BandWidth Explained

| Monday, December 7, 2009
Most hosting companies offer a variety of bandwidth options in their plans. So exactly what is bandwidth as it relates to web hosting? Put simply, bandwidth is the amount of traffic that is allowed to occur between your web site and the rest of the internet. The amount of bandwidth a hosting company can provide is determined by their network connections, both internal to their data center and external to the public internet.

Network Connectivity

The internet, in the most simplest of terms, is a group of millions of computers connected by networks. These connections within the internet can be large or small depending upon the cabling and equipment that is used at a particular internet location. It is the size of each network connection that determines how much bandwidth is available. For example, if you use a DSL connection to connect to the internet, you have 1.54 Mega bits (Mb) of bandwidth. Bandwidth therefore is measured in bits (a single 0 or 1). Bits are grouped in bytes which form words, text, and other information that is transferred between your computer and the internet.

If you have a DSL connection to the internet, you have dedicated bandwidth between your computer and your internet provider. But your internet provider may have thousands of DSL connections to their location. All of these connection aggregate at your internet provider who then has their own dedicated connection to the internet (or multiple connections) which is much larger than your single connection. They must have enough bandwidth to serve your computing needs as well as all of their other customers. So while you have a 1.54Mb connection to your internet provider, your internet provider may have a 255Mb connection to the internet so it can accommodate your needs and up to 166 other users (255/1.54).


A very simple analogy to use to understand bandwidth and traffic is to think of highways and cars. Bandwidth is the number of lanes on the highway and traffic is the number of cars on the highway. If you are the only car on a highway, you can travel very quickly. If you are stuck in the middle of rush hour, you may travel very slowly since all of the lanes are being used up.

Traffic is simply the number of bits that are transferred on network connections. It is easiest to understand traffic using examples. One Gigabyte is 2 to the 30th power (1,073,741,824) bytes. One gigabyte is equal to 1,024 megabytes. To put this in perspective, it takes one byte to store one character. Imagine 100 file cabinets in a building, each of these cabinets holds 1000 folders. Each folder has 100 papers. Each paper contains 100 characters - A GB is all the characters in the building. An MP3 song is about 4MB, the same song in wav format is about 40MB, a full length movie can be 800MB to 1000MB (1000MB = 1GB).

If you were to transfer this MP3 song from a web site to your computer, you would create 4MB of traffic between the web site you are downloading from and your computer. Depending upon the network connection between the web site and the internet, the transfer may occur very quickly, or it could take time if other people are also downloading files at the same time. If, for example, the web site you download from has a 10MB connection to the internet, and you are the only person accessing that web site to download your MP3, your 4MB file will be the only traffic on that web site. However, if three people are all downloading that same MP at the same time, 12MB (3 x 4MB) of traffic has been created. Because in this example, the host only has 10MB of bandwidth, someone will have to wait. The network equipment at the hosting company will cycle through each person downloading the file and transfer a small portion at a time so each person's file transfer can take place, but the transfer for everyone downloading the file will be slower. If 100 people all came to the site and downloaded the MP3 at the same time, the transfers would be extremely slow. If the host wanted to decrease the time it took to download files simultaneously, it could increase the bandwidth of their internet connection (at a cost due to upgrading equipment).

Hosting Bandwidth

In the example above, we discussed traffic in terms of downloading an MP3 file. However, each time you visit a web site, you are creating traffic, because in order to view that web page on your computer, the web page is first downloaded to your computer (between the web site and you) which is then displayed using your browser software (Internet Explorer, Netscape, etc.) . The page itself is simply a file that creates traffic just like the MP3 file in the example above (however, a web page is usually much smaller than a music file).

A web page may be very small or large depending upon the amount of text and the number and quality of images integrated within the web page. For example, the home page for CNN.com is about 200KB (200 Kilobytes = 200,000 bytes = 1,600,000 bits). This is typically large for a web page. In comparison, Yahoo's home page is about 70KB.

How Much Bandwidth Is Enough?

