Archive for the ‘Windows XP’ Category.

Smart phones and tablets can’t replace a desktop or laptop, yet!

I completely believe that the phones and tablets like the new T-Mobile 7″ Samsung tab are going to be continue to be huge industries and will not go away as the Palm Pilot did. However, will they continue to explode exponentially as many believe? Or is there a plateau coming?

I just reviewed the Motorola Xoom and it was a great tech toy. However, it wasn’t much more than a casual gaming tool. There is a crucial flaw that has yet to be solved with phones and tablets: Typing.

No matter how fast you can type on a phone or tablet, you will never type as fast as you can on a keyboard. Might there be a solution better than a keyboard that we just haven’t discovered yet…maybe…but even if we discover it will it work on a phone or tablet?

There are certain uses for a phone:

  1. Making calls
  2. MP3 player
  3. Texting
  4. Casual gaming
  5. Visual browsing (such as checking the whether)
  6. Reading email (notice, I didn’t put writing email)
  7. Pocket Portability
  8. GPS and Navigation
  9. Quick low quality photos/video

There are certain uses for a tablet

  1. Book reader
  2. MP3 player
  3. Casual gaming
  4. Visual browsing (such as checking the weather)
  5. Reading email (notice, I didn’t put writing email)
  6. GPS and Navigation
  7. Quick low quality photos/videos

However, will the Laptop and Desktop be taken over by a tablet?  What about 20″ to 27″ monitors? Some of use need so much real-estate we have multiple monitors.  Here are using for a computer that a tablet does not solve.  For those of you thinking of going 100% to phones and tablets, you may just want to hold on.

Here is a list of requirements and uses that are met by a desktop or laptop that the phone and tablet haven’t really solved yet.

Note: I am not going to repeat the items on the list for the smart phones and tables but be aware that the only feature the phone or tablet has that a desktop or laptop doesn’t have today is pocket portability.

  1. Keyboard and typing
    1. Writing email
    2. Writing documents
    3. Creating spreadsheets
    4. Writing code, yes, even writing code for tablets
    5. Writing blog posts (like this one)
  2. CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drive (yes, people are going to still want to play there DVDs and Blu-Ray movies 10 years from now)
  3. Monitors
    1. 17″ or larger monitor
    2. Multiple monitors
    3. Viewing multiple applications simultaneously
  4. Local storage of data.
  5. Serious desktop gaming
    1. Joysticks
    2. Short-cut keys
  6. Peripherals
    1. Printers
    2. External drives
    3. Cameras and Video cameras
    4. Projectors
    5. Custom peripherals (like those that are designed for one company, telescope, craft vinyl cutters, industrial equipment, etc…)
  7. Ethernet, no not everywhere has wireless yet and some secure facilities will never have wireless or allow VPN from a 3G/4G device. Some places don’t allow web-cams or camera devices and unfortunately you can’t take your camera out of your phone or tablet.

We have been using desktops for three decades. Smart-phones and tablets are in their infancy. Many problems, including millions of custom problems for companies in all industries, have been solved using laptops and desktops. To replace desktops and laptops, these problems will have to be solved.

Many problems have solutions already.For example, blue-tooth and wireless technology can allow for peripherals but there are a lot of devices already out there that are not blue-tooth or wireless capable.

But another road block is in the way. Adoption.

Adoptions takes a long time.  First the manufacturers have to adopt a technology, design new products, produce them, distribute them.  Then consumers have to buy the new technology and if they already own an older version, that older version often has to go through its life cycle which can take a lot of years. I still have an HP LaserJet 5L from the late 90s that works perfectly. No, I am not going to invest in another laser printer until this one dies.

So will someone still be running a desktop or laptop with Windows XP/Vista/7 in 2020. Certainly.  Will they probably own a smart phone or tablet as well.  You bet!

Adding this post from Internet Explorer 9 to write about Internet Explorer 9

If you are using Windows and you are using Internet Explorer 9, you are becoming a minority.

W3Schools has a browser statistics site that basically is made by tracking the browsers that hit it.

It is probably not exactly accurate because most poeple who go to W3Schools are probably in some way technical and doing some type of development, most likely for the web.  If there was a statistic built from the browsers that accessed the most popular pages on the web:,,,,,, etc… then that would be accurate. But we make do with what we have.

This page shows that IE has a little over 1/4 the market share to start 2011, while it held over 1/3 the market share at the first of 2010.

