Essential Windows XP Tools

windows_xp_logo_2Living in Korea and working with a lot of different people from different backgrounds and cultures gives me access to a lot of different things.  However, in all these differences, one of the biggest commonalities I’ve found is that most people run Windows XP on their computers and end up with the same set of problems and issues. Therefore, I present my list of the most essential and helpful tools for Windows XP.

**Note: This list is only the MOST essential tools I need (including Internet browsers, virus scanners, ad/spyware scanners, video codecs, and Windows updates). For a more complete list of ALL the software I like to use for Windows, click this link. Alternately, this site provides a solid list of other open-source Windows apps.

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The BEST Mac and Windows Software

macandwindowsRecent events have prompted me to create a post that will have references and links to all the great software I use on Windows and Mac that I couldn’t live without (or at least that would make my life much harder without).  I’ve reinstalled MacOSX Leopard and Windows XP on my home computer, and at work I’ve had to change computers about two times in the last three months.  It’s started to become a headache to always Google search the software I use often just to re-find the download links to re-install it all.  Therefore, I figured if I gathered all the software download links into one location on my blog, it would be a virtual “one-stop-shopping” center for all my software needs.

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Getting Windows on my Mac

windows_xp_logo_2I recently endured a rather difficult experience: installing Windoze XP on my MacBook.  Because I’ve been getting busier with website design and coding as of late, I’ve also been struggling with how to test my CSS and XHTML code across mutliple browsers and operating systems.  I had Parallels Desktop installed on my MacBook, but had been noticing quite a performance decrease every time I opened my WinXP virtual disk (probably in part due to the fact that my computer is a few years old and has 1 GB of RAM which is the minimum memory requirement to run the software).

Parallels has a great concept (and with enough memory, great software) that allows users to run MacOSX and Windows literally side-by-side in the same window and allows nearly instant switching from one to the other.  I should be able to start up my MacBook into OSX and from there, boot into the Windows XP OS within a Mac window.  It worked for me for a while, but eventually, I got tired of waiting for Windows to boot up and run slowly (after I’d already been using the MacBook to full capacity with other programs).  Therefore, I thought it would be a good time to switch over to BootCamp.

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Tools for Cross-Browser CSS Checking (A Follow-up to My IE Gripe)

ie7Since posting my Gripe Against Internet Explorer, I’ve had a little time to be better able to come to grips with the difficulties, challenges, and (dare I say?) adventure involved in programming websites to be viewable by the majority of the population.  In my last post I found that nearly 70% of the Internet browsing marketshare is owned by Internet Explorer, and since none of the IEs supports Cascading Style Sheets in the same ways, I was forced to learn how to tell each version of IE to read and display my code as it was intended.

Interestingly enough, as minor code changes were making massive differences in the display of IE6 and IE7, the other browsers I worked with (Opera 8, 9 , Firefox 3, Google Chrome, Safari 3, Camino 1) were not affected by my code changes at all, and continued to consistently display the page I wanted.

During my time of “learning the ropes” of IE programming, I ran across a number of very useful tools on the Internet that aid in the development of websites, especially cross-browser IE compatibility checking.  Here, I’ll present the tools I’ve found, a look at my current “under-development” website in a number of browsers, and a few links to some more IE CSS bugs that I’ve found helpful.

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My Gripe Against Internet Explorer

ie7What a lovely tool we have at our fingertips: the Internet.  It’s full of tons of useful information, interactivity, buying, selling, trading, free-lance business, banking, videos, games, music, and so much more. However, your online experience is only as good as the browser you use through which to do your “surfing” and there are indeed massive problems with Internet Explorer, especially versions 6 and below.

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Enabling “E-Learning” on the Avalon English Computer System

main_l1If you’re an English teacher working for Avalon English in Korea and you have to access their “E-Learning” system, chances are you’ve probably run into an error with downloading the necessary ActiveX and Installation files in order to grade students work.

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Changing OS Languages in Windows XP

This post is OLD (January 2009). Support for Windows XP ended in APRIL 2014. I no longer check Comments on this blog, but will leave this post up because it seems to have helped many people previously.

windows_xp_logo_2I recently needed to change languages in my Windows XP Operating System because I teach English in Korea, and all the computers in the office have Windows installed in Korean.  Though I’m learning the language, nothing beats being able to read about the computer problems and solve them on your own in your native language (mine = English).  Therefore, here are the steps, links, and images I used to successfully change my Windows XP from Korean to English.
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