It depends (don't you hate that answer). But in truth, it does. Since bandwidth is a significant determinant of hosting plan prices, you should take time to determine just how much is right for you. Almost all hosting plans have bandwidth requirements measured in months, so you need to estimate the amount of bandwidth that will be required by your site on a monthly basis

If you do not intend to provide file download capability from your site, the formula for calculating bandwidth is fairly straightforward:

Average Daily Visitors x Average Page Views x Average Page Size x 31 x Fudge Factor

If you intend to allow people to download files from your site, your bandwidth calculation should be:

[(Average Daily Visitors x Average Page Views x Average Page Size) +
(Average Daily File Downloads x Average File Size)] x 31 x Fudge Factor

Let us examine each item in the formula:

Average Daily Visitors - The number of people you expect to visit your site, on average, each day. Depending upon how you market your site, this number could be from 1 to 1,000,000.

Average Page Views - On average, the number of web pages you expect a person to view. If you have 50 web pages in your web site, an average person may only view 5 of those pages each time they visit.

Average Page Size - The average size of your web pages, in Kilobytes (KB). If you have already designed your site, you can calculate this directly.

Average Daily File Downloads - The number of downloads you expect to occur on your site. This is a function of the numbers of visitors and how many times a visitor downloads a file, on average, each day.

Average File Size - Average file size of files that are downloadable from your site. Similar to your web pages, if you already know which files can be downloaded, you can calculate this directly.

Fudge Factor - A number greater than 1. Using 1.5 would be safe, which assumes that your estimate is off by 50%. However, if you were very unsure, you could use 2 or 3 to ensure that your bandwidth requirements are more than met.

Usually, hosting plans offer bandwidth in terms of Gigabytes (GB) per month. This is why our formula takes daily averages and multiplies them by 31.


Most personal or small business sites will not need more than 1GB of bandwidth per month. If you have a web site that is composed of static web pages and you expect little traffic to your site on a daily basis, go with a low bandwidth plan. If you go over the amount of bandwidth allocated in your plan, your hosting company could charge you over usage fees, so if you think the traffic to your site will be significant, you may want to go through the calculations above to estimate the amount of bandwidth required in a hosting plan.

Backtracking EMAIL Messages

| Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tracking email back to its source:

Ask most people how they determine who sent them an email message and the response is almost universally, "By the From line." Unfortunately this symptomatic of the current confusion among internet users as to where particular messages come from and who is spreading spam and viruses. The "From" header is little more than a courtesy to the person receiving the message. People spreading spam and viruses are rarely courteous. In short, if there is any question about where a particular email message came from the safe bet is to assume the "From" header is forged.

So how do you determine where a message actually came from? You have to understand how email messages are put together in order to backtrack an email message. SMTP is a text based protocol for transferring messages across the internet. A series of headers are placed in front of the data portion of the message. By examining the headers you can usually backtrack a message to the source network, sometimes the source host. A more detailed essay on reading email headers can be found .

If you are using Outlook or Outlook Express you can view the headers by right clicking on the message and selecting properties or options.

Below are listed the headers of an actual spam message I received. I've changed my email address and the name of my server for obvious reasons. I've also double spaced the headers to make them more readable.


X-Original-To: davar@example.com

Delivered-To: davar@example.com

Received: from 12-218-172-108.client.mchsi.com (12-218-172-108.client.mchsi.com [])
by mailhost.example.com (Postfix) with SMTP id 1F9B8511C7
for ; Sun, 16 Nov 2003 09:50:37 -0800 (PST)

Received: from (HELO 0udjou) [] by 12-218-172-108.client.mchsi.com with ESMTP id <536806-74276>; Sun, 16 Nov 2003 19:42:31 +0200


From: "Maricela Paulson"

Reply-To: "Maricela Paulson"

To: davar@example.com

Subject: STOP-PAYING For Your PAY-PER-VIEW, Movie Channels, Mature Channels...isha

Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 19:42:31 +0200

X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21)

X-Priority: 3

MIME-Version: 1.0

Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="MIMEStream=_0+211404_90873633350646_4032088448"

According to the From header this message is from Maricela Paulson at s359dyxxt@yahoo.com. I could just fire off a message to abuse@yahoo.com, but that would be waste of time. This message didn't come from yahoo's email service.

