Archive for category Windows

Nero’s Latest All-In-One Multimedia Suite

Hot off the virtual shelf, Nero’s all-in-one Multimedia Suite Platinum HD powerhouse allows you to take complete control of your high definition life in style. Many of us now own devices that can capture stunning 720p and 1080p video, but what to do with it all once you get home?

Thanks to Nero’s latest solution, editing all those memories together, burning them onto a shiny new BluRay disc and transferring them to your portable devices just got easier – and you won’t need to buy three separate products either. We’re giving away 25 copies of Nero Multimedia Suite Platinum HD worth a staggering $2750 in total, read on to find out how to be in with the chance.


The Platinum suite offers everything you’d find in Nero’s standard Multimedia Suite 10 as well as some very attractive extras. First, let’s take a look at what you get in the standard package.

Video editing is covered thanks to Nero’s Vision Xtra package, which provides a sleek and intuitive interface to get your work done. The multitrack display is commonplace in pretty much any video editor, and comes coupled with a powerful search engine which makes constructing a sequence a fairly straightforward process.

There are plenty of effects and transitions available to you as well as advanced features like picture-in-picture, complete keyframe control and a master effect track. Nero’s SmartEncoding also provides a quicker way to get your videos onto BluRay disc in true 24p cinematic style.

Nero’s classic Burning ROM is also included in the package, which features an easy-to-use drag and drop interface, the splitting of large files over multiple discs and you can even encrypt or password-protect your media.

If you find backing up a drag then the one-click approach taken in Nero’s Backitup & Burn package will bring a smile to your face. The program is compatible with the usual optical media (CD/DVD/BluRay) as well as hard drives, FTP, removable storage and web-based services. You can even backup to multiple destinations (the more the merrier) at the same time.

Recovering the data you’ve backed up is also covered with RescueAgent, provided as part of the backup suite.

Both Burning ROM and Backitup & Burn use SecurDisc technology to improve the readability of your discs over time, regardless of scratches or detereoration.

The Platinum package contains three extra features which make it that little bit more enticing for media monkeys everywhere.

There’s a BluRay player for watching your favourite HD flicks on your PC (or maybe you’d prefer to hook your machine up to your TV, or even projector if you’re lucky) – something that’s not included with a vanilla Windows install.

The ‘Move it’ plug-in will save you time transferring between devices, including support for shifting your pictures, music and video between multiple devices. The plug-in supports Apple’s iPod and iPhone (so no iTunes required!) as well as Android devices to name but a few.

This makes showing off all that video you edited with Xtra Vision that little bit easier, and all within the same suite.

Finally, Nero has thrown in an extra 50 picture-in-picture templates (with 30 high res backgrounds), 50 additional pro transitions for use with Xtra Vision, 25 movie themes and 25 menu templates. That’s enough to keep you busy for a while.

All this plus Multimedia Tools to streamline the whole experience, as well as more features than I could fit into this review. Phew, they have been busy. And you can win it all!

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Modify the Windows XP System Properties logo

The Windows XP System Properties logo is often changed by computer manufacturers. Hardware vendors use this general system information dialog to brand your computer with their own logo and support contact information.
In this tip you can learn how you can insert your own logo in the system properties dialog and complete it with your own contact information.
To invoke the system properties dialog, click the Start button, right-click “My Computer” and select “Properties”.
This will open up your general system information dialog. On our Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pro laptop, the Windows XP System Properties logo looks like this :

If you want to put your own graphic in there, you should create your image in a .bmp graphic file. It’s also a good idea to create this bitmap image with the same background shade of gray (RGB: 192, 192, 192) used in the Properties dialog. Otherwise, you risk letting Windows make its own judgments regarding color contrast and background shading.
The next thing to consider is the image size. The system properties dialog only offers enough real estate for an image of about 180 (wide) x120 (high) pixels. Make sure that you can fit your logo in this area.
Once you have created your logo and saved it as a .bmp file, copy it over to the system32 subfolder of your Windows system folder. If you don’t know where your system folder is :

