technology and zen of life

“A heisenbug (named after the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) is a computer bug that disappears or alters its characteristics when an attempt is made to study it.”

Junk in your PC’s trunk!

The title sounds dirty doesn’t it? Well, that’s because every once in a while your PC gets filled with non-useful files in it. It will remain there, unless you go ahead and clean it.

– Q: “So what if they are gathered? My PC has a lot of memory! It’s not like it would eat up a lot of it!”

– A: “Most of the times it slows down the performance of your computer.”

If you would like to know how to increase the performance of your PC, then there is an article that tells you about it. But in this article I’m going to tell you about a very neat software called “Crap Cleaner”. It searches for non-useful files in your PC system, and tells you about their existence. It can remove them for you, if you choose to. So let’s go ahead and see what it is capable of, shall we?

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User Access Control

User Access Control is a security feature introduced with Windows Vista and is included in all the future versions of windows operating system. It is introduced to aim at increasing the security of the system by running the processes in an environment with only user right privileges until the user allows the software access to administrative rights.

In this way, only applications trusted by the user may receive administrative privileges, and malware should be kept from compromising the operating system. In other words, a user account may have administrator privileges assigned to it, but applications that the user runs do not inherit those privileges unless they are approved beforehand or the user explicitly authorizes it.

Practically since most of us just press the allow button without thinking if the task we are running actually does indeed the administrative privileges, the UAC is more of an annoyance than of use. So if you want to stop those annoying popup each time you want to install something or run some applications you can chose to disable the UAC.

The easiest way to disable UAC is via the MSCONFIG tool in Windows Vista.

1. You can launch MSCONFIG by using the run command.

2. Next go to the tools tab and scroll down till you find the option ‘Disable UAC’. Select the option and click on the launch button.

UAC Msconfig

3. Next time you reboot your system UAC will be disabled. You can follow the same steps to re-enable UAC when you want.

– Disabling UAC makes your system run all processes on administrative rights all the time like Windows XP.This might be harmful to your computer and you should only disable it if you understand the risks completely.

Spyware: Detection and Removal

Anyone who has used a computer for a considerable amount of time has definitely has had his share of spywares. Spyware is software installed on your computer generally without your knowledge which collects your personal information. A spyware may be used to send you pop-up ads, redirect your computer to websites, monitor your Internet surfing, or record your keystrokes, which, in turn, could lead to identity theft. If you wanna read more on how spyware works I recommend the Howstuffworks article.

Some of the most common symptoms of a spyware are:

–          Getting random Pop-ups

–          Not being able to browse the internet without getting redirected to random pages

–          Not being able to save your home page in your browser

–          Constant pop-ups telling you to install some tools to enhance your PC.

–          Random Error Messages

Most often the spyware come bundled with free software’s or get installed by clicking on links in the pop-up advertisements. The best way to avoid these is to always skim through the EULA of software before installing it, legally the software is supposed to inform you if they are going to install any spyware on your PC. Secondly never click on pop-up advertisements claiming to increase your computers performance or claiming that you need to install a anti-spyware software. Also have an up to date browser helps in avoiding a lot of possible spyware applications getting installed on your system.

What to do if you have a spyware?
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NTLM authentication proxies

continuing from the last post. If your network is all Windows based, then using the tricks mentioned in the previous post are of no use to you. That’s because Windows servers use NTLM authentication. It’s different from normal authentication, in the sense of a user, you won’t be able to use Linux happily on a network with that kind of authentication scheme. You need to keep an eye on how to use this tip to your benefits.

You need this to create your very own NTLM workaround proxy server. It’s called NTLM Authorization Proxy Server.

Setps for those-who-don’t-know-and-want-to-learn

  1. Download the NTLMAPS script.
  2. Download python.
  3. Unzip the NTLMAPS zip file and install python.
  4. Configure(edit and save) the server.cfg (read below).
  5. Double click on runserver.bat

voila, you see a console!

Configuring the server.cfg

You will need to modify these variables in the config file named “server.cfg” according to your network needs







And these variables if you need, normally they won’t require a change, but you might need to.






For me the configuration looks like












Note, if you don’t fill in the password, it will automatically ask when you run the “runserver.bat” file.

So now it’s all done, tell me if you use it successfully, or failed at it miserably!

DarK is a Sony Vaio user who cannot learn enough about networks. He hates his laptop and loves it at the same time. You can catch him on twitter at

Humanized Enso.. Err.. ?