The header most likely to be useful in determining the actual source of an email message is the Received header. According to the top-most Received header this message was received from the host 12-218-172-108.client.mchsi.com with the ip address of by my server mailhost.example.com. An important item to consider is at what point in the chain does the email system become untrusted? I consider anything beyond my own email server to be an unreliable source of information. Because this header was generated by my email server it is reasonable for me to accept it at face value.

The next Received header (which is chronologically the first) shows the remote email server accepting the message from the host 0udjou with the ip Those of you who know anything about IP will realize that that is not a valid host IP address. In addition, any hostname that ends in client.mchsi.com is unlikely to be an authorized email server. This has every sign of being a cracked client system.

Here's is where we start digging. By default Windows is somewhat lacking in network diagnostic tools; however, you can use the tools at to do your own checking.

davar@nqh9k:[/home/davar] $whois

AT&T WorldNet Services ATT (NET-12-0-0-0-1) -
Mediacom Communications Corp MEDIACOMCC-12-218-168-0-FLANDREAU-MN (NET-12-218-168-0-1) -

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2003-12-31 19:15
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN's WHOIS database.

I can also verify the hostname of the remote server by using nslookup, although in this particular instance, my email server has already provided both the IP address and the hostname.

davar@nqh9k:[/home/davar] $nslookup

Server: localhost

Name: 12-218-172-108.client.mchsi.com

Ok, whois shows that Mediacom Communications owns that netblock and nslookup confirms the address to hostname mapping of the remote server,12-218-172-108.client.mchsi.com. If I preface a www in front of the domain name portion and plug that into my web browser, http://www.mchsi.com, I get Mediacom's web site.

There are few things more embarrassing to me than firing off an angry message to someone who is supposedly responsible for a problem, and being wrong. By double checking who owns the remote host's IP address using two different tools (whois and nslookup) I minimize the chance of making myself look like an idiot.

A quick glance at the web site and it appears they are an ISP. Now if I copy the entire message including the headers into a new email message and send it to abuse@mchsi.com with a short message explaining the situation, they may do something about it.

But what about Maricela Paulson? There really is no way to determine who sent a message, the best you can hope for is to find out what host sent it. Even in the case of a PGP signed messages there is no guarantee that one particular person actually pressed the send button. Obviously determining who the actual sender of an email message is much more involved than reading the From header. Hopefully this example may be of some use to other forum regulars.

Create Playlists for realmedia files................

You may find this helpful if you download hundreds of short videos in rm format like me and tired of double-click to open next files.

Very easy. Use notepad to open a new file, type this inside:
file://link to file1
file://link to file2
(type as many as you want)
Close file. Rename it to FileName.rm

Then you`re done!!!!

I put my playlist file here: C:\Movies\7VNR
And the movie files are in C:\Movies\7VNR\DragonBall

Then inside my playlist file I`ll have something like this:


23 Ways To Speedup WinXP

Since defragging the disk won't do much to improve Windows XP performance, here are 23 suggestions that will. Each can enhance the performance and reliability of your customers' PCs. Best of all, most of them will cost you nothing.

1.) To decrease a system's boot time and increase system performance, use the money you save by not buying defragmentation software -- the built-in Windows defragmenter works just fine -- and instead equip the computer with an Ultra-133 or Serial ATA hard drive with 8-MB cache buffer.

2.) If a PC has less than 512 MB of RAM, add more memory. This is a relatively inexpensive and easy upgrade that can dramatically improve system performance.

3.) Ensure that Windows XP is utilizing the NTFS file system. If you're not sure, here's how to check: First, double-click the My Computer icon, right-click on the C: Drive, then select Properties. Next, examine the File System type; if it says FAT32, then back-up any important data. Next, click Start, click Run, type CMD, and then click OK. At the prompt, type CONVERT C: /FS:NTFS and press the Enter key. This process may take a while; it's important that the computer be uninterrupted and virus-free. The file system used by the bootable drive will be either FAT32 or NTFS. I highly recommend NTFS for its superior security, reliability, and efficiency with larger disk drives.