  • Click the Start button and select “Run”
  • In the “open” field, enter “cmd” (without the quotes) and click ok
  • Windows will open up a dos command window
  • In the command window, type “set system” (without the quotes)
  • Look for the line that contains “SystemRoot”, this is where your system directory is (generally, the Windows XP system folder is c:\windows)

Now that you know where your system folder is, copy your logo image file over to the system32 subfolder of your system folder. Then rename your logo image file to oemlogo.bmp
Additionally you can create a new file in this same folder and name the new file oeminfo.ini
In this file you can enter your contact information like in the example below :

Manufacturer=Windows Help Central

[Support Information]
Line1=” “
Line2=” For support, sales, upgrades or questions:”
Line4=” Some text to demonstrate the XP System Properties logo”
Line5=” Windows XP Tips and Tricks “
Line6=” yadayada”
Line8=” +1 (888) 888-888 (voice)”
Line9=” +1 (888) 888-889 (fax)”

Save and close the file and you are ready. From now on, if someone opens up the system properties dialog, your own Windows XP System Properties logo is in there.

And if someone clicks the “Support Information” button :

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Tips and tricks for the perfect Windows XP Print Screen

Learn everything you need to know to make a perfect Windows XP Print Screen.
If you just need a quick error message screenshot to send to a technical support person, you already have everything you need on your Windows XP computer. Just press the “Print Screen” button, which is usually located to the right of the F12 button.

Nothing happens at all ?
Ok, it may seem as if nothing happens when you hit the Print Screen button, but Windows already made a picture of your screen and copied that to the clipboard.
Windows does that in the background, so you won’t notice anything. The image is there though, available for you when you need it.
Just fire up Word, WordPad, Paint or whatever application that can handle images and then select “Edit” from the application menu and choose “Paste” (you can also press the CTRL-v key combination). The picture of your screen magically appears in the application.
You can even use this technique to capture a particular strange behavior of your computer in a picture and mail it to someone who can help you. Or maybe you want a screenshot as proof of an online transaction or money transfer.

Not the entire screen ?

No problemo. The Windows XP Print Screen functionality can handle that. Press and hold the ALT-key and then press the Print Screen key. Try and paste that image in your word processor and you’ll see that only the active window was captured in the screenshot.

Windows XP Print Screen in a graphics file format

When you paste your screenshots in your word processor, you generally won’t be able to save your images in a graphics file format like .jpg or .gif. They are saved in the word processor’s file format.
Why is that important ?
If you want to use your screenshots in other documents later on, you need to store them on your hard drive in a graphics file format. You need an image editing program like PhotoShop or Paint.Net to do that. PhotoShop has endless possibilities for graphics, but Paint.Net has a price advantage over PhotoShop …

It’s free.

And still it is a powerful yet simple tool for photo and image editing. Just enter “download paintdotnet” in Google and get yourself a free copy. Paint.Net offers a lot of different graphic file types to save your clipboard-pasted images.

Making more advanced screenshots

Maybe you’ve outgrown the phase of single-screen snapshots. If you want to make a snapshot of a scrolling window, a menu, or just a part of the screen, you need something more powerful than the Windows XP Print Screen functionality.
SnagIt is an excellent tool for that.
It’s not free, but you can download a 30 day free trial from techsmith’s website (
Using SnagIt you can capture literally anything on your screen, including

  • buttons
  • menu’s
  • icons
  • windows
  • any part of any window or application
  • scrolling windows
  • logo’s

If you need screenshots for presentations or software manuals, SnagIt beats the Windows XP Print Screen functionality hands down. It will give your presentations a professional, dynamic look in a fraction of the time.
You can even add short video clips of onscreen activity or text callouts to illustrate the steps you want the reader to follow.
We especially like the possibilities for batch processing. You can convert any number of images to a single file format and add effects such as borders, watermarks and drop shadows all at one time.
Below is an example screen shot of the SnagIt website in a scroll window with an added drop shadow.