2011 Internet Explorer Firefox Chrome Safari Opera
February 26.5 % 42.4% 24.1% 4.1% 2.5%
January 26.6 % 42.8% 23.8% 4.0% 2.5%
2010 Internet Explorer Firefox Chrome Safari Opera
December 27.5 % 43.5% 22.4% 3.8% 2.2%
November 28.6 % 44.0% 20.5% 4.0% 2.3%
October 29.7 % 44.1% 19.2% 3.9% 2.2%
September 31.1 % 45.1% 17.3% 3.7% 2.2%
August 30.7 % 45.8% 17.0% 3.5% 2.3%
July 30.4 % 46.4% 16.7% 3.4% 2.3%
June 31.0 % 46.6% 15.9% 3.6% 2.1%
May 32.2 % 46.9% 14.5% 3.5% 2.2%
April 33.4 % 46.4% 13.6% 3.7% 2.2%
March 34.9 % 46.2% 12.3% 3.7% 2.2%
February 35.3 % 46.5% 11.6% 3.8% 2.1%
January 36.2 % 46.3% 10.8% 3.7% 2.2%

So why am I telling you this, in my review of Internet Explorer 9?

Because I am telling you to get ready for the percent of IE users to rise again with the release of IE9.

So far, I have the following positive feedback.

  • Feature that weren’t working before, such as rounded corners on the red borders of the boxes on my blog, are working.
  • The browser opened with amazing speed. Yes, I didn’t just say speed, I said AMAZING SPEED.
  • The About:Tabs page that opens by default in a new tab is quite awesome and is pretty close to a replacement for the Speed dial
  • The cleanthiness of the browser is refreshing.

The negative feedback I have so far is simply one:

  • I tried to find a plugin but found the plugin page hard to find and I could not find a way to search for IE9 plugins.

Right now I dual boot between FreeBSD and Windows 7.  When I am booted to FreeBSD, I will use Firefox. Normally in Windows 7 I also use Firefox.  Right now, I am not going to install Firefox in my new Windows 7 install in my dual boot scenario unless I start to dislike IE9.

Article: Speed Up Windows by Stripping It Down

I found this article on stripping down Windows.  I have wanted to remove unnecessary services from Windows 7 for a while.  I want to save it for later.

I explains how to remove unnecessary prettiness and services that take a lot of CPU power.

Speed Up Windows by Stripping It Down

Twelve windows applications Microsoft should make open source on their CodePlex site

Microsoft is a big company and has a lot of developers, and it wouldn’t seem they need help from the community. However, the have a lot of code and a lot of different projects that keep the developers plenty busy. At least they are too busy to provide some simple features that exist in almost every other operating system.

There are obvious shortcomings in many of the included Microsoft applications.  Open source communities are excellent at rounded out an application.

If Microsoft were to open source some of their software, and allow for at least for read access on whatever source control they use, then allow for not only submitting bugs but submitting patches, that can be reviewed and applied or rejected, then they could see a wave of improvements come from the many different windows users: Enterprise admins, developers, power users, etc.

It is also nice to be able to debug an application for Microsoft.  It is not always easy to duplicate bugs in house, so if a developer experiences an issue that is annoying enough, they would fix it themselves and while yes, Microsoft benefits, more importantly, all the other users of that application benefit.

Microsoft started, and it is very similar to  They have just under five thousand projects that claim to have stable releases.

Why doesn’t Microsoft make more of their own projects available on CodePlex?

Microsoft could have many open source projects that could become large communities.  One open source community that continues to gain popularity is Windows Install XML. It seems to be a large community now and is growing rapidly.  Strangely it is actually hosted at, though it has some sort of presence on CodePlex.

How many Open Source project could Microsoft have?

More people develop using Windows than any other operating system.  (Yes, phone OSes may have or may someday take that over…but that is besides the point).  Think of all the software companies in the world. How many of them don’t develop for Windows.  Even Apple spends a lot of time making iTunes work on Windows.  There are so many developers that might contribute that it is impossible to count them all. Some may end up contributing as part of their job. Many developers might contirubte to a project because it makes their development lives easier. Many enterprise customers might contribute to lower the costs of managing their environment. Many consulting and contract companies might contribute for their own reasons.

So what applications should Microsoft start with?

Here are a list of applications that Microsoft should open source immediately.