4.) Disable file indexing. The indexing service extracts information from documents and other files on the hard drive and creates a "searchable keyword index." As you can imagine, this process can be quite taxing on any system.

The idea is that the user can search for a word, phrase, or property inside a document, should they have hundreds or thousands of documents and not know the file name of the document they want. Windows XP's built-in search functionality can still perform these kinds of searches without the Indexing service. It just takes longer. The OS has to open each file at the time of the request to help find what the user is looking for.

Most people never need this feature of search. Those who do are typically in a large corporate environment where thousands of documents are located on at least one server. But if you're a typical system builder, most of your clients are small and medium businesses. And if your clients have no need for this search feature, I recommend disabling it.

Here's how: First, double-click the My Computer icon. Next, right-click on the C: Drive, then select Properties. Uncheck "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching." Next, apply changes to "C: subfolders and files," and click OK. If a warning or error message appears (such as "Access is denied"), click the Ignore All button.

5.) Update the PC's video and motherboard chipset drivers. Also, update and configure the BIOS. For more information on how to configure your BIOS properly, see this article on my site.

6.) Empty the Windows Prefetch folder every three months or so. Windows XP can "prefetch" portions of data and applications that are used frequently. This makes processes appear to load faster when called upon by the user. That's fine. But over time, the prefetch folder may become overloaded with references to files and applications no longer in use. When that happens, Windows XP is wasting time, and slowing system performance, by pre-loading them. Nothing critical is in this folder, and the entire contents are safe to delete.

7.) Once a month, run a disk cleanup. Here's how: Double-click the My Computer icon. Then right-click on the C: drive and select Properties. Click the Disk Cleanup button -- it's just to the right of the Capacity pie graph -- and delete all temporary files.

8.) In your Device Manager, double-click on the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers device, and ensure that DMA is enabled for each drive you have connected to the Primary and Secondary controller. Do this by double-clicking on Primary IDE Channel. Then click the Advanced Settings tab. Ensure the Transfer Mode is set to "DMA if available" for both Device 0 and Device 1. Then repeat this process with the Secondary IDE Channel.

9.) Upgrade the cabling. As hard-drive technology improves, the cabling requirements to achieve these performance boosts have become more stringent. Be sure to use 80-wire Ultra-133 cables on all of your IDE devices with the connectors properly assigned to the matching Master/Slave/Motherboard sockets. A single device must be at the end of the cable; connecting a single drive to the middle connector on a ribbon cable will cause signaling problems. With Ultra DMA hard drives, these signaling problems will prevent the drive from performing at its maximum potential. Also, because these cables inherently support "cable select," the location of each drive on the cable is important. For these reasons, the cable is designed so drive positioning is explicitly clear.

10.) Remove all spyware from the computer. Use free programs such as AdAware by Lavasoft or SpyBot Search & Destroy. Once these programs are installed, be sure to check for and download any updates before starting your search. Anything either program finds can be safely removed. Any free software that requires spyware to run will no longer function once the spyware portion has been removed; if your customer really wants the program even though it contains spyware, simply reinstall it. For more information on removing Spyware visit this Web Pro News page.

11.) Remove any unnecessary programs and/or items from Windows Startup routine using the MSCONFIG utility. Here's how: First, click Start, click Run, type MSCONFIG, and click OK. Click the StartUp tab, then uncheck any items you don't want to start when Windows starts. Unsure what some items are? Visit the WinTasks Process Library. It contains known system processes, applications, as well as spyware references and explanations. Or quickly identify them by searching for the filenames using Google or another Web search engine.

12.) Remove any unnecessary or unused programs from the Add/Remove Programs section of the Control Panel.

13.) Turn off any and all unnecessary animations, and disable active desktop. In fact, for optimal performance, turn off all animations. Windows XP offers many different settings in this area. Here's how to do it: First click on the System icon in the Control Panel. Next, click on the Advanced tab. Select the Settings button located under Performance. Feel free to play around with the options offered here, as nothing you can change will alter the reliability of the computer -- only its responsiveness.

