Draft As Default

Published Date
13 - Mar - 2007
| Last Updated
13 - Mar - 2007
 
Draft As Default


Draft As Default
I do most of my printing at the Draft setting. But it's a bother to have to change it to that every time. Is there a way for the default print setting to be Draft instead of Normal?
Mahesh Wankhede
 
This is simple. Just open Printers and Faxes from the Control Panel. Select your default printer and choose "Set printer properties" or something like that. The exact steps will depend on what printer you have, but you need to land at Printing Preferences. Here's where you'll find the box where you always select Draft mode. Select it and click OK twice to close the settings dialog box. Draft is now the default!

Through The Looking Glass

The names of the icons on my desktop have a background colour. This destroys the appeal of my wallpaper! How can I get them to be transparent?
Ankit Patel

There is a sort of hidden setting in XP that controls whether the icon labels on the desktop have a drop-shadow with a transparent background or are text laid out on the system background colour. Here's what you need to do in order to make the icon labels transparent: right-click My Computer and choose Properties. Click the Advanced tab, and click the Settings button in the panel labelled Performance. Click the Visual Effects tab in the Performance dialog. Check the box titled "Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop". Click OK twice, and your wallpaper is beautiful again!

Cam-To-DVD?

I've been trying to convert analogue videotapes to digital format, as files on my computer, using my analogue 8mm video camera and a capture device. I'm using MyDVD; the video is fine, but there's no audio. What cable connections and software would I need to get the audio as well? I intend to convert the 8mm tapes to DVDs. Going straight from my camera to DVD would be even better!
Solomon Verghese

If all you want to do is convert tape to DVD, it's simpler than putting the video onto your PC and then converting. For example, you could use the Sony DVDirect VRDMC1. Plug your camcorder or VCR directly into DVDirect, which will burn a CD or DVD from the feed, including the audio. The device supports both analogue video and audio connections, as well as FireWire.

Don't Do The Math

Does a 64-bit processor require twice as much memory as a 32-bit processor because of the increased word length?
Anirudh Sathe

No! The amount of memory you can use is limited by the motherboard and/or the memory controller rather than the processor itself. One more thing that affects the amount of memory is the operating system. The 32-bit version of Windows XP can support a maximum of 4 GB of RAM with up to 2 GB of dedicated memory per process, whereas 64-bit operating systems can address up to 128 GB. In case it interests you, the benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit, span across all types of memory, including 16 TB of virtual memory vs. 4 GB, 1 TB of cache vs. 1 GB and support for a page file of up to 512 TB vs. 16 TB.

Die A Dodo's Death!

I have Windows XP on my computer. A certain program launches itself automatically. I am unable to stop it from running-even if I run the Task Manager and kill the program from there, it starts again all by itself. I can't even delete the .exe file-it re-spawns!
Mayank Rajawat

First, you need to stop the program from launching itself at startup. To do this, go to Start > Run, type "msconfig" and hit [Enter]. Click on the Startup tab, locate the program in the list, and uncheck the box to its left. Also note the path of the program from here. Click OK and restart Windows for the change to take effect.
To prevent the program from launching itself, you have to create a new "software restriction policy": go to Start > Run, type "Secpol.msc", and hit [Enter]. Right-click on Software Restriction Policies and select Create New Policy. Expand SRP, right-click on Addition Rules, and select "New Path Rule..." Enter the path of the menacing program and set the security level to Disallowed. Click OK. Program gone!

Alignment Angst

I recently replaced the ink cartridges on my HP PSC 950 MFD, and ever since, it won't copy. When I run the alignment routine from the printer's front panel, the alignment page prints, but without the checkmarks that indicate the printer passed the alignment tests. Then I get the message "Alignment Failed Please Try Again," which eventually changes to "Press Enter To Align Cartridges." I can still print from the PC, but I can't copy from the front panel.
Vilas Seth

You can run into a problem aligning print heads on almost any inkjet printer or MFD. Fortunately, the problem is usually with the paper or cartridges, not the printer itself. A quick fix is to first skip the alignment. With the PSC 950, you can do this by holding down [Enter] and pressing Setup. (You can find a list of equivalent combinations for other HP models at http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/ wc/genericDocument?cc=us&docname=bpu00657&lc=en&jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN (or http: //snipurl.com/qnadec1.) Then, check the paper. If there's anything printed on the page, or if it's any colour but white, or if its brightness level-which should be indicated on the package-isn't at least 85, you can't use it for alignment.

