Replace Notepad with Editpad (or another editor)

Problem: 

I use Editpad in Windows and in spite of changing the default editor setting from Notepad to Editpad a lot of programs still open up in Notepad.

Solution:

Make changes to the following folders:

  • C:\Windpows
  • C:\Windows\System32
  • C:\Windows\SysWOW64 (for 64-bit version)

Step-by-step process:

  1. Create a backup of Notepad.exe
  2. Take control of Notepad.exe (From TrustedInstaller to Administrator)
    • Right click Notepad.exe and select propertiesnotepad1
    • Click the Security Tab -> Advanced button -> Owner Tab -> Edit button
      notepad2

    • Change owner to Administrators and click ok (Accept any prompts and come back to the properties window)
      notepad3
    • Click Edit and grant Administrators full control of the filenotepad4

    • Now, you should be able to delete notepad.exe
  3. Copy your Editpad executable (Or other favorite editor EXE) as Notepad.exe into the above folders
  4. Repeat the process for other two folders
  5. Test your setup by typing notepad in DOS

Creating aliases in DOS/Command Prompt

Problem:

One of the features I wish for in the Command Prompt launched in Windows is the ability to create aliases. However, there is a way to accomplish the same.

Solution:

  1. You can create aliases in the Command Prompt by typing doskey {ALIAS}={VALUE}
    [For Example: doskey d=dir]
  2. Launch notepad and type some aliases. Note that $1 represents an argument. You can specify arguments from $1 to $9. For more info, check out the doskey documentation.
    doskey cd=cd /D $1
    doskey d=dir
    doskey mv=move
    doskey rm=del

  3. Save the file as C:\aliases.bat

  4. Create a shortcut on your desktop to cmd.exe (found in the system32 directory)

  5. Go to the Shortcut Properties -> Shortcut tab -> Target section
  6. Append /K C:\aliases.bat to the existing value

    Properties window for Shortcut to Command Prompt

    Properties window for Shortcut to Command Prompt

  7. Click OK to save the changes
  8. Double click the shortcut on the desktop and launch a new command window
  9. Try out some of your aliases (Example: d for dir)
     
Note: To accomplish the same functionality in a DOS window during boot time, modify the autoexec.bat file.

Run command optimized

In Windows 7 the run command is integrated with the search option. However, if you’ve disabled the search option in the Start Menu there are other ways to access it more efficiently.

1. The traditional shortcut to Run is still available in the Programs->Accessories->Run. You can go to that location and copy it to the start menu. Now you can click Start->Run and enter your command.

2. An efficient option that I use is the Hot Key (<Windows>+ R) to launch the Run Command window.

3. You can further optimize your productivity by adding the Address Bar to your Taskbar if you don’t prefer Hot Keys.

You can do this by:

  1. Right-clicking the task bar
  2. Go to Toolbar->Address
  3. Ensure that it is checked. If not, check it.
  4. You will then see an address bar like the one in Internet Explorer on your Taskbar.

This option is a good substitute for the Run Command, Internet explorer address bar as well as the Windows Explorer address bar. You can even use <Ctrl>+Enter to automatically complete the extension for websites. Eg: Enter Bing and press +Enter to launch your default browser with http://www.bing.com

Show Windows Live Messenger Icon in Tray on Windows 7

Problem:

Windows Live Messenger on Windows 7 shows up in the Taskbar when you close or minimize the window. Here is a solution to show it in the System Tray instead.

Solution:

  1. Go to the Windows Live Messenger shortcut (on your desktop or start menu) and right-click and show properties
  2. Click on the Compatibility tab and select the option to run it in Windows Vista compatibility mode.
  3. If the icon is hidden in the system tray, you need to customize the Icons to show Windows Live Messenger

Speed up the Start Menu

Problem:

Most people use the start menu to navigate through various functions and applications in the system. However, the menu item’s are displayed with a delay of 400ms usually. You can reduce this delay. It is one of the simplest tweaks you can make to improve your experience in Windows.

Solution:

In the Registry Editor:

1. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\desktop

2. Add a string value named MenuShowDelay if it doesn’t exist

3. Set it’s value with a smaller number (usually I would set it to 0), with a value specifying the number of miliseconds (400 is default, smaller numbers are faster).

4. Restart your machine

Screenshot:

How to change the firefox address bar searching to Bing?

Problem:Typing a keyword in the Firefox address bar goes to Google.

Solution:By default in Firefox you can type one or more keywords in the address bar. Firefox recognizes that it is not an URL and uses I’m Lucky search with Google search engine for version < 2; it uses Google search by name for Firefox version 2 and above. Here is how you can change it to the amazing new search engine from Microsoft called Bing!

1. Type about:config in the address bar and press Enter.

2. Type keyword.URL in filter and double-click on the displayed line. You will note that the default value is something like:

http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=

3. Change it to the following string: http://www.bing.com/search?q=

5. Hit OK and close the browser tab.

You are done. Now you can use Bing to search using your address bar, instead of BOOgle!!

ERROR: While executing gem … (Zlib::BufError)

Problem:

Recently I was trying to update the rails gem (to rails 2.2 specifically). However, it threw an error everytime: ERROR: While executing gem … (Zlib::BufError).

Solution:

I’ve figured that the solution is to
1. gem update –system
2. gem install update_rubygems
3. update_rubygems