Import My Pictures Slideshow from XP to Vista

August 31, 2008

While playing around with Windows Vista’s screensavers, I discovered that my beloved “My Pictures Slideshow” did not exist. I used it all the time in Windows XP! So, being the geek that I am, I figured out how to import it into Vista. Here’s how I did it…

1. In Windows XP, in the Start Menu, click “Search”. (if you don’t have Search, right-click the Start button and choose “properties”, then “customize”. On the “Advanced” tab, put a checkbox next to “Search”, then click “ok” twice.)

2. Click “All Files and Folders”

3. Type “*.scr” (without the quotes), remember to include the asterick (“*”) and the period, and press enter on your keyboard.

4. There will be one called “ssmypics.scr”. Select the file, right-click and choose “copy”, then right-click and choose “paste” on the desktop.

4a. You can also download it directly from my website here

5. You can now burn the file to CD, copy and paste it onto a thumbdrive, or into a shared network folder.

6. Access the file in Windows Vista, then copy and paste it into the “C:\Windows\System32\” directory.

7. Right click the desktop, choose “personlize”, then “screen saver”, and the new screensaver should now appear along with the rest.

SFC (System File Checker) in Windows Vista

August 24, 2008

The System File Checker scans the integrity of all the protected system files. If it finds a incorrect or modified system file, it replaces it with the correct version.

the following is from:

“To check your Windows protected files, proceed as follows:

1. Click the Start button

2. From the Start Menu, Click All programs followed by Accessories

3. In the Accessories menu, Right Click on the Command Prompt option

4. From the drop down menu that appears, Click on the ‘Run as administrator’ option

5. If you have the User Account Control (UAC) enabled you will be asked for authorisation prior to the command prompt opening. You may simply need to press the Continue button if you are the administrator or insert the administrator password etc.

6. In the Command Prompt window, type: sfc /scannow and then press Enter

7. A message will appear stating that ‘the system scan will begin’

8. Be patient because the scan may take some time

9. If any files require replacing SFC will replace them. You may be asked to insert your Vista DVD for this process to continue

10. If everything is okay you should, after the scan, see the following message “Windows resource protection did not find any integrity violations”

11. After the scan has completed, Close the command prompt window”

AppData Folder in Windows Vista

August 24, 2008

The AppData folder in Windows Vista is equal to the Documents and Settings folder in Windows XP. The AppData folder is also hidden in Vista.

To unhide this folder (and others), open the Folder Options in the Vista Control Panel, and on the “View” tab, change the option to “show hidden files and folders”, and click ok.

According to

“The key phrase is, change in location.  Vista has a new Users Folder which replaces XP’s Documents and Settings.  Within the new folder structure, Vista has a folder called plain ‘Documents’, which replaces XP’s ‘My Documents’ folder.  The most important new subfolder is AppData.  Also to maintain backward compatibility, Vista has shortcut links to the old XP folders such as Local Settings and Application Data.”

Protect Your Computer At WiFi (Wireless) Hotspots

August 22, 2008

When you use a Wireless Hotspot, you have more to worry about than viruses. Hackers are notoriously known for “sniffing” wireless “traffic” going through the air, searching for logins and passwords and such.

As Leo Laporte has pointed out, you need to follow safe computing practices. These include not running as an Administrator unless you absolutely need to. Also, download and install updates as soon as they are released via Windows Update.

Some hotspots use WPA encryption to help secure and protect users, though places like Starbucks don’t. Either way, you should run an antivirus, firewall, and antispyware products, if for no other reason than to protect your computer.

As Leo points out, “have the attitude that someone is watching you and only do stuff you don’t mind being watched doing. Use encrypted email. Use SSL email ( Or, just don’t check it. But the best way is to work through a VPN. Hotspot VPN is a good one. $10 a month.”

Remove AntiVirus 2009

August 22, 2008

As Leo Laporte puts it…

“It’ll even pretend to scan your computer and find infections, then offers to fix it with AntiVirus 2009. Looks very official, very legit. But it isn’t. AntiVirus 2009 is a trojan horse that will take over your computer and steal your money”

As, they describe it as…

“a new rogue anti-spyware program from the same family as Antivirus 2008 and Doctor Antivirus . Antivirus 2009 is installed and advertised through the use of misleading web sites that attempt to make you think your computer is infected with a variety of malware. Once installed, Antivirus 2009 will scan your computer and list a variety of fake infections that can’t be removed unless you first purchase the software. These infections are fake, though, and only being shown to scare you into purchasing the software.

When Antivirus 2009 is installed, a Internet Explorer browser helper object is also installed that displays fake messages when using Internet Explorer. These messages range from a line at the top of the browser stating an infection was found to adding a box to the Google homepage stating Google detected that your computer was infected. These tactics are just two more methods where Antivirus 2009 uses false information to scare you into purchasing their software. A more detailed writeup on how the Google home page is hijacked can be found here.”

For complete instructions on how to Remove Antivirus 2009, visit the article

Digital TV (DTV) Conversion Boxes

August 21, 2008


“The conversion to DTV happens February 17, 2009. Consumer Reports recently did a roundup review of all the ones out and the gist is the cheaper ones are overheating, but better ones are coming out. So there isn’t a hurry right now to get your converter box. Be patient and wait until we get closer to the deadline. And get the US Government Voucher before you do. But don’t forget that there’s an expiration date on the voucher, so get them just before you go buy them.

One other thing. If you have cable or Satellite, you won’t need the converter box. Your service will be converted before it reaches you. Converter Boxes are only necessary if you’re watching broadcast television with an antenna or rabbit ears. And some smaller stations are getting waivers from the FCC and will not be going digital. But they’re very small stations.”

Online Storage

August 21, 2008

There are a few options available. Some free, some not.

The FREE services include: (1GB free, share with friends, uses SSL)

Windows Live Skydrive (5GB free, uses SSL, share with friends)

Omnidrive (site unavailable at time of this post)

Oosah (1TB free, drag and drop interface, share with friends, create slideshows; galleries; playlists)

Probably the most popular not-free service is Amazon’s S3, which is also accessible using JungleDisk.