0Serial Key LogoReplacing an invalid Win XP key with a genuine key

If you’ve ever been asked to fix a PC and have subsequently discovered it has a non-genuine or inappropriate Windows XP key installed, and you wish to update the key with a legitimate key, for example when a second hand laptop has been installed with a corporate key and needs updating with the OEM key from the sticker still attached to it, you may have run into problems switching between OEM, Volume and Retail versions of windows.
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0Freesat HD LogoExtra Freesat channels

Update: ITV-HD has changed. See this newer article

It seems that Windows Media Center 7 doesn’t find all the channels that are FTA on the main UK Satellite group, the Astra 2D group at 28.2º East. I imagine many Freesat boxes wont either. Here are the frequencies for a few fully Free-To-Air English language channels available on this satellite cluster…
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0Microsoft Security Essentials LogoFree Anti-Virus from Microsoft

Microsoft have released (a few weeks ago) a free Beta of their new Anti-Virus / Security product Microsoft Security Essentials. Unfortunately as a UK resident when I visit the official Microsoft page I am told “This beta is available only to customers in the United States, Israel, China and Brazil”. A quick google search quickly turns up a download link on SoftPedia which works. There are downloads of x86 and x64 versions of Security Essentials for Windows XP, Vista and 7

0AMD Radeon Graphics LogoInstalling Mobility Radeon drivers from ATi

Update: Catalyst Mobility drivers are now available for many cards from ATi. (as of Catalyst version 10.3)

It seems to be very difficult to obtain reasonably up-to-date drivers for the ATi graphics chips in many laptops. This is because the OEMs have asked ATi not to provide generic drivers direct to the end user, ostensibly to reduce support requests from users with drivers not tested by the OEM’s. This seems perfectly reasonable, but the sad fact is most OEM’s only update the drivers for a new laptop model a few times and soon abandon it as they concentrate on the next generation release. For those people trying to update their drivers to address a problem or to gain access to new features there are no clear options. Fortunately there are ways around this problem.
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0PC Hardware CPU RAM UpgradeDon’t use too much TIM!

A quick note of warning about applying Thermal Grease / Heatsink Compound to CPU’s. Don’t use loads! Not only will it not work very effectively, if you really go overboard it can leak over the sides of the cpu and get underneath as it has in the image. This CPU (A pentium 4) was given to me as “I think its broken”.
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0PC Hardware CPU RAM UpgradeOld K7S6A motherboard Mod

OK, so this tip wont prove useful to many people, but as the original site seems to have disappeared I’m posting it to keep it alive.

If you have an Elite Group (ECS) K7S6A motherboard for AMD Socket A and you want to upgrade to a “Thoroughbred” Athlon XP Processor it is possible by removing a single small component from the motherboard.
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0Freesat HD LogoGet free-to-air HD Satellite TV for under £100

I recently got fed up with my poor TV reception and inability to get BBC via Freeview and decided to investigate Freesat. Looking at the high street the best deals I could find were £70 for a viewer box + £80 for installation (a total of £150). For recording facilities this rises steeply to over £300 for the box + installation. This looks to me a bit like an early-adopters-tax so I decided to search for alternatives. The outcome of my research was that it is easy and relatively cheap to obtain and install all the necessary equipment to set up Freesat on a PC. As it happens I actually already had a media PC so this solution was ideal for me.

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0Internet Explorer 9 LogoUnattended IE7 & IE8 during Windows XP setup

Over the years I’ve created quite a few unattended Windows installation disks. One of the toughest problems to solve has been how to install Internet Explorer 7 (and now 8 ) during setup without causing post-setup problems. The problem is caused by the way the installation routine creates files in the dllcache which get over-written by windows setup.
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0Internet Explorer 9 LogoHow to launch HTML based programs fullscreen

I was asked recently if I could copy a teaching resource from a CD-ROM onto a laptop computer. This particular program is mostly HTML with some embedded videos. There were 2 problems with running it from a local shortcut.
1. Internet Explorer security warnings
2. The full-screen window is launched by a parent browser window which then sits on top of the full screen window and has to be closed when the full screen window is exited
Both of these are only annoyances rather than critical failures, but a complete solution involves fixing these kind of things. Finding a solution was a little tricky, but once the solution presented itself it was very simple.

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