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Are your Windows XP Desktop icons missing ?

All of a sudden you find your Windows XP Desktop icons missing just when you were in the middle of something on your computer. Ever been in that situation ?
This Windows XP tips and tricks article explains what you can do when you find your Windows XP Desktop icons missing.
It’s pretty annoying, because usually when this happens, your taskbar and start button are gone too. That leaves you with nothing much to click on. The only thing that’s left to look at is your desktop wallpaper.
The best way to get back on your feet is by pressing ctrl-alt-del. That will bring up the Task Manager. (In some cases it brings up the Windows Security dialog, but you can click on the Task Manager button from there to go where we need to be.)
Once in the Task Manager, make sure you are on the “Processes” tab and then click on “File” in the Task Manager menu. Then select “New Task (Run…)” and type “explorer.exe” (without the quotes) in the “open” field. Then click ok and watch a new incarnation of your desktop come to life in front of your eyes.

Save time with fewer reboots

In a lot of cases you can elaborate this technique a bit and use it to avoid a reboot when you have made modifications in the registry. Generally you have to reboot your computer for registry changes to take effect. Now you can avoid reboots by killing and respawning the explorer.exe process.

After you have made modifications in your registry, make sure to save and close all documents that you are working on. Then bring up the Task Manager with ctrl-alt-del. Click on the “Processes” tab and look for the explorer.exe process. Single-click this process and click on Task Manager’s “End Process” button.
That will make your desktop icons, task bar and start button go away, the only thing that remains is the Task Manager. That allows you to select “File”->”New Task (Run…) from the Task Manager menu. Again, type “eplorer.exe” in the “open” field and click ok.
That will cause the new registry settings to be loaded without the necessity of a reboot.

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Synchronize files in Windows XP

Many people still use the “low tech” way to synchronize files in Windows XP. They copy them onto a floppy for transfer. Others hook their laptop into the network and manually copy files over the network.
There’s nothing wrong with that, except that there’s a much simpler way to synchronize files in Windows XP.

If you want to keep files synchronized between your laptop and your office environment, you’re much better off using something called “Offline Files” in Windows XP.
Offline Files automatically deals with situations where files are changed both on your laptop and on the network location. How would you manage synchronization when it’s possible that neither copy is in it’s original state ?

100% availability

The Offline Files functionality is extremely useful if you want to work with your files when they are not always available 24/7. Think of files on a network that periodically goes down for maintenance or files on a desktop pc that you want to access while traveling with your notebook.
Offline Files is designed to be an improvement over the Briefcase function from previous Windows versions.
The feature is only available in Windows XP Professional, not in Windows XP Home Edition. However, only the computer that needs to maintain and synchronize the Offline Files needs Windows XP Professional. The computer that stores the original files can be running any operating system.
You must first turn off “Fast user switching” to start using Offline Files to synchronize files in Windows XP. Don’t know if “Fast user switching” is enabled ? If your computer is part of a network with a domain, you don’t have to worry about it. Fast User Switching is not an option in domains.

Not part of a domain ? Do the following :

  • Click the Start button and select “Control Panel”
  • Open up “User Accounts”
  • Click “Change the Way Users Log On or Off”
  • Deselect the “Use Fast User Switching” checkbox and click ok

Now you’re all set to synchronize files in Windows XP.

  • Right-click the Start button and select “Explore”
  • From the Explorer menu, select “Tools”->”Folder Options”
  • Click the Offline Files tab and check the “Enable Offline Files” check box
  • Change the additional synchronization settings if needed

You can return to this dialog any time to delete offline files with the “Delete Files” button. Use the advanced button to setup how your computer needs to react when the connection to another computer on the network is lost.

Make the selection

Next, you need to select which networked files and folders you want available on your local hard drive :

  • Right-click the network file or folder that you want to cache
  • Select “Make Available Offline”

If this is the first time that you do this, the Offline Files wizard will allow you to set some extra configuration options. If you selected a folder that contains subfolders, you will need to specify whether you want to include these as well.

