0NoScript logoImprove your browsing security without crippling lots of sites

I always recom­mend that people install an altern­at­ive browser to Inter­net Explorer. Per­son­ally I prefer Fire­fox to the oth­er altern­at­ives (Chrome, Opera, Safari) as I find the huge num­ber of addons on offer give it an unas­sail­able advant­age. I’ve recently exper­i­mented with the NoScript addon, which enhances secur­ity by block­ing act­ive objects and scripts unless expli­citly approved. How­ever I found that I was forever hav­ing to grant per­mis­sion to every site I vis­ited for it to work cor­rectly.
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2Haali Matroska logoUninstall Haali Media Splitter x64

There is a beta (or maybe its Alpha) installer for Haali Media Split­ter x64 out and about (for links to the installer see my pre­vi­ous post on win­dows 7 x64 codecs). Sadly the unin­stall seems to be broken, which can cause hav­oc when try­ing to dia­gnose codec issues. To remove Haali com­pletely you need to unre­gister the fol­low­ing files manu­ally using regsvr32 /u filename (from a com­mand prompt run as admin­is­trat­or)
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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 Élite 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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