If the problem isn't the paper, it's almost certainly the cartridges, which could be low on ink (if you replaced only one cartridge), defective, suffering from clogged nozzles, or past their shelf life. HP cartridges include a use-by date on the box. The dates tend to be conservative, but if the deadline is long since past, the cartridge could be all but useless.
Run the cartridge-cleaning routine, and then try aligning the cartridges again. If the problem was with clogged nozzles, the cleaning routine might fix it. If it doesn't, try cleaning the cartridges and the contacts in the printer. HP gives a step-by-step explanation for how to do this at http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/ genericDocument?lc=en&cc=us&jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN&dlc=en&docname=bpu02176#bpu02176_doc (or http://snipurl.com/qnadec2).
Once you've cleaned the cartridges, try the alignment routine again. If it still fails, you might want to try a new set of cartridges. Or, you might want to bypass the alignment and use up the ink in the current cartridges before getting new ones.

A Picture Is Worth…

When I open any Web page in Internet Explorer, none of the pictures, ads or buttons are visible. All I get is an outline of where they would normally show, with three little shapes in the top-left corner of each box.
Manoj Rajput

This problem is almost always caused after installation of buggy software. To resolve the problem, go to Control Panel > Internet Options. Choose the Advanced tab. Scroll down to the Multimedia section. Check the Show Pictures box. Also check the Show Image Download Placeholders box. Click OK. IE should be fine now.

We Can Work It Out

I upgraded my Dell Dimension 8200 from Windows 2000 to XP Pro using Dell's Windows XP Pro Upgrade CD. Now, when I power it up, it makes a sound, and the following messages appear: "Invalid boot.INI file" and "booting from C:winntboot." Then it boots up. Occasionally it fails to boot, but on my second attempt, it has been booting up with the same error message. What's up?
Mani Iyer

The boot.ini file contains information the boot loader needs, including which drive Windows has been installed on. There is also a backup of the boot.ini file, which can be used by the OS in case of a crash. The boot.ini file is just a text file. Incorrectly editing boot.ini, though, can result in an inoperable PC, so we'll tell you the easier way to get rid of the error message. You'll need to have the original Windows CD. Boot from the CD and start the Recovery Console by pressing [R] when asked. If you have more than one OS-for example, if you're dual-booting Windows XP 32-bit and Windows XP 64-bit-you'll be asked which one you want to recover. Pick the one you want. Then you'll see something like a DOS prompt. Type in "bootcfg /rebuild".

When you enter this command, you receive a message that says:
The Windows installation scan was successful.
Note: These results are stored statically for this session. If the disk configuration changes during this session, in order to get an updated scan, you must first reboot the machine and then rescan the disks.
Total identified Windows installs: 2
[1]: C:WINXP
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All):
When you type [Y], and then press [Enter], you receive the following message:
Enter Load Identifier:
Type the description of the installation that you want displayed on the Startup menu. For example, type "Microsoft Windows XP Professional", and then press [Enter].
You will receive the following message:
Enter OS Load Options:
Type the operating system load options that you want. For example, type "/fastdetect", and then press [Enter]. Then you can type "/exit" and the PC will restart.
More detail on this can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184/en-us, or http://snipurl.com/qnadec3.