When you work offline

If you synchronize files in Windows XP like this, the files will appear as if they were online even when they are not actually available. You can access them the same way you usually do. If they are available via the network, you get the “live” copy; if they are not available, you get the offline copy. An icon in the notification area will inform you if you are working offline.

Connected to the network

As soon as you connect your laptop to the network again, you need to synchronize your files. Windows does it automatically for you if you have set the configuration options to automatically synchronize at logon and / or logoff.

You can also manually synchronize files in Windows XP :

  • Click the Start button
  • Select “All Programs”->”Accessories”->”Synchronize”
  • The “Items to Synchronize” dialog allows you to select which items you want to synchronize
  • Click the Synchronize button

When both your local copy and the network copy of a file have changed, Windows will ask what you want to do. When only one of the copies has changed, it will overwrite the un-changed copy.

Alternatively, you might want to …

Another way of accessing your files in your office environment is by using remote control software. Windows XP has its own built-in remote access feature, called remote desktop (RDP), but that is often limited when your office network uses a firewall.

This limitation can be overcome by using a third party remote access software like Citrix GoToMyPC. It works like a charm and passess through most firewalls, because it uses the standard http internet port to remotely access your pc.

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How to Fix Photoshop.exe Error Effectively on Your Computer Good Tips

What Is Photoshop.exe ?

Photoshop.exe is an extremely vital part of Windows operating system. Photoshop.exe is an important process which executes .dll files and locate their libraries into windows system’s memory. If there is something wrong with photoshop.exe on your computer then the whole PC probably can not run stable and would be deathly slow.

Process photoshop.exe is located in the system directory: C:\windows\system32. If you find that this process executes and runs from any other suspicious locations, I advice you fully scan your computer with anti-virus program. Because such fishy phenomenon could be caused by virus or trojan horse. Some of the viruses will disguise photoshop.exe running on your computer to attack the system and steal important data. We classify those viruse fraudulently using the name photoshop.exe to Miroot. Win32. Worm. Backdoor.Lastdoor. and Trojan.

How to Fix Photoshop.exe error?

If the Photoshop.exe is destroyed by virus or the Photoshop.exe is corrupt, removed by accident, I suggest you follow this instruction to fix photoshop.exe error.

Copy and Paste Photoshop.exe to Locate the Correct Directory on Your System.

Firstly, if you can not find a copy of photoshop.exe in this folder C:\WINDOWS\system32 then please use system searching function to find out photoshop.exe file on your computer. It must be removed to another location by mistake. After that, copy photoshop.exe back to the correct folder C:\WINDOWS\system32.

Secondly, if you fail to locate a copy of photoshop.exe on your whole computer, I recommend you copy the file from another computer with the same version of Windows operating system to your problem computer. Of course, you can try to re-install the operating system and Photoshop.exe errors would be resolved immediately. However, this method would waste your precious time and maybe delete all of the data if you never backup your files.

Download Registry Repair Tools to Fix Photoshop.exe error

Do not doubt this method! Actually it is an effective and easy way to fix photoshop.exe error with just a few of clicks. Photoshop.exe error could probably be caused by registry error on the system. Registry Repair Tools can fix not only photoshop.exe error but also help you detect and remove most of windows system errors on your computer. To prevent photoshop.exe errors, I highly recommend you to download Best Registry Cleaner to protect and clean errors regularly.

Janson makes it easy to clean up your PC and regain lost performance. He shares a lot of experience about his experience. And the computer users can know many tips about computer maintenance through his articles.

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Making a Photoshop Shield!

In this tutorial, we are going to use the Path Tools in Photoshop to draw a shield-like shape. Then using some gradients, we’re going to give it a metallic edge and shiny center. I actually made this tutorial when making the default icons for some posts here on PSDtuts, so if you go to the main listing on the site you’ll see them in action.

Step 1:
We begin with a dark grey to black gradient. I drew this with the Radial Gradient, which long-time PSDtuts readers will know is my favorite gradient tool. Anyhow don’t worry too much about these colors, because midway through the tutorial, I decided they were too dark and changed them!