14.) If your customer is an advanced user who is comfortable editing their registry, try some of the performance registry tweaks offered at Tweak XP.

15.) Visit Microsoft's Windows update site regularly, and download all updates labeled Critical. Download any optional updates at your discretion.

16.) Update the customer's anti-virus software on a weekly, even daily, basis. Make sure they have only one anti-virus software package installed. Mixing anti-virus software is a sure way to spell disaster for performance and reliability.

17.) Make sure the customer has fewer than 500 type fonts installed on their computer. The more fonts they have, the slower the system will become. While Windows XP handles fonts much more efficiently than did the previous versions of Windows, too many fonts -- that is, anything over 500 -- will noticeably tax the system.

18.) Do not partition the hard drive. Windows XP's NTFS file system runs more efficiently on one large partition. The data is no safer on a separate partition, and a reformat is never necessary to reinstall an operating system. The same excuses people offer for using partitions apply to using a folder instead. For example, instead of putting all your data on the D: drive, put it in a folder called "D drive." You'll achieve the same organizational benefits that a separate partition offers, but without the degradation in system performance. Also, your free space won't be limited by the size of the partition; instead, it will be limited by the size of the entire hard drive. This means you won't need to resize any partitions, ever. That task can be time-consuming and also can result in lost data.

19.) Check the system's RAM to ensure it is operating properly. I recommend using a free program called MemTest86. The download will make a bootable CD or diskette (your choice), which will run 10 extensive tests on the PC's memory automatically after you boot to the disk you created. Allow all tests to run until at least three passes of the 10 tests are completed. If the program encounters any errors, turn off and unplug the computer, remove a stick of memory (assuming you have more than one), and run the test again. Remember, bad memory cannot be repaired, but only replaced.

20.) If the PC has a CD or DVD recorder, check the drive manufacturer's Web site for updated firmware. In some cases you'll be able to upgrade the recorder to a faster speed. Best of all, it's free.

21.) Disable unnecessary services. Windows XP loads a lot of services that your customer most likely does not need. To determine which services you can disable for your client, visit the Black Viper site for Windows XP configurations.

22.) If you're sick of a single Windows Explorer window crashing and then taking the rest of your OS down with it, then follow this tip: open My Computer, click on Tools, then Folder Options. Now click on the View tab. Scroll down to "Launch folder windows in a separate process," and enable this option. You'll have to reboot your machine for this option to take effect.

23.) At least once a year, open the computer's cases and blow out all the dust and debris. While you're in there, check that all the fans are turning properly. Also inspect the motherboard capacitors for bulging or leaks. For more information on this leaking-capacitor phenomena, you can read numerous articles on my site.

Following any of these suggestions should result in noticeable improvements to the performance and reliability of your customers' computers. If you still want to defrag a disk, remember that the main benefit will be to make your data more retrievable in the event of a crashed drive.

Tech. Support..........

| Saturday, June 6, 2009
A plain computer illiterate guy rings tech support to report that his computer is faulty.

Tech: What's the problem?

User: There is smoke coming out of the power supply.

Tech: You'll need a new power supply.

User: No, I don't! I just need to change the startup files.

Tech: Sir, the power supply is faulty. You'll need to replace it.

User: No way! Someone told me that I just needed to change the startup and it will fix the probl em! All I need is for you to tell me the command.

10 minutes later, the User is still adamant that he is right. The tech is frustrated and fed up.

Tech: Sorry, Sir. We don't normally tell our Customers this, but there is an undocumented DOS command that will fix the problem.

User: I knew it!

Tech: Just add the line LOAD NOSMOKE.COM at the end of the
Letme know how it goes.

10 minutes later.

User: It didn't work. The power supply is still smoking.

Tech: Well, what version of DOS are you using?

User: MS-DOS 6.22.

Tech: That's your problem there. That version of DOS didn't come with NOSMOKE. Contact Microsoft and ask them for a patch that will give you the file. Let me know how it goes.

1 hour later.

User: I need a new power supply.

Tech: How did you come to that conclusion?

User: Well, I rang Microsoft and told h im about what you said, and he started asking questions about the make of power supply.

