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Windows Desktop Search now supports 64 bit XP
Microsoft has released Beta 2 of Windows Desktop Search 3.0, and the good news is that it now supports 64 bit versions of XP and Server 2003. There are also a number of fixes, and you can upgrade from previously released versions without uninstalling them. You can download it here.

How to Use FolderShare to Transfer Big Files
Sometimes you need to send or receive files that are very large in size, even after they’re zipped. Your ISP or the sender’s/recipient’s on the other end may not support file sizes that are over a certain limit (usually a couple of MB), and you might not want to set up an FTP server for security reasons. One solution is to use FolderShare, a file synchronization service that was recently acquired by Microsoft and is now in beta as part of the Windows Live family. You can download the software for both Windows and Mac OS X. Here’s how to use it once it’s installed:

  1. If you haven’t used FolderShare before, on the Welcome screen, click “I don’t have a FolderShare account.”
  2. On the New Account Information page, choose a nickname and password and type in your email address. You also have to check a box certifying that you’re over 13 years of age.
  3. The software will connect to the FolderShare server and create your account.
  4. On the “choose a computer name” page, the default is your computer’s name on the network. Accept the default and click Finish.
  5. Now you’ll see a flashing icon in the system tray. You can click a FolderShare library if you’ve been invited to share one, or click My FolderShare to go to the web site and set up a folder to share, sync your folders, share your folders with friends on the Internet, or access your files. FolderShare operates like a private P2P program. Those you invite can share items in the folder(s) you designate to share, but can’t access anything else on your computer.

You can find FolderShare here.

Need to get Windows to stop hiding some of the icons in your system tray?
Annoyed by having to expand the system tray whenever you want to see all of the icons there?  Windows hides system tray items that are inactive, but you can configure on a per-item basis which icons should be hidden when inactive and which ones shouldn’t.

Just right click an empty space in the toolbar and select Properties. On the Taskbar tab, at the bottom of the page uncheck the box that says “Hide inactive icons” if you don’t want any of them to be hidden. Or check the box and click the Customize button if you want to specify which ones should be hidden when inactive. In the Customize Notifications dialog box, for each item you can choose “Hide when inactive,” “Always hide” or “Always show” from the dropdown box.

Make Windows Explorer display Web view templates or HTML customizations
By default, Windows XP doesn’t display Web view templates (Folder.htt) from earlier versions of Windows. This is a security measure, to prevent content that might not be safe from running when you open a folder. If you need to display a folder in Web view, you can find out how to edit the registry to enable it in KB article 819028.

Can’t view or change Read-Only or System attributes of folders
When you use the Properties dialog box on a folder, you may wonder why the Read- only checkbox is grayed out and there is no checkbox to change the System attribute. This is because the Read-only attribute for folders is usually ignored by Windows and application programs and the System attribute is used to designate if a folder has special formatting. But some programs won’t allow you to save files to a folder that has Read-only or System attributes, so there may be times when you need to change these. Find out how (and read the caveats about doing so) in KB article 326549.


Vista Sidebar: love it or leave it out?
One of the most talked-about aspects of the new Vista desktop is the sidebar. This is a collection of “gadgets” (small applets) that are shown by default running down the right side of the screen. Vista comes with a number of gadgets that you can enable/disable: a calculator, analog clock, CPU and memory meters, currency converter, RSS feed tracker and feed watcher, notepad for jotting quick notes, slide show that displays the photos in your Pictures folder, stocks ticker, number and picture puzzles, games, and recycle bin. You can download additional gadgets to install here.

If you don’t like the sidebar, you can disable it. There are several ways to do so, as described here.

Or you just hide it, by right clicking an empty space in the sidebar and selecting Close Sidebar.

Deb Shinder, MVP