Step 2:
Now press Ctrl-R to switch on your rulers and drag some guides out. You do this by clicking on the ruler and then keeping your mouse down and dragging out to where you want them to be. I set up my guides as shown below. Because I’m drawing a triangle, I want to make sure that it’s symmetric and not wonky – hence the guides.
Note that at any time you can press Ctrl+’ and the guides will switch on and off. This is useful because otherwise they get in the way of what you’re trying to do sometimes.
Also with the rulers you can right-click on the rulers and you’ll see the different measurements they work in. For Web graphics it’s probably easiest to work in pixels (though for print you’d want something larger probably). Anyhow because my canvas is 500×500, I put the guides at 100px, 250px, and 400px and then 100px and 250px downwards.

Step 3:
Next grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a triangle as shown. You can do this with three dots (yes all the high school math is worthwhile after all!). Note that if you hold the mouse down when you place dots you’ll get into the curvy pen thing (it’s technical name is bezier curves) and we’re not interested in those today, so just click once to get nice angled points.
Also if you hold down Shift you’ll find you get the Pen Tool snapping to lines which are in multiples of 45 degrees. This can be good particularly if you want to draw the dead straight line at the top (and not accidentally place a mark a few pixels off). Alternately I suppose you could make sure you have snapping on which is under View > Snap To > Guides. Either way should get you the right result. As always Photoshop gives you a zillion ways to do everything.

Step 4:
Now we want a variant of the Pen Tool called the Add Anchor Point tool. You can see it in the picture below.

Step 5:
With the Add Anchor Tool selected and your guides still up, go through and add extra points in the positions shown below (note that I’ve switched off the guides with CTRL+’ so that I could screenshot it properly).
You may be wondering why we didn’t just add all these points in the beginning rather than after we’d drawn the triangle. The answer is simply that it’s hard to get everything looking nice and symmetrical. This is just an easier way.

Step 6:
Now we are going to change to the Direct Selection Tool (A) which is the arrow shown. There are actually three Arrow tools in Photoshop, this one, it’s alternate which is called the Path Selection Tool and our regular arrow also called the Move Tool. What’s the difference?
Well basically the Move Tool (the regular one) is for moving objects around as you do normally. These other two are for paths. The Direct Selection tool is for selecting either points or edges (the lines between the points). While the Path Selection tool is for moving the entire path around all together (without it losing shape).
The best way to understand them, of course, is to click on each one in turn and see what it does! But for now we just want the Direct Selection Tool.

Step 7:
So using the Direct Selection Tool, first click on the top middle point to select it. Now hold down Shift and press the Up arrow a couple of times and you’ll see the point move up. Next do the same with the left and right midpoints to make them move about.
We hold down Shift because it makes movement faster (I think SHIFT+Arrow is the same as 10xArrow with no Shift).
Anyhow, move the points about until you have something like shown…

Step 8:
It’s up to you how you make your final path turn out, I made mine kinda quirky by just moving points about until they kinda looked like a shield. I saved the path in the PSD file for download in case you want that exact path. You can find it by clicking on the Paths tab and then you’ll see a path marked Shield Path.
Any time you have a path you think you might want later, click to the Paths tab and then click on that little arrow pointing to the right and choose Save Path. This is particularly handy if you’ve spent a long time deep-etching a person out of a photograph and you want to make sure you don’t accidentally lose your path work.

Step 9:
Next create a New Layer. Click on the Pen Tool and then right click anywhere on the canvas and choose Make Selection. You’ll get a little dialog box asking if you want to feather your selection, make sure it’s set to 0 (the default) and press OK.
Next get a light grey to dark grey and draw a gradient in your new layer as shown.

Step 10:
Now with that layer still selected, create a New Layer and go to Select > Modify > Contract and put in 10 pixels.
Next draw a gradient going the OTHER way with the same two light grey and dark grey colors. So the first one should be from top-left to bottom-right. This new layer should be bottom-right to top-left. You can see the effect of the two gradients in the picture for the next step.