Getting Under The Hood

I need to change the boot device priority in the BIOS, but my computer assembler has set a password and I am unable to contact him. What can I do?
Ritesh Pendse

If you need to get into a PC's BIOS setup that has been password-protected, you will either need to crack the password, or you will need to reset the BIOS.
Most motherboards come with a spare 2-pin jumper installed in the Off position on some connector pins on the board. Most motherboards also have "Clear CMOS" pins. If you can find a spare jumper, and your motherboard has "Clear CMOS" pins (you can verify this by either checking the manual, or by looking directly at the motherboard next to the CMOS battery), you can reset the BIOS by taking the following steps: shut down the PC and turn it off. Remove all power cables, and take the case off. Place the jumper over the two Clear CMOS pins. Plug the power cables back into the PC (still leaving the case off), turn the PC on and wait for 30 to 60 seconds (most likely nothing will switch on). Shut down the PC and remove the power cables again. Take the Clear CMOS jumper off the pins. Put the case back on the PC and plug the cables back in. Turn the PC on and you should be able to get into the BIOS.

If the CMOS battery goes dead, you lose some or all the BIOS settings and you have to install a new battery and reconfigure the BIOS. In a similar manner, often, if you remove the battery from the motherboard and leave it out for a while, this will reset the BIOS to its default state and thus enable you to get into it as a result of the BIOS password having been reset to nothing. Shut the PC down and turn it off. Remove all power cables and take the case off. Take the CMOS battery out of the battery chassis. Wait for at least two minutes and put the battery back. You should now be able to get into the BIOS.
And here's a third method! BIOS passwords are stored with very rudimentary encryption and are, as a result, very easily decryptable. As a starting point, go to www.atwdownloads.com, and download CMOS Password v4.6.
This nifty little utility will successfully retrieve most BIOS passwords!

Fontify Your Handwriting

Turn your scribbles into readable art!


Jayesh Limaye
Fonts may just seem a fancy at first, but when you think about it, we've all seen the impact a good font can make (and the negative impact a bad one can). Do you think you have good handwriting? If you do-or even if you don't-how cool is the idea of creating a font from it?
This can be easily achieved. Apart from Windows XP, you'll need a dark marker pen, a printer and a scanner, an image editing software, and High-Logic FontCreator from www.high-logic.com/fcp.html. This is a fully-functional 30-day demo. Armed with the above, we begin by...

Creating the template
for the handwritten
character set
For this, you need a piece of paper. Draw small boxes-about 2 centimetres tall by 1.5 centimetres wide on it. These will serve as the bounding boxes in which you can write. Bounding boxes are necessary because they help you to keep check on the size and consistency of the font. Use a sketch pen or a marker pen. Make sure you draw the characters well inside the boxes. The cells, as shown, should have three little openings on the left and right at the 0.8 cm, 1.3 cm and 1.7 cm along the height from the bottom. These will serve as the guidelines for the upper-case-height (U), middle-height (M), and the baseline (B). Create such templates for all the letters.
In addition to the alphabet, you should also create such templates for additional characters and symbols. Once you are done creating samples of your handwriting, scan the template as a greyscale bitmap at 600 dpi. Make sure you save the file in the JPEG or bitmap format with no compression.

Create a new font
Start FontCreator and go to File > New. Type in a name for the font in the "Font family name" field, and leave the default settings for Character set and Font style. Click OK. The Glyph Overview window will open-this is a grid with sample characters. Double-click on the cell with capital "A" to bring up the Glyph Edit window. Now, go to Tools > Import Image. On the Image page, set Smooth Filter to Super. Sharp corners will now be rounded; if you do not want it that way, use Smooth. On the Glyph page, select the Image radio button under Bounding. Under Position, select the middle radio button in the bottom row and enter 500 for the X position and -750 for Y. Then set the Size Multiplier to 6.00. Then, check the Default box and press Cancel. (The import operation will be cancelled, but the settings are saved for future use.)

Select the image file for upper-case "A"
Without closing FontCreator, start your image processing software and load the scanned image with your character set. Zoom in as much as you can, select "A", and copy it to the clipboard.

