Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Migrating Windows 7 Sticky Notes

Very similar to the previous post, simply copy and paste this file from computer A to computer B:
  • C:\Users\Vivien\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Sticky Notes\StickyNotes.snt
You're done!

Friday, October 23, 2009

How to migrate Windows Live Messenger emoticons

Windows Live Messenger (latest version at the time of this post was Build 14.0.8089.726) does not come with an export/import function for migrating emoticons from one PC to another. However, this can be done simply by copy and pasting the hidden emoticon folder.

Emoticons are stored in the AppData folder under your Windows account. For example, if you are on Windows Vista/7, given that your account name on Windows is "Vivien" and that your Windows Live ID is "", the emoticons should live in this folder:

  • C:\Users\Vivien\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Messenger\\ObjectStore\CustomEmoticons

Now copy this folder from Machine A and paste it into the same named folder and path on Machine B. Restart Windows Live Messenger on Machine B, and you should now see all your emoticons on Machine B!

Note that the AppData folder is hidden by default. The simplest way to get to the folder is by typing in the path directly to your Windows start menu search pane. If you prefer browsing to the folder via Windows Explorer and you're having trouble finding the AppData folder, make sure to show all hidden folders.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Photography site powered by SmugMug

After 2 weeks of trial and a bunch of research, I decided to go with SmugMug for hosting my photos. It has the most attractive interface among all the photo hosting sites I've tried out (that includes Flickr, Picasa, Shutterfly, etc.). It's clean, beautiful, and professional. Besides the interface, I was also attracted by the unlimited storage, site/gallery customizations, image protection, and presentation styles/themes. It's also completely ad and spam free! They have a lot of other great features as well (backups, videos, custom watermarks, etc.) so it's best to refer to their pages for the complete overview:
I chose to go with SmugMug instead of Flickr mainly because of SmugMug's image protection and privacy controls. Although the Flickr community is a lot more active than SmugMug's, I prefer keeping my photos safe with SmugMug's size restriction and right-click protection. I also wanted to have the ability to customize my site (a feature that Flickr lacks). However, I will probably make use of the free Flickr basic account to upload low resolution version of my photos and point them to SmugMug to gain some audience.

If you're trying to find an online home for your photos, I strongly recommend you to give SmugMug a try:
Third-party tools that I use to interact with SmugMug:
Reviews on SmugMug:
So where is my SmugMug site?
Feel free to leave comments, photoranks (hover over a photo to give thumbs up/down), etc. You don't need a SmugMug account to leave comments/photoranks :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Using Canon CR2 Raw Formats in Windows and Photoshop

.CR2 is the raw image format supported by Canon. Models that support CR2 include:
  • EOS 400D
  • EOS-1D
  • EOS-1D Mark II
  • EOS-1D MarkIII
  • EOS-1DS
  • EOS-1DS Mark II
  • EOS-20D
  • EOS-30D
  • EOS-350D
  • EOS-40D
  • EOS-5D
[List provided by]

If you use any of the above models and have a habit of shooting in raw, you may wonder how to preview these images in Windows like all other Windows supported image files (such as .jpeg, .bmp, etc.).

Lucky enough, Canon provides a free codec software for consumer download. To download the software, all you need to do is to specify which Windows operating system you're using:
The installation process is also very straight forward with its setup wizard.

Now that you can preview the CR2 files in Windows Explorer, you may wonder how you can edit these CR2 files directly in Photoshop. Adobe offers a free Canon raw plug-in that's available at the following link:
The installation instructions are on the same page near the bottom. Basically, you just have to add/replace the "Camera Raw.8bi" file under your Photoshop Program Files directory "Plug-Ins\File Formats" folder. Note that the zip file contains two different 8bi files; one for 32-bit systems and one for 64-bit systems. Be sure to copy the correct .8bi file to the directory for the plug-in to function.

Here's a short but very useful video tutorial on Camera Raw 5:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Change Default Search on Mozilla Firefox

In my last post, we talked about how to search from the Windows 7 Start Menu. If you're a Mozilla Firefox user, and you've tried the Start Menu search from my last post, you would realize that Firefox defaults it search engine to Google (even if your actual search bar, located on the top right corner in the browser, is set to an alternative search engine). In this post, we'll go through a simple trick to set your Firefox's default search engine to your favorite search provider:
  1. Open Firefox as you normally would
  2. In the address bar, type "about:config"
  3. You'll be brought to a warning page, click "I'll be careful, I promise!"

  4. In the filter box on the configs page, type in ""
  5. Double click on the row ""
  6. Enter your favorite search provider's name in the pop-up box (value)
  7. Hit OK

Now try searching from the Windows 7 Start Menu as described in the previous post. As long as your default browser is Firefox, it should bring you to the search results of whatever search engine you set in step 6 above.

How to search the Internet with your Windows 7 Start Menu

Wouldn't it be nice to search the Internet through your Windows 7 Start Menu without pre-opening your web browser?

Here's how you can do it:
  1. Hit the Windows Start button
  2. Type in "gpedit.msc" and hit Enter to open up the "Local Group Policy Editor"
  3. In the navigation menu on the left, select "User Configuration" > "Administrative Templates" > "Start Menu and Taskbar" > and double click on "Add Search Internet link to Start Menu"

  4. In the "Add Search Internet link to Start Menu" policy window, select "Enabled" and click "OK"

  5. Close the "Local Group Policy Editor"
Now you're all set. Just click "Start" and start searching! It'll bring you to the results from your default search engine on your default browser. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

This one is truly global...

Got this from a forwarded email: (Warning - It's somewhat racist)

<--------begin forwarded email-------->

This one is truly global...

A World wide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was: "Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a huge failure, In Africa they didn't know what 'food' meant, In India they didn't know what 'honest' meant, In Europe they didn't know what 'shortage' meant, In China they didn't know what 'opinion' meant, In the Middle East they didn't know what 'solution' meant, In South America they didn't know what 'please' meant, And in the USA they didn't know what 'the rest of the world' meant!

<--------end forwarded email-------->


My opinion: Funny, yet sad at the same time. Observe how all the terms used here are actually critiques on each nation's attitude/behavior/mentality/morality except for 'food' for Africa. If I were to pick, I'd much rather be criticized on the absence of material than to receive critiques against my conduct. Perhaps we should all spend a few minutes to think and reflect. :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Setting Up Dual Boot for Vista and Windows 7 Beta - All for Free!

Compiling the basic steps, options, as well as helpful tools and links for setting up dual boot for Vista and Windows 7 Beta - all for free!
  1. Checking the Requirements
    • Official Windows 7 requirements here
  2. Backup Your Data
    • If you're running Windows Vista Home Basic/Premium, you can use "Control Panel\System and Maintenance\Backup and Restore Center" to backup all your important files, but this will NOT backup your programs. A Full PC Backup is available for Windows Vista Ultimate/Business/Enterprise versions.
    • Backup your drives before you move on to defragmenting and/or partitioning. DriveImage XML is a free backup software that offers backing up drives to image files, or even copying directly from drive to drive.
  3. Defragment Your Drive (Optional)
    • You may run into problems when you move on to partitioning and shrinking your current OS drive in Step 3. Therefore, this is an optional and recommended step for those that run into shrinking problems in Step 4. Here's two handy software that you could use for defragmenting your drive:
  4. Shrinking and Partition Your Drive
  5. Download and Burn a Windows 7 Beta DVD
  6. You're Ready To Go...!
    • Now all you have to do is to put your DVD in and install Windows 7 Beta on your newly partitioned drive!

Disclaimer: This is a reference guide only. Meant for intermediate computer users. No guarantees. Please backup all your data before attempting.