Step 11:
Next while your second layer is still selected, go to Select > Modify > Contract again and use 10pixels again. Then create a new layer, and this time with a Radial Gradient, draw in a nice orange gradient with the lighter part in the top left as shown.

Step 12:
Now go back to the middle layer and press Ctrl and click on the layer to select its pixels as shown. Create a New Layer above that one and fill it with white.
Then go to Select > Modify > Contract and use a value of 1 pixel and then hit Delete. This will leave a one pixel thin white line between the two metallic gradients. It will look like the top of a ridge of metal (sort of …)

Step 13:
Ok, so here’s what we have so far. You can see that by using the two gradients going in opposite directions, we’ve created a sort of 3D effect which looks like light is coming from the top left and creating a highlight and shadow on the “metal.”

Step 14:
Now we add a simple Drop Shadow and Inner Shadow to the orange layer. You can see these in the sample PSD file for download, but basically it’s just an inner shadow with distance of 0 so that the shadow is even around the edges, and similarly with a drop shadow. We want the inner shadow as it makes it look a little more three dimensional because the edges are curving away from the viewer’s perspective. The drop shadow is just to make the orange layer react a little more with the metal frame.

Step 15:
Here’s what we have now… It’s starting to look pretty cool. At this point I’ve also lightened the background (though it’s hard to tell now that I look at it). So here it’s a very dark grey, as opposed to black. Also I’ve added a drop shadow to the very first grey metal layer, though it’s pretty faint.

Step 16:
Now in a new layer at the very top, draw an ellipse with the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and fill it with white as shown.

Step 17:
Now the only reason we’ve actually filled this with white is so that we can now press Ctrl-T and rotate the ellipse as shown.

Step 18:
Once you’ve rotated the ellipse hold down Ctrl and click on that layer to select the ellipse and then delete the layer itself so you are left with just a selection shaped as an ellipse on an angle.
Then create a new layer and draw a Radial Gradient going from white to transparent as shown.

Step 19:
Now hold down Ctrl and click on the orange layer to select its pixels and then press Ctrl+Shift+I to invert the selection (i.e. you’ll be selecting everything except the orange layer’s pixels) and then click on the very top layer, which has that white-transparent radial gradient from the last step, and press Delete. You should now have a highlight as shown.

Step 20:
Now set that highlight layer to a blending mode of Overlay and an Opacity of 60%. It should give a nice golden yellow as shown.

Step 21:
Now in create a new layer and then again hold down Ctrl and click on the orange layer to select its pixels. Then in the new layer draw a Linear Gradient downwards from black to transparent as shown.

Step 22:
Set this new black layer to a blending mode of Soft Light and then hold down Ctrl and click on the orange layer yet again then hold down Shift and press the down arrow a few times to move the selection down. Next go back to that black layer and hit Delete to leave just a bar running along the top as shown.

Step 23:
At this point, I decided to brush the metal up a bit. To do this, click on either of the two grey layers and with the Burn Tool (O) selected and a soft brush, just darken the parts that are darker and lighten the parts that are lighter as you see fit. I did this just to get a bit more contrast as shown. Don’t forget if you hold down Alt while using the Burn Tool it changes to the Dodge Tool (which lightens instead of darkening) so you don’t need to keep switching between them.

Step 24:
OK now for the radial burst in the background. Choose the Custom Shape Tool (U) and select the shape shown below.

Step 25:
Create a new layer just above the dark grey background and, using white as your foreground color, draw a very large version of that shape as shown. This makes a kind of vector starburst effect.

Step 26:
Now set that layer to Overlay and 30% opacity so it’s much fainter. Finally in a layer at the very top, I added a giant S in a darkish red color and set it to Multiply at 20%. Then I wrote a word over the top and we’re finished! A bit of a strange effect, but a fun one nonetheless!

Download this tutorial
photoshop file
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