Import the outlines for upper-case "A"
Paste the image into the Glyph Edit window of FontCreator. The top of the outline should be near 1400 units, and the bottom should be on the red horizontal line (also known as the "baseline"). Also make sure the left side is close to the red vertical line. Adjust the size and placement of the contours by selecting all contours and using the mouse or the arrow keys. Drag the corner handle with the [Shift] key pressed to resize it proportionally. You can also drag the vertical dashed lines to their desired position and change the left and right side bearings. Position the glyph between these lines to avoid overlapping of the characters. The left side bearing should be near the red vertical line, and the right side bearing should be placed immediately after the outlines. Close the Glyph Edit window. Save the font file as a .ttf.

Finishing Up
Repeat the procedure for the remaining characters. After all the characters have been imported, you can remove the incomplete glyphs from the font: go to Edit > Select Incomplete and then Edit > Delete. Save your font, then install it.
jayesh_limaye@thinkdigit.com

Out Of The Blue
My laptop keeps restarting randomly. What could be the problem?
Bikram Rathod

There could be many problems that can cause your laptop to restart automatically and randomly. Here are a few common problems.

Faulty battery: Most spontaneous shutdown and restarting problems on laptops are due to a faulty battery. Laptop batteries are like mobile phone batteries-they do not last forever. A heavily-used laptop, where it is often running only on battery power, will use up its battery at any stage between the first and second year of use. What is not very well known is that even if you always use your laptop from the mains rather than on battery, a faulty battery will still adversely affect your laptop's operation, from unwanted shutdowns to spontaneous restarts or freezes. Take the battery out, plug the laptop directly into the power mains, and see if you still experience spontaneous shutdowns or reboots.

Faulty power adaptor: This is not a common occurrence, but power adaptors do go faulty-either through lack of care or through wear and tear. With the battery out of the laptop, if you have a spare power adaptor from an identical laptop, see if replacing it solves the problem. Otherwise, try wiggling the cord that leads from the adaptor to the laptop and see if that stabilises the problem-if it does, then the power adaptor needs replacing.

Problem with mains power: Is the switching off or restarting happening anywhere, or only in a particular place or room?
 
Faulty internal cooling fan: Most laptops have one or more internal cooling fans-it is those fans which produce the quiet whirring noise you can hear when you turn your laptop on. If any of these fans stops working, the laptop may overheat and, if it does, it will automatically shut down to prevent total damage. Observe whether your laptop shuts down after near enough the same amount of time every time (with the same amount of activity while it is on-and allowing the laptop to cool down between experiments). If it does, then it is quite probable that it is shutting down because of overheating. Feel the underside of the laptop with your hand-most often, it is possible to tell that the laptop is abnormally hot. If your laptop is indeed shutting down because of lack of cooling, you need to take it to the repair store.

Draft As Default
I do most of my printing at the Draft setting. But it's a bother to have to change it to that every time. Is there a way for the default print setting to be Draft instead of Normal?
Mahesh Wankhede
 
This is simple. Just open Printers and Faxes from the Control Panel. Select your default printer and choose "Set printer properties" or something like that. The exact steps will depend on what printer you have, but you need to land at Printing Preferences. Here's where you'll find the box where you always select Draft mode. Select it and click OK twice to close the settings dialog box. Draft is now the default!

Through The Looking Glass

The names of the icons on my desktop have a background colour. This destroys the appeal of my wallpaper! How can I get them to be transparent?
Ankit Patel

There is a sort of hidden setting in XP that controls whether the icon labels on the desktop have a drop-shadow with a transparent background or are text laid out on the system background colour. Here's what you need to do in order to make the icon labels transparent: right-click My Computer and choose Properties. Click the Advanced tab, and click the Settings button in the panel labelled Performance. Click the Visual Effects tab in the Performance dialog. Check the box titled "Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop". Click OK twice, and your wallpaper is beautiful again!

Cam-To-DVD?