#1 – Notepad.exe

Yes, this is the most simple editor that we never use. One of the first thing my colleagues and I do whenever we install windows, is install Notepad++.  While we love Notepad++, we don’t love that we have to install all the time.

After more than 15 years since Windows 95 (or is it more, was notepad.exe in Windows 3.11?) notepad.exe should be one of the most functional and efficient editors in the industry.  However, notepad lacks features that are critical to a good text editor. The most important being syntax coloring. Others features such as supporting regular expressions in find and replace, supporting plugins (especially the XML plugin), are features we use in Notepad++ often. There is really no excuse for Microsoft not having these features. The community has provided these feature for you, all you have to do is include them in your base system.

There are actually many different Notepad-like projects on CodePlex. Maybe some as as mature as Notepad++ maybe some arent. The question is whether any of them will ever become a standard part of the base windows install?

Maybe Microsoft keeps notepad.exe simple, but adds a second more advanced application like Notepad++ in the base system. Or why not just include Notepad++, it is free, after all.

#2 – Internet Explorer

Ok, so Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are open source. Microsoft is losing ground to both browsers and this is not going to change in the near future.

Brand is important, however, is really anything left to gain by winning the browser war. Maybe using IE to kill Netscape in the late 90s was important back then. But would anyone really care if IE went away and windows shipped with your choice of the other browsers available? We don’t think so. This is actually how Europe installs of Windows are today. The homepage and search engine war is what is important and Microsoft could still control that on its operating system by having the homepage be and the default search engine be Bing.

So what use is it for Microsoft to spend time and money developing IE? None really.  It is a waste of time and money they could spend elsewhere.  Release this software to the community. Besides, the new IE development community would not be hampered by being part of an organization that is too large to care enough about IE to release in a timely manner anyway.

If IE became open source, it would be rejuvenated in a way Microsoft can’t do in any other way.

For example, This blog’s home page has a boxes with rounded corners. IE is the only browser that doesn’t support the rounded corners feature in CSS. This feature would have been implements years ago were IE Open Source, as many other features would have as well.

#3 – Windows Explorer

If there is anything that needs debugging help from the community, it is Windows Explorer. Like Notepad.exe, Explorer.exe just hasn’t evolved the way an application should. Even on Windows 7 we all have experienced issues including constant unreproducible hangs, crashes, and failure to refresh.Whether these are due to explorer or something that is plugged into explorer, the inability for a user to do anything about it annoying, especially if that use, like me, is a developer and may or may not have the ability to debug and fix the issue.

Also like Notepad.exe, there is a lack of features and plugins.  After almost two decades of existence, Explore.exe should be one of the most feature rich file browsers in the industry.  But instead, Explorer is difficult to work with if you want to do anything other than just work with the file system. One example of this: TortoiseSVN/TortoiseCVS cannot install and plugin to Explorer without prompting for a reboot. If released as a community project, Explorer.exe would become on of the most feature rich tools in windows.

#4 – Windows Live Messenger

So Windows Live Messenger hasn’t worked for me in months. Microsoft updated it with Windows Update.  Guess what.  It hasn’t worked since. And this is true for a lot of people. Many in my office have seen this as well as many others who are posting to their support site. See my previous article: Windows Live Messenger update broke again: Error 8100030d. This isn’t my only complaint, though the fact that they are releasing a product that doesn’t work is quite tainting to the Windows name.

I kindly offered to debug this issue for them, but my post to their support bulletin was ignored.

Even more annoying than the fact that Windows Live Messenger isn’t working for many people missing feature is the conceited attitude that users of Windows Live Messenger don’t also use other messaging tools. Most messenger applications now support logging into AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and many others.  But not Windows Live Messenger. If released as an open source project, the Windows Live Messenger community wouldn’t let this missing feature remain absent from the project.

#5 – MSPaint

MSPaint finally had its first bump in features with Windows 7.  However, it is still a shell of what it could be. What could it be? It could be Paint.NET and users love Paint.NET. Paint.NET is everything that MSPaint should be but isn’t. Paint.exe should be a well developed, feature rich application by now. However, Microsoft doesn’t spend any time on it.

So why not put the project out there for the community. I don’t quite install Paint.NET as often as Notepad++, but I use it and install it quite often. Why do we have to go out and download and install Paint.NET.  Why after more than a decade and a half can MSPaint be such a basic featureless application.  Because there is no plan for it. Nobody is assigned to create a project plan and drive improvement for it. Even a one person project would be more developed than this after a decade and a half. If there hadn’t been a push to make it more Vista/Windows 7 like, it wouldn’t have gotten the recent update it received.

