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Increase your Windows enjoyment and productivity with our  tips!

 Keep your desktop in perfect order -
Manage desktop icon layout with Ezdesk.

Do you ever find that your desktop icons will not stay where you put them
....and tend to rearrange themselves when you move them accidentally,
open and close programs, or change resolutions? This bug in Windows
occurs most frequently when your hard drive is relatively full. It is
particularly annoying if you've spent time arranging your several dozen
desktop icons precisely the way you want them, and do not wish to keep
manually rearranging them.

Download and install the easy-to-use Ezdesk shareware - EzDesk(tm),
copyright 1995 by Melissa Nguyen, available HERE or HERE.

Most important, it installs itself on your taskbar tray (unless you choose
instead to activate it with a shortcut key) so that at any time you can click
it and choose SAVE DESKTOP LAYOUT (indicating the resolution of
your choice) or RESTORE DESKTOP LAYOUT.  Whenever your icons
tumble into chaos, a quick RESTORE DESKTOP LAYOUT will return
them immediately to your preferred setup.

Ezdesk also has additional timesaving features, such as RUN PROGRAM,
which allows you to choose from your last ten accessed programs, both
FOLDER and WINDOW management (allowing you, for example, to
quickly size all windows to their work area size) a CLEAR MENU (for
clearing your temp directory, documents list etc.) and a HOTKEY for
Windows Shutdown.

The entire program is under 200kb, and easy to set up. Although free,
the developer Melissa Nyugen asks that frequent users register and pay a
$15 shareware fee. Registered users will be able to save custom desktop
layouts, giving each a name, and accessing them at will using Ezdesk.

1) Download EzDesk (and virus check it, just to be safe).
2) Copy the files into a temporary directory.
3) Right click the Ezdesk.inf file and choose install.
4) Delete the files in your temp diectory.

Installation copies Ezdesk.exe into your Windows directory, places
a shortcut in your STARTUP menu and registers an uninstall option in
the Control Panel's in Add/ Remove Programs. Once installed, Ezdesk
will start automatically whenever you enter Windows, unless you
hold down the shift key during startup.

There are only three Windows addons which I regard as absolute
necessities. Notespad is one of them. Ezdesk is another.

BACK  Index of Windows Tips

Change your virtual memory to your
emptiest drive (if you have more than
one) for added speed and performance.

Do you have more than one hard drive? Is your c drive almost full? If so,
your computer may be slowing down, and may lack the memory to open
several programs simultaneously. Apart from reinstalling c: drive programs
on another drive to free disk space, you can change your swap file (virtual
memory) to an emptier drive to maximize your system's performance.

What is virtual memory? It is the means by which Windows converts
hard drive space temporarily to active RAM memory when RAM is needed.
The free space on your c: drive should always be at least 1 1/2 times your
available RAM (e.g. a minimum of 24MB if you have 16MB ram) for
Windows to run efficiently and convert that free space as needed to
dynamic memory.

If your c: drive is more than 90% full, and your d: or e: drives are as
fast as c: but have considerably more free space, you will benefit by
changing your virtual memory to another drive. How do you do so?

1) Open My Computer, then the Control Panel, then System.
2) Choose the performance tab, then click the Virtual Memory button.
3) Ignore the warning at the top of the dialog box if you are sure you
     have the free space necessary on another drive (even a compressed
    drive is viable). Click to choose the radio button "Let me manage
    my virtual memory settings."
4) Select the drive you wish to use. The maximum and minimum will
    be set by Windows. You may alter them if you know what you are
   doing, but your maximum cannot be more than your available hard
   drive space, and should be slightly less.
5) Click ok, then close.
6) Restart your computer in order for these changes to take effect. If
    you wish, you may restart later.
7) If you are not satisfied with your new swap file, repeat the above
    procedure but choose, "Let Windows manage my virtual memory".

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Install IDA (Instant Drive Access) to
easily monitor your hard drive free space.

I am not a fan of many Windows add-ons, because most slow down my
computer. But IDA is one of the four I cannot live without. If you have
multiple hard drives and are close to filling them, you will find IDA to
be an invaluable monitor of your available hard drive space.

As the developer of IDA indicates, IDA:
"puts an icon in the Windows/NT 4.0 traybar, from which you can access
your disk-drives without having to open My Computer or Windows Explorer. have all your drives in the menu for instant access....without having to
minimize open windows . You can also add your own favorite programs to the
menu. And you can add aliases to your favorite folders."

IDA is a small program, and easy to download and install. It is available,
with complete help files at
Looks for Instant Drive Access.

To use it, copy its files to a folder on your computer, then open taskbar
start menu programs (see section on Adding and Removing
Program Shortcuts from your Taskbar Menu in our online Windows 
), choose advanced, choose programs, then startup group and
right click to create a shortcut icon to ida.exe.

When you restart Windows, IDA will appear in your taskbar tray. Right
clicking the icon will show you the drive-menu; double clicking it will
bring up the configuration choices.

NOTE: The new edition of IDA is shareware. Registration fee is $15.
Registered users will receive the forthcoming Pro version free of charge.

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