Enable Windows Keyboard Shortcuts In Citrix

This is a bit of an old topic; I recently, after reinstalling Windows, had to reconfigure my local client to allow passing windows keyboard shortcuts through to my Citrix instance. In this case, I was using remote desktop as a Citrix application. I have noticed that Citrix Desktops don’t seem to have this same issue. Since it took a bit of digging to find out how to configure this, again, I thought I would put it here as a reminder and to help other should they run across the same issue.

Open regedit (press the windows key  and type “regedit” sans quotes) on the client device.

  • Navigate to the key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Citrix\ICA Client\Engine\Lockdown Profiles\All Regions\Lockdown\Virtual Channels\Keyboard
  • Modify the key: TransparentKeyPassthrough
  • Set the value to: Remote

Next time you start up your Citrix app you should now be able to use your usual Windows keyboard shortcuts such as Alt+Tab, Alt+Ctrl+Del, Ctrl+Tab.

Win 7 Live Messenger Task Bar Fix

For those of you ‘lucky’ enough to have already updated to the new Windows 7 then you have probably already noticed the major changes to the task bar. Good or bad, you decide. Personally, I like some of the new functionality that it provides but I also enjoy a slim taskbar — similar to that of Vista. Fortunately, Microsoft provided a “Use small icons” option in the taskbar properties (right-click the taskbar and select properties) which makes the task bar a similar size to that of Vista.

Changing the taskbar to use small icons, however, does not fix the fact that Windows Live Messenger likes to constantly take up space in the taskbar even when the window is not open. Since there does not currently appear to be an option in Windows Live Messenger to display the program in the system tray, instead of on the taskbar, we need to use a simple work around.

First, close any current Windows Live Messenger instances. Then open your start menu and locate the Windows Live Messenger shortcut. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties. Switch to the Compatibility tab and check “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and select Window Vista (Service Pack 2)”. Now start Windows Live Messenger and problem solved. You should now see the Windows Live Messenger icon in the system tray. As you would on Vista, XP, etc.

Telstra HTC Touch HD — Enable Weather Module

ONE of the best features built-into the HTC Touch HD would have to be the weather module. This module allows you to view the current weather conditions, as well as a four-day forecast and all in a pretty cool looking interface. However; for some unknown reason Telstra decided to disable the weather module by default, instead opting to include a bunch of somewhat completely useless modules of its own.

There is good news… through a bit of editing you are able to re-enable the weather module and, if you desire, remove the unnecessary Telstra modules. First thing is first; we need to find the file which contains the HTC Touch Flow configuration. The file we are after is 26948339_manila.xml which is located in the Windows directory. Back this original file up. Copy this file on to your storage card, or somewhere you can access it from your computer (alternative you could use an application such as Total Commander to edit the file from your mobile device).

Continue reading “Telstra HTC Touch HD — Enable Weather Module”

Fixing Your Boot.INI

Using Recovery Console

The standard and recommended way to repair your boot.ini is to boot to your Windows installation CD and through the recovery console perform a repair on the boot config. This can be done by calling bootcfg /rebuild, however, this requires you to have administrative privileges for the Windows installation that you are attempting to fix. As I recently discovered this may not always be the case, luckily I remembered my good friend Knoppix.

Knoppix is a free Linux bootable Live CD. It allows you to boot to a fully functional Linux system, without having to perform an install or without any other permanent effects.

Using Knoppix

This workaround allows you to fix the boot.ini file, without requiring administrative privileges, however in order to be able to boot to Knoppix you will need to be able to boot from your CD drive.

  1. Download the latest version of Knoppix. *The version I used was 5.1.1
  2. Burn the ISO to a bootable CD.
  3. Insert the Knoppix CD into the problematic computer and boot from CD.
  4. Once the boot screen is presented press Enter to start loading or press F2 or F3 for more boot options.
  5. After Knoppix has finished loading you should see an HDD image (you may see multiple images, depending on the number of fixed drives on your machine).
  6. Right-click your Windows drive and press “mount”.
  7. Right-click the drive again and press “change read/write mode” in order to be able to edit the boot.ini file.
  8. Open the drive and navigate to the boot.ini file.
  9. Open boot.ini and edit as required.
  10. Save the file and restart to windows, be sure to remove the Knoppix CD.