Look at the successful projects that exist: Paint.NET, Gimp, Pinta, and others. If Microsoft had sponsored such a project years ago or when MSPaint first came to existence, it might be rivaling Adobe Photoshop by now.

#6 – Hyperterminal / Telnet / FTP, etc…

Microsoft doesn’t have an SSH tool of an SFTP tool by default. Are you as frustrated as I am when downloading PuTTY and WinSCP for the hundredth time. Almost every open source operating system has these features as part of their base operating system. Yet Microsoft has somehow found a way to not include them.

An ssh/sftp tool set, both a command line and gui version, should be an open source project on CodePlex. Sure, leave them off of Windows Home Edition and make them have to be installed late. But these features should be included in a standard installation of Windows Ultimate.

#7 – Windows Command Prompt / PowerShell

The PowerShell is a little late to the game. Look at all the shell scripting abilities in open source operating system with sh, csh, ksk, bash, tcsh, etc…  Even OS X can use these.  Microsoft is so far behind when it comes to shell scripting. Let the shell be managed by the community.  Or replace it with a shell, or include a shell.

We can of course install Cygwin but again, why should we have to?

#8 – Hashing tools

On any other platform, we can easily download a file, and check the md5, sha1, or sha256 hash on that file. This is important because when you download software, especially from sites such as, they always include a list of hashes you can use to make sure that the file was downloaded correctly and that it wasn’t tampered with.

Open a command prompt in windows and type md5, sha1, or sha256 and you will be told that such files are not found.

#9 – .NET Framework

Microsoft is trying to port .NET Framework and one source at Novell SUSE informed me that Microsoft was paying them to deliver open source versions of Silverlight (Moonlight) and .NET Framework (Mono) for open source platforms.  If they open sourced .NET Framework, porting it over would be much more simple and the project might have more community developers.

The ability for software vendors who have so many .NET applications already developed to be able to port them to run on MAC and Linux is going to drive this technology into the forefront over the next decade.

The entire .NET Framework library doesn’t have to be released, but if it was, it would be beneficial to more than just developers for Mono. Developers for Windows would also like to know how something is done in code, and Microsoft has thousands of examples, they just aren’t sharing them.

#10 – Windows Media Player

We want one Media app to rule them all. Windows users are tired of having multiple media players installed. Nobody wants to have all the following apps on their box: WMP, QuickTime, RealPlayer, MPlayer, FlashPlayer, and other one off players.

We are all tired of not being able to play a specific file or media type. If the WMP project were open sourced, it could become the one and only player a user would ever need, with the ability to play media types other codexes that it cannot play now.

Someone would surely write code for it to manage the music on iPods and other MP3 players in a quality manner. This is also strategic for the brand and tactical business act in that this would essentially kill iTunes, and lead the music buying industry back to whatever site Windows Media Player delivered, probably something that gives Microsoft a percentage of the purchase price.

#11 – An Application update service for all applications

Every single application thinks it needs to write its own software to update itself.  And they all have to run their own icon in my task bar, and check for their own software. There should be a project started called the application update services and applications register with this service.  Then one single icon in the task bar can look up the update needs for any application on the system.  No more separate updates from Java, Adobe, and others.

#12 – Regedit.exe

Many of you who are like me are in the registry all the time, developing it, testing it, troubleshooting it, checking settings, changing settings, tweaking performance.  There are dozens of simple features that Regedit.exe is lacking.  Such as the ability to past in a long registry key and have the tool browse to that key, like Explorer.exe allows for directories.  No, you have to click on every last key yourself.

Not to mention that there could be dozens of plugins that allow for making all the things we do in the registry easier (remember the earlier list: developing it, testing it, troubleshooting it, checking settings, changing settings, tweaking performance).

Why is each root key on the same screen, maybe they should be separate tabs?  If this were open source, someone could create that option.

Why can’t we go to an Ethernet tab and have a some easy options to optimize for 100 M or 1GB or the dozens of other advanced but common settings for Ethernet controllers, such as MTU.

Why can’t we do any of this?  Because the Microsoft developers are not being told to develop these in their road maps. But system administrators and desktop administrators and power users who live in the Windows world would love such features and many would add them if they only could have access to the source to do so.