Tech: Then what did he say?

User: He told me that my power supply isn't compatible with NOSMOKE.

Customer Support............

U Know Y in our Office everyone hates picking the main phone:

Tech Support: "I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop."

Customer: "Ok."

Tech Support: "Did you get a pop-up menu?"

Customer: "No."

Tech Support: "Ok. Right click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?"

Customer : "No."

Tech Support: "Ok, sir. Can you tell me what you have
done up until this point?"

Customer: "Sure, you told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'."


Customer: "I received the software update you sent, but I am still getting the same error message."

Tech Support: " Did you install the update?"

Customer: "No. Oh, am I supposed to install it to get it to work?"



Customer: "I'm having trouble installing Microsoft Word."

TechSupport: "Tell me what you've done."

Customer: "I typed 'A:SETUP'."!

Tech Support: "Ma'am, remove the disk and tell me what it says."

Customer: "It says '[HCL] Restore and Recovery disk'."

Tech Support: "Insert the MS Word setup disk."

Customer: "What?"

Tech Support: "Did you buy MS word?"

Customer: "No..."

Customer: "Do I need a computer to use your software?"

TechSupport: ?!%#$

Tech Support: "Ok, in the bottom left hand side of the screen,can you see the 'OK' button displayed?"

Customer: "Wow. How can you see my screen from there?"


Registry Hacking on Windows XP

| Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Display legal notice on startup:

Wanna tell your friends about the do's and dont's in your computer when they login in your absence. Well you can do it pretty easily by displaying a legal notice at system start up.
"legalnoticecaption"="enter your notice caption"
"legalnoticetext"="enter your legal notice text"

Automatic Administrator Login:

Well here's the trick which you can use to prove that Windows XP is not at all secure as multi-user operating system. Hacking the system registry from any account having access to system registry puts you in to the administrator account.
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

No Shutdown:

Wanna play with your friends by removing the shutdown option from start menu in their computer.
Just hack it down !!!

Menu Delays:

Another minor and easy tweak to remove any delay from menus sliding out. For this you will need to use regedit (open regedit by going to Start -> Run..., then typing 'regedit' and pressing enter). The key you need to change is located in HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktop. The actual key is called MenuShowDelay - all you have to do is change the value to 0. Remember, you will have to re-boot your computer for this tweak to take effect.

GPEDIT.MSC And Autoplay

A great tweaking file that comes with XP is gpedit.msc. Go to Start -> Run... and then type in 'gpedit.msc' and press enter. This is effectively the Policies Editor, and it comes in handy often. For example, if you hate CD autoplay like I do and want to permanently disable it, you can use this tool to do so. Just run gpedit.msc, then go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System. In here you can see the value 'Turn Off Autoplay'. Right-click on it and then click 'Properties'.

Increasing options in add/remove programs:

Not a fan of MSN Messenger? don't want Windows Media Player on your system? Fair enough, but if you go to Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel, by default none of Windows XP's 'built in' programs are visible. it's fairly easy to change, though... just open the file X:\Windows\inf\sysoc.inf (where X: is the drive letter where Windows XP is installed) in Notepad. You should see a section of the file something like this:

IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2

This is a list of all components installed at the moment. I've taken the example of MSN Messenger - the program entry called 'msmsgs', third-last line. You can see the word 'hide' highlighted - this is the string which tells Windows not to display the component in the Add/Remove Programs list. Fix this up by simply deleting the word 'hide' like so:


To this:


Now, after restarting, you should be able to see MSN Messenger in the Add/Remove Programs list. If you want to be able to quickly view and remove all components, simply open the sysoc.inf file and do a global find and replace for the word ",hide" and replace it with a single comma ",".

Automatically Kill Programs At Shutdown:

don't you hate it when, while trying to shut down, you get message boxes telling you that a program is still running? Making it so that Windows automatically kills applications running is a snap. Simply navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktop directory in the Registry, then alter the key AutoEndTasks to the value 1.

