By default, the Microsoft Windows XP taskbar, which shows buttons for each of your open windows, sits at the bottom of your screen. That’s fine if you don’t open many windows. If you have more than six or seven windows open at a time, however, the taskbar can become extremely crowded. To make more room for windows, move your taskbar to the right or left side of the screen, where it will be displayed vertically, giving you room for more than a dozen windows.

Tip: If you have a widescreen monitor, placing your taskbar on the right or left side of the screen can make much more efficient use of screen space.

To move your taskbar

1. Right-click your taskbar. If there is a check mark beside Lock the Taskbar on the shortcut menu, click Lock the Taskbar to unlock it. More »

The Visual Round Trip Analyzer was initially an internal Microsoft tool, which the Redmond company is now offering as a free download. Designed as a webpage performance visualizer and analyzer, according to the software company, Visual Round Trip Analyzer runs on top of Network Monitor 3.2 and is set up to offer a comprehensive perspective over the download of a specific webpage. The Redmond giant indicated that VRTA comes with support for Windows Vista RTM and SP1, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows Server 2008.

“The Visual Round Trip Analyzer tool helps web developers and testers visualize the download of their page, identify best practices and changes that improve performance. The Round-Trip between the client and server(s) is the single biggest impact to web page performance – much greater than server response time. VRTA examines the communications protocol, identifying the causes of excessive round-trips, and recommending solutions,” Microsoft informed. More »

At the start of September 2008, Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich revealed that he was cooking a major update for Process Monitor, one of the components of the Sysinternals suite. As of September 30, version 2.0 of Process Monitor became available for download. The
description of the tool authored by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell reveals that Process Monitor 2.0 is designed to integrate seamlessly with both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 2000 SP4 with Update Rollup 1, Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and Windows Vista.

“Process Monitor v2.0: this major update to Process Monitor adds real-time TCP and UDP monitoring to its existing process, thread, DLL, file system and registry monitoring. You can now see the TCP and UDP activity processes performed, including the operation (e.g. connect, send, receive), local and remote IP addresses and DNS names, and operation transfer lengths. On Windows Vista, Process Monitor also collects thread stacks for network operations,” revealed Curtis Metz, Program Manager, Microsoft Sysinternals. More »

Don’t take that computer monitor in for repair! Often, it is no longer cost-effective to do so. While you or your budget may or may not agree with these tips, it could give you more peace of mind. And help with deciding if and when that old CRT (tube) computer monitor should be retired. You may be surprised to know, a CRT type of computer screen is a more durable option if children or schools will be using it. They often have more life in them.

Necessary Things: CRT monitor, Scissors, Fountain pen, Cable

1. Push the button on the front of the monitor to turn on the monitor if it is not powered on. You might hear a slight buzz sound and see the screen flicker. Wait for Microsoft Windows to load.

2. In the case you do not see a picture, repeat the procedure. If it is flashing in any color other than green you may have a problem. Otherwise, give it time to warm up. More »

We’ve mentioned hardware information utilities a couple of times in the past, these are programs that tell you about your computer and its setup, but this freeware tool, called HWiNFO32, leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. If it were technically possible to tell you how many nuts and bolts are holding your PC together, it would do so. As it is you’ll just have to be content with every possible scrap of information regarding the hardware connected to your computer that it is possible to extract, from the manufacturer’s code name for your CPU chip, to whether or not your monitor supports an obscure feature called Blank to Black Setup. You can also set a benchmark, so you can track performance and monitor changes, there’s a Sensor page, that tells you all about the temperatures and voltages running around inside your machine, and you can save Reports, which might come in handy one day, if you need to track down a tricky fault.