Microsoft is starting to come around to the benefits of open source. They are much more open to it than they have been in the past and they can get the vision of open sources projects that they don’t need to maintain, then everyone will benefit in their own way.

Russian Government going Open Source…and the future

Well, I have seen governments claim they are going to open source before, but not from Russia, and not with such a realistic plan to migrate over a few years.

Here is a link to the article via Google translate:

Putin ordered the transfer of power on Linux

The now

Business drives software development.  Open Source communities help, but even today much of the ongoing development for Linux is driven by businesses such as Red Hat and Novell and others.  If you think your Linux code is being written by unpaid developers in their spare time, you are somewhat correct but only partially.  Most changes are made by developers who are paid.

While communities are nice, they can’t match the hours or output of experienced developers working forty to sixty hours a week.

Looking Ahead…the Apps…and C# (Mono)

The more open source is used in business, the more development power it will have.  But it is not the open source Operatings Systems that prevent people from moving to Linux or BSD.  Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora, CentOS, PC-BSD, and numerous others are all very usable desktops that are user friendly.  It is the software that runs on them that everyone is waiting for.

The market is already there to make millions extra if you application runs cross platform, one Windows, MAC, Linux, and BSD.

But most the applications written for Windows, the business desktop of today, are using .NET Framework. So naturally those companies are going to want to make their code cross platform.  And they are going to find it is easier than they thought to move their applications between platforms using C#.  I have recently decided that C# is the future of applications on all platforms.

Some MAC and Linux users don’t like Microsoft and will fight off the idea of a Microsoft provided development platform such as C# (Mono) on their systems.  But when a corporation decides that you must run software X, and software X requires .NET, and you have to either give up your MAC or Linux box for a Windows box, or use C# (Mono), then users will come around.

If you are a company writing software for Windows only today and using C#, you need to take a look at Mono. Even if the return on investment of developing a C# (Mono) based version of your product is a slight loss to break even, it is an investment in the future.  Once written, maintenance costs will be less than the original development costs and that slight loss to break even margin will turn to a small profit.  And with the experience, you next app will migrate to C# (Mono) that much easier and soon, all you apps will run anywhere that C# (Mono) can run.

This is going to take off in a way Java hasn’t because developers for windows prefer and will continue to prefer .NET over Java.  And when it comes to business apps, Java just isn’t the language of choice.  Business applications are written in C#.

Adding an alias in Windows 7 or making ls = dir in a command prompt

Hey all,

I don’t know about you but I switch between FreeBSD and Windows a lot.  So it drives me crazy when I type the command ls on windows and get the error message.

‘ls’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

So I want this to go away.

I looked for the alias command in Windows and couldn’t find one.  So I made a batch file that solves this.

Windows doesn’t seem to have the equivalent of a .shrc or .cshrc or .bashrc. I couldn’t find a .profile either.  So I decided to go with the batch file route.

Option 1 – Using doskey

I was tipped off to this idea from a comment, which led my mind to the Command Prompt autorun registry I already knew about. But once I wrote the batch file, the parameters were not working, so I searched around and found an example of exactly what I wanted to do here:

  1. Create a batch file called autorun.bat and put it in your home directory:
    My home dir is: c:\users\jared
  2. Add the following to your autorun.bat.
    doskey ls=dir /b $*
    doskey ll=dir $*
    doskey cat=type $*
    doskey ..=cd..
    doskey grep=find "$1" $2
    doskey mv=ren $*
    doskey rm=del $*
  3. Add the following key to the registry:
    Key:  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor
    REG_SZ  (String): Autorun
    Value:  %USERPROFILE%\autorun.batOr as a .reg file:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor]

Now whenever you open a command prompt, the aliases will be there.

Option 2 – Creating a batch file as an alias

I created an.bat file that just forwards calls the original file and forwards all parameters passed when making the call.

Here is how it works.

Create a file called ls.bat. Add the following text.


dir $*

Copy this batch file to your C:\Windows\System32 directory. Now you can type in ls on a windows box at the command prompt and it works.

How does this work to make your aliased command?

  1. Name the batch file the name of the alias.  I want to alias ls to dir, so my batch file is named ls.bat.
  2. In the batch file, set the RealCMDPath variable to the proper value, in my case it is dir.

So if you want to alias cp to copy, you do this:

  1. Copy the file and name it cp.bat.
  2. Edit the file and set this line:
    SET RealCMDPath=dir

Now you have an alias for both ls and cp.

