Customizations #9

[Fixes] [Scripts] [General Information]

Win98 Users Can Improve Memory Speed
Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, have structured Windows 98 memory usage so that your swap file (virtual memory) is accessed before you run out of RAM (physical memory). This is a curious set up because as you know, virtual memory operates more slowly than physical memory. Microsoft claims (in MSKB article Q223294) that this method is more efficient. This may or may not be so. But you can compare as delivered performance against this tweak by launching some memory intensive programs (advanced graphics editors are perfect for this) and edit large files both before and after you make these changes. If you use more than 64MB RAM then this is worth a try. You can always change it back easily enough. Just edit your System.ini under the <386Enh> section, add the following line:
ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1
Reboot and run some of those memory intensive programs again, preferably under identical circumstances, to see if things have improved.

Easier And Faster Word Searches
The search feature built into the latest versions of Microsoft Word is too cumbersome. In order to search a single folder for all files containing a particular word requires a minimum of ten mouse clicks. Well, there is a better way. This should help with any word processor or text editor, not just in Word.

  • Close all open programs and click once on your desktop. Press F3 and, in the Look In box, type in the full path to the directory in which you save all your text and Word files (the default is usually C:\My Documents).
  • Now, in the Containing Text box, type in a short series of characters that would not be found in any of your existing text files. Something like QWT or the like. Start the search for which you should find no matches in the subject directory (C:\My Documents or whatever).
  • Once the search is complete, save it by going to File/Save Search. Once you finished the save you’ll notice a new icon on your desktop.
  • Now the trick is to make this saved search easy to access while working with any text editor or word processor (or combination thereof). Right click the new icon, drag it across the Desktop a short way and select Create Shortcut Here from the menu that appears when you release the button.
  • Right click the new shortcut and assign a hot key so that you can launch it quickly without accessing your desktop. One good suggestion would be Ctrl+Shift+F. You could also drag it to your Quick Launch bar.
  • Now, any time you are working in any text editor, or combination of text based programs of any type, and you need to find a specific file in your central text document directory, you can just press the hot key you assigned and substitute QWT (or whatever you typed in) with the word you’re looking for.
  • Enjoy!

Make DLLs Display Their Icons in Windows Explorer
By default Windows Explorer displays a generic icon for all DLL files even if some of them contain icons. If you sometimes look inside those DLL files at their icons you know that many DLLs have no icons, and some do. If you’d like to know at a glance which ones have icons then a quick Registry edit is just what you need. This tweak will change the default so that the first icon contained in a DLL is displayed in Windows Explorer.

  • Launch Regedit and drill down to this key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\dllfile\DefaultIcon.
  • First back up the key you are about to modify:
    1. Highlight (Default) in the right frame and select Export Registry File… from the Registry pull down menu.
    2. Export or save the file to the location of your choice.
    3. If you don’t like the results of this tweak, simply double click the exported file to undo the changes you are about to make.
  • Right click (Default) and choose Modify.
  • Replace all the information contained in the Value data: field with %1.
  • Exit Regedit, reboot and launch Windows Explorer. Find a file called Shell.DLL in C:\Windows\System and note that it, and many other DLLs now display an icon of its own rather than the default.
  • Enjoy!

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