“Copy To Folder” & “Move To Folder”

In Windows XP SP2, if you select a bunch of file or folder, you will get "Copy to a Folder" and "Move to a Folder" link in Action pane (on the left). It is very useful feature. Without it, copying or moving files/folders are little tedious (like copy the files and paste it on desired location).

What were they thinking? That great feature was removed and hidden for no reason. Fear no more. Here is how you can find that feature in Vista.

1. Select a file(s) or folder(s)

2. Click ALT-E to open the Edit menu

3. Select "Copy To Folder" or "Move to Folder"

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4. Select a destination folder and click Copy button or Move button.

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Some people prefers to have these commands in right click menu. I mean when you right click on a selected file(s), you can select "Copy To older" or "Move To Folder" command.

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If you really really wants to have it in right-click menu, you need to edit the registry.  Follow the steps below,

1. Open the Notepad program

2. Copy and paste the following registry text in to the Notepad

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{C2FBB631-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}]

3. Save as "COPYandMOVE.reg" (REMEMBER: When you specify the file name in Notepad (File –> Save) window, you HAVE to type the file with Double Quotes, otherwise it will save with .txt extention)

4. Right click the saved COPYandMOVE.reg file and select "Merge". Follow the administrative warning dialog boxes to add the new registry keys.

5. After you added the registry, you will get "Copy To Folder" and "Move To Folder" menu items when you right click on selected file(s) or folder(s).

Get File/Folder Location path to the clipboard

Time to time, you may want to get the full path of a file or folder location for documentation or email others.

It’s easy in Vista. Here is how.

1. Open the Explorer and go to the desired folder

2. Click SHIFT and right click on a file or folder

3. Select Copy as Path

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4. Now the file or folder location (full path) is in clipboard. You can paste it (Control-V) anywhere you want.

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Do you know what processes running on your Vista and XP machine?

When your machine is running slow, first thing you should do is check the Task Manager.  To invoke the task manager,

– Click Control-Alt-Del.

In XP Home system, it will automatically opens the Task Manager.

In XP Pro system, select "Task Manager" in Control-
Alt-Del Screen.

In Vista Machines, select "Start Task Manager" in control-Alt-Del screen.

– OR Right-Click on the task bar and select "Task Manager"

Check which process is taking more CPU time in percentage.  Now the real issue is, what do you know about the processes listed in Task Manager. Some times its really hard to identify which process is related to which application on the machine. Or which process is real system/OS related process.

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I usually do a hard disk search to find the Process name to see any application under Program Files show up.

Here is the great TIP for you. Head over to http://www.processlibrary.com and search your unknown process that takes too much processor time or memory.

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Outlook Contacts with Photos

If you use Outlook 2003 and up on your computer, you can add photos for each contact you created in Outlook Contacts folder. Let me explain why do you want to add the photos to the contacts,

1. If you open the mail from one of your contacts, the mails shows up with the photo. Even better, if you sync your Windows Mobile phone with Outlook or Microsoft Exchange server, the contact photo show up everywhere like in mail, contacts, calls.

In Outlook mail:

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In Windows Mobile (Reading Mail):

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In Windows Mobile, Contacts show up like this,

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If someone calls from your contact list, their photo will up along with Caller-Id on your Windows Mobile phone.

To add the photo in Outlook Contacts, Open the Contact and click on the picture frame and add a photo. I know most of us don’t have a photo for everyone in the Contacts list. You can search for "Avatar" in Internet and find some cool Avatars for your contacts.

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Play PLS stream files in Windows Media Player (no need to install Winamp)

Winamp is a really very nice clean software. No Arguments there. But, I don’t want to install it on my business laptop. I want to here all shoutcast streams and other radio stations in my Windows Media Player. So I made a little script myself (and I blogged it HERE).