Speeding Up Share Viewing:

This is a great tweak. Before I found it, I was always smashing my head against the table waiting to view shares on other computers. Basically, when you connect to another computer with Windows XP, it checks for any Scheduled tasks on that computer - a fairly useless task, but one that can add up to 30 seconds of waiting on the other end - not good! Fortunately, it's fairly easy to disable this process. First, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/RemoteComputer/NameSpace in the Registry. Below that, there should be a key called {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}. Just delete this, and after a restart, Windows will no longer check for scheduled tasks - mucho performance improvement!

Create a Shortcut to Lock Your Computer

Leaving your computer in a hurry but you don’t want to log off? You can double-click a shortcut on your desktop to quickly lock the keyboard and display without using CTRL+ALT+DEL or a screen saver. To create a shortcut on your desktop to lock your computer: Right-click the desktop. Point to New, and then click Shortcut. The Create Shortcut Wizard opens. In the text box, type the following: rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation Click Next. Enter a name for the shortcut. You can call it "Lock Workstation" or choose any name you like. Click Finish. You can also change the shortcut's icon (my personal favorite is the padlock icon in shell32.dll). To change the icon: Right click the shortcut and then select Properties. Click the Shortcut tab, and then click the Change Icon button. In the Look for icons in this file text box, type: Shell32.dll. Click OK. Select one of the icons from the list and then click OK You could also give it a shortcut keystroke such CTRL+ALT+L. This would save you only one keystroke from the normal command, but it could be more convenient.

Speed up Internet Explorer 6 Favorites

For some reason, the Favorites menu in IE 6 seems to slow down dramatically sometimes--I've noticed this happens when you install Tweak UI 1.33, for example, and when you use the preview tip to speed up the Start menu. But here's a fix for the problem that does work, though it's unclear why: Just open a command line window (Start button -> Run -> cmd) and type sfc, then hit ENTER. This command line runs the System File Checker, which performs a number of services, all of which are completely unrelated to IE 6. But there you go: It works.


WinXP does not come with an Aspi layer. So far almost 90% of the problems with WinXP and CD burning software are Aspi layer problems. After installing WinXP, before installing any CD burning software do a few things first: 1. Open up "My computer" and right click on the CD Recorder. If your CD recorder was detected as a CD recorder there will be a tab called "Recording". On this tab uncheck ALL of the boxes. apply or OK out of it and close my computer. 2. Next install the standard Aspi layer for NT. Reboot when asked. That's is. after the reboot you can install any of the currently working CD recording applications with no problems. If using CD Creator do not install direct CD or Take two as they are currently incompatible but Roxio has promised a fix as soon as XP is released.

10 Security measures every PC user must do...........

| Thursday, April 23, 2009
Before you spend a dime on security, there are many precautions you can take that will protect you against the most common threats.

1. Check Windows Update and Office Update regularly (http://office.microsoft.com/productupdates); have your Office CD ready. Windows Me, 2000, and XP users can configure automatic updates. Click on the Automatic Updates tab in the System control panel and choose the appropriate options.

2. Install a personal firewall. Both SyGate (www.sygate.com) and ZoneAlarm (www.zonelabs.com) offer free versions.

3. Install a free spyware blocker. SpyBot Search & Destroy. SpyBot is also paranoid and ruthless in hunting out tracking cookies.

4. Block pop-up spam messages in Windows NT, 2000, or XP by disabling the Windows Messenger service (this is unrelated to the instant messaging program). Open Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services and you'll see Messenger. Right-click and go to Properties. Set Start-up Type to Disabled and press the Stop button. Bye-bye, spam pop-ups! Any good firewall will also stop them.

5. Use strong passwords and change them periodically. Passwords should have at least seven characters; use letters and numbers and have at least one symbol. A decent example would be f8izKro@l. This will make it much harder for anyone to gain access to your accounts.

6. If you're using Outlook or Outlook Express, use the current version or one with the Outlook Security Update installed. The update and current versions patch numerous vulnerabilities.

7. Buy antivirus software and keep it up to date. If you're not willing to pay, try Grisoft AVG Free Edition (Grisoft Inc., www.grisoft.com). And doublecheck your AV with the free, online-only scanners available at www.pandasoftware.com/activescan and http://housecall.trendmicro.com.

