Sunday, September 26, 2010

Using MSconfig for Selective Startup in Your Windows

One of the key reasons why your windows is running extremely slow is because you load too many programs during your windows startup that you may not aware at all. MSconfig or System Configuration tool is the most useful software that comes together with windows that allows you to choose what startup programs that you would like to run.

Steps to Run System Configuration Tool

(1) Click “Start” and key in the “msconfig” to run program directly or go to “Start” –> “Control Panel” –> “System and Maitenance” –> “Administrative Tools” –>  “System Configuration”. You will see the following screen:

(2) Click on the ‘Services” tab and disable the services that you do not like to run in your PC. You need to look at each services and understand the purpose of this services. You can “Google them” to find out more about their purpuse to run at the background. For myself, I list down some examples of services that I disable:
  • AVG Free E-mail Scanner (Since I don’t use external email programs 
  • AMD External Events Utility (For Hotkeys which is not necessary)
Note: This is the advanced usage. Please make sure you restart your PC to make sure you don’t screw up everything. If really so, load the windows in safe mode and enable back the services. 

(3) Click on the “Startup” tab and disable the startup programs that you do not like to run. Again, you need to look at each start up programs and decide whether you really still need them in startup. This is some examples of the startup programs that I disable:
  • Adobe Reader and Acrobat Manager (it is usually no needed – same to MS office startup programs that usually is useless to put them into the startup) 
  • Adobe Acrobat (Same with the reason above - it usually loads in startup for loading the application faster later on) 
  • Dell Support Center Updates, Google Update, Java Platform SE Auto Updater (any auto update programs that you think are not needed) 
  • Catalyst Control Center (graphic configuration that I think I can load it manually if I want to)
  • GoogleToolbarNotifier (a program that run all the time to make sure you Google is always your default search engine which is not needed at all) 
  • Synaptics Pointing Device Driver (It is my touch pad driver and I don’t feel any different if I disable it)
Note: Of course you will find more startup programs to disable but please make sure you restart your PC to make sure you don’t screw up everything. If really so, load the windows in safe mode and enable back the startup programs.

P/S: By the way this is the advance usage to selective disable the services and startup programs. The simple way before you start doing this is, you should uninstall any unnecessary programs in your system. For example, your laptop which comes together with those trail version of application or pre-install useless application from the vendor (e.g. Dell) and if you don’t need them, you should uninstall all of them. Good luck!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Best Way to Convert Word Document To PDF – OpenOffice

There are a lot of of freeware out there to convert your existing MS Word document to Adobe PDF but I found that the easiest way is to use the OpenOffice. What you need to do is to open the MS Word with the OpenOffice Writer tool and export it to PDF. That’s it!

Steps to Export to PDF

(1) Open Your MS Word document with OpenOffice Writer
(2) Go to “File” -> “Export as PDF…” You will see the following screen:

(3) You can play around with plenty of options here or just let it be the default option.
(4) Click “Export” button to generate the PDF.

Useful Export PDF Options

Wait a minute! There are few things that I think that might be useful to you.
  • Export Note: This is especially useful if you want to retain the notes in your slides
  • Set Permission Password: This is probably the key reason why people wants to convert their document to PDF. Yes, security! You don’t want people can simply copy your content. Here is the place you set the security in the “Security Tab” while you’re exporting your document to PDF. 
Note: Set Open Password is used to encrypt your PDF so it can't be open at all. I don't think this is something common people will usually do.

Steps to Setup the Permission

(1) Click on “Security” tab in the PDF Options while you’re exporting your document to PDF
(2) Click on “Set permission password”. Follow the on-screen instruction to set the password.
(3) After that, you will see the screen below. Of course the highest level of security is to:
  • Set “Not Permitted” in the changes options - NOT allow to made changes.
  • Uncheck/unselect “Enable copying of content” - NOT allow to copy.
  • Uncheck/unselect “Enable text access for accessibility tool” - NOT really sure what this is but it seems like same with above (which is not allow you to copy).

P/S: Hope this is useful to you especially the security feature. I have tried it myself and it is pretty simple. Oh yes, this is completely FREE too. You can download OpenOffice here. Have fun!

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