Useful Vista Sidebar Gadgets

I always thought that the Windows Sidebar feature, included with Windows Vista, was a waste of space – Well, it does take up valuable screen real estate – however recently I’ve started using the Sidebar on a secondary display. While I would probably still not use the Sidebar on a single screen, having dual screens gives me much more real estate and provides a great location for system information and supplementary windows. That’s where the Sidebar comes in…

Previously on my laptop; I used to use Yahoo! Widgets to display information, such as remaining battery power, WiFi signal reception, etc. I found these extremely useful in the circumstance because they were individual items which I could make just big enough to see, but small enough to be imperceptible while focusing on the main tasks on hand. When it came to the desktop, however, I found these to be too disorganised and ended up cluttering the screen – that’s where the Windows Sidebar comes in. Because of it’s dockable “Sidebar” the Gadgets are easily organised to one side of the screen. A great feature with this docking ability is that if you check the “Sidebar is always on top of others windows” option it will cause maximised windows to only open up as far as the Sidebar, allowing you to always be able to see you Gadgets.

Just like FireFox add-ons, there is a fairly decent array of Gadgets available (however there are a significantly less number of Sidebar Gadgets, 1453, available compared to Yahoo! Widgets, 3808 – *numbers are from the official download sites at the time of writing). So here is a list of Gadgets, with links, that I have found most helpful so far:

  • Weather (included with the Sidebar by default) – Great for showing the current temperature. Or, if undocked, a three-day forecast.
  • Calendar (included with the Sidebar by default) – Excellent in docked view as it shows the current date in large letter, with a nice orange background.
  • Multi Sensor – A nice graphical display of system diagnostic information, such as temperature, memory usage, etc. However, you do need to be running Everest Ultimate.
  • DriveInfo – Displays Free space and drive usage (in percent) of selected drives.
  • Network Meter v2.1 – Monitors network traffic and displays the current download and upload speeds on two separate bars.
  • NetGadget – Similar to the Network Meter, however, it displays the set and received speeds on a scrolling chart.

Windows Safari

Apple has just recently released Safari 3 beta and with this release, they have included an XP and Vista version, for the previously Mac only browser. Steve Jobs announced the release of Safari 3 during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (see video here) and showcased some of its features and benefits. Aside from the claims of being “the best browser ever”, Jobs also claims that Safari is 2x faster than IE7 and 1.6x faster than FireFox 2.

Personally, I’m not a fan the Mac look and feel, especially that big grey toolbar, however, there are a few features which are useful, if not at least intriguing. For example, while tabbed browser, you can drag a tab off the tab toolbar and a new window will be opened with that tabs contents displayed. Another useful feature is the ability to resize text areas, without the need for this to be implemented by the website (of course this is available in FireFox through the use of a Resizeable Form Fields extension by Justin Watt).

Aside from the aforementioned features of Safari, it does appear to render HTML quicker than IE7 and FireFox. However, there are a few bugs or unimplemented features which should be included. One notable downfall is the lack of support for the scroll wheel click feature (I’m not sure if this is lack of support for my Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000 or if it’s not included at all), which is presumably a direct side effect of the mac mouse having a 360 scroll ball instead of a wheel. Another downfall I noted was that the tab toolbar does not always close once you close all of the tabs (excluding one), but granted it is only a beta I’m sure that bug will be fixed before the final release.

All-in-all I think Safari is just another standard browser really, and I’ll be sticking with FireFox for now. However, if you would like to try out the new Safari you can head to http://www.apple.com/safari/ and download your free beta copy. Or alternatively, you can download the real “best browser” from http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/. :-p

Update June 13th: Apparently there have already been several vulnerabilities found in Safari.