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Windows Tips

Sometimes we do Windows, there is is just no way around it. Here are some thoughts and tips that may come in handy.

Getting WPA2 to work on Windows XP SP2

I understand that some technology may not be ready when a product is shipped to the customers, but I don't know for what reason Microsoft decided not to include decent WPA and WPA2 support as a "High Priority" or "Optional" update in "Windows Update". They load all kinds of unwanted tools onto your PC, but not this one.

Anyway, to get WPA2 functionality I had to do two things, when a wired to a LAN:

  1. Upgrade your wireless network drivers to the latest version. And I really mean the latest.
  2. Install patch KB893357 from Microsoft ("genuine" validation required) and reboot.

That should be it. You will now be able to join the latest WPA2/AES protected networks.

Using free alternatives to crapware and bloatware

There may be people who like to pay a lot of money for bloated Windows tools that do at least one thing well: hog space and system recources. Also, Microsoft has been including the mostly useless and crappy onboard tools for years, such as Paint and Notepad. Here I like to list a few free alternatives that work just as fine.

Daily chores

  • Notepad++, a Notepad replacement and powerful editor with neat features.
  • CDBurnerXP, an easy to use CD burning tool without the 500 unwanted extras.
  • Foxit Reader, a slim and fast PDF reader, no need for Adobe's buggy bloatware.
  • Paint.NET, a Paint replacement, probably the only pleasing .NET app (requires .NET Framework 2.0)
  • PuTTY, a more capable replacement for HyperTerminal
  • Mozilla Firefox, the webbrowser, no need to say more
  • Mozilla Thunderbird, the e-mail client, don't go further
  • Filezilla, an FTP client with nice features
  • OpenOffice, a full featured office suite from Sun
  • IZArc, a file compression utility supporting many compression types such as zip, 7z, rar, bz2, etc.

Notes: I don't do IM and file swapping, so I cannot recommend any tools in this area.

Privacy & Security

  • Spybot S&D, one of the anti-spyware tools of choice
  • Truecrypt, a disk and file encryption tool, also for USB drives
  • GnuPG, a file encryption tool required for Thunderbird and the Enigmail plugin
  • CCleaner, crap cleaner to root out unused files and removing traces of online activity.

Because I'm increasingly wary, I stay clear from all software with the name "Google" on it.

 

Last Modified: 25.03.2012 00:40 | Copyright © 2003-2019 by tor.ch | Top