I've been trying to convert analogue videotapes to digital format, as files on my computer, using my analogue 8mm video camera and a capture device. I'm using MyDVD; the video is fine, but there's no audio. What cable connections and software would I need to get the audio as well? I intend to convert the 8mm tapes to DVDs. Going straight from my camera to DVD would be even better!
Solomon Verghese

If all you want to do is convert tape to DVD, it's simpler than putting the video onto your PC and then converting. For example, you could use the Sony DVDirect VRDMC1. Plug your camcorder or VCR directly into DVDirect, which will burn a CD or DVD from the feed, including the audio. The device supports both analogue video and audio connections, as well as FireWire.

Don't Do The Math

Does a 64-bit processor require twice as much memory as a 32-bit processor because of the increased word length?
Anirudh Sathe

No! The amount of memory you can use is limited by the motherboard and/or the memory controller rather than the processor itself. One more thing that affects the amount of memory is the operating system. The 32-bit version of Windows XP can support a maximum of 4 GB of RAM with up to 2 GB of dedicated memory per process, whereas 64-bit operating systems can address up to 128 GB. In case it interests you, the benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit, span across all types of memory, including 16 TB of virtual memory vs. 4 GB, 1 TB of cache vs. 1 GB and support for a page file of up to 512 TB vs. 16 TB.

Die A Dodo's Death!

I have Windows XP on my computer. A certain program launches itself automatically. I am unable to stop it from running-even if I run the Task Manager and kill the program from there, it starts again all by itself. I can't even delete the .exe file-it re-spawns!
Mayank Rajawat

First, you need to stop the program from launching itself at startup. To do this, go to Start > Run, type "msconfig" and hit [Enter]. Click on the Startup tab, locate the program in the list, and uncheck the box to its left. Also note the path of the program from here. Click OK and restart Windows for the change to take effect.

To prevent the program from launching itself, you have to create a new "software restriction policy": go to Start > Run, type "Secpol.msc", and hit [Enter]. Right-click on Software Restriction Policies and select Create New Policy. Expand SRP, right-click on Addition Rules, and select "New Path Rule..." Enter the path of the menacing program and set the security level to Disallowed. Click OK. Program gone!

Alignment Angst

I recently replaced the ink cartridges on my HP PSC 950 MFD, and ever since, it won't copy. When I run the alignment routine from the printer's front panel, the alignment page prints, but without the checkmarks that indicate the printer passed the alignment tests. Then I get the message "Alignment Failed Please Try Again," which eventually changes to "Press Enter To Align Cartridges." I can still print from the PC, but I can't copy from the front panel.
Vilas Seth

You can run into a problem aligning print heads on almost any inkjet printer or MFD. Fortunately, the problem is usually with the paper or cartridges, not the printer itself. A quick fix is to first skip the alignment. With the PSC 950, you can do this by holding down [Enter] and pressing Setup. (You can find a list of equivalent combinations for other HP models at http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/ wc/genericDocument?cc=us&docname=bpu00657&lc=en&jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN (or http: //snipurl.com/qnadec1.) Then, check the paper. If there's anything printed on the page, or if it's any colour but white, or if its brightness level-which should be indicated on the package-isn't at least 85, you can't use it for alignment.

If the problem isn't the paper, it's almost certainly the cartridges, which could be low on ink (if you replaced only one cartridge), defective, suffering from clogged nozzles, or past their shelf life. HP cartridges include a use-by date on the box. The dates tend to be conservative, but if the deadline is long since past, the cartridge could be all but useless.

Run the cartridge-cleaning routine, and then try aligning the cartridges again. If the problem was with clogged nozzles, the cleaning routine might fix it. If it doesn't, try cleaning the cartridges and the contacts in the printer. HP gives a step-by-step explanation for how to do this at http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/ genericDocument?lc=en&cc=us&jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN&dlc=en&docname=bpu02176#bpu02176_doc (or http://snipurl.com/qnadec2).
Once you've cleaned the cartridges, try the alignment routine again. If it still fails, you might want to try a new set of cartridges. Or, you might want to bypass the alignment and use up the ink in the current cartridges before getting new ones.