Using different versions of msbuild.exe

You can also use this so you don’t have to add a path.

I need to use C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\msbuild.exe but sometimes I want to use C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\msbuild.exe. Both files are named the same. So I can easily use my alias command.

  1. Create two files in C:\Windows\System32: one named msbuild35.bat and one named msbuild40.bat.
  2. Change the line in each file to have the appropriate paths for the RealCMDPath.

Anyway, this is really a useful batch file.

A windows annoyance: Copying folders with thousands of files

Ok, so have you ever started to copy a folder from the network and had it crash on you? And the folder of course has hundreds of subfolders and thousands of files, so you have to copy it again.

Why doesn’t windows handle this better. Why don’t I get a nice prompt that says: The copy failed…do you want to try again?  Yes / No

If i drag the folder over again, it seems to copy everything and give me annoying prompts for whether I want to overwrite the folder and the prompts can be endless.

I know I could avoid this by zipping the directory first, but really, zipping 1.5 GB of thousands of files takes even longer.

Sorry to drop a complaint today, but restarting massive folder transfers seems like an area where Microsoft has really not put any effort.

I will say that on my Windows 7 64 bit box, the number of annoying prompts to copy and replace were far less if I checked the box to not copy, so that is a positive.

Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.fwz virus passed through Facebook and Youtube

Hey all,

I got a post today in Facebook:

You Tube

When I click on it, I am taking to a Youtube video that downloads a file called Setup.exe.

Three obvious things tipped me off that this was a virus:
1. The video said it needed Flash 10.37 to run, but I had the latest Flash.
2. The file was named “setup.exe” and not something like
3. I didn’t notice at first that it was asking for flash 10.37 and the lastest version is 10.32.

So working for LANDesk which provides Antivirus (using Kaspersky) I naturally noticed this as a virus right away. It is pretty close to a Zero day virus. A Zero day virus means that most Antivirus companies don’t have content to detect and scan for a virus. However, about half the anti virus companies have released updated virus definitions for this virus today.

So it was probably released yesterday or as long as a few weeks ago and just now got detected.

This the the Net-Worm.Win32.Koobface.fwz virus according to Kaspersky.

Seriously…don't press F1 in XP? Just fix your bug already Microsoft…

Some things make me laugh.
…Microsoft told Windows XP users today not to press the F1 key when prompted by a Web site, as part of its reaction to an unpatched vulnerability that hackers could exploit to hijack PCs running Internet Explorer (IE)…

How can a company the size of Microsoft not have the ability to provide a timely patch on a security vulnerability? I don’t see how a patch isn’t created within four hours on this.

I remember a vulnerability was found in FreeBSD (see this), which isn’t a company with thousands of developers but an open source project and the response differences are amazing.

You are letting your users down Microsoft. Step up for your customers. Fix it and fix it fast.

Keyboard Shortcuts – To all desktops everywhere, please standardize

Hello world,

I mostly use Windows 7 as a desktop but I often use FreeBSD with KDE, too.

I just submitted this wish to the KDE team.

Bug 221667 – Please make Keyboard shortcuts the same as those used by Microsoft Windows

If you agree, please Login and vote for this bug. I so want to always use the same keyboard shortcuts no matter which platform I am installed on.

This probably is not just an enhancement request for KDE but for every GUI Operating System everywhere. In fact, let’s make a standard set of Keyboard Shortcuts and have every desktop-like software use the same exact keyboard shortcuts. Maybe someone who is a member could write and RFC and publish it, or does it need to be an IEEE standard?

Anyway…I try not to rant, but today it happened. Sorry.

Why does Firefox prompt for Domain (AD) Authentication? or How to get Firefox to automatically login to web sites with Domain Credentials (Sharepoint for example)?

Why does Firefox prompt for Domain (AD) Authentication? or How to get Firefox to automatically login to web sites with Domain Credentials (Sharepoint for example)?

Hey all,

I am sure you have been annoyed by the fact that when you use Firefox, the sites that require Domain credentials can popup and ask you to login. Sites like Sharepoint can ask you to log in over and over and over and over again. And then just when you are about as annoyed as you can be with typing your Domain user name and password, it prompts you some more.

For those of you who know, I work for LANDesk and we have server software and our Web Console uses NTLM authentication or Active Directory Domain credentials. You can log into the LDMS Web Console using Firefox using this method.