For those who are a fan of yakuake terminal on GNU/Linux systems, Humanized has something serious to offer for windows platform with Enso. Although the program seems fairly simple it works wonders for those who don’t want to move their hands off the keyboard, especially the laptop users. Before going in the details I must specify, that few of the things that Enso provides you can be implemented by Windows terminal, but the program has more to it.

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal explains:

Enso is dead simple to use. You just hold down the Caps Lock key and type an Enso command, which is displayed in a translucent overlay. Once the command is typed, you simply release the Caps Lock key to activate it, and the overlay disappears. If you type fast, it all happens in a flash. For instance, to launch the Firefox Web browser, you just hold down the Caps Lock key and type “open firefox.” To look up the meaning of the word “proclivity,” you just hold down the Caps Lock key and type “define proclivity.”

A simple example is this

The program can be configured to open the programs you want, with the tag you want. Like by default firefox opens with “mozilla firefox” but i prefer “firefox” over default. Enso gets it’s initial list of programs through your start menu, so after install you are good to go.

Using the single “CAPS LOCK” key they offer

Enso Map Anywhere v0.1

Easily add maps to your documents and emails, and look up phone numbers and addresses.

Enso Media Remote Control v0.2

A remote-control for your music: Play, pause, and skip tracks in your favorite music player from any application.

Enso Web Search Anywhere v0.1

Provides commands for performing web searches using a variety of web services, from Amazon to Youtube to your Gmail account.

Enso Translate Anywhere v0.1.1

The power to translate English to and from eight other languages. In any application.

Enso TeX Anywhere v0.1

Effortlessly render TEX markup into beautifully type-set equations (and convert them back again) everywhere from Powerpoint to Gmail.

So for all the touch typing enthusiasts, try this application out. I bet you won’t be disappointed.

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Microsoft contests Information

Thought of sharing information about ongoing contests.

1. Microsoft High Performance Computing Scholars program

Prizes: Student Awards of $1000 and Faculty Research Grants worth  $5,000, many more prizes can be avaialed just by registering.

Target Audience: All undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma and training students (along with supervising Faculty) of India.

Duration of contest: 15th May 2007 to 30th June 2007

2. Win 1 in 3 copies of Microsoft Expression Studio Commemorative Editions

Prizes: Microsoft Expression Studio Commemorative Editions

Target Audience: General

Duration of Contest: Running..till 6th of July 2007

3. Win with Windows

Prizes: Cafe coffee day vouchers.

Target Audience: General

Duration of Contest: July 2 to July 14, 2007

4. Project Shutter Photo Contest!

Microsoft has initiated a Photography Contest – the Project Shutter Photo Contest! This is aimed at enthusiasts with an eye for photogenic visuals across three themes that best represent the individual’s locality – Food, Culture and Architecture. There are tons of goodies up for grabs, including a T-Shirt every 30-minutes through the next 12 days.

Be sure to check out their gallery to find some of coolest pics.

Good Luck!

Windows : Map a Path to a Drive letter

Ever wondered if you could assign your favorite directories lying deep under a large chain of directories, as seperate drives?

This post is going to tell you how to refer to a path like “D:\workspace\topcoder\development\javaprojects\” as simply “T:”

First let me tell you the manual way of doing it using the command prompt.

Suppose the path is “D:\workspace\topcoder\development\javaprojects\” and we want it to map to a drive letter say “T:”, then all we need to do is to open the command prompt and type the following command.

subst T: "D:\workspace\topcoder\development\javaprojects\"

Now, instead of typing the full path, you can reach this directory by typing the letter of the virtual drive, followed by a colon, as follows:


You will see that a new drive entry is created under your “My Computer” as “T:” which maps to the desired folder. After doing this we can refer to a path like “D:\workspace\topcoder\development\javaprojects\ProjectABC” as simply “T:\ProjectABC\”

If you want to delete this drive then just issue the following command.

subst T: \d

Points to remember:

  1. This is not a permanent mapping as the mapping will be lost after you restart windows or log off. (You can create a batch file for this and put it on startup to have your drive everytime you log on to windows. Read further to know how to avoid this.)
  2. The commands like chkdsk, diskcomp, diskcopy, fomrat, label and recover, do not work and should not be used on drives created with subst command.
  3. To see more details of the command. Type: subst /?

Now, for the people who hate command line stuffs, there’s a nice little tool available called Visual Subst. It uses the API similar to the console ‘subst’ utility, but makes it easier to create and remove virtual drives in a GUI way. This tool also allows you to persist the virtual drive mapping on windows restart.

Note: This works with Windows 2000/XP as well as Windows Vista platforms.

Extra Note (Added for my own safety) : I am not responsible if anything goes wrong, while trying out the commands or softwares presented here.

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