Follow the steps to play PLS file in Windows Media Player:

1. Copy and Paste the following script into Notepad and save it as "PlayPLS.VBS". NOTE: While saving the script from Notepad, You NEED to type the vbscriptname.vbs in QUTOES. e.g., "PlayPLS.vbs". Otherwise it will save as PlayPLS.vbs.txt

‘*****************************************************************************
‘*****************************************************************************
‘*********                       PlayPLS.vbs                        **********
‘********* Parameters: PLS file name                                **********
‘*********                                                          **********
‘********* This script plays .PLS files in Windows Media Player     **********
‘*********                                                          **********
‘********* Usage: PlayPLS.vbs Sample.PLS                            **********
‘*********                                                          **********
‘********* Written By: Anand Venkatachalapathy                      **********
‘*****************************************************************************
‘*****************************************************************************

Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set oArg = WScript.Arguments
Const ForReading = 1, ForWriting = 2, ForAppending = 8
Dim fso, f
Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

If oArg.Count = 0 Then
    WshShell.Popup "Invalid Arguments…Please provide the PLS file name.", _
7, "Play PLS in WMP",0
    WScript.Quit
End If

sPLSFileName = oArg(0)
Set f = fso.OpenTextFile(sPLSFileName, ForReading)

Do While NOT f.AtEndOfStream
    sText =  f.ReadLine
    If InStr(UCase(sText),"FILE") > 0 Then
        sURLText =  Split(sText,"=")
        sURL = """" & sURLText(1) & """"
        sCmd = "WMPlayer " & sURL
        WshShell.Run sCmd
        Exit Do
    End If
Loop

f.close
Set fso = Nothing
Set oArg = Nothing
Set WshShell = Nothing

2. Copy and Paste the following text into Notepad and save it as PlayPLS.cmd. NOTE: Use the "double quotes" when saving the name in Notepad.

C:\PathOfTheFolder\PlayPLS.vbs %1

3. Open your favorite radio station (mine is http://www.shoutcast.com), right click on PLS file link (or PLAY button) and save it on your desktop.

4. Open the file properties of PLS file (by right clicking on the PLS on the desktop and select properties), Click "Change" button next to the "Opens With:" text. Select the PlayPLS.cmd file by browsing to the corresponding folder and select the cmd file.

5. You are done. Go to your favorite radio web site again and click on "Play" Link. See it open in Windows Media Player.

Don’t install too many “Media Players” like Real, Winamp, etc.,

To play many different format media files, I see my friends using different media players like Winamp, Real (the worst), QuickTime (even worst, it bundled with iTunes) and others. These software puts some start-up programs which runs at start-up and stay in notification area forever. ITunes is needed if you own iPod, otherwise it’s a waste. If you actually see how many times you use those software and features, not much.

These programs sitting in memory, takes some processor time and it even phones back to home (collecting data).

There is one open-source software that plays *most* of the media files including DVDs. It’s MPlayer. You can get it from HERE or click on the picture below. I like the one program (that’s even only one 8 MB executable file) concept and it’s handles all.

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Internet Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

If you start using the keyboard shortcuts, you feel like doing things faster. Instead of few mouse moving and clicks, you can accomblish the taks in single keyboard shortcut.

To find what shortcuts available in Internet Explorer in Vista, Press F1 and go to the bottom the help page click the link “Internet Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts” under “See Also”.

You can also get it from Microsoft website by here: Internet Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

I would recommend to download the PDF (HERE), print and post it in front of you for easy look up.

Happy browsing

Volume Mixer in Windows Vista

Vista is first OS that gets very customizable Volume Mixer for running programs.  To see it in action,

1. Click the Volume button and select the Mixer Link in the imageNotification Area in Task bar

2. Volume Mixer window will open up and show the running applications and it’s volume level. You can change the settings just the way you want.

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How cool is that? My radio broadcast is set to low, but my messenger alerts are set to high.

There is some issue for some users about the Volume Mixer window refresh issues: See the Microsoft Knowledge base article: The volume slider may appear with a black background in Volume Mixer in Windows Vista

Run applications from USB drive

There are some initiatives to install and run applications from a USB drive. I prefer http://www.portableapps.com. They are open source which is free.

Why do I want to run applications from USB drive?

1. You can take the USB drive to any computer. Your portable applications are instantly available

2. You don’t have to install the applications locally.

Here are the some sample application I am running on my 4GB USB drive.

Firefox 2, Skype, GoogleTalk, 7Zip, Media Player, puTTY, VLC Player, Thunderbird, Notepad++, Audacity, OpenOffice, GIMP and many more.

If you like the idea, go straight to http://www.portableapps.com. I would click on Suite and download the "Standard Suite" for starters. In their forum, people were discussing about how to put other applications into USB drive.

They also give the Notification bar Icon with Menu (Start Menu look alike). You can also take a backup of your USB drive using the portable apps menu.

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