8. If you have a wireless network, turn on the security features: Use MAC filtering, turn off SSID broadcast, and even use WEP with the biggest key you can get. For more, check out our wireless section or see the expanded coverage in Your Unwired World in our next issue.

9. Join a respectable e-mail security list, such as the one found at our own Security Supersite at http://security.ziffdavis.com or http://zone-h.org, so that you learn about emerging threats quickly and can take proper precautions.

10. Be skeptical of things on the Internet. Don't assume that e-mail "From:" a particular person is actually from that person until you have further reason to believe it's that person. Don't assume that an attachment is what it says it is. Don't give out your password to anyone, even if that person claims to be from "support."

Hide Your Files In A JPEG

| Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Hide Your Files In A JPEG !!

Well, did you know you could hide your files in a JPEG file? For this, you will only need to download WinRAR. You just need to have a little knowledge about Command Prompt and have WinRAR installed.

Ok, lets begin…

1. Gather all the files that you wish to hide in a folder anywhere in your PC (make it in C:\hidden - RECOMMENDED).

2. Now, add those files in a RAR archive (e.g. secret.rar). This file should also be in the same directory (C:\hidden).

3. Now, look for a simple JPEG picture file (e.g. logo.jpg). Copy/Paste that file also in C:\hidden.

4. Now, open Command Prompt (Go to Run and type ‘cmd‘). Make your working directory C:\hidden.

5. Now type: “COPY /b logo.jpg + secret.rar output.jpg” (without quotes) - Now, logo.jpg is the picture you want to show, secret.rar is the file to be hidden, and output.jpg is the file which contains both. :D

6. Now, after you have done this, you will see a file output.jpg in C:\hidden. Open it (double-click) and it will show the picture you wanted to show. Now try opening the same file with WinRAR, it will show the hidden archive .

Tip:Hide the File names in Thumbnail View, Problem:File Name missing in thumbnail view

| Thursday, March 19, 2009
There is a feature in WindowsXp which may seem to be like a problem when it happen accidently.
"All of a sudden...only when I am in "thumbnail view" in "my Pictures"...the writing (heading) under each folder is'nt there. The folders are there...it's just that you have to float your cursor over each one so that the title of each one comes up. Once I go into any of the subfolders it's normal and ok. It's just the first "my pictures" main page. If I change view to icons, etc...I do get the headings or titles of the folders...but not in thumbnail view. Wierd huh?
Solution : Its so easy.....Just To turn off filenames, hold down the Shift key when you click to open a folder in Windows Explorer or when you switch into thumbnail view. This will turn of the file names, giving more space for the thumbnails. Doing it again turns them back on.

Search Indian Railways trains via chat

| Sunday, March 8, 2009

Search Indian Railways trains via chat by Gunjan

At Cleartrip, we believe we took the train search experience a giant leap forward when we launched search and booking for Indian Railways trains. As a company dedicated to making travel simple, easing the planning, searching and booking process for trains is core to our mission. Today, we're thrilled to announce that we've made things even easier--you can now check train schedules and availability using basic Internet chat.

Using the chat based search is fairly simple. To get started, you just send a message with your search query--make sure you specify at least your origin, destination and date of travel; in addition, you can also specify your class of travel. Don't worry too much about the syntax, if it needs more information, it will ask you for what it needs. Here's an example search:

Mumbai to goa 20 apr 2ac

In response, you'll get a message with a list of trains for your search and availability status for each train.

To recheck availability for a train you like, just send a message with "avail " followed by the train number, e.g.:

avail 6345

In response, you'll get availability status for upto 6 days.

If you like what you see and want to book, then just type "book " followed by the train number and date you want to book for, e.g.:

book 6345 22 apr

In addition to being our first automated chat based search, this also marks our first foray into natural language search for travel. So, do keep in mind that this 'Trains chat bot' is an experimental product of Cleartrip Research and may behave unexpectedly as computers often do. Also, we're not completely thrilled with the display formats and messages yet, so those might be changing frequently over the next few days.

That said, we look forward to your feedback and we hope you love the simplicity. Give it a whirl,