A Picture Is Worth…

When I open any Web page in Internet Explorer, none of the pictures, ads or buttons are visible. All I get is an outline of where they would normally show, with three little shapes in the top-left corner of each box.
Manoj Rajput

This problem is almost always caused after installation of buggy software. To resolve the problem, go to Control Panel > Internet Options. Choose the Advanced tab. Scroll down to the Multimedia section. Check the Show Pictures box. Also check the Show Image Download Placeholders box. Click OK. IE should be fine now.

We Can Work It Out

I upgraded my Dell Dimension 8200 from Windows 2000 to XP Pro using Dell's Windows XP Pro Upgrade CD. Now, when I power it up, it makes a sound, and the following messages appear: "Invalid boot.INI file" and "booting from C:winntboot." Then it boots up. Occasionally it fails to boot, but on my second attempt, it has been booting up with the same error message. What's up?
Mani Iyer

The boot.ini file contains information the boot loader needs, including which drive Windows has been installed on. There is also a backup of the boot.ini file, which can be used by the OS in case of a crash. The boot.ini file is just a text file. Incorrectly editing boot.ini, though, can result in an inoperable PC, so we'll tell you the easier way to get rid of the error message. You'll need to have the original Windows CD. Boot from the CD and start the Recovery Console by pressing [R] when asked. If you have more than one OS-for example, if you're dual-booting Windows XP 32-bit and Windows XP 64-bit-you'll be asked which one you want to recover. Pick the one you want. Then you'll see something like a DOS prompt. Type in "bootcfg /rebuild".
When you enter this command, you receive a message that says:
The Windows installation scan was successful.

Note: These results are stored statically for this session. If the disk configuration changes during this session, in order to get an updated scan, you must first reboot the machine and then rescan the disks.
Total identified Windows installs: 2
[1]: C:WINXP
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All):
When you type [Y], and then press [Enter], you receive the following message:
Enter Load Identifier:
Type the description of the installation that you want displayed on the Startup menu. For example, type "Microsoft Windows XP Professional", and then press [Enter].
You will receive the following message:
Enter OS Load Options:
Type the operating system load options that you want. For example, type "/fastdetect", and then press [Enter]. Then you can type "/exit" and the PC will restart.
More detail on this can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184/en-us, or http://snipurl.com/qnadec3.

Getting Under The Hood

I need to change the boot device priority in the BIOS, but my computer assembler has set a password and I am unable to contact him. What can I do?
Ritesh Pendse

If you need to get into a PC's BIOS setup that has been password-protected, you will either need to crack the password, or you will need to reset the BIOS.
Most motherboards come with a spare 2-pin jumper installed in the Off position on some connector pins on the board. Most motherboards also have "Clear CMOS" pins. If you can find a spare jumper, and your motherboard has "Clear CMOS" pins (you can verify this by either checking the manual, or by looking directly at the motherboard next to the CMOS battery), you can reset the BIOS by taking the following steps: shut down the PC and turn it off. Remove all power cables, and take the case off. Place the jumper over the two Clear CMOS pins. Plug the power cables back into the PC (still leaving the case off), turn the PC on and wait for 30 to 60 seconds (most likely nothing will switch on). Shut down the PC and remove the power cables again. Take the Clear CMOS jumper off the pins. Put the case back on the PC and plug the cables back in. Turn the PC on and you should be able to get into the BIOS.

If the CMOS battery goes dead, you lose some or all the BIOS settings and you have to install a new battery and reconfigure the BIOS. In a similar manner, often, if you remove the battery from the motherboard and leave it out for a while, this will reset the BIOS to its default state and thus enable you to get into it as a result of the BIOS password having been reset to nothing. Shut the PC down and turn it off. Remove all power cables and take the case off. Take the CMOS battery out of the battery chassis. Wait for at least two minutes and put the battery back. You should now be able to get into the BIOS.
And here's a third method! BIOS passwords are stored with very rudimentary encryption and are, as a result, very easily decryptable. As a starting point, go to www.atwdownloads.com, and download CMOS Password v4.6.
This nifty little utility will successfully retrieve most BIOS passwords!


Team DigitTeam Digit

All of us are better than one of us.