Well, this is really easy to make this “authentication prompt” go away. A quick search in your favorite search engine will resolve this (on a Windows box at least).

I found this site rather quickly:

Step 1 – Gather the lists of Sites that require domain authentication

  1. Determine all the sites you go to at work that require domain or active directory credentials and put them in a text file.


  2. Now format them like this:

    CompanyName-Sharepoint, CompanyName-HelpDesk, InternalServer1, InternalServer2, InternalServer3, LDMSCore

    Don’t worry if you don’t get them all, you can add new sites at any time.

    Note: Save this text file as you may want to do this again for someone else or you may want to do it again yourself computer gets rebuilt/upgraded.

Step 2 – Configure Firefox to Automatically Authenticate to these sites

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Enter the following for the URL:

  3. When warned to be careful, click the “I’ll be careful, I promise” button.
  4. In the Filter field, enter this value: network.automatic-ntlm-auth.trusted-uris
    Note: If the value is not there, you can add it as a new string.

  5. Right click on the value and choose Modify.
  6. Enter your servers as we formatted them above:

    CompanyName-Sharepoint, CompanyName-HelpDesk, InternalServer1, InternalServer2, InternalServer3, LDMSCore

  7. Click Ok.
  8. You shouldn’t have to close and re-open firefox but some poeple like to do this anyway.

You should now be able to browse your sites without having to enter credentials.

How to convert an XP SP3 Home Retail CD to an XP SP3 Home OEM CD? (Using all free software)

Ok, so I have a legal XP OEM license on an Gateway T2692.

Note: I do NOT believe in doing anything illegal, so an requests for Keys will be ignored and your comment will be deleted.


  1. The motherboard died and I replaced it.
  2. The restore CD was an image not the install files and it failed with a blue screen.
  3. I don’t have an OEM XP CD.

So I read that I can easily convert an XP Retail disk to an XP OEM disk, so here it goes.

Step 1 – Modifying the Originally CD Files

  1. Copy the XP HOME w/SP3 Retail disk contents to a folder.
  2. Copythe i386\SETUPP.INI file to SETUPP.INI.RETAIL
  3. Edit the i386\SETUPP.INI file.

    Change it from this: (SETUPP.INI for Retail Versions)


    To this: (SETUPP.INI for OEM Versions)


Here is a resource I used:

Note: Make sure you save your changes. You don’t won’t to burn the disk only to find you didn’t make the change and you still have a retail disk.

That should be enough to change the files of the CD into an OEM instead of a Retail disk.

Step 2 – Extract the boot sector

  1. Download and extract a boot sector extraction tool such as:
  2. My drive was drive F:, so I ran bbie with the following syntax: (In Windows 7, I had to open the command prompt as administrator.)

    bbie.exe f:

  3. Copy the image1.bin to the directory where you copied your XP CD files.

You now have the boot sector extracted.

Step 3 – Building and Burning the CD

  1. You need burning software that will create a bootable XP CD. If you don’t have burning software, download and install, which is what I am going to use, but Nero and other burning applications can do this as well.
  2. Open your burning software and choose the option to create a new data disc.
  3. Name your new disk this: GRTMHOEM_EN
  4. From the CDBurnerXP menu, click on Disk | Boot options and configure your boot options as follows:
    Use the image1.bin file.
    Emulation Type = No Emulation (NT/2000/XP boot images)
    ISO Level = ISO9660:1999 (unrestricted)
    Load Segments = 7C0 (or 07C0, same thing)
    Loaded Sectors = 4
    Enable [Check] ISO version number extension
    Disable [Uncheck] Enforce level 1

  5. Now from the folder where your disk files were extracted, drag all the files to the new data disk.

    Yes, I did follow this guide, so you have to give credit where credit is due:

  6. Make sure you have a blank CD in the drive.
  7. Click Burn.
  8. Select Let me choose Advanced Settings.
  9. Choose Disk at once.
  10. Click Burn Disk.

You now have a working XP Home w/SP3 OEM CD.

Step 4 – Testing the CD

  1. Boot off the CD and run through the installer.
  2. Enter the OEM product key when prompted.
  3. If it works, you really have an OEM CD, if not you don’t.

I have to be honest, even though I knew the right settings I clicked one of them wrong the first time and made a coaster out of my CD. But I repeated my steps and the CD booted.

SWEET, MY OEM KEY WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!