Control Panel
Automated System Recovery
Boot Configuration Manager
Group Policy Refresh Utility
Multi-lingual User Interface (MUI) add-on
NTFS Encryption Utilitiy
Offline Files and Folders
Performance Log Manager
Remote Desktop
Scheduled Tasks Console
Security Template Utility
Telnet Administrator

XP professional also provides support for multi-processor systems (several CPUs), Dynamic Disks and Fax.

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Design your own icons

This is very easy and gives your PC a customized look.

1. Fire up Paint from Start-All Programs-Accessories.
2. Press Ctrl + E and set the image size to 32 x 32 px.
3. Draw your icon or minimize a picture
4. Save as filename.ico
5. Right-click on a folder and open the properties window. Click on the customize tab an the Choose Picture button and locate your icon.

More Cool Windows XP tips & tricks HERE